Tuesday, June 28, 2016

One Year Down, One To Go!

Dear Family,

It is weird to be hitting my one year mark. On June 24th, I found myself saying, "Wait, it has been a year? Let's see: one, two skype calls home; one, two, three areas served; seven companions; it still doesn't feel like a year." Then I count the months. "Oh, I guess it has been 12 months... aw..."

This week has been great! Elder Palmer and I have been working hard! We have found a new investigator in the Elk Run Ward. His name is Jose (Spanish name, pronounced: hose-ay). We sat down with him and his girlfriend, who is a less active member, and we taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jose seemed to be really interested. He invited us to come back again next Tuesday and keep teaching. I hope he takes the steps necessary to get baptized!

I finally got to travel to the most southern city in the mission, Eatonville! It took us 1 and 1/2 hours to get down there and it was a cool drive. There are lots of trees down there and very little town.

When you reach one year of your mission, you tend to look back at how far you have come. I can see the faces of the people whom I have helped and I feel like this is the best decision I have ever made. I know that Heavenly Father has sent me out here because I am needed here to build up His kingdom! There are people who needed to hear my voice and testimony and I was able to be there for them! I know that there are people I have yet to meet!

Alma 29:9
"I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."

Elder Bretton Steiner

Eatonville is the very south end of this mission. It took a while to drive there. It was cool!

I burned a tie and a shirt because I forgot to burn a tie at my 6 month mark!

I burned a tie and a shirt because I forgot to burn a tie at my 6 month mark!

There is still one year ahead of me! Oh yeah!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Surprise Baptism! Happy Father's Day!

Dear Family,

First off, Happy Birthday Bryson! And Happy Father's Day Dad and Matt! This week has been pretty great! I don't remember if I told you this or not, but Deanna M. got baptized this week!

Deanna is the care taker for Candice W., a convert, in the Lake Lucerne Ward. Deanna actually lives in a different ward. In my 3 and 1/2 months in this ward, we have been visiting both of them twice a week to read the Book of Mormon. Miracles have happened. Deanna used to be a member of the church, but a few years ago, she fell by the wayside and had her records removed. She happily announced her baptism last Sunday to Elder Palmer and I. Honestly, I was shocked. I didn't even know she was visiting with her bishop in the Enumclaw 2nd ward. Well, she was cleared for baptism and it was coming fast! On Thursday, June 16th, 2016, Deanna was baptized and confirmed! She has been working with the missionaries for a long time, so, of course, there were a lot of missionaries at her baptism. I counted 12 missionaries!

On Father's Day, Elder Palmer and I were attending at the Elk Run Ward during Priesthood and they talked about how a good father teaches what is most important in life, the Gospel. In Alma 37: 38-45, Alma is talking to his son Helaman about the Liahona and is relating it to the scriptures. It is a great example of a father who teaches his son what really is important. I hope you had a great Father's Day! I love you all!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

You don't see that in Utah!

There is opposition in all things. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.

At the baptism: (From left to right) Deanna, Candice, Sister Smith (Another caretaker for Candice).

This is what the sky looked like right after Deanna was baptized!

​We didn't get into a picture with Deanna at her baptism, so we took a picture when she invited us over for lunch the next day at Candice's apartment. She is a great cook!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Transfers Decide All

Dear Family,

This week has been on the busier side. A lot has happened. It is funny because at the beginning of the week, Elder Palmer and I thought it was going to be easy and a breeze! Then the phone calls came. "Elders, we need you to open up a new apartment in Kent, and Oh! Also the Sisters in Federal Way need to move to a new apartment. Can you do that?" "We sure can!" We managed to get everything fit into our schedule. We only had to skip dinner once. :)

Somehow, both Zone Training and President Eaton's last Specialized Training happened to fall onto this week. Both meetings are 3 hours long, one on Tuesday, the other on Wednesday. I thought it was really funny because for President Eaton's last Specialized Training, he talked about marriage! Well, really he talked about how our companionships prepare us for marriage and he challenged us to learn how to fix relationships with our companions rather than try to cope with it. He also told us not to call this training "The Trunky Training" (trunky means longing for home).

I am having so much fun delaying the obvious subject of this e-mail: Transfers! Let me give you a little foreknowledge first. President Eaton only allows Office Elders to serve in the Office for 3 transfers (probably because they forget how to proselyte). This is the end of my 3rd transfer. Also, we are getting a new Mission President next transfer, so it is possible that I might stay another transfer because I know a lot about how the mission runs. I got my call last night. Drum roll please! I am staying! Oh yea! Elder Palmer and I get the opportunity to serve the mission as we make the transition to a new Mission President! It is going to be crazy! I am so excited!

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week! Know that I love you, but most of all that you have a Heavenly Father that loves you! Don't lose hope! Never give up! I love you all!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

Yesterday. I think I had the same face when I found out that I was staying for transfers!

This picture was taken a couple of weeks ago on P-Day. We decided to actually do something for our P-Day other than sit in our apartments. So, we went to Lake Wilderness Park and ate Popsicles! :) From Left to Right: Elder Nelson, Elder Clayburn, Elder Steiner, and Elder Palmer.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Always Be Prepared To Be Used

Dear Family,

First off, Happy Birthday Mom! I love you so much! I want to write about a miraculous experience that happened last Thursday.

Elder Palmer and I arrived early to our regular Book of Mormon reading with Candace W. We met up with Brother Bean (The Ward Mission Leader) and we were walking into the apartment complex when Elder Palmer noticed someone was walking behind us. He stopped and looked back and found that it was Dennis B! He is the guy that we helped move his stuff out of the apartment a couple of weeks ago. I was on exchange at the time, so I don't know him as well. Brother Bean noticed that Dennis had a bag of rat poison in his hand and he had a very down face. We said hello.
Brother Bean said, "That is not for you, is it?" He pointed at the poison.
Dennis responded, "It is. I have reached my lowest point in life."
Brother Bean said, "No it's not. You have people that care about you and will miss you if you were gone. We will miss you." Just after that, one of Dennis's friends saw us and came out of her apartment to greet him. She gave him a hug.
We exchanged some encouraging and hopeful conversation. We bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and of the love that Heavenly Father has for all of His children. Then we asked him if he would be alright. He said he would.
When we left and were on our way to Candace's apartment, Brother Bean said, "I don't believe in coincidences. I believe that we arrived at the early time we did to talk to him." Then he said, "Always be prepared to be used."

Heavenly Father loves all of His children. He knows when we need help and how we can help others. If we are willing and worthy, Heavenly Father will put us where we can best bless those of His children who are in need. I invite all of you to look outward. There are people all around us that need help, and we can be an instrument in God's hands to bless them.

I love you all!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

Warm weather means it is time to bring out the bikes! It was definitely warm this week. High 80's for the last few days, yesterday reaching the high 95. Everyone is surprised that we are getting hot weather so early in the summer.

The Maple Valley District! Names from left to right: Lower: Elder Clayburn, Elder Nelson, Elder Palmer, and Elder Steiner. Upper: Sister Steward, Sister Eldredge, Sister Herlin, and Sister Thurman.