Sunday, August 9, 2015

Elder Stanley Scott Dye's Homecoming!!

Elder Dye's whole family surprised him upon his arrival home.  Yes that is 5 sisters, and their husbands, and the 10 nieces and nephews.

This little one was born 2 weeks after Elder Dye was called on his mission to Houston Texas East Mission.

Newest nephew to welcome Elder Dye home.

Do you think he is loved?? YES!

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Week Full of Blessings!

Letter #101 (last one!)
August 3, 2015
Area: Baytown
Companion: Hepworth

This last week of my mission has been full of blessings. We had the opportunity to first meet Brian, the son of Hermana Galvez, and he was there pushing her along in preparation for her baptism. She had her interview on Thursday, which was going longer and longer...she was in there for about an hour, but she passed and did just fine. She was then baptized on Saturday, but we were extremely nervous until she actually got in the font and got immersed. The water heater in the Baytown building works quite a bit better than most of the other chapels, so the water at first was blazing hot. we opened the accordion doors and it was all fogged up. We had put in cold water starting at around halfway, but it was still just way too hot. We ended up turning on the cold water again, and Brian got in and unplugged the font to let out some hot water and circulate the water, but it was still too hot for his mom. We were doing that for about 10 minutes, then an idea came to my We ended up running into the kitchen while everyone else was singing hymns and bearing testimony and grabbing the 3 bags of ice that have been in the freezer for weeks. Even with the ice we had to wait a little longer, then it was finally cool enough to get Vilma in the water. Then everything proceeded as scheduled and was very spiritual, but I could tell that Satan wasn't happy that Hermana Galvez was finally getting baptized. The Hermana's and we had some investigators there at the baptism, we had Andrea show up, and the Hermana's had Modesto show up. Afterwards, everyone was having a great time with the refreshments and each of the investigators were talking with a lot of the members. Then the next day, Sunday was great, we had the confirmation of Hermana Galvez by Brian and we were able to participate. I just felt the love of the Lord so strongly after the confirmation and felt really glad that the Lord blessed me with this opportunity my last weekend.

Sunday, after church there was a child's baptism as well and after attending that, we went to eat with the Galvez family, and then we were blessed with 3 lessons and 2 new investigators starting from 6:30pm and on.

I'll see you all tomorrow (I hope)!
I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

Monday, July 27, 2015

Reflection-- Giving it My All

Letter #100
July 26, 2015
Area: Baytown
Companion: Hepworth

It has been in the 90s and 100s these past 2.5 weeks and it has been pretty humid, but I think Texas broke me, it doesn't feel hot anymore, I just am sweating a lot... We are still without a car and biking a lot, just waiting for news on the car.

This last week has been really amazing, rough at times, but amazing overall. We were blessed with so many miracles that I can't even count them all, but they all led to the progression of our investigators! I personally have been doing a lot of reflection this past week on my service in the mission and especially how I am finishing it, and so far I have found a lot of peace and comfort and I am determined to keep going strong until the end. I don't know if I told you this before, but for a long time in the beginning of my mission I was looking at everyone else and the success they were having and looking at myself and the lack of success that I had seen. It was really a struggle and I felt like I wasn't doing enough and I felt like I was doing something wrong. I had come to the conclusion that I really didn't care how many people I baptized, I was just going to leave every area I worked in in a better state than I found it and make it so they could baptize within the transfer after my departure, which I feel like wasn't the best thing, but it kept me going strong and pushing as hard as I could. I have always been determined to baptize, but I was struggling inside. I remember clearly one night that I was on an exchange with Elder Anderson, one of my former companions, in Broadway, we were talking and he brought that concern up. He really motivated me that night to be the best missionary I could be and that the success would come in the Lord's due time. Then shortly thereafter, president moved me into Liberty and told me that he put me there because he knew I could baptize there, and I did. I am extremely grateful for that inspiration that he received to have me put in Liberty, and now here. Here in Baytown, on Saturday, we should be baptizing Hermana Galvez, 4 years after she originally started investigating the church, 2 years after her son went out on his mission, 4 days after her son comes home, and 3 before I go home. Something I also realized in my reflecting as well as talking with Elder Syrie this last Preparation Day, I have played a role in the baptisms of many people. If I remember correctly, I have played the role of finding and/or teaching at least 12 people who have been baptized, when I originally felt like I wasn't doing anything. Now the Lord is blessing us with another baptism in this area. I feel so blessed and I now realize what the Lord means when he says in D&C 18:15-16:

