Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 23, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! I’ll keep this letter short cause I’m going to talk to you in a couple days but this week was good. I want to start by saying thanks for going to the baptism of Dakota this week, please continue to be her friend. This week was a really good week. We had a lesson with Gwen and her dad does want to baptize her and she does want to be baptized! So we talked a lot about the importance of baptism and why we do it and had a lesson on that since the family kind of brought it up anyways. It went well and the best part was Gwen and her dad came to church on Sunday!! I was soooo happy when they walked thru that door. The dad, Matt, works the late shift, he’s a baker and works from 12-6 every morning and it’s a challenge for church but he said he plans to keep coming back so he is getting reactivated! We also got a new investigator! (They’re hard to come by up here lol) and her name is sky. She’s also 9. her parents got slit up and all the kids went to different  houses and she is living with the old bishop so it’s really good and she wants to be baptized but the hard part is getting permission from the parents and from CPS. But we are teaching her the lessons and she is going to decide on a day and ask for permission for that day! On Sunday it was the Christmas program at church and it was pretty good. There were quite a few less actives we’ve been working with that came so that was a blessing!  scripture of the week: Mormon: 9:21 21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

Have a good half week before I talk to you!

Love Elder Stevenson


December 30, 2013
Merry Christmas!! 

Well this week was fantastic!! there was miracles everyday of the week, it may have been gods christmas gift to me and elder oakley! haha ill start with last monday. we were having dinner at a members house and after dinner they had some friends over and invited us to stay and play games with them, so we played games and got to know them (mary and rodger), talked about religion, missions, there churches, etc. then we asked and they said we could visit them and share a message with them! so on friday we went over and started talking and taught the restoration with them! and it went well and they accepted a challenge to read from the bom and pray about it and said we can come back. Tuesday we had a lesson with Gwen and were teaching her the restoration and toward the end of the lesson a soon to be relative walked in to borrow some ingredients and ended up joining the conversation and she laid down question after question about life and god and bad things happening to good people and we answered every one of her questions and she said she would like to come and join us the next time we teach Gwen, (tomorrow). Wednesday the miracle was getting to talk to you. Thursday  we had a lesson with a less active/recent convert fam and the lady said she was talking to her mom about churches and said the were all about hell, fire and damnation but she told her about our church and that its loving and accepting and good and she said she would come check it out and let us visit! But we cant visit till the new year cause shes in the middle of moving homes. On Friday we had that lesson i was talking about earlier. on Saturday we saw a member family to let them know how a referral went and a neighbor happened to swing by and we got talking and shared a message and prayer and she said we could come visit anytime! sunday she wasnt home so were hoping to swing by tonight. (there weekeneders) so the only problem is there not always up here but hoping to move up soon. Sunday we had a lesson with 2 boys who have a hard time learning and a relative was there and was very curious about what we believe and we ended up having the first lesson with him! :) we have sky on date for baptism for febuary so we will continue teacing her and hope the parents will allow it and all will go good with cps. when we see gqen tomorrow we are going to talk about it and decide on a date for her too :) 

love you all,

Elder Stevenson    



Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013

This week was amazing. Probably one of the best weeks of my mission, not because it was easy but because everything fell into place and soooo many of my prayers were answered this week! On Tuesday we had Zone conference, where all the missionaries in the zone gather and listen to President and Sister Sweeny it was awesome. On a side note study the Good Samaritan in Luke 10 and look at all the parables in the story it’s quite amazing I won’t spoil the surprise for you. We also learned about how to stay positive and happy and that how we measure success is important because the lord asks us to open our mouths and try. Weather people listen or not isn't our success rate but if we do what is asked we are being successful. On Wednesday we went to the snowflake temple and it was great. I love being able to feel the peace in the temple and just to be happy, truly happy there’s nothing quite like it I don’t think. Good news this week we had a good discussion in ward council and talked about who we can teach and ideas for new investigators. it was really good and once everyone got thinking quite a few names came out and we have some people we can go visit now that aren't members so next week I will tell you how that went :) we went to a branch in Blue Ridge on Sunday and it was really good they only have like 20 people that go regularly it’s crazy to be in a branch and see that. One of the things that was talked about was a talk (I don’t know where from) but basically if Christ came today "am I ready?" something to think about. And get ready if you’re not! Another thing is the atonement is like a prepaid gift card, so we need to use it! Don’t just sit around and let it waste away on the shelf. So like Nephi says go and do, not sit and stew! I’m out of time, love you, and talk to you next week!
Elder Stevenson  


