Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 100 (08/14/2017)

Hello everyone!

Well, I hope that you get a chance to read or see this email before I get home. This week I finish my time as a missionary. Once it started I thought a lot about these last weeks (probably too much) and now that they're here I never thought it would actually arrive. I don't really know how to feel to be finishing these two years and return to normal life. Haha!

I feel good about everything I've done here but the idea of going home and not being a missionary is a feeling I can't really understand. I'm really going to miss the friends and experiences I have made here. These two years have changed my life and things won't be the same after this. I have learned to love missionary work and Mexico. I have really learned to love the people of Coahuila and have loved the opportunities to serve them. I have loved all of my companions even with the difficult moments. I have learned from all of them and I have learned something new in every place I have been. I will never forget the time I have spent here nor the people I have met.

I am so grateful to have served as a missionary for these two years. I know that what I have learned here will change my life forever. I testify of the importance of missionary work and the blessings that we can all receive through our service. Heavenly Father loves all of His children and he wants us all to have the chance to live His gospel. The gospel of Jesus Christ changes lives and gives us true happiness. I've seen the change in the families and individuals I have taught and I have seen the change in my own life. The gospel is the only way we can improve and become like Jesus Christ. I ant everyone in the world to hear this message and to apply it in their lives. It makes me so sad to see those around me who don't accept the message. I don't get angry with them I just wish that they knew the joy they could have.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of Christ and that we are all God's servants. He expects much of us. If we dedicate ourselves to Him and sacrifice our will for His we can become something so much greater. I know this is the truth. I know because God has shown it to me.

I love you all and I am very excited to see you all in a few days. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me and for all your support.

-Elder Steiner 

Week 99 (08/11/2017)

Hello everyone!

I'm sorry for not writing for the last two or three weeks. These last few weeks of my mission have been pretty crazy but they have been really good and I've learned a lot. My companions are doing really well and I'm trying to teach them all that I have learned. President Cahoon asked me to teach the whole zone everything I know but I feel like they already know everything I do. Haha! This zone is fantastic and I was glad to have worked with all of them.

Two weeks ago we had a wedding! Our investigators Armando and Ruby were married on the 22nd of July and we were the witnesses along with the other companionship. It was really great especially because they were able to be baptized along with their two eight year-old daughters, Kimberly and Sherlin, last Saturday on the 29th. They are such a great family and they will be well supported by the ward here.

This coming week is my last full week of missionary work. Next Tuesday I go to Saltillo and then on Thursday I fly home! I'll write a finishing email next week because I'm about out of time. I hope you are all well and that you have a great week.

See you soon!
-Elder Steiner

Week 94 (7/17/2017)

Hello everyone!

This week was really good but also really busy. On Wednesday morning we left here for Saltillo and were in the bus all day. We got to Saltillo around 8:00 that night and slept in the assistants' house. We played Risk until about 1:00 in the morning so none of us slept well...great idea...

The next day we had our missionary leadership council. President really wants us to help change the culture of the mission. A lot of the change is coming from the leaders he took from our zone and put in other zones so that's really cool. We also played a volleyball tournament after the meeting and President and Sister Cahoon won... President is really good at volleyball for his age.

We headed home that night around 6:00. We didn't get home until about 3:30 in the morning so that was rough. Lucky for me I had to get on another bus at 9:00 that morning to do a baptismal interview in another city. Another elder and I went and stayed there for the interviews and baptisms. We left at 9:00 Friday night and got home at 12:00. Overall, it was a lovely weekend of travelling.

On Friday night we had a huge activity in the church. It was set up as a sort of tour so that the investigators could learn more about the church and the gospel. We had a lot of members volunteer and many investigators came to learn. It was a success because every companionship had new investigators come.

Sunday was good. We had a good chuch meeting and we had several investigators come with us. Church is really busy as a missionary because I alwa
 need to be running to help investigators and members. It will be weird to have a Sacrament meeting without having to take a call from other missionaries or always be pending of the investigators.

Today marks one month until I get home. Time has gone by really fast but it has been a fantastic experience. We'll see what more I can do in these next four weeks.

Thank you for reading! I hope you can follow my crazy week. I love you all!

-Elder Steiner

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Week 91 (6/26/2017)

Hello everyone!

I'm sorry for not sending an email last week. I was sending a few things to President and I also got distracted by some bird thing but whatever. The important thing is that I'm writing now!

