Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rhyl good (28/5 email)

It's ok! I'm still alive! It was a bank holiday yesterday so we couldn't email... I know you're all just dying to hear what I've been up to this week :P
It's been a slow week, with lots of rain, but still lots to smile about.
Thursday was definitely a highlight, we had a multi-zone mission activtity in Manchester. There was training from President, a BBQ lunch, a talent show followed by a relay activity.... oh and mail!

I just love getting together with all the other missionaries! I was especially excited to be reunited with Sister Tolman :D I just want to say how much I love President Preston (and his wife). He is so loving, funny, optimistic and motivating. I just love him! I always feel better after being around him. He leaves next month :( The new Mission President is from Utah, and he will have big shoes to fill.
I am coming to realise that Rhyl is a bit of a rough area, but I know that there are people here that are being prepared. Every rejection brings us closer to that person who is ready to receive the gospel! I am determined to find them! We found a few new investigators that unfortunately dropped us, but that's just how it goes sometimes! Just planting seeds :P
The Rhyl ward is great though, such a solid group of saints! I love them already J We had tea at the Williams' home, and Sister Williams CRACKED ME UP!! I'm telling ya she is hilarious! She's about 80 yrs old and just says exactly what she's thinking. After our spiritual thought she was like 'ok! now get out, I wanna eat some food!' hahaha! She told me that the Australian accent is the worst one in the whole world! I couldn't stop laughing, I love her!
I went on exchange with Sister Jordan from Illinois, and she is so chill! Sometimes it bothers me how sister missionaries can be a bit fake and over the top and all that. Not Sister Jordan, she says it how it is. I love that. We had a great exchange, and she helped me with some of the things I was struggling with :) We met some solid people too, and taught some good on the spot lessons.
We got our conference edition of the ensign, and I'm LOVING IT! Seriously, if you're not already, read a talk each day. Heavenly Father answers our prayers, comforts and directs us through the conference talks.
We had a district meeting today, and it was all about focusing on our purpose... what is our purpose in one word? BAPTISM! that's what it's all about! I am so keen to get out there and help people receive the gospel through faith, repentance and BAPTISM! Oh and if you haven't seen it already, look up the video BECAUSE OF HIM it is sooooo good! it gets me so pumped!!! ahhh! the church is true!
Quote of the week:
teenage boy, looking at our badges:
"Soo you work for Jesus?"
Love you all!
xoxo Sister Riley

Sister Tolman and me at the activity
My companion, Sister Campbell

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

I got a tan (19/5 email)

As you can see by the title, we've had some nice weather this week! The week started out a bit rough, the work was very slow, but Heavenly Father blessed us with miracles as we tried our best and turned to him for help. 

Saturday was 4hr finding, and we had planned to go out to a little village that isn't even in the map book. There was someone that we needed to visit, and we had to ask for directions on how to get there. On the way, we stopped a man to share the Gospel with him, and he told us 'I've just spoken to your people, they've just knocked all the doors on the estate' and walked off. Well it definitely wasn't 'our people' cos we are the ones that do the knocking... you can guess who it was... the Jehovah Witnesses! So we questioned if knocking the doors there was the right thing to do after they had just been knocked, but we felt good about it and did it anyway. I'm so glad that we did because we found Andrew! He was sitting in his garden and we started up a conversation with him. he was super friendly and we talked to him about families and how the gospel can bless our families... so while we were teaching Andrew, the JWs all come back to their cars which were parked in front of his house! And they were watching us as we prayed with him! It was a bit intimidating, but hey! The church is true haha!

We got to attend stake conference on Saturday night and Sunday morning. It was wonderful! I was spiritually uplifted and strengthened, and learnt so much! There's a lot of things I would love to share with you, but I only have time to share a couple.
One of the speakers talked about the story in John chapter 9 where the Saviour healed the blind man by rubbing some dirt in his eyes and then instructing him to go and wash them. As he washed his eyes, he was able to see.
What we learn from this story is that each of us need to 'go and wash that we might see' Every day we sin. Each day we don't repent, this sin builds up and makes our vision less clear. When we repent the dirt is cleared from our eyes and we can see things the way God sees them. 
I know this to be true because I was able to experience it this week. The atonement is real. Each of us have access to its amazing power if we just turn to the Lord and cast our burdens upon him. That is why he died for us! He has given us this precious gift and we need to use it everyday so that we can align our will with his and see things the way he sees them.

Elder Olsen from the 70 shared a story about a young child that when her little sister was born kept asking her parents if she could be alone with her sister. The parents didn't think it was a good idea, but the child kept asking. So the parents agreed, making sure that everything was safe, and setting up a camera to watch. When the little girl was alone with her sister she whispered to her "Tell me about God, I am forgetting." My eyes swelled up with tears as he told us this. It is so true! Little children are so close to God! they literally just came from his presence. The way that I can say I KNOW this, is because of how I FEEL. My heart is full. This gospel is true. I love it. I hope that what I have shared with you has helped you if even only a tiny bit. More than anything, I want people to have the joy that I have found. What good is it to have these feelings if you don't share them with others. I encourage each of you to share your joy with those around you. You can change someone's life!

