Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Trust and Humility

Hello Sweet Family!!

 I love my district so so SO much!  They are so wonderful!  I remember when I was set apart as a missionary, I was promised that I would know that I needed to be.  I know that these sisters are suppose to be in my district.  As I have gone on exchanges with them, I have felt Heavenly Father's love for them.  So many of the trials and things that they are struggling with are things that I myself have struggled with.  It is so amazing to see how the Lord has prepared me to be here for these sisters and to help them with the very best of my ability.  I love these sisters so so much!  I have so much to learn from them.

On Saturday, our mission had a fun trip to Brighton Girls Camp!!!  It was just like last year.  I had so so much fun!!  We got mission shirts (now I have two, YES!!) and we got to do lots of fun team building activities and games.  Sister Torino conquered her fear of heights and repelled off of a rock/cliff.  I did it too and it was really fun.  We also played lots of games with a group of sisters.  One game was called Tomahawk walk and it was like walking across a tight rope with a few ropes hanging down.  you had to hold on to the rope above and reach for the next one.  Everyone would cheer for you as you tried to get across without falling.  It was so much fun.  Some sisters cheered for me saying, "you are from Nebraska!"  Go Nebraska! Be strong like the pioneers were in Nebraska! "  haha!  it was really funny.  Another game was called Nitro.  In this game we were standing on a "bridge" and we had to swing on a rope to a little platform where we all had to fit.  There were 12 sisters in our group oh and we were not allowed to talk.  At one point in time, we all fell over. haha!  There was one sister that was allowed to talk (it was a sister that was able to see what was going on.  The leaders just had us start over and I had a sister on my shoulders so we could all fit on the platform! haha!  But we did it!  We also played a game called home base where we had to swing from platform to platform and switch spots with other sisters.  It is kinda confusing to explain...  I always had to lasso the rope that we would swing on so now everyone thinks that I am a cowgirl. :) There were so many spiritual applications to these games!  It really amazed me.  From the Tomahawk walk, the ropes that we held on to were like the scriptures, the prophet, church leaders and so on because we can not make it back to Heavenly Father without them.  From the Nitro game, it was about humility and listening to your leaders, trust, and team work.  The home base came was about teamwork and trusting that those around you will catch you when you swing.  We also did the life line again this year.  I don't know if you remember what the life line is so I will tell you.  All of the Sisters were blindfolded and had helmets on and we were lead one at a time to a rope.  We were given a few rules 1) don't let go of the rope, 2) No peaking, 3) No talking, and 4)you will know when you have reached the end.  We then hold onto this rope and try to follow it as it winds through lots of trees.  Sometimes we would come to a tree and there would be lots of ropes coming off the the tree.  I would feel the ropes with one hand while I kept a firm hold on the one that I knew was right until I could find which was the right rope for me to continue on with.  I continued on, at one point in time, I was stuck in a big group of sisters who were trying to figure out which way to go.  It was hard to wait when I was being pushed around.  Some people touched my hands and tried to get me to move.  At the end, President Poulsen put his hands on my shoulder and said "Well done Sister Stephen.  Welcome home."  Someone then took my hands and led me to a place to sit with other sisters who had finished already.  We held hands with the sisters next to us.  I imagine that is a small portion of what it will feel like to go home to Heavenly Father.  I felt so good and safe.  This was my second time doing this and I learned different things this time.  This time, I was so much more patient and slow in my "journey".  I just sang hymns in my head when I was worried about being lost.  As soon as I realized that a rope was not the right one, I let go of it immediately and looked for the right one.  I realized how good it would feel to arrive at home and how much joy Heavenly Father has when we make the right choices to return to live with him again.

Yesterday, I had an exchange with Sister Cheng from Hong Kong.  She is my Zone leader, and we saw so many miracles on chat from mormon.org !!  I got 1 new investigator and a recent convert that is wondering if being baptized was the right choice.  It was the right choice, but she is having a hard time recognizing the spirit.  Sister Cheng and I also took 3 mandarin tours!  The mandarin people are so much fun!!  Did you know that I can introduce myself in Mandarin?  well I can!  I can also say, hello, thank you, come come come, and good bye.  yep that is all the the mandarin that I can speak!  I had a really fun time with Sister Cheng and we go so much done.

Our investigator is getting baptized on the 20th!!  He is so excited and we are too!  He is excited to go to the temple and get his mother's work done.  He also wants to be worthy of the priesthood and is excited to receive it as well.  He is just loving the gospel and is eating it up!  He is such a miracle!  Sister Torino and I are going to try and skype his baptism.

I can't remember if I told you all, but we went to the bountiful temple last p-day because the Salt Lake Temple is closed.  It was so so wonderful and I loved it!!  I am so greatful that we live close to a temple!

Today we have our Zone activity and I will send you pictures from that next p-day!  We are going to the Howell's home.  They are a wonderful senior couple who are the mission secretaries.  We are going to have a barbecue!!  I am so so excited!

I have been having such a good time with Sister Torino!  She is so so wonderful and is always there for me!!  I love her so so much!

I love you all so so SO much!  I talk about my wonderful family when I testify of the Temple and eternal families to people that we meet on the square.  I am so glad that I am sealed to you for time and all eternity.  I love you all so so much!!

Love Always,
Sister Stephen

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