Monday, January 16, 2012

Email from Elder Stacey 1/16/2012

     We had a great week here in Chewelah.  On monday we had a church tour with a family that we've been trying to get to for a month and a half now.  They are really busy, but finally it worked out that we could meet them.  The mothers name is Misty and she has four children.  There was such a strong spirit in the chapel and in the room where we talked about baptism.  She told us baptism was something that she would like to consider for her and her family.  Her kids also really liked the idea of being baptized.  When we set up another appointment with her, her youngest asked if that was the day they were getting baptized.  It's a good thing that she knows quite a few members, and that the ward missionaries have stopped by to introduce themselves.  We also had a tour of the church with a lady named Kristy Haines.  We had tracked into her and she was very interested to go on the tour and see the new artwork.  When we got to the church is when we actually found out her last name, and we found out that the missionaries had been teaching her daughter and was about to be baptized before she left for job corpse.  We also found out that she knows the members wife who we took with us on the tour pretty well.  It was a really cool small world moment and I feel that there is great potential there.  We have a dinner appointment with her this week at a members home, so I hope everything goes well there.  Despite the fact that there is practically no work in Chewelah and so many people are out of work, we seem to always find the people who are incredibly busy and hard to get a hold of.  It's kind of hard, when this is all you do, to remember that people have lives outside of learning the gospel and it can be hard to see them and teach them.  I honestly don't know that very many people that we're teaching right now will be baptized while I am personally in Chewelah, but I do know that the seeds have been planted and that it will just take time. 
     On another note, Elder Holland came to our mission on Saturday and talked to us for a while.  He was actually just coming to Spokane for a stake conference, but when President Palmer asked if he could speak to the mission, he was apparently very quick to say yes.  He talked for a long time about a lot of stuff, but there were a couple things that he mentioned that really stuck out to me.  The first was the story about how Preach My Gospel came into being, which, may be common knowledge, I don't know.   I am going to share it anyway though because I thought it was cool.  Preach My Gospel was thought up because one day President Hinkley had come from an interview he had with an inactive returned missionary into a missionary meeting and said that "Something is wrong with the way we're doing missionary work."  They had said to themselves, that if the missionary had been converted himself, then he wouldn't have fallen away, and despite all the blessings and spirit that he had while serving a mission, he had not been converted himself.  So Preach My Gospel was made for the missionary.  It is a tool to help convert the missionary and then to trust the missionary to help convert other people.  Elder Holland went on to say that every missionary that goes out is entitled to at least one convert.  That one convert is yourself and you'd better get it.  I honestly hadn't thought of Preach My Gospel in that light before and it really helped me to understand the importance of using it.  Many missionaries I've notice, myself included, have just read through Preach My Gospel once and then resort to the scriptures and other writings to gain knowledge.  So I realized to myself that I need to utilize Preach My Gospel more than I do, because it truly is inspired and essential in missionary work.  Well that was just one of the many things he talked about, and I could go on all day because I love listening to apostles speak, but thats about all I have time for to write today.  I love you all and hope you all have a great day and week.
Elder Stacey

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