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