Monday, March 9, 2015

Email Update: 3/9/2015

Dear Everyone,

It sounds like a pretty crazy week for you all. I bet Grandma Marie would've liked to join you at the Disney on Ice trip---I hope you sent her some pictures too! As for Nunsense, I'd be totally freaked out if I had to learn a leading role after a performance had already happened, so kudos to her! Finally, Jocelyn is home from her mission??!?!?!?!?!?!? I have been out here so long... Tell her I said congrats, and hope the transition goes well!

As for things on my end, it's been pretty much awesome, with the standard slowness liberally mixed in. I believe I told you about Lindsey W, Nick Smith's girlfriend that he invited to church. Well, we've now had two utterly fantastic lessons, on the Restoration in two parts. If I didn't tell you about her, and that was the part that I'd left out, well, Here you go! Lindsey grew up in John Day, then moved to Portland for collage and life in general. After a while, things were not going well for her at all, and she bound herself in a lot of bad situations. One day, she was praying what she should do to fix her life, when she got a call from Nick, about a scarf that she might have left at his house at some point (turns out, they have no clue where the scarf came from, because it wasn't hers). She got a strong feeling that she needed to come home, so she packed up, got in her car, drove to John Day, and never looked back. Nick invited her to come to church, and she said that at first, she had the immediate cross-your-arms-in-front-of-your-chest-in-a-giant-X reaction that had been ingrained in a lot of the world about Mormons, but she decided that she would come. It happened to be Fast and Testimony meeting that week, and Nick got up and bore his testimony. In the process, he said, "I'm not sure how many of you noticed but i brought someone with me today. She's sitting in the back over there, if you wanted to meet her."

Obviously, everybody looked back, and her face went red. That was my first clue that she was going to be golden---most people would have gone straight for the door if someone had done that to them from the pulpit.

Instead, she stayed through the whole first hour, met a bunch of the ward, and even held her ground when one of the elderly ladies told her that she (Lindsey) was going to get baptized, marry Nick, and have 10 kids (although the number 10 did make her pause mid step for half a second). She came to Gospel Principles class, was willing to read and participate, and said at the end of the class that she had been feeling like something was missing from her life, and now she knew what (the lesson that week just happened to be on Faith in Jesus Christ). A few days later, we set up the first appointment, and she committed to read the Book of Mormon, come to church the next week, pray to know if what we were teaching was true, say the closing prayer at our nest appointment, and be baptized on the 4th of April. It was awesome.

Even better then all of that, when we met with her and Nick on Thursday, she had read all of what we had left with her to read, and she was super excited for the lesson. We taught the 2nd half of the Restoration, and she described that when she read the Book of Mormon, she felt good and peaceful, and that everything that she read was good. We read Moroni chapter 7, verses 12-15 with her, and described how that is exactly what the Holy Ghost feels like when he is teaching and testifying of the truth to us. She told us that that was the exact same feeling that she'd had when she decided to come home from Portland, when she started taking the lessons, and at church on Sunday. She recommitted to pray about whether or not the Book of Mormon is true, and then she committed to invite someone to come to her next appointment and learn the same things that she is. She didn't end up coming to church this week, because her mom freaked out and wanted her to come to the Catholic church with her (in the words of Nick), but Nick feels (and I agree) that she will just end up bringing more people to the gospel, rather then any harm being done.

To top it all off, yesterday we had a man named Cody come to Sacrament Meeting, who told one of the members that he needed to start going to church again. We're pretty sure that he is not a member, but he stayed through all three hours, read during each of the lessons, and took a Gospel Principles manual to study. We were able to get his phone number, and it turns out that a lot of the Elders Quorum already knew him from coaching him in baseball, and Nick just knew him as a friend. He was well welcomed into the groups, and seemed glad to see that he was just included into everything. We'll have to see where it goes from here, but I have a feeling that he will continue to be interested in learning more.

Well, those are the really exciting things from this week. Thank you for everything, and thank you for helping me to be out here, doing what's right.

Love and Insanity,
Elder Stuver

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