Monday, June 3, 2013

Letter 98

June 3, 2013

 

FYI - JORDAN COMES HOME ON Wednesday, June 5th!!! He will be reporting on his mission on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. in the chapel at 865 W. 1000 N. in Oremwith refreshments after at Jordan's home.  We previously announced that he would speaking on the 23rd however due to some scheduling conflicts it was moved to JUNE 30TH @ 9 A.M.  We hope you will be able to come and see him!

 

 

Hello.....

 

Haha man It feels so weird to be writing this letter. I honestly didn’t think this would come so fast. I feel like after this I'm just going to go out at prepare myself for another vigorous week of serving the Lord, but sadly I know that isn't true. Mom it definitely is a BITTER-SWEET experience. But I guess I'll talk more about that later. I don’t want to break down in the library before I finish the darn letter.

 

I'm so excited to hear that Madi got accepted into the interior design program at Utah State! All that hard work paid off huh! Wow Madi, you're an inspiration to me and I hope that I can go after my dreams like you. Keep up the great work and keep working your behind off! Because when you get done with your homework you can help me with mine :) haha jk.

 

I'm glad that you all got a laugh out of that phone call from Elder Valdez haha man I am a ditz! (he forgot his pin number for his debit card – a week before he comes home!) I guess some things don’t change haha. I even asked Elder Valdez when he called me back if dad laughed when he asked him for it. He said no, but I know my family all too well... I'll be hearing it for the next two years! haha

 

Don't freak out Paige! haha just try to get as many shots and angles as you can and I'll edit it. Just as long as there is a lot of different footage it should be good. If you can, get some shots of the family all together and then me on the escalator and then just go for it, just keep rolling. hahaha I hope that helps. Probably not. It’s not that big of a deal.

 

I'm going to sell my bike for $60 bucks to Elder Rios, a Senior Missionary that works in the office. He asked if I would sell it to him and I said, "Sure!" So that’s that. I don’t think its really worth $100 mom. It’s been under my bum on South Texas roads for 2 years.... ewww..... I'm happy to get 60 bucks off of it. I'm gonna miss her though. She was a good little bike.

 

Now for what happened this week. Well like I told you in my last letter, last Monday I got sick. Then the next 2 days I was still recovering and Elder Nielson got sick haha. So we didn’t get too much work done for those first few days... definitely not something that you want to happen on the last week of your mission. After we were all better we started to get to work. We received a voicemail from our Zone Leaders on Thursday night with Transfers and it was nuts! Our entire district is getting whitewashed! We definitely were not expecting that. Everyone in our apartment will be gone! Elder Greenland and I are going home, Elder Miller is going to Laredo, and Elder Nielson is going to La Joya East in the Mission Zone (the area right next door). When the Velasquez family heard they were not very happy. They knew I was leaving but when we told them Elder Nielson was leaving they were really sad.

 

Speaking of the Velasquez family. Sis. Velasquez was the only member of her family confirmed yesterday. It’s kinda a long story so I can tell you when I see you :) The rest of the family hopefully will be confirmed the following Sunday.

 

There aren’t words to describe the love and gratefulness I feel for my Heavenly Father and for calling me to serve in the Texas McAllen Mission. I will forever be changed by these experiences I've had. Thank you all for your support and prayers. This work is true and it is lead by our Lord and Savior. He lives. I bear this testimony and will forever in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

 

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Letter 97

May 28, 2013

Hey Everyone!

This week was nuts! Probably one of the craziest of my mission... better late than never right? But before I get into the details I better answer some of your questions.

I still don’t know where I'm going to sell my bike. Hopefully I can find a member that knows someone that would want to buy it because I don’t know if they will give me a good price for it at a pawn shop. I'll be asking around this next week.

Elder Nielson, Elder Miller and I are playing a prank on Elder Greenland. We took all of his ties except for one really ugly one and hid them. Now he has to do a scavenger hunt over the next 5 days until he can get them back. It’s super funny. It's super complicated... I don’t know how it escalated so far, but that’s what happens when you cant watch TV for 2 years, you have to find different ways to entertain yourself.

I got super sick yesterday! When I woke up I had some tummy problems and I had diarrhea. Then we went shopping and I just felt super weak. When we got home I decided to just lie in bed and before I knew it I had a fever! I threw up and was feeling super crappy and weak and so I just slept. I got dehydrated because we didn’t have any water in our apartment and then my lower back started to hurt. I thought I had a kidney infection or something! It was the pits! The other Elders went to go get some water and after I had drunk a few glasses of it I felt a little better. When I woke up this morning I just had a little headache and I was weak, but I haven’t felt like throwing up and my lower back isn’t achy anymore. Hopefully I'll be back to 100% by tonight. Definitely not something that you want to happen on your last week :( I think I'll be fine though.

Like I said this last week was nuts! The Velasquez family had their interviews at 2:00 and their wedding at 4:00 on Saturday. We were a little bit late to their interviews and so they started a little late. They all passed their interviews but they needed to go pick up the cake for after their wedding and they still needed to get dressed and it was like 3:45. They hurried and left to go get the cake while we waited for everyone to show up to the wedding. They didn’t come back until like5:00! Geez... the wedding was great though. I was smiling from ear to ear watching them make such a beautiful promise and I can’t wait ‘til they can make that promise eternal.

The next day was the baptism. It started at 6:30 so to prevent them from being late we told them to come at 6:00. They didn’t show up until like 6:50! Man this family is always late! Once they got there we had them all get ready. All of them were dressed in their baptismal clothes, all except Sis. Velasquez. Her suit didn’t fit. She was feeling really overwhelmed and stressed and after this little wardrobe malfunction she lost it a little bit. She said that she wasn’t going to get baptized that day. She wanted her family to do it but that it wasn’t happening for her. She went to her van and broke down crying. A member went to go help calm her down/convince her to come back while we told Bro. Velasquez to switch her suits because his was a size bigger. When the member successfully convinced her to come back we gave her the other suit, but she was still decided whether or not she would be baptized. Finally her daughter went into the bathroom and said, "Please Mom. I want you to go to Heaven with me." and that softened her heart. She put on the suit and she and her family were baptized. It was definitely one of the craziest most stressful baptisms I've ever been a part of! Not to mention that the font wasn’t holding water and Elder Nielson had to get in to put a heavy rock on the drain to make it hold during the first part of the service AND they spelled their names wrong on the programs. hahaha man... you gotta love the mission!

I love being a missionary more than anything in the world. Thanks for supporting me over these two years. I hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, May 20, 2013

Letter 96

FYI - JORDAN COMES HOME ON Wednesday, June 5th!!! He will be reporting on his mission on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. in the chapel at 865 W. 1000 N. in Oremwith refreshments after at Jordan's home.  We previously announced that he would speaking on the 23rd however due to some scheduling conflicts it was moved to JUNE 30TH @ 9 A.M.  

