Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Perfection won't come by Wednesday afternoon - Monday, November 23, 2015

Hiya Mum, Dad, and Family, 

Goodness, what a week for you all. I am glad to hear BYU won. Kylee how did you get to ring the Victory bell? What a great thing you got to do. Is there anything I can do to help Kynsie? Kendra keep being awesome. I look forward to talking to you all. Are you going to go to Austins baptism? You all have had a wonderful week. Pretty hectic though! haha. 

This week has been freezing cold!!! Probably the coldest winter ever!! But Heavenly Father has definitely blessed Elder Jeng and I. It has been a miraculous week that is for sure, but all small miracles. 

First off, we had interviews with President Pilkington this week. I love interviews, they always lift me/us so high. For some reason I always get nervous but then when I am actually in front of President all is well. He is such a great man, definitely inspired. He talked to me about what stresses me out and how things have been going in general. I told him that I get stressed when I am not perfect, and it is hard not being perfect. Well he told me straight forward, "perfection won't come by a Wednesday afternoon" It is true. That is why we are here, to just learn and try. We will not be perfect, but we can try to be perfect. We came to earth to prepare and to become like God is, that doesn't mean we will be perfect now. Perfection is eternal. I have learned loads from President Pilkington, because of our talk I have been trying to not be as hard on myself...we all know that I am bad at that. You all keep telling me! :) haha now I am finally listening to it! 

We were knocking last week. It was pouring rain and very cold. Well we knocked on these girls door. They told us that they were sorta religious, they then told us that we could come another time. So I asked if we could go by on Wednesday. They said yes immediately. From that I just assumed that they would stand us up. Well we were late going to the appointment but because I assumed that they would stand us up it didn't bother me. Which it should have, I wasn't being as diligent as I should have. We went by and they were in. They said you guys were supposed to come earlier. Haha there is a slap to the face for me! They then asked if we could come by in about a half hour. So we did. There were three girls there. Ella, Kate, and Mikaila. They are all really open and really cool. We taught them the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the spirit was so strong. I really enjoyed the lesson. I know that they felt something. They then were asking loads of questions. We invited them to find out for themselves and to read the Book of Mormon and then pray about it. They said they would do it, that they really wanted to test it out. We then invited them to be baptized on the 11th of December. They accepted the date very willingly. They want to get involved with the YSA and come to church. It was so good to have a lesson like that. I know that if they Read and Pray with real intent they will receive an answer! 

Jack and Alex haven't been able to see us because they are so busy but we popped by for just a little bit and they said that they have been reading and that they are still very interested in it. We are going to teach them again this week. 

We spent a good amount of this week knocking and street contacting. It was really good to get back to the basics of missionary work. Sometimes I find it hard to talk to people, even though I love it. But some how Heavenly Father always makes it possible for me to approach somebody and talk to them. The end result is so amazing. Being able to bear testimony. We have done a lot of that lately. It has been really good. We have found so many new people this week, now we just need to go by and teach them. I really love missionary work. It is wonderful, it is hard, but wonderful. I wouldn't trade it for the world. 

I know that perfection doesn't come by Wednesday, I know that Heavenly Father does bless us so much as we are obedient and faithful to him. Use the atonement of Jesus Christ, through him we can become more of the person he wants us to be. I love you all and hope you know that I know that this church is true! 

God be with you till we meet again. On our way. #10sof1000s. HE LIVES. 

Love, Elder Tyler Rife

I don't quite have the faith to move mountains.....but I am getting there! :)

"Enjoying a GIANT Hot dog with Elder Cope on Exchange and a member we were helping at the hospital!"

