Monday, August 29, 2016

Search Diligently, Pray Always, and Be Believing (August 29, 2016)

Hello Hello Hello!! 

It was a good week here in Cedartown. 

Transfer News: My companion is being transferred to another area.  I will be staying here in Cedartown and training a new missionary for my last 12 weeks.  I am very humbled and excited to be working along side a new missionary again.  I learn and grow so much from them.  What a way to finish my mission strong.  

Sicknesses: This week was spent a lot in the apartment because my companion got caught up in the strep throat virus and the stomach flu.  Not a fun combination.  Don't worry I made plenty of homemade chicken noodle soup though.  That always cures a good sickness.

Potentials: We were able to make a bunch of calls to potential and former investigators since we were home bound, and we saw really great starts of miracles in that!  We have some appointments with some of them this week that were once again interested in hearing about the Restored Gospel again.  One of the potentials I called and told her we were the missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and asked her if she would interested in hearing the Restored Gospel again, and she responded "no not right now."  Then Sister Sunwall whispered across the room "ask her for another day."  I looked at her really confused and then asked her "well will you be interested in a couple of days?"  Then she said that she would.  It was pretty funny!  Hey it never hurts to ask I guess haha!

Meat: This week when we were shopping we decided to shop at the Mexican Market and get some Carne asada  which in english is just grilled beef.  Mmm it is so good and one of my most favorite foods they make!  When we went to ask for a pound, my mind just went completely blank and I forgot how to say pound in spanish.  I said "Podriamos tener un libro de carne asada por favor?"  Which in eglish is "could we have one book of meat please?"  oh it was so awkward!  Libra is pound in spanish.  I was one letter off.  Then we realized that one pound was not sufficient for two hungry sister misisonaries, so i talked my companion into asking for one more pound.  We roll played in the corner, i told her what to say and the correct work for pound.  Then she said "podemos tener un libre de carne asada?"  Which in English is "can we have onefree meat?"  Oh we just died laughing.  Then people were probably just laughing inside at these two gringas trying to speak spanish.  Sometimes spanish is a struggle even being out 15 months.  Too funny!  

I am doing really well right now.  I am excited for this new change that is happening.  I have really felt so much comfort from the Holy Spirit this week, and I am so grateful for the Knowledge we have that Families CAN be together forever.  As we sang that song yesterday in church, an overwhelming warm feeling came over me because I know that is true.  I am so blessed to have the amazing family that I have.  I am so blessed to have this gospel in my life.

I want you all to know that the Lord is mindful of you and what each of you are going through right now.  He knows how you feel.  He suffered for each of us so that he would know how to help us.  "and he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. and he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know how to succor his people according to their infirmities." Alma 7:11-12  I am so grateful for my Savior who knows how I feel and how you each feel.  I know He lives.  May we always turn to him in all things and in all places and in all times.  

I hope that each of you have a fantastic week.  Look around you.  See the many tender mercies of the Lord all around us.  Feel His love.  "search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good." D&C 90:24.  I love you all so very much!  
Hermana Stewart :)

P.S. We went to the Cave Spring this last week!  It was so cool.  So this is us underground!

I Need Thee Every Hour (August 22, 2016)

Hey Ya'll!

We had a fantastic week here in Georgia!!!  We are living it up preaching the gospel in the Georgia heat!! :)  This is the last week until transfers.  Wow this transfer has flown by so fast!  We have seen miracles and miracles!

Some Highlights from the Week:

1. Bikes!  We have been on bikes.  It has actually been fantastic!  I feel like a real hard working missionary when we get on them bikes.  We still have our car too, but we are super low on miles!  Bikes are fun until you get on them and start peddling and start seeing the affects of eating too much georgia fried food haha!  I guess that is when we learn the meaning of the saying "be careful what you wish for."  We are loving them!! :)   Here is a picture after a long fun day of riding!  It is soo beautiful here!

