Monday, March 28, 2016



Hello everyone, I hope everyone is just doing fantastic. 

This week was a crazy one, as you all are aware I am sure. But it might have been one of the best weeks of my mission...and I dont really know why...I just had the most amazing spiritual experience, that was sooooo humbling, in a weird way.

With the attacks in brussels, we have been taking extreme precautions. The first day we couldnt leave our area....(where our apartment is in Deurne) and we still are not allowed to use any trams or trains...but busses were recently allowed. So remember how I told you that we never bike here? well that changed this week, because in one day, we biked more than I ever did in one day in Groningen. It was insane. 

We had an appointment with someone all the way out in Brasschaat, and we didnt have her number so we couldnt call to reschedule...and that night we had to bike all the way back from Brasschaat to Wilrijk which is the complete opposite direction...and then we had to bike home, and even before Brasschaat, we had to bike to the hospital...(but I will get to that) so I hope you look at a map of Antwerpen and look how far I biked in just one day. BUT it was sooooo worth it. 

That morning we biked to the Stuivenberg ziekenhuis, because we found out the Fanny (the girl missionary who was in the airport at the attacks) was there. She is far from family, and we figured that she would like a little bit of company and maybe a good song. This was the most amazing experience I have ever had. I cannot stop thinking about it. I didnt really know what to expect, and when I saw her I was taken aback. She was so small and fragile, and some of you have probably seen pictures, but she has a mask completely covering her face. As soon as I walked into the room, I felt the spirit just come over me. She was so sweet, positive, and kind. We didnt have much time, because actually a lot of people came to see her, and she could only see people for a half hour. So we went in and introduced ourselves and I sang I heard Him come, because that is the only English song I have. Afterwards she thanked me and said she had been dreaming of music. I just couldnt help but tell her that God loved her, and that he had protected her, and that there were angels all around her. She laughed and said she already knew. That night I just wept thinking about this experience. Thinking that God could have easily made it so it never happened....if she had only gotten her visa she would be safe on her mission and the other missionaries also wouldnt have been hurt. I thought about how for the rest of her life, she might never look the same, or grow back all her hair, and how she will be treated differently. I wished that it had not had to happen. But I was sooo impressed with how she handled it. She was just so ready still to go on her mission. She is such an amazing example to me. I couldnt help but think that it could have been me, and I asked myself: would I have been as good as she is, and still been so postive. It was humbling in the sense, that I realized I have been given sooooo much, and I realized that I need to do better and be better, and never complain ever again!! It was so great, and I hope I can go see her again, and feel of the spirit that she has with her.

Afterwards we left and I biked the rest of the day with my guitar on my back but it was soooo extremely worth it to have experienced that sweet moment.

We made it to Brasschaat and our lesson was sooooo amazing. I really was just led by the spirit. I am having to talk a lot, but even sister lindsey killed it on her first dutch Restoration lesson. She took it really well!! Then we biked all the way down to our appointment with a members wife named Karin.
SHE IS AMAZING!! My first sunday here she came to church and talked to us, and this week we finally were able to meet with her and she told us that she wants to be baptized as soon as possible. It just shows, that we do nothing!! There really are people who are just prepared, and it is a matter of finding them!! She is wonderful, and we are now working with her to get her ready. 

The rest of the week, me and sis Lindsey got super sick...I think we ate something bad, so it has been a rough weekend, but we were still able to get a lot of work done this week even with the Brussells attack and getting sick...and throat isnt getting much better still, probably because we have been biking to kindom come, but it was good to force myself to kind of rest this weekend. I love this work!! Being a missionary is amazing. I feel so lucky, I love these people. Even if they are tough nuts to crack!! I cant believe sister Harris goes home soon...time passes way too fast. I am not ready!! I LOVE YOU ALL AND MISS YOU!!


daffodils are everywhere here and this is a pic of me in front of the Antwerpen map.

This place is beautiful!! 

Feed my sheep

Sister LIndsey 
Home with Sister Lindsey


Elder Hill

We went to an old village somewhere today...first pic is of Ann (the member from Thailand) and her friend from England and sis. Lindsey
Elder Hill scared Ann with the frog

kissing a frog

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

" gaining something...its called W-E-I-G-H-T.....better watch out" Inbox x


Goedemorgen iedereen!!
Ik hoop dat alles goed gaat.

