First thing, I LOVE WOODLAND! It has been the hardest yet best week of my mission. Covering two wards is definitely a different experience but it keeps us so so busy everyday. We have seen so many miracles but I will get to that later. My companion is sister Girot and we served in the same zone three transfers ago. She is from Springville Utah and has been out nine months. We are both brand new to the area so we are doing our best doubling in. The wards are great and so are our Ward mission leaders and Ward missionaries. We cover the woodland and Kalama area and it is the biggest area in the mission. So that has been fun. And we live with members :) seriously the best ever living with members. Except we never see them so mostly we have this huge house to ourselves. It's the best. The last week in van 3rd was really sad. I miss the people so much! The Allen's are coming up to Woodland for my year mark and we are going out to dinner :) super stoked. But then I realize that I have been out for almost a year and it makes me sad. But I have six months to continue to invite others to come unto Christ. And we have seen so many cool miracles so far. We are teaching Lawna and her daughter Brianna. They had elders knock on their door a while ago and the sisters before us found her again. They are both so excited to hear the gospel and we had a great first lesson with them. They were going to come to church this week but they went shopping to get Brianna church shoes and they missed church... but we have two meetings with them this week and we are so stoked. Also they committed to be baptized so that pretty fun. We also are teaching a girl named Ashley. She is 15 years old and her sister is a member of the church. They have been to the temples visitor center and she wants to go to young women's and learn more about the church. So that's pretty cool. So many wonderful things going on in the woodland wards. Oh and we also met this super awesome lady named Edith. She is old and from Germany. She talks a lot so we didn't get to share a tom with her but she sent us home with a lot of German food. And one of our investigators lives in a van in the middle of no where. Only in woodland. It's great, I love it :) So some fun stories for you. We were driving to our bishops house and then the road suddenly comes up to a road closed sign...so we figured it was probably one of those closed to through traffic things....the sign wasn't covering the entire road so there was just enough room to go past it. Are you saying bad idea yet? Cause it was. We keep driving and then there is this huge tree that had fallen in the middle of the road! So we did like a five point turn around and have to call our bishop for directions. Moral of the story, when the sign says road closed it probably means road closed because there was a previous mudslide that hadn't been fixed yet. That was a stressful time but we ended up laughing at it later haha. And our church overlaps so we have to juggle where we are at and when. So there's that for you all. Let's see....we did have a world wide broadcast for missionaries on Wednesday. Elders Bednar and Cook taught and a few from the 70. They taught us about teaching repentance and baptizing converts. It was so awesome. The main focus was being converted ourselves so we can go out and work. And about working with members, so make sure you are helping your missionaries :) update on president Taylor is his only job is to get better. President Ferrin is here temporarily to take over some of president Taylor's responsibilities while he is recovering from the surgery. Just a great week here in Washington :) well the wet half at least! Love you all and have a great week. Sister Stephens,The long view zone!Edith gave us this German hot dog things that are like bratwursts But are way gross.Saying goodbye to the Reynolds family
Monday, January 25, 2016
Monday, January 18, 2016
We had such a great week here in the Vancouver third Ward. I'm sure you are all just dying to hear about transfers. So I will be leaving and going to Woodland! It is in the Longview stake and I now cover Woodland 1st and 2nd Ward. And my companion is sister Girot, I have served with her before and she is super awesome so I'm way excited. Except yesterday at church they announced that I was leaving and I bore my testimony for the last time in the 3rd Ward. It was so sad. I love these people so so much. It's been so hard saying goodbye to everyone. But I'm sure I will love Woodland and am excited for the change. It's really close to La Center so I will be back to the boonies :) so that is transfer news. Now for President Taylor news. He was released from the hospital yesterday and his sole purpose is to get better. So for the next month or so we will be having an IFR which is an in field representative that will come and take the ecclesiastical assignments over for president and sister Taylor until president is recovered. Which they are expecting a month or so. So this week we will have a new couple out here to help and guide the wvm. So our week has been great. We have been finding like crazy and it has been so awesome. We had a lesson with our new investigator Courtney. We found her in November and she said to come back after the first of the year so we did. She has belonged to other churches before and just hasn't felt that they were it. So now we are teaching her. We taught her about the restoration and how she can come to know for herself by reading the Book of Mormon. She was so open and excited to learn. The sisters will be going back this week but I will be gone. But she's golden. We also found a family this week. The parents are Nicole and Casey. We saw them New Year's Eve and they said to come back over and we have a few times. We were supposed to have a lesson with them on Saturday but she was sick so we had to reschedule for Tuesday. I don't really know a lot about them but they are good friends with a family in the Ward. So pray it goes well!! We found another family this week as well. Laura and Aaron. We knocked on their door and talked to them about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. We set up a return appointment so that's always good. We continue to work with members in the Ward who need more knowledge and strengthening and that has been really cool. Especially seeing how the Book of Mormon impacts their life. We leave assignments with them to read and it really is changing them. As well as helping them understand more fully the doctrines of Christ, like faith and repentance. Which then helps them to overcome the things they are struggling with. It's pretty cool how the gospel works. It's all for our benefit and learning. Heavenly Father just loves us so so much. Church this week was really great, in sacrament we talked about our purpose in life and in Sunday school we talked about our heavenly family. It was all good and just a great time to feel the spirit. Let's see what else happened this week.....well I cut my hair!! I hadn't done it in a year so it was needed. She took off three inches so it's pretty short but now a lot better. I said I would never get a short missionary hair cut and I did!!! Oh well Haha. Just in time for a new transfer and a new area. I love you all so much and pray for you everyday! Love, Sister Stephens
Sister de Leon!
