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!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Run-in with Sister Riggs

Our family was in San Diego last weekend for my brother's wedding and we made what we thought would be a quick stop by the Mormon Battalion to drop a package off for our favorite Sister Missionary! We were surprised to find out she was actually there! Her companion, who gave us our tour when we went last fall, spotted us outside and said "Oh my goodness, she is gonna freak!" I was like, "What?! She's actually here!" to which she responded, "Well, I am her companion, so where else would she be?!" I immediately started crying and she went back to grab Sister Riggs, who was sick that day so she was kind of just hanging low in the back. When she came out front and found us there she was just as shocked as we were! We hugged, laughed, cried, and my girls were so excited to see her. Even though she was a little under the weather, she agreed to give us a private tour so we could see her in action! During the tour a few extra people popped in...Mom, Dad and another sister joined the private tour, who were there to meet the famous Sister Day (who is taking care of our sister while she's at the Battalion). It was a fun surprise and we enjoyed spending a little time with Sister Riggs and hearing her testimony. She just glows and has such a powerful spirit about her. We could see just how happy she is to be serving the Lord and we know she will continue to bless the lives of those people she meets in San Diego! Here are a few pictures from our short time with Sister Riggs, and a video of her famous country version of the Mormon Battalion song! (Even with her "sick" voice it sounded amazing!) We LOVE our Sister Missionary!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Heavenly Father Doesn't Miss the Details! (Letter on 4/23/13)

Dear Family and Friends,

Well it has been an eventful week with being quite sick with a virus, adding 3 investigators, and being all set and ready to go for a baptism that sadly didn't happen, and the miracles of the YSA Mission President's Fireside!...I am exhausted! ; ) I also feel pretty drowsy from my Dimetapp ha ha...I'll do my best with this letter!

So with the baptism...we were all set and ready to go for Casmier's baptism at 5pm Saturday. Sister Rasmussen and I were there filling the font and setting up chairs, practicing our musical number and then we got a call from our member who was suppose to pick Casmier up saying he wasn't there! We then saw we had missed phone calls from our Bishop and Ward Mission Leader and a text saying the baptism was cancelled for the day....we were speechless and so confused...Casmier was with a bunch of members from our ward (who were participating in the baptismal program) on a hike that was about 2 hours away. They had left at 7:30 in the morning, promised they'd be back for a BBQ at 1pm and he'd be back for his baptism...here it was, 4:30, and they hadn't even left yet....apparently, a senior couple that went got pretty sick with heat stroke while on the hike and also, our investigator really struggled with the hike....so coming back they had to stop every 30 minutes to take a break. They didn't even leave until 5 or 5:30 and his baptism was at 5. I was totally on board with doing it at 7pm or Sunday morning before church, but working out details with our Ward Mission Leader and Bishop proved to be more difficult than expected and it all just fell through for the whole weekend. We were all shocked and disappointed in those we trusted with him, and couldn't believe such a silly and preventable thing interfered. I felt so awful for Casmier, and he was pretty bummed out about it. Luckily he is the tenderest, most humble human being I know and he didn't let it all change his desires. Casmier is still super excited to be baptized, he has lots of friends now, and we are just trying to get it scheduled for Friday this week. It's all been pretty frustrating but nevertheless! There will be a baptism and the gospel is still true! = )

