Monday, March 31, 2014

Email Update: 3/31/2014--Transfer 6

Dear Everyone,
Thanks for all of the news! Even though it may seem a little mundane to you, it's a glimpse of the outside world for me.
Transfer Day today! I get to stay in McCall, though Elder Maynard is moving to Kuna. My new companion is named Elder Painter, and so far his is pretty cool.
This last week was interesting, trying to figure out if we were going to be transferred or not, but we were still able to get quite a bit of work done. We went on exchanges with our District leader on Thursday so that we could even get some baptismal interviews done (unfortunately, miscommunication = no interview). However, most of it was taking the chance to say good bye in case one of us got transferred.
No real stories to share this week, other than a fireside that the Weiser Sisters put together that went amazingly. They asked a lot of less-active members and non-members to sing and perform other musical talents, while reading the Living Christ in between each number. There had to be at least 150 people there, and every act was spectacular.
Well, I think that just about covers it for this week. Thank you for all that you do, and for all of your prayers.
Love and Insanity, Elder Stuver

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Email Update: 3/24/2014

Dear Familie,

I'm sorry that you didn't get to enjoy Jeffrey's new job, Mom, but hey, Dad at least got his gummy bears. I hope that Dad didn't explode from too many people at the house for Jeffrey's party...

This week was pretty much standard, though one of our investigators is now on her own rather than with her husband. I honestly don't have a lot to say about this week, so i'll talk about the story that happened last night. 

Elder Ericksen, the Area Seventy for up here, came and spoke at a fireside last night at 6:30, and, like almost everything else, it was focused on Missionary work. He spent the time first answering any questions that the youth or their parents had, and then asking and telling about different ways that people can be missionaries now, regardless of where or how old they may be. He made sure to stress on all of the different kinds of service you can do for your friends, that doesn't necessarily have to involve teaching the missionary discussions. Things included helping with yard work, inviting people over for dinner (even WITHOUT the missionaries), and just making friends. After all of that and they start asking questions, which they will, you simply answer those questions that they have, and invite them to learn more. If they say yes, awesome. If they say no, continue being a friend.

That was pretty much the story of the week. Thank you for everything that you do, and for all of the help that you give me in so many different ways.

Love and Insanity,
Elder Stuver

Monday, March 17, 2014

Email Update: 3/17/2014--And no work was done that week

Dear Familie,

First off, go Jeff! ...Can i cone too? (And yes, the spelling is intentional)

I don't think that i need anything, though some long sleeved t-shirts would be nice for service when it's cold. Of course, there are always things that i want, but those mostly revolve around toys of one kind or another, so i'm doing really well.

"Hi" to everyone!

We didn't end up doing a lot of work this week, and it kinda made me sad. Because we had Zone Conference down in Nampa on Thursday, we went down Wednesday so that we wouldn't have to wake up at three to make it by 9:30. Then we had district meeting in Weiser on Friday, so we stayed the night down in Nampa again Thursday, so that we didn't have to waste 150 miles round trip. So, not much got done. In fact, it was the lowest scoring week that I've had on my mission so far. It was a little frustrating.

Aside from that, we had a good time at Zone Conference, got to spend some time with some missionaries who had been in our districts before, and had a really fun district meeting. At the district meeting, we had a scavenger hunt for "referrals," and i decided that i liked having some of the scriptures memorized; my team was able to get going right off of the bat

Well, that pretty much sums up this week. Thanks for all that you do, the prayers that you say, and the patience you have with me.

Love and Insanity, Elder Stuver

Monday, March 10, 2014

Email Update: 3/10/2014--Stake Conference

Dear Familie,

First off, tell Bob that I feel his pain; I was at that busiest Friday, and if it was double that, well, everyone's nerves must have sat highly on edge.

This week, as usual, went by far too fast. It never really feels like a whole week went by; in fact, it usually feels like one or two days at most. 

The big things that happened this week were first, an awesome lesson with one of our investigators, at a member's home. Louis is the 18 year old that we have been working with for the past few weeks, and has born his testimony in Sacrament. We taught the third lesson, the Doctrine of Christ, and it went really well. We also worked to set a baptismal date, and were able to do so, though it is a ways off, for a really awesome reason. Apparently, he wants to wait for now until after General Conference, because he and his fellowshipping family were given tickets to go to the Conference Center. Louis said that he wanted to wait so that he could be sure that Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet before he was baptized.

