Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Last Email COMING HOME 9/04/2013

Hello Everyone,    
     Oh my goodness.  I really can't believe that this will be my last email in the Spokane Mission.  In my mind, this is just another week, and I will wake up next Monday getting ready for another p-day.  I don't know that I will truly comprehend it until I am coming off the plane in SLC.  Either way, there is a lot to do this week.  We have so many appointments and team teaching lessons set up this week, and Elder Cahoon and I need to prepare a training for the zone on Friday.  I am actually really grateful to have such a busy schedule my last week.
     This last week has been a great one.  In many of our trainings lately, we've been focusing on the Atonement, and how to apply it into every aspect of our teaching.  We have seen many blessings come from that.  Christina was one of those that has really progressed since her understanding of the Atonement has grown, and since we have been focusing on it.  
     Just yesterday, we had a lesson with Ryan and Tabitha as well and we were able to focus the entire lesson on how they can apply the Atonement to their individual circumstances, and the spirit was definitely felt.  After our lesson with them yesterday, Tabitha was a lot more cheery, and on board with coming to church.
     We took a member last week, Bro Freir, on a church tour.  He hasn't come to church for a few years now because of his schedule, but when we took him on the tour, he was really touched by the Spirit and said he feels he really needs to make it back to church.  After that, he went as far as to check his Sunday schedule to see if there was a way around working on Sundays or at least some Sundays.  He is still in the process of figuring that out.  I seriously love taking people, member or not, through the church.  You can't help but feel peace, and God's love in there as everything is focused on the savior.  They are so awesome.
     Thats it from me this week.  I love you all and am excited as well to get to see you next week.  Missions are the best, and I am so thankful to have been able to serve one.  Once again love you=)

Elder Stacey

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Temple Trip 8.29.2013

     Good afternoon.  Sorry this is going to be a super short email home, but we don't have much time left for emailing after our trip home from the temple.  I love traveling up here though.  The scenery is so beautiful and green.  I never get tired of it.  I really enjoyed this session, especially being able to see the new video.  Everyone was talking about it, so finally we were able to see it.  I really love going to the temple.  There is such a special peace that can be felt there.  I feel it every time.
     All of our investigators are currently doing great.  Christina has come to church the last two weeks in a row with her children, and things are just getting better and better for her.  She has made the decision she wants to make an attempt again at quitting smoking, and we were able to give her a blessing to help with that.  I know she'll be able to conquer it eventually because she is a pretty strong-willed person, and when you have God on your side, of course, nothing is impossible.
     We have had some hit and miss meetings with Chris.  He told us a couple weeks ago he was going to attend another church, but when we stopped by and talked about the Book of Mormon, he was still wanting to learn more about it,  so we are still working with him and helping him come to church.
     Tom and Heidi are still awesome.  Still coming to church, actively participating in church activities and service projects, and studying the scriptures.  I really pray things will be able to work out soon with them so they can be baptized.
     Sorry this is so short, but things are really going great and I am excited for a great week next week.  By the way, our p-day next week will be Wed instead of Mon because of Labor day.  It's super weird that it will be my last one as a missionary.  Love you all and have a great week.

Another Mini-missionary 8.19.2013

     Good day everybody.  I hope your all doing great!  This week was so much fun to have another mini-missionary with us.  This ones name was Tyler, and he was great.  I swear the youth just get stronger and stronger as the years go by.  He has a great testimony and contributed so much to the teaching of our investigators while he was here.
     We have seen a lot of miracles this last week.  One of the biggest for me, however,  is that Christina came to church yesterday, and loved it.  She has really bounced back and is beginning to progress again as we've begun to take a step back and focus again on the atonement.  President Packers quote always rings so true with me when teaching investigators that "The study of doctrine will change attitudes and behaviors quicker than the study of behavior."  I have really seen it time and time again, that when somebody understands the Doctrine of Christ, they change.  They feel impressed to repent and keep the commandments and they actually do it.
     Tom and Heidi are always great examples for me to look up to in patience.  Things just keep coming up for them that are completely out of their control at this point and it is enough to be able to frustrate anybody.  They are so patient with their trials though, reading the scriptures, praying, and ultimately trusting in the Lord.  They are still optimistic, and excited for when they will be baptized.
     We had a sweet finding miracle this week.  Our bishop contacted us and told us there was a less active in the ward (Ryan) that wanted to come back to church.  We set up a time to go meet him and when we go there, we were able to teach not only him, but his girlfriend as well.  He is super pumped about the gospel right now.  So much so that he is working on getting a Book of Mormon put into every room at the hotel that he works at.  His girlfriend (Tabitha) is not quite so excited as he is about learning, but we have been teaching her anyway.  She committed to read the Book of Mormon, and if God told her it was scripture, then she said she would be baptized.  We pray that she will actually read it.
      Thats about all the news from this week.  Next week I will not be emailing until at least Thursday.  I will be going to the temple=)  I'm super excited, this is the first time in almost a year that I have had the opportunity to go.  I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week.
p.s.  I did get the box of cookies. Thank you so much mom.  They are super delicious.  Love you

Monday, August 12, 2013

Part Member Families 8/12/2013

     This has been another great week in Sandpoint.  Our mini-missionary, Bro. Wood, left yesterday, but the news came Saturday night that we are getting another mini-missionary from the Spokane West stake.  He will be with us for this whole week.  I think that is a great program to help the priests know what missionary work is like and get them excited for when they have the opportunity to go themselves.
     Once again, this was a good week.  Tom and Heidi are progressing still and will get baptized when they are able to.  Christina has been doing so much better this week.  She went to a ward activity this last week and socialized with the ward members.  That really helped and she is more optimistic about the gospel again.  She was talking to Heidi and Heidi was bearing her testimony on how excited she was to be getting baptized and how great of a thing it will be when Christina gets baptized too.
  We found a part member family that has some interest in meeting with us in the future.  The Jones family is a family we have tried contacting on and off when we are in the area since I got here.  We finally made contact with the husband, who is a member this last week.  We had a great doorstep lesson with him and his wife.  As we testified of the Book of Mormon, he told us he felt a desire to pick it up and read it again, so we pray he will do that.  They are out of town this week, but they told us we could come back next week.  
    We took another part member family on a church tour this week which was awesome.  Stan was baptized in November and his daughter is visiting from Ireland for 2 months.  She was pretty interested in checking out the church.  I was on exchanges during the tour, but heard that the spirit was super strong there.  She came to church with him this week which she really enjoyed.
     We were able to have President Boren, who is a counselor in the mission presidency to come to our zone meeting that we had this last week.  He had a quote that really stuck out to me from President Benson I believe.  It went something like,  "When you put God first in your life, all other things in your life will either drop out, or be put into its proper place."  I think about how true that is.  It might not make sense on paper, but when God is #1 in our lives, everything works out.  The happiest and most progressing investigators I have ever taught, have understood and lived that principle, and I have had to exercise that faith as a missionary as well.  I may have said this before, but there are many things I have been asked to do in these last two years that have been very difficult, but when I put my trust in God and just do it, things just work out.
     I love you all and hope you have a great week.  Talk to you next week=)

