A Golden Year for A Golden Birthday

Well I’ll start out with a continuation of my birthday since that where I left off last week… after emailing we had interviews with President Zarbock which went well. He told me to put on my “Big Girl Skirt” multiple times so there’s that. Sister Calder took really good care of me, we got donuts, we had a coconut, and she bought me my dream knife. I’ll send a picture next week but basically the name of it is Zombie Hunter and it is really ridiculous. But I carry it around everywhere now for safety and President Zarbock even approved it. Afterwards we didn’t have much time so we just went out to eat. I got some curry and I wished that it was pumpkin curry from Thai Thai but it was close enough!

Not that anyone is really concerned with my workout schedule but since I came on my mission I have been doing a “burpee challenge” and so every week I do 10 more burprees than the week before. last week I successfully did 90 burpees everyday and tomorrow I will do 100. If you knew me during high school soccer you know that I hate burpees. My companion is one that enjoys running too much so we never get to go. I miss that. But I’m trying to find her a bike haha problem solving!
Sister Calder also had her 1 year mark this week so that was fun! 66% done! It makes me feel like such a newbie but I’m glad that I have more time because there is still so much work for me to do here! It gives me anxiety sometimes but as Dad always says, “Just do your best and the Lord will take care of the details.”
So it is my goal to get my language Mastery by December which is a pretty big feat. This week I have been working really hard at getting the language down better and can teach most of the Restoration in Yapese. Which doesn’t seem like much but the people here really like it when white people are trying to speak their language. Whether the are listening because they feel the spirit or Yapese at least they are listening, right? Pray for me and the language!
Elder Becraft and Elder Herman gave us some ingredients to make a pumpkin pie this week and you know I was all over that! I love pumpkin pie! We had a lot of fun making that! And it’s good too because the weather doesn’t really change here in the fall so it kind of felt home-y.
This weekend I finally got to watch conference and it was so good!! I wish I could watch it on repeat! Mark came and listened to the Prophet and we were stoked! Hopefully we can keep that guy moving along. I am really grateful for the spirit, direction and motivation conference gives me!
Love you all!
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Happy Birthday to the Ground #IDon’tNeedYourHandouts

Sorry I couldn’t write yesterday! President Zarbock is on island so we had a Zone Conference and so we have P-Day today! That’s a pretty good birthday if you ask me!

Well Sister Calder and I got very sick to our stomachs last night and had a rough night’s sleep. But we made it and have been having a pretty good day. Just don’t eat and drink lots of water, right? But other than that, today has been great! Funny story: since Sister Calder was sick this morning she forgot to say happy birthday, I mean I wasn’t mad about it. But then this crazy guy from our branch called and wished me a happy birthday and was like “Oh, how many people have told you happy birthday today?” And I got to tell him that he was the first one! Sister Calder wasn’t very happy about that. But! she did appreciate the chewy dipps that mom sent!!
I didn’t think I was going to get my package in time but it ended up getting here yesterday, so I got it! Yay! I’m very happy about everything I got: Thank You!!! It’s funny because I can really tell what Mom and Niz chose out and what Dad chose out. But I’m really happy about all of it.
This week was really crazy and really hard. We have been doing a lot of finding and it has not been very successful. Some people are mean haha seems like it’s mainly the baptists and protestants but what are you going to do?
We were teaching this guy named Steven and his wife was inside sleeping–so we thought–and so we opened with a prayer and after we finished she stood up and slammed the door shut and I just thought she was mad because we woke her up! And we keep teaching.. Heavenly Father loves you..Families..Prophets…Jesus Christ set up his gospel..and as soon as we get to Joseph Smith we start hearing this banging inside! We just keep going and she turns on this movie super loud that has all these people yelling and screaming and guns firing and Steven yells to her “Hey, shut up!” and she turns up the volume when we get to the Book of Mormon. Then we mention coming back and she starts yelling, “We aren’t Mormon! You don’t need to come back!! blah..blah..blah” and so we were going to close with a prayer but she just kept yelling! So we said read this pamphlet, here’s the Book of Mormon and if you have any questions you can ask us next time, and he nodded his head and she started yelling, “Again? Really? You’re going to let them come back?” So we just left because she wouldn’t let us pray. And I know you all think that we are crazy but this guy was seriously interested in what we were saying and even called us later that night to apologize. I hope that we get to meet with him again.
Sister Calder and I got to watch couple talks from General Conference this last week and I really enjoyed them! I am so looking forward to watching the full thing this weekend! I want to throw a shout out to all the women in my family! All my sisters (whether they have kids or not) and my sister-in-laws know they are included in this as well.. just want to thank you for helping, loving and supporting me! I really love you guys! Thank you for all you do! And especially to my Mom for always “bearing” me! I am really grateful for everything you have done for me! Really glad I got to hear Holland’s talk on mothers, I also got to hear President Monson’s and Uchdorfs from the Priesthood session.
Well our Zone Leaders just walked in and apparently everyone in our Zone got sick last night and it was because of our Zone lunch yesterday.. haha great. Reminds me of when I got food poisoning. Flight luck and food luck. It’s all good.
Love and miss you!!
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“Are you okay? You girls are sweating a lot!”