This week was a good one. 
I was a little sick, with a sore throat...which was extremely annoying, but we were still able to get some work done, so that is good...and I am already feeling better!

I saw a lot of people from Gent and I was soooo happy. There was a stake relief society thing, so I was able to see the Verdegem's!! I was sooo happy.
and then on Monday Broeder Goethals told me that gem from my title....haha
It is a good thing I love him;) and I have started working out more in the mornings hahaha, and eating less is hard with all these yummy things around me, and I am back in Belgium with chocolate and waffles. BUT hey...if I am going to get fat anywhere it might as well be in Belgium right? 

Food we eat regularly from members:  (I asked Tate a bunch of questions about the food she eats on her mission:) ha ha....

 first time since winter that I have ever worn no coat outside!! WEIRD! also that was on St. Pattricks green:)

my messy desk and breakfast...I actually made eggs...which is big. and I am still working on settling in and organizing more.

POTATOES!! that is right...lots and lots of potatoes and meat, and greens.
A LOT OF MEAT! the Evans...actually this week I had chicken Korma at their house and I was in HEAVEN!!! just like yours mom!!
AFRICAN FOOD....spicy beans, plantines (fried bananas), and egg creation, and chicken!!
Sometimes, we eat suriname's food...which is mainly curries.
and yesterday Ann a member from Thailand made us this cool chinese thai soup with rice, cabbage, chicken, garlic, and cilantro and that was good.
It is basically like home...but sometimes we get some cool things...but it is delicious!!! The food is never bad here!!! I am really blessed!!! maybe that is why I am getting fat..haha

Food I make for myself because I am extremely lazy:
Pizza, quesadilla's, apple and peanut butter, sandwich with tomatoes....and sometimes we will make veggie stuff or pasta...when we have time...which we dont, because we only have an hour.
My must have though is sweet chili sauce...(it makes anything taste good if it is too plain) and my Calve pindekaas...Peanut butter...which I brought from the Netherlands to here, and am already almost out!! luckily sis. Lindsey has to go to the Netherlands this week, and she said she would get me some. We are going to stock up haha.

I thought I told you last week...but Sis. Lindsey is from Texas...San Antonio. She is great...and sooo willing to work hard...we are very similar in the way  that we dont necessarily want to talk to people...but we both do it! she is great, and she is getting the language more and more each day!!

Elder Reese, BOISE. zone leader. who's aunt used to live in our ward, and told me to look out for him and he played the piano for the singing elders...before I got here. He is super funny.
Elder Lott, BOUNTIFUL. zone leader. who has served in every district in he is extremely lucky, and supposed to serve his whole mission in Belgium I guess. He is a lot quieter than Elder Reese...which is not that hard...but he is funny too!!
Elder HILL!  ROY. Elder Hill is literally Fletcher! I swear I feel like I am hanging out with Fletch whenever I talk with him. It is the if you know Fletcher than you know elder Hill..haha sort of.
Elder Geeraert...I hope I spelled that right. He is from CANADA. and he is really quiet, but like the nicest guy ever. He actually is one of the only members in his family...if not the only one, and he is solid, and works hard.
They are all really great Elders, and just work hard.

Lets see...
we have one investigator, John, who is great. He is from Nigeria, and working towards baptism, but things are always. 
Other than that we are just working on finding new people! and contacting a lot...I think people are getting pretty annoyed or weirded out by my questions...but all well. haha

Everything is going well though. I hope you are all loving life!

Ik hou van jullie!!
Wees Veilig!! 
Prettige week nog!
Zuster Stewart-Chester

Message from Mission President and a wonderful sister in Tate's Ward in Antwerp.

Dear Parents of the wonderful Belgium/ Netherlands Missionaries,

By now, you have surely heard about the explosions in the Brussels airport and metro.  All of our missionaries are safe.  Those that are serving in and near Brussels are being confined to their apartments, and all Belgian missionaries are being instructed to stay away from all public transportation and other forms of public gatherings.  We appreciate your prayers on behalf all of our missionaries.  We will keep you advised as new developments occur. 

