Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas week in Carmen

I have no idea what to say this week. Strange right? And the picture thing isn't working out so well...

The Mission President came to our area this weekend! On Saturday we all gathered at the stake center and then we got a call saying that the Mission President wasn't coming. Everyone was so upset, so two of the Elders in our zone decided to go pray. When they came back we decided that we all needed to pray together, and they asked me to offer the prayer... hahaha. We prayed and then 15 minutes later we got a call saying the Mission President would be coming and would be there in 3 hours so, we needed to stay there and practice teaching and study. Prayers are answered! We prayed to say thank you, and then got to studying!

I love the Mission Presidents family! They are so great! I was so excited to hear from them. The President gave us a wonderful talk about Repentance. It was amazing. It made me really think about being better and turning my heart towards God. We ate dinner and then hung out with our zone. It was so great! I feel like a part of the zone now. There is an Elder from Sandy that swears he has played basketball with Sawyer. :)

After those talks we had a baptism of Migualito! He doesn't count as our baptism because he is 8 but, we still got to teach him because his family is inactive! His Dad got the preisthood on Sunday, so things are looking up!

On Sunday we had a conference with Elder Walker. It was SOOO good. It was about ward councils and how missionary work HAS to have members to work. It is so true! We need ALL OF YOU to be successful! When the tortilla shop runs out of dough, they can't make any more tortillas! It is the same with referrals, when we run out we can't baptize any more people! We are constantly in need of referrals! Contacting isn't that successful and we aren't allowed to knock on doors anymore! SO, start giving referrals to your local missionaries! Okay, I will get off my soapbox.

This morning the zone leaders organized an activity for all of us! We went to the beach with the Mission Presidents family and played sports. It was so fun! one wanted the Hermanas on their team... We all sucked at soccer and Volleyball. But I dominated at Frisbee and playing catch with the Elders. I also taught the Mission presidents daughters how to throw an American Football. They are basically pro now. :)  It was way fun! Then we had a BBQ. It was so yummy!

Everyone here is on, our work has been slow. I am so grateful the President came this weekend! It was a beautiful Christmas here in Carmen.

I Love you all so much!

Have a great week!

Hermana Elise Riedelbach


Baptism of Migualito

Eating a hot dog for G-Ma, They have hot dog soup down here...I eat it a lot G-Ma would be in heaven!

The roads in town

Hermana Castro and I standing next to the road...crazy, huh?

Zone with Pres. and his wife

Me and Hermana Castro on the Beach

Monday, December 23, 2013



I hope I can fit all that I need to in this email but, I only have 30 minutes and then we are putting on a Christmas Concert!

Where to start? AHH! My first Area is Carmen it's an island in the Gulf of Mexico, which means its closer to the equator therefore it's hotter, more humid and my hair is bigger! Seriously it's huge everyone laughs. 

I think this will be easier to do in a pros and a cons list so here you go!

The Mexican Men:

Pros: They love me! They cat call to me ALL day. I don't think I have ever been whistled at this much in my life and that's saying something! They also yell things at me. My personal favorite (I was wearing a red shirt) He yelled Hey there little red riding hood, your big bad wolf is right here!

Cons: They take their clothes off as I walk by and they don't excatly have the skinniest of bodies...

The bugs:

Cons: THEY LOVE ME just like the men. :) I look like I have diseased legs because they won't stop biting me. I have tried every kind of bug spray. Don't worry the elders say that they stop biting you after week 3. The ants love my stuff. I don't know why...This morning they got into my suitcase of clothes..stupid ants. We found 2 cockroaches in our bathroom this week.

Pros: my companion says that the cockroaches we found were the small ones... :) I thought they were HUGE! only two weeks left of bug bite mania.

My Hair:

Pros: I am never lacking in volume like I do in Utah.It makes everyone laugh... :)

Cons: IT"S HUGE!!!!! Like seriously, I don't think it could be any bigger. All of the Mexicans think it's funny. I tried to straighten it for church yesterday was huge before we left our house. :(

The singing:

Cons: They can't sing at all it's hysterical

Pros: Mom will fit right in when she comes to pick me up! ;)

The Food:

Pros: It is soo good! The members here feed us everyday for lunch! Seriously the gift of tounges involves food too. I have eaten cow tounge twice! I am so proud of myself!

