Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Blessings In My Life 1/28/2013

     Good day everyone.  We got to the stake center a little late so I don't have as much time today. I will try to make it brief.  We had a wonderful week last week full of miracles.  There is a lot to talk about so I will just list all of our investigators we saw last week.
     Jacob-He was sick pretty much all last week and had to cancel our appointment, but we offered him a blessing, which he accepted and he is doing much better now.  He is very excited for his baptism in three weeks and he is so prepared.
     Marcus and Melissa are doing great spiritually.  They have made the commitment to be married and baptized, and they are doing everything they can to make that happen.  They have wedding plans and have already talked about who they want to baptize them.  They are reading the scriptures and getting great fellowship from the ward.  They have also been off cigarettes for close to a month now.  Marcus hasn't had too great of health, however this week.  He developed a blood clot in his leg earlier in the week, and as they were treating that, they also discovered that he has some kind of heart disease.  He's been really optimistic throughout the whole thing.  We also took Josh Dale with us to give him a blessing, which he was very grateful for.  So keep them in your prayers that things will work out for his health.
     Jannette and Jose have been so busy this week we weren't able to meet with them, but they have been working really close with a member in the 7th ward, Sister Hogsett, and she said that they are still interested, just busy.  She is going to invite them to the stake conference dinner this Saturday, (I have now been here long enough to attend two stake conferences for the Moses Lake stake).
     We started teaching a lady named Glenda this last week.  She was a referral from a member in another ward, he tutors her daughter.  Glenda is super awesome.  She just bought a home in 3rd ward and right after moving in, ran into a bunch of financial problems that have been really stressing her out.  The recent trials that she has gone through seem to really have increased her desire for spiritual peace.  She wanted to go to church with Bro. Kincade, but since he lived in a different boundary, he referred her to us and we started teaching her.  She is real serious about looking into the church and has been intrigued about the church for a while now.  We have a church tour scheduled with her this weekend and she plans to attend church on Sunday.
     Josiah-  We contacted him through another investigator that we have.  He was helping her move a treadmill and after we left her place, we started talking to him about the church and invited him on a church tour the next day.  On the church tour, we learned quite a bit about his religious past.  He is 18, and has an incredibly strong faith in and testimony of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  He stopped going to churches so much because of negative experiences he has had with the leadership in them, but he really like the church and what we talked about to the point that he was excited to go on Sunday.  Unfortunately he wasn't able to because he is in the military and had military stuff to do.  We have another lesson set up with him for this next week.
     Well thats about it from me this week.  Like I said, it was a week full of miracles.  Being a missionary is so awesome because you can see the Lord work in every bodies lives in so many ways.  Not that you can't see it at other times, but for me personally, the mission has really helped me to become more sensitive to those blessings in my life and others.  I am thankful for the restored gospel and for this opportunity to share it.  I love you all and hope you have a great week.=)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Work Hard and See Miracles 1/21/2013

Hi Everyone,    

     Another great week in Moses Lake.  A lot of awesome things happened this week.  First of all I have heard that Utah has been getting a ton of snow recently.  I don't know if thats true, but we haven't gotten any here.  Well, at least in Moses Lake.  The rest of our mission has been getting a lot=(  I miss snow. 

     Anyway though, we have had some good lessons with our investigators starting with Marcus and Melissa.  We have been talking about a new day for them to be baptized on since they missed their date on the 5th of January, but they are getting married on March 11 and have decided that they want to be baptized on March 23.  This is a great step for them and they are committed to it.  They love going to church and they really enjoy the members of the ward.

     Jacob is also progressing quickly.  He was at church yesterday and we had a lesson with him after church.  He has the beginnings of an incredible testimony.  Whenever we teach him he tells us about how much it makes sense to him and how he really feels he believes it all.  Forest is a wonderful example for him to follow as well.  Jacob has started going to mutual as well and is getting real good fellowship from the youth.  He is right on track and excited for his baptism on Feb 16th.

     We had a lesson with Jannette and Jose yesterday about the Book of Mormon and committed them to read from it everyday.  Their kind of a miracle story.  I don't know if I told it last week, but a little more than a year ago, Jannettes cousin passed away, and she had joined the church about a year previous.  It was pretty sudden from what I've been able to gather and she didn't have the money for a funeral or burial, so the ward stepped in and started a fund raiser for her and they were able to have a funeral for her last year.  Fast forward a year and the relief society president at the time had an impression that she needed to call Jannette and see how she was doing.  They had had no contact now for at least a year but the impression was getting stronger and stronger so she called her up.  She decided to call just hours before we had scheduled our church tour with them.  Sister Hogsett (the relief society president) was able to talk briefly about her feelings on the church and it was a very positive experience, and they are in connection with each other again.  We have another appointment scheduled with them this week.