May 20, 2013

 

Hello Everyone!

 

This week was a great one as all weeks are when you're serving the Lord! But before I get into details we need to cover the business part of the letter.

 

First off I would like to wish a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beloved mom. How old are you again Mom? OLD! Not as old as Dad though. You look great Mom. The people I show your picture to all say you look beautiful! They just say Dad is big and tall haha. Hope you had a good one Mommy!

 

Next... I dont really care about my homecoming talk date. haha Either one of those times sounds great to me. Just do whatever is easiest for everyone else in the family. Either way I'll have to talk it doesn’t matter to me... but if people would like to come I think you should ask them hahaha. I'll be there :)

 

I'm glad that you liked that drawing that I sent you, but I would hold off on selling it to anyone haha I actually patterned it from a Greg Olsen painting that's in one of our pamphlets. I'm actually thinking about doing some artwork and entering into the Church’s art competition and see if I do well enough that they would buy some of my work. I think it would be cool to be a Church artist. Maybe?

 

Hey Elder Porter (Caleb's cousin) says hi and that he loves you... weird. Haha he's a really cool guy. I think he's going to Utah State when he goes back.

 

I don’t know if you need to send another package... I mean you can if you want. Like always I never know what to ask you for so I guess... whatever works haha. As long as it ships well! haha jk how about some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies?! I love those! If you can, put some plain oatmeal cookies in there too. Like Dad and I like. Thank you! Loves.

 

Anyway... This week is great. I love being missionary and seeing the joy the Gospel brings in the eyes of the people we teach. The Velasquez family is doing well.  This week we got their marriage license and this Saturday they'll be getting married. It’s really sad though. All week the Brother and Sister Velasquez were inviting their families to the wedding and none of them wanted to go! Its so sad to see how pride can have such a strong hold on a person's heart that they can refuse to understand and hurt the people they care the most about. They were able to get his brother to come though and they're excited about that. Elder Nielson and I are super excited for them too. I'm always telling them how much I love them and how much God loves them. They really appreciate it. This week we are just working on getting them ready for their interview and especially help their kids.

 

We were also able to bring another family to church that a member referred us too who are SUPER nice and they came to a baptism as well. GREAT potential!

 

Thanks for everything! Unfortunately that’s all I have time for! I love you and hope you all have a great week!     -Elder Jordan Stewart

 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Letter 95

May 13, 2013

 

Hello Family!

 

Man it feels like just yesterday I was talking with you... OH YEAH! CAUSE IT WAS! haha I hope you all enjoyed watching those family videos after you got off the phone with me. I love watching videos of our family together. I know there is nothing else as important as family. It is central in Gods plan. He didn't send us here alone but He sent us to families. I am so blessed to have been sent to all of you and we are all blessed to have the knowledge that because of the covenants we have made we can be together forever as we are faithful. You are all perfect for me and I love you all so much.

 

I wanted to write a special message to my Mother as it was Mother's Day yesterday. I don't feel like I really had much of a chance to express fully my gratitude and love on the phone. I tribute all that I am and all that I have come to be to the fact that I have been raised by such amazing parents, and mom you though "imperfect" are perfect for me. I am so grateful for your example of kindness and care through out the years. I know that sometimes you didn’t let me have the "freedom" that other kid's parents did, but I always knew and understood the reason: you love me. I want to let you know that I love you too. You've taught me how to worry about other people and have sincerity in what I do. You are an example of charity. I'm glad you recognize your faults because it teaches me to recognize mine. I don’t care if you aren’t the perfect mother because like I said you are perfect for me. I will always be proud to be called the son of Kimberly Ann Thorpe Stewart. I love you Mom.

 

 

Anyway... now that I'm tearing up in the Library... This week was really great. We had 6 people at Church yesterday! What’s better than 1 family at church?... 2 FAMILIES AT CHURCH WOOOOO! (Elder Peterson taught me that one ;) ) Yeah the Velasquez family came to church and the Berrones family came. It was quite a surprise too. They were a former from a few months ago that we decided to stop by and invite to church. They said that they would like to but weren’t sure because the mom always has to work on Sundays. Come Sunday and after Sacrament I get up and see them sitting in the back! Turns out she got FIRED! What a blessing! hahahaha! She can come to church now! We're going to see themtonight.

 

Hopefully this week we can get the Valasquez family married and they can be baptized soon! WE'RE HAVING A WEDDING! WOOO!

 

Anyway… I'm just about up for time. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!

 

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, May 6, 2013

Letter 94

FYI - JORDAN COMES HOME ON Wednesday, June 5th!!! He will be reporting on his mission on Sunday, June 23, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. in the chapel at 865 W. 1000 N. in Orem with refreshments after at Jordan's home.

May 6, 2013

Hola todos mis queridos!

Ojala que todos esten bien y que esten difrutando la semana. Aqui en la hermosa clima de tejas estamos experimentado milagros! Elder Nielson and I are working hard here trying to find the elect and the Lord is blessing us; but more of that after I answer some questions.

First. Mom you and Dad are most definitely boring. hahaha JK jk... I love you both very much. Tell Madi to quit being lame and be more like you two. That means no staying up late! Unless it’s to watch the news in your room and after that reruns of Cold Case! HAHA :P

My apartment is pretty nice. No CUCARACHAS! That’s a plus! Its a four man apartment. Elder Nielson and I and then Elder Greenland (from my MTC group) and his greenie Elder Miller. We all get a long great have some pretty fun times. I drew cartoon versions of everyone in my apartment and they’re pretty funny. I drew myself smiling and waving because that’s what I'm always doing! Even if the people I wave at don’t wave back.... haha Sometimes its because I just wave at awkward times.

I haven’t really thought about selling my bike yet. Elder Greenland was going to sell his bike too and so I think I'll sell mine with him. I'll be sure to let them know about the things I've done to it and get a good price.

I think its pretty crazy that Rick is coming home the same day as me (the day after actually)! We've been emailing each other and he told me that and I was like WHY? hmmm... That should be fun though. I can be a weird return missionary with him! We'll be companions! WOO WOOOP! It’s just another transfer Elder Doxey! haha jk we're not that weird right?.... :(

The work here is going really well. Like I told you last week we were able to find a family of 4, the Velasquez family, and they are progressing really well. We have high hopes for them. This week we taught them the requirements for baptism and gave them a Baptismal Checklist. We also taught them in that lesson about the Holy Ghost and how they could receive an answer through prayer. We invited the mom and the dad to each offer a prayer and ask God if they should be baptized. After each of their prayers we paused and listened to the Spirit. A profound feeling of peace was felt and it was undeniable that God had answered their prayers. Bro Velasquez felt the Spirit really strongly and even cried. Of course Elder Stewart cried too.... haha what else is new. The next lesson we had a tour of the Church and a lesson on the Sabbath Day. They were super committed to church but when Sunday rolled around they weren’t at the capilla (chapel) on time! We called them and called them and finally the mom answered. She was all ready and dressed with her kids but Bro Velasquez had left with the car earlier that morning and still hadn’t returned! Sis Velasquez was super upset as were we. It was a real disappointment for all of us. So we're going to have a serious talk with Bro Velasquez. What's good is that he has already received an answer from God that this is something he needs to do and we can use that to motivate him and help him understand the gravity of what happened and make sure it doesn’t happen again. I love that family though. I know they'll still get baptized and this is just a little hiccup.

