Monday, December 26, 2011

Email 12/19/11

     Well I can't believe it's a week away from Christmas.  I hope everyone has some fun plans for it.  I know I'm very excited to call home on Christmas day.  Honestly not a whole lot happened this week for me.  After the two baptisms we had last week, we've just been doing a lot of finding.  We got a couple of great people that we did start teaching though this week.  Jeremiah and Megan were a referral from one of the members.  They just had a child who was born with a back handicap.  I wish I could say what it is but I guarantee I will butcher the spelling.  What I do know is that he won't be able to use his legs because of it.  They are a very nice family though who will benefit so much from the knowledge of the gospel.   We have a few church tours lined up with some potential investigators this week and hopefully they will go well.  Transfer calls were yesterday and I am staying in Chewelah, but Elder Dees is leaving.  My new companions name is Elder Brown and I'll be meeting him on Tuesday.  I'm very excited for this upcoming transfer and I love being a missionary and going out to bear my testimony of this gospel.  I hope all of you have a great Christmas, and I'll talk to you on Christmas.   I love you all
Elder Stacey

Email 12/12/11

   Hello again from Chewelah, we had a great week here.  We had a couple of really great baptisms on Saturday and Sunday.  James and Chris both got baptized and both had a great turnout to them.  Chris Larkin probably had over half the ward attend his.  Not many people were willing to miss that one since he had pretty much been a part of the ward for two years.  But like I said, both of the baptisms were awesome and spiritual.  Because of these baptisms we will have to try to find some new investigators.  We have a few really great potentials that we just need to contact first and I know that there are more out there, we just need to find them.  Other than that, we started a new program called teaching in chapels in our area.  Our zone was the last one in the mission to receive them, but now that we have them I love them.  They have a lot of purposes, but their biggest is to get an investigator to have his or her first lesson in the church where the spirit can be felt stronger.  We spent much of last week taking the members through so they know what it is and how they can help make the chapel tours effective.  Thats about it for this week,  transfers are next week and so if anyone is planning on sending mail that will probably arrive next week then you might like to send it to the mission office until I find out if I'm staying or leaving Chewelah.  Have a great week everyone.
Love,  Elder Stacey

Monday, December 5, 2011

Not a Whole Lot to Say 12/05/11

Hi family.  There isn't a whole lot to say about last week.  I had my first zone conference, which was held in Spokane.  It was a very spiritual experience for me, plus it was nice to go back into civilization for a while.  We didn't have very many lessons this week because of zone conference and also we were at the church pretty much the whole week helping to set up a program they do called "A Night of Nativity".  It is a way neat thing that they have been doing for about six years now where members of the community can display all their various nativities in the church cultural hall.  I was wondering if that is the same kind of thing that the church in Midway has done for a few years as well.  It was very successful and beautifully done.  It is a really great way to invite people into the church and feel the spirit.  Once it was finally set up it lasted friday, saturday, and sunday, ending with the broadcast of the Christmas devotional in the chapel.  In all, there were a little over 200 non members that attended the event.  We even met a few potential investigators while we were there.  This week we have two baptisms, which I am so excited about.  James is getting baptized on Saturday and Chris (I think I've talked about him) is getting baptized on Sunday.  I don't really have a whole lot more to say this week so I'll talk to you again in a week.  
Love you all.
Elder Stacey

