Wednesday, January 15, 2014


January 13, 2014

Well first of all I passed my 9 month mark so that was pretty weird... Don't know how I feel about it! I look back and I really have been out a long time so knowing that I still get to double that is good, but it also feels like I need SO MUCH more time! 
Well it was a rainy week and we were on bikes so we were trying real hard to find a ride just to get to our area we do a bunch of work in, we tried for like 30 minutes, called 100 people. I just felt so terrible like we were wasting so much time, and we were about to give up when we got a text from Sister Gatlin, the one who quit smoking last month, and she offered to drive us around! It was perfect. She ended up coming around with us to 4 appointments, and loved it! She has done a major turn around, it has been great to see. She has definitely gone through some struggles but at the same time, the Lord has been so good to her! She has been inactive since her teenage years. Also on Saturday we went to Chick-fil-a with her and her Mom. The cow sat down with us and she was dancing with it, and hugging it, and mooing with it and it was the definition of an embarrassing Mom moment, so that was great. 
Alice is doing so good. She came to church Sunday and loved sacrament so much she asked one guy who spoke for a copy of his talk. After church was her baptismal interview so she is good to go! We just need to find her a baptismal suit... She is the funniest person ever, whenever we say something she hasn't heard before or doesn't understand she turns her head and glares until we explain so she can understand. For example explaining the difference between the Holy Ghost, and the gift of the Holy Ghost, "I don't know about that, I was always taught they was the same thing." She is getting more sassy and I love it. Teaching a good friend is way better than teaching a stranger. 
We had exchanges this week and I got to go with Sister Zemp! (She's from Canada really close to Tiff actually!) I love her! It is so cool to go out with other missionaries and just soak up everything they do well. We got to teach Courtney and her kids and they just have so many questions, it is awesome to see that they are still excited to learn and progress, the kids are so young but have so many good questions. The 10 year old, the one who really doesn't look happy in the baptism picture, protects his scriptures with his life and is always trying to "break it down" and so excited to highlight the ones he likes. 
Well hopefully next week I'll have good news about Alice's baptism :) 
One of my new favorite quotes I heard this week is something like-- we are not here to make the ones we love perfect in order to be happy, we are here to be happy with the ones we love in this journey to perfection. 
LOVE THAT, because guess what, we covenanted to be perfect and more at baptism and in the temple. It's humbling that we all promised to do something we really can't do without help. What a blessing that through the atonement we can live up to those covenants! We can even find happiness in our imperfection as we love and serve each other. 
I just miss you all a lot. Thank goodness families are forever.
Sister Stevens

Happy New Year!!!

Sooo uhhh it is really cold here! The cold just sticks to you and hurts! It is supposed to go in the teens for the next two days, not excited, but we have the car the next two days. The Lord really does look out for us. 
On Tuesday, New Years Eve, we had all morning to work but then we had interviews with the Mission President that night. They got wayyyy backed up on time so we ended up not finishing til about 8:30and none of us had gone to dinner yet so President took our District and the ZL's and AP's to Five Guys! Him and Sister McDonough sat right across from Sister White and I. It was joyous, I can't explain it but being with the McDonoughs is the best thing in the world. Love just radiates off of them. They dropped us off at 9:40, we felt like real rebels. haha
New Years was fun because a family in the ward throws a big party for everyone so we got to go and watch everyone play football, and ALMOST played but then there was enough players so we didn't want to take away from them playing. Courtney called us two nights before and was so happy to have a church activity. She said the highlight of her 8 days in New Orleans was finding the church and going. Also she went out and taught with missionaries twice this week, what a champ! 
This week with Alice was so good, she is soaking it all in and getting thirstier and thirstier for more knowledge. We showed her the Articles of Faith and when we came back she had written all 13 of them down in her notebook. She is also keeping a list of all the commandments we teach her. We told her we sensed she was nervous about something and she said, "What? Besides DROWNING!?" Makes me so happy that the only thing holding her back is the water. She came to church and when it ended I asked how she liked it and she said she felt like everyone was talking to her! Yay! She is feeling more and more like she is getting her questions answered, it has been the best teaching her. She is just humble. She hears us out and believes us, then searches it out in our pamphlets and scriptures, and then gets the spiritual confirmation. I just love her! Also she showed us pictures of her white uncle, and questionably white/indian grandmother, (weird because she is definitely black) she is really excited to do family history and figure out where she came from, she has never found out which part of Africa or which tribe, so we're gonna get that going this week. 
(Don't know if this is supposed to be publicly known) Okay I talked to another Visa waiter just a couple hours ago and she said her mom called and found out that everyone who had to get a new background check and everything- their Visa's (MY VISA) got denied. Now the church is sending them in 300 at a time and then they are coming really fast. They haven't sent the next 300 in yet but will really soon. Submitted my papers a year ago so.... Maybe I'll be with the next group. Still not worrying about it, just wanted to give the update. 
Our tracting this week was very interesting, I caught an old woman who was falling to the ground, it was scary, she was very thankful. 

Sister Stevens

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Photo Dump!

Sister Stevens sent us all of these awesome pictures for Christmas, I hope you all enjoy them as much as we have!! Sorry for the poor quality, I just took pics of pics on my phone.

Pointing at her missions

We looked at this one for a long time haha so good!

Sister Stevens and Sister White at Bishop Clark's home on Thanksgiving

Airport exhibit they helped set up. Real Uniform.
Night of bike crash, you can even see her sweet shoe tan!

Sister Stevens is really missing the summer weather.

This was Sister Stevens' first trainee, Sister Stevenson. Everyone asks if they are sisters because of looks and names.

At the zoo.

Specialized training 

bowling with the Monroe sisters on P-day.

