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!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

This Just In....Transfers!

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, it's come again already...transfer phone calls! I was certain we would not get one and that Sister Rasmussen and I would have one more transfer together in La Jolla before either of us changed...whelp, I was wrong. I am happy to say that I am staying in La Jolla but sad to say that "R-squared" is no more = (. Sister Rasmussen is being transferred and I am getting a new companion. I am thankful for the time I have had with Sister Rasmussen and for the friendship we have built and the great team we have become. Many have made comments to us about how well we work together and how much you can tell we get a long and love each other. It's true. She has been a great example to me of faith and trust in the Lord and trusting in what we know. Any time I doubted or questioned myself or my testimony because someone else questioned it or didn't believe, she was right there to say, "You did your best and your shared your testimony, and just because they didn't accept it doesn't mean it's not true...it just means they are not ready." She is resilient and never lets anything shake her faith and bears more burdens silently and more willingly than I think I have ever seen. She loves me for who I am and was always "go with the flow/it's not a big deal” and balanced my perfectionism out perfectly. = ) I love her to pieces and we have had so many laughs together and have seen a lot of miracles. I will find out tomorrow who my new companion is...through process of elimination I know it will either be Sister Davies (who has been out full-pros. like I was and is coming back to the Battalion), or Sister Miller (who is our training Sister here...ha ha...she'd be the 3rd training sister I would serve with....maybe this means I am going to marry someone who is going to be a leader in the church...I am getting good "supporter training" right now, ha ha). They are two INCREDIBLE Nephi-like missionaries that I actually entered the field with. It will be a blessing to be paired with either one of them! I will let you know next week!

 So...although our baptism getting cancelled last week was a bummer...it all came together this week and was SO BEAUTIFUL! One of the most special one's I have been a part of yet on my mission. We had the baptism on Friday for our investigator, Casmier May. So many people from the ward came to support and it was amazing. We had to keep setting up chairs! The spirit was so strong. He is one of the most humble and willing human beings I have ever met. He is just a giant teddy bear and the ward really loves him. As I was leading the opening song, I looked at him and his face was just glowing. You could tell he was pondering the words of the hymn and he was excited to be baptized. Sister Rasmussen and I actually feared it'd be our last chance to sing together at a baptism we had, so we sang a duet of "I Feel My Savior's Love." The spirit it brought to the room was very sweet and love was definitely felt in the room. After he was baptized, Casmier and Ricky (the one who baptized him) gave each other a great big hug and I just felt like squealing because of the feeling of joy! Watching Casmier come back into the room after he changed was probably the greatest sight in the whole world! Ha ha...he was almost bouncing as he opened the door and his smile couldn't have been any bigger! He pretty much pranced to his seat and there was quiet laughter that spread through the room as everyone saw his joy! This baptism was a miracle. Finding Casmier was a miracle and a tender mercy from the Lord. I don't know if you remember, but we were teaching 5 men from Ghana for about 3 months and finally made the decision to move on. I was heartbroken and shed many tears because I loved them all so much and couldn't understand why they wouldn't accept our message, or even try. As we went to sing a song for them and bear our testimonies one more time, we met Casmier in the parking lot. At his baptism he shared his testimony and we found out more to the story we had never known! It brought tears to my eyes to learn the whole story and see how much Heavenly Father loves each of His children! I want to share what he shared at his baptism. He has a lot of social anxiety and fear of public speaking, so he typed out his testimony on his phone and read it at his baptism. I was blown away and asked him to send it to me so I could always remember this miracle I got to be a part of. These are his words:

 "I'm so grateful for everyone coming out to show their support and for the chance to make a covenant with our Heavenly Father tonight. I was raised Jehovah’s Witness but was never really there in spirit. At a young age, my mother fell ill and that led me to falling out of religion, but I always felt there was someone up above. Being selfish and worldly I never committed to any other religion. Fast forward to last month, I had been thinking a lot about God and how I wasn't happy with how far I've gotten myself. It was then that my neighbor and I discussed philosophy and religion and decided to look at the stars just outside, that by greater than chance I met with Sister Riggs and Sister Rasmussen who had a giant guitar case and were meeting with someone in my community. I asked right away what kind of instrument it was?! We then talked about what we all were doing, the sisters being missionaries and me, just star gazing. They invited me to come to church. Coming here and learning I felt something I had been missing for a good portion of my life... peace, love, and good influence. I know the teachings I learn are true and that we have a living prophet, who is God's mouthpiece for our generation, and that this church is here to better me and give me happiness. I believe we are all children of God and that it takes a village to raise a child and this church is my village. In Jesus Christ name, Amen." 

