Wednesday, December 21, 2011

His new address

His new address is:
5757 S. Staples Street #3406
Corpus Christi, TX  78413

Letter 27

December 19, 2011

Corpus Christi is definitely different than Laredo! There are SO many white people here... I feel weird. I miss the "Mexican" culture. But Corpus is cool. I think I'll like it here. My area is HUGE though... and guess what? I’m still on a bike! Darn Elder Vance lied to me and said I would be in a car... but no.... I’m on a bike in an area that’s like 8 miles long. I'll be so ripped at the end of these two years. In a way it’s good because I find that I’m eating a lot more here in Corpus. We've already had like 3 meal appointments. Hopefully I won’t get fat... I’m still sitting at my regular 160 lbs.

I saw Elder Peterson down in McAllen and I snuck up behind him and put my hands over his eyes. He started to freak out, "No way ELDER STEWART!!" hahaha we tenderly embraced and he asked me where I was going. I said,"Corpus Christi! What about you?" then he said,"IM GOIN TO CORPUS CHRISTI TOO!" We embraced again. I couldn’t believe it! What a blessing. The whole ride up to Corpus we talked.... I felt like I was breaking a rule talking with my friend. He's not in my district but I'll still see him on P-days I think. I’m planning on playing basketball with him today! It’s so crazy!!

Elder Wilde and I are getting along great. We're two peas in a pod. I really expect great things out of our companionship. Tomorrow we are teaching in a community center at an apartment complex. There should be a good show of people. I can’t even imagine teaching 20 people at the same time! It’s pretty awesome. Hopefully we don’t blow it! We're teaching about prophets and how God has always given us a prophet to lead and guide us. I think it’s going to be really good. Wish us luck!

I’m planning on taking my picture with Santa today... hopefully. Everybody that I talk to about it thinks that it’s weird that we do that every year... I tell them that it’s a tradition that's been going on for the last 25 years... but they still don’t seem to care. Hopefully it will all work out and I can get you the picture.

Nope I haven’t gotten my packages yet. But the apartment complex that we are in is cool and holds them for us. So no need to worry about theives.

I'll be calling home at 1:00 on Sunday Utah time. So just be waiting for that! I can’t wait to talk to you!

I love you all and I'll talk to you soon! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

-Elder Stewart

Letter 26

December 12, 2011

Hola mis queridos amigos y mi amoroso familia,

Deborah's baptism was amazing! The BEST experience I've ever had on my mission. She asked me to do the ordinance because I had never baptized anyone before. I was honored. I was really nervous to do it in Spanish.... mostly just because I thought I would forget her name. But I didn’t and everything went smoothly. Except I forgot to bring an extra shirt and I had to wear my wet one for the rest of the program afterwards... But it was ok. I’m so glad that I could leave Laredo with a baptism. Speaking of leaving Laredo......

Transfers......................................................ELDER STEWART is going to..........................................CORPUS CHRISTI! I leave tomorrow morning! I’m so dang nervous to be leaving my greenie area. I've made SO many awesome friends down here, but I know that the Lord needs me in Corpus right now. I’m SUPER stoked though. Corpus has a bunch of white people there..... so that’s going to be weird. Oh and black people too. And I guess perverts in some areas.... I can’t wait!! I'm gonna have some of Sis. Johnsons homemade Candy Apple Yams... straight from the Underground Railroad! (said in a black lady/Magic Johnson's voice) hahaha. Really though I'm excited. My new companion's name is Elder Wilde, and from what I've heard he’s pretty cool.  We'll do great! I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me in Corpus!
Also a little miracle. Since Laredo is only 3 hours from Corpus I would usually have to leave straight from here. BUT I guess it would be easier for some people if I went down to McAllen and then to Corpus! So I'll probably get to see Elder Peterson after all! WOO!

I have not found the coat... and I don’t know what to do.... I can just buy a coat down here at the mall though... You don’t need to send me one. That’s a waste of postage. Send me a puppy instead.

Yeah, Elder Hunt and I had a problem with Bed Bugs one time... but it’s taken care of. We had to strip our sheets off our beds and then spray ‘em with some crazy chemical stuff. No worries.. that was like a month or two ago. Haha Elder Hunt and I have gotten to be really great friends. We do some pretty crazy stuff together... It has been raining pretty hard the last few days and Elder Hunt and I went on exchanges together. We were so wet that no one would let us in, so we just drove through a bunch of puddles on our bikes! It was really cold! hahaha. Then we went to the Illescas's house and AB made us some Raman and we ate it in his garage on an ironing board. It was so funny. We kept saying "HOOOOLLLLD MEEEEEE!" haha Matt Decker....  Elder Hunt and I are definitely going to hang out after the mission.
My bike is working ship shape. I’m gonna be in a car area in Corpus though so I wont be riding it as much now. Of course the lights flash.....

