Monday, December 30, 2013

So that was Christmas... (30/12 email)

Hi everyone!

Hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

I celebrated Christmas Austrian style (on the 24th). We went round to the Timon's and watched Despicable Me 2 and had nibbles and opened presents :) Sister Nemec Skyped her family. Then on the 25th we had a church service in the morning where we sung carols and read from the Bible about Christ's birth. Then we went to the Wilson's where I got to Skype home! It was so nice to see all the family! It went far too quick! Then we had a Christmas feast with all the trimmings! Later on in the evening we went round to the Owens for round 2. (Sooooo much food! :/) The office elders were there too cos they had no appointments. It was really fun, we played games, and I got to play Elder Owens' guitar which is so nice! It was way good having time off to relax, watch movies and eat loads of food :)

On Christmas Eve on the way to the Timons, Sister Nemec and I sung 'O Holy Night' on the bus!! It was probably one of the scariest things I've ever done lol. But it was worth it. Everyone clapped and cheered and we were all filled with the Christmas Spirit haha! 

Boxing day was also really good. We went to the Biddulph's and went for a hike! It was amazing! Apparently there is an amazing view where we went, but it was so foggy that we couldn't see it! Didn't bother me though, it was really nice... reminded me of Lord of the Rings :P

Ok so I have an amazing story to tell you! Hold on to your chairs!! So my whole mission I've been praying to have an experience where I can follow the promptings of the Spirit to find someone who is ready to hear the Gospel and it finally happened!!! 

Sister Nemec and I went out with the Owens to visit a less active member. When we arrived there, we got out the car, and a man smiled at me through his window. I smiled back and had a good feeling about it. We went in to see the less active member, but the whole time this man I just smiled at was on my mind, and I knew that we needed to knock his door. So we left the less active member with the Owens for a moment and knocked on this man's door. It turns out he is a former investigator. His name is Ben and he knows a lot about our religion. He was very friendly and we set an appointment to see him again... Later on in the week we saw him again and had a great discussion about God. He has some questions he wants answered about things that Joseph Smith has said, but I have a really good feeling about him! I know that as soon as he feels the Spirit testifying that this is true, this will be all that matters! 

Sometimes our questions will never be answered... it is not necessary for us to know all things. If we trust in God and know that he has it all figured out, that's all that matters! :)

We also finally had an appointment with our investigator Kim! We are having a FHE with her tonight! We will also be starting to teach the stop smoking program to Paul. He was meant to be getting baptised this week but he will not be ready by then.

It has been a brilliant week! Love you all so much!

xoxo Sister Riley

I found Pride Rock
I was doing my hair and Sis Nemec put some glasses on me..lol
Riley!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Almost Christmas! (23/12 email)

Hiiiiiii!

It's almost Christmas!!! No snow yet, but it is so cold and wet! Last Monday I bought a proper winter coat that makes me look like the Michellin man lol, and some good boots from Clarkes that will hopefully last my mission.

Tuesday we had our Christmas training at the mission home. Ahhh! it was so good! Sister Preston cooked us a proper Christmas dinner with all the trimmings and we had a great time together. We all performed skits, did a 'white elephant' present swap and watched a movie together ("Ephraim's rescue" watch it, it's so good!).

On Saturday we went out "Farm Tracting" in Holmes Chapel. We walked for hours and hours and no one was really interested. We were on our way back when Sis Nemec was prompted to knock on a door... no one answered... just as we turned to leave a car pulled up, and a man got out his car. He was super friendly and we chatted to him for a bit. We asked him if he'd heard of 'mormons' and he was like yeah! Isn't the lead singer of the Killers a mormon? Haha! Man it was so good! We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would look up the website to find out more! Miracle!

Sunday at Church, the Primary performed the nativity, it was so cute! Then in the evening we had a Carols night, and Sister Nemec and I sang 2 songs. O Holy Night and Christmas Bells, where Sis Nemec played guitar and sang in German.

I hope that we all remember the reason for the season and take time each day to think of Christ and all the wonderful things that He has done for us. One reason why I love being a missionary is because I am constantly thinking about Christ! He is the reason I am here! He is the message we share! I am so grateful for Him!

Thanks for the cards and Christmas wishes, love you all and hope you have a jolly Christmas! 

