Monday, November 20, 2017

Grateful


Group Letter,

This week was just jam packed. It all started off with a heartwarming tear filled testimony by one of our members. It almost brought us three to tears. Next we got lost in the forest but we were able to take some sweet pics so it all was good. Then we went to a wedding and it was a highlight of my mission. Today we played soccer and got a broken bus. The transmission broke when we were about to go play soccer. That was my week.

I’ll leave you with 5 things I am Grateful for:

Electricity

Air conditioning

Book of Mormon

Clean Water

My Family

*Also good internet connections. Here in the Congo it’s on and off all the time. So emailing is tough.



I love you all and appreciate your support. Happy Thanksgiving,

Elder Preston Stephens

Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net

Monday, November 13, 2017

Reflection


Hello Everyone!

This week was good I went on splits with an Elder. It was very interesting and I was able to see how far I’ve come in understanding and my ability to teach the gospel in French. This week I have been trying to reflect on how I have changed. I am different now. I have changed my views on things. I wouldn’t say that I have learned patience, the last time I did that the Lord put me in my place but I am more patient and have learned to be proactive, to roll with the punches better. I know that there is a plan and it’s not my plan but it’s the Lords plan and I’m ok with his plan. He has me and all of his children in mind when he created his plan. I want to thank everyone for their support. I really appreciate it so much.

Love you guys,

Elder Preston Stephens

Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net



Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Super Sunday


Hello Everyone,

Preston is in a tri companionship. The companion he was supposed to be with went home. So the two he is with cover one ward and he is over another one so it is a bit challenging to juggle at the time. He is determined to succeed! (Hopefully that helps you to understand his letter).

Super Sunday, last week they split the branch of Talangai. So that meant this week they had double church. The first one starting at 8AM. I have to wait for someone in my ward comes and gets me before I can go to my ward at 9AM so we can get to church and since there was a baptism last Sunday they were confirmed this Sunday and well I was asked to confirm one of the people it was really awesome. Then my member came and I went to my ward where I was then asked to bless the sacrament also. It was just a loaded Sunday. The rest of the week was pretty normal trying to adjust and getting a routine down with my members so that I can work in my sector. It’s pretty crazy but I know the Lord can and will help me to accomplish this task that he has asked me to do!

Love Elder Stephens

Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net

Monday, October 23, 2017

Back in the Congo


Hello Everyone,

This week was really exciting as I am now back in Brazzaville (Congo). My new companions are Elder Fambi and Elder Zobell. Yep I am in a Trio! Zobell is from Utah and Fambi is from Benin (Africa)! So all is well here. This time traveling was very different because I understood all of what people were saying. The flight attendant said she knew where our church was located in Bewanda. That was cool to talk with her.

In other news we have a baptism on the 29th. So I am excited for that. All is well here in the Congo! I love you all,

Elder Stephens

Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net

Monday, October 16, 2017

Last week and this week


10/9/17

Hello!

This week has been an unforgettable week…. We went to see one of our recent converts who we hadn’t seen in awhile. Well his father then decided he didn’t want us helping his son and he told us we had to leave. It was really sad but there is a reason for everything. Secondly on a lighter note on Friday we got to work with Elder Mawcilla and we left the apartment go into a taxi when the unthinkable happens. My pants ripped!!! On the seam! I always thought people just joked about those things. It’s real It really happens!

This week we were able to watch conference. It was awesome. I loved Elder nelsons talk about our study of the Book of Mormon. I also liked Elder Uchdorf’s talk about light “Night is just a shadow” and Rasbands talk on coincidences. I know that our lives are really orchestrated and we need to move on looking for and taking advantage of the many blessings presented to us. I love you all so much!

Elder Preston Stephens

Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net



10/16/17

Hello Everyone,

This week was transfers or mutations as we call it. And Guess What? I am going back to Brazzaville! I will be going to the Stake of Brazzaville. Other than that news not much has changed. A couple of weeks ago we received a contract from the couple missionaries and well she’s not ready but she did give us a new investigator who is awesome. Sometimes contacts come from different placesJ Elder and Sister Call are finished. They have gone home, however we have the Greer’s now so it’s not so bad! We can handle it. We need more couple missionaries!!!! They are loved and greatly appreciated! I love you all and I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful week.

Elder Preston Stephens

Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Testimonies and Gratitude


Hello!

