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Sunday, December 28, 2014

FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER WE HAD KANGAROO




Hello hello! It was absolutely JOYFUL speaking to you all! With our Taiwanese Christmas eve (be sure to google bean dessert soup), and so many special lessons about Christ, I really had the most wonderful Christmas.
Guess what... for Christmas dinner we had kangaroo at the G. home. Even my vegetarian companion loved it. The G's live in an old hotel in Williamstown.  It was such a special week...I love being able to teach about the joy and reality of Jesus Christ's life.
Kangaroo 

Unfortunately my dear Sister L. and Sister P. are being transferred :( I will be training a new missionary. She flies in this week.

I love being a missionary. I see continuous miracles! To quote Mormon,  “Has the day of miracles ceased?”  No. I bear my witness that they have not. Faith in Jesus Christ really is a power.

Richard G Scott said, "Despite all the negative challenges in life, we must take time to actively exercise our faith." How are you going to exercise your faith this upcoming year? What can you do to grow closer to Heavenly Father?
How is your feast on The Book of Mormon coming? :) That book has truly been the catalyst for changing my heart and increasing my faith.

I love you so very much. Keep spreading light to the world!
Sister Stevenson
Christmas Eve Taiwanese Dessert

Christmas Package
Melbourne Central


Sunday, December 21, 2014

SHE DID THE BIGGEST FIST PUNCH

Merry Christmas!!!
 I hope you have the most joyful week! Melbourne is nice and warm and my heart is so happy. Could I be more blessed? Honestly, I think not. At the beginning of my mission I was a little sad that I would be spending two Christmas's away from you. but now, I could not be more grateful to be here. It is the biggest and most humbling blessing to be serving my Saviour at this time of year...and everyday! I love being a missionary. I love teaching people about Him. I love how I am learning what it means to follow Him. I even love how tired I am! haha! It is so worth it. 

I had the privilege of being Sister Sai.'s companion her last day as a missionary...I've heard that missionaries always have their last miracle...the whole day was a miracle! While GQing (contacting people on the street)  we met Chang, a student from China who had no knowledge of God or Jesus Christ. He excitedly came back with us to the branch, and my heart was soaring....I felt so strongly that this boy is so special. We watched He is the Gift with him and taught him how to pray. That prayer changed his life. He said afterwards that there IS a Father in Heaven, and he listened to him. A couple days later he got into a fight with his roommate and was really distraught, he went into his room and prayed and God helped him again. He found this to be a sheer miracle, and it is!
 The governor of the universe communicates with us. Ah, my heart! I deeply believe that God knows us.
Chang came with us to K's baptism and to church the next day. He is excited for his own baptism!

I know that God hears my prayers. I have an interesting assignment in our mission, sometimes it is really hard. I know that when we are down, Heavenly Father can lift us up

K's baptism was so beautiful! Her husband,  was able to baptise her.  When she came out of the water in one motion she did the biggest fist punch, oh my, it was so happy. K. is not a huge smiler, but she was glowing. Her husband  let out a loud "YES!"

On Christmas day our branch is holding a big meal for anyone to come!! We are teaching quite a few students who have no plans for Christmas and they are coming!! Hurray! Sister Goodall, a woman from a near ward invited us over for dinner!! We are SO EXCITED!

My heart continues to be in awe and amazement at Christ's birth. He created worlds without number, yet was born in the most humble of circumstance. His birth is miraculous, magnificent and symbolic of the type of humility  we should try to possess.  I am so thankful for that sacred night that my Saviour was born changed the world forever. I feel so near Him as I serve Him...there is no greater joy.


Love you so very much, talk to you soon!!!!

Sister Stevenson

Sunday, December 14, 2014

I LOVE THIS BEAUTIFUL DIVERSE GROUP

This morning we had a breakfast with all of our sisters in our zone...I love this beautiful diverse group. We represent Tonga, Samoa, Fiji, Philippines, America, Australia, New Zealand, Whales and Germany. 

This week I was able to do an exchange in CHP...I got to see A! She is doing so well and is such a missionary. Before I left her house she said, "the gospel saved my life, and still does" She is so special. Her faith in Christ is unyielding. The gospel of Jesus Christ saves us.
Reunion with A.

K. is getting baptised this Saturday evening!!!
This week when we talked about temple marriage she said"I want to register at the temple to marry for two souls for eternity" 


Sorry this is short today.
I love you all so much!!!! 
Keep following Jesus Christ!
Sister Stevenson

PS. Our phone fell down a gutter


I Love my companions.  
9 Countries 

Our MTC Group  at the Christmas party

Monday, December 8, 2014

EVERY OUNCE OF ENERGY

Hello my wonderful family!!! 

