Thursday, May 5, 2016

Week 33 (5/02/2016)

Hi everyone!

I hope that all of you have had a good week! I know that I have. It's been a little busy and unusually tiring but pretty fun and productive.

On Monday night Elder Bauer and I moved our mattresses up on to the roof and slept up there. It was a little windy but it felt really nice. All the houses here get really hot in the summer and really cold in the winter so being up one the roof felt nice at night.

On Tuesday I had exchanges with the other elders from our ward. Apparently their area is quite a bit bigger than ours so we had to walk a lot and mostly uphill. Our last lesson was the last house basically up on the mountain. Walking up there wasn't so bad and I got to see some cool birds but it was awfully far away so we didn't have any lessons right before or after. I also saw a bunch of jackrabbits up on the hill because it's a lot more deserty up there.

On Wednesday we had a normal day but for our last lesson we watched "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" with some investigators. We had popcorn and candy. It was the first time I had seen it in Spanish which was interesting, and I was happy to understand it all. It was a really spiritual lesson even though we basically just watched the movie. Afterward Elder Bauer and I testified of Joseph Smith and the Spirit was definitely present.

On Friday night we started exchanges with the zone leaders. I went with Elder Daines who will probably be the next assistant to president. It's always fun to work with the more experienced missionaries. They can always teach you something you need to know.

Today we played monopoly with the zone leaders. I did okay and got the orange monopoly (the best one) but I did a bad trade early on and it all came crashing down...

That's basically all the cool stuff that happened this week. I did also have a really cool Spirit guided contact to find a new investigator yesterday but it's a little hard to explain. Just know that it was cool.

Here are the birds!
Northern Mockingbird (Not a "Mockingjay" like all the Americans think. Those don't exist)
Cassin's Kingbird
Curve-billed Thrasher
Red-tailed Hawk (Go Utes!)
Scaled Quail
Bewick's Wren
Tamaulipas Crow

Sorry, no spiritual thought this week. I've been slacking a bit... It'll be good next week.

Well, thanks for reading! I hope that everything is going well for you all!

¡Les extraño y les amo!
-Elder Steiner

Week 32 (04/25/2016)

Hello everyone!

This week was pretty normal. We did have some pretty frustrating first lessons but everything is going really well.

On Monday we went to the mall to spend time with other elders looking at suits. For about two hours. I don't know if I mentioned that last week but it lasted a really long time. Elder Bauer and Elder Johnson were trying on what seemed like every suit.

It started getting a little stormy on Tuesday and it rained off and on until Saturday. The storm finished off on Saturday with a lot of rain within about 30 minutes. Right before it started raining really hard we decided to head home to get coats and umbrellas. I think the Spirit had a hand in telling us to plan lessons by our house at that time. Haha! The rain also made it so washing our clothes on Monday last until about  Friday because our clothes kept getting wet and we kept forgetting to bring them back in. To say the least, I'm really grateful for dryers.

On Friday we went over to have a lesson with one of our investigators but he was across the street painting the neighbor's house. We ended up helping them to paint and we set a time to come back and visit them. The family that lived there had lived in Canada for several years so we were speaking English with the kids to help them practice.

Here in Mexico there are these things called trompos. The kids here are playing with them a lot now because they are only around in April. Elder Bauer and I bought some and I have to say it is super hard to do anything with them. The kids around here can do all sorts of crazy tricks and I can barely get them to spin upright. We were playing with them in our house the other day but we decided to stop because the members that live below us didn't appreciate it. So, we decided to go up on the roof to try them out because there was no way that they could hear them from up there. Since I'm not very good at keeping the trompo under control I was worried that I would accidentally launch it off the roof. I commented this to Elder Bauer and then tired to spin my trompo again. Suddenly it went launching off the roof and bounced miraculously on a few walls to land on a neighboring roof. I considered retrieving it but then decided that was probably a bad idea. I promise I'm not a disobedient missionary. :)

These last few weeks we've been working with an investigator named Monica and her family. She is really excited about being baptized and her sister is also pretty excited too. She always reads the Book of Mormon or pamphlets but she is yet to come to church. That is a little difficult but I'm confident that she can be baptized next month along with her sister and mom if they come to church.

Here are the birds!
Peacock-Pavo Real (FOR REAL)
Turkey Vulture -Zopilote Cabecirrojo
Northern Parula -Parula Norteña
Cooper's Hawk -Gavilán de Cooper
Lesser Goldfinch -Dominico Dorsioscuro

This week's spiritual thought is from Matthew 5:13
 13 ¶Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
I like this scripture because we can talk a little bit about chemistry with it. When you mix dirt in with salt it loses it's preserving power and it's taste. So, sins are like the dirt and we lose our ability to come closer to God if we are corrupted with dirt. Normally it's really hard to get dirt to separate from salt but not if we use water and fire. First you dissolve the salt and filter the water then dissolve away the water with fire. The purifying power of baptism, water, and the Holy Ghost, fire, can return us to a state of purity and spiritual power. I'm so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and how we can truly be clean through the whole process.

Thanks for reading and writing to me! I'm grateful for all of you and your support!

Les amo y les extraño.
-Elder Steiner