Monday, June 29, 2015

Hot temps, french speaking update and love for France…( response to Dad's letter)

AH I will be in Paris July 2nd and July 3rd, too bad I just barely missed them! Its ok though. We have zone conference ther in St. Merri again, and also I have my 2nd year legality so we get 2 days there, and I am staying with s.simpson, and s.tippett, so that will be so fun! The weather here is SUPER HOT. the same as you guys, except france does not have AC. At all. Our apt. is a oven literally. the church has no AC either, we have resorted to our 1 fan, and the members are asking President to give us permission to stay inside during the really hot afternoon hours because they said if we go out for more than 30 min we will get heat stroke. SO HOT. But other than fighting the heat we had exchanges this week and I was with a francophone from Bordeaux. It was really fun, I got to speak a ton of french, and the best part was at the end she told me that my accent does not sound like an american speaking french. she said the way I formed my sounds was very french. She said it was refreshing becasue a lot of missionarries work hard on their grammer, which is good, but at the same time, half the language is the accent. so that was really cool. We had a fun exchange, we met with a less active and she taught us how to make beignets. It was just fun to be with a francophone too. I didnt get a pic of it though, darn. anyway. S.Erickson and I continue to have the time of our lives here. Really, I finally feel comfortable with the life, the language, and the culture here. It is literally my home, I love France dad. Its really amazing. The other day S.Erickson and I thought about going home, and we both almost cried. We are more than excited to be with and see family again, but its really amazing what this life has turned us into. 
I love you and hope you have an awesome week!

Teaching by the spirit….( response to mom's letter)

So this week was really fun, something spiritual. We have this new amie, with the Ipad thing Im really not supposed to tell you details of our work btw. Its illeagal here in France to put information on someonelse on the internet. But, she is cute. and the last lesson, we talked about the plan de salut. the plan of salvation. it was very heartfelt and strong, she has such a sincere desire to do the right thing in life. Oh I really admire her. So we talked about baptism. and I asked her if she felt she had recieved a response from her prayer asking if it was the truth. she said she felt a very peaceful calmness. and i asked her if she thought it was the spirit. she said she knew it was, and she knows this is the truth. MOM IT WAS SO COOL! So please please pray for "Venessa" this week. We are going to try and set a baptismal date tomorrow with her. She is amazing. We really feel like the spirit is so strong in her lessons. and I know one of the biggest things we can do it LISTEN to the spirit, and ASK inspired questions, based on our listening. When we do this, everything works in harmony and the investigator can really feel the truth for themselves.
I love you and have an awesome week this week!
Love soeur Stevens 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Random pics...

The first is when we were at a members house for dinner, the next is after church s.Erickson snapped it right as I was laughing lol, but that is JJ or Joseph James haha he is from Liverpool england here for studies and he always walks with us home... he got baptised almost a year ago! Preparing for the temple!!!

Yummy Food!

like look at the size of that cheese!!!


The elders love us:) or they are in love with my companion... one of the two haha

Loving Orleans

Hey mom, so glad you guys had so much fun this week in California!! That looks so fun! Oh how I wish I could have been there!, but its ok becuase I know im exactly where I need to be right now. I LOVE it here, S.Erickson is an amazing companion and we continue to just be awesome friends. I am so happy and we just work a lot, teach a lot, but we have so many adventures doing so. It was the French nation music festival here and there was music on every rue! It was so much fun to see the entire town get together, and just play some cool like "african" music, but like fifa stuff, so everyone was just "together" and it brought a really cool spirit to the town. Its just a very happy place to be during the summer. I couldnt think of a better way to start off the summer than this! 
Ah I really do love it here mom, its so amazing, if this was the rest of my mission, I would never want to leave! haha, but about that, Im still praying and will get back to you later, I will have to talk to President about it again, but anyway. I love you all, hope you will have a fun week!
keep laughing, keep smiling, keep praying!
Love you tons!
Soeur Stevens

Monday, June 15, 2015

A conversation back and forth with Ashley and these were her responses!

hey yes I am here, I will try and get some pics of Chateaus near by next pdays, today it was really overcast, and we were worried if it would rain.

hahah i have make up that is spf 20 and some sun block that is 30, but yes and the hotter it gets, the more burn it becomes, ahah we will have to break out the sunblock soon!

