Thursday, January 29, 2015

Ashley's testimony of inspiration, the HG and humility- very touching..

Hey mom, so when I was reading your email, I just had the impression I needed to send you and email, not about my week or anything, but this is just for you. 
I find it interesting your first comments are about wishing for more revelation in your life, and your teaching a RS lesson on understanding the holy ghost... the Lord works in such misterious ways lol. I love talking to you, and I think after my mission I will hopefully be able to help you more, with a little more life experience, but for now, you are still far ahead of me. But, I will try my best to give advice. 
I find there are many moments in the mission when I have desperately pleaded with God to give me just something, anything, and I would be ok. I have found many moments on my knees pleading for help, and not just for me, but about what to do for others. And yet, everytime, its still feels like nothing. I kept wondering, why? why would you be so silent when I am your missionary, my prayers are always trying to be focused on others, I just want to do the right thing. And just this week, I had been studying a lot in my pat. blessing and just studying a lot in PMG chapter 6 the christlike attributes. I have come to find that I have needed to learn so much about patience, and humility. I need to be patient with myself, and most of all the Lord will not work though us with out ultimate humility, in Mosiah 3:19 I believe it sums it up nicely. 
As a missionary my entire life has been trying to listen to the Holy Ghost, every little whisper, and shoot dang we are not even close to perfect. But we try. 
So my 3rd transfer right when I started to train I kept praying, but I lost my heart in the prayer. I became hopeless and that God was not hearing my endless prayers, especially about myself. I forgot the relationship I had with my heavenly father. This past week I knelt down and prayed more fervently than I have in a long while, and thought about my pat. blessing. I thought about my amis. and just telling God what was up in my life, and how I felt. I had a conversation with him, face to face. And it was then, in that moment in my heart I had the same feelings pass over me that did when I prayed asking if I should go on a mission, I remembered why I was here, I remembered that God has so many blessings, that we just put up our umbrellas sometimes and let them fall around us. I remembered our relationship. I remembered that I was his daughter, that no matter what happens, he is always there, its just up to us to listen. 
I believe that when we feel we arent being heard, or we're not feeling like we're getting a response, its becasue the Lord is testing us. Thats why we are here. He knows us perfectly, of course he knows what we need to work on haha. I know for me these last two transfers the Lord was teaching me patience. I needed to remember who He was, and who I am. Through humility, and patience, he gave me the opportunity to remember. 
I encourage you to remember, to pray more and humble yourself to the depths of your heart and know that God is listening.
I was reading in Jesus the Christ about why Jesus asked questions, I mean if he were really the son of God, with all knowing power, why did he ask questions. Well Talmage aswered it. He said in summery, Its just like when a father asks which child ate the cookie, as he clearly sees the crumbs on one childs mouth. He still asks the question so the child can learn honesty, and fess up to what he did. Just like this father, Christ was just the exact same. Christ always asked a question with a moral lesson behind it., Just how I know God will never not answer us with signs if there wasnt a moral lesson we needed to learn.
Let me tell you, there have been noumerous times on my mission that the Lord has taught me lesson after lesson. I know lessons are hard, and its hard to understand the why behind them, but thats where faith comes in. Faith that God knows us perfectly, that we are his children, and that leaves us with a divine potential. We need to constantly remember our parentage, who we are and what we can become. God knows you, he knows your potential. He loves you mom. I love you. I know you are doing the right thing, everything will work out in the end, because you are trying your hardest, and in the end, thats all we can do, and when we have done our best, the Lord will accept it.
Ok as for the lesson:
The Holy Ghost plays a divine role in our work as missionaries, we cant teach with out it. ever. haha. The times when we feel the holy ghost are normally just a question that immedately comes to my mind, and normally in ok french, so I can ask it. haha. I know that asking inspired questions is huge to teaching the gospel.
For me during the day I have realized and recongized how the Holy Ghost speaks to me. Normally its a thought that will come into my mind, and the more I think about it the better I feel. So for instance, if we needed to go somewhere contacting, I say "ok HF, we are looking for a new ami, or we are looking to do service today, where should we go" and immedately something happens, or I get a thought of where to go. Like for instance last night, we had an hour of contacting block before dinner and the minute I stepped outside of my apartment I thought hey we need to walk towards the church. Well we met 3 people who needed service on that route. I know that was the Holy Ghost, and it wasnt anything grand, or spectacular, just an ordinary everyday thought, I've been able to see so much more of HF plan for his children while I have been on the mission. I know we are inspired everyday without even knowing it.
Sorry that really probably didnt help, but for instace the terrorist attack week, we had no idea what was going to happen that week, but God did, and he helped us out.
Ok, now for stuff I have learned:
I heard about the scelle sorry i forgot the english word, in the temple with Adam and Cassy! Thats so cool, I cant believe its been a year! WOW! Time flies! 
I think I have needed a mission for many reasons, but a couple major ones is I have learned on the mission to become dependant on someone, to trust a companion with my life, literally out here in sketch paris ville. lol. I have learned thats its ok to share with someone else your deepest thoughts, and if they crush you, its ok, because you can pick yourself back up and move on. I have learned how to live with another person just two people. I have learned that instead of avoiding problems its better to takle them head on, but to keep as much humility as you can, and always know they are trying their best too. I have learned a lot about families. How much importantance my future family has, and how much of a need I have to get married in the temple. How much I want to get married now.. I finally understand why RM's just want to be married right when they get home, we gain such an understanding of the importance it is to have a family on the earth. Anyway, I've already written too much, so sorry for taking up so much time.
Love you tons,
Your missionary daughter

