Friday, July 31, 2015

December 30, 2013

Merry Christmas!! 

Well this week was fantastic!! there was miracles everyday of the week, it may have been gods christmas gift to me and elder oakley! haha ill start with last monday. we were having dinner at a members house and after dinner they had some friends over and invited us to stay and play games with them, so we played games and got to know them (mary and rodger), talked about religion, missions, there churches, etc. then we asked and they said we could visit them and share a message with them! so on friday we went over and started talking and taught the restoration with them! and it went well and they accepted a challenge to read from the bom and pray about it and said we can come back. Tuesday we had a lesson with Gwen and were teaching her the restoration and toward the end of the lesson a soon to be relative walked in to borrow some ingredients and ended up joining the conversation and she laid down question after question about life and god and bad things happening to good people and we answered every one of her questions and she said she would like to come and join us the next time we teach Gwen, (tomorrow). Wednesday the miracle was getting to talk to you. Thursday  we had a lesson with a less active/recent convert fam and the lady said she was talking to her mom about churches and said the were all about hell, fire and damnation but she told her about our church and that its loving and accepting and good and she said she would come check it out and let us visit! But we cant visit till the new year cause shes in the middle of moving homes. On Friday we had that lesson i was talking about earlier. on Saturday we saw a member family to let them know how a referral went and a neighbor happened to swing by and we got talking and shared a message and prayer and she said we could come visit anytime! sunday she wasnt home so were hoping to swing by tonight. (there weekeneders) so the only problem is there not always up here but hoping to move up soon. Sunday we had a lesson with 2 boys who have a hard time learning and a relative was there and was very curious about what we believe and we ended up having the first lesson with him! :) we have sky on date for baptism for febuary so we will continue teacing her and hope the parents will allow it and all will go good with cps. when we see gqen tomorrow we are going to talk about it and decide on a date for her too :) 

love you all,

Elder Stevenson    

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

July 8, 2015

Hi family! Well today I am emailing from.... Tonto Basin! I have a new companion, his name is Elder Watson, he is from Kentucky and has been out about 3 months. He's tall. Elder Pyper went down to the valley furnace, but it’s not too much cooler here. Monday- Went to Young- Had a branch FHE movie night where we watched Meet the Mormons. It turned out great and there was a good turnout. Pat went, also Danna, first time she's been in the church in a long while and a lady named Carol who got baptized a year and a half ago but hasn't been active and a few other people! Tuesday- Young- Saw Van Voorst, PM couple, and set up a return appointment for service. Saw Aldo. I can’t really remember what else it was so long ago… but I remember we were busy that day! Wednesday- Young- WE had a lesson with Carol, she was the one who came to the movie night, she wants to get back into the church and we talked about temple and what she needs to do to get there, I am excited for that! We had a lesson with Pat, talked about the baptism interview, went over the questions and made some plans for her interview! Thursday- Lots of service, worked at the community center for a bit then for a nonmember, Karl. His whole family is members so he has heard most of the beliefs before and he believes it but I guess 80+ years ago he promised his mom he wouldn't change religions so we had a good chat about that and he said he would pray and see what God wants! We had a lesson with Anthony and taught him about the Book of Mormon. He's making progress. Had dinner with a member but a LA member was there and that was really good. Friday- We taught a lady named Rita we did service for a while ago, when we got there she said I don't want to become Mormon but then we still taught the restoration and by the end she committed to read the book and if God answers her prayer she would change! It was cool. Taught Anthony the Plan of Salvation. He soaked it up! Pat had her interview and passed so she is set for the 11th! Then went to Payson for district meeting, Elder Pyper and I gave a good good training on the character of Christ. Saturday- We spend the 4th in Payson at the park. There was a booth and the 4 Payson Elders plus us plus 4 sisters all did the booth, most of the day me and my comp walked about talking to families and passing out literature, then in the evening we were in charge of the booth. All in all we gave out approx. 120 Book of Mormons and contacted over 500 people! It was quite the day, we were set up at the park at 9:30 am and couldn’t take down until it was done so that was 10 and with traffic and all it was bad until like 11 after that.. Don't worry we were just doing what the district leader had permission to do. Sunday- Church was good, in the afternoon we went to Gisela and had a lesson with Michelle. Taught her more about the scriptures and read with her and her family. A neat thing that happened is one day when we first went there her uncle (who lives upstairs) opened the door and was pretty rude but we didn't care then during our lesson he got home from work and was standing in the kitchen next to us listening and by the end of the lesson was even participating a bit! He is LA. Monday- We had a lesson with john and taught him about the Sabbath day, hope we can get him back to church! Had dinner with a little group of the awesome tonto members. They thought I might get transferred so they had an early birthday for me just in case. Tuesday- Was transfers, it took a lot of the day but I got to see a lot of great missionaries for possibly the last time :( We got back and had dinner with the walls then went to Gisela and had another lesson with Michelle, we tried to show her JSPR but her TV internet wasn't working so we just did the restoration instead. ! Nephi 1:20 But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance. The mercies of the Lord are available to all, just have faith so you may be worthy and chosen of the blessings I'm glad you all had a good last week and that the 4th was good! Love, Elder Stevenson

June 29, 2015

Hey everybody, This week was pretty good, except with the iPad’s just started using it for our area book too and so every teaching appointment, lesson, sacrament, etc for the last 2 years has to be inputted. It takes forever to do just one person but we have the rest of this week to finish so it’s ok. Monday- Young- Went crawdad fishing again and caught like 50. We went with a LA and her nonmember boyfriend so that was good. After we cooked them up and had dinner and a lesson with them. We also had a lesson with a catholic lady, it was a good visit but nothing really will come of her. One cool thing was that she said she beliefs her church is wrong about infant baptism so it opened the door for us to teach her the truth. Tuesday- Young- Had a RC lesson and lunch with the Varkers. We also did service for them and did electric work for his shed, something new for me! We also had a lesson with Pat, where she is a single sister we always have to take a 3rd male with us, Tuesday morning the member we had lined up called and cancelled so we got another member short notice, well 5 minutes before the appointment he called and cancelled to so we were stuck in a rut. So we called every member we could think of and no one could help so we had to call and rescheduled for 2 hours later in hopes that we could find someone. Well we got the right member. Brother Dixon came with us and we taught the law of chastity and law of the land, both very simple for someone who's 80 but then transitioned into temple marriage and families and it was just great how the lesson played out, it was really spiritual and the Lord definitely had a plan even if we didn't see it all at first. Wednesday- District meeting as usual. Then we went to Gisela, sadly Michelle fell thru. We met a few potentials though, one real good one. His name is Tom. He was a referral we got right when we got here and we tried contacting him like 5 times but we never caught up with him, Wednesday we had some extra time so we went by and he was home and said he wants to learn and take the lessons! He's in his uppers 80's so it’s definitely the time to do or die. Thursday- Had another lesson with John, taught him the plan of salvation. A little different than what he has been taught and is used to but he was ok with it and has been reading and keeping commitments so that is good. Put in a lot of time to the area book. Friday- Worked on the area book ipad thing a bunch more, my iPad sometimes looks like a Frisbee when I have to hold it for hours ;) We had a good visit with the Jameson's Saturday- Saw the Hardies, had a good visit. Went to Gisela again. Our branch president came with for the lesson at Michelle’s, It went good and she said the closing prayer! Big step for her. Saw a few less actives- the Wynn's, Cockrums, and some more. Met a few other potentials too, a lady from Idaho who used to get visits! Had rib-eyes for dinner, it was so good. Sunday- Tonto- Church and meetings basically all day. Church was pretty good, sadly only Pat came in young. John was sick and Michelle’s dad had the car. After church there was a meeting with the stake president about the Sabbath day and keeping it holy, it was really good; similar to a training from our mission president. Then we had a lesson at the Redd’s, a LA couple we haven't met with in a while. Then we went to Payson for a stake priesthood meeting, it was really good. Monday- This morning we had another lesson with John, taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ and things really clicked. We showed him a lot of scriptures and things that helped him understand sin, repentance and baptism by the proper authority. The lord definitely keeps his promise of bringing things to remembrance when needed! Headed back to young this afternoon! 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.... 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Have a good week of freedom! Blow something up and have fun camping Love, Elder Stevenson

