Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Week 23 (2/22/2016)

Hello evereyone!

Based on some of the emails I've gotten, none of the emails I sent last week went through so I resent all of them just a few minutes ago. You're all going to be really lucky and get two weekly emails from me this week!

This week went fairly well. Not a lot especially exciting happened but it was good. We had 29 lessons which was very nice and we found 14 new investigators. That was very good.

I decided to do an experiment this week to see if my water filter really works. It's obvious that it would have worked but it's fun to call it an experiment. I put some tap water in the bottle and filtered it and all and I'm yet to be sick! The tap water here isn't safe. It's very different from Utah where you can get water that's just as good as bottled water from your sink. I always feel a little worried when I'm washing the dishes because I'm not sure if I'm actually putting more germs and dangerous salts on than I'm getting off. Hmmm...

The other day Elder Gallegos said he'd give me 100 pesos (about 5 dollars) if I could catch a rooster. I decided to do it but I chose a hen instead because roosters can be a little nasty and will peck and scratch more than a hen. There was a group of them in a field along the road so I slowly walked over and tried to catch one. My chicken catching skills have gone down quite a bit since I left home so I wasn't able to catch any but Armando, our member friend, took some photos of me trying to catch it. I don't know if that was within the rules or not but it doesn't say anything about chasing chickens in the missionary handbook so why not!

Church was fantastic this week. We managed to have 10(!) investigators in sacrament meeting!! Six of them were people we found within the last week and four of them were progressing investigators from before. I was really happy because the most I've had come to church in one week is four or five.

Were probably going to baptize Jesús this Saturday. I'm really excited because it will be my first baptism! (Other than my little sister, Maisie) He has progressed really well and he got pretty excited about it after we took him to a baptismal service for the other elders. It's good to see the Lord's work in the life of our investigator.

Here are the birds! There were a lot more this week. :D
Chihuahuan Raven -Cuervo Llanero
Common Raven -Cuervo Grande
Ladder-backed Woodpecker -Carpintero Listado
Yellow-rumped Warbler -Chipe Rabadilla Amarilla
Killdeer -Chorlito Tildío
Herring Gull-Gaviota Plateada
Black-throated Sparrow -Gorrión Gorjinegro
Verdin -Baloncillo
Green Parakeet -Perico Verde Mexicano
Bewick's Wren -Saltapared de Bewick

This week's spiritual thought comes from Luke. I read this scripture the other day and it really made me think about how commited I am to the Lord and this work. It's Luke 9:61-62 which reads "And another also said, Lord I will follow the; but let me first go bid them farewell which are at home at my house, And Jesus said unto him, No man having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom of God."
This scripture applies to all of us and our commitment to serve the Lord. Not all of have or will serve full time missions but we all need to commit our lives to the Lord and serving His children. In this dispensation we aren't required to sacrifice animals because the sacrifice we give is our full devotion and consecration unto the Lord. It's honestly really hard to fully consecrate ourselves to the Lord because of all the distractions and worldly things in our lives, but as we strive for perfection and follow the gospel of Jesus Christ we can get there step by step.

Thank you all for your prayers and support! Les amo y extraño.
-Elder Steiner

Week 22 (2/15/2016)

Hello everyone!

This week was pretty good. Not a lot exceptionally exciting happened but we're working hard! One good thing about being here is that it's not hard to get lessons. We had about 30 lessons this week and we've been racking up the new investigators. Everyone here has a Christian background so we just need to say we're sharing a message about Christ and if they aren't busy we're already walking in the door. That probably sounds pretty good but it's pretty hard to get them to realize that what we're telling them is something new and not what they've all already heard. We need to drop investigators about as fast as we get them simply because if people aren't going to change then there's no point in us visiting. However, I would much rather be gaining and dropping investigators super fast than never finding anyone to teach.

This week while we were walking across our area to a lesson I mentioned to Elder Gallegos that we should start doing express baptisms. Here in Mexico there are a bunch of trucks that drive around selling water, corn, bread, etc. All of them have speakers like an ice cream truck to let people know that they're coming. We were thinking that we could drive around in a truck with a font in the back saying "!Bautizmos¡ ¡Bautizmos gratis! ¡0 pesos y 3 grandes bendiciones!" I think we could get a lot more converts that way.

