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Monday, January 27, 2014

HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


HAPPY AUSTRALIA DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

This week we ate dinner at the Hunts and Dan came too! After an amazing Samoan feed (oh my. so much food.) Sis S. and I shared a message on obedience to Heavenly Father. Bro Hunt and their 21 year old son (he is prepping to serve a mish and has become great friends with Dan!) both shared their testimonies on how they have seen the difference in their lives while they have been obedient, and when they have not. This difference was very obvious for them. Being obedient to Heavenly Father  takes sacrifice. But it is so worth it. I KNOW that sacrifice brings forth the blessings from Heaven.

I want to be like the Stripling Warriors in Alma!  "Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them.... they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually." Exact obedience and faith kept these warriors alive! Exact obedience and faith bring so many miracles. As missionaries for Jesus Christ, we need those miracles!
We taught Dan the Word of Wisdom this week. He was a little floored about some of the things, but there was no question for him that he wants to follow what the prophet says. The blessings that come from obedience are sooooo worth it! Dan is awesome.
A. is a different person than the lady we met tracting. She is full of JOY! She literally beams! She sent us the funniest text this week, we asked her how her Book of Mormon reading was coming and she said "Good, but I can't find the Book of Moses"  A. is so diligent, I'm sure she had been searching for ages trying to find Moses.  (for all those who don't know, Moses is in another book of scripture called the Pearl of Great Price :)
 A. LOVES the strength she receives from coming to church and recognizes the peace and happiness she feels in her life now. She continually thanks us for bringing her to Jesus Christ and helping her find God again. I love being a missionary!!!!
Saturday we saw the C. family (they are from Egypt). They told us about how Egypt had been attacked by terrorists close to where their family lives and how terrified their family is every minute of the day.. They are so worried :( So often we worry about such little things, it was humbling to see this family. We are so fortunate to not have to worry about this on a daily basis. We then saw an Italian lady walking and talked to her for a while. We then met with a family from China  and taught the mum to pray and it was so special! She said it in Chinese and I didn't understand a speck of it, but the Spirit was so strong!! We then had dinner with a Fijian Indian woman. No matter where we come from, I know that we are all Heavenly Father's children!
Sunday we also taught a  family of 7 from Afghanistan!! Ohhhh my goodness!!! Wow! So cool!

Transfers were this week!! Sis. S and I are staying!! Yay! But Sis W. is leaving and I'm so sad :( But had an Australian Day surprise going away party last night and it was so fun!!! and so hot in our flat! haha

Sister S. says I keep talking in my sleep. Actually, I keep teaching lessons in my sleep, hahaha
I forgot to mention that ice skating a couple of weeks ago was soooo pristine. All the Aussies and Americans had skated before...but apparently there aren't too many ice rinks in the Philippines, Samoa, Tonga or Cook Islands...hahahahahaha. Oh my gosh, watching some of the missionaries slide around was one of the funniest things I've seen on my mission so far.
I know that the missionaries are prayed for by millions of people daily. I know it because I feel the blessings and protection DAILY. Thank you so much for your prayers!!! I know that we are all Heavenly Father's children and I know that Jesus Christ lives.

Love y'all!!! xoxoxo
Sister Hailey Stevenson

Monday, January 20, 2014

I Have Never Experienced Heat Like I Did This Week..My Toothpaste Melted in the House!!!



 Everyone says that Melbourne doesn't have an ozone layer....and now I get it. I have never experienced heat like I did this week. It got up to 47 degrees Celsius(I think that's 116 deg. F?), but the sun here is so harsh!! Everyone complains about it, and people hide out and become a bit crabby, but in a way I kinda like how intense it is ;) Most people here don't have AC. We definitely don't. My toothpaste melted in the house! Hahaha!

I didn't know it prior to my mission, but Australia is notorious for summer fires. This week especially due to the 40+ weather everyday, fires have been raging around the country. We could smell smoke everyday last week, and you could see the fog in the air. We had a full moon and it was blood red!

