Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Seeing the Sunshine!

Hello family!

We've had quite the sunny week here on the coast that is for sure! But I think I actually am getting tan for the first time in my life! Wot! But good news, Marcos is officially reactivated! He had an interview with the bishop and has got some good goals to work towards so we can all go to the temple!

We haven't been able to get in to teach Samantha and her family, but we had a sweet experience with another family that we found! Angel is the dad. He was blinded from an accident 10 years ago and lives with his wife and 12 year old son.  We stopped and talked to him the other day when we saw him sitting outside his house and he invited us to come in. We had a small lesson but there was just a sweet spirit with this family. I got to testify of the love of the Savior and about eternal families! I love how the spirit can really testify and touch my heart and the hearts of others!

Back to the title of my letter- seeing the sunshine! One thing that I've really learned this week is that we should always look and find the sunshine in our lives, even if there are only stormy rain clouds all around us. It's not something that's easy to do and a whole lot of the time it feels down right imposible! But that is where the love of the Savior comes in to lift us up over those clouds. I found a scripture that I just love. It's in Alma 34:38-41 and I found three things I can do to feel more peace:
1 live in thanksgiving daily
2 pray continually
3 have patience 
These three principle are soooooo important and all work so well together! But I know that gratitude for ALL that comes to us in our lives, even the trials, helps us find more of an eternal perspective and trust the Lord's plan for us! Prayer and patience will bring us the peace we are looking for!

Love you all soo much!
Hermana Stephenson

Monday, January 18, 2016

I love to see the Temple!

Hoooola todos!!

Well, we had quite the week here in sunny Salaverry! But first just a little update on the people we're teaching!
We have this hermano called Marcos who's less active. He's 55 and has a brother who is super active but over time and for some situations in his house, Marcos fell away from the church. He cares for his neice who has some special needs but LOVES to come to church and Relief Society. They both are a whole lot stronger and are ready to be reactivated! And we have a goal to go to the temple this next month! So we're super excited for them.

Next we found this family who has a lot of struggles but really want to change. Samantha and Fabio are the parents and they have two daughters of 14 and 9 years. We taught a bit about eternal families and the blessings of the gospel to Samantha and she is super interested. Now to get in to teach them all! The father works a lot, but we have faith we'll get in to teach them this week!

Then we have Karina and Alejandro and their kids. Karina and her kids are super active but her husband who is a fisherman has been inactive since he was 11. But all the sudden he came back SUPER stong and wants more than anything to get sealed to his family. He leaves on his boat for 12 days then is home for about 4-5. He was home this week and we got to teach him and his family AND he came to church! 

But that's about it :) These people are so special and I love teaching, living and talking with them! Another cool thing, we had a sweet meeting with the zone leaders and sister leaders this week and I got to learn a whole lot! Mainly about the importance of trusting the Lord to do HIS work! And then afterwards we went to the TEMPLE! My first time in like 7 months. It was so amazing to serve in the house of the Lord. I have such a strong testimony of the power of the temple!

Lastly, I was reading a conference talk by Elder Oaks from this last conference about the strengthening power of the Atonment and a part really stuck out to me:
'sometimes His power heals an infirmity, but the scriptures and our expriences teach that sometimes He succors or helps by giving us the strengh or patience to endure our infirmities' 
I just love how Christ understands us and our infirmities (be it physical, emotional, spiritual.....) because he passed though THE SAME. And how his power is open to us to lift us only if we seek and ask for it. Like it says in James 4:10 'Humble youselves in the sight of the Lord and he shall lift you up'.

Love you all and have a wonderful snowy week!
Hermana Stephenson

There was an hermana (Hermana Watar) who had to go to the doctor and missed her bus back to Chimbote so she came and spent the night with us! Here she and my comp are making her bed of cardboard and lots of blankets in our tiny room!!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Hola de Peru!

Hoooola todos! 

I believe I have turned a new color, a perpetual RED! THe sun here is so CRAZY! But I suppose that is all you can expect living on the ocean front! It's pretty exciting :) Honestly a pretty slow week! Just working and finding some people! 

I found a cool scripture that really caught my eye the other day.  It's in Alma 53:20-21. It talks about the 2,000 Stripling Warriors and how ´they were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted´ . How is it that we can be true in ALL things that the Lord has entrusted to us? I think that when we are, the Lord can bless us and use us to bless others! 

Love you all!
Hermana Stephenson
This was when our toilet overflooded this week!

Monday, January 4, 2016


Hope everyone is enjoying the new year!! Things here REALLY kicked off 'new' with a new area, companion and responsibilities. It is so amazing to see how things all work out just perfectly! My new area is a TIIIINY fishing town named Salaverry and it is RIGHT by the ocean! It's so AWESOME! It's super peaceful and quiet and I just love it. It's so cool because at the end of the week, all the fishermen bring up their nets and spend Saturday and Sunday repairing and restringing them. And so everyone is out in the streets helping.

My comapanion is Hermana Lindblom from Arizona and she's AWESOME! We spend half the day laughing and having a great time. She's also got the sweetest testimony and I just love teaching with her.

As far as New Years, it was pretty cool. LOTS of fireworks and burning dolls. Yep. Here the tradition is that everyone makes a big scarecrow and at midnight they all burn them! Something about sending away all the bad luck from the year before and bringing in the good. AND the day after, the Catholics had a huge parade-like-thing for a virgin saint and all day and all night a bunch of people were all dressed up like diablos and dancing! Kind of strange, but cool to see the dances they did with a bunch of drums and percussion!

And the other coolest part of being here is that we've got about three complete families who are interested in listening to our message! I haven't quite met them all yet, but I'm sooooo excited to help them learn and one day make it to the temple! Also we've got 2 families of less-actives who are progressing and getting ready to go to the temple! One is Luis and his family and Alejando and his. They are both fishermen who work on the same boat and they have decided to make a huge change and work together to get their families to the temple! This area has so much potential and I can't wait to see the miracles the Lord can work here!

Love you all so much and I love this work and helping others gain joy and peace eternal!
Hermana Stephenson