Monday, June 29, 2015

#2 The need for the Spirit in our lives.

Hola Family and Friends!

#2 The need for the Spirit in our lives.

While being out here I have better learned how recognize the promptings of the Spirit. It truthfully is a still small voice and when we hear it and act on it, it changes lives. Whither it be something we need to do, or something we need to say, or something we need to show. If we are on the Lords errand it will be something to enlighten others and ourself. I'm so grateful for the spirit in my life to guide me and protect me and my desire is that all may
participate in this wonderful gift.

This week was a pretty good week a lot of time in the street but we met some great people. Telde is going well. a lot of our investigators are getting pretty busy/ lazy with the start of summer so we wont be able to meet with them for another few weeks. but we met with cesar a bit and were able to help him out. we also were able to meet with some less actives one being one we have tried to meet with for 2 transfers now. we were able to sit down with them and share a message about the atonement and really ask if they want the help to come back and they are willing so hopefully we can keep meeting with them. The branch is getting really excited to do missionary work. We are going to flood Telde with the Book of Mormon. It will really help this branch out. I'm excited to see what happens here.

Our hike today to the only waterfalls on the Island

So this will be the last letter I send home (If you are wondering wait what about #1 of the top ten I'm going to mention it in my homecoming talk) but I'm so grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ here in Spain. It's really weird to think that two years have passed but I'm so grateful for these two years. In serving others my Heavenly Father has shaped in to a better man, has helped me understand more his doctrine, and has let me know what I need to do after my mission to continue living the way he wants me to live. I'm grateful for the people I have met they are so close to me and I love them dearly. I wish the best for them. I'm grateful for my family and their support during these two years all that they have done. Most of all I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who has given me this opportunity. I know this is His church. That he called Joseph Smith to restore it in these last days and with that gave us the Book of Mormon to help us truly know God's will. I am grateful for a living prophet to give us an anchor of surety that we are in harmony with God's will. I truly can testify that I know these things are true and I can say so as His representative and I do it in His name in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I love you all! Thanks for everything!! See you soon!

-Elder Stevenson
Spain Madrid Mission
July 24, 2013 to July 7, 2015


Monday, June 22, 2015

#3 Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world and we all need His atonement.

Final interview with President Jackson

Hello family!

I decided to choose this for one of my top 10 because on the mission I
have really been able to understand his atonement more and I have a
greater desire to share that with others. Because He sacrificed for us
He has infinite love for us. His love is limitless and so through His 
so can ours. I had my last interview with President Jackson. We were
talking a lot on how we can apply the things we have learned on our
mission into our lives after we return and he told me to keep loving and 

serving others and to keep being happy. And I have never been happier then
when I have seen someone take advantage of the atonement, by
repenting, and being baptized. It's an eternal happiness.

15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying
repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me,
how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!

16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have
brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your
joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
Doctrine & Covenants 18:15-16

I'm writing this email while on my way to the mountains! I went on companion exchanges and there is a member there that was asking me what were some   p-day activities that I wanted to do. I said I always wanted to go to Roque Nublo and so they said they would take us! So we are on our way up.

We had a pretty good week this week. Like I said on Tuesday I did a companion exchange went down to Vecindario/ Maspalomas and we had a pretty good day! First went to go pass by a Swedish man but he wasn't home so we went and met with a less active family from Paraguay. They were super nice we shared the talk "Ye Are No More Strangers", it went really well. Then we went and taught another less active family. The ones taking us up the mountain. We shared with them how reading and praying will help strengthen the spirit in their home.

We had a super cool miracle this week. On Wednesday, we were doing some pass bys trying to find less actives. We were looking forever for one address and when we finally found it after an hour, it was fake! So we sat down on a bench to rest really quick and the Las Palmas soccer team was playing and scored a goal and so a guy stuck his head out the window cheering. Then his wife stuck her head out the window and told us to come up! So we went. She is a member and he isn't so we were able to teach him. It was really cool.

Big Set of Stairs!

It was pretty weird this week the Jacksons came down to the Islands to do interviews with all the missionaries. It was really weird having my exit interview but we had a nice talk. I'm very thankful for the Jacksons for all they have done for us. We had a nice time with them. 

