Saturday, February 27, 2016

final email in the USA

Because we leave on monday morning early we have a little time to do laundry and while we are waiting i get to email for a sec :) 
first of all, thank you so much for all the treats!! we literally have boxes and boxes of candy and treats its unbelievable haha. but thank you! i have definitely felt the love from you. i have loved hearing about what is going on at home and i miss you guys so much! haha everyone is like you can tell no one in sister stevens' family loves her, jeez they don't send her anything! it was really funny. but they have enjoyed it trust me. 
tell Benny HAPPY BIRTHDAY from me!!!! i miss that little sucker so much. i can't believe he is 3! i remember the day he was born perfectly, it was one of the best days of my life! he has been such a blessing and i know he came to us for a reason. 
we were teaching an investigator named Leah and she was going on and on and on about everything that goes wrong in her life. and she literally went on for 15 minutes. i said to  her, i have no idea what you have felt and i have no idea what you have gone through and still are going through. i said that is has been really hard for me to  be on a mission. i told her about my little 2  year old brother who i had spent  like every day for the past month and a half with and how sad it was for me to be away from him and the rest of my family. i expressed to her that the only way i was able to be away from them for 18 months is because of my faith and because i know that we are all children of god. i know that god has a plan for us and he didn't make us to be sad a worry about all our problems all the time. i testified to her that jesus christ and heavenly father are always there for us whenever we need them. i keep thinking of the picture of jesus standing by a big door waiting to be let in because there isn't a door handle on his side. there is only a handle on our side. he is waiting for us to open the door and let him in. when we let him in, he can give us the comfort that we need because he has been there, he has suffered for us so why not let him take the pain away? his suffering was for no reason if we don't let him in! so my challenge for all of you this week is to let him in. pray for guidance and comfort and seek him out because he is everywhere. 
well, i have one more full day here in the USA. its still very surreal. all the sisters in my district are going to different places and my traveling time is defs the longest. i'm getting anxious to see what awaits me in england! 
thank you for all the prayers! i have felt so much comfort and peace. also pray for me that i won't embarrass myself in front of everyone at church tomorrow when I sing my solo....haha can't believe i'm doing that still. 
i love you family! you give me strength to do this! god is really shaping me to the person he wants me to be someday.
love always, sister stevens

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

when you make it to P-day

Okay first let me start off by saying I am truly happy to be here. I have never felt so much love from my Heavenly Father. My teachers or district leaders have shared exactly what I have needed to hear when i needed to hear it and it has been such a blessing. I can feel all your prayers constantly! haha i have felt like i have lived here my whole life but i am so comfortable with my "sistrict" (we call it that because we only have sisters in our district) its like we've known each other forever. it makes me so sad to leave them on monday morning :( but i am excited for the adventure that awaits me across the world. i got my travel plans and i fly to portland, Amsterdam, and then to Leeds. hopefully there will be other missionaries with me! 
I have taught 3 investigators already and it has been quite the experience. my teacher is one of our investigators but when me and my companion were teaching her it was like real life. we challenged her to say our closing prayer and as she stumbled on the words of her prayer i got choked up with tears. hearing her ask god if he loves her made me realize how truly lucky i am to know that god loves me and has a plan for me.  
today we get to go into the temple and do a session! i am so excited to feel the spirit of the temple :)
one of the sisters in my sistrict who is in my room is hailey. like exactly haha it is the best! her name is sister miller and she is from vernal. we laugh so much i'm gonna have a 6 pack hahah. she is so nice and shes like my best friend. her boyfriend is in tonga and she got to the mtc exactly on his 6 month mark so that is really cool! sister miller brought eyebrow tinting stuff so we tinted our eyebrows last night and now we look like a million bucks ;) (i'll try and send pics) and we have been  getting hot pockets out of vending machine before bed haha. its defs helping us sleep. we have been playing volleyball during our exercise time with some other districts and it has been so fun to get out of our classroom and not think so much for a sec. i have gotten a cold over the last couple of days but nothin that nyquil and dayquil can't fix :):) i have gained 3 pounds from all the food haha i feel like we live in the cafeteria. 
Tomorrow new missionaries come and I am so excited because they get to join our zone! and my district gets to show them around! I can't believe it wasnt even a week ago when I got here. In a way it has flown by but also it feels like i have been here forever. I'm getting the hang of things but this time next week i'll be in good old england. which makes me get butterflies. hah did i really get called there?! i still have a hard time believing that. 
Sunday was the best day so far. We had sacrament meeting and we were all supposed to come with a talk prepared because they just call us out of the stands to talk!!! i didn't get called up this week but i bet i will next because i wont be the new one anymore. but when you follow the spirit he really tells you what to say! i have learned that when we are teaching an investigator. we go in not knowing what they know and need to hear, so we pray, plan the best we can, study, pray some more, and hopefully when we get there we will know what to say. and so far it has been great experiences! hahhahaa oh my gosh, also I AM SINGING A SOLO IN SACRAMENT MEETING. like are you kidding? those of you who know me know i am not a singer.. my district is supposed to have a musical number in sacrament and we'll all be up there singing, but i'm the one with the solo part!!! i'll letcha know how that goes.. pray for me. After sacrament we had meetings and the we walked around the temple grounds it was nice to get out and see the blue sky and shining sun haha. that night we had a devotional and then got to listen to a talk by elder bednar that you only get to hear in the mtc. its called character of christ and it was amazing. he talked about getting over yourself and how we need to live in such a way that the savior is reflected in what you do and what you say. he also challenged us to get a new book of mormon and have a question in your mind while you read it and mark it up and when you are done to write on a piece of paper what you learned and do it over and over again. the book of mormon can answer any question you have and it can bless your life and give you guidance. we do these BOM reads in class where we only read a couple verses but we pick them apart and its amazing what you can learn from a couple verses. 
I am learning I just need to open my mouth. Even in class when i participate more the spirit speaks to me and helps me know things i didn't even know i needed to know haha. I am thankful and so blessed I get to be a full time missionary. it is the hardest thing i have done but already the most rewarding. i am having amazing experiences and wouldn't change them for the world. I am so blessed to be part of the Lord hastening his work! 
As you go throughout your week in the world I challenge each of you to get outside yourself and be like the savior. Find someone you can serve and do something nice for. Turn outward to Christ, not inward. I have had some struggles this week and have felt satan telling me i don't know enough to be a missionary and i'm not worthy. but as i have been comforted by the holy ghost and stopped thinking about myself i have been so much happier and felt so much joy. When life is hard for you turn outward and see how you can help someone around you. Through others and our savior you can be truly happy. I know with all my heart this work is true! I know i am not the one who will be converting people the Lord is. i just get a front row seat to watch the miracles. I can't wait to help families come unto christ and feel the joy i have felt. 
thank you for all the emails and prayers I have felt them.
remember why we are on this earth, to come unto christ. 
miss you all.

Love, Sister Stevens 

eyebrow dying in the MTC. keeping it real

choc on choc dunford donuts from aunt muff

her first companion. Sister Liddiard from Payson