LAST WEEKS UPDATE:
This week was pretty good. Tuesday night we picked the sister training leader up from the airport and she was with us until Thursday. It was very interesting because she is allergic to the sun.....Yeah....so it took us a long time to get out of the house while she was with us and then we had to make sure there were shady areas during all of our lessons. THIS IS THE CARIBBEAN. There isn't that much shade. And to make matters worse, the power has been going out off and on for the past couple weeks. The apartment was like a sauna during our studies on Thursday. It is hard to concentrate when you are melting. We managed and ended up having really great studies. Institute was on Wednesday and we are trying to get some of our investigators to come. We tell them we have a "Bible study class Wednesday nights" and that they should come. So we are telling them what institute is without calling it institute. Pretty genius if you ask me. They put institute right before choir to get more people attending that and it was magnificent. Choir was very entertaining. Sister Robinson and I were having a good 'ole time and I accidentally knocked her hymn book out of her hand and it hit the branch president.....We were all laughing.
Friday the most amazing thing happened! Roger (our Jamaican investo) made an amazing choice. He has a baptismal date set for October 17th! We are so excited. We currently have 2 baptismal dates set.
Sunday we had district conference. Think general conference, except on Skype, way smaller, and in French. That was church on Sunday. Now I know how the French speakers feel every Sunday when people give their talks in English. Props. In order for me to learn something on Sunday I had to read my own scriptures during church. It was an interesting experience and I wished that I could have understood it because I am sure they gave great talks. Luckily the last person that gave a talk gave it in English. He started his talk out by saying that we have plenty of Young Single Adults in the church and that he wanted to take one word out f that. Any guesses as to what word? It's a hard one. SINGLE. His talk was basically telling us all that it was time for us to get married. Which for some people it is, but as missionaries....not quite our time. SO that happened. :)
Sunday evening we had a lesson at the beach and it was gorgeous! The view will never get old here.
The Church is true and the book is blue.
Quote of the day:
Sister Stewart: "I swear I just saw a flying fish!"(excitedly pointing)
Sister Robinson: "Those are snorkelers."(shakes head and laughs)
Love and miss everyone!
Sister Breana Stewart
Tips from the week:
1. While hunting for houses, always contact.
2. While contacting, hunt for houses.
3. When calling into a house, talk loud and clear.
4. Don't get your car towed.
5. Do something brave and out of your comfort zone once a day.
6. Water is your friend.
7. When in doubt, contact it out.
8. 2 Nephi 31:20
9. Find opportunities to do service.
And last but certainly not least
10. Doctrine and Covenants 88:124
With this being a shorter week I assumed less would happen. Everyone knows what happens when you assume.
Wednesday was preparation day and Sister Robinson and I were determined to find shoes! I desperately needed a pair of backless sandals and had been searching high and low for 3 weeks. Finally, after shopping with the elders for a while (they shop like women) we parted ways. After 30 whole minutes we found them! Black Birkenstock knock-offs. Best purchase I have made so far.
After far too long of shopping we were happily strolling back to our lovely car. Stopping, we turned and looked at each other, turned back to our parking spot, and came to the same assumption. Our car was stolen! We didn't know what to do! After thinking about the situation we finally realized, our car wasn't stolen. It was towed. The people at the police station kindly took our information and called a tow truck driver to take us to the car lot. We walked outside when the driver arrived and we couldn't figure out where the tow truck was! No joke, the "tow truck" was a tiny little Chrysler. So that happened.
Thursday was house hunting day. We have three more Elders arriving in the next week or so and need somewhere to live. So as missionaries, the elders and us were tasked with the duty to find a house. As usual Sister missionaries rock. We found the coolest house. It is up on a hill and has a fantastic view of St. Maarten. The ocean breeze cools the house off so you don't have to have air-conditioner. Basically, we found gold. All day searching for houses and luckily we found this one. We contacted while looking at a different house and the owner seems like she was interested.
These past two days have been a challenge.
Every single lesson we had planned yesterday fell through. They had various reasons for this so we rescheduled them for another day. Then we saw almost every single one of those people. Since we didn't have anyone that was available for lessons we decided to go contacting. During this time we ended up walking passed a lot of the people who rescheduled and had the opportunity to chat for a bit which was nice.
