This blog chronicles Matthew Staib's progress as he serves an LDS mission over the course of twenty-four months.

You can also read his personal blog at different, defined.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Collierville - Planning for a Baptism

Hey everyone.

This past week has been incredibly slow. Our potential investigators haven't been home. Tracting hasn't been too successful, either. There are many proud people here, saying, "We have our faith, and we're fine with it." They say they respect what we do, but they're not willing to listen to a message about Christ any day other than Sunday. We're working to find those willing to hear about the gospel.

The members are helping us tremendously. They drive us, feed us, and make sure we're taken care of. We already have Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day all set up with members. I have many friends in this area. Collierville has become a place I know I can return to and visit some time. It's nice to have so many friends around you, always willing to cheer you up. Our ward is pushing towards missionary work, no matter who you are. We're making sure new converts are welcomed into the ward, like Blake.

Blake has been in the ward for a couple months, and everyone is excited for his baptism. He told us that he had some doubts he didn't know he had before the baptismal interview, but when we went over the questions with him, he really thought about those things, and he felt his testimony grow as he prepared to be interviewed. Blake is too awesome. We're all excited for him. He's being baptized at 3 this Saturday by his fiancee's younger brother, and then we're going to have dinner at their house.

This weekend, we went to a service project at a Scout Camp -- Camp Currier -- over in Mississippi. The project was to clear a path through a forest to connect with another path on the other side of the camp. It was true forest wilderness. We came prepared with chainsaws, rakes, clippers, weed wackers... The path was about 200-250 yards. We tore through all the trees and thorns in an hour and a half. Our team of 30 people fluidly moved through the forest, and the path was cleaned up, with the exception of the layer of fall leaves. It was awesome, and we all had fun doing it. Everyone came out of there with a feeling of accomplishment. It was a joint effort of Collierville 1st and Collierville 2nd ward.

Afterwards, a ward member, Bro. Michaelis, took us quickly over to Graceland (since it was on the way home). We didn't look around too much, but we parked outside of Elvis' mansion and looked at the wall surrounding the grounds. It's covered in names people have written there. Bro. Michaelis showed us where his family had signed. Elder Fry and I signed right above it. It'll be there for at least 10-15 years, I predict. I'd like to try and go back someday, and see the entirety of Graceland. I was surprised, though. It's located in the middle of a tough. It wasn't like that 20 years ago, apparently. But now it's about as tough as most other places around here, which is kinda sad. It's amazing what gangs do around here.

It rained all day yesterday. It's raining all day today. And it will rain all day tomorrow. Collierville is one large puddle. Biking around has been miserable. We're getting around however we can. We get our car tomorrow morning.

I hope you guys are doing alright! I miss all of you over in Utah. Enjoy the snow. I know I would.

-Elder Staib

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