Tuesday, February 25, 2014

1º Semana: CCM de México

miércoles, 19 de febrero/ Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Okay the keyboard is kinda weird.  My flights went well! I didn’t sleep well and I can’t figure out the apostrophe thing.  There was an Elder on the flight from Portland to Phoenix and then we met up with 8 other missionaries in Phoenix.  Mexico City is amazing.  Well really really polluted but flying in here was INCREDIBLE.  I can’t believe how big this city is.  All the buildings are so colorful and stuff. Crap I just realized I don’t have my camera cords.  I actually don’t know where they are because I never use them and I always just stick my memory card in the computer. So this is a problem. oops. Anyway I’m here and the other missionaries are fun and my companion’s name is Sister Jill Cole although I have no idea where she is and I haven’t met her yet.  This keyboard feels small. Okay what they don’t tell you about being a missionary is that it feels the same as being a regular person except you can’t do certain things. My Pday is on Tuesday. Bye!


martes, 25 de febrero/ Tuesday, February 25

Hola!!!! Well I’m sure you want to know how daily life is here. Well, the weather is perfect and the Mexican food is great. I love it. Some sisters don’t, but I DOOOO. Yum, yum, yum. Lunch is my favorite meal because traditionally in Mexico it is the biggest meal. It’s so good. Always. Oh I tried a guava fruit the other day. It had lots of tiny seeds; not as good as the juice. BUT ALL THE FRUIT IS SO MUCH BETTER HERE. Seriously idk what it is but it is all perfect and so much sweeter. The apples, cantelope, honeydew, watermelon, raspberries, strawberries, you name it it tastes better in Mexico. But I guess no one cares about that huh, jajajaja (the Spanish way of saying haha is jaja, and it is my favorite thing in the world right now)
Here's my awkward selfie

A picture with my companion (orange shirt) and two of the Hermanas we live with
This is going to be one scattered letter so "lo siento" in advance!

Mi distrito/MY DISTRICT

My district has 10 missionaries, 2 hermanas and 8 elderes, which is really weird I’ve heard, because all the other districts have 4 or 6 hermanas. But i enjoy it. My companion’s name is Hermana Jill Cole from Saint George, Utah.  She is really nice and works hard. Her Spanish has been improving, especially her pronunciation as I’ve been helping her with it. MOM THANKS FOR SPEAKING SPANISH BECAUSE MY TEACHER TOLD ME I SOUND LIKE A MEXICAN. IT WAS AWESOME.

Oh, my teacher is so like happy and adorable. His name is Hermano Vargas and he is 22 from Mexico City. It was funny, the first couple days he told us he could only speak Spanish, and so class was really hard, and then we saw one of his teacher friends and asked him if Hermano Vargas spoke English and he’s like, "oh yeah, way better then me!!”  so that was a surprise, haha, and so now we tease him and he speaks a little more English to us, but not a lot. So class is still hard. We keep getting confused on the assignments were supposed to do in our books.  Yesterday  our  entire district did the wrong one so we had to do the right one really fast. Learning Spanish is coming along.
Okay, right, about my district. My companera, Hermana Cole, is going to Nicaragua Managua North Mission, same as 4 Elders in my district (Elders Wood and Gustin, Elders Dessaur and Bakus) and 3 Elders are going to El Salvador (Elders Flores y Brinkerhoff, y Elder Okasaki) and one Elder, Elder Turnbull, was put in our district last minute because his comp didn’t show up and his mission is back in the states in Georgia, jaja. He sounds like Elder Vanpelt from the ‘Best Two Years’ movie, no joke.  

So, I  had lost my voice the first few days I was here, but when I got it back, I started singing all the time like I always do, and now the Elders sometimes make me sing songs for them or make me sing during study time. Haha they say I have the voice of an angel. Yay! None of them can sing as far as I  can tell, jaja. They are all great, as is Hermana Cole. We have fun. There is one companionship of Elders that talks to much but they’re getting better at it.

