Monday, April 24, 2017

Way Up, I Feel Blessed

Email written: 4/24/17

This week started out as a learning one. We did divisions and the zone leaders were talking about how the whole zone could end up baptizing this week and we had 2 possibilities. We haven´t really taught them for their lack of time but they've come to church for the past 2 months. And we got permission from their parents and everything seemed good. Then as we realized that neither of them were ready, but we felt a lot of pressure to do everything possible to get them baptized. I kept feeling that we should wait but everyone else was telling us it was ok. I thought a lot and prayed a lot about what to do. 2 things helped me: this article which talks about sometimes the answers we get are just feelings of peace  and this talk which asks the question "which way do you face?" (in referring to if we try to please God or people first). We made the decision that we were going to wait, they both felt happier and we felt at peace. 

We still weren't 100% confident in our decision until Saturday morning. We were going to have an activity with the youth to go out and share the Book of Mormon, and as we were waiting a kid showed up asking about the other ward. He then saw the other Elders cleaning the baptismal font and asked what they were doing. He talked about how it´s where we do baptisms and he said he only got baptized by having water sprinkled on his head as a baby and asked if he could get baptized that very moment. He said he´d been coming to church for the past 4 months and really likes it. We figured he was from the other ward, but then he said where he lived... OUR AREA! We then talked to him about meeting his family and last night we met his mom and brother and they are an awesome family! Then the activity started and the youth gave out 25 copies of the Book of Mormon and now we have a lot of people to visit this week. On Sunday another member brought her friend for the 2nd time and we are going to start teaching her too. The bishop´s wife then asked us if we eat dinner and we said we can but no one ever gives us dinner. So then she said she put a new goal to serve every day
and said that every night we could pass by for a tupperware of food (the best part is that they live half a block from us). So now we have 4 great people to teach and a ward that loves us and is so excited about missionary work! 

Pics- we made zone shirts (zone Chacabuco + baptism = Chacabaps) 

-Elder Steele

Monday, April 17, 2017

Better Than An Easter Egg Hunt

Email written: 4/17/17

These past few days were just the greatest. So like I had talked about the miracle last week about finding Agustin in the street, he got baptized on Saturday! It was such an amazing moment, and the ward was so happy! The best part was Agustin, we can already start to see changes in his life. He is a lot happier and recently figured out better what he wants to do with his life. And the ward has been very supportive. It´s still hard to believe how great a miracle could happen. We knew we were working but we hadn't seen the results we wanted until recently. Our faith and patience were tested and all the work we put in, in part paid off. Now we just have to keep going! This Sunday after Agustin was confirmed, 3 young men received the Aaronic Priesthood. This made me think and remember about what happened 4 months ago. When Elder Howard and I started we had talked about putting goals towards baptizing priesthood and youth outside the villa. And we hadn't seen a lot of results until this Sunday. Agustin, and these 3 young men (who's family we had visited and invited back to church and they just started coming back) were us reaching our goal. And it was a great lesson to me about goal setting and work. 

This morning we had the opportunity to have a meeting with President Nelson and 3 other general authorities (Elders Texeira, Bragg and Packer) and it was incredible. Everyone and their wives spoke and there was so much I learned. Some of the things I really liked were how there was a focus on our premortal existence and how truly great each and every one of us is and the potential we have. They also talked about how to get wisdom we need experience and to get experience we have to act, and that has inspired me to keep working even harder to have these experiences that are waiting. President Nelson also encouraged us to do our family history work, but not just from familysearch but also in studying our patriarchal blessings and the Abrahamic Covenant and he said that as we learn more about who we are and where we come from our lives will change and in turn we will help change the lives of others. 

