Monday, November 21, 2016

There Ain't No Goin Back

Hello Hello Hello!!!!

Wow what an amazing week we had!!!  I just don't even know where to start off!!  First of all my companion is training!!!!!!!  Ahhh I'm soo excited for her!!!!!  There is some crazy things happening here!!!  She is actually going to white was an area (the sweetwater spanish ward and Douglasville English ward) and train a new missionary.  And Sister Sundwall, my previous companion that i had in C-town is coming back to Cedartown!!!  WHAT?!  Crazy!!!  We didn't get the call until last night from President Foote.  We had just texted him and told him how awesome our day and week were.  He called us right away and said he just recieved revelation and that our text message confirmed it.  It was soo funny because I have been telling Sister DLRF since day one when I picked her up that she could train in 12 weeks, so then yesterday we were both just so shocked and surprised.  I was like "ahhh i told you that you were going to train!"  And she was like "yeah you told me i was going to train, but you didn't tell me i was going to white wash an area!"(white wash means you and your companion have never been in the area)  haha we were just laughing!  Too awesome!!!!  Cedartown and this new area where Sister DLRF is going are in great great hands!!!  

Miss Lisa Collier!!!!  Ahhh she got baptized!!!!  Wow what a crazy trip it has been, but with the Lord she made it!!!!  it was an amazing service!!!  Sister Sundwall and Sister Bringhurst came up for the baptism since it was Sister Sundwall and I that originally started teaching her.  It was a beautiful program.  Sister Sundwall and I stood by the inside of the font so that we could help her come up the stairs and she just hugged us so long after she came out of the water!  She was crying and soo happy!!  When she came out of the fonts she raised her hands in the are!!!!  I sure do love the south!! :)  We are all so proud of Lisa Collier for following the example of her Savior down into the waters of baptism.  Best last Saturday ever!!  


Thank goodness for trials: A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking just how awesome life was!!!  Everything was just going so well!!!  We had like no trials at all, and everything was just peachy!  Well you know those magic words.  It was like BAM BAM BAM BAM!  All these trials starting happening.  It was so funny.  And then a couple of nights ago as I was on my knees praying it just hit me soo hard!!!  I was like Thank you Heavenly Father for giving me these trials.  I realized that I have relied more on my Savior in the past couple of weeks than I had in a while.  Heavenly Father promises us trials.  They make us humble ourselves, rely on Him more, grow so much, and allow Him to mold us into who we need to become.  I am so grateful for trials.  I really truly am.  I am who I am today and I have the relationship that i have with my Savior today because of the trials he has given me.  Also I realized last night that my knees have black bruise on them.  haha it's from praying so much haha cuz we have concrete floors in our bedroom!!  haha that is just the coolest!!  

It is quite strange that I am going to be leaving in just 3 day.  
I'going to miss it alot.  It is truly a bitter sweet for me. I'm leaving people that I love so much to go and be with the people I love so much.  Not to sound cliche, but this was the fastest 18 months of my life!  I'm not sure what to think sometimes, but you know what, im excited for my next mission when my Georgia Atlanta mission ends.  The beauty of the Gospel is that everything around us, including ourselves is constantly changing.  We get put in different calling, different trials come to us, but we grow and learn from all of these opportunities.  Being a missionary has been and still is THE BEST CALLING EVER!!!!!!!!!!  I will still be a missionary when i get home, just in a different way.  I will be a member missionary.  I will have a new calling, and i WILL fulfill and magnify that calling to the best of my abilities.  That is what i have learned on my mission, that is what i have to take back with me.  I am forever changed because of this calling, because of this opportunity and privilege, because of this Gospel.  My mission was by no means a sacrifice, but a privilege, an honor to serve along side the Lord in this part of His vineyard.  I will continue to be strong and serve my Lord and Savior throughout my life.  There aint no goin back, I'm going forward.  When 
November 24, 2016 comes, i will leave Georgia with a smile on my face knowing that I have done my very best here, I will walk down those escalators and embrace my family whom I love so dearly and have come to love and appreciate so much over these past 18 months, my tag will move to my heart, and I will be ready and willing to submit to what ever the Lord has in store for me in my next phase of life.  How blessed I am.  

Well y'all this is truly weird.  My last email.  We have a great last few days planned!!!!  We's gonna be busy!!!!!  Wednesday we go to transfer meeting early in Peach Tree City, then we go to the temple with President and Sister Foote us departing missionaries, then have dinner and a testimony meeting, and sleep at the Mission Home.  Then fly out Thursday.  I have my carry on packed with lots of things to pass out to people on the plane and airport during my 4 hour layover in Salt Lake haha.  I want you all to know How much I love my mission.  Elder Holland once said "the mission field is the MTC for the rest of your life."  I have learned, I have grown, I have changed, I have become here on my Georgia Atlanta Mission.  If there are just four things I want y'all to know it is that I love my mission, I love my family, I love my Savior, and I love this Gospel, so there ain't no goin back, we're going forward with the Lord y'all. 
Love,
Hermana Stewart



