Friday, February 27, 2009
Hola Mi Madre & Papa,
How are you? I got all your DearElder letters, did you get my snail mail letters?? Life is great, I'm in the choir & I love it. I am saying the prayer in the MTC fireside tonight also. Friday was amazing. First of all we had a teaching appointment where they recorded us teaching volunteers the lesson in a mock living room. We got two gorgeous girls from BYU, so it made it harder! hehe We did very well, except for the fact that my companion screwed up the Joseph Smith story, but I took over. A fun thing was our teacher forgot to turn off the camera, so we got to hear what they said about us. They said they were hooked the whole time, loved our analogies, and how we worked with them. They said they felt bad for Elder Bernet, and then they said, we were so cute! haha But we got unbiased feedback in which we told they felt the Spirit, and loved how we taught. We then had dinner and went to take and make phone calls. I got an awesome call where I spent just shy of half an hour on the phone, because I told the Joseph Smith story & she broke down. She said she's been feeling that in her heart. It was interesting.
Today was amazing! We had the best priesthood meeting ever, and in it we talked about how faith and obedience connect, how hope and sacrifice connect, how the law of the gospel (service) yields charity, and how love and charity connect.
In sacrament we had Sister Cheryl Lant talk to us, because she and her husband are filling in for President Madsen in our branch while he's in Nepal. She talked about involving children in teaching, funny thing for a Primary General President to talk about. She also talked about how she still feels inadequate. And I will pray at the fireside too. I have to go.
This refers to the field where the missionaries play soccer, etc. The mission field is still open.
Friday, February 20, 2009
I love you all so much! How is life? I'm just hanging out... lol. So no one really has responded to any of the letters I sent snail mail, but I did receive every letter you sent through dear elder. I don't know if you got like any of the four letters I've sent you, but our branch president is in Nepal helping rewrite the constitution on assignment from the first presidency, so President and Sister Lant (Primary General President) are in our branch for now! So we got to hear from her on Sunday, and Elder Ballard on Tuesday night. On the Sunday night devotional I said the opening prayer. I have been studying the lessons, and doing well, but I await Wednesday when I get a new companion! Hehe. We both have very strong personalities, so its been a struggle for both of us. Today I went to the temple again and could not see John. :( So what's going on with dad's dental school position? You finished up cleaning up my room!... hehe I tried to make it easy for you. I really want to get back into the outside world mom! OH and I found out we have to pay our own luggage when we fly next week, but I'm set... I checked my balance at the ATM here and my tax return came. I really love the gospel mom. Thanks for being a supportive loving family and doing all that you have for us. The MTC is way fun, but becomes tough at times, we have class all day and gym 3x a week and sometimes we get to teach and take calls from the pass-along cards. It is fun to teach the volunteers the lessons. Our last one we had two really cute girls from BYU though, so it was kind of distracting, but our teacher accidentally left the camera on when we left the room, and they were giving nothing but praise. They said we were master teachers, with great analogies, and they were hooked the whole time, they also bagged on Elder Bernet who screwed up the First Vision and I took over and fixed it, and oh... That Elder Stevenson is way cute... haha. So I just cant wait to get out and teach and be a missionary, because sitting in class all day long sometimes feels like prison. I miss and love you. I'm going to go, but forward this to family members if you'd like, and tell everyone I love them, if you write back, write through dearelder and I'll get it at the next meal. Hope you have a great week, and I'll try and call you from the airport on Wednesday morning.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
We have a ridiculous P-day schedule! We only get two Pdays in the MTC. We went over a week before we got one! So I got to go to the temple this morning, but we missed our session and went to a later one, because they gave an elder in our district two pairs of pants with a broken zipper. I wrote you a couple of letters snail mail... Idk if you received them. But I have been having a good time overall. Been learning a lot, but I've been discouraged a bit. If you respond, just do dearelder.com because I'd like to see it. Yesterday was a real downer of a day... I got way discouraged, until the night time. At night we taught a lesson and were taught the plan of salvation, and i dont know about my companion, but that and the spirit we felt from it really lifted me up. I cant wait to get out and teach people and start to make a difference in peoples lives instead of sitting in stupid classes all day long. Honestly it becomes kind of redundant. I'll survive. I like it overall, some teachers are better than others. The hardest thing is waking up at 630 and being to class at 7... Its almost impossible, but that is what the Lord expects of me. Mom I love you all so much, I miss having dinner with all of you. I really have enjoyed the presence of my companions in my District though, honestly we got a pretty cool crew. So whats new? Dad got the job? hehe Well I didnt see John at the temple, I was kind of bummed. It still freaks me out how the MTC president just walked up to me, said hi, shook my hand, stared into my eyes, said I had a good spirit about me and walked off. I dont know if I told you about it, but he was just walking by us one day, and it was quite interesting. How's Christy feeling is doing better?? Is school going great? Well my laundry is clean so I'm going to head out. By the way with the missionary discount I could get you a normal sized quad for 33dollars... but anyways, I dont know how id get it to you? we'll talk to you later, have a good night.
