Monday, December 28, 2015


Hi Kelly,

I'm doing good, I actually got super sick on Christmas night. The dinner we went to after Skyping, I didn't even eat I was so sick. When we got home I just fell asleep for an hour. I woke up feeling super sick, I felt like I was going to throw up so I started towards the bathroom and I got super light headed and the next thing I know Elder Gallano and the Hartleys are pulling me on to my back, I had blacked out haha. I hit my head on the way down so I have a little mark from that and a little mark on my side but other than that I'm fine now. I didn't sleep very well that night and I threw up a lot. Being sick also made me forget to give my pants to the Hartley's sorry.

It was so much fun being able to talk to y'all, it was great! Everyone sounds good. That is really sad that Murphy had be put down, I will miss him, he was a great dog. It's good that y'all were able to be there when they put him down.

I love you too, enjoy the rest of the time with family.

~Elder Stevens

Monday, December 21, 2015


Well it's cold and rainy and sometimes snowy outside and... we're on bikes. It's a lot of fun at the beginning of the day then when you have to bike somewhere 45 min away and it's cold and rainy you start to get tired of it. You also get A LOT more interaction with people. The middle finger seems to be the favorite, haha, but these things shall give me experience!

This week was a little bit different I picked up my Elder Gallano 2 weeks before transfers and before the new missionaries come in. Sis. Winder, our mission presidents wife, is so awesome! She met us at a missionary clothing store so that we could get Elder Gallano a few things, since he wasn't very privileged enough to afford everything. She bought him everything he didn't have, like an extra suit, some ties, a couple sweaters, and a big rain coat. She is so sweet. We also drove (while we still had the car) Elder Castillo all over our mission so that he could say goodbye to some families and friends. We then dropped him off at the mission office in Boise on Wednesday. So now it's just Elder Gallano and I.

Funny Stories about Elder Gallano and not being "Americanized" yet. We were at the Greenhill Ward Christmas party, and they had rolls with butter, but this butter was the individually wrapped cubes and he ate it thinking it was chocolate, I couldn't stop laughing. He said after that, he will never eat butter again haha. He also asked me if the water in the bathroom faucet was clean. But with the English he does know he is a great missionary, it is a lot of fun to teach with him. We get to do language study in the mornings and it's even helping me out haha.

We got a new investigator this week. Her name is Jennifer, she was a referral from our Zone Leaders. We went at taught the restoration and had a good conversation, she told us that she just wants to talk to us to learn, but I asked her one thing, I said "If we ask you to pray or read the Book of Mormon with real intent will you do it?" She said yes. So she prayed to know if what we taught her is true. We have yet to go back and see how it went, Can't wait to find out!

Merry Christmas everyone! Don't forget our Savior, and his sacrifice for us, during this wonderful season.
~Elder Stevens

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


Hey Y'all! 

Big news! I'm training now! ...well sort of. Elder Galleano, from the Philippines, has been waiting for his visa he was serving in the Philippines for a while so I don't have to teach him a lot of stuff. He is a cool kid, he's actually 20 so older than me, I have a feeling all my companions are going to be older than me for a little while. Elder Castillo will be with us for a little while longer, he goes home Thursday, so we are in a Trio right now until then. We also got our car taken, for whatever reason someone else needs a car more than us, so we will be on bikes now... in 30 degree weather, Wish me luck! I think I'd rather be on bike in the winter than in summer, with the cold you can actually do something about it. Should be very interesting.

We have been doing a lot of Christmas stuff this past week. We helped usher at the Stake Activity and been attending ward parties. This time of season is awesome! People are so willing to let you in for once haha. We were able to get into a less-active families home and share A savior is born with them (for all who haven't checked out the video here is the link, it's awesome! it was a great meeting, they fed us dinner and said we could come back sometime this week. The Christmas season is awesome, a time to reflect back on our Savior's birth and his life. I have grown to love my brother, Jesus Christ, so much since I've been out her, maybe because I talk about him everyday. I am so thankful for his sacrifice for us and example, the example that we should all be following. During this Christmas season I challenge all to go and do a selfless act, just as our Redeemer did every waking minute of his life. 

Merry Christmas!
~Elder Stevens

Thursday, December 10, 2015


Anyways, I don't think I will be able to get a big letter off today, I might but if I don't I'll have one for sure sent off by this next Monday. Also with Christmas approaching, we need to figure out a good time to Skype. The work is going well, we have had quite a few lessons recently and quite a few LA's that usually don't open their door, open up, probably due to the Christmas season, but hey, we'll take it haha.  
I can't wait to hear how everything is going back home! I love you and everyone.


~Elder Stevens

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Elder Brunette's 1 year, it's just apple cider by the way, don't worry.

Cool name in the capitol.
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Monday, November 30, 2015


It was Thanksgiving week so things were a bit slow and instead of 75% of the doors not opening to us, it was about 85%. Probably due to people being out of town. On Thanksgiving we woke up and played in 2 different Turkey bowls. And the day before, Wednesday, we got snow. We played football in the snow and our toes were freezing, but still tons of fun though. Later in the night we had 2 dinners, we were suppose to have 4 but 2 of them fell through, we were still stuffed by the end of the night. Or 2nd and last dinner was with the Hartley's, the people we live with, they are SO awesome, they told us we can have who ever we want to invite over for dinner so we were able to have the Driskell's over for dinner. They were so happy to come and it was great to see how happy they were when they were with other people for Thanksgiving instead of being by themselves. On Sunday we were able to get the Driskell's daughter, Jennifer to church, we are working on her and they would really enjoy for her to become baptized so that they can be there as a family. It would be so awesome to bring their entire family unto the fold. 

I hope y'all all had a great Thanksgiving and a great week this week.

~Elder Stevens

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Hello Everybody,

Thanksgiving is so soon! Elder Castillo and I have 4 families planning on feeding us... Good thing we are playing in like 3 different Turkey Bowls to work it off! 

