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!
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!!!