Monday, January 26, 2015

Email Update: 1/26/2015

Dear Everyone,

Actually, Oregon is awesome so far! We've been teaching a bit (mostly just old contacts from past missionaries), and we were able to have two lessons at tracted doors. No interest as of yet, but things should be picking up as we get to know the area a bit more. Honestly, That's all that i have on me right now. I promise to send a huge letter next week to make up. For now, just know that I appreciate all of the prayers that are said, and all of the time that is spent in helping me and all of the missionaries in the field. 

Love, Elder Stuver

P.S. Shotgunning is a crazy experience, and not one that i would repeat, but not too bad either. Tell Sarah that i said Hi, and that it's so weird to hav left before her, and get home after her.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Email Update: 1/19/2015--Transfers!

Dear Everyone,

Sounds like things are pretty crazy for you at work, Dad. I hope that it's not too bad, and i'm glad to hear that no one had to be laid off---that always makes it nicer. 

As it turns out, i have a bit of news of my own. Today was transfer day, and i'm now serving in John Day, Oregon. In case you are wondering where that is, it's in the middle of nowhere, past Baker City. It's the extreme western end of the mission, and we cover around 120 square miles. I'm so glad we get a car. My new companion is named Elder Reischman, from Phoenix, Arizona. The thing is, they haven't had missionaries in the area for almost a transfer, due to a car wreck by the last set. So, we are going to be reopening the area. This is my first time "shotgunning" an area, so things should be fun. This is where the Area Book comes into play, so i hope that things were done well by the past elders. 

All in all, things should be fun. 

Actually, something really cool about this new area. Last night, i asked Elder Riley for a blessing before getting transferred. In that blessing, i was promised that we would have baptisms in John Day, and that the work which had been slow, will pick up. Soooooooo... I'm psyched. 

That's honestly the major things from this week. That and the fact that we had a day where we taught nine different lessons, and found two new investigators from shoveling people's snow. Woot.

Love and Insanity, Elder Stuver

Monday, January 12, 2015

Email Update: 1/12/2015

Dear Everyone,

Thank you for all of the prayers that you say for all of the missionaries. I feel like that is never really mentioned enough, so i'm saying it now. I don't think we would ever be able to do half of what we do without the prayers and care of all of the people back home. So again, thank you.

As for what happened this week, not too much on my end, just the usual work stuff. Some good news though; Doug Sweat finally got a job! He is working the graveyard shift at the local Maverick station, and doing really well at it. The only annoying thing is that, well, it's the graveyard shift. That means when he works from midnight to 7 am Sunday morning, it can be a challenge to get them to come to church. This week was that case, and none of the Sweats made it to Sacrament. It was a little frustrating, but sadly understandable. Other then that, everything is going really well with them, and they are continuing to progress.

We had some really good days working with the Durand family, too. Sunday night, we went over to help them put together a new charcoal grill/smoker. We had really good hot dogs that night (with J-Dawg sauce), and i have learned something over the last few weeks. Banana peppers are amazing on almost everything. Especially on pizza and hot dogs. Tuesday, after the smoker was put together, they had us over to dinner again. Doug took the time to show us how to make what he calls Chicken Riggies, made with riggatoni pasta, and a lot of peppers and mushrooms and onions and olives. It tasted good. We got to spend a lot of time talking about Captain Moroni, a subject which i, for some reason, enjoy a large amount. We then got to spend more time with Doug on Thursday night, when we went to sports night at the stake center and played vollyball. It was loud, crazy, and really fun. There was even a pretty good spiritual thought at the end, from John 17:3. It has been a really good week for working with him, and he seems to be getting more and more open to talking to us and asking questions about the gospel.

The last thing for this week was this last Sunday. We had Ward Conference in both of the wards that we cover. That meant that we spent four hours in Ward Councils. Then we had 3 more hours of regular church. It was a long day. Other then all of that, i'm doing really well. Six months to go, and I thank God for the 18 months so far; i needed them.