Had a Great Thanksgiving 11/28/11

     Hey everyone whats up?  I'm glad to see that everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving morning was kind of depressing for me just because, you know, no family to talk to.  But it didn't last too long.  I had a lot more to be thankful for, especially this year being on a mission.  The Flemings were so nice to invite us over for Thanksgiving dinner.  They had their three Ukrainian kids, obviously, but also their four other children came in from Utah and Idaho as well as a family friend translator and sister Flemings sister and mother.  It was a pretty full house, but it was a lot of fun.  I found out that the Flemings oldest daughter Dana is actually in a couple of divine comedy videos such as provo girls (or whatever that ones called) and the Harry Potter one.  Sounds like Payson was pretty fun as well.  I'm glad to hear that Ryan is considering a mission.  I truly believe what Elder Holland says about a mission being the best thing that a young man can do.  I don't have his email address, and I guess I don't know if you do either, but I would love having my weekly emails sent to Ryan as well as the rest of the family.  And in that package I did not get the pictures of grandpas breakfast, I did get all the ones of the rest of the family pictures though thank you.  The same day I got moms package I also got one from aunt Yvonne, so if you see her anytime soon mom tell her thank you so much, also if she wants you can put her on the email list.  I also received Michelle’s package, hahaha I love it, I can't wait till December now.  This week has been one of the best weeks.  We were able to put James on date for baptism for December 10th and with the other guy Chris Larkin, we should have two baptisms that weekend.  James is the perfect example of the Lord preparing people to hear his gospel.  He has made so many positive changes to his life before we even met him.  Leslie as well has been making progress.  She is still working on quitting smoking.  She is making baby steps, but has improved so much.  She was actually able to come to church yesterday which we were so excited for.  She couldn't come last week because her portable oxygen tank broke, and the week before because she had smoked a cigarette and she was embarrassed to come to church.  We explained to her that week that when something like that happens, church is just the place that you want to go to, because you have so many people who are willing and want to help you.  But she did enjoy church which was good.  We finally got 2 ward missionaries in our ward, Sister Pugh, and Sister Mearl, and they are the best.  They are like member wild cards that are perfect to take to anyones home because they just love and want to help anyone.  Great things are happening in our area and I really hope I get to stay even another transfer.  I don't really know what else to say this week other than I love you all and pray for you.
   Elder Stacey

 P.S.  Oh ya, I remembered one other thing.  Yesterday night we were over watching the Testaments at the Jones and we heard their dogs barking outside, then one of them started yelping.  They've seen some green eye reflections around their property the last couple of days and think its a cougar probably trying to hunt some of their horses.  Once they heard the yelping, all the adults jumped up and grabbed rifles and handguns that were scattered around their kitchen, and hanging by their front door and wherever else they keep their many many guns, and went out hunting for the cougar.  It made my adrenaline start to rush, but it was really cool for some reason too.  That was definitely not an experience I was expecting to have when I received my call to Spokane

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving 11/21/11

     Hi everyone hows it going?  It sounds like everyone has got a lot of fun plans for Thanksgiving this year.  It also sounds like it's been a pretty eventful week for everyone.  Thanks for the package mom, everything (especially Tim Tams) is great and the aleve came most timely.  This week, has likewise been a great and eventful week, with a bomb of awesomeness to finish it off on Sunday.  First of all, we got our first snow storm last week.  We recieved almost a foot of snow and freezing cold temperatures:(  It's also snowing right now and it's supposed to snow off and on all week.  From what I hear, snow doesn't melt up here until spring, so once you get anything substantial, then it's there all winter.  The plows around here I'm convinced don't know how to plow because on the street next to our church is about 3 inches of ice and Elder Dees, not me, slid our car into a ditch.  Like I said last week, Elder Dees and I both stayed in Chewelah, so things went on as normal.  We had a great lesson again with Leslie.  She has been having difficulty quitting smoking.  We stop by everyday to give her scriptures and notes of encouragement and I believe that has helped for her to know that she has a support for her.  She always gets really excited when we come over and also the memeber whos been fellowshipping her, Bro. Bowers.  If things go well with her and with smoking especially, then she will be baptized the second week in December.  We also had a great lesson with James this week.  He is very quick at understanding the things we've been teaching and has been putting forth a bunch of his own effort to read the Book of Mormon, and go to church.  He's actually discussed baptism with the family that he's been staying with and when we see him this week we want to set a baptismal date for him.  The spirit has definately touched him and I truly believe that this is what he wants to do.  A miracle came yesterday and pretty much out of nowhere.  One of the wards "eternal" investigators whos been investigating for over 2 years came up to us yesterday and told us he wanted to be baptized on the 11.  It was very surprising to the ward and also to me.  I'd only been over to visit with him once and I'd gotten the impression that he knew what he's been taught was true, but he was afraid to commit to anything.  Well, he's decided now that this is what is right for him, and from the little bit I've been able to talk to him, he has a very strong testimony and will continue to be able to strengthen it.  He's only 18 so prospective missionary as well.  On the topic of Thanksgiving, we are going over to the Flemings and having dinner with their whole family who will be in town, as well as a translator, so maybe we'll have a lesson of thanksgiving for the Ukrainians.  I think thats all I had to say so I'll talk to you later.  Love you all

