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

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
-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!