I Love Georgia!!!!!!​

Thursday, November 17, 2016

18 Months Already

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday I hit my 18 month mark.  Wow that is wild.  What a trip it has been and continues to be.  I honestly never thought I could ever accomplish that, at least not by myself I couldn't.  At the beginning of my mission, I can look back on so many instances where I just wanted to give up, throw in the towel, quit, go home.  But I didn't.  And thank goodness for that.  As the days went on I began to realize the more I relied on my Savior the stronger I became.  I began to experience the absolute pure joy of missionary work.  Each day I recognized my weaknesses and my constant need to rely on my Savior.  As i began to rely on Him, a relationship started to form.  Not only was Jesus Christ my Savior, but he became my friend, my true friend.  Someone I could always go to, who had a perfect love and understanding for me, and who helped me get back up when I fell.  I learned that the trials I go through are what shape me into who I am becoming, a daughter of God.  They give me opportunity to respond using the Gospel, to learn and to grow.  I have met numerous amounts of people who have impacted my life in one way or another, some barely having known them, but feeling an overwhelming love for them from a most perfect caring Heavenly Father.  I have met people, and seeing them for the first time having their face be familiar to me because I know they were my brothers and sisters in the Pre Mortal Life where we all sat and listened to our Heavenly Father present His Perfect Plan of Happiness for us, His children.  I have felt love, encouragement, comfort, and the spirit confirm to me over and over that what I am testifying of and studying is true.  It is really true.  I have seen lives changed, lives transformed, lives improved because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I have seen prayers answered, hearts healed, and miracles wrought to pass.  There is only one cause to all of this, and His name is Jesus Christ.  I am here today, I am who I am, I have felt what I have felt, and I have seen what I have seen because of a most caring, selfless, gentle, loving man named Jesus Christ.  There is absolutely no way I could be writing all of this and be here today if it weren't for Jesus Christ.  I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful I was Called to Serve, and I am so grateful Jesus Christ made it all possible and strengthened me along the way.  The glory all goes to the Lord for being my biggest strength.  "[we] can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us]." Philippians 4:13

Last Zone Training: We went to the temple on Tuesday with Atlanta and Powdersprings Zones.  It was a beautiful experience.  I was able to do the work for our recent convert Brother Odell Wofford's mama, Sister De La Rosa Frias did his grandma's work, and my other companion Sister Sundwall did the work for his sister.  While sitting in the temple Sister Sundwall and I realized something quite incredible.  We were able to witness yet another amazing miracle of the Lord preforming His work.  A while back we were teaching a women we found on the way to church Autumn.  She wanted to be baptized, but wasn't able to due to complicated circumstances at home.  Her husband once told us that his mama was studying with us crazy Mormons, read the Book of Mormon, and wanted to be baptized.  She never was able to be baptized though because her family didn't support her, and she is now passed on.  One of the investigators we are currently teaching right now is a sister to this man, so making her a daughter of this women who wanted to be baptized.  The connection we realized while sitting in the temple is that this women was Brother Odell's Sister, one of the names we did the work for this Tuesday.  The Lord works in mysteries ways, and after years this women has finally had the opportunity accept and be part of this Beautiful Gospel.  How great is that?


Where do you go to find peace?:  The other day we were on the phone with our investigator Lisa.  She was talking to us and giving us this long spiritual analogy.  She then asked "where do you go to find peace?"  and i honestly thought she said "where do you go to find Pizza?"  So i excitedly answered "Pizza Hut of course!"  Leave it to Sister Stewart to be the pro and ruining a spiritual moment!!  Haha we all just laughed.  It was too funny!!  

We had a great week!  We visited and met a lot of cool new people.  Cedartown is a happening place to be right now.  We have some investigators scheduled to be baptized in December, and we have Lisa scheduled to be baptized this Saturday
We are hoping and praying that all goes well this week and Lisa will be able to be baptized!  She is excited and wants to be baptized so bad!  We have a busy week already planned this week!  I am looking forward to seeing more miracles and doing the Lord's work another week here in Georgia.  

I am so grateful for the love that Christ has for us.  I have been studying a lot lately on His love for us and how we are commanded to have love and charity for those around us.  In Romans 8 it says "who shall separate us from the love of Christ, shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Isn't that just beautiful.  There is absolutely nothing that will stop us from feeling and will separate us from the love of our Heavenly Father.  

I know the Lord loves us, each of us.  I hope y'all have a blessed week.  I love y'all so very much.  Talk to you soon!
Love,
Hermana Stewart

Monday, November 7, 2016

"Peace be unto thy soul"

Good morning y'all,
This week was a week full of service and smiles!!  I can definitely tell y'all we slept good this week!!  With it being November now, I would have thought it would cool down, but no we are still rocking it here in the 80s! :)  We had a great week!

Halloween: We had a great Preparation Day, and we went to dinner at one of the members houses.  Then we had to be in our apartments at 7p.m. to have extra studies!!  I love extra studies!!!  I learned soo many things that evening while studying about the apostasy and restoration of the Gospel.  A couple of scriptures I studied and really learned from were in Ephesians 2: 19-20 "therefore ye are no more strangers or foreigners, but fellow citizens with the Saints of the house hold of God.  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone."  and Ephesians 4:11-14 "and he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some Evangelist, and some pastors and teachers. for the perfecting of the Saints and the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.  Til we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of Christ, unto a perfect man, unto the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ. That we henceforth no more be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of the doctrine of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."  (i may have not wrote those scriptures exactly right sorry haha i didn't bring my bible to the library).  I couldn't help but just understand so clearly these scriptures and just how blessed we are to have the Restored Gospel in our lives, to have apostles and prophets in these days, to have a loving Savior who leads and guides and is the head of this church.  I know the Church and Gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored!