In the States you had Conference yesterday but here we had fast and testimony meeting. A lot of the testimonies were on gratitude. Gratitude is something I know I take for granted. Also appreciation, like we seem to only appreciate things when we don’t have them. I find it such a sad truth but when we realize the value of something from the start and use and appreciate that person or that thing we can go so much further than if we had not had them. I know this to be true.

It feels like I haven’t born my testimony for awhile. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. I know that he loves us each and every one of us individually. I know that this is his church. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know that by reading it and by living the principals contained in it we can live with our Heavenly Father again and find peace and joy in this life. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Love you all,

Elder Preston Stephens

Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net

Monday, September 25, 2017

Look for Service


Group email,

This week was something else. Haha It was full of service. On Wednesday we cleaned up someone’s yard to prepare for a funeral that took place on Friday & Saturday. Friday morning we went back again to help set up chairs. It was great because we were able to serve a lot of non-members. Elder and Sister Call came back from Yaoundé. This week I learned a lot about the importance of looking. If I don’t look for something I can never find it. I know service is important and I love it! I also love you all. Have a great week,

Elder Stephens

Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net

Monday, September 18, 2017

The bucket


Hello Everyone!

There once was a man who had two buckets for carrying water. One of the buckets was very solid and no water would ever leak out. The other would lose half of the water by the time the man arrived home. The bucket one day asked the man why he continued to use him because he lost his water. The man then told him to look at his side of the trail and how there were many flowers blooming but not on the other side. Despite the buckets faults he was able to do good. And we can too! No one is perfect but there is good inside each of us. This week I invite you to look for the good inside of yourselves and in others. I know you can find it!

Love Elder Stephens

Monday, September 11, 2017

Sister Missionary


Hi guys,

This week we had a zone conference. It was really good. Elder and Sister Call taught us and it was just awesome. We finished the conference and had lunch then a Sister missionary shows up….(we don’t have any Sister missionaries in Cameroon)….She came to be released from her mission in Benin, Togo, That’s all normal right?... We all rush to greet her. My companion is in the bathroom. When he comes out and she sees him she kind of loudly says “I know you!” and points at him. Not knowing anything he turns pale. She then says a minute later she says “From the MTC”.  Without hesitation my companion points to me and says “he was there too!” Then she looks at me and says” yes, I know him too.” My comp and I are using 200% capacity to remember this Sister. Well she was released and had her camera and was able to show us pictures of us with her, my comp was finally able to remember her. So that was definitely the funniest part of the week. I hope you all have a fabulous week!

Love, Elder Stephens



Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Transfers


Hello Everyone!

This week was transfers and not a whole lot happened here isn Doula. One Elder went home and another to Pointe Noir. We are getting a new Elder this week. We also will be getting a visit from President Hamilton of the South Africa area president on Friday. Not much has happened. We taught a lot about family history this week and were even able to send two names to the temple. I was able to see the spirit remind a sister.  She only had the last name but later on she was able to remember. It was such a cool experience.

I love you guys. Have a wonderful week,

Elder Preston Stephens



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Diligent Focused Effort


Diligence, Focus, & Effort

These are the keys for success. We can combine them to “Diligent focused effort” So how do we use this in our lives? Well I’ll give you an example and then you can write me how you applied this in your life if you so chose to. Let’s take the scriptures.

·         When I study the scriptures am I diligent?

·         Do I focus on what I am reading?

·         Do I focus on the details or just read the story unaware of the minor characters?

·         Am I giving my best effort?

·         Am I finding what the Lord wanted me to learn from the story this time?

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week.

Elder Preston Stephens

Monday, August 21, 2017

Lots of visitors


Hello Everyone,

This week was really good. On Friday I was able to work in the village branch with Elder Odimba. He is from RDC. We’ve been together since Brazzaville but it was the first time we were able to work together. Sunday was awesome. We had a lot of investigators at church. We even had Elder and Sister Call too! Plus someone from South Africa and RDC it was really awesome. The rest of Sunday went really well also. This week I hit 1 year in Cameroon. Pretty crazy! I love you all have a great week.

Elder Stephens


http://elderstephenscongo.blogspot.com/

Our new mission President and his wife have a page for our mission. You can see what’s going on here:



Monday, August 14, 2017

Baptism


Hello Everyone!