Cons: They feed us Carter sized meals EVERYDAY!!! I don't eat breakfast or dinner because I know I am going to eat so much at lunch.

Funny story about food, one day we went to eat at the sweetest ladies house and in my bowl of soup there was a huge chunk of yucky looking meat,  I just couldn't get myself to eat it so, when the lady turned her back I asked Hermana Castro if she wanted my meat and she said sure! so, I hurried and picked it up and went to put it in her soup and the lady turned around again. AHHH! The meat was in mid air...not one of my finer moments in life. Later the lady asked Sister Castro if I didn't like the food and Sister Castro told here I didn't eat meat....AHAHAHA. so fuuny!

The Members:

Pros: Elder Brewer told me that we have the best ward in the whole mission. They feed us good food every day sometimes twice a day! They love having an american sister here. They get so excited to come up to me and talk English. It's so funny! They also drive us places which is so nice because it is sooo hot here.

Cons: There aren't any...

The Bathroom:

Cons: We can't flush toilet paper down the toilet...and there is no running hot water...

Pros: Showering is always adventurous and our bathroom always smells like a bathroom!

Being white in a brown town:

Pros: I get honked at a lot

Cons: YOU WOULD THINK I WAS A CIRCUS CLOWN. people can't believe there is white girl here so they have to stare just to make sure...

My companion:

She is so great! Her name is Hermana Castro she is from Mexico but speaks English! QUE BENDICIONE! When we saw each other we both knew that we would get to be together! She is a super missionary she contacts everyone we see! She really knows what she is doing!

Our Investigators!

WE HAVE A BAPTISIM! They are all super  and I love them.  They are all super close to baptism. The little kids tell me I speak like a caveman...hahaha, but they love to help me/correct me all the time! I love it!

This is for sure the hardest thing I have ever done but, I love it so much! I will talk more about everything next week when I have more time. If you emailed me and you didn't get a response this week you will get one next week!

Con amor,

Hermana Riedelbach

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Taco Bell Aint Got Nothing on Mexico!


I am in Mexico! WHAT! Oh my goodness. I can't believe it. This keyboard is different typing may be really poor. I am safe, our flights went very well! When we landed we had to go through customs and I got randomly selected to be searched. :(  They took EVERYTHING out of my bags... I couldn't get it to all fit again...hahaha. Then after that ordeal I walked through the gates and saw a huge welcoming party with a sign and all! What a blessing! Our Mission President and his family are so nice. They took us to get tacos last night, yummy, and they kicked all of the Elders out of their apartment so we could stay there. I think we broke everything in their apartment...oops. My hair is HUGE! This humidity is crazy! It's been raining nonstop since we got here. But it's so good. We are about to get our trainers and start the real work! When we got here the Mission President looked at all of our stuff and said "you know, you only needed to pack for 18 months not your whole life!" We have so much stuff! It's hysterical. Today a white Elder walked in and said "Oh my goodness, I  haven't seen a white woman in soooo long." The Mission President's son had never seen a white girl before, you would think we were a circus act on the street. EVERYONE STARES. I love it though!

Can't wait to talk to you on Christmas! 

Love you all!

Hermana Riedelbach

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

La Iglesia es verdadera!!!

What a week! So much has happened. I don't even know where to begin.

Let's start with the biggest news! VEGAS!!!

Yesterday we woke up at 4:00am and flew to Las Vegas to make a personal appearance at the Mexican Consulate. It was the longest day ever. But I have a lot of good news from it! When we landed a service missionary picked us up and took us to Del Taco for breakfast....WHAT? Haha, but it was so yummy. We then went over to the institute building at UNLV and ate. The service missionary then proceeded to talk to us for THREE hours about nothing important. It was SOOO boring. Then we piled in the van and headed over to the Consulate.

