Monday, December 26, 2016

Food, Food, and more food for Christmas

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas yesterday!  

Not much to report this week.  The missionary work is always a little hard during Christmas time, but we have spent a lot of time with members and their families.

Something fun on our way to the mission home for the Christmas celebration was that as a zone we all sang Christmas Songs in the metro!  It was fun to spread the holiday spirit.  A lot of people just stared at us but others joined in!  

We ate a lot of food this week, probably more than in my entire life!
We had our branch Christmas dinner, then we had our Mission Christmas Lunch, then we had our Christmas Eve dinner, (well 2 because we were invited to 2 houses), and then Christmas Lunch again!

Typical Christmas dinner
I am telling you lots and lots of food here.  Their Christmas is like our Thanksgiving.  But it was nice to be with other families and celebrate this Christmas Season!  It is a beautiful time to reflect on our Savior, Jesus Christ and His life!

Well I will attach a couple of pictures and I hope you all have a great week!

Love,

Hermana Steed




Christmas Picture

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Have a very Merry Christmas

One of my favorite places in Yamasa, pictures do not do it justice
Hello everyone,

First off I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas this Sunday!

Not much has happened this week.  During christmas the missionary work is a little harder because a lot of people are gone and with their families, but we continue to contact and visit our investigators and visit members.

One fun experience this week was we went contacting and a lady gave us what they call naranja dulce.  So orange candy.  Well it was pretty terrible.  It is orange peel that is softened and in this gel thing.  She gave us so much of it, and sadly I had to gag it down.  I guess it is a really popular thing here, I felt bad but I did eat it all because it is nice that people give us stuff but I hope to not have to eat it again.  Haha!
This is a nicer home here, a lot of
people paint their homes bright colors

This past week was my 3 month mark in the mission- CRAZY!!  Time is flying.  Only 15 months left in the mission.  We have a lot of work to do here in Yamasa and continue to work hard!

Thanks for all your love and support!  Have a wonderful Christmas Day!

Love, 
Hermana Steed


A lot of homes here are just left undone, so this is common.








Monday, December 12, 2016

Beginning of Transfer 2

Nothing much to report this week.  But it was the beginning of my second transfer with my new companion Hermana Chamu.  She is from la Estado de Mexico, Mexico.  She is 22 years old and is the only child in her family.  She attended the university for 3 years previous to the mission and is studying law.  She does understand some English she just has a hard time speaking it.  So pretty much we are helping each other out!  It is difficult at times, but we get by!
Hermana Chamu and I

Right now we are trying to find more investigators, so we have been asking for references and contacting quite a bit.  So lots of good things to come.  We did contact someone yesterday that his friend from the capital gave him a Book of Mormon so we are going to start teaching him!

This week we had a stake activity where we sang and watched Church Christmas videos and we also got permission to watch the First Presidency Christmas Devotional.  It was really good, well what I could understand anyway!  Haha.

But things are good here and I love the Christmas season, even if I do not have the snow.  The Christmas season is a wonderful time to feel peace and reflect on our Saviors life!  Some of my favorite scriptures on peace are: John 14:26-27 and John 16:33.  I encourage you to read them!

Well I hope you all have a great week and continue to have a wonderful Christmas season!  Love you all!

Best wishes, 
Hermana Steed

This morning when we were about to leave we saw this large spider with her baby sack thing (I do not know what that is called), but anyway my companion had to make it leave with this stick and I ran into the house screaming because it almost came into the house!  I do not like spiders and spiders are large here!  Haha fun times! 








Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Transfer 1 and December already?

Avocados in the Dominican Republic
are huge and quite tasty!
Well I have completed my first transfer in the mission field.  We found out Saturday night what the transfers were.  I will be staying in Yamasa and my mission mom will be transfered to Hainamosa Campo.  So I will be getting a new companion tomorrow!  Her name is Hermana Chamu and she is from Mexico, and yes you are right, she speaks no English!

I am very nervous and I know that it will be hard the first couple of weeks, but I know I can do it and I know I need it for my spanish to improve.  But I do know that the Lord has confidence in me and I know I can do it with His help, so here we go!  No more english!