I have not had the chance to take a picture with Santa yet BUT don’t worry I will! I wont ruin the tradition! Hopefully today I can do it! I have a nice Stewart Plaid bowtie I can wear....

Yeah Austin sent me an email about that part of my setting apart. I loved it. I had forgotten that he said that about me and my mission and I’m really glad that Austin remembered. Ever since he sent me that email I've been doing my best to smile at everyone that I can. Not the cheesy ones... the good ones haha. You never know what kind of a difference you can make on someone with such a simple act. Like it says in Alma 37 " small and simple means are great things brought to pass..."
One year someone asked President Monson what he wanted for his birthday. He said he would like for everyone around the world to show an act of kindness to someone else. At this Christmas season, the time when we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, let us give Him the same gift. Show an act of kindness to someone in need. This is how by small and simple means are great things brought to pass. So smile. Say hello. Tell someone you love them. If we would all do this the world would be a better place; full of love for the Savior and for each other. "By this shall men know ye are my desciples, If ye have love one to another."

I love you.

-Elder Stewart

Letter 25

December 5, 2011

Hey Everyone!
It is I, Elder Stewart. 6 months of my mission behind me and another beautiful year and a half left! Its so crazy how fast the time is going…and it’s just going to keep going faster and faster so I better make it count right? Yes.

Ok... lets take care of this jacket situation. The "little blue jacket" that I was talking about is my navy zip-up hoodie that I got at Old Navy (I love Old Navy). And no I did not receive this "overcoat" that you’re talking about... so... I’m thinking it’s lost. Maybe I’ll find it someday. But I’ve been staying pretty warm. There really isn’t a need to send me clothes... I can just buy them here if I need to. I’m really sorry to make you worry this week. haha everyone was waiting for me to finish last week (imagine that) and that’s why I had to leave so fast.

Elder Vance heard through the grapevine that he was going to be training again, so I looks like I'm going to be getting Transferred this next week... this will probably be my last week in good ol' Laredo. I have learned so much here and I will really miss my greenie area. I've had lots of good experiences here and have met SO many amazing people, but I know the Lord has prepared people for me in the other areas of South Texas. I can’t wait to meet them and bring them to the knowledge of the gospel. I LOVE YOU LAREDO! If I get Transferred to somewhere down in the valley there's a chance that I'll see Elder Christain Peterson! So I got that goin’ for me.

Something that makes me happy is that I won’t have to leave this area without a baptism. Deborah was talking to her fellowshipper Joanna Illescas and told her that she was going to be baptized on the 23rd. But Joanna said that she wasn’t going to be in town then so Deborah decided to move it up to the 11th! SO I'LL BE HERE FOR HER BAPTISM! Deborah passed her baptismal interview yesterday and next week on the 11th she'll be baptized!  I can’t wait! Christmas Miracle!  Yeah that door we knocked when we were trying to find Sis. Domiguez was the wrong door. That’s why it was a "Celestial Accident" haha. They're still pretty cool too.

So... Christmas Phone Call is coming up huh? Crazy... haha I don’t know what my schedule is going to be like on Christmas to be honest. This whole stupid Transfer thing kinda messes everything up. But I'll probably let you know more about it next Monday. I'll probably call around 11:00 or 2:00... I really don’t know. But now that you have that email from President you can stop asking me about SKYPE hahaha. I'd be glad to call the home phone too.
801-226-6091... that’s still our number right?

No mom my camera is not broken... hahaha gee wiz... I just don’t want to crash the server by plugging it in. It happened to Elder Vance twice the last time he tried so I don’t want to take any chances. I will send you pictures as soon as I can ok? Promise. And I’m going to the Mall hopefully today to take a picture with Santa. I want to send you a Christmas package so... I'll work on that.

I was really sick this last Saturday and I was throwing up... I threw up three times. It started when I woke up at 5 in the morning with "bowel problems" and that continued for a while and I basically had the flu. I was miserable and had to stay in bed all day. But the next day I was right as rain! No need to worry! Sis. Trayner said that it was just a 12 hour bug that was going around and that Elder Lybert had it a couple days before me... funny... I just went on EXCHANGES with Elder Lybert... jerk. Givin’ me his darn germs....

Well that’s basically everything I have this week! I love you and hope you are all filled with the Christmas Spirit! The Church is true and always will be! Love you!

-Elder Stewart

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Letter 24

November 28, 2011

Queridos Familia y Amigos,
I am SO sorry that I didn’t write a good letter last week! I knew you would be disappointed... and on Thanksgiving week! What kind of son am I? So, I’m writing you first... I used to save your letter for last mom but now it comes first. Hopefully that will be better.