We went up to the window stuck out our pointer fingers and then smiled for a picture. 10 minutes later we had our visas in our passports. WHAT? We went through all of that for 15 minutes of sitting? Yes, yes we did. The service missionary took us to the airport and dropped us off.. Our flight didn't leave for FOUR HOURS. We basically sat all day. We ate dinner and then sat and talked. A bunch of members stopped and talked to us and wished us luck. I love all those peoples. They are so awesome! As I am sure you are all aware, a wonderful Mormon mom that worked at the airport took our pictures and sent them home. She's great!

Here comes the good part!

We board the plane and an LDS Sister and Brother sit behind us. They start talking to us about missions and stuff when 2 Hispanic couples come and sit behind us. The members are like talk to them! Soooo, Hermana Lowe and I start chatting with them they were so nice. They were helping us with our Spanish. And then.... they ask us what we are doing and why we are going to Mexico! WOOT! So I start telling them that we are missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and that we are going to preach our gospel to people in Mexico. Then Hermana Lowe looks at me and we start reciting our purpose in Spanish. It was so powerful. They all clapped for us! QUE BENDICIONE! Then I ask them if they know any Mormons? That's who we are. They said they knew some missionaries but they didn't talk with them because they were Catholic. :( bummer. Then they said it was nice to meet us so, they basically ended the conversation. I knew they needed to hear our message but, I didn't know how to keep talking to them. So we turned around and started memorizing the first vision in Spanish.

I knew we both felt that they needed to hear when they brought the drinks around we started talking to them again. I look at Hermana Lowe and she is holding her paperback El Libro de Mormon and she looks at me, and then turns to the people behind us and says "I have a lot of these books...would you like one"? and the lady says yes!!!!! The members faces lit up and they starting smiling at us!! She then asks me what it is and I explain that it's another testament of Jesucristo. Hermana Weaver jumps in and says that it goes hand in hand with the Santa Biblia. And then I get the biggest impression that I need to bear my testimony of it. I didn't even pause. I just started saying I know that book is true and that Jose Smith was a prophet and then Hermana Lowe turns around and grabs her Restoration Pamphlet and opens to the first vision. After I finish bearing my testimony but before Hermana Lowe hands the pamphlet over to them, the members start telling the lady that it's the best book they will ever read. I got tears in my eyes and the lady we were teaching started wiping tears out of her eyes. We showed them the pamphlet and then turned around after giving them our emails.

Hermana Lowe heard the wife say to her husband that they needed to read that book. The Lady then told us that she will always remember us as the ones who gave her that book! I have never felt the spirit that strong in my life. It was so good. We started crying walking out of the airport. The church is true!


Before the flight began I switched Hermana Weaver seats so I could study with Hermana Lowe. I know that was for a higher reason. I was really freaking out about leaving for Mexico on Monday. My Spanish isn't very good and I was lacking a bunch of faith in myself. There was a reason for that plane ride and when it happened, my Spanish was just falling out of my mouth, I didn't have to think about it or anything, it just came! It was such a confidence booster! We were talking about it after and Hermana Weaver said she felt that I needed to sit there just for that reason!

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Yesterday happened because of Him and His love and concern for us! I am so thankful for that!

I love you all and so does Our Father in Heaven!
Have a great WEEK!
Hermana Elise Riedelbach

P.S. The next time I email y'all I will be in MEXICO!!! So, that also means this is the last week for mail!! (:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Busy, Busy

This week has been so busy! Thanksgiving was so good! We got to listen to Elder Nelson speak to us, what a blessing! Then we got to participate in a service project! It was so cool! here's the link to the news article! It felt so good to be a part of such a wonderful project to benefit so many here in Utah! The church is so great and does so many things for people everywhere. We were able to listen to the director of the humanitarian aid for the Church as well. There are so many things the church does! SO COOL!

All this snow is CRAZY! It's so cold! I am counting the days until I can be in sunny, warm Mexico!

My Spanish is getting better! I am starting to kind of put together coherent sentences. Not a lot happens here at  the MTC after the first week, we just study all day every day! I love hearing from you all! I hope all is well! I haven't been so great at writing letters lately, but I will get some out this week!

