Monday, July 27, 2015

A DUMB LIGHT

Helloooooooooo!

This week was insane.

So last monday I did Kiek Mijzelf... I hope you all did too.
I didnt get to go to the castle, we are doing that today. But I did get to go to St. Bafscathedral. It was beautiful, I will send pictures. Oh and I treated myself to some yummy desserts!
 St Bafscathedral
 Eating Olliebollen...basically doughnut balls with powdered sugar
Elder Lovin, Zuster Robbins, me, Elder Turner and Elder Frederico eating italian ice cream

On Tuesday, we went to the Van Hees for dinner. They are a family in the ward and funny enough they were the very first dinner appointment I ever went to here in Gent. So it was pretty awesome to see the change in my understanding of Flemish. The first day, I literally did not understand one word, and I actually understood like 3/4ths of what they were saying. haha WOOO HOOOO!!! 
We ate yummy Muscles and homemade frites. Everyone here in Belgium has stuff to make Frites, and they all taste amazing. They just double fry them or something. I probably ate about 60 Muscles...They were really tasty actually, I just had to not think about what I was eating, or focus too much on what they looked like...
 Eating Muscles
Frites and Muscles
We had District Meeting this week, and Interviews with president. 
It was amazing...I love President and Zuster Bunnell. 
That is what my title to this email is about actually. In my interview with President, I talked to him about my frustrations about the language etc. etc. He basically said something I will never forget haha. He said:
            "You are a candle! You shine out the light of Christ...so for these first few months, I am going to need you to be a DUMB LIGHT!" 

Haha so that is exactly what I am doing...haha being dumb, but at least trying to shine with the spirit.

We also had the chance this week to go to a members performance for the Gentse Feesten. She performed like a Henry VIII style dance in a huge dress and we got to go in the nice State House here in Gent, so it was super cool. Her name is Lieve, and she is super awesome. She served a mission in England and is the translator here for Sacrament Meeting. Because she is so good at speaking English...(haha I am pretty sure that was poor English on my part)

English sometimes is a struggle even for me. I called this lady on the phone yesterday and she speaks English and left a voicemail. haha Lets just say it was a struggle. 

This week I had Exchanges. So I went to Antwerpen for like a day and a half. Super awesome. My companion for the day was Sis. Maughan...(I think that is how you spell it). She is hilarious, and really outgoing but she talks like a mouse, so I can hardly hear her. She had a Ukulele and so she showed me a couple chords, it made me really want to get a guitar. (hint hint...mommy I might buy one{😸})  Found random emojis hahaha sorry I had to.
Exchanges with Zuster Maughn.  My insane curls that don't go away, and even if I straighten them they just come right back.  It is a struggle...

It was an awesome day, but an awesome day full of lots of walking and knocking. We saw some miracles though. 

First miracle: 
We went to go look up like 5 people but no one was home...we finally hit the last one and she didnt answer either. We decided to write a message and leave it in the mail box...but because I have a wierd ribcage that likes to act up sometimes (dont worry mom Im looking into it) I said lets go outside and sit down and write it. So I could have a little rest.
P.s. Everyone here lives stacked on top of each other so we do bell ups...basically you go into the bottom part inside and ring everyones door bells after the other in that one room, and talk to them over a speaker....so that is why we could go outside.
Well if it werent for my dumb ribcage they could have never let us in....they saw us from their window and invited us to come in. They were awesome...and she spoke actual dutch so I understood all of what she said...so that is also a little tender mercy.

Second Miracle:
We were knocking doors on our way back from a look up that wasnt home either and we came to this guy who of course said: sorry geen interesse...no interest...but when we asked if he knew someone who did, he pointed us to a house down the road. He spoke straight Flemish though and Antwerpen Flemish so I understood nicks(nothing). But Sis. Maughan did a little.
P.S. here in Belgium they even have different dialects of Flemish so Gent has its own dialect and Antwerpen has its own as well. 
We still couldnt find the house he referred us to...so we went to this door that looked kind of like the one he had pointed out...a lady answered. Not interested. But then pointed us to the exact same referral. You have to know, that literally every time we ask them that question they say they have no idea who would be interested. So getting a referral from one person is a miracle in and of itself...but then to get the exact same referral from someone else!! It was awesome. He wasnt home, but they are going to go back and try to contact him again. SOOOO awesome!! The tiny miracles...if we hadnt have knocked on that second door we never would have found the referral the other guy gave to us. Heavenly Father really wanted us to find this guy for sure. 

I am pretty sure that is it. Just a lot of walking and talking to people. We gave away two copies of het Boek Van Mormon this week on the street, haha so awesome. 

