Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 24 - One more transfer until Christmas ~

So many of you asked me what Kevin meant in last week's letter when he talked about the RM from Mission Square and his discussion about polygamy.  Here is his response ~

 I really gained a new and different respect for what those men did. So here is what was going on. During that time period the church had many widows because of the different persecutions that occurred during the mobs. Work during the time period was not the same as it is today, if you were a widowed woman, it was basically condemnation to death by starvation for you and any children that you had. Those same children often times needed a Father in the picture to help them to learn the values of God, and to learn to work and things like that. So what God commanded was that women would have the option to marry men who were honorable in keeping the commandments and who were financially stable enough to take care of the women. Additionally, the importance of sea-lings is vital to us as members of the church, we cannot enter into the highest kingdom of heaven if we are unsealed. Therefore through polygamy, these women had a chance to be sealed to men who were worthy. (many of whom were sealed after Joseph and Brigham were dead). Many many many of the women did not have any form of sexual relations with their husbands, although some did because 1. the church was in a time period where it needed to grow to survive, and 2. having children is vital to the idea of eternal families, and many women were denied the right to have it. Joseph Smith was firm that he did not want to have anything to do with polygamy. He put it off and and put it off, Emma Smith was simply the love of his life (this commandment was difficult for the men who were chosen to participate because they were the most faithful of members of the church, and loved their original wives very much), but God commanded this to help the women and the church, and told him if he did not obey he would be removed from his place. So really I gained a lot of respect when we talked about this, and I really cannot do it full justice, but here is what I learned, this was not an issue of some guy wanting to have like 200 women around  or some sexual satisfaction, really it was a sacrifice on the part of all those who participated (now in some of those colonies of splinter groups this might not be the case, I do not know).

(letter to everyone) well it really does waste valuable writing time when you begin your letters in Spanish. So this week there are going to be some cambios, and I must admit that I am pumped. My companion Elder Romo is going to be sent up to Orizaba, the coolest (cold does not exist here) place in the mission, and he is freaking out because he is from baja California, which gets up to 56 degrees Celsius, and I am pretty sure was designed as a place to be uninhabited. I am going to be staying herein Progresso, and they are putting me with the district leader from the other companionship, who is actually a good buddy of mine. His name is Elder Quille and he is from Aricipa (spelling) Peru. He and I get along great, and honestly I am super excited because right now for the next transfer because we are going to have a lot of success. We have honestly like 6 or 7 families that we are working on that are super close to getting baptized, which means this next transfer is going to be awesome. 

This week I was kind of evaluating the work for the transfer, and it really gave me a lot of happiness to see how many families that we have reactivated this transfer. It is really quite incredible how many people have come back this transfer.It just makes me so happy to know that these people are so much closer because of the work that we are doing down here. That said, I feel guilty because a lot of the converts of Elder Romo have stopped coming because we really have not taken care of them how we should. It is just so hard with all of the work that we have to do, which with the other companionship now is going to be like 10 times worse. 

This week they called me up to speak in Sacrament meeting (in Santiago that meant getting up in front of 20, here its 200), and give a talk about self reliance and being a disciple of Christ. It is super cool because I just recognized how important being self reliant is for each of us, both spiritually and temporally. WE have to know for ourselves what is true in this life, and cannot depend on anyone else. We then have to give everything else up to follow that truth once we have found it. When I am teaching I often use the quote from Alice in wonder land with the Cheshire Cat, which path should I take, well that depends where you want to go, if you don't know where you want to go, it really doesn't matter which path you take.

This week (I included photos mom) I had one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission. After I wrote on Monday we went with an old man (87 and his name is Roberto) who was super Pentecostal and was firm he would never get baptized. We then thoroughly explained the Great Apostasy and the importance of authority with another man from his same age. It honestly took a long while, but he proceeded to get super excited and decided to be baptized. So this weekend after Church I got to baptize him,and it was super amazing because I have never felt like anyone that I have worked with was going to be firm in the church. But I honestly believe,after hearing his testimony that Roberto is going to endure to the end. As I sat there, having worked for 6 months, without having baptized anyone that I felt would really be active, and seeing this one man, and how happy his family was, it just made all of the work worthwhile. I really just want to say how much I love my mission. There are miracles out here. This is the Lord´s work,and I honestly do not always understand it, and really am just doing my very best out here. But I know how powerful the Gospel is, the Holy Ghost can touch anyone´s heart. 

I love you all a ton. I hope that everyone is enjoying school and there missions. You are all in my prayers and my thoughts. 

Elder Standridge


  1. you need to check you facts there never was a shortage of men to marry or kids that need a dad or women going across the plains yada yada. If these were true then why did Joseph send male members and some apostles on missions then marry their wife behide their backs, doesnt make sense these women already had men and their children a father. The only reason is God commanded it , which I dont believe as he never commanded anyone to before, he toleranted it but never commanded it.