The Addresses:


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

My email is cassidy.steele@myldsmail.net

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Halloween and Transfer Week November 4, 2014


Before I begin, yes, sister McEntire is getting transferred. apparently I'm a hard companion to keep since this will be my 6th companion in 6 transfers!! I think my companion is going to be Sister Monk. It's either that or I go into a salt and pepper (english/spanish) companionship with a sister named sister black. both of them are super sweet though.I just am not super happy Sister McEntire is leaving!
Also! Happy November :)
So....what happened this week? Let me think. I think I just told you the two highlights, but I'll go through the day.
Monday: We went and played dodgeball again...I am slowly but surely getting better! I took second place this time. Next week, you know I'm gonna win!! Also, we had dinner at our ward mission leader's house. He made us steaks as big as our dang plates! I thought I was gonna die it was so much food. Thanksgiving in Albany will be....well, interesting. I don't know how I'm going to eat that much food. Lots of prayer, I guess.

Tuesday: We didn't have district meeting because the Amite missionaries didn't have miles, but we did carve pumpkins and see a lot of people. Our pumpkin was quite excellent :) I mean, we weren't the ones who carved it because my artistic skill is lacking, but we got one of the zone leaders to carve it for us. It looked much better than anything I could have done.
Elder Watkins and our awesome pumpkin :)

​We also went on exchanges with the hammond sisters! That was fun :) I was with Sister Carpenter. She is such an awesome sister! We had a lot of fun and also we didn't have to pack a suitcase since we live in the same house! (Neither of them are getting transferred.) I have really enjoyed being an STL this transfer. It's helped me grow a lot more than I ever expected. Also, it keeps me busy and helps me make more friends which are added bonuses!!
Wednesday:
We finished exchanges and then had to go on the hunt for another halloween costume! I don't know why, but we decided we were going to be something different :) So, we found these beauties :)
(Us, elder Hacking, Elder Larkin and our investigator K)
And went and helped out set up the halloween party for the ward! That was a lot of fun :) it was great to see the little kids in their costumes!
yes. I was a shark.

Thursday: We actually worked. Amazing, right? we saw a lot of people and got a lot of work done! (Okay, we're pretty good at working, it just doesn't seem like it sometimes. We taught 20 lessons this week which counts for something!) We even did weekly planning. So that was pretty impressive.
Friday: Halloween. We worked most of the day, and then we had to either be in by 6 or have an appointment, so we had a member throw a going-away party for Elder Hacking (he goes home Wednesday). It was super fun! We played pictionary and one of the members had little games that she totally rigged so the sisters would win :) but we won pictionary fair and square! Apparently I'm good at that one, too. I just start throwing out words and then one of them is the right one eventually!
Saturday we had a multi-cultural event in Denham Springs, that I finally got to use my German because we did a musical number in a bunch of different languages! I have been looking for a way to use it for a while now, so that was fun :) We sang "I am a child of God" in French, Spanish, German, Mandarin Chinese and Sister Carpenter did it in sign language. It was a really good devotional. I enjoyed it! Also, watching one of the Fijian elders dance was pretty great :) I also have that one on video but I can't send it :( Oh well.
Sunday: Despite being here for a transfer, I got asked if I was new, a visa waiter, or on exchanges at least 5 times on Sunday. That was interesting. I think it's because the elders have been switching up so much that they just assumed I was too. But now they won't because...well, I'm taking over. I would have rather kept it the way it was, though!
Monday: We did a lot of service and then the transfer calls came in.....we were really surprised and I'm fairly sure I went through all 5 stages of grief. It felt like someone died and I was NOT happy about it. So we spent the rest of the night saying goodbye.
Now we have ANOTHER new adventure. Onwards and upwards, I guess! I'm always ready for another adventure :)
Love y'all!!!! take care and I'll talk to you in a week :)
Sister Steele

Happy Last Week of October! October 27, 2014



Shoot! this month (and transfer!) have gone by SO FAST. That's right folks, transfers are next week. Now before y'all get all freaked out, yes, it was a short transfer--it was 5 weeks instead of 6. it's kind of crazy! I think myself and Sis McEntire are staying (at least.....I sure hope so!) though, the last while of my mission I haven't been able to keep companions very long at all! If one of us does get transferred it will be my 6th companion in 6 transfers and that would just be sad.
Let's see...this week was pretty good! We had no meetings outside of district meeting this week, so that was super nice. No instructions to prepare :) But we did have two exchanges this week AND the elders got sick so that was no fun. We went to the Denham wards' trunk or treat with the other Sisters, dressed up as.....that's right.

we went as elders :)






​pretty much we went as the elders who converted an old lady, her granddaughter (who's mother died) and their pet cat :)

That was the most interesting thing that happened this week! Aside from that, we:
Played dodgeball again....which I get better at by the week
Had a birthday party for one of the zone leaders and had a BIKE DAY for the first time in 4 months! I was so excited :)
Went on an adventure to Tickfaw state park while we had an extra 20 minutes before a dinner appointment and no one else even remotely in the area


Helped set up an egyptian exhibit at a local school on exchanges and got my name written in a cartouche (whatever that is)
Helped with the Primary Program!

Actually, Sister McEntire helped with the primary program. I got sick with whatever the elders had on Saturday and so I laid in bed and slept for about 2 days straight. All is well now though :)
So yeah....this week is transfers, which means you won't hear from me until Tuesday. I think we're pretty safe but everything with transfers is a gamble!
I hope everything's going well back home. I love and miss yall and hope to hear from you one of these days!
Love y'all!
Sister Steele

It's Pday again! October 22, 2014



Fun fact: Here's what happened a year ago :)


Once upon a time there were two little sister missionaries in a place called Vidalia, LA. Their ward was across the Mississippi river in a town called Natchez. Their mission president, President Wall was coming to speak at church that morning, and so they wanted to be there early to greet him. However, they were low on miles and also they had to take care of a member's dogs, so they set out on bike at 7:30 to cross the Mississippi and bike the 6 miles to the member's house, then to the church for sacrament meeting. That weekend had been the Natchez baloon races, so as they were biking the bridge they watched the hot air balloons fly over them and were so happy to be missionaries. They biked along, climbing each successive hill and coasting to the bottom, until the last hill before they got to the member's house. Sister Steele pedaled as hard as she could to the top, and stood to wait for Sister Jones, slightly confused because Sister Jones always was in front. She looks down the bottom of the hill and Sister Jones is panting, walking up the hill with her bike next to her. She gets up top, and out of breath, she says, "Sister....I got a flat." 3 miles from the church. We walk to the members house, take care of the dogs, and try and figure out what to do. We call the Elders--they bust up laughing and they don't have any way to help us. So we call President and he tells us to lock our bikes somewhere and they will come pick us up. The Elders call back and say a member had just pulled up with their truck and they were on their way to come get us. All while laughing far too much :) President spoke in church and made it a point to mention we got a flat to the entire ward...that was definitely a memorable day!

This week on the mission was so so crazy in the best way possible. It's hard to believe it was only a week though! I don't know how much of it will make sense, but I will do my best.

