Monday, December 17, 2012

Letter 74


December 10, 2012

MERRY CHRITHMATH!!

Well the weather here sure had a change on the cold side. I busted out my mangas largas today (long sleeves). Also today since I'm feeling in the Chrithmath Spirit I'm gonna get my picture taken with Old Saint Nick at the mall. I couldn’t go last week because the member that was going to take us never called and so we just played volleyball. I'll try to send it to you afterwards via email.

To answer some questions. No I didn’t know that I was on TV but I love that picture! hahah Elder Curletti is my favorite! (Jordan’s picture was on Mormon Times on Sunday – they were talking about the ladies that put together the tree at the Festival of the Trees in honor of the McAllen Texas Missionaries that were killed last year). That’s really cool! And no I never sent a tie... no one ever asked me :(. (I was told that the tree skirt for that tree was made from ties donated by missionaries from that mission – I saw one that looked just like the tie Jordan wore in his mission pictures and wondered if he had sent it)

I've been thinking about what I want to go into and I think I might go into Graphic Design... maybe illustration... maybe business... who knows? I’ll talk to you about it on Christmas.

This week in our area we are doing pretty good. Elder Williams and I found a few PM families that we are starting to teach, but during the lessons that we had with them the member got really off topic and we lost control. We had a lesson with the mother of one of the sisters in the English ward. She's 87 years old and has heard the missionaries lots of times and so far dose not want to join the church. We tried to get to know her and help her to feel comfortable with us and everything, then we tried to start the lesson and the members with us started teaching about SEALINGS IN THE TEMPLE! I don’t know why they thought that would help at all... anyway... We are planning this week to sit down with these members and sharing with them our lesson plans so they know their part and wont highjack the lesson AGAIN. sheeesh...

Mario is doing pretty good. He's is under a lot of stress because of a financial situation he is in right now and that in turn is making him really sick. He called me on Saturday and just unleashed all of his feelings. I felt really bad for him. We just told him to pray and read the Book of Mormon. Anyway... He's had the hiccups for the last 6 days! I don’t even know how that happens... haha but it was pretty funny when we visited him yesterday. He was just hiccuping and hiccuping over and over. He was really stressed when we went by last night but as we talked he calmed down a lot. He said that he loved us and that he's sorry that he gets a little "cranky" sometimes. haha I love that guy. He is prepared to be baptized and said he is excited for this Sunday but he said if his health goes downhill he we would have to postpone it.

Mario's daughter, Gina, is doing AWESOME!! She is so prepared and accepts everything that we teach. She came to the YSA ward yesterday and stayed a little later to go to the English Ward with her mom who she invited to come. She went to the YSA's FHE and institute and a little dance they had this week. She's stoked for her baptism this week.

Since Mario loves art I think I am going to draw him a picture of Christ for his baptism, and I actually might just draw one and give a copy to all of my recent converts here! Speaking of recent converts The Harkriders went to the Temple to do baptisms for the dead for the first time!! The both had the chance to do the work for some of their own relatives! And Sam is going to come up to Utah to visit BYU and stuff in January probably and I told her to visit you guys too. Show her a good time up there in Utah!

Well that’s all I have time for this week but I love you and hope that you all have a cup of Horchata for me this Christmas! (because it tastes like Christmas)...

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, December 3, 2012

Letter 73


December 3, 2012

Feliz Navidad Ya'll!

I hope you all have a great Christmas! It sounds like things are going to be a little different this year... that stinks. Try to have fun though as a family! Remember the true Spirit of Christmas!

I don’t think they’re doing transfers on Christmas Eve. I think they're cutting this transfer by a week so that doesn’t happen. I'll let you know.

I don’t think I'll apply for BYU just yet. I want to bundle up my credits in a degree at UVU first and then I can transfer. That’s what I want to do right now. Let me know if you have any other advice.

The work is going really well down here though!

Yesterday Elder Williams and I had the baptism of Hno. Saul Alvarado! It was amazing! We went over on Thursday just to see where he was at with his Baptismal date which was going to be on the 16th. He had been struggling to receive an answer about Joseph Smith and the Restoration and so we didn’t know if he was going to still feel good about his date. We decided the best thing to do would be to review the interview questions with him to see where he was. When we came to question 2 about Joseph Smith he paused and after about 10-15 seconds of thinking he said, "Yeah, I believe it." WOW we were SO surprised! Elder Williams thought we were going to have to drop him. We finished the interview and the next visit we asked him if he wanted to be baptized that very Sunday (because he works in the oil fields 7 days on and 7 days off so he would have to wait 2 weeks) and he said, "Sure!" haha it was such a miracle to see him be baptized yesterday and even more that his wife can now have an eternal family. She was so excited! I love that man and I'm glad he's on the right path.

Brother Beltran is still in Mexico... they took his Visa away so... he'll be there for a while trying to get it back.