The second awesome thing is Stake conference itself. First off, we just had a new projector system installed in the McCall building, so we were able to have it streamed up, rather than having to drive 2 hours down to Weiser for it. Next, even though it was stake conference (which half of the members seem to avoid), we still had 8 different investigators come, one of which was Louis' girlfriend Abby, who he drove down for about 3/4 of an hour to get from Cascade. The whole meeting was great, and i felt like there was something said for each of our investigators personally. Most of them have similar struggles, and there was one analogy that really stood out as being able to touch every single one of them. It was a story about a man who had had a fascination with butterflies as a child, and as his wife was getting ready to have their first child, he regained that interest. One day, he found a cocoon that had somehow managed to survive a fall from a tree nearby the park bench he was sitting on at the time. He took it home, and watched it grow in a mason jar that he place on the window. One day, the cocoon started to shake, with ever increasing strength, until the man thought that the butterfly would die from the struggle. He took a penknife and made a tiny slit in the cocoon and within seconds, the butterfly was free. It walked around the jar just fine, but it wouldn't fly away. At first, the man thought it was just waiting for its wings to dry, but time passed, and still it stayed walking. The man called a friend of his that knew more of the insect than he did, and told him the story. When he got to the slit that he had mad in the cocoon, the friend stopped him and said, "There is the problem. The struggle gives them the strength to fly."

A lot of our investigators seem to have hard things holding them down, and i was really glad to hear that show that there is a reason for hard things in life.

Well, those are the major stories from this week. Thank you for yours, and for listening to mine.

Love and Insanity, Elder Stuver

Monday, March 3, 2014

Email Update: 3/3/2014

Dear Familie,

The Stuver magic lives on! Of course Mei-chan only wants to be fed by Dad and Jeffrey; they're the Stuver Males.

A Golf Ball? Really? That's very frustrating.

Up here has been crazy as always. We didn't have as high a number of lessons as usual, but we did have some really productive lessons. We taught Matt and Sharon last night, the Doctrine of Christ, and it was awesome. We have been teaching them at the home of a family named the Rowes, and more and more I've come to realize something; I absolutely love lessons in members' homes. The Spirit is some much stronger there, and the members are much more comfortable answering questions and bearing their testimonies in their own home. Matt and Sharon both seemed to understand the things we were teaching, and they remembered the things we had taught the last lesson. They have been reading the chapters that we have assigned them, and they have been coming to church almost every week. (they didn't this week because her boss--the bishop--had her stay at work until 11:00 Saturday night, and their kids woke up when Sharon got home, and insisted on playing until 3:00) The only really frustrating part is Matt looked into the divorce, and it'll actually take 41 days in order to file it. Luckily though, they don't need to get an lawyer, so the total charge will only be about $120, rather than $800. It just means that he has to wait to get baptized, sadly. 

The next awesome lesson that we taught was planned for one awesome investigator named Louis, but ended up having three investigators there, along with the family and the Bishop's wife who had come over to do some visiting teaching, but ended up being involved with the lesson just as much as anyone else. The morning of the lesson, we were sitting and planning what we wanted to teach to Louis, when we get a call from him. Apparently, he wanted to know, "if it's ok to push the lesson back [a half an hour], so that i can bring my girlfriend?"

We said that shouldn't be a problem.

Louis was a referral from a girl named Heidi, who had been talking to him about the church for a while, and had already given him a Book of Mormon. When we first taught him, he had already read on through 1st and most of 2nd Nephi, and pretty much believed it. When we taught him the Plan of Salvation a couple of days ago, with his girlfriend, he really just soaked it in, and even explained a portion of it when his girlfriend, Abby, was a little confused. To top it all off, yesterday he gets up and bears his testimony that he believes that this is the true church, and that he knows how having it in his life for the past few weeks has made his life so much better.

Speaking of Abby, she is a really nice girl who has been invested in religion before in her life, but had fallen away from it, because of some really traumatic experiences in her recent life. Now. she said that she is really open to learning about the church, and she was really open and involved as we taught. She was really struck first by the Spirit World, because she had never even heard of that before, but it made sense to her, that Heavenly Father wouldn't just leave most of his children hanging out to dry, just because they hadn't heard the name of Jesus Christ before. The other thing that seemed to hit her very hard was the principle of Agency, how no matter what, God would never take that gift and ability to chose away from his children. Because of some of those hard things in her life, she had been really angry and wondering why God would let people do some things, and why He would let those things happen to good people, but i could see the Spirit testify to her the truth of what we spoke, and she was visibly happier at the end of the lesson. In fact, after the prayer and the rest of the people pulled off to go eat some dinner that the member had made up, she asked if this was something that was going to happen next week as well. Along with that, we gave her a Book of Mormon, and she promised that she would read it.

Yeah. McCall is awesome.

Those are the main stories for this week, though much more happened, even on the days that felt like nothing was going on. Thank you for your stories of life, in all of it's true slowness. Tell Mei-chan that i said hi!!

Love and Insanity, Elder Stuver