Sunday, August 3, 2014

And so the "LASTS" begin...

Dear family and friends.

I don't even know where to start. This will be very short and sweet. I know a big change is about to come, and I hate changes. Not necessarily changes, just endings. It makes me think of Pres. Uchtdorf's talk and what he said about endings. We don't like endings because we are eternal beings. I knew that one day this 1 1/2 years would have to come to a close, but it has never hit quite as hard as it's hitting me now. I don't want it to end! And then I realized I was being unreasonable. This doesn't have to end! There is no end. God has no end. Even though I will be doing completely different things and jumping into a completely new chapter of life, this experience will never end for me. It's not just something I can check off a check-list. I'm so thankful for this experience as a full-time missionary. Even though I may not always wear a black name tag, my mission for Jesus Christ will never end. I have learned so much about love, life, and loving life. And there is so much to love! And I can't wait to keep on keeping on, keep loving, keep living. And I get to do it with all of you! Thank you for your support, prayers, emails, letters, and love. I love you so much, and I can't wait to talk to you for reals later this week!!



Sunday, July 27, 2014


we celebrated with sizzlers. a little better than KFC. we figured we would make up for our lack of celebration on the 4th of July...

This week was amazing. I'm learning more and more about God's way of working with us. Every time we pick on a Christlike attribute to work on for the week, God pours out opportunities to try that attribute. We picked faith this past week. And sure enough, our faith was tried. Day after day, investigators were dropping like flies. Friday came, and we were starting to worry, and became a little discouraged. We taught the Book of Mormon class that day, and we read chapters 16-17 in 1 Nephi. I kept thinking about how Nephi was almost always alone in his faith and obedience, while everyone around him became instantly discouraged and started murmuring and doubting their faith. It was kind of a wake up call. Inflection point! We decided we could keep feeling bad for ourselves because of our 'broken bow' and the fact that we couldn't find any 'food'...OR we could put it all behind us and keep expecting and working for the miracle waiting around the corner. So that's what we did. On Saturday, we still didn't know who was getting baptized the next day. We prayed every hour for a miracle. The younger sister of one of our RC's really wanted to be baptized on Sunday, but had been sick the entire week and wasn't able to meet with us. On Saturday afternoon her sister called us and said that she was feeling better and could go to the church to interview that day. She interviewed and passed, and was baptized Sunday. She and her sister read the scriptures and pray together every night! On Sunday, her mom came to see her baptism. I can't wait to see her whole family come into the church one day.

I know that God is a God of miracles. He is so perfectly aware of His children, and nothing can stand in the way of His perfect work. I'm SO thankful to be a part of it all!

Sister Steele

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another Monday!

Where is the time going? I feel like I was just sitting at this computer yesterday. Don't really know where to start with this week, other than the fact that it went by super fast. Lots of rain lately. And if it's not raining, it's overcast...which isn't exactly my favorite kind of weather, but I guess I can't complain that we have some nice shade. We've definitely been caught in the rain a couple times this week though. Thank goodness for colorful rain ponchos from the 7/11.

Bro. Nuay got baptized yesterday!! He works as a radio host/ teaching him was interesting. He likes to talk. And only talk. He feels like he doesn't have a lot of knowledge, but he knows he has a lot of faith. And that's all that's required! Faith and desire. His baptism day was wonderful, and the Branch President baptized him. They're best buds now. Nuay's testimony was probably one of the most dramatic things I've ever heard...more like  speech actually. Like I said, he loves to talk. But the Spirit was there, and He knows that His life is changing for the better. Great guy.

Lessons I learned this week: 

Don't teach lessons at McDonald's. The music is way too loud, and the investigators eventually lose interest and don't take you seriously.

There is a friendly neighborhood salad lady just around the corner from our church. She even sold a version of croutons that was semi-delicious. 

There really are places to eat around the church, you just have to look for them first. We discovered a little Italian restaurant that changed my world. I ate pesto pasta for the first time in 18 months.

If you decide to work on a Christlike attribute for the week, it instantly becomes harder. Because all of a sudden you're provided with opportunities to strengthen your weaknesses. Fun times.