Mario and his daughter Gina are doing really well and are progressing to their baptisms. They both came to church yesterday and Gina said that she was going to the Christmas Devotional too. We found a really awesome fellow-shipper for her who is doing a great job. I love the members here! I bought a large print Triple and Bible from the distribution center so that he could read. His eyes are bad and he lost his prescription glasses fishing so I thought I would give those to him for an early Christmas gift. I'm also going to give him that blue shoulder bag that I came out with so that he can carry them in church cause they're pretty hefty! I wasn’t using it at all and I was going to send it home so I thought, "What the heck? I'll give it to Mario!" He's a really good guy. I don’t know what its showing that I sent... I didn’t send anything.... I bought some stamps… maybe that’s it?

Frank disappeared and we haven’t had contact with him in a while. We're still working on it though.

I love the Christmas Season! Even though it’s hot down here and I'll probably be opening more tamales then presents this year I am so excited for Christmas. I absolutely love being a missionary. This Christmas season it’s so important that we remember the true meaning of Christmas as we celebrate our Savior’s birth. I've been thinking a lot about it lately, especially the importance and anticipation of that one moment. Before the world was, we stood in the Grand Council in Heaven and Christ was chosen to redeem the world. He said "Here I am. Send me." And from that moment on the world was waiting for His coming. Prophets testified of his coming. Sacrifices were made from Adam down through the ages, testifying of that Savior that was to come. Signs were given in the Heavens and angels appeared with glad tidings of "peace on earth goodwill to man". And then after all of the waiting and anticipation... it happened and those signs and testimonies and prophecies were fulfilled. Our Savior was born into the world. I hope we all remember this long anticipated moment this season. It’s my testimony that it happened and that now we are waiting for His second coming. Let us remember and prepare. I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and show true Charity as you remember Savior this year! Love you!!!

-Elder Jordan Stewart


Monday, November 26, 2012

Letter 72


November 26, 2012

Hey Everyone!

It sounds like everyone had a great Thanksgiving! (Austin your mustache looks GROOOSSS...) My Thanksgiving was good as well. We ate three different times! hahaha I told you mom the members love the missionaries! First our lider misional del barrio fed us, then we ate at another member's home, then we finished off our night eating at a recent convert's (who is a professional chef) home! It was the first time that I actually liked the stuffing! It was all pretty American too. We had some choco-flan though :)

I can’t believe all my friends are getting married! If you can I would love to see some pictures of their weddings! And Shae is engaged too huh? Shoot... that’s one lucky guy! Well I guess if Shayla doesn’t get married she'll get to be our only friend when we get home and she can take her pick! hahaha

For my package... I would love some like material ties. Not silk haha. I love those cotton ties. Plaid is always good. I like blue, yellow, turquoise, etc. And I like to eat at Subway. I'm trying to get into shape so I don’t need a bunch of fast food cards haha. Pictures would be nice! I'll send you my card and some pictures in my package home... SO QUIT ASKING!! hahaha jk I love you :) Hmmm... I would like a new watch (like a rubber one). You can have Austin pick it out. What would you all like for Christmas?! I still have a little room in my box! Just let me know and I'll pick out something “REEEAALLL nice for ya”. "Can't see the line, can ya Russ?" (Quotes from Christmas Vacation) Speaking of Christmas I whipped out that little dorky Christmas tree last night and it really brought the Christmas Spirit into our home. We were singing Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" haha and it reminded me of singing Christmas songs with my best buds back home! Shoot... ok can’t get trunky! Love you boys! Keep serving the Lord! Everyday is a GREAT day to be a missionary!  I love this work so much and I don’t want it to ever end. These last 6 months is the time to shine!

This week was great for our district! We're starting to pick it up. The North Elders had a baptism this week and new investigators are coming out of the woodwork for them. Elder Williams and I are working well with the members in our wards and we were able to get 7 MP this week which is the highest its been in a LONG time, not to mention we've seen a lot of prepared people enter into our teaching pool.

The Beltran family was gone ALL week so we weren't able to teach them at all... I'm not sure what were going to do with them. The husband is more interested than she is and is ready to make the commitment and be baptized, but I doubt he would do it without his wife, and right now she isn’t ready. I guess we'll see what happens.

The man we found last week, Mario, is doing really well! He's committed to his baptism and is really excited. We taught him the Restoration and it answered a lot of his questions and he's committed to the Word of Wisdom. The only thing that might stop him is the Law of Chastity but we're planning on taking care of that this week. He's trying to share the gospel with his family already and his daughter Gina came to church yesterday and loved it. She also attended a baptismal service after! One of his other daughters lives in the sister’s area so hopefully that will help them as well!

Frank is doing ok. He wants to be baptized and so does his girlfriend but he didn’t come to church this week because he went to talk to his dad and make up with him and she was working (she's super busy). AND they need to get married! Geez... the things we need to do for people!