We added 3 new investigators this week and they are quite the miracles! They have all been prepared by the Lord and it's astonishing. Laurel, was a girl we added and were teaching back in January who dropped us. At the time she was pretty much only wanting to talk about God and didn't want to hear about Jesus Christ. I think we got a little too personal and spiritual for her at the time and she didn't want us to come anymore and told the Elders she hated girls ha ha..she pretty much gets along best with guys....well she texted us out of the blue and said she wanted to meet...we were shocked and asked if it was an accident! We were astonished when she said she had watched all four sessions of general conference by her own choosing and decided she would be dumb not to call us. She said she wants peace and calm in her life and to be able to make sense of everything that doesn't. She said she was ready to listen to us now and let us do our "normal missionary thing." What?! Crazy! Our other investigator we added is Johnny. He is a young man from Sweden who pretty much is addicted to being around Mormons! He has 12 best buddies who are Mormon and serving missions. He's been to institute before and loves being around our clean, wholesome fun, and loves how happy they always are and the way they take life. He wants to be involved in all of the activities and go to institute class and learn from us! He says the only reason he hasn't ever been baptized is because he hasn't felt and doesn't know for himself that this is all real. What?! Miracles! The Book of Mormon can help with that! And Sarabeth was a referral we received. She has a boyfriend who is a member of the church and he wasn't answering her questions the way she was wanting him to, so she decided to go straight to the source and get in touch with us!... And just after hearing the Restoration she said, "I already feel like this is true." It's amazing! We are now teaching 8 solid people who have a real desire to learn more, when just over a month ago, we only had 2 and even 1 person who wanted to learn more. We are being blessed! 

I went on exchanges last week to the Black Mountain Branch with Sister Pagel, and it was a funny day trying to street contact in a neighborhood...I don't think we can street contact in the same way Elders can sometimes...saw an old lady doing yard work and laying grass and we asked if we could help and she said no....kept walking and saw a lady washing her car and asked if we would help...she said no....saw a man weatherproofing his fence and asked if he had another brush we could grab to help him get done faster...he said no....ha ha...it was pretty discouraging...but then we had a funny moment...we were walking back towards the church and I saw a young man and woman walking and I said, "Let's try to catch up to them...walk fast I don't want to creep them out by running!" We caught up and they were crossing the street and looked back at us kind of weird and I said, "HI! Can we ask you a question?!" I didn't have any specific question in mind but they stopped! Ha..we talked and found out they were actually 30 and the girl had been to the church before and loved it and had a cousin who was Mormon! They were open to coming again and we found to potential investigators! That was neat! Never give up!!! Ha ha...We also had a pretty neat lesson with a less-active member, Angel. He had been questioning if this was all true or not and wanted to start over...so we started with the Restoration. Sister Pagel had him read Joesph Smith's words from the first vision and when he finished he said, "Wow! That's amazing!" I asked, "What's amazing?" He said, "I feel really happy right now and I don't know why..but it's amazing!" I bore my testimony that it was the spirit bearing witness to him that this was true and really happened...he then smiled even bigger and said, "I just realized I got an answer to my prayer yesterday...I didn't know then but I know now!" He was so happy, and I was so happy for him! I love the happiness this gospel brings!

