Monday, August 31, 2015



I am doing fantastic!!! 
Yesterday I was sitting in a lesson, sweating like a pig (yep I know pigs don't sweat that is why it is soooo weird), and I really did not want to leave this place ever!!

When am I ever going to get this chance again? Knocking random peoples doors, sitting in a lesson, sweating because this insane hot but humid weather, biking up hills and having my glasses fog up, and just being here in this place. It really is soooo beautiful, and wow I LOVE THESE PEOPLE!!!

The Branch is soooooo ridiculously kind. They do sooooo much for us. 

I gave my first talk yesterday in dutch. They let me off a little because it was over the Restoration and Joseph Smith, which is what I teach about every day almost. But it was great and I added some more points. Also guess what! My notes were all in English and I translated them all to dutch while going. Pretty cool. I was soooo nervous though and it was funny. Yesterday was hot and humid so I was sweating. I was fanning myself the entire time, and the whole branch was making fun of me, and the priests passing the sacrament were laughing ha ha. 

Our investigator is SO awesome. He came to church yesterday, and he turns to me (because he knows I am sooo nervous) and says: "Don't be nervous, this is your Family!" It was awesome that even he knew that and was telling me about it. He is super cool, and we are loving teaching him. Today he is coming to our dinner appointment with us, and we are giving him the second lesson there. So it is exciting.

We had the RING FAMILIE DAG, on Zaterdag. It was fantastic. We met members from all over, and I got to see the people who met you Mom and Dad in Utah and also President Boom and his family!
Also There are families that live in Breda who brought us food, and Peanut Butter/Pindakaas. ha ha Sis. Robbins served there for a while and they all love her, so they brought her stuff. They also brought root beers for all the missionaries...IT WAS SOOOO GOOD!!

It is crazy though, because I feel like some of those people from the Breda ward, are now my friends, even though I havent even served there yet. The members here are soooo awesome, and sooo kind.

We also had Zone Conference this week in Zuidermeer, Nederland. We stayed the night there, because we are all the way in Belgium with the sisters. So I got to meet Sis. Lemych and Sis. Mashburn who is from PG. She is super cool. Zone Conference was great, and talked a lot about gaining confidence with the members and having them help ith you investigators. 
There is an awesome quote somewhere in Preach my gospel, and it talks about how, WE CANNOT DO IT WITHOUT MEMBERS!! Missionaries come and go, members do not. SO please, help the missionaries around you. Help them in bringing people into the fold.

Other than that it was just a crazy week, full of service, travel and partying...well missionary partying haha.

We have so much peanut butter it is ridiculous, but also great. I tried Jiff the other day though and almost puked...I dont know how I am going to leave this place and eat sugary peanut butter. Calvé is THE BEST!!!

I love you all and miss you so much, but I LOVE IT HERE!!
haha I am already praying to stay here for another transfer, because Gent is amazing.

Ik hou van jullie, en hoop u een fijne week ferder hebben!!
Zuster SC

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 ​Ring Familie Dag....I wore jeans all was wierd.
Elder Lovin, Eld. Kauer, Elder Howard, Elder Paur (his dad was Rigiletto from the movie hilarious)

Giant Water Melon should have seen me eat it!  

​Elder Fairbanks with a ridiculous belt buckle, Elder Jardine and Elder Groesbeck!

​We went to brugge this week...this is one of the most photographed place in Europe or the World...not sure.

Brugge is so stinkin' Beautiful!

Just Streets of Brugge....

Monday, August 24, 2015

Bollywood Dancing on P-day

It is really a happy face....ha ha because now it is a rule to wear
helmets and we look like dorks in them.

So I literally have no time to write you this week...which is okay because honestly it was a pretty normal week....
That could be good or bad..I didnt lose anything so that is good.

We are seeing a lot of progress here.

We finally got in contact with one of our refferrals we have been trying to get in contact with for 6 weeks. He is super awesome, and wants to take the lessons. He was in Austria, and met a girl from California who didnt drink and so he was really interested in why not. She brought him to church and he really liked it. He has reffered himself like 3 times...and we had the wrong number so we couldnt call him and then we tried to go to his apartment but he was never home. 

