Monday, July 27, 2015

July 27, 2015

Hola Padres,
I got the package thanks. Emily's emails to me are pretty short and pictureless so just forward her emails to me. 

Thanks for sending Mom's talk.  That is the angle I have been taking with my member missionary messages.  Consistency is the key.  Just do the small things. Trust in the Lord and no effort will be wasted.

Our area has been busier than ever.  We have been able to find more people but are still struggling for good solid people who will actually meet with us.  I'm way optimistic though.  I'm not sure why but I feel like the area here is changing and we are making a lot more headway.  It just feels different than it was a little bit ago.  We have started getting more referrals and people have been friendlier and more receptive.

So J and K, the older couple I wrote about last week, came to church yesterday.  They had both read from the Book of Mormon and had questions prepared.  We visited with our awesome Tongan member and he really helped out welcoming them to church Sunday.  One thing I was worried about was teaching about the restoration of the priesthood.  J is the sort of guy who would wonder why one particular religion has to be the true one and I was afraid that he would reject the idea that only one church could have authority.  But we went ahead and taught it anyway.  When I stopped talking, his wife, who is usually quiet, started bearing testimony of the restoration of the priesthood!  It turns out that she has had a testimony of the church the whole time and had an amazing spiritual experience that confirmed to her that our church has authority from God!  I was stunned!  God had given her this revelation years ago in preparation for us teaching her and her husband about the Restoration of the Gospel.  Afterwards I had to repent and apologize for doubting.

So it looks like we had forgotten to lock the car one night.  We got ready to go the next morning but couldn't find the sheets that we recorded our daily miles on.  We then realized the gps was also gone.  We did and inventory and it looks like someone took our gas card, my mp3 player, and all the car paperwork.  I now don't have any music.  I had just gotten some cool songs from another missionary too.  Could you send another one sometime.  No hurry I'm discovering that I actually like the quiet with out music all the time.  When you do send it be sure to include any soundtrack that is uplifting.  I still don't know where the new president is on music but I can always just delete songs myself. 

My district leader duties are almost non-existent.  Everyone in my district is either a sister or they out rank me.  I just get to decide who will be speaking at district meeting.  This week I think I will make a couple sisters do both trainings.  I can just sit back and listen.  Love you,
Elder Stapley

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015

Hello Parents,
Thanks for the pictures.  I just haven't had my camera with me to take any for you.  I will try harder.
I have stayed put but Elder Madsen transferred out.  My new companion is Elder Nockai.  He is pure Navajo and is from Las Vegas.  He seems pretty chill and is actually newer to this mission than I am.  We just absorbed a part of the mission north of us and he got absorbed with it.  He has already been good to have around.  People love to talk to him about Native American stuff and it has been great for breaking down barriers.  We also got a Kuren Elder in the other ward.  There are a ton of Kuren (I don't know how that's spelled) people here in Omaha.  They are refugees from Burma.  They are ethnically distinct from the rest of the country so the Burman people have been killing them.  They have been quite receptive but unfortunately are mostly in the other area.  With Elder Zaw here now we are seeing visions of a Kuren branch being created.
As for package ideas I wouldn't mind some thicker socks.  The ones I usually get keep sliding down my foot and getting twisted.  I can't think of anything else though.
I was just thinking about whether that car was still running.  Bummer.

Thank you for writing such long letters. They aren't boring at all.  I'm sorry mine are so short.  Today the computers haven't been working well so we'll have to cut our time short.  Sorry.  I'll write more next week.
Love you,
Elder Stapley

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

Hey Parents,

Transfers are this week.  We don't think either of us are going anywhere but we have a new mission president so who knows.

I got the package this week.  Thanks for the letter as well. 

I would be good with you printing off Emily's letter to send to me.  It would give me more time to think about what I would write back.  I did write her a letter last week.  She has Bro. Cambell as a teacher!  I had his older brother as a teacher.  When I got to Korea Elder Cambell was one of the trainers and I got paired with him for part of the proselyting exercise.  She also gets to hang out with President and Sister Gilbert.

We had a pretty good 4th.  We were invited to a luau for lunch and then a members house for dinner and fireworks.  We have a massive Tongan family that in our ward.  Between the two parents they have a total of seventeen kids plus grandkids.  Most of them aren't here in the area but they still take up at least one whole pew at church and I've seen them fill a row and a half one week.  They are way cool.  They invited us to a luau at one of the parks for their sons birthday.  They had two roast pigs as well as a mess of hamburgers and hotdogs and steaks and chicken.  They had one of those massive coolers filled up with a watermelon drink which they promised would be gone by the time they were done.  Before we left the kids all got up and danced for us.  They did a few poly dances and the haka.  It was pretty funny seeing those shirtless preteen boys get up and do the haka.  They were actually pretty good.  It was a lot of fun.

Sorry I don't have much time this week.  I love you,
Elder Stapley

Saturday, July 4, 2015

June 29, 2015

Hello Parents,
Happy anniversary.  Next year will be the big 25th.  Is there a precious metal associated with 25 years?  Hopefully I'll be home next year for it.  I should get my new ministering certificate thing soon and that should have my end date on it.

Don't worry about not emailing me last week.  That hand written letter was all I needed.  As well as the official call from one of the twelve.  Once President called to tell me about my assignment I knew that I was where I needed to be.

I just wrote my last email to Pres. Weston.  We are having a zone conference this week to meet our new President and his wife. I don't envy them taking over an entire mission so quickly.  Apparently he, Pres. Gardner, only has a few hours with Pres. Weston before he leaves.  This should be interesting.

Mom, when did you serve your mission?  I was over at the V's house last night.  He served in Chile.  He might have been there while you were.  He talked about nearly getting bombed during that unrest over the one dictator dude (I'm not going to try to spell his name).  Weren't you there for that?

We have so much food.  People keep feeding us and giving us groceries.  The other day we were given a couple of cakes by one of the members and then a potential investigator gave a whole box of food.  Our teeth are going to rot out of our skulls from all of the sugar we've consumed lately.

I'm going to end now and write you some more if I still have time after writing Emily.
Elder Stapley
(another email)

I'll write a few more thoughts.
Yesterday we talked about the talk by Elder Anderson of the Seventy, The Music of the Gospel, three different times.  Someone gave a talk based on it in Sacrament meeting, then we had it in Priesthood and then we talked about it at a member's house that night.  As a family they go through a talk from the recent General Conference once a week and it just so happened that they were at that talk this week.  I know that the youth went over it in the recent youth conference as well.  I guess that topic something we really need to work on.  Have you been getting that a lot too?

I just sent Emily an email.  I'm pretty sure there is only one Sister Emily Stapley right?

I haven't found out if the wifi cameras are actually allowed or not.  I don't really need one anyway.  I don't take enough pictures.
Love you,
Elder Stapley

June 22, 2015

where I have already served.  I also might get to serve in this area longer.  I am only half way through my mission but I've already had four areas.
 Butterly Pavillion!
June 22, 2015

Anyounghaseyo Yoruboon,

I'm excited to read Emily's first letter from the MTC next week.  I hope you're having fun.  I wish I could be there.

This has been a good week.  We have been visiting the less actives we don't know and cleaning up the ward roster.  We have met a number of less actives that no one has had contact with in a while. They were welcoming and some wanted to come back to church.  We also found that a few had moved but in every case the family that was living there wanted us to come back and talk to them.  Looking for less actives is definitely the most effective door approach I have used.  The progress in this area is slow but we are progressing.

I feel like this area is about to take off.  The Bishop has been troubled by how slow the work is and has decided that the ward council's focus will be to help us find people to teach.  They hope that the ward council's example will encourage the rest of the ward.  I'm excited.

One of the worst things about this area is the way the members are spread out.  The church building and our apartment are in Omaha but almost all of the active members are ten miles away in a suburb.  We also have one the smallest mile allotments in the zone so we can rarely make a trip out to see them.  We only see the members in their homes about once a month so it is difficult to follow up on our previous visit.

I got a call this week from President Weston.  My application had gone through and one of the Quorum of the Twelve had permanently assigned me to this mission.  I'm a bit disappointed to be so close to home but I'm glad I get to be around where I have already served.  I also might get to serve in this area longer.  I am only half way through my mission but I have already had four areas.

I got your package with the letter.  I also got a package from the Powells.  They sent a shoe box full of small presents and a letter.  It was sort of like those signs where you glue candy bars into the message.  It was clever and I will send pictures of it.  

Love you, Elder Stapley