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Sunday, February 8, 2015

My Heart Is Really Sensitive Right Now



My dearest family,
My heart is really sensitive right now. Probably because my heart is here in Australia and I know I have to leave soon. I didn't know it was possible for me to love people so much. I feel so much peace though. I have faith that all will be well.
I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven. I am in awe that someone so flawed could have this incredible of an experience. The work of Salvation is real. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is real. It is the most real thing on Earth.


I am convinced that angels have assisted and lifted me in the past 18 months. My heart is so full. This past weekend I saw the hand of the Lord in the most miraculous ways. I am truly a part of the greatest work on the Earth today.
I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that this is His work, and that as a missionary I represent Him. I know that as we rely on Him, we can do all things. I know that God is my loving Heavenly Father.  I know Him. All I want is to please Him.
I love you so much. Thank you for praying so diligently for the missionaries. Hurrah for Israel!!
Sister Stevenson








Monday, February 2, 2015

EVERYDAY IS A DREAM....."MY HEART IS FULL OF HAPPY"

Hello!
Time is literally flying. "My heart is full of happy" as one of our investigators once said. I feel at peace.

I am so grateful to be serving as a missionary with my brother!!! We are over 11,000 ks apart but I feel so close to him. We are part of God's army.

I was asked to briefly speak and bear my testimony at stake conference. A boy that's about to leave for Papua New Guinea and H. Parton, the stake presidents daughter also spoke. She leaves in April for the st George temple visitors center! 
After Conference

Everyday is a dream. Honestly, I cannot articulate how much the Lord is hastening His work. Day after day this week we have found the most incredible people who are so surprised and happy when they meet us, because they are looking for a church, or they are looking for good people in the world. They come to the branch and feel the Spirit there and don't want to leave.

This week we met L. from China. He came here to study English, but in his english class met some friends from Spain who taught him basic spanish. Somehow his Spanish is better than his English and he doesn't want to be taught in Chinese so we get to teach him! He rode the train to stake conference with us and M, J, J  and K. It was a Espanol fiesta! Liu was in Heaven! After the conference, all seven us traveled back to the branch for a lesson. In the lesson, L didn't know how to answer a question in English so he spoke in Spanish and J translated...haha oh my. 

We teach J. and M. everyday...they are such pure-hearted people. They are truly disciples of Jesus Christ. They are getting baptised this weekend with Chir.. The same day that K. is going through the Temple and the Kiri. family  are being Sealed!!!!  I feel like I am in a dream.

During the Mun. girls first lesson, I could barely open my mouth, I was so close to bursting into tears. Oh how I wish you could meet these women. They are the most loving souls. They are truly FEASTING upon the Book of Mormon. They yearn to know what more they can do to follow Christ. I so wish they remembered the Elders that taught them in Spain....those missionaries would be so happy to know how they are doing.

Chir. is truly becoming converted...he glows. He is doing so much good in the world.


I love love love you all so much. I love my Heavenly Father. I love being able to devote every second of everyday to becoming one with Him, and helping others do the same. I honestly do not think I could be more blessed. I know that the Lord IS hastening His work!! Do all you can everyday to follow Him...we are all missionaries! 

Sister Stevenson
Our route home each night

Monday, January 26, 2015

No Swimming For Us!

Hello! Happy Australia Day!!!

On Monday, H. Good., a new member in our branch, drove us the three hour trip to the magnificent Twelve Apostles.

The 12 Apostles

We traveled the Great Ocean Road (google this!) The water was the most vibrant shades of blue...from turquoise to navy and the WAVES! Like thunder! The beaches (from afar, no swimming for us!) and cliffs was breathtaking. I am in continual awe of Heavenly Father's genius and grand creations. He is an artist! A sculptor! And each of us  are blessed enough to have sparks of His attributes and talents...it's mind-boggling really!
Chir. is now getting baptized on the 7th. His father in flying here from India, and he wants him to be present. So special. One of the highlights of my week was hearing Chir. say, "I am going to baptise all of my friends and family." 
This will be quite the special day (Feb. 7th)  . K.  is being endowed, and the Kiri.'s are being Sealed in the temple for time and Eternity. My heart!!! Heavenly Father is so wonderful.