Thank you,
President Bunnell 

(After receiving reports of missionaries hurt at the airport I emailed and received this response.  Very grateful for the communication received in such crazy circumstances.  I am sure it seemed trivial or hard to do, but I felt extremely grateful with this response!!  As a mother who regularly looks at blogs and feels like she knows these missionaries whom she has never met, I felt devastated to think of any of them in pain or suffering.  My prayers will continually be for the missionaries and their safety and quick recovery.  It is a crazy world.  But I know HE will make all things right in the end.  I know there is a plan and I trust God.  ( love, Tate's MUM)

All of our missionaries are safe, the ones near Brussels are remaining inside.  We appreciate your concern, and what you are doing.  The missionaries in the report are from the Paris, France mission.  They are reported injured, and in the hospital from the last report we received.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thank you,
Elder Mauntana SolomonDear Sister Stewart-chester’s mom,

I am one of member in Antwerp ward where now your daughter is serving.
Base on yesterday situation, i just want to tell you that your daughter is safe so you and family will not too worried and wait for her email update till next Monday.

This is massage from sister Stewart-Chester
We are perfectly safe and that we love you and feel safe. Not to worry.

Feel to email me or call below number if you want to me to update about your daughter.
Best regards,

Saturday, March 19, 2016


 Piet Geluk

goedemorgen iedereen. I am officially emailing you from Belgium again. 

AND GUESS WHAT....I just was talking to Broeder Goethals! WHAT??? I also have already seen the Symmyncks and the rest of the Goethals already, so I am loving it here.

My last days in Groningen were bittersweet...I was ready to go, but I had really developed some great relationships with some of the members there. I was sad to say goodbye to Guido, Baukje, Harm, and the de Jonge's...and everyone...but Antwerpen just makes up for it, because this place is beautiful.

I swear that I dont even care if someone rejects us because as long as they are speaking Flemish to me, I just melt. I have missed Vlaams. Although yesterday I made the mistake of saying DOI in church (goodbye that only people in the Netherlands say) and they screamed NO at me and told me to stop haha. whoops...I guess I was there for too long.

My last few days in Groningen were good, we went to Harm and Baukje's with Guido and had an awesome jam session. So I have some great videos of that.

Wednesday was pretty crazy!! They just made a new rule that you can travel alone on transfer day, but only if you have to. Well we had to stay the night in Gouda and then head to Leiden for our training early the next morning. The problem is that they have this thing called Spitz hour...which is the busiest rush hours basically, so we cant take bikes during that time...So I had to leave my bike in Gouda, and go back with the sisters and then travel back by myself. It was the weirdest thing ever. I have not been alone in a very long time, so it was not normal, but it was cool, and everything worked out, and I talked to some cool guys and one who was visiting from Portugal. 
By the time we finally got back to our apartment in Antwerpen it was 9.
My companion:
Sis. Lindsey...she is super cool. She has only been out in the field for 6 weeks now, so I am technically finishing her training. She already has a great work ethic, so we are working hard, but I am having to talk a lot more....which is weird...but good....I am just used to having companions who are older than me in mission age, and who love to talk. So I have talked a lot!! But I feel really confident with my is more of just knowing what to say, and also with Flemish...I am still getting used to it again, so sometimes I dont know what they are saying. haha.
She is awesome though, and really has great dutch, and is willing to do it all and try everything which I was not even willing to answer the phone still my second transfer, so she is awesome! 
I am really looking forward to working hard here with her. 

Travel is very different from Groningen, because it is almost faster to take trams and busses than it is to take a bike, so we dont bike really at all. Which is weird because Groningen you dont do anything but bike. I am now trying to contact in a different way, and it is hard...sometimes I have no idea what to ask, and I have gotten some really weird looks these past few days it is great. haha So if you have any good contacting questions, that you used to use let me know....also they have to start out just trying to start a conversation, because we arent allowed to actually proselyte on public transportation unless they want it. 

Other than that I am not sure what else is going on...just working, and trying to find new investigators.

I love you all and miss you. I am working on letters, but still need to get caught up in my journal whoops. 
Ik hou van jullie!
Zuster Stewart-Chester
zr. Onninks pigs. truffeltje and fintje


Zuster Spangenberg...she had pigeons living in her house!

Sandra and Julio
broeder background 
Vera Veenstra

Miriam from Germany


zr. Duncan. our bulb went out and we had to buy one...but waited


9 MONTH MARK ON THE MISSION (HA HA   she's so funny:)

Monday, March 7, 2016


Wow what a week....I have sooooo much to tell you all. and way too many pictures...and not enough time...but a lot more time than last week.

