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