Sunday, June 26, 2016

Always recognize the Lord's hand in your life

June 22,  2016


I'm doing alright, this week has been strange. First of all, I was sick for like 4 days straight, not being able to do anything. I was extremely dizzy. I couldn't even walk or I would fall over. The missionary doctor in Santiago came over to our house and he gave me some medications that have been great. So now I'm pretty much over it but I'm still a little dizzy. It was really weird. I hate being sick, I feel like it's the worst thing ever hah. It does really make you appreciate health though.  There were transfers, and I'm still in the same ward but my companion left. Now I'm with Elder Brown, from Colorado. I already lived with him, they just had to take two of the missionaries out of the ward so now we are the only two in the ward, and my sector is now twice as big. It is a bitter sweet moment but it will definitely be awesome to be back home, not going to lie.

Haha, I pretty much knew already that you would be fine. I'm glad though that you put all trust into the Lord, he will always be an amazing guy if we let him work miracles in our lives. Haha, so it sounds like we have been sick together. That is an extremely long surgery. At least it all went well.

Haha mom, you're always talkative so it doesn't surprise me that you jabbered after your surgery so much. I don't really understand much of what you are talking about. Remember that I still haven't studied any medical things yet haha. So pretty much all that I have gotten out of that is that you beat cancer. Look at you, one of the survivors haha.

You could listen to the sacrament?? That's pretty cool, didn't know you could do that. It must be pretty cool to be Mormon. If i wasn't Mormon, I would want to be just so I could be that cool haha. There are a lot of great people in our ward. I'm glad that you have been able to recognize the Lord's hand in your life. Keep looking for it for the rest of your life, and you'll be extremely blessed.

I'll keep working hard mom haha. There are no plans to slow down. That wouldn't be enduring to the end. I feel like there really isn't that much to say anymore. I have just over a month left, I feel like that came up really fast. I'm pretty excited for the new president to come, even though I'm obviously really going to miss President Cook. Apparently we might have a little mission reunion at the end of August. So that will be awesome. Well it's a little short this week but I will be seeing you soon. So have a great week and I love you too!

Elder Stam

Just go and do!

June 15, 2016


Well you're unconscious right now, but I'll still write you haha. Hah, that sounds like a weird injection you had. Well if you are feeling just peace like that then you are receiving it from the Holy Ghost. I'm almost positive that everything is going to go well. Dad already gave me a little update that everything has gone perfect up to now.

That's the challenging part of the gospel, knowing or finding out what God wants you go do. I think that way too many people struggle with it. But in the end, we always make good choices if it is the same choice God would make. Something that I have learned here in the mission is how the Spirit works. I still don't know very well, but I have a little bit of an idea. From what I have been able to tell, you obviously have to pray for guidance, then you just need to go and do what you're supposed to do. And then the Spirit will tell you in the very moment what to do, where to go, what to say, etc. I always thought that if you just pray and pray and pray that he would tell you when you finish praying, but it's not really like that. Like the scriptures say, open your mouth and it will be filled. If you dedicate your life to Christ, you'll be much happier than you could ever think.

You'll have drains in you? What is that going to do? And how knows? Maybe you could have some crazy vision or something like that in your surgery haha ;) Well don't ever forget that, that's obviously a testimony to you that the church is true when you have visitors from the other side to comfort you.  So pretty much according to your faith I can tell that everything is going to be just fine.

Yeah my birthday was pretty good, nothing to complain about. My week was good though, the sector is becoming really hard for some reason, but good, maybe I need a test of my faith. Her name is Cecilia Perez. It took her a while for her to get baptized but finally she did, so that makes me happy and she wanted me to baptize her. Yesterday we had like a little goodbye for President Cook and it was amazing, definitely one of the most spiritual moments I've had. He's just such an amazing guy. I'm extremely grateful for everything that I've learned from him. Hopefully this new president will be just as good.   It's also a pretty hard time of year because everyone complains about the cold and never wants to leave their houses to answer the door. It's amazing how lazy the people are. You guys would love a mission. At least in this mission the couple missionaries are super happy with the work they have. And you would get to choose what place you could go to. You could go back to Holland if you wanted.