This week was kind of busy. We have decided to help the zone a lot by doing divisions with all the elders so every week we do about two divisions or so. It works out well because we get closer with the others and we help them learn more. It's also a great way to see how the others work and learn from them. In this zone it's especially good because we are only 10 and 2 of the elders are in a different city so we can easliy get with all of them.

The zone ended the month with 11 baptisms which is what we had last month. It's good because we are meeting the mission goal but I feel like we can do better. This zone is one of the best I have ever been in and these areas are great. I have been here for more than six months now so I hope to finish off well here. My companion and I have the goal of baptizing 13 more people before I go home so we're going to work really hard to meet the goal. Right now we are teaching a kid named Jeremy. He is 10 and his grandmother is a member. We found him walking on the street one day when he shouted at us so we decided to see what was up. The next time we saw him he told us he wanted to be baptized and that he had told his grandma we were teaching him. We hadn't even mentioned baptism with him and he already wants to do it! I love when miracles like that happen.

Today we went to look for a new house because the owner of our house needs it for her sister. Luckily we found some houses in our same neighborhood. We'll see how the change goes but it should be fine. Besides, almost all the houses here have the same pattern. I feel like every neighborhood I go to is the same. Haha!

This weekend we will be holding a soccer tournament for the youth. Missionaries can't play soccer but I think we might play volleyball afterward.

Okay, well thanks for reading. I think that's it for now. I hope you have a good week!

-Elder Steiner

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Week 88 (06/05/2017)

Hello everyone!

Today is a little crazy because President started this phone meeting thing (where all the leaders have a conference call) so I don't have a lot of time to write everything. Then again, this week hasn't been too crazy.

The biggest thing is that we were able to baptize Eliza on Tuesday. It was really difficult but really cool because:
1. The church ran out of water so the font was only a few inches full
2. The sister is really old and fragile right now so we had to have three elders with her in the font
3. The elders got together and started filling the font with buckets from the neighbors house to get at least a few feet of water
4. Three of us got in the font and sat her down on a tiny chair from the primary so she could easily go into the water

It ended up being a great baptism and she was so happy. We are going to visit her right now to see if her family wants to start coming to church with us. :)

Elder Reid also baptized this week in the other area. His name is Hector and he is really cool. He wants to serve a mission so a year from now he will be able to be a missionary too!

Today we also learned about the changes but only one thing changed in our zone. Elder Reid went to Saltillo 😥 He is a zone leader now! I'm so proud of my little trainee. He will do great things.

Well, I'm out of time because I need to call people now. I hope you all have a great week! We should have two baptisms this Saturday. Their names are Lizet and Jorge. I will let you know what happens! I love you all!

-Elder Steiner

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 87 (05/29/2017)

Happy Monday everyone!

Like I said last week we had some crazy changed in the zone the beginning of last week and I have a new companion. His name is Elder Ibarra and he has nine months as a missionary. He is from Acapulco and is a really good missionary. President wants me to get him ready to lead more in the mission so as a new leader I have to teach a new leader. Haha! Talk about the blind leading the blind... Just kidding but it is a little stressful. However, I'm certain we will have a lot of success here.

This week we had the chance to help another couple get married! We put a lot of effort in last weekend to help them sell and set up a raffle to earn money for the wedding. Their names are Mary and Eduardo and they have four little kids. Mary was meeting with the missionaries for a while but her husband never listened. A few weeks ago they had some problems and we were worried they would get separated but then we started teaching them together. We taught a lot about the importance of the family and Eduardo loved it. They were very happy to be married and baptized. I attached some photos of the baptism and when they got married. They got married at 12:00 and baptized at 5:00 the same day. I baptized Eduardo and Elder Salazar (our district leader) baptized Mary.

This week we also worked a lot with the other elders in our zone to get them going and excited for the coming months. The mission goal is one baptism for every missionary every month. This month we were able to meet the goal and then some so I have high hopes for Acuña. President wants us to be an example for everyone so we are working with faith and diligence.

Lately we have been going every Monday to play volleyball in the church with the other  missionaries. Today we also played some other games and it gets surprisingly competitive among missionaries. It's really fun though because we can become more united as a zone and gain trust.

Missionary work is really great and I am a little sad that my time is running out. I only have eleven weeks left here so I am going to do my best to get everything done.

Tomorrow we should have a baptism. Her name is Eliza and she is really sick. We taught her a while ago and we are going to baptize and confirm tomorrow. She is a really sweet lady and I'm glad we can help her. Elder Reid will baptize her because I taught her with him.

