Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Creative Christmas

​Here's my district when we crashed the Spanish Ward's
Christmas party after choir practice one night.​
Hey all! So there was a lot of things that happened this week, mostly Christmas, but I'll try to cover everything else too.

We were able to do some service this week, which was good. The other Elders knocked into this old Jamaican lady and she asked us to help pull weeds out of her lawn. All of us went over the next day and she was super grateful. She was like very stereotypical sweet old lady. She made us this super sweet Kool-Aid with cranberry juice, it was awesome. We also helped one of the student families move, which was fun mostly because they lived in a building with 25 stories, so when we finished we all went to the top and looked at the view. I'm not allowed to take pictures while proselyting otherwise I'd have some here. Florida is so flat, we could see for miles.

Adline has a date for her divorce now! She needs to be divorced from her husband in Haiti so she can be married to the man she's living with now so she can be baptized. Her divorce will be finalized in 8 weeks, which is a long time for us to wait but at least things are moving again. She's been taught almost all the lessons twice already, but I went and taught a very simple lesson about the Word of Wisdom with her in Creole yesterday. It was my first time doing a lesson in Creole with an investigator, mostly because she's our only investigator but still. It went pretty well.

They gave these ornaments to all the missionaries,
and they have my favorite quote on the back!​
We had Christmas Conference as a mission a few days ago, that was pretty fun. Each zone presented a song, and in ours we had the Creole missionaries (aka just us 4) sing the first verse in French. It was cool, kinda like singing in a barber shop quartet with only bass and tenor. We also did a white elephant exchange, I gave a weird carved stone Medusa head looking thing that was in a frame that I found in goodwill. I don't have any pictures though. I got a 2017 inspirational psalms calendar, which is actually useful. Also a giant bag of buttercream mints. Also no pictures of that either.

So Christmas happened too! It was pretty fun. My parents sent me a Gingerbread house in the mail, but it wasn't packaged very well so all the cookies were cracked. We tried to glue them together with icing but it didn't work, so instead we turned it into a post-apocalyptic earthquake destroyed house. Some of the other elders got... Creative. Viewer discretion is advised.

A big thank you to everyone that sent gifts! They were all super thoughtful and generous and I feel so loved.

On Christmas our Haitian choir sang! It was pretty good, I mean we put hours of practice into a 2 minute song so yeah. I have a recording of it down below that I sneakily took on my nifty new voice recorder that I got for Christmas too! Enjoy that.

The final product. Elder Lund even cut out a G-Whip for the front lawn.
Those are everywhere around here, and people just park on their grass all the time.​
Most of Christmas was spent at the Doxey's for Skype. It was super fun to see my family. It wasn't as weird as I thought it would be either. We ended up staying at the Doxey's for a while since Elder Bissereth was having trouble contacting his family in Haiti. He got it figured out eventually. Fun stuff.

After that we went to a less active family for dinner. That was fun. We went there for thanksgiving as well. They're a cool family. The husband isn't married [Editor thinks he might mean baptized, not married] but the wife really wants him to be.  They're in the other Elders' area so hopefully they can do something there.

So that's about it, I want to hear about how all your Christmases were back home! Send pictures too if you have them, I love seeing pictures of everyone. Talk to you soon! 

My haul from Christmas Conference. Lots of goodies!​

​Missionary: Noun​


​Here's a picture of my new invention: "Grown-Up Chicken Nuggets"
I'm keeping the recipe a secret.

Here's a recording of the Haitian choir singing!


Eldè Stevenson

Monday, December 19, 2016


​Here's my district! From right to left it's Elder Smith, the ZLs Elder Alexis and Elder Riggs,
Elder Widney in the back, Elder Lund and me, and DL Elder Bissereth with Elder Blood.​
Hey all! This has been a pretty good week. Lots of excitement for Christmas!

So this week we had transfers and we got to meet the 2 new elders! They are Elder Blood and Elder Bissereth. There's a picture with my new district and everything so check that out. They are cool guys and look like they're good missionaries too. It'll be a fun time with them. Elder Bissereth is pretty much straight from Haiti, he's been living in the States for about a year before his mission. He speaks pretty good English but is still learning a few things, which is fun haha. I figure if he can learn English then I can learn Creole haha.

