Monday, April 25, 2016

April 25, 2016

Hey family,
This week was a bit slower.  There just weren't a lot of people who were able to meet and we didn't find any new ones.  We had fun though.  It was trainee takeover week so Elder Roos led all the planning and teaching.  We would help him out when he needed it though.

We had two exchanges and then a sleepover with some rural elders in preparation for stake conference.  We didn't get near enough sleep and I am so flippin tired.

So last week I made a point to write things down that I wanted to share with you but I didn't do that this week so this email will be disappointing.  Hmm... yeah my companions can't think of anything noteworthy that happened this week either.

So how do we want to do the Mother's day call?  What times will Emily be available?  

One of the things people tend to struggle with is keeping the Sabbath Day holy.  If we look at the commandment of keeping the Sabbath Day holy as just a list of do nots then it can be difficult to be properly motivated to keep the Sabbath holy.  In my mind the do nots are given to us because of the hardness of our hearts, to keep us from being distracted from the true purpose of the Sabbath: "For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High." (D&C 59:10)  There are so many things we are asked to do or are prompted to do that we don't normally have time to do.  We have responsibilities for church and callings, family history work, missionary work, personal and family scripture study.  There is so much that God expects us to do and he gave us time to do it.  As we actually keep the Sabbath day holy we are blessed so much.  No excuses people!  Rant over.  Seriously the more we actually try to live  God's commandments we are blessed with the understanding of how much sense they make.  In other words a testimony.

Love you all,
Elder Stapley

Monday, April 18, 2016

April 18, 2016

Dear Parents,

Hmm.  I look so happy in those pictures.  President Snyder had a fireside at his house last night since the Nashville Tribute band was going to be in the area.  They called us up to sing one of their songs about missionary work.
I don't think I told you about "T" last week.  We were meeting with a member in the community room in her apartment building and she started telling us about a friend she gave a Book of Mormon to.  Right then her friend walked into the room.  That coincidence caught our attention pretty quick and we invited her over to join us.  We taught her about the Restoration and asked her to be baptized.  She said yes!  We have met with her a few more times since then and on Sunday she came to church even though she was feeling pretty sick.

We were out tracting one day and felt like we need to start by talking with a couple of women on their porch.  One of the women left pretty quick but the other actually started talking with us.  We testified to her of the Restoration of the Gospel.  She felt the Spirit and started crying!  She said that she had prayed to get her life back on track and she knew that we were an answer to her prayers.  Way cool!

We then went and found a family who all came to church!  They didn't stay for all of it but the mom is very sincere about finding the truth.  In addition to bringing her family to church she read more than her assignment from the Book of Mormon!

We also found a Hindu family with a mom and two small kids.  It was a rough first lesson since we weren't sure how to relate to what she believes.  We were able to talk to her about faith and a little about the Plan of Salvation.  We should be able to see her again this week.  I love meeting all these foreigners.
Can't wait to talk to you on Mother's Day.

Elder Stapley

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

Dear Parents,

We had an interesting lesson last night.  We were meeting with that family with a son on a mission.  It is difficult to teach them because the parents aren't very good at English.  Usually the kids translate for them.  Some parts of the lesson the kids and parents are just going back and forth and we are just silent as the the kids try to explain what we said.  We can't tell if the kids are even explaining correctly and we just sort of pray for their understanding to be enlightened.  Yesterday in the middle of the lesson the mom suddenly asked us if Joseph Smith had an experience like Jesus did as he performed the Atonement.  Hmm, that is more off the wall than is typical.  Come to find out the parents thought we worship Joseph Smith instead of Christ.  We've only been meeting with them for 7 weeks.  I have know idea what the kids were translating all this time but it was pretty cool that when the mom brought up her concern the kids were almost as dismayed as we were and answered before we could.  They got excited when they realized that we follow Christ just like they did and the Book of Mormon teaches about Christ.  They said that since they know that now they will definitely read it.  Wow. That was easy.

I did get a new suit last month.  Only took me about three months to finally get around to it. 

We committed "D" to keep the Word of Wisdom.  He loves coffee and was not excited to give it up but before we could ask him if he would keep it he just asked if keeping it would help him get his answer.  "Heck yeah it will."  "Okay, I'll do it."  Dude's got some real intent if I ever saw it.  That was such a good lesson.

"D" has been meeting with the missionaries for about as long as the family but he has progressed so much more.  Instead of hiding his concerns and doubts he hasn't been afraid to tell us when he has a problem.  So many miss out on the truth or lose their testimonies because they hide their concerns.  An honest seeker of truth is willing to humble themselves and admit when they don't understand something.  Furthermore they are willing to use all their resources (missionaries, prayer, scripture, church...) to find that truth.
I get to talk to you in a month.  Love you.

Elder Stapley