Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pictures!

You guys are so lucky this week. Will was able to send us some pictures from his time on his mission so far. When we talked to him on Christmas he was loving life and was really working hard. He is doing great and really really appreciates all the emails and letters everyone has been sending him. Keep it up!

















And it wouldn't be Will if the pictures didn't include a few birds. Sorry I am not educated enough in birds to tell you which is which. 









Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Week 15 (12/28/2015)

Hi everyone!

Last week's email ended up being a little short but I guess I din't have a lot to talk about. Haha! This week was a little more eventful.

On Tuesday I had exchanges with Elder Taylor again. That was awesome. I learn a lot every time I'm with him and it inspires me to want to work harder and improve. He gave me a list of things I could do to improve a lot. By applying them I was able to work a lot more effectively this week.

We also had Christmas this week! We ate dinner and had a party with some members and they gave us gifts too! It was really fun and we also had a piñata. The family lives up on a hill above the city and we could see all the smoke covering the city. Elder Muñoz said most of it was probably from carne asada. Haha!

It was also really great to talk to my family. I miss them but I'm glad to be here.

Our investigators are coming along very well and we keep working hard to find more.

Sorry, I'm out of time (again) but I'll talk more about the investigators next week.

I love you and I miss you all! I wish I had more time to let you know what it is like here but I keep running out of email time for one reason or another...

Thank you for everything!
-Elder Steine

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Week 14 (12/21/2015)

Merry Christmas everyone!

I hoe that everyone is having a good first few days of Christmas break/week. That was always the best break of the year during school. Sadly, missionaries don't take breaks (other than pday, I guess but it still feels like any other day because of all the stuff we need to do). We're going to work on Christmas and Chrismas eve just like any other days but it's all fine because the work is pretty fun and it's still Christmas so I can't be sad. It's not allowed.

This week was pretty regular. I had exchanges with Elder Salazar this week. He's from my mission generation and he came to my area so I was in charge of planning and leading and everything. That was a little stressful but it is what it is and I learned how to plan more efficiently.

We met a new investigator named Oscar. I'm not sure if he really likes to have lessons from us or if he's just lonely and wants someone to talk to. It was actually kind of like he contacted us. We were walking by his house and paused for a second and then he called out to us and we thought, "Why not." We have been having lessons with him every two days. I'm confident we can get him baptized next change.

Recently for contacts we have been showing the new Christmas video that the church made. I don't remember if I said this last week but it's a good way to get contacts. Technology and videos really draw people in especially if they are short. People are too busy sometimes but when we say "It's only two minutes" they usually say yes and we end up having a 30 minute lesson about how Christ is our saviour and then we do a baptismal invite.

Here are the birds.
-Cedar Waxwing -Ampelis Americana
-Green Parakeet -Perico Verde Mexicano
-Bell´s Vireo -Vireo de Bell
-Ladder-backed Woodpecker -Carpintero Listado
-Pectoral Sandpiper -Playero Pectoral

Thanks for all the Christmas wishes and thanks for all the support.
I miss you all!
-Elder Steiner


Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Week 13 (12/14/2015)

Hello everyone!

This week was a little different than normal. First, it was the first week of my second change! Two new missionaries came into our zone. One, Elder Morales, is in our district, and the other, Elder Holmes, is in the other area in our ward. Second, we had to go to Saltillo again on Tuesday. Elder Leon, one of the secretaries, took my papers in a little late so I had to go down there to sort some things out. Elder Muñoz had to go down there anyway so it wasn't too big of a deal. We lost a day of work, though. That was a little annoying.

We didn't get as many lessons as we wanted this week. Partially because we had to go to Saltillo so our planning got messed up and partially because we were just unlucky. That's how it is, though. We keep working hard and looking for new investigators. Also, my Spanish is getting a lot better!

