Thursday, June 30, 2016

What Heaven Sees in You

Wow what another great week here in Cedartown!  I absolutely love it here!  Things are going quite peachy :)
Highlights from the Week:

1. A family from the Branch took us to World of Coca-Cola in downtown Atlanta last P-Day!  So much fun we had!  It was such a blast with them!

2. This week we were able to have a recently graduated 18 year old girl in our Branch come and live with us for 48 hours.  We did like a "mini mission."  It was such a great experience!!  And the cool thing is that because of this experience, it answered her prayers and she sent in her mission papers!  It was fun to be back in a trio for a few day.  Gotta love the trio ;)

3. We had the opportunity to do a fast with Odell to be able to quit smoking and drinking.  It was really neat.  He just handed it over to the Lord and since then he hasnt smoked or drunk!  The Miracles of Fasting.

4. We have been doing a 40 day fast as a Branch and we have seen sooo many miracles come from this!  The Branch is getting stronger and stronger!  We are hoping to start having a separate Spanish sacrament meeting soon! wahoo!

​The other day during weeking planning my companion and I decided to do a little activity.  We were feeling like all we were seeing was our weaknesses.  We got two sheets of paper each.  On the first sheet we each just wrote down all of our weaknesses like things we want to improve on.  Then on the other paper we wrote each others strengths.  After we did this, i had the paper of my weaknesses on top of all my strengths and i was just looking at them all.  I just sat there thinking for a second.  We have our table right in front of a big window that lets in a lot of light, and i remembered when i was younger i would put a blank paper on top of a drawing and hold it up to the light (mom would always help tape it up for me so i my arms wouldn't get tired of holding always making my life easier :) )  I said to my companion, "sometimes Satin just wants us to only see our weaknesses and covers up our strengths, but if we allow him, God will help us see our strengths."  Then i put the two papers up against the window, and all we could see as our strengths.  It was a really special moment for me and for her too probably.  We taped them up on the window to remind us what heaven sees in us.  I have been thinking about this experience alot this past week.  And frequently I turned to Ether 12:27 the verse we all know "and if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.  I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."  My MTC teacher once said to me "its like this, when we look in a mirror in the light, the closer and closer we get to the mirror and the light, the more blemishes that we see."  I think it is quite amazing that if we just come unto him he will show us our faults, but then he says that if we just humble ourselves and have faith in him, then his grace is sufficient and he will make our weakness into strengths.  How cool is that?!  

We all have weakness, but something important that I learned is we can change.  We CAN become more charitable.  We CAN grow in faith.  We CAN become more patient.  I learned a very valuable lesson this week in 1. Our weakness can become strengths if we allow the Lord to change us, if we come unto him, humble ourselves and have faith. and  2. To see what heaven sees in you.  Sometimes we allow Satin to discourage us, but if we hold our papers up the the Light we will see what Heaven sees in us!

I love this Gospel!  I love this Church!  I love being a member of it!  I love being a missionary!  I love my Savior Jesus Christ.  He is my Master.  He is my friend.  I know he lives.  I know that when we come unto him he makes us better people.  We are children of God.  He loves us.  I know that faith brings miracles.  I know that I am about the Lord's errand.  I know the Heavenly Father listens to my prayers, and I know that if he listens to a little imperfect sister missionary's prayers then he listens to all of our prayers.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  Heaven is cheering us on.  I can feel it in times of discouragement and despair.  I know that we all have weakness, but I also know that we all have strengths.  I know that holy spirit is real.  I know it is.  It testifies of truths.  It provides protection.  It gives comfort and helps show what heaven sees in us.  

I love you all.  Have blessed week!  May we come unto Christ this week.  May we humble ourselves.  May we have faith in Him.  And may we always remember what heaven see in us.
Hermana Stewart

Let Your Light So Shine

Hello Everyone!!

I hope y'all had a good Father's Day!!  Dad happy daddy's day!!!  I sure do love ya!  Wow we are so blessed to have such a great fathers right! :) How blessed are we!  Happy Father's day to all the fathers out there.  
Well we had a great week here in Cedartown Georgia!!  The sun is shining, and the blessing and miracles are flowing in everywhere!  How great it is to be a missionary! :)
Here are some of the many highlights of this week!

