Monday, February 25, 2013

Faith like the Sons of Mosiah

Hello Family!!

It sounds like you all had a fun week!! This week for me was slow, well the work was slow, the time just flies by! We are back full time in Saint John. We had a few lessons with less actives and new converts but we still are not teaching anyone. This week we will spend most of our time finding a new investigator. We know there is a family prepared to hear the gospel, now we just need to keep that faith and find them! 
So I guess I need to write home more often about the things that I miss from home...I got a package from Jeff and Chelsy on Friday!!! Guess what was inside? They sent me warm socks, peanut butter, and Oreo's!!! Thank you so much!! So now if someone can figure out how to send me Cafe Rio that would be great!!! :D
I am trying to think of what else has happened this week. We got to teach Manfred for the last time. (he is in the Hampton area) It was a really good lesson. He was talking about how he can follow through on things and follow up with them. Like when he reads he has to read more to add to the knowledge that he already has. So we brought up baptism and told him that is how you follow up with what he has already learned..its the next step. He understands that baptism is important. so we extended the commitment. He said he would when he knew it was true. So I then followed up with a date to prepare by...he gave this really long answer. the short version is that we were being pushy. I tried to talk to him more about why we ask him to prepare for a certain date, but then the bishop steps in (he wanted to come to the lesson with us) and says its ok..take it one day at a time!! NO!! The only reason we ask him about a certain date is because we have prayed about it...we have felt prompted...and the the only way he will progress is if he is working toward something. You always hear about how members say the wrong thing in lessons...well now I understand more. So the other sisters will be teaching him now. I don't know how to explain it, but as we sat there in that lesson, after he said he would not be baptized  I felt that my work was done. There was nothing more that he could learn from me. It was now the responsibility of the other sisters to teach him everything that he needs to know. Its weird feeling to have that stewardship over someone gone in seconds. I know the sisters will be great for him and one day he will be baptized!!

So I was reading this week from Mosiah. At the end of the book the Sons of Mosiah ask their father if they can go and declare the gospel to the Lamanites. How much faith they must have had. This is something I have been thinking about a lot this week. They knew the truth about the gospel and could not bare having anyone not know the truth. Their father knew that if they left that there was a good chance that they would not come back. He was promised by the lord that they WOULD return home safe. I think about me in my life. How it was so easy..well a lot more easy for me. to go on a mission. There was no worry to me about weather or not I would return home safe. I was not going into someone's land that hated me and by taking one look at me might want to kill me. But I do try to compare my faith with their faith. How I can strengthen my faith. And how I can better understand my mission and what the Lord wants me to do. 
Before I left I promised myself..along with promising Amanda that I would not come home Awkward..You know like all of the missionaries that we have ever welcomed they look like they don't know what to do with themselves? Well I have thought about it...If I don't want to be like that then I am not giving my whole self to the lord. I am not forgetting myself. Now my goal is to be the most awkward missionary when I get home! haha ;)

Happy Birthday Bobby!!!!! A card is in the mail!!!

Alex!!! You looked so cute in your dress...your hair is amazing!! I love the dress!! How was the dance? I hope you had a good time!!! Tell me everything! :D LOVE YOU!

Mickey! How is school? When is spring break? Maybe it will warm up for you to do something fun! I love you!! Miss you tons!!

Witzel's!! 9 weeks?!! Really? that is so crazy!!!!!!!! That went by so fast. Kaylee I am sorry to say that I have already fallen on the ice... I am trying to stay on my feet but my feet don’t like to stay on the ground! What are you naming your new sister? You can tell me!! I can keep a secret!!! LOVE YOU LOTS! 

Mom and Dad! How in the world do you have another daughter that is old enough to go on dates? and How do you have a son that will be 20 this week?! Did you know that Bobby and I have the same half way month? I just realized that! Crazy!!! I love you so much! Thank you for everything! 


Hope you have a great week!!!

Oh mom I almost there anyway that you can order me a new set of glasses off of that website? mine are pretty much broken. I honestly think it is from the cold..either getting too cold too fast or the reverse. They have cracks on the side of the lens. Thank you.


