March 23, 2015
Learn what the lord expects of you...
This week was another fast one! but the weeks just keep getting better and better in the mission and Im learning more and more every single day! I am learning what the lord expects of me, Hermana Stewart. I have made a plan to do it, and I am acting on my plan with diligence. The lord really expects alot from his missionaries, and sometimes I really feel like I fall short of my potential as one of his missionaries. Its one of the hardest things I have had to face here out on my mission...all of my many weaknesses. I have truly had to learn to overcome the natural woman and give myself up to the Lord. Everyday I learn more and more of who he wants me to come through the small experiences he gives me. He is truly molding me into the woman he needs and wants me to be. Im being put through one hot refiners fire ;) But I pray every single day that I can become that person that he needs me to be.
This week I can really see the Lords hand in our missionary work. The spirit was there every single day guiding us to where we needed to be when we needed to be there. I can see how God works mighty miracles through small and simple things. For example, one of our investigators really wasnt progressing and at the end of the lesson, I felt the need to ask her if she knew of someone who could benefit from our message of the restored gospel, and at first she said no. But I asked her again, and she ended up giving us 4 references! Its interesting how we find the golden investigators through those who arent quite ready to hear and accept the gospel. After the lesson, we decided to contact the references, and one of them turned out to be really interesting. First of all, he came out with a shirt with a really grusome picture of christ. It was super disturbing. Well he was super friendly but we couldnt enter his house because there wasnt a woman in the house, so we set an appointment to go back the following day. So the next day we show up and he had invited his daughter to visit with us as well. We were all excited and we sang a hymn and then I asked if we could start with a prayer and thats where it all went downhill. He said "I will say the prayer because WOMAN shouldnt pray" umm.....ok? haha so he stands up and slams his hands down on the table and starts to pray. Then afterwards, we asked him if he had read the pamphlet we had left and he said he had and believed everything it said up until the part about Joseph Smith. Then him and his daughter started attacking us like crazy and saying that it was nothing but a fictional story and that anyone could say they have seen Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It literally broke my heart. But the worse part was I bore my testimony to them of the things I know to be true and then said that there is a way from them to know for themselves if these things are true and I handed them the book of mormon and explained it to them. And they said they didnt want to read it! They didnt even want to know for themselves if what we are teaching is true. It broke my heart and we left that appointment a little frustrated, but as always the lord finds ways to strengthen my testimony. If I dont go home with a sure testimony of the restoration and Joseph smith and the book of mormon, I did something wrong ;)
So we were guided by the spirit this week to find new investigators of gold! We first found a woman named Dora, her son who is 16 is a member and when we contacted her she started to cry and said that she has been wanted to talk to the missionaries for a long time but didnt know how to find us. She accepted to be baptized the first lesson. Shes great! We were also guided to find a family of 10!!!! One day we recieved a reference without an address so we were walking around trying to find this person and we were about to just give up and count it as contacted, but we both felt like we should walk a little bit more to ask a lady that was outside her house. It didnt turn out to be out reference, but this lady let us in to teach her and her 9 kids! Her husband is currently in prison for false charges and her family is going through a really hard time...so obviously she is in need of our message! She also accepted to be baptized in that lesson! we are going to baptize a whole family! well...my companion will because I probably will be transfered in 2 weeks!
This weekend we had a real trial of our faith because it was Stake conference in Salta, which is an hour away. And to have investigators who have money and make the sacrifice to go to salta was a huge challenge! Fabiana, our amazing investigator, could have been baptized this week, but wasnt able to make it to stake conference which means we have to wait one more sunday before she can get baptized. So we are praying our hearts out that she comes this week so that she can be baptized our last saturday of this transfer. Speaking of stake conference, it was amazing! We were able to go to Salta saturday night for the adult session and there was one of the 70 there and it was great! its amazing to see how the church is the same even in Argentina. And to see so many faithful members. I just loved it! We ended up staying the night with the hermanas in salta and then sunday morning went to stake conference. We only had 1 investigator that showed up, but that was a pure miracle in and of itself! The spirit was really strong, and we got to listen to our mission president and his wife speak thats always a treat as missionaries!
Lets see...other little tender miracles. One day we felt like we should go visit Roberto, our other investigator that is soo ready to be baptized but we are waiting for permission from his mom. We showed up and he was super quite and not normal. I asked him what happened and he didnt want to say anything. Then he asked us what will happen after this life, and we asked him why and said that his friend had died that morning. We were able to use that experience to testify of the plan of salvation. It turned out to be a really spiritual lesson. We also had another experience that same day when we were tired and exhausted and it was time to head back home, but we felt like we needed to stop by the relief society presidents house. So we show up and shes outside by herself. She said that everything was going wrong with her family and she had left to go outside and pray and then she opened her eyes and we showed up! talk about an answer to her prayers. I love being the lords instrument! We were able to sing a hymn and share a chapter in the Book of mormon that was exactly what she needed. I love that sometimes we get to see and know that we are answering prayers. And I know that there are times when we cant see, but it is happening.
I like to think of my missionary work as an apple cut in half. We can count how many seeds there are in the apple, but we will never know how many apples come from the seeds!
I just love being a missionary! its amazing! I have never been so happy in my life! I never want it to end! I feel so blessed to be able to witness miracles every day and be apart of this great work!
I am also super proud that I made it through my first 10 month summer! thats right its been a straight 10 months of summer for me! but it is FINALLY fall here! and its absolutely gorgeous here....yesterday it finally got cold! to the point where we had to put on all our winter stuff! I am a happy missionary! no more sweating! Hermana Jara and I are just living it up together! I love being her companion! we have soo much fun together and now to mention, we cook up a storm! This week we made banana bread for the relief society activity and everyone loved it! We get along so well. The other hermanas that we live with dont get along at all, they are constantly fighting, so I feel super blessed to be with Hermana Jara. We are tearing it up out here! Yesterday we gave our numbers to our District leader and he told us we are learning the zone in lessons taught! That made us feel pretty happy! Diligence really pays off I am learning. If we really want to reach our goals, we just have to be obedient and pray for the strength of the Lord to help us get there!
well I have to go, I love you all!