Monday, March 21, 2016

March 21, 2016

Dear Family,

We kind of had a sobering week.  We didn't see a single one of our investigators.  They were all "too busy".  We got a few lessons as we tried to contact less actives who had moved but none of those we taught were interested in a follow up visit. None of our people came to church either.  "I" had transportation but got called into work and "A" said he was going to go to the family ward with his girlfriend but the Elders there said that he didn't come. 

We are kind of afraid that we are going to be whitewashed out of here.  President just sent us an email telling us to make sure that our area book is up to date because he is going to be making some changes. 

He he. Funny that the Elders in Manhattan have been worried about why I’m not in church.  We have tried to contact a couple people that turned out to be on missions as well.

I seriously can't remember most of what happened this week.  It's kind of sad.  It probably means I need to write in my journal more often.

We talked with a few people about their conversion stories this week.  It was interesting how they all seemed to join for different reasons.  Some were searching, others were happy where they were. They had different doctrines that appealed to each of them and rang true to them.  We never know when someone is prepared and we never know what will be the thing that touches them.  Only God knows.  Any person we come in contact with could be ready, there are no signs that mark a prepared person.  The only way to know is to invite.  So we need to invite everyone.  While we are inviting we need to be sure to include God so that it will be for the welfare of, not only our soul, but those we are in contact with.

Love you,
Elder Stapley

Monday, March 14, 2016

March 14, 2016

Dear Parents,

Have you all seen the new Easter video?  It's really good and you should watch it and share it.  Actually, I haven't seen it yet since we can't get sound here at the library and watching without sound is pointless.  But I'm sure it is good!

We have decided that "D" is not progressing.  He wasn't able to meet this week or come to church.  We have done everything right with him but now it is all up to him.  He knows what he needs to do and he would be so great if he would just do it.

"I" was willing to come to church but none of the members who lived out there were willing to give him a ride.  Seriously!  We even got them to respond to our texts about other things and then asked if they could give "I" a ride and they were silent for the rest of the day!  We weren't able to get "I" to church at all.  I nearly called down fire from heaven yesterday when we saw those people who were ignoring us.

We did set a new person for baptism this week!  His name is "A".  He is dating a member and is the most prepared person I have ever contacted.  We set him for three weeks from Saturday.  We went with a member who was such a great teacher.  We all talked equally, transitioned smoothly and the Spirit was so strong.  He was already reading the Book of Mormon and he was going to come to church yesterday but got pretty sick and couldn't.

We finally got the apartment people to come and fix some holes in our ceiling and refinish the tub and now our apartment smells like chemicals.  Better than some of the other smells we have had and it looks a ton better.

We had a discussion about why the scriptures are so hard to understand.  If it is so important for us to learn the lessons in them why did Christ speak in parables and Isaiah write in poetry?  If God were to write the answer to our questions on a wall would we understand it?  Without the real intent and pondering to prepare our minds I don't think we would actually be able to understand the knowledge we get.  God has created the scriptures and while they aren't perfect (because of man) they are perfect for their purpose.  It's cool how every little thing that God has prepared for us is so minutely calculated for our good. 

Love you,
Elder Stapley

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

March 8, 2016

Dear Parents,

My allergies are pretty good so far but some of the other Elders are getting it pretty bad.  Maybe I'm still desensitized from my allergy shots.  My biggest allergy problem is still mold.  Sometimes it feels like President puts me in areas with moldy apartments so I will clean it up.

We met D this week! We had an appointment on Thursday but when we arrived he wasn't there.  We weren't able to stick around because we had zone training that we needed to get to.  We came back the same time that next day and he was actually home.  There was a miscommunication and he was expecting us an hour later the day before and had waited for us.  We had a really solid discussion.  We asked him if he felt like he had a relationship with God and he just started talking.  He had been pondering that exact question the previous day when we didn't show up and had realized that he had lost much of his closeness with God.  He then committed himself to make time for God and time to meet with us as well as come to church!  We basically just asked questions the entire time and he taught himself!  While we never can tell if the people we interact with are prepared to receive the Gospel at that point in their lives I am sure that David is at least getting close.  I think that we will see him baptized in the next little bit but it is up to God's timing and his own decisions.

We are realizing that I is really bad with a phone and haven't had much success keeping contact with him.  We'll see him this week though.  We are going to set him for baptism when we do.

Did I tell y'all that Elder Hall's younger sister is serving in this mission?  (Elder Hall was his trainer in Korea!)  I ran into her at zone conference.  Her brother told her I was here and she had been keeping an eye out for me.  That was cool.

Sorry I never have much time.  We do more and more on the computers nowadays but don't have much more time to do it all.  I love the emails I get from you and will try to send more pictures. Love you,

Elder Stapley