Note: For the duration of Riley's mission, this blog will be produced and edited by his parents, Daisy and Todd Stonely.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Week 102: Sweet Home Alabama!!!

Dear Friends and Family,

I got transfer calls and the ZLs told me I was going home!! So I asked them if I was going to Alabama again because that's what the song says!!! PSYCH, Utah will have to do :)

A lot of mixed emotions leaving the place I've called home for two years. At the beginning, I thought it would go on for ever and that the mission was what I would call life! It definitely has treated me well, though I'm not too good at saying goodbyes. And there was definitely a lot of hard goodbyes this past week with those whom I have come to love tremendously. I am grateful for the past and optimistic about the future! I thank everyone for everything they have done for me in providing support and love in every moment! I truly love you all!

Welp, mom, I will see you Thursday :) I love you lots!

Elder Stonely
Yep, I'm still crazy!
...and I like to take pictures with watermelons...

But lots of people still love me.

Good bye, everyone...I'll miss you all!!!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Week 101: Breaking Down Walls

Dear friends and family,

This week I learned this,

"There is no wall you cant...
     ...walk around,
     ...jump over,
     ...dig under,
     ...break through,
     ...or push aside."

As I sat reflecting on many things from the past week, that thought came to mind. There are many problems, issues, adversities and things pertaining to this earth life that are in our daily walk of discipleship. As I thought back on everything that I've gone through, I've realized that there has been a solution to everything. And If there hasn't, then it wasn't that important and I was able to push it aside trusting in the Lord. I have felt at peace knowing that through the Atonement of the Lord, we receive strength and peace throughout all the learning opportunities that the Lord blesses us with daily, weekly, yearly and for the rest of our lives. Some of the WORST, yet BEST advice that I have received from people this past week is that trials will only continue to come if not get bigger. HAHA Not sure that is something anyone wants to hear, though I feel glad that my learning doesn't stop here. I guess that is what we have life for :) So, I guess the thought of the week is that if you feel like you are stuck with a wall in front of you, find out how to jump over, dig under, have the patience to walk around, the strength to push through, or simply just put it aside and keep going through :) I love you all so much and am so very grateful for the many blessings that you all have given to me in my life! I wish you all the best of luck in all your journeys!

Elder Stonely

Here are some cool pictures :) Its been a while...


Monday, May 15, 2017

Week 100: Mothers Day

Dear Friends and Family,

BIG NEWS!!! It was mothers day for all y'all who said happy mothers day to your mom and then have now gone back to normal life since mothers day is over. Mothers deserve to be told that they are loved every day, so for those of you who don't, (me), please repent and do it every day! I love you mom!

Well we had a week full a crazy adventures! We have done some fun things, missionary work, mothers day party, talking to lots of people including someone named "alfredo." He is from Cuba, and has been in the united states for only a year. He is very friendly and doesn't know anything about the gospel. Literally knows only that there is a god. BUT hey! Thats a start! He has one up on King Lamoni. It has been very exciting to be able to teach him. We taught him about prayer. Literally, we had a lesson just on prayer. It felt like we were teaching a kid, though felt amazing cause he understood EVERYTHING!! and said a wonderful prayer at the end. I felt like a proud spiritual dad of Alfredo. We are totally friends now!

Other than this, we are still working hard! WE are eating lots of Hispanic food and learning how to cook it. And its going well :) I hope you all have a good week this week!

Elder Stonely

Monday, May 8, 2017

Week 99

Dear Friends and Family,

This week flew by really fast. We did lots of great missionary work as always! I got sick which wasn't the best, but I'm getting back up to normal energy levels and am ready to fight the world again! We met with an investigator for a lesson about 45 minutes before a meal appointment with a member. When we showed up, they had prepared "mole" which is AMAZING! its like chicken and rice with a chocolate/spicy sauce. It is pretty darn good if i say so myself. HAHAHAHA so, we ate dinner with an investigator as well as with the members after. HAHA It was amazing!

Life is going great! We went to sonic and enjoyed a shake one night. And we have been doing great! I hope you all have a wonderful week this next week!

Elder Stonely

Monday, May 1, 2017

Week 98: Yup

Dear Friends and Family,

This was an amazing week. To be honest, it flew by way faster than what I thought it would be. We did a lot of service, worked hard, found some new investigators, went on a trade off with the DL and was really fun. 

