Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Biking In The Rain 10/29/2012

Hi Family,

We had a great week here in Moses Lake.  It has been really rainy and cold and apparently, in parts of the mission, even snowing a few inches.  It has just been raining here and we have been doing a ton of biking in the rain.  Interestingly enough, I would rather be biking in the rain and get wet than bike in the heat and have 100 bugs stuck on your suit coat every time you stop, which has recently been the alternative.  

We have been pretty steady these last couple weeks of picking up new investigators, but we have had somewhat of an issue of retaining them as investigators.  We have these really great and spiritual lessons with them and set up a time to come back and teach them again, and then the appointment falls through and it's difficult to meet up with them.  We were able to finally meet with one such family this week, which was great.  Their names are Janette and Jose, and we were fearing that they were just avoiding us, but we stopped by last week and had a lesson with them and they are still really interested, but super busy right now so it has just been a hit and miss with them.  It was a blessing that we went over there when we did however because when we went there, they weren't home.  Janettes mother was outside waiting for them to get home so we started talking to her.  

She lives in Soap Lake and a couple years ago had been taught by sister missionaries.  When they got transferred, the new ones didn't keep in contact with her so she fell off the radar.  Her family has been going through some difficult times right now and we were able to testify of the gospel and its ability to strengthen families.  It was so awesome and she told us that she wanted to have missionaries come by and teach her.  I really hope things go well with her.  

Another instance of this trend is a lady named Patricia.  She is renting from a member and has asked questions about the church, and the member invited her on a church tour, so we took her on one.  It was a great church tour and she loved it, and we set up a return appointment for last week, but she ended up canceling on us as well.  She told us she really liked what we taught and wants to keep learning, but now is not a great time for her.  

We don't really know what to do to help Hernan and Amada progress right now.  They have had some problems keeping the commitment of going to church and reading the scriptures, and we have had numerous lessons with them about those very things.  They keep promising us that they are going to come to church and read, but something always inevitably seems to come up and they decide not to go.  We did have a lesson with them last week regarding baptism and the Holy Ghost, talking about the two parts;  Baptism and the Gift of the Holy Ghost.  We then talked about how we take the sacrament to renew those promises and that is why we go to church.  I think that lesson hit her hard because after that she asked "so what does that mean for someone in my situation who hasn't been baptized."  We explained to her that that is the reason why we are baptized and why we are here.  To teach her and invite her so she can have those blessings.  She really felt the spirit that lesson, but still didn't show up for church, so we are running out of ideas for them.  

Other than that we had a great week of walking and finding people.  There is a lot of work to be done and the members have started giving us more referrals and people to see, which has been a blessing to us.  Love you all and hope you have an awesome week.

Elder Stacey

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Love My Missionary Experiences 10/22/2012

Dear Family,
We have had such a good week last week.  Fall is definitely in the air and our nights have started getting colder and darker=(  The cold and the dark are not things I particularly enjoy as a missionary.  Last year, there were so many people who would get upset at us knocking on their door at 4:30 because they were getting ready for bed.  Or the ones who tell us they’re not interested, and then in an almost sarcastic way tell us they hope we stay warm.  At the same time, I am excited for the winter as well.  I had a great time last winter in spite of the cold.  

Sometimes, I really feel spoiled as a missionary at the experiences I have had and the people I get to meet.  This week we had the privilege to take a lady named Patricia on a church tour.  She is renting from some members and has had some contact with members of the church in the past.  She has had only positive experiences with the church so far, and wanted to learn more about the church.  The spirit was so strong in that church tour, especially when we were at the picture of Christ being baptized.  After we taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel, we asked her that, if she were to find out the church was true, if she would be baptized, and without hesitation, she said yes.  I really believe that she has been touched by the Spirit and can feel that this message will change her life.  

Forest has been doing good as well.  Like I said, he was really excited to be able to take the sacrament for the first time last week, and was super disappointed that he would be in the hospital the next week.  He really does understand the meaning of the sacrament and the Gospel as a whole.  His surgery went well, but they found cancer in the growth they removed.  They now have to do some tests to see if the cancer has spread at all and if he would need to go through chemotherapy.  If you could keep him in your prayers that would be great.  

