Monday, February 22, 2016

Walk by Faith and Not by Sight

Hello Everyone!
Boy did this week fly by!  So many amazing and wonderful things happened this week.   We are so busy here in Chamblee.  I think this is the busiest i have ever been in my whole entire mission.  It is so wonderful!  What a beautiful time it is to be a missionary in the Atlanta Georgia misison.  there really isnt any other place i would rather be right now then here, living the dream.
This week we did so much service.  It was so much fun!  There is something so great about serving others.  It makes them happy, you happy, and a leads to great opportunities to share this gospel.  I think i talked a little bit about what we did last Monday.  We helped pack up a less actives house and we met her friend and her kids and now we are going to teach their family tomorrow.  so on Friday we went and helped that same less active move to her new appartment and this time we met some more friends, the same friend and her husband Balbina and Alfredo.  The little girls were in school.  But it was so wonderful because in those hours of helping Gio the less active move, we completley broke the ice with this family and we were able to form a wonderful relationship of trust with them.  They are so fun and it was just such a hoot to be with them and get to know them more!  Hermana Bringhurst and I are super excited to have our official first lesson with them tomorrow and we have a wonderful member coming out with us tomorrow night.  It will be so great!!!  Helping her move though was so much fun and boy did we get a good work out!  Hermana Bringhurst and i were sure pooped afterwards.  it was funny because right before we left Balbina wanted to order pizza and she called and then she chucked her phone at me and was like "can you help me order pizza" haha it was so funny!  Oh they are the sweetest family!
We had two amazing lessons with Hector this week!  Yesterday's lesson went so well!  We finished teaching the commandment and taught lesson 5.  After many hours of studing the Priestood we are finally getting better at teaching that.  I dont think i ever really realized all aspects of the priestood.  Wow we are so blessed to have God's priestood on the earth today!  Without it we could not preform any saving ordinaces thus making it not possible to return to live with God again.  Hector is serisouly progressing so well!  he is reading the Book of Mormon everyday, and he is so excited to be baptized on Saturday!

Church was so wondurful yesterday!  Sundays are definitely my most favorite day of the week!!  We had branch counsil this week and that was amazing!  It is so cool to have seen this huge change in the Chamblee Branch and their focuss on misisonary work.  Missionary work is now CENTRAL in the meetings which is so great!  The leaders of the Chamblee branch are serisisouly amazing and have some serious fire burning within them for missionary work!  As of yesterday we now have a Branch Missionary Plan!! wahooo so wonderful!!  Things are happeningin the Chamblee Branch!  The kingdom of God is growing one step at a time!  I honestly dont want to leave Chamblee.  Aw it is just so great here!  But anywhere the Lord needs us is great!  It is what you make it to be after all :)
Saturday night we went to eat at one of the families in our Branch and the dad cooked for us tacos.  It was chicken and some sort of beef it looked like!  They were so delish and we were just putting them down like no other!  We kept saying "es rico!!!"  it was so good!!!  Then the elders went to eat there after us and they called us that night to give us a refferal and they told us that Florencio(the dad that cooked for us) has a surprise for us tommorow at church.  So we went to church and went up to him and he told us that we ate COW TONGUE!!!!!!!!  It all makes sense now!  It was awfully squishy!!  Aw i cant believe we ate cow tongue and didnt even know it!  We probably eat all sorts of weird things and we dont even know it haha!  Hermana Bringhurst and I made a list of "weird things we've eaten on the misison"  So here is is: fish eyes, pig intestons, strips of pig fat, cow stomache, cow tongue, chicken gizzards, chicken feet, weird thing around bones and in bones, and dove....i am invisible now haha!!!  No more being a picky eater.  Such wonderful memories!
Life is so wonderful, and it is all because we have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives.  I was reading this morning in preach my gospel about pre earth life and the creation of the earth.  It was so great to read that and just feel the holy spirit testify to me through the good feeling i was feeling as i read about it and learned more about it that it is true.  Heavenly Father's plan is perfect.  His purpose is truly to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man."  As i read i came upon a sentance that really stood out to me.  "We walk by faith and not by sight."  How true this is.  Our purpose here in life is not to have everything just laid out infront of us and desisions already made for us.  One of God's greatest gifts to us is our agency, the ability to choose between good and bad.  Our progression is based on every good and bad decision we make.  We are here to be tested and tried, to choose for ourselves whether we want eternal happiness or eternal misery.  Our ultimate goal is to be like our Heavenly Father.  In order to do that we needed to come to earth and gain a body and gain earthy experiences.  Luckily we have a loving Savior that has shown us the way.  If we but follow him, we will make it back to our Heavenly Father again.  In the Book of Mormon this morning i was reading in 2 Nephi 25, and there is a really great verse in this chapter.  "and now behold, i say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy one of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out." 2 nephi 25:29  I love this chapter because of its beautiful testimony that Jesus truly is the Christ.  I just want to testify that the man they called Jesus Christ is truly the Savior and Redeemer of this World.  He is the Son of God.  He is the Prince of Peace.  He is our Perfect example.  He is the light.  He is the way.  Although we may not see him, we may not see God, we may not see the big picture, with faith we walk, we endure, we press forward with steadfastness, holding on to that rod of Iron and feast upon the Words of Christ.  We will make it to the end.  We will reach and achieve our end goal of being like Heavenly Father, having eternal life, and enjoying eternal happiness.  We walk by faith and not by sight.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I love you all so much!  Have a most wonderful week!  Always remember who you are and what you stand for.  Remember that God Loves you.  I love you my wonderful family so very much.  Have a Peachy Day!
With much love,
Hermana Stewart

