Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jan 21, 2012


I think I said mostly everything in the email to Dad. I am pretty devastated to be leaving. I can't believe it was 6 months I was there.

It feels like I had been there forever. It isn't the same here, differnet zone leaders, different people in the district, different ward, different investigators, different companion. And I am supposed to be more responsible, as someone made a mistake and called me as the district leader, so I have no free time and I'm on the phone all night. I'm sure in a few weeks I will have adjusted, but at the moment I don't think it has quite sunk in. It actually feels really similar to when I left home to start my mission.

I hope that doesn't make you worry though, that is not my intention.

Because the work is the same here as it was in Helston, I think when we get out and work I feel much better than when we are in the flat.

We don't have a car here, which means we probably aren't going to be able to take our lunch hours, I might just pack like a Mars bar everyday or something. The other crazy thing is how much we walk here.

This is what I imagined missionary work would be like. We must have walked close to ten miles most days so far. I am going to start using my iPod to keep track. My legs and feet are just dead. It is really good though because we can contact people as we travel from appointment to appointment, where in a car we could not do this.

Okay, in terms of those girls complaining..

I sent Janie her letter back like 2 months ago. I got it sent back to me like amonth ago because I put her address in wrong, and then resent it a few weeks ago. I just send Noodles her letter back today. And I have not recieved one from Lolo, so I don't know what she is talking about.

I'm still happy and I'm doing fine. I will get used to all these changes soon enough. I am finding it really exciting that more people I know are starting to go on missions.

I hope all is well back home, and I can't wait to hear from you guys next monday.

Love Elder Steed

Jan 22, 2012


Well, as you guys know, I am writing from a Library here in Slough.

What a crazy week it has been. Sorry I didn't have a chance to write on wednesday, but I was doing all the transfer stuff. It was another long day of driving.

I am glad to hear how prepared Jace is. We have been emailing the past few months, and he sounds ready and excited to go. He is going to be a really good missionary. I would have loved to be there for his talk.

And to have been gathered with the whole Steed clan, those are always fun times.

I don't even know where to begin. Transfer calls didn't come until like 5 on tuesday night. My stomach was in knots all day. When the call came that I was going to Slough, I was pretty upset. I had spent a night in the Slough flat a few months ago for a mission conference, and it was the worst flat I had ever seen. I remember specifically saying I could never live there. After the call came, we went to Ken and Toni's. It was our big night, and we went and got pizza express and then went to the Joseph Musical. It was amazing, and the best night I could have ever imagined for my last night in Helston. It was really hard to say my goodbyes to Ken and Toni and many other ward members. I couldn't really deal with it, so for the most part I just decided it would be easier to leave and not say goodbye to everyone.

My really good friends I said goodbye, but I loved that whole ward and I am really going to miss it. I felt really at home there and I have had some amazing times.

Now I'm in Slough. It is a different world. There are like no white people here, wheras in Helston I only ever saw like 5 people who weren't white. Slough is technically part of London, but it is on the outskirts. It was ranked #2 most depressing places to live in the U.K.

It isn't actually that bad though. And yes, I am much closer to President Shamo, and I wouldn't be suprised if he is trying to keep an eye on me. Actually, we just had a zone training on friday, and he came and taught us and had interviews. We had a really good interview, every time you get to talk to him it is just so uplifting. I am gutted that he is going to be leaving inlike 4.5 months.

Things here are starting to feel better as I have started to work on cleaning the flat. There were these towels on the floor of the bathroom, that have apparently been there for over 3 months. They were soaking wet, and had not even been touched since the night I stayed at this flat 2 months ago. I threw them in the garbage, and they were just covered in mould underneath. This place hadn't been cleaned or even vaccumed for months. I could barely even stand it. I couldn't like sleep or go to the bathroom comfortably it was so bad. But we have done a lot of work, and today for p-day are going to do a lot more.

But enough complaining. Tanner Brooks emailed me from the MTC this week which was really cool. My new comp, Elder Curran, is a really good guy. He was converted 2 years ago, and none of his family are members. He has only been out on his mission for about 3 months now but he is doing very well for only being out 2 transfers. He is fearless in talking to people on the street and is a good teacher as well. We get along pretty well, the first few days I didn't talk much but now I am getting back into my normal thing. We are starting to have some fun. Church here is going to be just as funny as in Helston I think. There are only like 50 members a week, and they don't seem to love missionaries as much as Helston did. It was my first sunday, and I had to teach both the gospel principles class and the elders quorum.

We had three investigators at church. Two of them are best friends, Jay and Amit. Amit is a devout Atheist who I don't even know why he is coming to church, and Jay is a Christian who was raised a Hindu, and is really seeking the truth. The other guy is Eric, a Ghanaian guy who just sat in the corner and said nothing. He is getting baptized in a couple weeks though. The gospel principles was about Law of Chastity.

We had the ward mission leader and some older ladies in there as well, and it was total chaos. Jay and Amit kept trying to delve into our personal experience with the Law of Chastity, and things just exploded when we starting talking about homosexualtiy. I had to tell them off when it became too much, but I pulled them aside after class and apologized. They are both really fun guys though. We had a D.A. after church at the 2nd counsellor in the bishoprics house, and Jay and Amit were invitied as well. We had a really good time, but after 2 hours I was desperatly trying to get us out of there to go do other things, but they can just talk and talk and talk and it was like almost 4 hours before we left. I am Elder Currans second companion, and his trainer is going home in like 3 months now. I am afraid that they have been doing things in their own way, but we are really going to focus on more structure, extending commitments and using our time wisely.

We don't have much of teaching pool, but we have done a ton of finding this week and have had lots of success. We have met like 10 people who gave us their mobile numbers, and we have set up 6 first teaches with people for this week. I am really excited to start teaching people of other cultures. Apparently at one time, Slough was one of the highest baptizing areas in the mission, but in recent months it has been pretty dead.

