Monday, October 27, 2014


Things are going well here! I never let myself get discouraged or my comp. there is no time for that hahah. No i haven't been chased by dogs yet, but one day when we went to pick up a member, her dog came barking at us, charging and my comp. stuck out her umbrella and water bottle and totally freaked out because she got bit once and had to go to the hospital in the capital (8 hours away).

I had my first exchange with an Hermana leader her name is Hna. Ball i went to her area in Santa Elena, holy cow, we walked a lot! her area is big. The first lady we visited, she got robbed last Monday, by a group of guys on a motorcycle and took her cellphone! one of our investigators told us about them, that there are three guys on a motorcycle that assault people, never take out your phone at night, thats what i learned. We tried to comfort her and stuff. That day went well, i was tired, we were walking home and right before we got to the street up towards the apartment I heard a BANG! and then a kid screaming mommy! I thought it was a gunshot and the mom got shot or something, so i slowly peaked around the corner, i was scared... but it was just a firecracker and a scared little kid hahah, but holy cow my heart was pounding hahah two days later, our electricity went out in the morning and NO water either, my comp. got to shower, but there was no more water for me (side note: the water is always cold, but its nice up here in peten because its hot)  I really needed to take a shower! I prayed and hoped for water to come but it never did.... So guess what i did? I had babywipes, and used those to give me a sponge bath haha thankfully my hair wasn't greasy, so i braided it and put it up. but that was my experience, all the utilities came back around 5, i guess it was notified to the town on the radio, but we never hear anything.

Well this weekend we were supposed to have 2 baptisms but they both fell through. We were supposed to visit Luis orantes everyday last week, but on monday we found out he started working again, so he fell off the map again, and didn't have any contact with him. And then jose alberto, last week i just wasnt feeling good that he should get baptized, because he was still assisting the other church Casa de Dios, so we told him and shared with him and he understood and he was confused trying to figure out what to do because he likes both churches, we told him to give us his decision Saturday morning, we got his phone call that morning and he decided to stay with Casa de Dios but asked if he could still attend ours, and we said of course! the doors are always open,and we are going to continue visiting him. I knew what he was going to choose, so i wasn't as disappointing and i don't know why, me and my comp felt the same way, but we just had this joy and happiness, it was weird, we felt light and giddy. We are going to help him get a better understanding of the Book of Mormon and help him receive a better testimony and true conversion, because he likes to talk about the bible a lot, and the Book of Mormon is kind of lesser to him i feel. But he is bien Pilas and i know he will get baptized one day, same with luis, just now is not the time. But me and my comp. feel great! and are going to work hard, because we are together for one more transfer!! We are staying in our area! had cambios last night, it was conference call, kind of cool and the district leader told who was going and leaving, the majority of our district is staying just a companionship of sisters is leaving and one elder, pretty nifty, cambios are pretty hectic. But im glad its still the same for me. Im doing better about the service with my comp. well i always help around the house, and i also ask to help the members but they always say no haha well nicer than that. And we always eat at hna. blancas and we do pay her, its 20quetz every meal, except for sundays she gives us that day free. She is great, i love her. I will make sure to take pictures with the members and investigators sometime 
Well here we don't ride buses, we usually walk for the most part but if not we take whats called a Tuc tuc (tooc tooc) its like a 3 wheeled vehicle, i will take a picture one day. pretty cheap. Today for pday we really didn't do anything because of transfers, just cleaned the apartment, went to take money out, got some icecream went to the church to wait for the other missionaries so i played the piano, ate burger king, then going to do some grocery shopping tonight, so nothing special pretty chilax. i didnt bring my camera today, but i will send some more pictures next week, and i will try the drop box idea.
I will make sure to try and go to a cemetery, ican't believe it is halloween this week, it doesn't feel like it! and yeah the weather is pretty much the same, but its cooling down a bit which is ssooooooo nice!!

Oh yeah! in the future package can you send a jump rope too, i would like it for exercise, it will be helpful, a lot of people use it here on the mission. Im staying healthy and hydrated, no problems so far. No creepy bugs, but the past two weeks twice i have been surprised by a cock croach, it came out of nowhere! other there are a bunch of hormigas (ants) and they crawl all over my table and study stuff, going to find a way to terminate them, and the mosquitos arent too bad, but there is one i cant see and its attacking my legs, and only my legs never my arms or anywhere else and it happens in the mornings in the apartment, otherwise im always using repelent before i go out. but thats pretty it, so scary spiders or anything. pretty chill up here. On sunday there was also a primary program, the kids were so cute! and it just reminded me of you and your calling. Oh yeah, like the first weeks being here in guatemala in peten, i would be walking around and seeing places and wishing you were there with me, my adventure partner, because i remembered the times we were in Italy and before in guatemala, and it was different being here without you, it made me miss you. But one day I will show you around town! haha maybe we will do the amazing race together.