When the other Elders left they gave us one of their recent converts to work with. Her name is Pierline, she's cool. The morning before transfers we went out at 7:00 in the morning so the other elders could say goodbye. We walked with her and her son to school which was fun, brought back some fun memories of walking the girls to school.

Probably the most exciting thing this week was the ward Christmas party on Saturday. It was one of those things where they set up the gym to look like Bethlehem and everyone came dressed up and brought authentic food platters and stuff, it was pretty fun. We helped set it up though for hours before hand, and then when it was time to take down it was already getting late so we had to rush everything and it was pretty crazy. We had our car packed with stuff to bring back to a members house and then it was a scramble to get home on time, but we did it. Overall it was a stressful experience, but it was still fun to see the members having a good time.

Haitian Choir is sounding pretty good now, we have one more practice before we sing in church on Sunday. That should be really fun. Our zone is also doing a song for Christmas Conference, the mission wide conference with the Mission President also known as when I get my Christmas presents! I'm a little excited haha.

My advice to get into the Christmas spirit is to study the Atonement, that's what I'm studying now and I can see that it's starting to change my life. Maybe it's just because I have a new perspective while on my mission, but I'm starting to understand just how huge and important and wonderful the Atonement of Christ is. My suggested reads for that are the Book of Mormon (of course), I think the first 20 or so chapters of Alma kind of talk about it, so does Mosiah a bit. I don't really remember where, that's just where I am reading right now. There's also a really good talk from Elder Scott that my parents sent me a copy of. It's called Personal Strength through the Atonement. My parents will link to it in post I'm sure. 

Hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

Some of the food from the party. I say some because there was a ton more that people brought later.​

Ward Christmas Party​

​This is our bishop, Bishop Robles.

Ward Christmas Party​

​I found my family in the Bible videos! Here's me posing with them.​
​Here's a better picture of it. Emma's on the left and Mom's on the right, with Jesus in between.


Eldè Stevenson

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Surprise! Transfer Week!

P-Day in Miami
Hey everyone! So I feel like I should preface this letter by saying that I forgot to tell you that during transfers, P-day is on Tuesday instead of Monday so that you can pack if you are leaving. So I didn't forget about you. More on all that later!

So this week was kinda slow and boring again. One of the main things we did this week was help the Murray family in the ward move. They're a middle aged couple that's pretty well to do and they were moving from one ritzy apartment place to another ritzy apartment place. So naturally I made sure to ride in a rolling office chair through the halls. I definitely know that they have security cameras set up everywhere and that I probably shouldn't have but eh. It was a pretty rushed move too because only Sister Murray was there to help us, and then after we loaded everything into the Uhaul the other Elders had to leave, so then it was just me and Elder Lund helping her move all the stuff into the new place. On top of that we were only allowed to be there for 1 hour because you had to reserve the freight dock in advance if you are moving in. In the end we went 30 minutes over the limit and made friends with the maintenance guy so that we could keep using the freight elevator. But we did it! Then Sister Murray took us out to eat at a pancake place afterwards. I got biscuits and gravy and it was super good.

We also are doing the Haitian Choir still. It's pretty fun. We got a lady in the ward to play piano for us. Her name is Sister Vogel and she used to play organ for MoTab! She even learned to play organ on the tabernacle organ. She's down here for retirement now. She had shoulder replacement surgery so she had to retire. Also she has arthritis in her hands but she still wants to help us out. Cool lady. We're singing Premier Noel (first noel in French) on Christmas. Should be good.

So transfers were yesterday! Elder Lund and I are both staying put (thankfully) but Elder Ajayi and Elder Child are being whitewashed ["whitewashed" is when both missionaries transfer out at the same time] out. The new Elders coming in their area are a Haitian named Elder Biseret (I don't know how to spell his name yet, it's pronounced bee-sir-ette) and Elder Blood! Yes, the very same from the MTC. That makes 2 Elders that I knew in the MTC that I'd have lived with in 2 transfers. 

