Monday, June 24, 2013

Oreos, Nice Baptism Spot & Cool Homeboy Poses

Yeah, the picture of the snake was stinking HUGE. I was blown away.
That's pretty sweet that Savannah is at EFY again. EFY is super fun.
Weird that she's up there alone now though. It's weird because I've
heard about all the changes, like Breeann being in Louisiana and Aunt
Jen being in California but they're not really real because I haven't
experienced them yet. That car looks super nice. Super blessed. I
can't believe Dad is going to be 50 on Tuesday! You guys aren't old,
don't worry. Oh, something exciting that happened this week was I got
Grandma Sem's package! THANK YOU. I've almost finished a whole pack of
Oreos and it's only been two days. My companion and I will also be
living off that spaghetti for the next two days so that's nice. As far
as money goes, if you wanted to send me more you can send it through
something called western union. I don't know exactly how the whole
process works but that's what all the missionaries can do to get money
from home so I can ask someone and do it no problem. Let me check how
much I have and come up with the list of souvenirs and everything I
need to buy and tell you how much I might need. I've been locating all
the sweet souvenir places.
Anyway, this last week was a pretty interesting one. We spent the
whole week seeing all these people we found and getting them really
excited about church and when Sunday came not a single person showed
up... what? This is the first time on my whole mission that I've had
no investigators at church. It was pretty frustrating because we were
expecting like 8 people or so and they ALL didn't come. We went to see
everyone and some of them actually had some pretty crazy things happen
to them. Some of them were just lazy so we'll probably drop them. But
I guess it just showed me that I still have lots of work to do and if
I get lazy in anyway I'll have to suffer for it! Not that I really
feel that I've been lazy but it was a good little learning experience
anyway. One sweet thing that happened this week was that we had a
baptism! We found this new spot in the river and the place has nice
clear water and it's seriously just like a gorgeous place to baptize
someone. We baptized this older like 55 year old lady that I think I
talked about before. She had been praying to know which of all the
many churches to join and one day she felt that she should come to The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and she has come over
since! Pretty sweet. Another sweet thing is that the district leader
in our zone is in Kossoh Town (My first area) so when we do interviews
for them I get to go there and sometimes I run into people that I
taught or baptized. It's pretty cool. This last Sunday though I ran
into the first person I ever baptized on my mission. It was pretty
cool because she was excited to see me and I was excited because I
could finally understand what she was saying and I was confused that I
was ever not able to understand her Krio because it was super clear.
But seriously, I couldn't understand a single word she said. At all.
Guess it shows that I've finally learned the language. Haha. The week
was nice and this next week will be sweet because we'll have 1000
people at church and 2456 people converted. No problem. I love you all
and will talk to you next week!
Elder Stewart
P.S. Send me any more ideas for souvenirs that you might want!
-I learned some cool poses here. Also, I'm wearing my super sweet
homeboys. Yeaaaaaaahhh.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Pretty Sweet Miracle

Hey Momma,
Yeah those problems with the pool sound really serious... When you're
trying to know if it's okay to swim you should just throw Charlie in.
No problem. Oh, and talking about speaking in church the first Sunday
I get back- YES. Man I definitely want to speak. Of course! I have to
bear my testimony in Krio. Haha.
Well, I have a pretty interesting story but it's not about anyone I'm
teaching. It's a pretty good story though. There's this one guy these
Elders are teaching who used to be a pastor in a church. The guy is
super smart has traveled all over the place, is fluent in French and
Arabic. and knows the Bible super well. One day he was sitting in a
chop shop (these little huts that you can buy rice at) and he said he
heard a voice call out to him. When he turned his head to look at the
voice that called him he saw the Book of Mormon sitting on the shelf.
The guy who owned the chop shop was being taught by the missionaries
and the man asked him where he got the book. He told him where and the
next time the missionaries came to see the chop shop guy, he called
the man and he came. He was taught by them once, prayed, and knew that
the message was true. He made up his mind to join the church. The
thing that happened now is that the church he was attending before
didn't like that. The head pastor and a bunch of their church members
came to his house and told him that the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints didn't believe in Christ and that we were worshiping
the devil. The head pastor told him that he needed to leave and that
everything he was saying was wrong. THe man told him that he knew the
church was true and could not deny it. The head pastor told him he was
possessed with the devil and needed to burn everything that the
missionaries had given him, especially the Book of Mormon. He still
held firm and fought for what he knew was right. The thing that really
impressed me was that he had only known about the church for a couple
weeks and he already had such a strong testimony of it. He lives super
far away but he sacrifices and was able to come to church last Sunday.
He's one of those people that the Lord has prepared for this time to
help build this new branch. Pretty sweet miracle.
Anyway, we're still working hard and we're seeing some cool things in
our area. Just thought that guy was a pretty sweet story. I love all
of you and we'll talk next week!
Elder Stewart