We had a lesson with Hernan and Amada on Saturday, and they told us they would be coming to church, which they did not do.  It has been really hard for us to help them come to church these last couple of months.  It's been really hit and miss with them.  This week we really feel as if we need to talk to them about the importance of the Sabbath day and coming to church.  I am very confident that they are going to be baptized, and I really wish I could be here for that, but I don't know that I will.  I just really hope that I can do something more to help them out with their testimonies and helping them feel ready for baptism.  

Those are some of the great things that happened this week.  These last couple weeks have been kind of a blur, not in a bad way, I just can't seem to think about everything I want to say when I sit down to the computer to talk about it, so sorry this email is a bit short.  But I love you all and hope you all have a great week.

p.s.  We are moving to another house next week.  Any mail sent should be sent to the mission office because I don't yet have the new address.  I will have it next week though.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Two Baptisms 10/15/2012

     Hey hows everybody doing?  We just got our transfer calls and Elder Isaacson and I are both staying another 6 weeks.  It is really exciting for me to be staying in Moses Lake for 1 more transfer.  The members here are wonderful and we have been working with them a lot my stay here.  One goal we have made for this upcoming transfer is to help both of the wards put more of an emphasis on the focus five list.  I don't know if the focus five is a church-wide program or just a program in this mission, but it is totally inspired to help the members and the missionaries coordinate work together and help us work together.  I have seen some success stories just in Moses Lake alone.  

     Anyway, we did have a great week that ended with a way awesome weekend as we were able to see two baptisms.  It was a really busy weekend, and stressful.  For me baptisms are really great and spiritual, but stressful as I feel like I need to make sure everything goes perfectly.  In my estimation, they both did.  Forests baptism has been one of my highlights in Moses Lake.  The spirit was so strong the whole time.  Forests nonmember sister and son and their families came to the baptism and they loved it.  Forest has been the most converted and prepared person I have ever met at by the time he was baptized.  One thing that I have learned from Forest is how, at times, the sacrament can be taken for granted by us.  The thing Forest was most distraught about after his baptism was that he would be going into surgery this week and would miss taking the sacrament for his first time for two weeks because of that.  When we let him know that he would be confirmed before the sacrament was administered, he lit up and was so excited he would be able to take the sacrament this week.  That is the joy of a person who completely understands the atonement of Jesus Christ and his role in our lives, and I am thankful to be able to know Forest and learn from his example.  

     The other baptism this week was not actually a convert baptism, but a baptism of a girl whose family I have gotten really close to in Moses Lake, the Hopkins.  Her name is Alexis, and it was a great opportunity for her and her family.  Elder Bernards came up actually this weekend so he could baptize her, so I was able to see him as well this week.  Like I said, the Hopkins family is a family I have come really close too and they have been going through a rough patch, and I really think this baptism was a needed spiritual boost for them.  

     Other than the weekend, we did have a good week.  We spent some time doing service for people, and we did a lot of tracting and street contacting, but we did not find any new investigators this week.  We were really busy however this week and are excited to work hard this transfer.  There is a lot I want to talk about but I can't think of anymore right now=( so I  hope you have a wonderful week.  Love you all.

Elder Stacey

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Moses Lake Is A Great Place To Be A Missionary 10/08/2012

Hi Everyone,   

 I love general conference!!!  I love listening to the prophet and others of the Lords servants.  I would have to say that the talk that I feel spoke to me the most was the talk given by President Monson in priesthood session about seeing people not as they are, but how they can become.  That talk I feel applies particularly to missionary work.  As you go out to meet people, it really is crucial that you see them through Gods eyes and in the potential they have than in seeing every little thing that needs to be fixed in their life.  Since I've been a missionary, I think one of the greatest lessons that I have learned so far is just that, to not judge people based on what they look like, or what they do, or how they talk, etc.  I am not perfect at it, but I know I have come to love the people I meet regardless of how they treat us or whether or not they accept our message and change because of it.  

