Monday, February 29, 2016

Wow, There Is A Lot To Do!

Dear Family,

This week has been busy! There is so much office work to do! At the beginning of the week out list of things to do include having furniture to move all over the mission, a full and unorganized storage unit, a new truck to set up, an apartment to close and an apartment to open.

On Tuesday, after Zone Training, we brought both trucks to the Mission Office and while Elder Young (The car coordinator) took the Tiwi from the old truck to the new truck, Elder Davidson, Elder Raps, Elder Jackson, and I switched the canopy. It fit pretty good, but the curvature of the new truck is a little different, so we just clamped it on really tight. It still locks, so it is good! 

Every Tuesday and Thursday, we get to set down and read the Book of Mormon with Candace, who is a recent convert. She usually invites Tony (The maintenance worker at the apartment complex) who is not a member, yet. He has been an investigator for a long time, but he just hasn't chosen to be baptized, yet. I hope it is soon!

We organized the storage unit on Wednesday and tried to go to the dump to through some things out. Sadly, the Enumclaw Dump isn't open on Wednesdays or Thursdays, so we got there and came back with the same load.

We ended going to the Auburn Dump on Thursday with the trailer which is really hard because it is a tight squeeze! Good thing Elder Davidson is a good truck driver!

We opened an apartment this morning before P-day started and we will finish setting it uptomorrow before the new Senior Missionaries show up.

A lot has been completed this week, but there is still a lot to go! In terms of proselyting, it is a little slow, but both wards are determined to fill up our schedule. They are having a competition to see which ward can give the missionaries more things to do. I think it is awesome! All of the members are very nice and willing to help out. I really love it! I also really love all of you! Keep up the good work!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

Sorry, I keep forgetting to bring my camera with me! I will try and take more pictures!

Monday, February 22, 2016

So This Is Office Work!

Pictures at the blog:

Dear Family,

This week has been busy! There wasn't very much for us to do until Wednesday. That was the day that Elder Davidson and I picked up the new truck. Right now, it is sitting at the mission home waiting for the canopy to be placed on it. Hopefully, the canopy on the old truck is the same size.

On Thursday, we were doing weekly planning. We planned for about 30 minutes and then all of the text messages and calls came in. So many things were requested that I had to start writing them down! Chairs, desk lamps, bikes, mattresses, and more need to be moved around the mission! President Eaton called and said we are taking over another ward, Lake Lucerne, and that we had to close an apartment. We ended weekly planning right then and went to work. So far, we have only done a few things, so we are very busy!

On Friday, Elder Young (the car coordinator) took us to pick up 2 new corolla's for the mission. They didn't have Tiwi's in them, but I still tried to drive safe. :) I ended up cutting someone off to get the exit off of the highway.

On Saturday, I went on an exchange in Lake Wilderness Ward and biked all day. Luckily, it was very beautiful weather. I got a good picture of it all below! It was an awesome exchange!

On Sunday, Elder Davidson and I got to run the Mission Devotional! We put together the slide show and put it in action! Elder Davidson ran the slideshow and I ran the lights. It was awesome!

Though this week has been very busy, I have learned that it is very important to have patience. I have definitely had to show patience when trying to manage all of the work. Patience with others and with yourself can help you calm down and take things one step at a time. It has worked for me! I am really getting the hang of doing office work! I love you all!


Elder Bretton Steiner.

P.S. In this mission an Office Elder isn't what it seems. I can think of a better name: "Housing Coordinator Assistant That Also Updates Mission Spreadsheets." That is pretty much what we do. That is why we get a truck!

Q and A:

How are you? How is life as an office missionary?
* I am good, life as an office missionary is very busy. I felt like there was nothing to do on Wednesday, but then Thursday we got a lot of assignments. Missionaries from all over the mission are requesting replacement, dump, or new furniture and we also received word that we are taking over another area. It got pretty busy out of now where! Even though we have a lot on our plates, we are still doing all that we can.

Have you gotten to tour the mission yet in the new truck?
* Not yet. We did get the new truck, but it is staying at the mission home until we can get the canopy over the bed of the truck. Hopefully we can take the canopy from the old truck and fit it on the new truck.

Why does a mission have a truck?
* Because we have to move a lot of furniture. We also get to pull a trailer because sometimes we can't fit everything in the truck.