This week was great!  The Garcia Family finally came to church so they are starting to progress and the baptism of the kids should be sometime this month, but we are just working with them, but also being patient with the Lords timing.
Recent convert kids, Jorky and Jorkailes

We also had our mission tour with Elder Zivic from the Quorum of the Seventy.  It was really great he talked to us about how we should not just focus on baptisms but also retention, reactivation, and church attendence.  So we are really going to work on that because right now the branch here in Yamasa is struggling with that.
We drank a lot of fruit juice this week.  We keep having people just give us juice and it has been wonderful.  The juices here are amazing, they have so many different fruits here.  One of my favorite juices is chinola.  I have no idea how to explain it so sorry!

So as I have said before there are chickens every where here.  They just wander the streets, and yes people do kill them and eat them, but the other day I saw a guy driving and in one of his hands he was holding a chicken.  I just love these people.  When we go contacting and we talk to people there are always chickens and roosters just wandering into peoples houses.  It is really fun!
Family of Lesandra and Yorddan

Anyway a great week in the mission!  I hope you are all enjoying the snow and the Christmas season!  I am here enjoying the sun and rain and wonderful extreme humidity!  I wish you all the best!

Love,
Hermana Steed








Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 5 in the field!!

Hello everyone,
 
I hope you all had a great thanksgiving!

Updates for this week include me taking my first bucket shower!  You have not lived in the Dominican Republic until you have taken a bucket shower so check that off the list!

For Thanksgiving we made brownies at our Hermana Leaders house.  The ovens here are different so we didn’t really know what temperature it was at so the brownies never got really cooked before we had to go to bed so it was kind of like brownie soup!  Yummy!

Friday we went to the temple with a couple of zones.  We woke up at 4:30 to go to the temple and it was marvelous!  It was such a fun day.  On the way back though we ran into some obstacles.  The buses back to Yamasa stop around 6:30 and we got to the bus stop around 6 and no bus came.  But then a guy came and told us to catch another bus to go a different way.  We were with some other people so we did as we were told so we could get back.  Anyway we got on this bus and traffic was so so bad and we ended up being on a bus for 3 hours instead of the usual 45 minutes, but one of the girls we were with we contacted.  Her name is Anabel and she seemed really interested so we are going to visit her tomorrow!  

We also had investigators finally come to church!  Antonio and Chamil.  They are friends and have some really good questions.  Chamil questions religion a little bit because he thinks they are to control people, but we have been focusing on agency and the blessings that come from choosing the right and he seems to really enjoy it.  They both really enjoyed church and I am really excited to see them progress.

The Garcia family did not come to church and we were devastated so we went there later that day and found out that they really didn’t have an excuse not to come so we had a lesson on the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy and partaking of the sacrament.  As of right now we have a date for the 3 kids for the middle of December.  We are hoping for this day because we have invited them to be baptized so many times, but hopefully now they understand the importance of going to church!

We also got to watch the Christmas video that the church put out as a member showed it to us.  It is AMAZING!!!  I encourage you all to watch it.  It shows how Christ lived His life and how we can do Christ like things today!  Watch it!!

The Dominican Republic is awesome sometimes interesting but awesome.  Cultural fact of the day is that people preach in all sorts of places.  People come onto the bus or the metro and just start to preach.  This morning some guy got on his roof and started preaching through a megaphone. I guess they beat us to it!  I am enjoying my mission!

Spiritual thought is read Alma 34:38.  Just because thanksgiving is over doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give thanks every day!

Love you all, 
Hermana Steed






Monday, November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Hola Familia y Amigos!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving this week.  I will be enjoying my rice, chicken, plantains, and avacado. It is pretty much the same right?

This week went well and of course had its ups and downs, but the work is moving forward.

We had a funny experience with Familia Garcia as they were telling us about this drink that they loved when they went to the U.S. so they gave us some and it turned out to be the powder lemonade that you mix with water!  It was so yummy and refreshing and reminded me of home.  It is funny to me that they loved it so much because they have amazing juices here that are fresh!  Haha it cracked me up!

