Friday, April 17, 2015


Mission life is "the bomb" and these are the many aspects I am learning to appreciate and to love about it:

First: I love my district, they are great! our correlation meetings are  always very uplifting, very helpful and at times funny (there are some funny missionaries)  

Secondly: Being in a companionship is so great, we always learn something from each other and you will be so proud to know that my companion is helping me to be more time efficient (can you believe that?) hahaha, hopefully that will stick with me all my life! 

Third: Do you know what is so great about getting sick while you are in your mission? well, you have so many wonderful Priesthood holders to give you a blessing. I was having some strong stomach pains and our Mission President's wife had some Elders give me a blessing and then she took me home to rest for a little bit and afterwards I felt 100% better. I am so grateful for the Priesthood and what it does for us, it is really the authority and power of God. All men should strive to be worthy of it, because it works wonders :)

Fourth: I have been creating better habits of scripture study and personal prayers, also to be more loving and to serve and be more attentive. 

Fifth: to be more obedient. Everyone has to be obedient all of our lives right? obedient to traffic laws, obedient to school guidelines, obedient to the laws of the land (like paying taxes) Here we must be obedient to our mission rules and by doing so we have the Spirit of the Lord guiding us every step, and that also helps us be protected. Listening to the mission nurse and following their advice especially when it comes to the local foods, what to avoid and what to eat. Missionaries here suffer so much of parasites (fun huh?) the best things is to avoid foods from the streets and some other things.

Sixth: The PEOPLE! meeting and finding new people to teach the gospel is the most exciting thing!! last week we found some great people to teach, including a family. We also went to help other Hermanas in their areas, they were getting discouraged about their progress but we were able to help them with their goals and we actually found new people for them to teach. I also met people that they were currently teaching and my heart went out to them, it was so exciting to see their potential, I know they have some wonderful people to work with. Our day was very successful.

The day we went on splits (divisions)

Oh! I GOT THE PACKAGE!! it is so nice to be close to the office  because I don't have to wait weeks to get the things that you send. 

I love you guys so much! Glad you got my postcard,
I hope you guys have a wonderful week!
Love you bunches!! xoxoxoxoxox
Hermana Riley

ps excited to open the package!!

Monday, April 13, 2015


This week in Coban:
I'm really liking Coban, teaching here is really pushing me out of my comfort zone and challenging me in a new way, all in all it is a good experience. The people here are very deep into their beliefs and they don't want to leave the traditions of their fathers, sometimes they harden their hearts and we find a lot of rejection, when we are contacting people they won't let us past their doorway, we just leave them with a short message ( standing outside) When they do let us in we do a happy dance (mentally) our hearts are full of joy and can't help to feel that they are the chosen ones. but it's not too bad, we always have members that accompany us. I'm still getting to know the ward, our goal is to gain their confidence let them know that we are here to serve and help them.
We as missionaries are sharing the video "Because he lives" , I love that video so much, I could watch it over and over, I feel the Spirit every time I watch it with the people and I hope they feel it too, we had a somewhat successful week even though it was Easter, it was a lot better than the Christmas I had in San Benito where it was all dead and hardly anyone received us, I mean it was pretty similar here but we somehow managed more lessons.
The highlight of my week was General Conference, I love it! so much spiritual insight and advice for life, talks about the FAMILY that's all they talked about! i learned a lot about what I am going to do with my future self, and a little bit of things to improve here on the mission. But I couldn't believe it, it was talk after talk about the family, which is really good, because we really do need to focus more on that, especially in this world! I too loved elder Jeffrey R. Hollands talk, it was AMAZING!!! and Uchtdorfs, I just loved them all haha
Here is a bit of culture for you:
As we all know, it was Semana Santa (Holy week) it is HUGE here in Guatemala, there were a lot of processions but I hardly saw them, on friday there were a lot of hand made rugs on the streets but I mean people spent Thursday night making them from a lot of saw dust, vegetation, flowers etc. It was super cool! and then during the day a procession would pass and walk over the hand made rugs and pretty much destroy it because they are not permanent. To give you an idea of what a procession is...basically it is a huge float being carried on the shoulders of men with an image of Jesus (statue) on the float. At one point they stopped and made a switch with women so now the women were carrying it, they also had a smaller float that children were carrying. The people that carry the floats have to pay about 20 dollars to have the privilege, some believe that their sins will be forgiven after they carry the float. I don't want to imagine how much that thing weighed, it was huge!

(EDITORS NOTE: to illustrate the Semana Santa traditions, I found this photos
 on the internet ~  Mom.)

This is a float with a Jesus statue in the center.