June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day!! Things here went alright this last week- Monday- Tonto. Had a lesson with a pm couple, the Richards. Took our RSP, had a good visit but they don't want to change. Then we had a lesson with Michelle and taught her following the prophet and scripture study. Tuesday- Tonto- had a lesson with John, went over the Restoration. It was actually pretty cool, at first he was trying to teach us and kept getting off subject, but we were persistent and moved through the lesson points and once we got about halfway through he really started to stop and listen and learn new things, he was amazed at some of it and knows the bible very well so is now going to learn the Book of Mormon. Found a few new people who said we can come back in an area we hadn't tracked before and had good contacts. Had a good lesson with a LA family. Met the "bible church" preacher. He invited us back, but we have to see if that's ok first. Wednesday- had ZTM in the valley, it was supposed to start at 11 but didn't and ran late so it took the better half of the day. Elder Pyper bought me cold stone cause he lost a bet we made. We got back about 5 and packed and ate quickly then went to our lesson with Karmyn but she fell thru again. Drove to Young. Thursday- Young- taught jack about prophets a little and general conference, he was real excited to listen to talks as he goes on walks through the forest. Taught Pat the law of tithing and fasting, she really like the principal of fasting and then that's what sacrament was focused on Sunday too. One cool thing about the lesson was she said I have just realized this week coffee doesn't even taste good and her coffee pot was clean and dry! And she has been drinking it daily for years, the Lord works wonders! Anthony broke his femur and had facial reconstruction from a horse accident so we didn't get to teach him, but he got home from the hospital and we helped make the long walk inside. We were driving by as he was trying to get out of the car so that was a miracle. Friday- Young- dug part of a crater for an older sister in the branch for a tree. It needed to be 3 foot by 4 foot deep and the soil was so rocky! I thought of Taylor saying faith move mountains 40 pounds at a time. I picked and my companion shoveled. We had dinner with nonmembers, authentic Indian fry bread, it was good food. We made a deal if we won horse shoes they had to come to church, sadly they won but are up for a rematch. Gave Anthony a blessing to get better. Saturday- worked more on the hole. Cleaned up a wheelchair, now Pat has one at church so she doesn't have to bring it from home and people who can't lift wheelchairs can still give her a ride. Saw some people but it didn't really turn into lessons. Sunday- Young- Pat was at church in young and John in Tonto! Kind of like Saturday, we had 2 really good chats, one with a LA member who has a family all unbaptized and another nonmember man but they both told us not right now.. 2 Nephi 33:12 And I pray the Father in the name of Christ that many of us, if not all, may be saved in his kingdom at that great and last day. Hope your week goes great! Love, Elder Stevenson

June 15, 2015

Well this week was pretty grand! Monday- Young- We met with Pat, she set her own date for July 11th and our lesson was good, we gave her a priesthood blessing to overcome coffee and tea, it was really neat. I shared with her that story you sent mom. Saw some referrals, caught crawdads, that was pretty cool, except by the time you cut off the top and pull of the legs and shell there's not much left to eat but they sure are tasty! Had a FHE at JP's and Anthony was there, we showed the Joseph Smith video. Tuesday- Young- lots of service, built fence. It was fun though. Had a real lesson with Anthony, taught him the Restoration and he committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray and all that and agreed to baptism if he gets an answer! Wednesday- Payson to Tonto- District meeting in Payson then had exchanges, we had a lesson with a man named John. Had the most sour lemon pie in the world for dinner. But the exchange was good. Thursday- Tonto- Had the quarterly temple trip in Mesa. Got up at 4:30 cause we had to leave at 5:30, Elder Pyper had some family names so I baptized him and that was neat. Our session was at 8, it was real good. Had a big lunch after and saw lots of people! Had a less active visit to the browns. Then a really good less active visit to the Gressley's, made some goals to get back to the temple and getting back on track, then saw the other Gressley's and had a real good visit with them, hope they can get things worked out and get back to church! Friday- Tonto- Went to Gisela, had a good lesson with Michelle on the Sabbath and she committed to attending church Sunday. Met some really good potentials. Had to weekly plan and iPad train and that took a while. Saturday- Tracted for a while, went pretty good. Finally saw Lucille again, she was unloading her car and we helped set up a new A/C unit for them then had a lesson and taught her the plan of salvation, wish her chemo would be over and she could start coming to church. Also was driving past a LA's and her husband had just left her so we got another member and gave her a blessing, it was a miracle we drove by the house as she was outside. Sunday- Tonto- Church at Tonto was great, there was like 60 visitors for a family reunion, but better than that there was 5 investigators there! Karmyn and her 2 brothers Seth and Ashton showed up pretty unexpected and it was right as we decided we are going to put it in the Lord's hands and wait for a while. And Michelle came with her dad who is LA so that was great, and John who we had a lesson with earlier in the week said he felt like coming. So we had a gospel principal’s class finally in the Tonto branch, and it was full. Had a good visit at the Jameson's, got some apricots and other stuff too. It was a good week! Romans 5: 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience. Love, Elder Stevenson

June 8, 2015

Hi family! It's great to hear from you as usual! My week was pretty good- Monday- young We went out to Haigler creek for a lesson, but the member who is a neighbor for Rita volunteered us for service instead, so we cleaned up her yard, I was a little upset cause it was supposed to be p-day and we had plans to go fishing, but I humbled myself and had charity and then we were able to have a lesson after and talk about temples and the plan of salvation. Monday night we had a lesson with Trevor on agency and choices, it went alright. Then we had a lesson/visit with Danna (la) and that was good. Tuesday- Young Started out with service, helped release a raccoon, that was cool, then split wood. Then went to a members and helped them tear down a chicken coop and move an anvil to the neighbors. Had a RC lesson. Had a lesson with Pat, it was on baptism and it was pretty great, the only bad part was she uncommitted to the 20 of this month but she committed and promised to talk with her son this week and set a date with him since he will be doing it. We have a lesson with her today, so we will see how it goes! Tried to do some family history for our temple trip coming up... Grandmas done it all! Wednesday- Payton and Tonto We had district meeting, gave a training on working the whole vineyard, it was good, but got cut short cause we were out of time. Went to Gisela. Had a lesson with Michelle again! She set a date for July 25, a ways off but that should give her enough time to start coming to church and everything. We went over to Nole’s for our lesson and he ran us off. It was quite the surprise, he basically told us his yard was more important than church and the gospel.. Sad, I gave him a copy of good, better, best and we will give him another shot in a couple weeks, and he might have just been overwhelmed. His date is off for now. Satan sure works hard on people. We also had dinner and a lesson with the Wynn’s. Thursday- Tonto Our appointments all fell thru but it was still a pretty good day, we saw a LA named Christine who is Karmyn’s grandma and had a really good chat with her. Also had a lesson with the Drummond’s. Friday- Tonto Saw the Hardy's, making progress with them! Had a lesson with sister Canady. Then went to Deer Creek and had a lesson with Dana and a LA named Larry. Saw the Browns a PMF and had a good visit, showed them mountains to climb. Saturday Great day! The Deleon’s, a family I was teaching in Scottsdale went thru the temple to receive their endowments and were sealed as a family, it was neat! One of the best days of my mission. The sealer was the old Mesa mission president. It was neat to see a lot of people from camel view ward too. I will send a picture! Sunday- Tonto Church was good except no one came in Tonto. But 3 people went in Young! After church we drove to Young, had dinner with our branch mission leader, he is getting to trust us a lot more than the previous missionaries so that's good. In answer to dads question the people we had on date that aren't right now are these- Karmyn- haven't met with her or her 2 brothers who were also on date in like 3 weeks because her grandma died and they went to Colorado. Trevor-won't have a date anymore, he was doing good, but moved out of the members home he was staying with and this last week started smoking chewing and getting high again with his mom... What a mom. But he is moving to Illinois to be with his dad in a couple weeks and that's probably not enough time to clean up and get baptized. All in all it was a pretty good week! John 16: 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. Love, Elder Stevenson