Thanks for reading! No bird news this week. I'll let you know next week. I love and miss you all!

-Elder Steiner


Week 86 (05/22/2017)

Well, I haven't written these weekly emails in two weeks so I don't really remember everything I need to say so I think I will just give a summary of these last few weeks.

First off, we haven't baptized in two weeks so you are all updated on that. This week we will baptize two investigators. They are going to get married on Saturday and then baptized afterward. They are really great and I have seen a huge change in the two of them. They have four little kids who love us and I know that the gospel will help this family a lot.

This week was my first full week working with Elder Painter in my area because before that we were with Elder Reid working both areas which was crazy. Elder Painter is a great missionary and we got a lot done in the time we had together. Now there have been a few changes in the zone but I'm excited to see how things work out.

Elder Painter got a call from President on Friday about some changes in the mission and it turns out that Painter is going to be the new assistant. Woo hoo! Now, I have had less than a full change (six weeks) as a zone leader and I am now zone leader 1. That means that I am 100% in charge of this zone and I need to do everything possible to help the other missionaries have success. I have never done this before and most missionaries have a little bit more time as leaders before they do it. Apparently, President has lots of confidence in me. I still don't know why exactly but I'm going to do my best. :) The leaders of the mission have a lot riding on us to keep the mission excited and working hard.

My new companion is named Elder Ibarra. He was part of this zone and President decided to move him up as ZL 2. He is still kind of new but he has lots of potential. I'm excited to work with him.

Thanks for reading even if this was just a summary. I didn't say what has actually been happening but I hope you get the gist of it.

This week I saw a Yellow-crowned Nightheron. That's a bird I have never seen before. I was close to getting a picture but I'm not fast enough.

Have a great week! I love you all!

-Elder Steiner

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Week 82 (04/24/2017)

Happy end of the cange! I guess that's not as significant for all of you but it sure is great for us. :)

This week went really well with lots of good lessons and a miracle baptism! The person we baptized is named Diana. She is ten and her mother and older brother were baptized a little more than a year ago. It was a very special baptism because Elder Reid and I have been able to baptize every week the previous five weeks but we didn't have anyone ready for this past Saturday. We fasted and prayed specifically to find or recognize someone who could be baptized this week. The next day, Sunday, Diana and her family came to church. Her mom, Lorenza is a convert but she hadn't stayed active because of difficulties in her work schedule. We had visited with Lorenza and Diana before but we hadn't gone very much and not recently. I had actually forgotten who they were when they got to church... We visited them on Tuesday and taught about repentance and baptism then asked Diana if she would like to be baptized. She and her mom both said yes so we put a baptismal goal for the 22nd. We taught her everything this week and she was ready to be baptized. It was one of the coolest experiences I have had in my whole mission. I really have a testimony of the power of fasting and faith.

This change has been my most successful in my whole mission. I have learned a lot from Elder Reid and I am sad that I won't be his companion for much longer. I am now going to be a zone leader but I'm staying here in Acuña with Elder Painter, my new companion and we will be in the other part of the branch I am currently in. Elder Reid will actually be with us in a trio for about two weeks until his companion gets here. That means that for two weeks we will be working the whole branch which is a lot of area, but between the two we already have six potential baptisms in these next two weeks. Woo hoo!

I'm not sure if this will be my last area or not but we'll just have to see. I've already got less time left on my mission than I have been with Elder Reid... That's crazy!! I'm going to be home before I know it.

Well, I hope you are all well and that you have had a good week as well. We'll see how this next change goes. :)

Elder Steiner

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Week 81 (4/17/2017)

Happy Easter everyone!

This week has been about normal. Then again, my normal weeks have been really good lately. :)

This week we did some special activities with the district for our weekly meeting on Tuesday. The zone leaders started a relay race in the zone with teams to get us to exercise more. We lost the race so that was kind of a downer. Haha! After that I had to teach the district so to keep them from getting bored I try and do activities. This week, in honor of Easter we hid eggs around the chapel (Thanks to Nan and Grandpa for the plastic eggs!) for the Elders to find. We made it into a little competition so it was fun. I think I'm finally getting a hold of this district leader stuff.

On Thursday we started helping our convert fix his house. His house had burned a while ago so the roof is pretty bad. The Elders in the branch and we went to help replace the damaged beams. We worked all the morning on Friday and Saturday to replace beams and then shingle the roof. It ended up looking really good and we started teaching a friend of our convert who is helping with the roof! He seems really interested and has had a lot of changes from his old life to now.