I am very sad to have lost Simmons and White as my zone leaders. I always gave them a really hard time, but they were both really good guys. My new zone leaders are way to serious, and they don't seem like they will be able to put up with my antics very well. I went on a mini exchange with one of them to inteview one of their investigators for baptism. The guy passed the interview, and I was able to get Elder Goulding (the zone leader) out of his shell a bit and we had a bit of fun. I also miss Elder Oscarson. There were times when I was annoyed by him, but I think that is how it is with everyone, and he was the most loving guy ever and a great missionary and a great example to me.

Elder Curran is very opposite to him, he really likes to call the shots. And I'm fine with that, I'm really just letting him run the area at the moment until I find my way around a little bit better. He has potential to be an amazing missionary.

I am glad to hear grandma is doing alright.. she is in my prayers.

I know you think my 2012 predictions are crazy... but it could happen.

You never know.

I get about 110 pounds a months. But after groceries and eating out, I end up always having to use the credit card for things like new clothes, sending my post, dry cleaning, stationary/supplies, and other big purchases. I am trying to do better with it, but like moving into this new flat I have had to buy a bunch of stuff. I needed to get a new bathmat, a new drying rack for the dishes and some new cloths.

These are seriously essentials.

That is a crazy first line for the flames. Backlund must be doing well. The second line is glencross, Ollie and Tanguay then? Those are two pretty solid lines.

My new flat address is:

Flat 3

26 Upton Park


Slough, Berkshire


Hopefully you can find that on google maps.

Love Elder Steed

Jan 15, 2012

I know you guys don't like in HP anymore, and I'm not even in the country, but I am still mad that they are not allowing skating on the pond. Why would they do that? It just seems stupid. But I guess that does make leaving HP a little bit easier.

Bourque for Cammellari!! No way! I did love Bourque, but I'm just remembering the glory days of Iggy and Cammellari... hopefully they can find some chemistry again. What is the first line? Iggy, Mike and Tanguay? Or Iggy, Jokinen, Mike? I'm pretty sure he can play either center or winger. Hopefully this can turn around the flames season so far. How are the Kings doing under Sutter? Probably amazing.

I don't know how much the rafts would cost, but if it is reasonable I would say buy them. That seriously sounds like the greatest trip ever. I get back like July 1 next year, so we would have all summer to do something like that. I would love to do that when I get home. Although the horses thing might be a problem.

Ya alyssa hasn't wrote to me in a while. Thanks. And I'm glad Riley is liking SAIT. I would be horrible at that kind of program he is in, but remembering his earlier days I'm sure he will do great with that. And he has mono? Haha does amanda have mono as well then? I'm glad Jack has some friends, and I can't really picture Noah getting slimmer. Sounds weird. You should send a photo... and did you see how skinny Payton Charleton looked in their Christmas card? He is staring to slim as well. No mom didn't mention the scholarship. What did I win it for? And ya the thing is, I might be getting kicked out of the UofC anyways and would have to reapply. I remember you are allowed a 2 year unexplained leave of absence, but anything more than that and you have to reapply. So I'm not sure if it means I will be okay, I remember thinking that I was coming back one semester too late, but I'm not really sure. I will definitly be thinking a lot about what school I want to go to. That is, if I even go back to school. Dec 2012 could very well be the end of the world, so maybe I won' t be going back.

I think that even if nothing big (like a natural disaster or nuclear war happens) the hype over 2012 is so big that people will go crazy. THey will pull all their money out of banks, go underground, commit suicide, etc. And I think this will cause widespread chaos and destroy the world economy. And then I'll have to catch a boat back to Canada. I'm not being funny either. So I am probably going to assemble a 72 hour bag here. Get some survival gear and food, like the stuff you just add water to. And probably a knife, a flint and steel, one of those water purifiers that you pump (like the one you have) and some other stuff I think might come in handy. Is that alright with you if I buy a bunch of stuff like that?

Haha I can totally imagine what you will think about all this. Trust me, better safe than sorry. I have also decided not to put all my savings into precious metals, because of the inflated cost of gold and silver at the moment.

Anyways, hopefully Mom starts to feel better soon. I will let you guys know about transfer date asap.

Love Elder Steed

Jan 15, 2012

Yes, transfer day is wednesday. There are many wild guesses and speculations flying around. There are 3 new zones opening up, new districts being formed, a big group of missionaries coming in that need to be trained, and lots of the missionaries are starting to near the end of their missions. Like in 3 transfers, a group of 30 something missionaries goes home, and that is like a fifth of the mission. So I am sure there will be many changes in the mission. But, even with all that, I think I will stay here in Helston for one more move. I bet Oscarson goes off to train or be a zone leader or something, but I don't know if I'm ready to leave Helston yet. Well it doesn't really matter if I'm ready or not I guess, but I just feel like I got 6 more weeks in me. Total guess though, I'll find out tommorow and probably email again Wednesday.

That looks like a nice photo. Although I feel like I am making a very weird pose in it. And dad looks really skinny in that photo. Like skinnier than Riley even.

I love 17 Miracles! We have borrowed it twice now off of different people and we have watched it quite a few times. We had like a ward movie night where we watched it as well. It is kind of depressing at times, but really a great movie. We quote it all the time. Like, 'But Chester, it is for certain,' or 'I believe fear and dire circumstances bring out the worst in human beings.'

It has got freezing here as well. I am constantly cold now when we go outside. It is impossible to defend against the chill here. I need to buy some gloves probably. Going to the drop in center will be great. That is always one of my best memories of Christmas/FHE even though I didn't really like going at the time.

