Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I love Mondays (28/4 email)

Hiya! how is everyone?

It's been a busy week as always, but a lot slower! Partly because I was sick for half of the week with a bad cold, but as always Sunday comes around and it's the best! 

Claire gave us a referral! His name is Dale and he has had a rough life. But he has a good heart and wants to change which is the key. We taught him a couple times this week, and Sister Tolman and I are just super excited for all of them to be baptised (Claire, Natasha and Dale). Claire is amazing! She knows its all true, she is excited to come to church every week and this week she said her first prayer in our lesson. She has been praying in private, but it is so important to have our investigators pray in front of us. You can tell so much about their progress by their prayers... and it was a beautiful prayer, I have no worries about her at all J

We've been working a lot with Paul this week and praying so hard that he can progress! I can't even explain how it feels... his smoking is literally the only thing holding him back from a multitude of blessings and he just won't give it up... he won't even try :( We have tried so many different approaches... but in the end it doesn't even matter what we do... it's up to him and the Lord. I just hope and pray that he can have an experience that will change him. He has such a good heart and I know that Heavenly Father will help him out if he just lets him.

I know I thought that I was being transferred last time, but with transfers coming up next week, I really think its my time haha! I just love Congleton with all my heart and I will cry like a baby when I have to leave!

Sometimes I just get overwhelmed when I think of how much the Lord has blessed me since coming on my mission. My eyes have really been opened, and I am just so grateful! I am learning things here that I don't think I could have if I stayed at home. Serving a mission is not easy. Nobody really tells you how hard it is. And I think the reason why is because you really only remember the good bits! When you sit and reflect on your mission it's like Heavenly Father has erased the bad bits and it's just a highlights reel. It is THE BEST.

I've said it once and I'll say it again, but I think EVERYONE should serve a mission! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!

I know with all of my heart and everything that I am that this church is true! 
I love you all so much! Stay strong, stay true to what you believe in and God will bless you! Til next time...

xoxo Sister Riley

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Miracles (23/4 email)

Hi everyone!

Did you miss hearing from me? Haha sorry about the delay... the library was closed for Easter! I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and were able to remember its true meaning while you were eating chocolate J

We've been blessed to have some nice weather this week! I even went a couple of days without a coat! J Made me miss home a little bit haha! This week has been wonderful! So many miracles! The highlight definitely being the baptisms of Liberty and Olivia Windsor! Oh it was just beautiful! The smile on Nigel's face after he baptised his daughters was priceless. What a joy! Our investigator Claire came to the baptism and told us after that she and her daughter want to be baptised too! miracle! Sister Tolman and I were just a little bit excited!!

Ready for another miracle!? WENDIE CAME TO CHURCH! finally!!! Oh it was just the best Easter Sunday ever! Liberty and Olivia received the gift of the Holy Ghost, and after church we had lunch at the Owen's. They had a returned missionary staying with them, that they got very close to, and he wanted to go out tracting with us! It was great! After lunch we went out to Biddulph and we had some great lessons with him. Then the Owens came with us to teach Paul and we had a powerful lesson about the brother of Jared, and Elder Owens and Paul played their guitars afterwards... it was a really nice day J

We got to teach our new investigator Bekki and her friend Jess, and It was a very powerful lesson! We taught them how to pray and they were very excited to try it out... we are looking forward to seeing them again this week!

On Monday we were able to go to the temple! We were so excited to go! It's not very often we get to go... but because it was a bank holiday, the temple was open on our preparation day and that meant we could go J It was beautiful. Time just stands still in the temple. Everything just makes sense and all is right with the world. Brother Windsor told us that his family is working towards being sealed in the temple in September! We are so excited for them, and I can't think of a more joyous occasion than to be there with them on that special day. Doing the Lord's work brings the greatest happiness.

Yesterday we had our specialized training. It was a full on day! I learnt so much! And we got to have interviews with president. I feel very spiritually fed and ready to work harder than ever! Quote of the day from Sister Preston:
"If we don't testify of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon, we might as well be teaching Catholicism or any other religion!"
This gospel is true! I know it with all my heart! if you know it too, tell someone! You will find more happiness in sharing it than in keeping it to yourself.

have a brilliant week, let your light shine.

xoxo Sister Riley.

Liberty and Olivia's baptism
Sister Tolman and me at the temple with Joey
(he is leaving for his mission in South Africa soon)
beautiful blossoming trees

Monday, April 14, 2014

The weather was rubbish (14/4 email)

Hi everyone!
Sorry it's gonna be a short one this week too... this morning we went to the library to email, but all the computers weren't working... so we had to get permission from president to email at a member's home!
Last monday Sister Tolman and I went to Manchester! It was great! The weather was rubbish haha but we had fun shopping and having a look around the city J I'll send photos next week! If I wasn't so poor I would have bought so much, but we did get a few things from Primark (so cheap! J) and I had Taco Bell for the first time for lunch J
It's been a hard week to be honest, we've done a LOT of walking and not a whole lot of immediate success but that's how it goes sometimes! I love what President Uchtdorf said in Conference... "how much of life is missed in waiting for the rainbow..." We need to be grateful for the rain! I feel like that definitely applies here in england J but really, we need to be grateful for the hard times as well as the easy times. God gives us these challenges for a reason, and I love how Sister Tolman and I were able to look back and reflect on our week and think about what lessons God was trying to help us learn through our trials.
We have been teaching Liberty and Olivia, and they are getting ready for their baptism next Saturday! We are so excited for them! Their dad Nigel said one of the nicest things to us the other day, I will never forget it... he said "Our lives are back on track thanks to you!" I nearly cried! This is what its all about!!! It's not about having 100 baptisms! It's about making a difference in someone's life! He was telling us about how is wife is coming to church this week and they are working towards being sealed in the temple! The look in his eyes! Oh it is just so wonderful to be a part of this wonderful time in their lives!
There are many other stories that I don't have time to share, but I have great news... I found a cherished friend of mine! We found a shop that sells Milo! I am happy J
Well, I hope you all enjoyed Conference! I'd love to hear what you learnt from it! J

Have a great week!

xoxxo Sister Riley

Monday, April 7, 2014

Fruit (7/4 email)

This week ended on a massive spiritual high where we got to watch 3 sessions of General Conference. I know that you all don't watch it til this coming weekend so I won't spoil it for you J Needless to say though, it was amazing! We will probably be watching the fourth session tonight J

I am incredibly excited because Liberty and Olivia Windsor have set the date of the 19th of April for their baptism! only 2 weeks away! We are so happy for them and their dad Nigel J

Claire is continuing to progress, I just love her so much! She has such a pure heart and wants to follow God. We taught her the word of wisdom this week, which is a tricky one here... most people smoke, drink and enjoy tea and coffee L Claire accepted it all but said she could never give up coffee! We invited her to pray about it. It didn't seem like she was even considering giving it up, but she said she would definitely pray about it. She came with us to Conference, and told us she had gone a whole day without coffee! It was amazing! She really enjoyed Conference, and I just know that she will be baptised soon!

This email is gonna be a short one today because Sister Tolman and I are going to Manchester to do some shopping! I'm so excited! I need some retail therapy!

So I'll leave you with a scripture to ponder this week... D&C 15:6
I hope that you all are prayerfully preparing for Conference. There is so much to soak up and strengthen you. As a missionary, I especially loved M Russell Ballard's talk, and I encourage you to take up his challenge!

I love this Gospel with all my heart. Life is beautiful.

xoxo Sister Riley