Return: July 21, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Hi everyone!
Well this is my last email as a's weird how fast time flies by.  I don't even have my planner to tell you how are week went!  But I will tell you some highlights that I remember.  Charles is really progressing towards baptism.  It has been really neat to see that change in him.  He is really excited and it's great because the ward is going to help him get out of his horrible situation.  It's quite remarkable!  They are going to help him get a place to live and Charles is on the job hunt so YAY!  He won't go back to jail YIPPEE!!!!!  No, it really has been awesome teaching him.  This week he should be meeting with the mission president for his baptismal interview.  He might need First Presidency approval, so I will be anxious to hear how that goes. 
Suzanne is funny.  Every time we go in there, we plan to drop her and she pulls something out of the wood works how she is so ready for baptism!  It's crazy awesome but kind of annoying at the same time. 
We also found a new investigator named Brandi and she is hilarious!  We met with her this week and she doesn't normally pray, but when she prayed this time, she looked up and was like "I forgot your names!  I'm sorry."  And when I said my name, she busted up laughing!  She thought Earl was my first name...a lot of people here think that and they must think my parents are cruel.  Seriously I never thought of Earl as a first name.  Crazy!  But it was way funny.  Brandi is great, and I am really excited for the Sister's to continue to teach her.
Anyway I don't have much time, but I just wanted to email you and let you know how much I love this work.  Being a missionary has been one of the best experiences of my life.  I have never had to push my self so much to be someone better than I am, and it has been hard.  It has been harder than anything I have ever done in my life.  I have never sweat more, been more tired, or cried more in my entire life.  But it was all worth it.  It was worth it to see these remarkable people change their lives for the better and to come closer to Christ through the waters of baptism.  I didn't get to see very many until the end, but still I was looking at it, and a lot of the people I taught decided to get baptized somewhere down the road.  It was really neat to see that.  I love y'all so much and I am so grateful for all the love and support that you gave me throughout my mission.  I am anxious to see you, and I am happy to come home, but I am also sad to go.  It's like being ripped from a world that you come to love again...but hey, I'll be surrounded by those who love me still.  Right?  I hope so!  I love y'all so much, and I will see you on Thursday. 
Sister Stacy Jo Earl
P.S.  Sorry this is short.  We are going to New Orleans because I've never been!  Had to rush.  Sorry!  Love you bye!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

July 5th - Covington, LA - HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!

