Monday, October 26, 2015

Oohh. Almost Had It!

Email written: 10/26/15

So this past week was set up to be a really great one. We always have the goal to get 20 lessons with members. But the things is no one in the zone has done it for the past 4 months or something. Elder Garcia came here with the attitude of ´´20 lessons sí o sí´´ which means there is no way we aren´t going to get 20 lessons. Here´s how the week looked

Monday- Still with Elder Hatch and we couldn´t get any lessons
Tuesday- Transfers and Pday which meant only about 2 hours of work and we didn´t get a lesson
Wednesday- All our appointments fell through so no lessons
Thursday- We got 7 lessons! That was the most I've ever gotten in a day and there have been some weeks where we only have 7 for the entire week. 
Friday- Had to go to Provincia in Derqui so we couldn't work. 
Saturday- Had 6 lessons. 

On Saturday night we felt so good. We were going to pull a miracle and get 20 lessons in only 3 days! And we were waiting for 8 people to come to church. But then Sunday came and we only got 1 investigator to church. After church we went to lunch and got a call from the zone leaders and they told we all have to go home after lunch and stay there because it was election day and we need to avoid any problems. And there went our 3 day miracle. We were bummed because we totally knew we were going to have all those lessons and get more investigators but it just didn't happen.  What it showed us though was how possible it is to stretch ourselves and work even harder. So this week, sí o sí we are getting 20 lessons. Good news is that Guadalupe still has her baptism date for November 7th!  On Thursday we got to go to Derqui, which is in the Provincia because the area got whitewashed. This meant that both Elders in the area are new and don´t know anything about the area. Because my companion Elder Garcia was in Derqui last transfer, President asked him to come back to teach the Elders the area. So we spent the day walking around and teaching. Provincia is so different from Capital. It was so open and nice and tranquil out in Provincia and I enjoyed it, but at the same time made me miss the monoblocks a little bit. 

I had a dream last night that freaked me out. All that I remember is that I had a panic attack and had the thought ´´I'm running out of time quick and I don´t feel like I've done anything here.´´ Now yall are probably thinking ´´Oh he has 20 months left, what is he worried about´´ but the truth is, time is passing by quick and not a second can be lost. There are some days where they don´t feel like they have an end, but the days and the weeks overall and flying by. These feelings can be used either as a tool for feeling discouraged or for motivation to really truly give all my heart, might, mind, and strength every single day. I´d rather get rejected by 20 people and come back to the apartment tired and hungry than finish the day feeling great but knowing I held something back. I don´t know what the Lord has for me to do here in Soldati, but all I can do is pray and work everyday to try to accomplish my purpose here. 

-Elder Steele

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

At Least We´ve Had 1 Miracle

Email written: 10/20/15

So if yall didn´t know, we went the whole month of September and this first half of October without hot water or gas in our pensión which meant we walked to pompeya´s pensión every morning. But on Saturday morning I was washing dishes and noticed the water was coming out a little warmer than usual. I then turned the hot water knob and the hot water came out! I told Elder Hatch to turn the shower on, and hot water came out of there too! The stove and oven still don´t have gas but at least we can shower in our own pensión now which is a huge blessing. 

Today is transfer day and I´m staying. Elder Hatch finished his mission on a good note. We had a lot of rough times relating to missionary work, but I am thankful I always got along with him and that he was always obedient. My new companion is Elder Garcia from Utah. Everyone told me he this is his last transfer but he just told me that he has 2 more left. I am excited to keep working in the blocks and feel that we are going to turn it around this transfer. 

Not much happened this week. We have Gaston but we go 3 to 4 days without seeing him so we don´t know what it going to happen. Guadalupe has a date for November 7 and she seems all good to go for it. We just have to find more people and work more with the ward. 

Here´s me in the Villa making asado.

-Elder Steele

Monday, October 12, 2015

¡Vamos River!