This week was really hot and did not rain for a long time, which is unusual here, but on Saturday it finally rained and has been feeling so good the last few days.  My companion even put on a cardigan, not me though it feels perfect!

One of the amazing experiences this week was we went contacting and met a women named Lasandra we just introduced her to the gospel and then set up a time to come back a few days later.  We went back and after the lesson she told us this:  The first day you came I was feeling really sad and a lot of things had been going bad, but then you showed up and I saw 2 lights come into my life.  After you left I could not stop smiling and being happy.  I feel so happy when you are here.

Hermana Andersen and I were speechless, what a miracle!  She is so sweet.  She is 18 years old and has a son.  We are teaching here and are excited to see what the Lord has in store.  For a moment I thought I was in a dream, but it is amazing because when we went to contact we thought the street was long, but it was a short dead end, but decided to go down it anyway and see if anyone was home.  She was the last house on the street and I am glad that we kept going!  When we left she said you have to leave already?  She is so cute, my heart is just so happy when we are around her!

Anyway a great week in the mission!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Love,
Hermana Steed

Cows in the jungle! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2 months in the mission!

Hello Family and Friends,

Sorry for not writing yesterday, the whole city did not have power for hours so we got permission to write today!  Thank you always for your emails.  I am doing well, this week went by really fast. I cannot believe it has already been 2 months since I left the United States.  Time has gone by quickly.  I hope all is well with everyone and that you are enjoying the beautiful life we have been given.  We are very blessed to live where we do and to have all the opportunities awaiting us.

I am starting to speak more in lessons and can now teach the

first lesson.  Yesterday I started to understand more than ever before, so I am starting to see my progress.  All in due time I will know the language.

I have been drinking more soda here than I have in years so I am trying to get used to that.  People always give us soda, sometimes I cant finish it so I give it to my companion.  There are also a lot of lizards, dogs, cats, pigs, chickens, and roosters roaming around all the time.  I have had a few dogs follow me in the streets, I get worried about rabbis but have learned to calm down.

This week we have been working with Familia Garcia, more specifically their 3 kids.  The parents have been in the U.S. but returned on Sunday so we are hoping to have their baptism in 2 weeks, but all in the Lords timing.  Their grandma just passed away and she was Catholic so they have their traditional 9 day ceremony, I am not sure what it is called, but we are hoping the family comes to church this Sunday and we are just trying to help them through this hard time.  They are an awesome family that have been prepared by the Lord.

We have been contacting a lot recently and we found a woman named Carman. She is 24 and very receptive and smart.  She always reads the pamphlets and the book of mormon inbetween our visits.  We are excited to work with her and to see what is ahead.

We had 3 less actives that we have been working with come to church this past Sunday so we were really excited about that!  The Lord cares about all his sheep, that is really what I have learned in the short 3 weeks I have been here.

Anyways,  all is well here in the Dominican Republic, yesterday we saw 4 Americans on dirt bikes that are going around the country and they happened to all be LDS.  What are the odds of that, so it was fun to talk with some Americans again, it is sort of weird speaking English so much with other people.

Be grateful for all you have and turn to the Lord when life gets hard.  The Lord is always there extending His hand.

Love,

Hermana Steed

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 2 in the field!

Hola Familia y Amigos!

So not a ton of time today, so I will try to explain investigators quick.

First we have 3 kids, William, Wilfredo, and Wilma.  Their parents just got baptized and we are working to have them baptized in the next couple of weeks.  They are an amazing family, so sweet and ready to follow the gospel.

Anajulia is the girlfriend of the kids uncle.  People dont get married here so that is an issue we always have to address.  She is so cute and always happy.  We had a lesson and she just said I want to be baptized.  So right now we are working on her getting married and finishing the lessons.

View from our back porch
Mabel is amazing.  she has been so prepared to hear the gospel.  She understands the lessons and is reading in the Book of Mormon.  She is so sweet and we are working with her to also get married in the future because she lives with her boyfriend.

