|To live in Virginia you need to know two things:|
1. When there are clouds in the sky, it will probably rain.
2. When there are not clouds in the sky, it will still probably rain.
|I absolutely LOVE my new companion|
She is ALWAYS happy and smiling!
thank you grandma and grandpa (:
|Sister Todd - got her "greenie" package...|
she is even wearing green:)
|Name tags problems...|
they spelled my name wrong
Am I allowed to give a Re-introduction?
Especially for new readers of this blog.
Or for you guys and gals who don't particularly know me...
Or for those of you who ONLY know me as
As well as for my lovely friends, family and followers who may know
all about me but have just forgotten that I exist because I seemingly
have dropped off the face of the earth for the last ten months....
Here's the brief:
First of all!
I am..... Not a robot.
I am also not a nun.
I do not have five moms
Yes. I'm allowed to dance.
I had a "normal" life before I became a missionary.
My name is Madison Paige Stucki.
I was born in the south west nestled up corner of Utah,
in the United States of America.
I'm the first child of my lovely high school sweetheart parents.
They are adorable.
My dad is my role model.
My mom is my best friend.
They are hopelessly in love with each other
which is disgustingly cute in a way that makes
me want my future relationship to be just like theirs.
Still following me here? K cool.
I have five younger siblings.
Dylan is eighteen.
Ethan is sixteen.
Ty is fourteen.
Makenna is twelve.
Eli is five.
There's eight of us in my family total.
Which always makes for a good time.
While growing up I spent most of my time outdoors. Whether it be out
in the desert exploring, or at the lakes and rivers learning how to
skim board and get my tan on. I love photography and videography,
fashion and design. SUNSHINE and road trips. Baseball caps and knit
sweaters. (basic) I think architecture and Ancient Rome is fascinating.
I enjoy reading classic novels and listening to hopeless
romantic love songs.
I had a boyfriend all throughout high school and he is my favorite
human on this planet. His name is Spencer. I refer to him quite a lot.
You know this if you know me at all. Sorry. Not sorry.
He's a great guy.
My birthday is in October. I turn twenty this year. I have an
unhealthy obsession with double stuff original Oreos. So if you live
in Virginia and want to make me an ice cream cake next weekend...
(HMU) ...it's my birthday:)
When I turned nineteen I had the unique opportunity to submit
"application papers" to serve a mission for my church. The Church of
Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. By doing so I left my family,
friends, work, school and LIFE behind for eighteen months to come
here, to the southern suburbs of Washington, D.C. To teach the
Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and serve those around me.
Like I said, it's a unique opportunity, and a unique responsibility. To
be a full time missionary for Jesus Christ. We have a set schedule
(described in previous blog post) and we do this all day everyday with
limited free time or correspondence from home.
However, I'm still me.
......Just with a Sister in front of it for now,
A little bit more responsibility,
A little bit more maturity,
And a lot of work to do :)
In the 1800's (mom: correct me if I'm wrong) a few missionaries were sent
out to Preach the gospel. Some of these missionaries came across
my ancestors in Switzerland.
My ancestors at that time, one of them being John S Stucki.
Him and his family accepted the gospel. They knew it was true!
They gave up all that they had to come to the United States to
gather with the saints at that time. Not long after arriving in the eastern states
of the USA, they were persecuted and mobbed which led them and many others
at that time to travel out west, to unknown territory.
Many of these early pioneers traveled out to the Midwest area of the
states. When they arrived in the Salt Lake Valley my family continued
to travel down south and settled in the Santa Clara, and St George, Utah
area with many other early saints at that time.
Nearly a century later, I was born in the same town St George, Utah.
And now reap the blessings of what once was brought to my early family from
the very first missionaries from America.
With knowing this and seeing the blessings that came from the Gospel,
I too decided to serve a mission to share these blessings I've received,
to all I could reach.
SIMPLE AS THAT.
Only... I was called to serve here in the Washington, D.C. South mission.
Alongside 100 thousand other full time missionaries currently serving
around the world.
As a missionary we go about Doing Good. Our Primary Purpose is to
invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored
Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance,
baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.
