Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I love it though. It's a small little mountain town. We have an AWD 2010 Pontiac Vibe which drives great in the snow. Its been a fun few days. Our branch covers a huge area and has about 80 members with a sacrament attendance of about 50. We live with the branch president, and things are a blast.
Our mailing address is:
Elder Thomas Stevenson
c/o Robinson Family
PO Box 5031
Buena Vista, CO 81211
And that needs to be the only address listed right now, because we are in a transitional state, and the mission office will have moved come New Year's. As of December 29th the new mission office is:
999 E. Tufts Ave.
Cherry Hills Village, CO
my companion is named Elder Mikkola. It is his second transfer, and his trainer is back home in New York now. He is excited about work which is good for me too, because my companions since my trainer seem to have gotten pretty lazy over the course of time.
This specific area is an interesting one. we have missionaries here three months on and three months off, because there usually ain't enough work. Presidents told me in all three of my areas there has been disobedient missionaries that have lost some trust, so I guess he must trust me to put me in some of the areas he has. Its a good place to be.
People are so nice out here too. They don't have much, but they'll bend over backwards for you it seems. Even the rude ones are way more polite than those in the city. I got my Christmas Package on the day of transfers. I was driven up to meet my companion in Frisco, CO and then I still had to drive us 70 miles from there to our house. We stopped at the wall mart in Frisco and I got more thermals for out here, and then we went home. When we got home I opened the package and found the wal mart gift card, and guess what, the closest wal mart to us is outside the mission. lol
The missionary that just went home also had a way nice mountain bike that he didn't ride much on his mission, so its still in pretty good shape, so I think I might fiddle with it a bit and decide whether or not I want it.
Its a Jamis bike with manitou forks, disc brakes, and great components.
Other than that we are trying to find people to teach, and are pretty excited for Christmas. That will be a full P-day, and today we have until 2.
I hope you all start to feel better, and have fun. I actually have read probably 70% of this months ensign, and loved that article. Of course I miss you guys, but I put it in perspective. I'm surrounded by great people who some of them may need me. And I'm in luxury right now. At least I'm not in the middle east with the military for Christmas. i have nothing to complain about.
Well... Life is amazing! It's so fun to be in new places and do new things. I miss being a district leader and being able to talk to all the Elders and help them out and stuff.
As for calling you, the members we live with will be gone, but they told us to use their phones, so I can call anytime, and I may have to try a couple of times, but it'll all work out.
I had a birthday party at our recent converts in Lakewood last wednesday. It was so nice of them. They are, I think, the most prepared people to receive the gospel I'll meet on my mission. They have just fit right in and it seems like they've been members their whole lives.
Well, Have a fun Christmas! Thanks for all the love and concern! You're amazing. thanks for the packages too.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I finally got to use my space bags! They helped a ton with packing!
So the baptism happened on Sunday, and I'm so bummed I'm getting transferred, because of people we've worked with, but I will not miss the leadership. lol Funny story though, we woke up at 2 am to start filling the font for the 8am baptism, because the water heater is a bit slower, so we just trickled it in.
I had a wonderful lunch with Brett and Melissa as sort of a going away/birthday party. They even got me a cake. haha We have two dinners lined up too, because a recent convert wanted to feed us, and we asked they lady to cross it out, but she didn't so another family we have worked with signed up so we have a 5 and a 7 oclock, but I ain't eating much!
I am going to miss where I live. I'm all packed up and so it dont feel like home anymore though! oh well
So Disneyland must've been fun! I wish it were only fake snow here too! lol Colorado is out of their drought just from this year! Its amazing.
I'm excited to call in less than two weeks, but bummed that for my birthday and for Christmas I won't know anyone wherever I'm at.
I got a referral for a friend of a guy named Craig Rees last week. i thought that was funny, but his friend was a jerk... lol
So as far as the package goes, I havent gotten it , because forwards are on hold due to transfers. i finally sent you guys my impressions, so hopefully you get those soon. I was also released as a District Leader, which I was sad about, because I had so much fun getting to know everyone, but oh well.
Monday was also amazing back to back appointments with nonmembers, less actives, and members from 2pm-9pm. It was so much fun.
Well I don't have too much else to talk about. I love you guys, I hope all is well at home. Take care.
Thanks for your love and support, and thanks for that money too. First quick story, I've had a couple of clothing emergencies this week. One of my pairs of slacks from Mr. Mac got destroyed. I was tightening my boot as we walked in the snow. I put one knee down and was going to tighten my boot, but when I planted my boot there was ice under the snow (it hasnt gotten over 15 degrees the past few days, and we got down to -5 last night) and my leg slid to the side and my pants were ripped, but the seam was stronger than the pants I guess, because none of the rip was on the seam. Oh well though! So I went to K&G and got some 20 dollar poly/wool italian pants with lining to the knees. They are warm and the look way nice too.
We also went to the Parade of lights in downtown Denver on Friday. It was so much fun, I'll have to send you some prints, there is a grocery store that just had a grand reopening, so 4x6 prints are 5 cents a print, so I just printed off like 60 prints to send to people. $3 instead of $15 sounds good to me.
Other than that, I've tracted this whole place and am trying to set up tons of appointments with members, because it is freezing outside. I love the members we live with, I'll miss them and their ward.
I am however excited for Christmas. I got the family letter yesterday, and I thank you for the package and the letter. I am also excited, tomorrow we have a mission christmas devotional in Aurora which will be somewhat like a zone conference.
Another quick story, a nice gesture. We came home last night and went into our room. there was a small Christmas tree, and snowflakes, and garland and other decorations, as well as dipped pretzel rods wrapped up on our beds. We asked our members where they came from, and the Young Women came over and decorated it while we were out for the day. I thought it was very nice of them to do so. I was a plesant suprise, and after all the drama the last few days, where we felt like we had no one to back us up I got the family letter and that nice present. It helped me out a lot. Also another companionship met and made me a german choclate cake at lunch time yesterday. They did it for my birthday, since I'll probably be moved by then. Those "tender mercies" yesterday really helped me see that friends and family are what matter most, and you can always fall back on them. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and all we can do is praise him and give thanks! Sidenote: Webster defines "mystery" as: a religious truth revealed by revelation alone. I love that. I use it in teaching!
I love you guys! Take care! And once again thanks for all you do!
Elder TOm Stevenson
Friday, December 4, 2009
This week has been fun. We had an amazing baptism on Sunday. Brett and Melissa Kohl were both baptized. I baptized her and Hunting baptized him. They had so many people show up. The chapel was more full than in Sacrament meeting. It was awesome. The water heater died though, so it was freezing. Oh my goodness! They're amazing though.
The package you send can be sent to lakewood. Transfers are on the 17th, so you just gotta beat that. I probably will leave too. :( I love being a district leader and getting to know everyone its so fun!
Thanksgiving was wonderful. I ran three miles then played football for two hours, because that was our real P-day last week. We had fun at our members home and they had us for dinner, and we made a couple visits, but I only had one plate of food on Thanksgiving.
We have another baptism on the 13th and are very excited. We found out baptizing the Kohls was the first whole family baptized in that ward since 1987. Working hard! Loving life! I went to the Thrift store and found a couple of nice looking ties the other day. Other than that I don't know what to tell ya. We are enjoying 15 degree weather right now, and today we're going to help a less active family set up christmas decorations for part of our P-day.
i love you guys, thanks again for the package. You guys are amazing. Also, I have a copy of Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration, the one they show at the visitors centers, and I think I'm going to get another one to send home to keep nice, and you guys can watch it too. hehe.
PS: I phone home in 23 days!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Life is good. thanks for the package, it helped lift my morale. I love the CDs! We did get the cookies.
We are getting wet on Sunday night. Brett and Melissa are taking the step, and they want both of us to baptize them, so we're both doing one! Its so exciting. We have the Zone leaders interviewing them on Saturday! it'll be good... I got to perform my first baptism interview last week too, since I'm a District Leader now. it was way good. We have 19 on a date in our stake and 3 in our area. We are so stoked!
So I hope you guys had fun in Utah! It is awesome to be able to be there that quickly...
So I don't know what else to tell ya. Things are so fun. I love my mission.
We get to eat dinner with the Smiths tomorrow for Thanksgiving. (the family we live with. Other than that P-day is from 10-12 today, and all day tomorrow! YAY!
