Monday, January 30, 2017

Miracle Family and Changes from Headquarters

Hey everyone! Just a couple things to talk about this week, but exciting nonetheless! 

So one the coolest miracles we saw this week was that we ran into a awesome family that Elder Bissereth knew before the mission! We ran into them because we went to visit a former investigator but they weren't home, so we decided to knock around them. We walk up to the next door and the door opens a little bit. Elder Bissereth peeks his head in and says "Hello?", then turns to me with his classic "surprised face" and is just like OHHHHHHHHHH and the lady inside is like OHHHHHHHHH and I'm like "Ou konnen yo?! (you know them?)" and he's like YEEAAAHHHH. It was pretty funny. 

Anyways, now we're going over to teach them. The 2 parents with 8 KIDS. Only 3 are baptismal age, but still. The dad, Patrick, is pretty receptive and loves the church videos we've been showing him because of the focus on families. He also wants his 18 year old son to serve a mission like us, so we'll see! Elder Bissereth said that when he got called to this mission he immediately thought of this family -because he lived with them in Miami- but they had moved from their old house so he didn't know where they were. He said he had been praying to find them. Miracles!

Other than that, this week was a lot of knocking. A LOT. We didn't hardly have any appointments or anything all week. But that's alright, it's not so bad to knock.

The other exciting thing from this week was that we had the Worldwide Missionary Broadcast. In it, the church announced that our daily schedule will no longer be strictly rigid, but flexible and adaptable to local and daily circumstances. They said that they want to give missionaries their agency to form their own schedule and provide a smoother transition to after-mission life. Oh yeah, and Pday will be from 8-6 instead of 10-6. Awesome! They also announced that instead of having 9 "key indicators", we will only have 4 so that we will be more focused on our purpose. Those 4 will be: new investigators, investigators at sacrament, investigators with a baptismal date, and baptized/confirmed. We're having a zone conference this week so that President Richardson can train us on how he will make his own adjustments, but big changes!

Hope all is well with you all! I pray for you every day!

​Here's a selfie of me wearing an awesome Star-Wars shirt I found at a Latino warehouse store that I couldn't help getting. You're welcome.


Eldè Stevenson

Monday, January 23, 2017

Please Bless Me With Skrenth

Hello Friends and Family!

This week was a good week! It's the first week of the new transfer. Elder Bissereth and I are getting along great, he's a lot of fun. Elder Duvinston (I spelled his name wrong last week) is really cool and fun too. 

The other day Elder Bissereth and I were invited to go with the Spanish Elders to a meal appointment. We got there and they were playing the inauguration live on tv (dubbed in Spanish of course) and we got to watch MoTab [Mormon Tabernacle Choir] perform! That was cool. I had completely forgotten that was happening that day so it was a cool surprise that I got to watch it.

We had a really good day this Saturday! It was probably the Best Day(TM) I've had so far. It was weird, because we were so happy and having so much fun together, and yet we were able to teach a recent convert, wash her car, deliver 2 Bibles, and got 3 new investigators who all said they'd be willing to be baptized if they knew it was true! It was by far the most "missionary work" I've done in a day but also the most fun day.

Two of those new investigators were a newly married couple that are very "Miami". One of the most prominent slang terms here is when people replace "str-" with "skr-" (i.e. skrenth for strength) and they were doing it so much it was hard not to laugh. The husband also has all gold teeth and showed us a video of him reciting a poem he wrote from the perspective of AIDS. It was interesting, but they both said they want to get closer to God and would be baptized, so we're going back later today!

We were also able to bring Brother and Sister Murray to our lesson with the Cruz family and they got along super well! Hopefully that will give them a little more push to come back to church. It worked out well too because they didn't know we were bringing them with us. I'm glad they didn't get upset about it or anything haha.

That's pretty much it. Keep me updated on how everything is going, I love getting your emails!

My new district.
From front to back: Elder Blood, Me, Elder Bissereth (right), Elder Duvinston (left), Elder Mears (new ZL), Elder Riggs, Elder Widney, Elder Taylor (brand new, Elder Widney's "son")


Eldè Stevenson

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Transfers Are Here Again

Hi everyone! Let's get the transfer news out of the way, since that's probably most important. I am.....staying! Elder Lund is.......transfering to Fort Lauderdale to be with Elder Ajayi! Elder Bissereth is......transfering to The Next Bedroom Over to "greenie-break" me and will stay the District Leader! Elder Blood is......staying and his new companion will be Elder Dubbison! So the most important thing to get from that is that my mailing address is still the same. ;)

Not a whole lot to talk about this week. I got a snazzy new haircut at a Colombian barber shop.

Classic self-portrait of my new haircut.​

Modern selfie of my new haircut!​
Georges is still cool! He has a car to get to church now! He didn't come last week because he didn't have gas but hey, baby steps. We've taught him about the Restoration and so far he seems okay about it. Lots of questions, we usually spend most of the time answering his questions but that's okay. He lives with his cousin Patinson and we've been teaching them both. He's the one with the car, so they want to come to church together now. We'll see them tomorrow evening to teach about the Book of Mormon. Georges says he wants to learn more before he commits to baptism, which is understandable so hopefully he stays cool.

We helped Bishop Robles clean out a shed at the church, it was pretty fun. We got to rummage through the stuff for anything we wanted to keep. We found some cool fake books you can use to store things and a giant pink glass diamond in a fancy box and everything, so we took those home with us. There was also a wheelchair in there, so naturally I rode around in it while taking stuff to the dumpster. At one point Elder Blood started tipping me backwards, and some kids drove by in a car a little ways off and thought he was bullying me. They started yelling at him so he put me down, and I dramatically stood up and started walking. They started screaming and laughing and drove off, pretty sure they thought it was a miracle but it was funny. Maybe they'll come to church now.