For these eighteen months that is exactly what I go about
teaching from experience and from the heart.
However as a missionary, we do not expect those we come across
and teach to take our word for it or accept all we say without their
own personal divine witness of the truth.
In fact as missionaries we simply invite.
We present the information, issue challenges or commitments
to strengthen faith and leave the rest to the spirit as the teacher.
The spirit is the teacher.
It is a promise that God will give answers to all
those who humbly and sincerely ask.
James 1:5 in the New Testament
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men
liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.."
He hears us
He loves us
He wants to help and guide us.
He's given us the tools to receive guidance, direction and answers
to that wisdom that we lack
As missionaries we present the doctrine
and leave it to those we teach to act.
And to know.
We see today there are so many different sects of Christianity.
Religion seems to me to be just another group you can join. Religious
leaders entice a 'target market' of young adults, families, or all
ages by the fun activities, festivities, group meetings and meeting
houses and fun events. And religious affiliations do have great
motives. Most christian churches come from the same source! Each has
pieces and parts of the truth but none seem to completely agree on
what TRUTH IS.
So where do we find it?
In the bible we learn that Jesus Christ came to earth and taught us
the fullness of the gospel. Things such as faith (Matthew 18:20),
repentance or change (Mark 2:17) , baptism (Luke 3:21), he taught us
about the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17) he established his gospel, and
his church and ordained apostles by the power of the priesthood.
However, many people were wicked and they disregarded his message.
They didn't want to be told to repent! And change!
Nobody wants to be told that!
But it was true? It's what God expects of us.
But people were upset.
We see all throughout the bible the Pharisees and Sadducees try to
condemn Jesus, try to twist his words or prove him wrong.
And they crucified them.
Jesus was betrayed and the people were upset.
So they crucified the son of God.
Jesus foretells this however when he says,
"....deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to
crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again." (Matthew 20:19)
Foretelling also that he would be resurrected, on the third day.
And he was.
And when he was, he told the people he would leave them a comforter
which is the Spirit, which would testify of truth. (John 14)
Not long after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the apostles were
persecuted and killed or died off. Not passing the priesthood
authority, or power of God onto the next generation. And without the
priesthood authority, many simple truths about the organization of the
church and sacred ordinances were lost or changed. Many churches began
to form, breaking off bits and pieces of Christ's original gospel, and
adding to it, or taking away.
But none the less, without priesthood authority, the correct
organization of Christs church would not be brought about.
Without revelation, guidance or organization at all, people relied on
human wisdom to interpret the scriptures, principles and ordinances of
Christ's gospel. False ideas and opinions were taught as truths and
different church organizations began to form with disagreements and
separate ideas and opinions.
Much of the knowledge of the true nature of God, our Savior,
the spirit and the gospel...
And this widespread state of Apostasy led to the emergence of many,
Even before the death of the Apostles, many conflicts concerning
doctrine arose. The Roman Empire, which at first had persecuted the
Christians, later adopted Christianity. Important religious questions
were settled by councils. The simple doctrines and ordinances taught
by the Savior were debated and changed to conform to worldly
philosophies. (Hmm, we see this today as well.)
We know that because of these unauthorized changes and lack of the
fullness of the gospel.. a restoration, not a reformation, was required.
To REFORM is to change what already exists;
to RESTORE is to bring back something in its original form.
The Savior’s Apostles foretold this universal apostasy.
They also foretold that the gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church
would be restored to its fullness, once more upon the earth.
"..Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away first...." 2 Thessalonians 2
The fullness of the gospel was not currently upon the earth, pieces
and parts of it? Yes of course. But the whole shabang? Not a chance.
And in the midst of this confusion,
there was a boy named Joseph Smith.
You've probably heard of Joseph Smith right?
The Mormon guy?
Yeah, no. He wasn't Mormon. He was fourteen, and had a big question.
Because when he was living in the east coast of the USA, in New York,
WE HAD RECENTLY GAINED RELIGIOUS FREEDOM WAHOO!
