After waiting all day Monday we finally received Riley’s email as we were sitting down for dinner. We decided it would be a good idea for me to read his email to the family around the dinner table. I started to read but didn’t get very far before the tears started to flow. I tried handing the letter to Jana but she wasn’t in any position to read either. Alex offered to read as he looked at Jana and I in dismay. Well, a few sentences in and Alex lost it too. There we were sitting around the dinner table crying our eyes out. The real funny thing was our nephew Gabe was eating dinner with us. I looked over at Gabe and he was just staring at his food. I’m sure he’d never had a dinner quite like this one.
The Big news of the week is that Riley got his Visa:
“VISA! So yes I got my Visa last Friday. I am feeling tons of different emotions! It’s so crazy. I’m way excited. I'm nervous. I'm sad to leave
. I'm sad to leave my companions. I’m so happy to see what Santa Ana is like. But overall, I'm just really grateful for this opportunity to come here and learn some really valuable lessons. So I leave Wednesday morning. I think we leave our apartment about 8. I have no clue what my travel plans are or anything. I just know I’m getting picked up and that I am traveling with Elder Anderson. We are both really excited about that :). I’m trying to pack like crazy and get ready for it.” Argentina
Riley has had some great experiences in
and has mixed emotions about leaving. He’s excited for California Argentina but will miss the people he has met in the mission. Here are a couple stories he shared with us this week: Anaheim
“Man I have so many stories to tell. Ok first I will tell you something that’s kind of funny. Some people would call it coincidence... But I don’t think so. So we had about an hour until dinner last Tuesday night. And with that hour we decided that we would try to track down some investigators in our area book. I picked one named Albundio and we went to his apartment. We knocked on the door and this kid answered. He said that nobody named Albundio lived there... But he said come on in Elders. It was weird. So we went in and found out that Oscar, is a member, but has been inactive for about 1 year and a half now because his sister who is the only other member in the family moved away. He was so happy to see us and said that he has wanted to come back to church but doesn’t know how to do it because his step dad and mom are catholic. He is 16 by the way. So we invited him to church and he came yesterday. He had a great time and is really glad to be back. Were we led by the spirit to "Albundios" house? Yes I would say we were. This is where it gets funny. So after we met with him we walked outside and went to the gate where we came in. Oh by the way this is in a gated in apartment complex. We went to the gate and it was locked. On the ground about 20 feet away I saw a pair of car keys. I went and picked them up and they had a key to the gate. Would we have been locked in there forever? No. I’m sure we would have found another way out. But I still would like to think that Our Heavenly Father loves us that much that sometimes stuff like that happens. Thought you might think that was funny.
Ok so Jose is doing awesome! Yesterday he got the Aaronic Priesthood. He hasn’t missed church yet. 4 weeks in a row. Maria wasn’t baptized yesterday like planned though. Her husband is deathly ill and she practically can’t leave his side unless her daughter is in the house. So we're shooting for next week. We started teaching Jose's niece Anna! She is 13 years old. She is really cool. One thing that has really touched my heart is helping people pray. Especially with Anna. It was so amazing to watch her take that leap of faith. For the first time in her life she talked with Heavenly Father. The spirit is always so strong. Likewise I have been so amazed with Jose and his faith. He quit his job so he won't have to work on Sunday. Last night we went to teach Anna and after I asked him if he had found a job yet. With a smile on his face he said, “Nope. Still looking." Not one bit sad. If you didn’t hear what I asked you would think the question was, " hey have you picked out your new Camaro yet?" He just has so much faith. Not worried that he has to take care of his mom and dad. Not worried about what will happen. Just complete faith. I just couldn’t help but ask myself if I could be the same. It really touched me. Nope. Still looking.
Ok so the pictures are of my favorite family here in the
10th ward. They are the Garcia family. I met them my second day here. We went to their house because they haven’t been active for 7 years. Since that day they have us over for dinner twice a week, and haven’t missed church yet. They are SO awesome. I feel like family when I'm around them. They got me that fruit dessert because I’m leaving. I really love them. I know they'll make it to the temple.” Garden Grove
We are so excited for Riley to be leaving for
. We hope to get a phone call from the airport today. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers. Argentina