Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A Week of Miracles!!

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! 


Sister Stephens


This week has been super interesting. I love Portland! Everyone here is
so amazing. And we have seen so many miracles already. We live with
the Jensen's who are members but we have this super cute cottage that
we live in that is behind their house. They have been out of town so
we haven't met them yet. But I just love the area people are so
willing to talk to you and you don't have to drive twenty minutes to
go to a new place. Being in a tri-pan is different but also has some
advantages. We never have to worry about having another sister being
with us to visit people. It is weird when we are tracting because we
overwhelm people with all of us at the door. But my companions are
sister Campbell and sister eyerly. They are super fun. I love sister
Campbell!! She was in my last district and we get along really well.
It kind of feels like we were doubled in but We are working hard and
doing our best.

Columbia river ward is pretty cool. It is known as the newly wed and
nearly dead ward. Which is so so true. The ward is tiny and so we are
ready to build it up!! There are so many diverse people here. I got to
speak Russian and Spanish in one day. We had a lady make us
traditional Philippine food and it was so good. Except the dessert. It
was interesting haha. The bishop is awesome and we get to have ward
council every week and he gives us a huge list of people to see.
The sisters before us didn't contact any list for two weeks so we have
a lot of things to do. A lot. But we are so up for the challenge.

We have a lot of people we are teaching and have a baptism for a girl
named broke who is eleven and her family is starting to come back to
church. Her baptism is May 30th and she is so excited. We also have a
lot of people who could be on date for baptism so we have to go in and
see why they stopped progressing. So we could have like five people on
date for baptism. So we are going to work so hard! I am so pumped for
this transfer. We also have a lot of less active people we are
teaching and they are all super awesome. One brother is bro Mckenzie
and he is so funny. He has a lot of mental illnesses and is just super
quirky. He has a kitten named plumpy and it's just super funny. He is
a convert and has come back to church and is working towards the
temple. I just love the people here. We have already seen a lot of
miracles. The first two days we found two new investigators!!! This
area is seriously on fire. We were at church the other day and sister
eyerly pointed out a man who had been coming to church but they had
not talked to him yet. His name is Arem and has been coming for a few
weeks. we invited him to Sunday school and they actually talked about
the restoration and it was amazing.he told us after that he thought the
bible should have modern because these times are so different. So we
taught him about prophets and he wants to continue to meet with us!!!
So cool. And when we went to find someone to sit with him we ran into
another person who just came to church to see what it was about. So
that was pretty cool. But we couldn't find him after sacrament so
hopefully he comes back. The lord is truly blessing us here in this

I don't really have a Lot more to report but I love the area and am
excited to see what is in store for us.  
Love sister Stephens.


There was not much of an email to post last week because we were able to skype with Ami on Mother's Day. What a wonderful time that was. She is so happy and loves her mission! She was transferred to Portland last week. She is very excited for new experiences in Portland!
Just a few pictures from La Center. 

Monday, May 4, 2015

Remember the Why of the Gospel!

This week has been an interesting one. We have had a lot of people
drop us and half of our appointments cancelled. It's a little
difficult not getting discouraged when all of at happens. Then I read
about Ammon in the Book of Mormon and how he went and taught the
lamanites and he was mocked and stoned and put in prison and we only
have been mocked. The lord counseled them to be patient and long
suffering and then he will make them instruments in his hands. We
read that this morning in companionship study and that really gave me
strength. Even the greatest missionary in the Book of Mormon had to be
reminded to be patient and then he did and he brought thousands of
souls to Christ. He is so cool. I love reading in the Book of Mormon
because it was written for us. The nephites and lamanites didn't have
the book to guide them. It really was written for us. So awesome.

The ward boundary change has really taken a hit on our ward and the
bishop is in Hawaii so there hasn't been any callings extended so this
Sunday was interesting. It still went smoothly but there was just a
lot of people gone and half of the testimonies given were about how
people will miss the members of the ward who were moved out into
alpine heights. But we did see sis
Pender at church and we were really confused. We went to talk to her
and she said that since her brother was in la center ward still and
lives like a minute from her house they gave her the option to stay in
alpine heights or come back to la center and they came back to our
ward! So that was so awesome. I can't wait to see them in the temple.
Unfortunately Sibyl is not on date anymore she is still in Vegas and
she relapsed in her smoking. Which was heartbreaking. We just don't
want to loose her but we know she is upset and she hasn't been texting
us back at all. So we continue to pray for her that she will have the
strength to be baptized.

We got to see Amy this last week but still haven't heard anything from
Caroline. We invited Amy to be baptized and she said she would have to
think about it. We taught her the restoration and she seemed to accept
it and we gave her a pamphlet to read more about it. She is wonderful
and hasn't come to church yet but we are working on it. Yesterday we
went out to see some part member families and none of them wanted to
talk to us and then we decided to go knock on A door that I have been
thinking about. They also weren't interested which was disappointing
that they didn't have to be baptized soon as we open the door. But we
saw a lady outside working in her yard and we decided to go talk to
her. She said that other people from our church has been coming over
like six times a week giving her pamphlets and she said they were an
older gentleman and a younger boy. We were really confused but there
are a lot of Jehovah's Witnesses in this area so it was probably them.
But we talk to her for a while and she said that whenever we were in
the area we could come by and see her. Which we are always in the area
because we are missionaries. We have been praying for
someone to talk to and heavenly father really answered my prayer. Then
we went to see a less active who we have been trying to see for months
and she let us in! We shared a video about Mother's Day and talked
about how much God loves her and all of his children. She didn't want
to commit to another visit but she said maybe in a month. This next
week we have a lot of appointments with some new investigators and we
are taking a woman on a church tour this Thursday. She has been
investigating the church for like 11 years and hasn't come to church
and wants to be baptized in the river. Which is against the rules.
Missionaries have worked with her a lot and we aren't ready to give up
just yet. You never know how the Lord is working with his children and
when they will be ready to except the gospel and act on it. So I'm
really excited for everything next week and then I get a Skype with

