Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Loving Upland May 21, 2012

Dear Family,

Okay I have very limited time this week, so this will probably be a little short.  (I accidentally left my library card at home, so I'm using whatever time I have left on my companions account.  She's so nice.)

First of all, we had car troubles this week.  We had a small sort of accident a couple weeks ago, and we just got it to the shop to be fixed, which left us without a car obviously.  So they gave us another car to use for a couple days.  Actually it was a truck.  And not just any truck, but the very same truck I had a couple transfers ago last time we had car troubles.  I thought that was funny because there are so many spare vehicles and that's the one they happened to give us.  I loved that truck.  It's gotten some of it's problems fixed.  The turn signals are now fully functional, and also the tailgate is finally attached.  The tires still have no tread depth, though, and the emergency brake release is still broken.  I thought they sold it for parts and would never see that truck again, but I did, so we'll see if it crosses my path again before the end. 

Also, I accomplished one of my lifetime goals, which was to learn how to sound like a cricket.  I have ALWAYS wanted to be able to make that sound during awkward silences, and now I can.  I'm so happy!

Well this week it seemed like almost no one was home.  We visited many less actives houses and didn't get an answer at most of them.  We got a lot of information about the area, though, so that was good.  We did have a lesson with Julie, the woman from Taiwan who came to church last week.  She's a really sweet woman who really liked our message and wants to learn more.  She was raised buddhist, but then became a Christian when she moved into the country.  She wasn't at church yesterday, which was a little disappointing.  We have a lesson with her this week so hopefully we'll see her then.

We also had a lesson with Alfonso.  His baptism was scheduled for May 19, but that's in the past now, and as you can tell I haven't talked about it yet.  So he didn't get baptized upon that day.  Mostly because of his mother.   He's tried to talk to her about it, but she starts to get really angry.  Lame!  She is still in town and won't be gone for another two weeks, but he said once she's gone he's definitely ready.

Speaking of people being ready to be baptized, we had a good conversation with Kim this week.  She took us out to dinner at Flemings in Victoria Gardens (which ruled, by the way) and we talked for a long time about what she's been learning and where she wants this to go.  She said that she knows it's true and that she gets goosebumps every time she talks about it, which is good.  She's ready to be baptized.  Good!  But also then there is her husband Scot, who she really wants to be a little more involved.  She said she doesn't even need to wait until he's ready to get baptized too, but she just wants to wait until she knows that there's a chance he will.  They talked about it after we left that evening and he said he really wants to learn.  Every time we're there, though, he conveniently disappears.  I suppose we'll just have to tape him to the couch.

It was a really great week!  Still just loving being in Upland and getting to know the people here.  This morning I was reading Pres. Monson's talk that he gave to the Young Women at the general meeting.  It was good!  Yes it was directed to the YW, but it was applicable to everyone. 

Anyway, must be going.  Love you all!  Have a wonderful week!

-Sister Stacey

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tri-companionship May 14, 2012

Hello family! 
How was everyone's Mother's Day?  It was so fun to be able to talk to everyone!  (Minus Michelle and Richard plus families...I love you guys too:) )  I was sad I didn't get to skype this time.  No one mentioned that they had it set up so we could do that until AFTER we had already called.  Oh well.  I still got to call and that's all that matters. 
Some things that happened last week:
First of all, there is an odd amount of sisters in the mission.  So when we had transfers on tuesday, we found out that we are the trio!  Sister Magvandorj (it's pronounced the way it's spelled) joined us for her final transfer.  She is from Mongolia.  It's been a learning experience to have three of us, but it's good.  We all get along very well and we like it. 
We also saw Brother Burke again, and he is just such a mystery to us. We can't figure out what his blocks really are.  It seems like his excuse is something different every time.  I still think he is sincere about wanting to know if our message is true, but I also think he's not quite ready for a lifestyle change yet.  He knows some of the things that he does he'd have to change and stop doing, but it's going to be hard for him.  But he keeps telling us to be patient with him, and we are.
Yesterday was a busy day!  First of all, we had lots of investigators at church.  That made us happy to see!  Then we taught the gospel principles class, which was fun.  We taught about finding faith in Christ.  I love talking about the Savior and the Atonement.  I learned a lot from studying for this lesson about why having faith is so important.  Love studying!  There was a woman who randomly came to our church.  She normally goes to a baptist church, but wanted to attend a closer church.  Ours was in walking distance, so that's why she came.  She is from Taiwan and she is a very cute old asian lady.  We have an appointment with her tomorrow. She liked how friendly everyone at church was.  I really like this ward.  They're very good at talking to new people and making them feel welcome. 
We have some referrals to contact this week, which is very exciting.  Hopefully we'll pick up some new investigators. 
That's about what happened last week.  I'm excited to get to work this week and meet some new people.  Hope everyone's week is great and grand!  Have fun, stay safe, read your scriptures.  Love you!  BYE!
-Sister Stacey

