Hello Again Dear Family,
It has been another week here on this roller coaster of a lifetime....really...there are so many ups and downs and loopty loops in one day I sometimes wonder how I am still sane....but I truly stand all amazed at how the Lord sustains me through each day...and even among the heartache and the chaos, I can still feel peace and still trust and thank Heavenly Father for the growing experiences...
That was something I wanted to share with you all this week...it kind of hit me in a funny way but brought some insight into my life that I needed. In the past few weeks I have faced a lot of discouragement on all sides...just a few examples...one of our investigators...Jack, the pentecostal...decided to drop us...he is the one that had so many miracles happening and who set a date for Dec. 1st. He told his fellowshipper..not even us...that he was staying with his faith of choice. I tried to send him a little text and tried for a chance to talk with him and see how he came to this decision, but he never responded...it's been a couple of weeks and I haven't heard from him. This crushed me...I have been teaching this great man since I came on my mission and I poured a lot of my heart into him and he always told me how he thought of me as a little sister and loved me like one and that he just loved meeting and learning with us...and then nothing. It broke my heart and effected me for days but I knew without a doubt that the invitations and questions that I extended were 100% from the spirit...one of my most powerful promptings...why then? Why if it was going to lead to him changing his mind? I do not have all the answers but I do know his journey is not over. Heavenly Father is aware of him...and he knows more now than he did and I know he won't be able to just put it out of his mind...there was real growth there...and it was because of the spirit and the Book of Mormon. The seeds have been planted and someone someday will harvest them...I was sad it wasn't me...but I know I gave my best.
....To add to that, yesterday, I had to drive my trainee Sister Greathouse, to the airport. She decided...along with our inspired leaders and doctors, that it'd be best if she went home and worked out her health troubles that have been holding her back from being the kind of missionary she wants to be. Again, I was very heartbroken and had to immediately stop myself from thinking it was my fault or there was more I could have done....it was all internal...and I had to be strong, like her and realize that it was what was best. Being in a trio was hard and Sister Hudson and I knew it would be...but we loved so much through that hard work and Sister Greathouse became a part of us and watching her go was heartbreaking. The rest of the day Sister Hudson and I just kept moving our feet...but we had a hole in our heart and there just seemed to be something missing. She and I started the transfer together for a week...then added Sister Greathouse for 4 weeks, and now we will finish together for the last week of the transfer...then who knows what will happen! We have wondered what this was for, but I know I have grown much from these weeks and Sister Greathouse cried as she told us several times we were the best trainers she could have asked for and she knows we were an answer to her prayers and that Heavenly Father gave her us for a reason and she wouldn't have stayed as long as she did if it hadn't been for us. She is going home and working it all out and hoping to be back in 3 to 4 months. I thought back to when I had to watch Sister Kunz go home from the MTC and how hard that was and I thought, "Wow, I have had to watch 2 amazing Sisters go home for health reasons in the first 5 months of my mission." There are lessons I am learning from this....
I also am doing everything I can every day for my health...to keep my diabetes in control and thanks to a certain angel in my life ; ) I am getting stronger and stronger...but I have felt and seen that Satan is trying to stop me from becoming the Sister Riggs (and future Ralynne) I am striving with all my might to become...and he is throwing discouragement at me...because of new commitments I've made and added strength, I am coming off conqueror...but it doesn't mean it's easy!
SO...this brings me back to my insight I wanted to share....so I also am being treated by a chiropractor right now for some "serious issues" I have with...well mostly my neck....Pretty much looking at the x-rays...standing flat footed and straight, I am all curved to the side...good news is I have "beautiful discs, and a nice lumbar curve!" ; ) Put that on my resume...anyway...he has been working with my neck and really having to work on adjusting my atlas...the first time he did it I thought I might be dead...I asked, "Am I alive? Did you just break my neck?" And I have had to go often to be readjusted and slowly close in the gaps that are keeping me out of alignment. In the process, I have have been pretty sore and had headaches and had to ice my neck, etc...I was thinking, "Wow should I have started this because now I feel worse." I went in yesterday for another adjustment and when he moved it again it cracked and popped and resonated in my head so loud and he said, "WOW...there it went." I said with some discomfort, "Oww.....THANK you!" My companion busted up laughing and I just sat there in total relief....so don't worry mom...I'm totally fine = ) So...to apply that...I was messed up and didn't know because I couldn't see the x-ray....even when I could..I could see there was something wrong but I couldn't see the details and wouldn't know how to fix them. The doctor could and little by little he is re-aligning me and healing me....it has caused some pain and discomfort....but boy do I feel SO much better and SO different. I can walk comfortably and sleep peacefully and think more clearly....and I have been grateful for the pain that has lead me to relief and healing....are you making the connections yet? Sometimes we know there is something amiss in our lives, but we can't see every detail...we want to be fixed and we want to be fixed now! Our Master and Savior has our x-rays! He sees them clearly...He knows what experiences and trials we need to reach our fullest potential and become exactly in-line with His will for us...He works with us little by little with some pain here...and discomfort there that will bring us strength and relief as we keep returning to our master and letting Him heal us and work with us to become something marvelous...and we can say through those trials as we look back, "Ouch...yeah that one really hurt Heavenly Father...but Thank You....I can see the change...I can see why I needed that."
I know it might sound silly...but I learned a lot as the spirit taught me about what I had said. I want to learn to say, "Ouch...thank you" more often! I was struck by Joseph Smith's words in Doctrine and Covenants 127:2 Read it and see how well he says, "Ouch..thank you." He was a rock!
That was my profoundness I wanted to share with you ; ) I did have miracles this week and sang up a storm! I sang a in an octet and took the lead in it for the Mission President's fireside and everyone was blown away...I was so giddy! Singing with 7 other talented singers in such tight harmony! We sang a traditional spiritual called "Precious Lord" and the arranger was there. I coached everyone on it and taught them some Voices of Liberty techniques and it was so fun! I miss that stuff so much and President and Sister Clayton were beaming after! I was asked by a songwriter to come back after my mission and record...so that was cool! I also sang at our Ward's Veteran's Day Fireside. They remained standing after the National Anthem and I sang accapella, "God Bless America." I also sang "He Hears Me," and in a quartet of an arrangement of "How Can I Keep From Singing" and "Amazing Grace." I loved all the chances to sing! They all came at once!
I also was asked to sing with Tony at his baptism! Tony was baptized Saturday and we sang a song of his choice...a gospel song, "Sanctuary." I have never seen Tony so happy! His countenance just beems with the Light of Christ now that he is living the Word of Wisdom and has been baptized and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a happy day!!! No greater joy...sinceriously!
Oh I had another miracle, taught a new investigator and he shared a bit of hurt from his past and didn't seem to think he could truly be forgiven...I felt prompted to invite him to be baptized and testify of the Atonement. I was so scared...THE FIRST LESSON???! But as I trusted and followed the spirit burned within my heart and I invited him and he set a date for January 19th! Too cool!!!
I love it!!
I love and miss you all and hope you are doing well!
Until Next Week!