Wednesday, October 26, 2016

--------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Riley Michelle Stewart <>
Date: Mon, Oct 3, 2016 at 2:58 PM
Subject: Living the life:)

Hello everyone! Great great conference week this week!

So we had a lesson with Franklin one night and he told us that some of
his family members Guatemala had gotten in a really bad car accident
and it wasn't looking too good for them. He wanted us to pray about
them so we did. It was a really spiritual experience and he thanked us
so many times. He called us later that night and asked us to please
pray for them again. It was super sweet. We had also just taught about
fasting and Franklin said that he wanted to fast for his family.
Unfortunately his brother in law passed away but his sister was okay.
But he said he thinks the fasting helped him feel peace. The poor guy
has a lot of problems going on. Problems with his job and other
things. We taught him about prophets and told him what general
conference is and showed him president Monson's last talk. He loved
it! We explained how if we really listen we can get answers to our
question during conference. He came to conference and brought a couple
questions and he said all but one was answered! He texted us later and
said that he loved the talk by president Monson and the whole thing
was really beautiful. Such a great guy!

Okay funny story one night we were teaching a lesson to this lady and
she like got up in the middle and was in her kitchen so we were like
haha okay and just kept going on because she was still looking at us
and listening. Then Hermana Valentine started reciting the first
vision and the lady legit right in the middle answered her phone and
started talking. Hahha just turned right around and completely ignored
us!,,  haha she didn't even say anything like I have to take this one
moment. Hahah it might not be funny to you but I was holding back
laughter!! Hahaha Hermana Valentine just kept going and did a 90
degree turn towards her daughter. Hahaha classic!

CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING! I loved it. I loved all the talks but I
especially loved the ones by Ronald a. Rasband and D. Todd
Christoferson. I loved when elder Christoferson talked about how we
need to learn to trust Him instead of resist Him.
A theme that I saw at least is that through the atonement and through
our trials we can still be happy because we know the purpose we know
the end goal in mind. Like elder hales said "if we loved the Savior
more, would we suffer less?" I challenge all of you to do something,
anything, to love the savior a little more. As Him what you can do and
I promise He will tell you, He told me.
Love you all. And remember the A
Also elder uchtdord! How often do we forget the amazing blessings we
have from the knowledge of this gospel??

Love you all and remember the atonement is as much for saints as it is
for sinners.

A real big miracle we have seen this week is English class! It's 
always been kinda difficult to get people to come especially none members but this week we had two English classes and we had like ten extra people come who had never gone before, both of the days. So awesome! They are planning on coming every week now and all the new ones but one aren't members of the church! Woo! After one of the classes we gave them all a church tour and they really loved it! English class is a great way to get them acquainted with the church. Gotta love it! And it's fun teaching it to! The other day in class they were asking me what I was going to study in college and I said I didn't know, they were all saying that I should be a English Teacher. Haha they are so sweet.

Also miracle with Franklin! So the big thing with him was that he was going to move to California if he didn't find a job by the end of the month and so that was kinda scary because he has limited options. He was super sad about it as well. But on Thursday night he told me that he found a job!! Miracle! And then he went on to thank us for finding him. He said he was lost before we started teaching him and he feels like that now through the church he is beginning to find himself. He talked about how his relationship with God has grown so much. Then(we had been asking him for a while but he said it was too fast) he told us that he wanted to be baptized! That he knows its what God wants for him and that he is on the right path. AHHHH!!! So crazy and such a crazy miracle. Talk about finding someone truly prepared by God. He is such a humble man, he hardly has anything but. honestly the only thing he has in his little room(he rents a room) is a bed a tv and a book of Mormon and a bible. He is the coolest. So the plan is for him to baptized on October 7. Hopefully it all goes through as planned:)

Another really cool family we found a little while back, there names are Carina and Joel and they are awesome! They are looking for a church, like they are looking for the true church which is cool. They just moved from Puerto Rico. We gave them the proclamation a couple days back and they read it as a family! Like the two of them and their two kids. I died when she told us that. She is so cool and really wants the best for her family so that is why the thing that really interests her and her husband is how this church can help and strengthen her family. Which is perfect because that is exactly what the church does! So they came to sacrament this sunday which was awesome and they really enjoyed it! They especially liked that everyone had the opportunity to get up and bear their testimonies:)(and when I say everyone got a chance to get up and bear their testimonies and I really mean just about everyone hahah)

So anyway I definitely saw some really amazing miracles and tender mercies from the Lord. You know sometimes a mission is hard and you start to get down on yourself and feel sorry for yourself but something that I love is that this mission is not about me. I wrote a couple of goals that I had when I left on my mission and one of those was by the end of my mission to be able to say I know what it feels like to serve selflessly. I'm not saying I'm perfect yet(not even anywhere near) but I have made so much improvement. Its been hard serving in this one area for so long but I think Heavenly Father wants me to reach that goal! So grateful for all the many blessing I have received from my Heavenly Father and I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to love and serve these people here in Stafford. 


Hermana Stewart 

Monday, October 24, 2016

So this week has had a lot of ups and downs.....

Lets start with the bad news. One of our investigators who was really really progressing dropped us.:( It was Anita. Shes the one who read a really huge chunk of the book of mormon and loved it!! We were tracting one day and we got a text from her that pretty much just said that she was going to return the Book of Mormon to us and that it wasn't for her. I was devastated. That was definitely one of the harder night for me on my mission. She said we could teach her one last time but when we went to her house her mind was already made up. She had talked to her husband and were pretty sure that he convinced her that it wasn't good. What really got her was the idea of a modern day prophet. The saddest thing was when we asked her how she felt when she was reading the book of mormon she said nothing, even though we know thats not true.  But we ended on good terms and she says we can come by whenever we want and she thanked us for the messages we had taught her. One day she will be prepared to accept it!

But the good happy amazing news is Franklin!! So heres a story, one day we got out of a dinner and had missed a call from a man named Hector, we called back and learned that him and his friend Franklin wanted to come to English Class.We met Franklin and he is super super cool! He came to a fireside with us and even came to the service project we had with the branch this week! Ahh!! We have taught him multiple times and he is really progressing! He loves the book of mormon and every time we ask him what he is learning in his reading he goes off for like ten minutes about all the great stuff he is learning. Something that we learned about him is that when he was a kid in Guatemala his mom passed away from cancer and the missionaries started visiting them and doing a lot of service for them and they were going to church with them a lot but lost contact somehow. It's awesome to see little seeds that have been planted throughout his life. He came to church this Sunday and loved it! Absolutely loved it! He met everyone and their dog. All the members loved him and really are taking him under his wing. When he introduced himself he talked about how much he loved it at the church and how he wants to keep coming every week! Its kinda cool because right before we met him tons of bad stuff seemed to be happening to him. He felt super lonely because none of his family lives here, he lost his job, etc, etc. But he says every since he started coming to church and the activities things have been looking up for him. And there are tons of members that are trying to find him a job and one of the members texted us a couple hours ago and says he thinks he found him one. We are so excited for Franklin!!

This week has been great but definitely hard. After Anita dropped us I was kinda just confused, like why is this so hard if all we are trying to do is good. But if it was all easy we wouldn't learn much. I've definitely seen how those hard times are when you learn the most, and really have to rely on God's strength not your own. I love this scripture that I read that goes along with that Helaman 4:13"and because of their great wickendness and their boastings in their own strenght, they were left in their own strength; therefore they did not prosper." I love that because it is so true, if we rely on our own strength we won't go anywehere but if we rely on His strength we will go exactly where we need to go.

I love this gospel, I love missionary work, and I love the Lord.

con amor,

Hermana Stewart