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 -GorriĆ³n 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