My Thanksgiving was really good! Elder Vance and I had two families invite us over to eat. La Familia Illescas (they are RELATED to the OTHER Illescas that I always talk about) invited us over for lunch and we ate turkey and pork and a bunch of other stuff. It was really good. After we played Jenga... (I think that’s how you spell it) and it was fun. Hermana Illesacas would scream everytime the tower almost fell and it reminded me of how Mom and Grandma Thorpe would scream. It made me miss you two haha. Oh well...  

Then we went over to the OTHER Familia Illescas and had dinner at there house. We had some crazy spicy shrimp soup that was good and then ribs and hot wings. It was also their son Johnathan's birthday so we got birthday cake too. nom nom nom. (haha Christain) It was really nice. I feel like part of their family. So welcome and loved. In the background there was Mexican music playing on their stereo haha It was really Mexican haha never before in my life have I felt more Mexican, even when I would put my mustache on. I loved it. There was a feeling of love and family in there home that I really miss. After dinner they decided to have a little dancing in the sala (living room) haha it was so cool. I want to learn how to dance like that... maybe when I get back Ill go to Zumba. Yeah... me and Rick! You down Rick? Everyone is invited! LETS DANCE!

Speaking of dancing did we buy JUST DANCE 4? We better. Oh and I'm pretty sure those missionaries shouldn’t be watching football or playing videogames... probably shouldn’t support that. Just saying.

Transfers are on December 13th. I’m really worried about them this time... I think I might be leaving. I really don’t want to because Deborah one of the investies Elder Wood and I found is finally on tract to be baptized on the 23rd of December! I really want to see her. AND we found another family too.... basically if I leave I will leave without a baptism. But cross your fingers that I'll stay.. I think that I’m just jynxing myself by talking about it so much. I just need to work hard and find some new investigators.

So this new family we found is really cool! Elder Vance and I were going to tract through these apartments and I knew that a member lived there so I decided, "Hey lets stop by Sister. Dominguez" and we went to her door. Elder Vance had never met her and so I was going to introduce him. We knocked and someone I didn’t know answered the door. So I said, "Hey we're missionaries and we have a message about Jesus Christ...." hahaha Elder Vance was so confused. But they let us right and we had a great lesson. Later we found out that right when we had knocked the door the mom had been praying for help and guidance with her daughter. Lo and behold we were there. She is amazing and we trying to help her with her daughter who has troubles believing in religion. We have a cita con ellos manana. Sorry sometimes Spanish is just easier haha.

Elder Hunt is still in the apartment and he's from PG. Elder Peterson was from AF. Elder Peterson's replacement, Elder Rumsey, is from Provo. He went to Timpview and was their Quarterback and won State 3 times. He is SO cool. I love him! He reminds me of Ashton. He's quiet but really funny, super chill, and a moocher hahaha jk Ashton. Love youuuuuu.

I have not asked about SKYPE but I hear its pretty sketchy... I'll email president and ask right after this I guess. Wish me luck.

I need a thick jacket and some gloves. Believe it or not it is pretty cold here. haha and on a bike its worse. But those would be great. Riding the bike heats me up pretty good, but my hands get cold. Also I would love pictures from my friends on their missions! I want to see how fat Rick is and how skinny Richie is hahaha. I love getting their letters. Rick's make me laugh so hard....

Anyway... I love you all so much and I’m so grateful for everything that my Heavenly Father has given me. We truly are so blessed to be apart of this gospel and to have the truth. We are blessed to have a loving Heavenly Father. Thinking of all of His wonderful creations, world and its beauty, the universe... and He made them all for us. We are so blessed.

Love, Elder Stewart

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Letter 23

Hola mi amoroso familia y querido amigos,
Thank you so much for everything that you have done for me. I am full of the spirit of Thanksgiving this week. I love it! Anyway... I ran a little long today on some Emails... So this one might be short... I usually end reading moms because its so nice... but I think I need to stop that and read it first so I can write more for you. Sorry................
Anyway.. I bought a head light and a back light and Borther Zuniga is going to get us some reflector tape or something like that. I'll be bright as the 4th of July!!
Yes I got to see that memorial broadcast it was pretty good. The reception was terrible and I missed some parts but it was still good and i felt the spirit.
I picked up my package. Was that sweater really that much?
I think that im just going to have to send you a letter this week by hand... Im all out of time... Im so sorry! I love you and Ill talk to you next week!