Love, Sister Riley.

Mosiah 24:15-16 - Christ doesn't take away our burdens, He gives us strength to carry on, he makes them light
 
The beautiful lake in Congleton
Sister Nemec and me 
Me in Sister Nemec's Dirndl (traditional Austrian dress)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Crazy week (16/12 email)

Hey!

It's been a crazy week, lots of ups and downs! We started off the week with Sister Nemec rolling her ankle so we had to stay in the flat for a bit. No sooner had she recovered, than she got ill and we had to stay in the flat a bit longer... so we didn't get very high numbers this week, but hey that's life!

Now for the good bits! I bought my first Christmas Sweater! lol, I'll send a pic! 
Sister Nemec did my hair... I'll send a pic next week... cut and ombre... I'm still getting used to it lol.

I am so excited for tomorrow! We have our Christmas lunch and training at the mission home. Sister Preston is cooking us all the traditional Christmas dinner, and we are all doing 'skits'. It's gonna be hilarious :)

This week we had dinner at the Boswells. It was the best cos their family reminds me so much of our family. Sister Boswell was trying so hard to gather everyone for FHE and it made me laugh (I'm sorry for all the times I was a pain and didn't want to come). Their son Michael loves Lord of the Rings and does the best Gollum impersonation!

We found a new investigator this week! His name is Paul, and he is so great! He wants to be baptised, and I am so excited!

We taught Wendy. She is about 50, goes to the pentacostal church, is super nice and wants to follow God. We taught her about the Sabbath Day and got her all pumped up to go to church... she said I'm gonna go to church this week! ...and we were like yeah! and then she's like...'the pentacostal church!' :( whoops lol.

Saturday night we had our ward christmas party. Our investigators Wendy and Paul came, and we all had a good time.

Man, I love being a missionary! This week has been tough emotionally, but The Lord blesses his missionaries and pours out blessings upon us. Thankyou for your prayers and support.

Love you all! xoxox Sister Riley

Alma 29:9-10

Sister Nemec and me doing face masks

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas (9/12 email)

It is getting so cold! Oh my goodness! Not a day goes by now that I don't leave the flat without my scarf, gloves and a hat! It almost snowed the other day... I think they call it 'sleet' when it's not proper snow... so hopefully it snows soon!

Tuesday I went on exchange with Sister Brown in Stoke on Trent. Sister Brown is a sweetheart! She reminds me of a Disney princess cos she loves singing and she's just so sweet and innocent lol. Oh my goodness! Miracles happen on exchange I tell ya! I can't even put into words how amazing our exchange was... So far on my mission I have struggled with confidence, and being bold enough to talk to everyone I meet. But for some reason, in Stoke on Trent I wasn't scared at all! I spoke to everyone and loved it! Sister Brown and I taught lessons on the spot, had great gospel conversations, and in 2 days, we had 4 new investigators! Miracles!!!

Sister Nemec and I went out tracting the other day. I must admit, tracting is my least favourite finding method... Like 8/10 people will say "not interested" and shut the door on us. 

*knock knock*
man opens door
Sister Riley - "Hi, how are you?"
man - "I was good until you knocked on the door!"
slams door
English people are so friendly lol

On Saturday, we had our four hour finding. We were fasting, and we had set a goal to find 4 new investigators. We caught a bus out to Rode Heath which is like an hour away... We were there for 2 hrs, tracting and street contacting with  no success... it was pretty disouraging... but we went back home and on to part 2 of our plan. We had wrapped BOMs and DVDs in Christmas wrap, and went around to the other appartments in our building giving them out. People were happy to receive a gift, but not too interested in our message... When it was time to finish up and break our fast, Sister Nemec turned to me and said let's knock one last door. So we did, and we met a nice man who said he was happy to have us come round again and share our message with him.

Sister Nemec and I jumped for joy lol. All our effort was worth it! God waits until we have put in all our effort and then some more (knocking one last door) til he blesses us. This is how we learn and grow. If he gave us the blessings straight away, We wouldn't push ourselves and become better.

Well, that is all for this week, Hope you are all enjoying the Aussie sunshine lol.