For weeks after my "accident" in Texas, the flashback of running through the fire and coals, and the screaming that came out of my mouth, would play over and over and over in my head. The thought of fire or my treatments at the burn hospital would cause my body to cringe and shake.
The Atonement of Jesus Christ covers all aspects of our lives--our sins, griefs, and even emotional trauma. With His help, those mental flames have been completely alleviated from my mind, and have been replaced with peace, and the unwavering knowledge that my Heavenly Father knows, and loves me. How interesting that I'm in this place with fires...I know it's not by coincidence and I'm not the least bit scared :)
It was a really wonderful week for Sister Stallings and me. We taught Dan the Plan of Salvation on Wednesday. Wow. It may have been the most powerful lessons of my mission. We really focused on the Christ's Atonement and how we are absolutely nothing without Him. I will never be so grateful for anything as I am for our perfect Savior, who sacrificed Himself, and went through the absolute greatest of sufferings for us. Dan is preparing to be baptised Feb 15 :)))
We taught him again Friday and he told us how  all day Wednesday he was feeling really wishy washy about being baptised. But then Wednesday night he prayed about it and was filled with a lot of emotion. The next morning he woke up and all of his doubts were completely gone. He said that he knows that this is what he wants to do, and what is he going to do. 
He told us that last week he was at his absolute lowest point ever, and for one of the only times ever, he prayed for help.  On the hardest of days, he was only going to be home for an hour. We just happened to come during this hour. My heart was filled with sooo much warmth and joy as he bore his testimony that God knows us. 
Saturday he hung out the park all day playing a bunch of islander games with the  Young Single Adults in our stake. At church he had people from all directions running up to him. It made us so happy!!!! He is reading the Book of Mormon everyday, and is finding strength in it. I know know KNOW that Heavenly Father prepares people to hear our message!!! I hope all of you are praying to know who you know that is prepared!!!
A. is reading her scriptures too! We taught her the Plan of Salvation this week and she kept saying how much she knows it's true and how at peace she is in her life now that she has the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She has become best friends with a lady in our ward, and that is such a blessing!!
Heavenly Father literally poured out the blessings on us this week. Goodness I love Him :')
So Dan, A, Craig, Heywood, Lauren and Raven were all at church on Sunday. So much joy!!!! It is the most wonderful thing in the world watching these people that I love so much become happier as they come to know that they are never alone, and that their is so much hope in the world because of Jesus Christ.
I will never deny the truth of this Gospel! It really is the greatest news! We all have times that are really, really hard. (I'm certainly seeing it here in Australia, I've never been aware of so much suffering around me) but I know this is Heavenly Father shaping us into the people that we are supposed to be.
Love y'all heaps and heaps,
Sister Hailey Stevenson

Monday, January 13, 2014

THE BEST THING YOU COULD EVER GIVE A MISSIONARY IS REFERRALS!!



HI!!!!
This week we were early for a lesson and decided to knock on their neighbors door. A woman came to the door and quickly let us know how uninterested she was. I was a little discouraged because I had really felt that we should knock on this specific door! We went across the street and no one answered. Suddenly we heard someone say "Excuse me! Who are you?" We turned around and there was a guy coming out of the house we had just been at. Long story short, he met missionaries years ago, had given them his number, but for some reason they never called! He really wants to learn more about God, and why so many Christian people he has met are so nice. BOO YA! A couple days later we went to teach him. This young man  is SO prepared to hear the truth. In 4 days he read 60 pages of the Book of Mormon and has been keeping a notebook of all of his favorite scriptures. we are SOOOOOOOO excited to teach him again!!!
We met with Jem at the chapel and it was so beyond glorious to see her. I have never seen her so happy. She is doing sooooo well and is on such a good path.

Kendrick, look up the Mormon message "Mormon Mustang" you will like it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlXXor-WAwQ

In the past 2 weeks we have done the Stop Smoking Program with 3  people and not one of them has picked up a cigarette since. Yay!!!!

This week we had a lesson with A. and a man in our ward who just came home from his mission in Paraguay. I know she loved being able to speak in her native tongue. The spirit was strong and she said she really wanted to come to church!! She  hurt her foot and hasn't been able to work...but in a way this is a miracle because now she can come on Sunday. She's been wanting to so badly, but always works.
Yesterday the Elders gave another one our friends and her children a blessing. This family has gone through more in the past year than anyone should ever have to. I know with out any doubt that those blessings were exactly what Heavenly Father wanted them to know. The Elders had no idea what has happened to them, but every word was so precise to their needs. (yes mother, I wrote them down ;) I know that the priesthood power is authority from Jesus Christ Himself. It is the real and only authority to act in God's name and it is such a miracle and blessing that we have it in our church.

On Sunday, Cr., Kay., A. and H. came to church. It was soooooooo great! H. was a big shock! He was only there for 20 minutes and kept falling asleep, but so many people came and introduced themselves and I was so grateful for that. In Gospel Principles it was just A., me and Sis S. and the Elders. The lesson was on the nature of Heavenly Father. What a pure, and powerful lesson it was. A. said the closing prayer and she thanked Heavenly Father for sending "these people to [her] door" and for leading her in this direction. So happy! A family in our ward invited A. and her kids over tonight. Double so happy :,)
The best thing you could ever give a missionary (Even better than a great meal!) is REFERRALS!! :) Always, always, always give the missionaries referrals. And if they have people coming with them to church, please go and talk to them!!! It crushes my heart when we bring people to church and ward members just walk past them.
I love being a missionary so much. I've noticed that the harder I work, the more I love my mission.

