Monday, September 18, 2017

Being Blessed to Love Others Even When Its Hard At Times!

Q: ¿Quien fue al persona mas Pelacon (o rico si aprendiste español en otra país) en el Libro de Mormón?
A: "La-Moni" 

Yeah maybe I need to work on my joke stills again but how is going? 

Hey quick question... have you all heard this song before?? I had one of my buddies in the office show me it and man its sweet!! Check it out! (It’s attached hopefully)James the Mormon

But yeah let me tell you about the crazy and amazing week I’ve had!! So many times I’ve had people start screaming at me, slam doors in our face or family members of investigators just be super mean. But despite it all I have just had this unexplainable love for them! We had a Noche de Hogar (family home evening) last night and I shared my Dad's favorite scriptures Corinthians 13:4,8 and Moroni 7:45, which talk about Love and CHARITY. I explained how great of an example my father has been for me. Above anything I remember how much he taught me about serving others. He really always told me how proud of me was when I served others, he always set such a great example of helping others and I know that Serving others has been the biggest factor in growing my testimony. As a missionary all I do everyday is serve others, and there’s nothing else i'd rather be doing. I shared in our family home evening how even though people are mean and cruel sometimes it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t love them. Christ himself was humiliated, whipped, spit upon, mocked, forced to carry His own cross, and finally nailed to it. As He was nailed to the Cross He offered a prayer to His Father and pleaded forgiveness for His loved ones who were treating Him so poorly. During my time here are a servant of the Lord I have learned to love those who curse me, serve those who do harm to me and above all, see the children of the Lord AS HE SEES THEM!!

I have been so amazed how many miracles I’ve seen this week! Man I’ve just had such a love for the work and was so blessed!! We guided to a family who is just so ready for the gospel this week, we passed by on Monday and they begged us to come back every day to visit them!!! Then on Sunday we passed by this poor little families home to bring them to church and they were all ready in their best cloths and waiting for us to arrive. MIRACLES LIKE THAT JUST DONT HAPPEN HERE!! 

So yeah I was in an extremely good mood this Sunday with a whopping 8 investigators at church!!

Maria Fernanda Paz has been through a rollercoaster these last few weeks we’ve been teaching her, she really has changed so much so fast!! She told us last night how she was unsure if she wanted to get baptized anymore after church, but right when we passed by she was going to tell us that she changed her mind and didn’t want to go through with it, but before she could I felt inspired to Re-Teach Lesson 3: The Gospel of Jesus Christ (my favorite lesson to teach) and when we got to the part of Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost I just felt the spirit poor over me and I thought with words that weren’t even my own. My companions and another member bore their testimonies about the importance of the Holy Ghost and Maria just started crying and told us how she didn’t understand the importance of being baptized and was about to tell us that she didn’t want to go through with it... but now she knows why and really wants to get baptized!!!

Les quiero bastante y que se vayan muy bien esta semana! 
Felicidad es una decisión, entonces elije a ser feliz! 
Leas el Libro de Mormón todo los días!
~Elder Stidham


Monday, August 28, 2017

Searching for the breaks....#1YEAR

Ojala que su semana fue mas tranquilo que mio.... pero como están??

Man what a crazy week!! There is just so much that happened that made it seem like an eternity and just a few hours at the same time... 

BUT HEY I COMPLEATED 1 YEAR!!! 

Sorry about that.... *I blame using crazy computers in Ecuadorian cybers

But anyway last Wednesday marked the craziest and most fulfilling 365 days of my life!! I have learned more things that I ever thought possible in such a short amount of time! Reflecting back on who I was a year ago, its made me realize how much happier I am as a person now, especially with how much closer to the Savior I’ve gotten. Man it has not been an easy year by any means, but at the same time is has been more rewarding than I ever imagined it would have been!! Through all the sickness and nights spent in hospitals I’ve really had to learn to rely on the Lord and trust in His timing over my own. I have had so many personal battles raging within me and it’s been an incredible experience to be humbled so many times. 
I have fallen in love with the people of this country and there is nowhere I would rather be on earth! I wake up SO HAPPY EVERY DAY HERE!!! I love those long days of work and service when I get to come home exhausted, throw my head down on my pillow and just know that I gave it my all today. There really is nothing better than we could ever do than to be serving others. Christ was such a perfect example of that, on my mission I really learned that Christ MUST have been the HAPPIEST person to ever live!! Not just because he was clean from sin, but also because he literally served others all day every day. 
To be honest I’m not going to act like I’ve changed profoundly or anything, I’m still the same (more or less) skinny, white kid that left on a mission a year ago, but I really have grown a lot here. I love others more and more each day, seeing others happy by accepting this Gospel in their lives is really what motivates me to keep going each day. So yeah that’s kind of why I’m so sad to think about having only 1 year left to keep serving as a Missionary.
But who’s got time to count down the days when there’s too much work to be done right?!

Speaking of missionary work, we have a baptism coming up this Saturday and I couldn’t be more excited!! Marco Barboza is finally getting dunked!! It’s been a long battle but his family is finally accepting his decision to be baptized and I pray that they can come watch it and feel the spirit! I appreciate all of you who are praying for us misssionaries, it really means so much and helps more than you know!!

