England London Mission

England London Mission

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Good Week!

We finished up the AUF- Address Unknown Files- for the ward.  It’s taken us several weeks, but we were able to update all of the information.  It’s gone pretty well. 

The other day was National Pancake day here.  A member cooked us pancakes that evening.   Here they are considered kinda  a dessert.  They are like super flat pancakes, kind of like crepes, and then they put ice cream in them with syrup.  They are supper good.   HaHa Get it (Supper) ahah oh- the jokes never get old!

Spent a lot of time out of my area this week.   One day was spent in a neighboring city for Leadership Meetings.   It only takes about an hour and half to go by car, but that’s in good traffic.  With rush hour it could take four hours.  So we headed out at 4:30 in the morning not wanting to be late.  The two district leaders and the two zone leaders in one car.  It was a cool drive.  There was an amazing sunrise that we got to watch over the country side.

The meeting was really good.   We ended up having a couple of visiting authorities also speak to us at the meeting in addition to our Mission Leadership.  One from the Presidency of the Seventy and one from the European Area Presidency.  They were in town for another meeting and heard about our conference.  So President asked them the night before it they would like to come. They were thrilled with the invite.  One of them said it was not a coincidence; the Lord had it in His plans. It was a powerful meeting.  We were counseled to carefully consider our goals.  We have a short amount of time and we need to do all that we possibly can in a day to do the work that the Lord has for us to do.  We were also counseled that we should choose the type of missionary we want to be.  Then constantly reflect that in our actions.  To serve with all your heart and lose yourself in the work.  Then who you need to be will develop.  When you lose yourself, the Lord changes you into what He wants you to be.  Also counseled to use the mission as a time to establish who you are and the rest of your life you need to remain true to who you are.  Something interesting- we were told we are expected to become converted personally and we can be hold accountable for that expectation.  Convert yourself.  When that happens the rest will follow.  If our missions haven’t changed us, then we are failing as missionaries.   We were admonished to be righteous leaders.  Whole nations can be destroyed and suffer in unbelief if it was not for righteous leaders- one example is Moroni.  The training was all day, so we didn’t leave the city until 6:00 which was towards the end of the rush hour traffic. The missionary who drove in, didn’t want to drive back, so I did.  Wow! That was a mess.   But we had a good time.  It was a really good opportunity, we had a good chance to talk about things.  And a good time to reflect.

Then a couple more days on transfers with some other missionaries in other areas.  One of the exchanges was with another missionary who came out with me.  Seems I am always around some of the guys I came out with.  It’s nice.

President and Sister Jordan came our ward and spoke on Sunday.  It was super cool.   Then we had a fireside for the youth and YSA (Young Single Adults) with them that evening.  It was all about missionary work and missionary prep.  President Jordan asked us to share some experiences with them as well. It was pretty cool. 

I found out I became a grandfather this week.   So in a mission you become a “father” when you train someone "your son."  Then “your son” becomes a “father” when they train someone- making you a “grandfather.”  This week I saw one I trained, with his new companion that he is currently training. We were able to get a picture together- it was really fun. 

Did service at one of the schools in the area and ran into a young lady from a previous area I served in my mission. It was weird!  But it was a good day of service.

 A good week- thanks for the letters, emails and prayers.  Love, Elder Stevenson

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Quick Week

We played golf on P-day.  The deal was the top three didn’t have to pay for dinner. The remaining seven would buy the dinner for the group.  Ha Ha  I killed it!  Won the whole thing by one stroke.

We met up with the Portuguese speaking guy again this week.  He and my companion had a good lesson together.  It would have been a nightmare if my companion tried to translate so I could understand. So I just sit there and thought about everything I could possibly think about in my life!  It was a long hour. 

Followed up with some others this week as well. And had a lot of no shows this week, which means a lot of finding time.   One person said they never let guests into their house.  But we had met them one day and when we stopped by to teach, the person said they could feel just a comfort that they could trust us.  It was really fun to visit with them.  Looking for a church that talks about eternal life and what we need to do to attain eternal life.  It was a miracle to find this one.    One of the people came up to us and gave us all of their cigarettes and lighters and said they were done with them. A really good step forward. 

The ward had a baptism on Saturday and we gave the musical number.  We sang “Teach Me to Walk.” It went pretty good overall. 

Success on Sunday, we had three less actives come to church.  That was great, hope it continues. One is thinking of giving up their job at the present because it interferes with attending church.  What an awesome guy!   Had a great dinner with some young people in the ward.  It was cool. 

Listened to a talk this week about Jesus Christ in Gethsemane by Andrew Skinner- it was super good.  Made me think a lot differently about things.

Sorry this is short, just not a whole lot to say, and not a lot of time.  Thanks for everything.

Love, Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Staying Here!

Not a lot to talk about for the week, so it will be a short one.  We had supper with a super cool family in the area.  He is really young and in the Stake Presidency.  In fact his Mission President was still on his mission when this gentleman was put into the Stake Presidency.  A really neat guy.

