Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A New Testament Miracle

Happy Fathers Day!! I hope it went well! Also Happy Birthday Hannah! I
can't believe you are a teenager!

This week during District Meeting there was a knock at the door, A
lady yelled in, and Elder Bangerter and I ran out and talked with her.
We got it all sorted out, and ran back in. After a few minutes the
same thing happened. This time it was a man. Elder Bangerter and I
again ran out to take care of it. We were a little confused because
usually we don't have disruptions in District Meeting. The man Fatos
was holding a red book, and he told us that he wanted to give it to
us. It was a New Testament. We weren't exactly sure what was
happening, but we said thank you. He then said there are a few more,
but you will need to come with me and talk with my friend. He said we
would only be 5 minutes. We knew that we should be in District
Meeting, but we just felt like we should go so we left. About a block
away is an office building. We were taken to a spacious office with
big chairs. The man at the desk greeted us, and told us to take a
seat. He quite obviously had a lot of authority. He had a big desk
with a big computer. We talked for a second, and introduced ourselves.
He informed us that he had another office facility a little ways away,
and that they were cleaning it out. He told us that in his possesion
were 1000 New Testaments all freshly printed. He said that they were
going to throw them all away, but he didn't want that. He asked.."Do
tyou want them?" We were quite astonished. Bibles and books can be
quite expensive here so most people don't have them. Members ask us on
a regular basis if we can find them a Bible. We were very excited. We
thanked the man! He said that he would have the man move them all
over. He informed us that there would be no charge. He just wanted us
to pay Fatos (the man that got us) 10$ to thank him, and for the work
that he would do moving them. We happily agreed! We thanked the big
man at the desk again! I don't know if it seems like a miracle to you,
but it was a huge miracle for us. We ran back to District Meeting, and
informed the others. They were all so excited about it. As soon as
District Meeting ended we ran over and helped Fatos move all of the
Bibles. We stashed them all in the church building. The Stake is
currently deciding how to spread them all out.

We met some new people this week. One of them is a famous Albanian
Composer who has two baptised children in the states. He is amazing at
the piano, and so he played a little bit for us. They have pictures
all over their house of their kids temple weddings so we hope they can
progress. They didn't seem to have a ton of desire to learn, but we
will keep trying!

We have met twice with a man that Elder Braden and I contacted on our
exchange last week. He is a father of 1, and he is a great guy. He
came to church two weeks ago, and he loved it. One of our lessons this
week was in the house of a member! It was super good to introduce him
to the members. The other lesson was in his home with all of his
family around. The lesson with the member was cut short because they
had to run out and vote before the polls closed, but for the most part
it was a very spiritual experience.

There was an election this week. They were voting for the government
repesentative of each city. I am not completely sure how it works, and
I haven't heard who won yet, but it was an exciting day yesterday.
Everyone was running to the polls. It appeared to me that people were
taking it very seriously. It was hard to meet with many people
yesterday as a result, but I was very impressed by how many people
were using their ability to vote! I hope the best candidates won, and
that Albania can continue to progress.

I had an exchange with Elder Roemer this week. I have loved serving
with people from my MTC group. I have had the chance to go on
exchanges while here in Tirana, and up in Kosovo, and it is so much
fun. Every exchange we get a ton done as well! Elder Roemer and I
taught quite a few lessons. We met some really promising families. He
is a very hard working Elder! We had quite a bit of tracting time so
it was fun to talk with him. He had heard about my extension, and then
Elder Braden from our group extended, and he told me that he had also
extended. I am in very good company! The new date is Nov 17. I miss
you all a ton, but I feel like it will be a very good thing for us,
and for the Albanian people.

This upcoming week we will have a mission conference, and then on the
weekend transfer calls will be made. President Weidmann will call
everyone, and a couple minutes later we will call them all with their
travel plans. We are still working hard to get mission conference
ready, and to be ready for the transfer. It is an exciting time.