Not sure what he is doing here.  Perhaps this will have to be a question we ask him when he returns
You could caption it and we could have a little fun with it!!! :)

Have a wonderful week all and enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving!
We sure are thankful for you ALL!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Miracles are in the air

Hiya Mum, Dad, and Family, 

I have heard about the bombings in France, there was also a few shootings that happened. They are estimating about 180 people have been killed, but don't know how many have been injured. It is scary what is happening in the world today, loads of chaos. That is why we must do all we can to stay close to Christ and the gospel. It will keep us afloat. The bombings haven't affected England that much as of yet, the south of England has been affected a bit, but I am sure they are keeping a close eye on what is happening. President Pilkington, I'm sure has a plan to keep us safe, and Heavenly Father will keep us safe. As for Austin, he did tell me. I am so happy for him. He told me that it is going to happen. I am overjoyed and sad at the same time. Overjoyed because my best friend is coming closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, but sad because I won't be there to see it. I know he is making the right decision! There is a bug that is going around over here as well, Elder Jeng had it and now I have it, so we are in this together Tanner and Kylee. Haha. I am doing fine though, just a small head cold. Well if there is anything that I can do for Nick let me know. Tell him I love him!! :) 

Well the week has been long because of the disease that has Elder Jeng and I have both caught. Our finding hasn't been as effective, we have tried talking to people but had to stay in for a few hours because of our illnesses. This week will be so good though I know it. Although there was a little bump in the road...well maybe not a bump but a brick wall haha, we still had so many miracles. 

Last week we found a lad named Jack, from knocking. We went by on Monday night and he let us in, his mate Alex was there as well. Jack is very Atheist. He said that he doesn't believe in Heavenly Father at all but would be up to hear us out. Alex is Agnostic, he told us that he has been searching his whole life for God but he just feels like he is in this fog, and he doesn't know where to go. Well they are awesome that is for sure! They are both willing to test it out. We taught them about who Heavenly Father is and that he loves us, we then taught them about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We explained to them that reading the Book of Mormon and praying is the way to find out if Heavenly Father is there. They said they would do it, we then invited them, if they found out it was true for themselves, to be baptized by the proper priesthood authority. They accepted our invitation and then we scheduled them for the 4th of December. We haven't been able to see them since because they are very busy Uni students but they are very interested and I know that if they put in the effort they will find out if what we are saying true and they will be baptized.

Another miracle was obviously Zone Conference. It was definitely the best. I love going. I always am so inspired to do better afterward. 

Mavis, oh Mavis....haha I don't even know. She believes that the church is true and that the Book of Mormon is true and everything. She just doesn't want to come to church or be baptized. Unfortunately she won't make the 28th of November, but we are going to re-schedule her. The last time we saw her we almost got her to commit to church, we are slowly resolving her concerns and she is now coming to the point when she will either have to make the right decision or not. She is a really funny lady, love her to death! Haha. 

I think one of the greatest miracles I saw this week was a pretty big one. Some people may say it is just coincidence but I know that it was an answer to our prayers. So the sister missionaries in the ward were having a baptism. We had 3 investigators confirmed to come to the baptism but 2 of them cancelled with us. Do you remember Georgia? Well she was supposed to come as well. 1 hour before the baptism she rang us and said she couldn't come. It was pouring rain and I being not as diligent as I should have been thought to myself I am not going to walk in the rain all night, Elder Jeng and I are both sick, I am not doing it. So we were talking to her over the phone and realized the reason why she didn't want to come was because she was nervous. She said she needed to think about it. She told us she would ring us back. So I started praying, and begging Heavenly Father that Georgia would be able to come, so she could feel the spirit and have a desire to be baptized herself and so we could get out of the rain. After about 20 minutes she rang us back and said she was coming. I was so happy I started cheering over the phone. It was great. The spirit was so strong at the baptism and I know that she felt something. I know that Heavenly Father does answer prayers and I was so thankful for it that day. 

We also taught Nana. He is so cool. Still very spiritually smart and knows the bible very well. We had a really good lesson with him about the Plan of Salvation, he said it all makes sense and he understands it but he just doesn't believe it yet. We told him to pray about it. He said he would and then we tried to schedule him for baptism, he still doesn't understand why but said if found out he would, he just doesn't want to put a date on it yet. The picture is of us at Hansen's house with Nana making Fofo, a Ghanaian meal, it is actually harder to stir than it looks. We are going to eat it this week. 