     We had a real neat opportunity to go to Spokane this week and have a meeting with the head of the churches missionary media department(or something like that).  It was an 8 hour long, spirit packed meeting.  Quite a bit of what he talked about were the refining of our teaching skills.  He talked about the importance of the study and planning sessions at the beginning and end of the day, and their power to help you in receiving revelation for investigators.  The majority of what he talked about, however, can be summed up in one sentence in Preach My Gospel.  "People are accustomed to short, powerful statements."  Much of the training was on the need to make our lessons shorter and losing all the filler material that we tend to use in our lessons.  The best part was that he showed us some ways that we can practice doing that.  We have begun to implement it in our companionship since that day and we have seen a lot of success, as we have learned that a lesson can still be as spiritually powerful, (if not more so) in 15-20 minutes as it can in an hour.

     Thats it from me this week.  I am excited for this upcoming week.  We are going to work hard and see miracles.  Love you all and hope you have a great week as well.

Monday, January 14, 2013

"QGC" 1/14/2013

     This has been a great and busy week.  We have had quite a few meetings this week so many of our mornings have been spent sitting and learning.  But thats okay, because we really have been able to apply the things that we have learned to our proselyting efforts.  These last few transfers, the mission has been focusing a lot on quality gospel conversations with everybody we meet.  A quality gospel conversation or "QGC" for short is a conversation with a nonmember in which we teach about a gospel topic, and then extend a direct invitation to them.  This stems from a promise that Elder Perry gave that if the missionaries were to talk to ten people a day outside of tracting and other planned appointments, then baptisms would double in the mission.  Well we have seen some success this week as we've gone out to work and focus on getting QGC's.  And I feel not just limited to our finding efforts.  
     We had a great lesson with Jacob this week and he is now on date to be baptized Feb 16th, and is way excited about it.  When he comes to church he loves it and participates in class.  Many of the questions he has had have either been answered through prayer or don't seem to be a deal with him anymore.  Two weeks ago we talked about the Book of Mormon and its power to answer any questions we may have, and he seems to have taken that to heart.  Forest as well has been a great example for him.  Speaking of Forest he is going to the temple this weekend to do baptisms for the dead and is super excited.
     Jannette and Jose are a couple we have been working with somewhat since September, but they have been so busy we hadn't been able to schedule an appointment with them for about 3 months.  After the holidays, things have slowed for them and we were able to take them on a church tour.  I love going on church tours, they are always filled with the spirit and people go away more uplifted every time.  This was no exception.  When we got to the picture of Jesus Christ being baptized and discussed it for a few minutes, we invited them to be baptized.  Jannette in particular told us that that is something she would definitely consider if she was able to gain a testimony of the church.  Jose is a little quieter, and didn't speak as much, but you knew that he was contemplating the things that were said and he felt the spirit.  And we have another lesson scheduled with them this week.
     Marcus and Melissa came to church again this week and haven't smoked since we gave them the stop smoking workshop, but making contact with them has been pretty difficult this last week in their home.  And living way out in 1st ward boonies makes it hard to just stop by.  We definitely have to make contact with them this week though.
     We have a new investigator this week, a nine-year-old named Ethan in 1st ward.  His grandma is active in the church, but his dad is a non member, and his mom is not active currently.  Ethan has asked his grandma about baptism and wanted to know why it was important, so she invited us over for dinner and we taught him about baptism.  When we go back this week we really hope to be able to make some progress with his parents as well, because they are great people.
     Thats it for this week.  I pray all continues to go well at home with everybody.  Love you and have a good week=)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Staying in Moses Lake 1/07/2013

  Good morning everybody.  First of all, I am super jealous about the snow in Utah.  We got a white Christmas afternoon, and its been cold enough here that the snow has pretty much stayed since then, but we have only received a few inches for the whole year.  Amounting, I'm sure, to less than 6 inches=(  Well like I said, last week was the end of our transfer.  We got our calls yesterday and found out that we are still both staying together.  Elder Isaacson and I will be together for four transfers by the end of this one, and six for me in Moses Lake.  Thats weird for me to think about because now I will have been in Moses Lake for the same amount of time that I was in Chewelah and Libby combined.  I am so excited though to stay in Moses Lake still.  There must still be something we need to do for another transfer. 
     We had a slower week because of the Holidays, but it was still good.  We had a couple lessons with Forests grandson, Jacob.  He was down on himself this week and had a lot of questions.  He was just getting frustrated that he didn't understand everything all at once.  As we had our second lesson with him, we were praying about things we could teach him, our answer came in the January Ensign; the first presidency message and Elder Anderson’s message on wisdom.  We taught about patience in learning things of the spirit and it really helped lift his spirits.
     Marcus and Melissa were sick this week, and weren't able to make it to church on Sunday.  After church we went over to their house with Josh Dale and gave Melissa a blessing.  They have picked March 11 as the day they would like to be married.  Just keep them in your prayers that they will continue to stay committed to their goal and perhaps even move it up as we teach them. 
     Brittney, the Dales niece, was out of town this week, so we weren't able to have a lesson with her this week, but we talked to sister Dale and Brittney is very committed to her date.  She is enthusiastic about it and you can tell she is happier.
     We had a lesson with a family we tracted into a few weeks ago yesterday which was awesome.  This family is very leery about churches and like to just stick to the Bible, but when we tracted into them and testified about the Book of Mormon and the restoration, they talked together and decided that they would read the Book of Mormon as a family as they read from the Bible.  We are going back next week to see how their reading went.
     Amy moved out of her apartment and into a house down the road from where she lived.  We were able to help her a little on Monday, but since Tuesday was our p-day, it was going to be a struggle to try and help the family move.  Luckily one of the sisters in the ward called our bishop and he got together a moving crew and they were completely moved into their house in less than two hours.  We have been working on and off with Amy since I got here in June, and I always pray that there can be something to touch her heart and help her to get more excited about the church.
     Thats about it for the week.  It's very exciting to begin another transfer in Moses Lake.  I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Love you all.

