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

Monday, July 27, 2015

Week #7 en Florida Talahassee: "Here I Come Cousin....!"

Dear Friends and Family,

There is so much I would love to talk about that I would be sitting here for hours! First I just wanted to quickly talk about my last week in the Mexico Training Center and Then some cool experiences Ive had throughout the first week here in Florida and Alabama!

Last week on the MTC was a crazy one trying to figure out everything I needed to do and get done in order to leave. But once I finally did it struck me that I will probably never see any people I met ever again and that made me sad. I was excited to take a billion pictures with my teachers and co-missionaries. I have a lot of pictures and some i will probably share now or some other time. They are all just so great I cant really pick any! but My teachers taught me so much and I learned that they are more than just my teachers. I already miss them because now when I have questions I cant simply ask them what the answer is or how to translate a word. I ACTUALLY HAVE TO DO IT FOR MYSELF!!! WHAT??? I HAVE TO WORK??? HAHA totally kidding. I learned a lot from them and kinda glad I don't have them cause now the responsibility is on me 100%


I was greatful for the MTC for all that it taught be and it truly did prepare me for the field. Except in my spanish because I feel like during lessons I just sit and try to understand what they are saying. Its different, but it is great!

I guess I'll mention the things most people want to hear whenever there is a transfer or anything. My companions name is Elder chapdelaine (took me forever to be able to spell or pronounce) and He is the BEST! He is my trainer and he really does know what he is doing. There is so much to learn from him and I'm not even sure if i'm leaning it all. But i will get there! He talks really fast in Spanish and helps me out a ton. Something I am really grateful for. We have a car to drive, but limited on miles, so we bike a lot of places and MAN OH MAN it is fun! HOT, but extremely fun. We stop and talk to everybody we see and some of the people wee meet are great! I find that down here most white people are the ones you want to watch out for cause every white person that is not a member who I have met has been extremely rude. That's one reason I am happy to be a Spanish missionary cause all of the Hispanics down here came here to have a better life and they are ALL extremely nice! even when they don't want to talk to you they still say hi and still listen to whatever you have to say. They even take anything that you give them! We could probably give them all a Book of Mormon, but no guarantee that they will actually read it. So we save the books for the people who we feel like need one and give cards and pamphlets out to everybody else. They are all super nice.

Elder Stonely and Elder Chapdelaine, his first companion in Foley, AL


Speaking of people, I wanted to talk about a couple people who I have met so far in the short amount of time I have been here. There are two youth, Victor and Bruce. Both who got baptized into the church within the last year, but who have a difficult home situation or life or hard time getting to where they need to be. There stories are long so i wont spend much time mentioning them, but we have been focusing on them this week trying to get help them in any way possible. 

But my spiritual moment of the week has been when we were going to visit a potential investigator on Friday. He wasn't home, like most of our visits, so we started heading back to the car. We waiting by the car just trying to figure out what to do for that little time since our plan fell through. Our backup plan was to go tracking, so we were about to when a lady pulled up to the trailer next to where we were at. We went over to talk to her and she gladly let us in. It was only her and her two little boys home so we had to have the lesson out on the porch. She pulled up the one chair that she had and we sat on the ground. We pulled out our stuff and started to talk to her. She told us that she was reading in the bible, but wanted to find something on her phone to read whenever she wasn't home. To our surprise, when she was looking for an Bible app to download what do you think she downloaded??? THE GOSPEL LIBRARY!!!! She told us how she started reading and She read part of the Book of Mormon and part of Joseph smith translation. She was extremely confused because it was not the bible, but she was unsure because she said it was just like the bible. So.... Perfect opportunity to teach HER!!! We pulled out our copy of the Book of Mormon and had a Wonderful lesson. We answered all of her questions and she set up a return app. for tomorrow. So we are looking forward to teaching her.

Two peas in a pod:)
But this experience taught me something valuable that I needed to hear. That it is important to talk to EVERYBODY. And that the lord truly prepares people to hear our message and that we just have to go out and find them. we would never have found her if we hadnt waited at the car thinking of what to do and even if we decided to drive of instead of talking to her right when she got home. It was a game changer for me. 

There are a lot more things that took place but that one was the best. My spanish is coming along, but frustrating at points where I get lost. All I can do it keep trying! thats a good life lesson to learn for anyone who hasnt learned it. I may be terrible at spanish, but all i can do is move forward and keep trying. (although all the latinos keep telling me I dont have an american accent and that i sound like a latino) YEAH!!! progress!!!

Until next week when I have more stories to tell,

Much love, 
Elder Stonely

Elder Stonely with Mission President Smith and Sister Smith

Elder Stonely and Elder Clayton, cousins serving in the same district!
Grandma and Grandpa Stonely would be so PROUD of both of you!


Week #6 en route to Florida Talahassee!

Elders and Hermanas,
It has been a pleasure to serve with you over the last 6 weeks.  Our love goes with you to your fields of full time service.  We know you will be powerful tools in the hands of the Lord as you listen carefully to the promptings of the Spirit.  Disfruten cada momento.

Con amor,
Hermana Call

Florida Talahassee we come..July 21, 2015. Good luck everyone!