Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014

Don't eat the Chicken

Well here I am once again writing you in the smoke filled, sketchy computer room with all the lazy men who are addicted to computer games! This is my last week of my 12 week training and Im so excited! Where did these 3 months go?!
This week was an interesting one and sadly I have NO stories about teaching, because we literally only taught about 6 lessons all week! Tuesday we had our weekly district meeting and Hermana Bustamante and I had to teach the elders about the worth of souls. We werent super prepared to teach, but it ended up being really good and we were able to teach by the spirit and it was one of the first times that I felt like we taught really well together! After the meeting we tried to do some tracting, but as always we never have success with that. We ate lunch at our "moms house" and she made us probably the most unhealthy meal ive ever eaten but it was so good. Homemade french fries with meat, fried onions and a fried egg on top. EVERYTHING FRIED! yeah if i come home 20 lbs heavier Im sorry, its not my fault. haha It was bad because Ive been trying to eat good because Ive been sick and then she feeds us that. Wednesday we had to go to pocitos to the doctor because Ive had a non stop headache for 2 weeks now, and the missions president sent us to a doctor there because he is a member. well guess what kind of doctor she sent us to?! a gynocologist! bahaha It was a little weird to be waiting in a waiting room with a bunch of pregnant women and heres the missionaries too. haha Our "mom" came with us and it was actually a good time. We had to wait 3 hours for the doctor so we ended up walking around and we went into bolivia for a little bit! She bought us empanadas and coca cola (my favorite!) And we just laughed the whole time because in the waiting room in the clinic, everyone had the saddest of they were on point to die. The doctor told me I have alot of "stress" haha well thats not anything new, I am just like my mom ;) 
So that took up most of our day Wednesday and then thursday I had my first interview with the president! It was sooo good to have a one on one talk with him and he literally can read me I think. He gave me some really good advice and really helped me refocus a little on why Im here. The first thing he told me is that my spanish is incredible but I think he tells every missionary that to boost their confidence haha. But he really is an inspiring man with alot of love. Im grateful for him because apparently the last mission president was a little rough and would chew the missionaries out if they werent baptizing. Wanna know what my mission president told me? "Hermana its not about the baptisms, when youre in front of the savior hes not going to ask you how many baptisms you had, hes going to ask you if you bore your testimony, if you loved the people, if you learned and grew" 
Anyways the interview was really good! Afterwards we had to head to Salta to work on my visa papers. So it was an 8 hour bus ride to salta and we didnt get there until almost midnight. We stayed the night with the hermanas in Salta. And then friday we went to the mission office and I just followed the elders around to all these different places to do my papers. It was really boring actually. And we have to go back to Salta tomorrow! so another 16 hours in bus!  But the best part was we had to wait for our bus back to salta and had about 4 hours to just walk around salta! It was a DREAM! I am in love with salta. I wasnt able to see it when I got here because I went straight to my area, but it is beautiful! I felt like I was in Europe or Spain! I didnt realize that Salta is super touristic! there is so much to do! I am definately coming back here after the mission to do all the things I cant do as a missionary! Who wants to come with me?! 
We didnt get back to Aguaray until late friday night and then saturday morning we had to do our weekly planning because we werent able to do it thursday like normal. So that took up time and then we went to eat lunch at Hermano Sixtos house and we ate this chicken that I dont think was quite ready because later that day after our studying, we were in La loma about to go teach all our investigators and it hit me. And it hit me hard. I thought I was going to die. I told my companion we had to find a bathroom asap! But as to our luck, we were super far away from our apartment and no one in Loma has bathroom because its super poor there. So we decided to go to the church which was like a 10 minute walk, I was huntched over trying not to loose everything inside of me and my companion was laughing so hard. It was really funny, but not at the same time. We barely made it in time to the church and I was able to make it to the bathroom. haha So we ended up not teaching that night. We really have bad luck and I really think everything bad that could happen has happened to me here in Aguaray but it really makes for some funny memories. 
Oh the funniest thing happened the other day in language study with my companion. I was just sitting there studying by myself and all the sudden my companion goes "que significa" (what does this mean) and flat out says the F word! I DIED! I have no idea where she heard it but it was so funny because she was being so innocent! The language barrier is so funny to me sometimes! 
So yeah this week we really didnt have any miracles, but as always I have learned something. This week I have been really thinking about the restoration of the gospel and what it has done for me. Everyday I wrote in my journal something that happened that day that happened because of the restoration. For example, thanks to the restoration, thursday I was able to recieve a priesthood blessing from the elders. If the restoration hadnt have happened, we wouldnt have the priesthood. Thanks to the restoration, I was able to pray to my heavenly father every single day because I have the knowledge that he is my heavenly father and he loves me. Thanks to the restoration, My mission president was able to share some inspired scriptures in the book of mormon with me. Thanks the the restoration, I was able to renew my covents yesterday as I portook of the sacrament. I started to realize how many blessings I have because of one moment in time! I am so grateful for the restored gospel!! 
Well thats my adventure filled week! Next pday I will probably have a new companion! I cant believe its already time for changes! Time is flying and Im just trying to enjoy every minute because I know I wont ever get this time back in my life! 

Hoping you all had a great week!  I love you all!!! 

-hermana stewart 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 17, 2014

Thank Goodness for Skirts with Pockets
well this week went by way too fast that I honestly dont remember anything that happened! Was it not just monday? 
After pday ended last week we went to La loma to do an activity with all the kids there. we made name badges and we were planning on going around to teach other people there. we handed out pass along cards and pamplets for them to give out to there parents and friends. it didnt go quite as we had planned, and I realized one of my weaknesses is I dont have patience especially when there is a million kids haha it was tough and I had to repent afterwards. Its hard to maintain a bunch of kids especially with the language barrior! haha but it was a good learning experience for sure. 
Tuesday we had zone conference and the zone leader called on me to give a talk in front of everyone without any notice! um talk about scary! but I was able to do it and I was suprised at how much I was able to teach...well obviously it wasnt me it was the spirit! 
Wednesday we had a hilarious experience! So we always eat lunch at a members house every wednesday and usually she makes really good food! we were so hungry and so excited to eat. We get to her house and she made something called Culpi, which I dont know how to explain it other than its kind of like meatloaf with cheese. We both looked at each other and wanted to die. And the worst part was she put 2 HUGE pieces on both of our plates! I didnt know what to do! haha luckily she had salad so my companion and i were eating as much salad as possible and everytime we looked at each other we started to laugh because neither of us were eating the culpi. This member never stops talking! she doesnt eat with us she just sits there and talks and talks and talks. so we were both trying to figure out what we could do. I noticed my companion was spooning hers into a bowl under the table and then put half a lemon on top to cover it. I didnt know what to do. I was literally to the point where I was thinking I would just put it in my backpack and deal with the mess later. Then the member was like "eat!" haha so I remembered I was wearing a skirt with pockets! saved my life! I grabbed a paper towel and wrapped it up and put it in my skirt! When we left I pulled it out of my pocket and asked my companion if she wanted some and we couldnt stop laughing! Now I am grateful for skirts with pockets! 
So our mission president told us that from now on we have to focus on priesthood, finding and reactivating. So this week everytime we see a man or a group of guys we say "sacerdocio!" (priesthood) haha I think its kind of funny that now we are told to look for and teach only men. Is it bad that I only look at men for their potential to hold the priesthood? absolutely not! haha so we are going to find priesthood because without it this area will never grow! So saturday we went to a members house to eat and this member has 9 kids...and 8 of them were there with their families! it was packed! we ate empenadas and it was a good time. The funniest part was my companion and I were both counting how many priesthood holder we could have..we counted 8 that are either not members or not active! 8 sacerdocio in one room!!!
I asked them if they were going to go to church the next day and they all said yes (everyone always says yes! and never comes!) So I took the initiative to ask if we could teach something and I found a scripture in the bible where Jesus is using a parabol. There are 2 sons and the father asks them to do something and the first son says he doesnt want to but then repents and does it. The second one says he will do it and doesnt. Then jesus asks which one is better? and he says the first one. So I used this scripture to be direct with them. One of them told me he promised he would he was drinking and smoking. I told him he owed me 10 pesos if he didnt come. Well the next day I honestly didnt think he would come...but we got out of relief society and he was there! I was in shock and he said "Im the first son" haha it was funny. So anyways we are working on priesthood which is a huge challenge because the men here are really hard headed but we are going to do it!
I also had my first experience with a drunk. it was both sad and hilarious. It was the middle of the day and we were walking to an appointment and a man on a motorcycle was pulled of the the side of the road and he called out to us and we went over to him (because its priesthood of course!) and he asked us to preach to him because he wanted to change his life. He started crying and saying how he didnt want to go home to his wife and son because he was drunk. It was really sad. We tried to teach him but it was kind of hard because he obviously wasnt in the right mindset. I told him we had to leave and he started crying and saying he wanted us to teach him. we asked him if he would even remember what we taught him and he said no.  haha We finally got away and we were walking and all the sudden he pulls up on his motorcycle! we told him he needed to rest and not drive while he was drunk. but obviously he didnt listen to us and off he went. The sad part is there isnt police here so there was nothing we could do except pray. So that was an adventure.
Oh also we had quite the experience saturday night. We always teach a book of mormon class for the members and no one showed up except the branch president and his wife. so we were teaching them and we were teaching about pride and all the sudden they started FIGHTING! like yelling at each other in the church! it was crazy. my companion and I literally had no words. the spirit was gone and we just sat there. It was a disaster. there are alot of problems in their marriage and its carried into the church and its really sad. So right now my companion and I really dont know what to do. We literally have to run the church here its quite stressful! we have so many responsibilities but its really opened my eyes and helped me rise up to become better...or at least work on becoming better. 
Well that was some of my adventures for the week. My favorite thing to do is read from the scriptures and learn! I have learned so much from the bible and the book of mormon in the 3 months Ive been here and I love it! I love finding answers to questions that our investigators have or to realize that prophets in the scriptures experienced similar things that we experience as missionaries! I know that this gospel is true and no one can convince me otherwise!!!
I hope all is well back at home and you are enjoying this wonderful time of year! Know that I think about and pray for you daily!