1: We went fishing on Pday at a members house!  Haha that was so much fun!  I caught me 2 bass, and Mayu caught 2 bass and 1 catfish!  That was a hoot of a a Pday! :)

2: We had of the 70s come to our mission and tour this week.  His name was Elder Cordon.  That was great!  We got to go up to Powder Springs for a conference.  It was all about the spirit​.  Wow it was super great!  Something i learned was that optimism is a gift of the spirit.  I think that is so true.  Being happy about life is one of the greatest ways I feel the spirit.  President Monson once said "you don't find the happy life, you make it."  I know that is true.  When i was first on a mission, I was definitely having a hard time being happy.  The language was hard, the work load was hard, but I then slowly learned that i couldn't just wait or look for happiness or when things were gonna be easier.  I had to make it!  There is always going to be hard things in life, but that is no reason to not be happy!  Being happy is one of the BEST feeling I think! :)

3:Odell came to church on Sunday again!  He was all dressed up in a snazy golden suit!  He is practically already a member!  I have never seen someone just jump right into the branch and become part of it before more than we have seen with Odell.  Here is a picture of us and Odell, and the Elders happened to be right there in the hall haha so they are there too.

4: Berta and her family are doing good.  Berta makes sure we never go hungry every time we go over there, so im still getting my Spanish food fix.  We go over there nearly everyday to read from the Book of Mormon in Spanish and English cus she wants to learn English, and that has brought a big change in her.  There is something so special about reading the Book of Mormon especially when investigators read from it.  It has strengthened my testimony of The Book of Mormon.  I know that it is true, and I know that there is great power in it.

We had a fantastic week!  I really am so happy here!  The work is just moving along, and we are just trying to keep up with The Lord.  I love being a missionary! :)  I wanted to talk a second about fire flies.  There sure are a million guzillion out here!  I love it!  Hermana Sundwall and I have been talking about them and observing them as we see them out in the fields.  They light up!  How cool is that!?  But they only stay lit up for just a second, and then they disappear

.  How sad is that?!  One of our favorite things to do is relate things to the gospel...even  fire flies.  The other day I was reading in 3 Nephi 12:14-16, and we discussed how we shouldn't be like fire flies.  "verily, verily, i say unto you, i give unto you to be the light of this people.  a city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.  behold, do men light a candle an put it under a bushel? nay, but on a candlestick, and it giveth light to all that are in the house; therefore let your light so shine before this people, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven."  The Lord has given us light.  We have 2 choices.  We can either take this wise counsel and command and let it so shine, or we can hide it or do as fire flies and light it, then hide it, then light it, then hide it.  How beautiful is this light that Christ has given us.  Now let our light so shine!  That is the only intelligent thing to do.  That will bring us happiness, it will bring others happiness, and it will bring happiness to our Father in Heaven.  

I hope you all have a wonderful week!  I love you all so much!  Let us always remember to not be like fire flies, but let your light so shine!  
Hermana Stewart

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Wise Man Built His House Upon A Rock

Hola yall!

Wow what a great week we had here in Cedartown!!!  Ahhh i love it here!  I just am so blessed to be a missionary and be serving amongst some amazing children of our Heavenly Father.

Updates and Highlights from this week:
1. It is hottttt here!!!  I think i forgot how hot it was last summer, but now I am reliving it!  It's true what they say, that you never feel dry!  Gotta love it! :)

2.The Spanish lady Berta with like 9 children that is on date to be baptized, we are teaching her 3 children too and the 8 year old boy JR is on date to be baptized too!  Okay he just melts my heart!  Every time we come over, he just runs up to us and gives us a big hug.  And the other day when we were leaving he hugged me and told me he loved me!  Oh it was just too sweet!  Also one of our awesome families in the Branch had them and us over for a lesson, and that was probably the best thing ever!!  They were so happy, and just watching the mom she was so content and happy!  The Gospel truly blesses families! :)

3.On Sunday we had 7 Spanish less actives come to church!!!!!  Holy Miracle!!  That was just the coolest thing ever!  It was two families, but not all of the kids came.  The primary teachers actually had children to teach wahoo!!!  The Lord will definitely bless them for coming to church!  

