Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Surprise! I am back in Carmen!

My oh my! My Mission President is just full of wonderful surprises! On Friday morning I received a call that went something like this:

Ring Ring

Me: Bueno!
Man on phone: Quien Hable? (Who's talking?)
Me: (Hermana!)
Hermana C: Bueno....Hermana Castro....quien hable?
Man on phone: Su amigo (your friend)
Both of us: uh... what the heck....
Man on phone:...Presidente Morales...
us: Uh-oh
Presidente: Put it on speaker phone please...
Us: oh no.
Presidente: I have some news for you. Hermana Riedelbach is heading back to Carmen with Hermana Gonzalez. I will be there in 2 hours, start packing. Don't cry, you'll be best friends forever!
Us: bueno muchas gracias!

Of course we cried! Hermana Castro is going to be one of my best friends forever. We both felt like this was going to happen and actually we both kind of wanted it. We weren't progressing being together. We had interviews with President Morales on Tuesday and we all thought it would be for the best but, we thought he changed his mind because we hadn't heard from him by Friday.

I love being back in Carmen. It's so great to be teaching all of my old investigators again and my Spanish has improved tremendously! Hermana Gonzalez is really great! She is from Guatemala she took English for 9 years but, I won't let her speak English to me. I am trying so hard to learn Spanish for myself and not depend on anyone and, it's starting to paying off!

It's hotter than hot here. It's 90 today and 95ish the rest of the week. I have NEVER sweated so much in my life. Seriously, I walk outside and it's like I just got out of the shower. It's nasty but, maybe i'll get skinny? :)

We are working hard with our 6 investigators and hope to have a baptism every week in March! Seriously this place is ready to hear the Gospel! Our zone has over 15 baptisms this month! It's such a blessing to be back!

I had a really great time serving in Villahermosa. We served on a team, it was an experiment the President tried out. We worked hand in hand with the Elders in our ward and didn't have areas. We ate with them everyday and had a blast! One day this lady gave us 3 huge tacos, ice cream, and soup. But she only gave me and Hermana Castro soup and tacos, the Elders did not get any soup. Elder Flake and I finished our tacos and were so full. I had no idea what to do with the soup so, when the lady went and took a shower we had time to think. I gave my soup to Elder Flake and said "here, take one for the team!" He then proceeded to dump it into Hermana Castro's bowl and then Elder Palasicos grabbed Hermana Castro's bowl and ran into the Kitchen and dumped it into the big pot on the stove. It was HILARIOUS! Seriously, we had so much fun with them and so many good ideas! It was really hard to leave but, it's for the better and I know that!

While in Villahermosa I got to attend the temple! What a blessing! This weekend President Valenzuela (The 70 over Mexico, he spoke in conference this past October) is coming to have a zone conference with us! I am so excited to learn and to be enlightened. I will give a full report on Monday! 

Love you all!

Hermana Riedelbach

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Area!

I don't really have a lot to say this week. Opening a new area is a lot of busy work, like walking, getting lost, having a lot of meetings and such. We really didn't teach that much this week. But, I would like to share a couple of milagros (miracles) I have experienced on my mission so far.

First, Do you remember the Little Girl V that we baptized 2 weeks ago? Do you remember how her Dad didn't want her to be baptized? Well, today we received a phone call saying that Nestor (the dad), Maria Luisia (the mom) and Rodrigo (the brother) are all getting baptized this weekend! WHAT? I knew the day would come, but I didn't know it would be this soon! I am so excited for them. I can't wait for them to take that step to becoming an eternal family. What a blessing! I am sad that I won't be able to be there for their baptism but, I am so happy they made that decision! This is what makes all the long, hard, hot days worth it.

Second, Last week when we were coming here to Villa we didn't have any money whatsoever and my companion needed to take a pill. We didn't have any water or money to buy some. I told her to go ask the guy working at the bus traffic control center if she could have a glass of water. She did, and he ended up bringing her a nice cold bottled water. It really was a blessing!

Third, the next day we needed to get in a Taxi to go to immigration so I could sign my green card but, once again we had no money (I promise I am wise at spending, but this month we had a lot of unexpected expenses) I prayed that some how we would be able to make it there without spending any money. We flagged down a taxi and it turned out the taxi driver was a member and he gave us a free ride! Seriously, the Lord blesses us with milagros if we try our hardest and do our best.

