Oh man. It's finally here. I am in Riverside, California as we speak. Or as I type to you! 

I love love it here. I got in on Tuesday and we just spent some time at the mission home, having lunch, meeting all the newbies and our trainers, having some classes, and then dinner and a testimony meeting!! I am blessed enough to have two trainers, one is Hermana Castrillon and she is from Colombia, but now her family lives in New York City. She was baptized 3 years ago and has been on her mission for 6 months. She is a huge example to me of someone who has a lot of faith! My other trainer is Hermana Graham and she is from Utah (the factory, obviously) and has been on her mission for 17 months, so she is about to go home!! I am really grateful to have both of them because we all bring something really different to the equation and it works out really well. They are such sweet easy-going girls and so it's easy to love them and feel loved too!

Okay, so this week has literally been full of miracles. Let me share one: The first night we were officially a companionship (Wednesday night), we decided to to follow up on some old investigators that Hermana Castrillon had taught a couple times. Their names are Miriam and Gustavo and she said they had never really been interested in our message, but were always willing to have the Hermanas over. She told us that Miriam was really really closed off but that Gustavo was pretty nice and we just wanted to go see how they were doing since it had been a couple months. Okay, remember, this is my FIRST REAL DAY in the mission field. I don't know how to speak Spanish, like at all. I was freaking out. Anyway, we get there and everything is fine. They are nice enough but you can tell they aren't really into the message, they still had the TV playing and all that jazz. I was only picking up about half of what was being said, and I wasn't saying anything at all. THEN we started talking about families, and after a few minutes Miriam shared that she was angry at God because her son had committed suicide. I don't even know how I understood what was going on. But I was so touched. She needed to hear what I had to say! In my very broken Spanish, and between a lot of tears,I was able to share with her some scriptures that really helped me when my brother had committed suicide almost 3 years earlier. I was able to testify of the Plan of Salvation and how I know that families can be together forever. I testified of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how I knew that it could help her in this very hard time. I understood her and she understood me. It was my first day in the field and I was already being shown that Riverside is where I am supposed to be! At this time everyone was crying and the spirit was talking to us each individually. Miriam totally softened up. She opened up and she agreed to come to church for the first time! We asked her to pray and in her prayer she called us her angels and thanked Heavenly Father for eternal families. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! We weren't able to get ahold of them again that week so we were hoping and praying that it was still their intention to go to church on Sunday morning. We decided to show up that morning before church to remind them, and when we got there, they were all ready in their Sunday best and Miriam had made us breakfast!! They came to church and met lots of friends and stayed all three hours. It was such a miracle and a blessing! I love missionary work. 

One of the things that you're supposed to do as a new missionary is to invite people to keep all the commitments we extend. SO I have asked people so many times this week if people will pray and read and come to church. There is a special power about really committing someone to follow the teachings of the Savior, especially when they agree to! I also had the chance to ask three people to be baptized this week AND THEY ALL SAID YES! We now have 3 investigators "on date". Kim and Mirna are scheduled to be baptized on Nov 22 and Jocelyn on Dec 19. Please pray for them! And for all the other investigators that are close at this time. I love this work and I know that your prayers will help. The Spirit is an incredible teacher and I know as people will really open themselves up to feeling the Spirit it will testify of truths to them. I know this this work really is the work of God and that there is so much to be done. Deciding to go on a mission is definitely the best decision I've ever made. Thank you all for your love and support.

I don't have much time to write, but I wanted you all to know what I am up to! I will write again next week. Thank you for everything!

Con Amor, 
Hermana Rutherford 

Ahhh my beautiful trainers at our first ZDM meeting! I am the tallest for the first time in my life!

Hermana Castrillon and I at a breakfast to meet the new Stake President. We love donuts!