We have a couple of other investigators that arent really progressing right now but we will see what happens and I will tell you more later!

We are also working with a less active Karoley.  She is about 20 years old and hasnt been to church in 3 months, but she came yesterday!! Yay!  We are trying to work with less actives and recent converts to keep retention and support for them.

We also stop by a lot of members so that we can ask for references and keep up relationships.  On Sundays we always eat at Rosis house after church.  She is the mom of our ward mission leader. She always makes us a ton of food.  Then on Sundays we usually get another meal at a members house maybe even two.  We eat really well on Sundays I just might explode.  I dont know how I am going to loose weight here on the mission sometimes.  We are treated very well.

So the buses here they just cram us on.  What is usually a 12 passenger van we fit 21 people on. The door on the side is just cut out and wide open, but no one has fallen out yet.  Dont worry we are safe!

Laundry machine
Laundry is interesting here.  they have different machines. We fill up buckets of water and then pour them into the machine with soap.  Then we put our clothes in and it just kind of spins them around.  Then it just sits in the dirty water so pretty gross.  Then we ring them out and put them in this little spinner and it takes the rest of the water out and then we hang them on a clothes line.  Its pretty great!

All is well here in the mission.  The language is hard but it is coming.  Everyone keeps telling me I will learn fast and that for right now my spanish is good.

Thanks for all the love and support!

Love,
Hermana Steed 

Where we live. My desk is in the middle to the right

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 1 in the field!

Hello family and friends! It feels as though it has been forever. But all is well here in the DR. I am in a town called Yamasa. This is pretty much as campo as it gets, but more on that later.


Tuesday morning at 7:30 we left to go to the mission home. Our president picked up the sisters and we drove about 10 minutes to the mission home. First we had interviews. The interviews were different than I thought.  Mostly he just skimmed over my profile and read some parts aloud and he said some things that Bishop and President Parrish said about me. It was good to hear that people have confidence and hope for me.  But it was only about 7 minutes. My president is very kind and very in tune with the Spirit. Everyone has said he is apostle material, which I can totally see. His wife is also very sweet but she is very into health so we get lectured a lot about health and cleaning, which is a good thing. After interviews we went into the chapel and had orientation where president’s wife talked to us. Then President talked to us about success in the mission. Our goal is to have 300 baptisms in one month but there are specific things that we are told to do one is have exact obedience so we do that!  After we had lunch with everyone, then we got our companion assignments.
Hermana Andersen and I

My companions name is Hermana Andersen. She is awesome. She is from Declo, Idaho. But she was born and lived in American Falls until she was 8. She is 19 and has only been in the mission field for 2 transfers!  She didn’t know Spanish before but speaks very well. She was shocked to hear that she was training, but here we are. The Lord must have a lot of confidence in us. After we got all our stuff and got in a taxi to travel to Yamasa.  We are one of the furthest areas away. It took us 2 hours from the mission home.  Once we got out of the city it was a beautiful drive, I am pretty much in the jungle.  

The street we live on.
We live in a little apartment on the second floor, but it’s not really an apartment building more just a house with 2 houses in it one on bottom one on top. The first night we just dropped my bags off and went to work. The past couple of days we have taught lessons and met lots of members. Some people I can understand much better than others and some I can’t understand at all, but it gets better each and every day. Right now I just share scriptures, bare my testimony, and pray. We have a few investigators, but are looking for more so we are having a little more difficult of a time.  We are the only missionaries out here so just us 2 in the house.

The food is the same pretty much everywhere, rice, beans, chicken avocado and plantains. But we make lunch every day and sometimes we do American meals so we can have a break. We don’t usually eat dinner because we just aren’t hungry and sometimes we get snack or meals at members’ homes.

Thursdays are our zone and district meetings. We have to travel an hour to get there but there are actually 2 elders from my mtc district in my zone so it was nice to see a familiar face.  

Sunday we had stake conference so we traveled an hour and then attended the conference.  As a zone we sang as missionaries at the conference so that was fun.

Dominicans are very loud and everyone in Yamasa rides like motors or a version of motorcycles and they are very loud and people blast their music here, but it is a fun environment.  Very few people have cars.