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December 9, 2013


I can finally say Merry Christmas!! This week we got snow only about 4 inches but enough to finally feel like its winter outside. i hope you were able to watch the first presidency devotional last night. It was amazing wasn't it? I kind of think the theme of it, or at least what i got, is to be like a child; be happy, be cheerful, be excited, and have a good attitude about life in general. I liked all the talks, we need to be ready to receive him come December 25, and before, and after. Receive him always like we promise to do each week. Don’t forget elder Ballard talk from conference and his challenge to reach out to someone before Christmas. I'm going to be expecting stories from each of you. There’s a book called the power of everyday missionaries by Clayton Christensen, it was mentioned in conference also. I just started reading it in my free time but you should read it to i have heard all sorts of positive things from it. We had that Christmas program this week and I was a wise man in it. It was fun. Remember me saying we were hoping to get Gwen (9) to it whose parents were less active. Well instead we got Gwen IN it! We talked to her and talked to the relief society president and got her a singing part and it was really good! Both sides of her parents (divorced but both in the ward) are happy to meet and talk with us which is a major blessing so that is a miracle. We are going to start teaching the lessons to her as soon as possible- like Tuesday/Wednesday hopefully they were all over the last few days. We also got another new investigator (they sure are hard to come by up here ha) her name is Ida. She is older and has lots of friends in the ward and when we went over to meet her she was out back cleaning up doing some last minute yard work before the snow and before she had knee surgery and she didn't really want to talk to us or let us help. Well we had a prayer before we left and then after it she’s like well you could put this vacuum together for me, so we did. And then she opened up a lot and we had a good little chat and helped do some other chores. She wasn't able to make it to that ward party because she wasn't feeling well though. It always amazes me how much we forget when we stop studying the scriptures, going to church and all that good stuff. we went to see one less active lady named Kris and took her cookies (we were told that would be the way in cause she won’t let people into her house) and she took them but wouldn't let us in, then Saturday we went back and she let us in and visited with us and wants to come back to church but what i was saying about forgetting is she was raised in the church, doesn't know the first thing about the restoration, thought we were married, and stuff like that. That’s why it’s so important we keep learning and don't stop or slow. we do a lot of service here also, everyone has a wood fireplace so we have been splitting, stacking, moving wood by the cord. Here’s a scripture of the week- I’m going to start doing this- 3 Nephi 19:26 when Christ is teaching/ministering and everyone is praying and has been praying for a while he says pray on. How important it is for each of us to pray on! "And Jesus said unto them: pray on; nevertheless they did cease to pray."  well family have a wonderful week. I love you!
Elder Stevenson

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Pine is pretty good so far. most of the work up here is working with members who are less active and as of now we don't have any investigators that we are working with so I hope that can change and we can find more people to teach. a lot the problem is that everyone here is old and so there stuck in there ways, they have an opinion from something that happened 20 years ago and that's why they don't like church and so we are trying to work with a lot of those people. And they haven't lived the gospel in so many years it’s easy to stay how they are and not change. a little about the people we are working with. We are working with a guy named Steve who wants to receive the melchezidik priesthood and we are helping him get his life back in order. and we are working with another guy named Steve who's different and his wife passed away and they weren't married in the temple but just found out he could still get sealed to her and he wants to get sealed so he is reactivating! yesterday we found out there's a family that's LA and they have a 9 year old daughter and she hasn't been baptized so we went and saw the dad And  I guess he's a RM and has a testimony and stuff so it would be really neat if he came back to church and then he could baptize his daughter. there’s another guy named Rick that his family is members and he wants to join and has been taught all the lessons and become a member but he’s having a hard time giving up his word of wisdom addictions (happens tons up here from all the hicks who chew, drink, etc.) so it would be a miracle to be able to get him to quit. There’s a ward Christmas party this weekend and his daughter is in it so hopefully if he feels the spirit that might be a motivator.
For kind of anti-social and stuff and after dinner usually he will go back out side to his trailer/camper (he lives Thanksgiving, we had 2 dinners but at the second one it was with a good active family but one of the guys that lives there is less active across the street) but instead he stayed and played games with us and chatted and it was really cool and the family told us that after!
Fast and testimony meeting was really good yesterday since it was my first Sunday here I was asked to bear my testimony in front of the ward, guess I should be used to that by now as a missionary Haha, but it was good I talked about the sacrament and the covenants we make each week as we partake of it cause I was one of the ones who blessed it since there's a small number of youth in the ward and I really pondered it during the sacrament and that's what was on my mind when I got called up.  I didn't share this with the ward but while I was breaking the bread I really realized what I was doing and what it signified, that that was Christ body and all those pieces individually represent a part of him and usually I'm up there breaking the bread as fast as I can to have it done by the end of the song but as I was breaking it I realized it was like Christ's body being torn apart for me and thought a lot about the garden of gethsemane as well as the crucifixion and resurrection. It meant a lot more to me. (I don't know if that's false doctrine by saying that? but I do know it meant more to me this time then previous times.)

