Monday, July 27, 2015

After The Trial Of Our Faith

Dear Family,

I am really glad to hear that everything is going good at home. This week has been a testimony builder. We had a miracle right off the bat. We were finding in a neighborhood and we meet this guy named Wilmot. We were talking with him and out of now where, a member starts walking by and he shares his testimony. Thank you Brother King!!! Wilmot became interested and invited us in right then to teach him. The lesson went well, he had a lot of questions and he committed to Baptism right then! A miracle! Find-Teach-Commit all in one hour!

On Tuesday, I had my first Missionary Exchange! It was kind of different. I went with Elder Mousser, one of the Zone Leaders. He is in a biking area, so I got to ride a bike. I rode Elder Nelson's bike because the Zone Leaders were borrowing it already. We rode for one hour. Now I am REALLY grateful for the car. Riding a bike is hard work, but it has its benefits. We could stop and talk to everyone we see, where as in the car it is more difficult to stop. Over all I think it was a good experience.

The time after the exchange was pretty dry. Almost all of our plans fell through for both Wednesday and Thursday. We ended up doing a lot of extra contacting. I felt pretty discouraged Thursday evening and I think Elder Nelson could tell. He told me that we hit a Faith Barrier (That is what he and Elder Green call it). He shared with me Ether 12:6 that said "... for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." He told me that we just have to pull through the hard times. God give us trials so we can become better, and if we pull through, still being obedient and faithful, we will receive blessings. That was a turn for me. I decided to continue on, believing that it will all turn out good, and that we can find people to bring to the Gospel. What was promised did come true. Miracle after miracle happened Friday, Saturday, and Sunday! We found 4 new investigators, one of which is already committed to baptism and progressing!! My first progressing investigator! Yay! I am so excited for them! We also received a referral and taught a lot of lessons on Sunday! It was so great! I know that the Lord is looking out for us. If we show Him our love for Him and strive to do His work, even through the hard times, blessings will come!

Next transfer, we will be getting 28 new missionaries! Wow! We are opening a few new areas, one of which is another Scenic Hill! That means that Elder Nelson and I have to prepare enough people for the next missionaries, or in other words, do the work of two companionships. I know the Lord is hastening his work in this area, I have seen it this week. 

I miss you and love you! Thank you for everything!


Elder Steiner.

P.S. Elder Nelson's birthday is tomorrow, the 28th! 

 ​Elder Nelson and I in the car today.
My District.

Yep, lots of trees. Every road here has walls of trees. Also notice the little white dots on the road. They don't paint all the road lines in Washington. It rains so often, it is just better to put reflective bumps in the road. I finally got to see some rain on Sunday, by the way.

Monday, July 20, 2015

What Parade?

Dear Family,

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BETHANY!!!! I would tell you not to grow when I am gone, but I guess that won't happen. Have you ever heard of missionaries being in a parade? I haven't, until now! 

Every missionary in my district had the opportunity to be a part of the Covington Days Parade! It was a totally different experience. Instead of stopping to talk to people, like what I am getting used to, we only had time to give out pass along cards and tell them to read it. I hope people will really read them. We also sang hymns during the parade. 

The miracle this week happened at church. Someone named Donna came to church. She is the mother of a recent convert and one of our investigators. She was not a member and we never contacted her. She just decided to come to church. Now, after we talked to her, we are now setting up appointments for her and her daughter (already our investigator). 

This week, we have had a lot of fallen through appointments, but I know we have done our best, so I am still happy. I miss you all and I am praying for you! I love you all! Have a happy 24th!


Elder Steiner.

Items Received:

* Bike Lock, sort of. It turns out they left it in the box at the Mission Office. Good thing they didn't through the box away. I don't have it in possession right now, but the Zone Leaders are going over to the Mission Office today and will pick it up.

Q and A:

What is the weather like?
* Very sunny. We are having a drought this summer. I have yet to see rain. The weather has been staying around the 80's, but last weekend it got to the high 90's. With the humidity, I could hardly walk outside without sweating a lot. Thank you for the handkerchiefs!

Have you bought a rain jacket?
* Not yet, but maybe that would be a good idea.

Have you had any issues with money?
* Nope. I have been getting by with just the missionary card, so far. And I am keeping track of the expenses.

Are you spreading happiness to others?
* I hope so. I do get a lot of comments about how I smile a lot.

Do you use puns on your companion? Does he laugh?
* Sometimes. I haven't been saying puns as much as I used to. I think it is because my mind is more focused on the work. Anyway, when I do say puns, he smiles and laughs.

One benefit of having a 5th floor classroom at the MTC: A temple view out the window! The other benefit is extra stairs, so more exercise.
These pictures were taken the first day I got here. President and Sister Eaton are super cool.
 The missionaries that came out with me. This picture is at the mission home.

