The Addresses:

Sister Cassidy Cheyenne Steele
Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission
12025 Justice Ave
Baton Rouge, LA 80816

My email is

Monday, September 30, 2013

Stream of Consciousness Email

Sept 29, 2013

I really am sorry about the quality of my emails for the past little
bit--it's really crazy at computer time and most of the time I have to
spend sending a letter to President Wall. I'm not meaning to neglect
y'all, but between reading all the emails, writing to President,
writing to our stake president as he's requested us to, and writing to
you, I don't ever have much time to really think of details to put in.
I feel bad for being upset with my missionary friends for not writing
me back, because preperation day is just as busy as every other day,
and it's the only day we can write emails or letters. (if I didn't
have a lawn to mow, I would be fine!)
I hope the pictures came in useful--it's the only way I could think of
sending them with captions. Life of a missionary is crazy and I really
do wish I had more time.
Poor Teddy boy :( I miss our puppies and the kitties too. Last night
we were at a less-active member's home and they have TONS of animals.
I was petting one of the kittens hanging out by the house and she
stretched and was holding on to my skirt as I petted her, but then she
lost her balance and was holding on ONLY by my skirt. At least you
guys know I'm a sucker for animals.
Also funny--lizard roundup has begun again for the first time in a few
years. I rescued a tiny one from the shower, and we constantly have to
keep them and the toads out of our house. My companion thought I had
actually gone insane when she heard me talking in the shower. It was
after a really long day, so it was understandable.
This week was not quite what we had been expecting: we had received
promptings that we needed to go tracting (going door to door asking if
people want to hear the gospel--sort of what you think of when you
think of missionaries), but that's not the most effective way of
working. But on our side of the river, there are only three members
and two less-active members within a 5 or 6 mile radius. So we thought
we were going to have a lot of investigator lessons this week.
Instead, we ended up somehow only teaching three, but we taught 12
less-active members this week, which never happens. Our goal, which in
our entire time together and in Sister Jones' entire mission, is to
teach 20 lessons per week...this week, unbelievably, we taught 21. I
have no idea how we did it.
So, to respond to your emails, Dad's questions first:
A transfer is a six-week period of time where we are in one spot, or
area. Every six weeks, any of us could potentially be moved somewhere
else, though usually we stay for more than a transfer. Every six weeks
new missionaries come into the mission, and old missionaries leave. So
my email headings are T2 W2, meaning transfer 2, week 2. sisters have
12 transfers in a mission. Last transfer meeting (on the Wednesday of
Week 1) Elder Adkins got transferred and we got Elder Virgin as
district leader, or the guy who's sort of in charge of the
missionaries in our area. Sister Jones and I are hoping we get to stay
together through next transfer (T3) because she goes home at the end
of it and that means I get to stay in Vidalia for at least another 6
weeks after that. I don't know if I've grown taller in the heat :) but
I know my hair has grown about an inch and a half since July. The
closest temple is the Louisiana Baton Rouge temple, and we're about 2
hours away. We got to go last week, and it was much needed. I sent
some pictures of the district home in the box. I think the closest
temple aside from that is...Jackson? Not sure. I just know our temple
here is the LA-BAT. There definitely aren't any in the neighborhood,
no :) And as for the football scores, I don't know but I sure hope so!
I only know when LSU is playing and caught a glimpse of the LSU-Kent
State game. Mark sends me the USU scores though every week (and last
week he sent me the Utah Gymnastics Schedule.)
As for fire ants....I apparently taste really good to all kinds of
bugs because I get bitten like no other, Just on my legs, though. I
don't normally have issues with my arms. And I haven't gotten chiggers
or red bugs yet though, which is a blessing.

I'm trying to include details! I really am! The mission website isn't
loading so I can't email president right now, which is why you're so
lucky :).

Katie, I'm sorry about New Zealand :( But I hope you get to go to
Poland! That would be awesome. did I tell you I saw Emily King from
Alta in the MTC? If not, she says hello. She's going to Poland (well
she's already there.)
It's been rainy here, but no snow thank goodness. I had enough snow
last year to last me for this winter.
I don't know where this email is's sort of stream of
consciousness, but you should expect that of me. The bishop here is
moving into a really cool antebellum home in downtown Natchez, so
we've been helping them clean it and paint. The missionaries have been
helping for the past year or so, because it was seriously
terrifying--they bought it for $50,000 and sold the stuff that the
people left in it (they were hoarders) for $40,000. But we've been
helping with drywall and painting and insulation and so on and so
forth. So finish the remodeling at home before I get back, so I don't
have to help :)
Louisiana is very flat. Mississippi is very not. But I have now biked
accross the Mississippi river and across a state line! I thought I
was going to die, yet here I am.
Carrie, Kalo looks good in his pictures, and you definitely look good
on him. Glad my nephew pony is doing better :) So does Kalo just sort
of hang out with the old farts and Ellie now? I feel like he would get
bored. But I hope eventually when I'm not allergic to most things
anymore I will get to come with you and go trail riding or something.

