Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"...the people gathered themselves together throughout all the land, that they might go up to the temple to hear the words...

"...the people gathered themselves together throughout all the land, that they might go up to the temple to hear the words which King Benjamin would speak unto them." Mosiah 2:1

I'm so very excited for General Conference! We were able to go to the Relief Society broadcast and it got me so excited for conference. The Relief Society broadcast was amazing and Uchtdorf talk was what every women in the world needed to hear. It helped so much and it was fun to go to it. I loved the idea of the forget me nots. It was so uplifting. I loved at the end of his talk when he said "no matter how dark your days may seem..your Heavenly Father has Not forgotten you." Such great words of wisdom. It just reminds me that my Heavenly Father is always there for me. The week before conference is always great because we get to tell people that the Prophet on the earth today is going to speak to the whole world. They always get so excited and curious to see what a Prophet would say. It reminds me how cool conference really is and how special it is. We are planning on getting a lot of people to come so I'm so happy about that.
This week was amazing! Yesterday was a great fast and testimony meeting. Edwin one of our investigators who is getting baptized on the 8th of October bore his testimony. Me and sister Gifford were reading something together on my planner when we heard Edwin and our heads popped up in shock. It was so powerful! Edwin had a stroke last year and from that he can't talk very well and its a struggle for him. The second he started talking it was clear enough that anyone listening could understand. He talked about how when he went to the pageant missionaries came up to him and he has been meeting with us since. He read a scripture out of the book of Mormon and then held it up and said "I know this book is true!" It was so powerful and I almost cried. Its amazing to see them receive their testimony and then share it with others. That is when I know that they have truly been converted. It was a great testimony and the ward I am in is amazing. The majority of people in the ward are converts to the church. Its just amazing to see! I love converts! There was a general theme in the testimony meeting about people going to the Palmyra pageant and wanting to know more. Its just a great thing! I can't wait to go some day!
This sure was a fast transfer. We got transfer calls this weekend and ..... I'm staying in Syracuse with sister Gifford! I'm very excited about this! We get along well and I think we can do great things this next transfer. Sadly another sister went home this transfer and in all we lost 3 sisters. We had to close two sister areas. So the sisters are very low in the mission which is sad. So if there are any girls out there who want to serve a mission just do it! We need you!
I guess the ward that I am in doesn't have Halloween parties. So we asked if we could put one on and they said yes. So we are going to be planning a Halloween party. I'm excited because we have a lot of investigators that will come! It should be fun!
I don't have to much time. There is always so much packed in one week I forget it all by Monday. I hope you all have a great week and enjoy conference. It really is the best opportunity to learn from our Prophets and apostles. I love the gospel!
Sister Stacey

pic 1: We went shopping today for P-day. They have the cutest stores around here! I love New York!

pic 2: Our District and Zone Leaders! It was a fun transfer!

pic 3: Our awesome district being silly!

pic 4: Me and Sister Gifford in the car! We are together again for the next transfer! YAY!

pic 5: We were able to go the General Relief Society broadcast. So this is the Fayettville Sisters and us at the broadcast! Its always fun to see other sisters!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

"...this is the ministry unto which ye were called to declare these glad tidings unto this people..to prepare their minds...to hear the word....

"...this is the ministry unto which ye were called to declare these glad tidings unto this people..to prepare their minds...to hear the word at the time of his coming.." Alma 39:16

This week seemed to go by fast. Fall is coming, it has been getting colder here in New York. I'm very excited for the Fall and all the beautiful trees. I'm a little worried though for my companion Sister Gifford. She is from Arizona and has never experienced a winter. She was freaking out when it was 57 degrees. I just have to laugh just wait till its 10 below.. haha
Sadly a lot of our investigators keep missing our appointments and we had to drop some. We have been working really hard with Dwight and Edwin because they have a baptism date to be baptized on the 8th of October. So we hope they can make it there. Edwin completed his stop smoking program which was really exciting! This Sunday must have been an off Sunday because we only had one of our investigators come to church. Dwight and Edwin didn't make it which is really sad. Next Sunday will be a better one!
We finally met with one of our investigators this week that we haven't been able to see in awhile. She is so amazing and she knows that the Book of Mormon is true and she knows that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints is the true restored church on the earth, but she is so tied up with activities in her church she doesn't know what to do. I guess she leads the choir and works with little kids in her church and she feels bad to leave. I told her the story of Amulek in the Book of Mormon and how he left all his golds and riches and family and friends because he knew it was true. I hope she feels like she can relate and that it can help. She can't come to church because that's when she teaches her little kids. so we are hoping to get her to General Conference because the second half doesn't start till 4pm. So we will keep trying with her. I'm really excited about her though.
We have been teaching a lot of youth, but with youth its hard to get them to church and motivated. I hope that we can teach their families as well. We had a very interested lesson with some guy that we started to talk to on the streets. We started talking to him and taught him the first lesson right there. When we told him that he should read and pray and ask God if this book is true he said ok and yelled really loud.." GOD IS THIS BOOK TRUE?!" Sister Gifford and I refrained from laughing. These are just some of the awesome people you meet here in Syracuse. It was a lesson to be remembered!
Well I don't have too much to write about for this week. It all kind of blurs together throughout the week. I love sharing the gospel and I love it here in Syracuse. I hope this week we can find some new investigators! I also can't wait for General Conference! I have been counting down the days since the last one in April! Conference is the best!
Love you all,
Sister Stacey

