Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I Feel So Loved!

I just LOOOOOVVVVVEEEEE all you guys so much! Thank you everyone for the birthday cards, emails, presents, wishes and love! You are all so amazing. It´s hard to believe that it´s actually my birthday tomorrow, because it´s so stinking cold here! I´m still not used to the whole switched seasons thing. But anyway, I´m so grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life. Thank you for everything.

It was another good week here in Vila Fernandes. We walked, and walked and walked and walked, you know, like the pioneers. Which is fitting, since this week was Pioneer day in the USA. We talked and talked and talked and talked. And I also thought of a new way to make a contact with rude people... It´s called the "oh, if you´re going to ignore me and keep on walking, I have every right to walk right along side you and say what I was going to say!" Yeah, it´s kind of a long title, but you get the idea.

This week I was able to have an awesome split with Sister Betti, Sister Leader Trainer. She´s from Argentina, and super funny. We got to strengthen our relationships with even more families here in Fernandes, and we had an awesome Family Home Evening with American pancakes and peanut butter last night! I love this area, with all of it´s difficulties and all!

I´m excited to celebrate my first and last birthday on the mission. It´s sure to be great, and just like any other day on the mission! Maybe my district leader will switch it up and bit and call to wish me a happy birthday or something! haha

But nothing incredible really happened this week. We taught a lot of lessons, but nobody is really progressing. We´re in that stage of just getting to a new area, and trying to weed out the people who actually want to hear our message or not. But we´re really learning a lot.

But anyway, I love you all and I hope that all is well!

Have a perfect week, and thank you again for all the love!


Sister Emily Stevens

Me, Sister Betti, My companion (Sister Sallum), and Sister Oliveira

Sister Betti and Me

It's a Little Bit Old...It's a Little Bit New


WOOOOWWWWW, it´s crazy how things work and change here on the mission. Transfer happened last week and, as always, I had to drag my suitcases by bus and train to get to my new area. Or maybe I should say, my old area.... I returned to FERNANDES! I was in shock for about two days that I returned here. Actually, I think that I´m still in shock! I closed this area for Sisters, and here I am a few months later opening it for Sisters again! I´m feeling a bit trunky, because I feel like I've returned back home.

It´s really cool though that I can be back here for a while. I guess Heavenly Father is giving me another chance to do something that I didn't do when I was here the first time. I´m finishing up the training of my new companion, Sister Sallum. She´s from Florida too! And she´s super sweet.

This week were doing our best to help my old investigator Sergio. He´s been receiving the missionaries for at least the past 20 years, but he´s never been baptized because of his problem with smoking. He never manages to stop smoking! But this time, I've got the faith, and we´re going to help him stop. Please pray for him, because it´s gonna be a tough one! But thanks to my birthday package that I got this week, I gave him 2 (inspired) packages of gum that he can chew when he has a craving.

Anyway, I´m loving my new old area, and I´m so excited for my chance to work here with my new companion. She fresh and full of faith! haha

I hope that everyone is doing well, and blessing the lives of the missionaries!

Have an amazing week!


Sister Stevens

Oh, and thank you for all the cards and the birthday package! I love you all!


The Gospel in Brazil


The church in Brazil has grown in remarkable numbers since it first began here. There´s an awesome talk in the Ensign this month about the growth of the church in Brazil. You can find the article here.

 It started with just one family that moved to Brazil, and look where it´s come. If all of us as members of The Church of Jesus Christ would share the gospel with those that we know the church would grow even more. Look at what can happen in just a little bit of time, and with just a little bit of effort.

"The Lord uses the unlikely to accomplish the impossible..." Russell M. Ballard

Love you all. Share the gospel. Be like Brazil!

This is why I love Brazil. It's so pretty!

It's Transfer Time...


Hello, I´m going to write a short letter for all of you today, because the computer that I´m using is having a lot of problems and keeps shutting down.

But just so you know, this transfer has come to an end. And what is the fate of Sister Stevens? Sister Stevens will be.............Drum roll.......................

Transferred! Again! Woohoo! And I´m not training! Woohoo (again)!

This was an interesting transfer, that´s for sure, but Sister Oliveira Souza and I learned a lot. And, we were blessed with a miracle too! I´m grateful for the time that I spent here. It wasn´t easy, but nothing in life is. But even though it felt like I didn't have much success, I know that the Lord was helping me to understand more about the Atonement, and about patience.

I´m excited for this new transfer. It´s going to be another opportunity to learn and grow.

I hope that everyone back home is doing well.

Love you all!

Sister Stevens

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Life on the Mission


What an interesting experience a mission is...

