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Monday, October 27, 2014

Notes from 27 October, 2014

So there was a woman at the Christus statue yesterday reading a book. 
We ended up talking to her. I started talking about the temple and how I want to go consistently when I get off my mission. We asked if she had been, and we found out that she had been married, divorced, and still hadn't been to the temple. We committed her to prepare to go. God makes sure everyone has an opportunity at accepting his message, even more than one time.

When we were taking a tour yesterday, a man pulled me aside to ask me about the 12 oxen in the baptismal font of the Salt Lake Temple. I started explaining the temple to him, and he has decided to learn more! He is a Muslim from the states, and his teenage son is a Christian. It will be interesting teaching him for sure!
As we were walking around the desolate grounds while all of our guests were listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir concert yesterday morning, a member (Ron) came up to us and said he had 2 co-workers who seemed interested in receiving copies of the Book of Mormon. We took all 3 of them to the Christus statue and taught them about faith in Jesus Christ. We now have an appointment to talk with both of them and the member over the phone this week!

The work does NOT end there! Bob, our lovely investigator from Clovis, CA, got baptized and confirmed over the weekend. We called and taught him about callings yesterday, and he wants so badly to use his carpentry skills to serve others in the church.

We took around 4 senior couples that are currently in the MTC about to go to different Visitor's Centers around the country- Mesa Arizona, Temple Square (:, Independence Missouri, and the St. George Visitor's Center. They were watching how we took tours and taught simultaneously, which was a little nerve-racking, but they also brought such an incredible spirit with them! I think those missions are going to be so blessed to have them.

So we have received our assignments for our next transfer. I don't know my companion yet, because she is coming from the MTC!!! I am going to train another sister for my last 2 transfers most likely, and I am so excited to do so. Missionaries that come straight from the missionary training center have such an excitement to learn and to grow. This will be wonderful!

Moroni 8:3.
Sister Steenhoek
PS. I took a picture with all of my Temple Square companions, from the MTC to the present time! Three will be leaving in just a few days, so I had to take this opportunity! The only one I am missing in this picture is my companion from Washington DC, Sister Taggart(:

The Assembly Hall on Temple Square.  Few missionaries every get a picture with all their previous companions.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Notes from 20 October, 2014

We met Leona today while she was looking at the painting of the boy Jesus teaching scholars in the temple. Leona is from the States and has bright red hair. She was here with her ward just walking around temple square on a youth trip. We found out she is not a member! We are so excited to have the opportunity to keep in contact with her.
We also met Ramdass from Singapore just yesterday. We explained ot him about the Book of Mormon, and he was SO excited to get his own copy!! We will call him next week after he gets home from Salt Lake. On the same day, we also met this girl from Singapore who asked us where she could attend a church meeting here. We will be keeping in touch with her as well to see if she liked the church service.
Bob getting baptized on Saturday! Sister Stigsson met Bob while she would exercise in the mornings. He knows German, Russian, and English.
As we were walking through Temple Square yesterday after Music and the Spoken Word, a member yelled, "the Church is true!" Only on Temple Square.
Scott, the man we met a few weeks ago, is doing great! He jut isn't sure what ward to go to since single's wards cap off at 45 for the older singles wards, and he JUST turned 46. He doens't know if he feels comfortable going to a family ward. But he accepted coming to our ward this Sunday! He is working through having some faith issues (such as tithing) after learning about the church for a year now. But we will help him.
Transfer conference next monday morning! I will know what my fate is for the next 6 weeks before I email next week.
My companion is famous!! A woman from the Ensign for Sweden came to visit Temple Square, and apparently all the members in Sweden know each other. So my companion was interviewed for the Swedish Ensign!! Check it out.

We met this guy from Ivory Coast by the Christus Statue, and he had an incredible story. He is a convert to the church, and after serving a mission, he decided to go to China for work. It turned out to be a scam, but instead of returning to the Ivory Coast, he felt he needed to stay in China. After a year of being there, he returned in the hopes of getting a visa to come to America. Apparently it is very difficult to do. When he went to get his visa, he went to a teller who spoke to him in Mandarin Chinese! She said his Mandarin was so good and that she has approved his visa for 3 years more than he had originally asked for. God works miracles.
There was a wonderful analogy that was shared in sacrament meeting yesterday. When a master pianist stands up from playing a wonderful piece of music, people don't come up to the stage and congratulate the piano. They congratulate the person that made the music happen. The same with miracles in our lives. God is the person that is causing the miracle, and we are only the instrument in his hands. We need to thank God for the miracles he has granted us to witness on a daily basis. 

I hope you are all having a lovely week! And I also hope that you are continuing to help out those missionaries in your local area. Members are KEY to missionary work.

Love you all!

Sister Steenhoek

Posing with some of the Sister Missionaries on Temple Square with David Archuleta and his accompanist, Kendra Lowe

Monday, October 13, 2014

Notes from 13 October, 2014

Okay, always exciting stories on Temple Square. Expect nothing less(: So Sister Stigsson and I were walking around Temple Square trying to find people to talk with, and we started talking with a man with a loonnng beard. We started talking with him, and he said, "excuse me." He turned on "Walk Tall, You're a Daughter" on this little radio attached to his belt loop. Nice pick!!(: He told us he always has uplifting music on. Even when he is river rafting with the young men in his ward! I really enjoyed how he doesn't care what others think, he does what helps him feel the spirit. People are so cool!
We went to the temple this morning. I love going to the temple to feel peace and get my spiritual batteries recharged. 
I talked with my recent convert, Jacqui (from Surrey, England), yesterday! She was baptized in January. She thought she would be able to stay in the Gospel Principles class for a full year, but they just called her to primary. I am excited to hear how her experience goes.
Has anyone seen "Meet the Mormons?" It just came out 3 days ago and is being shown in AMC and Cinemark theaters across the United States. You are able to look up theaters on the internet. Let me know what you think about it!

