Monday, December 29, 2014

FELIZ NAVIDAD!

It was so good to call you guys!!! Although it went so fast, but it was good to hear everyone, it felt normal as if I had been talking to you guys regularly. Don't worry mom, it didn't make me sad, just felt so much love for you guys and happy that everything is going well :) I'm glad you think I'm doing well in Spanish haha it was my goal to be pretty fluent before Christmas, just now got to refine a few things haha

The family that got married se llama familia Poot Pereira, husband and wife, they got baptized Sunday morning (yesterday) and confirmed the same day, I spoke in the baptism and talked about enduring to the end, they are so wonderful, I love them so much, they planned to get sealed the following year in January (the end of my mission, maybe I can get special permission to attend!)  We found them one night heading to an appointment and we contacted them on the street, they were just arriving to their house, we saw them and the first thing my Companion and I thought "ooo a family!" so we went and talked to them and that's how we started it all, they actually have a background in the church they have family members that are members, so they knew a little bit. 

The members here are nice and sometimes helpful. We just have to gain more trust with them, the new year is about to start so we are going to make a better plan of action! Thanks for the advice mom! . I feel like the work has slowed down a bit because I'm still starting out, and figuring out the ropes of our area and the mission, but now we are going to kick it into high gear and turn on the turbo! haha 

The district I am in is great, and the zone is cool too, we have some good zone leaders, I am making some good friendships with the missionaries and the members and investigators. 

Today for p-day we had a "sisters only" activity yep just the girls, we talked, played sharades and watched the errand of angels, it was fun and cool, during our last District meeting we had secret santa, so we all got gifts, the Elder that had my name gave me a wrapped  watermelon and that was my gift, one Elder got footy pajamas, it was so funny!!  
Christmas was pretty good, we did a lot of contacting! sharing the message about El es la Dadiva and we carried along the video with us to show people (but we only showed one person) haha The streets were so quiet especially on the 25th, it was pretty much dead! Which seems to be the tradition here in Guatemala, everyone is pretty much recovering from celebrating the night before. On Christmas eve at night we ate with la familia Aguilar 
and then we went to another family's house, we had tamales and hot chocolate and grapes, from what i saw i think its a tradition to have grapes yep people here only eat grapes during the holidays and apples too and those that are low income only splurge on grapes for Christmas eve.  At night, we got back to our apartment I had bought apple cider so we did some brindis haha and celebrated, at midnight when we were asleep we were awaken by   the fireworks HOLY GUACAMOLE they were so loud!! and lasted up until 4 in the morning, (another tradition, people burn a lot of fireworks right at midnight)  there were huge bombs (actual fireworks that explode in the air and sound like bombs)  I think they gave me a few heart attacks haha also at night I played the role of Santa and put out the stockings and presents and on Christmas day, I made fancy hot chocolate for my comp then we opened presents (my companions says thanks for the presents) it was fun for her to be able to open a few presents, I LOVED OLAF! Thanks Mommy, I took some pics,  I got to talk to you guys! :D that was awesome, we then did a lot more contacting, and only had a few lessons at night. Surprisingly we didn't eat a whole lot. And yes That was our christmas.

The miracle we had was the baptism, and it was  wonderful.
Things are going great here, and pumped to work harder and be better. I love you guys so much!!! Thanks for all the support, you are the best mommy! and daddy too, and the boys! haha I have una familia CHILERA jaja Thank you guys for all that you do! 
I hope you guys have a happy new year WOOT 2015! here we come! 

CON TODO MI AMOR DE LAS ETERNIDADES
Hermana Riley




My bestest Christmas Gift
I LOVE THIS FAMILY
DECEMBER 28TH 2014



P-DAY WITH THE HERMANAS


MY VERY OWN CHRISTMAS TREE
(I MADE IT)


SANTA CAME AND FILLED OUR STOCKINGS







CHRISTMAS MORNING



THE DISTRICT DOING SECRET SANTA



GIFT FROM SECRET SANTA
A WATERMELON

I LOVE OLAF!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

MIS PATOJITOS LINDOS!