We met with a couple of our investigators just trying to do everything possible to help them progress. Other than that it has been a pretty normal week. Yesterday was super hard because Las Palmas won their game. They are moving up to the first division with Real Madrid and Barça so everyone was drunk and partying. Crazy day! Hope everyone has a great week. 

Love you all!
-Elder Stevenson

Two p days ago a hike in Tenteniguada

Monday, June 15, 2015

#4 How to do the Father's will

Oh, we got the iPad this week. I didn´t get one because I end this transfer but my comp has one and it's super useful for teaching and studying!

Hello family!

So I chose this for one of the things I have learned on my mission because it is something very interesting that I have seen. It is incredible how the spirit has worked in my life to put me precisly in the place or do something right in the moment it is necessary. Let me share a few amazing experiences. Shortly after Margarita's baptism in Lugo we hadn´t visited her in a while because we were focusing on helping a couple of other investigators and so we didn´t visit her for almost a week. Well one night, she was feeling sad because we hadn´t gone by and she was having feelings that we were only there to baptize her and nothing else. Meanwhile, we were in the church right after English classes and I feel the impression to call her and set up an appointment. Later on, she told us of those feelings she was having and how right then is when she got the call and it was perfect timing. Another similar experience also happened in Lugo. We were meeting with Andrea's friend Mario and he was deciding what he should really do in his life. If he really should be baptized? Right as he ends the prayer, we call only to set up an appointment. It really helped him investigate more. There are many other experiences where you feel impressions to go and visit certain people but they are not there but it puts you right into the path of another person. There was one experience Elder Hawks and I had with that in Madrid. We both felt like we should go visit  a less active that we had never met before but we had his address. It was on the edge of our area and out of the way of everything but we acted on the impression. We go, he's not there. So we decide to go back to the metro but we felt like we shouldn´t go where we came from but that there was another metro the other way. We went that way. It was a holiday that day and there was no one in the streets. Right then, we see two girls come around the corner and so we stop them and talk to them. After talking and getting their reference, one mentions how when she turned the corner and saw us she felt like she needed something we had. She saw two boys in suits and thought well its a holiday so they can't be business men. They must be men of God. I'm not sure what ever happened with her but the lesson God wanted me to learn has been clear. We need to be always worthy and willing to listen to those spiritual impressions so that he can place us in the path to bless one of his children. I have really been able to see the hand of God in my life here on the mission and before my mission thanks to the experiences I have had.

This is our Stake President. He lives in our branch and feeds us every week. His daughters just finished school and so they went to Utah for a month so we went to say  goodbye to them.

We had a very good week here in Telde this week. We have been able to meet with Cesar again. We have been praying a lot recently on what we can do to help him. He has a lot of insecurity about God. He believes in him but he feels like he has never received an answer to if he really is there or not. Also he has been praying to God to find out if what we are teaching is true and hasn´t received an answer. On Tuesday night, we were able to meet and we were really able to talk and listen as he expressed his feelings. Then it came to us why he is not receiving an answer. We can´t receive answers when we are not following Gods commandments so we asked him what his thoughts on sin are. And he mentioned what he thought and what a couple things are that his doing in his life that he feels are sins. We were able to talk about those things and help him commit to stop doing them. It was a really helpful lesson.

We also met with a guy named Martin. He has been meeting with us for a while but he works in the airport and so he doesn´t have much time to read the Book of Mormon so we have dedicated our visits to teaching based off chapters we read together. We were able to read Alma 40 and talk about the plan of salvation. We can really see his faith growing because of the Book of Mormon.

We were also able to get in contact with Patricio again and meet with him. His wife has had vacations lately so it has been super hard to meet and he also has work now too. But we met on Saturday and read a chapter in the Book of Mormon with him because he hasn´t been reading. We then talked again about the importance of daily scripture reading and we invited him to just try one verse a day and he decided to do it because he wants the same knowledge we have about these things so we made a list of scriptures for him to read. (the scripture mastery scriptures )  = )

We met a lot with our ward mission leader too talking about how to get the members involved more in the work. We have a plan to flood Telde with the Book of Mormon. We have the plan to daily hand out 10 copies of the Book of Mormon between the members and the missionaries so that way we can hand out 300 in a month. We already have the books ordered and the branch is on board. So we will see how it goes! 