So this Monday, we got put on lockdown because there were tornado warnings across the state. Typically on lockdown that's a great time to catch up in your journal, maybe go to bed early......but not when you live with 3 of your best friends. We were laughing hysterically and having the best time I have ever had on lockdown. We didn't get anything done, haha :) But Monday for pday we played dodgeball and played in the rain. We had a blast :)

Tuesday Elder Jenson left for Brazil. We were instructing for zone conference, so we spent the whole day applying for college and working on our instruction. Elder Larkin came back with Elder Hacking, who goes home at the end of this transfer so it's pretty likely Elder Larkin will get double transferred out and we'll get a new set of elders. We had a relief Society activity and I re-learned that bread pudding is a gift from the gods, especially if it's pumpkin spice bread pudding. That's the only thing I really like about it getting cooler--the pumpkin stuff is starting to come out.

Wednesday we actually got to work! It was a miracle. We saw a recent convert and her cute 2year old daughter, and our investigator came to Young Women's and LOVED it! She said she felt so good when she came into the church. She was going to come to church on Sunday but then had to watch her sister's kids instead but she is coming to young women's from here on out! We finished up planning (I have planned more this transfer than I have my entire LIFE) and got ready for zone conference.

Thursday was the big day--zone conference is where it's not just the missionaries, it's the assistants, office elders, and President and Sister Hansen as well. We were instructing on building others up, and so we collected compliments about each member of the zone and made a paper chain talking about unity and how each one of us has a unique role in the mission. It went super super well--I know the Spirit was totally guiding is. It was nice to see the good in people and as we read out each person's strengths, their faces brightened and I knew we had been led by the Spirit to say what they needed to hear. Everyone came up to us after and told us how good of an instruction it was, so hopefully that's some evidence Sis M and I can stay together next transfer! We did exchanges with a set of Sisters after zone conference and that stayed until Friday.

Friday was really fun too! it was my first exchange staying in the area--the last two I had gone to the other sisters' areas because I don't know anyone yet, haha :) But we had dinner at a recent convert's, and she HANDMADE all her food. she hand breaded and fried her chicken. She made her own bread. It was so delicious. She is such a sweetheart. I got to drive up to McComb, MS (I finally made it back to Mississippi!!) and then sis M and I had such a good drive back. She has become one of my closest friends, I LOVE her as a companion and can't wait to party it up at school :)(

Saturday was probably one of the best days on my mission. Sis Stephens was back visiting, and we had to go get our car inspected in Baton Rouge, so we went to the temple and she was there and so were a bunch of our mission friends. If the celestial kingdom is a giant reunion, this was a small taste of that. I was so so happy to be there. Then we went out to lunch with some other missionaries, and then we went to get dessert with the Putnams!! It was so fun :) We came back up to Albany and even had time to see 3 people, before we went for second dessert with a family in Hammond Ward who still loves us and also Liza was there too.

Sunday was great too :) sacrament meeting was excellent, and we were able to work hard and see a lot of people. I love being a missionary. I love it so so much. This really has been the happiest time of my life because I am serving God with all my heart, might mind and strength. I know my heart has been enlarged since I've been out, both for the people out here and the people (y'all) back home! I just feel so much more love than I did before. I know that's one way I feel the Spirit--feeling love for the people around me. It just makes me so happy.

I hope y'all have a fantastic week. I love you so much and I am excited to hear from y'all next week!!


Love,


Sister Steele :)

The Things You Learn in Louisiana, Part 66 October 13, 2014


Well SHOOT. It's been a crazy week. I've barely even had time to breathe, let alone do anything else! Life has gotten REALLY REALLY busy really fast. I'm not saying it was all work and no play, but we were DEFINITELY on the go all the time.

However, we did get to go fishing. Twice. We went on Friday (I'll explain in a second) and then again this morning for pday. Our ward mission leader, Bro Ribando, is a crazy Italian who has a pond outside his house that he keeps stocked with perch and catfish. We didn't have enough time to hook a catfish, but I caught my first fish since....who knows when! I actually caught 3 perch. Elder Jenson hooked a catfish, but the line broke right as he was about to net it. It was SO FUN though. Good bonding time.

Okay. What on earth did we even do this week?

Monday: We played volleyball and dodgeball in the church. Believe it or not, I've actually gotten a little bit better at volleyball. Which isn't that difficult :) But the Assistants and Office Elders came up and we had a party and it was great fun :)

Tuesday: District meeting, and the only full work day we had this week. We saw a cute old lady whose husband has really bad alzheimers, and another really sweet lady who's bedridden so she was grateful for the company. We saw our investigator K, who is doing really well and should come to church this week! And I feel like we did more I just don't remember.

Wednesday: We had MLC (mission leadership council!) It was great, because I got to see sister Hoskins and Sister Baird. I couldn't tell any stories about anything without one of my companions being there, pretty much. It didn't stop me from talking, though because apparently I'm one of those people who talks all the time (if you couldn't tell). It was so fun, even though it was a big long meeting. It was only supposed to go until 3, but we were setting some goals for the mission so it ran an hour late. It was long and my brain was totally fried after. It was good though! I enjoyed it, but then again, I love people. We started another exchange Wednesday in Zachary and had a blast, then came back on Thursday and had a meeting with the zone leaders to plan ztm (zone training meeting.) we were instructing on keeping our lines in the water. So, Friday, we went fishing! Seeing as it had been a long time since I had ever fished, it helped with our instruction.

I just got notice that I'm being logged off in 5 mintues, I don't know if we'll be able to get back on. We may not.
Saturday we had ZTM. The instruction went really well. We also had a child of record get baptized, which was a really good experience.

Sunday we got to meet the ward (finally!) it was so much fun :) we're helping out with the primary program again.

If I can get back on I will elaborate. I have a really funny story to tell! But if not, until next week,
Sister Steele
LOVE YALL!!!!!!!!!





My first fish :)




Hello, Albany! October 6, 2014



I am really bad at coming up with catchy titles for emails if you haven't noticed by now :) oh well. This week was really good! Any week when General Conference is on is going to be good. I might have shed a tear or two, seeing as its my last conference on my mission. That's crazy to think about. Today is my 14 month mark of being in Louisiana, and yesterday was my 4-month left mark. The time goes by SO FAST and I'm not sure what to think! Hopefully I'll finish out my mission in Albany.


Albany is SO GREAT! I love it here :) My companion, Sister McEntire, is awesome. She's a lot like Sister Stephens and Sister Baird--we laugh a lot and have a really good time, but also can teach really well together. I love this area already! We have two other sisters who live with us (we actually live in Hammond, but work in Albany), sister Hafford and Sister Carpenter! They are really cool too :) We get so distracted in the evenings because it's just so easy to sit and talk to each other! We get along really well. Sister McEntire's been out for almost a year (her year mark is next week) and Sister Hafford has been out 9 months, and Sister Carpenter has been out...well a week! So it's a good house. It's weird because there are only 6 sisters older than me on the mission. 6. And I know them all. So I am one of the oldest sisters out at this point! so everyone's younger than me :)


Okay. So we went on our first exchange this week (so I swapped with another sister for the day) and so I got to hang out with Sister Stephens last companion and have fun and talk about her :) It was great fun and I am so excited to learn from all of the sisters I serve around. It's going to be such a good transfer! I've already learned so much.