District Meeting: We had district meeting this week in Douglasville, ga (about 1 hour away).  We had interviews with President and Sister Foote.  That was great! :)  We went to 5 guys, and it was soooo good!!!!  I always love district meeting!  We were trained on how we need to be constantly finding.  I have such a testimony of that.  The Lord will place people in our paths, and it is our responsibility to learn to recognize the promptings of the spirit, and have the courage to act on those promptings and talk to everyone around us!  Just the other day when we were shopping on Preparation Day at Walmart, a guy noticed our Books in our hands and we ended up teaching him a mini Restoration lesson and gave him a Book of Mormon in the shampoo isle.  You just never know who is prepared!

Alabama: So y'all know how our area is like half in Georgia and part in Alabama.  Well Alabama is in a different time zone.  They are an hour behind us.  I knew that, but for some reason I forgot about it.  We have some investigators and members that live in Alabama, and I realized this week that we have been an showing up an hour early for all these appointments!!! ahhh soo awkward!!  But we laughed pretty hard when we realized it this week!  

Lisa: She is doing really great!!  She loved church yesterday!!!  She is holding out strong and pushing through the many trials the adversary is throwing at her.  It is a testimony to me though of just how true this work is!  President Spencer W. Kimball once said "always remember that if this were no the Lord's work, the adversary would not pay attention to us."  Amongst the many trials and hardships which come our way daily let us always remember the wise council the Lord gave Joseph Smith in the 121st section of the Doctrine and Covenants "My son [or daughter], peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then if thou endure it will, God shall exalt thee on high; Thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."  haha and of course the Lord says to him "thou art not yet as Job."  We will make it through these trials and afflictions, but we must endure them.  How great will be our reward if we endure them.

Well y'all life is absolutely wonderful!!  We have it all!  As I was listening to all the beautiful testimonies being born in Sacrament Meeting yesterday I couldn't help but feel my testimony being strengthened.  Many of the members in the Cedartown Branch are converts, and hearing their stories and their testimonies was something I just can't describe with my words.  Cedartown is a gem.  It is getting stronger and stronger.  These faithful saints here are serving their Lord will all their hearts.  They are strengthening their personal foundations and the foundation of Cedartown.  I think all around the world this is happening.  The Lord's work is taking place.  The Gospel is being declared.  Glad tiding are being heard all around us.  "Wherefore, if you shall build up my church, upon the foundation of my gospel and my rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you." Doctrine and Covenants 18:5  We all play a part in the Lord's work.  The way we can help is that we do whatever the Lord asks us to do, and be the BEST we can.  I know this work is true.  I know the Lord loves us.  I know we will be blessed if we just keep enduring and sharing the gospel with all those around us so that they can have happiness too!
I hope y'all have a blessed week!!!  Keep strong and keep happy!  The Lord is with us as long as we stay on His foundation.  I love you! :)

Love,
Hermana Stewart

P.S. Saw this lady a couple days ago on Main St in C-town holding up a sign "Jesus is coming soon, are you ready?"  Too cool haha!


God is Good (10/31/2016)

Hello Everyone!!! 
OH my goodness we had the BEST week evah!!!!  Oh by the way Happy Halloween to y'all!!!!  I ordered an English name tag just so I could dress up as Sister Stewart today instead of Hermana Stewart haha!
  

We had so much fun in Dallas, Ga last week with the other sisters.  We carved pumpkins!  Sister De La Rosa Frias has never carved pumpkins before, so that was a hoot!



Coolest Miracle Evah: Okay so y'all be knowing our investigator Lisa.  Sister Sundwall (my last companion) and I found her and her husband like 6 months ago in a store parking lot.  We have been working so closely with her.  We have truly seen the power of the Book of Mormon take part in her conversion.  She has learned how to read using the Book of Mormon, grown closer to her husband, and increased in her faith in Jesus Christ.  She has been taught all the lessons and retaught all the lessons haha, reads the Book of Mormon everyday, and is keeping all her commitments.  We have invited her several of times to be baptized, but each time she say's Im not going to say yes just yet.  So on Sunday we called Lisa to remind her of church, but she didn't answer.  We drove out to her house and knocked on the door.  No answer.  Then we knocked on her window.  Yes missionaries can be a little awkward sometimes haha ;) She was so thankful we came and woke her up because her phone shut off, so she wouldn't have gotten up.  Then we got to church and the Stake Patriarch was speaking and two minutes before it started we got asked to speak.  That was fun :) You got to love the on the spot, trust in the Lord to fill your mouth talks :) Then I realized that the Stake Patriarch totally fixed my tooth for me 14 months ago.  Afterwards I just had to go tell him he has been in my mouth.  Then Lisa asked Brother Kimball (past mission president, temple president, and now a temple sealer) to give her a blessing of comfort.  Lisa then received the most beautiful blessing of comfort I have ever heard and felt.  I felt the power of the priesthood.  There were many things that stood out to me in the blessing, but the one thing I want to share with y'all is that he said her mother has accepted this gospel and is now waiting for her to do her work and be sealed to her and her father.  Brother Kimball knew her mama, and he said that he felt her mama's presence very strongly in the temple this past week.  He then said right after the blessing "now pick a date."  We then invited her for the 19th of November and she accepted!!!!!!!!  This is the miracle we have all been praying for including her!  The Lord is so pleased with Lisa and her decision to be baptized.  She went around telling EVERYONE after church that she was going to be baptized.  My favorite reaction was Sister Askew screaming haha!!  The Lord truly set up everything just perfectly so she felt comfortable and ready to go forward with faith.  Truly the credit is all the Lord's and His spirit working through everyone that day.  God is Good!

