Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"We see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in...his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy....

"We see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in...his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever Amen." Alma 26:37


This week was a great week! Thanksgiving was a wonderful day and I will remember this Thanksgiving forever. We woke up to a text from one of our investigators and he said that as he was reading the book of Mormon God spoke to him. We weren’t sure what he meant so we asked him to explain. He said that as he was reading he just felt at peace. We were so happy that he finally felt the spirit as he was reading. He said he wanted to come to church Sunday! We were so happy!

So we had our first thanksgiving meal with Ryla one of our investigators. We went with her mom and son to their friends home in Fayetteville. When we got there everyone welcomed us to their little family. They were all very nice! They of course were asking lots of questions which we didn’t mind at all. We ended up getting a women's name and address. She said we could stop by sometime. So that was exciting! We had a very traditional thanksgiving dinner which made me happy! Me and sister Gifford were really careful to watch our portions because we knew we would be going to another dinner. We thought we would be eating our first dinner at 3 so it would give us time to get ready for the next one, but they ended up eating later like 4:30. So we were a little worried. We left and headed to our next thanksgiving appointment. Round two was with some members in the ward. When we got there the Elders were already there and you could tell by the look on their faces they were just as full as us. They had also come from another appointment. The members kept bringing out more and more food. I was getting worried. So we all sat down to eat and they tell us that we pass our plates around and dish each other’s plate so I had no control over what they put on my plate. Sadly the dinner was so painful I was trying so hard to finish, but towards the end every bite I took I thought I might throw up. Haha I was looking at the Elders across the table and they were going through the same thing. I thought they were going to fall over. It was pretty funny! There is a saying .."there is always room for dessert” NO…there isn’t! I couldn’t even eat the pie and I love pie. It was painful! It was fun though and it was a great Thanksgiving! After we left I told sister Gifford I never want to eat food ever again! The next morning was probably the hardest it has ever been for me to get up. We didn’t eat the whole next day. Let’s just say it was a memorable day! I love Thanksgiving and it was one that I will always remember!

We had a cool experience this week we were looking up former investigators. We knocked on this door and the person we were looking for wasn’t home but her mother was. She was so nice and let us in and we started teaching her the first lesson. She was telling us all these things about how hard life has been with her granddaughter and family members dying. She even told us that she has been wanting to do family history. One right after another we didn’t know where to start we had so many answers to her questions. It was kind of funny! We were so happy that the Lord had led us to her. We have been praying to find some new investigators. We made sure to say a prayer after the lesson to thank the Lord for lettings us find her. We can’t wait to teach her again! I love missionary work!

This week was a great week and I did think of my family at home in Estes, but I’m so happy that I was here in New York for Thanksgiving. Its amazing how these people I just met 3 months ago welcome us into their lives and in their homes. These experiences will only happen on my mission. I’m so happy that I’m here!

Love Sister Stacey

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

"..Behold, here are the waters of Mormon and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people..." Mosiah 18:8

This week was a great week. We have always had a baptism date with one of our investigators Dwight, but we kept moving it back. He came to Stake Conference which was good and he later told us that he broke down and started crying. He said that was very unusual for him. We explained to him that it was the Spirit. Dwight has had some awesome experiences with the Spirit. We met with him on Monday with our ward mission leader and the lesson was amazing! It was perfect and just what Dwight needed to hear. My ward mission leader is seriously amazing and his testimony is so powerful. He was a convert and dealt with some of the same struggles as Dwight did. Basically he asked Dwight do you believe this Book is True and he said yes. Do you believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet and he said how else would he be able to translate the gold plates so yes! He wants to be baptized, so Monday night we decided he would get baptized Saturday. So we planned the baptism in 4 days and called everyone who had taught with us and planned the whole baptism. It was crazy, but everything worked out. The baptism was Saturday night and it was so great! He was so happy he showed up early. He looked so happy and he was so surprised that so many people came to support him. He didn't realize how many people cared about him and wanted to be there for him at his baptism. He doesn't have any family or friends here so we have become his new "ward" family! He was so happy and everyone who was part of teaching him was able to participate in some way. Dwight is such a humble man and I'm so happy that we were able to teach him. He got up at the end of the baptism and said a couple words. He said "I thank the sister missionaries and I wouldn't have made it this far without them. They are great missionaries!" It was the sweetest thing! I'm so happy that I'm here on a mission and I was able to help Dwight along his path to return to his Heavenly Father.
On Friday we were able to help one of our investigators paint her Kitchen and it was really fun. It was great because we were able to talk and she really opened up to us about what she wants from us as missionaries and how knowing about Jesus Christ can benefit her life. It was a great opportunity to be with her. We had a lesson and after the lesson her son wanted to be apart of the prayer and he came over and sat with us. It was so cool! The hardest part is getting investigators to church... JUST COME!! haha So we are working on that with most of our investigators!
Its been a great week and I don't have too much time! I hope everyone will have a very Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm so thankful for this opportunity to be here in New York and bring people closer to Jesus Christ. I'm so Thankful for a family that Loves me and supports me in my decisions. I'm thankful for wonderful friends who write me (hint! haha) and are always there to support me! I'm so thankful for the Book of Mormon that I know I can be with my family forever and it can help get through anything. I'm so thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves me and knows what's best for me. I'm so Thankful for the spirit that guides me along and helps me through. I'm so thankful to be on earth at this time! There is so much more that I could write down, but I'm truly thankful for everything! I love you all and I hope you have a great Thanksgiving day!
Sister Stacey