I LOVE THIS FAMILY


GETTING MARRIED






CHRISTMAS WEEK

I love fotos! haha 

 My week this past week was pretty slow. Not many lessons, but that doesn't keep me from being happy!!!!

 I love my comp. we are working well together and are a great team. The training is going well, I am sharing all that I can, my goal is to get her ready so that she can train when I am done.

 We had a big miracle this past week! There is a family we are teaching, and on Wednesday I received a phone call and it came as a big surprise, the couple told me that they were getting married, and wanted to get baptized that Saturday, it was amazing!!!  So They got married, but they have yet to be baptized because the "Hermano" needs to be taught a few more things, but they will be ready hopefully this coming Saturday. They are so excited! they really want to be a family for eternity. I just have so much love and happiness for them, when they get baptized I will cry, they are really special :) Remember I told you that we find many couples living together and have no desire to be married so to find someone willing to make that commitment is very important and special and I am so grateful and humble to know that as Missionaries we can help people improve their lives to prepare them for the eternities.

 Well this week is Christmas, YAAAY (because I get to talk to you)  its kind of weird because it doesn't feel like Christmas, maybe because there isn't christmas music playing twenty four seven, neither is there snow on the ground, I feel like those two things really help the christmas spirit  but  spreading the gospel and talking about Jesus Christ does too.

 Dont really have any plans, I think we might contact all day, and well call you guys, im so excited, even if its just 40 minutes I can't wait!! I LOVE YOU GUYS! haha Really not much has happened.... OH WAIT!! Last tuesday we had zone conference, and President Curtiss and his wife and the Asistents came up for it, it was a special christmas conference, it was really neat. Learned some good stuff and then afterwards we had a big lunch, served turkey, mashed potatos, veggies, bread, tortilla, salad, then we had dessert, slice of cake, a mini cheesecake and a mini pumpkin pie, it was sooo delicious, celebrated the birhtdays of November, December and January,  we also got a little present, they were foot tights, we also received christmas gifts, I got a stocking with candy and we all got cool shirts with the name of our mission on it, i will send a picture, (my camera died that day so i couldn't take pictures) afterwards our final gift, was... They played frozen for us, so I we watched in spanish with english subtitles. Thats probably the bajillionth time watching it, but it was still good (its better in english haha)So that was our zone conference, pretty neat :) 

Hmmmm what else? what else?.... well, Hermana Blanca asked me to ask you, to give me the recipe  for stuffing (but I told her that you just buy it from the store haha) but she wants to know how to make it. And lets see.... So we can call the 24th or the 25th, I wanna talk to you guys the 25th because that's when all the exciting stuff happens, im just not sure, either the morning or the afternoon? hmmmm, okay, Call me at 12 pm (1 your time) on the 25th, 

EEEEEEEEEE can't wait.

Thats all for now, LUB YOU GUYS LIKE NO OTHER!!!!!!! Hugs and kisses to all!!


Hermanas in San Benito





My Companion and I
During Branch Christmas Party




OUR FAVORITE P-DAY ACTIVITY
WATER BALLOONS!



FAMILIA AGUILAR AND ME
SINGING FELIZ NAVIDAD





MY COMPANION AND I



MY BIRTHDAY TREAT



Monday, December 15, 2014

NEW COMPANION!!