I sent it to you guys in oregon, i sent andrew a letter at that address, but it never got to him, so I figured he will just get it when he comes home, it was a safer bet, and a lot cheaper.

oh if you ever get like little samples of laundry dryer stuff, bleach, or softener, everyone hand drys their clothes in france, but we have dryers, but nothing like the soap or nice smelling stuff like the usa, somethimes i have to wash my g's like 3 times before they smell good enough to wear haha 

i have started to do some video diaries so when i send this next sd card home it will have some 
longer videos. 

If you ever are wondering about what I am doing during the week, just know I am loving life, laughing, and probably teaching someone about the gospel. LIFE IS GOOD,

Im excited to come back here  with you all!. Also side note, everybody here thinks im russian....EVERYBODY! hahaha 

anyways im going to go, but thanks for chatting, I love you and hope you have an awesome week!

This weeks quote:

Robert Millet a dit : "We go out from Babylon when we consciously choose to remove ourselves from and avoid people and places and circumstances that have in the past proven to be compromising and costly; when we consciously choose to walk forward on the path of truth and righteousness, never looking back on the life or deeds or associations we have left behind.

Couple more pics...

Got to take one last pic together before S.Tupai left
Well, to start to show how cool Orleans is we rode a train that was like Harry Potter, we didnt have a car with the slideing doors, but the one ahead did! It was soo cool

Teaching , loving the people, and the work - its all good!!

Hey mom,  I am glad you got my package! I hope you liked it! Just some little things that remind me of France, and the life here. 
I LOVE ORLEANS! I LOVE SOEUR ERICKSON. I have not been this happy since I was with S.Tupai. Like I cant even tell you how amazing it is to do work with someone who you get along with so well. We just picked up right where we left off. We teach really well together, and we have SO MANY PROGRESSING AMIES! like its amazing! I think we will definantly have a baptism this transfer. She is an amazing missionary, we do so much, we taught like crazy this week. and we found 3 new amies! so that was super cool. i took a video talking about the high lights. But yeah, life is AMAZING. once again. I told you pres emailed me and said in short"im sorry you had to go through that, but thank you for all you did for the mission and for your companion, and the ward in Rennes, I put you in Orleans because I really think you will love it there and do awesome" so that was pretty cool, just knowing that president knew what I was going through and gave me this beautiful gift. Ah I LOVE ORLEANS really it is beautiful ville. We have the hugest apartment ever and its just the 2 of us, so thats pretty cool. There is one other equipe of Elders here, but its so nice to have a ville all to ourselves, we just can do missionary work anywhere, before we had to split up the ville and you can only contact or port in certain areas, but its so nice here. I love it. And its so hot too, its kinda like california. but oh man i really love it. We get our ipads July 3! same day as Andrew comes home. so thats cool! I sent him a birthday present in the mail. so yep, i think he might already have it, but oh well, i tried. 
The ward here is amazing mom. Like really they were so welcoming when I came here, and we had to teach the gospel principals class my first sunday, it went ok, haha but like they are all just best friends, like there are no cliques its just everyone loves and takes care of everybody. we had several people ask us if we could teach with them! YES! we love that! So it was just so so so fun. Really the people here are amazing, I love them already. My companion is awesome. Anyways I love it here and I love you! 
SOeur Stevens

Pictures of her spacious apartment

A friend - Pascale, a sign showing the Tour D'France passes through Rennes, foot tan lines and dinner with Tahitian friends

Surprise party for an 80 yr old Bishopric member!

Sister Stevens and Sister Erickson - MTC companions back together again happily!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Final pics of the Trio in Rennes and her District

Transfer news to Orleans!!!