Anyway though, we  had a wonderful week last week.  The highlight of the week was in finding a family who had been taught somewhat by the missionaries in the past.  They are the neighbors of some members and they told us to go knock on their house, so we did.  This family is such an awesome family.  They love the Bible and have great testimonies of our savior, but don't like organized religion.  They told us that when they had met with the missionaries in the past, that they were given a Book of Mormon to read and didn't really feel anything when they read it, so they just put it away.  We talked with them a lot about the Book of Mormon, its origins, and its role in the church.  We talked about how it wasn't meant to replace the Bible, but to go with the Bible, to be read together, and together the two books become a powerful witness of the Savior.  We helped them overcome many misconceptions they had about the Book of Mormon and when we were done, the father (James) told us he felt the spirit and was now intrigued to read the book.  They are a way nice family and have a lot of potential in the future.  

We met with Hernan and Amada this week and they are still progressing.  We talked about baptism with them again and asked them what they feel would be the greatest holdup for their family.  They responded by saying that they know they need to be baptized, (and to me, they sound like they want to as well) but they want to be able to make it more of a priority in their lives first and be able to feel like they can put their whole hearts into it.  We explained that there is not likely to ever be a "convenient" time in their lives in which everything is calm, but they can be and feel ready by reading the Book of Mormon, Praying as a family, and coming to church.  They committed to do all three, and they did come to conference and loved it.  

Forest is getting baptized on on Saturday!!!  He has invited all his nonmember family to the baptism and they are coming.  As well as a nonmember neighbor who he invited.  he's not a member yet, and he's doing great missionary work already.  he is so prepared and excited for his baptism.  More details to come next week.  Those were the highlights of the week.  

Elder Isaacson and I are loving working together and being in Moses Lake.  It is a great place to be a missionary.  I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Elder Stacey

p.s.  By the way mom, I did get the package with the ties and the Halloween package as well.  Thank  you so much, I love the ties.  Thanks for all you do.  For all your support and prayers.  I am thankful to have a family at home who supports me out here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Service 10/01/2012

Hello Everyone,

We had quite a busy week last week.  It started off a little slow as far as meeting with our investigators, but we made up for it by doing a bunch of service and street contacting.  We spent a lot of time moving people in to houses and doing some service projects in peoples yards, which was pretty nice.  I have come to really enjoy doing outdoor work when people ask us for their help.  We met a few really great potentials, but they all lived outside of our area, so other missionaries get to meet with them instead.  

We did find a new guy this last week while we were looking through the ward roster for a less active lady.  The woman just married her husband about a month ago I think it was and he is a wicken minister (I don't know if thats how you spell it).  When we got over there, he was telling us how he had missionaries come over in the past, but they never came back after a couple of visits.  He expressed interest in having all of the discussions and learning about the church, so we set up a time to see him and his wife this week.  He made it pretty clear he didn't want to join the church, just wants to learn about the church.  He was really nice though and he's got some potential.  

As far as our investigators are concerned, Forest is awesome and is so excited for his baptism on the 13th.  He got up in priesthood and was talking about how much  he has loved his experience in the church and how friendly and welcoming the ward has been to him.  Every time he reads from the Book of Mormon, and every time he prays he feels the spirit and he knows that this is right for him.  His decision is softening the hearts of his family as well and he will be a great influence to his whole family.  

Hernan and Amada both work now and it has been difficult to catch both of them home at the same time, but they love coming to church and when they can't come themselves, they arrange with the members to have their children go.  You can tell that they know going to church is important to them, and they love the spirit there.  I am sure that they will eventually be baptized as a family, so we continue to work with them and answer the questions that they have. 

Hailey is such a great person to teach.  She is the teenager who wants to get baptized, so her dad made a deal that if she will read the Book of Mormon and Bible and convince him it's a good idea to get baptized, he will let her do it.  We had a lesson with her yesterday at the Cranstons (her member friends) and it was a really great lesson.  She has such a strong and pure desire to follow Christ and be baptized.  We talked about family and how the gospel is meant to bless our families as a whole and invited her to talk to her parents about taking the missionary discussions, which she seemed pretty excited about.  I have never found a greater example of someone who was "kept from the truth only because they knew not where to find it."  Now that she has found the truth, she will grab hold of it, and she, just like Forest, could be crucial in helping her family come to the gospel.  

We are seeing great miracles in Moses Lake and are loving every moment we have to find and to teach people the gospel of Jesus Christ.  My testimony grows stronger and stronger every day as we study the scriptures and go out with diligence to find and teach these people.  I am looking forward to a great week and hope you have a great week as well.  Love you all. =)

Elder Stacey