So last monday we, hna martinez and I traveled to Coban, we left at one in the afternoon and arrived there at around 7, it was in a public bus, we hardly had to carry the luggage, because the elders helped us load and when we got to Cobanthe assistants came and took the luggage for us, when we got to Coban it was SO COLD! I wasn't prepared but thankfully I brought a sweater. When the asisstants came, i was so surprised because they were driving and the car they were driving, was super nice! (I feel like I've been away from civilization that I get impressed by the small luxuries of life hahaha) it was some sort of grey truck, but it was nice! we got dropped off at the apartment of the hermana leaders and we stayed there over night, they ordered us pizza while they went to finish their day. But it was so cold, i didnt bring my warm socks, and was suffering a tad bit, thankfully i had a long sleeve, pants and a sweater. we stayed there over night, i got to cuddle in a lot of blankets haha Woke up in the morning and holy goodness I got to take a hot shower for the first time in like 10 weeks, it was soooo nice, i didn't want to get out haha we arrived at the church and i saw an elder from my district in the ccm so i said hi and we started talking about the first few months of the mission, it was cool. We then had a training for the trainers and then the new missionaries came and we greeted them ( i didnt know who my companion was still) had a meeting with the nurse, the financiers, presidente and his wife, had a lunch. I said goodbye to my trainer it was a bit sad. I then found out who my new companion is, her name is Hermana Perez from mexico, she is 22, pretty quiet, but ready to work, its great, the first week went well, but it was pretty slow, trying to figure out everything. The trip back to Peten took way too long, this time it was a bus with just missionaries we left at 3pm and didn't arrive until 12 at night, it was a long journey!!! For my birthday, i opened a present you sent and the card, it was super cute and thanks for the shoes!!! My day was pretty normal, before i woke up i heard firecrackers (they usualy go off when someone has a birthday, i don't know if they were for me or someone else, but it doesn't matter haha) I got texts from some of the members and missionaries, And that night there was a district (stake) christmas activity, it was really neat, and i got to sing with Familia Aguilar (hna blanca) because they needed someone to sing the english part of the song Feliz navidad haha but it was cool, it turned out well. Today at lunch the Zone leaders bought me a desert and all the missionaries sang happy birthday to me at pizza hut, and an elder learned how to make a balloon dog and gave me one, this was at pizza hut, it was very sweet and thoughtful. I love the month of december it is so special, and to celebrate the birth of Jesus makes it even more special. Dont worry im not discouraged, I made a promise to myself that I would never get discouraged because there is no need to. And to always try to be happy and smile even in the most difficult moments. I am excited to work even harder. Something I heard in Districtt meeting is Since Heavenly Father gave his only begotten Son for us, what will we give to Heavenly Father? Really makes one think. Got a lot of work to do, to get those baptisms to bring these people closer to Christ. I like the e-mail that sister Johnson sent, its pretty neat idea. Thanks for the love and support! and I love reading all the emails you guys send!!
Mucho love and hugs and kisses!
Hermana Riley

NEW COMPANION!



Sunday, December 14, 2014

FIRST TRANSFER & TRAINNING

NOTICIAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  
AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
GUESS WHAT?!
First of all I got your package!! it came fast! got it last thursday, thank you so much!!!! i loved the birthday presents and Christmas presents and my comp. says "muchas gracias" as well!

Second of all..... duh, duh, duh! CAMBIOS! (Transfers) my comp hermana Martinez is leaving  tristisimo! super sad, im going to miss her, she is going to Coban, chamelco I am staying!  im happy about that because I get to spend christmas here.... AND!!!! I AM TRAINING! SAY WHAAAA?! Yep this missionary here that only has 3 1/2 months and only 10 weeks of training is going train a new person! Im kind of freaking out, a little nervous, excited, feel like head is going to explode. I wasn't told who it is or where she is from, but I am headed to Coban this afternoon to go pick her up tomorrow (7 hour journey to Coban one way) There are only two hermanas entering the field this transfers and i am one who gets to train one of them, how crazy!! I am in shock!! That is my big news!
Okay so this week, pretty good, teaching and preaching like always, had zone conference, that was fun I learned a lot, it was an elders birthday so we had cake and there was a piƱata so we got to hit it  On sunday was the christmas devotional watched it in the capilla, sweet and spiritual bringing the christmas spirit i enjoyed it. Here in the mission for the month of december we are doing this thing called El es la dadiva (He is the gift) we have these cards that we are supposed to pass out to everyone sharing the message of Jesus Christ and a website that has a video. To show people we believe in Jesus Christ and that He is the gift that God sent to us with extreme love, juan 3:16 (John 3:16) You guys should share this message with everyone you meet.

Oh yeah! so yesterday was a special date here in Guatemala they call it "The burning of the devil" People had devil pinatas or figures and on the seventh of december at 7 pm they burn the devil to get rid of bad spirits or bad luck, something like that im not sure, but there were fire works and firecrackers.

