Monday, March 26, 2012


My Wonderful Family,

Hey guys how’s it going?  Thank you so much for your emails.  I always look forward to reading them. I really appreciate the time you put into them for me.  It sounds like the week went really well and everyone is doing well.  That makes me happy.  I can’t believe you are skiing.  It still blows my mind.

This week was really awesome.  I feel like Elder Medina and I have more of the trust of the members than before and we are really working well with our branch president.  He really is amazing.  He is 75 years old and works all day long.  The oldy does not stop.  He has such a passion for the work.  Its truly inspiring.  He knows what matters in life. He and his wife don’t even have a car, but they walk all day long doing the work.  They take such good care of us.  I really love them.  

This week we had 2 of our 3 baptisms go through.  Tiziana is going to be baptized either this week or the next.  We aren’t sure yet.  But it was really special because Hugo and Evelyn asked me to baptize them. I’m sending a couple pictures of the baptism.  I really love the pictures.  I forget how big I am sometimes.  Thank goodness I don’t have to be baptized here because I would not fit.

Funny story. It takes about 5-6 hours to fill the pool.  So we started at about 1 in the afternoon.  To our surprise the water heater didn’t work.  We tried fixing it but couldn’t get it to work.  I felt bad because I told Evelyn that the water would be hot.  Not going to lie it was pretty cold even though we had boiled water all day and had been throwing it in the font.  The baptisms were really special.  There was just such a great feeling. It’s so cool to think that they are starting their journey back to their Father in Heaven. Baptizing Evelyn really made me think of Olivia.  She is such a cute girl.  Sunday they were both confirmed and are officially members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 

Also on sundae my comp and I talked in church on missionary work.  It was cool.  I have kind of grown to like speaking in church.  I love being able to work on a talk for a while and then give it in church.  I always pray that I can help someone that is listening.  I talked about how every member is a missionary and how missionary work is not just knocking doors during the siesta haha.  It was really weird because I was thinking all week long of a personal story that I could share and I couldn’t think of any.  I think it’s because I don’t like telling stories about myself.  Halfway through my talk a story came to me.  I was inspired to tell the ward about mom’s experience of teaching in the jail and how she always loves the inmates even though they have made some bad choices and may not be the most lovable men on earth.  It’s the same as missionary work.  We need to have faith in people and in what they can become.  Our Faith is shown through love.  That story really brought a really special spirit to the meeting. 

I really love being in Dean Funes.  It is so awesome.  Sometimes it seems so overwhelming because of all the work there is to do and it’s frustrating not to see immediate success.  But I love it here.  The members are so awesome.  In the middle of the city there is a huge chunk of land that is gorgeous.  It has big palm trees and lots of plants.  The church bought this land a few years ago to build a chapel.  But then the church took a dive here and they weren’t able to do it.  We are working really hard with the chapel in mind.  The people really deserve to have one.  We need more people to pay tithing and more active Elders.  I really want to be able to say that I helped to get the chapel.

Tomorrow we are going to Cordoba for Zone Conference. I’m excited because my old zone (Bellville) is going with my current zone (Noreste) so I will see Sister Anderson and Sister Blanchardt.  They are so awesome. President Salas and his wife will speak to us. I love Sister Salas. She was a missionary when she was younger and knows lots about the gospel.  She takes real good care of the missionaries.  My favorite thing about her is that when you are sick you have to call her.  No matter what illness you have (cough, flu, chicken pox or cancer) she will tell you to buy a 7-Up and Ibuprofen. hahah its so funny. It’s a joke in the mission. We are really blessed to have her.

Thanks for everything guys. I love you all so much. I’m so grateful for our family. We are so blessed.  I really hope that we can continue to make good choices so that we can always be happy, close, blessed.  I’m so grateful for Jesus Christ and for what he did for us.  I know that he is the Savior of the World.  I know that he is our Redeemer.  We are so blessed to have the knowledge that we have so that he can redeem us of our sins.  I love you all.  Have an excellent week.

Love Riley 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

March Means Madness

Dear Family,

Hey Guys what’s up? Even though you all went to the NCAA tournament this last week I really had a great week and didn’t feel homesick. (Now of course there were moments when I wished I was with you all, but for the most part I felt awesome.) It sounds like you guys had a really great time! Portland really is so amazing. Oh my gosh I absolutely loved the pictures. I loved them. Alex is so brave!   Joseph is even braver hahaha. It seems like just yesterday we were there with Rich and Dallin. It is crazy how time flies.  I’m feeling really healthy and really blessed. The heat does not make me sick like it was before.

Here are the pictures from the NCAA tournament Riley mentions:

We had a really great week. We taught lots of lessons and found some new people that are pretty cool. We made the decision to combine the baptism of Evelyn with a girl that is getting baptized this week. The reason is because this other girl, Tiziana, is the daughter of a member and is well known by everyone.  There were lots of special plans for Tiziana’s baptism and we didn’t want Evelyn to feel bad about her baptism since it wouldn’t  be as big. So this week we are going to have 3 baptisms! Evelyn, Tiziana and Hugo. We have been praying  a lot for Hugo so that he will be able to have the strength to quit smoking. He still has a few problems here and there. But if all goes well then we will have 3 baptisms. We are really excited.