Ruth reads the Book of Mormon

Hello everyone 
This week has been very good. Did I tell you guys about Ruth? Well if not she is an 18 year old girl that is going to a school close by our church. One day we were contacting  around their school and she called us over, she told us to come back later that week. Well, any way we have now seen her about 4 or 5 times. She has come to church twice, and she has introduced us to her Dad who is a baptist pastor. She is a powerful girl. She understands what we are teaching her and she reads the Book of Mormon. We are trying to give her a baptismal date but we don't know how her dad will react. I just wish all people that we taught were like Ruth, smart and actually reads the Book of Mormon. Ruth has also introduced us to 4 of her friends, and asked how she can become a missionary... wow!

So here in Ghana some people  (Pentecostals) think that they can speak in tongues. And when we say tongues, it is not like how we believe, like a missionary learning a new tongues. They believe that speaking in tongues means speaking Gibberish.  They also like praying very loud! Anyway, we were teaching this Pentecostal lady and here family and while we were teaching her she asked if we believed in speaking in tongues. I tried to explain it to her but she did not understand. So, we just continued teaching her and at the end of the lesson we asked her if she would give the closing prayer. It was the COOLEST prayer I have ever heard!!!  No it was not a spiritual prayer, but the way she prayed was so funny. She was almost yelling. I don't even remember what she was saying, but I almost started laughing it was THE BEST.

HMMM well I cant think of any thing else to write about but there you go! 

Love you all 

From Ghana With Love 
Elder Riddle

Monday, February 18, 2013

Another Crazy and Fast Week!

Hello Again!!

Another crazy and fast week has gone by again. 

We went to Fredericton (about an hour and half drive away...with no snow.) We went to celebrate Elder Moor's b-day. We went lazer tagging and Canadian bowling (also called candle stick bowling) it was really fun! The drive to Fredericton was nice, but we did not realize that it started to snow, so on the way home was not very fun. Well we got home safe and sound, and went to a dinner appointment. 

We had a District training in the morning, then we went to lunch with the Elders. We went to this place called Cora's . Really good breakfast food!! I had these giant blueberry pancakes!! SO GOOD! Well the rest of the day was just normal Tuesday...we taught a couple of lessons, had a dinner appointment, and then we went to PEC...that was weird..we were the only girls there, but I guess I can check that off of my list of things to do! haha

Very busy day!! We had a couple of lessons (our regulars) Brendan, Holly, and Sandra. Then we had a meeting with the Elders to talk about how we can help the work move forward in this we can better help the area/ward. We had another dinner appointment with Manfred!! He is progressing so well, but still really slow. He is looking for a job, so is more focused on being financially stable rather than putting the gospel first. After Manfred, we contacted a few referrals..they were a no go. 

Happy Valentines Day...PS I HATE THAT DAY!!! But I miss the heart shaped meatloaf...that is always one of my favorites!!! We had service at the library. After service Sister Davis and I went out to lunch to celebrate the annoying holiday, at Jungle Jim's! Love that place!!  We had a meeting with this lady who works at a volunteer center. She is trying to help us find some kind of volunteer/service to do in the Saint John area. (the library is in the Hampton area.) Well after we meet with her we went out to Sussex..tried to contact some less actives and had a dinner appointment with a couple from the ward. After dinner we had our first lesson with our new investigator Bobbie. She is about 27 and lives alone. Her best friend is a member, and referred her to us. She seems very open and excited about learning. She really liked the lesson of the restoration. I think it was one of the easiest/smoothest lessons I have ever taught! She said that if and when she knows it is true then she will be baptized. 

