Monday, October 29, 2012

Junk Food Makes Me Happy & I Know the Book is True


Well, I do have to agree, the weeks are going by like crazy! I can’t
believe it’s already November (almost)! And this last Saturday we, you
guessed it, had a baptism! It was a nice service and the girl was
really excited because her best friend was a member and now they’re
both members! I know in the pictures everyone looks angry all the time
but I promise you, they’re happy. They just don’t like to smile here.
Haha. As far as the package goes.. uhhh all I could think of
specifically was cetaphil and some old spice body wash. Other than
that I guess just like Oreos and junk food. That pretty much makes me
the happiest. Haha. And yeah, I meant that I don’t need money or
clothes, I’m all good on that. I’m glad to hear everything is
continuing to go well at home though! Don’t cry for me too much! Haha.

Quick story for the week- remember that man that we randomly
contacted? No, he didn’t get baptized yet but we had a sweet lesson
with him. He’s really smart and has researched lots of religions and
asks really good questions. As we sat down to talk with him he was
having some concerns about The Plan of Salvation. As he asked
questions and raised concerns, we helped him by reading places in the
Book of Mormon. I feel like so much always comes back to that book.
Like, I think about it, and really the whole reason of coming all the
way out here is because I know the book is true and from God. I mean,
it is the keystone of our religion after all. Anyway, as we were
finishing the lesson we were coming to give him an assignment in the
Book of Mormon. He sat there and looked at it for a second and
suddenly started bearing his testimony on how he knew the book was
true. He said that he was really skeptical about it and didn’t really
believe the story behind it. But as we read, he said that he came to
know “more and more that this book could not have been written by a
man, but could have only been written by those who were inspired of
God. It’s easy to tell when things are written by man but this book
was not coming from the minds of men.” It was so sweet! The Book of
Mormon really can help us today. I’m glad he was able to see that and
I hope everyone can! Anyway, it was a great experience and hopefully
we’ll continue to see conversion take place in this guys life! I love
all of you and will talk to you next week!
Elder Stewart

P.S. Lexi Hayob- Happy Birthday!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Baptizing like CRAZY

Hellooooo people,

So, once again, I am insanely short on time. But to answer your
questions, you can paint my room if you want.... but I do kind of like
the way it is. I've been able to see the wedding pictures. The files
are huge but the little preview it gives of the pictures is big enough
so I can see what they are. I got the letter from Carson and already
wrote him one back. I'll start making a list of things for Christmas,
money is good, clothes are good, and yes, I love food! Haha. Anyway,
the week has been great and we had a Zone Meeting this last Tuesday
and I instructed about having spiritual baptismal services. We
actually have a lot of crazy ones, believe it  or not. Haha. We also
had a baptism two weeks ago and last week and we have ANOTHER one next
week. We're baptizing like CRAZY here. We'll have one every single
Saturday in the month of October. I would send a picture but the
internet is slow today so it won't work. Maybe next week. Anyway, I'm
doing great and I'm trying to work hard and do what's right! I miss
all of you and will talk again next week!

Elder Stewart

P.S. The package came! THANK YOU. I'm almost finished with the Oreos
already. Haha. Oh, and I want Cody Guilbeau's address. THANKS!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Answers to Random Questions

Hello family!

Well, I'm super behind on time today because I was typing up some
stuff for a training meeting we have tomorrow and an hour of internet
here costs EIGHT THOUSAND Leones. Which is like 2 dollars so it's not
that crazy. But in proportion to how much money I have it's
significant. Anyway, I'll answer your questions. But very brief story-
remember how we would complain about an hour drive down the highway to
go to the temple? Some people left in a bus for a 6 day journey on bad
roads to go and stay for three days. We're blessed!

1. They (children) go to school! And wear uniforms! I'll try and get a picture of
a uniform. Savannah you'll like the ones you have now much more. Their
school day is about 6 hours or so. Some people go "morning shift" some
go "afternoon shift." Afternoon shift sucks because it's from 12-6. We
proselyte from 10-7.

2. They have some organized sports teams.. they aren't very popular
though. I've never seen an organized game going on other than some
people running track for their school in the spring time. They have
some sort of professional premier league for soccer though. But no
matter what you will ALWAYS run into a pick up game of soccer. Always.

3. In my area- no restaurants. In the town center of Bo there's a
place that serves goat meat hamburgers which are pretty much amazing.
It's super expensive though. Here and there you can find a "cookery"
where you can buy a cheap plate of rice with that green stuff I showed
you on it.

4. The grossest thing I've eaten? I don't even know. If I had to pick
one thing maybe snail? Or cow skin? I've eaten some weird stuff. Haha.

5. Weird holidays? Not that I can think of. It's weird that they
pretty much have zero holidays. They have their independence day,
Christmas, and Valentine's day... that's all I can think of right now.

6. Does my companion think I'm weird? Probably, I'm a pretty weird guy.

Okay, well, I'm all out, I love all of you and will talk to you next week!

Elder Stewart

P.S. Kelly Landry- Happy (late) Birthday!

Some pictures I (Jill) stole from the Mission Presidents Blog!! (You should check it out- there are pics from the temple trip Elder Stewart is talking about)

Monday, October 8, 2012

16 Investigators and One Sweet Experience

Hellooooo again,

So everything is going pretty great! As always. I'm sure it gets pretty boring hearing me say that all the time. Haha. I think the change in age for missionaries could be a good thing. It's all left to the maturity of the person. And also this mission isn't exactly a walk in the park when it comes to living conditions. Haha. Anyway, thanks for sending that package, I'm going to enjoy it VERY much. That's for sure. I also liked that little comment about Thanksgiving. Hopefully my thanksgiving feast this year will be better than my one last year. (Spam, beans, and rice).

