Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bed Bugs and Baptism Date...Bittersweet week!


Wow, where do I start. This week has been crazy! Remember last week when I told you my companion was getting weird bites all over her body..well we figured out where it was coming from. Last Monday we ate at the Dinkel's one of our favorite families in the ward. Both of them served foreign missions so they were telling us stories. They started to talk about gross bugs that were on their mission..so we decided to tell them that Sister Zwick had been getting weird bites. They believed it was Bed Bugs(a problem New York is having). We went to the Internet to research and they showed us pictures of bed bug bites and they looked exactly like sister Zwicks. They started to read the description of where they come from and what they do.These bed bugs hide in your clothes and your bed and come out at night and bite you..ewww He read this part that stuck out to us saying they come out to bite you right before dawn. We left our dinner appointment freaked out and feeling itchy. That night was probably the worse nights sleep I have ever had so far on my mission. Me and sister Zwick woke up every hour waiting for dawn to come, because we knew that when dawn would come they would come out of the bed to bite us. We were freaked out! The next morning we called my mission Presidents wife who told us, sure enough you have bed bugs. She told us that we should take all our clothes and go wash them and spray down our whole apartment and beds with this poison stuff. We called a member who lives by us and she was more than happy to help us. With out question she had us come over to wash our clothes. We went in and out because we had lessons we had to teach. That night we went to a members home to celebrate passover. I was so excited, I hadn't celebrated passover since I was in Israel. The member used to be Jewish so he was able to do it just like I remembered. (I was in heaven) We were all sitting around the table reading in Exodus about the different plagues that occurred. Sister Zwick was reading in chapter 8 and she started reading the verse where it says, "And the river shall bring forth frogs..which shall go up and come into thine house, and into they bedchamber, and upon thy bed..." at this very scripture we both started to laugh. We had to be serious because it was in the middle of passover, but all we could think about was how our apartment has nasty bed bugs everywhere and this scripture relates too well not to laugh. It was one of those moments. After passover we went home to spray our apartment and the member Sister Maughn let us spend the night so we wouldn't have to sleep with the poison. I'm not kidding that night we slept the best we have since we came out on our missions. It was amazing and we didn't have to worry about bugs biting us. The next day we had to wash more clothes and we went home thinking they would all be gone. Two days later we saw some more. We really don't know what else to do. So we still sleep in terror waiting for the little bugs to bite. Now I fully understand the phrase.."Sleep Tight...Don't let the bed bugs bite" I feel so blessed to have such awesome members around to help us. They have been so willing to help! I really don't know what we are going to do, every morning I have to check my clothes before putting them on just in case a bug is stuck to it. I have been thinking about my two older sisters and how they probably would have literally died by now. hahah Its been such a crazy week, I really hope we can get rid of these bugs, because its been really hard to focus. I just want to be able to come home at night and relax, but instead I'm always worried about where I walk and sit. gross...I'm so glad I'm not serving in a South America mission. If I can't handle this..I would have not been able to survive those missions. haha

Despite the bed bugs we had the best blessing come. I SET MY FIRST BAPTISM DATE!!! We met with a 11 year old girl this week named Timmia. We have been meeting with her for awhile and we felt it was time to set her with a date. We first asked her when she would like to be baptized and she wanted to do it on her birthday..which is Feb. 24th..um.. too far.. we then were able to get the date to May 14th. She was so excited and she said the sweetest prayer afterwards about how she was so excited about baptism and that she hopes we can find more people to teach like her. I couldn't stop smiling for the rest of the day, I was so excited! I really hope she will stick to her date and we can get her baptized! It just made me so happy! The Lord is really watching out for us.

