Wednesday, July 10, 2013


HI familyyyy,
From what I've heard the wedding sounded amazing I'm so happy everything went well and sad I wasn't able to be there. I also saw a few pics and they were the best! Michelle looked GREAT! Love the dress, love the shoes, why do all my sisters have to set such high standards... haha But I'm going to be honest it was always in my mind but it took me until saying my prayer Saturday night to realize it happened that day!
Sunday was great, finding rides to get people to church was extremely stressful because pretty much every Priesthood holding mail has a big calling with meetings in the morning. But it worked out, we put everyone to work.
First of all our new investigator came to church in a brown velvet suit with a brown and orange striped shirt, it was the best thing I've ever seen. Second, it was testimony meeting, and you can imagine my heart as he started walking up to the pulpit, but I was just beaming anyways. Yes he mentioned weed in his testimony, yes it was still great. Having that new investigator plus more less actives and parts of their families (who hadn't been in years) was one of the happiest moments of the mission. All our hours of sitting in Ralph's house dying of second hand smoke paid off! 
We tracted into more Bible-bashers this week. I haven't told you about the all-you-need-is-faith type I don't think. But this ooold lady opened the door and just looked like she felt SO bad for us. She kept saying "we don't have to work or nothing, Christ said, 'only believe'." Ok I'm a terrible missionary but I laughed, it just came out. It's funny, it is such contradicting doctrine that she ended up justifying herself 30 seconds later when we asked for referrals. She said if anyone needs the message she goes and tells them herself, we told her how wonderful that was of her to do and she realized we were so happy that she was doing the Lord's WORK and freaked out and started preaching again. It was good stuff. I'm so happy our religion is inclusive of the whole Bible, cause if I had to read it every day as a missionary of any other faith what would I be teaching all day? Just a bunch of stuff I would know contradicts itself. 
Ok one more funny story, I'll have something spiritual to say next week. We were talking to this 12 yr old kid outside his door and asking him if he prays. He said, "Yes mam my mother tells me to pray every night before bed so that if I die in my sleep I'll still go to Heaven." We tried to teach him that you can say more than that, but anyways, he ended up praying for just that before we left, I was a little sad that we didn't get through to him, but hopefully he'll try it sometime. 
Wellll just the South everything about it great, chicken, people, lifestyle. Everything about being a missionary too, church, testifying, prayers on prayers.
Love Y'ALL very much! tchau! 

Seester Stevens
Pics on pics!
Playing with a baby raccoon

On my birthday

The sketchy tamale shop, mmmm

Happy Independence Day!

With my companions on the 4th.



Email from July 3, 2013

Sorry about the email last week, my companions didn't tell me we wouldn't be going back til the library so I had to just get permission to send what I had written from a members computer. I didn't even get to talk about the broadcast, but it was so good! I was sort of expecting some kind of big announcement but pretty much it was just putting emphasis on what we already know. Dad emailed me and said members are for finding and missionaries are for teaching, and I was like YES! THANK YOU! I hope that's what everyone got from it. We have a 7 hr a week tracting minimum rule and after the broadcast the President got a bunch of emails like does this mean we don't need to tract all 7 hrs? But his reply was when you get 20 member present lessons a week we will think about lowering the tracting time, HA! But anyways!
It was a craaazy week. We had to say goodbye to our trainer, we were so sad and the branch was so sad, they reeaaally didn't want her to leave. Then yesterday was transfer day and we met our new companion/greeenie! She is so cool! She's actually from San Diego and her name is Sister StevenSON, so that will be fun. She went to BYU also and was in the dorms and so we have some mutual friends but never met. It's crazy though she has only been a missionary for like 14 days, I can't even imagine what it would be like to be in the field that quick. The library internet was down so that is why we are emailing today for a bit. 
I was able to say the prayer for the Saviors Peace and Blessing for the first time and it was so good! The spirit helped me remember all her needs and she was so calm after. It was for a woman named Christine, we ran into her husband who gave us there address and wanted us to meet with her and she just immediately started crying and talking about everything going on and I am the WORST at comforting people, but I am getting so much better, I forced myself to put my arm around her and everything! 
There was a fish fry at the church and the old man in the picture I'm sending, Frank, did all the cooking. He did some White Perch especially for the missionaries. There was also volleyball and water balloons for the kids and it was way fun. There was a really good less active turn out too! The branch did really good with fellow-shipping them.
We had some crazy finding scenarios this week, I LOVE those! It is the best when you just know you were guided to a certain place for a certain reason. The funny thing is I always thought you would know during and the spirit would really tell you but it's more of we're just like "how do you feel about this street?" "I don't know how do you feel?" but it isn't until after we realize how much the Lord had a hand in it. We've been praying really specifically, and it is helping so much. I came to realize that our entire purpose only works with people wanting or willing to change, and so we focused our prayers there and that is exactly where we were led. 
We were walking down Brisco St. on a side of town we have never really been and this guy gets out of a car down the street (mid thirties, black, in pajamas haha) goes, "y'all the normans?" and we were like, "uhhhhh close enough how did you know!?" and ran over. Turns out he's related to a semi-recent convert. He didn't really wanna talk to us at first but he ended up walking us over to his trailer right then and we taught the first lesson and committed him to baptism. He admitted at the end of the lesson that he lied to us about his name, and was actually on his way to buy a blunt, but saw us and decided to act on this feeling of wanting to change he's had lately. 
Ok something weird about Louisiana, no one has heard of our church, they don't know that it's a worldwide organization, they just think we're another church on the corner, with another preacher, out trying to recruit more people for the congregation. I didn't think anywhere in the United States was like that. 
Another awesome thing- Sister Johnson got up and it was her last Sunday and just told everyone in the Branch how it is. Since getting offended is the reason for so many less actives she just talked about how we can't let anyone stand in the way of our salvation, it was so good, everyone needed that. Speaking of church our Gospel Principles class is so funny. It's 5 missionaries, like 2 investigators, and maybe 2 members, and one of the investigators likes to ask "deep" question to try to make everyone question their actions, and beliefs. So yeah, it's fun, the men who come, and the Elders get so worked up and defensive. It's basically up to the Sisters to keep it calm and on topic, and try to answer his questions with understanding. 
One last funny thing, Sister Johnson took our car :( I'm going to miss it, it was a 2013 ford focus. So since we have so limited cars and they aren't making us visa waiters buy bikes the Elders in our district became a biking area and we stole their car. It smells like boys but better than nothing!