That is too bad to hear your health has been so bad lately... maybe you should get it checked out to make sure it isn't something more serious? But that is amazing Riley was able to help with the blessing. He will have to get used to giving out many blessings on his mission.

This has been a good week for us. Chris Thomas has still been smoke free. It is seriously a miracle. After like 30 years of 50 a day, he just quit cold turkey. Today is day 9, and he shows no signs of slowing down. He is getting baptized on Jan. 29! After all this time, he is finally able to get baptized and recieve the Holy Ghost. I am so happy for him.

Alright, crazy story. We were knocking doors and this one guy answered and said come back in a few days. We did, and he let us in and we had a good chat for like 45 mintues. Not about the gospel though. This guy is in his 50's probably, but is just like a firecracker. He is a short guy, but is always just bouncing off the walls. He is always talking really fast and going off on crazy tangents and stuff. His wife was really nice too, but it was hard for any of us to get a word in. Really nice guy. Right as we were leaving, he asked what I thought of the food here, and I mentioned I really liked the roast potatoes here as we don't have them back home. He was like 'Hey! My wife makes great roast potatoes, why don't you guys come over Sunday for dinner?' We obviously said yes, but it was crazy that this guy just invited two random/stranger religious people over to his house for dinner. So we went there yesterday and had the greatest meal I have had in this country. They are pretty posh, and his wife was an amazing cook, and made a ton of food, and it was all homeade, even the yorkshire puddings and the gravy, and the lemon merugine pie afterwards. They had like classical music playing in the background, there were candles floating in water on the table, they had like 5 different utensils, they had a sitting room, and dining room, and a living room we went it for different parts of the night. It was awesome. But they weren't like stuck up or anything, just really nice. The problem was, we got there are like 4, and then they started to prepare the whole meal and didn't want our hellp with anything. So we ended up talking while they made the meal, then eating, then sharing a message about the BoM afterwards, except everytime we said a sentence, he would respond to it by going off on like a 10 minute story about something it reminded him off, then bringing it all back at the end. So we were there for like 4.5 hours. I don't think there is anything we could have done though. We are going back next monday for dinner again. We told them we are watching the restoration dvd after dinner though, so we will see how it goes. We then had to go to see Paul Morris, as he leaves to Birmingham tommorow to start his new job, and if one of us moves we won't be able to see him again. We got there pretty late, so Oscarson had to account with the district, but I just chatted with them for a while. He is one of my best friends here, and if I have to leave I will really miss him.

We have been teaching Naomi still, and Fiskani. We had a great teach about the POS with Naomi, and are really excited that she is really interested and sinceire. And then we are going over this morning to help Fiskani pack/move, as she is moving into a new flat and divorcing with her husband. We watched the 20 min restoration DVD, and she said she believed it was true. Also, there is a little tree with two leaves on it right at the start, and she felt like that was a sign from God that there is still life in her even though she is feeling very low. I guess a few years ago when she was really struggling she saw a little tree exactly like that growing and green in her otherwise dead garden. It is cool how God speaks to us sometimes. She said she feels like she needs to get away from her old church, and that she really needs something to lean on and find strength in right now. I'm really hoping that she will get baptized.

We had some big changes in the ward here yesterday. The EQP and the High Priest group leader were both released, and new ones were called. Ken had a really rough night at work and didn't make it to church. He really needs to get his act together and get to church even when he is tired. I'm probably gonna have to tell him that today. Obviously there are some situations where you can't make it to church due to work, but we had just taught him about the priesthood on saturday, a really good lesson, and he was going to get interviewed by the Bishop for it yesterday but didn't turn up. I'm not to worried though, they are both still really solid and Ken is looking for a new job.

Hope you feel better soon, you guys are always in my prayers,

Love Elder Steed

Jan 8, 2012


It has been a pretty crazy week and half since I last wrote. Elder Casey and Atwal, serving in St. Austell, have not been getting along these last 5 weeks. Which is too bad, becuase it is Casey's first moves in the mission. So on Sunday night, the zone leaders called and told us they were both being e-moved up to London, closer to President. They each had their own problems as well. Turns out though, that it was like a massive, mission wide emergency move. Ten companionships were changed around. And we all got an email from President and it sounds like he is making a lot of changes in the mission and is cracking down for his last few months before he goes home. We are on the outskirts of civilization though, so we don't get affected by that much stuff. So we ended up doing a two day road trip up to Staines, Catford, Croydon, Wandsworth (all boroughs of London) and then coming home. I was the only driver as well, and although I thought it was cool to drive in London, I did not enjoy driving two seven hour days in a row, but it is done now and we are alive so can't really complain. I also got to stop off and get breakfast with Elder Palmer and everyone we were with, in Wandsworth, which was like the highlight of the trip. I have missed him, and it is crazy that he goes home in 4.5 months. When I came out he still had a long way to go.

I can't think of anything really awesome this last week in terms of the work. We did A LOT of finding this week. But actually one huge thing that happened, is Chris Thomas quit smoking. He has been smoking for 25 years, was smoking like 50 a day, and has been meeting with Elders and coming to church every week for like 9 years, and last week he just quit cold turkey. I was on exchange with the italian elder, and he commited him to quit. He only lasted like 4 hours, but we went back the next day and told him he needs to just try again and again until he does it. That was on saturday. He hasn't had a cigarette since. We called him every hour the first night, and like 4 times the next day, and now we are talking to him like twice a day. We are going over to see him today as well. I just can't belive it has finally happened. He is going to get baptized in two weeks, if he continues to not smoke. But we are very hopeful.

Also, I called Fiskani this week because we haven't seen her forever, and it turns out she is seperating from her husband. Which is really good, because they had the most horrible marriage/living arrangements I have ever heard of. Her husband was a pig. Sorry, that isn't very Christlike, but it is true. So hopefully when that is all done with, she can get baptized as well.

