Monday, December 30, 2013

Email Update: 12/30/2013--last of 2013

Dear Familie,

It was really fun to talk to you on Christmas, and the rest of Christmas went really well, too.

After that, the week was kind of average until Friday, when we had district meeting. One of the first things that our District leader mentioned was about our Key Indicators, specifically what we needed to have in a lesson, which includes at least teaching at least two principles, and saying a prayer. Elder Myers and i decided that we would make sure to do that, and i have to say, we have had some of the best few days that we have had all of the time that we have spent together. I personally have felt the Spirit more strongly, and for a longer stretch of time, than at any time in my life, with the possible exception of the MTC.

That first day after we were given that assignment, we were able to visit 7 families, all of which included at least two principles and a prayer. One of those was an older man named Ron, who we've been talking to for a little bit now, and who has been investigating for about a month now, we were able to teach the first two lessons, and commit him to read Moroni 10. Along with that, he committed to pray to know if it was true, and that, if he did learn that it was true, he would be willing to be baptized. We did try to set a specific date with him, but he felt that he wasn't ready, and even though we tried to convince him that he could work towards it, he was pretty firm in waiting for now.

Things have been working along that same line since then. We had a really good lesson with some members of First Ward, named Carol and Eric (not related) and a bunch of lessons in second ward. Along with Church, that was really our week.

Could I get Casey's address again? I seem to have lost the box with the address on it. 

Thank you and love you all again!

Elder Stuver

Monday, December 23, 2013

Email Update: 12/23/2013

Dear Everyone,

I kind of figured that things might work their way back to our original method of writing... ;) Yes, i got both of your packages. Thank you very much. 

Things have been going pretty good this last week (and so on). Emily's baptism went fairly smooth, with the only hiccup being that we got to listen to two different talks on baptism, because the one who was scheduled to speak originally ended up being a little late. Nichole did end up moving, so we aren't sure how she's doing right now; she decided not to tell us when they were headed out, so we never got an address from her. 

As for this week, we had one of our most productive weeks ever. (I'm going to tack one extra Friday, because something kind of fun happened.) On Friday, We were given an opportunity that really surprised me, because i'd never heard of it happening. Thursday night, we got a call from Brother Double, the Seminary Teacher in New Plymouth. Turns out, he was going to be out of town tomorrow, and needed someone to substitute for his two classes. So, we were able to teach Seminary at the High School. It was actually really weird, because he didn't leave us a lesson plan, so for the first class, we were really just winging it. Luckily, we were doing something that i'm actually fairly good at; learning about a chapter in the Book of Mormon, specifically Alma 7. So, by the second class, things went really smoothly.

On Monday, after Preparation Day, we went to a member's home, named the Waters, and taught their daughter, who is just about to turn 8, the Plan of Salvation. It was quite the time trying to find a way to say something that she would understand, without using hugenormous words that she wouldn't know yet. I think that we did a good job, however, and it was great practice for simplifying things down, and not using Mormon Jargon. After that lesson, we went over to a different members' home, and participated in the New Member Discussions (NMD) for the Roses, Seth and Keely. It ended up being pretty much the first half of the Message of the Restoration, along with watching the Nativity Bible video at What was cool along with that, is that Sherelle's (the kids' mom) sister in law was there as well, and she wasn't a member. When i offered her my scriptures to follow along, she gladly accepted, and said thanks after the lesson. So, i think that there is some great potential for an investigator there.

Wednesday comes next, with the Christmas Zone Conference. We went down to Caldwell and started at 9, going all the way till three. We sang lots of songs, heard a cool story about a gas station owner, and had a white elephant exchange (i got a fruit box---yay.)

Our next big day was really---the next Friday, when everything pretty much fell on us all at once. We had the first NMD with Emily, we had the Second Ward's Christmas party (where we met another potential investigator), and we had another appointment---that i can't think of right now. Oh well.

Well, i think that pretty much covers it for now. For more information, wait two more days.

Love Elder Stuver

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Email Update: 12/16/2013--Very Short

I have not gotten them just yet, but that could change by the end of the day; It had the week before last when you asked if i'd gotten Casey's package. If you could tell everyone thank you, and that I'm working on a reply for them. By the way, I have some presents for imediate family + Mario and LillyMei, but you may have to wait until January to get them, because shipping is EXPENSIVE, and the stuff is kinda heavy.

Thank you for all the things that you do, whether i see them or not. 

Elder Nathanael Stuver

Monday, December 9, 2013

Email Update: 12/9/2013: Q&A

This week, Nathanael didn't respond in a normal letter fashion. My parents asked questions and he answered directly below. Here's the email (bold=parents):

Dear Nathanael,

What are you doing for Christmas?
I honestly don't know just yet, but on the 18th there is going to be a Christmas Zone Conference with a White Elephant exchange, and i think that i already have the gift that i'm going to bring. It's a little finger that I carved (basing i off of my thumb) with a ring on it. I'm debating whether i should try to carve CTR onto it, because i don't know if i have that kind of skill just yet. (for further info on Christmas, continue to next question)

Will you be calling on Christmas? When?
I will be calling on Christmas, kind of. One of the Part Member Families that we have been visiting offered to have us over to use their iGadgets to Face-Time, so that we can see you as well as hear you. As for what time that will happen, that is yet to be announced. I'll let you know when we get it all set up.