June 1, 2015

Hello family, Happy birthday Lexi!! I barely wrote you so this may be a bit shorter, Thursday we did service- helped an older couple clean up there yard and a huge tree. Then we helped a different widow trim her weeds up. Got another flat tire, the ground was hot too! We had a real good visit with a less active couple, backstory we have tried to see them like 4 times but they always have an excuse then this time when we knocked we heard him say ok let them in today so our persistence paid off and they invited us back. We also had a couple visits with some of the 'Christian' folks in town. Not sure where that will go. Friday- some service again for a sister working toward the temple, pulled weeds and then she fed us lunch, we watched mountains to climb. Then went to Gisela, tight Nole the word of wisdom, he accepted it a lot better then what he said on the phone about the pamphlet! Just gotta kick the coffee and the rest is easy. He should be good for the 27th. Then we had another lesson with Michelle, taught her the restoration and it went good, she opened up a lot more and committed to baptism. Drove to young Saturday- made it out to a place called Haigler creek, met some people. Had to do some iPad stuff that took a while too. Found out Trevor is moving back in with his mom... She's not the best influence so hope he can stay strong, we have a lesson with him tonight. We met a less active and showed her mountains to climb, she was crying and even pretty shaky, it really hit home. Sunday- pat was at church her date is for the 20th, Trevor was too. Church was good. One of the kids had a birthday party so we went over to that and got to talk to a family we've been trying to meet with. Saw Dave who is one of the main people running the Christian fellowship church in young. Had a really good chat, he's got an open heart and hope we can pick it open more and he will give us an honest shot. It would be cool to convert him! This week we have showed mountains to climb to a lot of people so for my scripture watch it! mountains to climb Love Eder Stevenson

May 25, 2015

Hello! Today I am emailing you from... Tonto Basin! Elder Pyper and I both are staying together for another transfer here so that's pretty exciting. Here's how the last week and a half went for me- Tuesday- Tonto- Went and saw a guy who said we could go back, his name is Charlie. Taught Charlie the Restoration, it was pretty good, except for when we asked him what he saw in the first vision picture he said Han Solo in a vest looking up at Luke Skywalker and Haha. It was Elder Pyper’s birthday day and one of the members had a little party for him. We had a lesson with Ramone and Jane, taught the Plan of Salvation and it went pretty well. Wednesday- Young- We sanded and painted a deck porch for a nonmember couple who were pretty cool. Then we stacked hay and had lunch and a lesson with a Recent convert couple who are awesome. We had a lesson with Pat and taught her the Sabbath day and obedience, she is doing good and making progress, we just need to get her off that coffee and tea! Got another flat tire, but this time it only took us 25 minutes to fix. Thursday- Got iPad’s! They are pretty cool. We had a mission seminar with Elder Evans of the 70 and some other people who taught us about discipleship in the digital age. The meeting was in the valley and after we got our tire fixed. By the time we got back to Young it was late but we had some great experiences of sharing the gospel throughout the day, just not in our area. Taught the Restoration to a young gal while waiting for her oil change then got another referral for someone while getting gas, then at Walmart got talking to a guy who builds temples and wants to join but his wife is Catholic and he was thrilled to have his own Book of Mormon. Also in Walmart in Payson saw Gwen who was someone I baptized like a year ago. It was pretty neat. Friday- Young- We had a lesson with Trevor about the Priesthood and how the church works. Went to the Young graduation, only 2 people graduated from high school, imagine if that’s how it was for you Lexi! They had an 8th grade and kindergarten graduation too so we saw and were seen by a lot of families which was the goal. Have some people we are going to hunt down from it. Saturday-Young- Did service for a while. Got our iPad’s set up and got the scriptures on them which are great. Had dinner and a lesson with Trevor, Jay R., JP and his family, we went over the family proclamation. JP and Christa just started temple prep classes and I am excited for them! Had a lesson with the Connor’s, but he's not ready to come back.. Sunday- Spoke in church, my topic was sustaining church leaders. I spoke for 17 minutes out of 20 but that was alright, I wrote my talk Saturday night and Sunday morning between PEC and sacrament. Pat and Trevor came to church. There was a bunch of visitors up. After church there was a child baptism and Trevor stayed for it. We had a lesson with Trevor, we went over the baptismal interview questions, and he’s all good… Except he smoked again. UGGG, I want to destroy all the Tobacco! Drove back to Tonto, saw a lion on the way. Monday- Had another lesson with Charlie, taught him the Pan of Salvation. He soaked it in and hopefully will come to church this week. Went off to Gisela with brother Wall, had a lesson with the Wynn's and taught Michelle the Plan of Salvation, she should start progressing, we just need to get her parents to come back to church they got baptized a while back. Tuesday- Saw Ramone and Jane again, when we got there they dropped us... We asked if they had read prayed and got an answer about the Book of Mormon and committed them to do so before making a final decision. Bore our testimony's to them so I guess we will see... Showed mountains to climb to a lot of people on the iPad, including Lucille who is the one with cancer going thru Chemo. She is great, the sweetest little old lady ever. When we got to her house she said do you like my hair? They had just shaved it all off. I hope she can get well so she can get baptized. Alma43:45-46 Nevertheless, the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for monarchy nor power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church. And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God. Happy Memorial Day! Love, Elder Stevenson

May 22, 2015

Brother and Sister Stevenson: I want to pass on a wonderful compliment I received on the phone this morning regarding Elder Stevenson. He and his companion stopped on the road yesterday to help a man with a flat tire. The gentleman was so appreciative and took the time to call us and let us know what fine young men they were. They even offered him a Book of Mormon. I reminded him these incidents are not coincidental and the missionaries are always glad to help. Thank you for raising such a fine young man! He is the nicest young man. He is a hard working missionary and has an amazing testimony. May you enjoy and reap many blessings as a result of his service and your influence upon him. We love him! Sister Llewanne Bass Mission Secretary Arizona Scottsdale Mission 480-951-8098

May 18, 2015

Hey hey! This week was pretty good- Monday- Young- We had a zone activity and went to a huge cabin, the owner invented Sky Mall so he is loaded. It was the biggest place I have ever seen. We also had a FHE with Trevor and the people he lives with JP, Christa and Jay R, the lesson was on the Book of Mormon, then I introduced them to the thimble game for the activity and it was great. Tuesday- Young- Woke up to a flat tire. The worst part was getting the spare tire off, it would come from the bottom, turns out there is a little spot by the license plate, but we got it worked out. Then we had service, we helped a nonmember widow stack wood and get her place looking a little better then we also helped another nonmember couple, the Marts, worked in the garden and helped build a cucumber grower, they are awesome and we hope to start teaching them. She even introduced us to some of their friends who can use a little service. We then had a lesson with Pat, we just read the Book of Mormon with her, and she is so great. We also had a visit at the Varker’s, a recent convert couple and they fed us dinner. We contacted 5 referrals, which is ton for one day! Wednesday- We left Young and went to Payson for district meeting, it got cancelled because our district leader forgot.. but that was ok. Went to Gisela and had a lesson with Nole, We taught more about the Book of Mormon and how Joseph Smith is related to that. We also finally made contact with Ramone again and met his wife, she is living back up here now, and we have an appointment tomorrow night so hopefully we can really get the ball rolling again! Wednesday- Tonto We had a LA lesson with Sister Drummond, then got to drive down and go to the mesa temple with sister Decker. It was amazing! Elder Swaner (my last comp) and his companion were there too. Friday- Tonto- Had a lot visits, a lot of rejections, their loss. We did have one good visit though at the Browns, a PMF, at first Bill, the dad was just trying to get us to argue but then my companion bore his testimony and it really touched his heart so I bore mine too and there was definitely a different feeling in the room after, we are going to try some service work (they are farmer/ranchers) and see if that can get the door open a little wider. Saturday- We had a concrete service project planned I was excited for so I could use some of my old skills but it rained a bunch so it fell thru, we went service tracting anyways, not too much success. Worked on the new branch mission plan with Brother Wall, but it's still in the making. Saw the Bauers, a PMF. It was really good so hopefully we can get the ball rolling their too. Sunday- Church was good, Elder Pyper talked. Nole came again! He rode with the Haughts, a real old couple that are his neighbors. During sacrament Sister Haught passed out, luckily we had a Doctor from the stake pres. and a sheriff a few other people but most importantly priesthood holders. We gave her a blessing. We didn't get to meet with Karmyn, Seth and Ashton this last week, but hopefully this week. Luke 17:32 Remember Lot's wife. A simple verse, but one to ponder. Love you, have a good week Elder Stevenson