We also had someone else at church this week named Maria who we’re going to follow up with today. She is a lady probably in her 50s that takes care of her kids and grandkids. A member took her to church and from what it looked like she really liked it. We'll see where that goes. She has a date on the 2nd of June.

Other that that Elder Nielson and I are still working to find the elect here in the beautiful area of La Homa! Everything is going great here and I'm super excited for what lies ahead!

I love you all and hope you have a great week! Remember to SMILE!

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, April 29, 2013

Letter 93

April 29, 2013

Dear Family and Friends,

This last week was pretty good! I love it here in my new Zone and Area. My companion's name is Elder Nielson. He's from Boise, ID and he is a big ol’ nerd just like me! haha we get a long great! He reminds me of a young Conan O'Brian haha except he has blond hair. He's been out for like 19 months. I'm not a District Leader anymore. Just a regular ol' missionary. In ways I'm kind of sad that I don’t get to work as closely with my district but I'm also grateful I don’t have to do follow-ups on Wednesday. Friday, and Sunday!

I did not get a chance to sell my bike before I left :( I'm going to try to sell it another way though. Maybe I'll pawn it. I still have all of the gift cards that Grandma sent me for Christmas and my birthday... so I'll have like $125 right there when I get home. I'm really good at saving :)

Elder Nielson and I are basically just trying to build up our teaching pool this week. When I got here we weren’t really working with anyone and no one was really progressing towards baptism, but that is all going to change! I have some major goals to start working with our members, finding solid people, and obviously, BAPTIZING! Even if I'm not here to see it all happen I definitely want to leave this area on fire.

We were able to find a few investigators this week but the ones that I'm most excited for is the Velazquez family. We just contacted them as they were walking into their house and asked if we could sit down. Sis.Velazquez is super nice and said yes. We decided to do a fun lesson on baptism for their 12 year old girl called the Soap and Pepper lesson.

For all of you that don’t know about this lesson you need 2 bowls of water, a toothpick, pepper, and soap. You put a bunch of pepper into one of the bowls of water and that represents the world (pepper=sin), then you take the toothpick, which represents us, and take a little walk in the peppery water. You then get dirty with all the sinful pepper! So, you need to be BAPTIZED! by immersion of course. Dump the little toothpick in the other bowl of water and get him all clean. Then you give him the Holy Ghost (put soap on it) and put him back in the "world" and see what happens! Sins will slide right off ya!

Anyway... this family that we taught wasn’t very well off and didn’t have toothpicks or pepper or regular soap. So for the first time in my mission I used a stick I found on the ground, Seasoning Salt, and Laundry Detergent! haha it worked alright... but they got the idea. They also accepted BDs! They didn’t come to church :( so we'll be helping them with that this week.

Other than that there wasn’t very much else that happened. Oh... you'll have to ask me about what happened the first day of church here when we talk on Mother's Day! That’s a good story... SUPER AWKWARD. Elder Nielson and I almost died of embarrassment!

I cant express with words how much I love all of you. I am so grateful for your love and support and for always encouraging me and helping me throughout my life. Mom and Dad you are such great examples to me and have helped me in every aspect of my life as well as my great brothers and little sister. I love you all and you are some of my dearest friends. Not to mention my extended family and friends. I love you all. Thank you Aunt Paige for your letters and the tie you sent me around last Christmas. I'm sorry I forgot to tell you thanks before now. You're awesome! Grandpa Garner I love you and your example to me and the rest of our family. You are a wonderful Patriarch and your Heavenly Father is so proud of you and your children. I am so full of gratitude and love for all of you and I just want you all to know how blessed I am to be a part of your lives now and, because of this beautiful gospel, in the eternities. Life is wonderful!

I hope you all have a great week and remember to SMILE! :D

Elder Jordan Stewart

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Letter 92

April 22, 2013

Hello mis Queridos!

I don’t remember anything about Dad being nervous the first time he was called to be a Bishop. I thought he was super confident and did a great job! I sure do love my dad and I'm so grateful for the wonderful example of a Priesthood Holder he is. Thanks for teaching me through your amazing example Dad! I can't wait ‘til I can say all of these things to your face. Well... I think I can wait. I am in no position to be wishing away any time! It sounds like you all have been keeping yourselves busy though! I'm glad! I don’t really like it when there is nothing to do or when we get thrown off our schedule... I'm going to need your help to keep me busy in a couple months so I don’t loose my mind!!

I've been really blessed with such awesome friends! I'm so grateful for their examples to me and I love reading about their mission experiences. Richie and Tyson Erdman both have written me emails and its really good to hear from them and see how they are doing. I sent an email to Elder Brown but still haven’t gotten a response. Ni modo... supongo que no somos amigos ahora.... jaja chiste Elder! Tu sabes que te amo! Tambien todos ustedes otros Elderes de Israel! Sigan trabajando en la obra del Dios mas Alto!


Our investigators are doing well. We were able to find a few investigators this week as well as have some lessons with Anahli. She came to church yesterday and loved it and is looking really good to hit her baptismal date. Her brother on the other hand was in San Antonio for the whole weekend and then some and we still haven’t gotten a chance to sit down with him. He worked late last night and wasn’t able to come to church…anyway... we'll see what we can do with him. We also found a really awesome lady named Luisa and her son Roberto (11). We taught them Wednesday and then they came to a baptismal service of a member's little girl on Friday. They also didn’t come to church >:( But we'll make sure they come next Sunday.

The Transfer Fairy has come again and he brought noticias that Elder Stewart........ will be............ getting TRUNKY TRANSFERED!! To La Homa! haha! My new companions name is Elder Nielson or Nelson... I forgot and he's been out for quite some time He came out on my third transfer. Elder Ayers, my good bud from the MTC, will be moving to one of my favorite districts in the whole mission: the Weslaco district! I'm super stoked for him! I'm sad to say I'll be leaving the beautiful Zone of Brownsville. I've made a lot of great friends out here and I'm going to miss them a lot.. but I'm super stoked to be moving to the Hidalgo Zone! I'll have hit 7 of the 9 Zones in the mission by the time I'm done! Oh and I'll be in a car! This last week we are setting baptismal dates for the 26th of May so... this is the last week that I have to find someone that I can baptize! The pressure is on! Elder Nielson and I will do WORK! I'm going to give it 120% ‘til the end!

