Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Warning: Long Email with Funny Adventures


This week was full of adventures and a ton happened! Lots of funny
stories and many miracles!

Let's see. Monday after pday we had dinner with a younger couple in
the Ward who is sadly moving this week! They're awesome! We went to a
lesson with N. at Sister W's and it went really well! We
taught about the Book of Mormon. We were full of enthusiasm and
excitement, this helped keep N. awake with drowsy medications. Then
we had a few refreshments Sister W's provided and then we ran to
catch our bus. We needed to catch three buses to go to the K's for
FHE. We left her apartment at 7:29 the bus was coming at 7:21. As we
were waiting at the bus we were able to talk to a guy walking his dog.
It was a super cute dog! It looked like a German shepherd puppy but
turns out he was 8 years old and full grown! It was a mix of something
miniature and a German shepherd. But the guy was really nice and we
gave him a Book of Mormon card and then got on the bus for a short 2
minute bus ride and talked to two people. Kinda interesting people.
The guy I talked to didn't want our picture of Christ because he was
"a believer long before I was born". Interesting.... But then we were
able to catch our second bus right away! And on it we talked to
U's! We saw him a couple weeks ago on the bus and he asked used
where we kept our wings, funny guy! He drew my portrait back in
November at a bus stop and gave it to me. He did pretty well for a
drunk guy but it looks nothing like me! We gave him a Book of Mormon
the last time we saw him and he still has it. He's going to read it
once he is finished with the other book he is reading. We got off to
catch our third bus and the bus was already at the stop but we were
caught at a red light and couldn't cross but U's ran over to the
bus cause he also needed to catch it! He saved us! He was still
putting money in the thing when we ran over to the bus. It was crazy!
We got to the k's is 20 minutes which is a miracle! It was great!
Then w sang songs for FHE cause the elders were super late. But it was

Tuesday we went and saw a lot of people. We did a lot of things we had
planned, although I didn't feel like we accomplished much for some
reason. Oh well. We went and visited a lady in the Ward who can't make
it to church and she is very sweet! Then we looked around her yard.
She has two acres! In California! In a neighborhood! Crazy! That
doesn't happen! She has a beautiful yard with lots of beautiful
flowers and roses. Hah in the 80s and its February! Weird. Then we
went and made a Facebook post and talked to a guy online that we met
on the street the week before. Then we went over to see E.. We
originally had a lesson with C. set up but she couldn't do it then
and then we tried calling G. to meet with her but she couldn't
meet and then we got a text from E. saying she would love to meet
with us when we had the chance and so we were able to set something up
for that day! It worked perfect! We got on the bus and went over to
her house And had a good lesson! She's so sweet! She has such a desire
to learn more! We're helping her understand prayer. Then we stopped
and got a snack at jack in the box and I got really good curly fries!
Then we went down to see a less active lady bishop wanted us to see.
And we found her. Funny story. So we went to find her house but
couldn't find the right number so we knocked on a door to this house
and the lady told us she lived in the back so we went and knocked on
the side door and it was the same lady! It was so embarrassing but so
funny! Then we kept walking and saw there was a back house and we
knocked and it was the right house! She's from Peru and really nice
lady! She hasn't been able to come to church for a while because she's
been helping her sister with her job. She told us all about Peru and I
really want to go there sometime! It's so pretty! I want to travel all
over the place! But then we went to our dinner and that was fun. Then
we went to try to find people but had no luck.

Wednesday we went to the church to have lunch and do Facebook and then
we remembered a member had invited to take us out to lunch so she came
and picked us up and we went to R'oscoes famous for its chicken
and waffles. So good! Obama goes there a lot to. There are pictures of
him eveeywhere inside! Then we went to do service at the food pantry.
It was good. We wished all the Chinese people who came in a happy new
year! They loved that! Then we went to see G. but she was at a
doctors appointment. So we waited and waited to see C. We had a
quick lesson with her about the Book of Mormon and she's excited to
read it! So that's awesome! Then we went to dinner at Souplantation
with Sister R.. So nice! It was a long evening then trying to find
people to teach.

