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 and 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

Monday, September 10, 2012

Letter 61

September 4, 2012

Hey Y'all!
It sounds like the home projects are getting just about finished up! I hope y'all like it and more importantly I hope I can recognize the place when I get back! Time just keeps on flying out here and it just makes me want to work harder to help all the great people here in Texas!

I did get the package that you sent me and I am grateful for the effort haha! It wasn’t lame at all. I WAS expecting some pictures though... maybe I'll send you some pictures when you send ME some pictures! hahaha oh how the tables have turned! Haha I don’t know if I'll actually need that sketch book either... maybe I'll send that home with my next package... but I have no idea when that will be haha. I'll send my memory card with that package though ok. Maybe next week. I just need a box that will fit everything.

Oh last Monday I just bought some soccer cleats so I don’t have to ruin my Vans... They're pretty tight. Elder Aguilar got the same ones as me so we could be twinners. CUTE..... I love all the Elders in my apartment. Elder Aguilar and Elder Eggli have been out for about 9 months and Elder Wilding is brand spankin’ new with about 2 months. Elder Aguilar is from Maryland, Elder Eggli is from a little town in Northern Utah called Garland, and Elder Wilding is from the Pocatello Idaho where the potatoes flow like wine! They're all great. And Edinburg is a  little city like Orem or Provo. I like it.

But everything is going great here in Edinburg West! Elder Eggli and I are working hard trying to find new investigators and striving to help the investigators we do have to progress! It’s truly amazing to be a missionary at this time!

Our investigator Sam is doing so well! We only started her teaching her last week but she is basically ready to get baptized right now! She is really driven to find answers and to follow Jesus Christ. She keeps all of her appointments, she goes to institute and FHE, and she is very sensitive to the Spirit and knows that everything that we've taught her is true. I don’t see any obstacles stopping her from being baptized in the next few weeks. She is definitely a prepared daughter of God and we are very thankful for the opportunity to teach her. She even came to play soccer with all the missionaries yesterday at the Church and she brought a friend! She's amazing. Unfortunately we haven’t been able to help Elena that much because she is holding back a bit, but its ok because once Sam is baptized she can help us baptize some other people!

Thomas didn’t come to church and he has been flaking out on a lot of other appointments so we're going to have to drop him. Sorry....We also received a really great referral for a Part Member family that lives in our area, the Harkrider Family. The mom was baptized a while ago in Brownsville but was only active for about 6 months and then her life got really hectic and she fell way. But she told the missionaries that she wants to go back to church with her family. Her husband isn’t a member but is really cool! He was raised Methodist but likes the Mormon church. They have a 10 year old son that can also be baptized. They came to church on Sunday and loved it! The mom found some friends at church and the dad really loved the messages that were shared about strengthening our homes and families. We have another appointment with them tomorrow and hopefully we'll set a baptismal date for the dad and son.

I'm growing a lot here. I'm learning to look at people differently ever since I was in Rio Grande. Really, everyone around us are our brothers and sisters, and unfortunately we don’t treat them like that all the time. We really need to. When we do we learn to understand each other, we know what to say, and we feel the Spirit. It is key in missionary work to be able to see with "Spiritual Eyes" and hear with "Spiritual Ears" like Elder Bednar tells us, so that we can discern exactly how to help someone. I love all of these great lessons that I'm learning.

I hope that y'all have a great week and remember to pray to charity!

-Elder Jordan Stewart