I've been learning a lot more about fasting since I've been here. And
when you fast with a true purpose you really feel an increase of the
spirit in your day and feel closer to Heavenly Father. If you don't
fast for a purpose you are just starving yourself, like Jordan said
haha. But it's alright we will all learn together.

Transfers are next week. I can't believe it. So now that I'm done
training I might leave la center or get a new companion or stay here
with sis McMullin which would be awesome. We will find out on Friday
where we are going. And it's my 3 month mark today! Crazy sauce. I
can't believe I've been gone three months. That's almost the time I
spent in Russia and it has gone by so much faster than that did. I
want to stay in la center but I also want to leave and go to another
area and meet more people. I love the changing atmosphere of the
mission. You don't get to stay in one place for very long usually. And
that's so great. I love meeting new people and having new experiences.
But I will miss la center and come back after my mission. I mean 3
hours isn't that long to travel haha.

Oh and another exciting thing this week is I had to go to the
dentist!! My tooth has been really hurting me and so I called Sister
Taylor and she said to go to the dentist. We have a few in our ward so
I went to Sister Young's office and she took a look at it and said
that I might need a root canal. Yay. She did some work on it and said
that if it still hurts that I need to come in again and do a root
canal. But the awesome thing was she didn't charge me for it. That was
a huge blessing. I know we get pretty good dental coverage but she
didn't even ask about it she just went ahead and did it.

Anyway that's about my week and I hope you all have a great week.
Remember the why of the Gospel. There is a reason we are asked to do
different things like pray, read our scriptures, go to church, attend
the temple, have family home evening, and serve others. We are not
trying to earn our way to heaven but we are trying to become more like
our Savior. We are given these commandments because they are the
things that will build our rock on Jesus Christ. That when the
temptations of the world and the devil come in we will not be moved but
we will be able to stand firm because of the foundation we have built.
There is an awesome talk in the CES devotional from 2015 that talks
about real intent you should really look it up. It's under the gospel
library app under young adults. It really changed my perspective on a
lot of things. I love you all and I hope you remember how loved you
are by our Savior and heavenly father.

Sister Stephens

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Be Immovable and Trust God

This week has been kind of interesting. We had a full week of lessons
planned and then one by one they canceled or just weren't at their
house. Caroline was the saddest one because we actually saw her go
into the gas station so we happened to need something there and then
we saw her :) she said she really wants us to come back so we
scheduled a Friday visit and then she wasn't home! And she didn't
answer her phone or call us back. But we haven't given up just yet :)
The baptism was super awesome though. Kimmy was so happy and we are
really excited to start teaching her.
 Sybil's baptism is on the 9th of
May and she's doing really well. She had to go to Las Vegas though
because she had a family emergency so we are hoping she gets back in
time. She definitely has some struggles to get through but we are all
praying that she'll make it to her baptism date. We had a few people
drop us this week and that has been hard. But I have been studying lot
about being immovable and trusting God so that's what I am trying to
do. Last night we met a guy named Kevin and we are going back to visit
him tonight.
 Our zone has 88 new investigators and we have until
Thursday to reach 100! We are praying and working super hard to get
that goal. We are going to find them all in April and baptize them in
May to get 100 baptisms a month for the mission.
 We had our stake boundary meeting last night and there were a lot of
changes. La center was basically cut in half and we have the east half
to the alpine heights ward. Which means the Penders are no longer in
our ward :( and we lost all of our ward missionaries and they called a
new bishopric! So a lot of changes here. We didn't gain any new
families so we are going to have to really work hard to strengthen
what is left of the ward. We are really excited though, change is
always good :)
 We had exchanges this week and I went to salmon creek. I also got sick
so that wasn't fun. It was miserable sitting through the lessons and
finally we just went home and I slept. Which is awful. Being sick as a
missionary is the worst. We ate at this sketch restaurant and then it
was downhill from there. But we had a good exchange and it was weird
not being in the boonies for s day! 

Transfers are coming up on the
13th of May so now that I'm almost done training it is going to be
interesting seeing what will happen with that.

Honestly this week hasn't been super interesting. We are still working
hard and trying to keep the faith as we see things crumble down. But
we did get to meet with Katie and we have been trying since i got
here. She is hesitant because her husband doesn't want to learn more
but she has been really feeling something missing from all the other
churches she has been to. So she really wants to learn more but is
torn. But we keep on praying. Sacrament meeting was super awesome this
week as well. We had 13 less active members there and all but one are
now in the other ward. So the elders are going to have to keep them
going strong, especially the Penders.

I hope you all take the time to really
study the scriptures. You can do it :) the gospel is so amazing and
just simply changes you. I'm eternally grateful that I am here. It's
been the best.

 I love you so much! 
 Sister Stephens