Hno. Alvarado was gone this week working so we'll see him this week. He's still looking for his answer...

Elder Williams is doing really well. He's starting to speak more and take a larger role in the lessons. The more we role play and practice our lessons the better he does. We're in week 9 of the 12 week program already! Boy does time fly!

Other than that the work is going great! We received a lot of referrals this week and we're visiting one tonight in a member's home so hopefully that goes well!

I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week! (Shave your mustache Austin!)

love,

Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, November 19, 2012

Letter 71

Dear Family and Friends....

This week was a week of MIRACLES! But first let’s talk about the regular business...
I would love for you to send me some new ties for Christmas... I'm kinda sick of my ties and we cant buy or trade any until we hit 100 baptisms in a month. Oh and I would love some “Punkin” Cookies. You know... the ones I really like. And... I'll try to think of some more things. Yes we do have plans for Thanksgiving and I will be taken care of. You don’t have to worry about that basically ever mom. The members down here are very civilized and love missionaries. I'm in America. haha. I have 3 memory cards but one of them has pictures of our family and my friends and I sometimes like to show people them. So I'll just send the other one that is full. The box I'm sending is almost ready.

District Meeting went well as we focused on our finding efforts and focusing on families. I committed the District to utilize the technique of offering blessings, because I know that it works. My inspiration came from Elder Ryan Skousen because it sounds like his mission is exploding because of their emphasis on offering blessings! I really believe that the mission needs to be using this technique more to be able to unlock our potential. It’s a great way to get into a door and help the people in the home feel the spirit and recognize us as representatives of Christ.

The District as I said did really well this week. The North Elders found a great family of 6 and then another college age kid and all have BD's (fyi the family accepted a return appointment after the Elders blessed their home). And they'll be baptizing a woman this next Sunday.

Elder Williams and I saw a lot of miracles this week! We have been trying really hard to find new investigators and just as it seemed like we wouldn't hit our goal we got 4 new investigators on Sunday! Elder Williams and I started a fast that day that we would know what to do to help our area and to find new investigators. A few days before we had received 2 referrals from the South sisters and we tried to contact them both twice but had no luck. The sisters had invited 1 of them, a guy they met walking his dogs, to church and we weren't really sure how committed he was... BUT he came with his girl friend and her two kids who are 11 and 7. Turns out he's super interested AND his girl friend has already met with the missionaries for years in Minnesota and believes its all true, but just never could get baptized! So they’re pretty cool. Then a member invited the other referral we got to church and he came and loved it too! His name is Mario and he's 64 years old. He's super cool and does wildlife painting in his free time. He accepted a BD right off the bat and in his prayer at the end of our lesson mentioned how excited he was to be Baptized! haha it was amazing!

Hno Alvarado also came to church and is still on track for his baptism on the 2nd of Dec.

The Beltrans are still there but el hermano had to go to Mexico for work over the weekend. We committed him to go to church down there so hopefully he did. The wife was in Brownsville with her family though and she couldn’t go. :( hopefully they'll be ready by the 2nd as well.

Everything is doing well here in good ol' Edinburg and I'm looking forward to another week of serving the Lord! Have a great week everyone!

-Elder Jordan Stewart


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Letter 70

November 12, 2012
Hola Ya'll!
Sounds like it’s a little chilly there in Utah! Gee wiz... its pretty cold down here too! hahaha its only like 63 degrees but I've gotten climatized already! I'm gonna die next winter for sure!!
I just wanted to say that I'm thankful for my awesome friends out there serving their missions. Like Elder Brown says we truly are an army of missionaries! We're so lucky to have grown up together and strengthened each other over the years. And mom it warms my heart to see that you and Auntie Tye are such good friends now too! I love that woman! You should do one of those missionary mom nights again and send us pictures of it. That would be cool.
Well it looks like I'll be staying in good ol' Edinburg for another Transfer just like I thought I would! Elder Aguilar and I found out the last day of leadership training. He's going to be a District Leader in my greenie area in Laredo! I'm super stoked for him. I told him to say hello to the Illecas family for me :). Oh also Elder Hunt goes home today! If you run into him tell him hi from his lil’ pal Stewie!
Well this week Elder Williams and I had a little trouble working together because of the Leadership Conference, but we still managed to see some improvement in our area. I learned so many helpful principles that are really going to help me with my area, and now the District. I feel more prepared now to take over the District and help all of us reach our potential. I have Elder Wilding and Elder Hardin (he came out with me and is from Ohio. He's really funny and reminds me of Austin so we get a long), and a companionship of sisters in my district. I have my first district meeting tomorrow so wish me luck!
This week Elder Williams and I found a lot of referrals and have set up some really good things for this next week. We recieved a referral from a recent convert for one of his neighbors that he used to live by. She is really nice and we should have a lesson with her tomorrow and invite her to be baptized. We also received a referral for a LA/PM family that we didn’t know about and helped them come to church this Sunday. The husband isn’t a member and from what we've learned he isn’t quite humble enough to start to listen. He has met with missionaries before (about 11 other sets!) so he knows practically everything, so we decided to introduce the BoM and how he could know these things are true, but he said he wasn’t willing to pray to know :(. But he knows what he needs to do now.

