Tuesday, September 29, 2015

29 September 2015

So this week was a difficult week. Just lots of stuff happened that made it hard. First off I had a cold for a good portion of the week so that wasn´t fun. And speaking Spanish is really fun when you are sick and congested. Second Hermana Traveller's grandpa died this week. And we found out by Presidente Cox pulling her out of class and then he came back in and grabbed me and the second that I saw her I knew that something was wrong. But let me tell you Hermana Traveller is amazing. She got to talk to her family for a few minutes and after that she was just like we need to go back to work because I just can't sit around and do nothing and it was amazing. I was so astounded by her faith to continue forward. And since then we have grown so much as a companionship. We have really started to find our groove teaching. It's so crazy that we have grown so much together in the last month. it's amazing to see how we have grown so much in our Spanish and in our faith. And truly this mission is changing my life. I have never felt so close to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and I have never relied on the Atonement more. Each day we teach I learn more about the doctrine and it's reality. The gospel truly has the power to change lives for the better. It gives us hope in a better tomorrow and a knowledge that with God all things are possible. I am so glad for my knowledge that families can be together forever because I know that no matter what happens while I am on my mission or in this life that I can be with my family forever. I absolutely love the saying "missionary. Someone who leaves their family for a little while so others can be with theirs forever." That's what I am doing as a missionary and it is truly an amazing work.

This week Elder Kevin R Duncan, our are Seventy came to the CCM and gave a devotional about faith and it was awesome. It really has made me focus a lot on being exactly obedient to everything. Because exact obedience brings exact blessings. And boy do I need blessings. And it has been so good to focus on that because it is going to be vital to having  success in the mission field. 

I am so excited for today because we get to leave the CCM for a while and go into downtown Guatemala. And while we are there we will have the opprotunity to do some shopping and to place a Book of Mormon! I think that it will be such a unique and amazing experience and I am so excited. 

Thank you for all your support, love, and prayers. I am so happy here and I know that I am on the Lord's errand.

Con amor,
Hermana Stewart

PS. We got to watch Elder Scott's funeral yesterday and it was truly amazing. I felt the Spirit so strong and I truly know that he was an apostle of the Lord.
PPS. Conference is this weekend!!! I am so stoked to be able to hear from the prophet and apostles and other church leaders. I've heard that being in the MTC for conference is a once in a life time experience and I am so excited!!!

Have an amazing week!!!

Monday, September 28, 2015

22 Sep 2015 The Power to Change Lives

Hola all! 
This week has been another amazing week and I have felt like I have grown so much. Its been a bit of a rollercoaster in our district but it has been good because not only has it brought us all closer together but it has also allowed us to learn a lot about the Atonement. One of the Elders in our district went home this morning and it was really hard because he was so amazing. He just has some things that he needs to sort through before he is able to completely and fully serve the Lord but in the 3 weeks that we all knew him he influenced each and everyone of our lives for the better. He helped us all to be more focused on the work and the joy that we are bringing into peoples lives. And in a few months when he is able to come back out he is going to be amazing. 
Yesterday Hermana Traveller and I had our best lesson yet with our investigator Cindel. The Spirit was so so so strong and we both felt as if we were really speaking with the Gift of Tongues because there were things that we said in that lesson that neither one of us remember or could have said on our own. And it was amazing. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and how it allows us to return to live with our Father in Heaven again. And it just led in so perfectly to us inviting her to be baptized and she said yes!!! It made me so happy. And its so crazy because Cindel is not actually a real investigator, she is a fake investigator played by our teacher to allow us to learn how to teach. But those lessons they feel so real. And it makes me so excited to be able to go out into the field and teach real people the gospel and to just watch it change their lives. They say that the first convert that you need to have on the mission is yourself and I can see myself becoming converted to the gospel in every single way possible. In just 3 weeks I have learned more about my Savior and the Gospel and Heavenly Fathers plan for me then I ever thought was possible and each day it amazes me. In this last week Hermana Traveller and I had a really rough day and I don't really remember all that happened but we were just really struggling and we decided to say a companionship prayer and we just knelt down and we plead with Heavenly Father to help us and it was so amazing because we were both just sobbing when I finished but we both felt so comforted. And we just rededicated ourselves to the work and we have truly been seeing the Lord's hand in our lives. That is why this Gospel is so amazing because when we have hard days we can rely on the Lord and He helps us through it all. It truly has amazed me. And it reminds me of a scripture that I read yesterday. It´s in the Book of Mormon in Alma 26:12 and it says:
 "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."
I absolutely love that scripture because without God I am nothing but through the Gospel and through the Atonement I am able to do all things. And that scripture perfectly describes why I decided to come on a mission because Heavenly Father has given me everything and now for the next 18 months of my life I get to give something back. I get to bring others unto this Gospel to allow them to experience the exceeding joy and hope that it gives us. 
Another crazy thing that happened this week is we have hit our half way point in the CCM! It seems like just yesterday that we got here and it is so crazy to see time just flying by. The new group of missionaries came in this week and they are all so amazing! It has been so fun to get to know them and to try and help them in every way possible. 
I don't really have much more to say. This is truly an amazing experience and I have really never been so happy in my life. Even when it does get hard I am still so happy. We are learning to humble ourselves to the will of the Lord and to rely on Him in all things and it is truly an amazing thing. This gospel has the power and ability to changes lives. I have already seen it in my live and in the lives of those around me in the CCM. I love you all so much and I am so thankful for all the prayers that are said in my behalf. 
Con amor,
Hermana Stewart