Pic 1: A family in the ward always throws a GREENY dinner for the new missionary. Elder Allred was the greeny and the victim of this dinner. Everything on the table was green..everything!. It was so awesome!

Pic 2: The Provo temple in Syracuse New York.. so weird

pic 3: This is the Methodist church where we volunteer.

pic 4: We sort clothes and give them to people who come in and need them (it's so much fun!)

pic 5: Sister Gifford and I working in the clothes room!

pic 6: I love cats and I thought this was so cute! We always find random stuff when we volunteer!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"I will send for many fishers, saith the Lord and they shall fish them..and after will I send for many hunters and they shall hunt them" Jeremiah16:16

It was good to finally have a normal week and just be able to focus on missionary work. We got back into our routine and were able to see some success. One of our investigators name is Edwin and the sisters before me found him. He almost dropped us, but he prayed and got his answer that the Book of Mormon was true. He was so happy and wants to be baptized. We have one obstacle and that is smoking. So this week we started the stop smoking program with him and we met with him every single day to help him. So far he has been doing so great and I hope he quits for good. Its been so fun to see how happy he is. When we started the program the first step for him was for him to crush his cigarettes. So we asked him to do that and he said that he couldn't do that. Me and sister Gifford were like..."oh no what do we do now" After a lot of talking it out he finally crushed the cigarettes and we were so happy! I'm not sure what we would have done if he hadn't..it was kind of awkward for a moment. So Edwin has been doing great at quitting smoking! Pray for him!
We are also teaching a man named Dwight who also has a baptism date. He is so awesome! We had a lesson with him earlier in the week on Monday and he opened up to us and told us that he felt guilty to pray now when life was going hard. We were originally teaching about prophets, but the Spirit had something else in mind. We ended up talking about prayer and how it could really help him in his life right now. He has been going through a lot of problems with his health and school. So we told him to pray that night and the next morning. A couple days later when we called him he was so happy. He said that he prayed and everything went perfect that day. Everything fell into place and he even saw a member from the church on the bus and was able to talk to him. He was so happy that he had prayed. It was so great to see that he was able to see for himself the blessings that come from keeping the commandments. It was so exciting!
I'm not sure why, but I just love less actives and love even more when I can get them to read again and even come to church again. I went through the list and found a name of a man who lived close by. So we stopped by and he was home and set up a time to come back. We went over Friday night and met him and his 13 year old daughter. He was way cool and he said he just hasn't been back. He said that missionaries in the past have tried to teach his daughter, but she was way too shy to talk to them. Well I tried to connect to her by asking questions.. I found out that she loves animal movies and video games. Well I do know a little bit about those things. She reminded me so much of my little sister and I started talking to her about movies and she started to open up at the end. It was so great! I invited them to come to church on Sunday and he said he would. So Sunday came and I was worried that they wouldn't come, but we got them a ride and they came! It was so great and I think his daughter loved going to young womens and we got her to go to the youth activity this weekend. I'm really excited and I hope they come again next week. I really hope we can start teaching her!
I have been looking up some of the formers (people missionaries taught in the past) in the area. We found an Asian couple and I called them and they wanted to meet. When we got there and started teaching it seemed like he still had a lot of problems he needed to work out. They believed there is a God, but not a God that actually cares about them and knows them. After the lesson it really came down to them praying and knowing if there really is a God. We asked to come back and they said no. :( Sometimes I get too excited too fast. It's hard and I just wish I could give them what I know and feel, but it doesn't work like that. I think that's one of the hardest parts of a mission. I just wish I could give everyone I teach my feelings, but that would be too easy and not apart of God's plan. I try and remember that and just have faith that the Lord is aware of those people.
So at the end of the day we press on and keep going. When people tell us that they already have their own bible we keep going, when they slam the door in our face, we keep going, when they tell us they don't want to meet anymore, we keep going. Why do we keep going you ask.. because I know this Gospel is true and I want everyone to have the chance to hear about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Lord has asked us "Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost." Matt 28:19 The Lord is counting on me and that is why I keep going!
Thank you all for your letters of encouragement and support! I love you all!
Sister Stacey

