Monday, June 3, 2013

Letter 98

June 3, 2013


FYI - JORDAN COMES HOME ON Wednesday, June 5th!!! He will be reporting on his mission on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. in the chapel at 865 W. 1000 N. in Oremwith refreshments after at Jordan's home.  We previously announced that he would speaking on the 23rd however due to some scheduling conflicts it was moved to JUNE 30TH @ 9 A.M.  We hope you will be able to come and see him!





Haha man It feels so weird to be writing this letter. I honestly didn’t think this would come so fast. I feel like after this I'm just going to go out at prepare myself for another vigorous week of serving the Lord, but sadly I know that isn't true. Mom it definitely is a BITTER-SWEET experience. But I guess I'll talk more about that later. I don’t want to break down in the library before I finish the darn letter.


I'm so excited to hear that Madi got accepted into the interior design program at Utah State! All that hard work paid off huh! Wow Madi, you're an inspiration to me and I hope that I can go after my dreams like you. Keep up the great work and keep working your behind off! Because when you get done with your homework you can help me with mine :) haha jk.


I'm glad that you all got a laugh out of that phone call from Elder Valdez haha man I am a ditz! (he forgot his pin number for his debit card – a week before he comes home!) I guess some things don’t change haha. I even asked Elder Valdez when he called me back if dad laughed when he asked him for it. He said no, but I know my family all too well... I'll be hearing it for the next two years! haha


Don't freak out Paige! haha just try to get as many shots and angles as you can and I'll edit it. Just as long as there is a lot of different footage it should be good. If you can, get some shots of the family all together and then me on the escalator and then just go for it, just keep rolling. hahaha I hope that helps. Probably not. It’s not that big of a deal.


I'm going to sell my bike for $60 bucks to Elder Rios, a Senior Missionary that works in the office. He asked if I would sell it to him and I said, "Sure!" So that’s that. I don’t think its really worth $100 mom. It’s been under my bum on South Texas roads for 2 years.... ewww..... I'm happy to get 60 bucks off of it. I'm gonna miss her though. She was a good little bike.


Now for what happened this week. Well like I told you in my last letter, last Monday I got sick. Then the next 2 days I was still recovering and Elder Nielson got sick haha. So we didn’t get too much work done for those first few days... definitely not something that you want to happen on the last week of your mission. After we were all better we started to get to work. We received a voicemail from our Zone Leaders on Thursday night with Transfers and it was nuts! Our entire district is getting whitewashed! We definitely were not expecting that. Everyone in our apartment will be gone! Elder Greenland and I are going home, Elder Miller is going to Laredo, and Elder Nielson is going to La Joya East in the Mission Zone (the area right next door). When the Velasquez family heard they were not very happy. They knew I was leaving but when we told them Elder Nielson was leaving they were really sad.


Speaking of the Velasquez family. Sis. Velasquez was the only member of her family confirmed yesterday. It’s kinda a long story so I can tell you when I see you :) The rest of the family hopefully will be confirmed the following Sunday.


There aren’t words to describe the love and gratefulness I feel for my Heavenly Father and for calling me to serve in the Texas McAllen Mission. I will forever be changed by these experiences I've had. Thank you all for your support and prayers. This work is true and it is lead by our Lord and Savior. He lives. I bear this testimony and will forever in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


-Elder Jordan Stewart

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Letter 97

May 28, 2013

Hey Everyone!

This week was nuts! Probably one of the craziest of my mission... better late than never right? But before I get into the details I better answer some of your questions.

I still don’t know where I'm going to sell my bike. Hopefully I can find a member that knows someone that would want to buy it because I don’t know if they will give me a good price for it at a pawn shop. I'll be asking around this next week.

Elder Nielson, Elder Miller and I are playing a prank on Elder Greenland. We took all of his ties except for one really ugly one and hid them. Now he has to do a scavenger hunt over the next 5 days until he can get them back. It’s super funny. It's super complicated... I don’t know how it escalated so far, but that’s what happens when you cant watch TV for 2 years, you have to find different ways to entertain yourself.