This transfer has been particularly hard for me, as you know we are a trio, with a companion who is really struggling to find happieness, it has been a transfer of keeping the work up, and for the most part doing it myself, my other companion is really here for moral support. But I know it was hard, but worth it. I have made some very strong bonds with members and investigators and really have completely fallen in love with Rennes. I know though, through it all, as good as I love this ville, and members, I asked Heavenly Father for the best thing to help my companions, and the ward, which I thought meant I would stay here and S.Hansen would leave, but turns out I am leaving! I got an email, and I'm packing up and leaving Rennes. I cried for a little bit, this place is worth a lot to me and I would have really liked 1 more transfer here, but alas, the will of the Lord was different, but he gave me something pretty cool to look forward to! 
I'm going to Orleans with my MTC comp! Where its about like california weather, and surrounded by 20 chateau! So I am so compeletely happy and stoked for this next wednesday! 
I got your package, everything is awesome thank you so much! I loved that dietary thing, that was cool, I am leaving a ton of stuff here though, so im not going to take much to orleans, im too sick of heavy suitcases. haha
I love you all thanks for the love and support for serving a full-time 18 month mission.
Soeur Ashley Stevens

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Weekly happenings…..

Tom Perry died.... :( sad. 
This week was pretty long, its getting to the end of the transfer, but good news WE HAVE IPADS! not until next transfer but they are in the mission office! FINALLY! haha so were pretty stoked about that, and we have to take an hour of pros time to basically FB stalk people haha so wierd, but whatever. Im excited! I hope I get your package in the next couple days, Im getting worried I might be transfered and the package will come after I leave, but I will pray. I just sent you a package today! Full of awesome chocolate, and I sent some carmels from the Mont Saint Michel and some of my favorite tea for you and court!  
We did a TON of gardening this week for members, and lets just say a full schedule this week too lol. I think its getting nice here and the spring, but it was funny we were joking about just opening up an lds missionary gardening business, but it was funny. The family we do it for is the clerk in the ward, the other is an american family from alaska, so fun stuff! anyway we taught a lot this week, and we are really trying to get some amies in progress but its like pulling teeth.... sometimes the french get to me! but not this week, 
I found this femme contacting her name is Gabby and she is from the same District as Andrew in China! She moved to Rennes just two weeks before, and its the first time she has ever lived alone, she is so cute! She comes to the ya activities, and I took a awk selfie with her lol. She wants to find Andrew on "we chat" or something like that, she only speaks chinese and english, and is desprately trying to learn french, but it is a struggle, its so funny we have a blast with her, she is one of my favorite people I have met on the mission, something about the chinese people just make me love em' lol. 
We did a ton of less active finding this week one of the members asked us, went around to about 20 different addresses all over the city. and 0 were interessted. But ca va it was all worth it because we were inviting them to a ward dance party, and we got to see the bishop dance, which i wish I could explain to you why this is so funny, but picture the frenchiest man dance, BEST THING EVER! it was a hoot. And the ward gave us tons of food! 

well looks like you had fun with strawberries this year! Its hard being in europe where none of that is a thing, I really miss the picking fruit and fun summer stuff, but the work does go by so fast in the summer when everyone is out! Its really my favorite time for missionary work becasue there are so many opportunities! 
Im close to the war chapters in Alma and I just love the BOM, seriously cant go a day with out reading it, i have learned so much from my personal studies in the morning its great! 

As for the Utah State, everything is already aligned up i have it waiting until Fall 2016, so we are good, I think all we have to do is send in the fasfa forms there, I will look for some scolorships and what not, but dont worry about it i'll be fine! i have 8 months until I come home. I just sent the letter that explains more of it. Im sorry, there might be a mini transfer right before christmas, im not sure, but Pres and the mission headquarters are crakin down on time for missionaries, too many are leaving early without a "honorary release" I also think with all the numbers of soeurs in the mission keeps declining, I need to stay and help it out. I know its not ideal, but its what I feel the Lord wants for me. I also dont think the program at BYU will be as established as Utah State, and I think the one at Utah would provide more opportunities, between my major. So those were my thoughts, and answers. Just DONT WORRY! Mom you are awesome, im sure the missionaries will ask you to teach again with them, if not ask them if you can teach with them on sunday i think it will make their week, I know it would mine :)