I learned this week that my body doesn't like it when: I eat really spicy chilies, do Insanity (the exercise videos), or eat brown mole (a type of sauce that you eat with chicken). The food here is usually really good and I haven't found many things that I won't eat. The members are also really nice about spicy food because they know that most Americans can't eat it. However, one sister put chilies out on the table the other day. Elder Weidmeier (one of the zone leaders) ate it right up without problems so I thought to myself "It can't really be that bad". I was very wrong. I nearly threw up and my mouth was dying. The sister brought me milk so I was okay but I don't think I'm doing that again.
About Insanity, Elder Gallegos and I started doing more exercise last week and it's going pretty good. The only bad thing is that it makes it pretty hard to do all the regular daily things when your whole body hurts. My legs have been sore for several days...
Brown mole is made with chocolate in it and you eat it with chicken. It is not really my favorite and it's really hard when the sister fills your plate up with it...I think out of all the foods here it is the one I like the least.

Here are the birds!
-Cedar Waxwing -Ampelis Americano
-Lesser Goldfinch -Dominico Dorsioscuro
-Black-throated Sparrow -Gorrión Gorjinegro
Again, not a lot this week but it's still fun to find and identify them. :)

This week we only had one investigator come to church. That was pretty frustrating... It was Ernesto and I don't really know what more to say. He's still not willing to get baptized and he's still being difficult.

Based on that we only had one investigator in church the spiritual thought is about church attendance. I can't think of anything better to do on Sunday than go to church. It is seriously the best thing for anyone's life and there are countless promised blessings that come with it. 
"And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day" D&C 59:9
Keep going to church everyone and think about how much it really protects us from the filthiness of the world.

Thank you all for your prayers and emails and everything! You're all fantastic and I'm really grateful for you all.
Les amo y extraño.
-Elder Steiner

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Week 21 (2/9/2016)

Hello everyone!

Happy Super Bowl (yesterday) and Valentine's Day (for everyone other than monks or missionaries)!

This week was pretty normal. I had exchanges with Elder Muñoz (not my previous companion, a different Muñoz) on Wednesday. It was pretty good. Our first two contacts were a little rough, though. One was a very christian lady and the other was a pastor for the Church of Christ. It's hard to not explode and go on a rant about priesthood authority with someone like me that likes to argue but I was pretty good about keeping my cool (especially with my limited Spanish...). We counted both as lessons because they were exceedingly long contacts.

We found a really good investigator the other day named Salvador. He's 20 years old and he met with other missionaries before us. Our first lesson was with Hiram (our ward mission leader) so we automatically had someone to fellowship Salvador. He said that he would like to be baptized after he learns more and we set a baptism goal for the 27th of this month. I don't know if that goal is going to work out because he didn't come to church yesterday but it's still worth a shot. I think he will progress really well.

I was expecting about all of Piedras Negras to come to church yesterday with the number of investigators we talked to about coming but we only had 3.

Jesús came for about half of sacrament meeting but then he had to leave for work. We met with his mom the other day and she really likes to talk to us. She received the Book of Mormon really well too. I'm a little worried that he might start losing interest but I really think we can still baptize him this month.

Axel also came which was really good but since he is a kid I felt like a dad trying to keep him quiet during sacrament meeting. He kept asking what time it was and playing with the hymn books. I feel really sorry now towards my parents who have dealt with kids in sacrament meeting for more than 20 years.

Ernesto, our eternal investigator, came early and went to some of the classes in the other ward. We had a lesson with him with the bishop and talked about eternal families and the blessings he could get along with his family if he would be baptized. We also had a lesson specifically about baptism yesterday which went pretty well but he still has his doubts. It's pretty hard because his doubts are mostly about really abstract topics that need profound doctrine to answer. I think he'll be baptized but I don't know when.

Gustavo did not come to church and we have decided not to teach him anymore. We taught him about the Word of Wisdom and that was like a giant wall for his progress. He said he didn't want to be baptized because he believes that he needs to drink alcohol to do his work. The work he believes he is doing is uniting the world and preparing it for the second coming of Christ. I don't know if continuing with him would be a very good use of our time.

