Monday, August 24, 2015

Awkward, Weird and Funny

Hi family!!  I hope you all had an amazing week full of awesomeness!  This week was really great!  The reason for the title this week is 3 words that Hermana Brighurst described each of us.  Guess which one I am!  Yep im the lucky weird one.  I just have to keep life interesting!  she said Hermana Gallardo is awkard which i can agree on because she is so awkward on phone calls and talking infront of people in district meeting and conference calls that we just have to give her a hard time.  Speaking of awkward we were talking about awkward moments on the mission the other day...and there is just too many.  I feel like the whole mission is just one big awkward moment.  haha but ya there is alot of awkward moments...especially when we go knocking.  I cant even get over it of how awkward it gets.  haha but its just so fun and so many good memories.  Ok sorry anyways moving on from the awkward subject.  Then hermana bringhurst says that she is funny.  I have never laughed so hard in my life since meeting this girl.  We just get along so well and she is so darn funny!!  

So this week was amazing!  This email is going to be all over again, because i forgot to make an outline again whoops!   
After we went knocking and it was 104 outside for 2 hours

So i will just start with highlights of this week.  On tuesday we got in contact with a less active that we have been trying to get in contact with for the 8 weeks ive been here, and we finally did and got an appointment with her.  We got a new phone number which is actually a blessing because now people dont know its the missionaries that are callingn and we have got in contact with so many more people becasue of it!  So we went to her house and she has 5 kids the oldest 2 are baptized but the 9 year old isnt.  Long story short i invited him to baptism and the mom and him both said yes!!  He is getting baptized on September 12 so that was a huge miracle in itslelf!  We went there not even thinking about getting someone on date!!  He is really excited and we are meeting with him again on tuesday!  His name is Jon :) we taught the whole entire family the restoration and the mom said she wants to start coming back to church and she has a car!!!  halaluja!!!!!  Someimes we spend hours trying to find rides for these wonderful people so there is another huge miracle!   
We treated ourselves to Arbys mmmmm mtn dew i miss you!

So on Friday we went on exchanges with the Sister training leaders.  Me and Hermana Brinhurst, our greenie, stayed here in Chamblee and sister lund came with us and Hermana Gallardo went english speaking with sister olsen!  It was one of the funnest days i have had being on the mission!!  We had so many appointments and it was just so fun!!  It was really a good confidence builder for me knowing that i can do this without a forein speaking companion.  It was also fun talking most of the time in the lessons and Hermana Bringhurst is amazing and she did so well!! We went knocking and i taught her how to do a door aproach and she did so well!!  We survived by ourselves and we had so much fun!!  Sister lund, the sister training leader, even took us out to ice cream after we were all done!  It was a way fun day, and i just learned that it is the spirit that teaches these lessons and thats why people invite us back.  It doenst matter how little of spanish we may know because its the spirit that they feel.  Oh and i got to drive the car!!!  Talk about stressfull!!!  Ya i would way rather make phone calls and not drive now that i experienced driving in geogia.  I made so many wrong turns becuase there is like so many differnent little roads on the gps and they all blend in haha!  I was happy to hand the keys back over to Hermana Gallardo.

On thursday we went over to la familia Ayala for dinner, they are a cute old peruvian couple that we go eat at every other thursday.  And we got there a little bit late and they we walked in and there was Hilda and Antonio (two of our investigators) sitting eating dinner.  Wow what an amazing miracle our members are amazing to go out of their way and friendshiop our investigators.  Our investigators are peruvian too.  We had an amazing lesson with them about how to gain a testimony of the book of mormon.  It was soo cool!  

