Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Week 31 (4/18/206)

Hello everyone!

This was the first week of my sixth change! It was kind of a slow week in terms of lessons but I am having a lot of fun with my new companion. I said last week his name is Elder Bauer. He's from Idaho and his high school mascot was a potato. I thought that was kind of funny. :) He has 20 months on the mission so he's leaving in August, almost exactly a year before I go home.

This week was pretty normal. We were with Elder Johnson, our zone leader, on Monday because his companion got changed to be assistant. We taught all the Monday lessons as a trio which was pretty cool. I think I've spent an unusual amount of time specifically with leaders here in the mission because all my companions have been district leaders and we spend a lot of time with the zone leaders as well. 

Tuesday I was in the bus station for about half the day waiting for my companion. I got to know a few missionaries whom I hadn't seen before. We got hungry after a little bit so we went over to a little store and I found powder hot chocolate(!). I haven't seen it very many places here in Mexico so I bought it and saved it in the house.

On Sunday we only had one investigator in the church...That was kind of frustrating especially after about five people had said they would be there. It's okay, though. The investigator that came is named Cecelia and she's pretty close to baptism. We just need to get her "husband's" divorce finished up so they can get married and be baptized.
Every Sunday we take dats so we stopped by a members house to call the other elders. As we were sitting there the dughter in the family was progressively bringing in different farm animals. I took pictures with a rabbit and a chick and then Elder Bauer and I took a selfie with a chicken. That was pretty fun.

Here are the birds!
Brewer's Blackbird -Tordo de Brewer
Zone-tailed Hawk -Aguililla Aura
Turkey Vulture -Zopilote Cabecirrojo
Northern Rough-winged Swallow -Golondrina-aliserrada Norteña

The spiritual thought for this week is from 1 Nephi 20:10.

 10 For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.
This week we are going to start ponderizing scriptures each week. I chose this one sort of randomly but it happened to be really important for Elder Bauer. I basically just opened up the Bible to the topical guide and saw furnace. This scripture is really important to show how we are chose of God by how well we endure the challenges we face.

Thanks you all for your support! I am really happy to be here even though it's a little dirty and there are dogs everywhere. I know I'm in the right place and with the right companions.

Les extraño y amo!
-Elder Steiner

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 30 (4/11/2016)

Hello everyone!

This was the last week of the change! This change has been fantastic and I've really learned a lot. I feel way more confident with Spanish than the past change and teaching is a lot easier now than the past changes as well. I'm really happy with the work I've done this change. This last week we found several really good people that could be baptized by the end of next change.

I'm staying here next change but Elder Hernandez is headed to Monclova. I'm a little sad that he's leaving but it's okay. I can say that I really learned a lot from him and I hope that I can start applying it more in my own teaching and as I work with my future companions. 

My next companion is named Elder Bauer, and my streak of being junior companion to district leaders continues this next change. I'm excited to see how we work together and what I can learn.

This Friday we had an activity in the church. It was a little difficult because the ward wasn't as involved in the planning as we wanted but it turned out really well. We even had 6 investigators there between us and the other missionaries! We focused the activity around how the members can help us with missionary work. We commited all of the members to do a small act of missionary work this week.

It's starting to get really hot here this month, and it's only going to get hotter during the summer. I'm glad that I'm here in Saltillo at least for now because it's higher up in the mountains and it doesn't get quite as hot. I'm starting to see how what Robert Whetten said about how hot it gets is very true. I hope I can survive at least through this first summer and then maybe the next will be a little easier. (Probably not...)

Here are the birds!
Chipping Sparrow -Gorrión Cejiblanco
Barn Swallow -Golondrina Ranchera
Bewick's Wren -Saltapared de Bewick
Common Nighthawk -Chotacabras Mayor
Cattle Egret -Garza Ganadera
White-tailed Kite -Milano Maromero

I forgot to look up a scripture for my spiritual thought this week but I have something I can relate to the birds. The last three birds in the list flew away almost immediatly after I saw them and I was really happy that I saw them before they left, especially the kite. I think that God gave me several tender mercies to see those birds. For most of you that might seem a little silly but I'm honestly grateful for all the (little) good things (and some of the bad things) that have happened here on the mission.

I'm really happy to be here as a missionary and I'm really grateful for all that you all do for me. Thanks to all those that write. I miss and love you!
-Elder Steiner

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Week 29 (4/5/2016)

Hello everyone!

This week was pretty normal up until the weekend. We had a bunch of lessons and contacted a bunch in the street and in houses. Basically normal stuff here in Saltillo.

This weekend was a spiritual whirlwind. On Friday we had a zone conference where the zone leaders and President Rodriguez trained us and I learned a lot of things I can improve as a missionary. President talked about a lot of different things but one that really stuck with me was about three different types of missionaries and thier trials. The main idea was that trials of faith come to those who are just. Consequences of sin come to those who are dissobedient. I think this can apply to all of us. Are we in a trial because God is testing us or simply because we put ourselves there? I'm really trying to focus on obedience now. Many of you probably know that it's not very hard for me to be obedient but, as a missionary, it's hard for anyone to be obedient. Every little thing is important in bringing the Spirit and finding the people that are waiting for the Gospel.

This General Conference was really powerful for me. It was the first time I watched every session without sleeping through any of it. Hear that Anna, Henry, and Ellie? I broke my habit of sleeping in church! :) Leading up to General Conference I was worried that I would have to watch it in Spanish so I was praying for the gift of tongues for several days. When I got to the stake center to watch, I found out that te missionaries could watch it in English in the high council room. That was a relief. The American missionaries watched all the sessions together as a little group. It was pretty nice because I could really focus and share notes with the others. Also, some of the sisters brought snacks. It reminded me of using skittles and m&ms to play conference bingo. Haha!

This week I was feeling a little impatient and tired with my companion and the other elders in our ward so I wanted to see if I could get an answer about how to be more patient. I think the best answer to my question was President Uchtdorf's talk in the priesthood session. He talked a lot about marriage and being a good husband (not quite aplicable to a missionary) but he also focused on charity. I love charity and the power of the pure love of Christ. It was a powerful reminder that I should exercise more charity with my companions and the other missionaries. We'll see if I can actually practice what I believe. :)

I'm really grateful that we can watch and listen to conference and receive guidance from living prophets and apostles. Even though President Monson didn't give very long talks I really felt the power and truth in his words. I hope we can all follow the council we have received this weekend.

Okay, here are the birds!
Zone-tailed Hawk -Aguililla Aura
Sharp-shinned Hawk -Gavilán Pajarero
Cooper's Hawk -Gavilán de Cooper
Cassin's Kingbird -Tirano de Cassin
Say's Phoebe -Mosquero Llanero
Barn Swallow -Golondrina Ranchera

Well, I think that's the most important stuff for this week. Thank you all for your support and for all that you have done for me! I love getting your emails and hearing that you enjoy hearing from me. I love and miss you all!
-Elder Steiner