HA guess what district I’m in. DISTRICT 12. yep. #hungergames

So our second day here we began teaching an investigator IN SPANISH. IN. SPANISH. SPANISH. NOT ENGLISH. SECOND. DAY. It was stressful but our first two lessons this week went really, really well. Yesterday, not so much, but it was still alright.  I just have this urgency to learn Spanish AHORA nowwwwwww now. We watched a devotional on Sunday about having Christlike attributes and I’m working on that. It also talked about focusing outward and not inward. I realized I was trying to learn Spanish for myself and not to say what God wants me to say to His people in Honduras.  So I changed my focus and it has been better. Except for part of the day yesterday I was really distracted and stuff but by the end of the day I was fine. So many spelling mistakes. Sorry. And sorry I don’t capitalize anything but I’m trying to type fast to say all I wanna say!!!!!!!!!!!!

Please send letters to the mission home in Honduras and not to the Mexico CCM. If you want me to send you my emails directly then email me your address at elizabeth.steele@myldsmail.net.

Mi casa (purple roof woo! all the houses are painted fun colors)

We can only take pictures on P-day and I’m  putting my memory card in Hermana Cole’s camera so I can send you pictures.

Well, we wake up and get ready and we are in our classroom by 7 to study. Then breakfast, then gym, then classes until 12:30 when we eat lunch, then more studying... then dinner, then more studying, and finally planning. thats basically my whole day.  woo

I’m doing great, btw. The weather is so perfect here right now and I can’t believe how big and beautiful this city is. La Ciudad de México. Love it.

Mexico City looking outside the CCM (MTC in Spanish is CCM)

I love my district and my branch and this place. Can’t wait to go to Honduras.

Until next week,
Love,  Hermana Steele

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Farewell Talk

I report on Wednesday to serve in the Honduras Tegucigalpa mission.  The story of how I decided to go on a mission right now has lots of tiny details, the most important of which are the examples I have had in my life.  My parents have both served missions, I have a cousin on a mission right now and one who just returned home, and I have a lot of friends out on missions... I have a lot of people I can look up to to recognize that going on a mission would be the right decision for me.

 I have a very strong testimony of the power of a good example.  I believe that by trying to be a good example to someone, you are a light in their life.  I love that in the darkest room, if there is just a tiny speck of light, you will see it. 

Someone with the light of Christ can brighten up a room with their happiness in knowing that Jesus is our Savior and his Atonement was for us. 

The light of Christ [is] another source of inspiration [in addition to the Holy Ghost], which each of us possesses in common with all other members of the human family. If we know about the Light of Christ, we will understand that there is something inside all of us, and we can appeal to that in our desire to share truth.
The more we know about the Light of Christ, the more we will understand about life and the more we will have a deep love for all mankind. We will be better teachers and missionaries and parents, and better men and women and children. We will have deeper regard for our brothers and sisters in the Church and for those who do not believe and have not yet had conferred upon them the gift of the Holy Ghost. -- President Boyd K Packer

There have been so many people in my life with the light of Christ that have influenced me to be who I am today.  My parents and siblings have been a big part of me, some members in my ward, even the little 5 year old primary children I got to teach for just 2 weeks while I've been home.  There is just something so special and precious about such a huge testimony being shoved into a tiny tiny body.

I want to talk about the biggest role model I have in my life, my grandma Steele.  Now she passed away almost a year ago, but that hasn't taken away her influence here.  She was my example because she is the strongest woman I will ever know and that is why I look up to her.  Two years ago almost to the day, my grandma took me out to lunch.  At that point, I had no idea what I was doing with my life.  I listed all these options and she listened to me for a while, but then she told me “you know what Elizabeth, you just need to make a decision.  Those are all good options, just pick one!”  And I don't remember if I did “pick one” or not about whatever we were talking about, but that has stuck with me and although I didn't know it yet, it would later influence my decision to serve a mission.

Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21. -Thomas S Monson
I had the very unique opportunity to be 18 years old at BYU when the mission age was changed.  It was amazing to be around all the women who suddenly could go on a mission in a month, or tomorrow, or immediately.  This was the first time I started to seriously consider a mission.  Time went on and I went back and forth a lot between yes and no.  But ultimately after my freshman year ended last April, the decision was “sort of yes.”  I had prayed a lot about it, and I didn't get anything! I didn’t get any answer, nothing, which was really hard for me, because this was something I needed to know!

My second year at BYU began this last fall and in New Testament class, my professor one day was explaining something.  He was saying, yes, you need to pray about the righteous choices in your life, like missions or marriage, but sometimes you need to make a decision on your own, and those “sometimes” are different for everyone. 

