Monday, April 23, 2012

SOOO Nice Here In Upland April 23, 2012

Dearest Family,

Hello!  How's everyone's week been going?  How has everyone been enjoying the warmer weather?  It's been SOOO nice here in Upland.  Of course since today is pday it's a little chilly and looks like a storm is coming, but oh well.  It's going to be warmer soon enough. 

We had a really awesome week this last week!  FIRST OF ALL Elder Ballard and three of the 70s came to talk to us, which was awesome.  He shook our hands of course.  I'm always curious to know what he sees and knows when he does that.  Someone said that Elder Holland went to their brother's mission or something and after he'd shaken everyone's hand and started speaking to them, he said 'You may not all be aware, but I just had an interview with you when I shook your hand.'  So that's kind of what I felt like shaking Elder Ballard's hand.  It was so amazing to listen to him and the other speakers!  They said all the exact things that this mission needed to hear.  One thing that Elder Bowen said was about obedience.  We cannot say we know what we're sharing is true if we are not being completely obedient, because if we really know, then we'd be obedient to all the rules.  He talked about the scripture that says 'many are called but few are chosen' and said what that's really saying is 'many are called but few are obedient'.  Elder Ballard talked a lot about obedience and agency.  He invited all of us to change ourselves and the entirety of our mission and give ourselves completely to the Lord-to truly have our will match his and to follow the spirit with exactness.  He is such a great speaker. They all were.  I was so inspired this weekend and it has made me even more excited to do missionary work. 

Speaking of missionary work, here's what else happened this week.  A new family moved into the ward:  Alfonso & Alicia Cabanillas and their four children.   I love this family!  Alicia was baptized about a year ago as was their daughter Rubita?  Robita?  I don't know how to spell her name.  Alfonso, however, has not been baptized yet, but just accepted the invitation to be baptized!  We are so excited!  We met with Alfonso for the first time yesterday and he is such a good man.  They have a great family and I can't wait for all the blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for them to be poured down upon them.  Rubita is the oldest and the rest of the kids are not old enough to be baptized yet.  We had Stake conference yesterday and the little boys were so sad because they couldn't go to primary. This is a good family and I am so excited I get to have a part of bringing their family closer to being able to be sealed eternally!  That was what they talked about a lot at stake conference.  Elder Bowen was there at our stake conference as well.  He was very inspiring to the stake and I think that they're all going to be excited about missionary work.  I wish so much that I could write down everything that everyone said, but I don't have that kind of time.  I guess I'll just have to tell you more about it later in life. 

I was a great week and this week is also going to be great.  We are seeing things slowly pick up here, and we still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we're enjoying all of it anyway.  We have sister's exchanges again this week.  I will be staying here in Upland and Sister Dodge is coming here to work with me.  My second time working with her!  It will be fun. 

I hope everyone's week is grand.  I love you all!

-Sister Stacey

PS mom-hello thanks for the email!  I loved it.  And thanks for sending dad's letters.  I was about to do that today.  Also, Grandma really is such a wonderful sweet woman and so cheerful.  I am excited to be able to sit and talk with her after the mission a little bit because that's something I've never really done and I really want to.  I sent her a letter a little while ago.  Do you know if she got it?  Anyway, love you!  I can't believe I get to call you in a month.  That time went by so fast!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Wet Week 4/16/2012

Dear Family,

Hello!  This was a great week!  It was also a very wet week.  It POURED all of Friday.  There were rivers in some of the streets.  But I love rain, so I was excited for it.  I would have been fun to go tracting in it, but as it was we got to stay warm and dry while we helped a recent convert in this area clean her house.  So that was also fun. 

Something UNfun is that I had to try thousands of different computers today because ALL. OF. THEM. had that durned compatibility view whatever enabled.  SO ANNOYING.  But THIS computer works, so yey!  I got to read my emails today!  Sounds like you had a wet week too. 

