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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