Us with Sally one of the girls getting baptized 

So we invited and got so many people to commit to coming to church this week.  I thought for sure we would have 13 investigators there haha.  But we really did call and invited people like crazy on saturday night.  So on sunday during the closing song of sacrament, hermana bringhurst was playing the piano and i was looking out on the audiance.  I was kind of sad because the only investigators we had come to church were sally and jessy the ones getting baptized this saturday.  I thought for sure we would have a few more because we have so many investigators that are progressing and had committed to coming to church.  We were singing "grandes eres tu"   i think that is "how great thou art" in english and there walks in Hilda and Antonio with their two kids.  I litterally started crying.  I was so happy!  I think some of my happiest moments have been seeing our investigators coming to church or just making a huge step.  that was huge of them to come to church.  That just shows that they are actually interested!  They stayed for sunday school and priestood/ relief society. Our branch did so amazing at friendshipping them both.  WOw such a huge miracle!  We were all so happy!!

It was pretty a good week.  Im really excited for this week to have a baptism!!!!!  woot woot!!  I just love being a misisonary so much!  I love being able to represent our savior.  he did so much for us.  He is my rock and my example.  The more i focuss on stepping in his foot steps, doing what he would do if he were a missionary, i am led to places i would never find on my own.  That is always my goal, to do as if he was always standing beside me, say what he would want me to say.  The more i focuss on doing this, the happier i am to be in this service, the more my faith grows, and the more love i have for my Savior.  "and he world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and theysmite him, and he suffereth it.  yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereh i, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men." 1nephi 19:9 he suffered it all for us because he loves us so much.  "wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and love of god and of all men.  wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasing upon the word of christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the father: ye shall have eternal life.  and now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of god.  and now, behold this is the doctrine of christ, and the only and true doctrine of the father, and of the holy ghost, which is on god, without end. amen"  This is the way to happiness.  I know these things to be true.  I love my savior and i am so thankful to know this knowledge.  I love you all so much!  I hope you all have a blessed week, and always remeber that he suffereth it because he loves you.
Hermana Stewart

Me with my two cute companions

Monday, August 17, 2015

It's Reaping Time!

Me and my comps!

Wow what a week!!  So many miracles happen!  We went and picked up our new greenie on Wednesday!  Her name is Hermana Bringhurst and she is from Provo, Utah...go figure haha!  She reminds me of the girl off of My Big Fat Greek Wedding!  Like no joke, they are twins!  She is great though!  Our investigators Sally and Jessy are progressing beautifully to baptism on the 29 this month.  All they have to do is do the interview questions, and they can enter the water of baptisms.  So the reason for my title is just that.  It is time to harvest.  Me and Hermana Gallardo have been planting seeds for the past 8 weeks and it is time to harvest these seeds!  We have 9 investigators that are progressing right now!  We don't even go knocking anymore because there is just no time because we have appointments everyday all day!  Its so wonderful!  Im so excited for these coming weeks!  
I ate a fish eye ball this week!!!!  Oh dad, you would be so proud...except I made the terrible mistake of chewing it...yikes!  But I got a arros con leche popcicle out of it haha!  We got fed a whole fish at the Zunigas on sunday!  our poor greenie had to have that for her very first meal on the mission...I coulnt even stop lauging when she put a whole fish infront of her face...haha welcome to the GAM!  Better get used to it!  I loved it!!!  So definitely not a picky eater anymore, if its edible its good!  Oh my goodness, do y'all remember back in the day where I did like spicy!  Well I was such a whimp haha, spicy is soooo good!!  My trainer is so proud!  She has made me put saracha hot sauce on everything I eat!  Its like ketchup now haha!  

We had some amazing lessons this week!  We are cerantley..sorry I really cant spell anymore haha, teaching 4 families right now!  Which could potentionally be 13 baptisms!!  I love teaching these families!  I want so badly for them to have what I have!  We have just barely started teaching these families like this week but they are looking mighty golden!  We are so excited!!  Holy moly Heavenly Father is so amazing!!
Martha and Jessy teaching me how to make papusas!