Well this last week we were able to see a family from our list of potential investigators.  We saw the mom and one of her sons.  They might not be interested in converting...yet.  But she seems really eager to learn about what we believe, so I think that could go somewhere.  They have a really close family, so I think she'll enjoy how much the gospel of Jesus Christ emphasizes families.  Anyway, we'll see the Harvey’s again this week and hopefully more of the family will be there and also hopefully they'll have read a little of the Book of Mormon. 
 We had dinner with Kim this week.  She took us to The Melting Pot.  It was so fun!  I really like Kim.  Earlier we had talked to her about where she is in terms of her progress in the gospel.  She says she finally feels like she is ready to be baptized.  That was exciting for us to hear.  The only thing holding her back at this point is her husband.  She really wishes he would learn with her and be excited about this with and it breaks her heart that he's not.  So that was earlier in the week that we had that conversation with her.  Then a couple days ago is when we had dinner with her and he was there too!  That was good, and then yesterday at church Kim said she invited him to come and he said he would come with her next week.  She also asked him if he would like to take the lessons with her from us and he said he would!  It's also a little more involved than that, but unfortunately I only have so much time to be on a computer, so some of the details will have to be left out.  But the moral of the story is that he's interested, and we get to start teaching him as well.  We're so excited about that and what it will mean to Kim.  Side-story:  on the way to dinner, we were on the freeway and we were going through an underpass with a rather blind corner, and we saw the three cars ahead of us suddenly pull over.  There was a man who got off his motorcycle and was running to what looked like a blanket that had blown off his motorcycle or something.  At least that's what we thought until we got a little closer and saw that it was a person!  We were just a couple seconds away from seeing him actually fall off (I'm glad we didn't).  So we called the ambulance and I think the man is fine.  He was wearing thick jeans and leather and he had on his helmet.  But it was scary!  We waited until the ambulance came and then we left, but when we left he was conscious, so that was a good thing.  I'm thankful that all the drivers behind him were alert, because he was in the middle of the three busy highway lanes.  That could have been awful.  But it wasn't.  Don't worry. 

That's about it for this week.  Things are slowly picking up in this area, and I'm excited to see what happens with some of the people that we are working with.  I love being a missionary and doing missionary work!  I can't believe I'm almost halfway through with my mission!  Time goes by so fast!  Anyway, I'll talk to all of you next week.

Have fun!  BYE!  Love you!

-Sister Stacey

PS MOM- I can't take credit for the bunny.  I had seen it a couple years ago.  I wish I was that creative.  And also I got you letter from last week.  Thanks a ton for that!  And it's cool that you saw Elder Ballard last week and he's coming here to my mission this week.  I'm excited for that.  Anyway, times almost up, so I have to go.  Bye!  Love you!  OH YEAH my roommates were wondering if you and dad have talked to Elder Archuletta. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter 4/09/2012

Hello, everyone!
Happy Easter (yesterday)!
(")(")   (sleeping easter bunny...he had a long day!)
I'd say I'm glad to hear that everyone's Easter was grand, but unfortunately the computer I'm using has enabled Internet Explorer Compatibility View, and apparently MyLDSMail Mail works best if this is turned off.  I can learn how to do this by clicking on a link, but it was a bunch of computery sounding stuff that I just don't understand.  But the result of this is that I can't read any of my emails, except the one that dad sent because it was an attachment.  I have not had this problem before, and I don't think that it is likely to happen again, so you don't need to start sending everything as attachments.  But it is a little frustrating on today, which is a pday, meaning I CAN read my emails, but now CAN'T because of the lameness of the settings on this computer.  But according to dad, Easter at the MTC was pretty awesome.  Elder Packer (of the 70-President Packer's son) came to our mission during my first transfer and we had a mission wide conference with him.  It was pretty cool.  AND NOW next week we will have Elder Ballard coming to speak to us.  So excited!!
It was a rather slow week here.  We had lessons with Linda (a less active woman), the Butchers (less active woman plus non-member son) and Kim (investigator).  All of whom were at church on Sunday.  YEY!  I'm really excited about Kelene and Brock (the Butchers).  She has been less active for a long time, it sounds like, but she really wants to start coming back to church.  And her son, who is 13, wants to get baptized!  But he seems a little scared to start coming to church and stuff.  He's a good kid, though and we're excited about this.  Kelene's husband is not a member either.  So we'll see if we can start teaching him too!
Easter was so fun.  We went to church (obviously) and then afterward went over to Kim's house and made dinner and colored easter eggs.  Can we talk about how strange it is that we celebrate easter with colored eggs delivered to us by a bunny?  Bunnies don't even lay eggs!   Also, another strange thing is putting pepper with strawberries.  Don't try this.  It isn't good.  But Kim had a recipe that asked for it and it was intriguing so we tried it out and let the garbage disposer enjoy them.  Black pepper was not meant to be put on strawberries. 
Meeting the ward yesterday was so fun.  This is a great ward!  ALSO here's the crazy thing about it:  There is a couple in the ward with the last name of Landmeier, who happen to be Callie's (cousin Bill's wife) parents.  Small world!  And I guess I was at their house when I was a young child, and they've also been to ours.  They said they were going to call Bill and tell him about it.  I remember mom mentioning in a letter one time that her parents lived here.  It's so cool that I get to serve in their ward!  We'll be having dinner with them sometime this week. 
I wish I could have read about how everyone's Easter was, but I couldn't.  I hope they were all as spiritual as mine was.  I love Easter and Christmas because of their focus on Christ.  I love learning about Him and strengthening my testimony of Him.  He's done so much for us!  And how wonderful to know that He lives!  That knowledge and the knowledge of what the Atonement can do for us brings so much peace and hope for the future. 
I hope you all have a great week!  Love you!
-Sister Stacey

