Monday, September 24, 2012

FALL IS IN THE AIR - or maybe it's just smoke 9/24/2012

Hello from Moses Lake.  Fall is in the air and things are beginning to cool down quite a bit here.  Part of it may be the fires in Wenatchee that have caused a ton of smoke in the air.  It has been smoggy all week from those fires and it's starting to get a little irritating.  But anyway, we had a great week.  

We found a really cool couple this week while we were tracting.  The wife was out by her car so we started talking to her about the church and she invited us to come back the next day.  We did and her husband was there as well.  They both grew up Catholic, but told us they were open about learning and exploring other religions.  The wife (Janette) in particular has had some great experiences with members of the church in the past, and I guess that sparked her curiosity.  We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the spirit was way strong.  With a little commitment and member fellowship I really believe that they could both gain a testimony of the church and want to be baptized.

We have been teaching Forest more often now that he is on date for the 13th of October.  I am so proud of him and the decision he's made to make this a priority in his life.  It could be really easy for somebody in his position to make excuses about why they shouldn't, or can't make such a commitment, but he knows it's right and he knows that is what he needs to do and he doesn't let things get in the way of putting the Lord first.  I know that is going to be a wonderful baptism.  

Speaking of baptism, Kylie's baptism was yesterday and it-like all baptisms-was a very spiritual event.  Her nonmember mother and soon-to-be step-dad were both there and you could tell they felt the spirit.  Kylie will be such a good influence in that family and to those she meets.  I really hope that the spiritual feelings at the baptism, as well as the example that Kylie will be, will eventually soften her parents hearts to the Gospel.  They are good people who just need the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost in their lives.  

I don't remember if I talked about it last week or not, but we've started teaching a teenage girl who really wants to be baptized.  It started by her being invited to girls camp and her experience there was so great, she bore her testimony and expressed genuine interest to learn more and become baptized.  That was about 2 months before we began teaching her, but when we did, she really had pure desire to learn and to have answers to questions that only the Gospel can satisfy.  Her mom is apparently okay with her being baptized, but her dad doesn't want her to.  He made her a deal that if she could read the Book of Mormon and the Bible completely through, and then convince him that the church is true and it would be a good idea to get baptized, then he would let her do it.  A statement like that tells me there could be potential for him as well though, because if he could be convinced the church is true by his daughter, then I'm sure he would want to be baptized as well. From what I know of her, if anyone could do it she could.  

There is much work to be done here and I am grateful to be a part of that work.  I feel so thankful that the Lord would trust me with this part of his "vineyard".  I know I'm not a perfect person,  I guess thankfully he doesn't expect us to be perfect, but I try my hardest everyday, and try to improve my abilities everyday, and know that as long as I'm working my hardest that the Lord will make up the rest.  I am able to see improvements in myself everyday, and I'm so thankful for a Savior to help us when we do fall short.  I love the Gospel, and I love being a missionary and teaching people about the Gospel.  I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.

Elder Stacey


First of all (I keep forgetting so I have to write this first)  Yes, the suit fits great.  I love it, as well as the pears=) and other stuff you sent.  They have been much appreciated.  

We had a week of miracles this last week.   It started with our member fellowshipper for Kylie calling us and informing us that Kylie wanted to be baptized and that her family was in complete support of it.  This was great news for us because when I first got here, Kylie wanted to wait for her uncle to get home from his mission so he could baptize her.  He left after I did so that would have still taken another year plus.  The baptism is scheduled for this upcoming Sunday and it is going to be great.  

Forest committed to a date as well!!!  He has told us that he has made up his decision and is ready to put his whole heart into the gospel now.  He is so excited for his baptism on Oct. 13th.  He is so prepared and has a great understanding of the church and the gospel.  He has talked with his whole family about it and they are supportive of him as well.  The mission has been such a great time to meet people that you would have never had a chance to know in your life, and I am grateful for that opportunity.  I learn so much with every person that I meet and get to know, and most importantly I have found that I love these people and wish to do anything I can to help them receive the restored gospel.  Forest is no exception.  I feel so privileged and blessed to know him, and he has been a great example for me in Moses Lake.  

We met with Hernan and Amada this week with the Spanish sisters in Moses Lake.  We wanted the Spanish sisters to come because we wanted to talk specifically about baptism with the family and last time we did that, there was a bit of a language barrier.  We didn't want to take chances this time and we were glad to have the sisters because it was a way spiritual lesson.  We were able to find more of their concerns than we previously had and we had the opportunity to talk about the Spanish branch with them, which we feel would really be a better fit for them at the present time at least.  They did both say however that while they did not feel ready for baptism, that they have loved the feelings they get when they come to church and fellowship with the members, and ultimately I think baptism is their goal.  So we continue to work with them.  

