Monday, January 25, 2016

Yeah We're Pretty Special

Email written: 1/25/16

This week we felt really special for a few reasons. The first is that Tuesday we had a special guest go out and work with us.... President Ayre!! He called us Saturday night and told us that he felt really strongly that he needed to go out and work with us for a bit. He could only be with us for 2 hours but it was really neat to have him with us. At first I was nervous but then we got to work.

Tuesday morning we also got to go to the temple and start replacing the stuff we lost. We felt weird because the temple is part of another mission but it was fun to go to see the temple. And yes, we thought about going in and doing a session, but in the end decided against it. 

Wednesday we had a special broadcast for all the missionaries in the world and it helped me focus on the things I want to improve on. Friday we got to go shopping again, this time in the Plaza Once, and now we pretty much have everything replaced. Friday and Saturday flew by and we have been working really hard and Saturday night we felt really good for Sunday. But Sunday came and all 7 of our investigators had some sort of problem and couldn't go. So our excitement and energy took a hit but we pressed on. The truth is we have close to nothing to work with starting this week. All we really have is our diligence, obedience, and prayer. But we have to keep positive and hold to our faith that we will see fruits of our labors and benefit from these experiences.   
-Elder Steele

Monday, January 18, 2016

Who Even Does That?

Email written: 1/18/16

This week has been a little bit of a disaster. Let´s start with the first day of transfers. We received a call from the Zone Leaders and they told us that one of the other companionships in our ward had found a map and it turns out their area is bigger than they thought which means our area is smaller than we thought. And with that we lost Leandro, Roberto, and Amelia. Or in other words we lost everything we had coming into this transfer. It´s been a little hard, but Elder Holtry is going to start teaching them so I know they are in good hands. And then yesterday was one of those days. My sube (bus card) ran out of credit and my companion´s card stopped working. This meant that when we depend very much on the bus to get around, we did plenty of walking. And then the cherry on top our laundry. The Relief Soceity president offered to wash our clothes and told us to bring our clothes to the church. So like every week when we have stuff like baptism clothes or tuppers to return, we left it in the kitchen. After the meetings ended we went to the kitchen and guess what wasn´t there... OUR LAUNDRY!! At first we thought it was a joke from the other elders, but then we talked to someone who was sitting in the kitchen and he told us that he saw someone leave with our bags. So yeah, we got robbed. And the saddest part is we didn´t even see the guy who robbed us. But on the bright side we got special permission to go to the temple/MTC this week (because it´s in another mission) so yeah we feel pretty cool. So Sunday night with no sube, the majority of our clothes gone, and no investigators, but 3 things came to mind: the words of Ether (in the Book of Mormon), Rocky (from the Rocky Movies) and Jimmy V (Former NC State basketball coach):

34 Now the last words which are written by Ether are these: Whether the Lord will that I be translated, or that I suffer the will of the Lord in the flesh, it mattereth not, if it so be that I am saved in the kingdom of God. Amen.

´´Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It's a very mean and nasty place and I don't care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done! Now if you know what you're worth then go out and get what you're worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain't where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody!´´

“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up”

So yeah. The mission (and life) are going to hit and we are going to be faced with situations and the real test is how we react. Elder Troya and I decided that we just need to smile and laugh and what´s happened and get back to work. And some good news is that there is no way next week is going to be worse! 

-Elder Steele

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I Don´t Know Enough About Colombia to Make A Joke

Email written: 1/12/16

Transfer time and my new companion is Elder Troya from Colombia and it´s fun/scary because we arrived in the mission together so neither of us has a great idea of what we are doing haha. More good news is that one of the new elders in the ward is ELDER HOLTRY!!! That´s right my MTC companion is with me in the ward so it´s going to be fun. 

I am going to miss Tex-Mex a lot because of all the miracles that we saw and all the lessons we learned. We got to end the transfer good with the baptism of Kiara. She is the cousin of Axel and slowly we are completing the Mercado Family. It was really special to see the change in Kiara when 4 weeks ago she didn´t even want to listen but thanks to her Grandma, Axel, and the Ward she was really happy Sunday.

The thing that struck me the most is she still was a little worried but when she came out of the water she looked up and said "Gracias. Gracias. Gracias" with a really big smile. That´s the power of change baptism helps bring.  I am really excited for this transfer.   -Elder Steele

Pics are Kiara´s baptism and the group of missionaries that played futbol (almost) every morning. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Email Runs on Mormon Standard Time

Email written: 1/4/16

So last week was a little complicated and we ended up with about 10 minutes to do everything in the cyber. But we have time this week. 

So first of all it has not felt like the holidays at all. So for Christmas on the 24th we had an activity for the mission and my favorite part was seeing not only Elders Hardcastle and Holtry but all my old friends from Soldati. As much as I love my new zone, I realized how much I´ve missed Soldati. And then that night we went to a member´s house for dinner and we got to stay out until 10:30pm and after dinner we got to watch the fireworks. It´s so weird to know that I already made it to Christmas. Christmas day we had pday and I got to talk to the family which was really awesome to do. It didn´t feel like I had seen them for 6 months and Collin had changed so much. It reminded me how much I love them. To finish off that week we got to baptize Axel. His Grandma is a member but we had been teaching him, his grandpa and his cousin. HIs cousin left for vacation so we have to wait for this week to baptize her and his grandpa still has some doubts. But in the end his grandma was really happy and now she is active again (because they moved from Bolivia and hadn´t been to the church here because she didn´t know where it was and had been praying to go back to church and then we showed up).

This past week has been a little slow because of all the holidays but we still have 4 investigators including an old couple who have been married for 48 years and after teaching them the first lesson Elder Cruz and I both realized that we could help them get sealed and in the end that´s the real goal. Because baptism is only the door and the temple is the higher goal. So we have spent the last week really trying to prepare them not only understand baptism but also the temple. We also have Leandro who showed up to the church when we had our weekly correlation meeting and asked how he could be a member (we call people like him elegidos) and he is going good for his baptism Sunday along with the others. For new years we had to be in the apartment at 8:30 so we didn´t do much but at midnight we were up because the fireworks were everywhere and we couldn´t sleep. To start the new year as a mission we are reading the Book of Mormon all the way through before the next general conference, so if anyone is up to it, why not join us. Also with this new year it´s the time to set goals to change and be better and that´s what I´ve been thinking about a lot lately; how can I be a better missionary and a better person and it all starts with the simple things, so that´s what I´m going to do. 

This pday was the best pday I´ve had in the mission because we made Tacos and played basketball as a district along with one more companionship of elders and sisters. And the tacos were pretty authentic thanks to our texmex knowledge and the store Jumbo which sells all the stuff we needed including refried beans and taco sauce imported from El Paso Texas. It was the best way to end this transfer and I really look forward to see what 2016 has. 

-Elder Steele