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Sunday, December 29, 2013

AH! IT FEELS LIKE A DREAM!!


Talofa!!!!!
     I had the most wonderful Christmas!!!! Oh how I love and adore you all, getting to see you was SO SURREAL and SO exciting!!!!!! It was weird hearing "Hailey"! I'm so used to Sister Stevenson!! Or I guess, "Sistah Stevenson" is how they say it ;)
Our ward (church congregation) was so generous and loving to us on Christmas. And to get to talk to all of you!!! Ah! It feels like a dream!I was thinking about it this week, and I really am the luckiest girl in the world. Truly.
Talking to Hailey on Christmas Eve (Christmas Day in Australia)!

     Thursday was a pretty discouraging. We worked HARD all day, and only got one new contact. It was very hot, and no one wanted to talk to us. But I have a testimony that as we give it our best (in all aspects of life!) and pray to Heavenly Father, He will bless us and help us with the rest! The next day we went to the Temple (which was soooooo pristine in every way!) and then did weekly planning, and by the end of it all, we only had 2 hours to work. In 2 hours we were able to see one of our investigators, got 7 new contacts, taught 2 lessons, and received 3 referrals. Oh the sweet tender mercies from our Father in Heaven!! I know He loves me, and blesses Sister Stallings and I as we serve Him with all our heart, might, mind and strength. And I know that He loves you. (Yes, you. Whomever is reading this.)
     It is becoming very, very easy for me to talk to ANYONE! I am grateful for this skill!
We were at the train station the other day and suddenly this guy who I've met before came up to me and started swearing up a storm and saying all these horrible things about me. And telling me to go back to my country because no one wants me here. He then spit at me and threatened to call the cops if I didn't leave.......haha. 
A couple months ago, this would have shaken me up a little bit. But I guess my skin has thickened because I just brushed the whole thing off immediately. Poor guy. I just smiled and told to have a good day as I got on the train. I'm thinking he was having a pretty awful day.
We started teaching a woman named S. yesterday!! Oh me oh my. She is soooo prepared to hear our message.The way that she expresses her love for Jesus Christ reminds me so much of Grandma Larsen!! (huge compliment) and with their countenances and lovely homes I do think they'd get along nicely :) S. has the Jehovah's Witnesses come teach her often. She says she wont convert though because she's Catholic and doesn't believe and like everything that they teach. But she doesn't exactly agree with her religion either. Since the first time we met her, she has read the POS pamphlet over and over again and loves it soooo much. She kept saying "I want to be baptized so badly. I just love Jesus Christ so much. I want to be baptized before I die" WOW. Whatta lady. Right now she is praying about when she wants to prepare to be baptized :) Ohhhh the JOY AND GRATITUDE I feel!!!
On a way different and worldly side note, I got the greatest shoes today for $2 and $5. BLESSINGS!!! ;
Sister Stallings is doing so well!  She works hard and I am so grateful to have her as my companion
One of my favorite parts of my mission is the influence of the Holy Ghost in my life. Heavenly Father is leading me. More and more I'm feeling the Holy Spirit tell me what to say or to do something specific, to go somewhere or to talk to a certain person. As I follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, I see miracles happen. I wish so badly that everyone could have this gift in their lives.
Sunday we started the stop smoking program with a very special family. If he follows the plan, he will be free from his addiction in seven days. I KNOW he can do it. Being sealed to his family in the temple is worth ANYTHING. Addictions are not. Please pray for him!
We taught Relief Society on Sunday! We talked about how the gift of HOPE is the best gift/service we could give to anyone. The hope that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings is priceless. Oh we are soooo blessed!!! I'm smiling big right now!
I love Jesus Christ!! I love being an ambassador for Him!!! I love the Book of Mormon and I wish everyone in the world would read it and the Bible. I love my Father in Heaven and I know that He loves us. I love Australia and I LOVE the people here so much! And I love you all soooooooo much!!

Make this week WONDERFUL! YOU decide the happiness in your life! Make sure to find someone to serve everyday! It is a key to joy. Love,love, love you!
Sister Hailey Stevenson
This was us this morning at 1000 Steps in Ferntree Gully...Google it...so beautiful!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

CHRISTMAS CHEER FROM DOWN UNDER


Merry Christmas!! 
It was sooooooo amazing getting to talk to y'all!!! I promise I wasn't sad crying! Hahaha (All the missionaries in Hailey's mission got to make a quick call a week ago to set up the Christmas Skype Time...she is 17 hours ahead of us)
I can't believe I get to kind of see you in in two days (via skype) !!!!!!


J. dropped us this week :( She says she needs to put aside all church things (going to church, communicating with anyone from the church) because of the barrier that is coming between her and P. Although it was devestating, the whole phone call I felt such a peace that everything WILL work out! I don't know what will happen, but I do know that someday she  will be baptized. I just pray that I will be able to be there for it!
MY NEW GOLDEN IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!! ( I have the privilige of serving with Sister R. Stallings from Logan, Utah, and I am SO EXCITED :) Sister Stallings is a joy and so down to earth. 
I love and adore her so much. She is loving, humble, and has a 100% desire to work hard and be obedient. I am so blessed to have her as my companion.
My "MOM" and my "DAUGHTER" aka... Trainer and my Golden
I saw over 50 kangaroos yesterday!!! They are the most amazing animal. The babies are sooo cute and the mama will bend over to eat grass and the baby will stick out it's head and eat grass straight from the pouch!! And watching them fight is so cool!I
These Kangaroos are fighting
 Yesterday the J's both came to church for the first time in over a year. It may have been one of the most joyous moments of my mission. They LOVED Sacrament Meeting and were so glad they came. Next step, getting them sealed in the Temple.