This wekend was General Conference, like I said. One of my favorite parts of the talks was President Monson's. He was talking about a woman who went to the Holy Land and was amazed to walk where Jesus walked and be where He was. But then President Monson said something that really struck me. He said: "it is of far less importance to walk where Jesus walked, as it is to walk as Jesus walked." We all will walk that path. Jesus walked the path of pain, disappointment, and temptaion. We will too. But He also walked the path of obedience, service, and prayer. We can walk that path if we want. But as we strive to place Christ at the center of our lives, He promises to give us eternal life. No other choice we make makes us what He can. that was such a good talk, in my opinion. Whenever I go to General Conference it makes me want to try a little harder to be a little better.


It's been fun meeting all the members and trying to learn the area. This week we have MLC (missionary leadership council) and ZTM (zone training meeting) so I get to head down to Baton Rouge on Wednesday for a meeting, then plan and put on another meeting with the zone leaders. It's gonna be a party.


I love yall! I hope everything is going well. When the chips are down, always remember my favorite scripture: "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

Sister Steele


Sister Carpenter, Sister Hafford, Sister McEntire, Me!



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Well This Has Been an Interesting Week!" Sept 29, 2014


I don't even know where to start. It's been a whirlwind and somehow I only have 3 transfers left! I AM getting transferred tomorrow. I am going to be a Sister Training Leader in Albany (not new york), so I will be leaving the Zone. (I figured it out for myself, we're not really officially sure that's where I'm going until tomorrow, but that's the only STL companionship getting transferred so it is the only place I could go.) I thought I wasn't going to get transferred because I was training, but here we are and I'm packed and almost ready to leave! It's been so awesome being in Baton Rouge 3rd Ward....I'm going to miss it so much! But I am so excited to move on and have new adventures. Because, as you know I love adventure :)

I have been so distracted writing this email....I started it an hour and a half ago but transfer information keeps coming in and I am one of the missionaries in the mission who makes it a point to have all the transfer information I can before transfers. It's fun because then everyoen comes  to me for transfer info and I feel special :) kidding, I just love knowing/guessing where everyone is going.

what are some things we saw this week?

Well. We saw one of the members in the Plaquemine Branch get arrested....and tried to bail her out. We pull up to breakfast at another member's house, (we slept over at the Plaquettes' because sister Hill had to come home for medical reasons) and there's cop cars surrounding HJ's car. We see them cuff her and stick her in the back of the cop car, and we go in and the otehr member called the police because they didn't recognize the car. Theen the charges were dropped but apparently one of her dogs got out this mornign so they were looking for her to pay a ticket so she got arrested anyways. We finish breakfast, go to the ATM and pull out the $250 to bail her out, run to the police station and with the money triumphantly in our hands, we open the door, go up to the counter and say "we're here to bail someone out!" The clerk just looks at us...and says "you have to go down to the jail to do that one." #awkward. So we leave the police station and are about to drive down to the jail when we see the police officer who arrested HJ walking in! We run up to him and ask for directions, and he says she's bailing herself out as we talked to him. It would have been a better story if we'd been able to, but she still paid $57 in pennies and 81 in in $1s (She never spends her 1s or change) and the rest normally. so that made up for it a bit, but that was the adventure. Then we had to spend the rest of the day crying because we had to take Sister Hill to the mission home and say goodbye. That sucked. Pretty bad. I was so emotionally drained by the end of that day I just wanted to go to bed. So I did. Also we got stuck in traffic for almost 2 hours so that wasn't fun either.

Wedneday was also a bit of a fun day....we found out Sister Ririe is allergic to wasps! We were doing a service project and she got stung, so we drove to a member's house and gave her benadryl and her hand went numb and she passed out. No death though, thank goodness. I had to check like 15 times to make sure she was still breathing.

Friday we got to go to the temple, which was awesome :) Always a blessing.

Saturday was the women's broadcast! Taht was so cool. See my spiritual thought at the end :)

Sunday I already knew I was getting transferred, so I said goodbye to people and it was very difficult to leave :( I have really loved this ward. I have definitely grown a lot here, and grown to love people more. It's been so busy! but so good :)

Yesterday was spent running around saying goodbye as well--plus, a member in our ward I'm good friends with got her mission call to the Leeds, England mission! She reports in England on January 1, 2015. It was such a tender mercy I got to be here for the call. I have been working with her for a while and I love her a lot, and it comes my last full day in BR3? if that's not divine intervention I don't know what is.

so that was this week! Next week, who knows what will come? I am so excited for it :) Though it's a bit bittersweet, because Sister Stephens goes home tomorrow. But at least I know it's not the end :)
So here's my spiritual thought:
The women's broadcast was all about preparing to go to the temple. I thought that was so cool, but in one of the talks one of the speakers turned temples inside out. she quoted this scripture:
1st Corinthians 3:16: "Know ye not that ye are the temple‍ of God, and that‍ the Spirit‍ of God dwelleth in‍ you?"
She then said this:
"The temple's purpose is to serve manking and to push back the darkness. We are temples of God. Our purpose is to serve mankind and push back the darkness." It's so true! If we are temples, every good word, thought and deed help push back the evil in the world. As Dumbledore said, "we must fight, and fight again, for only then will evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated." We can't completeyl stamp out the darkness in the world, but we can push it out of our lives. Dark and light CANNOT exist in the same space. We have to choose which one we want to exist in. So as we are kind to ourselves and each otehr, as we take a stand for the things that are right, we push back the darkness a little further and bring a little more light into the world. Temples are lighted at night so they can be seen in the darkness. We are as well. Christ said "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven." He also said "I am the light which ye are to hold up." when we do good, we emulate the Savior of the world. We hold up His light that banishes the darkness.
LOVE YALL SO MUCH!!! I'M ONTO ANOTHER GREAT ADVENTURE!!
Sister Steele

Saying goodbye to the Baton Rouge 3d Ward Young Women.  I'll miss them!




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Hello Again from Louisiana Sept. 22nd


