Monday, July 30, 2012

Listen to the Spirit

Hello Family!

Another great week here in Kenema! The biggest great thing about it was that we had a baptism! They're two really great people and I got a really nice tan in the last week! The rain boots are supplied by the mission so that's definitely really nice. We would be pretty much dominated if we didn't have them in some areas. Going out with other missionaries definitely makes things interesting. I also get to see what the other areas are like so it's pretty sweet. Now I've seen all the areas in Kenema so I pretty much know the place like the back of my hand. Not really. The place is pretty small though. You should send me a picture of the bathroom you repainted. I also like that you still call is mine and Savannah's bathroom. Not the storage room and Savannah's bathroom. Haha. What events are the Sierra Leone people in? We were talking to one guy the other day asking what events they can qualify in and he said boxing, track, and basketball. Basketball kind of surprised me because everyone here is so tiny. Haha. Okay like they're my size but I'm definitely no basketball player, no matter what 5 year old me said at my pre school graduation. I'm pretty excited to receive this tie, not gonna lie. I'm going to bluff with it like crazy. Everyone will be so jealous. No problem though. Well my time for the computer is finished but a cool quick little spiritual thought is to always listen to the spirit! This past week we felt prompted to contact this man super randomly and so we just walked up to his house and he started asking us questions that he said he has had for his whole life. He said no one was ever able to give him an answer that really satisfied him. We were able to answer his questions to his satisfaction. The Lord is still wanting to bless us, we just have to listen! Anyway, I love all of you very much and will talk to you next week!

Elder Stewart

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rainy Season, Goat Burgers & Happy People

Hellooooo family

Man you people are enjoying! The trip sounds so freaking sweet though.
I'm really jealous. Those pictures were very good. I especially liked
the one with DAD WATER SKIING. Man so awesome. I almost jumped up and
cheered. That new tube looks pretty gnarly. I dig it. The whipped
cream hot chocolate looked nice but it really can't compare to my
diarrhea on rice. Mmmmmm. But seriously that diarrhea is the staple
food here. It's called cassava leaf. It's not like amazing but I've
definitely grown to like the stuff. I definitely don't prefer it over
a nice big hamburger though. Man... Anyway, I hope you told Bertha not
to worry, I'll come pay her a visit in the future!

Sierra Leone is pretty naingo (sweet in Mende). It's currently pouring
rain outside as a constant reminder that rainy season is well
underway. I like rainy season though. The sun isn't out and the
weather is generally pretty cool. I've also whipped the rain boots
back out. So that's always exciting. I feel like it makes missionary
work just that much more hardcore. The week itself was pretty cool. I
gave a talk in church last Sunday about missionary work. It went well.
I think some people had no idea what I was saying (I always speak
English in church) but many of them did and we got some sweet
referrals. So that's always good. This last week we also got to travel
to Bo! We had a meeting with the missionaries there and so the 6 of us
piled into a taxi and took off to Bo. The meeting was insanely long
but afterwards we went to this restaurant where they sell amazing
American food! They have hamburgers (well, goat burgers) and they were
super big and delicious and MAN. So wonderful. I definitely enjoyed. I
should have taken a picture but I didn't think about it until after I
had eaten the whole thing. So I guess it just means I'll have to go
back. The last week in Kenema was exciting because I went on some
exchanges with the Elders in the district. Basically I just switched
companions for a day and so I got to see what the other two areas in
Kenema look like. It was super cool. Kenema is definitely my favorite
place I've been so far. It's a small town in the middle of nowhere and
the people are just happy and willing and we've been doing a lot of
good work here. I think that people are just a lot less stressed out
and happier here than in Freetown because they actually have room to
breathe and do their own thing. Anyway, I'm really pressed for time so
I have to go! I love all of you very much and will talk next week.
Enjoy the pictures!

Elder Stewart

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Water Bills, Hot Drinks & Things Falling into Place

Hello family,

I'm glad to hear Wisconsin is doing so well! Needless to say I'm very jealous and can't wait to feast on some Al Johnson's again! I'll be excited to meet the new boat as well. I always seem to form such deep bonds with those things. It's hard to explain. Oh, real quick- Lexi Hayob, if you ever look at the blog for the mission you might see me holding up a package that looks mighty familiar. So yes, no worries. The package has arrived. THANK YOU. I already ate all the Oreos. Keep your eyes on the mail.

Anyway, my exciting highlight of the week was that I got to pay water bills! It was so wonderful. I hated it. Shouldn't water be free? I guess it's cool though. Teaching me how to manage money and be responsible and stuff. So I can't really complain about that. Also you know how the word of wisdom talks about hot drinks? One guy asked us if you waited for the drink to become cold if it was okay. That was pretty funny. So fun story for the week. Actually this happened on my birthday but I forgot to talk about it. So when I was in Hill Station, Elder Symons and I contacted a man and went and sat down with him one time. We had a crazy sweet lesson with him and he kept talking about how he was searching for the way to go to heaven. He had decided for the time being that the muslim religion was the way to go for now, but he wasn't convinced. He had such a great desire to learn and said he has been praying to find that direction. It was soon after that when he had first met us. As we were beginning to conclude our lesson he told us that he would be traveling for work and wouldn't be in Freetown anymore. He said he was going to Kailhun District, which is the district that borders Kenema District (they use "districts" instead of "states"). He said he would be going into Kenema every once and a while so we gave his number to the Elders in Kenema and gave him a Book of Mormon and some pamphlets about the restoration and left it at that. Then as we know, about a month later Elder Stewart was transferred to Kenema. About a week and a half or so ago, Elder Symons ran into him back in Freetown and let him know that I was now here. He gave him my number and on my birthday I met up with this man again. Where he is working currently the church is not there and there are no missionaries there at all. However, he said that there is a member of the church there who served a mission in Kenya and has been talking about the church. He told us he had been praying and reading from the Book of Mormon and had come to know for himself that the church is true. It's pretty remarkable how things fell into place so perfectly. He comes to Kenema every two weeks so I'll be able to see him one one time. We'll see how everything goes though. I know that the Lord definitely has his hand in all things. My time is up now so I have to go. I miss and love you all!