Letter 22

November 14, 2011

To my amazing family and friends,

I never knew those two Elders that lost their lives last Tuesday in my Mission, but I know that they were good missionaries and they didn’t do anything wrong. I know now more than ever that The Plan of Salvation is real. We have a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior, and all that they want is for us to come back home safely. They have provided a plan for us to do this. A loving plan. A perfect plan. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World. I know that he paid the price for all of us so that we can return to Him. He has paid the price for Elder Strong and Elder Walker and they are with Him. I know with all of my heart that these things are true.
But, these experiences really do let us see just how fragile life is. Just how easily relationships can be severed. Tell the people that you love that you love them. Show them. Don't wait. President Monson quoting William Shakespeare said, "Those do not love that do not show their love." He also said, "Never let a problem to be solved be greater than a person to be loved." Please follow this wise counsel from the Lord's prophet. I love all of you. That is the first thing that I thought of when I heard about this incident. But I know they are ok. I know that their families will be ok. Now it’s time to learn and grow and move forward.

I knew Elder Harris. He was in the MTC with me but not in my district. He is a very strong guy and he will be fine too. He has a very strong testimony and this experience made it stronger. He is smiling all the way through it.

I also know Sis. Porter’s nephew here. He’s a really cool kid. I love him. I haven’t seen him since I got to Laredo but he's good too. I didn’t hear about that other thing.

I am wearing my helmet everywhere I go... even into appointments.... haha nah just kidding. But on my bike... Yes.

District Conference was really good. We just had 3 of the zones in our Chapel for the meeting with Elder Zivic. He's a really funny guy. I learned a lot. He challenged our Zone to do the Purification Challenge, which is basically just submitting your will to the mission 100% getting rid of all the things that can distract you. I'll do my best. 

Yeah I totally got the package... I just need to pick it up at the post office. I wasn’t there when it came so... Yeah. Looking forward to that. Thanks.

Madi is growing up too fast huh mom.... I know... weird. Pretty soon all your youngest kids will be out of the house and your two oldest will still be there. hahahaha! Couldn’t help it. I love you!!

I will buy as much safety equipment as I can. I think the members here are going to help us out. Our Branch Mission Leader, Brother Zuniga, is going to hook us up with a bunch of lights. So don’t worry!! I love you!

-Elder Stewart!!


Letter 21

November 7, 2011

Family and Friends.

GOLLY MOM! That was a long dang letter! haha I loved it! lots of meat. lots of meat.
SO... Beau and Courtney went to Spiderman and they LOVED IT huh?! I FREAKING TOLD YOU SO!! haha so there! Sorry I don’t have a lot of time. I spent it reading your long letter hahaha

I  didn’t have the CD and memory card ready so I'll send them later. Who has the horns? I'll write on the back of the next batch of pictures I promise.

My new companion Elder Vance is a great guy. We are doing a lot of work. He is from Nephi and he went to SUU before the mish.

The last week that Elder Wood and I had together we contacted this amazingly prepared woman named Monica. We had seen her on our way to work one morning sitting by a bus stop. We didn’t pull over to talk to her though because we were "too busy". We went on our way and worked for the rest of the day. It was around 8:30 and we were on our way back to our apartment, riding down the same street. We saw her in the exact same spot again. She hadn’t been there all day, I know, and there she was again in the exact same spot. After we rode past Elder Wood and I stopped and went back. Apparently God wanted us to talk to her. So we did. She and her two sons were looking for a church to go to. We set up a return appointment and Elder Vance and I taught her the Doctrine of Christ. She and her sons have a baptismal date for the 4th of December. They went to church yesterday and loved it. They know that is where they need to be. Just think what would have happened if we didn’t stop.

I know this is short but I gotta go.... I love you! Sorry I'll write more next week!

-Elder Stewart

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Letter 20

October 31, 2011

Hola Family and Friends

Wow mom you sure are curious... haha do I really have to answer ALL of those questions? Allright I'll try.
My companion Elder Wood is great. He has taught me a lot and I love him bunches. The reason why I don’t talk about him much is because I forget... haha imagine that. He really is a cool kid. He is a nerd... he had glasses but I helped him get some contacts (it was like the movies when the nerdy kid takes off his glasses and it turns out he was handsome after all!) hahaha... he loves video games and basically that’s all he did before he left. He has a big bum... but he’s not fat... We call it "The Donk". Anything else you want to know about him? hahaha He is getting transferred tomorrow though... so I will be getting a new companion. Elder Vance. Elder Hunt was his companion before and he told me he's a weird guy, but super diligent... so we'll see how that goes.

Elder Peterson is going home tomorrow. I gave him some stuff to drop off at the house.... just some little gifts.... AND..... PICTURES!!! YAY!!! hahaha. I bought some horns and got a CD of Christian Raps for Chase or Austin... I dont know who wants what... but they can figure it out... and then Madi's gift will come later... Sorry Mad I just didn’t find anything good enough for you yet. I will also be sending my old card with him... so you don’t have to worry about it getting lost in the mail.. that is too bad about Tanner’s. Boo....

