Monday, November 21, 2016

There Ain't No Goin Back

Hello Hello Hello!!!!

Wow what an amazing week we had!!!  I just don't even know where to start off!!  First of all my companion is training!!!!!!!  Ahhh I'm soo excited for her!!!!!  There is some crazy things happening here!!!  She is actually going to white was an area (the sweetwater spanish ward and Douglasville English ward) and train a new missionary.  And Sister Sundwall, my previous companion that i had in C-town is coming back to Cedartown!!!  WHAT?!  Crazy!!!  We didn't get the call until last night from President Foote.  We had just texted him and told him how awesome our day and week were.  He called us right away and said he just recieved revelation and that our text message confirmed it.  It was soo funny because I have been telling Sister DLRF since day one when I picked her up that she could train in 12 weeks, so then yesterday we were both just so shocked and surprised.  I was like "ahhh i told you that you were going to train!"  And she was like "yeah you told me i was going to train, but you didn't tell me i was going to white wash an area!"(white wash means you and your companion have never been in the area)  haha we were just laughing!  Too awesome!!!!  Cedartown and this new area where Sister DLRF is going are in great great hands!!!  

Miss Lisa Collier!!!!  Ahhh she got baptized!!!!  Wow what a crazy trip it has been, but with the Lord she made it!!!!  it was an amazing service!!!  Sister Sundwall and Sister Bringhurst came up for the baptism since it was Sister Sundwall and I that originally started teaching her.  It was a beautiful program.  Sister Sundwall and I stood by the inside of the font so that we could help her come up the stairs and she just hugged us so long after she came out of the water!  She was crying and soo happy!!  When she came out of the fonts she raised her hands in the are!!!!  I sure do love the south!! :)  We are all so proud of Lisa Collier for following the example of her Savior down into the waters of baptism.  Best last Saturday ever!!  

Thank goodness for trials: A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking just how awesome life was!!!  Everything was just going so well!!!  We had like no trials at all, and everything was just peachy!  Well you know those magic words.  It was like BAM BAM BAM BAM!  All these trials starting happening.  It was so funny.  And then a couple of nights ago as I was on my knees praying it just hit me soo hard!!!  I was like Thank you Heavenly Father for giving me these trials.  I realized that I have relied more on my Savior in the past couple of weeks than I had in a while.  Heavenly Father promises us trials.  They make us humble ourselves, rely on Him more, grow so much, and allow Him to mold us into who we need to become.  I am so grateful for trials.  I really truly am.  I am who I am today and I have the relationship that i have with my Savior today because of the trials he has given me.  Also I realized last night that my knees have black bruise on them.  haha it's from praying so much haha cuz we have concrete floors in our bedroom!!  haha that is just the coolest!!  

It is quite strange that I am going to be leaving in just 3 day.  
I'going to miss it alot.  It is truly a bitter sweet for me. I'm leaving people that I love so much to go and be with the people I love so much.  Not to sound cliche, but this was the fastest 18 months of my life!  I'm not sure what to think sometimes, but you know what, im excited for my next mission when my Georgia Atlanta mission ends.  The beauty of the Gospel is that everything around us, including ourselves is constantly changing.  We get put in different calling, different trials come to us, but we grow and learn from all of these opportunities.  Being a missionary has been and still is THE BEST CALLING EVER!!!!!!!!!!  I will still be a missionary when i get home, just in a different way.  I will be a member missionary.  I will have a new calling, and i WILL fulfill and magnify that calling to the best of my abilities.  That is what i have learned on my mission, that is what i have to take back with me.  I am forever changed because of this calling, because of this opportunity and privilege, because of this Gospel.  My mission was by no means a sacrifice, but a privilege, an honor to serve along side the Lord in this part of His vineyard.  I will continue to be strong and serve my Lord and Savior throughout my life.  There aint no goin back, I'm going forward.  When 
November 24, 2016 comes, i will leave Georgia with a smile on my face knowing that I have done my very best here, I will walk down those escalators and embrace my family whom I love so dearly and have come to love and appreciate so much over these past 18 months, my tag will move to my heart, and I will be ready and willing to submit to what ever the Lord has in store for me in my next phase of life.  How blessed I am.  