Thanks for sharing that stuff you taught the young women about with me. That is cool, because that is exactly what I have been studying and focusing on lately. I have just about finished Jesus the Christ, that massive book, and at the moment I am reading it like a novel. It is so fascinating and makes the life of Christ actually seem real and not just like some story you hear in church. The chapter about the atonement was incredible. And I found one of the talks Dad put on my iPod that I just love. It is called 'The Saviour in Gethsemane,' and is seriously maybe my favorite talk ever. It is by someone Skinner. You should really listen to it. I gained a lot of insight from it. So thank dad for putting that on for me. Oh, and the part about you asking for the spirit to be there. I have noticed that that is something that Elder Bednar does every single time he begins a talk. So it is probably a good thing to do.

I can't wait to try dad's new smoker when I get home. I'm sure he will have many new tricks up his sleeve for cooking by the time I get home. I will have a few of my own too. Like how to make rice. It took me like 4 months to get it down. The italian elder helped me out a bit.

How are the pitchers doing? I was actually planning on going to that same YSA fireside, but something else came up last minute and we had to miss it. Is Landon excited to start getting ready to go on his mission?

Alyssa got a whole month off school? That is madness.

Ya being first-born has its ups and downs. But to be fair, it is probably more downs. Noah is gonna have it so nice. Just make sure to keep those kids away from sleepovers still. Well I am glad at least someone is reading my letters home as well as you guys. I really was well taken care of this Christmas... say thank you to everyone for me just in case I forget! But I am in the process of sending off a bunch of post to say thanks to a lot of people. Good luck with finding our Prussian ancestors. If you want the kids to help you, just have them read that talk by Bednar that tells youth they need to do family history. Oh, If you had to sum it up, what would my main lineage/country of origin be? English or Welsh or German? Oh, and I have heard rumors of a site that can trace your ancestry back all the way too Adam. I'll let you know more about that if I can find it.

Love Elder Steed

Jan 1, 2012

How did blue birds get into the fireplace? Did they fly down the chimney? Dumb birds.
Ya brad is way too early of a riser. He probably wakes up earlier than I do. I don't think I will ever have a job where I have to wake up before 7 on a regular basis. Me and Elder Oscarson have started waking up at 615 and going on runs in the morning. We went on a run on wednesday, and then had an exchange on thursday. On the exchange, my alarm went of at 615 and they were really annoyed and shut it off. Then on friday I was back in Helston and we were planning on going on a run at 615 again, so I figured I wouldn't have to mess with my alarm. Turns out that they hadn't turned the alarm back on. Elder Oscarson woke me up at 745. It was totally accidental, so I didn't really feel that bad about it, but it did feel really nice to get that much of a lie in.

Okay, I know a lot of keener missionaries, but no one chose to not call their family. That is crazy. He must have been out of control.

Ya I always miss you guys, but I don't feel more homesick because of the call. I just thought it was nice to get to talk with you all. I am getting back into the swing of things as the holidays come to an end.

That's rough Riley had to do an impromptu talk. I had to do one yesterday in church actually. Oh man, that just reminded me. Dad is going to love this one. The bishop's dad died yesterday, so he didn't make it to church. However, he was one of the planned speakers, so when he didn't show up, the second counselor asked me and Oscarsauce to fill the time. Alright Dad, do you remember 'A single, drop, of blood?' The vietnam war (which the UK was not involved in) and the pit with the spikes covered in feces? The story that Ashton told in Fiji in sacrament meeting that we were just cracking up over? Ya, I told that exact same story yesterday in church. It was awesome! I then went on to talk about the atonement and read a bunch of scriptures and stuff. I think it caught everyone's attention though. People were probably really sick of hearing from me yesterday, as I did the sacrament prayer, the confirmation, and a talk.

But ya, what I was saying. I'm really impressed Riley was able to give a talk on such short notice. He is way more prepared to be a missionary than I ever was. Hopefully he isn't grumpy as often though.

Hardcore BoM study? That sounds like a really good plan. My new year's resolution is to drop from 150 pounds to 140. I am doing this by drinking 1.5 litres of water a day and by running three mornings a week.

I can't really think of anything else that cool this week. We picked up a former investigator, and her husband, they are both young 20's and we are starting to teach them again. Elder Casey, the greenie who has been out for like 3 weeks now, decided to go home. He has depression I guess, and President gave him permission to leave honorably. At the last minute he changed his mind and he is now staying. He has announced that he was leaving to his whole ward and to all of us, so It was probably pretty awkward at church yesterday. Him and his trainer, Atwal, are really struggling together. We are doing like 1-2 exchanges with them a week so they don't kill each other.

I can't belive Brooks left on his mission today.

Things are good here. We are going to have a great p day with Ken and Toni and the district here.

Love Elder Steed

Jan 1, 2012

We were out partying all night. There is a really good club here in town. I'm pretty sure Oscarsauce kissed a girl at midnight.

Just kidding. I have been pretty sick the last couple of days, and we got in on Dec. 31 at like 930 and I just went straight to bed. I was planning on setting the alarm and waking up at 11:55 and being awake for midnight, but I just felt like crap and couldn't do it. We are going today to Ken's house, with all 6 of the missionaries in Cornwall, and he is taking us to his gym and teaching all of us MMA training. I feel still pretty sick today but everyone else is really excited for it so I am just going to have to push through it. Sounds like you guys had a good new years eve. 40-50 kids? That sounds like a mad house. Hopefully the Pillings didn't supply champagne or anything to all those kids. But it wouldn't surprise me if they did.

I can't believe Riley is an Elder now. If you guys are going to try to get him out of there before September, so he can make it back in time for school to start, he will be sending his papers in in a few months. How crazy is that.