On Saturday we baptized three people! Liliana, Emily, and Cristian were baptized at 7:00 Saturday night. I was able to baptize Liliana and Emily then Elder Reid baptized Cristian. It was a great baptism and the whole family has really been integrated into the branch here.

The next day we were able to do the confirmations and then ginve the Aaronic preisthood to five of our converts, Cristian included. We have been working really hard here and during our time we have gotten three new families to come to church and be baptized! This area has been a great belssing and I'm really happy to have had these experiences. I know that the Lord is preparing people in all places to receive his gospel.

Today we went to the dam with some members. First we went and took pictures with the eagle statues on the border and then we went to a little creek to have lunch. I was able to see two new birds and I was able to hear a canyon wren from on top of the dam. While at the creek we got inspired and started building a little wall in the water to make a baptismal font for this weekend when the other Elders baptize. I think it would be so cool to baptize someone in a river. I'm going to do it before I finish my mission.

Well, I hope you all had a fantastic Easter and that you have a great week this week. Thanks for writing and for all your prayers and love!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Steiner

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 80 (04/10/2017)

Happy Easter week!
This past week was a little stressful but very good. We were able to baptize two investigators on Saturday named Juan Jose and Juan Jose Jr. The baptism ended up being a little tricky because the dad only has one leg and he can't support himself on his leg so we had to put him in the font with his wheel chair and than dunk him backwards. It was a little tricky because his clothes started to float so there were three of us in the font pushing all of the clothes down to get him fully immersed. The son's baptism was also kind of tricky because he is afraid of water and had a little bit of ainxiety. I tried to baptize him the first time and he was almost under but then he shot out a hand to grab my shoulder. After that we had to help him calm down enough to basically sit down in the font and immerse himself. It was kind of stressful but we were able to get it done and I will always remember this baptism. I have now baptized, over the course of my mission, two people with one leg and two people who are scared of water.
Today we went and took a self defense class from one of the members. He invited us to try it out and it was really interesting. I have never had to deal with anyone trying to attack me or rob me but at least now I can pretend I would be sort of safe. haha! We also went and bought a tie and a wqallet for our ward mission leader. The other elders wanted to give him a gift so we all pitched in to help out.
Elder Reid, my companion, and I get along really well. I have always gotten along with my companions but Elder Reid and I are really similar. He doesn't like birds as much as I do and he makes fun of me for it but at least we work well together. haha! This has also been my longest companionship. I have now been with Elder Reid for almost five months which is about a month and a half longer than my longest companionships. I think that in two weeks we will probably be changed but these will be some good two weeks.
I hope you all have a great week and that you can all spend some time to think about the last week of our Saviour's life. Chirst is our perfect example and we should all stirve to live as He did. Also, you should all watch the Prince of Peace video on Happy Easter week! 
Con mucho amor,
Elder Steiner

Week 79 (04/03/2017)

Hello everyone and happy General Conference!
This week was really good with a wedding (finally) and Carlos's baptism! Then we finished with General Conference which was even better.
We had a lot of success this week and found 17 new investigators, baptized, and had seven investigators come to General Conference.
We had our baptism on Friday which turned out really well. We were a little slow getting everything together and we had to run around a little bit but we go it all done. We rode in the back of a truck with several other elders for most of the running around part so that was a little rough but we pulled it out in the end! Now all of Carlos's family is baptized so they can start preparing to go to the temple next year and hopefully Elder Reid will be able to go with them!
Friday night there was a Relief Society activity with lots of desserts so that was a great was to finish a crazy day.
On Saturday we had general conference all day and we even ate in the church. All of the sessions were really great and I can't wait to read them later. We had a crazy storm in the the middle of the night on Saturday and I woke up three times. Twice from lightning and once from tornado alarms. It was really crazy but we were all okay.
Sunday was also really good and I really liked all of the talks. We were able to watch all of the sessions in English in the church office. That was really convenient.
Today we had lunch with the zone leaders because we met our goals for last week.
Birds: There are a bunch of Scissor-tailed Flycatchers around here lateley. They are really pretty birds. I see them fighting sometimes as we walk in the morning.
That's about it for this week. Thanks for everything! I hope you have a great week.
Con mucho amor,
Elder Steiner

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Week 76 (3/13/2017)

Sorry I missed last week but I'm back safe and happy in Acuña! I was not able to write last week because I had to go to Saltillo for my visa. I'm glad that it went a lot more smoothly than last time. At least I wasn't illegal for two days like last time. Haha! The secretaries are doing a little better now than a year ago.

