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 28, 2013


Emuobor Ighodaye was baptized on January 26 and confirmed on January 27.

I performed both ordinances, which was sweet. Emuobor is very excited to be baptized and he's ready to progress and learn and do all sorts of cool things that members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints do! We're gonna be right beside as he continues to read and pray.

He almost didn't make it to his confirmation since he'd lost his phone, which led to losing track of time. But we zipped to his place and grabbed him so that he could be confirmed at the end of the meeting.

So...what next? We really don't have many people we're actively teaching at the moment. It feels like we're chasing people down to talk to them. The Spanish Elders met Troy. He says his family won't let him come to church anymore, but he's still strong in the faith. We'll try to catch him in a couple weeks, I suppose. It's supposed to be a wet week this week, so we don't expect him to be walking around.

I've been sick. I don't have much of a voice today, and who knows how many times I've had to blow my runny nose. That's the same story in our missionary district, in our ward and in many other parts of the country. I'm on the rebound, though. Sickness has prevented some investigators from coming to church, too, so the conditions haven't been nice to anyone. It's in the 50s and 60s today, and it'll drop to the 40s by the weekend, which will probably prolong anyone's sickness. In short, we're not a healthy bunch.

We're expecting a great mission conference in February. The entire mission is going to flock to North Little Rock to participate and we're very excited about it. I love conferences because they're all about learning. And who doesn't love learning?

Pray that we'll get new investigators this week. We need to find new people for the upcoming transfer. Yup, transfers are next week. It's so crazy! I feel confident that I'm staying in Jonesboro, but you never know. I sure hope I can stay.

I hear Utah is still cold and snowy. Stay warm and safe, everyone!

-Elder Staib

Monday, January 21, 2013

A Lesson About Setting Goals


This week was pretty fun! Tuesday, we had a really bad snowstorm that came outta NOWHERE. I was on exchanges that day with Elder Kohler. I was the designated driver for the day, so we tried getting to our appointments on roads I had driven on plenty of times before. It was a different story for the rest of Jonesboro, though. I have never seen traffic so clogged so fast. Everyone booked it to the nearest grocery store and stocked up on their year's food storage, it seemed. It took us 45 minutes to get from one end of town to another since the traffic was so bad. Schools got out early. Car wheels were shredding up the snow at top speeds as the hunks of metal sluggishly slithered up icy slopes. It was a pathetic state of disarray that Elder Kohler and I viewed from the comfort of our Corolla. I'm so glad I'm from Utah.

Institute starts this week for the college students, and we're really excited about that, because our investigators are excited about it. Emuobor's been looking forward to it, and Michael is interested to attend. We've got awesome singles in our ward, and the Institute group will be fun for all of us.

We were driving down the northern part of town on Friday trying to get to an appointment. Elder Carter missed a turn. We had to "pull a U-y", as Freddie says, and get back around. As we drove back to the turn, I noticed a particular character strolling down the sidewalk on the left side of the street. This guy had a limp to him. A limp I had seen before. I said, "Elder Carter. Look," and pointed to the man. We flipped. It was Troy Jones. He was back. All we could do was zoom by and say "Call us!" since we were in a hurry, but it is SUCH a comfort to know he's back. We'll try to see him as soon as we can, and he'll be baptized in a week or so.

We had a member of the Quorum of the Seventy come to our mission this past week, Elder Kopischke. He was a wonderful person and I learned a lot from him.

One of the coolest things he said really changed me. He asked, "How many of you had a dream to serve a mission?" I raised my hand. Then he said, "How many of you have goals of what to accomplish on your missions?" We didn't have to raise our hands, but I really reflected and thought, "Man, I honestly don't have mission goals. I'm here, but... now that I am, I don't have an agenda at all."

Elder Kopischke had us all go into separate rooms and pray for our goals. When I had the chance to really think about what I wanted to do here, Heavenly Father gave me my agenda. He gave me a finish line to run to. My mission has now been given purpose, and I am set on finding those people I'm meant to teach.

My goal before my mission was to serve a mission. On the mission, my goal had been to take the things I learned on my mission and take them home with me. Now I have goals to accomplish for the next 9 months.

So here's what I learned for everyone else. It's good to set goals. But sometimes we set goals that don't have a set amount of time. Like me. I wanted to take the things I learned from my mission home. That applies to...the rest of my life. Years and years. That's a big window to fulfill goals in! But once we set goals within a certain time frame, the goals become a lot more real, and all of our efforts are focused into a crunch time. Every day we're driven by purpose! So what are our goals for this next month? This next week? Set goals for a space of time, and you'll find a lot more of your goals accomplished.

Elder Kopischke read a cool verse in the Book of Mormon about goals. Basically, it said that when we achieve our dreams, we're happy. Happiness come from fulfilling wishes, goals and dreams. I know that to be very true. So let's set goals to be happy from!