I can also say that I now have a testimony that TV turns your brain to mush. We went to get an oil change for our car and ended up waiting there for 4 hours with nothing to do but watch the TV they had on. After almost 3 months of no media stimulation, it was taxing. The shows weren't even good, there was a boring documentary about frogs, then highlights from X Games Motocross, then depressing stories of cancer patients getting their final wishes from Make-A-Wish. I was so tired after that, but we still worked for the rest of the night. Fun times.

That was pretty much it for this week. Keep up the Good Work back home, and let me know how it's going! 

​Elder Bissereth with Elder Smith in the Tesla. Included this since Elder Bissereth will be my new companion. He's a really cool and fun guy, it'll be interesting. Especially since he's still the District Leader!​
My latest planner cover. It shows how I've logged out of all these things and locked them away. All taken from pictures in this month's Ensign


Eldè Stevenson

Monday, January 9, 2017

The Georges Coincidence

The intersection by the Krispy Kreme.
There are THOUSANDS of these little black birds that
just swarm EVERYWHERE and sit on the power lines. Every time
 one squeezes between them, all the rest shift down the line and
it's pretty funny.​ Photo by Elder Blood
Hey everyone! Another pretty slow week, so this will probably be a pretty short email haha. Hang in there I'll promise not to make this boring, okay?

The most exciting thing that happened this week happened Saturday. We were knocking doors in an apartment complex that we've knocked dozens of times before. We decided to knock a building where we had a member family, the Georges family, living on the bottom floor. We went and knocked on the top floor of the building and met a cool young Haitian guy named Georges! It was funny because he lived in room 520 and the Georges family lives in 502. We said a prayer with him and invited him to church the next day, and he said he would if he could find a ride (a common problem around these parts). 

The next morning we texted him to see if we found one and he hadn't. So Elder Blood and I went on a little exchange while the other Elders were in ward council and drove to the Georges family to see if they could give him a ride, and they did! He was the first investigator we've had at sacrament meeting, and he stayed for all 3 hours! We're going over today to meet with him and the rest of his family! I hope he gets baptized, he's a really cool 24 year old Haitian guy living with his cousins I think.

Not much else really happened this week, other than I became the main driver to learn the area if Elder Lund transfers. The streets of Miami are all either 3-5 lane roads and freeways or run down little side streets. If I can drive here, I can drive anywhere haha.

Transfers are next week, and I'll officially be done training! I'll be [finished] being "greenie-broken". It'll be interesting to see what happens. I'll let you all know. Because of transfers, Pday will be on Tuesday (again). We had a lot of Pday Tuesdays this transfer.

Talk to you all soon!


Eldè Stevenson

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Bonne Anne!

A picture from Christmas that Elder Blood took at the Doxey's​
Hi everyone, Happy New Year! The missionary work is still a little slow, not gonna lie. This week we had set up several appointments to meet people and literally every single one fell through somehow. There's still some crazy cool stories though, so stay tuned!

​Here's us sitting in the Tesla Model X SUV at the mall.
Photo by Elder Blood
Last Pday we went to the Aventura Mall, a crazy big rich-people mall. Like Lamborghinis-just-sitting-on-display rich. It was super fun. They had a Tesla showroom that I definitely made everyone come and look [at] with me. I think I converted Elder Lund to the Tesla. haha-yes!

​Elder Blood and I being super bored on New Years Eve​
Photo by Elder Blood
So this week was new years! For new years eve, all the missionaries were required to be home by 6:00 at night. It was crazy, we had so much time we didn't know what to do with ourselves. We ended up just shooting each other with Nerf guns haha. Elder Lund's dad sent us pizza, which was awesome.

​Eating Soup Joumou at the Victors​
Photo by Elder Blood
So Haitians have a new years tradition, called Soup Joumou (pronounced zjoo-moo). It's a special soup that they only make at new years, and all the Haitians make it. Joumou means pumpkin, so it's a pumpkin soup that they put meat and pasta and vegetables and spices in. It's really good. We went over to the Victor's house and had some in the morning. Then another member gave us some leftovers in the evening. Fun stuff, I think I can steal some pictures of it from the other Elders for you guys.

One cool story actually happened 2 weeks ago that I forgot to write about. Elder Blood had lost his wallet and was looking everywhere for it all morning. We had no clue where it was, and it had like credit cards and drivers license and everything in it. I said a prayer that he'd be able to find it, and then Elder Lund and I left to go work. As we walked to our car, the lady that parks 2 spots over from us was just getting out of her car. She saw us and said, "Are any of you missing a wallet?" Turns out she had found his wallet in the parking lot near where we park our car and had kept it with her to return to the security guard that works in our building. Pretty cool, right?

I also went on exchange with Elder Blood one day this week, and we saw a pretty crazy cool miracle. I knew I wouldn't have the time or the energy to fully transcribe it, so I made a recording talking about it that I'll attach to the email, so take a listen to that. [Coming soon]

Yesterday was Elder Bissereth's 20th birthday! He's old! Haha. We went to Olive Garden for lunch, his choice. It was pretty fun, we even got the workers to sing for him. Then that evening we went to the Victors' for dinner and they had set up a big party for him. They gave little speeches for him, and we all said what we liked about Elder Bissereth. They made a lot of good food for us, complete with birthday cake. After we ate, they had me and Elder Blood sing a duet. We chose to sing The Spirit of God. It was pretty good, pretty fun haha.

That's pretty much it for this week. Hope you're all doing well! I pray for you every day!


Eldè Stevenson