Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Companion..Third Transfer!


So its a new transfer and I have a new Companion. Her name is Sister Despain and she is from Idaho. Its her last transfer which means I'll probably be here in Glenville two more transfers. I was not complaining about that AT ALL! I love this area! Saying goodbye to Sister Zwick was sooo hard. All the missionaries being transferred were at the mission office. I never wanted to leave her side. She was all I had known of what a mission was. When the time came when we weren't companions anymore I started to cry. She taught me well and I miss her. I forget that change is a big part of missionary work. I better get use to it I guess. haha The ward members were really sweet and wanted to make sure I was ok because sister Zwick was home. They made sure to give me updates on how she had been doing.

So because sister Zwick left I was given the responsibility to take over the area. So basically all things were up to me. I have been explaining a lot this past week about the area and the people to sister Despain. I'm going to have to do it all over again in 6 weeks, but thats ok cause I love this area. Me and sister Despain have been working hard. We taught 18 lessons this week and found two new investigators. That was pretty exciting and we felt pretty good about that. One of our new investigators name is Lenny. He kept talking about the end of the world. As missionaries we only get bits and pieces of world news and we did hear about the man that predicted the end of the world. We have been getting a lot of questions on what we believe will happen. Anyways Lenny said he was really scared that night the world was going to end, but then he saw a rainbow and felt like that was a sign that everything would be ok. I laughed inside because that really is a sign. I thought that was funny, but the spirit is there and comforts people. We only had one person come to church on Sunday.

Timmia has been getting a lot of pressure from her Aunt about coming to our church. In our lesson with her on saturday we asked her if she really wants to come to our church and she said yes she does. We practiced with her some things she can say to her aunt when she confronts Timmia. So hopefully that will work and we can get her to church next Sunday.

Two more weeks till Melanie's baptism! She went to Palmyra with the singles ward last week and she loved it. It totally pumped her up and she said she made so many friends. She is amazing and I'm so grateful to have met her. I can't wait for her to get baptized! She even brought a friend to church! She is already a great missionary!

Well because of memorial day and we couldn't email yesterday I don't have as much time today. I hope everything is going well in the West! I miss and love you all! Oh and its starting to get soo HOT here... the humidity!! aaahhh I hope I can make it! lol


Sister Stacey

pic 1) This is Timmia's Littlbe brother Jaja.. he is so crazy!

pic 2) The tree's here are so beautiful. This is right by our house

pic 3) In memory of Sister Zwick. We bought all New york stuff. haha

pic 4) Sister Zwick and all her lasting Companions at the mission office

pic 5) All the Sisters at the mission office

pic 6) We were driving and this Turttle was in the middle of the road.. random!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Transfer time is here...I'm not good with goodbyes!


Well first off we had transfer calls on Saturday night. It was sad because I knew this would mean sister Zwick was going home and leaving me. My new companion will be coming from Fayetville. I went on a exchange with her once. She is a little different from Sister Zwick so well see how that goes. I'm not sure how she will feel about coming to my bed bug apartment. That will be fun! It will also be her last transfer which means I will probably get to stay another 2 transfer here in beautiful Glenville New York! That was my favorite part about transfer calls. Its going to be really hard to send Sister Zwick home. We have become best friends these past three months. I will miss her so much!

This week a women in the ward I'm serving in past away. She was in her 60's and had very bad health. We had met her when we first got here and she loved the missionaries. She was the sweetest woman! The family loved our song we sang last Sunday so they asked us to sing at the funeral. I felt a little weird and thought we would be intruding, but they loved it and thought it would be nice. It was amazing to see the ward work to put the funeral together. I love how the church is one big family and its amazing how organized it is. The relief society had the whole thing planned out. It was a great service and was filled with much hope and love. Its a great feeling to know that there family will be together forever and that Sister Taylor has just moved on to the next stage in her life. The song went great and I was happy to sing again. This older couple came up to us afterwards and jokingly she said she would love for us to sing at her funeral some day. I thought that was funny! So that was different thing we did this week.

This is sister Zwicks last week so we have been making the rounds and saying goodbye to everyone. Its hard because it just reminds me how I'm going to have to say goodbye to her soon as well. She is moving on to the next stage of her life. We spent our last night with the Sullivans and it was great to have one last good lesson with them and their family. We have been trying to get Mike to read the Book of Mormon. He hasn't been doing it so I gave the family an assignment. Each kid has a day to read the book of Mormon with their Dad. So hopefully this little plan will work! We always joke around that when we leave we can't wait to come back for Mike's baptism. He just laughs..but it will happen!