With her mission pres and his wife.

Katie's Christmas card

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas Week

December 30, 2013

We had a good week, everyone was willing to meet with us even though it was right around Christmas.
On Christmas Eve we went and did a little bit of Christmas tracting where we would talk about the light Christ brought into the world and invite people to learn more. We actually didn't have much time for that though sadly. We got to visit with some older less active ladies who didn't get to go visit their families for Christmas. It was really good being able to share some time and the Christmas spirit with them, and just be there and share the feeling of not being with our families. One gave us a BUNCH of ornaments for our little fake tree so I got to decorate that and stare at it for a few moments on Christmas eve. It was a tender mercy because laying on the ground staring at Christmas trees is one of my favorite things ever. I even took a pic of me with my Christmas Eve present in front of the tree so I wouldn't feel left out. 
We found out Christmas Eve morning that the lady who was going to have us for Christmas Eve dinner was in the hospital, so we got blessed for being obedient and telling the ZL's we were going to be just outside our area because they were eating at the Stake Presidents house and found out about it and invited us there. So we got to see her in the hospital and have dinner at President Penas. 
It was soooo good skyping everyone! My companion called me heartless for not crying but it was just too happy to cry. I was lovin every second of it. The babies are sooo big and so cute! I feel like I talked and talked and talked, sorta wish I would have made you guys talk more  but I just remember when we would talk to Alex and Ben wanting them to do all the talking. 
The rest of our week was just really awesome. Let me tell you about Alice, she became even more legit this week. We got her to open up to us and she talked about how when she first saw us she wasn't going to let us in, she was just going to take our pamphlets and send us along. But something made her let us in, and she says she has been so happy ever since. What a gem! She couldn't come to church Sunday because she didn't order her oxygen tanks in time. She identified it to the adversary not wanting her to go to church and someone from another church even came and invited her! We were like "someone else invited you to church!?" and she was like, "yeah, the devil!" 
We got back in contact with Tameka finally and taught her some commandments, she is so ready it's to the point that teaching her is more of a requirement than a need. The cool thing about people here is that they are so familiar with a lot of the commandments and the gospel. She asked us if she could start paying tithing, who does that!? 
I taught Gospel Principles on the Gathering of Israel and some guys who think that Gospel Doctrine is boring and wanted a change of scenery came in so it was really good. It puts a whole new perspective on why the general authorities are focusing so much on covenants right now. If the keys of the gathering were in your hands you would too! I don't know why I love it so much but it is so cool that Christ came and gathered once personally, one tribe at a time, and now he is keeping his promise and has come and is doing it again... through us! What a blessing. Oops, missionary nerd moment, oh well.

Love you!!!!
Sister Stevens

Merry Christmas to all!

December 23, 2013

I don't know how much I want to tell you about this week because I get to talk to you guys so soon!!!!:) I'm getting a little stressed about things to say so have a list of questions and also all the news for me ready! I only get about 40 minutes, so keep me in check cause I know I'm going to want to for longer.
We have been teaching a woman named Alice for a few weeks now, she is old, black, and so sweet. We love teaching her, she just trusts us so much for some reason, when we told her about the spirit world or something I asked if that's what she believed and she was confused at the question and basically said, "if you say so." I get a little nervous about people like that who just so readily accept everything because they need to have their questions answered and find things for themselves through the spirit to be converted. But then she came to church on Sunday, and it was so good! She loved it. The Gospel Principles lesson was on Temples and Family History and she expressed how she always wanted to know where she came from and how she has a picture of her great great grandmother, "and she don't look black, and I got a picture of my great uncle too, and he don't look black either!" So she is already excited about family history and baptisms for the dead. We have a lot more to teach her but she is just so kind. There was a few tornadoes on Saturday, the missionaries in Monroe had no electricity and it was too dangerous to go out, some of the city got tore up, but we got a full day of work in. There was just one time when it got scary but we had just walked into Alice's house. She thanked us for coming, "even in the trrrible weather."
This week was bad and good with Christopher and Rebecca. Christoher did some backsliding one night, and had a minor heart attack the next so that kinda threw everything off. But we were able to meet with Rebecca alone for the first time, and it was so good because we could get such honest answers and he wasn't there to answer for her, or teach her. He does a great job, but we needed that lesson with her, did I mention she's only 21? The good news is she is thinking about doing the wedding on January 14th! So soon!! When we committed her to baptism last week it was a little rough because Christopher got frustrated with us for getting her hopes up about being baptized soon when she can't until they get married(and they didn't plan on getting married until March or April). She is back to her form though less than a month after having the baby, I seriously think the Lord is helping her drop the weight. Lucky duck...
Something funny is that Sister Taylor, same person I'm skyping from, read us the Night Before Christmas Cajun, it made me miss Dad reading it, but she did it pretty well since her accent is half way there anyways. 
I have just been loving the season SO MUCH! It is so great, I wish it would last longer, feels like Thanksgiving was yesterday. We've been really busy and haven't been able to do as much Christmas tracting as I would like, but what we have done has been great. People's hearts really are softened at this time of year! 
When we start/get in by sharing a Christmas message, this is what we share from President Uchtdorf--
like the Wise Men of old, we should seek the Christ and lay before him the most precious of gifts... we bring as gifts our best efforts to move ourselves, one foot in front of the other, walking in the ways He has prepared and taught. 
He extends to us many gifts in return every day. he promises to be with us, to come to us when we need comfort, to lift us when we stumble, to carry us if needed, to mourn and rejoice with us. Every day he offers to take us by the hand and help transform ordinary life into extraordinary spiritual experiences. 
That was super paraphrased but I just love it. No better time to serve him!