So, as I mentioned, I got really sick last week...I have made it 10 months without getting sick! Sad to ruin my streak! My district leader and 3 others Elders gave me a Priesthood Blessing...I knew I needed one if I wanted to have a voice to sing at Casmier's baptism and the special YSA Mission President's Fireside. Elder Sims' gave a beautiful blessing through the power of God and promised that through my faith I would have my voice to be able to perform the duties I had been asked to. He also said Heavenly Father was happy I was turning to the Priesthood for help and that he was pleased with the work I have been doing here in the mission field....I love the Priesthood and am so thankful for Heavenly Father trusting us with His power and letting us be able to benefit from it . I did what I could to "take it easy" but you pretty much can't rest as a missionary and rest and vitamin C was the only advice the Doctor had to give...come Saturday I was carrying a box of Kleenex with me and making my companion gag as I tried to cough up the congestion....at the fireside practice I just had the mic up really loud and tuned in to my "breathy singing skills" and it sounded OK....I was able to sing at least! I had faith I would be able to sing. The true miracles happened Sunday....first of all...it was a miracle that I found this music to this song that I heard about a year and a half ago. I loved it so much and thought, "I just have to find this music." While looking for another I had in mind to sing for this fireside, I found it...and I almost cried with happiness. I knew it was the one to sing. There was also a Cello part written for it....remember the random door I knocked on because I heard a cello playing? Yeah...I went back and took the music with me and invited her to come and to play for me! She seemed iffy about it but said she would take a look at the music and check her schedule...I was all ready for miracles to happen!!! But she later said she couldn't come...aww nuts...BUT I did get in touch with an amazing member who plays the Viola beautifully...he jumped at the opportunity! At the practice, we performed the piece for the director and she cried through the whole thing and afterward said, "There are no words." SO...come Sunday, I arrived to do a run through before the fireside and found my accompanist (who was accompanying the whole fireside) was very sick and actually throwing up! We were trying to find someone who could play for a good 20 minutes...another Sister who reads music well took over the choir stuff...Elder Wallentine came around the corner and said, "Let's do a run through." As sick as he was he wanted to try to play for me. We did a practice and it went smoothly...we had a prayer and I prayed with all my heart that he would be sustained and able to play, that my voice would be able to sing, and that through the talents God had given us, we would be able to add our testimonies of the Atonement, to the beautiful words and melody of this song and bring glory and honor to our Savior, Jesus Christ. I was the last number on the program. I stood and sang and was so focused on bearing testimony...my voice wasn't flawless, but one sister said she completely forgot I was even sick...I was able to sing...there was a big part that I heard the piano mess up and I kept singing and just had a prayer in my heart for  Elder Wallentine...figuring he was feeling sick....the song was beautiful and the spirit was so thick in the room. It was so quiet...President Clayton stood to speak and said, "I feel I don't even want to speak...but just bask in the spirit that is here..." Afterwards, the missionaries told me what was happening behind my back as I sang...Elder Wallentine didn't have the last page of music...he was playing the whole time and freaking out asking where it was and praying through the 2nd to last page that he'd find it....when he was on the LAST measure of the page that he had, someone set the last page of music on the stand and he was able to finish the song....it had fallen under the piano!!! Holy cow I am so glad I didn't know that was happening! MIRACLE!!! But....even greater was later that night as I was getting ready for bed I got a text from one of the other sister missionaries telling me about a miracle that happened with one of her investigators. She said that Paula, was someone she had taught for several months back in her old area and that they she had been taught and taught and kept all their commitments and came to church, but that she would always say, "I have felt things in other churches but I just don't feel anything here. I don't feel when I read, I don't feel when I pray." Eventually they stopped teaching her and just kept in touch once in a while. Well, they invited her to the fireside and they told me that afterwards, Paula came up to them with tears in her eyes. She is in the military...and doesn't show emotion and they had never seen her like that. They asked if she was OK. She just looked at the, and the sister said, "You felt it in your heart didn't you?" She cried and said yes and said, "That girl who sang the last song...her voice was so beautiful...and I felt...you can call me any time...I would love to meet again." Sister Madsen told me that my voice and my testimony I bore through that song converted Paula's heart! Although I know it was not me, but the power of the spirit, I was so thankful so know I had been an instrument in the Lord's hands for Paula that night...who knows what other stories there might be...but I know why Heavenly Father was working so many miracles...with my voice, with Elder Wallentine's health, with finding the last page of music in the nick of time...but most importantly...the miracle taking place in the heart of one of His daughters. Heavenly Father is a busy Father....but He sure doesn't miss any details!!! I wanted to e-mail the sound file from the recording of the song, but it is too large to send...I will try to figure out how to compress it...I mean...I will find someone who knows how to compress it so I can e-mail it to you = ) But here are the words, I hope they strengthen you like they have strengthened me:

Walk With Me:

There's a quiet place inside my heart, a place that no one sees.
Where all my battles won and lost, are known to only Thee.
A Sanctuary in my soul, where I can hear you speak, 
and give me strength to fight again, when I am tired and weak.
You've placed my burdens on your back, engraved my pain upon your hands, 
So I will bear this cross for Thee, if you will walk with me.

You tell me of the pain you bore, and know what I can bear, 
that you have walked this road before, and you will meet me there.
So for you who drank the bitter cup, I'll take my own and drink it up, 
if it will make me more like Thee, but Savior, walk with me.

If this thorn I carry in my flesh, like those that pierced your sinless head,
Can sanctify my heart for Thee, I'll bear it willingly
If you will walk with me,
Oh Savior, walk with me.

