Wednesday, August 27, 2014

He made it to Australia!!!

Elder Steele is officially “Down Under”!

Tag left the MTC on Monday afternoon. He rode Front Runner from Provo to the Salt Lake City airport. Luckily, his experiences in Europe and Asia navigating public transportation with multiple bags came in handy!

When he arrived at the airport he received a huge blessing with his baggage. His inexperienced and over zealous missionary parents packed his bags with way too much stuff and at 68.5 pounds each they were going to incur a $175 overweight surcharge PER BAG!

Tuesday night before the MTC. Tag's two year supply. 50lbs per bag??

Thanks to divine intervention and behind the scenes help from his airport guardian angel, Trudy, the American Airlines ticketing agent did not charge him anything! She told him a Delta agent (Trudy) had alerted them he would be checking in for his flight to Australia that day. The American agent greeted him warmly and let him know they had been waiting for him. She commented that his bags were certainly heavy and Tag replied in his most charming way, “I packed everything I would need for the next two years”. She smiled at him and just placed the bags on the conveyer. We are indeed grateful for such a tender mercy.

Trudy, Tags's airport guardian angel.

Before flying from SLC to LAX at 6:50 pm. Our dear friend, Trudy, saved the day again and met him at his gate, snapped some pics and video, loaned her phone to his companions so they could call their families and even offered to buy them dinner!

 Tag's MTC District. The lucky Australia Visa holders. 
(L to R) Elder E, Tag, Elder W., Sister B.

Only four of the original six district members flew to Melbourne. Sadly, Sister G and Elder J’s visas did not arrive in time. Sister G flew to Las Vegas to wait for her Visa and Elder J will be reassigned shortly. Tag is looking forward to seeing them both down under as soon as possible!

We were so grateful for the chance to talk with him on the phone and hear more about his MTC experience. It was amazing to hear the excitement in his voice as he talked about his desire to get to Australia and begin teaching the people.

Tag at Salt Lake International Airport. Ready to Go!

In LAX, he boarded an Airbus A380 for his nonstop Qantas flight to Melbourne. His flight was 15 ½ hours long and we (Angela) tracked it all night long!

15 ½ hours. No wonder it's called the land down under!

He arrived in Melbourne at 8:20 am Wednesday morning, August 27, 2014. We received the following email from him alerting us to his safe and happy arrival.

“Family!!! They are letting me email you and tell you I have made it and I am alive and well! I love you all so much! Thank you for sending me the package. It was nice to come here to a package! I am SOOOOOO excited to be here!! It is great already!!!” 

And so the Adventure Down Under begins.........

Monday, August 25, 2014

Week 2 in the MTC and Loving It!

August 23, 2014

It is sooo good to hear from you again today! Thank you for all the pictures! I LOVE ALL OF THEM!! It is such an amazing blessing to have such supportive family and friends. It really makes the time go by a lot quicker! And that is probably a good thing! The MTC is getting a little dull and I am ready to get out into the field and get to work! But I do love all the things I am learning here!  

So there is a saying here at the MTC that goes like this, "The days feel like weeks, and the weeks feel like days."  At first, I was like yeah, yeah… whatever.  I thought it was the stupidest thing I had ever heard!  Well, now that I have lived it, I can tell you that it’s legit!! I mean WOW, this week has FLOWN by for me! I hope it was the same for you! :)

So in my last email I talked about teaching investigators.  Our teacher was our mock investigator and then we went to the The Teaching Resource Center (TRC) The TRC gives missionaries some experience teaching the gospel to volunteers. They can either be members of the LDS church or people of other faiths. The crazy thing is, as missionaries, we don’t know whether the volunteers are members or actual investigators who want to learn more about the church!

 My favorite teacher Brother M.

I loved teaching in the TRC! It was the most spiritual experience I have EVER had! Me and Elder Eilers taught all 4 lessons to both investigators! Our investigator’s name was Kitty and she was from China! She didn’t really have any understanding about the gospel so we started from the very first lesson! We taught her all about Christ and his teachings while on the earth, the Atonement, the Plan of Salvation, the Fundamentals of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and lastly the commandments. Here is where it gets crazy, on the last day we were teaching her, I invited her to be baptized and she said YES!! This was a great experience for me and such a confidence booster!

It’s crazy though! I really only memorize scriptures and gospel principles... no word for word lessons because we are supposed to teach in a way that will help the investigators be taught by the Spirit.  The Lord knows all and as missionaries we are supposed to understand the doctrine so whenever we feel prompted to share it... BAM! you share it! :)

Lots of studying but lots of fun. Elder W's Tie has fun written all over it!

I have learned this week that I need to trust in the Lord and submit to his will 100%. The minute I realized this it was crazy how my studies changed. I love the Lord and my mission! I am getting so much knowledge from this gospel! I am almost like a gospel wizard:) hahahaha!