I love you guys!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I had Zone Conference on Monday, and it was on our purpose and it was highlighting the purpose of "Inviting others..." instead of "...baptism..." which rubbed me a bit better than last time. A missionaries purpose is not to baptize! Were that so most the missions in the state would be a failure. Ours is one of the highest performing. We get the most new investigators per week in the states, and compared to the average for the states, 1 in 3 with a date get baptized, as opposed to 1 in 8. We always have over 50 baptisms per month, so with the feelings missionaries get here then that would cause me to conclude that all the missionaries in the states are failures if the largest part of our purpose is to baptize. But enough of my ranting.
The devil is working on Brett and Melissa, their whole family has had a nasty flu, and Brett just got it. Melissa had excruciating pain and went to the ER and is having her Gallbladder removed on Friday. We'll be bringing their fellowshippers to give her a blessing on Thursday night.
Life is good though. We keep finding people, and keep trying.
I am still in Lakewood, probably won't be in 4 weeks, it'll be six months and four and a half with the same companion. i have been a district leader for 2 weeks, to answer your question, and I love it. It's so great to challenge missionaries to stretch and to work with them and really get to know them. Everything is great!
Its so crazy that Thanksgiving is next week. Oh my goodness, time flies! I remember being at Vicki's last thanksgiving with you guys, and it's already here. If I don't watch out it'll seem like tomorrow when I get on a plane back to ONT and get to tell all kinds of funny stories.
Well I think I gotta go. I only have like two minutes left online.
I love you guys, and I'll try and get an hour next week hopefully so I can write more.
Peace, Love, and Prosperity,
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
How are ya guys?
Things are great here. I love being a missionary, and being a district leader will be a great thing this transfer. I feel like I am getting to know the missionaries in my district better each day. We have a district goal of 13 baptisms for the transfer, and EXCITING NEWS!!!!: we set Brett and Melissa with a date for the 29th. We have been finding new people, and it seems like we have an appointment with a non-member every night of the week right now, which is a step up from the first 4 1/2 months here. I love it here, and am excited to see what will happen this transfer.
As for me and my companion, we get along most of the time, but neither one of us are scared to tell each other the things that are bothersome, so we are overcoming our differences. Life is good. I just conducted my first district meeting, and it was fun. I am going to try and make them a lot less boring and redundant than previous times.
We are starting to gain the trust of the wards, but at least in the one ward, still not their full support. They can say that they lack experience and training, but that is a BS excuse, we've had a mission presidency member train the leadership twice since I've been here, and the bishop, ward mission leader and other leaders decided not to go. Well thats the beautiful thing that came with the fall right? (agency)
So story time. I stopped by on exchanges with our Zone Leaders on Saturday, and we had taught Tithing and the Word of wisdom to Brett and Melissa, and they were very receptive we found out. They set apart 10 % of their paycheck for the week and drew out a budget for how it might work. He also said he only had half a cup of coffee that week, when his dad came over, but he felt so bad he dumped the rest down the drain. They're awesome. She also told us she'd be baptized tomorrow, but she can wait until the end of the month for her husband to be ready. It'll be great.
Zone Conference is next week. YAY It should be great! And the kid we baptized a little while ago, his dad is getting into addiction recovery, so he can be baptized.
Well guys, I miss ya, it's rough to see the Christmas decorations all over in the stores! I makes me think of good times and smiling faces back home.
Oh and about the hair clippers... they do work, we just have a lady who offered to, and knows how to, so I figured I'd let her.
Life is crazy! The swine flu isn't as rampant here as it was anymore, half the students at some of the schools here were home sick a month or two ago. I'm glad Cathy is feeling better. And what about the fort Hood shooter? A Major with Al-Queda ties??? Thats scary. How many other people that wear our country's flag are traitors? It's hard to believe. it is the last days though, we knew things were going to be like this before we came to this world! it's gonna be amazing to see what knowledge comes back to us after we die, how much will just click??
Well take care, be happy, and have some fun!
Until next time,
Get to call you in a little over one month! yay!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Well you spoke about snow days... we dont usually stay in on those days, only on P-days or sick days. Our mission never shuts down for weather, we're not allowed to drive on snowpacked or icy roads though, so the storm days are not fun. But you just gotta keep working hard. Its nice how sunny it is in Colorado, we can have 2 feet of snow one day, and two days later it will have melted! Good stuff.
Brett and Melissa are still progressing. We taught them the word of wisdom and they committed to live it. He said, "That's easy, all I gotta do is throw away my coffee maker!" They are too good to be true. We talked to them about baptism, and asked them to think about a date they'd like to. Its awesome. We're gonna help them get an oak desk from her office today too, so she can telecommute, so that will be great for their family. It will buy them some time together, since she won't be on the road as much. They are also starting this thing where they'll read a chapter from the book of mormon or bible at night, and if they miss it, they have to clean up dog poo in their backyard, and if its done then they have to help a neighbor out with something the next day. It's a cool tradition they just decided to start up!
Well I went to the temple today, and bought some more garment bottoms. I had bought six and then got four today, because my old ones were coming apart at the seams (the fabric is like deteriorating??). Well the new ones feel a ton better too, but I think the tops are fine. Life is good. So you know what would be a good Christmas present? Can you guys get me a new set of blades and screen for my electric razor? I can get you the number/website, and parts code next week if you're ok with that! Also, christmas music is approved, so can you send me Louis Armstrong, and maybe some other fun Christmas CDs? That would be cool too. By the way, thanks for the package. I was so excited. It came on Halloween and we were told to get in after our dinner appointments on Halloween, so I got home at 730 and it was a pleasant surprise. I also enjoyed the time change with the extra hour of sleep. hehe
So how's life? You planning on staying in San Bernardino?? Or are you guys looking for a place closer to dad's work? We just got 17 new missionaries who flew in today (with only 5 going home) and 7 of them are from California! yay... We don't get like any Utah missionaries, because we're too close to it, but the most of our mission is honestly the west coast states.
Well I should probably get going. But I do love you guys, and I hope all is well. By the way... I'm read the gospels a couple of times, and now I'm reading Acts, and there is so much you can use to teach from that book... Its wonderful. i need to pick up on Jesus the Christ again too, I've only read about half that book.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Hows life? Things are going great here, yes all the leaves are falling and we are getting snow as we speak. Its beautiful, but its been cold. My companion has been sick with a nasty cold, and I pray I don't get it, because I would be very sick having asthma on top of that. I can tell its getting cold again... my lungs tell me that... but I think I'm good on inhalors for now. I talked to the dentist out here and the he wants to get in touch with you guys and his lab tech and get something worked out for retainer. I don't know if he's called you, but I did give him dad's Cell number.
So Melissa and Brett are doing amazing. They came to church for all three hours on Sunday and loved it. They are going back next week and going to a potluck at the Bishops house, and to the ward halloween party, and shes going to the Relief Society Super Saturday. We have some awesome fellowshippers for them too, and we're going to try and get them to go to a baptism this weekend too. We taught them a third lesson on Monday night and it was great! He has all kinds of great questions, and surprisingly enough, we had good answers for them. He has also asked fellowshippers some questions, and he says he likes how the members here understand the Bible. he says he hated growing up and going to his church with all the sunday christians and where everyone referred him to the minister on questions he had, or changed the subject.
The Melissa that's a chiropractor is super busy, because her boss is out of town. So she set up an appointment for about a week from now and is really excited to meet with us.
We also ran into a less-active sister that should attend the other ward, who had just moved in, and she came to church. We asked people to introduce themselves and sit with her, and she ended up sitting on the back row alone. I was pissed! She left promptly after sacrament, and no one really talked to her or welcomed her. Thats why we only have people who keep being taught and progressing in the second ward and not in the first. Oh well though.
I bought me some vaccuum seal bags to pack with because I figure I'll be leaving in two weeks, and it will just make things easier.Dont want to have to shove things in my bike box like during the last move. haha
Well life is good, I hope these wards will implement the 20 lessons program though. We worked our butts off last week and got a whopping 10 lessons. Oh well. Life is good, and we're trying our hardest. Even if I have to push my companion to work. President better give me a newer missionary, because I'm getting sick of being with one whos about to go home. At least my last companions didn't have a countdown to the days, and say how many days they had left all the time to all kinds of people.