How do you like the He is the Gift video? As I ask person after person what they think the meaning of Christmas is, I have become aware of the mass confusion of why this time of year is so special and spectacular. I will give every ounce of energy I have to glorify the reality of Christ's birth. His birth is miraculous and so humbling.  As we focus Christmas on HIM, we will be lifted and filled with more joy than any toy or trinket. 
 Who have you shared the true meaning of Christmas with? As we embrace the glory of God, we will share it!!!

Our mission is reading the Gospels from 1 Dec. to 25 Dec. As I study the beautiful doctrine of Christ's life, I feel my nature changing.

We watched He is the Gift with Chir. and asked him what he can give to Christ for Christmas, he is planning on being baptised on Christmas day!!! Please please pray for him!!! 

Vietnamese costume
Kit. is completely following the Word of Wisom...something she thought almost impossible to do. Heavenly Father aids and guides His children, I know it. Her husband Ed was baptised earlier this year..he is so excited for her to be baptised and for them to be sealed in the Temple next year. The gospel of Jesus Christ is about families! It has been so special to teach the two of them together. 

We spent the morning singing carols at a hospital in Epping...it was interesting to see the atmosphere of the drab waiting room illuminate so drastically. One particular man could not straighten his back and had double canes attached to his arms, sat in a chair and smiled the whole morning. My heart is still full.

I am so blessed. I am so grateful. I love Jesus Christ, I LOVE serving Him. I love you so much and please know that I am praying for you.
Sister Stevenson




Singing this morning at the Hospital

Sunday, November 30, 2014

MY HEART JUST ABOUT BURSTS DAILY!

Life is so beautiful. I have never felt so much profound love before. I don't know how to describe it. My heart is just so warm and happy and I love the people here so much. Sometimes I start crying when I think about it. Haha, it's so odd!!!

M. went to the Temple last week to do baptisms!! I was told that time after time dunking him under, he would naturally curl up his knees....hahaha.... He is so great.  They kept trying to help him understand to bend but not cannonball.

We have been teaching a man from India, Chir. Because of daily Book of Mormon study, his faith in Jesus Christ has increased so much. Faith in Christ leads us to action! Faith leads us to repent. This week Chir. showed up to our lesson with so much sorrow in his countenance.  He then told us that he sometimes get really angry at work. He hates it about himself and yearns to change. The lesson that we had prepared for him that day was on repentance! Heavenly Father is so aware. 
Repentance is so freeing. I love change.
 A lifestyle of repentance is a lifestyle of light and clarity.
Thanksgiving Day

Incredible news!!! Lam got her Permanent Residency!!! This is such an answer to prayer!!

Yesterday during third hour, Relief Society/Priesthood were combined (that is everyone in the branch) President Keller had all those stand that are the first people in their family to be baptised. 85% of the audience stood. This branch is so special. They are such valiant, courageous pioneers.
My heart just about bursts daily. I love being a missionary. I am learning so much about truth and love. 

Toi yeu gia dinh toi!  (I think this is I love you in Vietnamese...) 
Sister Stevenson 

PS.Funny story,
This week for Thanksgiving we were going to make Sister Larsen's funeral potato recipe! It called for frozen shredded hashbrowns, but they don't have those here, so we bought frozen tator tots and shredded/smushed them up. We didn't have a baking dish because it's a Chinese flat and there is mostly only wok's, so we used a big wok and unscrewed the handles. Then we forgot to buy sour cream so we just left it out.
It was interesting in the end!

Monday, November 24, 2014

LOVE AND AFFIRMATION MAKE US SOAR! I got a speeding fine :(((((

Hello!!!

Our new Golden Missionary (brand new) is sweet sweet Sister P.  She  is from Vigen, Philippines. She is almost 12 inches shorter than me, is freezing in 20 degree weather and is the most humble missionary I know. She is such a joy and a blessing. I have the most wonderful companions.

The night Sister P. arrived, one of our neighbours was playing Greek music really loudly, we can see into their backyard from our appt and could see a few older men and women drinking and dancing and yelling "OPAH!!!" for hours. It was a great way to welcome her to Melbourne!!!

