Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

We had a pretty interesting week this week! First of all thanksgiving
was awesome, and I did get the package :) it was all perfect, thank
you so so much! We started our day doing secret service for a part
member family. We raked their leaves and it was a lot of fun. They got
back from hunting just as we were getting done. So I held two dead
pheasants. It was interesting. And then we had to go and get cleaned
up. Our next stop was with the Kahm family. They are recent converts
and we went to play games with them. Thankfully we only had one dinner
though! After a few hours we headed over to the Carey-fusons house.
They had a lot of people over and we played minute to win it for an
hour before dinner. Dinner was awesome and they do this really cute
tradition. The place setting is an individually picked out ornament
for that person. They are all super personal and after eating we all
took a turn to open them. They bought us each this super pretty
ornament of the Portland temple. So cool. And now it's hanging on our
little Christmas tree in our basement. After dinner we spent some time
with the Turners and had pie with them. And then went to President
Taylor's for pie with the zone! So it was a pretty awesome day.

As for teaching this week we were able to meet with Shannon. She is
struggling with reading from the Book of Mormon, so we read it with
her. She is coming along but needs to gain her own testimony. We also
met with a few less actives. Hawaii and Tonga are out of town so we
didn't get to see them this week. We did our scripture study class and
there wasn't a lot of people there but it was a holiday week. We have
a lot of people coming to this weeks though! Alex Wiese is getting
baptized this weekend! It's a child of record baptism but we have been
working with their family so we get to go to the baptism. We are
excited for that one. And speaking of baptisms.....we went to Portland
this weekend for a baptism on Saturday. Do you remember the McGrath
family? They are a part member family that we taught in Columbia
River. Well we found out that two of the kids were getting baptized
and their dad baptized them!! It was amazing. They were all so excited
to see Sister Michaud and I there. And Debbie was there too!!! There
may have been tears. I just love those people so much. It was a great

We have a lot of people to follow up with this week and hopefully
make them new investigators. Only Shannon came to church this week but
we did have quite a few less active members there. We found a new
potential this week but we haven't been able to find any new
investigators yet. But we will! We are making some changes in our
approach so hopefully that will help.

We're able to talk to some people at our service this week about the
church. They just had questions and we were able to help them. It was
really cool. We were teaching someone, so was the other sisters, and
the elders and it was all at the same time and we gave them all a copy
of the Book of Mormon. It was pretty cool to watch.

I was in the store today and it hit me that I am reaching my ten month
mark this week. Ten months. I feel like I just got here. And we find
out about transfers this week as well. There is so much to do in eight
months. I just can't believe it. Days feel like weeks and weeks feel
like days. I have loved it all though. It's been a difficult ten
months but it has all been worth it. I am so glad that I finally
decided to serve, it really is something that i will never regret

We had an interesting sacrament meeting this week. The bishop wanted
us to focus on the sacrament more. So we had three speakers all
talking about the sacrament and the atonement and a Ward choir number
all before we took the sacrament. It was really awesome. Definitely a
little strange but really made the reason for the sacrament stand out
more. So it was a good Sunday. Also there is a new video that you all
need to check out it is on it is the new video
for the Christmas season. It's so good.

Well that's all from this side of Washington aka the promised land. I
hope you all had a great thanksgiving and I love you all!!

Sister Stephens

Mission Conference

Well we had a great week here in Vancouver. It has been super raining
and windy and that has been pretty fun to walk through. Thankfully the
members are super awesome and make sure that we had rides to and from
places. And we just try to stay warm. Which works pretty good most of
the time. And this week we were able to teach more lessons than we
have previously. So that has been a huge miracle.

Hawaii and Tonga are doing great. Hawaii went to the temple this past
week and she loved it. Which she already had gone but we are working
on them both getting through and sealed. Which will be so awesome.
Nikita has completely disappeared. We haven't been able to get a hold
of her in weeks. So we have dropped her. We were teaching a lady named
Shannon a few weeks ago but she moved to Colorado. We were singing in
the choir practice before church and she walks in! Apparently she has
moved back and now we get to teach her again. That was a huge miracle.
We also taught a man named Peter and his wife Jessica. They were found
earlier in the year but stopped because they were having a baby. We
talked about the restoration and he has a little difficult time
understanding the priesthood and prophets so we are going back again
with a different approach. Hopefully that works out well.

