More celebrations this week...Happy Birthday TODAY to my awesome big sister Michelle! Hope you have a wonderful day of pampering! And Happy Anniversary to my wonderful and amazing parents on September 1st! 42 years and still counting. I love both of you so so much individually and I love you together even more! I am so lucky to have amazing parents like you who were always sure and steadfast in their testimonies of the gospel and of Jesus Christ. Thank you for being an example of sticking through the hard times...that together you can do hard things and you need not give up. There is much joy in the journey...especially as you raise a family up unto the Lord and in love and righteousness. You are both incredible and I am so honored to be your daughter. I know that I wouldn't be who I am today with any other parents but you! I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU! Happiest of anniversaries to you!
So this has been another great week! I have officially survived my first transfer! Wahoo! I'm still breathing...and still laughing so those are both good signs. I will not be transferred out of my area and I am very happy about that. I love my trainer and I am falling in love with the people and area of El Cajon. I know I am meant to be here and among these specific people. I got to sing in church again on Sunday and I sang in a trio of "Lift Thine Eyes" from the old hymn book with the second counselor's wife and Emily Riggs! Yep...another Sister Riggs in my ward! Everyone thought she was my sister. She married Hugh Riggs...and she was a vocal performance major at BYU-I...crazy huh? She has a gorgeous voice and we are kindred spirits. We sang it accapella and it was great! Fun to sing a Mendeholssen piece that was very Madrigal. I miss that. Our ward has a missionary fireside all set to go and I am singing I think six or seven times...including two solos! Ha ha....I am loving all the opportunities I am being given to use my voice!
We have had to move a few Baptismal dates back due to people not keeping commitments...coming to church and just not progressing...it's frustrating but I know it all happens in the Lord's time and some people just need a bit more time. But you know, I am getting a good look at what it's going to be like to be a parent...you know what is right and good and what is going to help them get all that they want...but you can't force them and they have to choose for themselves...and THEY even know what's good for them but they just won't DO IT!!! It is probably one of the most frustrating things! Ha ha....but you just keep loving them and guiding them along...even though they lie to your face or tell you what you want to hear, or promise they will change, or have an amazing break through...but you STILL see them do nothing..oh dear...and how much more do you think Heavenly Father puts up with that from all of us? ...It's just kind of a funny thing isn't it? ...and at the same time irrannoying! ; ) I am even realizing though, that I am guilty of the same thing...I just have to take action...we all just have to move our feet! ...We humans are so silly sometimes.
Funny thing happened at the temple this week...I was there doing a shift and this big group of like 20-25 Russians came and were all taking pictures and stuff....we were teaching them about the Temple and showing them pictures and one of the Russian ladies looked at me and said, "And what's your name?" I said, "Sister Riggs." She responded, "Sister Riggs....you are a very sexy woman." I was pretty speechless cause it sure was out of no where! It was all my companion and I could do to not bust up laughing...but...that's always nice to hear I guess...even from a slightly scary Russian woman ; )
So I just want to share a wonderful thing that happened this week....we had training at the Mormon Battalion (we do once a week) and they just decided to focus on us. Sisters tend to all be perfectionist and that results in us being really hard on ourselves. It's so hard not to compare and feel like we are failing or not as good and so and so. It's hard to be with a lot of Sisters who have been here for a while and just seem to get everything and you just feel inadequate a lot...I know I have felt like I have had lots of weaknesses and things I want to improve and feel like aren't happening...but what I have had to realize is that change is a process...a mission is definitely a process....and I can't learn everything that I want to right now...and I am not going to be perfect right now. I will be learning up to the very last day of my mission. That's hard for me to accept but I am learning to...but anyway...this was happening with a lot of us...and we read a wonderful story that you should all read if you get a chance... it's called "You Are Special" by Max Lucado. Read it...it's amazing....the parts I loved the most were that Punchinello (the main character) had to go to Eli every day for the dots and stars not to stick...and his master (the puppet maker) doesn't make mistakes......That is the same with our Father in Heaven. We mess up every day...and we might get hurt every day or feel we are not good enough or don't have anything special to offer....but we must go to our Father in Heaven daily in prayer...apply the Atonement to our lives and especially to our hearts...and let Him let us feel of His great love and know that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks...especially what the world thinks. What matters most is what our Father in Heaven thinks...and we can take comfort and KNOW that NO MATTER WHAT....He loves us....and He doesn't make mistakes...and He didn't make a mistake when He made you. YOU are special and every soul is great and unique in the sight of God! We all have sooooo much to offer....it is Satan that wants us to forget that and think otherwise. I just wanted to share that with you...we then were invited to write down at least three reasons why were were the perfect missionary to be here on this mission and in this place at this time...what we had to offer here...I want to invite you to think about this...think about your unique talents and abilities...it doesn't have to be a beautiful voice or athleticism or craftiness...it can be your ability to listen....your ability to comfort others....your smile......there are many unique gifts we've been given for the benefit of man to help lift others....what do you have to offer? Why are you the perfect, valiant, Child of God that needs to be here at this time and this season? Because you are here for a reason and you are a Child of God! Let's all remember that!
I love you so very much. Thank you for your love and support and your prayers!
I'm a MISSIONARY!!! Oh my goofy gummies!