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Transfer #7...Half Way!!! ahh!!!

I don't have very much time so I can't write too much. This week was kind of a slow week which is normal for missionary work. I did hit my half way mark this week on the 9th which was really weird. It feels like yesterday when I was driving to my first area. Time is really weird as a missionary some days feel like a week long and some weeks feel like a day long. I have so much more to improve on and still have 9 months to make it the best. Also on Saturday a year ago I opened my mission papers. I'll never forget that day as long as I live. I remember being nervous and excited at the same time. I'm so happy that I'm here in New York and I know this is where I'm suppose to be.
This week we had Stake Conference and our mission president and his wife spoke and it was fun to hear from them. We taught a lesson afterwards with one of our investigators. He has been out of town so we haven't been able to see him for a couple weeks. When we saw him he said that he still hasn't read and if he isn't that motivated to read then he must not be interested to learn more. We had planned to teach something else, but the spirit took over the lesson and we went a different direction and it went so great. We talked about prayer and I happened to mention a story that was told at stake conference about a man who lost his job and was looking for work. Our investigator opened up and said that he was looking for a job and he had a reason to pray. We gave him some scriptures to read that would help him, but he really seemed like he was going to do his reading! It was such a great lesson and I'm just glad that the Spirit was there. It was a great lesson and I'm so grateful for the Spirit guiding that lesson!
On Friday we got a call that a train by our apartment had fallen off the track and one of the carts was filled with propane. So we were evacuated from our apartment for awhile. They shut down the highway and we couldn't get anywhere. It also happened to be on the same night of the football game. It was pretty crazy, but we ended up making it back to our apartment. The propane didn't spill so we got to go back to our place for the night. It was a crazy day!
I'm so happy that i'm here in New York serving the Lord! I'm happy that me and Sister Gifford are here in Syracuse for another transfer!

Love you all,
Sister Stacey

Fall is coming to an end..but this is what Fall looks like in New York!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"...whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled..if he endureth to the end..him will I hold guiltless before my Father....

"...whoso repenteth and is baptized in my name shall be filled..if he endureth to the end..him will I hold guiltless before my Father..when I shall stand to judge the world.." 3 Nephi 27:16