Elder Stacey

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year 1/01/2013

    Hello and Happy New Year.  Where did 2012 go?!?  It is hard for me to think that another whole year has come and gone.  We had a great week of missioning to end 2012 though.  Christmas, first of all, was so much fun.  It was very nice to be able to see most of the family.  Especially the new nieces.  It sounded like a great time over on the coast with the family.  I have to admit I am a little envious about all the cool historical sites you got to see.  
     The day after Christmas we had a district meeting that was focused on following up on commitments we have left people, and how to be bold AND loving when showing disappointment for when they don't keep them, which was very timely because we had to follow up on Marcus and Melissa, who smoked on Christmas eve.  I believe we were able to apply the things we learned at the meeting quite well because in our follow up visit the spirit was definitely there as we testified to them of the importance of keeping the commandments and being baptized.  We committed them to follow the 15 step stop smoking workshop, and since then they have not smoked a single cigarette.  They are now deciding together when they are going to get married so they can be baptized, so keep them in your prayers that they can make that decision soon.  
     Jacob, Forests grandson is doing great as well.  We had a lesson with him on Saturday and put him on date for Feb 9th, but found out that he will not be available that day, so we will have to find another day for him.  He is super excited about the church and wants to be a part of it, which is awesome to see in a teenager.  
     We had a miracle this week on Wednesday.  We went to Walmart to get a few supplies for Marcus and Melissa, since they don't have a car, that they would need to start the workshop that night.  While we were getting some vitamin C, a lady came up and started talking to us.  As our conversation progressed, we found out that she was moving the next day and we offered our services, which she accepted.  As we helped her move on Thursday, we were able to talk about the church and learn more about her beliefs.  She was very receptive and thankful that we stopped by.  Before we left we had a short lesson with her about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy.  We also found her address so we could refer her to the missionaries where she was moving to.  They helped her move in and have an appointment with her tomorrow.  There was a mover there that was a friend of hers and we talked to him as well, found out that he had met with missionaries as well and gave him a number that he could call to find missionaries in his area(he was moving and wasn't sure where quite yet).  It just showed us the importance of talking to everybody and taking every opportunity you have to teach as well.  I don't know if they'll get baptized, but at least they have a higher opinion of Mormons and we did all that was in our power to help them find the gospel.  
     Anyway things are going great for us.  Transfers on Sunday so I will find out once again if I am staying or going.  I have been 7 months in Moses Lake so I could very well go, but whatever happens, I will be happy to do it.  I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Merry Christmas in Moses Lake 1/24/2012

  Hello everybody.  Merry Christmas!!!  I don't have much time today so it will be super short.  First off, I am super excited to be able to call home tomorrow.  I don't know for sure when I will call, but hopefully before noon (pacific time).  I can't believe Christmas is here already, December just flew by.  
     Anyway, I have just a couple things to recount this week before I have to go.  Marcus and Melissa are still doing great.  We had a lesson on the law of chastity with them and committed them to get married.  They told us they want to, but they want to do it right, so they want to get married in February.  
     Brittney, who is the niece of the Dales, has accepted a baptismal date of February 21st.  When we began teaching her she had two major concerns, which were the approval of her mother and reading the Book of Mormon.  The very next day after we taught her the first time and her mom brought up the topic and let her know she was okay with it.  We also committed her to read the Book of Mormon and she has found answers in it and has began to enjoy reading it.  She is awesome and way in tune with the spirit.  
     We also had a lesson with Jacob.  I was on exchanges so I wasn't there, but apparently it went well.  We invited him to a baptism and he loved to witness that as well.  
     So things are doing well in Moses Lake and a lot of baptisms coming up in the next two months.  Love you all and hope you have a great day and a Merry Christmas.