This week, two of our Chinese missionaries met a woman named M. They invited her to church and on Sunday we were able to meet her and her daughter. M. and J. moved here from Spain 2 years ago...while in Spain they were taught by missionaries for 4 months, had to move here and never met missionaries again. In Relief Society we broke into small groups, our group was to discuss about the importance of Temple attendance. M. asked for the Temple address and said that she wanted to go so soon. In Spanish, Karen explained to her that you have to be baptized before going and explained the process and importance. It was really special to see our sweet K.  teach...she is such a missionary. K. came and sat next to me and said "They want to be baptized today." Wow! M. and J. are so incredibly special. They are angelic and so humble. We are teaching them tonight!!
On Sunday Our Stake President announced that the Vietnamese program will now be moved to Footscray ward...this came as quite the surprise to all of us. It is pretty heart-wrenching to lose so many incredible members of our branch (and sets of missionaries) but our humble Vietnamese members continue to say, "We will go wherever the Lord wants us to go."
My heart just about explodes everyday. I love the people here so much. I feel like I am on a prolonged Temple trip. I feel my Savior's love abundantly and daily...His love is INFINITE and He yearns to lift us. I love following Him, I will wear my out my life in His service. My mission is not almost over, I am in the middle of my mission!!  

Love you so very much. How is your Book of Mormon reading coming? It sounds like all of you are being quite diligent!! 
Sister Stevenson

P.S I found out Sister Maxwell knows David and Ruth!!!!
The 12 Apostles

Sunday, January 18, 2015

This Is An Unreal Coincidence

Hello!
We have been praying that our finding time will always be led by the Spirit. Finding by the spirit is just as important as teaching by the spirit.
The other day we were walking down Swanston towards Bourke St. I saw a boy from about 20 feet away and I knew instantly I had to talk to him, unfortunately the crowds were so big and fast and suddenly he was 100 ft away about to cross the street. I felt a magnetic pull towards him and the next thing I knew I was racing towards the street (good thing Sister A.  is quick and observant, haha) Long story short, his name is Diego and is visiting his family in Melbourne. Guess where he is from? Santiago, Chile!  He goes to Universidad Catholics in the city and lives across from a Mormon church. He has never spoken to Mormon missionaries before, but has always been curious. He is traveling for a bit and then will go back in February. He gladly gave me his Chilean number for Elder Stevenson or one of his missionary friends to give him a call when he gets home. 
I think this may be outside of his mission, but I have no doubt that this was part of Heavenly Father's plan.

We are working hard. Sprinting everyday until night...so tired by the end that we've accidentally taken the express train home vs the normal train multiple times. This takes us at least 16 stops past our desired destination...sigh. I'm working on being more aware. all is well though! We always find wonderful people to talk to! 

Do you remember K. and D.? I used their laptop on Christmas. D. is our Ward Mission Leader. K, D and their 1 year old son N. (the celebrity branch baby) will be sealed in the Temple next month!!!! D. baptised K. last year in Mexico. K. is going through the Temple for the first time   Feb and asked me to be her escort....Sister A. and I are ELATED! This is a dream come true. This family is so special to me.

Elder Pearson's meeting was exceptional. I'm sorry I don't have time to write all my notes. But I left changed. I love my Heavenly Father so much.
We found out that Elder Bednar is visiting our mission....we haven't had an Apostle come in years so this is so special!!!! He comes the week after I leave. I'm a little disappointed but much more excited for our mission.