I got super sick yesterday! When I woke up I had some tummy problems and I had diarrhea. Then we went shopping and I just felt super weak. When we got home I decided to just lie in bed and before I knew it I had a fever! I threw up and was feeling super crappy and weak and so I just slept. I got dehydrated because we didn’t have any water in our apartment and then my lower back started to hurt. I thought I had a kidney infection or something! It was the pits! The other Elders went to go get some water and after I had drunk a few glasses of it I felt a little better. When I woke up this morning I just had a little headache and I was weak, but I haven’t felt like throwing up and my lower back isn’t achy anymore. Hopefully I'll be back to 100% by tonight. Definitely not something that you want to happen on your last week :( I think I'll be fine though.

Like I said this last week was nuts! The Velasquez family had their interviews at 2:00 and their wedding at 4:00 on Saturday. We were a little bit late to their interviews and so they started a little late. They all passed their interviews but they needed to go pick up the cake for after their wedding and they still needed to get dressed and it was like 3:45. They hurried and left to go get the cake while we waited for everyone to show up to the wedding. They didn’t come back until like5:00! Geez... the wedding was great though. I was smiling from ear to ear watching them make such a beautiful promise and I can’t wait ‘til they can make that promise eternal.

The next day was the baptism. It started at 6:30 so to prevent them from being late we told them to come at 6:00. They didn’t show up until like 6:50! Man this family is always late! Once they got there we had them all get ready. All of them were dressed in their baptismal clothes, all except Sis. Velasquez. Her suit didn’t fit. She was feeling really overwhelmed and stressed and after this little wardrobe malfunction she lost it a little bit. She said that she wasn’t going to get baptized that day. She wanted her family to do it but that it wasn’t happening for her. She went to her van and broke down crying. A member went to go help calm her down/convince her to come back while we told Bro. Velasquez to switch her suits because his was a size bigger. When the member successfully convinced her to come back we gave her the other suit, but she was still decided whether or not she would be baptized. Finally her daughter went into the bathroom and said, "Please Mom. I want you to go to Heaven with me." and that softened her heart. She put on the suit and she and her family were baptized. It was definitely one of the craziest most stressful baptisms I've ever been a part of! Not to mention that the font wasn’t holding water and Elder Nielson had to get in to put a heavy rock on the drain to make it hold during the first part of the service AND they spelled their names wrong on the programs. hahaha man... you gotta love the mission!

I love being a missionary more than anything in the world. Thanks for supporting me over these two years. I hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, May 20, 2013

Letter 96

FYI - JORDAN COMES HOME ON Wednesday, June 5th!!! He will be reporting on his mission on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. in the chapel at 865 W. 1000 N. in Oremwith refreshments after at Jordan's home.  We previously announced that he would speaking on the 23rd however due to some scheduling conflicts it was moved to JUNE 30TH @ 9 A.M.  

May 20, 2013


Hello Everyone!


This week was a great one as all weeks are when you're serving the Lord! But before I get into details we need to cover the business part of the letter.


First off I would like to wish a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beloved mom. How old are you again Mom? OLD! Not as old as Dad though. You look great Mom. The people I show your picture to all say you look beautiful! They just say Dad is big and tall haha. Hope you had a good one Mommy!


Next... I dont really care about my homecoming talk date. haha Either one of those times sounds great to me. Just do whatever is easiest for everyone else in the family. Either way I'll have to talk it doesn’t matter to me... but if people would like to come I think you should ask them hahaha. I'll be there :)


I'm glad that you liked that drawing that I sent you, but I would hold off on selling it to anyone haha I actually patterned it from a Greg Olsen painting that's in one of our pamphlets. I'm actually thinking about doing some artwork and entering into the Church’s art competition and see if I do well enough that they would buy some of my work. I think it would be cool to be a Church artist. Maybe?


Hey Elder Porter (Caleb's cousin) says hi and that he loves you... weird. Haha he's a really cool guy. I think he's going to Utah State when he goes back.


I don’t know if you need to send another package... I mean you can if you want. Like always I never know what to ask you for so I guess... whatever works haha. As long as it ships well! haha jk how about some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies?! I love those! If you can, put some plain oatmeal cookies in there too. Like Dad and I like. Thank you! Loves.


