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

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 34: My Amazing Companion!

Dear Friends and Family,

:)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :0  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :)  :) *)

Yup, that pretty much describes my whole week! HAHA There was a lot of smiles, crazy faces, fake smiles and just a lot of "what?" Oh man have I learned a lot. And I feel as if I continue to miss learning opportunities as well! (which I'm not proud of). 

For starters, I want to tell you all about my companion, Elder Sturdevant. Now he is something else! He is pretty great :) HAHA this past Friday we went biking so we could save some miles. We had planned to visit someone a little farther away which required us to go through this road through the woods. So we parked the car, then hopped on the bikes and skirted out :) And one thing elder Sturdevant likes to do on his bike is run over soda cans that will then stick to his wheel which creates the sound of a motor bike as the wheel turns. So We were riding, probably a mile away from the car, and he sees a couple soda cans on the side of the road. (now keep in mind, this is a dirt road, so it has soft dirt sides) So he tried to get one of them and slipped a little on his bike. He said, "that was a close one..." I turned to him and said, "better be careful! you're gonna crash!" And two minutes later he went for another can. This time he wasn't so lucky. His wheel got caught in the dirt causing him to go flying over the handle bars. HAHA It was hilarious not gonna lie... HAHA But he was ok and he continued the day with a smile :) So the next day, we are riding on the same road, but it was a little before the dirt, and it was paved. So he did the same thing, but this time he got caught of the road coming up and flipped over on the pavement. HAHA It was HILARIOUS to see because it was the second time in two days, but also really kinda scary. He had scraped hands and ripped pants and it was just terrible... HAHA yet what did he do?? He had a smile on his face and had such a great attitude! 

Elder Sturdevant and Elder Stonely.
I learn so much from my companion. This week was another slow and hard one for us, but he showed me the importance of having a positive attitude and putting on a smile even when things are hard. I really appreciate him for showing me that without realizing it.

To end this weird email, I wanted to share with you all something that I was reading throughout the week. I recently started reading from "Teachings of Presidents of the Church" the one of Brigham Young and I was reading in Chapter 3 "Living the Gospel" and these two quotes stood out to me:
We have the Gospel of life and salvation, to make bad men good and good men better. Pg: 21
It is written of the savior in the Bible that he descended below all things that he might ascend above all. Is it not so with every man? Certainly it is. It is fit, then, that we should descend below all things and come up gradually, and learn a little now and again, receive 'line upon line, precept upon precept, her a little and there a little' [see Isaiah 28:9-10; D&C 98:12 ] until we can reach into eternity and embrace a fulness of his glory, excellency and power. Pg: 22
I was pondering those passages, and though I may have took it the wrong way as intended, I thought of them as a help to me. I have wanted to really apply the gospel to me and to really try to live it. And I find so many things that I want to change and grow, though when I look at it all at once, I get a little overwhelmed. And I read this and thought, "you know? All I have to do is work on it little by little...and that is what will make able to live the gospel more." And I love the first one because the gospel really is to help bad men become good and good men better. And I want to become better and know that through the gospel I can do it. 

I am so very grateful for all of you all back home! Thank you for your help with missionaries anywhere :) We all feel united! 

Love you much!

Elder Stonely
District selfie.