Monday, June 22, 2015

Through Christ you can do all things!

What a week. I can't believe that it is already pday and we get our transfer letters on Friday and I am excited to see what changes are going to happen for the next transfer. We are continuing to be blessed by the Lord in this area and I love seeing how this is truly His work. We decided to go through our former investigator list and we found two new investigators from it and set up two more appointments to people who are really interested in learning more about the gospel. We are also taking Mia to the temple visitor center this Wednesday and we are so pumped! This week we invited Arem to be baptized and he said he would but wants to watch a baptism first and then he will commit to a date. So that is really exciting and hopefully we will have Chris on date before the end of the week. July is going to be a month of miracles. We also saw a really awesome miracle yesterday. We were prompted to go to a potential and we went but they were having a huge party so we started to tract and we saw this lady go to lock her door and we walked past but then the spirit told us to go back. She is really interested in the plan of salvation and we are going to see her this weekend. This area is blooming. It's crazy how strict obedience and hard work does that :)  

We also met again with Jeffery and it was so cool. He has met with missionaries in the past but hasn't really committed to anything. He also hasn't opened up at all to missionaries before. We just spent like ten minutes laughing with him and getting down to his level. He is fourteen so it's easy to talk to him because Tyler is the same age and they are very similar. He told us a lot about how he wants to come closer to Heavenly Father and make his parents proud of him. He loves coming to our church because it makes him really happy. So we will continue to work with him because he is amazing and needs to  be baptized. 

We are also getting a lot of referrals from our ward members. One of them asked us for a Book of Mormon to give to a classmate and she has been reading it and loving it so we are going to see her this week as well. We also got to go to the temple this week. And it was really amazing. I just love being in the temple it really is a place of peace and learning. I also went on exchanges with my sister training leaders this week and it was a good stress free day....well as much as possible for missionaries. Not much more has happened this week. Last pday we went exploring down in Portland so that was pretty cool. I love being a missionary and I love helping people. Oh we did meet this man named Jerry and we helped him take out his black berry bushes so now we are all scratched up but he wants to meet with us to talk about the gospel. Service is awesome. 

I hope everyone has a great week and remember that through Christ you can do all things. 


Sister Stephens 

Monday, June 8, 2015

God Doesn't do Random!

