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

April 14, 2014

Happy Easter this week!! Another weekly update- As for Kathy and Jim- We had a good lesson with them on faith and what our faith should be based upon. There is a movie called finding faith in Christ that is good that we watched with them. The only hold up for them is Cathy and the priesthood; she feels men and women are not equal in our church because they don't hold the priesthood. We tried explaining it to her and printed Elder Oaks talk from conference but they are actually out of town for about a week for a funeral so we will see them when they are back. After the lesson we got talking and thinking about what to do and the idea came that she needs to pray about it and study and get her own answer; just like everything else in the gospel! Elder Judd got sick one day with the flu but it didn't last too long. Gwen is still doing great getting ready for her baptism. We had a lesson on tithing with her and it went good. Trying to think outside the box and make it creative we went to the store and changed a dollar for pennies and used the pennies as a visual to help her understand and also took a tithing slip and she filled it out and wanted to give 50 cents instead of just 10 so that was neat. But then on Sunday morning she forgot it so she couldn't give it to the bishop! We had Zone Training Meeting and that's always a good learning experience. We have a new investigator I think I mentioned last week, his name is Butch and taught him the restoration. It went pretty good actually. He had an engine from a car or something drop on him when he was a mechanic and it caused some brain damage and it’s hard to understand him. I know that handicapped people do not need to be baptized but 'm not sure what the definition is for someone to be "handicapped" because this day in age there are people we see all the time that say I can't work I'm emotionally handicapped and stuff like that which is true somewhat but they still can think and be ok... so what is the limit on someone who is disabled? Any ideas? We went to the casino on the reservation and went gambling. That was fun I made some money! Hah no we did go to the casino to the bingo hall to help set up for a big business showcase and the events. Helped move and get rid of old electronics. It is crazy how many things old people have. We helped two guys and there was like 6 TV's, a few computers, printers, antique things like air force transmitters, got rid of all that. We are still going through the ward list seeing people we don't know and we met one lady and ended up knowing her dad as an active member but he has cancer and is in the hospital and talked for an hour and committed her to coming back to church. But then she wasn't there Sunday. There was a youth fireside yesterday that was excellent, the speaker talked about Apollo 13 and related it to our journey home and we are the ship and Houston is God. Happy Easter, remember him, remember He Lives! I don't think I have sent this….but its good either way- D&C122:7-8 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? Love you lots, Elder Stevenson

Monday, April 7, 2014

April 7, 2014

Well it seems like I just wrote a letter so this one may be a bit shorter. This week has been pretty crazy, let’s see- On Thursday and Friday we taught seminary because the teacher needed a sub and that was pretty fun, I know how I probably looked from a teacher perspective now and wish I had of paid better attention. We had a lesson with Chris and talked about the word of wisdom, something she has been struggling with but it was a really good lesson and she has such a desire to live the gospel and put of the natural man. We helped get a foundation ready for pavers and digging in the hard AZ rocky dirt is sure fun. Actually it was too bad except a huge 300 lb. rock in the path we had to move. Then we went home to change but ended up doing more service, power washing a deck to get all the pine sap off and raking the roof for pine needles and the rain gutters. We had dinner on Friday with a member family and they invited some friends they have been working with (Brenda and Ernie) that have been reading the Book of Mormon and we got told before we went over "Don't teach a lesson or push them" but then while we were there we shared a little scripture after dinner like usual and that really opened up the conversation and after we left they were talking some more. We got a call from the members the next day saying after you left Brenda said she thinks she is thinking about being baptized! And we haven't even taught them yet! They are weekenders and before have kinda said we don't want the missionaries to teach us but now that we had dinner with them and met them and they see were normal we think they will be receptive to us also. Miracles are everywhere :) On Friday our floor in the bathroom was wet so we told our landlord/member we live by and he got looking at it and ended up tearing up the shower and toilet and bathroom floor and found the leak is coming from under the bathtub and the wood on the floor is all wet. Well at that point our place was a mess and he said it wouldn't be done till Monday so we talked to a few ward members and in no time one offered us to stay in their guest home/side home thing so that's where we have been for a couple days. We just barely found out it will be Thursday before we can go back in but that's ok because the place we are in now is awesome and it has an oven! Thursday because that's how long it will be till the wood that was under the floor will take to dry. Conference was great. On Saturday we watched some of it at the grandparents’ house and it was funny, before when we asked they said sure you can watch but don't expect us to watch with you so we went and his grandpa ended up watching with us and enjoying it and after the first session his grandma made us lunch and we got talking and she was really stubborn before but she's like when is the afternoon session done and she said well maybe I’ll be back from the store by then, she wasn't back but it's a big step. I loved conference! It is packed with so much good that the whole world needs to smarten up and listen to and we would be so much better off. A few things that stood out to me, being a disciple of Jesus Christ and following him. Lots of talk about trials and I liked the one about being grateful no matter our circumstance and the story of "the load". Now is the time to prepare to meet God, the example of the 4 minutes and how this is our performance time. Lots of good things about loving our fellow man and serving him. In the talk about following up, I want to ask each of you who you have invited to listen to the missionaries in the last 3 months? If no one you better find 2 people to invite during the next 3 months. :) Well, have a good week, share the gospel! Love Elder Stevenson

