England London South Mission: July 9, 2015- July 2017
Family/ Friends please send letters to letter address and packages to package address. I will update letter address if a transfer were to take place. Package address will remain the same. Thanks!

Letters Address:
RH11 9GA

Packages Address:
Elder Zachary Rivera
England London South Mission
The London Temple
West Park Road
Newchapel, Surrey RH7 6NB
United Kingdom

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mission in Progress....

So I didn't have the opportunity to email everything last week so bear with me on this novel of an email!=) Not going into to much detail for last week.

Today we just got haircuts and then went shopping and had to carry like 10 bags each of food back to the flat and our arms were shaking. (it wasn't because we are weak... we just bought loads amounts of food to last us cause we eat so much every day... so don't judge!) We just finished eating lunch and then we have lessons later on tonight with David and Charlie and then Andrew so we'll see how tonight goes!

My Current Address is:
17 Chapter House
294 Farnborough Road
Farnborough, Hampshire
GU14 7NH

Mail any letters to the above address and pray they make it =)

President Preston and Sister Preston

Thursday: July 16th, 2015
So we went and did contacting inside Picadilly Square and that was, umm... fun.  Some people just really don't want to listen to you so that got annoying.  I think one thing I learned from contacting is that no matter what people say or the way they look at you, you just have to open your mouth and just start a normal conversation and then apply their responses to a gospel principle.

Friday: July 17th, 2015
Friday just seems to be the fastest day of the week and I don't know why, but it just does for some reason. Anyways, today we just were back in the classroom and were working on more lessons and role plays as a district.

Saturday: July 18th, 2015
So Saturdays in the MTC were just the greatest.  Nothing like pizza and root beer for lunch and let me tell you, that is still hands down, one of the greatest combinations ever. (could change soon) But lessons went well again (practice).

Sunday: July 19th, 2015
Now, this was the greatest Sunday by far.  To start, Sacrament was focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the spirit that was there was amazing.  We each have to understand the Atonement to a personal level and why we need it and why our Savior went through that for us (but more importantly, he would've done it for just one person if it meant saving them) But also, the rest of the day was fantastic! Why? Well, for one, my testimony grew two-fold in just a few short hours of being at Church and then I had the opportunity during our testimony meeting to hear so many wonderful testimonies from the amazing missionaries that were there and I also felt prompted to share mine so that's what I did.  One that really hit me during my stay at the MTC was Elder Moraes's testimony. Every time he bore his testimony,  I couldn't do anything but just cry... it was so powerful and it has seriously changed me for the better. He's going to be quite the missionary in the London Mission!

Monday: July 20th, 2015
I couldn't believe how fast the time has gone by!  Two weeks seriously flew and we were already at the end of our stay.  It was so hard to think about leaving cause half of the friends I made at the MTC, I won't be able to see them for quite some time! But one thing I know for sure is that we are all going to do the work of angels for the next 2 years and really work some miracles in our respective missions.

Tuesday: July 21, 2015
So for our final day in the MTC, we just had loads of meetings and role plays to get us ready for the real deal. Again, today being our last day as one big giant group, emotions were bouncing around (for me at least) Again, good-byes are not the best. But for our final night together, we got to do one more temple session with the London Groups which was AMAZING. I had the opportunity to give another blessing to a sister missionary who felt prompted to ask me for one before we left and let me just say this... having the Priesthood is the greatest thing ever. But after, it was time to arrange everything and get it all packed up and ready to go for the morning!



Wednesday:July 22, 2015
FINALLY! So we left the Preston MTC around 6:15am and hopped on a bus to head to the mission home in Newchapel, Surrey. It took about 5 hours to arrive and we were greeted by hundreds of missionaries. IT WAS SO OVERWHELMING, but then it calmed down haha. After going through more interviews with my Mission President and his Counselors, we had lunch and then got ready to receive our first companion and/or trainer. So my Trainer(Dad) is Elder Richins, he is from Utah and we have a TON OF THINGS in common. But after taking pictures and bidding our farewells, we caught a train to Farnborough and then settled in and went to dinner at a recent converts home (Tammy). My Mission President is such a stud. We too have a ton in common and his personality is just pure bliss. I'm blessed to have him as a mission President and can't wait to see how much work we can all get done under his direction.

