Sunday, October 19, 2014

with very little success, but on the bright side

Letter # 59
Oct. 13, 2014
Area: Broadway 2- Central
Companion: Heath

Hey guys,

This week seems to have flown by...we have been trying all transfer to get our area better, and we have had some success, but this last week was hard because it seemed like nobody was available. We tried and tried, with very little success, but on the bright side, we were able to work with the less-active members more and we finally got to meet with Jose Guzman, he is the guy that was baptized right before I came to the area, but he hasn't been very active since. We got to talk to him a little and he said he should be able to start going to seminary again and he should start coming to church again soon because their band mainly stops marching when football season ends. I am excited to be working with the less-actives and recent-converts again because it seems that when we are doing what we can to help them, the rest of the work blooms. 

I don't really have much to say about this week, except for that there were a couple of thunderstorms and it is obvious that winter is coming. We are all kind of hoping that a hurricane happens this year because the heat left so early, leaving about 2-2.5months for hurricanes to possibly come. I don't want a hurricane to happen, but it would be exciting because they evacuate us until it is gone, then they put us back in to help for the next couple of weeks. it sounds super interesting/fun. 

Other than that, I am officially halfway done with training Elder Heath and I am probably getting transferred in 6 weeks, so just a heads up for that. I feel like this next transfer will have more success and some baptisms though because we got good news from one of the ward leaders about how easy it should be for Suyapa and Jorge to get married, so when we teach them tonight, we are going to include talking more about marriage and try to have them set a date.

I love you guys, and pictures should come this next week because I keep forgetting my camera cord when I email.
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

I feel more like a missionary than ever

Letter # 58
Oct. 6, 2014
Area: Broadway- Central 2
Companion: Heath

This week was an interesting week, yesterday I was wondering why it felt like we didn't really do anything, but then I looked through my planner and realized, we only had 2 full days to work! We had P-Day on Monday, then New Missionary Training on Wednesday, Weekly Planning on Thursday, and General Conference on Saturday and Sunday. This week was miraculous for us, seeing that we only had 2 full days to work, we helped our four most solid families progress a lot, and they really have the desire to move forward, but it seems like there are still concerns or issues that we have to address to help them come to church. We have taken the time to thoroughly think about them and their situations and we feel like we have made realistic goals that will make them stretch to reach.

We have still been getting along well as a companionship, obviously there are a few quirks along the way, but we are trying to find ways to keep having fun while working hard. I particularly want to do that because I am starting to stress quite a bit about the area and the people. I am really trying to think of how we can help them, and what we can do each day to prepare the way for them to come to church and eventually accept the covenant of baptism. I feel more like a missionary than ever, but I have felt more stress than sometimes I think I should. I look forward to this next week and transfer and the success it will bring because we have been working hard and doing our best to bring about this work, and the Lord has been blessing us for it.

I love you guys, and could you pray for some of the people that we are teaching?

Elvia Cuervo and her family - That they will be able to make it to church despite any difficulties that may arise

The Garcia family - That they will accept a baptismal date and actually work towards it

Suyapa and Jorge - That their baby boy will be healthy enough to go to church

Lucero and Efrain - That we will be able to teach him clearly and Efrain will accept a baptismal date

I love you,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

The WORK has been fun and fruitful!

Letter # 57
Sept. 29, 2014
Area: Broadway- Central 2
Companion: Heath

Hey everyone!

This week has been really fun and fruitful! We have been working hard these past few weeks with very little success, just miracles happening with us finding new people to teach, and this week we finally have seen the work moving forward! I believe that I told you all last week that we got a referral from some other elders for a family that has gone to church a couple of times in their ward because they are friends with a member there, well this week we were able to set a baptismal date for them for October 18th, to give us time to teach them more and to include the rest of the family and get them all baptized the same day.
We also had a really fun ward party on Friday, it was called the Fiestas Patrias, where we celebrated all of the different countries that people in the ward come from.
We had the great opportunity to have Elvia Cuervo, and her 4 kids that live at home, come to the party.  They ended up being some of the first people there and talked with some of the members, including the bishop. We missionaries (the 6 elders in our ward) were able to participate too, we got to dance some of the many Hakas that are common in the Polynesian cultures. We had Elder Mamea, who is a Samoan that lived in Hawaii for a while, teach us. Then we got to see each of the different groups perform. The Primary, Young Single Adults, Young Women, and Relief Society were able to present different dances from the native cultures of where some of our members are from. And there was also food from the different countries, mainly El Salvador, Mexico, and Honduras. It was a really good experience for the Cuervo family.

