Sunday, March 30, 2014

6th week, more or less... Last email before leaving Mexico

Real quick email. 

 Thank you Barb Dalling for your card and Dennis for your dearelder! Thank you also to Natalie, Becca, and Kirsten too, I got your dear elders as well :) thank you!!!
I leave the CCM at 5:30 am on Monday for the airport. Flight leaves at 10:30

Funny thing that happened, Elder Backus was talking about the Atonement in Spanish.  All of a sudden he said something like "nosotros podemos llegar a ser limpio por medio de el Atonement. Atonement.  ...El Atonement?? ......LA EXPIACION!!" hahaha it was hilarious.  Spanish, guys. (hard to get if you don't know Spanish I suppose! :) ~mom)

Today Elder Flores said "I just dont need anything else besides this gospel." And I could not agree more.  This gospel is all I need.  I could lose everything and still be happy through this gospel.  

I LOVE MY TEACHERS!! They have been so incredible!!!

Cant wait to get to Honduras. Talk to you later, I gotta go find out how to say "I'm lost" in Spanish.

love, h.steele 

pictures: there's a picture of me and H Cole and our wonderful teachers and also a picture of me and the two Latino elders that always ask for my CD and also one in front of the CCM sign

I got a cool hymn book cover

Queridos misioneros del distrito 12A:
I hope you are doing well and "HAPPY" in your mission field! I send you the pictures of your good district 12A.
Remember to love and serve all the people in every opportunity. Invite everyone to come to Christ. Do your best and leave the Lord the rest!
Les quiero mucho y oro por ustedes todos los días. Que el Señor les bendiga siempre a ustedes y a sus familias.
With Love,
Pres. Machado

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

5º Semana: CCM de México - Earthquake sirens…

My beautiful friend Hermana Thatcher who left for her mission in Osorno Chile last night.

Earthquake sirens…

...and we all had to leave the classrooms and go outside to the little earthquake safety zones (I think this was last Wednesday).  I was excited. But of course, no earthquake.  The sirens actually went off again about 10 minutes ago too. But again were fine. 

Roommate selfies this morning

So if you remember from my last letter, I sang a solo for the entire MTC last Tuesday.  I think right now there are only about 400 missionaries here and staff (summer it will be up to 1200!). It went really well and even today at lunch (a week later!!) I had someone tell me that I did an amazing job. 
 I am thankful for this talent that the Lord has blessed me with, and I am so thankful for this opportunity to share it with others! Each week, two zones are in the choir and they sing.  That’s why I sung last week, it was my zones turn, and Hermana Jewell (choir director) gave me a nice solo.  Anyway so Sunday night all of a sudden I’m approached by an elder in another zone, a zone that is singing tonight at the devotional, and told (not asked!!) that I was singing with them at the devotional on Tuesday (now tonight) since they needed more women and everyone volunteered me.  So I’m singing again tonight.  
Elder Rodriguez left for his Mexico mission last week
So when we went outside for that earthquake thing, I met the Latino Elders that had gotten to the MTC last Tuesday just in time to hear me sing at the devotional.  Annnnd they asked me for my CD.  En serio jaja. I died laughing.  I was like "no! no tengo un CD!!" and they still bug me every single time they see me for my CD haha.  It’s so funny.  

Oh, Thursday I woke up with a migraine. So that was awful. I was out all day. I kept going back to class but my teachers kept sending me home.  So Hermana Cole and I chilled at home.  I slept a lot that day.
Picture with friends in the cafeteria

I guess this week wasn’t toooooo eventful.  The last district in our zone left so we are all alone right now.  A new district is coming in on Wednesday though.  Hermana Cole and I do not get to be sister trainer leaders since were leaving in a week, and I’m pretty sad about that.  But maybe in the mission field!!

The second week I was here, I remember my friend Hermana Thatcher saying that this mission is not the best year and a half of our lives, but the best FOR our lives.  It’s so true. I know that I will have many more amazing years of my life once I get home.  But I know that these will bless my life more than anything else I will do.  I am here to live up to my potential and grow into someone I didn’t know I could be. BOOM. I have so much potential that I need to grasp and I know that this is going to help me with that.  I am going to work my absolute hardest.  Why not? Im here anyway, you know.  Why would I not be the best missionary I can be.  I hope to always apply that to my life when I come home, too.  Wherever I am, I hope that I will always do my best and live up to my full potential in that moment.  I want my life to matter!