Well that was my week! I love you guys so much, i know heavenly father is taking care of you guys, glad to hear all that is happening. Be careful dad take it easy, you might want to get that checked out if you havent, do some minor stretches and ice it. I will be praying for ya, and working on that challenge!
Love ya family!!
Hermana Riley

Monday, October 20, 2014




Hola Amigos y Amigas!

Where do i begin? Well first off this week was good, a little slow as far as missionary work goes, but it flew by! this is my last week, and then we have transfers! but since im in training i dont think anything will happen, (hopefully) Lets see my schedule.... well we wake up at 6:30 do our exercises, mainly stretching, and then at 7 i shower and get ready while my comp makes breakfast, she is THE BEST she always writes me nice notes and stuff, she is a great example to me...(I need to do better) Anywho.. I eat and then she gets ready, at 8 we have personal study and study for our investigators, at 9 we have comp study and share what we learned and plan what we teach for the day and then at 10 we have language study, i learn vocabulary and help my comp learn English. Then around 12 we go eat lunch at Hermana Blancas house, we go there everyday but sometimes she is not home so then we eat at the house.

As far as service goes, we ask people about what we can do for them but they dont let us help them, they say they´ve already done it or " no tenga pena" (don't worry about it). Once we told this family that we were coming at over so we asked them "prepare your dirty clothes and dishes and we are going to clean them" haha so we did! we showed up and washed their stuff, but that has been the only act of service so far.

Every Monday night we have family home eveningsbut at a members home, (Hermana Blanca's house) We bring our investigators and recent converts, but I don't have any recent converts, these are converts from July. we take turns giving the message and do the treat. I am trying to work on getting to know everyone and the area, I'm doing better but the names are a bit difficult, I forget or I'm not sure, I'm working on it though. So more about my week. I don't know if i mentioned this, I can never remember what i wrote before but there was an investigator named Luis Orantes who was supposed to get baptized the 11th of October, but then he started working, and we lost him! he disappeared from the face of the earth for 2 weeks, we looked for him but could never find him, we have been praying and praying and then last week we found him! he is no longer working and we have been teaching him, he has a date set for this weekend the 25th, and we are going to teach him everyday this week, he came to church yesterday and he is very good. We have also been continuing to teach Ignacia, she is a sweetheart and asks good questions we always have good discussions, she is very interested in the church, she likes the doctrine, so hopefully things go well. We haven't been able to see Estrella unfortunately, so we have to check up how she is doing. We had a district meeting last week, and we did a district fast. Now there is Jose Alberto (did i mention him?) he is also getting baptized this weekend, he is the one assisting two churches Casa de Dios and ours, we asked him why and we found out because he wants to learn and make comparisons, he knows this the lds church is true and all that, he is one of those people that like to study things like a theologist, I pray that he looses interest in the other church, but I think he has a calling there too a teacher or something. So interesting thing about casa de dios, the founders name is cash luna, he was an RM and served in Peru or something, but fell away obviously, the church is set up almost equally as ours, they have different classes like primary sunday school and all that, they have a thing called celulas which is like home teaching or something, and cash luna is the supposed apostle, its just super weird/interesting to find that out. Also yesterday at church in relief society, it was kind of different, people were blurting out coments and the class was just noisy. at the end of class a woman gets up and says, I'm sorry to say but it has just been irreverent and i did not learn a thing because of all the distractions, she just said it out straight, I was like... amen sista´ power to ya! HAHAHA in my mind of course. To be honest i dont know what happened (because I still can't understand a lot of spanish) hahaha i asked my comp and she said that some critizing or unfriendliness was going on since the beginning of class, idk. and then after that woman, another woman got up and was saying, that there is a presidency for a reason, talked to them to sort out your issues not in front of the class or something like that. It was crazy, i didnt even understand, i felt bad because there was a lady who just got baptized this weekend and she had witness that, this is not how the church usually works trust me, (I thought). oh well, it´ll get sorted out. On a brighter note, last night we were at a members house for dinner and i was telling my comp some jokes like the japanese/spanish ones, "how do you say dirty hair in japanese" chin champu and toilet paper... quita la kakita, she laughed so hard, and why did the chicken cross the road, but i translated it hahaha, (sorry, I laugh at my own jokes)
heres one for ya, "que dice un jaguar al otro jaguar? (spanish accent) how are you doing? hahah get it Ja-guar you doing lol i learned that in the ccm.
oh yeah! one thing i want to know, is it true there is a movie coming out about mormons? i heard about it from a member
and! somethings i have in mind for bday and christmas, some more nutella por favor, bug spray, in-soles for foot support (im not having problems but i would like to prevent them, because my shoes are flat) and another pair of good proselyting shoes, like the black sketchers you got me, they are comfy, and i like them. That´s all i have thought of for now. I still havent gotten any package or letters or anything  triste, im waiting patiently and praying that they will come.
Well felicitaciones, Happy Birthday POPS! thanks for the email, love hearing your spiritual experiences.
Hey mom did you get your purse back?
love ya guys, keep your eyes peeled i sent a letter last week.
love ya fam!!!
hermana riley

