Friday, October 10, 2014

August 13, 2014

Wow! I honestly dont even know where to start with this email. It has been quite the this might be all over the place. So I'll start off with some of the funny/good times this week. Last p-day after I emailed, we went to Jamba juice and great harvest for our lunch and I ran into a girl from brigham city (the one that helped me by all my clothes for my mission) anyways that was so fun to see a familiar face. One of the hardest things for me has been to not have any familiar faces around here! All the other sisters in my district have friends all over the place and I literally dont know anyone! I guess thats what I get for going when I'm 21 ;) I love meeting new people, but I'm really missing family and friends from back home and I never thought I would experience that especially since its only the second week. But I did have a tender mercy from the lord on sunday....I was getting really homesick at church because for some reason when I'm in sacrament meeting I just wanna be with my family (i was like that at college too) anyways I said to myself "man I really wish I could be home and have my mom make a roast and rolls for sunday dinner. Well guess what was for lunch right after church? ROAST! and it was actually good! I kind of cried when I saw that was what was for dinner because I felt like it was a little blessing for me (sounds dumb I know haha).
Sunday is my favorite day of the week. I always have to tell myself...just make it to sunday! Although its jammed packed with meetings, the spirit is the strongest I have EVER felt it! and its so good! For relief society we got to listen to music and the spoken word and then Eliza Rose the relief society president spoke to all the sister missionaries (side note- did you know that I am 1 of 20,000 sister missionaries serving right now? thats more than there was sister members after the pioneers crossed the planes!) She told a story about a rock climber (thought you boys would enjoy this) So there was this rock climber who fell and right before he hit the ground, his be-layer (is that what they are called? haha) outstretched his arms to save the rock climbers life. Anyways the point of the story is if you were that rock climber, would you give him a used rope for christmas? No you would remember him, you would always remember him. She related that to how jesus christ outstretched his arms on the cross and suffered for us so that we can live. How do we repay him? We remember him, we always remember him....I loved that story! Before relief society started, we sang "As sisters in Zion" except it was a new version! Janice kapp perry wrote new lyrics for sister missionaries! I'm not joking I was a MESS singing it! the spirit was extremely strong! In fact, if possible mom could you send me the lyrics to that song?! I love being apart of this work, even though its extremely hard, when you feel the spirit like that it makes it so worth it. I set a goal for myself to read the book of mormon cover to cover before I leave the MTC...that seems like it would be easy because we study the scriptures all day right? well its almost impossible to find time to read the scriptures just for yourself, I'm always studying them for our lessons and what not. So its kind of a challenge for me but I'm loving it! I've never read the book of mormon in 6 weeks so this is a fun goal for me! I'm almost half way done, so I actually might could read it twice haha. I LOVE the book of mormon! I have come to realize this week that there is an answer to every single question in that book! No joke. I found some scriptures this week that helped my companion with a VERY personal situation that I didn't think would be able to be answered by the scriptures, but I found one! Its so cool!  
Also, I think heavenly father is trying to teach me some serious lessons because I have been noticing the word "charity" sooo much in the bible and book of mormon. For example, I found this scripture in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 that talks about how even though you speak with tongues and have the gift of prophecy and understanding all mysteries and all knowledge, and have all faith, feed the poor, and even give your body to be burned, if you dont have charity YOU ARE NOTHING! That hits hard! Its something that I am trying so hard to gain and to learn about because I never realized how stressed it is in the scriptures. One of the trials this week was our zone leaders being disrespectful and rude to us sisters and the new district the night we went to go meet them. I have been having a really hard time respecting them as my zone leaders because they are so rude and just not examples of how leaders should be, but I found that scripture during our zone meeting and I realized I need to be better at showing others love even when it is not returned. And so after that meeting, me and hermana allen the other sister training leader decided we would be nicer to them and guess what? They actually like us now! I wouldn't say they are any more mature, or that they really go out of their way to be nice and respect us, but something in them changed a little (maybe its because president doman had a talk with them but either way they have changed). Luckily the district in our zone that we have been having a hard time with is leaving on monday (except there is an elder I'm a little sad to see go ;) dont worry I'm just "taking notes" like my president told me to! haha) I realized there is a reason my badge goes on my left side- it reminds me to lock my heart and the hormones bounce off my name tag haha 

Another cool scripture I found was in 1 Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when i became a man, I put away childish things" What a cool scripture! I thought about it this way...sometimes little children are demanding and they can only think about themselves, thats how they are supposed to be. And they dont understand how to put themselves in other peoples shoes and thought how applicable that is to me! I changed the scripture to Before I was a missionary, I spake as a little girl, I understood as a little girl, I thought as a little girl, but when I became a missionary, I put away childish things. I just know that its time for me to make some serious changes. Its so true that all your weaknesses come out on your mission! I am seeing some serious weaknesses in myself this past week. And I know its time to work on those things so I can become a better missionary. One of those things is charity. 