Jesse Vycital is progressing with pace now. This last Sunday we met with both Jesse and Natalie. We gave him so many different things for him to read, but the one we really wanted him to focus on was the book by Richard LeGrand, called "A Marvelous Work and a Wonder. We had him read on temple sealings. This topic was one that he really had a lot to talk about because of the death of his daughter. Again, he opened up and asked questions. We really stressed the importance of prayer because through prayer Heavenly Father can answer our questions by the power of the Holy Ghost. The Book of Mormon talks about the power that the Holy Ghost has to manifest the truth of all things to us (Moroni 10:5). 

Another of our investigators, Mike, is one that mostly likes just talking to us. We found Mike a little while back when I was with Elder Meraz. We street contacted into him while he was working on some shelves in his garage. Mike has a few friends that are members so he knows that we aren't weird haha. Mike has no problem with what we have to share with him but he feels that as long as you believe in God and follow the commandments, it doesn't matter what religion you are apart of. We have really struggled to find an answer to that. To him we plan to share a scripture from Ephesians 4:5 "One faith, One Lord, One baptism." Joseph Smith read the same verse, which produced even more questions such as, If there is one religion, why are there so many other churches? He finally found his answer, again, through prayer. He can only come to a knowledge that this church is true through prayer and study of the Book of Mormon. As the Book of Mormon says in the introduction "We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.) Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah." If the Book of Mormon is true than the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the true church on the face of the earth. As missionaries all we want, for those that we come into contact with, is to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it is true. Once they do so, they will recieve an answer.

I hope that Y'all all have a great Thanksgiving. 

~Elder Stevens

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


Hi Guys,

A lot of stuff was put into motion this week, not much else. After a few weeks of not being able to meet with the Vycitals we we're finally able to get in and meet with them! Bro. Riley was able to come as well, the last time we met with them it was just Elder Castillo and I and we attempted to explain Abraham Chapter 3... It was an interesting experience. This time, with Bro. Rileys help, we were able to explain with a lot more accuracy haha! We were also able to answer a lot of his questions that he finally opened up and asked us. He told us that this one meeting has helped him out more than all the others, that's because he finally stated his concerns, which is something we've been trying to get out of him for quite a while. 

Yesterday was Sis. Driskell's Birthday and we were able to stop by and drop a card and some of her favorite food off for her. We later got a text back from her telling us how thankful she is for us being in her life and for helping her to get into the waters of baptism. A little more background on Sis. Driskell, She is the mother of 6, she raised her kids to be loving to all people, but her Late-Husband, who, about 30 years ago died of cancer, didn't like Mormons too much so it kind of rubbed off on the kids. So since her baptism, and even years before, her kids don't have a good relationship with her. They seem to be very selfish and caught up with the pleasures of the world. So on her birthday none of her kids spent the day with her, although 5/6 of her kids did call her. It is very upsetting to see such a sweet lady go through struggling times with her health, Bro. Driskell's health, and many other trials that are thrown her way. She still manages to stay strong and turns to her Brother, Jesus Christ, for help. That is one thing that I admire about her, that she knows, whenever adversity comes her way, she can turn to the Savior. Not very many people do that but it is so obvious.The song "Jesus Take the Wheel" rings true to me, after all that we can do to overcome tribulation we then rely on our Redeemer to take over. 

As I've said before, I am so thankful for our saviors sacrifice to take on not only our sins but our pains and afflictions as well. I hope that we all can be as Sis. Driskell and turn to Christ when in times of need. 

Have a great week y'all!

~Elder Stevens

P.S. Please pray for Brother and Sister Driskell, that they may find peace.


Hey Y'all,

Just your average missionary week. Tom, our "golden investigator" dropped us sadly. We went over to his trailer in the trailer park to sit down and share Lesson 2. After our first knock we heard someone shuffling around in the trailer but they didn't come to the door. We thought that they may have not heard us so we knocked louder the second time and still no one came. We then left. The next day we get a long text from him saying that he doesn't appreciate us coming to his house and banging on the door and that we scared whoever was in there... if someone was in there you'd think they'd come to the door...All we could do was apologize. It happens sometimes I guess, but he does attend a church that is in the area that is pretty Anti- Mormon, so we can't help but wonder if it was all just a set up... It is pretty common here.

On a better note the Driskell's are SO strong in the church now. It is awesome seeing people grow spiritually. They are watching re-runs of general conference and studying everything we give them. Every time I think about how much they are progressing I can't help but smile.

If there is anything that I learned this week is to be sure to always work on your testimony and to make and keep it strong, firm and immovable. My Zone Leader Elder Cain, who is going home this week, has one of the strongest testimonies I've ever heard and ever time I hear him testify I know that the Church is true. As I am working on my testimony, to make it so that I can have that effect on others, my foundation of faith is made steadfast and immovable.

Love y'all.

As always, love,

~Elder Stevens

Monday, November 2, 2015


Dear Everyone,
This week was great! On Tuesday we had Elder Martino, from the Quorum of the Seventy and who also spoke in last General Conference come speak to the mission. It was awesome! He got us all fired up to declare the Lords word through out the land. Just like in his conference talk he spoke about praying for answers. He said that "..if we pray to know if something is true, just out of curiosity, then we will never receive an answer, we need a sincere heart, asking with real intent, and being willing to be molded by God." Since being on my mission I've really learned how to fine tune the basics, such as prayer.