As for the work, especially with investigators...well, it's been a
challenge this week. We have one investigator who for some reason just
lit on fire this week, reading and praying and generally being
awesome, but other than that...we don't really have much progress. The
people are great, but one of our two solid investigators we gave to
the elders and the other no longer wants to speak with us. We don't
know what happened. But this week will be full of finding.
Well...I don't know really what else to say. Pray, read the scriptures
(I just got to Alma 11 this morning. If you need a good chapter to
read, go read either Alma 5 (page 217), Alma 32 (page 288) or Ether 12
(page 508)). 

Work hard, play hard and I love y'all so much!!
Sister Steele :)

Pictures from the Mission Field of Louisiana (finally!) and letter of Sept 17th

This is Sister Jones (from Homer, Alaska) and Sister Steele at the end of a service project helping a ward member paint her shop.

 Sister Jones on the banks of the mighty Mississippi River.  They cross this river once or twice a day.  They have even biked across the bridge over this river!

The cemetery and the missionaries.  Apparently the missionary zombie appocalypse!  This is where the missionaries learned to use a machete.

 Ask the missionaries- they know the answer to this one!
Apparently vine swinging is part of what the elders will do to find investigators!

A beautiful Vidalia, Louisiana sunset

Sister Jones and Sister Steele

The bridge over the Mississippi River crossing from Vidalia, Louisiana to Natchez, Mississippi

The Natchez district missionaries at the Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple.

September 17, 2013
I made it through my first transfer! It's kind of strange to think I've been out for 6 weeks, and yet it's strange to think it's only been six weeks. I'm probably just going to copy and paste my letter to president, so I'll get your questions answered first.
1. Can you send the photo of us at Newport, the second most recent family photo? And just family pictures, printed because I can't print at the library. That's all I really desire.
2. The photos are getting shipped today, they should be there this week. They're labeled and everything, and there's a digital copy of the T1 photos. Sorry it took so long, last Monday was crazy.
3. The rolls were very much appreciated. They're delicious and taste like home, and no ants got in.
4. Sorry LSU beat Kent State, Dad.
5. Strange things you learn in the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission:
How to find moths in food (not our food)
Did you know you can sew an arm back on if it's been cut off, and still have movement in your fingers? (Not my arm, nor anyone else in the mission. Just one of our contacts)
Also, we can't really proselyte on Saturday evenings because the football game is on. Especially when it's LSU.
I don't even really remember this week. It was a huge blur. I know we somehow taught a lot of people and no one came to sacrament meeting, but other than that...I don't know what happened.
We were watching the "Daily Bread" Mormon messages [Go watch it!!] that just came out, and it really impressed me with both that one and "Patterns of Light" how much conversion and testimony are gradual things. Sure, you gain a witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, but that testimony comes gradually, bit by bit like a sunrise, until you reach the end and the Lord confirms that yes, what you are reading is true. I don't have any profound thoughts or anything like that, no giant witnesses of this church. But I do know that every time I read the scriptures and strive to be obedient to them, every time I try and listen to the Spirit and discern the needs of others, my love of the Lord increases and my desire to follow Him and share His gospel grows. I guess that's what it means to be converted--with a plant, carbon dioxide isn't converted into energy immediately, or all at once. It's a process of a little bit of a time.
When Sister Jones instructed in district meeting this week, she challenged each of us to find a commandment we weren't living as strictly as we could, and try to live it more fully. That's one of the ways we have been trying to turn up the volume. A lot of the things we do aren't necessarily "commandments" so to speak, but are things we could live a little better, such as being patient. I guess the Christlike attributes. No, I'm not perfect in the commandments yet either, and we are trying to be more punctual in our appointments, but by looking at the underlying attribute in the law or commandment and trying to develop that, it works to help me keep those commandments more fully, and keeping those commandments more fully helps me develop those attributes. So that's I guess an around the bush way of saying yes, I am trying to be obedient.
I am grateful for the opportunity I had to serve in this little district. We're sad to see Elder Adkins go, but it's the Lord's will. I'm grateful I get to spend another amazing transfer with Sister Jones and Elder Ryan, and whoever Elder Ryan's new companion is. It's hard in such a small district not to be unified.
This last week, we started teaching two people who are, in my eyes, prepared by the Lord to hear His message. One of them, M, was sitting outside when we were trying to find a less-active member, and told us that they didn't live there any more. Sister E went over and started talking to her, and we sang I am a Child of God for her. We started teaching her last week, and she's totally open and understanding of what we say! We invited her to be baptized yesterday, and she said yes, though we didn't pick a date yet because she needs to gain a confirmation still. The second woman, T, we are actually giving to the Elders because she's in Natchez, but we were looking for another investigator who no longer seems to want to see us, and she was helping us try and find her. But we taught the restoration and the word of wisdom to her, she said she needed to stop drinking/smoking, and when we came back for the return appointment she wasn't smoking or drinking, even if it was just for that point it was progress. But we were going to recap the restoration when she started asking questions about the plan of salvation, which she didn't even know about yet. But she had had some events in her life that the entire plan totally made sense to her and she accepted it wholeheartedly. I don't know where she will go from there, but those two investigators are the most solid ones we have right now. And it's a miracle we found them--the Lord put them in our path.
I had an amusing "likening" moment earlier this week with Alma 26.
"And now do you remember, my [friends] that we said unto our brethren in the land of [Salt Lake City], we go up to the land of [Louisiana/Mississippi] to preach to our brethren, the [Southerners], and they laughed us to scorn?
"For they said unto us: Do ye suppose that ye can bring the [Baptists] to the knowledge of the truth? Do ye suppose that you can convince the [Catholics] of the incorrectness of the traditions of their fathers, as stiffnecked a people as they are...
"But behold, my beloved brethren, we came into the [South] not with  the intent to destroy our brethren, but with the intent that perhaps we might save some few of their souls.
"Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren....and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."
It's been interesting, because that experience has actually happened. I would tell people back home that I would be serving in the Louisiana Baton Rouge mission, and they would just laugh and say "I'm sorry." But I knew the Lord has called me here, and while we don't have "success" in the way the church sees it (ie baptisms or numbers), we are finding people to teach and learning to love the Lord and His people. That, in my opinion, is success.
Love you love you love you! Hope everything is well!! Write me letters!
Sister Steele