Is it cold? How cold?
Yes, yes, yes, yes,yes. Yesterday, it hit -16*, with 6 inches of snow on the ground. It's cold. The funniest part of that, however, isn't everyone wrapped up like Eskimos. It isn't even California Boy (Elder Myers) going crazy over it. The Funniest part is how everyone we talk to all say that "this doesn't usually happen," "Never this early," and "My Son said when we were moving here you're moving to the Banana Belt of Idaho. I still have yet to see it..."

Do you still need boots? Any other cold weather gear?
I could still use some boots, but other than that, i'm all covered.

How did the Open house go?
....It flopped. We were sad. Our High Councilor blames it on the fact that the Program was in the Chapel, so it was Sunday Dress code. However, I feel like Elder Myers and i put in the effort that the situation required, so i feel like, on our part of it, it was a success. The Ward Christmas Party that was attached was really well attended, and was one of the most decked-out productions that i have ever seen. Elder Myers and I even had a picture taken on a full blown sleigh that they had dragged onto the stage. As soon as it gets emailed from the photographer, i'll forward it to you.

How did the baptism go?
That one went amazing. Emily didn't seem nervous at all, and her non-member parents even showed up from Eureka, Nevada in order to see it. we got to meet the both of them, along with her grandma, who got her started going to church in the first place, and all three of them were really great people. Jerry Jones, one of the first members to meet and get to know Emily, was the one who baptized her, and Brother Kim Ellis, our Ward Mission Leader in the 2nd ward, confirmed her in Sacrament Meeting the next day. Funny part of the baptism's program, the speakers, who had both already been called, ended up getting there late, so we had 2 different talks on baptism, one from Anna Rupp, the one that Emily asked to do it, and one from Brother Postlewait, a Ward Missionary from the Second ward, whom brother Ellis had asked to give in case Sister Rupp didn't show up. Sister Rupp got there after Brother Postlewait had finished 3/4's of his talk, so we got both.

We hope that the baptism and the open house went well and that the spirit was strong. Keep up the good work. Keep the faith. Love you!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Email Update: 12/1/2013

Dear Everyone,

Thanks for letting me know on the financial situation; i hadn't realized that i'd been spending that much. I'll make sure to fix that from now on. It sounds like everyone had a great time this last week, what with Thanksgiving and Babies being blessed and all. I'm glad you are all getting along without me (super corny fake sniffle).

 I haven't recieved Casey's package, but tell her not to worry; more often than not, it's just the mail being super slow. However, do ask if she used UPS or FedEx; those aren't able to be forwarded from the Mission office to the appartment, so she might be getting it back if she used either company.

As for the church open house, it's actually THIS Friday, at 5:00. It seems like it's going to go pretty well, although there are a few things that are grinding against my nerves. The first is that the sister in charge of planning the Christmas Party, which we are going to have the Open house work with, is wanting to have the program in the Chapel, rather than the gym. That means Sunday dress code, and i feel like if we try to ask people to wear Sunday clothes, they are going to turn right around and leave, even if they had wanted to come and were interested before they found out. Along with that, she wants to have the adults eat apart from their kids, and have the kids separate during the program. I already know of a MEMBER who isn't going to come because of that, so i'm really worried about anyone who isn't. Other than those two things, i think that it's going to go very smoothly.

Emily'sbnk baptism is this Saturday, also at 5:00. We are going to get everything for the program set up this Friday with Sister Stukie, who has been the fellowshipping family for Emily for the past few months. Sister Stukie is probably about 33 with 6 kids, and their house is immaculate, so i think that things will be able to go pretty smoothly with her help. I know that the Singles ward, both New Plymouth wards, and at least 10 members of her family are going to be at the baptism, so attendance should be pretty good. the only thing that i am worried about is stage fright. Emily is super excited about getting baptized, she wasn't nervous about her interview (passed with flying colors), and she knows most of the people who will be there, but she hates getting put on the spot. She doesn't want to have the spotlight all on her, so even though she will have plenty of support there for her, i think that that might actually mke things a little worse for her Stage Fright. At this point, i just hope that her excitement over powers her fear.

Our Thanksgiving was really fun. We ate at two members homes, the Austins (the people who's basment we live in) and the Marshals, a recently reactivated family, the Father of whom just recieved the Melcizadek Preisthood (and no, i do NOT know how to spell that word). About the food, though i do miss Mom's pies, i gotta say, triple chocolate pumpkin pie that is almost too rich for ME is nothing to shake a stick at.  The rest of the week was pretty basic, and nothing really to report, except for the fact that Nichole may be moving to Weiser in late December, and we got to help deliver some Thanksgiving Baskets to some of the people who we had been teaching.

Well, that'll about do it this week. Have an insane follow-up week!

Love Elder Stuver