Hi family and friends!
Yay for finally having a house!  Yay for Andy and Neena setting a date!  Yay for Jeff and Jessie setting a date!  Haha!  It's all so exciting.  Seriously.  Well, we had a much better week than we thought we would.  Ha, it was like...Did that really just happen?  Amazing!  It all started out with Sister Smith and I creating this awesome game that was kind of like a mixture of Jepordy and Cranium but with reviewing what we teach.  We went over to the Browns with Stormi, Dillon, Nadilee and Geric, and we played it!  It was a lot of fun.  The Brown kids were a little competitive, but it was great!  On Tuesday we found out that Paul was going to be able to baptize the kids!  It was awesome!  Paul hadn't been coming to church or anything and wasn't really keeping the Word of Wisdom, but Bishop met with him, and bam!  It all changed.  He was able to baptize his children, and he stood in the circle to confirm each of them, and he is coming to church from now on :D  Amazing right?  Awe!  It was awesome.
On Tuesday we had a great lesson with Charles.  Our recent convert Sunny came with us, and because of her past, they just really connected.  She talked with him about how he can get out of this horrible situation that he is in.  It was really funny.  But it was good.  We think he really respected her.  On Thursday we took some of the Newmans with us to see him, and we talked about the Plan of Salvation, and he really liked it.  Before we came, he randomly read Alma 40-41...he basically taught us the last half of the lesson!  It was pretty sweet.
On Wednesday we went and saw Bettie and watched Together Forever...the cheesiest of all cheese movie.  But when it finished, Bettie said "That was the best movie I have ever seen."  It is a good movie.  Just really cheesy.  Later that night we saw Dustin...Ug.  We talked about the importance of coming to church.  Man that boy will never get his answer with his attitude.  I'm frustrated with him.  I kind of wish I could just punch him and knock some sense into him.
On Friday we saw Paul, Stormi, Dillion, Geric and Nadilee, and it was so cute!  They made us little thank you gifts (stuff just from their room) with a card thanking us for teaching them.  It was cute.  After that we went to go see Suzanne...we were going in there to have an "Ultimatum" Lesson...or as our Zone Leaders described's like the Matrix.  You take the Red Pill, you forget any of this ever happened.  You take the Blue Pill you do this for the rest of your life!  Yeah.  So we went in there thinking we would drop her and she was all gung ho about it all and then we were like okay if she doesn't come to church, we will drop her.  Well she came to church.  We aren't dropping her, but man we sure want to.  She just doesn't feel sincere.  Like it's just a check list to keep's aggravating. 
Saturday was the baptism, and it was beautiful...for reals it was neat to see this little family completed.  Ah!  Awesometown.
Yesterday for 4th of July we went and had dinner with Sunny.  Ha, ha!  That woman is crazy and I love her!  She told us a bunch of stories and fed us Red Beans and Rice and Potato Salad and Ice Cream for dessert!  It was awesome.  We also watched the Joseph Smith movie.  So good!
Anyway, I'm sorry this email is short, but we have to cut it short today because of the fact that it is not Monday.  So I love y'all, and I will email you next Monday!  Hope you have a fantastic week.  Being a missionary is awesome, and I love it.  Okay bye!
Sister Stacy Jo Earl

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 - Covington, LA

Hi family and friends!
We had one crazy week!  On Monday we saw Bettie and then we went and saw Suzanne.  It was crazy.  Ha, on Monday we asked Bettie how her smoking was going, and she said, "If you ask me one more time, I'm going to go and buy a pack of cigarettes."  Ha, she was really grumpy and still kind of is, but she has been smoke free for 8 days, and guess what!  She was baptized Saturday!  Yep.  Bettie was baptized on June 25th.  I never thought that it would happen.  I sent some pictures, and one of them is a picture of her eating bacon.  She once told us that she just LOVED bacon.  So we bought her a package of bacon, cooked it, and gave it to her for her baptismal present!  She loved it, especially since she didn't eat breakfast.  

The other pictures are ones of us with her by the river.  She is so funny.  Later that day, she called us and left a message saying "I feel wonderful."  She said other stuff too, but I can't remember what it is right now.  After she received the gift of the Holy Ghost, it was the same thing.  At her baptism I sang "Walk Tall You're a Daughter of God".  She wanted me to sing that because when we were teaching her in the past, I wrote down the words for her, sang it, and she has loved that song ever since.  She just thinks it is a beautiful song!  And it is.  It was just a really good service.