Thursday, September 17, 2015


15 September 2015

¡Hola todos! 

This week went by so fast but it has really been so amazing. Learning Spanish so hard and we struggle so much but just yesterday I realized that these past 2 weeks have probably been the happiest 2 weeks of my life. I would literally not trade it for anything. It is so amazing.

CCM District
We had a couple more lessons this week and we have been really struggling to get our points across in our broken Spanish but it has been super good. We taugh a menos activo (less active) on Friday and we ended up having a 30 minute lesson with her about faith and we had almost no notes so it was super awesome. We have begun to try and teach without notes but that is really hard and we struggle with it a lot. However, it really makes us teach a lot simpler which is really good because it helps get the point across better to the investigator so thats super good. 
We found out from Hermana Cox last night that tomorrow there are 40 new nortes coming into the CCM and that 12 of them are Hermanas!!! Thats twice as many as came in with us which is crazy!!! But it will be so good and we are super excited! The last 2 days have been hard because we had to say good bye to a lot of our friends, especially our Latinas who were just the sweetest and helped us so much to learn and speak the language. Those goodbyes were the hardest because they were goodbyes for life. We only got to know them for 2 weeks but in those 2 weeks I feel that we have made life long friendships! 

The CCM is such a unique experience and I love it so much. The Spirit is so strong here and we are always learning something new. My maestros (teachers) are seriously the best and they have been so patient and loving with us and it is amazing. I love my companion Hermana Traveller, she is so amazing and she is picking up the language so well!!! We are really finding it helpful to make companionship goals so that we can improve and be better. 

I don't really have much else to say this week... sorry... But the Church is true. It has changed my life and made me a better person and now it is making me a better missionary. I know that the Church is true and that as we turn unto the Lord and do all that He needs us to do that we will be blessed and He will help us through all things. 
This mission is literally the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. But it has also made me the happiest I have ever been as I have been in the service of the Lord. And because of that I know that what I am doing is correct. I know that with the Lord on my side I can do amazing things and I hope that as I begin to gain a understanding of this language and am able to speak it that the Lord will mold me into the person and the missionary that He needs to bring others unto him.

I love all of you and I am so thankful for all of your prayers and letters. It makes me so happy to hear about all of your lives and to know that you are all doing well. I love this gospel with all my heart and I am so happy. 