Weekly Planning Day!!! Longest day of the week!! Because we plan for two areas it takes us almost two days to finish weekly planning. But we did take a break from planning to go and visit a less active family in Saint John. The Hurtado's. Ester (the mom), Rosa (almost 8), and Cloudia (6), there dad was at work so we did not get to meet him. The girls are so cute!! They were so excited to have us there. Ester has some health problems and that is why she does not go to church very often, and the winter weather I guess makes it worse, but she does want Rosa to be baptized and she knows she needs to be going to church for that. She also wants Rosa to understand more about baptism, so we are going to start teaching her the lessons and prepare her to be baptized. It was the saddest thing for Cloudia when she found out that you have to be 8 to be baptized. But she is ok knowing that she can meet with us and learn more too! 

Well we did a lot more planning, planning, and more planning. We took a break to have the senior couple The Steffan's come over and check our appartment. It is just being finished with renovations...there was a flood several months ago and they are finally done fixing everything! Nothing too exciting...except we got transfer news...Sister Davis and I will continue to serve together. We will only be working in the Saint John area. Sister Rust is going to be training a new sister in the Hampton area. We are also getting a new Assistant (Elder Unger is going home :(  and a new Zone leader. Our district is also being split. There will only be 6 of us. The Elders in Saint John (Elders Moor and Prince), the Sisters in Hampton (Sister Rust and the new sister) and then Sister Davis and I.  

We attended the Hampton ward, President Leavitt and his counselors were there as well. They visit all of the wards in the mission and speak on missionary work. And how important the members are in the work. After church we had a pot luck. Then we went to visit a less active..who was not home. oh did I mention that it was a storm day..again!! LOTS OF SNOW!!!!! 

Well not much else is going on...we are having a relaxing day today!! SO VERY NEEDED!! This week should be a normal transfer week! 
Hope you all have a great week!!!!


Losing My Voice.....

Hey it sounds like you had a "fun" week. Its been about the same for me nothing much is going on here just A LOT of walking and A TON of heat!!!!   I love Tamale. Honestly, even though we only have few investigators, its always hot, and that there are a ton of Muslims here, I love it here. I love being able to open a new area because I get to show the people that God loves them!   Even though there are few Christians here, the ones that we have found have been prepared to hear this gospel. We are teaching a girl named Ruth and she is freaking smart. And she understands what we are teaching her, but (there is always a BUT)  her dad is a baptist Pastor!!!! CRAP  pastors are very stubborn!   but just so Ruth can progress we have to start teaching her dad so he can give permission  for her to be baptized.  I have heard about these stories before where missionaries go in to a new area and teach the pastors and they end up baptizing all of the members of that pastors church. I just hope that happens to me!  That would be crazy!    

So I am starting to lose my voice because I talk to much!!!  Since I am training I am teaching all of the lessons because new missionaries  do not know how to teach ( i was the same way)  so, my voice is starting to die. But I don't care because I am doing Gods work!!  

This week we have been able to find 6 or so new investigators and they all want to learn more. 3 of them came to church. It was so cool because Elder Roach and I were the only missionaries (out of the 4 companion ships) to have investigators at church!   YES!! We win! The missionaries here in Tamale are having a competition to see which companionship can have the first baptism!  I think Elder Roach and I Will win!

Well that's all I have this week. I hope you can understand my stories when they are written in broken English.
Love you all
From Ghana with love 
Elder Riddle  

Crazy Sunrise before going to Monkey Village

New Companion Elder Roach

Saying Goodbye to the Thanynes

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tamale at Last!!

Hello From Tamale

Well I am here in Tamale finally! After a 7 hour bus ride we got to Tamale around 5pm Thursday evening. And let me tell you, that we have a lot of work a head of us! For the past few days the only thing we have done is walk around talking to people and trying to get an idea of the area. Tamale is a lot hotter than Sunyani!   Another hard thing that we are facing here in Tamale is the religion problems. About 70% of the people are Muslim, and 20% are Christan and the remaining  10% is unknown/other! Now this is going to be hard for us because we have to find that 20%.  President Holmes wants us to start teaching the 20% because they accept that Christ is the savior of the world. Its crazy!   about 1 out of 15 people you talk to is a christian. Finally Sunday came, the day we have all been waiting for. We have been waiting for Sunday because we wanted to meet the members that stay here in Tamale. In sacrament meeting we had about 20 people, including 8 missionaries and Sis. and Pres. Holmes. We actually had about the same numbers as my first area (Fiapre) and my first area was a branch,.... we are only a group!
It has been a  good experience for us. We are learning so much about the area because we are just walking around all day... its fun.
the only part I don't like is the fact that they don't speak twi here. I have spent all of my mission so far speaking and learning twi. Now no one understands it. Its funny when I go to talk to some people I sometimes speak twi and they just look all confused at me. Good times!  
Also training is going good, my new companion is Elder Roach, he is from Virginia. He is a pretty sweet kid does not talk a lot yet but that's how all missionaries are when the first come out..