-Elder Steele

Monday, April 10, 2017

This is no April Fool's Joke

Email written: 4/10/17

This week after being built up spiritually after conference we were so ready to work. But as the week went on I was just exhausted. We had been walking around and talking to everyone non stop and even though we are so happy, it drained us. After lunch I was just like "Can I get a miracle today? Just something to give us more energy" So we set out to our first appointment, who didn't answer. We kept on and we felt impressed to talk to someone outside their house. About halfway in the contact I saw someone walking on the other side of the street and then recognized the hat. It was Agustin! He was our investigator in February who almost got baptized and then moved to Bolivia. He came back last week and he said he was ready to come back to church! I seriously wanted to cry I was so happy. And then on Thursday there was a nation wide strike so there was no public transportation and we had to walk everywhere and of course it was the day we had appointments all over the place, but then we realized the opportunity that we had to find basically everyone in their homes. So then we went to some old investigators and the member with us invited them to be baptized! The work is exploding here in Nueva Pompeya and it´s incredible to me because we haven´t really done anything different than before.
This week the senior couple missionaries told us they would come to inspect our apartment so we made extra sure to keep it clean and every time it got a little dirty I would stress out. There came to a point where I just said, "Forget it, there's not point in cleaning because we are going to make it dirty again" and then my companion said "That's silly. Just think of it like repentance. We always need to do it." and that really stuck with me (and not only to keep cleaning the apartment). We always need to repent and it is always a blessing to do it! 

-Elder Steele

Monday, April 3, 2017

Can't See The Haters

Email written: 4/3/17

So this week started out pretty interesting; I was attacked (still don't know if on purpose or if it was an accident) by a blind guy on the bus. He was walking around and then started swinging his fists, and my stomach caught one of the blows, then a minute later he swung his cane around and luckily my shoulder protected my face. And that's when we knew this week would be very fun. On the brighter side, Elder Comp and I have been learning how to cook better and have created an amazing dish that combines Peruvian, Mexican, and American food (picture attached). 

But even with the fun this week, we learned quite a bit this week. One day this week we got a dinner from one of the members and she gave it to us in a glass bowl with a glass lid. The next morning while getting ready to leave, my companion accidentally bumped it and it fell on the ground and broke in half (it was a miracle that it didn't shatter). We didn't know what to do because it was obviously not cheap. So after buying super glue and some time of putting it back together, we got it fixed. The other elders who live below us came up to help and one of them said "Well you could give it back and tell her that she had plastic wrap on top of the bowl and not a lid" We thought about, because we knew she would be made and complain to the other members of the ward, but we decided to fix it, tell her the truth and offer to replace it. So that night we went to her house, a little scared, and gave her her bowl. She just laughed and said "Elders, do you know how many of these I've broken. Don´t worry!" We were so relived! Another very important lesson I learned this week was doing splits with members of the ward. I went with David, who recently got his mission call to Mexico. We were going down the street and he was telling me how hard it is to do contacts. We kept going and talking then a little bit later he stopped and looked at me and said "Hey man, I feel really bad. I feel like I am rejecting Christ because I´m scared to talk to these people." He then talked about Luke 9:26 "For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels." And it made me think a lot about what I was doing and we made a goal to talk to every single person and by the end we felt so good. 

This weekend was general conference, where the prophet and apostles spoke, and it was amazing. This was the 1st time that all the questions I had found answers! One of the things that I liked most was how many of the talks mentioned the importance of reading the Book of Mormon as a family every day, and it fit right in with what we are doing with the ward here. It was a confirmation to me that the plans we had made for this ward are what we are supposed to do and that we are close to seeing miracles! 

-Elder Steele

Monday, March 27, 2017

The New Nueva Pompeya

Email written: 3/27/17

Last week were transfers, and I´m staying here in Nueva Pompeya and this time with Elder Comp from Utah and we did some hard work this week! At the beginning of this month we had a meeting with all of the leaders in the Chacabuco Stake and they talked about how they are creating 2 new wards and how they are going to change all the ward boundaries and explained how due to the heavy concentration of members in the villas, they had to make some interesting changes. This led them to ask us to start to work outside the Villa and help grow the parts normally forgotten by the missionaries. So that was our goal and then we realized something. We are basically opening up a new area. There are very few families outside the villa and almost no old investigators. We started sharing out desires to work with the members and all of them were surprised. One family told us that we were in for some hard work because we are going to be"pioneers" for the ward. We talked to everybody and gave out a ton of copies of the Book of Mormon in parts that we are sure the missionaries hadn't been to in a very long time. We had never felt so satisfied with out work and then Sunday have nothing to show for it. Nobody came to church and then our numbers looked low, but our week was more than that. We had so many small miracles happen. One of the most noteworthy was with our efforts to help the ward. When we had the zone conference with the 70 Elder Levrino, he said we have to start asking more "how can I help my ward" and a lot less of "what can the ward to do help us?" So that´s what we've done. We have come up with a ton of ideas to help bring this ward back up and Saturday we had an unplanned meeting with the bishop and the youth presidents and we got to planning. As we left we hoped that it wouldn't have just been all talk and then Sunday the bishop started to talk about our plans and a lot of the members loved it and a lot more of them invited us to visit them and we are working more closely with the home teachers to help them get their visits done. This task is not going to be easy and there is no way we are going to be able to do it alone. 

