Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas Came A Little Late

Email written: 12/26/16

So Christmas came and went by really fast and it was a little hard to feel the "Christmas spirit" as I'm normally used to. Even though it was my second one here it still felt weird that it´s summer down here. But I was able to enjoy my Christmas because I did my best to focus on Christ. Being able to bear my testimony of Him this Christmas season was very special because I was really able to feel close to Him this month.

Just minutes ago I got the call and I´m leaving Urquiza and going to Neuva Pompeya. The thing is, it´s right next to Soldati. I´m even going to be living in the same apartment that I was in a year ago. It´s so weird to think that my time here has passed. I knew from the beginning that it was not going to be easy and it never was. I came to Urquiza with the hopes of doing big things and changing everything, but in the end I couldn't. I´ve learned that God has a bigger plan for each of us and that if we let Him, all the experiences we have, He will teach us and help us grow. I'm thankful for the trials I had in Urquiza and am ready for the next chapter in Pompeya!! 

-Elder Steele

Monday, December 19, 2016

Paging Doctor Steele

Email written: 12/19/16

This week there was no singing, well not as much. We did sing on the train one day and then yesterday in the ward Christmas devotional. But this week things got back to a more "normal" schedule. We continue being the "3 wisemen" because President said he couldn't make it work before transfers, so this week we had to balance covering the 2 wards. We continued sharing the Book of Mormon with everyone possible and really tried hard to be able to have people to teach. Not only because we are nearing transfers and I if I leave I want to leave the area better than I found it, but also because one of the biggest focuses now in the mission is developing more charity and love for the people and how I really want to be able to help them because everyone has their lives full of problems and everyone needs a relief and hope and thats what Christ brings. Like for example we started teaching a family from Venezuela and they started to tell us how it is over there and WOW!! 

On Thursday afternoon we got a call from the zone leaders and they asked if all 3 of us could go over to their area to do divisiones, but Elder Juzga had his planner full for Friday so Elder Spurling stayed with him Friday while I went to be with the zone leaders. It was a really hot day but they had a baptism then we found a ton of Paraguayos to teach. It was really fun because the villas are full of people from Paraguay, Peru, and Boliva where as in Urquiza they are almost all from Argentina. I got to brush up on my guaranĂ­ (the native language of Paraguay. #blessingsofthevilla). Then at night one the Elders started to complain about back pain. Now if anyone remembers some of my past experiences here in the mission, I´m basically an expert in back problems. So the zone leaders asked if I could stay until Sunday afternoon. Now normally divisiones last 24 hours, so one only brings stuff for 24 hours, so it was very interesting. All day Saturday and a good chunk of yesterday I just hung out in the apartment (well it was more like an oven but oh well at least they had not 1 but 2 fans so it could have been worse). Then I got back yesterday just in time to sing with the district in our ward devotional and the spirit of Christmas was so strong. 

pics- the Belgrano Choir and the "Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti" (Where River plays)

-Elder Steele

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Email written: 12/12/16
Los "pescadores de hombres" de Urquiza!

So this week we kept up with our area "blitzs" but with a little change. This time we went not only to contact and share the Book of Mormon, but we also sang Christmas songs in different parks and plazas! We sang as a district accompanied by a Sister with her violin and then some of us would go out and do some contacting. It was a little embarrassing at first and we didn't have the best start, but every day turned out really well. The spirit was really strong! That was basically all we did this week so we were left (again) with little time each day in our area to work. We still worked really hard and Saturday night we felt good because we had 3 investigators waiting to go to church (one with a baptism date!). Sunday came around and as it got closer to 9:30 we found out that none of them were going to be able to make it and it was hard because of all the work we put in I figured that we should have at least seen something. Then right before the meeting started, a recently returned missionary came up to us and presented her friend. He stayed all 3 hours and felt good. Who knows if he will progress or not (obviously we have the faith that yes) but it was at least a nice little blessing after the week we had.

Sometimes it happens like that, well a lot of times. We have an idea of how something is going to work out and in the end it doesn't. When that happens one of two things can happen; we can either get discouraged because things didn't go how we had imagined or we can recognize and remember that someone a lot greater has a better plan and that if we are doing the things we should, things are going to work out better than we could ever have thought. It´s like what it says in D&C 58  "For verily I say unto you, blessed is he that keepeth my commandments, whether in life or in death; and he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven. Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes, for the present time, the design of your God concerning those things which shall come hereafter, and the glory which shall follow after much tribulation. For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand."
I´m still waiting to see some of the blessings and fruits, but I have the hope that they'll come.  -Elder Steele

Monday, December 5, 2016

Be Careful of What you Wish For

Email written: 12/5/16

They say if you want different results, you have to do something different. So that´s what we did this week. All of the district has been struggling in finding and doing the contacts with the Book of Mormon, so we "blitzed" every area in the district. Each day we were in a different area from 3-5 just talking to everybody. It was crazy how much work we put in and how much it helped all of us work with a different attitude. Our unity and fire grew a lot this week. One of the little things I decided that I wanted to do this past week was to carry a Book of Mormon in Portuguese with the determination to find someone from Brazil. On Friday we were finishing up and one of the sisters asked us how many Books we gave out and we said only 6 because the 7th Book we have is in Portuguese. Then she told us that they had just found someone from Brazil who wanted a Book of Mormon in Portuguese. I couldn't believe it. I went with Elder Sousa (from Brazil) and we talked to him and I understood everything he said and I have my testimony in Portuguese. It was so awesome and a little fun miracle. Saturday was the day where the district came here to Urquiza and it was the hardest blitz because almost nobody was in the street and we were getting kind of down about not being as successful the other days. Then we walked by a bus stop and I felt like I had to talk to the lady sitting down. I started talking to her and noticed she had an accent and at first I thought it was from Colombia, but then I realized.... She was from Brazil!!! I didn't have another Livro de Mormon, but I still talked to her in Portuguese for 7 minutes! We still didn't have anybody show up to church but we feel that we gave it all this past week and that we have to start seeing something change. It was interesting to see that God really does answer our prayers based on what we want (so now I realize that instead of Brazilians I should have been asking for baptisms but it´s cool).

Pics of the 3 Nephites in rain and sun (and yes I did get sunburned because last week we played soccer) 

-Elder Steele