Email written: 10/12/15

P-day last week was really good. We went to Siga La Vaca, which is one of those unlimited meat restaurants and it was so good. We had a little competition to see who could eat the most, and being from Texas, I won. I would have eaten more but the mashed potatoes were too good and way too filling. Then we went to the River Stadium which was really cool. We just missed the last tour but we still got pictures and went in to the part of the museum. 

With P-day as awesome as it was it really set us up to have an attitude of positivity for the week. This week was almost nothing in terms of progress. We do have one; Gaston. He is really awesome and is working towards baptism. But other than him we've had a down week. Well if you look at it, my mission to this point has been a pretty big slump. The whole zone is struggling. But even with all that, we aren´t down on ourselves. This is where my life has prepared me. First being a Detroit Lions fan, when they went 0-16 was brutal, but that meant when they got the little wins it was even better. Then also my 6th grade basketball team The Spurs. We lost game after game and finally the last game of the season we won. This has given me hope that something big is coming at some point later in my mission and the only way to appreciate it is going to be by struggling now. 

Another thing that has helped me stay positive came from Aunt Sabina. She talked about only offering prayers of thanks as a way to focus on the good. So that´s what I did all week last week. In all my prayers I didn´t ask for a single thing, I only gave thanks. This really makes you focus on the good and you realize how good it still is even when it seems hard.    -Elder Steele

Monday, October 5, 2015

Imma Put In Work

Email written: 10/5/15

Well as yall probably already figured out, last week was a real downer. I was still bummed all day last P-day. Then on Tuesday morning in studies I read Moroni 9:6

 ´´Y ahora bien, mi querido hijo, pese a su dureza, trabajemos diligentemente; porque si dejamos de obrar, incurriremos en la condenación. Porque tenemos una obra que debemos efectuar mientras estemos en este tabernáculo de barro, a fin de vencer al enemigo de toda rectitud, y dar reposo a nuestras almas en el reino de Dios.´´

or in English:

 And now, my beloved son, notwithstanding their hardness, let us labor diligently; for if we should cease to labor, we should be brought under condemnation; for we have a labor to perform whilst in this tabernacle of clay, that we may conquer the enemy of all righteousness, and rest our souls in the kingdom of God.

So that was a wake up call to stop feeling bad and keep working. We did divisions on Tuesday and Thursday and both times I stayed in the area. We tried to talk to a ton of people and that started to build the confidence back.Friday we had interviews with President and he gave me a lot of counsel and motivation to keep going. The thing that he said that has stuck with me the most was ´´You can not judge God. You have to trust him. Pray every morning to prepare yourself to do His work in Soldati. If you have 1 seed to plant, then plant that seed. If you have 20 baptisms then go baptize. This is Elder Hatch´s finest hour and you might have to carry him on your shoulders to the end.´´ The interviews ran late and it is a 2 hour trip back to our area so we only had 3 hours to work. Then Elder Hatch said ´´´Alright. We have 3 hours to find people or I am not baptizing the rest of my mission´´ We baptize when someone has 3 church attendances, and we had 3 Sunday´s left. I was reminded of the Boise State/Oklahoma game from years ago, when Boise State was making one final drive to try to win. And I still remember the broadcaster saying ´´This could very well be the last play of his college career´´ and then Boise State pulled some miracles to win. And that´s what we were going to do. We have a few possibilities, but we have to see today.  We have talked to so many people and we are going to work right up until Elder Hatch leaves. I still 
don´t fully understand why I´m in Soldati, or why I´m even in Argentina, but that´s where faith comes in right?

Soldati Zone - Argentina, Buenos Aires North Mission

Other than that, conference was really good. I think partly was because it was the first time I watched all 4 sessions and took notes. It was incredible to see and hear from a prophet and apostles because we tell people all the time we have them as a blessing for us. If you missed any of it, go back at watch/listen.

Thank you for all the emails, support, prayers, and love. 

-Elder Steele