Monday, April 23, 2012

Beautiful Here Right Now 4/23/2012

Dear Everyone,
     I am in such a good mood today.  Not that I'm usually not in a good mood, but these last couple days were especially great.  First of all it is like 80 degrees and sunny outside, and the plants are coming into bloom.  It is so beautiful here right now.  Think we'll probably be able to get out on the bikes more consistently finally. 
      We had stake conference in Sandpoint yesterday and the stake presidency was being reorganized.  It was such a wonderful stake conference.  Elder Packer of the 1st quorum of the Seventy and Elder Risenmay of the Seventy were there.  Meetings like stake conference and general conference I feel are so great because they give you that extra needed spiritual boost, and always, it seems like, right when you need it.  The former stake presidency and their wives were all able to bear their testimonies and they were all so wonderful and heartfelt.  I thought it was great for our recent converts to see it, because it really shows how the leadership of the church works.  None of these men were paid anything for what they did and gave so much of their time in service of the stake. They were not in their calling for any personal recognition and gain.  And when they were released, all they could talk about was how grateful they were for the opportunity they had to serve the Lord and his children.  I love how they talked so much about service and how crucial it is.  
     President Hyatt's (former stake president) wife, told a story about how badly he wanted to serve a mission after he joined the church.  He was already married and had two children, but had such a burning desire to serve the Lord that he wanted to serve a mission.  He went into an interview with the stake president fully anticipating to be called on a mission, and had previously arranged with his employer for a way for his wife and children to be taken care of while he was serving.  He came out of the interview noticeably upset she said.  She asked him what his calling was and he said it was assistant financial clerk, to which she gave her encouragement and support to his new calling.  She went on to say that he magnified that calling and loved it, but that is an incredible testimony for someone to be willing to give everything up for two years in service of the Lord.  They will be putting in their mission papers at the end of the summer when their youngest daughter graduates from high school.  I just loved hearing that story.  
     Earlier last week we were able to have a lesson with Linda Dabel, Bro. Caldwells mother.  She is still on fire and is loving learning about the gospel.  In our previous lesson we had given her a few Ensign magazines to read that talked about Christ, the temple, and The Book of Mormon.  You know, those special issues that they came out with.  When we came back, she had read two entire Ensigns plus half another one, an entire session and a half of April general conference, and read the first four chapters of the Book of Mormon and the Old Testament.  She also answered her own question that she had for us to look up to answer in our next meeting.  She really is doing wonderful and wants to learn everything she can.  She mentioned to us that her husband hasn't been quite as on board as she has been and when he comes home he watches movies that invite a negative spirit into her home and she hates it.  She had gone into her room one night near tears and prayed for the spirit to be with her and she apparently just reads the scriptures in her room when he watches those movies.  We have an appointment with her on Wednesday so we'll be able to see how that's been going.  We took Jennifer and Bro. DeShazer on a church tour with Nicci Hollingsworth (the recent convert since March) .(I hope I haven't shared this story)  The spirit was definitely there as Nicci was able to bear her testimony and her conversion experience.  Nothing like missionary work to solidify a member's testimony (no matter how new or old they are to the gospel).  Jennifer seems to be doing well, and we have another appointment with her tomorrow evening.  We have still been trying to build our teaching pool so we have done a lot of tracting last week.  We were able to set up some church tours this week so I'll tell you next week how those have gone.  I hope everybody will have a wonderful week this week.  I love you all and pray for you every day. 
Elder Stacey

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