Here are the birds!
Common Raven -Cuervo Grande
Lesser Goldfinch -Dominico Dorsioscuro
Montezuma Quail -Codorniz de Moctezuma

I didn't get a lot this week but it's more than none. :)

I've been thinking a lot about the importance of the priesthood recently. In reality it's the only thing that makes us different from every other church. I feel really happy that I'm worthy of this responsibility that Heavenly Father has given us as his servants. Here are two scriptures that I like about the priesthood.

Hebrews 5:4 "And no man taketh this honor unto himself but he that was called of God as was Aaron"

Alma 13:10 "Now as I said concerning the holy order, or this high priesthood, there were many who were ordained and became high priests of God; and it was on account of their exceeding faith and repentance, and their righteousness before God, they choosing to repent and work righteousness rather than to perish."

By these two scriptures we see that holding this priesthood is only possible for those who have been called of God. In order to be called of God we must work righteousness and repent. As someone who has been called of God and has this responsibility I feel really happy that I can be part of this and press forward in this work.

Thanks everyone that read all the way to the end of this! It's a little long but I think that's preferable to a handful of sentences.
Thank you all so much for everything. Les extraño y amo.
-Elder Steiner

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


Here are some more pictures from Elder Steiner

Week 20 (2/1/2016)

Hello everyone!

I decided to start doing the email titles based on weeks in one area. I think that will be better than doing a sort of countdown type thing. Less distracting.

This week I had exchanges with Elder Zuñiga. He's Elder Morales' new son (being trained by Elder Morales) and he only has about 3 weeks on the mission. I felt like a seasoned missionary working with him even though in reality I'm just a little baby. He did a really good job with everything. He contacted and taught really well. It was fun to be senior companion for a day and see what's it's like to be a baby missionary from the out side. I gave him some advice casually and he received it like I was giving the best advice ever. He's going to be a really good missionary.

The last few weeks we've been working with two return missionaries, Armando and Juan de Dios. They are super helpful and Armando is helping us teach his room mate. It's fun to have the example of return missionaries because they can bring their methods to teach and be friends for the investigators.

I started to read the New Testament last week. I read Jesus the Christ within the first few months and comparing the gospels with what I learned in Jesus the Christ is really cool because it puts the life of Christ in a new perspective. I want to finish the gospels before the end of this change. I also started reading the Book of Mormon again. Everyone should read 1 Nephi again and really look at how much information Nephi gets in his vision. I was writing all sorts of notes in the margins of my scriptures.

We got a new investigator this week named Axel. He's 11 or 12 years old. He came to church a few times before I even got here but he never wanted to tell us his address. With Elder Muñoz we found his house but he was never home but we finally had a lesson with him and his older brother and he came to church with us on Sunday. We just need to teach him and baptize him because he already has enough church attendance. He's really funny and he really likes the pamphlets we give out.

Gustavo went to Monterrey this week so we couldn't teach him and he couldn't come to church but we should still be able to baptize him this week. I really hope we can because he's really eager about it.

Jesús couldn't come to church this week because of work but he's progressing really well. He should still be able to be baptized this month.

Noe came to church and is also progressing really well. He likes church a lot and he really likes our lessons. His family is really Catholic so I was a little worried that he might receive a little bit of trouble from that but as far as I can see it's going really well.

We dropped Oscar this week. We have been teaching him for a really long time and he still hasn't come to church so we're not going to visit him anymore.

Here are the birds!
Tamaulipas Crow -Cuervo Tamaulipeco
Killdeer -Chorlito Tildío
-Green Parakeet -Perico Verde Mexicano
-Cattle Egret -Garza Ganadera
-Common Raven -Cuervo Grande
-Lazuli Bunting -Colirín Lazulita
-Ruby-crowned Kinglet
-Yellow-rumped Warbler -Chipe Rabadilla Amarilla

Oh yeah, a few random things. I realized the other day that my notes are a weird mixture of Spanish and English. It would be really confusing for someone that couldn't speak both to read my notes. We lost our fork some time ago. I have no idea what could have happened to it. Elder Gallegos always says "Hey man" on the phone. It's like his catch phrase. I hit my head on a sign the other day and it hurt but then after a contact or two i realized that I had cut myself when I touched my hair. There was quite a bit of blood but it's all good. Head wounds always bleed a lot and it's all clean and good.

Well, that's all. Thanks for everything!
¡Les extraño y amo!
-Elder Steiner