Soldier in God's Army

Soldier in God's Army
Soldier in God's Army

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Fried Cookies...Wierd!

26 de Noviembre, 2012

Well, we have had a lot more success this week. Not a lot of success, but still a lot more than last week haha.

So I'll start of with my biggest achievement yet. I completed 2 of my goals at the same time one day. So here's the story. We were searching for inactive members when we knocked on one of their doors. A lady answered and said she wasn't a member. I began talking with her and shared a short message opening the door to the kingdom of God by getting baptized. Within the 2 minutes of her opening the door, and my short message, I challenged her to get baptized, set a date, and she accepted (while we were still at the door!). We then set an appointment to go back later and left to look for more inactive members. So that was pretty awesome. One of my goals was setting a baptismal date within 5 minutes, and the other was setting a baptismal date at the door. I miraculously completed both! haha

Also, we have been teaching Esteban and Martina more, and they are progressing pretty awesome! We are going to teach them tonight, and they invited us to eat tamales with them for dinner! (of course, I said we could not resist). They even went to all 3 hours of church on Sunday and loved it! They asked for another Book Of Mormon because Martina wanted to read but Esteban was always reading the only copy they had. So now they're both reading and marking a ton in the Book of Mormon. I know they are gonna get baptized and be great members of the church. Unfortunately, I have the feeling that I'm gonna have transfers before I can see them get baptized. At least I can say I taught them! But I might not be able to see them take the biggest and most important step in their life. We'll see what happens.

The Quiñones family is also progressing. Sister Quiñones went to church on Sunday, and her son Erik is going to go next week. We have an appointment with them on Tuesday, so we'll see what she thought about Sunday.

Now for the funny things (and there have been an unusual amount of those happening lately):

First off, one night (as says my companion), Elder Mullenbach went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and went he went back to bed he heard me say, "entonces hermana, en sus propias palabras, por qué tenemos templos?", which translates to "so sister, in your own words, why do we have temples?". Apparently I even teach lessons in my sleep! haha

Later, I was in exchanges with the Forestal ward with another white dude named Elder Whaley. He came here and stayed with me. He's newer, so he's also funner. At 1 in the morning one night, the guy who his renting us this house came up and knocked on our door for 15 minutes straight. I don't know why he didn't give up after 5, but whatever. So I finally got up, and meanwhile for some reason this dude said in Spanish to his mom "I don't think they have a light bulb". I'm still not sure what that means. But I opened the door and he (practicing his English) said "Mister Rings! How you do man?" and basically I was a little ticked, as he woke me from my deep resting state. He later went on to say that he wanted to invite us to the grand opening of their little street store down the road and wanted us to offer a prayer and read something from the Bible..... and he wanted to do it at 7 in the morning.... I told him maybe and went back to bed, only to find that I was crazy tired the next morning... I'm still kinda mad about that.

This week to celebrate Thanksgiving, we fried chocolate chip cookies and rainbow cake batter pancakes in a pan on a portable gas stove. Awesome! Photos next week!

Oh, and as a grand finale: in case you were all missing me and can't wait 2 years just to see me and hear my beautiful voice, you don't have to! I just found out through my connections in the mission (and yes, I am hooked-up) that my generation, along with a few others, is going to finish the mission 3 weeks early! So home is closer than I thought! 

And seriously, who knocks on the door at one in the morning?

Well that's it for this week. Keep praying and writing. Honestly, I need all the help I can get right now. The mission is getting a little hard and I can't stop thinking about after-mission-life. Help me out please! haha

Monday, November 19, 2012

Mission: One-Third Accomplished

19 de Noviembre, 2012

Well I'm gonna complete 8 months in the mission on Wednesday. That's a
third of the way! Crazy.

Things have been going.... alright here. We have pretty much
completely run out of work, and it's getting pretty hard to accomplish
what we want to do. We have already looked for every Inactive member
in our area at least 3 times, and many have said they don't want us to
visit them. We have had a little success with a few people. Only one
of our investigators went to church on Sunday, and one less-active. So
we're getting a little discouraged.

Well, I haven't really got much to say this week as far as missionary work goes
work goes, so I thought I would talk a bit about the food! Up there in
the states, Mexican food is merely an imitation. Here is where it's
at! You got pre-prepared nachos sold at every corner of the street,
and they are pretty amazing.

The burritos here in Durango are.....actually called "Burrotes". Burro
means donkey, and burrito means little donkey.....Burrote means big
donkey lol and they are huge. Imagine a normal burrito tortilla. Lay
it flat, and put another one flat next to it. And then put another one
next to that one. That's about the diameter the the circular tortillas
for burrotes here. And they cost less than 2 bucks a pop! (20 pesos)

I completely forgot that Thanksgiving is this week! Crazy! They don't
really celebrate that here. But supposedly Independence day is coming
up, so we'll see about that. Christmas is one holiday we actually have
in common here with the U.S.! I'm pretty excited for it.

Well, I'm doing pretty good. I have lost a ton of weight. I've lost 45
pounds so far! My waist is at a nice 34 inches, and I have a 4 pack.
I'm working for the six-pack. Currently my next goal is to be able to
to 20 pull-ups in a single set. Right now I can only do like 5. Haha I
know, lame, huh?

Well keep praying and writing! I gotta go. Until next week!

