England London Mission

England London Mission

Monday, February 24, 2014

Best Two Years for My Life

Last night we went on home teaching splits.  The member told me she was struggling through her mission, she went as an older sister missionary. She just decided one day that she wanted to serve and that now was as good a time as ever.  And she said it was hard, even as mature as she was, it was tough.  But it was the best time for my life.  She said she got that from some general conference talk.

Monday we had a normal p-day and had dinner with an air force family in the area.  Tuesday we had interviews in the next big town.  Usually we take the train because we are limited to 1000 miles on the car for the month and we have been asked to use the train for most meetings there.  But this time, we drove because we are the only car in the district besides the Zone Leaders.  So we provide rides from the train station to the church.  Wednesday I received a call from the President, he said there was a couple from home who would like to deliver a package and have lunch with us, if that was okay.  It was fun to see them and hear some things about home.  After that we did some finding.  Thursday we had a companionship exchange with the District Leader, so we changed for the day.   Me and the District Leader went to the neighboring area and had a great time finding, it was the first time doing street contacting in that area.  We had a couple of interesting gentlemen on the street who weren’t the most interested in what we were teaching.  After one of them, not even a minute later, we stopped a family that is super interested and we are planning to meet them next week.  It was a real testimony builder to never give up.  Opposition in all things and we were able to overcome it.  Following that, the other guy came up and started yelling at us.  Friday we had a companionship exchange with the Zone leaders and it was good.  We were just sitting in the train station waiting for the train.  The Zone leader we were with spoke Chinese and he saw a Chinese gentleman and walked up to talk with him. He had just moved here and was interested.  They talking and the man knew he needed to be baptized and loved the fact all sins could be washed away.   It was great- but he lives in the neighboring mission.  Still- go England with another baptism.   Saturday we switched back and had a dinner appointment with a family in the ward.  They were fixing dutch oven and it took some time to cook. While we were waiting the guy suggested we go into his wood shop and start making a table. It was really good to be working with my hands again.   

We were not able to meet up with some of the people we have been working with last week, but plan to contact them this week.   The weather has been sunny and warm the last few days.  About 50-60 degrees and SUNNY- it’s been good.

Hope all is  well. Thanks for all the love and support,

Love Elder Stevenson.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Learning to Love the Weather

Here’s a great talk.    It’s called “Will We Finish the Temple, Brother Brigham?”  by Jeffrey R Holland.

Things here have been alright.  It’s been pretty slow with finding people to teach.   On Tuesday we did finding most of the day.  Just talking to people in the little 1/8 mile town center street.  We were walking back and forth, back and forth talking to everyone that we could see.   Wednesday we went to the neighboring town in our area. It was a good time.  We really focused on the less actives in the area that day and we were able to have a  good day.  Through a contact we were able to find one gentleman.  He was going to come to church on Sunday, but did not make it this week, perhaps because his little baby had been sick when we visited. On Thursday we go to another city for District Meetings. It was a good time.  We leave at 8 am and don’t get back until 3 pm, riding the train.  A lot of traveling for a 90 minute meeting, but it is one of the most important things on a mission.  District Meetings are a chance to be trained and instructed by our leaders on matters that will help us to become better missionaries, to help uplift us, and ease our burdens.  Friday we met with a gentleman who was interested in studying some aspects of the church.  We were able to help him to understand a few things.  We also tracted on Friday- a great day for tracting.  It was pouring rain and windy, the winds reminded me a little of the winds at home. But since my mission I have loved to learn the conditions.  If you have a problem with something, change it- if you can’t change it, learn to love it.  From a song on the subway the other day.  “If you can’t get what you love, then you learn to love the things you have got.”   I can’t change the weather, so I have learned to love it, even when it’s cold and wet. 

If you look closely, you can see the pinstripes disappear… that’s where my trench coat stopped.  I was drenched from there down.  

 Yesterday was a normal Sunday of church, a good day.  We talked about families in Elders Quorum.  

Driving around I have seen that they are still harvesting sugar beets here. They harvest with an all in one machine that tops and digs the beets. No implements behind the tractor, just kinda like a combine all in one. I don’t know how they can continue to harvest, it hasn’t gotten cold enough to freeze them at all.

 I’ve also accumulated a nice collection of ties while on my mission.

Missionary work is not easy, missionary work has never been easy.  And according to Jeffrey R Holland, missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.  Because salvation has never been an easy experience. Missionary work is hard because we learn to love and appreciate the atonement even more once we have walked a few steps in our Savior’s shoes- just a few moments in His suffering.  

Jeffrey R Holland again, I have listened to him a lot.  Just have faith and believe, you don’t know all that God knows. We are living and choose to live in the last days. There will be hardship and trials, there will be times where we don’t know what to do with life. But we must look ahead and believe.  Have faith!

 [This link is to the written text of that talk.  There is a link on the page to listen to the talk as well.]

