Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sun and Service!

Dear Family,

This week has been great because the sun has come out! We've had warm weather for most of this week! It was perfect for biking and doing a lot of service! The service we did the most this week was weeding! We went and weeded Brother Anlis' front yard gardens and watered his trees. We also went to Sister Joseph's house to pull out some Blackberry Bush roots. I had no idea that they could get so big! Now that was a challenge!

The Elk Plain Ward is great! We are working a lot with the members here and trying the new thing that Elder Dube of the Seventy talked about. When we go to member's homes, we ask them to write down the names of every non-member they know and then rate them from 1-10 (1 being best) on how prepared they are for baptism. We then will ask them to do an act of kindness for the best one and build up from there. We have just started and it may take a while for results to come, but it is going to be great!

I hope you all had a great memorial day! I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

This is the view we get from Elk Plain Ward. Mount Rainier is awesome!

This is my companion, Elder Fullmer, with his typical large smile!

This is on the street?!

A small community airport!

There have been a lot of fluffy things flying through the air. It looks like it is snowing on a sunny day!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Week 1 in Elk Plain Ward!

Dear Family,

This week has been a crazy one! We had a lot of meetings: district meeting, new district leader training, stake conference, and a zone conference! Elder Dube of the seventy visited our mission and spoke to us at zone conference! He is really cool! One thing that he talked about was the difference between a Disciple of Christ and a "Me" Missionary. A "Me" Missionary is one who focuses on himself. He complains and goes through the motions as a missionary. A Disciple of Christ is one who focuses completely on others. He gives of himself all of the time. He doesn't complain about discomforts or disappointments. Another term for A Disciple of Christ is the 4th missionary (given in a different talk). Elder Dube's training was great!

This was my first week in Elk Plain so I will just have to tell about what I have learned about this place. Elk Plain is a more rural area. It is pretty spread out and has few houses. Elder Fullmer and I live a few miles out of our area. We are trying to save up the miles on our car, so we would use it to drive into our area and we would park it at the Church building. The Church building is right in the center of our area. We would then take our bikes and work around our area.

We always brought sack lunches to the church and we would eat in the serving area. The Church has become our "home base"! One thing that I really love about it is that it is always air conditioned! On a hot day, that feels great!

We have one investigator who is very promising. Her name is Jen. She is going through a lot of court cases trying to keep the custody of her daughter, Kali. After her court cases, she plans on moving out of her boyfriend's house and getting baptized! She has great fellowship from some members who were baptized just one year ago! She decided that she would probably get baptized in August! We are excited and are working with her all the time!

Elk Plain is a great area. It is different than I am used to because I have only been serving in the city until now. I know that I am meant to be here. I plan on working hard to help this ward become an even better place than when I found it. The work continues. I love you all! I hope you have a great week!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

P.S. Sorry there were no pictures this week! I need to take some pictures more often!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

The Double Shaft!

Dear Family,

I want to first talk about a surprise that is happening right now! I am being transferred! I want to let you know a little about the word "Shaft". In missionary terms, "Shaft" means that you served in an area for only 6 weeks, then you get transferred. A dreaded shaft is that of a missionary's last transfer, the "6-week Shaft". I just got both of them. I have only been serving in Fairwood ward for 6 weeks, and now I am being transferred to the Elk Plain ward in the Renton Stake, for my last 6 weeks in the mission field as a district leader. (Note: Shaft is not necessarily a derogatory term in this context) I have got such a great bragging right!

This week, Elder Smith and I got to work a lot with Jenny. She is on date for baptism, if she is living the Word of Wisdom. We stopped by her house on Saturday morning to give her some more pamphlets in Chinese because she requested them. She showed us the pamphlets we had given her before. She has gone through each one and marked them. She highlighted things she liked, she wrote in the Chinese translation next to some of the words. She says she loves them! You know you have a promising investigator when they take the time to study what we are teaching! I will probably go back up to Renton to attend her baptism, but for now, I will be focusing my work on the Elk Plain ward!

I know that this church is true. Those who earnestly are seeking for the truth will find it. Heavenly Father is always there to help us. His arms are stretched forth to meet us when we come to Him. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He provides the only way back to our Heavenly Father. I am honored to be serving a mission. I am on the Lord's errand. And I will continue to press forward until the end!