That is super cool you’re doing a fun little get together with everyone’s parents! Shoot you need to send me some pictures of that! I need to know how everyone is doing! I was wondering what happened when I didn’t get my letters from my friends this week... I was super bummed. Those are the only letters I get... I sent some to Shayla and Shae the other week... but... they must be busy or something haha. Or they forgot..... who knows! Sorry Carmen I am still going to write yours!

My investigators change a lot mom... haha. Alex got a new job and now he doesn’t have time to meet with us.  Daisy moved. San Juanita is still hangin’ in there. We just had a lesson with her about the Restoration last night... and we're going to see her again tonight. The only thing is - is that she has ZUMBA class Monday- Thursday! Stupid freaking ZUMBA haha so we can only meet with her on like Fridays.  Deborah has learned basically everything she needs to in order to be baptized.... she is just scared. LAME. We got some new investies too... Chris is one. He was raised by his Grandparents. We taught him like twice and then his grandpa had an accident . He was flown up to the hospital in San Antonio where he was in a coma for like 3 days and then he and passed away. It was really hard for him and he hasn’t come back from San Antonio yet so we can teach him. But hopefully soon he will. We have been texting him though... so he's not alone.

I think its getting cold down here mommy. I need my sweater soon haha. Its like 60... but I've climatized.  I never wear my boots.... ever. hahaha they look weird.

I see my Mission President sometimes.... haha I don’t know... enough. He's cool. I'll see him again next week because Elder Zivic (one of the 70) is coming for a conference. So I'll ask him about Skype then I guess....

Anyway... I hope you all had a Happy Halloween and I hope I answered all of your questions! I love you good bye!!!

-Elder Stewart

Letter 19

October 24, 2011

Hola mi bonita familia y mis amorosos amigos

Wow it sounds like you’ve been having a pretty crazy week! haha sounds fun though! I’m glad things are still moving in Utah. AND Austin has been dating a girl? hmmm... I think I need to hear more about this sometime... still waiting on Chase... haha but what else is new? hahahahah jk jk Chase I love you. Your trying I know... hahaha Im sorry shoot... you and Austin just need to get married! But not till I get back... I want to be the ring boy... I called dibs! You can’t take that away from me!

Anyway.... Yes I accidently looked inside my Halloween Packet.... Thank you very much for the "costumes" haha. Now all I need is a leather vest. Do you think you could maybe send me one in my package..... I’m not kidding. I need one. So I can look like a Bounty Hunter. Like Sean on Psych. So yeah... Leather vest please... thank you.

Other things I need in my package.... Hmmmm... I don’t know. Surprise me! haha I love surprises! Except you don’t need to send me a Snuggie because I already have one. It’s a Superman Snuggie that some other Elder left in our apartment when we came in, and I claimed it. It looks like I am Superman! Its great!

I am planning on sending you guys a package with some mexican goodies and such. Maybe a bolsa for Madi. Some cowboy stuff for Austin and Chase... I don’t know... BUT inside I will put all of my pictures that I have taken! So there! You will have your request granted. "Ask and ye shall receive"

Yes there are white people in our branch down here haha. But yeah the majority are hispanic. Elder Wood and I have actually made really good friends with a family down here. The Illescas family. They are sooo awesome. hahah Sister Illescas is like my mom, and I bet we will probably eat Thanksgiving dinner at their house.... and probably some other houses too... members love us. Anyway... I’m going to tell the daughter who is Madi's age to add Madi on Facebook so they can be friends. She is planning on moving to Utah for school next year... so... yeah it would be good to have a friend there. I think Madi and her would really get along.

My investies are doing great. SanJuanita and her kids just need to find some time to meet with us. Every time we go by she is sleeping... because she is tired from her job. People down here really dont know how to schedule time very well. Anyway... we're still trying to meet with her. And the others are good too.
Deborah, one of our oldest investigators, is really making a lot of progress. Yesterday we talked to her about conversion, and what that means. We read her Mosiah 5:2 that talks about receiving a "mighty change of heart" and no longer having a "desire to do evil". It was a really powerful lesson and she has realized that the Lord has been answering her prayers, and more specifically has taken away her desire to smoke. She said that every time that she looks at a carton of cigarettes she feels sick and doesn’t want to smoke. This was an answer to her prayer... and mine. I had been praying for the exact same thing to happen, and it did. The Lord answers prayers. She is now reading her scriptures everyday and doing the things the Lord wants her too. She is becoming converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love the Lord and I know that this is the only true church on the Earth today. It has the power to change hearts and bring blessings that can’t be found anywhere else.

I love you! Write you next week!

-Elder Stewart

Letter 18

October 17, 2011

I’m really sorry about last weeks short letter... I was just a little rushed that’s all. If I didn’t have a girlfriend before the mission how the heck am I going to get one out here? Anyway... I’m sorry.