Having the opportunity to contact was interesting as usual. I found out that I don't talk loud enough when calling into a home. Here you don't typically knock on the doors unless you have been there before or they don't have a gate. You yell, "Hello, good afternoon!". So it was my turn to call into a house and I probably said that 3 times and got no reply. They had their light on so they were definitely home. So Sister Robinson gave it a go and someone came out. Afterwards she explained to me, you have to shout loud and slow otherwise they won't come out. That was a good lesson to learn.
Somehow during contacting I tripped (weird huh?) and ended up cutting my foot a tiny bit and somehow that caused a blister. Then, I tripped again and tore that open. Not my day for walking. After that we had an amazing lesson with a less-active member about enduring to the end.
After we got home I dropped my planner on my foot and realized that I had a GIANT bruise on the top of my foot and it was swelling up. I guess you could say I am the most accident prone missionary in my area right now.
Don't forget to drink water when it is hot out! I drank 7 glasses of water when we returned home from contacting. I was so thirsty. I started getting sick when we were walking home because I had forgotten to drink plenty.
Saturday we had the opportunity to go back to a pre-school that we had done service at and paint again. That was a great experience. We set up an appointment with the owner and she is very excited for it.
Even with the struggles of keeping appointments, car problems, and injuries this week was very rewarding. We had the opportunity to get to know some members better, do some contacting, and have a handful of amazing lessons. It never ceases to amaze me how, if we follow the commandments, do what we are suppose to, and love everyone, we will continue to receive blessings and have opportunities to bless others as well.
I'm running low on time so I have to go.
I hope everyone has a great week! Love and miss you all!
Love, Sister Breana Stewart
Where do I even start?
This past week was certainly an adventure. To start with, we have an amazing investigator named Pauline. She is from Jamaica and is such a kind lady. She already has such a strong testimony in Christ. Every time we have the opportunity to teach her is truly a blessing. I learn so much and can always feel the spirit strongly during them. She has given us two referrals already!!!! She truly is the perfect investigator. Now if we could only get our branch excited in missionary work we would be set!
Every Tuesday all the missionaries and the youth get together at the church for youth activity. Typically there is Basketball and Futball for activities and halfway through we have a spiritual message. Last Tuesday it started raining during Youth activity and let me tell you, I have never seen so many people run so quickly in doors because of rain. Caribbean’s are paranoid about the rain. Literally paranoid....Only me, Sister Robinson, and one of our Jamaican investigators Roger stayed out in the rain and played futball. It was so much fun! I am getting so much better at it every week too! Un-coordinated me is an excellent goalie now :)
Before that youth activity we had a lesson with Roger and he gave Sister Robinson a sick snap-back. Guess what I got?? A book I can't read because I am on a mission. It was a really nice gesture though.
After Youth activity we had a jam session outside the church. It was epic. Elder Page was on the guitar and vocals, Elder Spencer on vocals, and Sister Robinson and I were on vocals as well. Let me tell you, we rocked ''I'm Yours'' by Jason Mraz. Best rendition I have ever heard haha.
As we were walking to that Youth Activity we got invited to attend another church that we happen to live by. It is right across the street from our church. Sister Robinson and I had actually joked about attending this church because we can hear it all the way from our house. (It is a loud church). And low and behold, we actually got invited. So Wednesday night we attended just as we promised. These people sure know how to talk loudly! My ears were still ringing and hour after we left! It was an amazing experience though. They were all shouting out Amen’s and Hallelujahs while dancing around and throwing their hands up in the air. All the while me and Sister Robinson were sitting in the back smiling. #Hilarious
I am so glad we had the opportunity to do it though. It was very entertaining and everybody there was very nice.
I almost got eating by a GIANT DOG that day as well!!! I believe it was a mastiff but boy; I have never been so scared of a dog in my entire life! When they are that size and come barking at you...whew...not a fun experience. Pray for us as we go back to teach the lady that lives there that we will not get eaten by a giant beast.
Thursday was interesting as well. I am truly grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost and the guidance it gives us. If we continue to listen to it we will be able to avoid harm and danger. For that I am truly grateful. We had the opportunity to go over to an investigator's (Isabel) house for language study today and that was great. We learned a lot more Spanish. Sister Robinson and I are trying to be able to argue with each other in Spanish for fun haha. She tried to call me an idiota but got her words mixed up and called me an idioma. That has been an ongoing joke since then. Anytime we mess up or do something embarrassing we are now idiomas. :) Then later that day we were walking around Cay Bay and an old investigator ran up and gave me a hug. At first I didn’t know who was hugging me but then she introduced herself as Micky and Sister Robinson informed me who she was. We got to know her better and then she told me my eyes looked like a jaguars #bestcomplimentever Also, The people here go crazy for Sister Robinson and I's hair! It is priceless.