This Thursday, during Hour of Power, we were able to find a less-active that we didn't know was on our books.  Her name is Lucero, and she is married to a non-member and has a baby that is only a few months old. We decided to stop by on Saturday because we were in the area, and her older brother, who is a returned missionary, was there and her husband was there as well. We ended up teaching them about the Plan of Salvation and who God is because Lucero's husband doesn't have much of a background in religion.  That conversation turned towards us talking about Eternal Marriage. It went really well, and Lucero's brother was really helpful in teaching because he knows them and he knows the doctrine as well. We really saw that as a miracle because Lucero's brother has been praying a lot for Lucero and her husband, and he was only going to be in town for the weekend. They said that they were just talking about us stopping by on Thursday when we knocked the door. It seems like that kind of thing happens a lot...people talk about us, and we show up.

We have been able to move forward with our different investigators by teaching them very spirit-centered lessons, and they have started to progress more. I really look forward to the next few weeks and the opportunity that our investigators will have to see General Conference.

And now to answer your questions mom:
1.1) Cesar has sadly decided to not meet with us, but we hope to work with the rest of the family so the spirit can work on him. Elvia recently has been keeping commitments to read and she came to the party and had a great time. We truly believe that she will be baptized in the next few weeks as long as Cesar doesn't decide to have our lessons with her stop.

1.2) Jorge, Suyapa's non-member "husband", is progressing well as well. They really want to come to church and only haven't because their baby has to live on a schedule because of it's syndrome, which makes it difficult for them to be able to wake up for 9am church. We met with Jorge on Saturday and had a great lesson, and we mainly concentrated on getting to know them and having them get to know us an feel more comfortable. We helped them understand some other things which they had questions about and we taught them about the Priesthood and Auxiliaries to prepare them to know what to expect at conference. They were talking about Jorge being Elder Heath's first baptism when they get married, so we really believe they have that desire to go forward, and we want to talk with them about them getting their birth certificates from Honduras to get them married.

1.3) Manuel, Cesar's friend...we actually haven't been able to catch him because he has a crazy schedule with school and football, and we really want Cesar there while we teach him. We are still trying to at least get him to activities and church...

2) yeah, I got that package, the writing on the outside was a little worn off because it looked like it got rained on a little in Hawaii...(the package took an unplanned 'detour' to Honolulu, Hawaii, instead of the Houston, Texas address written on the package)

I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

the opportunity to work with members

Letter #56
Sept. 22, 2014
Area: Broadway- Central 2
Companion: Heath

Week 57...I have been out 57 weeks? I hit 13 months 2 days ago. I can't believe time goes that fast when you don't think about it....

This week has been great for us, we have had the opportunity to work with members quite a bit and we got referrals out of it! I love getting member referrals because they already have the member support and they have friends in the church, and they have someone to motivate them along the way. We were able to get a total of 4 member referrals, and we look forward to working with them as well as the people we already have.

We started teaching another family that already knows members and has actually been to church a few times. We had a very spiritual lesson with them on Thursday, and we look forward to meeting with them tomorrow (Tuesday).  With this family, on Thursday, we barely missed having the son/brother there, so we have another potential investigator in that family. We also taught our investigator, Elvia, again and had another spiritually edifying lesson with her. She really enjoys what we teach and willingly accepted the baptismal invitation as she came to understand the need of authority. 

We have also had the opportunity to find many more less-actives, and we have had the opportunity to start working with them. One family that we work with, the Rivera family, was really helped by our efforts.  The mother and 2 daughters came to church on Sunday, but sadly the husband is still working on fixing his testimony to make him want to return. We are making plans to bring our ward mission leader to visit with him one of the days this week.
From the streets of Houston, Texas

The happy smiles of Elder Dye and Elder Heath
I have been having a great time with Elder Heath here.  Though, I feel like I am more stressed because I know there are so many things that I need to do and that I should be doing, but there just isn't enough time to do it all. I have recently reviewed some goals I have and I made the goal to finish the whole standard works before the end of my mission because I know the scriptures bring peace, and I have felt like I don't know enough, which adds to my stress. As I have been reading/studying over the last few days, I have felt the stress leave and it is replaced by the peace and knowledge of my Savior, Jesus Christ, and a deeper understanding of His teachings. 