I hope you all had a great Mother's Day! I sure did! Calling home is never boring! I love you all!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

I am going way down south!

My district! From left to right: (Top) Elder Thurgood, Elder Dallimore, Elder Fuller, Elder Cook, Elder Smith, Elder Reynolds, Elder Steiner. (Bottom) Sister Williams, Sister Erickson, Sister Reynolds.

Remember to look up and drink the rain!

Lake Desire and a typical cloudy day.

This is the best spot we could find for a picture at Lake Desire.

Mother's Day calls were great!

I am all packed up! Leaving Fairwood, going to Elk Plain!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Come To Church!

Dear Family,

This week has been awesome! We had a great Zone Conference put together by President Rasmussen and it looks like winter weather is starting to let go! Jenny came to church this week! This was her first time! I was a little worried because she is still learning English and she can't understand anyone if they talk to fast!

We explained to her what Fast Sundays were and helped her understand that this wasn't the normal Sunday, but only happens on the first Sunday of the month. The people what went up to bear their testimonies mostly talked about prayer. Perfect! They shared examples of how prayer has helped their faith grow! Jenny has already had some great experiences with prayer!

We had Sister Hansen meet her and sit by her through every hour of church. Sister Hansen speaks Mandarin Chinese, too and they quickly became great friends! I could tell that Jenny's favorite hour was Relief Society! She was getting people's phone numbers and excitedly talking with them in the hallway.

After church, we asked her what she thought about it. She said that she loved it! She said that she doesn't want to go back to China because she has found her new family!

We are very excited for Jenny! We think she might already have plans to go to China again. She normally goes back and forth every 2 months. We don't know if she will be here all the way until her baptism or if it will be delayed. We hope and pray for the best!

Going to church helps all of us feel the Spirit more. I hope that when we each partake of the Sacrament that we are thinking of Jesus Christ. One thing that President Rasmussen suggested at Zone Conference is to go to Sacrament meeting asking Heavenly Father what you have done this week that He is proud of. And then listen. I hope you've all had a great week! I love you all!

Elder Bretton Steiner.

This is a picture of Lake Desire. It also has a lot of houses surrounding it, so it was hard to find a good view.

​We found an abandoned swing set!

Monday, May 1, 2017

"What Is The Purpose of Life?"

Dear Family,

This week has been an awesome week full of service and miracles! This week, we went to Salvation Army instead of Northwest Harvest to do service. Northwest Harvest specializes in packing foods to send to food banks and Salvation Army specializes in receiving that food and giving it out to people in need. It was pretty cool to work with people and see how happy they are to get some food!

Our investigators are doing great! We met with most of them this week. Nancy and John (The ones from Kenya) are struggling to read the Book of Mormon on their own. Sister Rhode was out of town this week. And Jenny had a concern resolved.

We met with Jenny on Wednesday this week at our ward mission leader's house. We couldn't round up a translator for this lesson, so we focused very hard on teaching simply and asking her if she understands. We went over the Book of Mormon with her and gave her one in Chinese. Then we started to teach her about the Plan of Salvation. We gave her a Chinese pamphlet and an English one so that she can figure out what the gospel words mean.

She would occasionally read the Chinese one out loud. None of us understood what she was saying, but when she was done, she would say, "I understand!" The Plan of Salvation answers 3 questions of the soul: Where did I come from? Why am I here? and What happens when I die? When she read that, she asked us, "What is the purpose of life?"

We answered as simply as we could, multiple times, but she didn't seem to understand. We then asked her why she wonders that. Over time, she told us that she doesn't see the purpose in her life. She has a successful job, and a happy marriage, but she can't have children. What's the purpose of life, if you can't continue it? It is obvious that it bothered her and we all said words of comfort to her. We told her that Heavenly Father loves her even though she can't have kids. At the end of it, she seemed to understand.

We didn't get all the way through the lesson. We ended it at Earth Life and we will continue it in our next lesson. She is going to love the resurrection!

I know that Heavenly Father loves all of us. We all have a purpose in life, even if we can't see it. There are people who we interact with everyday. I hope that as we do, we will share a part of our light with them. We can make a huge difference in their lives and not even know it! Heavenly Father does, though! And that is probably why He has you here, right now, at this very moment. He knows what He is doing and it is for the benefit of all of His children.

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

Elder Bretton Steiner.