PEOPLE OF UTAH, LEND ME YOUR EARS, er... eyes.
This week was... gosh....gimme a chance to reflect on it all...
First I'd like to say I'm so excited for JARED, ALEX and NOW LEVI to serve missions! I have yet to receive any mail from Alex or Levi, but my dad said Levi had sent one in recently, so I'm excited to get that. ALEX, GET WITH THE PROGRAM, MAN! (Watch, I'll get your letter today and feel like a jerk.) But this is awesome. So awesome. Jared, you'll get a letter soon. I'd hate for you to get into the MTC without some hand-written letter from me. Oh, and guys, be sure to take the letters from me on your missions. It's nice to go back and read letters every once in a while. I've got a box filling with them, all the way back to all the Dear Elders I got in the MTC. Gee, on that note, I gotta send something to Jordan soon, too...
Back to the ALRM. This week was... one of the most miraculous ever, and it really ignited my hopes for Collierville. Of course, with all these cool things going around, it sparked a premonition that I would be transferred soon. After all, this week is transfer week, and I know the way things work sometimes. That's the vibe I was getting from this past week. Too much good happened in Collierville for me to stay. But I'll touch on "me staying" in a moment.
Ok, I need to simplify some terms for you guys. There are so many vague descriptions of people going around -- Donkey Lady, Ashland people, former Arizonans -- that I just need to give names to people or something. My dad says that using real names could offend some people, so I need to abbreviate somehow. Ok...In this story, I will be talking about the daughter of the family that had moved from Arizona recently -- the same person who came to the morning session of general conference. Her name from now on will be KD.
We had told KD before about the Institute program, and she had even reminded US about it a couple days before. She was excited to say that she would get off work at 7, the same time Institute started. It was only a 20 minute drive to the church building, and YSA events usually start late anyway. We met up with KD on Tuesday night after work and escorted her to the church building. The class was learning about Isaiah that night.
She wasn't very interactive, but it was more of a "deer in the headlights" effect than a disinterest. The truly amazing events happened after the lesson was over. Several girls came over and quickly became friends with KD. There were donuts after the lesson, and KD was able to mingle and laugh with other girls for at least 20 minutes (The YSA guys don't mingle with girls well. Typical). We walked her back out to the car, and talked about her experience. SHE LOVED IT. Her big concern when she came to church about a month and a half ago was that there weren't any people her age there. Institute solved that concern quickly. She anxiously told us her Tuesday schedule, and she'll be attending Institute again this week.
She told us the situation with her family, and why they kinda cut us off. Her dad got a new job and the mom is concerned about joining the church because of disapproval that might come from extended family. I told KD, flat out, that she was the one that would bring her family to the church. She understood. She knows this church is wonderful.We want her to be baptized so bad, but she wants to come in with family. We'll keep working with them.
Now onto the Donkey Lady that had been offended a while ago. She'll be called Sis. S. I was on exchanges with Elder Hardy in Walnut Grove on Friday, but Elder Faleao and Elder Schroeder (pronounced "shrader") went up to see Sis. S and see how she was doing. She had a very warm conversation with them. She was still upset about the member and what he had said, but all she asked was not to have that member come to her house. Missionaries were ok to teach her again. Such a relief... We'll try to see her Thursday.
We had a very good lesson about the Sabbath Day with the less-active family from Ashland. The main head of the family, whom we'll call Cici, is our main connection down there. We're teaching her friend, who's a Baptist, and Cici's 9-year-old grandson. We committed them all to come to church this Sunday, including Cici's two daughters. Cici and her daughter came to church, to our great relief. Unfortunately, the other daughter got really sick the night before, so neither she nor her son that we were teaching could make it to church. Cici's friend didn't come, either. But Cici and her other daughter came, and that was a huge step in and of itself.
This morning, I was called by Elder Ivens, the AP, and was told that I was going to be transferred. I began planning out the long process of packing, and thinking of how to say goodbye to so many people. And then an unexpected text came. I'll copy it word for word for you guys: "Elder Staib you are actually going to stay another Transfer! Just talked with President. Love you Elder :) <Elder Ivens>"
So I'll be in Collierville for yet another 6 weeks. I will have spent over a quarter of my mission in Collierville, at this rate (including the MTC, which kinda messes up the whole time table anyway). This past week, on April 12, I burned my tie as a ceremonial passing through the 6-month gateway. I've been on my mission 6 months already. That's crazy. It really is.
- Elder Staib
[We received word this afternoon that Elder Staib is being transferred after all. No word yet on where he will be sent. -- Dad]
1) From left to right, top then bottom row: Elder Staib and Elder Faleao (Collierville); Elder Anderson (Southaven); Elder Schroeder (Walnut Grove); Elder Leavitt (Southaven); Elder Hardy (Walnut Grove); Sister Clark and Sister Maughn (Olive Branch)
2) The distance and time it take to drive home.
3) My tie, postmortem. It was a teal tie that had been shredded in the washer. Now it's a big gray blob, because polyester melts, I guess.