Hello Hello from the great but little town of Stanley, Idaho! Serving in a town of 63 residents creates a challenge in filling our time, but Elder Prosch and I really try to stay busy all of the time by walking around town talking to tourists, contacting houses in the middle of nowhere, helping the town library sort books, baking cookies and treats for people and most of all sitting in the town square setting an example by reading scriptures on the benches!
People from all over the nation come to vacation here. Many of the non-members do not like us coming up to them, so it is like hunting in Minnesota – we let them come to us. A lot of the tourists are members of the church who are so surprised that we are here full time and frequently ask, "What did you do right to get sent to Stanley?!" I get to wake up every morning to a view of the Sawtooth Mountains with a green valley below! :)
We had a wonderful experience with Sarah McInroy who has been coming to church and having lessons for a month or so. She had been having a rough time with friends back home. After we gave her a priesthood blessing, she knew exactly what to do about her situation. Sarah, like Nephi in the Book or Mormon, is a faithful and loving person who is easy to forgive others who have done wrong to her. The next day we taught her about the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hand by those with priesthood authority and she has decided to get baptized!! She will wait until she is home in Oregon because she wants to introduce her family to the gospel. It's great stuff!
Church here is great and interesting. Since the chapel is a non-denominational community building we have four services total, two of them being LDS. Each week there are about 200-300 Latter-day Saints tourists cramped in that little chapel for the morning services! It is truly amazing and the Spirit is so strong every week :) After our service is the non-denominational service, then the Catholic service happens. We are thinking of asking if we can sit in on their service just to see what it is like. At the evening service there are mostly full-time residents - about thirty - plus around thirty more summer workers. We get to have priesthood meeting outside under the peaks of the Sawtooth :)
I love being here in Stanley around such great people and landscape. One of the things I love most about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is that it is a worldwide church, the same all around the world. The doctrine is the same no matter where you are! It is one of the strongest points of my testimony that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly God's church, restored upon the face of the earth today :)
~Elder Ethan Howard