Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Referrals are Falling from the Sky!

Dear Family,

This week has just flown by. I thought I wrote to you just a couple of days ago. Oh, well. At least I have a story to tell. :)

Elder Scheidell and I have been working really hard here in the Lakota Creek Ward. So hard that we forget almost everything. We set a goal and went about organizing our white boards in our apartment to show everything we usually forget about our investigators and other things. God is a God of order, not chaos. Just a few minutes after we wrote everything down on those whiteboards, the blessings came! So fast! Our Zone Leaders sent us a string of texts with information of 9 people that other missionaries found that live in Lakota Creek! 9 referrals from other missionaries! That is the most I have ever received at one time in my entire mission. We wrote them on the whiteboards and then ran out of room! (Blessings so much that there isn't room enough to receive them!) I guess that organizing things really works!

I went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders from Friday to Saturday and when I came back, Elder Scheidell was telling me about this Samoan guy named Moi. They had met him on exchanges and set up a lesson for Sunday at 10:00 am. Good thing church starts at 1 pm here! On our way to the appointment, my bike had some unexpected problems and we weren't able to make it. We called him and rescheduled for 6:15pm, after dinner, still on Sunday. He didn't make that, so we then called again. Okay, we are going to try for 7:30pm. This time, he was there! (We also found out that we were going to the wrong park the entire time...)

So with the exact meeting place made clear and with all of us there, we finally got to teach him. The message of the Restoration seemed to resonate well with him. He loved it. He felt the Spirit and when we asked him if he would be baptized, he told us that it is too early for him to make a commitment. He worried a lot because he wanted to be in the same church as his brothers and sisters and they seemed very intent with going to another church. We settled with inviting him to read from the Book of Mormon every day and praying about it. We are going to see if we can invite his whole family to meet with us next time, so they can experience it, too!

I love you all! I hope you liked the stories! Have a great week!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

PS: About the bike: The good news is that I didn't get into a crash. I was just biking and realized that the back tire was not staying straight. I looked at it and found out that the rod you put through the axle was bent, so I took it to the bike shop. This was Friday morning. He straightened it, but also told me to take a look at the actual axle of the wheel. When I got back to the apartment, I took the wheel off my bike and the axle just fell out of it. It was in 2 pieces and the bearings were coming out, too. Uh oh! I took it back to the bike store. Phil (who works at the bike store) told me that he would have my wheel fixed by Saturday Morning at 10 am. Well, I went on an exchange, so Elder Covington picked it up instead. he put the wheel back on my bike and rode it for the day. The exchange ended and it was now Sunday morning. We started biking over to Moi and my bike seemed different. I looked down at the wheel and I found that my derailer was bent. It was not aligned with the gears, so it made some noise and Brother Neal from the ward told me that if a derailer isn't aligned, you need to stop riding it and get it fixed. That was how Elder Scheidell's derailer broke. So, to prevent further damage, I stopped riding it and called Brother Neal. He took my bike to see if he could fix it. I got a loaner bike from the Bodily family in the ward until my bike is fixed. Brother Neal just texted us a few minutes ago that he fixed it and it is ready to go.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Good Samaritan

Dear Family,

This week has been great, but first off, Happy Birthday Brianne!!! There. I got it out. :)

Let me tell you about a crazy experience I had last Monday. It is kind of long, but it is good! I promise! It was 8:40pm and starting to get dark and we started to bike back to our apartment from the church. There are 2 routes. Usually we go up the large hill and coast down the other side, but we were tired, so we decided to go the round route through a neighborhood instead. It was weird because I noticed that we even went to the opposite side of the street than we normally do.

There, sitting on the grass next to the park fence, was an old man. He was wearing a camouflage shirt and greenish-brownish pants. We wouldn't have seen him if we biked on the other side of the road. We asked him how he was doing. He said, "Not very good." Was asked what was wrong and he said that he can't walk very well because he recently had his is feet operated on. He also said that he was trying to walk back to his home from his friends house, but he got lost and it is starting to get dark. He didn't have is walker, either.

We asked him what is address was and we put it into Elder Scheidell's GPS. It brought up no results. We did find an intersection just down the road a bit that he was talking about. We locked up our bikes and walked with him down to that street. It was slow progress because his feet hurt. We found out that he likes to sing gospel music and he has a good singing voice. When we got to the intersection, he looked around and said that he didn't recognize anything. By now, it was 9:20pm, past our curfew. We called the Zone Leaders and let them know.