Hey I love you guys! And mom, have a great birthday! I was supposed to be eating antelope meat on your birthday, but the guy who invited us over is an attorney and had to go to Salt Lake on business. I love all the game meats we get out here. :) Its supposedly so much more if you serve in the mountains. But I think I gotta go. Have a great week, know that I love you guys, and talk to you later!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
So what's the news? Hows dad's work? You guys enjoying yourselves? I don't mean to sound harsh, but about the comment of people being rude to Eliza, it happens everyday. It is ridiculous how many churches preach against ours and how many people still act like they are in Junior High. It is just something we have to cope with as missionaries. I've just had to learn not to respond to just smile and ask if we can give them a hand with anything, and leave it at that. Which is a good attitude to have in a state where everyone is allowed to carry an unconcealed weapon. I had to learn that in my first area... just to react as Christ would and let it roll off your shoulders, otherwise I'd be miserable everyday.
So as far as investigators, the only real people we are working with are Brett and Melissa. They have had two lessons and absorbed those like a sponge and we've read a couple chapters with them from the Book of Mormon. Its great. They are going to get baptized I'm pretty sure. They have expressed interest, and they have awesome fellowship. But we're introducing them to some other members of the congregation, because the ones they've met are on a 2 1/2 week vacation. So we'll be doing that tonight. Our mission Presidency is doing a presentation on the 20 lessons program from Elder Perry, which was introduced in San Bernardino before I left, because I'm serving in one of two stakes in our mission that has not yet implemented the program. I have learned that you need support. One missionary can make efforts to make things happen, but in that case they'll fall apart! So this will be wonderful.
We also tracted into another Melissa who recently moved here. Shes a chiropractor and she understands the Plan of Salvation. When we asked her why she thinks God sent us here her response was: Well my belief is a lot different from most Christian religions... I believe we used to live with God as angels. We came to this earth so we can feel and learn and have a flesh body and prove ourselves. So we explained our belief and how they paralleled and we are going to meet with her again next week.
I love serving with my companion. It feels like we're brothers. We're asked all the time if we're twins too... hahaha
Life has been ok! I love being a missionary. Monday I had a 24 hour flu which was complete hell. I didn't have strength to stand up or to do much of anything. I laid down all day and the next day my back was in so much pain! So I took 1000mg of Advil after going to print some pictures and buy groceries so I wasn't lying down anymore, and after an hour or so it felt good. Which is good, because we had bunk beds delivered from the mission yesterday and had to set those up, because our room is tiny! And we helped some members move a big screen into their house too. That was easy though it was on wheels. \
Have you ever seen Denver style curbs? They're not square like the ones back home, I don't know if I ever told you this, but they're like a ramp from the sidewalk to the street in all the residential areas, and in some commercial areas, its way nice when you're biking, but Its lame for people who learned how to drive here, because they always park on the sidewalk.
So we are finally getting mid week coordinations going!!!! YAY. Elder Perry of the 12 and Elder Funk of the 70 told our mission pres that mid week coordination is essential to have success. So we'll build off their promises and keep working hard.
You are still saving letters for me right?? I hope so! We had our first snow on Saturday! yay It was freezing, but we still tracted for 4 hours, and taught 4 lessons. We made 12 full lessons for the week, but most of them are members, probably only 4 were nonmembers.
I love you guys! Have a great week!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Conference was AMAZING. The whole Saturday seemed to be all talks that you could copy and ask investigators to read. The priesthood session talk by Elder Ballard was hard for me though. It made me think of Dad and all of the time we spent talking as I grew up, and even though I was a jerk half the time, I thought about how much I learned from you guys and how much I love and miss you. It really made me think a ton about home and was hard to get past especially since we had zone conference on monday, and didn't get to work hard to clear my mind, but its all good.
Zone Conference was great, lots of testimonies were borne, we had a lot of weird training videos on driving safety and dinner ettiquite, which I didn't think would be a problem until I came out. Most the missionaries completely suck at driving, I now know why they have the backing rule. haha We also got the golden hubcap award, which is an award for the people with the cleanest car and we get 100 extra miles for the rest of the the transfer, which is awesome. You know how I am about cars being clean though! haha
I loved Elder Holland's talk. Just like last conference he blew me away. It was such a strong testimony and definately a highlight of my weekend.
I am glad to hear that the practice sold, but that's gonna be weird, I've know that as "Dad's Office" practically my whole life. I'm proud of him though for doing what he wanted to do and excited for the opportunities, so I may have to transfer to Cal Poly Pomona if you guys move... haha
We got to go and listen to the temple president speak and we did initiatories at the temple today. It was wonderful to hear the promises, covenants and blessings which I had forgotten since back home.
A funny story. We have really bald tires on the front tires of our car right now. Our "Car Czar" suggested that we have them rotated on the mission account at Discount Tire to the rear of the car. We went to have them rotated kind of laughing because snowy season will start any week now! The tire expert told us he will not touch those tires other than to replace them. We had him talk to the mission guy and he told him to leave them how they are after the Discount Tire rep told us and him that it was a safety hazard due to fishtailing. I figured that from day one, but some people aren't so intelligent. We talked to the old Car Czar, who happens to live in our ward, and he told us to wear them for a couple weeks then go to discount tire, and have them tell the Car guy that they're below 2/32 on the inside treads, whether they are or aren't, because thats what the manual provided by the church says, he said we need new tires ASAP and said he'd talk to the new car guy and see if he could get him to change his mind.
We are teaching an awesome family right now. We paired them up with wonderful fellowshipping and they are just absorbing what we teach. The mom works for a member and was raised non-denominational, and the dad was raised Lutheran, and they are looking for a church that gives answers, not just tears you down when you have inquiries. And they like how the mormon church has set doctrine and knows what they believe. We just taught them the PoS (no, no, no... it means Plan of Salvation) hahah. And they have been very open, we're gonna have him tour the church, and they're planning on going to church on Sunday.
Hey, I love you guys. I'm excited for President's interviews on Friday, and I'll remember to pray for you guys, please do so for me too. I need it! ;)
Love ya all,
Elder Tom Stevenson
PS that was really cool for you to give them that cross stitch. I knew how much that meant to you. I know Robby is smiling to see that, because he's got a better perspective, I'd assume. And he is looking at our family right now I think and proud to be your son, and proud of what we're doing. You're a great mother to have, I couldn't ask for a better one! I have seen a lot of what you've sacrificed to get us all where we are today, and I thank you for it. Can't wait until a year from the end of December, when I'll get to come home and give you a big hug, and probably turn around and go to school a week or so after. Always remember to smile! It changes everyones day and attitude, most especially yours.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Whats up all? I'm down by my old turf in Littleton (just above Highlands Ranch) because we drove our district leader down here to pick up his car, because it has been trashed by previous missionaries and got all new brakes and suspension.
So how is everyone. I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties in selling the practice... We'll just pray everything goes smooth from here on out.
So you know that whole 20 lessons a week program that was announced at home before I left? It is "in effect" here since the day I came here, but the wards haven't done anything. We are jumping on our WMLs backs to get lessons, because we have no one to teach and we need member families to teach so we can get referrals. We only taught 4 lessons last week and so far we only have two this week. Tracting is a horribly ineffective finding method! No worries though. We tract and OYM every chance we get... we're doing our parts, we just need help finding people to teach who won't bail on us or give false phone numbers. It's frustrating, but I guess life as a whole is frustrating, so just get over it and do your best right?
Well one of our lessons on Monday actually was a was a very spiritual lesson. I haven't had a lesson like that honestly in like four months. We tracted into this couple a few weeks back, she has had an interest in the church from workign around members. We taught the lesson and the spirit was strong and they absorbed like a sponge. He said it cleared up some concerns and preconceived notions from his Luthern background. It was awesome. And we had lots of participation and to top it of we got to eat rib eye steaks with them.We found them an awesome fellowshipping family and are trying to get them to watch some of Conference.
Today we met some members at one of two Jack in the Boxes in Colorado, so I was way excited to get a shake. I have definately missed those.
Other than that we tract a bunch, door to door sales would be a very boring job. We got to help this guy move the other day and it was awesome. He was gonna load his truck on his own and we helped him get all the big stuff and he told us he will forever remember our kindness. The funniest thing is that he was gonna carry his queen sized bed up the stairs and to the van by himself (not a good idea). But its wonderful to be able to serve. We don't do much service anymore, because nonmembers dont trust us and we are told not to help members with service, because they have hometeachers for that.
