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