Tuesday, December 30, 2014

December 29, 2014

Well it was good to see you all on Christmas, those 40 minutes went quick and we ran right out of time no one asked me to bear my testimony so I decided I would do that today: I know Jesus Christ is the savior and redeemer of the world. He is the way, the only way to return again to heavenly father. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith and we are very very lucky to have those blessings in our lives today, the stone is rolling forward and this is the time to prepare for the second coming. God loves each and every one of us, he has a plan for us. The book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel and we need to study it daily. As a side note around Thanksgiving one of the things Elder Lawrence of the 70 talked to us about was reading the book of Mormon before the New Year and marking all the times it mentions Christ or the God Head, I am almost done and the book of Mormon does testify Jesus is the Son of God. Families are crucial in God's plan and necessary, I am grateful for my family, your love and support toward me at this time. This is a missionary church and we should all be seeking opportunities to share the gospel as well as increase in our conversion and staying true to our covenants. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Make some goals and plans for the upcoming year, here are 2 of mine.. 1. Get ripped so my 6 pack looks like Taylors. 2. Read 3-4 pages of Jesus the Christ per day (or 100 pg per month) so I can read it before August. I love you, have a good week! Elder Stevenson

December 22, 2014

This last week was good. On Tuesday we volunteered at a local church and helped out with their homeless outreach project. As companion ships we would get assigned to a bum and then go around with them to all the booths they wanted to and be there friend. At first they had a bunch of Spanish people who needed help so I went with a Spanish elder (Johnson) and we helped a lady.. I didn't understand too much, but my Spanish is actually coming along, mas a menos. Then we helped an English speaking lady who has no family and never has met her parents she was in her 20's. Sad story but we helped her out too, got a haircut, tested for aids, free Obama phone, ID, flu shot, and a bunch of other stuff, it was pretty fun! We hung Sister Fussell’s Christmas lights for her. Finally were able to meet with Nicole again she's feeling a little better. Still didn't come to church... But hopefully soon or we will drop her. She knows she needs to be there but something always gets in the way. We didn't meet with Kyle he had an emergency dentist thing come up, but he was at church and that much is good. We had our Christmas temple trip this week. It was great, I was able to take a name all the way thru, we went early and did baptisms, confirmations and everything else. It was really cool and fun to baptize each other. Sadly it took a lot of precious time to do it all. But it was temple work. We had a really good lesson with Inez about Alma 32, sadly she is going to move. We saw blain and he is doing well on his track to the temple. Same with the Deleons. We had Zone Training Meeting one day, took some elders to the doctor and tried to weekly plan, busy but not teaching wise busy. We found a family! We had a lesson Thursday night and watched he is the gift, it was really good! They are part Mexican so they might have Spanish elders teach but whatever is best for them is good. Saturday I went to another area, the Eldorado ward, it was fun with Elder Cox. Got to ride bikes. I am about out of time but our week was good! Luke 2 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Don't forget about baby Jesus this Christmas! See you soon Love, Elder Stevenson

December 15, 2014

Hello! Life is good, nothing new for transfers, I am staying with Elder Freckleton and our apartment is the same. Transfer meeting was good though, got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a while! The Mesa Temple Lights are up and running and we got to go on Friday with the Deckers and last night with the Deleons. They are awesome, so many lights. They also have nativity scenes and He is the Gift playing and the Nativity movie playing, its good! A lot has been happening, I'm glad the Elders talked to you about the He is the Gift video, don't forget to share it. Kyle is doing good, we had a lesson with him yesterday again and he's making big progress but its hard since he only knows a little, even reading and understanding the scriptures is pretty tough. The frosting was good mom,It wouldn't thicken cause it was fake butter... So we just kept pouring in cream cheese and powder sugar till it tasted good. On Sunday Elder Freckleton got sick, don't know if I mentioned or not but he's allergic to wheat soy and peanuts and ate something with that in it. We had our ward Christmas party, it was good. Sadly no investigators came but we had a few Less Actives. We had a lesson with someone who turned out to be anti, without bashing he got put in his place and shown the bible verses he was wrong. Actually had quite a few experiences of people who were anti this week, we went to dinner at a salad buffet with a member and man named Mercer (evil name huh?) came up to us and asked where the lds storehouse cannery is cause he wanted to buy some canning things so we told him and started talking about the gospel and he proclaimed to be some english professor scientist who is proving all religion to be right and that karma and math is everything, it was really weird, well the member we were with told him it was the holy ghost not "luck" and invited him to read the book of mormon (awesome member by the way) well this mercer guy went off about demanding a sign and I told him he was wrong and thats tempting god and bore my testimony to him. It was really weird, at least different then other people who have been anti before. But it felt just like a modern day book of mormon story.. Felt bad for the man and hope he finds his way. We had another lesson with Court and Ashley, it was really good taught the restoration. Sadly we found out they are going to be moving around the new year and they aren't getting married until after that so we will at least help them prepare for baptism then they will get baptized in there new home. We have a lot of less active work we are doing it is going well, I think over the next month we will transition them off more to the ward and find more less actives but also we are working on finding those who are ready now and can get them toward baptism. Nicole has been really sick so we haven't been able to meet with them for a week and a half. Hopefully things will start looking up hill. In answer to you questions mom- "What was the most exciting thing that happened this week? Most spiritual thing? Funniest? Do you like your companion? Do you work well together??" Exciting- The temple lights were awesome! Spiritual- Our lesson with Kyle was really good, and at transfer meeting the office missionaries bore their testimony's and it was super good Funniest- We contact people at stoplights from our car and have had some great experiences, it's really funny! We pass out cards and such.. but the only way you can experience it for yourself is if you #sharethegift cards you got from the ensign! Companion?- We do ok together, we have strengths in different areas so that is something that helps us do good together. I still want to send a picture of us but haven't found a SD card reader Remember Jesus is the reason for the Season! Love Elder Stevenson

December 8, 2014

Hello! Life is good, nothing new for transfers, I am staying with Elder Freckleton and our apartment is the same. Transfer meeting was good though, got to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a while! The Mesa Temple Lights are up and running and we got to go on Friday with the Deckers and last night with the Deleons. They are awesome, so many lights. They also have nativity scenes and He is the Gift playing and the Nativity movie playing, its good! A lot has been happening, I'm glad the Elders talked to you about the He is the Gift video, don't forget to share it. Kyle is doing good, we had a lesson with him yesterday again and he's making big progress but its hard since he only knows a little, even reading and understanding the scriptures is pretty tough. The frosting was good mom,It wouldn't thicken cause it was fake butter... So we just kept pouring in cream cheese and powder sugar till it tasted good. On Sunday Elder Freckleton got sick, don't know if I mentioned or not but he's allergic to wheat soy and peanuts and ate something with that in it. We had our ward Christmas party, it was good. Sadly no investigators came but we had a few Less Actives. We had a lesson with someone who turned out to be anti, without bashing he got put in his place and shown the bible verses he was wrong. Actually had quite a few experiences of people who were anti this week, we went to dinner at a salad buffet with a member and man named Mercer (evil name huh?) came up to us and asked where the lds storehouse cannery is cause he wanted to buy some canning things so we told him and started talking about the gospel and he proclaimed to be some english professor scientist who is proving all religion to be right and that karma and math is everything, it was really weird, well the member we were with told him it was the holy ghost not "luck" and invited him to read the book of mormon (awesome member by the way) well this mercer guy went off about demanding a sign and I told him he was wrong and thats tempting god and bore my testimony to him. It was really weird, at least different then other people who have been anti before. But it felt just like a modern day book of mormon story.. Felt bad for the man and hope he finds his way. We had another lesson with Court and Ashley, it was really good taught the restoration. Sadly we found out they are going to be moving around the new year and they aren't getting married until after that so we will at least help them prepare for baptism then they will get baptized in there new home. We have a lot of less active work we are doing it is going well, I think over the next month we will transition them off more to the ward and find more less actives but also we are working on finding those who are ready now and can get them toward baptism. Nicole has been really sick so we haven't been able to meet with them for a week and a half. Hopefully things will start looking up hill. In answer to you questions mom- "What was the most exciting thing that happened this week? Most spiritual thing? Funniest? Do you like your companion? Do you work well together??" Exciting- The temple lights were awesome! Spiritual- Our lesson with Kyle was really good, and at transfer meeting the office missionaries bore their testimony's and it was super good Funniest- We contact people at stoplights from our car and have had some great experiences, it's really funny! We pass out cards and such.. but the only way you can experience it for yourself is if you #sharethegift cards you got from the ensign! Companion?- We do ok together, we have strengths in different areas so that is something that helps us do good together. I still want to send a picture of us but haven't found a SD card reader Remember Jesus is the reason for the Season! Love Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