President Gubler and Sister Gubler

Thursday: July 23rd, 2015
Elder Richins and I seriously just jumped right out of the gate and got to work. We went into the local town center and did some street contacting and although a lot of people just ignored us as they walked by or said some not so nice things... we did have quite a few people stop and actually talk with us. So just a few, we met Daniel, Tek, Miles (I gave him my first Book of Mormon and that was seriously the best feeling ever), Manuel, Jim, and another elderly man that didn't give us his name. But all of them were ready to hear the message we share. Each of them had tons of questions and I got to share of lot of personal stories about how the Gospel has blessed my life and how I've only been a part of the LDS Church for 16 months! People were like.. "What? Really? What was it like for you?" So with a couple, I got to share my story with them and you could see how amazed they were, their eyes just flickered like a light bulb. However, although all of them were interested, we weren't able to set up any appointments at this time. But we're praying we bump into them again or they call us back.

First real lesson and all I have to say is it went super well. If Colton had a British Doppelganger, this is him. But he is Catholic and has met with missionaries for quite some time now and he loves the teachings. He does get distracted quite easily but when we teach, he's focused in on what we are saying and then asks brilliant questions about the topic.

After that lesson, we were walking back to the flat and we ran into Glen... He doesn't believe in anything. His belief is that we are seriously just organisms that turned into humans and then are granted this wonderful gift of a brain that allows us all to imagine these crazy things and gain beliefs that there is a supreme being out there. He also told us that us Mormons are all going to be VERY VERY disappointed when we die and realize that there's nothing there. But as nicely as I could, I told him he was wrong and that when that day comes, he'll know that we were right and we would gladly teach him in the spirit world. =)))

We also ran into another guy named Scott and just shared a quick message with him and then I gave him a Book of Mormon and invited him to read it and pray about it to know it was true.

SO the first full day was quite eventful.

Friday: July 24th, 2015
We did more contacting in the town center and then went and did some knocking and having 50 doors slammed in your face... that's the greatest feeling in the world. I just kept smiling and laughing because people are so immediate to slam the door when two good looking chaps are waiting on their doorstep with a badge and a book in their hand. haha. So after that we said another prayer to help us find someone to teach and nothing... BUT, we did knock and find a members home and they invited us in for some hot chocolate and biscuits (cookies) since it was pouring outside (forgot to mention it was raining super hard all day long)

Later that day, we ran into a man named Steve from Scotland. Now you may laugh at this story or not... but Elder Richins and I seriously couldn't stop laughing after. So Steve is totally hammered and you could just smell the alcohol as he spoke. But he was a nice guy (to Elder Richins), Steve did not like me... not one bit. He was telling stories about how he has 2 girlfriends (Steve is 50, girls are 34 and 46) but then out of no where he asked us if we had any girlfriends. Totally unexpected but then after we both said no, he was like why not? So we explained our selves and he totally just called me out. He told me that I would not be able to get a girl and he could do better than me at age 50, but he said I looked wealthy so I could just go buy a girlfriend or something... but then he told Elder Richins the total opposite... but long story short, I totally got dissed by a drunk 50 year old Scottish man and wasn't even mad.

Elder Richins and myself

We also ran into a girl named Jasmine, she has 2 kids and is 50/50 on the whole idea of God being real so we left her our number and said a prayer with her and then I invited her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and she accepted.

We finished the night with a lesson at David and Charlie's (married couple with a baptismal date on August 29th) They are an amazing family, they have a 4 month old daughter named Leya and a HUGE dog named Demon(Husky German Sheppard mix, I fell in love with that dog) but the lesson went well and we're just trying to help them stay on track for their date and then help them reach the temple to be sealed as a family for time and all eternity!

Saturday: July 25th, 2015
Slowest day of the week by far... nothing eventful at all. Again it was a lot of rejection but I did manage to plant two more copies of the Book of Mormon but other than that... nothing. We had dinner later that evening at the Tom's family home and then just went back to the flat to plan. We got a call from our Zone Leaders and guess what... we get to sing a duet during zone conference!!! YES. So we have to come up with a good song revolved around the Savior so taking requests now!=)

Sunday: July 26th, 2015
First Sunday in Farnborough was interesting. We don't have a chapel so we meet at a local school which is new to me but Church is Church! Members seem to be attracted to new missionaries and it was weird for a bit. The ward is amazing and they feed us loads so I'll be expecting a couple of pounds to be added on to my skeletor figure. But today consisted of just Church and traveling back home(planted a Book of Mormon to a nice young chap named Clive on the bus) and then we went and had dinner with the sweetest family ever(Rushforth's) They made us Burgers and they were so bodacious. But then we got a wonderful call from our zone leaders before bed and lets just say, the spirit gave them a witness and they are expecting a lot from Elder Richins and I this week. The miracle season is about to unfold and God's work is going to flourish here in the England London South Mission very soon. Blessed to be a part of this work and can't believe it's almost been a month already... time flies by very fast over here when you're busy, but I love being a missionary and again, wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world right now then where I am right now.