I found the most glorious scripture this week! 2 Nephi 10:23
Therefore, cheer up your hearts, and remember that ye are free to act for yourselves—to choose the way of everlasting death or the way of eternal life.
It applies to missionaries. We must continue to have cheerful hearts and remember that we are all free to act for ourselves because of Christ's gift of agency. I must stay cheerful as I respect my investigators agency.
The Savior's birth has never felt as real to me as it does now. What a GLORIOUS week this is. And what better way can I give back to my Savior than by bringing people closer to Him? People ask me all the time if it's hard being a missionary at this time of year. Although I do miss you all (sometimes.... ;) I am SO GRATEFUL to be here serving my Heavenly Father everyday. I LOVE being a missionary and I am so grateful for Jesus Christ. His Atonement is intimate and infinite and I am forever indebted to Him. I love Him so much!!!
Love you so much and can't WAIT to TALK TO YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AGHHHH!!!!
Sister Stevenson

PS.   So Aussie shampoo is sold in 11 countries.... none of which are Australia.
We have received so many treats for Christmas!!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

American accents! Goodness! Do I really sound like that?




So to get down to the cream filling, we got a call last night from President Maxwell (I love that man so much, but when he calls my eyes get really big and my heart starts beating very very quickly!!)  He has asked us both to train new missionaries that come on Wednesday and Sister Baker is being transferred.  But I get to stay here!!! Holy goodness! We're in the middle of a transfer and it's almost Christmas, so this was very unexpected and shocking! I guess they are all visa waiters  (meaning they have been serving as missionaries in another mission until their Australian Visa comes in)!   There are 16 new missionaries!
My bunny at the OKeefe's

I HAVE STARTED DRIVING!!!  So, I cruise down the road and all is well, I'm getting used to driving on the left, and  the lack of stop signs and the excess of yielding roundabouts. Every time I flick the blinkers .....BAM, WINDSHIELD WIPERS. Repeat. Every time I drive. Still getting used to that :)
Last week was probably the most emotionally straining week of my mission so far. 
The strenuous work from morning until night, day after day without cease is not hard for me. What is hard is recognizing and respecting that everyone has their own agency.  I love the people we are teaching so much. I so badly want these people to be able to experience the peace, hope, JOY and IMMENSE blessings that I receive from being a part of Jesus Christ's church. So many of them feel the spirit when we're with them, and know there is truth in our message, but they are afraid to make any change in their lives, so they ask us not to come back. This week was full of those times, and it was truly devastating.
Before, I thought that life as a missionary would be peachy every single day. Before I came here, missionaries always seemed so happy and laid back!  I thought that missionary life would be a breeze.
My conceptions were a tad misconstrued. As a representative of Jesus Christ, I still feel temptation every single day. Sad and unfair things happen. Satan tries so hard to weaken me. He wants me to feel homesick. He wants me to feel too young and inadequate. But I will not let him delight in my giving in.
 As my foundation is built on Jesus Christ, I will not fall. As I turn to Him during times of uncertainty, He lightens my burdens and reminds me who I am, and whose I am. I love my Savior and rejoice in His gospel. He is my LIGHT and the reason that we can all have hope in this life. He really is the Prince of Peace!!!



I LOVED the Christmas devotional! To all my friends who didn't see it, please please please watch it and tell me what you think!   http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/watch/christmas-devotional/2013/12?lang=eng     And those American accents! Goodness!   Do I really sound like that?!!!
Love y'all so so so so so much. Hurrah for Israel!!!
Sister Stevenson

I love Sister Silver and All of her family!!!!!


Sis. W. got to see horses and on her BDAY!

Monday, December 9, 2013

CHRIST IS OUR ILLIMINATOR. Saw soo many KANGAS this week!!!




I was inspired, uplifted, and humbled by Zone Conference this week. What exceptional missionaries I am surrounded by.   And President Maxwell. WOW. He is SO humble and intelligent. What an incredible man!!!! Sister Baker and I have been praying so hard that we will have a baptism by the end of they year. I know that we can do this as we have faith. Sister Baker and I have many wonderful people that we are working with, but baptism just isn't happening yet for any of them despite our efforts. This week we felt like we should teach a new contact from last month, Anna. Anna is from Peru and is the epitome of a humble disciple of Christ. She is a single mom of two kids and works daily. As we taught Anna the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the spirit was so strong. When I shared Joseph Smiths first vision, there was such a warmth and peace in the room. But outside, a massive, dark storm began to rage. It was like the adversary was doing everything in his might to shake us from sharing these truths. Right now she is praying about the Book of Mormon and we are praying so hard that she will decide to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized soon!
     So this week we went to see  an elderly couple who we met at the train station. Oh. My. gosh. It was crazy. She has paintings and canvasses all  over her walls that still have package wrap on them, and she said they are her mirrors! haha! And there was a massive stuffed teddy bear on the couch with a net around it's head/neck as if it was being choked....They only wanted to share her religious beliefs. For the past 30 years the woman has been writing a manuscript and studying the Bible full time. To get down to it, she believes that Adam and Eve are God. That Christ is the second Adam and that she IS Eve. She said that God had instructed her to write hundreds of songs and she stood up and began to sing one for us.   Someday I'll tell you the full account. Twas the craziest experience of my life.    

