Monday, March 27, 2017

Herding Cats

​Us playing pool at our apartment's lounge last Pday. 
Hey everyone! So this week has been kinda slow to be honest. We do all we can, and still can't find people to teach. (And it seems like anyone cool we do find is either leaving the country or we have to pass over to the ZLs). A little frustrating, but oh well. 

We were able to get someone to church though! Yay! Elder Hatch describes it perfectly when he says "I feel like I've been herding cats for the past year and a half." For some reason it's super difficult to get people to come to church, no matter how receptive they are while we teach them. Literally everyone works on Sundays, and no one wants to commit to anything. If I had a dollar for every time I've heard "I don't want to promise you anything, because if I don't come then I'm a liar! But one of these Sundays you'll see me." I think I could pay for my mission. 

We are obviously very serious pool players.

But it's all good, because Nadege came on Sunday! Even though we've only taught her once she still came, which is a very good sign. She's a Haitian lady that was a former investigator and is really receptive to everything so far. She could only stay for the first 2 hours, but it seems like she had a good experience. (Our ward has a creole Gospel Principles class, and it's hard to describe without just experiencing it. It's always an adventure. Anyone that knows Haitian culture will know what I mean, you just never know what's going to happen.) Anyways, they ended up talking about the 12 tribes of Isreal, each of their missions, the sticks of Judah and Joseph, Joseph's prophecies, patriarchal blessings, and baptisms for the dead. Deep stuff for our investigator who doesn't even know about the Book of Mormon yet, but she seemed to enjoy it nonetheless. We'll follow up with her about it later, again she's busy with work which makes it hard to meet, but we'll find a way.
 There's also a bowling alley that we got to use, it's pretty cool but super loud.
Photo from Elder Alexis
That's pretty much it for this week, just doing a lot of knocking and visiting all the part member families on our list. Hopefully more comes up, I guess it just shows that no matter what we do it's really the Spirit that prepares people to receive the gospel. April should be a month of miracles though, so I'm not too worried about that. Hope all is well for you guys, keep me posted!


Eldè Stevenson

Monday, March 20, 2017

From Mafia to... Mormon?!

House pic! Elder Alexis, Elder Foster, Elder Hatch, me.​
Hello everyone!  So this week has been a tough week for everyone for some reason, the people that we find just aren't sticking. Lots of knocking with no solid new investigators. It's disappointing, but I'm sure it'll pick up. We're really pushing hard this month to hit our goal of 100 baptisms as a mission in April, so I'm sure God will provide miracles for us.

Speaking of miracles... we've had some crazy ones this week. Their names are Paul and Laila. Their full stories can be found in the voice recordings below, but here's a little summary:

Elder Hatch and I talked to Paul while walking down the street. He's really jacked and inked up. He comes up to us and says "I've been looking for you." We talk to him and turns out he just got out of jail after 14 years for being in the New York Mafia, and met a Mormon guy there named Ammon that introduced the church to him. He's read all of Gospel Principles and half the Book of Mormon. Wants to be baptized, but is on probation for the next 4 years which makes things difficult. Also he lives in the other Elders' area (bummer)... I've decided that if he gets baptized there needs to be a movie like the Saratov Approach made about him.

​The ganster life is getting to us.​
Laila was a media referral that we finally got in contact with. She's super cool, has a Mormon friend that's been talking to her and she's really interested in the church. She felt the Spirit super strong right when we first started talking with her. She's going on a trip for 4 weeks though and also lives in the other Elders' area (double bummer).

We did get a less active member to come to church though! His name is George and he's super solid now. He's committed to coming to church every week with his daughters now. His wife is a member too but she works Sundays, but she's working hard to get her boss to give her the day off sometimes. Really cool Haitian family, glad they're back.

We had to drop the J... L... family because they didn't come to church, which was super sad. Turns out the dad is super against the church and won't let them come. The older daughter reads in the Book of Mormon every day, and they all want to come to church but the dad won't let them. The little daughter even said "we could just try to sneak out while he's sleeping!" It was really sad, I almost cried for them on the car ride home. There's nothing we can do though, if the dad won't even let them come to church there's no way he'd give permission for them to be baptized. Bummer.

Gilbert might still be solid, but he couldn't come to church because his mom died the night before. He needs a little space for now, but we'll still work with him and see how it goes. Bummer.

​Pic I took outside the church cuz I was bored.

We do have a really solid "Haitian Mamie" that we're working with though, her name's Elvire and seems super interested in the church. We found her from just knocking, something that doesn't see a lot of success in this area (especially for finding Haitians). She understands the Restoration on a really deep level, and as we read in 3 Nephi 11 with her for the first time she would even explain what she was reading as she read it. Super cool, hopefully she stays that way.

Other than that, last night we had dinner with a couple in the ward that lived in Simi Valley! Their name is the Hunsakers. They're an older couple that lived there years ago, but they still knew where everything was and all the wards and church buildings so that was pretty cool. If any of you know them, send a note or something haha (I think they know the Moberlys, but so does every Mormon in Simi haha).