Oh yeah I was explaining why this week was so crazy.... well there were new laws passed in Ecuador this Augusto and man they have been a pain I’m my (how the scriptures describe a donkey). But yeah there was another surprise that I didn’t catch until too late which made several missionaries illegal in the country... so yeah I’ve been working my (donkey) off trying to fix all these problems. Now I’ve got most things organized and I will have to send several missionaries to Peru and Quito this week so that’s a pain. But lots of other missions here in Ecuador had the same problem so we are all helping each other out and the Church itself is kind of stepping in on this one too. 
So yeah it should be a fun week ;)

I love you all and hope that you’re reading the Book of Mormon every day!!

If someone wants to buy me this car for a "happy first year" gift... I wouldn’t be mad ;)

I literally have 3rd degree burns from this stupid freaking tradition!!! But it may or may not have been by fault for dumping a bottle of cleaning alcohol on the shirt....


Shout out to Ryan (Elder) Horton for being the real MVP and hooking a brotha up with some Mt. Dew and Beef Jerky!!!! Two things that sadly don’t exist here but man was it a glorious night!!!

Me and my boo

Monday, July 3, 2017

Building a House

What up my favorite white people?!?! I hope that everyone has a Great 4th of July Weekend and eat lots of BBQ in my name !!

Well man it’s been a busy week!! I’ve had a lot of emergency work in the office so that’s why I’m writing late today!

But I guess ill start off with the title... YEAH WE LITTERALLY BUILT A HOUSE FOR SERVICE!!!! We were told that a member would be moving into our sector and he called us asking us help him with his new house... obviously we gladly jumped at the opportunity to do service! But we also kinda figured that it would be helping him move his stuff in.... WRONG ... we spent over 8 hours with 6 missionaries and 6 other men mixing cement and carrying it up latters then placing it.... man what a work out!!! I can honestly say that was one of the most physically challenging things of my mission, but hey it was a cool experience and something I’m glad I had the chance to participate in. Every time I thought I couldn’t keep mixing cement anymore I looked around me and just saw the very tired, but very happy faces of the family that we were working with. Man what inspiration to keep working.  

Also we were just getting back to the house Friday afternoon to study  (I study at like 2:00-5:00 because of the time in the office each morning) and all of the sudden everything just started shaking! Yeah we had a  6.2 earthquake here this week and that was pretty crazy! Obviously nothing much happened cuz that’s not too powerful but still!

Today I got permission to go to Isla Santi which is this little island here in Guayaquil that has a bridge that you got to cross by bike to get to. There are all kind of animals and things to see! On the island there are anteaters, raccoons, anacondas, and above all Crocodiles! What a cool p-day!!

So much more happened but I’m running out of time to write, my spiritual thought for the week is to   do whatever you can to find an opportunity to do Service!! When the Lord Jesus Christ came to the earth he came in the form of a Servant! Why? Because that is the absolute best way to bring the Gospel into the lives of our brothers and sisters that are waiting for it!!! I love the Story of Aaron and how that he never found "success" in his labors until he followed the example of Alma and began to serve the people. I promise to you brothers and sisters in the name of Jesus Christ that you look for an opportunity to serve someone this week you will find a chance to do "missionary work" and invite the Spirit and Gospel into someone’s life!

Thanks for all the love and support and make sure you don’t do anything *too* stupid this weekend!  

Have fun blowing things up kiddies!!

Love Elder Stidham

1. family home evening with 5 investigators!


2. service project we did and ended up in the office super dirty and sweaty haha sorry but i like the pics 

 5. going to Isla Santi


6. entering the Jungel part of the island


7. me wrestinlin a gator.

8.  Crocs


OH YEAH!! WE FOUND SUBWAY!!!   honestly didnt know that existed on this contanent!! yeah we white boys were pretty dang happy about that!!!


Monday, June 19, 2017

Letter to Mom

Sounds like an awesome week momma!! Wow those mountains look so beautiful!!! I’ve decided that I will never live in a big city cuz I just miss the mountain too dang much... in Naranjal and Santa Rosa I was close enough to them to not miss them too much, but here in Guayaquil its kind of ugly and I do miss the mountains. But on the bright side I love getting to wake up looking at a Mango and Coconut tree every day!!

Say hi to the family for me!

Yeah I got to work a lot with Galapagos! Everyone tells me that after serving in the office for about 9 months I’m almost guaranteed to go to Galapagos. Honestly I don’t really care too much to go to Galapagos or not. I love being a missionary and it doesn’t matter where I serve! I mean sure it would be great and awesome to say that I served there but that’s not why I would want to go. I also kinda hope that I don’t end up staying in the office for that long but I guess well find out.... 

I wrote a few cards that Elder Chogas has in the backpack that I sent home with him! He also gave his Homecoming talk yesterday but it was in Spanish so I guess you didn’t miss out...  he goes to a Spanish ward obviously. But hey he’s got all the stuff and wants to drop it off but I don’t have his email or any other way to contact him besides his home phone number that is in the church records!

Hey can you do me a favor and find the video of dad giving his speech?! I would really appreciate that!!

My mission president and his wife thing its the funniest thing ever that you made that cut out of me for the wedding!!! haha they think its great! It sure makes me laugh too!

I love you too momma bear and I’m so grateful and proud to call you my mom°!!