Sunday, December 21, 2014

Thankful for Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 24th - Sunday, November 30th

Tuesday (11/25/14)
I brought a man named D up to the Branch in the early afternoon. He is from an island in the Caribbean. He is struggling with a really bad alcohol addiction! It was a good lesson though… I’ve come to realize that our Heavenly Father loves everyone in spite of their weaknesses.

Then we taught another guy named B! We taught him about the restoration and he LOVED it! After we were done teaching him he said, "Elder, that was magical!" Then we taught a less active member named D from Brazil. Elder N and I have been working really hard to reactivate him. He always says, "Me likey" and it reminds me of my little brother.

Wednesday (11/26/14)
Man oh man, I totally had the weirdest lessons I have EVER taught so far on my mission! We were on exchanges with Elder C so that was AWESOME! But to start off we taught D! Remember, she is the lady who showed up drunk to church… twice. It wasn’t by chance that we taught her the Word of Wisdom lesson… because obviously this is a recurring issue for her! The lesson was going really well and she was accepting the things we were sharing, but then she exclaimed... "I'm gonna throw up!!!" AHHHHHH!!! I looked at Elder C and then we both go sprinting to the kitchen to get the garbage can! Elder C grabs the garbage can (which was at least 30 yards away) just in time for D to LET LOOSE and literally EXPLODE!!! Even with the barf extravaganza, it was actually a good lesson.

Elder C and I feeling BIG after our Barf Extravaganza Lesson.

We taught C again today (remember, he’s the boy who’s mom doesn’t want him to be baptized). Man i love this kid! We taught him the Book of Mormon story about the Brother of Jared when the Lord touched the stones. As we told Chen that Jared literally saw Christ because of his strong faith, C looks at us and says, "Can I say HOLY SH**! " I looked at my companion, and we just started BUSTING up laughing! Obviously, English is not C’s first language. However, he now knows that SH** is a pretty bad word!

Thursday (11/27/14)
Our 1st Thanksgiving is in the bag! It feels really nice to cross holidays off the list :) It was a super nice day! They obviously don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here in Australia because the pilgrims didn’t land down under :) However, we had a nice Thanksgiving dinner for lunch at the Branch! It was pot luck style, and tasted really close to home cooking :) It was the most I have ever eaten on my mission! The only thing missing was my family, football, and a nap! It was a great break, but then we got right back to work! We taught B the Plan of Salvation today! He has a baptismal date for the 20th of December... But... He is from China so we had to pass him off to the Chinese Elders! DANG!! Oh well, at least he will be able to now understand the lessons 100%. We taught “I” today, and he completed his baptismal interview so this was the day we KNEW 100% he was getting Baptized.

Thankful for Thanksgiving!

Friday (11/28/14)
Today was actually really slow. We taught L today... and he hasn’t been able to stop smoking. It’s frustrating, but he wants to stop so badly. We will just keep praying for him. We also taught a member named Sister A! She is really lonely but we were able to spread a little missionary cheer with a really nice message about accountability.

Saturday (11/29/14)
Today was I’s Baptism :) YES! I have been truly blessed on my mission to be able to participate in the sacred ordinance of Baptism. If you work hard, and are obedient the Lord will definitely bless you! It was nice seeing him make the first step of Baptism! He has been diagnosed with MS, so we are not really sure how long he has left on this earth, but now he has Eternity! 

"I's" Baptism. What a wonderful day! 

Something amazing happened today. About 2 weeks ago I got cussed out pretty hard by a homeless man on the street! I went back and told him I did not appreciate that kind of language because I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. He listened to my message and then he walked away. Today, I was walking on the street in the afternoon and I saw him again! I had this feeling of someone pushing me towards him so I went and talked with him again! His name is P. He is 51, homeless, and an alcoholic. He wants to change his life, and now he has found exactly how to do it! I brought him up to the church and showed him a really powerful Mormon Message about someone who had the exact same problem! Anyway, he now knows exactly what to do, and he really wants to change his life! Moral of the story… EVERYBODY, follow the promptings of the Spirit! The Lord is preparing so many people for members to find! We ALL need to go find them!!

