Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Crazy Awesome Week 8/27/2012

     We had a crazy awesome week this last week.  That man, Spoon, who came to church last week, we have been able to have two lessons with.  He is doing great and has told us he wants to be baptized.  He is praying about September 29th as a date.  He has made comments on how his Indian tribe always taught these great principles that they should follow, and about how in their beliefs, they teach that Jesus Christ came to visit their people.  He talked about how they were only things that were passed down from generation to generation and never written down or recorded.  So the fact that he sees all these things recorded in the Book of Mormon is a big deal for him.  We have another appointment with him today.  

Forest came to church as well this week and bore his testimony in Gospel principles class.  We have decided to back off on the tithing issue so much and focus more on the basics, to help him gain more of a testimony of the gospel and its principles.  We continue to pray for him, that he will be able to overcome his fears and get baptized soon so he can enjoy the blessings now.  We also met with a very less-active woman who was evicted from her house last week.  The bishop sent us to talk to her to see what exactly it was she wanted/needed help with from the church.  We went by and talked to her and her two nonmember children for a bit and invited them to come to church, which they did.  She told us that church was something that she wanted to make a part of her life again, so we hope to be able to work with her and her kids more in the coming weeks.  

Things are going great here and I have faith that we will continue to see miracles in Moses Lake.  This next week is the last week of the transfer and my companion, Elder Bernards is going home.  We have had a lot of great times and it has been great to serve with him.  It feels real weird to be killing off a companion and I don't want to do it again.  Anyway, I hope you all have a great week and love you.

    A couple things real quick,  President and Sister Mullen have put together a mission website called which is a blog on the mission and how things are going on in it.  If any of you are interested, that is the site.  Also, that is so cool that you all are going to Leavenworth.  That is just a little more than an hour away from me.  It is part of our mission and there are sister missionaries serving there right now.  I don't know if you've ever been there, but I hear it rocks so have fun.

     Mom, you have been on my mind a lot this last week.  I have so much respect for relief society presidents and the work they do.  Especially as a missionary, I have learned to work with them so much and they are a great asset to the work because of the devotion they put into their calling and thinking of others.   I know you are perfect for the job because you care about people and I know you have a great testimony of this gospel.  Just know that my prayers are going out to you.  Have a great week, love you.

Elder Stacey

Monday, August 20, 2012

Finally - Some Photos

Josh Dale's Baptism
Moses Lake, Washington

Our last district meeting of last transfer

Us with our mini missionary, Bro. Simpson
Moses Lake, Washington

Helping Sis. Braun make dinner.
Libby, Montana

The swinging bridge.
Kootenai Falls, Montana

Kootenai  Falls,  Montana

Me eating a disgusting dried squid.
Sis. Braun brought it back from her trip to Japan.
Libby, Montana

Elder Stacey and Elder Hatch

Libby, Montana

Carl and Linda Dabel
Libby, Montana

Moses Lake
Moses Lake, Washington

Moses Lake is Awesome 8/20/2012

    I only have a few days to report on since I last wrote.  First of all I guess I should start with my back.  It doesn't hurt, but my companion has been going to this guy for about 2 months now.  I decided one day to ask about my posture, if my spine had anything to do with it, and if that was the case, would it be wise to do any chiropractic work on it.  He told me to set up an appointment and he would check it out.  So thats kind of what happened there.  

The last part of the week has been great.  Moses Lake is awesome.  We have had a few solid weeks where all the lessons in Sunday school and priesthood/relief society were focused on missionary work.  Because of that, we got some great referrals from members on Sunday.  Even though Amy has expressed that she is not interested at this time in learning anymore from us, she is still okay with us teaching her daughter Kylie, and something great happened there.  Originally, she wanted to wait to get baptized until her uncle got home from his mission so he could baptize her, but that is still more than a year away.  On Friday, she told us she doesn't want to wait for that and she just wants to get baptized as soon as she can.  We talked about the Holy Ghost with her and told her how much of a blessing the gift of the Holy Ghost would be in her life, and she is really enthusiastic to be getting baptized.  That baptism will be a great blessing for that whole family and I'm sure Kylie will be such a positive influence for her family.  

We had a members non-member friend show up to church yesterday.  He is actually the friend of this members daughter who is a less-active right now.  He went to church once before and afterwards he told her he couldn't believe she had left.  He felt something different in this church that he didn't feel in any other church he'd ever been to.  It intrigued him enough to come a second time and he seemed to really enjoy it.  He wants to start having the missionaries come over, so we have an appointment with him today and are praying that will go well.  Things are looking to be great this week, but even if things don't turn out the way they are planned I am working on having a good attitude anyway.  That has been a challenge for me that I know I need to work on.  Missionary work can be a roller-coaster of emotions in a week and I have learned that I need to have a good attitude and be optimistic in the ups and the downs.  Once again, I am glad to hear everybody is doing well.  Love you all and have a good week.

p.s.  random fact about Moses Lake I learned this week.  Moses Lake and other cities in Central Washington are part of an extensive irrigation system, that began during the great depression, starting at the Grand Coulee Damn, and ending somewhere by the Tri-Cities.  Water is pumped directly from the Columbia river and travels down a series of reservoirs, and all the unused water ends back up in the Columbia.  Because of this, there is basically infinite water supply for the farmers around here, and the water, I guess, is uber cheap.  This is why there is such a heavy LDS population in Moses Lake, because when this irrigation system began, land was really cheap and a ton of LDS farmers from Utah moved up here so they didn't have to compete.