On Tuesday there was a Relief Society, and guess what!  I learned how to make bows for little girls.  It was fun.  But, on Wednesday we had a really great busy day.  We went and saw Bettie and finalized things for her baptism.  After that we went to see a less active member named Sammie, and wooeee!  That was crazy.  She talks a lot.  There's more too, but I just won't say it.  Later we went to see Stormi, Dillan, Nadilee and Geric.  They are such awesome kids!  They are really excited for their baptism this Saturday, and tonight we are doing a review game at a members home.  It will be fun.  After that, we went to go see a woman named Farrah.  Oh my goodness...she is like the nicest sweetest lady, but she has a lot of anti.  She gave me meringue cookies :D...anyway.  Yeah we went over there, and she took off work that day to do research on the church from the Internet and from this cult book she has.  Yes...we are in there, but we all know that we are not a cult.  That is one of the biggest anti things that I hate the most.   Argh!  But yeah.  We sit down and start with a prayer, and she pulls out a 10 page typed report on questions and concerns she had about the church.  I felt the Spirit a lot in that lesson when we would testify, but she just kept bringing up things about the church that were not true, and she was very nice about it, but it wasn't going anywhere.  It was sad, but hopefully she'll be able to figure out what is true about the church and what isn't and look at it in context...she was awesome.
On Thursday we had a lesson with Charles, and it was a good lesson.  A lot of time when we teach him we have to stand outside, and there are a lot of mosquitoes out at this time of year.  Luckily they all flock to Sister Smith, but unfortunately, some still like me.  So while we were standing outside in Mosquito city out in the country, we taught a wonderful lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  He came to church this Sunday, and it was really neat to see the ward just take him in.  Charles is kind of living like an indentured servant, and he is having a hard time getting out of it.  The ward just reached out to him, and hopefully we will be able to figure out how to help him.  He is very sincere in his search, and he definitely feels the Spirit in our lessons.  At church yesterday we had a lesson on Repentance, and also the talks in Sacrament were on Prayer, and it was really neat to see how he felt about them, and how they touched him.  We will be seeing him tomorrow night, and we are really excited for that lesson.
On Friday we saw Suzanne, and man she was mean that night.  We had a member with us, and Suzanne like lashed out at the member because she was married and would never understand her situation.  It was kind of annoying.  Man.  She frustrates me a bit.  We were about ready to drop her, but she called yesterday and left a message about what she is doing now and that she apologizes, and I guess that was Heavenly Father's way of saying...Nope!  You are not done with her yet.  So we will continue to move forward.
On Saturday we had the baptism, and later that day we met with Dustin.  Man he is still the same.  You can just feel that he knows it is true.  He just doesn't want to tell his mom because he knows it will disappoint her.  She has a lot of anti feelings towards the church...but yeah.  We don't know how to help him get past that. 
But yeah.  Church was amazing.  I love being in this ward and how awesome it is.  I am so grateful for wards that function properly and listen to the prophets counsel.  Man!  It is awesome.  I just want y'all to know that I am so grateful for you.  I am grateful that I have the best family ever, and that you all love and support me.  Thank you for being the best family ever.  I am grateful that I am a missionary and I am grateful to see that mighty change in peoples heart when they accept the gospel and come closer to their Savior Jesus Christ.  I love you all so much.  I hope you have a good rest of your week!
Sister Stacy Jo Earl