Hope everyone had a good week. I love you all!

-Elder Stevenson 

Sun and palm trees. . .

and the mountains!

Monday, June 8, 2015

#5 Importance and blessings of the temple.

Hello Family!

I have really learned this on my mission. Before the mission I always loved to go to the temple. As you all know, right before I left I tried to go as much as possible with my friends. I could always feel the spirit and I knew it was the House of the Lord. But as I have been here on my mission, my love and appreciation for the temple has increased soooo much. Being able to go every week in the MTC really helped me feel comfort even though I had just left my family and everything. Then being able to go once a transfer really helped me get reenergized a bit but right as I went to Galicia I couldn't go! I didn't get to go for the longest time. But that is when I saw someone else go. When Andrea went to the temple weeks after being baptized to do baptisms for the dead that day was even more exciting than her baptism! The joy I felt was amazing and it really helped me know that I want to see everyone in the temple. Then being in barrio 2 in Madrid and being able to baptize 2 people that in February will both go to the temple to be sealed to their spouse. Also in b2 we had the opportunity to go to a sealing of a family Elder Hawks had taught and that day was amazing. The happiness in the faces of the family and the spirit that I felt really makes me grateful for temples in these last days and how everyone needs to enter someday.

Well, we had a pretty good week here in Telde. Very long and hard but rewarding. We had a lot of failed appointments and so it was rough but in the end it made us think of some new finding ideas so we are grateful for that.

Wednesday did turn out really well for us. We met with a less active member during medio dia. One of the big problems she has is knowing the history and the doctrine of the church. She was baptized when she was 8 but then her family stopped coming and so she drew away for a bit but she wants to come back. So we were able to share the restoration with her and really help her understand where the church comes from.

Then we met with a man named Helenio, also a less active, and we have been working with him for a while. We had a really good visit with him and he said that it was time for him to come back to church and on Sunday he came! So that was really nice.

Then that night, we were able to have a lesson at a members home. They brought their friend and it went really well! His name is Kevin. He came to a BBQ activity about a month ago and we were able to meet with him. We did it as a Family Home Evening. We were able to teach him about the Book of Mormon and were able to talk about how he can receive his answer. He is willing to do it and he said he wants to meet and learn more so we have planned to meet again this Wednesday.

That was pretty much our week. A lot of contacting and a lot of door knocking but we were able to find some great people. Hope everyone had a great week!

-Elder Stevenson

Monday, June 1, 2015

#6 Hard work and Obeidience pay off!

Hey Family!

We had a pretty good week! Super long and tiring but good!

So I picked this as one of the things because I have seen the blessings of these two things. There have been plenty of times in my mission where all you can do is just keep pressing forward, talk to everyone even though everyone rejects you and then follow the mission rules and the blessings come. There have been numerous times where this has happened and then the prepared person literally is placed there by God. I think every person that I have been able to baptize was that way. Right as things are going hard in the area and all you can do is be diligent that's when we are blessed.

This week was one of those weeks. There were a couple holidays this week here on the islands so no one could meet. As well as one of our investigators got work so it was hard to meet with him. Plus I got sick but we kept going, we kept working, and the Lord blessed us the last day of the week.

From Sr. Jackson:  Por fin - the iPads have arrived! The Spain Madrid Mission is about to become an iPad Mission! #stackedintheshapeofthetemple #onlymissionarieswouldthinkofthat #holdontightherewego #weloveourofficeleaders

We started off the week with an extra missionary in our area, Elder Guerra. He is training so we were waiting for his companion to arrive. We got to contact a lot but no one wanted to stop. Then Wednesday, we were able to have a lesson with one of our investigators. It went well. He brought up a really big doubt he had so hopefully we can help him a little more but the rest of the week was just contacting, knocking doors, passing by old investigators, but still few results.

Sunday, we found one more old investigator and we decided to walk out there (it was SUPER far) but totally worth it. The family was home and super receptive and they weren't able to meet then but we have a return appointment set up for Tuesday so we are excited. Then we were also able to meet with our Argentinian family. We talked about reading, praying, and coming to church. We really wanted them to commit to come to church and they did. They will be there on Sunday. Then at the end, we were able to get the man of the house to offer the prayer and it was amazing. One of the best prayers I have heard from an investigator. And at church on Sunday, a member came up to us and said we have a family home evening at their house on Wednesday and their daughter's friend will be there. We're super excited!