Monday, January 19, 2015

Looking forward to transfer and thankful for prayers

I havent got the package you sent, I got a package on the 24th of December but i went to the post and it was lost in the mail. So im not sure if this will make it too me. I got your letter with picture, but the letter was ripped in half and taped back together by the post office and they said sorry. lol. ok. So yeah, mail has been rough lately. Then this week it was a week. I got an entire day in Paris with Soeur Bell and then they stayed at our apartment that night, it was so nice to catch up with her! We are both going to be done training in 2 weeks and moving villes. So everyone wants to go to Belgium, but there is only one soeur slot that will be free so I dont think I will actually go, but that would be awesome. I really dont care, anywhere but Paris. haha. Im really tired, we worked a lot this week. I just feel so numb here now. I think these last two weeks are going to be hard. Im getting trunky and its bad. (Trunky is when you are ready to leave and like packing your bags) haha I am trying to clean up my desk papers, its gotten a bit of a mess the last 6 months, and I am going to send a package of stuff home that I just dont need or use anymore. Oh also on Jan.30th we have a soeur conference. So its for all the sisters in the mission! YAY! Im SO EXCITED TO SEE SOEUR TUPAI! Im dying to see her again. So that will be awesome. I hope Andrew and Court figure everything out ok. I am always praying for you all multiple times a day. 
As for regards to the terrorist attacks. Soeur Simpson and I were reflecting on what happened. We strongly believe it was the prayers from members all around the world for the safty of the missionaries in Paris, and just for us to know what to do. We never really got too scared, we just always knew that everything would be ok. So this week we wanted to thank everyone for their prayers for the missionaries here. God heard you, and he was helping us all along the way. 
Thank you so much for all your support.
Soeur Stevens

Sunday, January 18, 2015


The Lord will protect ( Terror attacks in Paris week)

Hey mom so I will give you this weeks happenings and a testimony that the Lord knows everyone so well, he can determine our destiny. 
So this week started on
Jan.5, Monday: Made calls and scheduled all of our appointments for the week, and in the end called the District Leader to schedule our district meeting, at St. Marri (literally 3 blocks from Bastille, our metro line 1 to get to Chatelet goes through Bastille). We talked for about 20 minutes with such scheduling difficulties because everyone in our District was SO busy this week with rendez vous nobody could find a block to have the meeting. Finally we dicided on 10:30am Wednesday, as it was the only time we could all meet. 

Jan.6, Wednesday: Called district leader again to make sure and confirm our meeting the next morning. He was flustered and confused, and said that he totally forgot to call us back after talking to the Zone leaders who are in our district too, because they had to switch days (totally prompted by the spirit) and go on an exchange in Arras. So therefore we had to reschedule to Thursday. 

Jan.7 Thursday: Woke up and went to a rendez-vous in Chelles, the most muslim neighborhood in our sector with a less-active (WENT AMAZING btw, Soeur Simpson totally nailed it, so proud of her for asking inspired questions). But when we got to the RER station around 11 everyone was in the streets, like I knew something had happened. We came home and then went porting that night, but got a call around 8 saying there had been a shooting, and to get home asap. So we came back and thats when we got the major news that stuff was happening in Paris, in the 11th. It happened at Bastille just 3 blocks from the St. Marri church, where we would have gone practice teaching!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! So we were to stay inside with windows and shutters down and doors locked. I was getting worried at this point. I got a text from Madeline asking where I was and with an update of what happened. 

