Monday, April 11, 2016

There is Sunshine in my Soul Today! And Everyday!

Hello! Hello! Hello!
What a week!  I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!!!!  I am just so happy and loving life as a missionary!  We had such an incredible week.  I love being able to watch the Lord do his work!  Really I am so blessed.

Flor and Rogelio:
We had an amazing lesson with them this week with our Branch President.  We went in there with a huge plan to talk about apostasy and the restoration, but the spirit completely redirected us into something even better that they needed in that moment.  I LOVE THE SPIRIT!!!!!  What would we do without the spirit?  probably just cry haha.  Seriously though, the spirit is amazing in guiding, directing, and teaching what Heavenly Father wants taught to his children.  The lesson was super cool for us because we felt the spirit so clear in our thought that came to us, and every aspect of that lesson was the spirit.  We ended up talking about the Book of Mormon.  We asked them if they did what we asked and prayed about it, and they both did.  We discussed alot about the spirit and the feeling they feel when we come or when they were at church, and for the first time it made them actually think and recognize how the spirit had been working in each of them.  The best was when we asked Flor how she liked church and she responded, "Well i liked it enough to go next Sunday!" in her cute spunky voice.  Oh we love Flor and Rogelio, and so does their Heavenly Father.  They came to church the second week in a row!!!!  It was wonderful and they loved it and the branch!!  So whenever we invite people to do something they always respond "si Dios queire" (if God wants)....and we always respond "Dios siempre queire!!" (God always wants!)  and so one of the members said to Flor and Rogelio when they were leaving on Sunday "we hope we can see you again next week." and Flor was like "si Dios queire.....y el va a querer." (if God wants....and he's going to want!" hahahaha that was a wonderful moment!!  Oh we love them!!!!!!
Quick Funny Stories!

Juice: We teach this really old lady named Maria (go figure) and it has seriously taken us 5 visits to finish teaching the Restoration because she LOVES to talk and tell us her same story every time, bless her cute soul.  so we decided to just watch the Restoration video because then she could just listen.  So we put the video in and before we started we invited her to listen and not talk but just listen.  We were trying so hard not to laugh and at her cute lil comments that had nothing to do with the movie, well some did, she thought the lil deer were really cute haha!  Then right after the first vision, the climax of the whole video where you just cant help but cry and feel the spirit, she turns to us and says"queren jugito?" (do you want juice?) hahah oh we love Maria!!
The ancient 800: so we went to a members with a few members over for dinner house right after we visited maria and telling them about how cute Maria is and some other miracles that had happened that day and then the member asked how old Maria was and i very quickly responded " tiene come ochocientos." (800 years old.) oh boy.....i definitely meant to say "like 80."  then right after that we were talking about how one of the ladies in the ward Hermana Ayala we went and taught her friend and there are two Ayalas, the mom and the daughter.  they asked which one and i said "la hermana antigua." (the ancient hermana).....i guess ancient is not a good word to use as old....oh i felt so bad but it definitely a good laugh everyone and lesson learned for Hermana Stewart.

The Lurdes Miracle!:
So this week we have been doing a whole lot of tracking.  So on Friday we walked 4 miles down the Bufford highway to Plaza Fiesta, a big Hispanic mall to go tracking there.  We didn't have much success but gave out a pass along card.  and on the way back we were walking and there was this lady waiting at the bus stop and the spirit told us we needed to talk to her, so we started talking and she was so nice.  Her name was Lurdes, and we gave her our number and then we got hers.  Then we walked away, we accidentally made her miss her bus cus we were talking with her.  oops haha but she will be grateful for that one day!  So we were a bit bummed that we didn't get her address cus sometimes the numbers dont work that they give us.  We were just hoping to somehow find out where she lives, but its Bufford Highway, that is like finding a needle in a haystack!  Ok so on Saturday we had a RM sister come out with us, and since we are a trio we did lil miny splits throughout the day.  so toward the end of the day we had an appointment with Esteban and investigator and nephew of a less active old lady.  So we decided for this split sister Bringhurst and i went to the lesson and we dropped Sister cuevas and Mckayla off an an department complex near by to visit some former's.  We dropped them off and i jokingly said "wouldn't that be funny if you found Lurdes?!"  we all just laughed because that would be so unlikely.  So after the lesson we went and picked the sisters up, and they came running into the car with huge grins on their faces yelling "we found her, we found her!"  sure enough they found Lurdes.  What a miracle!  She told them that we were welcome to come any time after 8.  What are the chances.  The Lord put her in our path for a reason and he helped us find her. SOOO COOL!!!!!!

8 months of being Companions:
Sister Bringhurst and i have been companions for 8 months tomorrow.  The mission office senior missionaries told us that we have the record for being companions the longest in the Georgia Atlanta Mission.  HAHA i sure do love Sister Bringhurst!  She truly is my companion, friend, and sister!  
Well my wonderful family, i bid you farewell until next week!  I would love to leave you with the worlds of a sunshiny song

"There is sunshine in my soul today, More glorious and bright Than glows in any earthly sky, For Jesus is my light.  Oh, there's sunshine, blessed sunshine When the peaceful happy moments roll. When Jesus shows his smiling face, There is sunshine in the soul"  I hope that you all have a sunshiny week.  That is my hope and prayer always!  I love you all so much!  There is sunshine in our soul today!
Hermana Stewart
p.s. 27 days til we get to see each others faces!!!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Choose The Right

Oh my wonderful family!  How i love you so much!  What an amazing week it was for all of us.  Conference was incredible!  I have never been so excited to watch conference in my life.  On conference eve i couldn't even control my excitement and even up until we were watching it the excitement was exploding.  I love General Conference.  I have never enjoyed it so much in my life than i did this weekend.  We watched the first two session Saturday in the Stake Conference in English because no one was coming on Saturday.  Then Sunday we went to our church building where it was playing in Spanish, but we resorted and piled in the clerks office with the other missionaries to watch it on the computer in there in English both sessions.  Wow it was incredible.  I hope we all feel edified and lifted after hearing these wonderful messages sent from our Heavenly Father through his humble servants.