2. Less Active! We have been working with this less active lady since i got to Cedartown and she at first showed no progress or desire.  She hadn't been to church in years and years.  In the past couple of months she has come back to full activity, and she has started the temple prep class to prepare to enter the temple!!  We can't ever forget or give up on those wonderful lost sheep! :)

3. Prayer: We were able to help our spanish investigator find an appartment for their son and help with translating since they don't speak english.  It was really cool because we are always telling them that we are always here to help, but they always say they don't need anything.  We have really been praying for opportunities to serve people, and then this opportunity came.  Nothing was working out, and we were just praying so hard to be able to have them find something!  Then bam, they found one!  It was really cool!  Then we sat down with them and read from 3 Nephi 11 with them that evening.  The spirit was so strong.  There is something so amazing about opening and reading the scriptures with people.  They told us they know that Jesus really did come to the Americas.  They are doing great!  They just need to get off work so they can come to church! :)

4. Church was fantastic yesterday!  The branch is getting stronger and stronger every week!  We had 82 people at church!  Everyone was so happy.  One of the speakers said something that really stood out to me.  He said "It's not the trial that matters but the decisions we make because of that trial."  And how true that is!  Heavenly Father tells us countless times in the scriptures that we have trials to learn and grow and for our own good.  One of our purposes in life is to have earthy experience and then learn how to choose the right.  My favorite part of church was when stood up as a congregation to sing the intermediate hymn "i need thee every hour."  What power that brought.  The spirit was so strong as we sang that beautiful song to the Lord.  "i need thee every hour most gracious lord.  No tender voice like thine can peace afford. i need thee oh i need thee.  every hour i need thee.  oh bless me now my Savior, i come to thee!  I need thee every hour. stay thou near by.  temptations loose their power when thou art nigh.  i need thee oh i need thee.  every hour i need thee.  oh bless me now my Savior, i come to thee!  i need thee every hour in joy or pain.  come quickly and abide or life is vain. i need thee oh i need thee.  every hour i need thee.  oh bless me now my Savior, i come to thee!  i need thee every hour most holy one.  Oh, make me thine indeed, thou Blessed Son. i need thee oh i need thee.  every hour i need thee.  oh bless me now my Savior, i come to thee!"  We truly need our Savior in every moment. 

Fun Fact: We decided to do a count and there are 53 different church in Cedartown, one of which including The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (cedartown branch building).  That is a lot of churches for population 13,000!  "I belong to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I know who i am. I know God's plan.  I'll follow him in faith.  I believe in the Savior Jesus Christ.  I'll honor his name.  I'll do what is right,  I'll follow his light.  His truth i will proclaim!"  

Deer: Here is a fun picture of Sister Sundwall and I with a couple of mounted deer randomly in the middle of no where.  

Well life is fantastic my family!  I will leave you with our daily scriptures we sent out from our phone this morning.  I read this in my personal study and it is soo good!  From the Book of Mormon "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with a surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." Ether 12:4 and from the Bible "which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast." Hebrews 6:19 and from our living Prophet "Admisdst the confusion of our age, the conflicts of conscience, and the turmoil of daily living, an abiding faith becomes an anchor to our lives." President Thomas S. Monson.  I testify to you all that hope and faith conquer all discouragement and hope and faith brings peace to us all knowing where we came from, why we are here, and where we are going.  I know the church is true.  

I love you all so very much!  Have a fantastic week and remember we truly need our Savior in every moment and to have hope in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  

Hermana Stewart 

P.S. Choose The Right :D

Standing as witnesses at ALL times and in ALL things and in ALL places (August 15, 2016)

Howdy Y'all!! 
This week was super great!!! :) 
Things are going good here in Cedartown!  Yesterday we were in Branch Council and our Branch President announced that before the 40 day fast we had 180 members.  Now, after the fast we have 199!  Holy Moly that is just too cool!!
This morning I was studying about fasting and trying to remember the first time I truly gained my own testimony on fasting.  Before my mission I was never super into fasting, but I knew that it was important and that it was a commandment.  I remember fasting as a family for Judd and Brooke's baby, and an amazing miracle came from it.  That moment had a huge impact on my testimony of fasting.  
A couple of months ago my companion said "hey we should fast for a church headquarters refferal to accept the gospel and want to be baptized."  I remember she wanted to fast on a day that wasn't fast Sunday, and I wasn't super excited about having to go without food during some other day than fast Sunday.  Well y'all probably remember that story that we did fast, and we did receive a church head quarter refferal that would accept the gospel and wanted to be baptized."
Fasting is truly amazing my family.  Miracles come, direction is received, prayers are answered, comfort given, and miracles pour out from Heaven when we fast.

