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

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 32: The Power of a Testimony

And the weeks go on!

Dear Friends and Family,

I marveled at how the spirit works this week. We had the opportunity to start taking the Priests in our ward out to lessons with us. There are about 8 young men total in the Foley ward, 6 of which are from Hispanic families. SOOO... we have been blessed to take many of them out with us! We had such a great experience with one of them as well. His name is Victor. He is 18 years old and is a convert to the church in 2013. He struggles with many different challenges as any teenager would, but just imagine the worst you can get and multiply it by 100. Considering his situation, it was amazing that he is so strong! Well recently he has been facing many challenges and decisions. He began to lose his testimony and fall away, which is why we decided to work with him specifically. One of Victor's many challenges was deciding whether to go on a mission, or to go to college and start changing his life around. Well the story continues till last Friday when we took him out to a lesson. We were sharing about the BOM and how one can really know that it is true, find answers and feel the spirit as they read. I turned to Victor and asked him to share his testimony. I had not told him that he was going to share anything, so he seemed very surprised that I called on him. After a couple seconds of deciding what he was gonna share, he began to bear his testimony. It was the strongest testimony of the BOM that I have heard come out of any 18 year old kid. Including mine! Later during the day, Victor stopped us in the car and told us that he knew he was going to serve a mission and that he knew that he wanted to do what we do as missionaries and help others. It was amazing to see him have this sudden change and to see the spirit work in him. He truly was the biggest missionary work we did this week. And I'm proud to say that Victor, after a year of not reading the BOM, has read his book every day since then. I cannot wait to see great things come of this young man and the others who will assist us! 
Selfie with Victor.
Eating out with Victor and friend.
Well, me and Elder Sturdevant are doing BOSS down here. He is one of the strongest missionaries I have met and I know that he will only become so much better! He continues to teach me and help me. He is pretty much training me now! I will be sad when we have to part :(

This week we have been really trying to work with the members and personally, I really have seen the need for so much missionary work down here within the ward! Elder Sturdevant and I were blessed with the opportunity to give talks in sacrament about the Sabbath day and missionary work and I wanted to share with you what we came up with earlier as we prepared. Its a bit funny cause in our talks we talked about how missionaries have this thing called the 3 S's, however we made that up the morning of are talks! But I thought we would share them anyway as they apply to any member of the Church! :)

The three S's to missionary work include:


"And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." -Mosiah 2:17  

What better way to do missionary work than to serve your father in heaven? and we do that by serving others. Whether it be doing your home teaching, visiting teaching, service projects or anything else! Get out and serve!


As missionaries we are constantly sharing! We write our testimonies in BOM's and share them with people we meet and with members, we pass out cards, help share our family history stories! We are always sharing!

Go out and share with your neighbors and those who need the gospel in their life! Don't be afraid to speak up about the blessings you have received from the gospel. Don't you think others want those too?

"...Remember... be Spiritually-Minded Is Life Eternal."
-2 Nephi 9:39

Go out and show your smile! The best way to do missionary work is to show others the blessings that come from living the way you are all living your life! Remember, to be spiritually minded, and have the blessings of the Gospel, makes you SMILE! Always have a smile on your face, and someone is ganna wonder who you are and why you are happy!
I love you all so very much and I am grateful for all of your support back at home! I wish you all such a very merry, happy, seasony, non-seasonal week! Much love from yet again, the heart of Foley Alabama!

Elder Stonely
Birthday party!

Silly Riley.