September 30, 2013

Dear The Fam,

1. I love working with the members!!!! We had 15 member-present lessons this past week, and one of the sweetest experiences ever: On Tuesday we had just taken out a future missionary to contact his friend (which was actually a pretty sweet lesson in and of itself) and we were walking back to go to a district meeting when we found this bolo (drunk guy) walking down the street. That{s not the unusual part, there{s bolos all over the place, and THIS bolo in particular was one we had seen and talked to before and he only ever asked us for money. But Bryan (the member who was with us) actually stopped to talk to the bolo, and bought him some mineral water, and proceeded to (this is the incredible part) walk him back to his house and convince him to sober up and shower and shave and find a job. Also it turns out that Carlos is a member! He got baptized earlier this year, he even showed us the foto.  We got to Carlos (the bolo){s house and Bryan convinced the mom to let Carlos back in the house. I wish I could explain how incredible this future missionary Bryan is. That mom REALLY didn{t want to let Carlos back in the house, because he had been drinking. Hermana Hamblin and I kept exchanging looks that meant ¨man we{re going to be really late to this district meeting.¨ It took like an hour of convincing, but Carlos{s mom let him back in the house. And later that day we came back to visit Carlos and I seriously didn{t even recognize him, he was all sobered up, shaved and clean, and looking for a job. And he came back to church yesterday! And he{s been reading in the scriptures and looking for a job and none of that would have happened if Bryan hadn{t been with us. Bryan told us he had even seen Carlos before, but never stopped to talk to him, but for some reason on Tuesday he felt like he should. Amazing.

2. So now that finally here in San Mateo we{re really gaining the confidence of the members and working a ton with them, I have transfers. Yes, they called me last night and told me I{m leaving San Mateo tomorrow. THAT was the biggest surprise ever, especially because I{m training Hermana Hamblin right now. So she{s my second daughter that I won{t get to finish training. And she{s going to have three moms. They called at 11:00 last night, we were already asleep. I woke up and answered the phone and my district leader said ¨Hermana Stephens? Ud tiene cambios¨ and I said ¨WHAT?¨ (in English) and woke up my comp. Then this morning Hna Hamblin told me ¨I had this really vivid dream last night…¨ but it wasn´t a dream, I actually am leaving. It{s sad because I love my companion and I love my area. I was fairly upset, but then this morning I read in Mosiah 3:19 where it says ¨willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon you¨ and I realized it{s not President Bautista who{s changing me; it{s the Lord. So after I read that and calmed down a bit, we were mostly just confused as to why I would have changes when everything was going so well.

3. At least, we WERE confused until like half an hour ago when I read the email President Bautista sent me, where all it said was ¨Bendiciones en su nuevo llamamiento¨ which is just very cryptic but makes me think that there{s a reason why I{m getting changed out of this fantastic area and away from this fantastic companion. I guess I{ll find out tomorrow when I{m waiting in the bus terminal with my bags! Don{t worry, when I find out I{ll shoot you a text. hahahaha not.

Here{s what I sent President, it{s a pretty good summary about how I feel about these cambios:

Anoche me sorprendi mucho al oir que me voy de San Mateo, especialmente porque pensaba que iba a terminar de entrenar a Hermana Hamblin. Estoy triste por irme de aqui y por solo estar con Hna Hamblin por 4 semanas, porque ella y el area los dos son muy muy muy buenos. Pero esta mañana en estudio personal lei Mosiah 3:19 y la parte que dice que deberia de ser ¨dispuesta a someterme a cuanto el Señor juzgue conveniente imponer sobre mi¨ y me di cuenta de que este cambio viene del Señor, aunque no pueda ver como, pero todo es segun Su voluntad. Solo espero cumplir con la voluntad de El y se que me va a ayudar.

I just want to testify to you, mis seres queridos, that this is the Lord´s work. He loves us and He wants to bless us. He knows the beginning from the end. He knows what we need much much more than we know, and if we just seek His will then everything will go according to plan. Not OUR plan, but HIS. It makes me think about when I was on this really really bad intramural ultimate frisbee team at BYU, and every time someone fumbled the frisbee or did something terrible, one of the team members always said ¨don{t worry guys! It´s all according to plan¨ haha. But it´s so true! If we just try our hardest, the Lord will guide us and sanctify our efforts. He will make us instruments in His hands. I love this work! I love these people! I love this Gospel!

On one last note, I loved that Relief Society broadcast. I loved the focus on covenants. And I can´t wait for the rest of General Conference this Saturday and Sunday!!! Who´s stoked? I am!

Con amor,

Hermana Stephens


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