Monday, October 28, 2013


Dearest family and friends,

I've decided that Halloween is probably one of my most favorite holidays...besides Christmas. But not many people celebrate it here. i'm quite bummed about it. i wanna have a party with our branch, but they say nobody has ever celebrated it before. well there's a first time for everything. maybe we'll go trick-or-treating as part of our finding activities this week. but maybe we'll do it reversed, because i have a feeling nobody will have candy to give us, and if they did, it would probably be some sort of fake bread filled with jelly or custard...(that's their idea of 'treats' here, and they sell it at 7/11 on every corner). By the way, i pretty much live out of 7/11 now. i think i've wiped them out of their hi-chews by now.

breaking news: i think i am now the new piano player for the branch. the guy that usually plays went to Bangkok so that he could go to school...which means our branch is now limited to singing Nearer my God to THee and Teach me to Walk in the Light every Sunday, unless i play out of 'Hymns made Easy.'

There's a big sports tournament thing coming up for the branches in our district. So probably 5 branches. All the members are supposed to make teams in a variety of different sports, and then we're all going to Mahasarakham to play. oh boy am i excited. our leaders have also decided it's important that we practice a few times a week, so we've been playing a lot of volleyball lately. except they don't know what kind of ball you're supposed to use or how much air to put in it, so my arms had bruises after two days of playing. but that's ok, because I hadn't played since i left Srinakarin, so i was satisfied.

One of the LA's we've been working with decided he wanted to give us a bunch of food this week. he sent us home with a whole bag of it....and then told us he had a bunch of clothes for us...weird. apparently they were his mom's old clothes. but don't worry it gets weirder. he included her bathrobe in the package. yeahhhh i think we're gonna keep our distance for a while.

Yesterday, Obaw was baptized. she was the one that her mom took a while to give her permission. she's been learning with us since i got here, and to se her progress from beginning to end has been the best thing ever. she was SO happy yesterday, and she has such a good testimony. and it's really not the end, it's just the beginning. she bore her testimony yesterday and said she was so happy to start her new life. she's only 16. i love her! and really we can all start over every week. because of the Atonement, we can change. we can start fresh. 

i hope all is well. i love you all!

sis. steele
Obaw's baptism

Sister Steele and Sister Phavadee, her Laotian companion

Monday, October 21, 2013

Stressed is dessert spelled backwards!


wow what a week! It started off kinda crazy because transfers meeting was coming up. i was 100 percent sure that neither sis. phavadee or me was moving, because she just barely got here. but on Tuesday they called and said i would be training a new missionary coming in, and s. phavadee would be moving. what?? so we packed up ALL her things, including her bike, and left for Bangkok that night around 1am. got in at 5am, went to the training meeting with no sleep at all. then later that night they called and said...oh actually you can both go back to Korat, we changed our minds. we were both super happy to go back, but it was a long 2 days without any sleep.

so we got back to Korat and went to work. we had two investigators confirmed members of the church on Sunday, and another interviewed for baptism. she came out of the room looking super depressed and told me she didn't pass. i didn't really know what to think, because i wouldn't have sent her into that interview unless she was ready. i was SURE she would pass. so i jumped out and gave her a hug and told her it's ok she would pass next time. then she started laughing, and my district leader started laughing. JUST KIDDING! hahahahaha it wasn't very funny actually. how mean. they almost made me have a heart attack. so she passed! she's getting baptized this SUnday. She's the one that her mom wouldn't give permission, and we went to her house last week and saw a miracle when her mom signed the papers. I can't wait for Sunday!

it's been raining SO much here. we've basically been biking through some rivers lately, because the streets have been flooding. all in all it's been pretty fun, but there have been a few times i've been hit by a wave and fallen off my bike into the water. there was another day that we got caught in a HUGE rainstorm, while we got lost for 1 1/2 hours biking around trying to find a members house. oh how i wish i were blessed with a sense of direction. but i figure i wouldn't have half the interesting stories i do if it weren't for my lack of navigation skills.

We watched the video 'finding faith in Christ' with one of our investigators yesterday. She was amazed at how much Christ did for her. it helped her testimony grow so much. it helped my testimony grow too. as a missionary, you're always going going going. you're teaching people about your beliefs all day every day, and sometimes don't have a moment to stop and ask, ok how is MY testimony? do i believe these things? yesterday i was reminded of why I'm here. My Savior LIVES. He is a living Being, who loves these people so much. and they don't even know it yet. i love that our Savior knows us personally and will never leave us. "He knows the way because HE IS the way."