To celebrate the Baptism we went out to eat. I got the Bay City Bomber!
It was so BIG it took me two days to finish. It cost $18 but it was worth it!

Sunday (11/30/14)
Not many of our investigators showed up for church today! It was really a bummer, but it’s impossible to expect thousands of investigators every week :) I went to choir practice for the Stake Choir Christmas Festival! I am in the missionary choir and it is great! It makes me really feel the Christmas Spirit even though I am not home with all of you!

Well that is my week:) I love you all sooo much! Thanks for all your prayers!  

Unexpected Surprises!

Monday, November 17th – Sunday, November 23rd

Its definitely been a crazy week of unexpected surprises here in Melbourne; but I guess that’s what a mission is all about… the unexpected!

Monday (11/17/14) 
After our P-day was over we taught a lesson to a guy from Indonesia. It was a really powerful lesson, but not in the way you might expect. While the spirit was trying to convert him, he was trying to convert Elder N and I... you can probably imagine what happened next. This guy gets in our face and tells us that we’re going to hell because of our beliefs. Well, I didn’t see that one coming… apparently neither did Elder N, because not knowing what to say, he turns to the guy and says the same thing back to him!! I guess this means we won’t be having a follow-up lesson :) . Oh well, it was sad the way it ended, but this dude really wasn’t willing to accept the truth.

Tuesday (11/18/14) 
I attended my 1st Transfer meeting today for Missionaries going home. It was actually kind of sad… for me :) . There were 24 missionaries going home this month, and all of them got to bear their testimonies at the end of the meeting. They were all strong testimonies, and it gave me a comforting feeling to hear each of them express how great of an experience their mission was; yet at the same time express how their mission was the hardest thing they had ever done. A mission really is a pretty tough experience for everyone! But at the same time it’s a great experience!

Wednesday (11/19/14) 
Well, I didn’t get transferred, but I did get another companion. Today marks my 1st official day as a Missionary Trainer! I am the youngest trainer in the whole mission! haha (scary and humbling). Seriously, it is actually really humbling that President Maxwell has put that much trust in me, with a new missionary, as I have just recently finished my own training! Anyways, Elder N and myself had to be at the mission home at 12:45 pm to meet the Goldens for lunch (a Golden is a brand new missionary from the MTC). Well they didn’t get there till around 1:45 so we got to just sit and talk with all the other trainers… that was fun. Our new Golden’s name is Elder O. He is from around the Denver area and he seems to be a really nice guy! Our meeting with the Golden’s and orientation took up the whole day so unfortunately we didn’t do any work in the vineyard today. 

1st time driving in Australia! Different side of the road, 
and different side of the car! It was great! We borrowed a car so we could
go pick up our new "Golden."

Thursday (11/20/14) 
We taught L to start off the day today! This was Elder O’s 1st lesson as a missionary! Apparently L thought it was SUPER hot outside so he wore like these super short shorts and a “wife beater” tank top! I LOVE THIS MAN! He is so funny and so laid back… He is still trying to stop smoking, but he did tell us that he is done with all his coffee! YES! Then, later in the evening we taught a guy named F. He is really nice but has a lot to talk about. I think it is because he feels the Spirit and is really comfortable with us; which is super cool for missionary discussions!

Now we are a trio! Meet the new Golden, Elder O! (he's the one in the middle).

Friday (11/21/14) 
It was a little bit slower of a day today in the city... sometimes this kind of day just happen. We did teach a man named “I”. We actually taught him a JUMBO lesson because he is getting BAPTIZED on the 29th of November! He is so solid. He told us his goal is to be a Mormon by the end of the year! His girlfriend is a less active member and he loves how as members of the church we live our lives! So even though the day was kind of slow, it was a GREAT day to be a missionary! What’s even more amazing is that our investigator “I” already has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and of Joseph Smith!... Pinch me I’m dreaming!