Elder Stacey

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Mini Mission 8/05/2013

    Hey, sorry I don't have a lot of time today.  We have been real busy today getting things ready for a mini missionary that will be with us this week.  I don't know if you remember last year, but we had the opportunity to to the same thing last August when I was in Moses Lake.  It's a pretty neat experience to have I'm sure for a priest who is preparing to serve a mission.  But like I said, we do have to get a few things ready.  
     This week has been great.  The big news for the week is that Elisha came to church finally!!!  Missionaries have been teaching her for over three months now and have never been able to help her come to church.  We were considering dropping her, and kind of did, but then we stopped by to give her something and she told us she was going to make an effort to come to church.  She did and it was great.  We pray that she will continue coming to church because she really wants to be baptized.
     Chris has been out of town and we haven't been able to contact him this week=(
     Christina has cancelled our last few appointments and we are worried about her.  She still reads the Book of Mormon, which is good, but has not been wanting to meet for lessons for a while now.
     Elder Cahoon and I have spent a lot of time finding and inviting.  It has been great, and I love working with Elder Cahoon.  He is the most energetic missionary/person I may have ever met in my entire life, and it carries over to his missionary efforts.  He loves people, he loves to work, and is constantly smiling.  It will be a great transfer.
     Thats about it for the week.  I can't really think of anything that I need mom.  I will likely be sending some stuff home fairly soonish.  One of those is my bike.  I am really hoping that there is a family that is going to Utah and wouldn't mind taking it, because UPS charges something like $150.  Other than that things are moving right along.  Things are great.  Love you and hope you have a great week=)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Last Transfer 7/29/2013

      Good morning!  We had a great week last week.  The weather has been beautiful, but the word on the street is that it is going to change, and soon.  People say that they feel an early Fall and Winter coming on and it could happen as soon as before I leave.  I hope it doesn't.  At the same time, however, people aren't that great at predicting weather up here.  Pretty much everything that has been predicted has been false or late or early.
    It is always a bittersweet time to see a missionary you love go home, especially when he's your companion.  I really loved serving with Elder Williams.  He was a great, bold, and powerful teacher.  I will be staying in Sandpoint for my last transfer, and my new companions name is Elder Cahoon, and I am way excited for that.  I've served around him before and he is such and optimistic and enthusiastic missionary.  By the way mom, I totally forgot to tell you last week, yes I did get the card, thank you very much=)
     We had an awesome miracle happen to us last week.  We were tracting in a trailer court and ran into this guy named Chris outside with his three kids.  We started talking to him about the church and he told us he was already invited to go to a church that week.  We asked him where and he described exactly where our church is in Sandpoint, so we told him.  As it turns out, he worked with a member from our ward named Katie and she invited him to come to church with her.  His wife recently left him and he is in a real humble spot right now, and he really wants to  learn about the church.  So he went to church last Sunday and we met up with him for a lesson on Tuesday.  When we went over, someone else that we had tracted into that previous day, who was not interested was over at his house.  His name is Donnie.  We started teaching both of them and they are both committed to reading the Book of Mormon and praying. 
     I just love member missionary work.  There is no way that Chris would be as interested as he is if his member friend hadn't talked to him.  I love the push that is going on with members and missionaries working closer together.  The Sunnyside ward is on fire right now, especially our bishop.  He is working so hard to change the culture of the ward toward missionary work, and he is leading by example.
     There is good news about Heidi as well.  All of the legal things that needed to get done before she could be baptized are coming together and it's looking like she can get baptized either by the end of August, or sometime in September.  I may have said this before, but Heidi is without a doubt the most prepared and converted person I have ever taught on the mission.  She makes an effort to read the Book of Mormon every day, and come to church every week, no matter what else is going on in the week, and it shows.  She is so spiritual and strengthening her testimony every day.
     Lastly, we might be able to start teaching this family who has been coming to church for about 8 months now and haven't ever met with missionaries.  They are not members, but come to all three hours of church every week, pay tithing, and their daughter wants to be baptized.  It's kind of a long story of why the missionaries haven't taught them, but suffice it to say that we will hopefully start teaching their daughter either the end of this week or sometime next week.
     Thats about it from me this week.  Great things are happening here.  Great miracles.  I love you all, and have a great week too=)

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ripe and Ripening 7/22/2013

     Good morning everyone, how are things for all of you???  Things are going great here in Sandpoint.  We are emailing a little earlier today by the way mom because Elder Williams is going home this week, so he needed to get some things done and we needed to email earlier.  Because he is going home this week, that means that transfers are next week, so I will let you know Monday what happens.  More likely than not, I will stay in Sandpoint, which I am okay with, it has been a great place to serve.
     This last week was kind of an interesting one.  Between helping the sister missionaries find a new apartment, and dealing with 2 accidents we were involved in (nobody was hurt, and I was not the driver) we spent a lot of time doing paper work, and not missionary stuff=(  It was kind of annoying to be honest (the accident stuff), but it needed to be done.
     We have great news with Heidi.  She finally has her divorce nearly finalized and things are rolling with that.  She has just had so many things that are out of her control that have kept her from being baptized months ago, but they are all coming together and she is so excited to be baptized in the next month or two.
     We have been teaching Christina, and she is struggling right now.  She isn't on date anymore and she is finding it real difficult to trust that the Atonement has the power to actually heal her.  Just pray for her to be able to withstand the temptations that Satan brings to her.  She needs that extra help right now.
     We have had a lot of great success in the past few weeks, but right now, not many of our investigators are progressing or keeping commitments, so we have gone through and are going to continue to go through a huge dropping spree.  We really have felt that we need to stop teaching these people and let the Lord prepare them a little more, and let other missionaries teach them later. Dan, the guy we taught a couple weeks ago is one of these people.  He was on date for August 10th, but hasn't kept any commitments, from reading to going to church, since we taught him the first time.  He is super nice though and hopefully with the last lesson we will have with him this week, we can help his faith in Christ grow to the point he wants to change.
     I don't know if I've ever talked about Elisha, but missionaries were teaching her for about 2 months before we got here.  She went to church last week for the first time, which was the most progress we'd seen in her.  Her husband is a less active, and his family are all active in another ward in the stake.  She is super interested in the church, and wants to learn more about it.  She would be baptized before we got here if she would go to church, but it is something that really intimidates her for some reason.  Like the majority of our teaching pool, she is not really  progressing at this point, and we feel that it would be best if we let her sit for a while as well.
     I feel that perhaps one of the greatest lessons I've learned in these last 5 weeks in Sandpoint is the value of not lingering with people who aren't showing progression.  We are looking for people who are prepared, or "ripe", and if they are not ripe yet, then we let them sit and ripen some more, and look for those who are ripe.  It has taken a lot of faith on our part that the Lord will bless our efforts to find the elect and re-fill our teaching pool, but we have been blessed with finding so many people.
     Thats about it from this week.  I love you all and pray for you all.  Hope you have a great week.  