No I haven’t gained any weight. Which surprises me because I eat Tortillas ALL the time and they're basically just LARD and flour. But I guess I just have a fast metabolism or something. The bike and hot weather help too haha. I still look the same.

The reason I don’t send pictures here on the computer is because it will crash the whole server if I try. AND it hasn’t even worked for me yet so... no I’m sorry. I WILL get you some though. I’m thinking about sending a little package with pictures and other things I don’t need in there. What do you think? I think yes.

We've been getting into buying scented candles for our apartment, which is nice.

I've only been in the back of a truck once... and it was an emergency and it won’t happen again! I’m sorry... how the heck did you even know that....?  The tires are great. I swear I’ve said that like 2 times now. I run through thorn patches for fun now.

On P-days we come and do mail and then we play a sport (baseball, basketball, etc.) then we get our groceries. We have a washer and dryer in the apartment. And doing laundry is really easy... just found that out.

Yep I got grandma’s package. She is the best. I miss huggin’ my Grandma! LOVE YOU!! You too Grandpa! haha The truth is I don’t get a lot of letters from anyone... then again I haven’t had a lot of time to write anyone else (sorry Carmen!) but I will be better at that. I usually just look forward to the letter with all my friends letters. I love hearing from Rick! What a guy... I miss him! haha And Trent too he's a stud missionary over there in Iowa! I have been blessed with such great friends! Can I get Tanner's letters now too please? Thank you.

Do you need to buy and international stamp to send letters to Canada and Brazil? Or can you just put a bunch of regular stamps on there and call it good? because I really want to write Richie and Rick but I don’t know... so.... help me please haha.

Sundays: We go to Church (hopefully with investies), go to all the classes (sometimes we have to teach: Elder Wood taught Gospel Principles, I was the scribe!), eat lunch, then go out to work. I think I've told you that too before... You need to read my letters better! haha jk jk jk.

I can't Skype for Christmas. Sorry haha. BUT I can still call so... yeah. That’s cool. Austin am I still getting a Blake Griffin Jersey?

Transfers are happening at the end of this month after Halloween. Elder Peterson (Elder Hunts companion) is going home. I think that the rest of us in the apartment will stay another Transfer. I sure hope so too! Elder Wood and I started off with some really weak investies, but now I think we're hitting our stride and we can pull some good things out this next transfer.

The other day we met a couple walking their kid who are pretty cool. Estella who is the mom is the coolest though, mostly because her husband is "Atheist". She was raised Catholic but some stuff went down with her Grandparents and she was kinda turned off of church because of it. She said that she's just taking a "break".  BUT she told us she is interested in anything that brings families together. Hmmmm... I think we could help. After only like 2 short conversations we're basically best buds haha she invited us to her Halloween party, her daughter's birthday party, and to watch The Office. haha unfortunately we had to say no to The Office. Maybe next time....? No haha jk. She's cool though. I'll keep you updated.

Elder Wood and I had a pretty good finding week this week. We found like 3 other solid people besides Estella. I'm really excited and expect good things to come.  Sorry if I didn’t answer all of your questions but I do need to write Presidente Trayner!

Les amo muchisimo!!

-Elder Jordan Thorpe Stewart (Jord, Jordy, Jordypants, Chubs, The Thorpido, Jake Steel, etc.)

Funny story: Elder Wood and I were bikin’ down the street minding our own business when we see this guy coming towards us on a bike the opposite way. He was waving his hand around and so I thought he wanted us to move over, so I moved to the right side of the sidewalk. But the guy still stays like right in the middle of the sidewalk! He was going to hit us! So I swerved off into some grass and hit a rock. As the guy passed by we heard him yellin, "Virgin de Guadalupe! Santa Maria!" hahahahaha oh my gosh it was funny. What a jerk. Elder Wood wanted to chase him yelling,"Jose Smith!!" hahahaha but we didn’t... well there you go. Bye!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Letter 17

October 10, 2011

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!
Thats SO crazy that Tanner and Chrisitan are leaving this week! Oh boy I'm so happy for my friends! They are going to have a blast at the MTC. If you see Tanner of Christian before they leave tell them to smell the tree behind the Samuel Smith statue... just tell them... its important. Anyway that’s awesome! I miss having little get togethers with the Brown family. They are definitely a blessing to us and everyone that they come in contact with... just saying. I LOVE YOU AUNTIE TYE!! Send me a letter eh?