I hope everyone had a great Easter weekend. We ate at the Bishops home Saturday night and we were able to decorate some eggs. I'm all about holiday stuff, so that was so much fun! Easter Sunday was amazing! We ate at a members home for dinner and that was so much fun. Afterwards we went over the Sullivans for some dessert and spiritual message. I'm pretty sure the Sullivans are my second family here in Glenville. Sister Zwick and I just love going to their house and visiting with them. Sister Sullivan is awesome and always fun to be around and of course we love teaching her husband. Last night their oldest son did a spiritual lesson and we watched the conference talk by Elder Holland called "None were with him" If you haven't heard that one, I very much recommend it. The spirit was so strong! It was such an amazing talk that portrayed Christ and his last days beautifully. It really made you think of how he must have felt and how thankful we should be to him. I thought about when I was in Israel and I was able to walk the last week of his life. I remember feeling sad when we started in the garden of Gethsemane and it grew to almost anger when he was tortured and then we ended our day in the Garden Tomb and then I became happy. I left that day feeling happy because "He is Risen" he was resurrected. That's what we should focus on and be happy about. This Easter Sunday was amazing and its always great to reflect on our Savior Jesus Christ and remember all the sacrifices he made for us so we never have to be alone.

Despite the bugs this week was a great week and I was able to set my first baptismal date which made up for everything. I'm so excited about that! I also was thinking of my best friend Ali all day on the 21st who got married. CONGRATS! I love you and I'm so happy for you! Hopefully we can figure out this bed bug problem!

Love you all,

Sister Stacey

pic 1) the bed bug

pic 2) sis zwick spraying the bugs

ewwww gross....

pic 3) Decorating easter eggs wiht Sarah the bishops daughter. She loves when we come over!

pic 4) Me at Passover mean this is the sedar plate

pic 5) Easter Morning with the eggs we decorated!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Easter!

Hello Everyone,

This week was kind of a bummer week with lessons. It felt like every lesson we had set up with someone they would cancel on us or not remember when we showed up for the appointment. Its hard not to get discouraged when that happens. I don't think these people realize that this is all we do every day all day long. (hahaha) They don't realize that we get excited to meet with them and teach them, its what we look forward to in the morning. haha We had some great people lined up to teach this week and most of them fell through. I thought of Chapter 8 in Alma. Alma goes to the city Ammonihah to preach the gospel, but when he gets there and starts preaching he is persecuted and cast out of the city. He leaves the city feeling.."sorrow and an anguish of soul" (v.14), but then an angel appears to him and tells him to go back again and preach unto the people. So Alma goes back and finds Amulek who is prepared by the spirit to learn from Alma, then together they go preach to the people. I love this chapter because it reminds me as a missionary to never give up. That I should keep trying to find people then the Lord will eventually give me an Amulek someone who has been prepared by the Spirit to hear the words of the Lord. This chapter gave me comfort and like it says in the scripture.. "caused me to rejoice!"

Later in the week we did meet with a family who I believe are prepared. Conference morning we went to an appointment, but the women wasn't there. As we were walking back to our car we met a women (Precious) with her two boys. We started to talk to her and she told us she just moved here and was looking for a church to go to. We met with her and her boys this weekend. We taught the message of the restoration and her boys were willing to participate and read scriptures with us, it was so great! We met her fiance Simba who was incredibly nice. I have a great feeling about them and they committed for sure to attend church Easter Sunday! I'm very excited for next weekend!

Sunday was a great sabbath day! We had two investigators come to church. One was Melanie, she is girl our age going to Union college. She loves church and is very prepared for the message. It was great to see her at church. The other investigator we had that was so exciting was one of our investigators who is the only non-member in his family. He has been meeting with missionaries for over 15 years. We called him the night before to remind him and couldn't wait to get to church to see him there. We waited by the door and we saw his wife and he wasn't there and we got really sad, but when she saw us she said, "don't worry he is coming." We went and sat down and 10 minutes later he walked in and sat with his family. I wish you could have seen our faces. We both had the biggest smiles! We were so happy! We made sure afterwards to get him to Sunday school and with great fellowship from one of the ward members we got him to come to class. The lesson was on sacrifice and it was seriously one of the most powerful lessons I have ever attended at church before. We had two less actives there as well and it was so great to talk about Christ and the sacrifice he made for us. It was a beautiful lesson and I'm so grateful we had an investigator there to hear it. Afterwards we asked if he would stay for priesthood and he was already planning on it. It was a great feeling to get him there to church. He works every other Sunday so we hope to get him there again in a couple of weeks! Our prayers were surely answered that day!