Hello again from Louisiana! hope everythign is going well for everyone. This week was fun, but the kind of fun that missionaries have. We were busy. We saw a lot of people and made some progress with them! Let's see......[insert flashback music here]
Monday we went bowling! it was fun but I still stink. I made exactly one strike and the first game I scored like 68 or something and the second game I think I scored like 40. I stink. I think i've been bowling twice in the past 5 years, and some of the other missionaries for some reason had takign bowling lessons when they were younger. I keep waiting for when we play softball or soccer again so I can prove to the world I actually do play sports :)
tuesday we got the oil changed in our car (if it was my car I could have done it, but since the mission provides cars, they want us to get them taken in. Not complaining though :P), had a meeting, and went and helped Sister Hansen make little "faith kits" for the missionaries (as in, we put dirt in a bag with a bag of seeds and paper cups, so they could plant the seed, water it and watch it grow! Faith is like a seed. If we plant it in our hearts and "water" it [pray, read scriptures, etc] it will grow just like a little plant!) and then we got to go to the temple! It was so nice to put all my cares away and focus on feeling the Spirit and feeling at peace. The temple really is a house of God, a place where His Spirit just sort of washes away any worries or cares you have. It is so peaceful. I love having the opportunity to go to the temple.
Wednesday we saw a ton of people!! We got to go to the nursing home to visit this sweet lady and sang to her and her friend. I love nursing homes, really. Everyone is just so happy to see us and it's so easy to just smile and say hello to people. It's fun to ask for advice, too. We visited her again yesterday and her friend was there, J. J is 100 and a half! She's got some really good advice :) I love old people. We saw a lot of my favorite people and got to eat dinner with some of them :)
Thursday I realized I actually like being a grownup. Mind you, this only happens occasionally. We went to lunch with some of the women in the ward, as a Relief Society thing. We went to this yummy little place called La Madelines, and it was really fun. It's nice to feel like you belong to something, and Relief Society is meant to be just that--an organization to help women feel closer and belong and serve each other. It's just fun :) Then we went to do service, and off to dinner at the end of one of the bayous in Prairieville. Tender mercy with that one--we had an entirely different lesson planned for this part member family (the husband isn't a member) and in the middle of dinner I remembered we were planning on sharing another video with him, "Because of Him" from Easter. That one talks about how because of Jesus Christ we all can live again. It was a super powerful lesson. When we were teaching, all I could remember was Grandpa, saying that when we get to heaven he doesn't want to see any empty chairs where someone in our family should have been. I was bawling my eyes out, but so was everyone else. Well, it was really spirit led, because 2 days later, the husband's mother passed away. I hope we were able to provide a little comfort for him and his family. I know that Because of Him really sums up my testimony of Jesus Christ really well.
Friday we saw a bunch of other people too :) It was fun and pretty productive. We have a member who recently started coming back to church, whose daughter is about to turn 8, so she wants us to teach her the lessons before she gets baptized :) that's always fun :) I love their family, so that's no hardship!
Saturday we met a new family who moved into the ward! incedentally, they're from Chandler even thoguh they just moved from anotehr area in Louisiana. Small world! then we had a killer weekly planning session and baked cookies while we were at it and gave them to the Elders. Cause we're awesome :)
Sunday was church :) That was really good as well! I love going to church and taking the sacrament. It is so refreshing to know I can be clean every week. Its such a burden off of my back. I went and helped out in young women's again, too, so that was doubly fun. I miss Young Women's sometimes.
So, that was my week! I wanted to share a poem with yall before I go though, because its been a poem I've had that's shaped my entire mission. It's called "Valleys":
 
Sometimes life seems hard to bear,
Full of sorrow, trouble and woe
It's then I have to remember
That it's in the valleys I grow.

If I always stayed on the mountain top
And never experienced pain,
I would never appreciate God's love
And would be living in vain.

I have so much to learn
And my growth is very slow,
Sometimes I need the mountain tops,
But it's in the valleys I grow.

I do not always understand
Why things happen as they do,
But I am very sure of one thing.
My Lord will see me through.

My little valleys are nothing
When I picture Christ on the cross
He went through the valley of death;
His victory was Satan's loss.

Forgive me Lord, for complaining
When I'm feeling so very low.
Just give me a gentle reminder
That it's in the valleys I grow.

Continue to strengthen me, Lord
And use my life each day
To share your love with others
And help them find their way.

Thank you for valleys, Lord
For this one thing I know
The mountain tops are glorious
But it's in the valleys I grow!
 
Love you!!! Have a great week :)
Sister Steele

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings Sept 15th


It's funny, because sometimes my job feels a lot like dad's--talk on the phone and play on the computer. Well, we only get to play on the computer on Mondays, but whatever. We definitely sit in a lot of meetings. This week was double duty. We had something called specialized training this week where we had 6 hours of people talking and it's really interesting but it kind of gets hard to pay attention after the first 3 hours. Most of our week was taken up by meetings. It's so weird because every week I come to the computer with thoughts of what I'm going to write, and then I sit down and realize that my days are the same over and over and over again. They're fun and interesting for me, but for everyone else, it's like "we got up and saw some people and went to a meeting and saw some people then we ate dinner at these peoples house and saw some people and came home and collapsed into bed because we were so exhausted." That's pretty typically what my journal entries say. in a little more detail, of course, but the concept is the same.
We did have some cool experiences this week. So our investigator, S is still praying about whether he wants to be baptized on the 27th. his biggest problem is church attendance becuase he works 7 days a week. He believes everything we teach, he just doesn't know whether he wants to be baptized yet. Well, his family was out of town ths week (in utah for a baby blessing) but his wife C told us that S had the weekend off! So we prayed and prayed and prayed some more and told the bishop and the ward mission leader he was coming so we kept praying! And.....he came! He showed up for church on Sunday morning. He only stayed for the first hour, but he came! We sat by him and it was a pretty stellar sacrament meeting--we talked about scripture study and why it's so important to read the scriptures. We get to see him on Friday of this week! We're really excited. If you haven't been able to tell this late in my mission, I really am horrible at writing long emails. I don't really expect to get better, either.....sorry. Katie is much better at that than me.
 
 
 
I actually wanted to share something that I shared at district meeting about progress this week. I love progress, no matter how small. Here's my spiritual thought of the day :) A little bit of soul food :)
 
"Heavenly Father puts people in our paths so that we can change for the better. The fact that we can't get away from good people who want to help when we're doing wrong things means that He hasn't given up on us :)
"Why am I happy when I see just a little bit of progress in the people I work with and love? because that means that not only has Heavenly Father not given up, neither have they. I read a really cool talk earlier in my mission that talked about how the light within us can never fully die. It's Reuben J Clark:
 
'Every human being is born with the light of faith kindled in his heart as on analtar, and that light burns and the Lord sees that it burns, during the periodbefore we are accountable. When accountability comes then each of usdetermines how we shall feed and care for that light. If we shall liverighteously that light will glow until it suffuses the whole body, giving to ithealth and strength and spiritual light as well as bodily health. If we shall liveunrighteously that light will dwindle and finally almost flicker out. Yet it is myhope and my belief that the Lord never permits the light of faith wholly to beextinguished in any human heart, however faint the light may glow. The Lordhas provided that there shall still be there spark which, with teaching, withthe spirit of righteousness, with love, with tenderness, with example, withliving the Gospel, shall brighten and glow again, however darkened the mindmay have been.'
"I read that and immediately took hope, especially because I've worked with a lot of people who have all but let that spark die. And it's SO HARD to watch people slip away when there's nothing you can do about it. It's one of the greatest dissappointments I have had to face as a missionary. But I have the faith that when we're ready, REALLY ready to change, we will. As humans, we have the capacity and capability to change. We know it brings happiness. That's why I'm happy. Because I'm living the gospel. Not because times are easy because they most certainly aren't. But I am happy because I am consecrating my life to Jesus Christ right now. And that brings a kind of joy I have never experienced before. Does it mean I'm always happy, or don't experience the sadness that comes with disappointment? No. But does it mean that I know I am acceptable before the Lord, and that brings something even greater than happiness--peace. Peace of conscience. Knowing that if I was called to die at this moment I would be okay. I know, too, that we can all feel the same way, if we want to. When we're ready to change, all of us can experience that peace of conscience which is what we're looking for. but it ONLY comes through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm not there perfectly yet, obviously. I make a lot of mistakes, but that's why I'm glad that repentance is part of the process. why am I so happy with just a little bit of progress? Because it's a starting block for eternal progression. We might think our little actions are a big deal, but I know they are. I am so grateful for any kind of progress.. Now, after we start we've got to keep going. It's HARD to change. I know. but it is SO worth it. We have to give so much up but we'd better not think we're ever on our own. when that desire is there, He will take that desire and grow it. But we have to take the first step and MAINTAIN THE GROUND WE'VE ALREADY WON. DON'T LET SATAN TAKE ANYTHING ELSE. we've got to win this battle and the war! We've got to start moving forward. We know what to do. We've just got to have the courage to do so. If we even have a twig of faith, God can grow it. That first step is the hardest but it's so worth it!"
 