Saturday (11/22/14) 
We played a little joke on Elder O today! :) When we found out that we were going to be training a new missionary, we told J (he has been a member for about 8 years and is a pretty funny guy!) to come and have a lesson with us, and pretend to be an investigator. We had J ask some super hard questions about the church that left Elder O kind of stunned!... In the end the joke was sort of on Elder N and myself because Elder O did a pretty good job of answering most of the question VERY well! It was great to see that “Golden Spirit” jump out and accept the challenging questions! We all had a pretty good laugh! Then we taught J again. This time we had a member from Mexico join us for the lesson. We watched the Restoration video together! I have found that if investigators can gain a testimony of Joseph Smith then they know this is the only true Church! K, the member from Mexico, was a life saver as she bore SOLID testimony, in Spanish, to J!

Keeping the brotherhood strong!

Sunday (11/23/14) 
Whoever said Sunday’s were relaxing must have gone to church on Saturday J. Elder N, O and I (I mean me… sorry, for the alphabet soup but we been asked to be sensitive of people’s identities for privacy reasons) started our day by teaching a lesson to a man from Nepal named B! He seemed pretty solid but he wouldn’t give us another time when could meet.. Kinda interesting... Anyways YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE WHO CAME BACK TO CHURCH!!! hmmmm lets try to think back in the past!! If I say the name D, does that ring a bell??? Yup... Ding, Ding… you got it right! It was the Drunk lady that fell asleep/passed out during sacrament meeting! She was still a little tipsy today, but thankfully not enough to have her pass out! HAHA :) The real miracle is that even though D had passed out stone cold the first time she attended our branch, she remembered where she came that day, and was drawn to the Spirit of our Sunday services!

As if our Sunday wasn't exciting enough, check out the giant spider in our apartment.

On an exciting note, Sister Maxwell (the Mission President’s wife) called me on Monday and asked if I would be in a choir that is singing at our Stake Christmas musical event on the 14th of December. Of course I said YES! We had our first practice tonight. It’s going to be a lot of fun and bring some extra Holiday cheer to the Christmas Season.

Things are really going great! There are hurdles everywhere you go on the mission.. But the Lord is just testing us to see exactly how we are going to jump over them:)

A Miraculous Baptism

Monday, November 10th – Sunday, November 16th

Monday (11/10/14) 
We went fishing for P-day. Then in the night time we taught D from Indonesia. He is an arguer and only believes in the Bible. However, WE taught the restoration in a VERY VERY VERY bold manner. The Spirit was the strongest I have EVER felt in my entire life! During the hour lesson there was probably 20 minutes of silence just because we were all feeling the Spirit, and he was communicating to all of us! We told D if he were to pray with real intent, then he would KNOW this is the only true church here on this earth today! MAN THIS CHURCH IS TRUE!!!

Just a super great P-day fishing on the Yarra River!
I caught a fish mate... Oh wait... Just a dirt clump... haha!

Tuesday (11/11/14) 
We taught C a super good lesson about Temples, and the qualifications we must meet to be worthy to go in! He expressed to us he still wants to be baptized BUT his mom HATES the idea of it! So, it looks like we are going to have to wait until January when he turns 18! Then we taught a guy that is struggling to recognize the promptings of the Spirit...He decided to stop the lessons… Give him time, and I’m sure another set of missionaries will find him. L didn’t stop smoking after all. He called and told us he only did it for 11 hours. Oh well, 11 hours is definitely better than 11 minutes J ha ha. He is such a great guy, and keeps giving it his best. We just keep praying he will triumph over the smokes. Then we taught a guy named J and his friend J. The lesson went great and we will just have to wait and see what happens.

Me and L! He loves to play ping pong after the lessons! He is actually pretty good!

Wednesday (11/12/14) 
Today the whole day was Zone Conference! It was my very first one and I LOVED it! It was super great. Basically the APs gave some training; and then President and Sister Maxwell gave some training; and then some other missionaries gave some training…. I know, a lot of training! But something President Maxwell said stuck with me, "When trials come... Big or Small... Force a Smile! Look at it as a strengthening period from God." I have learned to ALWAYS keep a positive attitude about things! Everything happens for a reason!