Love Sister Riley xoxo

Sister Brown and me
LOL
Sister Nemec

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Hi from Congleton! (2/12 email)

Hello again! back to normal P-day!

Well I don't have to much to write cos its only been like 4 days.
So I started off my first couple of days in Congleton feeling like rubbish..I.  had to take some time to rest cos I was pretty sick. I had a blessing from one of the members though and felt loads better the next day :)

Sister Nemec and I have been doing a lot of finding (street contacting, bus contacting and AUF's). We've met some interesting people ;) I sat next to a girl on the bus and started talking to her... I'm pretty sure she wasn't all there. It was like listening to a broken record; she literally said the same few things over and over lol! She kept saying "I look like a poodle" ...good times.

We met a man in the park walking his dog... He wasn't terribly interested in coming to anything we invited him to, but he did listen to us, and we said a prayer with him. He must have really appreciated it cos all of a sudden he grabbed us in a loving embrace haha! Awkward!

We had Stake Conference this weekend, and it was brilliant! The talks were all about hastening the work of salvation. I think the message was pretty clear to all that we (members and missionaries) need to step up our game! These are the last days and we all need to invite everyone to come unto Christ!

Something that really stood out to me from Conference, was the testimony of a convert. He told us about how he had read the book of mormon and prayed but didn't receive an answer. It wasn't until he started living the word of wisdom and law of chastity that he could feel the spirit and receive his answer. I am so grateful he shared this, because I will keep this in mind when teaching investigators. Sometimes the reason why they don't receive an answer straight away is because they can't feel the spirit. They need to be living the commandments to feel the spirit.

Sister Nemec has a guitar! It is soooo good to have a strum on lunch break :P

Last night we went to the Mission Home Fireside. It was so good! This was my first time attending cos it's in Manchester and we have to rely on a member bringing us. I was very grateful we could attend. We brought along a less active member, Robert, and he loved it. We had a bit of an adventure on the way home cos Sister Timan got lost lol. We didn't get back to the flat til like 10:40!

Well today we put up our Christmas tree :) ill send a pic! I'm excited for Christmas! On the 17th We'll have a multi-zone Christmas celebration where Sister Preston will cook us a traditional Christmas feast and we will get our Christmas packages. Christmas Eve, Christmas day and Boxing day we get to sleep in til 8 I think and are allowed to watch Disney movies lol. Christmas Day we will skype for an hour at the senior missionary couple's home (the Owen's).

That's all for now, have a brilliant week,

xoxo Sister Riley

"If you woke up tomorrow with only the things you thanked God for today, How much would you have?" - Quote from Stake Conference

Scenery in Congleton
Sister Nemec and me
Our Christmas tree!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Transfers (28/11 email)

Hiya!

Sorry its been so long since the last email! The reason why is because of transfers! and guess what!? I have been transferred! I am now in Congleton with Sister Nemec from Austria! This is our first day together and she is lovely. She is very bright and bold and I am so excited to work with her!

I am so sore right now! Transfers were hectic cos both me and Sister Martin were transferring so we had to pack everything and carry everything and blah! I've got a cold too so I feel like rubbish. There's me whinge for the day... now to the good stuff.

Thanks to everyone who has been sending letters and cards. I really can't afford to send mail to all of them, but please let them know it was much appreciated.

Ok so highlight of the week! I got to meet a General Authority! Elder Teixeira of the 70! We had a conference with him and his wife, and ahhh! it was so good! Sister Martin and I were lucky enough to be chosen to speak one on one with him and it was amazing! I know that he was called by God, because without asking us questions, he gave us advice and counsel... it was like he knew exactly what we were going through and I am so grateful for that experience. He counselled us to "climb to the top of the mountain" so that we can see the greater view. So I am going to do that. It all starts with our thoughts. We need to shape our thoughts to a higher level. Sometimes I struggle with that... I start off the day so excited and motivated, and then rejection, rejection, rejection and then I'm like ahhhh I dont wanna do this anymore. But that needs to change! This is the Lord's work! and if I do it to my best ability he will bless us with someone to teach! 

We taught Richard again, and had an amazing lesson! We invited him to be baptised, and he said he would when the time is right! I know that he will be baptised in time! Richard has such a strong desire, and God will bless him for that :) After the lesson we had a miracle! We found Charles in the library! That man we met a few weeks ago and gave a Book of Mormon! He was happy to see us, and we had another lesson with him! Miracle!

