Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"....The Holy Spirit of God did come down from heaven and did enter into their hearts..they were filled as if with fire.." Helaman 5:45

This week was another great week. On Tuesday I had a great experience that I will always remember. A member in the ward is good friends with a professor at a local community college. Each semester she has missionaries come in so that her students can ask questions. Its an Anthropology class and they did a section on mormons. So six of us missionaries went into a class room. We walked in and they had all these chairs set up in the front of the room. I felt like we were on exhibit.. It was the coolest experience to be able to answer there questions and show them that were just normal people like they are. I thought they were going to ask deep doctrine questions because thats what I'm use to as a missionary, but they just wanted to know about us and why we chose to be a missionary. We were all able to introduce ourselves and tell them where we are from and what we did before our missions. At the end of introductions a girl in the class raised her hand and said "I noticed that each of you said something about how happy your are..why are you all so happy?" A big smile went on my face because I know that I was happy because I have the restored gospel in my life. My companion did a great job at answer her question. The member that came with us told us that if we didn't know how to answer a question to just look at him and he would take over. Well of course the questions came up about polygamy and homo-sexuality and all of our heads turned to the member.. It was funny! They were all so amazed that we had taken this time out of our lives to come share this message. They seriously could not believe that we only talked to our families twice a year on the phone. I for sure cracked some jokes and brought some humor in answering some questions. It was so important to me that they saw that we are normal and we can have fun as well. I'm so happy that I had that experience and the chance to show them that. The spirit was definitely there and all of them took Book of Mormons afterwards. Not sure if anything will come of it, but we did plant some seeds. Now they know that mormons dont' have multiple wives..that's good enough for me. haha
We got a referral from Mormon.org from a girl named Melissa. We called her and she was really exicted to meet with us. We met with her on Thursday and she is basically amazing! She has cousins and an Uncle who are members living in Utah. She said she has really liked the way they lived and could tell a difference in their home. They gave her a book of mormon and the link to General Conference. She was basically describing the spirit when she telling us about when she watched General Conference. She said that when she goes to the Catholic Church she just feels like something is missing. She can't wait to come to church and read the book of mormon. These lessons are not normal and I usually don't like putting the title of "Golden" but she was pretty close to that. Sadly she is moving next month to Texas to join the Air Force. So we will teach her as much as we can before she goes and maybe she can connect with the missionaries there. I love that about the church. You can go to church anywhere you go in the world! Its amazing!
We had a great lesson with our investigators who are form China. Those lesson are seriously so awesome. They take a bit longer because we have to explain about Christ and Heavenly Father. Its really a great experience. Imagine what you would tell someone who doesn't know anything about Jesus Christ. What would you say? Where would you start? Its a very hard thing to do because there is to much. So we have to take a step back and start wtih square one..Christ and heavenly father. At the end of the lesson we asked one of themto say the prayer.. she paused and said "Does God speak Chinese?" We all started laughing.. it was fun!
We got an investigator to the singles branch which is the first time since I've been here. That was exciting and I think he enjoyed it. We had a lesson afterwards with some members and we taught the Plan of Salvation. Everytime I teach that it just confirms to me that this church is so true. God loves us so much that he created this great plan for us. We also taught this young mother yesterady. She was so spiritual and I could tell she is searching. She has two cute little kids and they reminded me of my cute niece and nephew. I want them to have the restored gospel. I can't wait for her to come to church next week. We have 18 investigators now and its really hard to manage them all. We have been super busy which is great! Teaching lots and thats what I love most!
Things here in the cuse are great! I love missionary work!
Love you all,
Sister Stacey

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Behold a Royal Army"