Not only do we have God´s help (because in the end this is His work) we also have a lot of help from the Book of Mormon. We have been encouraging all the families to get better at their reading of the Book of Mormon so that they all personally could get blessed. Elder Comp explained it like this "Imagine that every morning, God came to your room and gave you 2 minutes to talk to Him and then He talked to you for 5 minutes. How incredible would that be? We can have that opportunity as we pray to Him and then read His words." Some of the greatest blessings we can receive will come from the Book of Mormon. One verse I really like is Mormon 8:35  "Behold, I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and know your  doing."  because it helps me understand that everything in this Book was put to help us in our day. Just because the world is going downhill doesn't mean we have to go with it. I add my testimony of the Book of Mormon that it is true and contains the words of Christ and "tells man what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come." 

-Elder Steele

Monday, March 20, 2017

Bob the Baptizer

Email written: 3/20/17

This week was a very interesting one. It was one of the craziest weeks ever. Wednesday Elder Marcum was sick and couldn't leave his bed. Elder Juzga stayed with him while I went out for a little bit to work and then we switched while Juzga went out to check up on the investigators we had. Then on Thursday we got up at 4:45am to take Elder Juzga to the offices (a 2 hour trip, and yes Elder Marcum was still sick.) and then I did divisions in Soldati so we could have our baptism interviews. The Elder who stayed in our apartment broke the dresser and made a huge mess. So we decided to remodel the apartment because we also got a new dresser, but we had to put it together and the best part was, we didn't have any tools or instructions! Saturday we had the baptisms of Florencia and Gonzalo! It was so rewarding to see them both be so happy because they were people who really wanted to repent and change their lives. 

So like I said, we had to put together a really big dresser without tools or instructions. It took us forever to try to figure out what to do and it stressed us out a lot. It made me think a lot about how it's like the Great Apostasy. After the death of Jesus Christ, the world went in to darkness and the full truth was lost and people were confused and didn't know what to do to get back to God. Its just like putting together that dresser without tools (the priesthood authority) and instructions (revelation from a prophet) We knew how it should have turned out, but we didn't have how to do it. Luckily we don't have to build our lives without tools or instructions. The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored on this Earth and thats what we share with everyone! Just like my brother now is going to be going to Sweden in July to share this same message that I'm sharing here in Argentina. I'm so excited for him and I'm so thankful for the opportunity that I have to come to love all of South America so much! 

-Elder Steele

Monday, March 13, 2017

History Repeats Itself

Email written: 3/13/17

Well, last week as you could see from how short the email was, that it was a tough week. This week didn't slow down either between both me and Elder Howard being sick and not being able to work a lot and then on Thursday Elder Howard finished his mission which meant that I´m in a trio (yet again) and for the second time one of my companions is Elder Juzga! So until next week I am going to be with Elder Juzga and Elder Marcum in an area called Almagro. We basically spend all day traveling in bus and subway because it´s a really big area and almost no one actually lives there so it´s very interesting to work. 

Last week after I had finished writing and was kind of down, I was on the Church´s website and found a quote that said: "By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves." —Gordon B. Hinckley. 

