Friday, January 2, 2015

And a Happy New Year to you! Dec. 29, 2014

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope your Christmas was merry and bright. And that you have a happy new year. It's pretty crazy as a missionary to look back on your year and see how different your life has been. Last year this time I was freezing to death in Idaho, getting ready to start a new semester in school. Now I'm living on an island, speaking Spanish....yeah I would say that's a pretty drastic change haha. But I'm grateful for all the blessing and challenges of this year that got me to this point and I'm excited for a new year! This will be the only full year of my life as a full time missionary! Weird.
 On the ferry with my companion

Thank you for your prayers! Ramon was able to get work off again to come to church! Please continue to pray for him. 

Christmas was so fun this week! Everyone was so thoughtful. We ate a lot. And laughed a lot. And taught the Gospel a lot.
 Hot chocolate with Hermana Kaiser

Presents from home and from the members!

And now we have the new year when we can think about things we would like to change and improve. President Ezra Taft Benson said: 

...forget not your noble heritage. Each of you has been born of goodly parents. You are among the choicest spirits our Father has ever sent upon the earth. You are living in the dispensation of the 
fulness of times—the greatest of all gospel dispensations.
Yours is great challenge. You are choice spirits. Forget not that each of you has been endowed with 
the priceless gift of free agency. You have been given the freedom to “choose liberty and eternal life, … or to choose captivity and death” (Ne. 2:27). You need not be the victims of circumstance, for unto you it is given to achieve and become “perfect,even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).
 “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.” 
May you, by following this same path, merit the same commendation. May you gain the deep and 
abiding satisfaction that comes from rendering the maximum service of which you are capable. May 
your life be enriched to overflowing as you realize the fulfillment of your fondest hopes and noblest 

I know that God lives, and His plan is one of progression. I hope we can all take time to think about the things that we want to change. I know that as we put our lives into the hands of the Savior, He makes us into something better. I know that when we bring out weaknesses to Him, He makes us strong. 

Happy New Year! 

-Hermana Ries

I've changed a lot, but "Toothless lady" is still there inside me to the delight of my nephews and family members.

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