May 11, 2015

This week has been a good one! Here's the basics Last Monday (Young) evening we went to Snowflake for a baptism of someone Elder Pyper taught. It was good, Trevor came with us and we rode with a member so it gave us a good car ride to talk too. Tuesday-Young- We helped the Varkers (RC) with some service of getting a sewing machine set up and had a good visit with them. We had another lesson with Pat, we taught her the Word of Wisdom, she loves her tea and coffee but is going to start working toward overcoming. It was a good lesson though. We also saw Cliff again (he was the one who fed us dinner and is Jewish), such a neat man, has plans to read the whole Book of Mormon so that will be great. Had a lesson with Trevor and taught him the law of chastity. Wednesday- we left Young, had district meeting in Payson then Elder Cox came with us to Tonto Basin. He's awesome so it was good to be with him again, we had a real good lesson with Karmyn, she is the 16 year old we have been trying to meet with. We taught the restoration and about halfway thru she says, so what do I need to do to be baptized? It was great! She cried and could really feel the spirit, sadly her mom had the flu so she didn't join the lesson, next time. Thursday-Tonto- We had another lesson with Nole, we taught him the Plan of Salvation, he had a lot of light bulb moments! Hard to keep him focused on the doctrine and basics but we did our best. He committed to church but when we called him Saturday he was hacking up a lung and said he will be there next week. I think I mentioned his cousin who was a bishop in California, what a tremendous impact he has made in preparing Nole! Friday-tonto- We met a PM couple, the Richards, as time went on our conversation got better and we went over the articles of faith, prayed and they want us to come back! Saturday-Tonto- The stake President had us for breakfast, that was nice. Then there was a community yard sale in Deer Creek so we went around to all the people house to house and they were much nicer than just knocking on doors, a couple even said come back! We had a lesson with Sister Canady on Patriarchal blessings. Then a lesson with the Tweeds on Church.... They didn't come Sunday so they are officially dropped :( Always stinks dropping people. Sunday- Tonto- Church was pretty great! Bore my testimony. Karmyn came with her brother and they enjoyed it. After not having a YW's presidency the whole time I've been here we got one Sunday and that was the same day a YW investigator came! Not a coincidence. Trevor and Anthony and that whole group went in Young too so I was pretty happy people are finally coming to church. We went to see a LA couple and were having a pretty good talk and landed on tithing. This man had some beef with it and said "in Oklahoma if your 65 or older you don't even have to pay tithing" I replied telling him that wasn't true and in a slit second he was up out of his chair yelling get out! Don’t call me a liar! It reminded me that the wicked do take the truth to be hard. Well there is the brief rundown of my week, I'm glad you all seem to be having good weeks too! I will see you on Sunday!! Alma 26:20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! Always seek the joy that comes from Jesus! Love, Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 4, 2015

This week has been a good one! Here's the basics Last Monday (young) evening we went to Snowflake for a baptism of someone Elder Pyper taught. It was good, Trevor came with us and we rode with a member so it gave us a good car ride to talk too. Tuesday-young- We helped the Varkers (RC) with some service of getting a sewing machine set up and had a good visit with them. We had another lesson with pat, we taught her the word of wisdom, and she loves her tea and coffee but is going to start working toward overcoming. It was a good lesson though. We also saw Cliff again (he was the one who fed us dinner and is Jewish), such a neat man, has plans to read the whole Book of Mormon so that will be great. Had a lesson with Trevor and taught him the law of chastity. Wednesday- we left Young, had district meeting in Payson then Elder Cox came with us to Tonto Basin. He's awesome so it was good to be with him again, we had a real good lesson with Karmyn, she is the 16 year old we have been trying to meet with. We taught the restoration and about halfway thru she says, so what do I need to do to be baptized? It was great! She cried and could really feel the spirit, sadly her mom had the flu so she didn't join the lesson, next time. Thursday-Tonto- We had another lesson with Nole, we taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he had a lot of light bulb moments! Hard to keep him focused on the doctrine and basics but we did our best. He committed to church but when we called him Saturday he was hacking up a lung and said he will be there next week. I think I mentioned his cousin who was a bishop in Cali, what a tremendous impact he has made in preparing Nole! Friday-Tonto- We met a Part Member couple, the Richards, as time went on our conversation got better and we went over the Articles of Faith, prayed and they want us to come back! Saturday-tonto- The stake President had us for breakfast that was nice. Then there was a community yard sale in deer creek so we went around to all the people house to house and they were much nicer than just knocking on doors, a couple even said come back! We had a lesson with Sister Canady on Patriarchal blessings. Then a lesson with the Tweeds on Church.... They didn't come Sunday so they are officially dropped :( Always stinks dropping people. Sunday- Tonto- Church was pretty great! Bore my testimony. Karmyn came with her brother and they enjoyed it. After not having an YW's presidency the whole time I've been her we got one Sunday and that was the same day an YW investigator came! Not a coincidence. Trevor and Anthony and that whole group went in Young too so I was pretty happy people are finally coming to church. We went to see a LA couple and were having a pretty good talk and landed on tithing. This man had some beef with it and said "in Oklahoma if your 65 or older you don't even have to pay tithing" I replied telling him that wasn't true and in a slit second he was up out of his chair yelling get out! Don’t call me a liar! It reminded me that the wicked do take the truth to be hard. Well there is the brief rundown of my week, I'm glad you all seem to be having good weeks too! I will see you on Sunday!! Alma 26:20 And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! Always seek the joy that comes from Jesus! Love, Elder Stevenson

April 27, 2015

Hi family, This week has been ok, not as good as the last one but hopefully things will pick up again, Ramone seems to be avoiding us for some reason and cancelling. Lucille did start chemo so we aren't going to be able to meet with her either. Tuesday- I spent in Pine with Elder Watts, got to see a lot of people, it was really neat! When I left there was a RC couple who were awesome but going back and seeing how living the gospel for the last year has helped her change so much was very neat! Also saw some people who haven’t lived the gospel and how their lives are still struggling so it was just a reminder the gospel works! Wednesday- Had district meeting and met back up with Elder Pyper, we went to Tonto and Elder Obrien was with us because his companion was on other exchanges. It was an ok afternoon, lots of rejection. Our lesson fell thru with Karmen. Thursday- We went to Gisela with Brother Wall and saw a man named Nole we did service for a couple weeks back, we actually had a real good chat about the priesthood and its importance, his cousin was a bishop in Cali which was a good way to find a place to start teaching him. We helped build a ramp for a PMF who is getting to old to walk Friday- We worked more on the ramp. It was with Brother Wall and Brother Smith. Bro Smith who's 80 got mad at one point because the lady's walker was in the way and he picked it up and threw it while mumbling, I was laughing pretty hard. Met some LA's and found a family who said we can go back after the Disneyland trip. Saturday- We made Ramone cookies but when we went to take them to him he was in Phoenix, we hope we can meet with him more. Had a good little visit with a man named Nate who is 88. We talked about the Book of Mormon and he said I believe it’s true so now we just need to help him understand more about if it’s true, the rest of what we teach is true too. Sunday- Trevor came to church with the clan, we came to young yesterday afternoon. We met with Trevor and had to cancel his date because he smoked... but we gave him a blessing and some things he can do to say no. Ether 4:17 When ye shall receive this record, ye may know that the work of the Father has commenced upon the face of the land. I want to testify the work of that has commenced and the Book of Mormon is a portion of the great work! Love Elder Stevenson