Elder Stewart

PS- Lauren Foley, Happy Birthday!

PSS- those people were eating a giant cat fish. I feel like it would be a nice picture for a family chirstmas card.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Turning 20, Packages & "Sweet" Baptisms


So- first answer- my birthday was AMAZING. I spent it preaching the gospel. That's it. Is that cliche? Haha. Nah it was good anyway. Pretty much just a normal day. I felt like I needed to go blow something up or light something on fire or shoot water balloons out of a launcher at unsuspecting people or do something to celebrate my last day as a teenager, but the opportunity never seemed to present itself. It's all good though. I plan on doing all those things until I die so no problem. I told a few people it was my birthday. The girl who lives next to us told me she was going to cook some food for me but she forgot. It's okay though because she said she would cook my pumpkin, which, by the way, is the best African food ever. I'm going to learn how to make it and I'll cook for everyone when the day comes.

Sounds like the wedding plans are going along just wonderful. Sounded like Devin was skipping around picking out color coordinating dresses and cute skirts for all the women to wear.... or not. I don't blame anyone, planning sounds well, very time consuming. I'm just glad that the girls are excited to do it. I did miss the 4th of July, I couldn't help but reflect on all the adventures I've had on that wonderful day. But I'm not worried. The babies will be seen again. I plan on carrying that tradition on with my children. Like, not using fireworks on my actual children but like the dolls..... okay.

I'm pretty jealous about you guys getting to go to Clark Lake. I love that place like crazy. It's so sweet. I will definitely go there again. Greet Grandma and Wayne for me! Oh, by the way I got their package as well as Clayton and Big Black and Jordyn's and the ones you guys sent returned with everything inside. Needless to say I've been feeling very American with my food habits lately.

I can't even describe to you how much I freaked out when I saw that Harry Otter shirt. Man. Everyone thought I was weird for wanting to take that picture and no one understood and a lot of people stopped walking in the road to stare at me but it was definitely worth it. Probably one of the best pictures ever. So the internet here is crazy expensive so I can't talk too much more but the area is super sweet. One of the pictures is in front of a rice field but it's sweet. I'll take some more and get some pictures around the apartment. This one is pretty nice. I'm still getting to know the area but there are some super sweet people here and we're looking forward to hopefully having 8 people baptized this Saturday! The work is sweet! I'll talk to you all next week!

Elder Stewart

Monday, July 2, 2012

More Responsibilities, The Plan of Salvation & Mende

So, I haven't gotten my package or my pillow yet. But that's because no one has traveled into our area in all this time. They have been found and secured though. So no worries. There's a brand new missionary coming to our district this Thursday so I should get them all by then. Oh I will be so very happy to see them again. I tell you. The whole district thing has been pretty interesting so far. I'm enjoying it though. More responsibilities and I have to give instruction every week, but it's definitely a good learning experience. Ask Dad for more info if you want. The new companion is sweet! He's a really good guy and he's pretty new on mission. He's been out for three months but is still excited and happy to be here. So I'm really looking forward to our companionship. He also has a lot of peanut butter under his bed. Haha. To see how huge he is- I'll show you the picture. My area is super sweet. It's way more bush and we spend long amounts of time walking through fields to reach little clay houses. It's pretty great. The branch is pretty brand new too so I'm very excited to work with them.

Sounds like you and Dad had a pretty sweet time in Texas, I'm glad that you guys still ride all the crazy rides. That brings joy to my now old soul. If we're still living around there when I get home it'll be cool to go see some of that stuff! I definitely wouldn't mind doing any of that stuff. Sounds like my seesters are doing well too. Should be a family fun wedding adventure. Woo.

Well, my week this week has been pretty good. It's been about 10 days now since I last went proselyting with only one companion, because of the location of our area and the time it takes to move everyone around, we've been grouped in threes. It's pretty fun though. I'm excited to have a new missionary in our apartment and it'll be pretty cool to see someone else having to train someone. I like training but, twice is pretty solid for me. We went into one of the other Elder's areas to proselyte yesterday and it was pretty cool. His area is seriously straight farmland. It's so bushy. We took a bike out to this little village and saw some pretty cool people. We taught this big family about the Plan of Salvation and it was a really good lesson. We talked about how Adam and Eve didn't actually mess everything up for us but they actually kind of gave us the opportunity to have life and stuff. So it's actually pretty sweet. In this area everyone speaks a language called Mende. They can also speak Krio but they enjoy speaking Mende to everyone around them. Mende sounds absolutely nothing like Krio or English, so it's pretty interesting to hear it and try to understand what they're saying. I know how to greet and say small things in it but I defintiely can't speak it. That would seriously take a miracle to learn it that fast. Anyway. Everything is great, I'm enjoying my time, and I'm looking forward to receiving that package...again! I love all of you and can't wait to talk to you again!

Elder Stewart

Hunter had a shirt just like the one this guy is wearing when he was little!

I am assuming this is Hunter's new (HUGE) companion