November 25, 2013

Hello, Hello!
This week has been crazy but in a good way. To start I am writing you all from a little small town called Pine. It’s above Payson like 20 miles and its up in the mountains about 2 hours north of mesa/Scottsdale/phoenix. It is cold too, it snowed on Friday before I got here but its melted now it’s a lot like Swan Valley type feeling. mostly older people live here and are in the 40's 50's 60's and are retired some of the town is empty right now cause they go to the valley in the winter to stay warm. My new companion is elder Oakley. He's from Oklahoma. I'm excited to work with him and to be up here, yesterday was my first day here but the people I did meet were really nice sincere loving people but they also hunt and have a shotgun above their door and are cowboys and stuff so I like it. We cover a ward that includes pine and strawberry and a branch that's called Blue Ridge. We have a truck and i get to drive it and its actually pretty fun since there's dirt roads and small town instead of a big city highway. I guess there are lots of less actives here so that mostly who we work with to try and reactivate them and get them to church.
It was sad to leave Beverly ward in mesa since I've come to love the people there so much and the work was getting even busier but the lord sent me here and I know it. On Saturday Isaac was baptized!! i forgot my camera at the house to sent you pics but it was really good and his dad came (parents not married- we never met his dad before) and apparently his dad is a member of the church to and we all just found that out so it’s really neat both his parents are there to be examples no matter who's house he may be at. We went to the temple with the Boyd's like I was saying we were going to last week. it was Amazing Karen and David were just going to watch and kind of get the feel for it and not actually perform the ordinances but Daniel said he wanted to be baptized and confirmed and so he was and then after he was done being baptized they could feel the spirit and we asked if they wanted to get baptized now and they said yes and it was really neat. I was talking with Karen after and comparing it to her baptism and she said this was even better since she knew she was helping someone else. i thought that was amazing she’s still so knew to the church but has so much love and charity for people she doesn't even know. Oh yeah we had a massive rainstorm last week it rained like 3 inches in 2 days or something like that which is unheard of hear so the streets were basically flooded for one day then most it flowed somewhere but it was pretty cool. Have an awesome thanksgiving and remember to be thankful in the season and why we are celebrating.
Elder Stevenson 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November 18, 2013

This week was interesting since we have been in the tri-companionship it has been hard to focus on our area since half the week was spent in another ward. Tomorrow is actually the last day with elder Dunn he is getting put with another elder until transfers. So this week I and elder Armatage will be able to focus on our area. I am so excited for Isaac to be baptized this weekend! I know I've already been blessed and seen people be baptized but with Isaac I've been able to see him from the very start and with others I haven't, tonight we are actually going to the visitor center with him and that will be fun. David and Daniel got the priesthood on Sunday! It was awesome I was privileged to be the voice for Daniel and it was really cool. And this Wednesday we are going to the temple with them and their mother (Karen) to do baptisms for the dead! I guess as missionaries there are rules about missionaries performing the baptism in the temple which I don't get or something but we can go and at least watch and I think be a witness or hopefully confirm and stuff. On Saturday we chocked down a forest in a ladies back yard and there was a huge tree like 40 feet tall and 3 feet wide and the guy cutting it down let me run the chainsaw and it was a huge chainsaw-like 36 inches long and it was really cool. and we cleaned a shed that had old-old stuff in it and I found a really old book of Mormon in it and it’s got pictures and stuff and she said I could keep it but its falling apart a little. We had a training meeting and a guest speaker at it his name was Brother Ough. and it was reallllly good he talked about recognizing the spirit and he talked a lot about humility and being dignified I learned so much and either 12 with the light and barges and all that. One of the things I really liked is how humble he is. He's a multimillionaire but no one would know if they didn't see his house for example he drove a Nissan frontier and it really just showed it doesn't matter if you’re rich, poor, famous, or homeless whatever we need to give all the glory to God because without him we are nothing. Just like in Alma 26 with the story of Ammon. We had a really good lesson with Zach, and at the end of the lesson Josh (his dad, LA for long time) said yes when he was asked to give the closing prayer! And his son always asks him but this is the first time he said yes and he gave a really good prayer. Zach is basically ready for baptism he just needs to come to church and the only way he's going to come is if his dad will come, that's why we've been playing basketball. Now that he's been in the church a few times hopefully soon prayers will be answered and he will decide to come and attend sacrament. I don't get what's so hard about it! One night this week at dinner we had avocado ice cream it was really weird but it was pretty good actually. It had lime and stuff to make it better. I have actually started like guacamole since I've been here I think the Arizona people just know how to make it better and that's why it doesn't taste bad. Well I’m out of time and next week p day will be on Wednesday since transfers just so you know when to expect a letter.
Love you all,
Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

November 12, 2013

     Today as a zone we woke up super early and went hiking a mountain (mountains are tiny here) called camelback and started hiking at like 6 and I think it was like 1-2 miles pretty straight up. And we got to the top just in time to look at the sunrise it was pretty fun and I’ll try and send you pictures. Then everyone came over to our house and we cooked breakfast.

