Friday, December 14, 2012

Stephanie Lofgreen's Letter From Home --I am NOT Dead!!!

December 13,2012

Hey fam!
Thanks for all the little lines you´ve dropped me in the last little while. They are wonderful. I´m especially grateful for what you said about love casting out fear. That´s exactly what I needed to hear. I have had a rough week adjusting to everything, but I have definitely felt the strength of the Lord beside me. I am also really glad that you put those verses of Nephi´s psalm that I love in an email to everyone, because then I got to look over them again. and sometimes we just need to be reminded of the things that we already know.  That the Lord loves us. That He is always watching out for us and that His arms are outstretched towards us still. He will never give up on us if we don´t give up on Him; if we keep returning to Him and really do all we can to give Him all of ourselves, He will be the source of our joy and the source of our hope, the source of our rejoicing and this is what we want because His strength never fails. I love how the Lord says in the scriptures so many times that He is faithful.  He is constant and unwavering in His support of us even when we are not always willing to look to Him. He is full of faith in us because He knows exactly what He wants us to become.  He is our creator and who are we to say what He can and can´t accomplish with us.
I am so glad that the Lord loves me enough to ask me to do hard things, to expect more of me and to always give me the opportunity be more, to always give me the opportunity to feel His love. And for the promise we have from Elder Holland, from his talk a few conferences ago, that because the Savior walk that lonely path from the Garden to the cross and suffered for us alone we don´t have to. We will have sorrow and tribulation, but we don´t ever need to feel a lack of His love if we will constantly turn our hearts to Him through constant prayer and just try to take one more step ahead, trusting in His power to guide us.
I don´t know what else to really say besides that I love you all, and I know the Lord is with you.
Good luck with the driving Hannah, and I´m so happy that Jeremy is coming home for Christmas with you all.
Also, today is a little weird because we were supposed to have an hour for email 2 days ago, even though we didn´t have p-day because of the christmas conference with our mission on Tuesday. But our leaders forgot to tell us until the next day, when we already had plans.. so we have an hour of email today. but generally it will be on Mondays.
My companion is awesome.  Before I got here I had several experiences where I felt certain that Heavenly Father was mindful of both of us and the work He had/has for us to do, and I am more certain of that now than ever.
Thank you for your prayers! Keep em comin. We need all the faith we can get on our side.
I love you!
The gospel´s true!
Love,  Steph/Sister Lofgreen
P.S. I don´t really know what´s up with the whole mom being dead thing. Sister Fluckiger is from Provo so... it wasn´t a translation thing... haha. Who knows. I still know she loves me. haha

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Stephanie is in Portugal!

Ola Familia!!!
I get to email you to tell you that I’m alive and that I’m in Portugal! Its beautiful, every once in a while I’m scared out of my mind to have to go talk to anyone and others I just can’t wait to get out there, but most the time I’m just happy to take it all in. All the people speaking this language I’m supposed to be able to recognize and the humidity and the beautiful places and the driving and our lovely mission president and his wife.

I have been told the name of my area and my trainer and I don’t remember either. Forgive me.

Also forgive me for the really quick phone call in the airport. I really wanted to be able to say more. And then I tried to call again in Atlanta, but I ran out of time. And just so Jeremy knows I even bummed quarters off of all my elders to call him, but I missed him. I’m so sorry for my inadequate planning, but I love you all. Pray for me! To learn the language, to love the people, and to have faith stronger than my weaknesses.

Also, it is going to take a long time for mail to get here, so we are going to learn how to utilize email really well.

Have the best days and the best week and do your best in everything.

The gospel’s true!


Sunday, December 2, 2012

You're so wrapped up in layers, onion boy, you're afraid of your own feelings!!!!

Ola familia!