Love this license plate!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Leadership Training Meeting 7/15/2013

This has been a great week in Sandpoint.  The weather is so nice outside, sunny and not too hot.  People are outside and we as well have been out talking with everybody.  This last week, we had a leadership training meeting in which we discussed a really interesting topic.  It was about the Godhead, and the importance of teaching people the nature of God.  Despite the fact that all three of the first lessons begin in some way or another by stating "God is our loving Heavenly Father."  we tend to skip over it, or at least just brush past it and start talking about something else.  As president Mullen had said it, that is the core doctrine of all doctrines.  Everything stems from the fact that God is the Father of our spirits and His work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  When people understand the gospel in that context, and understand our relationship with God, they are so much more motivated to live the gospel and receive true conversion.  When we had that training, I thought back to all the investigators that I had taught throughout my mission up to that point, and it is so true.  The people that progressed the most were the ones that understood the nature of the Godhead.  Something else they talked about that I thought was interesting, was something that was talked about by a general authority to the new mission presidents.  He said essentially that one of the great ways for Satan to stop progression was to distort the nature of the Godhead, so when the world fell into apostacy, that was one of the first doctrines to be corrupted.  Anyway, I'm rambling=) but it really was a great meeting.
    We are trying to make daily contact with Christina and her family, and she is doing well. Christina is one of those people who is seeking to be converted.  Quite a bit of what we teach is helping her to recognize the influence of God in her life, and the more she understands, the more she wants to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
     The church tour we had with Dan didn't go through=( He remembered and even cancelled other appointments so he could make it (we had stopped by the day before to confirm with him)  but he had lost track of time and when noon hit, he was doing another activity.  We will meet up with him later this week.
     Unfortunately, we have had to drop a number of investigators because they really are not progressing.  That is one of the hardest things to do as a missionary.  Because of that, we have spent so much time tracting and finding through other efforts. There are some great people that we have made contact with and we need to just follow up with them.  The ward here is great.  The members here are always looking for people that we can teach and they are great examples to their friends.  I feel truly blessed to be in this area around so many great people.
     Thats about it from my end.  Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week=)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Teaching 7/09/2013

     Good morning! So I was not able to email yesterday because we had interviews with president Mullen.  It was great being with president and sister Mullen and to receive guidance from them.  They are so diligent and hard working in their calling.  Because of that though, our p-day was changed to  today, sorry I forgot to tell you last week.  It has been a great week.  4th of July week was a little slower because everybody was out of town.  Sandpoint is a great destination point for people to visit except if you live there, then everybody leaves for the week.  It was a beautiful Independence day, and it was spent mostly street contacting downtown Sandpoint.
      We had a lot of meetings last week as well, which only added to the inability to teach some of our investigators.  The highlight of the week has definitely been teaching Christina.  We are teaching some of the most prepared people I have ever met during my time as a missionary, and Christina is one of them.  We helped her build a fence last week, and afterwards gave her the word of wisdom pamphlet and gave the rundown.  At first, she was super leery about it and told us she didn't think she could do it.  We invited her to pray and ask Heavenly Father for help.  The next few meetings we had with her are a perfect example of someone who has pure motives, and has real intent.  Within the last week she went from not thinking she would be able to quit smoking, to believing that she could, but it would take months, to our lesson yesterday.  Yesterday we invited her to have a goal to quit within two weeks, and she told us, "Well, I was thinking I could be done by this Friday."  She has felt the atonement in her life and she is going to keep going in the direction that will enable her to receive the peace the gospel brings.  She is so excited about it too.  Since we began teaching her 3 weeks ago, her countenance has changed so much, and you can see a great light of hope in here eye.
     We started teaching a guy named Dan who is way awesome.  He was taught be missionaries about 3 years ago, but moved to North Dakota for work.  He is back now, and wants God more in his life for his family.  When we stopped by he was thrilled to have us back and teach him.  His desires are pure and he really just wants to do whats right.  We taught him the Restoration and invited him to be baptized in August, which he readily accepted and wants his whole family to be involved.  We will meet with his whole family later this week.
     It has been such a blessing to serve in Sandpoint.  There are the greatest people here.  Humble people and the Lord has definitely prepared the hearts of many to hear the gospel.  I love you all and hope you have a great week=)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Some Mission Pics

Moses Lake


So Much Awesome Success 7/01/2013

     We have had a great week in Sandpoint. We have had so much awesome success finding people and inviting them to be baptized. Just as one example, on Monday, while we were in the stake center, a lady came into the church wanting to get some information. We invited her on a church tour right there and invited her to be baptized. She definitely felt the spirit as we went on the tour, and kept telling us she wanted to bring this up to her whole family. 
      The area is doing great. The bishop is fired up for missionary work in response to the broadcast on Sunday. Many of the members are getting excited as well. One focus that Elder Williams and I have had since we came into the area is to gain the trust of the members. Our way of doing that is by being diligent on our own efforts, and making sure that members know our purpose when visiting them.
     Christina is on date for July 20.  She is definitely having a hard time accepting forgiveness in her life.  She still feels super guilty about the things she has done.  We are trying to meet with her as often as possible because she tells us how much better she feels when she is learning about Christ.
     We found a new person to teach this week, named Heather.  She had come to church for a couple weeks with one of her member friends, and had taken lessons years ago.  We talked to her member friend about inviting her on a church tour.  She did and Heather accepted.  She doesn't have a huge understanding of the gospel, but knows that it is something she needs in her life, and wants to keep learning more for herself, and for her family.
     Sandpoint is a great place to be a missionary.  I love the people here.  It is going to be a transfer full of miracles.  I love you all.  Have a great week full of miracles too=)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sandpoint is Beautiful 6/24/2013

