Monday, February 24, 2014

I don't think Its gonna snow... (24/2 email)

Hi everyone! I'm so happy! P-days are the best! (don't get me wrong, I love doing missionary work, but it is soooo nice to have some much needed relaxing time :P)

We did a lot of finding this week. Congleton is very hilly so my legs got a good workout! ;) It is ridiculous how quick the week goes! And If I didn't have my planner in front of me, I struggle to remember what even happened!

Sascha came to church again on Sunday! and she stayed for all the meetings! It was so good! Sister Tolman and I will be teaching seminary this Wednesday night and she wants to come along to that too! She is the best!!!

Also yesterday at church, Bro Poulton came up to us and asked us to teach half his class (last minute!!) but we're missionaries, so of course we said yes! It went quite well, considering we had 5 mins to prepare haha! At the end of the class a big spider crawled into the room and the girls were freaking out! I tried to act all tough and said I would get rid of it (but we all know how terrified I am of spiders!) I don't know why I said I would, but it had something to do with the fact I'm Australian and all the brits think that we see huge spiders every day and it doesn't faze us... anyways I grabbed a cup and a bit of card and did what I've seen Luke do a few times back home... I was super scared but I did it and let it outside!! 

Friday night the Relief Society sisters had a meal at a Chinese restaurant, and our investigator Wendie came along. We had a great time, even though the main course came out 5 mins before Sis Tolman and I had to leave... so we shovelled it down then ran home... not a good idea... haha. But Wendie had a great time, and she and Sister Boswell get along really well, so that is exciting!

The week had a surprise ending! We had another movie night at the Moss' home with Paul, and guess who came along... ZANE! We haven't had contact with him in weeks, so it was so good that he is back in the picture! God answers prayers!!

We have a new district leader, and he has been giving us a scripture to read each day, which I've been loving cos as much as I love studying in the morning, sometimes I struggle with what I should study... anyways... I'll share with you some of my thoughts:

In Enos, as I read verses 12 and 13, It struck me how important it is to have righteous, unselfish desires. God promised Enos that he would be blessed with the desires of his heart. Now if God promised me this, I bet I would ask for something for myself! But not Enos, what does he ask for? For God to bless the future generations and to preserve the records so that they can be saved! What an example he is to us! It really made me think about the things that I ask God for, and how I need to put others before myself. That is what Christ did, and this is the way to true happiness. If we are always thinking of ourselves, we will never be truly happy.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week, and really take some time to ponder the scriptures. There are so many lessons to be learned!

Love you all so much 

xoxox Sister Riley

The monkeys are very violent here
One of the old buildings in Sandbach
A dead badger

Monday, February 17, 2014

Transfer week (17/2 email)

It's that time again! Transfers! Sister Tolman and I were so anxious to find out what was happening! We really wanted to stay together, because things are going so well! And we were thrilled to find out that we are staying together for another transfer here in Congleton! It's gonna be the best!

We got to teach Wendy 3 times this week! It's a miracle! Normally she is so busy and we have only been seeing her once a fortnight! But she's had some time off and it's been brilliant! She is finally progressing! We can see now why that is... the key is visiting her often... when its only every now and then, she forgets what she's been taught and doesn't keep commitments, but this week, she's been reading and praying, and even considering baptism! It is so good!

Our investigator Besy, is very had to catch at a good time because she has a newborn baby, but we managed to have a quick lesson with her this week while her baby was having a nap :) She is so good! She accepted a Book of Mormon and said she will read and pray. She really wants to know if it's true!

Zane has dropped off the face of the earth. He is going through a rough time and we haven't had contact with him in a few weeks... it's so sad... I hope that he will have a desire to get in contact with us soon.

Friday night we taught Sasha again. I love that girl! We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism...) She understands everything and said she would be baptised when she knows it is true! She came to church on Sunday with her dad, and I am so excited for her!

We haven't seen Emily this week cos she's been busy, but we have an appointment with her tonight!

Saturday we went out to Holmes Chapel again to see Edward. We have been a few times now and haven't been able to see him, but I will not give up because he is so good!! We got there just in time, he was pulling out of his driveway! We asked him if he'd had the chance to read the Book of Mormon, and he said he and his wife had been reading from it! He said we can come back another time to chat about it, so hopefully we can come at a good time!!

This week in my personal study I was reading from Alma chapter 37. A verse that really stood out to me was verse 46. "...Do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way.." The more I teach about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more I realise how easy the way is. Faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost and enduring to the end. That's it. No terms and conditions, no surprises, no extra costs. If we follow this recipe we WILL make it back to God. Referring back to the scripture, I think that many of us can get so caught up in everyday things that we become spiritually slothful. We can be really busy doing all kinds of great things, but forget to read our scriptures or say our prayers. All of a sudden life can become complicated, and that is not how it's meant to be. God has a plan for his children, and it is not complicated at all. It is easy. Just as the story in the Bible with the serpent on the stick. The people were told if they simply looked at it, they would live. But because of the easiness of the task, many did not and perished! It seems unbelievable that they didn't look, but I think it is exactly the same today! As we look to Christ, we will live! (eternally) Let us not be slothful because of the easiness of the way!