Love and Insanity,
Elder Stuver

Monday, January 5, 2015

Email Update: 1/5/2015

Dear Everyone,

Thank you for all of the pictures! I remember that snowsuit, too, and it's cool to see that it's still working. We should make Mochi next year. It looks fun. However, i feel a little disappointed in you all. No New Year's "Ocean's 11" watching? That was one of the traditions that i missed the most!!!

As for us, we had a strange week. The first three day were almost entirely empty, because we weren't able to see anyone on Monday, Tuesday we had district meeting, and then we both got sick, on different days. So, we didn't have a lot happen until Wednesday evening. New Year's Eve, we were able to go over to the Sweat's home again, and watch a kind of strange movie, called The Handcart. It looks like it's made by the same people who made Mobsters and Mormons, the RM, and Baptists at my Barbecue---so our neighbors (whose names i can't remember) probably did the music tracts for it. It was from the perspective of a non member who gets baptized to convince the woman he loves not to be a Mormon. Spoiler: he fails. They both end up in the Martin Handcart company, along with her sister, and a friend nicknamed Moose. It showed a lot of the hardships that they went through, and a couple of the miracles that happened, and it had a really cool preface---it was the main character in a history class in 1905, telling the story of the handcart pioneers to a class of people, including the professor, that were absolutely convinced that no good came of those last two companies of that year, and that it was Brigham Young's fault. The main character told his story, and testified that yes, it was too late in the year, but Brigham Young made every effort to help and save the saints, and that every saint that went through those trials came out knowing that God lives, and that it was by His hand that they were able to last the journey. (That was a long sentence...) It was a good movie, but i like 17 Miracles better, and Ephriam's Rescue even better than that.
The other cool part of that night was the fact that the Sweat's friend, Donny, sat through the whole movie, and the one that we watched with them on Saturday night, Joseph Smith: the Prophet of the Restoration. Donny has been more and more listening to the things we've taught, said, and shown, and he's been coming to Church almost every week. I feel like he is feeling the Spirit a whole lot more, now that he is living with a couple that are working so hard to come back to Christ, and to change their lives for the better. I really hope that he will start to want to do the same, and that Heavenly Father will give him the strength and courage that he'll need in order to do it. As for Doug and Mickey, they are both doing well, though Mickey had to be put on a new insulin that is messing with her a little. Doug, after looking for months, was finally able to get a job with Maverick, and even though he was tired after his first full day's work, he seemed glad to be working again. He'll be working a graveyard shift, so that he can go to all of the mandatory meetings that drug court is having them take. I think that he'll do awesome; i just hope that it doesn't get in the way of his coming to church.

After those first three days of the week, things got kind of awesome. We had promised the district that we would get at least 21 lessons this week, because the week's training was on goal setting and accountability. Well, with all of the slowness from the first half of the week, we realized that we weren't going to make the goal as it stood. So, we figured out how many lessons that we would need to get each day, in order to hit 21 lessons, and it turned out to be 5 a day. That is hard up here. We are lucky if we can get 3 a day usually. But, we wanted reach the goal, so we started truckin'. by the end of the week, we were able to teach 22 lessons, and each one was a good discussion. One of our investigators even seems to be really warming up to us, and in almost every lesson that we taught, the people asked us questions that we could teach on, before we even had the chance to say much of anything. One of the families that we taught Sunday, Joe and Ashley Rasmussen, Ashley was having a really hard day. She had just gotten news that her grandmother had passed away the day before, and Ashley hadn't had the chance to say goodbye to her for a few years. She was really broken up, and they are having trouble finding a way down to Arizona for the funeral, due to lack of funds. I read out of Alma 40, and testified on the Resurrection, then both Elder Riley and i told of some personal experiences about losing someone close. I hope that we were able to help a little; that is a really hard time to go through, especially without a full knowledge of the Plan of Salvation to comfort you.

Anyways, those were some of the major parts of this last week. I hope you all have had a great week, and have another one now!

Love, Elder Stuver