Monday, November 14, 2011

Staying In Chewelah

     Oh my goodness I'm so happy to hear about everything thats going on at home!  In the past couple of weeks I feel I've gotten some of the best news of the year.  Our new investigator that we've been teaching, James, has been gaining a testimony of this gospel very quickly.  He'd told the family he was staying with that he wanted to take this whole thing kind of slow, but after a lesson we had with him about the gospel of Jesus Christ on friday, he told them that he decided he wasn't going to take it slow anymore.  He says that it all just makes sense to him.  We are having another lesson with him on Tuesday or Wednesday and are going to invite him to be baptized.  I cannot think of a better family to be fellowshippers either.  It is the family that I was talking about whos kitchen is in an old garage and their bedrooms are all trailers.  They are self proclaimed rednecks, but some of the greatest people I have ever met.  We decided that they would make a great "I'm a mormon" profile video.  We just had the Word of Wisdom lesson with Leslie and committed her to quit smoking and gave her a blessing at the end to help give her strength to do it.  It's been pretty hard for her, but she's definately making progress and she really wants to quit and be baptized.  We had our transfer calls yesterday, and both Elder Dees and I are staying in Chewelah, which is good, because a lot of good things are going on here.  I love the ward and I love all the people that we have been teaching.  The end of the week was a little harder because everybody, and I mean everybody, who we had planned on seeing cancelled on us.  We only got one of our scheduled lessons in on friday and we didn't get any on saturday or sunday.  I'm not going to lie I was kind of annoyed, but I can't choose what other people are going to do.  I can just choose to be patient and love them anyway.  Thats about all I have time for so I love you all and I'll write you later.
   Love Elder Stacey

Monday, November 7, 2011

Weekly Letter 11/07/2011

Hey everyone,
     Once again it is good to hear that everything seems to be going well, albeit a little hectic it sounds like, but such is life I suppose.  It's been a good week for me too, but as well, hectic and a little stressful.  My companion and I have been doing a lot of finding and tracting this past week to find some new investigators to teach.  Our prayers were finally answered with an awesome new investigator yesterday and some great potential people who seem pretty interesting in learning more about the LDS church.  I don't think I"ve talked about him before, but his name is James, he's 18 or 19 years old and he's been living with some members for the last couple of weeks.  His interest in the church started from watching commercials.  His interest grew, I'm sure, by watching this family he's been with and seeing how happy they are and what a unique spirit they have in their home.  Before we were even able to teach him any lessons, he'd expressed interest to go to church with this family, (which he did) and reading the book of mormon by himself.  After our gospel principles class that he went to, he even borrowed a book to take home to catch himself up on the lessons that he'd missed.  Leslie, our on-date, is doing very well too.  She was not able to make it to church this week because she had to go to Portland for a funeral, but we have a lesson with her tonight and she's been doing better every lesson.  I love to see little changes that people make as they gain a testimony of Jesus Christ and his church.  In Stephens e-mail to Megan and I, he talked about being more optimistic than your innard self feals and the unexpressed frustrations that are there.  Well I agree with what he says.  I've been out for only 1 transfer and I have already felt frustrations and stressing days and situations.  But I have also have felt the spirit so strongly since I've been out and I know that even though I can have those really bad days now and then, that I have the companionship of the Holy Ghost to comfort me and help me through them.  He doesn't make my problems go away, but he just makes it possible for me to accomplish them without going crazy.  I think I'm about to get kicked off, so I'm gonna go.  I just want you all to know that I'm working on writing letters to everyone, but I"m really slow at writing, this letter took me an hour=O.  But I really am trying, love you all and I'll talk to you next week.

