England London Mission

England London Mission

Monday, March 30, 2015

What we have Become!

This week was the time for companion switch.  So a trip into London and getting my new companion and then back home to our area.  Spent the week visiting with some less actives and working with our investigators and checking back with some previous contacts.  One of our investigators came to church again and loves it.  Also had a Zone Meeting this week for most of one day.

Meeting people from all over the world gives me a chance to learn a little more about some other countries, their lifestyles and history.  So grateful that I am in England on my mission. 

Some of my recent converts made it to the temple this week.   They loved it!

We had dinner with several members this week.  And took a couple of them out teaching with us.  This ward is super keen on missionary work. They are just great!

One of the lessons taught by another this week was about the Book of Mormon and how it was written.   Based on a talk by Hugh Nibley.  It was compared to being given a writing assignment.  Being told to write 500 pages that is based 2000 years ago and has a story line complete with several different correctly identified geographical locations.  Also include a culture from that time frame.   Then write the book knowing it will be judged by millions of people looking for things that are wrong with your book trying to disprove it.  And you only have 60 days to finish the project.  Following the discussion, the family was challenged to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover and test it for themselves!  It was really good.  Got them to thinking about it.   

Another lesson was about why the need to be baptized into our church. In trying to explain, the question was asked- why did Jesus travel 80 miles to John the Baptist to be baptized.  In those 80 miles there had to be others who could baptize him, why did He go to John the Baptist.  Then switched to the Book of Mormon and discussed how Jesus Christ calls Nephi and says I give unto you power that you can baptize.  Talked about the importance of being baptized by the proper authority.  That’s why Jesus went to John the Baptist, to be baptized by proper authority.

We had a really good fireside on the plan of salvation and the importance of the atonement.  And how it can help in our lives.  We were able to have one of those we are working with come to it as well.  Really good for them to hear those things. 

Funny thing for the week:  I  was street contacting and talking with a guy. He kept talking about all these questions he had.  I was like what you are saying is you just have too many questions to not believe in God.  He was like no. What I am saying is there are just not enough answers!  He made me laugh.

Thought for the week:

“From such teachings we conclude that the Final Judgment is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts—what we have done. It is an acknowledgment of the final effect of our acts and thoughts—what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become.”  Elder Dallin H. Oaks

Thanks for all you do!  Love, Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Really blessed by good plans

We had a pretty quick week.  Did transfers in one of the other areas, actually in the same city, but a different ward that takes in part of the city.  We stopped by a former investigator and they weren’t home, so we just knocked a few doors around the area.   Found a wonderful lady who is looking for a way to strengthen her family.  It was really cool to talk with her, she is really prepared, hopefully things will turn out for her.

 Another day on exchanges in a different area- we started with a good plan, but everyone cancelled, so it turned into some good finding.  Later a member called and needed some help moving, so we were able to do some service there. 

For District meeting this week the training was about finding.  I had been studying “Preach My Gospel” with just the question of “How do we find people to teach?”  Time and time again I saw “placed in your path, “ “You placed in their path,”  it was all about a path.  Which is what ended up being the topic for training.   How we can be placed in the path of others.  The Lord expects us to use our time wisely and to be doing work.  If we are doing so and working with real intent, that no matter how we find- the people will be placed there as we have faith and as we are working hard.   Also some things about stopping by formers, potentials, less actives, part member families, active members and many other things.  But it was doing things so that we have a destination. If we just have a plan of going to town centre, we wander around town looking to stop people.  When we have a plan set out and when we was saying ok today we was walking to go see this person, the Lord places those people on our path.  We have a destination and that is when things happen.  For instance this last week we had a wonderful week of finding, all because we had good plans.  Effective plans- stopping by people and while walking we talked with everyone. Because of that we had been very blessed this week.

Taught one of our investigators in a member’s home this week and it was good.  He has been reading so much just since the last time we met. And he has changed so much.   Basically living the Word of Wisdom now, even cancelling some summer plans to go to a place that wouldn’t have been so good for him to be.  The gospel is changing his life. 

Had another investigator come to church on Sunday.  He loved it and felt like he was family.   Things are going really good for him.  He is working towards baptism. 

One of our good finds this week conditional committed to be baptized on April 25th. Which means if he comes to know it is true, he would be baptized.   We found him using the "by the way" finding.  Which means talking to everyone as we walk to places.  