Brother Wofford got a calling last week....Branch greeter!!  haha so perfect for him!  He is getting ordained to the Priestood on Sunday and next is the Temple for baptisms for the dead! :) There is so much light about him, and I am just so privileged to know him!  

I just want to talk a second about how amazing this Branch is and how amazing the members are!!  We have so many amazing members wanting to invite their friends to learn more about the gospel, sharing things via One of the new families that moved in recently are huge into missionary work, and I know that the Lord has placed them here for a reason to help this Branch grow into a ward!  When we first met this family it was during Bother Wofford's baptism.  They just arrived in Georgia and they came to find the "mormons."  I remember sitting in the lobby with her, and we ran to go comfort her and help her.  We weren't able to see the end of the baptism program and hear Brother Wofford bear his testimony and i was a little bummed, but my companion looked at me and whispered "she needs us."  That was an important lesson to me.  We need to be there for people when they need us.  I read today in Mosiah 18:8-9 "as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light.  Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn, yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at ALL times, and in ALL things, and in ALL places that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life"  I know that we are all Heavenly Father's children and we need to help each other make it back to Him.  It is so important for us to stand as witnesses of Jesus Christ!

Life is wonderful!  I know that the church is true.  I love being a missionary!  I hope that yall have an amazing week!!  I love you all!!!!! :)
Hermana Stewart

Sweet is the Peace the Gospel Brings (August 8, 2016)

Hello Everyone!
We had a stellar week!  I'm going to go ahead and tell ya'll some of my most favorite parts about the week.  

TEMPLE: We were privileged with the opportunity to go to the temple this week as a mission.  Wow I love temple.  What a sweet spirit it brings into our lives.  All the s
spanish sisters were there!!  It was quite the treat to see my trainer and past companions!  So here is a picture of all us spanish sisters in the misison! :)  From left to right (Hermana Bento Machias-from Brazil, Hermana Caballero, Hermana Helstin, Hermana Bringhurst, Hermana Gallardo (my trainer!), Hermana Webb, Hermana Sundwall, and me.  I have been companions with all except the tree on the left.  

EXCHANGES: We went to Dallas, GA on exchanges this week.  That was alot of fun, and I learned so much.  One of goals as a companionship was that we wanted to work on was learning to recognize the promptings of the spirit more and to follow them.  Wow the spirit is really cool!!  It is amazing the amount of times the spirit can prompt us to do certain things, go certain places, or say certain things.  I know that the spirit testifies of truth, gives direction, and speaks peace in times of need.  The more we give head to the spirit the more he will want to speak to us.  

SERVICIO: We got to do so much service this week at the Martinez families home!  They are a family that moved into the branch a couple of weeks ago.  There yard looks mighty fine after we got finished with it!  It was fun to work together to pick up the yard and make it nice and safe for the kids to play out side.  We are also teaching one of the boys that isn't baptized.  He accepted baptism, so that will be next Saturday!  The family are all excited about that!  

MY MISSION: Words cannot describe the love I have for this opportunity to serve as a disciple of my Savior Jesus Christ.  Words cannot describe the love I have for the people here.  I just cannot describe it to you, but I feel so much love for them.  I truly love them.  How amazing it is to love someone you barely know, and feel so much love for them from their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  The love that our Father in Heaven and Savior have for us in glorious, it is uncomprehending, but it is so full and perfect.  I cannot tell say this enough, but I love being a missionary.  I am for ever changed because of this choice to come, and I am forever changing because of the Gospel that is in my life.  