4. On Friday the senior couple lady that serves in our branch with us had to play the piano at a funeral at our church for one of the members that passed away, and she asked if i could lead the music.  I thought it was just going to be just a normal funeral, but no.  I got told by the counselor in the branch presidency that i needed to sing out, like loud because this was no ordinary funeral, that this was a southern funeral.  That was probably one of the interesting experiences ever!!!  I have never heard gospel music, hallelujah shouts and praises and clapping.  Sister Sundwall had to really stop ourselves from not breaking out and dancing up on the stand.  It was just too fun.  

5. Remember Odell?  We met him on a bike like my first week here in Georgia.  Well he came to church this week!!!!!  Oh my goodness!  He is a cute old man, and he was just going around shaking everyones hand and introducing himself and letting them all know how excited he was to get baptized and become a member of this church.  The Branch just welcomed him and he fits right in.  He is doing great, and he said to one of the members "i found my home."  It was super amazing! Here is a good picture of our good brother Odell with our sun hats that we get to wear outside to protect us from the heat haha! :)

6. Yesterday our Branch started a 40 day continual fast!!!  Wahoo we are so excited to see all the many mighty miracles that come from this!!  There is so much power in fasting!

It was just a super duper great week!!  I love being a missionary!  I wanted to share with yall about what i learned in my personal study today!  A couple of days ago i was reading in 3 Nephi 14:24-26 which says "therefore, whoso heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, i will liken him unto a wise man, who built his house upon a rock-and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock."  And i have been pondering this scripture and last night i kept dreaming of this scripture and i kept repeating it and repeating it to people.  So Before my study this morning i proposed a question. How can we be built upon his Rock?  Then of course the Book of Mormon answered my question.  It's pretty cool like that!  In 3 Nephi 18 it talks about when Jesus instituted the Sacrament.  He says we must do 3 things:

1. witness unto the Father that you are willing to do that which He has commanded you
2. witness unto the Father that you will always remember Him
3. witness unto the Father that you are willing to take upon you His name

Then in verse 12 its says "and if ye shall always do these things blessed are ye, for ye are built upon my rock."  I just love that!  He lays it out so simply for us, and he promised that we will always have His spirit to be with us if we do these things.  That is a pretty amazing promise.  It goes on later and says a few times "ye must watch and pray always lest ye enter into temptation."  That is super important.  Temptations are all around us in every shape and form, but when with him we won't fall.  "and now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall." Helaman 5:12.  I have a testimony of this.  There are so many accounts in the scriptures where it tells us to build on the rock of our Redeemer in some form or another.  And how great the need for us to follow this wise counsel in these days.  I know that if we do this, we won't fall just like it promises us.  I hope that we can always be like the wise man who built his house upon a rock! :)

Well I sure do love you all!!  I hope that you have a most fantastic week.  You are always in my prayers.  Let us all remember
​the wise man built his house upon a rock! :)
I love yall!
Hermana Stewart

P.S. District Picture :)

Monday, June 6, 2016

Keep The Commandments

Hello Family!!
What a wonderful week we had here in Cedartown!!  
Transfer News: We are both staying here in Cedartown another transfer!  Wahoo!  That was happy news!  

We had another filled week of amazing miracles!!  Some amazing works are happening here, and the Lord is preparing the hearts here in Cedartown!  I know that this branch will be a ward one day!  

Highlights from the Week:
*The Hispanic lady that week have been teaching that has been investigating for years that has like 9 children.  We are teaching her and her 3 children that are over the age of eight in the house.  On Saturday we went over there and we taught repentance and we asked her if she wanted to be free of guilt.  She of course said yes.  Then we invited her to be baptized.  Her response was amazing.  She said that she has been investigating for years but she has never been baptized.  Something just clicked in her that was the reason her life has not been changing.  She accepted to be baptized on June 25!  Wahoo!  They came to church all three hours for the first time yesterday!  Hopefully this week we will get the kids on date to be baptized too!  They are all the road to happiness!  I have strong testimony of faith and not letting doubt get in the way.  This lady has grown in faith so much because she knows that keeping the commandments brings blessings, happiness, and a better life for her and her cute family!