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

June 20, 2011 - Covington, LA

HI family and friends!
I can't believe Andy is finally engaged!  Sheesh!  Took him long enough ha, ha!  Nah, but I really am excited for them!  For reals.  Anyway, this week was so good!  On Monday we went to the Conlins for Family Home Evening and our investigators came!  It was really need to have Gerrick, Nadalee and Dyllan there with their mom Stormy.  It was fun.  We did scripture charades and ate some food.  I made some gluten free peanut butter brownies, and they were a hit!  Personally, I think I had made better.  They were kind of mushy, but man, baking with humidity is definitely different!  I swear nothing I make here turns out as good for baking as it did in Utah.  But yeah.  It was a good evening.  After that we went to teach Suzanne, and man.  She has a lot of concerns, and she isn't very open about them.  She's a little depressing too, but it's depressing as she can be, I love her to death.  It really just breaks my heart when she doesn't read, or when she just doesn't do things because she puts other things before God.  I have definitely learned that if you put Heavenly Father first, that all of the other things will just fall into place.  Do what he wants you to do, and it will all work out.  I dunno.  She is an interesting character, and it's going to be a little bit longer road with her.
On Tuesday we went to District Meeting (Our District Leader just had surgery because of kidney stones and was in a little bit of pain as he instructed, but it was a really good lesson), and it was awesome!  We talked about how important it is that we talk to everyone we can about the restored gospel.  It was neat.  After that, we went accused of forcing our religion on someone for asking questions...met Mike, and he is awesome and wants to sort through some anti information that he has heard...and then we met Miss Jeannie.  She is an older woman and we are going to start teaching her!  She is definitely a sweet heart, and I'm excited to start teaching her.  We will be seeing her tomorrow. 
Wednesday we saw Bettie, and she is still headed towards baptism!  Sometimes I'm just worried she is doing it just to get baptized, but she is doing the things she is supposed to do, and she has almost completely quit smoking!  It is crazy awesome.  After that we went and met one of our recent converts Sister Kathy.  She is AMAZING.  Her husband was a less active member, and they made a goal to be an eternal family.  So when they moved here, she started taking the lessons, and because of that she reactivated him.  He received theMelchizedek (I probably spelled that wrong) Priesthood before he died of skin cancer.  She is awesome.  Later that day, we went and saw Stormy and her family.  They are amazing!  And she makes really good red beans and rice...just so you know.  Anyway!  It's fun teaching children.  We decided that we need to teach in a more fun way to keep them focused.  So next time we are going to do some games and visual things with treats.  It'll be good.
On Thursday we were doing our weekly planning session when we got a phone call from Bettie saying she was going crazy and wanted to take us out for lunch.  We were very proud of her because she called us when she wanted a cigarette...she's never done that.  On our way there, I looked out the window and saw Sedonia.  I quickly told Sister Smith to pull over, and it was just a heart breaking experience...I got out of the car and hugged her.  I asked her how she was doing, and she said good and then she immediately asked me for a dollar for some food.  She looked horrible.  I heard that she was back on the streets doin' drugs, but man.  It was sad.  I hope that I don't have to see that again.  There was so much I wanted to say, but it didn't come, and I knew she wouldn't listen. 
Friday we said goodbye to President and Sister Woods.  It was sad.  President talked to be about leaving the past behind and working as hard as you can in the future.  He also asked me if I felt like I was here for someone.  I said for I love that little girl.  They should have been baptized on Saturday.  I think they were, but I'm not quite sure.  But yeah.  We had a really good meeting.  All of the missionaries shared their testimonies, and it was really neat.
On Saturday we went and helped out with an Activity Days Activity and taught the girls about studying the scriptures.  It was cool.  Later that day we went tracting, and we were knocking, and the first house no one answered, the second house a lady who looked crazy and stoned told us we were a false religion, the third house was a Catholic Nun, and the next house we knocked, and the lady said "You Mormons?"  We said yes, and she let us right on in!  We were a little taken back, and she told us that she had been watching that show "Sister Wives"  and wanted to learn more about Mormons.  She realized that polygamy was not apart of us, but she got a book and the word cult was in the title, so you know that their is a lot of anti in there.  But she asked really good questions, and we are going to meet with her again so she can learn more about what we really believe.
Overall it was a really good week.  We are going a little bit crazy planning for Bettie's baptism in the river, but hopefully it will all work out.  I know that Heavenly Father's hand is definitely in this work.  I am so grateful to be serving him at this time.  I know that Heavenly Father love me.  I do.  I know that I am called to be here for 1 more month, and I am going to work as hard as I can to finish my mission strong.  I am grateful for all you do for me.  You amaze me family.  Seriously.  I am so happy for all of the wonderful things that are going on at home, and I hope that y'all have a wonderful rest of your week.  Also, have fun celebrating Father's Day.  I know that I have the best Dad ever, and that I am very grateful for my Heavenly Father as well.  They both help me a lot, and I definitely see my Heavenly Father's hand in this work.  I love y'all.
Sister Stacy Jo Earl