On Wednesday night we went over to Eric and Nicole's, we talked about Alma 32 and humility and how it is key in our conversion and gaining faith. At the end we invited him to be baptized... he said Yes!!! We still have yet to set up a date with him, but there is one minor problem... Nicole and Eric aren't married. We either need to get them married or moved into separate places. Hopefully the Spirit can work some magic on him and he will become HUMBLE and choose one of those options! It is looking promising!
On Thursday I got a package from Sister Baxter, my Sunday school teacher back home, It was FULL of candy and letters from her and her classes. It was so cool to get that and to see how she was doing. It's great to know that I am loved.
On Halloween all missionaries had to be in by 6:30 so it was a quick day. We had a District Lunch with some card games. Around 6:00 we picked up Elders Campbell and Harrison to come over and spend the night. We made a fire in the back and slept outside.
The following day, Sunday, we went to church for our normal 6 hours because we cover two wards. Later in the night Bro. Hartley got home with an elk he shot out hunting. We watched him skin it and then helped him hang it from a taller tree... I got only a little blood on me.
Missions are awesome no matter where you go. You learn so much and grow to be the person God wants you to be, as long as you're working hard. Most importantly though you help others grow to become what God wants them to be and It's amazing to be apart of their spiritual growth. Bro. Driskell received the Priesthood this last Sunday, I was able to be apart of his ordination. The Gospel of Jesus Christ can really transform you.
I hope all had a great Halloween. Enjoy your next week.
Love y'all,
~Elder Stevens

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 11 Pictures


This dog actually really huge. This picture doesn't give it justice. It's a Great Pyrenees & is 160 POUNDS!!!


Hi Guys,
This week was pretty normal except for one part, which I'll get to later. This week we found 4 New Investigators this week! As a mission we found 107 new investigators in one week! that was a record high for the mission! Our zone fasted this last Sunday to ignite the area, to help us do better in finding. I think I've fasted most of the Sunday's I've been here haha. Our zone is the 2nd best in finding. It's great to be around hard-working missionaries!
As I said this week was normal, not much that is email worthy, BUT... We found a Golden Investigator named Tom. Tom is 58 and lives in a trailer park. (SIDE NOTE: We found 3 Investigators out of that trailer park) We set up a return appointment with him and that was it when we first met him. When we returned we went out and sat on some lawn chairs. We shared the 1st lesson, he all of a sudden brought up baptism and how his parents always told him he needed to be baptized into a church. So as the spirit directed me I gave my second ever baptismal commitment and it was a yes. I'm 2 for 2 now haha. We then set up a date! He is going to be baptized on Nov. 21!
As we are obedient and always in the service of our Lord, during both hard and easy times, we will be blessed. My mission is SO fun. Love y'all.
~Elder Stevens

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Hi Everyone,
This past week was pretty normal. It was just one of those weeks where you feel like you're doing a lot but not seeing many fruits from your labors. We had a lot of appointments that fell through and every door we knocked was another no. It's been a slow week, not much going on. We have people we are teaching, but you can't teach those people every single day. Near the end of the week and yesterday it picked up.
On Saturday we went to go to a trailer park to tract. We prayed for success and got some! We got 3 return appointments. We are looking forward to see what may come from it.
At 3rd Ward ward council we reported on our week and people were impressed with what we have accomplished. There we found the fruit of our labors. We received information from the people at the meeting that other people were effected, in a good way, by the work we had done. For instance, we were knocking on doors in a neighborhood and we came across Jennette. Jennette is in her late 40's and, as we later found out, is good friends with our ward mission leader, Bro. Riley. She is Episcopalian but said we could come by and practice our lessons. She then later Facebook messaged Bro. Riley and asked if he had sent us. When she found out that he didn't she told him that we were welcome to come by any time and share the lessons. It looks promising!
This week I focused a lot of my studies around faith. In a talk from President Eyring he says "If the foundation of faith isn't in our hearts, then the power to endure crumbles." Therefore, we need to go forward with faith!
I hope that everyone had a good week and has a good upcoming week! I miss and love y'all.
~Elder Stevens

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Jaden's First Baptism


Hey Everyone,
This week has been one of the best yet. At the beginning of the week I was nervous since I would become the area leader due to Elder Meraz leaving, but it actually made me a better missionary. I'm not as nervous talking to people I LOVE it actually. I'm always looking forward to the next door or the next person to talk too. As I approach every door anxiousness kicks in, but it's just something I'll have to deal with and overcome. I got my first door slam this week! I take pride in it haha. We went up to the door, a lady answers and her exact response is, with no hesitation, like she has done it a billion times before, saying "Hi what can we do for ya? You're Mormon, we're Catholic, not interested. Bye. *slam*" Elder Castillo and I turned around silently and I said "Well, There's my first door slam." Haha. Elder Castillo Has 2 months left of his mission. He is ready to be home, but it doesn't mean he isn't willing to do work. There are some days where I just have to be enthusiastic and just get him going, It's pretty funny. For example the other day we were driving around, going through a list of Less Active members our ward mission leader, Bro Riley, gave us. So to get Elder Castillo pumped, in the car as loud as I could I kept screaming "I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!" then I'd tell him to yell it... but he wouldn't haha. After every person we contacted I would run back to the car and tell him "Let's GOOOOOO" He'd work a little harder each time. Anything counts.
This week there was a lot of planning that went into the baptism. Pretty stressful. People to call, Places to go, and Bro. Driskell's health was on the decline the day before the baptism! On Friday we had Zone Meeting. During Zone meeting we got a call from Sis. Driskell, She notified us that Bro. Driskell woke up shaking and had a high fever, she was very scared she told me and didn't know what to do. I asked her when she would like us to come over but she told us that she didn't need us. We returned to the meeting. After every Zone meeting the zone goes to lunch, we chose Panda Express, then took it back to a church building. When I sat down to eat Elder Castillo hands me the phone and it's a lady from the Hospice center, Becky, Calls us and tells us that Bro. Driskell is on the decline and is going to die soon. She told us that we need to do the baptism right then on that day. So after I hung up I called Bishop Newby and told him all about what was going on and to be on standby if the Driskell's wanted to do the baptism that day. After him I called Elder Meraz and told him as well then told him to meet us at the Driskell's. We then went and and got in the car and called Sis. Driskell and told her we were on the way. When we arrived Bro. Driskell was hooked up to his oxygen and in bed with his fever still high. It was scary and spiritual all at the same time. We started reading Joseph Smith-History, when Elder Meraz and his new companion arrived from Boise. We continued on with the scriptures and then prayed. After 3 hours Bro. Driskell got up and was walking around, we left and later got a call that he was eating and feeling much better. A very stressful day!
Day of the Baptism. It was so cool to be apart of the baptism and play a role. Once the baptism started, it was smooth sailing, no more rushing around. Elder Meraz and I were dressed in our whites and ready for the baptism. I was super nervous to perform my first baptism, wondering if I was going to mess up or what. I went first and baptized Sis. Driskell. The whole thing went great. After she came out of the water she started swimming around a little bit and saying how goo the water felt, haha. Then Elder Meraz and Bro. Driskell followed. So amazing to be apart of such a big part of somebody's eternity and help them get closer to their Heavenly Father.
As I was thinking about the baptism that night I realized that this makes missionary work awesome! Missionary work is also going "forth bodly (and) nobly" making sure that it is "sounded in every ear". I have made an effort to talk to everyone. On Thursday I stopped Jasper on the street. Jasper was a random guy that we always saw walking on the street playing his guitar. On our way to an appointment I was Jasper, I passed him in the car. The thought of my goal to talk to everyone flashed in my mind. I quickly flipped a U turn and parked the car and we got out and talked to him. He was drunk and he is a big hippy. He didn't understand much but at least we gave him the chance to learn of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
I hope that everyone has a good week.
~Elder Stevens