I love y'all so much! you're amazing and I'm privileged and honored to be associated with this particular group of family and friends. I don't know what I did to deserve it. Love you!!!
Sister Steele

PDay in "Death Valley" (LSU Football Game) Sept 8th


Needless to say, it was a pretty good pday. I don't think I'll have another one quite like it the rest of my mission.
It was really fun, too, because we got to contact a lot of people before the game (when they weren't completley drunk). We got a lot of questions and it was a really great contacting activity! ....after we left at halftime the only people who would talk to us were the ones playing beer pong, so... oh well.
This week went pretty well. Thursday we went on exchanges with the Plaquemine sisters, because sister Hill has been really sick. It was so much fun being back in the ghetto. Those people are completely different from anyone else in the world. They don't  always love to listen, but they always love to talk. You sort of have to adopt their speech patterns, too, or they'll shut you down and won't listen to a word you say. Sister Baba is so cute :) She's a temple square sister, so coming to plaquemine was definitely a change for her.
Friday was ZTM (zone training meeting) and sister Hoskins did a fabulous job instructing. It was funny, because I could throw out random quotes from the first 10 months of my mission and either Elder adkins or Sister hoskins would get most of them. If Elder Ryan was down here I'd be complete :) We had aREaLLY good lesson with our investigator S, and we invited him to be baptized on the 27th! He even came to chruch on Sunday (it's a big deal because he works 7 days a week and he didn't even ask for sunday off, they just gave it to him this week.) So he's praying about the 27th and we're moving full steam ahead! The Lord realyl does work miracles when you do His will. We had been worried about inviting him to be baptized on a specific date, because we know coming to church is hard for him. but we felt prompted to anyways! And here we are :)
Saturday...well, you've seen my saturday.
Sunday was really good too! We did splits (meaning I went with the Relief Society president and Sis Ririe went with one of the 17-year old girls) and covered a lot more ground. We had pancakes to break our fast and got to jam out to primary songs on the piano. So it was a good day and a good week!
This week we have meetings galore and nothing quite that eventful. I don't think much can beat this week for eventful.
Love y'all!
Sister Steele I







Happy Labor Day Sept 3d


So.....having to use public computers does kind of stink....because that means when so many of our national holidays are on Mondays, we don't get to email :( Oh well! here I am, so all is good.
Let's see.....oh! So guess who I got to go on exchanges for a little this week? Yes indeedy :) Sister Hoskins and I are reunited for a little! I will tell you we went to bed on time, but I won't tell you how late we stayed up talking. There was so much to catch up on, and you know you are really good friensd where this is no gap or awkwardness when you see someone again for the first time in 3 months, just laughter and talking and good memories :)
 These are my girls :) I love them! I have some pretty great posterity.
Hmmmm.....what happened this week? I have like a week and a half to email about, and I still struggle to find something to write about. It's been either really hot or pouring rain this week, and it's supposed to rain the rest of the week. We had a really cool lightning storm last night--dead silent, no rain (at the time), no thunder. Just the clouds lighting up over and over again with lightning for about 20 minutes as we drove home. You don't get those out west.
Sister Ririe was in turn sick this week (I apparently have an immune system to be reckoned with) so we spent Thursday inside. Friday, I was getting cabin fever so I texted Sister Hansen and we went on splits! We left Sister Ririe to sleep at a members and saw one of the people we're working with. It was really fun just to sit and talk to Sister Hansen for a while (for those of you who don't know, that's my mission president's wife...it's nice having her in the area because sometimes we can get to do things like this). also, I found out she has problems with her lefts and rights, just like me. So I'm not the only one!!
Saturday it rained all day (literally ALL DAY) and so my shoes got soaked and Sister Ririe got her first taste of Louisiana rain. but we still saw a few people and then had to go in and do weekly planning because it was the first LSU football game and so no one wanted us over :) Speaking of which........this Saturday. As in 3 days from now we get to go to the home opener at LSU stadium. Be jealous.
Sunday....what did we do? Church was interesting. It always is, especially when the content of the meetings is deep doctrine. It's a big act of faith on our part to invite people to church, because we never know what we're going to get! oh yeah, we went over to our bishop's for lunch, and he made us steak and super good potatoes! It's funny, because the first night sister Ririe was in LA I told her "you don't get too many potatoes down here, it's mostly rice." Almost every dinner appointment we have had in the last 2 weeks we have had potatoes. I've had more potatoes in the last 2 weeks than I have my whole mission combined! But that was fun. then that evening I made peanut butter nutella cookies for our member neighbors who moved in as thanks for the rolls they brought us last week. It was cool because we got to see him sign the closing prayer. Since being on my mission, I've heard English, Spanish, Cajun (which is english mixed with who knows what) Navajo, and signed prayers and they're all so cool! The Spirit is strong with all of them, and it's proof to me that God hears and answers all of our prayers.
Tonight we get to see Sister Baird, as they're in town for a meeting. We're getting frozen yogurt and having fun. Next week, we have a big meeting called specialized training, where we go and president Hansen instructs on a particular aspect of missionary work, and that's combined with the Denham Springs Zone, which is sister Stephens' zone! So I get to see all of my companions who are still in the field in the course of a week. Talk about a tender mercy.
Exchanges were awesome with Sister Hoskins. It was so FUN to sit up and talk! And we still teach really well together too :)
Not too much else for now! I can't think of anything else to say. Hope everything's going well for yall!
Love you!!!!!!
sister steele

Revenge of the Poison Ivy Part 3 Aug 25th


Can I just say I am really really grateful poison ivy isn't as common out west? Because it STINKS. No, it doesn't really. You can't smell it. But it is no fun whatsoever. I would send you a picture but my legs and arms look gross so yeah. It's not a horrible reaction compared to others, but I have patches of poison ivy rash all over my legs...and my arms....and my neck...back behind my ears...and my shoulders. Note to all who do yardwork in humid climates: BEWARE THE FUZZY VINE. it makes you VERY ITCHY.
 
So....training. It's been a really long time since I've been around a greenie. I mean, I've been around second transfer greenies a little bit, but first day, first transfer greenies? Especially coming from another old fart like me? It was definitely an adjustment and continues to be. I have to scale down my mission talk and explain a lot more, and while I'm grateful for this opportunity, it's definitely different. I LOVE Sister Ririe. But I DO miss Sister Stephens. 1 transfer is nowhere near long enough to be companions. But, she was needed in Amite and I was needed here, so I'll just have to buckle up and start again.
 
