Let me know how far you guys are in the Old Testament because I started to read it also. I LOVE IT SO MUCH! There are some amazing stories in there.
The storm just barely passed us so all we had was wind. But this government is very careful so everybody was told to basically stay inside all day just in case. At first it was heading right for us but it ended up changing its mind. But yeah, we stayed inside all day Thursday. I am getting really good at monopoly with all of these storms passing. Everyone is okay here though. We were extremely lucky that it didn't hit us. Even though it was only a tropical storm, when it hit the Dominican Republic it killed a lot of people and about 20 more are presumed dead. I'm sure you have already heard about that though because it seems like you have been keeping up on the news. I am so grateful it didn't hit.
Spanish is coming along pretty well. Yo quiero hablar en español con mi compañero. Está muy divertido. haha. Yo puedo decir que Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial. I have been able to understand a lot more Spanish as I have been learning it over these past few weeks,
Can you believe that Saturday I had been out on my mission for a whole month!? It has gone by so fast. I feel like I have been out for a while but at the same time it only feels like I have been out for two weeks. It is amazing how much I have learned in just this short amount of time.
Thanks and love you a lot!
Sister Breana Stewart
This Week has been hectic but still amazing.
With the Hurricane Danny frenzy that was going on it was hard to get appointments in. These last couple of weeks have been crazy and a lot of our appointments fell through during these last few days. Hurricane Danny was suppose to hit us as a category three hurricane today but we got lucky and it went down to a tropical storm instead of a hurricane and move just south of us. There are two more hurricanes that are supposed to be coming in the next week or two so hopefully not too much damage comes from them. Everyone was super stressed about this one and were rushing to get ready for it so they couldn't have lessons but we were able to do some service by helping people get ready.
St. Maarten is probably the nicest of all the islands in my mission (or at least that is what the other missionaries keep telling me). It has a Burger King, several McDonalds, and Dominoes. The members don't feed us because is it too hard for them to so we are in charge of all of our meals.(hot pockets, roman noodles, and smoothies for days) It is crazy how generous the people here are. We will contact people and give them short lessons and then they offer to feed us. It is amazing. So far some investigators originally from Guyana fed us curry with fish and it was so delicious. I am not much of a fish person but it was pretty good. There is also a med school here, so there are quite a few Americans in the branch, that had is over for dinner and we had pasta, bread, and hummus with carrots.
The weather is VERY HOT AND HUMID. 85% of the time you feel like you are melting but 15% of the time you have a nice breeze that comes by or you are in an air conditioned store. Right now is the wet/hurricane season so occasionally is will start raining super hard for only a couple minutes and then it goes back to being hot and humid. I am having a hard time sleeping at night sometimes because of how warm it is. I am not used to sleeping in a hot room. It isn't too bad though. I should get used to it soon.
I am getting to know the members and investigators a lot more every day. It already feels like I have known them a lot longer than I have. I love them all so very much!
Spanish is coming along better and better every day. I need to learn more of the gospel Spanish because I can do conversation decently. I am working hard to be able to teach the first lesson in Spanish. I know that with practice it will get there.
Love and miss you so much Mom!!!:)
This week has been pretty amazing. On Wednesday of last week I got to St. Maarten and met my new companion Sister Robinson. She is super awesome and has been on her mission for about 3 months. When I got on the island I was informed that there is a need for Spanish speaking missionaries here so....I get to learn Spanish. It has been good so far and I have already learned so much. We are teaching an investigator named Isabel who only spoke Spanish when she was first taught but as we teach her English she is teaching us Spanish during the lessons. It is an amazing experience. I have to work really hard to pick up Spanish or else I won't be able to understand when she speaks it to me.
We have been teaching a man names Brown for a little while now but we stopped teaching him last night because he isn't progressing. He is a Seventh Day Adventists and he is really set in what he believes so when we go over there he isn't able to accept the messages we try to leave with him. Such a good guy but he just isn't ready for our message yet. I know we met him for a reason because throughout the lessons we have had with him I have had to search the Bible and the Book of Mormon for answers to questions I myself had never thought of. He helped me to strengthen my testimony even further.
I have met so many amazing people since I arrived here. It has been such a blessing to get to know everyone so well already. I love everyone here so much! Many people have been prepared and are just waiting for us to reach out and share our message with them. On Friday Sister Robinson, me, and the three elders here with us had to opportunity to help out a man who was building a house. We helped him clean out and area and did many other things for him. He is a great guy and we hope to be able to share the gospel with him soon. On Saturday we all went to a pre-school and helped paint it. That was probably the highlight of my week. The owner of the pre-school was such a sweet lady. She had been praying to God asking him for help because she didn't think she could get everything done by today by herself and she had so much to do and the elders felt they needed to stop and ask her if she needed help with anything last week. She was so grateful for their willingness to help. So on Saturday we went out there and painted the school for her. We are going back this Saturday to help her out with anything else she might need. After we finished painting she expressed how grateful she was towards us and that the neighborhood would be 100 times more willing to let missionaries into their homes now because they saw that we actually cared about them and loved them all so much. She said that she felt that they asked her to help out for a reason. So that the people in their area could recognize that we were good people so that they could have an open mind to the gospel. It was such an amazing experience and I am looking forward to going back there.
