Monday, November 30, 2015

All I want for Christmas is SUNSCREEN!

Hooooooola todos!!!!

Hope you all had a FANTASTIC week! Cool thing about this week is that we had a big training with Elder Uceda! He's from the 1st Quorum of the Seventy AND the Area President of South America Northeast! It was SOOO AMAZING! I still need to really read through my notes, so I'll have to share it next week sorry!

Celia is moving along for her baptism! It was SUPER hard to get a hold of her because last week was the last week of classes in all the schools here in Peru (they're on summer break JUST in time for Christmas!) And so she had a million projects and parties with her friends because she just finished her 'senior year' (or 5th grade of secondary school).

AND we had an AMAZING service project with Jheremy and his family yesterday!!!!! IT was amazing. They are changing houses but the house they are moving into hasn't had ANYONE living in it for a LONG time! So it's pretty nasty. They need a WHOLE lot of help. So yesterday after church we stopped by because they didn't show up at church and found them all painting (because it is the only day that Jheremy's parents don't work), SOOOO we called all the leaders in the ward and we all showed up and attacked the house!!! It was SO MUCH FUN! We painted and painted. The pristhood helped with wiring the house (because they didn't have any light) and getting a wall put up and a million other little things. It was so cool and the spirit was so strong, It really helped to unite the ward together. I LOVE SERVICE PROJECTS!!!! I didn't have my camera so I couldn't take a picture of me and my comanion in our dirty, painty mess!

On a sadder note, Alondra told us this week that she didn't want to get baptized yet. Things in her house just aren't good so it's so hard for her. So please pray for her.
Sorry this letter's so short but got to go!!

Love you all!
Hermana Stephenson

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Hermosa Chimbotana

 Me and Hermana Hielo

Life in Chimbote
Heeeeey everyone!
I hope all are well and excited for the holidays that are coming up! Here the Christmas trees are starting to pop up with little lights in the houses. There may not be much snow (only about 90 degrees!) but it's so fun to be starting the Christmas season!

This week really was pretty calm :) Teaching a BUNCH of less-actives that are really progressing and will be re-activated in this next month! For example Jomeri got her patriarhical blessing this last week and she was SO HAPPY! We are working with her family history as well so that we can go to the temple next month and do work for her ancesters. She still is going strong with the desire to go on a mission in the next year or so and is reading every day. She is so amazing!

Alondra and Jheremy are progressing bit by bit! Still working with Alondra's mom to let her be baptized and Jheremy's family is SO BUSY these last few weeks that they haven't had ANY time for us to come and teach! But we've been praying so hard every night for them. And turns out that Jheremy and his family are moving (Still in our area!!!) and so we are helping them move and paint their house this next week!  AND the new investigator we found last week, Janet, we got to talk to her mom and she was super open and interested! So we're excited to work with them.

This week I was studying and came across something that really hit me. It's the first chapter of Moroni. And I just love it when he says in verse 3 ''and I, Moroni, WILL NOT deny the Christ. wherefore, I wander whithersoever I can for the safety of mine own life." So even though the Lamanites were killing every single person that believed in Christ, Moroni refused to do so. His faith and testimony was so strong and it just touched me how important it is to NEVER deny or lower the standards that the Lord has placed for us. Even though it can be hard, the blessings we receive will always make it worth it!

Love you all and have a great week!!!
Hermana Stephenson
Here in Chimbote there are some SWEET paintings! So we finally took some time last week to take pictures!! Here is one of them. 
Me and my old companion, Hermana Carbajal with ALONDRA!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Another Cambio in Chimbote!

Hey everyone! Well, I've survived cambios (or transfers) and I'm staying here in Nuevo Chimbote for a bit longer! I'm super excited because I just KNOW that Alondra and Jheremy are going to get baptized within these next few weeks and I'm so happy that I'll get to be here with them! Also Celia accepted a baptismal date for December 12! So we're pretty excited to be working with her. Also her sister is super interested, and she just turned 8 and LOVES going to primary. She's pretty much adorable.

So yeah, not much too exciting to talk about this week, just work and work! But something cool did happen. We went to teach Celia this week and brought a young woman from the ward named Luisa to help us out. And when we got to Luisa's house to pick her up, she had a friend there she was talking to and wanted to invite her to our lesson too. So we all went and had an awesome lesson about the Restoration with Celia and invited her to be baptized too, and she said yes! We gave her a Book of Mormon and she wants us to meet her mom!! Her name is Janet and she had such a sweet spirit about her. It was so amazing to see how her eyes lit up when she heard about the story of Joseph Smith. She's reading and praying and we've got a lesson planned with her mom this week! So that was a pretty sweet experience. Love it how a lot of the times the Lord puts people in our path just at the right time.

