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, July 22, 2013

New Area! And pictures again for the first time in a while.

I have made it to a new area! This will probably be my last place before I go home in October.

I am now in Jacksonville, Arkansas, which is about 15 miles northeast of Little Rock. Our church sits on a service road right next to the freeway, and directly across from the building is a large lingerie shop. It's pretty easy to tell people directions to our church, if you know what I mean.

The town has about 30,000 people in it. I'm still confused on how the demographics are set up. There is a LOT of diversity, some trailer parks, a lot of college-age kids (which I will explain in a sec), rich folks and country people. Basically, I feel like my entire mission has been put into a blender and spit back out in the form of Jacksonville. It doesn't even end there. Elder Carter finished his mission here a few months ago. Elder Fry was here a while ago as well. Elder Merill was companions with Mayberry at one point. Jacksonville feels like everything in these last 2 years has come together.

My companion, Elder Merill, is a couple inches shorter than me, but with a heart 5 times bigger than mine. He's such a great guy and a hard worker. I think I have the best companion to finish my mission with, if it is our destiny to finish the mission together. He goes home six weeks after I do. We love sharing mission stories together (since we're both veterans and have been through so many things) and talk about how our missions have been, and we also enjoy teaching and seeing changes in people.

With my new companion, Elder Merill
Now, I said there are many younger people here. There are lots of young families, which is a sharp contrast from how Pocahontas was. Well, that's because Jacksonville is hone to the Little Rock Air Force base. Neener neener, Michael. We go into the base about once a week for dinner appointments and other things (we get fed EVERY night here. I'ma get so fat...) and we're trying to find more people to teach inside the base so that we can get more members involved. The requirements for getting in and out of the base have changed drastically since 9/11, as I was told by a member, so it's really divided the ward as far as home teaching and missionary work. We cope with it the best we can.

I don't have many investigators to talk about just yet since I'm trying to get my footing in this area still. I'll definitely have people to talk about next week, but until now, pray that we can find good investigators. Our investigators are pretty...wishy-washy right now, so Elder Merill and I are trying to find the elect. There is one woman, Rebecca, who is 70 and trying hard to get baptized, though. She has to go through a couple interviews first, but I will definitely see her baptized here. That's all I'll say for now.

There are 6 missionaries that share this building (the Cabot ward meets here as well), so I gotta get off to let the sisters email. Love y'all! Hope your summer ends safe!

-Elder Staib

Elder Kowalk's Parents

Farewell, Elder Mayberry

Do not squish slow-moving mosquitoes

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