Tuesday, May 27, 2014

One Year on the Mission

Elder Lacey companions with Elder Bastidas

May 26, 2014

Dear Family,

I am officially one year old now! It is crazy how fast time has gone by. I have learned so many things and have met so many people. It is funny to think that one year ago I didn't know Spanish, I had never read all the way through Preach My Gospel, and I thought that eating 3 meals a day was normal haha! I am so glad that I am out here doing work for the Lord. The mission really is the best 2 years. 

Thanks for all of the pics! It is awesome to see how much all of the kids are growing up. Say hi to everyone for me! I also received 2 letters from you this week! It gives me such a boost to hear about all that is happening and to hear your testimonies. Thanks for updating the blog and what not. I hope everyone enjoys reading it. I apologize for my lack of creative writing skillz.

President Cook is awesome! He is always directed by the spirit and he connects with all of the missionaries really well. He always cares about every single one of us and he has put some good goals to help us. His wife is really funny too, just like Pres. Cook. They both have a great sense of humor.  She studied health or something like that in college and so she is always teaching us about things that we can do so that we can be physically ready for the challenges of the mission. I feel like I am eating a lot healthier now. But our mission is doing really well and all of the missionaries are excited to work. 

Elder Bastidas and I had an awesome week this week and the zone did as well. Antonella is going to get baptized the 31! we are so excited for her and the ward is really pumped too. I can feel a change in the ward here. Last night we had a noche de hogar (FHE) in the house of our Ward Mission Leader and there were 25 people there including Juan Lucas, Antonella and Beatriz. It was a really good experience and I feel like our ward is progressing pretty well. Our Ward Mission Leader is a boss!! (meaning awesome) and I really feel like Lucas and Juan are giving a lot of energy to everyone. I think we had 9 young men in church yesterday which is almost unheard of down here. It is getting me pumped just thinking about all of the possibilities that are opening up. 

Yesterday we had a Stake Priesthood Conference and it was sweeeeet. I keep learning so much about how the church works and it is a testimony builder to see how perfect the organization of the church is. Sometimes I want to be a normal member so that I can help in other ways! haha Sometimes the members don't realize how much they can help in the missionary work and in helping other members. The stake president talked about the 3 keys in the church: preaching the gospel to non-members, members, and those who are dead. In stake conferences the 3 keys are usually together: Mission President, Stake President, and Temple President. I was thinking about you guys and it is interesting that you may not have such a big opportunity to share the gospel with others who aren't members because you live in Utah now but you have a huge opportunity to help perfect the saints and do temple work. We all have some work to do.

Thank you for sharing what you are learning about prayer. I have been looking for ways to improve my prayers because as missionaries we are praying constantly but sometimes we pray so much that it can get a little repetitive which I want to avoid. So thank you for that.

I love everybody! See you guys in a year!


Elder Lacey

(I forget to post letters from Elder Lacey to Mike but here is the one from this week)

Dear Dad,

It is interesting what you were talking about in your email because I gave the gospel principels class on Sunday and it was on work and responsibilty. God and Jesus are still working for us......That means that we are going to be working for ever! haha So we talked about how we can learn to love our work no matter what we are doing. I have come to learn that happiness is more of an attitude then anything else. If we have a good attitude towards our work then we will progress and be happy. Here in the misison I have met people who are well off and are happy, I have met people who are well off and are not happy and I have met people who don't do anything and they are NEVER happy! It is interesting to think about.

When I get back from the mission I want to do everything I can to develop my talents to keep helping the work of the Lord. I agree completly with you that it is perfectly fine to want to have success in sports, school and work but we need to have our eyes on the final prize. La vida eterna baby! 

Thanks for your love and for your wisdom!


Elder Lacey

Monday, May 19, 2014

Baptism of Lucas and Juan

Elder Lacey and Elder Bastidas baptism of Juan and Lucas

May 12, 2014

Dear Mom,

I was going to tell you Happy Mothers Day but I never got the chance since we got cut off too soon! Sooooo....HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! :) You are the best mom ever. Thank you so much for devoting so much time to raising all of us. I am so blessed to have you and Dad as parents. 

That is so awesome that you were able to share a book of mormon on the boat! You are always looking for ways to share this light with others. Maybe Dad can just baptize her right there in the ocean! haha I hope that you get a chance to help out with that lady's daughter. 

It was really good to talk to you yesterday even though it was only for 20 minutes. You both always inspire me to do my best and to remember about the important things in life. That is really cool that you were able to talk to Elder Vorwaller and hear all of his crazy stories haha It is awesome that you have been able to talk to a ton of my comps. I was also able to see the family of Elder Pike. His mom told me that you guys have been emailing back and forth. They seem like a really good family. Elder Pike is super good at singing so I have been trying to learn a little bit. We actually don't sound to bad! haha It is funny because Elder Pike looks a lot like Sean Farley!

