Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Meeting his Mission President

Elder Riehle's first meeting with his Mission President
President Shulz, Elder Riehle and Sister Shulz

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Whenever I find a good scripture (which is all the time, they are all good..) I want to email it to you so you can put it on a sticky note and put on the mirror! You can think of me when you are brushing your teeth everyday! Sorry if the mirror is completly covered in 2 years...

This scripture is 3 Nephi 18:21  "Pray in your families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed."

Family Prayer brings us together!

Love you guys!

Elder Riehle

Leaving the MTC

I am meeting my mission president today! And I am so excited! My MTC president loves me and I had a really long chat about my MTC experience yesterday. I gave him all the good things and the bad things and a bunch of ideas to make it better and he said that he is going to put a bunch of them into the works for next week! It will be cool if I ever come back to see the affect I have had here.

I am so ready to be out in the field TOMORROW, Wednesday! I have prayed so Hard for a trainer that will start my mission off right. I feel like I have been training everyone around me and being an example for so long that it would be nice to have someone for me to role model off of. I'll let you know how it goes!!

Whenever I find a good scripture (which is all the time, they are all good..) I want to email it to you so you can put it on a sticky note and put on the mirror! You can think of me when you are brushing your teeth everyday! Sorry if the mirror is completly covered in 2 years...

This scripture is 3 Nephi 18:21. "Pray in our families unto the Father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed."

Family Prayer brings us together!

Love you guys!

Elder Riehle

Monday, May 27, 2013

Tonight half the elders are leaving to Nigeria just leaving the Cape Coasters and the Francophones in the MTC. I don't say this lightly, but I am quite certain I am going to learn French later in life. I can converse pretty well with all the DR Congo elders and apparently I was talking in my sleep in French last night... I'll learn Twi first though ahaha.

Last Tuesday I went through the Accra Temple twice in a row, which was a good and bad idea since I am still getting used to the time change. That has been the hardest thing about the MTC. I have been tired ALL the time. But it is wearing off and I am becoming a true Ghana timezoner now.

It's been only 2 weeks in the MTC, but it feels like months. I love it though. I have had the best scripture study I have ever had here. It is a little discouraging that some of these people don't know why they are here. They mess around and lose the spirit. It has been a good opportunity for me to be a leader and and an example. My biggest prayer is that I have a good trainer.

Love you guys!  Church is true and the Book of Mormon changes lives. I am so ready to leave the MTC on Wednesday morning and go and preach the gospel with my brethren in the Lord. Pray for me, I am praying for you.


till we meet again

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This is a picture of Elder Riehle's Missionary Training Group. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


This is James Ewudzie and Elder Riehle. 
He was the fourth person to be baptized in West Africa and was friends with Billy Johnson.

This is my companion and I at the Accra Ghana Temple.

 School kids in uniform getting out of school

Elder Riehle, and Elder Judy with some Elders from the Congo.
They don't speak any English. . . 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A few details

Africans are super loud and funny.. when I can understand them..

They have really strong accents and they only say half the word.

There are a few countries represented here in the MTC. Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone and C'tivior.

Nigerians are THE loudest people I have ever met. But also some of the most caring.

They speak a bunch of languages and they can switch through them effortlessly. English to Igbo to Pidgen to English. Its hard enough understanding their English!

Because of the language situation, I have begun to learn some. I know some key phrases in Twi, Igbo and French. There are two french speaking districts of about 15 people. They don't speak any English at all hardly. With my backround in Spanish I can kind of get my point accross sometimes. But mostly our conversations are just "Ce Bon!" It's good! and "Mon Ami!" My friend! and a whole lot of "Ques ca ce...?" How do you say...?

There are 2 other white Elders here and they are both really cool guys. Elder Judy and Elder Moffit. They are nice to have around so I can speak American to them.

Anything that they see they haven't seen before, they have to have and will just take it. Missionaries or not. Somethings that have caused a mad frenzy that they have never seen before are, Post it notes, Balloon animals, Flossing tooth picks, shampoo, stationary and Elder Judy's cookies. If I give something to someone it spreads to everyone and their grandma comes and is insulted I didn't give them one too.

Before I left I learned how to do Balloon animals because I thought the kids would like it. I was wrong. They ALL like them. I made a hat for one person and they WENT CRAZY. They played with them for like 2 straight hours. About half way through is when I wanted to be going -- which proved to be impossible.