     Instead of having 2 missionaries we got a new one last night, Elder Dunn. So now there are 3 his companion got transferred to Scottsdale cause a missionary had extended and went home and so now there are 3 of us for the next 2 weeks before transfers. On Friday night we met with Isaac again and set a baptismal date! For November 23 so a couple weeks down the road. He's definitely ready he loves coming to church and learning about the gospel. we had a referral and went to the address and it turns out he was a half block out of the ward but we still taught him the first lesson and it was awesome he had lots of questions and know the bible well and is open to new things and is golden but since he was out of our area we had to pass him along.. but now that we have elder duns area assigned/mixed with ours he’s in that area so I can still see him for the rest of this transfer so that's pretty cool and a blessing! as for Izzy we try and see him as often as we can but he didn't come to church this week cause he broke his hand and is drugged up to try and help the pain and sleeping a lot and so that makes it difficult for us cause we would like to teach him in a members home buts he’s really hit and miss so scheduling is a pain. I think I mentioned the Harris family's name before they're a less active family in the ward with a lot of problems but this week we went over a couple nights and it’s really going well. before it was always fight ,fight, fight and then one night they were watching a movie as A FAMILY and another night we ate dinner there as a FAMILY it was awesome!! And everyone was happy and getting along. we got to meet with Zach again, it’s been a few week which stinks but our lesson went really well and he's remembering what he's being taught. But he has to come to church but I think he will be here this week he was going to come last week but he didn't have clothes that fit when they were looking Sunday morning so his dad said they'd buy some. Then after the lesson we had Zach and josh (father and son) in the church! We played basketball with a few members in the ward and it was awesome to get them inside and see it’s not that bad and people are happy to see you and want to see you here at church. We helped build a chicken coop one day that was pretty fun. we got to go to the visitor center one day this week to it was really nice I love the visitor center here it’s awesome! I just wish we could go to the temple more often because it’s even better. Well I hope you have a wonderful week and keep up the missionary work!

Love Ya, 

Elder Stevenson





Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 4, 2013

This week was good yesterday we had a miracle happen at church. I think I mentioned Izzy before? well he stopped keeping appointments and commitments with us and so it was kind of we just saw him when we saw him then Saturday he was driving and we were on our bikes and stopped for a sec and he said he’d come to church Sunday so Sunday morning we went and reminded him and then church rolled around and he wasn't there. And about 10 min in before the sac song started he came in and sat by us and stayed for sacrament and fast and testimony meeting. then after sacrament he didn't want to stand up we sat for 40 minutes there with him and he said he could see a glow around each person as they bore there testimony and he felt at peace and it felt like home even though he’d never been here before and it was awesome. so we had a little lesson with him right there in the chapel and talked about the spirit he was feeling and telling him it was true and that was what was speaking to him then he said randomly I think I want to be baptized. Those are the best words a missionary can hear! And the ward was very welcoming and friendly to him and introduced themselves to him and some people invited him over for dinner in the week :) 

As for Anthony we haven't been able to contact him at all he’s never home and won’t answer his phone... but did I tell you about Isaac? its Aishas (she was baptized right before I got here) son he’s almost 9 and at first he didn’t want anything to do with us or go to church or anything but now he loves it and we’ve been having lessons with Aisha and visiting her and he started sitting in on them and now we are having lessons for her and lessons for him on another night and he said he wants to be baptized! The lord has blessed us this week.

We visited a lot of less actives this week I was telling you about that last week I think? And trying to get them back to church so far it’s going good we had one family there Sunday that only comes sometimes. What I can’t understand is there’s some LA's in the ward that are RMs and a couple have lost their testimony completely and smoke and drink now and don’t believe Joseph Smith was a prophet anymore. I guess that shows Satan will work on anyone and everyone so you can never let your guard down and always remember to do the little things.

Have a good week! 

Love elder Stevenson



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October 28, 2013

Elder Teh from the 70 came and talked to us last Tuesday and came to tour the mission. It was amazing, I learned all sorts of stuff. He mentioned a scripture, D&C 82:3 (I think) that says where much is given much is required. We had a training on this and the teacher also said we can read this backwards where much is required much is given. So as missionaries, or a member in the bishopric or whatever the calling may be the lord will bless is for our service. So when you talk to that lady again Dad you could talk about that and how we are blessed for what we do. Elder Teh also taught about being a effective missionary and I'm glad for all the thing I could learn so I can become better serve people better. I wish I had my notes but there at home to tell you more. I'm glad you are learning so much in your scripture studies (hope your reading on your own to Lexi) I wish it hadn't taken so long for me to come to love the scriptures. I'm reading in Alma right now and my scriptures are starting to look like there bleeding from all the amazing stuff in them I can't not highlight or write notes next to! I've realized that pretty much everything in the Book of Mormon is in there multiple times and repeats over and over in just a little different wording because we need to be reminded over and over of the importance of the commandments and  laws and everything else in order to prepare ourselves to make it back to God. On Saturday we had a ward Halloween block party it was really good. Me and Elder Armitage had a booth as missionaries and it was a roping booth we set up a bale of hay on a saw horse and put one of those plastic heads into it and then had the kids rope it. We had a really good turn out of people we have never seen before and less active family's and so that was really good for them to come and see Mormons are normal people and we had a table set up next to our roping and it had Book of Mormons and pamphlets and stuff and there was quite a bit of stuff that got taken and seeds planted, hopefully now the seed can grow. Church was really good on Sunday. We had a good meeting in ward council about member missionary work and the ward party and missionary work in general and then it was some of those same people in ward council that spoke in sacrament so they spoke on the same things and it was powerful and the spirit was there. (I think I told you this is the first time the Beverly ward has had there own missionaries?) and the ward is finally seeing the vision of the importance of missionary work. We went thru our ward list on Friday and there is 100 last names we don't know (probably like 25 are active we just don't know) so we are going to get them back to church and help them see the importance of church in there life. Have a good week