I love you guys and hope you are doing well. I want you all to know that Heavenly Father really does answer prayers because He cares about us. It sometimes isn't as fast as we want it, or the way we want it but he does answer it. Just be patient. 

God be with you till we meet again. On our way. #10sof1000s. HE LIVES.

Love, Elder Tyler Rife

"At Hansen's house with Nana making Fofo, a Ghanaian meal.
It is actually harder to stir than it looks!"

Surprise!!! Zone Conference - Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hiya Mum, Dad, and Family,

Surprise!!! President Pilkington asked us to write to our families about the things we learned at Zone Conference yesterday. To be quite honest my thoughts are all jumbled and I don't even know if any of it will make sense but I hope you get my drift! 

Every single time it seems I learn something great from Zone Conference. I again have to say, I loved it. Everything which was said seemed to be directly for me. I was able to understand how to improve specifically as a missionary, as a district leader, and as a person. I learned the importance of the heart and where it should be. I know that there are multiple points and principles that were talked about that I will never forget. 

One of those principles was what was spoken about by Sister Pilkington. My whole life I have tried to control my tongue, and, huh well that is something I struggle with quite a bit. Recently I have seen a bit of progression as far as not speaking about others wrongly or behind their backs. But this time I think what I got out of it was to think about what you are going to say before you actually say it. I loved the quote that Sister Pilkington stated about Thumper; "If you can't say nothin' nice, don't say nothin' at all." That statement is true. It is something that Mum has said to me all the time. It has been drilled into me and yet I have still had a hard time controlling what I say. Well recently I found another quote, it is an old Chinese proverb which states "Let your speech be better than silence, or be silent" That too is a very hard thing. I have made some goals as far as my language, in how I address people and how I respond to people. The number one goal that I made was first to think before I say. It is going to be tough but I know that I will be able to do it, with the Lords help of course. 

I have been praying loads for guidance on how I can become a better missionary. I haven't been able to figure it out until yesterday. I realized that during companionship studies we were spending a lot of time going over what we studied and what we are going to do in the day, but we didn't spend much time practice teaching for lessons or for approaches. The past couple of weeks we have been practice teaching and we have seen loads of miracles. Because we have been preparing, the Lord has been preparing others for the message that we have to share. I learned that we must first seek diligently, and then the Lord's mysteries will be unfolded. We will be able to have the spirit with us and we will be given in the very hour the things which we need to say. Practice doesn't make perfect, but perfect practice makes perfect. I need to start practicing more. Just because I have been on the mission for sometime now, doesn't mean I am the greatest or will continue to be the greatest, but if I practice, practice, practice, and practice some more, then I can come close to becoming a great missionary. That is what I have been lacking. I made some goals to go back to the essentials of Preach My Gospel. Study the lessons, and then practice them over and over again. That is how I will grow. That is how my Testimony will grow and that is how I will be able to help others testimonies grow. 

The most fundamental and major thing which I learned though would probably be where the heart is. I thought I had my heart in the right place, which I think part of it was, but I also think that part of it wasn't. I have been so focused on how I can grow I have been blinded and couldn't see how I could help others grow. That is what this gospel is all about, helping others come unto Christ, whether it be non-members, less actives, members, or even your companion. I need to be more charitable, look  at how I can help everyone around me. I need to lose myself in the work. I think I am still figuring out how I can put my heart in the right place and I haven't quite set some goals but I know that I need my heart in the right place and only then will miracles happen, will I see the hand of God in the wonderful work that we are doing. I know that the mission is hard and that it will continue to be hard but that is what all of life is about, enduring through the troubles and not complaining about it. there was so much that was meant for me at Zone Conference and from it I have learned so much and understand that I only have a few short months left and that they will fly by in no time. The question that has been on my mind, well a few questions, is what am I doing now to help others come unto Christ? Where is my heart? How can I become more of the missionary that God has placed me here to be? How can I use the short time I have to be effective? I guess those are some questions that I will be focusing and I will see where the path takes me from here.