We met 2 exciting people in the North Visitor's Center this past week.  Scot is a a children's book author. He came to temple square to write a church-affiliated children's book and take some pictures for it, but he is actually not a member. He started learning with missionaries about one year ago, but stopped. We got his contact information and are starting to teach him! We taught him yesterday, and he started going back to church, is reading his scriptures, and praying. Slowly he is gaining a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

It was QUITE the exciting week because it was a week of seeing famous Mormons. For those of you returned missionaries who watched the District on your mission, we talked with Elder Murray from the show. He is now married with a little boy. We also ran into Germaine, Jeremiah, and Abram from "Meet the Mormons- the family from Atlanta Georgia. They were soo down to Earth. Germaine was telling me about how he went on his mission to Brazil and how he is working on learning Spanish right now. 
We ALSO were very privileged to have a special guest come to our mission last night and put on a musical fireside. David Archuleta came and gave a wonderful performance and also a Q and A. As you know, he just came back a few months ago from serving a mission in Chile. That was probably one of the most spiritually uplifting times on my mission. He is an incredible musician, and his story and testimony were very inspiring. WOW. While he was on tour, he decided that he was in control of his life. He started going to church on Sunday wherever he was in the world, and later decided to go to the temple once a week as well. As for post-mission advice, he said: don't stop praying as much as we are now-we don't have a reason to stop! Also, continue reading the Book of Mormon each day.
While I was talking with a girl in the assembly hall, she mentioned to me that the thing she wanted to change after watching General Conference was consistency in her life. Consistency in scripture study and prayers. It really hit me at the moment that "enduring to the end," the fifth step of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, means consistency, and is one of the main struggles worldwide. If we all endured to the end, how would that increase our faith in God?? What kind of members and Christians would we have in the world if we all endured to the end?

Love you all!

Sister Steenhoek

PS: pictures of the week: 

1.we did a session at the temple today!

2. this picture accurately describes the excitement of our Asian guests in the Summer time when they spot blonde hair.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Conference! Notes from October 6, 2014

What an eventful week!!
To start off, General Conference was this past weekend, and it was such a great weekend. It is the weirdest thing to think that this is my last conference on the mission! Sometimes as a missionary, you feel like you will be doing the same things forever. You don't realize missionary life has an end to it!
But any who, we talked with many incredible people. David was a member that we talked to. He was listening to a session of conference when we walked up and started talking to him. We found out that he lost his wife a few years ago, while only in his 50s, and hasn't been able to recover since then. He has lost his purpose for being here on Earth. We gave him some spiritual advice and told him he was in the right place. He told us that he needed to hear that and we so glad that we walked up to him and started talking with him. I truly felt God's love for him and I hope he knows that as well.
I saw Jeremy, Aubrey, and Danny. What a surprise! I also saw the Hickmans, the Uldroyds, Sister Bowerman, and the Norens (all from Katy, TX). So much conference fun.
We got 2 new investigators from General Conference. They are both originally from India. One walked into the North Visitor's Center while we were at the desk, and he asked, "What is going on here??" OH we got 'im.....(: I told him all about General Conference and how it is such a blessing to listen to a living prophet that we have on the Earth today. We also talked about a main difference that occurs between our religion and others--The Book of Mormon. I gave him a copy and he decided to read it. We will teach him this week! We also met a man that was in the stand-by line to get into the Sunday Morning Session. He wasn't a member and we were quite intrigued that he was at Conference all by himself. "What made you want to come to General Conference?" "I love the music." Well we found out he already had a copy of the Book of Mormon and we committed him to read Alma 32, the section on faith. He believes in a higher power and also does a lot of meditation, so we are excited to teach him more about the nature of God and faith.
I was able to attend the Sunday Afternoon session. It was awesome; loved the talk that was given in Portuguese! It was fun being in the Conference Center to hear it in Portuguese, but it was also a little challenging taking notes while trying to watch the subtitles. I really loved the insight that he provided. Are we all living in a way that we will be able to obtain ALL of the blessings God has in store for us? If we keep doing what we are doing right now, will we be able to become the person God knows that we can become?? I love this quote and I have shared it many times in my emails, but "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always had."
Oh man, so there was just an hour left of contacting last night after the Sunday Session of Conference. Imagine all of the sisters having walked 10 hours straight the day before and 8 hours that day. Well we see a huge group of Danish people walk by us on the square, and they didn't have a tour guide! Well apparently Danish and Swedish are pretty similar, so Sister Stigsson and I, along with another companionship that had a Swede, were conveniently placed where we were that we just started taking 37 Danish people on a tour during conference!! We need to be pretty spontaneous here. The joys of temple square!
We watched Meet the Mormons after General Conference was over last night. That was my second time seeing it, and man is it such a great movie! I am so excited for it to come out in Theaters across America. I encourage all of you to go see it and take friends to see it as well. It touches on many main points of what we believe in a members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Pday is the most stressful day of the week. Enough said. But we were at Walmart today when we met a man in the food section. He mentioned how he got out of jail just a little while ago but that he is trying his best to be a faithful church goer. He goes to the homeless ward here in SLC and has been to Temple Square before. He expressed to us that he is so happy for second chances and how he is making a come back. The gospel is the best!

Oh, my companion is the best. I just love how sincere and positive she is about everything. What a sweetheart.
Love you all! Don't forget to write me(:

Sister Steenhoek
PS - my roommates and I did Chinese face masks. My roommates are the cutest and they are from Hong Kong(: Fun fact: they are cousins!