We are going to a dinasour museum today!! rarrr!!  yay for museums!!  also we like to try new restraunts and exotic foods with our sandy springs sister friends and last week we went to a viatnameese restraint and had pho!  I would recommend it!  but I would not recommend the bowl with 12 different types of meats...I ate stomach, intestine, tongue...ya and I don't even know what else was in there haha but it was actually pretty good, I mean I added saracha hot sauce and that makes everything good haha!  but we are going for indian food today!  My poor new companion does not like any food unless its American...she will learn soon!  We will teach her our ways!!  Mmm now my paradise meal is a plate of rice and beans and some type of carne with chile and a basket full of hot tortillas!  I love it!  My trainer, Hermana Gallardo is soo proud of her baby!  sorry this email is all over the place usually I have a little outline that I make to tell all of the highlights, but I forgot to make one so I feel like im missing so many things!!  But know that this week was amazing and full of so many miracles!  Like literally we saw miracles every single day big and small!!  We had so many amazing lessons that the spirit was just so strong in them and huge testomonie builder moments!  We went to visit one of our less active members, but she wasn't there but we met another lady that was there and she is like a "praise the Lord" kind of a women and we were teaching her about how we need prophets and she was getting really defensive about everthing we were saying and saying that all she needs in her life is Jesus and I was just sitting there so angry I coulnt even talk because first of all I do not like bashing with people because it just drives away the spirit and I do not like when people talk bad about our church, but it was just a good testimony builder to me and I really do know that this really is the true church and it is lead and guided by a prophet called of God!  
Me and the children 

Ok so a couple of other cool things, so I personally really like just walking up to random people and striking up a conversation.  We never really did that the first part of my mission, and I always wanted to talk to people but I never knew what to say in Spanish, but now that I can actually conversate with people in Spanish I do it all the time!  So we were going to the Walmart this week, store contacting because we ran out of toilet paper haha, and we were all walking into the store and I saw this cute lil old black lady pushing her cart to the cart putter a wayer.  The spirit told me to talk to her...for some reason it is really scary talking to people in English haha I don't know how to talk to people in English very well anymore ha!  but I knew I had to talk to her!  my companions didn't know that I was going to talk to her, cus usually we only talk to Spanish but I walked up to her and asked if I could help her with her cart.  in her cute lil southern accent she was like "oh that would be so kind of you sweetie" then I told her we are missionaries and I asked if we could say a prayer with her.  She told us she would love that and I asked her what her name was and then I told her I would go ahead and offer that for her.  She stuck her hands out (people in the south hold hands while they pray ha) so we all held hands I prayed in the middle of the parking lot of walmart right there for Elizabeth.  I have not said a prayer in English for a long time, and my English was very awkward haha.  When we got done praying she had tears in her eyes.  She said she felt such an overwhelming feeling of love from her heavenly father.  I told her that we loved her so much and she said it was so nice to hear someone tell her that they loved her.  She told us she just felt like she needed to go to the store today, I told her that I believe that we were sent here for a reason that we needed to see you Elizabeth.  She then told us that when she saw us walking toward her she felt like there was just something different about those girls.  We asked her, how about we get your number and address and send our English speaking friends to come see you.  She said she would like that a lot.  What a wonderful experience.  The Lord truly does guide us to people!  
What a wonderfuly week full of meeting wonderfull new friends and seeing lives change!  The days never seem to be dull if you are working hard. 

Us eating pho 
There is so much work here to do in Chamblee!  And the only way we can ever get it done is if we work together with the Lord and the Spirit!  We need to keep planting our seeds everywhere we go.  If we never planted, we would never harvest.  "and it came to pass that we did begin to till the earth, and we began to plant seeds; yea, we did put all our seeds into the earth, which we had brought from the land of Jerusalem. and it came to pass that they did grow exceedingly; wherefore, we were blessed in abundance." 1 nephi 18:24 This is my hope and my prayer, that I can continue to always be planting seeds and harvesting that which we plant.  The Lord has entrusted in me this part of his Vineyard, I want more than anything to show him appreciation for this oppertunitly that he has given me.  I love you all so much!  I pray for you everyday and I hope you feel our saviors love and the blessings from him.  There are a lot.  Please remember that in order to grow your faith you have to water and plant your seeds and continue to noursish them by reading the Book of Mormon and going to church.  How blessed we are to be in this gospel and feel of the power and blessings it brings to our family and in these famiiles here too.  I love you all and I hope you all have a blessed week! 
Hermana Stewart
We helped stuff the piƱata at a birthday party!
 Us eating a eyeball...I was the only one that actually swallowed the whole thing

Our fish meal

Monday, August 10, 2015

I'll Follow Him In Faith!

