Friday, August 22, 2014

And then I was like, okay can I go to the field now?‏

Dear Family and Friends,

I'm going to Texas in like 6 days! I am so excited! 

I really don't have much to say this week and I think it's because I'm just feeling ready to go.
The elevators in the CCM remind me of "Despicable Me"
Sports on our preparation day!

 Also you guys can ask me questions and that'll probably be more interesting that anything else I write haha. 

This Sunday I had to say goodbye to the Nativas. It was so sad. I definitely started crying. Who am I supposed to speak Spanish with everyday??? Just kidding, I'll be doing that every day for the next 17 months. Some new girls moved in from Chile and Guatemala. I can't understand the Chilean Spanish as well so I'm glad I'll mostly be speaking Mexican Spanish.
My companion, me and the Nativas!

This week one thing that I learned comes from Alma 29:10. It says that when we see other people coming closer to Christ "then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yeah, even that he heath heard my prayer; yeah, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me." I love this because I am constantly remembered how blessed I am. And when we look at other people learning and growing, it just reminds us of how much we have been given.

The CCM is a unique place. All of these people with different backgrounds and different reasons for being here come and are trying to learn Spanish. We're trying to be missionaries. We're giving up technology and lots of other things that made up our life before this. And as we watch one another grow, it's easy to see the merciful hand of the Lord in everyone's life.
Writing a letter to my family.
 My companion and I emailing home!

Everyone loves my cat shirt.  Did I mention that we are all DIFFERENT!

Anyway, not much to report this week except that I am so excited for Texas!!!!!

-Hermana Ries

Friday, August 15, 2014

"Sister you Smile"

Dear family and friends,

Today is my one month mark!!! 10 days until the field! I am so excited. My p-day next week will be on Wednesday and then I'll email again on either Saturday or Monday before I leave. 

Whether it's Sweden or Mexico City, I'm always on the lookout for some local sweet treats!
The CCM used to be a school so there are playgrounds to hang on!

Happy birthday to my sweet niece and nephew  a little late. I miss you guys!

My nephew drew this picture of me.  I guess he thinks I'm a little rounder than I really am!

To explain the subject of this email, my name translates to "sister you smile." The natives love that my name means something is Spanish and it's actually really easy for them to say. I love it too.   (Explanation:  Ries means  you smile so Hermana Ries translates "Sister you smile")

This week I thought a lot about a talk from Conference in April 2014 called "Bear up their burdens" by Elder Bednar.    Please look it up if you have time. It's all about how our trials help propel us forward and help us grow. I testify that just when we think we can't go any further, the load is actually the thing that makes it possible for us to grow. The Lord doesn't always take our burdens, but He does make us stronger.

This week in the CCM everyone got sick. Turns out it was mostly salmonella haha. But I'm fine. Thank you for your prayers on my behalf. 

I've been practicing my Spanish with the latinas in our casa. They are the best. They call me the Hermana Loca (crazy hermana) Ha ha!   I love it. I've learned a lot more conversational Spanish instead of just the Gospel.

Also here's a funny story. We were teaching one time and after the teacher said', all in spanish of course, "when you teach and say we have a message to share, make sure you say, 'nosotras tenemos un mensaje.' not 'nosotras tenemos un mesaje'... that means we have a massage for you" hahaha so embarrassing and so funny. 

I hope you all had a good week! 
The lights of Mexico City!  So pretty!
-Hermana Ries

Romans 12:21

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Week 3 in the Missionary Training Center

They call me "la muestra".  It means the teacher!

Dear family and friends, 

I'm more than halfway done with my time here in the CCM. Nooooo. I'm so excited to go into the field but I also feel like I do NOT know enough. But God always provides a way. So even if I don't know what I'm doing it'll be okay. 

This is our district in our casual clothes, playing volleyball on our preparation day!
  This is our district all cleaned up and spiffy!

This week was really good. On Sunday we had a devotional by President Tenorio. He is awesome. Look up his talk on!   He spoke in conference awhile back and it's a really good and short talk. Also he's hilarious. He spent the first 51 minutes of devotional talking about marriage to us. And then the rest was crazy stories and being kidnapped and robbed and miracles. 

We also had a really good service project this week cleaning a casa with a lady named Rosa. She and I had a good chat and she taught me some more Spanish. She took a selfie with all of us but forgot to email it :( Maybe she'll remember someday. 
This is Mexico City behind me.  Beautiful city!

Yesterday our teacher was late to class and explained it was because he was robbed at gunpoint. What?  Mexico City is crazy,  but the CCM is one of the safest places on earth. It's like the Garden of Eden.  It's so safe and beautiful.

Also I found out dearelder sort of works. They print the letters out in provo and send them here so it still takes around a week for me to get letters that way. Att this point you're safer sending letters to Texas and they'll just be waiting for me. My address in Texas is:

Sister Susan Elizabeth Ries
Texas Houston South Mission
602 Eldridge Rd.
Sugar Land, TX, 77478
United States

So yeah, feel free to write me if you have time. Also printed out pictures are loved and very much appreciated haha. 
  My companion and I outside the visitor's center of the Mexico City Temple!

The last thing I want to share is Moroni 6:4 which says "relying alone upon the merits of Christ, who was the author and finisher of their faith." He is the author and finisher of my faith. I love Him and that is why I am serving a mission. I hope we can all rely on Christ, who understands our every need. I testify that He is our loving Savior.

-Hermana Ries

Friday, August 1, 2014

Week 2 in the Missionary Training Center! Prayers are answered.

Dear Family and Friends,

First off, I need to wish Braden Taylor, my nephew, a happy birthday. You're awesome Braden!

Another week has flown by. Life is good! I pray for you all and hope you're all happy and healthy. Everything here continues to be good. I'm studying hard and learning a ton every day. One thing that I'm coming to learn most is that this work is not about me at all. Nothing I do here should be for me! And it's really cool. I'm super happy. 

One thing this week that my teacher said  really touched me. He said, God answers prayers in 3 ways:
1. No, it's not the right time, in the future, yes.
2. Immediate yes
3. I have something better for you. 

I know that to be true. God does want the best for us, even if it is difficult to see at the time. 

Today we went to the Visitors Center for the temple and it was so much fun! Pictures are included. We also played volleyball a ton this week. My district loves playing during gym time. And after gym my companion and and I always go to la tienda and buy candy. We call it our daily candy time. haha. Maybe not the best thing to be doing, but I think i'm actually losing weight instead of gaining it so I think I'm going to keep the candy gig up. 

The weather here is beautiful. 70's and sunny during the day and then it usually pours and hails at night. I love it. AC isn't really a thing here but it doesn't need to be. 

As far as weird things go, the bathrooms here are all unusually nice. And the flusher is by the ground so you can use your foot instead which is handy...get it? Handy? Like you don't have to use your hands? Okay obviously I don't have much else to say.  Hahaha!  I hope you're all doing well! 

-Hermana Ries

Please send me a letter!  p.s. if you wanna write me easily you can use They will print it out that day and put it in the mailbox. No postage and no wait. I'm district 19B. And Branch 19. You guys are the best!