Thursday was good. We had a great district meeting and we were
supposed to talk about iPads but it turned into talking about the
atonement. Which was needed! The atonement is a gift that I personally
take for granted a lot. It is so amazing that we have Jesus Christ to
help us through every struggle! Physical, spiritual, emotional,
everything! Then we had lunch and opened packages and letters from
friends and family! It was great! Then as we walked back into the
relief society room to get out things I opened the door and I saw a
lizard!!! It ran across the room and hid and we weren't able to find
it! Its tail was so long though! It was gross!! Then we went to see
G. It was a good lesson. Then we went to find some people and
then had dinner then went finding again. We didn't have much luck but
at the bus stop we talked to an Armenian guy. We gave him our number
and invited him to church. He ended up calling us the next day jus to
talk! Haha it was pretty funny. He asked us how work was going and our
day and so we realized he was more interested in us and not in our
message so we invited him to go to a baptism with us on Saturday and
church on Sunday. That didn't happen. It was pretty funny! He wasn't
all there when he called! Haha! Thursday night we met a crazy guy who
said he saw the devil in the trees when he was younger. Yeah..drugs
and alcohol are bad for you... It was interesting!

Friday we went to the church and planned. We missed our bus first so
we had an early lunch then went to the church. Planning went well. But
we were both kinda grumpy and tender mercy! We were on the bus and I
made eye contact with this guy in the back of the bus and he asked me
to get the girl next to me...aka Sister A. Phew had a giant
bottle of alcohol with him and was drinking it on the bus so I
thought, "oh this'll be interested. So I got sister Argueta and this
is their conversation...
Guy: how old are you?
Companion: umm I'm 20...
Guy: baby, you have a beautiful smile!
Companion: umm... (Leans forward to see him more)...I'm a missionary
for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!
Guy: that makes things better! when you turn 25 I'm gonna be chasin
you around the block!
Companion: umm when I'm 25 I will be Long gone!
Or at least something to the extent of that. It was so funny!! But do
not be deceived, it wasn't creepy it was just funny! He was just
paying her a nice compliment. The whole bus was laughing! It was
pretty embarrassing for sister A. but we laughed about it for the
rest of the night. The. We went to dinner at Los Tacos with a couple
from the Ward and the elders. It was pretty funny! We went home a
little early because we had young women from the la crescenta stake.
We got two girls from the Philipino Ward. They're super nice! They
slept over to spend the next day with us until 4.

Saturday was full of miracles! The mini missionaries brought us so
many miracles! It was great! We talked to 15 people with them! And got
2 new investigators! One of the girls just started coming back to
church the Sunday before! It was so great to help her strengthen her
testimony! She's so sweet! It was fun! Then we went out to find less
actives. The bishop gave us a list of men in their 30s for us to go by
because "men react differently to young ladies than young men" in
other words:
12 Now there were many that would not leave them, but had rather stay
and perish with them. And the rest left their wives and their children
and fled.
13 And it came to pass that those who tarried with their wives and
their children caused that their fair daughters should stand forth and
plead with the Lamanites that they would not slay them.
(Mosiah 19:12-13)

But it was good! We met one guy who is a cinematographer for ninja
warriors and has friends that are nominated for oscars...pretty crazy!

Sunday was good! We sang in the choir and then went to a primary class
to tell them what we do and that was very entertaining! They're so
funny! It was very rainy! We were walking to our dinner and we were
drenched! A car started slowing down by us and I jokingly said out
loud to sister A., "can I give you girls a ride? Yes we would
love that!" Then we hear the lady in the car say, "Can I give you
girls a ride?" It was such a blessing! It was so nice! She is from the
Christian Science church. Dinner was good and then we contacted a
referral and went finding more. It was a good, wet night.

Monday we had zone conference! It was so good! It was exactly what I
needed! Next week we have a mission conference next week to talk about
iPads with an area 70 and people from the mtc! It'll be super good!
Then we had dinner and went to a lesson with N. and set her with a
baptism date for April 4th! It was so good!

Well, I love the mission and everything I'm learning! Thank you all
for everything you do to help me!

Love, Sister Riches

Saturday, February 21, 2015

16 Months Serving in the Lord's Army!

Hello All!