WOW!!!! Can you believe that?! We had no idea the whole back story. It is so amazing how the Lord knows the details of our lives and how if we are willing servants and just go about doing good, He will put us in the right place at the right time and He'll place the right people in our path! Not only that, but the Lord healed our hearts that night by showing us our work there for 3 months with the Ghanaians was not in vain, and blessed us with someone who was searching and prepared...AND, he healed Casmier's heart by helping him find what he was looking for and what he needed the most...the everlasting gospel in its fullness! I love how Heavenly Father shows us His love! I have attached a picture of Casmier on his baptism day = ) So happy! 

We had an interesting experience doing a booth on UCSD Campus. We set up a booth along their library walk where they have all of the social things going on throughout the day and other booths for the school set up. We are starting to do this and trade off with some other Sisters in efforts to find new people. Whelp...not many people talked to us. I tried standing in the walkway with Mormon.org cards and tried to say hi and ask people if they ever wanted to ask a Mormon anything...that didn't work...but, a couple did come up to our table and asked for a Restoration DVD and a Book of Mormon. I met a young man from Louisiana named Adnan, and he had a sincere desire to read The Book of Mormon and see what it was all about. I am excited to follow-up with him! It was really weird being on a college campus though. There was a band and stage set up and they were playing and singing Armenian music, there was a Chinese booth right next to us, there were t-shirts hanging up on trees that were in defense of rape, people selling churros, and right next to us was a sorority booth raising money for their carnival....I really didn't like it...I felt like I was in the middle of Babylon!! Loud music, immodest clothing, language, inappropriate PDA or even just inappropriate DA at all!!! Sheesh! It made me so thankful for my BYU experience and for the gospel. We felt so sad to see so many people living their lives without the knowledge of the gospel and thinking they were totally happy....but that's why we were there! My idea for the booth next time was to do the music thing and ask "Has a song ever changed your life?" Could you imagine the difference they would feel if they were on that walk and heard "I Believe in Christ" or "I Am a Child of God?" They may not stop but they would surely feel a peace they weren't use to! We'll see what happens = ) It is proving to help us find though...we met a man from China, named Bin, and he wants to learn more. He is an honest seeker of truth. His set back is that he is super smart and philosophical and appreciates proof for convincing. We taught him the Restoration and he wanted to know how we knew the story is true...so he is now reading The Book of Mormon and praying to know = ). There is another young man we will be meeting this week who is from Taiwan and he is searching for truth and feels like the church can help him find it. He has a Book of Mormon and asked us what we wanted him to read before we came!!! You're kidding! We may have another David Yang on our hands!!! I am so excited to teach him!!!

We had a huge service project this weekend with the Mormon Helping Hands...we were assigned to re-paint the Fiesta Island Youth Aquatic Center! It was so much fun! I was making jokes about it felt just like a movie...you know, where we were at summer camp and we decided that our camp really wasn't all that bad and it just needed a new look and if we all worked together we could make it the best camp ever!!! Then a cheesy song is playing in the background as we paint and work and throw paint at each other, ha ha! ...It was a blast and it was even more fun to be there serving with our recent converts and see what a community the church has and how we love to serve! We posed for some pictures for church news so look out for us! = )

Well, onward and upward! I hope you are all happy and well and loving spring!!! I can't believe tomorrow is May! My year mark is coming way too fast! I love you all with all of my heart! Don't forget about me! Keep the letters coming! They are my boosts!

All my love,
Sister Riggs

Our booth we set up

We are pretty spoiled here in San Diego...a purple car just for me!!! = )
One of the Sisters has a pretty blue dress she let me borrow for the day...so I did a photo shoot = ) All the little girls that came in were calling me princess! Too bad the dress isn't mine!