Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Messi

Email written: 6/27/16

So this week was a little more eventful. It was President´s last week so on Tuesday he wanted to meet with all the district leaders, and even though it´s Elder Vides who is the district leader, I still learned quite a bit (and thought a lot about Grandpa´s teaching of Leaders vs. Managers). Then on Thursday was President´s farewell, and he shared a lot of "goodbye advice" with us and it was a good time. 

Between the meetings, and Elder Vides being sick, we didn´t have a ton of time to work. On Friday the whole zone did divisions and Elder Vides stayed in our area, and for the first time in a while he and one of the zone leaders were able to get a ton of lessons and find some new people. Meanwhile I was with the other zone leader in his area and we too put in a lot of work. That night and the following morning I realized that the greatest key to success is the attitude and belief that it´s all possible and for the first time in a while we had investigators with us in the chapel and we were able to end the week on a good note. 

This whole week has been about the Copa America (the soccer tournament) and Argentina got to the finals and just like a repeat of last year, lost. We also found out that Messi has just called it quits. That doesn´t make a lot of sense if he is the greatest in the world, how is he just going to give up because it´s hard for him to win sometimes. and I thought thats exactly how we are here in the mission (and in life): We have everything we have the potential and the means to succeed in all aspects, but what happens if we lose every once in a while? Unlike Messi, I am not going to give up or abandon anybody!


-Elder Steele

Monday, June 20, 2016

Mamma We Made it

Email written: 6/20/16

So I´m old now. Old in the mission that is. I've hit the year mark so it´s basically downhill from here. This time has passed by too fast and even though there have been plenty of days where it´s just "what am I doing here" there have been many more days of "this is why I´m here and I love what I´m doing" Even though it´s only been a year, I know that I've changed for the better. I have grown to love the Scriptures and my Savior. I have come to love people from all over South America. I have recognized my weaknesses and my strengths. The words Faith, Hope, Charity, Patience, which at one time were just nice words have a much greater meaning now. I don´t know how I've done it, and how well I've done it, but I made it to the "top of the mountain". 
But enough about looking back, I still have a year of work and experiences waiting for me. 

On Saturday there was a stake activity which was "CCM por un dia" which was a mini MTC in the stake center for priests and laurels. We came to help them go out and visit less active families, and on the way we were supposed to help them learn how to contact people. I did divisions and it was with an Elder from Virginia who has 3 months left and pretty bad knees, and the family we were assigned to visit lived on the other side of the city and it took a long time walking and by the time we got there we found out that our "family" was a lady who had died years ago. Then we got back late and some of the Elders were also complaining about the visits they did. On the bus back some of us were talking and focusing on some of the more negative aspects of the mission (because they all have more time than me). But in the end one of the Elders said "Hey maybe, just maybe, we go through all of these things to understand Christ. Now we understand better how he felt when he went to the temple and saw everyone selling stuff. Now we have walked more with Christ. Christ was perfect, and they killed him. They killed him. Think about that. It´s only fair that as his literal representatives, that we have to pass for similar things. Now we know hunger, thirst, cold, heartbreak and a whole bunch of other things. Christ needs us, and what are we going to tell him, that we´re tired? We get mad at members when they use that on us, so we can´t do that to Him. The mission is like that, and you have to love it" and that helped me change my attitude. 

-Elder Steele

Monday, June 13, 2016

Almost There

Congratulations!! Elder Steele has made it to the halfway point of his mission!
ONE YEAR down and another to go... 
Email written: 6/13/16

This week (thankfully) was a whole lot less uneventful, but on the same hand pretty much nothing happened this week. We had a zone conference Wednesday. Apart from seeing all of my old friends from the other zones, it was a pretty good conference. One of the things that we talked about was using inspired questions, or in other words, asking a question inspired by the Holy Ghost to find out what someone´s true needs are. Elder Vides and I really tried hard to apply it, and we found quite a number of people and we felt a lot better about the quality of our lessons (even if we didn't have a ton). We felt really good going in to Sunday because we had a good number of people we were waiting for, but in the end nobody showed up and it was a bummer. It´s hard when we know we've done our best, we've prayed and fasted, and been obedient. I was kind of down last night but then was thinking about one of the talks from sacrament meeting which was based on faith and how there can be no doubt. I then thought about Ether 12:6 
" And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."  So in the end, if we want to grow our faith it has to pass through a trial, so all we can do is trust we are doing our part and the rest will come one day. 

