England London Mission

England London Mission

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Exchanges, Finding and Great Stake Conference

I had a lot of exchanges this week.  And a lot of finding.  And Stake Conference.  Also a little service in there.  One of the exchanges was right by the ocean. 

For service we helped a family clean up their backyard.  There was a pond there and they want to remove it, but the landlord doesn’t want to.  So for safety reasons, having two kids, they filled it with wood.  But since it rains so much, it got filled in with water anyway.   A lot of wood bogged with water and then mud and gunk and stuff.  We started to clean it out.  It was pretty gross.  We did find a lizard living in the pond. The family had never seen a lizard before- so we caught it for their kid to see when  getting home from school.

We did find one new guy this week.  Also were able to teach a few from previous weeks.  One is very sincere and has a lot of questions.  Another doesn’t really have a belief in God, but really wants to find out if there is one, because he knows it would benefit his life.  One we found last week is doing really good, studying everything in depth.  And our baptism is still on for May 9th.  That is an awesome one!  So grateful to be able to lead by the spirit in missionary work to find that one.  

Found out that a member's father spent some time Burley, Idaho on his mission. It’s been some time ago, but he remembers little old Idaho!  What a small world.

Then we had Stake Conference and it was a wonderful weekend.

One of them spoke about asking questions.   How questions come about from misunderstanding, or finding out history of the church that they were unaware of which leads them to asking questions.  He talked about how sincere is the question you are asking. Is it s a very important question to ask, or is it one that is on your mind but doesn’t really affect anything.  He then explained about how we should not let what we know be trumped by the questions upon which we do not yet understand.  One of his examples.   In the 1880’s a man claimed the Book of Mormon could not be true because it talked about having metal for swords, and he didn’t think that would be possible then.  In the 1950’s another said it could not be true for the same reason.  The whole time the church doesn’t say anything about it.  Then in the 1960’s an archaeologist finds an iron sword that was hardened into metal that dates back to 700 BC. Before Lehi was told to leave Jerusalem.  A question that could have caused a lot of people to question was answered years later.  But it was years later.  Someone could have had that question stop their progression in the gospel.   Now it was corrected.  He also talked about how in today’s time there are a lot of questions that individuals have. Which sometimes there are no logical answers to please them, but that the time will come in which they will be answered, either in this life, or in the life to come.

Another spoke about is our current sacrifice sufficient enough.  Basically are we giving our best or are we withholding from the altar of sacrifice.  Three examples that he used- Tithes and Offerings, Worshiping through singing (not just sitting there during the hymns,) and having a broken heart and contrite spirit.   It was a really good stake conference. There is another special broadcast Stake Conference scheduled hopefully before I come home with a visiting authority.  That would be an awesome thing!

Other than that not a lot going on. 

Thanks for everything.  Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, April 20, 2015

Yard Work- Love Service!

We were able to do some service this week.  Helped a member clean their yard.  In England what happens is in the winter you have moss that begins to spring up and then it gets a little warm and it just grows like crazy.  The moss grows throughout the grass and under the trees, trampoline and everywhere.  So we spent a while on that, and filled 5 black bags and a big garden waste bin full of grass clippings, moss and weeds.  I love just getting service in.  It was like 22 degrees Celsius which is like 70 degrees F.  It was a pretty warm and I got a little tan on this week, already have the farmer’s tan going on.  Another time we were able to work with another member and work in his yard as well.  This time I was pruning a huge bush with blackberry vines growing through it.  So it was an adventure!

In addition to some of our appointments this week, we have come across some potentials in the area book.  So we are working to stopping by them all.  One that we stopped by was like ya I would love to meet with you.  We went back for our first lesson with them.  This person left the church as a teenager and just didn’t really know about things anymore.   So we are planning to go through all of the lessons again with them. We are pretty excited about this one.

Another lesson with a person who had heard some things about the apostasy and had some questions.  We tried to explain in some depth how the apostasy took place and why it took place. But it didn’t really make it all click.  So I just testified my heart out.  I said that I knew the events happened, that I didn’t know it by any evidence that people have shown me, nor by any study that I have done.  But that I knew by the power of the Holy Ghost it was true.  When I said that, there were no more questions about it.  The conversation continued from there.  What about Joseph Smith?  We talked about how it either happened or it didn’t.  The question, so if Joseph Smith did see the vision what?  If the vision really happened then Joseph Smith was a prophet, which would mean the church was true.  So what if Joseph Smith didn’t see the vision?  Then Joseph Smith was a liar and a coward, and would be leading people astray.  Exactly!  It is either true or it’s not, there is not a gray area.  So the person committed to pray about it.  Making good progress.  It was wonderful!

Another investigator is doing great- with a strong sincere desire now to know it’s true.   The district is doing really good.  Four of the five areas have someone on date for baptism. We have 10 on date for baptism in total.  Things for the district have really taken off again!

This week in church the missionaries were asked to do a musical number for sacrament meeting.  My companion and one of the other sisters can really sing, and other sister is good at the piano.  Somehow my voice got dragged into it. But it was a really good musical number, it was “If the Savior Stood Beside Me.”   The bishopric asked us to start to prepare one for next month already.  It was awesome!

