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

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 94

Dear Friends and Family,

Conference was great! I felt inspired to work on Family History and improve my personal testimony on the Plan of Salvation. I learned a lot from conference but I don't want to type it out cause this week is going to be a long email. HAHA

This weeks email comes from a dear experience we had on Monday night.

We were headed home from an appointment and there is a Hispanic Store that sells a specific type of cookie that is used to make what we call a "Carlota." Two of the missionaries in our district were celebrating their Birthdays this week so we decided to prepare and buy the cookies. These cookies are normally sold in a package of a 4 pack which is sold for 3 dollars. We pulled into the store, walked in and went to where the cookies were located. They didn't have the normal box of 4, but they did have individually sold packs. Each pack was 1 dollar. So i had for, thus the cost was 4 dollars. It was towards the end of the month, so I had only 2 dollars on my card. When I went into the story I brought in 3 dollars and 25 cents of coins in order to buy what we needed. In total, I had about $5. My plan was to use the cash, then pay the extra dollar with the card. Though as many of you have experienced before, in smaller stores, there is a "card limit" where in order to pay with a card, you have to spend a maximum of $3-5. This is exactly what happened to me. I went to the desk to checkout, gave her the $3 in Coins that I had and told her I was going to pay the rest with my card. The total came out to be $4.26. I as really nervous because I did not have that amount on the card, and the card limit was $3. I could not pay with cash or card alone and was stuck. I was about to tell the cashier I would have to come back when a lady behind us jumped in putting $1 on the table. Rushing through her purse, she asked the cashier how much more I needed. The Cashier replied, "26 cents." The Lady behind us did not have a smaller bill then ten, so she pulled out a ten, handed it to the cashier and said, "break it." I stood in Amazement with my jaw wide open feeling quite indebted to her. I had a strong desire to pay her back every penny of the $1.26 cents that I lacked. I had only said hello to this lady as she walked in, and she knew not one thing of me. Yet, she willingly went out of her way to make up for my missing $1.26. In fact, she went the extra mile even when she had to pay 10 in order to make up for the last 26 cents. In shock, we thanked her tremendously, and headed out the door. We got int the car and headed home.

The whole car ride home I could not get rid of the feeling that I had to pay back the $1.26 she had freely given to me. I had the desire to go back to the store and wait for her the next day with the money so I could pay her back. She had said she goes every day after work. 

In that very moment, my thoughts turned to my savior. Shouldn't I have this same desire to pay my Savior back every day for his charitable, priceless act of Love, sacrifice and redemption? I realized that just like that woman who i knew nothing about had freely payed my lacking $1.26 for me, the savior had done likewise. A man I know not face to face, had paid the eternal debt brought on from personal sin and affliction. He has suffered for my pains and sorrows. He stands behind me in this eternal line waiting to succor my individual needs. When we slip up and make a mistake, or when we feel sorrow or sadness, our Savior and redeemer stands in line behind us with our lacking $1.26 spiritual dollars that we need to be freed from our guilt and spiritual captivity. In reality, the saviour is not just paying for what we lack, he has paid for everything and is our support and rock every minute of every day. Without him we are as King Benjamin states, " are even as much as the dust of the earth." Mosiah 2:25 All he asks of us as a payment for what he has so freely given to us is that we have faith in him, repent, be baptized, receive the Holy Ghost, endure to the end and keep his commandments. He wants us to use his atoning power so he can bless us.

Pondering that thought, I realized the great importance it is for us to be grateful for what He has done and then to go out and serve, keeping his laws and blessing the lives of others so that one day, we will be able to pay him back a portion of what he has given to us. There should not be a day that goes by where we forget our Savior, redeemer and Kind. I am eternally indebted to Him for what he has done for me. 

I know Jesus Christ lives. I know He loves us. I know we can be happy and feel of His joy as we repent daily. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of god and I know because of what he did we have a living prophet, prophet Thomas S. Monson. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and that we can receive complete joy in every circumstance as we strive to live by it. 

I am grateful for all you do constantly for us missionaries. I wish you all an amazing week!

Elder Stonely

P.S. Happy Easter to all out there!!! I love you all!