Super sorry for the short email. Just know I love you all! I'm thankful for all you do! Remember the Lord loves you forever and always and that he blesses you as you strive to become like him daily! Happy Anniversary mom and dad!

Elder Stonely

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Week 97: :D

Dear Friends and Family,

I think the subject of this email fits perfectly. We should all have reasons to put a smile on our face every day. Despite circumstances and despite how bad you think you have it. The Savior, Jesus Christ made it possible for every child of God to be happy and feel joy every second of every day. That I am truly grateful for.

This week I received my new companion. His name is Elder Cornforth. He is from Ogden Utah. He likes to Rodeo and from what I've seen in pics, he is pretty good at it too! He is tall, and very friendly. He is my 8th companion that I have had on my mission and something that I have learned is that no words can describe the amazing characteristics that our companions have. I wish everyone who reads this would have the opportunity to meet my companions in person because it becomes so real. I am grateful for the chance that I have to serve for six weeks with Elder Cornforth! He has a desire to work hard, move forward, and continue onward with faith and diligence! I am definitely grateful.

Im going to be honest, this week, from the moment Elder Cornforth has gotten here, we have been running around like monkeys with our heads cut off. We had so much to do, many service opportunities, and lots of missionary work. I don't think I have ever felt so happy being so stressed in my life! HAHA For those of you who know me, I don't do well with stress. Ive gotten better at dealing with it over the last two years, and I think this week was definitely the test. Though the blessings from working hard truly come in! Here is an experience that we had this past week.

We had lost contact with Gloria for about 2 weeks previous. She is the single mother with 5 kids who recently moved into a new home. We had no idea where she moved, and she wasn't answering her telephone. On Friday, we had planned to go visit some potentials, which we did and when we were about to head to another place, we decided to talk to one more neighbor. After talking with them, we headed out. As we were driving home, I noticed a car that looked just like the one Gloria used to drive. I sat there thinking, "hmmmm..." I then felt like we should follow the car, so I told Elder Cornforth who was driving, " FOLLOW THAT CAR!" So he did... I'm not a stalker or anything, but they pulled into a gas station. I wanted to make sure it was her, so i told elder Cornforth to pretend like he was buying gas. he pulled up next to her and I saw a darker man driving the car. I was a little bummed and said, " its not her..." so he started to drive away, but then I saw a "bun" or whatever ladies call their hair when it looks like a bun, on the persons head in the passenger seat. It was her!!! So I told Elder Cornforth to pull over and talk to her. So we did. She was happy to see us. She hadn't been able to text us back because it had been a stressful week with everyone and her new house, and appliances, work and all but said that she had been reading what we gave her and we set something up for the next week.

Now for most people that may not be that TOO big of a miracle. But for me in that moment, it was something that Lord was showing to us that he was listening to us and blessing our lives. He is here. He listens. And He loves every single one of us. I know that as we seek him and his guidance, he will bless our lives. I am so very grateful for all I have been given! And that you all for the many things that you have given to me and the much support! I love you all!

Elder Stonely

My new companion, Elder Cornforth.
Thats right, he's got 8-10 inches on me!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 96: Hey!

Dear Friends and Family,

This email will be a short one, I do apologize. This week is transfer weeks! Elder Leandro and I will be leaving each other. It was three of the fastest transfers ever if i\I might say so myself. Elder Leandro will be leaving Tallahassee and heading out to Defuniak, wherever that is, HAHA. And I will be here in Tallahassee with my new companion, Elder Cornforth. I have no information on him other than his current companion is elder Orndorff. So together they are "Elder Cornforth and Orndorff" HAHA. That's pretty cool. I'm excited to spend the next six weeks here in Tallahassee and enjoy the Hispanic Culture! I am also grateful for the countless opportunities that I have to serve those around me!

"I love it when I go to Easter Sunday and everyone is soooo happy and smiley and its like everyone is hyped on jelly beans and chocolate eggs but I wish everyday was Easter!"
-Credit to Elder Carpenter

Well, He read my mind on Easter Sunday! I really do enjoy Easter Sunday and Hope you all did too! There is nothing better than Constantly thinking about the Amazing gift our Heavenly Father gave us. His son, who was born, lived, taught us, carried out the Atonement, died and was resurrected so that we could have Eternal Life and Joy. I love you all and cant wait to talk to you next week! Much love,

Elder Stonely