Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Deliberate disciples of Christ

Hello everybody!!:) Well, I hope you all had a great week over in the good old USA!:) We had a great week here in the Kingdom!:) So this week we had Zone Conference, which means that President comes from the city and teaches us! So our zone has two different areas in it. The first one is Kampong Thom, which is where I am serving right now, and then the second area is Kampong Cham, which is where I was serving before the place where I am serving right now! So President had us drive to Kampong Cham to meet all together as a zone so that was kinda fun because I got to see some of my old members from my other area!!:)

Then on Saturday morning we had Zone Meeting and it was super awesome!! President talked about his vision that he has for this mission that he wants to focus on for the couple of years that he is here and his vision is helping missionaries become Deliberate Disciples of Christ! He said lots of us were born into the church, which makes us what he called Accidental Disciples! Now the word accidental makes it sound like that's kind of a bad thing, but he continued to explain that it's not a bad thing to start out as an accidental disciple! If you look at the New Testament, when Jesus called his disciples they were not learned men that were well educated according to the world, he just picked ordinary fishermen! Do you think that when they were called to be Jesus's disciples they were just immediately transformed into deliberate disciples of Christ? Of course not! They did not fully understand the process that they were about to go through! They did not know that they were going to become deliberate disciples, therefore they started just as most of us do… as accidental disciples! Then President continued to explain that moving from an accidental disciple to a deliberate one is part of the process a lot of us who are born into the church or have been members since we were very young must go through, and that's not a bad thing. It starts to become a bad thing only when we do not work at becoming a deliberate disciple of Christ!

Well, in order to know the difference between the two you have to know what both of those words really mean! The word accidental could be explained as something that was not expected to happen or something that you were not expecting, whereas the word deliberate means something that is full well known or something you do that you have full knowledge and desire to do. So then President asked us, "What kind of missionary do you want to be!?" I think with the intensity in his voice and the spark he had in his eyes, it lit a fire under each and every one of us! He explained that his goal is to help all of us become Deliberate Disciples of Christ and he said that if he can manage to do that, then he won't have to worry about the work because the work will do itself! I think he hit the nail right on the head because when you are a deliberate disciple of Christ you are given power from on high to do His work, and when you are given power from on high you are able to touch the hearts of your investigators in a way that you could never do by yourself!! We talked about some things that we can do each and every day to become deliberate missionaries and then we had a small discussion about things we have done on our mission to try to become deliberate disciples!! It was probably the best mission conference that I have had on my whole mission! It really just made me want to keep on pushin’ and keep on trying all the way until the end! I loved seeing the passion President had as he taught us and I could truly tell that he really does care about us and really does want us to become the best people that we can possibly be! I love him so much!

Anyway, the conference had so much other amazing stuff that happened, but it's just too hard to tell you everything that happened! Just know that it was amazing and I am trying to become an even more deliberate disciple! I invite all of you to do the same! Don't just do the basics because you have to do the basics, but do them because you want to do them! Pray and ask Heavenly Father what you personally can do to become a more deliberate disciple of His! I promise that if you ask, He will answer!! He is just like any parent, always wanting to help His children become the very best that they can possibly be!!:)

Church was also super good this week! We have someone on the calendar to get baptized next week, so keep him in your prayers please because he is going to be getting interviewed this next week! His name is Soklae and he is 20 years old! He is the biggest goofball in the world haha, but he is super smart!! He has really bad cross eyes and he makes fun of himself too sometimes and he has always got Quirante and I laughing!:) His parents don't want to learn, but they are letting him learn so that's pretty good! Everything should go just fine with him, but if you wouldn't mind keeping him in your prayers just in case that would be great! Anyway, that's all the news I’ve got for you all this week! I love you all so much and I hope that you know that!!:) If not… you do now:)

Elder Steadman

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Thank heaven for guardian angels...