People always think Sister Calder and I are dying because we sweat so
much. But in reality it’s just hot here and Yapese people don’t sweat.
Oh the joys.

Well we went teaching with some Sisters who are serving on Guam and it
was okay, it made me excited to come back to Yap and do my own thing..
I mean the Lord’s thing haha

Elder Li-Khau serves in Gagil he is perfect. He is New Caldonian. And
he just told me to shut up. So you guys might want to start praying
for the other missionaries on this island because they have to deal
with me.

This week was pretty average, as if I have an average here after only
7 weeks. But we have been doing a lot more “finding” because we are
looking for more investigators. And so far is as been good but tough.
It is nice to really work with the investigators and help them
progress but we just don’t have that many. Mark and Togeg both came to
church yesterday and I was a little bit too excited, but I don’t think
I scared them.

I am still working on Yapese, it is so hard! But I am getting better
and can hopefully lock down some more sentence structures this week.
Well the week just went super fast because we got back from Guam so
there isn’t too much to report.

Sorry if I didn’t get a chance to write everyone this week. The
internet at the church wasn’t working so we are at this other place
and it is really, really slow. So I’m doing my best.

Oh, also this week we started accepting food when people offer it. So
I got two fish tails and rice. Basically they just guy a fish and then
fry it in oil. There you go, Yapese fish. But they always give us the
tail because I think the head has better meat and more bones so we
won’t accidentally swallow any or gross us out with the eyes. Fresh
fish is so good though, I love it! I still miss Salmon and Halibut but
I’m just biased because of Dad’s cooking!

The sky was especially pretty this week, with the ocean, big clouds
and hombre sky! Wish I could send you guys some pictures but
everything is just too slow. Next week!

Happy 2 Months to Katie and James! (Thomas)

“Anything else I should mention Sister Calder?”
“Nah, just that I’m your favorite person in the world.”

Love and miss you all!
Sister Stevens

Border Hopping

This week was crazy. There is a new policy that we aren’t supposed to teach less actives unless there is an investigator which means that half of our lessons that we usually teach are gone. But it’s actually been a blessing because we can find way more people!

