Tuesday, February 28, 2017

20th Month Mark

Dear Family,

This week is "Mid-Winter Break". School is out and many people are on vacation! So, it was a little slower this week. I love my new companion, Elder Smith! He really likes puns, just like me! We have been having a great time everywhere we go!

I had to look twice at the clock on Friday. The 24th of February? Wow, I am old. 20th month mark. It really does fly! Well, I'd better make the best out of the last 4 I've got!

Saturday was another Festival of Finding! The whole mission took 10 am to 5 pm to do finding! I got to go on blitz with a couple of other Elders in the Zone. It is great to be able to go with others during this festival to learn from them and how they share the Gospel. I didn't find any new investigators during the event, but I know that others did! When our whole mission unifies our faith, miracles happen! I can't wait to hear some of the stories that other missionaries had during the event!

Well, I don't have much to write about this week, but I can update you on John and Sister Kis! John is still at Truck Driving school and he is doing good! We haven't been able to meet with Sister Kis this week, she is kind of hard to contact. :) We will keep trying!

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

Elder Bretton Steiner.

Elder Smith and I going to service!

This is what the inside of a fire hydrant looks like.

Elder Smith is holding the water back, I think.

Wow! He is flexible!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Working With What You Got!

Dear Family,

First off, Happy Birthday Braden! And congratulations Colton and Alex! (They are getting married!)

Second off, today is transfers. I am staying here and Elder Ward is being transferred. My new companion is Elder Smith! I will get to meet him later today!

Okay, now for the topic of this email... I hope you all read the monthly Ensign magazines because they are great! I've gotten into reading this month's and have found something that I really like.

I don't remember what the articles are called (I didn't come that prepared), but they talked about working with what you have been given. When you play a card game, you can almost guarantee that you will eventually get a bad hand. Sometimes it may feel like we have been given a bad hand in our lives. I have learned that it never helps to dwell on the fact that you have a bad hand. If you do, you will lose interest in the game and not have any fun.

I know that Heavenly Father has put us each in a specific situation that is intended for us to grow closer to Him. Sometimes we may not see it or feel like the opposite is true, but I know that in the end we will be thanking Him for everything He has done. His wisdom surpasses all of ours and His love for us is certain.

Another article in the same Ensign talked about a similar subject of one who is in a sailboat. He cannot change the direction that the wind is blowing, but he can adjust the sail. We need to accept the situations that we are in and do what we can with what we have. Heavenly Father does not intend for us to fail. We will all at some point fall short of what He asks, but He will help us get back up and keep going.

I have found a lot of happiness in applying this advice. Sometimes mission life is hard and full of challenges, but I know that I am being supported as a missionary in everything I do. When I forget the hardships and just go out and serve with all I've got, that is when I find the greatest success.

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

Elder Bretton Steiner.

P.S. We taught John and Celine this week and they seem to be doing great! They even came to see a baptism! We haven't seen Sister Kis this week, but we will keep trying!

Last District Meeting of the transfer! The other district leaders couldn't make it today, so really the whole zone came to this meeting!

Elder Ward has reached his 6 month mark. He burned a tie to celebrate!

Brother Christensen showed us his off-roading jeep!

Following the Spirit!

Dear Family,

A lot of crazy things happened this week including the application of the new missionary schedule and extreme weather. The new missionary schedule is amazing! It feels like the main stress of time is gone. Both morning and night I have time to mentally prepare and overall missionary work has been going a lot better!

On Saturday, Elder Ward and I had a cool experience. It was in the evening, after dark.We went to go visit David Orange, who is a potential investigator. He told us in the past that he had met with missionaries for over 5 years and since he has moved to Renton. We have been trying to meet with him for the last 4 weeks, but he has always had something going on.

This time, when we went over, he was there. He just put his kids into bed and so we talked on his front porch. He showed us a lot of cool things he had and we talked a little, then I asked, "We know that you have met with missionaries before, so we want to know: which of the lessons would you like to learn?"

He said that he didn't know any of the lessons. I had a Restoration pamphlet ready in the pocket of my jacket and I felt prompted to pull it out. I didn't know what to say so I started by asking him, "Have you seen this one before?" He said he did, but he had lost his copy. I pointed to the front picture of Christ holding a lamb. I said "We believe in Jesus Christ. He is the one that makes this all possible. Without Him, there would be no point in having our religion."