Sister Baker and I are trying to study our scriptures even more in spare moments of the morning/evening.
Though they are few, they definitely make a difference! I never want to look back on my mission and regret not being exactly obedient. We are striving to follow every rule to exactness! I know that miracles come when we are obedient. The Book of Mormon paired with the Holy Spirit is really the most powerful tool for conversion. We are wanting to utilize it so much more when we teach. I know without any doubt that every word is written by a prophet called of God. 
When I read the Book of Mormon I am filled with light. No amount of convincing or pressure could ever cause me to deny the love from God that I feel when I read this book. I do not doubt that the Book of Mormon is the most true book on Earth. As I was reading in 3 Nephi this week, I felt a peace that is truly unexplainable.
 We showed the Fitisimanu family the "My New Life" mormon message this week. While watching it, I had a powerful and sacred three words come into my head. "I healed you."  I am here because it is God's will. Laws of science were defied because I was to serve a mission. Heavenly Father is in control and I am so thankful for feet healing and my new skin..

This weekend we went to teach Emma, a 17 y.o girl we met while tracting. We brought beautiful Linga, a 17 y.o from Hallam ward. at the beginning of the lesson we discussed how God is our loving Heavenly Father and we are all His children. As we talked more, Emma opened up to us that she struggles with depression, but shared that she has prayed for strength in the past, and has received it. Linga then shared her feelings of the same thing, depression being a huge trial for her, but God gave her the courage and peace to keep pushing thru life. Wow. so glad we brought Linga. At the end of the lesson, Emma told us that she had a lot going on in her life, but the for the first time, her head felt completely clear. She said that depression had led to some pretty serious self harm and the fact that she was capable of feeling like this now was very surprising to her. As we taught her about The Gift Of the Holy Ghost, she yearned so badly to be able to have that! 
Oh. it was AMAZING. IT WAS =one of the most special lessons I've ever been apart of. AND IT WAS OUTSIDE On the footpath! When we invited her to be baptised, she so badly wanted to, but she knew her parents would absolutely not be okay with it. We promised her that if she really wants this, and prays to Heavenly Father, He WILL provide a way in His own time.        Yesterday was Noah's baptism and it was sooooooo wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!! I spoke on repentance and baptism.
I am running out of time, sorry !
Last night we ate dinner with multiple Filipino families.I!!!!!!  I ADORE THEM SO MUCH!
And we ate with Rodica and Michael this week too! Romanians are so hilarious!! What is Simona's last name????? Rodica knows Nadia!!!! and Bella ___! So crazy!!!

We haven't seen Jonathon in so long :( same with Joel and Eduardo :(
but Kayla is progressing!! She loved the ward BBQ this week!
Jenn is progressing too!! Except she's decided she actually wants to get married next year. You can only imagine the devastation Sis baker and I felt  :( but she's still progressing!
Colta family is  doing well too!!  Here is a conversation they had about my burns:
Tony: so did you have to go to the hospital?
Beshoy: of course she did!! (pretty much yelling, he's always yelling) her foot melted!!! Like chocolate in the microwave!
haha so funny.

I saw sooooooooo many HEAPS of kangas this week!!! twas amazing! and I LOVE THE CITY SO MUCH!!!!!!



I KNOW that this is Jesus Christ's church.
 I testify that with Jesus Christ, darkness CANNOT win. Christ is our illuminator and He shows us how we can safely cross stumbling blocks in our path. I know that our   Heavenly Father is YEARNING to help us! As we draw nearer to God, He will draw nearer to us and we will discover His unending love and compassion towards us. "God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all." (1 john 1:5) The light of HF and His son is REAL and is for any and everyone. But we have to flip that switch on.  President Uchtdorf said, "It doesn’t matter how unqualified you may think you are or how far behind others you may feel. The very moment you begin to seek your Heavenly Father, in that moment, the hope of His light will begin to awaken, enliven, and ennoble your soul. The darkness may not dissipate all at once, but as surely as night always gives way to dawn, the light will come."
I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!
Love, Sister Hailey Stevenson  LOVE Y'ALL FOREVER!!!
Cricket at the ward BBQ.....Summer is approaching!!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

TURKEY is a trillion dollars here and SERVICE is a remedy for the soul!!





