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


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


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


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!!