This week I gave my first training in my district and that was really fun. I love to teach so I was more than happy to help out the district leader. I taught about gaining the trust of members. I learned that members are a huge help to missionary work. I promise myself that when I get off my mission I'm going to be the best member missionary ever! I know how much it helps as a missionary to have that! It was fun to teach and I think I did ok.

Kind of a cute story.. We teach a less active each week and her name is Sister Stevens. She has been trying to quit smoking. One morning we got a call from her. She wanted to know which section in the Doctrine and Covenants did they talk about keeping our body healthy. It was so cute.. I gave her the section and told her a little about it. I was so happy to see that she is trying and reading her scriptures!

We met with Timmia and we told her that she needs to be coming to church every sunday before she can be baptized. She was sad we had to move her date again. She was pumped to come this Sunday and we told her she had to call for her ride. Well Sunday came and she didn't come. I'm not sure what to do. She really wants to get baptized and she has a great testimony, but she just won't come to church. I don’t know what to do.. I thought baptism would motivate her to come to church each week! Well see what happens!

So Melanie is for sure getting baptized on June 18th. She is so GOLDEN (as us missionaries would say) Her lessons are so amazing and every time we meet with her she has so many questions about what she had read in the B.O.M. She has been looking at BYU to get her masters. She really wants this! As a missionary her lessons is what makes everything so worth it. She is so excited to learn and she cant' wait for the day she is baptized. She has been telling all her friends and family about her baptism. She is already a missionary! I'm so excited to be able to be here for that! Its also so great to teach someone our own age. We can just relate to her better! ITS SO AWESOME!!

Well I didn't have much time to write this week because sister Zwick is packing and getting ready to go home. Its hard to send missionaries home. I know that I won't see her for another year. Its kinda sad! I wish her the best of luck though!

We both came into this area three months ago not knowing anyone. Now we have two baptismal dates set. She is an amazing missionary. Even though she won't be here for Melanie's actual baptism she was the one who got her to that point. Were all doing the same work! I'm going to miss her and I know the people here in Glenville will miss her as well!

Love you all,

Sister Stacey!

pic one.. My district (were awesome)

pic 2: Union College trolly..i thought it was cute!

pic 3: Timmia and her little brother. Our last lesson with Sister Zwick

Pic 4 This is with dave senior and dave junior! We just picked them up a couple weeks ago!

pic 5: The smith family. There son is serving in the Denver North mission

pic 6: our ward adopted a trail and we were in charge of cleaning it this week!

pic 7: The sullivan kids

pic 8: This is the Bishops family and kids. They are the best!

pic 9: Sister Zwick and I with melanie!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Greetings From Glenville!


Another great week in Glenville New York! I feel like this week was longer than usual weeks. We have been helping a part member family move this week and that's been fun. I like when people ask us to help with things. When we ask people if they need help with anything we really mean it. It was fun to help them pack and get them moved.

There is a less active in our ward that we meet with once a week. She is so nice and we love meeting with her. She sent us a card in the mail telling us how much she appreciated our friendship. She said she felt happy that we cared when no one else did and that it makes her want to believe again. I think its so important to just love people and eventually who knows maybe they will come back to the church. It felt so great to get that card from her and it made me feel like we are making some sort of a difference.

We met with Mike Sullivan on Friday night and there family. He was telling us how he bought a hot dog cart and wants to sell hot dogs like they do in the City. Of course I asked him to demonstrate to us with his New York accent "Get your Hot Dogs here!" It was funny! The lesson went great, his wife Kathy and his recently returned missionary son sat in. We talked about faith and we came to the conclusion that he just needs to start reading the Book of Mormon. Is great when his family can participate and bear there testimony, I believe that helps a lot. We asked him if he would come again to church this Sunday and he said he would! YAY! His wife Kathy said, "how do you do that?" I'm not sure how we keep getting him to church, but its a great thing!

We picked up a new investigator last week and met with him on Thursday. His name is Dave and he is an older man in his 60's. We can barley get a lesson in when we meet with him because he loves to talk and tell stories about his days growing up on the farm. He is really nice though! He believes in the Book of Mormon, but won't come to church. In the beginning of the lesson we asked him if he would come to church and he said because of health reasons he couldn't. The lesson went on and he began to tell us how when he was younger his parents would invite missionaries in the home. He started talking about his mom and he got really emotional. We told him that we believe his mom had led us to him. At the end of the lesson he turned to us and said, "I'm coming to church on Sunday!' YAY! We were excited! Maybe his mom is waiting for him to do her work!