So the week was hard but rewarding. Love you all have a great week!

-Elder Stevenson

My new mission Facebook profile pic :P

La Garita, super nice

Look how clear the water is. 

Monday, May 25, 2015

#7 How to take advantage of the short amount of time we have in life.

Hello Family!

So we got transfers this week and I am staying here in Telde with Elder Bigelow. He is District Leader so I'm super excited for him. He will learn so much and it will really help him a lot. I was a District Leader about the same time in my mission and it helped me out a ton! I'm excited to spend another 6 weeks here with him.

#7 I picked this because I have learned how important it  is to use time wisely. It is the most important chapter of Preach my Gospel and once we master it we are Preach My Gospel Missionaries. There is a short phrase in the missionary handbook that says, "Your time to serve the Lord is extremely short." And if we think about it two years is really short small portion of our lives. Everyone who has served a mission knows how short it is. That is why we need to take advantage of the time we have while we are here. When Elder Williams was going home I noticed that he started to say every time he spoke to someone that he was an authorized representative of Jesus Christ. He started to realize the power and authority of his calling as a missionary and know that he could only say those words for a few more weeks and didn´t want to waste that chance anymore, and it really impacted me. There is a quote by Parley P. Pratt after serving for more than 25 years as a missionary, he was yet again called to serve a mission. He said that after 25 years he hoped to be able to relax and spend time with his family but he has all eternity to do that and right now he needs to serve the Lord. It's one of my favorite quotes and has helped me really take advantage of the time I have as a missionary and how we can serve in the church after, by being consecrated priesthood holders.

Well, we have had an amazing week here in Telde. The weather has been great but pretty windy. We had an amazing zone conference on Tuesday. Talked a lot about keeping our covenants and being bold, and how these two things give us the power in our callings as missionaries. Then after I was able to go on splits with Elder Franklyn (the missionary I was with when I found and took pictures with the snuggie.) It was pretty cool to be with him again expecially since he goes home tomorrow along with a missionary that lived in Mostoles with me for 2 transfers and was my zone leader in the north for 2 transfers. Then we took the boat back to Las Palmas and stayed there for the night, then we went to work.

Cesar is doing well. We were able to meet with him. He is slowly reading the Book of Mormon and praying so he is getting there. We have 6 weeks left to prepare him for baptism. He really wants to be baptized and he's working towards it so it should go well.

Patricio and Ashelin are also doing super well. We met with them and read in the Book of Mormon. We read 3 Nephi 11 and then talked to them about baptism. we invited them to be baptised and they said they would if they get their answer so we are just going to keep helping them. We met with them last night and watched The Restoration Film with them which was really nice. They really like the Restoration and so we just need to get them reading and praying.

We found a pretty cool guy. His name is Mario. He if from Cuba. The missionaries from Vecindario found him on a bus on the way here for companion exchanges. He has been here for 15 years. He doesn't believe in God but he is super willing to meet with us. We met with him Friday. He lives super far, all the way in the mountains of Telde. It was insane! We met again on Sunday but this time we got a member to come with us and drive us up there. Way better!

Other than that we did a lot of contacting. We did have a branch party this week. We celebrated Canary Day which is actually this Saturday but we did it earlier. 

Pretty good week over all. This week should be fun. We have a lot of stuff set up already. Today was fun. We had to wake up at 4 in the morning to take a missionary to the airport and then take his companion with us. His new companion gets here tomorrow night. He is going to train so he is with us until then. One of the missionaries, Elder Priest he is from Yorba Linda, he was in Las Palmas just got transferred to Lugo! I guessed it too! I also guessed Elder Hawks was gonna go to A Coruña and I got that right too!

Well, hope everyone has a great week. Love you all!

-Elder Stevenson

The Boat we took.

It was windy but beautiful! On our way to Santa Cruz in Tenerife for Zone Conference.

Santa Cruz

Elder Smith

Elder Gorge

We went and ate at a Mexican Restaurant