So the new area has been going really really great. For example, last Sunday we had 16 investigators in church! Whaaaaaat. We were both blown away. We're working with lots of sweet people right now though. One sweet experience from the last week definitely happened with contacting, Here we don't do a lot of street contacting. Most people are referrals or just come and sit down and listen while we're teaching someone else. But one day this last week we found ourselves having all of our appointments fall through and didn't have anyone to go see, so we decided to just go talk to random people. We were walking down this one street and saw this man sitting on his porch reading a book. We walked up to him and said, "Hi, we're missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." And he said, "I'll go get some chairs and let you guys come on in." It was strange, like the feeling was as if he was an old friend and that he had been waiting for us. We sat down and gave him something to read about the Restoration and explanied small about our purpose and left. We set an appointment the next day and he had read the whole pamphlet and asked a whole bunch of questions. We talked to him and taught him and by the end he understood everything and said he felt like what we were telling him was true. The lesson was just really powerful and everything just fell into place. He also has a nice family and we're planning on teaching his wife and him the next time. Everything went great and he committed to come to church. And that Sunday... he came to church! So good. I was pretty amazed and it was just another testimony to me on how the Lord can guide you to people who are ready. We would have never met him if the appointments would never have fallen through. Anyway, it was great and I really hope he continues to progress (this is usually where lots of temptations and distractions start to come in). But okay, I'm out of time. I'll talk to you next week!

Elder Stewart
First two are in Kenema and the rest are in Lewabu.

Sunset picture is our chapel here.
 We had a baptism last Saturday!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lewabu, New Companion & No African Halloween

Hello family,

Well it was a pretty good week this last week. Since last Monday I
spent Tuesday going around my area and trying to get it prepared for
the two Elders coming in and saying bye to some of my investigators,
and then Wednesday they brought a van full of six missionaries to
replace all the people leaving. I saw one of my old companions, Elder
Asiedu, and then I hopped in the van and got dropped off here in Bo
town. I threw my stuff down in the apartment and we were right out to
go see the people. And that's pretty much how it's been since then.
The area I'm in now is called Lewabu and my companion's name is Elder
Dyngee. He's from Liberia and is actually from the same branch as
Elder (Brother) Pabie. He's pretty sweet and knows how to work like
crazy. The area always gets older missionaries because Zone Leaders
are always in this area so everything is in good shape. The branch is
pretty much set up, the investigators are sweet, the members give
referrals. It's pretty nice. But it also puts a lot of responsibility
on us to make sure we don't mess it up. Being a Zone Leader is cool I
guess, mostly we've just done a lot of paper work and thought of a
goal for the Zone this month. More stuff will happen as time goes on
but so far it hasn't been too much different. Tomorrow will be
exciting though because we'll be going back to Kenema to do trainings
with the district and I'll go proselyting in Simbeck again! SO I'm
pretty excited about that. Kenema was definitely my favorite place
I've served even though I was only there for 3 months.  This place is
cool too though. We have good investigators and have a lot of people
planned for baptism this month. Now we just have to make sure they're
converted first! Living here has been a bit different though because
our apartment is a two man apartment. I know most missionaries back
home all live in them but most of them here are 6 man apartments, so
it's weird. It's alright, it's just soooo quiet all the time. The good
thing is that the apartment is always clean though. It's not bad, it's
just different. I'll get a lot of reading and journal writing done
though. In case you're wondering I've been doing a really good job of
keeping my journal. So I'll have lots of stuff written there. I've
only missed maybe 10 days in the whole time I've been here. Woo. Be
impressed. Anyway, I'm doing good and we've been really working hard.
I'm excited to learn my area so that I can be of more help! I'm glad
everything is going well back home too! And "How you be" just sounds
Louisianian, sorry Louisiana! Haha. The word be doesn't really exist
in Krio.. too much. Weird right? Haha. Anyway, I'll talk to you all
next week!

Elder Stewart

PS: Dad mentioned something about wanting to send a package last week
so I thought of some things you could put in: Easy to make stove top
things, Pop Tarts, SOCKS, Oreos (If those orange Halloween ones have
come out, I want those! Not orange flavor, just orange color... don't
ask why but I like them. Also, no, they don't celebrate anything like
Halloween here), shampoo (something that will make my head nice and
moisturized, it's got some... problems right now), a pack of Bic pens
(like those plastic packs with 15 pens in them that people buy for
school, either black or blue), peanut butter (crunchy!), and
toothpaste. I always feel so needy sending these lists of things but
those things would make my day! And if it's not too much already I
just want to add this Reese's dessert no bake cake thing. I dunno what
it's called exactly. Clayton sent it in a package for my birthday and
it was stinking amazing and super easy to make. And (so needy) if it's
possible to send a flash drive or SD card with music on it that would
be sweet. If you look on that external hard drive with all my music on
it and pulled all the Explosions In The Sky, any piano or instrumental
songs, Disney music, EFY/churchy music, orchestral movie soundtracks
(uplifting ones!), some Christmas music (exciting yet not crazy
intense) and anything else you can find that falls under those kind of
categories would be sahweet! If you're not sure about something just
put it on and I'll delete it later if it's not good. But if that's too
much don't worry about it. I can still survive without those little
comfort treats. Haha. THANK YOU SO MUCH.