So funny story, on my birthday we were eating at these members houses and he was talking about his mission. It turns out that him and Cody served in the same mission and at the same time. They knew each other a little bit, I don't know how much, but here's a picture of him and a note that Cody wrote him. Hopefully Cody remembers him.

So hopefully everything goes well in your surgery, I'll keep a prayer in my heart for you. Have a great week getting better!

Love, Elder Stam

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Just count your many blessings.

June 8, 2016


Haha, you're welcome mom. God tests people just to see how they respond, so it makes a world of difference to respond well to afflictions instead of responding bad. So yeah, I'll keep praying for you, you have nothing to worry about. I'm glad that you have been feeling well, don't let Satan's designs get to you, he just wants you to be miserable.

Oh wow, you'll be in the hospsital a long time. Hey at least they will treat you better because you are a nurse. Haha if they do something wrong you can reprend them. Haha well that's almost a blessing that you get two months off work. Add that blessing to the list of many.  Haha oh gosh mom you're getting so old. You'll definitely have to send me a picture of you using a walker, I'll get a great kick out of it ;) It's also a big blessing all of the medical knowledge that the world has now. If this kind of thing would have happened a hundred years ago, there would have been a lot more problems. So just count your many blessings.

Things are going well in the mission. A little surprise happened this week, and one of the investigators that I taught in Los Cristales got baptized and she wanted me to baptize her!  So I got to go back to the sector to baptize her. It was really nice to see the people there, they're amazing. In this area things have been alright, a little slow. This week though we did find a whole bunch of new people to teach, so it's picking up a little bit. We have been talking a lot about the new mission president, who will be here in about two weeks. I think that he is also going to be a great president. I don't really know him yet so I couldn't tell you much, but for a reason he is coming here. Our church building isn't in the best of places so not a whole lot of people went to the open house, but we did end up getting about 20 references from it. I think that the next time they do it, they should do it a Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday night when it's already dark. So we have also been talking about doing another one in a couple of months. We live on the corner of El Refugio and La MontaƱa, in San Bernardo, if you want to look it up on Google maps. It's a house. Not the best place in the whole world to live but I'm not going to complain. I've seen worse haha. Yes, I got my package yesterday, so don't worry haha. Thanks for all the stuff haha, I'm definitely going to use the air horns to wake up my companion if he doesn't get up haha. 20 years old, that seems so old to me. And Josh is turning 30 haha. We're all getting old.

Well I said that I would eat unhealthy for like a month, just to enjoy all the food that I haven't had for the last two years, and then I'll start eating healthy again. So what exactly could I do for work there at college? I definitely don't want a minimum wage job, that's not even worth it. Maybe summers I could just keep lifeguarding, or maybe find a job where I can earn a little bit more money. I guess we will see.

My mind absolutely blows every time you tell me that someone else got a mission call. Luke seemed so young to me haha and he's already going on a mission?? Family is pretty great isn't it? Our church is definitely the only church that has the full perspective of eternal families. Well thanks for the email again mom, I hope that you have a great week and that everything goes well in your surgery.

Elder Stam

**Email to Darren

Dear Dad,

God is usually nice like that, helping when it's needed.  Just make sure that you give him the thanks for it haha.

Wow, the tomatoes are already three feet tall? They did really take off. Haha perfect, I'll be home for the potatoes. The peanuts take a lot longer to grow than I thought.

So they're doing trek again huh? It was a pretty fun experience for me, definitely not what I expected it to be. So is that the actual trail that they came on? Mom would definitely like it, she likes things like that. So you take care of all the money stuff in the stake right?

Haha that soulds like typical mom. Everytime something happens, she always searches everything she can about it. And she spends several hours doing it. It kind of amazed me haha. There's a guy in our ward here that also just started doing chemotherapy and he seems to be doing really well. He's been doing it for about a month now and he hasn't had any physical difference or energy loss at all. And he hasn't lost any hair yet haha. So I don't think mom really has a whole lot to worry about if she has to do it. 

