Monday, December 30, 2013


(I don't have his past letters) 

Dec. 30 
how are yall all doing?. hope christmas was great and it was the best gift to get to talk to all you! I love each and everyone of you so much! 
How are you doing in reading the book of mormon everyday? and least one verse.?

Well this week has been great for me here. We will start the day of christmas. So it was like the best thing ever and probably one of my favorite christmass of my life. yes i am like 5 hours away in airplane but that day and those two hours that we skyped i felt like i was with yall. It was so great to hear all your voices and seee your smiling faces. Its super nice to see my family and hear them. When i have a bad day i always go to my photo book mom made me and look at all the family smiling and it always remindes me that yes I am the only Riley here in Guatemala but yall are here with me in heart. I know this is true. So after christmas talking with yall my comp was sick so we went to the house and he slept. i didnt want to sleep because i didnt have a reason. So i studied almost all of 3rd nephi. i might say that third nephi is my favortie book. I read chapter 11 like 3 times to really drill all the doctrine in my mind. i love the example of the wise man and the rain and the rocks. ITs 100% true. what i shared with you guys in the 25 i know is 100% true and only through those things we can live as a family forever in the presence of our heavenly father. It was so great to spend the whole day reading the scriptures and listen to the motab. IT wasn't super eventful day but it was legit. This week was pretty slow with lessons. For one my comp was sick all week so we would only work 5 hoursa day  becuase we was throwing up from eating one tamalli. Not sure how that happens becuse he is latino but i  love those things. lol. This week we did find 2 new familys to teach and they are both super good. This week we want to put a baptismal  date with both families. ITs great. The ward is kinda getting started to work with us but its hard to work with them when we always ask them and always say.. im to busy. in d&c 11 we read in one of the last verses and we must work in the lords vineyard to have our salvation. Its a powerful scripture. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Mountains to Climb Nov. 18

Well this is week has been awesome and also one of the hardest weeks. Good first.  I had the babtism of the young man alexander who is 24 years old. It was such a great eperiacne to see someone who isnt a youth the change there life. It was kinda my first babtism where they werent surrounded my memeber. We didn't have to many people at the babtism but it didn't matter. Alexander only wanted to be babtized because he knew it was the right thing to do. After he was babtized he got up and bore his testimony. It was oh so simple but very sincere. He is just great to his heavenly father for all he has been given. He doesn't have the support from his family but he knows that the lord will always listen to him and that is what Heavenly Father wants from him. 
   On sunday he was comfirmed a member. The patriach perfomred and the ordinace and me and my comp stood in.  Also on sunday we had the primary prgram. IT was so awesome and definitly what i needed. The songs are the same here. I couldn't understsand the kids singing but i knew the songs in engish and i love it. The spirit was so strong! It is amazing the tesimony and the humilty we learn from the little kids. The son of the bishop got up and his line was amazing! HE said. mommy pappi, guide me, show me what i must do. i know you know, im putting my trust in you. I love you mommy and pappi. These where his words. These words hit my heart! I didn't really think about the rest of the program. Their words were in my head and weren't leaving. I want to say mom and dad. Thank you for guidding me to where i am now. I know you know that this is what i need and i hope feel the love of our Lord Jesus Christ everyday. Thank you for being the exampes in my life. I know that if i followed i would be happy. This is what i have tried to do. I love you mom and dad! 

    This week was alittle hard though. I can tell that i can understand the poeple alot more. i know what i need to say, its just to get the words out of my mouth is so hard. I know the words but many times and i cant speak. It is so hard at times but i know this is a trail of my faith that the lord put in my way to strengthen me. This is why we have trials and they are hard but we can overcome them with the help of the lords. I must say that the plack that says, Finishers Wanted is a huge blessing that i have to have that on my desk. There are many times when i just feel hopeless but when i read this plack i know that my dad and my brothers felt the same way that i am feeling and if they fulliled a faithful mission so can I. 

It is such a blesssing i have to be a missionary right now. The lord is hastening his work but so is satan. Satan knows the weakeness of our investigators and is drilling them. BUt i know with the help of the lord we have more power. 
I love you!
Elder Riley

My birthday week Nov. 11

I dont ever spend much money of my own. Usually its all the mission money.I haven't baught anything that is for me. so im doing good. The president said if you have extra money use it for what you need. he said to buy things to help you teach so i have a few picture books. 
This week I had the babtism of a young kid. The family is all very active and he has been going to church  since birth but his father lives in the usa so he hasnt been babtized. He is 11 years old and  his dad finally said that he needs the help of the spirit in his life and he needs to be babtized so we had the chance to do it. IT was awesome to have a huge family and to feel the spirit so strong at this babtism. This family is pretty much my family here in my  area. They are so much like our fmaily. Always busy, always talking loud and always going different directions. I love them.