April 20, 2015

April 20, 2015 Hello hello, Another good week as always, I guess I will just run through like I have been doing- Tuesday- We went to the temple with the Tonto branch temple trip! It was great, then we did service, cleaned up an old man's yard. Went to Gisela and didn't have a ton of time but did have a good LA visit of someone we are helping get back to go to the temple. Then we cruised back to Tonto and had a lesson with Ramon. It was great, we taught the Restoration and it was very good, when we extended a baptism invite asking if when he came to gain a testimony he paused for a minute..... then said "Absolutely!" I would totally do that. It was cool. His wife loved the stuff he told her about the plan of salvation too! Wednesday- We left to Heber pretty early for Zone Training Meeting, it was good. We then went to Young all the way to this morning. Had a visit with Aldo, helped him better understand why the Book of Mormon and Prayer are key. Had a lesson with Trevor and Jay R. we taught about how the Book of Mormon and Bible complement each other and used the Sermon on the mount and The sermon in the America's. Thursday- Knocked some doors, met one family we are excited for! Met a man who turned out to be a member we hadn't met yet and helped him with his garden. Had another lesson with Pat Meredith, it was good, last week she went to her grandson’s mission farewell! We taught her the Restoration and invited her to baptism, she said when I'm ready, then we taught some more and invited her again and she said she will be baptized when she gets a witness of all this! Had another lesson with Trevor, taught the gospel of Jesus Christ, he is on date for the 9th of May! Friday- Tracted for a quite a bit, had a good door step visit with a la who hasn't been for years. Taught Trevor the Word of Wisdom, he hasn't smoked for 2 months, Yippie! Saturday- Had a lesson with a la, Harold, pretty hard hearted but oh well. Met some more members, one took us out and we had a good lesson with a guy we helped who was stranded on the side of the road a while ago. Taught Trevor the 10 commandment and used Elder Ballard’s Mormon message about it. Sunday- Church was good! Trevor came and the people he lives with who are reactivating. Branch council was pretty good but we didn't get to talk about the quorum of the 12 plan like we wanted too. Had another lesson with Pat Meredith, we taught her about temples and it was really neat! Her husband dies a few years ago so we focused in on that. She committed to church next week! She was sick so we gave her a blessing and she was crying. We had dinner with a nonmember couple, one is Jewish and the other is catholic. And their friends, another couple who one claims to not be a member anymore and the other non-denominational. It made for quite the conversation, they asked us to tell them what we belief which was a perfect opportunity to bear testimony, it was mostly centered on the restoration and the spirit was very strong, they asked some questions and we talked about the great apostasy and the last dispensation, it was actually very neat. They wanted a book of Mormon too so that was good. We saw JP, and his family again and blessed the house, there is some evil spirits in there and stuff. Monday- This morning we did a little service and left young, now we are in Payson, tonight we Elder Pyper will go back to Tonto and I will be on exchanges, I get to go to pine for a couple days!! I'm way excited, the missionaries there now are white washing it and since I have served there and am in the same district I get to show him around! Matt 19:26 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. Have a wonderful week, no one told me about anyone they shared the gospel with while out of Rexburg so I'm waiting to hear something! Love, Elder Stevenson

April 13, 2015

April 13 This week was great! Wednesday- We helped clean the church and then the walls unexpectedly took us to get some pizza with them! We tried to see a few people but they didn't answer so we will probably wait for them to come to us (Jerry and Shelby) but we were riding our bike because we are low on miles and we were able to contact a few people. Well we saw a PMF that said not to come back so we went to meet the neighbor and met Ramone (Ray), he was shining his new rims on his new truck. he talked to us quite a bit and said his wife is in the Valley for some help right now, she has depression from a daughter committing suicide about 30 years ago and told us about how he hasn't been able to find the truth, he was raised Catholic, then skipped around a little but agreed to letting us come back Thursday. Thursday- We went to see our neighbors who actually are a less active older couple. They are pretty cool, he is a pro fisherman and used to race MX so we hit off to a great start and he hasn't been to church since he was 18, not to interested in coming back but said we can visit and send the branch presidency over so he's not against it either, they gave us some yummy smoked blue fin too. Then made a quick trip to Scottsdale. Then we had a lesson with the Redd's a LA couple who really need the temple, we read an ensign article Repentance is real. It was good and I think touched them, the member with us was a little overbearing so I hope they don't take offense. We had a good visit though and they committed to trying to come to church, (when they say that they never come..), the presidency will see them this week though. We then had our lesson with Ramone and taught all about the plan of salvation. He had even read the pamphlet we left with him from the day before and said it made him feel happy, we talked about how the Spirit works and he said when I go down to the valley this week to see my wife I am taking this with me because it will make her happy too that she can see her daughter again one day and tell her she loves her... We didn't even get started with the temple yet! Then we saw the Drummonds, a PMF and really want to start teaching him, we gave her a blessing so that was good. Friday- We did service for sister Canady, we weed wacked and raked up things from the trees that look like green caterpillars. Then we went to Gisela with the walls, sadly no one wanted to talk to us or was busy that day but we did manage to have a lesson with a less active family who should have been at church yesterday. We had a dinner that night and it was with the Lyman’s, we got to have a little fun with the boys 10, 8, 4 on the farm, they caught the chicks and we taught them how to skip rocks. Also did weekly planning. Saturday- Because we didn't have time for a lesson with Sister Canady we had a lesson with her about forgiveness, she is so close to the temple if she will forgive and stop smoking. We saw a bunch of people in Deer Creek but not any lessons. Got our weekly planning finished up. Sunday- Church was good, testimony meeting was pretty good, I didn't know what I was going to testify of so it ended up just being a simple testimony on the basics. We always bless the sacrament in the Tonto Branch and it's always neat. We went to stake missionary correlation in Payson, well the Pine ward is also is Payson stake so I got to see my old WML, it was cool to catch up, we got talking and turns out about a year ago one day bro Taft and me and my comp went to the gas station for dinner and got some pizza, 2 other men were sitting down on the other end of the table who were brothers, I got talking to them and we set a return appointment but it fell thru then whenever we went back it didn't work out... Well turns out one of them just barely got baptized and is getting the Priesthood and the other will probably follow suit soon! You never know what kind of influence you have in peoples lives... Later that day we were seeing a potential and since we were in the area we stopped by a la who has been too busy lately so we were thinking about stopping trying her for a while, well we caught her at a good time and got talking about gardening then the church then how the gospel helps families, then how she's been having problems with her teenage daughter (who was blessed but never baptized) then she went and got her daughter and we started talking and she said I want to go on a mission so we told her all about how and that she needed to be a member and the first thing she said was well then I want to get baptized! So we are going back for a lesson! It was neat! Monday- This morning we did some service then we stopped by a part member family, they gave us a referral so we went and contacted Lucile. We had a great lesson! Lucille is probably 85 and was just re-diagnosed with lymphomas cancer so she has to start chemo soon, but we taught her the restoration, cleared up her concerns and had a great visit! She agreed to baptism if her health with permit and she gains a witness. It was great, then we gave her a priesthood blessing and she was crying afterward. It was pretty special. Well I hope you have a wonderful week and look for someone to share the Gospel with! 3 Nephi 12:8 and blessed are all the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Love, Elder Stevenson

