Hello Mother and Father!!! Am I ever so happy to be writing you this week...so much has happened and it has really been rewarding to be in the Lord's service.
We got transfer calls! President called at 7:30 in the morning yesterday while I was shaving and extended me the calling to be a Zone Leader serving in Richfield with Elder Fragoso! Elder Fragoso and I "were raised together" in the mission one district apart and he is an amazing Elder. I got off the phone and honestly just started to cry...that area is doing well. I love leading Elders and sisters and I will learn so much from Elder Fragoso. Junior Companion again :) The good news kept coming. The district leaders in that Zone will be Elders Gomez and Lazarus, both of whom I have served with...we are a team already! I am so excited to head up north and invite people to come to Christ in Richfield!
It will be so different these next transfers. First off...I will be teaching in English! (I will certainly miss tortillas and Latin music in the background) We cover two stakes up there and will attend 4 sacrament meetings each Sunday! I am soooo excited. I could almost hear the words "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" in my ears as I hung up the phone. This is such an answer to my prayers! My reward right now...will be the ability to WORK!! I love it!
So in Snow Canyon we will be replaced by Sister missionaries :) That is just what the area needs because we have been contacting a lot of single mothers and mothers-at-home these weeks...and we can't go in and teach them without a male present! I am so excited for the future honestly...we have a gospel of new beginnings and second chances. After Liberty Jail came great revelations and progress for the church. After Gethsemane and Calvary came the Resurrection. I am so happy just to be a missionary right now :)
This week was incredible! We made some great progress with our investigators, found new ones, learned and grew, and got a lot of help from members as well. It was miraculous :) We kept teaching J and E and their daughter C! If only you could meet these people! They are so beautiful and prepared...this week we taught J the word of wisdom (he drinks a lot of coffee) and he said "Well, the commandments are here to be kept..I'll keep this one too" He is working so hard...he is down to 1/4 of the coffee he was drinking before. They continue to love the Book of Mormon. J said "I got the feeling when we were in the Visitors' Center. I get the feeling when the Elders come over, and I get the feeling when the English Teachers come over too." He is so receptive to the spirit!! They didn't make it to church this week (because he slept in again! the 5am-6pm Mon-Sat construction job just drains him) so his baptism will be delayed. He told us "I definitely got an answer from God. The Book of Mormon is very true." YES!! I am so happy to be leaving them in the capable hands of Sister Hernandez and Sister Rodriguez. It was a great goodbye-He told me to drive down from Richfield to be at church and his baptism. But I am so happy they are rooted to THE GOSPEL and THE BOOK OF MORMON and not to us.
We also kept meeting with A. He did something really funny. His wife made us homemade tortillas and tacos and we were having a quick snack with them and he said "Hermanos, aqui tambien tengo mi cuchillo por cualquier pecador" (Here is my knife against any sinners) he said as he wielded the Book of Mormon. He just needs to come to church!!
We also found two new investigators this week! Nine months in Snow Canyon...and I found new people!? It gets better :) These two older sisters had recently been talking about the need to follow Jesus' example by getting baptized when they were older. YES!
So, normally when an area is whitewashed (totally replaced the missionaries) it’s because the work is not going well. I am so glad though that we are leaving the Sisters with many baptisms. We are all on the same team :)
Los quiero bastante! Compartan el Evangelio! Tengan Esperanza por el futuro!
(I love you very much! Share the Gospel! Have faith in the future!)
Con mucho amor,
Elder Michael Stewart