Last email you asked me what Sundays are like in the MTC. They are really great. We don’t have so much regular class but we do have lessons and priesthood and sacrament meeting. There is lots of time for personal gospel study. It is definitely different from when I used to run downstairs after church and lay around watching golf and reality TV... but it is a good different:)

I have to teach a lesson on repentance this Sunday! Fortunately, it is just  to my district and it shouldn’t be too bad:) However, I am thankful for the challenge :) because then I grow even more!

My District at the Temple. 4 elders and 2 sisters are going to Australia. 
The other 2 sisters are going to Kirtland where G-ma & G-pa Steele were missionaries.

My District has grown really close and we love our Branch President.

WE ALL NEED TO HAVE FAITH IN WHATEVER WE DO!! Faith in Jesus Christ and Faith with the power of prayer is essential to missionary work! This is the Lord’s work and I am HIS missionary. I teach through the Spirit of God and sometimes I feel like HE is teaching the investigators not me! It is a crazy, cool experience!

I Love you all!  You mean the world to me!

Elder Steele

First P-day Email, August 16, 2014

August 16, 2014

Family we are doing it! I love hearing about what everyone is doing and I love to see the pictures you have sent me! Right now I am waiting for my laundry to get done! P day is so crazy here! I also thank you for all your letters! Keep them up! There is nothing better then going to the mail and seeing letters for you to read that night!

My companion is Elder E, he is from Nampa or Napa, Idaho I can’t tell by how he says it! Haha! He is very shy and quiet but seems to be outgoing; it’s a weird combo but it works!  We are studying super hard for our mock investigators!!

Tag and Elder E

So Wednesday was crazy!  They shuttle new missionaries through a maze where you get your name tag and all the different study materials you need here in the MTC! 

I'm a Missionary!

My journal for that night reads, " What a crazy day! Hardest day of my life! I miss my family but this is where I am supposed to be!

MTC Host... after the drop off. Smile Elder, it's ice cream Wednesday!

Thursday was so much better! I learned three things that really stuck with me!

1. Help, don’t preach.
2. People don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care!
3. This is the Lord’s work.

I also got assigned my first mock investigator... it is crazy. Only the second day and we are already teaching... Yikes!!

Friday rolled along and it was a great day until we went to teach our first lesson! It was awful!!  Haha!  I went way to far in depth with the 1st lesson... oh well live and learn. Could you put in your prayers that I will be able to truly love the people I am teaching here at the MTC and that I will know what lessons I need to teach them as we talk with them?

The best thing I learned from teaching yesterday was to "Have total Faith in the Lord and Have Faith from your Faith" I know that may sound confusing but it helps me:)

ALSO, we all need to pray for charity! We all need to help everyone out! Help them through teaching! Teach simple principles not deep doctrine!

Here is my daily schedule:

On a normal day at the MTC I wake up around 6:15 am and get ready to be in class by 7:00. I have personal study till 8:00 and companion study till 10:00, with a break for breakfast. Next, doctrine study till 10:00 and then classes on understanding and loving people, charity, and faith until lunch.  After lunch, more classes until about 6:00 pm and then it’s off to dinner! After dinne r there is class again until 9:30 pm. I finish my day with personal time from 9:30 until 10:15 pm, which is when I read letters, and then I try to fall asleep.

MTC bedroom. My bunk is top right. Look Mom I made my bed!

In class, we prepare for the mock investigators we will be teaching! It is scary but cool because we get to learn through experience! It is a lot of class time but it is great because we need to learn how to be servants in the Lord’s hands!

Studying the way the Lord wants me to.



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

1st email from the MTC

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Guys we are all doing this!! 

It is all coming together and it is only the second day! Last night was pretty rough but i am sure yours was as well:) I just put my faith in The Lord and got through the night the best I could! Heavenly Father works miracles! I was able to go to sleep like after 2 hours of constant prayer and tossing and turning! But it gets better...... today has been so much better! I was able to get into some what of a groove and it has only been about 32 hours! I know my Heavenly Father Loves me and is watching over ALL of us.  

I am able to e-mail you tonight because we met with the Branch President and his counselors. It was great! They are such nice and fun loving people. He wanted us to practice an email before our actual P-Day which is on Saturdays! :) Be prepared for some pretty Big News that happened tonight!!! (Don't worry though because it is great news!) I was called to be the District Leader! I will now be in charge of 2 elder companions and 2 sister companions. I am so thankful for this opportunity to serve my District!

Wow it has just been an MTC OVERLOAD! I have learned more principles and guidelines in the past 10 hours then i have in my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE!! But it is great knowledge to have!! I miss you all so much and can't wait to go into depth on what i have learned these past couple days in the MTC. But those pictures and teachings will have to wait till Saturday!! ONLY TWO MORE DAYS!! :) I love you ALL!

The Church is true and I know that with all my heart! 

PPS: I get all mail that has stacked up hopefully.... tomorrow! So basically anything from wednesday and today! I LOVE YOU ALL!!!