Monday, March 26, 2012

Family Love, Rubber Tire Shoes & That's how it is

Hello everyone,

So sorry I made you a liar when it comes to the soda. I'm not really sure what the deal is either. People here will give us some when we come to their house and I mean, you can't refuse. People get super offended if you tell them no to their food. Like man. Do not do that. It's pretty hard to get out of those situations without eating. We always tell them they for make small, but most times it's a lot. So we actually get free meals a lot. Which I'm pretty much definitely okay with. I mean sure it's not like pizza and hamburgers or anything, but I've gotten used to the food here and definitely enjoy it now.

I also would like to say that I stinking love everyone in our family once again. First I got that package from Wayne (which is almost finished already), and then I got two from Jen and the one from Jeff Stewart and family. They all came one at a time for three days in a row. All the other Elders were pretty jealous. So thank you all very very much.

That boot looks pretty sweet Mom. Just don't go mess up the other one. Two boots is too much. Although it would look pretty funny. Maybe you should go buy one and send a picture to me. Okay that doesn't matter. Anyway, I'm sorry that there's no pictures this week. This computer won't recognize my camera for some reason. But it's not too bad because this week I didn't really take any pictures. Just before we left to come to the cafe I took a picture of my shoes because one of our investigators just mended them and put some tire rubber on the bottom. I also just took some pictures of the apartment so you could see it. It's not very exciting.

So this week we had some pretty sweet stuff happen. One thing that was pretty cool was when we were teaching this one man about the need for a restoration of the gospel. He said that the church continued after the apostles died and that there was no loss of the priesthood. We read some scriptures in Mathew about how there needed to be a falling away before Christ could come again, and discussed the meaning of the priesthood and it's importance in the functioning of the church. We talked about Joseph Smith and the importance of the Book of Mormon. He has very strong beliefs in his own church but we showed him the importance of reading the Book of Mormon, and praying about what you read to find out if the book is true for yourself. I don't really know how to describe it but at the end he gave us a very sincere promise that he would read from the Book of Mormon every day and pray about what he read. He didn't come to church last Sunday but we'll see how everything went when we check up on him this week. I finished reading the Book of Mormon again a couple of weeks ago and I definitely know it teaches truth. I've been reading the New Testament lately and everything that the Book of Mormon talks about is cemented as I read about Christ and his ministry. I wish everyone could read the Book of Mormon because I'm tired of people saying it's a devil book or that as you read certain verses alone in the dark money will appear... or maybe people only say that here. But still, there's a lot of things that could be cleared up if people would just read. And besides, the war chapters would make for a pretty sweet war movie. Just saying. Maybe I'll make a modernized African adaptation to the story. But anyway, I know it's true and it does nothing but testify of Christ. So that's how it is. Everything is going well here, the work is sweet, the trees are fruitful, the sun is shining, the sun is shining a lot, the sun is shining way too much and my skin is burning. Actually I have a pretty nice tan. Just a small burn here and there. Not bad. My legs however.... yeah. Okay well, we need to go climb a mountain and find a lady who promised us food. I'll talk to you next week!

Elder Stewart

Here's a picture from the Mission President's Blog of Elder Stewart and his companion in the Mission Office emailing home a few weeks ago when the power went out. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Coca-Cola World, A Broken Down Car & Almost in America


Unfortunately no, there was not any "rain" this week. But as we were walking down the road there were plenty of "waterfalls" we passed by. It's natural. I'm glad the chickens were revived. I plan to enjoy that
viewing experience very much when the time comes. We haven't seen any snakes since I came here. Well there was one in our compound the day I arrived in Hill Station. But it slithered away and wasn't very big. So not that exciting.

So I want Wayne to know that I received the package! Thank you very much. I'm pretty excited to try and make that pizza. Man, I haven't had pizza in eons. They definitely don't have that stuff sitting around in the open here. It's pretty nice getting stuff so quick though. My next area will probably be in Liberia just because I said that. If there's anything I want I would say those flosser things. Hygiene is crucial to becoming a healthy growing boy! I guess I should probably be over the whole growing boy thing. So that means I'm just going to let myself get fat. No problem. Oh, also is it possible to send a picture of my tshirt blanket? There's one missionary who's getting ready to go home and we got talking about it and he was curious as to what it looked like and if it would be possible for him to make one. So yeah.

This week was a pretty good one. Something I've realized that's very different about me since I've come on my mission is my amount of soda intake. Yeah. Like I probably drink on average one soda a day. I don't know what it is. People here love the stuff, and in turn, we end up drinking a lot. Also the coca cola bottling factory is like 50 yards down the road from our compound. No, it's not like Coca-Cola world in Vegas. It's just an industrial factory where they bottle the drinks.  Not exciting. There is a big picture of a Coca Cola bottle though? So I guess to some people that might be exciting. If you're into that kind of stuff.

Anyway, I forgot to mention that we had fast and testimony meeting two Sundays ago and nothing exciting happened. Except the woman who stood up and passed out in the aisle. That was kind of crazy. This past Sunday was super sweet though. Well first of all we had a baptism the Saturday before. Which is always super good. At church I was a little frustrated because there were some people that didn't show up to church that I could have sworn would come. Especially because they told us there would be nothing stopping them from going. So it was a bit frustrating. But during Investigator class the door opened and a man walked into the room and sat down next to me. Turns out it was a guy we had a met a couple weeks ago and he decided he was going to make good on our invitation! He brought his two little boys and was really excited to be there. They way we met him was kind of funny. We were way on one side of our area in a place called Regent teaching this one lady. Suddenly this guy comes and sits down by us. We asked him if he knew the woman. He laughed and said no and just sat there.  After we talked to him a bit he said his car had broken down and he saw us sitting there. He wanted to see what we were doing and so he said God directed him to come meet with us. So there he was. It was kind of funny how that worked out. After church we went and found his house and are now teaching 3 of his siblings as well. His sister is blind so it was an interesting discussion. His mother was there as well but she doesn't speak any Krio, only Mende. So I could talk to her small small. So far I've learned at least a couple phrases in Krio, Mende, Limbah, and Timne. So boku boku languages dae ya. So it's pretty cool. After there the American family in our branch had invited us to dinner so we went there and ate some stinking delicious food and had LEMON CREAM PIE for desert. Yeah. It blew my mind. I felt like I was in America for a while. It was weird. Anyway, it's been a very fulfilling week for sure. Until next time folks,

