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!

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!
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! :)
Hermana Stewart

Monday, October 3, 2016

"We do not doubt our mothers knew it."


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.
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 we got a lil fun gift from them this week!  I have you know that is 128 ounces of pickle.  How blessed am i! :)