SO... the guy that pulled us over in the truck wasn’t as repentant as he needed to be. So we've dropped him. BUT I know the Lord answers prayers for sure now because this last Wednesday we were riding our bikes down a little street when ANOTHER guy pulled us over! He asked us if we wanted some water. He was in the middle of the road and blocking traffic. I thought it was a little sketchy but Elder Williams already agreed so we followed him to his apartment and he got us some water. Come to find out he had talked to missionaries in the past but lost track of them and he wanted us to say a prayer for him before he left to work in the oil fields and set up an appointment to come back later. So we offered to give him a blessing, which we did, gave him a Book of Mormon and a Gospel Pamphlet and told him to read it while he was gone and we set up an appointment for this Wed. We're really excited to see where that goes.

The Beltrans came to church this week. They booked it out of there as soon as it was over though... so we didn’t get a chance to help them mingle with the members. We're planning on following up today. They're being a little bit chiflado (spoiled) so we need to lay the law down if you know what I mean…

Bro Alvarado is back in town this week so our goal will be to help him get a spiritual confirmation of the BoM and the church. He knows its true... we just need to teach to his needs and discern what he needs to accept it. He's such a great guy and we've gotten to be really good friends. He drove us to get our bikes at someone's house once and we just talked in his truck about this and that. I really want to see him get baptized.

I can’t think of anything right now to put in my Christmas Package... but I'll write some things down and let you know next week!
I love you and hope you all have a great week!
Con Amor,
Elder Jordan Stewart

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Letter 69

November 5, 2012

Hello Everyone!

Well it sounds like everything is getting back to normal there in good ol’ Orem, Utah (aka Zion) and I'm glad to hear everyone is healthy and happy.

Elder Williams and I are really struggling to find new investigators, but something really cool happened this week. Last week Elder Williams went on an exchange with Elder Aguilar and he told E. Williams that he should pray specifically for a miracle. So, he prayed specifically for someone to pull us over and tell us that they wanted to change their life. The next Monday we were running late to an appointment when a big white truck pulled over. A guy got out and flagged us down. He told us that he didn’t know why he stopped but that he really wanted to change his life and he knew that we helped people do that. So we met with him twice this last week and told him what we do and invited him to be baptized. He accepted, but unfortunately he didn’t come to church. His situation is really hard and he's lacking the faith to make those changes. BUT the amazing thing is that our Heavenly Father is so aware of us and when we ask him specifically he will answer us. Now everyone has their agency, but we should act on those answers we receive.

We are still teaching that Part Member Family. Bro Alvarado! He's super cool! The only thing is that he works in the oil fields for one week and then the next he’s off. So this week we only got to teach him three times and now he's heading back to work for the rest of this week. He's really awesome and knows the church is true... but he fights himself and puts doubts in his mind. He'll be baptized though... I'm sure of it. We had a lot of spiritual moments with him this week and he really liked church.

Eliud kinda fell off... we can’t find him... if we can’t talk to him this week we're going to have to drop him.

We didn’t do anything for Halloween... haha I know... we're lame. We went to the Trunk or Treat for like 30 minutes and talked to the Harkriders then we just went home. I love the Harkriders. We had an FHE with them this week and we taught them about the "Armor of God" and they liked it a lot. We had Sebastian wear the armor (I sent him a breast plate, shield and sword in his Halloween box) and then we were done we took pictures of him doing a war cry! He's such a boss. Then he ran around hitting his brother. ANYWAY... after the Trunk or Treat we went home and studied Spanish.

Tell Ben that I said hi! I've been wanting to write him and TJ and Peter since I've been out here.. but I don’t have they're addresses... and I'm too lazy to ask you for them I guess.... I really love those guys and hope that they go on missions. There is nothing better than serving the Lord.

I start as District Leader at the start of this next transfer. I don’t know if I'm going or Elder Aguilar but I bet I'll stay. If I do I'll still be on the bicicleta. This week we have a Three Day Leadership Training that Elder Aguilar and I will need to go to, so Elder Williams, Elder Wilding, and Elder Stott (The other district leader's comp) will be covering three areas as a trio! It’s going to be really fun though. I'll get to see a lot of my friends in the mission and learn how to better myself as a trainer and district leader. I'm pretty excited for that.