​the church parking lot 5 minutes before church started haha gotta love hispanic time! ;)

Look, I'm eating salad!

​us with Hector and Zoraida!  they are the cutest!

WOOOAHH I'm Halfway there, WOOOAHH, Livin on a prayer!

Hahaha i cant even stop laughing right now!  I have seriously waited so anxiously and excitely to have this be my title when i reached half way there, and now that im actually here it sounds so dumb hahaha!  Oh well, Bon Jovi said it best, i have finally hit 9 months and boy does it feel weird.  I think y'all should stop praying for the time to go by fast, because i LOVE it here!!!  This has been by far the BEST 9 months of my life and the
se next 9 months are going to be even better!!!  Ok enough about that.
Helloooooo from Chamblee Georgia!!!  This week has been super fantastic!!!!
Highlights of the week:

1.On Tuesday evening i was still with the Sandy Springs sisters and we went out on splits with Sister Foote our mission President's wife because their meeting canceled and it was in Sandy Springs so President Foote went out with the Elders and Sister Foote came with us.  So Sister Foote and I were together the whole night and Sandy Springs sisters were together.   Sister Foote and I went to visit one of our refferal investigators named Maria and it wassuch a hoot!!  This whole being without a companion that doesnt speak spanish for a week has definitely been a learning experience for me, and it has showed me time and time again that it is never us teaching, but it is the spirit.  the spirit helped me soo much to be able to just trust and open my ears and my mouth and understand the needs of the investigators and then speak the words Heavenly Father would have me say to best help them.  The spirit is pretty amazing i can testify of that.  
2.  We went to the temple on Wednesday and I got my companion back yay!!!!!!!  I missed her so much!  She is the BEST companion ever.  The temple was so wonderful.  I love being able to reflect and think about life and thinking alot about the wonderful Plan of Salvation and that we are sealed as a family for eternity and thinking about how blessed i am and how much my desire is to share that with others.  I have been thinking alot lately on what our potential really is, what we really can become when we give ourselves to the Lord.
3. Hector and Zoraida got married wahoo!!!!!!!  It was super great!  Hector is progressing so well and we are meeting with him today and we are probably moving his date up because he is so excited and so ready to be baptized and so excited to be sealed to his wife!  

