Sister Riojas is 4 foot 11 and loves stiletto heels--especially really high, really bright ones. She is Mexican by birth, but lives in Del Rio, Texas near San Antonio. When she is not dressed in temple white, she is enveloped in vibrant colors that can only be matched by her colorful personality. If she were a bird, she would be a Macaw.
When the Monterrey, Mexico temple was dedicated, she and her husband drove down to the dedication. They fell in love with this stunning temple and the dedication of the people and decided that they wanted to serve a mission here. She worked for a few more years as an accountant and they planned to serve their mission when she retired. At the time of her retirement, however, they discovered that her husband was in the early stages of Alzheimer's. He realized that a mission was not going to be possible, but told her that when he died, she should serve “their” mission in the Monterrey Temple and he would be there by her side.
A few months later, he fell and broke a rib. It cut his liver almost in half. He was life-flighted to San Antonio (a $32,000 trip) and died the next day. Four months later, she talked to her Bishop about putting in her mission papers to serve in the Monterrey Temple. That’s where they ran into a snag. When the Bishop called the Mission Department to see how to request this special mission, he was told that with her background there was a 90% chance that she would NOT go to the Monterrey temple. There was no way they could guarantee it, even if the Temple President and Mission President requested it. They did add a caveat, however: she could just move to Monterrey and “volunteer” in the temple. She spoke to the Temple President and he was delighted. A friend of hers who lives five minutes from the temple offered her an apartment without charge. Soon she was installed in Monterrey and working both the morning and afternoon shifts in the temple: no red tape, no companion, and the mission of her dreams. She has been the temple’s very own 73-year-old “energizer bunny.” Sister Riojas went home today after serving a one year, self-styled mission and spreading happiness to hundreds of people all over Nuevo Leon.