Monday, March 31, 2014

We Always Need to be Moving Forward

 Where Elder Lacey lives and who he lives with

Elder Lacey's desk
Things he has received recently from people
(notice the picture of Sam with the IGP trophy, as promised, displayed for all to see)

Elder Lacey loves Pringles!!!

March 31, 2014

Dear Family,

General Conference Week! Time to go to work! We are going to invite all of Treinta y Tres to come listen to the words of God. I remember last conference I wished that all of San Carlos could have gone to watch. General Conference is "da best... i love it".

That is so cool that Olivia went to the General Women's Conference with you guys. It sounds like an experience that she will never forget. To bad Mikey and Ali aren't having has much fun as you guys ;) 

I can't believe you guys found 33 names from our line and took them to the temple for baptism.  I congratulate you for your work. It is interesting because for the month of March the zone leaders here let everyone choose our baptismal goal for the month. We wrote up all of the people with baptismal dates that we had and it came out to 37.... we ended up putting a goal of 33 which is super high but we really thought we could get it but we ended up with 16 baptisms which is still really good. I just find it funny that you guys reached our goal of 33 in 1 day :) haha

Elder Vorwaller and I were a little bit frustrated this past week because 2 weeks ago we were looking really good to get 33 baptisms but then they all started falling. A lot of it was due to Satan and peoples albedrio. This whole week we have been talking about the things that we could share or do to help our zone get our animo back. We have already put some plans into place and we are excited for the future. This week Elder Vorwaller and I go down to Montevideo for a conference for the zone leaders, then we have our zone conference on Thursday, General Conference on Saturday and Sunday and then we have a zone conference with President next Tuesday so we are looking forward to everything that we are going to be able to learn. 

One thing that really stuck out to me this week is lo siguiente: No matter how old or experienced we are we will always experience temptations and we will always have obstacles. Why is that? Because if we don't have problems or difficulties we can't grow. No pain, no gain. Obviously as we keep the commandments and do what we should be doing we will be blessed and we will be happier and have more peace, but we cannot become complacent. If we are not moving forward, we are moving backward. I remember Pres. Armstrong once told us that we always need to look for the next ordinance in our lives and if we have done everything good then the next step in our lives is to help those around us receive these ordinances. Basically we always need to be moving forward. We are here in this life to learn not to suffer. 

I gave a talk this last Sunday and I shared a lot of the same thoughts. I talked a lot about obedience and sacrifice and missionary work. We always need to be stretching ourselves to do even more. How are we going to become perfect if we stop learning? O sea, How can we become like Jesus Christ if we don't learn to overcome difficulties? 

Good thing that I am ward secretary so that I can have some more difficulties to work out haha! I didn't realize that they did so much. It really isn't that bad though, just a lot of numbers and paperwork and such. But the President just barely informed us that we aren't supposed to have major callings and so we let the Stake President know. After me they won't call missionaries to big callings without permission from President.

The mission is the best. I am still having a blast! I miss all of you guys and I hope everyone is doing well. 


Elder Lacey

Pictures: I love Pringles and I miss them; My desk with a couple things that I have received in packages; and my HOUSE!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Another Good Week

March 24, 2014

Dear family,

Another good week in the bag. I have been learning a ton about the mission and about how to be a leader so time is going by really quickly. I can't believe that I have already been out for 10 months! Being a Zone Leader is great but it is sometimes hard to balance our area and the whole zone at the same time but we are doing good. We do a good job of encouraging them to work hard but at the same time having a good time with them. The other 3 elders that I am living with are awesome! We all want to work hard and we all get along really well. I don't think I told you the names of the other companionship in our house. It is Elder Pike and Elder Oliver. Elder Pike is from Salt Lake City and I am pretty sure that 
Elder Oliver’s parents are living in Utah now. 

So, I forgot to tell you guys that I was also called as Ward Secretary here in our ward!  I have a lot to learn but I am excited for the opportunity. This last Sunday I helped the Bishopric out with tithing and this upcoming week I have to learn how to do some informe (reports) or something for the month. Needless to say I have been learning a lot about how the church works and it is a testimony builder. The church is so well organized! 

This past week we found an 18 year old guy (se llama Horacio) who is legit! He is the boyfriend of a member and he just showed up at church last Sunday. We have had a couple charlas with him and he has some really deep questions. You can tell that he is really sincere and that he wants to know for himself. This last charla he asked us "Why are some people going to fail? Why are only a few people going to go to heaven and the rest can't have that happiness?" We thought for a little bit and we were able to answer his question pretty decently. But it was another testimony builder for me because as I was thinking about his question it came to mind that God really does love everyone. Everything that God has done is to help us progress. Before this life we could not progress any further without bodies. No matter what happens, no matter what difficulties we go through in this life, we have more potential than what we had before. God wants us to keep progressing but we have to submit our will to his. It was just an interesting thought that made me think for a little bit. But Horacio is doing well, and is going to get baptized.