We have been teaching a woman named K. for months on and off...she has been taught by so many missionaries. This week we got a text from her saying that now is the time. She is ready to be baptised and follow God completely. We met with her this week and she's had a complete change of heart. Such miracles.

There is a girl in our branch named A.    A.  is 16 and was baptised earlier in the year. She and her family moved from Malaysia recently and now live in the city. Honestly the miracles continue ceaselessly....we were invited over to their house for dinner this week. It was such a delight and afterwards we asked the father if we could share a gospel message. By this point, 4 of their neighbours from Malaysia had also come in and we were teaching a large room full of Buddhists. We talked about the Godhead and Jesus Christ's Atonement. We asked Alicia to bear her  testimony,part way through she suddenly started sobbing. It was as if she was a very shaken fizzy drink that was being opened. This was the first time that her family was listening! This was her chance.  For the next 40 minutes she bubbled out as much gospel knowledge as she could. "I believe in something called agency...agency is..." And then her father would interrupt and give philosophical view points. By then end her dad just said that he has such a special daughter...she has always had such a love for truth. The family said they would try to come to church on Sunday.  It was such a miracle night.
Stair Step Sister's

Unfortunately I've had the flu all week...all is well though! I was given a blessing that talked about how we must experience the bitter in order to appreciate the sweet. Touche. 
 I am choosing to be grateful for this flu! 
I am SO thankful for my trials that allow me to be grateful for good health and my healthy body and the ability to walk and run and jump and dance! I am so thankful to know that there is UNIVERSAL TRUTH and bright, glorious, shining HOPE through Jesus Christ.
Oh family, there are so many people that are suffering in the world. I am around so many homeless, hungry, sad and angry people daily and my heart cringes. It makes me weep. We do are best to lift and encourage and help them. How are you helping people today? God's children need love. Every one of them. Love and affirmation indeed make us soar!
Are you being a nurturer for God?

My heart burns with desire to tell EVERYONE about the Gospel of Christ. Everyone deserves to know that we are God's children...to know what that means changes everything. He loves us more than we can comprehend. We have inherited divine qualities from Him! We can become like Him!! I know that He loves us.

I love you all so very much. :) :) :) Please be kind and serve the people around you. We need each other! 
Sister Stevenson
PS.    I got a speeding fine :(((((
Back in March! Haha.  The fine was  mailed to me.
I was in unknown territory and there are speeding cameras and I guess I was going 2ks over and now I have to pay $180.
Money is temporal...money is temporal...money is temproal..... :(

Monday, November 17, 2014

Wow...Wow....Wow Wow...

Hello hello!!


I am JUBILANT! Sister Larsen and I are staying in the City another transfer!!! And we are training a new sister from the Philippines!! Eeeeeee! We will continue to do exchanges with the sisters in Heidelberg, Narre Warren, Gippsland, Braeside and Maroondah Zones.We are so excited for this transfer!

Last week J. prayed during our lesson about whether or not this is Jesus Christ's church. After she said "amen" we sat in silence and she just said, "wow....wow.....................wow wow......wow" I have, and then she moved her hands up and down her arms. (goose flesh anyone? ;) She told us that God told her in heart that she is in the right place. She was so excited to get baptised.
Two days later we were confirming our appointment with her and she told us that she probably wouldn't be coming back to our church. Her friend had told her some things and she said that she would now go to another church. We were devastated....we bore our testimonies to her and she said that she would pray and ask God what to do. She hasn't answered our calls since. :(
But  we know all will be well. J. is so special and her prayers will be answered.

There is an INCREDIBLE Taiwanese lady in our branch who lives in a huge penthouse in the city....guess what. This week, M. moved in to the extra bedroom. She isn't charging him a cent. So now he doesn't have to pay rent (he was living in the city before which is $$$$$) and Huang Mei LOVES to feed everyone in sight. This is such a miracle. She would not take any of my gratitude and insisted that he will bless her home because he is a Melchizedek Priesthood holder and is a good boy. She then said that she would be taking him to the Temple every Saturday to do baptisms for the names of all her cousins that have died. Heavenly Father is so aware of M.
We love him so much, I could cry just thinking about how happy he was this weekend.

This week we were able to do some training's at a couple of Zone Conferences. It is a special thing to be around so many missionaries. I love my calling! I love teaching people about hope and truth! I love my family! I love my Saviour!! There are so many reasons to rejoice!

My feet are healing!!!!! Thank you for your prayers!!

Sister Stevenson

Monday, November 10, 2014

I Was Blown Away

Bonjour!!!