HAPPY LATE THANKSGIVING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 I hope y'all ate heaps of turkey for me and Sister Baker !  We had a Thanksgiving lunch with Sis Foster and Williams (Sis Foster's first!...we all live in the same flat) and it was so great! We had rolls, and mashed potatoes, and carrots and pie!  Turkey is a trillion dollars here, so we skipped out on that haha. BUT I saw that we had a few slices of bacon so we were able to whip that up ;)    But I cooked it in the oven trying to make it delectable and it ended up tasting like jerky!!!!  hahaha. 
I missed out on our go-around-the-table-and-say-what-you're-grateful-for SO, I want to add that I am SO thankful for my supportive, loving, amazing parents and siblings and extended family and all of my lovely friends. I am thankful for the mission age change , my skin, my education, and most importantly my loving Heavenly Father and my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  
So that huge  shirt Sis Baker and I are sporting is a shirt donated for people in the Philippines.
Tis a 6x and could probably fit a whole family. Saturday we sorted, distributed, folded and packed THOUSANDS of items to be sent to the Philippines. Clothes, hats, shoes, towels, rice, cans, toys, bedding, you name it, it was there. (all had been donated by people in our area!)   We worked HARD and it felt so good! We packed everything in big white boxes that would then be sent on a ship to a stake that had lost everything. The last 2 hours we had to work really FAST to make the deadline for it to get shipped. Honestly it was thrilling!!!  We were supposed to teach J. after the service project at the chapel, but she showed up early and was able to work with us for the last bit.  It was so good!!!  She loved being able to help.  There was so much unity in the air among everyone.  If you are feeling sad, discouraged, or stressed, go and serve. Truly, it is such a remedy for the soul.
That day we were talking to J.and asked her when she would want to be baptised aside from the whole getting married thing. Her answer: tomorrow. ahhhh! They have been engaged for a year now!! They need to get married asap!!!! So I said just that! haha and guess what?! I am now fulfilling my life-long secret dream occupation!!!! WEDDING PLANNER! (Shout out to Micaela Wright and Lauren Smith : )  oh the joys of serving a mission.  We asked her when her ideal time to be married would be, she said....her birthday! January 13!!!! So soon but it is HAPPENING! I am so excited! Thank goodness for all the resources of church friends, we can easily pull this off and J. is so excited!
Brother J. came to church!!!!!!!!! He hasn't come in over a year despite him and his wife telling us every week they will be there. But I made him pinkie promise he would come and HE DID! Oh the power of a pinkie promise.
J. came to church too!! AND C. and A.!!!
We went to a charity event for A. this week!!   They raised HEAPS of money so that is huge! But it was weird being surrounded by drunk people, ahah.

Last Monday we went out to dinner with a couple in our ward it was well over $150...things are soooooo EXPENSIVE! It was so exciting though!!!
We are teaching a woman called P (Aussie grammar...always say "called" instead of named!) that I absolutely adore. She is from Cape Town, South Africa and has been battling stage four breast cancer up until this year. What a trooper she is! She has SUCH  JOYFUL attitude about life and is so fun to talk to! Grandma Stevenson would looooooove her to pieces and they'd have so much to talk about! Grandma Larsen too, of course :) P. gave us Red Bush herbal tea (pronounced way differently) it was so delicious! It made me think of Reyanna!! Tell her to send me pics of her family! I miss her so much! She also gave Sis Baker and I each a table runner from South Africa ! AND She came to church Sunday!!!!
I KNOW that this is Jesus Christ's church and I know that the blessings that come from being baptised are so immense! Oh how I yearn for these people that I adore so much to receive those blessings.

Elder Corbridge spoke to our Texas congregation recently, and all week I thought about some things that he said. One of his themes was to be careful of distractions. There are so many of them in this day and age...whether they are technology or activities...We must be careful of distractions.  He then quoted the commandment...THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME.  He then said:  "If you are more worried about living your life to "fit in" and be popular instead of living God's ways, then that is your God.  Popularity is your God  or that group of friends is your God. I have been paying attention to what it is that I think about the most. Because that is my God.  I want to be thinking about the Lord, Jesus Christ all throughout my day! I have covenanted to remember HIM always. As I think about Him constantly, EVERYTHING changes. My perspective, how I treat others, the thoughts that are in my head, everything. It is amazing.  I have taken on HIS name and want to always remember that. 
Elder Ballard said that "There is no greater joy in life than being anxiously engaged in the Lord's work." AMEN TO THAT!! The joy that I feel everyday is unfathomable. On Sunday  As I sat in the pew with all of our investigators and Sister Baker, I was filled with such immense love and happiness. I love being a missionary for Jesus Christ. I cannot wait to spend Christmas with all of these people that I love and adore so much.

I love Sister Baker and am still learning so much everyday. I honestly didn't know that serving a mission would be this humbling. But it is, and I am incredibly grateful for that.

I am so thankful for my Savior and I know without a doubt that Joseph Smith saw Him and our Heavenly Father and restored His church to the Earth today.

Thank you for everything!!! Love you so so so so so so so (times 4903958304853809) much!
Sister Hailey Stevenson

We are having our own Thanksgiving lunch!!!!!! I'll be thinking of y'all!