    Good morning all.  First off, I must say that it is so beautiful here in Sandpoint.  Sandpoint is actually in the same zone as Libby, so there is pretty similar landscape there.  I was able to even go to Libby near the end of the week for a district meeting.  It was way neat to be back in an old area.  Thats the first time I've been able to do that.  To answer a couple questions mom and dad, yes I was able to go to the broadcast live, and it was so amazing.  It's great to be out and see the changes that are happening within the mission field.  Also mom, I have one more transfer after this one.  Of course your never certain with transfer calls, it is pretty likely I will go home from here because Elder Williams and I swept into the area, and he goes home this transfer.  The likely-hood of an area being swept twice is not super great.  
     Our first week here has been full of miracles.  We have spent quite a bit of time getting to know members on the ward roster, and the current teaching pool.  The members here are awesome and have a great spirit of missionary work.  The first Sunday of our being here, members brought at least 2 non-member families with them that missionaries aren't teaching. Yet.  These members have such strong testimonies and it is going to be great working with them.
     One person we were able to meet with this week was Heidi.  She is one of the most prepared people I have ever taught as a missionary.  She loves learning about the gospel, and she is not one to just sit around waiting for an answer to her prayers about things.  She is active in her life, doing the things she needs to to build her testimony.  We have daily contact with her to see how she's doing and she is always able to talk about something she learned that day about the gospel.  She is preparing to be baptized on August 3, and can't wait.
     We were given a referral from the sisters in the Sandpoint ward of a woman named Christina.  We don't know how they came into contact with her, but she has a real sincere desire to learn about the church as well.  She grew up Catholic, and stopped attending there a while back, and now attends a non-denominational christian church in town.  She has had a real hard past and wants a better life for her and her children, which is what drew her to investigating the church.  We have had, between the sisters and us, some real spiritual lessons with her.  She was originally not going to go to church this Sunday, and instead attend her usual church, but Sunday morning, as she was driving to church, she felt that she needed to act on what she's been learning and came to the Sunnyside ward instead.  That decision alone showed us how sincere she actually is about learning.
     Thats about it from me this week.  This week really was an awesome week and I am thrilled to be spending time up here to invite people to come to Christ.  Love you all.
   p.s.  Mom, I haven't had a card reader and I never remember to get one.  I will get a card reader so I can send some pictures next week.  I really do feel bad that I never send you pictures.

Elder Stacey

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Transfer to Sandpoint, Idaho 6/17/2013

     Hey family, hope all is well with you all.  This has been an eventful weekend for us.  We got transfer calls this weekend.  I swear, the longer your out the more these things just sneak up on you.  It did not feel like 6 weeks passed by.  I am transferring out of Spokane, and heading up to Sandpoint Idaho.  I love serving in the city so much, so at first I was a little bummed to be leaving to a more boonie area, but there are not many places more beautiful than the Sandpoint Zone.  For those who don't know, Sandpoint is a tourist town on the panhandle of Idaho, about 40 minutes north of Coeur d'Alene.  It is also located right next to lake Pend Oreille, which is such a deep lake that they have done submarine testing there.  I'm also way excited with who I'm serving with, Elder Williams.  I served around him for 5 transfers in Moses Lake and he is a great missionary.
     Anyway, with the week, we had a good one.  We met with Heather and her family this week.  We taught the Restoration because it was something they hadn't been taught in a while.  They received it well and had great questions to ask about it.  They are going out of town for the rest of the month, however, and we can't meet with them until after they come back.  Walker is still excited to be baptized in July
     Kristin isn't on date anymore because she hasn't been coming to church.  Her mom really doesn't seem to be open with letting members give her a ride, and something almost always comes up on Sunday which prevents her from driving herself.  We really want them to see the blessings that come from attending church. 
     This week, we were told to go visit a member named Amy Whiting.  We only knew that she lived on a certain area of a street, so we started tracting it out.  The first house we knocked on, a lady answered whose name was Amy White, and she fit the same age range, so we thought she was the one we were looking for, and that we were just given the wrong last name.  Well as the conversation progressed, we learned that she was not the Amy we were looking for.  To be honest, it was one of the more awkward conversations that I have had as a missionary as we were talking to the wrong person.  But we still talked to her about the church and found out that she had met with missionaries years ago and that she even attended church.  She invited us back and missionaries are going to be visiting with her later this week.  We came back another day to that street trying to find the other Amy again, and it turns out they are next door neighbors.
     I am super excited for this upcoming week, going to Sandpoint, and teaching the people there.  There has been a special spot in my heart for every area I have served in and I know this place will be no different.  I just go where I'm called and I love it.  I love you all and hope you have a great week=)

I Love Studying the Gospel 6/10/2013

Good morning everybody.  Hope you had a good week.  We had a good week.  It was a very spiritually uplifting week with ZLC, and zone training meeting.  This last week, Elder Cisternas and I were asked to pray together and find out what the needs were of missionaries in the zone, and create a training outline to help meet those needs.  It was great to be able to think of specific needs of those in the zone, and what we can do to help and serve them.  I feel the training went great.  
     Things in Five Mile Prairie have been slower this week.  Almost all of our appointments cancelled, and those that we have planned as backups have not been home.  Heather is really not progressing anymore.  Walker is on-date for July 13th still, but we are trying to move it up if at all possible, because he really wants to be baptized.  Kristin is progressing as well.  We have a lesson scheduled with her at the bishops house this week, which will be great.  As always, we are still working hard trying to find new people to teach.  We are doing everything we can to get the busy ward involved in our efforts, and are seeing success from that.  
    Today, I just wanted to share a great spiritual experience that I had.  I have really been focusing study on the gospel principles, which has been a huge blessing to me.  I love studying the gospel.  The more I know about the gospel, the more I love to share it with others.  In my studies, I have really gravitated to the principle of sacrifice, and the sacrifice that Christ made for us.  I was reading Mosiah 15:5-6, and I thought about all that he went through in his life, and about how hard it must have been for him.  The Atonement was definitely not an easy thing.  So much so that he asked the father to take the cup away if there was any possible other way, which made Mosiah 15:7 a lot more meaningful and personal to me.  Christ loved the Father enough to sacrifice his own will and submit to the will of the Father, and that act alone means everything to us (Mosiah 15:19).  It really made me think back to when I would complain whenever I had to do a difficult thing, thinking that somehow, it wasn't fair.  How different could those situations be had I put Gods will before mine and accepted it cheerfully.  I understand now that we need to have the attitude of "thy will, not mine be done" in everything we do.  I have been asked to do a lot of things as a missionary that have put me outside of my comfort zone, but as I just do them and put the Fathers will first, I have been blessed so much with the assurance that I am doing the right thing.  I just love the scriptures, and the insights they bring to us.  I love our Savior and his example.  I love serving a mission and helping others receive the good news of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
     I love you all, and pray for you often.  I hope you have a great day and a great week=)

