England London Mission

England London Mission

Monday, January 27, 2014

Seventh Month Down....

Transfers are next week, so p-day will be on Tuesday.  I will find out on Monday if I’m going, but I hope I’m staying.  This is a great place to be.  The ward members are terrific.  The work is challenging, but we are moving forward.  The young lady from last week who accepted baptism, has had a change of mind at the present time. She doesn’t think this is the right time in her life.  We had found her when we were checking on some other former investigators, and just continued knocking doors along the way.  She will be a great investigator when the right time does come for her.

One of the other investigators is taking things slowly.  He is doing pretty well with prayers at this time.   And other one is doing pretty good.  He actually wants to find out things for himself.  He has been doing good.  He read 1st Nephi twice now and is continuing on with it. He is looking for a church that is led by the spirit, not by a man.  So we showed him scriptures about prophets and he was oh… prophets are moved by the spirit not themselves.  So he is doing really well now. 

Our mission has a goal of 700 baptisms for the year.  This weekend there were 20 baptisms and as of today there are 111 baptismal dates in the mission.  That’s the most the President has ever seen in this mission, he is really excited about it.  If only some could come our way.

Advice for missionaries heading out:
It’s not all fun and games. There will be days when it’s hard and you want to go home. But the times when you teach someone the gospel; when you teach them to pray; when they learn about Heavenly Father- that’s what makes it all worth it.  The spirit is the key and the important thing in anyone’s conversion process.  Conversing is when you answer all their questions and they think it’s true.  Conversion is when you are guides and you let the spirit do the work. 

Love, Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Fun Day!

Short email today, we had an outing and service planned with a family in the ward.  We were able to go  tour around a little today with the family. It was really cool.  We went bowling and out to Taco Bell.  Then we were able to do some service for them!  Yeah! I love doing service, we don’t get much of a chance to do it here.  Since this is England and mold and mosses grow a lot in the area, they have to pressure wash the roofs off.  And I got to do that!  It’s like a “winter” cleaning job.  After working in the yard, they treated us for dinner and dessert!

The ward is great.  We have multiple dinner appointments each week. 

For most of the week we have been concentrating on finding more people to teach.  We were able to find one great young lady this week.  She is very prepared for the gospel and so we extended the offer of baptism to her.  Without any dates, just the invitation to be baptized.  And she accepted it!  Have to see how that goes this week when we see her again.  Still working with our other two gentlemen as well.  We have an appointment set for Saturday with the one guy.  We are moving forward slowly with the other one making sure he’s ready to continue.

Time is going by really fast!   Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, January 13, 2014

Drought and Missionary Work

Hearing about the drought from last week, I thought about a video I have seen. Thought I would share the link with all of you.


This week was another normal week, we had a Zone Conference on Tuesday so we drove to that.  The goal for this year for baptisms for the mission is 700.  They are really pushing us to teach and find families, that can support each other and bring up the number of baptisms in the mission. The goal for the ward is 12 baptisms this year.  We, as missionaries, are looking to the ward members to help us out on this.   The conventional way of finding by knocking on doors and street contacting isn’t that successful.  But more successful through members reaching out and inviting their friends and family to learn more about it as well.   There was a missionary who just returned from his mission and reported to the ward this week.  It was really good to be able to hear about his mission. He said the same thing.  He found out quickly that tracting and street contacting were not the best way for finding to be done.  It’s through the members of the church.  With 15,000,000 members and 80,000 missionaries; if each member talks to one person a day- then they are talking to more people than 80,000 missionaries can talk to in one day, all day.  He said very simply, “Pray for missionary opportunities to happen in your everyday life. If you are sincerely looking to help the missionaries out, then you will find those people through small and simple things.  You will be able to find those children of God that missionaries can teach.  That missionaries are set apart to teach.”  It was really kind of a very powerful time to listen to him.

