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Sunday, June 29, 2014

It is SO WORTH IT!!!


My sweet companion has been sick as a dog all week. But it allowed both of us the time for some major self-evaluation. What a blessing. It is so easy to become content at where we are at. That is dangerous. I  want to be better so badly that it hurts...but if I'm not going to come up with a plan, nothing will change. But we must remember that Heavenly Father never wants us to get too down on ourselves, thoughts of criticism are from the adversary. Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will we be.
 We must continually put our hope and trust in the Lord and RELY on Him always...even when times seem to be easy! As we change our mindsets, actions and desires to be aligned with the Lords, we begin to feel His presence in our lives is SO WORTH IT

Tomorrow Sister H. and I are presenting a training at MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) It will be all the zone leaders, sister training leaders in the mission, as well as President and Sister Maxwell and their assistants.I guess it's a big deal, haha. We are training on teaching active member lessons...something I'm quite passion about! Please pray for us that we can continue to be inspired of how we can help the mission! 

I sure do love the Plan of Salvation. I know it's REAL and evidence of God's love for us. Oh how I LOVE and cherish my family. I'm so thankful for Christ. 

Sister Stevenson

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hello!!!!!! Oh how I love you!! We are seeing miracles upon miracles.

Hello!!!!!! Oh how I love you!!

We are seeing miracles upon miracles. 
M. was so excited to be baptised next weekend.. bouncing of the walls and wanting to invite everyone. Unfortunately her mother put a stop to it all for the time being. We are devastated, but all will be well. We are hoping that we can go over this week. 

Do you remember me telling you about the sweet friend called Himmy Wu that I met on the plane ride to Australia? She is from Hong Kong and we talked about her someday going on a mission...she was so sceptical but had a small ounce of hope that it could maybe happen. We have emailed a little while I've been here and she started going to mission prep and read the Book of Mormon...she just got her mission call. Salt Lake City Temple Square mission. I am so happy :)))))) What an immense blessing for her and her family!!!!!

My purpose as a STL is being defined and refined. I went on a couple exchanges with a sister who has one transfer left and has lost her fire as a missionary, and another sister who just got here, and wants to go home because of the stress.  These sisters are my most important investigators. As I listen and observe with love, Heavenly Father directs me how I can help them.

 I am learning to value and love what the Lord loves. There is so much fluff and rubbish in the world and it is not worth it. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the ultimate reality and is the one thing in the world that will not change. Please please please be studying your scriptures daily. They are safety for our soul. Continue to serve and love with all your heart. I'm so grateful to be here. I love you all so much!!

Sister Stevenson

Monday, June 16, 2014

I was humbled to the max


Going on exchanges is a BLESSING! I was humbled to the max when I went with a sister that grew up in a VERY large family and in very humble circumstances on a tiny island. I hope to visit her someday. She wants to take me swimming with whales...ahhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On exchanges we experience miracle after miracle. I got to spend some time this week in Mooroolbark and Croyden....oh my beautiful. My eyes were so opened...I've really just seen a small section of our mission. It was like I was in beautiful old England. It's interesting, it was as if they were living in the past. In Mooroolbark I was able to go on splits with a sister in the ward...I asked her if she knew anyone that needed a visit and she took us to a friend she hadn't seen in 6 years. The friend wasn't home, but her kids were. I shared  an account in Nephi when an angel appears to him
16 And he said unto me: Knowesthou the condescension of God?
 17 And said unto him: knothat he loveth his children;nevertheless, do not know thmeaning of all things.
I briefly talked about how we don't always know why things happen, or why bad things happen to good people, but I absoultey know that God is literally our Father. And He loves us. He knows us and He wants to be in our lives.

It's a beautiful and unique experience teaching people that know nothing about God. These teenagers just stared at me with massive eyes that appeared to be growing brighter and brighter every word. When we left, sister burns cried and said that the children's father died a few years ago from a tumor....they have never been told that God loves them...can you imagine that? Never.
The missionaries in their area are going to start teaching the family soon :)
Remember Sister W. M. who we found out the bus stop and helped get back to church? She is working on getting her temple recommend! It was such a JOY to see her! What a blessing. With her coming back to church has resulted in her less active daughter doing the same. Her husband has been taught many times by missionaries, but not too much interest there. Sister H. and I are blessed to be here now. We've been working with him weekly and he is praying and finding answers and comfort through the Book of Mormon. THIS IS HUGE!!! Last week he said "I don't know how to explain it, but how I feel when I pray...there's nothing like it." oh my heart! I was about to do a jig! We asked him what the next step is for him and he said "well I know I want to be baptised, I will just need to tell my work soon..." So much joy!
We are teaching the GREATEST Sudanese girls..10 year old feisty Maria came to church yesterday and talked my ear off the entire sacrament meeting. During the opening hymn she didn't get why there was someone moving her arms around. I taught her how to lead and  she was causing quite the entertainment every song after. She LOVED church and made a heap of friends. She loves learning about God! Life is so good!
I really love being a missionary. More and more everyday. Keep striving to keep the commandments to exactness everyday!!!
Sister Stevenson 

Monday, June 9, 2014

G'day g'day d'day!!
Happy Queens Birthday!!