My awesome hermana friends Hermana Richins and Hermana Terranova (with Hermana Simmons in the backgroud, my roommmate)
I love my district.  Really, they are all great.  You really get to know people when you spend all day with them. Hermana Cole is so nice to everyone and has lots of love to give. Elder Okazaki seems to always think and care for others before himself, he loves to share life lessons with us.  Elder Turnbull has amazing Spanish (and singing voice) and works so hard all the time.  Elder Flores always has a huge smile on his face and a laugh that can cure anything and he brightens up everyones day.  Elder Brinkerhoff has a very smart mind, powerful testimony, and he is a leader. Elder Wood has so many cool stories to tell and he has a great testimony of this church.  Elder Gustin is a wonderful district leader and when he shares spiritual thoughts with us, I can tell he is completely led by the spirit and he says some powerful words. Elder Backus is strong in every way and his humor helps me get through the day. Elder Dessauer has an amazing spirit about him and I know he will go far in his mission.  Everyone in my district is being led by the spirit.  You know, I look at the things I wrote for each of them and I feel like they all apply to each individual as well. They are all SO INCREDIBLE.  Without even one of them, I don’t think my time here would have felt complete. As I move into this last week in the CCM in Mexico, I hope to work hard and learn as much as I can.  These incredible people have helped me through it and I am so sad that I will not have the chance to serve with any of them in Honduras.  Hopefully I will see them all again someday. They have changed my perspective, my life, and my testimony, all for the better.

I might be emailing on Monday next week, since I am leaving Mexico either Monday or Tuesday. This last week is going to be incredible. I miss you all. KEEP ME UPDATED ON YOUR LIFE!!

I love you all so much!
love, h.steele

There was no earthquake and I was sad. I sang for the entire MTC last Tuesday and people loved it and some Latino Elders keep asking me for "my CD." This mission is going to bless my life so much.  It will be the best year and a half FOR my life.  I hope that I can live up to my full potential as a missionary here and then live up to my full potential the rest of my life. I LOVE MY DISTRICT.
My roommates H.Simmons and H.Braithwaite - h simmons dad sent us DONUTS!!!

***************I’m headin out...*****************
I leave the CCM Monday morning.  I might not get to email at all.  If I was leaving Tuesday then I could email on Monday night during our language computer program.  We don’t have that Sunday so I don’t think I will be able to email next week, we will see if they let me on Saturday night or when I get to Honduras. 
My flight leaves the Mexico airport at 10:36 and flies to an airport in San Pedro Sula in Honduras, then I have a three and a half hour layover there (WHAT AM I GOING TO DO) and then I will arrive in Tegucigalpa at 5:35 pm on Monday.  My first flight is 2.5 hours and my second is only 50 minutes!

I am really sad I’m leaving Monday.  Elder Turnbull and I are the only ones.  He is going back to the states and well you know where I’m going.  My ENTIRE DISTRICT except for us is not leaving until Tuesday morning and they are all on the SAME FLIGHT.  I’m really sad about this.  I almost started crying when I got my travel info. But..... está bien. whatever haha. SUCH SADNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!!  

Pray that I don’t get lost or miss my flights
or that my luggage is overweight
or I GET LOST because I can’t speak Spanish
SUCH WORRY. estoy preocupada.
pic from mom :)
Well I will talk to you soon! Not sure when! WOO! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHASE!!

love h steele

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A message from some people from home!

Brother and Sister Steele,
We're also in the Oregon City stake and are serving at the CCM in Mexico City. Sister Steele is awesome! Her Spanish is impressive as is her lovely voice.  Best of all she is positive and radiates the joy of the gospel.  We'll try to send another photo.
Love, Elder y Hermana Gill
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
This made me (mom) very happy!! :)

4º Semana: CCM de México

We escaped the CCM…

...and went to the temple!!

A sweet picture I took of the temple It’s closed for a year and a half though so we couldn’t go inside. But the Visitors’ Center was the most legit thing ever. It was so cool. And the Mexico City temple was so beautiful from the outside so it’s all fine.


