Tuesday, December 30, 2014

She is back!

Natalie has been released from her mission on Temple Square! 
We thought that we would take a picture this last Sunday when she was given her missionary plaque that has been hanging up at our church building for the 18 months she had been serving.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sisters on a cold night!

Sister Stephen's last letter as a missionary

Hello y'all!
This is a pretty scary subject to be writing on... Serving a mission has been the very best thing that I have ever done.  I am so grateful that Heavenly Father sent me on a mission to do his will.  There are many people who would have been better for the job, but that is not how Heavenly Father works.  I have been changed from the inside out and I am so so grateful for that.  I love missionary work because I can help people to really feel the love that God has for them.  I love the atonement of Jesus Christ and I know that He died and atoned for each one of us.  I know that God has restored His original church and that it is for everyone.  I love the mission so so much!!
On Sunday, we went to Music and the Spoken Word and we were recognized as sisters who had finished their mission on Temple Square.  After the broadcast, Lloyd Newl announced where each of us was from on the mic and everyone in the conference center applauded for us.  I was overwhelmed with the way I felt.  I felt happy, sad, shy, proud, and grateful.
On Monday, we had transfer conference and each of the departing sisters had the chance to shard 1 minute of advice that they would give to a sister coming on a mission.  This was my advice:
Be willing to trust God and let go.  That is the scariest thing that you will ever do because your natural man/woman wants to be "in control".  The only way that you will every really change and do the work the way it is meant to be is if you let God be in control.  That is the way to progress and to be truly happy.  It is terrifying and scary, but it is the only way to become who God wants you to be.
After that, we all lined up and the mission sang our mission song.  Yes I cried.  I will miss the sisters and the mission so so much.
On Tuesday we went to the temple!!  We had a meeting with the Temple President, his wife and President and Sister Poulsen, then we went to the 10am session.  The spirit was so strong and I learned so much and received a lot of revelation for what I need to do after my mission.  I love going to the temple so much!  I know that Heavenly Father is aware of me and that He loves me.
Wednesday was really strange because so many of my close friends went home and have been released.  So strange!  But I also got so see so many dear friends that came back from outbound.
Tomorrow I have my departing interview with President Poulsen. I will also have to check out with the mission secretaries who will make sure that I left everything nice and clean.
Well I have to go now... But I will see you all soon!
Love Always,
Sister Stephen

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Cute Christmas

Sister Davis and Sister Stephen are sure excited for Christmas!!!

It is almost the end...

Hello family!

Relief Society today was wonderful!!  We actually met in the Relief Society Building and The Relief Society Presidency spoke to us.  Yes you read that right. The Relief Society Presidency!! :D  Sister Reeves gave the lesson and it was wonderful.  One of the things that I got out of it was the wonderful privilege that it is to be a member of the Relief Society.  The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was not fully restored until the Relief Society was formed.  It is such an inspired organization and I know that miracles can happen if we only choose to sacrifice and do what the Lord asks when He asks it.  I want to always be a part of those miracles.

This week has been really great!!  Christmas is in full swing here on Temple Square!!  The lights are attracting tons of people and the video "He is the Gift" is changing lives!  I absolutely love Temple Square during Christmas!!  We have been busy talking to lots of people every night and the weather has been so warm!  It makes it really easy to talk to people everywhere!  Christmas is such a beautiful time of the year to talk about our savior and what is really important in our lives.  The Savior is the ultimate gift that was given to each of us so that we never have to be alone and so that we can return to live with God again.

We got to see Sister Davis' Sister and her family.  They are so cute!!

I can't believe that this is one of my very last emails as a missionary!  I don't really feel like my full-time mission is ending, but at the same time, I know that my time is far spent.  I have learned and grown so very much.  I feel so very privileged that I was called to serve my Savior Jesus Christ on Temple Square.

I hope you all know how very much I love you!!

Love Always,
Sister Stephen