Monday, April 2, 2012

I Love Upland! 4/02/2012

Hello Family!!
Well this last week had some big changes and whatnot, so here is the news:  I got transferred to Upland-the exact same place I came for transfers just a couple weeks ago!  I love it down here!  It's warmer, greener, less windy, and less dry.  I still haven't entirely met the ward yet, since yesterday was general conference and all.  I look forward to doing that next week.  But I met our ward mission leader, who seems to be very good at his calling and he is a very sweet man.  We had dinner with him and his wife after conference on saturday.  I really like them!  I also met our bishop between sessions on sunday, and I really like him as well.  And I've enjoyed meeting some of the families at dinner.  This is a great ward! I am very excited to be serving here. 
Being that I have now only been here for six days, unfortunately I don't have much to talk about.  We have had lessons with a couple investigators, who seem to be progressing very slowly.  We want to help them more.  One of them took us to dinner at Cheesecake Factory.  :)  There are so many more places down here to go to.  But she is really great!  Her name is Kim and she actually doesn't live in our area.  She doesn't live in the mission at all.  We get to go to the Arcadia mission boundaries once a week to teach her.  (both mission presidents are aware of the situation)  She was very attached to the sister who was here just before me, but she still seems excited to learn, so that's good!
We had a cool miracle at pepboys the other day.  We had to get our oil changed and tires rotated.  We went in the little waiting area and everyone who was in there one by one got up and left (they seemed to be uncomfortable around us).  A few people would poke their heads in, see us, and turn around.  Lame!  But this woman came in with her two year old daughter and actually stayed in the room!  Cool miracle, right?  HA just kidding it gets better.  She saw our nametags and asked what they said.  We started talking to her about the church and stuff and about how we have a prophet and that Christ's church has been restored and she seemed really interested in that.  We gave her a resoration pamphlet and asked her if she wanted a Book of Mormon, and she said yes, so we gave her one and talked to her about it and talked more about Joseph Smith.  She started reading right then.  She seems really open and interested.  Unfortunately she lives in Ontario, close to Chino, but thank goodness there are missionaries everywhere, right?  So that made us very happy to be able to get a Book of Mormon to her. 
And other than that, the week has been great!  I LOVED conference!  There were so many great messages there and so many that I needed to hear!  It's amazing how much we get out of conference if  we go with questions we want answered.  I love conference as a missionary.  I am getting so much out of it because I'm finally learning to really listen to what they say.  I am so thankful that we have a prophet to guide us and keep us on the right track.  It's so cool that we get to hear from him and from the apostles every six months.  We're so blessed! 
Anyway, that's about all from me this week.  Sorry it's so short!  But I love you all and I'll talk to you next week! 
-Sister Stacey
PS MOM-thanks for your email this week.  Sounds like you had a really busy weekend.  How fun that you got to be in Fish Lake!  Tell dad also hello and that I love him and I really am going to write him a letter hopefully today.  And with the letters that you write me.  I read them, then forward them to my other email.  When I get home I'm going to print them all.  I'd just keep them here in my myldsmail account, but apparently they deactivate it after a few days, which is pretty lame.  So I'm just playing it safe.  Do you print all of our emails?  Anyway, love you!  Thanks for the package!  Fun Easter times.  :)  Love you!  Bye.