Chr. is getting baptized this weekend!! There was a couple visiting from Chicago at the branch this week...the woman saw Chr. from across the room and told her husband "that man GLOWS!" She was able to tell Chr. after the meeting, it meant a lot to him. He does glow. He has come so far. I'm so blessed to have been able to teach him for the past four months. He is so special.
Chr.'s Restaurant 

This week while street contacting, we met a man named Su. Su. is from India and visited America a few years ago. While there, guess who he met??! Missionaries from Japan and Sri Lanka. They really made and impact on him. When I met him he said...."this is an unreal coincidence...I am now in Australia meeting a missionary from America. Where is your church??" He came and really felt the Spirit.  He said that He knows this is where God wants him to be and asked what he can search on the church website to learn more.   (www.mormon.org)

I love you all so much. I love my Heavenly Father. My heart beats for His work. Thank you so much for your prayers.
Sister Stevenson


P.S. You will never dream where I spent the day(p-day)...The Australian Open. It was bliss. I tried to write down who we saw play (either in a match or practice match)...some were.... Nadal, Tomic, Williams (YES, I saw Serena Williams practicing! I was so close to her!!!) Anderson, Voracova, Seppi, Lisicki, Mladenovic. It was amazing!!! The huge center is really close to where our flat is!



Sunday, January 11, 2015

"Want Depend To God"


Hello!
We taught a darling girl named S. this week. S. has zero knowledge of God...it is a special thing to get to teach people from scratch about their maker. She moved here last week from Korea to study English, she came here not knowing a soul. (Haha, kind of a Korean pun ;) She cried and told us she is so lonely and depressed being by herself, and that she "want depend to God." We taught her how to pray and she immediately felt the sweet comfort of the Holy Ghost. She left smiling and we taught her the next two days as well. When we taught her about baptism she asked is Sunday was okay. She has the purest heart.

Unfortunately, she texted us yesterday saying that her mom is making her go to Sydney for at least a month and that she won't be able to say goodbye...I remember that Davis W. is in Sydney speaking Korean...somehow I hope to refer her to his mission!
And a couple minutes after that, Aik. texted us saying that she doesn't want to meet with us anymore either. This was somewhat of the pattern this week. It hurts my heart so much. I want everyone to have the immediate blessings that the Gospel brings. I love these people so much. But we will continue to have faith, work hard, love much, and heed to Joseph Smith's words:
"Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

I LOVE my sweet Sister A. She is a joy and we are united in heart and purpose. 

Jo., a man in our branch told our Gospel Principles class about a story from his childhood. His family lived near the Prime Ministers house and it was not uncommon for there to be protestors outside screaming and shouting awful things. On one occasion, mobs and protestors began to terrorize the whole street of the PM. They threw stones through windows, and set fires everywhere. Terrified, Jo. and his family prayed together that they would be safe. Finally the mobs left, they went outside and their house was the only house in the surrounding area that had not been touched. 
I am continually touched by the faith of our members. Like Jo, I know that Heavenly Father hears our prayers.
I was reminded this week of looking outside and seeing that part of our yard (in Texas) was in flames. I remember praying out loud, and instantly feeling peace. I 100% knew that it was all going to be okay. That is the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that when I feel peace when praying, that is Heavenly Father communicating with me that  He is listening, and that He loves me.
There is a man in the library wearing a UT hat!!! (That is quite the rarity on this side of the planet) I was able to talk to him briefly.

This week Elder Peirson, our area president is visting our mission. We get to meet with him on Friday...I can't WAIT! :)

 Love you very much!! Keep feasting upon the scriptures!  :)
Sister Stevenson

Sunday, January 4, 2015

THEY FILL MY HEART AND MAKE IT SOAR LIKE A HOT AIR BALLOON

Hello!!! 

I could not be more blessed. Honestly, I could not. Ammon's words continually run through my mind and heart, "Have we not great reason to rejoice...Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."

Everyday is a wonderful day when you wake up in the Australia Melbourne Mission...so every week is pretty exceptional....but this week has been exceptionally great.
Sister Alb. arrived Wednesday from the New Zealand  Missionary Training Center.   She is from Metro Manila, Philippines. This is sister is so special. Her English is flawless...she jokes with some people that she's American and they believe her. She is righteous, confident, happy, and such a hard worker. I am so blessed to learn from her.