That made me think a lot and I really tried hard to not think about being sick or that fact that I was going to be without a companion for a week but instead on really truly helping the people here in Nueva Pompeya (and now Almagro). One example of how this changed my week this week was on Friday night we had planned a Family Home Evening, but we had planned it all and I almost couldn't get out of bed. I kept thinking how easy it would be to cancel. I was sick, I had to be in Almagro, we didn't have much time to prepare, but for some reason I kept feeling that I had to find a way to make it work. Even though we showed up 25 minutes late and there was still no one there and then we had technical difficulties, we pulled it off! The message was focused on the atonement of Christ and to show it we had a member do push ups. For every 5 pushups, someone else got candy. Now the first few were easy but after the 10th person he was struggling a whole lot and everyone started to say that they didn't want the candy so he didn't have to suffer, but he still did it. Then we talked about how it´s just like Christ and He suffered for all of us, and it´s up to us to accept what He did. Then we bore our testimonies of Christ and the Spirit was so strong and it was the best message I've ever shared in a family home evening.   

-Elder Steele

Pic-Howard´s farewell

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Benefit of Councils

Email written: 3/6/17

This week started off great with the baptism of Micaela! There were a ton of members and investigators and the ward was really excited. This baptism was just a blessing that came out of nowhere thanks to ward council. The best part was that her mom, who is not a member, opened up more and talked seriously about baptism and what holds her back from doing it. The sad thing is that they are moving to Cordoba this week so we won't be able to keep helping them.

Another council that really helped us with our work was yesterday in a meeting with the stake presidency, bishoprics, and missionaries. They talked about the vision of the stake and we all really got excited and captured a new vision of how we should work and we came out of that meeting with a lot of new ideas and we are so ready to work.

The last council was that me and Elder Howard had pretty much everyday. A lot of interesting interactions and visits with people really made us think about a lot of things and helped us put higher and greater goals for the mission and life. We realized how important it is to make it to the Celestial Kingdom and it's a constant effort to do it, and the great thing is that´s what we get to do as missionaries. Help others find their purpose in life and help them change their lives.

-Elder Steele

Monday, February 27, 2017

Just Go With It

Email written: 2/27/17

This week we learned to just go with it.
When it´s 100 degrees and humid, just go with it.
When out of nowhere it starts to pour rain, just go with it. 
When ward council tells you that you have a baptism ready for next week, just go with it.
So that was basically our week. Wacky weather and amazing miracles. On Tuesday I got to go back to Soldati and do divisions and after sweating for the first half of the day, a storm came out of nowhere and we got soaked (a member saw us in the street and took a picture) but it was still a great time and we found some great people to teach all because we focus on bearing our testimonies. On Wednesday Elder Levrino from the Seventy came to our zone conference and changed the game! He talked a lot about the missionary handbook and how the smallest details make the biggest differences. While we never considered ourselves or tried to be disobedient, we realized some small things that we could change to be more consecrated (or dedicated to serving God). And WOW. The next day after the meeting we saw too many miracles. The families we found were all incredible and we just seemed to be working better. Then the best part came was ward council told us that there was a family that has a daughter who wants to get baptized on her birthday Tuesday the 28th and that we needed to go see them. We went and started teaching the first lesson, but in the end she taught us. She was already prepared. So we had the baptism interview and tomorrow we have a baptism! It was great also because jsut an hour before we had to say goodbye to our investigator Agustin because in the end he had to move to Bolivia, but we know our efforts in helping him weren't wasted. 
Two other interesting points that Elder Levrino taught us was about the commandments and weekly church attendance. He pointed out to us that God almost never gives a "why" with His commandments. Yes He mentions blessings, but almost never explains exactly why the commandment exists. So instead of trying to find a why, we act with faith to live the commandment and then see the blessings. Then to end, he talked about weekly church attendance and the importance of the sacrament. I loved how he summed it up "It´s simple. Partaking of the sacrament purifies me for the coming week. If I don't take it one week, I have to go that week impure. And what would happen if I were to die? Nothing impure can enter into God´s presence. I take the sacrament because I love Christ and because I want to go back to live with Him and God" I know that it is necessary to obey to be able to obtain salvation. While it is not complicated, it might not always be hard, but it is always worth it. 