until next time,

sis. steele


October 14, 2013

All is well. All is well. Sis Phavadee and I are always singing 'come come ye Saints' in Thai as we ride our bikes. it's our theme song. 'tuk yaang dii, tuk yaang dii.' Pung was baptized this week! She's so happy, and she came to watch general conference at the church yesterday, and she has a 'Preach my Gospel' now, and is going to start studying it. wow. this week has also been awesome because it hasn't rained. haha yayyyyyy! the sunshine makes me happy. also a random thought: salt is actually kind of good for you in a way. i just learned that iodine helps your thyroid function properly. they don't use much salt here...which explains a lot about the rate i'm burning fat haha. if one of you could google-how to burn fat without exercising, that would be great. let me know what you find.
This week has been great, especially General Conference. I don't think I've ever loved General Conference so much. I thought of a few questions beforehand, and every one of them was answered. I loved David M. McConkie's talk, because it told me exactly what I need to do to be a better missionary and teacher. I loved that he said the message of the Restoration could be summed up in two words: 'GOD SPEAKS'. Of the four points he talked about, I want to work on having the spirit, and studying and treasuring up the word. I love that he said the most important part of our service is our own personal study and preparation. We always make language study plans, but I realized I've been kind of bad at making a personal study plan for my personal study every morning. That's going to be one of my goals, and as part of that I want to study the Atonement EVERY day. One of my other questions was, 'Is this the true church of Jesus Christ?' I've known the answer to that question my whole life. But I know God will answer EVERY time we ask, and this week I found that I hit a point where I was really wondering where God was. I prayed really hard this week just to know He was there, even though the whole time I battled with myself...'I should know this already, I've known it all along, why am I even feeling this way, I don't need to ask, just have more faith...'. I feel like I received lots of answers to my prayers, and to this question. On Friday I kept feeling like we should go find one of our investigators houses, even though she cancelled our appointment, and didn't really want us to go to her house. She really wants to be baptized, but her mom doesn't support her (she's only 16). Anyway, I prayed really hard that I would know where God wanted us to go that day, and not where I wanted to go. And I kept feeling like we should just go find her house, even though I was sure I wouldn't be able to find it. We probably circled her neighborhood 20 times, and then stopped to pray. We started up again, and things started to look familiar to me. By some miracle, we found her house, and she was actually happy that we came. Her mom was there, and even though we knew she didn't support her daughter in being baptized, I kept feeling like we should talk to her again. We all sat down and talked about it, and I pulled out the permission form. Her mom told her daughter to go get a pen, and she told us that she has seen the teachings of this church change her daughter for the better. We were all shocked as she signed the paper, and even invited us to stay for dinner. This small and simple thing was such a tender mercy to me, and it confirmed to me once again that God is there. He hears me. He is working WITH us. And He works miracles. And Elder Uchtdorf's talk flat out answered my question word for word: "This IS the Church of Jesus Christ." I know that's true. 

love you all so much,

Sis. Steele

Monday, October 7, 2013

hello everyone.

this week has been really good. i've decided sundays are such interesting days on the mission. let's just say i can't wait til the day when i can go to church and sit and listen and enjoy what's being said, rather than looking back every two seconds to see if my investigators have come to church or not. ok, it's really not that bad, but i will say that sundays are probably the days when i'm most high-strung haha. it's like pay-day. you get to see whether all your hard work paid off or not. alos, Bam was supposed to be confirmed last week, but she was sick. and this week her bus broke down. stupid satan. so she got to church right after sacrament meeting, and apparently there's a rule that she can only be confirmed IN sacrament meeting. so now she has to wait until the 20th, because next sunday is general conference. but on the bright side of things...we have an investigator getting baptized tomorrow!! Pung. She interviewed yesterday after church and she passed! the elders have an investigator getting baptized on the same day, so we're inviting all our English students to come right after English class...haha we're so sneaky. Pung is awesome. We've only been teaching her for about a month now, but she was ready to accept the gospel from the minute we met her. We also had another investigator come to church yesterday, and we actually found him through inviting at the bus station. He called us randomly one day and asked where he needed to go to be clean from his sins, and what color he should wear. Since church yesterday, he's probably called me 4 times, and he's already started reading the BoM. So we're excited to see where that goes. Things are going great with Sis. Phavadee, my sweet little khon Laos companion. Last night i taught her how to make pancakes. we have a lot of fun together, even if we don't understand each other sometimes haha. i'm so excited for general conference, and i'm jealous that you've already watched it. we have to wait a week for the thai translations. i can't believe it was 6 months ago that i had just come into country, and my first sunday here was conference sunday. whooooaaaaaaa. anyway, i'm so grateful for a living prophet that gives us guidance straight from God. i've always been grateful, but i feel like it's a lot more special to me now. i'm kind of craving it actually. i hope all is well, and i love you all so much!

love sister steele