Almost forgot, on Sunday we had The United Methodist Church of Opa-Locka come sing to us in sacrament meeting. Apparently a few months ago the ward did a service project for them so they wanted to come sing for us. They sang a few hymns which they were pretty timid about, didn't seem very well prepared, and then the last song they got all out singing this song that goes like "JESUS! JESUS! OHHHHHHHHHH WHAT A WONDERFUL CHILD" and it was all gospel-y and stuff. Pretty fun, never thought I'd see something like that in sacrament meeting. 

That's pretty much it. We have 1 cool potential set up though. His name is Franz Pierre, he was a Bible referral and wanted a BoM [Book of Mormon] as well. He seemed really interested in going forward and was going to come to church on Sunday with his girlfriend (who he said would also be really interested but lives up in Fort Lauderdale) and we were going to teach them afterwards. But his work schedule changed so he was working all day and couldn't come. Hopefully we can start teaching him.

​I made Donna's [our neighbor] banana bread this week! It was pretty good, but I started it kinda late so I had to take it out of the oven with flashlights (lights out is at 10:30) and I covered it until morning. It got a little bit
dried out but still really good.​
Here's my planner for this transfer. Made it myself. I think it turned out pretty good!


Eldè Stevenson

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Week in The Life of a Missionary: Photo Journal

Hi everyone! So I have a ton of pictures this week for some reason. So I'm just gonna explain each of the pictures and that'll be my email for the week. Plus I have lots of emails from all of you (#ChristmasPerks) so that'll take some time but it's all good. If there's anything that the pictures don't talk about I'll include a little thing at the bottom about it so we'll still get to everything, don't worry about it. 

Here's our gator with one of the santa hats from my Christmas package! Thanks mom! ​

Elder Lund was practicing piano last week, so I just went ham on the chalkboard. Repost if you understand any of it. ​

​We had a temple trip this week! So in our mission you only go to the temple once, on your last day in the mission. UNLESS you do a tour with one of your recent converts, or one of them is taking out their own endowments or something like that. So we took one of the recent converts in our area, Niviane, on a temple tour! It was fun, got some good pictures. Maybe I'll make Christmas cards out of one of them or something, that'd be fun.

​Here's Niviane out front of the temple.​

​Me and Elder Lund. 

​I like this one better, you get the whole temple in it.​
Cool statues they had out for christmas time I'm assuming. 
Dramatic side action shot of the fountains.​​​

Generic Wallpaper Photo ​

Here's some of the lights I got in the Christmas package that I strung across my desk. Matches my Frozen bedsheets.​ 
On the left is a stocking that the Johnsons, an awesome young student family that feeds us, made for me. They are going out of town for Christmas so when we went over on Sunday they had everything all Christmasy and said it was our Christmas dinner. The house was decorated, they made a roast and potatoes, served eggnog and light a pineapple sherbet punch, and made each of us our own stockings with treats inside! They are so awesome, the Johnsons are my favorite. And their little kids are so cute. The stocking had some chocolates, mandarin oranges, and a tie! So cool.

On the right is an awesome package from Sister Cuillard! She sent letters with little treats and quotes from general authorities in them for every day leading up to christmas. Thank you so much!​

​Here's a little tree I made with lights from the christmas package. Also you can kinda see the nativity that the girls made for me next to it.​

A better picture of the nativity and stocking. Thanks!

Some other things that happened this week are that I went on exchange with the ZLs (Zone Leaders) for a day. That was fun, I went to their area in Hialeah West and it's all Spanish, so I did lots of smiling and nodding. It was good though. We found some cool people while knocking and met with some less actives and just chatted about stuff.

We also did some zone blitzes, which is where everyone in the zone goes to one area and knocks doors for an hour. Our area was the first one we did it in since we don't have any investigators. We found some potentials from it but none of them were that cool, so still no investigators. We're working on it though, hopefully by next week we'll have someone to teach.

That's pretty much it for this week, thanks for all the love! 


Eldè Stevenson