We met with Johnny aka Spoon for the first time in about two weeks which was wonderful.  Spoon is one of the most prepared people I have met, and I love to go and visit with him.  He LOVES to talk, and because of that it can be somewhat difficult to teach him at times, but he is learning quickly and now he has expressed interest in taking his whole family to church next week to see how they feel about the church.  We have had many other great things happen and I wish I had the time to talk about all of them.  Needless to say I am happy to be here and I am thankful for the work we have right now.  I am so thankful to have Elder Isaacson as a companion as well.  He is awesome and I love working with him.  Thats about it for me.  Love you all and have a great week.

Elder Stacey

Monday, September 10, 2012

Short Email 9/10/2012

    Hello everybody, how are things going for you all?  Things are going great here.  I got my new companion on Tuesday and his name is Elder Isaacson.  He's fresh out of the mtc and he is really excited to be out here to work.  We had kind of a slow week this week as far as lessons are concerned, but we did have good lessons with most of our investigators.  We had a lesson with Forest this week and when he came to church, he mentioned to us that he was ready to make the commitment to be a part of the church and he wanted us to let him know everything he had to do to be worthy to get baptized.  So when we go over there this week we will be talking about that.  The family that we're teaching from the Dominican Republic-Hernan and Amada- are progressing well.  They have had a lot of fellowship from the ward and are loving their experience with the church.  We are hoping to have a lesson with them this week when the spanish sisters can come as well where we can talk about baptism and make sure that there is not a language barrier like there was last time.  We have had kind of a slump as far as finding new people to teach this last couple weeks.  We received some promising referrals though that we need to contact and hopefully get some investigators out of it.  I can't really think of a whole lot more to update on.  I am way excited to be spending another transfer in Moses Lake.  Its a great place and I have been so thankful for my time here.  I love you all and have a great week.  Sorry this email is a bit shorter.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Killed" a Companion 9/03/2012

     There is a lot going on in my head right now.  First of all, Elder Bernards has left and I am spending the next two days with some other elders in my district.  Like I said before, killing a companion is not a particularly enjoyable thing.  I really enjoyed my time serving with him, as I have with all my companions so far.  I don't yet know exactly who my new companion will be until tomorrow morning.  

I'm staying in Moses Lake for another transfer and I am really excited about that.  There are great things happening here and I love that I get to be a part of it.  Johnny, aka Spoon was at church again on Sunday and he is progressing really well.  He has completely believed everything we taught him so far and has told us he wants to be baptized.  He has really unique concerns that I have not seen before.  His concern is that it is so good to be true that he almost expects to get some fine print details in the questions he asks, but when he gets the answer that he wanted to hear, and that makes sense to him, it throws him off.  It's opposite of what I'm used too.  Instead of trying to prove it wrong, he's trying to prove it right, and he wants to make sure that we will teach him everything he needs to know to be a member before he becomes a member, which is exactly what we do as missionaries.  I've decided it might be a unique concept to other people that we will break down the door to teach everyone about the gospel, but the moment they begin to be interested in what we teach and in baptism, we begin to throw up these barriers of sorts to make sure they are prepared and ready to make that decision for themselves.  So anyway, he is doing great and soaking in everything we are teaching him.  

Forest has been making good progress with regards to coming to church as well.  He has attended the last two Sundays in a row and every time he goes to church he has had great answers to questions he's had.  He is a prime example of someone gaining revelation from church attendance.  His major concern still is that if he pays tithing, then he will have to cut off supporting his grandsons, and we have been trying to explain to him using various scriptures and analogies,  that Heavenly Father and Christ would not let his grandsons suffer because he made a choice to follow them, but it is something he will have to figure out for himself.  We have decided last week that we are going to focus less on tithing now, though, and more on the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how exactly the Gospel fits into his life.  I continue to pray that he will gain the faith necessary to put his trust in the Lord and make that final step. 

 The Dominican family we are teaching are doing great.  We left them 2 neph 31 to read as a family and when we went back to follow up, the 11 year old (Alex) had a question about baptism.  His question was asking about the need to be baptized because Christ was also baptized.  The parents were baptized before in the Catholic church, but their children never were, so Alex was pretty excited about the prospect of baptism, so we will be talking about that this week when we meet with them.  Other than that, we have been working with members these past few weeks and teaching them about missionary work and how to be effective member missionaries.  If ever you are in doubt about what to say to nonmember friends, just read D&C(and other scriptures) and find all the promises associated with doing missionary work.  For example D&C 33:7-10, D&C 84:80,85,88, and D&C 100:5-8 are all great scriptures that give us great promises and blessings if we go out and share the gospel with our friends.  We are never alone when sharing the gospel.  Thats about it from me this week.  I hope everybody has a great week.  Love you.