Hello hello hello!!!
What a WEEK!!!!
Once again, Heavenly Father has blessed me and Sister Baker  more than we comprehend. He is so good to us.
Oh my heart is literally broken as I hear about the  people in the Philippines :( I am so glad that all the missionaries are okay.) Our congregations here are  doing a service project gathering goods to send, so we will definitely be a part of that!
We are teaching some amazing people. One woman has been fasting once a week that she will be able to be baptised soon. How cool is that?!  She just did it on her own wanting to give back to Heavenly Father. We met with her earlier in the week after district meeting, and she got a priesthood blessing that was so beautiful!! We talked a little about the Plan of Salvation, and being able to do Temple work for her mom. As I shared my feelings about the Temple and the happiness and absolute PEACE I feel there, you could see the yearning in her eyes to be able to feel the same. She said the she would talk to her fiance about being married sooner than anticipated!!!!! (A year from now...) YAY!
Look what was in Australia!
Our Bishop has been so wonderful and has given her such wise counsel.  The ward members have been so willing to support us and the people we are working with!

This week we taught a man and it  was definitely the hardest lesson of my mission. He was all about facts and wanted scriptures to back up everything we said. It is good.  He is praying about the Book of Mormon! I know that if he sincerely prays with an open heart and mind, DESIRING to receive an answer, he will.
A. and her family are doing well and A. even came to CHURCH yesterday!! Happy Happy Happy day!!!!

The other day we were leaving the train station and as usual, we were trying to talk to as many people as possible. A lady sitting on a chair said "Excuse me, come here" We walked over to her and she asked, "Who are you and where are you from? I see you often here and you are so cheerful and friendly to everyone. You are not from here?" This woman was from Sri Lanka and we although she had no interest in our message, she was deeply touched by our happiness every time she saw us. It was special!!
We set a bap date with K. this week :) I'm so happy!!!! She chose it herself. January 4th. If i get transferred before that  I will be so sad.
AND she prayed BY HERSELF ALOUD for the first time :))))  I almost cried!  She thanked Heavenly Father for the chocolate she was given and asked that her mom would be able to find her nose ring (it fell down the drain) haha 
She  has come so far!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday night I had my first double dinner. We had already eaten when we went to the C. family and then D. said she wanted to prepare a special meal for us. We couldn't say no, and even if we did, she would still make us eat it ahaha. So she calls us to the table and there are two big trays with HUGE slabs of fried talapia and raw veggies and potato wedges and bread.  we soon realized that they were not serving trays, they were OUR PLATES.  The food was only for us. Holy goodness there was so much of it and it was so funny because they didn't eat with us!!!! It's their culture to just let the guests eat!!  hahaha. So they sat and watched us eat to see if we liked it, and then went and did their own thing! Hahahahaha Sis Baker and I were literally bursting by the end. I love them so much :)
D. came to the Relief Society activity this week and LOVED it !!! YAY! It is so so so so important that everyone talks to new people at those activities...I was so thankful to the lovely women who reached out to her!!!! D. and family weren't at church but said they are coming next week. We are still trying to find a translator for our appointment this week. 
Sunday, the congregation sang "Carry On" and on that last high note  I had this flashback of Sandi Ferguson belting it out and I started smiling so big!! Give that whole family a hug for me!! Tell Kindra to write me!!!!
We ate at R and M's  house this week too and we had a Romanian feast with fried pastries Goodness me,  I love Romanians.   I am constantly SO GRATEFUL to be in the mission I am  in.  How in the world did I get so lucky??? Is there any other place that is so extremely diverse? I don't know but I am so thankful!!!  We are trying so hard to get them to come to church!!! M. is reading the BOM!!

We have dinner with the K. family every Saturday and last week were watching the Will Hopoate  message (Everyone watch it!!   You can see the Milo on his counter!! SO AUSTRALIAN!!!!) The lesson was on sacrifice. We asked the kids what they could sacrifice for our Heavenly Father (EX time, talents etc) and of course they start yelling out any church answer they can think of (Jesus! scriptures,temples! go to primary!) hahahaha it's hilarious because there is usually 2 to 6 neighbor kids there too plus their 5. There's this gil called Georgia (no one here says named!) who loooooves to talk and with her little accent it has caused some pretty funny language barriers. She kept saying she could sacrifice her net ball skills but it was sounding like something else!  Ah accents! 


I forgot to mention....
We are teaching N and L too!! I don't know if I've told you about them before...things are looking bright though!!!
j. hasn't let us back to his house :( so devastating because we had a bap date.
J.hasn't let us back either :(
Elder Wapu-george(serves in our ward) DREW THIS! I was sooooo excited! 
So many things happen here that literally make my heart ache. But then, Heavenly Father will send a miracle our way that lifts my spirits so much.  The joys undoubtedly top the sad things. There are so many miracles as a missionary.  I can say without any doubt that I have witnessed a miracle every single day of my mission. Whether it be the miracle of walking to our destination, and arriving just as the rain begins to pour, or the miracle of finding a woman yearning to be baptized.   Miracles really do appear daily as we have faith.    In Moroni 7 it says,"for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men."  Sister Baker and I yearn to have  those "angels", and we know that with faith that we will receive them!

