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Monday, June 23, 2014

Outbound to Washington, D.C.

So we had our last Zone Training Meeting of the Transfer, and we were all assigned to read different talks on faith. My district leader shared some wonderful insight about the talk that she read. She really liked the line, "You get what you pay for." You know when you go to Walmart and you think you can get away with buying the Walmart brand of a product rather than just paying the full price for something of better quality? This is similar to how we live our lives. If we live our lives with half the effort, we will only see half of the success. Similar with the Gospel as well. If we only put in half of the effort, we won't see the miracles, neither will we be as happy as we could be.

So we went to Welfare Square to take a last-minute tour, but the last-minute tour was cancelled last-minute. Haha. But I had seen a service Elder that served at Welfare Square with me about 6 months ago while I was there, and he was so excited when he saw me because I was recognizable. Sister Lopez and I decided while we were there to take a picture with that service Elder along with those missionaries that were serving that night. I'll attach the picture we took! We also talked with a woman who had 12-14 children at home and was raising them all on her own. But she has around 7 returned missionaries already out of those. What a wonderful example of endurance and being a light for others.

We took this family from Mexico on a tour the other day after contacting them just a minute after they'd walked into Temple Square. The whole time we took them on a tour, the mother, Maria, was very excited about our church and the gospel, but the husband, Raoul, was not very excited to be there. We ended up getting their information, and we told them that we would love to teach the whole family over the phone. Sister Lopez will do a great job with following up with them(:

Yesterday, we contacted this woman by the Priesthood Statues. Deidra is from New York City, and is very much into maintaining the health of the body, as well as the theater arts. She works backstage at the Lincoln Center .HOW COOL. Anyways, we took her on a tour and gave her a Book of Mormon. I will be emailing her amidst many other investigators while I am outbound.

Speaking of outbound. I know where I am going! I found out last Thursday. And I am actually flying out tomorrow morning. Woah! I am going from one capitol to the other! I have been called to serve my outbound in the Washington DC North mission! First the church headquarters, now the country headquarters! On the 4th of July!! I think that will be a spectacular thing to witness. But I have heard much about that mission. And it seems like such a blast. So many different cultures, but also another aspect of missionary work!! I am soooo excited to have my own ward to work with, but also a little nervous. I also know that I am prepared to go at this time as well. I'll pack everything tonight and then be off on another adventure! I hear that I will also be travelling with the new missionaries coming from the MTC to that mission. I am the only Temple Square sister going there this transfer. I will write more next week! I love you all!!!

Sister Steenhoek

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Marie Osmond - How are you today? - 16 June, 2014

Flowers on Temple Square

So we walked by the flag pole this morning, and because we have flag pole tours on the hour, there were lots of people waiting. We told them sisters would be there momentarily to take them on a tour, and we called the sisters in charge of tours. They told us to substitute for that tour because they weren't sure where the sisters were that usually that the 11am tour. It was about 30 non-members from all over. We took the group right in front of the reflection pool, and just as we were trying to close up the tour, Marie Osmond comes up from behind the tour and signals to us that a bride she was taking around for wedding pictures needs to take photos where we were standing. She seemed famous to me, but I wasn't sure if it was her...I was closing up the tour right then when she came up to the front of our tour and told me they needed to take pictures right there because they had time constraints with the temple. We moved our tour group over a couple of feet, but only half of them were facing us, and the other half were facing Marie and the bride and groom's photo session, some people saying, "Hey, I think I've seen her on some weight-loss commerical." Marie, although you distracted some potential investigators, I forgive you. (: 

We helped out with Youth Conference, and it was way fun! Wards come from all over the valley to spend a day on Temple Square. I felt like an EFY counselor for an hour. It was neat! It was especially cool to talk with youth about becoming a missionary, and how they can do missionary work right now. We did a role play with them where they could pretend to share the gospel with others. 