Mama I met a boy from Lyon, France (my mom's mission) this week!!! And two others from Paris! One of the boys was Muslim, they were all very kind.... and very uninterested in our message of Jesus Christ...


I love teaching English class! My eyes are being opened to how confusing our language is...
Warm is pronounced like "worm", but worm is spelled like "werm." Oh my.

Mas. received the Melchizedek Priesthood this week...he is so righteous and such a blessing to the branch.
He also attended a Young Single Adult dance this weekend and I guess made quite the impression...haha
Riding to the Art Museum on P-day

This week one of our dear friends was sooo tired and looked especially skinny and withered...we asked him if he was okay and as usual responded, "I fine!" After a couple minutes of prodding he told us that he is very hungry...the only food he has everyday is rice and water. He lives by himself in an apartment and the money he has is what his little sister sends him from another country. Lam heard us saying that we could help him get food, and within an hour came in with bags of groceries for him. I am continually inspired by the humility and charity of the members in our branch. Lam is such an angel. We are praying that her PR paperwork from Vietnam will workout so that she can go on a mission or enroll in school. 

Elder Dudfield came to our MLC this week...he is an inspired man of God. He spoke mainly about Priesthood organization...I was blown away. Our church is so orderly...God is a God of order and of course His church will align with Him! 
He mentioned that the area he is over as a seventy, covers more languages and cultures than any other in the world.

We are teaching a man named K.from Mauritius 
When we first met him he wasn't sure if he believed in a God...he works over 60 hours a week and can't sleep at night...His faith has increased so much thanks to the Book of Mormon...he KNOWS there is a God..he said that since he has been praying, he can now fall asleep immediately at night. Prayer changes things!!  He said when he prayed about the Plan of Salvation, he immediately had an understanding come over him that his trials are of a temporary nature.

This week we met and started teaching a girl from Korea named J.!!! She is darling and bubbly and LOVED church...she hung on to every word during sacrament meeting and used her phone to translate words like "hymn" and "sacrifice" She cannot wait to be baptized!!!  Such a miracle!!

I love you all so much. I am so thankful for your righteous choices and acts of kindness. Hurrah for Israel!!!!
Sister Stevenson


P.S Please pray for my feet!!


Monday, November 3, 2014

BULA VINACA!

Bula Vinaca! 

I was able to go on an exchange this week with the lovely Sister B. from Fiji!  She has only been here two weeks, what a JOY she is to our mission. She is so positive, humble and friendly. 

We had a Cultural Night this week for our branch. It was one of the happiest, most delightful things to see the Men of our congregation learn a Maori Haka.

Cultural Night

We had a really interesting lesson with a Pakistani man who has studied comparative religions for the past 15 years. He mostly wouldn't let us say a word, but nonetheless explained to us the lead in to the Restoration of the Gospel. It was interesting... we were able to tell him that our views are very much aligned and that there IS universal truth...I'm so grateful to know that!

We have been working with a girl named A. who hasn't been to church in quite some time...she is a Bollywood performer!!! She has come to church the last three Sundays and bore her testimony yesterday....it is so special and joyous to help people rekindle their faith.

Tomorrow is a Victoria holiday!  Melbourne Cup Day! I have seen so many women in BEAUTIFUL, colorful, toule and feather-filled derby hats. So fun!

Some of the missionaries I work with are struggling with an emotional issue of some sort...President Maxwell has talked to us about not taking ones temperature too much, but helping them to love to work. I thought this was interesting.  I've found that every missionary is different, their needs, struggles etc. It's good to have one on one exchanges to figure out what their specific need is...One of my dearest sisters really struggles with anxiety and depression, she gets so nervous between 6:30 and 8am that it makes her sick....this week we tried listening to the scriptures on cd while she got ready and for the first time in 6 months, was able to start studies on time. This effected the rest of her day...she feels more at peace. It's like the prelude to her personal study/day.  

I love my Saviour, He sets such a perfect example for us. I have found such a change in my life as I pray for charity...the pure love of Christ. Will you study Moroni 7:44-48 today?https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/moro/7?lang=eng
Love you forever. Hurrah for Israel!!!
Sister Stevenson



Monday, October 20, 2014

It Was Quite Humorous When She Saw Our Badges :)

Hello!

This week we were able to attend the Temple...oh how entering the Lord's Heavenly house makes my heart soar!!!! 

