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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

Monday, October 14, 2013

A KANGAROO HOPPED RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR CAR!


Hello!
'Twas an absolutely LOVELY week in Churchill Park South! Sister Baker and I are truly witnessing miracles!
This week we began teaching a man named David. David truly has a desire to come unto Christ, and to feel peace in his life. In the past year, his dad died and he went through a divorce. His two small children and they are his life. These  trials have been extremely painful for him. He asked us why  God would ever allow us to suffer.  We explained to him our knowledge of a plan of happiness and that this life is a time to learn, grow, and prepare to meet God.As we discussed this concept with him, it was like watching a candle grow brighter and brighter. He hung on to every word, asking more questions concerning forgiveness, and how he could become more like our perfect example, Jesus Christ. We taught him about the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and how the Atonement purifies and changes us. As we introduced baptism, he loved the fact of the sacrament, and being able to RENEW those covenants on a weekly basis. The spirit was so strong! When I invited him to be baptised, his verbal response was a maybe, but you could tell that he was yearning to do so. By the end of the lesson he was saying "I want to change. I want to repent. I want to be like Christ." Oh it was so beautiful! We invited him to read some of the introduction of the Book of Mormon, and to pray about our message. We know he will get an answer because of his faith and desire. He couldn't attend General Conference this weekend, but we are meeting with him tonight at the Bishops!
This week we went to go visit Maurie Lucas, a 75 year old woman who lives in a nursing home. Maurie hasn't been to church in years, and none of her family are members, so we actually didn't even have her church records. But it is definitely by no coincidence that we met her. We talked for a long time, when we asked what made her happy, she cried. She said she is never happy and is constantly in so much pain, and can never sleep because there is another lady who screams all night that she shares the room with. She doesn't have many visitors either and feels like no one loves her. My heart literally ached. By the end of the visit her spirits seemed to be lifted a little and she was excited about the thought of having visiting teachers and for people to bring her the weekly sacrament.  We prayed with her and she cried. She said she would start praying again. When Sister Foster and I came back on Friday, (exchanges) she was literally a different person. We had had some bretheren come and give her a blessing, and she said she felt so much more at peace. She had us sing her favorite hymn "I am a child of God" She cried as she sang the familiar chorus "Lead me guide me walk beside me, help me find the way" Maurie then prayed, "I thank you Heavenly Father for helping me, no matter what time I call for help, you always come."  *it was so emotional!!!!* "Thank you for sending my people back to me. Thank you for inspiring them to remind me that I am not alone, but through Christ I can find peace and be strong again." 
It was during those moments I felt the full purpose of missionary work more than ever beofre. It is not about the number of lessons I can teach, the number of new contacts, the amount of potential baptisms... It is about bringing people unto Christ. It is about uplifting any and everyone so that they can be closer to their Savior Jesus Christ. We had helped bring Maurie closer to Christ, and I felt right then that I had better fulfilled my purpose than ever before.

Unfortunately Edward is not returning our calls, and every time we go over no one answers the door. But we have faith that all will be well! We will keep trying and praying.
I keep forgetting to say that I love my mission president so much. I KNOW that I am here partly to learn from him. He is awesome, and so down to earth.

Here are some of Hailey's notes to the family...xo
Dad,
I cannot even begin to tell you how grateful I am for your missionary-ward-bishop-team advice from last week. I printedit off and CHERISH it!! Sister Baker and I went through it word for word and are working to fulfill each sentence! Our ward efforts are improving and we are really working on putting our ward mish plan into effect right now. I love you sooooo much and am so grateful that of all the men in the world, I got to have you as my dad. 
p.s have you been able to do anything with my laptop? I'd love for it to be able ot be sold...but i need all the files!!!! If possible could you find my patriachal blessing on it and copy and paste it into wordel.com. haha I know that probably doesn't make sense...but try it! and then send it to me please! Also, regarding your question about my mish prez, he is AMAZING!!!! 

Mom!!! Thank you soooooo much for your wonderful long letters. I love them so much and print them and read certain parts over and over.You give such great advice. You have to look at the new era this month!!!!!!!! RYAN MONTGOMERY IS IN IT!!!! Its so special!!!! And he just happened to send me an email this week so I got to tell him!! Ahhh! love it! Are you still reading sister bakers blog? hahahaha! You should become friends with her mom! Also, you should make pumpkin soup for our fam! it's my FAVORITE. They call squash "pumpkin" here. I'm sure you can find a good online recipe...Will you please please please mail me some pics of everyone in our family? ask gma as well!!! Everyone always wants to see pics and I'm such a goober and have none!! Also, pics of my foot! Yes I wear my sock everyday and people are constantly asking me about it :)

KENDRICK, SIERRA, SAV, AND NAN!!!! Ohhh I loooooove y'all!  I'm sending you letters!!! And a birthday present for my sweet savy! love yall sooooooooo stinkin much. Everyone here wants to know about my siblings. I hope our family can come here someday. It's a magical place. We were driving the other night an a kangaroo hopped right in front of our car!!! We had to stop suddenly and were in awe as it just beebopped around!!! They are SOLID animals. I guess they can get up to 7feet? gah. Write me letters!!!!!!! And emails too! I print them off!


I love being a missionary, and I love my Saviour, Jesus Christ. Thank you for all you do!
Sister Hailey Stevenson
Hailey.stevenson@myldsmail.net


Monday, October 7, 2013

FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!!!!!!