4. so yesterday we texted one of the less actives because she is getting ready to move and we wanted to see if we could come help her pack things up.  We went over and were helping her and one of her freinds came over and she has two girls that are 11 and 10.  They are the cutest thing ever.  They were helping us pack her up and telling us all about cup cake wars haha it was just such a ball!  So while the girls and i were packing up the living room the member lady and her friend called sister bringhurst over and Gio the member lady said "buenas noticias! (good news)...and then the mom said "i want you to come and teach my girls about the gospel." ahh we were so excited and Gio was like "well go get your planner sister!" and sister Bringhurst like come running toward me and both of us just had the biggest grins and i chucked her my planner and totally hit the wall and missed.  We were just so excited that they actaully wanted us to come!!  ahh that does not happen!!  I just want to give all the credit here to the spirit and the Lord because if it werent for the spirit our mission president never would have been inspired to invite us to teach all 5 lessons to the members.  And it was because of that we started teaching Gio the lessons and because she felt the spirit during those lessons she is coming back to church now and she is trusting us with her friends to teach them!!!!  The spirit and The Lord are wonderful!  What a wonderful miracle we had yesteray and we are excited to teach them next Tuesday!!  

Valentines day cookies thanks momoma!

The Wedding Hector and Zoraida! 

cow stomache...yuck would not reccomend ha!

Life is so great my wonderful family!  I cant even express to you the happiness i feel on a daily bases of being here on a mission.  I have now realized to appreciate opposition.  I am thankful for every moment i am having here on my mission.  I am thankful for the attitude change i am having since being on a mission.  I am thankful the testimony i am gaining since being on a mission.  I am thankful for the change i am seeing in myself since being on a mission.  I am thankful for the light seeing that is of the Lord that shines on each of us showing us the way since being on a mission.  I am thankful that i am discovering my divine potential since being on a mission.  In these past 9 months I have learned that we are constantly changing whether it be for the good or the bad.  Everyday we face trials, hardships, heartaches, but it is based on how we respond to these trials, hardships, and heartaches and how we can use The Gospel of Jesus Christ, the teaching that we know, the Infinite Atonement that we can not only grow from these trials but excel into our potential, our divine nature.  Attitude really is everything.  It does us no good to whimper and be in a bad mood about all that goes wrong in life, because that just puts us moving backward.  I am not perfect, and i have definitely fallen victim of this treacherous trap of Satin.  My most favorite quote in preach my gospel is this "everything that is unfair in life can be made right with the Atonement of Jesus Christ."  I love my Savior.  I love the Atonement.  I love the Plan of Salvation.  I love that each one of us has a purpose here in life.  God has a plan for each of us, and it is up to us to discover this plan and to discover what we can become when we give ourselves to the Lord.  That is the ONLY thing we can give that isn't his.  He can make us beautiful and make us like him, but only through the Atonement can we become like him.  "..come unto the Lord, the Holy One.  Remember that his paths are righteous.  Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel...and whoso knocketh, to him will he open." 2 nephi 9:41-42.  I know that this gospel is true and the Jesus Christ set the way for us.  He completed that which the Father needed him to do.  He is our perfect example.  He teaches us to walk in the way of righteousness, in light.  I love being a missionary.  I am compelety serious when i say that.  I cant say it enough.  I know that Heavenly Father loves me and that he love each of you.  I am thankful for this truth that i have and know.  I love each of you so much my wonderful family!  I hope you have a most beautiful week.  Always remember how awesome you are!
With so much love i could explode,
Hermana Stewart

Monday, February 8, 2016

Living on Cloud Nine!

Our Zone!