It sounds like Luke is doing some good things and that everyone is pretty busy. I love how active our family is. We are always involved in something to help us improve. The other day I got to play the guitar a little bit and I realized how much I miss playing! Is Luke playing an instrument right now? Take advantage of the time that you have and play something or sing! It helps a ton on the mission if you can sing, other people can really feel the spirit through the hymns. 

Keep on keeping on!


Elder Lacey

PS I got a few letters from Amy and Alison and a few others but I haven't read them yet, but tell them thanks!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Treinta y Tres (33)

March 17, 2014

Dear Family,

It has been a really good week down here in 33. I am diggin my new area and Elder Vorwaller is a boss! (incredible awesome missionary)  It’s also pretty nice because I already know everybody in the zone and I still see Elder Rae all of the time. He is such a great guy! The zone is doing work too! We are all really pumped to work and get some good things done so the future is looking awesome. 

It was hard to leave Chuy and the members over there but there are some really good members that I have met here to so everything is good. I am still getting to know the area a bit but I already love it here. Nobody has a car in the mission except the AP's and secretaries so we just walk everywhere and we use busses some times. I am getting pretty dang good at walking though. haha! The other 2 Elders that we live with are way cool too. We all wake up and work out really hard together. Elder Vorwaller has the workouts to Insanity all written down on paper and we do that everyday. Sometimes we have to "squeegee" the sweat off of the floor after we are done! So I think I will get in pretty good shape here. Anyway, All of the houses have washing machines but then we hang our clothes on lines to dry them. So far my shirts are hanging in there and my pants are doing good. Some socks would help but other then that I am doing good.... maybe some Beef Jerky would help out though ;) 

I am super pumped for this opportunity to serve. It is amazing how much you can help as a Zone Leader. In our zone there are 22 missionaries! We mainly work with the 3 district leaders that we have but we are trying to help out each individual missionary as much as possible. The good thing is that every missionary is the same in the eyes of the Lord and all missionaries can perform miracles.  We have a really solid group of elders though and so far we haven't had any problems.

I am so glad that you are able to help out so much in your ward up in Alpine. You guys are definitely examples of service to us all. I still remember when you would drag me Sam and Luke to Childhaven to read books and help them with their homework. I remember I never really wanted to go but after we finished we were always really happy. Thank you for teaching me how to serve. 

It is awesome that all of my buddies are doing so well on the mission! It was such a blessing to grow up with such good friends.

Everything is going well. I am really looking forward to the future and I am still learning a ton everyday. I think the best thing that I have learned is about faith. If you really have faith in God then you will go out and do something. I have always known this principle and I have always heard that faith without works is dead but I have tested this promise out and I know that it is true now. We need to go out and show our faith...there is no more time left to sit on the fence. Everyone has to dedicate their heart, might, mind, and strength to this work! If we do then we will see miracles.

I love all of you! Send some high fives to the whole family!


Elder Lacey

PS Sorry but I haven't written a handwritten letter in a while. I will try to get one sent out today but I still have to unpack my stuff haha! 

Luke's Letter to Daniel and back

(I don't think I have ever posted any of Luke's letters and Daniel's responses but here is the one from last week)

March 11, 2014

Dear Daniel

Hello brother and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!! It was really funny today because at church I always read that paper that they give you and it shows the happy birthdays and on the paper it said "Daniel lacey" and then I got moms I pad and set the alarm around 10:00 and it just went off and now I am writing this letter.

Do you get daylight savings there it sucked because we went to bed at midnight last night (bad writing skills) And we have 9:00 church so it is really hard and I wonder about you because you have church and you have daylight savings time so maybe it was hard for you but you probably go to bed early but you never now.

well it is good talking to you I hope your mission is going well I will talk to you next week..

Love your king Luke

Dear Luke,

We had daylight savings down here too! But for us it is better because we gain an hour of sleep. But the horrible part is that Elder Rae and I didn't know so we showed up to church an hour early! So we lost an hour of sleep anyway. 

I am 20 years old buddy! I am OLD! haha I hope that when you are 20 years old you will be on your mission to because it is the best!

I love you buddy!

Elder Lacey

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Elder Lacey!!!!!