This is our balloon hat party we had. They played with them for literally 2 hours. 
I wanted to go to bed after one.
(Left to right. Elder Ma'afo (Tonga), Me, Elder Graham-Douglas (Nigeria) Elder Ike (Nigeria) Elder Buba (Congo))
The food comprises of a base food, usually rice but sometimes plantains or white yams, with some kind of greasy "stew" which is just a mysterious slop. For breakfast, they try to make us Americans comfurtable by making hot dogs.. Thanks guys...

My companion is Elder Chimechefulam from Nigeria. He is a great guy with a great testimony and it is really nice to have him. He has my back when people are trying to steal my money.

Basically life is crazy and good and it is humbling to have so much to learn. From my experiences here I can see how this can be the best 2 years.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

I made it!!

This place is... not like America. It really hit me that it was Africa when I saw women carrying baskets on their head walking around. The flight was long. 10 hours long. We got " food" but it wasn't very good. But that was to be expected. When I got to the JFK airport, which only took about 45 minutes to get there, I met Elder Judy. I was happy to see another black name tag. He is from Gilbert, Arizona and went to BYUI the same time I did, so naturally we knew people. A little later, Elder Moffit came from Salt Lake. We flew our long flight separated but that was good. Divide and Concur. I am at the MTC right now and so far those two are the only white people I have seen outside the airport. When we got to the Accra airport, I ran into a little problem. On the way out the door yesterday, I seemed to have not grabbed my Yellow Fever card... Which is not good. The lady checked me and at first said that I would not be able to enter the country, but I said a little prayer and she motioned me past. Miracle number 1. I have shocked a few people by knowing some Twi, but as Elder (click) something from South Africa said, "That's just too much." I have already noticed that people aren't used to Americans here. When we brought our luggage upstairs to the living quarter, I introduced myself as Elder Riehle and they all laughed saying, "haha you real, you so real" I guess they are not used to that name... But I am not used to their names and really have no idea what they are saying, so we are on the same page. There is a lot to learn and I am ready to go. I have given out 2 cards so far and that is just a start!

Making Time Count,
Elder Riehle

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Highlights from my Farewell

The family wearing Kente Cloth. 

Today marked a momentous day for me, as it was my last Sunday in my amazing ward and amazing country. But only for the next 2 years so it’s not that big of a deal. As I have been contemplating my decision to go on a full time mission over the past few months, I have come to realize that it has not been a decision at all.  I have always known in my heart that I was going to go on a mission and I cannot think of any time-turning moment where the decision was made. 
   In fact, it was the examples of my leaders and parents that led me to this point. I know we live in a time where we have a living prophet Thomas S Monson on the Earth, and revelation can come freely to all those who are willing to receive it. I strongly believe that much thought, prayer and revelation has gone into the decision of who the leading adults have been in my life. I have loved all my leaders and I thank all of you that were there today. But there have been three things I have observed from my leaders over the years growing up that I have come to know as the Three T’s. The Three T’s are Teach Talk and Trap. Elder Uchtdorf likes to make catchy slogans and so will I! Each one of these T’s are things leaders have done that have prepared me to be able to talk about the Gospel and to be a missionary.
   The first T is Teach. Teaching, I think is the main purpose of a leader. From my leaders, I have learned amazing things such as making a robe out of grass, being able to survive in the wilderness without hardly anything, and that you can be sick and dying, and a girl will still say yes when you ask her to marry you. You know, important things. But the lessons I have appreciated the most have been about temple worthiness, priesthood duties and how to be a loving husband and father. We are listening even though you think we are just playing Angry Birds on our phones.
    The second T is Talk. Some of the greatest time I have had with my leaders have been late at night around the campfire just … talking. No conscience teaching is occurring but it is when we as youth can see behind the veil of “brother” or “sister” and just as a friend. In the scriptures, the ultimate example, Christ called his disciples “my friends” and “my brothers”. I have enjoyed the friendships I have had with my leaders and the stories I have heard. But I have come to see a pattern in the stories my leaders have liked to tell, they usually start with “back on my mission” Those are the best stories that have helped me be taught what a mission is actually like, instead of just watching the Best Two Years movie. When we hear what an amazing time we will have, the decision will come naturally. Telling stories is an incognito was of convincing.
   Which brings me to the last T, Trap.  The only reason I called this one trap is because ‘basketball’ doesn't start with a T. I strongly believe basketball is the Lord's tool. It is a comfortable and familiar way to meet people and have fun… and then get asked to church after wards. Looking back now, I laugh at all the other times where what I thought was going to be a trivial entertaining activity turns out to be a well thought out metaphor. When I was a teacher, we had an activity where from the surface it appeared to be just a fun carnival, but by the end we found out it was actually a model of the Plan of Salvation. I won’t spoil anymore in case they do it again. Situations like these have shown me a better way to fellowship and teach.