Sweet Finding Miracle 6/03/2013

     Okay so I actually do have some time to email today.  It's been kind of a crazy day.  It's been a great week in Spokane.  Okay, so first of all, I thought Utah Spring weather was unpredictable.  It doesn't hold a candle to Spokane.  One minute it might be pouring rain on you, and 5 minutes later it could be a perfectly sunny day.  It makes it kind of hard to know what kind of weather to prepare for.  It kind of seems like you just choose to sweat in a coat or endure the rain without one.
     Kristen Coffman, who is one of the on-dates in our area came to church with her mom this week.  That was so awesome and you could tell that they were so happy to be there.  Sister Coffman bore her testimony and it was so heartfelt.  We weren't able to meet with them, this week, however, so we don't know if there is still some confrontation regarding Kristin being baptized.  Either way, she is way excited for June 29th.  
     Heather was out of town this weekend, and we weren't able to teach her.  We were able to teach Walker, however and it was a good lesson.  Walker is so cool.  He isn't even a member yet and the young mens leaders say that he knows as much or more about the gospel than other priests in the quorum.  He is pretty enthusiastic as well about his baptism and we are doing all we can to prepare him for that.
     We had a sweet finding miracle this week.  A couple weeks ago some sister missionaries street contacted this guy named Justin and invited him to church.  The next day, we street contacted him as well and did the same thing, and he was interested in coming.  He didn't come to church that week, but this last week we went over to his apartment to see if we might be able to teach him.  He was home and we taught him the Restoration.  He has almost no religious background, but he really wants to learn more about God and about Jesus Christ.  We invited him to pray at the end of the lesson, which he did.  When we were done, he said, "Well that was the first prayer I have ever given."  We asked how it felt and he felt great, he then asked, "do you always feel this way when you pray?"  you could tell that he was touched by the spirit and it was a real cool experience to see that change of heart so instantaneously.  He was out of town this weekend, but we will be meeting up with him later this week.
     Things in the area are going well.  The members are awesome, the people are awesome, and I love serving here.  I hope you all are doing well and have a great week.  Love you=)

Beautiful Week 5/28/2013

Good day, how are things for everyone???  We had another great week here in Spokane.  So because of Memorial day, our p-day is today instead.  Yesterday we spent out biking in the rain and talking to as many people who were out braving the rain storms (there weren't many).  To answer your question mom about zone conference, President Mullen doesn't have us give trainings in zone conference, but once a month we have a zone training meeting, where the whole zone meets and we give a training.
     Last week we had a breakthrough with Heathers son, Walker.  The kids have been so busy we haven't really talked to them or taught them in a while, so this last Tuesday was really important.  We put Walker on date though and he is preparing to be baptized in July.  This is huge because Heather has said she wants her son to baptize her, so that is just one more concern out of the way for her, but we know there is still something holding her back.  She also just cancelled our appointment today so I will have to update that in a couple weeks.
     We have been teaching a part member family for a while now.  Theresa was baptized years ago and really likes the church, but just doesn't come.  Her children love the church and are some of the most spiritually minded children I have ever seen.  They just want to know about God, about Christ and our purpose on Earth.  They have great questions and are very sincere about them.  Two weeks ago we put the daughter, Kristin, on date for June 29th.  Since then, however, her dad, who is not a member, has been putting up some objections.  Kristin really wants to get baptized, and  Theresa really wants her to as well.
     We contacted a lady who was living in the home of a former investigator.  She was not interested at first, because she is a Lutheran, but as we talked about the church and testified of a modern prophet, her interest was peaked.  We came back for a return appointment, and taught the full Restoration.  She is so interested in the church, and in the Book of Mormon.  During the visit she asked if she could be both Lutheran and Mormon, and if she could use the Book of Mormon in her Bible study class.  I really pray that she will be able to follow the spirit as we continue to teach her, but it could be too much of a cultural change for her right now.
     As far as people progressing this week, thats about it.  We have been able to have some first lessons with people and hopefully we'll meet with them again, but flaky people are all over the place here, so we have yet to see.  It is a beautiful week though, and school is almost out, so people will be home more.  Love you all and hope you have a great week, and be safe in your travels as well=)

Elder Stacey

Busy Families 5/20/2013

This week has been a beautiful week.  Wonderful sunny weather, with a little rain, has been frequent throughout the week.  Also the beautiful green that is finalizing too.  I love nature.  It is also a great time to be a missionary.  One great problem we have had these past two weeks are busy families.  Extra-curricular activities, end-of-school stuff, that will all end in just a couple weeks=)  I have to admit, being so long as a missionary, it can sometimes be hard to remember that people have lives outside of us teaching them.
     Anyway, like I said, it was a good week.  We had zone conference this last week which was good.  One thing that was emphasized quite heavily this conference was obedience.  It was an answer to my prayers actually because that is something that has been on my mind a lot recently.  Many people we talk to, especially recently, have had real issues with being obedient; either just not wanting to be obedient to commandments, or for some people, the principle of the need to be obedient to commandments to receive blessings(I hope that made sense).  But either way, the training was great and it really helped.
     We had a baptism this weekend, and it was a great one.  I don't know if I ever actually told you about Ty.  The Escalanti's are active members of the church, and Ty is their youngest son.  They wanted to wait for him to be a bit older to be baptized, and they wanted him to have the missionary discussions, so he turned 9 a few weeks ago, as we were teaching him, and he was baptized this weekend.
     Heather and her family came to church this week, but we are kind of worried about them.  We really think she is just putting baptism off now.  We will be teaching her tomorrow, and we pray that we can help resolve some more of her concerns.
     Many of our investigators are not really progressing, so after talking it over and praying about it, Elder Cisternas and I felt that the best course to help these people in the future would be to drop them and focus on finding people who are prepared right now.  Dropping an investigator is probably one of the hardest things to do as a missionary, but I've realized that sometimes that's the only thing you can do at that point.
     We have found at least one guy to is really promising, who I may have talked about a couple weeks ago.  His name is Phil and we tracted into him.  We were able to teach him the Restoration on his doorstep and commit him to read the Book of Mormon.  He was going into surgery later that week, so we were not able to meet with him after that for a week.  We contacted him yesterday though and he still wants to meet with us, so we are going to teach him this week.
     That's about it from me this week.  Love you all and hope you have a great week. 
p.s.  Congratulations to Richard for his graduation=), and to Michelle and Mike for a new kiddo=).