October 31, 2011

Whats up family
     I can't believe it's already Halloween.  This Halloween is going to be pretty fun since it's our p-day, and after 6, we're not supposed to go out proselyting, so we're just gonna go around and visit with some of the members and get to know some of them better.  This week has been a much slower week than some of the others.  We had a way long meeting with the mission president about how to best utilize the time we have with the campaign and keep the members enthusiastic about it.  (I'll tell you what didn't help, was having a 3 and a half hour long presentation to the ward members about how to make a profile instead of normal church.)  But there were some very helpful insights about how to get the members more involved in the campaign because it will be so much more effective if they can participate in helping their friends, co-workers, etc. to know why the church is doing this and to help them to learn more.  We have done sooo much service this week compared to some of my past weeks, which was pretty fun.  We haven't had as many lessons with our investigators this week.  Bro Frazier has been avoiding us whenever we've come over lately, and apparently been somewhat distant from his family as well and we don't know what the problem is, so we plan on asking his wife this week what we can do to help.  I don't remember if I've told you about Leslie Ferrell before, but she's great.  she is a single lady who is currently having some breathing problems due to smoking issues.  But the missionaries tracked into her about a week before I arrived here.  Whenever we've taught her, shes been very receptive.  She is very enthusiastic to learn and we have now committed her to be baptized.  She wants to learn more and has such a good spirit.  I had an experience this week that really confirmed to me the power the Holy Ghost has to teach people.  The Flemings had to go out of town, so they brought in a babysitter who is friends with their oldest daughter, who served a mission in Ukraine.  We wanted to use as much time as we could to teach these kids while we had a translator and an rm as well to help us.  The other day we went over to teach Christina by herself and we had a lesson planned to teach her, but as we began to ask her some questions, I just felt that we needed to go a different direction than we had origionally planned.  We were able to uncover some real struggles that she was having.  It was the perfect time to be able to talk with her because her parents were gone and she was able to just open up and tell us how she felt.  We were able to give her some advice on how to become happier and gave her a blessing which I think will go a long way, and once her parents got home she was able to talk to them as well.  That experience testified to me the power of the Holy Ghost, because without the Holy Ghost, we would never have been able to find out what problems she was having, and we would have been able to do nothing to help her.  I love the Holy Ghost and I love to share with people the gift of the Holy Ghost and what blessings they can recieve by having it.  Thats about all I have to share about this week I think.  I love you all and hope you have a great Halloween.
      Elder Stacey

October 24, 2011

Hey everybody!!!
     First of all I want you to know Michelle that I got your package this week.  It in fact did arrive before I even got to Spokane and was waiting for me there.  The person who saw the name Stacey must have mistaken it for Shields, because it had a piece of paper that said Elder Shields covering my name.  I guess you can mistake those two names, but this is the same elderly elder who wrote Elder Dees and me a note saying elder dees and elder staley.  So the package went home with elder shields and I didn't get it until an interview with the president last week.  Thank you so much I loved it and especially the letter.  hahahahahahahahaha I could see you saying that exact same thing.  Also thank you for all the letters and e-mails that you all have sent their much appreciated.  I also did get that package from mom and all of it's goodness as well.  graham crackers and frosting,  you know me too well.  And to answer your mailing question mom, I did get the letter you sent to my Chewelah address about 2 days quicker than the one you sent to the mission office.  Lastly, I would like to have family pictures of you all.  So if you all could send me pictures of the family that would be great=).  I already got one from Stephen and Emily so thank you for that.  I hope I didn't forget anything I kind of do that a lot since I've been on the mission, and, well I guess forever really, so forgive me if I didn't answer any of your questions.
    Anyway, this week has been a slower week for us and has been a roller coaster of good and not so good.  The beginning of the week was really slow.  We had some appointments cancel on us and we had a born again bible bashing us inside of a Mennonite bakery.  It was really awkward.  The week started to pick up a bit more as we taught an older lady named Leslie.  She is super nice and has a great desire to learn.  She doesn't want to go to church because she is a little nervous to go out into public places and she smokes, but she has already shown a desire to quit.  I'm very confident that she will choose to get baptized eventually and that is very exciting to me.  Speaking of baptism, probably the crowning moment of the week was a baptism that we had on Friday.  The bishops granddaughter got baptized and he was able to baptize and confirm her.  It was a really neat experience to watch and see how ready and excited she was to get baptized and follow Christ.  The week started to go downhill again as we went over to teach the Ukrainian children.  We had a lesson plan for them on kindness and the youngest one was being so loud that we weren't really able to teach at all.  It's been very rough for bro and sis Fleming and I pray that the kids might soon learn to respect their parents.  The youngest is going over to a members house this week and possibly every time he's dissobedient to shovel horse poo, so maybe that will help him.  I hope it does. Last week on Sunday we had dinner over at a members home, who had a nonmember friend over there with them.  We just wanted to share a quick message so we watched one of the mormon messages gave a quick testimony and left.  I found out yesterday, though, that he was so interested in the video that he'd been watching a lot of videos on and was loving them, said they gave him goosebumps.  He's very interested in what the church is doing and on his own decided he wanted to go to church and see what it was like.  We're hoping to be able to get over to that house this week and teach him a lesson. is such a cool thing that the church is doing and I feel so blessed that I got to enter the mission field the same day that it started running in Spokane.  It's spurred a lot of talk about the church and I know that it is going to do great things for the church, and if you haven't, then I strongly encourage you check it out and also make a profile on the website.  Well  I'm about out of time now so I'll talk to you all next week and I love you all.
     Elder Stacey