Sunday, April 12, 2015

April 6, 2015

Hi family! Happy Easter! No transfers around here, just a transfer week. General Conference was great! It's nice to always here what everyone liked. I really liked Elder Pearson's on Sunday afternoon about Lehi's dream and the 6 steps. I also liked President Eyerings from Priesthood about prayer and our callings. The other one I liked was about learning to hear the music not just learning the dance, what a crucial thing. We spend most of last week in Tonto then Saturday to yesterday in Young. Tuesday- We had a lesson with Pat, she is a really old widow and although she is not a member her grandson is leaving on a mission in a few weeks so that should help us! We talked to her about the Plan of Salvation and families. Saw Cindy again... she dropped us and said God is not narrow-minded enough to only make you follow him in order to get to him, that doesn't add up but oh well. We also had a lesson with a LA, read Moroni 7 with him. Wednesday- We had district meeting in Payson, we gave a training on companionship unity. Then we came back to Tonto, had a dinner appointment with a PMF, they are super old, we showed up and she told us the lasagna still had 45 min to cook and then they ate sooo slow, so it was a long appointment but we had a good chat. Thursday- We spend Thursday in Gisela with Brother Wall. We had stuff all planned but it fell thru, we had a few good visits though, Thursday we also went to the Easter Pageant which was great! Our branch went as a small group, we rode with our BML and his wife. In order to go we have to take an investigator or LA so we went down a little before the group and had it all lined up that we would have an investigator there but then got a call saying he wasn't coming. Luckily we still had a newly reactivating member come so it was ok! Friday- We saw our neighbor Jean again, he hasn't read the stuff we left him with but he said he would. He also said "I will have to check with my wife" and she wasn't the nicest to us so we will see. We also saw a lady named Sharon at the feed store. She is a member but la. Then we went out to Gisela again and had a lesson with the Tweeds, it was really good! Except it's hard to keep them on tract sometimes. We had missionary correlation that night too. Saturday- General Conference. Between the morning session we tried to see jerry, then mark with bro wall, neither home so we saw a la next door who said he isn't ready to come back right now. Sad day for him. Then between the other sessions we did service at an RV park (it was actually one we got kicked out of a few weeks ago) so that was nice. After priesthood we drove to Young. Sunday- Easter! We watched the morning session with Trevor then had a lesson with him on following the prophet. We watched the afternoon session with another family. We had dinner with the people we stay with, they asked that we didn't share a message though. It was because one of the ladies is engaged to a total LA member. I thought that was crazy and sad she would lower herself to his level, especially on Easter Sunday. Monday- We did service for a while, built fence, spread some manure. Went out with our other BML leader for a bit, he is pretty hesitant to share the gospel. Had a lesson later with the Megayhe's. They are an older couple who started up a "community Christian church" in young. They were really nice though and didn't want to argue with us so that was great! We then saw Aldo, our Italian friend, this time he invited us in and we were able to talk about the book of Mormon, he said he has been reading a couple verses each night. Also had another lesson with Trevor and started teaching the Restoration with him, just to go over it again but got onto trials and he's going thru some right now. We showed him a video the refiner’s fire and he might have watched mountains to climb after we left. The computer was slow. Tuesday- We spend in Payson with another Elder who was companion less because it was transfer day. We did a lot of good! Well there's a lot of names and lot of things you might not have understood but I am trying to make it longer. 3 Nephi 6:14 And thus there became a great inequality in all the land, insomuch that the church began to be broken up; yea, insomuch that in the thirtieth year the church was broken up in all the land save it were among a few of the Lamanites who were converted unto the true faith; and they would not depart from it, for they were firm, and steadfast, and immovable, willing with all diligence to keep the commandments of the Lord. This verse stood out to me this week, if the church was to be "broken up" where is your faith at? Love, Elder Stevenson

March 30, 2015

Happy birthday dad! This week was good! I am running short on time, we are in young and the library is closed today so we only have one computer and my companion went first and we have to go in a bit.. So we had our Easter Pancake breakfast in Tonto on Saturday! It was good, we had 13 non members who came! If only people would do that for church. People who came that we are working with was Walter and his daughter and Shelby and her kids. There is a new Easter video called because he lives! It is super good. We had some good lessons! Well I love you, remember He has Risen! Love Elder Stevenson

Friday, March 27, 2015

March 23, 2015

Happy 38th birthday old mother, just kidding! Well it sounds like you are all staying real busy with the wedding, priesthood ordination and what not. Keep Brother Barton in your prayers. Our week was good, I'll try and add detail to make it long. Our mileage limitations are really getting cut as a mission, so on Tuesday we picked a name and then walked around for an hour after that knocking doors, we had a few good contacts and actually met a PM couple and other people who weren't opposed to us coming back. Then we had a lesson with a less active named Scott. He hasn't been to church in a long time and we had a good chat about that and the blessing that the gospel brings, the member we brought really testified of that and how he needs the gospel. We walked/ biked a lot for the afternoon too and got kicked out of 2 RV parks for "soliciting", it was the managers at both so we respected that. We got a new investigator who is a young single mom and could use the gospel, we are going back tomorrow. Wore a green tie. Wednesday was district meeting in Payson, Elder Pyper and I gave a training on Contacting people and asking inspired questions. Then we spent the afternoon in Gisela. We first did service, picked up Pecan for a Potential Investigator and then went out with our BML, Brother Wall (stud) for a lesson to Buck, where we talked about faith and hopefully can start teaching him. And then also with Walter and talked about the temple and families. They actually ad a picture of the Mesa temple in their house and didn't even know it! We then had dinner with a family we are trying to help get to the temple, the Wynns. Then drove the long treacherous drive to Young. Thursday we met our BML, Brother Williams and talked about the branch. He is definitely more of a let's wait type of person. We had a visit with a RC/reactivated couple and it was a good chat. Then we met a few less actives, Brother Connor, the Hardy's. We also saw Jenny and Mike (pmf) and they said they would think about taking the missionary lessons! We went to a community church dinner and were welcomed by the people their! Friday was a lot like Thursday, visiting people wise, but we had a lesson with Trevor and he really wants to be baptized! We didn't set a date with him quite yet because we want him to commit to the gospel first, but he already knows everything from past missionary visits and lessons. The member family Trevor lives with catches wild horses and sells the, cool huh? Well they cut off the horse nuts and eat them so next time we are in young we will have rocky mountain oysters, horse style. My companion isn't to excited about that but he will partake! There was a crazy hail storm and we couldn't see at all on the roads that put a damper on our afternoon. Saturday we had breakfast with some members and then went and helped build the community center! It was pretty cool. We then had a lesson with a widowed lady named Cindy, we taught the plan of salvation and it was good! Sunday was stake conference and it was great! Except the broadcast kept not working and Trevor didn't show up.. I am out of time, have a good week!

Monday, March 16, 2015

March 16, 2015

We made it to Young this week! It was nice, it’s another tiny speck on the map, we got there late Monday night and met the branch president. Tuesday we got to go to Snowflake for a temple trip which was fantastic! After that we had ZTM which was pretty good. Then we had our drive back and it was night when we got there, we had dinner with a member and then went and met some other members. Wednesday we spend a solid 3 hours cleaning our humble abode. Then we went out and finally started working! We had quite the day, we found the 2 people the other missionaries were trying to teach and introduced ourselves to them, and are going back, and we also found another new investigator that missionaries have done service for before. We have a return appointment! We also went to see a referral who turned out to be X'd so that was fun... Then met a few other LA and PMF's. In Tonto we did quite a bit of service, we built a fence, cleaned up brush and built some steps for a patio, there was steps there, but snakes were getting in so we tore it up and filled in the hole going under the house and rebuilt it. We have had a bunch of LA lessons! 2 new less actives were at church Sunday so that was good to help get them there, we invited a bunch more than 2 but we will see what comes of the rest. I spoke in church on Sunday, I was asked to speak on the Atonement, I think it went pretty well but I only got about halfway through before I ran out of time so I had to sit back down. The chapel is nice and small, but it doesn’t have any stairs leading up to the stand, just a podium and then a little fence looking thing to the sides just like in a normal chapel just flat, well anyways when I started my talk I made the joke that there was no stairs because most of the people in the branch might not be able to climb stairs anymore. It was pretty funny. One of the scriptures from my talk was Alms 7:11- 16 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities. Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me. Now I say unto you that ye must repent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness. Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism. And whosoever doeth this, and keepeth the commandments of God from thenceforth, the same will remember that I say unto him, yea, he will remember that I have said unto him, he shall have eternal life, according to the testimony of the Holy Spirit, which testifieth in me. Have a good week! Love Elder Stevenson

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015

We made it to our area. It is good, Tonto Basin is pretty small little town filled with old people but it's a good place. People seem to be home in the day so that is nice, but they all go to bed at like 7 so that makes it hard at night. The members here are really good, our Branch Mission Leader, Brother Wall is a recent convert of like 3 years, he is almost 80 and he is full of energy and ready to work! We didn't have any investigators or anything when we got here so we have been shooting from the hip a bit but with help from the members we have been getting our feet on the ground and getting to know people and their needs. Tonight we are headed to Pleasant Valley/ Young for the first time and are going to spend a few days there. its 2 hours away so it's a little trek. There is a lot of Potential work to be done in our area, lots of part member families and less active work. We went out with our EQP also and it was good, he served in Pocatello! On Saturday we went and saw a referral for a less active, our talk with him was a little heated and he basically said he didn't have or want a testimony.. But on Sunday he showed up for church! What a nice surprise. Well I don't really have much else to say, Alma 37:43 And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual. 44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land. Don't let yourself follow as a shadow of wickedness, but learn from the mistakes of others and do what is right! Love, Elder Stevenson