I am flying out on Tuesday!!! So first order of business. My flight leaves at 8:30. So I could call you in the morning before then or in Atlanta between like noon and 3 sometime. Let me know what works best for you, family. 
Also, I have way more stuff here than I need, so Jeff said (when I ran into him on Wed.) that555555555555555555555555555555555555555555555nhy7825 ik0'14njlp (that was from my companion, she says its Welsh but she might be lying--also she loves you all and is grateful for you sharing me with her, she says I'm awesome and I'm pretty sure its true :) he might try to come find me in my classroom  and get it from me and if that doesn't work I will just be mailing it to you.  (I hope that didn't completely erase the meaning from that paragraph.)

In other news, I want to actually respond to all the letters that I got last week and the week before that I didn't have the presence of mind to actually respond to last week. 

I really loved what you taught me dad about that Heavenly Father will use all of experiences to teach us things that He will be able to use in the future and that He will use them in really small ways to accomplish His work. It reminded me of some really specific direction that I have been given (that I feel like I can share) that it will be as I remember who I am and who I represent DAILY that I will be able to do the things that Heavenly Father sent me here to do. And I think that even though it is something that I specifically need to remember, it is still something that is true for all of us. And as for the China rumors that you have been hearing. That's not the only source that I have heard that from. Its like the 3rd or even 4th. So who knows? But I think its a good sign.

Ok. I really didn't use my email time very well this week. So, I will just share a few little things from this week and be off. 
One, Heavenly Father really really loves us and go read 2 Ne 4:16-35.
Also, I know that this is His work and that I'm exactly where I need to be. I know that He is taking care of all of you from the things that I have heard from you. And I know that He can do a much better job at meeting your needs than I ever could if I was there. If you will let Him help you make your plans and just ask for His help. So thanks for teaching me that. 

Sorry about the lame letter... But I still love you all!!!


2 Nephi 4
16 Behold, my asoul delighteth in the things of the Lord; and mybheart pondereth continually upon the things which I have seen and heard.
 17 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great agoodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O bwretched man that I am! Yea, my heart csorrowethbecause of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities.
 18 I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily abeset me.
 19 And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have atrusted.
 20 My God hath been my asupport; he hath led me through minebafflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
 21 He hath filled me with his alove, even unto the bconsuming of my flesh.
 22 He hath confounded mine aenemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
 23 Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given meaknowledge by bvisions in the night-time.
 24 And by day have I waxed bold in mighty aprayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high; and angels came down and ministered unto me.
 25 And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been acarriedaway upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.
 26 O then, if I have seen so great things, if the Lord in his condescension unto the children of men hath avisited men in so much bmercycwhy should my dheart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow, and my flesh waste away, and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?
 27 And why should I ayield to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to btemptations, that the evil one have place in my heart to destroy my cpeace and afflict my soul? Why am Idangry because of mine enemy?
 28 Awake, my soul! No longer adroop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the benemy of my soul.
 29 Do not aanger again because of mine enemies. Do not slacken my strength because of mine afflictions.
 30 Rejoice, O my aheart, and cry unto the Lord, and say: O Lord, I will praise thee forever; yea, my soul will rejoice in thee, my God, and the brock of my salvation.
 31 O Lord, wilt thou aredeem my soul? Wilt thou deliver me out of the hands of mine enemies? Wilt thou make me that I may shake at the appearance of bsin?
 32 May the gates of hell be shut continually before me, because that my aheart is broken and my spirit is contrite! O Lord, wilt thou not shut the gates of thy righteousness before me, that I maybwalk in the path of the low valley, that I may be strict in the plain road!
 33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thyarighteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine benemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.
 34 O Lord, I have atrusted in thee, and I will btrust in thee forever. I will not put my ctrust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his dtrust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.
 35 Yea, I know that God will give aliberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I bask cnot amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the drockof my erighteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

