Sunday, January 25, 2015

Dec 8, 2014


Dec 1, 2014
Sometimes the trials are the blessings
you wouldnt believe the week that i had! Oh my! I am just loving all these adventures haha. let me just say that I am so excited to be done with my 12 week training and i have noticed a huge growth in the language this past week! I can finally understand almost everything and am starting to feel more confident in myself.
So I GOT TRANSFERED!!! This was a HUGE surprise. I was not expecting it at all. In fact I planned a surprise party for my companion with the members because i was expecting her to leave and me to stay with a new companion. Last night we were expecting to get a call around 6 or 7 from the elders and no one called us so we thought my companion was going to stay there for another transfer. But at 930 our leader called us and said that hermana bustamante was going to jujuy, and then all the sudden he said "and hermana stewart is going to guemes" I was in shock because I didnt have time to say goodbye to anyone and we only had 1 hour to pack our bags and leave. They took out the hermanas and are putting elders in our area because the branch needs priesthood.  Its interesting to me how I was so sad to leave and to say goodbye to my companion because I will admit i was in a tough area and thought i would want to leave, but I am really sad. And I have learned that sometimes the trials are the blessings. when we look back on the difficult times those and can see how much we have grown is when we realize how blessed we were. Anyways so I am now in Guemes which is really close to Salta and my companion is Hermana Despain she is from Colorado. I am living with 4 hermanas and I am really excited! I feel like I am getting out of the dark tunnel and ready to work with all my heart might mind and strength. Those first 3 months in the mission field were seriously the hardest months of my life, but I am so grateful for all the things I learned and I feel so much stronger now! I am ready to see miracles here in Guemes! I am hungry for baptisms! haha
So this past week we went to salta TWICE! Tuesday we went to finish my visa papers and it was fun because i was with some of the missionaries that I was with in the MTC all day and it was so good to see them and see the progress that we have all made. And to know that I am not the only missionary that has struggled. It was a tender mercy to be able to talk to them. We got back last wednesday night, and then friday went back because of my headaches, the presidents wife wanted me to get some tests done to make sure nothing was wrong. So we got to salta at midnight friday night and went straight to the hospital and it was an adventure! first of all, my companion had to wait outside alone, and I was with hermana chaparro all night! Now before you all worry I am fine! But it was awesome because hermana chaparro and I taught one of the night guards at the hospital! Who would have thought id be teaching with the presidents wife! it was a little intimidating, but the guy we were teaching had so many questions and was so interested! It was a neat experience to learn from hermana Chaparro as well. Well after my CT scan, I had to wait all alone in the hall with all the emergecy patients and it was like a scary movie! There was blood and everything. The hospitals are nothing like in the US haha. all the patients are put on beds in the hall for everyone to see. It was an adventure for sure! My tests all turned out to be ok so no need to worry! Afterwards we went to the presidents house and ate lunch by his pool haha their house is huge!
So wanna know something crazy I found out this week? You have to PAY to use the bathrooms here! yup! i had to pay 2 pesos to use the bathroom. You pay and the lady hands you toilet paper...well its more like sandpaper but yeah how crazy is that? Oh and its true that we cant flush toilet paper down the toilet you have to put in the garbage can next to the toilet. how great right? everything is so different here i love it haha.
So last night my companion left before me and I was left with elders until 2 in the morning and we all got on the bus together. It was the first time i was alone with elders and I felt so weird! I sat next to this elder that had the worst gas in the world! so that was a fun bus ride all night long. i didnt sleep and I am so tired! So when we got to guemes, I was the only one getting off and I had no idea what to do! So I get off the bus and get all my luggage and I am expecting my companion to be there to greet me. Well first of all, one of my contacts fell out and I couldnt see a thing! and I am all alone. there was not anyone there to meet me! I waited for 2 and a half hours and had no idea what to do. I finally walked to find a telephone to call the APs. Finally my companion showed up! Apparently they went to Salta to get me but I was here waiting. haha so yeah i was alone alot this week which is really weird as a missionary! But now, everything is all good and im safe and healthy and ready to get to know my new area!
love you all with all my heart!
hermana stewart

love you all with all my heart!
hermana stewart
Oct 19, 2014

buenos días a todos!

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