Monday, July 22, 2013

The last melon

Well, this is it, the very last e-mail home. In some ways I am so ready to come home. It's strange because I feel like I have been a missionary forever, but also it has gone by so fast. It's hard to believe all the things that have happened on my mission. God really is so good, He has blessed me so much over the past 18 months, and I know He will continue to do so.

This past week was HOT and sticky, but it was also a great week. I went on my very last Austausch. Sister Jencks and I went to Freiburg to work with Sister Peterson. I have wanted to see Freiburg my whole mission, and I got to go right at the end!  We had an action packed day. When we came back to Stuttgart we were pretty exhausted, but sleep helped with that.

We visited a less active family on Friday and baked brownies with them. The mom of the family is awesome, but her kids and husband are less interested at the moment. We did get to have dinner with most of the family all together, though, so that was awesome.

Saturday by some trick of fate we ended up with two eating appointments. That doesn't happen very often. We had lunch with a less active member of the German ward and then went to the home of one of the American families for dinner.

Oh, and today was an awesome P-Day. We went on the Army Post.  We ate Taco Bell at the food court (and I got twizzlers for the plane ride home, very important) and then we went to the Ritter Sport factory! That was pretty awesome, a very good last P-Day.

I hope you all have enjoyed my ramblings over the last 18 months, I hope that I have been able to help you in some way to feel God's love and to see how awesome missions are (even though some days it is tough). I feel that my mission is more of a blessing than a sacrifice. I have gotten to know and love so many people and have grown a lot closer to my Heavenly Father.

Ich weiß, dass Gott uns liebt. Er ist da und er liebt uns. Manchmal hier auf der Erde sehen wir nicht so genau, was Gott vorhat. Aber er hat immer einen Plan, wir müssen ihn einfach vertrauen.
(I know that God loves us. He is there and He loves us. Sometimes here on Earth, we do not see exactly what God has in store. But he always has a plan, we must simply trust him.)

Bis bald!!!! (See you soon!!!!)

--Sister Stewart

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I'm not dead yet!

Hi everybody! This is my second to last weekly e-mail home on my mission, can you believe how fast the time goes by? I certainly can't!

This past week was a little on the ridiculous side, but I feel like my whole life right now is a little on the ridiculous side, so I guess it was nothing out of the ordinary. 

We did two, count them two exchanges this week! I got to work with Sister Clark and then with Sister Reid, both of whom I trained! That was a tender mercy to my soul but not very good for my body because I stayed up very late talking and catching up with former companions, oops.

This past Monday we taught S about Faith in Jesus Christ. We read with her in Ether 12, one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. She has given up coffee and has started reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning! Hooray!

Then on Tuesday we had Zone Training Meeting and afterwards I headed out to Göppingen! I worked with Sister Clark for a day and it was epic! Since things have been so hectic in Stuttgart and I feel like I don't really know much, it was nice to be back to the basics of missionary work in Göppingen and realize that I actually do know things! I know the area and the members so well in Göppingen, it was a pleasure to be there. We definitely had some adventures, including giving a Book of Mormon to a shirtless man out walking his dog (for some reason I was just full of all sorts of courage on Tuesday).

Wednesday we returned to Stuttgart, and then Thursday morning we did exchange with the sisters in Ludwigsburg, Sister Reid came to work with Sister Green and me! We had two pretty great appointments with less active members of our ward.

This past week I have been thinking back over past areas on my mission. I learned so much in each area. The only regrets I have are when I didn't take advantage of all the opportunities I had. Every time I stretched myself and did something outside of my comfort zone, I grew so much and I ended up with some pretty great stories.

We are continuing to work here in Stuttgart! Even though every day isn't full of rainbows and sunshine, life is pretty good.

I am enjoying missionary life, there are just a few things I am really looking forward to when I get home- my family, sleep, and the temple. I am also looking forward to using my mission experience as a spring board for the rest of my life.

Ich bin so dankbar, auf Mission zu sein. Ich bin dankbar für die Liebe meines Himmlischen Vaters. Ich bin dankbar für Jesus Christus. Ich bin dankbar, dass er uns hilft, die Person zu werden, die wir werden sollen.
(I am so grateful to be on a mission. I am thankful for the love of my Heavenly Father. I am thankful for Jesus Christ. I am grateful that He helps us to become the person we want to be.)

Ich habe euch lieb! Bis bald! (I love you! Later!)

