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

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Let Your Light So Shine... to ALL!

(Insert your own caption) Couldn't kick one up myself...
Hello family and friends!

I HOP that everyone had an EGG-cellent Easter! Well that's enough of that... It was super amazing over here! Best way to remember Easter and the Resurrection  is to celebrate it with the greatest of all
events, to have a baptism and visit the temple! Today we had to drive around and pick up new elders coming into the zone and deliver them to their new home. So... We were up super early and now I am super tired. Anyways, it was good and now we get to enjoy the rest of this sunny day! Well, here is how Easter Week went down for me this year!

Tuesday: March 22nd, 2016
DJ Zed-Man in the house!
(it's how they say Z over here...
it sounds better then Zee)
Today we had computer work to finish in the morning and then we met our friend Ali Beg and we taught him the Plan of Salvation and he actually invited us to speak on his radio show so we could explain more about Christianity.

Wednesday: March 23rd, 2016
My final exchange today with Elder Clark... this was our 4th exchange together and it was a great one to start the exchange. We met with a wonderful prepared family who has been involved with the church for such a long time and we were able to spark an interest of hope again into them and hopefully they will all be baptized soon. The kids were super stoked to learn more again!

Thursday: March 24th, 2016
Final day with Elder Clark and it was interesting! Super fun though for sure! We had district meeting in the morning with the Crawley district and it was powerful. We were all able to share what we learned most from Elder Clark when serving with him. Words can't express how much he helped me out. I've learned a lot of what I do now from him today... it was a good 4 rounds of exchange with a great elder who will be missed.

Friday: March 25th, 2016
Today we had our usual weekly planning and then we met with Katie again and that was good... Still a struggle. After we had some contacting time and also gave a blessing to a sick member and then had dinner before Ali's baptismal interview. It was successful and then we visited with Rudy and Amy and taught the importance of reading the Book of Mormon each day.

Saturday: March 26th, 2016
Ali's Baptism!
Best...Day...EVER! We spent the entire day doing the best part of missionary work ever. Well, it's all good, but this is the cherry on top! We spent the morning at the temple with Ali (who was getting baptized the same night) and Felix (Recent Convert who would be baptizing Ali), and Sebastian (he is on date for the 9th of April. Super good temple experience, I love it there... Definitely wish I could be there more often but that'll have to wait till the future. We had Ali's baptism later that evening and it was just a glorious way to cap off the day! Greatest reward in missionary work is seeing a brother join the true fold of God.

Sunday: March 27th, 2016
Strongest confirmation I have had the privilege of being voice for. The Spirit was super strong and the Lord definitely has a lot in store for Ali to do as a new member of His church. Baptizing and Confirming our brothers and sisters... it is the most rewarding thing of missionary work and it is the reason I am here. It's a humbling experience to have such a blessing in my life and it's amazing to see
what change happens to people once they have it to! I know for a fact God is working with us... The work is progressing very quickly in every corner of the earth and it's amazing to be a part of this incredible work!

Temple Trip with the Crew!
Monday: March 28th, 2016
We had a pancake social today and there was a super good turnout and there were 3 investigators who came! We also did some driving practice again too. We also has a super good lesson with our other friend Ali and we were asked to speak on his radio show, so after we get some paper work filled out with the church, we'll go live and speak to millions of people listening and explaining the importance of the Restoration and answering questions that Ali comes with.

Anyways, it was a super great week and I hope everyone was able to celebrate this wonderful season with the real meaning in the fore front. Although chocolate eggs and things are good, a holiday is better, but the best is that we remember Jesus Christ and his great infinite and eternal sacrifice, and most importantly, that He Lives again... And because of that... We to may all live again. If you haven't found new life in Christ yet, I encourage you to search for it, there is more out there today than what is in front of you, just recognize that you are in a journey to find truth but you aren't fully aware of it. Start looking, because the reward is beyond anything this world has to offer.

