Monday, September 26, 2016

Can we Get a Nike Sponsorship?

Email written: 9/26/16

It's already been a month since I've been in Urquiza and this last week I was reminded of a thought/feeling that I had when I had heard about the transfers that was "You´re going to Urquiza to grow and to learn" and well, it's happening. This past week we decided something had to change. Our studies and prayers were more intense and we were trying to figure out the key to make the week turn out better than the others. And the thought kept coming "Just do the contacts" and we kept denying that impression because these past few weeks, they haven´t really worked out. Wednesday we just felt destroyed and it was "well, I think we have to do some more contacts" and we put a goal of just 1. Just 1 good contact for the day. With a lot of nerves and not a whole lot of excitement we went out and tried. The first person we talked to accepted! He was really nice and interested (but he doesn't live in our area, but oh well) So we started to feel better and my companion was like "I think we were being tested with our bad experiences to see if we would really do them and now we are going to be blessed" then it was the normal no one listening. At about 8pm my companion was like "Let´s do 1 more." (he was referring to an older woman walking her dogs) so we went up and started talking to her and she is really amazing. She had a ton of questions, that we were able to answer using the Book of Mormon and she gladly accepted. Then Friday we went to visit a member and share our Ward mission plan with him and his wife and then we went with him to the church because there was an activity, but there was some downtime so he went to a closet and brought out some copies of the Book of Mormon and said "Elders. Let´s go!" And in 10 minutes we had already given them out, (he alone gave out 2) and they are some real possibilities and we all felt so good. The Ward has started to see our efforts and are starting to put goals in Ward Council so that everyone can help us. We didn't have a huge miracle this week. We still didn't have any investigator attend church, but we Just Did It and we are starting to see the Lord´s hand more here in Urquiza!
Something that really stuck with me was when I was reading Matthew 26 when Christ goes to Gethsemane:

38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup
pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.  
40 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, "What, could ye not watch with me one hour?"

It made me think, Christ has asked me to help Him for a short time, and am I staying awake or am I "falling asleep"?

-Elder Steele
Worldwide Day of Service with the Zona Belgrano

Monday, September 19, 2016

The Committee to Plan Parties

Email written: 9/19/16

So this week passed by super fast. Our biggest focus this week was our ward activity that we had planned for Sunday night. We had to wait almost 2 weeks for approval so we only had this last week to run around the whole area inviting people, but it was so worth it! We did an activity where the people "felt" the life of Christ. We even did a crown of thorns (don´t worry, no one wore it)! It seriously was so incredible the spirit that was there. We had a lot of members, less active members, and a few investigators and almost everyone was crying at the end. My testimony and gratitude grew a lot last night and I just felt super privileged to be a missionary and to be an actual representative of Jesus Christ.
The other part of this week is we keep trying to do our contacts and teach more people about the Book of Mormon, and Saturday we finally had someone stop and listen and we felt God´s love for him and a desire to help, but when Elder Matos pulled out the Book of Mormon he was like "Nope. A book isn´t going to help me change. I've killed people in Colombia, Brasil, and Argentina. You 3 (we had a member with us) don´t know anything about life." After showing us his scars he threw the Book at Elder Matos and we walked away. But I still know the Book of Mormon is true!!!  -Elder Steele
(Elder Steele did not give any explanation as to what this picture is about,
but he's smiling and that's good enough for me!)

Monday, September 12, 2016

The Flood

Email written: 9/12/16

Well, it actually didn't rain this week, but the flood we focused on this week was "flooding the world with the Book of Mormon" We had a zone meeting and they told us that we now have the goal of giving away 30 copies of the Book of Mormon per week (In my other areas it was maybe 1 a day) and we didn't know how to feel because the people in this part of Buenos Aires are very "special". We tried hard in contacting everyone and in all of last week 2 people stopped to talk to us. And only 1 of them accepted a Book of Mormon and an appointment to pass by the next day. So we passed by and the guy answered the door and he said they go to another church, but like always we tired to find something in common and he believed in almost everything we do. Then came the difference because we talked about the plan of salvation and that there is paradise/prison before the resurrection and judgement and the guy got really mad and said "if you are going to preach the word of God, do it right. Repent right now!" and I didn't know what to do. We tried to calm him down but he said "I condemn you two to hell" (among other things) My companion got super mad and walked away and I just stood there because I couldn't believe it. So I stood there, looked him in the eyes and said "I am a representative of Jesus Christ!" And the next part I don´t know exactly what I said, I just know I felt really good for standing up to him and he stood there fore a second and then got even more mad so we got out of there quick. I know my calling and my responsibility and am honored to wear His name everyday and I know what I believe. So maybe this week we couldn't ¨flood the world with the Book of Mormon" but we put another drop of water, and what happens when you put together all those drops? A lot of water. So now it´s just a matter of enduring!

But yeah I read this last week and it sums up Urquiza pretty well in Mormon 1:16-17 "And [we] did endeavor to preach unto this people, but [our] mouth[s] [were] shut, and [we were] forbidden that [we] should preach unto them; for behold they had willfully rebelled against their God; and the beloved disciples were taken away out of the land, because of their iniquity. But[we] did remain among them, but [we were] forbidden to preach unto them, because of the hardness of their hearts; and becuase of the hardness of their hearts the land was cursed for their sake"

But that´s not our excuse not to try. We know we have a purpose here and that there are people who need our help so we´re going to just keep swimming.

-Elder Steele

Monday, September 5, 2016

Divide to Multiply

Email written: 9/5/16

So this week went a little better in terms of being able to visit and get to know a few more members, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Yesterday they divided the wards of Urquiza and Nuñez to create a new ward called Saavedra. There were a ton of people from the 2 wards (including 2 old investigators showed up on their own) and it was exciting. Then we realized the reality. Urquiza is only going to have about 15 active families and we are going to have to start working in a different way so that Urquiza con grow again. The Stake presidency told us that they have to wait until the next transfer to have Elders in the new ward, so we get to work with both wards (because they will be attending the chapel in Urquiza) and Saavedra already has a baptism and a ton of references so this next month will be a lot of work then we will have to hand it off to the new Elders. I feel really good about all of this and that these next few weeks are going to be very interesting but I am really going to grow, and in turn help Urquiza grow.
A while ago I saw the Mormon Message "You Never Know" and made me think about my mission and I just have the hope that I have been able to do some good here even if I don´t get to see all the fruits. I had been kind of worried because it was like "well what fruits do I have?" and I think it was an answer to prayers today because for Pday we went to another part of Buenos Aires and ran into another group of Elders, one of which is in my old area of Soldati and I talked to him asking about everyone and he told me that in these past months there have been a ton of miracles and changes, and when he told me who and what happened it was a lot of people that first me and Elder Hatch, and then later Elder Garcia, had been trying to work with and I had no idea what had happened to them. I don´t want to sound prideful and say that it was me that did all of that, because it wasn't me, but a combination of other missionaries and God doing the work there, I just got to be a small part of it. We really don't know the results of our actions a lot of the time so we really have to make sure we do our best and the rest will be taken care of.

-Elder Steele
pic- zona Belgrano