Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's already been a year!!!

Happy Independence Day!!  Now a few quotes about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the United States.  :)
“The Constitution of the United States is a glorious standard; it is founded in the wisdom of God. It is a heavenly banner.” -Joseph Smith

“[The Constitution] was dictated by the invisible operations of the Almighty.” -Brigham Young

“This land shall be a land of liberty … and there shall be no kings upon [it]. …
“… For I, the Lord, the king of heaven, will be their king, and I will be a light unto them forever, that hear my words. …
“… For it is a choice land, saith God … wherefore I will have all men that dwell thereon that they shall worship me.” (2 Ne. 10:11, 14, 19.)

Without the freedom found in America or the United States, the church could not be restored.  The United States was the only country in the world with enough freedom to allow the restoration to occur.  It only had just enough.  The early saints, still went though many persecutions, but they were free enough to follow the modern-day prophet and to have the restored gospel once again on the earth.  Think of that before you go and light off all of the fireworks and eat yummy berry trifle. :)   Remember that God prepared this country so that He could restore Christ's church on the earth.  I know that God called Joseph Smith to be a prophet and to translate the Book of Mormon.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. I know that the Lord prepared this country to be the home of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I am so grateful to God that I have the opportunity to share this message with the world. We are so lucky to have this Gospel in our lives and to live here in America.

So... Last week on Thursday, I hit my year mark.  ekkkk!!  What in the world just happened????  How did a year go by so fast?    I can't believe that I have served the Lord full time for 1 year.  I don't want it to end.:)

Update on my new district.  There are 4 companionships in my district.  First Sister Torino and myself.  Then Sister Vosaniyagona (or Sister Veeh) from California/Tonga/Fiji and Sister Lunddhal from Denmark.  They are in member events which means that they run all of the youth conferences that are held here on Temple Square and there is one almost everyday!  There are 4 companionships in charge of this though.  Next is Sister Esikia from Tonga/American Samoa and Sister Occolier from a French Island in the Caribbean which I forgot... oops ;)  It starts with a 'c'!  They are also in Member events. And then Sister Balledos from the Philippines and her trainee Sister Caramia from Italy!!  We have such an awesome district!!  We are going to get so close and be awesome friends!  Also we are going to become more converted to the gospel and it is going to be fantastic!! I am so so excited!!  I had my first District meeting this week and I am really excited for the transfer. :)  Oh also, Sister Ngo is training Sister Radamason from Madagascar!!  So cool right?!  

I have seen so many miracles lately!!  Yesterday alone, I saw 3 of them.  I was on exchanges yesterday with one of the sisters in my district.  Her name is Sister Esikia and she just got back from her outbound in California.  I think it was because of the exchange that I saw so many miracles. :)
I got a new investigator after the Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration film!  We introduce the film and then also are there when the film ends to talk to people and to invite them to learn more or refer their friends.  Well this woman is out here visiting her daughter and was so impressed.  She really felt the spirit.  She wanted to learn more, but she was also really nervous about it, but she gave me her email and said that I could teach her more.  She was really touched by how nice the 'mormons' at her daughter's work had been to her daughter.  It was a really cool experience.  
Then, I met another one of our new investigators at the Joseph Smith Movie again!  Sister Torino had met him in the tabernacle while we were talking to different people!  I was able to set up an appointment for Sister Torino to teach him while I was at Mission Leadership Council today.  She said that the lesson went pretty well.
I have an eternal investigator.  He has been passed down through many sisters, and yesterday he told me that he will be baptized in the first few weeks in August!!! yay!  He has a word of wisdom problem with smoking and drinking that we are helping him to get over.  I am so excited for him!!
Last week, we were stopped by two guys who asked if we were converts, Sister Torino is a convert and joined when she was 11 years old.  Her story is so awesome.  At first, we were afraid that they were anti or something like that, but they were not at all.  It turns out that one of the guys is investigating the church and that his friend (a RM) was helping him out.  He is getting baptized on the 5th but was really not sure if this was the right thing to do.  Sister Torino bore her testimony to him and told her how she came to know this was the restored church.  The spirit was so powerful!  It was not sister Torino speaking, but it was the spirit speaking through her.  I asked him afterwards about how he felt about his baptism, and he said that he felt better because of what Sister Torino said!  he turned into our new investigator and he is having his baptismal interview tomorrow!!  He asked us to call him right before so he is not so nervous.  He is still struggling about Joseph Smith, but because we have encouraged him, he is reading the Book of Mormon and praying and fasting about Joseph Smith.  We have been texting him almost constantly and I think that he is ready.  :)  He will be baptized this Saturday!!! yay!!

Today I went to Mission Leadership Council (MLC) and it was awesome!!  I learned so much and I am so excited to train the sisters in my district about it.  One of the things that President talked about was how to help companions to get along.  Apparently, the closest thing to a marriage is a missionary companionship.  That makes a lot of sense actually.  So we learned some ways to help resolve conflicts and I got to roleplay to show how to use a certain counseling technique.  It was really helpful.  Also President talked about how we know if our investigator is ready for baptism.  It was really good.  We went over Doctrine and Covenants 20:37 and broke it down and it was very insightful.  :)

PMG! This past week, I studied the BOM for District Meeting, and parts of Chapter 8 (using time wisely) for Mission Leadership Council (MLC).  I had one paragraph really stand out to me in Chapter 8.  It is on page 151 and is the 1st paragraph after the bullet points: "Accountability does not come only at the end of your mission. It is a principle that influences how you begin, how you think and feel about the responsibility the Lord has given you, how you approach your work, and how well you endure. The attitude you have toward your mission experience is a reflection of your love toward your Heavenly Father and His Son and your respect for the priesthood."  This paragraph taught me a lot!!  I love it!  The way that I account for my responsibility will effect every part of my service.  It is a reflection of who I am and how converted I am to the Lord and his service and how much I love him and the responsibilities that He has given me.  I never realized what accountability reflects.

Love Always,
Sister Stephen

P.S. There is an article with pictures of Temple Square sisters in the July Ensign holding different signs that say their language on them.  That is what announcing looks like! ;)  We do it after music and the spoken word and invite people in different languages to take a tour and learn more.  The sisters in the magazine are wonderful and I know each one of them.  They are awesome! the article is called The Book of Mormon, the Gathering of Israel, and the Second Coming

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