So Timmia is the 11 year old that we set a baptism date for. We had a lesson this week going over the baptism questions and the elders stopped by so they could get her interview done. After the interview Elder Matongi my District leader was really impressed with her testimony. I think Timmia's grandmother really loved the elders because once they came over she got really excited about coming to church. Hmm.. guess she won't find out till she comes to our ward and learn that the elders aren't in our ward. haha So after the baptism interview we were all really excited for her baptism. The next day we get a call from our ward mission leader saying they want to make sure they set her up for success. The bishop wants to meet with her and her mom before. So I guess the baptism is being held off till that happens. I know she is ready, but we have to respect what the Bishop wants because he does know best. So it was kind of a bummer, but I know it will happen, I'm just not sure when!

Sunday morning at 6am our phone starts to ring and its Melanie. She had been up all night reading conference talks and had been patiently waiting for 6am to call us. She had read the talk that was in the priesthood session about Missions by Elder Anderson. She then told us how she wants to serve a mission and she was asking us what you had to do to be a missionary. It was early, but we both started screaming. haha She hasn't even been baptized yet and she is talking about wanting to go on a mission. During church she leaned over to us and said, "Do you think we can set up a date I can look towards for my baptism." I'm pretty sure that's the only time an investigator will set the date before we do. We had been planning on doing that with her that day. She is amazing! During church she was making all these amazing comments, it was like she was already a member. She is amazing and she is one of those people you know will make a difference in the church. I feel so blessed to have met her! Its fun because she is our own age so its easy to relate. We set her baptism date for June 25th, my last weekend in Glenville if I get transferred. I'm so excited for her and I can't wait for her to be baptized!

This Sunday was a little crazy at church. We planned on 5 investigators coming and only three showed up. Dave, Mike, and Melanie. Me and Sister Zwick sang in church so we tried to use that as an excuse to get people to come and it did work on Mike and Dave so that was good. We sang The Olive Tree and it was really good. I think people liked it a lot. Mike came up to us afterwards and said, "WOW..you both sounded like angels.. I didn't know you had that in you!" It was funny! Dave really enjoyed it and I"m glad he came, sadly he didn't stay for all three hours. During Gospel Principles mike made a comment about charity by using a scripture. I was so proud and happy that he felt comfortable to do so. It was an amazing Sunday!

I feel so blessed to be a missionary and share the gospel with others. It makes me happy to see others find happiness! We are so lucky to have the gospel in our lives!

Love you all,

Sister Stacey

Random Pictures of the week

pic 1) New york has really big beautiful rivers this is one that is by our house.

pic 2) Watch dog in the ghetto (I thought this was funny)

pic 3) Another beautiful picture of the river at sunset

pic 4) Last week our district was going to go bowling, but it was closed. so we went to the park. It was fun!

pic 5) This is an older lady we meet with once a week. She can't get to church so we visit with her. She is so cute! Her name is Sally

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Happy (late) Mothers Day!