I had my first encounter with someone who wanted my money luckly i had a few quets, which is the money here to give the driunk dude. If they dont get money they just take our bags so i always cary about 5 quets. 
The weather here is aweome i guess it is hot here in the capitiol right now and its going to get cold. i love the weather. ITs almost always blue skys and the clouds are just beautiful. I do sweat but im pretty sure thats just a family thing. 
Sorry i didnt tell about alexander. alexander is a golden investigtor. We were walking down the street when he stopped us and asked if we were members of the Mormon church. I ask what he knew about us. HE said not alot but he wants to know the chapel and see what the church is like. we gave him a tour and set a time for the first discussion. He accepted that babtism commitment that i extended and he is just awesome. He reads the book of mormon all day. We met him 2 weeks ago and he is getting babtized this week. I am so excited. His family isn't the most supportive of him but is all for the gospel. HE calles me the giant angel. He knows so much and always when we explain something even before we start to tell him and share scriptures about blessings he said and these are the blessing i think we receive. He is a genius
. I am so thankful for this man. We have one family that has a past with alcohol and alot of it. they have a goal for the 30th of this month for babtism. Family Varias. If you could pray that they could feel the support that the lord has for them that would be muchly appreciated. My district spoilled me today with food and all. i had beans torillas and STEAK! Its the fullest ive been since i left. i love my district leader. He is going home in decimber but he is such a great man and i want to be the missionary he is.
Love you!!
Elder Riley

My temple week!! Nov. 4

Hey don't worry about the packages I'm doing great here. I haven't ran out of anything so I'm good. I don't need anything here in this area I kinda have a walmart soI'm  doing good.. I dont know if they take American money or not but im good. I found a scale today and if i loose 5 more pounds I will have lost 20 pounds. I don't feel super hungry, and it is a blessing from the lord that i don't feel hunger. I feel great though. 
The plan the our mission has is all with members so we try to support the members }. We have the job to look for 3 hours everyday. 1 hour with a leader of a organzation and 1 hour for any member and then the last only my comp and I. I love missionary work when we have a member in the lession. Its always goes so much better I feel they help the investigator feel more comfertable. I usually have a hour of language study in the mornings but when we have meetings i don't get the hour of language. Im trying to wake up at 530 so i can study more. It is a rule that goes if we have a hispanic comp and they want to speak english in the house they we speak english. 
Right now we have about 8 progressive investigators in our pool. It is pretty hard to keep them keeping commitments, but we pray for them always for the help of the lord to help them.  I had the chance to go the temple today with my zone. It was all in spanish but i understood alot of what was said. It is the old video but it is great. I love the temple because i always feel the spirit and feel so much closer to god in the temple. 

Love you,
Elder Riley 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hey Jack - Oct. 28

This week has been awesome, but hard at the same time. I had another babtism of a little girl named Melanie she is nine years old, her uncle fredy babtisded her, It is alwayts bettter to have family babtise. My spanish is definitly improving all the time. at times i stuggle to understand but i know the lord had a plan for my language and will help me with my work. 

Satueday night here in the city in my area was crazy. Justin beber was in concert the street was full of people and nobdoy was home,. everyone was in the street wating for him to start those who couldnt pay for a ticket sat in the street and listened. IT was hard to do work that night and day. At two in the afternnoon the street was fiulled and he didnt show up until eight... six hours of girls screeming. 

You will be proud of me. I eat all my vegis all the tomatoas and almoist evertthing i get, it is hard but eggs beens and a tortoea are pretty nice. i am loosing weight i can tell becasue if i walk without my belt my pants fall.

My first baptism!!

October 14, 2013 
I love it here!! It rains all night, so I hear the rain on the tin roof!! It is a little hard not knowing what people are saying, but I know the lord will bless me. I think I'm loosing weight now here in the feild. 3 meals of beans, eggs with 3 torillas, and ALOT of walking. he works so hard help me with whatever. The best trainer i could ask for. He wants to learn english so much so in the house we only speak engish and in the feild only spanish- He is awesome. He is very well off and has everything he needs.

The poly kid is from hawaii his name is Hunter Vincent. I was at walmart and ran into him, but right now Walnart is not in my area so I can't go there. There is a member here that can take american money and transfer it to guatemalal and buy stuff for me.

So a typical day.. Wake up 6:30 work out till 6:50.. use a bucket every other day cause the shower doesn't work. Breakfast at the comedor..a lady feeds us every meal we want for 10 quets. About 1.15 in american money.  Study until 11 thats personal, companiship, tranining, and idioma. Then we work street contacting until lunch at 1 ish. We then have lessons till 9 the ward memberes are awesome and we have a awesome ward mission leader. 

