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!


Monday, June 16, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

A great day in Saphansung!

Fern and Fong

Sister Saa is ready to be baptized!

Since my last letter was long and awesome, this one might be kinda short. not sure if it was today or yesterday for you dad, but HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!! or just make it Father's week. that's much better. we should celebrate a whole week for fathers. and mothers. and when it's our birthday. a day is much too short.

anyway, here are some highlights from the week:

1. rain. actually this does not deserve to go under the highlight section. i'm not a big fan of rain and i never have been. but that's ok. we've been trying to get along lately. but now that i don't have my trusty bike to get me places quickly, i'm left to trudge through the rain. the people on the market street get to see the two soaking wet sisters walking down the street every day, asking them if they want to wash their sins. ohhhh and on this same market street, i have the privilege of passing a....meat shop...if that's what you would call it. every time we pass they are chopping up an animal. usually it's a pig. today i saw a few fresh feet sitting on the table, as the butcher chopped with his huge knife and pieces of raw pig came flying out at me. yum. 

2. I learned how to make cashew chicken today. probably one of my favorite dishes here. i tried to write things down...hopefully it will taste half as good in america.

3. stake conference! that happened yesterday. and we now have TWO stakes in Thailand!!! the first stake was formed her 19 years ago. and yesterday, a new stake was formed in Bangkok, as well as a new district. this is HUGE! the church is growing faster in Thailand than in any other country in the Asia area. i don't think it will be long before we see a couple more stakes popping up. which means we're getting even closer to having a temple here!! so cool. I'm so thankful to have a front row seat in seeing God's great and marvelous work as it unfolds. i'm so thankful for this experience and i can't imagine my life without it.

love you all!

sister steele

Monday, June 9, 2014


this week was amazing.

i don't even know where to start. i can start with last monday. we went to Asoke to have our interviews with President for Zone Conference, and when we got back, our bikes were gone. i was in denial for a few minutes. maybe somebody just moved them?? maybe i forgot that we actually left them at home?? nope. somebody just grabbed both mine and sis. ference's bikes, probably threw them in a truck, and that was that. they were even locked together! oh well. it serves us right for parking them where we did, because sis. holmes had already had TWO bikes stolen here, in the space of two weeks. anyway, we've been walking everywhere, which is fine. but then we tend to be late to just about everything too. for the next few weeks, a member is letting me borrow her bike, which has a nifty little basket in the front. and the seat is extremely comfortable. so i feel like i've been upgraded.

our investigator, Har, who was supposed to be baptized yesterday, had a mishap with his eyes...apparently he can't see very well right now because of an infection or he didn't show up to his interview, and then didn't show up to church. we were getting really worried, but then when i called him today, he explained everything. all is well. it was really stressful at the time though. 

despite our little set-backs, the week ended on a really good note, and there were still really good things that happened. because the good will ALWAYS outweigh the bad. always. 


1. Ing-ing

we have an investigator named Ing-ing. she asked us if she could go street contacting with us. she has learned 2 lessons. i know plenty of missionaries that don't enjoy street contacting, and here is this awesome girl WANTING to go out into the blazing sun and get rejected over and over again. the day that we went, she showed up at the church and brought a dress with her to change into. she asked for a missionary planner and a pen to get people's numbers. she told me that she had asked Heavenly Father the night before to fine somebody who was interested. i think she was shocked at how much people turned us down, or how many people wouldn't even stop to talk to us. but by the end of the day she had two numbers...and those people both came to church the next day! and one of them will be baptized on the 22nd.

2. Zone conference.

exactly what i needed. and it made me understand repentance so much differently than i had before. it is not simply saying sorry for the things you do wrong. repentance is the way that we can literally BECOME like God. Elder Christofferson says that "our goal in this life is not simply just to go live with God again. Otherwise, why would we have ever left His presence in the first place? The ultimate goal in this life is to BECOME LIKE HIM." loveeeee that.
oh. and i played my violin as part of the special musical numbers. none of us really got to practice before that day, so it was all thrown together last minute. but it was good. luckily i had a really good cello to drown me out.

3. Sunday.

All the people we expected to come to church didn't really show up...but a lot of unexpected golden people showed up. every single person that came to church yesterday was so different than anyone i would every expect to enter a church building...but they were all miracles. 

Rong. Brother Rong looks like the kind of guy that i wouldn't want to be caught in a dark alley way with. he came to church wearing a black 'Led Zepplin' shirt, and was smoking when we met him. he has a crazy eye, so i never really know which eye to look at when i'm talking to him. anyway, he's an interesting guy, but he accepted EVERYTHING we taught him yesterday. he's so excited to be baptized, and he told us that he knows it's his time now. he knows he's found the truth.
Noom. Noom is Muslim. he's covered in tattoos and piercings. when i first met him i didn't really think he would ACTUALLY come to church. And then Sunday came. it had been two weeks since i first talked to him, and he had never answered his phone since then. he walked into the church and asked me what he needed to do to be clean from his sin.

