Tuesday, June 28, 2011

.."I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things..." Alma 26:12

Hello Everyone,
This week was great! Its been fun to see Melanie apart of the ward now. They all seem to love her and she fits in so well. The coolest part of Melanie becoming a member is now she can come teaching with us! On friday she had work off all day so she came to all our appointments and she was loving it. She would talk to people on the street and read her poems. It was so great to see her in action. She will be a great missionary! Everyone in Schnecteday is from Brooklyn so it was great to have Melanie come around with us because that is where she is from. It was great because as soon as we would talk to someone they would have a connection. Its been so fun to have her come teaching with us she is going to be a great great missionary!
We picked up a new investigator named Scott and he is golden! The elders called us and told us this guy had been trying to find missionaries. He used to live in Albany and was close with the elders there, but those elders left and he stopped going to church. He said that he had been searching other religions, but nothing was like the latter day saints. Our first lesson with him was amazing. He kept talking about how welcomed he feels when he comes to church. He understood the lesson and was very sincere about learning. He was so excited about coming to church, but he got called into work on Sunday. So hopefully next Sunday he will be able to come. We met with him on Sunday and he felt so bad he wasn't able to come to church. He continues to explain to us the feelings he remembered when he goes to church and when he has lessons with us. He said he likes to read the Book of Mormon because he is able to feel those feelings again. I'm so excited about Scott and I can't wait for him to come to church next Sunday! A day after we met scott he was giving us referrals of his friends that we could go meet with. Its great to see how excited he is about the church!
We had dinner on Sunday with a family from Puerto Rico that we are teaching. They made some food and a member from our church who is also from there came with us. They were speaking in Spanish a lot and I didn't get much of the dinner conversation. haha It was fun that they wanted to have us over! I'm excited to continue to teach them and hopefully we can get them to church next Sunday. I got a little experience of how it would be to serve in another country. It was fun!
We were eating at a members home on Monday and he is very passionate about missionary work. He is also very passionate about Jimmer. He told us that he was being drafted and that in Glens Falls (Jimmer's hometown) they were having "Jimmer Fest" where lots of people were getting together to see where he will be drafted. The member suggested it would be a good finding tool to go there. So me and sister Despain were very excited. We called our Zone Leaders and gave them the suggestion that it would be a great "zone activity" and waited patiently for the response. Thursday morning they called us and told us that it was a no go! I guess the district there did it, we were too far. Very sad, it was a good try though!
I finished the Book of Mormon and I began reading it again, but this time I am highlighting every reference to Jesus Christ. I love reading the Book of Mormon focusing on Jesus Christ. Its amazing how the much the Book of Mormon brings us closer to him. I wish more people would give it a try and see that the Book of Mormon really is another testament of Jesus Christ!
Well I don't have much time! Mission work is great! I love finding new people and I love teaching! I also love how the Book of Mormon can answer any questions you have! Its the best book in the world!
Love you all,
Sister Stacey

pic 1: The family from Puerto Rico

pic 2: The day we had the bikes was the hardest it has rained since I've been here. We were so soaked!!! haha fun fun got to love missionary work!

Monday, June 20, 2011

"...then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water..." 3 Nephi 11:26 (MELANIE'S BAPTISM!)

