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, September 24, 2012

JT and Blake Are Doing Well

Well, well. Elder Staib here with another wonderful weekly update.

Even though this has been another droll week and I think people are avoiding us, that doesn't mean it was unsuccessful. We had a baptismal date fall through that we had with an older lady because one of her nephews or sons or something thought we were Jehovah's Witnesses and kicked us out. Things have been, however, been progressing smoothly for other individuals that I won't name for certain reasons.
Ah, specifics would be so handy right now... So what can I say instead? I will say, it is interesting how the Lord humbles people to appreciate what they have and the Spirit others carry by suddenly changing a small part of the person's usual environment. 
Of course, those same laws apply to me as well, and I've had similar experiences bring me closer to God's love and truth. I've felt a lot of love from the members of the branch and close friends lately, so much so that even though I would like to leave West Memphis as a change of pace, I will miss the friends I've made here. But work is work, and sometimes you have to work around friendships to get things done. I understand that if I leave, it will be for my benefit, and those friends will still be there for me.

Bro. Jones, the Young Men's President, is out of town for the next couple of weeks, so he's given Elder Mortenesen and I the responsibility of watching over the young men on Wednesdays and Sundays. I'm grateful for this chance since I haven't been interacting with J.T. a lot lately, and wanted the chance to do so. HE DID get to go to the temple for the first time this past week, though! That was awesome. He absolutely loved it. We went along to provide priesthood backup. 
On Sunday we taught the young men (all 3 of them, which is more than usual), and I got to hear J.T talk about how he wanted to convert to the gospel for himself, not just because his girlfriend was a member. Hearing him say that himself made me so happy. 
I also asked the Collierville sisters how Blake was doing a couple weeks ago. They kinda laughed and said that he was solid, without a doubt. I'll need to give him a call soon. With the baptisms I have under my belt, I'm so glad that both of these young men have remained faithful to the church and have good families beside them!

This week, we get to help the local library set up for a book sale (it's a community service thing), and maybe they'll let us set up our own stand to hand out BoMs. Elder Mortensen and I have also attempted and plan to attempt to extend our outreach more and do some more street contacting, since I'm uber shy and I'm not much of a fan of meeting strangers. 
As we were biking the other day, an older couple called us over and started asking about what other books of scripture we read from besides the Book of Mormon and the Bible. it turns out the man has several brothers that are leaders or have been leaders in the church, so they know a lot about the church already. We offered to come by their home, but they declined. However, we gave them our number and an offer to help them with whatever we can, which they seemed very eager about. It was a tender mercy to see their eager faces and answer to their curiosities.

I want to improve myself as a missionary. I feel that a change in area will bring that about, but I know that's the lazy answer. I've felt myself grow so much already, but I'm not where I'm supposed to be as a missionary. The mission has provided several opportunities for us to make the changes we need to have the Spirit more fully in our lives. I need to make the choice to act on my faith to follow through with these methods. That's all it takes...

I love you guys! Thanks for all the support I receive every week! Stay safe, and enjoy the autumn weather and sights!

-Elder Staib

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