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, August 29, 2016

London England...!

Hello everyone!

So, we've had another shot of summer heat roll through and its been hot! Been enjoying the sun a bit which is okay! Can't believe another week has come and gone... Seems every week is going by quicker and quicker and it's frustrating. We have moves coming up again this week so we'll be heading to President's Friday to get that all situated and started before next week comes! This transfer has completely flown by, so crazy! Funny enough... I have six transfers left after my companion and I counted the other day. I remember when I said I had like 14 to go... No I'm under half of what it used to. Missions fly by so quickly and I'm grateful for all I've learned and achieved so far and grateful for the blessing to still have nine months to solidify everything before its time to take on the world again!

Wednesday: August 17th, 2016
We headed into London to spend a preparation day with Elder Draney and Elder Ribeiro before Elder Draney headed home. It was some good fun and we got to play volleyball again. Good fun!

Thursday: August 18th, 2016
We headed down to Bristol to have a SZT there and that went super well and then we raced back to Crawley to witness the baptism of Ronald for the other elders. It was a very spiritual baptism and he looked super happy and on cloud 9. It's always amazing to see the countenance change as they entered the water compared to how they are coming out. Truly a blessing and very grateful the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has the proper authority given from God to bless people with the opportunity to return to His presence.

Friday: August 19th, 2016
We had exchanges today and I went over to Croydon with Elder Katielli and we got to do some moving for a family that was downsizing to a home closer to the church. Needless to say... I was super sore after lifting a lot of book cases, desks, and dressers...

Saturday: August 20th, 2016
Double Check!
We finished up the move today and also had a few teaches with some of their friends. Some went well and others were just weird... Let's just say one of the guys was umm... Yeah, just not there mentally. But we headed home and kebabtized Elder Harward (have your first kebab as a missionary) and it was good stuff!

Sunday: August 21st, 2016
Great day at church! We had our friend Arcadia come to church and also an eternigator named Mantas. We then had to make a road trip to deliver some flat keys to the elders we accidentally took during the training Thursday. It was a tiring drive for sure.

Monday: August 22nd, 2016
Accounting all day, enough said. Also had a powerful moment with President where he actually quoted word for word something from my blessing... That was strange but one of the coolest things ever. (I also never shared my blessing with him... So that's what was surprising...) He just asked after saying the sentence, does your blessing say anything about that... And I just nodded in awe... Haha. Good stuff!

Tuesday: August 23rd, 2016
We had another training down in Portsmouth! Another one of my previous areas as a zone leader and it was nice to be back there and to see the wonderful port city! The salty air smelled delicious too! Too bad missionaries can't go in the ocean... Could've used that yesterday!

Triple Check!
Verse of the Week:
Not another verse so far, but I do have another quote that President shared that I love, he said, "Two people can do anything, as long as one of them is the Lord."

Grateful for you all and love you dearly! If you really want to make a missionary happy, some handwritten letters and pictures every once and a while would be super nice..!:) Have a great week! Love you all!

~Elder Rivera

Friday, August 19, 2016

Seven Sisters!

The Best Mission in the World

Hello everyone! Quite the short email, but nothing to crazy happened this week! Hope you all had a good week! Here is the rundown of this week! Love you!

Thursday: August 11th, 2016
We had a super good MLC today and got all of the training we needed to finish to get the mission ready for Facebook! Following that we had exchanges with Plymouth and it was super good to be with Elder Phelps again!

Friday: August 12th, 2016
To be fair and honest... Today was spent doing a lot of purging from Facebook accounts and getting it "Missionary Appropriate Ready" for Proselyting. Good day!

Saturday: August 13th, 2016
We headed to Maidstone today and we had a super good SZT and then headed to a baptism in London to support the elders there with a miracle baptism! It was another long day of driving but it was super good!

Sunday: August 14th, 2016
Really good day at church and the rest of the day was spent eating, catching up on planning, and then more planning that we haven't had a chance to get done for our own area.

ELSM Leadership for August!

Monday: August 15th, 2016
We had accounting in the morning and then a long office meeting and followed by that, we had our usual Monday routine with president until the rest of the night. We made some calls to Utah to figure out more standards and such for Facebook and so we are super excited with all the real possibilities that have been opened up to us now!

