Sunday, January 26, 2014

No. You do it my way.

dear friendsfamilyandrandoms,

This week was good, and Sis. Holmes and I are happy. It's crazy how much can happen in one week, and how many investigators we will meet, teach, and then say goodbye to. The finding and gathering process is exciting, and at the end of the week we have a few that will stick, and really want to progress towards baptism. One of our investigators got baptized yesterday! Tar. I told you about him last week right? I don't know why, but for some reason, baptism days are super stressful. Everything happens all at once, and I need 7 more hands to do everything. Yesterday: totally forgot to tell him to wear white underwear. oops. so the elders were rushing around trying to figure out how to help him and i was like, haha sorryyyyy. and then a member that's from Burma wanted pamphlets in Burmese to give to her friend who was interested, and i just didn't have time to deal with that, so i think she was annoyed at me. i had to call and apologize later that night. oops. oh and during the baptismal program they wanted the missionaries to do a special musical number...which we had NOT practiced at all for. so basically me and e. engle played a violin duet while e. wilson played the piano. and it was literally the first time all of us had played it together. maybe i missed a few key changes...oops. and then one of our investigators who was supposed to interview for baptism was telling me that she actually can't because her boyfriend doesn't want her to because he's catholic and he would be breaking his promise with God if she was baptized into our church...? what??  I think my patience is down here...(pointing to mid-calf level right now). Because sometimes I just do not understand the reasons that these people keep bringing up for not being baptized. We have seen SO many people come SO close, and then Satan sneaks in. But then I think I've learned the importance of opposition. There has to be opposition in all things, or we wouldn't even recognize the good when it hit us in the face. So every time I'm rejected time after time after time, I have to realize that the good will be so much sweeter. And to just keep going. Because nothing worth having comes easy. Tar was baptized yesterday, and he's HAPPY. and even though i felt like a crazy little missionary running around the chapel doing this and that, and worrying about this and that, the end product was good. and that's because this is God's way, God's work, not mine. thank goodness. I love this work, this place, these people, with all of my whole heart.

love you all too!

sis. steele

Tar's baptism

Sunday, January 19, 2014



this letter might be short and sweet because: 1. nothing out of the ordinary has happened this week 2. i'm lazy 3. i'm hungry and i can't concentrate until i eat. 4. my last one was good and long so i'll make up with a short one today.

we've been doing A LOT of inviting and talking to people. because if we talk to eVERYONE, then we find golden investigators. we have a really cool investigator right now, his tame is DAR. he's been a Thai boxer before, and bikes to and from work every day, which is FAR. so DAR bikes FAR. haha i'm so funny. anyway he plays just about every sport, and he teaches english and french. and he's tall. wow i sound like i'm describing my biggest crush or something. i promise i'm not in love with my investigators....he's just super cool. and he's from Korat!! he actually lived on the same street that i did when i was there! he had learned with the missioanries before when he was younger, and gone to the english classes at the church. small world. he has really studied this gospel out for himself, and he is so excited to be baptized. when we taught him the law of tithing yesterday, he was SO excited about it. i've never really seen that before. he's getting baptized this Sunday.

we had a good turn out at church yesterday, as far as investigators go. one girl we met at the BIG C (big huge supermarket) brought her friends too, so that was a plus. during the investigator class, i sat by one of them and was helping them understand what was going on, showing them pictures, etc. When the teacher was reading a scripture, i turned to the what i thought was the right reference so that my investigator could read and follow along. when i pointed to the verse, he started reading silently and then just looked really confused. and then i looked down and actually took the time to read it in thai, and realized it was one of those weird chapters, and the verse said, "..and Coriantum was the son of Ammagaddah..." or some weird name like that. and that's all. hahaha. yeahhhh not the right verse. oops.

i've learned a lot about patience lately. sometimes when i don't get outcomes that i expect, i have to realize that God's way is higher than mine. this week i thought a lot about that awesome mormon message my elder holland, "good things to come." we have to keep walking. "keep walking. don't you quit." there ARE good things to come. just because they don't come right when we want them, or how we expect them doesn't mean God is withholding them from us. It is all in His way and in HIs timing.


sis. steele

Thursday, January 16, 2014


I don't think I'll ever forget the Thai word for January for as long as I live. For one, it's taped to my shower wall, along with all the names of all the other months (great study time). and two, i've invited hundreds of people to be baptized this month, in order to reach the mission goal of 200. oh and also i got hit with a random cold at the beginning week, and i think it settled for my vocal chords, because my voice kind of disappeared for a few days. which was SUPER inconvenient, considering the fact that i have to talk to everyone, all day, every day. it's finally coming back though, so that's good.