Well I'm excited for Easter Sunday and I hope that we can all remember our Savior and what he has done for us. I just encourage everyone to read Alma 7. "And he shall go forth suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind...he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people.." Two years ago this Easter Sunday I sat in the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem Israel, I remember trying to imagine how Mary felt the day she saw Christ after he was resurrected. I have a testimony that Jesus is the Christ. He did die for us that we can return to our Heavenly Father. Christ is the central to our gospel and he is central to Heavenly Fathers plan of salvation. If it wasn't for Christ we would not be able to repent, we would dwell in our sins forever, but by the atonement we can be free of sin and live in happiness and peace. This is a great message that we should all know and apply in our lives. I'm so grateful for Him!

Have a wonderful Easter Sunday!


Sister Stacey!

Pic 1: They just opened a the first Frozen Yogurt place here in glenville area. We went during our dinner break and it was PACKED with people. Frozen yogurt places are not popular out east. Me and Sister Zwick were really excited though to get some!

Pic 2: Sister Zwick has been getting weird bug bites every night. So we think we might have bed bugs. So we had to clean out our room and beds. Not very fun! Well hopefully that helps! haha

Pic 3: We go visit this Older women in a home and when we went that day they said the floor was on restriction from vomiting. Gross! We still went and visited her!

Monday, April 11, 2011

First transfer is over!

Hello Everyone,
Another great week here in Glenville New york! This weeks schedule was a little different. At the end of our missions we get to go to Palmyra and go to the temple and visit the Sacred Grove. Well my companion sister Zwick got to do that this week. So we drove down to Utica monday night and stayed at the mission home. On tuesday when she went to the temple I went to Fayettville for the day. There were four of us sisters blitzing the area. That morning me and Sister Pitts went around together. Sister Pitts was in my district in the MTC. My mission President seemed very excited to have two "rookies" out together. It was funny to think that a month ago we were in the MTC and now we were out knocking doors together. We did pretty well, but it felt like no one was home and was kind of a dead morning. Then in the afternoon I went with sister Pitts companion and we went to lessons. We went to a lesson to teach this guy Larry. When we went into his apartment there was music all over the place and he played us some music on the guitar it was cool. It was definitely weird teaching a lesson without sister Zwick. Later that day we went to teach a lesson to this guy and he wasn't home, but.. his son answered the door and seemed really interested in learning. It made me sad that I couldn't teach him again.. haha It was weird teaching in a different area and with different people. The whole day I missed my home (Glenville). I missed the people I was teaching.. I was so excited to go home! At the end of the day I was SOOO happy to see Sister Zwick. I missed her so much, I'm not saying I didn't like serving with the other sisters, but I was excited to see my companion again. We went back to Glenville the next day and I was sooo happy to be home! Its going to be so hard when the time comes for me to leave that place!
Exciting news! We met this girl Melanie a couple weeks ago and we finally got to meet with her this week. She has some friends in the ward she comes to church with so she just needs the discussions. We met with her on Friday. She lives on the campus of Union College. It was weird walking around all these students my same age. Side note story; Sister Zwick and I were walking down this street and this college boy was walking right towards us. He was our age and she turned me and said, "you got this sister." I looked at her and said "no way!" I was so nervous to talk to him and if it wasn't for Sister Zwick starting the conversation I would have walked right past. It wasn't so bad after we started to talk to him and turned out to be fine. I'm starting to think a college town would not be a fun place to serve. It would make me too nervous..haha I should probably start to work on that nervousness. haha Anyways, we met with her and the first thing she talked to us about was the Spirit. She started explaining this feeling she gets when she goes to church. This was my first time ever hearing someone explain the Spirit, it was so amazing! I couldn't stop smiling because I knew what it was and I was so excited to tell her what it was. The lesson went amazing and she was so excited to learn about Joseph Smith and the first vision. When we got to the part about Joseph praying in the sacred grove she stopped us and said "I'm having that feeling right now!" The spirit was so strong and I knew she felt it! It was a great reward as a missionary to hear her say that! I'm excited to meet with her and I believe she will be my first baptism!
This week we also met with a woman named Delea. She is so cute and has 3 kids. Every time we go over there to teach her, her kids are so involved and love it when we come over. We even had the little girl give the prayer and she was so excited. We taught about the Plan of Salvation and pressed the importance of having our families together forever and she really liked that idea. We told her to watch conference and the time she happened to flip it on was during President Monson's talk on temples. How perfect! She is still hesitant on coming to church which is a bummer! We want her to come because we know her kids would love it! So we'll see where that goes!
So this week is transfer week. Saturday night we get the transfer calls telling us if were staying or leaving. Me and sister Zwick were anxiously waiting by the phone. When the phone rang my heart dropped... I DO NOT like these transfer calls they're nerve racking! We answered and the Elders asked if we had any guesses. We guessed that we were both staying and we were right! We were both so relieved! This means I will be here until July for sure and sister Zwick will finish her mission here. I don't know if I can handle 12 more of those calls! haha They can be scary!
Well another exciting week here in Glenville New York! I miss you all at home and hope life is going as great as mine! Apparently it's the summer to get married. I have yet to hear back from my best friends who are getting married Lindsey, Snarr and Mike! So write me! I want to hear about it! Other than that hope everything is going great back home!
Love you all,
Sister Stacey