-Elder Steele

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Rain Stopped but the Blessings Didn't

Email written: 2/20/17

Photographic evidence that he
finally got his birthday cards and new suit!
So this week after 5 days of rain, the sun finally came back and it was a good week. Our investigator Agustin was doing alright, but when we called him the first time he said that he couldn't come for the lesson and didn't know if he could meet with us this week. Our hearts dropped because he was going to be an awesome convert, but we waited it out (with prayer) to see what would happen. He came Thursday and told us that even though he received his answer that he should stay here instead of going to Bolivia, his dad said that he has to go with him and there was no way around it. We didn't know how to help him and we kept praying during the lesson and tried to help him and the spirit took over and just let us know that whatever happens, it was going to be the best for him. He couldn't come to church yesterday and we are waiting to see him this week. We were still kind of bummed and we didn't know what to do because we just can´t seem to find the right people. The thing about getting near the end (what´s happening to me and my companion) you tend to reflect back and think "am I even that good. Has what I've done been worth it?" well this week we learned that yes because when one door closes, more get opened. The Brazilian family couldn't be there, but their neighbor could and she is just the sweetest old lady and she loved the Book of Mormon and our little visit and then she even risked a heart attack to come to church. But seriously! She has to take heart medicine every few hours and she didn't bring it with her because we didn't tell her how long church was (we didn't even think she would come) and she said she wanted to stay and was willing to run the risk. But that´s not all. Somehow we had 6 other investigators show up! From the whole week thinking that Agustin would be our only possibility for a baptism, we were immensely blessed with people coming to church and it just showed us how much there is to do in our area. The coolest part is that  none of them are in the villa (something that almost never happens!).
The other event that happened that helped me see why it's worth the hard work is about my brother, Collin. He had the opportunity to baptize his best friend, Jack! As a brother (and a missionary) I couldn't be more proud that Collin could have the opportunity and blessing to take part in something like that. I might not be baptizing right now, but I'm just so happy to know that my family is doing alright and that it's worth it for me to work hard and be obedient. 

-Elder Steele

pics: Obelisco de Buenos Aires

Monday, February 13, 2017

Adam Fell (And Got Back Up)

Email written: 2/13/17

So this week we had to rely a lot on 2 Nephi 2:25
(Adam fell that men might be; and men arethat they might have joy)
to keep us going. It seemed like anything that could go wrong went wrong. From losing lunches without notice to unexpected downpours to 13 appointments
 in 1 day all falling through, this week was not easy. It could have been easy for us to complain or get mad but we made a commitment to enjoy every day and thats what we did. But things did get better. Like for example Agustin, our miracle investigator showed up to church last week is doing good. We saw him again in the week and the first lesson he didn't really talk a lot and we left him quite a number of commitments (more than we normally do) and then on Friday we taught him again and he had kept every single one! This almost never happens the first time. He really liked the Book of Mormon and got a prayer answered because he didn't know if he should go back to Bolivia with his dad or finish studying here and he said he's staying and he wants to change his life and get baptized! Then he came to our English class and went with the young single adults in the ward to a stake dance and he liked it. 

Another thing that helped us this week were references. The sisters live in our area and this past week sent us a ton of references from people they talked to and it was a big help to be able to work outside the villa. While a lot weren't home when we went, there was one that didn't even exist but we still talked to the person who answered the door and it turns out she's going through a lot in her life and she was really thankful we came by and then she said there was a Brazilian family who lived above her and then right then her neighbor showed up and I told her I really like Portuguese and asked if we could come by to practice and talk to them and she told us to come back next week! 

-Elder Steele

Monday, February 6, 2017

21 Miracles

Email written: 2/6/17

So this week was pretty special and I feel just overall grateful for this week and this transfer and I was able to reflect on a lot of good that had happened. From the a/c in our apartment, to the fact we get lunch everyday and that I get along really well with my companion plenty of miracles have happened. About 2 weeks ago we did service for a family in the ward where we demolished a brick wall and it was pretty fun. We didn't think much of it until last Wednesday when the sister called us and told us "Elders. meet me outside the villa in 20 minutes" so we went and she said she was going to present us to her friend Milagros (which is Spanish for Miracles!). The member told us that she saw Milagros a few days before and had remembered her from years ago and felt like she had to go talk to her and so she did and Milagros agreed to have us come by. We taught 2 really good lessons and she was all set to come to church. But she had to move without warning so she couldn't come. The good part is she is going to move to another part of the villa even closer to members. 