Monday, May 13, 2013

It Has Been a Good One 5/13/2013

     It is a good time to be a missionary in Spokane.  The weather is beautiful, people are out, and it's nice to be able to be out talking with people.  With the split of our area, it has been a little slower of a week as far as lessons are concerned, but we still did pretty well.  
     This last week, we had a lesson with Vern, who is a less active.  We've been working with him for  a while now, and he came to church for the first time since we have been teaching him.  He is a great guy and has a very positive attitude about life.  He really enjoyed church and informed us that he was looking forward  to getting active again in the church.
     We have had some more success with Heather as well.  We were reading 1 nephi 8, and as we were reading, some great concerns of hers came out that have helped us in knowing how we might be able to help her continue to progress.  The family is sooo close to baptism, they are keeping commitments.  We are just afraid that if they wait too long at this stage, it will give satan time to discourage them and change their minds.
     So I may have said before that people are flaky in Spokane.  This week was no exception.  We had two church tours with people scheduled that had no-shows, and at least two other families off the top of my head that we were supposed to meet that just weren't home.  
     We have been praying and working real hard to find a solid new investigator, and we have had some good luck with that this last week.  After calling home yesterday, we went over to a part member families home to invite them to take the missionary discussions.  As it turned out, they had decided to go to church even today for mothers day, so it was perfect timing to go.  The wife (I don't remember her name) is Ukrainian and moved to the states about 10 years ago, so she has a pretty thick accent.  After we got to know them a little bit we were able to talk about the church and invited the family to take the lessons.  They accepted and we are going back on Wednesday.  The husband (I don't remember his name either) who is the member, seemed real excited to have that opportunity, he jumped right at our invitation.  So we pray that they will still be interested.  
     Another finding miracle came earlier in the week as we were tracting an apartment complex.  We knocked into this guy who was real nice and open.  We were able to teach him a brief lesson on the restoration and give him a Book of Mormon.  He is going into surgery this week, but he wants us to come back and talk to him more.
     Thats about it for the week.  It has been a good one.  I love it here in Spokane, I love the people here.  Thanks again for all your support.  Love you all and have a great week=)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Prepared People Find Us 4/29/2013

Hey everyone how are things for you all?  We had a wonderful week full of great miracles.  After having some slower weeks of teaching, things are really picking up and we have found some great people who are totally prepared.  Or I guess you could say that they found us.  Let me explain.
     On Saturday, we received a call from a member who was cleaning the church building.  Some guy had just walked in asking for a copy of the Book of Mormon.  We shot right over there to talk to him and give him a Book of Mormon.  He told us his story and past with the church.  When he was 17, he was taking the discussions from the missionaries, and was preparing to be baptized, but his parents didn't approve of that, so he didn't follow through with it.  Now he is 20 and can make his own decisions, and he told us he wants to start learning again so he can be baptized.  We tried taking him on a church tour right then, but he had to go, so we are going to meet with him this week.
     Our other finding miracle this week came yesterday.  Yesterday was stake conference.  It was over at noon, but elder Cisternas and I had to talk with President Mullen, and some sister missionaries were taking one of their investigators on a church tour, so we were there still after most people had left.  This woman came walking through the door and told us she was looking for a different church to go to and wanted to check out the LDS church.  She looked up the church's website and looked for the closest meeting house and meeting time.  She came for the 1 o'clock sacrament time, but, since it was stake conference, there was not sacrament.  We invited her to tag along the sisters church tour and she accepted.  They taught her the Restoration and she was totally interested, had good questions, and committed to read the Book of Mormon.  We are also going to meet with her this week.  Just so you know, I LOVE YSA work.  Serving in a YSA ward is a pretty unique, but awesome experience. (they are bothYSA’s)
     Heather seems to be softening as far as commitments are concerned, so we are going to be bringing up baptism again when we meet with her this week, so keep her in your prayers=)
     Oh, one other miracle we had.  Michael Rucker is a guy missionaries have been working with for a long time, but he is super busy with baseball, he is a pitcher for Gonzaga.  He had been so busy we dropped him because we couldn't meet with him.  Last Sunday, he showed up randomly at church and informed us he wasn't playing for Gonzaga any more.  He really wants to be baptized, but has family issues with making that commitment.  He is planning on going to BYU next semester and playing baseball for them.  We want to get him baptized before he goes home between semesters so he can have the blessings now, but he is sincere enough that I'm pretty confidant that he will eventually join either way. 
     So that's about it from this week.  We have seen so many great things happen and I love being here.  I love you all and pray for you.  Hope you have a great day and a great week=) 

Elder Stacey

Monday, April 22, 2013

Zone Leader Duties 4/22/2013

Good morning everybody,

     Last week was a great week.  It was a busy week as well.  The weather has been a bit colder this last week and it's been raining off and on this whole week as well, but the trees are in bloom at it is beautiful in Spokane.  First off, to answer a couple of your questions, yes Sis. Lambert was one of my primary teachers, one of the only ones that I remember real well too, so tell her “Hi” for me.  Also you asked what some of my duties are as a zone leader.  In short; meetings.  Every month, we have a zone leader council (now called missionary leader conference, because the church has created an official leadership title for sister missionaries called "sister trainer leaders" that are to go to those meetings as well.) We talk about the progress of the mission and what we can do to continue to improve. We also regularly meet with the stake president in our zone and with our mission president to coordinate missionary efforts at a stake level.  Other leadership meetings are included as well throughout the transfer.  We also have the responsibility to council other missionaries in our zone who might be struggling with the work or other matters.  We get to spend a lot of time doing things and preparing things for other missionaries, and I really enjoy having the opportunity to serve them in that capacity, and to be involved more in their efforts.

     As far as things went this week, we had a lesson with Heather on Tuesday.  Like I said, we are focusing on the commandments with her, and we have continued that.  We taught the topics of ‘chastity’ and ‘tithing’ to her.  Tithing was a real important one to cover for her, because she has been aware of it for a while, but didn't really know what it was and it kind of intimidated her.  We had a member there who bore a powerful testimony of tithing and Heather’s fears of that have really decreased.  She is still hesitant on baptism however, and we really don't know what's still holding her back.