Pic 1: We had to take this one

Pic 2: We went to the City for the weekend.. jk there is a mini Statue of liberty downtown Schenctady

pic 3: I almost didn't recognize it because i never use my first name anymore.. thought this was cool. Now i have picture with a jennnifer rd in New york and a Stacey Ln in Jackson Hole wyoming. haha

Pic 4: There are so many beautiful churchs in upper stake new york. This was in Fayetteville my day with outsister Zwick

Monday, April 4, 2011

General Conference is like Christmas to Missionaries!

Hello Everyone,

This week has been such an amazing week, but I'm going to first talk about General Conference because it is fresh in my mind. They say that General Conference is equivalent to Christmas to missionaries. Well that statement is very true. I was so excited for Conference I could barely sleep the night before. My companion and I committed someone to come to the Saturday morning session. We were really excited, but she didnt' have a ride so Saturday morning we were calling people to ask if they could give her one to the church. We finally found some people to give her one and we planned that they would pick us up at the church and then go pick her up and come back. We waited and waited and they didn't come and it was about 11:08. We called them and they said they thought it was for tomorrow, but they could still help out. In a hurry we drove to their house and knocked on the door. The wife said her husband had gone to the bank and would be back then we could leave. We waited very patiently and when he returned we got in the car. For some reason the whole family had to come and they had to put up the back seats, but it was filled with stuff so we then started frantically cleaning out their car. Again let me remind you that its about 11:40 and conference starts at Noon. We drove to this laddies house and we waited for her to get ready. Once we were in the car we started heading back to the church but the member driving kept taking the longest routes to get there. We were finally at our last light ready to turn right and once it turned green he went the wrong way. My companion and I had to just laugh. God must have a very funny sense of humor, he was testing our patience's that morning for sure. We finally made it to the church and were about 15 minutes late to the first half. It turned out great and our investigator really enjoyed it. I think she really enjoyed the talks given on women and family. After the last session on Saturday we went to a member's home for dinner. Their son is serving in the Denver North Mission so its always fun to have dinner at their home. We walked into their house and Sister Smith turned to me and she said, "Isn't that so great about the Fort Collins Temple?" I turned to her and I said, "WHAT?!" Given my situation this morning I had missed the first part of the session where they had announced that Fort Collins would be getting a temple. I thought she was joking and they had to take me to their computer and show me the part where they had announced it. I started screaming and I felt really embarrassed because I started crying. I have never been so happy before for something. I couldn't believe it! I GET A TEMPLE IN MY HOMETOWN! This was the greatest news I could ever hear. I wish you could ask my companion, but the whole rest of the night I couldn't stop smiling and every time I would think about it, I would start screaming. I'm so grateful for all the strong members in Northern Colorado, because of them we are able to open a temple! We have been truly blessed! I can't wait to see how the nonmembers react to it. Fort Collins just got THAT more amazing! I didn't think it could get any cooler, but WOW was I wrong! I'm going to start crying again this is so amazing! I'm sad I missed it but it was worth it because we got an investigator to the session! I LOVE TEMPLES!!!
I loved conference! I don't think we realize how lucky we are to have a living prophet on the earth today! He is so in tune with the spirit and God Speaks through him. Think of that, God speaks through him. Everything we were taught yesterday was from God. We are so blessed to have that in our lives! I loved the talk about be as a child, I loved all the talks on service. I like when Uchtdorf said, "God does notice us, but it is usually through another person he meets their needs, therefore it is vital that we serve." So great! Service is so important! I loved the talks on family and marriage. Its so important to keep our families centered on Christ in these last days. I loved the Prophets message on Temples. As missionaries I have that desire for people to get to the temple. I see so many families who haven't been sealed and it makes me so sad. No matter the sacrifice GET to the temple. The story he told in the beginning was so touching. It shows us how important it is to go to the temple with our families. No matter the obstacles we need to get there. I also loved Hollands talk on conference and the purpose of it. These apostles and Prophet give us warnings. I loved when he said they are mortal messengers with angelic messages. I also loved his sweet testimony on the Prophet. We are so blessed to have President Monson and we should realize how much he does for the church. We are so lucky to have such amazing prophet and apostles to guide us through these latter days! Of course I just loved Scotts talk, me and every other women who were listening. (lol) He is just amazing and so sweet when he talks about his wife. I also was very excited to see that the BYU-Idaho choir was singing in conference. They were amazing and it was fun to see my Choir director. They were so amazing and it was great to see my school there! I don't have to much time so I can't talk about all of conference, but those were some of my favorites. I just love conference and I'm already looking forward to the next one!
This week I went to Return and Report. The district I came in with from the MTC met in Utica and we had a conference. It was great to see all my friends again and see how they have grown! My Mission President is amazing! He taught seminary and institute for 30 plus years so he really knows how to teach. When he teaches us he really pumps you up for the work. He knows the right things to say and is an amazing teacher. It was so great to see everyone again and be taught on how to be a better missionary. Every time I leave those conferences I feel refreshed and ready to get out there and work some more! I'm so glad I'm here!
One last story that happened to me and my companion this week that was amazing. On Wednesday we planned on going to Schenectady but I kept thinking that I didn't want to go there. We had spent the last couple of days there and I felt that we should spend some time in Glenville. We changed our plans and typed in a less active into our GPS and started on our way to her house. While driving we hit some road work and we then had to detour into a neighborhood. We were on the road of a former investigator that we have tried to see before, but they were never home. We decided we should stop and check on them again. We knocked on her door and Amiee answered the door. She knew who we were and let us in. She was so cool and so much fun to talk to. She kept telling us how that morning she had been feeling sad and then we knocked on the door. It was so amazing! We talked to her for awhile and her husband got home and they fed us dinner. Weirdly the member we were suppose to eat with that night had cancelled. They were the coolest couple ever and they were so spiritually prepared for us. I felt like they were already members! We sat down with them and watched some movies on mormon.org and you could tell they felt the spirit! They recently had a death in the family so we showed the Jenny video. It was amazing! I know the Spirit led us there on purpose. On our drive home the road work that had detoured us to her house was gone. WOW.. we were totally led by the spirit to her house! Its amazing! I thought of the talk by Elder Bednar about the spirit of revelation. Sometimes we are being led by the spirit and we don't even know it. This was a great example of that! It was a great experience and I will never forget it!
This week has been very action packed! General Conference weekend is the best! It was so great to know that my family was watching it at the same time I was. The happiness it brings, its just amazing! I can't wait to start using these talks in my lessons with less actives and investigators. I love the Spirit and so happy we were led to Amiee. I'm excited to see what the next month brings!

I love you all,
Sister Stacey!


Pic 1: We found the Cullens house! No vampires though..

Pic 2: that was at Return and Report.. my friends from the MTC with their new Companions

Pic 3: There are so many beautiful churches in Schenectady so here is a pic by one