I think I just might send that box at Christmas time... it could use a few more things inside anyway. Yes, I did buy a new memory card so I might send the old one in the box.

hmmmm... I don’t think there is anything else left to say. I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Con amor,

Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, October 29, 2012

Letter 68


October 29, 2012

 Hey Everyone!
 I'm very sad to hear about Bro McCandless. He is a very good man and a really great friend. I remember when he would call me Planet Jordan. haha I am so grateful for our Father's beautiful Plan of Salvation. I know its real. I know that we will all see Bro. McCandless again.
 Thank you for getting me Zack's letters! I've been wanting to hear from that guy forever! I can’t wait to hear how he's doing "across the pond"... as they say.
 Well I've got some exciting news this week. Late Friday night President Trayner called me and asked me if I would accept the call to become a new District Leader. I accepted... but I have no idea where I'm going to be haha. I think I'll be staying here and taking over Elder Aguilar's calling and he will be moving somewhere else. But either way I'm humbled to accept the call to be a new District Leader and appreciate the opportunity to grow and learn how to deal with even more stress.... haha just kidding. I'm excited for a new challenge and pray that Heavenly Father will qualify me. I know that I will learn to trust in him even more than I have been, which is definitely something I need.
 Elder Williams is progressing well and getting a feel for the work. He is speaking more and participating in the lessons.
 The Beltran family is doing well... there is some good news and some bad news. The good news is that they know that the Church is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We had a lesson about the order of God and how he always calls Prophets then we left them with the Restoration Pamphlet to read. We had our next lesson at the church and we followed up with the pamphlet and they told us they felt the Spirit as they read! The bad news is they told us that they might be moving to Houston in the next couple of weeks. They also didn’t come to church this Sunday which was really surprising. We tried to call but their phone was off.
 Amber is progressing very slowly... We had a lesson about the scriptures and how we need to liken them to our lives and it was really helpful. We read Alma 22 about King Lamoni's father and his experience. But when we invited her to church she frankly said "nope". We told her that exercising her faith by reading, praying and coming to church was how she was going to know these things are true, but she insisted that she needed to stay home and that she wasn’t ready to come to church. Its looking like she might be one of those darn "permagators".
 Elder Williams are still struggling to find. We found one new investigator this week whose name is, Eliud. He's really cool and really interested in the Book of Mormon. When we knocked on his door he said he didn’t like church because they just say the same thing over and over again. So we figured we would tell him about something that no one else has. We'll see how that goes.
Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you all so much and I hope you all realize how blessed we are to have the Gospel in our lives!
-Elder Jordan Stewart!
 ps yes I have my lights

Monday, October 22, 2012

Letter 67


10/22/12

Hey Everyone!

WOW... The house looks great! Ya'll are crazy! haha it looks like Extreme Home Makeover! I'm going to get lost when I get home. haha.

Hey did Madi get my letter last week? The pictures are for everyone and I have more that I'm going to send in my package to ya'll, but is there anything that you want in it? I feel bad because I'm basically just sending all my extra stuff home that I can’t carry anymore. I'm actually probably going to buy a new memory card for my camera too... They only cost like 12 bucks and I'm not taking very many pictures because I'm afraid to take up all my memory. I actually have filled it up a few times and I had to erase some pictures to make room. So if you see something on my debit card.. that’s it. If it’s really big... that’s the package. Hopefully within the next two weeks I'll get it out.

I'm so sorry to hear about Bro. McCandless! That’s so shocking to me that that would happen. Tell him I love him and tell his family that I'll be praying for him!

That’s so cool that you got to see Trent! Tell him to write me a letter if he can! I would love that! I don’t know what to ask for in the package... sorry.

This week was pretty tough, but a lot of lessons were learned. I've been feeling pretty overwhelmed with training and having to keep up with the investigators that we've been teaching along with FINDING new investigators to teach, but I know that if I just do the very best I can and leave it in the Lords hands then Elder Williams and I will be blessed. I think I've been leaning a little too much on my own understanding instead of trusting in God for my support. I'm really trying to find out everything that I need to do to be better and really master myself. Elder Williams is helping me out a lot because as I teach him I find my own flaws and make goals to try to be better. Elder Williams still needs a little more confidence talking with people and knowing what to say, but we're workin’ on it! He's a great elder and has tons of potential!

Our investigator Ana is not progressing. She didn’t come to church yesterday. We're going to have to have a drop lesson with her this week and see if that will jump start her into keeping her commitments. I know that the Lord will help us to be bold and loving. I really do love her and want her to progress... I think that we have been pushing her rather than guiding her to her Baptismal Date and that has been putting a lot of pressure on her. We're really going to focus on teaching to her needs.

We did, however, have a small family that we found last week come to church, the Beltrans. They are really humble people and are looking for help and guidance. I was so happy to see them at church! They came late because they had to get their kids ready so they missed Sacrament, but when they got there they headed straight for the classes! The kids were crying, but they just threw 'em into the Primary and went to Gospel Principles! They're already pros! We'll be seeing them tonight!