We have found a few new people this week in our searching.  One didn’t know much about Jesus Christ and was really interested in learning all he could about Christ.  We talked for about 50 minutes all about Jesus Christ.  He was really interested. 

On transfers this week spend the day with a missionary on his birthday.  A really fun Elder.  We were able to meet up with a family who has been investigating the church for years. They are planning to be baptized in a few weeks.  

Another person we stopped said they didn’t need a church and weren’t interested in attending any church.  We proceeded to teach the Restoration lesson with them. It was a really good lesson, the spirit was there and strong.  They felt it and in the end committed to come to church with us.  A super cool contact.

We also did some AUF’s this week.  That’s Address Unknown.  Basically from past records, we think the people might still live there, so go and check it out.  We walked for 80 minutes to one the other day.  A lot of walking on that day.

I saw an American flag the other day and had to take a picture of it.

Funny story this week. I was trying to teach at District Meeting this week about goals and the importance of having measurable goals.  But try as I might- I couldn’t say “measurable.”  It always came out as “miserable.”  I couldn’t say it right for like 30 times.  The whole District was just cracking up laughing at me. I couldn’t say it then and I still can’t.  But Hey- English isn’t my first language?!?!?

We had a couple of opportunities of service this week also.  One was helping a family clean out a shed and storage area.  Some of their things in there were just dripping wet in water. I mean what else would it be wet with. It was pretty cool helping them sort through the things.  Another day we helped to transform a kitchen. That was an all day project, I wish I have taken before and after shots.  It was pretty cool.

Just a thought for the week.  Alma 29:10- “I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some souls to repentance.”   We need to remember who we are. I am not the gardener, I am not the growth, I am only a tool. It’s my duty to stay clean and lubricated so that I can work properly in the hands of the Lord.

I am staying in the same area with the same companion. 

Thanks for Everything all of you are doing.   Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, February 2, 2015

Exchange Miracles

It’s February, that is so crazy to think. I remember February 2 years ago I got my mission call.   Time is flying by…. This week was an alright week.  As the end of transfer is coming I needed to finish getting the rest of the companion exchanges done.  So I went out on two this week.  I meet a lot more people that way, so it is good.   I was able to go out with a greenie missionary this week.  He was 18 and kind of what I was like when I came out. It is weird to think back and see how much has changed since then. My personal life, my spiritual life, my math skills (they have dropped) and a lot of other things have changed since then. We were out finding people and trying to build up the area.  We came across someone who was completely anti-religious to anything. We were just trying to talk and it was going nowhere.  I was prompted to talk about the Book of Mormon and so I pulled one out and asked if they had ever seen it. The reply was “ohh…. I am reading that book right now. I love it.  Are you the Mormons?”  We were like “yea I guess you could say that.”   They had only been reading it online, so we gladly shared the copy with them and gave the contact information so they could contact the missionaries when finished reading the book.

On the other exchange this week, we stopped by a potential investigator with whom the missionaries have previously left a family proclamation with.  They had read it and had a couple of questions about it.  We were attempting to answer the questions, and the other Elder was prompted to ask if they had ever heard of the Book of Mormon and explained it.  Then bore a testimony of his explanation. The person felt the spirit and accepted the Book of Mormon to read. So this week there were a lot of miracles while on exchanges.

When I came back to the flat after one of the exchanges, the other missionaries had taped some things upside down….oh missionaries these days!

At  Zone Meeting we talked about the importance and power of prayer, I really enjoyed it.  With Zone Meeting this week and the exchanges,  I didn’t spend a lot of time teaching or finding in my own area.  We were able to meet up with some we have been working with.  One of them is beginning to really understand the doctrine as they are studying and that is really nice to see.  Another is making a lot of improvements and we can really see the faith building taking place there. 

Had dinner with a couple of families in the area as well. I really love the ward here. Not that I have a favorite ward I have been in. But this one is great!  During testimony meeting a scripture came to mind. It was the qualifications for baptism in Doctrine and Covenants 20:37  “And are willing to take upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve Him to the end.”  And it really just made me think about what I am doing to take upon myself the name of Christ.  The sacrament prayer says take upon myself the name of Jesus Christ and always remember Him.  I think the best thing that helps me to take upon myself the name of Jesus Christ in the most literal sense is wearing my missionary badge.  Everyone that sees me recognizes that I believe in Jesus Christ.  And it just made me reflect on how great it is to stand as a witness of Christ in all times and in all places.  It was a lot of reflecting, but then it led me to reflect that it says by their fruits, you may know them.  That made me think what fruits am I showing that show that I am a witness of Christ?  So ya, it was a lot of thinking, but it was really good. I am so glad that I have had the chance to stand as a witness of Christ, even through persecution, being belittled, made fun of and threats.   All of it I have been so glad to stand as a witness of him.

Thought for the week   “Judgment is not just about what we have done; but rather it’s about what we have become.”   Ask yourself- What will you become because of what your mission has done to you?  Will you mission change you?   “Success on our mission is not just about what we have done; but it about who we have become.”

Thanks for all that you do. I really appreciate it. Love you all and thank you for the letters, emails and prayers.  Love, Elder Stevenson