Tuesday, March 29, 2011
First off it sounds like my Dad did an amazing job in Chicago. I'm sad that I didn't hear his speech, but I can only imagine how amazing it was. I'm so glad that everyone went to support him! Even though he doesn't want to admit it, but I think it really meant a lot to him!
Well being in New York (Jimmer's Home State) there has been so much talk of BYU basketball its hard to stay away from it. Everyone keeps telling me that I need to use Jimmer as a resource to get people to learn more about the gospel. This thought always enters my mind, but lately we have been teaching the older crowd of people who probably would careless about Jimmer being mormon. Until the day we were in Schnetcady (which is ghetto-ville.) We were walking down the street and these three tall black guys in their 20's came walking towards us. I was nervous to stop them, but Sister Zwick didn't think twice she went right up to them and started talking about the church. They were so nice and we told them about what Mormons were and we gave them a mormon.org card. They were on their way to play basketball and started walking away. I then remembered the thought to use Jimmer as a resource and these boys were the perfect candidates to use it on. They were already down the street and I turn to sister Zwick and we yelled at them across the street.. "HEY!.....Do you know Jimmer Ferdette?" they yelled back "Yeah Yeah..he's cool!." We replied with a loud yelling voice "HE'S MORMON!" They nodded their heads "O cool!" and went on their way. We felt very accomplished having use the Jimmer resource in our teaching!
BYU has been the talk of the town unti after they lost. We were eating at the Bishops house Thursday night and he very kindly gave us the score before we left. It was hard to concentrate knowing that if they won this game they would make it to the next round. They said they would call us later that night to give us the final score. That night after planning me and Sister Zwick were waiting some what patiently by the phone. When the phone rang we jumped to the phone only to hear that it went into over time. We hung up the phone and were like screaming in our apartment. We then waited for the next call only to hear that they lost. Don't tell my dad, but I was secretly hopping they would lose so I wouldn't have to miss anymore games and I wouldn't have to be tortured hearing about them. hehe "SORRY!" lol My dad will probably never forgive me for saying that. Anyways, it was pretty funny that everyone was excited about it.
Even though we were sad with the loss of BYU we had a good week with teaching. We had an investigator come to church. She is a friend of a young women in our ward. It was so exciting that she wanted to come and we hope to start teaching her this week. We also received a referral from Head Quarters. As a missionary referrals are the best! We went and found this guy because he had asked for a Book of Mormon. When we started talking to him you could tell the spirit had already been working with him before we arrived. He had been trying to search for the truth and then we came along. We were so excited and started giving a short 5 minute review of the Restoration. I don't think he fully understands that we as missionaries come and teach, because he didn't want us to come. So in those 5 minutes I gave a brief description of everything. It was so amazing how strong the spirit was. I could feel the words come out of my mouth so smoothly and simply in a way he could understand. I had never explained it that well before. I was so excited to tell him everything we knew. He agreed with us that he thought there should be a modern day prophet. Its been really cool to tell people that Conference is next weekend and that the Prophet is going to speak to the whole world. It really catches their attention. After we talked to him and bore our testimony he told us he was going to start reading that night. We thought we should give him a week and we will talk to him next week. Its so hard to be patient, you just want to start teaching them everything right there. I can't wait to see where that will go.
This week I officially made a Mormon.org account so you should all try to find me. I encourage everyone if you don't have one to go make one. They are so cool and as a missionary its so helpful! SO GO MAKE ONE! :)
Well this Friday is Return and Report where after a month in the field we go back and have a meeting with my district from the MTC. I'm excited to see everyone and how they are doing!
Also while I was in the MTC KSL did a video on the MTC choir. They are planning on showing it in the middle of one of the Conferences so make sure to watch out for me and tell me if you see me in the video!
Thanks for all the letters and support! I love you all and its been so great to hear from some of you!