Monday, October 17, 2011

P-Day Email October 17, 2011

Dear family,
     It's once again great to here from you all.  Every letter was something I needed to hear.  Sorry I didn't give any pictures with my last email, I forgot my camera so I was not able to attach any, but I will with this one.  To answer your question Michelle, no I have not received a package as of yet, but if you sent it through fed ex, or ups, then if it has arrived, I won't get it until I there is a zlc because apparently they can't forward those packages on to our address and the zone leaders have to pick them up and bring them to us personally.  If it's the us postal service, they can forward it to my address, but I don't know what you used.  The fall colors here are beautiful, although kind of interspersed because of all the evergreens that are around here.  The mountains around here are quite beautiful as well, but nothing, in my opinion, compared with the wasatch mountains.  We've had a couple of beautiful days, but now it's starting to get really cold, it got below 30 last night.../cry.  I have to admit I didn't expect that by going toSpokane that I would be going to the redneck capital of the world, or a close suburb at the very least.  I ate dinner with some members yesterday, who (absolutely great people they are) are the epidemy of a redneck.  their kitchen and dining room is located in  a metal warehouse in the middle of the forest, which still has a working garage that they could open as a wall of their kitchen, and all their rooms are located in trailers and campers at various locations around their property.  Their kitchen tables reminded me of what a military mess hall might look like.  I have also realized that the old lady who died of a heart attack walking a mile from her mailbox (in that old mormon video that may have even been called the mailbox, but i don't remembe) to her house probably lived somewhere near Chewelah because every other driveway around here is literally about a half mile long.  despite the redness of the place, I do love it, and I do love the people here.  We are still working on the Ukrainian children, but we think we are going to take a slight detour from trying to teach the lessons and teach a  couple lessons on respecting other people and the 5th commandment.  This week we taught a less active family who had a dog that looked exactly like Rocky.  This dog was so funny to watch because when nobody would play with her, she would take her ball over to a blanket and hide it in the blanket as well as she could, then try to dig it back out again.  She must have done this at least a dozen times.  I am really sad to here about Rocky.  I'm just glad I wasn't around when all this happened because I think I would have broken down watching him in that condition.  It was hard for me just to read about it.  I was glad to hear that he got at least a couple minutes of happiness before the end.  I'd like to think that is because God cares about all of his creations and even though Rocky wasn't a person, he cared enough about even him to give him a little peace before the end.  Well I'm gonna go now, but I just wanna say that I love you all, and I pray for you every day.
   Elder Stacey
The landscape of the area around me.

 It really is quite beautiful!

Downtown Chewelah at.....rush hour... 

 My little shack of a house.