We had the best sacrament meeting of my mission on Sunday. A primary program. Simple truths of the gospel with simple testimony. All adults should stick to that guideline also. We need simplicity in sacrament meeting, no deep or false doctrines PLEASE! For the sake of our investigators, meetings like that are honestly a nightmare, but it happens too often. We have been working with the ward on that, and we talked to the leadership, which it helped that we had a bishopbric member in the meeting at Gospel Principles, because we've got an old guy teacher and have had to correct false or otherwise unapproved doctrines, and he gave counsel to a recently active member who has issues with tithing. We tried to channel it in and explain that between her, the Lord and the Bishop. It turned into a discussion, once again a nightmare, and the bishopric member walked in corrected the problem bore testimony and ended the class. I talked to him after and he said they'll get us a new teacher by Sunday hopefully, if not by the next week. He turned to me and said, "you know what I like about you elder stevenson? You actually talk and get things done, and you follow-thru always! Its good to have missionaries who actually work, and do what they say they'll do."
So anyways, its been an eventful week. We got chewed out by president who told us to talk to our WMLs and if it doesn't get resolved and we don't get more lessons then he'll call. I'm excited to see if things will actually happen. Well General Conference Saturday and Sunday, and Zone Conference from 8-230 on Monday. Too much sitting if you ask me! But it'll be awesome.
Take care you guys... I love you and I will keep you in my prayers.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
I'm going on 8 months here, that means I'm almost a third the way done with my mission. I found out last night I will be staying in Lakewood for at least six more weeks. Exciting! My companions, all except my trainer will all be home soon. Larmouth goes home on Friday, Thomas six weeks after and Hunting ( my comp now) 12 weeks after that. Its so weird. Anyways I'm glad neither of us has to deal with packing today, and I am also glad Eliza got her luggage.
So anyways... Last week was awesome. We baptized Chase Barrett, the 13 year old son of a recent convert son. The spirit was so strong there and the ordinance was definately sealed by it. We had the youth involved in the program and one of their non-member friends who sings very well sang "Amazing Grace" Right before the baptism. They invited so many non-member friends that we had to move to the chapel to seat everyone. It was great! We both got to bear our testimonies and teach a bit about baptism. Everyone there admitted that there was a special feeling. I went and put my arm around his non-member dad who knows the church is true, but is struggling with smoking and was going to tell him I was proud of his son. He turned to me and said, "I know... It's telling me that it's my turn too." He says it won't be too long, I'm excited to work with their family more, because they are the sweetest family you'll ever meet. Their other to kids are in prison, but they are all getting their lifes sorted out. The one son asked to stay in until he graduates from high school, and then he's planning on getting a job when he does so.
We also had other investigators drop us, and are down basically to a 0 teaching pool again, so we gotta kick it up this transfer with member work. We have two awesome new ward mission leaders who we have daily contact with who are willing to do/coordinate anything.
The most disappointing thing however is that Melinda and Brent bailed on us. We had a Friday night appointment set at a members home. They called and asked to meet at 730 instead of 7 so we worked it out and showed up at 730. We sat and talked to the members and tried calling a few times and left messages, but they never came. We finally left at like 815 and drove by their house. Their one car was there and their lights were on. We made some visits elsewhere, but they still haven't called or answered our messages. He's a member, she's not, they're living together with a kid, in case I never told you that much. But its just disheartening. We moved on, dropped them and left a nice note in the area book, and then we turned them over to the ward for fellowship. But meanwhile we ruined a young couple's friday night. Thats what I felt bad about.
Other than that we went tracting in the rain this week, and we were supposed to teach the young men at mutual, but none heard about it and only one came, so we taught him and the wml. It was good, because he's been struggling I think.
My Pulsar watch also died, but it was ok, because our other wml is a jeweler, so he took it and cleaned it and changed out the battery.
Well I love you guys! Take care and have a great week.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
We are also baptizing a 13 year old kid of a Part Member family tomorrow. so that should be exciting. We have been working hard, but I don't have too much to report. Clora, the girl I was teaching in Highlands Ranch is getting baptized on Sunday too. It's exciting news. I can't go though! :( President led me on when I called and asked him as if he was going to say I could, but then he said no. Oh well though.
Thanks so much for the pictures by the way! I dont know if I told you that already, but I was pretty stoked to get those.
So I have just got to a point on my mission where I don't care what happens during the day. I'll just pray and do my best and God will make up the rest, and I have been a lot happier when I just keep that positive attitude.
Did you guys get the scripture reference on that postcard from me?
I don't have too many cool experiences this week, hopefully next weeks letter will be better for y'all. I can tell you whether I'm leaving or not next week too. It might be better just to take the mailing address off the blog and just leave the mission office one for now. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
So we are teaching more people now! Things are going good, we have been finding people to teach, that doesn't mean we won't be spending 16+ hours a week tracting anymore, but its progress. We just got another new ward mission leader in the other ward, and they both are actually willing to coordinate with us. We are contacting daily and they are listening to what we have to say! Its a good thing.
I hope all is well there, I hope dad is enjoying his transition into the new job. Thats sad about the Warricks, but it will be a blessing for the people there to have them in their ward. They are great people. I am doubting that ANY of the other guys from that ward will go on a mission, but keep me updated on that.
We just played dodgeball and had lunch, and I gotta go do my laundry, but just know I love you guys!
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Other than that we have been teaching a bit more often, trying to go through the former investigators and just figure out what their deals are. We found a lot of them moved, so we just got to toss those. We started to teach an old lady who was just lonely and "has been taught by the missionaries for 20 years" but she can seem to remember any of the doctrines, doesn't accept commitments, and just wants free service. So I kind of laid down the law and just told her what our job is, and talked to her about family history. I told her we may drop by periodically to check up on her, got her in contact with family history reps, because she has a passion for that, and talked with the ward leadership who will be finding her a friend to fellowship her and having some of the youth help her out instead of the missionaries. We are hoping that will soften her heart and that she can be prepared to accept the message sometime, hopefully before she dies.
Those are hard situations, but it needs to be done, if we can't teach them and have them progressing then we ought to be teaching others and finding new people to teach.
Speaking of that I have gotten really good about talking to absolutely everyone I see on the streets and we have been finding so many new people to work with. It is awesome! I ran into a kid at the park, and I don't know if I told you about it, but he's super excited to learn about prophets and willingly gave his number and address to us. We have a return appointment. And we have set up more appointments the past couple weeks than I ever have, of course some will fall through, but that is just something we learn to get used to.
The forty day fast has really been paying off. President Christison decided to do a forty day fast with the missionaries and not involve the ward. Our companionship fasted on sunday. On monday in just the three hours of afternoon tracting we had 18 QGCs (Quality Gospel Conversations) which are engaging conversations, in which the companionship must teach, testify, and invite for a contact to count. Our mission's standard of excellence is 70 a week or 10 a day. We also set up 5 appointments with people we tracted into! It was a good day.
Lately I have also been watching training segments on the Preach my Gospel DVDs with my companion at lunch and we have been trying to implement the instruction in those into our planning, teaching, and finding efforts.
We set a 13 year old son of a part member family with a baptismal date for the 16th and received consent from both parents. He's so ready! His mom's a member, the dad's not, and he goes to church almost every week and has not missed a youth activity in like 6 months. Hopefully he can be an example to his parents, and his older siblings when they are let out of jail. He's taking a good path and the Bishops family is doing awesome with fellowship. He actually asked if the Bishop could baptize him. Which is ultimately the goal in this mission. Our President says if he had his way we'd all send home our baptismal clothing. The members need to baptize, because once the missionary is gone the fellowship and support is gone, but if you involve members in the teaching, and have members fill the baptism program it will yield a stronger support system and a larger chance for lifetime activity.
We also had the opportunity to go to the temple this morning. It was awesome! I stayed awake the whole time too. I just felt like I must be a greedy person with how much I got out of it this time. I also got bike fenders at the bike shop down there. I grabbed the wrong size! :( So I taked to a bike mechanic at a shop up here and asked if he'd trade me out the mountain bike ones for the thinner ones. He said he'd order the ones I need and he'd love to trade them out on Friday, so that's good news.
I love you guys, I hope its not too smokey there, but I'm not sure, because we have smoke up here from the fires, or at least thats what the Denver news channels attribute it to. Oh well though. I hope all is well! Is the practice sale almost finalized? SCARY! That is such a weird thing to think. Well, pray for me and I'll pray for you! Take care!
Elder tom Stevenson
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Last week not too much happened... we paid for a bus ride, emailed and realized that you need a reservation to tour the mint, so we'll do it sometime in the next few weeks. We shopped some of the shops out here and I got a new casual belt, bc mine was falling apart.