He finally got our note we had left for him and called us. We are really excited to start teaching him!

This week other than that though was just a lot of work. We bike a lot...and it is whooping me but it is getting better. I am sure when it is not sooooooo hot it will be a lot easier haha. 
Yep it is actually super hot here....but it is getting closer to fall, so hopefully not for too much longer. I didnt pack for warm weather...haha
My baby Goethal  oh and my awesome homemade Capo
Desperate times call for desperate measures..

On pday last week, Amy symynck from the Branch here taught us Bollywood dancing and it was a blast.

Elder Lovin got his new greeny...he is from Rexburg and he knows Gabby...somewhat haha of course. (p.s. Gabby you better respond to me) his name is Elder Kauer and he is a really nice guy. Poor kid though I feel so bad for him...knowing how hard it was for that first little while and with jet lag. But he is handling it soooo well!!

ahhh I am sorry I am terrible next week will be better...I wanted to make sure I had enough time to send pictures.
I miss you all. I love this work..It is hard, but it is amazing. I love my Savior. I am so grateful for what He has done for me and I hope I will have the chance to repay Him in the tiniest way by just sharing the gospel here in Belgium and the Netherlands!! 
Biking in the rain, we got drenched!

Ik hou van jullie!!
Fijne week nog!
Zuster Stewart-Chester

Not the best beach picture, but it looks like every other beach...
cornfields in Velzeke, but they are everywhere.

We even had cute forehead jewells! 
The Symyncks...Shauna (our onderzoeker with a doopdatum), Ellen, Amy, Maureen, and Cindy. They are all amazing!!!

​we got off at the wrong bus stop because I am an idiot haha but we found a really beautiful pond while knocking doors!! Dendermonde!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Bat Girl....and Robbins

Hallo Iedereen!!

This week was insane! I know I say that every week, but literally. This week has been the most insane yet. My last weeks title...probably should have been for this week, because boy did I see a miracle this week....just you wait.

But of course I have to save the best part for last...and don't even think about skipping down to the bottom. NO cheaters allowed.

This week for Pday we went to Oostende beach. It was beautiful, but made me miss home a little bit. Just made me think of Tahoe and playing volleyball on the beach. It was pretty close to that though. We did play volleyball on the beach...the only sad part was not being able to cool off in the water. All well. 

This week we did exchanges again. This time though, the Antwerpen Zusters both just came here with we got double the door knocking done at the same time doing both sides of the streets. They are awesome sisters. We went to dinner at the Neels (a family in the Branch) and we on the spot, sang a four person harmony to Nader mijn God tot u..(Nearer my God to thee). It was awesome!!!! They have a singing Elders group here, that is like a calling, and we think that we should be the next singing ZUSTERS!! Vote for us;) jk...but that would be fun.

We went to the Verdegems for dinner this week, they are awesome...another family in the Branch. Sasha Verdegem is from Russia, and is an amazing cook. She made us like 10 italian pizzas...soooo yummy. Kevin Verdegem took us and the Elders home after, because they live really far away, and he rapped Wierd Al for was hilarious, and really good haha.

We met this super awesome guy from the West Colonies in Africa on the bus this week. He is muslim and sat and talked to us a while, but was actually super nice and open and respectful. We both commented on his rings and he told us they are from his country and they give him protection. He told us if we come visit him he will give us some, SOOO mom we are going to Africa. Jk but really.

The title...actually it comes from Kevin Verdegem. Apparently I am Bat Girl! WOOOHOOO!! haha because Zuster ROBBINS...Get it? I thought it was pretty cool, especially since I love BatMan!

Also that brings me to my next thing. This week is Transfers...and we are staying in Gent. HALLELUJAH!! I am so excited to be able to continue the work here. 
Sadly we are losing Elder Turner, and Elder Frederico. Elder Lovin is staying and is going to be training a new Elder. Also I found out that Elder Fairbanks is going to be in our district now which I am sooooo pumped about. It is cool seeing people from my District in the MTC...because they are like family.

