The apartment is a 4 missionary apartment- so it’s 4 of us. It’s a lot of fun. Our flat (apartment) is on the second story and its 2 bedrooms and a kitchen with a washer (but it doesn’t work.) Then one extra room and the other two companions use it for a study. Two bathrooms. It was really cheaply made so the walls are thin. And there’s mold in the walls, you can smell it. My companion said that when they broke a wall last transfer that the inside of the wall was just covered with mold and crap. We are living on top of a bank. So I hope there isn’t a robbery and a bomb goes off, because there goes all my stuff with it.
The ward is diverse ethnic converts. About 100 members so really small. The area is not what I expected at all. I expected it to be like all white Englanders and the area has a lot of diversity. Muslims, Hindu, Indians, Blacks, Mexicans- all different diversities.
Our area is mostly public transportation but we are still walking about 4-5 miles each day. Pretty big area and we takes buses and subways to the places we can and then walk to where we need. I have lost 10 pounds since I felt home. I weigh 145 now, and I weighed 157 when I left home, and 160 when I left the MTC. Crazy…. My favorite part of the MTC was food. Out in the field I have been eating canned fruit, cereal and tuna fish sandwiches so far. And drinking a lot of water. I have grown some, must be all the walking. But my pants are not as long as they used to be. May need to length them by the end of this transfer, we will see.
On Thursday we had a dinner appointment with a sister in the ward. She lived in a foreign and she and her husband moved here with her 2 kids. When they got here there were some issues and she raising the kids on your own now. So she lives in a tiny upstairs of a restaurant. One room about the size of my bedroom, with two kids with her. She is an amazing lady. She is doing all she can to support her kids and she sells cleaning supplies. Still after all of that, she feeds the missionaries for the blessings she will get.
We have 12 investigators and 3 of them have baptism dates.
What surprised me most is just everything- it’s a mission not a vacation.
A few firsts
- I finally shaved for the first time on my mission- now 3 weeks in. And I really don’t need to, it was just peach fuzz that was annoying.
- I have ironed 3 shirts!!!!!
- The first day here, they took all of the greenies and had them go find people on the street. The first person and the last person I stopped went inside the visitor’s center and went to church yesterday!
- Hottest day in 7 years here- 39 Celsius. [about 102 Fahrenheit] It’s super hot, we aren’t wearing our suit jackets because it’s so hot here. I would rather by moving handlines than be out in this hot weather tracting.
Good thing I don’t need to shave that much, I’m saving that money and using it on kleenexs. I am going through about a box a week. My allergies are horrible. My eyes were so bloodshot yesterday that the bishop ask me if I got high…. I am using the Zyrtec every day, but they are still bad.
My 2nd day on a mission, we ran into this guy on the street and he was like “Oh, still believe in that old book. The Book of Mormon.” And we were like “yes.” Well 25 minutes later he threatened me multiple times saying we were hypocrites and liars that brainwash people. He believes in evolution. I said that the Book of Mormon brings me happiness. He said, “Ok, so when we are in Somalia and I have a gun and you have that book. Boom I kill you, there goes your happiness.” Wow- what a total jerk. Funny though he couldn’t stick to his story, he kept changing it around a lot.
Tracting is pretty hard to get people to listen. They just aren’t open to much stuff. You have the ones who won’t open the door. Then you have the ones that open it and say “no”. Then you have the ones that say “sure” and they never call us back. Then my favorites- the ones that preach to us and try to tear us down. We just leave them because they are not willing to accept change.
Something that brought me peace was Doctrine and Covenants 100. In the first verse, instead of my friends Sidney and Joseph I put my name. Then in verse 14, instead of Orson Hyde and John Gould, I put some of my friends’ names in. It was amazing just the realization was. You should look it up definitely.
[verse 1- Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my friends Sidney and Joseph, your families are well; they are in mine hands, and I will do with them as seemeth me good; for in me there is all power. ]
verse 14-15 Thy brethren, my servants Orson Hyde and John Gould, are in my hands; and inasmuch as they keep my commandments they shall be saved. Therefore, let your hearts be comforted; for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly, and to the sanctification of the church.]
I am still a little homesick, missing the farm, friends, family and dogs. But I am getting better, I have decided I am going to stay until I am not homesick anymore. By that time I will want to stay, just kinda a thing that tricks my brain. Ya know- but it’s going better I am just staying focused in my missionary work and trying to do all that I can to not think about home, cause I miss it.
President and Sister Jordan are very nice and really going to be good parents for the two years that I will be here. They called a few times already just to check in with me to see how I am doing.
Also the chapel we have, we use it a lot- for teaching people- chapel tours- use the computer for missionary stuff- and extra study area because that way we are not comfortable (like in our own home) so we aren’t sleepy. We use it a lot.
I am also very very tired all the time. It’s pretty rough not to fall asleep while studying and such. Just can’t catch up on my sleep and probably won’t for the next two years.
We can listen to a lot of music. New guidelines are anything that is inviting to the spirit. So we listen to movie soundtracks without lyrics and Disney soundtracks, Piano Guys, a lot of stuff.
My p-days will be on Mondays, except for transfer weeks, and then it will be Tuesdays. I wear my white shirt and tie while on p-days because that’s what the handbook says. Everyone can have my e-mail address to send things to me. But I only have 1 ½ hours to e-mail and so I won’t be able to respond to many of them. Letters can be sent to my apartment, but all packages have to go through the mission home address.
Thanks for everything, Love Elder Stevenson