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


                                                             WATER BALLOONS!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY!!!!! Feliz Cumpleanos!! hope your birthday was a good day!
I had a letter ready that i was going to send last week, but couldnt, so im sending it today, for you and dad :)
Things are going great here in Peten! still hot but thats okay, i forget myself and go to work, but i look forward to the rain cuz then i know it cools down haha and its nice. no i haven't used my rain boots, it hasn't rained hard enough, but i do use my jacket, i try to take it with me always! This past week, we had zone conference, and i learned a lot, how to improve and what we can do to double our numbers. This week we are meeting as a district to come up with a battle plan, because seriously we are in a battle. this past week i have seen so much opposition. I will tell you more about Estrella. she is a nice girl, we ended up teaching her father last week! he was compliant and nice,  the lesson went well i thought.  but then a couple days later after the zone conference we received a text from Estrella, saying she doesn't want to be a Mormon because she hates wearing skirts.... we were like what?! something was up, and after we had that conference i was pumped up so we walked to her house to figure stuff out, on the way i just had this strength surging through my body, my spirit was burning with the love of this gospel, it was awesome! we talked to her, and she was having all these doubts she thought Mormons were polygamists because someone told her, and that her whole family is Evangelical, so she is getting some opposition from them. We explained everything and cleared things up, and told her to pray and receive an answer, we invited her to church and went to go see her but she was still sleeping. So that´s that. We have a family that was supposed to get baptized in two weeks, and we went to go pick them up for church yesterday, and they were all set looked like they were heading out, so we said we would meet them later and left, something happened and they never showed, so now we have to push the date back. There is another girl we are teaching her name is Dayrir, she is 18 has a kid and is living with her marido. She told us she knows the gospel is true she has seen how it has changed her fathers life, he is a member. the only problem is, she needs to get married, but the guy doesn't want to, apparently he has a kid with another woman.. oofda! the adversary is working hard, but I'm going to work harder, I'm determined! But we did have a miracle, and a blessing from the Lord, I'm so grateful! last weekend we went to go visit a family  that other missionaries have contacted, they are so nice, the woman is named Ignacia she is older, her kids are grown. sweet sweet lady, we were talking about the gospel, and how she wants to visit our church. We taught her again another day, and she asks good questions, so we were talking about that, about the book of Mormon, and told her to pray to receive an answer of the truthfulness of the gospel. well yesterday she went to church with her son, and it was fast sunday, so she got to hear the testimonies, she was sitting with my comp on one side and i on another side with two other investigators. after church my comp told me that Ignacia turned to in the meeting grabbed her hand and said, i feel so much warmth and love inside me, i know this church is true!! it was wonderful! it lifted me up so much, this family is golden, at least she is! I cant wait to teach her more. 

I love my area its pretty good! pretty tranquil, nothing bad at all, just a few drunks at night, but rarely.