Verse of the Week:

3 Nephi 13:33
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you."

I hope you all have a wonderful week and make sure your prepare questions for the upcoming conference weekend as we get to listen to living prophets and apostles address the world with what the Lord needs!

You can watch the broadcast live at www.lds.org It starts Saturday and ends Sunday! It's a great opportunity to learn truth and receive personal revelation and I encourage you to watch it if you really want to discover something new!

I love you all!

Have a great week!

-Elder Rivera

Easter Week is Here, #Hallelujah

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)

Hello everybody!

This week has definitely been a great one! My testimony of this church has grown even stronger this week due to some events that we went and partook of. Lets just keep it simple and in the most respectful way possible. 1 Nephi 13:8, for all of you that are aware of this passage of scripture talking about the great and abominable... lets just say that my companion and I have seen this fulfilled... Anyways, on a more uplifting note, we had a splendid week using the new banners we were given to proselyte with and we saw much fruit come forth because of the tools that the Lord has granted us to use! I'll have to share a cool miracle at the end which is just super amazing! Here goes this weeks run-down!

Tuesday: March 15th, 2016
In the early part of the day we had to do some computer work and preparation for our zone training and then we had some lessons in the afternoon and then we went to church with a potential investigator and again, to keep it the most respectful way possible... never going back. Let me bear testimony on this to say the least... The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's church and kingdom on the earth and He is at the head of it and leads it through His Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. It is true folks... the Holy Ghost confirmed that to me and my companion again as it has in the past.

Wednesday: March 16th, 2016
Today we had Zone Training and it went super well. We did an activity in a separate room for all the Elders to have a "Personal Interview" with the Savior. We set up a picture of Him on a chair and we left an envelope with certain questions on the other chair and they were to sit down and read the questions and literally answer them with the Savior. When I did it, oh man... it felt super real and I can't wait to have the real one with him because even with just a picture... the Spirit in the room was super strong and I definitely felt his love for me and the joy He has in me for what I am doing right now for not only myself, but others, and my family (present and future)

Thursday: March 17th, 2016
Today we had our back end of exchanges and we got to use the banners again in the park because mother nature was well to us and gave us some sunlight for once. We talked to a ton of people and a lot of them of course, weren't interested but that's okay, because we are looking for the "One" and we found a couple of them and will see them again soon if they keep their interest in truth. We finished the night with having an FHE with a recent convert family (our investigators couldn't come as the mother is poorly and had to pass) so we played Plan of Salvation Jenga with the family and we had a super fun time.

Friday: March 18th, 2016
Pancakes for Breakfast, yes please!
(selfie stick not included with purchase)
We had weekly planning in the morning and later we had a great lesson with a girl name Katie (she has been investigating the church for nearly a year plus) but we taught her about the Atonement and the Spirit was super strong. With her, there are a lot of similarities I faced with questions and such and she just needs to recognize the answers she has already received and she will do great things. In time, it will work out for her. We finished the night with having an FHE with a recent convert family (our investigators couldn't come as the mother is poorly and had to pass) so we played Plan of Salvation Jenga with the family and we had a super fun time. 

Saturday: March 19th, 2016
Today we met with a super solid guy named Ali with a Muslim background but he took the Book of Mormon and was totally willing to learn more and we will see him Tuesday again. He had tons of questions regarding prophets on the earth today again and we were able to show him the picture of the Twelve and of the First Presidency and our beloved prophet. Great miracles have occurred. In the morning we were leaving the flat and Elder Lika had a Arabic Book of Mormon in his hand and was about to put it away but then said, "I have a feeling we might need this" turns out, after teaching Ali, we gave him the English B.O.M and the Arabic one. Super cool!

Sunday: March 20th, 2016
Great Sabbath Day today. The focus was on the Atonement today and we had a very powerful lesson in Gospel Principles and it was just a great day in general. We did some driving practice after for Elder Lika and then we had Accounting the rest of the evening. What's crazy is our Muslim friend Ali (the other Ali not mentioned before), he has a baptismal date for this weekend and we had to teach him A LOT before this weekend so before church, we literally cruised through teaching all of the commandments and made sure he understood them. (He can only meet us on Sundays due to work, so we had to pound it out) What's good is it all made sense to him and he is willing to live all of them.=)

Portsmouth Zone Training March 16th, 2016

Now here is the cool miracle I was talking about.