I have not gotten sick for a long time, so i feel like there is something coming for me soon!!!! hopefully its not malaria!!!!!!!!!!! But don't worry I am healthy and happy and doing the Lords work! Its good and fun!

Oh ya, I just found out that the man i baptized in Fiapre (Stephan) he just baptized his nephew that elder Larsen has been teaching. That was a happy thought for me!!!!

Well I just want you all to know that I am doing good and the work is progressing and that I love you all! Thanks for everything you do for me!

From Ghana With Love
Elder Riddle

PS oh ya on our way to Tamale on Thursday we had a 7 hourish bus ride and about half way there we made a pit stop in one of the towns so everyone could walk around and stuff like that, so i used the time to go to the bathroom. The people would not let me pee outside in the bush, but made me go inside their "BATHROOM" (its really 4 walls with a hole in the corner) They made me go in side to pee and then when I was finished they made me pay!!!!!!  10 pesewas (about 5 cents)  WHAT A JOKE!!  but at least I can now say I have paid to use the bathroom


I don't know all of the people in this photo except for Bobby and President and Sister Holmes.  He did say that the Elders that went to Tamale are Elder Dadezi (ghana), Elder White (Utah), Elder Andersen (Texas), Elder Roach (comp from Virginia), Elder Anumaun (In MTC with Bobby, Ivory Coast), Elder Modorobo (Botswana) and Elder Obeick (Nigeria)

I was in a snow globe that some child was shaking!

Hello Hello!!

ALEX....My Poor car! What did you do?!!! haha it is really sad if you think about it...that car has been through so much since I was 16!! 1st somehow the mirror was almost taken off by an aspen tree. 2nd remember all the car trouble when I went to school? Battery died..door locked and would not open. something happened with the transmission. oh yea the stupid but took off the back end of the car. and remember when i got stranded in the desert in the summer on the side of the highway!!!! HOLY CRAP!!! I think it is almost time to retire the old thing!! But I love it!! 

I can not believe that Jordan is home already!! so crazy! I was laying in bed last night and was thinking about how fast the time has gone since I left on my mission. I can not wrap my head around it...time really does fly when you are having fun..and it goes by even faster when you are in the service of God. do you realize that it is the middle of two months Bobby will have been out for a year!!!! What? that means three months later will be my year mark...which means I will only have 6 months after that!! I dont understand!!!! Why could time not pass this fast while I was in High School?!!! 

Well yes we did get hit with the big was a very weird storm to me!! It really did not snow that much, but the wind was blowing all of the snow into these huge drifts!! ok so funny story...we were asked to not drive as much as possible because of the storm, so we decided to take the bus to the lesson that we had that morning. It was about -10 out side and the wind was crazy!! blowing every which way...I felt like I was in a snow globe that some child was shaking! well anyway we had to climb through snow that went up to my knee to get to the bus stop. then we had to stand and wait for about 15-20 min for the bus to finally came. We got on and at first all was going well. then the bus missed the turn. or maybe we were just on THE WRONG BUS!! then we heard that the buses were being taken off of the streets because of the snow, so this was the last bus. Well we finally got off of the the middle of NO WHERE!!! We did not know how were were going to get home...forget about the lesson...lets find a way to get home. well we decided to see if the Elders were busy..we called them and they just laughed and laughed and laughed!! We got permission to ride with them, so they came and picked us up and took us home...what an experience!! I DONT EVER WANT TO RIDE THE BUS AGAIN!!!!  