"15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"

This week was great though, we did a lot of finding, knocking, etc, but we didn't find much luck in that. We did find out that a less active that basically ran away from home for 2 weeks came home, and he is still really desiring to come back to church and activities and everything. He came to church and had a great time in our Branch Conference learning from President Howard, the Stake President. We also got back in with a couple of our investigators, Luis and Ida, who are already friends with a couple in our branch, we were able to bring over the couple and teach the family about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and answer some of their questions. They are really starting to think about our teachings and they are really interested in learning more. Their desire to follow the restored gospel is really growing! We also have had a lot of success with Ulises and Andrea, who are very curious about the church and the teachings. Those two couples are the only two that I know that are so curious that they have been wondering where God came from. Obviously we have those answers, but we have had to simply explain the plan God has for us and help them come to the conclusion for themselves. We have also had success with Mario and he came to church again! He still isn't reading, but he is taking steps in the right direction.

I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

Multiple Blessing from the Lord--you just need to look

Letter #99
July 19, 2015
Area: Baytown
Companion: Hepworth

First, missionary work with ipads isnt too much different, you can use them to share videos and pictures and stuff right now, but the main changes are yet to come, and I doubt they will arrive while I'm here. They will begin to use them as their planners and records for the people they meet and teach, and they will eventually begin to use facebook and skype to teach and find. I haven't even bothered carrying my ipad with me while we have been on bikes because I see no point in having it when Elder Hepworth has his and I can't do anything with it.

This week was very interesting and a little bit difficult, but we were able to find success regardless of the fact that we struggled a little. I have been taking care of my bike and made it almost two years without any problems other than flat tires, but two weeks before I go home, on Saturday, my axle broke, but we were able to catch it soon enough that Elder Hepworth and I were able to tear my bike wheel apart and replace the axle with one from a spare wheel we had. That took a little bit of time on Saturday, but we were able to still get out and talk with multiple people and even teach 4 people, who sadly live in a different area and don't exactly understand the importance of our message.

We had multiple blessings from the Lord, including Hermana Galvez finally being able to come back to church, Mario finally coming, and Andrea and Ulises coming back home from Mexico and still being super prepared. We were extremely excited to see each of them start progressing again. We have been working hard with each of them and they always had little things holding them back from being progressing.

We found some success contacting this week, we found a man that is super prepared and has already read from the Book of Mormon and he just has to gain a testimony of it. We also found a really awesome woman during Hour of Power and her only concern is that her husband might not be quite as receptive. We finally got to get in with a woman named Beatriz, who we found on exchanges with Elder Dennis, but we were never able to get in with her, and a man named Jose, who was a referral from the English Elders and just happens to be really interested in learning more.

The district in all has been doing well, we are all just struggling with by having a small teaching pool and trying to find new people. We have some really amazing people that are super close to baptism and should be baptized pretty soon.

I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Teachings of Christ and then applying them..brings us closer to God

Letter #98
July 12, 2015
Area: Baytown
Companion: Hepworth

This last week has been a bit different for us than in weeks past, and it was quite interesting. Monday while we were at dinner with a member, somebody backed into our car and left a few dents in it, so when we got out and saw it, we had to call Elder Swank. He ended up taking the car to repair it on Tuesday, so we had a week full of biking, which was kind of good because we were having a hard time getting in with investigators, so it got us out contacting a lot more. We had a rough time finding people to talk to for the first few days, but then we saw a ton of miracles in contacting on the weekend. From Friday through the end of Sunday we contacted a total of 94 people, which was amazing! We got a good number of potentials that are pretty interested and we were able to set up appointments for a few of them.