We asked him for his home phone number and called it. "This is not a working number," our phone said back. We found a place to sit down and I was thinking, "What are we going to do? We need to go and we can't just leave this man here!" We called every member we knew. Finally, Brother Decker answered and was on the way.

It was around 9:35pm when Brother Decker came around the corner with his truck. We all got in and we drove around the general area until the man recognized his street. He lived in an adult care home and his street address was just one digit off of what he told us earlier. We took him to his house and the care takers were waiting there for him. Sadly, I don't remember his name. Brother Decker drove us back to our apartment. We got back at around 9:48pm.

I believe that Heavenly Father loves His children. He knew that one of his children was in trouble and needed to be brought back home. He directed Elder Scheidell and I on a route and place that we don't normally take so that we would find him. It would have been so easy to just say, "Have a good night" and keep biking on to make it back before curfew, but something kept us there long enough to ask, "What is wrong" and to help out. I know that Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways and I am just grateful that He was able to use us as instruments in his hands.

Don't be afraid to sacrifice for the good of others. I believe that in the story of the Good Samaritan that he was a busy person, too! He had a life like everyone else, but he was willing to stop for the man that needed his help. Heavenly Father wants to bless His children and more often than not, he does it through other people. Be the angel in someone else's life. Show them what it means to be Christ-like. And you will receive many blessings from our Father in Heaven.

Sorry for the extreme length of this letter. I hope you liked it! I love you all!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

Oh! Also, the Overson family gave us a ride to church in their Ford Model A! It was probably the most comfortable car I have ever been in! It was so much fun!

Another great sunset at Lakota Creek!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Zone Conference!

Dear Family,

This week has been pretty great! I was let off the hook for this week. We had Zone Conference, so I didn't have to make a district meeting. :) This was President and Sister Rasmussen's first Zone Conference in this mission. They did a great job! Zone Conferences go from 9:30 am to about 4:00 pm. That sounds super long, but they involved us so much that it just flew by! They talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and that we should weave that into all of our lessons as often as possible. They also talked about how faith is the only way that true repentance can take place. It was pretty amazing!

Elder Scheidell and I gave it our best shot the night after Zone Conference. We had a lesson set up with a part-member family, the P...s. It is a mother and her non-member daughter.They have been taught by missionaries for a long time and have been through all of the lessons almost 7 times. We taught them about the Plan of Salvation. We continuously referred back to the Atonement of Jesus Christ because that is what made the whole plan work! At the end of it, Kristin, the daughter, told us that she had never heard it taught that way before. She loved it! She said that she has been deciding on a baptismal date for one of the first weeks of September! That is exactly what Elder Scheidell and I were planning. She has been coming to church and keeps telling us that she really wants to get baptized!

Moral of the story: Follow the advice of your Priesthood leaders. They know what they are talking about and you will be blessed for following their guidance.

I love you all! I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Bretton Steiner

This is what happens when I forget to take pictures through-out the week. You get the most current one. I took this just a couple minutes ago. :)

Hooray for missionary food! Aw, this one doesn't have any beans in it...

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Fruit of Our Labors

Dear Family,

This week has been good. Elder Scheidell and I have been working hard to find new investigators. I remember on Friday, things suddenly started to happen.We first did service at a local Food Bank, handing out food for about 2 hours. It was kind of fun! I was in charge of all of the dessert items. I should have eaten a bigger breakfast because those things made me hungry!

After our service, we had lunch, and then biked to the church to begin splits with our ward mission leader. When we got there, we saw that he was already talking with someone. Brother Moses just missed the bus and was looking for a ride to Safeway. We talked a little bit. Brother Moses is a Christian that loves to talk. He seemed very interested in what we taught and he said he would come to church on Sunday. Our ward mission leader gave him a ride.

Then after that, we all got on bikes (Yes, even our +60 year old ward mission leader) and we went to go visit a potential investigator. His name is Brother O. He invited us in and after a little "get to know you" we found out that a lot of his loved ones have either passed away recently, or are sick and close to it. Elder Scheidell and I decided that we needed to teach the Plan of Salvation. He loved it. He became very enthusiastic and he started committing himself to do things. He came to church on Sunday and we didn't even have to ask if we could come back to teach again, he asked us! We are now looking forward to our next appointment this Thursday!

This all sounds great, but I haven't mentioned that before this day, it had been a very slow week. Sometimes in missionary work, it is discouraging because you are working hard every single day and you can't see anything come from it. The thing different that happened on Friday was that before we left our apartment, we prayed that we would be able to see the fruit of our labors. I wasn't expecting it to happen that fast, but I did expect something to happen. When you are petitioning for the Lord's blessings, expect that you need to do your part and that He will answer in his due time. "Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you, Amen." (D&C 4:7) I know that this is true. I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!

