Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Transfers Are Here Again and...BAPTISM! (Also picture spam)

Hello everyone! So, let's get the big important news out of the way.... I will be TRANSFERRING to the area of HOLLYWOOD CREOLE. As I don't know my new address yet, please refrain from sending mail for a bit ;) . My new companion will be Elder K Hatch! I've heard good things about him, should be fun. Exciting stuff. It'll be weird getting used to a new area but it should be good. Also, all the others will be transferring too except for Elder Bissereth, and they're changing it back to having 2 Creole Elders and 2 English Elders instead of splitting the ward in half. 

So here's the next big news. You may remember a while back when I told you about Adline. She was an "eternigator" [eternal investigator] that was waiting on a divorce [to be final] to be married and then baptized. [When a woman and man are living together, they must be married in order to be baptized. This is because of the law of chastity.] Well, the other day on Wednesday I was on exchange with Elder Taylor again, and I decided to stop by to see her daughter, Alicia, last thing at night since we're working to set her with a baptismal date and had extra time. (I'm glad I did, I could have been like "my creole is not good enough to hold a conversation on my own" but I just went anyways.) Well, she was sick but her mom was there! 

So she and I just chatted and I asked "I'm still curious about how the divorce is going?" and she was like "Oh, I'm divorced already!" 
What?! "That's great! So when do you think you'll be able to be married?" 
"Oh, I'm married already, I just did it at court!" 
WHAT?! (Turns out she has been married for 15 days already!) So yeah, once we found that out we got her to talk with Bishop and got her interview and everything and she got baptized LAST SUNDAY! And I was the one to baptize her! Woot! So many miracles.

Also, last Pday I went to the beach for the first time! Got some great pics. We went fishing on a pier in Sunny Isles. Super rich area- There were ads for apartments that said "starting from 1.4 Million to 5.4 Million!" Jeez louweez.

​My awesome comp and DL, Elder Bissereth.​

​Say "Fishing is fun and not boring!"​

​Panorama of the beach.​

Me at the beach!​

Elder Bissereth dancing with pelicans.​

​My new planner cover.​

​My awesome district! Gonna miss these goofballs.


Eldè Stevenson

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Little Burst of Speed

Hello Everyone!

Let's just say the Florida sun is doing it's job.
So the work picked up a bit this week! We were able to find 10 new investigators, and 3 of them came to Sacrament [meeting]! That doesn't sound like a lot, but it's the first time we've really been able to get anyone to come to church, so that's good! 

We still do tons of knocking, mostly because appointments are virtually impossible to keep for some reason. Even when we call them or text them that morning and they say we're good to stop by, when we get there they're either not home or sleeping. Maybe it's just Miami, but it seems like everyone just goes to work and then sleeps when they get home. And a lot of people work nights so they sleep during the day. It doesn't matter what time of day it is, we are always getting yelled at for waking them up. haha.

A couple highlights from the people we found:

1. Rudy- A super cool white guy we knocked into (there's not many of those around here!) He has a Doctors degree in Religious Arts and was basically Mormon without knowing it, but when church came around he dropped us over the phone because it was too hard to leave his church of 21 years. Bummer.

​I don't mean to brag,
but we decked out our apartment for Valentine's Day.​
2. Roscoe- A super cool guy that virtually committed to baptism right at the door. He really wanted to come to church and even bring his little brother and cousins with him, but got called to work at the last minute. Bummer. Still working with him though.

3. Kimberly- She's the one that actually came to church, and brought 2 friends with her! Found her knocking as well, seems to really understand the message but still has a little problem with "Mwen batize deja" (I'm baptized already). A common problem, but we can work with that.

That's pretty much it, sorry I don't have crazy stories, my memory is bad sometimes. I included some pictures from Valentine's Day though, aka the lamest holiday as a missionary! Haha. It was great though, cuz we got an awesome care package from home (thanks!). 

Love all y'all!


Eldè Stevenson

Monday, February 13, 2017

Trials and Tribulations?

A picture of our Zone Training
Hello everyone! Not too much exciting happened this week, mostly just a ton of knocking all day long.

So a little update about Amy from last week: Turns out she lived in the other Elders' area :( and has been super hard to get a hold of since she doesn't have a phone, and every time they stop over she doesn't answer. She didn't come to church yesterday either :( , so it's likely that she'll just get lost and fall away. Kinda disappointing, but such is missionary life. 