Love ya!

Elder Stevenson
Paradise Valley, Papago, Maricopa & Pinnacle Zones

Scottsdale, Biltmore, Phoenix Zones
Snowflake, Show Low, Payson Zones

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

Dear Family,
It feels like I just wrote you family. Saturday we did lots of service we started early in the morning and moved a lady houses then did yard work for an 85 year old widow.. She called me a government worker when i stopped for like literally 5 seconds and caught my breath ha-ha old people.. and we also trimmed trees and cleaned up from a relief society program and also cleaned up lots and lots of branches and logs and wood. it was a busy day. then Saturday night our stake put on a play, Saturdays warrior it was pretty good. We had a guy from the 70's coming to tour the mission this week that should be cool. We are struggling finding new investigators but hopefully this week will be better. So we've been working with less actives and recent converts. I think we have like 5 out of 10 people inactive here.. I like what you said mom is that it doesn't matter who they are as long as your helping them become a better person and more Christlike. Tonight were having a big FHE and we've invited some LA's and RC's to visit and get to know the ward more. We are meeting with a man named Anthony (i think i told you about him?) He is like a perfect investigator, he already basically lives the gospel but the bad thing is he wont come to church because his church is at the same time and he already goes to it! But he likes meeting with us and can feel the spirit. any ideas on what we can do? I love you have a wonderful week!

Love Elder Stevenson

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

October 16, 2013

This week was transfer week so p day is Wednesday. its crazy I've already been out almost 2 months. I'm still in mesa and still with elder Armatage. we moved houses tho. just down the street one block to a older widowed lady in the ward named Sister Shepherd. It's crazy we can live with a single lady but they can't have us over for dinner but oh well. first time I haven't had a dishwasher which is kinda weird and the stove/oven is from like the 30's its pretty cool but doesn't have a thermometer. we did a lot of service this week. one day we went to a families house and killed some roosters for them. they had like 7 so on a few we chopped there heads off and watched them run around and on the other ones we  wrung there necks. The family we did it for one of the kids wanted to do one so she wrung its neck and it was dead looking and we put it in the bucket and a little later we came back and it was alive! So some neighbors took it home for a pet.. but it was lots off fun and I forgot my camera but I got some good pics and videos to send on home! Then another day we carpeted a basement and that was pretty cool and moved lots and lots of boxes. dad asked how I would teach about baptism and the covenants we make. I would start by explaining why we need to be baptized and showing that we will follow Christ as well as following his example. Then explain how we are cleaned and its a new start. I would take about 2 Nephi 31. i would talk about the sacrament and how after baptism when we make mistakes we can be forgiven off them as well. I would read the sacrament prayer with them and talk ask them to pick out what 3 things we promise to do when we take the sacrament and are baptized. then talk about what is promised to us and about the spirit. and a lot more but that covers the basics. This week was little hectic. it probably would be for you if you went to visit someone and they are locked in the bathroom and the roommate is worried there gonna OD and kill themselves! ha-ha but don't worry they are OK and are getting professional help now. We are working a lot with less active an recent converts and making sure they get the friends and stuff to feel welcome in the ward. Be a missionary and teach someone something about the gospel!
have a good week,

Love Elder Stevenson 

October 6, 2013

I hope everyone got the chance to watch conference. I'm glad you went to the stake center for priesthood dad and Taylor even tho they broadcast it. its a good tradition. it was awesome, my favorite talk was probably m Russell Ballard on missionary work. i like how it applied to members and missionaries. i like the quote said about 3 times by different people about now is the time to come together and work together by Joseph smith. keeping the commandments was another topic heavily covered that really struck me. everything from keeping the commandments and being kept out of bondage to being blessed to enduring to the end it all leads back to keeping the commandments and that starts by loving god. if we truly love god we wont complain or be mad about keeping those commandment either, we will have a good willing wanting attitude. We went to the bus stop one morning this week for one of the "creative" ideas. it went pretty well we went with the Spanish elders and passed out 20 English Book of Mormon's and quite a few Spanish and talked to lots of people. there was lots of people interested in what we had to say so even if we don't ever see them again we can at least pass there information on to missionaries in there area so they can get in touch with them. I wish I had more time. love you and have a great week!

