Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 40 (6/20/2016)

Happy Father's day (yesterday)!

THis week was pretty good. It felt hotter than normal but today it has been cooler with a lot of rain.

Not a lot happened this week up until the weekend but we were working and doing everything like normal. We have several good invetigators and two are going to get baptized thiscoming Saturday.

On Friday we were invited to a YSA activity. The activity was to motivate them to go on a mission or help with missionary service. We didn't take up a lot of time but we shared our testimonies about missionary work. A brother from the stake talked about his mission as well and then a return missionary shared her testimony. It went really well especially since there were burgurs at the end. :)

On Friday night after the activity we started exchanges with Elder Muñoz, my trainer, and Elder Rodriguez. I went to ELder Muñoz's area and we worked there all Saturday. Their area was a little weird because it was several different housing developments with a strip of desert rnining right between them. We ended up crossing the desert part four times during the day. It was quite a bit of walking and I ended up getting a little sun burned on my face. By the end of the day we realized that we had left the keys inside and locked ourselves out. Elder Bauer and Elder Rodriguez met us at the house and I had to climb up and into a tiny window to open the door. I've had to break into a lot of missionary houses here on the mission...

Yesterday was Father's day as you all know. :) We visited several less actives and shared a Mormon message about fathers and Heavenly Father. It was pretty good. I'm truly grateful for both my dad here and my Father in Heaven. I have received such great blessings from the two of them and I hope to be able to honor them both.

After our last lesson Elder Bauer took dats so I sat there in the member's house and colored in an Avengers coloring book. I colored Hulk and Captain America.

Today we went to a breakfast buffet. Elder Bauer ate about three omlets. It was pretty good and not too expensive, but Elder Bauer is out of money so I payed for the taxis and the breakfast... After that we played risk with Elder Muñoz and Elder Rodriguez. Everything is going pretty well. We got wet walking to the computer place to write and I keep joking that I'll get tranch foot from all the water in my shoes. Haha!

Only two birds this week.
-Peregrine Falcon
-Chihuahuan Raven

Everything is good here. I feel happy and healthy and I'm working hard. I hope you are all well!
Thank you for everything.
-Elder Steiner

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 39 (06/14/2016)

Happy Monday everyone!

This week has been pretty good. We ended up not working almost every morning for a bunch of different reasons.

On Tuesday we had a zone conference with all three of the Saltillo zones. It was the last one with President Rodriguez. It was really great to hear the President's testimony. I've learned a lot being here and I've been really happy to have President and Sister Rodriguez as examples. They're always taking care of us and I'm really going to miss them. However, I'm also excited to meet the new president, President Cahoon. I'm excited to learn from him too and I'll also have him as my president for more of my mission.

We also did exchanges on Tuesday and I went to the other area. Tuesday ended up being pretty easy since I didn't work in the morning and then I wasn't in charge of my area in the afternoon. Haha!

On Wednesday we went to the hospital because a dog bit me. Now, first reading that you probably think of some huge nasty bite from a pit bull, but it was actually just a tiny bite on my thumb from a chihuahua. Yep. A chihuahua spazzed out and bit me so Sister Rodriguez said I had to go to the hospital. I got some antibiotics just t make sure I wouldn't get some weird disease. It was okay because it was a house dog so it didn't have rabies or anything crazy.

On Friday we went to the hospital. Again. Elder Bauer hadn't been feeling too good and it hurt him to walk too much and to breathe. We had the doctor check him out and then he went and got x-rayed. He didn't have anything too bad. It ended up just being inflamed intestines from eating too much wheat and fats. The doctor gave him some pills and he's feeling better now. We were sort of making fun of each other about why we went to the hospital and who's was a more ridiculous/dangerous reason.

Today was probably the most relaxed pday I've had but it was weird because both Elder Bauer and I started feeling weird for not doing anything. It was kind of weird. Haha! At 6:00 we are baptizing a girl from the ward. It doesn't count as a convert or for us but it certainly counts in Heaven. :) Also, I like to think Heavenly Father gives brownie points for that kind of stuff.