Hello everybody!! Sorry to you all that I went missing in action last week!! I was down with a really bad sore throat and some pretty good migraines, but the good news is I am alive and better than ever!! I got all healed in perfect timing too! As you know already, I was not feeling good last p-day so I took the day and pretty much just rested up as much as I possibly could because the next day we had to move houses!! Now for those of you who have been on a mission and have seen what Elders’ houses look like when generations of Elders have been in there, you will know that this was no easy task!! Ha not only were we moving out our stuff and the furniture, but we were also junking everything that past missionaries had left behind!! Needless to say, we found the expense of buying a hobo can (just one of those big tin barrels) one of our smartest purchases throughout the entire moving project!! It was not easy! As soon as we got done exercising on Tuesday morning, Quirante and I went out to go and find a truck that we could rent for the day and after a little while of aimless bike riding (you just don't realize how good America is people!!) we found a guy that said he would let us rent his truck and after arguing him down 40 dollars, we had ourselves a deal!! Because we are white we are very susceptible to getting ripped off by people on prices, but we know how to speak their language so we have got an upper hand on all of the other foreigners here:)

Anyway, it was raining all that morning so we were really hoping that the rain would stop so that we would be able to move all of our stuff without it getting soaking wet! Well luck was on our side because as soon as the truck that we hired got to our house, it stopped raining! We thought that it was going to take at least three loads to get all of the stuff out of our house, but because we are all geniuses and Elder Lauritzen used to work for a moving company, we got it all in just one load!!! It was stacked way higher than the walls of the truck so all of us had to climb on top of everything and hold it down and then when we passed electricity wires we would have to lift them up so it would not hit our stuff and tear the electricity wires off of the pole!! (Insert from Mindy to all concerned mothers out there: I have since explained to Austin that he is lucky to be alive and made him swear never to touch electrical wires of any type again!) Haha it was pretty fun I'm not gonna lie! It was a little scary at first, but we got some pretty funny looks from all of the Cambodians as we were riding past them sitting on top of all our stuff!! Not a picture they see every day I'm sure!! Haha anyway, so we got all of the stuff into the new house in perfect time because as we were bringing it all in it started raining again, but everything stayed dry for the most part!! So that was probably the biggest activity of the whole week! I love our new house so much and soon they are going to be laying cement outside so we will have somewhere to exercise and that will be awesome as well!!

We had lots of investigators show up to church this week which was really cool because we ended up having to go down to the city earlier this week because Quirante had to go to the dermatologist because he's got a weird rash all over his body! So we really were not in our area a ton this week, but it was really cool seeing some of the investigators that we did not meet this week still come to church! It really shows their faith! But yeah, for this week that's pretty much all of the new news I’ve got for you folks! Hopefully this next week we can just have a normal week for once and get a ton of missionary work done!! Ha I love you all so very much!

Elder Steadman:)

Just another shopping day at the local market :)

The new digs!

Monday, September 14, 2015


Hi everyone, this is Mindy. We got to email a bit with Austin last night and he sends his apologies, but he did not get a home letter written. He's been quite sick this last week (it sounds like with flu-like symptoms) and has pretty much just had to stay in bed. Anyhow, he didn't feel like he had much to report, but I wanted to send this update so that all of us who love him can be praying that he will be able to overcome this illness quickly so that he can return to the missionary work he loves! Also, he and Elder Quirante are in charge of moving everything in the current missionary apartment to a new location so prayers that they can manage that would also be much appreciated I'm sure.

I'm attaching a few pics... all but one were taken a week ago on p-day when they did a little sightseeing. I guess the tree-climing one means his wrist is feeling better? The last one, taken since he's been ill, had me a bit concerned. I asked what in the world those marks were and he said, "Oh it's just a Cambodian thing they think helps when you're sick to release all the toxins". That sounded like midieval bloodletting or something, which did not ease my panic. I was worried they had scraped him with something and remembrances of my time in Ghana teaching HIV/AIDS prevention and the importance of sterile razors, etc. were swirling around in my head. When I shared that concern he responded with something like, "Oh my gosh, you're such a nerd!!!" and then proceeded to explain that Elder Q had administered the "treatment", which apparently  involved icy hot and rubbing a coin on your skin... much preferred to scraping with unsterile objects :) He assured me the marks are nearly all gone now and that he seems to be on the mend. Still not sure I'll embrace the "treatment" the next time I have the flu!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Members and missionaries

