Sunday, February 15, 2009

8 Feb 2009

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.

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