Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Today I would like to share with you some things that have happened in my

life in the last few weeks. First, let's talk about prayer, and answers to

prayer. Mom, you often comment that you hope I am having spiritual

experiences while I am here in the offices, even though the majority of what

I do is mundane. (Fun Fact: the word for mundane in Spanish is mundano. This

same word also means worldly. Coincidence? I think not.) The answer to your

question is yes. Allow me to share a few with you. The first happened just

this last weekend. As part of my duties here, I am in charge of entering in

all baptismal records from the mission. I use a system called CDE (Convert

Data Entry) to send the information to the Area Office, where they make it

official in the church records. As I enter them in, I keep of track of how

many I do, to make sure it is the same as the number of baptisms we have

recorded for the month. This month, due to a hectic schedule, I had to enter

the majority of the records in a very short period of time. I had done 7

earlier in the month, and had 95 to do, all on Friday, which was the

deadline so that they would count for the month of September. We have had a

goal of hitting 100 baptisms per month as a mission for quite a while, and

this was the first month we actually met the goal. President Stapley wanted

to be sure that they all got counted (we have had problems in the past)

because he had already told the Area Presidency that we had had 102, and has

a meeting with them in a few weeks. He did not want to have to show up and

say "Oops! We only had 98!" So I was under pressure to make sure that there

were no problems, and all were counted. So after a day of feverish entering,

I emailed my contact in the Area Offices asking him how many baptisms showed

up in his system as being entered for our mission. I got his reply, and my

heart sank. We only had 98! I knew that even though these people had been

baptized and would be counted eventually regardless, this was very important

to my Mission President. I emailed him back saying I was confused, because I

was sure I had entered in 102 in total. After sending the email, I went

downstairs into an empty room, knelt, and said a prayer. I was very worried,

knowing that this meant so much to President Stapley. I asked that

everything would work out, and that somehow the numbers would show up that

we had entered in those records. As I finished the prayer, I felt peace. I

knelt thinking about anything I could have missed, or any other solutions,

but all I could think of is that it would be all right, and I just needed to

wait and see. As it turns out, I didn't have long to wait. As I headed

upstairs, I found my new companion, Elder Fitzpatrick in the hall (more

about him later). He just looked at me and said, "We have 102." I knew that

my prayer had been answered. Even with such a small thing, I know that

Heavenly Father cares about each little problem we have, and wants to help

us. In retrospect, I should have gone and offered a prayer of thanks right

then and there, but instead I waited until my nightly prayer, and expressed

my gratitude to my Heavenly Father, telling him how much I appreciated his

blessings in my life.

The second experience took place over a period of about a week. The week

before General Conference, I listed to an audio recording from Dad. He was

telling me about how he had been investigating what I need to do to get

ready for school when I get home. At one point he mentioned what the overall

tuition would be, noting that it was quite high. He asked if I knew it was

that high (I did) and mused a little on how we would deal with that. I got

the impression from his tone of voice that he wanted to make sure that I

really wanted to choose this school, but that if I did, he would support me

in it. (I don't know if he was actually thinking all that, but it's how I

felt.) That got me to thinking, was I certain that I wanted to go to this

school? Was I willing to sacrifice to stick with my choice. I decided 3 or 4

years ago it seems, that I wanted to go there. I felt right from the moment

I made the decision, and moreover, I haven't wavered in that decision since

making it. But, I realized I was lacking something. For all my certainty, I

had never prayed and counseled with my Heavenly Father (Alma 37:37). So

before, answering back to Dad, I wanted to make sure this was the right

thing. I remembered that General Conference was coming up, and that it

suggested that we go into General Conference weekend with something specific

in mind to find an answer. This, I decided, would be my General Conference

question. I had already made the decision, so all I asked of Heavenly Father

was a confirmation that my decision was correct, or at least acceptable to

Him. I pondered and prayed during the week about this subject, focusing my

studies and thoughts on receiving this confirmation. Now, I didn't want to

be thought a sign-seeker, so I made it clear to Heavenly Father that I would

understand if I didn't receive or recognize His answer during Conference. (I

believe that Heavenly Father likes us to be up front with Him!) When

Conference arrived I listened intently to every talk, waiting and praying

for my confirmation. On Saturday I was uplifted and filled with the Spirit,

but received no recognizable confirmation. During Priesthood session I was

hopeful, since last time they talked a lot about post-mission life. (I

watched it online on Sunday morning, by the way.) During the Sunday morning

session, I was again uplifted, and learned some wonderful principles. I

especially enjoyed President Monson's talk, and his story about the $5 bill.