Something that I am really learning as a missionary is that everything that we plan in life is Plan B. Heavenly Father's plan is always Plan A.   I am grateful to know that He truly is in the details of our lives.  I know it without a doubt.   I know that He loves us more than we can fathom and that He is yearning to hear from each of His children.  Oh how  I love being able to be an instrument for God in helping His children grow closer to Him.

Love y'all so incredibly much!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for everything!!!
xoxoxoxoxo

Sister Stevenson

PS.  We are so excited because tonight a member is taking us out to dinner!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

I MIGHT EXPLODE INTO GLITTER because of my JOY!


Hellooooooooo!
So, we have had 8 days of rain and I just found out that this has been the coldest November since the 80s. Our ward blames the American missionaries for bringing it with us, Haha.
IT WAS SUCH A WONDERFUL WEEK!!!!  Have I said that I love missionary work before?   Because I do :)

On Tuesday, I experienced one of those "On my mission..." stories I know I'll be telling for the rest of my life. We went to teach the C. family...  Dalia and Milad are the parents, and their children are B. (10) and T. (6). The sweet grandma lives with them too. They moved from Egypt a few years ago, and the kids speak the best English, but for the most part, they really only know Arabic. The C. family welcomed us with so much love and kindness. Oh they are so humble and such lovely people. As I shared Jospeh Smith's account of the first vision, Milad's eyes started to well up, and said "I don't know how to say it in English, but I feel...." and he just held his hand over his heart trying to articulate words. We explained the Holy Ghost to him, and I wanted to shout with joy. Oh, Heavenly Father loves His children. I will never deny it. Sis Baker and I sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and the grandma started to cry. At the end of the song, she spoke in Arabic and B. translated something I will never forget, "I know those words." Grandma C. doesn't speak a lick of English, but she knew and *felt* every word that we sang. They all went around and talked about the warmth and happiness that they felt, and I really thought that I might explode into glitter because of my joy. Milad said, I don't speak English good, or understand everything, but the song, I could picture every word in my heart."
I am learning that when we speak by the Holy Ghost, His words become ours. He helps us say the exact words that HE knows will touch their hearts and witness unto them that our message is true. As we teach simply, powerfully, and purely, people can feel the truth of our message, despite language barriers. The Holy Spirit speaks every language. It is the ultimate translator :)
I don't know if I've ever felt Heavenly Fathers love so immensely as I did then! I know that we are ALL His children, no matter where we come from, what we look like, or how we act. I know that His love and adoration for us all is greater than we could ever fathom. He wants so badly for us to be able to live with Him again. As  a missionary, I am simply an instrument for Him, helping His children be able to live with Him forever. As I do this, He in turn is blessing both me and my family ABUNDANTLY and allows me to sense a little bit of the love He has for His children.
We taught the C's again on Saturday and it went well. We taught about the Godhead and how they are three separate beings. They had a bit of trouble grasping this. We are hoping to find someone in the stake who speaks Arabic that can come translate. Although there were a little bit of disagreements, they still want us to come back this week.Yesterday they came to church!!!!! So much joy. I am so grateful to all the members that flocked to them to introduce themselves. Dalia is such a gorgeous person. Yesterday when she hugged me goodbye she looked me in the eyes and said, "I love you so much." Such powerful words.
Aaaaaand KAYLA IS GETTING BAPTISED!!!!! She is praying about a date :) So much joy. Seriously.
Pray so hard that P's (Jenns partner) heart will be softened!!! She wants so badly to be baptised.
Ashley is doing well!  The Relief Society is getting involved!  Things are looking sooo bright!!!!!!
A. is doing well!!

This week I experienced my very first real door slam.  It was a powerful one!   Hahah.  I laughed.



This week were tracting and a man opened the door without anything on except a shirt.  #awkward #scarred.

We talked to over 300 people this week! Not including tracting/church. Twas a good week! And 18 new contacts. Booya!


This week I was reading in Alma 26. In this chapter, Ammon is speaking of Jesus Christ, and asks, "have we not great reason to rejoice?" (verse 13)    This question has resonated through my head and heart all week.   I have so many reasons to rejoice!    As a missionary, I am so often overflowing with JOY as I see others come closer to Jesus Christ, and as I myself, learn more of Him, and feel the power of His Atonement. In verse 16, Ammon says, "Therefore, let us glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will  praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." The truest of joys is centered on Christ, and everyday I am seeing more and more, how I am nothing without Him. I will forever rejoice because of my Savior and Redeemer.

Love y'all soooo very very much!

Sister Stevenson


Elder Jamison sent me the greatest letters this week via dear elder!!! Will you get me their mish address????

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Did I tell you I see Venus every night???!?!??!