Friday, November 23, 2012

More Pictures

Thanksgiving-Stephanie Sent Pictures



Thanksgiving was so good! Elder Holland came and spoke to us. And probably my favorite thing about his visit was that he brought his grandkids and had them play the piano and sing and bear their testimonies and then his wife spoke. And I just loved seeing how much he loved them and how much more he was capable of loving them because he was such a good man. Before his wife spoke, they stood up together and he just had his arm around her shoulders and was holding her so tight and he just told us all about how grateful he is for her and for her role in her family and how great she is and I just loved how capable he was of seeing her goodness because of how good he is. They said they were our family for the day and that we didn't really have a lot of choice in the matter.
He also talked about that we don't really--that he doesn't even really--comprehend how incredibly blessed we have been to be born in this time, in this the last and greatest dispensation. Every other era has ended in apostasy and a loss of the gospel from the earth, and in every other era the reach of the gospel has been so limited and the prophets and saints in those times knew that they were in essence fighting a losing battle--their works were going to eternally affect the lives of many people, but that their time would fade into apostasy again. And for many of them, they saw our age, and that it was a comfort to them. They saw that one day the gospel would fill the whole earth and that brought them hope and peace and comfort and joy and now we are in it! And then we watched 17 Miracles last night and that just built on all the things that I was able to appreciate all day.

Also, I got my travel plans on Wednesday. So unless my visa doesn't come in I should be calling you on the 4th sometime! I will get to email you again before then, like next saturday I believe. But I'm excited!

Sorry this is so short this week!

I love you will all and will probably send you another hand written letter.

Much love,


Sunday, November 18, 2012

I LOVE CHRISTMAS! (aka all elf quotes have been thoroughly wiped from my memory.)

Hello Family!

How is life? Big question I know. Thanksgiving coming up. I've been trying to explain it to my companion and our British elders, but I haven't been succeeding. All we really have to say about it is that we eat a lot, but that isn't the sentiment that I remember. I remember lots of food, but more than that I remember the holiday feeling that envelopes everything and having all the family at grammie's house and the atmosphere of all the mom's and everyone working together to get this giant meal, to create the experience of their childhoods, the memories that are share about who like what foods and why we eat certain foods and that all that good feeling and family memories and gratitude for those who have gone before us and left us this legacy of family and the gospel is stuffed into one meal. I love it. So enjoy it with out me. That sounded really depressing, but that's not how I meant it at all. I am genuinely happy to know that you will all be getting together and having that experience that I love. And I am happy that I get to be in the place where I have found more gratitude for the blessings of the gospel that I have had all my life and where I have learned more about the joy that gratitude brings (not the other way around). Plus I overheard some people at the front desk talking about the humanitarian projects they were getting ready for thanksgiving for us to work on. And I can't think of anything better to be doing in the MTC on thanksgiving, so I'm pretty excited for that too. 

Some things that I am thankful for today:

You are fantastic! I am so impressed by your bravery and your trust in the Lord. Thank you so much for your example of this. It really has changed me. I loved getting the familiar subject line of Hello from Herriman when I got on my email this week. 
That I always know that you will do what the Lord asks of you no matter what. I've never had to doubt that. So thanks. It's really set the bar pretty high for what I expect. 
Your loyalty.
Your love. (your letters mean the world.)
Your sincerity and care for your younger brothers, and forgiveness. You're the bomb at forgiveness.
Your intelligence and willingness to recognize the good things in the world and that they come from Heavenly Father.
Your joy! Your power to lift.
To have a friend to rely on and relate to no matter what! and your passion for life. 

Sorry those have to be so short. but clock's a tickin. 

Last thing. What I learned this week. That the Lord is not always going to tell us when the Spirit is working on us (listen to Eld. Bednar talk about this, The 20 Mark Note.) and that we will be able to follow it and do what He asks of us when we are focused on helping others and focused on Him (which are usually the same thing). How's that for concise. Maybe if I remember sometime I will tell you how I learned that.

I love you all so much and am always praying for you. Let me know how the holiday season is kicking off and anything and everything else that matters to you, that's going on, or what ever!

Much love,

Stephanie Lyn Lofgreen\
Steph/ whatever else you want to call me ...

Friday, November 9, 2012



Thanks for the letters this week. I really love hearing about what's going on with all of you. And even though the boys didn't write, Dad did a good job of giving me updates on their lacrosse and stuff so I still feel complete. :) I also love hearing how proud Dad is of the boys with all their little and big triumphs. I feel like the details you chose to share really gave me a little glimpse of how much you love us. 
I just need to hear from Jeremy! yooouu sneeaakyy brother! But at least mom let me know that you are all good in spite of the hurricane. So I guess its ok. 