I know that none of this made sense, but yeah! I hope you know that I am doing well. I love you all and hope you are all doing well. Please know that you are all in my prayers! Continue to stand tall and never deviate. This gospel is true and it will only bless our lives. Hard times will come but as long as we are faithful and righteous we are promised that we will never be alone. Hold tight to the rod and do not let go, it will  lead us individually and as a family to the wonderful fruits of eternal life! Dad I am so grateful for your example, you have always taught me how to be a good young man, you have instilled in me principles which I will never forget. Mum I am thankful for how loving you have always been, you have shown me what true Christ-like love is, you never care about yourself, you are always serving others. Grandma, you too have shown love to everyone but yourself, you have shown me how to work hard and the rewards which come from it. Katelin, I am so thankful for your kindness and service, for your smile. Always trying to help out and make everyone happy. Nick, you treat my sister like a Queen, you know what it means to be compassionate, even with the things that you are going through. Kynsie, you have no idea what you have done for me, your testimony strengthens mine and your example of obedience is phenomenal. Kendra, you always like to have fun, you also care for every ones well being. That is a quality that I wish I had. Tanner, you are my best friend, but more importantly you are my brother. You have always stood next to me and been there for me as brothers do. You have been a great example to me. Keep going, keep trying, you know what is right. Kylee your beautiful smile and desire to make others happy is something that not many people have, but you make peoples day brighter when you walk in the room. Kinley and Mila, you are the most beautiful nieces I know. Energetic and loving. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family. I hope that I can gain the talents which you all posses and one day be able to be like you all. I love you. Thank you for being an example to me. You all have influenced my life and have shaped my life. I love you all. 

Love, Elder Tyler Rife

PS. Happy Birthday Mila, you are growing up  too fast. 

Tyler didn't send a picture with this "surprise email" and I had been going through Katelin's blog looking for some pictures for something I was doing.  I ran across the post Katelin had written right after Tyler had gone through the temple for the first time before his mission. I LOVED her post and all the pictures that we had taken to help us remember that special night.  
I decided to share this picture with this "surprise email" post!  
As I have lately looked back on some of his pictures from earlier in his mission I have noticed how much he has changed. He looks older and more mature.  (At least sometimes more mature! :) )
He is really growing...not only physically but spiritually as well.
We all have surely been blessed by his missionary experience and I'm so thankful to be apart of it!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Obedience really brings blessings - Monday, November 9, 2015

Hiya Mum, Dad, and Family, 

I am so happy that I know that my sisters are not dead!! It would be nice to hear from them cough cough Kendra, Katelin cough!!! ;) Just kidding I know you are busy. Grandma I love you and I hope you know I worry and pray for you every day and night! If there is anything I can do for you let me know. As far as the new stance that the church has stated about the baptism of children with gay parents. I just heard it from you for the first time. We haven't had any retaliation because of it yet, but I am sure it will come. The thing I always think about is obedience when it comes to controversial subjects. Although it is not too controversial, because Heavenly Father has commanded that marriage be between a man and a woman, therefore children should be raised by these commandments and understand that Heavenly Father only bestows blessings in abundance to those who obey. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Whenever people bring up the churches stance, well I guess it is Gods stance, on Gay and Lesbians, I just like to show them 2 articles, the first being the Family: A Proclamation to the World, and a recent article that the First Presidency and the Quorum of The Twelve Apostles wrote. I find that it is very hard to help people understand this because people don't understand that Heavenly Father loves each of us, and Heavenly Father will only bless us as we keep His commandments. Sorry that was very long and probably doesn't make any sense. Well Tanner you are following my footsteps huh!! Haha. Keep working hard at swim. I wish I did better. Your camping trip sounds like a blast as well. Looks like your week has been good. Mum, another thing you could maybe send with the deodorant is some acne cream I will attach a picture of it but an Elder let me try some of His and it works really well. I think he said he got it from Target. 