We haven't heard anything about our visa's yet...which is not necessarily good or bad. I know that all missionaries going to Mexico have to make a consulate appearance which means hopefully we will be going to Vegas or SLC tomorrow or Friday. Pray that we go soon! If not we might get reassigned. :(  I will let you know when it happens!

Tell Erik Feliz CumpliaƱos (spelling?)! I hope he had a great day!

I love you all and miss you tons!
Hermana Riedelbach

We wear pink on Wednesdays

Cute Elders carrying the packages we received ;)

Working on my Spanish!

Ha ha!

So proud!

Dressed in red!  HA!

Freezing in the snow!!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Oh my goodness! I have learned so much this week, but it's been hard. Last Wednesday night was rough. We tanked our lesson. P-day's are the worst. We don't study and then when class rolls around it's so hard to stay focused. Our teacher had a little intervention with us and it helped so much! We talked a lot about the things we need to work on individually and I have seen a huge difference in the way our lessons go now! On Saturday we learned to teach with power and did a cool exercise where we just taught five minute lessons to some of the teachers here. My companion decided to let there be awkward pauses forcing me to speak. It was so good. I had to rely so much on my Heavenly Father, but I opened my mouth and words and questions came out. They are really bad, but they can at least understand what I am saying to them.

We were just told last night that the next 3 devotionals are going to be broadcast.....which means that I will have been here for FOUR general authorities. WHAT! Isn't that so cool? I will also be in the choir for all of them. We aren't supposed to know this, but... Elder Nelson is coming to speak to us tomorrow for Thanksgiving!! How cool? I am so excited to learn from him. Rumor has it President Monson will be making an appearance in the next month! I hope we will be here for that!

Today we went up to main campus and ate breakfast. HOLY COW. Their cafeteria is sooo much better than ours. It's huge. We were in heaven last night at dinner (we ate up there before choir practice.)! Tomorrow is going to be so exciting! We have a big breakfast in the morning, choir practice, devotional, a service activity, THANKSGIVING lunch, another service activity for those affected by the typhoon, and then a movie night. It will be a jammed packed day, but that is so good. I am sad that I can't be there with y'all for Thanksgiving, but I know this will be one I won't forget.

I am so thankful for all of the packages and letters I have received! Every time they go and get the mail the walk in and give me the stink eye. I get so much mail! It's wonderful! I am so thankful for all of my friends and family that have shown me so much support. This is the hardest thing I have ever done and with out all of you it wouldn't be possible.

Have a great week!

Hermana Riedelbach

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Milagros (Miracles)


This week has been full of miracles! After I emailed you last week we were walking to the BYU Dinosaur Museum and had just crossed the street from Brigham's Landing and we heard a huge crash. I didn't think much about it until we walked down the street and saw a car completely flipped over and on the side of the road we saw a smashed up van, a sobbing woman, and a baby. We didn't know what to do, but we ran over to see if everything was ok and what we could do to help. One of the Hermana's asked the woman if she would like a blessing and she said she would. The Elder's took her into the parking lot and gave her a blessing. We weren't even close by when it was happening, but the Spirit was so strong. I know that we were there at that moment for that reason. We had the perfect timing as we didn't witness the crash but we were able to help with what was going on. Everyone ended up walking away, including the 83 year old man who was in the car that flipped. God is so good.

I got the best package from the Brigance's last week. Reading those letters and looking at the drawings from those little cousins of mine made me sob. (The first time up to that point!) I was having a rough day and it made everything worth it. I am so thankful for all of the mail I have received. They truly are little miracles.

On Sunday we said goodbye to our first friends here. They helped us out with so much! Here's a picture of us! Funny story, Elder Delgado (the one standing next to me) put his arm around me when we went to go take the picture and everyone in the whole zone saw and then he immediately asked wait...I am allowed to do that and everyone yelled no and then kept making fun of him for putting the moves on an Hermana. supper awkward.