Let's see....we went to the capitol building for pday. That was a lot of fun. The STLs came with us so we had a grand old time. The picture attached is from the top of the capitol building--it's the tallest state captiol in the US. But it's pretty awesome and a really good view.
 
PS,Dad will be pumped for this: We are currently planning on moving one of our pdays to a Saturday so we can go to an LSU football game! We got permission from Pres Hansen so we might be going to the LSU-New Mexico State game! If we held out...and had enough money we could go to the Ole Miss or the Bama game...but those tickets are like $300 a seat. So...2 months worth of allotment? Eh.....better not. I wish, though. We're gonna use it as a contacting opportunity. So freaking pumped!
 
This week we saw a lot of members and introduced Sister Ririe to the ward. We're working through the members and asking for referrals through them. Sorry, now I'm distracted because I was helping my district leader pick out tickets. We're going to work super hard this week!
Let's see....we didn't get kidnapped, Ty is now home, Sister Stephens has a transfer left. BUT! Sister Hoskins went STL to Baton Rouge, whcih means we get to go on exchanges with each other!!!!! I am so excited.  I'm still super distracted....sorry.
I'm trying to think of anything interesting from this week.
We have this part member family, the C family who just moved into the ward. Well, the mom and the kids are active, but the Dad is Catholic. He's been taught everythign and he knows its true, but he just can't let go of some of his past mistakes. But we went over on Thursday and taguth him and his family, and I just had another one of those feelings like this was a person I had promised to help before this life! We had just come from another appointment where I had felt the same way. I'd been struggling to figure out why I was here, and back to back I found two of my reasons. We're inviting him to be baptized the 27th of September! We just gotta pray that he gets Sundays off with is work. He's about as LDS as a non-LDS man can be :) We're really excited for them.
Anyways! That's pretty much it for now. Love yall a ton! Write me letters!
Sister Steele

The Return of the Machete Missionary Aug. 19th


I am more than a little bit bummed that Sister Stephens and I are being split up...again. It seems like I went from having the same companion for 6 months to driving off my companions every transfer! But I think I should have the next sister for 2, because she isn't even in louisiana yet...she's flying right now from where Katie is to where I am. Weird.
I brought very little with me to the library today becasue we're going to the Capitol building (it's the tallest in the US) (we had to be special somehow) so I have to sort of pull this week out of my head.
Monday: We played volleball at the church. as usual. Funny though--one of the members wanted to take us out for dinner and texted us and asked us where we wanted to go. Sister Stephens said "I really want to go to outback, but it's too expensive" so we put down "we're good with whatever you want!" Then he texted back "do yall like outback steakhouse?" we about died laughing.
tuesday: District meeting. I instructed on faith and commitment. It was alright, I guess. Commitment is so important to faith and that' s where I struggle a lot so it was really good for me to instruct on it. We got put on lockdown because Sister Stephens had the flu. For real.
Wednesday: Sister stephens was still sick. I about died of boredom. but I caught up on my journal!
Thursday: We broke free of our lockdown and saw a bunch of people. 8, to be exact. We taught our investigator L through a window #firsttimeforeverything and caught up on our numbers for the week.
Friday:We cleaned an older member's house. It was DISGUSTING. I have never seen black sludge actualyl growing in someone's fridge before. I think I disinfected myself like 6 times after we left. They were super grateful though :)
Saturday: 1 year from the first time I ever used a machete.....we do a service project and get to work with machete's again! And we took a picture of the people who were at the cemetary last year, and it was a surprising amount! 5 out of the 17 who are still out on missions. It would have been 6 but Elder Browning had to be at something for his ward so he wasn't at the servic project Also got into poison ivy again but I don't know how much. . Right now just a little bit. But the last time it took a week for the rash to show up, so we'll see. We were icky and gross and it was so much fun. We both got training calls and tried to figure out who was leaving and where.
Sunday: We had church, our strange less-active M came and it was....interesting. Not terrible, but definitely interesting. We had gumbo at a member's for lunch and talked a lot about missions since they have 2 twin girls who are working on their papers and got invited to FHE at another member's house.
Yesterday we went and said goodbyes to the people we love :) then it's time to pack and go!
I know. Worst email ever. Hna Steele totally has me beat. But my brain is fried because transfer week is super stressful and I stress too much anyways. Forgive me *grovel grovel grovel*
I don't have a ton else to say. I know this chruch is true and I love it! I love being a missionary even if it means having to say the hardest goodbyes of your life. Good thing there's no such thing as a permanent goodbye. But they still stink.
Anyways! Love yall! Sorry this is short.
Sister Steele



August 4th


Sorry this will be a short one--there's not a ton to report. We were sick off and on this week with a bug going around so we didn't get a whole lot of work done. We're doing better now, but it does mean there's not much to say. Mostly we just slept and watched Mormon Messages.
Transfers are next week--while I think/hope/pray we're staying together, no promises. With President Wall I would almost bet on us staying together because sister Stephens goes home next transfer, but for right now I'm not so sure. She could stay and train her last transfer and I could leave. or she could get transferred to double open an area and train and I could train too. We have no idea. I'll let you know next Tuesday.
Um...Sister Weidmann left back for temple square this week--it was a very sad day :( We're going to party in Switzerland when I get back. Sister Baba is currently in Plaquemine, but usually the temple square sisters get moved at transfers. Plus, they might double transfer out the Plaquettes and possibly close the area. We're not sure, though. Lots of stuff has to happen this transfer because we have 21 missionaries going home and 29 new missionaries. Crazy crazy crazy. elder Allred got moved to Zachary so now we have Elder Brimhall. And Elder Griffin goes home next week so we'll have a new assistant as well. So hopefully Sister Stephens and I are staying!
Wednesday we got to go to breakfast with the Alexandria missionaries---it was SO nice seeing them. I miss my friends up north! We ate at IHOP and then they had a meeting at the mission home. good times. Sister Baird was also down for the meeting and then she and her companion and another set of sisters stayed the night at our place, meaning very little sleep went on. Which is probably why we got sick....oh well.
We had a cool experience this week with a recent convert. She is actually from Arizona and is Navajo. We've been teaching her the new member lessons and trying to get her to come back to church (long story). We finished up the plan of salvation and started talking a bit about temples, when I felt like that was the tie back we needed to get her to come to church. I found out that the reason she hadn't been reading the book of Mormon was because it was hard for her to understand in English, so we offered to order her one in Navajo! She was so excited (as was the senior sister in the office) and gave the closing prayer in Navajo. That was one of the most beautiful prayers I have ever heard.
I think that was the most interesting thing I have to say for this week. I'm still a little sleepy, if I sound weird in my email. This week should be good, though! Looking forward to it.
Love yall!
Sister Steele #1

Friday, August 8, 2014

A Week Of Opposites August 4th


This first bit is my letter to President, because I thought it summed it up nicely.