Yesterday was the temple dedication for the Tijuana temple. That was really cool. I've been to a few temple dedications before but This time I was really thinking about how important the temple is and all the blessings that we can receive by going there. President Uchtdorf told a story about how when the San Diego temple was built sisters from Mexico came to clean in the temple. The sisters appreciated the opportunity to simply clean the temple and some of them took their cleaning clothes and framed them. Living in Utah the temple was always right there. I wish I had gone more often and appreciated it more.

The church released its new Christmas video just recently and we have been sharing it with our investigators and members. I want all of you to watch it and think about why Christ was born and all that he has done for us. Christmas is a great time for family and gifts and parties but it really is a time to think about our Savior and his sacrifice for us.

Here are the birds:
-Great Kiskadee -Bienteveo Grande (These are everywhere so I'm taking it off the weekly list)
-Bell's Vireo -Vireo de Bell
-Cattle Egret -Garza Ganadera
-Greater Roadrunner -Correcaminos Mayor
-Green Jay -Chara Verde (There were a bunch in a cage so this shouldn't count but thery are really beautiful birds so I wanted to tell you I saw one)
-Killdeer -Chorlito Tildío
-Black-throated Sparrow -Gorrión Gorjinegro
-Sharp-shinned Hawk -Gavilán Pajerero
-Green Parakeet -Perico Verde Mexicano

Thank you for all your support and love! I miss you all!

-Elder Steiner

And here are some pictures he sent this week. Finally!!



Monday, December 7, 2015

Week 12 (12/7/2015)

Hi everyone!

This week was the last of the change so two down and 15 to go! Haha!

We had our last zone meeting on Tuesday and we took pictures and a lot of the elders wrote notes in each other's journals because we were expecting eole to leave during the change. It turns out that only two people were changed and one has already been gone for two weeks so he could be trained as a secretary. So...The zone is basically the same!

We had stake conference this weekend which was interesting. We didn't go to the Saturday part because we had an appointment. A 70 came and spoke and President Rodríguez as well. I gleaned some information from them all but Spanish talks are still pretty difficult. Haha! The last speaker spoke about the importance of the Sabbath day which was perfect for one of our investigators, Antonio, but his youngest daughter was throwing a fit so he was out in the hall for the talk...I really hope that we can help Anotonio and Lorena progress because even after the divorce and marriage if he is still working on Sundays it will be a problem. His testimony is really strong so I think we can help him realize the importance of the Sabbath day. It will just take a little while.

Another one of our investigators, Ernesto, is completely ready for baptism. He goes to church each week. He reads the Book of Mormon and he understands everything. The only thing is he says he has lots of doubts. His daughter bore testimony about how much baptism and the Holy Ghost changed her life and how his doubts will be solved through the Holy Ghost but he is still reluctant. I want to try and set a baptismal date for this Saturday and hopefully the Spirit will speak to him and help him know that he's ready.

The other investigator that is really progressing is Erika. She skipped work to come to church last week. I don't know how that works out...I think it's a good, better, best thing. Haha! Regardless, she is progressing and we're trying to set a baptismal date with her. Her 10 year old son, Miguel, is also interested. I think we'll try to baptize him on the same day as his mom. Erika's mom is also interested but she is sick right now so we can't teach her.

I realized this week that we have tortillas with every meal. For lunch on Friday we had pretty much regular American meal like I would at home with potatoes and corn and it was all prepared like my mom would have made it. The thing is that we ate it all on tortillas! Tortillas for every meal. The best thing about that is sometimes the hermanas make them themselves. Those are really good.

Birds:
Green Parakeet -Perico Verde Mexicano
Great Kiskadee -Bienteveo Grande
Ruby-crowned Kinglet -Reyezuelo Sencillo

I wasn't looking very hard for birds this week. I'll try harder this week and see if I can find some cool ones.

Thanks for everything! I love you all!

-Elder Steiner

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 11 (11/30/2015)

Hello everyone!

I officially have one month in the field! Hooray!