Thai people are the most loving andd happy people on this world. The worst they can do is ignore me, and I realize I've had it so comparison to the American man that told me to "Get out of the way!" the other day. That's not to say that American men aren't nice...I just had the opportunity to exercise my love and charity...and it took everything in me not to say some sassy remark right back at him...haha ohhhh i still have such a long way to go.

I learned that everyone has their agency...some people just don't use it wisely.

I learned that I have a reason to believe what I believe. Because I have seen how Jesus Christ can change a life around. I have also seen the opposite. I have learned what it feels like to see people reject Him. And it really hurts. And it took me a while to figure out why. At first I almost felt like I had been broken up with, when investigators dropped, or CHOSE not to follow Christ. But now I'm realizing it's not a personal blow to me. Not at all. Because they're not rejecting me, they're rejecting Him. And that's why it hurts. Because sometimes people don't fully understand what He did for them, and what He can continue to do for them. It's merely our responsibility to be His disciples, and to share this with the world. Because I would rather be rejected 1000 times over and have people know more about Him, then to walk silently by. Because "fools mock, but they shall mourn...". Some may not be ready for this message yet, but I am so grateful that little by little, we are gathering those that have been prepared, those that have been ready to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. And there is such joy and fulfillment in this work! Go out and share it with someone!! :) And those are my rambled thoughts for the week.

Love you all,

Sister Steele

Niw and Sing's baptism

Nuay's baptism

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Happy Times in Thonburi!

"This is the Buddhist shrine where people give food to the spirits. and i just stand in front of it shamelessly, inviting people to repent and be baptized. i love my life. yay!"

I love this place! mostly missionary work is just a blast. it's definitely work. but it's so much fun if you let it be. this week has been great, and sis. sahagun and i have seen a lot of miracles. we did a LOT of street contacting this week, and by the end of each day, my voice was pretty much gone. i've been meeting a lot of christian people lately, which is refreshing. i ran into a lot of muslim people in saphansung, so i've been impressed at the amount of christians here...although it's still probably only about 1% of all the people i talk to. anyway, we've been super busy lately, so much that sometimes i don't have time to think haha. or at the end of the night 10:29 hits and i have to scramble all over the room to get my pj's on and brush my teeth and get into bed. time just flies by when you're having fun. but it flies by WAY too fast! maybe i should just have less fun?? then maybe time would pass by a little slower.

yesterday (sunday) was amazing. Niw and Suni were baptized. there were a total of 4 baptisms in the Thonburi branch yesterday...which hasn't happened in...well i don't think it's ever happened. this branch is getting really excited about missionary work, and church attendance is growing. ps sorry for my typing errors...this keyboard is a bit challenged. or maybe it's not the keyboardd...i struggle. anyway, yesterday was such a special experience. sacrament meeting was awesome, and the spirit was SO strong. we had 12 new investigators that showed up to church, and they all had a really good time. sis. Sahagun and I were in charge of teaching the investigator class this hopefully everyone understood the words coming out of our mouths. the lesson was on sacrifice, and we talked a lot about Christ's ultimate sacrifice for us. We also pointed out the example of Aaron teaching King Lamoni's father in the Book of Mormon. the King was willing to give up EVERYTHING to receive the joy that Aaron talked of. it really made me think...what am I willing to give up to really KNOW God. if we truly understand WHO God actually is, we will never fall away. because we'll always be close to Him. and if we KNOW God, we will kNow Christ, because they are ONE. not one being, but they are so much the same. in purpose. if we know one, then we know the other. i love that.

keep calm and carry on.

sister steele

Sister Steele and her new apt.  in Thonburi...before moving in

Sunday, July 6, 2014


This week has gone by fast and slow all at the same time. It's weird to think that just one week ago we were homeless and the branch was branch president...less...and it's amazing to see how much the Lord can do in just ONE week. We are now almost completely moved in, and we are no longer sleeping with towels and skirts as blankets. It's been so good to finally get semi-settled and dive into the work.

