Wednesday, September 23, 2009

23 September 2009

Howdy-do, The church is true, the book is blue, see ya in less than two.
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.

Elder Stevenson

Thursday, September 17, 2009

16 September 2009

hey you guys. I'm sorry to hear about Eliza's luggage deal, and tell John I'm jealous he got to see the play. We are hoping to get more people to teach! Yesterday and monday we tracted for 10 hours total because we have no one to teach, we found a girl who invited us back to teach her more, but thats all.
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!

Elder Stevenson

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

9 September 2009

... so in two weeks I will tell you if I'm leaving or not. I'm not going to make any speculations this time though. We just had President's interviews, and I just told him how I am thankful for this transfer because he gave me a companion that actually works. He immediately knew what I was talking about and he said he had his reasons for putting me with them. He said he liks the growth he's seen in me over that past 7 months and told me he really likes my personality. He told me that he thought when I came in that I was just a goofy kid, but that know he can tell that I work hard and that he can trust me. He told me he could see me as a great leader in the mission. Scary, huh? I would like it though. I wouldn't be as fake as a lot of them anyways.
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!

Elder Stevenson

Thursday, September 3, 2009

2 September 2009

Its been a great week! A lot of things are happening now. First of all last Thursday I drove for the first time in seven months. It was an 09 Malibu, and it drove nice. One of our zone leaders lost his driving privledges and we went on exchanges, so I had to drive. It wasn't bad at all though, people here complain about traffic, but it ain't nothing!
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!

Love ya,
Elder tom Stevenson