So a couple of weeks ago, the Chinese Elders met a guy named Jonah on the street and taught him and gave him a Book of Mormon and then got his number and that was it. A couple of days later, I am on exchange with another elder and we were contacting in the park before we had to head into the flat for planning and we had 5 minutes left and there was only one person left in the park so we walked over and talked to him, he pulls out his Book of Mormon out of his pocket and was like brothers, I believe all of these words... We shared the Restoration with him and invited him to be baptized and he said he wanted to do what was right and so he accepted. Today we got a call from the Chinese Elder's and they shared that they were able to get in contact with him again and they took him on a chapel tour and with Felix (recent convert) they showed him the chapel and reviewed the Restoration with him and he remembered it all and they asked him how he felt and Jonah said that he felt super happy and peaceful. They extended a baptismal date again and he accepted and will be baptized on April 16th, 2016 if all goes well, which it will because the Lord loves his children and this is a step we must all take to return home. Very cool miracle to be able to be a part of. 

Verse of the Week: 
Alma 48:17
"Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men."

Oh ye people of the Rising Generation, let us all be like Moroni that we may shake the gates of hell forever and we may stand firm with our Title of Liberty leading the way, behind our Captain, even Jesus Christ. Amen.

There you have it! A super eventful and joyous week!

Love you all and hope you all have a wonderful Easter Week! If you want to make Easter even better this week, visitmormon.org/easter/easter-week 

Have a great week!!!

-Elder Rivera

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fish Load of Miracles...!

Hello everybody,
Some Portsmouth sun called for the shades!

This week has been a good one. Nothing to crazy to report besides that we are going to Portsmouth today so it might be a shorter one than usual but that's okay, I'll just email the main points that happened this week as usual. I hope it finds you all well and if you haven't already, check out FollowHim.mormon.org for a great Easter Message.

Tuesday: March 8th, 2016
Today we had our monthly MLC today and it was a good one for sure as always!

Wednesday: March 9th, 2016
8 month mark... So weird how fast time has gone. Anyways, we met a super solid family and they are just totally prepared for the gospel. They told us they have looked at so many churches but there were so many things they disliked about them but the things we shared, they are super into it and they said, "we hope you are the right ones because if you're not, no one is." Super cool!

Dinner with Felix!
Thursday: March 10th, 2016
DLC today and after we got to see Felix and he made us some fish dinner and we watched a conference talk with him and it seemed to fit perfectly with what he was going through. "Lord I believe" by Elder Holland!

Friday: March 11th, 2016
Got to go on exchanges with Elder Lorenzana (my MTC companion) and we had a good one! Besides sitting in traffic due to an accident for like 2 hours, we saw a super cool miracle at the end of the night with us walking up to a guy and asking him if we would be interested in learning more about the Book of Mormon. Lo and behold, he pulls a Book of Mormon out of his pocket and was like, brothers, I believe all these words and I want to know more! Amazing!!! He was also the last person we talked to in an empty park before we had to head in.

4 goons on the beach side!
Saturday: March 12th, 2016
Today we did some driving for Elder Lika and then we had a dinner with the Romanian family and Dave to finish off a long day after we exchanged back.

Beachside Walk!
Sunday: March 13th, 2016
Felix received the Priesthood today and that is just amazing! Both of our baptismal date friends also came to church and it was just a great way to end the week!
Bringing back the MTC days!

Sorry for the short email! Hopefully next week will be better!

Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Verse of the Week:
Alma 26:12
12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.

Let us praise his name daily!

Love you all!
-Elder Rivera

Monday, March 7, 2016

It's March and Almost Easter, #Hallelujah

Hello everybody!