This week was full of ups and downs. Sister Oliveira Souza and I are improving our teaching abilities and teaching more people than ever. Most of these people aren't interested in more than a "hi, how are you," but such is life on the mission. We still open our mouths and testify that there is one true church on the face of the Earth, even if they don´t want to hear it or if they don´t have "time". It´s our responsibility to talk to everyone we meet. They have to know, and then they can choose to ignore it.

This week we had some sad events happen. We were preparing yet another baptism here in Lajeado. We were super excited, because President Wright challenged us to work hard and have at least one baptism before the end of the transfer. We took the challenge seriously, because we know that like the scriptures say, "The Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." I know that President Wright is inspired and that he receives revelation for us and our mission. So, if he challenged us to baptize before the end of the transfer, he knows that it´s possible.

Anyway, Sister Oliveira Souza and I were crazy excited because Reni, our investigator since my first week here, accepted to be baptized. Everything was going great, everything was perfect.I made an amazing chocolate cake and everything! But then Sunday happened... a member went to pick up Reni and his family (they live in the other city), but when he got there, the family said that the river overflew (I don't know if this is even a word anymore...), and that he was at his sisters house helping with the flooding... It was awful news, but understandable. We didn´t have a baptism... But it got worse than that. Sister Oliveira Souza had a really strong impression during sacrament meeting that she needed to return to his house and invite him to church. So she rounded up a ride and she went, and you know what happened? He wasn't at his sister´s house, he was at home, and he ran away... He said that he was going to grab a pair of pants that were hanging outside, and when she looked a few seconds later he was literally running away... WHAT?! How crazy is that?! Never on the mission have I experienced anything like this... It was so sad to hear when she told me what happened. We love him and his family so much. We've spent so much time teaching and helping them, and then something like this happens... I was so sad.

But I know that everything happens for a reason, because after all of this trauma, miracles started to happen. We had 4 investigators at church! Our group in Encantado had 2 more people this week! A married couple that we´re trying to reactivate went to church for the second week in a row (the wife is a member, but the husband isn't), we had an amazing devotional at night, and receive the most amazing referral from our friend Samuel (They came to our devotional)! Her name is Ana Paula, and she told Samuel that she felt a peace that she has never felt before. She was even asking me questions about baptism! She´s so cool! We´re going to teach her tomorrow night.
Man, even though everything seemed to be going wrong, the Lord blessed us so much yesterday.

We always have trials and burdens in our life, Sometimes in life we ask why things go wrong when we´re trying our best to do everything right... but it´s like Alma explains in The Book of Mormon, these trials are to test our patience and our faith.

I´m so grateful for this area. It´s been a real challenge. We have troubles in a lot of different ways here. We have problems with the ward, the cold, the rain, the crazy closed off Germans, the river overflowing, lunch falling through. Everything! But the Lord always shows us that He has something greater in store. And that there´s always someone to help. If anything, this area has shown me how I want to be after the mission. This area has strengthened my testimony in the importance of member missionary work. This area has strengthened my testimony in the atonement of Jesus Christ. He suffered more things than this. More pains, more disappointments more hunger and thirst. He went beneath it all. And because of His stripes, we are healed.

I feel so blessed, because even if some of the members hate us, even if the people reject us, even if we don´t baptize a single person. I blessed the lives of at least 3 people here. I helped 3 of my friends - Rose, Samuel and Leonardo - prepare for missions. They will receive their calls soon, and they will baptized and bless the lives of more people that I can even imagine.

I´m so grateful for this area. I´m so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Only through the gospel, can we return to live with our Heavenly Father and with our families again one day.

I love you all. Remember that our trials really do make us stronger if we let them. They´re to test our patience and our faith. But in the end, if we keep strong, the Lord will show us His wonders.

I love you all.
Sister Stevens

It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood


Hellooooo my friends! I hope that you´re all doing well!

So, yesterday I heard that the USA was winning the game, but then Portugal made a goal at the last minute... BOOOOOOO!! I really don´t care very much about soccer and The World Cup, but it would be nice for the USA to win a bunch...ya know, while I´m here in Brasil.

This week we had interviews with President, Divisions with the Sister leader trainers, rain, and vomit! Woohoo!
This is the second time here in Lajeado that I've had a nice case of the vomits... It was a pleasant 10 month anniversary for me. I threw up a bunch and I slept all day. So overall, it was good. But my companion is the best! I didn´t even remember that it was my 10 month anniversary, but when I left the room, I saw a cute little note that she made for me. She´s always so thoughtful!

This week we tried our best to work hard, and the hard work really paid off. We taught a ton of people this week, found a whole bunch of new investigators, and we found a family that´s been inactive for at least 14 years. The son is 18, and I know that if he comes back to church, he´s going to be an amazing missionary. They invited us over for lunch this week. I´m super excited to see them again.

