Monday, January 27, 2014

January 26, 2014

This morning we went on a hike as a district and that's why this letter is so late but it was lots of fun!! We got kind of general directions from a member in our ward and set off :) so once we finally got to what looked like the trail head we set off hiking and hiked and hiked and it was pretty but we couldn't find the ruins and decided to turn around cause we had hiked like 2 hours in and that meant 2 hours out. and on our way back the trail didn't go to the top of the mountain and there was a big cliff on top a few of us wanted to look off so we climbed up and looked at the view and didn't get to close to the edge but still threw a few rocks off that was pretty cool, and we kept looking around and all of the sudden we saw the Spanish ruins! They were super cool. I'll send some pictures. So only 3 of us got to see it because the other 9 went back but we hike over 8 miles... still not quite like a dirt bike but hiking can be fun. So that was the adventure today.

Now as for the missionary work. On Saturday we got a call from some other missionaries saying they had a baptism and we haven’t been pushing Gwen into baptism, but we wanted her to attend one so she could see it was easy and feel the spirit. We had about an hour from the time we heard there was a baptism to when it started and had to find a ride for them and it was a half hour drive away so we called our awesome ward mission leader and he said they could give Gwen and her mom molly a ride even tho it meant being dressed and ready in 10 min. We all went and it was good for her to be there and she wouldn't tell us it was bad so that means it was good :) Haha and then the next day (here's the bigger miracle) we were talking about church to molly and Gwen and molly said maybe I’ll come (which is huge comparing a month ago) and then on Sunday they came!!!! The grandparents brought them and they also brought the dad, matt, and even though they are divorced they were all at church and all happy and it was great :) and they are definitely all a lot better spiritually from when we first started seeing them, you can just see it in their eyes. We had another lesson with Mary and Rodger this week and it went really well. We went over the plan of salvation again since last time was a little rushed and I think I already said this last week but the things just click in their heads and the wheels are spinning. When we asked if they'd pray and ask if it was true the response was "I don't need to, I already know it is true." I feel a little bad we didn't talk about baptism right then but it didn't feel right and I think that was the spirit withholding! Ha-ha I am running out of time quickly :( but I hope you all have a wonderful week and call up the local missionaries and tell them you will go on a lesson with them when they need somebody and bear your testimony, it will make your day :) 

Love you!

Elder Stevenson 



Friday, January 24, 2014

January 19, 2014

Well!... This week had its ups and downs, as for Gwen we had a lesson with her Tuesday with the crafts and hands on stuff and it went really well. She really paid attention and participated and it went well but she still said I don’t feel old enough to be baptized. then on Saturday we had a lesson at her mom’s house hoping if her mom had a positive attitude about everything then she would see the positive side of having the holy ghost and her mom helped us a little and the member we brought also helped  a lot but she just shuts down every time she hears that word and the family has really pushed her to do it but I guess she feels like she’s cornered into it and we have probably been bringing it up to much anyways so we are just going to continue to meet with her and until she brings it up we won’t, we'll just take things slow and hopefully when we or the other missionaries have a baptism next time she will be able to come and watch and see its really easy, no bad is going to come of it, and especially be able to feel the spirit and feel that she needs to do it. 

We had a lesson with Mary and Rodger this week again. We talked for a while about non church stuff just to kind of see how they were doing and how their kids/ families have been and stuff which was good cause I think it goes back to "showing and letting them know how much you care, before they care how much you know" so we talked for a while and my companion was in a hurry to leave cause he felt like we'd been there to long so the lesson ended up being rushed but we talked about the plan of salvation and the stuff we did cover was good cause they didn’t agree with their own church's beliefs on what happened after death and the stuff and it was cool to see the understanding take place in their mind and things just click! Like children that don’t get baptized and work for the dead and another chance for people that didn’t have the opportunity to hear about the gospel and it was awesome! And we have a temple (gilbert) that has just been built and the open house tours are going on and we invited them to come with us and a bunch of other people and it will be awesome when they can walk thru a temple and feel the happy peacefulness in it :) random side note... sometimes I feel like a hippie always talking about peace, love, happiness... but that’s what the gospel is really all about!! 

Sky and Katelynn are still planning on being baptized on Feb 15! We are filling out the baptismal form today and going to give it to the girls to take to their mom when they get to see her next and have her sign it so the permission is authorized. Last night we went over a few of the commandment and the reasons of the commandments and blessings from them. It really is amazing what happens when we keep all the commandments (easy as a missionary ha-ha) but in our everyday life and every "rule" out there is to help us not to hurt us or hold us back. Well, have a fantastic week and share the gospel!!


Elder Stevenson 






Sunday, January 19, 2014

January 13, 2014

Where to begin? I guess I wrote to you Wednesday so I don't need to write to much but starting with Thursday we had a lesson planned with Gwen and we got to the house and was visiting with the family and she was still on her way home and when she got home she did not want to have a lesson she was upset cause she had to leave her mom (mom can’t be in the same house as dad/grandparents) and she was crying and upset and finally settled down and said she didn't want to be baptized cause her mom told her she wasn't ready and so in order to kind of calm her down we just talked about things she likes and rescheduled the lesson for tomorrow. well on Friday we went over to molly's, the moms and I wanted to give her an ear full, let her know what she was doing to her daughter, what she was stopping her from receiving, and had a bunch of scriptures that basically said the sins upon your head if you don't let her and talk her out of it. well we said a prayer before our visit and the instead of doing what I wanted we talked about the importance of having the gift of the holy ghost and got mom talking and sharing to us when the holy ghost has blessed her life and she has felt the impact of it in her life. And talked about faith and Alma 32 and the lesson went really good. She agreed to talking to her daughter and letting her know about the importance of the hg and totally changed her perspective on things. I learned a lesson too, I should have just planned on teaching with love from the beginning because that is what makes all the difference in teaching and I know she could feel that from us. So instead of planning on this sat for baptism we are going to plan on the 25th and hope all goes through. tomorrow as we teach were going to do a lot more hands on thinking and hope it will keep her interested and want to learn if its stuff she’s interested in and has fun doing it. 

