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, January 30, 2012

New Companion, New Wards to Serve!

Elder Fry is gone. Elder Warren is here. The Walnut Grove area (which is right next to Collierville) is being "shut down" until next transfers (March 7) where they will be getting Sisters. It's not being totally shut down, though. In fact, I now have more on my plate. 

Now Elder Warren and I cover Collierville First ward, Collierville Second ward, the Germantown ward, the Walnut Grove ward, and the singles ward. 5 wards for 2 missionaries to take care of. It'll only be that way for 6 weeks, and we're making it work. After that 6 weeks, I'll also be getting a new companion since Elder Warren will be going home. I expect to stay in Collierville for another transfer after this one. I'll be here at least as long as Elder Fry was -- 6 months.

On Wednesday last week, The mission leader for the 1st ward, Bro. Mortensen, asked Elder Warren and I, along with Bro. Tinker (who is the assistant ward mission leader) to teach a lesson to all the youth about preparing to serve a mission, as well as being a better missionary. We decided to split it up into 3 parts: I covered preparation, Warren covered being a better missionary, and Bro. Tinker talked about being a missionary after a mission. It went very well. I was very nervous, but I made it through.

My mom asked me what I normally do on P-Days. I guess I should cover that, because we've been doing the same thing for the last few weeks now. We get together with the youth in the church building and play basketball along with hide and go seek. We play around dusk, so the church gets extremely dark as the sun goes down. It's hard to play hide and go seek then! The youth are really happy that we do it, though. They come to us every Sunday and ask if we're still getting together Monday. It's fun to be with them.

Well, I'll wrap it up. We're planning to open up a new slew of possible investigators. We're putting that into action this week. Pray for our success! I love you guys! I'll have a picture of Elder Warren next week.

-Elder Staib


This is the Martin family. They're very active in the ward.
They once got to go to the temple 4 weeks in a row! 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Transfer Week...

Hey everybody!

This week was emotionally straining. Transfers. My first time having to deal with a risk of being taken out of an area I really love. The results are in: I'm staying in Collierville, and Elder Fry is being transferred. I'm getting Elder Warren, who served in the next town over - Walnut Grove. Walnut Grove is being shut down for a transfer in preparation for Sisters. Elder Warren only has one transfer left on his mission, so I'll only be with him for 6 weeks. I guess that means I'll be here for at least 2 transfers? Unless they decide to whitewash the area... Anyway, Elder Warren's a fun guy. I'm excited to serve with him. Another bonus of the transfer is that we'll have the car full-time instead of every other week. Yessssssssss.

Elder Fry twisted his ankle on Saturday. We were helping someone move furniture in the morning, and he stepped off the moving truck badly. It wasn't bugging him too much until we played a game of basketball with some of the youth that evening, and then he put the final hurt on it after trying to block a layup. He's hopping around on one leg, and the ankle is really swollen. he'll be ok, according to the ward chiropractor. It's just a classic sprain, and should take 4-8 weeks to fully heal.

The ward exchange program is going great. Ward members are really looking forward to being with the missionaries, and hopefully they'll start bringing their friends in.

All our potentials and other investigators stand on the same step of the ladder they were on last week, but that WILL change this week. Somehow. BUT IT WILL.

Well, I gotta get going. I'll be sure to have lots of stories from my first week with Elder Warren. Good times and blessings await! We just gotta earn 'em. Love ya guys! Talk to y'all later!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Snow in Collierville

Heeeeeeeeeey everybody. This past week was kind of a blur, but I'll try to point out the big parts. I've been sick this past week, but it's calming down. The weather has been 50-60 degrees all week, except for 2 days where it dropped to the 20s. It snowed one of those days, and you can imagine how excited I was to see it.

On Tuesday, we tracted into a guy that was a very passionate Bible reader. He owns 12 different translations of the Bible. We got started talking with him, and it turned out to be a long, 3-hour conversation on the similarities and difference between our religion and his. I honestly don't know what his religion was since he was pulling ideas from 5 different denominations.

In the end, we asked him to read the Book of Mormon and pray. He said that man shouldn't pray to seek answers.

He also said we should be looking for people around us outside of the Mormon church to influence our lives and bring us to the light of Christ. This was the second time he had seen the missionaries. Who should be looking? He was a nice guy, though. Gave us some soda.