But yeah that was my week! we will see how this week goes with the newbie haha aaaahhhh!!!
Love ya guys so very much!!!! Got a letter for Derek because of his b-day
Hugs and kisses to all!!
Hermana riley


VISITING THE CAVES




WHO HAS THE BEST POSE?



MORE CAVES


QUEMA DEL DIABLO



BIRTHDAY ELDER WITH 
HIS PINATA


DISTRICT MEETING

A LITTLE FLOOD!




COMPANION MAKING
TORTILLAS!

THANKS GIVING IN GUATEMALA

Mmmmm that food looks yummy, thanks for the pics! i cant believe you guys didn't eat the turkey! haha

Well my thanksgiving was pretty cool, you wanna know why?.... because i preached the gospel!!!
I Got to bring the light of Christ in their homes. Went to eat at Hermana Blancas and had soup with rice, it contained potatos, plantain, chicken and vegetables,tortilla, and horchata, that was my meal, it was tastey. Also that day was the one year mark of my compy, i made her a sign and we took fotos and at night i made NOOKED BROWNIES! haha we don't have an oven and everyone told me i could do it in the microwave so i did, it was pretty interesting, turned out all right  going to do it more often because i love brownies haha i miss the ones dad makes. So last p-day i had written postcards, to friends, grandparents, and you guys, but i ddint know if they needed a certain amount of stampage, and the correo was closed so i couldnt asked, so i put the normal stamps that i had and put them in the mailbox except for one, but i felt that something was wrong, so i went to go ask one of the tiendas near by that was selling stamps and bought some for my last postcard but that it needed two instead of one, and im like are you serious! all the other ones only had 1 stamp and i already mailed them, so now we will see what happens to them, hopefully they get mailed, pray please! I know with faith anything is ´possible, so i have been praying.

Okay so these past two weeks, the weather has gotten colder! im putting pants and the long sleeve i have on, and it is torture to take a shower now because the water is SO cold, i skipped a day because i couldn't do it hahahaha. And i started using my rain boots! I love them they are awesome!

This past week we had miracle, well there are miracles everyday, but this one stands out just a little bit more. Me and my comp were walking to go to an appointment and we walk by a tortilleria and there was a little boy sitting down, well he yelled out Hermanas! and we looked over and started to greet him (i had no clue who it was, i thought my comp did) well the boy told us his name how old he was, oscar and 5 years old. Introduced us to his dad and mom (super cute) so we started sharing a folleto with the dad. And the dad asked has my son seen you guys before, we said we dont know but we´ve never seen him before, how strange the dad says (turns out my comp didnt know the boy either) but it was weird because he called us hermanas. Well we put an appointment with the family and are going to visit them. It was crazy. Another thing, so we contacted a lady and she invited us in, started talking and then she started telling us about her son, that he is having problems with drugs and can't get away from it, and she worrys for him. So we shared an uplifting message with her, well we go back on saturday and this time her husband was there, they let us in, and we got to talk with them, well they were saying that on that day the wife was feeling a little depressed and worried about the son when two angels came by sent by the Lord and she was surprised for a bit but allowed them to come in and afterwards she felt so much better and comforted and they said that the angels were us and that made me feel special. I love being a missionary  Last week me and my comp did a lot of invitaciones bautismales con fecha, but none of them accepted except for one, that the rest wanted to wait for a bit, and that was a little frustrating because they are all ready, but i learned just got to have patience and keep working with them and let the Lord take care of it. But besides that it was a really good week. On Friday had divisions and this time i stayed in the area, which meant i took the reins! i was a little nervous at first but it all went well hardly any of our appointments fell through, learning to take the initiative a lot more. On saturday there was a baptismal service of the other elders and at night there was Noche de Canto that we went to and we brought our investigators, there were some young boys that sang, and they were really good! the family of hermana blanca sang too and her nieta danced it was cute, we couldn't stay for all of it becuase it was too late,but it was cool! Today for p-day was pretty awesome, went on an adventure and went exploring in some caves, got dirty haha It was fun, finally something different other than playing sports at the church, this is our last week of this transfer and then its transfers all over agian, aahhh the suspense is killing me, i want to stay here so badly for christmas, and we have a lot of good people we are teaching i dont want to leave. But we will see, whatever is the lords will i got to follow. But that was my week, going to send pics this time!! woohoo!