Hello Everyone!
yay for emailing!  sorry its so late, but all that matters is that i am emailing now wahoo!!!  so we totally just got back from the aquarium! so much fun!!  i have been with another set of sisters that are in our district since thursday and i will be with them until wednesday!  and it has been a hoot!  we are covering three areas right now, two english wards and my Area the Chamblee Branch, so we are triple the busy and having triple the fun!!!!  I honestly can say that i have never had so much fun in my entire life than in this past week.  This has been the most happiest week of my whole entire mission.  It has been so wonderful.  I have never slept so good in my life from working so hard haha!  Sister Olsen timed me last night, it took me exactly 1 minute to fall asleep ha.  I sure do miss my sweet companion Hermana Bringhurst!!!!!   but i know that she will be back soon enough and im just so so thanksful that she is feeling so much better! :) ok so much happened this week and not enough time to write about much haha but for the most part i want yall to know that being a missionary is the best and i was able to re realize that this week as we ran around like crazy people trying to attend to all three areas!  it has been so much fun and my temporary companions sister Olsen and Sister Barrett have been amazing and i have learned so much from them!  
​my new temporary companions!!!!!!! :)
So the biggest news i have for this week is that we went to teach Hector last night and they are getting married this friday.  We taught him the gospel of jesus christ and put him on date for March 26th!!!!!!  It has been a little bit weird working the chamblee area without  a companion that speaks spanish haha, it has taught me so much and i litterally half to rely 100% on the holy ghost.  I can so testify that the gift of tongues is true and that if we rely on the Lord our mouths will be filled.  its weird because i cant just look to hermana Bringhurst to save me haha.  
ok so here is a awkward/funny story for yall, but it is written from the point of view from Sister Olsen in her group email she shared this experience..."So on Saturday we went to Hibachi Grill with one of our members and an investigator of ours named Cindy. We finally sit down to eat and Sister Barrett starts choking on some honey dew. So we run to the bathroom but she can not get it out! (Luckily she could still breathe) So we run back and forth from the table to the bathroom for like an hour trying to help her. We finally gave up and went back to the table. THEN Sister Stewart starts choking on a piece of chicken! Now both of my companions are choking and I'm super embarrassed since we have an investigator there.... We run to the bathroom AGAIN and this time our investigator follows us. Cindy tells Sister Barrett to turn around and she starts preforming the Heimlich Maneuver on her. I was dying. I could not contain myself at point because she had no idea what she was even doing. One of my companions was throwing up, the other was being squeezed to death by our investigator and I had to excuse myself from the bathroom because I was laughing so hard.  Since then, we have not stopped laughing. People probably think we're on something because we're always laughing. ALWAYS. This has seriously been the best week of my mission.."  
I would just like to echo the words again of Sister Olsen that this week has been the best week ive had on the mission!!  ahh i just never want to stop being a missionary!  there is something so special about working with all giving it your all the Lord.  He blesses us, somethings in different ways like happiness and pure joy.  It has been so wonderful.  I know that this church is true.  While in my personal study the other day i read this scripture and it just hit me so hard.  "but behold, the righteous, the saints of the holy one of israel, they who have believed in the holy one of israel, they who have endured the crosses of the world and despised the shame of it, they shall inherit the kindgdom of God, which was prepared for them from the foundation of the world, and their joy shall be full forever....yea, that happiness which is prepared for the saints." 2 nephi 9:18,43 i truly believe in this scripture.  It is so necessary for us to endure the crosses and hardships we face in life, but i know that so much happiness is awaiting us and we will have full joy in this life to come.  I have felt a piece of that joy and happiness this week and many a times on my mission, it is wonderful.  It is so so wonderful.  These experiences i am having on my mission both good and bad are what keeps me going because i want that happiness that is being prepared for the saints of the Lord forever!  I desire all to have it, and i just love my role i get to play as an instrument in the hands of the Lord here in Georgia.  ahhh so much happiness im just exploding.  I hope that you all have a wonderful week.  I love you all so much.  Endure the daily crosses you may face, because there is happiness awaiting us all.
All my love and prayers always,
Hermana Stewart

​my new temporary companions!!!!!!! :)

Our District!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Just Be Happy!

chamblee spanish elders in the back left
dunwoody elders back right district leader right blond person
sandy springs sisters and us!
Hello Everyone!  Happy February!  What a week we had!  First of all, last minute monday night we got a call from our Mission President telling us that Sister Webb is being transferred so me and Hermana Bringhurst are here in Chamblee together as no longer a trio!  We will definitely miss Hermana Webb!  She has made an impact on my life and has taught me so much.  she will do great things, and who knows maybe we will be companions again.  There aren't too many different options out of the woppin number of 5 Spanish sisters in the whole mission.  Wow but the Lord just wants me and Hermana Bringhurst together, and we are totally fine with that!  This coming week we will have been together for 6 months straight, 24/7, that's half a year people!  Good thing I love her!  Life is wonderful!  I am in the most awesomest area with the sweetest companion.  I couldn't ask for anything more! :)