I am so excited for Matt! He is going to love his mission!I am so
excited to hear all about it. The pictures of his farewell looked
good. He has a lot of family and friend support. I know that I have
really appreciated all of the support. It is very hard for me to
express it because of the limited communication that we have, but I
really appreciate it all whether it be prayers or cards or packages.
It all helps. I apologize for the lack of things being sent back!I
promise you that I think and pray for you all.

Good luck with finals this week! Have a great time with Matt! He is
going to be great! I am super excited. People around here might be
tired of me talking about how excited I am for him haha, but I am
proud of him!

Take care of Buddy! Take him on lots of walks!

Love Elder Stewart

The unloading of all the New Testaments

Celebratory meal after their miraculous afternoon. Looks good! I wonder if he shared?? :)

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Time Flies when you're Having Fun!

Dear Family,

The days fly by, and I am loving it!

This week has been filled with cool people. One day while walking out
to the car we were talking to the car washers. There is a car wash
right beside where we park. We have made it a goal to get to know the
names of the people we associate with on a general basis. I think the
idea originally stemmed from a story dad told me about how he always
tried to call the nurses at the hospital by their names. Anyway we
went and sat down with M. N then came up and started
talking with us. As we continued talking we met a new guy, O. He
goes to the Evangelical Church. He knows a lot about church stuff. He
seems like a really cool guy. We were able to teach the Restoration to
the 3 of them. The really liked it. N is one of my favourite
people that I have met on my mission. He is great! He is the secrity
of the outdoor parking where we park. His buddy L is the security
man on the other end. Whenever we talk to one the other one radios
across from the other side of the parking lot to say hi. They are just
great guys!

I had a funny exchange with Elder Braden on Wednesday. We had to go
and pick up a new car for the mission in the morning. It turned out to
be a little more complicated than we expected. What was supposed to be
an hour long trip took upwards near 8. It really munched into our day,
but we got the car. We took it to the inspection place to get it ready
for the road, and it failed the inspection.. so the dealership had to
take it and fix it again. We now have it! Thank goodness! I think I am
going to need another exchange with Elder Braden!

E came back this week. We met him and talked about The Living
Christ. It is very powerful. E is very skeptical, but he feels
it. We are shaking everthing he knows. I think he wants to believe. He
is just having a very hard time accepting that Jesus is the Son of
God. The lesson was very powerful. We had a member there. Her name is
Arjola. She is in her early 20's and is very solid. She helped us a
lot. Today E called me and asked if he could go to institute this
week. He went with us once, but hasn't been since. I know he feels
great while at church events. He is currently studying all about Islam
in University so it will be a very big lifstyle change when he gets
baptized. I have faith. He is astonished at the commitment of our

President met a man the other day, and he really wanted to meet. We
met with him, and he was really nice. His name is J. We taught with
President in English. J speaks English, German, and Albanian.
President speaks English and German, and then there is us. The lesson
was mostly in English but switched between the 3. J was very
impressed. He said he will read the Book of Mormon. We will be meeting
again this week! President was a super good teacher. We are trying to
do a lot of the stuff that he did.

Brother S is coming along. We taught about the Word of Wisdom this
week. He really liked it. We are working hard to get him ready for
baptism. We had the opportunity to give him a blessing this week to
give him strength. He appears to want baptism, we just have to help
him along the way. I am sure that if I were a convert I would want the
missionaries to be patient with me. His daughter R reminds me of
Sara, and is really pushing her Dad to get baptised. It is great to

We fasted this week and were extremely blessed. It was miracle after
miracle. We went out to visit Sister B. She was supposed to get
baptized next week, but she has had two deaths in her family. We tried
to see her on Saturday night, but she wasn't home. There was a lady
that looked out of a different door at us, but we didn't think much of
it. We rode the elevator to the bottom, and I said.. we should have
talked with her. She was right there. We awkwardly rode the elevator
back up and went to talk with her. She was super interested, and the
sisters will hopefully meet with her. We went back to the elevator.
The door opened, and there was another lady waiting there. She asked
where we were going. She was going up ans we were going down so we
were waiting for the door to close so that she could go back up, and
she started asking a ton of questions. She got out of the elevator,
and we explained who we are, and what we do. She workd right by the
church, but didn't know about it. She was great!! We gave her the
book, and the sisters should meet with her as well!

