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, May 13, 2013

Who's my new companion???!!!! (Letter on 5/7)

Dear Family and Friends,

Well are you dying to know who my new companion is? You should be! She is AMAZING! Drum roll please.........it's Sister Miller! I am companions with another amazing Training Sister! I really cannot begin to even tell you how much I have already learned from her, the amazing miracles we have had in just 5 days, and how much I love her. This is gonna be an AMAZING 6 weeks (I'm praying for 12) and LaJolla better look out...they are already astonished! = ) Sister Miller is 22, the middle child of 3 kids, and from Lindon, Utah. She totally competed in the Little Miss Lindon pageant (yeah...we did pageants = ), she danced on the Vilociti team for 3 years (contemporary/ hip-hop), she has the sweetest voice and plays the guitar, and pretty much she and I have THE SAME brain!!! We have already said the exact same thing at the exact same time and had those conversations that consist of:
"Do you..."
"aw huh..."
"OK great."
Ha ha! She is exactly an answer to my prayers and what I need in my mission right now. She has been someone I have looked up to and admired my entire mission and I am thankful for the opportunity that I have to learn and serve at her side. She has so many qualities I want to learn and pick up. Sister Miller and I are just on the same page about everything...obedience, lessons, the way we use our time, how we carry ourselves and interact with others....and in just a matter of one sacrament meeting it has already made such a huge difference and impact on our ward....example: Sister Miller and I went up to bear our testimonies first thing (no one was getting up and we wanted to anyway)....Sister Miller bore a beautiful testimony, and in it, she bore testimony of me...I have never had someone do that before and that touched my heart....but she told the congregation they could look to me and that I was someone who always had the spirit with me and they could trust me...(all way too nice)...I bore my testimony and supported her and assured the ward that I knew because of her incredible faith and testimony and love for the work that they would see many miracles in the coming months....after sacrament meeting...someone visiting came up and introduced their friend they had been sharing the gospel with who lives here and wants to learn more. He said that he was so glad we were the missionaries there because he could tell as we bore our testimonies that we were "solid" and the best "duo" he had seen. He also said he wished we were in Texas so he could send us another friend...we asked for the info and got a referral for Texas. THEN, another ward member brought a friend from school and we talked with him and he said he had such a great experience and he would love to meet with us and he wants to come back next week! That ward member texted us randomly the next day and said, "You sisters are awesome!" THEN, after Relief Society, a girl came up and said, "I want you sisters to meet a friend of mine...I have felt for a while that she should meet the missionaries, and I feel like I want her to meet with you." WOW! Literally...in the matter of 3 hours at church. 

We both feel this is a sacred opportunity and we both have our whole hearts in it and are ready to just work ourselves past exhaustion in the service of the Lord here. We feel like this could be an Alma and Amulek experience...to love people the way they did, to support each other the way they did, to testify with power and the spirit, and to see many mighty miracles! I have felt the spirit more strongly in the work...in companion study, in our teaching and lessons...in the past 5 days than I have in a while....I know it is because of the faith and desires Sister Miller and I have together about missionary work and our service to the Lord and His children. So expect miracles...cause we are!!! =)

I don't even know where to begin with my thoughts and the incredible experiences I have had in the past 5 days...first of all, mighty miracle number one: Remember when I was full-proselyting in El Cajon and I found I was going to be training Sister Greathouse with Sister Hudson? Remember how my heart ached when she had to make the decision to go home and try to work through her health problems and how I prayed and prayed for her to be able to have the support and strength she needed to make it back here to the mission field? Well, believe it or not, it has been 6 months since then, and I am so happy to say, that last week I was surprised with the news that she was coming back THAT DAY! OH WHAT JOY it was too see her!!!! I had an Alma and Ammon-like experience and know exactly how he felt when he wrote in The Book of Mormon. Alma 17:2 " Now Sister Riggs and Sister Hudson were with Sister Greathouse at the time she first appeared in the mission-field; therefore Sister Riggs did rejoice exceedingly to see her sister; and what added more to her joy,  she was still her sister in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth; for they were sisters of a sound understanding and they had searched the scriptures diligently, that they might know the word of God."
Alma 27:16-17 "...and behold, this was a joyful meeting. 17 Now the joy of Sister Riggs was so great even that she was full; yea, she was swallowed up in the joy of her God, even to the exhausting of her strength; and she fell again to the earth." (OK...I didn't fall to the earth...but it was a close call.) I am so proud of her and what a powerhouse she is and what a source of strength she will be to all those she meets here in the mission. She is so amazing!