I was talking to Elder Ayers today and I told him that over my mission I learned 3 Basics things that a missionary needs to do to be successful: 1. Be Prepared- study, obedience, diligence 2. Invite the Spirit- live worthy, fast and pray 3. BE HAPPY- love every minute, serve others, laugh, SMILE. If your not doing one of these three steps its going to be very very hard to be successful not only in missionary work but in all aspects of our lives. We need to live everyday the way a missionary would live. I'm going to try and follow these steps for the rest of my life and I invite you all to do the same. I know the Lord will bless you as you do.

I hope you all have a great week this week and remember how much God loves you!
-Elder Jordan Stewart


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Letter 91

April 15, 2013

Que tal?

WOW what an insane week it was.... It all started off with... well actually I think I'll let you squirm a little bit before I tell you everything. haha I'm glad to hear that everything is going well in Utah. Congrats on your new calling Dad! That should be really exciting! Oh and mom... I really hate it when you mention anything about me going home haha I actually haven’t gotten any information about my flight plans and when you told me that I almost threw up! Jk I did almost throw up this week though... but... like I said I'll tell you about that a little later. I think I will be super weird for me to go to Jordy's wedding reception on the why home from the airport but if that’s easier for everyone else then I'm down. I'll probably just be sticking close to one of the Melchezedek Priesthood holders around me. Who wants to be my companion? haha jk... but seriously.

I'm sorry to hear that Kampton had to finish a little early. That’s a bummer. I'm looking forward to talking with him and my other friends about their missions. I've been emailing Elder Doxey and Richie today and I'm going to see if I can shoot one off to Elder Brown in Chile! I love those guys so much!

So I'm surprised mom that you didn’t ask about the 90 bucks I spent this week.... haha. It’s a really long story and it all started with me not changing my brakes on my bike. They rubbed down all the way to the metal base and then as I braked on my bike the metal would scrape my rim... I didn’t really notice it. AND I still had a broken spoke so the brakes would rub even more. Anyway... we were riding to an appointment and I heard a little "pop" underneath me. I didn’t think very much of it until my wheel started to rub on my brake more than usual.. I looked down and MY RIM WAS BENT! Oopps... so I had to buy a new rim and brakes. Sorry mom.... :( I love you. Speaking of my bike, there is a guy in our apartment complex that wants to buy it for $180. I was thinking about it and I don’t think I'll really use my bike that much at home... what do you think?

So that’s something crazy that happened this week... the other thing that mom will get mad about I'll say a little later :)

Today we got a little wiff of the transfer fairy. President Trayner sent us a texting letting Elder Hobbs know that he would be training this next transfer! So that means I'll definitely be getting a new companion. So either he's whitewash training or my butts getting the boot and I'm getting trunky transfered! I hope it’s the first one because we just found this awesome girl named Anahli that came to church yesterday with her son. She and her Brother accepted BDs for the 12 and they are progressing pretty well. I hate it when that happens... its happened like 5 times to me already! But... its better to give than to receive ;) Anahli's brother, Beto, was a referral for a member whose daughter he is dating. She wanted us to check up on them and see if we could get her daughter back to church. They let us right in and were really interested to learn. Beto wasn’t able to come to church yesterday but Anahli came and loved it. She even came to see a baptism afterward. I was taking care of her 4 year old son the whole time! I entertained that kid for a whole sacrament meeting and a baptism so his mom could pay attention. I feel like I'm going to be a really awesome dad!

Other than those two Elder Hobbs and I haven’t found too many people. The family that we found has been super busy and the family of 3 that I told you about has been hard to find too. Pat decided she didn’t really want to meet with us anymore which was really sad. Its too bad because she is someone that needs the gospel in her life and would benefit from it a lot if she would only realize that she isn’t doing anything to receive those blessings.

NOW.... for the OTHER thing that happened. So last night after talking with a potential investigator Elder Hobbs and I went to unlock our bikes. When we got there I got SUPER light headed and almost passed out! I sat on the ground for a few minutes and gathered myself. After I felt a little better we took off to go to our next appointment, a dinner appointment with a member family, the Killpack's. I almost zonked out like 2 times on the way there. When we got there Bro Killpack diagnosed that I was dehydrated and gave me a couple bottles of water and told me to drink them all. I went and sat on their bathroom floor and drank them because I felt like I was going to throw up. We ended up just taking the food to go and Bro Killpack drove us home. I was tripping so bad I couldn’t even do follow ups with my district. I just layed on my bed and drank a gatorade. BUT I slept like a champ and I feel loads better today! That’s what I get for fasting! haha (fyi in our mission we are advised to drink water when we fast... but I forgot)

Well that’s basically it for this week! I love you all and hope you have a great week! Read your scriptures and don’t forget to smile!

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Monday, April 8, 2013

Letter 90

April 8, 2013

Hello Everyone!

Well the reason for me not writing on Monday last week was because.... The library wasn’t open for some reason! I know it sounds better as an April Fools joke but alas.... I didn’t do ANYTHING for April Fools. Next year will be different though so watch out.

It sounds like everything in Utah is great. Mom and Dad working and hanging out with the Browns, Madi stressing about crazy homework assignments, and to top it all off Austin busted a hole in Chases pants. (Just to clarify…Austin was wearing Chase’s pants). I'm so happy to hear that though I've been gone for almost 2 years, some things never change :)

General Conference was really amazing! I have been looking forward to it for the past... 6 MONTHS! I can't believe how much I took it for granted when I was home. To think, we have living prophets and apostles of God that receive direct revelation from our Heavenly Father to lead and guide us, His children! Why in the world would we not listen?! On the way to the church to watch conference we passed by a Catholic church and saw a group of people walking from the parking lot full of cars and I pretended to yell out the window,"There's a living prophet speaking down the street!!" The message that we share is so important and there are SO many of our brothers and sisters who are none the wiser. I can't help to think of the parable told by the Savior "Can the blind lead the blind? shall they not both fall into the ditch?" We must help those around us to understand this message and be lead by those that truly see.

Unfortunately Elder Hobbs and I weren’t able to bring any of our investigators to conference! UGH.... we did all that we could but to no avail.

We were able to find a family of 3 this week, Josefina and her 2 kids. She investigated the church a while ago and was about to get baptized, but her machismo husband wouldn’t let her. Eventually she and her husband got divorced, but she ended up just going to a Christian church. We had our first lesson with her scheduled on Tuesday, but we ran late and missed the appointment. We saw her again on Wednesday but couldn’t come in because we didn’t have a man with us so we set the appointment for Thursday. When we went by on Thursday we weren’t able to find a male member to come with us again but we knocked anyway and figured we could sit outside and have a lesson. She didn’t answer the first few times we knocked, but after about the 3rd or 4th try she came to the door with tears in her eyes. We asked her what was wrong but she wouldn’t tell us. I asked her "Why do you think that God has sent us here right now?" she thought about it but didn’t answer. We set up one last appointment with her for the next day and promised we would bring someone. The next day we were able to get a male member of the spanish ward to come with us and we went inside and taught her. During the first part of the lesson Josefina told us that she has been having a hard time being a single parent and that sometimes it gets to her. She then said that when I asked her why God had sent us there she was touched and knew that He had indeed sent us. She said, "If they come back with someone so they can come in I will listen them. But if they don’t have anyone I won’t open the door." Never in my mission have I been so grateful for a member present! We were able to teach her and set BDs for her and her 13 yr old son and 10 yr old daughter. They didn’t come to church this week, but gosh darn they WILL be there next week if I’ve got anything to say about it.

