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 30, 2013

A Miracle

As my first order of business on my last weekly update as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I would like to discuss... THE WEATHER.

I have never missed home as much as I have these past two days. The weather has been so beautiful. Not a break of sunshine in the sky. Low-lying clouds hover just above my fingertips, and there's a gentle sprinkle that glides around me. I am reminded more than ever of the autumn clouds that graze across the mountains back home, and I can't wait to see them for myself soon. The temperature hasn't gone over 80 degrees these past two days. We've been driving with our windows rolled down. Ah, it's all so fantastic... I LOVE THE FALL.

I am very content with this week. It's been great. I went on exchanges with Elder Duron Tuesday, and we found a couple of really awesome people that have since turned us down, BUT it was a good experience at the time.

I'm perfectly recovered from my sickness, which is awesome because I was wondering if I would ever really have the same appetite ever again. No, that appetite came roaring back. I've been snacking a lot lately. I'm such a chub.

Thursday was a VERY good day. We went out to see the Keeners with a different member than the last time we saw them. We taught them the third lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They absorbed everything. They're excited for Conference, as well. Like I said before, we've kinda been holding back a bit until their crazy schedule winds down tomorrow. After that, it's go time.

After we saw them, we went to Sis. Groves' place, which was a miracle itself since her son-in-law didn't like us over at all. We managed to have a short visit, though, for only 20 minutes. As we sat down, Sis. Groves said that her granddaughter, Sierra, wanted to sit in as well. We read a short scripture with Sis. Groves and then discussed things like going to the temple and getting a patriarchal blessing.

As we were finishing, Elder Merrill turned to Sierra and asked, "Do you have any questions?" Sierra asked very shyly, "What's a blessing?" We explained blessings of healing, comfort and patriarchal blessings to her. It was really cool to see that Sierra was paying attention.

Sis. Groves came to church yesterday, and walking slowly behind in a hoodie and jeans was Sierra. I was so happy to see her there. They stayed all 3 hours. Sierra really seemed to open up in young women's, which only had 3 people in it. I hope they attend General Conference. Apparently, Sierra's parents have no problem with Sierra being involved with the church. They're just kinda keeping themselves out. The Spirit will work on that family, I'm sure.

We have a new senior couple in the area: The Harris'. They have a unique role in the mission. They've been called as military relations missionaries, the first time that our mission has had any. They're in charge of less-active and inactive work within the Little Rock Air Force Base as well as in Camp Robinson, which is in North Little Rock. They work in the Jacksonville, Cabot and North Little Rock Wards. They've been added to my district.

Looking back on it, my district has doubled in size since the transfer began. I gave my last district meeting on Tuesday since this upcoming meeting will be a zone meeting. I love my district. They've been good friends. We've been through a lot together, particularly with the Cabot missionaries. I'm excited to spend my last few days with them since we'll be bunkering down in the church for Conference.

Oh yeah... I was able to play. Y'know, the violin. Yup. Totally happened.

I guess we're saving Fast Sunday for the Sunday after General Conference. I was put as the musical number for our intermediate hymn. I admit, it wasn't too bad. I was able to add a bit of vibrato to my bow strokes from my nervous shaking, but I kept whatever wits I could. Sis. Allred was my accompaniment, and she was fantastic. She reads piano music, and then makes up her own compositions to 'em! She's really talented.

We practiced before church, and she told me to flourish. Get my sound out there. I "flourished" the best I could. We're having dinner with them Thursday, so we'll see how she thought.

We're going to be giving Marty a blessing tonight prior to his appearance at court tomorrow. Please pray for him. There is a lot on the line, and he wants to be with his family.

Well, I'm honestly not going to talk about much else! There's your mission update from yours truly.

I plan to work my final few days. All my thoughts, feelings, insights, impressions and warm fuzzies will be fleshed out when I have time to do it at home. My testimony has been sprinkled around this two-year-long blog. If you haven't seen it by now, READ IT AGAIN. It's there.

I love y'all! I'll be literally seeing many of you next week. Thank you, those who have supported me by emails, or by prayers. I was able to serve these two years because of each one of you. My mission has been a miracle.

-Elder Staib

My last district meeting. We got a new senior couple!

Elder Duron tried doing some touch-up cutting... but he forgot to put a guard on his clippers!

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