This has been a great week! 

Monday was good, not much happened. FHE with the K's went well. 

Tuesday was good but long! We saw G.- a less active- and had a good lesson with her. Then we went bus contacting for 2 hours!!!! WE ate at Pieology which is a good pizza place and it has a great inspirational quote wall. Very good quotes for missionaries! That night we went on exchanges. The Sister Training Leaders went with two companionships so we were in a trio. On our way to Sunland we got on the wrong freeway which may or may not have taken us outside our mission! It was quite an adventure! We were able to figure our way back into our mission. (We drove past Hollywood and Burbank--CRAZY!)

Wednesday was good. WE worked as a trio and got a parking ticket--oops. We didn't know there was a law about no parking on the streets in Temple City-They had NO signs anywhere. But we did service at Friends in Deed and then contacted lots of people cause our lesson fell through. But we taught N. again and it went well! She didn't fall asleep as much as last time! We sang Joseph Smiths first prayer. Then reviewed the restoration. Then we invited her to baptism and she accepted! We'll have to follow up with her next time to see if she remembered! It was good though. Then we had dinner at a members and it was so good! Then we traveled back to Sunland-making sure to stay on the right freeway. I was dying by this time cause I caught some sort of cold and my nose was about to fall off! I slept on the long drive to Temple City. 

Thursday was a good day. We had a good Zone Meeting and then afterwards I got a blessing and it was great! Then we went to the Family History center and that was fun! Then we went out and  worked. We also did some service for a member and that was nice.

So recently I've had a lot of doubt and fear and because of that faith can't be there. Which means I'm trying to do everything on my own and not relying on Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to help me. They have promised to always be there for us and I haven't been letting them. I've learned a lot this past week and I'm sorry I've been kinda down the last few weeks even months. It's no fun to be stressed or sad or fearful or doubtful. It's so much better to choose to be happy. I got a blessing on Thursday cause I was sick and I didn't need the healing part as much as I needed the comfort. In it I was told that Heavenly Father knows of my doubts and my fears. It was a really good blessing. Then Sister A. and I talked about what was going on on Friday and then Friday night after dinner I was so overwhelmed and sad that we went to a "park" and I cried and prayed and watched the stars and some uplifting Mormon messages. It helped a lot. Sister A. is so great! She told me to read my patriarchal blessing so on Saturday I did and I realized that Heavenly Father has already blessed me with so many things that I am worried about and since He has already blessed me that I can do those things and all I need to do is have FAITH in that blessing and act on it! It was a good week of learning! OH! Then on Sunday I fasted and that was really good. At church everything was directed towards me. In sacrament they talked about prayer and faith. The high councilman told a story about sailing to Catalina Island with the scouts and in the morning they had "June Gloom" so it was really foggy. The sailboat owner captain whatever told the scouts to head straight and when they heard the bell to turn quickly at a certain angle and keep going and they would reach the  island, then we went to sleep in his cabin and told them to wake him when they were there. The high councilman was so doubtful that they would get to the Island. He was so worried and watching on look out that he wasn't able to enjoy the journey and everything worked out okay. That's just like our lives. Heavenly Father has sent us Jesus Christ as an example of what we should do here on earth and we need to do those things and not worry. Heavenly Father loves us and he wouldn't let anything bad happen to us! And that's what I haven't been doing- is trusting in the Lord. Then in Relief Society we talked about Finding Joy in our Struggles. And it was even more what I needed! Then the Bishop wanted to talk to us and he gave us a pep talk about how it is our choice to be happy and it was really good! It's amazing what happens when you do have faith and trust in the Lord and you fast and pray and study the scriptures! I love it! The gospel is so true and can really solve any problems, doubts, or fears!! 

It was a good week!

I love you all! Have a great week! 

Love, Sister Riches

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Wheat and the Tares

Hello all!

Let's see...I seem to have the memory of a goldfish and can't remember
two hours ago so to remember was we did last week....we'll see if I
can remember it.

Monday was transfer day and after we transferred Sister A. and I
went grocery shopping and then to the church to email. It was good.
Then we had dinner and went out finding.

