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! 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