con mucho amor,
hermana stewart 

November 10, 2014

This week was quite an interesting one full of ups and downs last monday when pday ended we had family home evening at a members house and it was a blast. They asked me a while back what I missed back at home and i said brownies and ice cream. so guess what they made me?! yup! brownies and ice cream! It was especially nice because they dont know what brownies are here so for them to figure out how to make them was so nice! And they made us a pizza! the best part was their daughter is a returned missionary and she invited a non member and did the entire family night! we played games and talked and had a great lesson. We need more members like them here!
This week we walked so much I think my legs are going to fall off! for some reason all our investigators live really far from each other. Wednesday I literally think we walked all of Aguaray! And the worst part was we had a hard time finding anyone at home! so the work was a little slow this week. Also I have been sick with la gripe (sounds worse in spanish than in english...its just the flu) but I will be honest it was pretty tough to push myself to work hard and to leave the apartment while being so sick. But I felt that if I did my part and worked hard, the lord would bless me. Along with la gripe, something bit me on wednesday and my leg swole up like a baseball and was hard as a rock. It hurt to walk haha and yesterday it turned purple so my companion freaked out and said we had to go to the doctor because i would probably lose my leg if we didnt. So we went to the sketchy hospital here only to find out that I am allergic to bites. Great so everytime I get bit now im going to have a fat leg. But he gave me a bunch of drugs so Im happy. haha honestly its hilarious the things that i have had to pass through here but I kind of love the adventure of it all.
I realized this week that Heavenly father has been preparing me all week to hear the news of Grandpas passing. This is how. This week we found a new investigator and I think shes golden! We knocked her door one afternoon and she came out and asked us what we sell. haha We told her we had a message of Jesus Christ and she goes "listen..." right then my companion and I looked at each other because we knew she was going to say she was catholic like everyone else does. But she surprised us and said she didnt have time right then but we are welcome in her house at anytime! what!? we were in shock that someone was so nice to us! we werent able to go back for a couple of days but she lives right by us and one night we had a little bit of time before we had to be home so we stopped by. We were talking to her for a little bit outside. Before we had found her, one day we had walked past her house and saw there was a funeral going on. So this was kind of a perfect opportunity to bring it up. We started asking about her mom who had passed away. and her daughter came outside. she is 23 years old and sooo nice! we were just chatting and we were about to leave and her daughter goes " I have a question...where do we go after this life?" Um what?! no one ever just asks this question! so we gave them the plan of salvation pamphlet and answered her questions because she had alot! We still havent been able to teach a full lesson but i have faith that something is going to happen with them. But it was an opportunity to teach and testify of the plan of salvation.
Also we had lunch witha memeber and her daughter is dying of cancer but her kids and husband didnt want to tell her how serious it was. Well right when we showed up for lunch they had just got done telling her and it was horrible timing! she came out and just hugged me and cried on my shoulder for 5 minutes. But earlier that day i had studied adversity and I was able to share what I had learned with her. I found a scripture about how we cant see with our nautural eyes the plann of God and after tribulation comes the blessings. As I look back on this week I realized how heavenly father prepared me through the members and through investigators. I had shared alot of scriptures about peace and comfort with them and now they are able to help me in this extremely difficult time. I am grateful for the knowlege I have that my family can be together forever.And I know that grandma and grandpa stewart are here with me and with their other grandkids who are serving. I definately need their help here in Argentina.
With all the walking we did ad for not having taught many lessons this week we had a miracle of 7 investigators in church yesterday!! granted 5 of them are kids but still. We are working in an area that is really poor and they speak another language there. and there are so many kids! we always go there to teach a less active family but now the mom is active and brings all the kids that live around there to church. They get so excited when we come. we like to work there in Loma because we feel famous. the kids come RUNNING when they see us. and there is this little boy about 4 years old that always runs to his house to get the pamphlet that we left with his brother. haha its so cute. Tonight we have an activity planned there that Im really excited for. we made missionary plaques for all of them just like ours and we are all going to go around Loma and preach the gospel. I love their excitement and hopefully we can work with their parents so the kids can get baptized.
But that was basically my week! there is always a million things I could say and not time to say it! but know that I am doing fine here because I have the help of my savior. I know I am not alone here.
I wish I could be there with the family for the funeral, but I send my love to you all. I loved grandpa so much. But I have felt his hugs from the other side!
hope all is well back home! stay strong!
con mucho amor, hermana stewart

This is for grandpa. I wish I could be there for the funeral. I send my love!

This is my sombreo...if its a rule that I have to wear a sombreo it has to be a cute one right?