Elder Stevenson

September 30, 2013

Yesterday after church on our way home walking we saw a neighbor in the ward outside so went to talk to him and his sewer line had collapsed, so we got to help fix it...! We started by digging down a few feet to find where the problem was coming from and made a trench. once we found it we had to tear the bad pipe out, its an old house so back when they made it instead of using plastic pipe they would use paper coated in tar wrapped over and over. So we had to take all that out pipe where it had collapsed then dig out all the poop/dirt/urine that had leaked out where the break was. It smelled sooo gross and smelled nasty! then we got the new plastic pipe and laid it in and got it all hooked up and working! it was actually kinda fun even tho it was gross. Saturday we did have those 2 baptisms for Danny and Daniel it went well and the spirit was there. after it was over and we were cleaning up everything the relief society ladies showed up in the kitchen to start cooking the dinner for the RS broadcast that night and asked for our help so I spend 2 hours in front of a huge grill cooking 250 pieces of chicken for it burning myself when ever I had to flip one in the middle because the heat was hot! Yesterday in church since it was the fifth Sunday we were asked to take half of the 3rd hour and talk about missionary work. we talked about member missionary work and how important it is and used a lot of stuff from pres Hinckley and PMG and scriptures. also i talked about a easy way to do missionary work, there's a talk by pres Devin Durant of a Texas mission with a talk titled "would you be willing" its really good and you should all read it. Friday night we got to go to part of a football game! i thought i wasn't going to get to see any for 2 years, the brethren have said the days of tracting are over and we need to find new ways of missionary work and to be creative and try new things. our mission pres told us to try things like that just don't break the white handbook rules and be creative. (did i put that in another letter?) anyways it was fun and its good for people to see us just as people sometimes so they know were normal. and a lot of people would say hi elders or introduce us to there friends or whatever so it was good. I already knew this but it finally hit me how realized i have been in this world not only to be able to have religion and the true gospel in my life and know where I'm going and where i came from but also just to have a family and a home and know how to work and be blessed because there's so many people who are just lost, lost in every sense they waste there days just sitting around doing drugs or watching TV or other worldly things that have distracted them so much they have no goal or purpose for anything at all. always be a member missionary and remember who your represent!  

Elder Stevenson


September 22, 2013

This week was a good week. the first part of the week went a little slow with lots of appointments falling thru but we developed a ward mission plan since this ward doesn't have one, then had a meeting with the ward missionaries and made it legit and now the ward mission leader we hope will help us more and fulfill his calling. It really should help us get more missionary work that we need as well as the ward fellow shipping and doing what they should be doing so we can all work together. yesterday (Sunday) was pretty cool, we have an investigator, Anthony, who invited us to "bible study" so we said we'd try and be there Sunday night so after church we went and it ended up being like a half church service but full of people of different religions.. weird I know. but anyways the pasture asked us to get up and talk a little about what we believe or bear our testimony's so we did and it went well and was cool to see there perspective, sing a few Christian songs ha-ha, he is coming to our church next week. another investigator JR, a Navajo man we met wanted us to come see him and the first time he was drunk when we came back, then we went again and he was still drunk a lot, and when elder Armatage pulled out his scriptures to teach from he immediately wanted them, instead of the free Book of Mormon we gave him. and we haven't taught him the word of wisdom or anything but he promised to be sober from here out and so he gave him his scriptures as long as he keeps that promise, even though it was hard for him to do it made my testimony grow seeing that he could give up something so precious he's had since he was 8 and give it away like Christ would. Danny, I think I've talked about him?.. is being baptized this week and we are excited, he's soo ready! also Daniel the other brother of the family we baptized wants to be baptized now! God places so many miracles in our paths, like the other day we were knocking on what we thought was a members door but was actually a part member family that let us in and the mom (less active family) said right off, oh good your here to get him to church right? so now we have a family to activate and a dad to teach the gospel, then another day 2 girls who were talking about earlier in the day they needed to start coming back to church (haven't been in years) and have god in there lives then other days street contacting people and just running into people who are prepared its amazing! we have a few guys who one of them we are trying to teach and the other ones are nice to us and there these tough thug like guys but whenever we see the they call us "our Mormons" and say we got your back and stuff its pretty funny! I always like when after talking to someone like that or like at the fellowship church or whatever afterward they'll say something like "now if anyone says anything bad about Mormons/ missionaries/lds ill tell them I know first hand and there wrong and tell them I know first hand I know better" I'm super excited for another week!

Elder Stevenson

September 16, 2013

Dear Elder Stevenson's parents.

My Name is Elder Bailey, I am your sons District Leader and I just wanted write and tell you have awesome your son is. 

