the past 3 weeks…SATANAS ES BASURA

Sorry I’ve been mia for a little bit…its just been literally insane, we’re super busy always and I feel like a hardly have try to write!! But transferred happened this past week, and Hermana Anderson and I still together #dreamteam

Its been really, really great here in Los Jardines. It’s the promised land. The members are SO WONDERFUL with the work and really do love and help our investigators. We had a young adult activity last Monday in the house of some members with our investigador…I hadn’t laughed that hard in a while. At one point while we were sharing a spiritual thought, the dad of the family just goes on a rant and finished by saying SATANAS ES BASURA (satan is trash) and then he just gets up and leaves the room. That’s my new life motto.

Other fun things that have happened….

there was a sewer overflowing in the street for a week.  They fixed it but it still smells like sewer junk…

Also we have had some super AMAZING MARAVILLOSA experience with finding SUPER prepared people. One girl started crying when we shared lesson one, and then when we came back she had read THE ENTIRE PAMPHLET (that never happens) and part of the Book of Mormon!!!!!! We were ecstatic. Also one of our amazing investigators named Yissel said she knows Joseph Smith was a prophet, and then this past Sunday she came to church with her entire family. I could have cried of joy.

Also my comp and I are organizing a choir for when Elder Cook (oh yeah did i mention that THE Elder Cook, an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ) is coming the MISSION SANTIAGO!!!!! Anyway we’ve spent the past week auditioning people over the phone that’s been really exciting and hilarious.  (This is mom speaking here: I also will tell you that Emily has been asked to conduct this choir and she is super excited about it…can you tell?!)

Basically the mission IS THE BEST THING EVER and I wish I could be a missionary my whole life (if i could also see my fam ….love you guys). Even though we are attacked often by the adversity, like always in life, we see miracles everyday. I have a stronger testimony of Jesus Christ, I feel the power of his atoning sacrifice more than I ever had. I love being His servant, I know I am imperfect but that is the miracle, He is still able to bring about His great and eternal purposes through us, the weak and young of the world. How I love this gospel and the Lord! I challenge all of you who are reading this letter (all 5 of you:) ) to look OUTWARD and not INWARD because that is where true joy is found.

love you all,

hna stephens

elder vasquez’s b-day

my desk

mcdonalds with the hermanas

elder morfin DIED

batidas 🙂

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general conference…we hear the voice of the Lord!!!

what a wonderful weekend of general conference we were blessed to enjoy! I felt the spirit very strongly, especially during the first hour. These are just feelings that are hard to explain…so everyone go watch it for yourseves!!!! lds.org

I feel so blessed to be here in the mission, to see miracles everyday! I know the Lord loves us and wants us to be happy, which is why he gave us his gospel!!
love you all,
ps i lucky enough to eat the closest thing to east coast pizza that i could get

talk to everyone!!!!!!!

klok

para que sepan I survived hurricane maria and we are all doing ok here in the mission. There was a lot of wind and rain but we just stayed hunkered down in the house and waited it out. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for other people here, there are some people who lost everything. Please keep everyone down here in your prayers.
But besides all of the rain, everything is going super well down here. These past two weeks have been full of miracles, but I want to talk about one miracle in particular. We had a zone conference like a week ago with Elder Fortuna of the 70, and I learned a lot about how we need to talk to everyone!! So one way we started doing that was in the Rutas! (rutas are these cars that drive on a rute…you can just hope in one and get out when you want.  Because we are in Santiago and our area is huge, we use rutas a lot). Before in rutas I would just sit back and enjoy the ride. Now, we contact!  Some cool things have happened because of it:
1. Hna Anderson contacted a member in another ward- lol
2. I contacted a guy who is an investigator of the elders in our ward- lol
3. We contacted a ruta driver that the elders in our ward had already contacted- lol
B ut all joking aside, miracles have happened! The elders contacted this lady named Laura in a ruta who lives in our areas. We were able to find her in her house yesterday and she was super amazing, funny, and had almost gotten baptized as a kid!! Her life could change because the Elders were not afraid to open their mouths.  Also, I have been really growing as a missionary.  I have been learning that a lot of people are really open to talk about religion (well most…I contacted a guy this week that told me that all religions are businesses…but then some guy in the back started defending God and it was super cool).  A lot of times we have fear to open our mouths and talk to people because we are not sure if they will reject us or start hating on the Mormons, but really most people are super nice and willing to talk! Whenever we feel scared to open our mouths, that’s Satan trying to stop the work.  An amazing member here, Patricia this week asked her friend to listen to us and her friend accepted everything and told Patricia that she loves the Book of Mormon. We never know who will accept and who won’t if we don’t open our mouths and ask!
I know the Lord knows us and he blesses us when we obey him. I love the mission so much; it is the best decision I have ever made, and everyday I pray to be worthy of the sacred calling I hold.
Hna Stephens
zone conference,
Vicky got baptized!! This awesome haitan dude who is trying to teach mecreol and has an awesome testimony
proselytizing in a hurricane no big deal

