Monday, October 28, 2013

Email Update: 10/28/2013

Dear Everyone,

Things have been going pretty well out here, aside from Nichole having to be at the hospital for her sister, so that we were unable to have our appointment this week. She really does seem like she will be baptized, all i am worried about is her and her boyfriend, and her and her boyfriend's smoking. i think that we will probably extend another baptismal invitation this week when we see her. I say it again, i have never seen anyone as glued to what we teach as Nichole, except maybe for Emily Traveno. I don't think, once she makes the decision to be baptized, that anything will get in her way.

Speaking of Nichole, we were able to take a less active member named Jason Fisher with us when we were headed to her appointment, and even though the appointment ended up falling through, we were able to teach him a little, and to talk to his non-member family. It went really well, and i think that they like us a lot because of the work that we have done with Jason. Even his Baptist sister was happy to meet and talk with us. Jason has just decided to give up smoking, and i feel like if we continue to have him be involved with Nichole and her lessons, he will be able to keep that commitment.

We also visited a man named Conrad Burbank, who we have been talking to for quite some time ourselves, and the missionaries have been talking to for even longer. (if Dad knows the term "eternal investigator," that's what Conrad is.) He is hilarious, loyal to a fault, strong with his family (though he clashes with one half brother) and the most honest man that i have ever met. He only has three real problems; he drinks like a fish, smokes more than he breathes, and could teach a sailor with some of his language. He knows that the church is true; he told us so himself. He also told us that his wife would have him baptized after he was dead... So, what we are going to try and do is ask Conrad if, since Elder Myers is new, we could practice going through all of the lessons with Conrad. We hope that this will get the Spirit back in the home more often, especially since his wife and one of his daughters are already members. Eventually, we hope that we can work on the smoking and the drinking, bit by bit, so that any withdrawals don't kill him off.

Well, those are the major points of this week. As for how Elder Myers is a clone of me, he knows all of the internet stuff i do, he has all of the same interests i do (to varying degrees) and we frankly sometimes finish each other's sentences. So, turn me Latino, and you have Elder Myers.

Thank you Mom for trying to remember the coat and boots; just when ever you do and get the chance to send them, i would appreciate it. There hasn't been any snow so far, and the coldest it has been is 30 degrees, so i'm not too worried just yet.

Love your crazy corespondent, 
Elder Nathanael Stuver

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Email Update: 10/21/2013--Greenie Companion

Dear Familie,
Yeah, i was surprised at my training as well. Yes, our mission is getting a lot of new missionaries, and will keep doing so for about 3 more transfers, according to President Cannon. My trainee (or Greenie, as all of the missionaries call them--along with a lot of the families that we teach and eat with) is named Elder Josh Myers, from Layton California. To save you the trouble of looking that up on Google Maps, Layton is right around Fresno, and is even smaller than New Plymouth. Elder Myers is 19 years old, and is pretty much a clone of me, if you made me a white Latino--his mom is from Argentina. I'll see if i can send you a picture of him today. 

This week has been really cool, and it has flown by really fast. We've been working almost non-stop from the time that we got back on tuesday, to last night at 9:00. We were able to get a hold of one of the people that Elder Rogers and i had tracted into while on exchanges, named Nichole (i may have already tole y'all about her a while ago), and we were able to teach her and her in-active member boyfriend, named Lane, the Plan of Salvation. It went really well, and we were able to get to know her a lot better, not to mention meeting the boyfriend for the first time. They were both really attentive, and seemed to understand everything really well. the only problems that i can see are that she doesn't want to pray with us, they both are heavy smokers, and they are living together. Those things aside, i have never seen anyone so glued to the lessons that we teach as Nichole, and Lane was paying close attention as well (once Nichole had convinced him to come and listen to us).