November 3, 2014

Another week gone by?! Time is flying! I cant believe that I completed 3 months this past week. I only have 4 more weeks left of my training and I cant say that I´m sad at all haha I am excited to get a new companion and be done with my first 3 months in the field because everyone says the first 3 months are the hardest. so Ive almost conquered the hardest part of my mission...well I dont know if I believe that but I am excited to continue to learn more. I have seriously learned so much out here! 
This week we had divisions again but this time I stayed in my area with the sister training leader and we were together for 2 days. I liked it alot and she helped me with some of the problems that we have here in our area. One thing that I loved about working with her was we taught a ton of lessons. Something that my companion and I need to work on is cutting our time that we spend in investigators and members houses. I´m trying to help my companion with this right now because she likes to talk and is perfectly fine with wasting time in members I´m trying to be a leader and an example and after learning from the sister training leader I have alot more confidence that we can do better. 
we had a miracle with one of our investigators during divisions. Our investigator that is really shy and speaks another language usually doesnt talk much and is really hard to understand. And I was really nervous that it would be worse with a different missionary but she opened up to us a ton and we taught her about baptism and she understood! Also when I asked who she wanted to say the prayer she said she wanted to! Which NEVER happens!  Our 7 lessons about prayer have finally paid off! she wants to get baptized. But then she asked us why she cant get baptized is she isn´t married. So we taught the law of chastity and we told her that she needs to get married to her "pareja" or she needs to get separated. She told us she is going to wait for the right moment to leave him. Its going to be a challenge because she realies on him for money and shes the one that literally has nothing. But I am going to pray really hard that she can find the strength to do it. When we were getting ready to leave she told me that she always waits for us to come and she misses us when we arent there. She said that before she met us she didn´t feel anything but now she does and she knows that what we teach is true. Even though she learns really slow and doesnt understand everything we teach, she has a testimony and it makes me so happy! 
Right now we have a major challenge because we have 7 people that are ready for baptism but every single one of them is missing something. We have 4 kids that really want to get baptized but their parents wont give them permission. They are AWESOME! they understand everything we teach and they come to church every sunday by themselves. We always teach them in the home of a less active family. They all live in the really poor part of our area and when we come they all come running the house! Theres always a ton of kids there while we teach and this time during the lesson I realized there was a new little girl.She was listening and being so good and after when we were walking away she ran to us and said that she wanted to learn more and wanted us to teach her family! So we contacted her mom and she let us teach her too! And this week the little girl came to church all by herself without us inviting her! It was awesome! But anyways we have alot of kids that want to get baptized just need to work with their parents which sometimes is really hard.
Also we have hermano maximo that said he didn´t know if the book of mormon was true or not. Well now he says he knows it is true but he says he wont get baptized until the end of the year. We dont know why. We tried to set a date with him and have him pray to know if he should be baptized the next week and he is a little stubborn about it. And then we have hermana Sixto that is waiting for his divorce papers. Right now its just a big waiting game. I am going to pray really hard that miracles can happen this week because we need baptisms here!
So I want to tell you about my halloween experience! My companion and I were a little sad that no one really celebrates halloween here and its kind of boring here in our little town. So we decided that when we got home from teaching that night we were going to make brownies and do something fun for halloween. Well we were teaching in an area really far away from our apartment and it started to sprinkle. This area that we were in is really poor and so we always teach outside. We were teaching the ramirez family (the ones that are inactive with all the kids) And there is this little boy that is so funny. I had my waterbottle and I poured a little on his head and said it was raining. Well halfway through the lesson I hear this little voice say " its raining" and he had a bucket of water and poured it on me! haha Well 5 minutes later it started to POUR! I have NEVER seen rain like that before! we were not prepared at all! So here we are teaching the plan of salvation in the pouring rain under a tin roof with tons of little kids. so funny!  When it came time to leave we were so scared haha. But it was hilarious. We literally just laughed the whole way home. It took us about 30 minutes to walk home because we couldn´t see and it was literally a RIVER in the streets! I wish I could have taken a picture. I was pretty sure it was a hurricane. We ended up going home early because we were soaked to the bone. So we were all excited to go home to shower and make brownies. we get home and the power was out! (its ALWAYS out here. almost every night the power goes out) So we made brownies by candlelight. I think heavenly father has a sense of humor because we wanted to have a fun halloween. But it was so nice to have a break from the heat. its been raining ever since and I perfer this over the heat! I am not looking forward to having the sun come again. 
yesterday we had "ward conference" and the district president came and he wanted to have an interview with us. We were pretty scared but it ended up being him giving us some counsel on what we can do here because our branch is really struggling and there is problems with our branch president and anyways it was really nice to get some counsel and also he chewed all the members out for not feeding us and giving us the love that we need. haha we will see if anything changes. 
Well not much else happened this week! I just want you all to know that I know this church is true with everything I have. Really studying from the scriptures has helped my testimony so so much. If anyone doesnt have a testimony, they need to read the scriptures. I am to the point where I can read and understand my scriptures in spanish and its great! Its been hard to not let myself read my english scriptures but its paying off because its helped me learn the language. I love the scriptures! 

Well I send lots of love all the way from Aguaray argentina! I love you all! 

hermana stewart 

October 27, 2014

Sorry this email might be all over the place. usually I write out the things I kind of want to say before I email but I didn´t have time this week! things here are getting better and I am slowly starting to adjust to things! 
Tuesday after our district meeting, the zone leader pulled me and my companion aside and asked if we wanted a blessing because he kept getting a strong feeling like we needed one! Oh my heck I was so happy! I have been wanting a priesthood blessing since I got here but havent wanted to ask for one. So I got my first priesthood blessing in spanish and it was so awesome. the spirit was strong! the power of the priesthood is real! And the best part was after, we had a miracle that day!! Our investigator Maximo, has been listening to the missionaries for 14 years, and he comes to church every single week. His grandson was the one that we baptized a couple of weeks ago. Anyways that day, we went to his house planning to visit his grandkids (we had kind of dropped him because he said he needed time) Well his grandkids weren´t there so we ended up teaching him. He started asking us about tithing because he wants to pay it! WHAT?! Not even the members here pay tithing and our investigator wants to pay tithing?! We started asking him why he wants to pay tithing and why he goes to church every week but doesn´t want to be baptized. And I felt like I needed to ask him if he had a testimony of the book of mormon. He thought for a second and said "no I dont have a testimony of the book of mormon, I dont know if it is true" I know it sounds weird but this is a good thing because we FINALLY figured out what it is that is hindering him from getting baptized. I told him that everything that we have taught him and the other missionaries have taught him all lies on if the book of mormon is true and without a testimony he wont ever progress with the gospel. So we committed him to read and pray to know if the book of mormon is true. The sad part is he texted us the next day and told us he was admitted to the hospital because he was having problems breathing. But yesterday he text us and asked if we would visit him in the hospital so after church we went to the hospital which real quick, is the most SKETCHY hospital I have ever seen! I hope I never have to go there! haha it was so scary. Anyways the fact that he texts us and wants us to visit him is a miracle as well. He is finally progressing and once he gets out of the hospital we are going to help him prepare for baptism! 
Also we had another miracle this week because our investigator Hermana Beruti, the lady that speaks another language, is progressing slowly. Before, she would HARDLY talk during the lessons and she is really hard to teach because she learns so slow. Well we visited her and she opened up a little and began to cry and tell us the things that she is going through right now. We were able to pray with her and invited her to pray that night for those things. The next day we went to visit her and she was smiling (which she never does) and said that god answered her prayer. She also went to church with us yesterday and brought her little granddaughter and I think she liked it. The only problem is she doesn´t understand much. We literally have taught her how to pray 7 times, but i think she is starting to understand so its worth it! And to see her be relieved from a little bit of pain was so worth it as well.
So this week I found out something crazy! my companion is really 31! what?! haha she literally could be my mom! its a little awkward knowing she is 10 years older than me, but at the same time its cool because she made alot of sacrifices to be here. I think it helped me appreciate her a little more.
Saturday we went and made pizza with Hermana Sixto (my grandpa here) and it was kind of sad because before we were talking if we should drop him because he literally know EVERYTHING and we spend alot of time at his house and yet hes not progressing because he needs to get a divorce and here its really hard to get a divorce hes been working on it for years. Anyways we asked him if we could help him and really there isn´t anything we can do. So, we have to drop him. It breaks my heart because I LOVE him, and now we can only pass by his house and check up on him. But I am praying really hard that one day he sends me a picture of him in white. He really wants to get baptized, but his divorce is taking forever. But it was fun to make pizza with him! 
Yesterday was the primary program and I was thinking that no one would show up because we hardly have anyone at church, but there was a TON of kids and it was so cute! Usually the kids come in their dirty clothes and are all dirty, but during primary, the primary president did their hair and dressed them in dresses and white shirts and ties. It was so great! and our cute little convert, got up and bore his testimony. He is really strong in the church he loves it! And his cousin, natali, also loves the church! she wants to be baptized too but her mom wont give her permission. But both of them gave talks and bore their testimonies. And what killed me was the songs! Ah the spirit was strong I wanted to cry. Actually I did cry, because there is a family that was baptized a couple of months ago, and the mom came to church and I was sitting by her and asking her how she was doing, and she started to cry really hard. I asked her what happened and she told me that her husband was drunk the night before and hit her. I was FURIOUS! The poor thing. There seriously is so much pain here its pretty hard to handle. Theres really nothing we can do but teach the gospel and pray for them. It breaks my heart. 
My adventure of the week: the cut the water again! But we haven´t had water for 4 days now and dont know when we will have water! I haven´t showered for 4 days! And it gets hotter and hotter every single you can imagine that I look real good right about now. All I want is a shower! But what really is hard is seeing people who live here not have water! We had a little bit stored up, but there is people who have nothing. In fact yesterday I had a little bit of water at church in a waterbottle, and one of the members asked me if her daughter could have a tiny bit of my water because she was so thirsty! I gave her all of it because I felt so bad! Its terrible!!! When or if we get water I´m going to save as much as I can because apparently this happens alot! 
well this was my week. Tomorrow we have divisions again with the sister training leaders but this time I am going to stay here in our area. I´m really nervous because I still dont feel 100% comfortable with teaching and I dont know our area very well. But we will see how it goes! I am pretty nervous because my companion knows the new sister training leader and she said that she doesn´t have alot of patience and she probably wont talk much during the lessons. I´m pretty nervous I dont know why. 
well I love you all! thanks for the love and support as always! 

