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

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Week #10: "Faith of a Child"

Dear Friends and Family,

The past week has been full of exciting times and disappointments. We have found a ton of people to teach and to talk to, but all of the appointments we set up fall through and we don't end up meeting with many people. But we continue to try! if they cant make it we always try again the next day or the next week. Whenever we can... HAHA But yet the week continues!

Last Monday we went down to Gulf shores and went to the beach!! We played in the sand, talked with some people and just had a great time! Cool story... We were just sitting under the pier just chatting and this lady walks up to us and says "Ill pay you $5 each if you will help me carry my stuff up to my car!" so one thing you may all might want to know... She had like no stuff. She had two little foam beach boards and a cooler. and the walk from the beach to the car is like a 3 min walk. HAHA So she was like out of shape or something cause she was willing to give up 20 bucks for that. HAHA but we turned to her and said, "We will do it for free! as long as you take a card:D" and she sounded so surprised as if nobody in the world would give up $20. HAHA cause who would??? So we helped her move all of her stuff and she was just SOOOO excited. We shared with her who we are and what we do and she was just so excited that there were "angels on the beach" HAHA so she was cool, and she left and never saw her again. But hopefully we changed her perspective of people wearing white shirts and ties! and thats one more door that wont be slammed in some poor missionaries face. HAHA Pdays are always a nice little break from the normal day and we get to talk to more people cause they arent scared of the way we are dressed. HAHA

Basically all the other days were about the same. We went around finding people, getting rejected like the stories you always here, and then we end each day :D We dont have any SET investigators, but Betty is still continuing to listen to us and loves our lessons. We gave her the Book of Mormon to read, (just the intoduction) for the first week, and a week later when we went back for the next visit, she said she had read 13 chapters and we had a great discussion about them. HAHA So she apparently LOVES the book more than me!!! HAHA no JK. No one loves it more than me ;D But she is turning into a solid Investigator. Hopefully she continues to let us talk with her.

Cool spiritual story for the week is about a little boy! We were out tracting a TP (trailor park) Friday night and this kid ran up to us. Now it was by one of the Trailors that we had previously visited. The last time we talked to the adults, the dad was fixing a car and the mother just did not want us there. HAHA we assumed they were just having a bad day or something, but nope! Pretty sure they just hate all people from any church. HAHA so they sent us away. But this time when we were talking with the kid he came up to us just looking all happy, but we could tell something was up. His dad was on the porch drinking with a friend and he was SOO mad. Like something made him angry. So when he saw his kid talking with us he started screaming at him and telling him he cant trust church people because we are not trustworthy people. Well this kid threw it right back in his face and was like "DAD! They are church people! They love JESUS!" Way to go kid! We dont even have to talk to people to show them whats up! haha So we started walking over to the dad to just try to talk to him but he ran off swearing at us. We didnt really care. But anyway... Back to the kid. This kid continues to tell us that he was scared because his mother was freaking out at his dad and him because she lost a little hair pin. so we offered to say a prayer and to ask god if he could help his mom find her hair pin. Not Hesitant at all this kid jumps up and says "OK!!" He said a wonderful prayer for his mother, like i havent seen a better one with so much intent in a kid before. And it was wonderful. He went off and we departed not really thinking much of what just happened. We walked down about 5 trailors and this kid came running behind us screaming at us to stop. HAHA so we did and turned and He had the BIGGEST smile on his face. I guess he went in to home and his mom had found her hairpin and was calming down. So he just came to thank us and tell us all about it. And it was quite wonderful. If anything im pretty sure that kid just taught ME a lesson about Prayer. So we asked him if he wanted to say a prayer thanking god for the help and he was delighted :D he went off jumping and skipping like any happy kid would and we were glad to help:D

It may just be a kid, but Elder Chapdelaine and I have come to realize that even then, we are put into places that may not be the best for talking with people, but that the lord has his ways. And maybe he just needed us to talk to that kid and grow his testimony of prayer. I have no doubt that we helped him in some way. And i have a feeling he wont ever forget it too. HAHA

The lord has his ways of helping others and Helping me as well. I have been studying a lot about the Atonement and as I learn to apply not only the Redeeming power, but also the Enabling power of the atonement My days go better, faster, easier and I feel the strength of the lord in my life. He really does know what each and everyone of us feels like and what we all go through. Use his Enabling power and his grace to lift you up in your work and your daily struggles. He will watch over you and protect you. When you feel like you walk alone, hes probably the one picking you up. Pray oft and always remember, you are a child of our loving heavenly father. May all of you be blessed in all you do.