We had another miracle yesterday as well. Our awesome friend Cibele who hasn't been to church for the past 14 years went with us to help the group in Encantado! She loved it. She´s left the church 14 years ago after she got home from her mission, and we've been working with her for at least a month. She finally returned! It was such a great day!

Anyway, I want you all to know that I´m doing well. I´m not throwing up anymore! haha I´m happy and things are looking up. We´re helping a lot of families return to church, which makes me really happy. They need the blessings of the gospel.

I hope you all have a perfect week!


Sister Stevens

Ele Ouva Me!


So, We had an interesting week here in Lajeado. This week was the opening of The World Cup, Dia dos Namorados, and other normal missionary goings on.
All of the Brazilian missionaries had a cow because they couldn't watch the cup, and I heard a lot of screaming on the streets every time Brazil made a goal while we were locked in our apartment. I don´t really have a problem staying indoors because I´m not a huge soccer fan, but at the same time, it would be pretty cool to take part in the first World Cup in Brazil while I´m actually in BRAZIL! But we have this rule for a reason. So what do depressed Mormon missionaries do while their in Brazil but can´t watch The Cup? They eat! haha We ate cachorro quente, brownies and ice cream. And we read our scriptures! haha I made a goal to read the New Testament during The Cup.

But seriously what I really would like to write about is how Heavenly Father really does listen and respond to our prayers.

The whole last transfer, Sister Oliviera Souza and I were working and praying to open a group in Arroio do Meio, another city that´s part of the ward. We were working and working and trying our best to reach our goal and receive that blessing.
And let me tell you, I know that Heavenly Father is listening! What happened this week? Sister Oliveira Souza and I were sitting in the very first sacrament meeting of the new group in Encantado city. It wasn't the city where we were trying to open that group, but this just goes to show that the Lord sometimes responds to our prayers in a way that we don´t expect, but in the way that´s the best.

He knew that we wanted to take part in this marvelous work, but He knew that it would be better to open a group in an area that is more prepared and with people that are more willing.

It´s such an honor to be part of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and to see the gospel spreading and the Church growing throughout the world.

I was so happy yesterday to sit in that little rented room, with a beautifully humble family, that has been working and sharing the gospel for years. They´re seeing their efforts paying off, and they´re receiving the blessings of the Lord.

I love being a missionary and taking part in these miracles.

Thank you all for your love, support and mostly your prayers. Realmente O Senhor ouve me, e Ele ouve vocês. Ele ti amo, eu te amo, e Ele responde as nossas orações.



Hello! I am so happy to hear that Danielle and Chris are having a girl! I know that they already have a secret name picked out, but that won´t stop me from giving a lot of great Brazilian options! haha
I´ll start looking for some cute Brazilian baby things to send home! :):):)

This transfer has started out interesting... It was a rough week, but even through all the rough patches, you know that it´s one of those learning a growing experiences. We have 5 more weeks here in Lajeado, and it´s going to be a tough one, but I´m doing my best to stay positive. You should see the things that Sister Oliveira Souza and I make up to keep laughing on the street. We are a couple of mad women! But at times in life the best thing to do is stop stressing and start laughing. There are so many things that aren't in our control, so why worry? Just Laugh!
I just want you all to remember the blessings that you receive when you help the servants of the Lord, the missionaries. But don´t do it grudgingly. Serve with a willing heart. You´re the people that the missionaries need. They need your support, your love and your help. Please help the missionaries in your area. Because if you bless the lives of the missionaries in the ward, I know that I´ll receive the blessings that I need here in my area. A mission isn't easy. A mission isn't a vacation. But a mission is work. It´s the work of the Lord, and I know that the Lord will bless you for your sacrifice and service.

I love you all, and here´s to another week.

Tchau tchau,

Sister Stevens

Pictures from last p-day:

Vou Ficar Mais Uma


Hello my lovely family and friends!!

I hope all is well in the U.S. I hear that things are starting to get hot up there... Just remember that while you're sweating your hinies off, I´ll be shivering. But it´a blessing after that horrible summer that we had.

So, another transfer has come and gone, and tomorrow is transfer day... ALREADY! I can´t believe it. I think every email I talk about how fast time flies, and let me tell you, it really does. I´ll be staying here in Lajeado for another transfer. And surprisingly, for the first time in 9 months, I´ll stay with my companion. WHAT A SHOCKER! But it´s good news. Sister Olivieira Souza is hilarious.

This week was hard and good at the same time. Just the normal stresses of missionary life. But it been a great transfer too. I've met so many amazing people, and even if we haven´t had any luck with our baptisms, I feel like we´re really and genuinely helping these people how Christ would. I love mission life. I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I can´t believe how much I´m learning and growing every day.