The One and Only True Church and the
Greatest Mission on the Earth!
So this week has been a good one! Nothing to crazy but we did have some great things happen during exchanges! Nothing to report otherwise, other than its March and Easter and Conference are literally right around the corner... I feel we just had conference and it was Christmas last week... But anyways, England is doing well!

Tuesday: March 1st, 2016
March already... Where does the time go!? Wow, well today we went to a place called Hythe with Dave (amazing member missionary) and we saw some less active members and had a great time there. After, he took a carvery which was super good! Super cheap for a crazy good amount of food! Later in the evening, we had some member visits to teach them the G.R.O.W model, which went super well!

Wednesday: March 2nd, 2016
First exchange of the week and I got to work with Elder Schulthies again! Been a while since we've worked together and it felt like old times back in Reading for sure! We had a good day and later in the evening, the office Elders joined us for some Burritos at an England style Chipotle, it's called Tortilla but it is basically chipotle haha... It even says a California style burrito so enough said there.

Thursday: March 3rd, 2016
So we finished up our exchanges and then we had to do some driving lessons for Elder Lika with Dave and after some good time, we went to subway and what was funny is the guy working just goes, "do you three usually come in here after the lunch rush?" Well, I think that means we go to subway to much but hey, when you have vouchers that get you cheaper food, why not right? Especially if it's an Italian B.M.T... Can't go wrong there! (Bigger, Meatier, Tastier) I finally figured out what the B.M.T stood for haha. Even the worker had to look it up on google one time when he first heard about it.

Friday: March 4th, 2016
Exchanges round two today with Elder Barrett and it was super good! We had some time to contact in the rain (which then turned to a bit of wet snow) and it was good! We met a super cool Muslim guy named Ali and he asked if he could take a Book of Mormon to read it and we were just like, "of course! Everyone can have one!" Later in the evening we knocked on this door who a guy named Steve said we could come back another time because he was busy putting five kids down for bed, but we said we share a message about how families can be together forever and he was like, "oh, that's brilliant, come back around 2:00 Sunday" so it was pretty sweet!

Saturday: March 5th, 2016
After exchanges finished again, we did some more driving and then went knocking for two hours in a good posh neighborhood and we met some solid people who we will follow up with this week. A lady opened the door and we said we are sharing a message about the Book of Mormon and are inviting people to read it and understand how God still speaks to us today and how he has revealed more truth to lead and guide his children. Lady says, "but I can't read it if I don't own the book..?" Well, it was simple, she took the book and said we could come back to follow up with her and teach her family more about it! Miracles are happening...! It's amazing!

Sunday: March 6th, 2016
So fast Sunday's are just super great! I had a different outlook on today's fast with some things president shared with us and it made a huge difference for me. Normally, when I fast, everything I see turns into food... But not today. It was all focused on the reason we fast and the questions I was wanting answered and other things reaffirmed to my knowledge and it was amazing. Before church, our friend Ali (super committed man to the gospel and now has a baptismal date for the end of the month) and us had a good lesson with a member over FaceTime so he could translate english into Persian for us. During the testimony meeting, Felix (recent convert last week) gets up FIRST, and
Our Friend Ali in front of our
New Mission Banners!
bears his testimony and oh my... It was super powerful! As he was standing there bearing testimony about the Book of Mormon and how he was a Christian before and was asking the question of why are these two boys giving me another book, we already have the bible and don't need anything else. But then he said how powerful the Book of Mormon is and how it filled a hole in his heart and added
so much to him and how much it has changed his life because he read it and asked God if it was real, and God answered him, which in turn, lead him to joining the Church and following Christ even more. It was an amazing experience. This is why I am on a mission, to see people learn for themselves the very thing I have learned and then act upon what God has given them. It brings no greater joy to me then seeing another brother/sister come into the true fold of God with a bright shining countenance around and in them!:)

Verse of the Week:
Alma 13:24
24 For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.

Angels are declaring it around the world! We sometimes just need to pay attention to who the Angels are that the Lord is sending to you, cause it could very well be that young man or woman dressed in white with the Lord's name over their heart on that black tag! Pay close attention to the things the Lord is teaching you each day because you might need to be that angel for someone very close to you!