Thursday (11/13/14) 
This was my 3 Month mark! WOW! 1/8th of my mission gone. It’s been GREAT! We taught C again today (he’s the one who has to wait until he turns 18 to be baptized). He is always way fun to teach because he is still trying to learn English! :) WE are always able to have great lessons with him! He is really progressing in his testimony of the gospel. Then we taught a lady named J. She is Aussie, and is a mortgage laywer... HOLY COW, probably the most awkward lesson ever. We would ask questions and she wouldn’t respond.. HUH? I am not quite sure how to explain it, but it was just one of those super awkward moments. We gave her a Book of Mormon, she didn’t say anything J, so I guess we will see what happens!

Today on my 3 month mark, I found a pair of sweet Oakley sunglasses on my morning run. It was a pretty grand day :)

Friday (11/14/14)
I am really getting sick of people canceling! It is like the story of my life here in the city! I think it is God’s way of letting us know He is in charge and knows exactly what He is doing! Even if we are not crazy about the direction the day is taking. We did teach a guy from Korea named M. That was a really good lesson! He had been in contact with some missionaries while living in Tasmania, and he is now in Melbourne for a couple months :) Hopefully he will choose to be  baptized!

Saturday (11/15/14) 
It was a GREAT DAY!!! We got another baptism! M, the Minister form Kenya, was baptized! After he was baptized he told me this is the true church! He said he wished he would have known about this church when he preached to over 1,500 people in Denmark!!! HOLY COW, Elder N and I literally just baptized a Preacher! How cool is that! Then tonight was TRANSFER NEWS..... Elder N and I will be staying in the City for another transfer! Man, I am sooo happy to be staying here in the city! I love the variety of people I get to meet and talk to everyday. It is a great place to be a missionary.

M's Baptism. What a wonderful day!

So after getting the call telling us we were not getting transferred, to our surprise, the phone rings again, and it was President Maxwell telling us… WE WILL BE TRAINING A GOLDEN (a golden is a new missionary straight from the MTC) IN THE CITY!!!! Man, now I am soooo stoked! We are going to be in a trio companionship and both Elder N and I will be training him! What an honor to have just finished my own training, and then be blessed with the opportunity to be a trainer :) I am really excited for this transfer!

Sunday (11/16/14) 
Sundays can be a really super stressful day for missionaries! I am always worrying if my investigators are going to make it to church; and then I am super bummed if they don’t come! Oh well, I’m definitely learning to live with the Sunday stress! And then there are those Sundays when you meet a crazy person at church, who proclaims he is going to come and see you again, so he can give you a Sony Walkman, so you can listen to the inspirational Christian radio channel while you’re GQing… What’s a Walkman?... What’s a cassette?.. hahah.  Yep, it was a good day with some good laughs with that MATE! :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Great Times Down Under!

Monday, November 3rd - Sunday, November 10th

Monday (11/3/14)
P-day was a lot of fun today. We headed down to the ocean as a District, and hung out by the sea.

The sun, the sea, the District, and fish and chips on the wharf... livin' the dream!

And the verdict is... Thumbs up on the fish and chips!

Run for your life... the star fish are attacking!

District selfie... Is that a train I hear coming down the tracks?

Tuesday (11/4/14)
We started the day by doing service for our stake in the stake basketball tournament. That was fun because we got to keep score for the games in the tourney. However, after that ALL 5 of our appointments canceled so we GQed like always :) I always seem to attract WACK JOBS when I GQ! Take today for example. This guy came up to me and stuck his middle finger right in my face; and was saying F this and F that to me... It didn't really faze me. I just remembered what Dad always said about people who give you the finger… “They’re just showing you their iQ level by holding up ONE finger.” :) However, I did feel super bad for the guy. He’s missing out on the True Church!! Oh well, I guess the truth for some people is hard to swallow:) haha

Wednesday (11/5/14)
Damn, (pardon my Australian....but "damn" is not a swear word in Australia; you even hear it over the pulpit in church!!) but there must be a Bug going around the city of Melbourne because 5 of our 8 lessons called in sick!  However, we did teach L, (our investigator who has smoked for 30 years) He was supposed to stop smoking but he wasn't able to kick the addiction yet.  So we just tried to build up his faith in Christ! We know that through the power of Jesus Christ nothing is impossible. Later that day we taught M! He is the one who was a minister in Kenya! It is such a miracle that we found him. I am amazed at the amount of faith he has!  For today's lesson we taught him about Tithes and Offerings and he said, "Once I get a job I will for sure pay my 10% to God!" He is definitely getting baptized next Saturday when the Branch President can be there.

