Friday, October 10, 2014

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!

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