I love you all and hope that this week will bring you many things! Remember to prepare questions for general conference! A good talk to look up is, "The Blessings of General Conference" by Elder Paul V. Johnson - October 2005 General Conference

-Elder Rivera

Happy Leap Day..!!

Best junk mail I have ever received...!
Aloha everybody!

Well, what a week we have had! I can't believe it is already the end of February and March is here... What happened!!! Well, I hope everyone has had a wonderful one as well! Truly one of the most eventful weeks in a long while and I am so happy to say that it is cold in England... And well, I'm freezing my face off in Southampton...! Haha anyways! We had an amazing temple trip with some of our friends and we also had a baptism! Woohoo! Another brother has found his way and oh man, we had some fun with him and all those who attended! Well, here is this weeks rundown!

Wednesday: February 24th, 2016
We had a district meeting today with the Winchester District and that went super well. Definitely learned a lot and after we had a lunch with everyone from the Portsmouth and Winchester distinct with the McCoy's (the senior couple in Portsmouth) and it was a good time! After that, we had a ton of planning to catch up on for the transfer and also the week in preparation for the baptism and also lessons with friends and of course, our Temple trip. It was also a fun night after we planned because we went to Subway to get dinner and we were waiting in line and we had a voucher for two foot longs for £10 and we were totally 15 pence short... Which was insane! So we sprinted back to the flat to grab the missing change and by the time we got there, we had 40 minutes before our appointment and we decided to stay and make something in the flat! We wanted some Mexican food but we didn't have any salsa... So we sprinted downstairs to this shop and bought some and then sprinted back up to make food with the time we had left. Let's just say I was exhausted and bought a Powerade to replenish myself... Haha

Thursday: February 25th, 2016
Today we had to finish up some planning that we weren't able to complete yesterday and then we began to do some driving lessons for Elder Lika. We then headed to Dave's home for a baptismal interview for Felix which went well! We finished up the night by racing to Portsmouth and back to Southampton in crazy traffic to get the Elders to an appointment and then race back to get to our appointments. We made it with 5 minutes to spare, no big deal. The Lord provided for us for sure!

Friday: February 26th 2016
Amy, Ruddy, Anna, Sebastian, Dave (member)
Elder Lika, and yours truly!
More planning today for the baptismal service for Felix and then we stopped by a Romanian family in the evening and taught Rudy, Amy, and Anna, plus their friend Sebastian. Cool thing is they told Sebastian about our temple trip and (keep in mind he has never met with us before) he calls his work and says he can't come in tomorrow because he wanted to go to the temple with us! Super cool miracle and so we began to teach him that same night and it was amazing! He had a lot of questions regarding the Restoration and the bad thing is we taught the Plan of Salvation and then he started to ask questions regarding stuff pertaining to the Restoration and we were both just like... *facepalm*we should have changed  the lesson once he sat down. But hey, lessons learned and it all worked out.

Saturday: February 27th, 2016
Best day ever! Why..? Well, we went to the temple first thing in the morning and we were there for a couple of hours and then headed back home to prepare for the baptism and that was the rest of our night! The baptism went super well and it was a very unique one to remember! A lot of things went well and there was some comic relief behind the scenes. I'll tell you about it later haha.

Sunday: February 28th, 2016
Felix, man of the hour!
Confirmation Sunday's are the best! Felix is a total natural! In Elder's Corum, Felix just threw down powerful testimony and he singe definition of a convert. Oh my goodness... It was just amazing to see and be a part of! His testimony just strengthened mine even more and we are super stoked to continue to see him progress in the gospel! He rest of the night, we did some finding for an hour just before we had to head for accounting and that was it!

Verse of the Week:
Mosiah 27:36
36 And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer.

This week was amazing and I hope you all continue to have a great week yourself and that the Lord will bless you in the journey you have ahead of you this week! Love you all and will talk to you soon!

-Elder Rivera