The mission is going really well. I forgot to tell you that on Saturday that Elder Bastidas and I had 7 baptisimal interviews to do so we were pretty busy. Our zone is working hard and we are happy. But there are 2 things that I need help with. 1) In Chuy I ate Granola for days because it is pretty cheap and super good but I got addicted! How do you make homeade granola? We have a lot of oatmeal here and we can get honey but could you email me the recipe please? :) 2) The inserts to one of the pairs of my shoes are pretty destroyed but I remember that MR. Mac said that they can send more inserts pretty easy. They are the shoes that arn't the Eccos. I can't remember what they are called. It isn't super urgent but here in a few months I will need some new ones. Thanks! 

Anyway, I hope you guys have fun on the cruise! make sure to take lots of pìctures. I am so happy that I am here in Uruguay and I am so happy that I am doing the Lords work!


Elder Lacey

(When we talked with Daniel on Mother's Day, he related a story about the baptism he had that day.  Juan and Lucas ages 13 and 11 were baptized and many of their non-member family came to the baptism. Daniel was so emotional telling the story he could hardly get it out, but anyway Lucas and Juan bore testimonies after their baptisms that as Daniel put it, "out of the mouths of babes" came powerful witnesses of the reality of the Savior. Daniel said that especially Lucas, the 11 year old, gave a testimony that sounded like and adult. He said they will probably baptize many more because of the great influence of these young men.)

May 19, 2014

Dear Mom,

Sounds like you guys had a blast in Tahiti! The pictures look awesome! Maybe we will have to make a return trip in about a year and a week ;) That is to bad that you stepped on that sea urchin, but I guess you need to feel the pain to know the good or something like that. 

Anyway, that is really cool that you guys got to meet so many Mormons out in Tahiti and that you got to see so many cool things. To bad that I am having a  better time! :) Things are going great down here. Some of the family of Lucas and Juan came to their confirmation and so we are hoping for some good things to come from that. The Stake President is really good friends with a lot of their family and the Stake President’s son is now good friends with Juan and Lucas. All of the members are really excited about them too. If we could convert the rest of their family it would help all of 33 a ton! So please pray for all of them. 

Yesterday we had a noche de hogar (Family Home Evening) with one of the aunts of Juan and Lucas (Antonella) in the house of our Ward Mission Leader. There were a lot of people there and we watched Hallando Fe en Cristo (Finding Faith in Christ) Like always there were some small technical problems with the DVD but the spirit was really strong and everyone loved it. We had to leave right after the movie and run to our house so we could get home at 8 because it was Sunday so we didn't get the chance to read a scripture or bare our testimonies after. I was super disappointed because I felt the spirit really strongly and I just wanted to drop the testimony on our investigators but I know that the Lord will bless us for being obedient to his commandments. But I invite you guys to watch that movie because it is awesome. My testimony of Jesus Christ grows every time I watch it.

So what are you guys going to do this summer? It is so weird because I feel like it is about time for Thanksgiving down here haha! It is getting a bit nippy.

I love the Mission

Hugs for everyone!       


Elder Lacey

Monday, May 5, 2014

Juan and Lucas

May 5, 2014

Dear Family,

Another good week here in Uruguay. We have been working really hard and we are seeing some really good things here in the zone.  Elder Bastidas and I  have been working with 2 jovenes (young boys) that are legit! Juan is 13 and Lucas is 11 about to turn 12. Juan reminds me of Luke a ton! They are both so excited to get baptized and they both want to go on missions. I taught Juan how to throw a football the other day and now he wants to play football haha! We are also working with the rest of their family but Juan and Lucas are going to get baptized this Sunday. The other day Lucas asked us if we could have the charlas in the house of a member who doesn't go to church so that way they could help someone else come to church! They just keep blowing our minds with how prepared they are. Yesterday they showed up to church with a shirt and tie and we didn't even tell them about that! They are a really good example to their family and I don't doubt that soon the others will get baptized too. It is really cool to see such young kids make such good decisions. I bet Luke would be really good friends with them.

I am pumped for the 11th! I think right now I had Skyped planned for 6 p.m. our time. Does that work for you guys? I can't believe that you guys are going to be in Tahiti! haha Are just you and Dad going? Have fun!

The mission is going really well. President Cook is doing some really cool things and I feel like all the missionaries are working really hard. It is such an awesome experience to work with all of these missionaries that are all so pumped up. The other day we had a zone conference where we talked a lot about metas (goals). I loved the quote that you sent me because I tied it together with what we taught about metas. We have goals to help us reach our potential and when we set goals with the spirit, with the Lord's help we can reach those goals. But sometimes we fall. We don't accomplish everything that we wanted to achieve. But that is why the gospel is so awesome! We have the opportunity to start over! We can make new goals, have a new mindset and keep moving forward through the help of Jesus Christ. We can accomplish everything through the atonement of Jesus Christ and one day we can be perfect. 

I am glad to hear that everyone is doing well! Tell Sarah Happy B-day for me! I sent her a letter but it will probably get there in like 2 weeks. And Sam's B-day letter will probably be late too......oops! But buy him some ice cream and he'll get over it :) 

See you on Sunday!


Elder Lacey