Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stacie's email December 31, 2014 - With Pictures!

 Hermana Townley and Hermana Bringhurst

Hello my dear friends and family!!

Where do I begin?! This week has been a crazy one with a lot of ups and downs, which is pretty normal right? Christmas was amazing, like everyone said it would be. I feel like I learned a lot about my Savior and the amazing gift that He is for the whole world! I felt for the first time an anxious urgency to get this message out to the people of Tucson, everyone needs it and everyone deserves to know about the incomprehensible love that our Father in Heaven has for all of His children. I also thought a lot about Mary this season. I imagine the heavy responsibility that she had, being the mother of the Savior of the World. Can you imagine bearing that kind of burden? She must have been incredible.

It was after I sent my last email that I really started feeling the Christmas spirit. A group of Elders invited Hermana Bringhurst and me to go caroling to all of the poor workers that were cooking food for us and cleaning our bathrooms. We love the people that work here, so it was really great to make their day! 

Are schedule is pretty crazy. We get about four hours a day to do personal studies, about an hour to do companion study, and the rest of the time is spent in class learning language and Gospel principles. We take turns practicing lessons on each other and our teachers. Then we have devotionals at night, which is usually my favorite part of the day.

I joined the choir last week, which has been so fun. It takes my mind a little bit off the work, helps me to relax and just feel the spirit. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed to sing until I came here. My companion is really great at the piano so sometimes I'll let her practice while I write in my journal. Everybody's happy :)

Yesterday they made us move across campus, probably from the influx of new missionaries coming in today. But they moved us into an Elders neighborhood, and the house was designed specifically for tall young men, which means I have to stand on my tippy toes to look at myself in the mirror when I get ready, and I can't reach a few of the cupboards or shower head. Oh and the bunk bed doesn't have a ladder. Haha, it's been an adjustment. 

I feel like my head is ready to explode from all of the things I've had to learn this week. I'm starting to be able to speak, I can sort of conjugate verbs now so I'm slow, but I'm able to communicate.  It's amazing how much you can learn in one day, I had no idea. We are teaching a guy named Mario now, he is an investigator who has active grandparents and an inactive mother. He's already taken a few lessons from other missionaries, but he really shies away from the topic of baptism. We've only taught him once, but Hermana Bringhurst and I decided to only bring a few note cards with us, and try to best teach with the spirit. We were so nervous about not being able to understand or communicate our message because he doesn't know any English, my companion accidentally introduced herself as Hermana Townley, and I didn't even pick up on it until I introduced myself as Hermana Townley as was a very awkward first few moments with Mario haha. It was a great lesson though, we learned a lot about him and have been praying to know the direction we should go for our lesson tonight. 

Last week I prayed to be able to realize when I was doing things that weren't in accordance with the spirit. What a wake up call I got. God definitely answered my prayer, it seems like ever since, He's been alerting me and chastising me in very loving ways for doing things that I didn't even realize might not be very Christlike. I keep going back to the blessing I received when I got set apart, and I can really feel Heavenly Father shaping me into the person that I need to become. 

I've also had many personal experiences that have completely confirmed my faith in this work. I've only been here for two weeks and it's amazing to feel my testimony grow so much so fast! Jesus Christ lives, He is my friend and I feel His presence with me constantly! I wish that for everyone!
Thank you all so much for your letters, I really love hearing from you!  I love you all so much, and I'm already looking forward to hearing from you next week :)  Have a Happy New Year everyone! 

Hermana​ Stacie Morgan Townley

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Stacie's email December 24, 2014

Hello friends and family!

So Mexico is....different. I got off the plane and noticed that even inside the airport smelled like sewer. There were at least 30 other missionaries traveling with me, so I never felt alone. When we landed in Mexico, we spent about an hour trying to find our escort haha. There were about 50 of us wandering around the Mexico City Airport with heavy luggage not knowing who to call or what to do, it was quite the sight, I'm sure!

The food here is SOOO good! They give us pizza every Tuesday and Sunday, but otherwise it is pretty authentic Mexican food.

I do have a camera, however, I found out early on that I left the charger for it back at home :( My companion Hermana Bringhurst has a camera though and she promised to send me pictures for you guys!  Can you believe the coincidence Sarah? Oh and she's from St. George! I was shocked when I found out the name of my companion, I definitely felt like it was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father letting me know that He is mindful of me, even with the little things.

Yes, the water here is safe and I'm not going to get a parasite! The CCM, or MTC but they have a spanish name for it, has it's own water well that has been tested several's always a little brown in color and tastes like grass. They have plenty of filtered water though that they import from somewhere else, so that's normally what I drink. We get hot showers too, which is something that I really wasn't's so nice!

The weather here has been awesome! I normally have to wear a light sweater in the morning but it gets too warm for that later in the day. Have you guys had any snow in Utah yet? It really doesn't feel like Christmas at all here, it's way too warm to really get in the mood!

This first week was amazing, but very difficult. The teachers here don't know English very well so all of my Gospel discussions are taught in Spanish. It kinda forces you to learn, otherwise you sit there without a clue about what's going on. I was very surprised with how much I could learn in one day! In just a week, I feel pretty confident that I could listen to a conversation in Spanish and understand what they are saying. I can't speak it still though. Actually speaking is the hard part. I have faith that I'll be able to do it eventually, I just have to be patient with myself.

I'd heard horror stories about the MTC before I came here, I'd heard that they make you teach a real investigator on only the second day...they were right! My investigator's name is Ivan. His dad is a pastor for a non-denominational Christian church and his mom is a stalwart Catholic. He says they have a lot of religious conflictions in his family and it confuses him. He sells religious books for a living, and says that hé's been searching and searching for the truth...he doesn't believe any other church baptizes correctly. He doesn't speak any English, so teaching him was a challenge. I've given him three lessons since, and I think they went pretty well.

The first time I taught him though, he was asking me about my family. I must have gotten a big head before I went in, so I confidently stated that I had six "hombres". He started cracking up, and I didn't understand why until afterwards when I found out that "hombres" meant men, not sisters. Hahah I never corrected it with him, hopefully he realized it was a mistake in my speech. Anyway, he thinks I'm hilarious because the next time that I taught him, I asked him to pray on his ears! Obviously I need to make a devoted study to body parts this week!

My favorite thing to do here is sing. We sing a lot of hymns, always in Spanish. Whenever one missionary starts singing, many others automatically join in. My district starts of every study period with a song and a group prayer. We are putting together a really pretty song for the Christmas Devotional tonight, I'm so excited for it :) I have a pretty wild and rowdy district, which makes it really hard to concentrate on my studying sometimes, but the Elders in my district can sure make me laugh! 

I've made a lot of friends here, but I really miss all of you back home! Please write me, I love getting your email and letters, it really makes my day. I hope to hear from you soon! I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful Christmas Eve!!!

Sister Stacie Morgan Townley 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Stacie's first email from the Mexico MTC December 19, 2014!

Hola friends and family! 
I arrived in Mexico safely and will be in touch with you guys every Wednesday that I am here at the MTC.  I will be leaving the MTC on February 2.  I am so excited to be serving with Hermana Bringhurst as my companion.  
Love you guys with all my heart. You will be in my thoughts and prayers constantly.  Until Wednesday, Adios!!! 

Sister Stacie Morgan Townley

Wednesday, December 10, 2014