The other picture is my wonderful district. I love all of them so much.  I get to be with these incredible people almost every waking hour of the day so its a dang good thing I like them!

The next picture is of my zone, one district left yesterday, so we will get a new one tomorrow and then next week another will leave and then the week after that WE LEAVE! WOO! Anyway it was so great to get out of the CCM today.
My zone!!!!!!

I got some really cool scripture cases. I also met an Elder who is serving in Mexico City South and he is from Honduras. He was so little!!! He was so excited that I am going to his home.  He was like "AHH YOU COULD SERVE IN MY WARD!!" but in Spanish of course. It was cute. Also fun fact, Blockbuster is here in Mexico and apparently business is boomin. On the way home from the temple, we stopped the bus to buy bananas.  Like 8 bananas for 10 pesos. DIEZ PESOS!!! They were so GOOD. best bananas ever.  People are selling stuff in the streets all over the place.
My new scripture cases I got at a little store called Zarahemla by the temple, hahahahahah LOVE IT

Something that was very humbling was seeing a woman sweeping the streets with a broom made of sticks.

I forgot to tell you last week that I gave a talk in sacrament meeting.  I got complimented a lot on my Spanish.  It was on the Atonement, all in Espanol!! sorry, the keyboard wont let me do special characters in gmail so I cant spell that right.  I also forgot to tell you all that a few weeks ago I told a Latino elder that I was going to Honduras and literally he laughed and said "oh really?!?!" but he didn’t speak enough english to let me know why haha. We actually became friends a little bit, he went to his mission somewhere else in Mexico yesterday.  I LOVE LATINOS

So there’s explosions that go off all the time (yeah we hear a few gunshots too), and every time we hear one we pretend its the cannon from the Hunger Games and we say "oh, another missionary sent home..." it’s pretty funny.

So the other day "Come Thou Fount" was stuck in my head and I was singing it in the hall of our classroom building.  Later when we were walking home for the night I was still singing it when we met up with two of our hermana friends (Hermana Terranova and Hermana Richins) and they were like WHAT, THAT WAS YOU?? and called to their Elders to tell them I was the one they heard.  I guess one of the elders left his classroom to search for me when he heard me singing.  So now I sing for their district every time I go in to say hi to my friends because all the Elders yell at me until I sing that Hobbit song for them. lol.

Speaking of singing, I taught some of the elders in my district last night how to sing Come Thou Fount. It was really fun. We were singing for like an hour. And then I found out Elder Turnbull can sing really well but he’s never sung before.  So he taught me the song Savior, Redeemer of My Soul and we sang that for awhile too.  After long days sometimes the Elders make me sing for them.  Its really funny but you know I enjoy it, lol.

OH BEFORE I FORGET apparently someone jumped the fence into the CCM two nights ago hahahahahahahaha. idk how thats possible. Or why someone would want to break IN here.

Tonight I have a solo for all the MTC. Literally! My zone and another zone are singing Joseph Smith’s First Prayer, and Hermana Jewell (the choir director) knows I sing so she is having me sing the 4th verse by myself until the chorus and then after the chorus I end the song by repeating the last line I think a capella.  Anyway that’s tonight! Pray that I won’t yell too loudly in volleyball this afternoon, haha.

Little bit about daily life: I study, eat, have class, teach a fake investigator, eat, study, teach a fake investigator, have class, eat, go learn Spanish on the computer, study, plan, go home and write in my journal, sleep. With lots of prayers like in between all of those. We pray a lot. Tuesdays we have devotionals in the evening; Sundays we go to church and a couple devotionals by important people here and we also watch a church movie every Sunday night, and after the movie there is a slideshow with the pictures of the districts that are leaving and everyone sings "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" SO HEART WRENCHING. I’m gonna bawl when I leave.

Well I gotta go. HASTA MARTES

con amor, hermana steele

classroom selfies                                                                                                   me and E. Brinkerhoff, lol
Andnnndnndnd THIS CITY IS HUGE

More pictures:

On the bus to Mexico City Temple

Mom put this in the blog, it’s so interesting. The pole you see? Mexico City is sinking.  That is how much the city has sunk in 31 years. The top of that pole used to be at ground level. The city is sinking around it. The temple is fine because the foundation is supported all the way to bedrock.