Saturday we had our Branch Trunk or Treat and Chilly Cook Off!!  That was so much fun!!!  Sister De La Rosa Frias and I made Flan(an amazing spanish dessert).  It was hit!  It was so cool to have so many people show up and we were just running around crazy trying to meet everyone and their dog that showed up!!
Well Y'all I hope you have a fantastic Halloween.  Don't be too crazy.  Be safe.  We have to be in at 7 p.m.tonight and get to have extra studies woot woot!  I love extra study time! :) I want you all to know that the Lord loves you.  He is mindful of you.  He knows exactly how you feel right now.  He hears your prayers.  We don't need to know why this or why that, but all we need to know is that He loves us.  From the words of my scripture hero Nephi responding to the angel asking if he knows the condesnscension of God "I know that He loveth his children, nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." 1 nephi 11:16-17  Keep your head up.  And please never forget just how much the Lord loves you.

Have a blessed week!  I love y'all!!
Love, 
Hermana Stewart :) .....oh wait Sister Stewart ;)

Monday, October 24, 2016

"'Believe in the Light"

Hi Y'all,
First off all, my apologies for the most uncreative beginning to my emails.  There is only so many ways you say say hello!!  Life is oh soo good!!!  I had a wonderful birthday and week this week!!  

Here are some fun highlights from this week:

Zone Training: We had zone training on Tuesday down in Powder Springs, GA.  That was super great!!  I always feel so spiritually pumped after those things!  We learned a lot of cool finding Technics and how to get more referrals!!!

My Birthday: Lots of the members wanted to celebrate my birthday with me, so I was blessed with lots of cakes and happy birthday songs!!  Our investigators Lisa and Steve gave me a big ol basket of goodies full of all my favorites, a few being pickles Vienna sausages and pickled corn (haven't tried those yet ha.)  It was so sweet of everyone, and I definitely felt so loved by everyone here and back home!!  Thank y'all again for all the birthday wishes! :)

 
Exchanges: We headed back to Dallas/ Powder Springs Area for exchanges Thursday evening til Saturday afternoon.  We had such a blast!!!!  We accidentally knocked into a less active.  We were trying a new approach, and I was like "Hi we are the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  We are going around sharing Bible verses today.  Is it alright if we share a Bible verse with you Sir?"  He said we could.  Then we shared our testimony of Jesus Christ, and then the other sister was like "If you knew there was another testament of Jesus Christ would you read it?"  And he was like "like the Book of Mormon."  And then we were like "YES!"  Then he said, "yeah ive actually read the whole Book of Mormon."  I was thinking in my head "golden!!"  Then the other sister was like "oh how did you come to know about the Book of Mormon Sir?"  Then he said "well ya know i grew up in the church, went to seminary and all that."  hahaha oh my goodness it was kind of embarrassing but mostly soo funny!!  
Then we were driving to Walmart, and the other sister was driving and we hit a HUGE pot hole.  Georgia is famous for its pot holes.  We didn't think anything of it, just screamed and kept going.  It was about 8 at night and it was too late to knock so we were just going to go store contacting.  We came out of the store and the other sister was like "oh my gosh we have a flat tire."  And y'all know me, I was like "oh my goodness this is soo exciting!!!!"  We went to the trunk and working on getting the jack out.  That thing would not budge!!  After about 5 minutes of tugging and pulling, we broke out the user manual.  Yes there is a section on how to remove the jack.  Finally I got it out!  Then I worked on step two of "how to change a tire" in the manual, and that was to remove the hub cap.  Woo that was trip.  I pried at pulled that thing, but could not get it to come off.  Mind you I was doing all this while in a skirt :).  We told ourselves we weren't going to ask for any help, but if someone happens to ask us for help we weren't going to deny them of the blessings of serving.  Then two strong brethren come over.  One of them just grabs the hub cap and rips it off.  I swear I loosened it for him.  They had that tire changed faster than we took to get the jack out!  I promise you we definitely could have done it ourselves, but thank goodness for people being nice, and helping us!


​Red Cross Service Project:  We did a red cross service project and installed smoke detectors for people.  That was a hoot!  I was the installer.  I installed 5!  I am getting so pro at that!  Here is a picture of a funny sign we saw. 


Church: We had an awesome lesson in the Singleton's home with Lisa and Steve!!  Steve is really starting to progress which is awesome because now they have each other!!!  They both came to church and stayed the whole 3 hours and loved it!!!  It was a miracle!  Lisa was soo happy to see her husband partaking of the gospel with her :)