This week has been an awesome experience though. I am once again working hard, which is fun, and leaves less room for homesickness, but it is tiring to go from not doing much to working all day. We have been going through the former investigators and trying to figure out who moved and who we can teach. And before I get into that, we had Zone Conference on Monday, and it was probably one of the most uplifting ones I have been a part of. It was themed around Joseph Smith's First Vision. We talked about teaching for understanding, teaching and inviting for baptism early on and throughout, about making daily contact with our ward mission leaders. It was a good thing overall, I like to feel the situation and just be more cool and less blunt, but if thats what President asks for, thats what he'll get. We also had a training on how things take work, and we had someone talk about how to get a world class athletes body by exercise or by silicone implants to make it look like you have the muscles. And how everything good takes work.
Then the three Zones split up and talked about some rules. Our Zone Leaders were mistaken on some, I've learned to never trust the Zone Leaders on anything, always go higher up for clarity. They told us that we are to wear our suits at all times no matter what the temperature may be and we can take off our coats if its hot, but we need to have them on for appointments.
I don't like that and one of my friends in the other zone heard something different, so I call the Assistants yesterday and asked what the real rule is. Which is under 75, unless theres precipitation, in which case we can wear slacks and a coat, we are to be in suits. Over 75 we can wear slacks if we're tracting or we have no set appointments, but we are to always wear suits at scheduled appointments, which is easy... just throw the suit on in the car before we go to teach someone. So I was glad, that's a lot easier to follow.
We also have been stopping by a lot of former investigators houses and we have found a lot of them moved which means we call and if they dont have that phone number either, we terminate the record. We stopped by an old lady's home and talked to her. She says she knows the church is true, but doesn't like some of the people. We talked more and helped her clean out her garden because the hail ruined some of her plants. So in return we got a ton of fresh tomatoes, and four huge acorn squash and our members are going to show us how to cook the squash. We have a return appointment tonight.
We were going to make some visits at some apts by the community college out here and I have made a resolve to talk to everyone I can. So I turn to my companion and tell him we need to talk to these two nineteen year old guys. He told me to go ahead and I initiated conversation. They asked why we were so dressed up because we were in our suits, so I explained what we do and asked what it would mean to him, being raised catholic, if he knew there was a prophet on the earth today. He got excited and we had a half hour conversation, and he gave me his address and phone number so we can teach him, and of course we invited him to read and pray as we always do!
Exciting things are going to happen this transfer! And this is the first comp I have had that cleans up after himself too, its awesome.
It will be a good thing. I hope all is well back home, and I hope that you guys are missin me. :P I got to go, but I am finally getting my second suit's pants fitted, so I'm excited. Well take care tell everyone I say hi and just know that I love you!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I need to write you guys some snail mail letters so I can send you a few pix. I also wrote Bishop Anderson yesterday since you put his address on my letter for Eliza... haha So what's the deal there? I thought she had already left, but I guess that's cool if she's going to stay. She'll have a step ahead of most of her buddies there.
So anyways, with how thing are going I'm kind of scared for the next couple transfers just because its a pretty high probability I'll be in the mountains this winter and freeze my butt off. Let's just hope and pray its not Craig, negative 40 does not sound at all appealing.
Keep the people of Lakewood, CO in your prayers and hopefully some of them will be able to soften their hearts to hear the gospel.
Well I hope all is well in San B... I hope things work out for John at his job, and I really hope all works out with dad's sale of his practice. You guys are awesome!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
So if you sell John the car, I can't use it when I get back! :( hahaha Oh well.
I hope to be picking up the work this next week, I'm hoping for a newer companion, the ones that are about to go home don't want to work much.
I'm getting another new rim for free from sports authority and they are going to see about ordering me a higher quality rim, but anyways my order should be in in a day or two.
WE are teaching PMF (part-member families) mainly, but thats good. We have one baptismal date with Melinda, but they postponed her wedding, so were gonna have to push that back this week too. I'm worried about them, but I'm hoping for the best. Her fiancee, if I haven't told you is a member, they're living together and have a baby girl, he's 21 and she's 19. She cut our hair just recently too, but I ended up redoing the sides. But it was very nice.
Other than that we need to tract more and find more people. Especially in the apartments, we have those here unlike in Highlands Ranch, I had so much fun tracting in apts with our district leader on exchanges. It was way quick from door to door too. So Eliza leaves on Friday??? Really?
Thats so crazy to think. I'm excited for her, but dang letters will be expensive to send to her now.
I am glad Cathy's Birthday was a nice experience for all of y'all. Anyways, I hate going to stores and restaurants, because there's like always Country on and it makes me miss listening to it. Joseph Nashville Tribute isn't real country! lol But its the best I got.
A recent convert wanted to show us the Zac Brown Band CD, and it was soo tempting! I liked the couple songs I heard of theirs before, so I imagine it would be great, but I knew if I listened to it, it would be stuck in my head. haha
I still want to know what John does for work. Its not secretive is it? I'm just wondering, bc I haven't been told yet.
News for this week? I am helping a non-member move out of the ward and into another ward with their missionaries. He specifically requested to have the missionaries help, so that should be good. Other than that I need to make more appointments with less actives in the ward and tracting... That's the life of a missionary here though.
I miss naps though. that is something y'all are incredibly lucky to have.
Well anyways, take care, I love you! Hopefully next week will bring more exciting news with a new companion. I hope we teach a lot more, because I feel like I'm getting rusty, but I'm definately ready for the new experience. Hopefully he'll be as personable and easy to get along with as Elder Thomas too tho. He's by far the easiest to get along with out of all my companions.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
As far as the work goes things are at a standstill right now. We are teaching a couple who was supposed to get married last Saturday. He's a member, shes not, they have a baby girl and live together, and aren't planning on resetting a date for a while. So we cannot baptize her. Our other main family has children in jail and are recollecting and don't want to talk religion. It's tough, but we're sticking with it, asking members for referrals and tracting a lot. Tonight we start an exchange with our district leader, and next tuesday I find out if I'm being transferred or not.
So Dad's really selling his practice? That's exciting! And you guys might be moving? It's all good... that gives me a choice between CSUSB and Cal Poly Pomona if you guys move closer to there, but I got a long time b4 I can think about that. I just have had companions that are about to go home the past two transfers and it makes you think more about what you'll do, which I'm not sure if that's at all healthy. I am, however excited to see what will happen next week at transfers. It's possible that we'll both stay, and I wouldn't mind that. But I don't know, I'm scared because its a possiblity that I could be training next transfer. Its my fifth transfer next thursday and the guy who trained me did it on his fourth. But maybe I'm just scared for no reason. I do want a newer missionary as a companion though. Then we could work a bit harder.
What does John do in this new job? I'm confused. Tell me a bit about it. And when does dad start at the school? Is the new DR keeping Debbie and Marie?
Christy is at girls camp? they do it late there... I hope she's having a good time. And of course the info they loose is one of our family members! haha
Well I don't have too many funny stories for you, theres a lot of old people in our wards, so nothing too crazy. And they don't have many friends to refer. Its a hard place to work, but it is kind of fun. a bit new. Going from Highlands Ranch where its young yuppie families to here is a bit of a change! But its good. I do miss Highlands Ranch though I really hope I get to serve in the mountains. After visiting I realize how beautiful it is up there. I would love that experience.
Well Dad... I love you! Happy Birthday... the big 5-0! and happy birthday to Cathy too in a couple days.
I'm getting another new rim for free for my front of my bike, and hopefully this will end the problems, otherwise they can keep getting me new rims for free. haha
Well... I love you guys... I have to go.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Thanks for the letters. The encouragement is fantastic.
Zone Conference was awesome. We drove out to ragged mountain, close to Paonia in the mountains. We got there, were assigned cabins, then had huge sub sandwiches for lunch. We then went on a hike to a natural spring, climbed over the fence and got some fresh ice cold water. Then we went out into the wilderness on our own and had personal study. President gave us a packet of talks and scriptures to read, told us to pray for strength, and gave us wooden blocks to write everything thats holding us back from being the best missionaries we can be! We then went back and threw all our blocks in a bag president had hiked in and we sat down and had a sacrament meeting in which we took the sacrament obviously and we talked about the significance of the Lord communicating with his servants on mountains and referenced different occasions. We then leisurely hiked back to camp and took pictures. When we got back to camp we had a little break then we had Prime Rib for dinner. We then went back to the auditorium and had a literal fireside, where we burnt all the pieces of wood with the things that are holding us back from being the best we can be and we got rid of those things. Then we got homemade ice cream and had a testimony meeting about the power of the spirit in teaching. Then we went to our cabins and slept with a sleeping bag over hardwood bunks, which made my neck hurt, and then to top it off the sleeping bag I borrowed from a member had a broken zipper, so I slept in the cold as I was getting over a cold, which is always good, right? haha
The next morning we had breakfast and trainings, then lunch and then we made a quick vidwo then headed home! It was waywayway too fast.