Here is the bird!
Great Black Hawk -Aguililla Negra Mayor

Yep, that's the only different bird I saw this week. Not super exciting. I have been seeing lots of Cave Swallows, though. :)

That's about it. Thanks for reading and thanks for everything.

-Elder Steiner

Week 38 (06/06/2016)

Hello everyone!

This week has been pretty good. It's been a little more difficult bt still good. The last few weeks we found several good families but they disappeared about as fast as we found them so now we've been contacting and looking for new investigators like crazy. It's a little hard but we're working hard.

It's also been a little cooler this week. It rained really hard on Monday and it's been cloudy almost all week. The clouds are much better than the sun when you walk around in the streets all day.

This week Elder Bauer and I also started playing Jenga every day. We're pretty evenly matched and we've started playing it like tennis so you have to win by two games. We've decided that Jenga is very underrated.

I forgot to mention last Monday but we went to the center of Saltillo to get souvenirs. I bought a wool sarape (basically a poncho) and mailed some letters. I wear my sarape almost everyday after we get home. I think it makes me play Jenga better.

On Thursday Elder Bauer flooded our house. We were doing our weekly planning and he started filling up the washer to wash some of his clothes. He forgot that it was filling up so our whole kitchen and main room floors were covered with water. We were lucky that we remembered after not too long because the water was on it's way to getting to our bedroom. We had to sweep all the water out with a broom after that. Luckily, our floors were really clean afterward.

On Saturday the members that live below us changed the lock on the gate. We misunderstood when they told us the combination so we didn't know how to get in at night. We ended up having to climb up a telephone pole by our house up onto the balcony thing. I think it looked pretty bad because our neighbors were out and saw us basically breaking into our own house...

Yesterday we had a good church service and four new investigators came to church. I was really happy that they came because it has been hard getting people to church lately. Later in the day we also had a lesson with a less-active member who we haven't seen in a long time. His family is all active so I hope that we can help him reactivate.

Here are the birds!
Curve-billed Thrasher -Cuitlacoche Piquicurvo
Lesser Goldfinch -Dominico Dorsioscuro
Common Raven -Cuervo Grande
Killdeer -Chorlito Tídio

Not a lot happened this week but we're working hard and I feel good. I hope everything is good there. I love and miss you all!

-Elder Steiner

Friday, June 3, 2016

Week 37 (05/31/2016)

Hi everyone!

We started writing a little late today so this email might be short.

This chnage there were very few changes. Our zone is only a little different and Elder Bauer and I are still in the same area together. It's kind of funny because three out of my four companions are here in my zone. Elder Gallegos came to be our zone leader and Elder Muñoz, my trainer is in our district.

This change is the last with President Rodriguez and then the new pres. arrives. I'll only have President Rodriguez for about half of my mission so it will be interesting to have a new president for this next half.

Last Monday the other elders came over to our house to play risk and to wash their clothes. Elder Bauer and I had to leave after a little while so we left the house to them. When we got back all my socks that I had left to dry were gone. Apparently Elder Muñoz had taken them by mistake so this week I've been using some other socks I got from members for Christmas. Sadly, these socks are super uncomfortable...

On Friday we went and cleaned out another missionary house after they had left the area. Us and several other elders were there cleaning and we got to take anything the others had left. I got some extra toothpaste, a scarf and a pan pipe. Elder Bauer grabbed the toilet paper and some crocs. We also took a lightbulb because one of ours had burned out.

On Saturday a kid from the ward got baptized. It was the biggest baptism celebration I have ever seen. There were all sorts of fancy photos and Book of Mormon cupcakes and whatnot. I was a little jealous, to be honest. Haha! I wonder what it's going to be like when that kid goes on his mission...