Dad- I really loved hearing about the experience you had with fast offerings with Tom. I know it makes a difference to him :) I think he may have been even more impressed with that than with your parallel parking skills. haha. 

Mom  I'm glad that you still feel my love even if I'm not there, because I've definitely been sending it out, and I'm glad to know that Heavenly Father has been helping it reach you. I love you family! And me and my companion were talking earlier today about those moments when you get so happy because you remember that you get to keep your family forever. 

I had a really great experience last night that I want to share with you! Especially you Hannah, because your letter reminded me of it. In your letter you said that you were reminded that you can find the solution to your problem in Christ's example and in learning about He taught. Well, that's the solution to my problems too! Amazing how that works. I'm having a hard time knowing where to start with this story. 
So we'll start here: Earlier in my personal study, I specifically thought about a question that I had about how to teach my investigators more the way the Savior would. Then as we were teaching an investigator, I just totally forgot about all the things we had talked about while planning the lesson. Don't you just love those moments. And then in class after that my teacher completely addressed what I had done wrong--the principles that I had forgotten and how to address them, how to counteract that. And then he just mentioned the chapter that I had studied that morning and how Christ's example in that chapter was the example we should follow in relation to this problem. And so from that incredibly vague summary of what happened, this is what I learned: Heavenly Father really hears us and wants to answer our questions. He knows our thoughts and desires and as we ASK Him, He really will answer our questions and fulfill our righteous desires. And I know this by both the actual occurrence of my question being answered last night and many other times, as well as by the feeling in my heart that says "yes I love you and am aware of you."

Also, a lot of people ahve been forgetting to put my mailbox number when they dear elder me. its 157. the post office asked me to remind you.

Also, if anyone wants to send Elder Moore in my district (same mailbox and everything) a letter, he would probably like it. (hannah? haha. don't feel obligated) 

Love you lots, sorry I can never remember anything when I sit down to type.

Sister Stephanie Lyn Lofgreen

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Nov 2, 2012

Ola familia!

First off. How are Jeremy and Marsali and all the Hancocks out on the east coast? All we hear here at the MTC is random rumors about what is going on with the storm from what people have heard from people's families. And our Branch Presidency has said a few things, but they don't really have details about what is going on in the specific places where we know people. So if you could dearelder me about that tonight or tomorrow or something, that would be really great, just to know how everyone is doing.

This week started off on a really good note with a talk from Elder Bednar called Character of Christ that I would highly recommend to I think anyone. And so after that every single experience just seemed so much better. The main idea that I took from it was that the defining characteristic of Christ is that when the natural man wants to turn inward and just be selfish, Christ looks out. He always makes serving other people his first priority and when things are most inconvenient for him, he still chooses to focus on others first. Luckily, I have a companion who is also really really amazing at this. This last week, when she had just had a rough day. We all have them. A day where you just feel like you don't know how to teach the gospel and you don't know how to communicate in the language, and you are just having a hard time feeling the strength of this calling. But even so, at the end of that long day with some bad lessons and just hard feelings, when we got back to our residence she was still the one who noticed the needs of the other sisters in our branch and made time in her busy tired state to pay attention to them and just talk about the things they were going through. And those little acts of selflessness are what really impress me and really show me what I can become. I am so lucky to be surrounded by such amazing people.

We got some new sisters in our room this week too! They are going to Hungary, so the mornings of 6 sisters in 1 room trying to get ready are pretty crazy, but also hilariously great with all the chatter and people apologizing for being in each other's way and just the overall girliness and positivity are kind of hilarious. in a good way I guess. haha.