December 1, 2014

Just kidding about the one line email! A lot of people were out of town for Thanksgiving, but we tried to make the most of our week. Thanksgiving was good, we had a breakfast in the morning, it was with Inez and her daughter, she is preparing to go to the temple, the 4 missionaries from our ward and the 6 missionaries from the Spanish branch were there so it was pretty fun. For dinner we ate with the Decker’s, also preparing to go back to the temple and it was fun. Then a little later we had an appointment with the Armstrong family and ate pie and talked about gratitude. We shared messages about gratitude with Sister Fussell and also James (a newer investigator) about gratitude. I have really been counting my blessings this week and often wonder why Heavenly Father has given me so much... We had another lesson with Sister Fussell earlier in the week, we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ (4th article of faith) it was quite the lesson, we talked about the temple and the member we had with us made the lesson so much better. We didn't meet with Kyle but he still came to church. I forgot to bring my planner from last month with me today for emails so I am forgetting everything. We had Zone Training Meeting that was good. We have a really busy week planned for this week! Transfers are next week but I don't think anything will change. The Elders we share the ward with have been pretty difficult to work with, transfers will be good. Christmas is coming! It’s really weird because this year I am in the valley instead of the mountains so it doesn't feel like December, still feels like October or so. Sorry this letter is so all over the place, have a good week! Alma 34: 38 That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

November 24, 2014

Hi Family, This last week was not quite what was expected. Elder DeBruin has been struggling with a few things and this last Tuesday evening we were visiting a Less active, Inez and she President called us I had the phone so talked to him first then Elder Debruin talked to him, he said there would be a transfer that night and that my companion would be staying at the mission home for a little while. My companion got all packed up and was pretty sad but we said bye to a few people quickly and went to the mission office. I met my new companion there, his name is Elder Freckleton, and he’s from Idaho Falls. I will try and send a picture of us together. Elder Debruin went home on Friday. Here is an update of the other things that happened last week: We are teaching the Deleon family (family working towards the temple) and talked about Patriarchal blessings and they are doing really good, sadly one of the extended family members on the reservation froze to death this last weekend and they it is pretty sad. Thank goodness for the atonement and knowledge of the Resurrection. I hope they can find peace. We are still working with the Highley's (John, Nicole, Gannon) plus James. James is more of a family friend but is staying with them for a while and we have started teaching him when we teach Nicole. John is good, he helps us as we teach and testify. He joined about 8 months ago. Nicole is doing ok, but it has been hard to get her to church, if she doesn't start showing some more fruits we might have to stop teaching her. On the bright side we picked up James, he has been reading the book of Mormon and we taught Nicole the word of wisdom and he was there too. He has barely been taught the basics but accepted the Word of Wisdom so that was pretty cool! We also taught him the restoration this last week. We are still working with Blain and helping him get to the temple, he is doing great and keeps all commitments and appointments, and it’s just a matter of time before he can go to the temple. We talked a little more about the plan of salvation with him last week. Sister Fussell is doing well, her husband took offense to us (I might have said that already?) but we are still meeting with her and helping get her to the temple and tobacco free. We talked to her during church and she said her husband was confused and that's why he got mad but she explained things out to him and he has thoughts about joining the church. We are still teaching the Armstrong family- we talked this last time about things that led to Mary's baptism and then talked about things they need to do to be sealed as a family. We made a list of things to go over with them and have an appointment tonight to talk about the Family Proclamation. We had exchanges Thursday and I spend the day with Elder Turner, it was a great day! We went to see an "unknown" person on the list of our 800 members and found out that person had moved and then as we were in the van updating records a man came from the other side of the street and wanted to talk, so we rolled down our windows and he just wanted to say hi and see if we needed water or anything, found out he used to be taught by missionaries a while back but then moved and now has a wife and 2 kids 13 and 8. His name is Juan and he wants us to start teaching him and his family, and gets his kids involved in the gospel. It was cool. We also were going to see an investigator and talked to a guy taking out the trash, he was less active and took us to meet his brother who he is staying with who is less active and his family. The cool thing was we were looking for that family but they moved apartments in a huge complex and it was a miracle we ran into them. We had a couple similar experiences this week also. We are helping the French speaking sister teach some people, we don't really do much except escort them because where they go is pretty dangerous for sisters. We had Zone Conference last week and it was really good. Talked about the mission tour, and a few other things. December there will be 3 articles in the Ensign that will help you do your missionary work and you even get pass along cards to use! Here is a link to check out tomorrow http://www.mormon.org/christmas/countdown Also dad you should just put a stack of Mormon pass along cards at your store for people to take. I'm trying to make this letter long for mom, but running out of things to say.. One day we out and felt like we should see the Bonito's (that’s Kyle - investigators family) and so we talked went over and talked to the family even though we knew Kyle wasn't home so we just chatted on the door step for a minute with Celeste (his more than girlfriend, not quite wife) about how he is liking being taught and thoughts of the gospel and what not (she is never home for our lessons with him) and talked about how the gospel blesses families and things he has said to us about how his family is the world to him but he doesn't really express that to her so she was crying and it was good. Church was good, Kyle and the family was there. Brother and Sister Cody were there, it’s been hard to meet with them. They have been busy, but hopefully this week. We are reading the Book of Mormon before the end of the year and marking all of the times it mentions Christ, it’s going great. Here is a few scriptures of the week since its thanksgiving! Rev. 7:12 Blessing, and glory, and thanksgiving, and honor be unto our God. Mosiah 2:19–21:O how you ought to thank your heavenly King. Alma 34:38 Live in thanksgiving daily. D&C 46:7 Ye should do all things with prayer and thanksgiving. And here is my favorite- Alma 37:37 37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day. Have a happy Turkey day, tackle someone in the snow for me, and be grateful. Love, Elder Stevenson PS: I was thinking if I made the font bigger it would take up more of the page ;)

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014

Last Wednesday we had our mission conference with Elder Lawrence, it was so good! In the morning Sister Lawrence spoke, she talked about the house of Israel and what that means, the Abrahamic covenant, and the scattering and gathering of Israel, the word "elect". It was super good, I don't know that I have ever learned so much in such little time. Then Elder Lawrence talked about how we can have a better mission "culture" and it was really good as well. I think everyone wants to do better and do more. This weekend was the Phoenix Temple dedication, sadly that meant no investigators could be at church but it was good. President Monson is getting super old, I think in the next 10 years there will be a lot of change in the leadership (apostles) of the church. Not too much other stuff happened that is out of the ordinary, went on exchanges, my bike got stolen on exchanges but that's ok cause we have the van, had a few good lessons- one with Kyle, he is still progressing and doing good, he doesn't feel like he knows enough yet to set a baptism date but that's alright cause he's still brand new to it all. We read the book of Mormon quite a bit last week for our lessons with people to help make sure they read and understand what they read and all that. We have done a little service lately, helped a less active move, got our neighbor a couch, helped a catholic lady move boxes, a few other things. 1 Nephi 17:13 And I will also be your light in the wilderness (world); and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land (temple or heaven); and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led. Anyways, sorry this letter isn't any longer Mom! Love, Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 11, 2014

We had a good last week! It was my companion’s birthday so I made him a cake. Yesterday, Elder Lawrence from the 70 met with us, he is here for a mission tour and we will meet with him again tomorrow. We had Fast Sunday this week because last week was Stake Conference and it was unique. As a missionary we are always hoping our investigators will have a spiritual experience and being Fast Sunday it’s always a mystery... Well with that being said there was like 3 natives who bore their testimony about the "Indian placement program" back in the day where members of the church would foster an Indian for a while like a foreign exchanged student and so these 3 people came and visited there host family and talked about it. It was pretty dull, but the cool part was like all our investigators there were natives, Kyle and then Br. Cody and his grandsons. That pretty much makes up all the Indians in the ward so don't think there’s a lot. But it was just neat to see the Lord works in his ways and although a few testimonies might not have had an impact on some people they had an impact on other people. We had a lot of good lessons last week and pushed Nicole’s baptism date back until January, it’s a ways off but her son turns 8 then and can be baptized together so I think that is worth the wait! I am out of time but love you and pray for you! Elder Stevenson 1 Nephi 18:3 And I, Nephi, did go into the mount oft, and I did pray oft unto the Lord; wherefore the Lord showed unto me great things.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2014

This last week was great! Mary was baptized, no one remember a SD card reader but I do have pictures! Her baptism was good, her dad did it. It was a redneck baptism to say the least but a baptism is a baptism if it’s done properly and with authority, right? This was the last week of the temple open house and we went 2 times! We went once with Imran and Virginia, they really enjoyed the temple and had good questions, then they saw meet the Mormons with some members too. This week we will go over and have another lesson. We also went to the temple with Nicole (investigator) and John (recent convert)/father and a member, it was really good, I think we have built up a relationship with her and now she will progress more. We also went to the Mesa temple on Halloween! It was so great, our mission was invited and when we got there I saw Elder Alan in the dressing room and we got to go thru a session together! It was really cool :) Sadly we had a long drive and an early curfew so we had to jet and I wasn't able to take a picture with him outside the temple cause they weren't out yet.. We had a few other good lessons this last week as well and stake conference which was great. On Saturday we got up super early (like 4) and volunteered to help with a MS walk. There was a lot of people and we had a lot of fun! There was like 20 missionaries and I and my companion filled up big tubs with water bottles and ice. It was all in the back of a semi so we made a water wall and stacked it up on the back of the trailer. It was really cool! And the ice was in the other end of the trailer so for a few minutes i sat on the little ice room and it felt so good! The weather is cooling off and it’s great. 2 Nephi 32:9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul. Elder Stevenson

