Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Ok, Sorry it has been so long since my last update I know you are all DIEING to know how Sis. Stephen is doing in her beautiful Spokane outbound!

She is not transferred out of Spokane and is not in Rathdrum Idaho. Here is her letter from yesterday!!!

Dear Family,
The weather here is crazy!!  On Sunday it rained and snowed!  There was a thunderstorm as well!  talk about random!  today it is up to a balmy 51 degrees so far. ;)  I really like it here.  There are so many beautiful things all around.  The people here are really nice and the work is moving forward.  There are lots of Less active members here that we are working with.  
I am really having a good time and I will be so sad to leave and go back to Temple Square.   It is not that I don't love temple square, because I love it so so much, but I am going to miss these people so much!!   So, I will be headed back to temple square in about 2 weeks (I think I leave on the 14th).  I am so excited to get lots of work done here though.  :)  There are lots of people to talk to and teach.  :)
I feel like I could go on and on about the people here!  They are so so great!
My nickname is Sister Vinnie.  There is a Recent convert couple (the Sanchez family) that give a nickname to all of their missionaries.  There is an old black and white movie called "living with Father".  It is about a wife that finds out that her husband has not been baptized.  It then becomes her mission to get him baptized and her name is Vinnie.  Sister Sanchez said that Vinnie was a quiet powerhouse and controlled the situations very quietly and strongly.  So that is my nickname. ;)  I will have to watch the movie when I get home.
In my study this week, I have been learning a lot about the enabling power of the atonement and faith.  I have realized that I had no idea how to use the atonement in my life everyday.  The atonement is not just for repenting, becoming clean and changing; it is also for conquering hard things.   Through the atonement, we can be given strength to get through a challenge, to have a virtue that we need at that time, or to increase our talents or developed strengths.  All we have to do is ask for help through prayer.  This scripture really explains the atonement well: Mosiah 3:19
For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.
The atonement helps us "put off the natural man" and "become a saint".  putting of the natural man is repenting and changing to become more like Christ.  Becoming a saint is using the atonement to enable us to become better.  Elder Bednar explains it so much better than me.  you should read this talk!! https://www.lds.org/ensign/2012/04/the-atonement-and-the-journey-of-mortality?lang=eng
Love Always,
Sister Stephen

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