so last week i said that we should be having a baptism this week. we have an amazing investigator, who is basically perfect. she already keeps all the commandments, knows everything is true, etc. we watched 'Finding Faith in Christ' with her the night before her interview and she told us that her life was lost until now. she interviewed on Saturday and passed. of course! we new she would pass. but then came the tricky part, because for some reason she still thinks she's not ready...figure that one out. i think she's afraid to be baptized when her husband isn't ready yet. we've been teaching him too, but he's not at the point she's at, and i think that scares her. eventually, it's gonna have to be a choice that she makes herself. so more news to come on her. she's awesome though. 

another investigator told us that he knows the BOM is true, reads it every night before he goes to bed, etc. but then he said one night he saw Buddha's face, so he thinks Buddhism is the way for him to go right now. but he wants to keep the BOM and keep reading it....? huh? all i can think of is SATAN. it's gotta be Satan getting to these people and putting that little seed of doubt there. with every ounce we put into the work, Satan knows something amazing is about to happen and so he throws his forces at us.

BUT. despite Satan and his scrunchy faced minions, God's work cannot be stopped. we are seeing miracles, all the same. we were riding a songtaw on Friday, and i was sitting next to a random lady that told me she was Christian even before i started talking to her. we didn't have a lot of time to talk because she had to get off at her stop. after a few minutes i realized it was our stop too...haha yeah i'm still directionally challenged. by that time she was a ways ahead of us, walking into the store. and then, i don't really know why, but i was running after her. just chasing her. yeah that's not weird at all. when i caught up to her, she was kinda shocked, a little surprised, but willing to sit down and talk to us. she basically accepted our invitation to come to church out of pity, and i could tell she wasn't really gonna come. she said she had to go to her other church. by sunday, i had kinda ruled her out, but then she called me and said she was on her way to church. everything we learned at church yesterday was so PERFECT. it was all about the plan of salvation, and it was really investigator friendly. as the hours went on, i could tell she really FELT it. she got more and more excited, and would reach over and grab my hand every once in a while. we taught her a lesson right after church ended and she accepted a baptismal date for the 26th of this month. when she prayed for the first time, she cried. she told us that she's excited to start her "new life." that she hopes her "new life will be happier and better than her normal one." and it will. because a life with Christ is the only way. Christ isn't our last chance, he's our only chance. i've learned so much from the people that i teach, and they don't even know it. i love seeing the light that turns on in someone's heart when they recognize what it is that they've been missing. I read Jessica Powell's letter this week, and i loved what she said, and i couldn't say it any better: 'i'm so lucky to pin the name of Jesus Christ on my puffy coat, put on my mittens, and then go out and work.' how thankful i am for the same thing, and how thankful i am that i don't have to wear a big puffy coat:)

love you all!

sis. steele

Monday, January 6, 2014

I learned a lot this week!

hey everyone! and hello to half of my family that is probably on a plane to AFRICA right now...??!!??!! also thank you for sending me pictures of Paris. i'm a little bit jealous, except for when i saw doonis all bundled up and freezing, and then i remembered i'm in thailand where it's warm and wonderful. but i'm sure you'll be enjoying some of that same weather in a day or so. by the way how hot is it in mauritius right now??

so here's some things i learned this week. some of them are kind of dumb and petty. some of them are really deep. like things i wished i had learned way sooner. but even though i'm slow, God is always showing me new things. oh isn't life just beautiful. anyway, here they are:

so there is a certain market street that we go contacting on ALL the time. like every day. and i learned that there is a crazy man who lives (actually i don't know if 'lives' is the right word) on the street. but anyway, he's always around. and i think he has a weird obsession with me or something. my first encounter with him: he walked really close by me and then jerked his elbow up in front of my face, making me jump back, obviously. and then he just laughed, and laughed. and laughed. and then i saw him a few more times that day, and every time he saw me, he would kind of jump toward me, because he knew it was hilarious if he could scare me. so i learned to just ignore him. he walks around without any shoes and is always wearing crazy outfits. the next day i saw him, i was talking to someone on the street about baptism, and i see him marching down the street. like literally marching. and his hand was pointed in a gun shape. and he was marching straight toward me. i think i almost hid behind the person i was talking to...i didn't know whether to laugh or to run. the next day i saw him he was walking in the middle of the huge busy street that's in front of our church, with cars passing on either side of him, honking and swerving, as he yelled things at them as they passed. well he must have gotten out of that safely, because i saw him again today. he was yelling something at me in Thai, and i didn't really understand it at all. then he started throwing coins at me. he followed me into the 7/11 and gave me 5 baht. luckily sis. holmes and i were able to sneak out while he wasn't looking. so he keeps our lives interesting.

i learned that i am VERY out of shape. actually i think i already knew that. but we had a zone sports day today, and we had it at a school that the one of our members teaches at. all of the sisters found an indoor basketball court where the school team was practicing. they wanted to scrimmage against us so we agreed. hahhahaha. that was our first mistake. after a few times running up and down the court with all the quick little thai girls, i was about to dieeeeeee. we didn't really keep score, but i'm pretty sure they beat us. long story short, i'm definitely taking a nap today.