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you..." D&C 78: 17-18

"Ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands and prepared for you.. and ye cannot bear all things now..be of good cheer for I will Lead you along..." D&C 78: 17-18

Suddenly my problems are not bad at all. I feel bad for even complaining about bed bugs. This Tuesday we had interviews with our mission president. We went to the church to meet them there and when we walked in everyone had this really concerned look on their face. President and his wife were both on the phones. An elder came up to us and told us that two sisters serving up in Ogdensburg were in a horrible car accident. We didn't know much then, but we knew it was bad. The president suggested we all kneel down and say a prayer and that seemed to comfort us. President and his wife were on and off the phones calling people. I was their when he called the parents of Sister Bentley who was in the worse condition. I can't imagine being the parent and receiving that phone call. In the midst of all this we did our interviews and it was hard to concentrate. We left and prayed all evening for Sister Love and Sister Bentley. The next morning we had district meeting and President happened to be coming to ours that day. He told us in the beginning of the meeting that Sister Bentley had passed away during the night. It didn't seem real and I still feel like I will see her at the next transfer meeting. We ended up changing the ways of our district meeting and having a testimony meeting. The one thing that was common in all of our testimonies was the plan of salvation. How lucky I am to know that I will be able to see Sister Bentley again. We know where she is and we have the assurance she can live with her family forever. This experience just reminds me how lucky we are to have this knowledge. I have such a strong testimony of the plan of salvation and that we can truly live with our families forever. This week has been a hard one and trying to understand how a missionary could die on her mission has been even harder. My mission president shared some scriptures with us and I liked the one in D&C 78:17-18. We are as little children and we don't understand everything right now. I don't understand why she died, but I know the Lord has a plan for all of us. He will lead us along to understanding. Sister Bentley was a great missionary! She and I both started our missions in Glenville so when ever we did see each other we would talk about the people there. She had a great love for the people she served. Sister Love was also hurt pretty bad and I'm worried for her as well. Continue to pray for the families and sister Love.
This week has felt like an off week and we have been trying to work around it. We hope the bed bugs are gone and we hope we can get back to normality. On Sunday we had a guy come to church looking for a Book of Mormon. He said someone had stolen his and that he used to meet with missionaries before. It was a great blessing and we hope we can start teaching him. Right now we have been teaching a man named Dwight. He is such a great investigator and is so humble. We were able to have a member come to his lesson and it really helped us get to know Dwight better and what he needed. He opened up to us and told us that he hasn't been praying and we were able to help him pray and give all his problems to the Lord. The simple lessons like this is why I'm on a mission.
I don't have too much time to write this week because of the Holiday. I just wanted to end by bearing my testimony of this beautiful Gospel we have. Sometimes I think we take for granted what we have right in front of our faces. We have been so blessed to have the Book of Mormon in our lives. We must use it as guide and really study it. The Book of Mormon will tell us what we need to do in order for us to have eternal life. We get so caught up in the worldly things of life we forget what we are really here for. We are here on earth right now to prepare to meet God. Not to be the best at a sport or be in the top program. We are here to prepare to meet God. We must do everything we can in our power to apply the atonement into our lives because that is the only way we will live with our families forever and live with our Heavenly Father. I'm not sure what I would have done if I had never gone on a mission. It has opened my eyes to what really matters and what is most important. I am so glad I am on a mission. I have the opportunity now to share this truth to the people in New York. I know that Sister Bentley is in the Spirit World doing the same thing. Share this plan with everyone around you because without it they will not live with their families and will not live with God.
I love you all,
Sister Stacey

Keep the families of Sister Bentley in your prayers!

My new address
502 Ivy Ridge Rd.
Syracuse NY 13210