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Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas on Temple Square 2014

Mostafa is SO great!! Two days ago, he took the initiative to ride the bus to church just 
to take a look at it. He walked in, and no one was there. He found a Gospel Principles 
book and read it for 2 hours in the church building. For my DC North friends, this was 
at the Chevy Chase Chapel. Well we called him last night on Christmas, and we 
started teaching the Plan of Salvation. We asked him what he knew about the 
Pre-Earth life, and he told us all about it from what he had learned in the Gospel 
Principles book! Incredible!! He is loving the Book of Mormon as well. He is starting
his conversion process. He told us he knew it was a sin that he hadn't been to 
church the past 3 weeks, and he wants to repent and go this Sunday.

So Temple Square is a blessing for many reasons. But one reason is that sisters are 
in such a close proximity from one another. I taught an English class for 4 international 
sisters the other day, and it was so fun! We are going to have a combined language 
study from now on.

We had a white Christmas! Pictures attached!

So we saw this guy was walking his leashed cat around Temple Square 
showing him the Christmas lights. Get this: He was living across the street 
from Adam-Ondi-Ahman at the time, and one stormy night he was bringing 
groceries into his house when this stray cat ran in! He has kept him ever 

A few nights ago, we walked by this guy that had a big art folder. For those of 
you who know me, you know I love art. We asked why he was here, and he told 
us to serve others! Don gave us 2 of his drawings of Joseph Smith and also of 
the Christus Statue. We are going to call his wife in a few weeks and teach her 
more about her divine nature. She has been in and out of the hospital for weeks, 
and her self-esteem is quite low because of her poor health and the way she 
looks because of her health.

We had a Christmas Devotional yesterday, and my favorite part was the recitation 
of the Living Christ at the end. Our mission president recited the first 2 paragraphs 
at the start, but then random sister missionaries in the audience would stand up 
one-by-one and each recite a paragraph. The Spirit in the room was tangible. If 
you haven't read the Living Christ document, here is a link to read it:

We met a family that came to Salt Lake for Christmas to give service to a hospital 
instead of celebrating with presents. How beautiful!

I was able to call home! So fun that the family is almost all together again.
For Christmas, we were also able to attend Music and the Spoken Word this 
past Sunday! It was just beautiful listening to the Choir sing the traditional 
Christmas Hymns.

We met this bagpipe guy that plays LDS hymns right outside Temple Square. He is 
so cool! He is a member. He learned a few years ago that he has Scottish ancestry 
and decided to learn to play the pipes 5 years ago.

I want to end my weekly email with a few quotes that really touched me this week:

~"When we deny our ability to change, we are denying the atonement."
~"Learning is taking a step closer to Jesus Christ." (Repentance=A Change of 
thoughts, habits, and actions)
~"We are endowed to be healers."

Love you all! Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Notes from December 19, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Notes from December 12th

Transfers happened just a few days ago, and my fate is.... everything is exactly the same! I am still training Sister Chiu (as expected) and we live in the same apartment and are still on the Square for our assignment. This is my last transfer! Woah has time flown by. Yet, SO much has happened. I am very grateful for all the experiences I have been able to have thus far.

Sister Steenhoek and 10 other Sister Missionaries from around the world start tours from the Conference Center
I announced last Sunday! For those of you who aren't familiar with announcing, it is where 12 sisters who speak various languages will tell a large crowd of people that they can take a tour from us in their native language. Pictures attached!

Two of our investigators have baptismal dates! Mostafa and Patricia. We are super excited. Patricia makes us particularly excited because we actually met her on chat last week. She had mentioned that she is an older woman who doesn't have family left and is lonely. She wanted senior couple missionaries to visit her and pray with her. We ended up teaching her and sending missionaries over, and we called and she is already being integrated into her local congregation in Pennsylvania. The church is true!! (:

We are just SO lucky. Sister Chiu and I met President Eyring!! So how it happened. On transfer day, the sisters sign up for different assignments and create their own schedules for that day. It actually works out well. Well we signed up for a certain desk assignment at 3pm. When we arrive there, we find out that the building is closed and security is standing by the doors. They inform us that a member of the first presidency of the Church will be meeting with our mission president to talk about something in the visitor's center. We were able to shake his hand when he passed by us and asked us where we are from. It was the coolest experience! 

The Christmas Devotional was so good! If you haven't watched it, I highly suggest doing so. Even though the talks had the usual theme of the birth of our savior, they all were so unique and made me think quite a bit.
We met a man named Brandon who is preparing to serve a mission. When thinking of mission advice to give him, I was going to share my usual, "Read the Book of Mormon," or "Study good scripture references that you could refer to during lessons," but instead I said something that I'd never said before. I told him to think about the experiences he is having or has had so that he can share them with people on his mission. I told him that people he will teach are not hoping that missionaries are perfect, but they are actually hoping that missionaries are similar to them: not perfect! He ended up sharing an experience he recently had where he had applied the redeeming power of the atonement. I love that Heavenly Father allows us to use the gift of the Holy Ghost to discern others' needs. 

"Shun Don Qui Luh!!" I tell Chinese people that when I see them. It means Merry Christmas! I also know how to say, "My name is Sister Steenhoek" and "I am from Texas." (:
We had pizza day!!! Our entire mission was able to get pizza because we had the highest number of baptisms that the mission has ever seen in this past transfer! Woah! 159 souls had entered into the waters of baptism by learning from a sister on Temple Square. Very cool.

Well, love you all! Send me an email, I'd love to hear from you!(:

Sister Steenhoek

Sister Atchu from India, Angelique & Sister Chiu

Sing and Smile - Notes From 5 December, 2014