Thursday (11/6/14)
Our Zone had Zone Meeting and it was super great :) I always enjoy the trainings there and seeing all the other missionaries. But, the only bad thing is it takes time out of the day for teaching people…. which makes me kind of sad. However, we did have time to teach a man named J who is from Chile. He is here in Melbourne trying to support his family back home in Chile. He knew the Church has some employment services he could use! He also really enjoyed the message about the Restoration. He loves his family and it was so awesome to teach him how this Gospel blesses families in so many different aspects!

Later in the evening we taught a girl from Malaysia named A. She is a very smart international student and had some VERY interesting questions from her research on the Internet. I WISH PEOPLE WOULD NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING THEY READ ON THE INTERNET! THERE IS A LOT FALSE INFO ABOUT THE CHURCH! :)  Anyway she describes herself as a Buddhist Christian… if that is even possible! Only time will tell where this goes. I think I’m going to hop on the Internet and research Buddhist Christians :) hahaha

Friday (11/7/14)
We taught a very BOLD lesson today to C (our 17 year old investigator whose Mom won't let him be baptized) and his friend K because C was thinking about going to a different church! So we told him THIS IS THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH on the earth today. We reminded him of the restoration of the Lord’s church, the priesthood and a living prophet who receives revelation directly from God.

Later, we were able to teach a man named M from mainland China! Man, it was so cool to even just plant a little seed in his heart about the gospel so he can take it back to China:) As much as we wanted to keep teaching him we referred him to the Chinese elders so he could be taught in his native Chinese language. I loved learning Chinese and visiting China when I was in high school so it was a really cool experience for me to have this brief teaching experience with him!

We also taught a man named H from West Papua... unfortunately he doesn't want to get baptized because he feels his previous baptism (different religion) should be enough.

Then in the evening, we taught a guy named J who came up to the branch. He wanted me to tell him the EXACT steps he needed to take in order to be baptized! I swear I heard angels singing the Hallelujah chorus… That is the question every missionary dreams about answering, and LOVES to talk about!!! So basically I told him to come and let us teach him, and then he would be ready to be baptized in early December. 

Saturday (11/8/14)
Today was a little bit slower than usual. Believe it or not, missionaries have slow days sometimes.  Time slipped away from us because we were waiting for appointments that never showed… super frustrating!  Because we are missionaries in the heart of Melbourne city, we can't go to investigator's houses; all our appointments have to come meet with us at our branch building. I hate feeling like I’m wasting any of the time I’ve committed to serving the Lord as a full time missionary. Oh well, I guess it’s helping me learn patience (maybe it’s not time wasted)!

On a happy note, we went to a Convent in Abottsford for lunch, to meet with that philosopher guy I met awhile back! The discussion was as healthy as the food… It was vegan food and it was really good (not good enough to eat everyday, but good enough) :) The convent was super trusting because you paid for your meal with a donation at the very end! So when we went to pay, we asked the cashier how much our meal should have cost, and we gave a donation of 10% :) Just kidding. We paid for our meal in full.

Me and Elder C enjoying a little "V" (Vegan). 

The whole Zone going vegan... at least for one meal :)

When we got back to Melbourne we taught C from Malaysia. Man he is doing so well but he just isn’t seeing it :(  He is feeling the spirit and getting answers, but he wants answers all the time!  We are trying to teach him that salvation does NOT come easy and we have to do our part for blessings of the Spirit.  Fortunately, in contrast to our discussion with C today, this evening we had the amazing experience of seeing three people from our branch receive the Melchizedek Priesthood after much preparation. That was really cool :)

Sunday (11/9/14)
Before Church we were able to teach a guy from Columbia. His name is J and he is a really humble man. He was instantly fellow shipped by some other Colombians in our branch and he stayed the whole time at church!! Right before Sacrament meeting started, L (our investigator who is struggling with smoking) turned to me and said "Elder Steele, I have been praying for the will to stop and now I am down to my last box of Chops (smokes, cigarettes, cancer sticks). I will be finished with them tonight and I am NOT buying anymore!!!!" Lyall is going to try to give up smoking!! That is a miracle!! Please keep praying for him! He has smoked 30 cigarettes a day for 30 years!! I testify that Heavenly Father is a God of miracles!!