Here are the birds!
Sage Thrasher
Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
Tamaulipas Crow

That's it for now! Thanks for reading and for being awesome!
-Elder Steiner

Week 36 (5/23/2016)

Hello again everyone!

This week was the last week of the change and I think I can say it was the best one yet. We got our changes this morning and I'm staying in this area for another change at least. I'm really happy that I can stay here and hopefully baptize some of the families we found these last two weeks. Also, Elder Bauer is my favorite companion so far so staying with him is really nice.

I forgot to mention last week but we ate with the missionary couple that is here in our mission on Monday. Elder Bauer ate with them on exchanges a few weeks ago and the other day he jokingly asked the sister when we would eat with them again so they invited us to eat for p-day. Two other companionship's were there with us. We're going to make no bake cookies to say thanks for the lunch.

On Tuesday the Elder Lugo, the senior elder that fed us on Monday, came to work with us. We had several really powerful lessons with him. He also has a tablet so we were able to show videos to the investigators. Elder Lugo is a really good teacher and he's never timid so it was fun to work with him.

On Thursday a dog tried to attack me. We were walking along and offered to help some people move some furniture into their truck. They said no and their dog, chained to a tree, started to bark at us. So, we started to walk away and then we heard something happen with the chain then the dog came running around the other side of the truck. Elder Bauer just kind of stood there and didn't know what to do. I didn't want to hit the dog with it's owners right there so I just pushed my bag into it's face and started backing up. It worked pretty well because the dog couldn't get past my bag and the owners came and grabbed it within a few seconds. It was kind of scary but honestly not so bad. The best part was that my companion was just laughing at me the whole time.

On Sunday we ordained Alejandro, Jose, and Pedro to the Aaronic priesthood. I'm really happy that they all have the desire to move forward and grow as members. Alejandro was especially excited. He really wants the Melchizedek priesthood so he can give blessings to his wife and others. He's a really good convert.

We also went to Arteaga, a small city outside of Saltillo, on Sunday. There were a bunch of people there in a big market thing. We had a contacting activity where we stood up on stools and testified of the Book of Mormon. It was really cool but honestly really scary. Each of us got up and testified for about a minute. I was pretty loud and felt pretty good when I started up but then I had to get down after a minute because my legs were shaking.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that when we werre getting the baptismal font ready for Alejandro we had to use buckets to empty it. The pump wasn't working right so we had to dump the water into the sinks in the bathroom. It took a while to empty but we got it ready in time.

Here are the birds! 
Carolina Wren -Saltapared de Carolina
White-tailed Kite -Milano Coliblanco

Well, that's all for this week. Thanks for everything!
¡Les extraño y les quiero!
-Elder Steiner

Week 35 (5/16/2016)

Hi everyone!

This week was good. I have a feeling that the weeks are going to keep being good. The mission is a lot easier in month 9 than month 2. Haha!

On Tuesday we had our zone conference and the zone leaders trained us. Like I said we're focusing more on the Book of Mormon so they set up a jeopardy game with BoM questions. It was pretty fun but it got a little intense at some points. Missionaries can get really competitive about doctrine.
Later that day during lunc Elder Bauer challenged me to eat some really spicy salsa. He said that for every spoonful I put in my food he would eat two without food. Basically, we had a really fun afternoon full of stomachaces.

Tuesday is mother's day here in Mexico so we went around with our ward mission leader and delivered roses to our investigators and some less active members. They really appreciated it and it was pretty fun. Our ward mission leader is a little old so driving is scary especially with how people here drive anyway...

On Thursday we went and visited one of our investigators. He said he was busy so he couldn't have a lesson then. We offered to help him and we ended up washing his dog. It was pretty fun except for trying to catch the wet dog after washing him. Haha!

On Fridays we have our meetings with the ward mission leader. His wife usually gives us something to eat afterward. I can't remember what she gave us but I do remember that Elder Bauer and I ate some bugs. She had some beetles that supposedly help with all sorts of health problems so Elder Bauer ate some. After that I was basically obligated to eat some. It was pretty weird. I can't remember the last time I willingly ate a bug.