This week was the best week ever! First off I must talk about Melanie's Baptism which was absolutely amazing! Melanie was so excited and she had invited some of her family and friends and a lot of people from the ward came to support her. I didn't see her once without a smile on her face. She couldn't have been happier. Her friend who invited her to church last year and is the reason for her finding the church spoke and it was beautiful. When she was baptized it took three times to fully immerse her under water. It was kinda funny, now we have a joke " Third times a charm!" While she was getting changed Sister Despain and I used that time as a teaching moment and taught the first lesson talking about Joseph Smith and the book of mormon. We gave a book of mormon to all her friends who came. It was a great opportunity to share the gospel and I hope her friends felt the spirit and will want to learn more. I'm not sure if I have mentioned this before, but melanie is an amazing poet. She writes beautiful poems. She came back and was able to share her poem with us. It was so beautiful and it was all about her changing and being this new person. People were crying afterwards.. it was amazing! The baptism was perfect and the Spirit was present. I loved seeing her so happy and she kept describing it like she was a new person. To give an example of how amazing Melanie is, she brought her first tithing slip to her baptism and gave it to the bishop after her baptism. I think the bishop was a little shocked..it was funny, but that's the type of person she is. Her testimony is so strong and she loves the Lord with all her heart. I feel so blessed to have met her and I feel so blessed to be apart of her path to returning to our Heavenly Father. I wish you could have all been there! She was most excited to receive the Holy Ghost on Sunday. It was so great!
I feel like I could end my email right there because it was such a great baptism, but we worked a lot and we found a new Investigator. It was a member referral and we stopped by her house and she let us in and we taught her the first lesson. She has two little boys and her husband is in the Army. She reminds me and kind of looks like my sister Laura. I just wanted to give her a hug, but I think she would have been a little creeped out. haha After the lesson we asked if she had any questions that she wanted answered. She asked about her kids and if they died what would happen if they weren't baptized. We gave her Moroni 8 to read. She told us that no one else had been able to answer that for her. So we hope to see her this week and I'm so excited! Its so hard to be patient I just want to visit her everyday! haha I was excited about that!
We had District meeting and Interviews with our Mission President this week. I love when they come in town and I love listening to our mission president speak. He is amazing! My interview was good. He apologized in a way for giving me two companions in a row who are on their last transfer, but I told him I was fine. He also asked me how I would feel about training in the near future. Not next transfer, but soon. I think it freaked me out a little bit. How can I be trainer.. I just got out on my mission. I still feel like a greenie. So well see what happens with that. The district meeting was centered on our personal study. "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my work, then shall your tongue be loosed.." D&C 11:21 We must study before the Spirit can help us in our lessons and reveal to us what scripture to read or what to say. It was a great lesson and I"m going to focus a lot more on my morning program. He told us how the scriptures are like poetry that there is a deeper meaning. When we read them we must not read it in a literal way. That everything you read has a deeper meaning. It was a great lesson, it made me more excited to learn and study. I love being able to study for 2 hours in the morning!
So Friday before Melanie's baptism we went to lunch with her. On the way she wanted to stop by and pick up a skirt she wanted for her baptism. It was a Indian store (reminded me of Israel) She told the owner that she was being baptized and she was to become a latter day saint. Well she was familiar with mormons and we started to ask her questions. Come to find out she is atheist and she got really defensive and said if God allows suffering to happen then there is not God. Let me remind you this is a day before Melanie's baptism so me and Sister Despain were a little worried. We left the store and just had to laugh and explain to melanie.. don't worry this happens all the time. Melanie handled it well and was actually saying stuff to her. She is going to be a great missionary.
So as you know i'm sure, there is a Book of Mormon play on Broadway and we hear about it all the time here in upper state New York. It has been the talk of the town I guess since it won all these awards. When ever we ask people if they have ever heard of Mormons before they always bring up that play. Even though its a bad play we can use it to our advantage and we do. Whenever they bring up the play we say this to them, "Well thats great, but the real Book of Mormon play has been going on for 20 years and its in Palmyra New York and its free!," Then we give them a pass along card with the info for it. haha This things are always going to come up and we just have to take it and make it into a good thing. I've heard that the church has been putting Mormon.org advertisement all over New York City, I bet those missionaries are loving it! So if you have been approached with this issue, just say what we say.. show them the real book of Mormon play! haha
We have had two missionaries get home from their missions this week in the ward. It was great to hear them speak and to see how their mission blessed their lives and others. It makes me happy that I still have so much time left to improve and work harder! Its also been great because each one has come up to us and offered to come to any lesson we have opened.So we will always have a member present! haha I love return missionaries.. they love their mission and they want to continue to be missionaries. When I get home I'm going out with the missionaries everyday! I never want to stop being a missionary! You can tell they were great missionaries!
This week has been a great week! I feel so happy and blessed to be a missionary right now in Glenville New York. I love the people here and I love being a missionary! Share the GOSPEL!!!! Give referrals to missionaries!!!
Love you all,
Sister Stacey!
Some are of the baptism. Then some are from when we went to lunch with Melanie. The last ones are from our lame Hike. We wanted to go hiking and we were told this was a cool place..no it was lame! haha I guess any hike will be lame coming from colorado! ha

Monday, June 13, 2011

..."For my soul delighteth in the scriptures, and my heart pondereth them.." 2Nephi 4:15