I am a little worried that my bike is so bright, that people will want to steal it. Any idea of what I should do? Should I try and make it look bad?
This is our study area. Of course, the Senior companion gets the big chair. :)
Map of our Area. It is southern Kent in the Scenic Hill Ward. The Black line is the correct area boundaries.
Everyone here has very expensive cars, but not very good housing. That is a 2Z06 Corvette. Elder Nelson loves Corvettes.

My District at the Covington Days Parade.
​Here is a pretty picture to explain the weather. This was taken yesterday evening.
Elder Nelson and I have the Gold Plates. We have the cleanest car (2012 Toyota Corrola), so we get the Gold Plates and an additional 100 Miles. :) Oh and you can see our cameras in the reflection.

Monday, July 13, 2015

First P-Day Letter From Mission field

Dear Family,

I can't believe it has already been three weeks! Time really does fly out here. When I first arrived, I heard that the people here have no air conditioners, and so far that is true. The first few days were hard, but I have an awesome trainer. Elder Nelson has been out for 9 months and this is his first time being the Senior companion. 

I was worried about biking in 90 degree weather, but then I found out that we have a car with air conditioning! Yay!  

My area is half of Kent there are trees everywhere! I kind of miss the open views, but then I also really love the green here. I am having trouble memorizing everyone's names, but I am sure that, with time, faith, and work, I will eventually do it. 

This first week was full of appointment that fell through. There was a miracle, however. It was on Friday. I remember praying that we would be guided to people who where prepared for the Gospel. Every single thing we planned fell through, all of our appointments, back-ups, and back-ups for back-ups. We started to visit people we didn't plan to visit, so we went to the other side of our apartment complex to see some of them. Someone called for us. We went to him and he said that the woman inside wanted to give us her address. Her name is Gracie. She is paralyzed from the neck down. Her daughter, Cinthia, and (I am guessing) her daughter's husband (we didn't get his name) were taking care of her. She just moved recently from Minnesota to Washington and forgot to tell the missionaries where she was going. She prayed to be able to find the missionaries here and just saw us out her window! She was really nice. She really lived in Bothell, which is outside our mission, and was just visiting her family. We sent out the referral for the missionaries in Bothell.

 I know that God does answer our prayers, even if he has to make all of our plans fall through to do it. Heavenly Father knows best! I know that I am doing the Lord's work and I am happy to do it! I love you all!


Elder Steiner.

Things Received:
* Suit case/green package from family
* Bike
* Helmet
* Bike Lights

I did not receive the bike lock.

Q and A:
Can you let me know your address?
* Mission Office Address: 23175 224th Place S.E., Maple Valley, Washington 98038
* All the mail should go to the mission office, they will give it to me where ever I live.
* I live in Washington Park Apartment Complex, Kent, Washington.

Where is Elder Nelson from?
* Saint Anthony, Idaho

Are we getting along?
* Yes. We both like to sing and serve.

How many missionaries are in your apartment, district, zone?
* Apartment: 2
* District: 6
* Zone: 18

Do you live in an apartment or a member's house?
* Apartment

Did you participate in church services yesterday like give a talk or something?
* No, but I did meet a lot of people.

Are you happy?

Do you and your trainer wrestle?
* Nope.

Any Families in your area that you like? If so, what are their names?
* Yes, the Weiderholt's Family. I still have to meet more people.

How is your door knocking going?
* In Kent, there are mostly apartment complexes, and we aren't allowed to knock on doors. So, we just contact on streets.

MTC world map!

Mount Rainier from my window seat on the flight. Turns out it is actually an active volcano and due for an eruption. I hope that doesn't happen for the next 2 years.

One picture to explain how we felt at the MTC. That is Elder Northrup, by the way.

I just took this picture, Elder Nelson and I at the Covington Library

Thursday, July 9, 2015

The Field is White and Ready to Harvest

Hi, Family!

I just flew out from the MTC yesterday and I want to let you know that I made it to Washington safely. I enjoyed the flight, probably because I got a window seat. :)  I only have a short time to write today, so this will be short. 

My new P-Day will be Monday, but they gave us today to do laundry, email, and shopping because we missed Monday. There were about 21 missionaries in my flight. When we first got here, we were taken to the Mission Home for pictures and very good food. It was a home-made Cafe Rio with black beans, pulled pork, and rice. It was so good. I haven't received the pictures from the Mission President yet, so I can't send them yet. 

We then went to the Stake Center where I met my new companion, Elder Nelson (Well, one of the three Elder Nelsons). Elder Nelson is really cool. He really has the Spirit about him and he totally does all he can for this mission. Our first appointment fell through, but we did get to talk to people. I got to share my testimony to some of them.

I am sorry this email is so short, I promise I will write a larger one next week! I love you and miss you all!


Elder Bretton Steiner.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Missionary Training Center, not Missionary Testing Center

Dear family,

I have just gone through my first official week at the MTC! It seemed to go really slow at first, but now it seems like it is going by so fast. I can't believe that I only have 4 more days until I go to the mission field!

