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

Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Holy Ghost... Your Heavenly Guide... To Your Eternal Home!

Brothers in Arms
Good morning everyone!

We've had another good week. This week has been one for the journal... there were a lot of things that I learned this week! Once again, I was reminded about the importance of maintaining and seeking for the fulness of my divine relationship with our Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.... buuuut more intensely this week, I learned how important it is to have a close relationship with the Holy Ghost. God can give us anything but of all the things that God could give you, He promises you that His Spirit can always be with you as you partake of the partake of the Sacrament weekly and renew your baptismal covenant. He could give you ALL THINGS... ANYTHING... the giver of all things... but he chooses to give us the Spirit. Yearn for, pray for, and seek for the companionship of the Holy Ghost in your life and take advantage of this ultimate gift that has been given to you by your loving Heavenly Father. I've received some pretty good revelation for myself recently with the last few weeks of my mission coming up but some it has have been aimed to the portion of doing 'My Plan'. It's amazing to see how God's timing for a lot of things just comes together when the timeline is beginning to dwindle on your end. Gladly, God has given me exactly what I've needed to continue to push through adversity and find great success and joy in this great work. There is so much happening right now for the mission and its great to see the results of things we have once longed to see, finally come to pass. Something that came to my mind a long time ago and I finally found the sticky note with the quote on it and what it says is this: "What happens in the moment won't matter much to others compared to what you do after the moment has already passed by... and what kind of legacy will be left behind as you part ways to head into the journey which will be your greatest and finest hour."


This week I feel like changing it up again and just giving some of my thoughts that have been on my mind recently and a little bit more details on exactly what has happened to me. As I approach my last 7 weeks in England... I've had some major pondering moments these last couple of days to see exactly what has happened to me here. I've carefully examined where I've been, where I am, and where I want to be and God has kindly been instructing me every step of the way. I look into the mirror and I see someone so different than what they were 20 months ago. When I chose to drop everything and serve God for two years, I didn't quite know what I was getting myself(like everyone haha) into but I am so glad I made this choice. It has helped me find myself among the crazy world of today. God has changed my nature... sometimes I look at myself and can't recognize myself because so much has happened inside of me. Who knew that it was going to take God sending me to England in order for me to finally let Him break through to me. I had an experience when I was at college the first time around where I had everything I ever wanted in my young life(or I thought I did) and when all was going as well as could be... I began to forget where my blessings came from(sounds like the Nephites after they prospered and forgot their God too). When I finally forgot to give God the thanks He was waiting patiently for me to give and when I didn't give it... I was stripped of everything(like the Nephites who prospered and forgot and were then put in a position where they then had to pay the consequences through affliction and trials). In the hardest moment when I finally came to the point of remembering what God had done for me in my life preparing me and leading me along the way to find the Gospel myself through my best friends, I finally came to the realization and heard it as if it were a voice in my heart saying, "Look... you've had it your way and now we are going to do things my way." In that moment I knew... that is when it all began to become real to me. That is when my little seed of a testimony began to sprout into a tree. I knew in that moment that I needed to drop everything, give it all away and serve my God for two years.

London's coming for you!
Now... this chapter has almost come to an end. So quickly has this time flown by. I remember laughing and telling myself that two years was going to feel like eternity itself and now... the doors I once left behind are quickly approaching into my view again. But it's different this time. Although some of the things that are behind those doors haven't changed much, the one thing that has changed is the person opening those doors. I look back at my own baptism on April 12, 2014(nearly 3 years ago next month)  and I look at where I am and who I am now and all I can say to myself is that one must first walk the shores of life before they begin to appreciate the waters of eternity. Over these past 20 months I have come to know things that I yearned for my entire life. I have progressively found what it means to truly find joy in this journey, finding who you truly are, but more importantly and above all other things in this world... I have found a personal relationship with my Father in heaven, the Holy Ghost, and my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that He lives. This statement isn't something I take lightly... this is something I know and I'll defend His name to the end because of what He has done for me throughout my life. He has pulled me through the hardest of times and He has given my challenges to prove myself to Him. To prove my loyalty to Him to see if I truly am willing to give everything to Him. One thing I hope you all recognize in me when I return is that nothing will ever come between me and my love for my God and His Christ. They are first and always will be first to me. Hopefully you can cope with that!:) I have just come to know them more than ever before... I may not know them perfectly yet but I know enough about them to know that if one is to find what I and hundreds of other missionaries in this mission have found... it will begin with a true and sincere study of the Book of Mormon and through heartfelt sincere prayer to know whether this is all true. Like Moroni, I challenge you... read it, pray about it, and trust me... you will find everything you have ever looked for in your life whether you are young or old or somewhere in between. You will find what you are looking for.

This is only the beginning of the experiences I have had thus far and I can't wait to share them with you all in a very short amount of time. This gospel is just amazing and it has brought me the greatest happiness that you could ask for and I know you can find this for yourself too!

If you yourself are struggling to feel God's love, God's hand in your life, or if you feel like you have no direction, try these simple steps to receiving the Spirit more in your daily life:
Daily communion through heartfelt and sincere prayer
Feasting daily in the scriptures
Daily striving for an increased obedience and perfection in our lives
Acknowledge His divinity daily
Daily selfless service to another
Be sure to not take the gift of the Holy Ghost for granted and for those who have not yet received it... yearn for it and seek for it until you finally receive it in its fulness through the baptism of water and of the spirit by one holding God's authority to bestow upon you a remission of your sins and the ability to receive this great gift that God grants us as we follow Him so we may find our way back to our eternal home.

Verses of the Week:

Book of Mormon:
Helaman 16:4
"For behold, Nephi was baptizing, and prophesying, and preaching, crying repentance unto the people, showing signs and wonders, working miracles among the people, that they might know that the Christ must shortly come-"

Doctrine and Covenants:
D&C 84:88
"And whoso receive the you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up."

Quote of the Week:
"Continue to rise to the stature of the divinity within you..."

Can't wait to see you al!:)


-Elder Rivera

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