Monday, October 5, 2015


Hey Everybody,
This week has felt pretty long, yet fast due to all that happened. It's a new transfer, a lot of work going on and so forth. Since it's the new transfer we got transfer call outs on Saturday morning. Elder Meraz and I were both expecting what was to come for the most part. Elder Meraz got transferred to Boise North, he is going to continue to train an Elder I came out with and is a District Leader now. Elder Meraz started in the area I am now, Meridian Central Zone, he had been here for 7 1/2 months, which is why we were expecting him to get transferred. I got my new companion Elder Castillo, He is 24, a convert at 19, and has 3 months left! He is also from Temple, Texas and knows a little about College Station, we talked a little about that. The best part of it all though is that he's not an Aggie ;) haha. I'm looking forward to what comes from this companionship. With Elder Meraz gone, I have a lot of weight on my shoulders now because I am now "in charge" of the area, due to the fact that Elder Casillo is from a different area.
This week we contacted a media referral we got. The couple are in their mid 20's and pretty interested. Nicole was a member quite a while ago and is looking into coming back, her husband/boyfriend, is not a member, and as we were teaching them Lesson 1 he was paying very close attention and asking questions, seems to me he has great potential. We are set to return Thursday!
THE DRISKELL'S ARE FINALLY GETTING BAPTIZED!!! This Saturday at 3. Earlier in the week on Wednesday we went over and just set up a date with them we had decided on the upcoming Friday, which was the 2nd, but later that night they said they couldn't do that because some of their friends weren't able to make it. So that Friday, instead of them getting baptized, we took the Bishop over to get things settled. It really helped and worked. Then just yesterday we met with them to fill out their baptismal record and get the agenda set. While we were there we talked with them about General Conference. They said that they loved it and that it answered a lot of their questions. They said they loved President Uchtdorf a lot, it was so awesome to hear that coming from people soon to be baptized. They have great souls and attitudes despite their age and condition. As we were talking we asked them who they'd like to perform the baptism, They said that they would like Elder Meraz to do it since he was there from the start, but after a while and out of no where Sister Driskell said that she would like me to baptize her! I can't wait! I told her that I would be honored too and that it would also be my first baptism ever performed. She, in turn, was honored.
General Conference was awesome! I was most definitely excited to hear from the Prophet and Apostles. I have gained a greater sense of gratitude for the blessing we have to have a living Prophet on this earth to guide and lead us in these latter-days. I think that because of this gratitude I've gained, and maybe due to the fact that I stayed awake for all of it this time haha, it was my favorite Conference yet. I really liked what Elder Bednar had to say when he quoted Elder Nelson. Elder Nelson said, and paraphrasing, "When you can't do what you used to do, then do what matters most." I thought it was perfect for missionaries. The things that matter most are bringing souls to Jesus Christ.
I miss and love everyone. I can't wait for this next week and to see what's in store.
~Elder Stevens

Monday, September 28, 2015


Hello Everyone,

It hasn't been long since my last email, but not too much going on these past few days. A lot of good appointments though. Oh and Transfers are coming up! Although Elder Meraz is training me, and he should technically train me for two transfers, he has been in the area for 7 1/2 months! Usually you say in an area for 4 1/2 and sometimes 6 months. So I think I may get a follow up trainer. Elder Meraz doesn't want to go, he said he received revelation the other night in a dream that he isn't leaving haha it's very possible that he won't get transferred.

We have been blessed to find a lot of new investigators and potential investigators. We've also been successful with our progressing investigators. We have also had some decent success with some reactivation's! One in particular is a young family, in their early 30's, that just moved into our area. The husband was excommunicated and he's working his way back to being re-baptized. It was an awesome experience. We just taught the First lesson, the Restoration. He really opened up to us, he kept telling us he doesn't talk about it much, but that he felt he needed too. Every time he spoke it was profound and the spirit was felt. It was a neat experience. 

The Vycitals are progressing well. Sister Vycital is completely active again in the church after 7 years. Bro Vycital is progressing well as we meet with him. We're getting him closer and closer to baptism every week. He told us right now he is still in the healing and recovering process from the loss of their baby and he wants to be 100% when he gets baptized. Most of his concerns are on the Temple. We are making that the center of our next lesson and getting the Bishop of the 3rd ward, Bishop Christensen, to come with us. 

