Monday, July 11, 2016

Final Blog Post! Thank You for All Your Support and Prayers

Wow. What a crazy week it has been. We had a really good Fourth of July, we spent time with Ashleyanne and Alexis and their family up in Longview. There is a lake there with a whole bunch of activities and then they set off the fireworks. It reminded me of being at the Columbia River for the festivities. However we did have to leave a little early so we could beat traffic and be home by 11. But it was a good day for sure. A lot of people talked to us as we were walking around. Perks of being a missionary :) 

Then we were able to have exit interviews with President McAteer. That was really good to spend some time with him and hear his advice for me for after the mission. Which is tomorrow. It's been such a fast week, I feel like I was just having pday and thinking about how my last week as a missionary would be. We were able to meet with some awesome people.  We met a lady and her daughter and taught them about the plan of salvation and it was such a great meeting. I loved it. The plan is so important. And families really are eternal. And it's so great telling someone about that and seeing the spirit touch their heart and they feel that it is true. Unfortunately, we weren't able to meet with Jordan but he still wants to meet with us so that is a plus :) 

On Friday we were able to go to the temple!! It was so great to be there, and I saw people from my past areas there. That was a really nice surprise. We have a lot of missionaries going home this transfer so we were large in numbers there. And then we found out that they are combining the Woodland wards for missionary work again. So we were able to prep Sister Mandin a little about taking over the area. So that was good. It really is in good hands, and that is nice to know. 

We spent some time yesterday saying goodbye to people in the Ward and people that we were teaching. It was a little emotional to say the least haha but I feel so blessed to have served with them. I love this Ward and the people here. And all my past areas as well. It's a little overwhelming thinking of leaving but we are just passing the torch and the new missionaries will continue to run. 

I am excited to see everyone at home tomorrow!! But also sad to leave the mission. I have loved serving and bearing the name of Christ everyday. I have learned to love others no matter their weaknesses, to be obedient, and to just be happy. The gospel is happy and joyful and when we live it we are strengthened in the difficult times and live a happy life. I have loved this calling and am so grateful that I was sent just across the state. I wouldn't have changed my experience for the world. 

Thank you for all the support you have given me on my mission. For the letters, emails, and most importantly the prayers. I have felt them lift and help me many times. I love you all so much and will see you soon :) 

Sister Stephens 

The district! Minus 2....

Departing temple trip

All the sisters and sis mcateer

Goodbyes.....the arroyos

The Wilson's

The snows

The Lindsey's

New Mission President and Canada Day!

We had another good week here in woodland. To start off we weren't
able to find any new investigators this week but have no fear the work
is still going. We met with Jordan this week, a new investigator, and
he is pretty cool. He read from the Book of Mormon and is really
curious about it all. So we are going to continue to teach him.
However we want to try and get him to go to the ysa....that would be
pretty fun for him. We taught about the plan of salvation and it was
awesome. I love that lesson so much. We were talking about our purpose
here in life. And he didn't really have an answer for his purpose. So
it was really nice to talk to him about why we are on this
earth.....and the things Heavenly Father has in store for us here and
in the next life. It's just so great.

We also had a cool miracle when we were in Woodland. We go to the care
center and visit people there every week. And as we were leaving one
of the nurses there stopped us in the hall. So we are talking with her
and she said that she was a member and went to the Woodland Ward, but
we had no idea who she was. Come to find out she is a member that I
have been trying to meet for six months. And there she was!! So we
went to see her later in the week. And she still has a testimony and
wants to do what is right for her family. So we are going to start
seeing her weekly to help her. The gospel is just so great. But it
breaks my heart how people fall away. Just this morning we were
talking to a man who was the Ward mission leader and the elders quorum
president and has been inactive for eight years. We have to keep
growing our testimony or it dwindles. And it dwindles before we are
realizing that it is.

Another highlight of the week was Canada day!!! We were able to meet
President and Sister McAteer on Friday :) they just got in from Canada
on Wednesday and it was so great to meet them. They just showed us
pictures of their family and introduced themselves. They both are a
lot of fun and very different from the Taylor's. Not in a good or bad
way, just different. Unfortunately we won't have a lot of interaction
with them. Just the temple trip this week and exit interviews. And you
will get to meet them on Tuesday! And some of my favorite office
missionaries as well.

We went to help a member move into their new house this week and they
had a raccoon in their backyard. Apparently the family that lived
there before them fed it. So it was like their pet raccoon. So we
threw bread out for it and watched it eat it. Somewhat comical. And
Sister Slattery asked me if Walla Walla was a drug....I laughed....oh
boy. So this week was a little slow but still had its ups :)

I hope you all have a great week!!

Sister Stephens


My favorite people. Hermana Eldredge and hermana smith

Goodbye to sis Nilson!

The, "sister Stephens is going home" picture.

The McAteers!!

Filled out our last progress record....