Last night we went to visit a less active man and his wife with the
sisters fr the mans birthday. I had never met them, but they were
great! They are the people in those pictures that I sent you.
Following that we went to show the sisters where the B family
lives. They are going to visit them this week wile we are gone. Sister
B was there with her family, and they were all duper happy to
see us. Apparently the funerals went well. Sister B was asking
when she can get baptized. She really wants to get baptised. Before
the month is over she will be. I am so happy for her.

Church was awesome yesterday. We had two cool guys there. The first is
named D. He has investigated before, and has started coming
back to church. He knows a ton. His only struggle is smoking. We are
going to help him overcome it! The second man was a man that Elder
Braden and I contacted on the road. We had about 5 minuted to talk
with people, and we met him. He was late, and didn't know where the
church was so I left with Elder greener right after sacrament
ordinance, and we went and got him. He caught the lad few testimonies,
and stayed for the nest two hours. He is amazing. He loved it, and
really wants to come again. Both are married with children. We love
teaching families! His name is N. He is super awesome. We hit it
off really well.

We drove to Macedonia today to do an exchange. So I am here right now.

I love you all a lot! We are very lucky to have the Gospel in our
lives! Take good care of Buddy!

Love Elder Stewart

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Futbol Unites!

This week we have had a few lessons with a family that lives on the
outskirts of Tirana. We are always really nice to the kids there, and
they like to talk to us. One night we were standing there and talking
to them for a couple of minutes. Within about 5 minutes there were
about 50 neighbourhood children standing around us. We explained what
we were doing and told them a bit about the church. It came to their
attention to that we play futboll on Saturdays and we invited them to
join us. 8 of them came!! It was great. They are Christian boys, and
they are awesome. We liked to pretend they were the stripling
warriors. We thought they were going to come to church, but their
parents said that they had to go to the church that was closer to
their house. We picked them up at 8:15 on Saturday morning, and we
took a 30 min travel to the church and then the field. They loved it
though! It was great. It was one of the cooler things that has
happened while I have been out here. We got to the church to meet the
other people, and we had an army. Our team won 5-0. They were pretty
good! They all come from very poor families and many people don't like
them because of their colour, but we think they are awesome. We want
to teach their families. Their parents really seem to like us!

We were in Prishtina on Monday and Tuesday. We did an exchange. My
good friend B, the baker, was there. I went with Elder Temple, and
Elder Bangerter was with Elder Rasband. Elder Templa and I had a cool
experience where we met 3 really nice teenage boys on the boullivard,
and invited them to come to the church. They loved our churches
standards, and were very interested in learning more. I hope it works
out well for them! It is always good to see Elder Rasband as well!

We have been working very closely with the members. One of our better
lessons this week was with a less active RM. He was Albanias first
missionary. He is a really fun man. He is married and has a 6 year old
daughter. He used to hold many callings in the church, but has fallen
away. We aren't sure why yet, but he was a really fun man to talk to.
He liked telling us about his mission! They have a house dog, and he
reminded me of Buddy!

I sent you a picture of me with the T family a few weeks ago.
 Anyway we had a really great meeting with them this
week. We taught them how to do family home evening. I forgot how much
fun it can be. They have 3 small kids, and it was a blast. They are
becoming very strong. We need strong families!

I recieved my extension until November. I don't know exactly how it
will all work out, but that is the new plan. I am very excited!

I love you all! Take good care of Buddy!

Love Elder Stewart

He finally found one!

Elder Stewart's friend, the baker.


Some of the neighbourhood boys with Elder Bangarter.