We were also able to set a BD with our investigator Pat. She is a miracle that we found just talking to everyone, but she is having trouble committing. She is willing to meet with us but is just a little bit flakey. She had to work this weekend suddenly and so wasn’t able to come to conference... She would have loved President Uchtdorf's talk on dwelling in the light too...

Well I've blabbered on enough I think. I love you all so much and I love being a missionary. There is nothing in this world that I would rather do. I thank my Heavenly Father for this great opportunity to grow and get to know myself and Him better than I ever thought I would. I love you and hope you have a great week! Keep bustin’ those moves Austin! Try not to bust the pants....

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Letter 89

April 2, 2013

Happy Late Easter!

Man I love being a missionary more than ANYTHING in the whole World. I feel like my good bud Elder Brown. He really says it best when he talks about his mission and I'm so happy to have him as a best bud. He's a great example to me. I would love to have his email address to get a chance to write him now that I can write my friends. I sent Elder Doxey an email but he's being a little bum and hasn’t written me back! I also sent him a package with the long awaited "Brotherhood of the Traveling Tie" tie in there.... so I hope it gets through the Brazilian post system ok. I forgot to put pictures of Jesus all over it so it’s going to be risky :/

I did indeed get your Easter Package. It was cute as a button just like all of your other packages mom. haha I've come to think that the reason you send me packages is just to try new ideas to be cute. I'm really excited to try those Trix Treats though... they look good. And thank you for explaining to me what a Kazookie is I would like to try that too:) But fyi chocolate definitely melts in the Texas heat. It might still be winter in Utah but here in Texas is different. The 4 seasons here are: Almost Summer, Summer, More Summer, and Christmas hahaha.

I forgot to tell you that I was Elder Merrill's District Leader! haha oops. I totally made the connection when we met because I remembered that you or Mark had mentioned something about that to me in a letter. He's a great missionary and is very dedicated to the work. I never was able to go on an exchange with him but Elder Hobbs tells me that he talks to EVERYONE he sees. But he was just transferred up to Beeville in the very tippy top of the mission! So.. I probably wont ever see him again :(

I'm so happy to hear that Krista got married! I'm really excited for her and hope you send her my best wishes. Man, everyone and their dog is either getting married or going on missions! Utah is going to be so different when I come home. That’s cool that I will be able to go to Shayla's reception. I still can't believe that she is getting married! haha She told me that she was dating someone in her last letter but that no wedding bells were in the air. And I even said if she was still single when I got home I would take her out on a date. I guess she'd rather get married than suffer through a date with Elder Stewart hahaha.... :( jk Congrats Shayla! Love ya!

This week our mission was able to hit the coveted 100 baptisms in a month, which has been our goal for almost a year now. This was something that we were doing quite regularly when I first entered the mission but ever since the start of 2012 we have been struggling with it. I believe it's because as missionaries we went through the "Pride Cycle" and now that we have been sufficiently humbled we are willing to work harder to reach our goals. We have a goal of 1200 baptisms in 2013 and even though I won’t be here to see us reach it I'm really excited for our mission. So... the focus that I have right now for myself and my missionaries is URGENCY! This last week of March our mission was only two baptisms away from hitting our goal and so the heat was on to find two miracle baptisms in the Zones. The Ap's called our Zone Leaders and the Zone Leaders called us District Leaders and we all put the pressure on our missionaries to try to find those two miracles. And WE DID IT! Two amazing children of God were able to go down into the waters of baptism at the last minute and we reached our goal. It was a testimony to me that URGENCY is the Spirit of this Work. There is a great talk by Elder Holland that talks about this being an Apostalic Work and that we need to have the urgency to call down miracles. That’s my focus for my district. The HEAT IT ON! Sorry... I just get pumped talking about it.

The Family is doing fine. We weren’t able to meet with them last week and they couldn’t come to church because they went out of town over the weekend. But we saw them last night and invited them to the activities at the church tonight. I'll keep you updated.

Well I was going to email some recent converts really quick so I'll talk to you next week! Listen to the Prophets and Apostles this week!

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Letter 88

March 25, 2013

HOLA!

Gee golly wiz. It sounds like Dad has been grillin’ his little heart away this week! I'm glad to hear that the family is doing well and that Grandpa and Grandma Stewart are still doing well. I'm looking forward to seeing them when I get home. Giving Grandpa Stewart a hug is like hugging a tree he's so darn strong! And I'm really happy to hear that they are healthy. Well as healthy as old people can be :) haha just kidding. Also I've been wondering for basically my whole mission... What the heck is a CAZOOKIE?! Everyone is eating them (especially Madi and her friends) and telling me about them and I don’t know what they are. I think its just a ginormous cookie... but I would love some clarification. Thank you.

This week was really good for Elder Hobbs and I. Last week I had a District Leader Training with the Zone Leaders and we talked a lot about picking up the ANIMO in our districts and being more positive! We brainstormed some ideas and made some plans to relay them to our districts and we all felt really confident about it. We also talked about how we all need to start focusing on finding FAMILIES. We received a commitment to plan a family that we were going to take to the Lord and ask him to help us find. Elder Hobbs and I were able to do that this week and the whole week we were talking about "the family". The whole week we were struggling with our finding, then on Friday we found the coveted FAMILY! We had talked to the dad a few days before and set up a return appointment to offer a blessing on his home. When we came back he had forgotten about the appointment but told us to come back in an hour when his whole family was there. About an hour later he pulled us over on our bikes and said that he was really sorry and that he was going to be going to Harlingen right then and then invited us to come to dinner with he and his family that night at 7. So we did and had dinner with this amazing family that almost exactly matched the family that we planned! After dinner we had a great lesson and set some expectations and set another visit for this Weds. We'll be on exchanges that day so hopefully Elder Hobbs and Elder Stevens can set BDs with them all and get them committed to church! They are such a beautiful family and I want to baptize them so bad! We found some other investigators this week as well but nothing else that’s new really.

Michael Lastra was confirmed this week. After his confirmation he just got our of the chair and walked back to sit with his family with a big smile on his face lookin’ like a million bucks, without shaking any of the brothers' hands who confirmed him (one of whom was the bishop)! Haha I was laughing to myself in the foyer. They are such a great family.