I hope you are all doing well! write down something you are grateful for each day, and you will see how blessed you really are!

Love from Sister Riley xoxo

Monday, February 10, 2014

Another week in rainy Congleton (10/2 email)

I don't want to be a negative nelly, but this week wasn't the best. I know that there is a reason why we don't always have good weeks. We have to go through the rain to appreciate the sunshine (figuratively and in my case literally! haha) We worked hard but weren't able to see many fruits of our labours... but an important lesson I've learnt is that success is not defined by the numbers! You are a successful missionary when you are working hard and trying your best at all times!

However, the week ended on a massive high! Our golden investigator Emily came to church!!! Her dad came with her for the sacrament part, and then she stayed for the whole 3hrs! That is amazing! She is amazing! She had so many great questions and just finds it all so fascinating! I love her! I think her dad enjoyed church too, so I am just ridiculously excited to visit them this week!

Transfers are coming up next week!! I really don't want to leave Congleton or be split from Sister Tolman because things are just so good! It wouldn't surprise me at all if we got split up though cos thats normally how it goes... just when things are going well, President mixes things up haha! (I love him!)

We had tea at the Keebles this week; they are a cute little family that live in an area called Mow Cop that we have never worked in... so we are planning to go out there this week! I know that we will see miracles!

Well sorry it's short this week! I hope you are all doing well! I challenge you all to share your testimony with someone this week! Have the courage to open your mouth! We are promised that as we do this the Holy Ghost will help us know what to say! It's scary for the first few seconds but I promise you miracles will happen as you take a leap of faith!

xoxo Sister Riley

Sister Tolman and me
Congleton is nicknamed 'Bear Town' There are bear themed things everywhere!
Newborn Lamb at the Biddulph's farm

Monday, February 3, 2014

Week of miracles! (3/2 email)

Oh my goodness! I can't even put into words how blessed I feel! This week has been amazing! Sister Tolman and I have seen so many miracles :)

The week started off a bit rough... 2 days of waking up before 6 to get to places...  Sister Tolman failed her driving test and got head lice to top it all off! Our investigators weren't getting back to us and it was horrible! The bad luck didn't last very long, the rest of the week was full of miracles!

Sister Tolman and I were working in Sandbach for the day, and we decided to go round to see a Potential Investigator. We went round to the house (what we thought was the house) and a young boy answered the door... we asked if his parents were home and he said no, but that his sister was really interested in that kind of thing... so we met his sister... her name is Emily and she is amazing! She invited us in and said, "so..tell me all about your religion!" :O She's only 16! This kinda thing never happens! After we explained to her about the restoration and the Book of Mormon, she asks if she can buy one from us!! We laughed and said no... but you can have one for freeeee! haha! After we left, Sister Tolman and I were jumping up and down and hugging each other for joy. lol.

Ok, so here's the best bit. We set an appointment to see her 2 days later. I was on exchange with Sister Campbell, and we used the map to find her address. However, when we got to the right address I was soooo confused! It wasn't Emily's house! It was the right address of the pIace we had planned to go see, but not where Emily lived!! I started stressing out cos I had no idea where she lived then! We walked up and down the street but it wasn't any of those houses :/ So we said a prayer, and I felt that we had to go out to the main road and look for a sign to jog my memory. So we did, and I saw a sign that I recognised! It was the street across the road! So we ran all the way to Emily's house! She greets us at the door with her Book of Mormon in hand and a huge smile on her face! MIRACLE!!! she had read 3 chapters and had lots of questions. We are seeing her again tonight and I am beyond excited!!!

I don't have much time to go into detail about the other great things that happened this week, but I feel so blessed!! We have 13 investigators!!! (may need to drop some cos we haven't heard from them in a while, but I just never want to give up on people!!) 

We got to teach Besy, the Albanian lady who walked into church one Sunday, and it was sooo good! She really wants to believe the things we taught her, and will come to church soon :)

We taught Sasha again, and we watched the restoration video. The spirit was strong. We are making good progress with her! She is coming to church next week! She said her first prayer after that lesson and it was so sweet! Listening to investigators say their first prayer is one of the most spiritual things I've been a part of! Their prayers are so sincere and straight from the heart... I just love it!

Last night we took Zane to the missionary fireside. It was so good! The chapel was chockers! He really enjoyed it. We're unsure about what date he will be baptised. He still needs a testimony first, but his desire is strong, and I know he'll get there soon!

I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! It is the best thing in the whole world! In 'Preach My Gospel' it says at the beginning: "More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among his children." And it is SO TRUE! I am so happy! You wanna know why? Cos this is the Lord's work! I am set appart as a representative of Jesus Christ, and I can feel the love that He has for all his children! It is overwhelming some times! It is exhausting! But somehow I still have the energy I need to get up and do it all again every day!

I love you all so much! Life is hard! But as we pray to God and ask for help, I PROMISE he will lift your burdens! I feel like the term "endure to the end" makes it seem like a huge horrible task, but it doesn't have to be! It should be called "enjoy to the end" cos that's what God wants us to do! "Men are that they might have joy!" So stop whatever you are worrying about and smile! Life is good!

xoxo Sister Riley