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October 29, 2014

Hello hello! I'm sorry I don't have time to read and reply to you emails family, but I printed it off and will read it later tonight. This week has been transfer week and today is our P-day and it went way to fast. We picked up a new truck right off the lot with like 2 miles on it and I got to drive it, then we did a helped and bunch of other stuff so anyways I only have a few minutes to email. Here is a quick recap: We had a ward party, chili cook off and trunk or treat; the Armstrong family came and won so that was really cool! Speaking of the Armstrong family Mary is still all set for her baptism on Saturday. We heard today from the secretary in the ward they lost bro Armstrong’s records and are trying to find them before Saturday... Hope they do! Another investigators mom just got married in SLC temple so we went to the reception at another church building in the stake and supported them and her and helped clean up afterward. It was really good! They are coming along. He has a Muslim background so any help would be great. Another super good lesson with a boyfriend in a part member family, he is native and doesn't have any background with any religion so we just went over the godhead and Heavenly Fathers plan for us and a little bit with families, it was neat! He is trying so I really hope his answer comes. We are starting to work with the church next door in service projects and things, it is a Scientology church, we went to their little "open house" (their church is sooo false and wicked by the way- foolishness of men, cunning and crafty ways of the devil) anyways they came to our chili cook off and it was cool to start building a relationship with them. Have a good week! Hope this letter makes sense, I didn't proof read it. Love Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 13, 2014

This last week was great! Heavenly Father really blessed our area, last Sunday we counted up the time we had spent in other area's due to exchanges, planning meetings, meetings, helping other missionaries, and what not for the week, it was 50 hours (way more than a typical week), that's 2 whole days but this last week we had more member present lessons then I have seen in a long time and more than my comp has seen in this area in a long while so God definitely "repaid" us well. On Sunday me and my companion both bore our testimonies, unplanned we both talked about God's love for his children. He read a poem and I talked about about Alma 26. The Phoenix temple open house started on Friday and lucky for us we were the first ones there on Saturday with a less active family who is returning. It was beautiful. We had ZTM on Tuesday (Zone Training Meeting) it sure was different than before, but it went super well! Here is an update on some people we have been working with: Mary and dad and Andrea: Andrea just stopped coming to our appointments but brother Armstrong and Mary were both at church and we hope to go to the open house with them this week! We taught the word of wisdom and the biggest hold up was eating meat sparingly so that was pretty awesome! (Especially for having parents who don't set a good example) Last week I may have mentioned a family from Africa?... Well the dads name is Erick and the moms name is Lucy (I wonder what their real names are...) and they have 2 little kids, a one year old and a 1 month old and yesterday they came to church!! They loved it and want to come back again next week. Our main goal for them is to help them understand the temple; why they need to get there so they can be sealed and be a forever family. We started teaching a father in a (PMF) part member family, he is at church every week but isn't a member and just like the African family we want them to be sealed, so tomorrow we are going to the open house with them! In our lesson yesterday we talked about the god head and about how the gospel blesses families. We had a good lesson with Nicole, she is on date for the 15th of next month. 2 good lessons with her last week, well much more has happened but I am out of time. I love you, have a great week! Sorry I don’t have time for a scripture :( But I am grateful for yours mom and dad! Love Elder Stevenson

Saturday, October 11, 2014

October 6, 2014

This week was very good, as you know General Conference was great, I really enjoyed Saturday, it was very.. comforting. A lot of the things I have personally been trying to do were things talked about on Saturday morning so it wasn't like a 'great awakening' but more like a confirmation of my choices. A few really good ones to me was Elder Klebingat's and Lord, is it I? Also there was a lot of basic doctrine retaught and testimony's of Christ and the Prophet. The world is going to get more wicked on one end and more righteous on the other before Christ comes again, which side are you on? Last week I went on exchanges with a Spanish companionship, it was pretty fun! I know a few more words and things but was mostly lost in the day. We got to watch Meet the Mormons this last week, its great! You will like it although you will cry as well. On Friday, we went to the temple and it was great, conference and a temple in one weekend, can't beat that! After the temple we had a meeting which was good, a lot of new tools we can use that I am excited for! A huge focus on inviting people to the temple, not only baptism. going back to "beginning with the end in mind" My companion has been quite sick so sadly we haven't been able to work to much in our area this week but on the bright side we had a good lesson with Mary and Andrea Armstrong (on date for 10/25) and watched conference with them Saturday. If I could ask a favor, please pray for Br. Armstrong, that he will be able to be worthy to baptize by the 25th, he is struggling with smoking and coming to church due to poor health. We also watched conference at 2 less active homes, and a member family who had recent convert over so that was good. We ran into a guy and offered help moving some stuff with him, he accepted so we helped unload his truck then he let us in and we talked for a while. He was catholic and asked about every question there is (polygamy, JS, etc.) it was cool to unfold them to him piece by piece. Don't know that they have true intent but we will give them the choice to follow or not. Lots of other stuff but you can hear about it next week, have a good week! Your turn to send me a scripture. Don't forget, if you don't apply what you learned at conference there was no point in watching it. Love Elder Stevenson

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 28, 2014

The Primary program was this week at church, it was really good! Always fun to watch the kids do funny things and feel the sweet spirit there. On Saturday Sarah and Craig said they were coming to church then Sunday morning a little family emergency came up, it was sad because they were really excited for the program. Hopefully next week. We started working with a recent convert’s daughter, Nicole. We taught her the restoration and when we said what do you know about Joseph Smith? She said he was a prophet right? I thought that was a good response! She accepted a baptismal date for the 25th of October. We picked up a few part member families this week, one girl who is 9 and wants to be baptized but her dad has to quit smoking so he can be worthy, he set a goal to be ready on October 25th as well so hopefully we can help them! There is a lot of less active members in the ward we have had some great visits with them, hopefully we can help to reactivate. Our mission is starting a new program called just serve, where we volunteer up to 10 hours a week at places like food banks, homeless shelters, hospitals, etc., it should be fun! We got to leave the mission for a fireside in west phoenix. We had a huge rainstorm! It was sunny in the morning and all the sudden it stormed, lots of tree's fell over, even a palm tree. We found a street light knocked over and a stop light so it was a pretty serious storm. The car (12 passenger van we drive) was rocking in the wind and you could barely see 20 feet ahead. Also I went on exchanges in fountain hills this last week, there is a lot of money rolling around their! I learned a lot! One cool thing was a while back in Pine we did service for a part member family who has a cabin in Pine, and I talked to a guy for like 40 minutes about the church, and we went and saw him, still hasn't joined but I think he will one day. I found a cool scripture the other day! Mosiah 2: 1 And it came to pass that after Mosiah had done as his father had commanded him, and had made a proclamation throughout all the land, that the people gathered themselves together throughout all the land, that they might go up to the temple to hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them. 2 And there were a great number, even so many that they did not number them; for they had multiplied exceedingly and waxed great in the land. 3 And they also took of the firstlings of their flocks, that they might offer sacrifice and burnt offerings according to the law of Moses; 4 And also that they might give thanks to the Lord their God, who had brought them out of the land of Jerusalem, and who had delivered them out of the hands of their enemies, and had appointed just men to be their teachers, and also a just man to be their king, who had established peace in the land of Zarahemla, and who had taught them to keep the commandments of God, that they might rejoice and be filled with love towards God and all men. 5 And it came to pass that when they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family, consisting of his wife, and his sons, and his daughters, and their sons, and their daughters, from the eldest down to the youngest, every family being separate one from another. 6 And they pitched their tents round about the temple, every man having his tent with the door thereof towards the temple, that thereby they might remain in their tents and hear the words which king Benjamin should speak unto them; 7 For the multitude being so great that king Benjamin could not teach them all within the walls of the temple, therefore he caused a tower to be erected, that thereby his people might hear the words which he should speak unto them. 8 And it came to pass that he began to speak to his people from the tower; and they could not all hear his words because of the greatness of the multitude; therefore he caused that the words which he spake should be written and sent forth among those that were not under the sound of his voice, that they might also receive his words. 9 And these are the words which he spake and caused to be written, saying: My brethren, all ye that have assembled yourselves together, you that can hear my words which I shall speak unto you this day; for I have not commanded you to come up hither to trifle with the words which I shall speak, but that you should hearken unto me, and open your ears that ye may hear, and your hearts that ye may understand, and your minds that the mysteries of God may be unfolded to your view. Ok, now that you have read that, think of general conference! We gather round to hear the words of our prophet. Our tents are our houses and we look toward the TV as a family to listen. The tower could be the conference center so more people can listen. Cant all hear? Write it down- the Ensign, the internet, the TV, the radio! There are many other similarities but I am out of time, have a good week! Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22,2014