Thursday P-Day 8/16/2012

   So, first of all, today is obviously not monday, and I totally forgot to tell you that our p-day this week was on Thursday=O.  Sorry.  My companion has a convert going through the temple today, so we got permission to go to that this week.  This will be my first time going to the temple in almost a year, which I am really excited about, and it could not have come at a better time I'm sure.  We have had a really hectic week and a half and it will be nice to get some extra spiritual energy that the temple can offer.  In the Moses Lake Stake, the stake presidency has made a HUGE push on families and couples going to the temple as often as occasion would allow.  He even exercised his priesthood keys as a stake president during stake conference in which he issued, in my mind, a pretty incredible promise.  He promised that if every worthy family in the stake would attend the temple at least monthly that he believed that divorce could be completely eliminated in the stake.  That is a pretty grand promise in my mind.  Anyway, I digress from my point.  My point was that having this huge push on going to the temple it has made me miss not being able to go to the temple as often myself.  It's something you wouldn't really think about sacrificing as a missionary, but it is a sacrifice only to be able to go to the temple once every three months at the most, and generally not even that.  We had, like I said a hectic week.  To start with the good, we met Forest last week, and he told us that he is ready to make the commitment of coming to church every week.  He is SOOO CLOSE to baptism.   We had a few good contacts on the street and from some referrals as well that looked really promising when we first met them, and after that, they dropped us.  Also, our investigator Amy dropped us on Monday as well because she said that she wasn't ready to make the commitments necessary.  We did have zone conference last week which was a great and needed spiritual boost.  Quite a bit of what President Mullen and his wife talked about was essentially not getting yourself down.  Too often we are our own worst critics and we beat ourselves up for every little mistake that we do or make.  He mentioned to us how much Christ loves us and recounted something that Elder Holland talked about in conference (now I'm about to butcher this statement but it's a good one anyway).  He said essentially that surely one of the greatest Joys of God is when he gets to be merciful.  Christ is a merciful being, not a judgmental being.  Ultimately he will inflict the least amount of punishment on us as he can( something he quoted from I think president Faust).  Our human nature causes us to fall short every day, but thats why we have repentance and the Sacrament.  So long as you are always trying to be better, you will be enough to the Lord.  They talked a lot about never giving up as well.  You can fail 1000 times, but the moment you give up is when Satan wins.  So ultimately his advice to missionaries,(and I think you can include anybody) who continually judge themselves for not being better was "You are a child of God and you are enough to Him."  This may be a sappy email this week, but I felt like maybe somebody could use it. that's about it for me this week though.  Love you all and have a good week.=)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Things Going Well 8/06/2012

     We had a busy week this week.  We have spent the majority of the week trying to find new investigators because we have a little trouble retaining our current ones.  It's been ongoing every week since I got to Moses Lake, where one week we have a ton of lessons with investigators, and then the next week, we don't have those investigators anymore, with the exception of a couple who have been progressing.  Forest is SOOO close to baptism, but can't make that leap of faith right now that if he pays tithing, the Lord will take care of him.  He knows he needs to pay tithing and get baptized, and he says he's even willing to do it when he figures out how to budget it, but in his mind right now, it is either; pay tithing and cut off helping his son and grandsons, or help his son, and not pay tithing right now.  We keep trying to show him how the Lord will take care of not only him, but his grandsons as well if he keeps the commandments, but he needs to figure that out for himself before he can make that commitment.  Satan is working on him real hard right now.  He decided not to go to church this week for not any real reason, and in Sunday school, we had a lesson that, if he were there, I'm sure would have helped immensely to overcome his concerns.  Amy seems to have been really hard to get a hold of since her boyfriend came back.  Hopefully we'll be able to make contact with her this week.  We taught a guy named Daniel who we did some service for last week.  We finally go into his home and taught him and his 14 year old sister-in-law the restoration.  He told us he was willing to explore and study about the church.  He said he is open to learn more and if he received a confirmation that the things we taught are true, he would get baptized.  His sister-in-law seemed to be listening pretty intently as well and we are hoping that we will be able to meet with them again.  This week we have a mini missionary coming from Spokane for the whole week and that is really exciting.  Other than that, not much to report.  Things are going well and hope you all have a great week.  Love you.