Thursday, September 12, 2013

A muddled brain in week 5

My brain always seems to be muddled when I write my emails, so sorry about that. It's like, I go forward and know what I want to say when I leave my house, and then get to the library, read the 10 emails I have in my inbox and the stuff from President, and then sit down to start writing y'all and have no idea what I wanted to say. But I shall write as my brain dictates, so you're all used to it.
In case I didn't say it before, I do say y'all now. It's kind of amusing and sad at the same time. But it's so much easier to say than you guys or anything and now saying anything else just sounds weird.
Second, happy anniversary, parentals!! I hope you had an awesome day. This time last year, we were in Slovakia still! Crazy how life can change in a year.
Third, I know today's a hard day and home is in my thoughts today. It's hard to believe that it's been 5 years since that horrible day when you checked me out of school and the world came crashing down. But if I thought life had changed a lot in 1 year, look how much it's changed in 5. I never thought I'd be the person I am today 5 years ago. I had no idea who I was going to be or what I would be doing, but the Lord really has a better plan for me than I do, because I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Let Nana know she's in my thoughts and prayers today, as are all of you all the time.
Fourth, I don't have time to upload photos but you will have them by later this week I promise. I'm going to get them printed at walmart in half an hour and have them sent home for you. That way you can see all of my crazy life.
Let's see. Dad, it's a really good thing you knew CPR, and thanks for jumping into action. I'm sorry to hear about the tragedy in Bulgaria, and Steve makes some good points about precautions the team should make. That's never a fun outcome, especially on vacation. Hope you're doing alright. I got the postcard from Budapest last week, though! Thanks for following through with that one :) Their mail system did pretty well, since it said it was postmarked on the 26th and I think I got it on the 4th or 5th. I was impressed, anyways. Have fun in San Diego this week.
Mama, the ensigns/new eras would be great! And that photo looks amazing :) I can't print anything here, so I will trade you pictures!
I'm going to send a letter to Landon, so what is the Monsen's physical address, do you know? I'm so proud of him for being baptized. I can't think of anything else I need right now, so just keep on being awesome.
Transfers are next week (wow, I've been out a transfer. Crazy.) but I'm hoping President just lets us be. We have interviews with him this week, so I might just slip in some hints that none of us want to be transferred. If it's going to be anyone, it'll probably be Elder Adkins, since he's been in Natchez for 7 months now. I hope not, because he's hilarious and the four of us have a lot of work to do, but if so, I know he'll be great wherever he goes.
Carrie, good luck at the state fair! You'll be awesome and Mr. Pony looks good :) I'm glad most of the pony drama is over, and that things are looking up for you. Also congrats on Daisy, too! Any word on that technical writing job you mentioned a while ago?
Katie--good luck!! You'll be an awesome student teacher and I'm sure everything will work out for the best. Also, I never hear from you :( you should send an email this week, silly. Everyone else does.
Okay, I have to hurry because I still need to write president. But the theme this week was obedience, or rather, that obedience brings blessings. We have been really focusing on having the faith to find people to teach, and being obedient (not that we were being disobedient, but just trying to be obedient with exactness, like the Army of Helaman.). The first half of the week was a bit disappointing, though we were doing alright--we actually got two referrals on Monday night from an amazing lady in our ward who is getting ready to start her fifth round of chemo for breast cancer. Her attitude about everything is amazing. But we went to zone training on Friday and had a lot of ideas we'd had the day before during weekly planning confirmed, and got home from Alexandria and went to work. In two days, because we were going to the Lord more and striving to do everything we can to find people, we have two new investigators and ended up getting about 5 referrals this week, more than we've gotten the entire transfer! It was really amazing to see the Lord's hand working in my life. Mom, if you have to edit this to make it understandable to anyone who hasn't served a mission, I won't be offended. But we sat down last night and sort of had a second weekly planning, though a shorter one, focusing on goals for each person we are working with. I am so excited for this week.
But I have to go, but I'll send pictures this week! Love everyone, stay strong and humble, remember who you are and what you stand for! I know this gospel is true and it will bless the lives of everyone it touches. I know that this is where Heavenly Father wants me to be and I invite EVERYONE to come unto Christ! If anyone wants to learn more, please feel free to write me. Love you love you love you!
PS--funny things you learn in the Louisiana Baton Rouge mission:
How to file a police report.
How to replace a doorknob.
Don't have time for the full story, but we are watching a members house/dog while she's gone and we thought the washer had been stolen because her washroom was open and something was gone and boxes were all moved around, so we called the police, filed a report and changed the lock on her doorknob, and then got ahold of her brother only for him to tell us he borrowed her generator that had boxes stacked on top of it so it looked like a washer, and the washer was still there we just couldn't see it. Yup. It was an interesting day, but we got a new investigator for the elders and a referral out of it!