I haven't gotten sick, pretty normal, thank the lord! I haven't seen anything different cultural wise, not that i had already known, all though one thing they say a lot here, is que les vaya bien! all the time, its nice. 
San Benito is by water, there is also another lake near by, because we are by flores. 
Today for p-day, my district had a water balloon fight outside of the church, it was a lot of fun and then it started raining on us, but we were already soaked, and then we went to pizza hut, and later we are going to get ice cream, i guess its a tradition that every p=day they get ice cream, i will send some pictures. I figured out what im going to do, the rest of the fotos im going to develop them and then i will send them by mail, that will be better!
I love you guys soooo mucho much!!!!! 
I keep my head up strong everyday and smile! Because there is no reason to be sad or discouraged. Im trying my best to work hard, and i have the power of the Lord on my side, i know all is possible with him.
again Le Amo muchisimo!!!! and happy birthday!!!

Hermana Riley.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014



I had this scriptures engraved in leather, I LOVE THEM!

The Miracles of Missionary work!



My first week out in the field has been wonderful!! I love it here so much! I am so grateful to have already known the language, it makes it that much easier, the people here are nice and listen to us. The downside is that here they´re not very committed which is hard, and they seem to be busy all the time or they are not use to making appointments so its hard to visit them because they never set a fixed time, every time we visit them happens to be by chance, but somehow we fill our days by visiting people. Also another thing here which is very common we find couples don't get married but live together, they`ve been together for years and have kids! its strange, no entiendo (I don't get it) that's why this 19 year old girl is here, to teach this mature couples about doing things the right way (hahaha) imagine that!.

I love my trainer, she is the bomb! she is so kind! we get along really well, She is fun too, we are a good team! My district is cool too, have a good district leader he is nice. a kid named elder brown from my district in the ccm is also in my district here, which is cool, nice to see a familiar face.
To answer your question: Yeah we have agua salvavidas (5 gallon bottled water) our apartment came with a dispensor thingy, we have two bottles, they are 15 quetz each, not bad! i drink that and use that for brushing my teeth. I found out that we can have actual backpacks here, it's allowed, in fact recommended especially up here in Peten, so i bought one today, because the one strap bothers me after a long period of time. Here we are pretty taken care of, a member lady does our laundry and we pay her 120 Q a month (18 dollars), we make our own breakfast, and for lunch (the main meal of the day) we go to a member's house, her name is hna. blanca, holy cow, she serves so much food, the first time we ate there she gave us a mountain of rice,and then the next day it was a whole mountain plate of sphagetti, i never finish it, it is way too much for me, now she gives me a little less, but i still get so full, because of that we don't eat dinner becuase we are never that hungry, but we have little snacks just in case. the members here are so nice, they help us A LOT this past week we have had at least someone come with us EVERY night.

It has rained a couple times during the day, i never bring my umbrella just my rain jacket, that suffices, the first time my comp had hers, the rain wasn't too bad, there was one day we were proselyting, and we contacted this woman and taught her inside her home, when all of the sudden HOLY GUACAMOLE! it started getting cloudy and thundering, and then it started down pouring!! REALLY HARD!! people let me tell you, the thing was, the houses have tin roofs so it gets SO loud and noisy, we had to yell while teaching in order to hear, then we stopped and just sat quietly for a bit to see if it would stop, well.... It didn't! and i was praying that it would. We just started back up again, eventually it slowed down to where we didn't have to yell so loud, but it was crazy. Here you never know when it is going to rain (we don't have the weather channel) hahaha, so i just fold up my jacket and stick it in my bag, and i now bring my waterproof bag with me, its been helpful.

This weekend was general conference, i got to watch it in english which was nice, there was air conditioning and it was so refreshing! I learned a lot of good stuff, the sad part was we called everyone of our investigators and contacts to come, but no one did, except for one for the priesthood session and he went sunday morning too, he is " bien pilas" (very sharp). his name is jose alberto, an older man like 40, he is smart and we have great lessons with him. so yeah the frustrating part was i heard so many good things that wouldve helped our investigators but they weren't there.... triste (sad), oh well, hopefully they will come to church this weekend.

so i have to tell a story of a miracle we had this past week. my companion and I were tracting (knocking on doors), it was so hot out and i forgot my bottle so we went to a store and got some water, while walking down a street, my companion decided to go to this gate door and knocks, a little girl comes out so we introduced ourselves, then a 16 year old comes by, she lets us in, we walked into her house, it is a very humble home, even less so than the ones here, it was kind of sad. We started teaching this teenager her name is Estrella (which means Star), cute girl. My companion started saying, that we were guided here, and that we met her for a reason, that she is a Daughter of God, and that she can be an example to her family, and overcome these challenges she is facing ( her father is an alcoholic, never around, and mean, from what i could understand, and her mom left to the states with a sibling, so abandoning them, she is there with her Grandma and cousins) I could feel the spirit SO STRONG and Estrella started to cry, I know we were lead there to meet her. She has accepted baptism, and now we just got to teach her, towards the end of the conversation her Grandma came out for prayer and her cousins as well (because we were going to pray for them for their health), I gave the prayer. afterwards the Grandma was crying and Estrella too, I know they felt the influence of the Spirit, it was a sweet moment! i really love this girl, and i know she has a bright future, i can feel it!