Tuesday: August 16th, 2016
Today, we had another SZT in Reading and it went super well! It was good to be back in an area I spent so much time in! After, we drove home and helped set up a playhouse in a members backyard, it's not done yet but we will be finishing it this week! I've learned a lot of building skills on my mission it's insane!

Wednesday: August 17th, 2016
Now for today! We were invited to join Elder Draney for a preparation day in London as he is going home soon so we'll be seeing some hot spots and then playing some volleyball! Gonna be good!

Posing on Seven Sisters

Verse of the Week: This week is more of a quote I found during study:
"What we get out of a book, especially a sacred text is mostly dependent on what we take to its reading-in desire and readiness to learn and in attunement to the light communicated by the Spirit of the Lord."

-Elder Rivera

Unto All The World!

Another Stunning Photo of a Beautiful House of God

Hello family and friends! I apologize now for the short passages, to be frankly honest, a lot of last week was a blur... sorry!

Seems like ages since I've typed up an email home with Wednesday's being our new prepartion day! As many of you have already noticed... we got Facebook! Again, I urge the importance of keeping communication and other conversations between me and you focused on Christ and the Mission as much as possible please. This is a great tool that can be used to spread the word of the Restored Truth to the people of England but all the world and we want to use it the way that it was designed to be used for a missionary. Please help me with that. For further notice, you MAY message me at any time and if it is Christ Centered or Gospel related, I can respond at any time to help answer questions you may have or that others you know may have. Well here is the rundown of another crazy week!

Monday: August 1st, 2016
Last week was our usual prepare for the week meeting and accounting with President.

Tuesday: August 2nd, 2016
We had MLC today where we got to discuss more changes to the mission (Preparation day and Facebook) and we have another follow up MLC tomorrow that will cover the last of what we missed. We had our first of three exchanges today and had a super good one with Elder Ribeiro again!

Wednesday: August 3rd, 2016
We finished up exchanges and had round two with Staines and had a TON of service for a member family that was moving to a new home which is super nice! It has like an old cabin in the woods kind of feel to it but its in the middle of a good neighborhood. That was about it for us today.

Thursday: August 4th, 2016
Finished up exchanges again... and then we had some time that we needed in order to watch some online preparation videos on how to use online proselyting. 

Friday: August 5th, 2016
Round three of exchanges today! (did I mention we have LOTS of exchanges?) We had more service that we got to help finish up the move of the family and we were able to have another good couple of visits to some miracle people that we needed to see. It was finally nice to get some real work done and we saw a few miracles that really brightened up the week.

Saturday: August 6th, 2016
Finished up exchanges and guess what? More videos and we also needed to get the Harvester Videos for President out to missionaries so we could have the Office create the full powerpoint.

Sunday: August 7th, 2016
Good day for church and then we had a crazy night... normally, we account on Sunday's but it changed to Monday's now and so we took the time we had Sunday to follow up on people but then we had to finish all of our assignments that we had been given from President for this upcoming week!

Monday: August 8th, 2016
Went to President's again and we accounted and went over the outline of the training we will have to give the mission in preparation for Facebook and other online tools we can use now! It's gonna be crazy!

Tuesday: August 9th, 2016
We had a good day today. We had another exchange with Bristol and Elder Egan and I, this being our first exchange had a super good one! We got to see Graham and teach him and Edna about Eternal Marriage and the Spirit was super powerful! They are an amazing couple and I am amazed at how they make their relationship work, her living in the U.S and him in England! Props to them though! Good day capped off with a good night!

Wednesday: August 10th, 2016
Today now! We are heading over to a sweet place called Seven Sisters so be on the look out for pictures next week!!!

Verse of the Week:
Moses 1:39
"For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."

Love you all and hope that you have a super good week! Talk to you all soon and don't worry... I can now watch you all on Facebook so don't do anything to crazy that gives me permission to chastise you.

Love always,
~Elder Rivera

Thursday, August 4, 2016

West Coast Road Trip!

The church Brigham Young prophesied would
never be rebuilt after the war,
and it hasn't!
Hello all!