What have you learned or are learning as an office missionary? Is it harder that you think?
* Well, I have learned how to drive a large truck. I have learned that Office Elders create the slideshow for the mission devotional and operate it (I did the lights). I have also learned that it is really hard to completely clean out apartments that have to be cleaned. Those missionaries really lived dirty. I also learned that it doesn't really work to move furniture if the storage unit isn't organized. There is a lot to do. :)

I have been wondering... but I don't want an answer because I'm afraid that if the answer is yes then I will be tempted. I'm wondering that if I ever call the mission office will I have the chance to talk to you? I can easily see myself calling, waiting for a hello and then hurrying to hang up just to hear your voice.
* No, I only work in the office part time. If you call at any time, Sister Young (a senior missionary) will answer the phone. I only update spreadsheets.

My Companion?
* Elder Davidson likes to cook. He doesn't like to sing, but he still really likes to listen to music.

Dinner appointments?
* Pretty much every single night, especially now that we are covering 2 very missionary active wards. :) We are now the Elk Run and Lake Lucerne and Office missionaries. I guess you could call that triple covering because the office has a lot of work to do.

How are the new wards?
* They are great! The members are great, but in terms of non-members there aren't very many. I have heard people say that Maple Valley is just like Provo. Small wards, very dense members, not very many non-members. The biggest difference is that it looks like we live in the middle of a forest! It is so pretty!

Is it harder to proselyte in the evening?
* Yes. Especially when it is raining (pretty much everyday). No one is outside after dark and hardly anyone wants someone at their door after dark.

Elder Davidson and I in the new truck. It is really awesome!

This is probably the best picture I can find to explain Maple Valley. We practically live in a forest! Behind me is Lake Wilderness. I am on exchanges and on bike for the day. I am really lucky that it didn't rain. :)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Marvelous Proselyting Elders of Elk Run

Dear Family,

This week has been a little crazy, but also has been great! First off, I will start with Wednesday at Zone Conference! It was awesome! It was all about teaching people, not lessons and I feel like I learned a lot! Thursday was when things started to get crazy.

On Thursday, in the evening, I got a call from President Eaton. This scared me so bad! We were in a trio and everyone knows that trios are the first to go if a missionary goes home. Anyway, he just wanted to know how strong my back was and if I was able to move furniture. I said it was great! That was all. I was relieved that he said nothing about an emergency transfer, but inside I thought it was coming.

It did. On Friday, during personal study, President Eaton called again! This time he told us the situation. A missionary is going home (sadly), and a missionary from the Elk Run Ward is going to take his place. I was chosen to take the empty spot in the Elk Run Ward and I had to pack my bags. I think Elder Samuelsen is getting pretty good at puns (thanks to my example) and he said a pretty good one that explains how we felt later that day. He said, "Today is a sad day, tomorrow is a Saturday(sadder day)" because we knew that I was leaving.

I transferred to the Elk Run Ward in the Maple Valley Stake on Saturday. The Elk Run Ward is special. This happens to be the ward that the Office Elders serve in. That's right. I am the new Office Elder! In most missions, the Office Elders are trouble makers that have to be kept in the office to keep them away from trouble, but in this mission it is a privilege. As an Office Elder, my actual area of service is the whole mission. I am in charge of opening and closing apartments, putting together mission devotionals, keeping things organized at transfers, driving missionaries to the airport at transfers, driving new cars for the car coordinator, and so on. I have already read through all 78 pages of "Office Elder Procedures" and I am ready to serve! President Eaton assigned me to update the procedures because they are surprisingly out of date. Wish me luck!

My new companion is Elder Davidson. Elder Davidson is from Springville, Utah. He loves to drive trucks, so he is definitely in the right place. He is very excited that we are getting a new truck tomorrow. I am excited to tour the mission in the passenger seat of that truck! It is going to be a lot of fun! I love you all!


Elder Bretton Steiner.

P.S.  President Eaton likes to call office Elders, "The Marvelous Proselyting Elders of Elk Run" because he thinks the term "Office Elders" is derogatory.

P.S.S.  Office Elders still get to go out and proselyte, just a little less than other missionaries. 4 days of every week, we spend some time, either in the office or driving to accomplish some task for President Eaton. I have only had 1 day of office so far, so I don't know all of the details. All I know is that there are a lot of procedures that office elders do. We usually leave the tasks or finish them by 4:00 and go out and proselyte for the rest of the day. We don't do office work on Saturdays, Sundays, and P-Days. We do little work on Weekly Planning days (Usually Thursdays). I will probably have more details next week, once I have a little more experience. One cool thing about being in the office is that I get mail early! Yay!

Items Received:
* Valentines Package from family. Thank you! I love you all!

I finally got to make my Birthday cake! It took me way too long. Elder Samuels switched the 9 and the 1 just for fun. I'm not that old! I made this cake on Thursday during weekly planning.

This is the last meal that the Benson Hill Trio had together. It was really good!