We found some awesome people this week as well. The first one is
Katie. She has a three year old daughter and really wants to come to
church and start to learn more about Christ. She is busy for the next
few weeks but we are really excited to teach her. She already had a
Book of Mormon and has been thinking about coming to church on her own
before we met her. We also tracted into a man named Pete. He is trying
to find a different church to take his family to so we invited him to
ours :) he said we could come back and teach them next weekend. Then
we found a lady named Courtney. She let us in to her home last night.
She grew up as a Jehovah's Witness and then left the church and feels
like something has been missing in her religious quest. We taught her
the first lessons and left her with a Book of Mormon. She wants to
meet with us in January....which is a long time away but at least she
didn't shut the door on us! So. Lot of cool miracles here :)

We were able to have mission conference this last weekend. And elder
Johnson of the 70 came to speak to us. We talked a lot about the
nature of God and the restoration. He challenged us to ask Heavenly
Father five questions and the experience we have we will remember for
the rest of our lives. I did it and it is awesome so now I'm extending
that challenge to all of you. Ask Heavenly Father tonight these
questions, 1. Do you really have a body of flesh and bones 2. Are you
really there 3. Are you really listening 4. Am I really your child and
5. Do you really love me. I know they are pretty basic but that
knowledge is so essential for us to progress and pray in a way where
we have faith to receive the answers that God wants to give us. It's
amazing knowing that Heavenly Father is real and has a body and is in
the details of our life. It's the greatest.

I was also able to see Sister Michaud at the mission conference. It
was awesome. I miss her. And this week we did a service project for
the city of Vancouver and helped them plant 270 trees along Vancouver
lake. It was a lot of fun. And this week we are going to be doing a
lot of service as well. And for thanksgiving we are going to
different members houses to spend it with them. And president Taylor
invited our zone over for pie that night as well. It'll be great. And
then transfer letters come in two weeks. It's been a fast transfer
that's for sure.

I'm glad things for Tyler's court of honor went well and that the
Christmas tree is up! If I had a car we would be listening to
Christmas music....but I don't. Oh well...maybe next transfer :) well
I hope you all have a great week and a wonderful thanksgiving!

Sister Stephens

                                                              I saw sister Michaud at mission tour!!!!

                                                    We planted trees this weekend!

Thinking Outside the Box!

Another great week here in Vancouver! Nine months has literally just flown by so fast. We just keep on going and pray for miracles everyday. We weren't able to meet with a lot of our regular people this week so it was a little tough but we will keep on going. We do have a lead with a part member family so hopefully we will be able to stay in contact with them all. And Greg couldn't meet so we are hopefully seeing him this week. A miracle this week is we decided to start a scripture study class for anyone and everyone. And a lot of people in the Ward are super excited and we may have people coming!! Woot!! Gotta think outside the box here in Vancouver haha. But it will be good. 

We also moved on Saturday! We still live with members but are with Sister Morford now. We are staying in her basement and it's pretty awesome. Thankfully the Ward has taken a lot of pity on us and drive us places so we can stay out of the rain. Which is always appreciated. So we are staying somewhat dry. 

Another tender mercy this week are people in my zone! Sister Nilson is also 22 so we can gang together. She's pretty chill and we laugh a lot. So that's cool. Sister Turner and I are doing better...we had a very interesting experience this week though. Things were just getting so bad and we had a meeting with the stls and the zls and it was pretty awful. They just made us talk it out....and we were both so uncomfortable. But it was needed. Now it's just super awkward around them....anyway that's like the only thing this week that's different than the usual knockin and walkin. 

Thankfully we picked up another couple who are less active and she is trying really hard to come back to church so we are going to start meeting with them regularly. It seems like we do a lot better when we focus on less actives to teach in this area and we are doing pretty well with that. We did teach a family home evening with our Ward mission leaders family and it went pretty good. We had a part member family there and we were able to talk about the atonement. That's always my favorite topic. And we played games with them so we appreciated that. 

For thanksgiving we are going to be going to a lot of different members homes and then we are going to presidents house for pie. So we are pretty pumped for that. We have a lot of awesome people in our Ward here. So that helps a lot.

Anyways....that's all for me. Love you guys! 

Sister Stephens 

                                                            Service at the lake!

                                                                       Avery and Gus Gus

                                                                            Big bike statue....

                                                                        Spaghetti tacos!

                                                            The Reynolds!

