"I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two..." oh wait, I did grow a foot or two and was called on a mission...to Florida Tallahassee Spanish Speaking for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Join me as I start the best two years of my life!
Note: For the duration of Riley's mission, this blog will be produced and edited by his parents, Daisy and Todd Stonely.
Well this week has been shortened because of the P-Day being on Tuesday of last week. But it has probably been one of the fastest, coolest, spiritual, and PERFECT week that I have had so far! I simply cant mention it all today because it was that good! Before i get into the groove ill mention some other stuff before i forget. HAHA Number 1, Elder Clayton leaves this week so i will no longer be blessed with his presence in my district. So that's a little sad. But he's moving on! I'm excited for him:D Which brings us to transfers:D I have been blessed to stay here in Foley Alabama! I'm actually really excited because the past week i have gained an attachment to the people... HAHAHA But one of the English Elders in the area has been transfered and replaced by a newbie so we are excited to get to know him! We had our spanish activity this past Friday and i found out that i much be allergic to some sort of plant down here cause i keep swelling up every night from something! HAHA i seriously have had bumps up and down my arm from something. But they are only temporary:D They go away eventually. And its kinda fun cause im the crazy missionary enjoying the new environment. HAHA
Anyway... Back to the fun people:D So this past Friday we had our Spanish Activity with all the hispanic members of the branch and a couple investigator families! it went so well and we had a great turnout! one of the less active members who is moving today actually came and enjoyed a little "goodbye" party. I think me and my companion brought the spirit back into her lives before and she is now wanting to get ahold of the missionaries in North Carolina where she is moving too. I may never hear from her again but i hope the spirit touched her and will lead her back on the path.
But, we did have two Non-Member investigator families come to the activity!!! we were hoping that more would come and we would have more members show up too, but we had 30 people total and it was a perfect turn out. The nonmembers were what made it perfect:D The First family, I believe i talked about them last week. their names are Elies and Patricia. They have 3 kids and love families! Patricia used to be very religious but had fallen away when her Dad passed away from cancer. She doesnt understand why god would do that. (pretty much most people right?) Well anyway, we had a BOSS lesson with their family. It was funny cause their kids were playing outside with friends and they made them come inside and sit down and listen to the "Palabra de Dios!" (word of god) HAHA but... we shared the restoration and when we got to the First Vision, my companion recited Josephs Smiths Words. Now im not joking when i say i have never felt better in my life. The family was paying attention, i was trying to understand, but when he started, the spirit filled the room. It was so strong and i knew it was testifying to Elies, Patricia, and their family. All of their eyes were fixed on us and they could not move. We taught simply, but boldly. The spirit never left until we left. It was strong the whole time. But thats not even the cool part. The cool part was when Elies stopped us at the end and said "From the time you started describing Josephs vision, I felt something different..." And he went on to explain ALL the feelings that the spirit brings. And it was crazy because he felt it, we felt it and it was there. And it was perfect. They said they were going to come to the activity so they did! and they had a BOMB time at the activity and they said they loved it so much that they wanted to come to church sunday! Sadly they couldnt make it to church because something popped up and they live 30 min away from the building, but they said they are making all the efforts to come next sunday. We cant wait to meet with them this week.
Next! We tracted into this family from Hondurez. They are super fun and actually the father, Ramon, is a member, but it sounds like they kinda just "lost" the church or something throughout their time here. They are super busy and he is only home on the weekends cause of work, but we were super surprised when we went over their and they preceded to tell us that they wanted to get married in the temple. We were both shocked... So they will be someone really cool to have in the branch and im hoping that they DO find time for this change in their life. They seem prepared by the lord.
The other Non-member family that came to the activity we havent had a chance to followup with, but they seemed to really enjoy it and their kids had a great time. They left early cause they needed to go to their church, but we hope we can bring the gospel to them in some way:D
Now. The topic that i have been studying this week was Christlike Attributes. Not really going very deep into all of them cause i will be doing that later:D but this week as i studied Patience in particular i realized just how important patience comes into play. And how it connects with the atonement. I've been having a hard time with investigators not making appointments or things happening or stress lasting longer or feeling insufficient at the language and this week i really took a step back. And i realized just how important it is to have patience. Patience with investigators or people around you because they have lives too! Things happen, they have to meet certain things and they have a life! i didn't really understand that till now because living as a missionary you don't have a normal life. Your life is appointments. Patience is required. I've been feeling really insufficient because i cant speak fluently. Taking a step back, I've realized i know nothing. The gift of tongues is real if i can have a conversation with people and teach lessons. I have been given a gift. And i shouldn't complain about not being perfect. If i have patience and study hard, i will have what i need. And with the Atonement. He suffered for our pains and afflictions, and we just need to have faith and patience that he will help us get through them. Big lesson this week and something that has been helping me keep my head up and keep moving forward. This not only applies to me but should apply to everyone. Have faith that things will get better, you'll be ok, and the Lord will lift you up. but then have Patience. There is a quote in Preach my Gospel from President Thomas S. Monson that sums this up perfectly.
"Life is full of difficulties, some minor and others of a more serious nature. There seems to be an unending supply of challenges for one and all. Our problem is that we often expect instantaneous solutions to such Challenges, forgetting that frequently the heavenly virtue of Patience is required."
Now i don't know why Patience is required. But i do feel like most of the time He is trying to teach us something that we would not be taught if the problem we face was solved right away. The lord knows whats best for us and we need to trust in him and his timing. I pray for you all back home and hope that as you all strive to be more Christlike and submit to his will you will all be blessed. I love you all.