Houses of people vary. Some have nicer homes but no AC anywhere. I am pretty much just getting used to the fact of being wet all the time. It is so hot. It has rained a couple of times and then it cools off. Its funny when it rains because then no one is outside because they get sick easily because their bodies aren’t used to the coldness of the rain, but really it’s not even cold. People here are always outside, they don’t sit in their houses very often because it gets so hot, it’s better to be outside in the open. Everyone just has plastic lawn chairs. Most of the houses here are just cement walls with cement floors and then a vaulted tin roof that was put on. The houses are very small, the people really don’t have much here. I really am blessed to have what I have.

Education is really valued here. There are tons of schools and everyone hangs their diplomas and their kids’ diplomas in their houses. The people are very kind and they have actually been complimenting me on my Spanish and they say I will learn fast. I sure hope so.

Leaving the MTC was hard. I grew so close to the people there, but we are all doing well. The mission is hard, but awesome and I just can’t wait to be able to speak the language, but all in due time!

A spiritual thought to leave you with is Elder Holland said, we are Gods investigators, do not walk away from Him.  Keep being strong and believe in Christ. A scripture to leave you with is Mosiah 7:33- Heavenly Father is always there to help you if you keep his commandments.

Thanks for all you love and support!  I am so grateful for you all.  Love and miss you!

Love,
Hermana Steed
The Dominican Republic Santo Domingo Temple
Picture before we left for the field!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 5!! I'm almost out of the CCM!!

Hello again family and friends,

I am onto the last week here at the CCM.  It has gone by so quickly and I can't believe I'm almost going to be doing actual missionary work!

But this past Friday we all got to go out and be companions for an afternoon with missionaries in the field.  I went and I mostly just stayed in  the city but we went and taught 2 lessons and then contacted.  There was lots of walking and sweating but it was really great!  Here the cheapest transportation is what they call a carrido.  It is a really beat up, small car and people just pile in.  When you would normally fit only 5 people they fit 8 or 9 so that's fun and sweaty, but it gets us around.  Teaching was fun but also overwhelming because I really don't understand what exactly is going on-i get the main point but when the investigator asks questions I have no idea, they speak so fast here.  So I mostly just stuck with praying and bearing my testimony; starting nice and simple.

Some of the Sisters I am with when we
walked around the weird park here
I will be leaving the CCM on Tuesday Oct. 25!

My spiritual thought for this week is actually some quotes from a song that I shared when I taught Relief Society this past Sunday.  The song is called "One Voice" by Dustin Gledhill and here are a couple of lines:

"I am just one voice, but one voice can still be heard
One, but not alone a thousand voices sing
He was just one voice, but one voice that changed the earth
Hermana Howard and I on this weird teeter totter.  She is from
Houston, Texas and will be going to the East Mission as well!
Teaching love and peace to a lost and dreary world."

Every Sister in my room loves this song and I do too!  Even though I am just one voice I can still make an impact but of course only through faith and the Holy Ghost.  This message goes along with a scripture D&C 100:5-6.  I invite you to read it and remember that you all can be missionaries!

Love you all!  Next week hopefully my emails will be a lot more interesting!

Love,
Hermana Steed




Thursday, October 13, 2016

Week 4 in the CCM!!!

Hola Amigos y Familia,

I just want to let you all know that I really am enjoying my time here at the CCM.  I am blessed to be here with the people that I am.  We have all had the opportunity to grow close and go through similar things together.  There are lots of laughs that go around while we work on our language and teaching skills.

Typical lunch: rice, beans, two kinds of
meat, and lots of fruit.
The big event that happened this past week was we went contacting at the local university.  Pretty much we walked to the university our teacher gave each companionship a couple Books of Mormon and some pamphlets on the Restoration then they turned us loose.  We really didn't know what we were doing, but we seemed to hand out quite a few pamphlets and both of our Books of Mormon.  The people were really nice even if they did reject the message, so I'm just glad they are kind people!  After we were there for about an hour and a half our teacher took us to Krispy Kreme.  It was in this one part of town where there are quite a few American food places, which is the nicest part of town.  To cross the street they have traffic cops all around and even if you are 20 feet from a crosswalk they will just jump in from of traffic and let you cross.  The traffic here is insane-no rules!