NOW....for the moment you have all been waiting for. 
This last Saturday was probably the worst and best day of my entire life. It started out great was going fine. We had an appt. with a recently baptized member named Antoinette from Ghana. We got on our bikes, I put my bag on the back of Zuster Robbins bike...because yes I am still trying to get used to the weird bikes here and jumping on to my bike with a skirt on.
We set off...
We got there...locked up our bikes, and I went to get my bag from Zuster Robbins. It was gone.
We had literally just biked for about 40 min. We called Antoinette and told her what happened. She is literally amazing and has sooooo much faith. She told me I would find it, without a second thought. 
So we set off again. To retrace our entire ride. got to the point where we were actually back to our appartment by now and I still had not seen a sign of it. I just was praying out loud on the way back. Each pedal I pushed I started to think about what actually was in my bag, and why I couldnt lose it.
My only Book of Mormon and Bible in English.
Preach my gospel in English.
Wallet: including two bank cards, 250 £, temple reccommend, and Drivers licence.
Other Wallet: American Passport, Nederlands residency card, Belgium paper that said I could be here, and travel my bus pass, and train pass.
and more...
Yep if you cant tell already. I am pretty much an Idiot...dont worry I have learned my lesson.
I literally was getting to the point of distress. We went up to our apartment and Zus. Robbins said a prayer for us. I could not get off my knees. It is one of those things where you want to have so much faith and just take your mind off of it completely. I couldnt even think of a happy thought...well I could. But then that was home and that didnt really help at all. We called President and they figured out how to renew all of the stuff, and told us to go to to the Police station. 
We called Marc Symynck, the ward mission leader. He is a saint and even though he was sick, took us to the police station. 
Yep that is right everyone, I have already been to the Police Station here in Belgium in just my first six weeks.
We put in a report, which I will keep forever. Pretty cool that I have a report about a missing bag and it tells the whole story of how I lost it in Gent Flemish!! haha
I was beginning to lose hope. We made it back to the apartment...and got our phone from the Elders..(because yep something is happening in Gent, because they lost their phone and have been having to borrow ours.) They were there and I was trying to not cry while telling them everything that I had just lost.
I was trying to think on the bright side, I was like...well I have always wanted a Quad...I could get one of those now...and well at least my journal wasnt in there...because I had just taken it out that morning. I peaked into the mail box...just hoping for something good that day. I didnt see anything. 
Zuster Robbins goes "Let's just check the mail" and I said...there isnt anything in there I already peaked in it....she opened it anyways and a tiny little note fell out. 
"Hey Ashlie (my middle name)
I found your bag on the ground, I am going to put a smile upon your face" -Tim

I started crying. haha I couldnt help it. We called him and he turned around from where he was to bring it back. wow. Everything was in it. I wanted to just hug the guy soooo hard. We got his address though, and we are going to make him cookies and bring him a Book of Mormon, the best gift we can ever give anyone. 
I have no doubt that Heavenly Father answered my prayer. But he did it through someone else. Who knows if I ever could have found that bag without Tim. 
My challenge this week, is be the person that God can mold. Be the person that is willing to listen to Heavenly Father and be able to answer someone elses prayer. There are soooo many distraught people in this world. Without hope, like I was for a little bit, but you can be that answer to someone's prayer. I know that also if you pray for these experiences you will get them.
I love you all so much. I know that God is REAL!!! He watches over all of us. He knows our struggles, and our weeknesses. All we need is to be open and help Him in helping each other.

Ik hou van jullie!!!
Groetjes, Fijne week Ferder!
Zuster Stewart-Chester

Monday, August 10, 2015

There can be......miracles

​This is in a town called Velzeke. They always have big catholic churches in every town super cool!

Goedemorgen of Goedenavond!!!!
Hopefully you all have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day, and realize the miracles you recieve every day!

