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

Monday, February 6, 2017

Week 86: Heavenly Father Loves You

Dear Friends and Family,

This week was amazing :) Truly one to remember :) So we went to a baptism of a 8 year old girl, did a lot of finding, and had a wonderful Sunday.

There is a wonderful young girl in the branch named Ali who got baptized this past Saturday. It was a very special experience for her, though for all who attended. I sat listening to the prelude music. The pianist was playing hymns in a soothing sort of way that invited the spirit into the service. I looked at all the children and started reflecting on my own baptism. Honestly, I do not remember much of how the service went, who spoke, or who was there, though Alis baptism was similar to mine in the way i felt. As I listened to countless people tell Ali to remember what she is feeling I wish that I would have written my feelings when i got baptized. Of course an 8 year old isn't normally the BEST at expressing their feelings, though it would be cool to reflect back on what my 8 year old mind thought. I may not be able to account the story of my baptism, though I could tell you what i felt because i felt the same that i feel at every baptism i attend. There is a feeling of peace, comfort, endless love, joy, happiness and everlasting hope. The room was filled with smiles. The children seemed to be more in tune with those special spirits that were in the room as well. Oh how i wish to be a child again. I want to know what is going on in their minds. What would they think? What would they tell us about what they feel. I am grateful for the joy that the gospel brings to every single on of us. I know it to be true!

I have a testimony of prayer. I know that our heavenly father listens to us and is always willing to bless our lives. We had a special experience this week with finding many potential people to teach and to share our testimonies with others. Though, as many missionaries experience, we meet many people, though not all of them let you come back again. So we were feeling a little bit of discouragement. (just random thought, there is a difference from feeling discouragement and being discouraged.) And In these moments of discouragement is when our Heavenly Father wants us exercise our faith a little more in him and increase our dependence on him. So, we prayed together as a companionship that we would find success in our finding. Though we didn't find success in "finding" we did find it in something great!

We have a LA whom i will call, Susy. Susy has a rough life, she isn't a resident here in the states, she has two kids ages 5 and 3 who are constantly needing help though are a joy of her life. She has a rough working situation which makes it hard for her to work, which means a rough life financially. She comes to church on and off, though has a strong testimony. She has suffered a lot from depression which we didn't know before. Anyhow, we decided to go over on Sunday since she didn't come to church. We went over and started talking to her. Her appearance wasn't usual and she looked worn out and exhausted both spiritually, emotionally and physically. We asked her how she was doing and told her we missed her at church and that led us into a conversation about what was going on in her life. It was very cool to see her open up, though I felt really sad for her situation. We felt inspired to talk about Joseph Smith and prayer. She really enjoyed it and went on to tell us that there have been two really bad moments in her life where in the deepest darkest parts she has received a knock on the door and who have they been? The missionaries... HAHA She told us that when we came by this day that it was one of those moments where god was telling her that he was still there and he was listening. We felt special knowing that we were instruments in heavenly fathers hands. It was definitely a testimony builder for us.

As well as being a moment in her life where she knew that her Father in Heaven was with her and heard her, it was a testimony builder for us that our Heavenly Father hears our prayers, he knows our desires, and he has a will for each and every one of us. Let us put our faith in our Heavenly Father and in his son, Jesus Christ. I love you all so much and enjoy feeling the love from your prayers and your support. Have a wonderful week!

Much love,

Elder Stonely
Used wine bottle corks put to a useful purpose.

Good doggy, it is okay to eat that mail.

Tallahassee water tower.