Well y'all this is truly weird.  My last email.  We have a great last few days planned!!!!  We's gonna be busy!!!!!  Wednesday we go to transfer meeting early in Peach Tree City, then we go to the temple with President and Sister Foote us departing missionaries, then have dinner and a testimony meeting, and sleep at the Mission Home.  Then fly out Thursday.  I have my carry on packed with lots of things to pass out to people on the plane and airport during my 4 hour layover in Salt Lake haha.  I want you all to know How much I love my mission.  Elder Holland once said "the mission field is the MTC for the rest of your life."  I have learned, I have grown, I have changed, I have become here on my Georgia Atlanta Mission.  If there are just four things I want y'all to know it is that I love my mission, I love my family, I love my Savior, and I love this Gospel, so there ain't no goin back, we're going forward with the Lord y'all. 
Hermana Stewart

I Love Georgia!!!!!!​

Thursday, November 17, 2016

18 Months Already

Dear Family and Friends,

Yesterday I hit my 18 month mark.  Wow that is wild.  What a trip it has been and continues to be.  I honestly never thought I could ever accomplish that, at least not by myself I couldn't.  At the beginning of my mission, I can look back on so many instances where I just wanted to give up, throw in the towel, quit, go home.  But I didn't.  And thank goodness for that.  As the days went on I began to realize the more I relied on my Savior the stronger I became.  I began to experience the absolute pure joy of missionary work.  Each day I recognized my weaknesses and my constant need to rely on my Savior.  As i began to rely on Him, a relationship started to form.  Not only was Jesus Christ my Savior, but he became my friend, my true friend.  Someone I could always go to, who had a perfect love and understanding for me, and who helped me get back up when I fell.  I learned that the trials I go through are what shape me into who I am becoming, a daughter of God.  They give me opportunity to respond using the Gospel, to learn and to grow.  I have met numerous amounts of people who have impacted my life in one way or another, some barely having known them, but feeling an overwhelming love for them from a most perfect caring Heavenly Father.  I have met people, and seeing them for the first time having their face be familiar to me because I know they were my brothers and sisters in the Pre Mortal Life where we all sat and listened to our Heavenly Father present His Perfect Plan of Happiness for us, His children.  I have felt love, encouragement, comfort, and the spirit confirm to me over and over that what I am testifying of and studying is true.  It is really true.  I have seen lives changed, lives transformed, lives improved because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I have seen prayers answered, hearts healed, and miracles wrought to pass.  There is only one cause to all of this, and His name is Jesus Christ.  I am here today, I am who I am, I have felt what I have felt, and I have seen what I have seen because of a most caring, selfless, gentle, loving man named Jesus Christ.  There is absolutely no way I could be writing all of this and be here today if it weren't for Jesus Christ.  I mean this from the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful I was Called to Serve, and I am so grateful Jesus Christ made it all possible and strengthened me along the way.  The glory all goes to the Lord for being my biggest strength.  "[we] can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth [us]." Philippians 4:13

Last Zone Training: We went to the temple on Tuesday with Atlanta and Powdersprings Zones.  It was a beautiful experience.  I was able to do the work for our recent convert Brother Odell Wofford's mama, Sister De La Rosa Frias did his grandma's work, and my other companion Sister Sundwall did the work for his sister.  While sitting in the temple Sister Sundwall and I realized something quite incredible.  We were able to witness yet another amazing miracle of the Lord preforming His work.  A while back we were teaching a women we found on the way to church Autumn.  She wanted to be baptized, but wasn't able to due to complicated circumstances at home.  Her husband once told us that his mama was studying with us crazy Mormons, read the Book of Mormon, and wanted to be baptized.  She never was able to be baptized though because her family didn't support her, and she is now passed on.  One of the investigators we are currently teaching right now is a sister to this man, so making her a daughter of this women who wanted to be baptized.  The connection we realized while sitting in the temple is that this women was Brother Odell's Sister, one of the names we did the work for this Tuesday.  The Lord works in mysteries ways, and after years this women has finally had the opportunity accept and be part of this Beautiful Gospel.  How great is that?

Where do you go to find peace?:  The other day we were on the phone with our investigator Lisa.  She was talking to us and giving us this long spiritual analogy.  She then asked "where do you go to find peace?"  and i honestly thought she said "where do you go to find Pizza?"  So i excitedly answered "Pizza Hut of course!"  Leave it to Sister Stewart to be the pro and ruining a spiritual moment!!  Haha we all just laughed.  It was too funny!!  

