Tuesday, October 29, 2013

We Can Have the Spirit with us Always!

October 28, 2013

Dear Fam,

That was one of the best e-mails that I have ever received! FHS shut out Aztec! haha hehe! Send all the players a basket of chocolate for me or something. I have been waiting for this day for half of my life. I am so pumped for all of my boys. I bet Coach Bradley was really happy too. Send my congratulations to all of them. And BYU beat Boise State! That is a big win.

I am also really happy for Sam and Annie! I will have to send a letter to them.

But the weather down here is pretty weird. It will get really hot and then 5 minutes later the wind will pick up and it will be cold. It is hard to know what to bring with you for the day. But I love that there is a lot more sun! It makes it a lot easier to contact people in the street at night.

San Carlos is awesome though. We have been getting a ton of food lately! We still have left overs in our fridge! That never happens. haha The members are really excited to work with us and we actually just found out that we are getting a Ward Mission Leader! He is a really good guy and he is ready to work with us to help build this ward. I can't believe that changes are in one week though! Hopefully I get to stay here longer because we are starting to get things rollin here.

It sounds like Luke is doing really well in everything. That is really good to hear. I hope everyone else is doing well too. What is this that I hear about Doug going to China to teach English? that is sweet. Wish him luck!

Ask Mikey if he drank a lot of Guarana in Brazil. That stuff is dang good! I drink a ton of it haha We also ate fish wada (i have no idea how to spell it but that is how it sounds) and they said its a meal from Brazil. It was beans and rice with meat but it had some Flava!

I am so glad to be out here on the mission. Sometimes it is really hard but it is so satisfying to help these people come closer to God. As missionaries, it is so easy to see the hand of God in every little thing. I am so glad that I can be out here and feel the spirit so strongly. One thing that I have learned out here on the mission is that we can literally have the spirit with us at all times! I heard that a million times before the mission but it never really sunk in. We can always have the companionship of the Holy Ghost as long as we are following EVERY commandment that God has given us. I am just grateful for this opportunity that I have to serve these people.

Send my love to everybody! I hope everything is going well with school and everything.


Elder Lacey

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

God Answers Prayers!!

October 21, 2013

Dear Family,

I don't understand! I have already been in San Carlos for a month. Time flies when you are doin work!

San Carlos feels like home now. Elder Ve'e and I are getting the members really excited about the missionary work, so the members are helping us a ton. The first week that Elder V'e and I were together we had only 3 of all of our lessons with a member present. This past week we had 12 members in on discussions with our investigators! I really think that this ward is going to experience a huge growth in membership in the coming year. Right now we are usually around 57 people in church. But we have been working with a lot of less active members that are going to start coming back to church. And then we have some really promising investigators that we are really excited about.

We found the familia Alvarez about a week ago. The parents are members but they quit coming to church like 15 years ago and they have only lived here in San Carlos for 2 years so nobody knows them here. But they have 3 daughters who are 15, 10 and 5. The 2 older daughters came to church yesterday and they really loved it! We had a charla with the whole family last night and it seems like the whole family is excited to come to church. The Mom really wants to start coming back to church and the Dad really wants to study more before he comes back but he is really sincere and he will end up coming back for sure. But their family is awesome.

We witnessed a miracle yesterday. We have not been able to have contact with Eduardo since Wednesday. We have gone by his house and called him but we could never find him. Anyway, he has only come to church once and it was when we had General Conference and so it was later in the afternoon. He has a sleeping problem so he loves to sleep in until 2 on Sundays. Basically we thought he wasn't coming to church for sure because he won't even commit to coming anymore. Elder Ve'e and I were sitting there in Sacrament meeting and boom goes the dynamite! Eduardo came strolling in! I was in shock for a little bit. I was so happy that he finally came! But that’s not all of it. We went and talked to him afterwards and he said that something touched his heart this morning telling him that he should go to church so he came. That was so powerful to me because on Saturday night I prayed specifically that Eduardo would feel something that would help him come to church. Elder Ve'e said that he had also prayed for the same thing. So basically.... God answers prayers! When Elder Ve'e and I got home we knelt down and thanked God for everything that is happening in this area. We are so pumped to be working with all of these people here! 

So I got a letter from Ali and Amy and Grandpa Steinagel! Thank them for sending those.  I think my district leader has 2 more letters for me but I haven't been able to get them :(  I will be able to read them next Monday. But thanks for sending me packages. I am excited for Christmas already! haha 

Ya LUKE! I'm glad you are learning to play defense unlike me. I was never very good at defense. Keep up the good work!

Elder Ve'e and I got the chance to teach the lesson yesterday in church about the Obra Misional out of the Lorenzo Snow book. We ended up only having 10 minutes to teach but it went really well and I think the members are more excited to work with us now. But I do love that quote from that book.... It's better in English haha

Goodluck with school and everything. Don't worry about me, I am having a blast! ¡Saludos a todos!


