Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Sacrifice Brings forth the Blessings of Heaven:oh Hermanos Adios pues Adios.

Hello Dear Family & Friends,

As I sit in front of this computer I don't really know what to write. I can't believe that this is the last email I will write as a missionary. I can't believe that it has been 18 months. It feels that it has passed by so fast but at the same time, it feels that I haven't ever lived anything else. Hno Bonilla told me that once a missionary told him "They tell me I am going home, but I feel like I am leaving home." I feel like that. Texas has become my home and a big part of me. The people here have become my family. I just guess that I can have two homes. :)
Tomorrow morning, I will head over to the Mission Home. We will go to the temple, have interviews and have a testimony meeting. Wednesday morning, we will be "getting on that Jet plane...not knowing when we'll be back again..." It is going to be a beautiful few days. I am looking forward to seeing ya'll. :)

Many people have told me throughout this last 1 1/2 years that I have made a sacrifice to be here doing what I do. In ways, it has been a sacrifice. Although, it has been a sacrifice in many ways, I have felt so richly blessed and rewarded. I am so grateful for this time that I have had to serve as a full time missionary. My life has been changed so immensely. I feel like all that I have gained has been so much more than the little time or material things that I have "sacrificed".

This has been the most sacred and satisfying experience that I have had in all of my life thus far. When I received my mission call, I really wasn't sure of what I thought about Houston Texas Spanish Speaking. I knew I wanted to serve and I would do what I had been called to do. The song I'll go where you want me to go Dear Lord couldn't have been more present in my mind. I have tried to do His will over this last year in a half. Me and imperfect hands have tried to follow the example of Our Savior, as I have done my best to be His hands and do this work. The phrase still stands true, in my mind. As I return home, I will still do what He wants me to do and say what He wants me to say. I will continue to do my best with all my imperfections to do His will with the rest of my life. The thing is...we are never done with our mission. We are always still on this journey to do what He would have us do. I can testify that He is in the details of our life. He has the outline of everything we need. Somehow when we try, He enables us to do it. He makes it possible for us to overcome when we feel like we really can't.

I want to share my testimony. I know God lives and that His Plan is perfect. I know that when we are obedient to the commandments that He blesses us. I know with all of my heart that Jesus Christ lives and loves us. I know that He suffered and died for everyone of us so that we can return home. I know that we can be healed through our faith and the atonement. This morning, I finished the Book of Mormon. As I finished I couldn't help but feel the spirit so strong as it came to an end. I know that it is true and that it really can bring us closer to God and Jesus Christ because I have felt it and seen it over and over in this last year and a half. I know that this is the only true Church of Jesus Christ.
I love you all so much. You have all had a huge impact in my life. I count all of you as heaven sent angels who have supported me and helped me in many ways. I will be forever grateful for this time I have been able to serve in the Texas Houston Mission.
Remember who you are and to Whom you belong to.
Off finding the tens of thousands...just in a little bit of a different way. :)

Your Texan Missionary,
Hermana Rife

Last Wednesday I took this picture!  It was a little gift Kynsie's sister Katelin made for me the first Christmas Kynsie was gone.  If I remember right...back when I started keeping track of the weeks we had remaining on her mission...it was something like 68!!!  We have come a little ways, I would say!!!!  Last week when I posted this picture on Facebook, 
I stated....
"I've waited a long time for this!"  
Now today...we have 1 DAY!!!  
It is almost hard for me to believe OUR MISSIONARY is really coming home!!!  

What a sweet experience this has been for our family to have a daughter and sister serving our Heavenly Father on a mission.  We ALL have grown... and learned... and been so richly blessed by your service Kynsie.  Thank you for sharing your experiences and your testimony with us through your weekly emails and letters. We have LOVED being a part of this chapter in you life.

Ever since Kynsie entered the MTC...18 months ago...we as a family have not only been blessed by her weekly emails but we also have received weekly letters to each of us individually.  One week it was the "Boys turn"  which included Dad, Tyler and Tanner.  The following week it was the "Girls turn"  which included Mom, Kendra, Kylee and Grandma.
Because....Kynsie knew how much Grandma enjoyed going out to her mailbox to get letters from her missionaries,  Kynsie would always mail the "Girls Letters" to Grandma's house.  Here is Kylee (so excited) picking up the "Girls Letters" for the last time the day before Kynsie arrived home!!!  I might add Kynsie never disappointed us!  She  never missed a week even if it was just a short note on an index card!  We LOOKED FORWARD to and LOVED these personal notes. 

To end my writings on Kynsie's Mission Blog...
I would like to share the closing paragraph from the last email that Steve and I wrote to her Sunday, February 9, 2014.