The weather here is actually changing a little bit. It’s now like in the 90's! haha but yeah its getting a little cooler. More clouds... a little rain here and there. I might need you to send me my sweater though. All the other missionaries have sweaters and Elder Wood said that I'll probably need it. If you want you can send it with goodies. Like... Chex Mix... or Dad's Strawberry Pop Corn stuff... Letters.... Kool Aid... More Ranch Powder (I made your dip all the time. Elder Hunt loves it)... and anything else you can think of to send me. I love ALL things. 

This week was... ok. Haha we have had a lot of investigators be really cool and then suddenly stink. We have this one investigator Deborah, who we have been working on since we got here. She’s 17 from Guatamala and she’s a house keeper for this family. It took a little while for her to warm up to us but then when she did we set a Baptism Date for the 30th of this month and set up a plan to help her stop smoking! She was really excited and was ready to stop smoking and everything. Then the next day she said "no puedo" and "no se que quiero hacer"  (I can’t and I don’t know what to do). haha in my head I was like yelling, "Yes you do! We've been telling you what to do for like 4 weeks!" hahaha BUT I have learned that patience is very important in missionary work. We're not giving up on her. Hopefully we can help her realize that this is worth it. She needs to understand that this is important.

Chris is another kid we were teaching. I think I already told you guys about him. He was trying to save up money so he could move to Provo, Utah with his wife and daughter. Because he worked so much we never even got to teach him the restoration... he came to church and we would talk a little when we saw him but we never had a sit down lesson until last night... the night before he left for Utah. We met at the church and gave him all of the pamphlets we would have gone through with him. We highlighted all the important parts. We gave them to him and told him to read them on his bus ride to Utah. Then we told him to get in touch with the missionaries there.

Well everything is good here... I just gotta go... haha sorry to cut it short! I love you and I'll try to get you pictures soon!

-Elder Stewart

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Letter 16

October 3, 2011

Hello Everyone!
So the suitcase never got to our apartment... or it was stolen. haha nah just kidding I got it. BUT... even with those new tires and liners I STILL GOT A FLAT! haha no not really. They're great! I’m riding all over every thorn patch I see!! Its great! haha Thank you so much! I loved the treats and all my roommates appreciated the ChexMix... they are all from Utah (Hunt:PG, Peterson:AF) except for Elder Wood my companion. They haven’t tasted that stuff for a LONG time haha. And we ate like all the fruities during conference... thank you for that too. Did you know that fruities aren’t on the East coast? That’s what Elder Wood said... Anyway those tires are working great! Now I can spend more time teaching people instead of going to Walmart. haha I do enjoy shopping at Walmart though. Story time....

So last P-day we were shopping at Walmart and Elder Hunt and I finished before everyone else. We were just chillin’ on the bed of the Zone Leaders truck when these guys pull up in a van and park a little bit down the aisle from us. It was 2 black guys and a white guy. I noticed that the black guy in the passenger seat was wearing a headset... with a microphone and everything. I asked Elder Hunt "Is that guy from the future?" haha then they got out of the van and started walking towards the store. Me, being a friendly guy, said "Hello." and waved. The headset black man then said in a very loud voice "WHAT YA'LL ON BREAK?!" hahaha I said "No we're just waiting for the others inside." hahah then he said, still in a very loud voice "WELL YOU BETTER CHARGE 'EM!!" hahaha I was so scared and confused. Why was he wearing a headset?

I love getting my friends letters! Rick sounds like his good ol’ self there in Brazil! I laugh out loud reading about all his experiences... I can hear his voice in my head. Trent is a stud! I love hearing his inspiring letters. And Eric is SO dang close! haha he is probably teaching some of my investigators families! OR even my investigators when they cross over haha.

I loved Conference. I was looking forward to it for like 2 weeks! Never before have I been more excited to hear the words of the Prophet and the 12 Apostles. We watched them at the Chapel (which is in Elder Wood's and my area so its only like a few blocks away) and I learned SO much. I loved when the Prophet came out and said "Hello!" haha what a funny guy. I knew you guys would be excited for those two Temples they announced too! I wish I could have seen Grandma and Grandpa Thorpe's faces! "There's great fishing up there." haha maybe we can go to the dedication?

I really enjoyed the talk by Elder Carl B. Cook "Its Better to Look Up". It gave me so much hope and encouragement. I loved how he taught us to take all of our cares and problems and, like he did, tie them to a balloon and watch the Heavens take them away. When we cast our eyes and our hearts upward, letting the Lord take away our feelings of inadequacy and doubt, it really is easier. Like the children of Israel, we can be healed if we would simply listen to the prophets and LOOK to the Savior (brass snake). It’s so simple, and yet we sulk and look at our feet saying that its too easy, believing that we cannot be healed. I know with all my heart that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world and He has felt every pain, every affliction, and every sad and discouraging moment... for you. And he has promised that if we LOOK TO HIM He will take them away. I know that the Lord lives and loves us. If we will just look up, casting our burdens on Him, He will heal us and we will be filled with His love.