One of my favorite things that I've been learning how to be better at this week is asking questions. Asking questions is hard. Asking good questions that help people learn is hard. In class our teachers have us read the book of Mormon all together and after one person reads a couple of verses the person before asks them questions to try to help them really think about what they have read and help them to receive revelation. Our teachers are so good at this, and it didn't seem like such an amazing skill until I started trying to do it. The thing I think has made the biggest difference is a line from Preach My Gospel about using the Book of Mormon effectively in teaching the gospel. They talk about likening the scriptures and describe likening the scriptures to us as creating a mental bridge between understanding the doctrine and living the doctrine. I had always just thought of likening the scriptures as trying to see how the scriptures relate to us, which is part of it, but the thing that really made the difference for me (when people were asking me questions) was when the question was requiring me to specifically identify things in my life that could be changed by this doctrine or finding specific things in my life that were examples of what we were talking about. I don't feel like I identified what was really important about those questions and that activity, but there's no going back in email time. :) But you should read about it in PMG instead of my half thought out explanation.
But asking better questions has really made all the difference with my investigators as well. As I come up with better questions I'm so much better at really focusing on them and what they need.
It has also made all the difference in my learning by myself. I have always had a hard time coming up with questions when I have studied on my own. but just as a little proof from heavenly Father that its important and that when we ask He really gives us answers. I don't have time to tell my example cause time is up, but tell me about yours! and anything else you want to! I miss you, but I know you're in good hands, the best in fact.

Sorry for the random thoughts. Hope they mean something to you.

Much love,

Sister Stephanie Lofgreen : )

Saturday, October 27, 2012


Dear family,
I just got back from the temple! (I love that we get to go to the temple every p-day.) We did initiatories today, and it was just what I needed to remember how much Heavenly Father loves me.
Last night I had a small moment of feeling a bit down where I just want to cry for no apparent reason, and I just wasn't feeling super capable. It didn't last long, those moments have really been so much less discouraging in the MTC than they have in other parts of my life in the past. But nonetheless, Heavenly Father still remembered that I was a bit down and my time in initiatories was enough to complete reverse the effects of those feelings. Along with re-reading the last half of D&C 1 starting with the verses I read in my farewell talk about the Lord teaching the nations and accomplishing His work with the small and weak things of the world.
Katy/ Sora Macdonald left for Romania this week. On Monday actually. I miss seeing her face from time to time, but I am sooooo excited to hear what Romania is like and for her to be able to get out there and actually teach the people there! In her place (sort of but not really) my companion's friend from Wales arrived! Her accent is so great, as is her Welsh flag. It filled me with joy when I saw it in her room. I am unable to communicate to her how much I love Wales (not whales), having no real reason for it, and so I end up just not really being able to talk to her at all since all I can think about when I'm talking to her is the thousand random facts and things that I love about Wales.
Request! I know you're busy, but I would really love to have a copy of my father's blessing from this year. 
I really love you guys writing me! It makes me happy to be able to see a little bit of what's going on in your lives.

The timer on this thing is really not nice. I logged out to make a list of all the things that I was thinking of to say, and even though I closed out of the program, it kept counting!!!
Anyways, pictures. I have some, we just have yet to figure out how to get them onto a computer and with the extremely limited computer time its been difficult to be able to find any time to figure it out. We figure we will go ask a tech-y person in 2M later. So sorry about that. Also, if you wanted to... you could send me a picture of the fam. I didn't even think about it when I left, but I would like to be able to show my companions what y'all look like.
Hannah- I totally know what you mean about fairytales and the plan of salvation. I think I had the same sort of revelation about man's innate desire to tell stories that mirror the structure of the Plan of Salvation. And I would use that everytime people tried to tell me how tragedies are so much more realistic than comedies. I will probably write you more about it later, but I got really excited that you had the same sort of experience with that as I did.
Most of all, I just wanted to tell each of you, Mom, Dad, Jeremy, Hannah, Paul, and Tom, and Will---cause I think about this with each of you individually-- that I am so so so grateful for the assurance that Heavenly Father has given me time and time again (in my heart as well as in my setting apart and my father's blessing) that He is watching out for you guys, especially while I'm away. And I thank Him every night that I know that He knows you and loves you better than I do and I do my very best to trust that He will bless you while I'm away. So look for it! Cause I know with everything that I have and am that He is and that He really really really loves all of us. And I am so grateful for that.
Can you believe that I have almost been here for a month? I can't. Every day feels like 5, but the weeks are flying by! It's crazy all those things people said were actually true! haha. And the time will go even faster for all the new missionaries arriving in January, because they are shortening the time that everyone stays here.
Well, time's up. I love you all so much and can't wait to from you!
Sister Lofgreen!

Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm so excited to write you guys this week about all of the things that  have been going on here, but when I sit down I don't know where to start. Next week, I should really think about it beforehand.
Before I forget. I have Jeremy's address address. I was hoping for his email address, so I could email him. Sorry for the confusion there. Thanks for all the letters this week. Its really like Christmas when your district leader pulls our a letter for you to go read at the end of the day. We get all giddy to go here about the outside world. As much as we love it here, there's no place like home. :) Also. Dad accidentally sent his letter three times, so it was like extra awesome Christmas that night. Hannah. Keep the details coming. I love feeling like I'm not missing out too much on your life even though I'm not there with you all the time.
Yes Tom. I have been sucked into playing volleyball. We play almost every gym time actually. And its been fine up until this week. I may or may not have basically punched one of the elders in the face during a game this week. Let's just say, no one is unfamiliar with my lack of coordination and tendency narrate that lack with sound effects... But it's fun anyways!
This week we had a really good devotional that talked a lot about planning. Immediately after which me and Sister Warburton proceeded to not apply and have our first really terrible lesson. It was really amazing how bad at Portuguese and at working together we are when we don't have the Spirit to help us because we simply haven't put in our part in planning and preparing. But it was ok, because Sister Warburton is really great and showing me the good in every situation that we have. So good lesson or bad, as we talk and work for the next one I feel like we are really good at helping each other learn a lot.
In Sacrament meeting last week one of the counselors in our Branch Presidency was released and so the counselor and his wife both bore their testimonies; and I don't know why I'm really sharing that detail other than that was the occasion when I had this thought. While Sister Keck was bearing her testimony I was just overwhelmed with how grateful I am that we all are given such different gifts and strengths and that we have the opportunity to help each other and learn from each other through them. And I was so grateful in particular for Hannah and how different she is from me and what different and amazing strengths she has from me and that I get to have her as my sister. I love you! I was so grateful in particular that you (ignore the changing voice) are so good at owning/using the gifts that you have and that because of that I have learned to really appreciate other people's gifts and through that understand better that my gifts really come from Heavenly Father and are not something for me to be proud of or to keep to myself. They are His to use the way He wants to and the biggest thing I am learning how to do is how to let Him and how to best build them and improve them so that He can use me even more. So thanks Hannah for being my sister and helping me to learn that amazingly important principle just by being yourself and different from me.
The other thing that I have really been learning this week in conjunction with that is how simple and straightforward the gospel of Jesus Christ is and should be when we talk about it. And that Heavenly Father has really given us all the tools that we need to learn about it if we work to utilize them. I don't know if I can really explain that thought much more at the moment, so hopefully it means something to you anyways.
Also, I asked a couple of weeks ago in a handwritten letter, but my writing was really bad... but could you maybe send me some normal socks to wear during gym time. I've been borrowing my companion's and she would probably like for me to stop. And if not this week, I'll just buy some big ones in the shop, but if you could I would very much appreciate it.
Well, time is running out. sorry for the randomness. I will try to organize my thoughts for next week and actually reply to the letters you sent me. Maybe even try to remember a funny story or two. (Like earlier this week when I accidently told my teacher she was awful... in english... the statement was "You're awful." and I didn't notice until she started laughing a little bit... yeah, the embarrassing moments haven't stopped since I got here. Or like the other day when someone asked me how I was and I replied with "agua." Por que? nao sei. Or like how I have a laughing fit in every class that we have covering the hours of 8:30-9:30. Oh and my district has taken to trying to imitate my laugh....)
Well, farewell.
Sister Lofgreen

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Saturday, October 13, 2012