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Return Date! Broken Cameras & Farewell Pres. Roggia


Yes, like you’ve already heard I finally have my return date. (August 8th). And I’ll
get to go to Europe! So that’s kind of cool I guess. As far as having
a girls camp here goes... yeah, there's nothing like that. The church
is too new. They're just barely wanting to start up young single
adults. They'll have a mutual activity like once every few months.
It's like there are attempts to do things but it's not becoming a
consistent thing. Small, small anyway. This last week was not very
exciting at all because I was barely in my area. I was walking around
with other Elders since my companion had gone to Bo, and Elder Burton
didn't come until last Sunday evening. One sweet thing though was that
we had a baptism. The picture is so crazy because out of the four
elders that were around we only had one camera that could take
pictures and it's lens was broken. So that's too bad. Another exciting
thing that happened this week was that President Roggia gave his final
farewell conference. It's weird knowing that I won't be seeing him and
Sister Roggia again before they leave. Because of where Waterloo is, I
won't see them again. He told us that we need to be strong, and
obedient. We need to focus on keeping all the rules of the mission and
don't do things that will drive the Spirit away or lead us to fail. If
we are obedient we will never fail. Also, Elder Dickson from the First
Quorum of the Seventy was there and he talked a lot about how we can
strengthen the branches we serve and how to work better with our
branch leaders. It was pretty sweet and it made me set a lot of goals
on ways I can improve working with them. We have a nice week this week
and I'm looking forward to finally focusing on my area and getting
work done. I'm so thankful for everything and I'll talk to you all
next week!

Elder Stewart

Monday, June 3, 2013

Back from the Dark Abyss, New/Old Companion & Falling Out of the Sky

Hello family!
Well, I have to say that there was a mighty a marvelous miracle that
occured this week. I got the Easter Package!!!!! Yeah. Can you believe
that? I couldn't. I thought the thing was lost into the dark abyss. So
needless to say, the nutella and pack of oreos were definitely
appreciated. And of course that 8gb memory card. I'll definitely be
doing my best to fill that thing up. Some other crazy news for the
week is that last Sunday we got transfer news. Sadly, my dear
companion Elder Wootton will be leaving me and is actually going to
Lewabu in Bo (my last area before this one). And the name of my new
companion is.... Elder Burton! Wait what? Did that name sound
familiar? Oh. I guess it's because I served with him for 3 months in
Lewabu. The good news though is that he was definitely one of if not
my favorite companion so I'm all giddy at the idea of us working
together again. It's definitely going to be lots of fun. Still no
return date. This last week was pretty nuts and we were busy going to
town running different errands and such so there wasn't too much
excitement that happened. One sweet thing though is just that we have
this super awesome guy getting ready to baptize this Saturday. He's a
social studies teacher and he's just one of those people that is just
so excited about everything we teach him. He never misses church and
he's been telling all his friends about it and we're hoping that he
can find some more people like himself for us to teach. One thing that
has been so amazing to me is the kind of people the Lord has been
preparing to help build up the branch here. Our branch president will
tell us about a calling that they need to fill and suddenly someone
will fall out of the sky and just be so prepared and ready to build
the church. We're thinking this teacher guy we're teaching will be a
branch mission leader, but we'll see what happens after the branch
president prays about it and seeks revelation. It's definitely been
fun to watch the growth of this branch and being able to be so
directly involved in their growth. We're playing them in soccer this
evening so we'll see how that goes. Hopefully everyone will come with
boku referrals for us. I definitely love the heck out of that sport. I
tell you. Anyway, I'm still keeping my journal up almost every day so
there are lots of stories to share there! I don't have too much time
this week but I love all of you and can't wait to hear from you next
week! Have fun at girls camp!
Elder Stewart
P.S. Happy Anniversary!!