We found out about transfers on Sat. night, and the days following were a rollercoaster of emotions. It was so hard saying goodbye to everyone... especially Sister Martin :'( but she is with Sister Burridge! lol! From one Aussie to another :P

Well as you know I don't have much time, but I want you to know that I am safe and happy. Being a missionary is the BEST!

Love you all so much xoxo Sister Riley

Crazy Telford ward missionaries :P
Richard!
Les and Nas, the locals in Wellington

Monday, November 18, 2013

So much cake! (18/11 email)

Hiya!

I just wanted to say a big thankyou for all the birthday wishes, cards, letters and emails. I really appreciate it :)

I had such a wonderful birthday, Sister Martin the cheeky monkey spoilt me rotten! She secretly told a whole bunch of people it was my bday, so you'll be happy to hear I got lots of presents and cake (4 cakes!!!).

I woke up to a beautiful rendition of the happy birthday song by Sister Martin... she had decorated the flat with hearts all over the walls, "22 reasons why I love you" and "happy birthday mate" in big letters lol. She made me breakfast too! Bacon and egg muffins! and cake! We went about the day as normal, then we had tea at the Lisneys with Fi. She made us curry :) then there was a knock at the door, and in comes Sis Killen, Sis Pointer and Sis Sacramento, armed with cake and presents! it was so nice of them!

Then we were off to the Bensens for round 2. Gemma had ordered me milo and tim tams online! She gave me the milo, but the tim tams are on the way. And we had more cake!!!!

Monday we got together with the other missionaries and had activities and a mini birthday party for me... (with cake :P)

On Tuesday, we had district meeting, and I gave my first training. I was very grateful for the opportunity to speak about the atonement and how it is central to our purpose as missionaries. Sister Martin and I thought that it would be beneficial to share experiences and testimonies about how the atonement has blessed our lives. The spirit was so strong as we did so, and my testimony was strengthened. In preparing for our training, I was searching the scriptures for a 'promised blessing' for our challenge which was to share our testimonies of the Saviour as we teach. I prayed to have help in finding a good scripture, and God answered my prayer. He led me to the perfect scripture (D&C 109:39) and my testimony of prayer was strengthened because of this experience :)

I went on exchange with Sister Tolman at the end of the week, and we had a wonderful time together. She is an amazing missionary, and I learnt a lot from her. I am so grateful for exchanges, and I feel that I learn so many things just from having a different perspective to work with. We did a lot of finding together, and even though our wonderful experiences didn't immediately contribute to the key indicators, I have faith that in the coming weeks they will! We met some great people and they have a lot of potential!

I gave out my first BOM this week! (finally!) Sister Bensen's friend Beryl (old lady) was over for tea, and we ended up chatting about our church and yeah I gave her a Book of Mormon. She's super old and funny... so we will see what happens lol.

So just before we came to the library to email, we were out in the town, standing in line to buy train tickets, and a young boy saw my badge and started pointing and laughing. I didn't feel it was appropriate to say anything at that time, and I must admit it made me feel upset. But a scripture came to my mind: Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth". I am not ashamed to wear the name of Jesus Christ! Yes I am sometimes weak and it was only human for me to feel a bit upset when someone was laughing at me, but I will never be embarrassed or ashamed to be a missionary! The gospel of Jesus Christ is very much a part of who I am and I will defend it no matter what!

Hope you all have a great week! Don't be afraid to share your testimony!
xoxo Sister Riley








Birthday photos

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Super excited (11/11 email)

Helloooooooooooo!

How is everyone? I am super excited today. We just got a grocery delivery from Sister Martin's mum! It was the best! Our fridge is full and happy and so am I :P

Ok I'll get straight into it...

This week we had a FHE at the Perkin's home with their non member friend Vicki and her two kids. It went really well. Sister Martin and I taught a short lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with a fun activity for the kids, then they put on a movie to keep the kids quiet and we went into the other room to chat with Vicki. She had lots of great questions, and we felt the spirit as we talked with her. Sister Perkins felt prompted to put on a conference talk and we watched it together. It was so perfect! It really answered a lot of Vicki's questions, and afterwards Vicki invited herself to church lol. I am so excited to continue teaching her! she is really prepared!.... she didn't end up coming to church cos she wasn't feeling the best, but oh well! I have faith in her!