March 11, 2014

Happy Birthday Elder Lacey!
(Looks like the Twinkies I sent got a little smashed.)
Noche Blanca

Jaime and his chickens

Jaime and Juan

Hola Famila!

I am old!

Anyway, I opened the rest of my package today since it was my B-day. Thanks for everything! I really needed a new pillowcase and I have already put to good use everything else that you sent me. Thank you!

What a crazy week! We had a noche blanca in Chuy on Sunday and it was awesome! We had 6 baptisms in total from our district and we all got together and did them all in one service. It was a really uplifting experience and we were all really happy for everyone who was able to get baptized. I am sending a couple fotos to you guys so you can see them. 

After the baptismal service I got a call from the Assistants. They called me up to be the zone leader in "33" with Elder Vorwaller! I am super excited because me and Elder Vorwaller are super good friends. I am pretty sure he lives somewhere up by you guys. He goes home after this change but we are really excited to work together. I am really excited for the chance to help even more missionaries help the people here in Uruguay. It will be sad to leave Chuy but the good thing is that I am still in the same zone so I might get to come back to Chuy to do an intercambio or something. Elder Rae is staying here in Chuy so I will get to see him a lot too. He is such a good guy. I will miss a lot of the members here too. They have been really good to me and I hope that I will be able to go to the temple with some of my converts in 1 year from now. I have already said goodbye to most of the families here and it was actually really hard to say goodbye to them all. I love everyone here so much and I am going to miss them. I got such a good feeling though as we prayed with these families. I know that if we keep going strong in the church that one day we can all see each other again in El Reino Celestial.

I am just full of gratitude today for all of the many blessings that I have received in my life. Here I am 20 years old right where I want to be in life. I have the best family ever and I have been able to meet some of the best families here in Uruguay. I am just grateful for everything.

I know that there is still a lot more work to do here in Uruguay and I know that Satan is going to try and hit all of us hard but if we stay firm in the faith he can't do nuthin! Like Dad told me in his e-mail, those who are with us are more than those who are with them.

I love everyone!

Elder Lacey

La Familia Machado


Monday, March 3, 2014

Montevideo Uruguay Temple

Elder Lacey and others at the Montevideo Temple

March 2, 2013

Dear Family,

The mission is the best.

This week we were able to see miracles. First off we found a family that I already love. They live in La Coranilla which is a beach town about half an hour away. We contacted their 24 year old son named Marcos about a month ago but we couldn't get a hold of him on his cell phone so we lost contact with him. The other day I called the zone leaders to verify with them but they didn't answer which is strange. I was just sitting there and I had the thought to call Marcos again. I called and he answered! We went out to his house and we found his whole family there! They are 6 in total and they are the best people ever! We have only had 2 charlas so far but they are reading and praying so I know that they will get an answer to their prayers and become converted to this gospel. They are really sincere and they want to study and ask questions about everything so it might take them a little longer to get baptized because we barely got through a quarter of a lesson in an hour because they liked to ask questions and analyze everything haha! The sad part is that I am pretty sure that I am leaving Chuy this change so I won't be able to be here for their baptisms but we will see.

The next miracle was that we are reactivating this family. About 3 weeks ago we went by this family and they told us that they are never coming back to church ever again and I believed them. They kind of ran us out of their house and I just felt horrible afterwards. The other day Elder Rae felt like we should go visit them just to see how they are doing. (They live out in the boondocks by the way) I thought he was crazy! haha but we went out and everything changed. The members are helping them out and they said that they prayed and decided to change their ways. They were so happy when we went over. I couldn't believe the difference in their home and in their attitudes. We are now helping them to prepare their 9 year old daughter to be baptized. I had lost hope in them and I thought they would never change. Everyone can change! This gospel is for everyone and Jesus Christ will always have his hand extended to help us. An investigator told us the other day that humans can't change. They follow their nature and do what ever they think is good. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is centered around us changing. When we are truly repentant we want to change our desires and we don't want to sin anymore. I learned a valuable lesson, that is, to never lose hope on anyone. Everyone can change.

Everyday we see wickedness in the streets and darkness in peoples eyes.... I am so grateful for the Gospel and the "fast moving train of righteousness" that we have to combat this darkness. I have seen people's eyes change. I have seen the hand of God remove the darkness and wickedness surrounding a person and make that person into a disciple of Jesus Christ, full of light. 

Well, we better go get to work so that Chuy won't turn out like Sodom and Gomorrah haha! We better go make sure that there are at least a few righteous people here.

I love you guys!

Elder Lacey

PS I did get the banner! I love it! I got everything but I haven't opened 2 of the packages yet. I am saving them for my B day :) Thanks for everything!