since this email is becoming way too long, here's the last thing i learned. i am NOTHING. this is God's work. I've always thought that if i worked hard enough and long enough, if i'm skilled enough and teach well enough, then we will have success. but it's not true. not at all. rather than grinding myself into the ground, i've learned that it is about faith. i need to have more faith that God can do all things, and He WILL. i still don't really know how, but i'm working on giving him my WHOLE self, my whole heart. our mission has a goal for 200 baptisms this month. that's impossible. if we work alone. but God will do it. we just have to be His hands. And that's why I'm gonna tell you right now that we're going to see a baptism on Saturday! Her name is Da and she is amazing. Here's a little quote that I really love from Elder Eyring..."I won't give up, shut up, or let up  until I have stayed up, stored up and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go till he comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till he stops me. And when He returns for his own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear." 

Love, Sister Steele :)

Sis Steele & Sis Phavadee--served together in Korat

Missionaries in new area, Saphansung (suburb of Bangkok)

These critters greeted them at their new apt. in her new area...uggh!

Emily's new companion--Sister Holmes from Sandy, UT

Moving from Korat with all their stuff on the bus

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Back to BKK

Dear family.

Whoa. That's really all I have to say about this area. We've seen a lot of amazing things happen and I know this area is full of people that are prepared. I kind of feel like when I came here I got on a treadmill that was going 100 miles per hour and I keep falling flat on my face. But then I get back up I'm able to go a little bit faster each time. Oh yeah, let me actually tell you where i am, etc. because transfers were about a week ago, and it's been a while since i emailed. i'm back in Bangkok, in Saphaansung, and it is the most successful area in the mission right now, as far as baptisms go. no pressure. when i was in srinakharin i came here for district meetings, and i always kinda wanted to serve here, and now here i am! oh and i'm training again. her name is sis. holmes and she just got here a week ago! yay for greenies! i was one once. she's from sandy utah and is 19, just out of high school. she's very mature for her age though so that's good. I've learned so much already from being here, mostly about how to invite. So here's how we do it. we're like little vultures that circle around the market place, just waiting for the golden investigator to come along. We pick a spot, have our little pictures of baptism, and stop EVERYONE to talk to them. We ask them if they have seen the picture before, tell them what it is, and that they can wash their sins away, and ask them if they want to do it. If they're not interested, they usually walk away after 'Hello.' But if they are, we have them walk to the church with us, right then and there. We usually do contacting really close to the church, because if we can get them into the church, they feel the spirit. we usually have members there all the time, and we're able to teach them a lesson with a member too. we've already found about 2 or 3 people that are ready to be baptized. Sometimes I'll go hours without meeting a single person who's interested, but we find at least one person every day who is golden. And I decided that it's not just this area that is booming. It's not just this area that has so many people that are prepared. EVERY area can be like this. When I came here, I automatically EXPECTED to find somebody, anybody, whoever they were, that would follow me back to the church and accept a baptismal date. Because I know it's been happening, so it can continue to happen. And it has continued to happen. And it really made me think that if every missionary everywhere 100% expected to find people that God has prepared, then they will find that one person. I've decided that my perspective of missionary work has just changed. Before, I thought that God would specifically tell me exactly who I would need to talk to, and that person would automatically be interested. Now I know that those people that are prepared are out there, but I don't find them until I talk to, quite literally, EVERYONE. It really is like fishing. You have to cast your line hundreds of times before you find that person/people who have been searching for the truth, but didn't know where to find it. I'm thankful that God sent me to this area, where I am now learning how to put every ounce of my physical/spiritual strength into this work.

oh and we had a baptism on Sunday! His name is Red. and he's a miracle child. he's 14 and his parents are muslim. he wanted to be Christian so he moved out. then he lived at a protestant church with a pastor. he's like Chancho off of Nacho Libre. he's living with his uncle now though. he followed the sisters to the church one day, and said he is leaving protestantism and never looking back. so he was baptized yesterday! and he's SO solid.

also, i never told you about my christmas was SO perfect. the best part was skyping with all you lovely people. after that, we went and ate ice-cream as a district, and then went bowling. if you know me well you know i usually hate bowling. but this time it was kind of fun. and our team won, so the other team had to buy us ice-cream. yeah we ate a lot of ice-cream that day. but it was Christmas so it's ok. then we went to a member's house to have christmas night with their family. we had taco night. YUMMO! and they had gotten us eacha little stocking it was so nice. we sang christmas songs and watched the nativity movie. all of it was so simple. but i loved only having one thing to focus on. Jesus Christ. And I'm so thankful to have this time to give all of my heart to Him. 

love you all!

Sis. steele