Last night after I got done praying I saw the phone light up for a second, and that meant that we got a text message.  I contemplated for a second whether or not I had the energy to walk over and check it.  Then the the light went off, and the room was pitch black.  I crawled over on my hands and knees (obviously I was too lazy to stand up.)  I thought I was headed the right direction.  I was waving my hands out in front of me to try and feel for the little table where our phone sits on.  I couldn't feel anything.  Pretty soon I hit the door, and my companion and I were just laughing because she was trying to figure out what i was doing and I had realized where I was.  I was clear across the room by the door no where near where I wanted to end up by the phone.  I flipped the light switch on, and with little trouble, now with the light on, I went over to the phone to check the message.  My companion went to the bathroom after that and came back and shut the door and headed to her bed.  She layed down and bonked her head really hard on the wall.  We both just laughed realizing we don't do so good in the dark.  As I thought about this little silly experience this morning in my personal study I was studying about how Christ is the light in our life.  If we don't have Christ in our life, just like last night we might not end up where we want to go and may even hurt ourselves physically or spiritually along the way.  I was studying in John and a few scriptures really stood out to me.  "then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you.  Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth." john 12:35  Last night I spent too much time contemplating on whether or not I was going to check the message.  If I would have just immediately went over I still would have had that light still on and had no problem getting over there.  In life we can't wait or procrastinate because that is the time when darkness with creep in.  "While ye have the light, believe in the light, that ye may be children of light." john 12:36 Believe in the Lord.  Let Him be your light.  Let Him guide you day by day through this world of temptation that could easily take us off course and harm us.  "I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on my should not abide in darkness" john 12:46 

I love y'all soo much!!  The church is true, and we are blessed.  Believe in the light, and we will all become children of Christ!  Keep smiling and shining!

Love, 
Hermana Stewart :)

"We Heeded Them Not" (10/17/2016)

Hello Everyone!!!! 

Cedartown is looking so pretty now days!!!  The leaves are starting to change.  It is now becoming sweater season which is my favorite season!  How blessed we are to be living in a beautiful world created by our loving Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  They love us so much.  To feel of their love is the best feeling anyone could ever feel.  We can feel it everyday!  How blessed we are to have our Heavenly Father, and He is just one prayer away.  I know He loves me and that He loves all of us.  I know because I have prayed to Him and asked Him.  How sweet that feeling is :) "yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore it is the most desirable above all things...yea, and the most joyest to the soul." 2 nephi 11:22-23

Stake Conference: We had stake conference this week, and that was definitely the highlight of the whole week for me.  It is weird having to drive an hour and a half to get to the stake center haha.  We were able to go to both the adult session Saturday evening and Sunday morning!  We had one of the 70 come for it, Elder Thompson.  He was great!!  I love love love Sunday!!!!!!!  It is hands down my most favorite day of the week.  Our investigator Lisa came, and she loved it!!  We had the Georgia Atlanta Temple President and his wife and our mission president, President and Sister Foote talked.  It was so powerful.  My testimony just keeps growing and growing everyday here.  I was just all warm and fuzzy the whole time! :)

Back to weird foods: I thought I had escaped from the weird foods coming to Cedartown, but nope haha!  We are working alot with the Hispanics right now and that means we get alot of spanish food, which i do not mind at all :) They are mostly from Mexico or Guatemala here, which in my other area we had alot of diversity.  We went to eat at one of the spanish families from the branch.  We were eating Ceviche, which is a seafood dish really popular in Mexico and Peru and other parts of Latin America.  Yall know me, Im not too big of a sea food fan, but ceviche is one of my most favorite.  It is raw fish cured in lime juice, and then you put it on tostatas (meaning toasted so its like a toasted tortilla).  Super good!  Well this was no ordinary ceviche....they told me it was huevos de toro.  I was super confused cus the direct translation for that is bull eggs.  Then bam it just hit me what i was eating.  All of the sudden I was not feeling so good.  I think the English term for what i was consuming is known as "rocky mountain oasters."  I don't know about yall, but not my favorite haha.  I would way rather take the intestine tacos we ate on Friday.  That is where its at! :)


Oh my goodness we having a blast here and working our hardest!  We took a member with us the other day out tracking, and afterwards we got back in the car and she said "OH MY GOODNESS!  our shoes be sooo dirty!! " and she just laughed.  We took her down some fun dirt roads, and we told her she a true missionary!  She had hoot, and she loves coming out with us like everyday!  She told our investigator Lisa "when you join the church and go out with the Sisters, you best be wearin some stirdy shoes cus you be walkin with dem girl and they be gettin dust all up on dem."  

Well Y'all I best be getting on with my day.  We are going to the store and getting pumpkins!!  I will send you pictures when we carve them!  Life is good, and life is beautiful.  I have been studying a lot lately Lehi's vision of the tree of life.  There are always going to be things out there or people who try and ruin our happiness, but you know what we don't have to let them.  Eternal Life is our goal, keeping the commandments and continually holding fast to the rod is how we make it, and in the end we will be blessed with the greatest gift God has to offer us.  It is worth it my family.  It is so so worth it.  Keep being strong, and continue to hold fast to the rod of iron.  Keep doing what is right, and don't let anything or anyone ruin your joy and happiness.  "and great was the multitude that did enter into that strange building.  and after they did enter into that building they did point the finger of scorn at me and those that were partaking of the fruit also; but we heeded them not."  I love you all.  Have a blessed week!
Love,
Hermana Stewart

P.S. Thank you for all the Birthday wishes!!! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Go, Do, Say, and Become

Dear Y'all,
Well we had a most fantastic week here in Cedartown.
Transfer news: Haha there is none.  I am staying her in Cedartown my last transfer to finish training my awesome companion.  Looks like I will have only served in 2 areas my whole mission.  That was definitely not expected for me, but I am soo grateful for my 2nd and 3rd homes away from home! :)  This will be my last 6 weeks, and Im not even sure what to say about that.  Crazy sauce.