We're teaching a referral that we received by some really active members in our area. Her name is Amber. She's super smart and is working on getting her Doc. Degree. She is actually too smart and analytical for her own good! When we try to teach her she says, "Oh, that would be nice. Its possible, but not probable..." Ughhh... I don’t know what to do with her. I think she really lacks that sincere desire, real intent, and faith necessary.

We found a PM family this week that is really cool. The wife is a LA member that is coming back to church and the husband has investigated the church before. He works in the Oil Fields so it might be hard to teach him, but I think he has a real desire to know. They just had a baby and he wants her to grow up without the confusion of two religions in the home. He is also really good friends with some members of the ward so we already have the fellowship. He just needs an answer.

Anyway I love you all and I hope you have a great week this week. The work is going on here in Edinburg and will continue to go on! The Church is True!

Love-Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, October 15, 2012

Letter 66


October 15, 2012

Hey Ya'll!

Everything is going SO great here in good ol' Edinburg! Elder Williams and I have been working hard looking for new investigators and overcoming our personal weaknesses! Time is ticking down for me as a missionary and I need to do all I can to make the most of my time!

Mom's Questions: I'm feeling a whole lot better thanks for asking. The thing I bought for 68$ was an electric razor.... I needed one so I can have a man face. haha nah I just want to be obedient and shave every day and its tough getting out the ol' regular razor and shaving cream. I hope you’re not mad. I can’t send pictures because I lost the card reader... I hope you’re not mad for that either.... I'm trying to get that package to you as soon as I can!

Elder Williams is doing great. He has such a great desire to help in this work. The only thing that he really needs is confidence. We were teaching a lesson earlier this week and which led to baptism and when it was time to invite the person to be baptized Elder Williams wasn’t able to get the words out. Since then we have talked together and Elder Aguilar had a comp study with us about inviting people and being bold and I think that has really helped him. I really want to help Elder Williams be the best missionary he can. He has great potential. I just need to encourage him and strengthen him every chance I get. I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be able to train again. I know that President Trayner received that inspiration from the Lord. I needed to train so that I can hold myself more accountable for what I'm doing as a servant of the Lord. I've realized that in the last few months that I've had it pretty easy here in Edinburg with the amazing people that we taught and baptized, and now the Lord wants me to work hard to find new ones. I've been realizing more and more how easy it is to be complacent, BUT I remember what President Trayner told me in my last interview that I need to master myself so I can have the success that I want. I know that the reason I'm training right now is to help me do just that.

Yesterday our recent convert Sam had her interview to get her Patriarchal Blessing!! hahaha I was SO stoked when she told me she was going to get it! You'll have to meet her when she comes up to Utah for school! She also invited her mom and Brother to church! And they came!

Brother Harkrider and his son Derek were confirmed yesterday and are officially members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Bro. Harkrider was confirmed by his fellow-shipper,  Bro.Grimaldo, and I had the opportunity of confirming Derek which I did in English so he could understand. Then later in Priesthood meeting Bro. Harkrider received the Priesthood and became a Priest. He's going to be a great leader in the Church someday!

Our investigator Ana has taken a few steps in the wrong direction this last week. This week she told us that she wasn’t sure about her baptismal date. She hasn’t been connected too well with all of the invitations that we've given her, not because she doesn’t want to, but I think because she doesn’t really understand the significance of what we're teaching her. This week we've decided to teach her the Restoration again and help her to open up and apply it more to herself.

We've found some pretty cool investigators this week as well and received some good referrals so hopefully next week we'll have even more good news for you all! Sorry this is so short but I'm outta time! I love you all so much!

-Elder Jordan Stewart!

PS tell Trent hi for me!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Letter 65


10/8/12

Hello Ya'll!

Conference was pretty nuts right!? Can you believe that news about the ages for new missionaries!? Madi and Meg I would deeply encourage you to consider and pray about serving a mission. It is the BEST thing that you could do in your lives right now and it will prepare you for the REST of your lives. Just to let you know mom I get to see every session of conference. We're required to go…and besides I wouldn’t have missed it for the world! I was even suuuper sick yesterday but I still went to the Sunday Session (I've been sick for the last 2 days but its ok! I'm not too sick not to work. Its just a little head cold and its starting to clear up already). I loved all the talks and I can’t believe how much I took that sacred time for granted while I was home. To think that living prophets and apostles of God speak to us today and tell us what our Heavenly Father wants us to know is unbelievable! We are so blessed to have that! Just as if Moses was speaking to the Children of Israel or Peter or Paul were talking to the Primitive Church we have the opportunity to hear real living servants of the Lord. What could be more important? I hope you all got a chance to sit and learn from the Conference and that we all can take the counsel given to us to be true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

My new companion’s name is Elder Williams. He's from Vancouver, WA and he is super cool. He reminds me a lot of my old comp Elder Payne. The first few days he was a little bit nervous but he's loosening up and getting to know the area. I know we are going to do really well together. The rest of the apartment is the same so Elder Aguilar and Elder Wilding are still with us!