We also got to go to lookout mountain with our stake for Pioneer Day, which was awesome, but we got stuck taking down, so we were in a nasty storm and them members who took us back were old anyway, but I couldn't even see more than a yard or two in front of the car... It was interesting.
Yesterday we helped a part member family clean out the garage to surprise the nonmember husband, by making it so he has a workspace again. He came home in the middle and was very surprised, but very happy. We helped him take a 600 pound granite countertop upstairs at a client of his home too. It was way awesome. Tomorrow we should get missionary funds again thank goodness.
Well anyways, I love you guys... Hope all is going well, hope dad can get his practice sold, and I hope Eliza decides to leave next week! She'll not get fat in the MTC that way! lol
Take care of yourselves and we'll talk with you soon!
Love you guys,
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Quick side note... does dad's truck stereo have a button that says "load"? If it does, it's probably a six CD changer like in our corolla. you press load and it says wait, then load on the screen. But anyways...
So I'm glad you guys all had a good time with the family. And by the way my mission covers half of Aurora, so the Stewart's family could very well be in my mission.
I'm loving it here in lakewood, even though in Highlands Ranch we had 4 with a baptismal date when I left. Oh well though. We have one with a date right now, she had a baby girl with a member and they're getting married in a couple of weeks, and baptized a month later. It will be awesome. And we have a couple of part member families we're teaching. We're still trying to get the wards to implement Elder Perry's plan with five names from each auxillery. It's interesting how much work it takes to get members to follow the words of an apostle of the Lord. We still don't have a ward mission leader in one of our wards. but our wards are an ideal situation for a missionary, since they have the youth classes overlap, we have sacrament, gospel principles, gospel principles again, and sacrament again. We get home by 1:45 and still have time to work thank goodness. I'm getting along with this companion very well. We work, and he is down to earth, not self-righteous, or hypocritical like we find some of the missionaries here to be. We've been teaching as much as possible, trying to reactivate a few families, and just focusing on what we can do and not on trying to make numbers look good, and I'm a lot happier this way!
Next week I will be emailing on tuesday, because on Wednesday at around four in the morning we meet at the mission office to travel to a church owned camp below Grand Junction where we'll stay overnight in the cabins and have a 2 day zone conferences and some day hikes, and stuff.
I also just got my checkered suit cleaned and am trying to find a seamstress in the wards who could take the pants in for me. If I was still in Highlands Ranch I'd be going to a Barmitzfa (i spelled it wrong) on Saturday. haha We were invited as we were tracting, and President said we could go, but I'm gone now.
I'm excited though, there's a lot of potential here, even if it is a lot of old people who don't want to listen mainly, we still keep trying and we're finding some people. I've been able to give to blessings since I've been here too, and I love blessings! I feel the power overcome me and realize that it isn't really me talking! So anyways... I love you guys, I hope all is well. Good for you guys on studying for the CBEST and hopefully John can get some substitute jobs, it would be fun and they get paid a decent amount of money. I love you guys! I miss you guys! Keep praying for me, and pray for Eliza. The MTC is a tough experience, I felt totally caged in! haha... We'll talk to you later though.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
My new companion has been out for just as long as the last one was when we were paired up. He's got two transfers left after this one. He, however, is a lot more chill in that he isn't a my way or the highway type guy. I like that. He's from Benica, CA just outside of San Francisco. I am also living with the parents of the bishop of Heritage Park ward in Highlands Ranch. It is a way awesome place out here though.
As for the fourth, we were instructed to be in by 9 and were planning on sitting on our members roof and watching fireworks, but it poured down rain so hard that we could barely see the road on the way home. haha So we just lifted weights and went to bed.
I like the members we live with too, they buy us milk and bread... dang, so good! haha
So anyways congrats to Eliza and to Justin Freeman who both go to the MTC next week. I hope Liza gets promoted early because she knows the language well enough though. 9 weeks there would be tough.
Missionary life is tiring. Best advice for the MTC is go to sleep asap, and wake up at 6 or earlier, otherwise you'll be late to everything!
Man, I hope dad finds a good offer, or the counteroffer is accepted... and I'll keep y'all in my prayers so you'll find a good offer and be able to decide whether to move or not. Too many decisions in life. SCARY!
I'm glad you guys had fun on the fourth. One thing that's going to take a while to get used to, is its a poorer area here than the Ranch, and its harder to fill up the dinner calendar. Feed the missionaries as often as you can. It stinks when you have to make or buy dinner. I am about to go, but I'll shoot off a quick email tomorrow too, when I have the address, since the library is on the way home from our zone meeting.
By the way, we just committed two investigators to a baptismal date here and two were just committed in my last area, so thats the exciting news for now!
Love ya guys, Take care, and by the way the See's was amazing!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Thanks so much for the gift certificate! We're going to see's later on today, bc I found out there are only two of them in our mission, and they're both close to here, so if i get transferred out west then I can't use it. I'm also going to go bowling later on today, and I officially hate packing!
I'm so excited to go somewhere new, but its kinda lame, because we have good stuff going on right now. One of our recent converts got baptized because his wife found the church to be true when she was 17, but she hasn't wanted to give up smoking so she hasn't joined. We went over and had a heart to heart, and set a baptismal date as a goal to work towards and challenged her to read scriptures daily, and shes been keeping that! We're also going to invite her to the church addiction recovery program, because she expressed interest in that and the same day we had seen them the guy we had dinner with is a senior missionary over the addiction recovery program and training for it for Colorado and New Mexico. So that should be good.
Clora, the girl who broke her nose, broke her arm wrestling last week, she progressing towards baptism, but we're handing he over to the sisters, because she's been going to their ward, the singles ward, and some of the comments she's made have shown too deep of an attachment to us which is a situation that needs to be avoided in my opinion!
Tracting has been lame the past week! 0 new investigators! :/ I hope i go to a place where we get to teach more lessons.
I'll be happy no matter what though if I get a companion who works hard and wakes up on time. Dang, I need that motivation! haha
Thanks for the letters, they help keep me going. And thanks for the money on the account. I'm trying my hardest not to tap into that.
As for my bike situation, the rim had broke again, and I called the guy in our ward, he's pretty angry and the poor service to us is going to be discussed in the corporate board. But he took the rim in and they replaced it with a rim that had a hub half the size of the hub I need, and then when we went back, even with a guy from corporate standing next to me weren't going to help, until he got the manager and the manager made them give me a rim off of a bike on the showroom floor, so I got a new rim, new tire, new cassette, and the bearings are smoother than either of the other wheels were, so its moving pretty well, and I'm happy.
I hope fourth of july will be fun. We were supposed to go to the rockies game with 3rd row above the dugout seats and get to go lay on the field for fireworks, but president didn't approve, so whoever is coming here is gonna go to a park in our area with an investigator. That should be fun for them. I hope we have a fun time whereever I am! I don't know what else to say really. I'l pray that dad's practice can sell, and we'll hope it'll be soon! I love you guys. You're an awesome family. Thanks for all you do. You have a fabulous week. I'll write when I get to my new area on Thursday.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
If missionary medical covers it, then I'll see the Doctor, if not then I'll have a blessing... I can't pay for it, I'm poor now, just on bikes I've spent a ton. And I don't want you guys to pay for it. Transfers are a week from tomorrow, and a change would be awesome!!Tonight we're speaking in front of a group of teachers for the great and abominable church, just a friendly discussion on the basic beliefs of each of our churches.
I'm sorry dad that I didn't send a father's day card. I wanted to go buy one, but my companion said it would be a waste of time and wouldn't go with, so I couldn't go. He is a bit sour because his dad left their family when he was young, so he calls the holiday worthless, and I was kind of mad, but I knew you'd understand, and know that I love you. I got a CD of pictures burnt, which I'll have to go by the post office to send to you guys sometime.
So what's the news there? Oh and Happy Birthday Eliza! Did y'all do anything fun for that?? The cool guy who took us out to dinner last week got my bike fixed, and he bought us each a $200 pair of shoes made by ecco. He's such a nice guy!
So are the Schetrompf's permanently in San Bernardino?? Hey is Chelsea doing alright?? she being crazy still or has she calmed down?? She went with you guys to the temple, so I guess thats good. The temple is awesome, I'm disappointed I can't go next week because it will be shut down for cleaning. Chick-fil-a is way good, we get it every once in a while because there are members that work there. The whole chain is owned by members too.