   Another person who has helped me prepare has been my father. President M. Russel Ballard has said, “We are all on a journey. Dads are just a little further down the road but none of us has arrived at our final destination." So the life of our father is the model of how we will be when we are fathers. Dads watch out. I am grateful for everything that my father has done for me and all the things he has done to make me the missionary I am. Some things I have noticed that have helped me prepare: well. it’s nothing clever but it is still 3 things: Using time wisely, Have something to Share and Personal Worthiness.
  The first is “Using time wisely.” Dads have a lot on their plate. They leave work in the morning to provide for their families and come back late and have to find time to spend time with them as well. I am grateful for the time I have been able to spend with my father but it has ran out. People call missions “the best two years” and say “it goes by so quick” and I really think it’s true. The time I spend with my dad always flies by.
  The second is “Having something to Share.” In many ways, fathers are our first companions and our first trainers. It’s up to them to be the example of scripture study, prayer, and fasting. Sometimes fathers have to put aside their personal desires to be able to be the example. As I said before, the life of our father is the model of how we will be when we are fathers. It is also the model of how we are and what we like. Growing up my dad liked running, so I started running. He liked singing so I started singing. When he would do something, I would do it too. My father has taught me that someone is always watching and I always need to be a constant example.
   The last one is “Personal Worthiness.” From the time we are small to now we look at our fathers of how to live the gospel. With fathers’ blessings, sacrament, and going to the temple, it's the same thing as before, We do what we see. So when I saw a man who gave us priesthood blessings,  took the sacrament every and came with me for my first time to the temple, I know the man I want to be, I know how I want to live with the priesthood I hold. I thank my father and all the other fathers that have been examples to me in my life.
   Since I have already stolen Mothers day enough I guess now I will talk about mothers. I think my mom is great and I could talk about her all day. But seeing as I don't have all day, and today is Mother’s day, not Harrison’s Mothers day, Ill speak to all the mothers. I first thank you for all the hard work you bear through to make your children’s lives better. Being a mother is probably the most selfless of all life callings because everything she does is for her family.  In the Book of Mormon, we read about 2,000 young men who were valiant, courageous, and strong. “Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him” (Alma 53:21). These faithful young men paid tribute to their mothers. They said, “Our mothers knew it” (Alma 56:48). In some ways, our mothers make our house a PMTC or a pre-missionary Training center. And two great values that mothers can teach is first, The value of work and second, Love.
After going to college, I realized what it was like not having a mother there. I checked the postal costs and I found that it was neither practical nor cost effective to send my laundry home from Idaho. I realized that I had to do all the laundry, cooking and cleaning on my own and mom was not there to help. However, that rigorous life was only the tip of the ice berg compared to a mother’s. She had those same duties times 6. Whereas it is the duty of a mother to be there for her family another duty is to teach the value of work. Growing up chores were THE worst. No kid likes to do chores. But when we see what happens we don't clean, i.e. most of our rooms, we come to learn the value.
For the past three summers I have worked at a scout camp where we had to work all the time and be an example to the Webelos. Not saying I am a mother but I saw the importance of how work affected my life. All the quote “Mormons” were highly respected because of our work ethic that where we thought was normal, was out of this world to them. Mothers have the job to clean up and support everyone in the family and somehow find time to themselves. For the past few months, I have been working and watching movies with my mom. During the whole time, I have never seen my mother sit and watch a movie. She always finds something to do and never wants to sit. That is the kind of work ethic that I, and definitely the other young men in the ward have learned from all of you mothers and I thank you for it.  And so do all the people of yards we have mowed and raked in our lives.
   Most of all in the world the most important duty of a mother is to love.
I thank all the mothers who have raised their children so that we could live in a place with peers with the same standards.