My area is alittle rough after about 6. I cant wear my name badge after 6pm. But its all good. For smaller white people it is dangerous but for me since im the biggest in the zone its not to bad. 

Then best part of my week was i had my first babtism!!!!!! Angel Marroquin. He is 9 years old and his family was less active. Angel was babtized and his family, is going back to church. It was such an awesome feeling to see that. I feel like  real missionary. 

We have three more dates for this month so me and my comp are working our tales off to get them. 

2 crazy things. First I had exchanges with a elder prom panama. They speak so fast so it was really hard to understand but i got through the day. The next day I ate steamed beats for dinner. That was a killer!! And the other was cucumber with lime.. The food is crazy and I think the taste buds here and in north america are really different. I love you!!!

Elder Riley

My awesome companion!!

October 7, 2013
My new comp Elder Rivera from Honduras. He has been in the field ten months. He is amazing! Emailing for the first time in the field!! I'm in the city and my and my area is Santa Lauisa! It is so crazy being out here. But i love it. My comp is Elder Rivera from Honduras. He does speak a little english and he wants to learn more so in the house we only speak english and outside is only spanish. It is alittle frustrating not knowing what is going on, but I know with time and if I keep working the lord will utilize me and help let me speak spanish. Working with the members is the greatest way. It is a mission goal that every night we have a member with us for lessons. It truly helps because the investigators can see what a member in there area does. The members here love to help out. It is alittle hard right now because the last missionaries that were in the area weren't  the best so me and my comp are trying to get the trust back. We have about 5 progressing investigators, but we need a lot more. 

Conference was awesome! I didn't think I was going to be able to focus and not think about not having alot of food, but I loved conference. I learned so much from every apostle and I got to listen to it in engish! I loved it. I don't remember who but someone said if you want more investigators you have to talk more. My comp and I set a goal for each day to find 2 new people to teach. I'm super excited for that!

The house I'm in is pretty nice for here. We are in a gated community with guards at each gate, so it safe in the gates. We have a fridge and a microwave and our shower works every other day. We fill a buck up and that's our water. It is so freakin cold!! There is a lady here who washes our clothes; Hermana Galan is so sweet. We pay here 120 qets which is not alot every 8 qets is 1 dollar. We pay her that once a month and we get it reimbursed. She is awesome.   

Well I love it here. It is very humbling to see the places people live and my comp is amazing. The scriptures say the strength comes after the trial of your faith. Love you!!

Elder Riley

My last week in the MTC

 Sorry I'm a little behind!!
Sept. 25, 2013
      The power in the mtc was still on, but the other building where we go to email was out and so was some other buildings around us. My spanish has improved alot this last week. It has been very hard, but i know I will be blessed for my efforts. I am getting nervous for the field, but I  am so excited because I finally get to be a real missionary after being gone for a month.

      We learned this week about how to involve the ward  members and that is definitely something I want to do. Speaking of conference, I don't think I will be able to watch Saturday and not sure if I can get to watch Sunday in english, but I really am praying hard so that I can find strength as I am totally confused for my first month or two. I am going to miss the big breakfast and all the family, but I know that I am where I need to be at this time in my life and that I hear something that will touch my heart and be able to help me.

  I do have pictures of me and companions and people but we have to give the ccm our cameras because they get stolen so often, so when I get to the field next week I will send home a bunch.

   A little info.. I have stayed the same weight so far. still at 240 which is crazy cause I only get 3 meals a day. This last Sunday I got to pray in spanish in sacrament meeting it was super cool. I can say alot of what I  want when I pray.  Elder Ochea that was at our stake conference when it spilt came and spoke to us this last night. He talked alot about faith which i have found is huge. as long has we have faith that our heavenly father is aware of us we have nothing to fear. He wont let us fail. I found to awesome scriptures this week. D&C 15:6..Alma 29:9  I love these.

   I don't know what will happen if I get all wet. keep working i guess, that's what I'm here for. There was a elder who had been in the field for 3 months and he had to go home cause of stress and depression problems, but he said that he had rain water but to his knees one day. He isn't in my mission but it is crazy rain here. We also had a huge thunder. We were teaching and the hole building shuck from the boom that the thunder put off.

   Well that's all that has happened. I am super glad I  am here, but am very nervous for what is to come. I know that I  keep moving forward and keep trying to stay positive the lord will bless me and give me guia(guidance). I am excited for the chance to go help people find happiness and come unto Christ.  I know this church is true and that Pres. Monson is a prophet of god. The temple here is awesome. Super small but I feel the spirit so strong and is a good reminder of how I need to live to receive those blessings.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Best Week Ever!