Sally and Jessy
Buenos dias mi familia!

What an incredible week!  So to start off, we are preparing for two baptisms on August 29!  Sally and Jessy are both 9 years old they are twins.  There mom is a member of 3 years, so we love to get them part member families all baptized!  we actually were'nt even expecting to get them on date.  We have only taught them one time before this week and it was like a month ago, and we havent been able to meet with them.  So we went to there house and the spirit just told us we needed to get them on date.  The girls both have been wanting to get baptized so we invited them and the mom agreed that this is what was right!!  We just needed to get them a ride to church and talk about serious complications!  This week i have been praying to Heavenly Father and asking him to help me have more faith and trust in about so many things that happened that really tested my faith.  I just like things to work out perfectly and in my way and in my time, but that does not ever happen ha! 

So finally on saturday night, at 9:58 we got off the phone with the mom of the two girls and she agreed to let this one family come pick them up but only if we would meet them there sunday morning to get the girls accuanted with them.  Me and my companion were litterally jumping up and down for joy in our appartment.  I then said "we should pray" (we pray alot, for help and for thanks!) so we got down on our knees and right before i started to pray, the phone rings.  We huried and got up and it was the zone leaders.  We answered and they asked how we were doing and we told them how awesome and excited we were because we have 2 girls finally on baptism date and things just barely worked out for getting them a ride to church and we were so happy!!  then one of the elders said, "well we are so sorry to be telling you this bad news right after hearing all that, but we just want you to know that you are gonna need to head to transfers this week."  My heart litterally sunk and i dint even know what to say!  We didnt know who was staying, who was going, or what was going to happen.  Talk about a trial of faith right after everything was starting to pick up.  We didnt let it stop us though.  Church was awesome with sally and jessy they loved it.  We showed them the baptismal font and they are really excited!  They are a little bummed though because they really wanted me to baptize them but i told them that i donts got the power haha.  But I told them i was gonna be right there watching them get baptized!  

So all the sister missionaries just love me and Hermana Gallardo.  They all just want to hang out with us on pdays.  So for today we got invited to do something from two different sisters.  We didnt know what to do!  We were walking into walmart and sister gallardo said "ah what should we do?!" and i said "lets pray about it."  she said "right now?"  then i said "ya why not!" so we prayed right in the middle of the parking lot walking into walmart.  psh such missionaries! ;) 

So this morning we got a call from the APs and they told us some really great news!!  They said that me and Gallardo are staying and going to be training together and picking up a new greenie on wednesday!!  halaluja!!!!!  We still have so much work to do here in Chamblee.  So so happy!  I love it here in Chamblee, this is my temporary home and family.  but i know that anywhere i go the people will become my family as well.  I want you all to know that what ever the Lord needs us to do, we can do it.  "and if it so be that the children of men keep the commandments of God he doth nourish them, and provide means whereby they can accomplish the thing which he has comanded them." 1 nephi 17:3  "and i will be your light in the wilderness; and i will prepare the way before you, if it so be that you keep my commandments, wherfor, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led" 1 nefi 17:13  I hope you all have a blessed week, and always follow him in faith!
Hermana Stewart

Face Masks
Soriano familia and elder taufa we made him a cake for his birthday.

Hermana Gallardo and I
us with the sandy springs and broket sisters!

Nayeli and Camilla at wafel house.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Grow where you are planted!

Hola y'all!

Dang can i just start off by saying i love you all so much!  i wish i could put it into words but there is just no words that are good enough.  I really do love you all so much though!  This week has been filled with so much awesomeness.  We went to the temple on Wednesday!  I love being in the temple.  I didnt want to leave haha but i guess the next best place to be is on a mission serving the Lord.  I was thinking about how great it is being on a mission.  You get a free car that you dont have to pay for gas or a car payment.  You get to read the scriptures and talk about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and their restored Gospel all day long!  You get to find some lost sheep.  You get fed everyday!  You make a new friend everyday!  How great it is.  how blessed am i!