 OK, I will try to describe briefly, the amazing first day of our companionship....We first served up at the Temple and received two amazing referrals, one from a family visiting from Germany and another from a couple whose son is Mormon and they want to learn more about the church because of the incredible example of his children to them (their grandparents). Then, we decided to stop by our investigator's house, Arthur, because we hadn't seen him since the beginning of the week and I felt like he needed just a short 15 minute stop by and boost...we sang, we prayed, and Sister Miller and I each shared an experience of when Heavenly Father answered our prayers through the scriptures. In the closing prayer, Arthur said that he was so glad we came by and that he really needed it. MIRACLE! Then we had a lesson with Sarabeth, a woman we just started teaching. She shared an incredible experience that happened since our last lesson and how she received an answer to her prayers and basically everything that we had taught in her lesson happened to her...it was so clear she said she couldn't believe it was happening and it even scared her! We taught her of the Plan of Salvation and I felt the spirit testify as I testified to her of her divinity, who she is, and her great purpose here on earth and how very real this all is. At the end, I felt like we should invite her to be baptized but hesitated, then, it sounded like Sister Miller was setting up the invitation perfectly and I thought, "Great! She's gonna do it." But then she didn't...I still felt to do so...so extended the invitation and she accepted the chance to work toward being baptized on June 15th! MIRACLE!!! Then we went to a lesson with Raquel and we felt like we fumbled a bit and weren't quite sure how it was going, but we read from Alma 5 about having a mighty change of heart and asked her how she felt she has changed since learning about the gospel over the past few months...I don't remember how it all lead to it, but at the end she and I had tears come to our eyes as I testified with deep conviction of the power of the Atonement and of this gospel to truly be able to change our hearts...and that I knew that because it had changed mine when I doubted it was possible. In her prayer at the end of the lesson she said, "I'm so thankful for this short, but powerful lesson..." and later that night she texted us to tell us how much she loves meeting with us and how much we helped her. We looked at each other and said, "I didn't feel like it was that great of a lesson...but OK! It's what she needed!" MIRACLE! We then had a lesson with our investigator Jackie, and we ended up just teaching to her concerns because she wondered about the difference between the gift of the Holy Ghost and the Spirit. This was bothering her because she had Christian friends who were living the way they wanted (living with their boyfriends, drinking, etc) and that they said they feel the spirit and receive blessings and get answers to prayers all the time...that darn Satan!...then she was frustrated why it took her so long to get an answer to her prayer when others who drink and aren't chaste get answers....after reassuring her that God answers all of His children's prayers, that we all have the light of Christ, and that she should not discount the answer she received but rejoice in the fact that she KNOWS it was a clear answer from God...it lead to one of the most incredible experiences for me and Sister Miller, with the spirit teaching us in the moment what to say...because she kept having other things to question back and it wasn't sinking in...I felt to say, "When you receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, it seals your baptism...baptism is not complete without it...and you cannot receive that gift without the proper priesthood authority given from God...we are baptized by water, then by fire (which is our spirits becoming cleansed and being spiritually re-born)." Then that lead Sister Miller to open to 2 Nephi 31:17: "Wherefore, do the things which I have told you I have seen that your Lord and your Redeemer should do; for, for this cause have they been shown unto me, that ye might know the gate by which ye should enter. For the gate by which ye should enter is repentance and baptism by water; and then cometh a remission of your sins by fire and by the Holy Ghost." Without receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, you cannot retain a remission of your sins....we all need this to be able to stand spotless at the last day. WHOA! MIRACLE!!! We were all taught in that lesson. THEN, we had an awesome member lesson with some members who fed us and we had the idea of helping them "Catch the Wave" of missionary work as Elder Nelson said, and we made them some waves and taped them to a paper to hang on the fridge, we asked them to label their waves "work" "school" "workout class" etc....and to label fish in those waves and identify who they can share the gospel with, then gave them extra paper to create surfboards with and invited them to surf a wave for the week and have missionary experiences!!! Clever??? I think so!!! They loved it and thought we were "so prepared." THEN, we had a first lesson at the temple with a member for Christian...our newest investigator...and taught him the Restoration...at the very end we were inviting him to pray and read and I felt prompted to help him learn how to liken the scriptures to himself. So I had him read 1 Nephi 1 like normal...then asked him to think about his life and what his has been through...his family...then to read it again and insert his name instead of Nephi....as he finished you could tangibly feel the spirit present...we asked, "How does it feel to read it like that?" He paused and said, "Pretty unreal actually...in a good way." MIRACLES! The power of The Book of Mormon! Then also, our amazing member just invited him to church and offered him a ride right there without us even having to ask! MIRACLE!!! Sister Miller and I were just blown away by the day! So much joy! We drove home singing our hearts to David Osmond's "Today" and changed the words and sang: "Today was the day that we opened our mouths, yeah we shouted from the roof tops, the truth came out and we shared our soul with the words that we spoke, with the love that has made us this way...yes today was the day we proclaimed...that we believe!!!!" We were singing and squealing and laughing and saying, "Is this real life right now?? This must be a dream!" But it's not! It is real and we love it! I will never be able to pen it all but I am so thankful for the way the past 5 days has already changed me and the way the next 6 weeks will change me!

There was more but I am out of time! I love you all! Have an amazing week! Truth has been restored!!!

Sister Riggs

Me and my new companion...Our re-uniting hug!!!! = ) So happy!!!