Tuesday, February 11, 2014



Oi família!

I hope that all is going well in the land of good weather. First off, let me just tell you that ya'll don´t even KNOW what hot is... Even those of you from Arizona. Because the thing is, it´s not just that the temperature is hot, but the humidity is through the roof as well. This week has been a week of the hottest weather than Rio Grande do Sul has had in the last 100 years... Or so i've heard. On the mission it´s all hear say, ya know. It´s not like I can google this stuff... But anyway, I have never in my life felt as hot as I have this past week. I thought that 32 graus was hot 2 weeks ago, but this week it reached at least 43 graus. I´m dying, the dogs in the streets look like their dying, and everyone else is spending time in their air conditioned bedrooms. If only... I throw cold water on myself at night just to try to help myself fall asleep... It´s bad...

But anyway, here I am sitting on a computer in a new area with my new companion! I, Sister Stevens, am now serving in Cachoeirinha, in Zona Gravatai, with my companion Sister Mariz from Recifi Brazil! She´s so awesome! She has one year on the mission, and she´s HILARIOUS! We live in an apartment with 2 other sisters, Sister Peixoto and Sister Stratton. I already lived in an apartment with Sister Straton in Santa Cruz. It´s been a lot of fun, because everyone in our apartment is really funny. I don´t think that it could get much better than 2 Brazilians and 2 Americans. We laugh our heads off every day. We work in the same ward, and the area is a lot bigger than my last area in Fernandes. But that´s normal, because Fernandes was unusually small...

But anyway, I love my new area. It´s been a rough week because of the heat, but we've meet some really amazing people.

This week we were walking down the street, not having much luck, when all of a sudden this woman stopped us and said, SISTERS! She told us that her name was Shaela, and that she was an inactive member. She said that she had been praying to run into someone from the church, because she´s been feeling `saudade da igreja`, kind of like homesick for the church. She´s been inactive for 10 years, but has a testimony like none other. She stopped going to church after she moved here because she felt like she didn't have any friends. But anyway, she was so excited to have run into us, and she knew it was an answer to her prayers. She was practically crying on the street. We visited her the next day, and we had the most amazing time. She´s so talented. She has a testimony of The Book of Mormon. She´s been teaching her children all about the church, primary, family home evening, etc... We were sitting in her air conditioned bedroom, listening to her desire to return to the church, listening to her stories of how she was baptized and the callings that she had helping the missionaries. She loves the church, and she wants to return. We went there again with the Relief Society president on Saturday, and when we left the apartment, the Relief Society president said that she had been praying and praying for a person to be her new secretary, and that she feels like Shaela might be it...

 It´s amazing how the Lord answers prayers. He answered the prayers of at least 2 different people in just one encounter of a woman on the street... And on Sunday, who was walking down the street with two little kids? Shaela... She had taken a taxi because her husband wouldn't drive them to church. She´s amazing. I love her to death! I know that she´s going to do amazing things here in the ward and help the missionaries like none other. If only everyone could have a testimony of The Book of Mormon like hers. Yes, she left the church, but she´s never denied the truthfulness of the gospel. I know that´s because of her powerful testimony of The Book of Mormon. If only every person would set aside the time to read and pray about it, the whole world would know that it´s the word of God and another testament of Jesus Christ.

There´s an amazing talk about The Book of Mormon that I want all of you to watch. It´s the General Conference talk by Jeffery R. Holland called Safety for the Soul from the 2009 October General Conference. THEN, I want all of you to start reading The Book of Mormon. It will change your lives!

I miss you all, but I´m doing well. I have an amazing companion, and Heavenly Father is watching out for me, sem duvida.

I love you and hope you all have a perfect week. Don´t forget to place the Lord in your busy lives, and you will be so much better off than you could have ever imagined.

Love, Sister Stevens

  Here are two more pics from my last day in Fernandes.  Eventually, I´ll take some pics of my new area...

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