So Sunday came and I was feeling a little sick and Milagros wasn't coming and we showed up to the first class and saw someone we didn't recognize. Turns out a member had brought not 1 but 2 friends to church because they want change in their lives! And he said he is going to bring his 3 other brothers to church next week too! 

As for my birthday it went pretty well. Got tacos for lunch and a lot of members made cakes (and also the elders who live below us). 

-Elder Steele

Monday, January 30, 2017

They Say

Email written: 1/30/17

They say that in the zone of Belgrano you go to suffer. 
They say that Belgrano is only for sister missionaries.
They say that in the zone of Belgrano you don´t baptize. 
They say that you don´t baptize in a "sister´s area" 
They say that Villa Urquiza has gone more than a year without a baptism
They say it´s too hard so why even try.

Those were some of the things I heard when I went to Urquiza, while I was there, and even now that I've left. But today I ran into Elder Spurling and he told me that our old investigator Livia finally got baptized! After more than a year Urquiza had a baptism! I can remember all the work we put in and how we kept waiting for a miracle and now almost 3 months later the hard work of a lot of us has payed off and the ward of Urquiza just got a huge blessing. It just makes me happy to know that my efforts weren't wasted there in Urquiza and that it´s always worth it to keep doing what´s right even when you don´t see the results. 

As for us in Nueva Pompeya we focused on sharing our testimonies about Christ and the Book of Mormon and it really changed how our contacts went. The spirit was a lot stronger and we felt really good as we did it. Even though not a lot more chose to listen, we still found some amazing people. The sad part is all of our possibilities and miracles we had couldn't come to church. One, without warning, had to go back to PerĂº and the other one has to move to another part of Argentina for work. We felt good knowing the type of "seed" we had planted and hope the missionaries over there can find and teach them. 

-Elder Steele

Pics- Livia´s baptism and the Boca Stadium 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Keep Rolling On

Email written: 1/23/17

So last Pday we went bowling. Now for those of you who know me, I'm not the best at it and I usually end up losing, but this time after a rough start I was competing to take 1st. It was the last frame and I needed a spare to have a chance for the win, and I don'´t know how, but I got it! I started to celebrate and I thought I had already won and it didn't matter how many pins I had to knock down so I got careless and after walking back to see the score I had lost by 1 point. 1 point! I was so close. Then I thought how great of a lesson I could learn from that. It doesn't just matter how we start or how we do in the middle, but we also have to finish well. We have to be able to endure to the end and be consistent in everything that we do. This went perfectly with my talk that I had to give Sunday, about eternal marriage (yes, I being a missionary had to give a talk about eternal marriage) in how we always need to do what's right and not let up. This also applies a lot because in these past few weeks along with our efforts to find, we have been looking for those members who may have fallen away and stopped attending church. After talking to a lot, Elder Howard and I realized how easily someone can lose their chance at salvation for the smallest things. 

On Saturday night we received a reference of someone in the villa and the elders told us that they set an appointment with her for Sunday at 6:30pm. We knew the general area of where it was, but the thing with the villa is that they are grouped in blocks and have a ton of passageways inside and it´s really hard to find a direction. We entered about 7 passageways and we just couldn't find the house. We had put the goal to give out 6 copies of the Book of Mormon and we felt even more committed to do it, and one of the miracles in trying to look for this house, we were able to give out 5 books to some really special people (including some from a group of guys that "run the villa" and even though they haven´t made the best choices in life we felt God´s love really strong for them). We were about to give up looking for the direction and started to find an exit out of the passage and as we were leaving we saw the house number and even though the person wasn't home, her neighbors were and they accepted the Book of Mormon and had a ton of questions that we could answer using the Book and they accepted a challenge to be baptized, but couldn't accept a date because they go to PerĂº for vacation until April, but we planted some good seeds. It amazed me how many miracles we saw Sunday just for the mere fact that we kept going and didn't want to give up. 