I Love you all so much! Thank you for all of your prayers! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Spring is in the air!

Tues. Oct. 28 – Sun. Nov. 2, 2014

Hola! Spring is in the air (not to rub it in or anything.. ha ha ha). Hope everything is all good in the hood. Thank you all so much for your support on my mission! I feel your prayers on my behalf every day!

Now for the down beat!

Tuesday (10/28/14)
C (the 17 year old who wants to get baptized but whose mother isn’t crazy about him becoming a Mormon) brought a friend named K to our lesson today. He is also from South Korea and is learning English. We had a good discussion, but still no change in C’s mom’s attitude towards him getting baptized. We just keep praying that her heart will be softened, and that C will continue with his interest in the gospel.

We also taught L today about how God gives us commandments to help us (L is the one who we’ve been trying to help stop smoking). We told him he needs to set a goal for this coming Tuesday and give up his smokes!!! He knows he needs to give up his 30 cigs a day, and wants to, but it’s tough… we just keep praying for him.

Then we taught H, he is from Pakistan, and is one of the most humble men I have ever met in my life! I don’t know that anything will ever come from our discussion, but I sure got a first hand view of true humility.

Had a teaching appointment near the beach... was nice to smell the ocean again!

Wednesday (10/29/14)
In the City it is Exam Period.... So the university students are super focused on their tests, and they really don’t want to talk with us much on the streets.  It’s like they are all in their own little "study trances!! Hahaha (sorry if I ever looked or acted like that during finals Mom and Dad). We did have 2 good lessons today. The first one was with C and his friend K (the ones we taught yesterday). We showed them a movie about the Plan of Salvation in Korean. It is really building C’s faith to be able to translate what we are saying to his friend K. It’s a blessing this is happening for him.

We also taught C, the one from Malaysia.  He is still trying to believe there is a God... he says the peace he feels when he prays, is the same peace he feels when he meditates. That’s a tough one. I know the Lord will help him figure it out… just another hurdle the Lord will help us as missionaries jump over:)

Thursday (10/30/14)
I was on exchanges today with Elder N (not my companion, but a different Elder N). He is a really fun Missionary to be around, and I learned so much from him! He told me to come up with object lessons that will involve my investigators more; so I have been thinking of ways I can do that! I think it was a really wise suggestion!

We read in the Book of Mormon with L today and told him to start praying for the will to stop smoking! It’s going to be tough... He has been smoking about 30 cigs a day for about 30 years! BUT, like we taught today, if you have sincere faith in the Lord, He can help you accomplish anything!

Next we taught a guy from Thailand named A. His English is quite limited so it’s pretty hard teaching him. However, the language barrier definitely forces you to teach really simple doctrine… which is sometimes very hard to do! haha But he is KEEN! He just wants to learn everything about the gospel!… he definitely came to the right place :)

Friday (10/31/14) 
IT’S HALLOWEEN!!!! My 1st big holiday on my own... I’m not going to lie, It kinda stunk really bad!!! Haha. It was just super different. We always had such fun as a family; and to make it even harder, the Aussies don’t really celebrate Halloween… double whammy!  Oh well, grateful to be a missionary, even with all of the sacrifices as well as the blessings.

I think I can safely say that I own the only Halloween tree in all of Australia...Thanks Mom and Dad for making my Halloween great!

In between reminiscing about past Halloween Holidays, Elder N (my actual companion) and I taught M, the Kenyan minister. It was such an amazing lesson that I literally forgot about my Halloween woes. He is soooo ready to be baptized, but we are going to wait until the 15th of November so the Branch President can be at the Baptism. When we taught M the Word of Wisdom today, he just said “ya I need to change, and I will change!” He has really accepted that Elder N and I are servants of the Lord, and the things we are teaching are from God! That is the power of the Spirit testifying of the truthfulness of the gospel!

