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

Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 80: Merry Christmas

Dear Friends and Family,
This week has been quite the week for sure :) Christmas was awesome! Being able to talk with family reminds me of the happiness that they always have brought me. Lets just say I'm glad they are my family and that I will have them forever and all eternity :) I also love my grandpa more than the world! For those of you whom are unaware, my grandfather is deaf. I have never been able to communicate directly with him the way others communicate with their grandparents, but one thing is for sure, and that is we have a strong connection. My grandfather is very talented. He can read lips, and has such a great spirit.  Sister Smith, President Smiths wife, shared during our last zone conference how she came to find out one of her spiritual gifts that she had been given was her smile. All I could think of while she was talking about that was my grandfathers wonderful smile :) I have never seen him ever not happy! And Its amazing. So that whole story just shows how much I love my grandpa and was able to talk with him on Christmas :)
The rest of the week was a bit hard for missionary work due to everyone being busy with Christmas and the holidays, though one thing is for sure that we have had a lot of experiences to share the video the church put out for the Christmas season. It was amazing to be able to see how many people are willing to remember Christ and do their best to serve others and share the light of Christ. All of the missionaries in our zone decided that they would all go Christmas caroling at the Hospital. We showed up in the morning, but since we weren't allowed to go into anyone’s room and sing, we decided to walk through the halls and go through the hymn book singing. At first it felt a bit awkward because we are a bunch of missionaries who don't know how to sing, though as we went through the halls singing, our talents somehow got way better!!! And there was someone in their room who heard us and stopped us. She invited all of us in and then we sang her favorite hymn. But what made that memory so special was that when we were about to leave, one of the missionaries asked her if there was anything we could do to help her, and she started to cry, and told us, “no. you've already done it.” I started to think of how it was such a joy that we were able to bring Christmas into her trip to the hospital. And how she felt the love that the Lord has for her. It was an amazing experience that's for sure!!!!
Elder Leandro and I are doing great! He is adjusting to missionary life pretty well and I am enjoying having the opportunity to show him around and teach him the ways of missionary life. He has only lived in the United states for about a year and so it almost feels like I'm with a foreigner who doesn't know the United States very well. HAHA Lets just say that it has been enjoyable :) Well to all my BOSS family and friends out there, the church is true! The gospel is real! Keep on in the path of righteousness and you'll be blessed :) I love you all so much and wish you a happy New Year!
Much Love,
Elder Stonely
My new companion, Elder Leandro.
Senior missionaries in our area.

Me and former companion, Elder Sturdevant.

Christmas package from my awesome family.
Gift from Santa!
Yes, a Tallahassee Florida Mission t-shirt! I've been jealous of all the other Elders who have been wearing them.