The area here is good, i dont really know how to describe it, it`s decently developed, got your stores or tiendas and stuff. hhmmm i will have to think of stuff for what i want for christmas and birthday. i will get back to you on that 

things are great here i love it! i have my camera now, so will send pictures, but the internet is soooooo sloooow, it takes forever to upload the pictures but I'll send some  and i hope to send a letter! 

with much much much love!!!!!
hna. Riley

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I am out of the MTC!!!
and today is my FIRST day in the Mission field!

We had an early start yesterday! we left at 6 a.m. traveled over 5 1/2 hours to Coban, it took that long because there was an accident so we were stuck in traffic for an hour and a half. Coban is a neat city, we ended up going to the church building and not the Mission home. I arrived with my companion Hermana Weicks an half of my district, which was fun. When we got there we met the Mission President and his wife and some other missionaries, they fed us a lunch of sandwiches, potato salad and ice cream. After lunch they gave us a presentation about the mission, finances and rules. The Mission President spoke for a brief time because it was getting late, we also had 10 minute interviews with each and that's when he told me where my area would be and you won't believe where they assigned me....drum roll please!...............PETEN!! The Mission President told me I was going to Peten the land of the Mayan ruins (TIKAL) If I get lucky maybe I'll get to see Tikal which has been one of my dreams. While we are here  our goal is to try and make a stake up here, and then get at least 3 more in the north part of Guatemala and then they will build a Temple up here!!! how cool!

After my interviews, I met my trainer, she is so sweet and nice, my other mama haha her name is Hermana Martinez from San Pedro Honduras, she is just the greatest, I am so excited.

 I got your package with the blanket and stuff, thank you!!!! I  ran into the Hermano that is married to Alma and he said he had a little package but I didn't get that either.... oh well, still  thank you! after I met my trainer, we had to load up the bus fast, because we had a long drive to Peten. But first we went to the store to get some things for the ride, we didn't end up leaving Coban until like 4:30 pm, it took like 6 and half hours to finally get to peten, it was a looooonnnnggg bus ride, and I slept for most of it, one by one we dropped people off at their houses, and then I got dropped off. we have a quaint place, an area to study, a little bar to eat, a small kitchen with a sink, microwave and mini fridge, with some burners, there is a little outdoor area to do laundry and hang stuff, there is a bathroom with toilet sink and shower, a bedroom with two beds, mosquito nets, and a place to hang our clothes, there are also fans, which are nice in the night time.

 We got to our house around 11ish, got stuff ready, up here in Peten it gets pretty hot and humid, right now I am sweating bullets haha but the night time wasn't bad, we had the fan on, slept with my sheets and there were no mosquitos or anything, just ants on the floor, but they don't bother me. I am so happy to be up here.  We got our plan for the day, going to visit a lot of people and do some contacting, I am so ready to work! no complaints, even the heat isn't really bothering me, I'm just ignoring it and dealing with it. I am doing so well! I LOVE IT HERE, there are some great people here. I will send pics next p-day which is on monday,  i dont have time today because I was only allowed to write to you to tell you that I arrived safely  and to share that I'm still alive, and loving it!!! I love you guys so much!! hope all is well! send my love!

Oh yeah! Hermana Curtiss (Mission president's wife) says:  "thank you for sending your daughter I get to have another half Guatemalan"  :) (because that's what her children are as well haha)

So stoked for general conference this weekend! first one out in the mission! also this transfer is short only 4 weeks, because presidente has some meeting in el salvador. and I learned that for christmas we can only call, not skype because the elders in p´okchi (algo asi no me recuerdo) where it is more rural and most of the people speak K'ekchi, well they  don't have skype so its only fair i guess. Just a heads up.
I will  be sure to let you know more next week!!!

con much amor!!!
hna. janelley riley :)