Sweet is the peace the gospel brings.  One of the sisters in the branch said this in the closing prayer of Sacrament meeting.  It just hit me so hard how true that is.  Life is hard, trials come, and sometimes we feel like we have no more room on our plates.  I have heard the following statement at least 5 times from people in the past few weeks "when it rains in pours."  It is my prayer for each one of us to take a step back and recognize how sweet is the peace the gospel brings.  Turning to the Gospel during hard times and happy times, good times and sad times is where we will find the most peace.  "and moreover, i would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God.  For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it." Mosiah 2:41

I love you all.  I am so grateful for my eternal family.  I am grateful for the commandments we have in our lives.  They really aren't commandments, but blessings to us all, leading us back to our Heavenly Father.  I hope you all have an amazing week.  You are always in my prayers.  Keep studying your scriptures.  Keep saying your prayers.  Keep the commandments.  I testify to you all, in the name of Jesus Christ, that this church is true, the Book of Mormon is true, and sweet in the peace the Gospel Brings.  
Hermana Stewart :)

The Lord is Hastening His Work (August 1, 2016)

Hello Everyone!!!!  
Happy August!!  Wow life is sooo wonderful here!  We honestly had a super amazing week!  There is so much happening here in Cedartown, we just can't even keep up with the Lord.  He is truly hastening His work here!  

Miracles and Highlights!!
75:  We had 75, i repeat 75 people at church on Sunday!!!!!!!!  That is the most Cedartown has ever had!!!  Before the fast we averaged about 25 each week.  Last week 59 and this week 75!!!  Holy Moly.  Everyone was so happy yesterday.  To hear a sound of babies and little kids has never sounded so great!  It is unreal.  There is only one cause of this, the Lord.  He is truly hastening His work here.

Referrals: We received some amazing referrals this week.  One of them we got from the Buchanan Elders (30 minutes away) of a Spanish family with 6 people.  We have permission to teach them, so we are going there tonight!  Another media referral we got today of a 15 year old girl that wanted a Book of Mormon.  We just skiddaddled over there as fast as we could and taught a little of the Restoration to their family, and they came to church this Sunday!!  Miracles!!  
Service: We got the chance to do a lot of service this week.  We went and did some service in Alabama for a member lady.  We painted.  Oh we are so pro!  We only did half of it this week.  This is us in Alabama :) 

​Then we got to help one of the new families that moved into the Branch unpack.  That was fun and hard work!!  I don't think I've ever sweated so much.  Now we are moving into the hottest month in Georgia!  This should be fun! :)

Awesome Lesson: We had one of the members from the Branch that spoke spanish on his mission and his wife come out with us this week.  We got to visit a less active hispanic family from the Branch.  They have 12 people total in their family.  We have never been able to get the whole family together in one room.  We had an amazing lesson, all 12 of them and 4 of us in their little living room.  We sang I am a Child of God and the spirit was so present during that lesson. I know that we are Children of God, and how how much that means to me.  

The work is moving forward and fast here in Cedartown!  This we are going to the temple as a mission.  Oh my goodness, i could jump right out of my socks im so excited!  I have truly gained a greater appreciation for the temple with not being able to go so frequently as I could back home.  The temple truly is a refuge from this crazy world we live in.  

I want you all to know that I have a testimony of this work.  It is the Lord's work.  Every good thing that has happened, is happening, and will happen is because of him.  I just sit in total amazement seeing miracle after miracle happen.  The Lord is truly hastening His work here in Cedartown and all around the world.  From the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith "The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; ppersecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work in done."  I know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the one and only true church on the earth today.  It is lead and guided by a prophet called of God, Thomas S. Monson.  I know Chirst is the head of this church. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet.  I know the Book of Mormon is true.  I know Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.  I know He is the way and the only way.  I know these things are true because the Holy Ghost has testified to me that they are.  This is my testimony in the name of Jesus Christ.

I love you all so very much.  I hope you have an amazing week.  You are always in my prayers.  We are very blessed people.  The Lord loves us.  May God bless you all this next week.  Til next week,
Hermana Stewart