The church is SO TRUE!!!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Another week has gone by and I can't believe it! This week was another great week! It finally started to get warm out and I wasn't wearing boots. It was the talk of the town, how nice it was getting. Well don't get your hopes up New Yorkers because Sister Zwick and I woke up to snow snow snow! I swear its never going to stop. For some reason every P-day it snows and tries to prevent us from getting to our computers. Take that snow because I made it to the Library! Speaking of the talk of the town everyone keeps talking about BYU basketball. On Thursday night we had enrichment and they were updating everyone on the scores. Also yesterday one of the counselors in the mission presidency related his talk on BYU basketball. I'm not gonna lie its been kinda tough to listen to that. Thankful for my grandparents and my dad I also get updates, but man it sounds like they are doing great. Its especially the talk of the town here in upper state New York. Everyone I talk to in the ward has some story about how they use to play Jimmer in stake basketball. Its pretty cool not gonna lie. It would be really cool if he came back for the summer and I some how met him. They don't have sister missionaries in his home town. They took them out and put elders.. :( I think they did it because were all secretly obsessed. hehehe Anyways, Go BYU! Sister Zwick and I had a really hard lesson with a less active this week. She was basically trying to destroy our testimonies and it wasn't very fun. In those moments we just had to bear our testimony and tell her what we believed. Its funny because she hasn't even read the Book of Mormon all the way through. Its really hard because you know it would bless their lives so much. We are meeting with her in a couple weeks and I'm pretty nervous about it. I hope it goes better the second time and hopefully well be strong! So the Elders needed our car for exchanges which meant me and sister Zwick were left on bikes. The area we are in is HUGE and it took us two hours to get to the nearest members home. It was a worthless day of trying to find former investigators and less actives. The area is just too big, but we had fun figuring it out. Our tires were really low so we stopped by the bishops house and his wife drove us around to find some places. The members here are AWESOME! Hopefully we don't have to do that again because it wasn't very beneficial! The Mission President came this week and taught our district and it was amazing. He really knows his stuff and really knows how to address the concerns of the missionaries. He talked about the importance of using the scriptures and having the spirit as we teach. We talk about what type of missionary we want to be. I know that by the end it just pumped me up. I want to be such a great missionary and I want to do it because the Lord needs me to do it. Forget myself and work! Its always fun to see them and the other missionaries. Thursday night we were trying to find a former investigator and we stopped at this house thinking it was this person. As soon as we were walking up to the door this lady walked out and started to talk to us. We explained who we were and started talking to her about her faith. She said she was a born again Christan and I got really nervous when she said that. They usually push us away right away. She was really opened to us and said she wanted to go to church. Then she became very open with us, telling us her husband had died awhile ago in a car accident. I bore my testimony on the plan of salvation and how she will be able to see her husband again. I asked her if she would like that and she began to cry. We were placed there at that moment only by the spirit. He knew that we needed to find her. She unfortunately didn't show up for church but were going to try and teach her this week. I really hope she listens because I know the gospel will bless her life. I remember as I was bearing my testimony to her I was so happy to be able to comfort her. I was happy to be able to give her answers! We are so lucky to know them and have the gospel!This week sister Zwick and I were able to meet with a less active who is having Word of Wisdom problems. She wants to go to the temple with her family but can't seem to get there and get over her addiction. We asked her to come to church and we told her if she follows the commandments and does her part the Lord will help her and she needs to have faith. We planned on talking to her about faith in the lesson and before we even started she kept talking about faith and how she needed to have it. It was amazing and she came for two hours on Sunday with her family. That was great progress and I think she really wants to get to the temple. She wants to go to the Boston Temple so were going to find her a picture to put in her house to remind her to get there. Just in these past three weeks I have learned that I love to talk to people. I love just meeting people! Its been such a great blessing to have that opportunity. Everyday we meet new people and in every situation no matter what the problems are we can help them. We can help them only because of the gospel. The gospel addresses any situation and answers all questions. Its been so much fun to meet people and get them back on the road to eternal life. I love laughing with them and talking about their lives. Something that I learned is always keep a foot in the door. We as missionaries can keep trying and just love them. If we stay in their lives a little bit maybe in the future they will let us come in the door. Its important we do that with everyone we know. Plant that seed in their lives! Its such a great thing!This week we also found 3 new investigators and I'm really excited about that. The lord really blessed us this weekend. Hopefully we can keep teaching them and bring them closer to Christ. Its taken us a little longer to make our teaching pool bigger because we were both new to the area, but I have a feeling its going to only get bigger. I can't wait for another great week! Hopefully we can make some progress and get closer to some baptisms! I love being a missionary! I love meeting people! I love answering people's questions about the gospel because we always have an answer! Keep up the missionary work at home!
