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