Hello everybody!:) Well, I hope that you all enjoyed your week over in the good old USA!! Elder Quirante and I had another great week here in Kampong Thom!!:) So this week was pretty much the first week that we were actually in our area for the whole week and we were able to go out and do work every day! I feel like now we know a great part of the members here in Kampong Thom and they all know us now so it's nice not feeling like the new guys anymore! :) One cool thing that happened this week was that we got permission to teach English class two times a week instead of just one! So Elder Quirante and I will be teaching one class on Saturday and the other Elders will teach another class on Wednesday!!

Oh yeah, and I just remembered something else that happened this week! So we were just doing our regular studies on Tuesday and then we got a call from the Senior couple from the mission office in Phnom Penh and they told us that they were on their way to our house right then and they wanted to meet with all of the Elders when they got there! They did not tell us why they were coming, so as you can imagine we were very curious as to what exactly they were coming here for! Well, when they showed up they took two steps into our house and then told us that we would be moving to a different house! I was caught way off guard by that one! They said that it was direct orders from President Christensen! Our house is about a 15-minute bike ride from the church and President said that he wants us closer than that so that we can do more proselyting closer to the church! So we went to go look at our new house and it's soooooo nice! I could not believe it at first! It seemed a little too good to be true, but I guess it's really going to happen!!:) So on the 13th we are going to have to start moving our stuff out of the old house and into the new house. I am assuming that's going to take a couple of days to be able to complete, but it should be pretty fun!!:) And interesting, considering there is no such thing as a moving truck here in Cambodia!! Haha wish us luck!!:)

Another cool thing that happened this week was we got 6 new investigators and we had 5 potential investigators who agreed they wanted to learn, but we just have not met them yet!!:) The work seems to be blowing up right now so that's pretty awesome!!:) I really just love this area so much! The members are constantly giving us referrals for people who want to learn and it makes the work sooo much easier and more efficient!!! We had 9 investigators show up to church as well, so we had big smiles on our faces all through sacrament meeting!!:)

This week I truly have gained a testimony about the importance of member missionary work!! When the members are working with the full-time missionaries it is 10 times more productive work than anything just the missionaries could do!! I know that when we share the gospel with our friends and family sometimes it can be very scary because we don't know how they will react or what exactly we even want to say to them, but I have learned and bear testimony to you all that when we open our mouths with faith and share about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ the Spirit WILL testify what we are saying is true!! He will not hang us out to dry when we are speaking of eternal truths!! He will ALWAYS confirm that what we are sharing with them is true as long as we too have faith and believe that the things we are saying are true!! You cannot convert someone above your own conversion! I invite you all to share what you know to be true and I know that as you all do this, your testimony will grow! I know because my testimony has grown immensely out here on my mission and that is because I have the opportunity to share what I believe with others every single day and so every single day my faith can grow just a little bit stronger than the day before, but I know that you don't have to be a full time missionary to be able to help your faith grow a little each and every day! All you have to do is exercise your spiritual muscles every single day with the basics like reading the scriptures, praying, going to church, sharing the gospel with others and much more! I love this Gospel! I am grateful that Heavenly Father gave a perfect gospel to an imperfect church filled with imperfect people, but people who try, and a church that tries! Like we heard in General Conference, we are Latter-Day Saints and a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying! I encourage you all to keep on trying! I promise that you are all doing SO much better than you think you are! Cut yourself some slack! You’re an amazing person!! Rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ and you can NEVER lose!! I love you all and I hope you have an amazing week!

Much love headed your way!!:)
Elder Steadman:)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

An interesting week...