Ok so president Salas came yesterday. He is such an inspired man. He  spoke in church about the 3 kingdoms of glory and the Atonement. We have a lady in our ward who is way awesome.  Her husband isn’t a member, but he went yesterday. After hearing what President Salas had to say he said that he just can’t deny how true it is, even though he doesn’t know very much about the church. It would be really cool if he could be baptized. Pretty amazing how the Spirit works in people! People just listen to President Salas and take his example.  He really has an amazing gift. He always knows what to say.  Something kinda funny happened to us, something that I don’t think every missionary can say has happened to them with their mission president. He was interviewing the second to last person and this other man was waiting. For some reason this guy stormed out of the chapel all mad. Who knows why?  President Salas asked me where he was and I told him that he left. So we got in President Salas´s car and went to this guy’s house. Later when he was driving us to our lunch appointment he turned a corner kinda sharp and there was a barricade in the road that he didn’t see.... Do you see where I’m going? So we just crashed right into it! President Salas had just solved peoples problems and listened to their complaints for 2 hours. He was late for a meeting in Cordoba also. Then he crashed his rented car! I learned a really good lesson on patience in this moment. He just turned his head and looked at me and said "Sorry" completely calm. Man I would have lost it in this moment if I was him. It was hard to hold in the laughter after hearing his little “sorry.”  I think it was especially funny because he said it in English. He is such an awesome man. I really love him.  I hope I can pick up on some of his attributes.

Thanks for everything guys! You are the best family ever. I’m so grateful for your examples, your service, and your love for those around you. I’m so grateful for the time that the lord has given me to serve Him. This is truly an amazing work. Christ lives and loves us. I love you all so much. Have a great week.

Love Riley

Monday, March 5, 2012

A little Olivia in Argentina

Hello Family,

This week was really awesome.  Thanks a bunch for all your prayers and support.  I really can feel the help.  I think the highlight of this last week was that we had 64 people in sacrament meeting!!  I know it doesn’t seem like lots but compared to the 30 from the week before it is a ton.  Sometimes it really is hard to do all the little things like go to church or read your scriptures or your calling.  But I know that these little things are the things that matter in life and are really preparing us for life’s challenges and to return one day.  We had a baptism set up this week but our investigador didn’t come to church so we had to move it to the next week.  Her name is Evelyn.  She is the niece of a member.  She is 10 years old.  She is such a cute little girl.  She always does her reading and is so excited when we teach her.  She also gives the best prayers you have ever heard.  They are so sincere.  You can tell that she is truly talking with God.  The other day she said something really funny.  We were teaching the plan of salvation and I told her that she lived with God before she came to the earth.  She said, " ya mean Heavenly Father?"  It reminded me of when Olivia always used to say, "What do ya mean?"  It was really funny.  Ever since she always reminds me of Oliv.  The funny thing is they have tons in common.  She is really tall for her age and athletic.  Her story is a sad one though.  Her mom died about 6 years ago when she was just little.  I don’t know all the details, but her mom wasn’t exactly the greatest mom and she died of an overdose.  The Dad left long before that.  Right now Evelyn lives with her uncle and her 3 sisters.  Every time we see her she has tons of dishes to wash or clothes to clean. She’s only 11!  It’s really sad.  I know that the church will be a huge help to her.  

We are also teaching a boy named Hugo.  He is the grandson of a member.  He is 16.  He is really awesome. Yesterday he came to church 45 minutes early!  But get this.  He started to throw up before the church started and had to leave.  His baptismal date was the 17th but we had to move it to the 24th.  I feel bad for him.  His parents died when he was just little also.  I just realize more and more each day how lucky I am in my life.  It’s really not fair.  This really motivates me to try and help others.  I know that I have so much to give back.  

Ok remember Ana and Rocio?  They have been seeing the missionaries for about 4 months now.  They know everything about the church and always go to activities.  They also believe in the Book of Mormon.  I know that they know that this church is true.  Well on this week we decided that the 4 of us would have a fast to try and help them really figure out what is stopping them from being baptized.  We watched a really cool talk by Elaine Dalton and then we started the fast.  The fast was to end after church on Sunday.  This was hard for them because they had never fasted that long before. hahahah The hardest part about it was we challenged them not to go to the Boliche on Saturday night.  Argentina lives for the Boliches.  A Boliche is a dance.  Everywhere you go, every Saturday night there is a Boliche.  It’s weird because it’s for ages 16-50.  It sounds really weird to me.  People love to dance here.  And they aren’t just for single people. Couples go too.  But the thing is, it starts at 2 in the morning.  So we challenged them not to go so they could keep the Sabbath day holy and have more of the spirit. I told them that the more we sacrifice, the more we are blessed.  So we had the fast and then talked after. It was really awesome. They both just told us that they had such a strong feeling that the church was true.  But this is the miracle. Rocio truly confided in us and told us the reason that she can’t be baptized.  It’s a long story that is really sad and I’m not going to tell in this moment, but she really can’t get baptized right now because of her older brother who is basically her dad.  When she told us this we just felt so calm.  Like we did our part, and an assurance that one day she will be baptized.  Through tears she asked why is it that for some people it is so easy to be baptized and she wants to do it more than anything and it’s not possible in this moment.  We didn’t really have an answer besides saying that the Lord works in his own time.  It was really sad, but I know that the fast worked and that we were blessed.

Well guys that’s basically my week. Thanks so much for all that you do for me. I really love you all so much and am grateful that we are an eternal family.  I’m so happy to be a missionary.

Love Riley!