He made a comment saying, "We are the lamb in that picture." I said "Yes, and He suffered and died for us. He called apostles and prophets to declare his word and His Gospel, but a short time after he left the earth, his Gospel got corrupted and changed. And now, it has been restored by a prophet called by God who had been given the Priesthood authority the same way Jesus had given it to his apostles."

Then I asked, "Do you believe that there could be prophets today?" He said, "There could be." I asked, "Do you think they are necessary?" He said, "Yes, to some people." I said, "Some people would say that we need prophets now more than ever! We live in the times the Bible calls the Last Days and we have found this to be true. As missionaries we have been called to bring this word to you."

Then I asked him, "What difference would it make if you knew this was true?" He answered by saying, "It is my mission to find the best way to heaven." Our conversation was cut short because his wife called him into the house. I gave him the Restoration pamphlet to read and we set up for next week.

We have never gotten David Orange to allow us to teach anything. I didn't expect to go into full teaching mode, but I went with what I was given. I know that it is important to follow the Spirit because there is power in it. I know that my testimony can make a difference in other peoples' lives! I know that when we are doing everything we can to follow the Spirit, we will be given what to say in the very moment!

Oh yeah, Happy Valentines Day! I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!

Elder Bretton Steiner

The drains in our apartment complex couldn't drain the cloud burst fast enough!

The heavy snow from last week has caused lots of trees to split and break.

Yep, this is flooding conditions. This is the highest we have ever seen this pond.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

It's Snowing!

Dear Family,

This week has been a little on the slower side because many people have been getting sick, but it all ended up being a great adventure when the snow came! I wanted to email you all yesterday, but the libraries and schools were closed due to the snow fall. We got 10 inches of snow here. That is the most snow Seattle has had for the last 5 years! It has been great!

I can now tell you about the new changes regarding the missionary schedule! The new schedule is supposed to allow missionaries to have more freedom on how we plan the day. If you want to watch the video and how it was announced, click this: https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/watch/worldwide-missionary-broadcast/2017/01?lang=eng&vid=5308414566001

This mission is not currently using the new schedule. We will be applying the new schedule later this week after President Rasmussen announces it at Zone Conference. My zone has our Zone Conference this Friday.

Elder Ward and I have a new investigator named Sister Kis. She has 3 kids, one of which is already a member and the other two are not baptism age. She has been taught by missionaries before, all of whom wrote on her record saying that she is golden, but work and smoking is keeping her from attending church and being baptized. Three weeks ago, she become unemployed. Somehow, at the same time, a member requested that we go over to see her. She has been taking the lessons ever since and she is very receptive to the Spirit. She is currently on date to be baptized, but first, we need to help her stop smoking.

As for John and his daughter, Celine, we haven't met with them for the last two weeks. They haven't come to church either (but that might be because the Super Bowl was one of those Sundays). We are working on setting up another lesson, but we are having trouble keeping in contact with them. We will keep trying with them.

I know that this church is true. Heavenly Father is preparing people to receive the Gospel everywhere around the world. I know that I can be an instrument in helping them to do that. I am grateful for the guidance of the Spirit that has helped us to know what to plan for and what to say for each of our investigators.

I love you all!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

It's a snow-Elder!

I love snow! Too bad it doesn't stay very long around here.

This is what we saw leaving our apartment yesterday morning.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Mission Temple Day!

Dear Family,

As you can tell by the title, our mission went to the Seattle temple this week! The south half went last Tuesday and the north half went today! It was amazing! We all had a great time and the Spirit was so strong! I hope you all get to attend the temple regularly. It is truly a blessing that we can participate in God's work!

This week has been a great week! We had a world wide missionary broadcast as well that included some really important changes. First off, we only have 4 Key Indicators to report instead of the 10 or so we used to have. There is also going to be a change in the missionary schedule that will give us 2 extra hours on P-Days and shorter lunches every other day. And a few other schedule mix-ups.

This mission will start living by the new schedule starting February 10th where President Rasmussen will introduce it to the mission. President Rasmussen has the ability to change the schedule to fit the place of the mission. We don't know what he is going to do, but he will probably keep it close to the regular schedule.

I have had a great week! I want you all to know that I know this church is true. The temple is a blessing in both our lives and the lives of those who have passed on. I know that this is God's work! He will bless you as you keep his commandments and stay true to your covenants. I hope you all have a great week! I love you all!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

What a great day to attend the temple!