While we were in the North Visitor's Center, a family came in an entrance that had some steps going down. For some reason, there is no wheelchair ramp over there, so guests need to go back outside and go around. Well the father was in a wheelchair and said, "Say what?? I have to grow wings??" It was the funniest thing.
For Zone Activity last week, we watched, "One Good Man." It's an awesome church movie that accurately depicts the life of a bishop. If you haven't seen it, I think you should!

A 15 year-old girl came up to me today, and said, "I just thought I'd introduce myself since we're both tall. Her name was courtney, and she was from CA. She was a little over 5'11", and we were just talking about how cool it is to be tall. 

More next week! Read your scriptures every day!

Sister Steenhoek

9 June Post

WOW! So much going on! So to start off, we have a regular that comes to temple square every day or every few days. His name is Bob, and he is confined to an electric wheel chair. But don't let that statement fool you! It is a wheelchair that does tricks. I'll send you a picture from my 3rd transfer ith Bob looking like he's ready for the dentist. But anyways, today, Bob came into the South Visitor's Center, and Sister Lopez and I were at a desk. His wheelchair had made wrinkles in the carpet by the door. Being the jokester that he is, he said, "Do you know what they call me? Job security. They need to hire many people to fix what I make a mess of." Hahah we love Bob. He also sits next to us and greets all the Chinese and Taiwanese guests that we have by saying, "Ni Hao!"
Speaking of our wonderful Mandarin-speaking guests, they really have a thing for blonde hair. I was on exchanges with Sister Tsang from my district this past week, and we took 2 large group Mandarin tours. We were with 2 other sisters, and at the end, the guests all lined up in front of me and Sister Howard, the 2 blondes, and they took turns taking pictures with us haha. It happened again when we had an assignment in the Assembly Hall (historic Church building). A tour came in the front and stopped right there to one-by-one take pictures with me and Sister Lopez. A little bit overwhelming to say the least haha. Next time, I will charge money (: jk

Well this past week, a group of 10 of us had prepared about 6 hours to sing 2 different songs for the LDS Philanthropies Conference that they had this past Friday. The presiding bishopric of the church was at our second performance, and our mission president came to the first. The Spirit was SO strong, and it was a pleasure to be a part of it. They invited us to the 26th floor of the Church Office Building, and we were able to eat the buffet lunch with them. What a treat! My bishop from Fall semester of 2012 work for LDS Philanthropies, so it was so wonderful to see him again! (Bishop Allen Moore)

In these past 2 days, we have given out 3 copies of the Book of Mormon. One of them went to a couple from the Netherlands! It has been my dream to teach people from the Netherlands sine that is where our ancestry comes from. And then we gave one to a French couple from Quebec, Canada. We will be keeping in contact with both couples via email.
For zone activity this evening, we will be having a crepe party and watching an LDS film, "One Good Man." I have never heard of it, but I am sure it will be wonderful!
So recently, I have been reading from the beginning of the Book of Mormon, and something I noticed was Nephi's conversion. It goes from him as a young boy praying to God to soften his heart, to being led be the Spirit of God to obtain the record of his family from Laban. If we trust in God's plan for us, as unexpected as it will be, we will be able to draw nearer to our Heavenly Father and trust in his timing.
Love you all!
Sister Steenhoek