Ken and Toni did show up to church, and I was able to confirm them yesterday. I was really nervous. I spent all morning stressing and trying to think of things to say, and then telling myself I shouldn't be trying to plan it ahead of time. I couldn't focus on anything else at church. Finally the time came to give the blessing, and my prayers were answered. I got up there and I just felt calm, and as I started the blessing I was able to just let my mind go completely blank. I'm still really new at giving blessings, but I really did feel the guidance of the spirit. It was easily one of the highlights of my mission so far.

That is kind of cool that we were both involved in priesthood ordinations yesterday. I can't wait until Ken becomes an Elder. Our Elder's quorum president is moving away in a week, Paul Morris, and I'm pretty sure in 6 months they will make Ken the new EQP. Yes, there is a serious lack of strong priesthood in the ward.

Sounds like you guys hang out with the Pillings 24/7. I thought you would see them less once you moved, but apparently not.

Transfer day is on Jan. 18. This has felt like the longest transfer of my mission so far. Which is weird, because we have done a lot of fun things and Christmas and everything. I'm really excited for Joseph on the 17th as well.

I hope you guys have a great time at the cabin, let me know how it goes.

Love Elder Steed

Dec 25, 2011

I'm glad you had such a great Christmas. You actually held it together pretty well yesterday during the skype thing. Better than I expected. You guys are the best family ever. Sorry I didn't always realize it growing up. I hope you have a great day today, and enjoy this time with all the family.

Love Elder Steed

Dec 25, 2011

I think yesterday was my favorite day of my mission so far. I loved getting to talk to you guys. I feel kind of bad though, I feel like I just talked about myself too much and I didn't hear enough about how and what you guys are doing. I also forgot a few things I was going to talk about. Maybe I'll write like a list or something next time. One thing I forgot is to say hi to you guys from Elder Atwal. I have no idea why he wanted me to, but he was really insistent and called me last night to make sure I had said hi to you from him. He is serving in St. Austell and is a really good friend. I think it might partly have to do with the fact that he wants you to send him a package full of American things, like Cheetos and Kool-aid and I don't know what else, and then he will pay you guys or pay me or something.

Ken had a really crazy day yesterday... I wasn't something I could really talk about in front of him to you guys yesterday. He had some serious issues with his younger sister, who is disabled, and his mom, and his younger sister went crazy and it really upset him. So we will make sure it happens next week. Also, that car adapter for my iPod is broken, I think it broke in the post on the way over here. So I might need to buy something for that at a boxing day sale today, because we aren't allowed to use headphones. Also, Elder SImmons wanted me to tell you that he still thinks you are a legend. After all those 17 dollar McDonalds runs I bought for Simmons, everytime he wants something he says 'Joel'll get that.' It's pretty funny, and has actually became a pretty common statement among missionaries in Cornwall. So you are kind of famous down here.

I hope you guys have a great boxing day. I wish I could be there for the Magrath skating party, that was always one of my favorite things.

Uncle Mike sent me a pretty sweet email, and I'm sure his talk was amazing as well.

I love you guys, and I seriously cannot wait until May when we can talk again.

Love Elder Steed

Dec 18, 2011

This was the most amazing weekend of my mission. Although I have been a little bit sick and just exhausted the last like 3 days. But other than that, it's been incredible. We had the ward Christmas party on Friday, than the wedding saturday and the baptism Sunday. I think I spent more time in the church these last 3 days than I have spent sleeping. The wedding was so good. A lady in our ward decorated the chapel really nicely. Ken and Toni were both really nervous, but also really happy and exctied. Toni got to spend the night before at a Bed and Breakfast a ward member owns, and then a couple ladies went over and did her hair and makeup, and then a guy went and picked her up as chauffeur. Ken I think got a lift with the best man and borrowed my pink tie. It was really funny that Elder Simmons gave a talk in the marriage ceremony about marriage. He obviously has never been married, but talked really well about the example his parents have shown him. Me and Simmon were also the witnesses for the signing of the marriage certificate. THe reception afterwards was really fun. There were like 30 ward members and only 5 of Ken and Toni's friends, but there was great food, some really good toasts, we got some great photos, and hopefully it will be a day that they always look back on and remember. There were a bunch of love songs playing, and they shut off the lights and they got to do their first dance to I don't want to miss a thing by Aerosmith. I was actually the DJ of the wedding. Kind of strange, I know. But a ward member set up his laptop and speakers, and then had to go back to work, and had me run all the music. I enjoyed it.

And then the baptism yesterday was also so great. It didn't get started until almost 2 hours after church, so not many people stayed around to watch it. But for those who did, it was such a good experience. It was such a strong spirit there. As they were changing back into normal clothes, we had a kind of testimony thing in which people were asked to talk about their baptisms. It was really going great, people were crying and feeling the spirit, until one lady stood up and started telling everyone how here baptism was the worst day of her life. And she started right as Ken and Toni got out of the changerooms and sat back in the congregation. Then she just broke down and started talking all about how horrible her life has been. It was just out of control. Bishop signalled for me to come up and bear my testimony, so I went up right after her. By no means did this like ruin the day or anything, it is just another example of how crazy this Helston ward is. After the service, we went back to Ken and Toni's with Simmons and White. We had some of their wedding cake, and the best man came over as well. We ate leftover wedding cake, and watched the video that we made in Plymouth last monday. It was really funny, even the best man loved it. We had all seen it before at our big London Christmas conference, but it was good to watch it again. I will try to find a way to send a copy to you guys.

It is really strange that everything has happened. They are now members of the ward. I feel a little bit lost, I just don't know what the next step it from here. I guess just get right back to work, but it is strange that everything I have been working for the last 5 months has now all finally paid off. I've been out almost a quarter of my mission, and in terms of people baptized, this is all I have to show for it. But I feel like it has been totally worth it.