Email from June 24, 2013

So this week I had a really cool experience, it was the most powerful experience I've had of the Spirit and circumstances testifying that we are doing the Lords work, and representatives of Jesus Christ. We asked our investigator Jennifer for some contacts and she had two but didn't have exact addressed, so we were walking past the fire station and remembered that she had a friend who lived about 4 down on the right so we went over and knocked on the door. Sister Brimley and I didn't realize that we were standing on a fire ant nest so as we were frantically trying to get them off and as they were biting us Sister Johnson was trying to explain how we know her friend. She was very confused and doesn't recall knowing Jennifer but luckily one of us wasn't being attacked and was able to gather the information that not 5 minutes before a man had come to her house to tell her she was being evicted. We were able to go in and leave the "Saviors Peace and Blessing" on her home, and just testify of Christ and his goodness and his mercy, it was so cool just to be able to testify rather than to try to get acquainted with someone and balance testifying with teaching. It was no coincidence that we mistook that referral and knocked on her door.
I got my birthday package! Thanks for everything, the only thing that could have made it complete would be a letter from Kelly, I think 6 weeks is long enough to go without writing me!
Also, Sister Johnson our trainer will be leaving on on Saturday and we will be receiving a newb to train on Tuesday. Training my third transfer... didn't see that one coming.
Dang got short on time this week, I didn't know we were gonna be so low on time, sorry, more next week and some letters on the way.

Love, Sister Katie Stevens

Bastrop Week 4

I can't believe I've been in Bastrop for 4 weeks almost!! It is crazy to think that I found out I was coming here almost exactly a month ago.  Desculpe por o email ultimo semana, eu nao sei porque eu tinho nada para disse! Eu sou grato por este opportunidade a servir no estados unidos, eu amo estes pessoas, e tenho muito para aprender e fazer aqui!
Last week we had the Elders bikes at our apartment in case the driving stuff didn't work out. Since there's no bikes in Brazil and we will always have a car in Bastrop Sister Brimley and I thought it would be a good idea to bike to one of our appointments just for the experience... We thought it would be 3 easy miles but it turned out to be almost 7 in the 94 and humid weather. Also biking in a skirt is something I will never do again, and skirt+helmet=embarrassing. But the last few mile were on this awesome road with a bayou on one side and farm land on the other so it was pretty, it was a needed experience.
On Wednesday we had zone conference which was more like a little missionary convention. There was lots of practicing and examples and the President would tell us new effective ways to introduce the Book of Mormon, and how to best use our time so it was really good. Mostly it was just fun to be around so many more missionaries, it's refreshing. We did some splits and went with a Sister here in Monroe to her dinner appointment and did a visit with her that night.
Thursday was great, I woke up to a duck dynasty shirt on my blanket that Sister Brimley bought me! She is the nicest, and it is the best shirt ever! I hope I can send a pic soon. Another Sister made me some french toast so that was nice. We had a new missionary conference and women's conference. My President really is the nicest, he's too nice. I wore my duck dynasty shirt tucked into my skirt, but told him I would change for my real appointments but he was like "psshhh you're fine!" So yes I wore it the whole day. The Odens had us over for dinner and they bought me a cake that said "Happy Birthday Sister Stevens" I've never had a cake with my name on it before!!! So they took good care of me. They have a daughter in law who we are trying to get baptized. She is so close, really she just needs to pick a date, she knows shes missing out on the blessings and everything we just need to get her to follow through! It was weird though, no matter how much cake I ate, it just did not feel like my birthday, it felt like a lie every time anyone said it. So yeah, I'll be turning 20 June 2015 I decided you don't age on the mission. Also my package got sent to the office so we'll see if I ever get it.
We also teach a elderly woman named Elizabeth, she is ancient, and can't read so it's hard, but she has been so accepting (she quit smoking and drinking coffee the day we asked her) and really wants to be baptized!
We got a referral who we finally got to meet with on Friday named Dewaderick who we are way excited about, he ran into some Elders in Monroe while washing his preachers car and they gave him a Book of Mormon, and he is half way done! We gave an awesome first lesson, and the reason it was awesome was because it wasn't a lesson at all, it was a discussion and somehow every point we need to hit just fit in perfectly, and the spirit was so strong. We get to meet with him again tonight!
Two other things happened this week.. First I taught my first lesson to a Baptist Preacher, it actually went pretty well, he is pretty interested in the Book of Mormon and everything, it was funny though, Preachers know how to talk about the gospel, and talk and talk and talk about the gospel, the gospel that they know, not only the one we have to offer.
Second, I got to hold a baby raccoon, apparently people do that down here, catch little baby raccoons and raise them till they get too big. It was so cute! I was in love! and then it pooped on Sister Brimley.... probably the funniest thing to ever happen.
Welllll just loving life as a missionary, hope everything is good at home and everyone is loving summer. Jealous that I'm not in Utah with ya'll. Laterrrr.
LOVE, Seester Stevens.