Elder Stewart

 I walked out of our apartment's front door and this massive group of
children started screaming and waving at me when they saw me. So I
took a picture. And a video. It was pretty crazy.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Going Soft, the Gospel Blesses Families & Look out for "Rain"


I'm not dead don't worry. Yesterday we went to email and about half way through us sitting there the place lost power. So. That was unfortunate. By that time it was too late to find a new place to go so we went and bought tons of food for the week and luckily I'm in the mission office compound and they let me email here today. But I don't have tons of time because we still have to go proselyte today! This apartment is super different from my last one. If you look at the picture with all the missionaries and Elder Holland you can actually see it in the background. It has running water and electricity pretty much all the time. It's going to make me soft. There's 8 missionaries in the apartment though so it means it's pretty difficult to keep the kitchen nice and clean all the time. But I feel like we do a pretty good job.

It's definitely good to hear about how well everything is going back home. I'm glad people enjoy reading the blog too! Haha. I got the picture. It's still weird to see Savannah without braces. Oh and Payton and Jack, don't worry- you'll see your dad. I promise. Wayne- I haven't gotten any packages yet. But trust me I am always on the look out for those things. Haha. So thank you.

We had a baptism last weekend. So that of course was very exciting. I didn't really get to teach the man we baptized but I was able to know him small and he's super cool! His wife and son had been baptized so he was very excited to join them and for his whole family to be together. One thing we've been really focusing on is families. It's definitely the sweetest thing ever to see an entire family come together. The gospel blesses families!

So you see those two little kids in the first picture? Well first of all, the faces they are making are the result of us telling them to "show teeth and smile." But funny story, about 5 minutes before I took this picture we were talking to a man who was sitting near us. I looked over to the side just in time to see the kid peeing on his friend. Man it was so funny! The kid in the white shirt was just like standing there confused like he didn't know what was happening. I think it's because the kid was standing on the other side of a small wall and sending the rain over the top. Ah it was soooooo funny. His mom said she was going to flog him. I said he did a very fine thing. Then they came over and we took a video of him spelling words. It was pretty hilarious. Don't worry, don't worry, the man we were sitting by was talking to us about the church and we got his name and number. So we were still doing missionary work. It was so funny though. Anyway. I guess that's my spiritual thought for the week.

Glad to hear everyone is doing so well. Time to go out and climb mountains and endure the hottest month of the year. Talk to you next week!

Elder Stewart


Monday, March 12, 2012

A Pic with Elder Holland

We didn't hear from Hunter today, but thought we'd post a picture from when Elder Holland came to visit all the missionaries in his area.  Elder Holland is in the middle sitting in the front and Hunter is in the first row on the left.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rock Climbing & Exhausting Meetings


Well everything here is great of course. Sorry I kind of slacked on pictures this week, but this one is one I got overlooking the main city of Freetown. If you look down the mountain you can see a place that looks like a big patch of dirt. The mission office is really close to there. So as you can see we walk pretty far to get into our area. Ha just kidding, we take transport. But once we're in our area we do plenty of walking. Of course.

Sounds like everything is going well back home.  It's funny that you mentioned me learning cooking skills at BYU. It was more of a throw instant pasta into a pot and boil it. I guess we can call that cooking right? Speaking of food, I have been told that the American family can feed the missionaries from time to time. And the food is American! So I'm waiting for that day. Too bad the Patterson's aren't still here all the same though. I'm always okay with food someone wants to cook for me! Haha.

I'm glad to hear everything is the same in Lafayette Ward. I would be worried if anything came out different. Oh, two things- I wrote Big Black a small letter but I need his address. Don't worry Clayton I wrote you one too. Also, I'm going to send a letter for Carson Teuscher to our house because I don't know how I'm supposed to send a letter to Brazil from here. So, don't get too excited when you see I wrote home. Sorry.

This week was a pretty good one as a whole. I've gotten a lot more used to the area and I've met plenty of people. The other day we were going to this one lady's house and we were half rock climbing half hiking to get to her house. This area is very close to the city but it's very mountainous so we are ALWAYS either going up or down hill.  I'm glad I played soccer my whole life. This past week we had district conference (which is equal to stake conference) and I can tell you that Church meetings have a whole different attitude when you're a missionary as compared to just a member. Whereas before Savannah and I would cross off names of people as they spoke, this time we were directing people to seats, running around trying to find extra chairs because the place filled up, counting how many people were there, trying to see how many of our investigators attended and pretty much doing lots and lots of missionary work. It's pretty exhausting but it definitely makes a difference. It also makes me appreciate how well organized our church is. Man there is so much coordination and planning that has to take place for the meetings and everything to go smoothly. I've learned an insane amount about how the church is organized and run, and all it's done is really strengthen my testimony of everything. Man the church is totally the same as in Jesus Christ's time. So cool. Anyway, it was a good week and the next week should be just as good or even better! Keep me updated on everything! I love you and miss you all.

Elder Stewart