Thanks for all the love and support.  Love, Elder Casey Stevenson

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Scripture Study

This talk by Richard G Scott was touched on in our Sunday School class- I love it!

President Jordan talked about the Greeks and how when they went to conquer an area of land, they got there and burned their ships.   Because then the only way they could go was to battle.  He encouraged us to see what our ships were- anything that distracts from the work- and see if it was worth keeping or if you wanted to give it up to serve the Lord.  [Mom- What ships are we willing to burn to serve the Lord everyday of our lives- not just when serving missions?]

Zone Meetings are a smaller group- just the Zone- a few districts and the Zone Leaders give the training.  Those are held every another transfer.   On those transfers we have interviews with the President.  On the opposite transfers, we have Zone Conferences- when 2 or 3 Zones get together and we are taught by the President and his Assistants.  That way we are able to see the President at least one every transfer.

We spend at least a couple hours each day studying the gospel.  Here’s how I am marking my scriptures and have them set up to help in teaching the gospel to others.

This week we met with one of our investigators and read Joseph Smith History 11-19 about the first vision. The spirit was there.  We decided to fast to find new investigators and to help this investigator also.  We followed up with the investigator and he said he had received an answer to his prayer.  He was encouraged to continue learning more about the gospel.  It was great!  He is going to continue learning more and continuing to pray.

Our other investigator is doing great as well.   We have a good discussion on the apostasy.  I was extremely grateful for the knowledge that I had so I could help him understand it.  Hopefully we will invite him to be baptized this week.

Crazy to finally hear about all of the snow/rain at home, it’s been the wettest winter they have had here in a long time. It’s flooding in the South London Mission a lot.  We were walking by a playground the other day and it was flooded, so they couldn’t play in most of it.  But there were some kids playing on it acting like they were alligators it in that were going to get them. It was funny!   Since I been here I have seen a lot of different styles of irrigation boots, polka dots and striped all colors.  I think I may bring home some nice pink ones to the farm, so that no one will take them ….  Haha probably not!

[Mom- I had attended Roots Tech and heard a speaker- Stephanie Nielsen.  I told him about the story and he remembered her from Elder Holland’s conference talk as well. Link to her story from Roots Tech.  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865596105/Utah-blogger-Stephanie-Nielsen-promised-God-she-would-share-her-story-of-healing-faith-and.html  ]  Truly people can get through anything if they just work hard enough and have the support that they need.

Other than that nothing too much this week- thanks for all the prayers you have sent out in my behalf!  Love you all much! 

Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Staying in this area!

Staying in this area for the next transfer with the same companion. 

This week we were doing some lost sheep finding.  That’s when the ward has some people on the ward list that they want to find out if they are still live there or not.  So we as missionaries just go out and knock on the door.  Then knock 10 doors on each side if they don’t answer to see if anyone knows where they may have moved, or if they still live there.  Well we were down in the bottom of our area.  It took forever to get there, we had to go on so many back roads.  The back roads here are all paved, just the more back country you get, the narrower the roads.  Sometimes about one car width- but it’s a 2 way road.  So you have to just go along and if you meet another car coming the other way, then, if hopefully you don’t crash; the closest one to a turn out (which is a 10 foot pull thing) lets the other car pass.  The roads are really windy as well.  We finally got to the area and knocked the door. No one home, so we knocked both sides, and it was confirmed that she did live there, so we left a card saying- Hello, her name- it’s the missionaries and we are just coming around to see how you are doing.      We went on our way to the next one.  Which was even further out in the country.   This time no one home and no neighbors to knock doors.

As we headed back to town, we drove through a real farmer’s shop and shop yard.  They had the stuff all hooked up for spring.  A 8330 R hooked up to an air seed grain planter.  Fun to see the farms and all of it again.

Later that night we got a phone call from a lady, she wanted to know how we got her information.  She wouldn’t tell us which lady she was, so we couldn’t really answer her question, as we had more than one that day we were looking for.  We tried to explain that if she would tell us who she was, we could answer her question.  She just said to not contact her again, to which we explained that if she didn’t tell us who she was, we wouldn’t know who not to contact.  She just said to not contact her or she would call the police.  To which I tried to explain again we needed to know who she was in order to do that. She yelled something I didn’t understand and she hung up.  The next day as we were on the train going to the District Meeting, we got a call from the police. She decided to get them involved. They asked how we got her information.  We said we were missionaries with the church and we have all of the membership details.  But if you would tell us who she is, we can tell you exactly where we got it from.  Ended up she was a member, but didn’t remember ever having been one and so asked not to be contacted again. 

Yesterday when no one would listen to us- I was ready to just get on a barrel and cry repentance to the whole city.  But having our record in the police once that week already- I figured I didn’t need it for a second time….

The weather is wet and cold, but the last few days it’s had been super sunny.  Thinking spring is already here.   Here’s a shot of the moon from last night.  

Here’s a link to a great talk from Richard G Scott April 2012

Love, Elder Stevenson