We had a great week!  We visited and met a lot of cool new people.  Cedartown is a happening place to be right now.  We have some investigators scheduled to be baptized in December, and we have Lisa scheduled to be baptized this Saturday
We are hoping and praying that all goes well this week and Lisa will be able to be baptized!  She is excited and wants to be baptized so bad!  We have a busy week already planned this week!  I am looking forward to seeing more miracles and doing the Lord's work another week here in Georgia.  

I am so grateful for the love that Christ has for us.  I have been studying a lot lately on His love for us and how we are commanded to have love and charity for those around us.  In Romans 8 it says "who shall separate us from the love of Christ, shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come. Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  Isn't that just beautiful.  There is absolutely nothing that will stop us from feeling and will separate us from the love of our Heavenly Father.  

I know the Lord loves us, each of us.  I hope y'all have a blessed week.  I love y'all so very much.  Talk to you soon!
Hermana Stewart

Monday, November 7, 2016

"Peace be unto thy soul"

Good morning y'all,
This week was a week full of service and smiles!!  I can definitely tell y'all we slept good this week!!  With it being November now, I would have thought it would cool down, but no we are still rocking it here in the 80s! :)  We had a great week!

Halloween: We had a great Preparation Day, and we went to dinner at one of the members houses.  Then we had to be in our apartments at 7p.m. to have extra studies!!  I love extra studies!!!  I learned soo many things that evening while studying about the apostasy and restoration of the Gospel.  A couple of scriptures I studied and really learned from were in Ephesians 2: 19-20 "therefore ye are no more strangers or foreigners, but fellow citizens with the Saints of the house hold of God.  And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone."  and Ephesians 4:11-14 "and he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some Evangelist, and some pastors and teachers. for the perfecting of the Saints and the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.  Til we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of Christ, unto a perfect man, unto the measure and stature of the fullness of Christ. That we henceforth no more be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about by every wind of the doctrine of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive."  (i may have not wrote those scriptures exactly right sorry haha i didn't bring my bible to the library).  I couldn't help but just understand so clearly these scriptures and just how blessed we are to have the Restored Gospel in our lives, to have apostles and prophets in these days, to have a loving Savior who leads and guides and is the head of this church.  I know the Church and Gospel of Jesus Christ have been restored!

District Meeting: We had district meeting this week in Douglasville, ga (about 1 hour away).  We had interviews with President and Sister Foote.  That was great! :)  We went to 5 guys, and it was soooo good!!!!  I always love district meeting!  We were trained on how we need to be constantly finding.  I have such a testimony of that.  The Lord will place people in our paths, and it is our responsibility to learn to recognize the promptings of the spirit, and have the courage to act on those promptings and talk to everyone around us!  Just the other day when we were shopping on Preparation Day at Walmart, a guy noticed our Books in our hands and we ended up teaching him a mini Restoration lesson and gave him a Book of Mormon in the shampoo isle.  You just never know who is prepared!

Alabama: So y'all know how our area is like half in Georgia and part in Alabama.  Well Alabama is in a different time zone.  They are an hour behind us.  I knew that, but for some reason I forgot about it.  We have some investigators and members that live in Alabama, and I realized this week that we have been an showing up an hour early for all these appointments!!! ahhh soo awkward!!  But we laughed pretty hard when we realized it this week!  

Lisa: She is doing really great!!  She loved church yesterday!!!  She is holding out strong and pushing through the many trials the adversary is throwing at her.  It is a testimony to me though of just how true this work is!  President Spencer W. Kimball once said "always remember that if this were no the Lord's work, the adversary would not pay attention to us."  Amongst the many trials and hardships which come our way daily let us always remember the wise council the Lord gave Joseph Smith in the 121st section of the Doctrine and Covenants "My son [or daughter], peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then if thou endure it will, God shall exalt thee on high; Thou shalt triumph over all thy foes."  haha and of course the Lord says to him "thou art not yet as Job."  We will make it through these trials and afflictions, but we must endure them.  How great will be our reward if we endure them.