We got a media referral a couple weeks ago and we went to contact on Friday. It was an apartment Building with 4 different apartments, the referral only had the Building number not the apartment number... So we knocked every door, hoping every door would answer so we could talk to them about the church, but out of 3 of the 4 apartments, no one was home. Ironically, the last door opened, a lady answered, we asked if she was Nicole and she was. She told us that she had been a member when she was really young but we don't believe that she was baptized. So we set up a return appointment for Tuesday (tomorrow). Excited to see what's in store.

The downside of this week though is that out of 5 people we committed to coming to church, and they said they would, no one showed up... One thing we are trying to figure out is why people don't just tell us they aren't going to come. The funny part is, when we asked why they weren't able to make it, 4 out of 5 of them said they were sick, NO ONE COME TO IDAHO THERE IS A PLAGUE, haha. People are weird yeah we are 18 and 19 but we aren't that dumb haha. We are working together as a companionship to hold people to their commitments. Wish us luck!

I would just like to end with my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know that that Book is the Word of God, as is the Bible. As missionaries we try to help people understand that the Book of Mormon is there to help us return to our Father in Heaven, just as the Bible does. Whats better than 1? 2! We have 2 books to help us return to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I am very thankful for the opportunity to study the book everyday, to learn and to grow, spiritually and mentally. I invite everyone to read the Book of Mormon, just a couple verses, then get on your knees and ask God, in prayer, if the Book of Mormon is true, even if you already have done so, President Eyring, of the First Presidency of the Church, once said that he prays every morning to know if the Book of Mormon is true. I end my testimony with this, The Prophet Joseph Smith once said "...the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.” In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love y'all,
~Elder Stevens

Thursday, September 24, 2015


It is so exciting to see Jaden embrace the work of a missionary & to not only embrace it & work hard, but to love the work. I love this young man so much & am so proud of him.

Hi Everyone,

Last Tuesday, a week and a half ago, we woke up at 6:00 for basketball at the church with old guys, it's the only exercise I'll do because I hate just running. Anyways, I sprained my ankle pretty bad, a guy fell on my leg as I was coming down from a rebound. It hurt like crazy but weird enough after three days the swelling and pain to walk on it went down. I can assure you though it didn't limit much of the time we worked though. The members we live with, The Hartley's, are great and they took care of me.
The Hartley's son has been on his mission for about a year in Nicaragua. They are in their 50's. Brother Hartley is a big dirt biker he's one of the funniest guys I know. Sister Hartley is the best mission mom, she's a nurse (just like Kelly!) She really takes care of Elder Meraz and I.
Here in Idaho it's hard for missionaries to go out to eat with out getting paid for. Everywhere we go members like to pay for us and do! The members here in our wards' are awesome. In the Greenhill ward the area is rapidly progressing, but the Ward Mission definitely needs to kick it up. for the 3rd ward it's the opposite, The Ward Mission is awesome, but the area isn't really progressing much, until last night! Bro. Riley, the ward mission leader, is on fire! He really enjoys Elder Meraz and I and he told us that out of all the missionaries he's worked with, we're his favorite! He said he can feel the strength of our spirits so strongly. Switching gears a little bit, the other day, Saturday, we saw a bunch of the deacons in the 3rd ward  going around passing out Books of Mormon, with our phone number in them, in the Riley's neighborhood! Awesome, I'm not too sure that I would have done that at that age.
Last night we went on splits with the 3rd ward ward mission, Elder Meraz split up with Bro. Riley and I with Bro. Rolling. Bro. Rolling just got off his mission 6 months ago from Nashville, Tennessee. I asked him what his craziest experience was... he was robbed at gun point! haha Crazy! Anyways.... splits... We went to go visit some new move ins and some less actives. We got 2 returns! We were going to visit a Less active, we knocked on the door waited, then rang the door bell waited... no answer so as we were getting in the car a lady came to the door and stopped us. I had asked her if she was the lady we were looking for... she wasn't... They had moved a year earlier! I quickly told her that the church Christ established on this Earth has been restored through a Prophet and then I asked when a good time would be for us to come back and share more of the message with her. To my surprise she said we could come back next week. I got her name and number. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Now for Greenhill ward. The work, as I said has been rolling quickly. This last Sunday Elder Meraz and I fasted for the purpose of success in the area... we were getting tired of "No". So the very next day, we decided to bike to a contact. The contact wasn't home so we tracted the area. We went straight to the back of the neighborhood, I was feeling good about the area. We hit a couple houses and no one was too interested, one guy came to the door with only boxers and a beer in hand, before we could say anything he said no (he was drunk) and closed the door. We turned around a laughed, a funny part was that it was only 10:30 in the morning! On our way out of the area Elder Meraz said we need to talk to this person. We get to the door, knock, and she answers. We get to talking with her and find out she had met with missionaries before! She had also received a blessing from some where she felt the spirit very strongly. She told us we could come back on Friday ( tomorrow) and share more and that she also would like her family to be there! We turned around got on our bikes, all in silence, then we laughed with joy, we were pumped! Another similar experience, Tuesday we were going to an appointment with a less active family in an apartment complex but not to our surprise they weren't home, we turned around and I walked over to the door across the hall and knocked. A young man answered the door after talking with him we learned that his name is Steven, he's Catholic, 26, a computer wiz, and he's very smart about the Bible. After a little, per say, "bible bashing" between Elder Meraz and Steven he out of the blue told us to come in. Now I was skeptical of what was about to happen. He grabs his Bible, tags and sticky notes hanging out all over the place, and sits down with us. We talk then slowly move into the restoration pamphlets. He told us a few times he doesn't believe that much of that happened, but here's the thing... He said he'd read the Book of Mormon in two days! (So today he should be finishing it) He told us he could read about 800 WPM! We then invited him to pray to God to know if the Book of Mormon is true. He is doing so and we are returning nest Tuesday! Can't wait!
The status on the Driskell's baptism is crazy, Satan is really working hard on them! Sister Driskell went in to the doctor for some spinal injections... they made her worse she says. We are going to have to wait a little while more. UGH! We met with them on Tuesday night during splits with the Greenhill Elders quorum. Elder Meraz and I stayed together this time but went with President Dietchler, Elders quorum president. We had a good meeting with them stressed that after baptism and confirmation The Holy Ghost will hush their worldly problems. Now remember as I've said before Bro. Driskell, age 70, is an inspiration to me. This was President Dietchler's first time meeting the Driskells. After the meeting with them, President told us that he received confirmation that Bro. Driskell has a great spirit and that if he doesn't get baptized her on Earth he will be taken care of in the life after.
Sorry that I'm all over the place but there is just so much to talk about! On the 16th we had New Missionary Training at the mission office with President and Sister Winder. It was great to see all the Elders I was in the MTC with and all the progression they have made!

