Monday, April 25, 2016

Lance Armstrong

Email written: 4/25/16

Week 1 in Savio is in the books (or should I say in the mud? because there is a ton of that here) and you can now call me Lance Armstrong. Why? Because here in Savio, we use bikes! And the first time we went out on the bikes it almost killed me because I was sick and the bike was broken. But now that I´m better and the bike is fixed, we are ready to ride (and the only "performance enhancers" that we need here is prayer and Argentine food),

Something interesting that happened was that one morning parts of the Plan of Salvation just clicked. I really don´t know how to explain it but all of a sudden my way of thinking about all of these hard times in the mission changed to view them in a more positive light and it has really changed my attitude for the better. I was just thinking that although things are getting hard, the mission isn´t that long of a time so it´s not a huge problem to go through trials (and the same goes in everyday life). 

Another thing that got me thinking was yesterday in stake conference one of the speakers shared a story. In the
story someone had a dream where they were in the chapel during the sacrament, and this person was lead by an angel and could see everyone on their phones and with other distractions and could also hear their thoughts and almost nobody was thinking about Christ or the sacrament. This stuck with me, because where are my thoughts during this time?  It´s like what was said in General Conference "Sometimes it´s just hard to think about Jesus ok!?"  The Church is true and the Gospel really does bless lives. 

-Elder Steele

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Colombia Round 2

Email written: 4/19/16

After 5 and a half months of the Villa Oculta and after 9 months in Villas/capital of Buenos Aires, I now have the opportunity to be in Provincia! My new area is called Savio and it´s pretty far away from my other areas (so there goes the chances of seeing everyone I know). I´ve only been here for 2 hours but I really like it. It´s almost like a different mission. My new companion is Elder Vides from Colombia (I swear if he starts to have back problems... but at least I´ll know what to do). 

 I wasn't 100% sure if I was going to leave, so we treated this last week like any other normal week and we worked. The rain and late lunches kind of hurt us but we have really been able to work with the members a lot better. But I did say goodbye to a few members for that just in case I leave security. Looking back, a ton has happened and while it wasn't  always the easiest or the most fun, I am very grateful for the lessons I learned and the people I met. One of the things I really learned is you can't ever give up on something. As a missionary you can't give up because you don´t know who you may help. As a parent you can't give up on your children. And this attitude of can't give up comes from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is why testimony and conversion are so vital. Anything can happen in life, and 92% of the things that happen we can't control, but there are things we can do and if we do our part, we will receive help.  -Elder Steele

Photos: Liniers Zone and Guess how many months I completed?

Monday, April 11, 2016

Eu Não Falo Português

Email written: 4/11/16

So this week should have been transfers, but because of a change in February this transfer is 8 weeks. It´s passed by fast more or less but being here for 5 months has started to take its toll. It´s been pretty easy to feel tired of the routine of the area and to start wondering where I might go next transfer. And just when it was getting bad, I got some hope.
There has been a member who lives close to our pension but we haven´t been able to visit them much. We tried to make a greater effort to visit them and after getting lunch with them and doing service, we got the mom of the family to go out and do visits. After these visits we "trained" her on how to be a member missionary but we didn´t think much of it. A few days later she called us and told us that she talked to a friend who wants us to teach her and she already set up the appointment. So the next day we went to visit her friend Lucinda. Lucinda is from Brazil and speaks Portuñol which is Spanish-Portuguese, so we still basically understand her but she sometimes doesn´t understand everything we say. Luckily one of the elders who lives with us is from Brazil and has taught me some Portuguese (side note: Portuguese is pretty fun to speak) and we were able to get her a book of Mormon in Portuguese. Even though there is a little bit of a language and age barrier, she seems to understand and feel the spirit and loved church yesterday.
It was a relief that after all these weeks in this transfer, to finally have someone so ready and willing to learn is a blessing. I then realized that I can´t be tired of the area and blame it on the area because it doesn´t matter where I will be serving I still have to work, so transfers are next week and although it would be kind of nice to have a change of scenery, I will be fine with whatever comes my way. 

-Elder Steele

Monday, April 4, 2016

Spring Break?

Email written: 4/4/16

This week was a week that could not have come at a better time. 

Starting with Tuesday we had interviews with President. It has not been easy these past weeks (well my whole mission) and especially now when there is a lot of pressure to raise the Oculta up to it´s baptizing excellence again.

A lot has gone through my mind but President in his wisdom and experience helped refocus my eternal perspective. That same day I got a letter from an old companion which really helped motivate me and to build my understanding of the plan the Lord has for each of us. 

On Thursday I got to finish the Book of Mormon (or should I say Libro De Mormon) after taking the challenge of President Ayre to read it in 3 months before conference. And yall want to know something? The Book of Mormon is just as true in Spanish as it is in English! The incredible thing about the Book of Mormon is that as we read and apply the principles day by day we do not see or feel great changes, but looking back at these 3 months I have been changed. I feel different about the scriptures and my thoughts and actions have changed. I have come to love the Book of Mormon. 

Riding these good feelings led us right in to conference. This was only about the 3rd time in my life where I watched all the sessions of conference and I really enjoyed it. I have come to admire and respect the apostles and all of those who have been called of God to fulfill offices in His church. The talk by Mervyn B Arnold really struck me in the importance of rescuing in the church. We may not have investigators right now, but we can still bring others who have left the church to come back and experience the blessings because, as we learned more than once this conference, we are ALL children of a Heavenly Father and therefore we are ALL important. And then to end the conference Holland just capped off an incredible 2 days. 

The weird thing is that we do not have investigators and have not really found anyone in this week, but we have worked very hard and we feel we did everything we could have. It is interesting to note that success and knowing you did your part is not always about the numbers you write down every night (although it is a lot nicer when you have new people to teach).

(the closest you can get to the Elefante Blanco to take a picture)  

-Elder Steele