John's home, thats so crazy! What if I'm jealous? lol So have you guys got any offers on the practice?? you thinking about moving still? keep me filled in.
You know they dont let families go in in the mtc anymore right? Man, well the baptism was great, we should have a couple more coming, but no funny stories, other than we taught in Panera Bread this Monday. Hey you guys... I dunno what else to tell ya! I love ya and have a great week.
Story time! we were tracting, and this guy runs to grab a cigarette before he answers the door, and blows us off, so we figure, oh well, normal response! We keep going for about 20 more minutes, and we turned around from a door that we got know response from. This guy pulls up in his car and says, hey mormons, come here. So we go to talk to him. He says, Ive been trying to find spirituality in my life, and praying for the right path, and this voice came to me in my head from God telling me that he just sent the truth to my doorstep. I had to find you guys!
So we talked to him and we had an appointment in 15 minutes, so we just gave him a book of mormon, our number and a restoration pamphlet and invited him to church. He couldnt make it, because he had an inspector coming to liscense his add-on or something, but he will go next week, and we teach him tomorrow i think! exciting news. Well thats the only good story i have... haha! love ya
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I am going crazy! I'll give you the good news first! We had a baptism on Sunday and are very close to another one. But I can't wait for transfers in two weeks. I need a new companion though. Elder Mayes was a great guy, he followed rules, but didn't wanna work too much. We'd tract for a couple hours and he'd be done usually, even if we had nothing else to do. My new companion loves to work, but he doesn't wake up. Today for example I got up at 630 and him at 915... I'm just going crazy and a change would b nice.
My bike is a piece of crap! It is falling apart again, and I had a spoke come out today again, I don't know if I can stand it anymore. But if I buy another bike, after how much money I've put into both, buying the first and repairs that almost equal the total of buying the second already, I'll be totally broke. I love to teach, I love to serve.
So as I said, transfers are two weeks from tomorrow, so change the address to the mission one again, because if God answers prayers I'm getting transfered.
Hey I just got your letter about Grandma and Kathy... thanks, If you could resend last week’s letter, that would be great!
I went to a different company to fix the wheel, because I didn't trust them, and it was the front wheel this last time, but now the back one that they "fixed" is broken again
I read your letter from last week. Sounds like a fun week. I almost wish I was there, I know I'm doing a good thing, but its so discouraging... I really like the book Mormon Doctrine since I came out, is there any way you guys can get me a copy?
I hope dad's office will sell quickly!
I have been pretty busy, we've tracted a lot, and I think my companion is multiple personality. I am having such a hard time with mission life. Why does it have to be so hard. I have seriously been praying for strength to endure and stay out here, because it has been pretty rough, I'm not going to lie. I don't know what to tell you, but we've been teaching a lot of lessons. .
Clora, the girl who got her nose broke, has been doing well, she understands the gospel, but she just "doesnt have time to read and pray." :( She went to the baptism though, she cried because the spirit was so strong, she just needs a testimony. Elyse, the girl that we baptized, her parents came to the baptism grudingly, but I think their hearts were softened, because the dad, who had wanted nothign to do with us previously, invited us back! Kennin, a 47 year old non practicing catholic knows its true, but needs to get over a few concerns. And then we've been teaching a rocket scientist for LockheedMartin, but he wants facts, and you can't find true conversion off of facts.
We're going out to dinner with another executive in that company today who is the nicest guy you'd ever meet, he is the head of the real estate department for the whole company. He's buying us new dress shoes tonight he told us, but I could talk to him. The bike is just falling apart tho! I've already put near a thousand miles on it, and it isn't made to take that I dont think!
He is a great and very generous man. He was baptized in December, and he was introduced to the church because he talked to an LDS woman on a plane. She was going to nursing school and distressed with paying for a medical kit she needed that was a few thousand dollars, and he offered to pay, and she invited him to church in return. He checked it out only because it was of that much worth to her, and now he has the strongest testimony in the world! He loves the missionaries too.
Mom... I love you! keep me in your prayers... I need them! Have a great week!
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
So we have a baptism on Sunday, isn't that exciting? She's 13 year old girl with a lot of LDS friends, and her parents support her in her decision, although the dad wants nothing to do with it, but we already have their signitures. The dad won't listen to anything, the mom sits in and buys us food everytime it seems like! The mom will be at the baptism, but the dad won't. And we already had the bishop talk to the family about the commitment of seminary and youth programs, and the family is supportive. So it should be good. We have about 4 other people that are soo so close, that we basically need to resolve a few concerns and set a date. It's so awesome. I have loved the past few weeks, they have flown by! It helps when you have a companion you like that you aren't fighting 24/7. haha
So are they giving a decent quote for the office, and are you guys still thinking about Rancho Cucamonga area or are you staying San Berdoo or whats the deal? It's so funny, because probably 80% of the people we talk to know that area way well, and its funny to see all the in-n-out stickers on the cars out here in a state that doesn't even have it. Well I guess we have the wannabe in-n-out at least in Highlands Ranch, but Five Guys doesn't measure up at all.
So I just spent a good 40 bucks on my stupid bike again, I had to get my wheel trued and get new brake pads (When I replaced the front ones, I could see metal...lol I had worn off all the rubber). If I had the bike mechanics put the pads on it would've been a 65 dollar trip, I thought that was ridiculous, so I just did it in front of the store. I want to be in a car area. They're starting to get Pontiac Vibes and Ford Fusions with AWD for the missionaries here.
We gotta get going though. Our investigators will be at our house in 20 to take us hiking.
Love ya guys,
Sunday, June 7, 2009
Ok I had written a long email on an express internet terminal at the library because all of the computers were taken and it deleted my email when I clicked send. I wanted to throw the monitor. Hopefully I'm not late to dinner because I still want to write.
I'm excited for Justin, he sent me a letter and I guess Bishop Anderson is taking him to the SLC temple and to the MTC. It'll be a good experience for him.
Is the lady that noterized Elizas papers on campus Glennzora Rogers in Facilities, because she was authorized to do so? She is a funny person, I miss working there.
So I found out that there are som bike mechanics in our ward, so I need to call them and have one of them tru my wheel. I don't know if I trust Sports Authority's mechanics anymore.
Today I went to the 5:30am session at the temple, and then out to breakfast at some diner with a member and then I played basketball and volleyball from about 8:30 to 1:30.
I'll keep Gma and Aunt Kathy in my prayers, tell them I love them.
So I really can't write much more, because we email out of the mission and I cant be late to dinner. Thanks for the priesthood line. I'll try and write more in a normal letter I guess!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I am excited to write. Monday was P-day because of the holiday, so we have permission to write today. Things have been great. My companions name is Elder Larmouth, he's from Snowflake, AZ and has been out for 20 months. He's an awesome guy. We have so much fun together, and we are finding people left and right because we get along, so the spirit can be here. That obnoxious companion you talk about was my trainer in a nutshell. The first week here was even hard, and he was just too up tight about things that don't matter. I'm glad to have a better companion now. Although I feel totally inadequate teaching, because my first companion just wouldn't stop talking when he taught and he taught in circles, those were 3 difficult months.
On Monday we played raquetball with some members and then I cut my hair and then we went and got lunch and spent some time with a less active member. It was awesome. Last weeks P-day we went bowling from 3-5 because the local lane has a deal on wednesday where you get unlimited bowling between 3-5 and shoes for a total of 7.50 per person. We ate at applebees instead of Olive Garden, but we're going to Olive Garden with a recent convert on friday!
Monday night we had a barbecue at an investigators home with some of his member friends there... it was so much fun. And we taught a 4th lesson to one of our investigators and committed them for baptism, we have 4 committed and two with a date since transfers last thursday.
Oh sad news too. We went to a graduation dinner on Saturday for Zach Hillegas, a member in our ward, and Clora, our investigator, lives with them. It was way fun, and we had a few non-members and decided to go play ultimate for a while and just try and get to know them better, bc they were going to the park to play. Clora got a compound fracture to her nose and so she didnt come to church, because she was embaressed of the black eyes that come with it. :( We dropped in on her last night and invited her to a fireside at the WML's house on the basic beliefs of our religion. We shared a spiritual thought on the atonement and it was just a powerful experience.
