Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

A will get baptized on Saturday!  We felt like she was ready so we moved her date up.  She knows everything already.  Yesterday we tried to teach her about the priesthood and she just starting talking about the two priesthoods and their responsibilities and offices.  Turns out she had read all of the gospel principles book and even the white handbook.  She has started on handbook 2 even.

Most of our investigators have been meeting with missionaries for a long time and aren't really progressing.  We are really trying to switch things up to get them to do things.  We have completely changed the way we keep record and plan so that we can more easily record and respond to revelation about each individual person.  We have our record in the truck and right after the lesson we write down how it went and our thoughts on what they need while it is fresh in our minds.  We aren't busy enough to be dropping people yet but as we build up our potential pool we might get to where we need to.

Eternigator number one: T was drunk last night.  The natural man was clearly in control right then.  He point blank refused to throw his remaining beer away and to read his scriptures.  He said he would read and go to AA in the morning but wasn't willing to do anything right then.  I was pretty dang bold with him about what he needed to do and I worry that I pushed him too hard.  He was not happy with me.  I tried to show my love for him throughout the lesson and just hope that he felt it.

Eternigator number two: S has been too busy to meet with us at all this last week.  She hasn't even responded to our texts or calls.  Most likely she just broke her phone again we still worry about it.

We don't seem to be making any real progress anywhere no matter how hard we try to be worthy of teaching God's prepared people.  We are being obedient and pushing ourselves.  We work hard but can't really seem to find any one that is willing to do anything.  
Sorry for venting my frustrations.  I know that things will work out eventually if we are patient,
I love you, 
Elder Stapley

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015

Dear Fam,

We had a two day exchange in Sioux City this last week.  Exchanges are weird when we are over an hour away from everyone.  We just blitzed the zone leaders area so we were away from Yankton for both days.  It was good and we learned a lot about finding from them.  It was frustrating though.  Our zone leaders are Spanish speakers so we weren't able to speak much.  We did understand a fair amount (Spanish is so easy:)).  We are getting ready for another exchange with the district leaders this week and it will also last two days.  Fortunately Elder Hunt will get to stay in Yankton and can keep getting stuff done here.

Do you have any news on J and K in Omaha?

I'm good on winter clothes. Thanks.

Mom, I got your letter about conference. Thanks for sending that.  I love to hear your thoughts on the messages.  One of the things I missed most was being able to discuss conference with my family.  
Before leaving Korea I had the fear that I wouldn't be able to return. The only thing that gave me the confidence to actually leave was the knowledge that I had involved the Lord in my decision and He wouldn't lead me wrong. I may have missed out on Korea but Emily went in my place.  I know that I am where I need to be now and I am doing good work here.  God does love us and guides us, tests us and blesses us so that we can reach our full potential.  We don't want to spend time time wondering what if.  If something happens to us then it is God's will and is for our best.  I love you.
Elder Stapley

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

Dear Fam,
I am really liking Yankton.  It is smaller and harder to go out finding but the people are nice and we are actually fairly busy.  It is also going to be colder in the winter.  I had one wish if I had to transfer and it was that I not go to South Dakota for that exact reason.  Oh well.  At least we have a truck.

We won't be having any baptisms this month but are optimistic for a couple of our investigators.  A will definitely make her date.  We are also hoping to set a woman named S.  She just got back from a trip to Utah visiting some family there and she actually visited with one of the Seventy who apparently talked to her about joining the church.  She has already received a witness that it is true.  The problem is that she can't keep appointments.  We have set up an appointment every two days since I got here and she has missed all of them. We're really frustrated.

Also hoping to set C.  He came to a baptism and has even paid tithing despite never actually getting any of the lessons or coming to church.  He keeps cancelling appointments too though.

T got out of rehab and came to church this week!  It was his first time ever.  I was worried because the meetings were sort of... ehh (small branch with some really interesting people) but he said that he would be back next week.  Still won't admit to a belief in God but he is doing all the things he needs to get one.

Sorry to hear about Nathan but I will frankly admit to finding a great deal of amusement in that email.  Besides the knee, how is he doing?

It is so cool to be able to hear so much about what Emily is doing.  I am so jealous of her.  It sounds like she has done more cool things in one transfer than I did in five.

Thanks for sending me that devotional.  You know how God arranges things so that we learn specific lessons at specific times?  It takes us a little while to really understand some concepts so He leads us along, teaching us bit by bit.  I have been focusing on the importance of questions in receiving revelation for the last couple of weeks.  I started looking at how to improve in helping people with questions.  Then we had a training on that topic, and then another training, and then I got that devotional from you with the part about questions highlighted.  Its amazing to see God's hand like that.  

So often the reason that people don't progress in the Gospel is because they aren't asking questions.  Really what missionaries do is we teach people to ask questions and teach how to find an answer.  In the meantime we rely on revelation from heaven to do our job effectively and also need to make sure that we are always asking questions.  We don't have to worry if we do have questions; questions aren't the same thing as doubts.  Rather, our questions give our prayers and studies purpose.  When we find the answer to our question then our faith and testimony grow and we are ready for the next question. 
Love you,
Elder Stapley

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 5, 2015

Dear Parents,

I did get transferred.  I am actually in Yankton South Dakota.   I am sad that I got transferred so soon.  I have never been in an area for more than three transfers.  J and K are still doing great and seemed well prepared for their baptism.  I really hope everything goes well with them.  I've heard of the elder that took my place and he is supposed to be a really good missionary.  Thank goodness.  

My new area is out in the country.  I figured I was due for a rural area next.  We cover a massive area and the branch members are quite spread out.  Our branch president is an hour away!  We do have a Walmart though.  
There are a number of progressing investigators and one baptism planned for November.  The investigator getting baptized is named A.  She is blind and the ward has been really good at helping her out and she is really excited for her baptism.  I still haven't met too many of the people we work with but I was able to see J, a recent convert, a few times.  At first he was still a bit unsure and worried because of his doubts but just in the last few days has had a numbered of great spiritual experiences that confirmed to him that he is on the right path.  We had a really good discussion with him before conference that went a completely different direction than we had planned and was exactly what he needed.  Then he watched all five sessions of conference and was completely blown away!  Those talks could have been specifically for him.  Even better, he clearly felt the Spirit speaking to him and telling him things that weren't even talked about.  After conference he talked to us about some things that we had felt he needed and were planning on teaching him in a future lesson; I guess we don't need to anymore.  The hand of God has been so apparent in his life, guiding him to the Gospel.

My new companion is Elder Hunt from Logan.  He was just barely trained and is a great missionary.  He is straight out of high school, likes running (might be a problem), and computers.  We have more in common than any of my companions so far and we should have a blast this transfer.  The apartment is a pit but we have nothing to do on p-day so we should be able to get it in shape in no time.  We are in the Sioux City zone and will have to drive in a few time times this transfer which will obliterate our miles.

We are also working with a Hungarian guy named T.  He is pretty funny and struggling with the Word of Wisdom.  Back to Tibor: He had on his own decided that he needed to quit alcohol, coffee and tobacco before we could even teach him the Word of Wisdom.  He still isn't sure that God exists but is definitely being guided.

I need to get off.  Love you.

Elder Stapley