This is the only picture that I have so far of Elder Davidson. And yes, that is a typewriter! So cool! Office Elders get first pick for everything!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Is This Place Paradise?

Dear Family,

This week has been awesome! After my first day in Benson Hill, I literally was asking, "Is this place paradise?" This ward is amazing! The ward mission leader is Brother Lim, he is a very energetic, short, Chinese man. (Don't tell him I told you he is short.) There are also a few ward missionaries, one of which is Brother Dilag (pronounced Dee-log), but he likes just being called Ed. He is a recent convert and he organizes a lot of activities. He put together a Pot Luck on Saturday and he goes out a lot with us to teach. He is awesome!

When I got to the Maple Valley Stake Center for transfers, I had a couple surprises. One is the fact that I am actually in a trio! The other is that I don't actually have to bike anywhere, we have a car! My new companions are Elder Samuels, and Elder Samuelsen. (I love how their names are literally 2 letters apart. It is easy for members and investigators to remember our names.) Elder Samuels has been in this ward for 1 transfer already, on bike, but he crashed when going down a hill about 25 mph and he hurt his finger. He has to go to physical therapy for it, and now we have a car because he can't grip bike handles very well. I assume that we will bike next transfer when his finger is all better. For now, I am going to enjoy the car. :)

This week has flown by! I have been slowly learning the ward and it's members. We have 2 investigators committed for baptism on March 5th and we hope that we can help them get there. We found 5 investigators this week, so now we have a total of 10 investigators! That is a lot! We are working hard to get fellowship for each investigator and also how to include them in the ward. This week has been a lot of fun and I can't wait to keep working! I love you all!


Elder Bretton Steiner.

PS: I get to be a part of the ward choir in Benson Hill! I am so excited! I didn't know that I as a missionary was allowed to be in the ward choir, but it turns out that missionaries have been in the Benson Hill ward choir for quite a while! It is really fun to sing in a group again!

Items Received:

* Letter from Grandma and Grandpa Sheffield! Thank you!

Say hello to Elder Samuelsen (On the left), me, and Elder Samuels (On the right). We are Benson Hill's Tri-panionship! We happened to be in the MTC all at the same time, but in different districts. We didn't actually meet each other until we were at the airport!

I think this is what every missionary is trying to attain when filling up on gas. I am grateful that God has called another prophet in these latter days!

Brother Lim the ward mission leader!

We just finished a new member lesson with Jennassa!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Moving North!

Dear Family,

This week has been crazy! I found out on Wednesday that our apartment is being closed and that we had to deep clean it, so I had hopes that we would be moved to another apartment, hopefully one that actually had a washer and dryer, but my hopes were dashed the next day. President Eaton called us on Thursday and told us that we are both being transferred and that there would be no Elders replacing us. That's right, the Scenic Hill Elders area is closing. The ward is being left to the Sisters. Then he called us later and told us that our apartment wasn't really being closed, but that Sisters from another ward were moving in, so we still had to deep clean it.

This week, we had to tell all of our investigators and members that we are leaving. It was hard. Many were disappointed and wanted us to stay. We had the Sisters meet as many of our investigators as possible before we left. The good thing about knowing that we are being transferred ahead of time is the fact that we have a long time to pack!

Today is transfers. At 2:00 today, I am going to the Maple Valley Stake Center to meet my new companion, Elder Samuels. He will then take me to my new area, Benson Hill in the Renton Stake. Maybe I will stay in hilly areas my whole mission! It is a bike area. No car. I am going to lose some fat! Woo Hoo! I will miss Scenic Hill and treasure my time spent serving in it. I will also miss the car... Wish me luck on getting to know my second area!

I have some facts about Kent. Kent is the 6th largest city in the state of Washington. It is very diverse. So diverse, the school district handles 139 different languages! That is a lot! I ran into a lot of people that didn't speak English! There were also a lot of Spanish speakers. Sometimes I wish I knew how to speak Spanish. Right now, all I can say is La Iglesia de Jesu Christo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I think). I really want to learn more Spanish, too! I love you all!


Elder Bretton Steiner.

P.S. I took a lot of pictures this week, but all of it is packed away. :) So, next week I can send a few more.

PS from Dad: I looked up his old chapel and his new one on google maps. They are only 5.1 miles from each other so I guess he is not moving very far.

Bretton: Oh, Elder Anderson gave me his card reader to borrow! Yay!

All packed up and ready to go! You will probably be seeing that box soon, if it manage to send it correctly.

Last visit to the Alfrey family! Yay! They hosted us for our Christmas calls! 
I went to Cafe Rio a total of 10 times before transfers! It was so worth it!

Our last Family Home Evening with the Ainuu family.