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, February 27, 2012

"...a testimony on how much better God knows things than we do."

Friends, countrymen, fellow nerds. Lend me your ears.

This week... Felt more like 2. Or 3.

FOR STARTERS I'd like to thank LEVI STANNARD and ALEX NEWEY for their wonderful letters! You guys have no idea how happy they made me! I have already written responses. The mail lady will be picking them up from the mailbox today. Also, I'll thank my DAD for getting STEPHEN to put in a couple words that made me laugh out loud. Love ya, Stephen.

Another note: The blog for last week was not updated completely by a certain patriarch figure. Once he gets that up, please go back and read the blog entry for February 20. LOTS of amazing stuff happened there. Now that that's outta the way, I'll talk about THIS week's amazing stuff.

So here's a testimony on how much better God knows things than we do. For this transfer, the Walnut Grove area was to be closed -- that was Elder Warren's last area before coming to Collierville. A week after transfers, the Elders from the Lakeland area were moved over to the Walnut Grove area so that we didn't have to watch over all of those wards, if you guys recall.

A couple weeks ago, the Elders in Midtown -- one of the toughest places in the mission -- were robbed at gunpoint. To top it off, the police caught the thieves and BROUGHT THEM TO THE MISSIONARIES' DOORSTEP to ask if these were indeed the people that had robbed them! Not smart. Anyway, the Elders were forced to move from Midtown over to Lakeland. Crazy how that all worked out. Midtown will be opened again next transfer, but the missionaries there will be sharing an apartment with some of the Spanish missionaries. Everyone is safe, though.

We had our mission tour this week. ELDER SPENCER ALLEN came to our mission along with his wife and BRO. DONALDSON, formerly known as PRESIDENT DONALDSON. Elder Allen is the Managing Director of the Missionary Dept., and he is the father of Sis. Pressler, who lives in the Colliverville 2nd Ward. Elder Allen is also an Area Seventy. Bro. Donaldson recently served as the mission president of the San Diego mission, and currently lives in Cedar Hills. Here's the cool part: Bro. Donaldson was mission president as the District 2 DVD was planned and put into production. Elder Allen was the man to help develop the District DVDs, and almost all other forms of media being distributed by the church today. Yes. We did have a very incredible Zone Conference this past week.

I learned a lot that is very personal to me, but what I can say to you future missionaries is this: USE THE DVDs AND MORMON.ORG TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. Heck, we were told to watch the DVDs every morning out here. Each of our apartments have a DVD player for that purpose. We were also instructed that tracting is by far the worst way to get investigators, and that we should push to avoid doing it as much as possible. My whole strategy out here is changing! The best way to have a successful mission is through the members. Member referrals are the strongest ones you'll have, or just referrals in general. The church will grow through people that know other people. Now that I understand that, my eyes have been opened to many opportunities, and I feel a lot better about the work here.

After Zone Conference, each apartment was given their own regional weather radio. Spring in the South means storm season. In fact, this Tuesday should get pretty bad. The radios are our means of protecting ourselves while we're staying in our apartments. I feel a lot better with this instrument around, even though the voice and messages coming from it are very haunting. So, with spring coming up, I'll be in the middle of some pretty bad storms. This is Tornado Alley, after all. Yaaaaaaaay.

Speaking of weather, here's an interesting fact: If you wanna build up an immunity before allergy season comes around, eat some of your local HONEY. The pollen used to make it will build up anti-whatevers in your body to fight pollens when they come around. So I've been trying to eat a spoonful of honey every day.

On Saturday we attended the baptism of Elder Allen's grandson, Joseph. Elder Allen gave the talk on the Holy Ghost, and since he loves to pick on missionaries, we got to stand in the front as an object lesson for what he would be like someday. E. Allen had picked on us during the Zone Conference, too. That's alright; it was all in good fun.

This past Sunday was insane. On Saturday night, the Gospel Principles teacher said he couldn't teach, so he asked us to. No problem. Sunday morning, the Elder's quorum president texted us and said that his teachers were sick, so he asked us to teach priesthood. Wut. So Elder Warren took the Gospel Principles class on prophets and I taught the priesthood on the First Vision. It was a good lesson.

Singing was... well, the contrast in both wards was significant. In the first meeting, there was a family with a child that was acting up, so the quality wasn't that great, I think. The second ward went MUCH better. Nevertheless, people kept commenting on our singing all day, and now I'm on the spot to do some more singing in the ward at some point soon. This is what I wanted to avoid, but whatever. It seems to make people happy, so I'll do it.

THE DAVIDSONS CAME TO CHURCH. Yes, it was amazing. We were so excited. I kinda fumbled around and looked like a dork a lot of the time since I had no idea how to treat investigators that came to church for the first time. It all worked out, though. By the end of the day, Kenny was talking to people about a small restaurant near his house, and lots of people were shaking his hand. I don't know how Paula and Kindle were doing in Relief Society, but some of the sisters told us they got to meet them, so it sounded alright. They had somewhere to go right after church, so we'll talk to them later about it. It was a great meeting for them to go to, though. There were a few conversion stories told and a lot of emphasis on the Book of Mormon. We're very excited for this family.

My fingers are tired. Enjoy the pictures. One of those is a tiger made out of TIRES. The Memphis Tigers gave tigers to certain families and organizations that donated a certain amount to the school, and so they're speckled all over town. Each tiger has a different design on it, and this particular artist wanted to cover his in tire treads. It looked cool enough to slip some skin from, so I did.

This is a long update. Like I said, a lot happened. Now it's time to enjoy the rest of my P-Day. Have a good week, everybody.

-Elder Staib

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