We had another Zone meeting on Tuesday. Our Zone Leaders are so funny and I gave them those koalas that mum sent me. They loved it! Tuesday night was Guy Fawkes night so we had to be in our flat early. Bonfires and fireworks everywhere! I wish it wasn't illegal back home it looked like so much fun!

We visited a less active family called the Amers. They were super friendly and we sat and chatted with the husband and wife. We asked if their children wanted to be taught the lessons (cos they aren't members) but they said no. But they are happy to have us meet with them every now and then :)

We taught Richard this week and we had a member come and fellowship with us. It was so bad!! Oh my goodness! Our last lesson with Richard was so good and we all felt the spirit, but this member kept going off topic, talking about random stuff... even arguing with Richard! The spirit wasn't there and Sister Martin and I felt like hitting our heads against the wall! Safe to say we are not taking this member with us again... we really hope that Richard will continue to see us :/

We had exchanges this week! This time I stayed in Telford! I was so nervous!! because I always follow Sister Martin's lead and this time I had to step up and lead! Sister Miner from Utah came with me for a day, and we had some great experiences together. She is in her last transfer, and very experienced so I learnt a lot from her :) She is sweet and gentle and kind. We did a lot of finding and we met someone tracting who actually wants us to come back! MIRACLE! Seriously that never happens here lol.

Funny moment for the week. Sister Martin and I were sitting in Sunday School and the teacher was talking about how the members need to make church a good environment for investigators to be in and I whispered to Sis Martin (being silly) "can I get an amen!" and the timing was perfect lol the whole class said amen! We tried so hard not to burst out laughing!

Well that is all for this week! thanks for your love and support!

xoxo Sister Riley.

Pretty rainbow!
Sister Martin and me with Sister Barney at Zone Conference..she is a crack up!
Exchange with Sister Miner

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

HIYA (4/11 email)

HIYA! You alright?

Man being a missionary is crazy! Such highs and lows I tell ya!

Firstly I just wanna say thanks so much for my birthday package! I got it 2 weeks early but I'm not complaining lol! Seriously I was sooooooo excited!! I especially loved the Aussie stuff cos I got to give some of it to Sister Martin :P And we had tim tam slams... Sister Martin loved it!

Ok! So the start of the week was slow, but we had an amazing lesson with Richard! and......he came to church!!!! and I'm pretty sure he felt the spirit! We can't wait for our next lesson!

The weather is rubbish! oh how I miss the sunshine :( rain rain and more rain... tracting in the rain is horrible... lol I'm turning into a whinging pom :P

I got to play guitar at a member's house for like 5 minutes haha I was soooo happy... but I've forgotten how to play any songs :/ Hopefully I can pick it up quickly when I come home, I miss it so much!

We had FHE with Tanwa again, and her Aunt from America was there. We had a lesson about the Do's and Don'ts of the Sabbath day cos there are some things I don't think she understands, like how we shouldn't go shopping and things on Sunday. Anyways I was a bit worried that maybe the lesson might not go well, with her Aunt not being a member and things, but it went really well, her aunt joined in and agreed with everything we said!

We had to stay in the flat for Halloween...so we made curry and ate sweets.
Friday night we had a ward activity.. .a "cake-off". Everyone made cakes and we got to try them all and vote for the best one. It was amazing! I tried baking a cake to enter, but I got the measurements wrong, trying to convert ounces and stuff and yeah it was rubbish so I didn't enter it... lucky I didn't cos the other cakes were amazing and I would have been super embarrassed haha.

Some members took us out to pizza hut! it was so good! Way better than pizza hut in Aus! It wasn't all you can eat though... you order a pizza and they bring it out still in the pan, then you have the salad bar n stuff.

Now for the best news of the week! After church yesterday, we stayed on for the baptism of Talitha Perkins in our ward (she is 8, daughter of one of our ward missionaries) and we got to talk to Sister Perkins' friend Vicki... we had a great discussion with her and she is now investigating the church!!! We will be having FHE at the Perkins' tonight and she will be there!!!! I am so excited!