con amor,
hermana stewart 
We had family home evening with this family and two of their neighbors who we are planning on baptizing soon! we taught about Lehi's dream and they drew all the parts of the dream. it was really fun!
October 20, 2014
In the Sun She Melted
Wow first of all I wish I could even begin to tell you how hot it is here! I never imagined heat like this! And its only october! I´m getting really scared for the summer they say it gets up to 55 degrees celcius! Luckily I have extra protection as a missionary so I should make it out alive! But its terrible. I cant sleep....I literally just sweat all day long!  This week they cut the water for 2 days and so we didnt have ANY water to shower. And they cut the power here night the power was out all night and it was bad because our only fan that we have obviously didn´t work. That was probably the worst night of my life haha.
So tuesday we had a conference with some of the hermanas in our mission and the President and his wife. It was  3 hours away and no bus left Aguaray early enough so we got to spend monday night with the sisters in our zone. It was way fun! While we were waiting for a taxi to go to their house, I felt fear for the first time since I got here! This guy walked up to us and stood real close to us and was talking non sense and even my companion couldn´t understand him and he was holding a bible so we asked him if he believed in God and then he goes off saying he is SATANIC! and sooo scary! we didn´t know what to do but finally the taxi came. Stuff like that is proof that God watches out for his missionaries! The next morning we had to get up at 4:30 to head to oran for the conference. Oh guess what? I can now officially say that I got bit by a dog haha while we were waiting for the bus at the terminal there was a dog under our bench and I didn´t know it and I accidently kicked him and he bit my leg! Scariest moment of my life (besides being approached by a satanic person) But I´m fine it didn´t hurt as much as it scared me! 
The conference was really good! Alot of things that had been on my mind were answered and its always good to hear from other sisters who have been or are going through trials as well. 
After the conference we had divisions with the sister training leaders. I went to Colonial with Hermana Astle and my companion went back to Aguaray. I LOVED it! I learned SO much from her. She is a really hard worker and really motivated me to do more. We worked really hard in the 1 1/2 days I was there and ended up setting 3 baptismal dates! It really gave me hope for the future! 
But the funniest thing happened! We were teaching a lady who is sick and at the end of the lesson when we were ending the lesson, I asked if there was something we could do for her and I didn´t fully understand what she was saying but I knew she was talking about her health so I told her I could pray for her. Anyways we were getting up to leave and she says so do you want me to sit here and you can pray? and she puts her hands on her head motioning that she thought I was going to give her a blessing! Oh I felt so bad when I had to explain to her that only the elders can give priesthood blessings. haha but it was so funny. 
So I came back to Aguaray and not much has happened since. Its really hard to teach people when its this hot because all they do is SLEEP! I cant even believe how much the people here sleep! Everything is closed from 1-6 pm! Summer is going to be a little tough, but I am learning the importance of diligence. Its tough having a companion who doesn´t like to work but I am trying really hard to find out what motivates her so we can become better missionaries. 
Yesterday I got called to be the 1st counselor in the relief society! Its a huge stress on my shoulders because we already have so much work to do! Not only do we have to find new people to teach, but we have to run the church too. Right now I´m not really sure how to help the relief society but Im hoping with lots of prayer and fasting I can know what it is that I need to do and why I have been called to this position. 
Also another stress I have is my district and zone leaders told me that I need to learn everything really quick because there is 32 new hermanas coming in December and I could be training! I´m hoping not because I do not feel prepared in the least bit to train a new missionary! But we will see what will happen. Today marks the end of 1 full transfer here! how crazy is that? 
This upcoming week we have planned to focus on the few investigators we have and the new ones we found the last couple of weeks. Weve been trying to work and focus on strengthening the members but its not really working. So half the week we are going to focus on investigators and the other half with the members and our other calling. 
Something I have learned from the scriptures this week is from the example of Nephi. As I was preparing our lesson for our book of mormon class I learned alot about the character of Nephi, and how even though he had hundreds of trials, never once did he complain (or at least he never wrote it out haha) I am learning the power of attitude. I realized while I was doing divisions with the sister training leader that the reason we had success wasn´t because the people were any different or Heavenly Father loves them more and has prepared them more than the people here in Aguaray, but it was all about the attitude. Hermana Astle didnt have one bad thing to say about her area and that was a lesson for me. If I look at Aguaray as an impossible area, its going to be impossible. So from now on, I am going to look at this area as an area waiting for miracles to happen! 
Also I was reading in the scriptures about the anti-nephi-lehis and how they burried their weapons of war and I decided to write all the things that are keeping me from being the best missionary I can be (and there are alot!) Afterwards, I put them in an envelope and sealed it up. Those things are my weapons of war right now and its my goal to bury those things and become better. 
I´m so grateful for this opportunity in my life to be a missionary. People always told me that the mission is hard, but I never could have expected it to be this hard. But Im grateful because this is an opportunity I have to learn, grow, and change. I heard a quote this week that I want you all to think about "Its the same boiling water that hardens the egg, and softens the carrot." Just think about that for a minute. 
I am learning to rely on my Heavenly father more than ever before. I know he is with me. I know that with his help I can do anything. how blessed I am to be a representative of his son Jesus Christ. In the MTC someone told me that I will be the closest thing to the Savior that some people will ever experience. That thought has come to my mind daily as I have to constantly remind myself who I represent and try to become more like him for people who need to come to know him. 
Anyways I´m off to go to work and save souls :) Pray for me in this heat! I love you all and am thankful as always for your love and support! 
con amor,
hermana stewart  
My mission presidents wife told us that if we need to go buy ice cream, go buy ice cream so we took her advice! Ice cream will always be my comfort food ;) Im so glad they have it here! 