This week was really packed with a zone conference, companion exchanges, missionary activities, and we had a little girl in our branch get baptized by her dad! What a crazy week it has been. I think the highlight was the baptism. It was small, it consisted of 12 people with my comp and I. We gave talks, we were the witnesses and we also assisted in her receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a wonderful service. Today we played basketball with Elder Call and the zone. It was a super sweet activity! We played for like an hour and a half it was really cool. Well that sums up my week. Love you guys have a wonderful week,

Elder Stephens

preston.stephens@myldsmail.net

Monday, August 7, 2017

Chicken


Hello Everyone,

This week was very cool. On Wednesday my companion and I started to work out at the gym next to our apartment. Wow it’s been a long time since I had a good workout! On Saturday we had a baptism for the New Bell Branch and then we had a leadership meeting. I spent most of that doing my best to translate the meeting into English for Elder Call but one time Elder Call asked me to translate what he said and well I started then half way through I switched into English and everyone started laughing. It was pretty funny but life goes on! On Sunday we had church and I gave a lesson on Missionary work. It went really well. I hope you had a great week. I appreciate all the Birthday wishes.

Love, Elder Stephens


Pictures:

·         So we go to this place that has chickens. We pick out which one we want and they kill it, de feather it, and then cut it up, & stick it in a bag and give it to us for $5. This was the head.

·         My Moms B Day present

Monday, July 31, 2017

Budgeting


Hello Everyone,

Thanks to those who sent Birthday emails! This week was good. We got the new Liahona for September2017. We are still waiting for June & August but we have September! Elder Holland gave a talk titles The Gospel Plan to Happiness. It was so awesome. I encourage everyone to be on the lookout for it. This week was full of excitement with transfers and Elders leaving for Brazzaville, we have a new Elder who just got here from the MTC. Other than that we had a self reliance class that we talked about how to make a budget and smart purchases that can help us progress and make money and not cost more money. It was very helpful. I learned a lot and it has given me a greater desire to come back and go to school. I know budgeting is a life skill that can help all of us. I also know the Book of Mormon is true and that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.

Love you all,

Elder Preston Stephens

Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net                                  

Monday, July 24, 2017

Another crazy week


Hey Everyone,

This week was another crazy week. My companion decided to get his wisdom teeth pulled so we went to the doctor. Well the Dr. said he needs x-rays and his machine is broken so my comp decided that he is just going to try and hold out until he goes home in February. On Friday we had one of our young men teach us how to play “la damion” or La Dame” it’s like checkers but with some more rules and when you get a king he is almost unstoppable. Saturday we found out that the lady we were going to visit her daughter was sick. So we went to the hospital and gave her a blessing. So it was a jam packed week. See if you can cheer someone up this week. Send a text or make a phone call it can really help others.

Love you all,

Elder Stephens

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Mission President


Hello Everyone!

This week was crazy! We had a million things to do! Tuesday we had to do baptismal interviews. Thursday we got to meet our new mission President and on Sunday we had interviews with him. He and his wife are really kind.

Sunday my companion and I had to teach Relief Society again. Third time’s a charm. Right? We then had a really long lesson with an old investigator and then we visited a family who the mom didn’t come to church because her tooth was hurting her. We talked about self reliance.

This week I learned that we need to always read the scriptures in their context. We had an ami who tried to prove us in the scriptures but he wasn’t reading the entire context.

Love you all,

Elder Stephens









Monday, July 3, 2017

Lost


Hello Everyone,

This week was really good we got to teach with two of our branch missionaries on Thursday and on Friday it was really cool.  Wednesday we got super lost looking for a person’s house. Like we were so far away that a lady told us we would never get there on foot. She told us we had to take a motorcycle. Missionaries can’t so we walked and well eventually we did make it! We walked around for like 2.5 hours looking for this place! In our district meeting we talked about the Sabbath Day Observance. Preach my Gospel says “When a community or nation grows careless in its Sabbath activities it’s religious life decays and ALL aspects of life are negatively affected.” I tried to think about that and I know it is true if we are not careful we could be hurting ourselves and others if we do not do our best to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Love you guys have a wonderful week,