I really wish I had videoed that last sacrament meeting. You would have loved to be there. The church here is a little different.

Okay, I will call you guys between 6pm and 9pm on christmas eve in my time. Which will be sometime between 11am and 2pm your time. Hopefully that works?

Just in case I can't get a hold of you, we will plan on starting skype sometime between 4pm and 5pm on christmas day. So that will be like at either 9am or 10am your time. Hopefully that is not too early. We can discuss this saturday night though on the phone.

The London conference was awesome. Wow this has been a long week, so much has happened. We got to do a temple session, which I really liked. I am starting to get used to it more now, and I noticed a few things in there that I never had before. Than the conference itself was awesome. Each zone did 15 minutes of a Christmas entertainment thing, and our zone blew everyone else out of the water. The movie we made was really funny, and spiritual, and Oscarson did a really good job editing it. And then we got to spend the night at the temple apartments, with like 12 other missionaries, and that was pretty good as well. The 6 hour drive though is always pretty rough.

See you guys in 6 days!

Love Elder Steed

Dec 18, 2011

That was a long email. I loved it though. I really like hearing the details about everything that is going on. Sounds like you guys had a pretty sweet Christmas party. I miss all that stuff. That food sounds amazing. I don't think I am going to even buy groceries this week. The ward here has given us like 30 christmas gifts, and I am pretty sure they are all food/sweets.

I'm glad you guys have some good friends in the Carter family. Are alyssa and Josh a thing?

I would have loved to be at that sacrament meeting for Tanner and Kyle. I can't believe Brooks is leaving in like 3 weeks on his mission. That guy is going to be a good missionary.

So what are Hayden and Dan doing with Riley out of the picture? Is Draycott upset that he is losing one more rent-payer? Hopefully Riley does better living at home, and is able to do well in school and also prepare for his mission. My advice to him would be to remember everything I did, and then just do the opposite. I'm still behind a lot of other missionaries because of my lack of preparing when I was back home.

That Derek story is horrible. What triggered that? That is going to really shake southern alberta I am sure.

Last sacrament meeting was just legendary. The one this week was good as well, but for other reasons. We had 8 investigators at church yesterday! It is always nice to have people that will show up, except it gets really hard to talk with all of them and make them all feel welcome because there are too many of them. But I think they all enjoyed it. Gareth and Rachel even showed up, and they said they really enjoyed it. Not what they were used to, but really good. It was like a 2 hour sunday school special christmas presentation, with primary children singing, reading the christmas stories in the bible, and like 10 really short talks. It was kind of a long sacrament meeting, but it was a nice change.
I'm glad you are still in contact with Toni. She loves getting your emails. I can't wait for you guys to meet them. I'll send some pictures today, if I have time, of the baptism.

The Steed family seems to be struggling with their health at the moment. Keep me updated on Wes and Grandma and they are in my prayers.

Thanks for all the Christmas traditions! We are going over to a members house on Christmas eve, and we have to all share our favorite Christmas traditions with each other. And apparently we are eating a huge meal as well. We are having 3 big Christmas roasts in 2 days. The only problem is, everyone here eats Christmas pudding, this big fruitcake like thing, and I'm pretty sure it is alcoholic.

I'll keep you guys posted on Gareth and Rachel. They could be the next Ken and Toni (I hope)!

All we have done for Christmas so far is decorate our flat, get a bunch of Christmas cards, and go to the ward Christmas party. For Christmas cards here, no one does pictures of their families, they just do normal cards and no letters or anything even with them. We did have an awesome Christmas party here though. We had a bunch of food, a Santa Clause came, there was barn-dancing, this pass the parcel game, and we also did a bunch of minute to win it games. Over here instead of calling it 'Minute to win it' they call it 'The Cube' though. Ken was the overall winner of that. And then right at the end, they set up this game on the Wii called 'Just Dance.' It was this game where a guy is dancing on the screen and you hold the Wiimote and try to copy his dance moves. I took a go at this game, against a couple of the young men. I lost, but apparently was the most entertaining to watch. It probably helped that I wore a Santa hat and a bright, ugly Christmas jumper to the party. Ken and Brett both recorded it on their iPhones. We are trying to figure out a way to send it back to you guys, because it is a really funny video.

Love Elder Steed

Dec 11, 2011

My legs are really sore as well. We had the most amazing weekend. On saturday, we did like 4 hours of service. The 2nd counsellor in our bishopric, Jeff Bray, and his dad Eric Bray were going over to this guys house to clear a bunch of trees for him. Laura Bray (jeff's wife) met a lady named Rachel as they were both dropping off their kids at school, they started talking and eventually Laura went over to Rachels house. They started talking, and had this big conversation about religion and our faith and stuff. Rachel, and her husband Gareth, just moved into Cornwall like 3 months ago, they are in a huge house but it is one that needs a LOT of work. So they are doing some major renovations. Gareth and Rachel are both like 30, are both really well educated and come from pretty affluent backgrounds (as far as I can tell). Because they just moved here, and they are living out in the country, they have like no friends. This guy, Gareth, one day just felt this strong desire to become a vicar for the church of England. He was running his own buisness at the time, making a lot of money, but he felt the need to become a vicar even though he had never really been religious before. However, the vicar school didn't accept him, and he was a little bit mad about that and so he no longer likes the Church of England. So I guess to wrap this all up, Laura Bray went to their house, noticed how much work they had to do, and offered the services of Jeff and Eric as well as us. Jeff and Eric are landscapers by the way. A few days before we went there, Gareth had bought a chainsaw and just took down like at least 100 trees on his property. So there were just these massive piles of trees and branches all over the yard. We went there with chainsaws and a big chipper, and cleared a bunch of the felled trees. It was really hard work, and that is why my legs are sore.