October 13, 2014
Wow this mission thing is crazy! I have learned so much about myself in the short 6 weeks I have been here! the good and the bad. My weaknesses are definately magnified as a missionary but I think my strengths are too. I know my heavenly father is changing me for the better through all of this. I´m not the same as I was when I left the MTC, and I know I wont be the same when I return home. I still have so much changing to do! I think one of the reasons a mission is hard is because missionaries are given situations daily to change them and humble them. And we constantly have to choose how to react to the situations we are given. For example, my situation is not ideal. In fact, today the elders in our zone told me we are in one of the hardest areas in the mission. But I know that I am given this trial because if I can do this, I can do anything in the mission. This is preparing me for what is to come! I dont know why I have been given this situation Im in but I have faith that its because my heavenly father knows me better and has something if not alot of things to learn here including humility because without his help I could never do this!
But the elders told me that there are alot of hermanas that they call "princess" missionaries and they told me I am not a princess missionary! Wahoo! But I dont know how anyone could be a princess here because there is nothing pretty about this haha. For example, how can you be a princess when youre walking in the dusty dirty roads and sweating your guts out? Or have a million bites on your legs (this week I got bit by a spider in the night and my leg swole up so big I couldnt walk haha and my legs are COVERED in mosquito bites!) A princess obviously couldn´t deal with that. So you should all be proud of me haha just kidding. "as for my strength I am weak." 
This week I had an experience with prayer and scripture study. I have a strong testimony that if we pray with a specific problem or question in mind and after open the scriptures we can find answers! This week I found a scripture after I poured my heart out in prayer in Alma 26:27. "now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold the lord comforted us and said go amongst thy bretheren the lamanites (the people of aguaray) and bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give unto you success" After this ammon goes and teaches in the streets and in their houses, and still suffers afflictions all this that perhaps they might "save some soul". And the promise of the lord is kept as always and they have alot of success! 
So my answer is patience- I cant count how many times that I have heard that word! But something I also learned this week is that the Book of mormon was written for our day and we are commanded to apply them to our lives. These arent just stories of ancient prophets- these are meant for us! And I know there is always something we can relate to in the scriptures. Before the mission I never realized how many scriptures there are about missionary work! And I´ve come to love alma because he and ammon suffered similar things on their mission! So my challenge is to read and apply! I know there is power in this.
This week was good but not very successful. We tried to have activities for the members but no one showed up. We were going to have a movie night and watch 17 miracles and we made invatations and everything but no one showed up except the president and his wife. But then one of our investigators showed up with his grandkids! so we ended up teaching a lesson instead so I guess it was a blessing in disguise. Its sad that the members here arent very strong. It makes our job a million times harder. 
We did service this week and cleaned the church (house) since none of the members will. And after we went to our investigators Sixtos house and he taught me how to make empanadas! MUY RICO!!!! he is my favorite person here I decided! I took a ton of photos but my companion deleted ALL my pictures! She tried to act like nothing happened and put my camera back in my backpack and then later I found out that all my pictures had been deleted. I was SO sad at first...the natural woman in me wanted to be mad at her. But I realized people are more important than pictures. Just another lesson I needed to learn this week. 
We also did divisions this week with 2 members. At first I was really nervous because I wouldnt have my companion to help teach and the member  I went with is hard to understand and is kind of awkward. But I ended up loving it. and we are going to do it every week now! I finally felt like I could take initiative and teach by myself! We visited some inactive members and hardly any of them were home but I had a miracle- I found 3 new investigators with the help of the spirit of course! We were walking back to the church and there was this old grandma and lady sitting outside and we walked past them and I said hi...but after we were walking I felt like I needed to go back so I quickly walked back and started talking to them and they were so nice! the cute little grandma was so sweet. I asked if there was a time we could come back and teach them and they accepted. also the member and I accidently went to the wrong house and it turned out to be a man that she knew and I started talking to him and invited him to our activities and church and promised him he would find happiness if he did and he told me he doesnt know what happiness is. anyways he promised to come to the activity and our book of mormon class but like all latinos he didnt keep his commitment. This is the most frustrating part of missionary work! 
We also started teaching a book of mormon class for the members to learn more...and it really helps me as well. but there was only 5 members that came...but it was good. they all really liked it and the next day in church they told the other members to come because they learned alot. 
Adventure of the week: we had to go to another zone conference and so we took a bus. Well the bus stopped and everyone gets off, but we were supposed to continue on. Well the bus driver gets off and tells us he will be back...and gets on a motorcycle and doesnt come back! hahaha we were all alone on this bus in the middle of no where and had no idea what to do! and the zone leaders were calling us and telling us they were waiting for us! it was crazy haha we waited for a half hour and finally he returned haha. 
also today we went back to bolivia and hiked the same hike we did last week but with everyone in our zone! it was a blast! I caught a snake! we were basically free climbing the rocks up to this waterfall! I wish I could have taken pictures! And tonight we get to have a sleepover with the hermanas in our zone! Hermana erickson! because tomorrow we have an activity with all the sisters in the mission and have to travel there! I will get to see my hermanas in the MTC! I cant wait! I miss all my friends in the MTC...we have a group email every week with the elders and us hermanas its awesome to hear all their experiences. 
bueno, that was my week in a nut shell. Its so hard to remember everything that happened when the days seem like weeks and the weeks seem like days! 
Tenga una buena semana!!!!
con mucho amor,
hermana stewart 

Friday, October 10, 2014

 October 6, 2014

This dog is our friend he waits for us to pass by everyday. He is the only one who likes the missionaries here haha
The other day we woke up to the pouring rain and so I had to put on my rain boots and take a picture. Our house has tons of cracks in the foundation so it was leaking everywhere!

October 2014 Zone Conference

October 6, 2014

I really dont know what to say about this past week. It was  really hard as you know. But yesterday I was able to watch conference in english! even though the connection was bad I didnt care I was so happy. I loved it!
today we went to bolivia to have an activity with the elders there. we went hiking (my favorite thing to do! haha) but it was pretty cool. I can now say I have hiked in the jungle of bolivia. It wasnt as pretty as I was expecting and we hiked to a waterfall...I was expecting it to be huge because the member that came with us was talking about it like it was big and really pretty...I was pretty disappointed when we got there haha they dont know what a waterfall is I guess. But it was fun none the less. afterwards we went to eat lunch at a members house there and she was sooo nice! She asked me how long i have been here and when I said a month she was in shock! she said that she would have thought by my spanish that I had been there for 4 or 5 months! wow! It was weird becaues I hardly spoke. But I think my accent is better than most gringos so thats good. 
I am praying to have a better week this week. I really liked in conference when I cant remember who said this but that we can tell heavenly father every single emotion we are feeling and we should report our day to him every night. I love being able to pour my heart out to him every night. I cant express myself to people here, but I do have a heavenly father who is listening to me and I find comfort in that. 
Thank you for all your love and support. i have never been so grateful in my life for such a great supportive family who prays for me daily I need it! I pray for you guys day and night as well! 
well I dont have a ton of time today. sorry this email isnt too detailed and long or spiritual. hopefully next monday will be better! but I want you to know I am doing fine and I am being taken care of here in argentina.

i love you! 

