Monday, January 27, 2014

An Unexpected Week!

This really has been an unexpected week!

On Tuesday we had our Sister Training leader with us because her companion needed to go to Villahermosa to get her green card! So we spent a lot of the day traveling and having district class. Basically, we didn't do anything that day and Monday was p-day so we didn't do anything for two days. :(

On Wednesday, my companion, Hermana Castro woke up crying because she was in so much pain. Remember we visited the Doctor the last week? Anyway, she couldn't move. So we called Hermana Morales, the Mission Presidents wife, and she said we couldn't leave the house and that the next day we needed to travel to Villahermosa and stay until Saturday. WHAT?  So, we spent the day taking care of Hermana Castro and fetching Hermana Wyndham from the bus station.

The next morning we woke up, studied and then left for Villahermosa. I will just say that I live in the MOST beautiful area of my mission? It was one of the most beautiful bus rides I have ever been on.

When we arrived in Villahermosa Hermana Castro went with the nurse and I went with her companion, I was terrified. She doesn't know any English but, it turns out I know more Spanish than I thought I did! :)

When we got back home that night Hermana Castro was there with the Mission President... I immediately thought oh no! But they said Hermana Castro was fine and that we could go home the next day! I was so happy!

The next morning Hermana Castro woke up in more pain than the day before. So, I worked with Hermana Rodriguez and Hermana Castro went to the doctor again. When Hermana Castro called me after the doctor appointment she told me the doctor said that she needed to stay in Villahermosa for 3 weeks! WHAT? Not cool!  We were both really nervous about what was going to happen.

Hermana Morales called and said that Hermana Castro needed to have rehab and that I was going to be going back to Villahermosa with another Hermana. We spent all of Saturday morning crying and then the President called me. He explained that I needed to go back to my area and work while Hermana Castro recovered. I starting crying again...ahh. He told me that Hermana Rodriguez was going to be my new companion.

This week has been SO hard. Hermana Rodriguez doesn't know a lick of English and I feel like I make sense when I talk but, everyone just stares at me. I have had to almost be senior companion and it's really hard! Hermana Rodriguez is very quiet and it makes things really awkward sometimes because my Spanish isn't that good.

I have grown so much though! Sometimes we don't know why things happen but,  I know that our Heavenly Father loves us all and doesn't give us anything we can't handle. My favorite scripture this week is 1 Nephi 11:17!

I love you all and know that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us even if it's hard. He doesn't give us anything we can't handle, learn from, or grow from!

I hope you all have a great week and I am praying really hard for you all!

Hermana Elise Riedelbach

UPDATE: Hermana Castro just called me and said that she met with another doctor today and he said that she doesn't need to have rehab she just needs to take her medicine. She also said she feels a lot better and thinks she will be able to come home this week!

QUE BENDICIÓN!!! I seriously miss her so much!

Don't you love how we get to dry our clothes in our apartment?  Pretty swanky, huh?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Dream BIG!

Last week in weekly planning my companion and I set high goals for this past week. We wanted to teach 60 lessons. I was so confident that we could do it! We prayed hard. Tuesday started out so good! Then that same night we had a meeting with the Relief Society and they cut all of the fruit off of my Spanish tree. :(  My tree was producing fantastic fruit up until that point, and then I kind of gave up.  Don't worry, I already repented.

The Relief Society said some things about my Spanish and it hurt me. The rest of the week we were kind of lazy. They said some things to my companion about her training also, and we both kind of gave up on the week. During companionship inventory we talked about it and realized that we both had a bad week but we still wanted to meet our goals! That meant we had to work extra hard the next two days and we did!

The Lord truly blesses us when we work hard! We had another goal to get 4 investigators to church on Sunday and we EXCEEDED that! We had 6!!! The smiles on our faces got bigger and bigger each time another investigator walked in! QUE BENDICIÓN! Seriously, it was the best feeling in the world. We didn't quite meet the 60 lessons but we got 53 which in my book is pretty dang good!