Oh man what a week. It has been definitely a challenging one but full of miracles and blessings :) Unfortunately some of our lessons fell through and we were dropped a few times but hey that is mission life. It is really sad to see people feel the spirit and then deny that they felt it the next time that we meet with them. But on a happier note we were able to make some awesome progress with a few investigators: Chris and Mia. Mia came to stake conference and it talked a ton about baptism so that was awesome. And she is wanting more conference talks to read and said that she is feeling the spirit more in her life and is wanting to live by the gospel rather than by the worldly standards. We are meeting with her tonight to teach about repentance and the atonement, which is like my favorite subject to talk about :) Repentance is definitely the most hopeful word in the dictionary. We were also able to meet with Chris and he read Alma 32 about faith and we asked him to pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true and he said he would but that he didn't know how. It amazes me that people have gone their whole life without knowing how to pray and ask God for things. I can't imagine my life without that constant source of light that I receive while praying. We were also able to teach a lot of lessons just on the street which can be some of the coolest lessons but also some of the weird and confusing ones as well. We met this family from North Carolina and taught about prophets and shared a Mormon message with them and it was so amazing. I love testifying to people and telling them what I have found to be true. How very loved we are by our Father in Heaven to have a prophet again on the earth. We also met a really drunk guy but hey that's Portland :) He first said that you have to be a psychopath if you didn't believe in Christ but then went on to say how he didn't believe in him at all....we just gave him our card and walked away. People man. If only they knew what they were missing!! I just love the gospel. 
We had stake conference this week and President Taylor spoke so that was awesome. But everything he said we have already heard haha. But one of the talks talked about making sure to do the daily's of scripture study and prayer. What a serious difference that will make in our lives. That is one of the coolest things I have learned being out here. Those alone invite the spirit so much more into your life and you can receive direction and answers by just remembering what you read that day in the scriptures and through the spirit while you are praying. I have also realized how sincere prayer is amazing. I don't know why I couldn't figure that out before. But finding a private place to speak out loud to our Father in Heaven makes it more personal and sincere. Those are some awesome ways to have the spirit in our lives everyday. Now about your lesson in Relief Society, there is an awesome Mormon message by elder Bednar about patterns of light: the spirit of revelation. It talks a lot about how we can learn to understand how the spirit works and the different patterns that happens when we receive the spirit. Some cool experiences are just simple everyday ones. The other day we were driving and it was almost our curfew so we were going to the last house of the night hoping for one last miracle. We passed this lady at the bus stop and the spirit was so strong and just said: Go see her. And i was like uhhh okay haha and then i told sister Campbell and we pulled right over and went to see her. She was having a terrible day but didn't believe in Christ. We testified of Him and showed the video Because he lives and she was speechless. We were able to testify of her divine identity and told her how much she was loved by her Father in Heaven. It was so cool. The whole time we were praying for the bus to be delayed and then right when we were saying goodbye the bus pulled up. It was perfect timing. God doesn't do random. That is our missions favorite quote. He certainly does not do random. Another cool story was when we met Chris. We saw this name in our area book that we were impressed to go see. And it turned out that it was the house of a recent convert so we were super confused. But we went anyway and we found out that the person we were looking for didn't live there but Chris did. He had been going to church with this family for like 4 weeks and he is so ready for the gospel. We have been having amazing lessons with him and it was all from seeking the spirit. 
Anyway, this week has been amazing. And we are certainly blessed in this area. I am so excited that  you are all doing family names for the temple and that the youth session is full :) That makes me really happy. I love doing temple work. Speaking of the temple we are going tomorrow and we are so pumped! I hope you all have a wonderful week and remember who you are! 
Sister Stephens 

Loving Portland!

This week has been pretty great. We unfortunately didn't have a baptism this week like we had planned. On Thursday we had a lesson with the family who was returning to activity and then we left and two hours later we get this voicemail and she had gotten into anti literature and decided to not have Brooke baptized and it was really sad. She even sent an email to the ward leaders about her decision and explained all this stuff that made her apostate and she wants to be excommunicated. It was a very challenging week with a lot of tears. But even through all of that the lord has been truly blessing us with many miracles. We had an amazing lesson with Mia and she has made an amazing fellowshipper and is progressing so much. She has been praying and coming to the church and hopefully will have a baptism date soon. We also are teaching a part member family and she said that she would be baptized but is praying about the date. She was raised a catholic but really wants her kids involved. We only met her once and she is so ready for this gospel. Well everyone needs to be haha. 

Mission conference was amazing. Elder Nielsen of the seventy came and spoke about the enabling power of the atonement. We focused on how we access not only the redeeming power of the atonement but how when we take that to the next step and have strength through the atonement. We had this awesome interactive lesson and were able to ask questions at we had. Which obviously I couldn't think of any haha. I love mission conferences. We also had interviews with president Taylor and he told me to get ready for next transfer because I'll be taking the area over. So that's terrifying. But seriously. I love Portland and everyone here wants to talk to us. Well not everyone. We still get angry people. But that's mission life. 

Arem is doing great. He sincerely wants to change but the process is slow. Which is fine because he is honestly taking it one day at a time. It's been so cool seeing the miracles of the lord. Jami also came to church and state door Sunday school! She is wary with meeting with us but she is coming to church and knows that she needs it. And the ward is amazing so that helps a lot. We met a boy named Jeffery and the missionaries haven't been able to get him progressing but sister Campbell and I just talked to him like then14 year old is and he opened right up. So we are way excited for that. 

Also everyone should read 3 nephi 9. Seriously I haven't had so many questions answered on my mission then in that chapter. Maybe it's just me but it's become my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon. I'm really glad everyone is doing well. I love you all remember that the church is true and that we are so very loved by our father in heaven. Have a wonderful week. 

Love sister Stephens