Labor Day Letter

Hope everything is going well this week! It'll be a little different labor day thanks to the lack of a pool, but are you still having the party? Let everyone know I miss them.
Sorry for the jumbled email last week--I ended up writing a really long letter to President and had less than 10 minutes to write y'all (yes. I say y'all. I've been in the South too long.). But my brain is also a little fuzzy this week, but I will still attempt to write a coherent email.
But first things first, this week's round of "Strange things you learn in the Louisiana Baton Rouge Mission!"
Ants die if you put them in the freezer.
Also, there's a multi-millionaire bull rider who lives in our district. I didn't even know that there were such things as multi-millionaire bull riders. No, I'm not going to go ask him to start me out on the little bulls. :) We'll leave him to the elders.
This week was an interesting week, though not quite as finding focused as last week. This one was more service focused--we did about 25 hours of service, which if you calculate out that we leave the house at 11 and get back in at 9, its over 2 full days worth of service. We painted and cleaned and did a whole lot of dishes and are watching our landlady's dog while she's away with her son and daughter in law for their third child. The dog's name is Mia, and she's tiny enough that half the time I accidentally call her Molly. I think she's a chiuaua? Not sure.
Um, let's see. We have possibly another new investigator this week, we have to go back on Wednesday to see her. She's super sweet and lives about 10 miles away from us, so the amazing new bike seat will be greatly appreciated.
Speaking of which, mother dearest, I did only ask to know how much they cost, silly. You didn't have to go get one :)
I am almost done with 1 Nephi, I have one or two more days and I'll be done. It's week 5--I've been out for almost a transfer in the field. It feels so much longer. Transfers are week 7, but we have zone training in Alexandria this week and then exchanges with the sister training leaders next Tuesday. For those of you who don't know mission lingo, exchanges are where you switch companions for a day with a leader so that they can evaluate your effectiveness.
Um...I don't know much else to say--Oh, I had to lead in sacrament this week. that was fun. And I think sister Jones and I are either speaking or doing a musical number this coming Sunday, which will also be fun.
Love you much!
Sister Steele

PS the care package was gratefully received--however it came while we were out so ants got into one of the cookie packages. No worries, however, because ants freeze and die if you put them in the freezer for like 10 minutes :) I made cookies today since we are using a member family's business computers. We got lunch at their house because they're amazing and dinner at another member family house today, so no I'm not going hungry. Also! If you want to make our standard cookie recipe in as low an elevation as we are, I had to add an extra half cup of flour to get it to stiffen enough to bake well. I don't know why, but it did work so I'll take it.