Welcome to the missionary blog of Sister Ralynne Riggs. Here you will be able to follow Ralynne's experiences as she serves a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the California San Diego Mission and Mormon Battalion Historic Site. We will do our best to keep you updated weekly and hope you will find joy in being a part of Sister Riggs' mission!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Following the Spirit!- Week 14

Hello Dear Family,
Another wonderful and crazy week gone by here in San Diego! I have experienced the spirit so much in my life! (Great daily blessing when you're set apart as a missionary for the Lord!) Here are a few experiences:
We had Salt Lake City come and do a 3 hour training with all of us who serve at the Mormon Battalion. Fun fact....the head of all of the Visitor's Centers for the church was my Bishop at BYU 4 years ago! So I got to surprise him and it was so great to see him again and be trained by him and I learned SOOOO much! Everything has changed for me for the better in how I see the Battalion and the great resource it is to help people "begin to be astonished", like the scriptures teach us. But I was asked the night before at about 9pm to sing a special musical number at the 8am meeting. I was stressing out a bit trying to figure out what song to sing and what message the Lord wanted given in this meeting. I went through my whole book (it's a lot...like 6 lbs of music)....I was struggling because we don't really have anyone who can play the piano well when they have to sight read it on the spot. I had a track for one song I had recently sung but it was about the Atonement and kind of heavy and I knew we would be talking about training things and missionary work and I wanted something that would relate. I came across "Miracles" and felt like it was perfect.....but it's hard to play.....I said my prayers before I went to sleep (as I always do mom = ) ) and I prayed to know what song He would have me sing and that there would be a way for it to be done. I woke up to the voice inside of my head singing the chorus of "Miracles." I knew it was what I was suppose to sing. While I was running that morning I said, "Heavenly Father help there be someone who can play this...or some way to be able to sing this song this morning because I know it is what needs to be heard." While I was doing my hair and make-up I thought, "Oh yeah...Sally DeFord wrote that and she has all her music online for free and there are some demo tracks...maybe there's a background track!!! ...And I have a blank CD another missionary gave to me the other week. I'll take the music and have the missionary who is gonna try to play it start figuring it out while I check online for the track." Well prayer answered! There was a track I could download, it was free, and it burned to the CD just fine and I sang through the song in the computer room once and all of it happened and came together between, 7:50 and 8:00 am when the meeting started! And what is even more incredible is that our mission President and his wife, Sister Clayton, spoke and shared some thoughts, along with the Battalion Director and his wife. All four of them spoke about something that was specifically in the words of the song and could be related to it. It was all I could do not to cry as the spirit confirmed this was the song I was suppose to sing. Then, just before I sang, President Clayton testified of how Heavenly Father micromanages this work. Ha! I thought, "Amen!! That's all He's been doing this morning!" The message to us who were being trained and striving to become better and do our best to serve the Lord was profound. We see so many people who come to the Battalion and we have such sweet experiences with them and sometimes it is so hard to let them walk away and not know what will happen to them...we only have them in our reach for a few minutes! There are people we see who we know are ready for this and we see those who are hurting and just long to help them....but we are seed planters....miracle starters....so we have to do all we can within the 30-60 minutes...or sometimes just 5 minutes that they talk to us....the words of the chorus say, "There are hands I cannot hold, hearts I cannot comfort, tears that only miracles can stay. So let me love and serve and teach those who come within my reach. For miracles begin that way." It was so wonderful!!!!! I was so thankful to be a literal instrument in His hands in delivering a message that was needed.
...Also got some great news yesterday...an Elder came into the Battalion and asked if I remembered a certain woman I had met at the Battalion and given a Book of Mormon to. I vaguely did...it was about a month ago....but he told me that they were now teaching her and she is very solid and loving the gospel and coming to church and will for sure be baptized someday soon!!! How cool!!!! That made me so happy...because we don't always get to see the result of what we do here...but we really are miracle starters!!! The Lord micromanages and He takes care of His children!!! ALL of them! So happy!
Another experience I had happened yesterday. I felt a warning from the spirit and was so glad I followed it. We swapped companions for the day (called exchanges) and so I was Sr. Comp and in charge of the area. We were going to teach a referral and hopefully add her as a new investigator and we were teaching in an apartment building, where we are currently teaching someone else, and we usually don't park in the complex because there is no guest parking. But our investigator told us that there were two spots that were OK to park in during the day, so I parked in one of them. The building we were teaching in was not in view of the car so I felt a little nervous leaving it there, but thought we probably wouldn't be too long and it'd be OK. So we had started getting to know this amazing girl and were about to teach her. We had been talking for maybe 5 or 10 minutes and I got this nervous feeling in my chest and saw in my mind me and Sister Davies walking out after the lesson to an empty parking spot and calling to say our car had been towed and having to pay hundreds of dollars. So I almost didn't say anything because I didn't want to be rude....but I asked her if she had a spot we could park in and she said yes. So I asked if we could just run and move it 'cause I was worried about our car being towed....she seemed a little like "wow all you are thinking about is the car..." but I ran to go move it and I ran around the corner and the lady who's spot it was had parked behind our car to block it in and she was getting out to call the tow truck!!! I was running and said, "Sorry are we in your way?!" She said quite irritated, "Yeah you're in my spot." I apologized and she let me move the car. OH MY GOOFY GUMMIES!!!! THANK YOU Heavenly Father!" Just a few minutes more or had I ignored that prompting our car would have been towed and would have ruined the whole day and we would have had to pay a lot of money to get it back. We were teaching Cashae for an hour....our car would have been long gone! I felt so much gratitude in my heart and thought, "Cool!!! I really do have the spirit with me!!!" ha ha...and it provided a great way to teach about the spirit! We added Cashae as a new investigator and our lesson with her was a sweet experience. She is the epitome of why I wanted to come on a mission....She is a young, single mom with a 4 and 1-year-old boy. Her dad, whom she was very close to, passed away 3 years ago. Her husband left her when she was 7 months pregnant. She does have one brother around but he is trying to get on his feet as well. She doesn't have a stable job and feels completely alone right now, and like she wants to give up but she knows she can't because she has to be strong for her boys.....WOW! How amazing it is that I get to teach her of the Savior's love, and help her have hope again in her life, and help her discover she is not and never will be alone!!! = ) Happy Heart! And her boys love us already and the 4-year-old blocked the door and told us we couldn't leave yesterday!!! Ha ha...melted my heart!!! I love this work!
I love and miss you all! Would love to hear from you more often!!!
Have a wonderful week and go start some miracles!!!
Sister Riggs