Had the opportunity of listening to a talk by Hyrum Smith called “Spiritual Condition.”  It is about how we need to build ourselves in spirit.  Members of the church are always saying wow the missionaries have the spirit so strong with them.  He bluntly said it’s because they want it. They study for 2 hours every day and have at least 6 prayers a day. If every member of the church would do that, then there would be no weak testimonies.  Because every member would have the spirit in abundance.

We found a new investigator this last week.  We found him on Thursday and had a lesson with him this morning.  Between Thursday and this morning, he had found the Book of Mormon online and read 1st Nephi.  He is doing really well.  The one we were teaching last week is also doing good. 

We went out to contact a lady out in the middle of nowhere.  Driving allows me to see more of the countryside.  A couple of shots from the area.

Loved seeing the silos- first time in 7 months for that!  

And a sugar factory overlooking the city.

Made it through six months so time to burn a tie.  Don’t worry it was a tie I bought here and didn’t like that well! 

Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, January 6, 2014

Good Place to be Serving!

This is a good place to be serving.  The ward has about 100 active members.  The ward building is about 30 minutes away from our flat taking the motor way (highway for you Americans).  There are 4 missionaries serving in the ward. But the ward covers more than one town.  The other missionaries in the ward have bikes and serve closer to the ward building in the city.  We have the car for the outer lying areas and towns of the ward.  The ward members are very good to us and have a lot of dinner appointments for us.  We are working some with the less actives and trying to locate them in the area.  We were able to pick up on a previous investigator and are making some progress in teaching him.  We have some other good prospects we are teaching now.

For the recent Zone meeting, I became the driver for all the missionaries picking them up at the train station and taking them the chapel.   (not photo from Zone Conference day- but photo driving!) Just for the record- I did not take the photo myself!  

We were able to watch a little soccer on New Year’s Day with one of the members in the area.  I’m starting to like soccer now.  This member ended up talking about family and as I was talking about Kenny a little, the name sounded familiar to him.   He checked his facebook that night and sure enough it’s the same Kenny- they must have made some connection through Kenny’s mission.  Couldn’t figure it out for sure, but what a small world!

I have been thinking about relying on the Lord for help and it reminded me of the Book of Mormon.  When they were with the Lord, they were doing good, they were able to prosper in the land.  But then they got pride and it was all taken.  We need to be more reliant on the Lord all of the time and then we will get the things that we need, when we need them.  But if we put it all aside for ¾ of the year, and then towards the end realize we need it, it doesn’t work.   That got me to thinking this morning, I feel like it’s like a testimony. If we continually rely on the Lord it will grow stronger. 

Love, Elder Stevenson

I have learned more about pasta from an Italian serving in the area.   Following a fast, I thought I was hungrier than I was and made a huge amount of pasta with tomato, olives, olive oil, tuna and pasta.
  It’s so good!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year

When talking at Christmas I said I thought I would be transferred.  And it happened.  I got the phone call on Thursday morning telling me I would be moving to a new area as a co-senior companion… meaning we would be equal in the companionship.  The new area is a driving area.  Due to some extenuating circumstances, I would be the driver.  That has been a little different, but really fun.  I have only ended up on the wrong side of the road once!    It’s a bigger geographic area to cover, and so driving around we are able to see a lot more of the countryside. The other day we came by a beet field with a ropa in it!    It’s really nice to be seeing more of the area.   

This area just opened up 3 months ago and so there isn’t a teaching pool yet.  We have mainly been working at finding new people.   The area was whitewashed, we both of us are new to the area.  We have gotten permission to get a GPS which will be helpful in getting around the area.  The ward is great, love it!   

Happy New Year’s to Everyone and thanks for everything!

Love, Elder Stevenson

P.S. Because they were able to skype home on Christmas, they didn't end up with a regular p-day for emailing the week of Christmas.  Then for New Year's week, p-day was changed until today.   Should be back to regular Monday updates next week..... Tammy