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 because 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 helped, 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