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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

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