Monday, June 13, 2011

Pictures from Lafayette

June 13, 2011 - Covington, LA

Hi family and friends!
It's me!  Your favorite person in the whole entire world.  Sister Stacy Earl!  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Yeah, I'm basically awesome.  Ha, okay no but seriously.  It has been a good week, but it was harder than I thought it would be to say goodbye to Lafayette. On Tuesday night I went to go say goodbye to Shawndricka's family, and Shawndreia wasn't there.  It was really hard to say bye to her over the phone.  We were both crying really hard.  It was sad.  But there was a lot of good news to be heard by the time I got here to Covington.  Sister Smith informed me that Shai Richard was baptized!  (She was someone I taught in LaPlace.)  Apparently her mom was the reason she didn't get baptized, and when she turned 18, she didn't need her mom's permission any more, so she did it!  Ah, that made me so happy.   She is amazing. 
On Thursday we taught a young man named Dustin.  He is one of the friends of some youth in the ward.  He is REALLY searching.  Man, we are pretty sure he knows it is true, but he is very very scared to tell his mom.  She doesn't like Mormons, and she doesn't even know he is meeting with us.  He is just trying to figure out how to tell her, and he is working to solidify his testimony.  Everyone else in his family has kind of gone away from what she has taught them, and she feels like he is the only hope.  So he doesn't want her to feel like a failure of a mom, so we have been trying to figure out how to help him.
We also taught Gary.  He is a funny old man who is restoring a 100 year old house.  It is a BEAUTIFUL house.  He is also searching, but he lets things get in the way of coming to church, so we are going to have to figure out how to help him overcome that.
Also that night, President Woods came and interviewed a funny lady named Sunny for baptism.  She was baptized on Saturday, and it was beautiful.  She came out of the water and just kept saying "Wow."  Sister Smith later asked her "How do you feel?" And she said, "I feel like I just lost 50 lbs."  It was neat to be able to be apart of her baptism. 
You will never guess who the Sister's started working with again before I got here...Bettie.  Ha, ha!  That is right!  Good ol' Bettie who wants to be baptized in a river!  Yeah apparently last week she went to Stake Conference and told the Sister's that she is ready to set a baptismal date!  Well we went over on Friday, and she seemed bound and determined to get to church, quit smoking, and everything.  She seemed different.  Well, she didn't make it to church, and our teaching appointment with her was on Sunday after church.  We went over there and were very serious, and we talked about the Word of Wisdom, and if this is something that she really wants.  We talked about why missionaries had stopped coming by in the past, and guess what I did...I asked her for her cigarettes...I have never done that before, but it was kind of liberating!  She gave us her cigarettes, ash trays, and what not, and right before we prayed I asked "are you sure there is nothing else?  We are just here to help you."  She said, "Nothin' else."  Then we prayed.  After the prayer she said "Okay I lied to you, there is some in the car."  So it was really neat to see that happen.  We will see on Wednesday how serious she is about it.
On Friday we also taught this woman named Suzanne.  She is a sweetheart.  I am really excited to be able to teach her.  She has depression, and she is really searching and wanting to know if this is true.  I will update you more on her later.
Yesterday was a pretty cool day.  We went and saw a less active/part member family, and we are teaching their children, and they are so cute and funny!  We are seeing them again tonight.  We are going to a family home evening with some members out in Bush, and they are coming, so it should be fun!
We also were able to teach this guy named Charles.  One of the members actually contacted him, and she came out teaching with us, and she was REALLY excited.  She actually just got her mission call to Las Vegas Nevada West!  So she is really excited to get a taste of what it's like.  So yeah.  Charles is awesome and we will see him later this week.  He is in very humble circumstances, and is just a very humble man right now.  But yeah!
I just want y'all to know that I love you so much, and I am so grateful that I am a missionary and get to meet such wonderful people.  I am so happy that I get to help people come closer to Christ, and I am just...I dunno...I am glad I went on a mission.  It's been hard, but worth it.  I wouldn't trade it for anything.  I am so grateful for the gospel in my life, and I hope that y'all have a wonderful rest of your week. Y'all are amazin', and I am excited to see you soon!  You are the best, and I will email you next week!  Happy Father's Day Pappy!  Love you bye!
Sister Stacy Earl

