Monday, March 3, 2014

Best week ever! (3/3 email)

Hi everyone!

As the title suggests, it's been a really good week! The highlight definitely being the opportunity to attend the temple. I have missed it so much! Obviously I do not go into details because of how sacred and special the temple is, but I will tell you that the feelings I felt there were indescribable. The best way to describe it for me is I felt like my heart was so full it would explode! Haha! Sounds a bit extreme, but it is literally the best feeling in the world, and I encourage all of you who are able, to get to the temple! Don't take it for granted!!

Thursday was the day we got to go to Preston, and it was an amazing day. We not only went to the temple, but we gathered together with half of the mission (approx. 100 missionaries) and had training and were spiritually fed. I just LOVE gathering together with the other missionaries! There is such a strength and power when we come together as servants of the Lord.

I was lucky enough to be a part of a musical item which was put together by the talented Elder Chong. We sung 'Come Thou Fount' and it was a very beautiful arrangement. Elder Chong wanted some solo parts, and he assigned me to sing the very last line of the song! No pressure! But as you know, I just love singing, especially church songs because of the spirit I feel when I sing. Sometimes its so overwhelming that it brings me to tears, but luckily I kept myself composed haha! It was the best day ever and it will continue to strengthen me as I remember and apply the things I learnt.

We went out finding in the park this week, and Sister Tolman and I were walking along and talking about the time we met this Mexican lady in that exact spot we were at, and how she was super friendly and we wished we could see her again... and then we bumped into her! Coincidence? I think not! ;) Her name is Carolina, and we had a nice chat with her. She said she would love to have us round for a meal (real mexican!!) so we are super excited... she just has to check with her husband and will get back to us J

We went round to the home of a former investigator, and she let us in. She is an older lady, and loves to have the missionaries around, but said 'you'll never convert me!' She's right of course, it's the spirit that does the converting ;) Anyways, she invited us in, her friend was over and they were both having a bit of a smoke and drink... which wasn't the nicest environment to be in, but we had a really good chat about God and they want us to come back. We stunk so bad after that appointment! Haha!

Saturday was our 4hr finding. We went out to Biddulph to find more people to teach! We got to meet some great people, taught some lessons, and will go back to see them when we're in the area. No official new investigators, but a few potentials J Sister Tolman and I know that miracles always happen on 4hr finding day, and it was hard to see a huge miracle that happened... but the miracle came later on. We finally got to teach Zane again, and we had a great lesson with him. He has been MIA for a while and we thought that he had changed his mind about everything... but he told us that he has been praying and studying and he know understands what it really means to be baptised... that it's not just a one time event, but a covenant to follow God forever. This was the best thing he could have said, and we challenged him to pray about a date for baptism! 

It's easy to get discouraged as a missionary. Sometimes you work hard all day, all week and don't get to see the fruits of your labours, but when you finally do see them, how sweet it is! This week I was so grateful for the support and praise we recieved which helped lift us up. President gave us a call to tell us how much he appreciates us and that he can see how united we are as a companionship! It made our day! Also at church, a member came up to us and told us that they thought we were the best missionaries they've met! What a compliment!

We attended the missionary fireside on Sunday night, and it was amazing! The testimonies of the new converts were inspiring (and hilarious!) The funniest quote of the evening was this "I felt this feeling in the pit of my stomach... at first I thought it was gas, but I then realised it was the spirit!" Hahaha!

But to end on a more spiritual note, here is a scripture I came across that I just love. The words are so beautiful:
"...Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my Love." (D&C 6:20)

This week I have felt encircled in the arms of the Lord's love. I want all of you to feel the same way. The promise is there in that scripture... keep the commandments and you will feel it too!

Love always, Sister Riley xoxo

At the temple
Closer (it was very windy ok)
Lily Poulton with the picture she drew for us

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