Monday, September 30, 2013

Email Update: 9/30/2013

Dear Familie,

I got the pictures that you sent, and Lilly Mei looks really good. Yeah, Curtis is just a bit bigger... I'm glad that you all got to spend some time with the now Great grandparents, i'm sure that they enjoyed that.

This week has been flashed by pretty quick,  like they all have so far, but not too much happened. Emily did decide to move her baptismal date forward to sometime in December, she just needs to coordinate her schedule, her family's schedule, and her daughter's schedule all together to find a specific date. We just taught the first half of the Commandments discussion to her, and she pretty much took it in stride. She is doing so well, and i know that she will continue to do so as she works and continues to grow.

We picked up a new investigator as well; Dan's old girlfriend, Dora. She called us to start having appointments, and she seems to be willing to do the work that she needs to in order to learn and to grow. We asked, if she found that the church was true, and the Book of Mormon was the word of God, if she would be baptized, and she agreed.

This last Saturday, we worked at a memberhouse in the yard for almost 6 hours. I liked it, because she actually let me dig out all the weeds, rather than making it difficult to do so by not letting me dig deep enough! We were able to clear out an entire flower bed of weeds so that it was ready to plant, and split enough wood to last her the winter. She was really happy about the flower bed, because she said that it had been something that she had been working on for about three years now. She has a really hard time weeding because of a past knee surgery that makes it so that she can't kneel down or put much force on it. We also got to talk to her son Garth (pronounced Gart) for the day. He is an inactive member who is 19 years old, and stopped going almost 4 years ago. He turns out to be a real video game buff, so Elder Jarvis got along really well with him.

Well, that about sums up this last week. I'm glad that things are going well with you, and that Jeffrey had a good play. Michaela, make sure that you don't worry yourself to death about Lilly Mei, especially over the little things. You'll get the hang of everything, and you always have at least 4 people to talk to: Mario, Mom, Dad, and Heavenly Father. 

Love Elder Stuver.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Email Update: 9/23/2013

Dear Family,

This week there have been a few cool things, a few frustrating times, and a lot of inbetweens.

One of the cool things is that Emily, the lady who wandered into church on her own, had a baptismal date, set for July 27th. The reason it's so far out is because she wants to read the whole Bible (and yes, she does mean the Bible and not the Book of Mormon; we checked) before she get's baptized. When she heard how long it can actually take from Elder Jarvis (he said that he's only 800 pages in and has been reading since he came out to the mission field), she said that she may end up making it sooner, so our next appointment we will teach about the qualifications for baptism, and how to feel that you are ready to make the covenent.

Another cool thing was a fireside that happened just yesterday in some of our zone's stake. It was all on  missionary work, and it started off with Elder Holland's talk on when the Savior asked if Peter loved Him. It really set the tone on missionary work, and after that, the people split up into 5 different groups to answer anonymous questions on different aspects of missionary work in everyday life. The section that Elder Jarvis and I covered was on working with less-active members and with recent converts, and i feel like we really got the idea into peoples heads that the best way to start working with people is by making a friend, and focusing on that before you try and convert someone. In fact, in my opinion, you shouldn't be thinking so much about trying to convert someone as about learning to love them and to get to know them. Anyways, that went really well, and it felt like people had a spark of sharing after the meeting.

Something a little frustrating about this week was last night, when a member of one of the ward councils flat out refused to try to hand out a Book of Mormon, saying that he just wouldn't do it--in those words precisely. It was annoying that he didn't want to even try, or just keep it on him. It kind of put a damper on the rest of the day.

As for the inbetweens, a lot of it involves a lot of amazing food (including breakfast for dinner last night--waffles!!), too much down time, and a lot of trying to find people to teach during the day and on Saturdays. That, and a little Stephen Colbert when we visit one of our ward missionaries (just when we get there; then he turns it off).

Well, that's the size of this week. I love you, and still want to hear how your lives are going too.

Love Elder Stuver

Monday, September 16, 2013

Email Update: 9/16/2013

Dear Familie,

Yeah, things have been going pretty well. The talk was just on missionary work, and how to do it simply and in your everyday life. It's alright about the SD card; the baby's more important. I did get the link to the pictures; she. is. TINY. Funny that she likes Japanese TV; have you and Mario been rubbing off on her already, Dad? Have them try running it all day to see how long she will watch--maybe they can keep her up all day and she'll fall asleep at night. Why does it not surprise me that Lilly likes Grandpa best? Oh, that's right--every baby does.

Things have been pretty much the same here, with a lot of emptier days and lots of food at night. I got the chance to teach Debbie, the lady who had cancer just a month ago and is only in her thirties. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and she asked a lot of really good questions, along with her son, Ryan. I felt like they understood what we were teaching, and that they felt like it made sense. Yesterday, i went over to John's house (the one who gave me the quad) and we had a good family home evening. Other than a lot of political talk, it went really well.

Well, that's about it. I hope things continue to go well for all of you and Lilly Mei.

Elder Stuver

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Email Update: 9/9/2013

Dear Family,

Things are going well with me; We were able to set a baptismal date for one of our investigators! Dan, who is now living on his own and working to get all settled into his own place, is scheduled to be baptized on January 4th, 2014. It was really cool to be there and watch him make that commitment to move forward in his life. Emily and her daughter Ali are doing great as well, and Emily is liking the Singles ward, so she is still going to church every Sunday, and she has been reading the things that we have been assigning. With a little more work on all our parts, I feel that she is going to be ready to set a date soon. Kathy sounds like she is doing great too, and actually found herself defending the church to her mother for a good 2 hours, according to her. She is most likely going to move out of our area soon, so we will have to wait and see how the rest of that goes, but she seems like she knows that what we are teaching is true.

Along with all of that, I gave a talk in one of the wards we coveryesterday. It followed my usual pattern of taking an hour to write, and 2 minutes to speak. I think that I did ok, though, and the rest of the talks went really well. I did save a copy of the ward bulletin, for more than just that; it was the first time that they had me in there as one of their full-time missionaries, rather than Elder Jarvis' former companion, Elder Sergeant.

Well, that's about it for this week. It's awesome that Michaela's a mom now, and that Mario's a dad. Tell Jeff I said hi. Loves you!

Elder Stuver

Monday, September 2, 2013

Email Update: 9/2/2013--Transfer 2

Dear Everyone,

It has been really cool here in New Plymouth. Today is the start of my 2nd transfer, and i get to stay here with Elder Jarvis. Emily is still going strong, and she's started going to the YSA ward, so that she feels more comfortable. Everything went really smooth, and if felt like she was learning a lot. She brought her daughter as well, and she was really quiet and calm. (she fell asleep in sacrament meeting; she snores XD )

We have bee having a harder time getting in touch with Kathy, so we're not quite sure how she is doing, but we do know that she is going through some rough times, and that she may be moving to Vale Oregon, where she grew up. If so, she will be out of our area, and the Vale Elders will start teaching her. Last we saw her though, we taught the Plan of Salvation, and it seemed to stick really well with her. I feel like she is coming to know that it's true.

Another one of our investigators, Dan, just moved out of his (ex) girlfriends house, and seems like he is just about ready to be baptized. We think that we are going set a date for just before the end of this transfer, and it. will. be. Awesome.

I had a true Chinese meal two nights ago. My mouth is still watering, it was so good. i miss oriental food... *sniff sniff*

Well, that just about covers it this week.

Love Elder Stuver