Elder Stephens





Monday, June 26, 2017

Crab Legs


Hello everyone this week was crazy, oh so on Monday to start out we had crabs when i finished writing home my comp and i each at 1.5 crabs in America that would cost maybe 20 bucks well you would think the same thing here normally yes but we found a lady who sold them to us for 1000fcfa that comes out to a huge 2 dollars ha-ha so we bought them again this week and some massive i mean massive shrimp. Other than that point, this week was busy we were driving all around Douala to talk to our amis we have a really big sector. We had to go out to pk14 (sounds like peka 14) it turns out that we believe each pk is a kilometer so on our way back we decided to walk from pk12 to pk10 it was like a long walk. This week our mission president is changing kind of crazy I’ve obviously never had that before and nobody in this mission knows what that's like hopefully we will get to meet him in a week or two so that's cool. Well we got a sweet contact who is a university student and he likes to play tennis so we are seeing a ton of potential with him. I love you guys I know that the book of Mormon is true and that if we do our best the lord will help us fill in the gaps. I love you all thank you for all of your support.

Love Elder Stephens

preston.stephens@myldsmail.net


Monday, June 19, 2017

PB & J


Hello Everyone,

This week flew by. We had Zone Conferences and District Conferences. It was awesome. I ate peanut butter and strawberry jam sandwiches. They were totally awesome! We had a totally sweet lesson on Sunday with a lady who has been being taught for a while. She shared with us about her child who she lost a couple of months ago. It was very intense but we followed the spirit, at one point I felt impressed to say something and I told myself no I don’t want to bring that up but the spirit shoved me again so I brought it up and it worked out perfectly as it should have! I know that the Lord is aware of us and his spirit will guide us IF we are willing to listen and follow his council we can be real tools in the Lords hands. I love you guys,

Elder Stephens

Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

7 Languages!


Hello!

This week was pretty cool, we had splits 2x. So I spent Wednesday with Elder Tall and Friday with Elder Biaya. On Thursday we went over to one of our partial member families and they surprised us with a little birthday party for 20 of the family members. It was cool. We had endole, pasta, creeps salad, and red sauce it was awesome. Then we sang Happy Birthday in English, French, Lingala, Malagasy, Douala, and their maternal language oh and Spanish too! 7 different languages it was pretty cool. On Sunday we had a missionary from the States who served here a long time ago come back. He’s doing cultural research. It was really neat that he came back to his mission. Well that’s about all for this week. Love you guys. Have a wonderful week,

Elder Stephens


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Love & Conversion


Hello Everyone,

This week was good we walked, talked and taught! We also were invited and sang “Love at Home” in French for a wedding. All the missionaries were asked because the groom was a returned missionary. He asked us and we were all there for him. (My mom is going to try and put some of a practice video on my blog)

This week I’ve been studying conference and I loved when Dallin H. Oaks said “It is not enough for us to be convinced of the gospel; we must act and think so that we are converted by it. In contrast to the situations of the world, which teach us to know something, the Plan of Salvation and the gospel of Jesus Christ Challenges us to become something” I challenge everyone this week to pick a principal that they are convinced is true and become converted to that point.

I love you all,

Elder Stephens

From Julie: I wanted to include the story Preston wrote to me this week because I thought it was so sweet.

The Journey of the Papaya

A father in the field gives a papaya to his son. His son loved it but decided it would be better if he gave it to his sick sister. His sister was very grateful, but she gave it to her mother who had worked very hard to take care of her. The Mother was very grateful also and decided to save it for her hard working husband. When the father came home he was overjoyed at the kindness of his family so he split the papaya into 4 pieces and they all had the papaya together.

He closed by saying “I love our family”  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Serving big or small


Hello Everyone,

This week we had a big service. There were three converts baptized from two different branches and a kid who just turned 8. It was really awesome. This week my companion and I started to study English a lot so that he can learn it and be able to use it to get jobs when he goes home. On Saturday it rained really hard. One of our investigators house roof was destroyed a couple of weeks ago. So it floods now. We called and asked if we could help and they said yes thank you so much but then when we got there they had already finishedL So we shared a message and went to get ready for the baptisms. I know that when we serve people we can truly feel the saviors love for us. I challenge you this week to find an occasion to serve someone. Small and simple are just as important as the big projects.

Love you all and Good Luck,

Elder Stephens



Monday, May 15, 2017

Mother's Day


Friends & Family,

Preston asked me (Julie) to write his letter today because of Mothers Day he forgot to write a group letter. We really enjoyed skyping with him yesterday!  We are all surprised that he eats mango and avocado every day. And even eat salads now! Preston was our pickiest eater! He says Dexter’s hair is crazy long and can’t get over it. He was so secure and calm. It was wonderful. He’s having a suit tailor made for him. It is extremely cheap there.  They have all their clothes made to fit. He said they have 9 investigators. He loves his mission and the people he serves.