It was great to listen to an apostle this week! On Saturday we gathered with the Mesa Mission and listened to Elder Nelson, we were also instructed by Elder Foster and Elder Hansen from the 70. It was amazing, my hand didn't stop writing the whole meeting. I will share a few things later on. It was also great to see Elder Anderson, he's growing up! This last week other good things happened too, we had a lesson with a former investigator Sara and Craig, they are a young unmarried couple, we talked about the plan of salvation and families and brought our Ward Mission Leader and his wife, it was a super good lesson and at the end instead of inviting them to be baptized we invited them to prepare to go to the celestial kingdom, when they said yes we said ok to get there you must be baptized, will you prepare to be baptized? They said yes and we said to do that you must read and pray each day, will you do that? It was really cool to put things in a more eternal perspective! They came to church on Sunday! Not going to lie, sacrament meeting was pretty... dry.. But they even enjoyed it and that everyone said hi to them and want to come back next week! As a side note PLEASE go to www.meetthemormons.com and request it to come to Scottsdale, use the area code 84008 and tell as many people as you can as well, we want this movie to get into theaters here so people will know who we are plus going to the movies as a missionary would be awesome! We just had a neighbor move in below us who is LA and has 2 kids who aren't members, she doesn't really want to come back but we were able to do service for them, we built their beds and they are going to come to the temple open house with us. The ward here is awesome, there is a lot of members and a lot of variety, kids, youth, newlyweds, families and old people so it will be great to have lots of fellowshipping for investigators. The members are willing to help us and that's good, last week one day we had dinner with a member family and they had their neighbor over and we were able to share the restoration with them and he wants to come to church the next Sunday he doesn't work. So here is a quick run down from Elder Nelson and Hansen/ Foster: All things lead to the temple or celestial kingdom. Family History is something I need to start learning and doing, we talked a lot about marriage, making the most of our missions, love you companion, love god, don't let anything stop the work or tear you down, my responsibility's, D&C31, and so much more! Although in the area change we lost all our progressing investigators, the lord is blessing our area and we are finding people to teach. Our schedules are full and I am happy. I am out of time, Have a great week! Love, Elder Stevenson

Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 16, 2014

Well I got transferred! Let me back up a bit though, last week was really good, Sunday especially. It has been a struggle to get people to come to church the last few weeks but Sunday everyone just seemed to flock right in. It was good to see a lot of people there my last Sunday there. Ann came and brought her son Keegan, Julie was there with her kids, Michael (investigator) we have been teaching made it this week and really liked it, and the Frazier's (la) came and brought there 8 year old, Audrey, who isn't baptized. I sat next to Audrey during sacrament and it was great, first she pulls out ice breakers to share.... then came the fruit snacks... then came the cookies, it was a good meeting! The speakers were good too. Bro Frazier and I sat together during elders quorum and he turns to me and says "I'm back" I was a little confused at first but it was finally in that 3rd hour of church when it hit him, I am back at church, I am where I need to be, where God wants and needs me, it was one of the coolest things to see it all just click. So my new companion is Elder Debruin, he's awesome, I am really excited to serve and work with him. We are in the "Scottsdale zone" but it’s really still more phoenix then Scottsdale in our ward so its lower income class mostly. It's the Cammelview ward. The work seems to really be going here, I only got here last night but there is a lot to do so I am excited to work hard. Here are a few of the things from last week- We did a lot of yard work service on Saturday which was fun. Had some really good lessons. It was hard to say goodbye to Julie and some other people I feel that I've been blessed to have an impact on. Didn't realize how close I was with the ward until on Sunday having to saying goodbye to people and how many people there really were that have helped us and been so nice to us. And saying goodbye to the elders and sister in the ward was sad too, but I will see them again :) Here's my scripture, Jacob 6:12 O be wise; what can I say more? Have a good week my family, I love you! Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 8, 2014

This week was good, we had a lot happen! I'll give you a quick run down from last week, we went bowling as a district, I bowled 121, not too bad, we pulled weeds at a young part member family's house, they are super nice, probably won’t progress very fast in the gospel because they have most of the necessities covered (house, shop, dirt bikes, sand rail, truck, wife, kid) Got it all right? ;) Ha-ha but they want to come to the Phoenix Temple open house that is all next month so that will be great, hopefully we can start teaching them about how families can be together forever. At our weekly Book of Mormon reading class we had a great turn out! First Michael came, we have been teaching him but it has been hard to get him to church, but he came and we had a church tour and he liked it, he enjoyed meeting the bishop too, then Julie was there with her kids as well. Then a lady we were trying to teach like 3 months ago that moved to another area showed up out of the blue with her family! It was pretty awesome to have a full room. Another day we taught the plan of salvation to a younger couple, they totally felt the spirit testifying but didn't accept any commitments, darn agency... Ha-ha! A while back I mentioned the Lingels, PMF, they went on a trip and just got back so we taught them the restoration and it was good, they are super nice but have some word of wisdom and other things that hopefully we can help them overcome. The person named William who was from the door we knocked on, we had an appointment with him and it was pretty awkward, he told us he was just sentenced to prison for 5 years... He starts his sentence on Tuesday (tomorrow) so we read the Book of Mormon with him and talked about the atonement. Anyways a lot of miracles always happen but a lot of people’s hearts seem to harden before we see them again hopefully some of these will stay soft! Last week I talked about the Frazier's I think. We saw them again this week, it was only bro Frazier and his daughter home but it was an awesome lesson/visit! I think they are the family I am most excited about, we went by to drop off a Family Proclamation but ended up talking with Br. Frazier for a while. He has a weird thing on his leg so I asked about it and it opened the door to a motorcycle crash which opened a lot of doors and a great conversation that eventually turned into coming back to the gospel, he talked about how he missed wearing garments and other things so it was great to talk to him about that and the Miracle of Forgiveness book. I have been studying out Jacob 5, the parable of the Olive-tree. I have learned a bunch, one thing I want to share is verse 15 and 16, because we are never alone. In this case it's not being alone as we help do the lords work, but really in any case we have our savior as our advocate! 15. And it came to pass that a long time passed away, and the Lord of the vineyard said unto his servant: Come, let us go down into the vineyard that we may labor in the vineyard. 16 And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard, and also the servant, went down into the vineyard to labor. Well have a great week! I love you! Elder Stevenson

September 1, 2014

Hi family, You must be camping or something right now, I hope you’re having fun! This last week was pretty good, we had Zone conference talked about a talk by Elder Uchdorf, fear not, I am with thee. It was really good. We also talked about working with the members, if you don't know the missionaries who are in your ward by name you should have them over even if it’s just for lunch or something. We had like all of our appointments fall thru this last week.. It's always the pits but hopefully this upcoming week will be a little better. Satan works hard too ya know! One cool thing happened this last week, one day I was talking with Elder Ashcraft about talking with everyone, something he was struggling with and so I decided we would knock a few doors so he could practice talking to people, well we knocked like 8 doors and they all either got shut in our faces or no one answered then a guy opened the door and said do you want to come in? So we taught him the restoration, I was super quite so it would help him open up and it was neat to see him gain more confidence as we went along! Reading the book of Mormon has been great, I'm just at the end of second Nephi and have already learned so much from going through it again. It's amazing to me to recognize all the prophesies of the restoration/last days/Book of Mormon/ second coming/millennium. We are in the middle of it! It's pretty crazy when you slow down and think about it. Here’s my scripture 2 Nephi 28:30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have. Have a good week! Love Elder Stevenson