I had the best day on Monday! Here is my journal entry:

Today was the most incredible day I have had so far. We had TRC tonight ( where we teach members in spanish). oh my goodness. It was the most spiritual experience I have ever had here. We taught Hermano Juan Carlos, our new "investigator" (Our teacher Hermano Whittaker). He is the most depressed soul. I was so immediately saddened by him when he opened the door. But oh my. The spirit was so strong in that lesson. We tried to get him to pray for us so Hermana Zimmerman prayed first and then we asked him if he would pray for us. He said "no," and then pointing at me "will you pray for me?" i freaked out. I am so terrified of praying in front of people, especially in Spanish. I stared at Hermana Zimmerman in pure horror. I didn't know what to do. I froze and then he said " How can I have faith if she doesn't have enough faith to pray for me?" I HAD to pray then. I mustered up all of the faith I had and said the most powerful 2 sentence prayer of my life, in Spanish.

The spirit was so strong in that moment. My Heavenly Father helped me so much! The gift of tounges is real. In TRC we taught Hermana Applegate. She asked us why we decided to serve missions. While telling our stories Hermana Zimmerman and I lost it. We were sobbing. The spirt was so strong while I was telling my story and every doubt I had about deciding to serve a mission vanished. I know without a doubt this is what I am supposed to be doing.

Monday was truly a great day!

This morning we had the opportunity to go and participate in sealings in the temple. It was so wonderful. It made me so grateful that you and dad made that decision to be sealed together. I couldn't help but think of my future family and how I want an eternal family just like ours. The Gospel is so wonderful! I am so grateful to have been born into that covenant and know that our family is eternal. Last night we had a wonderful devotional from Elder Aidukaitus. He talked a lot about our destination at the end of this life and to choose where we want to end up. He challenged us to choose which kingdom we want to go to and then to write it as big as we can in our journals. He said after we choose which kingdom we want to end up in our decisions in life become a lot easier because every decision we make should lead us to the kingdom we choose. Just some things to think about :) Now go read D & C 76 and decide!

The first picture contains all our our books they gave us on the first day.
The second one is our district! We are BFF's. Lauren Miner knows one of the Hermana's(:
The third is after our first lesson in Spanish...
4th my companion and I
5th us with another district
6th my companion and I
7th us singing in the Tuesday devo choir
8th 8 hours is not enough sleep. I often look like this in the morning....hahahahahaha

Love you all!
Hermana Elise Riedelbach

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Week 1 (MTC) Better Than Disneyland!

Week 1 (MTC)

It's been 1 week since we dropped Elise off at the MTC.  We have received a couple of letters and emails in that time.  We are so happy that she is loving every minute of her experience.  She is such a great example and inspiration to us.  We love her, and miss her but, we know she is doing the work of the Lord.  Below is her first letter detailing her first week at the MTC!

Better Than Disneyland!

I have officially finished my first week at the MTC! It's been quite a roller coaster! I just want to say thank you to everyone who sent me mail while I was here! I will do my best to get letters to everyone today.

After I got dropped off we picked up our books and headed right to the West Campus. All of the west campus is Spanish speaking our teacher calls it little Mexico! It's so great to be around so many Spanish speakers. We had our first class that night and it was COMPLETELY in Spanish....WHAAT? I didn't understand anything except for Hola. It was quite the adventure. My teacher, Hermano Whittaker, is sooo patient with me and helps me a ton. My companion is Hermana Zimmerman she is the bomb at Spanish.. She helps me a ton! My district is all Hermanas and we are all going to Villahermosa! We are already the best of friends and have some FUNNY stories..

Thursday- We had our first gym day, it's probably my favorite part of the day. We spend most of the day in our classroom. We have 6 hours of class everyday, 1 hour of personal study, 2 hours of language study and an hour or two of additional study. It's A LOT of studying, but it's so good! Gym is really the only time we go outside. I usually play speed (I whoop tush at it. it's great.) or 4 square. It's a ton of fun. Our zone has 5 districts in it, and we are all really close. We have so much fun. Our branch presidency is bomb. They help us so much.

Friday- This day was SOOOO rough. We had to teach our first lesson in Spanish. It was horrible. I forgot everything, including my name...ahhh. My companion had to introduce me. I had no idea what was going on. I had to read my prayer out a book and my companion had to whisper words to me. Worst experience EVER.