I've been reading a lot about one of my favorite stories in the Book of Mormon, the story of Alma the Younger. I love the faith that Alma's dad (Alma the older?) had to pray for so long that his son would come to the truth. And when the angel came to Alma the Younger and his friends, he came to testify that the Lord DOES answer the prayers of his faithful servants. It's so cool how the faithfulness of his father helped Alma change completely and become one of the greatest missionaries in the Book of Mormon. I know that the Lord does answers prayers and WILL use us as his instruments if
Love you all!!
Hermana Stephenson
we are willing!"

Monday, November 9, 2015

Summer time!

Hooooola a todos!

Hope everyone is enjoying all the cool weather because here, summer is JUST STARTING! I've had to put away all my jackets and everything it gets so hot somedays! And there is this weird weather pattern called 'El Niño' that has brought even hotter weather here in the coast and torrential down pours up in the mountains. Pretty exciting!

As for this week it was pretty quiet! School ends for all the kids in like 3 weeks so EVERYONE is just slammed with school work and projects. The families that we've been working with haven't had much time! But thats alright! Something one of our leaders said is that when no one is accepting us, but we're trying our hardest, the Lord is sending those blessings to our families and friends who need them! And it is SO TRUE. My companion, Hermana Hielo, just found out that her dad and brother got baptized this last week! How amazing is that!!! A lot of the times, the Lord will bless us in ways we don't expect, but in the end, he knows what's best for us!

And just a cool quick story. We haven't been able to get ahold of Jheremy or his parents for about 2 weeks now and we've been praying so hard that somehow we would be able to get ahold of them. Then last sunday his mom called us out of the blue!! And we were able to plan a Family Home Evening with a family in our ward. And they CAME! We played games, ate BROWNIES (real brownies!!! Thanks mom for the mix!!!) The kids were so fasinated by them, and had a great lesson about prophets. It was quite amazing.

Love you all so very much!!!! Don't have much time left, but the scripture I've been thinking about is in 2 Corinthans 4:17-18 about why we go through trials!Love it!
Hermana Stephenson

P.S. Shout out to my fam in the mission field! Elder Chandler in Spain, Sister Nix in Florida and Brother and Sister Chandler in South Africa!! YOU ALL ROCK!
Hermana Stephenson

Our Family Home Evening "Brownie Night"

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Miracle of Fasting!

Hoooooola TODOS!
Me making pancakes. Thanks for the pancake mix Mom!

WOW! What a week. I'm pretty sure this was the greatest week EVER! Sad news is that Jheremy or Alondra haven't gotten baptized yet, but we have so much faith in them that they WILL here super soon. Just got to put them in the Lord's hands and do our best to love them and help them make their decision!

But a few SUPER SUPER funny things happened this week that had me and my companion in stitches.  Having a newbie missionary as a companion is the BEST! But anyway so we were teaching this lady one day about the Restoration. It was a pretty interesting lesson because her little 1 year old boy was in his little chair-rolly thing and was LITERALY bouncing off the walls, crashing into things and ALMOST squished their cat too. BUT at one point he rolled up to my companion who was talking and totally bit her knee! Like full on bit her with his four little teeth! She squealed and I pushed his chair away with my foot and kept it there for the rest of the lesson as the kid tried to get at her! When we left we couldn't stop laughing. Oh the strange things that happen as a missionary!

On another note we had a wonderful miracle here in our area! I seriously testify of the power of fasting. We've been working so hard ALL WEEK to find some good solid people to teach, but we really just weren't finding anyone who would progress. But we just kept working hard all week with faith that the Lord IS preparing someone to listen to our message. So for part of our fast, we fasted to be able to find someone who really has been prepared and ready to make the covenant of baptism. We went to church, empty handed because none of the investigators we'd been teaching all week came.  We sat through testimony meeting with Jomeri up front. But when the meeting ended, we looked back and Alondra, Jheremy, and our other less-actives were there in the back waving at us! ALSO there was this teenage girl with her little sister there. Her name is Selia.  Her family are less actives and she had listened to the lessons, but didn't want to get baptized because of the example of her family. But we talked to her and she had a very special spirit about her and she accepted an appointment for this week. THEN in ward council, the leaders in the ward had a few names of people to visit and references to teach. It seriously was the most amazing thing EVER! I know that even as hard as it can be sometimes, when we endure with patience the trials we have been given, there is a reward so much grander that what we can think.

Love you all and have a FANTASTIC week!
Hermana Stephenson
Hooray for yummy American pancakes :)