There are some big changes happening in my district. One of the companionships of sisters is getting mid-transfered to open up an area that has been closed for some time and then Elders are coming to take their place. It should be pretty exciting! It’s sad that the sisters wont be in my district anymore, but I’m excited to work with some more elders and go on exchanges in a new area.

Other than that there isn’t really anything new going on! Have a great week! The Lord lives and loves us. ALWAYS REMEMBER HIM!

-Elder Jordan Stewart


Monday, March 18, 2013

Letter 87

March 18, 2013

Hello Family!

This just in... Effective immediately Missionaries have 75 mins... I repeat.... 75 mins to write emails and they can write friends and converts! So hopefully my emails will be better (I'm not making any promises). It’s good to hear that everything is going well for everyone back home. Do you guys ever see Chase and Austin anymore? Are they okay? How is Chases job/love life? What kind of craziness has Austin got himself into? I need to be in the loop with these types of things! I'm still a part of this family!

It’s very bittersweet to hear that basically all of the girls in our little group are now engaged/married. I send my best wishes to all of them and hope they have great futures. All you return missionary friends of mine... don’t you even think about getting married until I get home!

Funny Story: So during church the Ward Mission Leader, Hno Rubio, started to fill the font for the baptism after church. It takes about 45 mins to fill. After Sacrament Meeting we went to go check on the font and the water was freezing cold. Also the plug of the font doesn’t work and in order to drain it you need to put a doorstop under it, but the doorstop was floating in the middle of the font! So we grabbed a long broomstick and shimmied the doorstop over to us, but now we had to get it under the plug to drain the font and fill it with warm water! By this time the Zone Leaders (E.Rupp and E.Stevens) had joined us. The Zls manned the doors and Elder Hobbs stripped off his suit pants down to his garments and and hiked up his bottoms so they wouldn't get wet. All the while I went through the Baptismal Room/Gospel Principles Class, which had a class in session, and snuck on the other side of the curtain to the baptismal font to help Elder Hobbs as he tried to work the doorstop into the plug with his bare feet! Haha man it was quite the sight to see! Long story short we got the font drained and filled in time for the baptism! No mess! Good times on the mission.

Michael Lastra's baptism was such a beautiful experience and it was amazing to work with little Michael and his family and watch how the Gospel softened their hearts. When we first met them the parents hadn’t been to church in a while. The husband had done some things that put in jeopardy his membership in the church and he was feeling a little discouraged about starting the repentance process. Elder Hobbs and I were aware of the situation and instead of teaching him and his problems we focused on the family as a whole and showing as much love as we could. As the lessons progressed so did the love that we felt for this family. The Ward has been there every step of the way supporting them, especially their family friends the Zaletas. Hno. Zaleta was able to baptized Michael and now he and his family is one step closer to being eternal. I had the opportunity to bear my testimony during the service and I testified of the beauty of our Heavenly Father's plan for us and how the Lastra family is a living testimony of that. After the baptism, Michael's mom came up to Elder Hobbs and I with tears in her eyes and thanked us for helping them. Elder Hobbs and I both felt the Spirit very strong. We love the Lastra family and I'm thankful the Lord let us be apart of that experience.

The Cameron Park Elders were able to find a new investigator and bring him to church for the first time this week. He's a really awesome referral from a member and I feel great about him. After church he even offered to take a less active family of 5 home! Haha what a sport! I'm really excited to see what happens with him! I'll be going on an exchange with Elder Sturgell this Thursday to see how everything else is going in their area this Thursday.

Now that Michael is baptized Elder Hobbs and I are going to have to work super hard to find new investigators to bring to church and baptized... cause right now we don’t have very many. But our hopes are high and our faith is strong! We're going to focus this week on finding a full family and helping them come into the waters of baptism.

Well that’s basically all I got for this week. I'll be sure to tell you anything else when I think of it next week! I hope you all have a very good week!

-Elder Jordan Stewart

PS-I'm not sure what I want in a package... maybe just some inspirational talks? A new watch? You said you would send me a new watch but you never did! You don’t really have to. I bet I can find one here in Downtown for really cheap.

PPS- Tell Auntie Tye that I love her very much and I'm looking forward to seeing her in a few months. If you could send me Tanner's email that would be nice. I would like to email him too. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Letter 86

March 4, 2013

Hey Everyone!

First off I just want to say how grateful I am for all of you and your prayers for me and the other missionaries in the world. I know without a doubt that this is the work of the Lord and I am so blessed to be a missionary at this time in my life. It truly is the best experience of my life and I will be forever changed by it. I know that the Lord is hastening His work and I'm so excited to see the miracles happen all over the world as we prepare for the Second Coming. I'm so happy to hear that the Youth Conference this year focused on missionary work! That sounds like such an awesome activity! I can't wait ‘til I get to be a Young Men's leader and do fun things like that with the youth. I wish I could have had an opportunity like that when I was younger.

This week was a little tough for Elder Hobbs and I. The family that we found last week dropped us and we found one other person this week who we thought was going to progress, but he dropped in the next appointment. We're just having a little struggle finding people that will be there for the next appointments and keep their commitments. On a brighter note though we taught little Miguelito this week about the Sabbath day and he and his family came to church! It was nice because his mom and dad already have friends at church so we didn’t have to do very much to help them. We have another lesson with him tonight and his interview for his baptism is this next Sunday! Hopefully we can teach him everything before then!

I went on exchanges with the Cameron Park elders this week to try to help them to get things going in their area. They have been struggling a little bit, as well as they rest of the district, on finding. So I thought that I would go into their area and help them find some new investigators and help them build their faith. Unfortunately, it was one of those days were no one really wanted to talk to you haha. I still had a good time working with Elder Sturgell and I have faith that he can do some good things for his area.

My bike chain broke this week after about a year of use. But don’t worry I got it fixed right away. The rest of my bike is in working order and you don’t have to worry about it haha. Claire (his bike)is still going strong! Also I did receive your Valentines Package. The peanutbutter cookies probably shipped worse than the sugar cookies! haha. That’s ok Elder Ayers ate them all :) I'm ready for another package when you are! I second Elder Doxey's request for "lovins in the form of oreos"!

Funny Story. I've been making guacamole for the last few weeks in my apartment (Elder Hardin taught me) and today Elder Ayers decided to help me out. We bought some peppers to add with it, 3 jalepenos and 1 habenero. We were pretty satisfied with the guac and everyone else in the apartment liked it as well. At the end we were joking around about eating the left over Habenero that we had and we all pressured Elder Hobbs into eating it! Hahaha 3 seconds after he bit into it he started coughing and crying! All the while we were laughing our heads off! haha pobrecito Elder Hobbs... it was pretty funny. I feel bad for him though, especially when it comes back for its revenge tomorrow....