This week was another great week! We started the week off with a great p-day, we went to the Zoo which was so much fun! My companion woke up Tuesday with this really bad tooth ache and it wouldn't go away. We happened to be at an investigators home that night and she was telling us that about how great her dentist was. We woke up the next morning and he hadnt' gone away so we called the investigator and she took us to her dentist. It turns out that my companion has to get a root canal. It was really nice for investigator to help us out, but kind of sad that we feel closer to her then some members in our ward. I felt so bad because my companion was in so much pain and her face was really swollen. It was hard for us to teach because I could tell she was in so much pain. This week was Zone Conference and we had the privilege to hear from Elder Paul Pieper from the seventy. We met in Liverpool and we were just a small group and it was so great to have one on one time with him. He came down off the pulpit and pulled a chalkboard down and said "we have 3 hours ask me your questions" So for 3 hours we asked questions and he gave some great advice. He use to be a mission president so he knew most of the things we go through and how to answer them. One of the questions that was asked was how do we love those that are hard to love. He gave some great advice. He talked about how Christ developed love one way was through his ministry and the second was the atonement. When the Father left Christ alone to suffer for all of our sins the one thing that kept him strong was his love for all of us. The only thing he had to hold on during that time was his love for all of us. He said that he likes to picture each one of us standing in front of him at that time as he took upon each of our sins and afflictions and knew us personal and what we went through. It was a great way to picture how much the Lord really does love us and has been through what we have been through. We love others by being humble and serving others. It was a great lesson that anyone could learn not only applying to missionary work. It was so great to be able to ask him questions and hear from him. He also compared us missionaries to the song Behold a Royal Army. The leader is our mission president and we are the faithful army doing the Lords work. It was cool to picture. It was a great opportunity to get advice and be with our fellow missionaries. It was a great weekend! Earlier in the week we got a referral from mormon.org so we thought we would go contact that referrall on Sunday. We went to this guys house and he was home and seemed excited that we were there. As we started the lesson he started asking all these questions and we could tell he had done a lot of research. He had studied mormon.org awhile before he agreed to have us come over. He said he was looking for a structured conservative religion. We were very excited to teach him and the lesson went so well. He is excited to come to church the next Sunday. We gave him a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read and he told us that he will just read the whole thing by our next visit. My mouth kind of opened a little..."really?! (that never happens) He seems really sincere to want to learn and we are excited to finally get someone to the singles branch. I love teaching people my age, I can just relate to them so much better. I'm excited and I hope that he will come to church next week! Edwin is getting closer to baptism and everytime we visit him we are able to hear his sweet testimony. We watched the 20 minute restoration dvd. Afterwards he was telling us that he was excited to actually visualize what we had been teaching him. He loved the part when he saw jospeh smith get the plates and when he was sharing it with others. He felt good in his heart is what he said. He is almost done reading the book of mormon. Its always great to hear his testimony and see how he has cahnged! I love being here in Syracuse new york! I love being a missionary! I know this gospel is true! I love you all!

Sister Stacey

Picture 1-5 ZOO!!!!

Picture 6 Zone Conference!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

"And now my brethren, if our brethren seek to destroy us, behold we will hide away our swords, yeah even we will bury them deep in the earth.." Alma

"And now my brethren, if our brethren seek to destroy us, behold we will hide away our swords, yeah even we will bury them deep in the earth.." Alma 24: 16

Another great week here in Syracuse New York. The weather here is very random, last week it was freezing cold and now its been in the high 70's. We better take advantage of the nice weather before the winter comes. We picked up four new investigators this week, and had some great lessons with our other investigators. The reason for my opening scripture was for our lesson with Dwight. He has been trying to quit coffee so we decided to read this chapter with him and relate it to coffee. It was fun and there were a lot of laughs. There is a part in the chapter where they bury the swords. We were going to bury his coffee pot, but he didn't want to do that. So we took it with us after the lesson. When we saw him at church on Sunday we asked how he was doing, he said "well I haven't had any coffee this morning!" So we hope that he can stay off coffee so he can get baptized next month! YAY!
So a couple weeks ago we were having a lesson with Dwight and his friend Li called and was worried because someone had broken into her place. He thought we could help so we went with him to see his friend. We got her number and told her if she needed anything to call us. We thought afterwards that it was a waste of our time and we probably shouldn't have gone. Well this week I was calling some potentials on the phone. We had another potential also named Li and I thought I was calling her, but it was actually Li (Dwights friends). I set up an appointment and I was all excited and when I looked at the address I realized I had called the wrong Li. I felt dumb, but then I realized this would be a opportunity to teach someone new. So this Saturday we went to her house and her roommate was there as well. They both are from China going to Grad school here at Syracuse University. They both wanted to learn more about the church, I was so excited! So we started teaching the first lesson, but it went completely different. Neither of them had any knowledge of God or Jesus Christ. So as we were teaching the first lesson we were able to go into depth and explain who Jesus Christ was and what he did. He was so cool! I have been wanting to teach people from China so badly. So I'm really excited! Its kind of cool that they haven't been drilled with this back knowledge of the gospel. They are fresh and new at Christianity. We gave them a preview on the Plan of Salvation and they can't wait to meet again. I'm really excited about them!
Saturday was full of lots of service, it was great. That morning we were able to help the Elders investigator garden and pull some weeds. Then later that afternoon we helped our investigator. She was having a birthday party for her son and they were all going to camp out in the backyard. She was so stressed so we went over to help set up the tents. I'm sure it looked so funny with two sister missionaries in skirts setting up tents. I wish I had a picture of that! Its a good thing I love camping and I know how to set up a tent. It was fun! All day we had been in and out of lessons and doing service the last lesson of the night was with a recent convert. Sister Gifford and I were seriously so tired and I'm not sure how we stayed awake, but we did it. I slept really well that night!
I'm really excited about some of these new investigators we picked up. The week goes by so fast and it all blends together so I always forget what has happened to write about on Mondays. I love being here in Syracuse! Its great to be on a mission! I feel so blessed to be able to have this experience!
I love you all,
Sister Stacey

Picture: We are putting together a Halloween party! I'm excited about it!