Well y'all life is absolutely wonderful!!  We have it all!  As I was listening to all the beautiful testimonies being born in Sacrament Meeting yesterday I couldn't help but feel my testimony being strengthened.  Many of the members in the Cedartown Branch are converts, and hearing their stories and their testimonies was something I just can't describe with my words.  Cedartown is a gem.  It is getting stronger and stronger.  These faithful saints here are serving their Lord will all their hearts.  They are strengthening their personal foundations and the foundation of Cedartown.  I think all around the world this is happening.  The Lord's work is taking place.  The Gospel is being declared.  Glad tiding are being heard all around us.  "Wherefore, if you shall build up my church, upon the foundation of my gospel and my rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you." Doctrine and Covenants 18:5  We all play a part in the Lord's work.  The way we can help is that we do whatever the Lord asks us to do, and be the BEST we can.  I know this work is true.  I know the Lord loves us.  I know we will be blessed if we just keep enduring and sharing the gospel with all those around us so that they can have happiness too!
I hope y'all have a blessed week!!!  Keep strong and keep happy!  The Lord is with us as long as we stay on His foundation.  I love you! :)

Hermana Stewart

P.S. Saw this lady a couple days ago on Main St in C-town holding up a sign "Jesus is coming soon, are you ready?"  Too cool haha!

God is Good (10/31/2016)

Hello Everyone!!! 
OH my goodness we had the BEST week evah!!!!  Oh by the way Happy Halloween to y'all!!!!  I ordered an English name tag just so I could dress up as Sister Stewart today instead of Hermana Stewart haha!

We had so much fun in Dallas, Ga last week with the other sisters.  We carved pumpkins!  Sister De La Rosa Frias has never carved pumpkins before, so that was a hoot!

Coolest Miracle Evah: Okay so y'all be knowing our investigator Lisa.  Sister Sundwall (my last companion) and I found her and her husband like 6 months ago in a store parking lot.  We have been working so closely with her.  We have truly seen the power of the Book of Mormon take part in her conversion.  She has learned how to read using the Book of Mormon, grown closer to her husband, and increased in her faith in Jesus Christ.  She has been taught all the lessons and retaught all the lessons haha, reads the Book of Mormon everyday, and is keeping all her commitments.  We have invited her several of times to be baptized, but each time she say's Im not going to say yes just yet.  So on Sunday we called Lisa to remind her of church, but she didn't answer.  We drove out to her house and knocked on the door.  No answer.  Then we knocked on her window.  Yes missionaries can be a little awkward sometimes haha ;) She was so thankful we came and woke her up because her phone shut off, so she wouldn't have gotten up.  Then we got to church and the Stake Patriarch was speaking and two minutes before it started we got asked to speak.  That was fun :) You got to love the on the spot, trust in the Lord to fill your mouth talks :) Then I realized that the Stake Patriarch totally fixed my tooth for me 14 months ago.  Afterwards I just had to go tell him he has been in my mouth.  Then Lisa asked Brother Kimball (past mission president, temple president, and now a temple sealer) to give her a blessing of comfort.  Lisa then received the most beautiful blessing of comfort I have ever heard and felt.  I felt the power of the priesthood.  There were many things that stood out to me in the blessing, but the one thing I want to share with y'all is that he said her mother has accepted this gospel and is now waiting for her to do her work and be sealed to her and her father.  Brother Kimball knew her mama, and he said that he felt her mama's presence very strongly in the temple this past week.  He then said right after the blessing "now pick a date."  We then invited her for the 19th of November and she accepted!!!!!!!!  This is the miracle we have all been praying for including her!  The Lord is so pleased with Lisa and her decision to be baptized.  She went around telling EVERYONE after church that she was going to be baptized.  My favorite reaction was Sister Askew screaming haha!!  The Lord truly set up everything just perfectly so she felt comfortable and ready to go forward with faith.  Truly the credit is all the Lord's and His spirit working through everyone that day.  God is Good!

Saturday we had our Branch Trunk or Treat and Chilly Cook Off!!  That was so much fun!!!  Sister De La Rosa Frias and I made Flan(an amazing spanish dessert).  It was hit!  It was so cool to have so many people show up and we were just running around crazy trying to meet everyone and their dog that showed up!!
Well Y'all I hope you have a fantastic Halloween.  Don't be too crazy.  Be safe.  We have to be in at 7 p.m.tonight and get to have extra studies woot woot!  I love extra study time! :) I want you all to know that the Lord loves you.  He is mindful of you.  He knows exactly how you feel right now.  He hears your prayers.  We don't need to know why this or why that, but all we need to know is that He loves us.  From the words of my scripture hero Nephi responding to the angel asking if he knows the condesnscension of God "I know that He loveth his children, nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." 1 nephi 11:16-17  Keep your head up.  And please never forget just how much the Lord loves you.

Have a blessed week!  I love y'all!!
Hermana Stewart :) .....oh wait Sister Stewart ;)