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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

What a Week! Post from 29 September, 2014

To start off, my companion is so incredible. She has a heart of gold and is the sweetest thing! She testifies boldly to everyone we meet. We work pretty well together I think.

We had a wonderful week this week with quite a few lessons and many new investigators from the square! I think I am getting a lot better at finding people to teach from the square. We actually have to limit the number of chats and incoming calls that Sister Stigsson and I take because we have too many people to call and not enough time! Quite a good problem to have.
So when we had a shift in the Assembly Hall, I met a guy in his mid-20s named Harrison. He just moved down here a few weeks ago and is a heavy drinker. He is actually on a quest to find God, and through a series of events that occurred in SL and on Temple Square, he is pretty convinced that he exists. I told him about the Addiction Recovery Program and how he will be able to feel, not only rid from his addiction, but spiritually whole. Right afterwards (very conveniently) I ran into a regular that comes here often named Stan who had been through the Addiction Recovery Program and is now a coordinator. He will hopefully be able to take Harrison under his wing and get him started with that. The Church has so many resources to help others with many different problems.
General Conference is this weekend! It is so crazy how this is my last conference of my mission. It is a bitter-sweet thought. What do you think the talks will be focused on this conference? I love being on Temple Square for conference because we have many resources to use for teaching. For example, we use the tabernacle alot to talk about General Conference and why it is important to us to have a living prophet.
Speaking of the Tabernacle, I feel like many humorous things have taken place there. Just today, we were talking with a very argumentative man and his daughter when we are interrupted by a random lady singing on the stage of the tabernacle. Huh??? She just walked up and started singing. Another time this week, we took a tour with a non-member couple and a member that I think had special needs. We were in mid sentence with talking to our guests in the tabernacle, and next thing we know, we look over and the member is playing a harmonica to the tune of "Come, Come Ye Saints." I guess people just really want to test out the acoustics. The temptation is real everyone.
We had a wonderful tour with a bunch of Aussies the other day! I was conveniently on exchanges with an Aussie from Melbourne, so it helped out quite a bit. You could tell everyone felt the Holy Spirit and they also really enjoyed themselves. Just when the tour ended, two women walked up to us and asked if they could learn more about our beliefs. One of them, Laura, from Ireland/Long Island NY referred herself and we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon. We will be keeping in touch with her. Miracles!
For relief society this week, we had Micahel Otterson with the PR department of the Church come and speak to us. He talked to us about people asking questions. We get lots and lots of different questions here on Temple Square, so that isn't a surprise. But he said that real truth-seekers who ask questions are sincerely seeking knowledge, and that we are trying to find those who are sincere. Our time as missionaries is very limited, so it is important that we use it wisely!  One other thing he said was that you'll learn more about Jesus Christ by living his teachings than by studying any other literature.
So my siblings will appreciate this, but I was talking with a less-active the other day, and to describe his level of happiness, he said "I'm moon-walking in the Spirit." Well put.
To end my weekly email, my companion met these wonderful people! Antionette and Rita are a daughter and a mom, and we met them by the temple model. We asked them about their families, and the daughter replied, I am not happy if my family isn't happy. I couldn't imagine a heaven without my family. At this point in the conversation, you could imagine mine and Sister Stigsson's internal reaction. We were freaking out inside!! 

We taught them more about the temple and the sealing power that it has. The temple seals (or spiritually bonds) families together forever so that they will have be able to live with their families in a state of happiness forever. They willingly accepted an invitation to learn more and both accepted copies of the Book of Mormon.
I love the Gospel, and I love being a missionary. I love you all! Look forward to hearing from each of you.
Sister Steenhoek

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Letter from 22 September 2014

Hi family and friends! 

I am back on Temple Square, and it is great to be back! I am still ready to work hard and to do my best in the Lord's work. It was a great time being in Washington DC for these past 3 months, and I met and taught wonderful people. 

With Sister Taggart at the DC Temple

I will miss my former companion, Sister Taggart, but I know she will continue to be so wonderful with our investigators in Poolesville.
My new companion is Sister Stigsson. She is adorable! She is from Malmo, Sweden. 

Her and I both just returned from outbound, so we are pretty confused together! There are sooo many new sisters that we need to meet, but it is also so fun to meet them all. It's funny because you'll ask someone who their trainer is, and they'll be like, "this is my 3rd transfer..."