(I was reminded of that again when I had my previous experience.) At the end

of his talk, he told the story about the Frankfurt Germany temple

dedication, and his experience in being prompted to announce Brother Peter

Mourik as the first speaker. I was instantly and completely zoned in on his

talk. I was strange, like I needed to pay more attention to this than just

the fact that it was about my patriarch. As he told the story, it made me

think briefly on my Patriarchal Blessing. It mentions my schooling, but

nothing too specific. It hints at the type of school I would attend, but

nothing more. It didn't seem enough to confirm my choice. As President

Monson finished that story, he concluded with the following: "Following the

session, Brother Mourik and I discussed that which had taken place prior to

his opportunity to speak. I have pondered the inspiration which came that

day not only to me but also to Peter Mourik. That remarkable experience has

provided an undeniable witness to me of the importance of being worthy to

receive such inspiration and then trusting it-and following it-when it

comes. I know without question that the Lord intended for those who were

present at that session of the Frankfurt Temple dedication to hear the

powerful, touching testimony of His servant Brother Peter Mourik." I

remained thinking about what he had said until he closed his talk. I could

feel the Spirit, and knew there was something special about what I had just

heard. In that brief interval between when I closed my eyes, into my mind

came 3 distinct thoughts. Number one, I felt that Peter Mourik was a worthy

servant of God, entitled to, and receptive of revelation. Number two,

(having to do with the first), I received a confirmation that my patriarchal

blessing was indeed direct revelation from my Heavenly Father. And number 3

(seemingly connected by the thinnest of threads to the first two, but just

as clear in my mind) that my decision on where to go to school was

acceptable before the Lord. It was a very soft, very simple thought, but

just as clear as it was soft.

So, with that in mind, Dad, let's go full force in getting everything set up

for Collins College.

I was going to write more about a few other things, but I have to run so

this will have to suffice.

Expect more soon.


Elder Scoty Stobbe

Monday, October 3, 2011

*this letter is a few weeks old but it got mixed up and we didn't realize it hadn't been posted...


Well, this week was a little break in the routine. It has been really fun,

but I haven´t gotten as much work done as I would have liked.

On Monday, we had a zone activity. About two transfers ago, we were

instructed by the Area Presidency that when district meetings are held, we

should not meet with the whole zone. (Before the whole zone went to the same

church and met together for "opening exercises" before separating into

districts.) It was nice because we were able to see other missionaries in

our zone on a regular basis. Now that they are separated, we only see the

other missionaries in our zone twice a transfer. Once for a zone activity,

and once for Zone Conferences/Interviews. Two weeks ago, our Zone Leaders

challenged the zone to take out 20 new baptismal dates in the next two

weeks. If we reached the goal, we could have a Zone Activity. (Another new

rule is that to have an activity with the whole zone, the Mission President

has to be there, so it is a semi-special occasion.) Well, we reached 22 new

baptismal dates in that time period. Unfortunately, Elder Meza and I weren't

able to take out any. We have very few investigators, and the one were

planning on challenging to be baptized (Gustavo) kinda disappeared recently.

And so it was that on Monday our whole zone came to the church where the

offices are, and we played soccer, basketball, football and had an asado

(like a barbecue). I got to see a lot of my friends and got to actually see

and meet my whole zone. I hadn't played basketball in a few months, so that

was really fun! After, I felt better physically than I have in a while. I

think it was the endorphins from exercising a little. All in all, it was a

fun day.

The next day was the day that Dan Woolley went home. He was here for about 2

months. To thank him for all of his work that he did here, we went out to

dinner. It was President and Hermana Stapley, Elder and Hermana Jones, the

Assistants, Dan, and us. We went to a place called La Quintana. It is pretty

nice compared to most places in Argentina. So we ate and talked and had a

good time. It was a great experience to be surrounded by so many great minds

(President, E. Jones, Dan) they are all very smart well educated. Also, the

FIBA America was on, so I got to see a few snippets of that as well. As far

as I can tell, Argentina has been doing pretty well.

Yesterday, we went down to the coast to do inspections of the penches. We

had to leave here at 4:30 in the morning, and got back about 7:00 at night.

It was a lot of driving, but it is always fun to visit the coast. We went to

the beach like last time, and I at least touched the water. It was really

cold! The last time we went the water was nice, but we are just on the tail

end of winter here so it makes sense. It was a warm day yesterday and

everything is a lot nicer down in the coast. It felt like a cross between

Oregon and St. George. We visited E. Allen and his zone right after their

district meeting (they are the only zone that meets all together), went to

eat at McDonald´s, and practices Spanish with E. Jones. It was an enjoyable


We found out when we got back that the Assistants' truck had gotten robbed.

Someone broke the passenger side window, stole the GPS, and slit one of the

tires. They had had to leave the truck out on the street instead of bringing

in to the parking lot because the power was out and they couldn't open the

electric gate to get in. So when they went to leave yesterday they found it

like that. The tire didn't actually go flat until later in the night, when

they were back here, and we all went to leave and realized the truck look

really tilted, and E. Meza saw the flat tire. They didn't have the key to

get at the spare tire, so they came and stayed with us last night. It was a

difficult day for them to say the least.

Dad, I did get the audio files, and they worked great! I am working on a

recording to send back. I loved hearing all the cool stuff! And I would love

to receive more. It is easy to get them and listen to them.

How are things going with Mawhinney? How are things economically in general?

Are you planning another move soon? It seems like it has been way to long

without our family moving! haha.

Mom, for my birthday I would like you to use all of your motherly skills and

make it how you think best. I don't know if you already sent the package? uh

oh. I can give a few suggestions if not: Obviously, I love chocolate.

Hershey´s kisses don´t hold up to well during the trip, so we'll avoid

those. Red Vines, Werthers, Life Savers (Wint-O-Mint), Bit-O-Honey, Tootsie

Rolls (I am good on gum! see the picture). Anything else you want to send!

Pictures and notes/letters would be better than all the candy combined. If

you can find those scripture markers, or something similar, could you send

me some?

Let me know if there is something I forgot to answer or mention, or that you

want to know.

I love you!

Elder Meza and I
Scripture Markers