16 Days until Denver!!
Dear Mom & Dad & Christy,
Happy birthday to Robby! How are you all? Today is our first Sunday. I was so excited to take the sacrament, it seemed like a century since last Sunday. It was great, because I really thought about the covenants in the prayer. I love our District and Zone. Our Branch Presidency is awesome too. President Madsen is in Nepal on assignment from the Apostles with a legal professor from BYU to attend a constitutional convention drafting Nepal's new constitution, and hopefully establishing religious freedom in Nepal. The gospel is so exciting! I am learning to work well with my companion, and we are getting much better at teaching together. I've prayed more in the last few days than I have ever in a year's time. It is amazing how strong the spirit and feeling of peace are here. I met the MTC President in the hall by accident, he shook my hand, and said I looked like a fine Elder, and as he looked me in the eyes he said, "I can really feel a strong spirit about you Elder, keep that with you always!" I love the book of Alma, reading everyday has been such a blessing.
So is Christy still sick? How was the ride home? Anyone at home for the missionaries to teach? Just what's going on at home?
Love, Elder Stevenson
P.S. I keep reaching down to my belt thinking I left my phone somewhere, & then I remember!
P.P.S. I am also in the choir! I forgot to put that. I am so tired, but I love it here. I love you all!
Tom then continues:
I was just watching a video about the Savior's ministry. Imagine yourself being blind your whole life, and the Savior holds your hand and heals you. Imagine how much better you would appreciate your sight, and the beauty of the world. Imagine the power you'd have when you spoke and testified of the Savior. As believers, I believe that caliber of faith & appreciation should be our goal. Pray for it, testify of it, fell it. I know that the Church is true. I think every worthy young man and woman ought to serve a mission. We have four beautiful sisters in our District, they bring a stronger love, compassion, testimony, and much stronger witness to each of our testimonies. I can say I love all six Elders and four Sisters in my District!
It has only been 4-5 days, and I feel like I've known them my whole life! They are better friends and examples than any peers I have ever met, aside from a few in Nauvoo.
Liza will love the MTC, she will do great! I'm excited for her to feel what I've felt. The spirit is so so strong. I am so grateful for every single one of my teachers, and honestly hope that they realize the influence they've been on us. I love to sing and pray! I always make sure we sing before we pray. Song is such a blessing to us. Songs invite the Spirit so strong.
So we only get two P-days while we're here! The only District where this is the case, because our first P-day is on Thursday, and they didn't give us our first day obviously. I am so excited for P-day.
By the way we only go to the gym 3X a week, and yesterday was our first session. Our Branch President gave us permission to go to the temple and take pictures, and walk the grounds on Sunday, as well as being able to do a session on Thursdays.
Without Branch or MTC President permission, we are never supposed to leave the MTC Campus other than our temple session.
I'm so excited, I've been so blessed. We sang "Let Zion in Her Beauty Rise" today, which reminded me so much of Nauvoo and the spirit I felt there, It is a beautiful place, but there is one more verse to that song, which is only applicable to Nauvoo, because that song was written in Nauvoo. "Let Nauvoo in her beauty rise, a light to latter days," or something like that. I'm oh so excited! I want to go back to Nauvoo my first summer back!
I love the Church so much. The scriptures are so powerful, they mean so much more after my endowment, and feeling the spirit I do here. I'm going to stop blabbing on now, but I love you so much. I miss home, but haven't really felt "homesick!" The Lord gives me strength, so I have no need to.
Today was amazing! I'm gonna miss you guys! But I know this is where I am supposed to be. I am companions with Elder Bernet from San Antonio, TX. We met our District Presidency today and the President is Mark Madsen's father.
We have a great group in our room, and 3 of 4 are going to my mission, the other is headed to Peoria, IL. I love you all so much, saying our parting words was hard.
It is amazing the spirit we felt in our District Meeting today. We have four lovely sisters and six elders, and five of six will be in my mission. I also enjoyed the food, especially all the juices. I'm pretty excited, these 20 days will be amazing Well, it's bed time, so my letter will have to come to an end. I love you guys,