Monday, January 28, 2013

Churched Out, Baptisms & "Latter Days"

Dearest family,

How art thou? Yup, I'm all churched out now. Elder Burton always talk about how we weren't like those crazy churchy people back home and that we don't think we are now but then we realize that we totally are and we're just fooling ourselves. But it's all good I guess. No problem. Speaking of being churchy, we had a baptism last Saturday! Yay. We had a mother and her daughter, one lady that was a referral from a return missionary (coughhisgirlfriendcough), and another little girl who was a referral from the branch presidency. It was nice and they're all wonderful people! As far as transfer news goes, it got delayed again so we probably won't know anything until next week. We'll see what happens though.

Anyway, like I said the people baptized this week were pretty sweet. The lady that got baptized with her daughter first heard about the church about 4 years ago. She was taught by missionaries but for whatever reason she didn't get baptized and I guess they just stopped teaching her. A little over a month ago, two missionaries were walking by her house and she suddenly called out to them "Latter Days!" Oh, and just a sidenote- no one in this country calls us Mormons. I've been called a Mormon maybe once my whole mission so far. Everyone here calls the church "Latter Days Church." Anyway, she called that out and the two missionaries stopped and asked her if she knew that church. She said she had talked to them many years ago but it has been a while. They invited her to come to church and asked for her phone number so they could contact her. She said she didn't have a phone. They tried to give her a small pamphlet but she couldn't read. That Sunday she didn't go. Within that week those two missionaries showed up at her house and they had a nice discussion called the Restoration of the gospel. She finally understood why there were so many different churches all teaching different things. She came to church for the next 3 weeks and is now baptized and confirmed! I wish I knew more about what actually was going on in her head, but I guess it went something like that. She was super sweet though and you could tell that she really understood the message we were sharing. Now we're teaching almost all her neighbors and they should all be baptized in the next month or so. It's kind of crazy how those things can work. It was a great week though. Sierra Leone is an amazing place, that's for sure! Anyway, I'm out of time so I'll talk to you all next week. Love you!

Elder Stewart

P.S. Clayton I got your latest noona.... YEAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 Just a sweet poster I saw hanging up that I wouldn't mind putting in my room.

  The only standard church building in the country! Running water not included.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dusty Trails, Fishing with Palm Fronds & Everyone Loves Us!

Hellooooooooo family!
First off, you'll be surprised to hear this but you can actually buy
nutella here and I've bought it before. But it's INSANELY expensive so
I'll be more than happy to receive it! Haha. I was also pretty pumped
to see the letter from Carson! I'll be excited to see that guy again!
I guess you should try to get his mom's email so that he and I can
communicate a little faster about all this BYU housing business. Can't
wait for that! Also can't wait to sleep in my bed on your old
mattress... I have a feeling it feels a little softer than the ones
here. Just maybe. Savannah's wanting to go to EFY again? So sweet. One
thing I think I'm going to try and do when I get back is be a
counselor for EFY. I think that would just be crazy fun. We'll see
what happens with that. For now my life is full of dusty trails and
boku rice.
This past week was a super good one (of course), but mainly because we
had a sweet baptism for that man I talked about before! His picture is
below. There was another 19 year old guy we baptized but he got there
right as the thing was starting so he couldn't get in the picture.
I'll see if I can remember to get a picture with him. The other
picture there is me fishing! Yeah, we got some palm fronds and some
string and hooks, dug up some worms from the ground and went fishing
as a district. The fishing wasn't very good because the fish were
super tiny and couldn't put their mouths over the hook, but it was
still good and some people were able to catch something. The week
otherwise has just been crazy busy. We have been finding tons of new
people to teach and it seems like everyone is just begging for us to
come teach them! The Lord is definitely helping us to find people. I
wish more people could really understand what exactly it is we're
doing every day. Most people back home are so rude to the missionaries
and don't even give them a chance to talk. If there's anyone who
always reads the blog and likes to slam the door in the missionaries
faces or give them trouble should just write me a letter telling me
they hate me because I'm doing the EXACT same thing. I just happen to
be on the other side of the world. But anyway, being rude to the
missionaries is just lame and everyone should just at least hear what
they have to say. Like we will teach people sometimes and afterwards
maybe try to see them a couple other times. If they avoid us or give
us excuses, we don't spend all of our time trying to come and see
them- we go and find people who are ready to receive us. Those we saw
know that they need to pray and ask God about the message we shared
with them, and if in the future they want to talk, we're always there.
The most important thing is that everyone has the opportunity to hear
the message we have to share and then choose for themselves. So I
don't see why people in America have to be so rude to the
missionaries. It's pretty lame. I'm pretty happy that everyone here
loves us though, it makes things pretty sweet. The other day we were
walking down the road and there was a man wearing a full on muslim
attire including the little hat that they wear. We talked to him and
he gave us his number and said we could come see him. So crazy! Haha.
Anyway, the work is going great and I'm loving my area right now!
Transfer news is on Sunday! We'll see what happens. I'll talk to you
guys next week though! Love you!
Elder Stewart