Something I love that Sis. Robbins and I do, is always write down the Grap je's and the Wonder's voor de dag. Grap je's: basically the jokes and laughs for the day... and Wonder's: of course is miracles...silly dutch. It helps me to really think about every tiny miracle that we recieve as missionaries. WHICH IS A LOT!!!!!

This week was amazing!!! Each week just speeds by, and I am sure you hear that a lot, but it really does. Each day takes forever and yet the week goes by way too fast. 

also I forgot we went to Brussels this week for legality and got waffles, because aparently they are the best there
On monday, we went to a members house and she taught us how to make mormon Tirimasu, and Panne Cotte, super yummy easy desserts. She is like a chocolatier and a baker because she went to school for it and she is amazing. It was a good time, I will send you pictures.
Mormon Tirimasu
​Here panos is like huge and I swear missionaries keep it in business. It is soooo yummy! haha and cheap
Sis. Robbins...Elder Clement (an elder...I am going to start that nickname for them if it is the last thing I do) and Elder Wilson who is one of the Elders in Antwerpen. Me and him always talk about our Warby Parker glasses and watches haha. He is cool! 
Panne Cotte

(so I actually left my planner at someones house right now I am really trying to think of everything I did, without all of my notes. Forgive me momma)

We got a bike on Saturday, from a sister who just left to go home, so yesterday was my first full day on a bike. MY LEGS ARE KILLING!!! haha it is great. We got soooo lost and I am pretty sure we went all the way in a circle around Gent. In Nederlands it is so flat, well here in Belgium it has hills, who knew eh? haha and some big ones too! haha but it was great, already have a small battle wound that one of our potential onderzoekers helped me put a bandaid on haha. Dont worry mom it was a tiny cut on my finger. 
So all day yesterday we biked...after church of course, and we had two lessons with potentials, and yesterday one turned into a progressive!!!! YAY! She picked a doopdatum (Baptism date) and we are going to help her reach it. She just has to quit smoking and continue to prepare. She is soooo sweet. The spirit was so strong, and it is great because her family are members. So they came and joint taught. She is awesome, she practically told us that she wanted to be baptized. 
So miracles do happen, and our hard work is starting to pay off!!!

We work hard, and it has been a little difficult with my wierd rib cage thing going on, but I think it will get better because I wont be walking or running as much with my bike now haha.

This Branch here is amazing, I love every single one of them. They are so kind, and they always feed us. Yummy foods of course!!

On Saturday was the baptism for Alexander (the Elders onderzoeker) It was beautiful!! So awesome, to see things I have seen plenty of times in Utah, but now here in dutch! Also Elder Frederico messed up so they randomly said in the middle of the meeting that the Missionaries had prepared something special for Alexander. Dus, Elder Frederico, Sis. Robbins and I sang in front of everyone. haha It is a good thing that Sis. Robbins can play the piano. 

Sorry I am the worst and have missed a couple. Happy Belated Birthday to Aunt Nicole, and Maddie Rice!! I hope you had an amazing day, I love you both and you deserve the best...also congrats Aunt Nicole on being pregnant again, I am soooo excited for you!!

Happy Birthday to Kaylee Philips and Grandad!! I love you so much, I am so gratefuly for all of you. Have the BEST DAY EVER!!!

I seriously love it here. WOW I LOVE IT HERE!!!! I love this country, and it is hard, but it is so fulfilling. I am sorry I really cant remember anything else. If I have forgotten anything important I will send it next week.

I challenge you all to look at the wonders of the day. Look for them. They are there!!! There are no coincidences! Ik hou van jullie, en ik hou van dit evangelie, en de kans dat ik heb om het met de mensen van Gent te delen. 

DONT FORGET: There can be miracles...IF you believe!!! haha sing it all day for me.

Tot de volgende week,
Zuster Stewart-Chester

 This is a better picture of the building I am standing in front of in the picture below.  It is in Brussels.

Chinchillas.......Random at a member families house....


Monday, August 3, 2015

"I'm not going to Nineva"


hallo!!! hoe is het? 