Well that's all for now! Love ya heaps!
3 Nephi 5:13

xoxo Sister Riley

Sister Martin with some of my Aussie Presents :P
Tim tam slams pt 1
Tim tam slams pt 2

Monday, November 4, 2013

Grounded (28/10 email)

This week has been so slow. As I mentioned last week, Sister Martin has been "grounded" so to speak because of her health. So majority of our week was spent in the flat. I have never read so many Ensign articles in my life lol! Also watched a whole bunch of church DVDs and brushed up on my cooking skills :P

Last Monday was the best day ever! Dawn took us out for the day to go shopping for winter clothes and stuff. We had lunch at Maccas!... Normally that's no big deal but I haven't had it in so long and it tasted so good! So basically we spent the whole day shopping which again normally is no big deal, but it's been so long! It was the best! We were really good this week and bought all healthy food! I got to do a lot of cooking... things like stir-fries, soup and chicken and veg... normally we get ready meals or something cheap and easy... So it was a nice change.

We got to do some service this week, selling poppies for the Poppy Appeal. It was a good experience, people were very generous with their donations. The only other times we got out of the flat was for tea appointments, and we went to Dawn's to watch some General Conference talks in the onesies that she bought us lol! Sister Martin's in a giraffe and mine is a cat!

Last night we went to the Benson's for tea and Gemma has a new kitten. It is the cutest thing ever! I'll attach a photo for you!

I don't have much else to say... Our ward has a lot of dramas going on... it's pretty crazy... As missionaries we shouldn't get involved, but people just tell us things all the time! There was one drama in particular that we became involved in and it was really stressing us out because it was confidential and we couldn't tell anyone about it... We called President and told him about it (no names mentioned) and he gave us very wise counsel... You'll be pleased to know it has been dealt with and we feel a huge relief. Nothing to worry about.

Well that's all for this week, I'm looking forward to getting back to the work and out of the flat this week!

Love you all! xoxo Sister Riley

"When you are burdened with life, Serve...and the burden will be lightened." - Quote from our Bishop in sacrament meeting.

Onesies!
Healthy fridge
Autumn leaves
Gemma's kitten, Molly! sooooo cute!
Me with Molly
Gemma having a lion king moment with Molly

It's me again! (21/10 email)

Ok so you're probably wondering why my email was late last week. It's because on transfer week P-day is moved to Wednesday. It's back to normal now so I don't have as much to tell you this week.
 
The weather has started to get really wet, windy and rainy :( The umbrella I bought is not good enough and I'll probably have to buy a bigger, stronger one :( I've been told it could be snowing as early as next month!! I'm a little bit excited!!

The other day we made waffles! We bought some Canadian maple syrup and I think Sister Martin was pretty happy about that! It's been an interesting few days! Sister Martin has been "grounded" so to speak by President because she has pushed herself too much. She is always stressed and can't sleep well... to the point where she is just exhausted and physically can't keep up with the work anymore. So this week we are taking it easy. She is a workaholic and this is the worst news ever for her, but she really needs it. I hope that she can use this time to recover and learn how to deal with her stress.

Our washing machine is rubbish :( It is wrecking my clothes!
 
The other day we were walking  to an appointment and we saw this horse that looks like a cow..I will send a pic! crazy!

On Sunday I gave a talk in sacrament meeting. It was about the Life of Christ. And Sister Martin bore her testimony. Bishop's kids Jacob and Sarah (about 6&8) gave us words that we had to use when we got up to speak. Sister Martin's word was socks and mine was mummy. Sister Martin fit hers in nicely, saying something like "I had to pull up my socks and work". Me on the other hand lol I got embarrassed, haha I said something like "My mummy always taught me..." hahaha oh boy!

Today we are going into town to shop for winter clothes with Dawn! I am so excited! She cooked us a Mexican feast last night. She is the best.
 
Have a great week! Love you all! xoxox Sister Riley.

The horse that looks like a cow aka corse
The crazy Dawn with the ice-cream cake she made
Sister Martin with the Canadian maple syrup

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hiya! (16/10 email)

Hiya! You alright?
Time is going so quick! can you believe that next week I'll have been out 2 months! 