Monday, March 14, 2011
Another week in New York! This week was a lot better because we keep finding more investigators and teaching is way more fun then finding. My mission president came this week to my area so we had interviews with them. He said he already heard an update from the ward and they said that me and Sister Zwick are doing great. Me and Sister Zwick had to give a 15 minute lesson to the Mission president and his wife and they were acting as investigators. I was really nervous at first, but it went really good. Afterwards they were saying how impressed they were with my teaching having only been out for two weeks. I give most of my credit to my major because I've been teaching for three years already. They seemed really proud of us and our work here in the Glenville area. It just pumped me up to get out there and find people. The day I have to say goodbye to my trainer will be so sad and hard to do. I'm going to miss her so much and I believe we will be friends for life. We work so well together. That was good to hear. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be in this area until July. My trainer is leaving in May and they will need me to stay here because I know what’s going on. I'm really excited about that I love the people and members here. This is area is just great!
This week was a lot better success wise. We have been stopping by a lot of less actives to see where they are and hopefully get them back to church. We stopped by a ladies house and she wasn't home and as we were walking away she pulled up in her van. She had 5 kids (all so very cute) and we started talking to her. She was cool, she reminded me of Aunt Diane. She was so nice to us and we were just talking. She joined the church when she was younger while studying abroad in France, but she went back to her catholic church and her family is catholic now. We set up a return appointment and gave her an invite to a ward dinner at the church that night. We had been passing them out all week and thought we would give her one. We said goodbye excited about our next appointment. That night we went to the ward social and it was great to be around the members and their families. During the social a member came up to us to tell us that this lady had come with her whole family. We look over and sure enough she came with all her kids and husband. I was so excited! We walked over to her to greet her, but only said hi really quick for the ward members had taken action with greeting her and her family. I was so happy that the ward members took them in and made them feel welcomed. It really makes missionaries jobs so much easier! I couldn't stop smiling I couldn't believe that she came, she was making friends with some of the sisters in the ward because of some common interest. That night I couldn't stop smiling I was so happy. I thought to myself if I get this happy to see a less active come to an activity how will I feel when I get my first baptism. It was so exciting.
I love the members here! On tuesday night we went to a members home and they have three little boys who are so cute. The mom had a painting project she was doing with her boys in the basement. She had painting all the walls about the creation, tree of life, the iron rod, all these scripture stories. It was just so fun and we were able to help a little bit with the painting. There is so much I have learned from the members we visit. Just watching there family shows me how I want my family to be like some day. They are really great examples to me and I'm so happy they are apart of my life.
So something I've learned is finding people isn't the most fun part of missionary work. Something that I do with investigators or less actives is try and picture what their calling would be in the ward. Like the lady I was talking about who came to the activity, she would be a great young women's president. It helps me when I picture them in the church that way I'm more positive when they turn us down. It only motivates me more to get them baptized!
I love Sundays! Its hard during the week when you have so much rejection and put downs. Its nice to have one day when you can be around ward members who believe what you believe. I savor those three hours and take everything in that I possible can! I'm excited for church and its a relief. This sunday after church me and my companion went home for lunch before we went back out to teach. We got a phone call from a lady who is in the ward that goes right after our ward. She told us that a young single girl was at the church and she had been coming for awhile now, but never met with missionaries. Me and Sister Zwick were so excited! We hung up the phone and put our coats on and ran to the car to go back to church. As we were running back to the church to find this girl I thought of how we are like the ghostbusters. Instead of finding ghost we find people who want to come unto christ. I thought of like a theme song as we were on the go. (Sisters on the go, ready to help those to come unto christ..) Thats what we do! Anyways, we found the girl and she had already been to church 6 times and seemed pretty interested. She has spring break so we won't be able to follow up until April, but I think she might be my first baptism! This is every missionaries dream! She had already been to church, she just needs the discussions. I will keep you updated on that!
Me and my companion have been working really hard with this investigator. His whole family are members but him, and we think he is becoming more accepting to listening to our message. This week were going to talk about prophets, because I think that is one of his hold ups. Its been really cool to study about prophets and what it says in the bible. Its just amazing how much you can learn and how much it makes sense! I've noticed since I have been on my mission that my scripture understanding has increased. The more I read the more I can relate it to my life. Its the coolest thing, I don’t know why I haven't done that more often before. We are so lucky to have them!
