This week has been full of miracles. Seriously probably the best week i have had on the mission. We made a goal to reach the standard of excellence which was hard to get in la center but has been attainable here in Portland. We have found four new investigators this week and have been teaching like crazy. This area is being so blessed by the hand of the lord. It truly is his work and without him we wouldn't have any strength or inspiration to do this work. We have definitely had some weird experiences being here. We have taught drunk people, a lady thinking her house was targeted by a professional squatting network and she showed us the gun she carries in her pocket in case they come around, and bicyclists going three miles an hour down a busy road in front of a line of cars while smoking. The ward here is pretty good. They are either chiropractic students or in the late stages of life. We do have a few families who are working really hard to do missionary work and help us out. We got a referral from a ward member who was at a class and a lady named Jamie walked in and needed help with rent. We met with her and unfortunately the bishop can't give her money but can only provide community resources. She is from Kennewick and has left her church which in turn her family had to shun her. She said she didn't know what she believed in and we invited her to church and she came!!! After sacrament meeting she said she seriously underestimated how much she needs church. So that was so cool!!! We are teaching a few less actives and we have a baptism this weekend. Brooke haven and her family are returning to church and she is eleven so she is going to be baptized!! I haven't heard from the penders but I will see sis mcmullin at the mission conference this weekend and I will be able to ask her how they are doing. We are teaching another part member family but they canceled last week so I haven't met them....there are a lot of part member families that we are trying to teach so that is fun. We have found four new investigators and two were referrals, one just came to church and the other is a part member family. We went to see a recent convert and we found out that a non member was living there and had been coming to church. that was perfect timing to go over and he is ready to learn more and change his life. So that is really cool. We were driving the other night and saw this lady at the bus stop and I had the thought to go and see her. So we pull over and start to talk to her. She was having a terrible day and we shared the he lives video with her and just bore our testimony of her divine nature, and the spirit was so strong. We were able to talk to her before the bus came and then she was gone. Hopefully she was impacted by us stopping. We are just seeing miracles everywhere. People actually want to talk to us and it's just the best. We are teaching a girl named Mia and she came to church this week as well as Arem. They both are doing great and are progressing slow and steady. Mia just needs to know that this is the right path and if she gets that then she will be more willing to fully commit. And Arem has no religious background but we found a member who speaks Russian and is going to come to the lesson with us to help us teach him. We are also teaching a young man named Steven who was going to be baptized but his mom withdrew her approval the day before his baptism and he is still active and going strong. He wants to go on a mission and it's just so heart breaking that he has to wait two years to be baptized. But it's all on the lords time. So the work is here and being in a tri is weird. But it's good. We are getting along pretty good and just trying to motivate each other to really work and put everything in to our callings. I seriously love being here in Portland and being a missionary. So many wonderful things :) I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Stephens