I love this work! I love the scriptures! It's so cool to wake up every day and not knowing what's going to happen the next day. I know that this work "will go forth bodly, nobly, and independently". My job is to help everyone hear of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that our redeemer lives. I love and miss y'all!
~Elder Stevens

Monday, September 14, 2015


Hey everyone and go Cougs!

This week has been a true missionary week. Lots of tracting! Our zone has a goal of 10 Personal contacts, or talking to someone we've never talked to before about the gospel, a day for the whole zone, Elder Meraz and I decided to go out and get 10 on our own. We took turns talking to people we talked to at least 20 people, out of those 20 we were only able to hold a conversation with half of those. Out of the 10 we got 2 returns! Mike and Heather.

We saw Mike in his garage painting some shelves, he is in his late 50's.We talked with him about Jesus Christ and how his gospel has been restored again on Earth, he was somewhat interested he set down his paint and brush and listened to us, he said that he has LDS friends and if he were to join any church it'd be ours. We left him a restoration pamphlet and our number on the inside and we are set to return any time this week.

We knocked on Heather's door and her and her 3 kids came to answer, she is in her early 30's and just had a baby about 3 weeks ago. I shared with her how we know that our families can be together forever and she really liked that. We left our number on a pass-a-long card and are to return on Wednesday.

Funny story time! The Driskel's, the elderly couple who we have been trying to help them feel an urgency for baptism, are finally getting baptized within this week! On Thursday we were over there meeting with them, answering questions they had and clearing up different thoughts that the anti-mormons put in their head. This was my first time I was able to meet with Brother Driskel, he is an awesome man! He Just turned 70! He is on hospice right now and they estimate that he has about 6 months left to live just because of his poor health. He is a retired doctor. We were talking with him for a while about his birthday when Elder Meraz asked him if he could do anything different in his life what would he go back and change, he told us that he wish he was able to find the Gospel sooner, immediately the spirit entered. He is an inspirational old man. Anyways, back to the funny story his wife is a character, Sister Driskel is brutally honest and will interrupt you mid-sentence in what is supposed to be a spiritual moment. She was telling us how it is going to be so hard for both of them to get up in the morning to be baptized because of their poor health. We assured her that she can be baptized anytime during the day. She said that due to the way Elder Meraz and his past companion phrased it she thought it had to be done in the morning! So for 2 months Elder Meraz has been waiting for them to be baptized all because of a mis-understanding. Goes to show how important it is to be 100% clear.

I have now gained 4 pounds... not a lot but it's not good for how tight my suit pants are. Our exercise consists of basketball everyday, I think by the time I get back I'll be able to enter the NBA. Altitude here is still killing me haha. I've started to play piano again whenever I can get a chance, it is definitely teaching me patience haha I'm super rusty. 

Our ward mission leader for the 3rd ward is super on top of his game he is awesome, he Facebooked Kelly and talked with her and keeps her updated on my every move! He also is a BYU fan which makes him 20 x's better, he keeps me posted on all the stats! He is one of those tech geeks and for whatever reason likes to stalk his missionaries haha. We were sitting down with him one day for a correlation meeting and he told me that he knows all my soccer stats, He looked me up on everywhere possible social media and all haha.

It's crazy that it's been a month! So much has been done! We are super close in all sorts of ways. I love to go into the scriptures and learn especially in the New Testament. I miss everyone and hope all is well.

~Elder Stevens

Monday, September 7, 2015


Hey y'all,

This last fast sunday I bore my testimony in both wards. I guess I said y'all in the greenhill ward and the elders quorum kind of teased me about it, haha. We also, due to teachers not being at church, had to teach gospel principles, 16 year old sunday school class and Deacons quorum, all of which were told to us 10 min before each class. It was a rough weekend though... College football has started and that's all I heard about on Sunday. So if I heard correctly Taysom Hill broke is foot... but the back up threw a hail mary with 1 second left to beat Nebraska, that's classic BYU. People here are either a die hard Boise State fan or BYU fan so you can only imagine whatnext Sunday is going to be like with BYU v. Boise State on Saturday. My companion, Elder Meraz is from Arizona and I guess they played A&M! 

Elder Meraz and I are working hard, but it's been one of those weeks where everything seems to have fallen through. At the beginning of the week we found out Walter, the chinese 17 year old, said he doesn't want to continue meeting with us because of too many rules that the church has. We are going to try to just be friends and hang out and do stuff with him on P-days. His mom Gelly told us she just wants to go to the Chinese church because it'd be easier for her to understand, but she went and said she didn't feel the same as she did when we were teaching her so we are trying to locate Mandarin speaking missionaries for her to take discussions from, but we doubt there is any because it's just Boise, Idaho. And Teresa has told us that she isn't interested. 