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
So this week has been pretty interesting. First things first, President Taylor is doing great. We found out that he had a heart attack on Saturday morning while he was in Seaside and now is in the Portland hospital. He is having surgery on Tuesday or Wednesday and the doctors are very optimistic about his procedure and recovery. He will be out for two weeks for the recovery. We still are having transfers and he is finishing them while in the hospital....but probably won't be there for the actual meeting. But they are staying on the mission and that is what matters. Please keep them in your prayers! So back to missionary work. We had some really awesome miracles and found some new investigators! In our area book there was a lady named Christina and we had been trying to get in contact with her since September. On Thursday we decided to just go try by her house and she was home! She let us in and we were able to teach her the first lesson. She doesn't have a religious background but believes in God. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she is excited to read it. We invited her to church but she didn't come so that was disappointing but we have an appointment scheduled with her and her family this week! We haven't met with Nikita since before Christmas so we aren't really sure what is happening there. Last night was also a pretty cool experience. We went to see two potentials that are in the same house. And we have stopped by before and had little chats with them. But this time we were able to share a message on faith out of the Book of Mormon and it was pretty cool. We testified of how the Book of Mormon is evidence of this church. And if you read it and pray then you will get an answer that it is true. And because of that you will know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that we still have prophets on the earth today. All from one book. When we told them that, the spirit was so strong and they said well we better read and pray. We are going to go see them on Sunday. It's a slow process with them but they are much more open to finding out for themselves than they previously have been. And that's pretty cool. We are also working with a lot of less active members and members who have goals to get to the temple but need some extra help. It's been cool to see how the gospel influences others' lives. And it's such a blessing to be a small part of that. My favorite family, Hawaii and Tonga, are doing great. So much fun to teach them. They are planning on the temple later in the year. It's going to be the best day ever. We are trying to spend more time with members to try and get more people to teach. And we might have a referral coming soon so that should be pretty cool. On Saturday Shannon had her baptismal interview but it was supposed to be with president. So President Anderson did the interview so now we have to wait to see what president says to see when she can get baptized. But since president is currently in the hospital we aren't sure when that is going to be. She is pretty anxious and so are we but we are just waiting now. Well I hope you all have a greet week! Love, Sister Stephens
The mission office
Monday, January 4, 2016
This week has been pretty great. We have been trying really hard to find people to teach and the Lord is really blessing us. So exciting news first. Shannon is on date for baptism. She has had a lot of challenges but she met with the bishop this week and he feels really good about her getting baptized. So we will be having her baptism on Saturday the 16th, four days before transfer day. We taught her last night about tithing and she was on board with it. It's been great seeing her transformation. Once she started reading from the Book of Mormon she started to change. There is power in that book. And I love it and am thankful to Heavenly Father for allowing us to have it.
We also worked with a lot of less actives this week. We met some people who were definitely not interested in coming back to the church and some who just need some extra support. We have a lady who is a recent convert and is trying to get to the temple but is having problems in keeping the word of wisdom so we are studying the scriptures with her every week to help her. We studied the vision of the tree of life and it was so awesome. It's something we all should study often and see where we are at on the path. We can always come back to the path and grab hold on the rod of iron through the the atonement of Jesus Christ. And I am very grateful for that.
We also taught a family this week and the cousins that are not very active in the church. And we were able to talk to them about the atonement and read with them from Alma about repentance and using the gift of the savior that our father in heaven has given us. One of the boys was definitely touched by the spirit and went from not wanting to be there to having a change in his countenance. Man the atonement, we have to have it. We cannot do anything without it. And I am so thankful for him.
We haven't been able to find a lot of new investigators but we have made contact with some awesome people. Courtney, who we met last month, got in contact with us and she wants to meet with us next week! We are super excited. And we met some people who were playing in the snow and they want us to come back over! So we are really excited for that as well. The area has so much potential and we are working so hard to be exactly obedient and to talk to everyone we see and we know the lord will bless us.
On Sunday we woke up to beautiful snow after having a week of sunshine. And we get to church and have an awesome testimony meeting. Then because of the "snow storm" we canceled the rest of church meetings. So we went and had lunch with the Burgoynes and waited out the storm. We do still have a car but we can't drive in the snow. So today we had to get a ride to the store from a member and now we are hanging out at the Reynolds house for their snow day and our pday.
Guys the gospel is so important. Heavenly Father loves us so much and he pours out blessings upon us everyday. We just have to open our eyes to them and pray to see. Then we are able to withstand the darts of the adversary and be supported in everything. I am thankful to be a missionary and to spread the love of Heavenly Father to everyone who hears. I have a testimony of daily scripture study and spending time in the Book of Mormon. I know it is true. And I know if we all have a resolution to read it this year we will have an increase of the spirit and answers to our prayers. It is powerful.
I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week.
Me and Sis. Burgoyne
A new way of proselyting
Sunday surprise of snow
We can't use our car currently.... They won't let us drive in the snow!