Many people have asked about the food here.  In the CCM it is pretty good and somewhat normal.  Every day for lunch we pretty much have the same thing: rice, beans, and two types of meat and lots of fruit.  They don't eat a lot of vegetables here-we mostly just have salad.  This week we got to try the famous mangu; which is plantains mashed up with onions on top.  It was actually quite good minus the onions.

As for my spiritual thought of the week we had a devotional by Elder Martinez who is the 2nd counselor in the Caribbean Area Presidency.  He spoke a lot on repentance and the Atonement.  He spoke on his conversion story as well which has a special meaning hearing it as a missionary.  But he quoted Elder Holland when he said, " Missionary work is hard because the Atonement was hard."  This was really profound for a lot of missionaries here and we know it is going to be hard, but Christ did the ultimate hard thing.  The days are great here, but some are harder than others, but we keep pressing on and supporting one another and we pray a lot!

I hope each and every one of you is doing well and I want you all to know that God loves you and wants to hear from you each day!

Love,

Hermana Steed

One of our teachers wife, who is also a teacher came in yesterday and started to
braid all our hair. Her name is Hermana Martinez and she is in the middle

Thursday, October 6, 2016

How is it already October? My 3rd week in the MTC!

Hello everyone, 

Yes I am alive and yes we did survive Hurricane Matthew.  Haiti, the other county on the island was in it's direct path so we just got heavy rain for a few days and some wind.  We are inside most of the day with frosted windows so we don't see much of what goes on outside. On Monday, we had lots of rain and went outside to play volleyball but couldn't see a thing because of all the rain-it was actually really fun!  One of my teachers showed us a video of the coast as he was coming to work and the waves looked incredible.  During the night we heard lots of powerful thunder it sounded so different than any other thunder.  The power has gone out a lot, but we are safe and sound! The most damage we had was leaves falling on the temple grounds that we went to rake up.

Of course we all enjoyed General Conference here.  I hope you all took the opportunity to watch it and if not I hope and encourage you to watch it.  There were so many great talks and lessons to be learned.  Russell M. Nelson talked about always having joy even when we suffer.  So my message this week is to always have JOY!

So this MTC is very small.  At most there are only 50 people here at a time.  Usually there are 2 groups of about 20 and every three weeks one group leaves.  So we had more than half leave on Tuesday, but yesterday we got 19 more.  We have some from North America, New Zealand, and then the majority are from Haiti.

It has been a good week and I am half way done with my training here at the MTC.  Only 3 more weeks until I am out in the field.  

I love you all and I hope you are all doing well.  Enjoy the fall weather for me!

Love,
Hermana Steed

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Week 2 at the CCM

Hello family and friends!

I have made it to week 2 here at the CCM!  Things are going well.  I am getting more accustomed to the strict schedule so time is starting to go faster!  The language continues to progress, but this past week has been a little hard.  The first week is a very steep learning curve so now I don't think I am progressing as fast, but I do understand more and more, the problem is trying to respond!

Friday- We got to leave the compound again! Yipee!! We got to go to the store to buy some things that we needed.  The Elders mostly just bought a ton of american candy and snacks, while the sisters bought lotion, hair stuff, pretty typical things.  I did buy some dominican chocolate that my teacher says was really good and well... it's not very good at all.  It tastes like the baking cocoa and is not creamy.  They also had a candy bar that has raisens and peanuts in it-kind of weird to me.  But it's a good thing that they do sell American chocolate so all will be well!  The store was very similar to a walmart here so nothing too foreign yet!

I also had my interview with the MTC President later that evening where he just asked me some basic questions to get to know me better.We also taught the restoration lesson for the 5th time that week because we all just couldn't get it very well.  But on Friday night we all taught it simply and you could understand us so Hermano Martinez, our teacher, was very proud.  We even got to play a game the last hour as a reward!