Just yesterday on Sunday, we had the great opportunity to see the rededication ceremony of the Ogden Utah temple yesterday. We watched it in the Theater of the Conference Center. It was so powerful and just reminded me why I am here: to help others have access to the blessings of the temple.

We talked to Armando, a Mexican from New Mexico! He was here for the Doterra convention and had heard quite a bit about our church. After a long while of him testifying of the Bible, he was caught off guard when we said, "We completely agree with you about the Bible! We read it too." We gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it in one week and that we can call him next Sunday.
We had a secret agent/3rd Nephite member on our tour!!! He was incredible! And he spoke Swedish. Woah. We had a tough couple from England ask us probing questions that were not bringing the spirit into our tour/lesson. Although we could have answered the questions, it is always so wonderful having a member who understands missionary work join us on our tours. People who are not members of our church are able to see that it is not just missionaries talking the talk, but that people live this way and are very happy.
We had another Swedish miracle! We had a Swedish chat (which is so rare), and Daniel, the man on the chat, wants to go to church! We are teaching him over email currently.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!!
Sister Steenhoek

PS - let me know how everything is going. I love love love emails and letters!
50 NW Temple Street
SLC Utah 84150
Notes from 15 September 2014

Hi everyone! What an eventful week this past week.

Well we taught Paula, and let me just repeat my usual phrase attached
with her: I love her so much! She is a very blunt person, and she
always has an opinion (unlike us haha, maybe that's why we like her so
much!). This past week, we explained authority and the role of
prophets. This helped her to see the bigger picture of WHY this church
is the Lord's church in its fullness on the Earth. The exciting thing
was that she told us she will be baptized!! We haven't set a date yet,
and it'll probably be slow and steady with her, but we are so excited
for her.
We have an awesome girl that we are teaching that is around our age.
Her name is Madi, and she was a referral from an unknown source. She
is such a hard worker, and already sees the value in keeping the
commandments. She told us that she had quit drinking coffee when we
met with her the first time. She is also going to get Sundays off of
her job so that she can come to church. What tremendous faith she
We took Joyce Wu (our Chinese/Malaysian friend) to the Heartfelt
Japanese a Concert at the Visitors Center on Saturday evening. We
could tell that she really enjoyed herself! The concert was adorable.
The Japanese Choir of DC sang. Also, our Visitor's Center Director's
wife played the violin, and she is incredible! She had been in the
Utah Symphony for 50+ years!

I went to a departing dinner that was for all departing missionaries
at the mission home. 

It was fun to go, but it was also funny because
everyone was talking about their post-mission plans and I was like, "I
have 4ish months left on the mission still..." Haha but speaking of
that, I go back to SLC on Wednesday. My outbound went by so quickly! I
cannot believe it! I am going to miss Maryland. But now I have many
wonderful people to visit! Also, I can continue teaching my Maryland
investigators over the phone when I go back to Temple Square.
Way cool story. So last week, Sister Taggart and I were street
contacting when we came across a neighbor of a member of the church.
She wasn't afraid to talk with us and was so excited that she knew
someone who was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day
Saints. I invited her to an event that occurred last night and told
her I was singing in it, and that she should come! At church I told
the member I had talked with her neighbor, and we were so SHOCKED when
we saw the member and her neighbor walk in to the visitors center last
night to attend the event!! Members have a huge impact on missionary
work. Even stating the fact that you are a member of the church goes a
long way and helps out the missionaries so much.
An Elder in our district is great at caricature drawings and actually
drew our whole district walking on water! We reenacted it, just
without the water part. Check it out below!
We went to the zoo today, and it was so neat looking at all of God's
creations. And on top of that, the cheetahs and elephants are just

I love you all!(:

Sister Steenhoek
Notes from 8 September 2014 in Washington, D.C.

Okay. Picture this. We went to a newlywed couple's home for dinner
last Monday, Jim and Joan's. Jim is a white teddy bear, and Joan is a
Jamaican woman with long braided hair, and they're both in their 50s.
Here is how they met: as Jim was picking vegetables from his garden,
he prayed over his vegetables that they would nourish whoever got
them. Well one Sunday while he was giving away his vegetables after a
church meeting, Joan passed by, and he offered her vegetables. Each
week, he started bringing her vegetables and would "accidentally
forget to bring bags" for her vegetables so that he would have to
carry them directly to her car. The rest is history! They now live on
Jim's farm together and are wonderful member missionaries.

