Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Airway Heights - New Area 2/25/2013

    Good day all.  This pday has been a super weird one and I haven't had time to email until about 2:30, so this will need to be kind of short.  First of all, I am really excited about my new area.  I am in a city called Airway Heights, actually about 10 minutes out of Spokane, and we cover 2 wards.  My first day there, I was greeted with a snow storm=(  Being used to near 60 degree weather, it was a little disappointing, and cold.  Elder Christensen is a great companion as well.  He is enthusiastic for the work and has a real love for those we teach.  I feel I have been able to get to know the area as well as I can in a week.  We have a pretty small teaching pool right now, so we spent a lot of time tracting, but the people we are teaching are super cool.  We are teaching a man named Dennis who is on date for March 23.  Missionaries have been teaching him for some time now and the main hold up for him in the past was coming to church.  He has been coming now though for about a month and he really loves it.  He is gaining a strong testimony of the Restored Gospel and loves to learn.  He is progressing so well that we have talked about moving his date forward a couple weeks because we feel he is prepared.  

     The Frostad brothers are the other two people we have on-date.  Theirs' is an interesting case.  They are the epitome of what a dry mormon would be.  They were raised in the church, going actively for years, as their mom is a member of the church.  Their dad is not, however and would not approve of them being baptized from what I understand.  Now that their older though, the oldest one wants to serve a mission, which of course, of necessity would require him to be a member of the church.  So his dad gave them approval to be baptized.  Being basically raised in the church, there is not really anything to teach them though that they do not already know.  They are super awesome though and I am super excited to see them get baptized.

     In our finding efforts, we have found 3 new people to teach, one of which seems super legit.  his name is Colton, and when we tracted into him, asked us to come back, and when we did, we were able to share the message of the Restoration with him and his mom.  Colton especially had felt the spirit and told us he would like to continue to learn more.  We have another lesson with him this week and can share more as we get to know him better.

   Well I have to go now,  sorry this is such a short email, but next week, things should be back to normal.  I am excited to be in the area and do all I can to help the work progress forward.  I love you all and hope you have a great week

Elder Stacey

Monday, February 18, 2013

Transfer to West Terrace, Spokane 2/18/2013

    Good morning everybody, how are you all doing?  To start off, yes, I did get grandmas letter and the letter with the sees chocolate(they were very appreciated) thanks a bunch.  And also mom, if I read the email right, you asked me if it was time to send sugar cookies, and my answer is "yes, it is".  Also HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week mom!!  I hope you have a great one. I am doing very well, as we had an awesome week last week.  As I said last Monday, we got our transfer calls, and as might be expected after serving in an area for close to 9 months, I will not be staying.  All transfers are bittersweet, but this one in particular.  Spending as long in Moses Lake as I did in my other two areas combined so far, I have really come to know and love Moses Lake and the people here.  It truly had become a home for me and I have seen so many wonderful miracles in these last few months.  I will be going to Spokane, to a place called West Terrace, and I am super excited.  Other than that, I know nothing about it.  If I remember correctly, my companions name is Elder Christensen.  Because I'm transferring, there is a lot we have to do before tomorrow morning, so I don't have a whole lot of time. 
     To start out, Jacobs baptism went so well.  The whole day he was just way happy and the spirit was so strong during the baptism.  As I said last week, Forest was the one to baptize him, which was particularly special.  The attendance was pretty special as well, for two reasons.   First, Jacobs family came and were able to feel the spirit and enthusiasm of Jacob, to witness this event in his life.  The second was that one of the sister missionaries, who originally tracted into Forest came to the baptism.  The reason why this is a miracle is that she had no idea that his grandson was getting baptized, and she had come up from BYU this weekend to witness another baptism for somebody she had taught.  Jacobs baptism was originally going to happen a week earlier, but different circumstances caused that it would need to be held this last Saturday.  When she came into the stake center to watch the other baptism is when she found out about Jacobs baptism and of Forest performing it.  So she was able to witness that as well, which meant a lot for her and for Forest.
     Glenda went to church this week, which is a huge step for her, and she really enjoyed it.  Her situation has improved quite a bit, but still seems pretty stressed about certain things such as finding a job.  But she is definitely progressing because she is going to church and she has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying.
     Marcus and Melissa were well enough to come to church this week and they are getting more and more enthusiastic about their wedding and baptism.  They talk about it all the time, they read together and pray together, and they love coming to church.  One of the greatest reasons why it is hard to leave Moses Lake is that I will not get to see them be baptized.  Really though, it's just important to me that they are going to be baptized, I have no doubt.  They are so amazing.
     Brittney is getting baptized on the 21st at 6, and I am really sad to be missing that as well.  She is so great as well, and she has a wonderful support system, I am not worried at all about her. 
     Anyway thats about all I have time for, I love you all and I love this work.  I loved serving in Moses Lake, and I will love serving in West Terrace.  Say hi to Megan in person to me=) I hope you have a great week this week, and talk to you next week.=)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Had a Great Birthday 2/11/2013

Good morning!!!  