Monday, November 12, 2012


12 de Noviembre, 2012

I'm still in Jardines, but we split the area in 2, and we took
Jardines 1. And well, I've got a new companion! His name is Elder
Mullenbach, and he's the new District Leader here. He's awesome and we
have been working crazy hard here. He's from Texas, and he's also
white.... we are one of the only two companionships of two white
americans in the entire mission. It's actually a pretty rare thing to
happen. He's got 13 months in the mission and just left the mission
offices as Financial Secretary. Despite the challenges we are having
with the ward and the members, we have had a ton of success this past
week. We got 19 new investigators in a single week! That's crazy! So
yeah, we've been working hard. Honestly, I've never been so tired in
my life.

A little background info, just so you, the way we work here in the
mission has changed. We can't go tracting, knocking on doors anymore.
So meanwhile, the ward here hasn't been giving us referals, and we
didn't have any investigators whatsoever. So we couldn't do anything
other than search for all the inactive members in the ward directory.
So we were looking for this one guy, and his address must have been
wrong. We knocked on the door, the family said they were busy, we
asked them when we could come back, and we set an appointment. Before
leaving, I asked them how long it had been since they had gone to
church, and the response was "what church?". So a few days later we
went to their house with one of the priests (name's Angel) and we
taught them the restoration. And then they came to church yesterday!
Basically, we accidentally knocked on their door and accidentally
contacted them, and they ended up being golden investigators! Pretty
crazy. They're the Moreno family, and they're making a ton of

Other than them, we have a family of 7 investigators that we're
teaching, the Portillo family. One of the daughters is a recent
convert, and she recently moved back in with her family because her
husband comitted suicide. So it's been hard for them, but they're
really interested and are progressing a ton. They are happier and
happier every time we see them.

Also, we got a less-active member (named Arturo) to go to church on
Sunday! He arrived there himself, and left by himself. So that was

I heard about Clara (my second cousin once removed). That's sad that
she passed away, but I find comfort in the fact that we'll see her in
the next life, thanks to God's Plan of Happines.

I also hear Elder Alan Hawkins is doing awesome and having tons of
success in his mission! That's awesome. And also that Elder Kraymer
Eppich too! Momma Eppich sends me his letters through DearElder and
every few weeks I receive them all and get some good reading material
and inspiration that helps me keep going. It's gonna be pretty awesome
when all of us get back home as returned missionaries and can share
our experiences united like Alma and the sons of Mosiah!

Well I gotta go, but pray for me and write me!
Elder Riggs


5 de Noviembre, 2012

Well, transfers came again. And we have a few changes. But first
starting chronologically!

We finally found a house to rent! We were getting pretty desperate,
but we just kept praying and walking every street. We searched about
80% of all the houses in our area, and we asked every store (as there
are a ton of little ones in the streets) if they knew about a house to
rent. We finally got to one store who told us they were renting the
upper floor for exactly the amount of money we can pay! It's got 4 big
rooms, a great bathroom, and even a porch outside with plants and
stuff! And I'm gonna be living there, come Wednesday.

The Day of the Dead was a huge, awesome letdown. Nobody did anything.
Turns out pretty much nobody in Durango celebrates it in any way other
than closing the stores.

We did have a few changes this transfer. I'm still in Durango! Lol. We
split area Jardines in 2 parts. I'm going to one side (with the new
house) and Elder Olvera is going to the other. His new companion is
Elder Harrison, an american from Idaho who has 10 months in the
mission. We already picked him up, and will be with us in a trio for 2
days. Wednesday, my companion (Elder Mullenbach) will get here, and
we'll go over to our house with the porch. He will the the new
District Leader here.

So something pretty awesome happened on my Birthday that I forgot to
mention before. In the morning, Hna. Flores (President's wife) called
me and asked me how I was doing. The all of a sudden she and Pres.
Flores started to sing the happy birthday song. After, Hna. Flores
asked me to put her on speaker phone. Pres. Flores then said that he
wanted to thanks us for our great work in Industrial, and for making
such an impact there. He said congratulations, thanked us and
appraised us for about 3 minutes, said his goodbyes and hung up. It
was pretty awesome, as that almost never happens in the mission like
that! I felt pretty important for a few days! haha

Also, a few days ago a member couldn't feed us the day she was
assigned, so she gave us money instead! There is a Brazilian buffet in
our area called Gal Pao, so we went there with the money and ate. It's
pretty much like Tucanos. So they brought all sorts of meat and pizza
and meat desserts and meat and grilled pineapple and meat, all on
swords, and carved them in front of us and served us. These people
were accustomed to people who don't eat very much, so they didn't know
what they had coming for them. We timed it, and Elder Olvera and I ate
for 2 and a half hours without stopping (luckilly we didn't have any
appointments or references or anything else to do). The manager
actually got a little angry with us, and he told all of the waiters
and waitresses to stop serving us. After waiting for a while, the
manager asked us if we wanted anything else..... so we asked for more
sirloin, ribs, and grilled pineapple! He asked and we ordered and ate
about 15 more times until he stopped coming and asking us. So we got
up, paid, and went on looking for less-active members. And we still
didn't get totally full haha. But it was the best I have eaten in a
long time!

Other than that not much has happened since last week. I gotta go. so
until next week!
Con amor,
Elder Riggs