Mom I am so sorry to hear about your cousin. I have met too many people who have lost loved ones that don't understand (or want to accept) the plan of salvation. This is one of the most important things that I have learned about on my mission. Nothing else matters if we dont understand the Plan that our Heavenly Father has given us. If we dont understand the Plan of Salvation, then the gospel of Jesus Christ means nothing, and the restoration does not even matter! But this I know...The Plan of Salvation is very real. Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of us. He only wants us to be happy and return home to him. I love being able to share this with everyone that I come in contact with!! The past few weeks I have learned so much about a plan that He has for me. I am understanding more what my purpose is, not just a plan for Sister Riddle, but for Rachele. What He wants me to do. How I can accomplish that. And most important that he is guiding me! 

 I have only grown from the many experiences while on my mission. The atonement has never become so real to me. It is amazing the things that I learn when I am teaching a lesson. We have been teaching a less active Brendan..He does not really understand God, or the gospel, or the plan at all! We planned to teach him the atonement. The lesson was amazing! Because of the experiences that I have gone through, I was able to relate to him in more ways than I ever thought possible. As I testified to him about the atonement, and what it ment to me in my own life, I felt my own testimony grow. It was a very spiritual experience for both Sister Davis and I. I have never been more directed from the spirit of what I needed to say. At the end of the lesson we asked Brendan to say the prayer. The spirit was so strong. (oh at this point Brendan has been very angry with God) He was able to express his feelings and just talk to Heavenly Father. At the end of the prayer he said that he knew that Sister Davis and I were where we needed to be at this time. This is something that I have not been able to get out of my mind. Am I really where I need to be? I have made it a matter of prayer, and I KNOW there is no where else that I am needed more than here in Hampton and Saint John, New Brunswick, and I love it!

I can not really think of any thing else that has happened this week...It has been pretty slow. We are going to Fredrickton today. It is Elder Moor's Birthday tomorrow, so we decided to go bowling and play lazer tag with the other Elders in our district. it should be lots of fun. I will send pictures next week. I dont have time to upload any this morning we have to head to fredricton pretty soon. 


Love, Rachele :D


Monday, February 4, 2013

My thoughts are not Gods thoughts!

Hello Everyone 

How is everything going? How is work, school and anything else that your doing? 

This week has been "interesting". So in last weeks email I told you that I probably won't be transferred this transfer. Well, I was wrong!  I was thinking that I had one transfer left in Sunyani as a district leader but it all goes to show that my thoughts are not Gods thoughts!  On Thursday, I got a call from President Holmes and he gave me some transfer news, but my transfer news has 3 steps.
Step 1. The release. "Elder Riddle I feel like you have done a good job as a district leader, but I am going to release you from being the Estates district leader.
Step 2. The first part of the call. "I am releasing you from being a district leader, and I want to call you as a trainer.
Step 3. Second part of the call. " Now Elder Riddle this assignment is not going to be easy for you because not only are you training but you are going to be training in Tamale. Yes, Elder Riddle, you are one of the 8 that is going to open Tamale"
So I got this transfer news on Thursday and have been thinking about it for 4 days now and it is driving me crazy!  First of I am training. Second, Opening an area, third they speak a different language than twi there.

My travel plans are me going DOWN to Kumasi for a meeting with Pres. Holmes for all the trainers tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.  Getting my new comp. (i am told he is American) and having more meetings with President Holmes on Wednesday, and Thursday morning we are traveling UP to Tamale.   

This is freaking amazing!!! Tamale is now the farthest north the Church has gone in Ghana. It used to be Sunyani. 

I don't even know what else happened because my brain has been on this. um....... I cant think about anything right now.
But, also the Thayne's are leaving next week, I have spent my entire mission with them (thus far) and I am just glad that I am leaving them and not them leaving me. haha . I gave them your phone numbers and they said that they are going to call you when they get home. You should take them out to dinner just to thank them for me will you. 