Love you family con TODO!!!!
mwah! y hugs!
Hermana Riley


p.s. did you get my letter







MY THANKSGIVING MEAL
         



 ORANGINA!
THINKING OF YOU MOMMY


NOCHE THE CANTO!



HERMANA BLANCA
& HER FAMILY









Monday, November 24, 2014

I HAD MY FIRST BAPTISM!

Okay where do i begin? Last week was pretty good!
We have this golden family that i love so much! We watched together forever and they really enjoyed it, hopefully it gives them a desire to get married but they are moving areas, which was sad to hear, they are having troubles with their land lord, but they don't want other missionaries teaching them they want to continue the lessons with us, so we are going to teach them at a members house in our area that is helping us work with them. (ugh right now i am having technical difficulties and it sucks!) I can't write too much detail because I'm having problems so I will talk about the main stuff.

I had my first baptism this weekend!!!!  aaaaahhhh!! it was so exciting! Her name is Marjorie Ramos, she is 24, she is bien pilas! i love her! When she got baptized i just had so much joy and happiness, it was wonderful! and one of our investigators we have been teaching named carmen moreno showed up, without a reminder!! we were so happy to see her come, she said the service was beautiful. Oh yeah I gave a special musical number, I had to sing...solo... (I'm not one for singing solos in front of people) but marjorie wanted me too and in english, so i sang If you could hie to Kolob. Everyone loved it and said i had a good voice.... well i guess i will have to develop a new talent haha Marjories boyfriend named Nefi is a member and a returned missionary, in a year they could get married. (she didnt get baptized for him, in fact she didnt even tell him until this last week haha, she has a good testimony) she also already has a calling, she is secretary of the RS. Man this baptism gave me the fuel to keep on working even harder now and try to bring more souls closer to Christ! We are teaching a jovencita name Marleni and her brother, she has already received an answer about the church just needs to get baptized. Apparently this sunday her brother said that he wants to get baptized so that he can go to the temple, that was a surprise to us, because he hasn't really been around for our lessons, but we will see whats up, another miracle hopefully! On sunday our investigators came to church and enjoyed it.

I'm just praying that i can stay for another transfer here with my comp. That's all I want, because we are having some good progress and don't want to loose our work. This morning for p-day we cleaned the apartment, like really cleaned it, i cleaned the bathroom and did my work out in there haha i scrubbed the shower like nobodies business, cleaned the sink and toilette, our bathroom smells clean and looks a lot better! Im proud of myself haha but the water shut off so i couldnt take a shower, second time this happened! but we somehow were able to fill a bucket of water,so i managed to clean myself with wipes (again) and wash my hair. Life in Guatemala love it!!!
So far haven't eaten anything weird, tried liver the other week, too meaty, the members are great and very helpful. I have been able to implement my ideas, which is nice.
Doing my best here!
Oh yeah before i forget, i have an assignment for you mom, can you send me more names of your family, like more a genealogy tree past great great grandparents i want to know the names, so i can keep my eyes peeled when I'm contacting here, maybe i can find more family! 

Well that's all for now, hopefully I can wirite more next time and not be so rushed!
Love you guys muchisimo!!! mwah mwah! I will send pics next week  couldnt this week, because ran out of time... triste, but Love ya family!!
Hermana Riley



MARJORIE'S BAPTISM!


Friday, November 14, 2014

SAD DAYS AND HAPPY DAYS.

Transfers are 6 of december, 3 more weeks, i so don't want to get transfered, i love my area here in San Benito!! And the people, it will be so sad if i leave! To be honest, i would love to stay in peten my whole mission, i wouldn't mind, i enjoy it up here, its starting to get fresher here, which is nice, but now when i take showers the water is soooo cold! 