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014

The work is good, it is weird to hit my year mark. Here is a follow up on a few of the things I mentioned last week- We got the Swahili book of Mormon delivered (by the way dad- they are from Africa), we saw them yesterday the communication barrier is hard but we read the introduction to the Book of Mormon with them and think they got the just of it. They want to have us over for dinner that sounds cool! Although we found Patrick we haven't been able to meet with him he is a pretty busy guy and is going to a different church every week so we are going to try and help him see this is the right one we just need a half hour of his time. On Thursdays we go on exchanges with members in the ward, last week I was out with the Ward Mission Leader and a while back me and Elder Hinds talked to a family from Idaho who said come back mid-August. We went back and it was awesome. A part member family with 3 young daughters, the mom, KC, talked about wanting to strengthen her relationship with God and her family, just what a missionary wants to hear! The oldest daughter who is 9 was working with missionaries before they moved and wants to be baptized, and the other kids like primary from when they've gone with cousins! I am excited to work with them. We are teaching a guy named Michael who worked on the Gilbert Temple so he know about the church, he got to help hang the chandelier in the celestial room! He's pretty solid we just have to help him get to church, he already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and the restoration, so it should be good! A couple weeks ago I can’t remember if I told you this experience or not, but we were praying with an investigator outside and there was a 'thug' looking guy walking by so I invited him to pray with us and after the prayer he looked right and pointing saying "I need to talk to you" so I went over a few steps away and talked to him in private and he wanted me to pray for him so he could get off drugs so we prayed and then met with him and that was followed with a lesson with him and his girlfriend, well long story short they- Teshager and Alicia- came to church yesterday and loved it! Sadly they are moving just north of our area in a week or two. Friday, we had to get the car worked on and the repair shop has a free ride if you need while your cars there so we decided that would be good, well the driver was a woman so we had to say we don't need a ride anymore and walk a few miles back to our area. We were blessed, not sure how yet but we were.. or will be! On Saturday, me and Elder Hinds went on exchanges together, it was awesome! It felt just like old times, we saw our converts and some people we have worked with and biked real fast. We set a goal to go out of our way and talk with every single person (the only exception being drunk natives) we contacted 89 people and our goal was 80. It was pretty awesome! As we were leaving the park there was an older guy riding in circles around the parking lot on a bike he had headphones on but I held out a picture of Jesus and offered it to him. Turned out to be a member who told us some really cool missionary experiences he had, something didn't seem quite right as we were talking though and thru a few questions we found out he became gay, lost his family and stopped activity in the church.. It was sad but it was good to talk to him, he's not in our ward but accepted an invitation to have missionaries over. Anyways, learned 2 big things out of it: 1- The mighty can fall, Satan never stops working on people, not the bishop not the prophet not even Jesus while he was here. 2- Because we talked to every person and didn't stop just because we reached our goal or just because it was time to go home we were blessed with one more person who needs the gospel in their life again. Everything we should do should be centered around Christ in some way! 2 Nephi 25:26 And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins. Enjoy school! Have a good week! Love Elder Stevenson

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

Hi family! I don’t know where to begin... Things have been crazy! Yesterday we came home from church and one of the elders in the apartment got thinking and realized they were in a house with bed bugs yesterday and forgot to dry the sheets so he threw the sheets and pillows in the dryer... well a few minutes later it starts making a funny whining noise so he opens it up and flames come out!! Our dryer was on fire and the flames were like 5 feet up there! I ran and got our water that we had and poured it on the fire.. It did nothing! The fire extinguisher we had was also out of spray so another elder ran and got one from the parking garage and by then the fire was bigger! So we got the fire out and then it just smoked and smoked and smoldered forever and our apartment was filled so it was pretty crazy! It looked like a bunch a dead birds were just roasted and feathers were everywhere. The fire department had to come and everything! They said it was most likely caused because it was to full, the belt broke, or there was down fabric in the dryer.. No one was hurt or anything we just don't have power back on yet so last night we had to sleep at the ZL's because our windows were all open with no AC and it was 100 inside... So there's one crazy story! Also going back now to the beginning of the week here is a few cool stories. A big focus has been contacting so we have really been trying to 'contact' people. So Tuesday we were on exchanges and there were 3 of us so in the morning we were having studies and practicing talking with people. So I was pretending to be a person named Earl and the other 2 elders came and were going to talk to me so I laid down on the couch and when they started talking to me I asked for water and they gave me a picture of Jesus.. Well we went out that day and we found Elliot, passed out on the ground, who when we talked to him asked for water and we gave him a picture of Jesus! It was really cool! We had some really good lessons this week; hopefully these people will become investigators. A while ago we talked to some random person who said we could come see them and they pointed out their house to us but we couldn't remember the address so we tried to go see them and were knocking on a few doors in the general area... well we knocked on the first door and at the same time the door behind us opened up and a mom came out with her 2 year old daughter and just stood there, so we started trying to talk with her but she barely spoke English, a minute later her other daughter who is older and knows English came home from school and was pretty much the translator. She said my mom was in the back room praying and heard a voice saying "go open the door" so she listened and there we were!!! SO COOL! We talked a little bit and she was so happy! She was crying and stuff and we couldn't even understand her but the spirit was there! So we just got her a Swahili book of Mormon on Saturday when we went to the visitor’s center with Patricia and are going over to give it to her tonight! One other cool story, so last Sunday a random guy showed up to church and we talked to him, found out his name was Patrick and he lived in our area, we got the major cross streets but not an address. So we had some members sit with him and then after sacrament we were going to talk to him some more. Well after sacrament it seemed everyone wanted to talk to the missionary's and he left before we could snag him... well all last week I was thinking/praying I hope we can find Patrick! On Saturday night we were at the park contacting and it was almost time to go in but we wanted to reach our goal of 40 people contacted in one day so we decided to talk to a couple more people.. Well guess who we found? Patrick! He was at the park with his family and we talked to him and got his number, he said he likes church and wants to come back! That sure was a tender mercy! I am out of time, I'm sorry I couldn’t send you each a little something, but I am glad you are all doing well! I love you! Elder Stevenson

August 11, 2014

Ann finally got baptized! It was on Saturday night, I gave a talk about 'baptism' I used the kit-kat idea mom sent me a while back. It was really good, not very much member support at the baptism which was lame but am grateful for the converted ones who help us so much. There was a really good turnout of nonmembers though! Saturday morning we went 'service tracting' where we go out in normal clothes and try and help people, we ended up at the Layton’s, they are the family we have lunch with every Sunday. She is active, he is X'd. We helped them quite a bit and then invited them to the baptism and surprisingly he came! He also came to our fireside on Monday night! That’s twice in a church in a week; I don't think he's been in a church for several years. On Saturday morning we went through the phone and texted and invited all sorts of people we know and also people we didn't know but there name was in the phone. One person named Pierre called us back and said “I want to go”, which was cool so we got him and his wife a ride all lined up ride and they loved the baptism! It was really cool, afterward I was talking with him a little and he said maybe this will be me one day! Sadly they live outside the ward boundaries (in the Phoenix mission)... But because they are from Africa and speak French, and we have a French speaking missionary in our stake we might be able to work with them! If not maybe one day in the spirit world we will meet and talk again, maybe something as simple as a text changed his life. A cool few 'fruits of my labors" have happened recently- One day me and elder hinds had an appointment fall through so we knocked a few of the neighboring doors, one family was Spanish speaking but we were able to get enough Spanglish across to understand each other and set up an appointment for the Spanish missionaries to come back and teach, I think the family of at least 3 (that's how many we saw in the door) just got baptized or will be getting baptized! The other cool thing is we found out a part member family who moved to Mesa we were teaching also just got baptized! We never know how much our actions might affect someone else! We met a part member family this week, they are older, he was endowed and then X'd, re baptized, and remarried. So we hope to help him get the priesthood back and also help her to join the church! They are going on a trip for 2 weeks but after that we will start teaching them. Elder Ashcraft is still kinda in the shock stage, he never really left Hamer except rarely to go to I.F. and shop and I think like twice outside of Idaho so Phoenix is a big change! These computers are still full of problems or my letter would be longer, have a good week! Instead of a scripture, check out this video! http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3701964025001 Love, Elder Stevenson

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

August 6, 2014

Lots has happened! To start yesterday was transfers, I am staying in Phoenix, and the Osborn ward now has 6 full time missionaries! There were the 4 of us elders, Elder Stockdale went home to Idaho (saddest day ever..) and Elder Hinds moved to the south half of the ward to be with Elder Russell. We also got sister missionaries who are going to work the east half of the ward and do a lot of RC/LA work. I got a brand new missionary, training again, his name is Elder Ashcraft. He is from Hamer, Idaho, it’s a town of like 12 people that's 15 min north of mud lake. He got a green dinner last night; it was pretty funny- green milk, green rice, green enchiladas. I just found out (like 2 minutes ago) that Karen (the Boyd family from mesa from last summer) just moved to Phoenix, she is in the stake in the ward next door!!! I am super excited, I hope I can see her and hope she is preparing to go to the temple when she hits her year mark and I can go with her!!! Last week Ann was going to be baptized, she woke up on her baptism day really sick so we had to postpone it until this weekend. Friday me and elder hinds were pretty sad about it and right before we went home the sky lit up, crackled and started pouring buckets of rain. It was the best bike ride of my mission we got all of our stress out on the way home and felt much better about all of it. It will be cool that Elder Ashcraft will see a baptism his first week out! Victor came to church on Sunday, after church he met with someone in the bishopric I guess he is struggling financially and needed help, they didn't feel prompted to give him the money he asked for and we talked to him over the phone a little about it... I hope it doesn't turn him against the church but if so he was interested for the wrong reasons. He was super solid so we are going to try and see him again now that he has had a couple days to cool off. One neat thing that happened the other day was a lightning storm. There was just lightning strike after strike, we watched it for a little while and it made me think of the lightning that must have happened in 3 Nephi 8 when Christ was crucified... All things typify of Christ! I did a baptism interview last night for the first time, it was super cool! I am about out of time; I hope you have a wonderful week! My scripture for the week is this: In the 19th chapter of 2nd Nephi the words “but his hand is stretched out still." is written 3 times throughout the chapter. It is talking about how it is not too late for any of to turn around and come back to the gospel, to repent; his hand is still there he love is still there. As a side note something I just learned is that in Hebrew something repeated 3 times is very significant! It is a very significant thing, anyways, talk to you Monday! Love Elder Stevenson