Hello!
Our new friends Sarah and Maddie
Right now I feel like we're on this big, exciting, emotional elevator. We keep picking up such AMAZING people, but we have yet to reach the top level, baptism. But it will happen :) Right now we are teaching 19 people that I love and adore so much. And guess what? There are people from every single continent EXCEPT Antarctica.....and North America. Hahaha! I want these people to be able to have and enjoy the blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ SO badly. Ahhh!!! I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ!
A few days ago we met a man named P. while tracting and he told us we could come back another time. The next day we were in that area again and saw him outside. We started talking to him and he told us his partner was a less active member and to stop by the next day!!! The next night we met J. OH my goodness gracious me. she  is an angel. And is undoubtedly the biggest miracle I have seen on my mission so far. She knows so much about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and KNOWS that it is true, and is yearning for it back in her life. But guess what? She is not a member. 10 years ago she dated an LDS guy, took all the lessons, received her answer from God that the lessons were true, and was ready to be baptized.  J. knows that temples really are the Lords house and wants to be able to do her mothers temple work who just passes away. She has such a beautiful testimony of Joseph Smith and ahhhhhhh!!! She is just so amazing and impressive and angelic!! Too good to be true, yes? When her boyfriend (from years ago) and her split up, it left her with harsh feelings and she has been hesitant about going back to church because she was terrified of seeing him and his family. But she says she will NEVER deny that this is Jesus Christ's church. Oh my goodness. It was such an emotional lesson. She told us that she wants to be baptized and knows it needs to be soon. But she understands that she will either have to move out of P.'s house, or get married. When we asked her how soon she wanted to get baptized, she told us that she feels like she might be getting married sooner than she thought!! Woohoo! (they were planning on next spring....)
J. has a step son from Paul's last marriage and she so badly wants to be a patient, loving and kind mother, but apparently struggles. we shared with her Galatians 5:22   22 But the afruit of the bSpirit is clovedjoyepeaceflongsuffering,ggentleness, goodness, hfaith,      She loved it. Ohhh the blessings from receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost!!!!! 
This is such a miracle!!!!!!! J. is pretty worried about her relationship with P., because he isn't too keen on all this, but I KNOW that everything will work out and be good. 

KAYLA PRAYED!!! AH it is such a miracle!!! We have been trying to help her to pray for over a month and she finally did this week!! Although I told her every word to say, she finally did it! AND she came to church :))) Oh BLESSINGS!
Unfortunately Jonathon wont be able to be baptized as soon as we had hoped due to not coming to church :((( We were pretty devastated, but hopefully we can meet with him asap.
This is a pic of us from last week.  Love her!

Jumping at the Rogers/Jurcovics!
 Love these girlies!!!
This week we found out one of Ashlee's bones in her head has come unscrewed and she has to have another operation :((((  We went over yesterday with some men from our ward so they could give her a blessing. Ashlee's mom, Coral, has become very close with us. Oh, how I adore this family. They are really struggling . Today we took the bus for an hour so we could sit with Coral during the operation. Please pray for CORAL AND ASHLEE!!
Coral was able to get a blessing too, so that was good.


We are having to pass  David to other Elders to teach because of how much he likes us. I'm glad that you can read Sister  Bakers blog, because I'm sure she does a lot better job  at putting in details!   We met a few creepy ( in the kindest way possible) men this week. 
 I love y'all so much. Thank you for everything. Love you to Venus and back 28937218748932 times. Did I tell you I see Venus every night???!?!??!

Love,
 Sister Hailey Stevenson

P.S. I would love to get Christmas Cards from people and families!  My address is:
Australia Melbourne Mission
76 Cathies Lane
Wantirna South VIC 3152
Australia


Sunday, November 3, 2013

Aussie is pronounced "OZZIE".....I learned that this week!


Hellooooo to my darling family and friends!

Twas a PHENOMENAL week!!!!
We met this man named Jon while tracting. He is from India and has a wife and two daughters. This man is unlike ANYONE I've ever met. He shared such profound insights and feelings ans we shared the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. By the end of the lesson, he knew he needed to be baptized and we set a date for NOVEMBER 23RD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! JOY JOY JOY JOY JOY!!! We are SO excited for him!!!! He is so special and hope to be able to teach his family as well!!
Jon's articulation is absolutely poetic! Symbolically speaking, he began talking about a cup. Its purpose is not to sit on display or to be hidden away. its purpose is to be filled. He compared himself to a cup, needing  to be filled with knowledge of/love for God.He said that he is not empty, but yearns to continually be filled. He said so many more interesting things! I wish I had more time to tell them all! 

We met another guy named Joel (in his 20s) who is so awesome. He was in his car blaring Imagine Dragons and we started talking and  he invited us back! The lesson with Joel was amazing! He was so open to everything we had to say, LOVED the account of the first vision, said that he WANTED to read the Book of Mormon, and he even said the closing prayer. He is GOLDEN!!!!
On the drive back from Joel's we were listening to a lovely rendition of "We'll bring the World His Truth" I had a flashback of when I sang it 12+ years ago with all my Stevenson cousins at grandpa's funeral. I really feel that this is the absolute best thing I could be doing with  my life right now. Bringing the world the truth. Missionary work is SO important!! Not just for those on full-time missions, but for EVERYONE! 

We are still teaching Ashlee!! (who had the brain tumor removed) and we are now teaching her angel sister Hayli as well!!! They are so amazing. They even came to the Trunk or Treat!  