And there were plenty and plenty of preachers, pastors, etc etc taking
advantage of just that. I can vouch for him when I say that out here
on the eastern coast, there is literally a church on every corner. And
not like in Utah where it seems like they are all the same churches.
There are different denominations, opinions, doctrines, and
teachings ON EVERY CORNER.
Can you imagine?
Being in a family where Mom believes church A
Dad believes church B
Older brother believes church C
And they are all reading the bible...
yet somehow each takes his own opinion of doctrine from the same source.
And as Joseph smith was reading, he read Ephesians 4:5 which says there is
"One lord, one faith, one baptism."
So he went about checking out the different congregations each trying
to persuade him to join. But he wasn't seeking a church that fit
HIM he was seeking for the church of God. The one referred to in
Ephesians, ya know? The ONE true gospel of Christ. Where do we find it?
He continued to study the holy bible. And came across another verse
that struck him more powerfully than anything he had ever read, it's
found in James chapter one verse five and says,
"If any of you lack wisdom let him ask of God.
That giveth to all men liberally and abraideth not."
Meaning, if you have a question, if there's something you don't know,
ask God. And he will give you the answers you need, and he won't be
upset with you asking questions. Because common guys HE LOVES US.
he wants to help us. HE IS OUR FATHER. LET'S BE REAL.
Why wouldn't we be allowed to ask questions?
And why would he not answer them?
HE IS GOD.
HE IS ALL POWERFUL.
GIMME A REASON WHY HE WOULD SHUT US DOWN?
Look around you and start recognizing answers, blessings, gifts,
signs, they are everywhere.
And I think that's a little bit of what Joseph Smith felt.
So he decided he would go ask God, through sincere, earnest prayer.
For direction. What would it hurt? He went out into the woods, with
faith that he too, would receive an answer. And when he did, he had a
In Joseph Smith History, in the Pearl of Great Price (which you can
access here; lds.org) he tells his experience. (If you'd like to read
the full documentary written by Joseph Smith check out the online
website but for lack of time I'll quote a few paragraphs.) he said,
"I saw a pillar of light.
Exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun.
Which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
When the light rested upon me I saw two personages, whose brightness
and glory defy...all description, standing above me... In the air.
One of them, spake unto me, calling me by name and said
THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, HEAR HIM."
From this experience, Joseph Smith learned the fullness of the gospel
was not yet on the earth. That just like in times of old, with
prophets from the Old Testament, people were wicked and disregarded
the prophets teachings and fell into apostasy where priesthood power
was no longer on the earth. After Christs death this had happened
again. And now was the time the gospel would be restored to the earth,
in its fullness like it was before.
Was just a man.
Like any other good man we see today.
Trying to do good, trying to be better.
Just like prophets of old, he was called of God, to do a great work.
To be an instrument in the hands of The Lord.
Do I worship Joseph smith? No.
Do I respect him? Absolutely.
He did what perhaps other men couldn't.
The persecution and reviling against him..
STILL HAPPENS TODAY.
Knowing there would be doubt or disbelief or misinformation, we've
been given the Book of Mormon, which was translated from records
of ancient Americans at the time of Christ. By reading the Book of Mormon
you will come to know these things are true.
The same way you can receive answers to any of your questions.
By asking God.
Not relying on secular sources
Or human "wisdom"
Or the Internet
If I had a penny for every time I've heard someone
site "truth" from the Internet.... :l
We all know Wikipedia is the LEAST reliable source for information.
Ask the creator of all things.
And you will know.
That he's there, that he loves you, that he has a path for you.
The whole thing.
That's my challenge to you.
Not to take my word for it...
Or anyone else's
But go figure this stuff out for yourself.
And trust God.
I appreciate you for reading this post, it means the world to me. This
gospel means everything to me. It brings me peace, comfort and the
will to carry on, everyday.
Because I KNOW who I am.
Why I'm here.
Where I'm going.
I know what's right, what's wrong.
And I have a choice.
And god has a plan for me.
And if I turn to him, he will carry me.
I am his.
I'll try my best to respond within a week
Or facebook me at Sister-Madison Stucki
I love you guys!
Sent from my iPad
(October 23, 2014)