Soooooo this week we actually did go to Nineva. haha it is a funny story actually...
First I hope you all know the story of Jonah and going to Nineva or at least seen the Vegetales movie Jonah and the is a CLASSIC! haha.

Anyways...this week we went on a little adventure. We received a referral to go to a place all the way out in Haaltert to place a Book of Mormon. So we had to take a train to go to Aalste. (sorry none of these names make any sense I am sure) Then a bus to Haaltert, but it didn't come for an hour when we got to we did bell ups and contacted in the centrum. It was hard. A lot of people just completely ignored us. Or were rude. 
Then when we finally got to Haaltert we had to walk for about 20 min. to get to this house...down crazy tiny streets (I will send you a picture).
I know I know its my face...
haha but these are the tiny streets in Haaltert. also new glasses yayayay!
Once there....they weren't there...and their phone number wasn't correct that we had been given so we couldn't let them know...we quickly wrote a little message to them and looked at the time. Before walking to the house we had looked at the bus schedule. we only had 30 min. and it had already been 25. whoooooppsss!! So we decided to run to a bus stop that was just before the one we had gotten off at in order to catch it. We literally ran for a straight 15 minutes. That is right everyone...In a skirt, in the sun, with flats on. (dont worry though, because I brought leggings that I have cut off to use as bike shorts...sooooo nobody saw anything haha). Well I bet you can already guess...but we totally missed the bus. The next bus didnt come for another hour and a half or something even worse than that. So we started walking. My feet were dead, but it was great...I really want to talk to someone about letting us wear nice tennis shoes though;) We walked for 30 minutes just looking for a different bus that would come sooner while knocking doors and contacting people. BUT: Missionary blessings we reached one and as soon as we got to the bus halte there was a bus pulling up...crazy. The Lord for sure gave me a tender mercy that day. Dus...we were sitting on the bus when we saw a sign that said Nineva. We both laughed at that, because nobody would really listen to us in that town. 

So ya...We went to Nineva.

This week, we went to Leiden, in Nederlands to do Legallity work (good news I can stay;)) 
Delicious homemade hash browns. chickens and german pancakes.

Repping the awesome
apron Sister Kerry Mower  made for me
in my home ward...THANK YOU!!! 
I don't know if I have told you this but Zus. Robbins is a obsessed with peanut butter/Pindakaas here in dutch....and she has rubbed off on me. It is soooo good here, but it is expensive in Belgium, so we went to Leiden and bought 4 jars of it. hahah yikes, it is great though. If you ever get the chance to try Calve!!

This week was pretty crazy...but we made dinner for the Elders twice they had bought two chickens and didn't know how to cook them so we helped and ate them tooo sooooooo yummy also with my mashed potatoes:)

We went to the Goethal's this week for a proper Belgian breakfast.   SOOOOO good. Breads with cheese and meats and yummy pastries and warm chocolade melk. mmmm mmmmm!! Also they asked me what I miss most from home besides family and friends, so I told them I miss relaxing and playing the guitar. Next thing I know Zus. Goethal brings down a guitar from upstairs and tells me I can keep it. IIIIIII AAAAMMMM IN HEAVENNN!!! haha I told them I couldnt accept it, but they insisted so. yep. haha I love them.
I decided to name it Goethal, because it means strong neck in english. haha Perfect fit huh?

Anyways I dont have much time today I love you all and miss you. Hope everything is going great!!

God loves us and He knows us, and He is always there right by our side. 

Matthew 11:28-30. ALL those that labor. not just the people who are dying or sick. All those that labour can take upon the yoke of Christ. He is not on some other planet watching over you. He is in the fields with His servants helping them. Side by side. He wont go faster than you, He will always go your speed and just like with the can carry 20 times the weight with Him. Just as an ox with the second ox and the yoke. Rely on him!

Ik hou van jullie HEEL VEEL!!!
tot de vogende keer.
Zuster Stewart-Chester

My desk, just for you mommy!

I almost bought the bib because it says "Born in Gent"  and I was Born in Gent:)

There is corn everywhere here, to feed cows. It is beautiful!!!