Well I really don’t have very much left to say other than I love you all more than words can describe. That’s one thing that I think that I've learned very well is how to appreciate and love the people around me (even if you’re not actually "around me") I know that the Savior lives. I know that He loves us and wants us to love each other and see each other the way that He does. I invite all of you to make a special effort this week to see the people around you not as they are in that moment, but how our Father in Heaven sees them. He sees us all on a scale of eternity. I love you all and hope you have a great week.

-Elder Jordan Stewart
-Happy Birthday to Elder Ryan Skousen! You're an inspiration and are next in line to be AP of the Fort Lauderdale mission!

-Happy Birthday to Elder Rick J Doxey as well. A letter is comin your way mi amigo fiel! LOOOVEE YOOUUU!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Letter 85

February 25, 2013

Hey Howdy Hey!

Yeah I heard through the grapevine that they were opening up a lot more missions! The Lord is definitely hastening his work. I'm so blessed to be a part of it. I absolutely love it more than anything that I've done in my life and I will be forever grateful to my Heavenly Father for the lessons I've learned here in South Texas. And gosh dangit mom quit reminding me of how little time I have left! hahaha You're right though, I need to cherish each moment and work hard.

At the end of this week Elder Hobbs and I are a little frustrated that our investigators didn’t come to church. Michael, the 10 year old part member less active we are teaching, couldn’t come for some reason or another. His dad was sick this week so maybe that’s why. But yes mom everyone in his family are members except him. We also found 4 other investigators this week that were committed to come didn’t come either. Its a small family that are going through a rough time. Elder Hobbs and I are going to go by this week to really make sure they have desires to progress... other than that family we didn’t find anyone this week. We have some really awesome things set up for this week with some Part Member Families and Fomer Invesites, but we'll have to wait and see what happens.

Sometimes its frustrating being a missionary and having to deal with others agency but like it says in PMG pg 10 that as long as we are doing the very best we can and helping our investigators realize what they are doing by not keeping commitments we can trust God is pleased with our efforts. Elder Hobbs and I talked a lot this morning about what we can do to help our investigators. I appreciated the email our APs sent today about URGENCY. I think that’s exactly the attitude our district needs right now.

The Brownsville Zone consists of 3 districts mom - with 3 to 4 companionships in each. There are 3 buildings that the Church has here in the Brownsville area and my district just goes to one. The other 2 districts occupy the other 2 chapels. Esta bien? Weno.

I have lots of plans for the district this week. I’m going to have a comp study with each companionship of Sisters and I'll be going on an exchange with the Elders in Cameron Park. Really, everyone in the district just needs a little faith boosting and training on how we can do better, because right now we aren’t living up to our potential. I know the Lord will bless us as we try our best, but I don’t believe that the district is doing all that it can and using ALL of the tools we've been given. So that’s what I'll be focusing a lot on this week.

Funny story for ya'll. We were talking with our new Ward Mission Leader in Spanish Ward and he has some really great desires to help the missionary work here in Brownsville. I'm so excited to work with him. He and his wife offered to do anything in their power to help and it just made my day to see members so committed to the gospel. He shared with us his conversion and reactivation story and I can tell the fire that he has in him will help us missionaries a lot down here. The funny part of the story is when his daughter from Laredo stopped by with her husband. Elder Hobbs and I stood up when they walked in (just like Sister Trayner taught us) and we went to shake the daughter's hand. She took Elder Hobbs by the hand and then proceeded to grab him by the shoulder and lay a little kiss on his cheek, as Mexicans do hahaha! His face was SO red the whole time and our mission leader's wife was laughing and apologizing quietly haha while I was trying not to bust out laughing. Elder Hobbs was pretty embarrassed. Unfortunately the table was in my way and I didn’t get a kiss :( hahaha.

I just want to close and tell you all how much I love you all. I know this church is true. It absolutely has to be true. Yesterday Elder Hobbs and I talked with an old man that had "researched" things about the church for years. He didn’t want to fight with us but he did bring up some issues he had with past leaders of the church and a few points of doctrine. He had obviously gotten into a little "anti" material and assumed the things he read were correct. I asked him if he had ever prayed and asked God if any of the things he was denying were true. He said that he had not. He let the "wisdom of the world" blind him from the simple and beautiful wisdom of our Father in Heaven, the source of all truth. I am grateful for the testimony given me by the power of the Holy Ghost to know these things I have been taught are true. I know it without a doubt. It is the foundation of my life and because I know it comes from God Himself, no one else’s opinion matters. May we all seek that knowledge from our Father so we may stand strong against those that would destroy our peace.

I love you all. Have a great week!

-Elder Jordan Stewart


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Letter 84

February 19, 2013

HOLA!!

I sounds like everyone is still leaving on missions! That’s so crazy that SO many people are leaving on their missions. Utah is going to be empty! haha I guess it will be pretty easy to get into BYU huh mom? I think I'll go to the Fall semester at UVU and finish my associates there and transfer in the Winter semester like you said. I think that will work out pretty good. Just don’t make me think about it too much
alright! I'm a missionary!

Alright, so we don’t have any room at our house for Elder Hardin to live. Do you think there would be a space at Chase and Austin's place? haha I don’t hear anything about those two ever. I think I still need to write Chase back... But if there is room at their place maybe Elder Hardin could live there and help pay rent and what not... I don’t know the details. Just trying to help out a friend. Let me know if there would be any other options.

Yesterday was one of the laziest P-days of my mission! Elder Hobbs and I cleaned the apartment really good while the other Elders that live with us (Elder Ayers from my MTC district and his comp/greenie Elder Garcia) came back from getting a hitch put on their car. When they got back we went to an all you can eat taco place and I ate 18 tacos!! They were pretty darn good too. Estaba satisfecho. After that we went shopping and were so full we didn’t buy hardly anything! After that we came home and I took a nap because all the blood was in my tummy and I was tired. SO I'm really sorry those of you that wanted a letter this week... I'll be sure to get you one next week. (Shayla thanks for your letter I'll write you next week... and probably Chase... I'm not sure I'll see what I can do I have lots of people to write because they build up)

This last week we had Leadership Training; which was amazing. I'm really grateful for the great trainings that I've received this past week and I'm excited to see the blessings that come from fulfilling ALL of the commitments we received! Elder Ayers wrote them all up on the whiteboard in his study room and there were a least 15! I'm looking forward to striving to keep them. I really believe that as the mission focuses on the basics we'll see a lot more success. Conversion in a proccess and if we focus on the basics of mastering it we'll be able to help our investigators to obtain it.