This morning I read about Christ visiting the America's after He has been resurrected...the first thing He commands the gatherers to do is to "Arise"...He then has them come unto Him to feel His prints...later He has Nephi also "arise" and the gives Him the authority to baptise. I studied about Joshua and Ezekiel who were also commanded to not just worship the Lord alone, but to arise and act. I want to ARISE in every situation and help others do the same...there has been no greater joy in my life than to be an instrument for the Lord.


This week there was an International Jehovah's Witness conference in Melbourne....70,000 representative covered the city all week with big purple lanyards and badges. It was quite an interesting experience! I met many kind people from around the world...all united for a good cause! When we were walking to our apartment from our Richmond tram last night, we found one of their purple badges on the ground, we called the number on the back and met up with Ros from Perth. She was so happy that we had found her badge! It was quite humorous when we approached each other and she saw our badges :) She was so friendly and it's definitely not coincidence we met her!
This is where we live!

Yus. is doing well! This week while talking about the Plan of Salvation with him, he said that "life on earth is picnic....we had to come to picnic so we could go home later" 
The next day he said that life on earth is training, and we are his trainers.  No matter the analogy, this life is just a drop of eternity! Please, feast upon the words of Christ everyday. It is worth it. Talk to God....tell Him your joys, your concerns, your desires, everything! I KNOW that He is listening...I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can change us. It changes my heart...only HE can change me! I can try and try so hard to change my behaviour, but as I plead for this change of heart, he changes my nature so that I have no disposition to act in any way that is unpleasing to Him. I love repentance. I want to change everyday!

I know that this is His work. I love serving the Lord as a missionary!!

I love you, I love you, I love you!!!
Sister Stevenson
These are the cheapest grapes I have seen so far

Monday, October 13, 2014

A DROP OF ETERNITY

This week we went outside to GQ/street contact...I had decided in my mind that the first person I saw, I would talk to. That first person's name was Chris. He is from Bosnia.  He came up to the church with us for a tour...we ended up sitting down with him in the chapel. As we discussed his belief in a being that has looked out for him, I became very aware with everything in me that the reason I hit my head my junior year, and then was burnt a few years later, was preparing me to meet this man.   I have never thought that I could empathize in a way that would truly effect someone. 
This man is near homeless, and his words a little slow because of a car accident he was in last year. And I know that He means everything to the Lord. I have never loved someone so much that I didn't know. I was able to testify of Jesus Christ and His enabling power to lift us. To give us strength beyond our own capacity. I understood him so much...my heart has never felt so soft and full of love.  He so humbly wants to follow Jesus Christ...he reached into his pocket and pulled out a tiny apple seed that he had picked up at a park earlier. He picked it up because it had a tiny sprout growing. He thought it was amazing and compared it to his own faith...
He said that he felt "so special" and "so much good energy and power here". We explained to Him the role of God and His spirit and so many things began to click in his mind. He talked about the power he felt when he saw me, he said it came from my shirt because he didn't know how to explain it in English, haha. He said he couldn't see anything else but was so drawn to a power coming from me and he knew that he had to talk to us and partake of what we had to offer.

My faith in God's plan for us continually grows and deepens. He is so aware of us!!! I know it!
Going to watch General Conference


I yearn to emulate Jesus Christ.  Conference inspired me with many many ways I can change! I want to be more genuine and kind with those around me. "Kindness is powerful!" Our life here is just a drop of Eternity... I want to do everything I possibly can to strengthen my brothers and sisters. I want to study the Sacrament and think about it daily....How interesting that that was such a focus. What a miracle that we get to be cleansed weekly.

I am so grateful for our Prophet and inspired leaders!  We are blessed beyond belief.

I love you so so so much!
xoxoxo
We saw this in a bathroom at Melbourne Central!
Sister Stevenson
"Hook em Horns"  even in Australia!

Monday, October 6, 2014

I Had A Nacho Libre Moment

Hello hello!

The General Women's Conference was incredible....so inspiring and edifying. I bawled watching the  beautiful sisters from around the world share their testimonies of the Temple..https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2014/10?lang=eng&vid=3810258133001&cid=6.     I feel continually blessed to serve a mission. I am so spoiled being here.... we have been able to teach someone from just about every country that was represented. The more people I meet, the more I realize how similar we all are. We all just need love.
How are you helping those around you feel loved?

I can't wait to watch general conference!!!  