Have a great week,
xoxo Sister Riley

Beautiful Rhyl

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Goodbye Congleton...Hello Rhyl! (12/5 email)

How is Sister Riley like Jonah? 
-They both like spending time in Wales
Haha! I know, I know it's not even funny... but it's true! Rhyl is beautiful! Our flat is super close to the beach and I love it! Ahh the sound of seagulls... reminds me of home J Still waiting for the nice weather though J

It's been a crazy week, and I've been on an emotional rollercoaster. Saying goodbyes, seeing the family, settling into a new country!

The Rhyl ward has been very welcoming, and I am so excited to work with the members and see miracles! The work is going to explode here I can feel it! We have a great Bishop and ward mission leader and I am keen as a bean to get started here J

Sister Campbell is great, and we get along well which is so good to have that instant friendship so that you can go straight into the work with no worries!

I don't have too many stories to tell this week... its been a bit hectic. We spent a lot of time going around and meeting all the members before church on Sunday, which was really great and it made a difference to see familiar faces at church J

I just loved being able to Skype home for Mother's day. It went way too quickly. I love my family so much J

Ahhh there's too much going on in my head right now, I don't know what else to say!
Here is a scripture I read that I really loved this week: Romans 8:35-39.

I am so grateful to know I have a loving Heavenly Father. I am so grateful that I can pray to him and tell him exactly how I am feeling and He just listens. I bet no one else would be able to sit and listen to all the silly stuff I tell him about. But He does... He listens because He loves me so much and when I take time to listen to Him, He speaks to me. It's something that I am still learning how to do, but when I listen with all my heart, He puts thoughts in my mind and I feel peace and love and comfort. I am so grateful for that. I don't think I could be here without that. I would have given up already. But He is always there when I need it, and He picks me up and gives me the strength I need to keep going. And because He has done that for me, I know He will do it for you too.

I hope you all are well. I love to hear from you.
Have a great week, 
xoxo Sister Riley

Last Sunday in Congleton... with the Watts and the Poultons
Sis. Tolman and I climbed to the top of a mountain (kinda J)
Me and Carolina (the lady from Mexico)
The Wilson kids
Sis. Tolman and me with our matching skirts with the Owens

Monday, May 5, 2014

Goodbye Congleton! (5/5 email)

Big news! I'm finally leaving Congleton... mixed emotions. I will really miss it! The Congleton ward will always have a special place in my heart. I bore my testimony in church yesterday and cried my eyes out! Oh it was so hard to say goodbye!
Where am I going you ask? To WALES! I will be serving in Rhyl with Sister Campbell from Canada. She is a great missionary, and I am excited for this next chapter of my mission!
I have loved every minute serving with Sister Tolman. She is one of my closest friends and I know that Heavenly Father put us together at the right time in our lives J
We had a breakthrough with Paul this week. I was prompted to share Jeffrey R Hollands talk "like a broken vessel" with him, and we watched it together at the Moss' home. The spirit was really strong, and Paul was filled with a new desire and motivation and committed to give up the things holding him back! He is working towards being baptised on the 7th of June!
Claire and Natasha are progressing very well. I just love them so much! Claire is just a sponge and soaks up everything! She came to the missionary fireside with us and loved every minute of it! She even said she would like to get up and speak there after she is baptised!
I went on exchange in Wrekin with Sister Hansen. Sister Hansen was the first sister I ever went on exchange with, and it was nice to be with her again. We gave a chapel tour to a couple of their investigators, and it was a great experience. When we were in the chapel, i know that they felt the spirit. That experience really helped me to see how chapel tours can make a big difference in the progression of investigators. It helps them to feel more comfortable when they do come to church.
We taught Sascha on friday night, and it was the best lesson we've had with her. The spirit was so strong, and we all got a bit emotional with the thought of it possibly being the last time we taught her.  We talked about baptism, and Sascha told us that she really wants to be baptised... it's just her parents that wont let her. We reassured her that God understands her situation and knows the desire of her heart and she will be blessed for her obedience. I just love her... I have no doubt that when the time is right she will be baptised.
We had tea at the Windsors house saturday night and it was so great. The girls made us thankyou cards and bracelets and it was so sweet! It is such a great feeling knowing that you've made a difference in someone's life. I am so grateful for the privilege and blessing it has been to teach them and help them make covenants with God.
My heart is full. Sometimes I don't feel worthy of the many blessings Heavenly Father has given and continues to give to me. It is truly wonderful.
Thanks for your support.
Pray for opportunities to share the joy that you have with others.

xoxo Sister Riley.