Anyway... This week is great. I love being missionary and seeing the joy the Gospel brings in the eyes of the people we teach. The Velasquez family is doing well.  This week we got their marriage license and this Saturday they'll be getting married. It’s really sad though. All week the Brother and Sister Velasquez were inviting their families to the wedding and none of them wanted to go! Its so sad to see how pride can have such a strong hold on a person's heart that they can refuse to understand and hurt the people they care the most about. They were able to get his brother to come though and they're excited about that. Elder Nielson and I are super excited for them too. I'm always telling them how much I love them and how much God loves them. They really appreciate it. This week we are just working on getting them ready for their interview and especially help their kids.


We were also able to bring another family to church that a member referred us too who are SUPER nice and they came to a baptism as well. GREAT potential!


Thanks for everything! Unfortunately that’s all I have time for! I love you and hope you all have a great week!     -Elder Jordan Stewart


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Letter 95

May 13, 2013


Hello Family!


Man it feels like just yesterday I was talking with you... OH YEAH! CAUSE IT WAS! haha I hope you all enjoyed watching those family videos after you got off the phone with me. I love watching videos of our family together. I know there is nothing else as important as family. It is central in Gods plan. He didn't send us here alone but He sent us to families. I am so blessed to have been sent to all of you and we are all blessed to have the knowledge that because of the covenants we have made we can be together forever as we are faithful. You are all perfect for me and I love you all so much.


I wanted to write a special message to my Mother as it was Mother's Day yesterday. I don't feel like I really had much of a chance to express fully my gratitude and love on the phone. I tribute all that I am and all that I have come to be to the fact that I have been raised by such amazing parents, and mom you though "imperfect" are perfect for me. I am so grateful for your example of kindness and care through out the years. I know that sometimes you didn’t let me have the "freedom" that other kid's parents did, but I always knew and understood the reason: you love me. I want to let you know that I love you too. You've taught me how to worry about other people and have sincerity in what I do. You are an example of charity. I'm glad you recognize your faults because it teaches me to recognize mine. I don’t care if you aren’t the perfect mother because like I said you are perfect for me. I will always be proud to be called the son of Kimberly Ann Thorpe Stewart. I love you Mom.



Anyway... now that I'm tearing up in the Library... This week was really great. We had 6 people at Church yesterday! What’s better than 1 family at church?... 2 FAMILIES AT CHURCH WOOOOO! (Elder Peterson taught me that one ;) ) Yeah the Velasquez family came to church and the Berrones family came. It was quite a surprise too. They were a former from a few months ago that we decided to stop by and invite to church. They said that they would like to but weren’t sure because the mom always has to work on Sundays. Come Sunday and after Sacrament I get up and see them sitting in the back! Turns out she got FIRED! What a blessing! hahahaha! She can come to church now! We're going to see themtonight.


Hopefully this week we can get the Valasquez family married and they can be baptized soon! WE'RE HAVING A WEDDING! WOOO!


Anyway… I'm just about up for time. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!


-Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, May 6, 2013

Letter 94

FYI - JORDAN COMES HOME ON Wednesday, June 5th!!! He will be reporting on his mission on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. in the chapel at 865 W. 1000 N. in Orem with refreshments after at Jordan's home.

May 6, 2013

Hola todos mis queridos!

Ojala que todos esten bien y que esten difrutando la semana. Aqui en la hermosa clima de tejas estamos experimentado milagros! Elder Nielson and I are working hard here trying to find the elect and the Lord is blessing us; but more of that after I answer some questions.

First. Mom you and Dad are most definitely boring. hahaha JK jk... I love you both very much. Tell Madi to quit being lame and be more like you two. That means no staying up late! Unless it’s to watch the news in your room and after that reruns of Cold Case! HAHA :P

My apartment is pretty nice. No CUCARACHAS! That’s a plus! Its a four man apartment. Elder Nielson and I and then Elder Greenland (from my MTC group) and his greenie Elder Miller. We all get a long great have some pretty fun times. I drew cartoon versions of everyone in my apartment and they’re pretty funny. I drew myself smiling and waving because that’s what I'm always doing! Even if the people I wave at don’t wave back.... haha Sometimes its because I just wave at awkward times.

I haven’t really thought about selling my bike yet. Elder Greenland was going to sell his bike too and so I think I'll sell mine with him. I'll be sure to let them know about the things I've done to it and get a good price.