Saturday (11/1/14)
I went on another exchange today. This time it was with Elder C. He’s from Orem and is soooo awesome!! Man, I had a blast with him! We were able to joke around and have a great time while keeping the Spirit alive and happy!! We taught another lesson to C (the guy from Malaysia)... He still feels there isn't a God because his prayers aren't being answered... It was kind of a tough lesson, but I feel at the end he came out feeling closer to Christ, which is our main goal as missionaries! We will be meeting with him again next week so we’re hoping it gets better :)

We had a Culture night activity at the Branch this evening! It was my first ward party as a missionary! It was pretty fun. A bunch of the US missionaries represented America. We scrounged around our flats to find things that represented our culture. So if you summed up our US culture based on our awesome display portraying life as an American, you would have walked away thinking that Americans are Gatorade drinking, Pop Tart popping, Froot Looping, Mac and Cheese eating, Frisbee throwers, that love their flag, Sour Patch Kids and brand new boxes of Crayola Crayons… oh ya, we threw in a stack of Book of Mormons and a Joseph Smith Restoration pamphlet because that’s what we Americans (with a black name badge) here in Australia are really all about. Over all, it was a pretty fun party:)

Come on and sing it with me... "I'm proud to be an American!" 

Sunday (11/2/14)
Just your everyday normal Sunday... BUT, L (our friend who’s trying to quit smoking) did bring a friend to church! It was really cool to see him enjoy coming to church so much that he wanted to bring someone else! And not only did he surprise us by bringing a visitor with him to church, but he was also in a SUIT!!!! I mean this was a shocker to be honest! I think he has worn the same shirt every single lesson we’ve had (not that it matters). It was just totally an AWESOME surprise! It ‘s amazing how people react to the Spirit :)… And to make matters even BETTER, I got to wear my Fast Sunday Tie today! Hope Dad and Talmage enjoyed their ties as much as I did :)

Holy cow! My 3rd Fast Sunday in Australia!

A good week overall! I feel really blessed, and I am excited to see what next week will bring!

Monday, November 3, 2014

"I Come From the Land Down Under"

Mon. Oct. 20 – Sun. Oct. 26, 2014

The Down Beat

Monday (10/20/14)
Today was another fun P-day. I know you guys have been wondering when I would be sending some pictures of sites around Melbourne to you. Well, it’s your lucky day; because today we went and toured some places around the city cause we really had nothing else to do… so I hope you enjoy the pictures :)

Just a little P-day fun outside the Melbourne Exhibition Building.

Tuesday (10/21/14) 
Today went really well.  We taught 3 Lessons. One was to C, the 17 year old Korean who has been trying to muster the courage to ask his parents if he can be baptized. So today we helped him find the courage to call his family and ask if he could be baptized. Unfortunately, later that night he called us and said his Mom really hates the idea of him being baptized... Bummer :(  The only thing we can do now is put our trust in the Lord.  He will be able to perform what truly needs to be done! Even if it is not what we are expecting! 

Wednesday (10/22/14)
I went on another exchange today with Elder P. We go on HEAPS of exchanges because Elder N (my companion) is the District Leader! It’s fun to be with other missionaries though!

We taught C about the Restoration again because he got a little “antied” by his mom about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. On a good note, as we taught C today, and as the spirit testified to him of the restoration, the lesson became very powerful when combined with our testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel! Elder N and I are just trying to keep C’s faith up during this challenging time!

Later tonight, we went over to a member’s home for my 1st MEMBER FEED OF MY MISSION! (not counting all of the times we’ve gone out to eat with D… he’s the bomb!) hahaha! Anyway, we went over to eat at a Vietnamese ladies house. In all honesty, I had no idea what I was eating or what was being said… but who cares! I was in a real home, at a real dinner table, eating a home cooked meal.  What an incredible experience. Not knowing the language or being able to understand the conversation around the dinner table, put me more in-tune with the spirit that was in this home. Definitely a testimony builder of the power families have in controlling the spirit that resides in their family and home.

Thursday (10/23/14)
This morning I finished the Book of Mormon for my 1st time on my mission! :) If any of you have not read and studied this book, YOU NEED TO START NOW!!!! This scripture is here in our lives to help and bless us!! USE IT!!

