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

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Week 18: "Get to stay in Foley, AL!"

OK! well to start off, Transfers were this week!!! and last night, I had a period of 3 hours of heart dropping pain that would just not seem to go away. previously i had thought of the idea that it would be cool to go to a new area and just do something else, but I realized that I really did not want that to happen. I realized what it means to have Charity and Love for those you serve. And you know what made me realize that? The 6 hours of heart dropping pain of waiting for the announcement of transfers. I was SO scared that I would be transferred and would have to leave my whole world (Foley Alabama) behind! And Ill express some of the reasons why it felt so hard:

One, we (Elder Chapdelaine and I) have been working really hard and doing well together. I did not want to leave that behind. And we had found Lucia, Ramon and their family. And they are doing awesome! We had a lesson with them the night of transfers and we set up their baptismal date and details that will happen. Which is awesome! they have really shown their testimony of everything and Lucia sent in a letter to her boss letting her know that she needed Sundays off in order to be with her family and go to church. Which really showed some improvement, and we thought she was for sure ready for baptism. So Lucia, Ramon and their son, Daniel, will be getting baptized on October 24. And they are ready. Probably more ready than i was when I got baptized. Or even went to the temple!!! HAHA they will soon have a goal to take their family to the temple and be sealed together. THAT if anything has made my mission a success. Which made me super sad to think that me and Elder Chapdelaine could be transferred.

On top of that was one of my favorite "Boss" (for you mom... yes it means AWESOME!!!) HAHA Luiz Cruz from Honduras. He has been a super story! he was less active, but recently has received his patriarchal blessing and will soon be receiving the priesthood and going to the temple. There has been a HUGE improvement helping get less actives and people like him to the temple in our branch. And honestly it is people like him which make this experience perfect as well! so the people like them were on my mind as I was thinking of possibly getting transferred. Which was SOOO terrible...

but luckily! We got the call and none of us had been transferred! That brought more relief to me than anything before. I wanted to be here for the baptism day and for the day when Luiz goes to the temple! And now i will be able to :)

alright so moving from that to a more spiritual side, I wanted to mention some experiences that I have had this week that prove that Satan is working hard on missionaries and anyone who is trying to "hasten the work". We were in ward council like normal and we announced the baptism of our investigators. And everyone was SOO excited, but then one of the members said something that really made me a little frustrated. he said that he thought missionaries were just baptizing to fill a "quota" and that we are baptizing people who will just go inactive. And he REALLY was stressing that out to "us" really. And he was dead set on his opinion and I honestly lost all Charity that I had at that moment. I wanted to rip him a good one because he didn't even know our investigators and where they were at. But Elder Chapdelaine yet again, showed a perfect example of who I needed to be. Which calmed me down and I was glad he was their. he took the unnecessary advice and said he would work hard to give them a strong testimony and work with them. (even though he already knew Lucia and Ramon had a testimony). I felt a little better when another member on the council ripped the guy apart and asked him, "did you have a testimony when you were baptized at 8 years old?" and continued to mention that peoples testimonies grow in the gospel. Lets just say, the man didn't say anything else during that meeting. I kinda felt bad for him...

on top of that story, there have been days this week that have been terrible... Terrible days where i get down on myself. But Ever day I realize that its just the adversary telling me im not good at it or I cant speak spanish or whatever the reason is. and I would always stop, say a prayer and continue onward with faith. And the days got better! I am greatful for the atonement.

So that story kinda got side tracked, but why did i tell it? because Someone told me before I left on my mission that people would say things that would make me loose hope and they told me that people who I would think would care, for example this man, would try to rip apart our work. And Elder Chapdelaine told me to not listen to what he said. Because we are doing the right thing here. and we will continue to do the right thing. And so remember all of you back at home! People are going to say things that will make you doubt what you are doing. but remember that if what you are doing gets someone closer to Jesus Christ and helps them, its the right thing. so don't be discouraged!

Alright so this week is already a novel, so time to end! I would invite you all to continue to reread the talks from general conference and to think about the words that have been shared. I love the atonement and everything the savior has done for me. I know that he is constantly with me and cares for me and my investigators. Because I feel the same love for them as daughters of Our heavenly father. And my spiritual Brothers and Sisters. We are all Spiritual Brothers and Sisters. and I love you all!

Much love and Fun from Foley Alabama,

Elder Stonely

Here are some fun pictures taken this week....

Big Foot?

Bike Selfie!

Some creepy thingy...