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!)


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