2 June, 2014 - Going to the Temple is Great

SO much to talk about. So first of all, we are teaching this adorable black woman that lives in Mississippi. Brenda is a grandmother of 2 grandchildren, whom she is now the guardian of. Her daughter died about 1 year ago, so she has been overcoming that hurdle as well. When we committed her to be baptized a few days ago, she told us she would love to but that she needs to overcome smoking. The only problem is that she lives FAR away from the church building, and we are thinking that there aren't any missionaries in her area anymore. That means we cannot find her rides to church without the local missionaries... But nothing is impossible(:
Sister Lopez and I took our first Hospitality tour! That is where people come on a tour bus or with some sort of group. They may purchase a fancy dinner on the top floor of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. So we are not able to give them commitments after the tour. There were 17 on this tour. I think larger tours are super fun because it means more questions and more interaction.
So Relief Society was so special this week (kinda like every week:)) We had Reeve Nield, CC Lundgreen, and Lolly Maritz come and speak to our mission. They have been professional women's golfers and have competed in SO many tournaments around the world. The neat thing is that they are members of the church! They have an incredible charity called Eyes for Zimbabwe that helps people in Zimbabwe receive cataract surgery, which isn't too long of a procedure. They were POWERFUL. To make things cooler, when our Zone went to the Temple this morning, they were IN OUR SESSION. Our District Leader asked them what their plans were afterwards, and they told her they were going to teach President Uchtdorf how to golf today. What. So cool.
That reminds me. We talked with a man on the Square a few days ago who was waiting for a meeting with President Uchtdorf. He thought he would be called as a sealer for his local temple.
Oh goodness, this guy that we met by the Christus introduced himslef like this: "Hi. I'm Jesus Silva. But not the Jesus that walked on water." He thought he was so funny and was laughing at his own joke. I think he was drunk, but it was a perfect opportunity for me to get his phone number and let him know I would be calling him to teach him more about the Gospel of Jesus Christ(:
It makes me so happy to talk to so many people from the Netherlands since our line traces back pretty far to Holland. It's also a great way to link to family history and the gospel. Almost every day this week I have talked with people from the Netherlands. I love showing them my tag because they say, "Oh, Stain-ook! How do you pronounce it?" They don't like that I don't pronounce it correctly, but they enjoy that our last name still has the Dutch spelling.
I took my first Mandarin tour when we were on exchanges with Sister Tsang from Hong Kong!

Sister Tsang from Honk Hong, Str. Cuevas & Str. Lopez from Mexico with Angelique

We took these 2 Catholic gentlemen around, and they told us how they admired how we live our beliefs. These 2 New Yorkers also told us how they enjoyed that we are dressed so professionally because of what we represent. Nothing but the best for the Lord!

Last but not least, we asked this lady where she was from, and she said "God. G-O-D. Heaven" And she was quite serious about this! Then she walked away. We asked another man where he was from (member) and he said, "Kolob. First star to the right." Of course I said, "Oh I thought that was Peter Pan." I didn't know he knew Disney movies better than I did and corrected me by saying, "NO. Neverland is the SECOND star to the right and straight on til morning." Whoops.
Well have a wonderful week! And just know that the sacrifices for missionary work are ALWAYS worth it. Elder Holland said something like, "Missionary work isn't easy because Salvation isn't cheap. It wasn't easy for Him, why would it ever be easy for us?"
Love you all!
Sister Steenhoek

26 May, 2014 - The Tabernacle

So cool moment of the week (amidst many). So on Temple Square, we have 3 organs, the Assembly Hall organ, the Tabernacle organ, and the Conference Center organ. People come to the Tabernacle quite often to practice on that organ. Well Sister Lopez and I were assigned at the tabernacle for an hour one morning, and when we walked in, the organist was playing the song from Pirates of the Caribbean! Dun Dun   duh duh dun dun     duh duh dun dun  duh duh duh duh. That one. Hahah It was the COOLEST thing!! Next on my list is hearing songs from Phantom of the Opera, as well as Go the Distance from Hercules.
We met this man in front of the South Visitor's center named AJ. He is from British Columbia, but is originally from India. When he was college-aged, he had an arranged marriage. He had been happily married for many years with 2 children. It is interesting to hear people and their own unique stories. He had many questions for us, about an hour worth of questions. So we got his contact information and we will continue to teach him over email.
While on exchanges, Sister Cuevas and I met a man named Richard. He had been on Heroine for 10 years amidst many other things. He was soo depressed. We wanted to show him a mormon message about the story of the currant bush called the Will of God. Well we went into a small video room, and it wasn't in there! He said he had only a few min before he had to go, so we just played a random mormon message entitled, "Trust in the Lord." It was about a mom who had twins but couldn't get pregnant for 7 years, and then she finally adopted a baby. It showed a picture of her and a baby, but then it flash-forwarded to the present time, and the baby had changed races! In the picture, it was white, and then in present time, it was black! And then the movie ended. And here is Richard, still sad about his situation. We tried our best to keep the Spirit while trying to figure how to bridge the movie. Man, we have gotten to be experts at connecting random subjects to the gospel.
Well, the church is true! Keep on keepin on(: More next week!
Sister Steenhoek
MoTAB was recording Handel's Messiah and the blankets were to muffle the echo for recording purposes.