He truly does walk at our side through everything. Take the time to notice Him and feel Him there with you. I love my Savior and am thankful for the opportunity I have to testify of Him and help others come unto Him. There's no place I'd rather be!

Love You,
Sister Riggs

Sister Elle Woods! Would you like to learn the gospel? = ) That's for you mom!
Me with Sister Rasmussen and Sister Silva at the Mormon Battalion
This amazing artist just sitting at the corner painting the Battalion and doing an amazing job!

Monday, April 22, 2013

I Love the Spirit! (Letter on 4/16/13)

Dear Family and Friends,

    This week has been another great week serving the Lord! I LOVE the miracles I get to be a part of!  I LOVE seeing the way the Lord blesses us in big ways and small ways. I LOVE seeing others come unto Christ and feel of His love. I LOVE the powerful spirit we feel as full-time missionaries called by God and how much I get to learn through the Spirit as He helps qualify me for the work I must do. I LOVE helping others and seeing them receive answers to prayers that this is all true! I LOVE defending and testifying of Jesus Christ and His gospel every day! I could go on and on! There really is nothing greater than serving the Lord and when I pause to think about it, my heart swells with gratitude that I have the opportunity to be here. Thank you for your love, your prayers, your service, and your sacrifices to help me be here...not only for me personally, but for my family as well.

    I had a couple amazing experiences this week I would love to share. We had what we call "Mission Tour" this last week, which is when a member of the Seventy comes to instruct and train us. We were honored to be in the presence of Elder Whiting...he gave the "Temple Standard" talk in October Conference last year about the little things that were amiss before the dedication that they completely redid? Remember? Well...it was one of the BEST days of my mission ever! I just want to live in those moments forever and never leave! That truly must be what it is like to be taught by the Savior. I learned so much from him, his wife, and President and Sister Clayton. I am so lucky to have such amazing leaders with so much love and such strong testimonies. Elder Whiting addressed some questions we had and taught powerfully. When clearing up how we teach our investigators about the importance of the proper Priesthood Authority, he called an Elder up and asked, "Have you ever been to Hawaii? Would you like to go?" Now, Elder Whiting actually lived there so it was a valid question..he may have connections! The Elder of course said, "Well I can't say no to that!!" Elder Whiting continued to write on a piece of paper as he said, "OK...one round trip ticket to Hawaii....leaving on (such and such date). How do you spell your name Elder?...OK...here is my signature at the bottom...Have a great trip! Let me know how you liked it!" The Elder looked at him like, "You must be kidding." He tried to hand him the slip of paper and he wouldn't take it. Elder Whiting asked, "What's wrong?" He said, "That won't work." Elder Whiting: "But I signed it at the bottom...I'm sure you could get a ticket." ...you see the point...you must have the proper authority...you must have a ticket from the actual airline to be able to fly anywhere....they have the authority for that. Same goes for the Priesthood and receiving ordinances like Baptism...we have the proper authority given from God! It has been restored and it has been restored in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints through a living prophet of God! I thought that was pretty neat. 