Happy Thanksgiving (last week)! I forgot to say anything about it because it isn't super huge here. Some people celebrate Thanksgiving here on the border but not everyone. We were invited to dinner that day but we didn't end up going because we set a lot of appointments and such. It was okay though because we had a big lunch and in the morning I spent personal study writing in my gratitude journal. I also spent a while saying a prayer just thanking Heavenly Father for everyhting. Prayers of thanks can be really powerful especially when we're going through hard things.

On Tuesday I had exchanges with Elder Taylor, one of our zone leaders. It was really cool to work with him and get a new example of how to teach. He taught super efficiently but it didn't feel rushed. The Spirit was always present and I felt like we were always on track even though literally every appointment fell through. I hope that I can get to that point and just embrace the work.

On Friday we had a Christmas activity with all the missionaries in the northern part of the mission. We all had to buy a gift for a gift exchange. I bought a Christmas teddy bear and some chocolate and I got a hoodie. Hermana and Hermano Lugo, the senior missionaries in the mission, spoke about Christmas and gave their testimonies of the Savior. It was a little hard to get it all because of the Spanish but not impossible. President Rodriguez also spoke about Christmas and the circumstances surounding Christ's birth. It was really cool because I had read about all of that in Jesus the Christ in the MTC. It was really powerful.

We also had lunch all together and did a few activities but the most important part was that we went out to the plaza by the bridge over to Eagle Pass, TX and had a choir and video set up. We went around the plaza contacting people and having them come watch the church's Christmas video. It went fairly well but during one of contacts the sky suddnenly got really dark. At first I thought it would be good because now everyone could see the video better but then the rain started. It was really windy and it got so rainy that a lot of the roads became rivers. It's dry now but it was crazy.

I saw some pretty cool birds this week. Not a lot of new or weird ones, though.
-Greater Roadrunner -Correcaminos Mayor (Finally!)
-Great Kiskadee -Bienteveo Grande
-Cattle Egret -Garza Ganadera
-Wilson's Warbler -Chipe de Wilson
-American Coot -Gallareta Americana
-Ladder-backed Woodpecker -Carpintero Listado
-Great Egret -Garza Grande
-Chihuahuan Crow/Raven -Cuervo Llanero
-Mallard -Pato de Collar

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and that you are all doing well! Everything is going well here. It's pretty tiring but I'm enjoying it. I hope to improve a lot and be able to teach well.

Thanks for everything! I miss you all.

-Elder Steiner

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 10 (Its actually cold!) (11/23/2015)

Hello everyone!

We found our spoons this week and the fixing that I did to the toilet hasn't broken yet! Everything is looking up.

So, the biggest thing this week is that we had to go to Saltillo so I wouldn't get deported. It was another 8 hour bus ride back and we got there at night so we ended up doing everything the next day. I just had to sign two pieces of paper but it was very important. Elder Muñoz also had to sign something but i'm not sure what it was for.

We slept in the secretaries house that night. In the morning they went to the office to work while we stayed there with a few other missionaries to study. When we were done studying we went to get lunch but when we went to leave we locked ourselves out. We ended up having to break back into the secretaries' house to get the keys.

Saltillo is a lot bigger than Piedras Negras. There's a lot more there to do for pday and such so I hope I serve in a Saltillo area at some point. Also, there's a bird park somewhere there. That would be fantastic.

The work has been going but our only consistant investigators are still just Antonio and Lorena. Antonio needs to finish the divorce and then they need an interview with the president before we can do much more than keep teaching them. We're hoping that they can get an interview with the mission president when he comes to Piedras this week. It's mostly just a waitin game with them. We're looking hard for more investigators but most of them don't progress. It's hard but I know it's the right thing and all the people are nice. They just don't progress in the lessons very well.

Here are the birds. It's considerably shorter than before because of all the ones I cut out.
-Ruby-crowned Kinglet -Reyezuelo Sencillo
-Great Kiskadee -Bienteveo Grande
-Cattle Egret -Garza Ganadera
-Killdeer -Chorlito Tildío
-Common Raven -Cuervo Grande
-White-faced Ibis -Ibis Cariblanca
-American Robin -Zorzal Petirrojo (This one was weird. It seriously shouldn't be here but I saw and heard it)
-Red-tailed Hawk -Augililla Coliroja
-Curve-billed Thrasher -Cuitlacoche Piquicurvo
-Bronzed Cowbird -Vaquero Ojirrojo
-Green Parakeet -Perico Verde Mexicano

Thank you all for everything and for writing me! I love and miss you all.