This week we started teaching a boy who just moved here from Korea. As we  taught Yus. about God and His son, Jesus Christ and prophets, he just nodded his head and didn't say much. Koreans do this great head bob :) We had him read aloud the first vision in Korean, when he did, he sat there in silence with wide eyes. He didn't know how to explain himself in English so pulled out his translator...the English word he showed us was "gooseflesh". Goosebumps :) He told us "I feel light, not heavy, never before felt, first time feel, no explain."
We have seen him a few times since and he is doing so well. The gospel of Jesus Christ is real and true and is for everyone...oh how I wish I could help all the hundreds of people here!


(On a small side note, at English class I had  a Nacho Libre moment when someone mouthed to me very seriously "I love you"--haha. we've got the situation covered though, no worries :)

 It is a special thing being in a small vicinity with 27 other missionaries. I love serving in the branch.

Mas. passed the Sacrament on Sunday. It was so joyous :) The Elders gave him a white shirt and tie and he taped a "member missionary" black missionary badge to his shirt..hahaha. Oh how we love him!! He brought another friend to church and she is planning on getting baptised next month!!!

PLease remember how influential each of you are....help those around you feel loved!  Lift where you stand! There is no greater service you could give someone than helping them know Jesus Christ...I know your examples do this!!
Love you so much!!!!
Sister Stevenson

Monday, September 29, 2014

I REALLY REALLY LOVE LIFE

I really really love life. My heart just feels so light and happy.
I know Heavenly Father is so aware of us. 

It is so necessary that we all endure a tiny tiny slice of Gethsemane. How else would we be able to understand or appreciate the Atonement? To know of the price He paid, we must pay a token ourselves. As Elder Holland has said, Salvation is not a cheap experience. 

This week I was privileged to go on exchanges with Sister H. from New Zealand. In the Missionary Training Center she got a call from her mother letting her know that her dad had passed away from a heart attack. She went home for the funeral and the next day came to Melbourne to start her mission. She is a rock. We were able to teach the Plan of Salvation to a family...what a sacred experience. We experienced miracle after miracle and both of us we are able to have our faith strengthened. My dear family,please know that I KNOW with everything in me that the Plan of Salvation that I get to teach people weekly, is not just cute colorful cutouts, or a nice fantasy. It is real. It is the ultimate reality and evidence of God's love and mercy. 

Funny thing of the week: Al. asked if it was okay to get a tattoo of Jesus Christ so that when he looks in the mirror, he can see Him. Such a righteous intent, but we had to decline.

Bh., our Nepalese friend is getting baptised next month! Life is so beautiful! I'm sorry this is so short but know that I love you!!!!!

Sister Stevenson

PS.   I can't wait for the Woman's Broadcast!!! We will be watching it next weekend! Have taught half the branch the word Pristine :) All the Chinese missionaries always say it now haha

Tell Fox I love her.
These pictures were both sent from friends in Australia 

Monday, September 22, 2014

It was POURING rain and frigid, we were all drenched.


Hello!!!

Oh sweet Mas...his baptism was beyond happy. Angeal gave a ten minute talk in JAPANESE...this is incredibly incredible as he speaks Vietnamese and has only been speaking English for a couple years. He said he watches a lot of Anime..haha. After the baptism Mas. said "My heart feel so clean...I'm so glad. It's great." He later told Sister Gold. that he feels happier today than the happy he felt yesterday :) What a glorious thing to witness him making that covenant with God. He gets it. He loves the Lord and wants to follow Him. 
On Sunday there were FOUR confirmations in the branch...and three in the Chinese branch. The work is Hastening!! Angeal confirmed Mas, once again in Japanese so he could understand!!! The gift of tongues is real.

Our Persian friends have been reading the Book of Mormon! They came to church and were able to stay for potluck afterwards...imagine potluck in the branch, the most interesting assortment of foods!

On the way home from zone meeting we got a flat tire...our car has been quite problematic, luckily we rarely use it! Anyway, a set of Elders saw us pull over and pulled over with us and changed the tire. It was POURING rain and frigid, we were all drenched. Gotta enjoy it!! Love love love those moments! Life is so good!

I LOVE being a missionary so much. Everyday my heart could explode at the amount of sheer joy I feel. The Book of Mormon is a fountain of endless, inexhaustible wisdom. I declare that no matter the question or concern, the Book of Mormon can answer it fully and clearly.

I love you so so so so so soooo very very much. 
Sister Stevenson  

P.S.  Oh life is so beautiful! Today is our sisters pday for the east side...we've planned a scavenger hunt in the CITY.   AMAZING RACE: MELBOURNE
Our church building in downtown Melbourne  Can you guess what level we meet on?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Xin Chào Family! (Hailey is learning some Vietnamese)

Xin chao family!!

