"I hope they call me on a mission, when I have grown a foot or two..." oh wait, I did grow a foot or two and was called on a mission...to Florida Tallahassee Spanish Speaking for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Join me as I start the best two years of my life!
Note: For the duration of Riley's mission, this blog will be produced and edited by his parents, Daisy and Todd Stonely.
Being the new year, I think we all start to think back of what we
want to set for new goals. I too did this, but then remembered that I
couldn't even remember my other years goals. How often does each one of
you reflect on what you did this past year as well as look to the next?
As I pondered that subject I realized one this that I am truly grateful
that I have learned. 2016 was the only year of my entire life that I
have spent as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter day Saints, and I have grown my testimony in probably the most
important thing ever, The Gospel of Jesus Christ.
For sacrament meeting here in the Spanish branch, we show up early
to set everything up. We put chairs up, set up the translation gear for
those who only speak English, make sure the microphones work and then
set up the sacrament. We normally finish getting ready 30 minutes before
the meeting starts, which was the case for the New Year Sunday. When
the meeting started, I was asked to pass the sacrament. Due to the New
Year weekend, our church attendance was a little low. As The opening
hymn was being played, I looked at the sacrament table and realized that
the bread wasn't on the table. And then the scary thought that most
bishops or people have,,, "we don't have bread..." So, long story short,
Elder Leandro and I drove home to grab bread since our apartment was
the closest. And on the car ride home was when i had the most
enlightening experience ever.
I have always thought of the importance of the sacrament. Why we go
to church? what the sacrament symbolizes? and what our purpose for
taking it is? Though I had such a great feeling as we drove back to
church with the bread that this is truly our purpose of life. Now don't
get me wrong, there is a lot more we have to do than just take the
sacrament, but I started to think of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
4. Gift of the Holy Ghost
5. Endure to the End
That is truly what we teach as missionaries. Is the restored gospel
of Jesus Christ. and that through that all men might find joy and
eternal life. Life is simple! We
come here, we exercise our faith in Christ, we repent of our mistakes
and follies, we get baptized and then go to church every Sunday to
remember our baptism and the covenants we made, we follow the spirit
after we receive it, and we do what we need to to endure to the end! That's all we have to do! Isn't it quite easy??
This past year, THE GOSPEL is something that I have come to
understand. I am grateful for every day i get to wake up and walk by
faith, I am grateful for every chance I get to change my thoughts,
actions and inner desires through the process of repentance, I am
grateful to have been baptized and to have the sacred ordinance of the
sacrament to remember what I have promised, I am grateful for the spirit
that guides us, teaches us, testifies to us and comforts us in our
deepest and darkest moments, I am grateful for the temple which offers
saving ordinances and for the church organization that helps me lead
myself to become who I need to be for the Savior and for our heavenly
father. I am truly grateful for this testimony that we as missionaries
get to share every day, 24/7 with people who don't have these blessings.
I am grateful for 2016 and for all it has given me and can only wait
for what the Lord has in store for me this upcoming year.
I thank every single one of you who reads this email for all your
support, your love, your joy, your prayers, your thought, your smiles
and your love for Christ, our savior. I hope that all of you have had
the chance to reflect on this past year and count the mighty miracles
that you have received by the loving hands of God. I pray that all of
you may have the best year of your life by following the counsel of my
wise grandfather by "Making every day, your new year!"
Much love and appreciation,
P.S. I learned how to make tamales from one of our investigators
and this is it!!! Holy cow its amazing... MOM!! Can we make tamales???