Tuesday we talked to lots of people- I haven't been too motivated
recently to talk to people so it was good to get that push! We got a
new investigator- N. She is neighbors with one of the members. So
that was good! She is on a lot of medications that make her drowsy so
she was kinda falling asleep in the lesson...we're meeting with her
again this Wednesday so hopefully she'll be more awake.

Wednesday we did service at Friends in Deed, everyone was shocked to
see me again. They all thought I was being transferred. Chances are
I'll stay in Pasadena until the end! Then we went and saw a less
active. That went okay. Sadly he isn't very open to Heavenly Father
because he's had some hard trials. Two of his sons have committed
suicide and he doesn't understand how a loving God who has a plan
would let that happen. It's sad. But we had a good dinner with the
H's. He was the mission president in Sacramento and then the LA
temple president. We had a great dinner conversation that was all
about the gospel and missionary work! Such a breath of fresh air to
talk about the gospel at dinner. I love that!

Thursday we had a good district meeting. Then saw a less active-
G. Her caregiver was over and we read together Mosiah 24. It was
awesome! Her caregiver is interested in learning more and loves the
temples! She's been taking pictures of the Tijuana Mexica temple as it
is being built and loves the "Castle" in San Diego. She has had some
elders come by in the past. Sadly she lives in LA but she's awesome!
We're going to read the Book of Mormon again next time we visit and
bring her one in Spanish so she can follow along better. She gave me
hope that there are still people out there who are ready. It's been
really hard for a lot of the English missionaries recently around the
mission. Sadly it's because of disobedience but there are other
factors too. We have to go out an find the elect. Something that has
really hit me hard is about the parable of the wheat and the tares.
Tares are weeds, weeds grow fast and choke the good plants. There has
been a ton of success throughout the world and now there are more
tares and less wheat and the wheat is harder to find. We have to do a
lot of pruning back of the tares to find the wheat. And that's
definitely what I feel we have been doing. Searching through the tares
just to find one wheat. The sad thing is young tares look just like
young wheat. So it can be tricky and deceiving. But that's why we have
to talk to everyone to find the wheat- the GOLDEN wheat.

Friday we weekly planned and then saw A.- she's less active, slowly
coming back to church. It went well. Nothing really exciting happened.
We went out for dinner and as we were at dinner I got free food cause
they said they ran out of tortellini and then they came out 2 minutes
later with the tortellini and gave it to me for free! And then we saw
two families from the Ward! Pretty funny!

Saturday we had a pretty good day. We taught one of our bus contacts.
It went pretty well! She's getting married this Saturday and has a 3
year old daughter who is so cute! It's exciting! Her name is C.
We did a lot of finding.

Sunday was good. I felt really comfortable at church around the
members. Which was different and good! we taught the youth Sunday
school and that went well. We taught about teaching and it's role in
the plan of salvation. It was fun. We had studies and had a good
companions study where we made some good companion goals because we
both kinda lack confidence in ourselves, especially when talking to
people on the street. So we are going to work on that. We had a good
dinner and the B's made us Italian cream sodas! So good! I had
a strawberry and Irish cream soda. So good! Then we went and saw
Sister M. That was good too. She wasn't feeling well so she wasn't
at church but we talked about family history and how she can come with
us on Thursday so we can all learn more. I'm so excited! I hope I can
learn how to help my genealogy but also learn some cool things to talk
to people on the street about!

Well I love you all and I am so happy to be serving a mission. A
mission is hard work! You are working 24/7 and don't get too many
breaks. But it is all worth it! It is so great to see how my mindset
has been changing as I have been serving a mission, how it has changed
to the things of the world and the things of the gospel and my family!
I love it! It's repentance because it is change. I know there are a
lot of things I need to change when I come home or really things I
need to keep doing. But I am glad to be so close to my Father in
Heaven and learn more and use more of the atonement of Jesus Christ!
And you don't need to serve a mission or be on a mission to feel ad
know those things. You can apply the love of our Heavenly Father in
your life everyday as well as the atonement. It helps with even the
small things, not just the big things. We can feel and know these
things for ourselves as we pray and read the scriptures and go to
church and the temple. Spiritual CPR - church, pray, and read.