Elder Lacey

Dear Dad,

Even without a Ward Mission Leader we are still getting a lot done here with the members. The members are really steppin up big for us.
I am really glad that BYU didn't lose again. They need to pick up their game. Sounds like they are missing a QB who is listed as a running back who plays wide reciever! haha
Tell Brian Farley to do everything that is in his power to take down those Tigers!
But I have to go. I love you Dad! I am so thankful that I have 2 parents that are always there to guide me and help me! You guys have always been there for me.
Elder Lacey

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

God Hears Our Prayers

October 14, 2013

Dear Mom and Family,

That is awesome that you got to talk to Grant Walker! He is such a great guy. That is to bad that he is already home while we get to be down here doing work! I am pumped that he got accepted to BYU. 

I got to see all of the pictures you sent me. You guys are looking good! Its nice to hear that everything is going well for everybody. 

Mom, I loved those quotes that you sent me! Those explain a lot about humility and pride. Pride is definitely a huge problem because it is so hard to actually spot in yourself. 

But time sure is flying by. It seems like I was just e-mailing you yesterday but a week as already gone by. Elder Ve'e and I have been working really hard to try and build this area up. It has been struggling more then we even thought. But things are looking up. This week E' Ve'e and I found a lot of New Investigators that look promising. Right now we have 4 people who have dates for baptism. One of them is Claudia. She is about 65 and loves to talk about religion....Sometimes a little to much. haha It is pretty difficult to actually get through a lesson and stay on topic. She likes to talk a lot, especially about the "Juventud" and how they are so wicked these days. But she really likes everything that we talk about and we have been able to answer all of her questions. In the last charla we had with her I witnessed a small miracle. Everyday before personal study I always pray that I will be guided to study what I will need to teach for the day. So when we were in the charla with her she had a lot of questions about child baptism and about Adam and Eve and about people’s agency and why there is so much wickedness in the world. It turns out that every single one of her questions I had studied about during my personal study. So we were able to answer all of her questions using the Book of Mormon. It was awesome! It really strengthened my testimony that God listens to our prayers and we can be instruments in his hands if we let him.

Everything has been going well! We are really focusing on working with the menos activos here because there are a ton so hopefully we will be able to bring some back into the fold. We are loving the work though! We are still really pumped to be working together here where there is a lot of work to be done.

Give everybody hugs! And tell Olivia Happy Birthday for me on the 20th! 

I love you guys!

Dear Dad,

Its nice to know that the Young Men in your ward have a good Young Mens President to look up to. You said it perfectly. The Gospel is like the oxygen that everybody needs. Everything makes so much sense to me down here. I look back at my life before the mission and I was kind of an idiot haha But now I am learning exactly what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. It is kind of funny the excuses that we make. Before the mission I thought that a lot of the excuses we make were perfectly fine. But I am learning a lot about sacrifice. You have to do everything that the Lord commands you everyday. We can't make excuses. We learn in 1 Nephi 3:7 that the Lord will always prepare a way for us to cumplir with the commandments. It doesn't matter what else is in our lives. We can always do what the Lord says. Down here we hear a lot of "I don't have time" I work 12 hour days and I have kids, I don't have time to read the Book of Mormon. Yes it is tough, but there is always 5 minutes of our day that we can sacrifice so that we can be edified by the Good Word.

But I am glad that my football teams are doing good! Keep cheering on the cougs and tell the boys in Farmington that Lace dog is cheering them on.

Love you Dad,

Elder Lacey

Elder Lacey's house in San Carlos, Uruguay

 A Plaza near Elder Lacey's house in San Carlos, Uruguay

Monday, October 7, 2013

General Conference

October 7, 2013

Dear Family,

Conference is where it's at! That was the best General conference ever (Probably because I paid attention to every single minute of it). Elder Ve'e and I were able to watch it in English in our church through one of the members laptops. It was perfect. The whole time I was just wishing that everyone could hear and feel what I was feeling! Only one of our investigators ended up coming. He was the one that we thought wouldn't come. There were 3 others that we thought would come for sure but didn't end up coming. But the guy who did watch it is named Eduardo. He is the most pessimistic guy that I have ever met and we almost dropped him. But this last Friday we had a charla (discussion) with him and things were going down hill and both Elder Ve'e and I were getting frustrated. But then I looked at this man who is going through a tough time in his life and how he doesn't have the will power to do anything that he doesn't want to do, and something changed in my attitude toward him. I suddenly felt how this man feels. He always tells us that he doesn't have the will power to go to church. He sleeps in until 2 on Sunday and he just doesn't want to leave his house ever. Anyway, I opened my mouth and it was filled. I honestly don't remember exactly what I said and how I said all of it in a different language but I did it. I bore testimony to him and told him what the Lord wanted to him to hear. He came to General Conference! He even came an hour early to the last session and lucky some members were there and they started talking to him and they bore testimony to him as well. It was awesome. He said that he really liked General Conference and he wants to be baptized. Hopefully he can still overcome the natural man and come to church on Sunday. He isn't as pessimistic now. In the book “Our pursuit of Happiness” there is a line that says something like when we are focused on the Atonement of Jesus Christ it is hard to have discouraging and depressing thoughts....or something like that. I love it.