We saw countless miracles this week. One morning we prayed earnestly that we would be able to find 5 people that are prepared to hear the Gospel of Christ...during the day we met a woman on a bench who had no idea why, but the Lord had told her to come into the city that day. She had been sitting in front of the library for hours, not knowing why she was there. When she first saw Sister Alb., she was terrified. As a child she had some bad experiences with nuns in Vietnam...she thought we were nuns...haha. She ended up coming with us to the church and was welcomed so warmly by the branch. At the end of they day, she knew very clearly why the Lord had her come to the city.

The testimonies of our branch members never fail to fill my heart and make it soar like a hot air balloon. 
Yesterday sweet Phu. who was baptized a few months ago got up and talked about how she used to think that in her previous life, she must have been a very bad person to have all the trials she has in this life now. Now she knows that Heavenly Father gives her trials to help her learn and grow. Now she knows that He loves her.
Jo spoke about how Christ has softened her heart in ways she didn't think possible. She just got back from visiting her family in China for the first time in two years. She said "China needs the gospel so badly. I cannot wait for that day when they can have it. They need truth."
Hele. from Iran boldly testified of Jesus Christ and how grateful she is to know about Him. She talked about how lucky we are to have religious freedom. On Christmas day she studied her scriptures for one hour and felt so incredible. She knows that Jesus Christ lives.

 I am a part of the greatest work on the Earth today. It is Jesus Christ's work. I have asked, and I know that He lives. I know that Heavenly Father is patient with us. He loves us and will gladly help us to feel happy, to feel love, to feel peace and hope. We are never alone. 

 While on the tram this week we came to a stop where a man in his 40s was trying to get himself and his huge walker up the stairs to enter in the tram. We hurried and hopped out to help this large (at least 6'3) man and his heavy walker in. Somehow we were able to (this is an additional miracle seeing that my companion is itty bitty...under 5ft!) When he got on, I quickly realised that his eyes were lazy, most of his limbs were malfunctioning and he had some sort of brain damage. His speech wasn't very clear, but he talked and talked to us...he was SO incredibly happy...pure joy. We helped him get off the tram when he had to go. 
Later as I was reflecting on this, I had an impression that I had met an angel. I still cannot think of this experience without getting teary. I know that Heavenly Father loves His children. I know that because of Jesus Christ we can feel joy and hope no matter our situation.

Love you heaps and heaps,
Sister Stevenson


MY FAVORITE CURRY DISH

SAYING GOODBYE  :(

Sunday, December 28, 2014

FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER WE HAD KANGAROO




Hello hello! It was absolutely JOYFUL speaking to you all! With our Taiwanese Christmas eve (be sure to google bean dessert soup), and so many special lessons about Christ, I really had the most wonderful Christmas.
Guess what... for Christmas dinner we had kangaroo at the G. home. Even my vegetarian companion loved it. The G's live in an old hotel in Williamstown.  It was such a special week...I love being able to teach about the joy and reality of Jesus Christ's life.
Kangaroo 

Unfortunately my dear Sister L. and Sister P. are being transferred :( I will be training a new missionary. She flies in this week.

I love being a missionary. I see continuous miracles! To quote Mormon,  “Has the day of miracles ceased?”  No. I bear my witness that they have not. Faith in Jesus Christ really is a power.

Richard G Scott said, "Despite all the negative challenges in life, we must take time to actively exercise our faith." How are you going to exercise your faith this upcoming year? What can you do to grow closer to Heavenly Father?
How is your feast on The Book of Mormon coming? :) That book has truly been the catalyst for changing my heart and increasing my faith.

I love you so very much. Keep spreading light to the world!
Sister Stevenson
Christmas Eve Taiwanese Dessert

Christmas Package
Melbourne Central