Hope all is well with you, keep me updated on everything you're doing!


Eldè Stevenson

Friday, March 17, 2017

March Conferences - South Zones Pic

Parents of missionaries in the Florida Ft. Lauderdale Mission,

This week has been a spiritual feast for the missionaries in southern Florida. We met together on Tuesday and Wednesday in Zone Conferences which inspired us to move forward with commitment and faith.

Have a wonderful day,

Sister Burdick
Referral Secretary
Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission

New mission logo for email signature

Monday, March 13, 2017


Hello everyone!

Zone photo from Elder Ririe
This week has been good, getting a hold of the new area. I was able to meet the new ward on Sunday, and it seems really good. Very focused on missionary work, but there are definitely some characters. Such a wide spread of personalities, but somehow it just works. There's a good amount of Haitian members too which is awesome. Still haven't been able to find where most of the Haitians live though, usually they have their little neighborhoods but here it's very scattered.

So a little update on the lady we found that speaks Urdu. So we were doing our report at our weekly correlation meeting, and one of the ward missionaries perks up all of a sudden and says "My daughter learned some Urdu years ago because she was dating a Pakistani!" That was crazy. (Turns out she doesn't really know much more than Hi, how are you? so that was kinda disappointing, but still crazy nonetheless.) We ended up having to drop her because she didn't seem to understand what we were teaching her. Oh well, still cool.

We do have a very solid Haitian family we're teaching though. Like super solid. It's the J...-L... family, they were former investigators and we stopped by and now they're super ready for baptism. There are like 8 kids ranging in age from 19 to 1. The main ones that are interested though are the mom Silvani and the daughters Ivena and Matilda, ages 19 and 9. They read in the Book of Mormon, pray, and ask really good questions. We took them on a tour of the church and everything last week, but right at the last minute they couldn't come to church [on Sunday] because Ivena had to finish a project for school. Disappointing, but we'll definitely keep working with them!

Also we have another guy we're working with named Gilbert that's pretty cool. He's an old Haitian guy that looks like he could be white. At least Latino or something, he's pretty light. He keeps all our commitments and everything, so hopefully he stays cool and gets baptized! 

So this week marks 6 MONTHS as a missionary!! Woah! Time moves so fast! I'm 1/4th of the way done, that's super crazy. I still feel like a greenie haha.

That's pretty much it for this week, things are going well. Keep me updated on how everything is going, I love you all!


Eldè Stevenson

Questions From Mom 1

As a way to get a little more information about things he may not think to include in letters, I have started sending Elder Stevenson a page of questions along with a stamped addressed envelope. All he has to do is fill in the answers and drop it in the mail box. It's fun to get some hand written messages and I save them in a missionary binder I keep at home. 

Monday, March 6, 2017

I'm in Hollywood, 2000 miles away from Hollywood

​Me and Elder Hatch, right now.
 (Dang, camera really does add 10 pounds haha)​
Hello everyone! So this week has been a busy one, still trying to figure out the area after whitewashing [see mission lingo on side bar]. The last Elders left us with basically nothing, so we're starting from scratch. It's going good though. Elder Hatch works really hard, which is good. He's also the District Leader, or should I say Sister-ict Leader, because the other 2 companionships in our district are both sisters. Definitely a change from my last district, should be fun though. There's Sister Murdock, Sister Brown, Sister Stokes, and Sister Osburne (no pictures yet, sorry!)

So the other day we knocked into a lady from Pakistan named Faiza. She speaks Urdu and very little English. We talked to her through her 10 year old son, and she accepted a prayer from us. She even invited us back to learn more about Jesus Christ! We went back and printed off the Plan of Salvation pamphlet in Urdu from and taught them, again through her 10 year old son. We explained about Christ and even though she said she is Muslim she committed to coming to church on Sunday. (She didn't come though, she had guests coming over at the last minute apparently. Plus it was Stake Conference [when all of the Congregations/Wards in an area come together for one big church meeting] so that makes everything harder.) To the best of our knowledge she is accepting everything. That'd be super cool if she got baptized! We just really need to find a member that speaks Urdu.

Stake Conference was good though, we had a member of the Seventy come speak, Elder Alba. He gave a good talk about the difference between balance and harmony. He had the organist play the melody of How Firm a Foundation, then she added in notes in other keys, still playing the same tune but it didn't sound like anything at all. Then she played the melody again and added in notes that harmonized, and it sounded awesome. The moral of the story was that there's a difference between simply having our lives in balance and having them in harmony. Cool stuff.

Our ward seems like it's very good with lots of strong members, even Haitian members. That also means I'm probably going to get fat, haha. Definitely functions better than my last one. We even have ward missionaries! We're still working on meeting everyone, whitewashing is a hassle sometimes. Most times.

That's pretty much it for this week, doing lots of finding and trying to find where all the Haitians live. So far so good! Hope all is going well for all of you too!

We live next to a golf course.​

​Like right next to it. Fancy.
Also apparently our complex has it's own bowling alley? Will let you know how that goes.


Eldè Stevenson

P.S. Email my mom if you want my new address.