I love you all have a good week!

Love, Sister Riches

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

To Train Or Not To Train...That Is The Question


Well this week certainly has been eventful.

Monday was probably one of the best pdays ever! We went on a hike in
Sierra madre with the zone and shot slings and slingshots. It was so
fun! Then we went to the park and ate desserts and played ultimate
frisbee, I think I already talked about this, but it was so fun! I
loved it! We all got along great!

Tuesday we went out to find all day! We did too! We found F. at
the park. We had a lesson set up for Saturday but sadly we weren't
able to get a hold of m verse to confirm. Tuesday night we got a
present from a sister in the Ward. She is a silversmith and made a
necklace of a hand holding the iron rod, it's awesome! She's so sweet!

Wednesday we served at the food pantry and everyone said bye to me
cause of transfers coming up and it was really nice. They're so sweet!
Then we had a good lesson with a less active then went to dinner at
the N.s they're so nice! And so funny! It was a good dinner we talked
about how t-Rex's live in the far away land of boun-tee-ful. It was a
funny dinner conversation! Then when we got home we got a call from
the APs saying that I was called to be a trainer! She would be my
third trainee! I was so excited!!

Thursday we had district meeting which went well and then headed over
to Arcadia for the trainers meeting. It was a really good meeting. I
needed it! Then when President Villanueva got up to teach he announced
that one of the sisters coming who was a visa waiter to go to Brazil
already got her visa so one of the sisters wouldn't be training. I got
kinda sad and stressed because I really wanted to train but the other
sisters there hadn't trained yet and the one other that had has only
been out for about a year. So I had suspicions it would be me who
wouldn't train. Sadly. But afterwards we went to dinner then went out
finding. Thursday night I broke down. I am not where I want to be at
this time in the mission for how long I've been out and it hit me how
close the end is and it makes me really sad. I don't want to leave and
it will go so fast. I want to learn and do so much more that what I
have and am doing. But I don't know where to start. Also I felt it
would be me who wouldn't train because the other sisters have more
time for them to learn and grow from the experience of training. It
makes me so sad. So I was stressed, tired, and emotional wreck! Sister
B. helped me so much! She listened to the spirit and gave me a hug
when I needed it. It was hard too cause transfers wee stressing her
out too cause she does not do well with change.

Friday we went to the church and weekly planned. During weekly
planning the APs called and told me I wouldn't be training. Sister
B. and I were pretty stressed so we went to get an ice cream before
we finished planning. It was needed! Then we finished planning and
went out to work. We had a good lesson with a less active and then
went out to dinner with a member referral. She took us to a great
Argentinian restaurant! It was so good! She is friends with the owner
so we kinda got vip treatment. It was fun to build that relationship
with her.

Saturday we helped with a stake relief society luncheon for the
Arcadia stake. It was nice. Then we waited for our lesson but that
never happened sadly and we missed a few busses and wasted a lot of
time waiting for another bus. It was rough. We had a good dinner then
tried to find people to teach. Today was the Pasadena Stake Relief
society temple trip and a member we have been working with to bring
into full activity went to do baptisms! It was a great experience for
her, we wished so badly we could go with her. Saturday night we got
our transfer call. Sister b. got transferred to Glendale 2nd and
7th wards. A family and ysa Ward. She's so nervous! And I'm staying
here in Pasadena and this may be my last area. 3 areas and 7
companions. My new companion is sister A., she makes the 7th
companion. She super nice!

Sunday we had church which went well. Then we had lunch at the c's.
and the elders where the b's and the N's joined us. It was so
nice! It was such a beautiful day the sun was shining and the doors
were opened. It was perfect! Then we went to say bye to a few more
members for sister b. and then went to the missionary departure
devotional, aka Despideda. Sister M. was going home so I got
to see tons of people from claremont that came! I love them and I love
all the people I have met while I have been out on my mission! It has
been such a great learning experience and growth! I hope there is
still time for me to grow a ton and learn a lot!

Thank you all for everything you help me with!

Love, Sister Riches