This week we were making lunch in the kitchen and the church, when a man from the hallway came up to us and  proceeded to tell Sister Larsen and me that he and his two friends wanted to learn about God, and asked if we would be willing to teach them. YES, we definitely would :) It was such a miracle. The men  are  from Iran. They speak Persian and their English is pretty broken, but as we taught them who their Father in Heaven is, they felt the spirit. They were sitting on the edge of their seats and using google translate to translate words like "peace" "prophet" and "joy". O. said that "We want to follow commandments, but we don't know them..please. teach commandment?"
When we taught about Jesus Christ and showed pictures of Him being baptised, they were so excited. A. kept saying "a new life, we want, a new life". These Persian pals of ours are refugees. They are incredible and strong, and they are searching for truth. We taught them again on Saturday about Jesus Christ and the miracles He performed on Earth....they love their lessons.
On Sunday A. came to church and brought another friend, P. Another Persian that lives with them in their share- house. They ended up staying all 3 hours and then coming with a group of us to a baptism that evening for another Persian man!!! Another Persian guy got baptised last month. They are gathering!! For baptisms we walk 10 minutes to the train station, take the 40 minute train to Dennis, and then walk and additional 15 minutes to the Fairfiled chapel. It was so fun traveling with this group of people.

Only in the Melbourne 2nd Branch does someone who has been baptised 3 months conduct the baptism (And he's done it at 2 other baptisms already!) People are from all over the world in our branch and it is common for new members to speak at church and at the baptisms. It is great!!!

Mas. cannot wait to be baptised!!!! This Saturday at 1:30pm at the Footscray chapel.
This week I got to go on an exchange with Sister Gr. in Cranbourne!!!! Oh the joy! She is doing so well....my heart soars seeing her and Sister St. do so well...they are obedient and DILIGENT. We were able to see Sue Baker and I told her about Mas. and she showed up at the branch this weekend! It was such a blessing to finally have a Japanese translator.
When teaching, we always have him teach us afterwards to clarify that he understands, this weekend when teaching the ten commandments, we asked "what is number four" he then proceeded to say "...04831...." His phone number.....haha.


Sister Larsen and I started teaching 10 new people this week...we are truly being led to those who are prepared to hear our joyful message. I love the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know He is real. I know He delights when we make good choices. I love how the gospel changes lives. Anyone can change...we all need to change! I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ that allows me to stretch, and change, and be better everyday. I want to align my will completely with the Lord's. I want to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice and I willing to do so...I love the Lord. I love serving Him.

I love you so much!!!!
Sister Stevenson

Monday, September 8, 2014

MY HEART COULD EXPLODE.... MY BROTHER IS GOING TO CHILE!

My brother is going to CHILE!!!!!!
 Oh my goodness me, my heart could explode!!! Kendrick, there has been no greater joy than representing Jesus Christ as a full-time missionary. I have come to know in such a real sense that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer, and with and through Him, all things that are unfair about life can be made right. I am nothing without Him. This knowledge has given me more peace than I could ever describe, true HOPE and PURPOSE. I know that the Book of Mormon is TRUE---I cling to that book!! I am learning to love more than I ever thought I could...the Holy Ghost is such a blessing!! What a privilege to have a member of the Godhead with me at all times. I don't know what I would do without that comfort, direction and guidance. The people here....oh my. I know I had to meet them. You will feel the same with the beautiful Chileans, I know it!  Decide now that you are going to be exactly obedient and that you will consecrate your whole self to the Lord....serving the Lord with my heart, might, mind and strength brings blessings beyond your wildest dreams :) (your Napoleon  announcement is on our fridge) 

Oh how I love our family!!!!

The Atonement of Jesus Christ changes hearts and nature, and I yearn for God to reconstruct me...I see His hand in my life DAILY. He loves and is so aware of us. All experiences are for our good!

The Saviour's love in my driving force...I know He loves me. I want other's to feel His love so so so badly. Oh how I love Him!!! I will forever glorify His name!


This week we exchanged with Lynbrook and Croyden. I went back to Lynbrook with Sis Ioane....it was exciting to knock doors again! We BIKED all day...hours worth...I loved it. We knocked on a boy called Aaron's door...he was about 20, dressed in all black, covered in tattoos and his eyes were so dark and his eye lids purple. Aaron was immersed in spiritual darkness and was hungering for light. He opened up to us about how alone he feels and how he wants to change. we were able to testify of God's love for him and the power of the Atonement...we taught about baptism and his whole countenance changed. We extended an invitation to be baptised and He eagerly accepted. It was such a beautiful miracle.