Today I got to go on an exchange with Elder J from my MTC district because all the Zone and District Leaders were having a meeting by the temple! I actually got to TRACT MY VERY FIRST HOUSE!!!... and it was soooo fun! Later in the day I taught my very first lesson to two kids who were both super eager to learn! Man, it was such a fun day of firsts for me! It kinda made me excited for the day when I will be able to serve in a real family ward :) However, for now, I know the Lord has a work for me to do in the downtown Melbourne Branch.

The very first house I tracted on my mission (notice the cool Lego mailbox)... placed a Book of Mormon.... it was a success! 

Friday (10/24/14)
I went on ANOTHER exchange today with Elder M, my Zone Leader :) We were in a suburb called "Footscry." While at the train stop I ran into this guy whose name was T. He was from East Africa, but now lives in Werribee, which is out of my area. Anyway, we got talking, and I introduced him to the Book of Mormon! As I was talking with him about different parts of the Book of Mormon, I began to tell him about Alma and how he baptized multitudes at the Waters of Mormon. As I told T about Alma, he stopped me and said, "I have been trying to find a place where I can baptize my 4 Children!" WOW… miracle! He is keen As! So we referred him to the Elders in Werribee!! I love those kinds of impromptu conversations!

Later we GQed a guy by the name of G. Apparently he lives on some remote island that I have no idea where it is! Hahaha. However, we sat with him on a park bench, and taught him about the Restoration of the gospel. After our lesson was finished, the three of us still sitting on the bench, ended with a prayer. Missionary work is so great! At times we break away from every social code known to man, and it doesn't even cross my mind twice anymore:) The Lord definitely has a work for us to do at all times and in all places.

Son (me), Father (Elder N), Grandfather (Elder N's Trainer, Elder S). The missionary trainer lineage continues. Missionary family reunion at its finest.

Saturday (10/25/14)
This morning during my personal study time I studied how to be a successful missionary. In the Book of Mormon, HEAPS of prophets suffered discouragement because they felt they had failed in successfully delivering the Lords message… when in fact, as the Lord would later reveal unto them, they had been very successful in His eyes because of their obedience to His commands. This is why obedience in the mission, and in every day life is so key! No matter what happens, we must always be able to look back and know that we have been obedient to the Lord; and in return, he will grant us blessings when we need them most!

We taught P today, she is from Columbia and needs a Spanish translator badly!... either that or I need to learn Spanish J What was so cool about our discussion was that even with the language barrier, we were able to introduce her to the Book of Mormon. P said she liked what we shared with her, and is excited to read the Book of Mormon and be taught in Spanish with a translator (probably easier than me learning Spanish).

We also taught C again today. He is the young man from Malaysia who I GQed last week who didn’t believe in God. Well, this week we talked with him about the Plan of Salvation and how it can help his life as he chooses to follow our Heavenly Father. Sooooo he is going to pray to see if there is a God and to see if Baptism is something he needs to do. If he is truly searching for the truth, he will receive his answer and be give us a call to begin his lessons :)

I borrowed this stylin' vest from the kid in the black. He's a member and a great kid. I strutted my stuff around the branch :)

Sunday (10/26/14)
By far one of the best Sundays ever!  We went to North Richmond to pick up K for church. K is a less active member who is currently in the Hospital. Because of transportation timing we got there a little early and so we waited for her to get ready. While in the waiting room a Doctor came up to Elder N and I and asked us what church we were going to. We told him “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” He replied.... “ya know this is interesting.. I was baptized into that church 15 years ago in the UK, and I just saw my baptismal picture, and wondered if I needed to go back to church.” His name is A and he is an amazing guy! He came to Australia, got busy with life, and stopped going to church! So we got his number and we will see where that goes! But K LOVED church! She hasn't been in about 10 years, and now wants to come and change her life for good! I love this work so much!!

Challenge for everyone this week! Find someone who you think needs the gospel in their life and invite them to church this Sunday!
If you fail, try again!

Pray for opportunities to do missionary work!!

I Love you all so much. Thanks for all of your prayers and support! 

Elder Steele