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Monday, April 28, 2014

MY COMPANION IS STRAIGHT OUT OF HARRY POTTER

Hello!!!! Oh How I love you all!
 
My new companion is Sister G. from Wales. She is an absolute JOY and DELIGHT and BLAST and ball of ENERGY and FEIST and I love her so much. I am so grateful that we are together. She is straight out of Harry Potter. She is so posh and is the ultimate master of any United Kingdom accent and we laugh till we cry
Getting colder in Oz   My new companion!!
everyday. I love how HUMBLE she is, she is constantly asking me how she can improve and be a better teacher 
R.'s baptism on Saturday was perhaps one of the most spectacular moments of my life. She was the essence of pure JOY; even before going into the font she could not stop smiling. As she went under the water and came up completely clean and pure, she literally GLOWED. She was light. She was beaming.  I get teary even thinking about it, it was so special. She has wanted this so much. R. is so special.
 She said that words could not express how she felt, but she felt so light, and unbelievably happy.
R. had a lot of family and friends there to support her, which is such a blessing. She bore her testimony after about how Heavenly Father is there, and he does answer prayers in His own timing. Her prayer took 5 years to be answered, but it was answered nonetheless. She testified of Jesus Christ and the power of the Atonement....it was so incredible! The next day she received the Gift of the Holy Ghost and our ward has just swallowed her up with love. Life is so beautiful :)
 
Pure JOY
On Sunday right before church started someone tapped on my shoulder....I turned and guess who was standing behind me... Jenn!!!!!! She is getting baptized this Saturday!  I'm leading the music! Haha. She's doing so well. I felt very much like Alma in the Book of Mormon."... therefore Alma did rejoice exceedingly to see his brethren; and what added more to his joy, they were still his brethren in the Lord; yea, and they had waxed strong in the knowledge of the truth" Alma 17:2
 
I love you all so much! Keep showing love to all those around you!!!
xoxox
Sister Stevenson
 
 
 
 
p.s. Mom, I have been thinking lately about my visa...i don't know why! and this morning I thought to look in this folder and I found my visa info and I saw that I have to depart the country by 12 feb. 2015. I let out such a screech/whimper......oh my goodness. Because they thought I would be in the country in August...not the last week  of Sept. I'm going to contact the office and see if I can do something about extending my stay in the country...i think that's possible. I can't leave my mission a month early. Especially if Daniel and Ana can go thru the temple a year after their baptisms.....ah! But I feel at peace about it. All will work out. But it was so odd, I opened the folder and BAM, there was the visa paper.
 
Mom, Sister G. dies every time she sees a picture of you "THOSE TEETH...oh how I want the American smile. Man her TEETH are the ultimate American teeth. She's such a beaut!!!!" Hahahaha!
These are my babies..."Goldens"

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

MY HEART HAS BEEN FULL OF SUNSHINE

Hello, hello, hello!!!
I hope you all had a special Easter rejoicing in our Saviour Jesus Christ. I love Him so dearly.

This week Sister P. and I were so sad to hear that she would be transferred to the Tongan program. Yesterday we said goodbye and I now feel like a part of my heart is missing.

At the transfer meeting 3 sisters did a musical number, the last part of the arrangement was a Tongan song that they asked whomever knew it to join in. When this part of the arrangement came up, I knew the song! It was so special! It is called Folafola mai'a Sisu

I will be training a new missionary and I'm about to go pick her up. Yay!!!
R. is getting baptised on Saturday!!! She is so ECSTATIC! She reminds me of a sunflower, she's so bright and happy and is drawn to the Sun.
When we taught R. the Plan of Salvation last week, it was an absolute remembrance for her. My faith strengthened seeing the light grow brighter and brighter in her countenance. She was so happy and relieved and was glowing as we taught her where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going. 

I LOVE teaching the Plan of Salvation. It makes sense. It is evidence of God's love for us.

I love you all so much.

 Though our Easter weekend in Victoria has been stormy and chilly, my heart has been full of sunshine. Jesus Christ is my source of strength and light. I know that He lives!!! I am so grateful for His sacrifice that none of us can even begin to fathom. I am so grateful for that glorious Sunday that He rose. I can testify of the reality of His resurrection, and the reality that His gospel is once again on the Earth.

Love you all so very much :) Keep rejoicing!! 
XOXOXO
Sister Stevenson




Sunday, April 13, 2014

THE GOSPEL IS NOT WEIGHT, IT IS WINGS!


