Tuesday, May 1, 2012

helping others develop their own relationship with their loving Heavenly Father [From 23 APR 12]

A little while back someone read this scripture [Ether 12:27,37] and was talking about weaknesses coming from God. They said if you want to blame someone for your weaknesses; blame God because they're from Him. Thanks for forwarding this. I guess I need to apply what she said about Lyme. I need to have that perspective of it helping me be humble. Which is something I’ve been learning recently, the necessity to be humble.

We’re at the library so hopefully the Internet will work quickly and well :)

I’m laughing in the library! Thanks so much for your fun little notes! And yes Parker that did make sense. A couple wrong conjugations but I knew what you were saying. Very good job!

8 missionaries!!!!!!!!! I'm so jealous! We have half a p-day today because we're going to the temple on Thursday. So basically just get done what we need to and it's back to work.

Take pictures of the many missionaries invading the house and the house upside down. I’m not very good at taking pictures. Sorry. I’ll do better.

I’m so happy for Rorey! I’m glad he was able to visit again. And I’m glad I’ll be there for his wedding. I wouldn't want to miss it.

And yes, it made sense about the zone leader and district leader. It’s mission lingo and makes complete sense to me!

You were in the pool?! This week the weather has completely changed. Last week we needed coats and a couple layers, especially at night. And then one day it went up to 80 and hasn't been down until today. Which is overcast and looks like rain. Yet it’s still kind of warm. We’ve had the window open the past two nights. It’s been great!

AHHH! Mom you’re amazing!!!! That is exactly what I learned on my exchange with Hermana Fenn this week. I need to be myself and be okay with being different. My heart is swelling with joy and peace and.... AHHHH! I just want to laugh and twirl around because the Spirit has filled my soul. I'm so happy! A smile filled my face as I read your note.

Transfers are May 7 or 8. Not sure. So 2 weeks left. Not sure what will happen. I’ll probably stay because Hermana Osorio has been here 3 transfers and it’s been only 2 for me. But we'll see. I don't even try to figure out "transfer doctrine," as it's called by missionaries. I’m just grateful it's not my job to figure it out. I can’t imagine trying to figure out where 160 missionaries should be and with whom for the next 6 weeks. Crazy!

I did remember it's Nancy’s birthday. I’m sending her my starfish that I dried. Don’t tell her, but just so you know. She can either leave it the way it is, put it in a show case thing, or paint it. I hope she likes it. I think it's pretty cool! I haven't received your note yet. When did you send it?

So on Wednesday we had leadership training in Santa Rosa. It was amazing! We received instruction from President and Sister Bunker and then the assistants, Elder Vomocil and Elder Mahrt. They talked a lot about our role as leaders in training our missionaries; that they need to feel our love and then they will receive the training well.

Something I realized this past week with district meeting and then with leadership training and my own personal study is that everything we do is about relationships. Think for a moment about the temple. Everything we do within those scared walls is about relationships. Binding us to our Heavenly Father and then us to our spouses, children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, etc. and all of the covenants we make before the temple just lead up to that. Our first covenants; baptism and then confirmation are about our personal relationship with our Father in heaven. And then we're sealed as couples and then families.

I was reading the talk by Elder Larry Y Wilson this morning and he talks about teaching children to develop a relationship with deity. That is what, we as missionaries are doing. That’s what everyone should be doing with their homes and callings; helping others develop their own relationship with their loving Heavenly Father. It's amazing! The gospel is truly amazing! I love it!

So this past Wednesday I hit my 11-month mark. Weird. Kind of serial. Then someone asked me yesterday how long I’d been out and they had to mention I only had 6 months left. I just kind of nodded and thought that it can't be. Time just keeps going faster!

At the beginning of this week we were tracting and we found a young man, junior in high school, named Sergio. As we talked with him about the restoration his face lit up and he got excited. He couldn’t help but smile. We too couldn't help but laugh and smile. The joy, true and eternal joy of the gospel filled my heart as we invited him to learn more and then be baptized when he knew the truth for himself. Even before I could finish inviting him to be baptized he was nodding, broadly smiling and saying "Yes!" we were so excited to give him to the elders (he doesn’t speak Spanish so the zone leaders get to teach him). They had a lesson with him and they texted us right after. In their words they said, "He's so legit! He’s getting baptized on May 5th. He’ll be a future missionary one day for sure." How amazing is that?! The Lord has prepared his children and they are just waiting to hear and receive the gospel.
How cool that you've been learning the same thing about relationships! I just can't say enough of how amazing the gospel is! The Lord is so good!

The computer might kick me off sooner than my hour is up so just in case...
I LOVE YOU FOREVER! Thank you for your love and support.
Forever love,
Hermana Stephenson

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