September 04, 2014

New Beginnings (Week 12)

First off I wanna thank Pat Riches, Brooke WIlls, Emily Crowder, and Katie Barrus for your letters!!  Mail takes about a month to get here...but I successfully recieved them!  Thank you!  And also thank you for all the emails I recieve each week...It is so great hearing from all of you.  By the way, if any of you have questions about missionary life or what I have been doing, feel free to email me at

This week has lots of new "beginnings"
- start of september and the dreaded rainy season here haha
- all the kids here are running around in their uniforms because school is now in session
- all around here are ads for upcoming Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Bruno Mars, and Justin Timberlake concerts in Monterrey coming up in sept/ oct (Hermana Batalla and I are very sad we can't attend..... #crying)
- new missionaries came in yesterday= no longer a baby in the mission field haha yay :)
-we have "cambios" this week- as a missionary you learn to think in "6 week" terms.  Every 6 weeks there is a chance you could be switching areas, companions, leadership positions, etc.  or you just stay where you are for the following 6 weeks.  Because I have 12 weeks of training I am staying in Sada Vidrio with Hermana Batalla, my trainer!  But all other missionaries were anxiously waiting sunday night to hear what the changes were.  I really am enjoying my area so I'm happy to stay!  and elders melara and martinez are still in our ward which is awesome because they are seriously so hilarious haha!

this week also marks my 3 month mark in the mish- I can't decide if time has gone by fast or slow haha mom?  dad?  what do you think?  I've been told it takes about 6 weeks to adjust to a new living situation, and I really do feel that to be true.  I've reorganized my desk area and it's starting to feel more like "home"-- as much as home can be haha :( FAMILIA I MISS YOU

we pretty much have all new investigadores-- when investigadores don't go to church or keep up with committments you give them, you have to "break up with them" hahah it's sad saying goodbye!  But we need to be focusing our time and energy with pepole who are ready to accept this gospel.  We have a motto in the Mish....."tomates verdes" or green tomatos are those not ready to accept the gospel and "tomates rojos" or red tomatos are those ripe and ready to listen to our message haha!  we are really excited though because Patricio's younger sister, Dana, has a baptismal date for the end of this month! woooohooo!  (refer to week 11 for Patricio's story)

This week I've thought a lot about why we are given challenges in life...why "bad things happen to good people".  Pretty much every investigator we talk to opens up to us and just starts crying, letting out all of the trials in their life- deaths of fam members, sicknesses, abusive relationships, financial problems, depression, and various others.  It's really sad to listen to.  It's important to remember that when we go through hard times, that is when our faith needs to be the strongest.  There is a really great familia in our ward-- Familia Montemayor.  The father, former stake president, was a very active guy up until a snow mobiling accident he had in Utah where he fractured his vertebrae.  He slowly walks with a walker and you can just tell how much pain he has-- and yet he always has a smile on his face and is thinking of others before himself.  His faith can literally move mountains haha he just talks about Christ, Heavenly Father, El Libro de Mormon and can't help but tear up.  He was talking to Hermana Batalla and me one day about this snowmobiling accident, and he expressed how grateful he is for this time he has had to reflect on the blessings in his life and to strengthen his faith-- he is a great example of unwavering optimism when most of us would rather pity ourselves and act out of anger.

"But behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe.  yea, signs come by faith, not by the will of men, nor as they please, but by the will of God"  DyC 63:9-10

"for I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us"  Romans 8:18

something Hermana Batalla and I studied this week is special gifts/ talents we are given and how God expects us to use these gifts:

"but with some I am not well pleased, for they will not open their mouths, but they will hide the talent which I have given unto them because of the fear of man..."  DyC 60:2

we shouldn't be afraid to share our talents because we don't know what positive effect it might bring to others--i've had many opportunities to play hymns and sing here and it's been so awesome to incorporate my passion for music!  (cough cough jordan you better brush up on your piano playing before the mish!)  I really do know that we are given special talents for special purposes.  Whatever talents or strengths you have, put time into them and share them as much as you can-- you will begin to realize why you were given that gift and see how it blesses others.

Life in Sada Vidrio is good!  haha basically everyone in the streets knows us and yells out "ayyyy hola hermanas!"  or even "ayyy hola élderes!" hahaha.  We have made friends with a sweet old man who sells corn out of his cart-- same cart for the past 25 plus years.  all day every day he sells corn (for those who have seen NACHO LIBRE...the corn covered in mayo with red chili flakes is EVERYWHERE here hahaha)

It's still super hot and also really dusty.  Other facts about the culture....every candy or snack has red chili in it blehhh it's spicy and nasty haha!  they loveee coco cola here, especially in the glass bottles mmmm :)  everyone has atleast one dog and one other strange pet such as an iguana/bird/rabbit/turtle....they loveee their pets.  One of our investigadores literally has 20 dogs that all live inside her house hahaha it's ridiculous.  Constant barking in the streets.  You greet everyone with a kiss on the cheek here too, the people are so warm and nice.  everyone owns a Hollister or abercrombie tshirt hahah so when I pass people on the streets and see their "cali" tshirts it's a good conversation starter!  Every weekend people hold fiestas in their homes and play loud musica.  there is also a serious lack of peanut butter and sour patch kids here haha so mom send me some por favorrrrr!  #withdrawals is to a new month and week!  I really am so happy and love the language/ people/ this work.  PS next week we are probably going to the temple so I might not be able to write until thursday....

well I'm off to go bake a cake for Hermana Batalla's bday tomorrow!  Adios amigos! Hasta próxima semana!

C O N  A M O R
hermana riches

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