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, March 4, 2013


We had a baptism. Two baptisms, actually.

Bro. and Sis. Rasdon were baptized on Saturday and confirmed Sunday. In all honesty, it wasn't a baptism earned by Elder Whetten and I. The senior missionaries, Elder and Sister Musick, were the miracle-workers there. What Elder Whetten and I are excited about now is that there are two Rasdon family members that have wonderful potential to be baptized.

The Rasdons have come a long way. Their 16-year-old son, Harley, was the first in the family to be baptized. We believe that if it wasn't for his gift of the Holy Ghost in that home, no progression would have been made. The Spirit is a powerful thing, whether you have it or someone else has it in a home. We love the Rasdons. They're very humble and self-sufficient.

We met with a woman up in Corning, which is about an hour north-east of town, on Saturday afternoon. She's a Christian country singer and she plays guitar and drums. She loves the Bible, mostly for its prophecies. We brought Bro. Smith, a branch missionary, along with us to teach her, and it went very well. She's had a hard life, but Bro. Smith was able to say that he had a hard life as well, and that the Book of Mormon was what got him through it. We're excited to go back and see her this Saturday.

We told her to call us if she had any questions, and to our surprise she called us this morning, asking us for help interpreting the Tree of Life. Once we explained it, she explained to us how she loved to read the Book of Mormon, how it made her feel peaceful when she read it, and how she couldn't get enough of it. She might even finish it before we see her next, if things continue! She's a pretty fab lady.

Now, the Kerns family. Each time we have a sit-down lesson with them, the outcome is nothing short of extraordinary. Elder Whetten and I walk away with the same thought, "Why aren't they baptized!?" So many questions and concerns of this world are put to rest with the answers the gospel gives! Ashley, the wife, has many such concerns, and we answer through the Book of Mormon and modern-day prophets and apostles. As I said, they didn't like missionaries initially, but they are always excited to have us over now.

We asked them a very inspired question: "To you, what is the next step you have to take?" Ashley responded that she thought it was baptism. I'm so glad we found that out, because otherwise they wouldn't have progressed! Elder Whetten confidently answered, "No, the next step you need to take is coming to church to see what it's like." That night, Elder Whetten and I prayed and fasted that they'd come to church.

We walked into the church building, and to our joy, the Kerns were sitting in the back row. Not only were they smiling, but EVERYONE in the branch was going up to greet them, and the Kerns exchanged salutations right back. (Note: I gave a talk in church about 'Fellowshipping Nonmembers' just the week before, so maybe something I said had to do with the members' enthusiasm.)

Particularly, it turned out that Ashley worked with a member's daughter-in-law, so they clicked immediately. Fabulous testimonies were given about the Book of Mormon, the Holy Ghost, and even the hymns. To me, it felt like the best Sunday to be an investigator, and it was spent with the best investigators we had to be at church on a Sunday. We're going to see them a couple times this week. They're excited to see us again. I love the Kerns. I really love the Kerns.

This week is going to be more sifting wheat from the tares. We have to do some finding. We've got our few golden investigators, but we're letting some others go. Just moving from one elect family to another.

I'm trying to humble myself a bit, but I guess the best way to do that is with a heart full of gratitude. I know that all this success, all the wonderful things that have happened, happened because of the Holy Ghost and the joy and comfort it brings into the lives of people. I don't convert people. I am SO glad I don't convert people. That'd make things way too hard. No, God converts people, and he just uses us missionaries as the vehicle to take Him around.

They're feeding us well here. On Friday and Saturday, we had lunch at Pig N' Out (a good ole Southern BBQ place), had a real Southern dinner (pork, potatoes, green beans, corn and rolls) and then woke up to a Southern breakfast before helping a member with some service (biscuits, jam, scrambled eggs, bacon, and hash browns). I haven't weighed myself lately. Luckily, we got a free 2-week membership to a good gym here, so we've been doing that. But I'm 135 pounds (last I checked) and doin' good.

Alright, tired fingers. I hope y'all have a good week. Maybe the weather will warm up soon. It's been cold here, and I'm getting pretty tired of it. They keep telling me this place is amazing in the spring. I wanna see it.

Thanks for all the prayers, and I'll talk to y'all next week!

-Elder Staib

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