"Well kiddo.... this is a sad night. We just realized that this email closes out a very 

special relationship and chapter in your life. What a huge blessing this has been in our 

life! We love you so much! While we are glad you are returning we too will miss our 

weekly interactions. Dad is actually tearing up as he writes this favorite line but just 

a little different this time.... Welcome home - there are 10's of 1000's waiting for you 

to influence their lives as a result of the decisions you make and the interactions and 

opportunities that will surely come your way. So... Adios to this GREAT chapter in your 

life and Hola to the unwritten pages in your life. May you find great joy and satisfaction 

in writing the rest of your book. Based on the past (almost) 23 years (and especially the 

last 18 months) your story sounds promising as well as exciting! But remember - it's 

your story.... YOU (through your decisions and choices) will determine what is written!

 Bless you - our dear daughter! Look and go forward with the rest of your life in faith 

and testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, honoring your covenants and being true 

to your testimony! See you on Wednesday afternoon!

Love you and be very careful in your travels,

Mom and Dad


Monday, February 3, 2014

Bringing Sunshine to Souls

Hi Family!!!

How are you all doing? I am glad to hear that Kylee has recovered from her little experience. (Kylee had accidentally swallowed magnets and had a fun trip to the hospital.) She is looking quite cute in those new glasses! :) I loved all the pictures you sent. Grandma and Kinley looked really nice too. I did get your email from last week dad. Thank you for those scriptures. It is a very good one. :) I am so grateful and lucky that I have such good support within my family. :) Whenever it is hard, I just have to remember that you are praying for me and then I somehow find the strength to do it. :)

This week was really good. A lot of wonderful things happened. I was not sleeping very good and had a lot of anxiety and I felt like I needed to get a blessing. I asked President Bayles our branch president for one. He was so kind and was able to give me a blessing. Hermana Durham, He, and I talked for a little before just about what was going on. It helped me a lot to talk with him. He gave me a beautiful blessing. I know that everything is going to be okay. I have had a lot of peace ever since Tuesday. I was told in the blessing to not worry about anything that would come because Heavenly Father would give it to me step by step as He needed me to know what I need to do. When we were talking he said, hermana rife, just look at today. Don't look at what is going to happen, just focus on the little things so that you don't overwhelm yourself. It has helped me a bunch. I am so grateful for the Priesthood and for the direction that Heavenly Father gives us. 

Exchange with Hermana Crandall: Hermana Crandall was able to come with me to waller on an exchange. It was a great day! I just love her! :) We had a great restoration lesson with this lady named Ida. Ida is sort of a Jehovah's Witness but she isn't but her mother is and many of the things that she was taught when she was young are from them. It was a great experience and a first. I have actually never taught someone who is a JW. I have talked to many but never taught them. She accepted it and said that it made a lot of sense. She said that she would pray about Joseph Smith. It was a really good day!

Miracles from Bear Creek: On Thursday, we went to the temple. Have I told you how much I love the temple? Probably so many times but I love it. After I was able to talk to Hermana Hill for a few minutes and she was telling me so many miracles that have been happening in Bear Creek. It was amazing! :) I just have to share them! They taught Johana's brother and mom at her house and her brother asked for a book of mormon. We would always teach at Shane's house so that is a huge jump! They are really making progress with A&V. The family I was helping teach their daughters to play the piano.V would NEVER pray. He didn't want a book of mormon. He was super awesome when we came over. He would listen to the messages but we wouldn't be able to teach them. It was just little messages. I felt like they were preparing him. Hna Hill told me that they taught the coolest lesson about the plan and they said can we end with a prayer? V said, Yes, I will go ahead and offer that! :) He has been reading everything they leave him to read. He has a lot of questions and is looking to the Missionaries for answers. It was so cool to hear that. The Flores family hit it off great with the Alvarez and committed to going to church. I am not sure if they did but they wouldn't ever commit and they committed. A less actives husband has been reactivated and is preparing to go to the temple. Before...he wouldn't ever come to church but now has been coming and they are super strong. <3 bear creek <3 beautiful miracles

Sanchez: We were able to to see the Sanchez 2 times this week. They READ the book of mormon. I just love them so much. They just bring joy to my day whenever we can go see them. They have felt the spirit and it is just about getting them to get to church. Hopefully this week. :)

Being a missionary is the best thing ever. It is such a beautiful experience to be able to bring the light of the gospel to these peoples lives. The spirit brings warmth and joy. Basically Sunshine to the soul. :) I know that through Jesus Christ all is possible and we can be happy because of Him and what He did. I know God's plan is perfect. I know that because of this wonderful message we can see light through even the most cloudy of days. There is always Hope because of Christ. I am grateful for this chance I have to serve. :) I love you all so much. Thank you for your love and support! I hope your week is filled with a lot of great things.

The Hope of Gods Light

Remember who you are and to whom you belong to. Off finding the 10s of 1000s
Love you! Your lil' Texan,

Hermana Rife

Sorry, no pictures today. I forgot my camera at home.