-Elder Steiner

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 9 (11/16/2015)

Hello everyone!

I feel like I need to apologize for such a short email last week. There's a lot to say and I neglected to say most of it. Haha!

Piedras Negras is fantastic. It's really weird too just adjusting but I think I'm pretty well settled by now. The appartment we are living in is kind of a dump but It's sufficient for our needs. Our area is pretty big and we walk a lot because we don't get a car and they got rid of bikes in the mission several months ago. My legs are sore most of the time but I think part of that is because Elder Muñoz and I do P90X every morning. I think this is the first time I have consistantly exercised. It's really necessary, though. It gets us ready for the day and all the long walking.

The ward in our area is really big. There are 4 missionaries assigned to it in two different areas. The ward mission leader, relief society president, and the second counselor in the bishopric all live in the apartment below us. They're all one family if that was confusing. They are really nice and they let us use their washing machine for our clothes. They also give us lunch sometimes. The hermanas in the ward sign up for different days to give the elders lunch which is very nice. We usually make our own breakfast and don't eat dinner most days. We simply don't have time for it...If we do it's usually ceral or a sandwich. The food here is really good. Last pday we went shopping which was actually really stressful not only because I had no idea what I was doing with all the Mexican products but we were fasting too...Being in a grocery store during a fast has probably been the hardest thing so far. We will usually have eggs, smoothies (with Elder Muñoz's protein powder), and quesadillas for breakfast. I have a much deeper apreciation for the simplicity and deliciousness of quesadillas now.

Piedras Negras has been really hot up until this Thursday. It started raining on Thursday and it's been fairly mild since. Elder Muñoz isn't used to the cold so he has been freezing the last few days. I think it's not so bad simply because I like the cold much better than the hot. I'm glad I'm starting in the cold part of the year but I think I'm going to die in the summer.

We have had lots of contacts and several good investigators but the only ones that are actualy progressing are named Antonio and Lorena. They would probably be baptized by now except Antonio is trying to get divorced from his previous marriage and then they need to get married...It's kind of a waiting game right now. We also have a family that I really hope progresses because It was one of my contacts and I know that we can help them.

This Sunday I was supposed to give a talk in church and I had it all prepared but Elder Vielma, one of the other missionaries in our ward, gave a really long talk so I'm going to speak next week.

Finally, the bird list.
-House Sparrow -Gorrión Domestico
-White-winged Dove -Paloma Aliblanca
-Rock Dove -Paloma Domestico
-Great-tailed Grackle -Zanate Mayor
-Golden-fronted Woodpecker -Carpintero Frentidorado
-Eurasian Collard Dove -Tórtula Turca
-House Finch -Fringílido Mexicano
-European Starling -Estornino Europeno
-Merlin -Esmerjón
-Great Kiskadee -Bienteveo Grande
-House Wren -Saltapared-continental Norteño
-White-faced Ibis -Ibis Cariblanca
-Common Ground Dove -Tórtola Común
-Inca Dove -Tórtula Colicarga
-Green Parakeet -Perico Verde Mexicano
-Northern Mockingbird -Cenzotle Norteño
-Virginia's Warber -Chipe de Virginia
-Pyrrhuloxia -Cardenal Desértico
-Northern Cardinal -Cardenal Norteño
-Red-tailed Hawk -Augililla Colirroja

I'll do one more week of every bird I see but after that I think I'll limit it to new ones. Also, apparently there are Greater Roadrunners here and I just haven't seen them. I really want to see one of those, Groove-billed Ani, and a Crested Caracara.

I love getting emails from everyone and I try to read them all but I'm going to write the weekly email and my family first from now on. If I don't respond one week please keep emailing because I can usually read everything but don't have time to reply.