Well....bit of a rough week. Heavenly Father really wanted to make sure we got our last lessons in on humility and patience before we switched to hope and charity. There's not a ton to report from the Prairieville side.

On the Vidalia side though, I had an incredible experience.

It was really cool this week though to see the end result of our efforts. I haven't had a ton of baptizing success on my mission--I know my purpose here is more of a planter and a nurturer than it is a harvester, and I'm okay with that. But Saturday I got the amazing experience escorting one of my dear friends I worked with extensively the 11 months I was in Vidalia through the temple. She has been through so much, and a lot of the time I was worried she wouldn't make it to the temple. But Saturday came, and she was there, beautifully dressed in white. She just glowed. When she got to the celestial room, we had some time. Everyone left except for us, and as we looked in the mirror I asked her if everything she had been through was worth it (mind you, she has had a harder year and a half since she was baptized than anyone I have ever known. She has literally had no break from the refiner's fire since the minute she stepped out of that font). She turned to me and said "yes. Everything I've been through was worth it just to stand in this room." So we cried and hugged and if that's the only reason I needed to come to Louisiana, so be it. It was worth everything I've been through on my mission as well just to see her there. I think sometimes I take what I have for granted. I forget how blessed I am to have the blessings of the temple. But sitting there with B was such an attitude adjustment for me and I am so incredibly grateful that she continued to allow me to be in her life. Even if I don't touch anyone else's lives, even if I don't teach another lesson my whole mission (which would stink), it would have been worth it just to see B in that celestial room. That's what it's all about, after all.

Without that high point this week, I don't think I would have made it. Everything sort of slipped through our fingers--investigators, less-active members, potentials....everything fell apart this week. All of our investigators dropped us in one fell swoop, including the one we had planned on committing to a date when we went over. The members are upset with the whole meal thing (President Hansen banned joint meal appointments, anything more than one companionship at a time. The members don't have enough money to feed us separately, and they don't want to play favorites, so they pretty much decided they wouldn't feed us at all). But it's okay, because this week is going to be good. We have a lot of finding to do, and we're back to square one with a lot of things, but I think Saturday will carry me for a long time. I hope so, anyways! I'm working on gratitude and charity for the next little bit. I haven't quite mastered patience but I think I'm doing a little bit better.

It was also a really good experience on Saturday because, well, I got to see people :) The Eplings came down as well as Sister Ackley, and so I got to catch up with them and the ward. Sister Hoskins, Elder Castro (And their companions that I don't really know--Castro's training a greenie) and Elder Adkins and his companion were there as well. It was so good :) We went to a Chinese buffet after, and Sister Stephens ate octopus and oyster for the first time, and I ate a whole squid. It was rubbery but tasted a lot like crawfish, so it wasn't terrible.

Let's see. It's gonna be hot this week, so we're playing soccer again...I'm much better at soccer than volleyball, even while drenched in sweat. Sister Weidmann goes back to temple square, so I'm going to figure out how to get it so y'all can see her. Because she is amazing. And awesome and you will love her :)


Love you!
THE Sister Steele (for the last time!)





I ate me some squid this week. It was a bit gross. But not terrible.



A week in the Life of a Missionary July 28th


This week we didn't really do a ton. Okay, we did but my life is normal to me now and so the things that might be interesting to you aren't super interesting to me! Sorry. I'm just going to give you my journal entries, how about that?
Now that I have officially been out a year, I got 2 emails from people who haven't written me my entire mission :) My theory was correct. Even though I have another like week before my actual 6 month mark. And another few weeks before transfers. But I was confused for abit why yall were concerned about the 24th (I always count the 6th as my year mark becuase that's when my 18 months or 13 transfers started) and then I realized that when I was gone, I was gone for you. If that makes sense. So if I didn't make a big deal this week, it's because it's not a full year yet for me. I was still in the MTC this time last year. And I don't really count those 12 days :)
Anyways. onwards and upwards.
 
Tuesday:
"I don't even remember much of today. District meeting got pushed to 11:30. When we got there, the zone leaders were there because they were doing exchanges with our district leader, and the Assistants were on exchanges too. Elder Rodgers (Green-tastic!) was there with the zone leaders because his companion was at a doctor's appointment. Even though there was a zillion people there, it was actually pretty fun. We made "missionary kits" and roleplayed giving them out. They were basically tools we could give to members to be member-missionaries. [pass-along cards, a Book of Mormon, Restoration pamphlet, etc]. Had to call Elder Mecham by his first name in the roleplay. that was strange.
 After District meeting, we went to sSubway and then to get frozen yogurt. I was so happy :) It was a lot of fun, and we told first/worst date stories.
We saw Mama and Mame, who we invited to church (mame was less crazy than normal today), and then went to the Fitts for dinner. We had some Danish thing with meat and cabbage which I can't remember the name of. Then we went over to the Putnams for the rest of the night. I think they're my Baton Rouge family. We just got talking and it was so much fun!"
 
Wednesday:
"Exchanges were today! It was my first time in a year I have been in a trio. sister Lindstrom and I were on exchanges and Sister Paige tagged along. She's fun to be around, and it was a good day. she's only with us for the day, though.
We went over to see Kelly and Brother Shute, and taught the full restoration to Kelly. She took it really well!
We tried to contacct a lot of people then and no one was home, but we saw Lindsay and Ms BJ briefly. Then we grabbed dinner at sonic and went to Jackie's, where we talked about family history. The Spirit was so strong as we talked about the Spirit world. It's funny, because with all the times I've struggled with my testimony in my life, I have never ever had a problem or a question or a doubt about the Spirit world. I KNOW it's real. I know that those on the other side are getting taught the gospel. It's so cool :)
After we saw Jackie we went to the ward party. It was pretty fun, even if as missionaries we were not able to do a ton (ie there was dancing involved). Then we played some strange game called Pioneer Squares, which was like tic tac toe with trivia and people are the game board. We saw the stake president and his wife sing in a western accent and that was funny, then we headed home. elder Griffin broke a broom playing stick pull. shattered it, actually."
 
Thursday:
"Happy year mark! It was an...interesting day.
Exchanges are always fun and apparently when the two of usa re in my area, we always get lost. Out of the year I've been out, I have served around sister Lindstrom all but one transfer. And out of the 7 exchanges I've been on, 4 of them have been with Sister Lindstrom. I never thought that would happen. But anyways, we drove around for probably an horu and a half trying to find this person...we were even using a GPS! It was way the heck out in St. Gabriel (which is right by the levee [the border of our area] so it's justified.) We found him, nut he wasn't home and so we had a 3 minute conversation with his wife.
We saw Monica, a less active who was really excited to have us come by. A little too excited, really. We're unsure of her motives.
We saw Roberta, taught part of the plan of salvation, and ate Chinese at Sister Welch's with Tiger Bend. We came home and planned and that was the end. So not really that exciting. Except we did have to reschedule a dinner appointment with a General Authority [we have a member of the Seventy in our ward] because our Stake President invited us over first."
 
