Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Life is Good, and The Gospel is True!

This week has been pretty great. We were kind of stressed for part of
it but that comes with the territory of serving a mission! However we
did see many miracles this week. Unfortunately we had to drop some
people, like Chris. It is hard to see people make choices that will
not lead them to the happiness that the gospel brings into our lives.
Debbie and Gladys are doing great and we are teaching them every week.
I'm not sure if Debbie will make her baptism date of the 22nd but it
will be shortly after that. She just needs more time to learn and
really be ready to make the covenant of baptism. Gladys is going to be
baptized on October 11 in Utah with her family.

A huge tender mercy this week was we got to see president Taylor. My
companion really needed some more emotional and spiritual support so
president came down to talk to us. He pulled me in the room after he
talked to her and he just told me to keep on going, and to trust in the
lord. Something he said really stuck out to me was to not beat
ourselves up because there are so many people in life that will beat
us up and we don't need to do that ourselves. President is the greatest
ever. I really felt the love heavenly father has for me when I was in
that meeting.

We talked to a lot of random people on the street and argued with a
Spanish man who was trying to teach us about the Jehovah witness
church...we couldn't understand him and he wouldn't let us leave. So
that was kind of awkward. I survived transfers with Sister Michaud! We
are so stoked to be in this area for another transfer. At transfer
meeting our Skype went out that was broadcasting presidents
we called sis Taylor and she put us on speaker. So the entire zone was
sitting around a car listening to a crackled transfer meeting through
the blue tooth speakers. It was amazing. But we learned a lot. He
talked a lot about who we are, and who we think we are is who we will
become. I have been thinking a lot about that. Our mind set is so
important in missionary work and especially in life. If we know who we
are as sons and daughters of God then we will act and think as such.

We had a really great sacrament meeting this week with investigators
and less actives coming. It was great. One of our investigators had to
cancel our meeting on Sunday because there was a shooting right
outside her apartment window and the police had caution tape
everywhere.....we saw the lights of the police the night before as we
were driving home. So that was awkward. They literally snuck out of
their apartment to come to church. Way sketchy! But we were glad to
see them at church :)

I love the mission so much and I love hearing from everyone. It is
great seeing miracles and seeing just how much the lord loves us all.
The other day we felt impressed to go see a name in the area book and
we did. It happened to be Debbie's house! We had no idea it was her
house and she didn't come to church that day either. So we shared a
message with her and she said she didn't realize how much she needed
that until we came. Heavenly father truly is in the details of our
life and cares for us so very much. I cant believe i only have a year
left to bring others to Christ! Life is good, and the gospel is true!

Sister Stephens

All Things are Possible Through Christ

This week has been super awesome. We are seeing a lot of miracles here
in this area. And transfers are on Wednesday but i am staying here in
Portland with sister Michaud. I am super happy about that. We have a
lot of good things coming up in the next couple of months. We found a
few new people to teach this week but all four of them flaked out on
their appointments so that was kind of discouraging. However we will
continue to go and try and contact them to teach them about the
gospel. Our other investigators are doing amazing and are all going
to be baptized in august or September. One is on August 22nd and then
the others are in September but we haven't secured down a date for them
yet. And all of them came to church this week which was just amazing
to have them there. Debbie brought a few of her grand-kids and they
just loved primary and were participating as if they had been there
their entire life! It was so great. And then in relief society we
talked about Tabitha in the bible...aka dorkus...and that made me
laugh a lot. It was a really good lesson where we learned just how
important women are in the work of the Lord and in this gospel.

We had a lesson with a less active couple and it made me so sad to see
how little faith they have. They left the church a while ago and don't
want to come back because they are holding on to the sins they love.
It makes me so sad because whatever sacrifice is necessary is worth it
to enjoy the blessings of this gospel and to return to live with our
father in heaven again. But on the contrast we have a young man who is
coming to church for the first time in 7 years and is really praying
to know if this is all true. He is finally making an effort to come
unto Christ and we are really seeing a difference in him, even if the
difference is attending only sacrament meeting, by small and simple
things are great things come to pass.

I have been thinking a lot this week about why we do the things we do
in this church. Why we have faith and why we fulfill callings that are
all voluntary and take up a lot of our time. The simple answer is
Christ. When we come to truly love our savior we will want to do
everything we can to become a better disciple and show our love by
serving him and loving others. Our whole motivation should be Christ.
To study the scriptures everyday and pray everyday and go to church
every week we are becoming more like the savior. And then we can
develop Christ like attributes that will help us so much in this life.
I just love this gospel and how much the savior truly loves us. His
atonement is so real!

We are continuing to become better missionaries and a better
companionship. Which is challenging but all things are truly possible
through Christ! I hope you all have a wonderful week!
Sister Stephens

Families Are Amazing!

No worries there was no falling off cliffs this week! We did however
go to Multnomah falls and hiked to the top. It was great. There were
like 20 people that stopped us and said hey sisters!! So we talked to
them and gave them the run down of where we were from. Most of them
were on vacation from Utah. It was pretty awesome. Sister Michaud
loved the falls. So it was nice to be back there again.

Once again the lord has been pouring out his blessings on us this
week. We had a lot of referrals that are golden. We met Debbie this
last week and she is amazing. She is so ready for the gospel and
accepts a baptismal date of August 22nd. Her son is a convert and has
been for like 16 years. She loves learning and asks us good questions
and is just soaking this all in. Seriously amazing. And then we met
this man named Fred who had all of the lessons in Utah. Then he moved
to Portland and has been waiting for missionaries for four months! We had
no idea that he was here. The referral came and we went right over.
He's amazing. Then we had another referral named Gladys and she said she wanted to get baptized! We met her at church and she took a
hymnal home so she could have family home evening. So many miracles.
Those are our real progressing investigators. Everyone else is doing
good. We are just praying for them a lot and helping them in any way
that we can.

It's amazing to see how the gospel changes people. And how much people
just get it when they hear it. We were teaching Debbie the plan of
salvation and we were talking about the temple. She lit up and said
she could be baptized for her mom. And this was even before she agreed
to be baptized! It was amazing. Families are amazing. The gospel is
true. The priesthood has been restored. And then we met this lady
named Amanda. She is amazing. She has never heard of the church before
or the Book of Mormon. Her mother in law is getting assistance from
another ward in the stake. So we went to try and teach them and Amanda
was home! She just soaked it all in and wants us to come back to teach
her family. So many miracles.

It finally rained this weekend! And I realize that my rain coat does
not work in pouring rain. I was drenched. And then that made me
grumpy. And then people were extremely rude that day haha. But it's
okay. The gospel is still true. I've been reading from the book you
sent me! The infinite atonement, and its amazing. I'm learning so much
about the savior and how the atonement is so real. This week I was
reading about the fall and how Christ redeemed us from that in so many
ways. He unconditionally allows us to overcome physical death and we
will all return to the presence of God to be judged. But the second
spiritual death that comes from our own sin is up to us to change. We
have his help, which is the only way to do it, but it is conditional
on how we live this life and how we become. We never try to earn
heaven but reach the potential God has for us.

It looks like you are all having so much fun in Utah! Tell everyone
that I love them and miss them! It's crazy to see how big all of the
cousins are getting! Especially Cody's kids. Utah trips are the best so
have so much fun and send me good pictures.

Remember who you are, and that the lord loves you and I love you!!

Sister Stephens