Monday, January 9, 2017

the beginning of a GREAT year!

Hope you all have had a great start to 2017! Its a great time to look at our lives and think about what we hope to achieve this year and what ways we can become more like our Saviour Jesus Christ. 

This week has been incredible. I have truly seen that Heavenly Father has been guiding our work every where we go. He has put so many amazing people in our paths. This week I have really thought about what kind of missionary I hope to be and the things I want to accomplish and do before this time is over :( Through mighty prayer, deeper desires, and hard work we have seen many miracles. One of the things that has helped me to see little miracles or tender mercies is I have started a journal to just write each night things that happened that day that I have been able to see have come from Heavenly Father. I know it has deepened my relationship with Him because I have come to know Him better and seen how He works each day to help us! Its been such a cool experience. Another thing that has really helped me this week to feel closer to Heavenly Father is dedicated time I have taken out of each day to really study the Book of Mormon. Really the only way we can partake of the Atonement of Christ is through continually feasting on the scriptures. It brings an added measure of peace, comfort, and the Spirit to our lives and can truly help us to overcome temptation and make good choices. This week we have asked all the recent converts in our ward if they notice a difference when they have read the Book of Mormon each day and they all gave specific examples of when they have read more consistently. It can really change lives!!!

Some other highlights of the week: 
We were street contacting one night before a lesson with a recent convert and we met a guy named Bryan from China who is studying at the university. We just started talking to him and just shared what we do as missionaries, because he is from China he hasn't ever really had an opportunity to learn about God, but he had thought about Him before. He happened to just be taking a walk to have a break from studying for his exams and we were able to teach him right then because we were near the missionary house! We helped him to understand who God is and that He could help him with his exams! It is amazing how the gospel can help everyone at every point of their lives. 
We met another Chinese student named Chendu, we had met her a couple weeks before on the street and then this week she thought it was a sign from God that we met her again. It was similar to Bryan, where she hasn't had the chance to learn about God. We taught her and she loved it and really felt that God is there. She even called us her angels haha!
Then there is this guy named Michael, he is from England and has been through a lot, more than anyone ever should. He has tried a lot of things to find good in his life but hasn't found anything that has really helped him. We just pray that he can recognise that the gospel is exactly what he is looking for! He said the only reason he has met with us is because he felt like we were good people that really cared about him. I have learned that it doesn't always matter what we say or how we say it but if we show people we truly care about them and help them feel the spirit that is what draws people to the gospel! We have met with him a couple times and each time he has opened up to us more and can feel we are just here to help him find God and find good. We have really listened and as we have, its amazing how the Spirit has helped us know what to say. One of the lessons with Michael we had 2 of our recent converts there that were perfect with him! It was the most amazing thing having them share their experiences of how the gospel has helped them overcome challenges and helped them to improve the qualities of their lives. One of the new members even shared a scripture that he had remembered. It was such a happy moment seeing their progression in the gospel! 

Another amazing thing that happened this week is we went to York to serve with the sisters there and guess who happens to be serving in the area we were in?? ELDER NORTON! We were able to see each other and even got permission from President to have tea together :) It was amazing to be reunited. It was just a great moment to reconnect, share what we have been working on, and what we hope to achieve And to look at each other in the mission home on our last night and say, "we did all we could." I know that will be a great moment :) I have been so blessed to be able to learn from him! 

I have felt so much joy this week as I have just turned this work over to Heavenly Father and trusted in Him. He could do this work without me, but I am blessed to be able to be apart of it!  Yes, there are still hard moments but it is so worth it. 

Sorry this is so long... but I hope you all have a great week!!!!! 
love you!

Sister Stevens 
Christmas Caroling in the Shopping Centre

still doing hair

Christmas Day

New Year's we were sick with chest infections

but we still had fun and played Uno and went to bed at 8pm :)

Nellie a member from Russia

Exchanges in York!  Lisel got to have Tea with Elder Norton!!!  She said it was the best day!

so gross!