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 : )