Monday, January 14, 2013

Making blocks, Trapping Cats & Choosing the Right

Hello people,

Well, another week has gone by and you'll never guess how I feel about it... the week was stinking sweet! Surprise. First of all you should know that I bought new flip flops. They're bright green. I bought some like them when I was in Kossoh Town. They have Arabic writing on them so that's kind of exciting. Or maybe it's Chinese. Anyway, I can't read either so I don't really care too much. I'm glad to hear you guys had a pretty successful week though! Sounds like Slavster was just a little hot shot out there on the field. Everyone I've talked to has all said such good things! Yeah, EVERYONE. Today I played tennis which was kind of sweet. Turns out I'm not naturally talented at it but with a little practice I could play all right I think. Maybe not to the level of Clayton, but you know, not everyone can smack those noonas around like he can.

Anyway, the week was super sweet. In one of the pictures I'm sending home you can see we're standing next to some sort of contraption to make blocks. One day we were walking down this little path in the middle of nowhere trying to find this old man we started teaching the other day, but couldn't remember if we were supposed to go left or right when the path split (before someone says"Choose the Right!" the correct way was actually to the left. So... sorry.). As we were standing there, we saw this group of kids consisting of a 10, a 12, a 15, an 18 and a 22 year old making some mud bricks to build a house. The young one of the group then called out to us, "come help us!" So, obviously, we turned immediately and walked over to them. They were using this little contraption where you shovel wet mud into the block mould, pack it down, pack it down again with the machine, and then pull it back to raise the block up and out of the machine. So naturally Elder Burton and I took positions on either side and helped them to make mud blocks for the next hour. We contacted all of them and found out that they are all brothers and sisters and they lived just up the hill (the path to the right... okay you "choose the right" people would have still been right, but missionaries can never really go down the wrong path can they?) with their mom. Their dad had died so it was just them and their mom. A few days later we passed by to try and see them and met the mom and a couple of their other siblings. We haven't gotten a chance to really sit down and teach them but they were all super excited when we helped them and kept telling us to come to their house so that their mom could give some food to us for helping them. It was just kind of a cool little story to see how far a little bit of service can go. This last Sunday was also super sweet because we had FOURTEEN investigators come to church. So crazy. They filled up like two full rows. It was so sweet. This coming Saturday is also the baptism for that one super crazy guy that was converted from reading the Book of Mormon so that'll be a nice one. Anyway, things are going super great right now! But I'll talk to you all again next week! Love you!

Elder Stewart

P.S. Cody Guilbeau- Happy Birthday!

  The new Christmas tree
 Making blocks
 We had a cat breaking into our kitchen at night so we set a trap for him... then we ate him. JUST KIDDING. We let him go. Then we caught another one yesterday. So we just reinforced the kitchen and now it's golden.
  Just thought this picture looks kind of funny. Is that wicked?

Monday, January 7, 2013

Just Do It, Bigger Miracles & Bigger Faith


Well, before I forget to answer again, President and Sister Roggia came on 1 July 2010. Soooo they'll be due to go fairly soon. So it means that I won't get to finish with them. Which is kind of a bummer because I would rather him do my exit interview other than someone I've only known for about a month or so. Oh, and that guy who I talked about last week, his baptism is set for the 19th. But everything is looking pretty good so I'm sure it will be all good. Last week in our investigators class we passed around a paper to write your name, address, phone number, and if you were a baptized member or not. And under the baptism column he wrote "Not yet." So I thought that was kind of funny/sweet. But this last weekend we did have a baptism for a boy that stays with some members while he goes to school. So that was nice. He's a super smart kid and was really excited to be baptized.

So this week was sweet, mainly because we had a really great zone meeting! We baked the elders a cake and did a bunch of little activites to try and help them get inspired about the work for this new year. It was nice. Elder Burton and I were really excited about it and went crazy and decorated our apartment with Nike checks and the phrase "Just Do It." Remember the big Christmas tree you sent to me? Yeah well, it's now a massive check mark. I'll send a picture next week. We also put on our wall "Bigger Miracles, Bigger Faith." We've been really trying to have more faith. We've also been trying to focus on contacting fathers of families. It's kind of sweet because these old guys are all educated and we also have super sweet lessons with them. The church is soooooo new here it's ridiculous. Anyway, the work is still going well and going forward. I love all of you and can't wait to talk to you next week!

Elder Stewart

 Missionaries in Njagboima!


 My flip flop broke so I fixed all up nice using a series of rubber bands. Also I haven't developed a weird style of wearing socks with flip flops, it was just SO COLD this morning. So I put on socks. In case you're wondering what I consider to be super cold now, it would be a whopping 73 degrees... yeah, I don't know if I'll be able to survive at BYU again.