*There is a 12 year old girl that we are teaching.  She has been taught by missionaries for a couple of years now, and she is practically a member of the church.  She comes to church every week, goes to girls camp, goes to all the youth activities, but her mom has never been comfortable with letting her be baptized.  Last week we invited this girl to pray about having her mom have a soft heart.  She wants to be baptized so baddly.  She wants to go on a mission.  She gives pass along cards to all of her friends and teaches them about the church.  She is just amazing.  We have all been praying for this to happen for her mom to soften up.  We had a lesson yesterday in a member families home with her yesterday and she told us that her mom was considering letting her be baptized!!  This is a huge miracle!

*Remember the awesome Book of Mormon referral that we got last week.  Well she is on date to be baptized on July 9.  She loves the Book of Mormon and she has already prayed about it and Joseph Smith.  Can you say Golden?!  I don't even know what it is.  I feel like the Lord is just placing all these prepared people in our life.  The Lord can do anything!  I sure have learned that since being here. 
*Our branch president asked us a couple weeks ago to teach a little girl in the branch.  Her parents are members and she is just the cutest!  It is such a special experience teaching young children.  They have such sweet spirits and so much faith.  She got baptized yesterday by her father.  It was super special!  She told her mom she wants us to keep coming each week.  It has been fun teaching her and learning from her! :)
*We went and taught this girl that the sisters found a few months ago.  She is 17 years old.  She is super prepared for this gospel and accepted to be baptized on July 2.  Such an amazing miracle and more evidence of how the Lord is preparing the hearts of his children.

*We had a crazy storm in Cedartown on Wednesday.  It was super hot and then all of the sudden it started raining super hard, then hailing, then winding, and a little tornado visited us.  It was crazy!  It looked like Cedartown had been abandoned for years after the storm.  All the streets were flooded, power lines down, trees, oh so many trees down, a few houses got fallen on by trees, no power.  It was crazy!!  I have never seen any storm in person cause so much damage.  No one was hurt luckily.  It was super cool to see the community come together and help clean up.  We spent almost the whole day cleaning up branches and trees.  It was a great service opportunity! 
*I caught my first fire fly this week!  There are so many fire flies here!  So much fun!!  I didn't think they actually existed haha!  But they do!  In case you were wondering haha!  We were like kids in a candy story the first night we saw them. We just had to stop the car and run out into a field and catch them! :)

Well my wonderful family, I want ya'll to know that I love you so very much.  I love this gospel so very much.  I want to share my testimony on the importance of keeping the commandments.  We have to keep the commandments, but better yet, we NEED to keep the commandments!  ALL commandments.  We are not here to just pick and choose the ones we want to keep, or the ones that are the easiest to keep.  NO, we are here to learn, to grow, to progress.  We must obey.  Heavenly Father loves us so much.  He is sad when we don't do what he asks.  I know that when our investigators don't do what they should, it saddens me because I know what joy there is in keeping the commandments.  It is just the same with our Heavenly Father, he wants to bless us.  He wants us to have joy.  Goodness Gracious, "men are that they might have joy!" 2 Nephi 2:25.  Now i think there are two types of joys 1=worldly joy and 2=heavenly joy or eternal joy.   It is so so vitally important to remember that, to remember what our purpose here in life is.  It is not to have worldly joy, it is to do what is right, it is to obey and listen with a willing heart to what our Heavenly Father wants of us, it is to keep the commandments and to have eternal joy.  We are blessed when we keep the commandments.  It is just that simple.  I could quote a hundred million times is says in the scriptures "ye should keep the commandments of God, that ye may prosper in the land!"   
With the dear lyrics from the children hymns "Keep the commandments; keep the commandments! In this there is safety; in this there is peace.  He will send blessings; he will send blessings.  Words of a prophet: keep the commandments.  In this there is safety and peace."

I know that this is true.  There is peace and safety in keeping the commandments.  "Oh that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments-then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea." 1 Nephi 20:18  May we always remember this, to keep the commandments.  We will be blessed.  We will be happy.  We will have joy.  I know this to be true.

