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

Monday, May 18, 2015

#8 Teachings need to be based off people's need, therefore knowing their needs.

Hello Family! 

I'm Santa Cruz in Tenerife right now for a zone conference. It's super beautiful!

 #8 I picked this because I have been able to see the need of teaching people according to their needs. Every person is different and they accept this gospel at different rates so its very important that we know their needs. that we trust in the Lord to be able to tell us what they need. I was thinking how this could apply in the church as well and imagine how classes would be if the teachers tried to discern the needs of everyone in the class. Everyone would really learn from it.

Well, this week has been absolutely amazing! A week that was very well needed in Telde. Every one of our investigators wanted to meet with us! AND we were able to set a baptismal date with Cesar! We met with him on Wednesday and we talked a lot about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We also talked a lot about baptism and we really felt to extend the invitation to be baptized the 4th of July and he accepted! He has trouble with smoking so we are still helping him with that but he is reading the Book of Mormon and praying so we know he will gain a testimony. We are going to really focus on him coming to church because he usually goes to the beach with his family on Sundays but he is doing well.


We also were able to meet with a girl named Vannessa. She is from England and is really cool. She has been an investigator for 2 years now.  So we are really trying to focus on her receiving her answer and progressing towards baptism. On Saturday, we had the plan to teach her the gospel of Jesus Christ as well. It was going really well but right as we were going to talk about baptism she brought up some doubts that we are sure she found online. We were easily able to answer every question but then she didn't have more time to talk after that so we never got to finish.

Then we met an absolutely AMAZING family from Argentina, Patricio, Ashelin and their son Bruno. We met them a couple weeks ago in the street and we were finally able to meet. They are so prepared for this gospel. It's amazing! They are all super willing to read and pray and they said they could feel the spirit as we taught them. The fact they can already recognize the spirit amazed me. We are going to meet with them again Wednesday after we get back from Tenerife.

It was a very good week. The members are way more excited about missionary work. We are also going to teach a member's friend on Wednesday. Things are going well. We just have to keep the hard work going this area really needs it. Hope everyone had a great week. Love you!!

-Elder Stevenson

Told you my shoes broke.
They are so worn out, but I have another pair.


Beauty in all directions.

Santa Cruz

Monday, May 11, 2015

#9 Miracles Do Still Exist

The entire mission in Madrid for training!

Hey family!

It was super nice talking to you yesterday. Thanks for all of the support!

I picked this for number nine because as I have been here on my mission I have seen miracles. From Miracles with investigators receiving their answers to Miracles of people being healed. They were things I knew existed but through these miracles I really have seen God's hand working in the lives of these people as well as in my own life. I know that he loves us and will do everything in his power to bless us.

Just a recap on the week on Friday, was my companion's birthday. We went and ate with the stake president and his family. They made us some super good chicken and potatoes and then they made banana bread and served it with ice cream on top. It was sooo good! When Elder Bigelow went to blow out the candle, he chocked on his saliva a little bit and lost his breath and so he wasn't able to blow it out. It was pretty funny.

Then we went to go teach Cesar. He had to run a quick errand before meeting with us so he went to do that and while he did that we saw a kid playing the guitar. I went and asked if I could play and so he let me and from that we were able to talk to him a little more and he is willing to meet with us. Then Cesar came over saw the guitar and sang us a made up song. It was probably the funniest thing I have seen on my mission.

Saturday, we had a branch bbq. It turned out super well. A lot of members brought their friends. One, his name is Kevin, is an 18 year old kid and has talked to one of the members and is willing to meet with us! We were also able to build more friendships with the members and excite them about missionary work because that is what is needed in Telde. The last member reference was over 3 years ago and so the missionaries have just been contacting in the street and nothing has happened. Elder Allen said this week `` If you always do what you always did you will always get what you always got.´´ Of course, we are going to still talk to every single person possible in the streets but something different needs to be done.

Branch BBQ

Last night, we went contacting a bit and we found a super amazing Argentinian couple. They were both really receptive and were interested in what we had to say but they didn't want to give us their reference. It was a really nice experience because right after we were able to testify to them and promise the blessings that come with this gospel and then they we very willing to give us their reference. It was nice seeing the spirit working in them showing them they need to meet with us.

Well, hope everyone is doing well. I love you all!

-Elder Stevenson

I will send pictures at the church a little bit later.

Flight to Madrid  = )

Pres. and Sr. Jackson


Elder Hawks! and friends from Madrid!

Out my window

Long Day! ZZZZZ

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day Call

Hola Familia! It's so good to see you! Can you tell how tan I've gotten since coming to Gran Canaria? It's so beautiful here. I love it. Everyday I am surrounded by beauty, I look one direction and see the ocean and the other and I am surrounded by mountains.

I can't believe how big my nephews are! It's hard to believe there are 3 who haven't met me yet! Mom, you need a new picture of you and Dad with all of the grandkids!

When I found out I was going to be transferred Elder Hawks guessed I was coming here. All of his other comps have served here sometime in their mission. So he guessed the same for me and he was right. I didn't think I would because I don't have many months left missionaries usually serve here for several months because the airfare is a little pricey.  

The food here is different than on the peninsula. There's this one dish here called ...which translates into English as dirty laundry, it's supposed to be really good so I really want to try it.

The branch (congregation) here is small but growing, they are hoping to make it a ward by the end of the year. The Stake President is in our branch. He's pretty young and travels to all of the islands for ward conferences and visits...the building has really good  wifi and is set up for Skyppe they do some of their leadership and training meetings via Skyppe because members are located on different islands. Stake conference is broadcast to each of the builds so travel won't be a hardship for the members. The branch covers a really large area so some days we walk more than 10 miles. I wore out a pair of my shoes but I still have it's good....

Best part of Mother's Day! We Skyppe'd with him for about 45 minutes.  So good to hear his voice and to see his tan, energetic, smiling face.

Monday, May 4, 2015

#10 The Church of Jesus Christ is the only true and living church on the earth.

Hey Family!

I have decided to do something that Elder Williams did before he returned home which is share the top 10 things he has learned on his mission as the title of every email.

I decided to do this first because like it says in Preach My Gospel, it's purpose is to first help us receive a testimony and then to second help others. Ss i have been out here, it really has strengthen my testimony. Being able to be focused on the doctrine and sharing it with people has helped me and seeing the miracles that occur in our lives has helped me a lot too. But most importantly, the spirit that I have felt I can not deny that this is the true church.

Well. we had a pretty good week this week. We have been trying to find some new investigators recently and on Friday we found some! First thing in the morning, we went and passed by a reference we had and they let us in. We were able to talk to the man, his name is Marcelo, and we were able to teach his daughter Celeste. They are really cool. They are both from Argentina and have only been here for a little while. They are super cool, were super nice to us, and are very willing to read the Book of Mormon.

We also met with a very prepared man from Madrid! It was kinda cool. His name is Eugenio. He used to live in the B2 area where i just was. He isn't religious at all but we told him if he reads and prays about the Book of Mormon, he will know God and Jesus Christ exist and that the Book of Mormon is true and he is super willing.

Other than that, we walked a ton this week! There are some people the branch has asked us to go visit and they live super far! My shoe actually fell apart this week but its ok I have another pair. We were able to find some nice people and so hopefully this area will start picking up soon.

Well, hope everyone has a good week. Talk to you Sunday! I'm going to call at 7 California time. I had to make a new e mail because I have all of the email stuff written down in my agenda which is in Madrid. Speaking of Madrid hopefully i will call from the i-pad! Should be a nice trip up there this week.

-Elder Stevenson