Pic 2: Some pictures of Syracuse and fall is coming!

Pic 3: Pictures of Syracuse

Pic 4: Our garden Service project! It was fun!

pic 5: Service!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

"..1. We must be bold in our belief in Jesus Christ.. 2. Be righteous examples to others.. 3. Speak up about the church!!.." - L. Tom Perry


Hello everyone,
Once again we have a wonderful General Conference and are able to hear from our beloved Apostles and Prophets. I feel so blessed to experience conference as a missionary. I don't know how to fully explain it, but its just different in a great way. I feel great to say that we got an investigator to EVERY session of General conference. I don't know how, but it was amazing. I gained a great testimony of how the Lord knows each one of us and really does care about us. I know this because each session our investigator came to was perfect for them and exactly what they needed to hear. Dwight who has been our investigators for awhile came to the Saturday morning conference. After the session we were able to have an awesome lesson with him. It was so great because during our lesson we were able to pull quotes right out of the session we just had watched. It was very powerful, I loved it! We asked Dwight what he thought about the conference. He said right before he came over to watch it, he got a bill in the mail and he was really depressed about it. He sat down and wasn't really listening at first because he was so worried about it and he looked over at us and saw us taking notes and laughing. He then said he had this overwhelming feeling of relief come over him to just forget about the bill and listen to what these people are saying. He said once he started listening he was able to learn things that helped with what he was going through. It was amazing! He was so great to hear him explain the Holy Ghost and he didn't even know. We told him that he felt the Holy Ghost. It was such a great lesson probably one that I will never forget. The spirit was so strong and I was able to pull scriptures up that applied to what he was saying. I know that the spirit was helping me for sure to remember where they were. It was amazing.
Edwin also came to two sessions of conference and the priesthood session. He loved it so much and was taking notes. It was so great to see him be so excited about it. Again the sessions he was at were perfect for him. Everything that was said I know helped him. Its just amazing how the Lord knew which one they needed to go to. I think it just backed up everyone talks yesterday about how Heavenly father really does care about us. We had another investigator come her name is Shiela. She came to the last session on Sunday. The Thursday before we had taught her the Plan of Salvation and a couple talks mentioned a lot that had to do with the Plan of Salvation. It was amazing! It was also great because she walked in with 8 of her grand kids. haha
I'm so sad that I only have one more General Conference as a missionary. Its an experience that I know I will never have again. When I listen, I listen for our investigators or less actives. I know that something said during that session will help in some way. Yesterday there were so many amazing talks. I didn't have one favorite, but many. I loved the talk given by L. Tom Perry. As members we should not be ashamed to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. We must be bold! I have learned this a lot being a missionary. If I'm ashamed of my religion then no one will want to listen to me. I speak with boldness that I know this is true! This was a great talk that every member should read and work on. Another one of my favorite was given by Tad R. Callister all about the Book of Mormon. Wow was this talk powerful! I'm pretty sure that I'm going to pick apart this talk and use it in every lesson of mine. This covered a lot of typical questions people have when we tell them about the Book of Mormon. It was so great and it will be very helpful! I also loved the talk by M. Russell Ballard about the name of the church. I can understand why they keep talking about this. Its so common as a missionary when we talk to someone on the street they always ask us if we are Christian. Then I have to point to my name tag..duhh!! haha It would be so helpful for missionaries if members used our full name so everyone knows that we believe in Jesus Christ and he is the central to our message. So many amazing talks were given. I can't wait to get the ensign and read them more. We are so blessed to receive modern revelation. Don't just listen and wait for the next conference, but listen and do. I have learned that General Conference isn't just a chance to stay at home on a Sunday and have church at home. Its very special modern day revelation given to us for this time. Its amazing how blessed we are. General Conference is a way that Heavenly Father shows his love for us. He wants us to make it through and return to him so he gives us this help. We need to take advantage of it! Its so amazing!

Love you all,
Sister Stacey

pic 1: Us missionaries at conference! It was a great weekend!