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

Monday, December 23, 2013

Almost Christmas! (23/12 email)


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)


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
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!