When we first got there, Rachel was there. Jeff introduced me and Elder Oscarson, and she gave us a tour of the house and chatted for a bit. Then she brought out like hot chocolate and cupcakes for us, and then went over to Lauras house. 4 hours later Gareth came home from work. He was also really cool. He saw all the work we had done, and just got out of his car and came up to me, shook my hand and gave me a big hug and said he didn't know what to say. We then all went over to Jeff and Lauras house, where she had made a big pot of this awesome soup. We had soup and hung out there, just chatting. It was actually really comfortable and just fun. There were like 6 kids running around screaming and playing, I was chatting with Gareth and Jeff in the kitchen, Oscarson was explaining the book of mormon with Laura to Rachel, and it was just really cool. I don't feel like I am describing it properly. But these two are golden. We are going to go to their place like every week and do more service for them. They are both just really nice and easy to talk to. And really interested in the church. We have their number, and any night we are free they said just to come over. They also said they will come to church next week. I am so excited for them. And it really helps that Ken and Toni are getting baptized after church next week...

Yesterday was also so good. We had the funniest sacrament meeting I have ever attended. The first speaker was actually Elder Casey. He is a missionary from Scotland and it was his 3rd day in the mission field yesterday, and he was on an exchange with me in the wrong ward. Oscarson was up in St. Austell doing a baptismal interview. So after he talked, an older lady in the ward gave a talk about the true meaning of Christmas. This was a really good one. It pretty much consisted of her talking about her Christmas' before she joined the church. She told us mostly just about how much fun she had drinking. She told us about her days going to pubs, to nightclubs, told us about her favorite drinks and just about her parties before she was a member. She did manage to tie it all together at the end, and she explained to us that she has now learned you can have fun at christmas without alcohol. I thought this one was hilarious, but I didn't laugh out loud or anything. The next speaker I have no idea what she was talking about. She stood up and started reading from a piece of paper. Really monotone. I got really bored really fast, and for the first time on my mission I may have nodded off for a minute. However, I woke with a start as I heard singing. I have no idea why, but she just seemed to burst into song in the middle of her talk. She started singing this Christmas hymn I had never heard before. After I recovered from the inital shock, I was fighting to hold back my laughter. But it got better. She got really emotional though, and choked up about 4 lines in. As she stood there fighting back tears, a man in the congregation yelled out 'I love this song! Let me help!' This is an older and very eccentric member of the ward. He jumped up from his seat, and literally ran down the aisle up to the front of the chapel and put his arm around the speaker, and they then proceeded to sing an impromptu christmas duet. A few members of the congregation joined in at the end as well. When they finished, people started clapping. Well, needless to say I was just dying. I was laughing almost to the point of tears, luckily I was seated in the back row. I The bishop was trying to keep a straight face, and he told me afterwards that he saw me laughing and was doing everything he could not to make eye contact with me so he wouldn't start laughing as well. The weird thing is, the rest of the ward didn't seem phased by this at all. I'm chuckling even as I write this email.

Aside from all that, things are still going good. We are headed to plymouth again with Ken and Toni, our whole zone is making a christmas missionary movie for our upcoming zone conference and then we are all going out to Nando's. Ken and Toni are goingto be like investigators or something in it. Our zone conference in on thursday. We have to travel all the way up to London on wednesday night and thursday morning. But, we will get to do a session in the temple, which I am pretty excited for. I should also mention, this Eric guy we have been teaching has accepted a baptism date! We have taught him 4 times now, all with Chris Thomas, and on the third teach he agreed to be baptized on Jan 15. The fourth teach was WOW, as he smokes. The ironic thing was that Chris Thomas also smokes, and there he was trying to help Eric to quit. So Chris felt pretty bad about it, and a bit hypocritical. On Sunday he asked for me and Brett Joliffe to give him a priesthood blessing to help quit. So we did, and it is really amazing to see his renewed desire to quit smoking and be baptized. So hopefully all will go well for that. He has been trying to quit for like 10 years, and hopefully this will be just the push that he needs.

The bad news is Elder Palmer and Elder Conkling were transfered. Actually, I might have mentioned that last email. The new guys that transferred in are kind of lame. Luckily Elder Evans is still in Redruth. Oh, and I think I will be doing a two day exchange with Elder Simmons in helston for tuesday and wednesday, which should be pretty fun.

I'll need your skype name and cell phone number that I can call on Christmas Eve.

Thanks for everything,

Love Elder Steed

Dec 5, 2011


I'm glad you haven't forgot about me! You both did amazing on that half marathon! I guess you are faster than we gave you credit for.

That is so cool that Riley is an Elder now. I am pretty sure that when he sends his papers in, I will be able to get permission to skype home when you guys open the envelope. As long as I keep behaving myself and stay on the Presidents good side that is. One of the greatest blessings of being an elder, and something I wish I would have done better before I left, is to be able to give priesthood blessings. It is such an amazing experience to be able to give one and really strengthens my testimony of the priesthood. It is really scary to give them, especially for the first time, but I hope Riley gets the opportunity to do that sometime soon.

If you haven't sent the pacakage yet, there is something else you could throw in there. My journal is almost full! I have wrote in my journal every single day, except maybe 2. So I need a new one.. but I want to find another nice one and I haven't seen any here. But other than that, why are you sending me another package? I don't think I need any more gifts. I did actually just send you guys a package yesterday as well. It was pretty expensive to send. It isn't much, but if you guys can wait until Christmas morning to open it that would be cool, because nothing inside is wrapped.

I'm so glad to hear that Alyssas bball team is a good team. Hopefully they can run some fast break offense and use their speed and small size to their advantage.