So the work is going super fantastic!  We invited the Hernadez family to be baptized March 19.  They really want to be sure they said because they know it is a sacred covenant but they agreed to pray about it wahoo!  we are having a family home evening with them in the home of one of our member families tonight woot woot!  so hopefully they will have prayed about it!  To be updated on next week!  Oh also remember Hector?  Well he came to church yesterday for the first time in a while and he actually stayed for the whole time which was a first!!!  Him and the member lady are getting married soon like within the next 2 weeks so then he wants to be baptized!  he is awesome!  he totally made comments in gospel principles class!  he is too cool!!  We are also having a family home evening with him tonight in the member ladies home and hopefully going to get him on date again!  2 fhe's woot woot!  also Stephanie that investigator from Columbia came to church yesterday too!!  yay!  We are meeting with her tomorrow and going to invite her to baptism so to be updated!!  People are progressing!!!  Gosh i love them all!

So we have started this thing that our mission president wants us to do is to teach all 5 lessons to less active members and active members.  So we have started doing that and we are teaching about 10 members right now and we have already seen so many blessing come from that!  The members are trusting us which is amazing and we are getting better relationships with them and they are becoming more involved in the missionary work!  It is awesome!  Our mission President is so inspired!!

I just want to tell you how awesome the Chamblee Branch is!!!!  wow it has changed so much since i first got here!  Our Branch President just called 6 ward missionaries!!!!  sooooo cool!!!  In the 7 months i have been here the Chamblee branch has gotten so stronger.  The fire is spreading through our members and rubbing off on other members!  The members here are just amazing.  I cant even say that enough!  The work in the Chamblee area would not be progressing if it weren't for the Lord and the members!!  Go members!!

Life is just wonderful!  I feel my saviors love each and everyday for me and his children here in Chamblee.  What a blessing it is to be a instrument in the hands of the Lord and see miracles upon miracles happen each and every day.  It is by no means a sacrifice for me to be here because i love it so much and i don't see it as a sacrifice.  I see it as a privilege to witness THE GREAT each and every day, to feel so close to the spirit, and to just be happy.  When the alarm went off this morning and rolled out of my bed at 6:30 i couldnt help but to have a smile on my face thinking that the Lord has blessed me with another blessed day here as missionary wearing his name on my heart.  I was reading in 2 Nephi 7 today and in one of the verses i read, "When ye are weary he wake morning by morning."  and when i read that i couldn't help but feel my Saviors love for me knowing that he is always with us and that he wakes up with us every morning and somehow gives us the strength to accomplish what he needed done day by day.  It was a great reminder to me and made me appropriate my savior and all that he does for me.  He truly gives us the strength when we fall short of it.  He gives us the comfort when we fall short of it.  He gives us the happiness when we fall short of it.  He is our Savior and our Redeemer.  "Savior, Redeemer of my soul, Whose mighty hand hath made me whole, Whose wondrous pow'r hath raised me up And filled with sweet my bitter cup! What tongue my gratitude can tell, O gracious God of Israel.   Never can I repay thee, Lord, But I can love thee. Thy pure word, Hath it not been my one delight, My joy by day, my dream by night? Then let my lips proclaim it still, And all my life reflect thy will.   O'errule mine acts to serve thine ends. Change frowning foes to smiling friends. Chasten my soul till I shall be In perfect harmony with thee. Make me more worthy of thy love, And fit me for the life above."  I love my Savior.  I know that he lives.  I know that he loves us.  He wants us to come unto him.  He always there with open arms.  My love and appreciation for him grows each and everyday as i learn of him, represent him, and serve his children.  How blessed i am to be here at this time of my life.  I love you all so much.  I am so blessed to have the wonderful family that i do.  Thank you always for your love, prayers, and support.  Always know that i love you, and praying for you and rooting for you, but more importantly never forget that the Lord loves you, Heavenly father loves you, and are rooting you on always.  Have a supurb week, and just be happy!!
all my love and prayers always,
Hermana Stewart :)

district family!!!!!! :)

​our spacious bedroom with only two beds now haha!!
sandy springs sisters and Sister Mason(mission nurse) getting the rest of our lice out...yuck!