Monday, March 19, 2012

News From Libby Montana 3/19/2012

Hi Everyone,
We had a spectacular week in Libby this week.  First of all, it has warmed up enough here so that we have been able to bike around a little, which has been very nice.  Driving in a car every time you need to go somewhere gets old, so I'm glad the weather is getting better.  But mostly it was because of the baptisms that occurred on Saturday.  There were seven people who ended up getting baptized on Saturday and it was an incredibly spiritual event.  It was pretty big news around the mission as well.  We had some office missionaries and one of the counselors in the mission presidency drive all the way from Spokane so they would be able to watch the baptism as well.  In all, a little over 100 people attended the baptism.  The spouses of Matthew Hollingsworth and Kelly Bailey, who are Siblings, were both baptized, as well as the Hollingsworths oldest two children and the Baileys oldest.  Two employees of Matt were baptized as well, Delbert and Darby, who are native Alaskan (Kelly's husband is Alaskan as well).  Matt baptized all seven of them.  It's so neat to see that they just get it.  They already have the beginnings of strong testimonies rooted in the gospel.  All of these people have been some of the easiest people to teach since I've started serving.  Everything about the gospel just made sense to them and they were all so willing to accept it and keep the commandments.  Also some of the comments that they have made make me know that they are in it for the right reason and they are serious about the commitments they've made.  Like I said, Satan tried quite a few times to make this baptism not happen.  And in some cases it happened in the way of members offending them for one reason or another.  After one such experience, Matthew said that he wasn't really angry about what had happened after he'd had time to think about it.  He realizes that the gospel is perfect, but the people in the church are not perfect.  If everyone was able to learn that lesson, then so many less people would get offended over something somebody said and leave the church.  To forsake your own testimony over something so insignificant is something I've seen all too much in visiting with less active members of these wards.  The following Sunday during the confirmations I have to say was one of, if not the most spiritual Sundays I have ever had.  All of the confirmation blessings were so heartfelt and personal to these people (also performed by Matt).  It wasn't even just the confirmations, it was the whole meeting.  One of the speakers was a man who is very timid and has not been willing to give a talk in church for over 20 years.  He gave such a sincere testimony and the high council speaker for the day, I'm sure scrapped his original talk and just went with the spirit that was so present.  I left church that day exhausted, and I didn't even do anything.  Unfortunately the girl, Sierra, who was also supposed to get baptized wasn't able to because her step mom has not left jail.  I feel it kind of worked out though because we gave her grandmother a church tour last week and it turned out to be one of the most spiritual tours I have experienced.  Her grandmother, Sharon, definitely felt the spirit and even recognized that she was feeling the spirit.  Later in the week we were finally able to teach her dad and they are both interested in learning more.  I really feel that family will be able to get baptized together as well.  So great things are happening here.  The Lord is really pouring out his spirit and I am really excited to continue to find people to share this wonderful message to. Love you all and have a great week.
Elder Stacey

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