I hope you are all just loving life, I miss you all, but love it here!!

sooooo transfer calls...and guess what!!! I AM GOING BACK TO BELGIUM!!!! ANTWERPEN HERE I COME!! I will be speaking vlaams again in NO time!!:) I really am super excited, and it will be good, I am ready for a fresh start. 6 months is a LONG time...but if anywhere I am glad I was able to be here in Groningen for that long. These members are fantastic...and I really will miss them.

Yesterday at church I felt so popular, because people were asking us to come eat with them before I leave....they only love me for LITTLE GOETHALS though;) just kidding...but really though, My guitar was heaven sent...Thank you GOETHALS!! the guitar, just brings miracles....just like my title for this letter. we go. Sooooo we were coming home late from Winschoten from a dinner appointment...but we still had time, and we recieved new referrals from the new facebook campaign here and they were on the way back. So...we stopped out half way in Hoogezand and contacted our referral...she still hadnt recieved her dvd...and didnt let us in, so we went on our way. I HAD TO USE THE BATHROOM SOOOO BAD!! I was becoming very desperate...and there are ZERO free public bathrooms here, and we still had a ways to go to get home. (Because really who is going to pay to go to the bathroom) so we found a neighborhood with houses, and we started knocking and I turned to sister Duncan and asked.."so do I start with a normal door approach, or do I just ask to use the WC?" she told me to follow the spirit, and my response was: "I have no idea what the spirit is telling me, I just have to use the toilet. This sweet lady answered and I just started apologizing and asked to use the....and she interuppted me by just letting us in, knowing exactly what I needed...(woman just understand eachother;)) so it was nice, and I was able to use her bathroom, and to say thank you we played her a song, and then she started talking to us about her life, and had recently been through a divorce, and started to cray, and it was so great. We were able to talk to her about Christ, and she gave us all her information and said she would come to church was a good night, and we laughed and at one point I accidently spilled water all over her floor, and her chiwawas were just Climbing all over us. One for the books. Turns out her name is also the owl...but you pronounce it differently of course...but still it made it even better.

what else...
Oh this week we switched out pday and I was stressing out...because I really need my break in between the long week ahead...but on the way to the church we ran into broeder Weening, and he was doing lawn work, and needed help so we helped in our skirts. So nice...he then proceeded to give us referrals of less active members or people that used to be taught there in the neighborhood. Well we visited them all on the freezing nights, in the pouring rain, and they were all super positive, and let us in!!! So that was a tender mercy, and also a miracle that we had had to switch our pdays, then helped broeder weening, and looked up those people. COOL!!

Another funny experience this week:
We were finishing up a long day, after trying to look up somebody who is never home, and having no success, and a random song popped into my head, that I hadnt thought of since before my mission. I swear it was a message through the spirit. Maybe you will know it:

Carry on my wayward son(/DAUGHTER) there'll be peace when you are done, lay your weary head to rest, dont you cry no more.

Pretty applicable I would say, and I was singing it while biking that 30 minutes home.

wat nog meer.....
oh ya our real pday!!
We went to see the provinces with our neighbor. Me and sis. Harris had met her at Christmas when bringing cookies to some neighbors to get to know them. She is soooo cool!
Ellen. She offered to show us around we spent the day, going to see old churches, a little castle...which was like literally walking into Downtown Abby, and we went to the Sea....I made it all the way to the top of the Netherlands...pretty cool. It is SOOOOO beautiful here.

Last of all Birthdays!!!


sorry that the rest will not be in caps...I still love you all as well!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO Rachel! keep killing it out there in Dominican Republic, Grandma Jacqui, Nannie and I am sorry I forgot last week:) Aunt Heather. I hope you all have a wonderful day!! I am working on letters for you all...but I have no time, and lots to pack...haha I LOVE YOU ALL!!

I hope you all have a great week. WEES VEILIG!
Ik hou van jullie,
Zuster Stewart-Chester

exchanges from forever ago..

rain and glasses dont mix.
sister me talking to a guy on the bike...he contacted us because of our they cant be too bad right?

little church...lwith fresco paintings.

Climbing up the dijks.

the sea!!!! we made it to the top of the Netherlands

it was extremely windy.


menkemaborg...kliene kasteeltje