--Sister Stewart

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Sometimes you stop writing in your journal

Hello everybody!

I hope your last week was amazing and full of miracles! I know there are miracles around us everyday, if we just look for them.

This last week was go, go, go. I haven't had time to write in my journal for about two weeks. On Tuesday after District Meeting we did an Austausch with the sisters serving in Pforzheim. Sister Green and I went to Pforzheim to work with Sister Holman. It was a pretty amazing experience, let's just say God puts you in the place you need to be, at the exact right time that you need to be there.

We came back on Wednesday and the Pforzhaim sisters slept over at our apartment so Sister Holmstead could go to the dentist. (That was fun.) Then on Thursday Sister Jencks and I headed to Munich for Mission Leadership Council and Sister Green stayed with the Sisters in Ludwigsburg. We spent a couple days in Munich with President and Sister Miles and the other Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders in our mission. There was a barbeque for the 4th of July!  And I got to see Sister Ackerman, who I served with in Göppingen! Hooray! We learned a lot and hopefully we now will be better able to help the missionaries in our Zone learn as well.

Then when we came back and on Saturday we did a Finding Day with our District. On a Finding Day we go out all together as a District and talk to people. We invited a recent convert from the International Ward, K, to come with us, so that way we could go two by two. Divide and conquer, I had been praying really hard because I wanted K to have a good experience, because she is thinking about going on a mission. We started off the day with Sister Green and Sister Jencks working together and I went with K. During about a half hour period we were able to talk to this awesome family and give them and Book of Mormon, and then we talked to another man and gave him a book, and he gave us his contact info. Sister Green and Jencks saw the family later in the day, and they were already reading the Book of Mormon! Hooray! Then later Sister Green worked with K and together they gave away 4 Books of Mormon in about an hour! I was so glad that the day turned out successful. The weather was perfect and we were led to the people we needed to talk to.

Sunday we did double church again. Afterwards we ate tacos with an American family.

This coming week we are doing two Austausches, in order to fit them in before the transfer is over. It will be exciting because I get to go back to Göppingen and work with Sister Clark for a day!

Something I learned this week from our meeting in Munich: Make sure your mind is where your feet are. Your thoughts should be here, in the present, where your feet are. I was also thinking about how my feet are in Germany right now, so my thoughts need to be here as well. I haven't had much of a problem day dreaming about home, because we have so much to do I barely have time to breathe, let alone day dream. It's good to remember to focus on where I am right now, not on problems I may have had in the past or things that might happen in the future. Of course I need to repent from past sins and make plans to be better in the future, but I live in the present, not the past or the future! God will take care of me if I just trust him.

Ich habe euch lieb!
--Sister Stewart

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Don't tell me how many Sundays I have left

Hello everybody! Oh man, I know it probably sounds like a broken record by now, but I seriously cannot believe how fast the time has gone by. I calculated how many Sundays I have left, and it's not pretty. Let's just say I can count it on one hand and still have fingers left over. I am so excited to see my family, but I feel like I just barely started to figure out how everything works here!

This past week we had the lovely opportunity to get to know more of the members in the International Ward. We are just so blessed to be able to serve here with them. Guess what Americans like to feed missionaries? Tacos! We are enjoying it!

We also were able to meet with one of the less active members from the German ward and get her excited about family history! We are going to see if we can do family home evening with her and her kids (who are also members). In our lesson Sister Green bore a really powerful testimony about family history work, and I was just so proud of her.

This week we had interviews with President Miles, my last one (well except for the day I go home). As always it was lovely to see President and Sister Miles.

One of my favorite days was Sunday; we got to see the new broadcast from the church about missionary work. I think it is spiffy. It is so well done, it really gave me great motivation to continue on with the work I have started on my mission when I get home. 

It has been rainy and cold, cold, cold. No fun.

This coming week will also be a blur, Sister Green and I are going to Pforzheim for Austausch and then Sister Jencks and I are going to Munich for Mission Leadership Council. So much to do!

Ich habe gelernt diese Woche, wie wichtig es ist, dass wir einander lieben und verzeihen. Wir sind alle Kinder Gottes, wir haben mehr gemeinsam als wir Unterschiede haben. Gott möchte, dass wir einander helfen und unterstützen.
(I have learned this week how important it is that we love and forgive each other. We are all children of God, we have more in common than we have differences. God wants us to help and support each other.)

I love you lots!
--Sister Stewart