Monday, October 27, 2014

I think I'm turning Chinese! (27/10 email)

Hey everyone!

I'm excited for this new transfer! I'm recommitted to work hard and give it all I've got! Our investigator Helen is dated for baptism on the 27th of November, and its really exciting. She is so wonderful and has such a pure heart. She has a strong desire to follow God and I'm not worried about her at all.

Katarina is progressing really well, she came to Institute this week and got to meet more of the YSA. She is so committed to this! She really wants to get her answer! She found the institute class very interesting and even said that she wishes she found her university course as interesting!

Another boy we are teaching is Ted, and he is the funniest Chinese person I've ever met! he is so friendly and outgoing, and that helps so much cos he gets along with all the YSAs. It makes our job easier knowing that when he is baptised he will have friends and the support that he needs.

We had tea at a Chinese couple's home... it was really good! Here in the YSA ward, we only teach people who are 18-30 yrs old and aren't married. We met Amy and Gary and they are married, so technically we cant teach them. But because they are Chinese and there aren't many Chinese speaking missionaries we have been teaching them... if they want to get baptised it will have to be in another ward though. Anyways, they are super nice and wanted to have us round for tea. After the meal Amy showed us their wedding video, and got out her Chinese flute and was teaching us Tai Chi hahaha! so fun!

There were some complications with transfers, and some sisters didn't get the keys to their flat and needed a place to stay... the zone leaders called us and asked if we could have them stay with us... we said yes of course and I was wondering which sisters it was... I was so excited when I found out it was Sister Martin my trainer! And she is training another missionary! So we had a sleepover and it took me back to the start of my mission to spend time with her again! we had a lot to catch up on!

I just love it here. The weather is miserable but there's sunshine in my soul haha!

love you all!
xoxo Sister Riley.

Me and my mission mum!
Sister Chu and her one true love
Sister Chu with Helen

Monday, October 20, 2014

Restoration (20/10 email)

Hi everyone! Hope you're all doing well!

This week wasn't the best number-wise, but we have some great progressing investigators.
We have an investigator called Katarina. She is from the States. She is AMAZING! This week we watched the restoration DVD with her and by the end she had tears in her eyes! She is reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church, praying and even started her family history! She really wants to find out for herself if it's true, and so far she feels like everything has been leading her to this church! I am so excited for her!

On Saturday we had a Chinese activity in Liverpool. We had about 12 Chinese investigators come. It was a good day :) We ate and played games then finished the day with a testimony meeting. Hey guess what? I can pray in Chinese! Haha!

So it's transfers next week, there will be a few changes in our district, but Sister Chu and I are staying together.

President has given us a 31 day atonement study, and it's the best! It is hard to fully comprehend what the Saviour did for us, but each talk and scripture that I read is helping me to understand and appreciate it more. I am so so grateful for what He did for me. Just knowing that Jesus Christ thought of me when he was in the garden fills me with so much love and gratitude. He loves us so much that he suffered immeasurable pain and died so that we can live with Him and our families forever. This simple truth changes everything. 

Once we come to know  that Jesus Christ is real and that he really did perform the atonement for us, we can pray and have access to the healing and enabling power of the atonement. It's real, I've felt it, it has changed me for the better. And I've been lucky enough to see it change the lives of others, i'ts the best thing ever. I'm the happiest I've ever been while I've been helping others come unto Christ.

Love you all so much, hope you have a great week!
xoxo Sister Riley.

Me and Sister Chu
Our investigator Brogan and her friend Melody

Monday, October 13, 2014

Oh it is wonderful (13/10 email)

You know what? I  just love how Heavenly Father works. We go through hard times and rough patches in our lives and sometimes we think that God isn't there or that He's unfair. But I have really come to understand how important it is for things to be difficult in life. There are many reasons why life is hard, one of them being so that we will learn to rely on him completely.

Since moving to this new area, things have been going really well and its been really easy. At the same time though I have felt my prayers become weaker and my relationship and communication with God become more distant and hazy. This week I cried for like the first time since being here! Doesn't sound like a big deal but it is! I cried like everyday in my last area haha! and I was able to see the connection. It made sense. I was really struggling in Rhyl, and I prayed a lot! My connection to God was strong and I felt very close to him.