This week was really good and I'm glad that I'm still here in Acuña. Today is changes but our whole zone is staying the same. I'm even staying with Elder Reid for another six weeks! Last week the assistants told me I was about to be chosen as secretary but President chose another Elder instead. I'm glad that I get to stay here now because we had a lot of success this week. Even though being secretary would be really fun I'm glad to be here with Elder Reid.

We are going to have a baptism this Saturday and then three more next Saturday if everything works out! I'm really glad because everything just seemed to work out perfectly so we can have these baptisms. One of the investigators was in Saltillo for her cancer treatment (which went well and she is almost cured) so I was worried she wouldn't be able to meet with us. We went to her house looking for her granddaughter (also going to be baptized) and she was home! She bore her testimony to us of the BoM and said that she was finally sure that she wanted to be baptized. The girl to be baptized this week is Lucia and the three next week are Carlos, Jenifer, and Lilia. Please pray for them and that they can be baptized!

Along with our success in baptismal dates we were also able to find 20 new investigators! It was really cool and we were able to meet our goal. I think that by looking for more people we have been showing our faith and God has blessed us for it.

This week I saw a Peregrine Falcon for the first time in a looooong time. It was messing around with some swallows and they were mad so they chsed it and picked at it's tail. Little birds can be really brave. I also saw Sandhill Cranes on my bus ride to Saltillo. That was pretty cool.

That's about it for this week. Thanks for everything and I hope you have a great week! If you work with faith God will bless you no matter what!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Steiner

Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 74 (02/27/2017)

Happy Monday everyone!

This week was average in terms of missionary work. We had an exciting pday last week with the other elders and then on Tuesday we had our district meeting. Lately we have been focusing a lot on finding new investigators and our district hasn't been completing very well, us included. I gave a pretty good training paired with an inspirational video from the zone leaders which actually helped out a lot. After the meeting we went and contacted new people in the other elders' area. All together we found 13 new investigators in under two hours. We plan on having activities like that in a different area each week to help keep us going finding new people to teach. By the end of the week we had a total of 60 new investigators as a district so I think we're doing pretty well. Haha!

The next day we did divisions with the zone leaders and helped them with their baptism that afternoon. I went with Elder Painter to his area but Elder Painter never uses maps so I was kind of in charge of getting us to the lessons because he would get us lost. Divisions are really fun especially when I get to learn a lot from the other elder.

Yesterday we had a good time in church and I also got some packages! Woo hoo! We had three investigators in church which was really nice and we also helped out with the choir that night. Elder Reid can sight read music like a champion.

Our baptism for this week ended up not happening because our investigator didn't feel ready. That was kind of hard but we are shooting for the eleventh of March so we can get him baptized soon. I'm really glad for the work I have done here in Acuña and I hope I can keep it up before I leave here.

Well, that's it for this week! Not a lot of bird news this week but I'll keep my eyes out for next week.

Thanks for everything! I hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Steiner

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Week 73 (2/20/2017)

Hello everyone! I hope you have has a great President's day! Mine has been pretty normal but at least I get the day off with you.

This week was pretty normal. It was a little harder because we had to budget our taxi money a lot so there was a lot of walking instead of taxi rides. We were really blessed by members and investigators who gave us some extra money to get by. I really saw the tender mercies of the Lord this week.

I have also been a little sick this week but not too bad. It has made it awkward in lessons when I'm pulling piece after piece of toilet paper out of my pocket but I guess they understand. Haha!

The craziest day was Saturday because we had to run from lesson to lesson and we had to be pending all day for the other elders' baptism. To top it off it was Elder Reid's birthday so we got two cakes which are still in our fridge.

Today we went and had a picnic with some converts of the other elders. We went to a little river and I saw a bunch of cool birds. I saw a vermilion flycathcer for the first time ever which was really cool. I even identified it from far away because of it's flying habits. I felt like a birding pro. Haha!

Well, that's it for this week. I think we are going to baptize this Saturday but I'll let you all know how it goes.

Mucho amor!
-Elder Steiner

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Week 72 (02/13/17)

Hello everyone! Happy Valentines day (unless you're a missionary)! ❤❤❤

This week has been extra good. We finally had interviews and zone conferences so we got to see President and Sister Cahoon along with Elder Gallegos, my comp from Piedras Negras.