One last story.. This week me and Sister Zwick were trying to find some less actives. We went to their house and these people answered and told us that they moved. So we started talking to these people and they were very accepting to listening to our message. They seemed very religious themselves and we had like a 20 minute conversation right on their doorstep. We scheduled a return appointment and the guy seemed very interested in the Book of Mormon. Its amazing how the Lord works. We were trying to find less actives and ran into these people. I'm really excited to see where things go with them!
I'm finally getting the hang of things here in Glenville New York. Its getting a little better and the more we find the more we get to teach. Something my mission president said was he learned more about teaching in the two years of his mission then his 6 years of college. That gets me excited about my future career as a teacher. I'm already learning so much about teaching and I'm so blessed to have this opportunity. I'm not gonna lie, its been really hard to adjust into this new life of mine, but the days when people come back to church and the days when you feel close to a baptism makes up for any doubts I ever had. I'm excited for what the future brings!
Each day I learn more about the gospel that I didn't know the day before. Each day my testimony grows even more about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. I know that this is the true church and that with out a prophet on the earth today we would be lost and we would have no direction on what to do. I have a testimony of a modern day prophet that he guides the church today and receives revelation from God to guide us in these latter days! We are so lucky to have this, so go share it with others!
Until Next time
P.S. Thank you to Grandma and Grandpa Smoot! The only letter I have received since I have been here is from them! So if you want to be as cool as them SEND ME LETTERS!! I love to get them! :)
Sister Jennifer Stacey
15 C Ashdown Road
Ballston Lake, NY 12019
I'll Leave you with a scripture that I read this week that really made me think!
D&C 60: 2-3
"for they will not open their mouths...they hid the talent which I have given unto them, because of the fear of man....if they are not more faithful unto me, it shall be taken away, even that which they have."
This made me realize how important our message is. That we need to open our mouths and tell everyone we know. We should not fear man or be scared of what they will say. I'm working on this right now. To tell everyone I see and I shouldn't care what they’re going to say or think of me. They need to hear this message!
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Ok funny story. I have been waiting all week for today so that I could write my first email. We woke up to snow snow snow! We did our study and then went in the car to leave to come to the library. Well because the snow is so awesome we got stuck and our neighbors had to helped us get our car out of the snow. An hour later we finally got it out and went to the library and it was closed! AHHH! So we drove across town to another one. Its been a long morning, but nothing was going to stop me from writing my first email!
So I'm finally here. I left the MTC last week and it was sad to leave my comp and my district. I know its weird but I kind of miss the MTC. :( It was a great experience. I was able to see my cousins the last Sunday and it was so much fun. I left the MTC at 4 in the morning and arrived in Syracuse at 4 in the afternoon. It was so much fun to talk to my family in the airport. I was able to call my dad who was in New Zealand. It felt so normal, like I never left. It was great! We got off the plane and my mission president and his wife were there waiting for us. My mission president had the biggest smile on his face and was so happy. They were so welcoming. We all went and ate pizza and got to know our mission president and his wife more. We went to their home and had interviews and orientation and went to bed early! The next day we were to be assigned to our new area and companion. We went to the mission office and had our first meeting. I was assigned to my new companion. I don't know what it is but God has blessed me so much with my companions. My trainer is AWESOME! Her name is Sister Zwick and she is from Alpine Utah. She is leaving in May which is sad but I am so blessed to have her. We have so much fun together and she has the most amazing spirit. I have already learned so much from her. So after I met my trainer we were assigned an area. Something they do on missions is "double in" an area. This is not too fun it means that both missionaries have no knowledge of the people or the area. So we got doubled in to the Glenville area. We both got here on Wed. and had to start from scratch. We have been trying to build up a pool of investigators and less actives but it is keeping us busy. I just love my trainer; she is amazing when she teaches I hope that I can be just like her someday. One thing about being in this area is we get a car!! YAY! So my back hasn't been giving me problems and that is an amazing blessing. Our third companion is called GPS.. hehe we would probably die or be lost with out it. I'm so glad I brought one. The roads here are sooo confusing! My first day of tracking we went to downtown Schenectady. We went to meet up with a former investigator who at the time we showed up was being taught by a Jehovah’s Witness. My first contact/lesson ever was with this guy and all