Then I moved here and things have just been go go go and I haven't really needed to rely on God as much. I can see now how important it is to always be close to God, even when things are going good! This week has been a huge learning experience for me. All of a sudden things aren't as easy as they were and It's been a big wake-up call to me. I feel like this is a lesson we all need to learn about life. When things are easy we sometimes get casual with our prayers and scripture study, even with our standards and church attendance... but we know that when all these things start going down, so will we! It's not a maybe kind of thing, it will happen! But the reverse is also true, when we "up our game" and increase our prayers and quality of our study and commitment to our covenants, the blessings will increase and we will have peace and happiness. It's so simple, I don't know why it's so easily forgotten.

I read some amazing talks this week that have been exactly what I needed to hear. God knows me and where I'm at and I am so grateful for the words I've read that have given me the help I needed. I am so grateful for the sacrament, and for the opportunity I have to recommit every week. This week is going to be the best week of my mission! And it can be the best week for you to as you turn to God and follow him with all your heart. I want to share with you something that I read that has given me this motivation. I hope that it helps you as much as its helped me :)

"Just give it up. Surrender your will to Him. Unconditionally. Withhold nothing. Turn it all over to Him; all of your desires, wishes, dreams and hopes. Be true and faithful in your head and in your heart, not just your behaviour. Trust in Him. Trust Him who knows all things. Trust Him who has all power. Trust Him whose love for you is perfect. Trust Him who alone suffered, paid and atoned for your sins, and for your weaknesses as well. Trust Him that He will make of you, immeasurably more than what you will ever, ever, in all eternity, make of yourself. He will create of you a masterpiece. You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man. He will create a God."

There is so much more I could tell you about, but this is the most important thing I wanted to share. Life is hard, the gospel isn't :)

I love you all so much. I pray for you all everyday.

There is nothing that I want more than for all my loved ones to have the joy that I feel because of Jesus Christ. It's never to late to start believing.

All my love,
xoxo Sister Riley 

Here's a selfie in case you forgot what I look like :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

Let the Holy Spirit guide (6/10 email)

I just can't believe how quickly the weeks are flying by! We are just so busy losing ourselves in the work that before we know it it's Preparation day again!

Something that is guaranteed about missions is that there are ups and downs, and when an investigator is progressing towards baptism that they will have opposition. Molly had her baptismal interview this week and everything was going so well! The next day she texted us saying that she told her parents about her baptism and they were less than pleased. They had strong words with her and do not want her to be baptised. Molly is such a sweet girl and doesn't want to upset her parents, so at the moment as things are, she is postponing the baptism. We haven't been able to get in contact with her since, and it is very upsetting. She knows it's all true and she told us she will continue to read and pray and live the commandments, but for now wont be coming to church or getting baptised. It's upsetting but I know that God prepares a way for those that want to follow him. Things will work out.

So despite that bad news, we found some more amazing prepared people this week. People with pure hearts who want to know the truth. I just love teaching the Chinese people! I can't imagine how fast the church will spread when China opens its doors to the gospel!

Conference was amazing! and the best part was that we had 6 investigators come to watch it! I am determined to let this conference change me! To not just watch it once and think it was nice but to reflect on it often and set goals to apply the things I've learnt to become a better person. I am so grateful for conference and how God speaks to us through his chosen servants.

I hope that you will all let conference change you! Look for answers to your prayers in conference because I know that each of us can receive personal revelation and if we pray for the spirit to be with us as we watch it, He can communicate with us and tell us things we need to hear.

Oh how I LOVE the spirit! it is the best thing ever and I am so grateful for that gift I received when I was 8. Those of you who have been baptised and received the gift of the Holy Ghost, always be worthy of it and follow its promptings. God loves us so much and has given us this gift to guide, protect and comfort us, and I feel like sometimes we forget what an amazing gift we have. We are never alone.

Hope you all have a great week and continue to be good examples to those around you

xoxo Sister Riley