Staying in the same area for this transfer and getting a new companion.  It should be good.  Only other change in the district is one sister will be training this transfer.

Things are going really good here.  I cleaned out our back patio, it was really full with leaves and dirt. I took a broom and swept it nice, then last night coming home a person was giving away a chair. So now we have a nice patio with a chair for when it gets warmer.  We did some service this week and turned dirt over in a huge garden by shovels.  It was warm and so I was just in my shorts and short sleeved shirt.  It’s not hot yet, but hopefully soon.

Great news- heard from a recent convert from a previous area and they are going to the temple this weekend!

Thanks for all the support and prayers! Love, Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I know that Christ Lives! I love being a Missionary!

This has been another quick week.  And it’s the end of another transfer.  

In the scriptures it talks about the sons of Mosiah and how they were troubled in their missionary service.  They were getting rejected, being stoned and many other harsh things that were going on for them.  And they began to turn back.  Turning back in there meant going home.  But I have been thinking, there are things in today’s time of turning back and it’s different. 
  • It may be becoming disobedient, because it isn’t fun to be obedient anymore. 
  • It may be literally turning back and wanting to go home. 
  • It may be having your mind on home and your feet in the mission. 
  • It may be focusing so much on things of the world, and not the things of God.
  • It may be being preoccupied with other things. 
But as a missionary you are expected to devote all your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs.  And in the missionary call letter it states that as you serve with all your heart, might, mind and strength that you will be led to those who are ready to be baptized.  Being on a mission for awhile now, I know how true that is.

Laugh for the week. There was a drunk guy walking and he was really falling over. I was like hey are you alright. He was like, ya, I am fine, just a bad back.  As he stumbles down the street. Me and my companion were like what the heck...

This week I was with an elder that doesn’t believe he can baptize. Which is wrong.  Missionaries are called to serve, to invite others to come until Christ through baptism.  Missionaries can baptism.  And if more missionaries believed that, they would have more baptisms.  I remember a story about a missionary in a hard mission whose trainer said they could baptize every month. That young missionary took it to heart and he baptized every month.  There are some areas that are more challenging than others. But there are people that are being prepared no matter where you serve.

I have been reading the Book of Mormon again and during Christ’s ministry it touched me so much this week how real it was. I know that Jesus Christ lives, with spiritual experiences that I have had, I know that He Lives!

As for missionary work this week.  I went on a couple of exchanges as we are getting to the end of the transfer again.  On one of the exchanges, it was fun to meet up with a guy we had met some weeks before. He had been on vacation and now home, so we were able to meet with him again.  He was raised in another church, but it looking for something else.  He loves how we focus on families during the meetings.  He loves the church!  

Got to spend some time with the new Elder in the area as well.  We were able to do service one evening.  Cleaning out a shed.  We were able to burn all of the old things from in there.  First fire in 21 months.  I loved it!  It was cool.  He’s a really cool guy also and recent convert with a funny sense of character. 

Another investigator is here in the area going to university.  It was so cool.  He had read the Book of Mormon and hadn’t felt anything.  But during the lesson the spirit was really strong.  He had wondering about how important baptism was. It’s a question he has had for the last five years.  This is something that I had been in thought over for the last three months.  Baptism, the ordinance and what baptism does.  Remission of sins and how we receive it and so on.  When he asked this question, I was like…. There is a reason I met him.  I showed him some scriptures about baptism.  And  I was able to explain that the physical baptism is the outward sign and is very important.  But baptism should also be an inward commitment.  They are both crucial to baptism.  At that point the Spirit touched him and he just sit quietly looking at that scripture and pondering over it.  At the end of the lesson he accepted to come to church.  He took to heart the testimonies that he heard and understands this is not just another church, but it is the Church of Jesus Christ.  

Lessons like that are what make me grateful to be a missionary.  I love it!

Love, Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Another quick week, they are going fast...

We had some time before an appointment one night and so did a little street contracting.  The first guy asked if we were Mormons- I was like ya you could say that.   We went to a bench and started talking. He has quite an interesting line of work that requires moving from place to place.  He had started learning about the church in a previous area and hadn’t followed up since then.  He doesn’t live in our area, so we passed him to some other missionaries in the District.   Also met up with a teenager we have been meeting with for a few weeks. He’s getting ready to go into the army and just has some questions about life at this time.  It’s a big step and he is really interested in learning so much in his life. 