These last couple months have actually been pretty hard. I can definitely tell a difference in the people here from my training and now. It almost seems like everyone now knows the missionaries and doesn't really want to talk to them. So things have been getting harder in the whole mission. But I guess that the only thing we can do is keep working, even though it's a little harder now. This week though we did find quite a few new people, which is good. Hopefully things start picking up a little bit before I go home.

Completely true what you just said about trials helping us to grow. Well thanks for the support and the email, I hope that you have a great week!

Elder Stam

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Trust in the Lord and He will deliver us from all trial and affliction.

June 1, 2016

Mom and Dad,   

Well mom, you don't have anything to worry about. Everything that is happening is the will of the Lord. It's understandable to be a scared, but please don't doubt. I think that one thing that I have learned most in my mission is what faith really is. It's a pretty complicated subject, but the best way that we can show our faith in the Lord is being obedient to His commandments. Like Christ and the other prophets have said several times in the scriptures, If ye love me, keep my commandments. It also reminds me of what Elder Jeffrey R Holland taught. Our first big commandment is to love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, but the first big truth of the gospel is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. One of my favorite scriptures that has really impacted me recently is in 1 John 4:7-10. I was also reading in Doctrine and Covenants yesterday morning and I came across a scripture in section 63, I don't remember what verse exactly, but it was talking about the last days when God will send plagues, sicknesses, there will be wars and rumors of wars and all of that stuff. The scriptures said that the saints of God would barely escape all of that stuff. Then I read a quote from Joseph Smith that talked about that scripture. He said that there will be sicknesses and plagues and all of that stuff that will also affect the saints. But then he said that they have to reason to worry, because God will deliver them and exalt them. So all that you can do mom and the rest of the family is trust in the Lord, sacrifice our lives to His cause, and then without doubt he will deliver us from all trial and affliction that we have. God loves us, that is the first simple truth, and the absolute best way that we can show our love to God is to obey Him, and keep the covenants that we have made with Him in the temple. I am currently reading in Genesis, and I also really liked the story about where God commanded him to sacrifice his son. Imagine that. God had already promised Abraham that through his son Isaac, he would have a posterity as numberless and the grains of sand, that every family of the earth would be blessed through him, and several other blessings through him. Then he command Abraham to sacrifice him, nulling and voiding the covenant that God made with him. And not to mention that he is his son. Imagine the feelings that he had as he had to go up the mountain to sacrifice his son, his beating heart as his son asked him where the lamb was that they were going to sacrifice, and the tears going down his face as he tied down his son and most likely kissed him for the last time. He raised the knife and then the angel came down and stopped him. Abraham proved himself to the Lord with a faith so big, that he would be obedient in all things, and the blessings that Abraham were practically infinite. And now he's been exalted and is living with God. So I think that we all need to try and find the same faith that Abraham had, and there's no room to doubt that everything will be fine.

So just trust in the Lord. It's in His hands. There's practically nothing we can do about it except pray and show our faith to the Lord. You'll learn some great story from all this though, we all know that. If there is anything that you need to me know, just send an email to President Cook and I know that he will let me know.

Things are going pretty good in this area. We've been doing a few contacts and looking for a bunch of references, because there was just recently an open house at the church here and we received a lot of references, and we've found quite a few new people that are interested. That's one thing that we're focusing a lot on, finding the inactive members, if they still live in the sector or if they have moved away. It's a pretty important thing to take care of the Lord's fold, because if we can't take care of what we have, he will never add to it. I'm assuming that the package will be here in another week or two. It usually takes almost a month to get here. Haha, I couldn't have said that better myself. It is a pretty stupid quest for the possessions of the world. I have a few ideas about my homecoming talk, so don't worry about that :) I'm looking forward to that jam.