We had zone conference on Wednesday. President is putting a lot of emphasis on keeping the flame of faith alive. I feel like there are so many things that we need to change as missionaries to have the most success but it's really hard sometimes...I feel like I need to change so much in order to do everything we need to and we are trying really hard. President shared a quote by Joseph Smith about how even the least of us can have the same visions he had if we just have sufficient faith. It still boggles my mind that if I just have enough faith I can be visited by angels and I can speak with Heavenly Father but I know it's possible. I think it's just going to take a lot of work...

On Thursday we had interviews which was really good. I love talking with President because he is always encouraging us to do better and helping us improve. President helps us so much and he really wants us to improve to help more people receive the Gospel. This work is such a miracle. I don't know how a bunch of young men like us could have any success if this weren't the truth. Haha!

For the rest of the day Thursday we worked with Elder Gallegos. He came out with us and helped us find new people and gave us help in the lessons. It's fun to work with my old companions and see how they have changed.

On Saturday we found a new family of six. They accepted us really quickly which was kind of surprising and they were really friendly. I feel like they will progress pretty well.

Until now I have seen more than sixty birds. I think I could do a little better in Utah but for being in one place in the middle of the Mexican desert I think sixty is pretty good for two months. Haha! I'm pretty sure I saw some pelicans today. They were far away so I need to consult my book.

Well, that's it for this week! I hope that you are all well and that you have had a good week. Everything is good here and the work is marching along.

Con mucho amor,
Elder Steiner

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Week 71 (2/6/2017)

Happy Monday everyone!

I kind of ran out of time to write today...Sorry! I had to write a lot of stuff in my email to President Cahoon.

This week was good. We found lots of new investigators and we are working toward the new goal that President set. Every companionship is supposed to be getting 16 new investigators each week. Mathematically if we get 16 each week we will baptize every week. That's really crazy and kind of hard but I'm confident that we can do it especially if we follow the Spirit. The Spirit is key in this work.

I now have 68 birds since the 26th of December. I think I'm doing pretty well for being in one city. Maybe if I go to Saltillo before the end I can rack up my big year numbers. Haha! The last few nights we have seen huge flocks of what I think are Black-bellied Whistling Ducks. It was crazy last night because we were walking by the river and all of a sudden the air is filled with crazy whistling noises and then a huge flock of birds appears over us. Birds are so cool. 🐦

Well, that's all for this week. I hope you are all well and that you have a great week. God loves us all and has a plan for each and every one of us!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Steiner

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Week 70 (01/31/2017)

Happy pday!

Today has been a pretty good pday. We have been a little busy with haircuts and extra lunch with our neighbors but still good. I think that my hair got cut a little too short this time but whatever. I feel like no matter how they cut it here it always grows in fine. Missionary hair must be magic in some way. Haha!

On Tuesday we went to a missionary homecoming and sang some special hymns for him. It turns out that out of all the missionaries in our zone Elder Reid and I have the most musical experience (I still feel like I have very little) so whenver they ask us to do special songs he plays the  piano and I have to direct everyone. It usually turns out okay.

This week was pretty eventful with a bunch of baptisms on Saturday. Our branch ended up having eight baptisms in one day. We baptized three kids and the other elders baptized a family and another girl. There was also a child baptism for the branch. It was a really good day and the week leading up to the baptisms was really fulfilling. Elder Reid and I even bought some 9 peso (50 cent) wafer cookies to celebrate and treat ourselves.

Today is the end of my 12th change. Only five more to go and then I come home....Only a year ago I thought that I would never be this far along. Much less training, being a district leader, and being able to baptize. I've learned so much as a missionary and I know it's all due to the Atonement. Heavenly Father has taken me and molded me into something better. I still don't know what's coming in these next seven months but I'm really looking forward to growing and learning.

Thank you all for everything! I hope you all have a good week!

-Elder Steiner

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Week 67 (1/9/2017)

Happy Monday everyone!

This week has been pretty normal. Not a lot happened but I do feel really good in my new area with Elder Reid. It has been a little stressful these last few weeks but I feel like We're finally in a good rythm here. Working with members has been kind of tricky not knowing where they live or who they are but it's getting easier now.

This week we found a really great family. The mother is a member of the church from several years ago but hasn't gone to church in a long time. She has three kids (all older than 8 (Woooo!)) and her husband isn't a member either. Her nephew is also living with them so that totals to five baptisms if we can teach them. The kids really like us and I love teaching kids.