Every Soul is Great in the Sight of God

What a week! I officially hit nine months on Wednesday so that was
pretty awesome. We celebrated by doing service, getting a shake at
Burgerville annnnd tracting! We also had a lesson with Shannon so it
was a pretty great mission birthday. So we were able to find a new
investigator named Greg this week. We tracted into him and he has a
young family and was interested in us coming back so we will go on
Wednesday! Nikita canceled her appointmet this week so she isn't
really progressing. She may be moving but we aren't sure yet. I guess
we will see what happens with that. We are going through a lot of the
part member family lists trying to find someone to teach. And knocking
a lot of doors. We did find a potential part member family, the
Binghams, but we haven't been able to schedule anyone with them yet.
We are having a lesson with the hunts tonight and they are also a part
member family. So there are some good prospectives. Just keep on
knocking and calling. There has got to be someone here to teach!

We went on exchanges this week and I stayed in my area and it rained
from ten to six. All day. Just a constant rain fall. I didn't have my
warm coat on and had my regular boots on...bad idea. Half way through
the day we had to walk home and change jackets and double up the
socks. So that didn't work feet were so soaked all day.
So many blisters. And a member picked us up and gave me this huge
umbrella and it took up the entire sidewalk. So awesome. And while we
were walking to our only appointment that day it canceled. And we had
been walking to it for thirty minutes. Then we called the other
sisters with the car and we went to Walmart and I had to buy rain
boots and thick socks. And they are a hideous green color. Oh well
gotta stay dry. That was a fun exchange.

Last night we had dinner with Hawaii and Tonga. And they are doing
great. Still coming to church and keeping the temple in their goals.
And yes they do have interesting names haha but Hawaii is the girl.
She is so awesome. We had a huge feast and we even tried seaweed
salad, and I'll never eat it again but I did try it. And we talked
about how Tonga dives after these huge fishes in Samoa and saw a huge
mantaray!!! Crazy stories.

Oh and we had trainer trainee meeting this week and as usual it was
super awesome. President talked about strengthening our brethren and
how as missionaries that is our calling. Every soul is great in the
sight of god, member or non member. And we have to follow the spirit
to help Heavenly Father in this great work. It was pretty awesome. And
we had a great sacrament meeting. The high priests talked about having
moral cleanliness in our words and deeds. And the biggest pull away
for me was having a change of heart. If we have things we need to
change then to do that we have to come unto Christ. So we have to just
bring our hearts closer to Christ and then our actions will follow.
It's pretty great.

Well I hope you all have a great week and know that I love you and
you're in my prayers!

Sister Stephens

                                                   My come for a week sister Hibbard

                                                                            Sister Turner

                                                                       Sister Black

                                                              Nine months!


                                                                The huge umbrella

                                                       My new rain boots

Salvation is Never Easy!

Just another crazy week in the Washington Vancouver mission. Sister Black and I had a great last week together. Even though neither of us wanted to go. On Tuesday we were able to take out a new missionary with us. They just assigned us someone random and we spent a few hours tracting and trying to contact people. Perks of serving in the Vancouver west zone I guess. Actually this zone is awesome because we are at the heart of the mission so I appreciate that. And then on Tuesday night we had a mini sleep over because sister morrill's, my sister training Leader, companion went home so that was pretty fun. We came home and a guy that was working in our members yard left us flowers...kind of awkward but nice. So we had a fun time and then before we knew it it was transfer day!! 

So my new companion is Sister turner. She is from Temecula California which is about an hour north of San Diego. She is pretty cool. She went to byu for a year before her mission and loves to play basketball. We have been getting used to this whole walking thing. Thankfully on the days where it rained the most we had meetings to be at for stake conference and it was also Halloween so we stayed in after dinner. That was also kind of strange....I didn't really know what to do with myself. And we have awesome members who give us rides places so that is also a plus. I didn't take an umbrella with me one day and I regretted it the whole day because I just couldn't get dry. So now it's always with me....even if it is just lightly raining. Ain't no body got time to be wet all the time. 

Transfer meeting was pretty legit though. President talked a lot about our attitude to the work. He quoted Elder Holland when he said that salvation was never easy so why do we think this work will be easy?!? Pretty powerful meeting. I think the thing that stuck out to me the most was when he said that this team can't afford for you to be down. That was pretty awesome. Just a lot of mention of keeping our attitude consistent with our calling. 

