Monday, June 30, 2014

Email Update: 6/30/2014

Dear Everyone,

Life is actually pretty good right now. My new companion is named Elder Richardson, and he is hilarious. Even better, he is really good with teaching Michael, the 14 year old that we have been working with. He knows how to teach things simply, and he even uses drawing to teach (the kid is an amazing artist, of course. Just the standard awesomeness of everyone else) and he does so really well. We taught the first 5 of the 10 commandments last night, and Michael seemed to pick up on all of it, after a little extra push here and there. The family now has a fondness for what they call Elder Richardson's "Mustache Hair" drawings.

Another lady we have been working with, named Rosa, seems to be doing really well, too. She has gone to church the last three weeks in a row, and even though she goes to the Spanish Branch, she seems to enjoy having us over each Monday night. Along with that, her boys seem willing to listen as well, though the younger brother is more so than the older one. Louise and Christiansen are 14 and 11 respectively, and Christiansen went with his mother all three weeks of church, and Louise went to the last two. We haven't taught many of the lessons yet, but she seems to accept the ones that we have taught so far, and she seems to take them to heart. She says that she still wants to learn more before she decides whether or not she is going to be baptized, and that she wants her kids to make they're own choice whether or not they do the same. Honestly for me, though, i am perfectly fine with that. It means that she understands the importance of the choice, and that she isn't going to force her kids to do anything one way or the other. I feel like, given a few more weeks or months, they will all want to be baptized, as long as they keep doing what they are doing.

As for the rest of the area, we both seem to be doing much better at trying to make contact with new people, with the ward leaders, and with the other ward members, in order to find new people to teach. So far, we've met to cool leaders, some fun members, some possibly interested old investigators, and just a few crazy Protestants while tracting. Not really anything in the way of new investigators yet, but we've had some really good talks with a few random people recently, including one lady at lunch, just before we came to email. So, all in all, things seem to be picking up a little, if not quickly.

Well, that will about do it for this week. I hope things keep going well with you!

Love and Insanity,
Elder Stuver

Monday, June 23, 2014

Email Update: 6/23/2014--Transfer 8

Dear Everyone,

This week was interesting, not the least because it was transfer week, and that always throws us for a loop as we try to plan for what we need to do the next week without knowing whether one or both of us are staying. On that note, I am staying in Nampa, and Elder Gibson is headed to Kuna. My new companion is named Elder Richardson, coming from Caldwell. I don't know too much about him, except that he didn't get along with Elder Myers in the MTC, and that everybody else seems to like him a lot. So, we will just have to wait and see what happens between the two of us, and hope for the best.

Some of the lessons that we had this week were a little strange; yesterday, for example, we went and taught Michael. Or at least tried to. He was in a very stubborn mood, and was insistent on "finishing his homework," which included reading a lot of musical scores. He really didn't want to listen, so we taught what we could, and left a section to read. It can be hard to work with kids... regardless of the number of their chromosomes.
Another interesting one was actually really good, just interesting. We taught a lady named Rosa the first little bit of the Restoration, along with her family. She seems very interested in learning more, and her youngest son seems curious as well. We are having a harder time getting the older son interested, so we are going to use one of the suggestions from the Bishop, and see if we can't get some of the teacher and deacon aged guys to play some basketball. The Bishop is hoping that we can get Louis interested in the High Adventure camp, because, well, high adventure stuff is cool! He feels that if Louis goes to the High Adventure, he will want to go on some of the other camps, which will be great timing with Zion's Camp coming up. We will do what we can, see what happens.

Well, that just about covers it for this week. I hope that you are having an amazing life, whether boring or painful.

Love and Insanity, Elder Stuver

Monday, June 16, 2014

6/16/2014: Email Update--Happy Father's Day!

Dear Urvurone,

I'm glad you all had a good week/Fathers Day! I still think that we should call home then, too... But, it's not my call, so oh well. How did the Dad's like the movies? How to train your dragon is hard NOT to like, so, i imagine that went well at least. As for the cars, of course they were awesome: "classics" are classics for a reason.

Anyways, Things are going really well. My new bike is awesome (with the slight frustration that the seat is harder than a rock, but that's ok; this too shall pass) and will last me most likely for 5 years after the mission, if not a whole lot more. It cost a bit, but it was less than i expected, and that's always a plus.

As for appointments, they are a little low, but we had some really good ones. We have been working with a boy named Micheal with Downs Syndrome, and event though it can be tough to understand him sometimes, it always seems like he is listening, and understanding the best he can. His parents are active members, and he is 14, so we have been teaching him with them, and they have been helping us teach in a way that they have found that he would understand. So far, he seems to get bits and pieces of the things that we talk about, and remembers at least a little of the important points. I think that if nothing else, Micheal will at least learn a little bit more than he knew before.

Someone else that we have been seeing is named Rosa, and it had been a little difficult to get a hold of her in the past few weeks, so it was really good to be able to get in and talk to her a little bit. Even better than that, she and her son made it to Sacrament yesterday, for the first time that i have seen her there. There was another nonmember there, named Markie, but he actually lives in a different ward's boundary. So, all in all, even though the week was harder, Sunday turned out good.