My First Week October 10, 2011

Dear family,
     I really appreciate all the letters and e-mails I've recieved from everyone.  It's good to know that your all doing well.  The first week here in Chewelah has been really eventful and a little stressful as well.  Your right Michelle it is pop 15 and a tire swing, but you forgot to mention all the dogs and cats.  I'm fairly confident that dogs outnumber people 2-1 in the average household and cats are 2-1 to the dogs.  Their EVERYWHERE!!!  But it has rained 5 out of the last 7 days and it's getting cold already=(. My companion is a great person, his name is Elder Dees and he's from Panama City Florida, which is apparantly about an hour or two away from Sacramento....and by that I mean Tallahassee(if thats how you even spell it.)  He is really into music and he actually plays the French Horn as well.  We live in a little shack house thats owned by some members that they bought pretty much only to rent to the missionaries, but I think it's actually bigger than Jons house=P.
     Despite the intense smallness of Chewelah, (and we actually have three towns next to it in our area that make Chewelah look like a booming metropolis) the people here are great and I feel like theres been a lot of success here in the past.  This week we had a few appointments fall through, but we've been working with a lot of part member families with pretty good success.  One of which being the Fraziers.  They got married about 2 months ago and moved to Chewelah about 1 month ago.  The wife is a member, but was less active when we met them.  The ward helped them move into their house and after that Richard(the husband) started asking questions about the church, so we started teaching him.  We actually committed him to baptism on the first lesson, although he doesn't have a date, he wants to keep seeing us and learn more about the gospel.  He is a great guy and wants to be the best person he can. 
     The other big family we've been working on are the Flemings, who are also a part member family.  The parents are an older couple who's children have all moved out and are in college and what not.  So they decided to adopt 3 children from Ukraine.  Theres a girl who's 14 and 2 boys who are 13 and 11.  They've only been in the US for about 2 weeks so they pretty much don't know any english, which has made it very difficult to teach them, notwithstanding their incredibly high amount of energy and short attention span.  Theres a family in the ward who speaks a little Russion, (which the children understand)which has helped a ton.  But we're trying to find a translator who speaks fluently and prefferably Ukrainian.  It's just kind of hard in such a small town.
     I have learned so much about how to teach now that i've gotten to teach real people instead of all that dumb role playing in the mtc.  Role playing i guess isn't so bad and you do learn a lot from it, but it's so much nicer to be able to teach real people.  Like I said, it has been a little stressful this first week because I feel like I don't know whats going on at first, but I think I'm getting the hang of it now.  Tracting still freaks me out though.  One thing I wish I did was ignore the little pamphlet that they sent with my mission call and gotten another suit.  Between the months of Oct and April aka confrence. we are required to where suits everywhere we go, and having a third one would be pretty nice I think.  Also I'm not sure how much I'm actually gonna use my bike.  My companion has been out for a little under a year and a half and he hasn't had to use his bike yet, but we'll see, it depends on the area your sent to.  I guess i should probably get going now.  I'm looking forward to another good week and I'm excited to hear from you all by next monday.  Love you
   Elder Stacey

Washington Spokane Mission Welcomes Elder Stacey 10/03/2011

4 October 2011

Dear Brother and Sister Stacey,

I was pleased to welcome your son Elder Stacey to the Washington Spokane Mission this week.  I’m happy to report that he arrived safely.  I had the privilege of meeting and associating with him the day of his arrival and note that it is evident that he comes with a great desire to serve Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Elder Stacey understands the role of the Holy Ghost in accomplishing the work here in the Washington Spokane Mission and has committed to live worthy of that power.

After prayerful consideration, I have called Elder Dees to serve as Elder Stacey’s training companion in the Chewelah, Washington area.  It is our objective to call only the best missionaries to serve as trainers and I believe that your son is in excellent training hands.  We expect that your missionary will serve in this area for the next 6 to 12 weeks as he begins his mission here.

I have enclosed photographs of your missionary and assure you that Sister Palmer and I will love Elder Stacey. Our great desire is that his time here will further establish him on the path of righteousness, as well as bless the many people he will serve.

Attached are the new updated recommended guidelines we have for parents.  These guidelines are based on many years of accumulated missionary experience, especially those guidelines concerning personal contact with your missionary. Elder Stacey needs your good example.  I sincerely request that you consider them for the benefit of your son and his fellow missionaries.

Thank you so much for sharing Elder Stacey with us. 