Well, today we have a lot to cover with President for the upcoming transfer and trainings this week so I won't have a whole lot of time today but here is the latest rundown of the week! It was a busy but fun one for sure!

Monday: July 25th, 2016
Today we had a wonderful dinner at President's with other missionaries who were rewarded due to their performance on baptizing their friends. It's a fun gathering and it's always amazing to hear the different stories behind each individual as the missionaries share the conversion story of all their friends. It reminds me of mine a lot to every time I hear it. We did an accounting as well and then prepared for this transfers Specialized Zone Trainings which will cover the entirety of the month of August! Going to be great fun!

Tuesday: July 26th, 2016
So today, we headed to the temple and helped shuttle and transfer missionaries to and from the train station. We were nearly losing about 20 missionaries and among them were some really good friends and great missionaries. Many will be missed but their time is up as a missionary. We spent the rest of the evening preparing for this transfer and then had two hours with all of the new trainers to prepare them for their opportunity to train a new missionary. It was powerful and we had a group of strong trainers again and we are looking forward to seeing how they do with everything. Now, the hardest part of the night was saying our final goodbyes to our beloved missionaries. I talked for quite a bit of time with Elder Richins and we just reminisced in the good times together and shed some tears together. Good days are ahead of him and I'm grateful for everything he taught me during the time we were together and over the course of our time serving around each other. The Lord blessed me with a great trainer and I will forever be grateful for that because he has helped me be the missionary I am today. 

Wednesday: July 27th, 2016
Well! A super long day we had today... Right from the beginning of the morning we were finishing up training the trainers and then eventually, all of the new missionaries arrived! 28 fresh bodies showed up and we got to welcome them all and introduce one another to all of the missionaries and President and Sister Gubler. This batch of missionaries were very impressive. A lot from the states and some came out ready to go! We had some stations that they would all go to in order to receive instruction from the office, some went out on the streets finding, and my companion and I were able to lay a foundation for their welcome into the greatest mission on earth. It took all day to assign new missionaries and just a quick insight, as we were praying to confirm all of the placements and companions that had been arranged, the Lord instantly and I mean instantly... Confirmed that the pairs we along with President and his counsellors made were His will. It was a tender moment to see the hand of the Lord instantly guide and direct us to know that we had made the correct decisions with the help of heaven. Funny part is at the end of such a long day... We slept in the flat with no power with like 10 other missionaries. No better way than entering the mission and sleeping with no power in a hot flat haha!

Thursday: July 28th, 2016
We helped shuttle missionaries to the station in the morning again and then the rest of our day was a long travel down to the west in Plymouth! It was such a beautiful drive and we even drove past Stonehenge! Them rocks were huge and crazy to think how they got there and how old they are is insane. It was a long drive to say the least...

Friday: July 29th, 2016
We had our Specialized Zone Training for the Plymouth Zone and it went super well! Looking forward to the other 8 we have left but if they all go as this one did, we'll have a lot of great success throughout the mission. We stayed one more night in Plymouth and had a good time with the elders there. (again, like 10 of us). 

Saturday: July 30th, 2016
We headed to a buffet place called Sizz All and boy... For £8 you can get whatever you want for as long as you want! We gorged ourselves with all types of food! From Indian to Chinese, you name it, there was just heaps of food all over our plates and we definitely got our monies worth that is for sure. Following that guess what... Another road trip! We headed to Oxford to drop off a suitcase for an Elder and due to traffic... That took forever and then had to head home following that. All in all, it took us about 8 hours to get back home! Let's just say, we are completely exhausted but I guess that's why we have the Sabbath each week to recharge us right?

Sunday: July 31st, 2016
Well, another Sabbath day has come and the last of July... Crazy to think August is already here... What in the world! We had a good day, ate tons of food with the Corbett's (office staff) and then some members for dinner right before accounting. Wasn't the craziest Sunday but it was good to partake of the Sacrament again and to feel rejuvenated! 

MTC Group 13 months out!
Verse of the Week:
Moroni 8:25-26
25 "And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins;
26 "And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, which love endureth by diligence unto prayer, until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God."

Love you all and hope you have a good week!

-Elder Rivera