Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Week of Big Changes!

Monday (3.7.16)  After a great P day of resting and bowling, we went to the De La Cruz family for an awesome Family Home Evening and a fantastic meal! 

Great time bowling with Elder Kim for our P-day.

It is always so nice to be with them. They are a GREAT missionary family! Most of them have served missions and they have been able to maintain their passion for sharing the gospel with their friends and neighbors! We shared a message on how the understanding and the knowledge that we have regarding our Saviour, Jesus Christ, is such a blessing and it provides us with so much peace and comfort. This knowledge is so very important and it is necessary in the life of everyone on this earth.  This knowledge makes us happy and we really need to share it with EVERBODY! We started a family missionary challenge with them and I am excited to see how it goes! :) 
Tuesday (3.8.16)
This morning we had Zone Meeting and sometimes it is just a crazy mess before it starts trying to get everyone to the chapel without cars! Our zone is really spread out and it requires lots of logistical planning, but somehow we always manage and everything turns out just fine. Just another testament to me that this really is the work of the Lord and He will take care of things. We had a great zone meeting. We based it off of the mission tour and the special MLC we had with Elder Haleck last week. It was all based on all the discussions and counseling  ogether on what we can do differently to start seeing more and more success. Elder Haleck’s training was so awesome for the mission and I know as we implement his ideas we WILL see more and more success!
Following the zone meeting we were able go do service for an investigator named James. He seemed pretty interested and he even read the pamphlet that we gave him. Unfortunately, we had our SMCM meeting to get to so we only had time to help him with painting the front of his house. We had to leave for our SMCM meeting before we could properly sit down and share a lesson with him. However, we are going to meet with him next week as soon as possible. He had some really great questions and I feel he has serious potential! Then we went to our Stake Meeting. We were able to meet with our new Stake President. His name is President Phillips and he is amazing!  He is very business oriented but I feel that it is just what the stake needs at the moment! Following the meeting with President Phillips it was getting late and we were on our way home. But as we were driving by we were able to help a guy on the side of the road that had run out of gas. We had to go fill up his can two times at the petrol station and he was late for a flight at the airport but he was so happy and he was VERY thankful. We were able to give him a Book of Mormon and said that he wanted to meet with us after he got home from his trip!

Look at the surprise I came home to today!

The only thing more scary than the spider I found was Elder Kim in his Korean facial wrap... Now that's SCARY!

Wednesday (3.9.16)
We had scheduled a day FULL of lessons today which was great but then the Lord changed things drastically and ended up prompting us to visit other people that were part of our 2nd and 3rd back up plans. It all turned out great though because we were able to teach Monica’s son Tafa and he really seems pretty interested. We taught him the lesson about the Restoration and he seemed to understand it. We invited him to be baptized but he declined because he said he didn’t need to be baptized again because he had already been baptized in another church. However, as we continue to teach him and he gains an understanding about the Priesthood he will be able to see that he needs baptism by the proper Priesthood authority. Then I had a strong impression to visit a family named the Molimaus. They are so awesome. Their names are Rennie and Andy and they are the only members of the church in their Catholic and Baptist family. We were able to really connect with Renny and he shared that he was just thinking about us because missionaries hadn’t stopped by to visit them in over eight months. He shared with us that he wants to come back to the church and he knows that it is true! :)
After that we went over to Naomi’s house. She is Heather’s daughter and Alliyah’s (the cute little girl who was baptized last month) mom. It was really good to be with them. We had dinner with them and shared a message about the Holy Ghost! Alliyah is doing great and she loves having  the gift of the Holy Ghost! I know that her non-member father is seeing a difference in her as well and it is softening his heart a little bit to the missionaries and the church.
Thursday (3.10.16)
We had DLC (District Leadership Council – a meeting with all the District Leaders in the Gippsland zone) in the morning and it was pretty effective! We were able to have good discussions about the challenges and competitions that we have going around the Zone to help get our missionaries excited about missionary work so it was really good to brainstorm together as a council. After that we had a lunch appointment at the Asiatas but their plans changed and they were not going to be home so shifted our day and focused on our weekly planning and Elder Kim worked on his English language study. By the time we finished all that that it was time to go to the Mattock’s home for our weekly lesson with them. We watched the DVD Meet the Mormons with them and also ate dinner with them! I love this family and now when I go over to their house I sometimes feel just like I am walking into my own home.
After that we went to tract on Yammerbrook Way because a less active former Bishop lives somewhere on the street but we don’t know where yet. We are determined to find him though! While we were tracting, the Lord directed us to a home where we were met a man from the Middle East! He was so nice and has two great kids. He invited us inside his house and we were able to teach him a lesson. He has a lot of ideas and is bit of a free thinker but it was a miracle that we were able to get in to him and teach him. As we were leaving he took a look at my well-worn brown missionary shoes and he told us to wait for a minute before we left. When he came back he had a $100 bill and gave it to me to buy new shoes. I refused many times and told him they were still good shoes and I like them because they have become well worn in the service of Heavenly Father but he kept insisting I take it. He finally just stuffed it in my pocket and said we had to leave. It was humbling to see that someone who isn’t a member would sacrifice for the servants of the Lord.
Totally blown away by the kindness of a complete stranger...
What a great opportunity for me to pay it forward.