-Elder Bailey

September 16, 2013

Dear family,
Thank you all so much for all the letter I love hearing from you all. this week I was able to have my first baptism and it was great! I  baptized David, 14, and then Karen the mom was also baptized. when we got in the water i got all confused on which way i was suppose to stand and which way he was suppose to stand so we were like walking in circles for a minute but after that it went well. i think my favorite part of the day was when Karen and David were confirmed the holy ghost and the blessing that came with it. i love standing in the circles of blessing even if I'm not the speaking and being able to feel the spirit. stake conference was this week and it was great. the temple pres was there and spoke about our priesthood will be the only thing that will be able to save lives in the near future and how important it is to keep worthy of that because medical technology and other things will become almost useless. it was powerful. they also talked a lot about testimonies and how important it is to share your testimony for your own benefit of it growing and also for others because they need to hear that to build there own. i was able to go to the mesa temple on Tuesday with the zone and it was really good. amazing to be able to feel so close to god as we are in his house. we found a lot of new investigators last week which was great so this week hopefully we can contact them and they are interested. there's some crazy ideas in this world ha-ha but I am loving the scriptures but not loving how hard it is to decide to what to study for the day because it is all so good and we only have an hour. our other investigators we already had are doing well and progressing I love seeing the change in peoples lives as they accept the gospel principals and say yes I will pray or come to church or anything and then the blessings soon after. 
I love you

Elder Stevenson

September 9, 2013

You better send me some of those cookies because you know i was there at his farewell in spirit. The deo I have actually works pretty well but I sweat everywhere no matter what. I'm really hoping to see Alan, tomorrow I get to go to the temple!! and maybe it will be his day there also, and as often as we have an investigator that will go to the visitor center we can take them there and its a really good spiritual place for investigators. That's weird we shower upstairs but our room is upstairs. our ward is a very poor ward in mesa so our living space is small but the people we live with, the Shockmans, are an older couple that's retired and hes a genius. kinda a mix of grandpa and Br. Barton but even smarter. he was one of the inventors of microchips that's now in cell phones and all that but since hes retired they don't need a big house. we have stake conference this weekend also I'm glad you enjoyed yours and i will probably be at all of the sessions ha-ha so you don't have it bad at all. I'm worried for the football team but at least they won canyon ridge even tho we won them like 70-0... I got my package thank you so much for everything that's in it and i'm sending those cards out i need to do better.

We have to cook for ourselves so i make a lot of sandwiches and ramen for lunch, today I'm gonna buy some bagels and for breakfast i eat cereal and granola bars and bananas, the people we live with are redoing the kitchen so it makes cooking anything hard. but every night for dinner we get fed by people, members, investigators, nonmembers. i hope there able to fix your back, especially before snowboard season. i like Dr White/Rodrick they do a good job.  Go tell Kaden to write me a dang letter ha-ha I'm glad you like ES, when it gets to be the last month work hard with your group don't fall apart cause that's what a lot of groups do. your the big 16 this year isn't homecoming coming up?? I'm glad you have fun at the motocross fair its one of the coolest things you'll see! you and Kaden go on the zipper?

Your talk was exactly what I'm trying to do as a missionary; serve god with all my heart, might, mind and strength. so maybe you just better come down here and tell me your talk so i can learn from it ;) ha-ha that's to bad about there dog why are they selling it?

That's to bad it didn't go to well with the word of wisdom lesson, we had that same lesson yesterday in our gospel principals class. With coffee i was aware that it was the coffee bean the was the bad part and the tea leaf because energy drinks and whatnot are OK. but our lesson went really well, i'm glad i didn't have to teach on the spot tho ha-ha we had a good turn out for that class couple of our investigators, and i think 3 less actives we are focusing on as well as 3 recently baptized and they all participated. we focused more on the blessing and "treasures" as it says in that lesson we will be blessed with both physically and spiritually and some other stuff more then the commandment because people already knew that part of it. that's fun you had fun at the fair i would die for some fair food! wahoo for BYU I'm glad there starting off good hopefully they can keep it going. I'm glad Kaden gave a good talk, I'm sure he will be the same way as me and after being in the MTC for 4 days think to himself i could have done so much better on my talk and talked about this or this or this ha-ha at least that's what i did. I cant remember the scripture right now but it says "charity is the pure love of Christ" and to me charity is service, and a key to missionary work, because if you don't serve and love the people your serving you wont have the spirit and they wont learn a thing. That's to bad about the Frandsens, they changed it up because I left. ha-ha just kidding. I never realized how much you do at church until yesterday when I went to all the early meetings and what not. so I wanted to thank you for serving and always remember to magnify your calling!

