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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Spanish is for Spanish Speakers

Woah! I feel like I haven't emailed in like weeks!! Oh wait just one second....Yep. That's it! It has been a super crazy past few weeks! I finally get to share(:

This is my 5th transfer!!! Insanity! I feel like I just got out into the field! So this transfer, I am training! And what a wonderful surprise, she is my first non-American companion! Not to say that Americans aren't awesome (because I'm awesome) but I was just so hoping for an international! Yay! Her name is Sister Cano from Peru. 

Angie's new companion from Peru, Sister Cano
She had learned English in the MTC and then came into the field! So I am in the process of figuring out the best way to both help her learn English, teach her all that she needs to know about Temple Square, and have balance in teaching. It is a process, but it is a process for all missions!
Hey! I'm not fleet anymore!!!!  

Something kinda funny that happened today: Sister Cano and I were in the Assembly Hall going over the information and practicing when a guy named Jason came over and sat down right next to us on the benches. He seemed a little not all there (maybe alcohol?), so I hinted to Sister Cano to teach. It was a perfect person to practice on! He was so incredibly excited to find out that the pillars weren't actually marble but are wood, etc. He told us he lives in a shelter, so he goes to church when he can. He told all the sisters who were in there that they were beautiful and left. A companionship walked in a few minutes later and told us a man in blue (Jason) was trying to collect all of the coins in the fountain of the Seagull Monument out front. Oh the characters that come onto Temple Square.

So my companion got transferred sooo many Spanish referrals. It looks like I will be learning some Spanish! Something I thought was just the cutest was when Sister Cano was first starting to meet the other sisters, she said, "Hi, I'm Sister Cano from Peru and I speak Spanish." How cute?! At random points of the day, I will remember words and phrases in Spanish and point them out. My companion is just so proud of me that I am getting in touch with my inner Peruvian.

I am so grateful to even be given an opportunity to do the Lord's work! I feel inadequate to be wearing our perfect older brother's name over my heart on my name tag each day, but I then remember that if we feel so inadequate that we cannot have faith in God to help us, that is also a form a pride; putting down God's power to help us grow. I know that God WILL guide us if we humble ourselves and have the faith.
We went to Music and the Spoken Word this past Sunday, and that was fun for Sister Cano to see for the first time!
My trainer got back from outbound! Sister Thacker!! Sister Shumway,Sister Thacker's trainer, just left the end of this past transfer, but she came back to meet my trainee and to take a 4-generation picture, which is such a rare occurrence by the way!
Random: I went on exchanges with Sister Talatoka from Fiji, and her job back at home was to take pictures for weddings that happen IN the ocean! She would wear scuba gear and take the pictures under the water. So neat!
Well I got a lovely surprise this week! I saw 2 of my Aunts (Teresa and Cindy) my cousins (Alexa, Taylor, Emma, and Hayley) and my siblings (Danny, Aubrey and Jordan) two days ago on Temple Square! 

Aubrey, Danny and Sister Steenhoek
We went to the garden restaurant and ate dinner! Afterwards I took them on a tour of Temple Square. It was so good to see everyone and to have a wonderful evening!

Well, stay healthy and read your scriptures every day! You have just committed to a servant of the Lord(:

Sister Steenhoek

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Being Bold is God's Way

Something I have learned within the last week or so is to teach and contact in God's way. When it is God's way, he will have you do the work to initiate a conversation with someone, and then he will tell give you insight on what questions to ask so that it stretches them spiritually.
So cool experience that happened to us last P-day. We were in Walmart doing some grocery shopping when we were walking past a Hispanic man. He was staring at us, and we both thought, hmmm.... He then said, "Hey. Are you missionaries?" We said, "Yes! We are!" He told us his daughters are members, 16 yrs, and another teen, and the 16 yr old wants to serve a mission when she is older. We asked him what religion he is, and he told us he was Catholic because he has grown up Catholic. We flat out asked him why he wasn't a member. He chuckled and we said, "No. We're serious." Hahah Well. He told us that he has a terminal illness and was given 4-6 years to live. We told him that he could be sealed to his family and long story made shorter, we got his contact information and he's allowed us to call him! We are going to call him before transfers is over and teach him. He is sooo prepared and I know that his girls will appreciate him coming to the truth. God prepares people even just to go to Walmart!

We started teaching a woman named Joann this past week. When I called her to follow up on how the missionary visits were going from a few months ago, she said, "What took you so long?" She is this cute old lady who is quite lonely. When I had called, it seemed like she had just about given up with packing up her apartment because her left arm was hurting her and she wished she had friends to help her. I gave her the bishop's number, and she was so thrilled to find out that people would actually come help her pack up her apartment out of the goodness of their hearts, and not out of the depths of her wallet! She has now re-accepted visits from the local missionaries.