Well I went about that day thinking a lot about this.  I hadn't received an answer about serving a mission, so was this something I needed to move forward with on my own? Did I need to take the first steps in the dark and wait for confirmation? And then I heard my grandma's voice telling me to just make a decision!  And I figured that going on a mission would be a good decision, so I chose it, and here I AM. 

Now I started my papers and decided to go after that semester, but I was still not sure if this was the right thing. I had not received any confirmation, but at least I was doing something and not sitting around thinking about it. 

I figured Heavenly Father would stop me if he needed me at home.  I didn't receive confirmation that this is what I should be doing for quite a while.  It wasn’t until I had my unopened call in my hands that I received a very personal spiritual confirmation that this is what I was supposed to be doing.

In telling you that very short version of my missionary story, I hope that at least one of the youth in this stake will hear me.  My way of realizing I needed to serve a mission is really unique, and chances are yours will be too.  You just need to know that not everyone receives spiritual prompting and confirmation to serve a mission in the same way.  You can't give up when you haven't received an answer.  “Going on a mission” is not something you can say no to on your own.  You have to ask Heavenly Father if it is the right thing for you.  It does not matter if you don't want to go.  My mom told me she was upset when she got her confirmation that she needed to serve a mission.   If Heavenly Father wants you to go, then you will.  I've noticed soooooo many times in my life that if I'm going this way and Heavenly Father wants me going that way, somehow I will find myself on the path he wants me to be on. 

Please look for that in your own lives.  Life a worthy life so when the confirmation comes, you can serve right when the Lord and his people need you, without unnecessary trouble and pain.  If you don't know how to do that, strive to be an example.  Think of the Lord and think of others before you think of yourself.  I have found that trying to be a good example is what has kept me on the right path the most.  I know that there is a youth here that needs to hear this. Trying to be a good example is what has kept me on the right path the most.  Look at your siblings.  Look at your friends.  Look at the youth and primary children in your own ward.  You want them to have happy lives, so become someone they can look up to in order to grow into their divine potential.  “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity”

Alma 28:14 And thus we see the great call of adiligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing—sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the blight of Christ unto life.

A roommate wrote me a letter when I left Provo.  In it she said something very special to me.  She said “I am honestly so filled with sadness that you're leaving, but I also know that you need to go.  The people in Honduras need you, and you need them.”

It's true.  I need them, and some of them need me.  I don't know why yet but that's all part of the adventure.  I encourage every single one of you youth to prepare to serve a mission.  If you're not supposed to, Heavenly Father will tell you.  But if you need to, you have to be prepared to go.  Someone needs to hear your voice.

Hasta la Vista! - &Email and Address Information

This is the only post I'll make on my own!  My mom has done and will do everything else.  She will post all or parts of my weekly updates home for anyone to read what I'm up to.  I hope that I will hear from YOU and what you are up to in life! I can't wait to be serving in Honduras in 6 short weeks, after my training in Mexico which begins TOMORROW!  Ah!

If you want to write me, my address in Mexico (until April 2, so plan your letters accordingly!! and, NO packages) is: 

Hermana Elizabeth Anne Steele 
Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission 
Mexico Missionary Training Center 
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A Madero 
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

my address while I'm in Honduras (after April 2) is: 

Hermana Elizabeth Anne Steele
Honduras Tegucigalpa Mission
Colonia Florencia Norte, Contiguo a Sears 
Entre boulevar Suyapa y PriceSmart
Edificio Plaza America, 3er Piso
Apartado Postal 556 o 3539
Tegucigalpa M.D.C. HONDURAS C.A.

My email is elizabeth.steele@myldsmail.net and I check it once a week.

I lied about the "this will be the only post I make on my own thing" I will make one more right now.  I've decided to post the talk I gave this last Sunday as a farewell.  

LOVE ME!!!! write me and stuff!! I want to hear about your lives since you all have such a big window into mine ;) but really you must loves me! adios!!

love, Hermana Steele

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Goodbyes...

to Chase...

to BYU, choir, and friends...

And to friends and family from home...

The Call...

Friends at BYU...

Skyping friends...
More at Parents' house!

Teguci...... whaaaaht?