Flower Miracle: Lately one of my most earnest desires has been to recognize and follow the promptings of the spirit.  The other day we got done visiting one of the lil old ladies, and I was driving and I saw this lady working in her flower bed.  A feeling came over me so strongly and told me that I needed to go back and help this lady.  Being the natural man I wasn't sure if it was my thoughts or the spirit 100%.  I kept driving for a lil minute thinking about it.  Then once again even more stronger than the first time that I needed to turn around right then and go back.  I made a quick U-turn, and my companion asked what in the world i was doing.  I said "i dont know, you'll see."  We park the car and walk up to her.  I said "hi mam, can we help you with that?"  She threw her hands in the hair and said "halaluja, thank you Jesus for sending me two angels!"  Instantly I knew we were there for a reason.  She stood up and nearly fainted. We grabbed her just in time and walked her over to sit down.  She told us she had heart failure.  We talked with her as we helped her finish cleaning and clipping her tulips for the winter.  She said her 10 year old granddaughter lives with her and is really struggling in math and they cant find anyone to help her.  I kind of chucked because I realized a second reason why we needed to turn back.  I told her "well i could maybe help her, i mean, i am majoring in mathematics education."  She threw her hands in the air again and said "thank you Jesus for sending me two angels."  I am so glad we turned back.  That lady really needed us in that moment, and my testimony was strengthened of following the promptings of the spirit.  

Service and Dog Poop: We had a fun time doing some service for one of the Elder's recent converts this week.  We raked up a whole yard of dog poop, and cleaned out the dog pen.  Pretty fun! :)
 


Bomski: Y'all know the word bomski right?  The first couple of days I was with my companion, I taught her what it means cus she didn't know.  I told her i usually say it when something is really awesome or good or when something really really cool happens.  Well I guess I must use it alot....because we were eating dinner in the Senior Missionarie's home the other day and she said "this food is bomski!"  I about fell over  laughing it was so funny.  

Sunday Miracles: This past sunday my companion and I fasted for this less active couple to come to church (we have been working with them the whole time I've been here and havent seen much progress until this past couple weeks.  They havnt been to church in 6 years) and we fasted to find new investigators.  So we were just sitting in church waiting for the meeting to start and guess who walks in?!  That's right the couple!!!  OH MY GOODNESS!!  First time in 6 years!!!  We were sooo happy and we know it was because of the Lord touching their hearts!  Then after chuch we went to dinner at a families house, then we went out with the elder's recent convert to teach a few lessons and do she wanted to come finding with us haha.  We taught and found 8 new investigators just on 2 streets!!!!  Every person we talked to that night there was a mom, dad and children and invited us in to their home and we taught them!!  That was a miracle!!!  That does not happen without the Lord.  We met with 4 of the families yesterday, and all 4 lessons we got return appointments!  The Lord does answer prayers and does preform miracles!
The Pamphlet: Yesterday we were walking to one of our appointments.  We got to the door and after knocking I realized I didnt have a Restoration Pamphlet.  We are trained to teach with the pamphlets using the pictures, and it helps alot with my companion learning english for us to keep it simple.  I looked through my books and I didnt have one.  I asked my companion and she didnt have one either.  We got into the lesson, and while my companion was saying the opening prayer, I just said a quick prayer in my heart "Heavenly Father, I know you can do anything.  It would be really cool if you just put a pamphlet in my Book of Mormon for us to teach this lesson, in the name of Jesus Christ amen."  As soon as my companion said amen, i looked in my Book of Mormon, and I kid you not there was a pamphlet.  I looked at my companion and just smiled.  "ask and ye shall receive." The church is true.

Sunday was such a good day.  I loved fast and testimony meeting.  The members bore their testimonies on missionary work, and I just couldnt help but feel the spirit.  A lot of things really hit home for me, but one of those was when we sang the closing song "i'll go where you want me to go."  If I were to give anyone advise or things that I have really truly learned on my mission it would be to Go, Do, and Say.  Go where the Lord wants you to go.  Do what the Lord wants you to do.  Say what the Lord wants you to say.  If we do these things, we will be alright, and more importantly we will BECOME what the Lord would have us be.  

I know this church is true.  Every day I am more and more grateful for this gospel I have in my life, and what it truly helps us become.  I can't believe how fast time is going.  I told y'all you needed to stop praying for it to go fast haha!  Everyday I love it here, and I experience joy.  I hope y'all have a great week okay!  I love you soo much!!  Go, Do, Say and Become! :)
Love,
Hermana Stewart
​  

Monday, October 3, 2016

"We do not doubt our mothers knew it."

Hello!

How blessed are we my wonderful family and friends.  How blessed we are to have been able to hear the beautiful general conference this weekend.  How blessed we are to have a living Prophet called of God.  How blessed we are to know the Plan of Salvation, the Plan Heavenly Father has for us.  How blessed we are to have a Savior who loves us, died for us, and is there for us.  I felt the love of God this weekend and of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I felt the spirit confirm to me that those men are truly called of God.  I felt encouragement, comfort, and guidance was received.  I hope y'all enjoyed it and received similar feeling for yourself.  

This week was super great!!  We were busy and that is what I like! :)  I honestly can't remember what we did though haha but i know it was great, so just a second I have to look back on my planner.  Speaking of planners, I would be lost with out mine.  Ok here we go, the memories are coming back!  

