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 11, 2013

We're Seeing Miracles

Another week down.

As Elder Whetten and I were going through numbers for the past week, and after each number I wrote, I couldn't believe the success. At the end of the week, it felt like we hadn't done much and our investigators weren't moving as well as we'd wished, but from a numerical perspective, we worked. Hard.

Even though a few people weren't moving like we wanted, that's not to say we didn't still have miracles, along with a few setbacks. The Rasdon family is so precious to the missionaries in this area. Elder Whetten and I are working with the kids and the Musicks work with the parents. The family is really coming together. We have a baptismal date set for April 6th for the oldest daughter and the youngest son. Those are the last unbaptized family members remaining in the family. On April 6th, the entire family will have joined the church.

The daughter told us that she had seen a change in her family, and that it was a change she wanted for herself and her future family. The youngest son shared with us that he had made too many mistakes and doesn't want to make them any more, and that he wants this gospel to help him out. These kids have been prepared to let this gospel bless their lives forever, and we get to be a part of it. It's going to be a fantastic baptism.

We brought an investigator to church on Sunday. The woman from Corning. We taught her a lesson on Saturday alongside the Musicks, and in the process learned she had recently left another church. She'd been badly persecuted by that church because of her "different" beliefs. (Beliefs as wonderful as personal revelation and that the Holy Ghost is a being separate from Jesus Christ and God the Father.) She was looking for a spiritual home, so we anxiously invited her to church. And she came! She had many questions. She's very passionate about the Bible, and I suppose most of her intent of coming to church was to discuss the deeper doctrines.

She enjoyed church...until about 3rd hour. If you were at church yesterday, and you were discussing the same lesson we were, you would be in the chapter of Lorenzo Snow's teachings where he teaches about the eternal destiny of man. Let me take a moment to say I know this doctrine to be true and we can all become like our Heavenly Father. Our investigator, on the other hand, wasn't so keen. She couldn't imagine the thought of God having a body. I wasn't in Relief Society at the time, so I don't know what exactly happened. All I know is that when we offered to explain it to her at our next appointment, she said, "No, sorry. I don't want you coming over." She left with Elder Musick to be dropped off where she had parked her car.

Elder Whetten and I were so disheartened. We stood there, dumbfounded, thinking of all possibilities of getting her back. In the end, we agreed on one thing. Nothing could be done other than what God could do. God needed to work on her heart with this truth. And that's where we left it.

Elder Musick was inspired. Before he dropped our investigator off, he handed her a copy of Gospel Principles, the most basic book explaining our church doctrine I've ever seen. Elder Musick gave it to her to study. She took it.

Later that night, as Elder Whetten and I were in a dinner appointment, she called us with a question about prophets. We were so glad she knew we could still answer her questions, and she understood personal revelation more after reading about prophets. Elder Musick's gift of that book will open our investigator's mind and soften her heart; I know it. We're giving it time, but we have no doubt that time is all it will take. So please pray for this woman.

We're working with several great less-active members, helping them repent and come back. Some investigators are understanding more and more each day, while others don't do a thing until we walk through the door. Such is missionary work. We're doing our best, and thankfully, God is blessing us with miracles as we do what's right.

In fact, I got an email from Elder Stannard today saying that he had a referral for me! He's working with a recent convert that has grandparents that live right here in Pocahontas, and they're going up to visit their granddaughter this weekend up in Salisbury, Maryland. Elder Stannard's gonna prepare them for when they return to Arkansas to be taught by yours truly. He's excited. I'm excited. We're very excited. :3

Oh, on Tuesday, the mission department released new rules. Let this be known to everyone: Missionaries are now allowed to email families, friends, priesthood leaders and recent converts.

This is a blessing to me in ways I can't describe. Of course, things back home are still things back home, but I take this new responsibility as a call to share my growing testimony with those around me through whatever means possible. My blog is one way. And now email is another. This church is inspired, I'll tell ya.

Well, it's been a good long email this week. I hope everyone's doing well. It was 70 degrees yesterday! But then it went down to 38 this morning. We though we were finally getting warmed up here... Ah well.

-Elder Staib

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