Monday, June 25, 2012

1000 Things 6/25/2012

     Disclaimer:  This email might be all over the place because 1000 things are going on in my head right now.  It is not my fault if it doesn't make sense.
     This week was another great week.  But before I get into it I had a few questions to answer.  Yes I did have a GPS mom, but it ran out of batteries while we were walking down the street, and we didn't have bikes because my companions bike tire was flat.  There are a ton of goat-head-stickers here and they destroy bike tires.  Luckily for me my bike tires are new and hopefully will not get punctured anytime soon *knock on wood*.  
I do have a question as well for mom.  I was looking at the Ensign at all the new mission presidents called and I noticed a guy named Chad Rowley.  I was curious if that was your cousin (at least I think thats your relationship with him) Chad or if it is somebody completely different.  
Anyhow, last week was great.  We had a baptism on Saturday, which was incredibly spiritual.  The man who was baptized, Josh, was so prepared and ready for it.  He mentioned after the baptism that this was something he was putting off for 10 years.  His wife was already a member of the church for a number of years, or she was born into it, I can't remember, and all of his seven daughters who are of age are members as well.  They were a huge influence on his decision to get baptized, because they would always talk about their parents going to the temple so they could be together forever. I have only begun to get to know them, but they are a great family and we're excited to start the new member discussions with them.  
We have received quite a few referrals from the ward this last week.  It's really like their just falling into our laps.  Girls camp was last week and a few of the girls brought their non-member friends with them.  After their experience at girls camp, at least three of them that we know about want to start learning more about the church and want to get baptized.  Today we actually have a dinner with a family and their non-member friend went to girls camp.  She is bringing her whole family and if everything goes well.  We will begin teaching them and taking them on a church tour sometime this week.  
This week is looking to be quite an eventful week for everyone.  A baby blessing, a new mission president, lots of teaching opportunities.  I can't think of a whole lot more to update on, so I'll just close by saying happy birthday to Azure, and I hope Sophia's baby blessing will be a great experience.  Love you all and have a good week.=)
Love,     Elder Stacey

Monday, June 18, 2012

Busy Week June 18, 2012

 Hi Family,    
This has been kind of a crazy go go go week.  It started out on Monday, which consisted of me packing, saying goodbye to people, and having a lesson with Linda Dabel.  Tuesday I had to get up at 4 a.m. so I could be in Spokane by 8 a.m.  Then, when I arrived in Spokane, I pretty much immediately left on the transfer van to take a round about course through the mission as it dropped off elders and sisters at different locations, Moses Lake being the last stop.  All in all, I spent about 8 hours of driving time on Tuesday.  
I met my new companion and we spent the rest of the day meeting investigators/members.  My new companion is Elder Bernards, from Cedar Hills, Utah.  And the only explanation I need to give of him is that he is a carbon copy of Mckay in mannerisms and in personality.  Like I said Moses Lake has a really high LDS population for a city outside of Utah-about 25% of the city are members-but from what I can gather, some pretty hefty reactivation work is necessary in the area.  There seems to be a lot of that work going on right now actually.  Quite a bit of the recent success in Moses Lake has come from reactivated members coming back to church and their family getting baptized.  
This Saturday, we have a baptism.  His name is Josh Dale, and his wife and all 7 of his daughters who are of age are baptized, active members.  He was never really interested until recently.  Family is a huge deal for him and all his daughters telling him that they wanted to be sealed to him softened his heart to the point that he is now ready to be baptized.  Thats about all I know of him.  I could probably share more about him next week when I get to know him better.  Anyway back to the week.  Wed, and Thurs, I were such a blurr that I can honestly say I don't remember what we did, except that it was missionary work and we were busy.  Friday Elder Bernards had a new district leader training in Spokane for 6 hours, so I was with a missionary from another district whose companion was going to the same thing.  I had to find my way around my area without a car, or bike, or GPS, which was kind of difficult.  Before I forget to answer your question mom, we are in a part time car area, so we have a car for half the week.  The rest of the week we bike or walk.  Saturday afternoon was spent inviting less-actives and investigators to Stake Conference.  
We had a wonderful Stake Conference.  Elder Anderson came to the Moses Lake stake conference and so many people wanted to come they had to rent out the local colleges stadium.  The theme of the conference was strengthening faith in the family, so every talk was about family and the importance of it.  Since it was Father’s Day quite a few of the talks were themed towards the fathers role.  Speaking of fathers day, I hope every father had a great one, especially dad.  One thing Elder Anderson said that I loved was, "One of the best things you can do for your children in this life is to teach them who they are."  Talking about our literal relationship with our Father in Heaven and our eternal potential because of it, Elder Anderson said is one of the most important things that a parent can do.  So stake conference was amazing.  
This week is going to be pretty busy as well.  First of all, the baptism is a huge deal and we're super excited about it.  Also, tomorrow, President Palmer is coming to our district meeting and we will see him for the last time before he leaves.=(  Next Friday, President Mullen will fly into town and President Palmer will be gone.   I am really excited for this transfer and I am really excited to be here in Moses Lake.  I hope you all have a great week.  Love you all. 
Elder Stacey