hermana stewart
September 29, 2014
The weeks are starting to blend together and I kind of dont remember what happened this week! Time is going by so fast and so slow at the same time haha I hit my 2 month mark maƱana! Crazy! Something I have learned so far is it is possible to feel a million emotions all in 1 day! Tuesday was one of those days that I think every missionary expierences probably multiple times on their mission. None of our investigators were home after walking MILES to visit them, we tried contacting in the street but no one wanted to listen (everyone tells us they are catholic, I´m so sick of hearing that haha) And 2 members straight up told us they dont have a testimony! oh and it was HOT! it was an extrememly hard day for me. But as always, there are tender mercies of the lord everyday. That night we went by the church and there was a primary activity going on and the little kids were singing and that was a tender mercy to me because I felt the spirit that I was craving to feel that day! I felt the love of the savior in that moment and knew that he was proud of me even if people reject our message. Even though it was something small, I was so grateful for that.
After we went to visit la familia loca and it was SO hard to teach them! The spirit wasnt there and I could tell there was alot of tension. They were being so loud and didnt really want to listen! Then the son told us that on the radio that day they said that the mormon church wasnt true and not to listen to the missionaries! well that would explain why our day was so hard! But honestly this has strengthened my testimony of the book of mormon more than anything because earlier that day I had read multiple scriptures that said that before christ comes, many people will reject the gospel! But its heartbreaking for me because I know its true and dont know how to help others have a desire to know for themselves! if they would just pray they would know! but they dont want to keep commitments and find out for themselves! I cant teach and bear my sincere testimony all day but without a desire to find out if its true, nothing is going to happen. But I am doing my part and fulfilling my calling and thats all I can do!
That night I prayed so hard to have a miracle the next day! We contacted in the morning and I felt like I needed to try and do a contact by myself so I approached a woman and invited her to church! even though she rejected it, I felt confident in my message and the spirit bore witness that what I was teaching was true. We ended up finding one person that was interested which was a miracle! Even if 99 people say they arent interested and 1 say yes its all worth it! I invited 2 investigators to be baptized and they said yes! they only problem is they speak another language and so we have to teach really slow. She is the one that lives in the shack in the mountains. She hardly has any food to feed her family, and she is always sick. Its extremely hard for me to teach her because my heart is always broken for what she is feeling, but I always feel the love that the savior has for her when we teach her, she just needs to feel it for herself.
Thursday we had a district meeting and it was alot of fun. I like being with other missionaries, especially ones that know english so they can explain things to me that my companion cant! We ate bread and drank mate (thats a daily routine here! so much bread and so much mate! haha) but it was alot of fun. I feel powerful when I´m walking with a bunch of missionaries down the street...its like that army of helamen! Love it!
After we spent the rest of the day planning for the week and when we finished and left for our appointments that night, the secretary of the mission called and said they needed me to come to salta right away to work on my visa papers. So we ran to the apartment and grabbed some clothes and headed to the bus terminal in the blistering heat. I thought I was going to die! We got on a bus to Tartagal which is about an hour bus ride. There was a little girl sitting in front of us that kept turning around and starting at me and laughing. She was so funny. I was playing with her and I noticed this young guy kept starting at us and smiling. Eventually he started talking to me and I explained that we were missionaries etc. Well after we got off the bus, I started asking him questions about what he believed and he seemed really interested in our message and ask if we could come teach him (I thought it was a miracle!) anyways as we were walking away he said "I hope you come visit soon especially the pretty blonde" ahhhhh! SNAKE! I was so mad! I thought we had a miracle, and he turned out to be a snake. Always! haha that has happened to us alot. I think my companion hates having a gringa companion because all the people here stare at me and I draw alot of attention.
So once we got to Tartagal the elder called back and said we didn´t need to come anymore because he realized that we wouldnt get there until 2 in the morning (well duh elder! leave it up to the elders to wait until the last minute to call!) it was a waste of an hour bus ride! but we got to walk around Tartagal and I felt like I was in the NYC of argentina! they have everything there! I was kind of in shock! lots of shopping and food and it was really pretty! I literally live in the outskirts of NYC haha. But it was fun to be able to see more of Argentina. We get to go back tomorrow for our zone conference with the mission president.
The next day there was another tender mercy-it was cold! Dont ask me how it goes from being extremely hot to cold but I was happy!! We ate lunch at la familia comba house again. I was so nervous because of what happened last time but I´m happy to say that I didnt get sick! Something that makes me nervous here is I dont think they believe in germs! Everyone shares cups and they arent good at washing their dishes. They think a good rinsing with cold water will do haha its a miracle I havent gotten sick yet!
We had a really good friday night. Every friday we have noche de hermanamiento which is for all the members. Well usually only 5 members come but for some reason there was 20 or more this time! MIRACLE! and it was so fun. we had a good lesson and after we ate food which I loved because Im always hungry here since we only eat one meal a day!
Oh the craziest things happened the other day! within 10 minutes I literally saw an old man with his pants down, a man peeing on a wall, and a drunk man sleeping in the street! how crazy this place is!
I got to watch a little bit of womans conference on saturday! It didnt start until 9 here so we only got to watch a half hour before we had to leave but it was another tender mercy! I cried for the first time when I saw the salt lake temple. Ill admit it made me miss home alot! And when the choir sung in english I lost it! I loved it!
I have to watch conference in spanish this week and I´m a little bummed but I think I know enough to get a little something out of it! Im excited none the less.
Like I said before the work here is hard but I learned something this week that I have been thinking about all week and want to share.
I found a scripture in D&C 51: 16-17 "And I consecrate unto them this land for a little season, until I, the lord, shall provide for them otherwise, and command them to go hence. And the hour and the day is not given unto them, wherefore let them act upon this land as for years, and this shall turn them for their good." Why would the lord give them this counsel I thought? Some may have become discouraged living in a wagan or tent in a muddy field as they saw others living in better circumstances. all of us have times like that right? I especially feel like that right now. But the lord counsel likely changed their perspective from dicouragement to hope. I found myself thinking about home alot this week, and thinking that I will only be here for a few short months...but when we "act upon this land as for years" we begin to recognize opportunities we may not have seen before. We may also see that some of these opportunities may never come our way again. Then we think, As long as I´m here I´m going to get involved, do the best I can, and choose to be happy. I´ll continue to hope for the future, but in the meantime, let me do some good here. This is the difference between treading water and actually swimming.
I´ve also learned about the lords time table. We sometimes get in trouble when we insist on doing things according to our own timetabe, rather than trusting in the Lords. my companion and I are reading in nephi and I was thinking about the story of their departure from jerusalem from lamen and lemuels perspective. Their comfortable life was suddenly interupted (much like mine) when lehi said they family had to flee because Jerusalem was going to be destroyed. They leave for the wilderness only to have to go back and get the plates from Laban. On top of that, seeing Jerusalem look the same probably added to their anger. I can imagine they were upset to find that it wasn´t destroyed and that they were wasting their time in the wilderness when things were totally normal there. all these things quickly resulted in them beating Nephi and Sam. When things dont happen the way we want them to, when we look around and see only a farmers field, we too might become discouraged to the point that lamen and lemuel came to and beat up our faith and take out our frustrations with god.
I found a quote from Elder Maxwell that I love "When we are unduly impatient with an omniscient Gods timing, we really are suggesting that we know what is best. Strange isnt it- we who wear wristwatches seeks to counsel him who oversees cosmic clocks and calandars"
This hit me hard because right now I want alot of things, I want to know the language, I want things to get easier, I want the people to accept our message. I want it Now. but the lord knows...not me. Life isn´t always easy and I dont know of anyone who would say that life has turned out the way that they imagined it. But I aso know many people who would say that despite it all, they are happy with their life now. That positive perspective comes when we faithfully follow the Lord with optimism through our own wildernesss. I think that as I do that, I will come to see one day that the wilderness experience wasnt nearly as bad as I would have thought. And I will see that it was actually worth it.
So this week my goal is to be more positive despite the difficulty of all of this!
Im going to end with my testimony in spanish. so if you dont understand it you can google translate it.haha
Se que durante estos meses eh podido conoser mejor a mi salvador y se que el vive se que el nos conose tan perfectamente, mucho mas que nosotros nos conosemos a nosotros mismos! cada desafio en la mision, cada lagrima, cada sonrrisa, cada despedida, cada binevenida, cada oracion, cada momento realmente vale la pena! Yo hoy puedo decir que mi vida ah a cambiado que cada minuto trato de ser mas como cristo...y que me seinto enormemente  agradecida de ser una representante de jesucristo...en este tiempo! amo esta obra, amo a mi familia, amo cada parte de mi vida, y amo mas aun las pruebas que tengo proque ello me hace ser mas fuerte y me hace ser mas moldeable a la persona que mi padre celestial quiere que sea! este es el tiempo! no debemos dudar!  el poder tener un testimonio tan fuerte de jose smith me hace defender este evangelio, me hace poder compartirlo con todos!
I love you all!
con mucho amor,
hermana stewart!
September 22, 2014