Saturday-I was determined to do better at the lesson. I studied and prayed so HARD. During lunch some of the Elders were talking to us and told us not to worry about what we were teaching just to make sure our 'investigator' knew we loved her. It worked. Our lesson went so well and I understood what was going on. We just talked to her and got to know her better. It was so good, she asked me questions and I totally knew what she asked me. After it was over we went to our classroom and knelt down and thanked our Heavenly Father. We couldn't have done it without him! We taught in the afternoon and at class that night I understood everything he was teaching us. It was amazing. It was also the funniest night. We laughed so much that my abs hurt the next day. Hermano Whittaker asked me to pretend to be Samanta ( our investigator) and he was asking me what my boyfriend was like. I had no idea what to say, and the next thing I know muy caliente came out of my mouth. Hermano Whittaker's face was priceless. Everyone busted up laughing and my companion turned bright red and looked at me like I can't believe she's MY companion. We couldn't stop laughing. SUPER EMBARRASSING. (muy caliente means very spicy. I thought it meant hot...) then we were doing our book work and I had a question about a sentence that said My teacher is very boring. so I asked Hermano W and he was saying that sentence in spanish and it sounded like a burrito boring in spanish= aburrido. So I looked at him and said "a burrito?" and he couldn't stop laughing. It was soooo 
funny! It's hard to get him to laugh and he couldn't stop. It was HYSTERICAL.

Sunday- It was good. We joined the MTC choir, so fun!

Monday- We had a service assignment to clean our chapel it was fun. We taught Samanta again. She went to church and I remembered spanish!!! WHOO. It was another great lesson!

Tuesday- Our district gets distracted a lot and we decided to make a new goal and be better about it. Our studying was so good. In the middle of personal study Hermana Weaver gets up to go to the bathroom. All of the sudden she comes running into our classroom yelling "Ayuda me! Ayuda me! Ayuda me! (Help me! Help me! Help me!) the toilet is over flowing!" Hermana Zimmerman jumps up and runs into the bathroom puts her foot on the tub and grabs the plunger and starts plunging. In our classroom I can hear a huge gush of water spill out and start pouring out of the bathroom and then I hear " Ayuda me Elders! Ayuda me!" then a Teacher comes running in and stops the toilet. Water is everywhere. Hermana weaver didn't even go to the bathroom (thank goodness) she just flushed the toilet and the water wouldn't stop. It was so funny! We made it rain in the classroom downstairs. WE are STILL laughing about it. L. Tom Perry came that night to Devo at the main campus. We got front row in the choir and it was so cool. I think he's my new favorite. He skipped up to the pulpit. He was so funny and enthusiastic (that's his favorite word.) I learned a lot. God is sooo good!

This morning we got to go to the temple. We did an endownment session and it was so good. We ate breakfast in the temple cafeteria.. IT was SOOO good. I can't wait to go back next week. After this I think we are going to go do our laundry, write letters, go get a jamba juice (don't get any ideas.) study and then we have class at 6. I am so excited.

This place is literally the happiest place on earth. Everyone is so focused on the same things and we don't have any distractions. It's so awesome. I am not going to lie. It's so hard. I don't get spanish, but I am working my best on it. I make a fool out of myself. But it's OK because the Lord is helping me. I have to work a lot harder at the language than the rest of my district and it's so frustrating! Everyone is so patient with me and the help me and encourage me. I love it here. I will be sad to see it go. I can feel the spirit so strong everyday. I know this is where I am supposed to be. My testimony has grown so much over the past few days. I can't even believe it. Sometimes is gets frustrating always having someone with you. and being with the same 6 girls 24/7 is so annoying at times. and then I realize I am thinking to much about myself and not about my purpose.

I love you all! I have sent out a bunch of letters and hope to send out a lot more today! Thank you so much for the packages and the letters. I have the most mail out of my district so far so keep 'em coming!! Hahaha.

Hermana Riedelbach :)

p.s. I can't get the card reader to work right now. so I'll send pictures next week!