So we walk into church yesterday about 5 minutes before sacrament was
about to start, and a sister in our ward comes up to us and says,
"there is a woman that just walked into the chapel that is wanting to
talk with missionaries." Lakisha has been going from church to church
looking for the right one, but also learning truths about Jesus
Christ. She asked us how she could become a missionary and wanted to
take missionary classes, and we told her we could help her out(: well
as you know, it was fast and testimony meeting, so as people would get
up and bear their testimony, I would pray for them that it would touch
Lakisha's heart. Most members probably don't realize how stressful
testimony meeting is for missionaries! We just hope that investigators
feel welcome and comfortable(: anyway, so as we are sitting there,
Lakisha expresses interest in sharing her testimony. Long story
shorter, I go up with her and bear my testimony and she bears hers as
well!!!! It was beautiful, and we became instant friends throughout
church! She is a mom of a 20 year old and a 12 year old. As we went
from sacrament to Sunday school, people started complementing her. She
was so shocked and told everyone, "oh! Really?? Ah Lawdy!!! That's my
first time!!" We are going to start teaching her this week! We're
excited! It is bitter sweet that I am leaving here in just a week and
a few days. Sweet because I know I have more to do at Temple Square,
but bitter because of all the incredible people we are teaching here.
My companion and I have concluded that we smell the most interesting
smells in the world being a missionary. So in Maryland, they have the
screen doors with the hinges that are in front of the front door.
Right when we open those screen doors to knock on the front door, a
big whiff of "SURPRISE!" comes at us. We just never know what we're
gonna get!!
We had a wonderful lesson the other day!! So one of the members in our
ward is dating a great man who is not a member. Well we went over to
her house and taught her, her boyfriend, and her cousin (who also
isn't a member) this past Wednesday. It was such a powerful lesson
about the Book of Mormon. We used 3 Nephi 11 and how the Holy Ghost
was prompting the Nephites, but they only really paid attention when
he repeated himself. Many spiritual experiences were shared, and both
the cousin and the boyfriend agreed to start reading the Book of
We taught a less-active the other day, and that was an interesting
experience. Throughout the whole lesson, her big fluffy dog was
standing in mine and my companion's face as we were sitting on a
sunken-in couch and barking at us! The dog bit my finger (ah!) and the
less-active member took control of her dog.
We met Jayaraman last night! He is from India, and he was telling me
about karma. As he was explaining to me an exciting analogy with lots
of hand motions, Sister Taggart talked to Chrish, another man from
India. We got both of their contact information and committed them to
read the Book of Mormon. 8:30pm miracles!!!

Sister Tembo, Sister Truman and Sister Steenhoek

So we got Paula a CTR ring, and she loves it! She wore it to church on
Sunday. (: we brought Sister Davis to one of our lessons with her last
week, and just as a little background, Paula lives in a home that was
built during the a Civil War times. It's old and small. Well Sister
Davis brought over a blueberry pie and some whipping cream. She was
pretty set on making her own whipped cream, but we warned her that
Paula would probably not have a beater to beat it with. She was in
denial. Fast forward to our lesson, thanks to her short 65-year old
attention span, Paula is done listening to us and her focus is on the
pie. She looks at her little chihuahua and says, "Lily! Get off your
lazy butt and find me a beater!!" We love her(:

We almost ran out of gas on Saturday, and stopped at this gas station
in the middle of no where. I went and contacted the guy parked next to
us, and he just so happens to be less active!! Another miracle! We
invited him to church and got his contact info. Hope to see him at
church in the near future!
So last but not least, there is a guy in our ward that is the twin of
the under dog in "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton" (Marilyn and Aubrey,
you know who I am talking about), as well as a a guy that is a younger
version of Tim Gun, the host of Project Runway!

Well, I hope you read my full email. It was quite the fun week! But I
also hope to hear from you. Love you all!