We had the wonderful opportunity to continue working with Hermana Galvez, who wants to be baptized on the 1st of August, but we are facing problems in getting her to church. We have found that we probably need to change our teaching style in order to help her better understand the importance of church. So far we have taught her the majority of the lessons and we are thinking of ways to be able to help her more.

We have also been working with Mario, who sadly won't be able to make his date for the 25th of July.  We have to go in there and talk to him a little more about what his desires are.  The pathway to becoming a member of Christ's church does include reading about Christ (thru scripture reading) and attending church each week.  He seems to be willing to learn, but we have to gauge whether he just wants to be doing a "bible study" or an actual application of the teachings of Christ.  Only by applying Christ's teaching can we make the changes, and stick with those changes that bring us to Christ.  Satan uses procrastination as a tool, so we just need to help Mario to make and keep decisions that will take him to Christ.

We are excited to pick up on teaching Ulises and Andrea again because they are finally back from their trip to Mexico! We have a lesson already set up with them with the Branch Mission Leader, Hermano Valadez, who, along with his wife.  Looking forward to this visit.

The district has been working hard despite the setbacks that always come. The Hermanas have had a hard time finding new investigators, but they keep going out there and working hard. All of us have found that we have been kind of falling into a ' contacting' rut, but, with Elder Dennis help and advice, we will put into practice more variety into our contacting...making it fun and interesting by using the Gospel Art Book. We found a good amount of success in finding potentials as we used it on exchanges and I have committed the Hermanas to do the same.

This week we have interviews with President Drake on Wednesday, making it so I will be interviewed by him twice in the span of about 3 weeks.

I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

Making Righteous Choices brings Happiness

Letter #97
July 5, 2015
Area: Baytown
Companion: Hepworth

Hey guys,

This last week was a little difficult, but we pushed through and tried to make the best of it. We sadly weren't able to meet with many of our investigators until Wednesday evening or Thursday. Andrea and Ulises weren't available because they went to Mexico for vacation until the 11th, Mario was busy with work and we were continually trying to get in with him, and Hermana Galvez usually has us come over on Wednesday, but she wasn't going to be available. We still saw many miracles regardless of the fact that we had those struggles. 

Instead of doing the normal Hour of Power and just knocking, we had the feeling that we needed to visit Mario, so we said a prayer went up and knocked the door, no answer, we knocked again, no answer, and again, no answer. We started walking back to the car to go to the place where we originally determined as our Hour of Power spot for last week, but then he opened the door and called out to us. We had a really amazing lesson with Mario in which he confirmed the baptismal date for July 25th. We expressed the importance of him coming to church and reading and praying, and he decided that he was going to make church a priority. We were then able to get in with him on Saturday and speak with him about church and read with him because he sadly didn't read, but we definitely saw a difference in him after that lesson during the Hour of Power. He sadly got called into work on Sunday, but he called us in the morning saying that we could come over today (Monday). We have plans to finally get a member over with us, which has been nearly impossible due to our inability to set up appointments with Mario.

We also saw some incredible progress with an 18 year old less active that we have been working with, Ricardo, and he finally came back to church! Last week we felt like we needed to give him a copy of Preach My Gospel to help him study the scriptures better, which we did, but sadly he hasn't studied. We can't really blame him though, his mom took away his glasses with the hope that it would prevent him going out and getting into bad things, which ironically, has prevented him from doing the good things instead...oh well. We met with him a few times and he got his siblings to go to Mutual this week, then he came to church and we were able to convince him to go into the youth class instead of Gospel Principles, so he would actually learn something that we weren't already teaching him. We talked with him after church and he suddenly got his fire back! He is really excited for everything again.  He just needs to realize that the excitement he feels is because of the spirit that can finally dwell with him.   I am super excited for him!