Friday (3.11.16)
We were called in to the mission office to have another MLC (Mission Leadership Council where all the Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders and the APs meet with President and Sister Maxwell) pretty much all day. It was really good being able to reflect on what was said in the mission tour with Elder Haleck and of course I always love to spend the day with President and Sister Maxwell and the other leaders in the mission. Following the MLC which always gets over around 5:00 pm we raced to the Young's home because we were scheduled to have dinner with them. We were able to share the Restoration of the Gospel lesson and we asked Brother Young to be baptized.. sadly he declined but he told us that he would be baptized in his own time! I thought that it was AMAZING progress considering that he really was not interested in our messages or meeting with us before he started going to church.  After that we went around and invited some members to the Elders Quorum BBQ that was going to be held the following afternoon.  After we finished with that we raced over to the Pattisons and we were able to get into their home AGAIN!! :) They are really starting to warm up to us! We were able to share a quick message with them on faith in Jesus Christ and how it helps us in our lives! It was a miracle because Brother Pattison even had his sons come in for the lesson. We didnt even ask he him to just went and got them!  And then he had Branden say the prayer and it was just amazing! They are on the verge of coming back to church! I can just feel it! :)

Saturday (3.12.16)  (FYI this is the day that changed the rest of my mission!) 
We had Correlation meeting this morning just like usual! It was awesome because we had two pages of people to discuss that we have visited and we are working with. The Lord has really blessed us with a lot of people to teach and visit and help. Anyways it was a fantastic meeting. The only down side is Geoff and Elder Kim for some reason were joking about me being called to be the AP (Assistant to the President). Geoff is a joker and he has said things like that sometimes. I always just brush it off because I just want to serve wherever Heavenly Father wants me to and I am a missionary and that is good enough for me! However, after the meeting and before the BBQ we had to run home to get some stuff for the rest of the day. When we got home I was feeling a bit weird for some odd reason, I thought my stomach was upset so I went to use the bathroom. The next thing I knew, Elder Kim was knocking on the bathroom door and told me, "the phone is ringing and it is President Maxwell!" Instantly my heart just felt like it stopped! Elder Kim answered the phone and President Maxwell asked to talk to me... I went into the other room and then President said, " Elder Steele your service has just been remarkable as a Zone Leader, I know that you love your area, you love the missionaries, and you love your companion. But then he told me he was calling me to be one of his Assistants. He said, “Elder Steele, I feel you are the one the mission needs at this time, especially with the change to the new Mission President (Peter Vidmar) coming in the near future. I was honestly SHOCKED and I had really no idea what to say so I said, "Are you sure?" Then President and Sister Maxwell just started laughing at me and said "YES we are sure!" It was pretty mind boggling to be honest. I was just in a daze for the rest of the day. We went to the BBQ and then over to the Baldwin’s home but they had company over and we needed to reschedule.

 Someone dumped sugar, protein powder, and soup mix on our car. So when we woke up early in the morning this is what we saw.

I guess windshield wipers were never designed to remove protein shakes.

Ward Mission Leader (Geoff) to the rescue! 

Sunday (3.13.16)

President Maxwell told me I really couldn't tell too many people that I was leaving Cranbourne and that I couldn’t tell anyone I was going to be the AP.  S it was pretty strange at church knowing that it was my last Sunday but no one else but Elder Kim really knew about it! That was okay though! We did tell some of the families we are working with and then we set up times to meet with them on Monday! We went to the Uini family and had lunch with them after church and that was great! Then we went to Iain and Suzie's and let them know. They were really sad that I was leaving but they knew it was going to happen eventually. We finished off the day at the Va'as and it was great having dinner with them.  We were really excited because they went and got all they need to go to the temple! We are excited because we will be able to see them be sealed as a family soon which is sooo awesome! 

19 months as a missionary... everyday's been a great adventure!

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