Monday, May 26, 2014

One of those crazy weeks


for all that may be wondering about the craziness that is going on in this country, don't worry. it's really not as bad as it looks/sounds/seems. Since 1932, Thailand has had 12 coups (or around that). And it's always back to normal after a month or so. The Thai people are super laid back, so they kind of just roll with whatever is going on around them. 'i can't really imagine these people getting riled up about anything. yes, there have been 'riots' if that's what you would call them. but we never see any of it, because we're on the outskirts of Bangkok. so anyway, despite the country now being under martial law and such, everything is just grand. they have set a curfew for the entire country, which is 10pm to 5am. everyone has to be in their houses during that time. for the past few days, the mission decided to take extra precautions and be on the safe side. so all of us had to be in by 8pm and then we weren't allowed to street contact for a few days, just to keep a low profile. WOW. i never knew what it would do to me. i think i just about went crazy. i literally COULD NOT talk to people about the gospel the way i had been doing previously. let's just say we spent the last few days making LOTS of phone calls, eating a little bit too much food, updating paperwork, and pacing back and forth.
This week was definitely an interesting week, but God's work could not be frustrated. One of our investigators got baptized yesterday, and she was the happiest I had ever seen her. I think I love her the most for her sense of style. Every day that we taught her, she came wearing a different color of dress, with matching polka-dots, along with a matching hat. When I met her on the street, she was green. Last Sunday was red. Monday was yellow. Wednesday was red again. Saturday was black. And yesterday, Sunday, she showed up in all white...with a matching white hat to top it all off. I love this woman! 
On Thursday, we did a companionship switch-off with the sisters in Bangkapi. I prayed really hard for miracles to happen on both ends. And God heard me! One of the investigators in Bangkapi will be getting baptized on this Saturday, helping them to make the goal for this month! Here in Saphansung, Sis. Ference and Sis. Peterson went contacting almost all day long. As they were about to head back, the last girl that Sis. Ference tuned and invited to church REALLY wanted to go to church. She had been baptized before into a Protestant church, but the members had kind of "thrown her away" after that. And she felt unwelcome, so she stopped going to church for 2 years. She said she was at the point where she was about to give up on God, and had been searching for an answer. She was contemplating the idea of just be Buddhist again. And then she met the missionaries. She has been to the church every single day since then to learn with us. Which is a HUGE blessing, since we weren't allowed to go contacting after that. She already has good friends at the church, and she believes everything we teach her. She has so much faith. I am SO thankful that Heavenly Father is aware of us. He is aware of His missionaries, and the miracles they stand in need of. He is aware of His giant work that is progressing all over the world, yet He still has the time stop and notice one of His daughters in Thailand, at a market, waiting for a bus, praying in her heart to find the truth. Her name is May, and she's done searching now. He answered both of our prayers that day!

I'm SO EXCITED to get out and work again. I can't even explain. The past few days were....weird. I felt lazy, unfocused, and stir-crazy. It gave me a good long time to reflect on my purpose. And it made me realize how extremely lucky we are to have the privilege to go out and proclaim His gospel to all the world. It is meant to be SHARED.

may your last week of may be wonderful.

Sis Steele
Emily getting her stitches out (after last week's biking spill)

Sis Ference, Nok, and Sis Steele

Sister Steele, wearing Nok's hat...and Nok

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Wow! What a week!

i just want to say that i'm thankful that i have a good healthy 60+ years of life left to keep pounding out my dumb little flaws that make me imperfect. this week i noticed i have a lot to work on. which is normal. i think i realize that every day. and every time i get stressed out and worry that i'm not perfect yet, i have to look at my lifespan and realize that i have many more years ahead. it's all good.

i know we all have those spacy moments, or air-head moments, as i would call them. this week i've been kicking myself for not using my common sense, and decided i probably need to just go back to the basics of bike-riding 101. we had planned a companion switch-off with the sisters in Bangkapi, so i had an extra bag with me. i hung my other bag on my handle-bars, thinking i was so smart and resourceful. then the bag got caught in my tire, and my bike came to a complete stop. but i kept moving. so then i was flying over the handle bars, and luckily my trusty chin caught my fall. don't ask me why i didn't think to use my hands...i don't know what they were doing at the time. anyway, i didn't end up going on the switch-off that day. i got 5 stitches instead. i still have some gnarly bruises, and it was a few days before i could eat regular foods, because my jaw was a little bit sore (a lot). but all is well! and mom, you don't need to be worried to much. if you are, just imagine me flying through the air, and you'll have a good laugh. anyway, i should be getting my stitches outon wednesday. cross your fingers.

other than my biking adventure, this week was pretty dang good. Nat, our investigator that supposed to be baptized last week, was baptized yesterday. He's AWESOME. he worked so hard to give up alcohol. and he did it! it goes to show that with God, NOTHING is impossible. There's been a lot of emphasis in our mission lately to remember the WHY of missionary work. it's been on my mind a lot lately too. whenever i think of WHY i'm here I think of Jesus Christ. because He literally is the WHY, WHAT, WHO, and HOW. He's the reason i'm here, not just on a mission, but simply existing. He is hope, love, joy, peace, perfection, and salvation. and i love Him for that.

love you all.

sister steele

Sis Ference, Brother and Sister Nan, and Sister Steele

Brother Nat's Baptism Day
If you look closely at the above photo, you can see the bandage covering the stitches on Emily's chin!