I'm glad to hear that Gay Marriage is illegitamate offically in California now. One of the attorneys in our ward started talking to me about it at dinner, because its a topic of intrest for him, so he said in his professional opinion that there was no way with the wording of the proposition that that ammendment to the constitution will not stand. He said that the constitution is required to be ammended by the peoples vote regardless, it is now constitutional due to the fact that it was placed on the ballot and the people said they want it to be, and if that ammendment were not made this nation would cease to be America. America was founded upon democracy, even if it has been turned into a constitutional republic, the people have a say, and that is all that matters.
So when are we planning on selling the practice? When does dad start his position at the University?
I don't recall if i remembered to say happy birthday to John, but I meant to, I would've sent a card, but I am broke! I have some money in my personal account, but I have to stop using that. They just dont give us enough to live off of! I feel like I'm on welfare or something, I gotta wait for the 1st of the month to have money to buy food again. Well it'll all work out...
So I had to get my bike fixed again, I might've told you this last week, but they had broken my wheel, but they fixed it pretty well.
I have to go by the Sinquefields sometime and burn some picture CDs and we'll cross our fingers that they work this time. I miss you guys, I love you guys, and I hope all is well. Take care.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
So on Saturday I took my bike in for a tune up, but they had too many bikes, so they just trued the rear wheel, but they snapped a spoke out so I rode on it not knowing until yesterday morning, when the wheel was so untrued that it wouldn't spin. I called Sports Authority and they apologized and said they'd fix or replace it and do a full tune up. So I'm riding my companions old Diamondback, because he got sick of it and Daddy and Mommy sent him money to buy a new Trek. That kind of annoyed me, but oh well. Other than that its been a good week. We have a few solid investigators that we are preparing for baptism. It should be an exciting transfer. I hope I get a decent companion.
So other than all that, how is everything going? I'm kind of jealous of the concert! And you're forgiven for not writing much last week, all the computers at the library were down, and we had to use an express center there so I basically had 10 minutes on the computer and then we got a phonecall because someone needed help. I love you guys... I hope all is well back home. And tell Eliza she's welcome to use my yoga mat and blocks and strap if shes getting into that. It should be fun for her. Well I've gotta go. I love you guys. Take care.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Other than that though things have been good. On Friday we moved an investigator in with her fellowshipping family and we had dinner with a really cool family, the guy is a big shot attorney out here, but in his home he is the most down to earth guy you'll meet. We keep getting a load of crap, because Elder Mayes is from Iowa and they legalized gay marriage, so whenever he says Iowa at a dinner appointment people give him a hard time about it.
On Monday we had a Zone Meeting in the morning and we all got to share the things our Mothers have taught us in the gospel. It was pretty good, and after that I just slept and was miserable all day, except we snuck out at dinnertime to see a refferal and go to our dinner appointment that were in the same neighborhood. Then went back home.
Yesterday we had a service project doing yardwork at the mission home and we had our companionship interviews for the whole zone there. I talked to President and his wife about being sick and they said if I'm not feeling well later on in a week I gotta go see the Doc. He also told me that basically he thought I wasn't learning quickly enough in Highlands Ranch and that he doesn't know if I'll be prepared for the the leadership he wanted to give me next transfer. Then he stared me in the eyes and said, " The probability of you getting transferred in two weeks is... VERY,... VERY... high." So I'm thinking you should change to the mission address on the blog again.
Elder Thomas Stevenson
2001 E Easter Ave Ste 303
Centennial CO 80122
I am so excited to call you guys on Sunday! Just to talk to you guys and hear your voices should be comforting. I also hope Eliza gets better.
I don't have much time left to write, but I love you, and I'll talk to you on Sunday.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Its been a good week, we got some service done for one of our investigators and playing in rosebushes is always fun! And we're doing service for an investigator on Friday too. We're moving her into her fellowshipping family's house, because shes like a second daughter to them. She is one step closer to baptism, we taught her the power of prayer and she was getting into tough times with her boyfriend who she was living with, and she prayed and found out that he wasn't a good person for her to be around. That should be fun though, because one of the RMs whos been her good friend since before he went on his mission is dirving us and we're all moving her, so it should be good.
I love you guys. Thanks for all you do for me. I will write again, and I guess I'm calling you from the Sinquefield's a week from Sunday. Take care of yourselves. I'm glad Eliza got to go to the temple. Make sure she keeps going before she leaves!
Elder Thomas Stevenson
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thanks for the letter, and definately thanks for the Subway card! Mom, I love you & everyone else too! Congrats on Eliza's mission call, I'm excited for her.
Oh goodness. I wish it would stop snowing. We got over a foot today & had thunder-snow. I have a cold that I'm trying to get over, but I went to Walgreens & got medicine, so hopefully that helps.
So yesterday I gained a stronger testimony of the Word of Wisdom. We got a call from the Bishop on our way home from District Mtg. & had our member friend who was driving us take us there. It was sad, a member has been having a hard time with unemployment & we had to help him to their car to go to rehab because he drank so much the night before he couldn't stand on his own. It was so hard to see the shame in his eyes, he has such a deep respect for missionaries. But you could also tell he trusted us 100% as we supported and guided him to the truck so he could be driven to rehab. I almost cried when we were helping him & he just pulled me close & hugged me, because he had that trust to me. It's so hard to see good people fall! He's a great guy. I hope the rehab program works!
Everything I do & see testifies to me that the gospel is true, and that knowledge & faith is what gets me through the tough days. Can you believe I've been on a mission for 10 weeks. That's as much as a full term at school.
Well I can't wait to hear all your voices in a month. That's gonna be awesome! We're probably using the Sinquefield's phone to call you that evening. I love them, they take such good care of us. She brought us chowder in the storm tonight because we didn't have a dinner appointment. Well, I'll talk to you guys on Wednesday again! I love ya tons. Take care of yourselves.
Tom (Elder Stevenson)
Saturday, April 25, 2009
The snow melts way quick here, its already all gone. We are allowed to wear slacks now! yay. But yesterday we had a Zone Conference and then I went on exchanges with the zone leaders, so I went to their area and one of them rode my bike. I am so angry, because I already patched two holes and its still leaking air, so I have to go to a bike shop, because tubes that are 28x1 5/8 are not standard. I have concluded that no one is borrowing my bike again. He rode three-quarters of a mile and he must have run over a razor blade to get a gash like that. And we have no transportation until I get a tube. A mission is stressful... I hate those days.
We have had some good days though. We have been visiting with Kenin, the guy who we tracted into his wife. He still reads the Book of Mormon ever night and is excited about how family focused the book is. He is going through some hard times because he has a son with downsyndrome in Texas with his Ex-wife, who his ex-wife cannot handle, so he is planning on going to pick him up on Thursday now. We ran into him one night and he was crying and down and out, and we prayed with him, and then on Sunday we were actually going to visit someone else, and we were biking through the trails to the park and going to lock our bikes there and he was parked in the parking lot, we talked to him and prayed with him again, and we were told that we're angels and the answer to his prayers. So I have concluded that I like normal days way better than P-days... P-days kill me, because you barely have time to get things done and then you want to do fun things too, and sometimes its hard. Next week we might be going to a Rockies, Padres game for Pday though, that would actually be exciting.
I miss home! I miss the security of being able to leave and cool off, or talk to people about things, it just makes life so much easier. Oh well... I hope you guys have a great week, congrats to Eliza and John, I love you all, and take care of yourselves... talk to you soon.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Its been a good week, we had a lot of investigators that we lost this week, but its for the better i guess! Tomorrow we have 4 lessons scheduled and about three who told us to drop by, and it should really be awesome, however yesterday we did less active visits and tracted for 5.5 hours, it was a hard day, but we talked to a lot of people, first door I gave out a book of mormon, and we'll be following up on saturday. It is way exciting! We had the most amazing teaching appointment on last thursday... There's this awesome family in the ward and their daughter's best friend who is 20, and has been like an addition to their family for the longest time is always over for dinner when the missionaries are, and she asked us to teach her last Monday bc she wants to learn more, so we taught her on Thursday, but the family actually ended up teaching half the lesson, and a lot of people cried and the spirit was there, and tomorrow we'll be teaching her again, so we're pretty excited. Easter was fun. A few members got us easter baskets, and I've eaten too much crap... lol I'm hoping though that we can wear slacks in the next few weeks so I won't be afraid of sweating on the bike, and then I'll start to lose weight again... hehe Oh and I guess I'm officially a missionary... we were told 2 minutes before class that we were teaching gospel principles, but it went well. We are getting fed way too much, the people out here are amazing... and the support from the wards for missionary work is great, everyone is always is asking when they can come visit people with us and be fellowshippers. Well I gotta go. I love you guys so much.