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, June 19, 2013

1 Year! I can't believe it's here!!! (Letter on 6/18/2013)

Dear Friends and Family,
     Well it has been quite the week...many ups and downs and many miracles...as missionary work goes! I hope you were able to watch the videos I sent...because those are where my miracles begin this week...
     In the beginning of May I was asked to sing at a ceremony they were putting together for Flag Day to honor the Veterans. They asked for a couple numbers and I started practicing and also suggested that if it was appropriate to throw a fun number in there, that I knew they would love "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy!" We went forward with that and I got together with Hermana Tucker and Hermana Amendola, two Spanish speaking sisters I serve at the Mormon Battalion with who also did theatre before their missions. We have been practicing and just had maybe 20 minutes the 4 days leading up to it to do some run-throughs and come up with so "arm-ography" and stuff. (Thanks to my experience at Disney with mic-stands, it got figured out pretty quick). The other Sisters were great though and practiced their parts a lot on their own and we brought it together! It was so fun and so weird at the same time...ha ha...didn't expect to be doing that on our missions! But so thankful for the tender mercy and opportunity to use the talents Heavenly Father blessed us with! I also suggested singing my favorite rendition of "God Bless America" at the end of the program and they loved the idea. Let me tell you...when I got the track a few weeks ago and tried to belt...I honestly was a little depressed because I felt I had lost a lot of my ability and strength my voice use to have...it was really hard and I didn't know if I could do it! I literally have not had the opportunity to belt and use my voice like I was 6 times a day at Disney....so my instrument was feeling quite rusty...but I told my companion she had to help me remember to practice in the car at least once a day....
    Well, come Thursday, the day before the program, I came down with the flu and was at home with a fever....my body ached everywhere and I had no strength to stand up because I felt too light-headed when I did. I rested and thought to myself, "I have been here before...I know this seems like I won't be able to do it, but I know the Lord knows what I need to do tomorrow and with His help it will happen." I asked one of the Senior Elders at the Battalion for a blessing...Elder Day and Elder Woolstenhulme came over and gave me a blessing of healing....I was so thankful, and immediately felt that extra reassurance that all would be well. I missed my dad a lot that night as I was reminded of all of the times in my life when I fell sick just before I needed to be at my best health for a performance. My father, who is a worthy Priesthood holder, was always there to give me a blessing...and my Heavenly Father was always there to uphold me and take care of the rest through His miraculous power. The next day I woke up feeling pretty great...just a little icky inside...and I went to my shift at the Mormon Battalion. We had a sound check and ran our group number and I started feeling sharp pains in my stomach and not so good...they asked if I wanted to run my solo and I just walked up to the mic without a warm-up and it somehow came out flawlessly...all who were there listening were in tears and I was standing amazed that I was able to sing....well that was at 11am and the performance was at 6pm...as each hour progressed I got worse and worse. A group of us knelt in prayer at the Battalion and sweet Sister Affleck (a senior sister who put this all together with her husband) plead for a miracle and for me to feel better. I went home and rested and then put on some courage and faith...the miracle is that both numbers stole the show! I was able to perform both....my solo was not flawless like my rehearsal earlier....but every time I watch it I feel the spirit testify that the performance was a miracle and God's hand was in it. I honestly can't believe my voice able to do what it did after a year of no practice and while having the flu.....

    So many of the Veterans came up to us after and said how it took them right back and how it brought tears to their eyes. Many came to me and thanked me for my song and that they couldn't wipe away enough tears. Others said the spirit was definitely there. The Marine Band was there playing and the conductor made it a point to find out who I was and said they be willing to work with me next time around (they had said no singer could sing with the band as a military band rule ; 0 They changed their minds ha ha) ....my favorite comment was a sweet little old lady walking up to me with her husband saying: "Beyoncé can take a back seat!" Ha ha! I wish I had that on camera! Getting hugs and handshakes from Veterans with their love and gratitude was the best part of it all....a miracle that happened was that a 92 year old who came and isn't a member of the church, came and dropped a whole envelope of family history...stories and charts of those in his family that served in the military....we found that none of them have had temple work done!!!!! He handed it over....WOW! If that is all we did this whole program for it was worth it!!!! I was asked by Elder Affleck if I would like to help with it! What an honor!!!!
That is all I have time to share today! God works miracles in mysterious ways! The Priesthood power is real!!! I can still kind of sing!!! = ) Ha ha! Love you all! Have an amazing week!!!! My year mark is Thursday!!!!! Wowee!!!! I can't express my gratitude for what the Lord has shown me and helped me become over the past year. I know I am EXACTLY where Heavenly Father needs me at the exact right time! Where else would I have been asked to have these opportunities as a missionary?! He really does know us individually! I love Him!!!
I hope all of the Father's in my life had an amazing Father's Day! I was thinking and praying with gratitude for you!
All my love,
Sister Riggs