Sunday, May 11, 2014


dear fans.

Another week in Saphansung! I really hope I'm here to see the end of this month. Sis. Ference and I are seeing a lot of miracles in May. Two of our golden investigators were baptized yesterday. It is amazing to me how much God can do with the hearts of men. One of our investigators started out only believing in God 50/50, but then...he PRAYED. He asked God Himself if He was real, and he got an answer. It's as simple and easy as a simple prayer, which is evident in the experience of Joseph Smith as well. One prayer changed the world. Satan worked really hard to stop God's work this week. On the day that all of our baptismal candidates were supposed to interview, one thing or another went wrong. One investigator had a few friends that got into a bar fight the night before, and being the saintly friend that he is, he had to take care of them and be with them at the hospital. He was about 3 hours late to his interview, but he made it. The sweet lady that got baptized yesterday is physically handicapped, and takes a LONG time in traveling places. She was also 2 hours late to her interview, and got stuck waiting for a bus at the market. But she made it. Our third investigator passed his interview....and then came to church the next day and told us that he had drunk/drank/dr0nken/drinked/sipped/consumed(or whatever word you would use there...) some alcohol the night before. Ouch. So we're having him wait til next week, but I think this experience is good for him, and helped him to realize what it feels like to have Godly sorrow and to truly repent before he is baptized. We have followed up with every investigator every day, and I  have really seen an increase of my love for them. In just one week, I feel like I really know these people, and really want to help them. The woman with the physical handicap called us later last night after her baptism, and thanked us. She thanked God and Jesus Christ for giving her permission to be baptized. And then she said that she was currently collecting her monthly income so she could pull out 10 percent in order to pay tithing next week. Ah she's so great! Anyway, I've rambled long enough now, but I do have one more miracle to share:

One night this week, we were hurrying out of the church because it was almost 9pm, and the elders made it out just before we did. Which was a bummer, because then we knew we would have to lock the front gate. The front gate is a beast, and the latch gets stuck almost every single time, making it almost impossible to lock. So this night it was being particularly difficult, and the latch just would NOT slide into the hole, and as hard as we kicked, pushed, pulled, and tugged, it wouldn't lock. By this time we were late getting home, but we couldn't just leave without locking the church. We debated a few times to call the Elders to help us. But the feminist in me said, "NO. You can do this." So we kept trying and trying for another 10  minutes and decided we may have to sacrifice our pride and call the Elders. But then I realized we hadn't even prayed yet. Why would we ask the Elders for help before we ask God for help?? So we said a prayer right then and there. Not two minutes later, we got an answer. The Elders showed up. They rode in on their bikes, because they had forgotten something at the church. And of course, they got the gate locked smoothly and easily, leaving us feeling defeated and humbled. So maybe we should have just called the Elders in the first place! HAHA God works in strange ways sometimes. And it wasn't the miracle I was expecting, but I'll take it. I'm glad to know that God has a sense of humor.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to my mumsers!! I love you so much!! It was great to see your face and talk for a little while. love you all!

Sister Steele

Monday, May 5, 2014


what....i can't believe it's already MAYYYYY

Things are going really great here. This past week, Sis. Ference and I have worked really hard, and are trying to just take it a week at a time. We have two investigators looking really good to get baptized on this coming Sunday, and two others that came to church yesterday...and will also be getting baptized on Sunday. We'll do all we can to help them meet their goal! Overall this week has been awesome, and every time I think I couldn't be happier, God proves me wrong. Every day when I wake up, I know I'm happier than the day before. And if things don't go exactly as I plan, or I hit set-backs, then I just have to look at the little miracles. Having investigators come to church is great, but seeing new members (who were investigators just a week ago) come to church and continue to progress is even greater. Seeing brand new converts come to church, bear their testimony, and then ask you if they can pay their tithing that probably one of the best things to see as a missionary. I love these people so much.

Following up with investigators EVERY day is SO important! I have a testimony of that now. We have an investigator that is trying really hard to quit drinking alcohol, and HE called US yesterday to thank us for helping him change his life. I'm so excited for him to be baptized this week.

I love this area, I love these people, I love this work, and I love my companion. I feel like every companion I have had has been strangely a lot like me, but an extremely better version of myself that I want to become. Anyway, things are just great here in Saphansung.

If you couldn't tell by the formal tone in the last 3 paragraphs, the previous 3 paragraphs were really just copied and pasted from my letter to president. because time is precious, and everything i told him was what i wanted to tell you. but...naturally, there are parts about my mission life that i would not include to my letter to the time when i chased down a lady in front of the church. she was walking way too fast, and we needed more investigators at church that we RAN. when she heard footsteps coming behind her, she turned around and kind of put her hands up like she was afraid we would hit her or something. maybe we should change our approach...? also, running every morning has been great. except for when we get 15 min. out and i decide i HAVE to go to the bathroom. all i could think of the whole time was rachel in her water-shoes..."oh looky's RACHEL...and she's BOOKING it to the bathroom." (british accent). 

anyway, all in all, the mission is EVERYTHING. it's hard, awesome, work, cool, spiritual, fun, happy, sad, crazy, wonderful. mostly it's just PERFECT. because life doesn't get better than this. i love you all so much. thank you for your prayers, keep them coming!

Sister Steele
Sis Steele and her new companion, Sis Ference...from Holliday, Utah!

Sis Ference just turned 20!