Other than that, we've been doing a lot of meeting the leaders in the ward and introducing Elder Myers to all of the investigators that we already have. That, plus organizing the Area Book (the great big book of everything about our area---depending on how well it was filled out by the missionaries before you) has filled up all of our time for the past week. All in all, it's been a really good week. 

In answer to the rest of your questions, no, not a lot of missionaries are going home, so our mission just keeps getting bigger and bigger.I went on exchanges so much because Elder Jarvis was the District Leader, and he wanted to take some time with all of the Elders to say good bye, because he was pretty sure that he was going to be transferred. As for winter gear, all i need is a coat and some boots. 

I love you all!
Elder Stuver

Monday, October 14, 2013

Email Update: 10/14/2013--Transfer 3: Training and Pictures

Dear long distance acquaintances,

Tell everyone that i say hi back, and that i'm doing fine.

We just found out about transfers on Saturday morning. I am staying in New Plymouth, Elder Jarvis is moving to Middleton, and i am going to be training. It's really weird to think about; i've only been out a few months, and feel like i don't know enough to be trying to teach someone else how to do it. Well, i guess it's a good thing that i'm not in charge of where i'm supposed to go; i wouldn't know what was best. We are moving around today, so i will be staying with the Elders in Ontario until tomorrow, when all of our trainees fly in. I don't know what we are doing until then, i will try and keep you posted. 

As for this week, things have been going pretty well. I went on Exchanges for most of the week, once with the Ontario Elders from Tuesday to Wednesday, and once with the Elders in Fruitland from Thursday to FridayOn Wednesday we got to have District Meeting (where everyone from one district plus the Zone Leaders get together and teach each other) in a tree house; I'll send you some pictures with this email if i can. In between those, Elder Jarvis and i were getting ready for him to be transferred; he had a feeling that he was going to have to move. We went and saw a lot of the people he wanted to say good bye to yesterday, and then we spent some time having fun with the 2nd ward Bishop's family before heading home.

Saturday was especially cool. We got to go to a baptism in Fruitland for a mother of two of our young investigators named Seth and Keele in New Plymouth (she got divorced from their dad, and the kids go back and forth). Along with that, Emily has a baptismal date for December 9th, and came with us to watch the baptism. She is so ready to be baptized, and she knows it too. The only thing holding her from doing it right now is getting everyone's schedule lined up. Things are picking up around here, and i feel like it will just keep going higher.

Well, that should cover most of it. Thank you for your letters, and i hope that you keep going well.

Elder Stuver
District Meeting
District Meeting
Elder Jarvis and Sister Brown, the Second Councilor's wife in the New Plymouth First ward
Random Cat
Albino Squirrel

Monday, October 7, 2013

Email Update: 10/7/2013

Dear Everyone,

This week has been pretty cool. We went on exchanges with our zone leader and his trainee on Tuesday, and Zone Leader Sterling Rodgers came with me in New Plymouth. It was a pretty normal day, visiting a part member (wife is a member and her husband is not) family, a couple named the Marshalls, and then we went tracking, for the first time that i had gone in New Plymouth. We knocked on a couple of doors, and nothing really happened, until the third door. We knocked and a probably 28-30 year-old woman answered. Elder Rodgers asked if we could share a message, and she said sure, so we taught the first lesson, The Message of the Restoration. I've never seen anyone so glued to what we were saying; even her 7 and 5-year old were paying attention. The Spirit was super strong, and we were able to set up a following appointment for this Wednesday. She seems like she is really interested, and i feel like she will do well as we teach..

Conference was really awesome, and like always, President Uchdorf's talk in the Saturday morning session was my favorite. my favorite quote was "doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." There was a lot on missionary work in this conference, so i hope people will listen and give us a hand out here... ;)\

John and Sandy, the nonmember who gave me the quad, got to go the Sunday morning session of general conference, so i hope that he was able to be touched by the Spirit; i know that i was.

Well, that about sums it up. Thank you for the emails, and i hope that your lives smooth out. I love you!

Elder Stuver