May 19th Update

Hello! So Sister Lopez and I met a man in the tabernacle a few days ago who works for the Disney Trading Company in Hong Kong. It looks like he became a very successful businessman and he learned many Asian languages, but he had fallen away from the church a few years after his return from his mission to Taiwan. He studied too much about the doctrine of the church and has decided it is not perfect. These are the times that are most painful to watch when we bare testimony, but they need to use their agency to make the change.
Sister Sheri Dew came to visit our mission for relief society this past week! She is INCREDIBLE. I think she has been one of the top 3 most incredible speakers I have heard here on the mission. She talked about women and the priesthood and she gave us much insight to think about. Similar to Elder Oak's talk during the April 2014 Priesthood Session, she talked about the differences between the Keys of the priesthood, the authority, and the power of the priesthood. She told us how only a certain few in a ward (for example) hold keys in that ward. The bishop holds the keys of the priesthood for that ward. The leader of the priest quorum holds the keys to the priest quorum, and same with the Elder's quorum, deacon's quorum and teacher's quorum. She said when it comes to callings, we have authority of the priesthood that has been given to us by someone who has the keys of the priesthood. For example, my stake president gave me the authority to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ when he laid his hands upon my head. I do not have the priesthood, but I have the authority to preach. Now Elders have the priesthood, as well as the authority to perform ordinances such as baptism. But they need to act under the direction of their mission president (who holds the keys of the mission) before they are able to perform any baptism. Just some fun insight I have learned(: We talked with a guy going to London on his mission today, as well as a girl who is going to the Northern Ireland/Scotland mission. So neat!
People from the Dominican Republic talk so fast....SO fast! We have an investigator who lives in the DR, and I cannot pick out ANY words I know in Spanish when she talks haha but she is progressing well and has a baptismal date set up.
Oh, SO funny. So Sister Lopez and I have been together since last Wednesday. On Thursday, we were walking around on the Square, and we started talking with this homeless guy. He told us, "I can tell. You are going straight to heaven. Where the roads paved in gold are." Sister Lopez was in the middle of testifying about doctrine when he said, "Hey, are you related to George Lopez? You kinda look like him....I love that show of his...." Hahah I think the only thing that was the same was the last name.
We talked with a Christian man on the Square who was very skeptical to talk with us. He was asking some TOUGH questions, but the Spirit definitely helped answer them. Suddenly, his aggressive face turned into a smile. He told us, "Mm! We aren't all that different after all! You do believe in Jesus!" Although we weren't able to tell him of the entire truth, it felt so good knowing that he knows we believe in Christ. When Don R. Clark visited our mission December 10th of last year, he told us, "Don't you ever let someone walk away without letting them know that you believe in Jesus Christ." That was so powerful and has stuck with me ever since. He is coming to speak to our mission tomorrow, and I am anticipating the call to repentance! But I don't mind, it is always needed(:
This older man from El Salvador was talking to us with his wife. He said something so GREAT! "If you are a missionary, you need to be happy!" It was so simple, but so wonderful to hear.

Well friends and family, the work is still going. Don't miss your opportunity to help with the work of salvation. And like President Uchtdorf has said from this past General Conference, "Don't sleep through the Restoration." Be part of it and help the work move forward!
Sister Steenhoek