The week has been a roller coaster! It started out so slow and long, I didn't think I was going to make it. Haha. But later in the week I decided to kneel and pray. I basically moaned to Heavenly Father asking why nothing was happening. Well I then realized that the reason was because I wasn't relying on Him. I wasn't relying on the Spirit. Let me tell ya....DON'T DO WHAT I DID. You need to rely on Heavenly Father in everything you do. Elder Jeng and I tried to rely on Heavenly Father more and when we did that we found the week picked up and the past couple of days have been really good. I have been amazed at the miracles that have been happening. 

First off, I have been struggling with talking to people and then transitioning to the Gospel, which I haven't struggled with for a long time. But then both Elder Jeng and I were able to talk to so many people on a human level and then transition very easily to the gospel. It was so simple. We found quite a few people who are very interested. One being this girl who was wearing a top that said San Francisco on it. So I asked her if she has been to America. She said yes....well turns out she was in Salt Lake City as well!! I asked her what she felt and she said she felt different, but a good different. It is as if the church is true and she really did feel the spirit! Haha (I was being sarcastic as I said that by the way, if you didn't catch on). We got talking about the Holy Ghost and how she could have those feelings of peace and comfort all the time. Well we are going to see her this week. 

We contacted Georgia, and the lesson went really well. She said that she felt as though she was progressing, but then when we stopped seeing her she just went down hill. We told her that we would start teaching her again and that the Gospel will bless her life. Unfortunately she said she didn't want to set a date yet, but next time we see her we are going to set up a baptismal date. She is really busy and was going to come to church but then got sick! :( But no matter, she will come next week. 

Mavis is so awesome. She is just so straight forward. Haha. So I am straight forward with her, and she loves it! Haha. We get along really well. She said that she believes the Book of Mormon and everything. We asked her the baptismal interview questions and she believes everything. She just doesn't want to come to church. We found out that she never has been to church. It is weird because almost every English person has been to church at least once. We think she is just scared. So we asked her to pray about it, and asked her to pray with her husband George. They both committed to it and she said that she might come to church!!! :) yeah!!! 

We still haven't been able to see Sam. He is always busy, but he set up an appointment with us for Friday, so we will see. 

Well so many other miracles happened. I think I realized that the thing that has been holding me back is that I haven't been relying on Heavenly Father and I have been searching for the great big miracles, when I haven't been noticing the small miracles that are right in front of me. It is something that we all sometimes fall into. We are always looking for the great things, the big blessings, and then we forget about the "plain and precious truths". We need to focus on the plain and precious truths, those are the important things. If we have received an answer that the Book of Mormon is true and that the gospel is true than we should trust Heavenly Father. He knows what we need, and he knows what will bring us eternal happiness. We need to always go back to the plain and precious truths, these truths are what will bring us the great blessings, and eternal happiness. I love you all and hope you are all well. Please let me know if you need anything. 

God be with you till we meet again. On our way. #10sof1000s. HE LIVES. 

Love, Elder Tyler Rife

Elder Jeng and Elder Rife "knocking"
Tyler also added the note that Bernard came knocking with them!
I can't remember who Bernard is...he must be the one who is taking this picture.
Perhaps he is a member???  I'll have to ask Tyler to remind me about him.  

"We are starting to teach a Ghanaian named Nana (the guy in the colorful shirt).
Hansen is a member.  They cooked Ghanaian food for us and then they started eating the bones...I was like "WHAT"???  Apparently it is very healthy for you....so we all did it.  It actually wasn't too bad!"