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 28, 2014

The computer just erased my email so I will write what I can. This week was another really good week. More miracles! You were on roller coasters this last week, while being a missionary is that same way every day! Here is an update on some of the people we have been working with: The ward, we started our FHE missionary training's at the church every Monday night last Monday night. It went really well. We focused around the 7 lessons of sharing the gospel by Clayton Christensen, I will send it home. I talked about how we can't predict who is or isn't ready for the gospel. Something it sounds like some of you also learned firsthand this week! It was great, every week we have a few families in the ward signed up to come and tonight I think there is 6 families’ coming, it should go good again. One of the important things that I have mentioned before is when we invite, we succeed. Dad, that is awesome you were able to give out a book of Mormon, and everyone else who tried, good job as well! One of the 7 steps! We had some really good lessons this week with Victor; he accepted the law of chastity and the word of wisdom with no problem! We also talked about prophets this week and showed him scriptures out of the bible we got him. When we gave him the bible he held it up and kissed it! It was funny! We had planned to teach him thru the weekend and have his baptismal interview, but he unexpectedly went out of town so his baptism will be pushed back a week. He is really excited though! Ann had her interview planned for Saturday and on her way out the door her son Kegan threw a tantrum and wouldn't leave to go to the church for her interview... It was chaos, but luckily yesterday evening Kegan was staying with someone and she could come and have her interview. She passed!! She is ready to covenant and live the gospel! I am excited for this weekend. A really cool thing happened we were going to Julies to have a 'recent convert' lesson with her and the member we invited to have come and be our 3rd male got sick and couldn't make it and her husband wasn't there so she went to the next door neighbors and asked if he could come over and help so we could go in and he ended sitting in on the lesson and it was really cool!! People need to be needed- another one of the 7 steps! So we talked and he said we could meet again Friday and when we went back he wasn't home.. But we still had a good lesson with Julie- She needed help preparing a talk on baptism! Her nephew was baptized in another stake on Saturday! Her mom and another nephew were baptized a couple weeks ago. She also mentioned her brother has been looking into the church recently; it's amazing the whole family is finding the truth! Hopefully Everett isn't too far away. I wish I could share more, thanks for the socks!! Thanks for your letters sorry I couldn't write you each back. Love Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 14, 2014

This week was good. First off, Mom, please stop worrying and telling others to worry about me. I appreciated all the letters from everyone at the reunion. But I am not going thru a hard time and I'm not worried about my back so you shouldn't be either; I will be fine. Just a little update, the doctor’s appointment was fine, I have to do more pee tests and stuff and see if when he does it it's different or not.. Yesterday we had a fireside with the ward; we talked about the ward mission plan. It went great, we had 100+ people, I was happy, especially for this ward. There was a lot musical numbers so that helped get the ward out as well. The ward mission plan includes finding, sharing, inviting, serving and fellow shipping. I talked about Inviting. It was only about 5 minutes and I would send you a copy of my talk... But I just wrote down a few bullet points right before and expounded on them. When I started I had everyone stand up and sing a song with me "Invite, Invite, morning noon and night!" 3 times so inviting won't be forgotten. We have been doing a lot of finding this last week, we got one referral from a MEMBER for a guy named Victor, I guess they have been talking at work and talking with other missionaries a little before and he is from Nigeria! Maybe Grammy and papa met him! We met a guy named Jesus from Columbia on the street one day he was pretty cool and invited us over but then when we went over he was preaching to us about how Pentecostal is right and we are wrong. It sure was interesting to hear someone speak in "tongues" or gibberish.. The philosophy was that they if couldn't understand themselves then Satan can't understand them either or any evil spirits... But God can understand them... Well I'm still lost! We found a native family, or rather they found us! Walking down the street and they asked if we can teach them, that was really cool but being able to make an appointment with them has been more difficult. On an exchange on Saturday we taught a man who is agnostic. It was really cool he is very willing to learn and try to get an answer, we talked about the creation with him and how we were alive before this life. It made a lot more sense to him than the other religions he has looked into. It's funny to me even though I was called to English work there is so many people whose native tongue isn't English we get to work with. Ann is still coming along, slowly but surely. On Friday when we usually have sport night she met with bishop and Elder Hinds and had a lesson and I played ball with Keegan. The lesson went great, I was just sad I wasn't a part of it, but that's alright. Sunday we went to the Veterans Hospital to help give people the sacrament. It was sad to see what some of those people’s lives has become. 2Nephi 4:19-21 I know in whom I have trusted. My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. He hath filled me with his love. Have a good week! Love, Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 7, 2014

This week was good, on Saturday we had Julie's baptism! Throughout the week we went and saw her lots, she doing awesome! She is already a better member missionary then most of the members. One day we were there and after we left the member who we had brought said "that's not a baptism, that's a conversion", it was really cool. Another day we were with her talking about repentance and she asked about if it was ok to take diapers from Walmart for her kids and we explained it out to her, she broke down and it was really neat to have her promise to not doing it anymore and repent. Also one day we watched finding faith in Christ and Everett watched, then we were able to actually talk religion, he said he has a faith and used to go to church until he was divorced, then he said he's not ready now but he will be 'sometime' so that is a good sign! Elder Hinds baptized her; it was his first one so that was really cool! I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost, used my Holy Ghost box of course and it went really, really well! There was a lot of family and friends at the baptism so that was awesome for them to go in a Mormon church see a baptism and hopefully have been touched by the spirit! This week we had a Ha-boob! It was really cool, at first the clouds were brown in the distance then they got really cool looking and all the sudden dust was flying and stuff was in the air. We were locked in the church since we’re not supposed to drive the power was going in and out. The best part was the rain storm after, rain felt so good! There was a really cool lightning storm so Elder Hinds and I decided to plan on the top of the parking garage and enjoy the storm! This morning we and hiked camelback mountain as a zone, that was fun, except getting up super early to beat the sun! There is a French lady we were able to teach a lesson to this week and a French speaking missionary just got sent here from temple square so it shouldn't be too hard, the bad part was not knowing anything about the conversation, next time should be better. I broke my bike trying to show off! I was going to ride the street and put my front tire on the side walk but it screwed up my gears! At least now I can have some fun trying to fix it. Have a good week, I am out of time! Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, July 7, 2014

June 29, 2014

Short week, but a good week. The highlight was Friday! Julie's wedding!! It was about 6:02 and we were all really worried, where are they at?? Finally they got there and all was well. The wedding went good, afterward one of the members in the ward started talking to them and somehow got talking about how they didn't have rings, right then he said he didn't have very much money but they could go to Walmart and look for something that would work. It was really cool. Everett opened up to us at the wedding then Sunday when we saw him he was really nice too, I think it might take a little while but he will come around. I think he sees the change in his wife's life that has been happening but right now he's not ready to give up some worldly things. Sunday was rough, Ann didn't come to church because her foot is infected and she can barely even walk on it. Julie worked from like 2-6:30, she does a paper route. Thought she had time to nap for an hour-ish so she would be quite so tired at work then slept right thru church! But she did pass her baptismal interview and is all set for this weekend, I am really excited! Have a great week! 1 John 4: 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. 12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. Love, Elder Stevenson

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 23, 2014

It's been a while! Transfers was this week, I am not getting transferred. The last week and a half has been good! A lot has happened. A quick update on some of our investigators- Ann- Last Friday we watched on the lord’s errand with her, the biography of pres. Monson's life. Then afterward she had her baptismal interview. She answered all of the questions right and she is OK on that perspective to be baptized, but she wants to wait a couple more weeks so she can come to church and get the hang of things a little bit more. We keep wanting to take her to a baptism for other investigators in the stake. But she is always working or at school during that time! She is doing great though; we are just going to keep working with her and helping her until she is ready. She's pretty much been taught all of the necessary stuff before baptism so we will probably just go into more detail and read the book of Mormon with her. Julie- Big news! She's getting married!! This Friday, after church Sunday she talked to bishop with her boyfriend and they talked and will be getting married this Friday, then the next Saturday, July 5th she can be baptized because she is keeping the one thing holding her back. We taught the word of wisdom last week and it was really good, she accepted with no problems. We have been finding new people as well. Here a just a few of our experiences. A part member family moved in the ward, recovering alcoholics of 20-30 days sober, trying to reactivate, we went and met, he said he wanted to be baptized, so we set a goal and taught the restoration then the next day when we went over to see them he was drunk.. Shows how hard Satan will work on someone when they try to do what’s right and how addictions screw you over! Then yesterday I guess the rent was too high so they are moving back to Mesa. Another cool thing, there is a girl who was investigating the church in New York and has a super solid testimony, she has been taught everything and then some, we met her and she is half way thru the book of Mormon. She is just waiting until November when her mom can come see her to be baptized so her mom can be a part of it and possibly also be introduced the gospel. A few nights ago a minivan pulled up next to us and started talking to us (things like this happen all the time but usually they are drunk/mean/need money/etc..) well this time was a mother with her kids and she said hey my sister just joined your church and I want to know more about it, what time is church on Sunday? She is moving in this week right into our area so we are going to teach her when she's settled in! The members here are getting better little by little. We have been getting better member involvement when we teach people and getting them to reach out to people at church a little more so that is good. We go on splits every Thursday, last Thursday we saw a guy we talked to on the street for a few seconds as we were stopped at the light, got his address and sped off cause we were late, then when we went over it was really good cause the member brother really related to him and was able to talk about how the gospel has helped him change his life around. We did service one day, demolished an apartment that had been empty for a couple years. It was disgusting. There was a dead cat rotted inside, the carpets were just stained black and it was really gross! I will send you a picture of the toilet... It was awesome to be able to see the Barton's on Monday! I love them so much. We went to dinner at the cheesecake factory, it was delicious, but seeing them was still better than the food! Love, Elder Stevenson

