England London Mission

England London Mission

Monday, August 26, 2013

Two Months Today!

For transfers last week, we meet in Central London on Wednesday to change companions.  I met Elder Bell there.   We took a true train to Luton.  There are 4 Elders serving in Luton, we opened a new area.  Two are in town centre and we are on the outskirts of town.   We walk everywhere.  It took us an hour and fifteen minutes to walk to church yesterday, we think it’s about 3 and ½ miles to the church.   About 50 members attend the ward here.  A really small Primary and Youth Group, but a good ward, super fun and very nice and helpful.   Our district is 8 missionaries.  We will meet in Luton on Tuesdays for District Meetings.  About one hour walk to get there. 

It’s a pretty nice area, and the apartment is ok.  When we first got there, I had to tighten the sink drain ‘cause it leaked. The shower head doesn’t fit on tight, so it leaks water all over the floor.  Of course there is not a hardware store close, so I can’t get a 3/8 inch o-ring to try and tighten it.  I did Gerry-rig it so it won’t drip on the floor.  Also worked on the bathroom door a little.

We walk everything.  It’s about an hour into town, but there’s an ASDA (like a Walmart) just ¾ mile from the flat and we are able to get our groceries there.  We are walking about 8-10 miles a day.  Tracting during the day is tough because most people are working.  We try to contact members and such during the day and start tracting about 5:00.  We tract until 9:00 and then head back to the flat. 

This week, well today, is 2 months.  It seems so fast, but yet so slow. I just can’t wrap my head around it. In my setting apart blessing I was blessed I would have a desire to stay for 2 years.  Ya, I will stay two years.

One interesting gentleman we met this week. He had studied to be a minister for his church and was almost there, but got sick, so then he just dropped out of his church.  He was a super cool guy.

Today as I was reading my Book of Mormon, I was in Alma reading about Korihor.  He was looking for a sign from God and was struck dumb.  Funny how everyone wants to see God’s power- but boom Korihor you’re dumb and then he dies.  It serves him right. 

Didn’t have a lot of e-mail time today to write and respond to very many.  Sorry, I will try to catch up some more next week.

Love, Elder Stevenson

A note from a letter he sent home earlier this week:

In Elder Evans talk he said, this mission age change was meant for specifically this generation. That the rise to this call was greater than they expected, but the Lord knew it would be this big and knew it needed to happen now.  We are at 210 missionaries (couples, sisters and elders.)  Next transfer 30 more coming in and 8 leave.  In October - 25 come in and 4 leave- almost 250 missionaries!  So many people, but it’s good!    President  is awesome. We have a mission hymn #41 “Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise” with 210 missionaries singing that- wow Totally Amazing! I love that song now. 

Here's a link as performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir- great song!  

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


This week will be 2 months.  It seems like it went way slow, but it’s been two months already, so I don’t know how I feel about it.

Last night the Mission President called us with transfer information.  The Mission President calls to tell those who are training or who have been given a leadership position.  My companion was told he would be staying and getting a new companion to train… so I knew that I was leaving.  I didn’t know where, the Zone Leaders would call with that information.  I started packing, and packed until 11:00, took a couple of hours.  The Zone Leaders called- it was a whole Zone call, so they just read through the areas and the changes.   Elder Stevenson, you are moving to Luton 2 and you will be whitewashing with  Elder Bell.   Whitewashing means we are opening a new area, new flat, new address, new everything.  It will be a little tough for me because I am not the best finder, but it will be good and help me out a lot to be a better missionary.   I’m pretty excited and a little worried and nervous about moving- only ate a little cereal for breakfast.  Elder Bell is a big football player, so you don’t need to worry about me on the streets, he will protect me.   It’s just outside of London, so that means we don’t use the London public transportation. I don’t know how we will be traveling.   We are starting from scratch- they have an apartment for us, and furniture, but we need everything else.  All the little things, like buying a broom, so we will see how this next week goes.

The information about the fires in Idaho is crazy.  But it’s old news!  Ha!Ha!  It was reported in the London Newspapers already and in the World News yesterday.  Don’t know how they will ever get them out until winter comes. 

Interesting things while tracting and street contacting this week.

We were teaching one gentleman and he offered us a job to teach English at the college here.  We declined the offer- that would be an awful job for me- I don’t have enough patience! 

 We meet another guy and visited with him for about an hour and a half.  At the end of the discussion, he said I should give up on my missionary stuff and just go home.  He thought I was wasting my time trying to teach others, that I should be concentrating on getting a good high end job in business. 

We also met a lady on the street who had been taught everything about 5 years ago by some sister missionaries.  However, when the sisters were transferred out of the area she fell through the cracks.   We scheduled an appointment with her this week, she is really excited to learn more about the gospel and refresh her memory about all of the things she was already taught.

 Another lady had been visiting in Jamaica and met the missionaries there.  They referred her to us because she lives in London.  She had a really cool dream about heaven and stuff.  Her dream was exactly like what “The Message” talks about, to the dot.  It was super amazing and super vivid dream.  She saw her mom in heaven who assured her she was watching over her granddaughter.  This lady’s girl who has died of cancer 8 years earlier.  We shared a quick scripture Alma 40:11-12.  The spirit was so strong.  We set up an appointment to meet with her next week.  She is really excited to learn more about this religion and the afterlife. Elder Koponen and his new companion will be doing the follow ups for all of these now. 

There are wild blackberries everywhere!  Everywhere!!!  I love it!  And I ate a fried plantain this week, definitely didn’t like that. 

 I JUST FOUND OUT THERE IS FARM LAND IN THE NEXT AREA I AM SERVING.  It’s the top of Luton, but on lds.org when checking out the ward boundaries there is farm land.   I hope I get to see it!

Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, August 12, 2013

This week is a 40 week! Life is good!