So ive made it past my first week here in Arguaray! Its been a crazy one thats for sure! Funny story- so there is a family here (the mom and son were baptized  but now are inactive) anyways they are the Comba Family but I call them Familia Loca because they are CRAZY! I love them and they are alot of fun! We were visiting them and they took us to the kitchen and pulled out this plate full of something really nasty looking! and the smell was horrible! then one of the boys told me to look inside this tin and when he took the lid off there was a full chicken head! And a wave of stench filled the room. I wanted to throw up! So then the mom kept saying "come come!" (eat eat) and handed me some bread to put the meat on. My companion pointed out that there was chicken hair on the meat! We were both dying! Luckily there were dogs in the kitchen (of course because they are everywhere) so we kept throwing the meat when they werent looking and I would jsut eat the bread. But then the daughter gave me some and watched me until I ate it! (hot husband points for me!) I was so sick that night and the whole next day! After our lesson with them the boys wanted to arm wrestle me and I won thanks to my 4 brothers back at home for teaching me to be tough right?! So anyways when I talk about la familia loca that is them!
I definately feel the help of my savior every day. I know that I could not do this without him. Before my mission I always struggled with anxiety and stress but here its gone! Im not afraid of anything. such a blessing! I know that I have been set apart from the world because I feel different as a missionary! I feel the help of the savior stronger than ever here! The other day I was talking to my companion and she asked if I liked the mission. I said yes but its so hard. She said Im doing better than most missionaries she said most cry every day for the first 4 months. She said she wanted to go home for the first 4 months and she knew spanish! But she said I am doing really well with the language because I have a desire to learn and I try to talk as much as possible. She said most gringos dont talk at all. So that boosted my confidence even though I feel like Im the only missionary who has ever gone through this! haha my companion has alot of patience with me and I´m grateful. She doesn´t speak much so it makes learning the language hard...and when she does she speaks really fast. but she is obediant and I´m grateful for that.
So we spend alot of time at the branch presidents house and one day we were there eating lunch and their grandson Fabio was there. He doesnt want anything to do with the church but I asked him if we could just teach him because I needed practice. He let us! And at the end of the lesson I was bearing my testimony and I looked up and he had tears in his eyes (probably because he felt bad for me and my bad spanish) but it made me cry and I told him I am here because I want everyone to have what I have and thats the gospel. It was a good experience for me because I felt like I finally had an investigator of my own! he has agreed to let us teach him again.
So miracle of the week! we had a baptism! The first one here in arguaray in over 6 months! His name is Angel and he is 9 years old. He is the grandson of one of our investigators so Im hoping his example will get his grandpa to committ to baptism because he has been meeting with the missionaries for 14 years! the baptism was great. there isn´t a font here of course so he was baptised in a plastic tarp pool! haha that morning my companion and I straightened our hair (first time in 2 weeks!) and tried to look nice for the baptism. Anyways it wasnt 5 minutes after we started walking that its started to rain! We had to hide under a semi truck until it stopped! haha So basically Im never getting ready again because its not worth it! 
So I feel like nephi among a hundred lamen and lemuels here! The members here have alot of issues! None of them want to do anything and they wont give us referalls or help us with the work! Church attendance is horrible! Only 17 members were at church yesterday! In relief society it was just me and my companion and the teacher! It makes our work a million times harder because we dont have the support of the branch. The branch president and his wife are frustrated and there is alot of contention. My companion is really discouraged because this is a really tough area. They took missionaries out of this area for a long time and my companion thinks they will do it again because its not progressing. So we need miracles here! Everyone worships Virgens even some of the members! Just like in the book of mormon- false idols! Its so frustrating.
but I know I need to have faith that we can see miracles here. We do have some good investigators. Sixto and olga are an older couple that feel like my grandma and grandpa here! They have been meeting with the missionaries for 14 years as well...just waiting for Sixto to get his divorce papers. He read jesus the christ in 10 days! Golden! anyways the other day he texted us to come over and make banana bread. So on our way there we walked past this man and he said the quote of the week "Que linda la flaca! Por ti me vuelvo mormon!" (oh how pretty the skinny! For you I will return mormon!) haha freaking snakes! The only thing I can do is laugh. I am about to paint my skin brown so they leave me alone! 
Anyways we had a great night with olga and sixto! We drank mate and made pan de banana and we brought the D&C movies so we watched part of that and I was crying through the whole thing! It was so good to feel the spirit because sometimes its hard to feel it here in the world!
Yesterday after church we had lunch at the 1st counselors house with his family. One of their sons is learning english so they all were asking me to teach them english and I LOVED IT! Their younger son Isael wanted to know what my favorite scripture was so I showed him in his book of mormon and next to it he wrote ¨my favorite missionary Hermana Stewart¨ ah stuff like that makes all the hard times worth it! or when that cute little girl Nicole says HERMANA everytime she sees me! I think I am being taught more than I am teaching here. Ive already learned its possible to be happy without having much. And I love how loving the people are here! they all greet with a kiss on the cheek! doesn´t matter if youve never met them before! The people in north america need to be more like that! 
I do see miracles everyday! I am starting to be able to understand alot more. Its still hard to speak but people are patient with me. Its a miracle that I can even understand after only having 11 days here! I cant wait to get to the point where I can speak because I know thats when real miracles will happen! I bear my testimony that this church is true. ITs true in utah and its true in Argentina and the rest of the world. It doesnt matter how much you have or how little you have god blesses us in our own way. It doesnt matter if you are baptized in a plastic tarp or a fancy font...the way back to our Heavenly Father is the same. I tell everyone here that I cant understand everything but I can understand the spirit because its the same no matter where you go and for that I am soo grateful! The spirit doesnt have a language and all can feel it the same! 
More than anything I am grateful for the gospel and especially that I get to experience it with my whole family and we enjoy the blessings of the gospel together. People ask me here if my whole family is members and sometimes I feel bad saying yes because here alot of people are the only members in their family and its heartbreaking. I want to live with my family forever and so we have to be faithful together until the end! I love you all so much and Im grateful for your examples!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana stewart

September 3, 2014
I dont even know where to start! My mind is all over the place today! First off, I can't even believe that I'm leaving for Argentina on Monday! This is just crazy to me! I am finally to the point where I think I am ready as I'll probably ever be. There's really only so much I could learn at the MTC and the rest I'm just gonna have to figure it out there like the language haha. We had a really cool opportunity to skype last thursday for our TRC lesson. I was so nervous at first but when the lady called us and we answered it and saw her and these 2 little kids I got so excited! Shes a member from mexico and her little boy and girl were SOOO cute! oh my heck! We just talked to them and got to know them and the little girl was darling she just wouldn't stop talking in her cute little spanish and she was showing us all her pictures! And then we got to our lesson which was on faith. We weren't prepared for teaching kids because we thought we were just teaching one person, so we kind of had to change our lesson plan a little bit, but we asked the little boy what faith was and he smiled and just went off for like a whole minute about what faith was to him and the whole time he was playing with his little CTR ring and I just wanted to cry I was so happy! If I had to pick one thing I'm most excited for its the kids in argentina! I walked away from that lesson with the biggest smile on my face! Oh and that same night we committed our investigator to not only be baptized in a couple of weeks, but to get married in the temple because he is planning on proposing to his girlfriend soon and he said in a year from his baptism he will get married in the temple! So it was a great day! I can't wait for days like that on the mission!
Sunday was good as always. The best part was after the devotional they always have different movies you can go to watch and we happened to chose to go to the Testaments movie...well I was just excited because it had a little bit of a love story in it haha and there was 3 kissing scenes haha it was probably the funniest thing I've ever experienced at the mtc. So I got to watch a chick flick at the mtc ;) 
Last night after the devotional we had another MEETING! the devotional was by a member of the 70 and he talked about looking at every investigator as if it was your mom or dad or brother or sister. it was a great devotional! afterwards we always go back and talk about the devotional as a district. Well it turned out to be another really spiritual meeting, in fact I wanna say i've never felt the spirit that strong. One of the elders felt impressed that we should all talk about someone in our family that is inactive or not a member of the church. We all went around in a circle and talked about someone who is really close to us who struggles with the gospel. My heart was broken for some of those elders who have parents or close siblings who are really struggling. I wish SO badly that each person that we talked about could have been there. We care so much about these people and why is it hard for us? because the gospel brings happiness...true and lasting happiness and we want everyone to have it! Especially our close family members! We ended up going an HOUR over time because the spirit was so strong. I had the strongest impression the whole time that we should all write down our person on the whiteboard and that for the rest of the time here at the MTC we would each pray for every single person by name. Going home last night, no one spoke. The spirit was just too strong. I went home and got right on my knees and prayed individually for every person on that paper. I know that those people will come to find the gospel again. This is real life stuff! this is not a joke! This is peoples salvation we are talking about! It just felt SO real last night as we each talked about someone personal that we loved so much. 
Another thing that has been on my mind this whole week is My Purpose as a missionary. My purpose as a missionary is to invite others to come unto christ. Well this week, I've been thinking about what that really means and I realized that Others = EVERYONE! Everyone I come into contact with needs to hear this message. So I want to invite anyone who reads this email to do something for me....actually not for me but for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
I have had some very personal experiences with the Book of Mormon this week. And I want you all to have one this week to. So will you read the book of mormon with a specific question in mind, and search for an answer through the scriptures? Read until you have a personal experience with the scriptures! Read it like you have never read it before...I know that that's when the spirit is felt. If you don't know what to read I'll give you some suggestions of chapters that have strengthened my testimony this week: Alma chapters 5, 22, 23, 26, or 30. 
I would love nothing more than to hear from all of you who have been reading my emails and hear your experiences! I want to start fulfilling my purpose right now as a missionary, I dont want to wait until I get to Argentina. So I'm inviting you all to do that this week. And I can't wait to hear back from you all! 