Much love,

Elder Stonely


Week #9 en Foley, AL: "Cousin Companions for a Day!"

Dear Friends and Family,

As normal, GREAT WEEK!!!! A lot of stuff happened and im too excited to remember it all so you may just miss out. HAHA Some big things that happened though were the English Elders in our Branch had a Baptism!!! And let me tell you it was really cool to attend. The spirit was stronger than ever before. (or most.) and I was able to remember when I got baptized. the feelings were tremendous and I really could tell how important this is for others to have. Her name was Beverly and she was just ready is all i can say. HAHA but she enjoyed it!

Oh this tuesday I get to go on a trade off with Elder Clayton!!! (my cousin) How excited I am!!! its in an english area, so i get a break from the spanish. HAHA that is both good and bad... But hey! cousin time!!!

Companionship has been going better than ever before. I continue to learn so much from Elder Chapdelaine throughout training, studying, getting to know him, out walking around, and so much more. He is really a huge guide for here in the mission field and i have been learning a lot. Special tips hes given me have been huge because that is how ive been learning the ways of mission life. We decided that this week would be different than last. We were going to work HARD! And looking back at the results, we really did work hard. We placed 3 book of mormons in one week which is Awesome! and found 4 more new investigators to teach! all of which have been tremendous blessings. And their lives will start to change. The biggest one was probably Betty. (cant remember if i talked about her last week or not so my apologies if i have.) But Betty we found while knocking doors in apartment buildings. She is VERY talkative and VERY outgoing. But sweet hearted and really someone i have enjoyed being around. We began teaching with Family history. she has native american ancestry and so... you can probably see where that went too. HAHA But she was amazing!!! Her best friend is a member of the ward, so we called her up and set up a lesson about family history. The lesson went as followed:
10 min of her talking
5 min of Family History
1 HOUR of BOM discussion and introduction.

HAHA yeah thats crazy... But she had so many questions and so much to talk about and having her have native american ancestry was PERFECTLY SET UP! The lord always has people ready for us. As i have seen week by week. So we talked with her and she said she would read the book of mormon and start living its principles. I dont want to curse myself or anything... but... BAPTISM! BAM! take that satan. HAHA JK but really she is an amazing person. And i can not wait to continue to teach her and share with her this amazing gospel that will change her life.

And i guess on the bad news of things we found out that Dora got "antied" which basically means she found some dumb thing online and people told her something so she didnt want to read the book of mormon. We were depressed, but my trainer drilled this into me. He taught me that no matter what people say or doubt, always tie it into the book of mormon and how you get answers. So dora had some spiritual bricks thrown her way when we went over and explained to her where truth comes from. It was probably a good 45 min talk and we cleared up her questions and concerns using scriptures and spiritual bricks. which comes to show that we have to always be ready. Because we are not sure what will ever happen. but she is now ok with what we have to say and promised she would read and ask god for herself.

i guess being Antied is common down here so we know what to do now. HAHA

Ive been studying a lot about the Atonement this past week. Some General authorities are coming down to visit sometime soon and that was the topic we are studying. The atonement is huge. But the part i want to share today is that we should all remember that Jesus suffered for not only our sins. but for our "pains and afflictions" no matter what is happening or no matter what you feel whether its sad, lonely, depressed, or not 100% ready, the lord knows how you feel. So avoid telling yourself, "no one knows how i feel" because He does. He felt it. And if we remember that and use his atonement, we can feel peace and comfort. because He loves us and knows our pains.

Always remember. The Lord Loves you. He cares about EVERY part of your lifes. He sees you in good and bad times. He feels emotions that you feel. He cares. He wants you to be happy. And we can always be happy as we turn to him.

Much love from Alabama!

Elder Stonely