So I know I already said this, but I absolutely LOVE my branch president. I'm not joking, hes going to be an apostle one day I swear it haha. Anyways In one of our zone meetings on sunday, he was talking and testifying to us about how we have ministering angels on the other side of the veil and by ministering he means people who are related to us and know us. I completely lost it, because I felt grandma stewart there in that room, it was amazing. I know that what he said is true. There are people on the other side of the veil helping missionaries, and I've definately felt that this week. 

One day in the middle of class, my teacher told us to get up and go run around the campus. We were all so confused and the sisters were like "in our skirts?!" and he said yes. So I picked the wrong day to wear my uncomfortable shoes and my pencil type skirt! Imagine that! He made us run around all the buildings and then when we got back he said "now we are going to do wall sits for 3 minutes" oh my heck! I was dying! We were all so confused, and then after our wall sits he said "ok now planks for 2 minutes" haha It was the craziest thing ever. But while I was struggling to stay alive, the thought came to me that this is how the mission is going to be, not only physically but emotionally and mentally draining as well. but I can't give up. 

So on that note, I'll talk about a few struggling that I've experienced this week. Things with my companion have gotten worse. She is struggling more than I've seen any missionary struggle here. When we get to class she just completely shuts off and she refuses to speak spanish which is making it IMPOSSIBLE for me to learn! I feel so behind because we miss class every day to go up to main campus to talk to a counselor and we have missed 2 lessons as well. My stress level goes up so much when we miss things because you all know me...I hate missing things and getting behind. But Heavenly Father wants me to learn something and so I'm trying my hardest to be patient. Its hard to have a companion who literally cant have self motivation! I have to take everyone on me and do the work of 2 because shes struggling so bad. I haven't slept in a week because I'm up every night with her trying to help her. The other night she just completely lost it and was hysterically crying and I sat outside with her for HOURS just trying to calm her down and finally I suggested we call the branch president. So I called him at 11 at night and of course he didn't answer so I left him a voicemail and then called the 1st couselor and he answered and said he was in st george but he and his wife were able to talk to her on the phone and help her calm down a little. President Doman came and talked to her the next day and was with her for 3 hours! Monday, I fasted all day for her and for us as a companionship. I'm trying everything in my power to help her out and to forget about myself because I realize this isn't about me and its not even about the language or learning preach my gospel perfectly. Its about people. One of the hardest things for me is companionship inventory...I am the one who always brings it up. Talk about uncomfortable. Its hard to tell someone in a nice way what "we" can improve on. but yesterday i finally just told my companion yesterday "listen we have to work harder than any other missionaries here... and we HAVE to start speaking spanish. And from now on you are in charge of our companion study so its all up to you. We are going to pray in spanish and bear our testimonies in spanish, and I'm going to challenge you because you need it" So we will see how that goes. I decided I dont like being a leader sometimes haha. 
We had the WORST lesson I think any missionary has ever had yesterday. I was extremely frustrated afterwards that I couldn't even talk about it. I cried during the entire devotional last night because I was so frustrated. I basically talked the whole time, but the lesson was all over the place and we weren't prepared and our investigator wouldn't commit to anything. I dont even like thinking about it now it was that bad! So yesterday was a really tough day for me, and tonight we have a harder lesson that I'm stressing pretty bad about it. So say some prayers for me around 6 tonight please :) 

Well I'm out of time, but I want you all to know I love you and think about you every single day! Thank you for the love and support and letters, I dont think people realize how special letters are to missionaries! Its all we have to look forward to besides food ;) I hope that everything back at home is good! happy birthday to dallin I was thinking about you all day on monday! and hope you boys are having so much fun on your backpacking trip! hopefully you take pictures! 

Hermana Stewart

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