So many miracles this week! 
Mas. is a lover of the scriptures! We often walk into the branch and he will have a table with Japanese and English scriptures and pamphlets...he went to our Mission Presidents Fireside (meeting) last night and was able to talk to a Japanese Elder!! Soooo happy! During the fireseide, he was staring at the floor smiling so big, i asked him if something was funny and he started shaking because he was laughing so hard (trying not to make any noise) it honestly was the funniest site....for 30 minutes he tried to contain his smiling...on a piece of paper I wrote
"why are you laughing?"
his response "body feel warm."

May we all be filled with the warmth, love and joy of Jesus Christ!
I love you!!!!!!!
Sister Stevenson

Sunday, August 31, 2014

DREAMS COME TRUE


Hello!!!
Dreams come true. Tuesday I was transferred to the International Branch in the City. 
The Melbourne 2nd branch consists of us, a set of English speaking Elders and 4 sets of Vietnamese speaking Elders. The Melbourne 1st branch is Chinese! Oh how I love every second. At church, those passing the sacrament were from Mexico, Iran, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Vietnam. It is TRULY International.
I am with my dear Sister L.! She is darling, has so much faith and intelligence, and is such a blessing to me. Life is beautiful!!! 

The majority of the people we teach are students from overseas and speak broken English. I am learning to teach more simply, purely and more powerfully than ever before...we generally teach people who God is, and how they can have a relationship with Him.
"Talk to everyone" has never had such a profound and literal meaning. As soon as we step out the door, we open our mouths to any and everyone. We have a car for exchange purposes, but our transportation in the city includes foot and tram (occasionally train or bus). There are HEAPS of people, predominately Asian. We talk as we walk, we talk to those on benches, we talk to people on the tram, we talk to everyone. I love it.
We start exchanges up this week...most missionaries never get a chance to visit the city. I feel that it will be so beneficial for our sisters to get to experience the pace of missionary work here and feel the spirit in the branch. 
This week Sister L. and I have raised our vision regarding key indicators, we are building our faith and are fully relying on our Heavenly Father. Miracles are happening. 

As I mentioned before, the branch is mostly students. It is hard because most are not here for long. The sweetest girl  did not pass an exam and is having to leave Australia and go back to Vietnam next week. It is devastating :(
The students are so loving. No matter who you are, they accept, love and fellowship you. Most of the branch is here by themselves and they make the branch in the city (!23 Lonsdale Street) their home. It is a FAMILY and is so special.
Sunday was perhaps one of the most powerful Sacrament Meetings I've ever been apart of. A boy from Vietnam who is not a member played the piano so beautifully...he will go to Berkley soon to be a composer! The spirit is so strong in the Branch.
Remember me telling you about M?!!! Well he is so wonderful! I'm not sure how to send pictures from this computer , but imagine a Japanese anime teen boy with shaggy black hair ;)  We have been teaching him every other day and he cannot wait to be baptised on the 20th. He is a branch ENTHUSIAST and  is there more than we are! Although so quiet, he has fellow shipped every investigator in the branch, haha.  He went to a baptism Friday and asked the Elders 3 times if he can have some white clothes to get baptised. Last night we taught a boy called Tom. from Japan as well, M. came too and in his very broken English taught Tom. how to pray...it was so incredible.
Our apartment is itty bitty! In the bathroom you can easily touch the shower, toilet, sink and washing machine without stretching your arms too much :)
I have had so many interesting foods while being here!! Dried jack fruit, proper Japanese ramen, bamboo shoots, Japanese black fungus, taro roll, seaweed and tofu soup, herbal jelly soy drink etc.
It has been quite the week. I love how I fall asleep within 30 seconds every night,. I love working. I love testifying to everyone I meet that God loves them, and that Jesus Christ's church is on the earth today.
This week so many great missionaries left, it was heavy on my heart saying goodbye to 5 in particular that changed my life. I am so blessed to be here. I am getting back so much more than I give. I love my mission. I love serving Jesus Christ. I deeply believe that it is only though Him that we can feel true peace, and true joy. It is only through Him that we can live with our families for ETERNITY. I know it.
I love you!!!! :)
xoxoxoxo Sister Hailey Stevenson