Thursday, April 11, 2013

What a Wonderful Week!

Hello Family!

It sounds like you had a wonderful spring break as well as conference weekend! Thanks for your letter it was wonderful to hear all the things ya'll are up to. We had a great week! I really really enjoyed conference. It was a beautiful weekend of messages.

My birthday was a lot of fun! Yes, I received the Flowers from Kate & Nick. They were beautiful! I loved them. Our office lady Laurie came up to tell me that I had received a delivery because they were so pretty! She is so sweet!  I really enjoy visiting with her! She was so kind and bought me a balloon and left it on our door! :) I got in the shower in the morning and when I got out Hermana Gutierrez had decorated our apartment with balloons and signs and then she sang me this mexican happy birthday song in Spanish. The whole time I am just standing there in my towel. She then gave me an awkward hug and we had a good laugh. She said she was praying for Heavenly Father to make me take forever in the shower and I was trying to go so fast in the shower but it was seriously like I had to keep rinsing more conditioner out and I was like dang it is taking forever today. Well we know Heavenly Father answers prayers! :) It was nice of her to decorate. We ate at Hermana Calderon's home for lunch. She made these super good tacos and homemade tortillas. She told us how to do it, so that makes me excited to be able to do it. We bought some cupcakes from this little cupcake store and some ice cream and ate them as well as took a few to Elder Trotter, Barney and Then our two office ladies. They are like Gourmet Cupcakes. They were pretty good. We went and taught Benardina after and she said her first prayer out loud with us! She is so hard to read but she thanked Heavenly Father for bringing us to teach her and helping her know more so we know now that she is feeling a difference. It was a nice little birthday gift. :) 

We had exchanges Tuesday to Wednesday so I went to Waller with Hermana Auten. She only has been on the mission 1 transfer and she thought she knew how to get back to Waller but she didn't...So we ended up being really lost being in downtown Houston like 45 minutes away from Waller and then we finally got directions to get back on the right road and as we were on the side road to get on the freeway when our car starts going bumpedy bump bump bump... I said I think we should pull over and see what is going on. When we got to the nearest parking lot we got out to take a look and we had a flat tire. :) Yup. It was AWESOME. haha She is super quite so i am calling the car coordinating missionary and Elder Ohern says...well do you have a tire in the back and I am like I don't know! Do we? He said you don't know how to change a tire do you? I am like....yeahhhhhh NO! I am a girl, what do you expect. :) Just in my head I said that. As I am talking to him the phone beeps...yeah it definitely was going to die. He was so sweet and called the elders in the area and they came got us all set to go! There was a horrible storm hitting on the way back that Elder Ohern had warned us about. We we stuck right in the middle of it. It was raining so hard that we couldn't even seen what was in front of us. The lighting was lighting up the sky so bright and then it would be pitch black again. Hermana Auten has only driven a few times since before the MTC so I was thinking that it might be my last night alive! :) Not really but I was praying really hard the whole time for angels to lead our car and for us to be protected. We finally got to Waller about 10:13 PM after leaving our area at 6:30. We planned and went to bed. It was a very memorable birthday to say the least! I probably won't ever forget it! I thought it was quite funny all a long and it was one of those things where it just kept getting worse and worse and worse and worse. :) Its okay though! Anyways. Elder Ohern said we did exactly the right thing and that we are going to be used in the zone conference as an example of what to do if this happens. Notoriety. WooHoo. I did learn how to change a tire. It isn't as hard as I thought it was. Thanks again for all the birthday wishes and love! It was a nice day. 

Conference was awesome. I loved so many talks. My top favorites were...Elder Perry, Elder Holland, Elder Bednar, Elder Uchtdorf, President Monson, and Sister Wixem but I really loved a lot of them. We watched it at the church all the sessions except the Sunday Afternoon. The elders brought quite the stache of candy. On sunday, The Rodrigous family came. It was so awesome. We said we would be at their house at 10:15 to pick them up and they were all super ready to go. Jonathan who is 10, even invited his cute little baptist friend Leo. He is already being a missionary. Leo asks some good questions as well. They all really enjoyed the conference. Tirza, the mom, loved it! We have a family night with them tonight! They have been making a lot of progress. We watched the testaments and the Joseph Smith Movie with them last week and in the testaments they started to cry. Tirza said that they really felt the spirit. We had to leave because we had another appointment but she said they all loved it. Her husband who isn't a member said that he wants to come to church so hopefully we can catch him one of these days when he isn't working! They are a great family! Very strong. Tirza recognizes how Satan is doing everything to distract her but I think she is finally fighting him hard and overcoming it! 

We ate at the Arredondo's between sessions and then we watched conference there. It was awesome! I love that family. Hermano Arredondo is so funny. He is always doing all of this stuff for us. He always makes us the lemonade that is so good and he keeps filling our cups over and over again. He made us this chocolate cake too and keeps giving us food. He is so generous! Hermana is so sweet and has a lot of quiet dignity. She is so great too. It was nice that they let us come over! I felt at home far from home. 

A neat miracle happened the other day. We were headed over to teach Brenda and Alex and they weren't home. We decided to go contact this lady that we had talked to a few times. A man answered the door instead and said Ana wasn't there. He asked if there was a message we could leave her and then we just said well we talked to her and then also we wanted to remind her of the english class on thursdays. With that he opened up a lot and started asking us about the class. He finally said...what church are you all even from. We told him and he just started to ask us a ton of questions about when we go home, what we do on and on. We ended up sharing a very brief version of the restoration and he said. What are the requisites to becoming a member of your church? What do I have to do to become a member. I was in shock! :) Hermana Guiterrez explained about listening to the lessons and then getting baptized. She gave him a soft commitment challenge. He said he would get baptized if he knew it was true! He said he is going to study the pamplet we gave him and then we are going to go back and teach him. He told us something of the following... Isn't it amazing how this happened. You came her to talk to my cousin but then I was blessed to have your visit. He said God works in different ways. He knows what he is doing. It was AWESOME! He told us that he doesn't drink or smoke and from the sounds of it...I don't think he is breaking the law of chastity. We are excited to go back and teach him. There are people prepared. 

It sounds like you all did lots of fun activities as well as lots of work over the break. That is good. I am glad you are spending time together. I loved how Sister Wixom told us to turn off technology and enjoy time together. I am learning on my mission that we have to make time for the things that are important. If we aren't making the time then they aren't going to happen. We have to make time to read our scriptures and say our prayers, we have to make time to serve and be a devoted member of the church, we have to make time to spend with our family and loved ones. If we don't then before we know it our lives are going to fly by and we will not have a whole lot to look back upon. We can make time for whatever we want to thought but we are the ones who decide what fills our time. 

Well It was a wonderful week. Lots of wonderful things are happening in Oakcrest. I am grateful for all your love and support. I'll answer some of your question in the letters i send home, hopefully but now it is time for my dentist appointment so I have to get going. I love you all a lot and I am thankful for your encouraging words! :) I love my mission and I am so thankful to be here

Remember who you are and to whom you belong to. 
Off finding the tens of thousands

hermana rife

An Exchange to Waller with Hermana Auten and their Lesson on How to change a Flat Tire!  
Fun Times and Fun Memories!!! :)

Conference Weekend

A visit to a Gourmet Cupcake shop for Kynsie's 22nd Birthday
HaPpy BiRthDAy!!

"Purple" Tulips for her Birthday from a thoughtful sister and brother-in-law!
Thanks for thinking of this Katelin and Nick!  You were wonderful to do this for her.

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