I would have to say that yesterday was one of the BEST days of my mission so far.  That is kind of hard to say because there are so many great days, but the happiness and joy I felt made it one of the best.  After a hard first part of the transfer, the Lord has blessed us with many opportunities to see him bring about his own work.  Miracles up the wazoo happened yesterday, and I want to tell you all about them.

Miracle 1: Back story.  We have been visited a less active older lady for several months now, and we visit her on a weekly bases now.  A couple of weeks ago her nephew that has been in the room occasionally during our visits with her asked us a question as we taught about how we have a living Prophet on the earth today to his aunt.  He asked "you mean to say that you have an actual living prophet today?"  We replied happily of course, "yes!"  We invited him to hear our five lessons we teach, and he agreed.  Saturday was the first lesson with him.  We went over and taught the Restoration.  It was a missionaries dream lesson!!  The spirit was directing every part of that lesson, and he was sparking with many question.  They were good questions.  He expressed to us that he really wants to know if this church is truly the true and only true church on the earth.  In short because i could go on and on, he accepted to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and assist General Conference Sunday morning with us.  Sunday morning, and we headed to church.  He came.  On time.  He loved it.  The Branch swarmed him with open arms.  He read the Book of Mormon assignment we left him Saturday night after we left.  He loved it.  He loved the General Conference!  We are meeting with him Saturday again, and Fermin(our recent convert) is coming over with us to teach him!  Fermin is so excited to be a missionary!  It was incredible!  

Miracle 2: Flor and Rogelio.  This week Flor got fired from her job, so now she is working from home doing nails.  This is a miracle she is beginning to see.  They came to Conference!!!!  This is the first time they came to church.  They called us a few minutes before it started telling us they were here.  We ran outside of the church, but we couldn't see them anywhere.  We then realized they were at the church next door, we flagged them down  and told them it was this church not that one.  Flor and Rogelio and their cute 4 year old daughter came walking over to our church parking lot.  Rogelio yelled across the way, "it isn't the same?"  haha we said no.  The best moment yesterday was seeing them with huge grins on their face walking over to our church like they were in a sense "coming home", looking their best, and seeing Rogelio carrying their Books of Mormon.  It was fantastic!  We walked in and there was our Branch Mission leader there to greet them since he knew them from coming with us to lessons.  They sat by the Elders recent convert family, and it was so perfect!  They loved it and will be back next week they said!  Once again the Branch welcomed them in a swarm of many hugs and welcoming.  It was seriously incredible!

Miracle 3:  We have been teaching this less active the whole time I have been here in Chamblee, and she has been inactive for years.  I honestly never thought she would ever have a true desire to come back, but the Lord can sure bring about his work in the hearts of those that will accept him.  After weeks and weeks of invitations guess who came to Conference by bus Sunday morning?  She did!!  We saw her walking in at about 12:20, and we ran as quick as we could to embrace her.  Welcome home Maria, welcome home.  After conference she was filled with emotion, and she looked at us and said, "next week, here i will be."  She then proceeded to hug our lil Branch President.  What an incredible moment.  

Miracle 4: Fermin got his temple recommend, and we are taking a trip to the temple with him on Saturday!  He walked out of the Branch Presidents office with it in his hand, and excitingly handed it over to us to see it.  Fermin is one true follower of Jesus Christ.  He is an example to me, and to everyone in the Branch.  We are very excited to accompany him this Saturday in doing Baptisms for the Dead in the Atlanta, Georgia Temple.  What an incredible experience that will be.

Miracle 5: Hector is coming home!!  He had to leave suddenly for work out of the states, but he called us last night to tell us the good news that he is coming back this week for good.  Yay!  We are so excited.  We have missed him, and so has the Chamblee Branch.  

As you can see from a few of many miracles that the Lord is amazing.  What a privilege I have to see Him bring to pass his own work.  What a blessing that is.  The joy and happiness I feel right now is beautiful.  I have realized more than ever this past month the true meaning and reason for opposition.  As we were taught yesterday that sorrow and grief and heartache will come to us all, but because of this the sweet moments and blessings that come are that much better.  I have experienced sadness and heartache, sorrow and discouragement, yet  I have experienced pure joy and happiness, excitement and encouragement.  Every bit of hard in this life makes the every bit of good so worth it.  I know that is true.  I read this morning in my personal study 1 Nephi1:20 "And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I,   Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty evenunto the power of deliverance."  They are all around us.  Have we experienced them?  Do we notice them?  The Lord loves us.  He wants the BEST for us.  He knows what is the BEST for us.  May we always open our eyes and see the many tender mercies of the Lord all around us, turn to him, trust him, and ALWAYS choose the harder right.
I love you all so very much.  Thank you for all you do for me, for your examples, prayers and love.  I hope you have a blessed week.
All my prayers and love always,
Hermana Stewart :)
My awesome sister colored this for me.