I just want to start off by saying how wonderful the 5 week training was! I loved every minute of it! Especially the part where we shared our success stories. I felt the spirit so strongly. At that moment I truly felt the Saviour's love for us as missionaries. I felt His power manifest in us as I listened to the miracles that were shared. I have no doubt that this is His work! As we are exactly obedient, the Lord has promised us that we will see miracles, and this is what we are seeing! How blessed I am to be a part of it!

This week we had the opportunity to teach our investigator Richard the first lesson. I now have a testimony of the importance of memorising the first vision. As we began to speak of Joseph Smith, I quoted the first vision (for the first time) and I can't put into words the amazing spirit that I felt as the words came out of my mouth. It was one of the most intense feelings I have felt. At that moment I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I was speaking the truth. I know that Richard felt something too. We now need to help him recognise that spirit.

Let me share with you something that the spirit taught me this week. As I was in Zone Meeting, someone used the words "Full-time Missionary". Now this has never meant anything special to me before, but this time it really struck me that I need to be a FULL time missionary not a part-time missionary. I need to give up ALL of my time to the Lord. I know that as I am a full-time missionary that the Lord will bless me."

Church on Sunday was amazing! All the testimonies that were born were crazy spiritual. And for some reason everyone was all like "We love the missionaries! They are the best!" lol I felt very loved. I really love Telford ward. They show so much love to us. I'm not supposed to have favourites, but I really love Dawn Cleary, and the Benson Family. They would do anything for us :)

On Monday we visited the Barratt family. They are incredible! They were unable to have children of their own so they have adopted 4 kids. The love that I felt in their home was so strong. Nick (the father) is so funny. He calls Sister Martin and me Shania and Kylie (Shania Twain- Canadian, Kylie Minogue- Australian).

Monday Nights, there is this church in town centre that goes crazy ringing their bells, lol. It's so funny. Sister Martin and I just start dancing along to it :P

Well that's all I have time to write! Love you all so much! 
PS. emails are great but letters are better! :P


Telford Ward missionaries: Elder Schiona, Elder Greaves, Sister Martin, Sister Riley
I made a new friend! (looks like Tasha!)
Wellington town centre





Monday, October 7, 2013

I love General Conference! (7/10 email)

"Wow! What a week! I don't know where to begin to be honest. The week started off with an exchage with the sister leaders. I am so grateful for the experiences I had with Sister Leslie. She is an amazing missionary and I learnt so much from her. Coming into the exchange I had set some personal goals in areas I feel I need to develop and I was able to fufil them. We had two teaching appointments together and the spirit was very strong. Something that I wanted to improve on was my ability to recognise promptings of the spirit and then follow them. It wasn't until the end of the exchange when Sister Leslie and I were discussing how it went that I realised I have been following promptings when I teach already. Thoughts that come into my mind that I had not previously planned are from the spirit. Sister Leslie told me that the things I shared were inspired and what the investigators needed to hear. So that was a break-through moment for me, a confirmation that I have been teaching by the spirit.

I am just so excited after watching General Conference and for the wonderful messages I have heard and the beautiful spirit I have felt. We were so happy that our investigators Richard and Remek were able to attend with us. Richard said he thought it was very interesting and he has a lot of questions for our next lesson. I was so happy that there was a big focus on missionary work in the talks. It is a evidence to us all that these are the last days! That we all need to work together to bring about the work of salvation!

I have learnt a lot in my personal study this week about faith and obedience. Something that came to me in a moment of clarity was this: Faith leads to obedience and obedience strengthens faith. It is a contiuous cycle. I have set a goal to be exactly obedient and I know that as I am, that miracles will happen. What a joy it is to be a missionary! What a joy it is to help others come unto Christ.

In other news...I tried proper British fish and chips with mushy peas! It was Brill! I also had a Polish feast at Remek's! Also amazing. Yesterday I burnt my face while curling my hair :( It hurt so much and now I have an ugly mark on my face... I'm hiiiiiideous! lol Oh my goodness!

We had our first fellowshipper come out with us! Sister Lisney came with us to teach a lesson to Remek! Ahh she is the best! Seriously! Such a great example of Christlike love. She sewed my skirt for me cos I did such a rubbish job... aaaand she also sewed us these cute hankies with our names on them! Bless her cottons!