Thonburi is street contacting heaven, and we will surely NEVER run out of people to talk to. On Wednesday we were able to finally go out and invite ALL day and it felt so good. We saw SO many miracles! Definitely had our fair share of rejection, but also met people that had been searching and praying to find a church, and were so excited to meet us. Sunday was probably the best day of the week. There was just a completely different feeling at church this week. There was excitement. Sis. Sahagun and I were just so happy the entire day about everything that happened! Church attendance was up, a new branch president was called, there were lots of investigators at church, and the members were so excited about it all. There were 80 people at church this week!! That's almost double what it was two weeks ago!! We had the opportunity to teach one investigator who had stayed til after the baptism, and she's amazing. We call her '8:59'. One night this week we were inviting close to our house and it was about time to go home. But then we decided in the 6 minutes that were left, we wanted to find one more really golden person who wanted to be baptized. So we decided we wouldn't go home until we found that one person. We continued talking to everyone, inviting every single person, and once 8:57 hit, I was a worried we'd be out there all night. But then, at 8:59, just in the nick of time, we found Suni. She came to church, and now has a baptismal date for next Sunday. We asked some older members to help us teach her, one of them being a recently returned LA. I felt like I was in a help-group or something. It was great! These women were so supportive and so excited to share their testimonies. They just needed to be given the opportunity to do so. Fellow-shipping is really the key to strong converts!

I'm so happy here, and every time I think I can't get happier, I'm wrong. I just wish I could slow time down. Either that, or tack on another 3 months. Right as I'm finally figuring out how to be a missionary, time has almost run out! Which is why we're just going to block it out of our minds and keep sprinting! I love the urgency of this work, and I can't wait to see the miracles of the coming week.

I love you all! Hope the 4th of July was great, and that everyone ate a hot dog. I miss those. I treated myself to a Krispy Kreme doughnut, which I hadn't had in ages....mostly because there are probably two Krispy Kreme stores in the entire country. anyway, it was a good day.

Sister Steele. I am Sister Steele.

Monday, June 30, 2014


greetings from THON BURI!!!

yes. i moved. wow! i thought i just might finish out my mission in Saphansung...which would have been quite lovely. but i knew a change was coming, and i knew there was one more destination i needed to see. this week has been CRAZY, and kind of a i might not be good at getting to all the details. but i do want to tell you everything. because i've had some great adventures. so maybe i'll take it day by day...

monday (last week): last pday in Saphansung. Sis. Ference and I braved up and got hair cuts. i made sure they only took of a teeny tiny bit. you can hardly even tell. success! we went to our last taco night at one of the member's houses. their family is AMAZING, and is such a good example for the church here. they were the first family from thailand to be sealed in the temple in the Phillipines. we had an awesome FHE, and sis. ference and i serenaded them with our violin duet (which we practiced...once)

tuesday: food poisoning. again. up all night in the bathroom, so that was fun. but the show must go on. we taught a sweet girl named Earn that i had met at the market. she had come to church on sunday, and was very willing to learn and to change her life. i was kind of sad that would be the last time i taught her... (spoiler alert...i just found out she got baptized yesterday!!! I am so HAPPY!!)

wednesday: last day in saphansung. i had to go renew my VISA in Asoke, and then we just contacted at the market one last time. on tuesday, one of our stellar investigators, Babe, got permission from pres. senior to be baptized earlier than her scheduled date. she would have had to wait a month, because she's underage. but this girl was DYING to be baptized, so we had pushed for her baptism day to be a few weeks earlier. she's 16, and the cutest girl ever. when she found out she could be baptized, she cried, danced, and jumped around the room. if that isn't a sign of true conversion, i don't know what is. anyway, she was baptized on wednesday, my last day in saphansung. she's so amazing. and she'll be so strong in the church. she actually reminds me a little bit of sis. Phavadee. always smiling and always happy. after the baptism, the ward had a little party for the two young men in our ward that would be leaving on their missions the next week. they're going to be serving in THailand!! so maybe i'll see them around! that night was a good night, and it was good to see/talk to everyone/say least for now. i'll be back here for sure! this place is too good to be true.

thursday: TRANSFERS. you will now be reading exclusive information that hasn't even made it into my journal. don't get too excited. that just means i'm way behind on my journal writing, and i've be so busy i haven't even written about my current area yet. haha. anyway, I am now in THON BURI!!!! with sis. sahagun as my companion. she's from my same group in the MTC. Thon buri is another area of west Bangkok, closer to Asoke. i really thought i would be moving out of Bangkok, but now i'm actually really glad i stayed. there's SO many people here and i'm SO excited to turn this area around. when they made a second stake, they also made a new district, and i'm in that district now. the branch i've been assigned to used to be a ward, and our goal is to make it a ward again, and to help this district become a stake. this area is definitely different than my last, but i just can't wait to get things going and to find those that are ready to be baptized here. 