Okay so last week.... There was a lot that happened. Some bad news and some good news. First with the bad news: So last last weekend we were visiting a family, they have a daughter name Jenny around 30ish and she was sick, she had a stroke, while there we shared a nice spiritual message and the love that the Lord has for them.

On Monday Jenny got sent to the Capital for intensive care and then on Tuesday morning, we went to go jogging at the church and the secretary who had the keys, told us that Hermana Jenny passed away the night before.... I couldn´t believe it! The whole day it made me really think about the plan of salvation, and what a blessing it is to have that in our lives, because it gives us hope, and we don't really have to worry too much. That night none of the members could go out with us, because Jenny´s mom came back with the body and had a wake that night, so we contacted as much as we could but couldn't teach any lessons, so we went to the service to give our support and love, it was so weird to see the casket (it was closed) just a few days earlier we had visited her, i just couldn't quite comprehend it. The next day they had a service at the church and then took her to the cemetery, we didn't participate in that, because we had the Lords work to continue.

Now on to the brighter news. On Wednesday we had a fast with the whole mission, because we find so many people but there are so few baptisms and also little progress. Also this weekend had some miracles!! i mean everyday is a miracle but these were like BIGGER miracles haha. So the first: me and my comp were tracting in one of our areas that we haven't really gone to, trying to see if we can find more "escogidos" (chosen), we stopped for a bit thinking of where to go and then we started walking up a street, we contacted a house, (they weren't interested) contacted another house... same thing, but as we were going door to door I noticed a girl about 10 years and in my mind i thought-"go ask her where mom is, to share a lesson". But me and my comp kept on walking cuz we were going to visit someone who we had contacted a while ago. Well as we were walking, my comp told me " I had a prayer in my heart to find the Lords elect, but he didn't answer me" as she finished her sentence we started hearing this chsshhhh chsshhhh we turned to look and it was the 10 year old girl, she came up to us and asked if we could give her a folleto (pamphlet) to share with her family, HALELUJAH! we asked if her family was home, she said yes her mom, dad and sister (bonus points, A FAMILY!!) we asked if we could share with them and she said yes, as we were walking along with her.. my comp turned to me and said... " and I was murmuring *she smacks her face* I'm sorry Lord!" hahahah it was funny, but that was seriously a miracle! The next one, we visited an old man named francisco, we were teaching him the resoration but it took awhile because he kept getting off track, he was really agreeing with what we shared, and i guess told us of all the people he has listened to (other religions) he could really feel the spirit in our message, we invited him to baptism and he accepted, said he wanted to change his life, and then my comp asked him to baptism with a date, and he accepted that too! he said, just make sure to keep reminding me because i don't want to forget the important day! haha He is so great! But I'm a little unsure at the same time because I'm not sure if he truly understands everything, but we will keep working with him and the holy spirit will testify to him too. It was a good day. Next miracle, okay so we have been struggling with having investigators at church and this past week i prayed we could achieve our goal with that, well none of our investigators could come, except for one her name is marjorie she is getting baptized the 22 of november she is bien pilas! (me and my comp wish all our invesitgators could be like her....) but! some sister missionaries in the other ward told us they had investigators for us that are in our area and it was a mom and her daughter and one of the members brought their sobrino (non member) who is going to be living here for a bit, and we are going to start teaching him, so that was more than one investigator attending! not quite the goal, but it was better than before, The Lord really answered my prayer not in the way i was expecting but he still answered it. It was wonderful! This week was a good week, we are making changes and starting to see progress and finding really good potentials, everyday i give my gratitude!!!

I love you guys so much!! You are always in prayers, im going to try and send a letter next week! Boys be good! say your prayers and read the scriptures, also remember listen to mom and dad "honour thy mother and father" they know whats best. Just like our heavenly father, sometimes we cant see whats good for us but he can and he helps lead us in the right direction, just like our parents.

Con mucho amor

Hermana Riley.

All I can say is...this area is beautiful.




AT A MEMBERS HOME:they don't have much but they give everything they have.


ON OUR WAY TO A DAY TRIP.

LAS HERMANAS






ISLA DE FLORES.