Sister Steenhoek

Notes from September 1 2014

Okay we had a pretty crazy week! On Monday to Tuesday, we had an
exchange. I stayed here in Poolesville, and Sister Scow came here. We
ate over at a member's home, and their cute 9 year-old daughter who
has special needs was having trouble pronouncing Sister Steenhoek. Her
mom was like, "it's -hook, like Captain Hook." The daughter then
thought she was sitting across from Captain Hook all throughout dinner
and would make it known to the table periodically.
To make our exchanges even more memorable, we were driving to the
hospital the next morning to go to a blessing that was going to be
given to our investigator's grandma, but the GPS took us out of our
mission.... We accidentally drove into Virginia!! Whoops. My exchange
companion was calm and collected, and I was feeling adventurous as
well as overwhelmed at the fact that we were late to the hospital. My
life is a movie. Even as a missionary!
Later in the day, we have a sisters only outing in downtown DC with
the 40ish sisters in our mission. We went to the Library of Congress
as well as the Botanic Gradens. We switched talking with sisters after
a few minutes and got to know many more of the DC North Sisters!

So we met this older Chinese woman named Joyce Wu a few weeks ago at
the Poolesville Library, and she thought we were teaching an iPad
class because we were sitting there with our iPads. We told her
unfortunately we weren't, but that we'd be happy to help her with her
iPad anyway! We went over to her house last week and showed her how to
use her iPad. She entertained us with her tai chi moves right there in
her living room while were were about to walk out the front door! She
suddenly pulled out a sword and started going at it. She then pulled
out her fan and opened it with a big WHIP. After a few minutes of
showing us her tai chi moves, we thought she was awesome haha. We are
going to come back to her place and teach her about the gospel!

We met Kane on Saturday night at about 8:25pm, a miracle! He is from
Senegal Africa!  He speaks very broken English but great French! We
invited him to church, and he committed to the next day. Our church
starts at 11:30am, and he texted us at 11:20 saying he was outside,
but to come get him. We ended up walking 3 blocks to the grocery store
where he was waiting and 3 blocks back to church, 30 minutes late and
all sweaty. I bet the members were probably pretty confused....But we
retrieved Kane!! He was pretty confused during the meeting, but thank
goodness for the Gospel Principles manual in French on our iPads! We
are going to pass him to the French-speaking missionaries in our
Our investigator Dee's mom is coming into town to visit! Dee is doing
a wonderful job at being a missionary herself, and she even wrote out
her testimony and gave it to her mom. Wow! She isn't even a member,
but it am sure it will have an incredible impact on her mom.
Sister Taggart and I were talking, and missionaries are a combination
of many different things: a visiting/home teacher, a detective, and a
therapist. Wow! Whoever runs into us must be so lucky(:
We went the the Visitors center with Will from Cameroon, and we
watched the Restoration movie. I love that movie soo much!! It was
exciting to see that afterwards, he expressed to us that he loved it
as well. He will be coming to church with us in the next couple of
We did service with Laura this past week. Laura moved to Rockville:(
we helped move a pile of trash to the trash compactor. It was many
many loads, up and down 3 flights of stairs. we will miss her, but we
hope to get her in touch with missionaries over there!
I was studying out of chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel, and I hope all
that are reading this will take some time this week to look that
chapter over. It is a very revelatory experience. I was reading about
the Light of Christ, and D&C 84:46 says this:

"...the Spirit enlighteneth every man through the world, that
hearkeneth to the voice of the Spirit."

I love that it says, sure all men have the light of Christ, but it is
those who listen to the influence of the Holy Ghost that will be led
to the Gospel.

I love you all! Let me know your favorite part of Preach My Gospel chapter 4!

Sister Steenhoek
Notes from 18 August 2014

Hello! Here is the update on our investigators: Paula is doing just
wonderfully! She looked so lovely and modest at church the other day.
She invited us the the Gaithersburg, MD fair, but we couldn't go:/ but
she is progressing so well! She is starting to feel like she needs to
repent of sins in the proper way, which is an indicator of her coming
closer to a Christ.

We committed Dee, our investigator who will be baptized in the near
future, to read the Book of Mormon cover to cover, and she accepted!
We both started over as well, and we will be able to follow up on her

Will, our investigator from Cameroon, believes the first vision to be
a true and powerful event that occurred, we just need him to get
excited about church.

We have a sister leaving out of our ward in 9 days to go on a mission!
I am just so proud of Ashley Barney and of her willingness to serve
The Lord. We went to her farewell, and I have attached a picture

We went to downtown DC today to exercise on the national mall, and a
sister and I did yoga in between the Capitol and the Washington
Monument. We are so American(: we did meet a girl around our age by
the Washington Monument and we got her name so we could keep in
contact with her on fb. She is a Zumba instructor in Trinidad.

I know this is way short for my weekly emails, but if hope you all
have a wonderful week!

Sister Steenhoek
11 August 2014