I think its pretty crazy that Rick is coming home the same day as me (the day after actually)! We've been emailing each other and he told me that and I was like WHY? hmmm... That should be fun though. I can be a weird return missionary with him! We'll be companions! WOO WOOOP! It’s just another transfer Elder Doxey! haha jk we're not that weird right?.... :(

The work here is going really well. Like I told you last week we were able to find a family of 4, the Velasquez family, and they are progressing really well. We have high hopes for them. This week we taught them the requirements for baptism and gave them a Baptismal Checklist. We also taught them in that lesson about the Holy Ghost and how they could receive an answer through prayer. We invited the mom and the dad to each offer a prayer and ask God if they should be baptized. After each of their prayers we paused and listened to the Spirit. A profound feeling of peace was felt and it was undeniable that God had answered their prayers. Bro Velasquez felt the Spirit really strongly and even cried. Of course Elder Stewart cried too.... haha what else is new. The next lesson we had a tour of the Church and a lesson on the Sabbath Day. They were super committed to church but when Sunday rolled around they weren’t at the capilla (chapel) on time! We called them and called them and finally the mom answered. She was all ready and dressed with her kids but Bro Velasquez had left with the car earlier that morning and still hadn’t returned! Sis Velasquez was super upset as were we. It was a real disappointment for all of us. So we're going to have a serious talk with Bro Velasquez. What's good is that he has already received an answer from God that this is something he needs to do and we can use that to motivate him and help him understand the gravity of what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I love that family though. I know they'll still get baptized and this is just a little hiccup.

We also had someone else at church this week named Maria who we’re going to follow up with today. She is a lady probably in her 50s that takes care of her kids and grandkids. A member took her to church and from what it looked like she really liked it. We'll see where that goes. She has a date on the 2nd of June.

Other that that Elder Nielson and I are still working to find the elect here in the beautiful area of La Homa! Everything is going great here and I'm super excited for what lies ahead!

I love you all and hope you have a great week! Remember to SMILE!

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, April 29, 2013

Letter 93

April 29, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was pretty good! I love it here in my new Zone and Area. My companion's name is Elder Nielson. He's from Boise, ID and he is a big ol’ nerd just like me! haha we get a long great! He reminds me of a young Conan O'Brian haha except he has blond hair. He's been out for like 19 months. I'm not a District Leader anymore. Just a regular ol' missionary. In ways I'm kind of sad that I don’t get to work as closely with my district but I'm also grateful I don’t have to do follow-ups on Wednesday. Friday, and Sunday!

I did not get a chance to sell my bike before I left :( I'm going to try to sell it another way though. Maybe I'll pawn it. I still have all of the gift cards that Grandma sent me for Christmas and my birthday... so I'll have like $125 right there when I get home. I'm really good at saving :)

Elder Nielson and I are basically just trying to build up our teaching pool this week. When I got here we weren’t really working with anyone and no one was really progressing towards baptism, but that is all going to change! I have some major goals to start working with our members, finding solid people, and obviously, BAPTIZING! Even if I'm not here to see it all happen I definitely want to leave this area on fire.

We were able to find a few investigators this week but the ones that I'm most excited for is the Velazquez family. We just contacted them as they were walking into their house and asked if we could sit down. Sis.Velazquez is super nice and said yes. We decided to do a fun lesson on baptism for their 12 year old girl called the Soap and Pepper lesson.

For all of you that don’t know about this lesson you need 2 bowls of water, a toothpick, pepper, and soap. You put a bunch of pepper into one of the bowls of water and that represents the world (pepper=sin), then you take the toothpick, which represents us, and take a little walk in the peppery water. You then get dirty with all the sinful pepper! So, you need to be BAPTIZED! by immersion of course. Dump the little toothpick in the other bowl of water and get him all clean. Then you give him the Holy Ghost (put soap on it) and put him back in the "world" and see what happens! Sins will slide right off ya!

Anyway... this family that we taught wasn’t very well off and didn’t have toothpicks or pepper or regular soap. So for the first time in my mission I used a stick I found on the ground, Seasoning Salt, and Laundry Detergent! haha it worked alright... but they got the idea. They also accepted BDs! They didn’t come to church :( so we'll be helping them with that this week.