Los Jardines

Hey everyone,

Big changes this week! I got a HUGE surprise last monday, I found out that I would be taken out of Bonao, even though I was only half done training Hna Schroeder. And I was sent to Santiago again, but this time in an area called Los Jardines. And Im an hermana leader, or in english, a sister training leader. I was super surprised and sad to leave Bonao, because Bonao had become my home. I love those people so much, and felt comfortable there. But the Lord wants us to grow and change, and so whenever we start to feel comfortable, He puts us in a different position to help us learn. I can already feel that I have learned so much, but I know there is still so much that I need to improve on. I´ll excited to see what happens this transfer.
My comps name is Hna Anderson, and she is super cool. We both went to BYU at the same time…but didnt know each other. She´s super sweet and knows how to harmonize and loves musical theatre.
i love the mission, especially when times get tough, because I know im learning. I just love having the chance to give everything to the Lord everyday. There is no better feeling than sharing the gospel. Its like giving out free cake everyday, but way WAY better. Sometimes people dont want the cake, but that´s okay cause i know there will always be someone more than happy to recieve it.  But the gospel is better than cake…it is a fruit more pure than everything that is pure and whiter than anything white…. (Alma 32) it is PURE JOY
I love this work and I love my Savior who i serve. I hope and pray that I can work to merit the trust He has shown in me.
Hna Stephens

we get really sunburned on the way to see Divino Niño

So this week our zone hiked up to see a really huge statue of Baby Jesus and the view from the top way absolutely amazing.  It was all these mountains and this little town called Constanza.  It was wonderful to be up in the mountains again,  it reminded me a lot of Utah.  But we all got very, very sunburned and car sick.

This week, like always, we have had so many little miracles happen…including finding new investigators and starting to teach old ones again and deciding to put GOALS we have for a lot of our investigators.  Not just like casual, like you should read the Book of Mormon goals, but real solid goal that they can measure.  And we have seen the results!!! People are beginning to progress even faster and really making changing in lives.  I love these people so much and urg, I could stay here forever.
Keep setting goals people, and working to achieve them.  I know that the Lord helps us out when we act!!!
Today I was thinking about my time in Bonao and I really just feel like everything has been so divinely inspired. I know the Lord knows me and these people and I am so grateful for the blessings he has poured out upon us here!!!

Solar Eclipse

well this week flew by, just like every week.
it included:
3 recent converts going to the temple
going to the house of an old investigator sunday morning without telling him, and calling him awkwardly to wake him. he was very surprised BUT HE CAME
an investigator gave us a CD of own music…one song was called prende la weed yeah pretty sure we cant listen to that as missionaries
getting sarinaded by a members son
yup pretty much just same old down here.
today we got a chance to go to campamento, a youth camp owned by the church. for those of you who know what camp joseph is, it is very similar to that. But it just felt peaceful to go into the campo and get away from the crazy streets of Bonao. It was so peaceful and it is just a really special place. We all had a lot of fun. and i didnt see any turanculas so i was ok
I LOVE THE MISSION!!
20 people in a truck..only in the DR
IMG_1449[1]IMG_1472[1]DSCN1374
P day campamento …this youth camp that was so big and with huge scripture signs i love it

FASTING WORKS

Another week has already gone by, wow, time is picking up speed.  I don’t even know how that’s possible.  BUT, this week was FULL of miracles!!!!

I was telling Hna Schoeder about what happened with our investigator Faby (who got baptized this Saturday), how we had been fasting and we went to her house and taught a lesson that was 100% guided by the spirit.  And then the next day she received an answer to her prayers that this is the true church!!! She has been AMAZINGLY strong ever since, honestly she is teaching and inspiring me everyday.   BUT I told this to the amazing Hna Schroeder and she says, “okay let’s do another fast”!! We started fasting that day for a specific family that we’re working with, and the following things happened:
1. Eliana, the sister of Aneury who has been up and down with her commitments and just kinda flakey with everything told us that she knows the church is true, that everything we have taught her is true and has decided to ACT.  Even though she can’t get baptized because she’s not married to her husband, she’s going to starting seriously reading in the Book of Mormon and coming to church.  And then the next day she told us she was sharing the gospel with her mother-in-law who is from a different church.  She bore her testimony to her and gave her a Book of Mormon!!!! Really amazing.
2. Odalis, the mom of the family that we are teaching, bore her testimony to us, told us she always feels at peace when we are here and knows that what we are teaching is true. She wants to get baptized as soon as possible!! The only thing is that her husband still wants to know more.  But after working and praying week after week for this family she has a testimony, through the Holy Ghost, the testifier of truth.
Overall, I just feel so grateful to work her in Bonao and to have met the people who I have met.  I feel like my heart will always be here with these people.  Also, I know that the Lord hears and answers our prayers, maybe not in our time, but he always answers if what we ask for conforms to His will.
I love the mission!!!!
PICS….Faby got baptized!!!