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March 2, 2015

Well Hello! This is a transfer week! I have been transferred to a new area, to Tonto Basin and Young. Both of which are very small towns and are only branches. My new companion is Elder Pyper, he is from Utah and has been out 4 months now. (He was actually my last companions- Elder Swaners, trainee!) We are white washing our area and it should be fun! I am sad to leave Camelview ward after 6 months but this should be good too, we haven't actually been to our area yet.. Yesterday was transfers and the Elders who's area it was before didn't make it transfers because they got snowed in then once they started driving had to return for their phone and then again for their luggage. So this morning they met up with us and we drove for 4 hours to get things all worked out. It's been rough, but hopefully when we get to our area later today we will be able to work hard and start getting things moving. Last week was good, on Saturday Kyle's step-son who is 8 was baptized! It was good and even better because Kyle was there. He should keep moving along. We also FINALLY were able to meet with Ben and Kenna again. Said 'till we meet again to them and the Elders are going back over tonight for a lesson so things should start moving forward again! We had a few good lessons last week, said my good byes mostly on Monday. We got to work out with the new missionaries on Tuesday, taught them how to play gator-ball! Also got to see a lot of missionaries on Tuesday, it was great! Saw Elder Hinds and he has grown even more then when we served together! Maybe someday we will be companions again! Well I don't really know what else to say except I hope all is well! My scripture for the week comes from a hymn: I believe in Christ; he stands supreme! From him I'll gain my fondest dream; And while I strive through grief and pain, His voice is heard: "Ye shall obtain." I believe in Christ; so come what may, With him I'll stand in that great day When on this earth he comes again To rule among the sons of men. I believe in Christ! Love Elder Stevenson

Monday, March 2, 2015

February 23, 2015

This week was pretty good, on Tuesday we weren't able to meet with Kyle like we usually do, but he came to church on Sunday and he told us he has switched his schedule so that now he has Saturday and Sunday off instead of having to work the weekends and miss part of church! I am very happy about that, so we went over yesterday afternoon and had a lesson. He is a little timid about staying for Priesthood, but I think a couple invites from some members of the Elders quorum should do! His son who is 8.5 is going to get baptized on Saturday, this plus meeting with his whole family should really help his progression! We had a good lesson with the Bohnert family this week. This morning he texted us a 5 page message and dropped us. It's his agency. It has been really hard to meet with Ben because of his busy work schedule and Kenna wants to wait for him, we will keep trying. We had one good lesson with Erick and Kenna so little by little I guess. Nicole and James were doing good, then when we were going over to teach James the 15 step quit smoking program we heard a lot of yelling so we rang the doorbell anyways and there was some physical contact inside we heard, so we called the cops and they came over. On a good note we were at that same complex and there is a lot of black people there from Africa so and they all seem to be Muslim, well we always try talking to them anyways and we talked to a man named Solomon who said we can come teach his family! He is one who was actually sincere and wants to know more so I am excited for that! We had ZTM this week and it was very good, sadly Elder Swaner and I's training about obedience we made we didn't have time to give because a lot of the other people ran over time, but most of the stuff was talked about we will share ours at the district meetings instead. We picked up a former family so we will see where that goes! Mark 12:30-31 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. I hope you have a good week and love the Lord! Love, Elder Stevenson

February 16, 2015

Howdy! This week was pretty good, we had Zone Conference on Wednesday. On Tuesday night we found out we were in charge of 75 minutes (split with the Sisters) so that was fun planning. We only got half the agenda the Friday before and then the computer wouldn't work on Monday so on Tuesday we finally got it printed and thought that must be wrong and then heard back at 8:30 it was right.. Well it went pretty good! We talked about the standards of excellence our mission has (3 people on baptism date and 3 people progressing always) The rest of zone conference was really good, learned about ordinances and then talked a lot about families. This week we didn't have a lesson with Ben and Kenna, sadly Ben has been working a bunch then on Saturday night Kenna's baby was sick and they didn't make it to church. So hopefully we can get back on track with them and help them come around. We did meet with Erick though and he is still doing great. We got talking to one of his neighbors and he is now a new investigator! We finally met with Kyle again, it feels like it’s been forever, he had 2 family deaths in the last month so it’s been rough, but we taught the plan of salvation and it really hit home. We have been met with a man named Hayden at a behavioral hospital 2ce this last week, it has been really neat, he's from Utah and a member and all but he will probably get moved somewhere this week. Had another lesson with the Bohnert/ Neild family. Brother Bohnert is scared to be baptized cause his "family will disown him" he is going to meet with his dad tomorrow night and talk to him so hopefully that goes well. We are getting some French sisters and have spent some time trying to figure out details and coordinate for that for next transfer. We went on a mini exchange with the Eldorado Elders to help them work toward those standards of excellence I mentioned earlier. This morning we got up really early and went to the temple! It was open for Presidents day this morning so that was really neat, I learned so much, a lot of new things stick out to me! Alma 19:13 reads-For as sure as thou livest, behold, I have seen my Redeemer; and he shall come forth, and be born of a woman, and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name. Now, when he had said these words, his heart was swollen within him, and he sunk again with joy; and the queen also sunk down, being overpowered by the Spirit. I read this and was thinking about how he "sunk again with joy... being overpowered by the Spirit." In that moment Lamoni really came to an understanding and realization of his Redeemer. I think this was similar to when Christ's apostles "slept with sorrow" while watching the Atonement in the Garden, just some things to ponder about! Have a good week! Love, Elder Stevenson

February 9, 2015

Erick's baptism was great! He was baptized by our ward mission leader. From his stroke a while back half of his body is pretty slow, when he got put under his leg would stay stiff with his body and his knee kept coming out, but 3rd time was the charm! He bore his testimony at the baptism and it was really, really neat, usually Erick's English isn't the best but when he bore his testimony everything sounded smooth and flowed. He asked me to confirm him so we did that on Sunday, it’s been a while since I've confirmed anyone so it was very special. It was ward conference so there was a lot of people from that stake at church, the meetings were good, centered around the atonement and families. Last Monday night we had a lesson with Erick and his sister Kenna (her husband Ben was still at work) and gave him a priesthood blessing at the end of our lesson, the spirit was very strong and Kenna really felt it, the cool part was after everything we were about to leave and Kenna asked if anyone could receive a blessing, we of course said yes and she said she would like one when Ben was there... So later in the week when we met with everyone we gave her a blessing and it was really neat. It was also neat for Ben to be there and afterward be able to talk to him about how he can hold the Priesthood for his family one day. The week was good other than that, had a lesson with the Bohnert family, they have had a lot of trials the last few weeks, but hopefully things will look up hill and we can help them progress. I'm short on time but hope you have a good week! Alma 34:8-10 And now, behold, I will testify unto you of myself that these things are true. Behold, I say unto you, that I do know that Christ shall come among the children of men, to take upon him the transgressions of his people, and that he shall atone for the sins of the world; for the Lord God hath spoken it. For it is expedient that an atonement should be made; for according to the great plan of the Eternal God there must be an atonement made, or else all mankind must unavoidably perish; yea, all are hardened; yea, all are fallen and are lost, and must perish except it be through the atonement which it is expedient should be made. For it is expedient that there should be a great and last sacrifice; yea, not a sacrifice of man, neither of beast, neither of any manner of fowl; for it shall not be a human sacrifice; but it must be an infinite and eternal sacrifice. Love, Elder Stevenson

