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  • Writer's pictureAmyanne rigby

Coming Home

This week's assignment from Amy Johnson Crow was something random. And random enough, this memory popped up on my social media feed so I thought I would share it here.

It wasn't Paris, or Zimbabwe, or Portugal- it was Yakima, Washington and to our family it is sacred ground. Ground that we sent our brother and son to... for two years. Our other four grew up while Seleck was gone-some of it was pretty tough. Looking back now, it was worth it. And I am pretty certain we had angels watching over us for those two years.

We arrived at the mission home at 8:30 am on June 19th- a day we had been counting down to for quite sometime. What a reunion it was! President and Sister Lewis served us an amazing breakfast- thank you! We enjoyed visiting with the other Elders who would soon be joining their families across the United States.

For the next four days, we visited, hugged, laughed, and shared so much with the people Seleck served and served with--- there are so many ways to be a missionary- just ask the Schonwald family in Bridgeport, Washington or Brother and Sister Lott in Moses Lake. And if you want to know about endurance and strength, visit Sister Weddle in Bridgeport, Washington. We traveled to the town of Toppenish... where the west still lives... and drove down a quiet lane to a worn out house with an old truck parked out front- it was here Seleck truly became Elder Rigby and his love of God became greater than his love for himself. It's funny how God does that- takes our weaknesses, molds us, shapes us, and then let's us go. That little house surrounded by overgrowth of trees, roses, and weeds is sacred ground to him. We all need a Toppenish! We learned what real joy looked like after visiting Ricardo and his family in Moses Lake. Since Elder Rigby's service there, Ricardo has been baptized and has been sealed to his family in the temple. We saw the Mighty Columbia River, watched Kite surfing along the Hood River, and dipped our toes in Moses Lake. We enjoyed Mexican Food like nothing we have back home, we dined with Peruvian descendants of the first members in Peru, and we ate the best Mexican Popsicles ever! And then after meeting Elicia Poe and her Daughter Maddie in Hood River, we knew Seleck (Elder Rigby) was called by God to serve in The Yakima Washington Mission. There are so many stories to share, but they are Elder Rigby's, we are just lucky enough that he let us take part of the bittersweet ending. There is one hug I will always remember- you would think it was the hug Seleck gave me after two long years of being a part? Nope, nice guess though. It was actually the hug that Sister Ann Lewis gave me as she greeted me in the mission home. For me, it was as if she read every emotion I had felt over the past two years and absorbed it all in a beautiful reunion between two women that had never met before. I could never find the words express to her the gratitude I felt for her at that moment, but I hope she felt it. Thank you President and Sister Lewis for your unending sacrifice to our missionary to so many more over the past three years. We will love and appreciate you forever! And many thanks to the Yakima Washington Mission for loving our missionary, Elder Rigby. "And if men come unto me, I will show unto them weaknesses. I give unto men weaknesses unto men that they may be humble. And my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me;for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then behold will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ether 12:27, The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

The Famous Door

The Garage, every Elder's name

The transfer board

We love you, President and Sister Lewis

Saying good-bye to MTC Companion, Elder Horsely

The Church in Yakima

Bridgeport, Washington El Puente

Visiting With Sherman Mumpower

view from Elder Rigby's front yard- neighbors Frank and Jackie

House in Bridgeport

Landlord- Sister Thorne

Mailbox in Bridgeport

Investigator Robert's trailer in Bridgeport

Church in Bridgeport

Visiting with Ruby Britt and son Gabriel

Visiting with Elder Polacio and Melling and Brother Sister Oman in Bridgeport

Visiting with Sister Weddle in Bridgeport

Visiting with Sister Vickie

neighbors Frank and Jackie

Visiting with Bryan and Alex Aguilar

View of Columbia River

Dinner Camperos and the Schonwald family

Breakfast with the Anna and Zach - Connor, Owen, Ty, Logan, and baby

The Mighty Columbia River

Moses Lake- my first area

First Apartment in Moses Lake

2nd apartment in Moses Lake

The first door I ever knocked on as a missionary

Sister De Leon

Visiting Oscar's Home

Oscar and David Martinez

Visiting Mitch Poth, the branch mission leader

Dinner with Luna and Riojas families

descendants of the first pioneers in Peru

Elder Owen and Elder Beaumont in Moses Lake Toppenish my 3rd area

Church in Toppenish

My home in Toppenish

The road where I learned to love to run

The Jesus card I posted on my running route

The house I gave the "last gift of Christmas" a cute little girl

Lunch at Noe Noe in Toppenish

Brother and Sister Lott in Toppenish

Final Area- Selah, Washington

We met Yesenia Cardenas and her children, Gabby, Valeria, and Edgar (left) and Hermana

and her children Pabel and Valeria (right)

My last apartment in Selah

The Sanchez Family with aunt Juan parents- Jesus and Griselda- children- Jesus Jr., Abel, Arturo, and Gabriel

With Serjio and Mariah Sanchez with children Anthony, Ajay, Serjio Jr. and Vida

With the Toppenish team- Left to right- Brother Evans, David, Bubba (winterhawk) , Brother Dave Simmons and Brother and Sister Barney

My apartment in Hood River

The might road I ran with Elder Najarian

Elicia Poe and her daughter Maddie

Checking out kite boarding in Hood river

Cherry orchard with Mt. Hood in the background, Hood River Oregon

Family picture in Hood River Revisiting this trip made me happy. Seleck's mission was anything, but easy. It was a proving ground for him. It is where he not only taught others about Jesus Christ, but where he came to know Jesus Christ in a very deep, personal way.

We have all changed so much since these days in June 2018. Maleck, the shortest of the brothers is now the tallest. Seleck remains a pillar of faith, diligence and service. Emma, though not much taller exudes strength and faith. Stockton has grown in leaps and bounds- physically, emotionally, and spiritually. and Madsen- he is our constant source of kindness. He has a deep soul. Travis and I will celebrate 28 years of marriage this month- I would do it all again, Rigby. Oh these people, they have my heart!


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