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

June 16, 2014

I guess my letters are not quite long enough? Haha well I will answer these and any other questions any of you may have! So how do you like your companion??? How is that going with him??? Does he follow the rules well? My companion, Elder Hinds is awesome; I think he is my favorite companion. He is very hard working and is a great missionary. He has been out about 4 months now but seems like he has a lot more experience than that. We work really well together. Probably the nicest person you ever have met, he is willing to do anything for anyone, almost too nice sometimes... ha-ha and as a side note, next Tuesday is transfers but we will both be staying here for at least 6 more weeks. How do you like your area?? The area, central phoenix, is indescribable. There is definitely never a dull day! I love it. How are you?? I am good, being a missionary is great, we work hard and sleep well at night from being exhausted. Even sleep thru blood sucking bugs ;) oh yeah mom- don't worry about them in Rexburg 20 degrees will kill them.. or 120+. Is your acne getting any better??? I think my acne is getting better, it comes and goes but I am being more diligent at taking the medicine dad sent me as well as washing my face more. Part of it comes from stress I think and that won't ever go away as a missionary. Are you getting skinny riding that bike??? My weight goes up and down but I went from 222 to 210 in the last 2 weeks so I think that’s pretty good, been working on eating healthier with fruits and stuff. Are you dying of heat??? The heat really isn't too bad as long as you have water. At 110 and up it all feels the same anyways ;) Do you have AC in your apartment??? We sure do, we have to keep it on 78 always. Do the members feed you well? We have a lot of spaghetti and here a lot of member will sign up to have us over then at the last minute they give us some money or take us out which is fine too. Are you having lots of appointments? Keeping busy? We have lots of appointments, we could talk to 100+ people on the streets every day that are humble from being poor but if we go over they end up flaking and falling thru, so we really have to use our judgment on which people are ready for the gospel.. It’s sad to have to pass some people by but there’s not really a way to talk with every person. What was the best part of your week? This week we got to go to the Mesa Temple visitor’s center with Ann & Keegan! It was great, they really enjoyed it. We looked at the Christus statue and then watched JSPR video. It was one I haven’t seen before, might be new.. it answered a lot of Ann's concerns about prophets and she was thinking we put him on a higher platform then the rest of us so it was good for her to see he was a man too as well as a prophet, and for her to see the persecution was good too. And I actually saw a girl from Idaho Falls that I went to kindergarten with who is serving a mission in the Tempe mission so that was cool. What was the worst? The worst day ever was Friday. We had to prep for the exterminator to come and spray and the list was huge! There was a lot to do so we spend most of the day on it, and I think it was so bad was cause we were stuck inside doing housework instead of being able to go and share the gospel. What was your best faith filled moment? One cool experience yesterday was we got a referral we have been trying to contact for a lady named Sarah, who is from Russia with her family and speaks broken English. She just found out she has cancer so and wanted a blessing so we went to her house and it was hard to understand, but we were able to give her a blessing and share with her 10ish year old about the restoration and gave her a pamphlet cause she wanted to teach it to her mom. We are going to get some Russian book of Mormons. The missionaries in got pulled out and we got 3 of them now in our mission and one of them might be able to come and help us teach them since they learned some Russian while they were there, so that would be really cool! What about biggest surprise? One surprise was what dinner did to my stomach the other night 20 minutes after we left ;) Ha-ha just kidding.. The Spanish missionaries have been teaching a lady that speaks both English and Spanish and I guess the Spanish branch and her are having some problems so we found out it would be better if she was to learn and attend the English ward! We are still trying to meet her but hopefully all goes well! A few other things during the week- Julie is still doing good, chugging along and we found out her mom and some other people in her family are actually planning to be baptized in July! She found the missionaries first but I think somehow the missionaries started teaching her mom so the whole family is hearing about the gospel. Ann is going to be baptized on the 28th of this month, I am really excited! We went over the baptismal interview questions with her after church yesterday and she nailed every single one perfectly. During the week we went on a hike of squaw peak, it was fun, we went with Kegan and the young men group. He had lots of fun but sadly the family "friend" that’s the anti-one invited him to go to Tucson for a concert Sunday so he wasn't at church.. But he promised to be next week. I love you, have a good week! Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014

This week was full of stuff! A lot happened and so we were busy but this last week it was stuff that had to be done but not missionary work related.. We have bed bugs, they are like mosquitoes, they live off of warm blood and they crawl out of the inside of your mattress and eat you at night, and then you itch like never before! We have tried a lot of ideas to get rid of them but nothing seems to work so today an inspector is coming. The bad thing is if we get rid of them riding public transit or going into a lot homes we might just get them back! I slept on the floor a few nights and have tried things but it has been a constant battle. We had Zone Conference this week, it was really good, there's a talk in the ensign this month we read; that we all may rejoice. Really good it should help us with the members here.. They think they are great (and there are a few) but really not that missionary minded so we have been trying to get them motivated and help them understand there duty's as members and our as missionaries. They have changed though and hopefully the leadership in the ward will make a difference. Ward council was great so I think it just needs some time. Also we talked about becoming more Christ like missionaries and how to become that missionary so it was really good. On Sunday Ann was going to come to church but her foot has been having problems and she had to go to the hospital instead, but what was cool is her son Keegan still came, even without his mom! She is giving up her tea right now and it is great! It’s a struggle but she hasn't had tea since Saturday and I that's when we taught the word of wisdom. Her baptism will be pushed back a week or 2 though since she couldn't come to church yesterday for her foot and we want her to be there more at least twice. Julie is also doing great; she had been reading the BOM and keeping commitments! She is really committing and we can see the changes in her, she came to church again Sunday and we found an awesome sister in the ward who has gone thru all the same stuff as her so it was great to have her come to the lesson with us on when we taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was able to see someone in the ward who had had their name removed rejoin the church on Friday. That was a neat experience, something interesting is that after someone has there named removed then comes back and is re baptized a short while later that re baptism is forgotten and the original baptism date is the only thing on the records people see since when we repent the lord forgives and forgets. Anyways, have a good week, I hope each of you that went to California had a Book of Mormon ready to give out while you were there.. But since you didn't tell me about it I assume you didn't do that.. So REPENT and remember what you promise every Sunday when you take the sacrament! The time is now! I love you, Elder Stevenson

June 2, 2014

Great letters from you all this week! Happy birthday Lexi! I also had an awesome week, yesterday Ann and her son Keegan (14) and Julie came to church! It was great! A lot happened during the week, Ann's son Keegan is autistic and has had a little bad taste in his mouth from an anti-person feeding him bad info, but then on Friday we have an open gym night where we get people to come to the church and play basketball with us and Keegan came and it was a big change in perspective for him! While he was playing ball we gave Ann a church tour and also her friend Jody. They really enjoyed it and had fun. Then Keegan was happy to come to church since he had already been there and had fun. They enjoyed church, Ann's baptism might be pushed back one more week to the 21 but hopefully still the 14th. Julie she was able to come to the BOM class during the week and feel the spirit, then we taught part of the Plan of Salvation to her but ran out of time so we after church on Sunday we finished it, and after we were done we set a baptism date with her! On August 30th. It’s a long ways out, but that's her birthday and she agreed to pray about it and ask if that is the right time or if she should do it sooner. We have been doing a lot checking on people who used to be investigators, one guy named Michael we went to his house and this guy was a genius and had a really good chat with him about the gospel (he was taught from 09-14) and he said he wanted to fast and ask for an answer, so on Thursday we went to his house again to start his fast and again had a good lesson/visit. /he wanted to fast from Thursday night to Sunday morning so we tried going by Friday, Sunday and he wasn't home! We were sad cause we wanted him to come to church with us and be able to teach him while he was fasting but oh well.. Finding lots of people to teach, its hard though because everyone will talk to us and say sure you can come back, but then they aren't really committed and don't keep appointments or invitations. D&C 58: 64 For, verily, the sound must go forth from this place into all the world, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth—the gospel must be preached unto every creature, with signs following them that believe. I love you! Elder Stevenson