Tyler's  mother still isn't too sure about this!!! I would have said, "YUCK!"  I don't think I could've done this!!!  :)

"This is Ella...
The girl who was wearing a San Francisco Sweatshirt that they "found"
Come to find out she had been to Salt Lake City as well!!!
They are going to meet with her later this week.  
Hope Tyler will have more to tell us about her soon!  :)


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Foggy Foggy Days - Monday, November 2, 2015

Hiya Mum, Dad, and Family, 

I did write Mrs. Drake, I am sending the letter today. Also Daylight savings happened last week for us. It gets dark at like 4 now and doesn't get light until about 7:30ish. Very short time, and yet we have so much to do. As far as Christmas....again I am going to say Deodorant, but other than that nothing!! :) Nick, I will keep you in my prayers. Watch the John Tanner story, made by the church it is great. But is there anything I can do to help you? I am really sorry to hear you are in so much pain. Kylee I am glad you are liking school and your new teacher!! You are going to do so many good things!!! Tanner my main man, what classes are you taking? What are you doing in school and in life? Do you like being a Junior in High School? Keep working hard. How is everyone else in the Family? How is Grandma doing? 

My week has been good. It has been a very long and tiring week though. Every morning there has been something that wakes us up, whether it be people yelling at each other outside to house alarms to drunk people!! Crazy people!! haha. Even though we have been tired there has been loads of things that have happened, miracles have happened. 

First we got in contact with a few former investigators. The first being Maria, she is from Slovakia. She is interesting because she is so quiet but she really is intent on finding out if all of what we say is true. From what she has told us she has been reading the Book of Mormon and Praying. We told her that we would continue to come and teach her, and we scheduled her for baptism on the 28th of November. We have only seen her once so far. 

The next miracle of the week. Elder Jeng and I prayed to be guided to some people who are prepared to receive the wonderful message of the Restoration. Well we couldn't stop thinking about a recent convert named George, I was thinking, why does he keep popping into my head he has already accepted the Gospel. Then we came across his teaching record in the area book. Well turns out his wife Mavis was being taught at one point but never accepted it. So we went by their house and we started talking to them, getting to know them and then Mavis said she likes being straight forward with people. So in response I said Mavis I am going to be straight forward with you. We want to teach you! She looked at us and just said okay. She said she is never going to be "converted" but she reads the Book of Mormon and Prays and I know that she will receive an answer and will enter into the Waters of Baptism on the 28th of November as well. 

We got in contact with another former investigator named Georgia. We haven't been able to teach her yet but she said that her life has gone off the rails and would love to meet with us again. So we are seeing her on Wednesday. We will see what happens with her. 

Unfortunately we haven't been able to see Sam since Monday but he is still really interested. He is just so busy ALL the time. Sam is still scheduled for baptism for the 28th of November as well. Hopefully I will be able to update you on his progress next week. He is super cool!

We met another person this week from Botswana Africa. Her name is Amantle, but she goes by Amy. It was interesting because she kind of came to us. She knows Talia and saw the change in Talia and wants it as well. She wants to come to church and she wants to know if Heavenly Father is there and if what we say is true. She is very open to the Spirit and can feel it in her life.We taught Amy and we scheduled her for the 28th of November as well. She is really interested in the church and in finding an answer to all of her questions. I know that as she takes small steps to come to Christ, she will find the Gospel to be true, because of the feelings she has already had. 

There is so much still going on in the wonderful work we are doing. Talia is still doing good. Like I have told you in the past I have been trying to improve myself. Thank you for the advice, I am going to take it and see where I can get. I love you all. I know that this work that we do is true. I am so thankful for the Atonement, it really does make up for everything. Jesus Christ lives and Joseph Smith is a Prophet. Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet today. I believe it and I am coming to know it. 

God be with you till we meet again. On our way. #10sof1000s. HE LIVES. 

Love, Elder Tyler Rife

Elder Jeng and Elder Rife with George and Mavis