FAMILY AND FRIENDS!!!!!!!!
Hello, hello, hello, hello!!
It was a marvelous week in Churchill Park Area! Sister Baker and I are seeing miracles daily. Every night, we write each miracle that we saw on  a post-it, and put it on the wall. We have quite the colorful collection accumulating! As we recongnize the miracles, we thank our Father in Heaven for them, and He blesses us with even more. I can testify that by small and simple things, great things do come to pass. Alma 37:6   We are striving to be EXACTLY obedient. We know that "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven," and we want those blessings!!
I got to invite someone to be baptized this week! Eduardo is from Brazil, and may be one of the most humble people I have ever met. The spirit was so strong during the lesson, and He undoubtedy recognized the peace. As we testified, and shared our special message about coming unto Christ, and the restoration through Joseph Smith, he repeatedly said "that is so beautiful!" and would rub his arms as he got chills. It was amazing!!! He committed to reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, and we have faith that He will follow the example of our Savior, and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God.
THE WEATHER HERE IS CRAZY!!! The wind has been so strong that cars and fences have been smashed, and trees are on the ground everywhere! BIG trees! Over the space of 2 days, our tree in front of our flat has fallen to the ground. God kept our flat and car safe! And us too, haha. So many miracles as a missionary! But seriously, CRAZY weather. It will be the most lovely day, then suddenly, BAM, HUGE RAINSTORM, and then 4 minutes later, beautiful sunshine again! I'm excited to go to the grocery store again, the place where we get our produce has fruits and veggies I've never even seen or heard of. It's so cool. A tiny package of raspberries is like $10!!! Haha things are soooooooooooo stinkin expensive here!!!!!!!!! But some random items are super cheap.
Sister Baker and I grow closer and closer everyday. I love her lots. As I get to know her better, I cant help but love her. We teach really, really well together, so thats pristine.  I really think we will be lifelong friends.
The other sisters in our flat are Sis. Foster and Sis. Williams. Sis Foster is from Adelaide, Australia, 24 and tall and blonde and i adore her SOOOOOOO MUCH. We love playing jokes on Sis Williams. Sis Williams is a HORSE LOVER from Utah. I love her so much too!
This week we taught a man named Craig. When we asked Craig if He believes that God is our literal Father in Heaven, he replied "Why does it even matter that He is our Father?" This question struck me deeply and I've been thinking about it all week. I've realized that it means EVERYTHING! It impacts how I act towards others, and towards myself. How can we really understand who WE are if we don't understand where we came from, and what we have the potential to become? I know that God really is our Father who lives in Heaven. He expects the best, and wants the best for me and for all of us. Ahh!!! I love Him so much!!!!
I've met so many wonderful families in the ward. We are usually at 2-3 members homes per day, I LOVE IT! We are really close with the KiriKiri family. The have 5 little kids and will be sealed in the temple in February! They feed us American products and even bought us American cheese from
Costco. Speaking of America!!! WHAT IS GOING ON??? A 90 year old lady told me that there is no more government in America because it's shut down completely...hahahahahaha. What?
We go to the Johnsons, a less active family every week. They love for Sis Baker and I to sing for them. Every week they are super excited about church and we get them a ride and everything, and EVERY WEEK, at the last minute, they back out. Somtimes it's for really hysterical reasons such as "the dog won't stop itching, poor thing!" Hahahahaha. Sis Johnson calls us her "punkins" (honestly, they're super duper loopy, love them sooo much though) Something really hilarious about Australia is that not all of our swear words are bad to them. Hahahahahahaha.... so just picture my face hearing some things over the pulpit or from little kids. hahahaha
We still tract a ton. I'm learning to love it!!! Pretty much the only people that let us come back, or show interest in our message are those not from Australia. We have talked with Romanians, Polish people, Chileans, Brazillians, Chinese, Cambodians, Kenyans, and TONS of polynesians (LOVE) etc. WoohoO!
I LOVED THE RELIEF SOCIETY BROADCAST SO MUCH!!!!!!! I got emotional when Lisa Reeves said something along the lines of "God will never leave us in the ashes, He is waiting with open arms. The trials are the very things that can lead us to Him." Haha, I felt like she was speaking directly to ME! God did not leave me in the ashes, but rather brought me closer to my Savior than ever before. Trials are soooo worth it as we choose to grow closer to Him!!!!
I honestly have never loved y'all so immensely as when President Monson spoke that night. I know that the Preach My Gospel point "The Gospel blesses families" is TRUE! How have y'all seen blessings so far?
For years I have had it in my head and heart that I wanted to be one of the best missionaries the world has ever seen. Lately I've been a bit down on myself, as I realize how extremely far I am from that. I feel like our success in bringing people to Christ is very low and  my knowledge of the doctrine is not where I want it to be. Last night we listened to Elder Benallack (our AP) speak  about the Plan of Salvation. He articulated beautifully but simply, and taught with power. I felt pathetic in comparison. Suddenly I felt God's love so profoundly and felt Him telling me that I was far from pathetic. Through the Holy Ghost, I learned that I must practice patience and as I strive to be exactly obedient, continuing on dilligently with faith and hope, I will receive miracles and will learn to teach more like the most perfect teacher of all, Jesus Christ.
I LOVE being a full-time Ambassador of Jesus Christ. I love Him so much, and KNOW that He is my Savior, and that He is the Redeemer of the world. I love y'all sooooooooo incredibly much and am so grateful for you!
Love,
 Sister Hailey Stevenson
p.s. I print off all of your emails!!!! Keep em coming! They lift my spirits! Thank you so much for them!!!
Hailey.stevenson@myldsmail.net