Friday night we headed down to the valley for the tri-mission conference Saturday. We stayed with a stake president and his wife. They were super nice and Sister Palmer was a lot like you mom, she was telling me all about the Disney cruises and vacations and stuff they went on and it was funny to relate. Also Friday night since we were like 5 min from my last area I got to go see Karen and her family! It was awesome to see them again and there doing well. She’s a ward missionary now. 

Then Saturday morning we got up really early and I said it was going to be elder Holland coming but he got called away last minute on something important so elder wright of the 70 spoke to us instead. It wasn't elder Holland but it was really good. All the mission presidents and their wives bore there testimony's one of them I liked was one day as a mom she was sitting reading a book and her little girl got home from school and she asked how her day was and just kind of nodding her head and saying yeah as she talked about her day. Then the girl left and a little bit later she came back and slid a paper in front of the book covering it saying are you listening? And it made her think about that and listen to her kid. And to think about listening to the spirit, scriptures, people, investigators, comp, etc. another one of the testimony was about a bunch of wild kids running thru a store and the new employee being impatient and a little frustrated then when the new employee finds out those wild kids are relatives to the owner/boss they treat them completely opposite and meet there every need. And we need to see people as "relatives" of Christ everywhere we go. It was really good and reminded me of your store dad. Elder Wright talked a lot about our mission goal, vision of our mission and vision of our life, that we should all have one. And conversion level, converting ourselves before we try and convert others. As well as staying the same person after our mission. Aligning our will with gods will. love being the lubricant for missionary work and a lot of other stuff that was really good. I got to play the thimble game yesterday! At our dinner appointment the family was talking about it and they wanted to play so it was fun to play that again. Have a wonderful week! Lots of Love, Elder Stevenson



Friday, January 10, 2014

January 6, 2013

Well the last week and half was good, not as busy as the one before but still good. This week was transfers; I still am in pine and still with elder Oakley. On Sunday we had a ward fireside, since it was fast Sunday the ward fasted for Missionary work and then after church we had a break the fast potluck/ fireside. We actually had really good attendance and more people came then we thought. We kept the fireside short, around a half hour, my companion showed some short missionary video clips that were good, I talked about how to be a member missionary cause there's lots of people that don't know how and mostly just focused on being a light, being an example and people will wonder what’s so special about you and want to know why your happy. I didn't have any time to prepare (Fri/sat were super busy, Sunday had church meetings all day) but I just kind of spoke on what came to mind and followed the spirit and it went well. I can’t remember if I told you but we had a lesson with Gwen and she agreed to be baptized on the 18th of this month! Her mom (she doesn't live with but sees often) who isn't quite all there in the head is being a pain, so I really really hope she doesn't try and talk her daughter out of it cause on day she nice and all for it and the next complete opposite. On the bright side Gwen lives with her dad and grandparents and is with them most of the time and they have a positive influence on her life. We had dinner with a part member family one night this week and we've been over to visit a couple times but the dad will always stay in the other room and not want to visit but then when we had dinner he ate with us and it was delicious, but even better he stayed and visited and we got to know him! We didn't really force religion to much because it was our first time visiting with him and we heard previously not to force the gospel but it went really well and he said he would invite us back over and we could help him with some stuff around the house! I think he's just putting up a wall because he doesn't want to be a softie but well break it down ;)  Remember a while back the day I talked about Amanda the handicap deaf girl the ASL missionaries came up and taught? Well on Sunday during fast and testimony meeting Linda, the mom, recent convert, got up and bore her testimony and when she started talking Amanda ran up on the stage and started hugging her mom the whole time during it and it was so cool, the spirit was so strong! Mary and Rodger have been sick this week so we haven't been able to meet with them but we plan on having a lesson with them tomorrow since they should be better. A less active family came to church on Sunday and it was awesome! After working with them and getting to know them they came on just the right day, the testimony's were just what they needed to hear and had a positive effect on them, now we have to see if they will act on it. One thing I've started to notice lately and it’s always been there I just haven't noticed it so much as now, but if we don't make religious things number 1 on our list it won’t take long for it not to be on our list. If we put one thing in front of church on Sunday or sleeping in instead of reading our scriptures once, if we don't correct ourselves soon it will get pushed back a little further and further until the gospel is out of our lives. So I guess I should say thanks to you mom and dad for making me read scriptures in the morning on the days we were running late and it was going to make me late to school. Last week I forgot to tell you but I finished the Book of Mormon! And I do know that it is true, that it was written by prophets for us, this day in age so that we can stand strong and firm and not become a fallen people like the people in the book. I invite my family and those of you reading this letter to make a commitment to the lord and to yourself of how much you’re going to read by the next time we Skype and I'm going to follow up with ya and you better believe it! :)  My goal now is to read the Doctrine Covenants by the next time we talk and you can hold me to it. 

Well I hope to hear from ya, love ya,

Elder Stevenson