Jan.8, Friday: Went to District meeting in St. Marri finally and had an awesomely uplifiting training from our DL, we sang some songs and laughed and forgot about what was happening for just a bit. Then we were told we were not alloud to contact or port for the next two days for security purposes, nor go to any Rendez vous in muslim neighborhoods... well thats all of our sector lol, so we had to cancel our meetings. We then heard of another attack in Mt. Rouge i believe, not too far from zone 1 paris. That afternoon we got more news of another attack in Vincinnes which is in my sector! I go contacting there mom!!!! Its crazy I know all these places and the Lord kept us from leaving our apartement. We really listened to the spirit. Then because that night we had an apointment in Neiully Plasance, we would have had to go through the gare Val de Fontenay, to get there. Well we got a call at about 7 that the gare had a bomb threat and the French Bomb Squad was at our gare! AH! So President texted us to make sure we were at home and safe. The Elders called (which they did a ton this week to make sure we were taken care of) and told us they were home and made sure we were safe and asked us if we needed to talk or anthing to make sure we were mentally doing ok too. But, poor Soeur Simpson is so young on the mission and in Paris, and having to go through this, oh i felt so bad, but she was a trooper through it all. We talked about how crazy it was that this was actually happening, I told her she could listen to music to fall asleep. And I was right there, nothing was going to happen... even though I was freaking out in my head!!! Oh I havent slept at all this week.
Jan.9, Saturday: Finally a day when nothing happened, everyone prepared and spread the word of the huge Marche République. We still were inside all day, but the Maynards came and fixed our toilet becuase we havent had a toilet seat the last transfer and we only have one lightbulb that still works in the bathroom, hall and kitchen, so they replaced all of them which is wierd now how bright our apartment is.
Jan. 10, Sunday: Went to church and did some semi porting/ people were still freaking out if we even just said "bonjour" to them I think I almost put a lady in the hospital because I said hi to her. People are on HIGH alert here, nobody is even on the street.. and its Paris. Super wierd.
Jan. 11, Monday: So today we went shopping for groceries and I saw "Le Parisian" paper, and it had amazing pictures and news of the week, and especially the Marche République. Its crazy. There are people EVERYWHERE who wear the "Je suis Charlie" stickers, badges, anything they are all over in shops, advertisements, magazines. Its crazy. It really is a movement by the people, for more freedom in speech. I cant believe I was a part of what happened. C'est fou.
But, through it all I learned the Lord already knows what will happen, he knows all. With that, he promps us as missionaries to follow the spirit, and be safe. I know in the end we are compeletly safe through the Lord. He will always win, and I know this, I know that I can do hard things now. Nobody knew that this is what would have happened this week, when it started out like any other. But I know the Lord has perfect timing. When we follow his promptings, we need not fear, becasue Christ has overcome.
I love you all and want you to know I am doing just fine, a bit razzled by the events but just fine :) Looking up to a better week , an entire day in Paris while Soeur Simpson is at her legalite haha with my MTC friends. 
Soeur Stevens

On Mon, Jan 12, 2015 at 12:05 AM, Kirsten <imkstevens@m

christmas pics


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Things going well….

Hey that was a poem sent to me by Soeur Erickson! 
So this week was really cool, lots of Pdays and paris visits, we got to go to the Musee D'Orsay and see Van Gogh, Monet, etc... that was cool. And we have a lot of appointments this week! Im so happy! I cant believe I only have 4 weeks left in Nogent, time is flying, and even more on friday i will have been on my mission for 6 months already!!!!!!!!!!!!! wow time is flying by! So i ate a steak to commemorate the occasion of being in Paris for like 6 months haha it was awesome! A member gave us this really cool book with amazing pictures of Paris for a Christmas present. They were so sweet about it! It was really nice of them.  They finally put enough in my account that I have every week 30 euros for food!!!! AHHH!! so awesome! 