Ana is doing well. We couldn't meet with her really this week because she lost her phone and we couldn’t schedule an appointment but she was able to watch some of Conference and she thought it was "very interesting" I hope that is a good thing! haha I guess Elder Williams will get a chance to talk to her this next week and help her progress more.

Other than that we aren't working with too many people. We're trying to work smart by going by Recent Converts and Less Active or Part Member families. We found a lot of new potential investigators but we couldn’t sit down with any of them to have a lesson. Hopefully this week they'll turn into new investigators and will progress.

That’s so great that Chase got a job! I was praying for him. Tell him congrats from me... if he doesn’t read this... I don’t know if he does or not. Do people actually read these letters....? Oh and yes I did get that package from Grandma with that roll of mini notes! I LOVED it! I will keep that forever! I loved what everyone wrote and I'm so happy to know that I have such a great family.

I don’t know what else to write... I can’t remember what you wrote.... I'm probably going to be sending you that package sometime soon. I don’t know how much it will cost because it’s gonna be big. So don’t get mad if its expensive...

I love you and hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, October 1, 2012

Letter 64


10/1/12

Hey Everyone!  Sorry I don’t have a lot of time to write so I'll try my darndest to get everything in that I can!
Oh and just make sure you lay down the ground rules with those missionaries. (the missionaries are moving into our basement apartment) Stay in touch with the mission office if there are any problems you can call them. But I think that’s pretty cool. Try to go out with them! Keep them in line though... don’t put up with crap.
ps they wont appreciate the theatre room next door... haha
This wee we had Zone Conference! President Trayner gave an awesome training on the Book of Mormon and focused on the 3 Witnesses and had a mock trial with them stating their testimonies. Its so amazing all 3 of the witnesses at one time left the church but never denied their testimonies of the divinity of the Book of Mormon or that they had seen an angel! I learned a lot of things that are really going to help me with the area especially focusing on the amazing power that the Book of Mormon has in the conversion of our investigators. I have seen in my mission that those people that have truly been converted are the ones that fall in love with the Book of Mormon and know that it is true. Everything comes easier when investigators gain a testimony of that divine book.
At Zone Conference, President was persuaded to let us all know right there about transfers! SO...... he told E. Eggli that he was moving to Harlingen to be with my old comp. E. Leiva, and then I asked him who my new companion is going to be and he proceeded to tell me that.........(drum roll)....................(hold on to your testimonies).............. I will be TRAINING again. hahaha so... this week I'll receive my second son. My first born in the wilderness. I'm excited for another opportunity to train! haha I was pretty darn surprised when President told me, but I am grateful for the challenge and hope I can help this new missionary have a good experience in the mission. I loved working with E. Eggli and I learned a lot about patience, humility, and love from him. He is a great missionary and I know he prepared me to train again this transfer. I also got to see my first born Elder Curletti and some other comps at the conference and that was really awesome.

The Harkriders were baptized yesterday! It was a beautiful service and the spirit was felt so strongly. Derek (the 10 yr old son) was sick at church that morning and had to go home to rest, so we were afraid that he wouldn’t be able to make it to the service, but everything worked out ok and Elder Eggli and I had the opportunity to perform the ordinances. I baptized Derek and Elder Eggli baptized Bro.Harkrider. . The Ward was really supportive and it turns out that Bro.Harkrider is good friends with Bishop Mask in McAllen and he is a great support as well. They're all set up with home teachers and are looking like they'll progress to the Temple in a year. Great family of KINGDOM BUILDERS!
This week our goals suffered a little bit due to some random service projects that we got volunteered for and a lot of appointments that got cancelled. The Camacho family doesn’t seem to want to progress and it was really hard to meet with them this week as well as Julio, our YSA investigator. But E. Eggli and I found some great potential investigators this week and I'm planning on working with some LA and PM families that we've found. I know that the Lord will bless us. Me and my son will have a lot of work to do though.
I hope you all have a great week! Pray that the Lord will bless me here in Edinburg!
-Elder Jordan Stewart
PS That’s so nuts that Trent is going HOME!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Letter 63