I love you all and miss you. But it is going really great here. I see so many miracles every day...those are just some. Sometimes I am sure I dont even realize or miss the miracle. Heavenly Father is mindful of you, and He loves you so much!!!

Be safe, and have FUN!!
IK HOU VAN JULLIE!!
GROETJES,
Zuster Stewart-Chester
 They literally have bread vending machines here...
My trainer and I


In the Pouring Rain:)



This one is for Noah cuz he always takes awesome pictures in front of graffiti

These are buidings in the centrum of Gent

I think this is St. Niklaascathedral

Monday, July 20, 2015




 Little town called Lokrin we went there to play volleyball



 Train Station.  We take trains everywhere. I love it!
Volleyball last P-Day (preparation day) Elder Lovin is bright blond on the left...Elder Turner is right above him and Elder Frederico is on the bottom right
 I forgot to mention that my hair is insane here...tiny ringlets ony around my face, dang it it's a struggle.
I forgot to mention that I met President Boom (he served a mission with my Dad in Leeds England)

KIEK JOZELF...

stroopwaffels

HELLOOOOOO!!!

So kiek joself: means treat yourself. SO i wanted to throw in a good ole Tom and Donna Parks and Rec quote. I found that out and I was saying it all day. so today I am going to Treat myself to partying at the Gentse Feesten: the gent holiday here. 
Basically everyone comes from all over to get drunk listen to music and go see the sites, and eat yummy foods....
So yep I wont be drinking or listening to music, but we might go tour the castle though and eat yummy pastries.

So I dont think I said this but on the flight over here I sat next to this awesome guy.
Brother Austin: haha he gave himself a bro. title because we all had zuster and elder...
Anyways. He was super cool, he told us about how he was on his way to Africa to help with cleaning out water wells and to preach of Jesus Christ. Super awesome....Super good guy, he is about 21. Anyways we talked to him about the gospel for pretty much the entire time, it was awesome. He had so many questions, and he loves the Bible. So I had a mini Book of Mormon that I was highlighting and thats it...so I gave it to him. He told he would read it, and started to before we even landed. haha Super awesome. I wrote my little testimony in the front and apologized for the highlighting already...but asked him to finish highlighting it for me. He gave us all his address and said: I would love to hear about your ministry. haha super awesome guy. 

This week lets see....

I already have a client here in Belgium...The Goethals (a family in the ward...who I know would get a long so well with our family...and bro Goethals dry european humor that is mean but he isnt meaning to be at all haha he is great). Anyways they wanted me to do their daughter Elke's hair. So I did....
It was for a wedding from someone in the ward. So we actually got to go to the wedding as well.
So I got to go to a Flemish wedding this week. Kinda cool. Pretty simple but cute, and they went to the temple later that day.

Old men love Zus. Robbins...and so we always joke around with her about it haha. It is super funny, becuase random old men will just give us funny looks...haha and random creepy guys. haha We had a kid who we gave a card to this week text us to see if we were going to the Gentse Feesten...haha sorry...poor kid.

This week we went to a members house for lunch with the Elders...She is from Sri Lanka, and so she made us super yummy currry!!!! IF you know me well enough you will know I was in heaven. I ate till I almost died. It was soooo yummy. haha Still not as good as your curry though mommy.

Nicknames:
Because my name is ridiculously long everyone always makes a funny face after hearing it haha.
Here are some nicknames I have recieved:
Zuster Stuchy.
Zuster Stewaters Chester
Zuster Worcester sauce
Zuster SC
Zuster Stewart something and other things
Zuster Stewart- Chesternut
Im sure there are plenty more, but those are just a couple. haha I also have gotten "OOOHH doeble naaam: English Royalty" haha or "Oh like an old cheese from england...that is how Ill remember it" The members are great. haha

The language: it is getting better...slowly I am starting to understand more and more, but haha there is still a lot of work to do.

I love it here. We are working hard, and it is awesome. The Elders are hilarious...and Elder Lovin has now asked me to cut his hair...who knows I might give in...we will see.

It was zone conference this week, so I got to see a couple of my district from the MTC. It was sooooo good to see them. I love them a ton!!

We miss Elder Wright though. Send him our love alstublieft.

Ik hou van jullie!!!

Address for Letters:

Helene dutrieulaan 7-201
9050 Gent, Belgium

Zuster Stewart-Chester
Sorry it is mainly info, I will try to say more spiritual stuff next week...haha love you all have an awesome week!!!!