Monday: We had a short P-day because we exchanges some of our P-day hours so we could go to the temple with Sachi, one of the young women in our branch.  She is the one that we went on a 48 hour mission, and after that she decided to go on a mission.  She leaves to the MTC on October 12 and after 9 weeks she goes to Japan on her mission!  She is amazing, and I have learned so much from her coming on team-ups with us.  She really wanted us to be there when she went to the temple the first time which really meant alot, so we got special permission to go with her and her parents to the temple Wednesday.  We had a great day.  We went to one of the aweome members in Cedartown, went to dinner in Rockmart with a family and visited less actives over there.

Tuesday: We had District Meeting and that was great!  The highlight of Tuesday was definitely going to the Askews home.  I love this family!  They are amazing members, and I look up to them so much for all they do for this branch.  We had breakfast for dinner.  Literally everything you can eat for breakfast we had it haha.  Pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon, hash browns, bisuits, gravy, fruit salad, milk, orange juice.  It was great!!! :)

Wednesday: Two highlights from Wednesday were 1) we got to go to the temple with Sachi and bro and sis askew :) That was so special!!  I love the temple! and 2)We got to visit an awesome less active family and have dinner with them.  We have been trying so long to be able to meet with them!  They are awesome!

Thursday: We had weekly planning on thursday which is always a hoot!!  It always feels so good after planning cus it makes the rest of the week so smooth!  The singletons (the new senior missionary couple) took us to Gran Gran's for dinner!! mmmmm i had a deep fried pork chop, mashed taters, deep fied corn, biscueit, fried ocro, and banana puddin.  Can i get a yummm?!  Then Sister Singleton came with us to visit Lisa and Steve, Brenda, and Keyla and Juicy.  We had 3 great lessons with them.  Having members in lessons makes so much of a difference!! :)

Friday: Wow Friday was busy!!!  We went on exchanges with the other spanish sisters in our zone Hermana Gallardo(my trainer) and Sister Sundwall (my most recent past companion).  They came to Cedartown and I went with Sister G.  It felt weird to be with her again haha!!  It was way fun.  We visited sooo many potentials Investigators.  We taught some lessons, and it was fun.  

Joke: Why did the squirrel cross the road?.........Because he saw the sister missionaries on the other side!
I hit a squirrel with the car.....i cried :( 


Saturday: Conference!!!!!!  We watched conference in the Singleton's home with our investigators Lisa and Steve!!!  It was super awesome!!  They loved it alot!  In between sessions we contacted a Bible Media Referral, and found a family of 8!!!!  Miracle!!!!  We are going back tomorrow!! :) We have been praying for a family to teach for so long!!  After conference we went to Cave Spring to visit potential investigators and less actives. 

Sunday: Conference again!!!  We watched it at the church.  We watched it in English Saturday and spanish sunday for my companion :) Oh Zoryda and Hector(my recent convert) and his daughter surprise visited me in Cedartown and came and watched conference with us!!!!  That was kind of the coolest thing ever!!!  His daughter just moved here from Mexico and she is taking the missionary lessons!!!  Wahoo.  Conference was amazing all sessions.  I learned soo much.

Today I was studying in Alma chapters 56-57 about the 2000 stripling warriors.  A couple of things really stood out to be and that I loved from these chapters.  1)How much they looked up to their mothers.  "We do not doubt our mothers knew it." 56:48 I was listening to a song in the car the other day that is about missionaries thanking their mothers.  I am so blessed to have the mother I do.  Mama I love you.  Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for me and my siblings and for teaching us the way.  2)"yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness." 57:21  I have a testimony of obedience, but even more so of exact obedience.  Miracles happen when we are exactly obedient.  How blessed i am to have these commandments and standards to keep us away from danger.  They protect us and they bless us.  And 3) how much faith and preservation and trust they had.  These are the reasons none of them perished because they had wonderful mothers whom they looked up to, obeyed with exactness, trusted and had faith and preserved.  This is what we must do in today's world.  



I hope you all have a wonderful week.  Know that the Lord loves you.  He is mindful of you.  He wants to bless us, and he can when we obey and trust and preserver."  I love you all.
Love,
Hermana Stewart


P.S. The senior couple asked us if we were stranded on a desert island what food would we take with us.  I said pickles and my companion said corn flakes....so we got a lil fun gift from them this week!  I have you know that is 128 ounces of pickle.  How blessed am i! :)

Monday, September 26, 2016

All That He Has Given Us

Dear Y'all,

Well this week was Amazing!!!!  We put some serious miles on Jimmy (our car).  
 
Tuesday: We went to Dallas Georgia on companion exchanges.  I went with Sister Nau, one of the sisters that came out with me.  It was great, and I learned a lot.  My most favorite part was when we cleaned out a fridge of this old lady.  It made me really appreciative of the weekly cleaning schedule we follow as missionaries!  Doing service for other people, when we just forget ourselves even though it may smell gross and make our hands sticky, brought a big smile to the lady's face after we were finished.  It made us feel good, and we had a hoot cleaning it!  We went to the church to ask the bishop a question and it was during mutual time.  I couldn't even believe how many youth were there....serving in a branch for 16 months I forgot what it is like to be in a ward.  It was pretty shocking to me!  

Thursday: After weekly planning we did family history with Brother O'Dell.  We were able to find and print off many of his family names to be able to take to the temple Saturday!  He was so excited.  We went and had an awesome lesson with Sharon our golden media referral.  My companion invited her to be baptized when she comes to know these things are true.  She responded, "well I already know they are true!"  We were so happy!  She is on date for October 22nd!  