March 31, 2014

Well I don’t even know where to start my letter this week. So much has happened! I'll tell you want I remember from last week but I just got a new planner so I don't remember some of it. But we had a lesson with Jim and Kathy Cotney (the brother of the members we are living with). We went over the restoration and it was good. We got a little deep into some things but it was actually a good thing because it was things that they had questions about so we were helping answer them. Then the Monday a couple days ago we saw them again and taught the plan of salvation, it also went very well. They are pretty quiet and reserved people so they are reluctant to come to church but they did agree to watch conference with us this week at our members house! And they have been reading the Book of Mormon! Yay!! We also found a new investigator whose name is john, he has got a big Santa beard and I’m trying to figure if he's crazy or what but he's a nice guy and was a referral from a less active- Steve we have also been working with so it has been great to work with both of them at the same time and hopefully can bring both of them in together and in a sense kill 2 birds with one stone. We went over the restoration with John and everything just clicked and made sense. It was awesome and he has been reading the Book of Mormon with Steve and then yesterday saw John again and talked about the plan of salvation. It still always amazed me people go so far in their life and have no idea where they came from, why we are here, or what the hereafter holds. I enjoy seeing people enlightened :) it gives a little hope and joy for the things to come. We saw Jerry and Michelle and talked about the restoration with them. It went alright, it wasn't as good as when we talked about the plan of salvation but hopefully we can go back and teach them again, (they said they were a little busy and didn't know there schedule yet) I hate when people say that! But the things we have been talking to them about are things that have been touching them we can tell. On Thursday I think it was one of the best days so far of being a missionary. The missionary department came down from SLC and visited us and there is what is called MLC for all the zone leaders and somehow I got invited to go to it with a few other missionaries who usually don’t go cause there was visitors and it was amazing. A man named bro Hemingway (head of missionary Proselyting) and brother Ware (head of missionary planning) and in the morning President Sweeny taught us and that was really good. Then Brother Hemingway opened up by letting us ask any questions we wanted to about missionary work and I learned so much and he knew right where to turn in PMG and the scriptures for every answer. We were taught about teaching simply, as CJ calls it, KISS- keep it simple stupid, or keep it short & sweet. And also coming to realize how important the quality of planning every night is. Many other cool things learned but I won’t go into too much details. Well I could just keep writing and writing but I’m about out of time so I hope you have a greet week! Don't forget, Share the gospel! It's the most important thing we have! Isaiah 63:3 I have trodden the winepress alone... Christ was completely alone as he suffered for us in all things. We know that, he was alone so we don't have to be. Love, Elder Stevenson