We had a great week as always and have a super exciting week this week.  First of all, I did have a great birthday on Friday.  I did love the watch.  It was a pleasant surprise actually since I totally forgot to ask for a watch for Christmas, and I really was wanting a new one.  So thank you very much.  We had a zone meeting in the morning in which we talked about the importance of inviting people to be baptized.  It was kind of interesting for me to contemplate what was said.  Essentially what was said was that every program we have and everything we do as missionaries has the end goal of baptism.  President Mullen gave a good analogy about sports such as football.  The plays in football are not designed only to gain a few yards, but ultimately designed to score a touchdown.  That is our same purpose, our "plays" are not meant for us to just help people become better, but to help them receive the gospel of Jesus Christ through Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End.  It really was a great meeting.  We have had a lot of wonderfully spiritual meetings this transfer that have helped us to improve ourselves.  Anyway, for the rest of the afternoon, we spent time tracting, had dinner at a Chinese place, and then had a lesson with the Morans.  It was a super day.

     Jacob is getting baptized on Saturday!!!  His testimony is growing so much and he really enjoys learning more about the church and about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We can really tell as we teach him that he truly wants to understand everything.  His baptismal interview is today and after that things are good to go.  The really amazing thing about this is that Forest is going to be baptizing him. 

     Marcus and Melissa were sick this week so we weren't able to have a lesson with them and they couldn't come to church.  They are still doing great spiritually as far we know.  We are hopefully seeing them tomorrow.  I think they are going to have Josh baptize them, which is awesome as well.  In the 8 months I have been here, I am going to see two men go from investigating the church, to baptizing family and friends.  I love seeing them learn and progress in the gospel even after they have been baptized.

     Brittney, Josh's niece is on track to be baptized next Thursday, and is so enthusiastic.  Josh is going to be baptizing her as well.  We have another lesson with her tomorrow and Bishop Tolley will be interviewing her sometime this week.

     Glenda has been more optimistic this week.  We had a lesson with her on Monday in which we read 2 Nephi 2 with her.  She also had a job interview this week which has looked promising.  She still hasn't come to church yet though, and we really hope to help her see the importance and blessing that church is this week.

     At church this week, a member brought one of their friends, named Benz to church with them.  She really enjoyed it and wants to be able to learn more about the church for her and her family.  She has gone through some real struggles from what it sounds like and is in a very humble position right now, but she really does seem sincere about taking the discussions.
     We have had some good success this week in using the pamphlets in finding situations.  We found a family of 4 that let us in and share a message for 10 minutes.  We taught the Restoration and gave them a Book of Mormon.  They mentioned that they didn't necessarily intend to join the church, but that they would at least read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and we have a time to come back and meet them this week.

     So things are going great here.  I am happy to be here and we have a good amount of people we're teaching right now that I love so much.  Transfers are coming up on Sunday.  I've dodged the last 6 transfers, so we'll see what happens  on Sunday.  Will Megan be home when I write my next email???  It is so crazy that amount of time has elapsed.  Anyway, I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.

Elder Stacey

Help From Members 2/04/2013

     Good morning everybody, how is it going.  Hope you all had a good week last week.  We had a super week.  It has been so nice outside (in the 50's) that we have been walking around a lot, and have met some good potentials, and have had some great lessons with everyone we're teaching.  
     We taught Jacob the Word of Wisdom this last week and he really seemed to understand it and why it's important.  We committed him to living the Word of Wisdom and he is still looking good for February 16th.  
     Marcus and Melissa are awesome as well.  Marcus is still feeling pain from his blood clot, but really wanted to come to church on Sunday.  Josh picked him and Melissa up and they went to the stake center for stake conference.  I was especially impressed with Marcus.  You could tell that his leg was giving him quite a bit of grief and it would have been a lot more comfortable and convenient for him to just stay home.  In a specialized training we had last week, we were told to ask ourselves a series of questions at the end of every lesson we have with an investigator.  One of them was,  "What evidence is there that their faith is growing and that they are preparing to enter into the covenant of baptism?"  Well Marcus and Melissa have shown time and time again that they are exercising faith and repenting by everything they do.  When we committed them to stop smoking, they never smoked another cigarette, when we committed them to live the law of chastity, they set a date to be married and are sticking with it.  The commitment they've made to come to church every week and read the scriptures on top of that is such  a huge testimony builder to me.  
     We had another lesson with Josiah this week on the Plan of Salvation.  It was the shortest Plan of Salvation lesson I have ever had on the mission and it was super spiritual.  We invited him to be baptized on March 9thand he told us that he has really been accepting the things we have taught and he really wants to pray about it to make sure it's right for him.  Josiah rocks.  He read through the whole Book of Mormon since we met with him and is going through it again to try to pick up more of the spiritual things in it.  He also really understands the principle of faith and patience.  He is not very concerned with knowing it all right away, but he feels as questions come up that as he researches the questions will (and some already have) be answered.
     We took Glenda on a church tour with Bishop Tucker.  As we were able to talk to her throughout the tour, I definitely felt that this is something that she wants in her life.  She has gone through a lot recently financially and spiritually and has really felt the need to strengthen her relationship with Christ.  Bishop Tucker was very friendly to her and invited her family to his home today for family home evening with he and his wife, (and us).  
     This has been a wonderful week.  Moses Lake is a great place to be a missionary.  The members are great at helping us find and teach people, and I just feel like the Lord is pouring out his spirit here.  I love you all and hope you have a great week.