Friday we had a joint lesson with the Elders with our investo Roger and their investo Michael and I had the opportunity to learn self-control during this lesson. While we were teaching Elder Spencer was giving Michael a Gospel of Jesus Christ tract (We were on point and had already given Roger one :)), when Roger looked at the other Pamphlets Elder Spencer had. He proceeded to ask for one that I didn't have a good view of at the time and turned out to be the Chastity pamphlet. I almost busted up laughing. Elder Page started teaching about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Roger leaned over and said, "pst...Spencer....What is Chastity?" The look on Elder Spencer's face was enough to make anyone's day. I truly learned how to control my laughter during that lesson as well as a couple of the other missionaries.
This is where my bad luck and embarrassment starts.
For starters it was fast Sunday which was amazing. Pauline (Jamaican investigator) and another investigator came to church so that was amazing.
After Sister Robinson and I had broken our fast I went to pour myself a drink of water and SPILLED IT EVERYWHERE. Then before we left to drive to the airport for zone conference I was looking at the back of my hair with a hand held mirror making sure it look okay and BAM, dropped it. It shattered....7 years of bad luck here I come. Fast forward to the plane flight and as we were getting off the plane to get onto our connecting flight BAM, I hit my head on the overhead carry-on holder. The pilot was standing right behind me when I did that. So embarrassing. But that isn't the end. As we were all walking down the stairs to get off, my bag strap got caught on the railing and I had to get detached from that disaster. Once again, the pilot was still behind us and saw the whole thing. By this time I am thoroughly embarrassed. Then getting back on the plane I tripped going up the stairs. After everyone the pilot personally came over to me and asked if I was okay. THEN, a once in a life time thing happened. He literally asked me if I wanted to sit in the cockpit and ride the rest of the way up there. A once in a life time opportunity. There was only one seat up there. I have to stay with my companion. You see the dilemma? I said no. Plus I thought he was kidding. He wasn't. Finally I got to Martinique without further embarrassment and to our hotel.
Monday was Zone conference and it was amazing! I also met an Elder on this mission who is from Tigard, Oregon. His name is Elder Sackley and I think he is a little over his year mark. During Zone conference I truly learned the importance of members getting involved in missionary work. If we done have support and help from the members of the church, our job is impossible. Members are essential to our success.
For dinner that night had the opportunity to eat in the fancy French restaurant that was in our hotel. For an appetizer I had raw beef with lettuce and cheese. It was heavenly. Then, for my main course I had a chicken salad with bacon and Parmesan. Very American, I know. I didn't understand what the other options were so I went the safe route. But then for dessert, I had the most delicious cheesecake I had ever had. It was Cheesecake with passion fruit and mmmm it was divine. Best meal I have had while on my mission.
Yesterday the embarrassment continued. After we got on our plane flight back home I cut my finger putting the seat belt on. Getting off the plane to get onto our connecting flight I scraped the back of my leg coming down the stairs. I've decided airplanes are not my friends right now.
Right before we left Martinique Sister Robinson, being the genius she is, read an amazing verse in D&C 62. Verse 7 says, "I, the Lord, am willing, if any among you desire to ride upon horses, or upon mules, or in chariots, he shall receive this blessing, if he receive it from the hand of the Lord, with a thankful heart in all things." Then I, sensing the great opportunity pointed out the next scripture verse 8, "These things remain with you to do according to judgment and the directions of the Spirit." None other than our senior couple and the mission president's wife was present during this. So yeah, we got permission to ride horses on our mission. We were ecstatic. Literally the happiest missionaries at that moment in time. Then, last night, we get a call at 9:15 from Sister Herrington. She apologetically informed us that although she gave us permission, she read through the white handbook and it clearly states no horseback riding. That dream was snuffed out before it really began. Although both of us are sad about this we know that as we serve and follow the rules in the white hand book and the guidance of the Herrington's we will continue to be safe and be able to serve the people of the Caribbean to the best of our abilities.
So that was my week in a nutshell :):)
I love and miss everyone so much!
Love, Sister Breana Stewart