Many people from Mississippi have been going to the hospital lately, or been needing to. One man just got a knee replacement Tuesday, and we gave him a blessing of recovery on Saturday. Another man is going in for back surgery tomorrow, and we're giving him a blessing this afternoon. A woman is in the hospital for liver problems, and we got to see her in the hospital yesterday with a member of the bishopric.


Elder Fry was called last week to be a trainer again. One of us will be leaving Collierville, and it will most likely be me. Mail packages and letters to the mission home until I send you guys my new address. I'll be in a new area in two weeks with a new companion. I'll find out for sure next Monday if I'm leaving or not. There's still a possibility that Fry will be sent to whitewash a new area with his trainee, but I'm most likely leaving.

Ward basketball season has started up, and we've been bringing Caleb to play for our ward (the second ward). We've lost both our games so far, but it's been a good chance to get Caleb closer to the ward members. His family usually only stays for 2 blocks. We're really pushing him to stay for 3.

There's a family up in Oakland called the Stokes. Elder Arnold, Elder Fry and Bro. Pennington found Mrs.Stokes taming a roaming donkey in the middle of the road. She says that the moment she met them, she knew something was there for her to find. We're very excited to teach her. She's almost guaranteed to be baptized this year once we get a better idea of the work schedule for her and her husband.

Well, that's about it for me. Thank you for all the letters! And Happy Birthday, Grandma! Love you! Be safe in the cold weather, everyone!

-Elder Staib


Monday, January 9, 2012

We Had a Great Week

How was everyone's first week of 2012? Ours was pretty miraculous.

There are many, many less-active members in Mississippi, and a few of them tend to avoid the missionaries. We were able to see a few of those people this past week, and we let them know the church still cared about them. None of them came to church this past week, but... It was good to see them and know they're doing ok.

Our ward team-up program is picking up, too. 4 times a week, the members come out with us missionaries and we visit less-actives and other investigators. This hasn't just been good for the people we're teaching; the members are getting very excited to do missionary work, particularly the members in the 1st ward.

I've been pretty sick this past week. Just a cold. I've used more tissues than I could count, and I'm trying to sleep as well and as warm as I can.

I'm almost done with reading the Book of Mormon. Being out here, I've realized how much more I know about the gospel. Not just in knowledge, but in faith. I've found more hope and happiness through what I learn. It's brought a light into my life that I want to share with others here and back home.

My mission, in these short 3 months, has already been life-changing. But there's potential for more change to happen, for others and myself. I know that what I'm sharing leads to ultimate happiness, and that's where my hope for this world lies.

-Elder Staib


Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!

Hello Utahns. How was everyone's New Year's 2012? According to the Mayans, this year is blah dee blah dee whatever. No man knoweth the Second Coming. Even if it does happen, I'll be in the best place doing the best thing. I feel pretty safe.
Scratch one item off my Southern bucket list. Last Night I had GUMBO. It was ok. A bit too much sausage for me. Apparently, there's a thing down here about cooking only instant rice. The only place I've seen a rice cooker is at the Asian buffet we've got here. 

It's been a week of service and the members pulling our arms to get us over for holiday wishes and stuff. We finished constructing Caleb's barbed wire fence, putting a large gate on the final opening. It was fun putting it all together.
On Thursday, we went down to Mississippi with Bro. Pennington, as usual. We gave four Priesthood blessings to the sick and afflicted. Four in one day. It was crazy, but it was cool to do. That was the first time I had given a blessing. It was short, I guess... I'm just hoping I said what needed to be said. There are lots of good people down in Mississippi. A good chunk of them are members, but they don't come to church. It's been a large project for the ward to try and bring them back to church. The missionaries, home teachers and ward mission leader are all in it. It's working, slowly but surely.
With the slowing holidays, we're hoping and praying for better luck with our potential investigators, too. They've been busy running around too much. A lot more of the missionary work can come through members introducing us to their friends. We've been working the last couple months with getting a ward member team-up routine going, and we're finally getting the final steps in for the program to start. We're very excited for it, and we know a lot of good will come of it.
Hope you guys are doing well! I love you all, and Happy New Year!
-Elder Staib

PIctures from the Christmas-New Year Week