On Saturday we baptized Alejandro! It was really awesome. He and his wife looked really happy. I'm so glad that I can help these people to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ. The gospel is the coolest thing in the world.

Here are the birds!
Swainson's Hawk -Aguililla de Swainson
Cave Swallow -Golondrina Pueblera

The spiritual thought for this week is from the hymn Ye Elders of Israel verse 2.

2. The harvest is great, and the lab'rers are few;
But if we're united, we all things can do.
We'll gather the wheat from the midst of the tares
And bring them from bondage, from sorrows and snares.

I was thinking specifically about this the other day while listening to this hymn. A lot of the time I feel like I'm wading through a field of tares and that there is too much corruption and apostasy for wheat to grow well but that just means I'm looking at the wrong thing. If I'm topo busy thinking about the apostasy and badness then I can't focus on looking for people that will accept the gospel. I'm here to help the people lost in the midst of the tares to come unto Christ and be free.

Thank you all for your love and support! I miss you and hope that you are all well.

-Elder Steiner

Week 34 (5/09/2016)

Hello everyone! Happy (late) Mother's day!

I hope you have all had a fantastic week because I know I have. It's been a little rainy this week which makes walking around all day a little harder but it's a lot better than the heat. The biggest downside to the rain is that it gets humid when the sun is out. This morning I felt like I was already drenched. I'm glad I'm in a desert so I'm not always dealing with humidity.

Last Monday we had a fun lesson with a family that we reactivated. Elder Bauer brought a bag of tootsie pops and made me do pushups so the family could get tootsie pops. It probably won't surprise most of you that after about 20 I was having a pretty hard time. I even had to do pushups when they didn't want the sucker. We taught about the Atonement and how Christ suffered so we could get free blessings. Also, how Christ suffered for us even if we don't accept the blessings so we may as well just accept it and get our blessings in stead of having our Brother suffer in vain.

Thursday was Cinco de Mayo. I bet a lot of you had parties in your Spanish classes or with your friends and whatnot. However, here in Mexico Cinco de Mayo is basically a regular day. I didn't know it was Cinco de Mayo until I had to write something in my agenda. America makes a way bigger deal out of it than Mexico.

On Friday we had a regular day of work but at one point we were walking along and an old man came by pushing an old lady in a bicycle cart thing. We immediately offered to help and we pushed them to a little health center. They weren't really interested in having a lesson but it was nice to help them out.

On Sunday I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting. Luckily I was actually warned a few days in advance instead of at the beginning of sacrament meeting. Haha! I also only had to give a short talk because the sister that spoke before went for about 25 minutes. I gave a little talk on missionary work and how it's everyone's responsibility. I think it went a lot better than my last talk. :)

Today we had a pretty relaxing pday. We played chess (I lost) and then risk (I won) and we got back from looking for souvenirs a little while ago. We also started reading the Book of Mormon over again as a mission. I'm going to do it all in Spanish this time.

We are going to baptize this Saturday! His name is Alejandro and his wife is a return missionary. He originally wanted to be baptized in June but he prayed about it and decided to be baptized this week! They want to get sealed in the temple so next year when they go they could invite me and I'd get to go to the temple during my mission!
Some other baptisms that we had lined up for this month because people keep making excuses about coming to church. Luckily we found a new family of three who are super excited so we might baptize them the 28th of May.

The spiritual thought this week comes from Elder Holland's talk from the October conference. "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child."
I am extremely grateful that I can testify of the love of a mother. I don't know if I'll ever really understand how much my mother loves me but I can see quite a bit of evidence in all that she has done for me. I know mother's day was yesterday but there isn't a day that we shouldn't be grateful for our mothers and all they do for us. Thank you for everything, mom.

I didn't see any cool birds this week. Sorry...

Thanks for reading! I hope you're all well!

Les amo y les extraño.
-Elder Steiner