     On Wednesday, we taught a part member family in the ward - the Coffmans.  Sister Coffman is a member, but none of her younger children are.  We stopped by and she welcomed us to come and teach the family.  Her son has had a lot of questions regarding the Plan of Salvation, and she couldn't answer them all herself, so it seems like she was really happy to have us come over.  We taught the Plan of Salvation on Wed, and it was well received.  We have a standing appointment with them on Wednesdays to teach them.

     Thursday was a pretty busy day.  We had a leadership meeting that lasted into the afternoon.  We had a lesson with a recent convert, Jordan, teaching the new member lessons, had a meeting with President Larsen (the stake president) and then after that,  we went on exchanges with some other elders in the zone.

     Friday we met with a lady who was getting baptized (from a YSA ward) the next day.  Long story short, we got a call on Tuesday from the missionaries who had been teaching her in another stake, and found out that she actually lived in our area, and that her bishop wanted her to get baptized into this ward.  It was a pretty stressful few days that followed - trying to get things worked out between the two wards -  how it would all work with her records and all.  It was eventually all sorted out and she was able to be baptized last Saturday.  Even though I hardly knew her, I could feel of her desire and enthusiasm to make that commitment with our savior.  As always, the baptism was wonderful.

     We have not been able to make contact with Skyler, so he is no longer on date=(  He has been busy with work and he lives pretty far away from us, so we can't just stop by any time.  We hopefully can meet with him sometime this week. 

     Other than that, we have spent a lot of time finding.  We had a mission-wide goal of inviting as many people as we could on Church Tours Saturday, which was awesome.  This week, there is a goal of every companionship in the mission to extend at least 1 baptismal invitation everyday for the whole week, which is awesome as well.  I'm super excited for this week and the miracles that are in store.  Thanks for all you do and for your prayers.  They help so much.  I am WAY excited to call home for mothers day as well, I can't wait=) Love you all and have a great week this week.

Love,   Elder Stacey

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Working Hard 4/15/2013

      Hey everybody good morning.  It has been a great and beautiful week in Spokane.  The trees are blooming, the sun is shining, and its a wonderful time to be out sharing the gospel.    Things are going great over here in the Spokane North stake. It was a slower week for us because people keep canceling. In fact. It has been kind of taxing on me personally this last week. We have not been able to hardly teach any of our investigators because, like I said, they keep canceling, and all our efforts and hopes to pick up a new investigator seem to go in vain.  
     One example is an experience we had of knocking on a door and a YSA aged person answered the door.  He let us right in, and let us know he was looking for a church and wanted to have a stronger emphasis of God in his life.  We were able to begin teaching immediately when we entered and we taught the Restoration.  It was a great lesson and at the end, he committed to read the Book of Mormon, and come on the Church Tour the following day.  He was excited about it as well.  In the 24 hours that followed, he told his dad about our meeting, and his dad anti'd him, so we were unable to teach him from that point.  

     We have worked so hard, and at times, seem to have nothing to show for it. It does make me thankful for the promise we have to know that we are doing what the Lord would have us do. Despite the seeming lack of success, we have had the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and I know we have done all we can this week, and at the end, that's all the Lord asks of us. It has helped me to remain optimistic and enthusiastic about the work in the area and that eventually, we will find some people who have been prepared and interested in what we have to say.  

     As far as our investigators go, we did have a lesson with Heather.  She is still hesitant about baptism, but we feel we have found at least one reason for that that we can help her to overcome.  In the last year that missionaries have visited her, she has not ever been taught any of the commandments.  She doesn't feel she knows enough about what she'll have to do once she's a member to really commit herself.  This week we focused exclusively on the commandments, and it seems to have calmed her and answered some of her questions.  

     We were not able to have a lesson with Skyler this week, and we hope things are going well with him.  Other than that, things are about the same for us.  Like I said before, the weather is getting beautiful, and we might be heading out on bikes pretty soon to take advantage of people being outside.  Love you all and hope you have a great week.

Elder Stacey

Monday, April 8, 2013

General Conference 4/08/2013

  Dear Everyone,   

    Good morning wonderful family how are you doing???  I hope you all had a great week.  I sure did.  This weekend has been highly anticipated for me for like a month now.  I love conference so much.  What a great time to hear the words of the Lord given through prophets and apostles.  I received answers to many of my personal questions and it was an incredibly uplifting weekend for me personally.  Apart from that, we had a good, but slow week.  2 weeks ago, was the Spring Break for the universities around here, and last week, the school districts were on Spring Break, so everybody was out of town, or busy. 
     First of all, I love being in Spokane.  The Five Mile Prairie ward and the YSA ward are so great.  The members here are way supportive and really want to help.  I don't think I talked about my new companion last week, his name is Elder Cisternas, from Orem Utah.  He lives right by the Linden border, so kind of opposite of where we live.  It's kind of weird having a companion from the same city as you because everyone, and I mean everyone, asks if we knew each other back home.  I love him and his dedication to obedience. 
     Like I said, many people were out of town this week or busy, so we did not have very many lessons.  We spend the great majority of our time looking through lists for part member families, and prospective elders, and didn't really find much success in that as of yet.  We were able to visit with a lady named Heather, one of our investigators who is coming so close to baptism.  She has been meeting with missionaries on and off for a couple years it sounds now, but has only recently taken a real interest in actually joining the church.  She is pretty apprehensive about baptism still, however, because she feels she needs to know more about the church, scriptures and the doctrine.  She watched both Sunday sessions of conference and they really helped her out a lot.  We are teaching her on Tuesday and are likely going to talk about some principles on Elder Hollands talk.
     We met with a guy named Kevin, who is the husband of a less active member of the church.  He himself doesn't really have a faith in God, says he feels there is a greater power, but doesn't know what it is.  He didn't really have positive experiences with the missionaries in the past, because they would just hang out at their place, so I guess it's been hard for the missionaries to be able to gain his trust again.  We did get a lesson in with him though and taught him prayer and patience.  He is committed to praying for a testimony that God exists, and cares about him. 
     Yesterday night we had a great experience with a church tour.  Like I said before, it was a slower week, as well as the week before, and we hadn't had any luck with finding new people to teach.  It has been a trial for me personally because finding people had been pretty easy for us in Moses Lake and West Terrace.  It's been like a finding drought for us.  We have been praying and searching to find somebody who is prepared to hear the gospel, and our prayers were answered yesterday.  We have been trying to contact a referral, Skyler, for a couple weeks now and never caught him home.  Finally, in between sessions of conference, we were able to contact him.  He was contacted by sister missionaries on a bus stop, has Baptist background and told them we could come by.  We talked to him a bit about the church and invited him on a church tour that night, which he accepted.  We brought our WML with us and had an incredible tour.  As we talked about the tour, he said that he really did feel something different as we went into the chapel, and he liked the way he felt.  He mentioned that all he had learned were things that made sense to him, so we invited him to be baptized on May 11, which he accepted.  Keep him in your prayers, because he has such great potential and is a great guy. 
     That's about all of the investigators we taught last week.  I am so thankful to be in this mission and for the council of our mission president.  We have been emphasizing so much these last few months on keeping things simple and powerful, and relating everything we do to baptism and our purpose.  It has been some very successful months as we have applied these teachings and been obedient to his council.  I would just like to end with some insight that I learned from conference.  With the announcement of the missionary change, the work has truly hastened.  The work is not hastening in the church alone, but outside the church as well.  God is preparing the hearts and minds of many people to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ and as we do our part to prepare ourselves, we can all be a part of the hastening. 1 peter 3:15 stuck out to me because it was mentioned at least 3 times in conference.  I know this gospel is real, the work is really hastening.  As we live the gospel, people will ask about the hope which is in us, and we can prepare ourselves to give that answer to them and do our part.  I love you all and hope you have a great week=)