Elder Bretton Steiner

Q and A:

How long has your companion been in the Federal Way area?
* Just one transfer before me, so about 2 months now.

Is there a Federal Way Stake?
* Yes

Is your area like a city (Kaysville) or more rural (forests)?
* It is more like Kaysville. There still are a lot of trees, but it is mostly neighborhoods. There are also some apartment complexes, too.

How long has your companion been out on his mission? How old is he?
* 11 months
* 19, I think

How is your district?
* They are doing good. We all had a slow week this week. Well, everyone but the Zone Leaders. They are on fire! For some reason, this week, most people have been canceling appointments. It is really cool that I can start to see how things work in this general area.

Lakota Creek Ward borders the "Puget Sound". We found a beach and took some pictures. It was awesome! We found some shells and sand dollars, too.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Lovely Ward of Lakota Creek

Dear Family,

This place is so awesome! I love the Lakota Creek Ward! Elder Scheidell and I have been working hard and biking hard. We don't have very many investigators right now, but we are working on it. :) It is really interesting the kind of food you get when you are on your mission. I had 2 kinds of food that I have never had before, this week. We ate Korean food over at the Hang family's house. We all sat cross-legged at a short table with some seafood soup and beef dumplings. I really liked those dumplings! I also tried a donut hamburger! Basically you get Crispy Cream donuts, cut them in half, and use them instead of the bun. It tasted very sweet!

If time keeps flying at the rate is has been this first year, I will be home in no time! Missions are just too short. :) My first district meeting wasn't too bad. I was so nervous that I forgot to check if our room had the air conditioner on. It was over 80 degrees outside and I happened to choose the only room in that church building that didn't have AC. It got really hot, and I was sweating a lot because I was nervous. They all took it well and many said that they liked it. I feel like my next district meeting will be better because I have had a lot more time to prepare for it and I know my district a little better. We are all good friends now, so it is not so nerve wracking anymore.

This week has been so great! It was a little warm, going upwards of 90's (Actually that was very hot). Elder Scheidell's bike broke on Friday, so we walked the rest of the night. He is now borrowing one of the Zone Leader's bikes until his derailer gets re-attached to his bike. I am glad to hear that everything is going well at home! I love you all!

Q and A:

How are you?
* I am doing great! I love this new ward. I had no idea how much fun it is to bike! There are a lot of hills in Lakota Creek Ward, so I get a lot of speed sometimes. :)

What is it like to be a district leader?
* It actually isn't too bad. Once I realized that I don't have to be perfect, but be myself, it has made it easier. It is funny, though. Every time I talk to a missionary in my district, I suddenly think of some suggestions that they could do to help their investigators. It makes me look smarter than I really am. :)

What are some of your responsibilities?
* I have to do a 1 and 1/2 hour District Meeting once a week, call everyone in my district twice a week (usually Thursdays and Sundays), and conduct companion exchanges with every Elder in my district.

Who is your companion? Where is he from?
* Elder Scheidell.
* Murray, Utah (Same stake as President Rasmussen, too!)

How are you getting along?
* Well! We actually have a lot of the same interests and you are not going to believe this! He also went to Seattle on a choir trip the same time I did and we competed there!

Are you biking now? Are your muscles killing you?
* Yes
* Yep, we do a lot of biking, but I have already seen myself get stronger. Some of those hills don't seem to be as long as they used to.

How many are in your district? Elders? Sisters?
* The Dolloff Lake Elders (Elder Higginson and Elder Mortensen)
* The Federal Way Sisters (Sister Thurman and Sister Bowman)
* The Redondo Elders (Elder Riley and Elder Covington) They are also our Zone Leaders.

Do you like your ward?
* Yes, all of the members here are super friendly and have never said no when we have needed a ride.

How big is your area compared to your last area that you compared to Provo?
* I am not sure. It definitely is not a small area. I personally think it is bigger, but that might be because I am not in a car. :)

Do the members there feed you?
* Yes. We have had a member meal every single day except for when we have P-Day. It has been pretty great!
Elder Bretton Steiner.

This is my first Ward Coordination Meeting in the Lakota Creek Ward. My ward mission leader is Brother K and my new companion is Elder Scheidell.

Lakota Creek borders the "Sound". Really, I like to call it the ocean, but everyone here likes to say "Sound".