He did give me a scripture to share: 1 Nephi 15:8-11

8 And I said unto them: Have ye inquired of the Lord?

9 And they said unto me: We have not; for the Lord maketh no such thing known unto us.

10 Behold, I said unto them: How is it that ye do not keep the commandments of the Lord? How is it that ye will perish, because of the hardness of your hearts?

11 Do ye not remember the things which the Lord hath said?—If ye will not harden your hearts, and ask me in faith, believing that ye shall receive, with diligence in keeping my commandments, surely these things shall be made known unto you.

Keep the commandments, pray and strive to stay close to the Lord and you cannot be lead astray.

Elder Stephens






Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Testimony


Hello Everyone,

This week I taught the gospel and we set 2 baptisms. This week I would just like to share my testimony. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, I know that he loves me, I know he is ready and waiting for us to come to him after we have fallen just like a child when they fall and run to their parents. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be cleaned from our sins and have the ability to live with our Heavenly Father and Jesus again. I am so grateful for my opportunity to be a missionary and have the chance to share this message with anyone who will listen. The gospel brings me great joy and peace and I know it’s true. I love you guys have an awesome week!

Elder Stephens

Pictures are of a wedding we attended and dinner.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Senior Missionaries


Family & Friends,

Yesterday was a holiday here so all the cybers were closed. On Friday last week I had splits with Elder Constant. (He’s from Guadalupe) Saturday we showed up at a wedding at the end of it L we have people we need to teach and can’t be 5 places at once. That would be interesting. We had transfer calls come in and nothing new for me but Elder Constant will be leaving and Elder Tall will be coming here. I don’t know if you know this but my best friend Elder Sheranian (Paris Mission) was in the MTC with Elder Tall. Kind of crazy! We got a new couple (Senior Missionaries) but they are here for humanitarian aid so they are in Brazzaville. We now have missionary couples in Yaoundé, Gabon, Pointe Noire, and ours The Calls will be leaving before the end of this year. We need Senior Couples so bad in our mission. (They each are in a different country because the Mission President can’t be in all 5) They are like our parents and are awesome. They help take the stress off the dirigent missionaries.  (Sorry I don’t know what they are called in English) I am so grateful for all your support. I hope everyone is doing well and Reads the Book of Mormon. It will change your life. If you have already read it again you will learn new things. Love you all,

Elder Preston Stephens

Monday, April 24, 2017

Family, Trials, & Endurance


Hello Family & Friends,

Everyone is proud of their family. Yesterday I saw a picture of Elder Calls (senior missionary couple here) family and when I asked him about it he immediately came over to talk to me about it. I think about Grandparents and how they always like to talk about their grandchildren and children, and then I think about our Heavenly Parents and about how much they must love their family! I think about families that have lost children or the children have left or wandered and how much pain that can cause. And then I try to imagine what it is like for our Heavenly Parents. These are things that we sometimes have to go through. I sometimes wonder why some people go through different trials and why we go through our own trials. The only thing I do know is this life is JUST, but why does that person need that experience? What is the point the Lord is trying to make or teach? Sometimes we can see why the Lord gave us that trial or why the surgeon made that cut. And then sometimes we can’t, but what is important is that we know that our Heavenly Father is the teacher. He is the surgeon and he does know us best. He loves us all. He is proud of us and knows our potential. He is waiting for us at the finish line. I know these things are true. I know sometimes during a trial we need to pray for the strength to endure a particular trial. (Not for the Lord to take it away) I love you all and want the best for you and I keep you in my heart. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen,

Elder Stephens

Pic 1. A cookie from a Chinese restaurant. They went after Zone Conference with the Senior Missionary couple. It says I love you in French.  I am assuming that this pic was for meJ The lady at the restaurant said they would not be able to eat all the food they were given. He said they did!

Pic 2 & 3 The gentleman Preston baptized Saturday.  






Monday, April 17, 2017

Yummy Food


Hello everyone this week was good we will be having a baptism on Saturday I am very excited for that! This week was like most others but on last Monday we went to a Family home evening and afterwards they prepared endole (the green in the picture) and tomato sauce with chicken it was so so so good. On Sunday we were combined with the other branch for conference and well the spirit told me that morning I was going to be giving a talk but I said nah my comp said that the branch president said it would be next week……… well we gave talks all four of us all unprepared…. Luckily there was not a ton of time but it was very crazy so I talked for 5 min after my comp and then the others followed me at 5 min each. I am so grateful to be serving here. I feel blessed in many ways. Don’t forget to read your scriptures it will bless your lives.  