September 24, 2012

Hey it’s me... Elder Stewart!
Everything is going just splendidly here in the glorious Texas McAllen Mission. This week was great! Elder Eggli was a little bit sick in the beginning of the week so it started off a little difficult, but the work still must go on! Elder Eggli was sick with a pretty nasty cold so I worked with Elder Aguilar in his area for a day and Elder Wilding stayed home to take care of poor little Elder Eggli and clean the apartment. But he's feeling a lot better now... he just has a nasty cough and loads of mucus! But he's good enough to work!
We have been working really hard to focus on our progressing investigators and helping them get to baptism, and I'm afraid we let some of our other goals slip this week like new investigators and referrals. We were still looking for them, but not with as much ganas as we could have I believe. But our progressing investigators are doing SO GOOD!
This Thursday Samantha Garcia was baptized! Her baptism was SO amazing and the Spirit was felt strongly by everyone there. Bro. Kline from the Sherryland Ward baptized her and when she came up out of the water she had tears in her eyes. It was beautiful. This Sunday I confirmed her a member of the Church and then the Branch Presidency invited her to give her testimony of her conversion in front of the whole Singles Brach. She did SO good! During Relief Society she texted and said, "I’m just so happy!! Thank you guys!" She is a miracle and one of Heavenly Father's choice daughters. She even said that she wants to transfer to UVU next year to play for their golf team! So I might get to go to school and hang out with one of my converts when I get back! I already invited her to Sunday dinner haha.
Bro. Harkrider is doing really well. We moved up his baptism for this next Sunday, on the 30th and he's really excited for it. We also invited his 10 yr. old son, Derek, to be baptized on the same day and he accepted! So this week we'll be preparing to help them be baptized together. We mostly have to focus on teaching the son. Bro. Harkrider is a great man and will definitely lead his family to the Temple! Last night Hna. Harkrider texted us, "Sebastian (their 5 year old son) hizo su 1st oracion. Creo nuestras vidas estan cambiando." I love that family!
The rest of our investigators, the Camacho Family, Ana, and Julio, didn’t come to church so we'll have to see what happened there this week. We bring it up every time we visit with them so there shouldn’t really be an excuse. But we'll see...
The only thing I think Elder Eggli and I need to work on right now is diligence in all of our goals especially finding! So that will be our focus for this next week. 
I'll definitely check out Walmart for that box stuff and I'll try to fill it to the brim this time with goodies and pictures! Sorry it's taken so long!
I love you all y iespero que tengan una buena semana!


-Elder Jordan Stewart


Monday, September 17, 2012

Letter 62


September 17, 2012

Hola mi querido familia y mis amados amigos!
 Wow... I don’t even recognize our kitchen! What a change! It looks really great and I bet it will look even better with lights, cabinets, and food! haha I bet you just want to cook something!
Our week was really good. Other than the rains everything was great! We have been trying to find some new investigators working with the members and investigators in our area and we are seeing the fruit of that!
Sam is doing great! She is looking forward to her baptism this Thursday (her mom is going to be gone for the weekend) and she is inviting everyone she knows! She says she's afraid there wont be enough room for everyone haha. This weekend she is in Chicago at a golf tournament so she wasn’t able to come to church, but she told us that she has been able to find time to read the Book of Mormon while she's been there. She's heading on to 2 Nephi! Definitely a GOLDEN investigator if I've ever seen one. She even made her own program for her baptism and hashed out the details with the Branch Mission Leader. What a champ.
Bro. Harkrider (part member family) is also doing really well. He understands everything we teach him and he has a great desire to change and help his family. He feels really bad for things that he has done in the past and sort of feels like it will be hard to be forgiven. One night he couldn’t sleep and stayed up reading the Book of Mormon and felt the Spirit really strongly telling him that he needs to change. He said it was like his whole life flashed before him and he felt really guilty for the life that he lived. So we suggested that he read Alma 36. He told us a few days later that it was exactly what he needed and that it was exactly how he feels. He's come to church every Sunday since we met him... even though the last two times he was sick. I can see the desire in him to come closer to God.
The Camacho family is doing well. They came to the Mexican Independence Party that the Spanish Ward had. I of course was sporting my trademark fake bigote (mustache) at the party and everyone loved it! They called me "Pancho Villa" hahaha. All of the men went to the front by the music and sang a Mexican song, and Bro.Camacho even came with us! Then in the middle of the song we were all challenged to do "gritos" hahaha Bro.Camacho was so nervous and shaky!... he hid behind Elder Stott sweating the whole time! When it was his turn he chickened out... but it was all right everyone was really nice to him. I hope he wasn’t too embarrassed though! His wife and her friend came to church yesterday but Bro.Camacho didn’t... haha maybe he WAS too embarrassed... nah! They said he was busy... but we'll see tonight in our lesson with them.
We started teaching a member of a recent convert family and she came to church yesterday as well.  We taught her on Saturday and during our lesson THE RAINS came. We had to hide in her house for about an hour.... So we just showed her mormon.org and lds.org. She's really awesome though.  I think she'll definitely progress well. She already has her family members and some members of the church supporting her.
I love you all and the work is going just splendidly here
-Elder Jordan Stewart