We have seen progress in some other people as well, but it has just been a bit slower than with Mario, Hermana Galvez, Ricardo, and Andrea and Ulises. We also saw a ton of finding miracles over the weekend, we were surprised by how nice people were on July 4th.  They were all willing to talk a little, but they were almost all busy preparing for family gatherings and wouldn't sit down and talk. We were however able to set up quite a few appointments for this week to teach all of these people.

I love you,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

Seeing the Miracles That Blessed our Lives

Letter #96
June 29, 2015
Area: Baytown
Companion: Hepworth

We had an amazing week, but it was really hot. We had a mission-wide thing where we bike from the time we leave the apartment until around 5ish, and I am really brown because of it, it was probably mid to high 90s, at one point the thermometer read 103, but I'm not sure if it was... Yesterday we had a huge storm come in and it knocked out the lights at church until 10:20, so we only had Sacrament meeting, then most people left, but we were stuck talking to people and the lights came on for the English ward luckily.

This week was full of miracles, sure there were a few disappointments, but the Lord blessed us more than we deserve. This week we were continuing working with Andrea and her husband, Ulises, and they are doing AMAZING! We were talking with our Branch Mission Leader, Brother Valadez, about some of their concerns. We invited him to our lesson with them Wednesday, sat down, then he and his wife took it away. They were talking for about 20 minutes before starting our lesson, and in that time they introduced themselves, made them feel comfortable. We introduced the first topic we were going to talk about, then they just started teaching. They proceeded to teach the rest of the lesson, we literally only introduced the topic and testified, then we had to interrupt them because our hour was up and we had another appointment to go to. The Valadez family ended up staying for about another 1.5 hours just talking answering questions and concerns. Member "missionaires" are so influential because they can connect with those investigating in the  area in which they live. We missionaries are only in an area for 'so' long, and then are transferred out.  Members in the area are there to stay, so connections are so important.   The Valadez family then invited Andrea, Ulises, and their children over for a Family Home Evening for Friday. We opted not to go to the FHE, but we asked the members if they could talk about fasting, prayer, and scripture study during the FHE.  They did exactly that and then helped them learn a little about the temple because the Valadez family is going to be sealed in early August. Also during the FHE they talked about Baptism and some of their concerns as well as how they can prepare themselves. Andrea and Ulises ended up staying until about 10 or 10:30pm and were surprised by how fast the time went. They are now like best friends with each other. We ended up going over on Saturday to give their baby boy a blessing of health and took Brother Valadez and he gave a beautiful blessing, and Sunday when Andrea and the kids came to church, the baby looked a lot healthier.

Elder Hepworth and I were talking about the branch and expressed to each other how we can make the whole branch like the Valadez family because they worked miracles with this family and now they are basically doing the work (with us just helping them and supporting them). One of the reasons I mention this is because Brother Valadez also talks with his co-workers about the gospel and invites them to church, one of which decided to come to church yesterday and we were able to teach him a little! We are working with the Hermanas to make plans of working with the branch to make them all like this one family. We were thinking about doing a couple of Preach My Gospel classes to introduce it the branch, and then help them know how to study the manual, so they can prepare themselves to help us and their nonmember friends.

We have also been working with Hermana Galvez, and she is progressing really well.  She no longer has problems with the Word of Wisdom, and has no problems with the Law of Chastity, nor the 10 Commandments. This last week we taught her about keeping the Sabbath day holy and helped her understand some of the things we should and shouldn't do on Sunday. She is really doing well, she is just waiting until her son, Brian, gets home from his mission on July 27th.

We are really seeing the work bloom in our area, we are working with Andrea and Ulises towards the baptismal date of July 18th, Hermana Galvez is working for being baptized August 1st, and we were able to set a baptismal date with our investigator, Mario, for July 25th. We just need to confirm Mario's baptismal date, and pray and fast for Andrea and Ulises to get the divorce miraculously expedited  so they can get married and baptized for their date because that is honestly the only thing holding them back. It would be nice if you kept each of them in your prayers.

I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye