Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 8, 2015

Dear Fam,
Sorry for not writing yesterday. All the libraries were closed.

We got permission this week to watch the football game since we worked hard on memorizing scriptures.  We watched it at the V's house.  They are one of my favorite families.  The grandparents are Husker fans and Bro. and Sis. V and their kids are BYU fans.  It was funny watching Sis. V stressing and trying to stop her father-in-law from swearing in front of the missionaries.  It was so much fun.  Church was pretty interesting that next day.  A number of the ward leadership had rather hoarse voices.

We taught the youth Sunday school class this week.  Holy Cow!  I'm curious whether my Sunday school class was that hard to teach.  They would not focus.  The youth certainly had fun but we didn't get through much of the lesson.  I threatened to rebuke them with raised voice if they didn't straighten up but they sure weren't impressed.  "I've never heard a missionary yell... except for yesterday." That was the V girl, who knew dang well that I could yell.

We are making a big push for baptisms in the month of September.  We were going to have a meeting to discuss how to accomplish that this last week.  Right before the meeting J and K called.  They said that J had received his answer; that the church and Book of Mormon were true and that he needed to get baptized.  He then asked if we could do it on the 26th, the last week in September.  Amazing!  I'm not sure they are going to be smoke free for long enough before the interview but we're going to ask.  It would be so cool if they made that date!  Also our Stake President met them while he was visiting our ward and he wants to visit them with a GA before Stake Conference.  They are nervous about a Stake Pres. visiting and have asked for help rearranging furniture before then.  We haven't even told them about the GA.  I think we'll let it be a surprise.

I loved that talk from Elder Bednar (Therefore They Hushed Their Fears. April General Conference) that Mom mentioned.  We used that scripture in Mosiah ("But Alma went forth and stood among them, and exhorted them that they should not be frightened, but … should remember the Lord their God and he would deliver them.
Therefore they hushed their fears” (
Mosiah 23:27–28) a lot in messages.  It is something that seems to resonate with most people but especially here in north Omaha.  I often pair it with the Christlike attribute of Hope (See pg. 117 in PMG).  I like the fourth verse of Ether 12: "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."  It doesn't matter what happens around us or what tragedies happen to us; we can look to the future with optimism.  As we read the Bible we often see prophesies of death and destruction but always afterward is the promise of healing and gathering.  If we are true followers of Christ then we know exactly where we are and where we will end up and the things in between don't seem quite as important.  I know that bad things will happen in my life but I also know that I will be happy.  I know that eventually I will be saved in heaven and no random event or person can do anything to change that.

This next paragraph is not a testimony but is a comment on something I have noticed.  Interestingly, I don't think I have ever been afraid on my mission.  My companion might get afraid of getting attacked by that nasty looking pit bull or getting shanked by a crazy drunk dude but I've never been afraid or saw reason to be afraid.  I'm not sure if it is a gift from God or if I'm just clueless.

Love you,

Elder Stapley

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