One day the missionaries in the neighboring area were not using the car, so we used it and went to visit some less actives in the little villages around here.  It was really cool.   I’m not that used to driving, but I loved the chance to do so again. 

Another evening we ran into a guy who tried to convince us to leave the church.   He had read all sorts of things and said we had been brainwashed.  We chatted for awhile.  He ended up by saying that he could see he wasn’t going to change our minds.  I explained that I still choose at the end of the day what I want to do.   What I do know is that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, and that God is real if you were to take time and pray sincerely if He was there, you would be overcome by the spirit and would not be able to deny the truthfulness of the things we talked about.  He was like sorry guys, I need to get going. 

We had a Zone Conference in a city about couple hours away- at least two hours in traffic.  It was good. The meeting was really good.  It was all about finding and the different aspects of it. Faith in finding, finding through our own efforts and then member referrals.   It was good, I really enjoyed it.  President Jordan is awesome!  The four hours of driving time was really pretty fun as well.  We were a quite diverse group-  from America, Spain, Portugal, Brazil,and Ukraine.  What a mix!

We played basketball with some from the ward this week.  It was pretty good, just like old times. 

Then Sunday we had a great sacrament meeting and fireside that evening.  The guy speaking told how he was kind of going through the motions and saying things to please the missionaries. But it all changed when he went to church and partook of the sacrament.  The Spirit over came him and he knew it was true, without a doubt.   He went on to be baptized.  The fireside was really good, I took about four pages of notes from it. 

We went golfing again this week. The guy there asked if we wanted to have a contest playing for medals.  We agreed.   It ended in a tie with me and another missionary.  So the guy said to play one more hole as the tie breaker. I really sucked that round so I got 2nd.  It was super close and super fun. 


Enjoying the spring weather- it’s beautiful.

Quote for the week- Ezra Taft Benson

“It is better to be prepared and prevent- than it is to repair and repent.”

Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, March 2, 2015

March is already here! Spring Shots!

This week was a pretty good week. It went really quick.  Hit the 20th month mark in my mission. Like most weeks, we had a number of appointments that didn’t work out.  We also checked with a few less actives.  It’s been great in the ward to work with them.  We have been getting some to come out to church.  That is wonderful to see!   Also did some finding.  As a district we are working hard to find more people.  I love the district!

Had a Zone Meeting in another town and went on a transfer this week in another town.  We ended up having a really cool experience there.  We stopped by a less active member for a lesson.  At first she said she was not interested in coming back to church.   We talked about the importance of church and she said that she believed, but she was not going to come back to church.  After more talking, she agreed the church was important, but she was not interested in going.  I was just stumped for any other words, so I just prayed to Heavenly Father and asked what does this lady need to make the necessary change.  At which time I felt the spirit very strong. I knew that I couldn’t do anymore, I could only do so much but she wasn’t going to come back.  Then another thought came to mind.  My badge.  I stopped her mid-sentence and just said Madam, look at this badge. What is really big on it. She said Jesus Christ.  I said yes, exactly, I take upon myself the name of Christ, that means I am a special representative of Him. I have been set apart for this. I have been given spiritual power to be a missionary.  So it is not me asking you and pleading with you to come to church but it is Christ Himself.  I just looked at her and said Christ is telling you to come back and He is using us His messengers in doing so. I knew it was not me that came up with it, because it was very bold. Something that I normally don’t do with less actives when barely meeting them. She felt the spirit, I felt the spirit and the other missionary felt the spirit.  We all knew what I was saying was true.  But in the end, she just said, you won’t get me back to church and have a good night.  There was nothing else I could do.  I felt like the prophets of old, calling people to repentance.  Even though she didn’t respond as we would have liked, it was a pretty touching experience.

Had one lunch with an elder who was returning home this week.   Breakfast with a family from a previous area and some time catching up about the members there.  Went to a ward baptism and got to meet the new Elder in our district.  He’s a recent convert and is really funny.  He’s the only member of his immediate family. 

In my studies this week I was reflecting back on my study journal.  I found a quote by President Jordan- “Covenants are a commitment to become more like the Savior.”  And it got me to thinking about another quote, “Judgment is not just about what you have done, but what you have become.”  That the purpose of this life is to learn, grow and in the very essence become like the Savior. To become something that is better than what we now are.

Thanks for all that you do.   Love, Elder Stevenson