Our invesitagators are doing well.  They are all progressing!  None of them are on date yet but the grass is green!  So i remember thinking in my head when i first arrived here on the mission "i cant wait for the day where i just enjoy being here."  The mission is dang hard, dont get me wrong but it is Dang good too!  So the other day we were driving and i was rocking out to "scripture power" or something like that and i just though, "wow i just enjoy being here.  I am content with this life.  This is my life for the next 15 months and im ok with it."  I finally reached that day!  I just enjoy being here.  There are moments where its way hard and people are mean and you just think "you dont realize that what im telling you is of greatest worth for you and it will make you happy" haha but you just have to keep going.  Thats the only way we will be happy in life.  there will always be something hard in life, but you cant bypass and float above them... (at least i havent figured that out yet, if anyone has then let me in on the secret).  but no that is not our purpose in life.  

We are here to learn, grow, and gain experience.  The only way to do that is to struggle a little here and there.  But what i cant tell you is that the struggling is oh so worth it.  If we hold on, keep on running we will have joy!!  Heavenly Father doenst want us to be misserable, "men are that they might have joy"  Now thats what i want!  I know we can have it too!  In this gospel we can have JOY!!  How blessed are we!  Wherever life takes, by golly just grow where you are planted.  That is the only way to have joy!  It took me almost 2 months to figure that out, and im still learning and figuring it out, but i have planted myself here in Georgia and now i am growing.  Not very fast, but i am growing.  I am so happy here!  Its hard here, but now that i have just accepted that this is my life for just a short time i can be happy.  I am so blessed to be doing this work.  I love the work!  Sometimes when we are out knocking doors and its 103 degrees and my clothes are soaking and an some angry person slams the door on our face, i just smile.  I smile and say to my companion "well we are one more person close to finding that lost sheep thats been prepared for us."

So this week i ate "gizzards".  I asked what it what and Alex one of the members just said "eat, dont ask, its eatable." haha he said he would tell me after i ate it.  It was actually not that bad haha!

So all the kids in the branch call me and my companion "Elderas" jahja!  Cuties.  

I love teaching the Lesson 1 the part where it talks about "the gospel blesses families."  my companion loves when i teach it because with out fail every time i will whip out my family picture.  And i will bear my testimony on my family and how much the gospel blesses me and my family and that i want them to have that in their life.  The spanish is going really great actually!  I cant wait for the day when i just all of the sudden just know really good though.  Just like the other day, it will come one day!  
Oh life is great!  Today we are having the Brocket Sisters and Sandy Springs sisters over to our house!  We are making them mexican food!  We are making arros con leche, arros, fijoles, tortillas, and choriso!  mmm my favorite!!  I cant wait to make it for you all when i get home!  all the memebers like to teach us how to make stuff!  
Well i just want you to know how much i love my savior.  Jesus suffered for everything.  Not only just our sins, but he suffered for every bad day at work, every headace we feel, every spicy taco i have to eat, every struggle we have, are or will ever go through.  He went through that.  He knows how we feel.  He gave us this gift so that we dont have to feel all of that.  Wow how blessed are we!  I love you all so much!

Anyways..... remember that your burdens may be light through the joy of his son, "and now, my bretheren, i desire that ye shall plant this word in your hearts, and as it beginneth to swell even so nourish it by your faith.  and behold, it will become a tree, springing up in you unto everlasting life.  and then may god grant unto you that your burdens may be light through the joy of his son. and all this can ye do if ye will. amen." alma 33:23.  What every hardship you are going through, remember you have a loving savior who through him you can have joy.  We can do this!  I love you all!  Until next week, have a blessed week, and remember, you can do this.
Hermana Stewart

Our ward missionary leader and his family took us out to eat!!
  Our ward mission leader with his fish haha