This was another great week and it was extra special because Edwin got baptized! Edwin's baptism went so well and he was seriously so excited. When we saw him at the baptism his smile would not leave his face. He kept saying "I'm psyched out!" It was so cute. The baptism went really well and his wife who is a baptist minister came. He was so happy to have her there! After the baptism he said he felt clean. Sister Gifford asked him what he was going to do now and he said "I'm going to follow the Lord!' He is just awesome! The next day was fast Sunday and he got up and bore his testimony. It was powerful. I even saw him give the Bishop his first tithing. Its amazing to see the faith of these new converts. During sacrament meeting yesterday the 1st counselor in the bishopric got up and said that in the Syracuse ward they have had 18 baptisms this year and its the most they have had since 2002. This area is a blessed area! Edwin is so happy and I'm so glad that I could be apart of the process of him being baptized!
On Saturday we called one of our investigators to invite her to the baptism, but she said she couldn't walk because of her knee. She was in a lot of pain so we offered to let the Elders give her a blessing. She said that would be ok. So we went over with the Elders and a member and the member asked her which person she wanted to anoint and which one she want to have give the blessing. She turned to us and said "I want my lovely sisters to do it!" haha We had to explain to her why we couldnt' do it. She was very grateful for the blessing though. I'm so grateful for the priesthood. Every time these 19 year old missionaries give a blessing it just amazes me. You know its really by the power of God these Elders know what to say and do. I love the priesthood!
So this week has been really stressful because we knew that the call would come this week and tell us if we were staying or going. We call them transfer calls. Well the phone call came and we found out that we are both staying here in Syracuse! Sister Gifford and Sister Stacey going on three transfers together in the Cuse! We are both really excited about that! I'm excited because that means I will also probably be here in Syracuse till February! We got two new sisters this transfer. One of them was Sister Love who was the sister in the car accident with Sister Bentley. She is seriously my hero and is such a great example to me. She was only gone for one transfer recovering, but she is back. The best part is that she went to Glenville my last area. So I'm excited and she will love it here. She is amazing that she still wants to come back and serve. She is truly amazing! We also found out that a new Sister area opened and that is Lake Placid which is in the North Country and that is where the Olympics were. So I really would love to go there sometime in the future. It was a pretty exciting transfer call!
We had dinner with this single older women this week and neither of us knew who she was. We went to her house and we were eating and she told us that she has been less active for over 30 years and wants to come back. She asked us if we could come to her house once a week and she will feed us if we would re-teach her all the lessons again. I think my jaw dropped a little bit.. haha I was like..um.. YES!!! haha It was so cool and were excited to get her back to church!
It was such a great week! I'm so happy that I get to be here in Syracuse for another transfer! I love it here and I love being a missionary! I love being able to be apart of these people's lives and be with them as they progress closer to Jesus Chirst!

Love you all,
Sister Stacey

pic 1: Edwin's Baptism. Edwin is the one next to me
pic 2: Edwin Baptism
Pic 3: District Meeting!
pic 4: District meeting
pic 5: Distirct meeting goofy

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!

This week was another great week. Last Monday night we had Family Night with the singles branch. The missionaries are in charge the 4th Monday of every month. We thought it would be fun to carve pumpkins. So we had some fun carving pumpkins and getting to know some of the members in the singles branch. It was a lot of fun!
This week Edwin had his interview and passed so we are planning on having his baptism this Saturday. We are pretty excited. Edwin went to the Pageant in Palmyra and the missionaries talked to him there and then that's how we started teaching him. He is such a great example to me in his efforts to do all the right things. He finished the Book of Mormon and we gave him Doctrine and Covenants and he has already started reading that. He asked us if we had anymore reading material about the church, that he wants to read everything. haha We started laughing and then explained to him about a church library. He was excited to learn about that. So he happens to be married to a baptist minister..yes! So we were telling him about the adversary and how he should watch out for anti stuff. He said that his wife's friend will drill him with Anti and that he will pull out scriptures from the Book of Mormon. haha He said don't worry about that.. he pointed to his heart and told us that there is no way anyone can change the feelings he has. No one can change his testimony. Its amazing to see how much he has grown and changed. Its amazing how powerful the atonement can be.
This week at District meeting we learned a lot about family history and how we can use this as a tool to find more people. I haven't really thought about this, but I'm excited to start to use it. I didn't think us missionaries needed to worry about it because we won't get to go to the temple, but after that amazing talk by Elder Bednar on the Spirit of Elijah I can see now how it applies so much to missionary work!
One of our investigators who is single branch age came to church yesterday. Before church we had a lesson with her on the Plan of Salvation. Then during sacrament the talks referred back to the lesson we just had. It was so perfect! I'm so thankful for the spirit because I for sure did not plan that! She really enjoyed it and she is excited to come next week. Out of all the people I have met with she has been the most prepared by the Spirit for this restored gospel. Its been an amazing experience teaching her! Its awesome!
We had our ward Halloween party on Saturday and it turned out great! We had two of our investigators come. They loved the idea of trunk or treat. Lots of people came and it was a great turn out. Me and Sister Gifford sort of dressed up as much as we could as missionaries. It was a lot of fun and I think the kids loved it!
It was a great week! I don't have too much time so I didn't have much to write. I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!
Love you,
Sister Stacey

pic 1: Pumpkin Carving with the Singles Branch

pic2: Our awesome Pumpkin! My only Halloween as a missionary.. I had to carve a church pumpkin!

pic 3: Our awesome Trunk! Yay!

Pic 4: Me and our investigator. Her dad is Less active

pic 5: The Elders and Us at the trunk or treat!

pic 6: I had to take a picture with me and the Angry Bird only because I thought of my family. We love angry birds!