Other than that there wasn’t very much else that happened. Oh... you'll have to ask me about what happened the first day of church here when we talk on Mother's Day! That’s a good story... SUPER AWKWARD. Elder Nielson and I almost died of embarrassment!

I cant express with words how much I love all of you. I am so grateful for your love and support and for always encouraging me and helping me throughout my life. Mom and Dad you are such great examples to me and have helped me in every aspect of my life as well as my great brothers and little sister. I love you all and you are some of my dearest friends. Not to mention my extended family and friends. I love you all. Thank you Aunt Paige for your letters and the tie you sent me around last Christmas. I'm sorry I forgot to tell you thanks before now. You're awesome! Grandpa Garner I love you and your example to me and the rest of our family. You are a wonderful Patriarch and your Heavenly Father is so proud of you and your children. I am so full of gratitude and love for all of you and I just want you all to know how blessed I am to be a part of your lives now and, because of this beautiful gospel, in the eternities. Life is wonderful!

I hope you all have a great week and remember to SMILE! :D

Elder Jordan Stewart

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Letter 92

April 22, 2013

Hello mis Queridos!

I don’t remember anything about Dad being nervous the first time he was called to be a Bishop. I thought he was super confident and did a great job! I sure do love my dad and I'm so grateful for the wonderful example of a Priesthood Holder he is. Thanks for teaching me through your amazing example Dad! I can't wait ‘til I can say all of these things to your face. Well... I think I can wait. I am in no position to be wishing away any time! It sounds like you all have been keeping yourselves busy though! I'm glad! I don’t really like it when there is nothing to do or when we get thrown off our schedule... I'm going to need your help to keep me busy in a couple months so I don’t loose my mind!!

I've been really blessed with such awesome friends! I'm so grateful for their examples to me and I love reading about their mission experiences. Richie and Tyson Erdman both have written me emails and its really good to hear from them and see how they are doing. I sent an email to Elder Brown but still haven’t gotten a response. Ni modo... supongo que no somos amigos ahora.... jaja chiste Elder! Tu sabes que te amo! Tambien todos ustedes otros Elderes de Israel! Sigan trabajando en la obra del Dios mas Alto!

Our investigators are doing well. We were able to find a few investigators this week as well as have some lessons with Anahli. She came to church yesterday and loved it and is looking really good to hit her baptismal date. Her brother on the other hand was in San Antonio for the whole weekend and then some and we still haven’t gotten a chance to sit down with him. He worked late last night and wasn’t able to come to church…anyway... we'll see what we can do with him. We also found a really awesome lady named Luisa and her son Roberto (11). We taught them Wednesday and then they came to a baptismal service of a member's little girl on Friday. They also didn’t come to church >:( But we'll make sure they come next Sunday.

The Transfer Fairy has come again and he brought noticias that Elder Stewart........ will be............ getting TRUNKY TRANSFERED!! To La Homa! haha! My new companions name is Elder Nielson or Nelson... I forgot and he's been out for quite some time He came out on my third transfer. Elder Ayers, my good bud from the MTC, will be moving to one of my favorite districts in the whole mission: the Weslaco district! I'm super stoked for him! I'm sad to say I'll be leaving the beautiful Zone of Brownsville. I've made a lot of great friends out here and I'm going to miss them a lot.. but I'm super stoked to be moving to the Hidalgo Zone! I'll have hit 7 of the 9 Zones in the mission by the time I'm done! Oh and I'll be in a car! This last week we are setting baptismal dates for the 26th of May so... this is the last week that I have to find someone that I can baptize! The pressure is on! Elder Nielson and I will do WORK! I'm going to give it 120% ‘til the end!

I was talking to Elder Ayers today and I told him that over my mission I learned 3 Basics things that a missionary needs to do to be successful: 1. Be Prepared- study, obedience, diligence 2. Invite the Spirit- live worthy, fast and pray 3. BE HAPPY- love every minute, serve others, laugh, SMILE. If your not doing one of these three steps its going to be very very hard to be successful not only in missionary work but in all aspects of our lives. We need to live everyday the way a missionary would live. I'm going to try and follow these steps for the rest of my life and I invite you all to do the same. I know the Lord will bless you as you do.

I hope you all have a great week this week and remember how much God loves you!
-Elder Jordan Stewart