This week the District was able to find quite a few new investigators but we are still struggling to get them to church. On the the companionship of sister's investigator Rosio has been trying to quit smoking and after the sisters set up a plan to help her she slipped and smoked. She felt too avergonzada to come to church and even to talk to the sisters, but luckily they got a hold of her and set new plans for her to progress. I'm confident that she will :)

Elder Hobbs and I were to bring our investigator, Michael, to church this week! He is a 10 year old from a PM family that isn’t baptized and we are doing well to help he and his family come back to church and prepare for a baptism on March 17th. WE were also able to find a few people this week, but time didn’t permit us to set baptismal dates with 3 of them, Arnold, Yolanda, and Ashley, who are a young family. We set up a return appointment with them, but they called and had to reschedule. They said they still have desires to learn so hopefully we will be able to teach them again and help them receive a spiritual confirmation of everything. Something I've learned recently is the importance of our investigators receiving spiritual confirmations because those feelings that come from an answer from God will help them overcome the hard times and doubts that come in their way.


I'm so grateful for this beautiful gospel in my life. I know that if each one of us take time to look at the blessings we have received we will be able to feel the deep love that our Heavenly Father has for us. I love you all and hope you have a great week!

-Elder Jordan Stewart

Sunday, February 17, 2013

More Pictures









































Letter 83


February 11, 2013

HOLA MIS QUERIDOS!
I'm writing you from the library in beautiful Brownsville! Before I start I just want to say how crazy it is that all of my friends are coming home! Thanks for sending those pictures mom. It's so good to see my friends. They have been and continue to be such amazing examples. I love them all so much! Keep up the great work Elders (for those of you that are still in the field)! For those of you that are home... don’t get married too quickly now :) wait for your pal j-stew! That’s great to hear that JaNae and Kenzie are both serving missions as well. Tell them that I'm proud! Oh and I'm really excited to hear that Shayla sent her letter haha I've been pretty bad at writing her back and I'm glad to hear that she's still willing to write her ol’ pal Elder Stewart back.
I guess now I better answer some of my mommy's questions:
Elder Hobbs is a great Elder and I'm grateful to have him for a companion. He came out with Elder Williams and was in his district in the MTC. He's from Weber, UT. He played football and baseball in high school and he's a mormon haha. He has a sincere desire to improve and has grown a lot this last transfer. His last companion was finishing his mission and kinda "died hard". I think Elder Hobbs grateful that I'm here now so he doesn’t have to carry as much of the load. I know together we'll see success. Our apartment is pretty nice. I'm definitely going to do some work on it to get it up to my standard of living haha. It’s like the apartment I had in Corpus, except instead of ants it has.... cockroaches! Not too many, but still. Overall it’s a pretty good place. Brownsville is a lot more tropical than I thought it would be. Its pretty humid compared to Edinburg, because of the Rio and the Gulf of Mexico, but it’s really green and has a bunch of resacas (manmade ponds) everywhere. My area is called Country Club, and its one of the richer areas... so there are some pretty gigante houses. We don’t have any progressing investigators yet, but that will change soon. My district consists of 4 companionships: mine, a set of elders, and 2 sets of sisters. I'm looking forward to working with all of them. ACTUALLY something crazy happened this Transfer and ALL of the senior comps in my district were switched out! So the junior companions have a lot of work to do to show us newbies around! But we have some great missionaries here and they have a great fire to work. That’s exactly what all of our areas need.
This week I'll be going back up to McAllen for a leadership conference so that’s awesome too!
Well that’s all I have time for. I'll be sure to write you all some more of my experiences here in Brownsville next week! LOVE YOUUUUU!
-Elder Jordan Stewart



Letter 82


February 4, 2013

Hey Todos!

Mom I know that your really anxious to hear about transfers so I guess I'll start off with that.... actually wait. I guess I'll answer some questions first. Yep I had a pretty good Birthday. Thank you so much for the birthday box! I loved that bearded beanie! You know me so well mom :D. Not much use for it right now but next year I'll sport it proudly! Thanks for the ties as well and yes the balloons were still partially inflated :). But on my Birthday all of our appointments canceled haha and I to top it off I got a flat tire! hahaha no worries though that happens lots of times. We spent the last part of the night with the Harkriders who made a delicious dinner of enchilladas suisas! Yum... I love that family so much. I would answer your other questions mom about the Harkriders, but I'm pretty sure you should already know all of those answers if you reviewed my past letters.......... thanks for remembering. Yes sister Harkrider was a member already and they have 2 sons: Derek (10) and Sebastian (5) and a little dog named Sonic as well.

It sounds like everyone is either leaving or coming home from their missions now! Give Caleb and Richie big ‘ol hugs for me and tell them that I love them and thank them for their examples! I think that means that I'm the next one...... Holy Smokes I AM THE NEXT ONE!! SHOOOT..... (Actually it’s Andrew Terry to come home next)

Elder Hardin came out with me. He wasn’t in my District in the MTC but we met out here and have become good friends. He's from Ohio and is going to BYU in the Fall. He wanted to know if he could live at our house while he goes to school to save a little money. He's a really good kid and is planning on getting a job as soon as he gets to Utah. Just let me know how it looks so I can tell him soon. He says he would be eternally grateful and he would be happy to oblige with all of your rules mom. He'll even clean the bathrooms ;) just let me know.

The investigators that Elder Williams and I have are progressing really well. Abraham and Ary came to church this week but weren't able to go to the classes because their little girl was being too distracting. She's a little monkey! She is always SO distracting in all of our lessons! We have a lesson today about tithing and I have faith it will be a good lesson.

Gustavo and Gus are still doing well. The biggest thing for them is to get a spiritual confirmation to motivate them to their specific date. We've talked to Gustavo (the dad) about it so many times and he says he knows its the right thing to do but he also adds, "but we'll see.." And little Gus is doing good. We're planning on getting those Book of Mormon cartoons from a member for him and his dad to watch to help them read.

Elder Williams and I also received a referral for a member's husband who is really cool and accepted a BD and another referral for a college student who also accepted a BD. In our second lesson she even invited a friend and we found a new investigator! We set up another lesson with them both on Saturday and we brought Pablo, a recent convert in the YSA that helps us out a lot. We get there and all the lights are on so we knocked on the door but no one came to the door. We knocked again and rang the bell. Still nothing. Then we said, "hmmm I wonder if anyone is home?" Then Pablo said, "Get up on my back and look in the window." Haha I was pretending to get on his back just playing along when all of a sudden he lifts me up and my face is in the window. I looked and saw our investigators roommate just standing at the kitchen sink and SHE LOOKED RIGHT AT ME! I yelled and he put me down and then we all walked briskly back to the car and left. hahahaha. We texted her yesterday about church and she said that we scared her roommate! Oops... we apologized to her and she said it was ok haha.

I guess now I can tell you what the Transfer Fairy has brought this time.... Turns out I'll be leaving Edinburg :( and I'll serving as a District Leader in Brownsville! I've heard lots of great things about that Zone and I think that after that I'll have pretty much been to the four corners of the mission!

The district is looking good to hit our goal so far in February and our eyes are set on a successful March. Lets hope Brownsville is looking the same! I love you all and pray for you every day! Thanks for your prayers I LOVE YOU!!!

-Elder Jordan Stewart 

PS- This is such a good Mormon Message check it out!