Elder Reid has been learning a lot. I feel like he's going to be a way better missionary than me. His Spanish ability holds him back a bit but he has learned everything so quickly. I'm really happy to be training him and to have this chance to share some of what I've learned.

I'm seeing the impact that the Holy Ghost can have on my life every day. I can really feel proptings to contact certain houses or to use certain questions in lessons. I'm really grateful that I can be a missionary and have these experiences. Even though I haven't baptized very many people I have seen changes in lives and in my own life.

I forgot my bird journal again this week. I'll bring it next week to report on my progress. Haha! Birds are so great and thanks again to Ellie for my new notebook.

Thanks to everyone for writing and for your love! I love you all and I hope you all have a great week.

Elder Steiner

Week 66 (1/2/2017)

Happy New Year and Christmas!

Sorry for not writing last week. Pday got a little crazy...We went to the dam and we didn't get back until about 5:45 so we had to write to president super quickly.

These last two weeks have been pretty busy. We had lots of activites with the branch and as missionaries the week of Christmas. There was a branch activity Thursday and then a mission activity FridaySaturday was Christmas Eve and then Christmas on Sunday. That whole weekend was really busy. 

This week was a little less busy but we still had a lot to do. On Saturday we didn't get to work at all because a dog bit my companion. What a great way to spend your first New Year's Eve as a missionary...It was only a tiny bite but it was pretty annoying because we drove around to a bunch of different hospitals and none had the injection we needed so we went to do it today. He's fine incase any of you are worried. We washed the bite with alchohol and put a bandage and everything. My companion does, however, avoid all the dogs on the street now. Haha!

I got some packages on Christmas morning so it looks like Santa stopped by the mission offices to bring the packages to Acuña. He even put them under the tiny Christmas tree! Ellie sent me a little notebook made out of an old Peterson bird guide which was really cool. I've decided to use it now as my journal to record all the new species I see. Starting from the 26th (when we went to the Amistad Dam) I am going to record every new bird I see until I get home. I might make it like a mini big year. Haha!

Today we finally got around to reorganizing the whole house. It was a little disorganized from the last elders and we haven't had much time to clean it all up until today. It looks way better than before.

Well, that's it for today. I hope that you all had a great Christmas and New Year. About eight months until I get home so I'm going to make them good!

Elder Steiner

Week 64 (12/19/2016)

Happy Monday everyone!

This week has been really busy but really great. On Monday after I sent my email I had to run to pack all my stuff. I ended up packing all my bags in a few minutes. I had to put all my wet clothes in a trash bag because I couldn't put them with the clean ones. It made travelling a little tricky. However, I did manage to get the trumpet in a bag this time!

We went to Saltillo for the new elders and slept in the secretaries house. There were a bunch of elders that night so not a lot of sleeping. Haha!

The next day we had a training for trainers and then for the new missionaries. We then got our new companions and mine is Elder Reid! He's from Provo and he's a great new missionary. He doesn't speak Spanish yet but he's learning really quickly and I am really glad to be with him. We're into lots of the same stuff so I expect to get along with him really well.

We're opening area so we have been working a lot to find new investigators and We already have a baptism for this week! His name is Rodrigo and he's eight years old. He's going to be baptized on the 24th!

This area is really cool. There are several little rivers that go through our area and I saw some ducks and coots the other day. I think I'll be able to see some other water fowl soon.

Well, I'm already out of time so I think I need to go now but I hope you all have a great week and a great Christmas! This week is going to be full of activities and stuff so there will be a lot to say next week.

¡Feliz Navidad!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Steiner

Week 63 (12/12/2016)

Happy Monday!

This week was really good. A little slow work wise but we had some great activities. On Wednesday we had a contacting activity in the main plaza of Monclova with all the missionaries here. We showed the new Christmas video, Light the World, and contacted the families there. We also sang Christmas hymns for a while and a news guy came and filmed us with his phone. I was directing the hymns so after one he stopped us and asked me what we were doing. He asked if we were Jehovah's Witnesses as well. Now, for the second time in my life I have been interviewed on the news for something church related. :D

On Thursday we had our Christmas devotional with President Cahoon. We had a great meal with all the missionaries and then some other elders did a small Christmas program with President playing the piano and three other elders singing for us. They read about Christ's mission and his birth between the songs. At the end Sister Cahoon and President Cahoon spoke. Lots of elders were crying because of the spiritual atmosphere. After the devotional we had cake and a gift exchange. It was really fun to see all the missionaries together and to hear from President.