This week after we decided to work hard we watched miracles happen! We have been teaching the most wonderful family and we decided to commit them to baptism this week. When we went into the lesson we were worried because we knew they wanted to wait for their dad (who isn't taking the lessons) to take the lessons and then decide. But, we had faith.

We went for it, and originally they said that they weren't sure because of their dad. I felt so strong to open my mouth and share some experiences I have had with my dad. I told them that I knew that they know the church is true, and that they needed to be the example to him and be baptized. I bore my testimony and then we asked again and the 9 year old little girl said that she wanted to be baptized. The mom and the brother weren't so sure, but I know that she will be a great example to her family!

That also meant that we needed to talk to her dad and get his permission, the same dad I talked about last week that kept asking us millions of questions that scared me. I prayed so hard on the doorstep that my companion would know what to say because I knew I wouldn't.

The spirit was so STRONG in that meeting. He was fighting us the whole way, I was worried to say anything because I knew that meant he could possibly use my words against me, but I did. I bore my testimony and I felt so good. But he feels that she is too young to make the decision for herself. He doesn't think she is ready. But we agreed on a date FEBRUARY 1ST!!! We have to teach her two more lessons and then he will let us know if it is okay to baptize her.

She is so strong! Today we got to hang out with them, and their mom told me that after we left she told her dad that she wanted her kids to be Mormon too. That this is what she wanted! She was so firm with her dad and letting him know her desires. I am so proud of her and pray that her father will let her be baptized! 

I am so grateful for the Lord and how he knows what we all need, he is aware of us all! I love you all and am so grateful for your examples to me!

Hermana Riedelbach

Monday, January 13, 2014

Time Flies When you are serving the Lord!

Ahhh! I only have 28 minutes to write this! At the begining of my mission I wished that we didn't have so much time to do things and now I can't figure out where the time goes!

This week we started teaching a blind man and he is doing well but, he tells me my Spanish is, he always says he can see light when we come!

We also started teaching a members husband and we are pretty excited about  him. I hope that he decides to get baptized because his family needs the priesthood.

This Saturday night a man bashed us about the why the restoration had to happen in that moment I felt so singled out...ah, they kept pointing at me when they would ask why. I had no idea how to say everything I needed to say in Spanish, so I just started talking in English and my companion translated, it was so bad. But, I was very proud to be an American after the lesson. We have so many things that others in the world don't have and we take that for granted. I am so glad I have all of those freedoms!

Funny story, we have a lot of cockroaches and I am terrified of them.... so,  I always scream and my companion smashes them. The other night A HUGE one ran out from underneath my bed and we both started screaming and I was like SMASH IT! HERE'S MY BOOT! and then the cockroach went back under my bed so, we moved the bed frame and found it. I threw Hermana Castro my flip flop and she starts swatting it, she hit it like ten times. So I ask her is it dead? She said "it's's really dead!" I look at it and it's so squashed you couldn't even figure out what it was. haha. So funny!

This week my companion hurt her shoulders really bad so we have been going to doctors and such...which means we really haven't taught a whole lot! This morning we went to the Doctor, he lives in our area so he agreed for us to come and teach him! We have a good feeling about him! 

The different food here is starting to catch up to me and is giving my stomach problems, so yesterday I received a blessing and had some awesome personal revelation! I am so grateful for the preisthood, I woke up today and feel so much better! The priesthood is so amazing and I am so grateful for the blessings I have received from it in my life!

Our Bishop hasn't really been involved in our wards missionary work which is so frustrating, but this week we ate at his house and we talked to him and now he is full force on missionary work! QUE BENDICIÓN! He has so much planned and has even gone on visits with us!