Friday, June 26th
My first P-Day! I know that last time I didn't write very much about this day, so I wanted to write more about it. Our P-Day time was cut short, right after lunch we went back to class. I learned about the Plan-Study-Teach Cycle that I will be using daily on my mission. The teacher gave us 1 whole hour of personal study. It felt so long! Companion study was just after Personal study and it was also 1 hour long. My companions and I put together what we learned in personal study and tried to role play teaching a lesson. It did not end well. The teacher role-played our investigator, Steven. He had absolutely no desire to join the church except to be able to marry his mormon girlfriend. Steven kept shutting down everything we invited him to do, and my companion, Elder Kidwell, got so frustrated, that he insulted the investigator. Everything went downhill from there. Our role play was a total disaster and we felt kind of discouraged. We talked it over, and fixed some things and got the chance to start again later that night. This time, it went much better. We focused on learning to love Steven and address his needs. We didn't insult him this time and we actually got a small message across. It was so hard! I started to wonder if I have what it takes to be a missionary, but I still believed that I will get better.

Saturday, June 27th
Today, for class we focused on receiving revelation. We read through 1 Nephi 1 and 2. I was reading the story, but I got something totally different out of it. I felt the Spirit and I got the feeling that Heavenly Father is happy that I have chosen to go on a mission. I have something absolutely beautiful, the Light of Christ. As a missionary, it is my job to help share this Light to all people. He tells me that I will meet a lot of rejection and it will be hard, but also that if I stay focused and endure to the end, that I can find success in my mission. I truly believe that I am in the right place and I can achieve much through the guidance of the Holy Ghost! Oh, and we also filled up the white board with a lot of encouraging quotes. I put my favorite S.M.I.L.E. scripture, 2 Nephi 9:39 on it. 

Sunday, June 28th
Sacrament meeting went well. I am not used to sacrament meetings having such a small congregation in it. One of the people who gave a talk, did it in American Sign Language. I kept thinking about Becca. I think that she would enjoy an American Sign Language mission. We went to the Sunday devotional, but the speaker was not an Apostle, just a worker at the MTC. He talked about gaining a testimony of God's work and our purpose as missionaries. It was very Spiritual. After the devotional, my companions decided they wanted to go back to the residence and "hang-out". I wanted to stay and watch the movie, "The Character of Christ", but they just up and left and i had to follow them. I really was upset at my companions that night.

Monday, June 29th
Today, the 1M building is finally open and we got to enjoy real, all-you-can-eat food! We went through the studies and we got to see our TRC (I don't know what that stands for) investigator for the first time! Her name is Jamie and she is very kind and patient. She knows almost nothing about religion, so we have to explain a lot of things. Today, she was sick, so she made us talk to her over Skype. It was really hard to feel the Spirit and the internet connection was bad. I think that all we did was confuse her. I am sure we will get better eventually.

Tuesday, June 30th
Today was our Service Project. I got what was called, The Ghost-Buster Vacuum. It was the kind that is like a backpack. I vacuumed the mats in all the doors around the building. In personal study, I decided to study Charity and Love, because I was still a little mad at my companions. I learned that charity and love were the foundation for all the other attributes of Christ. I decided to forgive my companions and show Charity and Love towards them. I feel that things will get better with this. We also taught Steven again today, and this time we committed him to baptism! I remember thinking that we would never convert Steven. I believe that we are truly improving a lot.

Wednesday, July 1st
Today, all the new missionaries pooled into the MTC. Suddenly, I realized, I have been here a whole week! It didn't actually feel that long. It was nice not feeling new, though. We taught Jamie another lesson. This one we simplified, a lot and we stopped a lot to answer questions. I feel that she got a lot more out of this lesson than the last one.

Thursday, July 2nd
Today was the In-Field Orientation. It was an 8 hour class. This is where they taught us how to fill out all the paper work, how to use Key Indicators, and how to work with members to become the best missionary. I noticed today how much closer I have become with my companions. Elder Kidwell finally received his glasses in the mail today, so his attitude has improved a lot. He really couldn't see anything for the last week. Every time we have a successful lesson, we get closer and more unified. We teach so well together now!

Things received:
*Note in suit case from Mom
*DearElder from Mom
*4th of July Package from Mom
*Greenie Package from Grandma and Grandpa Sheffield

Q and A:

*Did I join the Choir?
Yes, but the first practice was on Tuesday. I love it so far.

*Do I get to do anything special for the 4th of July?
Yes, we will go to the Stadium of Fire to watch Fireworks after 8:00 Saturday night.

*Who are my companions and where are they from?
Elder Northrup is from Highland, Utah. Elder Kidwell is from Showlow, Arizona.

I love you all!


Elder Bretton Steiner.