Elder Stacey

Spokane Rocks! 4/01/2013

     Good afternoon everybody how are you all doing???  Hope you had a great Easter.  We for sure did=) First of all, yes I did get the package of cookies last Monday and they are delicious.  Thanks!  This week has been a full week and a busy week. Being right in Spokane is a different experience for me being so close to so many people, and it rocks. Elder Cisternas is my new companion and he has been great so far. He is so obedient and has our purpose firmly planted into his actions. He is a great example to look up to. 
      We have had a bit of a slower week as far as teaching investigators. Being Spring break and a sick week for many people, quite a few of our appointments cancelled, but it was all good because we have had the opportunity to do a lot of finding, and have found some good prospects. The members here are wonderful and I love working with them already. Being in a YSA ward is pretty neat as well. You interact with a lot of people who either just returned from a mission or are about to leave, so the missionary spirit great there. 
      Every week I seem to learn more about how to become a better missionary and disciple, and find things that I can do to improve my testimony and my efforts as a missionary, and I am grateful for the challenge. I love continuing to learn and grow in the gospel myself as I strive to help others do the same thing. I love this gospel and I love being a missionary. Once again, I am so thankful to be in this area and am determined to to all that I can to uplift the people and invite them to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ for themselves.  
      This is going to have to be a super short email because we got to the library a little later today and I only have precisely 18 minutes to do everything on the computer.  So I promise next weeks email will be more detailed,  but know that I love you all and hope you have a great week=)

Elder Stacey

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Transfer 3/25/2013

    Good afternoon=)  Hows it going???  It is a beautiful Spring day here, the sun is shining and it is super nice outside.  Well as I said last week, we had our transfer calls yesterday, and I am leaving the West Terrace and Geiger Heights wards.  I am leaving the Spokane West area and going to the Spokane North area, which will be more in the center of the city.  I'm super excited.  It's just been one transfer, but in one transfer, I feel that we accomplished so much.  When I first got here, we didn't have a huge teaching pool, and nobody was progressing save a few.  We went out and just filled every minute teaching and finding, and, as I said before, have been blessed so much.  We have found some great people who are so prepared.  I really just feel I have gained a much stronger testimony of Christ and of his Gospel in this transfer.

     Also, the first wave of increasing missionaries have officially hit our mission.  Today, 34 new elders and mostly sisters came to the Spokane mission field, and President Mullen has said that, as of last week, there are 90 missionaries (including the ones that came today) who have calls to the Spokane mission.  This area is actually getting split;  Elder Christensen and his new companion will be taking over the West Terrace Ward, and some sister missionaries will be sweeping into the Geiger Heights ward.  The work is truly hastening.

     One of the highlights of our week was hearing that Marcus and Melissa were baptized and confirmed over the weekend.  That was one of the saddest parts about leaving Moses Lake for me, was that I would miss their baptism.  They were baptized though, and apparently, it was such a spiritual baptism.  They were so ready and enthusiastic for that commitment.

     Dennis's baptism was this weekend as well and was amazing.  He has a powerful testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel and particularly about the Book of Mormon.  After his baptism, he bore his testimony of how the Book of Mormon has helped strengthen his knowledge of Christ and he is so converted.

     We had a lesson with Jim Tso and his family.  They are doing great and Jim has been reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.  Deidra, the daughter, loves to learn more about the church and about the Gospel.  Miranda, the mother is becoming more interested as well.  We had two lessons with them this week, and they expressed their gratitude for us coming over and teaching them.

    We had a church tour with Corey this week and he brought a couple of his friends over.  I wasn't there, because we were on team-ups with members of the ward, but from what I hear, it was great.  Corey is super sincere, but like I've said before, hasn't had the greatest experience with spiritual things, and has somewhat of a difficult time remembering to read, pray, and make it a priority.  We have sent him messages everyday to read the scriptures, which he has done, but has a difficult time remembering to pray.  That is mostly what they talked about in their lesson, and he has committed to pray every day.

     I don't remember if I talked about Joe Eisenhart last week, but he is someone who missionaries tracted into in downtown Spokane, but lives out here.  He is super prepared and really wants the gospel in his life, but his family is really opposed to the church and his decision, so he has not been able to meet with us as often and it has been hard to get him to come to church.  He is a great guy though and we keep praying that his families hearts will be softened.

     Despite the great week we had last week, we were still a little disappointed to come to church and have none of our investigators come.  It was honestly kind of a downer day until the end, when we received a call from Jim Tso.  He called to let us know that he had been reading and praying religiously to know that what we've taught is true, and he has seen numerous blessings come this week.  He has found a job, a new home and great opportunities for his family.  He told us that he feels that is the answer to his prayers that God is there.  He said he believes now, everything we've said to him and he wants to continue to learn more.  We have a lesson with him tonight, and we are going to again talk about baptism for the family.  I know that the family is so prepared and we pray that they will accept the invitation.

     So like I said, it's been a great transfer for us, and I am excited for my new area.  I love being a missionary and having all these great spiritual experiences.  I can think of no better place to be right now than right here.  I love you all and like always, pray for you often.  I hope all is going well in your lives.  Thanks for all you do and for all your support.  Love you all=)

Elder Stacey