Elder Brinkerhoff and Elder Flores are like some of my greatest friends here.

My Sister Trainer Leaders who left yesterday, both going to Oklahoma for their missions.

Me and my cute friend Hermana Mikael Thatcher from Utah and our zone leader Elder Ririe (who left today) photobombing us baha

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

3º Semana: CCM de México

I drew a picture of our district jajajaja (it is Elder Flores´s birthday today and I put it in his card so I thought I would take a picture to preserve it heh heh)
This is  Hermana Cole and I with this weird statue head thing here

Me before our weekly volleyball game

I went on a killing spree...

...killing mosquitoes in our house

For 3 nights, my roommates and I were devoured. I have no idea how many bites I have but its a lot. The mosquitoes would fly by our ears and Sunday night I was up most of the night trying to hide from them. So when I got home yesterday I went crazy and killed them dead. And we slept so good last night.
I hate mosquitoes.
I’m itchy.

Okay that made it sound like there were a swarm in our room.  
There were really only two.  
But it was awful anyways.

Hermana Steel and I
There is another Sister Steel (no e at the end) here at the CCM! She is awesome! We like to talk about how awesome our last name is. Its pretty great. We took a picture this morning.

Oh, right, the housing thing. We got into a tiny room in that little casa.  Our shower and sink were broken so we had to get them fixed so we didn’t have a shower for 2 days (don’t worry we used some friends’ showers). It was also really dirty in there so we had to clean.  But I like our tiny room because were all so close anyway.

Last Wednesday (every Wednesday we have a service project, basically some chores haha) we folded a bunch of sheets.  I folded fitted sheets almost the whole time with the other Hermanas in my zone (the Elders folded the easy stuff jaja).  It was funny because the little Hispanic man who was the supervisor told me (in Spanish of course so it took awhile for me to get what he was saying) that I was really talented at folding the sheets haha "¡¡muy rapido rapido!!" he said.  It was really silly.  Also they had Disney songs blasting in Spanish the whole time so that was super fun to sing along to.

My district tells me I sing like Sleeping Beauty and Anastasia.

Elder Brinkerhoff one morning last week walked into the classroom and pointed at me and sang real loudly "SINCE YOU BEEN GOOONE" so I pointed back and replied with "I CAN BREATHE FOR THE FIRST TIME!" and now we do that all the time to each other.
Just a fun one...yep

I go play foosball after dinner with Elder Backus and sometimes Hermana Cole and Elder Dessauer and Elder Flores play too.  It’s so intense and fun.  We play with 3 balls to keep it interesting. The other day a worker dude came out and asked if everything was okay. hahahahahahaha I was so excited that I won that I accidentally on purpose high fived the wall really hard.  I think the guy was scared.

Yesterday we got to teach an inactive member of our church (Samantha, 17) and a young man who was just baptized Sunday (Diego, 18).  It was so hard to understand what they were saying.  But I really felt the spirit there.  They, and another girl who I didn’t teach, were taught by 3 sets of missionaries from our district.  They said that all three of them now want to serve missions.  BOOM. MISSIONARY WORK. It was so awesome.  I loved talking so Sam and Diego.  Their hearts are so special.  

Heavenly Father is constantly blessing me with patience.  Okay so I want everyone to read this talk if they have time.

Now I actually haven’t read it since I saw it in November.  All I remember is that it was amazing.  I was thinking about it today and I don’t remember anything the guy said, but I remember that it was a very special devotional to me and I am going to read it again after I send this email.  I hope someone will benefit from it.

Mom said to write more about my daily life but I don’t have time so see you next week!
Notes from mom in blue… She did answer some of my questions.  Reluctantly, of course!
Who is the MTC president? mtc pres is Presidente Pratt
Is there a choir? yes choir and im auditioning for it on friday.
Do you get to go to the Mexico City Temple? yes temple in our 5th week but it is closed for 18 MONTHS (wat) so we cant go in. but we are going to the visitors center.
Me and my first two letters at the MTC! One from mom and one from Chase


Love always,
Hermana Steele