February 2, 2015

This week was good, I forgot my last month’s planner that I use as my memory... so don't remember too much. Here's what I do remember. We went on exchanges, I went with the Spanish Elders, it was pretty fun, in the morning we moved some guy from Poland (they don't speak Spanish) and he had a huge grand piano and a small door and a tall u-haul. It worked out though, it was fun to be on bike for the day. The other unique part of the day was the evening, one of the Elders was asked to return to an old area and perform a baptism, and luckily for me it was right next to my old area so there was a lot of good memories. We were contacting referrals one night and felt prompted to knock on a random door, it turned out to be the right door, a young father named Adrian who really needed us to stop by. You could tell he has had a rough rough life so far and before we finished our lesson he broke down into tears and was sobbing. Because of the Super Bowl we spent some time contacting people in downtown Scottsdale this week, it was pretty fun, one guy bought us expensive gelato and we had quite the chat with him. We may go back this week because the Phoenix open is still going on. Church was pretty slow, we only Erick and one other investigator who is not really progressing there. Erick is doing great though! We had a lesson with his family last night (luckily Micronesian's don't seem to be football fans), they didn't make it to church due to a late night with the baby and being really tired. Testimony meeting was pretty good, there was another church youth group who visited our sacrament (Unitarian) so we had 3 rows of visitors. I bore my testimony. We had some really good lessons, one with Imran and Virginia, a family we went to the open house with a while ago, sadly they are going to move in a month. The Missouri missionaries will be happy though. This week should be good! JS History 1:16-17 I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—“This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Love, Elder Stevenson

January 26, 2015

Hi family, It seems like we just spoke! All has been well, in answer to your questions mom, Elder Swaner has been out 6 months now, and he’s awesome. Last night we went to the temple visitor’s center with Erick, Kenna, Ben and Frazilynn, it was rushed, but it was great! We also brought brother Groshong with us, we watched the JSPR video, and we talked a little more about the gift of the Holy Ghost (it was from the lesson at church) and prophets today. Sadly we didn't have time do all the things we wanted to but all is well. Erick is doing especially great and preparing for his baptism, today is his birthday! Since Wednesday we had a few other good lessons, hopefully we will continue to see miracles and be blessed and guided by the Lord :) Church was good yesterday, we had 6 investigators so that was good, NICOLE FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH!!! Last week we didn't have any lessons with Nicole and left her in the Lords hands and said if she is prepared help us to know so and that she will find a way to come to church, and she did so that was a neat miracle. Now if she can start coming consistently we will be good and she will be baptized. Kyle was also their and he is doing well, thanks for all the feedback and ideas of culture and traditions. The Pearl of Great Price is pretty good, here is one scripture I liked this morning! Moses 7:53 And the Lord said: Blessed is he through whose seed Messiah shall come; for he saith—I am Messiah, the King of Zion, the Rock of Heaven, which is broad as eternity; whoso cometh in at the gate and climbeth up by me shall never fall; wherefore, blessed are they of whom I have spoken, for they shall come forth with songs of everlasting joy. Thank you for all the prayers! Love, Elder Stevenson

Friday, January 23, 2015

January 21, 2015

Hello hello, I got a new companion yesterday, his name is Elder Swaner. He is from Utah and I am excited for this transfer! We have a lot of work and people to teach so it should be good. This last week has been good as well, we had 8 investigators at church and they are coming along nicely. Our Micronesian family was there, Erick, Kenna, Ben and another family member who just flew in from Hawaii Frazilynn. Sadly Frazilynn got pretty sick during sacrament meeting so the family left after sacrament, except Erick, he stayed for all 3 and is very excited about Feb 7th! I am too. On Friday it was Kenna's birthday, I made a cake and it turned out almost as good as yours mom. It was a devil’s food cake it cooked it in to 9 inch pans and then frosted it into a double decker with frosting in the middle and threw some chocolate chips in the batter it was good! Taylor if you were here I would make one for you. We taught them the gospel of Jesus Christ, watched Lamb of God, and read the Book of Mormon with them. (They were different lessons) We went to the visitor center with Nicole. She didn't come to church Sunday so I think we are about as far as we can get with her before she comes to church.. Sad. Kyle is doing well, we have taught him all about baptism and also a little of the plan of salvation. He is inching along as usual but making progress. Do you know any good talks or anything that show how as members we can still have our culture and celebrations, just within gospel teachings? We started back up with a few formers- Sara and Craig were a younger couple right when I got here and also the Estrada family, we will see where it takes us. We've had a few other good things too. It was sad news to hear about Grandpa but I am grateful for the plan of salvation and that this life is just a stopping place along the way for us and as long as we follow gods plan we can return to and live with him forever! Watch this video... It’s better than my letter and only a couple minutes. Have a great week, I love you all! Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 12, 2015

Hi family! This week was great! We finally got our numbers up, and you can say numbers don't matter, but they do matter in the fact that we were out teaching :) Well on Wednesday I was able to meet up with Jake Hansen and have a lesson with him at our church! It was great to see him, he's going to mechanic school here in the valley. We read Alma 32 (talked about faith) and watched the John Tanner story (a church video) it was pretty good! Sunday was good, we had Erick and Kenna there again (Ben was out of town on business) but they seemed to like it again, Erick is doing great but Kenna’s baby was pretty noisy. We taught them the restoration lesson this week with a young married couple, the Barnes and then later in then we taught the plan of salvation with another young couple the Costas. Erick is very excited for Feb. 7th, but Kenna and Ben want to really gain a testimony before they get baptized (which is perfect) but they did accept a soft date for Feb. 7 if they know it’s true by then. Kyle came again to church on Sunday, he is doing well, and we taught him the rest of the restoration this last week. After not meeting with him for a bit with the holidays it is good to get back on track, patriarch hakes and his wife came and helped us. He is progressing slowly to us but a bunch to him since he is still learning the very basics. We found a part member family, parker and Victoria. They are from the reservation, our lesson didn't feel very productive (they have 3 kids) but they did come to church Sunday so we will see what happens! Nicole is doing alright, she got really sick over the weekend and didn't make it to church.. Again. We gave her a blessing Saturday night and she was in rough shape. I hope she can get feeling better and come to church. Our lesson was good though, we taught tithing and the member who came had a great example with cookies. Well that's pretty much the just of our things this week. Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, January 5, 2015

January 5, 2015

Hi family! Last week on preparation day we agreed to help a returning less active family (Deleons) move apartments, they only moved across the complex but needed a few extra hands. So us and a few other missionaries were helping (everyone got into services clothes except me and another Elder (Cox) well we were moving a couch together across the parking lot and in our quest to talk to every one we saw a man in his 30-ish pushing a walker, we couldn't really stop and have a gospel discussion because our hands were full so we dropped off the couch and went back and started talking to who we thought was Harry. We taught him a little bit and he seemed really interested in the gospel but was having a hard time talking, he had a stroke and his head is bulged out, well we set up an appointment and when we went by he was actually waiting for us! Turns out his name is actually Eric. He is from Micronesia and lives with his sister and her husband and their 11 month old baby. Their names are Kenna and Ben. Well we had a good visit and the 3 of them plus the baby came to church yesterday! They loved it and stayed for all 3 hours. We have been praying for families so has been neat. Erick wants to be baptized on Feb 7th and we hope to help Ben and Kenna gain a testimony so they can be baptized as well! They are very prepared. We aren't really supposed to do service on Preparation day but I am glad we did last week and that things happen on the lord’s time and on his plans. My companion got sick and stayed in bed literally ALL day Tuesday. I was going to pull my hair out being inside all day but I kept pretty busy, there's always things to do... New Year’s was good, I finished the Book of Mormon New year’s eve! I had to stay up 5-ish extra minutes and speed read but I reached my goal! Reading Jesus the Christ these last few day has been great! I started it about a year ago and this time I have already got so much more out of it, probably from my gospel knowledge increase and spirituality growth over the last year. On New Year’s Day we had our multi-zone activity. It went well, played sports and had movies and games going. Everyone seemed to have a fun time, it was a little stressful planning but all was good. We had MLC on Friday, it was good, and the things we talked about were great to help us address the needs we have right now. One cool thing was that if we want more faith be more obedient and vice-versa. We found another part member family this week and they are nice, they are native. If we can get them to church I think things will really start rolling. We had quite a few good lessons and hopefully this we will be better since the Holiday have passed. D&C 45:3-5 Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him— Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified; Wherefore, Father, spare these my brethren that believe on my name, that they may come unto me and have everlasting life. Too Father, Christ is pleading for our cause, that's always something we should remember along with Mosiah 4:10 if you believe all these things see that ye do them. Love, Elder Stevenson