Thursday, July 16, 2015



TATE AND HER DISTRICT:)  I found these on the web today:)

Elder Bruneau, Elder Fairbanks, Elder Wright, Elder Crowder, Elder Sosa, Zuster Stewart-Chester and Elder Ocampo
 From that time they Stringed people:) ha ha  When Elder Crowder opened the package and it said, YOUVE BEEN STRINGED:)
My Zuster and her Elders:)

Monday, July 13, 2015

LOOK OUT EVERYONE...IM ACHTEROP-ING ON THE HIGHWAY IN GENT!!!!

Hello Everyone!!

Boy do I have stories to tell you this week.

So you might have heard, because somehow my mom already did, but I have been born in GENT, BELGIUM. (first area....people say they are born in their first area)

I was pumped when I first got the call. Cute Zus. Bunnell even made nice letters of our calls and gave us pictures and info about our area.
Mine looked beautiful before I even got here....also the next day when we met our trainers and some people who are dying...(leaving from their missions to go home) they were all super jealous of me going to Gent.  They all kept telling me it is the most beautiful place in our whole mission, and they wish they could go with me...

Also I saw Cody Bean...I didnt get a picture with my camera, so hopefully he sent you one. It was good to see him. He also was raving about Gent. haha I am pretty lucky.

My Trainer is Zus. Robbins. She is an angel...I'm sure of it. Also she is such a pro with the language, so I have a hard time, not just letting her talk all the time. haha She is just so good, and well....Im just so bad. haha She is from Riverton Utah, and she plays the piano, and sings. Wonderfully I might add. She was asked to play for a performance at church yesterday, (this really difficult piece), and she just sits down and plays it like it was nothing. She is so kind to me, and always looking for ways she can serve me. It makes me want to do better in that sense. I love her, and she teaches me so much everyday. She is always also there to pick me up and tell me I am doing awesome with the language.

The language... haha well lets see. 
Right now I am typing on a computer that is saying everything I am writing is mispelled. (so if so....thats why. whoops). 
Also I am in Belgium....
You know how people say when they get off the plane in their area, that "this is not the language I learned in the MTC"...Well that's what I said. Only it is actually true. Because everyone here speaks FLEMISH!!!! ahhhhhhh haha
But literally. Flemish is still dutch, but a completely different dialect, that even some people from the Netherlands cant understand sometimes. 
They dont use the gutteral g, and instead they roll their r's and do a gutteral r that is deep in their throat...Im working on it. But honestly I cant even roll my r's soooooo haha wish me luck.
That is one thing I was hoping I wouldnt have to deal with because I am not learning spanish, but they actually do roll their r's even with dutch. They just at the gutteral sound here.
Also they pronounce their w's normal here instead of like a v...(how I learned in the mtc). 
What else? They have random words that only people from belgium say like french words: Merci and Seba...and then they have words that only people in Gent say...so there is literally a Gent's language. haha 
They also are like canadians and add a random EH.
It is hard, because I can barely speak and understand dutch and now I am trying to learn how to speak and understand Flemish....
So what I am getting to is...pray for me. hahaha jk. But really.
It gets better every day though.

Food:
The food is pretty delicious here, and they are actually pretty healthy here and love vegetables. So besides the Fries that people literally make to eat for dinner haha they are healthy. Oh and they make yummy deserts for us at dinner appointments as well. 

That is also wonderful, we have a lot of dinner appointments with ward members. So we get yummy foods. 
The other night we had dinner at the Van Hoves. They are sooooooo awesome. I could understand the wife a ton, because she speaks more dutch then flemish, but her husband mumbled a little so it was hard. They live out in the country side, I forget where...our area is huge. So we had to take a train for an hour to get there, and they picked us up at the train station. 
They were hilarious. The husband was showing us tricks and we had a barbecue and he was showing us dance moves haha it was hilarious!!! Super awesome family.

By the way: transportation is insane here. We ride about 6 buses a day and a train sometimes twice a day. super cool.

We also went to one of our minder actiev members for dinner (Less active) and she made us yummy pasta salad. She is from Nicaragua and was eating cow heart...haha so she let us try some. It was actually good, but chewy so probably not again. It isnt really normal to eat those things here, but she is from Nicaragua so she likes the organs I guess haha.

