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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