Sister McQueen, my roommate from New Zealand, is a Kung Fu master and was teaching us Kung Fu the other morning during exercise time. Family, just wait and see my skills.
We taught an investigator lesson the other day with Elders who had brought their less-active. The Elders said that was one of the best lessons they had taken! We focused on church and how  the ultimate goal for him was the temple.

So transfers!! And the fun has begun. As well as the eating of sugar. Sister Davis and I are on top of things with getting all of the pick ups and drop offs for airport runs coordinated and such. Apparently the missionary department had slipped up this transfer by sending emails out to those sisters going outbound. Well just to inform everyone, I will not be going outbound this coming transfer. But I have a hunch that I will be training a new bee in my fifth transfer. I hope so! I am soo excited! But in case I don't write next week because of P-day switches, I will let you know the next week what my fate is and how awesome my new companion will be.
Okay. funny story. So we had gone to AV training for the whole mission on just how to use all of the cool technological things in the theaters and such. Well there is this super cool presentation called "God's Plan for His Family," and it involves a movie broken up into multiple rooms for you to feel like you are actually a part of what this family is going through. Well Sister Davis and I were watching the presentation with just us two to test out what they told us about, and as we moved to this one room, we both suddenly got this creepy feeling that someone was in the darkened room behind us. I looked back, and sure enough, I saw a personage standing there in the darkness watching us! I said, "Someone's here!" And we booked it outta there faster than you can say Scram! We saw a Hispanic family waiting at the entrance of God's Plan so we are thinking it could have been one of the children checking out the rooms. But those two seconds of our lives definitely scarred us! I'm sure we also looked ridiculous running out of there, but you just never know!

Sad story. So we talked with Millie again today, and we ended up having to drop her. She doesn't see the point of Jesus Christ, and thinks that it is gruesome that Jesus' father would send him down and then have him crucified. We told her our purpose, but she is not willing to go to church or pray. Maybe in 6 months or so she will recognize the significance of it. Dropping people makes me so sad, but like I had mentioned in previous emails, we cannot change how prepared someone is, only God can do that.

Exciting story! Our member who lives in the Salt Lake Valley, Christian, was on Temple Square yesterday, and texted us to meet him. We ended up having an hour and a half lesson about going on a mission! He is 21 turning 22 soon, but we promised him blessings, told him not to fear, but to trust in the Lord, for he will help all those who do his will. We also told Christian that God is calling him right now to join his army. He accepted our commitment to serve a mission.

Well folks, the church is true! The book is blue! Make sure you read it.

Much love this Valentine's Day,

Sister Steenhoek

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Sugar Fast is Done

Sister Davis and I broke our sugar fast this past Sunday! But we also ended it with some bad news. The night before, last Saturday, we got a text from Austin telling us that he was dropping us. It was a little shocking at first, but then it hit me. We cannot change the stage of preparedness or spirituality that someone may be in at the moment. We can invite, but if it is not their time, we need to trust in the Lord that we have done all that we can, and that Heavenly Father will provide a way for those people to hear the message when they are prepared. That wasn't the only good thing that came out of the sugar fast. As silly as it sounds, it helped me to realize that I can do so much more than I give myself credit for!

So one of my most favorite aspects of missionary work here on Temple Square is the chats. Favorite question of the week from chat: "What was the religion of Jesus Christ?" Favorite screen name from chat?- Nignog. Yep. I know. We were talking about marriage and family with another over chat, and they were stating their case that they should be able to marry whom ever they love, man or woman. My companion said aloud (not over chat): "God put Adam and Eve on the Earth, not Adam and Steve!" It was just a great moment.

We went on exchanges with our Zone Leaders the other day. I went with Sister Whisler from Austin Texas. We were planning our few hours together, and had planned to take a tour, and als ot otake someone through the presentation, "God's plan for his family." Right when we walked out of the South Visitor's center, we contacted these 2 women from San Antonio! It was funny because Sister Whisler's from Austin, I'm from Houston, and we just added to our Texas party! Right then, Sister Asay from Dallas walked by and gave me this smile and nod of understanding that only Texans would get. (: We showed the 2 women the Temple Model, and they loved the idea that families can be together forever. I love that too! We then took them through God's Plan, and we could tell that it touched them. We testified of the truthfulness of the Gospel and asked one of the women what she thought. The only thing she cannot accept is the fact that we have modern-day prophets on the Earth. We bore great testimony, but I think one of these days, she will want to investigate further.
After music and the spoken word this past Sunday, we have the opportunity to stand outside the Tabernacle and ask people if they would like a tour of Temple Square.

