Monday, August 26, 2013

Email Update: 8/26/2013--Two Stories

Here's Nathanael's most recent letter. I linked the scripture to the chapter, but you'll have to scroll down to the proper verses yourself.

Hi Everyone,

I'm doing really well, and we have a new investigator named Emily, who seems like she is going to get baptized; she wandered into church all on her own one Sunday, and is 15 chapters into Gospel Principles. We just taught her Lesson 2, the Plan of Salvation, and even though I blanked when Elder Jarvis asked me to lead on the Atonement part of the lesson, we were able to fix it, (and I did well when someone else led into a topic), and we had a really good lesson. She said that it was pretty much perfect timing for her to learn this, because she was just coming up on the 2 year mark of 2 of her friends dying, right around the same time. Now she knows that they are in a good place, that she will see them again, and that they will all be happy.

One more cool story before I finish. There is a Part member family in New Plymouth 1st ward named John and Sandy. John is not a member and Sandy is, and we have been visiting them a little bit, and seeing Sandy quite a bit while we have been helping a 93 year old man named Brother Humble fix up his house and his yard. (Just saying, I wish I had remembered my camera on Saturday; that was the biggest pile of weeds I have ever seen in my life!!!) On Saturday, after 2 hours of weeding and cleaning up his yard, Brother Humble threw a Pot luck at his home, so that he could show off all the work that Sandy had done on the place. At the Pot luck, John and Sandy walk up to me, and John hands me a quad set of scriptures, leather bound with tabs, and the scripture Alma 46:12-20 embossed on the front cover. "That's for you. We thought that you could use a new set of these." That was John who said this, and I remembered him saying that they were going get me some, just in passing at a dinner appointment a week ago. John isn't a member, just reminding. I was just about speechless; all I could say was "Thank you" about three or five times. To me this shows just how awesome people can be, and how much we need to try and be the same.

Well, that's all I got for now. Thanks again for the letter, and please keep me updated.

Love, Elder Stuver

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Email Update: 8/18/2013

My first transfer call will be on August 31st, and yes, transfers are 6 weeks. According to Elder Jarvis, i will most likely be staying in New Plymouth for 2 more months because I'm a greenie, so we will have to wait and see how long i stay in one area. To be honest, i hope that i get to move sooner than that; the basment apartment that we live in is crawling with spiders and horseflies. (not small ones, either)
This week was pretty great; we had more lessons than we had had in one week before. We have been working with an investigator named Beux Clatin, and i was able to teach with the ward's High Priest Group leader and Beux's new home teacher. We worked throught the Restoration again, and i was able to spend more time on Christ's Atonement than may have been spent previously. I challenged him to always ask to feel God's love, and to know that if he can feel the Spirit in his life, the Atonement is working to repair damage in his life. I felt like Beux better understood what i was saying, that he felt the Holy Ghost, and that i was able to teach the things that Heavenly Father wanted me to teach.
Along with teaching Beux, we had another opportuntity to Kathy Tamez, and she seems to be progressing really quickly. Every time we talk i can see more things click into place in her mind and heart. One problem that we have run into is the fact that she works in assisted living, which requires that she work on Sundays from 6:00am to 2:30pm, making it impossible to attend church, especially since there are only two wards in the New Plymouth building, so there is no evening time for church. Other than that, she is doing really great.
I was able to give another blessing this week, to a less active member named Jenny Kitchen, Roxy Kitchen's mom. It was still nervewracking, and i stlipped up at the beginning, but after i had fixed that, i was able to say what Heavenly Father wanted me to say. After we finished blessing Jenny, i had the opportunity to annoint Roxy for a blessing. Both experiences were great faith-builders, for the Kitchens and for me. Speaking of blessings, Kayla (the other little girl) is still doing well, and she said that the test for her grass alergies should be coming soon.
All in all, it's been a really great week.
Love Elder Stuver

Monday, August 12, 2013

Email Update: 8/12/2013--An Average Day, Plus a Lesson!

Here's Nathanael's email from this week, and guess what? He even sent a picture!

The most average day is:
6:30) Try to wake up
6:45) Zombie walk to the shower
7:30) Get out, get dressed, and study
11:00) Head out, and try and think of someone to teach.
9:00pm) Head home after a bunch of fruitless calls, some appointments falling through, and a dinner appointment with the members (where everyone tries to outdo the last family-hence the having eaten better than ever).
10:30) Try to fall asleep for a few hours.
This week there was a cool story, however. We were able to teach a lady named Kathy Tamez, and the lesson went really well, apart from my jumping off on 50 different tangents in 5 minutes. We started by teaching the Plan of Salvation, and then I ended by dumping a ton of simple doctrine, and assigning a reading that might have confused her (the intro to the BoM, and the other stuff before 1 Nephi). However, even with that, I could see things fall into place in her mind, and how it all started to make sense to her. It didn't hurt that she said just that herself, about halfway through the lesson. I feel like we said what she needed to hear this time, and I know to focus a little more the next time. Along with that, she said that she skimmed the BoM before the lesson (she had asked for any "literature" when we had helped with her yard a while back), and said that her daughter had picked it up as well. I feel like things are going well with both of them, and I am starting to get a little excited about it.
Nathanael's Companion: ElderJarvis

Monday, August 5, 2013

Email Update: 8/5/2013

Nathanael asked that everyone was aware that the Mission Home forwards mail and packages, so please send everything through the USPS--especially for packages, use Priority Mail  rather than FedEx or UPS. 

Here's the Mission Home address:
Idaho Nampa Mission Office
1008 W Sanetta
Nampa, ID 83651-5047

The Mission Home address is also listed in his Contact Information section.

I asked Nathanael a few questions about his mission, and here is his answer:

Being out in the field is a lot more easy going then we were lead to believe. Because there aren't a lot of investigators or referrals (and my companion hates tracting), there isn't as much going as i thought there would be.The easiest part of being a missionary is eating. I can say with utter confidence that i have never eaten as well as i have in the last week and a half. The hardest part is trying to find new people to teach. Like i said before, there aren't many referrals, and my comp hates tracting, so finding opportunities are slim. My area is New Plymouth Idaho, with one ward in Fruitland. My companion is named Elder Bryce Jarvis, and he's pretty cool.

There are your questions answered. Now for a short story time. 
I was able to participate in the baptism of a 9 year-old girl (as a witness, then in the confirmation) on the Saturday after i came into the field, and it was a great experience. Her name is Roxy Kitchen, and she is really smart. Then this week i was able to give the first blessing in my life, to a young girl with exima (however you spell that) named Kayla Topps. I was so surprised that she wanted me to give the blessing, and was nerve-wracked the whole time, but i felt like i was able to say what Heavenly Father wanted me to, and in the way that she needed to hear.

Seemed like time was short, so that's all he had to say, and unfortunately he hasn't sent any pictures yet. Still no card reader, I guess.