Future Companions Elder Persicke and Elder Rivera

Love you all and thank you for the support and emails, keep sending me more and if you have questions about anything, feel free to ask and I'll answer to the best of my ability! Much love from Farnborough (Reading Zone)!!!

-Elder Rivera

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Hey everyone,

So we don't have a whole lot of time today!  We have had meetings all day preparing us for tomorrow as we head out into the field!  I'll be leaving for London at about 6:00am so we will then receive our first areas and our companions.

Next week will be a LONG email since I have a lot to share.

Love you all and talk to you soon!

-Elder Rivera

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

MTC Week 1

Hello everyone!!!

So we finally hit our pday and were able to go and do a temple sessions this morning in the beautiful Preston Temple!!! It was amazing, I had the privilege to be an escort for one of the Elder's who hadn't received his endowment yet and I loved it! But the MTC is great and I love it so here's a recap of the first week at the MTC!

Wednesday July 8, 2015
So things were off to such a wonderful start! We boarded the plane and were just about to ready to head out and then of course.... all the computers nationwide for United Airlines shut down. SO!!! That caused us to have a 2 hour delay... After about 20 minutes of sitting there, they deboarded us and told us to return to the lobby until things cleared up and people were not very happy, but I was totally cool with it. (being in a suit and all and in a hot airplane at the time) So yes, had a wonderful start to my mission! It just showed me that there is great work to accomplish in my mission and the adversary doesn't want me or any other missionaries getting to our destination. But finally, 13 hours or so later, we landed in Newark and my Manchester flight was still on time so we boarded and hit the sky.

London and London South Group Picture

WE LANDED IN THE UK!!! There were 6 other missionaries that arrived together and we still had about 12 or so that were still in the US because of the delayed flights. BUUUUUT.... England is so beautiful!!! Like it is so amazing to see and let me say this about the weather, IT IS LITERALLY PERFECT. One thing I need to get used to is still the whole driving on the wrong side of the road deal.

President Preston and Myself

So I began my MTC experience by being called to be a district leader over the Jacob District. It's a lot of work but I seriously love it. I don't know what to do half the time still, but I'm getting the hang of it. But there is an elder here was baptized two months before me so we have a lot of commonalities and we ALWAYS have good talks about how we were converted and why we came to the mission field. We talked a lot about how the Bible and the Book of Mormon literally connect and how everything in this world, is literally connected! that went on for about an hour or so and then we finally got ready for bed. Now I love being a missionary. Everyone at the MTC is so unique. We all come from different regions of the world, speak SO many different languages, but we all share one common goal, invite others to come unto Christ.

(right to left) Elder Sullivan, Burton, Reynolds, myself, Persicke, Yang and Skinner

We continued our introduction day by having a powerpoint presentation by President Preston and it was amazing. One thing that I took from it is that, "participation invites revelation" and its not just for me, its for all of us. Participate and you will find answers.

So today was very interesting and also overwhelming.(but in a good way if that makes sense) I got to teach my very first lesson and also conducted our devotional and it went rather well. My district is very open to participation and always having something amazing to share. Later we also got to meet our teachers who basically instruct us on how we should do things and how we can become effective missionaries by applying their teachings. (they are return missionaries) With Brother Webb(served in England Manchester) we learn so many brilliant things that I always go back to during lessons. But we got to role-play (we do it a lot here at the MTC) and it helps us prepare for our first investigator Inta.(mock investigator but she is very good at acting) We went over more of fundamentals to teaching and I was literally so focused that i was just writing everything down that he was saying. REAL QUICK BEFORE I FORGET, my companion is Elder Lorenzana from the Philippines. He is 26 and is a convert for 2 years, but he speaks 9 different languages. YES, 9... its quite the feat. Gonna skip past the rest of this night cause it was just role-play, but before bed, Elder Nakomaha (come from the islands off Australia, or somewhere there) but he asked for a blessing from me to help him with what he needed. I felt so honored to be able to do that and I've seen him progress in just a few days because of that and it makes me full of joy.