Thank you for everything! Also, for packages and letters the address is

 Eulalio Gutierrez #1057
Colina Las Praderas
25295 Saltillo, Coahuila
Mexico

I love you all!
-Elder Steiner

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 7 (11/02/2015)

Hello Everyone!

I have a lot to say but not a lot of time so I´ll try to keep it brief.

The trip from SLC to Saltillo was an adventure. Not a lot happened before Mexico other than that I got to call my parents. That was really nice because I was having trouble with the payphone so a member let me borrow his phone. He has a missionary son in Argentina. He was reallly nice.

In the Mexico city airport I had a 4 hour layover. That was very nere racking but it was also very cool. I orded a Subway sandwich in Spanish which was a lot easier than I expected. I tried to call home using the payphones but they didn´t work so I was kind of bummed. Luckily some members that go back and forth between Mexico and Idaho came and talked to me. They really raised my spirits.

After that I was sitting there reading Jesus the Christ and an English speaking Memeber came and talked to me. His name was Ricardo Granillo and he was heading to Saltillo as well so we stuck together. We taught a brief lesson in the airport to someone that noticed my badge. It was really cool.

I have been assigned to the Piedras Negras zone. My companion is Elder Muñoz and he´s really cool. He´s from Queen Creek, Arizona. He´s been here a year. Piedras is 9 hours north of Saltillo so we took a bus.

We´ve been working really hard finding an teaching and it´s really fun but still hard. Mexico is very different and I´m trying to get used to it.

So I can only get mail every 6 weeks unless I´m in the zone with the mission office. All the mail should be sent to the mission office and then the missionaries bring it out to the different zones at changes. Keep that in mind when sending mail please.

Week 7 birds:
-American Crow - Cuervo Americano
-Scrub Jay - Chara Azuleja
-House Sparrow - Gorrion Domestico
-Greater white-fronted goose - ganso careto mayor
-White winged dove
-rock dove
-cooper´s hawk
-great-tailed grackle
-golden-fronted woodpecker
-cattle egret
-eurasian collard dove
-house finch
-european starling
-killdeer
-common ground dove
-inca dove
-orange-crowned warbler
-green parakeet
-tree swallow
-northern mockingbird
(I had to stop with the spanish for time)

I love you all and miss you. Thanks for everything!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Week 6 (10/23/2015)

**Will sent this letter on Friday. He called home from the airport on Monday morning and was so ready to go. He sounded happy and was excited to be on his way to Mexico!**

Hello everyone!

I'm finally leaving for Mexico on Monday! It's super exciting! I have really enjoyed my time here at the MTC but I've realized that it's a little to clustered with so many people in one place. I'm definitely ready to get out of here.

We got our flight plans last Friday after I had sent my emails. I'm leaving here around 5:00 in the morning in one of the MTC vans and then my flight to Mexico City is around10:00. I land in Mexico City at 2:00 and then have a 4 hour layover (Hooray...) until my flight to Slatillo. I'll probably buy some Spanish Books of Mormon to hand out and stuff. I may also get to practice my Spanish on the plane and such. I'll land in Saltillo around 8:00 p.m. so I'm not quite sure what I'll actually be doing for my first day in my mission. I'm going to be very tired the next day.

After the Sunday night devotional (it was by a BYU football guy so I just read my bird book and talked to Elder Kerns about birds) I looked around and realized how many people there were and how huge groups of these missionaries move in and out on a weekly basis. There are about 2000 missionaries here right now. That's a lot of people that are all going out to different parts of the world and we're all basically children! It's crazy to think about how many people are going to be influenced by all these young missionaries. I feel barely qualified to teach anyone anything, especially not in Spanish. I have no idea how our first lessons even worked because I feel like I know almost no Spanish right now. Haha! I think that really shows how the Spirit can work in people even just mock investigators. I truly have felt the Spirit in our practices and I think that's how the cracks get filled in.

