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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Hey friends!

So we had a busy week! I think that is how all my letters start, but the work is busy! Something that was a testimony builder for me this week was thinking about the purpose of having missionaries, rather than Heavenly Father himself just planting inspiring thoughts into peoples' minds to learn more about Christ's restored gospel. God not only knows that hearing encouragement from peers is helpful, but that it also allows us as missionaries to have invaluable experiences that help our testimony be more grounded. If we don't work hard, we will not grow as human beings, and this goes for anything. After a high school junior finishes a school paper, they are glad they have completed it, but they also are proud of the hard work they put into it to make it worth the time they spent on it. The same goes for the work of salvation, only we need to give up the pride, and just like Jesus Christ giving all the glory to the father, we need to do the same as we do his work. We need to study our hardest, work as long as we can each day, and be spiritually minded as much as we can each day, but then recognize that our Father in Heaven is the one who is endowing us with the opportunity to learn and grow. Once we realize that, our progression will become much more rapid.
To go along with this, Sister Workman, a woman who works in LDS family services, came to talk to our mission in Relief Society about stress management. She mentioned how 10% of what happens in your life, you cannot control. The remaining 90% is up to you wit how you choose to react. Heavenly Father gives us QUITE a bit of agency. He is so generous! But how do we use it? How do we react to a calling that is given us from the Lord? How do we react to a snide remark?

We talked with a man named Daniel by the Christus statue the other day, and he was contemplating many things, one of such was his relationship with his spouse, and how his spouse was wanting some permanent, detrimental changes to happen in their marriage. He came to the Christus for some guidance on how to handle the situation. We, as missionaries, are not marriage and family counselors, but we do invite others to come closer to Christ. We invited him to join us in a word of prayer off to the side. As I said that prayer, Heavenly Father allowed me to feel a small portion of love that he felt for his son that I was praying for right then. I might not understand what people are going through, but I do know that the gospel is a plan that is for EVERYONE.

Well yesterday, Thursday, was President and Sister Gillette's last day as our President and his wife. It was a bitter sweet moment. They were so kind to each one of us, and definitely brought us immense joy! This mission is special because we are able to become so close with our mission president through seeing him on a daily basis. It was a sad moment, but I know we will see him again!

We had a meeting with President and Sister Poulsen today, and they are very sweet. President Poulsen is a very obedient and prompt man. He was an international businessman, and has been all over the globe. He was formerly the mission president for The Johannesburg South Africa mission. We had to discuss Fleet business with him and I can tell, it will be a pleasure working with him and Sister Poulsen. 
We did a session in the SLC temple this past tuesday, and as we were walking down the stairs, we ran into Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the 12 apostles! That was the coolest experience!!
Also, on Monday, I had the wonderful fortune of participating in temple service for the Salt Lake City Temple. I worked with Sister Bennett from Tahiti, and we got to vaccuum out the large sealing rooms. I vaccuumed the sealing room that Amber got sealed in! Even when we were just vaccuuming, I could feel the spirit so strong. We are able to do Temple Service twice in our mission, so I will do it again at the end.

So Sister Davis and I started our sugar fast on Monday, so it has been 5 days! We will be doing it 21 days in all, so I think we are doing pretty well! We have been eating soo much healthier. When we were having a particularly off day, we came across sugar-free candy! Woah-hoah! I mean, it isn't the healthiest thing on the block, but when we are craving some serious chocolate, that'll do the trick! Let me just say, sugar-free Reese's tastes the exact same!

Well to end, I would just like to share a talk and a video that hit me hard:

The talk is "The Best Time to Plant a Tree," the first presidency message for this month.

The video is a Mormon Message Called, "His Sacred Name," and Easter devotional from a 2010 address by President Monson.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Sister Steenhoek

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