S. Mark Palmer, President

The Home Stretch Sept. 26, 2011

Dear family,
       HAHAHAHAHAHAHA,  I have to watch that abducted show Michelle.  if it is so bad that you don't even need rifftrax to make fun of  Plus it's got the WORST, most un-emotional actor ( if you can even call it that) in the world.  First of all, tahnks everyone who have sent me letters, e-mails, and dear elders.  I love them and it's so good to hear that the family is doing so well.  Thanks especially to you mom for sending stuff everyday.  It really helps me to get through the day so hear from you.  I'm also really glad to hear that dad will get a secretary was it?  So that he can spend more time at home.  Emily thanks for sending your family picture and that really cute coloring that Ella did.
       It's really hard to believe that I've already been here for 2 weeks, and that I only have 4 days left at the MTC.  This week was both a great week and a hard week.  hard for a couple reasons, but most of all was the fact that one of my companions left for home on friday.  He left for anxiety reasons, but I could tell that he wasn't puting his full heart and soul into the work.  In my opinion he wanted the mission to be a great experience that would help him grow, but have absolutely no stress attached, and when he found out that it did, just gave up right there and then and didn't try from that point forward.  I know that he could have gotten through it if he just had stuck with it and had faith that Christ could be there with him, and it is hard to see someone quit at what you (and probably they too) know is the best thing they can be doing because they don't trust in the power of the Lord.  I'm still praying for him and I hope the best for him and hope that he can turn to the Lord when he's feeling overwhelmed.
       On a lighter note, a member of the 70 and the MTC president both came into our class for a while last week and that was a really neat experience.  the 70, who is Japanese and I don't remember how to spell his last name, is actually speaking sunday afternoon in conference and is talking about the miracle of missionary work.  So when you hear his talk, thats the one who came into my class.  A really awesome thing happened while he was in there.  one of the missionaries in my disctricts father went to Japan on his mission, and it just so happens that he trained the missionary who converted this general authorities wife.  when they moved to the US she had been trying to ge ahold of him, but she couldn't find him.  When they came to our class though the missionary (Elder Nelson) found out that his dad knew where this old missionary was and was able to give her his phone number.  It's really cool to see how the Lord shows that he cares about his children, that after all this time for this sister wanting see what happened to the missionary who baptized her, and her prayers were answered. 
     I love the MTC and I love being a missionary.  My testimony of Christ and this gospel have grown so so much in 2 weeks. As well as my excitement to meet and love the people who I'm going to serve.  At one of the MTC devotionals I thought to myself as they were talking that right now my biggest fear is that when I get on the plane to go home in 2 years is that I can think to myself that there is more that I could have done on my mission. Because that regret will stay with me forever.  So I made a commitment as early as possible to myself, and to the Lord, that I would be exactly obedient and loving to the mission and the people in the mission so that I can have the most productive mission and blessed mission that I can have.  That when I do get on the plane, taht I can think to myself that I did everything I could for the Lord and his church.  I'm so gratefull and fortunate for this opportunity and I'm not going to waste it.  I feel like theres so much more i want to tell you all, but theres jsut not enough time to say it.  I love you all and I'll talk to you next week, and hope you're all doing well.
         Elder Stacey

Elder Stacey and Elder Martinez

  P.S. mom, when I see you again, I'm going to need more pears if thats possible, they only lasted 10 min once i got back to the dorm.