Yesterday we had in-field orientation. It was mostly sitting and doing practices with random missionaries. It was really helpful, though. It was mostly to prepare us for what to expect in the first few days in the field and how to work with members and such. I got to see Elder Max Warner because he was in my same room. I don't think I mentioned yet but he's been here with me and I talk to him whenever I see him. It's helpful to have a familiar face and someone to talk to about what we did before the MTC and such.

Oh, I forgot to mention that we helped some of the new senior couples to their rooms and such on Monday. It was cool to talk to them and hear about their missions. They were all very nice.

I've grown a lot over the last few weeks and I'm really glad to be here. I've had to change myself in order to work better with people and I've had to adjust my mentality in order to feel the Spirit more fully. It's been a big change but a bigger one is yet to come.

Weekly bird list:
-House Sparrow -Gorrión Domestico
-Scrub Jay -Chara Azuleja
-Cedar Waxwing -Ampelis Americano
-California Gull -Gaviota Californiana
I haven't seen very many being cooped up in the MTC. I'll probably have a longer list when I get to Mexico. Also, I decided to start listing the names in Spanish as well because why not?

I love and miss all of you. Thank you so much for the support and emails and everything. Also, thanks especially to Nan and Grandpa for sending me Halloween candy. My district and I appreciated it a lot. Haha!

Thanks again. I love you all.

-Elder Steiner

Monday, October 19, 2015

Week 5 (10/16/2015)

Hello everyone!

Today is my second to last MTC pday! Hooray! We get our flight plans today so I'll find out the exact time that I'm leaving and when I get to Mexico. I'm really excited.

It has been a full month since I first got here. I feel a lot more prepared than when I first came in so I think the MTC is doing its job.

So this Sunday I was released from my position as district leader so that another elder could have a chance. Elder Langi is our new district leader. He's been doing a good job so far and I'm glad he has a chance to serve in that position.

After being released from being district leader I thought I would just be a regular missionary for the rest of the time here but nope. President Price wrote an email to my tiro earlyWednesday morning (2:00 am) saying that I was going to be a zone leader along with my companions. So since Wednesday I've been a zone leader. I really haven't done very much. I chose a hymn for zone prayer the other day. That's a zone leader duty. Um...I sat quietly while the other two interviewed someone...Basically I haven't done anything in my new leadership position.

Our neighbors in the residence left on Monday. They were all going to Lyon, France. Many of the elders here have people sending them candy day after day and our French neighbors were no exception. They had several massive boxes of candy and granola bars and all sorts of snacks. Since they couldn't take 50 pounds of food with them they just decided to bequeath it all to us. Suffice to say, we were rolling in candy this week. The density of sugar is second only to a candy shop.

We had our last lesson with Elias yesterday which was kind of sad. We spent a while just talking about anything like school and his family. He's not a member but he's got a baptismal date set for November 7th, I think.

Out of all the things I've learned at the MTC the most important is that I need to rely on the Spirit. I have always relied a lot on my own knowledge and I've been learning that knowing about all sorts of different animals is not useful knowledge for teaching the gospel. I'm working hard to feel the spirit and to recognize it. It's been helping me learn how to teach and how to speak Spanish.

I tried to send pictures but only a few computers can do it. I'll try to send some later this week.

Birds this week: House Sparrow (we fed them chips during lunch)

I love you all! Thanks for all the emails and letters. 

-Elder Steiner

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Week 4 (10/09/2015)

Hi everyone!

This email is going to be super brief even though I have a lot of stuff to say...

Conference was fantastic. The Spirit was really strong here even though the chairs were really uncomfortable. I felt like the whole message for me was to yield to Christ and serve God's will instead of our own. Priesthood session was especially powerful.

Every day during gym we play sand volleyball. Yesterday I blocked a spike so that was pretty cool. I really like my district and we're growing closer.

I'm going to start doing a weekly bird list today. I've only seen a few while I've been here but I may as well start.
-House Sparrow
-Scrub jay
-Black-billed Magpie.

I don't have a lot of pictures but I'll try to send some next week.