Title to the email: On our way to our first dinner appointment in Gent I have been to. With the Van Hees... (they are awesome by the way super funny they have two super cute little children). I dont have a bike yet, because we dont really need them in belgium... and they didnt live too far. Sooooooo I had to achterop on the back of my companions bike. haha and we had tried to fix her bike that day. 

achterop-ing: you sit on the back of someone's bike on the bar, and you hop on after they start going. haha
So we achteropd all the way to the appt. and on the highway next to cars. I answered the phone spoke in dutch and looked at the map all while sitting on the back of a bike on a bar. haha it was awesome. Didnt even fall once. 
Don't worry though mom, we found out it is illegal in belgium (not in the netherlands we think) haha after so I wont be doing it again. 
Just know that I am a professional achterop-er haha;)


Also by the way it is hilarious to be in a place where I feel like the three year olds are smarter than me because they can speak perfect flemish.haha

Elders: 
So I have no clue where all the elders in my district went, I dont think anyone from my district is in belgium though. 
We have 3 other elders in Gent who live in an apartment just next door pretty much haha. 
Elder Lovin: is from Salt Lake. Elder Frederico: is from brazil. Elder Turner: is from Canada and is a greeny like me, but he was a visa waiter in vegas for a transfer. They are all super nice, and funny, and sometimes, we get to go to dinner appts. with them or run with them in the mornings.

My apartment is super nice. Like SUPER nice, haha I am pretty lucky, we have a ton of space, and it is pretty dang new and clean. Also becuase we take care of it and clean it.

also our runs in the morning we run down a tiny street with a random tiny little church. kinda cool.

This place is beautiful and some days actually pretty warm. I will send you pictures. The houses are tiny and it looks like almost streets in italy somedays with vines and cute brick houses. 

It is wierd, because I always think about the awesome videos that show missionaries walking in streets smiling and laughing haha and that is totally me now. 
We don't have any progressing investigators right now, so we just hand out cards on the streets or knock doors. Pretty crazy. I didnt think I would have to do much of that. But it is hard here, because you can't contact on transportation unless you actually have a conversation with someone so we do a lot of tracting and proselyting. And no one will sit by us on transportation, becuase nobody sits next to anyone if they dont have to here, or our name tags repel people which is sad.

The other day we had a lady that literally shut the door on us because she saw our name tags said Jesus Christ. SOOOO SAD!! I was like, "if you only knew what He has done for you lady" haha poor Jesus. He has never done anything to hurt anyone, only to help everyone and yet He is still being persecuted today. 

Anyways. It is hard here, I am not going to pretend it isnt. But I absolutely love it. I love it when people are nice and still talk to us. We are meeting with people still so dont think that it isnt as successful here because it actually is. We just teach a lot of less actives as well. It is awesome. I love it here, and I wouldnt rather be any where else. No matter if the work is hard, God still needs the people to hear the gospel, even if they wont accept it. I have a feeling though that this week we are going to see soooo much success. We are going to meet up with a man who we gave the book of mormon to read, and a lady we met street contacting, who speaks english (YAY) haha to teach her as well. Super awesome. 

I am super tired all the time, and the jet lag does not help at all. haha sometimes I think this work would be a lot easier if I could just get some sleep, but haha its great, and I learn so much every day. I also get to take a small nap today so thats awesome. 

I forgot to see who's birthdays are this week. so Happy Birthday to everyone who has a birthday this week...haha sorry.

I love you all and miss you, but I love it here!!!
Dont worry about me here at all. I am totally safe, and protected.

Ik hou van jullie.
Zuster Stewart-Chester

Saturday, July 11, 2015



Dear Parents of Sister Stewart-Chester,

Sister Chester is safe and has arrived here in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission.  What a delight it was to see her as she arrived at the airport with a big smile on her face!  
She is eager to serve and so prepared.  Thanks for helping her in her process, arriving with great desires to love and serve the Lord. 
She is serving in Gent, Belgium and her companion is Sister Robbins . They left us with joy and eagerness in their hearts. 

Best regards,
President and Sister Bunnell

YAY!! She made is safe!!!  💗💗

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Today we all found out that most of us recieved our visas. So I actually will be leaving to the Netherlands on monday morning.

I leave to the airport at 6:00 in the morning on monday and I will call you sometime during that. So make sure to be ready. I will make sure to call your phone dad. and mom I will call your phone.

I have one lay over in Atlanta and I might be able to call again if I have time. So I arrive in Atlanta at 4:50...I dont know how much of difference that will be to the time here. 

It would be awesome if you would be ready to answer the phone during those times so I can get to talk to you all!! 
I love you, and I am so excited to be able to hear from you.

(I can't stop crying:)  I know she is where she needs to be:)  But it just really hit me and I miss her and well it's all good I just had to add this little bit here:) (it's not really about me:) -mum

more pictures:   


 This is my favorite;) I miss her so much!


s
 SOLO SISTER:  Not for long...she'll be in the Netherlands sooooooon  sniff sniff sniff
                   

The new sisters going to Suriname...Sister Ashcraft and Sister Jorgensen 





(a beautiful background...they haven't changed all that much in a week...)
Please look at Elder Wright and Elder Fairbanks Creepy Faces.....