Life is good this week.  We had a 40 hour work week, which is like perfection for a missionary week.  We pushed hard to get it.   It is made up of time worked during the week.   Each hour finding/ tracting - counts as 1.  And for teaching- each lesson counts as 1.  Then you add it up for the whole week.   We ended up with 40.   We were tracting one day and a man in his mid 20's answered the door and said he was interested in learning about religions to come and teach him.  We went back later to teach him, and some of his friends were there also.  They were a little under the influence and were “happy” to hear what we had to say, if you get what I mean.  We just ended up saying thanks and have a great day and left.  Another time we were knocking on doors and the lady said she was happy with her church, but her Auntie was a Mormon and wondered where the church was here, so she would pass the information along to her.  Unfortunately, Satan tempts us harder when we are closer to big steps in our lives; that happened to one of our investigators.  There were some issues and the potential baptism for this week had to be postponed. Satan is very good at what he does.

Another thing from the Mission Conference.  Elder Evans talked about how when you feel that you need to go home; when you feel you can’t baptize; when you feel no one is listening; that is Lucifer just throwing things down.  We need to push those things aside and spend the next 2 years teaching and finding; teaching and finding; and those things will happen that the Lord wants to happen. 

Next week is transfers, and so P-day will be on Tuesday.   Letters are taking about 11 days to get here, so don’t send any this week in case I get transferred.  I won’t know until next week.  I figure:  “Thy will be done, if I’m meant to stay here, keep me here . . . if I am meant to leave, then Thy will be done and I will be somewhere else." Whatever the President asks me to do.  Other than that, nothing new going one, no new talks to suggest,  just studying in Alma and Preach My Gospel at this point.  And not wearing my suit jacket much, it’s too hot here for that.   Only one more grain harvest to miss and two more beet harvests, seems like a shorter time when I think of it in those terms.  Until Next Time.   Love,  Elder Stevenson

Note: Thanks from Tammy, see comment.

Great Mission Conference Today

We had a mission wide conference today with Elder David Evans of the Seventies.  Wow!  It was good.   He told about how when the missionary age was changed and only a few people knew of the changes before it was announced.   They projected the numbers and determined that they needed 58 new missions. The comment was made- “are you crazy?”  They normally call mission presidents about a year in advance, and they were wanting 58 new missions up and going in only 9 months.   The answer was “Yes with the projection of numbers and such, we need 58 more missions to function properly.”  The next question was “how?”  The classic answer-  “With faith, we have faith and do all we can do with things on our end and the Lord will make it happen.” 

 Elder Evans related how we needed to have faith on our missions.  Faith to baptize.  Almost all of the missionaries in our mission have been told by someone at sometime that they will not see a lot of baptisms.  He said he served in Japan and encouraged us to have faith and it will happen.  It was a great talk!  He also cautioned us not to do stupid things while on our missions, because the hardest part of his calling is calling mothers to tell them their son has been killed on his mission.  Hit pretty close to home with me.  Also how missionary work is somewhat like the Garden of Gethsemane.  But Christ suffered all things for everyone.   Sometimes missions can give us just a little portion of how hard it was for Him in comparison.  An eye-opening thought.  It was really good.  He also talked about seeking referrals from everyone, not just the members, but the investigators as well.  He asked why don’t you seek referrals from investigators, but you seek referrals from all new converts.  I stood up and said because we are scared of losing the trust we gained.  He asked how long I had been out, I said about 5 weeks. He said that was the most honest answer he had ever gotten out of a missionary.   He went on to explain that when we seek referrals from the investigators they get a stronger testimony of you wanting to share this with everyone and everything goes much better.  A great mission conference! 

Monday, August 5, 2013

Another Tough Week

We were able to tract this week.  We tracted for 5 hours and no one would listen. We talked to people on the street for 7 hours and no one would listen.  I called everyone I had a phone number to and only got 3 potential appointments.  Our investigators are dwindling.  We have one potential that says he has stopped drinking and is being baptized on Sunday.  Other than that we have another guy and we meet with him once a week.  Another one did show up to church yesterday with his twin boys.  They are true twins.  Matching little black boys with matching clothing and matching Mohawks.  Wow! He says they are a handful.  He is the driving instructor and we are planning to meet with him on Thursday.  If I am here another transfer, I am doing my driving through him, so I can drive. A member did bring a friend to church with him. He is cool, 24, and way smart.  To teach him, I had to do a lot of analogies between a teacher and learning and Heavenly Father and our purpose here on earth.  He has two sisters that he has no idea where they are.  I shared about the Plan of Salvation and he really liked it. 

The allerga is helping with the allergies, but I still really tired.  I sleep from 10:30 to 6:30 every day but wake up and felt like that I didn’t sleep at all.

There was a new missionary meeting with the President in London this week.  We all got a chance to talk with him.  President and an AP were talking to me and said they really liked my work ethic and how hard I work. But they said as long as I stay obedient and work hard, I have great potential. I don’t know where they are seeing this potential coming from, but I guess only time will tell.

Some good talks I have read:
“Candle of the Lord” by Boyd K Packet from June 25, 1982.  It’s a good talk that was given to new Mission Presidents.  Link: http://www.lds.org/ensign/1983/01/the-candle-of-the-lord?lang=eng

“Rise to your Call” by President Henry B Erving.  I think everybody needs to read that before they go on a mission.  November 2002 Ensign.   Link:  http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2002/10/rise-to-your-call?lang=eng

We are going to central London today for P-day.

Nothing too new, other than I’m pretty sure I am transferring out of here next transfer so my companion can train again.  One other thing, there is another Elder Stevenson coming in with the next group- so I will not be the only Elder Stevenson anymore in the mission. 

Trying to push forward,

Love Elder Stevenson