I love you all! Thank you for the emails and everything!

-Elder Steiner

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Week 3 (10/02/2015)


Happy pday everyone!

This week went a lot more quickly than last week. Everything is moving faster it seems. While my companions and I were walking over to our building to email we were practically sprinting (extra brisk walking).

This next part is kind of long winded and probably not interesting to most of you but I wanted to record it somewhere in case you were curious about my district.

I can't remember if I've talked about my district yet so I'll do that now. My companions are Elder Ashcraft and Elder Ogles. Elder Aschcraft is from California and he played football. He's going to Chicago West. Elder Ogles is from Provo and he played water polo. He's going to LA. The other elders in the district are Elder Langi and Elder Kerns. Elder Langi is from Oregon and he was pretty "disappointed" to hear about the Utah-Oregon game. I was pretty happy, though. And on top of that BYU lost so it's been a good week. Regardless, Elder Langi also played football and rugby. He's headed to Oklahoma City. Elder Kerns is from Sacramento. He was on a fishing boat in Alaska for the last 3 months so he likes to talk about that. His stories are pretty cool. He's going to LA as well.

There are 4 hermanas in the district, Hermanas Heller, Albrechtsen, Lunt, and Weight. They're really nice and I'm glad we have hermanas in our district. The district that left this week didn't have any. Hermana Heller is from Wisconsin. She likes birds so I think she's pretty cool. She's going to LA. Hermana Albrechtsen is from Farmington. She's small and quiet but when I can hear her she has some amazing comments and spiritual thoughts. She also wrote a whole bunch about each of the district so we had her read them to us to see what our first impressions were like. She's going to Chicago West. Hermana Lunt is excited. I guess that's the right word. She is louder than most everyone in the district but she makes it fun. She is going to Kansas, Wichita. Hermana Weight is the equivalent of a ZL for the Hermanas. She is kind of quiet but she is really funny. She's going to Mesa Arizona as a visitor center missionary.

That may have been too much but I wanted to say a little about each of them.

This week "Sylvia" became our second teacher. Her name is Hermana Brotherson. We sometimes call her Hermana Hermano-Hijo. Haha. Spanish. She has a new investigator character called Tess. We taught her this week and I think we're doing a good job.

Hermano Croft, our first teacher, baby was born this week. Hooray! Because of that he hasn't been here for a few days. His investigator character is named Phil so when he gets back we'll be teaching him. For now we have substitutes in the class periods he would teach in.

Yesterday I took the train up to Salt Lake City. Two other missionaries and I were going to get our visas from the Mexican Consulate. It took a while to get there and back but we met some cool people. Not a lot happened on the way there but on the way back it seemed like everyone was a fluent Spanish speaker. The people we sat across from were a Mexican couple that didn't speak English and then the people behind us were a french guy that lived in Mexico for 4 years and a man that lived in Pachuca, one of our missions. The Mexican couple helped us practice Spanish but they knew all about our missions. It was exciting.

Sadly, I won't be going to Mexico because I'm already halfway done here but at least I'm going to be to my mission on time.

I'm out of time to write because I need to go get a haircut. I'm a little worried because it's my first MTC haircut. Keep a prayer in your hearts for my.

I love and miss all of you!

-Elder Steiner

Monday, September 28, 2015

Week 2 (09/25/2015)

Hello Everyone!

I've been missing home and reading everyone's emails makes me very nostalgic but I'm happy I'm here doing the Lord's work. This week was busy because I was still figuring things out but I'm really starting to love it here.

We taught Sylvia during this week and we had our last lesson yesterday. It was a great experience and it helped me know how important it is to love your investigators and everyone around you. I have really started to love Spanish and I love teaching in Spanish. It's really hard but I'm getting it.

