Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 26, 2011

This last week was probably my favorite of the mission so far.  We had sister's exchanges and I was paired with Sister Kaufusi from Tonga.  She was SO FUN to work with.  It's going to be interesting having different companions and learning things a different way and hearing their different perspectives.  She told me a lot of stories about her life and things she did before her mission to prepare, and her plans for after her mission.  She is a very selfless and caring person.  She always thinks of others before herself.  I learned a lot from my two days with her, and I think it will completely change my mission and how I look at the work. 
On Thursday we visited a potential investigator named Janice and we had a really good visit with her!  Before I came they'd been trying to get ahold of her frequently but often had no luck, so they stopped for a little while.  So on Thursday we'd planned on trying to get ahold of one the less active members in the ward who we haven't met yet and she wasn't home.  Janice just lives two doors down so we decided to knock on her door and she was home!  After the visit we asked if we could start teaching her the lessons and she said sure and that she loves us coming over.  We didn't have a lesson during that visit so we can't technically call her a new investigator, so this week when we DO teach her a lesson, we'll have a new investigator!  And then on Saturday we visited a woman named Kenya, another they'd been trying to see, and we've had appointments scheduled with her in the past and she's always had to cancel.  We were able to see her this time and had a really good lesson with her and asked if we could come back and continue teaching her and she also said yes, so we picked up another investigator!  I'm so happy we were able to get ahold of them.  Janice has three kids, and Kenya also has three kids plus her husband, so we might have nine investigators pretty soon here, if their families are also interested in learning.  I'm so thankful that the Lord has given us two families to teach.  The gospel truly blesses families and I want them to experience that!  We invited Kenya to church but she wasn't able to make it, but we think she'll watch General Conference with us. 
Last week was really good, and this week will be grand also.  I love serving a mission.  I love how much my testimony has grown.  I am happy that the day I've been dreading of being called as a sunday school teacher will be less scary because I have a better understanding of how to study and teach. 
I love you all!  Talk to you next week!  Write me letters!
-Sister Stacey

Monday, September 19, 2011

Green Dinner - Sept. 12, 2011

     GREEN DINNER!  It was interesting to eat.  And obviously the girl in the picture with me is my companion.  I really like her.  She's from Perry, UT, a place no one has ever heard of.  She always gets a blank stare after she tells that to people.  She is a hard worker and inspires me to work hard.  She has been out for 8 almost 9 months.  I'm the second missionary she's trained.  She was going to school to be a photographer and will finish that when she gets back. 
     Nothing much to report from our area this week.  Work is still slow.  We've had quite a few appointments cancel.  EVERYONE apparently has been getting sick.  Bobby was sick.  Ilene's daughter was sick so she couldn't meet with us.  We keep having appointments with all these potenitial investigators, but the appointments always fall through.  I think it's safe to say I like teaching less actives the best, since those are the only teaching experiences I have had so far.  I get so confused visiting some of them.  They have a testimony.  They know the church is true.  They get emotional talking about how the gospel has blessed them.  But they won't go to church.  I just don't get it.  We've been trying to figure out the real reason they don't go so that we can help them come back. 
     Last week was HOT!  It is NOT fun to go tracting when it is that hot.  We usually use that time to try and contact potential investigators and less actives.  We were able to get ahold of lots of the less active members last week and have small visits with them.  We've been working with one family a lot, where the mom is the only member and she's less active.  She went to church before she moved, but once she moved to this area she stopped going, possibly because she didn't have as good of friends in this ward as she did in the last one.  So we're trying to find some people to fellowship the family.  Her daughter Cassidy has in the past expressed interest in getting baptized, but doesn't at the last minute.  I think she wants to, but she's scared of the change and she doesn't want to feel pushed into it.  So we'll be patient. 
     Hopefully I'll have more to update next week.  At least you got some pictures!  We'll keep working hard and I'll tell you more about some of the awesome people I've met in the ward.  They love to take care of us.  Our dinner calendar is usually filled up a month before, apparently.  
Love you all! 

-Sister Stacey

News From Sister Stacey - Sept. 19, 2011

Hey everyone!
     Don't have much time today.  We're about to go down the hill to Rancho Cucamonga for sisters exchanges.  I am a little nervous because I have to get used to another companion and a different area already!  The work in the area I'm going to be in for the next couple days, Mesalinda, is REALLY different from what I've been experiencing in Spring Valley Lake.  I talked to the companion that I'll have and she says that they are completely booked with appointments tonight and tomorrow.  NO TRACTING!  YAY!!  We have had literally one appointment during the entire three weeks we've been here.  I'm not complaining, because we're still busy doing other things, but I'm excited for the opportunities to teach investigators.  It will be interesting to see how exchanges go.
     We had an interesting experience last night.  We were invited to sing at an interfaith music festival.  There are some...interesting religions out there.  It was held at a Nithyananda Vedic Temple.  I think it's one of those yoga religions.  Everyone was very nice.  It was interesting to listen to some of the religions out there express their beliefs through music.  There was a jewish guy, not a rabbi, but something else, some unitarians, and lots of other groups I had never heard of.  There was one guy who told us that if he didn't sing every morning the sun wouldn't rise.  I don't remember what he was.  It was fun though.  The whole experience made me so thankful for the things I know to be true.  We sang 'Where Can I Turn For Peace' and 'A Child's Prayer'.  The people who worship at this Vedic temple insisted on giving us lots of curry after.  It was very spicy.
     Since we would just have to come back down to Rancho Cucamonga today, they made all of us high desert sisters stay down here with some of the other sisters.  There was a dog.  A little dog, I could tell by the bark.  I wanted to kill it.  It decided that it would rather bark than sleep at about 10:30, conveniently.  It would bark for about 10 minutes.  Then stop.  Then start back up again 2-5 mintues later.  I was getting so annoyed.  I think it finally stopped around 1ish because that's when I fell asleep.  I am so happy that no one around my house in Spring Valley Lake lets their dog bark all night long.  I think a lot of people would wake up and find their dogs missing if they did. 
     Well that's all I've got time for because we've got to run to the mission home.  Love you all!
-Sister Stacey

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sister Stacey Updates

The sisters from my district.  I love these sisters.
I'm sad that two of them are not in my mission, but we'll be friends after.

This is my MTC  District.  I miss them.  They were so fun.
Most of them went to the California, Arcadia Mission.

All the new missionaries at President Godwin's home.
We were tired, obviously.
I came out after having my interview with the president and took this photo.

Apple Valley
This is the view that greets us most mornings from our backyard.
The desert sunrises are so much prettier in person.  They're so colorful.

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Day in the Field

Twelve new Elders and four new Sisters
being picked up at the airport by
President and Sister Godwin
Tuesday,  August 30

President and Sister Godwin with beautiful Sister Stacey.

First view of the mission home in Rancho Cucamonga.
All photos courtesy of Sister Godwin.
Thank you!!