Monday, June 11, 2012

Transfer to Moses Lake June 11, 2012

  I don't have a whole lot of time today since I'll be packing, but before I forget, because I did last time you asked, yes I did get that piano book and thanks a bunch I love it.  Unfortunately I won't get to use it as much because I am in fact getting transferred.  It makes me really sad to be leaving Libby.  I started out loving this place, but have come to love it and the people more and more over time.  
I am getting transferred to Moses Lake.  It is referred to as the Zion of the mission apparently.  There are about 20,000 people there and whatever percentage of that would create 12 wards are members.  I will be serving in the 1st and 3rd wards.  I am a little sad because I am going from one of the prettiest places in the mission, to one of the flattest and ugliest=(. Also I have now served in the Easternmost part of the mission and now I will be close to the Westernmost part.  
We had an eventful week this week working with some less actives and potential investigators, but for the sake of time, I am going to share one miracle with you.  We just found out this morning that Linda Dabel has had some experiences yesterday(Sunday), and because of that she said she is ready to be baptized.  After the first couple of meetings we had with her, I had a lot of faith that she was going to be baptized, it was just a matter of when.  There were, however, some big questions she had about the church that were hard for her to get over.  She would always tell us that she would eventually get over it, but it would take some time for her.  Her statement has just told us that she has overcome all of her major concerns and she is ready.  She will probably be baptized before the month is over.  I may not be here for her baptism, but that doesn't really matter.  What matters to me is that she is making this decision that will bless her life so much.  I am so happy for her and the decision she's making.  
Well sorry I don't have more time to write, but I want you to know I'm doing well and I'm very happy.  Love you all and have a wonderful week.
Elder Stacey

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Very Rainy 6/04/2012

    This is a good week.  First of all it has been very rainy in Libby for about a week and a half now, and I love the rain.  Second, we had a good busy week this week.  We have been focusing a lot on one investigator this week who has been really challenging for me mentally.  Rick is his name and he has been taught by missionaries on and off for a little more than two years now.  Every time we would go over to his house we would talk for a bit then he would tell us how he wanted to join the church, but why he couldn't.  Every time he would focus like a laser on tithing, word of wisdom, and chastity.  We finally got to the point with him where he said something that helped us understand what direction to take with him.  We asked him if he thought that Christ had the power to take care of him if he paid his tithing, at which point he essentially said "I don't see any possible way that he could being in the situation that I'm currently in."  We realized that what he really lacks is faith in Christ.  I feel like missionaries in the past have probably rushed through the main lessons, committed him to get baptized, without making sure he had a real testimony of Christ and his atonement.  So when it came time to teach him things such as tithing and the word of wisdom, he could not see why they were important/relevant and lacked the faith to believe that being obedient to them could possibly help him out in this life.  We have now decided to focus entirely on Christ and his gospel, which we did on a church tour we gave to him.  The spirit was so strong as we were able to testify of Christ and his atonement.  I know he felt the spirit.  He told us about things he hadn't realized before in the past that helped him out.  I just pray that he will be able to keep that drive with him to know for himself.  We haven't met with Jennifer now for a few weeks.  She keeps cancelling our appointments so that she can go camping, or hiking, or hunting.  I have to admit that it has been kind of frustrating, but as long as she tells us she has a desire to learn, we will continue to teach her.  Luckily bear season is over, so she will be home more and we will hopefully be meeting with her this week.  She tells us she wants to work towards getting baptized, which is great.  There's not a whole lot to report on Linda this week, but her husband Carl made a huge step by coming to church by himself, and staying for all three hours.  Linda was sick and couldn't come.  Carl decided he was going to church anyway.  He also is a lot more outgoing when he's there.  If he keeps going this way, it's my hope that he will be worthy to baptize Linda when she is baptized.  That would make me so happy.  Well thats about it for me for this week.  Hope you all have a wonderful week and drive home safe mom.  Transfers are next week and I don't know if I will stay in Libby or not so for this week, it would probably be better to send anything to Spokane.  Love you all=)
Elder Stacey

New Uncle May 28, 2012

  Hello from Libby.  First of all can I just say that Sophia is such a cute little girl!  I have to admit that I wasn't expecting that email yet, but seeing that picture just made my week.  Sounds like everybody is also doing very well, so that's good to here.  We have some good things happening here in Libby as well.   We are hoping to have 3 baptisms this upcoming month.  We have prayed about it and feel good about that goal.  The three people are first, Linda Dabel.  She is ready to be baptized.  She tells us almost every time we meet with her that she would like to be baptized.  We had a great lesson on the priesthood with her last week and she understands the importance of being baptized by that authority.  The ward seems to still be dragging its feet about trying to request her records, despite the fact that we ask them to do it at least twice a week.  It's okay though because it will happen.  Jennifer Roark is doing pretty well too.  We haven't been able to have an actual lesson with her for about two weeks though. But we go in and make short visits to her to see how her prayers and scripture reading are going.  She is doing both, including reading the scriptures with her son.  She also has made progress in the sense that she is not so uncomfortable about other members of the church as to require Jack DeShazer to be at the lessons instead of someone else(if what I just wrote makes sense).  That's a huge step for her.  We are going to have a lesson with her tomorrow and we are going to bring Matt and Nicci Hollingsworth with us.  We are also going to be extending a baptismal goal for sometime in June.  The third person we've been teaching is a lady named Eva Donaldson.  She was actually a referral from the senior couple in Troy.  She lives at the Libby Care Center and is roommates with a less-active member of the Troy branch.  The Johnsons went to go visit this less-active lady, and now she wants to come back to church, and Eva wants to learn more about the church.  We have stopped by a couple times a week since then to read with her and see how she's doing.  She has been reading the pamphlets that we give her and she loves them.  She really likes to learn about the gospel and we are going to be talking about baptism with her hopefully soon.  I feel like the best part of being a missionary is seeing these people grab hold of the gospel and to see the change in their attitude, countenance, actions, etc.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is real.  I've seen the gospel change the lives of people where nothing else could.  It's incredible and it has just increased my own testimony so much.  Anyway I love you all and have another great week.

Elder Stacey