Well, today I found out that after five weeks in Monclova I'm leaving. Last night the assistants called me to tell me that I would be a new district leader and trainer so today I'm headed to Saltillo to meet my kid! Also, I found out last night that I'm changing areas. So, I'm going to be a leader, trainer, and getting to an area I have never been in before. Woo hoo! Responsibility x3! We'll see how this next change goes. It's also going to be seven weeks long.

Well, that's all for this week. I hope that you all have a great week!

-Elder Steiner

Week 62 (12/5/2016)

Hello everyone!

This week we started off the Chirstmas initiative #LIGHTtheWORLD with a bunch of service on Thursday. We took some pictures of the work we did but I fogot my card adaptor so I couldn't upload them today. In the morning we helpped a less active sister cut the branches that were hanging over her house. It was a lot of work because we only had a hand saw and a hatchet but we cut them all just fine. After that we went to help an older sister to paint her house. We ended up eating at the second service we did so that made our schedule a little easier.

On Friday we had exchanges. I stayed here in our area with our district leader. We ended up contacting a lot abd found some really good new investigators. In the evening we also went to the farewell for one of the missionaries leaving from the ward. It was good because we also found several new people to teach there.

On Saturday we worked with a youth named Noel who is preparing for his mission. He helped us contact and then came to eat with us. I really like working with return and future missionaries because they are always so excited about the work. That night we we're going to head back toward our house to work when we ran into Noel again. He said he felt like he should visit a specific family and we ended up going with him. It turns out that the sister we visited had been praying for us to visit her about two hours before. We had a really cool lesson with her and her daughter and we helped her answer some questions she had.

On Sunday we had fast and testimony meeting. It was really good and I felt really close to the members here. There were some crazy kids running up and down the aisles in the meeting but it made me think about how patient Godis with us and with all of our outbursts and mistakes. It was also really rainy yesterday. It made work a little harder but it was all good.

Well, that's all for this week. I hope that you all keep working of the Christmas initiative and that you have a great week!

Con mucho amor,
Elder Steiner


Week 61 (11/28/2016)

Happy Monday! 

This week was normal again. Even with Thanksgiving it was a normal week of work because no one celebrates it down here. I didn't even realize it was Thanksgiving until I was planning for the week on Thursday morning. When I noticed I called another American missionary and asked him what day it was and he didn't notice either. We were both pretty surprised that morning. Haha!

This week we also had stake conference. The stake president here is really young but he was really powerful. He was really direct with the stake about what needs to change and how to improve. He also had all the missionaries go up and stand with him to show us to the stake.

This week the Church also sent our the new Chrismas initiative. It's called Light the World. We have special cards and everything. The Church really went the extra mile with it. There is a main video and 25 little videos for each day leading to Christmas. It is focused on service and spreading Christ's light to the whole world. I hope each of you can go check out and start the challenge. To start of December all the misionaries are supposed to do four hours of service. We are also going to try and do each of the daily services. Lately we have been sharing the video and scriptures realated to service with all the members. Please look it up and share it.

That's it for this week. Thanks for everything! I love and miss you all!


-Elder Steiner

Week 59 (11/15/2016)

Hello everyone!

This email might have to be short but this week was great!

I got to my new area on Tuesday morning and it has gone really well. We already have two people ready for baptism this Saturday! Their names are Julio and Alen. Elder Gomez baptized Alen's brother a few weeks ago.

My companion is Elder Gomez. He's from Mexico City and has 10 months on the mission. He has been without a companion for the last five weeks so he worked with the zone leaders for these past weeks. We are basically learning this area together.

This area is pretty interesting. It has a lot of restaurants and stores. A lot more than in any of my other areas. However, it is a really big area and the streets are really confusing. All of the main streets go in different directions and I have difficulty orienting myself sometimes. But, I'm really excited to work here.

Our house is nice and has plenty of forks (unlike my first house with one broken fork) and the beds are big! It is also cleaner than most houses. The worst thing is that we don't have running water and that we've had to organize a lot since no one has been living there for a few weeks.

Yesterday there was an area wide conference for all of Mexico. Elder Nelson and Elder Hales spoke along with Sister McConkie and Elder de Hoyos. President Nelson was really direct about keeping the commandments and paying tithing. I enjoyed it even though it was difficult to get to know the ward members in a conference. Haha!

Well, I'm looking forward to this area and I'll let you all know how the baptism goes this weekend. I hope you all have a good week!

-Elder Steiner