The good. The Driskel's are still planning on being baptized, just waiting on them to wake up and feel good. There is a younger couple that has been taking lessons for a while, the Vycitals. The Sister Vycital is a less active, but her husband is close to coming to the waters of baptism. He attended gospel principles last sunday but was late to sacrament meeting. We were a little nervous because the Thursday before we had a great lesson on D&C 121, the spirit was very strong, and we committed him to coming to church just by himself for once. Sister Vycital is a nurse and works on sundays and he only came when she came, until this last sunday. He even bought himself a quad (a Book of mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and the Bible all together) with his name engraved on it!

The days are busy but short. It's a great feeling to know that I am exactly where the Lord would want me and doing exactly what he'd want me to be doing. I'm thankful for Jesus Christ's ultimate example for us. Throughout his ministry we see constant love and service for others even up until his last moments on the cross. As a missionary, I plan to do exactly as Christ did, have constant love and service for others, after all I do have his name on my chest.

~Elder Stevens

Monday, August 31, 2015

Week 3 ~ The Mission Field

So Jaden is in Boise Idaho now. He is done with his training & is the real deal. I am blown away at the growth he has had these past few weeks & know that all the credit goes to our Heavenly Father & His son Jesus Christ. It is a testimony to me that as we put our faith and trust in them that we become who we were always meant to be. Jaden couldn't have said it any better than when he said he is an instrument in their hands. My heart is so full of happiness & love for him. I couldn't be more proud or grateful.

Hey y'all,

So this week has been great and busy! On Tuesday, I woke up at the MTC in Provo, Utah at 3:35 then at 10:20 we were in Boise, Idaho. As we were walking to meet the Mission President, President Winder, Everyone was watching the parade of Missionaries and taking pictures. As we were walking to the exit there were some sliding doors and as I got to the doors and they slid open, I looked up and I saw President and Sister Winder and their assistants. As I walked through those doors it became surreal, and a feeling hit me, the feeling that it was time to work. It's crazy being here on my mission because it has been the most anticipated events in my life, I have been preparing for this time since I was born pretty much. After we got all situated we went back to the mission office in Boise, which is right by the temple, we were then to be oriented, meet our companions, and assigned our area. During orientation we were told that all 29 of us elders and sisters who had come in, just in that one day, made up 20% of the mission! 

After orientation we had a lunch that was so refreshing because it was REAL food, unlike the MTC, then went into the chapel where we were to be assigned our area and companions. As sets of Trainers went up I tried to see myself with each one and who I could possibly be paired with. It wasn't until the 3rd set that went up and as Elder Meraz was explaining his area as big so we will always have a car, but also there is a lot of service... as soon as I heard that I thought to myself, "There's my companion." Haha. So I was paired with Elder Meraz as my companion and trainer. As we sat down together he told me he had only been out 6 months exactly and that it would be the blind leading the blind. Our area is in Meridian, we have two wards, the Greenhill ward and the 3rd ward. Since we cover 2 wards I get 6 hours plus of church depending on if we have meetings or not, but the minimum is 6 hours.

Elder Meraz is awesome, he's from Arizona and wrestled in high school and I guess was pretty good, he also likes to snowboard a lot which is his most favorite thing to do. Luckily, he likes soccer and even has a Manchester United Shirt! The Spanish missionaries set up soccer every Friday with investigators, so I'll have some sort of exercise and I won't get too fat. The members here are great, we actually say in a members home, down in their basement. The members feed us every night with out fail whether they go buy it from the restaurant and bring it to you or you actually go into their homes. On the second day here we went to Chikfila to get some lunch with the zone leaders and the distritct leader and his companion. They have a trick, which is to stand inside waiting to order because sometimes members will see us and pay for it. This time it didn't work. The missionaries here call it the Boise 40 which means serving here in Boise, I will gain 40 pounds inevitably. I am going to try and resist but its hard with this great food. They have Grandma Sycamore bread here too!!! uhoh.

We have a lot of appointments and people to contact here so our days are pretty busy. Elder Meraz has been teaching an elderly couple and has a baptism lined up for Tuesday. Their situation is unique, they are old and have some medical problems so the plan is that when ever they wake up one day and feel good, they are going to give us a call and we are going to go fill the font. Pretty cool I think! On one of my very first appointments I met Rob. Rob is a man of about 60 and is single. He has a cool Ford Ranchero (it's a el camino but ford edition) that he is working on and he's one of those guys who has a lot of cool fun facts. Anyways, he is an atheist and believes in science and needs evidence for everything. He says the bible is a nice story and that Jesus was a man who once walked on Earth, and he knows this because there are writings, not including the bible, that say he was a real man, but that Jesus wasn't the Son of God. He thinks that Jesus was a magician, because he says nowadays you see magicians making elephants disappear, so imagine what they could do then. He just believes that the bible could be true record, but the events in it could just be of illusions. I shared Proverbs 3:5 with him but he didn't have much to say about it. He's a stubborn man, and Elder Meraz and I think that one day he will believe in God but there is going to be a big humbling experience that will get him to that point.

At the end of the day on Friday Elder Meraz and I just got home from exchanges with the zone leaders. I went with one to go do service at a Catholic thrift store and help a sister move, and he went with one to a doctors appointment and other things that had to be done. We were deciding on weather or not we should do the weekly planning or to go follow up with a lady we tracted into, Teresa, who is probably in her late 50's. I felt that we should go follow up. So after we prayed, got out of the car, and knocked a lady that was not Teresa answered the door and we talked with her and asked her questions about the church and we finally get to the point where she say's that she isn't interested. So we then ask for Teresa and with reluctance she went back inside to get Teresa. During the time she went to get Teresa, we look at each other and we both think that this isn't going to be well and that she could possibly be a lesbian, because the lady that answered the door was about her age and went back into Teresa's room. Teresa finally comes out and as we talk to her we find out that that lady was her sister and that her Brother is a member, but she's catholic. We start to teach her the first discussion, right there on her porch. She seemed really engaged and I know she felt the spirit because we did so I asked when would be a good time for us to come back and teach her more. She said next Tuesday. I handed her a pass along card with our number on it and we left. After we got in the car Elder Meraz and I looked at each other and smiled. It was a great experience. Hopefully more to come. 