The drivers are insane here!!!!! I literally feel like I am going to die at least 4 times a day in the car. There are no stop signs, lighted intersections, or crosswalks of any kind. It is kinda cool but sketchy at the same time because you have to be careful when you are crossing the street or driving.
And nobody really uses addresses here. It is pretty interesting. Directions can get confusing at times so I hope I can get to know the area quickly so I know where I am going. We were looking for a Spanish speaking investigator's (Steven) house the other night and we had to go to the French quarter. (We live on the Dutch quarter). We had no idea where we were going and were following directions written down by previous missionaries from this area that had been transferred to a different island. It was a journey. It took us a little bit, plus a phone call to one of the old missionaries, but eventually we found it.
Everyone here on St. Maarten is so kind. It is nicknamed the friendly island and they definitely hold up to that standard. Most people are very generous and will invite you to stay for dinner or lunch sometimes or just send you off with a banana if that is all they have. It is amazing. The people here have very little but they give so much. It amazes me.
It is definitely hot here but it is not as bad as I thought it would be. There is a nice breeze most of the time that feels really good and cools you down a bit. And luckily our apartment had air conditioning in it:)
Mosquitoes are not fun!!!! I got 24 mosquito bites just within two days of being here. Mainly because when we were teaching brown the second night I was here it was dark out and we forgot to put bug spray on. They aren't that bad during the day but if you walk outside at night you definitely want bug spray on. Otherwise you get eaten alive.
Church was definitely interesting yesterday. It is a lot different then back home. There are ceiling fans in the chapel, only synthesizers as pianos, the fridge got taken out today, the kitchen is also a classroom and where we have all of our district meetings, and the church is locked up like crazy at night. But you feel the spirit so strongly during church just like you would anywhere else.
This morning all of us missionaries here went to the ocean and walked out to different tiny islands. It was awesome and so gorgeous. We had to be careful where we walked so we didn't step on any black sea urchins (they were everywhere). It was weird having warm ocean water!! :)
It has been an amazing experience so far and I am looking forward to serving the people of St. Maarten as much as I can.
Love and miss you so much and hope everything is going well with you. Have a great week!
Love, Sister Breana Stewart
SO this week has been AMAZING! I love it here so much! The MTC is the best! Me and my companion Sister Layton and I got along so well right off the bat! It is pretty awesome. She is from Utah and she knows so many people here. I have seen Sister Lanae Sarvela a lot, at least twice a day haha! I have also seen Sister Rae Havran and Elder Clint Jacobson also.
Dinner is at 4:30 and by 8:30 everyone is starving, WHO eats that early?
For gym time me Sister Layton always go outside on the field and play either soccer or Volleyball. There are basically the only games we can play with the elders. Haha. Last night(since our gym time is at 8:15) our district played volleyball together and it was super funny.
It rained a lot yesterday and it felt so nice. We were so thankful for it because it cooled us off pretty quickly. Haha Sister Layton and I had to go fill paperwork out for our visas yesterday and I forgot my license in our residence so we had to run clear across the MTC in the rain just to get it and when we finally got there she realized she left her key in her bag. Thankfully there was a custodian nearby who let us in so we didn't have to run all the way back to the other side.
The food here is decent. I really wish they would have bacon at breakfast but so far they haven't yet. Oh and the Elders residence vending machines has hot pockets!!!!!! THE SISTER'S DOES NOT!!! Thankfully Elder Richie from my district was super cool and said he would get some and bring them out to me. I just can't believe the elders have way better food in their vending machines.
I love my District so much. We are having a lot of fun and also having so many amazing spiritual moments too. They are all super cool. There is an Elder in my district named Elder Ludlow.....legit looks like harry potter. It's trippy. And then Elder Lindsey looks like the bad guy off of divergent with all of the tattoos on him. haha obviously Elder Lindsey doesn't have tattoo's thought. We have all had some pretty awesome times so far.
We had the opportunity to go to the Provo temple today and it was amazing! Such a great experience. On my way to the MTC, Lanae Sarvela's Dad picked us up from the airport and took me and her on a speedy tour of temple square and it was amazing!
I love class time so much! I have the best teachers ever. Sister Luft and Brother Rasmussen are the coolest and super spiritual too. Sister Layton and I have Brother Rasmussen for our progressing investigator. We had our first TRC lesson yesterday and it was super tough. Her name is Chrissy and she doesn't know anything about God and doesn't know if she believes he is real so we are trying to figure out how we are going to go about teaching her. I know if we pray about it and study the lessons we will figure it out though.
We don't have to worry about my suitcase weighing too much anymore because I've figure out how to keep the weight down....#thiningmymakeupout. Anyways I can't think of anything else to say. LOL. This is the best experience ever!
Sister Breana Stewart