      Also, at one point he talked to us a lot about miracles and how we know faith proceeds the miracle, but what proceeds faith? ...Obedience...what proceeds obedience? He mentioned Nephi and how we know him for his courage, his faith, and his obedience. Then he asked, "What was the difference between Nephi and brothers Laman and Lemuel?" I was the only one who raised my hand and I was just expecting to give a one word answer...he called on me and I said, "Desire." He said, "Desire. Well, stand up. Explain yourself." (SHOCK and FEAR!!! ha ha) I stood and you know I am not even sure what I said...but it went something like this: "Nephi desired to know the mysteries of God. He desired to know if the things his father Lehi saw were true and that great desire lead him to his knees. And because of his faith God was able to show him all the things he wanted to know and he performed mighty miracles. Laman and Lemuel desired nothing...they only desired to stay where they were comfortable in Jerusalem with all of their riches and precious things. They didn't care to know if anything their father, the prophet, said was true. They just whined and complained and wanted everything to be easy and handed to them..." it was something to that affect...I seriously can't remember because I am pretty sure the words weren't mine... and his response to me was very unexpected...he paused and said, "Sister Riggs, I felt the power of the Holy Ghost testify through your words as you taught me that just now....thank you for that...you can take a seat." ...and then he moved on....Oh my goofy gummies I almost passed out...I sat down and Sister Rasmussen whispered, "NICE!" I noticed how much my heart was racing and I tried to pick up my pen to write a note and couldn't even grip it! My hand was shaking so much!!! It was so cool!!! Some of the missionaries were passing me later saying, "Sister Riggs! You made a general authority feel the spirit!" ha ha...I don't think I will ever raise my hand in a big meeting like that again! Ha ha...I'm just glad the Holy Ghost inspired my answer!!! Pretty neat experience! He taught many more wonderful things and bore a powerful testimony that brought tears to my eyes as he testified of Heavenly Father's love for us, to allow His Only Begotten Son to be sent to the earth and treated as He was...so WE could return to live with Him again someday. He bore witness that if we developed the faith to bring us power to match our authority we have been given as missionaries, that we would be able to be in the presence of Deity daily. He asked if when we get ready in the morning and do all we do throughout the day is routine or sacred? Truly everything we do as servants of the Lord is sacred. He asked us what we really desire. Everything else stripped away...what do we REALLY desire? He talked about how the Lord loves us all but that He has favorites...even Nephi was "highly favored by the Lord." When we are righteous, we are highly favored. That includes the description in Doctrine and Covenants 4:5-6 "And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work. Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence." I decided I desire to be Heavenly Father's Favorite!! I mean come on! Who doesn't want to be the favorite child?! ; ) It reminded me of the words to a song I recorded that says, "After all you've done, the least that I can do, is live my life in every part only to please my Father's heart." So that's what I'm gonna work on!...becoming His favorite...although I think I already must be pretty up there because I got sent to the best mission in the world! = ) "And many more things did he say unto us...but behold...I cannot write them all." = )

    I will share a neat experience we had with our investigator Jackie. We met with her for the first time in a couple of weeks since spring break and her business with starting school and a job and everything. She was saying she had been reading and is in 2 Nephi now and that she was confused because she feels like the more she is learning the more she is doubting. She said she felt like she hadn't received her answer yet and was just confused....as we talked and answered some questions, Alma 32:28 came to mind. So we turned there and I had her read the verse....as we were reading through the thought, "You should have her read it again and insert 'faith' where the word 'seed' is"...as I was thinking that in my mind and playing it out it made sense and I thought, "Yeah, that'd be cool!" So I gave her instructions to do so...it was kind of funny because it didn't really flow like it had when I imagined it in my head and didn't seem to be going very well. "Now, we will compare the word unto a 'faith'. Now, if ye give place, that a 'faith' may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true faith, or a good faith"....ha she even stopped and said,"Ok that's kind of weird, I am just going to say faith and take the 'A's' out ha..." And I was thinking, "Oh man why did I do that I totally just ruined the verse and now she is confused." She finished the verse and immediately looked up from her Book of Mormon and said, "Oh my gosh my chest is totally burning right now!" She put her hand to her chest and was a little freaked out and kept looking back and forth between us and her sister and she couldn't believe it...we didn't say anything...just let her feel it...and she began to cry. "... if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts;..." Literally, right before our eyes, that scripture was fulfilled!! She stopped and with tears in her eyes said, "I think this is my answer! I know this is true! I want to be baptized!" MIRACLE!!! Ha ha...I couldn't believe what just happened, but the spirit knew exactly what she needed. I know the thought to insert "faith" was not my own and it was such a sweet experience to be with her as she discovered the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon! Does it get any better?! No way! = )

    I just wanted to share one thought from my personal study this week. I fell in love with Romans 8:31-32, 38-39
Verse 31: If God be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?"
I just felt in my heart as I read this...why would I ever doubt or distrust God would give me many great blessings and the righteous blessings I desire when He loved me enough to give even His Only Begotten Son? He really does love me and would never hold anything back from me....it is only me that would hold myself back from receiving His blessings through the choices I make. Then in his closing verses:
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
No matter what we do...God and Jesus Christ will ALWAYS love us. While wrong choices and rebellion may sever us from Him...nothing can put a stop to them loving us. How comforting a thought...and how wonderful to remember when Satan tries to make us feel the exact opposite. I love the scriptures! = )

I hope you all have a very blessed and happy week! I love and miss you all with all of my heart!