-Elder Steele

Pics- Finally got neighbors and neither of us have curtains so we made do with what we have.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Raining Blessings

Email written: 1/16/17

Well the inevitable happened, and a lot quicker than I thought it would. Being so close to Soldati I knew that I would end up getting to do divisions back in the Monoblocks. On Monday night the zone leaders called me and told me that they wanted me to go back to Soldati to teach the new elder the Monoblocks because after I left the area became larger and the elders had stopped working in the blocks. So after 14 months I got to work back in Soldati. I was such a cool experience to be able to go back to where I started and all those memories came flooding back of my first few days with Elder Hatch. I was surprised with how much I remembered and we had a pretty solid day in helping him get to know the members and my old investigators. I was just really thankful for my time in Soldati and know that I was able to do my best there. 

So when I was in Soldati and Elder Howard stayed in our area, he along with the other elder were able to see a women who we had contacted 2 weeks ago. And after 3 appointments falling through, they finally got in to her house and she asked them "so what´s up with this baptism thing. how does it work?" that is the question we love to hear. She and her son accepted a date (but couldn't go yesterday) and also she lives with her 3 brothers and their families so we think we just found a ton of people to help.

So Sandra our investigator wasn't going to be able to go, and neither were any of our other possibilities so Saturday night we were kind of bummed and I just remember praying "please just bless us with some small miracle tomorrow. That someone will show up. Just something to keep us going" and as the first hour started (we start with the classes first) there was almost no one, but near the end a man walked in and sat down behind us and we thought he was a member. We talked to him after and he said he used to come to church but couldn't be baptized because he was working and studying too much. Now he´s a cop and works every other day and he already knows a ton of people in the ward. It was a huge miracle and just what we needed. 

The last big thing I learned this week was the importance of doing visits as a home or visiting teacher. It´s something that almost never gets done here and it´s a challenge for the members. We convinced the bishop to go with us to visit a family and they were so grateful for the visit and they showed up to Sunday after many months of not going. All it took was a 15 minute visit! 

pics- chinese food!

-Elder Steele

Monday, January 9, 2017

Moving Day

Email written: 1/9/17

Well this week was pretty eventful beacuse we got to move! Apparently mold and humidity damage are things you shouldn't have in your house, who knew? We had to take almost 3 days to move and to clean up the old apartment and everything so we didn't have the whole week to find. We had 14 people we were teaching and none of them came to church, so we've felt that we need to start working outside the villa, and it's perfect because where we moved the elders almost never worked and almost all of the leaders live over there. We are ready for the new challenge in finding priesthood men because the ward really needs it, and we want to help our ward here. And this week I talked to some of the Elders who were in Savio after I was and they were talking about how successful it's gotten and now everyone knows about the area, and I remembered when the 4 of us back when I got there told the bishop we'd put Savio on the map and all the days of praying, fasting, and working to help that ward. Now we couldn't do it all, but we were part of a big chain of events that hepled, and that's what we're going to do here in Pompeya now.

pics- Out with the old, in with the new

-Elder Steele

Monday, January 2, 2017

Feeling Like Nephi

Email written: 1/2/17

"And it came to pass that he spake unto me, saying: Behold I have dreamed a dream, in the which the Lord hath commanded me that thou and thy brethren shall return to (Chacabuco)" 1 Nephi 3:2. Like Nephi I don't know why I've returned here to Chacabuco, but in following his example, all I'm going to do is trust that I'm here for a purpose and it´s going to be an amazing next few months. 

One of the things that I really focused on this week came from the zone meeting we had where we talked about attitude versus aptitude. Aptitude is how well you do something and it's something that can be learned, where on the other hand attitude is something that comes from within and is a lot harder to change. That was the goal I put for the rest of my mission was to have the best attitude possible always (and of course always trying to improve my aptitudes also). And this week it made a difference. Like when we had talked to a ton of people and had 15 appointments over 2 days with families to teach and not a single one was there. We could have either complained and given up (also because it was very hot and humid the past few days) but we decided that something was going to go our way and things did. Like one day my companion remembered about a member who lived close to an investigator that he didn´t know so we went by and her mother in law really wanted a Book of Mormon and liked talking with us. Then yesterday, even though we only had 37 church attendance because of New Years, we still had a surprise investigator show up and when we passed by later he committed to give up smoking and even ripped up his cigarettes in front of us. The Lord will always be willing to work miralcles, we just need the attitude (which also has to do with faith and hope) to be able to look for the opportunities. 

-Elder Steele