President Preston, Sister Preston, Elder Lorenzana and myself

So craziest thing i think about England is that it DOESN'T GET DARK UNTIL 10 pm... like what is this madness. it looks like its 5 outside back in AZ BUT ITS BEDTIME... We've also been hit with showers upon showers of rain thus far and I love it cause you know, rain doesn't exist in Arizona. Today was full again of more role-plays and another lesson with Inta, but I can see the blessings of being a missionary coming to life. I am so comfortable in teaching and being a leader to others. It's just become natural and I seriously love it that Lord has provided me with the help I need in order to be successful.

England at 10:00 PM

Church and loads of fantastic devotionals along with sleep finally and we also went up the temple as a MTC group and took some pretty marvelous pictures. But yeah, just loads of devotionals, one in particular was given by Elder Bednar (video) called, ''is it the spirit, or is it just me?'' His answer... QUIT WORRYING ABOUT IT. haha. But its true... go watch it and tell me what you think! But I'm also picking up on some foreign lanuages from my fellow missionaries! Portuguese is going to be my native tongue if i keep learning at this rate(not really but i do know some phrases now)

WE FINALLY GOT TO PLAY Futbol. umm... my soccer skills could be better, i'll keep it at that. But we then again had more training with our teachers and more role-plays. I also forgot to mention the food... ITS SO GOOD, Steve(our chef) knows how to make some pretty delightful meal courses EVERY day. But yeah, more role-plays and learning and studying.

England at 7:00 PM

Tuesday: about the same as Tuesday.

Wednesday: TODAY
Temple Visit and we get to go shopping today and finally have time to relax and plan for the week and again, relax. I'm loving the MTC so much and being a missionary in England is all i want to be doing. It's literally the greatest work ever and I'm still in MTC, Fancy that... but I love you all and I can't wait to be out on my mission and lose myself in the Lord's work. Thank you for the support and emails too!~
The church is true, the book is blue and Jesus will always love you!

Until Next week!
-Elder Rivera

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Touchdown in the UK!

MTC Day 1: July 9th, 2015

Hello everybody,

We safely landed into Manchester at around 7:40am and oh my goodness! England is so beautiful! Everything is green and the way the sky looks with half overcast, half sunny is fascinating! The weather over here is AMAZING. this morning was around 41 degrees and right now, its about 60ish(huge guess) but It`s the greatest thing so far. No more walking out into the sun for 5 minutes and sweating up a storm!

Myself and 6 other missionaries arrived at the MTC together and we`re all really good friends already. We`ll be having 12 or so more coming in alter today due to the delayed flights so that should be really fun to meet all the new greenies too. The MTC is quite amazing. It`s got a very nice reddish brown brick color scheme going on and it is also 3 floors! In the basement, the cafeteria and all the delicious dining takes place and where all missionaries staying 2 weeks study, and then the 2nd floor is where missionaries learning a language reside, and then the 3rd floor is where the residence halls will be. The pictures didn`t come close to how beautiful it is in person. We`ll be able to have some free time today to just relax and go play some soccer and take a walk around the temple(WHICH IS LITERALLY A BLOCK AWAY:)) until dinner time. I`ve barely been here for 4 hours but I seriously love everything! My MTC president is President Preston and he is such a stud! He`s super funny, relaxed and jokes a lot which is awesome way to connect with him(with my amazing humor you know) but his wife is darling and his assistant president Miller is another rad guy and his wife is another sweet lady. I`m looking forward to being able to learn from my MTC president and also from the other missionaries that are here as well. I`m looking forward to seeing what the coming weeks and days bring! ta ta for now!

Elder Rivera


Welcome to Elder Rivera's blog!

First, let me say thank you to everyone who is supporting Elder Rivera while he is completing the work of the Lord.  I know two years will fly by and soon he'll be back home!

With that being said I'm Elder Rivera's second oldest sister Sabrina Rivera.  I get the honor of keeping everyone updated with Elder Rivera's blog page.

Top post will always be the most current post.  Follow Elder Rivera at:


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This is my very first blog page so please bear with me. :)

Hope you enjoy!

Sabrina Rivera