But I am loving it here. I told Dad about how the ward is kind of dead right now but we are working on building it back up. We have really good leaders and a few good people that helped us with Eduard during General Conference. So Elder Ve'e and I are going to get to WORK! 

The food is really good here too. We have been cooking up a ton of grilled cheese sandwiches and a member gave us a ton of churisos that we have been cooking up so we are eating well. But thanks for sending a halloween package! 
(I asked if there was anything I could send him for Christmas. Here is his response)
Lets see... I think a bottle of mapeline extract would be heavenly as well as the recipe for your syrup and German pancakes. Other than that just a lot of good American candy and snacks and what not :) I actually had German pancakes at Elder Pikes house. Yum. 

But all during General Conference I was thinking about those dang Cinnamon rolls! You better have enjoyed them haha

I remembered that Dad played with Gifford!  I didn't know that the story that Dad always tells is about Gifford haha (I told Daniel about Mike lockering next to Gifford Nielsen his freshman year.  Gifford was married and wore garments and Mike asked Gifford, “What are those???” ) But we get Ensigns down here. I can't wait to get one! Those talks are more valuable than money!

When did you teach that atheist girl? That is an awesome story.

That is awesome that you are doing well in your Stats class! I'm glad that I don't have to worry about that right now! haha And I am really glad that you went to the temple even though you didn't think you had time. But no, we don't get to go to the temple...I think we get to go once a year or something like that. I like what you said, “have faith, have miracles!” That is perfect.

But I love you guys so much. I wish I could talk to you guys more! I always forget all the stuff that I want to tell you. All I know is that The Lord still works miracles and if we want to we can see them in our life. We just have to put forth the effort.

Abrazos and Besos! 

Elder Lacey

(I am also posting the letter to Mike and some pictures at the end of this letter)

Dear Dad,

You know exactly how I felt during General Conference! It is so much different as a missionary. That was the best General conference that I have ever been apart of! And the whole time I was just hoping that my investigators could hear and feel what I was feeling. But I really did get so much out of General Conference. It blew my mind! 

That is so awesome that you are the Young Mens President in your ward. I'm sure that you will do a great job in getting all of the young men ready for missions. Remember that sometimes you just need to rough 'um up a bit! haha Also, that is sweet that Bro Farley is the Ward Mission Leader in Farmington! Tell him to get the missionaries pumped up! 

I'm glad that BYU finally did something. A lot of the missionaries in my zone are Ute fans but I don't have anything to back up my cougs! 

So this week Elder Ve'e and I  taught 35 lessons which is really good.... the bad part is that only 4 of these lessons were with a member. We are trying to get this ward pumped up about the work. It is kind of tough because we still don't have a ward mission leader. We have been talking with our Bishop a lot though and so we are hopeful that he will call one this week. Our ward only has about 60 members. I guess there have been some bad things that have happened here and so the ward kind of died. We probably have about 1000 inactive members! I don't know the actual number but I know there are tons. 

I have only gotten sick once. It was when I sent that picture of me laying on the cement haha but other then that I am doing really well health wise. E' Ve'e and I made a workout plan and I am already feeling a lot better because of it. I was getting a little fat there for a second. 

For the most part the members really like us and we are starting to see more excitement with the mission work. We have some really good priesthood leaders so we are hoping on taking advantage of that.

I don't know what a zone paseos is! haha ¡Mucha de la comida aqui es ricisimo! Pero a mi me gusta churrì pan... y basicamente me gusta todo el carne aqui. Aun tengo un buen acento. Aun no puedo hablar perfecto pero cuando estoy hablando en una charla puedo hablar muy bien. Y tambien esto es el primero vez que estoy tratando a escribir in espanglish. La cosa mas deficil cada dìa es cuando hablemos con personas que no cree en nada o digieron que tener fe in Dios pero they really don't. 

Tenemos un actividad cada Sabado con el barrio y es muy divertido. Jugamos futbol y cosas asì. Y tambien mucho inactivos venieron para jugar asì que, hay proposito.

Sorry that my spanish grammar is horrible! I'm working on it haha

I love you Dad!

Love Elder Lacey

Oh! Didn't you play with Gifford Nielsen?

Dedos of Uruguay

Not sure what this building is.  I hope it isn't his apartment!

Found a "Ute sign" in Uruguay

P day in Uruguay.  Look at that form!