Elder Preston Stephens




Monday, April 10, 2017

Conference


Hello!

This weekend we were able to watch conference. It was really good and I really enjoyed it! We haven’t got to watch the Priesthood or Relief Society yet. We are going to watch them next week after sacrament meeting. I really liked when Elder M Joseph Broughs mother told him “Mom I can discipline my children how I would like.”  And she said, “Yes I can too” Haha it was funny! I also really liked Elder Rasbands “act when you feel impressed” & “follow the 1st impression”

This week I met the couple who are going to get married in a couple of weeks. Then they can be baptized! Things are progressing here and we have a baptism scheduled in two weeks. The 22nd. There is supposed to be another woman baptized too but she stopped coming to church so I don’t know we are going to go talk with her. On Sunday when we were watching conference the last speaker and it started POURING rain.  So when conference ended we couldn’t even leave. We aren’t allowed to go out in the rain because lots of Elders get soaked and don’t dry properly and get sick.  So that’s why we aren’t allowed too.

I’ve almost finished the Doctrine & Covenants. It was one of my goals for this year. Then I can get back to the Book of Mormon. I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Elder Preston Stephens

Monday, April 3, 2017

Grateful to be a Missionary!


Hello Everyone,

This week was good we were able to get a list of all the members in our branch but there is no record of their phone numbers or addresses in the computer. So we passed a list around to get them and we got a lot. Now all we have to do is just ask all the members if they know someone else on the list like less actives so that we can then go and talk to them. Sunday night we were able to go visit a family of members, recent converts, and investigators. It was so cool to see even though they are all grown up how every week they meet up together. Another cool incident last Sunday a member from Paris was in our branch. She’s from here but she called us to come talk to her parents because they are not members. We talked with them and are going to do our best to work with them. I know this gospel is true. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I am so very grateful for my opportunity to be a missionary!

Love you all,

Elder Preston Stephens



Pictures are a bunch of us together to play soccer.

Me

My companion






Thursday, March 30, 2017

Douala, Cameroon


3/20/17

Friends & Family,

This is actually Julie this week. Preston was transferred to Douala, Cameroon. About a 4 hour bus ride from his previous area and is super excited to be there. He said the computer didn’t work well and so he was only able to get me a few sentences. His new comp Elder Muyala only speaks French which is great. (The last 7 months he has been in an English Branch so they have spoken both) He’s been out for 14 months and he’s on his 4th companion. He is happy and did say that his new sector has dinner appointments!!! This is a first and way cool!!! (Especially for me to know as he was making dinner with a quarter pound of meat for 4 elders previously)

I will attach the mission home address again if you’d like to drop a letter snail mail. I am trying to do better at this myself. Even if it does take three months to get there having something to hold and reread is a gift to him.



Thank you for all your prayers & support,



Julie Stephens



Elder Preston Stephens

27 Avenue De Le Base La Frontiere

Moungali

Brazzaville

Republic of Congo



20 minutes after I got the email saying his computer was not working I got 5 emails. He said he changed computers and had success!!! He writes his group letters on Sundays and sends me a picture to type up. Sometimes I get more info on Mondays. Like his companion has only been out for 3 months. He said it will be like having a younger brother.



Hello Friends & Family,

This week was transfers and I found out I will be going to Douala, Cameroon. In the Sector of Boniberri A! What an exciting change! It’s going to be HOT! This week my random thought is on listening. Listening is so important in all of life’s aspects. If we don’t listen to our teachers we will fail. If we don’t listen to our bosses we won’t do the job right. If we don’t listen we can’t communicate with others. What a terrible place the world would be if we were alone. I wouldn’t want to be there! But when we listen to others we can learn from them. We can try new ideas and be better off. It all starts with listening and hearing someone out!

I love you all. I know that this gospel that I share is true. I know that Jesus is my redeemer and Savior; I know the Book of Mormon is true.