This week was pretty good I'm just getting the hang of things but i am loving it here. we are working with a family of 3 (mom and 2 sons) and are hoping to baptize them this weekend, at least the mom and one son. we are trying to work with the youngest son, he has a bad taste in his mouth because Mormon kids at school (mesa is full of member) treat him bad because hes black and not a member which is horrible in all of our church. we need to include not exclude someone who's different like emery did from the story in Kamri's talk. we have a man named Danny we are working with and wants to be baptized we just want him to understand it better before so he doesn't fall away. and a few other investigators. we need to find more this week tho. one of our big focuses is reactivation, we only have about 50% show up at church every week and we want like 70. so we have lots to do. The members are horrible on referrals tho and that's where we were told to focus on getting them from so I guess we are gonna stop relying on them. make sure if you know any referrals to give them to the missionary's or HQ or anything! Have a wonderful week is it fall time yet?

Love Elder Stevenson  

September 4, 2013

I got to get on the computer today to tell you I'm coming home, its to hard out here.. just kidding! My zone right now is called Maricopa, its in mesa. my companion is elder Armatage from Utah hes been out about 8 months. we cover one ward, and it is the most southern part of the entire mission. we can see the mesa mission from our front window (we live with members named the Shockmans, 2 kinda old disabled people) and at one end of the street is the Tuscan mission and the other end of the ward (like 3 min on a bike) is the Phoenix mission so we are in a little box right now. the missionary here before me left his bike so i got a free bike! but its pretty crappy so I don't know how well its gonna hold up. its hot here yesterday it got to be 110. I met some members yesterday there's lots of members right around us. we ate dinner at the elders president and they had some family friends over and we taught them the plan of salvation. then we went to the Boulder and ate another dinner and met some people on the street. on Monday after we got here we went to the mesa temple visitor center and went to the mission home and went over a lot of initiation type stuff. pres and sister Sweeney are the nicest people you will meet. they love all there missionary's it was awesome to get a home cooked breakfast from her yesterday.on Monday night we went street contacting we met a man and talked to him for about 45 minutes and he was interested but his friend that was there was kinda interrupting and making it so the spirit couldn't be there. but he took a Book of Mormon and wanted to learn more and stuff. sorry I only got to talk for a few minutes in the airport I wish the bus schedule would've worked and my calling card worked better. have a good week!
love you,

Elder Stevenson

August 30, 2013

This week has flown by i can't believe its already Friday! We fly out early early Monday morning we have to be checked out at 4:30 so ill give you a wake up call a couple hours later when were all settled in at the airport! Yesterday i was able to go over to the main campus (i told you i was at west right?) and see some friends, Hayden Hastings, Tyler Winegar, Chase Mcwhorter, Tanner Erickson and a couple other kids. Apparently the first football game is against Riverton Utah school so they prob wont win but if they do they might be alright this year.  I got pic with some of them so ill try and send them to you later as well when I have my camera. My testimony grows so much everyday, I love the spirit and how powerful it can be in testifying truths of the gospel unto us. And i love the scriptures and the answers we can find in them when we study faithfully and diligently searching for an answer, we will find our answer.  Its hard to remember what I've told you about the MTC and life here from writing you a letter the other night and the last email and writing in my journal I'm getting all sorts of confused! But Tuesday night we were able to hear from Pres. Anderson and charity and love, it was really good. After it he started shaking peoples hand and he went up my isle but i was to far down the row to reach far enough out to the isle and shake his hand. After the devotion (we had to walk a mile or 2 back to the house) and it was just pouring rain but it felt amazing I thought. The only bad part was we all had our suits so they got wet, but we gave them to the sisters in our district going to Scottsdale as well so they went to a good cause to keep them dry! Last night a few people in our group wanted blessings, I was able to stand in and even though I didn't say the blessing the spirit in the room was still amazing and we could all feel it especially in the circle. my pants are OK to wash right? I'll write more later!


Elder Stevenson

August 23, 2013

Hey family! 
I am having an awesome time here at the MTC, enjoying it, loving it and learning lots. Right after I got dropped off I was put on a bus and sent over to Wyview the small MTC campus. It is awesome and way better then the other one because we have better apartments, smaller classes less people and more one on one time with our teachers. My companion, Elder Lakatani, is from Hawaii! He only weighs like 220 but he is still a big guy. He is full of love and friendly to every person we meet, an example to me. There is 2 other elders in our room elder Millis and elder Bennett, we are all going to Scottsdale with around 8 sister and 4 more elders. The lord knows where we are suppose to be and put us in our places for a purpose. I know this is where I need to be and every second will continue to be amazing no matter how hard it is. I want to bear my testimony, that first, anything can happen when we put our faith in the lord because he knows best. I have learned so much in the past 2 days and that is because of faith, and the spirit. The spirit is the only thing that will build and make our testimony's immovable. And as we work hard we will be blessed so much like the scripture saying where much is given much is required also means where much is required much is given. I can't wait to get out to Scottsdale even tho I have lots and lots to still learn about.

I love you all, have a wonderful week,

Elder Stevenson