There are sisters from many countries speaking in their native tongue, letting people know that tours are available in numerous languages on Temple Square. It's always a wonderful opportunity to meet new people and introduce the Gospel to many!

Last P-day, Sister Davis and I went over to Sister Dizon and Sister Moran's place to watch Ephraim's rescue. It did have a few wonderful morals!  Brigham Young asked a group of men if they were ready to go give aid the the Martin and Willie handcart company. Men are letting Brigham Young know how many days it'll take them to be ready. Ephraim stands up and says, "I am ready now." I always want to let the Lord know that I am always ready for what assignment he has for me next.

Well I saw Sister McDonnell this past Saturday!!! All the Sisters that are going to any visitor's center come to Temple Square for 4 hours out of a night to experience what it is like interacting with people at a visitor's center. Sister McDonnell and I were roommates at BYU last winter, and were also roommates in Orlando when we worked at Disney World together! I wish her the best on her mission in Independence Missouri!

Well family, I hope all is well! Keep reading your scriptures! As it says in Moroni 7:33-37 (read it!) Miracles will come, but ONLY through our faith.
Sister Steenhoek

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Running into Apostles

We are currently teaching a 15-yr-old girl named Tiana. She is from Australia, but is living with her dad in New Zealand. Her parents are totally open to her learning more. We called her earlier this week and sent over the local missionaries and called her later this week and found out they have stopped by and taught her, and the Elders told Tiana they are going to bring the Sister missionaries with them next visit. She is so excited to attend church this sunday, and is even more excited to be baptized! My compy and I are just here for moral support. A cool thing about our mission is we not only make friends with sisters from around the world, but when they go home, they can be a member present over the phone for us, and even in person, depending on how close they live! I know this church is true(: God definitely provides ways for people to hear the truth!
So Danny. Danny is a truck driver who has a strong belief in God. Miraculously, we call him at the PERFECT times when he is NOT on the road. If that isn't the spirit guiding us, I am not sure what is. He is very humble, and is so willing to learn more about how he can come closer to Christ. Our next step with him is figuring out how he can go to church with his job limitations of driving on Sunday.
We went to Music and the Spoken Word this past Sunday, and it was wonderful, like always! I saw Lauren from CA! She was one of my Aunt Patty's young women! What a small world.
Today, I also saw Sister Miner and Hope Miner!! I just love them both! Hope had mentioned she wants to serve a mission in the future, and I fully support her(:

A Temple Square sighting by the Miners
We took QUITE a few interesting tours this past week: a group of folks from England who were doing a performance at BYU, 3 men from Israel but who are working in NYC, a few potential antis (it's still in questio nwhether they were or not), and a curious woman who didn't like the idea of the Priesthood only being held by men. Well, all people have their agency! After we do our part, it's time for them to do theirs!

So. Another adventure of the week. Our APs seemed to have misplaced their car in the Church Office Building garage. We, as the fleet coordinators, went on a hunt to find this lost car. Picutre this: we were driving around the CoB garage, both windows rolled down with Sister Davis' hand out of the window and the AP's car key hanging outside the window to see if we could hear the car beep, and suddenly we come to a stop. But of course! Who else to come walking in front of our car than Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and Elder D. Todd Christofferson! Christofferson:Waving, Laughing at our baffled looks. Holland: Waving, "Good morning, Sisters!" Us: Dumbfounded, waving, "Goodmorning!" I think they would have laughed if only they knew just what we were doing. Well we went down to the 3rd level of the garage and found out it was parked in security's spot and that the car was moved to some dark corner of the garage. We found their car nonetheless!

Our somewhat eternal investigators, Millie and Josh, are totally progressing! Josh had just met with the missionaries 2 days ago, and left a message saying he wants to speak with us earlier than we had planned! And Millie is so excited to go to church! I hope they keep progressing!
Sister Davis and Sister Steenhoek in the Tabernacle on Temple Square this week.

So great news!! I finally got a hold of Ema, a less-active, homeless Korean woman I met at Welfare Square 2 transfers ago. We had sat down with her for 2 hours and taught her about faith, and how it is never too late to come back to church. We set goals with her, and one of her spiritual goals was that she wanted to keep in touch with her missionaries (us!). Well, i FINALLY got a hold of her last night and she has a job and is doing so much better! It is incredible to see how much Heavenly Father loves his children, and how generous he is for allowing us to feel just a small portion of love that he has for them. Ema is going to meet us on Temple Square next week so we can teach her more and get her going back to church!
Sister Steenhoek