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

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 72: Tender Mercies Fly from the Sky

My Beloved Brothers and Sister, this week I have been asked to give my talk on the topic of Elder Stonely's week. I would like to first start with an experience:

HAHA sadly I realize that's how I've started all my talks back at home. We helped Amber, a recent convert, prepare a talk in sacrament meeting and that is how she wanted to do it. HAHA though in Spanish :) It was pretty cool to help someone prepare a talk! now I know what my parents felt like when they had to help me and my siblings :)

Alright well, I have a lot of time to share with you my amazing week so this time I will try to remember what happened... I tend to forget :/

I had more pizza with elder Moore. We have had so much pizza here its ridiculous... we visited some potential people and found one of our Less Active members who we thought had moved and invited her to church.

We had District Meeting and then knocked the LOADS of doors. Here in Tallahassee we have to find productive ways to find the Hispanics since they are "hidden" throughout the city. We already know where all the illegal ones live (trailer parks). Nonetheless, being around the voting time, this past week we decided to put our heads together! We walked into the Building where you go to vote and asked for a list of all registered voters who are Hispanics... AAAAAAAND... Got a list with 6600 Hispanics that live in the city of Tallahassee :) So we have been knocking a lot of doors where the Hispanics are sharing the gospel :) Having this list is super creepy kinda, but we only use it to find out where they live :0 Then we just act as missionaries! And we are finding more Hispanics in this GIANT city! Although I must say, being kicked out of two apartments in one week doesn't feel too great :) but I guess getting smitten upon, scorned at, and crucified is worse. Our savior wins that one!

We are teaching a family who speaks Portuguese!!!! Its pretty similar to Spanish so we can understand them pretty well :) Luckily the daughters speak English so they can do the translation from English to Spanish. HAHA Though I must say, Sister Stonely, my cousin serving somewhere in Africa Portuguese speaking will have to hook me up!

I must say the week has gone by pretty fast. We spent a lot of time tracting, teaching and enjoying our time out and about. That part is the best part of being a missionary. We get to visit the poor, the needy and the afflicted and heal their wounds, sins, and afflictions by sharing with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then sit back and watch the Atonement take over. Although most missionaries know that not everyone accepts the gospel and we face a lot of rejection, the thought of what our message is and how important it is to someone out in our way keeps us going to fight for them! Our spiritual brothers and sisters. Elder Moore shared with us in District meeting a story that someone shared with him and I only think it appropriate to share it with all of you!

"A young man, just before leaving on his mission, stood in Sacrament Meeting and bore, in essence, the following testimony. "My Brothers and Sisters, as you know, during the past few weeks I have been awaiting my mission call. During the time I was waiting I had a dream I was in the pre-existence and was awaiting my call to come to earth. I was filled the same excitement and anticipation that I had before I received my mission call. In my dream, I was talking to a friend. He was a very dear friend, and I felt a special closeness to him, even though I've never met him in this life. As we talked, a messenger came and gave me a letter. I knew it was my call to go to earth. In great excitement my friend and I opened the letter I gave it to him and asked him to read it aloud. The letter said: You have been called to earth in a special time and to a special land. You will be born into the true church, and you will have the priesthood of God in you home. You will be raised with many advantages and many blessings. You will be born in a land of plenty-a land of freedom. You will go to earth in the United States of America. "My friend and I rejoiced as we read my call. And while we rejoiced, the messenger returned. This time he had a letter for my friend. We knew it was his call to earth. My friend gave me the letter to read aloud. The letter said: You have been called to go to earth in circumstances of poverty and strife. You will not be raised in the true church. Many hardships will attend your life. Your land will be frought with political and social difficulties which will hinder the word of the Lord. You will be born in Costa Rica. We wept, my friend and I as we read his call. And my friend looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, "when we are down on earth, you in your choice land and me in Costa Rica, my friend, come and find me." Then this young missionary, with tears in his own eyes, said, "Brothers and Sisters, I have received my mission call. I am going to Costa Rica. There is a special sequel to this story. About a year after this Sacrament Meeting, the Bishop to this Ward received a letter form the Missionary in Costa Rica. The letter had one sheet of paper in it, and on the sheet was written in inch-high letter four word: I FOUND MY FRIEND." -unknown

Now I know this applies to missionaries, but I thought it was a nice message that can be applied to all of us. This week I would encourage you to ask yourself, "where is my friend?"

I know that the Gospel has the ability to change peoples lives for the better. It also has the ability to make good men better. I find joy and comfort knowing that I have a way to repent and improve as I fall short every day. Though I know that If I try my best, ill be able to find "my friend." Go out and find yours wherever and whoever they may be!

I love you all so very much and none of you really understand how much we missionaries appreciate your love and support every day as you pray, help and think of us. There is truly no other greater joy than following in the footsteps of the savior and feeding his sheep.

"Verily, Verily I say unto you, Farewell my brothren until we meet again. Nevertheless, we are united by the infinite love of Christ until that day." -The Epistle of Elder Stonely 1:43

Elder Stonely

P.S. pictures will be coming next week :) Happy Halloween to you all! I love you much!