Sister Riggs

Monday, April 15, 2013

A Prophet Spoke! Did you Hear?

Dear Loved One's, 

Merry Conference and Happy April! Ha ha...I just LOVE general conference! I would like to submit that it is better than Christmas! God spoke through His prophet this weekend! How amazing? Remember how the early saints traveled miles and miles and gave everything they had to be able to come and listen to a prophet's voice? Now, we can pull him up on our hand held devices in a second! How blessed we are! I loved conference and all of its messages of hope and happiness, it's warnings, and especially, how much they talked about the family. I know often times we take questions we have to conference with a prayer in our hearts that they will be answered or we will receive guidance as to what we can do. I did that this conference and felt the Lord's love as many of the talks contributed to the answers I was seeking. They are truly inspired and truly called of God and I am so thankful to know the Lord love's us so much. Ha, funny moment was Sunday morning session...we were watching at our Stake Center with the other missionaries from our zone, and during Elder Whitney Clayton's talk about how to have a successful marriage...all the missionaries were scribbling away on their note pads...including me! Afterward everyone said that was the best talk ever and the one they took the most notes on. I laughed and said, "ugh-oh...trunky!" It is just so funny to hear the Elders talk about how much they want to get married...I never would have guessed! I am understanding why missionaries come home and just want to get married! Ha ha....there's a quote I read that says, "Missionary: someone who leaves their family for a time, so other families can be together forever." It's so true! ...and while serving and helping these families...we just get so excited to have one of our own! Ha ha...I am not going to lie...after conference I turned to Sister Rasmussen and said, "I'm just so excited to get married!! I love everything they said today and I just want to be able to practice it!" Ha ha...I must have been under conference euphoria ...what crazy talk ; ) Anyway...what a powerful spirit felt throughout this whole weekend. The conference issue of the Ensign can't come fast enough!

Speaking of being a good companion...ha ha...I had a neat experience this week. I have been studying in Alma during personal study, and something really stood out to me that hadn't before. While reading about Alma and Amulek, I caught hold of these verses..Alma10: 4: 

And behold, I am also a man of no small reputation among all those who know me; yea, and behold, I have many kindreds and friends, and I have also acquired much riches by the hand of my industry. 

So this is who Amulek was before he decided to give it all up to go and serve the Lord. Do you think that was easy? Well, we learn that it wasn't later in Alma 15:16:  
And it came to pass that Alma and Amulek, Amulek having forsaken all his gold, and silver, and his precious things, which were in the land of Ammonihah, for the word of God, he being rejected by those who were once his friends and also by his fatherand his kindred;
18 Now as I said, Alma having seen all these things, therefore he took Amulek and came over to the land of Zarahemla, and took him to his own house, and did administer unto him in his tribulations, and strengthened him in the Lord.

