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

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 57: Sister Bouton "Happiness is a choice"

Dear Friends and Family,

This week I wanted to dwell my thoughts on one of the members here in Cairo and an experience I had with her. Her name is Sister Bouton. She is an 70 year old lady who literally just keeps going and doesn't stop! Though something about her has just caught my attention since I first saw her. And that is just how good of an attitude she has. This week someone told me, "happiness is a choice" And I had a lot of time to think about that throughout the week and when I thought of Sister Bouton It just clicked. Happiness really is a choice. And for all of you out there who think otherwise, maybe Sister Bouton's story will be able to help you out :)

Like I said, Sister Bouton is a 70 year old lady who is married to a man who has back problems and  is totally dependent on her. They live really far from the main town and they live all alone. Sister Bouton also has heart problems. She has had five heart attacks since 2011, all of which, the doctors informed her, should have killed her. As she told the story of each of the heart attacks I sat there in amazement. I have seen many people like her in both the Nursing homes and Rehab that I have worked at, and she, like many in my places of employment just keeps going. On a couple of her heart attacks, she called the doctor, though the one she was going to see was booked for a couple days. So not thinking much of it and thinking her husband needed more attention than herself, she patiently waited for the day she could go. When she went into the doctors office, the doctors, upon finding the cause of the heart attack, were stunned to know what had kept her alive. They informed her that one of her Main Arteries was 100 % blocked. (this was the same thing for 3 of the 5 heart attacks.) Her doctor, was known for chewing people out for not taking care of their bodies and also their lives, so all of the nurses warned sister Bouton that she better prepare herself. So when the doctor came in, Sister Bouton was prepared. She asked the doctor," ok, what do i need to change?" The doctor, in reply, turned to her and said, "I don't know what you are doing or how you are living, but whatever you are doing, keep doing it. Because you should be dead right now." This happened on two occasions.

Now I don't think that she has come to the conclusion that I have or if the conclusion I have is the right one. Though I feel as if Sister Bouton is receiving the blessings from the hand of the lord for her strong testimony in the Gospel and for her continual desire to become like the savior. One big part of it is her choice to be happy. I have never met someone who has the burdens and loads of this dedicated wife, mother, grandmother and supporter of a falling branch than the Sister Bouton here. I asked her this week, "How do you always have a positive attitude?" she gave me her humble reply, "I didn't know i had one :)" And we both giggled over it.

My dear friends and families, if choosing to be happy is a lesson you haven't learned yet, I would think about it. Because I have already begun to see miracles and blessings poring into my daily life from trying my hardest to be happy through all that goes on. Yes, life is tough and sometimes unfair, but you choose whether or not what you have is gonna make you sad, or happy :) I constantly ask myself, "is there sunshine in my soul?"

I love you all so much and am so grateful for the lovely support that us as missionaries have. I am tremendously grateful for loving parents and friends who encourage me to push through every day. And I am also grateful for the savior, who is the support system for anyone and everyone. May you all receive blessings this week!

Much Love, 
Elder Stonely
Oh, yeah...I'm hip!
Homemade shake! Yum!
Another shake.
More weird selfies!