Saturday I memorized the first vision in Spanish.  We had to memorize our objective, the first vision, and the baptismal inviation so I finally finished doing so.  Hermana Jones, one of my roommates, told me that I was speaking Spanish in my sleep, so that's a good sign I think.  She said she couldn't really understand all that I was saying but hey at least it was Spanish!  At the end of prayer meeting President Madsen showed us a picture of how it snowed in Utah!  I miss the snow.  While it is considered fall here it is still like 90 degress with 80-90% humidity-so hot!!!

Sunday's are still the best days.  We talked about Charity and Love.  I encourage you all to read 1 Corinthians Chapter 13.  It is a great chapter on charity.  In my study I read 1 Nephi 19:9, which reads, "And the world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wehrefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it.  Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.  I had such a sweet and grateful spirit when I read that verse because Christ loved us and His Father so much that he suffered so much persecution.  He never talked ill of anyone and loved them.  We also watched the Resoration movie, which I loved!  Joseph Smith had such trust and faith in God that he suffered so much persecution and so much loss as well, but he knew that what he was doing was important.  I know Joseph Smith was called as a phophet by God and that he restored the true gospel on the earth.

The next couple days just blurred together, but I have a couple funny experiences.  Elder Barker, one of the elders in my district from Indiana is pretty much the class clown.  He goes over to the other districts room a lot and moves around all the time; so Hermano Martinez got a strap/seat belt type thing and strapped him to the chair.  What makes it even funnier is that the Elders have a game that if you say the word "mine" you have to do 10 pushups.  Elder Barker said the word a couple times so he had to do pushups with the chair strapped to him.  We were all laughing!  
One day at lunch we had OCTOPUS!  Yes, like an octopus stir fry thing.  I tried it to be adventerous but it was not good and I lost my appetite.  I've had raw octopus before in Japan and that was better than the cooked octopus.  I would be okay with not having that again.
On Wednesday we watched the Missionary Training that aired in January.  It was a great training that taught us all a lot.  Some of the things I like most were Neil L. Andersen said to always have Christ's name on your lips and if you don't have anything to say always testify of the Savior.  Elder Bednar talked a lot about having the Holy Ghost as the teacher and having it testify of the truthfulness of our message to people.  Devotional after devotional it is reiterated that the Holy Ghost is the teacher and that we much teach people not lessons.  We need to listen and be attentive to what our investigators need.
Every Thursday is our P-day and we always get to go to the temple for 4 hours.  It's really an amazing opportunity to be able to do that.  The temple here is the only one in the Carribbean so we are very blessed to be able to go.

Life is good here.  Tomorrow on our schedule it says that we will be going out contacting-already.  I don't really know how to carry on a conversation that well, but I know the Lord will help me!

I love you all and I hope everything is going well!  God loves you!

Love,
Hermana Steed

Sunday, September 25, 2016

First week in DR!!

We got to the Dominican Republic safe and sound! It was a long day but I got some sleep on the plane. The DR is beautiful and green and very different! Its really flat too. I came with a lot of other sisters and elders-most of us met in Salt Lake and then we picked up more in New York. There are 38 of us total coming today and only 10 here so 48 total-small MTC.  Most of us are staying in the DR with most going to the West mission. We have a couple going to Trinidad and Barbados and then one going to Puerto Rico.  Most everyone is staying for the six weeks! There are only about 46 of us in the whole MTC which is fun because we get to know everyone really well.

The mission is good, just really hard and we are on a very tight schedule right now.  I really like my companion, Hermana Neff, and all the sisters here so that's been a blessing. One of the sisters hung up a banner for my birthday- she is so sweet. The food is lots of meat that we don't ask questions what it is we just eat it.  We don't get out a lot, but it has been good so far. We had the opportunity to go to the Santo Domingo Temple with my district. I room with seven other girls and we basically sit in a classroom all day, studying and learning.

My p-day's will be on Thursday's so wish me well!  I hope you all are doing just fantastic! I miss you all like crazy!

Love,
Hermana Steed

Hermana Neff and I at the Santo Domingo Temple