First P-Day Wed. Sept. 21, 2011

   Hey family, this is my first  preparation day, exactly one week after i got here.  I have gone through a bunch of emotions in the one week I've already been here, first of all, anger at this keyboard for being the dumbest keyboard on the planet(If I make mistakes, I promise that It's the keyboard).  But mostly i started out feeling really inadequate when I first got here.  THey kindof just throw you in from day one and see how you do.  IT was really stressful at first, but everyday I've been here, I've grown more and more in my appreciation for being here. Every single night I get down to say my prayers I get more and more grateful for what I've learned here.  One thing I"ve decided is that there just isn't enough time to do everything you need to do in one day.  Every time personal study is over I feel like there is so much more to be studied.  I've got a great district, and 2 great companions.  to answer your question mom, he wasn't very happy at the time you saw him.  He's been having some anxiety problems and only recently has he began to calm down.  He was origionally going to Chile but because of the stress of learning a language they switched him to this mission.  the 3rd missionary that you were referring too in your first e-mail was actually a no-show.  We don'tknow what happened to him but he never came.  I've got somegreat teachers who have some very insightful and great ways of teaching, and I've learned quite a bit from them.  One thing that Brother Strong (one of my instructers) has had us do that I have found to be good is after every prayer you say kneeling to the Lord, is to just sit there quietly after the prayer for a few moments and take in what was said in the prayer.  I'ts something that I've found has made my personal AND group prayers more meaningful to me and I challenge you to try it as well in all of your prayers.  I forgot the questions that you asked medad so i'll answer them in a different letter =D .  I love the MTC so much and I can't wait till i actually get to the field.  The "investigators" that we've had so far and the lessons we taught them have got consistently better I feel.  I've been able to recognize promptings from the spirit a lot better since my first lesson.  Of course our TRC didn't go so well, but I'm not going to worry about that since they pay these people to comein and make your first talk with them the most difficult thing in the world.  I've really enjoyed all of the letters that i've recieved from Mom, Dad and Michelle.  By the way Mike, happy birthday today!!!!!  It was nice to here that you were so excited.  I've also loved to see Mom and Dad in the mtc a couple times.  In Michelles first letter she said that she was listening to ( I wantto say church music) in the car and I just wanna say that I've gained so much more of an appreciation for music since I"ve been here at the MTC.  One of my biggest regrets now that I'mhere isthat i didn't practice the piano more.  TO me, music-especially church music-is a great way to express your lvoe to god, sort of like a very personal meaningful prayer to him.  I'm glad to see that Sister Stacey is doing so well.  SHe has been a great influence to me as I was preparing to leave.  anyway I'm about out of time so i'll just close by saying I hope everyones been doing well, and the Rockster. and also I know it's been on your mind mom so yes, I have shaved, I made my bed, and I have a clean room everyday.
  Love you all,
      Elder Stacey

Monday, September 19, 2011

Setting Apart and MTC Drop Off - Sept. 13 & 14

 Kevin was set apart as a full time missionary tonight by President Olsen.
One thing I remember from the setting apart was that Kevin was blessed to be able to teach and open doors as well as hearts if it he faithful and obedient.  He was blessed with good health and the strength to complete all that he would be asked to do.  There were many other blessings as well.
Those present at the setting apart were: Darrell and me, Matt and Felicia,
Grandpa Stacey, Bishop Gordon Smith,
and all of the stake presidency which consists of
President Olsen, President McCann, and President Byers.

Kevin and Grandpa Stacey.
Darrell is in the background visiting with Pres. McCann

Wednesday afternoon Sept. 14, 2011 at 1:25 P.M.
A day that we have been thinking about for quite a while is now a reality.   We took Kevin to the MTC  and watched him walk away toward the main building with a big smile on his face.
 The actual drop off was indeed 'missionary fast food' style.  His was even faster than Megan's.
Kevin likened his feelings about finally leaving on a mission to how it feels on a roller coaster ride.
He said, "I feel like I'm in the seat of the roller coaster as it is going up to the top and
I'm anticipating the thrill and anxiousness of the ride down."
Today he finally reached the top of the first crest with many more to follow.

 He was greeted by two enthusiastic elders who were anxious to help him get bags out of the car
and his 'missionary legs' going.  I surely felt a surge of pride as I saw him walk away with them.
He looked so confident and happy.
Darrell barely had time to take a few photos.

I was able to quickly take one of Matt and Kevin.

Darrell was able to quickly take one of Kevin and me.
I even think there is one of Kevin with Darrell and me.
I'll post it later.

Munch and Mingle with Kevin - Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011

Kevin gave a wonderful talk in Sacrament Meeting today.
He talked about overcoming weaknesses through faith and obedience.
After, we came home for a 'munch and mingle'.

Matt and  Felicia

Terrell Cook, Dad, Uncle Grant and Aunt Janet

Me and my Grandma Rowley

Me with my cousin Kym and her husband Brady and their son Blake.
And Bitner too.

My cousin Ryan Peterson with Aunt Yvonne and Uncle David.

My Uncle David and Aunt Brenda.

Love the new suit and tie.

My best bud cousin, Ryan Rowley.