 They like to take pictures of me all the time!  
Elder Lieshman

Bound to Somewhere


HELLO!!!

How is everyone?
Quick shout out for birthdays: Xavior, Shari, Bo and Teddy. I hope you all have an amazing week, I love you all and miss you.
Also for Ted today...I love you sweet Ted. Happy Birthday!!

Now for the title....
This week might have been the most insane week I have ever had... 
We recieved our flight plans on Friday. We were all so excited about going...but then came Monday. We were all so excited and we went to the travel office to see if we received our VISA's...Only 5 out of the 15 belgium/netherlands missionaries got their visas...well we think as of right now. Most of the rest of us got temporarily reassigned to somewhere...I was reassigned to Las Vegas. 
Honestly when I first heard that, I was a little upset.  Mainly because of all that has happened with the language and how hard I have worked...only to have to wait another month or two to actually go. I prayed to have peace about it. I truly have never felt so peaceful.  I realized that this mission was never about me...it never will be..and never was. My purpose is the same every where I go...
Invite others to come unto Christ. Whether in the Netherlands or in Las Vegas.

I was starting to get really excited about going to Las Vegas...this morning I woke up early to go read my emails this morning....and I recieved an email from the travel office. This lady asked for my moms information about my FBI clearance...because that is all she needed to get my visa.
haha so I have no idea what is going to happen right now. But honestly I am so excited either way. Because as long as I am doing the Lords work I will be happy. Also I could probably see my grandparents in Vegas...haha but we will see.. I will probably get the chance to write you when I do figure out where I am going, and I will be able to call home on my lay overs so look for my next email to tell you what times I will be calling.

also this week... Remember how I had so much trouble with moving into this new building, and the lock was busted, but I finally was able to move in, and UNPACK. haha welllllllll....On thursday we heard a very loud announcement saying that all of the sisters were to report to 18 M no matter what they were doing. 

With the Mission Presidents here, all of the apostles and the Prophet came to teach them... so here we all are sitting in this room, thinking we might be able to hear from an apostle or the Prophet.
One of the MTC Presidents goes on to tell us. He is going to alter our lives...so we are like...Yes its the Prophet...but no. Basically there were bats found in the new building and so they were kicking us all out.

We all were sent straight after that to pack up all our stuff and move back into the old buildings...keep in mind that they had us move over to the new building for a reason...there are too many sisters for the new buildings. So we were thrown into a room with 3 other sisters who were going to Albania, with 4 closets and 6 sisters. haha. They luckily left on Tuesday super early in the morning though, so yesterday we were able to finally get settled and unpack. Nothing against those others sisters they were amazing...it was just cramped.

So yep, I have finally unpacked, and today I start packing for wherever I am going..ahhhhh haha.

Also last night I was able to sew my work out pants...you will be so proud of me mom. haha it might not be the best job ever but ahh well.

This week with the 4th of July they are letting the missionaries watch the fireworks and we get to stay up an extra 15 minutes later! WOOP WOOP!! haha but we still have to get up early...so its a good thing I get the chance to sleep on the plane...even if it only is for 45 minutes to Vegas haha. I am exhausted...

Yesterday one of our substitute teachers sis Larsen had us teach her as an inactive member. She gave us about 10 minutes to prepare, and then we taught her in dutch.
It might have been the best lesson I have ever taught. WOW! I was led by the spirit the entire time, and the language just came...I know that the grammar was not all the way there but it was awesome...(HET WAS ZO LEUK!!!) 

I seriously love it here. It is so hard, but it is so fulfilling being able to walk out of a lesson that you were led by the spirit. I love it, it is like a rush. Everyone should go on a mission!!! I have never grown so much in my entire life as I have done now. My district is amazing and I am so extremely grateful for them. 

Also I am not alone anymore by the way. I have two new sweet sisters going to Suriname...They are so nice!!! It is still an adjustment from the other sisters...because I probably wont have as much time to get to know them. Also gym time is a little hard, without sister Carpenter. These sisters dont really enjoy doing anything besides walking which is fine, but I usually just end up either running or playing volleyball with random people... I cant play basketball with Elders without a companion to guard me so thats hard, but ahh well.

I love you all!!
IK HOU VAN JULLIE!! Ik weet dat Jesus Christus LEEFT, and Hij weet ons, en hou van ons.

Zuster Stewart-Chester