I also want to plan to eat healthy after the mission. I think that I might take like a month and eat pretty bad but after I want to try and eat nice and try and get my swimmer body back haha. I was talking about the Church using technology yesterday with my companion a little. I said that I think the church should start doing things a little big differently for general conference, it gets pretty hard to just sit there and watch a guy speak for 10 hours. I think that they should start using more videos or other stuff like that and really take advantage of the technology that the world has now. I think that it would be a pretty big possibility to come home every other weekend or something like that. I guess we will see how things are when I'm actually there, I don't know what it will be like yet. The best thing might have been my studies. I'm really trying to take advantage of the gospel studies from now until the end of my mission because I realize that after the mission I'm probably never going to have the same amount of time to study the gospel. I've been reading a lot out of D.&C. and the Old Testament.

I'm not really too worried about anything. God has a purpose behind everything and it is most likely that he won't tell us what it is in this life. Cancer is something that you can't really do anything about. All you can do is have a lot of faith in God and lots of prayers. The rest is in his hands. My patriarchal blessing also says that I need to take care of you guys when you are old, so for that to happen you'll have to live to be pretty old if you need my help. President Cook just told me that it's another reason to give 100% dedication until the end. With sacrifice comes blessing. I don't really have any questions though. If there's anything that you guys think that I should know, just send an email to President Cook and I know that he will let me know. But thanks for all the love, I'll obviously be praying for mom and for the rest of the family. Just stay positive :) When there's doubt, there's no faith. Well I hope that everything goes well with you mom. Just keep your head up. If there's anything you need from me, just let me know. I love you!

Elder Stam

Ton of work to do

May 26, 2016


Things are going well here, I don't have any complaints. Things are going well with my comp also, we get along pretty well. Like I said, a 10:1 ratio actually isn't that bad here. I mean obviously there is still a ton of work to do, that's 630 people that aren't going to church, but there are still a whole bunch that don't live here anymore, but their records are still here. Our mission has focused a lot on finding the people and trying to bring them back, as well as baptising converts. Yeah there are a few people that are progressing, it's been a hard few weeks though, for a big majority of the mission it looks like. People have just like given up. But it's okay, we should never stop working. We're still in the city, the entire mission is in the city, but it's not like city city, with big building and everything. There's no big main roads in our sector so it's pretty tranquil here. The weather has been cooler, it's so much better. I literally don't have to run from shade to shade to protect myself, now I can just walk normally down the street haha. We live in a house now, right next to a small park. I'll send a photo when I have one, I've been bad taking photos lately. It's fun being in a gringo house but we never speak Spanish so it's not the best thing in the whole world. I'll finish strong, don't worry.  I'm going to like this sector for sure, but I don't think that I'm going to learn it very well either. I'm almost positive that me and my companion are going to go home together, or kill each other as we say, so I'm not very motivated to memorize all the street names because my companion already knows all of them haha. I'll be here for just under three months.

Lots of mission stories? haha okay. I don't even know what is usually said in a homecoming talk so you will have to give me a few ideas. I can explain a little more when I'm home, but what they do here is they work to save enough money to go on vacations in the summer, and then they go, quit their jobs, blow all of their money, come back, and find another job and repeat. It's kind of strange. They are more of a live in the moment people. Not like it's a bad thing or anything, it seems to work for them.

The more I think about it the more sense it makes to me to study computers. I'm a fast typer, I'm good with math and science, computers are going to be even more used in the future, and it's such a broad subject that I'm not limited to one option. So we will see. And you're right, I could definitely get the technology for a discount, that would be a blessing haha.

What part of Chile is she from, and does she have any kids? It's funny because I know of some other Chileans that live in Utah. How long has she been there? Ohh you're definitely going to have to same some of the strawberry jam for me. I think that I definitely get to take the most of them ;) haha.

So Oma will probably be moved in a few weeks. I'm positive she will like Utah, it has just a different feeling there. Still no teeth for Jackson, huh? Haha how long does he have to wear that helmet thing?

I hope that you have a great week as well, thanks again for the email.

Elder Stam