Interesting Week May 7, 2012

Dear Family
Hello!  How's things?  How's the weather?  What's new? What's changed?
We had a rather interesting week here.  Not too much has happened since Wednesday.  Sister Frandsen and I both got some weird bug that had us down for a little while.  But even with that we still had a few lessons.  We taught Amanda...I may have talked about this last email.  I can't really remember because emailing on Wednesday threw me off.  Oh well.  You're going to have to read about it again if I've already talked about it.  We taught Amanda about the Plan of Salvation.  Finally.  It seems like we've been trying to teach her that for the last five weeks.  We kept scheduling lessons with her and things would come up.  We really felt like she needed that lesson because it would help her think a little more about the things we've been teaching her and if it is something that is important for her.  I think she really felt the spirit during that lesson and seemed to ponder what we were saying.  She even said the prayer at the end of the lesson, which was awesome!  We'll see her again this week a couple times, so we're excited.
We taught Brother Burk again this week.  We decided to teach him a lesson that would help him feel the spirit so that he would open up to us more.  We read President Uchtdorf's talk, You Matter to Him and watched a mormon message about the atonement and talked about that a little bit.  He opened up to us a lot.  He told us that he's stubborn and he knows it.  He knows the things about himself that he needs to change.  He asked us to be patient and not give up, although he said he won't be ready for a long time.  He's a very kind man but yes, he's also very stubborn!  We'll be patient because we can see the light coming into his eyes, especially as we focus on Jesus Christ.  I think that's the best way to help people feel the spirit is to talk about the Savior and helping them to understand the Atonement better. 
An interesting thing we got to do on Saturday was go to the temple a second time last week!  We went to do baptisms for the dead this time with a recent convert in this area named Lynn.  I think she really enjoyed it.  The spirit was so strong there.  Coming on a mission has definitely helped me realize how important temple work is.  GO TO THE TEMPLE OFTEN.  It's blessings for you and blessings for those in the spirit world.  Win win.  :)
OH YEAH I'm staying in this area another transfer with Sister Frandsen.  That was good news.  And other than that, not much else has happened this week.  I am very looking forward to Mother's Day and calling Mom and Dad.  And also Happy Mother's Day to Grandma Rowley.  Wish I could call and talk to you too, but I can't, sadly.  I love you!
And I also love everyone else.  Have a grand week!
-Sister Stacey

Malo e lelei! May 2, 2012

Dear Family,
Malo e lelei!  Fefe hake?  (a little Tongan there for your roommate is from Tonga)
Or in other words:  Hello!  How are you?  It sounds like all is going well from what I read in mom's email. 
We've had a pretty good week here in Upland.  It's been a rainy and cold last couple days.  But before that it was starting to get hot.  Hot and humid.  But I was enjoying it. 
I'm sure you are all wondering why you didn't hear from me on Monday.  The reason is the same as in past Mondays that were not holidays.  We had a temple trip this week!  Which means that today is our pday instead.  I just love going to the temple.  I haven't been feeling very well the last couple days so I was worried that I wouldn't feel up to going to the temple this morning.  But I felt well enough so we went.  I love the spirit at the temple.  It is so peaceful.  I'm thankful to have one near my mission so that we can go. 
So last week we saw Alfonso of course and set a baptism date with him!  It's officially May 19, but will most likely be changed.  He wanted to get baptized before his very catholic mother came to town to stay with him and his family for a month.  But she's coming yesterday, so as you can tell, May 19 is during her stay.  He's worried that she's not going to be any support at all, so if she doesn't like the thought of it, he's going to wait until she's gone.  I hope that she supports him and will even attend his baptism.  That would be really neat.  But I'll let all of you know what happens.
I forgot my planner so I'm trying to remember everything that we did last week.  Not that it wasn't important, it's just time goes so fast that sometimes I can't remember when things happened.  On Saturday we did Mormon Helping Hands and painted a fence at an elementary school.  That was fun.  The cleaner that we used to clean the fences off dried my hands out completely, so the next couple days I had sandpaper skin.  haha 
Okay I hope this was last week.  I mentioned that we had sister's exchanges and that Sister Dodge was coming here to my area.  We did LOTS of tracting and mostly everyone was less than interested.  One man told us that we are following a false prophet and that the best thing for us to do would be to put down the Book of Mormon and stick with the Bible.  We asked him if he'd ever read the Book of Mormon and he said that he's STUDIED it.  Obviously not.  At least not for the right reasons.  One cannot study the Book of Mormon and not gain a testimony that it is the word of God if your studying it for that reason.  I get so sad when I meet those people that have done that, because they feel like they know the Book of Mormon and everything there is to know about 'mormonism' so they're rarely if ever willing to listen to us.  I am just thankful that they'll have more opportunities to accept it.  He was the first person we tracted into that day.  The last person we tracted into just before dinner was a woman named Brenda.  In contrast to the first man, after we introduced ourselves, she said 'OH LDS!  I love you guys!'.  It turns out she is very interested in geneogoly so we told her about our family history center and things of that sort.  Sister Frandsen and I saw her again on Friday and she is a very kind woman who does not really like the thought of organized religion.  She started telling us her experiences with churches in the past.  She's been pretty offended at some of them.  They would get mad at her for asking questions and other various things that I don't think people should be getting mad at.  Some of the churches discouraged people from studying on their own.  She doesn't agree with that.  She has never attended our church, though, so we invited her and also asked her if she'd like us to keep visiting with her, but she said she's going to have to think about it.  I really think that she'll be interested one day.  May not be for a little while, but one day.
Those are what basically sums up our week.  It was a really good week and things are starting to pick up a little more. :) Transfers are this Saturday, so I'll let you know what happens on Monday.  I feel like we're both staying here.  I hope we both get to stay here.  :)
BYE!  Love!
-Sister Stacey