Fourth, on Valentines Day we got a call saying all of 6 of us who live together needed to be at the office at 10 am to contact. What? ahh. When we got there I was less than excited, I was nervous about contacting... but, the Elders told us that they did it the night before and got 50 references. WOW!  I became a little more excited about it then.  The street the offices is located on is really busy and had a lot of Valentines day commotion,  it was perfect! I was really nervous at first but then we got the hang of it! At 2 pm that day we had talked to literally everyone that walked by and received over 130 references! QUE BENDICIÓNE! I grew so much that day as a missionary and my testimony grew even more.

There are so many people out there that need the Gospel! Everyday that becomes more apparent to me. There are 251 missionaries in my mission and that just isn't enough to reach all of the people that live here. We need so much help in this work! Missionaries just can't simply do it alone.

Yesterday I had to give my first talk in was a big slice of humble pie! I am so grateful for those opportunities in my mission.

This week I got a letter from Grandma and Grandpa, Sister Eatough, and the Bates Family! I love mail. It's such a blessing! Thank you all so much for the support and prayers I get from you all! I love you all a bunch and can't wait to hear from you!

Hermana Riedelbach 

Monday, February 10, 2014

No Me Diga!

This week has for sure been unexpected. I think I spoke to soon about transfers last week! Let me start from the beginning.

Every night since Hermana Castro came back from Villahermosa there has been a fiesta, or fighting animals outside of our house. Meaning that we weren't able to sleep for a week, not to mention that I sleep on a piece of wood (ok, not really, but that's what it feels like.) So, on Tuesday morning we called our Zone Leader and asked if we could move into the new house with the new Hermanas that were coming to our ward. He said he would call the President and ask. We finished studying and then we received a call saying that we could move in with them on Thursday. But, on Thursday we were supposed to go to Villahermosa for Hermana Castro's back. So he said we needed to have everything ready to go so when we got back on Saturday we could move in.

We spent the whole day packing and cleaning the whole apartment. It was 90 degrees outside...needless to say it was a long day with another sleepless night. On Wednesday morning we received a call saying that we needed to move into the apartment at 12. WHAT. We started calling people and asking for help. It was a crazy morning, one that involved me locking the keys on the inside of the house. oops. We asked a random man on the street for help and he was able to help us get back in, and we didn't have to pay anyone. QUE BENDICIÓN! The Elders told us that they cleaned the house on Monday and it would be ready to go for us.  

A Hermano in our ward arrived at our house to help us move and he brought his truck...which he uses for animals because he is a vet. ummm...ha... So, we loaded everything in the truck and then he told us to sit on our desk chairs in the back...hahaha. There was also a dog in the back with us. The roads in Carmen are horrible and every time we went over a bump the dog would poop. ha ha ha! Needless to say it was a smelly ride. :)

When we got to our new house it was a wreck. Elder's and cleaning don't really work out. We spent the next THREE hours on our hands and knees cleaning the place. We were so exhausted that we didn't even make our beds that night, we just slept on top of everything.

The next day we packed our suitcase and then headed to Villahermosa. My companion is hysterical and made us take a combi. They are these insane van things. Anyway,  we both had to cram in the front seat with the driver and my was quite the adventure. I had a feeling the whole way to Villahermosa that we wouldn't be returning together. I was sad but we had the best time on the bus laughing and talking about our lives. Hermana Castro is truly on of my best friends. I love her so much!

Hermana Castro had been feeling worse and worse each day in Villa. First, I had to go sign my green card and then on Saturday she had her appointments. I got to work with a couple of different sisters while Hermana Castro had her appointments. It was fun! But, I didn't hear from her all day, which I didn't take to be a good thing.

That night Villahermosa had Stake Conference. When I got there I saw Hermana Castro and she said welp, looks like I have to stay here. NO ME DIGA. Just before the meeting we saw the President and he said that it looked like I would be going back to Carmen with a different companion. I started crying and so did my companion. I don't know why, but I was terrified of that thought. He saw that, and said we will talk the next day.

On Sunday, after the session was over the President talked with Hermana. Castro and told her that she needed to finish this transfer here and that I needed to go back to Carmen but, he would let me know today who to go with. He said that we needed to start saying goodbye to each other permanently and that he was going to pray really hard about our companions. No Me Diga! I knew in that moment that whatever happened it would be because God has a plan for us.