Friday: We went to Peach Tree City (about 3 hours away) for new missionary meeting and trainers meeting.  It was fantastic!!  I learned so much from that meeting.  One thing I really took away was looking for the good in those around us.  How important that is to do.  When we focus on the bad, all we will see is the bad.  When we focus on the good, our hearts will be more full of love.  

Saturday: We went to Atlanta to the temple with O'dell!!!  It was incredible!  It is such a special experience to be in the temple with a recent convert.  He was baptized for his father and grandfather.  He was crying as he stood in the font.  It was special.  I was baptized for his mother and sister.  Sister Sundwall was baptized for his grandmother.  Really cool experience we all had that day.  

Women's Conference was amazing!!  We had 13 sisters come to the church for it, and I just loved it!!  I am so looking forward to General Conference.

Sunday: We had a really cool miracle yesterday.  We went out to Alabama to visit a less active family.  They have been less active for about 6 years now.  We have had not much success working with them.  They are super hard to meet with, but yesterday we were able to catch them at home and have an incredible lesson with them.  They committed to coming to church which was awesome!!!!  The whole branch has been praying and fasting for this family.  It was a miracle.  

Lately I have been noticing a lot of times in the scriptures where it talks about the people giving thanks to God.  I have started realizing in my own life the things i have to be thankful for.  I'm thankful for my family, the gospel, my mission, the people here in Georgia, all the amazing experiences I am having.  I love it here.  I love the people.  I love my family.  I love the gospel.  I love the Lord.  When we take a moment to reflect on all that He has given us, our hearts cant help but to swell.  "Behold, now it came to pass that the people of Nephi were exceedingly rejoiced, because the Lord had again delivered them out of the hands of their enemies; therefore they gave thanks unto the Lord their God; yea and they did fast much and pray much, and they did worship God with exceedingly great joy." Alma 45:1

Life is wonderful!  How blessed we are to have the opportunity to be united as one as Saints to gather and watch conference this weekend.  I hope you all have a great experience.  Always remember the the Lord loves us and all that He gives us.  I love you all.  Have a blessed week.
Love,
Hermana Stewart

P.S. There be a lot of cotton fields here.

Trusting In The Lord (09/19/2016)


Hey Y'all!!  

This week was fantastic!!!!  Life here is wonderful!  I love Cedartown.  I love my companion.  I love being a missionary!!  

Zone Conference: We had zone conference this week and that was super great!  I love love being with my other fellow missionaries and hearing their testimonies and comments.  I always leave those meetings uplifted and strengthened.  My most favorite moment was when we all sang as missionaries "im trying to be like Jesus." and "when i am baptized."  I sure have turned into a cry baby on my mission.  Such great power in singing those songs and leaning together how we can be better.  I am soo blessed to be in the Georgia Atlanta Mission.  This is truly where I need to be :)

Lost Dog: We were helping a member try and find their lost dog, and I started going door to door knocking on the doors. My companion just looked at me like I was crazy.  All my companions know I wouldn't pass up a finding opportunity!  We asked if they had seen a dog.  Then they would say no, and then we would say "We are missionaries......"  haha we found two families from that!!!!  We are currently teaching them right now and one of them came to church on sunday!!  So cool!  Best door approach ever!!  "hey have you seen a lost dog?...."  

Headquarter Referrals:  We have received 9 head quarter referrals in the past week!!!  I repeat 9 head quarter referrals!!!  One head quarter referral is a miracle in itself!!  One of these referrals is our miracle lady!!  We met her on Wednesday.  She requested a Book of Mormon and Bible.  She didn't know anything about the Book of Mormon.  We have been back 3 times now.  The last visit was one of the best Restoration Lessons Ive ever had.  I learned, my companion learned, the member that was with us learned, and Miss Sharon learned from the spirit that day.  Something incredible touched each of our hearts.  She kept repeating over and over again that ever since we first stepped into her house she feels something so good.  That would be the spirit my friends.  How blessed we are as members to be giving the gift of the spirit.  

The Sticks: One of the head quarter referrals we received was in Alabama back in the back woods, out in the sticks!  There was no reception for miles until we finally arrived at her house.  We found a gem!!!  A whole hillbilly community!!!  Oh my goodness they are the nicest people I have seriously ever met in my entire life!!!  They are all so interested!!  It is like 10 families! It was such a cool miracle!!!!!!!!!!  

Fried pickles: Y'all know my deep love for pickles.  Well this week I had fried pickles!!!  I have never heard of fried pickles!!!!!  mmm they were soo good!

Fun Picture: Here is a fun picture for y'all.  A member took us out to eat at a Mexican restaurant this week.  We have such great members!  Oh it was sooo good.  I miss Hispanic food so much, but southern food is definitely growing on me!
  

Church yesterday was fantastic.  The speakers and the songs were exactly what I needed to hear.  One of the talks that really stood out to me was Trusting in the Lord.  The spirit was so powerful during that talk knowing that no matter what if we just trust in the Lord, everything is all going to work out.  We all face trials and headships in our lives, daily I might add.  But we have the promise of one day resting from all these things if we but endure to the end. "but that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions." Alma 34:41

Life is good when we make it good.  We are happy when we choose to be happy.  We are blessed when we desire to and do what is right.  Have a great week, be happy and do what is right trusting always in the Lord.  I love y'all.
Love,
Hermana Stewart