So I thought I would share that scripture because that is really how I feel. I love learning from the scriptures and I get so excited when I learn something new.
This week was another great week! First off Melanie's baptism is this Saturday. She passed her interview and is set and ready to go. She is one of those people that others gravitate to. She has made so many friends in the ward and I'm guessing a lot of people will come this weekend to her baptism. I'm so excited for her to be baptized and especially excited for her to have the Holy Ghost with her always. That is what she is most excited about. She has invited her family from Brooklyn and friends from school so this will also be a great finding opportunity. We hope to teach a little bit about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon so I'll have to let you know how that goes.
Something funny.. As you all know my last name is also a first name. This has brought confusion to people we meet. They will always look to my Companion (sister Despain) and wonder why she has such a weird first name. Its always fun to explain to them that.."no this is really my last name not my first." I thought that was funny.. I feel bad for the rest of my companions. haha
This week was pretty interesting. We met up with a guy we have seen before and he is born again Christan. Well this week when Sister Despain and I went to meet with him he brought a friend. They both like ganged up on us. Telling us what we really believe and trying to tell us that they were their to save us. The whole time I was wondering why they were trying so hard to save us and bring us closer to Christ. Our name tag plainly says, " the church of JESUS CHRIST of latter day saints" They don't think we believe in Christ. I don't think they can read. It was an interesting lesson and tension was their so we told them we aren't their to argue and then we left. Those lessons only strengthen my testimony. I'm so happy that I have the full gospel of Jesus Christ in my life!
Something interesting happened this week. Me and sister Despain were trying to put our air conditioner in the window and we were kind of struggling. Our neighbors who were across the hall saw and came over to help us. It was very nice of them, as they were about to leave the wife started to ask us about what we believe. She said she had been church hopping a lot trying to find a place to go. I was shocked and I just assumed that the 16 missionaries who lived here before us would have talked to them. I guess its all in the Lords' time. We had to go so we shared a brief message and told them we would come back. I felt bad for never talking to them before. You never know with neighbors, its not like the other people who slam the doors in your face you don't have to see them again. haha Anyways we are excited about that and hopefully we can get them to come to church one Sunday.
This week I also went on an exchange with the sisters who are in Benninghton Vermont. Me and Sister Goettsche were companions for the day. She is from Thorton Colorado so we had much to talk about. It was fun! I stayed here in Glenville and we worked around Schnecetady. It was so much fun and we ended up teaching 5 lessons that day. At the end of the day it was great to be back with Sister Despain. Its weird because you know that both of us working together in this area is what the Lord wants. It was cool to see the difference.
One of our Less Actives has come to all three hours of church two weeks in a row. Its been so great to see her come. We told her that when she comes to all three hours that she will recieve many blessings. We met with her last week and she said she had received blessings for attending. It was great to have her see for herself how the Lord works and is willing to help us as long as we keep the commandments and do our part. That was pretty exciting!
Well things here in Glenville are progressing. Me and sister Despain get along well and its been great to work with her. We have done really well at finding new people and teaching a lot. I'm excited for Saturday and I hope that everything goes well. I'm so happy to be here and help change others lives! Its been a great experience to bring others closer to Jesus Christ. I love the Gospel!
Until next time
Sister Stacey

pic 1: Sullivans were doing this Garage Sale thing and Mike Sullivan had his Hot Dog cart. We stopped by and had a hot dog and tried to get him to come to church on Sunday. haha

pic 2: Hot Dog cart

pic 3: Me and Sister Goettsche on exchange! love her!

Monday, June 6, 2011

....all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good...(D&C 122:7)

Another bittersweet week for me. So Timmia has been acting weird this past week and we went to have our DTR (determine the relationship) with her yesterday. She told us that she didn't want to be baptized anymore. Her aunt has been giving her a hard time about our church and I think she didn't want to fight it anymore. I was crushed when she told us she didn't want to be baptized. I'm just so bummed, but like that scripture said it will be for thy good. No work is wasted and we planted a seed in her heart. Someday she will remember.
On the happier note we stopped by Amiee's house to give it another try and she opened the door. I was nervous she was going to shut it again. I think I put my arm out just in case.. haha. She let us in and told us sorry for slamming the door the other day. She was having a bad day. (hmmm..) She let us in and we chatted with her for awhile and we set up a return appointment. I hope she wont' freak out again, but I was pretty happy. She said she will come to church again next week. So hopefully that works out! I'm excited about that.
Melanie is still on for her baptism on June 18th and she is basically amazing! As you all know yesterday was fast and testimony meeting and she got up to baer her testimony. It was sooo amazing! She talked about how her trip to Palmyra with the single adults was the best weekend ever. They all went up friday night and spent the night and went and saw all the sites. She described it as a bubble and everyone was so nice to her. She said she never wanted to leave that bubble and go back to the real world. She said after that weekend she wanted everyone to know what she knew. She talked about how excited she was to be baptized and join the church. Her testimony was amazing and made me tear up a little bit. It was a great reminder of how great missionary work is. It was a great reminder to me that I made the best choice to come on a mission! I loved it! It was so great because after she bore her testimony all these people who were converted into the church got up and spoke of the day thy were baptized and how it was a blessing to them. The rest of the meeting was centered on missionary work.. it was awesome! I was so proud of her!
Melanie even brought a friend to church yesterday. He was from Bolivia and at the end of church we were talking to him and he was so happy he came. He really enjoyed it. He was going back to Bolivia and we told him where to find the church there. He was going to look it up when he went back. Some missionaries are about to be very happy. haha It was great to see Melanie doing missionary work and she hasn't even been baptized yet.
Last Monday we went to a stake picnic party and we got a referral to check up on some people who use to attend the Glens Falls ward. They referred us to the Ferdettes who would know more information about them. I was so excited to meet them, but then someone told us they didn't make it to the picnic that day.. BUMMER! So close!
We picked up three new investigators this week and one was a family from Puerto Rico. They seemed nice and we have an appointment to meet with them next week. I hope it works out and we can get them to church.
Missionary work comes with a lot of up's and down's and I had a lot of those this past week. No matter how many down's there are I have already seen how the up's out weigh them all! I love missionary work!
Until next time..
Sister Stacey