One of those people that we were waiting for was Doris. On Friday we went to the farthest part of our area because we wanted to do something different. I had been there once on divisions with a member and Elder Vides didn´t know where any of the people that I had worked with that day about 2 weeks ago. I remembered all pretty well where everything was and it went alright. There was one more person that we wanted to see, but for the life of me I couldn´t remember which house it was. Elder Vides looked at one of them and said, "Well let´s try this one" the lady came out and told us the person we were looking for lives next door. But we kept talking to her, and she didn´t want anything. At the end we asked her if there was anybody she knew that we could invite and she said her cousin Doris. She said that last week she had gone to a "Capilla Abierta" which was a church open house activity we had, and Doris really liked it. The thing is, the person incharge lost all the names and directions of the people and references, so there would have been no way to ever find Doris if it hadn´t been for us talking to her cousin and asking who else we could teach. It is always interesting to see how the Lord has a plan and will make sure that if we are supposed to find someone, we will find them one way or another. Doris wants to be baptized but she works and studies during the week and is only at home Saturdays and sometimes Sundays. But we know one day her time will come.

-Elder Steele

Monday, June 6, 2016

Leap of Faith

Email written: 6/6/16

I write this week with a humble heart full of gratitude. Grateful for miracles and humbled to have seen the Lord's hand in protecting us. 

Up until yesterday evening I was planning on writing about the disaster that was the Ward activity and the fact that we finally have progressing investigators, but instead, I want to focus on what happened last night. 

Last night about 7:20 we were heading to a part of our area, and to get to this part we have to cross a big field. We were about 3/4ths of the way when in the distance we saw 2 cars basically flying down the road that the field leads us to. We both thought how odd 2 cars would try to race on such a muddy road. Then as we neared the exit of the field the cars were closer and we saw that the car behind was a police truck and then we realized what was going on. The car in front slowed down to turn into the field and the police truck hit it on the side but not hard enough so then the car was headed literally right for us.To our right was mud and the car heading for that way and to our left there was a deep sewage ditch filled with nasty water that is about 5 feet wide then there is a little hill of grass. Elder Vides (who by the way is about 4' 11") jumped first and then I followed him. Somehow we both made the jump with room to spare. The car continued on and about 70 yards down the way hit a patch of mud and crashed into the ditch. We jumped back over and ran while more police showed up (weapons drawn) and took off running and got to a member's house. We then realized that our phone had fallen out when Elder Vides made the jump. We had the member come with us and we called the phone and to our surprise it was face up and we found it without problems. After catching our breath and taking a minute we realized how everything went perfectly to protect us. First of all we didn't have our bikes, because if we had them we would not have had the ability to jump to the other side. If we were walking just a little bit faster we would have been right where the car entered, and if we were walking just a little slower we would have been at a spot where the car had regained control and would have been going too fast for us to have done anything. If the police truck had hit the car a little bit harder they both would have tumbled on top of us and the shootout would have taken place in front of us, and if it had missed the car, the car would have oversteered and drifted into us. We were truly blessed last night, and we know that because we have been diligent and obedient all of this time, the Lord blessed us greatly. Last night all of those prayers of "...and please bless and protect our missionaries" were answered. 

"...But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance" (1 Nephi 1:20)

God loves each and every one of us, Christ is our Savior, and the Book of Mormon is true. It´s not that hard.

-Elder Steele