Yesterday on Sunday, during second hour of our second church we were brought aside by two Chinese ladies, one a member of the ward, Sister Hubble, and the other a non member who had just came too church that day for her first time, her name was Gelly. They both didn't speak English as their primary language, but Sister Hubble was fluent, she wanted us to teach Gelly the first lesson, the Restoration. We talked with Gelly, Sister Hubble doing her best translating for her because Gelly only knew basic words and sentences, but we came to find out that Gelly just got to the US with her 17 year old son 3 months ago. During those first 2 1/2 months in the US she was in California. The rest she has been here in Idaho. While in California she felt that she needed to start believing in a Heavenly Father, so she attended a bunch of different Christian churches. Once she got to Idaho she met Sister Hubble and she came to Our church. She told us she wanted to learn more but also wanted us to help her to get her son to believe that we have a loving Heavenly Father. So we decided to teach the Restoration. Within the first 3 minutes of our discussion she was overcome with the Spirit and began to cry. We asked her if she felt God's love for her and she said she did and that she only has felt it one other time, when she felt she needed to believe in God. This was such an awesome experience. She is most definitely golden. God works in mysterious ways. As a companionship Elder Meraz and I set a goal to learn how to teach in more simpler terms. Teaching Gelly and having Sister Hubble translate for us made it possible for us to speak with plainness of tongue. It was a good learning experience for us but more importantly a great experience for Gelly to come unto Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. We are to meet with her and her son on Tuesday also.

I know that I am an instrument in God's hands, I ,or Elder Meraz, didn't teach Gelly it was Heavenly Father. I am so excited to be doing his work for him on this Earth and for his people here in the Idaho Boise Mission. I love you all. 

~Elder Stevens

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Week 2

I don't have much time today to talk due to packing and laundry and departure activities, but I wanted to tell you and the whole family that I miss and love y'all. I will be waking up at 3:35 amand then getting to the airport around 6, so 8 yall's time. When we get to the airport they are giving us permission to call and talk to family for however long we want, I bought a call card that will allow me to talk for about 30-40 min. We then board at 8:41 and arrive in BOISE, IDAHO at 9:52!!! It's getting real real now! I'd also like to share one experience that I've had this week. I've noticed that since I've been on my mission I have been able to see all the things I can do and preform because of the gospel, but before my mission I was so focused on all the things I can't do because of the gospel. Since that epiphany I have felt ashamed for ever thinking that the gospel of Jesus Christ is a burden. I was able to preform my first blessing of comfort this week to a sister (to Jacey) she is a friend of Madie Wilkes, she went to college with her. Anyways, she was originally going to have her District Leader do it, but she prayed and Elder Stevens popped into her head. She said she had been having withdrawals, I don't know which kind but I felt that it was the drug kind of withdrawals. During her blessing I felt impressed to tell her about what my mom had wrote in the front of my Book of Mormon. I later let her read what my mom wrote and she said that that and her blessing was exactly what she needed. I've learned not to believe in coincidences and look for the tender mercies of the Lord. It was a tender mercy that I took my 10 year old, somewhat falling apart Book of Mormon with me, when I was even asked if I wanted a new set of scriptures. Because of this experience, and many others, I KNOW this church is true. I love and miss y'all.

Elder Stevens

Monday, August 17, 2015

First Week First Letter

Today we received our very first email from Jaden. He is doing so well. He sounds so good & really has embraced this mission & is prepared to serve The Lord with all that he has to offer. It is such a blessing to have this experience where you dedicate every minute you are awake to learning & preparing to teach others about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Here is his first letter:

Dear Family!!!

I have learned so much here at the MTC!!! I know for a fact that the church is true and I can say it with such assurance because of all the many things I have learned and the things I've felt. The spirit is so strong here. I've ALMOST cried twice due to the spirit. I've never even come close to crying before. Anyways just to give you the run down of what I do here all day... I wake up at 5:45to shower 45 min before everyone else AND NO SHAWN THERE ARE NO SHOWERS POLES WITH 6 SHOWER HEADS AROUND, THEY ARE CURTAINED OF STALLS, ha. By the time I put my name tag on in the morning most of the 5 other elders in the room are getting out of bed so while they are getting ready I study. Then we have personal study time from 6:45-7:40 then breakfast at 7:45. Then from after breakfast on its go go go, with 2 3 hour classes just in one small classroom with 10 elders, and different role play situations where Elder Bennion (my companion) and I teach one of our teachers. Our teachers are trained to act as real investigators and right now we are teaching them the restoration. We have a TRC where we teach a member who is struggling with something in their life and they come to get a lesson by missionaries here in the MTC! Elder Bennion and I taught this girl, Jenneve, On Saturday and she told her struggle and because of how much this place has changed me I flipped open right to a scripture and Elder Bennion and I taught her for about 30 mins with out any sort of shyness too... suprising huh? I was 100% comfortable. We then go to back to the dorms around 10 then around 10:15 quiet time I right in my journal until lights out at 10:30 and then sleep. On Thursday when we met our Branch Presidency they pulled each of us aside and interviewed everyone in our zone which is about 60 Elders and Sisters to assign all the district leaders and which companionship was to be the zone leaders... to keep the long story short Elder Bennion and I were assigned to be the zone leaders. Its a stressful job but I'm excited. This up coming Wednesday we, the zone leaders and sister training leaders, are welcoming 40 more elders and sisters to the MTC and we are to give them a tour of the MTC and Share our testimonies. Anyways I need to go times pretty much up, but I miss everyone and I am so ready to get out of here. I've only shared a fourth of everything Again, I miss everyone. Love you all.

Elder Stevens