Love Elder Preston Stephens


3/27/17

Hello Everyone,

This week as you know I was in Douala. This city is hot! Basically like Tampa, Fl. Last night Elder Constant and I played Monopoly that was in this apartment. (I won) We went to bed and about an hour later a huge storm hit us! Lightning, Thunder, & RAIN! It busted open the door to the patio in our room. My comp is on the bottom bunk so he got up and shut it and dead bolted it. That did the trick but it was crazy when we woke up and we had a lake in our room. Luckily our scriptures were ok because our bags were soaked! The New sector is calm. We are out of the city. It’s kind of like Simi next to LA right there but not. It’s nice. There is a main road called “African Route “that is south. On Thursday we went to the “”Nouvelle Route” the North of it. (There’s really nothing between the two routes)  I love my branch. We have some awesome members who want to do work so it looks good. Love you guys and don’t forget to read your scriptures.

Love,

Elder Preston Stephens


Monday, March 13, 2017

Service of Members


Hello Everyone,

This week was pretty good. We were able to meet with one of our members who shared some of their struggles and trials and how the members of the church stepped in to help them in these very difficult times. I was deeply touched by the service these members rendered.

Sunday Comic…. My companion taught in the investigators class and he did a great job. I enjoyed his lesson on Repentance. Then we closed and 2 minutes before we start opening exercises for the third hour I feel the phone vibrate. I looked at my comp and said “I know we are going to be teaching now.” I then answered the phone and I was 100% right! I laughed and opened up the manual to what I was going to be teaching on. The Millennium. It went well for my lack of preparation. I know that Jesus is my Savior and he loves us. I hope everyone has a wonderful week.  

Love Elder Stephens

Monday, March 6, 2017

Baptism


Hello Everyone,

This week was pretty awesome! We were able to have a baptism. Afterwards we were invited to a family who just joined the church. So Amazing. Our baptism was very nice. We had our 2nd counselor speak on baptism. He said when you join the church it’s like joining big family. On Sunday it was fast and testimony meeting and a couple of the members shared their gratitude for our service. It was nice to see how we made a little impact in their lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I know it’s another testament of Jesus Christ. It can help us find our way when we are lost. I am so very grateful for the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ and the peace that can be in our lives because of it.

I love you all,

Elder Stephens

Monday, February 27, 2017

Zone Conference


Family & Friends,

This week was good. Things were a little crazy with President in town. We had interviews on Wednesday which take up most of the day. Then on Thursday we had our Zone Conference where we were able to see the new missionary broadcast and we learned that the new schedule we received from the Assistant had been annulled and we are returning back to the old schedule. So basically nothing changed for our mission. On Sunday we finally had one of our Amis make it to church. I didn’t even recognize her. (She had her hair different) We started at 9:10 with 9 people including children. My companion and I gave talks, I taught Sunday school for the adults and Amis. Then my companion taught Elders Quorum.  We were very tired afterwards. I know that our Savior loves us and wants us to increase our knowledge of his gospel. Going to church with the right Attitude can make a difference!

I love you all, Elder Stephens

Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net

Monday, February 20, 2017

D&C 63:23


Hello everyone,

This week was crazy with valentines the whole town was up with music and there was a massive party at the “fair grounds” food all along the street it was crazy smelled so so good but my comp doesn't like chicken or fish so we didn't get any. This week we will have a zone conference with President Monga it could be our last one with him haha pretty crazy. This week in my studies I came across D&C 63:23 But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life. I really like this scripture because it's about our desire. (Again to go back to attitude) If we really want we can achieve anything. I am so very grateful to be here on my mission and to be able to share the gospel with those who are in need of it in their lives. I know that the book of Mormon is true and that our Savior Jesus Christ is our redeemer and that through him we can return to live with our families and our Heavenly Father again. I am so very grateful for all of your support I love you guys and I hope everyone’s doing well! Have a great Week!!

Love Elder Stephens


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Attitude


Hello everyone,

 This week was really good. My companion and I were able to get a lot done. On Sunday I learned that if we go to church with the attitude to learn we can, but those who don't come with that attitude won't. I really study my attitude with each thing that as a missionary we have to do. It was eye opening. So this week I'd like to challenge all of you to look inside and see if there is something that you need to change your attitude towards. It also made me think of repentance and how when we repent we make a change in our lives for the better. I love you all, I hope you have a good week and think about your attitude towards the little things!