This week we had exchanges, which always adds a little change to the week. And what made it better is that we had nothing set up for that whole day, so we did a lot of contacting. We ended up going to the park and trying to find people there, but sadly there wasn't a ton of people there, so we locked up our bikes and went around walking. We got to the other side of the park, and saw a bunch of geese and ducks, so I took some pictures. Then we noticed that one looked like it had an extra head, so we asked this man about it. He wasn't quite sure, but we just started a conversation, in which we found out that he is a member of the church, but hasn't gone for about 12 years... We got his information, and he went on his way. Then we were walking back and saw a kid walking over to the soccer field with his ball in hand, so we asked if we could play. We ended up playing a little with him, then other kids came up and we got into a game that lasted about 40 minutes, and during the game, we were talking with the kids and I became like best friends with a little 8 year old girl. They were all awesome, and after playing, we went over and talked with their parents, and they had seen us playing with the kids, but sadly that didn't soften their hearts enough to listen to the message, but they knew that we were nice/good people.

I love you,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye

Missionary work is hard, but spiritual

Letter # 55
Sept. 15, 2014
Area: Broadway- Central 2
Companion: Heath (newly entered the mission field in Houston)

Hey, it's nice to actually get an email this week :D :P I was wondering all week whether or not Angie had the baby... I guess she did, so now I have a second niece that I need to meet when I get home... I just wonder how many more there are going to be because everyone is getting settled in to different homes that are more permanent than before... And Carolyn, you need to wait until I get home to have your first because when I eventually get married, my kids are going to be like 10 years younger than their cousins.... :P

This week has been rough for our area.  For whatever reason, we had a hard time getting in contact with people the whole week. We started it off well though--on Monday, we had the opportunity to go and contact a referral, named Cesar Cuervo, that we got from the church headquarters, it was from a member. We went and knocked on the door and Elvia, Cesar's wife, answered the door. She let us in and called Cesar, who wasn't home that evening, but is really excited to meet with us.  We just started talking with Elvia and it turns out that she has been reading the Book of Mormon that his member friend gave him!  She was also really interested in the message we, as missionaries, bring. We ended up teaching her about the restoration of the church and the Book of Mormon.  We had her pray at the end of the lesson to know if what we taught was true, as well as what she's been reading in the Book of Mormon is also true. She accepted our invitation to pray, and she felt the spirit very strongly.  God had/has prepared her, so when when we taught with the spirit, her spirit felt God's love and desire for her to learn more of His truth. It turns out that they have 6 kids; 24, 23, 16, 10, 8, and 6. I really can't wait to teach them again. We have a lesson scheduled at 5pm today, so we are ending P-day a little early to teach them with a member! I am so excited and I am determined to hopefully see the fruits of my labors (and possible see the baptism of members of this family).

Sadly the rest of the week didn't work out like that, it was a struggle. We were in 'finding' mode this week,  and we were planning/trying to have meaningful lessons with the people we are currently teaching.  Yet those plans fell through since many of the people that we are teaching haven't been able to meet with us.  I have found that people are much more busier now that school has started, so they weren't home or wouldn't be home for the lessons we would set up with them.
Answers to questions that mom had:
1) We did the normal P-day stuff on Labor day, there were just a bunch of members that went to the church, so that was fun, but annoying at the same time.

2) We still have 1 hour of personal study, 1hr companionship time, 1hr language, and now we have 1 hour of study added to our day in which we study the lessons and the basics of being a missionary.

3) My companion is an 18 year-old, he played trombone, loves older music

4) Working in this area is still a little harder, but we have been trying to find new people and think of ways we can serve/work with members to get referrals

5) Well, I don't really like telling you those things (unusual happenings) because I know you will freak out... but if you insist, this last week I kinda got hit by a car, and I got my first migraine on my mission. The car didn't have a turn signal on and they started out going straight, so I started going straight to go around them to turn left, but then they suddenly turned and hit my front wheel. I saw what was happening and I was already off my bike when it happened because that was all I could do, but I left without a scrape and nothing was messed up on my bike. And the migraine-- I started to get a migraine when we were in our apartment one morning, and I noticed it when I started having a headache and the sensitivity to light, so I went and got the medicine in me, and then laid down.  I was fine in like 30 minutes.

6) the weather--Did I tell you that we almost got hit by lightning one lesson? We just got freaked out because we were outside under a covering, then lightning struck right above us.... Other than that, it hasn't changed much for us, it is starting to get a little colder.

7) My readings include: the Book of Mormon, Preach my Gospel, and talks for missionaries

I love you guys,
Elder Stanley Scott Dye