Hello Everyone,
First of all I would love to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my wonderful father! I will be thinking of him all day! This week was another interesting week. My companion and I didn't have the car on Tuesday so we enjoyed the opportunity to ride our bikes again. This time our tires were pumped so we were able to make it to our appointment. The women we met was so happy we road our bikes to still make it to the lesson. She had done all her readings before hand and was so excited to talk about them. It took us 40 minutes to get to her house which wasn't bad at all. It was actually fun and the weather was really nice. We might actually do it more often even if we have the car. So lucky me on Wed morning after our run I went into my room and on my bed was a little bug. I yelled.. "SISTER!" Sure enough it was a bed bug. That was it..I'm not sleeping there anymore.These bugs just won't go away! We called our mission office and the landlord was going to get an exterminator to come on Friday. That means two more nights with the bugs.. I was actually considering sleeping in the car. That day was wasted to cleaning our apartment and getting it ready for the exterminator. We spent all day washing our clothes again. I would rather be out teaching people the gospel. The exterminator came, but there is no guarantee that the bugs will go away. The spray only kills the live ones not the eggs. I sleep with long pants that tuck into my socks. I sleep with a flash light so if I feel something crawling on me I can find it in the night. I usually wake up in the middle of the night and once that happens I'm to scared to fall back asleep. When the exterminator came he basically sounded like they will never go away. He said they live off of our blood and will be anywhere we are.(hmm thanks thats comforting!) It takes me extra long to get dressed in the morning because I have to check all my clothes to make sure bugs aren't on them. Its not a fun way to live at all! If ANYONE knows how to get rid of them let me know! I can't live like this for two more months! Ewwww Wednesday night we had a great night with Mike Sullivan. He and his family made us a great dinner and we had a great lesson about the desire of our hearts. We read the talk in Conference by Desire I dont' remember who it was by at the moment. It was a great lesson. I think that we first have to have a desire before wanting to know if something is true. So that is what we are working on. I'm not kidding I love their family. At dinner all we do is just laugh and laugh. Mike has one of those contagious laughs that once you hear it you have to laugh. When the time comes to be transferred leaving them will be like leaving my own family. The Lord has really blessed us this week because of the bed bugs. We picked up one new investigator and we got three investigators at church on Sunday. It was amazing! Timmia finally came and I believe she was happy to be back and going. I think she is getting excited for her baptism. We changed her date to the 21st because we wanted her to come to church a little bit more. But its still on and were both really excited. It will be Sister Zwicks last baptism of her mission. Sad! :( This week we went to the grocery store to buy grocery bags for our clothes and this women approached us. She saw our name tag and saw that it said Jesus and she started asking questions. You could tell she had a strong belief in Christ. It was weird because people usually dont' approach us. We chatted with her for about 20 minutes and she was nice. She told us that she could see the Spirit of Jesus in us. We told her about our church and she then backed down. She didnt' want anything to do with it, but was nice about it. She wouldn't give us her information so we left. Two days later we went to walmart (completley diff store) and as we were walking in we saw her. Coincidence... I THINK NOT! We started talking to her again and she was again so nice and chatty. She told us about her daughter and family. After awhile she asked for our number. Were not sure if she wants just a friend thing or if she would really listen to what our gospel has to offer, but we took the number. I'm pretty sure the Spirit lead us to her twice and I hope she will open up to hear our message. So I thought that was a cool story. That usually doesnt' happen...seeing a person like that twice in one week.. So cool! We had a great lesson wtih Melanie on Saturday. She is the girl our age who goes to Union College. We brought Sister Anderson a lady from the ward who is in charge of the single adults. So we think were going to try and get her around lds kids her age. She was so excited by the idea and I can't wait. I think this will help her with her Word of wisdom problems to be around good kids. At first she wasn't going to meet with us because she was going to go to this concert on campus, but she called us back and told us she needed spiritual guidance in her life. She is so cute and I love being around her. She also is amazing at writing poems and performing them. (I thought of Nick) She performed some poems for us and it was awesome! I just love her so much! It was a great lesson! Of course I didn't forget it was Mothers day and I did call home. I'm not going to lie I was a little nervous. I didn't want to get off the phone with them and be homesick. Its my first call and I believe the first call is the hardest. It was so great to have them pick up the phone and hear all their voices. It seemed just like yesterday I was with them all. It was so great to talk about the people here in New York and talk about missionary work. I also LOVED that they were asking questions about people I have met with. It makes me feel so good that they read my emails and follow along. It makes me feel like there with me everyday when I'm with these people. Its amazing how much I love my family! I feel so blessed to have their support! I thought it would be sad, but I just realized how lucky I am to be here and there support really helped me to refocuse and get out there to preach the gospel. I love my family and it was so so so great to talk to them and hear from them! Its weird to think that the next time I hear their voices will be in December. It was a great Mothers day! I'm so thankful for my mother and all she does for me! I feel so blessed to have her support and encouragement. She always gives the best advice and I consider her one of my best friends! I love you mom! Well I love you all! I feel like I'm repeating myself because I talked about most of this stuff in my phone call yesterday. I'm so happy I'm a missionary! I'm so happy that I can serve the Lord and be an instrument in his hands! I'm also grateful for phone calls home on Mothers day! Our Mission President told us that the numbers always go down the week after Mothers day. Well me and Sister Zwick are going to prove him wrong! Our numbers are going to be high this week!

Love you,
Sister Stacey

pic 1: Its a rule we have to wear bike helmets..

pic 2: Riding our bikes! YAY! Were happy the trees are starting to bloom!

pic 3: I don't know why I'm smiling. I was actually made that we were having to do this. Hopefully no bugs will get out of these!

pic 4: This is one of Sister Zwicks bug bites!

pic 5: We found the cutest Crepe restaurant. You best believe I got nutella on mine! :)

pic 6: This doesn't show all of them only some, but you can see some of the bites she got. Eww

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

First Zone Conference!

