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 SHALTHAVE 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