We had several exchanges this week since Elder Bissereth is the DL [District Leader], and I took over the area for the day while he went to work in the other areas in the district. It was the first time I've been the one to stay, and the most interesting one was when Elder Taylor, a "greenie", was with me. It was the first time that I've been the more experienced missionary! Haha, it was kinda a boring day anyways because we literally had no appointments, so we knocked all day long. It was funny too because we only ran into Spanish speakers, so he did more work than I did haha. He said it was the first time he's had to do a whole door approach in Spanish by himself so hopefully that was good. I want to learn some good Spanish while I'm here too, but I'm gonna focus on Creole first haha.

This week marks 5 MONTHS as a missionary! (This includes the MTC, 3 1/2 in Florida) That's crazy! Almost 1/4th is gone already! The days go slow but the weeks go fast, it's true.

So no one came to sacrament this week (except for Adline and Alicia of course), which is kinda sad, you know? 

The only other thing of interest is that we ran into a bunch of Hebrew-Israelite folks this week, which is annoying. For all those in the mission you know who they are, and for those "watching" at home you have Google. There was one guy in particular that was just hounding us. It's worse when there's a black and a white person in the companionship. He was shouting profanities against us and against God, "breathing out threatenings" as the scriptures would say, (it didn't help that he was obviously high on something) and that was probably the first time I've felt my faith so visibly and physically attacked. We ended up just walking away, "smile and wave" as it were, and letting him yell as we went back to the car. It was a learning experience for both of us I'd say.

SO yeah! That was my week, hope all is going well for all y'all! Keep up the Good Work!


Eldè Stevenson

Monday, February 6, 2017

Story Time

Hello everyone! This week has been an interesting week. Adjusting to the new "flexible" schedule has been weird, there's a lot that is different about how we do things now. Sometimes it's hard to know what we're supposed to be doing, but we just kinda work and do the best we can.

We haven't been able to find much time to teach the family from last week when everyone is home, because the dad (Patrick) and the only other 18 year old guy (Billy) work and are always in and out. We'll do what we can, but one of the things about this mission that's different than most places is that we don't hang on to people very long. With so many people that live here and the mandate to be teaching the "Lord's elect," when people aren't keeping commitments or appointments keep falling through they just get dropped. Hopefully we won't have to do that with the family, because they seem interested but just aren't making it a big enough priority.

We did find someone that is making it a priority though! Her name is Arjenae (pronounced are-jen-ay). She's a 15 year old African-American girl who's been through a lot in her childhood. like A LOT. Just about everything you can think of has happened to her. She really wants to turn her life around though, and seems to be doing well. She accepted the date to be baptized on the 19th, so hopefully that will happen! We even got a member to bring her to church, even though it was stake conference!

Speaking of stake conference, that was interesting too. We were asked by the stake to translate the saturday adult session into creole, but our mission president was there and since Saturday nights are prime proselyting time, he wanted one companionship to stay and one to go out knocking. So Elder Bissereth and I left while the others stayed. Turns out that no Haitians even showed up, so they were just sitting there getting stared at by President the whole time haha. They booked it as soon as it ended.

The next day during stake conference, we had a member of the seventy come speak to us. During his talk, he had President and Sister Richardson stand up with him and asked all the missionaries to stand up. Then he had us all come to the front and sing Called to Serve for him and for everyone else. That was a pretty cool and unique experience.

One of the last things that happened this week happened last night. The ward was having a "confidential baptism" and asked us to fill the font. Then we ended up staying because the person who was doing the confirmation couldn't come, so they asked one of us to do it. 

A member of the bishopric, Brother Roa, arrives, and so does the member performing the baptism. While we're waiting for the person being baptized to show up, a lady with 3 little kids walks in. Brother Roa has us go talk to her to see what she wanted and to give her a tour or something. Her name is Amy and she has 3 kids, one 10, one 8, and one 5. She asked us "How much longer?". We were confused, and Brother Roa said "Well we have a baptism that you can come in and watch?" and she was just like "Ok great!" So we set up a table and some chairs and chatted with her. We had songs and prayers and she watched the baptism and everything. Then while they were changing clothes Elder Bissereth and I taught about baptism and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and she said "Great, so do you think I could be baptized by the end of the month?" We were just like "uhhhhhh... Yeah!" It was crazy. Turns out she has a Christian background and several Mormon friends, and met with some missionaries 6 years ago! We're going to meet with her again later today to get all the details and figure everything out, there's a pretty good chance she lives in the other Elders' area and she doesn't have a phone yet, so we don't know much yet. Will let you guys know how it all goes.

So that's my week! Hope you enjoyed, leave a like and a comment down below and subscribe to my channel! ;)


Eldè Stevenson