Thanks for all the support and love and prayers! It is truly felt every single day I'm here. I'm sure my next letter will be FULL of adventures in ARGENTINA! 

Yo estoy muy animado! Gracias por todos! Hasta luego!!!! 

Oh before I forget, today has been the best day ever! wanna know why? because we got to go into this special Pillow room! After our service project this morning, the lady that was in charge of us took us to this secret room that no one knows about because no one is allowed in there, and it was FULL of pillows! I've never been so happy in my life haha it was basically like the celestial kingdom I'm pretty sure! 

Con mucho amor,
Hermana stewart 
August 20, 2014

Hola mi familia y amigos!
First things first, um can you believe that I am over half way done at the MTC?! I'm freaking out! we are leaving in 19 days! I feel extremely unprepared for Argentina! Although I have grown SO MUCH, I still feel like I have a million things I need to work on and I wont even start with the spanish haha I'm basically planning on getting to Argentina and just having a constant blank stare on my face! I love the MTC so much and I know its going to be so sad to leave this place. Its honestly the most spiritual place I've EVER been and I have met some amazing friends here! Its kind of fun being the only hermanas in our zone because we have gotten really close with all the elders. I have been completely shocked at how mature and grown up most (emphasis on the most) of them are! For just being little 18 year olds straight out of high school, I cannot believe the spiritual maturity of them. I am constantly striving to be more like them. I never thought I'd say this, but I forget that I'm 3 years older then them and most the time I think I act younger then them haha. 

My district is honestly the best! We have alot of fun together. We started playing this game called "what are the odds" so you say "what are the odds you'll (insert something crazy) and then the other person will say 1-18 or 1-58 or 1-100 and then you count down from 3 and if you both say the same number the person has to do that thing. For example, I got the WORST one ever! Hermana Allen at lunch the other day said "what are the odds you'll let me touch your neck for 30 seconds" (she knows my phobia of my neck being touched) I said 1 in 100 so they counted down and we both said 30!!! I DIED! like literally wanted to cry! I caused a huge scene in the lunch room and everyone was laughing. Now all the elders know that I have the weirdest fear ever. Anyways we have done some really really funny ones! I would also like you all to know that I have become the 4 square champion at gym time. We play as a district since its like the only "sport" you can do with elders and sisters together and its gets crazy! We also had a really cool opportunity this week to fast as a district for our language and for my companion Hermana Golder, and I totally have a testimony on the power of fasting and prayer...especially in numbers. I wouldn't say that things got any easier for us this week...I'll get to more of that later, but I will tell you that prayers have been answered and hearts have been changed for the better and I know that even though Heavenly Father doesn't take away our pains and trials, we can ALWAYS learn from what we are given. 

My companion is slowly recovering and things are slowly getting better, but Sunday night I really started to feel this huge weight on my back and I got so overwhelmed I didn't know what to do. I haven't slept in 4 nights. I would lay in bed and just toss and turn and if I would fall asleep it would only be for a half hour or so and it finally caught up to me..Monday morning I would say was my breaking point.I have felt like a failure so far on my mission because I have felt like I'm not working hard enough, I'm not getting the language fast enough, I'm missing class, I'm struggling to focus, I even felt like I was failing with loving my companion because sometimes it was just plain hard!  I finally went in to the psychologist because I felt like I really needed to get some help. He made me take a stress/anxiety test and luckily my results were above the point of needing serious help but I told him I just wanted to talk things out! He was so helpful and I realized alot of things about myself as I talked to him. I realized that I put alot of pressure on myself and I base my success off results. Well I quickly realized after talking to him that it is not going to work for me on my mission to think like that because if I am basing my success as a missionary off of results, I'm going to always feel like a failure because people have their agency. He asked me how he things Heavenly Father feels of me as a missionary and what he bases my success off of....I immediately began crying because I knew that my Heavenly Father is proud of me and as long as I'm doing my best, thats all that matters. I can't do more than that. The thing that has been hard for me is always having to be responsible for someone else too. When I was at school, I was all on my own to get good grades and feel successful, but here, I am really struggling to try to bring both of us to the level where I want us to be. But after I talked to the psychologist, I told my companion we needed to go for a walk and we just talked things out. I told her why I do things the way I do it and why I push myself to be a better missionary and she wasn't really getting it because for her she just wants to take it one thing at a time and doesn't like to challenge herself which is the hardest thing for me to deal with. Anyways later that day, we skipped gym to just talk and we were laying on our beds and I asked her if she would read the 4th missionary talk to me out loud. So we began reading it together (I've already read it but I wanted her to get something out of it too) so anyways she was reading it and I fell asleep. When I woke up she said with tears in her eyes "Hermana, I know why you challenge yourself and why you want to work hard" I said why and she said "I finished reading that talk and it all makes sense, I want to be the 4th missionary too" It was an answer to my prayers because she finally understood me and not only that but she found a desire to work a little harder! 

We got a "progressing investigator" this week, which means they aren't just our teacher pretending to be our investigator. Anyways our investigator is REAL! Most are just members pretending, but ours is 100% real and we had the best lesson EVER with him last night! the gift of tongues is real and I love leaving a lesson where you know that the spirit was teaching and not just you. After our lesson, we went to dinner and our investigator was eating at a table by himself so I told Hermana Golder we should go sit by him. We got to know him a ton better (plus he was able to speak to us in english a little bit because he is trying to learn english) but he started asking us some extremely deep questions and it was so cool to be able to testify to him and he said "you know I've read the book of mormon twice and I know alot about your church. I know I'll get baptized eventually, Im just not ready yet" so now our challenge is to figure out what is stopping him!  I can't wait to have experiences like that on the mission! Last night at our devotional, I had a very sacred experience that I wont go into detail about, but I KNOW that there is a family waiting for me in Argentina...maybe not to be baptized, but definitely in need of something I can give them. As scared as I am to go out there and be in a totally new environment and not knowing how to communicate, I know that I will love those people! I am holding nothing back, and I'm learning to work hard. I have never been so tired in my life, but its a different kind of tired. I've never been so stressed in my life, but its a different type of stress. I couldn't even put it into words if I tried. But I love it! I am astounded by the amount of revelation I receive each day! Its amazing what putting away worldly things does for the spirit! I dont even miss facebook, music, my cell phone because I have something so much better! I have learned to truly LISTEN and its cool how often I recognize the spirit speaking to me now! 

I want to end by telling you the advice that my branch presidents wife tells us EVERY single time she sees us. these are her exact words
1) Work harder than EVERYBODY else. No one else knows how to work as hard as you do.
2) Love like you've never loved before- learn to love. Everybody just wants to feel loved...isn't that crazy?!
3) Best part- SMILE!
I wish you could all hear her when she says it because she says it so powerfully and with tears in her eyes every single time. I Am working really hard on those 3 things right now! 

Anyways I'm out of time, but I just want to thank everyone for the love and support and letters! I wish I had the time to personally write everyone! But know that I love and pray for you always! 

-Hermana Stewart