Well, I think this is all I have to email you about this week. Thanks for everything you guys do for me. Thanks for your support.  I hope everyone is doing OK.

oh ya, I got a letter from Alex and a post card from Rachele and the valentines package you sent me thanks so much love you all

From Ghana With Love 
Elder Riddle

Trying to get the Monkey to take the Book of Mormon.

Bobby said he would hate to have to climb down this tree.

Most recent converts in Sunyani

Most recent converts in Sunyani

"Ben the Beast"

Hello everyone!!!
what a crazy week! I think I say that every week. A lot has been going on. Covering two areas is really hard. There is never enough time to do everything we need to do in both of the areas. We have dropped a lot of the investigators that the sisters before us were teaching. A lot of them were just not progressing, and  we just could not get in contact with the others. Its hard having our teaching pool go from a pretty good number to now teaching almost no one, but time is precious and we can not focus on those that are not prepared enough, or have a desire to learn. 
We were not able to commit Manfred to baptism last week. He had too many questions and concerns that we had to address. Well we will see him again tomorrow, so maybe then. I think I told you a little about him. He is from Germany (sometimes it is really hard to understand him) and has a lot going on in his life right now. He wants the gospel to make sense to him instead of just knowing it is true spiritually. He does not want to pray. He knows he will receive his answer, but thinks his emotions from life will get in the way. I think he is just to scared to make a commitment, and ask a question when he knows the answer will require him to change. We had dinner with him last monday, and he made us schnitzel. It was really good!   
So have I told you about the family with 10 kids?!  The mom is a member, and her two oldest children were baptized a few months ago. We are teaching them the new member lessons.... We see them again on Wednesday. Should be great fun. ;D
So we had a couple of dinner appointments with some members in both of the wards....They are pretty good at feeding the missionaries here.  Oh and I did not tell you that everyone is related to everyone makes for knowing names really hard!!! Well we were on our way to a members house for dinner one night, The Cosmans. Well we realized that we missed the street that we should have turned onto. So we decided that we would just flip around and go back. Well our car "Ben the Beast" does not like to turn very well. We ended up off the road, stuck in snow!! haha there was no way we could get out. I got out of the car and tried to push it out...nope. that was not going to happen. We called the elders to come and help, but they were in a lesson and did not answer. So we decided to call the Brother Cosman. haha he said he was on his way. Well in the mean time, some nice man and his son stopped to see if they could help. They could not. we were really stuck. brother Cosman came with his nephew Jake. Jake is going on a mission in a couple of months somewhere in New York I think. Anyway he gets out of the truck and says "at what point did you realize that turning around was not a good idea" we replied "RIGHT NOW". Well they started getting the truck hooked up to our car when a fire truck pulls up and turns on his lights. They just wanted to make sure we were ok and that we did not need any help. Well that was exciting, and we will most likely never live that down. 
So tomorrow we have zone Conference. We have to drive to Moncton...I think it is a couple of hours away. So remember how part of my mission is in Maine?! Well we were talking to the Elders that are serving there right now, they are in our zone. We asked them to bring us some Oreo's, Peanut butter, and Dr Pepper!!! I am so excited!!! Ps all of these things are not canada!!! Oreo's here taste like dirt, and I dont even know how to describe the peanut butter. and the Dr pepper...its just better from the states!!! I asked if they had a Jimmy Johns there...Elder Chalmers said absolutely not! I think he misses it just as much as I do!!! So tomorrow is going to be a good day! (sorry bobby I know you don’t have any of those things but I will enjoy them for you!!)
Oh, so I forgot to tell you, last week I had to use my home card to buy gas for the car. The mission card would not work, but they put the money that I had to use back on my mission visa. I hope that was ok!! 
So at our sisters conference Sister Leavitt told us that it would be a good idea if we all had a pair of high heels!!! So I bought a pair. I used the money that they put on my mission visa...from paying for gas. They were only like $25. Gotta love Payless!!!! 

Well I guess I better get going! I love you all so much!! I can not wait for our Hawaii trip in 2014!!! 
Oh I just got the package that you sent me!!! THANK YOU!!!!!