Nobody came to Conference with us... but I know that things are going to get better here in Laredo. I am looking up and I have faith that as I do the Lord will bless us. I expect great things in the weeks to come. Please pray for me and the work. I love you and I pray for you everyday.

-Elder Stewart

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Letter 15

September 26, 2011

Hey everyone!

It’s me... Elder Stewart. Emailing from a community college in Laredo (Laredo Community College) hahaha. I was emailing in the Library like usual but then this lady came over and told us we only had 20 mins! So I was pretty upset. I read through most of my mail and then my time was up... so didn’t think that I was going to get to mail you at all. But I am now. So... it’s ok.

Tell Will Judy that I am SO proud of him for getting baptized. His Heavenly Father is happy with his decision to follow Him.  Now that he's passed through the gate of baptism he is on the straight and narrow path to heaven. Now all he needs to do is stay on. Just like all of us.

I can’t wait for my suitcase to get here! I got another flat last night... in a tube that I replaced like 1 hour before haha. Golly.... I have the worst luck. I have named my bike Lucy because she gives me grief... yes that makes me Charlie Brown... and yes I say "good grief". But I’m glad that now I’ll have tires that can hold up to bullets. Laredo thorns might be stronger than bullets though.... but we'll see.  Yeah everyone here basically has mountain bikes. They don’t have nearly as many problems as me haha.  And the shop was called Mad Dog Bike Shop? Did the guy you bought it from have tattoos? Oh! Or a leather vest? I need to know.

Also mom I didn’t really care if you gave me gummy worms or not haha! I forgot like the second I sent you that email... I just wanted you to send it so I just said whatever. Sorry you actually looked for them... haha I bet they'll taste even better now. hahaha gosh your such a worry wart... Speaking of which I am eating enough you don’t need to worry. And Texas Roadhouse was great. I didn’t get the Sirloin Beef Tips though... they were too much money.

I got some pictures printed out at the Walmart and I should be sending them soon. If not this week then next week.

Tell Chris... Wassup wassup wassup wassup wassup wassup wassup wassup! Congrats on the Eagle Bud! I love and miss you! Sorry I couldn’t be there.

Tanner I’m looking forward to your letter... hopefully I get it this week. I hear you did a good job on your talk bud! I was there in spirit. I love you man and you'll love the MTC!  Good luck!

Christian. You also will love the MTC and I was with you too in spirit during your talk. We basically talked on the same thing... so I think that’s why you’re coming you McAllen. haha gosh that’s so crazy. Can’t wait to see you here. It’s freaking hot! Buy a mountain bike.

Elder Hunt has taught me how to cook tortillas like a little Mexican lady. You take the raw tortilla on the hot pan and then just use your hands to move it around and flip it. "Sin miedo" como las abuelitas dicen.  I’m getting pretty good. AND they taste great. That’s pretty much the extent of my cooking skills. OH and I can make grilled cheese... but I could do that before. so... yeah that’s it.  I’ll learn more mexicano dishes and cook ‘em for you when I get back. Sin miedo.

Give the Bond family my condolences... Ewok was a great dog. He is in Heaven now though with a perfect doggy body. He can now see and breathe and walk straight. But he is missed I’m sure.

We usually always have baptisms lined up because we usually commit to be baptized on the first lessons. The problem is people following through with the commitments we leave them. Coming to Church is usually the big one. They have to come 3 times before they can be baptized... but... its tough to get them there. We just need to do our part to invite the spirit and help them receive a witness of how important it is.

Si estoy ensenado en Espanol. Yes mom I have been teaching in Spanish. I’m in Laredo... the Rio is like... right there. I’m pointing to it. haha I still remember what Brother Skinner told me,"Dont turn your back to the river... CAUSE THEY'LL GETCHA!" haha luckily that hasn’t happened... yet.

Yeah we get to see all sessions of General Conference.... AND I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT! We'll probably watch them at the church. I don’t think I've ever been so excited for Conference before. I need to get some investies there. I really want Alex to come and see. He is doing well we just need to meet with him more. Elder Wood and I hadn’t seem him for like 2 weeks... so we went to were he works and saw him there. He still remembered what we talked about 2 weeks ago! Haha most people cant remember what we talked about like 2 minutes ago. So we'll see where that goes.

Well that’s about it. I’m looking forward to all of those letters you said were on the way. Hopefully Shaylas gets here ok haha. Sorry about all that.... was it my fault or hers? I don’t think it was mine..... I sent Shae and Liza letters last week too.... so they should get them. I’m really trying to stay caught up.

Anyway.... I love you all and I am always praying for you. And I am also thankful for your prayers. I need them haha.

-Elder Stewart