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