Monday, September 22, 2014

As I have loved you... (22/9 email)

This week has been probably the busiest week of my mission so far! It was 'freshers week', kinda like orientation week for university, so there were students everywhere! We had 10 sets of missionaries here everyday because we knew it would be so busy! So this week was full on street contacting and chapel tours and lessons! Oh and miracles! We had activities running every night last week, and lots of non- members came. The work is just exploding here and I am so excited to be a part of it.

We met with Molly again, and she is amazing! We set a baptismal date with her for the 16th of October. She is so pure in heart and wants to follow God. I am so excited for her.

On Friday we got to do some service for the food bank. We helped out a lady packing food parcels and giving them to homeless people. It was such a great feeling helping them, and we will be doing it every week :)

So many things happened this week and I don't have enough time to write them all, but I just wanted to tell you about an experience we had last night. We went out street contacting, and we decided to walk further down Oxford road to a part we haven't worked in before... we know now that It was the spirit guiding us there. We saw this lady in her pyjamas walking down the street. She looked unwell and upset. Normally I wouldn't approach someone like this, but Sister Chu and I both felt that we needed to help her. Turns out she is a member of our church and she had been admitted to the hospital for mental health problems, but had escaped! You would think that we would be a bit worried or feel unsafe, but we didn't. I felt so calm, and I knew that we needed to walk with her to the church and get her help. I can't explain to you how I felt as we talked with her and helped her to calm down. I was filled with love for this woman that I had never met, and I just wanted her to know how much God loves her and how everything would be ok. Everything got sorted out, and she is back in hospital, but this experience has made such a big impact on me. I know that God sent us there to help this woman. And as I was sitting with her and speaking with her I felt God giving me the right words to say. He loves us all so much.

I feel like mental illness is very misunderstood. It is not a punishment from God, it is a trial that he has given to some of us. I know that God doesn't give us trials that we can't get through... With His help we can overcome everything life throws at us. My heart just ached for this woman. I hope that I was able to help her and I know that God will continue to help her.

My mission has really opened my eyes. Through the experiences I've had I am more aware of the needs of others around me and how selfish I can be. I have felt the happiest as I am helping others, and I now know that I want to spend the rest of my life helping others.

I just want you all to know that I know each of us are children of God. Just take a moment to think about that. When we come to know who we really are, we can start to see things differently. We start to see our selves the way that God sees us. We are so much more than the way we see ourselves. If we are struggling with low self-esteem or self-doubt, we need to pray and ask God to help us to see ourselves the way he sees us. He created us. He made us all with different weaknesses and strengths. It is easy to see our weaknesses, but sometimes we need help to see our strengths. I know that God can help us see them because He has done that for me. Once we know what our strengths are we need to use them to help others. This is what life is all about.

I love this gospel. I love the plan that God has for us. Its a whole lot more simple than I thought.

I hope you all are well, hope to hear from you soon.

xoxo Sister Riley

Nancy Williams. She is my favourite
Spider welcomed me into the new flat
Me and Sister Chu! (I am bending down...she is tiny!)

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