Friends and family that read my letters!! I love you all so much! I just want to say that the gospel of Jesus Christ is for ALL of us. We all need it! It does not just bless our life so immensely now, but it is the only way that we can return to live with our families after this life. It is so worth it. If you have questions, ASK! Mormon.org and LDS.org are such great resources. Or ask one of my lovely family members :)
I love you all sooooo much! Keep smiling everyday and remember how loved you are!
Sister Hailey Stevenson

Monday, January 6, 2014

Heavenly Father Loves us, even when we are goobers.

Hola!!!!!! (I am sooo happy when I meet people from South America!! It reminds me a little bit of home, haha)
Happy Happy Happy New Year!!!! We did some party poppers and went to bed at 10:30. Such party animals.

Today for a Preparation day activity, we went to the Melbourne Zoo with all of the sisters from the West side of the mission. It was so FUN!!!! I saw some animals I'd never seen before....like a platypus and a red tree kangaroo. And I  got super close to koalas and PET KANGAROOS!!!!!!! Yes. Today I have fulfilled a bullet on my bucket list: Take a selfie with a kangaroo. SUCCESS! They are so soft and they kept eating food out of all the prams and babies were generally terrified of them! Hahahaha the parents just laughed and let the kangaroos sniff their babies faces. It was hysterical.
selfie with a ROO
But, the biggest highlight of the trip was something very unexpected. Jem called. I think my heart skipped 7 beats. To get down to it, Jem kept her promise to us, and has been praying everyday. She has been praying about how she can have the happiest life that God wants her to have and yesterday, she moved out of P.'s house. She is living with her sister, and has a new job lined up and wants to start taking the discussions again. Is that not enough to make you bawl your eyes out?!??!!??!?! Ahhhhhhh!!!!!! Heavenly Father has heard our prayers and we could not be more blessed. We are meeting with her this week!!
We had another miracle happen this week. (Actually like 485978493 trillion) 
We were in the car leaving an appointment and going to do some finding, when I saw this girl walking on the footpath. I felt like we should go talk to her. But for a solid 45 seconds, I was a goober, and kept writing in my planner vs following the prompting immediately. Luckily, Heavenly Father still loves us even when we're goobers :) So we got out and went to talk to this girl. 23 year old T.is Samoan (yeah!!!!!) and said we could come share a message with her another day. So the next night we went over, taught her the Restoration, and it was so great! T. has learning disabilities cannot read, and it was important that we taught very very simply. The spirit was very strong and she recognized the happiness she felt. When we told her about how families can be together forever, she said her dad died 3 years ago, and she would want to be baptised so she can be with him again. BLESSINGS!!!! We set a baptismal date for January 25th. I pretty much exploded into glitter that night ;)
Sooooo, the next day was Sunday, and we had arranged for T.H. (A Young Single Adult in our ward who served a mission in Samoa!) to pick her up for church. When we saw T.H. walk in the chapel alone we were DEVASTATED. T. didn't answer the door or her phone. That night we went back over with T.H.. T's mum answered the door and told us that T. couldn't just go and do whatever she wanted without her mum's permission. She said that they had their own church. We kept talking to her mum and she definitely softened. Then she told us something that made all of our eyes bulge. "I was a Mormon when I lived in Samoa" T's mum is a member!!!! She just hasn't been back to church since she got married!!! When we told her there was a chapel 3 minutes away from their house she was surprised and said they would come to church sometime. She said we could come share a message with her and her family this week :) BLESSINGS BLESSINGS GALORE!!!!!
Sister St. and I are working as hard as we can, and are really trying to utilize every minute of our day. We want our will to be completely aligned with Heavenly Father's. I really admire Sister St. desire to improve, and how immensely teachable and humble she is. She's exemplary!
  There were a lot of ups and downs this week. Such is life! But I can say with absolute confidence that there is a God. And He loves us SO much. His hand is constantly outstretched to us, wanting to help us, and uplift us. It's completely up to us whether or not we reach out to accept. I know Heavenly Father hears our prayers and answers them.
Prep Day in Melbourne on our way to the Zoo
Mom that is so crazy you are reading about our ancestors!! This week we got to do a genealogy briefing and guess what! I found a Brigham Young Stevenson in our line. Genealogy is soooooooo COOL!!! There is so much work we need to do! Send me some cool stories! How many companions did you have on your mish? You and dad should keep sending me mish stories! And you are absolutely correct. Obedience=JOY. And immense blessings.
I just love Australia so much. I'm reminded daily of how unique this place is. This morning we were walking and BRIGHT, beautiful parrots flew right in front of us to a tree. 

This week I have been thinking a lot about two questions:
Do I love my Heavenly Father?
Do my actions show that I love Him?
Once you have this embedded in your mind, life changes a little :)
Love y'all heaps,
 All the Aussie shoes I bought last week.
just kidding ;) only a few are mine. they were soooooooooo cheap 
Sister Hailey Stevenson
Sweet doors in Melbourne...prep day