Hello Everyone,
This week I went to my first Zone Conference and it was amazing. I'm not kidding my mission president is an amazing teacher! It was great to be with other missionaries for the day. It comforts me to know that its not just me and Sister Zwick taking on New York by ourselves. It feels like that sometimes when we don't see other missionaries. My mission president went to an all mission President conference in D.C. and they were all asked to train us all on the same thing. I'm pretty sure that my mission president taught it the best over all other presidents. We talked about fufilling our purpose in the gathering of Israel. He talked about the Abrahamic covenant and how part of our covenant is to preach the gospel to the world. It was a great feeling to know that I'm fulfilling that covenant that I made to preach the gospel! Zone Conference is AMAZING! I learned so much and afterwards you feel so pumped to get out there and start teaching people. Me and Sister Zwick got really motivated to find more investigators and start teaching more lessons. I really love going to Zone Conferences and I can't wait for the next one.
Before I came on my mission all my buddies would tell me that a mission is filled with a lot of up's and down's. You can't really experience it or come to know what its like until you go on a mission. This week we went to go check on an investigator we hadn't seen in awhile. The first time we met her we knew we were led their by the spirit. She was so cute and so much fun to talk to and she was so eager to learn. She instantly became one of our favorite people. So we went to her house and we saw her about to walk out of her house and she saw us and said, "not today girls" and slammed the door in our faces. I was crushed! I didn't believe that she really had done that, we were her friend. It was really hard to let that go. That agency really stinks sometimes..haha Its hard because we knew we were led to her by the spirit. As a missionary you get to in some sense feel how our Heavenly Father feels when these people turn us away. I barley know these people and I'm so sad to see them do that, imagine how our Heavenly Father feels. Imagine how he feels when people turn his gospel away everyday. I don't know how he does it. I feel as if he is right there with us when we get sad about someone slamming the door in our face.
We got Mike a part member investigator to come to church again. That was exciting! We couldn't on the other hand get our investigator who has a baptism date to church. I think one of our biggest struggle is getting investigators to church. Church is so important and when they go they can feel the spirit and they progress so much faster, but when they don't come you can never move forward. Its so hard to get them to church. So any RM's if you have any great suggestions let me know!
This Saturday was AMAZING! We had back to back lessons all day long! It was seriously heaven! It was the best day ever! Teaching is the best part of the mission, but sadly that's not what we do all the time. When we don't get help from members we end up having to track or find people on our own and its not always that fun! (haha) It was so great to teach all day! I think our new goal is to try and get enough lessons so we can make everyday like that! :)
This week we met with this guy who probably isn't invested in getting baptized. He is non-denominational, so basically he believes in everything as long as it goes a long with the bible. It was so hard to teach him because he just wanted to learn out of the Bible. When he first wanted to meet with us he asked if we wouldn't bring the Book of Mormon. I laughed because there would really be no point at all in meeting with him if we didn't bring the B.O.M. It was just funny, but don't worry you best believe we brought the Book of Mormon. I was a little nervous about meeting with him because I don't know the bible very well. The lesson was civil and learning was on both ends. The whole time we were teaching he asked us where we got our information from and we would pull out the bible and show him, but he would say "no that's not what that scripture means." He looked at the bible to much in a literal way. Later on in the lesson he told us he believed that the Body, Soul and Spirit were three different things and then we asked him, "where does it say that?" and he says, "well I don't know" It was so funny! These people. At the end of the lesson he refused to read out of the book of mormon. He had a book that talked about the Book of Mormon and he said by reading that, that was all he needed to know. Oh man it was hard to meet with him, but he was nice and we did pretty well at knowing our stuff. I was very proud of myself. In those situations you just need to bear your testimony.
It was another great week! I still have bed bugs in my apartment, but we got to the point were sick of dealing with it. We just want to do missionary work. Who knows what will happen, I do know that no one is going to want to be my companion next transfer. haha I miss and love you all!
Sister Stacey
P.S. Letters are very much appreciated! I love hearing from people!

Pic 1and 2: We offered to talk a Less actives dog on a walk. Poor dog never gets out of the apartment. The dog was so happy!

pic 3: There is a college in my area. This was a building on campus. I thought it was so beautiful! It reminded me of Israel

pic 4: My first Zone Conference