Conference was a-ma-zing! I cried my little eyes out! Jeffrey R Holland is the man! Also S Gifford Nielsen gave a brilliant talk! Heed his advice!!!! Ahhhhh! So good! General Conference is like Christmas Day for missionaries. I kid you not!

2 Tim. 4:7-8 love it!

Love you all! The church is true! Love Sister Riley xoxox
 
Exchange with Sister Leslie


My burn :(
Sister Martin... she will kill me if she finds out I sent this, lol!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

It's been a long week! (1/10 email)

This week has been rough. Sister Martin has been sick as a dog all week, and by the middle of the week I caught it too. We're both still not 100% but we're pushing on. Even though we've been sick, we've still been blessed as we've carried on doing the work.

Let me share with you our miracle for this week:
We were walking to an appointment, and we were already running late, when we were stopped by a man. He says to us 'You guys do a lot of walking don't you? I see you everywhere!',
and that led to a 30 minute discussion with him. His name is Richard and he is golden! Seriously, I have no doubt that the Lord led him to us. We met with him during the week and had an informal lesson about the plan of salvation. He has so many good questions and is just great to talk to... I am so excited!!

Saturday was the day of Remek, Tanwa and Femi's baptisms, but unfortunately Remek got cold feet at the last minute :(  We were sad about that, but it was still a wonderful night and both Tanwa and Femi were baptised :) They were just glowing with happiness. I am so happy for them :)

We travelled to Manchester to have a special sisters meeting with all the sisters in the mission. It was really nice, and I was so happy to see my fellow Aussie Sister Burridge! :D I also met Sister King from Melbourne.

Last night we went to visit Dawn Cleary. I love her! She is like a mum to us out here. Seriously, she has the biggest heart :) So she pretty much told us her life story and wow! She has had a rough life! I had no idea! I'm not going into details but man she has been through hell and back. And because of it, she has such low self-esteem. She opened up to us and we were all crying. We really want to help her come unto Christ so her burdens can be made light. It will be a long process with someone as stubborn as her, but she is the best :)

Alas I am out of time but I want you all to know how grateful I am for your love and support. I got the tiniest bit homesick for the first time the other day... and every P day I feel weird after reading emails and find it a bit hard to get focused on the mission again... but I love hearing from you! P-days are the best!

Love you all, xoxo Sister Riley


My District on P-day
(minus the two Italian Elders who were taking the photos)
My fellow Aussie (Sister Burridge) and me at the Sisters meeting
Sister Martin and me with Bernice, Tanwa and Femi on their baptism day

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

First of many baptisms! (23/9 email)

Hiya!

AHHHHHH this week was the best!!!

Estella was baptised on the 21st and I can't put into words how good it felt. Pure Joy :)
And we get to experience it all over again this Saturday when Remek, Tanwa and Femi get baptised on the 28th! Awww yeaaaah!

So this week I went on my first exchange! I went to Stafford. My companion was Sister Hansen from St George, Utah. We are very similar and got along well. We had a wonderful opportunity to speak to a class of college students about our beliefs. We had a Q&A style discussion about our religion. It went for about an hour and it was so good! I must say I was super nervous talking to a group of about twelve 16-17 yr olds but they were great and asked lots of good questions. We gave them all mormon.org cards at the end of it :)

So, Tuesday we travelled to Manchester to have a multi zone skills workshop! It was amazing! I learnt so much! Our mission's goal is 350 baptisms for this year... we are only halfway but President Preston recommitted us to achieve this goal and if we each have a goal of one baptism per companionship per month we will achieve it! And we've got four this month already :P so pumped!

We got to go out to dinner with some members. We went to a carvery. Oh my goodness! Soooo good! Yorkshire puddings! Get on that!

We've been chatting to this man who owns a hotdog stand. Phil, he is such a nice guy. We tried a breakfast sandwich or manwich as he likes to call it... to.die.for! I see a lot of potential in Phil... hopefully he will want to hear the lessons from us :)

I don't have much time... but this week was amazing. Miracles happen. Love you all so much.

xoxox Sister Riley

Estella's baptism!



Exchange with Sister Hansen


With Remek at the baptism


These are for mum... she wanted photos of the flat... enjoy :P