Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What a Christmas!


I hope you all had a FANTASTIC Christmas! I can say that this Christmas is going to be one that I will NEVER forget! Full of a wonderful spirit and lessons about Christ that really touched me.

But first--our nice Christmas lunch the 24th with a wonderful family in our ward where we ate CUY! Or in other words, GUINEA PIG!! They're like really fat hampsters! Yep, I ATE them. For Christmas! It actually was super good. Tasted like really tender chicken :) My poor companion on the other hand couldn't get over it and couldn't eat any! But we had a wonderful afternoon with the family with lots of laughs!!

Christmas night we got to watch all the AMAZING fireworks that go off and it was so beautiful to see the whole night sky just lit up with lights! Seriously like EVERY house lights off fireworks....and there are a whole lot of houses here! 

Also we got to see a little miracle in our area! We found this lady, named Julie, who is good friends with a member in our ward and that member passed us her reference. So we went and she is a single mom with three daughters and they are super open and willing to listen! It was quite the Christmas miracle! 

Overall, this week I have really been thinking about the blessing it really is to have a Savior. Someone who came and did EVERYTHING for us so that we can go home to live with our Father in Heaven. He taught us, showed us the way, and atoned for us too. ALL we have to do is follow! I loved studying Moroni 7:33 which teaches us if we turn to Him, trust him, and SERVE him with all your soul, then we will be delivered! Delivered from heartache, pain, disappointment, whatever it is. And I know that's true!

As it turns out, today is "Transfer Day" and I'm headed out of Chimbote and off to Trujillo--and as a Sister Leader! It's going to be one crazy ride!

Love you all!!
Hermana Stephenson

THE CUY!!! This picture was taken when we stopped by the day before :)


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas is coming!


Hope everyone is having a fantastic week! Sorry I didn't email yesterday. We had our big Christmas devotional with President Rios and all the zones here in Chimbote and it was AWESOME! Super fun to see old friends and have a great time. Also a great spiritual experience. Presidente talked about how Christ is the light of the world and how the symbol of his birth is LIGHT! And how as missionaries and members of HIS true church, we have the oportunity, the responsibility, to bring that light to all his children who are in darkness! It just really helped lift my spirits after this last week which was a bit difficult to find anyone to teach. But I know the message I bring is true and will bring light and hope into any heart that is willing and ready to listen! So I'll never give up that there is someone here that is ready and just looking for that light!

But the family we met last week, Pamela and her kids, are doing really well! They are super interested and willing to learn how to have more hope and love in their home and we're super excited to be helping them! 

ALSO last week we went to these SWEET ruins. I'll include a BUNCH of pictures!
Love you all, but got to go! But real fast, I've been really thinking about this scripture in Mosiah 7:33. I love how it gives us the path to be freed from the burdens and weight that we all carry from time to time: and that turning to the Lord with ALL your heart and serving him with ALL your soul. I know that if we serve WITHOUT DOUBT that the Lord will bless us and help us carry our burdens and we will be able to laugh and smile and feel hope, even if things are hard!

Hove you all!
Hermana Stephenson

My crazy district.....
And a bunch of the missionaries who were in lima west that all came over to Trujillo Sur!

Us with JHEREMY and some kids from the ward! He's the one on the far right, next to me!

Monday, December 14, 2015

Oh the places you'll go!


Sorry but I don't have tooooo much time this week! We're going to some ruins about an hour away for our P-Day activity. I feel kind of bad because I can't get into the Christmas spirit much at all!!! It's just SOOOO HOT. I got seriously sunburned all OVER. Everyone was laughing at me because I look like a tomato.......they think its so weird that I turn colors!!!!!

But real fast, we had a SWEET lesson with Alondra this week!!! She has been reading the Book of Mormon without fail and praying every night. She had such a powerful experience one night that she just KNOWS that this is the true church and that she needs to be baptized. The only problem still is her mom who is, well, not the best of people in the world. Alondra wants her mom to understand a bit more before she gets baptized. Please pray a whole lot for her this week! We invited her to be baptized on Saturday. She just needs to make the decision! Also, there is a returned missionary in our ward who is REALLY helping us out with her too!

Me, the return missionary, Hermana Hielo, and Alondra
Also this week, we went to a meeting with the Relief Society sisters in our area. They presented all the things they've all worked on in the year and it was SUPER fun!

An update on Jheremy: he is in a different city living with his Aunt while his parents are finishing up the house. We're just waiting for him to come back!!!!

AND Cool experience this week......... weeeeel it didn't start out as such a cool experience, but the Lord really knows how to push us to grow!! On Tuesday we had a meeting with Presidente Rios (the mission president for my mission) and it was super cool. On our way home, I didn't realize that there was a hole in my bag and when we got out of the taxi, our CELL PHONE got left behind. Soooooo, I kind of freaked out a bit because we had a million things to do that day and had a BUNCH of people to call!!! I said a prayer to help calm down and had a powerful thought come to me. 'The Lord will provide' entered my thoughts and I just felt at peace. Then we were walking and felt inspired to knock on a door of a lady that I had met MONTHS ago who lives with her three kids. We ended up having a powerful lesson with them! The mom is named Pamela and she and her kids are super interested. It was amazing! Even though we DON'T have a phone and sometimes we feel super pressured or are not sure how to get things done, I always remember that the Lord really will provide a way. He's looking out for the little sunburned American who is trying her hardest to teach the gospel in Peru!

Love you all so much and I know that the Lord is VERY aware of us in each of our unique and different situations!! I've been reading in Ether 12 this week and verse 26-29 really caught my eye. It doesn't matter our weaknesses and difficulties, God can make something AMAZING out of us if we have faith!!!

Have a wonderful week everyone!!!
Hermana Stephenson

Pics: A less active we are teaching is a dance professor at the university here.  For our FHE, he brought home some costumes for the dances from Cusco (that's were Machu Pichu is!) It was so much fun!!

This little old lady from our ward sewed me this elephant! She was like 'because you're the best, I made this for you!' She's ADORABLE. It sits on my bed next to the animal Autumn made for me:)

Saturday, December 12, 2015


Buenas dias todos!

Pretty chill week here (haha.... that's funny because its actually SO HOT!). Trying to find some good solid investigators and we actually found a family! Fiorella is the mom and she has three kids: Margi (14) Ana Cristina (10) and Aaron (5). They had listened a long time ago to the missionaries but Fiorella just never had time. But now she's not working so much and is ready to learn with her family! So we are super excited.

Also just real quick a COOL STORY. We've been working with this inactive guy named Sergio. He's 22 and left the church when he was about 14. He's got all these tatoos and has just had a rough time. But he had a few experiences that brought him back to church and we started teaching him. But honestly, he changed his own life completely. I felt as though we were just helping him remember a few things he had forgotten and he just took them up again and applied them to his life. It was amazing to watch. Then Saturday night he called us to tell us he had an interview with the bishop and he was able to be ordained a Priest AND get a temple recomend!! He was so happy and so grateful. But the most amazing thing was that yesterday he was able to pass the sacrament for the first time in YEARS and he passed it to our row. It was amazing to see him so happy and handing us the bread and water, even with the tatoos that marked his hand. It just really hit me that Christ really can give everyone a second chance, if they come to Him with a broken heart and contrite spirit (2 Nephi 2:7). I love being a part of this work to bring His children to him!

Love you all and have a GREAT week!
Hermana Stephenson
Zone Meeting: Christmas Version!!!