Have a wonderful week my lovely family!  I love ya'

l so much!  Keep happy!  Keep Smiling!  Keep the Commandments!

Hermana Stewart

A God of Miracles

Hello Hello Hello!!
Wowzer what a week we had here!!  AH i love being a missionary!!!  Ok so we had so many amazing miracles this week.  I am just so excited to tell you about them all!  
Highlights from the Week:

Monday: On Pday we planted radishes in plastic baggies with damp paper towel and hung them in our window.  You know how we got taught in school when we were younger!  Why radishes you ask?  Personally i think they are not the most pleasant to the tongue, but they were the seed that took the least amount of time to grow!!  We named all the seeds, and today i went to check on them all.  Birtha and Fredrick are starting to sprout wahoo!!!  

Spanish Family: There is a Hispanic family with like 9 kids and they have been investigating the church since like 2009, and we picked them back up when i came here.  We were having a hard time knowing how we could get her to open up and trust us, and while we were there the first time (about a month ago) we offered to teach the mom English.  She loved the idea!  Because of that simple act of service she really opened up and wanted to actually start taking the discussions again.  We have two appointments a week with her (one for English and one for the lessons) and now her two daughters (a 16 year old and 10 year old) are taking the discussions!  They came to church 3 weeks ago, just the mom and the youngest, but this last Sunday almost the whole family came!  We went over to teach the girls yesterday and the mom was just sitting on the porch reading the Book of Mormon, no big deal!!! ahh its like night and day the difference this family has become, and they are more happy!  Also one of the mom's friends was there the other day when we were teaching English and she came to the gospel lesson and now she wants to bring her kids when we teach the girls again!  Such an amazing miracle!!!!!

Arise and Stand: Okay there is a less active lady and she has a Down Syndrome 25 year old son!  He is the sweetest.  He hasn't been out of bed in months!  No one can get him out of bed, and it really makes the mom sad because she always has to stay in the house and they can never leave.  The other day we had a weird prompting to go visit them, so we did.  The boy was in his bed like usual.  Sister Sundwall and i walked in there to say hi to him.  He waved.  Then the spirit promoted me to ask him if he wanted to come pray with us.  Why not?  It was worth a shot.  We invited him, and miraculously enough, he jumped right out of bed and came to the living room.  The mom was in total shock. We were in shock.  We sang "i am a child of God." and said a prayer.  He was so happy.  Then the mom was like, "now if only we could actually get him out of the house."  We handed him his shoes and told him we were going to Walmart.  And we went to Walmart and rode in the car with him and his mom.  Such an amazing Miracle!!!!

Singing: Yesterday we decided we were going to try a new method of finding instead of the same ol same ol door approach.  We decided to sing "i am a Child of God" when people opened to door and then testify of the truth of that.  Well it was scary haha!  Super out of our comfort zone.  But it was a success!  There is such a strong spirit in hymns!  It was pretty fun!

The Referral: Sister Sundwall and I decided we were going to fast this last Sunday for a headquarter referral that was prepared and ready to hear the gospel.  There hasn't been any referrals in quite a while here, but we figured, God is a God of Miracles!  Yesterday we received a text message from head quarters.  We received a referral!  She requested a Book of Mormon, and it said "excited to learn more about the Book of Mormon!" God answers prayers.  God can do anything.  He is a God of Miracles!  We contacted her within 45 minutes and we are going there tomorrow!  After that miracle, how could i not believe in God and that he does miracles!?

It was a wonderful week, and my testimony seems to grow everyday more and more as I see the Lord bring about many mighty miracles.  There is no other place i would rather be right now.  I love my life.  I love being a missionary.  I love being a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I love proclaiming the Gospel to all that will hear.  I know that we are children of God.  I know that our Savior Jesus Christ is always walking beside us.  I know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!  Miracles have happened, are happening and they will continue to happen all around the world because God does't change. "and if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable being? and behold, i say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles." Mormon 9:19

I hope ya'll have a blessed day!  Soak up everyday.  Live in the moment.  Look for miracles, because they are all around us.  I love you all so very much!
Hermana Stewart