Our other investigator who we have had two lessons with is named Elias. He's from the Dominican Republic and he is super buff. He has a lot of questions and out of our trio I know Spanish the best so I usually have to respond to all of them. Haha! He is really fun to teach because I get to practice my Spanish and my knowledge of the gospel. We showed him a video in yesterday's lesson called "Waiting on the Road to Damascus". It is based around a talk by President Uchtdorf about how we usually won't have experiences like Saul becoming Paul (Pablo) but we will be converted through continuous faith. It answered a lot of his questions and I think we are really making progress with him.

My companions are great. I get frustrated with them sometimes because I am really strong in my opinions but I'm listening to them more and I'm working on growing closer to them. I think our trio can grow strong through the Spirit and through service to the Lord. We read in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 yesterday during class. That chapter is my favorite chapter in all the scriptures. It was a reminder that none of this is about me. Everything I do is for my companions benefit, the investigator's benefit, or God's benefit. I'm focusing outward and trying to be more tolerant/loving/perfect.

I was assigned to be district leader on Sunday because Elder Ogles and Elder Ashcraft (my companions) are going to be the new zone leaders. I haven't done much as DL. It's not really different from just being a district member. Haha! I am glad to support the district, though. I'm excited to see how everything goes and if I can do a good job.

I miss you all and I appreciate the emails and the snacks. I'm glad to be serving the Lord and I'm going to work hard. I love you all. Thank you for your prayers and love.

-Elder Steiner

Friday, September 18, 2015

Week 1 (09/18/2015)

Hey everyone!

This is only my third day in the MTC but technically it counts as my first week. I'm having a pretty good time but Wednesday and yesterday were super busy. Today, Friday, is my district's p-day. So if you want to email back and forth that's the day.

My Spanish has been coming along and with my several extra years I'm learning and speaking fairly consistently. I've also been trying to help the others in my district with vocab and different grammar things. Today we have our first lesson with Sylvia. She is a mock investigator who only speaks Spanish. We're going to try and teach the first lesson as best as we can. I'm interested to see how well my companionship teaches together.

My district is pretty good. I've only been with them for a day and a half so I can't make a final decision about them but they seem like nice people and they all seem to have a strong spirit about them. I'm in a trio so I have two companions. I think it's because I was tacked on the end. Their names are Elder Ogles and Elder Ashcraft. Elder Ogles is from Provo and he's going to serve in LA. Elder Ashcraft is from Oregon and he is going to serve in Chicago.

We met our branch presidency yesterday. Our branch president, President Price, is great. He loves to give hugs and he's hilarious. He came to our residence last night to "tuck us in" and to say goodnight. I'm hoping I get to go to the Mexico MTC soon but if not I'm glad to be here.

I had a mini panic attack last night when we met our presidency because they were telling us that for sacrament meeting we are called randomly to give a talk. It has to be pre-prepared and it has to be all in Spanish. I don't think I'll be called on this Sunday but I'm still a little worried.

I also found out last night that I am assigned to be junior companion for the next two weeks. Elder Ogles is my senior companion and Elder Ashcraft is our district leader. I'm interested to see how good of a follower I can be since I've been in leadership positions for the last two years.

So, the best way to write to me is through Dearelder.com. It converts the emails into letters so I can read them during the week. Also, please feel free to send candy or snacks. The food here is good but, against my parents suggestions, I didn't bring any snacks so they would be much appreciated. Elder Ogles was smart because before he came here he ordered 6 cupcakes to be sent to himself today.

I'm glad to be here and I know it's going to be kind of hard but I know I can do it with support from companions and from the spirit. I need to focus on staying calm, though. My tendency to stress out and make everything more serious than it needs to be might end up killing me. However, I think that my seriousness and consistency about planning and getting things done will help me and my companions.

I'm excited to hear from you all! 

-Elder Steiner

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Will's Farewell.

Will had his farewell on September 13th. He gave an amazing talk and after we had some family and friends over for a yummy lunch. It was great to see how many people love and support Will. He will have lots of people supporting him while he is gone.










Will went into the Provo MTC on September 16th. Originally he was supposed to go straight to the Mexico MTC but there were some issues with his visa so he will be in Provo until those are sorted out. Here are some picture of him saying goodbye to our family and his final selfie.