I loved conference with all my heart!!! This is so horrible, but  this was the very first time in my life that I stayed awake through every session...haha. 
As I listened intently (versus scribbling down every good quote and doodling the secret garden) one by one the questions I had prepared began to be answered. I abosloutely sustain my beloved leaders as men and women chosen by our the Lord Himself to lead us, and help us. It was very special to have my invesitgators say the same thing.https://www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2014/04?lang=eng
I loved Elder Scott's talk on Saturday...His testimony at the end filled my heart with so much warmth! Oh how my love of Jesus Christ has been stregthened on my mission...I am nothing without him!
I felt strongly during conference that I want Jesus Christ to always be the leader of my companionship. As we turn to, and rely on Him, we cannot go wrong. The Atonement is central to everything I teach as a missionary, I feel like this was central to General Conference too.
I loved how Elder Hales talked about obedience. Obedience strenthens me for future trials! I choose to be obedient because I love the Lord so much. This should always be my main motive!

My heart soared when Elder Bednar talked about happiness not being the lack of a load. "Men are that they might have JOY" We are here to be happy! Indeed Jesus Christ suffered ALL for me. He has perfect empathy. Even in trial I can glory in my Saviour's Atonement.

R, Har., St. and R. came to almost all of the sessions. R. was especially moved and said that it was as if President Uchtdorf knew of her entire life story, and was speaking directly to her. She says she has no doubt that she in on the right path and can't wait to be baptised on 26 April. She is so meek and wonderful.  She went through her wardrobe and has gotten rid of bags and bags of her clothing.  She said that she wants her appearance to reflect that she knows of her divine worth. All she  desires is to follow Jesus Christ, and have her daughter learn to do so as well. I love her so much!!!
R (another person with an R name). continues to shock and amaze us with his intense pondering of the Book of Mormon. 
His mantle is full of religious art and symbols from many different sects (statues of Mary, rosaries, arabic writing, jewish stars, muslim art etc.) it is very interesting...a little freaky too. This week when we went to teach him, it was all gone. It has been replaced with pictures and figurines of American steam trains. He also has also cut off about 6 inches of his hair. He enjoyed conference but I think it exhausted him mentally.

Har. brought 5 of her nieces and nephews to conference...everyone thinks she's a member! She's amazing and this week she's decided to tell her parents (who are in New Zealand) about her baptism...hopefully we can set a new date that they will attend. 
This week we were at a young family's house talking about how much Heavenly Father loves us. I turned to the little boy and said "Tavar, did you know your new baby brother is with heavenly father right now?" His eyes widened to the size of the moon and gasped "Heavenly Father is in mummy's PUMMY??????" 
haha!
I know that we lived with our Father in Heaven before we came here. I know that He loves us so much!

As Sister Stevens said, "the gospel is not weight, it is wings!" It has set me free, and continues to uplift me, inturn helping me lift others.
Love you all heaps and heaps and heaps,
Sister Stevenson

Sunday, April 6, 2014

MY HEART AND TEARS WERE REALLY ABOUT TO BURST

Oh my dear dear dear loved ones, oh how I love you!

It was a hard week. But we need those, don't we? It helps us appreciate the weeks where more things flow. It also allows us to learn! Opposition in all things! And despite it being tough, it was definitely a week of miracles.

There is a family in our ward with 10 kids, and about 10 other people living in their  house as well. Only a few of the kids come to church, but CeeCee, a girl that comes out with us a lot, just put in her mission papers!!! The mum,  became very sick Sunday and was immediately diagnosed with chronic heart failure. They thought she might die within a couple days. When we went over, the children were of course devastated, and next to hopeless. Sister P. and I said we would love to fast for their mum the following day, and invited them to join us. None of the teenagers or children had ever fasted before, and were sceptical whether they could actually go two meals without food. They took the challenge and half the family fasted with us. We talked to one of the daughters the next night and she told us "fasting works. Mum is home." The sister is still not well, but miraculously had been able to come home that day. It was special for all of us to see the power of faith and fasting.

Har. is a champ. R. is enjoying church. And R (another friend with an R name) came to church for the first time with her daughter. We were shocked! Heavenly Father has been hearing our pleas, I know it! This was such a miracle!


I loved the Womens Conference so much! My heart (and tears) were really about to burst. With a glorious Italian sister on my left, an eccentric Japanese sister on my right, and my lovely Tongan hoa (companion) on the other side, and a whole row of happy Samoan sisters in front of me, I really tasted a little bit of Heaven. These are my sisters. I love them so much. We are all Heavenly Father's children, and oh how we need each other!


This week I read that "all great leaders are also great learners." Although I wouldn't by any means call myself a "great leader", I so desire to become an exceptional learner. I have a thirst for knowledge and I am determined to learn all that I possibly can in this life. That, after all, is the PURPOSE of the Plan of Salvation! "We are here to learn obedience, to live by faith and to become like the Saviour. The purpose of learning is not just to know, but to become." --Elder Pearson

I am continuously amazed and humbled at the love Heavenly Father has for His children. He cherishes us, I have no doubt.

XoxoOXoxxOXo
Sister Hailey Stevenson


This week Sister P.  said that a boy from Tongan emails her constantly (despite her lack of response)_ and at the end of each letter is a row of "so's and ox's" 
She did not think it was nearly as funny as I did when I told her what "xoxoxo" meant.