friday: soooo we are currently homeless. we house-hunted pretty much all day. woof. this area hasn't had sisters in YEARS. so we're basically opening up the area and setting everything up. like a house. i guess that's kind of essential. it's kind of crazy starting completely from scratch. fun though! the members are ecstatic that there are now sister missionaries in the branch. and they are all so ready and willing to take us around to look for a house. right now we are staying at a...hotel...if you could call it that. haha it has a bed. and a bathroom. all i need! we've also been sort of living in the church library, because that's where all our suitcases are stored.7/11 is a blessing. good thing there's one on every corner so we don't have to look too far for food. such adventures we're having.

saturday: house hunting. again. i think i got a sunburn.

sunday: CHURCH!! yay! i love sundays. this branch is so cute. we had about 40 people come to church, which was a pretty good turn out for this branch. they currently don't have a branch presidency, so they're in the process of calling one. so now sis. sahagun and i just have a joke when we go out contacting that we're out looking for a good branch president. we just have to find him and baptize him! we also did some more house hunting, and actually had some success this time. we're hoping to get moved into an apartment by tonight. so cross your fingers! or better yet, maybe say a lot of prayers :)
oh and last night we found a lovely surprise at the church. i saw the biggest scariest spider i have ever seen. and i'm not usually one to be scared of spiders. my pre-mission self would have killed little spiders with my fingers. but this one was not little. it was probably as big as my hand, and it was big and brown and ugly, and i screamed. i threw a few hymn books at it, but it didn't die. so then i slid one across the floor, trapping it in the corner. it still didn't die, but i managed to get some of it's legs ripped off in the pages of the hymn book. gross. finally sis. sahagun smashed a good one on it, and then we had a curled up spider body, a few appendages, and a good load of guts all over the hymn book. success.

i'm sorry this letter is so long, and if you made it to the end...thanks for reading! even though i only mentioned all the craziness, know that we are still seeing miracles. know that i am alive and well, and extremely happy. God is taking care of us, and I know there's a reason for the increase in missionaries in this area. God has great things in store for the faithful members here, and i can't wait to see it all. keep the prayers coming! love you all!

sister steele

Friday, June 27, 2014

God is Great!

June 23, 2014

The land of smiles is still the land of smiles. Even when it's pouring rain. the people here are so dang happy ALL the time. and even though i don't like the rain, and probably never will, i just couldn't wipe the smile off my face this week. why is this so gooooood??? because this is real. this is true. this is real life. although sometimes i feel like i'm living in a dream. i have seen some serious miracles this week, and every day i am more and more sure that God is driving this bus. there are no accidents and no coincidences when it comes to God's work. and i have seen that this past week. 

ah! i can't even explain how great this week was. i have seen some amazing people overcome huge road blocks in order to embrace the truth. Sister Saa was previously Muslim, and her whole family is as well. she knows they wouldn't approve of her being baptized, but she knew it was right. she was baptized on Saturday night, and i felt the spirit stronger at that service than i have at any other baptismal service. Sis. Fern and her son Fong, Noom, and Ing-Ing were all baptized on Sunday. OH it was such a good day. later that night it rained. it rained really hard. we got caught in the storm at the Minburi market, our usual inviting place. we actually didn't have that much success that night, and i'm pretty sure i only got one phone number. but i still just couldn't stop smiling. one man asked why we didn't just go home. it's raining! you need to go home! you're going to get sick! why are you still walking around out here in this weather?? i looked at him and then back at my little picture of Jesus Christ being baptized. "Because this is important. Because this is true." so i will stay out here until all have had the chance to hear what i have to say. and that's why i'm here. and every day that goes by is the best day. because this is quite possibly "the closest thing to real life" that I'll ever Elder Holland would say.

I know that God lives. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the pathway back to our Father in Heaven, and that the fullness of this gospel can only be found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know this is true. and I love it!