Friday, September 9, 2016

Here's My Number, So Call Me Haiti

Hope you enjoyed that Haiti pun, courtesy of Elder Duffin and Elder Firth. This week was kinda boring to be honest. There were some high points though. Sunday was good. It was fast Sunday so we had a mission conference where President Burgess spoke to us. Our devotional that night was Chad Lewis, a former BYU football player. Everyone seemed to like his talk, it was pretty motivational, but I couldn't really relate to him and his stories.The best part though was when we watched "Missions are Forever" by Elder Holland for our movie. It was a talk where he came to the MTC without notes or anything and just talked about missions. It was really good. He talked about how you shouldn't waste any time as a missionary and how your mission should extend into the rest of your life. I took lots of notes.

These two of the board are an overview of
pretty much everything we've learned so far.

Monday Elder King's back was hurting after playing basketball, so he and I went back to the room during our last class time to rest. It was nice, not gonna lie, just to lie down in quiet. He's feeling better now though, just has a cold or something. We call it MTC Sickness because everyone's pretty much just in a constant state of sickness here. I haven't really gotten sick though, just a headache and stuffed nose here and there.
For our Tuesday devotional, Elder D. Todd Christofferson came and spoke to us. That was a cool experience, and he gave a good talk. He talked about repentance mostly, and at the end he quoted David O. McKay and said "It is better to be trusted than to be loved. The Lord will love you no matter what, but can he trust you?" That was probably one of my favorite lines from the MTC so far.

Wednesday was pretty normal, I stayed in with Elder King during exercise time and took a nap. That was nice.

Yesterday was different, we had a day long conference called In-Field Training. It was good, they have the best teachers here teach it. It talked about all the different aspects of missionary work in the field, like finding, teaching, working with members, etc. It was a good change, the day went by pretty quick because of it too.

Cousin letters plus my scriptures and "Jesus the Christ"
(which I've started reading and boy let me tell ya, it's a head-full)

Makes me remember the song:
"Wish I could turn back time, to the good 'ol days"
I got a fun letter from the Indiana Nicolaysens this week, I took a picture of it because I thought it was so fun. I love getting pictures from the cousins, they brighten my day. If you can't see, in the one David [age 5] drew there's descriptions of what everything is, there's "Elder Stevenson and his companion" and "Someone crying because they don't know the gospel." So fun. 

Elder King, Elder Duffin and Elder Firth leave on Monday. That'll be kinda sad- they're the people I'm closest to here I'd say. Especially Elder King, he's kinda my companion. I don't know how that's gonna work once he leaves, I'll probably be a trio with somebody.

I just checked the mail and nothing so far- packages or flight plans. Just a letter to Elder Firth from his girlfriend (oooOOOOOoooohhh!) I'll let you all know what the plan is. I can call home from the airport, either before the flight leaves or on layover. Some missionaries are having a throw away phone, like tracfone or something mailed to them before hand. Depending on how many missionaries are in my travel group and how many phones they've got that might be safer, and probably more reliable. We'll see once I get my plans.

Frè Augustin looking fly
With everyone getting ready to leave it makes me excited to leave, but I still have a week. We're getting new missionaries next week, so those of us who stay it will be mostly review. We'll probably be teaching some of the lessons ourselves even. It'll be an interesting week either way.

Keep sending notes and pictures! I love hearing about everything going on back home and with the family. 

Here's my song for this week:
"Manman mwen pa renmen ou, epi li renmen tout moun."


Eldè Stevenson

Sunday, September 4, 2016

22 More Fast Sundays!

[I stole this from Elder King's blog. Can't turn off the Calculus!]
Hey all! Emails are awesome. I have another line from a song down at the bottom, so be sure to look for that.

So last Sunday our district decided to do a musical number in sacrament meeting. Our plan was to sing "I Need Thee Every Hour" in Creole, "Mwen Bezwen Ou Tout tan." So we started talking and I mentioned that I had a solo in choir. Then everyone wanted to hear me sing solo, so I sang the last verse of the song. Everyone was amazed, so they decided that we would all sing 3 verses and on the last verse I would sing solo and they would hum. Cool. That was Saturday night. 

They have actual mountains here.​
Fast forward to Sunday morning. We hadn't had a lot of practice time, so like 10 minutes before we leave for sacrament everyone is feeling bad about it. So we decide that instead of everyone going up, I would sing THE WHOLE SONG SOLO, with accompaniment from the piano. 

So in sacrament meeting they announce that "District C will give a special musical number" and I walk up by myself. And guess what? No pianist. Maybe he forgot or was confused or something. So I just sing. I'm up at the podium singing solo for about 100 people. And needless to say, it was amazing. I had several people come up to me after to say that even though they didn't know what I was saying they could feel the Spirit. 

​I love this tie with this suit. Thanks Papa!​
President Willes said thank you as well. I still get people every once in awhile come up and be like "Hey, you're the one that sang in sacrament huh? That was super good." So yeah, that's the story of my solo in the MTC. Scored some major points with the sisters Just kidding!

Brother Augustin is doing a thing where he pulls each of us aside and tells us what he thinks our mission will be like. He told me that I'm a competent missionary, and that I will be a favorite companion. He also said that I'm a lifter, as in I lift other people up. That was pretty cool, I can't wait to see what it's actually like in the field.

Our Tuesday devotional was with Elder Richard J. Maynes, one of the presidents of the Seventy. He spoke about the worth of one soul, and the impact one missionary can have. In devotional review I shared the story of The Mighty Thor that Dad sent, and everyone liked it. 

Last night, Elder Firth wasn't feeling well so he asked if I could give him a blessing. It was my first priesthood blessing ever. We did it in the classroom, Elder Hassell anointed and I sealed. I had Elder Burns next to me holding the white handbook so I knew what to say. We all stood in the circle. I felt almost like I wasn't worthy, like "Shouldn't you go ask an adult? Wait..." It was a neat experience, and really showed me the importance of the priesthood that I hold, and that I need to be way more diligent about keeping myself worthy in case something like that happens again.

My Haircut. It feels really short.​
Just got back from the temple. Did sealings again today because there was a wait for initiatories. Made me think of the Sheranians and how Marie is getting married tomorrow. Elder King, Elder Firth and Elder Duffin got their flight plans today because they leave a week before the rest of us going to Fort Lauderdale. Firth and Duffin are going to Orlando and have a direct flight, so there's a good chance mine will be too. That means that if you want to call home you have to do it before your flight in the airport instead of on layover. That also means that you'll have to be up pretty early to get the call, so we'll see how it goes. I'll probably get my flight plans next Friday, so I'll let you know. Exciting but also a little sad.

That's pretty much it for this week. Keep me updated on everything going on! I miss the news. I love it when you send notes and pictures too. Just a little while longer before I'm out in the field! I love and miss you all!

This guy [another Elder?] had a mattress pad wrapped around him and a cardboard sign that said "Anything Helps, God Bless" while he slept outside. It was pretty funny.​

Accurate depiction of our teachers.​

​Elder Lantor drew portraits of us. I'm convinced I look like Danny Devito or something.​

​Someone drew this on the Tongan whiteboard and it reminded me of the reunion.​ [singing I Lava You]

​Creepy pic of my comp.

Here is my song for the week:
"Ki moun kapab di kote wout a fini, kote jou a ale, sèlman tan."


Eldè Stevenson