We had been told about getting ipads some months ago. But nothing happened.  We received word we will be getting them the end of this month after some special training.   Have to see how that goes.

Funny moment- I stopped a guy on the street this week.  He was like I am an atheist. I was like oh really?  He was like ya I am 98% atheist and 2% agnostic, just in case.  Then he walked off.

Thanks for emails, prayers and such. 

Love, Elder Stevenson

Monday, April 13, 2015

Work, Work, Work and Loving it!

Pretty quick this week with emailing on Tuesday.  The rest of the week went really fast.

We had dinner with a member one night this week that works with a major company who supplies big companies for the sugar industry.  I was like what- we got talking and I asked if he knew Amalgamated Sugar.  He was yea- he had called them a while back and sees them at different conferences and meetings and such.  I was like that is so weird.  He works in a neighboring city and travels all other the world visiting different places. He was telling me about farming in Brazil.  It was pretty cool to talk to someone once again that knows about farming.  He was super cool. 

Another exchange this week.  It was good, with the only Elder that I didn’t know that well in the district. So now I know them all!  Love being able to serve others.  Since being out so long I have realized how much experience I really have in the mission field. I take a lot of knowledge and understanding for granted. Just think that everyone has it when in fact, not everyone is at the same level of understanding.

One of other investigators has moved back their baptism date. Wanting to make sure they are really ready for the commitment.  Still making progress and learning more all the time. Another is still committed to a baptism in the middle of May- loving church and life at this point!  For service we are able to do a little gardening at least once a week.

I had my first ice cream from an ice cream truck the other day- the first in my whole life! 

One day we were out stopping a lot of people and my companion said it didn’t feel right to him.  He didn’t think we were in the right area at that time.  We went a little more and he said he wanted to call the Bishop and have him say a prayer with us.  That sounded like a good plan, so we did. The Bishop gave us the names of a few people to stop by.  The first one was asleep. The second one was gone. The third one was a partly active family.  They let us in and for the first time in a long time the father sat in for the lesson.  And then we stopped by a lady who said she knew a lot about all other churches, but not much about ours and she was wanting to know more about it.  This excited my companion and me a lot.  We were able to see some miracles along the way.  So great to be working with him! 

Other than that not a lot going on, just work, work, work and loving it! I love being a servant of our Heavenly Father!

Thanks for everything!

Love, Elder Stevenson

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Love feeling the spirit so strong!

Went on exchanges again this week- like all weeks.   We had planned to go this one place and find by the way there.  With it being Easter break we knew that there would not too many people there.   So planned to stop by a few people and talk with everyone else we saw.  That morning we woke up to rain! But we started out anyway after studies.  The Elder I was with had worked this area before and said he had never walked this far without talking to someone.  We thought about going back and started going back, but didn’t feel right about it. I prayed to know what we should do.   And we headed back with the original plan of going to see the one member and talk with everyone.  We saw two people on the way.  I still feel strongly that we should continue.  I saw a person just down the street and ran to meet them.  He wasn’t interested at all.  With a prayed in my heart of “help us find this person, ” we continued down the street.  And a lady was there.  We explained that we were sharing an Easter message. She didn’t even know what the Easter holiday was all about.  We explained why.  And asked if we could meet with her one time and give her a website to check out.  She was like ya, can we exchange numbers?  We were shocked of course and said yes we can.  Then we went on our way.  We both knew that we were meant to go see her that day. The lady ended up watching conference, met with the missionaries and is now preparing to be baptized in May!    It was such a wonderful experience to have.  I love feeling the spirit so strongly in missionary work that you are literally being guided to where you need to be. And those being guided to where you are! It is wonderful!

A couple of Elders in the area both ended up sick at the same time. We thought it might be a gas leak in their flat as it smelled like gas.  So they came to our flat for the night while theirs was checked out. (checked the next day and no problem there, just sick at the same time.)  The mission doctor suggested we take them out for a walk in the fresh air.  As we were walking with them, we came upon a lady with her dog.  We stopped to talk with her.  Three of us were in casual clothes and one in a suit- just weird.  But we were talking to her, playing with her dog and just visiting.  She had a lot of questions about God.  She was like that is so cool you guys talk to people about this stuff.  She is really awesome and open to the gospel. The spirit was there, which just goes to show you don’t have to be dressed like a missionary to be a missionary.  We are seeing her later this week.

One of our investigators agreed to watch conference on their phone while on vacation.  Another came watched conference and came to the Easter party and loved it!  Conference was so amazing, I loved it! So good and so inspired and everything was just awesome!!! Talked a lot about, I personally felt, the importance of being a strong member, relying on your own testimony and not the testimony of others or on relying on evidence.  But on the testimony that you have. 

The work is going so well at the moment and we are seeing so many miracles in our work.   Today was my last regular interview with President Jordan.  I have the feeling I will be staying here for my last transfer and continuing to work with the District.  It’s a great District and Zone to be in.  

Thanks for the emails, I love them. Talk to you next week.  Love, Elder Stevenson