Friday:
Well, today was also interesting. Mostly the end. We did switch back, and went to lunch with the STLs at IHOP [talk about acronyms, goodness]. We met this kid (well, adult) Alex, who's mom was a member but lost her testimony on her mission to France. He;s agnostic. I felt so sad for him and his mom. But liunch was good. We came home and I got a card from Mom, Dad and Katie wishing me a happy year mark. It was a monkey riding an ostrich. That's pretty epic [the card is in my journal now]. Anyways, We saw Ms Conny and Ms BJ, and committed them to read and come to church.
We went to dinner at the Jolivettes, and had Pizza and talked about eternal families. The Spirit was so strong you could cut it with a knife. Man.
We came home from the jolivettes with the intent to weekly plan, but we were ahving crazy mood swings so we got shakes from sonic and regretted it. Came home, planned, and went to bed. Definitely regret tthat shake.
 
Saturday:
...what just happened? The weirdest breakfast of my wholl mission, that's for sure. Thus I am writing now at 9:35 AM lest I forget.
So we get up and have coordination with the elders (Fitts went out of town) at McDonalds [It's the end of the month. Most everyone is broke.] Fisrt off, we went to the wrong Mickey D's so we had to backtrack like 5 miles (grr) to the one on Jones Creek. I order my breakfast and we're eating and coordinating when this old lady comes up and hugs me. She says 'I thought I would never see you again!' I have no idea who she is. No. Clue. she just starts talking about cooking, and looks at Elder Griffin and stops and says [I can't get the vocal expression, so you're just going to have to do your best] Hello. Hellllooo. Helllllllloooooo." Totally checks him out. Totally hitting on him. She's like 70. Then out of the blue [I repeat, we are in the middle of McDonald's] puts her hands on her hips and starts singing Whitney Houston. So confusing. She talks about how her husband talks all the time and when he comes up he;s like dead silent. So they go and sit down and Sister Stephens bursts out laughing. So hard that somoen else comes up to her and says 'thanks for making me smile. your laugh made my day. Now I get to go make people miserable!' The. Weirdest. Breakfast. Ever.
Well, the rest of the day went pretty well. We came back and did studies, then went ot a seafood place for lunch with a member. I had catfish and etoufee. I didn't think I would like catfish when I cam down here, but I also didn't think I would say yall/ We see how well that went. We saw Esther and read about enoch, then went to the Putnams and picked up McKayla. She came out with us as we blew like 40 miles and ended up only teaching Ms April, Gene's neighbor [like 3 miles from where we started]. But it was a really powerful lesson and the Spirit was super strong!
We dropped McKayla off and went inside for a bit...which turned out to be 2 hours and a dinner later. I shared Elder Virgin's hair story with McKayla and Meaghan. We had grilled chicken and corn on the cob with baked beans.
We came back and finall weekly pl,anned. It was definitely a good, exhausting, and crazy day! I don't know if I coudl describe it any better.
 
Sunday:
Man alive, what a day. Actually it wasn't terrible so why did I just write that? Church went pretty well today, really! people spoke on service and the sacrament. BJ was there! We taught relief society on Elder Bednar's talk "Bear Up their Burdens with ease". IT turnde out pretty well.
We came home and slept for a bit, then we went to go see Lee in the nursing home and Mama and Mame again. Mame wasn't qutie as tame this time, but it was still nto the worst I've seen her. She's crazy. We went to the Stake President's for dinner (yum!) and shared a message about patience, That was it!! What a week.
 
So that was my week. Everything's going pretty well right now. Still adjusting to life in the city, and I still miss having a small ward. but if I had to choose a ward to be in, this would be it.
Let's see. This week we finalyl get to go to the temple with Becky. I am so excited. Like, this day has been my sanity for the last while. Since we foudn out about it. I am freaking out a little bit.
President Hansen is still adjusting to life, but he's doing well. He's got 6 kids and the last 2 are in college at BYU. So it's just him and his wife. But it's still weird to be in his ward.
I think that's it...I cant' think of anything else to add. Good luck at NARAM, dad! Tell everyone hello. And good luck as Katie prepares to leave!
Love yall!
Sister Steele


Humility and Patience July 21st


This week was both really frustrating and really good! Every single day this week, as we walked out of the apartment to go something our plans would fall through. It was really frustrating and I had to keep reminding myself that I am working on patience and Sister Stephens is working on humility as our Christlike attributes. But! Thursday we met this media referral (as in someone wnet online and requested that we go visit them) and he had a ton of his friends over. He was really looking for some financial help, so we couldn't help him too much there. We thought it was going to be a bad time, but it turned out that we were led there so we could meet Kalen. I love where it says in Preach My Gospel that "perhaps you have been led to this person because someone else in the home or neighborhood is ready for the gospel." I've really found that to be true. Kalen came to church this week, only 3 days after we met her! It was a really powerful testimony that God prepares people to be in the places they are at the times they are.

Something I've began to discover, especially here in the south is that the only way we can even teach people is if they have a spiritual need. Like King Lamoni needed to relieve his feelings of guilt, I noticed especially with Kalen that she has a need, and that need makes her teachable. It's all over in the scriptures. When we're teachable, we're willing to learn and trust and change. But most of the people we see, the ones we think are "ready-made Mormons" (as in the amazing Baptists, Catholics, and Pentecostals we get to work with) are the ones who are comfortable where they are. It's those who are seeking for something more that we're able to reach and teach. I can count on on hand throughout my entire mission the number of investigators who have been above the poverty line. They are sincere about wanting to change and I love them so much and want them to be happy, and I know that the gospel can make them happy. Kalen has recognized her need and is now willing to listen--and act. it's a cool experience to have.
 
Also. I LOVE the Book of Mormon. Seriously. It has given me so much comfort and counsel in the last week. It really is the word of God. If you need help, go to the scriptures. They will lead you where you need to go.
 
We got to eat dinner with the Alexandria missionries this week because they had MLC (Missionary leadership council), so I saw Elder Virgin, Elder Ware, and Sister Ogden. It was SO nice to see them but also hard to say goodbye. Hopefully Elder Virgin and Ryan, as well as Elder Castro and Sister Hoskins will be coming down for Becky's temple date, but I have missed them a lot. It's hard being isolated from old friends, and it's even harder knowing that everyone is starting to go home.
 
Let's see. We have exchanges this week, which means that Sister Lindstrom and I get to celebrate our year mark together! That's gonna be fun. It rained a lot this week and so it's super humid but in the low 90s so it's not unbearable.
Also, I have found that I really love running. We run for half an hour in the mornings now and it's super addictive! I'm excited to be addicted to something other than sleep :)
Um! I think that's it for this week. Kalen was really the only big news.
 
Good quote, though: We got told we have a free ticket to heaven by a drunk woman who just had told us to never come back to her house. That was fun. And she was an assignment from the stake president. That was even more awkward.
 
We don't get our whole pday today because there's an 18 year old member from Utah who was in a really bad car accident a few weeks ago down here and is in the hospital, so we're going to see her today with our Relief Society president. Other than that we don't have anything interesting going on today!
 
Hope yalls day/week goes well! Good luck Katie with your farewell! Send me a copy of your talk!
 
Love you! To the two siblings who I hope still get my letters, hello! I hope everything is going well for you. I assume I would have heard if it wasn't.
 
The church is true, the book is blue!
THE Sister Steele (for now)