By the end of this week, I can understand MOST of what everyone says to me and can answer understandably! The ward is so good at helping me. I have a couple of teachers and they are so funny! I had a conversation about non church related stuff yesterday and understood the whole thing. It was a long conversation too. I was so proud of myself and the members can't believe it! I  hope I continue to progress, but I know I can't unless I rely solely on the Lord!

This morning I lost my name tag, it fell off somewhere so, we went running to find it. When we finally found it a lady who owned a food cart was amazed that it was in the street unscratched and to be honest we were too! We started talking to her and it turns out the Elders used to teach her but when the sister missionaries got here she got lost somehow and wants to take the lessons again! I know Heavenly Father plays a HUGE role in our lives. I know that things aren't just a coinicidence. They happen for a reason.

I received a package from Aunt Bobby this week and am so thankful for it! I haven't received G-ma's or Mom's yet, but the President is coming at the end of the month so I will get them then! Thank you for everything!

I am sending a big birthday hug to Brandy, Blake, Sadie and Pom Pop!  I hope your birthday's are great!  I love you all!

Te quiero mucho!

Hermanita Riedelbach

Monday, January 6, 2014

When it rains, it pours...

This Tuesday I made a goal to speak as much Spanish as I could. Oh my goodness! It was so good! I was preaching like CRAZY! I had so much faith that my Heavenly Father would help me. I felt so good! The Lord truly helps us when we trust in him! We also decided to contact as many people as we could, we found one man that said he was just walking and decided to sit. He was thinking about God and Religion and life. My companion and I had the feeling to go talk to him so we went and he said he was so grateful for us coming and talking to him. He said we were an answer to his prayer! How cool! The Lord is truly preparing people for our message!

On Wednesday I got my hand caught in a ceiling fan...the houses here are not made for people as tall as me... I was talking to some members, and I was using my hands and BAM! My finger hit the fan and got sliced... It hurt SO BAD! Then that night a spider bit my other hand and my finger swelled up HUGE! I'm having some bad luck here! Haha.

OH MY GOODNESS! On Thursday we had to stay inside all day because it rained so much! I have never seen so much rain in my life! All of the pictures below were taken prior to being told we couldn't leave! haha. So, we made caramel popcorn, ate Little Ceasers pizza, took a nap, read my Heritage, and our search for Happiness, I wrote some letters, we played around..and did our normal study. By the end of the day my eyes hurt so bad! So much reading!

This week my prayers were answered so many times!

1st: I left my jacket at the beach, I was so sad! I didn't realize it until we were in the Taxi on the way home and we couldn't do anything about it! I called the zone leaders to see if they were still there and they weren't...I was so upset, but what could I do? PRAY! I said so many prayers that someone would recognize the name tag and take it to a church and give it to the missionaries or something! When we got to the chapel to eat with the president we were sitting around talking and some Elders walked in and had my jacket! QUE BENDICIÓNE!!

The next day I was fasting and I got the WORST hiccups ever. The family kept offering me something to drink but, I so badly wanted to keep my fast so, I prayed that they would stop and lo and behold they did!

One of our favorite things is pan (bread). There are these men who have funky bikes and they ride around all day yelling PAN! if you want some you wave your hand and he stops, and you buy it! It's so yummy! My companion thinks it's hysterical because every time the pan man rides by he never notices me so, I usually find myself running down the street yelling "YO QUIERO PAN!" (I WANT BREAD!) I'm sure it's quite the sight!  hahaha This morning we had a district activity and we wanted to get everyone pan so, we prayed really hard that we would be able to find the pan man this morning! haha, we did! We had to run down the street yelling that we wanted some, but we did it!

Heavenly Father truly knows what is going on in our lives and wants to help us, we just have to have faith and trust in him! He ALWAYS answers our prayers!

Se que la iglesia es verdadera, se que José Smith fue un profeta, se que podemos recibir mucho revelación de el libro de mormón, se que con fe en Dios cualquier cosa es posible! En el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.

Con Mucho Amor,
Hermana Elise Riedelbach