As I read that I thought, "Wow, the support of a loving and understanding companion." For some reason that really touched my heart...maybe because of the experiences I have had on my mission from loving companions who have strengthened me...maybe also because I felt I could relate to Amulek a little as far as what he gave up to serve the Lord...well later that day my Zone Leaders asked me to give the spiritual thought in Zone Meeting...I really didn't want to but they told me not to deny the inspired call...ha ha...and as I tried to think of what I would share, these scriptures were literally the only thing I could think of. I tried to think of a thought about the Atonement or Resurrection since we had just had Easter...but that was it...so I thought, "Ok, Heavenly Father I am going with this, please let it be what needs to be heard." I'd like to share the few other thoughts I added, but go ahead and put yourself in it because it applies to everyone...we as missionaries have a lot of hard days. Missionary work definitely isn't easy, especially when you are fighting a battle against Satan every day! We need a lot of comfort! Our companions can be the greatest tool for that. When we have a loving companion, it makes all the difference for us. Alma understood where Amulek was coming from, what he had been through, and the righteous desires he had, and Alma took the time to administer to and strengthen him. Oh how grateful Amulek must have been for that. We have the opportunity to do that for those we are around...remember the talk in conference about being accepted by those we love?? Totally true! Then I went to Doctrine and Covenants 84:88:
And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
I asked them to share who they felt their angels were...some said literal angels, some said family, those we teach, ward members....then from our white handbook I shared: "When you have questions or concerns your first source of help is your Father in Heaven. ...Your companion, district leader, and zone leaders are your next sources of help...For special needs...or confidential matters, talk with your mission president." I pointed out how right there...already we have a circle, a handful of angels round about us to bear us up. We are known by the Lord, and as we support one another, and strengthen and comfort one another we then can become powerful and rise to who the Lord needs us to become...we will astonish! Just like Alma and Amulek did Alma 10:12:
And now, when Amulek had spoken these words the people began to be astonished, seeing there was more than one witness who testified of the things whereof they were accused, and also of the things which were to come, according to the spirit of prophecy which was in them.

I know that if we will comfort one another, we will truly be able to bear our burdens and lift other's burdens....and miracles will happen not only in our companion-ships, but in our work. 
I didn't really know why that was all that came to mind...but then, later in our instruction from the Zone Leaders, we talked about the importance of companionship inventory and how throughout the mission, companionship relationships are struggling.....I felt a hug from Heavenly Father, and felt grateful His spirit had taught me and lead me to say, "not knowing beforehand" why...what needed to be said. That is where I get my high as a missionary!!! Not knowing why I am doing something other than I feel like it's what needs to happen, and then having the Lord confirm and show me that it was because He was using me as His instrument! Oh my goofy gummies! It is just the best!

I don't know why I felt to share that with you all...but I hope it touched your hearts = ) We can be that for everyone around us, we all have companions (family/friend) to help! 

I just want to share one quick experience that happened last week that was amazing...I was on exchanges with Sister Miller, and we went about our plans. There were a lot of miracles along the way...but at the end of the night, we were in a lesson with Raquel, our Jewish investigator we have been teaching who wants to get baptized but won't set a date because she is afraid to tell her parents. We had 2 members come, one who we invited because her story was similar and she wanted to share it with her, and another who actually saw us teaching and wanted to join. I sat back as the lesson went on and we talked with her about the testimony she had gained and her desire to be baptized, how right and important it is, and how to overcome her fears...I was in awe as our members testified...they both had things that Raquel needed to hear and it was their personal experiences that she related to and that were most powerful. I literally was just enjoying it all thinking, "Wow...let's just let them teach! It's perfect!" The spirit was there in abundance and Raquel cried through it all. As I testified in the end...the words started to flow and I related how scary it was for me to make the decision to come on a mission....how I worried the reputation I had built with Disney would be ruined and how I took that step of faith and turned down the contract and decided to serve....then how even after showing my faith, a bump in the road came...and I had to strive and sacrifice and toil with my health to be able to receive my mission call...even after I knew it was right and I had taken that step of faith...I had to keep enduring and keep trusting. Tears came to my eyes of how clearly I saw the Lord working miracle sin my life to bless my faith...that it wasn't easy....but He never let me down. I firmly testified that He too, would never forsake her or let her down. Sister Miller immediately bore testimony that the spirit was there because all that was going through her head was, "Tell her I won't forsake her...Tell her I won't forsake her..." She told me after in the car that the Spirit was our 3rd companion in that lesson. It was so humbling...and an experience I will never forget. She still hasn't told her parents or set a date...but I know when she chooses to fully trust in the Lord, she will see that He always keeps His promises!

I love you all so very much! This is the greatest! Don't think you can't have these experiences too! Just stop and listen for that still small voice...he will lead you to your friends and classmates and associates who are ready to hear the gospel! And YOU will be an instrument in His hands! 

Go and Do!!!!!

All my love,

Sister Riggs