Hello family!!:) Well, it was another good week here in the Kingdom!!:) This week was a little interesting though! So on Tuesday I woke up and my wrist that has been totally fine now for the last couple of months was super bad! I think I tweaked it in the middle of the night and I could not bend it very well or anything so I called Sister Christensen and she told me to go and get an X-ray, so on Wednesday we had to head down to Siem Reap, which is actually one of my old areas! We got there late on Wed evening and then we stayed at the Elders’ house in Siem Reap. When we got to their house we had forgotten to tell them we were coming, but when we got to the door it was open… so being the two mature 21-year-olds that we are, we snuck into the house and gave all of them a good scare!!:) It was a good laugh that's for sure!!:) Then I went to the doctor and they did an X-ray and my bone is healthy!!:) I just have some partially torn ligaments! They said they can do an MRI to see exactly what ligaments and all that jazz, but I just decided not to do that because either way it's pretty much the same healing process...long!!! Haha but I am wearing that little wrist supporter thing again and that's helping a ton as well and I am lifting in the mornings so I will be able to strengthen all the muscles and ligaments around it as well!!:)

Then when we came back to our area, Quirante came down with a super bad cold and was getting super bad migraines! So bad he could not even look at light without feeling sick! So we had to stay in on Friday for most of the day until the evening when he said it was dark enough that we could go out and do a little work! He is a stud for pushing through! Then on Saturday we went to a funeral for a good part of the day! The branch president’s dad passed away. He was not a member so they did everything according to the Buddhist religion, but it was still really cool to see and they feed you at the funeral and the food was soooo good! They made my favorite dish so I was a happy camper:)

Then Sunday was super awesome! We got to meet all of the members and seriously they are all so cool!!!! Elder Quirante and I have made it a goal that we are going to remember every single member’s name here in this branch! Everyone loves getting called by their own name, so we wrote down everybody's name at church and took their picture as well so we will be able to go through all the pictures and put names to the faces!!:) The branch out here does a pretty good job running itself! They don't rely on the elders a ton so that's a huge change from the last area I was in! Plus we had two people walk up to us in church and give us referrals!!!! That's the first time that has ever happened on my mission!! It was insane!!:) We are going to have some great success in this area because I think that the members here really get the importance of missionary work being a team effort!!:)

The only hard thing about this week has been just the lack of information that we were given from the elders before us! As you all know, Quirante and I were coming into this area both new so we did not know anyone and usually when that happens the elders that were there before you organize things pretty well and give you some sort of outline of who you meet on what days and then usually you have teaching records for all of your investigators, but we did not have any of that!! It was soooo hard to try and make sure that we did not lose any investigators or anything because there was just a wild bunch of random sticky notes in our rooms with names and numbers and that's it and then a few names of investigators and recent converts written up on a white board!! It made me sad the elders did not care about their area enough to get it prepared for two new people coming in! I guess that's what happens when it's your last area, but let me promise you one thing, if that happens to me in my last area I will NEVER leave that area until I have made sure nothing will go missing or skipped and the 2 new people coming in will be able to easily slide into their new area with hardly any trouble whatsoever!! Because now I know how it feels to feel completely lost and confused about what you can be doing to get the work going in your area and how and where to pick up were the last elders left off!! It's not a good feeling so I don't EVER plan on making another missionary feel like that because of my lack of effort!! It ain't gonna happen!!:) Anyway, that's enough of my sob story!!:)

Well, for this week that's pretty much it! We are just continuing to meet the members in our branch and find out where they live so we can plan effectively each night before we go to sleep about who we are going to see the next day! I love my mission right now though! Even though it's hard learning this new area and a little frustrating and overwhelming at times, I am doing it with my best buddy out here on the mission so I could not be happier!! It's so fun being able to push each other in every aspect of the work knowing that you can push them harder than you could ever push some of your other companions that you have had in the past!!:) He is helping me become the missionary that I want to be and I hope I am helping him become the missionary that he wants to be as well!! Well, that's all for you all this week folks!! I will talk to you all next week!!:)

Much love headed your way!!:)
Elder Steadman:)

Meeting Elder Holland last week!

Quirante, Lauritzen, & Steadman... reunited at last :)