4. Fern. Fern also came to church on sunday...and she's actually come the past 3 Sundays. so here's Fern's story. A few weeks ago we had our Ward Conference, and stake leaders came from various areas. One of the members from Asoke brought her friend with her, who happened to live in our area. Her name was Fern. She had been talking to this friend that is already a member a lot about the church, but was NOT ready to be baptized. The first time we met with her we taught the Restoration, and she already knew a lot. She had met with the missionaries before a few months back, and read a little in the Book of Mormon. During our first lesson, we challenged her to be baptized, and she flat out gave us a big fat NO. We tried to give her a date for a little later on, and she said she just wasn't ready. She wanted to finish the Book of Mormon all the way through and then MAYBE she would think about being baptized. So we just figured we had tried to give her a date 2 years too soon. We almost dropped her actually. Her heart was just so closed off. The second time we met with her, we watched the video about the Restoration, and the Spirit was SO strong. We didn't even really say much in that lesson, but the member that helped us teach said ALL the right things. There was definitely something different about that lesson. The next day we called her, she was reading in Mosiah. The next day, she had gotten to 3 Nephi, and she told me that she made a promise with God that when she finished the Book of Mormon, she would be baptized. We called her the next day...and she said, "Sisters, I finished the Book of Mormon. I need to be baptized next week." She will be baptized this coming week with her 10 year old son.

I want to testify right now about the converting power of the Book of Mormon. This was a miracle that I never really expected or even asked for. But it's not about me. It's about Fern and God. And by reading the Book of Mormon, her heart completely flipped around. I still can't even really believe it. God is God, and He will do miracles. And I know we can all be converted by the Book of Mormon every day.

Sorry this is a complete novel! Love you all.

sister steele

Sunday, June 1, 2014

June is here!

wowww what a week it has been. full of lots of good things too. oh and whoever said that april is the hottest month here was mistaken. the past month of may was wicked hot. and even in the evenings when it cools down, i still sweat like crazy because of the humidity. basically the minute you step outside you can expect to be wet. also it's started to rain here and there lately. it's definitely not the rainy season...yet. but we've had a few thunderstorms in the past few weeks. the other night i literally jumped out of my bed a few times because the thunder was so loud. i think i was partly disoriented, but i remember thinking that the world was about to end. i was just waiting for our house to explode because the lightning sounded SO close. anyway, despite the rain, and the military men posted all around, God still trumps all. 

Our cute little investigator, May, was baptized yesterday. She's our little miracle for the week. And Sis. Nok was confirmed yesterday too. Ohhhh sis. nok. she's seriously a weirdo...and that's why i LOVE her. she's the one that always matches her outfit with her hat. I called her on saturday night to make sure she would be coming to church on time the next morning, etc. she told me she might be a little late because she had to go to a salon to wash her hair....what?? i told her she didn't need to do that, because that would be spending money on sunday, and we're not supposed to do that...remember? these sweet little recent converts are so new in the church...they're still learning and growing. she was all out of sorts, because she had forgotten about that rule, but she didn't know what she would do now, because she was "quite literally incapable of washing her own hair." she told me she hadn't washed her own hair for 10 years this lady is one of a kind. she didn't want to be confirmed if her hair was dirty, and her hair was "really dirty" as she said. running out of solutions, i found myself telling her to come to the church at 8am before church, and i would wash her hair for her. WOOF. hahahaha oh the adventures you have as a missionary. so there i was, the next morning. early in the morning, washing sis. nok's hair in the bathroom sink, pouring cups of water over her head to rinse out the shampoo (which she had brought with her, along with conditioner). oh, and she came fully equipped with a hair dryer too. as members started showing up, they gave us the weirdest looks. oh well. gotta love sis. nok.

second miracle for the week, which also involves an interesting person. i met a man at the market this past week. when we met with him for the first time, he said he had a dream that made him know that he needs to be baptized. he dreamed that a bunch of ferangs (which is the word for 'white people, or foreigners') who were on white horses, came down and picked him up and took him up to heaven. well that's probably just about the weirdest dream i've ever heard...but we told him it was an answer from God. Because God works in peculiar ways, as i've learned. this man is awesome, too. his foot was hurting him really bad on sunday, and he couldn't put on his shoe, so he almost didn't come to church. but then i reminded him of his dream, and that God wanted him to come to church, and he would provide a way. He came 15 minutes late, but he came...wearing flip flops. i'll take it. 
the faith that these people have is amazing. they're not perfect. and the church is still very young and new here. but they're trying. if we were perfect, we wouldn't even need this gospel. the gospel of Jesus Christ is a church for imperfect people. it is a gospel to help us BECOME. to become better. to become healed. to become like Jesus Christ. to become perfect. as long as we are striving, struggling, and desiring....every little thing is gonna be alright. 

love you all.

sister steele

ps. if i don't get the chance to email lots of you personally, it's because we have to go to Asoke today to have zone conference interviews.