May 26, 2014

Hi guys, Every day is an adventure here. We are still teaching Ann. Satan is working on her so hard it stinks. She came down with strep throat Saturday and the weekend has been bad, then her anti Mormon anti religion friend has been nagging on her and telling her son lies all week and it is making it hard so please pray. We had a great lesson with Julie, we took the bishop with us and taught her the restoration, she was crying and could really feel the spirit, it was great, that bad thing was Sunday morning at 8:57 she text us and says I can’t come to church, I don't have a ride and so that stunk cause we would have gotten her a ride earlier if we had known.. Before I got here the missionaries went to church with a pastor who is our next door neighbor and then yesterday she came to our church with a bunch of her friends and fellow pastors. there was around 8-10 and it was cool. On Saturday we got to go to the temple with a sister in the ward who the missionaries were working with before i got here, it was awesome! There was actually 4 people going thru for the first time 2 missionaries and an engaged girl so it was cool to see them all. Lots of stories I could tell, I will tell you a few things about yesterday for example. One door we knocked on, well i was the one knocking, he open it all really fast and was all freaking out thinking we were the police/FBI, a guy was yelling at us to quit lying about Jesus being white, we met an alien from Saturn that one was pretty cool, the light rail (public train transit) got mad at us for giving out a BOM on their property. One last thing, did you know bed bugs are real? And they can infest your house and bite you lots? I always thought they were just microscopic things till I got here, but I think it’s too cold for them in Idaho. Lots more but I am out of time. Have a great week! Have fun camping. Love Elder Stevenson

Monday, May 19, 2014

May 19, 2014

I don't even know where to begin. This week was pretty crazy. A little more about my comp, he is from Layton Utah, he is also 18. He's been out 3 months. My new companion is great! He has a good work ethic. This week we put 2 people on date for baptism, for June 14th. One is Sister Gonzales. She is married to a LA member. They have been alcoholics and called us for a blessing. We challenged them to go 2 days until we could see them again to not have a drink and they accepted! We went back on Saturday and had a great lesson and they gave us there coffee pot and a huge thing of coffee. They are definitely going through with drawl but it’s going good. The next and last thing with be cigarettes, it will be the hardest but something she is ready for and needs to do. The other is Anne. Anne was a referral from the Easter Pageant; she is super prepared and is going soaking the gospel right up. We also are working with a lady named Julie, she has 2 little kids, and she really wants to be baptized but knows she has to be married first. We are going to try and get her married so it can happen. There is lots of people to talk too so we pass out tons of cards, book of Mormons, pictures of Jesus and find lots of people that live outside our area or are Spanish for other missionaries. Lots of other stuff but I am out of time, this computer was having problems at first. Have a great week. Love Elder Stevenson

May 14, 2014

Hi guys, it was good to see your faces on Mother’s day! Life sure is different than a couple days ago! My new companions name Elder Hinds (say Heinz like the ketchup) he's been out about 3 months. Our area is a pretty good size; it might take a little while before we figure out which way is what. We have a gym and park right by the apartment that will be great so I can have quality exercise and get skinny. I am sad to leave pine, one reason being because I feel like the work is finally taking off and there is so much to do, whereas 6 months ago it was pretty quiet. I sure am going to miss a lot people there, felt like leaving home again, just in a different way. But I am excited to be here in Phoenix, we share a ward with other missionaries. There is around 600-800 member in the ward, and under 200 are active. There is a senior couple who is just doing LA work and then we split the ward with other Elders. Our bishop seems to be missionary minded and hopefully the rest of the ward too. Not really sure what else to tell you.. Have a good week! President Joseph Smith- “After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel” Love, Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

May 5, 2014

Hello! I'm excited to talk to you Sunday! On Saturday Gwen was finally baptized! Her baptismal service was good, an investigator also came!- John, he really enjoyed it as well. The confirmation at church Sunday was my favorite part though. When the speaker of the confirmation said receive the Holy Ghost, it seemed like the whole chapel received the Holy Ghost, the spirit was there and the fast and testimony meeting was amazing, probably one of the best I can remember. Butch, another investigator came to church and he liked it, it was a good Sunday for him to come. One other miracle that happened was at church a lady showed up we have seen before that we gave a pass along card too with our number, church address and time, but never really had the chance to sit down and talk with her. Well she said she needed to change her life around and so she was at church! Sadly in the middle of sacrament she left but we found out where she lives and hope to see her this evening! A few other notable things during the week- We have found people that have been hiding out! They think they can do that by going to the middle of nowhere but no one can stay hidden in a small town forever. One referral we got we went to his house and it was a big bearded, smoking/drinking biker guy (beautiful bike) and he actually turned out to be a LA member. Nice guy once we started talking to him too he was just trying to act tough when we got there! The other referral we got told was a LA member who was offended but then today just found out he was never a member, but he was nice and agreed to let us come back and teach him! Have a great week! (Mother’s day scripture) Alma 57:21 Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them. Love,

April 28, 2014

April 28 Sorry this letter is so late, I'm not sure what time it is there, but it is after 6 here. Today we went on a hike to a place called fossil springs. We went with a convert couple and they are almost 60... Not thinking too much about that we started hiking and hiked 5 miles all downhill to the Garden of Eden, it was beautiful, the worst part was not being able to swim in the blue green clear water, but I'll be back in a few years. Well we started hiking out, the 5 miles up hill. Me and my comp were good but they were out of energy. They hiked so slow, I carried 2 backpacks and then for about 2 miles the lady with us got cramps all up her legs and it was awful. But anyways it was lots of fun! I would send pics but don't have a SD card reader. This week, was a great week, a few of the high lights: A loved ward member passed away, he got cancer and the chemo is what got him, within a month. It was a sad deal, but there was some good that came out of the whole thing. His daughter is a LA that hasn't wanted anything to do with the church and now her heart has been softened and hopefully it will be a key for reactivation. Also at the funeral a lot of people that are not members came and a lot are ones we have been able to work with in the past and are working with. It was great to see them in the chapel and that it’s not too scary. One of the people who spoke did a really good job and turned it into a missionary experience by sharing the plan of salvation. He did a great job and taught very simply while letting the spirit testify. Another thing is members here are stepping up; they are inviting people to have dinner with them and with us which is perfect! One of my favorites was when we had dinner on Friday with the Phillips they invited some friends over that they have been working with- Jim and Donna. The Phillips took them to the temple open house) and there kids joined the church about a year ago so they are getting a little more familiar with the church. They said they would think about listening to the lessons when we asked (polite no) but after we left the spirit left with us which made them wonder what the presence was that was with us so the family explained to them and it was cool! Many other miracles but I have to go, I love you, and next week I will write more! Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

This week is a great week to really take to heart our sacrament covenants and "always remember Him," always remember the Easter spirit and that Christ Lives. We had a very busy week, probably one of the busiest since I have been here in Pine and success is rewarding. Starting at the beginning with the main points, we are still teaching John, we gave him a tour of the church and he loved it. All the way through he kept saying, “this is great, awesome, I love this” and that type of stuff. Well, long story short he is having bowel movement problems and can't make it through sacrament meeting without using the bathroom a few times and doesn't want to be embarrassed.. He doesn't want to see a doctor but I think he will be going soon anyways. We are going to give him a blessing tomorrow. We had another lesson with Butch and talked about the plan of salvation. I liked the way the mission president answered the question about handicap people. If they know between right and wrong and can exercise there agency they can be baptized. Our ward mission leaders daughter and husband are visiting, who have been excommunicated and we were over for dinner and had a good visit and scripture and things. After it was neat to hear from the parents that their daughter asked us to come back and visit more. We got to go to the Easter Pageant at the Mesa Temple!! It was great! I'll try and send a few pictures; man there was lots of people there though. One of the people we went with asked for a Book of Mormon as we were walking in and we weren't sure why but he gave it to the protester, it was funny. I ran into Tanner Erickson there, I went to high school with him. He is in the Tempe mission. We love referrals. Always good even if the person isn't interested. One evening we had dinner with a member family (who will actually be driving thru Rexburg soon) and they invited a nonmember friend who has had dinner with previous missionaries before and you could just tell she was expecting us to push something religious on her but during dinner we just chatted and it was comfortable, then after dinner we shared an Easter message and ended up having a great discussion from the resurrection to the plan of salvation to the gift of the Holy Ghost and then the MEMBERS (like you people reading this) took Elder Ballard's advice from conference and invited her to learn more and be taught by the missionaries. And she said yes! But we have to wait a couple weeks till there back from there trip. But anyways you should also take that advice and invite somebody! One last little thing, being prepared is a very big concern for fire danger here in Pine since it has been such a dry winter. We need to be prepared, I know there's a bunch of food storage in the basement but a few guns and a lot of ammo should be in that pile too. Mom, you should get that pistol you wanted a while back! Also what is more important than that is to be spiritually prepared. Would you be ready if the Savior came tomorrow? Even though it's extremely not likely we should all be preparing and be ready. Wish I had time I could tell more miracle stories... Anyways, have a great week! Love Elder Stevenson