Sorry for not emailing when we were supposed too. Thats what happens
in 3rd world countries. The power goes out for like 3 days. No
biggie.  So, this week was awesome so much happened!! There were some
little kids that came on a tour of the ccm and they walked through out
classrooms and we got to talk to them all and I  can say right now my
spanish is about what they can speak and I think they are in like the
3 grade. I've got work to do. haha because my district wants to learn
spanish bettter we are only speaking spanish. (solo espanol) it is
super hard, but I can already tell it is helping me a lot! I also
experienced my first earthquake which was so weird. I was eating
dinner when it felt like I was going to pass out then I looked around
and poeple were moving and I had no clue then the mission president came in
and yelled for us to go out side. It was just under a 5.0 here in the
city, so where it was strong was around an 8.. not sure what that means,
but it was strong. We also had the oppertunity to go to the mercada
which is like a china town, but its 3 floors below ground level of
these china town shops. They have like a meat seccion where no joke
cows and animals are just hanging and poeple get there meat cut off
right there. So weird!! But it was super. The poeple are so short! I
cant tell how old anyone is!! We had lunch there... at the Wendy's
which is clean! They have seccurity guards and it is scary because
they stare us white people down. Doesn't help i'm the biggiest in the
hole ccm. My companion and I finished lunch and we had a LDM (BOM) and
so we went out and for 20 min with our broken spanish tried to place
it. Right when we about had to go back to the bus a family of 3 walked
past. We got to talk to them and I gave them a book of mormon and said
that in this book it talks about how families can be together forver
and the moms eyes got huge! It was so cool. They promised to read what
we asked and we went our ways. I forgot to get the reforal stuff so
oops...:(  so thats that. A couple more things. I still havent gotten
grandmas package.. Elder loveland is here!! When the bus pulled up i
stood next to the door and waited for him. It is so cool to see him
here!! Also you have heard the stories of people messing up spanish
words.. I did this week. I was teaching my teacher and I  meant to say
we are so excited for you and your babtism date. excited is
imotionado. Well I didn't know that, so I used my dictionary. I found
the work and it said excitado. It looked right, so I used it and well
no I know that exitado means excited, but in the not good way... also
ask glenny if she knows a vagas family for the DR there is an elder
here who is from there. He's from santiago. Oh and mom the reason i'm
not using paragrahs.. I don't have a return button!! sorry! I love you
guys so much!      Elder RIley

Hey Everyone!

Hey! This week has flown by! It is crazy how fast time goes! This week has been super awesome. I can understand more and more about the language. I learned how to do a street contact and place a Book of Mormon in spanish so that was super cool. I didn't even need a script.i talk super slow but I gotta start somewhere so I'm super excited.
Yes the investigator thing was fake, but they do it to all the new missionaries besides the hispanos because they are only here for 2 weeks.  She is now my teacher and I love her teaching so much. My teachers are very patient with me. I do have a hard time memorizing things like D&C 4 in spanish.. it is a killer,  but it a challenge and I will beat it. My  companion and I are working hard and about every 3 days we try to only speak spanish which is hard, but i know the lord will bless us for our efforts. Nothing real exciting happens here in the ccm besides us learning more and more everyday. I love god. I know he lives. I can see his hand in my life so much already and I know as I keep working hard and doing my best to serve others the lord will bless me. I had  diarrhea all week, but its gone now. I'm getting used to the small food portions and I'm starting to already love the hispanic culture.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Elder Riley's First Two Weeks

    Well, Elder Riley has made it safely to the Guatemala MTC. He has been there just under two weeks. I miss him so much, but I know he is doing what is right.

Here are the first two letters home to me.
      #1 I feel like i'm in a spritual prison here. (12 hours of classroom study)  There are only 80 missionaries here in the Guatemala mtc, so it's pretty small. I love being a missionary. We have a investiagor and her name is Alegajra, she is a chef at the mtc. We have taught her 4 times and 3 of them we have been told to do as much as we can in spanish. I stink at spanish right now, but the lord will bless me as I work hard. We comminted her to babtism, so that was a huge blessing as I have been feeling alittle home sick. I love each of you and I cant wait to hear about what happens in sports and want to wish you the best as you continue to go to school. Make good friends. I miss mine like crazy, but they mean the world to me.
Just some of Elder Riley's friends at the airport. 
  #2: My spanish is coming slowly, but I think I've learned more here than I did all 2 years of high school spanish. I know the gift of tounges is real and the lord called me here for a reason. Guatemala is so awesome! The weather is super nice and the humitity isn't bad at all, but i'm in the city. Out on the coast and where there farms it is super hot and alot of humitity. I love this gospel. The church is true.
          Elder Riley is such a great example to all of us here at home and hopefully to all of you readers as well. I'm sure he would love to hear from all of you, so write him and give him some encouragement.