Oh yeah.. IM IN GUAM! Emergency transfer.. Sister Calder chased me with a machete. Jokes, we had a leadership meeting and since we are the only sisters on Yap we are the Sister Training Leaders even though we don’t have anyone to train or lead. But it’s good. So I am in your country, the good ol’ red, white, and blue. So I am excited to go shopping and get food! The training was really good yesterday I am really motivated to go back, teach, and convert. I get to meet a lot of nice sisters from other islands while I am here and also got to talk with my MTC companion Sister Bradford which was awesome! She is loving Guam! And I just got back from the hospital because I got a flu shot.
Since we are so far ahead (time-wise) so they will watch conference next week and Yap won’t get it for another 2-3 weeks. So please email me your favorite talks so I can print them out and read them! Also we fasted on Sunday and I bore my testimony in the Guam ward, another sister serving in Guam told me to.. so I did haha
This last week and a half have been kind of rough because I have been kind of (really) sick. My throat and head hurt all the time and my nose is running and I’m coughing and such. But I made it through and I’m finally getting better! Work, work, work, no if you can talk there is no reason to not go out teaching because we have a car so really all I need to do is move my lips.
Mark went to institute this week which was really good, we weren’t able to really ask him what he thought of it because he didn’t show up to our next appointment so I am excited to talk with him when we get back. Bad news, we went to go see Togeg (the old man who got baptized) and he was drunk. There is this stuff here called Tuba which is just coconut alcohol and he had plenty of it.
It rained so hard! We were walking around villages trying to find people and we were just completely drenched. Sorry, no pictures this week because I forgot my USB-SD card reader in the apartment. I got two letters this week which was a BIG help with some of my disappointments. Alexa wrote me and my friend Maddie (my roommate from Hawaii). It was fun to get mail.
Oh funny story: So we were trying to find people in this little village and came across this old man who only had three toes on one of his feet. And we were introducing ourselves and I said, “E gog Sister Stevens!” “Steven?” (and I never correct them because it is too much of a hassle) “Yeah!” “That’s a boy name…” hahaha I was cracking up. People always tell me that and they can never say my name is always Steve, Steven, or Stevenson.
I almost have the first vision memorized in Yapese so that’s exciting. Slowly but surely I’m learning this language. We had to say goodbye to our dear Elder Mott this week. He served a full two years on this island so it will definitely change a lot. Which reminds me… so there are only two planes a week between Yap and Guam.. and our check in time was at12am-2am. So I went to sleep at 10:30, Sister Calder woke me up at 1, we went to the airport and took lots of pictures because we were saying goodbye to Elder Mott and then sat in the airport for 2.5 hours because our plane got delayed (flight luck continues) and we got to the STL’s apartment at 6:30am so time to wake up. We got ready for church and then went straight from church to a 9 hour long meeting. I almost died. But I learned a lot and had a good time. I’ll head back to Yap Tuesday night.
Thank you for your emails, letters, prayers and thoughts! I really love and miss you all and think of you often when I need motivation to continue on!
Sister Stevens

Old Spice, Sunscreen, and Mosquito Repellent

Has it been a week already? So much has happened but everything is going by really fast! We decided to drop quite a few investigators who basically refuse to do anything and we also decided to give some of our less actives a break because they also aren’t doing anything. That was kind of hard but it will give us the opportunity to meet and serve new people who might be ready to hear the gospel. I know the Lord is preparing this island it’s just most people have met with the missionaries 2-3 times before I talk to them and most of them will learn from the missionaries again!