Today we waited and waited for a phone call and never got one. So, we decided to go to the grocery store with some of the Hermanas. While we were there Hermana. Castro saw that she had a ton of money in her account and she took it out not knowing what it was or why she had it. Then she called the Secretary and told him about all of the extra money and he said he made a mistake and we needed to go to the offices right then. When we got to the offices Hermana Morales and President Morales came out and talked to us and then told us to sit down and ready the Ensign. We had already given them the money and we were really confused as to why we were waiting. After about 30 minutes they came out of their office and said alright, here's the plan. Let us know what you think.

"WE think that you two are going to be able to stay together here in Villahermosa!"


"You guys are going to be OPENING UP A NEW AREA!!! You will live with 4 other Hermanas in the same house (don't worry, it's huge.)!!"

I really like the other Hermanas!! NO ME DIGA!!!

We told him that we really liked that idea, and he said that he wasn't planning on this, but that it was the Lord's plan.

So, we ended up getting transferred from Carmen. We didn't get to say goodbye to anyone...but, maybe it's better that way?

I am so excited to be working here! It's going to be hard but, we are ready for the Challenge! We experienced so many miracles this weekend and I am so sad that I don't have anytime to tell you all about them!

I have no doubt in my heart that the Lord knows what he is doing and that he has a plan for all of us. I can't wait to see the adventures this Transfer has for us. Thank you all for your support and love. This week has been rough, but I always felt comforted when I thought of you all back home!

Hermana Riedelbach

P.S. WE have a joke here that I am the Presidents daughter because I look so much like his daughter and we always seem to be matching. hahaha so, on Sunday night he told his daughter to put my name tag on and then he took a picture of us. Today when he saw me he said hey cogi! That's her nickname and everyone calls her Hermana Riedelbach. It's so funny!

P.S.S. No me diga is like are you kidding me? 

Monday, February 3, 2014



Frist, Hermana Castro is BACK! WOOT! I missed her so much and we survived transfers! We will be staying in Carmen and together (as long as she is careful and doesn't hurt her back) for at least another transfer! QUE BENDICIÓN! I can't believe I have been in Mexico for a whole transfer already! This week I hit 3 months, LOCO. That just goes to show that this time is precious.

Second, The Mission President came this week for interviews and we got plancharon (a talking to, about doing better). The President is really happy with our zone, but we still need to be doing more. It was so good to be taught by him and his wife they are some very smart people! When the President comes mail also comes! I got my package from G-ma and G-pa and two letters from Sister Eatough! QUE BENDICIÓNE! Seriously, I have never been so happy to get mail before. Hermana Castro and I loved all the goodies Grandma Riedelbach sent! We don't have an oven so, we have been having fun eating lots of cookie dough and microwave cookies! Haha, we haven't made pancakes yet, because we don't have any syrup. But after we are done writing home we are going to get some! I can't wait. It will be a little bit of home!  Thank you for all of the letters, and emails, they are wonderful and I am so grateful for them.

Third, I am going to get my green card this week! Hahaha, which means I will hopefully get any other packages too. For those of you wondering how the mail works and such here's what I know: I got mom's package safe and sound through UPS, it took about two weeks to get to me, because we don't get mail that often as we are 3 hours away from Villa. I got Grandma and Grandpa's 5ish weeks from when they sent it through USPS. As far as I know no one has had a problem receiving packages and they are usually intact as long as you follow the guidelines the post office has. Some Hermana's have received chocolate legally, I don't know how, but they said their family got it to work, they said it was a gift or sé. Please don't use the Virgin Mary stickers, the people at the post office here don't like it and give the Elders in the office a hard time about it. I think that is everything I know about that!

FOURTH, I had my FIRST BAPTISM!!! Oh my goodness. I don't even have the words to describe what happened. It's the best feeling to know that you helped someone take the step of baptism. It was the best experience.  Seriously, I am so grateful for the Lord, and the people he places in our path! Hermanita V is 9 years old and the first one in her family to take the step to get baptized. We have 6 weeks to get the rest of her family done! She has such a strong testimony and such a great hunger to learn more and more each day. She says that people at school ask her why she listens to us and why she was baptized. She told us that she always shares a scripture with them and tells them to read the Book of Mormon! SHE IS 9! Can you believe that? She also fasted for the first time this Sunday! WHAT! I didn't fast when I was nine. She knows the importance of everything we teach her! I am so grateful for her example to me!

It has been a good week here in Carmen! We have some pretty high goals this month, I am excited to work hard and accomplish them all! Thank you all for your support!

Hermana Elise Riedelbach