I'm excited for the work we have ahead. Elder Carter and I have made it a goal to find many more investigators this week. I now have goals to drive me to work. I love my mission. I love those I work around. And I love you guys. :3

-Elder Staib


Elder Fry goes home in a couple weeks! This was the last time I'd see him.

 Coming back from Memphis. 1.5 hours in a minivan brings out the worst in people.

A gift from a member. I'll wear it when I see The Hobbit for the first time! :D

Monday, January 14, 2013

School's Back in Session and We're Busy

Hey there everyone.

It's been an interesting week, weather-wise. It was in the high 60s for a few days up until yesterday, where it dropped into the 40s in the afternoon, and then down to 20 last night. My wool sweater vest has been very handy.

Today is the first day of school at ASU [Arkansas State University]. It's incredibly busy. I'm so glad school has finally started, though. We've been helping a couple students move into their dorms. People are settling down so we can teach them once again. Emuobor is still doing great. He's being baptized on the 27th, along with a whole bunch of other people in Jonesboro. The 27th is going to be a great day for us!

Other people are coming along, too. Michael has been to the hospital recently for some blood problems, and he recently had some other problems as well. We're here for him, though, and with the school year starting, he'll be closer to us and we can see him more.

As for Troy...he hasn't come back to town yet. We're not sure when we'll see him, if ever. So pray he comes back around. He's ready for baptism. He just needs to be in Jonesboro to do it!

I'm doing pretty well. I haven't been in the brightest mood, but my hopes aren't gone out. Stephen Stannard got married, apparently. Congrats to him!

I hope everyone else is doing well for themselves. The gospel is such an important part of anyone's life. We need to revolve around it and make it a center of everything. Whatever we do, think, "Does this bring me closer or further away from God?" If we make sure all that we do is helping us get closer to God and His voice, then we have nothing to worry about in this life, right? He knows us. He'll take care of us. But we have to do our part, too, and keep God's commandments. You'll never go wrong that way.

-Elder Staib

I made this from the gift my family recently sent me: A Ton of "Spirit Bricks"

Monday, January 7, 2013

I Love This Gospel


Baptisms. We're baptizing this month. Things are kinda chaotic since all the missionaries in Jonesboro are baptizing this month (YEAH), but what it ALL COMES DOWN TO is that by January 27, I will have 2 more baptisms, and there will be much rejoicing in the land.

First we've got Emuobor, whom I talked about last week. He talked to us after church, and the conversation kinda went like this.

M- "So, were you able to read since we last saw you?"

E- "After you guys left the last time you saw me, I decided to pray if the LDS church was true. After I prayed, I felt peace and warm... Is that what you guys call a testimony?"

M- :O

After much composure-keeping and sweating, we told him that he needed to hang onto that testimony he just gained and continue moving forward. GOSH WE LOVE EMUOBOR. He'll also start attending Institute when that picks up again, because, y'know, he's already attended the Institute in NIGERIA. Seriously, this kid knows more than we think he does, or even HE thinks he does.

As for Troy, we will see if he's back this week. He's hard to contact since he has no phone (and the people at his address aren't too friendly towards us), so we're hoping he's back from his trip and ready for baptism.

We've also been going through some contacts. One is named Dan. Dan has a sister that married a Mormon and converted to Mormonism herself. Dan has a nephew on a mission in Virginia. Dan is a busy man and was dropped because he had to keep rescheduling with the missionaries, but he loves the missionaries very much. Dan last read the Book of Mormon two weeks ago because his sister keeps telling him to study. Dan loves the family values of our church and would like to attend. We love Dan.

I feel... very undeserving of all the blessings I've received lately. I need to change in many aspects when it comes to working and studying. But someone as imperfect as me is being blessed on all sides, and it's truly miraculous...

I love this gospel. It's a gospel of happiness, of confidence, of love and of hope. I don't know where I or anyone else would be without it. Each new experience and teaching makes me really giddy for my own future. I'll admit, the thought of being a husband and a father crosses my mind, and I have learned principles that will bless my family for eternities to come. I cannot wait to have my own family. BUT, I just have to keep learning and working.

OH YEAH. Why did I forget!? We were having dinner with a family called the Chandlers. We were wrapping up our visit, talking about people and things, when the 11-year-old boy of the group pipes up a conversation with me.

He says, "Hey, there's a kid at school I eat lunch with that calls himself a Mormon, but he doesn't come to church. "

"Oh really, what's his name?"



I flipped a wig. Did a pirouette off the handle. Cy Orey. Son of Michael Orey from his first marriage. Michael Orey from WEST MEMPHIS. After a few quick calls and many excited exclamations that evening, I set up to meet with the Oreys as they dropped Cy off at his mom's in Jonesboro. Cy has our phone number and will talk to his parents about coming to church or being baptized or SOMETHING cool like that. Not only did we get Cy set up, but I saw the Oreys again, and I'll get to see them again in two weeks! :3 I'm a very happy missionary.

Ok, I gotta wrap up. Love y'all! Be safe in the freezing temperatures I hear Utah is getting.

-Elder Staib