Con amor,
Hermana Stewart

Saturday, September 12, 2015


Hola todos!
So this week has literally been one of the hardest and greatest weeks (semanas) of my life. First off, I arrived in Guatemala at 6:30 in the morning on Wednesday and we were all exhausted but so excited. And flying into Guatemala was amazing. It is a beautiful country and I love it so much already. We didn´t really do much the first day because we got here so early and were so tired so basically we just met everyone and had some classes and instruction on what to do. But I arrived with a group of about 30 elders and hermanas to the CCM (Spanish abbrievation for MTC) and we all met up in LAX which was super comfoting. Of that group about 11 of us our going to the Guatemala Central Mission and the rest are serving on other countries in Central America like Belize, El Salvador and Nicaurga I think... But my district is made up of 13 people, 11 elderes and 2 hermanas (me and my compañera) and 4 of us are going to Guatemala Central. We have been struggling with the language a lot. I lot of what I learned in high school spanish is coming back to me but I still feel like I know nothing. And when we talk to the Latinas we almost never know what they are saying which is hard. But we have learned a lot of Spanish from them by just speaking with them as much as possible and they are so nice about it. But in our district we have a really strong desire to be able to preach the gospel and we just want to be able to actually communicate so its so hard that we can't. We have one investigator so far! His name is Rodrigo and we have taught him 3 lessons and he is so ready and willing to accept the gospel. He has a baptism date of September 21st! And we are teaching him as much as we can with our limited and poor Spanish but it has been so good. And last night we taugh almost the entire lesson without notes which was awesome. But I felt like I talked way to much because my compañera is not super comfortable with the language yet. And speaking of my compañera her name is Hermana Traveller and she is from Idaho. She is amazing and I love being able to work with her. And she is picking up the language so well. Like last night she had to say a prayer unexpectedly in Spanish and the Hermana devotional that we have every night and she did such a good job. So I am starting to figure out why the boys lost their English writing so quickly. After only 6 days I already almost always am writing in Spanlish which is good for learning the language but not trying to record all that I learn. So in my journal there are a lot of crossed out words so that I could actually write them in English. The Spirit here in the CMM is so strong and so real. It is truly amazing. Last night we had an amazing night with our district. One of our Elders, Elder Andrew, got 2 bloody noses yesterday and so he was feeling super bad and weak. And we were all in class preparing to teach Rodrigo lessons but the Elders in our district asked Elder Andrew if he wanted a blessing and then all of these 18 and 19 year old boys who had never given a blessing before stepped in and gave one of the most amazing blessings that I have ever heard. And the Spirit was just so so so strong. It was absolutely amazing and it testified to me of the power and blessings of the Priesthood in our lives. And this morning we got to go to the Guatemala City Temple and do a session in English! It was awesome! And I felt the Spirit so strongly. Sunday here was a rough day for all the Hermanas that came into the CMM last week. All 6 of us nortes (Americans) that came in were super homesick and during Relief Society we just like all lost it but everyone here was just so nice and they all just hugged and loved us so much. And then we had a bunch of other meetings throughout the day and a lot of them were centered around Chirst's Atonement and it was exactly what I needed to here. We watched a devotional by President Holland about the Atonement and in it it said 'Missionary work is not easy because salvation is not cheap'. And its not easy. It's not easy to leave everything behind and to learn a new language but through Christ all things are possible. He knows all that we are feeling and he knows how to help us and he will help us in all things. And after that I just had a renewed strength that this mission is where I need to be and that the people of Guatemala are waiting for me to bring them the Gospel!
So a little more about the CCM. The food here is amazing. But Latinos get super offended if you don't eat everything so almost every single meal we have to ask for small portions because we just can't eat that much. Also they make a lot of foods that are super familiar to us nortes but every once in awhile we eat things that are more native to Guatemala and it is all so good! The CMM has about 200 missionaries in it. It's about half and half nortes and latinos but there are only about 40 hermanas here so lots more Elders. But we are all so happy to be here and so ready to do the work of the Lord. The CMM is completely fenced in and there are guards that walk around outside all the time. It is all one building that has our living quarters, classes, cafeteria and we have a little yard that is made up of like 2 basketball courts where we get to play basketball and volleyball for about 45 minutes a day. And we love that time outside. It is amazing. It rains here a least once a day. It has every single day that we have been here but it is such a nice rain and it just rains for like an hour and then it stops and the sun comes back out. 
I am loving everything that I am doing and I am just trying to lose myself in the Lord. It is so easy to do. The people here are amazing and they are so ready to hear the Gospel and I get to be the one that brings it to them which is amazing. And I hope that I will be able to learn the language quickly and effectively. Missionary work is amazing. 

I love you all and am praying for each and everyone of you!

Hermana Stewart 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

I made it!!!

I made it to Guatemala early this morning and I am now at the CMM. It has been an experience but it was a good one. When I landed in LAX last night, I met up with a group of 5 other hermanas and about 30 elders. It was crazy but so good to see faces going to the same place. The CMM is relatively small but I think I am going to really like it here. I will have to write more later about what all happens since I haven´t done much yet but so fare Guatemala is BEATUIFUL and I am so excited to be here. When we were landing today I felt the spirit so strongly that this is where I need to be.

Love you all,
Hermana Stewart