Well everyday I see a lot of miracles. Mostly with my safety but slowly with the people around me. The area that we serve is the safest, that is why the sisters serve in it but it also has most of the bars on the island which make Friday and Saturday nights really dangerous to tract, teach, and drive. We almost got t-boned in a parking lot by a drunk driving and it really was a miracle that he stopped.
We are teaching this guy named Mark and he is my favorite investigator! He is really smart and has been a church-search for a long time. He almost got baptized a couple years ago but backed out. He keeps our commitments by trying to live the word of wisdom (he is giving up smoking), reading the chapters we give him, and he even came to church yesterday! He has a rough past though, he has been in the system since he was young and that is why he is living on Yap, and is kind of an intense guy. But he has a lot of potential and willing to work which is refreshing in this area.
We visited Togeg our recent convert. And he said, “I used to be wild, now I am tame.” I love that guy! Wait, I don’t know if I said that last week. This week I asked him how he felt when he got his healing blessing he felt a dark cloud of rain part and he felt light and happy. He gives us fresh passion fruit every time we go and so that is also a bonus!
We found out this week that our Sunday School teacher has been drinking on a regular basis. So… yeah that might explain why our members struggle through that class. We will see what we can do. A lot of members have been asking for my first name so that they can stalk me on facebook.
Oh the reason my subject is Old Spice, Sunscreen and Mosquito Repellent is because that is what I smell like here. Every morning I make sure that I am fully protected from the sun and bugs. Oh and I also just smell like sweat because it’s so hot.
We ate on this boat called the Mnuw and it was so good. I mean we wasted a lot of our money but I got a Hawaiian burger, and coconut custard pie. So. Good. I thought of Dad while I was eating because it has a really beautiful view and I figured he would love to eat there. I have a mullet now in case you were wondering from the picture. Also, when I say the food is so good, remember that is it relative to Yap standards haha
Oh yeah… and I gave a talk in the other branch (Thol Branch) and that was interesting. They didn’t tell me my topic until after my personal study on Saturday so I had one hour on Sunday to prepare for my “Why Scriptures are Important” talk. There are about 9 members in that branch, 3 of them are leadership, 3 of them are kids and there were 8 missionaries attending yesterday. Kind of rough talking on the pulpit to 5 people believe it or not. Then the senior missionary gave a talk on Charity. Then Sister Calder and I taught Primary. Went back to Colonia and I taught Relief Society. So it was pretty crazy.
Love and miss you all,
Sister Stevens
Story behind the picture with my hand: There are these things called Mosquito coils that are these black coils that you burn like incense and are supposed to keep the bugs away. So I asked Sister Calder, “Do people really burn themselves on Mosquito Coils?” And she was like, “Yeah, all the time!” and it surprised me for some reason. But that night we were teaching a lesson and I was moving around because my legs were falling asleep and I put my hand on a dang Mosquito Coil! It hurt so bad! So you can’t really see in in the picture but on my palm there is a little red dot. So yeah… Yap is dangerous.
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Called to Pigpig

Friends and Family,

Still alive, still loving the mission. This week was really good but also filled with some disappointment. Actually this is a funny story: We were talking to this lady named Jennifer who almost got baptized a couple years ago but couldn’t give up Betelnut. She said that her husband and mother-in-law wanted her to be Protestant so I asked her what she wanted and she said, “I think I want to be Protestant, too.” But I didn’t hear/understand her so I was just like, “Well can we open with a prayer?” and we taught her the whole lesson! She started crying halfway through haha I don’t know what’s happening with her. But at the end we asked her again what she wanted and and she said she didn’t know. Hopefully we can get that lady baptized! Typical Sister Stevens, I just starting laughing when Sister Calder told me what actually happened at the beginning.
I gave a talk in sacrament meeting yesterday and I think it was okay but I didn’t really speak any Yapese so I think I lost some people. I’ll get better. But I talked a little bit about President Monson’s talk “Dare to Stand Alone” and then just talked about how living the gospel should be a really joyful experience not a burden.
We also went to check on a less active member and found out he was drunk. Which is the worst. His wife couldn’t come to church because of him. But he had an open beer sitting out so I told him to dump it out, he did. And then we said we would come back sometime when he is sober.
Oh, last P-Day we went to the sports complex again. Which is great because it’s fun but I want to go to the beach!! But anyways, we were just shooting a basketball around for a while which is awkward since I’m a sister missionary I can’t really get aggressive to get the rebound like the Elders. So basically I just stood there. but then we actually made teams and played and I was marking Sister Calder. The game was super fun! Mostly because I scored 5/8 baskets on our team and we won. I was making them under the basket, a three pointer and almost every one that I shot. I was just laughing because everyone was really impressed but I just kept thinking about my senior year and how bad I am. #BenchWarmer4Lyfe ! Then we played soccer or “futbol” as the British Elders would say. And it was kind of a big field for a 4v4 but it was still fun to be outside and run around. I scored a goal and was pretty happy about it. That day Sister Calder nicknamed me “Tiny Satan” which I obviously have mixed feelings about. I mean I have fun playing sports but Satan? I don’t know, that’s not my idea missionary nickname.
We were just teachin and preachin this week. We got to teach this guy name Mo’ro this week and apparently Sister Calder has been trying to meet with him for a year because he stays with another one of our investigators. They are custom married but don’t actually consider themselves married they just stay in the same one room house.
You guys are always in my prayers! Good luck with school, work, and kids!
Love and miss you,
Sister Stevens
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