After All We Could Do - Poem

After All We Could Do, Robbie Pierce:
I had been in that hole for a very long time. In the dark and the damp in the cold and the slime. The snaft was above me; i saw it quite clear. But theres no way I could reach it rom here. I could not remember the world way up there, so I lost every hope and gave into despair. I knew nothing but darkness, the floor and the wall. Then from off in the distance I heard someone call: "Get up! Get ready! There's nothing the matter! Take rocks, take sticks and build up a fine ladder!" This was a thought that had not crossed my mind, but I started to stack all the stones I could fine. When I ran out of stones, then old sticks were my goal form some way or another I'd climb from that hole. I soon had a latter that stood very tall and I thought, soon I'll leave this place once and for all! I climbed up my ladder, a difficult chore, for from lifting those bulders, my shoulders were sore. I climbed up the ladder, but soon had to stop for my ladder stopped short, some ten feet from the top and I went back down my ladder and flet all around but there were no more boulders nor sticks to be found. I sat down in the darkness and started to cry. I'd done all I could do gave gave my best try. But in spite of my work in this hole I must die. And all I could do is sit and think, "why?" was my ladder too short? Was my hole much too deep? Then from way up high came a voice "Do not weep" and then faith, hope and love entered into my chest. As the voice calmly told me that I;d done my best. He said,"you have worked hard and your labors been rough, but the ladder you've built is at last tall enough. So do not despair; there is reason to have just climb up your ladder; I'll throw down my rope." I climbed up my ladder, then climbed the cord. When I got to the top of it, there stood the Lord. I've never been happier, my struggle was done. I blinked in the brightness that came from the son. I fell to the ground at his feet i did kiss, i cried "Lord, can I ever repay thee for this?" He looked all about. THere were holes in the ground. They had people inside and were seen all around. THere were thousands of holes that were dark, damp and deep. Then the Lord looked at me and said, "feed my sheep" And he went on his way to save other lost souls. So I got right to work, calling down to the holes, "Get up! Get ready! There's nothing the matter! Take rocks, take sticks and build up a fine ladder!" It now was my calling to spread the good word. The most hlorious message that man ever heard. That there is one who is coming to save one and all. And we need to be ready when he gives the call. He'll pull us all out of the holes that we are in. And save our souls from cold, death and from sin. So do not lose faith; there is reason to hope: Just climb up your ladder's He'll throw down His rope.
Happy Pday.
Soeur Stevens

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Christmas Eve and Day

Hey dad, hope the week goes well, and especially the NEW YEAR!! We get another all day pday because everyone is away lol, so whooohooo a full day of paris, we might go visit Versielles or, a river tour, thinking about going up the tour effile ou chose comme ça. Et en fait je pense que je peux parle avec vous en français maintenant, parce que quand vous allez retourne de France vous allez parler français! haha J'ai reçu un appelle d'Madeline, et elle était juste très content avec la vie en Paris mais aussi Angers avec la famille de Sam. Elle progresse bien. Cette semaine j'ai créé un but d'avoir un attitude positif pour mon dernier mois ici. Et je pense que j'ai casse ma collègue lol. Elle est vraiment change beaucoup. Elle est très ouvert maintenant. Comme wow! Aussi je vais attache des photos de Noël. :)

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Chez Letuiare pour le Vielle de Noël. Dessolée pour mon visage, je suis dégoutante.Aussi le dessert est un bouche(?) de Noël.

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L'escargot et grenouille j'ai mange pour Noël aussi.

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Notre Noël grâce a vous!

Member invites make all the difference

On Mon, Dec 29, 2014 at 1:26 PM, Ashley Stevens <> wrote:
Hey nice to see you guys sent pictures.... and so much to read.... haha the skype was awesome, and I will share a couple miracles now.
Cynthia: She is 16 years old and was a member referral. Her friend Brisa who is the member invited her to join in on thier young woman sacrament meeting, and she absoluetly loved it. Ever since then, she has grown and progressed in the gospel, and on the fast sunday of December bore her testimony in front of the ward. Take that as an example! Anyway she is very excited to be baptized January 31st! My last saturday in Nogent!
Patricia: She is also a member referral, and guess how?! A member (Marie Rose) felt prompted by the spirit to talk to her at a bus stop, well she just moved here from the congo and has no food, and is paying all she has for her apartment, and really scraping by and needs someone to watch her kids, so when the member stopped to just ask how she was a conversation was made, and her circumstances came up, then Marie Rose invited her to dinner, and that is where we come in, we taught her about prayer and a little bit of the restoration, she really liked it and came to church that week and then guess what? BORE HER TESTIMONY because we had an extra fast sunday this month because everyone was gone. Anyway it was awesome! And we are going to visit her again, and hopefully set a baptismal date!

So yeah thats an update on the missionary life, its going amazingly well, thanks to members. I really feel like the best way to do missionary work and really a great way to get solid investigators is to work with members! We've seen more miracles by this than any other way. If every member brought one friend to church and lets say only a 10% show interest, do you know how much that would be still! A LOT of new members, so my challenge to everyone this week is to invite a member to church, and you really never know what will happen! I promise they will feel the spirit in D&C 6:32 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you." There is a special spirit that is at the church when we partake of the sacrament, and I know everyone will be able to feel it. The most important thing about missionary work is to INVITE! Nobody can change without an invitation to do so! 
I love you all so much and I have been studying D&C 6 recently, and just loving it, every time i feel down, I just go there for advice, and its just awesome! 
I just sent my flashdrive home so you should be reciving some pics soon.
Love you so much, cant wait to talk in April.
Avec tout mon amour,
Soeur Stevens