So I am back in the NARRE WARREN ZOOOONE. Zion. People die when they hear i've been in a 15 mile radius my whole mission. For a mission that's a fifth the size of America, that's pretty crazy. I'm in the Narre Warren Ward, which borders the Crandbourne and Churchill park wards. How funny is that? I know the roads and so many of the people, it is a blessing! I am happy to be here.
I am  with Sister H. (i love her so much! we've been great friends my whole mission...I melted when they announced us as companions!) We are over all the sisters on the east side of the mission. We are like zone leaders, but for sisters in 4 different zones. We go on exchanges twice a week....I am SO excited for this...I am going to learn so much from so many sisters!!!! We really want to help our sisters align with God's will, and choose to be obedient and to work so hard because  of our love for The Lord,

Sister H. goes home in two months...our urgency to spread our great message is off the roof which is such a blessing and we are seeing miracles. Saturday we started teaching a Sudanese family, the kids were so intrigued and amazed as we told them about Joseph Smith...they are planning on being baptised at the end of June.
I have so much to learn from her...I haven't been with a "Senior companion" in a while so i'm still in a little daze not doing the training 12 wk program every morning.

About four months ago, Sister S. and I were at a shopping center on p-day. I saw a man sitting alone on a bench, when I said hello to him, his face lit up and said "Sisters!! I've been praying to find you!" He then told us how him and his family were baptised a few months before in New Zealand, they had just moved to Australia and have not been able to find an LDS chapel. They didn't have a solid home situation or internet and he was still looking for work. But most of all they just wanted to find a church to attend. Every Monday for the past 3 weeks he would come to the shopping center looking for missionaries shopping on their p-day. 
He was so happy to see us. I wrote down the chapel address and the mission office number, and he thanked us profusely.
Since then I have thought of him many times wondering what happened to him and his family, and if they were able to find a home and the church building. Yesterday was my first Sunday in  Narre Warren, a new ward mission leader was called. Guess who it was? YES, the same man from the shopping center, Brother Tafiti.

The Tafiti family is so humble. They are so dedicated to building the Lord's kingdom. Their main care in life is helping their family, and the people around them grow closer to Christ.

Everyday I am teaching people the ultimate reality...there is nothing more real than the gospel of Jesus Christ.
I yearn to love as Christ does. The more I love, the clearer my purpose is as a missionary, and in life. I am learning to be genuinely positive in a whole different way. There is no room for negativity as a missionary...Or for any of us really! As we choose to be happy despite the situation, life gets better.

love you a whole heap of a lot!
Sister Stevenson

Monday, June 2, 2014

I Had the SURPRISE of My Life and the flu, a mini monsoon and SUNSHINE in my soul!


This weekend we received transfer news, I was 100% positive we were both staying which was a relief! We are teaching the most incredible people, and Sister G. and I get along so well. I had the surprise of my life when President Maxwell called and started off by saying "I know you and Sister G. have been working so well together..." honestly, my heart just about shattered! He then asked me to serve as a Sister Training Leader. I am still shocked. Tomorrow I get transferred.  I am happy to go wherever the Lord wants me, and I'm pretty stoked about how much I am going to learn being with a very experienced missionary.

 It was devastating to say goodbye to the Cranbourne ward and all of the people we are teaching. I'm trying not to think about it too much. My heart really hurts.
Tonight we are having dinner with the H. family we've been teaching. And then we are doing an FHE with Rebecca K.S.and Sister N. Oh how I love those women. 
Sister G. cries every hour :( we are so sad to leave each other. She is one of the closest friends I've ever had.

The H. family is a Filipino family we started teaching. The grandma just moved here from the Philippines to help with her grandchildren. Her husband is a patriarch! Her daughter  is a less active member and has a husband and 3 gorgeous kids. They showed up at church a couple Sundays ago and I felt so connected with them instantly. They invited us over this week and we taught everyone but C's husband the plan of salvation . The spirit in the room....holy moly. When we invited M. and L. (ages 13 and 10) to be baptized, they were beaming and said yes. The mom lost it. She said it is her dream for her family to be members of the church. Her husband has brought the whole family up catholic and he is very against the idea. Sister G. and I had been praying all week and felt strongly that M. and L. could be baptized on the 28th of June. Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways. Their mum and her mum were crying so hard. We all fasted on Sunday that the fathers heart will be softened so the girls can continue going to church and be baptized. I know it can happen.

The E. family are doing really well. Our dinner appts have been inviting them as well and it has made such a difference. It's so important every new member of the church has friends. On Sunday, Corbin (Courtney's boyfriend) bore his testimony. His parents came to our ward and just about fell out of their seats. He has been completely anti-Christ for the past 4 years, but this month of teaching him and Courtney's family has changed his life. It was so emotional. He talked about his faith being a tiny seed planted in his heart, and the truth of Alma 33:23, how nourishing our faith allows it to grow. He says he can feel his burdens being lightened, and his faith strengthened. In his teenage years he really has gone off the deep end, and has noticed the difference in his life, but felt that he was too deep to change. In the past month he's felt the Holy Ghost when we teach him and the E. family, and he has remembered how incredible it feels. He feels genuinely happy and lighter in his heart. He said that he will never get off the path leading to Jesus Christ. It is not worth it.
Later he told us that he wants to get a Temple recommend by the end of the year, and start preparing to serve a mission. I am so blessed. 
Heavenly Father is real. He knows us. As we trust Him and allow Him to help us, He will guide us over any stumbling block, and allow us to feel of His love. Our past does not define us! The Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and can change anyone.

I have the flu, and there is a mini monsoon outside, but there is so much sunshine in my soul. I am continuously amazed by the goodness and mercy of our Father in Heaven. I LOVE being an instrument for Him. There is no greater joy :)

love you heaps and heaps!!
Sister Stevenson

p.s I saw an aurora it. so amazing. the stars here blow my mind!!!!
This is Phillips Island! So beautiful...we saw penguins, nobbies and..