Other things:

-D. tried to drop us. We worked around it though, and hopefully will see him again soon. He NEEDS to come to church though!!!
-We still haven't been able to see Eduardo :( But supposedly tomorrow he will be home!! Hopefully!!!! He is so prepared to be baptized!
-We met this Russian lady the other day who was quite interesting....when we told her we were having a Halloween activity at our church she thought we were witches and started getting a tad feisty claiming that we were "not right" and evil. And then the next house claimed that they were psychic and were reading about our pasts. That was interesting too, haha
-We had the funnest Trunk or Treat EVER!!!

-recently I've eaten: Filipino, Thai, English, and Lebanese food. Oh, and "fish and chips", those places are on every corner here! I love it.
 I still eat sweet potatoes constantly too. ;)  Sister Williams and Sister Foster wanted to try them....this picture  is at the Trunk or Treat!
 To answer a question from a while ago, the members in our ward feed us about 50% of the time. Love them all.
People that we meet  are intrigued by our accents and yet I want an Aussie accent so badly.   
-Some men thought I sounded Swedish this week. Hahaha

Some other things I forgot to mention:
-We have been reactivating a woman named K. !! And she's coming back! She's amazing and we just set a baptismal date for her son, Noah!!! We're soooo excited!!
-The J family, who we're also trying to get back to church, came to the General Conference broadcast and LOVED it! Woohoo! And they got MARRIED! Which is huge. They were married before, got divorced.  But now our next goal is for them to be sealed in the Temple!! It's something they really want!! Yayayayayayay!!! The wedding had 10 people at it! It was quaint and lovely.
This week I have really felt the power of Joseph Smith's first vision. I KNOW that Joseph Smith was a prophet chosen by God. I know that he really did restore Jesus Christ's gospel to the Earth, and I am so grateful for that!!! My biggest blessings are because of this church! I am so thankful for repentance, that I get to change every single day and try to become more like my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am nothing without Him. I looooove being a missionary so much!!! I love you all and am so grateful for you!!!!


Love,
 Sister Hailey Stevenson 


Sunday, October 27, 2013

I have been blessed with strength beyond my own.


Hello!!!
Okay I didn't write much last week cause I was crying about Dad and Kendrick!
Since finding out about the accident I have felt so much peace. Elder Woffinden (he works in the office) gave me a blessing on Wednesday.  It was so beautiful!!!!
OHHHH THE JOY AND PEACE I FELT!!!!!!!
I KNOW that the Priesthood truly is the permission and authority to act in God's name. And that this power is REAL! This blessing brought me so much comfort and I really felt Heavenly Father's LOVE.

We had Sisters p-day (a Halloween party) and can you tell who I am?  I won the costume contest.  BOOYAH!

We also had  a Sisters conference this week. Oh it was so AMAZING! All the sisters in the mission came! Even Sis Hadfield and my love, Sister Vermuelen were flown up from Tazzie!!! It was so phenomenal to meet everyone. Goodness I'm like way younger than everyone! Sis Baker and I calculated that 34% of the sisters are from the U.S.  and only 4 sisters aren't from Utah.    Wowowow! Tell Christy that I met Sister Emalee Guy who went to Bingham and she knows all my dear Bingham friends! I love all of the sisters so much. It was so uplifting to be with them. I learned SO much at the conference and was so inspired to be a better missionary and to LOVE like Christ did.

My very first Sunday in Churchill Park ward, I met the a certain family. Since the day I met them, I have been feeling that it is important that we go visit them. But each time, something gets in the way. We have been praying that we will be able to identify who it is in our ward that knows someone who is prepared to hear our message and be baptized. I know that Heavenly Father prepares individuals, and as we pray with faith, we will be able to identify them, and witness miracles. We were finally able to make an appointment with this  family this week. While praying, (right before going in) I was filled with an absolute, undeniable knowledge that this was the family we had been praying for. I told Sister Baker and she too felt good about it. When we told  this family   about the answer to our prayer, the mother  began to get emotional, and said that she immediately had not one, but THREE faces appear to her mind. We are so excited about the gospel of Jesus Christ!! It changes lives and we want so desperately for everyone to know what we know.
We are meeting with Eduardo this week. (he hasn't been able to in so long) And David still hasn't come to church :( But hopefully we'll get a lot of people to the ward trunk or treat!!!

Funny moment from yesterday at the J's house. we are role playing to get them more comfortable with sharing the gospel

Katie: Yeah I go to church. The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Me: Oh yeah isn't that the church with lots of moms?
Katie: Mmmmmmmmmmhmm that's why we're called more-moms.

hahaha it was sooooo funny. Katie is 14 and is who we went to Phillip Island with!  Speaking of Phillip Island, one of my pics actually downloaded.



Sister Baker and I are really focusing on strengthening our own faith, as well as the members. This week we saw that as we studied faith and miracles, and increased our faith in Jesus Christ, miracles HAPPENED! I am so excited to stay in this area, and continue on the work. We are building solid relationships with the members, and are seeing families come closer to Christ as they learn and understand principles of the gospel. I know that the Priesthood is real.

Doctrine and Covenants 84:88 "I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up." This week I have been blessed with strength beyond my own, and I can testify that angels were bearing me up every single day.

Love y'all soooooo much!
Sister Hailey Stevenson