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

LAST TRANSFER - June 7, 2011 - I'm off to Covington, LA

Hi family and friends!
Well we had a pretty great week!  After I emailed last Monday I went to Avery Island and went to the Jungle Garden's and Tabasco factory.  It was pretty fun, but the Tabasco factory reeked of vinegar.  Nasty.  Also, Sister Stewart almost got eaten by an alligator.  SCARY!  Yeah.  When we were driving around doing the tour, we saw an alligator out of the water. It was about 4 to 5 feet, not too big of one, and it loved getting its picture taken.  A man had spotted the gator before us, and he was a professional photographer.  So he got out of his car and started taking pictures of it.  We wanted some pictures, but we weren't about to get out of the car.  Sister Holmes was convinced that because we were missionaries, the gator would come and eat us...Elders here used to catch gators and put them in their bath tubs...I don't know why but that it just stupid.  Anyway, so Sister Stewart was on the other side of the pond from the alligator and got out of the truck to start taking pictures of it for us.  After the professional photographer got in his car, the gator saw us and b-lined it towards us!  He swam across the pond, crawled on the shore, and started walking towards Sister Stewart.  She grabbed our camera's as fast as she could, and then we went on with the tour.  It was exciting. 
This week Shawndricka's family was moving so we didn't really get to teach them a whole lot.  We did help them pack up a little, and then we taught them a smidgen.  This week will be better for them (all except for Dreia, she's going to girls camp!)., I'm just sad I won't be there to see it.  Oh yeah!  I already told mom, but for those of you who don't know, I am going back to Covington for my last transfer, and I will be serving with Sister Smith.   If you don't remember Covington's address it is:
124 E. 24th Ave. #7
Covington, LA. 70433
Sister Smith is actually from American Fork, and she seems like she is a lot of fun.  According to Sister Holmes she is, so we shall see!  I really do think she'll be fun.  She used to play rugby apparently.  Just a little random fact about her that I thought I'd throw in there!  So back to Shawndrick'as family.  We are finally teaching her son Teekie.  Since they moved, he doesn't live by his friends, so we are a lot more interesting now.  But yeah.  That family is amazing, and I'm excited for them to get baptized.  I love them!  :(  It's always hard to leave when you have investigators that you have just come to love so stinkin' much.  What can ya do?  It's part of bein' a missionary. 
Shannon is doing alright.  A while back her x-husband broke her foot by smashing it with a chair and it has been giving her problems ever since.  She is now working at a job where she is on her feet all the time, and her foot never healed properly, so she is in a lot of pain.  She hasn't been to church the last 2 weeks because of it.  But she is remarkable.  We actually have started to teach her (almost) brother-in-law, and he is also really neat.  His name is Raymond, and he is REALLY searching.  He kept saying how he didn't think it was coincidence that we met him that day, and he was really excited to start learning more.  It was a really amazing lesson...Shannon started testifying of how she knew it was true and how it made her feel.  It was really was like she was already a member!  I just can't wait till she gets baptized. 
It was a really good week. It's just been a privilege working with these remarkable people and I hate to leave, but I'm excited to go back to Covington.  Apparently they have a baptism this weekend, so it'll be exciting.  Well I'm sorry this email is so short.  I just don't have a whole lot more to say... just know that I love y'all, and that I am so happy that I am a missionary.  I really am.  I think this last transfer was the best for me because I was able to see that change in Shawndreia and Shannon.  I saw other changes too, but Shawndreia and Shannon just amaze me.  Shawndreia was really starting to rebel against her mom, but she really looked up to us, and we were able to help her realize that it's not good to do that, and that she needed to listen to her mom.  She loves the Book of Mormon, and this week she told us "I've never been so excited to go to church in my life."  It was really neat to hear that. was just REALLY neat for me to hear her testify to Raymond that it was true.  I don't know...if I was on my mission just to meet those 4 people, it was all worth it.  All the tears, the nasty, sweaty heat, and all the frustrating, annoying people and crazy drivers, it was worth it for them.  They definitely touched my life, and I am so grateful that I was able to know them.  Well family, I love you.  You are the best family a girl could ask for.  I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week, and I will email you on Monday!
Sister Stacy Jo Earl