Love
  Elder Stephens 


Preston.stephens@myldsmail.net


Monday, February 6, 2017

Repentance


Hello everyone,

    This week was pretty good I had splits with Elder Temahuki on Friday, it was really good. I got to teach in French again. This week we found out about transfers and two missionaries moved this transfer an Elder and a sister missionary everyone else stayed the same.

    Something interesting I thought about this week was repentance. As missionaries we are to teach repentance. But how do we forget all the other things that we know about? We need to show how repentance and faith are the keys. Without faith we will never repent. Why would we repent if we didn’t think it would work? It’s like jumping off a cliff and saying well the parachute isn’t going to work but I’m going to go for it. When we have faith we believe that the parachute is going to work and so we jump. And then we have faith we then need to use it and repent. We can see if we look carefully that repentance helps us to change. It’s making changes big and or small in our lives to become more Christ-like. I’m so very grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the path of repentance that we can all take to align ourselves to return to him. I love you all have a wonderful week!

Love,

Elder Stephens

Republic of Congo, Brazzaville Mission / Cameroun District

Monday, January 30, 2017

Adventures


Hello everyone,

     This week was really good. In one of my adventures in walking we decided to try to find a short cut…. Well we did but it included jumping off of a 6ft high ledge over a rocky little stream and then onto a sloping rock on the other side. I said yeah right! But then my comp jumped so I had to follow him! Well I made it haha but it was pretty funny. It cut off like 20 minutes of our walk. I also got to see some people who came up from Congo for a conference. That was sweet I got to know them when I was in Guynemer. I was able to give a blessing in French and it’s been a while since I did that, but I was impressed to feel prompted to say that our heavenly Father loves the person. I know he loves all of us and I think we forget that sometimes. I love you all hope you have a wonderful week. Don’t forget to pray and read your scriptures. 

Love,

Elder Stephens

Republic of Congo, Brazzaville Mission / Cameroun District



Monday, January 23, 2017

Good Examples


Hello Everyone,

                This week was pretty good we got to see one of our amis who we haven’t gotten to see for almost three weeks so it was really good to get to see her. Sunday was really good the district relief society came and spoke in our sacrament it was really good they talked a lot about the importance of visiting the members and new member retention which is so important to do.

                I know that this church is true its Jesus Christ’s church. We are his hands and we need to be a good example that is the best way to do missionary work, to help his church grow. I know that our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to choose the right and if we do that and follow what he asks we can live with him again. I hope you all have a wonderful week!

                Love Elder Stephens





Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Missionary Work


Hello everyone,


This week was crazy we had our district conference and well being a missionary here sometimes you don’t get to go to them because you can get transferred before you can go to it. I left two weeks before the stake conference in Brazzaville so it just depends on your transfers.


Our district president gave two wonderful talks. I loved the first. He told a story how a couple of weeks ago he was visiting his sister and she has pigs and when he got there that day they talked and then she made something for the pigs and she put a lot of salt in it and then she called out to the pigs and they came right to her. He asked how she trained the pigs to learn her voice she explained how. Then he explained how we need to know our saviors voice and if we don’t ever come and listen to him we won’t know his voice. His second talk was about how when he was a child and learning to fish. He said there are two rules. 1. Don’t make too much noise and 2. Don’t stir up the water. If you do that the fish won’t be able to see the hook. And then you will go home without food. As members of the church we need be good examples. If we aren’t good examples then the people who are looking for the church won’t be able to find it. I know that it is true by our example we can lead people to the saviors church or not.


I am so very grateful to be a missionary and share the gospel of Jesus Christ, but missionaries need help. They need your examples and your willingness to share your love of the gospel with others. And then the missionaries can talk to them and they have a friend in the church is so helpful. I love you all I hope you have a wonderful week.


Love Elder Stephens





Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas





Hello how is everyone 

I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas. I really enjoyed Skyping with my family and getting to see our new house.  Our district was blessed to be invited by a family in another branch to come and celebrate Christmas with them because every Christmas they have the missionaries come and celebrate Christmas with them it was so cool and kind of them. I know that there was lots of food and family time but I hope that each one of us took the time to remember the real reason we celebrate Christmas. I know that our redeemer Jesus Christ lives and he loves us. I know that through him we can be saved and live with our heavenly father again. I know that families can be together because of the temple and restored Priesthood power I love you all hope you had a wonderful Christmas.  Elder Tshibanda is leaving for Douala my new companion is elder Izere.



Love,

Elder Stephens

Republic of Congo, Brazzaville Mission / Cameroun District