By the way, Transfers are coming up this Saturday, so we will have to see what happens. Most likely, i am staying, and Elder Gibson is going. I hope that he stays, but you can't have everything. If he does go, he has really been wanting to spend some time in McCall before he goes home. Hey, you never know: I called the last person to get called to McCall, i might be able to guess the next as well...

Love and Insanity, Elder Stuver

Friday, June 13, 2014

Email Update: 6/8/2014

Dear Urvurone,

First off, THANK YOU FOR FINDING MY PEN!!!!!!!!! I can't believe that it stayed hidden in the couch for over a year... Does that thing just hide stuff, or does it eat them, and decide that it doesn't taste as good as it thought, and spit them back out?

And Dad, nice job on finishing your shaving collection. When did you find a straight razor? Those things are cool... and you're gonna have to send me a picture of the one that you are talking about, because i am having a hard time picturing it. Speaking of pictures, Mom, you should know not to let Dad have the camera...

Jeff, i feel your pain...

Well, this week has been interesting. We weren't able to do a lot--at all--but i was able to go on exchanges with my district leader on Friday. It was nice to spend some time with a different face, even though i am still great with my comp. The only really sad part was the next day, every single thing that we'd planned fell through, either because the people weren't home, or because the didn't have any time when we were there. Luckily, not because they didn't want to listen to us--as far as i know. Other than that, it's just been a little slow. Eh, you do what you can with what you are given, and lay in bed and cry about what you can't--wait, no, you, (um, what is it again...oh yeah) push through until the end.

Oh, by the way, i am going to get a bike up here. Happy Birth-Day Jeff! You can have the other one. I was riding a loaner bike, but the family decided to take it back so that the dad could use it, so i'm a little sunk at the moment. So, i'm gonna get one. Thank you for everything!!!!

Love and Insanity, Elder Stuver

Monday, June 2, 2014

Email Update: 6/2/2014

Dear Familie and Urvurone,

Jeffrey, what's the deal??!?!? The most I had pulled was 4 teeth at one time!! Well, I guess our mouths have it out for us.

As for the lack of pictures, two things; first, you know how lousy I am at taking pictures, and I don't mean low quality. I took a bunch of pictures before because stuff actually happened, like the Winter Carnival! Second, the mission banned us from using DropBox. Don't ask me, I don't know why, but I haven't been uploading the ones I have either.

Yup! "Escuses, escuses"

Well, moving on now. Brother Marshall is pretty cool, so much so that it's turning out to be hard for me to break out of my habit of actually asking to use stuff around the house. (He scolds me every time that I do.) Some of the other things that he has made include Jambalaya, Breakfast for dinner, and that's all that I can think of right now; my brain is on perpetual sleep mode. As for the "instant baptism," the whole affair was rather interesting....

It started off alright, with Lucy and Joe arriving a half and our early, the program lined up, and the room set up on time. By 7:00 we even had to start setting up more chairs, so it was well attended. We had a prayer, song, and talk, and the first baptism was for Joe. A quick adjustment of arms, and it went quite smoothly. And then things were weird.
The reason that we had Joe go first, when we had originally planned for Lucy to do so, was because the man who was going to baptize her hadn't showed up by 7:15, when Joe was baptized. By 7:20, we'd finished with Joe and he was back, dressed, and in the room. At 7:25, after a failed attempt at using the time for a Testimony meeting (no one stood up), we started singing because there was nothing else to do. 7:30 showed us sitting there in relative silence, with a lot of whispering about the lack of a baptizer going on. At 7:36, Bro. Gann made it, and Lucy was able to get into the font and be baptized. But the fun doesn't stop there...
Lucy was already down, up, out of the font, and back in the changing room, when two other people and I all realized something. Bro Gann had said Lucy's full name correctly and had done the prayer right, but he had used her Maiden Name, not her married one. We had to send one of the ladies in to tell her that we needed to do it again, which lady came out and told us that Lucy needed to put the jumpsuit back on. Well, it finally worked out (Lucy got back in, the name was said right, nothing was sticking out of the water, all was well), and the rest of the program went really well, with the slight frustration of two kids in the front row making a little more noise than an airliner.

All in all, I think that it went really well...

The confirmation went well too. I actually was able to confirm Lucy, and the Bishop confirmed Joe. Still weird to talk in front of a bunch of people, even if it is while being surrounded by a bunch of other men and everyone has their eyes closed. Oh well, at least there was only one fumble per prayer, and no screaming kinds that I could hear.

The next cool thing that happened this last week was a lesson by president Cannon, teaching the up-and-coming youth and pre-missionaries about what the mission involves. In short, the kind of things that turn your hair white and drive you to diet Coke. (Note obvious Robert Kirby reference...) Labeled "stress," he went over a few of the things that aren't often mentioned to prospective missionaries who are starting to get prepared, such as the fact that money matters, comps aren't perfect, life isn't going to be baptisms falling in your lap (especially in the first three months), and leaders are there because they have been though a lot of the same things that you have, and know a little bit about how to help.

Yes. All of the things that you told me, and a lot of the things that I didn't listen to at the beginning. Still important to know.

Well, that should just about do for this week. Thanks as always, and hope you have a great rest of the week! Jeff, try not to die on me before I get back...

Love and Insanity, Elder Stuver