he talked about was war and how could Mormons be in ward. My companion and I handled the situation well but it wasn't till after we left we both had to laugh, only because that happened to be my first contact ever! It was a cool experience. Schenectady is a way ghetto place and I'm sure at times we were walking in places we probably shouldn't have been walking. hehe We knocked on this guys door and asked him if he had a belief in God and he said, "he's alright" We thought that was hilarious. Its kinda cool to see how the holy ghost works with people. We knocked on this one ladies door and she was crying and said "nows not a good time we just had a death in the family" The things the people say you know that the Holy Ghost was trying to let us know. We are excited to try and get a lesson in with her next week. I think just from this week's experience it has made me so excited to meet lots of people. People are hilarious and Its so fun to just talk to everyone! When we street contact I'm still a little shy, but my comp never lets a person walk by. I hope through out these next couple of months my shyness will go away and I will be more comfortable talking to people! So Sunday was absoutley amazing! My companion was in heaven because she just came from an area where there were 14 people in her branch. The ward we go to is the biggest ward in the mission. The members were amazing and we already have a meal with a member every night this month. I learned as a missionary how much you appreciate members! I encourage everyone as a member to try and have missionaries over for dinner more often. You love their company and through members you get refferals! It’s amazing! Just this Sunday we got 2 refferals! So this Sunday was fast and testimony meeting so we thought it would be good to introduce ourselves to the ward so we went up to give our testimonies. I said I was from Colorado and afterwards I found out that there are two missionaries from the ward i'm serving in that are serving in the Denver North mission. (Smith and Sullivan) Going to church was so much fun, I can't wait to get to know the rest of the ward! So there is a man here that is not a member, but his whole family is. The missionaries have been to his home for 20 years trying to convert him, but never have been able to. His whole family goes to the ward here. When we went to go visit him this week we found out that his son Matt Sullivan is serving in the Denver North mission. He was so excited and we talked about his son. I'm sure my Dad knows him. I hope that this is the connection we need to get him baptized! I really hope we can, he is just a great guy! It’s just a small world! So I will keep you updated on that as well! I'm not gonna lie this week has been hard to adjust into, its a lot different the MTC. I find that when I’m working and teaching it’s easier to forget about work and focus on the people. The more I get to know people and want to help them the more I feel like this is really where I'm suppose to be! New York is sooo beautiful and there are tree's everywhere I hope that I can come back and live here someday. Well I better go, but I can't wait to keep you updated on these people we have meet. I"m doing so great and I know the Lord placed me with my Trainer sister Zwick and in this area for a reason. I can't wait to find out waht that reason is. My testimony has grown with faith. Faith is which is hoped for not seen, I know that if I study and pray often the lord will lead me to those in need of this message. I need to have faith and if i'm doing the right things and being obedient we will find those who need to hear our message. I have also grown a huge testimony of the scriptures. The more I read them the more I can apply them to my life now as a missionary. I'm so grateful to have them as a guide today! We are so blessed to have them in our lives! The more I see peoplel's lives with out the gospel the more I become more grateful to have it in my life! This is truly an amazing experience! I know this church is true! GO TO CHURCH AND HELP MISSIONARIES!
I love you all so much!
Until next time!
So I might get transferred in 6 weeks I might not, but if you want to get something to me faster and you know it will get to me before 6 weeks is over use this address
Sister Jennifer Stacey
15 C Ashdown Rd
Ballston Lake, NY
If you just want to keep it safe and you don't know where I will be in 6 weeks use this address and they will send me a letter where ever I am.
Sister Jennifer Stacey (make sure you put my first name)
New York Utica Mission
P.O. Box 149
I forgot, but we taught this family and the mom isn't a member. Both the Husband and the wife work for Guitar hero and Rock band. they design the characters. I was so excited and it was a great conversation starter! I was lovin it, because we all know I love guitar hero. I kinda met famous people! hehe it was so cool! Also we went to this less actives ladies house and the whole night she kept bringing up her visiting teacher. How her V.T. dropped cookies off and how she had kids but still found time to read the scriptures. So because of the V.T. was doing that this lady started to read her scriptures. After leaving her house I gained a testimony of visiting teaching. I know it seems awkward and dumb, but I could see in this ladies eyes her appreciation for her V.T. You don't realized how much impact you have on people and from then on I will never forget to visit teach. it really does help and I'm so grateful we have it. It was so amazing!
Some pictures from the MTC