A hand made rug on the street ready for the procession
(This street dog thinks he is "all that") lol
This particular rug is made out of colored saw dust.

Another version of a hand made rug
made out of pine needles, fruits and vegetables.

On good Friday a member invited us to eat with them, and we had some traditional food from Coban, it was good! it was also someone's birthday in the family so we had cake, and it had fondant! which reminded me of you mommy smile emoticon it was delicious.
Tonight the missionaries are doing a noche de hogar (family home evening) with him, but I won't be there because I'm writing to you guys, due to my traveling smile emoticon
speaking of which! I went to the capital today, left at 4 in the morning and arrived at like 9, a worker of the church picked us up, I wanted to go to the distribution center but it is closed on mondays, (always my luck).... so he dropped us off at the dentist they fixed my retainer in like 3 minutes it was super fast, and the best part it was free, after everyone was done (there were only four of us) we went to the relief map to kill some time, because the other missionaries haven't gone, I enjoy adventure and seeing things again, I was able to give them a mini tour and history of the place hahaha ( I feel like an expert now) afterwards the man picked us up and dropped us off at central norte, where the busses are, we bought our tickets and we went to go eat lunch,and we left at 2 and got here at 6, so it was a productive day, a trip to the capital, even though we weren't able to do a whole lot, I wouldn't call it a day lost.
So I keep drinking shuko (dirty) water, I can't help it, the only thing I can help is clean it a little bit with my biocyde! and say a little prayer, so far I haven't had any problems, if there was ever a time I needed to pray more fervently for my food (and water) is now, grin emoticon I can't afford to get sick, the work must go on.
Well I love you family very dearly, hugs and kisses to everyone! 

Love you guys super super much!!!!!!
Hermana Riley

"Chapin" colloquial word for everything and everyone from Guatemala.
"Shuko" = Dirty

Friday, April 3, 2015


Everything is going great here in Coban although I do miss San Benito (last area)
The sun came out this week and that brought a little warmth but it wasn't nearly as hot as Peten. The weather here in coban is most of the time cloudy and there is always some rain, mostly sprinkling which is known by the locals as CHIPPY CHIPPY and that is probably why the vegetation here is so lush and green and beautiful. My week went well, we are working on finding new investigators and we found 10 people this past week.
One day we were walking past a house and my companion said to me "I've always wanted to contact this house but we never did" so I said..."Well what are we waiting for? Let's go for it!
We knocked and an old lady came out, we said hi and asked how she was doing? and she said...." not as good as you guys", we asked why? she said that her husband had passed away 4 months ago, so we started talking to her, sharing our message giving her comfort, she wouldn't let us in at first because said she was washing clothes and couldn't leave them unatended, but then she decided to let us in and turned off her washing machine, we talked to her and shared more about the plan of salvation and we gave a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon, she kept saying that she is catholic but she accepts the word of god and likes to learn and read things, and she was curious about what we said that there is life after death and that we can see our loved ones again. I hope she can open her heart more and accept more of our message and this gospel smile emoticon I am so grateful that the Spirit led us to her.
On Friday we had divisions and we went to Salama a city 2 hours away from our area. We went to help the hermanas, they have been having some challenges so we were there to help resolve them, there are two sets of sister Missionaries, this time we worked with on of the sets and the division went great, we completed some of the main goals they had, and we were able to advice them and cheer them up, the division was successful and as of now, they are overcoming their problems and starting to see the blessings due to their obedience. (It made me happy, I love being Sister trainer leader because I really get to help the Sister Missionaries, and I know the Lord called me for a reason)
On Saturday we watched the general women's broadcast. It was SO inspiring!! I loved it! I learned a whole lot, and felt the spirit strongly (I recommend all to watch it :D) It talked about families and being defenders of the home and values! LOVED IT!
The people here are so sweet, after our lessons they always offer us something to drink and its hard to reject because you don't want to offend, I always have with me a bottle of biocyde, that we are supposed to carry to put in the drinks so that it purifies it somewhat, I carry that wherever I go! food and drinks hmmm always a challenge I just pray to bless it every time so that it doesn't cause me harm haha really relying on my faith grin emoticon
Today for p-day we went paca shopping (thrift store) for sweaters and I got some dresses, clothes here are so cheap! and I saw a member from peten here, gave her a hug and took a pic smile emoticon will send pics next week, because I'm a chambona and run out of time SORRY!! takes time to load them......
I love you moommy super much!! Happy Easter week!!!
Hermana Riley


"Chippy chippy" what locals call when there is very light continuous rain.
"paca" the shipment of used clothing that is re-sold to the public.
"chambon, chambona" in Guatemala means someone who is flaky, useless, disorganized.