So this week we were able to meet with Nikita and she is doing pretty good. She still hasn't read from the Book of Mormon on her own yet so that is really stopping her progression. We read with her 3 nephi 11 where Christ first appears to the Nephite people and she loved it. She asks a lot of questions to understand what is going on so that is good. She said that she feels peace when we are over and that is why she lets us come back each week. So we are working on getting her to realize she can have that same peace when she reads from the Book of Mormon and follows the commandments. Hawaii and Tonga are doing great as usual. We only met with Hawaii this week because Tonga was sick but we had a great lesson about the doctrine of Christ and talked a lot about her conversion. She's awesome. And we found a new investigator this week. She is a recent converts girl friend and really wants to join the church. We taught her the first lesson, restoration, and she loved that we have prophets on the earth again. She is pretty awesome but we just have to make sure that she is converted to the gospel and not going to join because her boy friend wants her to. But it doesn't really matter how people are introduced to the church, as long as they are that is what matters. And we found a pretty solid potential investigator, Stephanie. We knocked on her house and her boyfriend was not interested at all but we talked to her as she was getting out of her car. She really wants to find a church for herself and her kids and is very open to learning. She has had a lot of LDS friends in her life and is really excited to learn more about it. So we tried calling her to set up an appointment but nothing yet so we are praying that we can meet with her again! 

We had stake conference this weekend and it was pretty awesome. Elder teh from the 70 came to speak to us. We talked a lot about our discipleship and how that impacts what we say and do. It really is our choice how much we have Christ in our image. Just everyday choose that is how you are going to be today. And sometimes we need a reminder once an hour or a minute but that is why we have the spirit, to help us become more like Christ. It's pretty awesome.

I'm glad to hear things are going well. Remember who you are and have a great week :) 

Sister Stephens 

               Sister Hughes, Morrill, Turner and I on Halloween with our pumpkin shakes

                                                            Sister Arbon, we took her out her first day

                                                  The Turner family!! He is our Ward mission leader

                                                   The flowers someone left for us

                                                             The wiese family

Transfers 10/26/15

Well another week in van 3rd. So first things transfers are on
Wednesday and sister black is going to happy valley in Oregon and I am
staying here and training a new missionary. So that should be exciting
and now we don't have a car so we will be back to walking. And winter
is that means rain. But that's okay. The relief society
president just gave me her coat on Sunday because it's heavier than my
rain jacket. So that was basically awesome. Now I'll be warm....I hope

So this week we haven't found any new investigators and we didn't get
to teach Nikita. She canceled all three of her appointments. But that
gave us time to go and talk to people and try and invite them to learn
more about the gospel. I guess some highlights from it all was a
referral we got on Sunday to teach a recent converts girl friend and
mom. We are super stoked to teach them.....or anyone haha. But we just
keep praying and having faith. We are teaching some awesome members
who are coming back to activity. They are Tonga and Hawaii. Seriously
the most awesome people ever. He strayed a little after they got
married and now they are wanting to go to the temple. So we see them
once a week and the lessons are just amazing. On Saturday we had a guy
anti us pretty bad and wouldn't let us leave so we were just feeling a
little down and then we went to see them. So it was a lot better. But
the lesson was so amazing. We talked about the plan of salvation and
how awesome Heavenly Father is. I just love the plan of salvation. Man
it's the best.

I am super love my district. It's probably the best district I have
been in. It has been really awesome having them all around. Heavenly
Father is so nice. And on Tuesday we are going to take out the new
sisters for a few hours so that should be fun. And today I played
soccer....that was awful.

So I was reading this morning in Moroni 6. It was awesome, only like 9
verses but it was legit. Check it out. I just loved how it talks about
what we need to do to prosper in our lives and have the spirit to be
with us. It's legit. Also I don't have a lot more to say. It's been a
week. But we keep on praying.
Love you all,
Sister Stephens

This is Casper. His leg is broken but is the cutest puppy ever.

They are taking our car away so we figure we can buy this and drive it around

Transfer letters!! Black is going to happy valley in Portland to train and I am staying in van 3rd to train!

Wapis!! We make these instruments that you put in water and it floats when the water has boiled enough to be pure. Service Every Wednesday with the district and barbarita

Tonga and Hawaii! They are returning to activity! And we love them.

The district!! Or as we call it the sistrict. I love them all!