I have little time to write today because we´re heading out to have one more picnic with our district.

But first let me tell a funny story. This week I made a contact with 2 girls from Switzerland who spoke English... And I could hardly say anything! It was awful yet amazing at the same time! I love Português! I´m just gonna start out by saying this right now, I have to marry someone that speaks Português! haha

I love you all, and I´m looking forward to another excellent transfer!

Have a perfect week!

Sister Stevens

Half-way Done!


Hello family!

Que semana mais TRUNKY! Oh, I just realized that I was writing in Português... oops! haha

So, this week wasn't really all that trunky. It was just crazy! Sister Oliviera Souza and I were working hard to have a week full of lessons (and a baptism), when I happened to reach a date really special... I reached the half way point! 9 months on the mission and 9 more months to go! So, of course I took "pregnancy pictures" like any other ridiculous sister missionary that reaches the half way mark...I don´t want anyone to have a cow and think that I´m actually pregnant! QUE HORROR!

But when you reach this point on the mission, it really makes you take a step back and remember how far you've come, and how little time you have left. You have to take advantage of every second of the mission, because it passes in a heartbeat! But not only the mission, you have to take advantage of every single day of your life. We don´t know how much or little time we have, and who know when we reach our halfway point in life. We don´t want to look back in the end and wonder what we were doing. We don´t want to have any regrets. This very second is our time to be obedient, to learn something new, to help the person next to us, and to laugh! We are meant to shine! Let´s take advantage of that!

I hope that everyone back home is great! It´s so good to hear about everyone each week.

Keep helping the missionaries. They need you. You are their families, you are the people that support them and help them in their areas. They need you. They need your food, they need your time, they need your hugs, they need your cars to pick up investigators on Sundays. They need your testimonies during their lessons, they need you every single day. They need you to help them in their desires to be obedient. Don´t try to keep them at your houses longer than they should be. Turn off the tv when they come over, turn off the music in the cars... Learn about their rules and responsibilities, and help them live them. You will be so blessed for this love and service. You will have the love of the missionaries, the love of their families, and the love of the lord.

I love you all. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. I need them, I feel them.

Have a perfect week, and think of a way to help the missionaries in your area. They need you.


Sister Stevens

More Pictures


The coolest kids in the ward. They remind me of Denise Urish's kids!

Making brownies at all times and in all places...

Minha plantinha! My little plant. She's growing!

We found the Sacred Grove!

Oh and even the statues here are gauchos...Drinking chimmarrao!

Pictures in the New Area!


Ponte de Ferro... Iron bridge. It´s more like a wooden bridge with a little bit of iron, but whatever:

Packages!  I love packages!  And chocolate...

Mother's Day:

Sou Brasileira!  I´m Brazilian:



Helloooooo everybody!

What an interesting week and a half I've had here in Lajeado... Wow, I don´t even know where to begin. 

New District!
My companion is on the left, Sister Mariz (my old companion) and sister Taylor (American from Florida) are sitting on the right.

First of all, it was amazing to talk with the family on Mother´s Day! Technical difficulties and all. I miss you guys! Anyway, I love you all! I hope that you are all well! Stay healthy! Don´t throw up! It´s the worst... 
So, this week was a good one. Lajeado is really pretty and has a lot of rivers and trees. A lot of our area is in the middle of nowhere, but we do our best to talk to all the sheep and chickens about the gospel. I have a ton of pics to send you all.

Our area is HUGE!

So, things were going great, right? We talked to our families Sunday night. We got all trunky, we went to bed, and then the nightmare began... dun dun duuuuuunnnnnn...

I woke up at 2am feeling horrible! I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a bucket and threw up. It was the grossest throw up of my life! Let me just say that it was the first time that I threw up out of my nose too... It was THE WORST! Sister Taylor, was already sitting in the bathroom when I woke up, she was sick too... Oh no! We tried to sleep, but every hour and a half we were throwing up. Talk about miserable. The Elders called us at 6:30, and they ended up coming to our area to bring us rice, bananas and gatorade. They were our lifesavers yesterday. Each and every one of us were sick with stomachaches, and the elders called us about every 2 and a half ours to find out if we were still alive. They were our moms! haha 


But today we´re all feeling a lot better. A little weak, a little tired, but not super sick. Thank goodness!

This week is going to be interesting. Tomorrow we´re headed to Porto Alegre for a sisters conference, so we have to leave here about 6:30 am, and who know when we´ll get back into Lajeado... And on Saturday we're headed to Porto Alegre again to go to the temple. It´s going to be an interesting week. I just hope that I get some work in!

Sister Stevens