And no, I was not transferred. I was pretty sure I would be staying here so I wasn't to worried. But I am also pretty sure that now after Christmas I will have to leave Helston.

And here are some missionary stats for you. In my first 16 weeks, we taught an average of 11 teaches per week, with 3 of those being less-active member teaches. But, we have been having some success finding lately, and this last week we taught 17 teaches, with only 2 less active teaches! It was an awesome week, and it seemed like we were just teaching non-stop. So hopefully the work in Helston will continue to gain momentum. And as a missionary, as I'm sure you know, teaching is much more effective and enjoyable than finding. I don't mind finding, but I like teaching people a lot more. And sometimes when we find for hours on end, I find myself just kind of shutting down and just going through the motions. Which is something I am trying to work on. Having the 'faith to find.' But when it is freezing cold and raining, and everyone is just shutting their doors, it is hard not to think about great of a cook our dinner appointment is.

Alright, I will set up a skype account after I'm done emailing and send you the details next week. We have permission to call you guys on Christmas Eve, so I will call then and we can set up a time when we can skype and make sure everything goes smoothly.

Tell Brad and Toni I say hi back... I haven't had a good sushi in a long time. They don't seem to be very into that over here.

We figured out the baptism plans with Ken and Toni. Simmons is dunking Ken, and Oscarson is dunking Toni. I am confirming both of them in church on Christmas morning. I think it might be the greatest Christmas ever.


Elder Steed

Nov 27, 2011

Haha it really wouldn't be a proper holiday if Uncle Mike didn't get hurt. I'm just glad it wasn't anything worse.

Sounds like an amazing trip though. Except the sea-sickness. I would have been exactly the same. So when you catch a bunch of fish like that, what happens? Do you have to give them to the guy who took you out? I can't imagine you would even want that much fish.

I'm so jealous you guys went to the temple.. I think all the missionaries are going to be allowed to go around Christmas time. So that is pretty exciting. I haven't been since my first day in the mission.

The trip to Plymouth was really fun. The ice rink was pretty strange... it was a weird kidney bean shape, and the ice surface was horrible. I fell once and it cut my hand because it was such rough ice. It was worse than curling rink ice. And the skates were crappy plastic things. But I still had a lot of fun. And Ken and Toni loved it.

I swear, you guys are on some crazy holiday like three times a month. Las Vegas should be fun, try not to gamble to much.

This has been a pretty good week. I think the best part was that we were able to watch this movie called 17 miracles. It was a real movie, all about the Willie Martin handcart companies that crossed the states. It was really good, but pretty sad. It was just nice to finally watch a real movie again, it has been so long since I've seen one.

We also had a couple of new investigators this week. That grandaughter of the less active lady we finally got to teach, and that went really well. We also went and taught this guy whose door we knocked on, and he was really cool. He had read the first 5 chapters of 1 Nephi, and was talking all about them. The crazy thing about this teach, is that Oscarson invited Chris Thomas, the bloke who smokes who has been coming to church for 10 years but isn't baptized, to come on the teach with us. I was really hesitant about that at first, but after seeing how the teach went I know that it was inspired. Chris was actually better than some of the members in teaching the restoration with us, and it turns out this Eric guy (the new investigator) also has a smoking problem.

Elder Oscarsons hair was getting really long. Like really long, just completely out of control. So I borrowed clippers from Ken and Toni and cut his hair last night. I am actually getting pretty good at giving hair cuts.

I had an exchange with Elder Palmer this week, we were in Helston. I'm pretty sure that he is going to be moved at the end of this transfer, so it was our last exchange together. It's kind of sad, he is like my best friend, and he goes home in 6 months, so who knows if I will even see him again. I guess that is the nature of mission friendships though. He has really helped me through a lot of the struggles I have had as a new missionary.

I'm trying to think of what else really happened this week, but I can't think of much. I think it was a pretty ordinary week. We did run into a really cool deaf lady while knocking yesterday, and we are going back to see her wednesday. Hopefully that goes okay.

I hope all is well back home,
Love Elder Steed

Nov 27, 2011

Actually the skating wasn't even my idea.. it was Ken's. I just told them after wards I used to love playing hockey and I love skating. I have some good videos as well, but I am too lazy to figure out how to email them. You can see them in 19 months when I'm home. Okay and although my face might look similar, my belly is much larger.

Toni and Ken are seriously the best. And the ward here is awesome. Penzance is a beautiful city right on the coast... you guys are going to love it so much when you come to pick me up. I might want to not bother going anywhere else except Cornwall.
I'm glad to hear you guys are getting into the Christmas spirit. We have got a bunch of decorations from an investigator named Agnes, and so on Dec. 1 we are going to decorate the flat. I already have all my wrapped presents sitting on the floor under the foam tree, but we might buy like a bigger fake tree and decorate it and the flat really well. And on Dec. 1 we can listen to all the Christmas albums we have bought! So I am excited for December, especially when I get to skype you guys.

I can' t believe Riley is becomming an Elder. He really will be on mission in no time, that is such a crazy thought. I won't see that bloke for such a long time.

I am not suprsied at all to hear how well your paper went. The idea, or framework of the paper you told me about last week, was really really good, so I had no doubt the paper itself would turn out great as well. I'm trying to keep my mind sharp as well... I had some time last night, and tried to draw out the physics behind each of the stones, especially the keystone, in a classic roman arch. (Because everyone always says the BoM is the keystone of our religion). I was trying to find a way to create a really good analogy uses all the forces involved, but I realized there is probably no one else who would be interested in hearing that kind of analogy. But I still thought it was fun.

Noah is a stud. I can totally picture that kid doing a Moses talk. And that just brought back great memories of home, me and him working together at Trico. Those were such good times we had, even though it is just a small thing, its things like that which are my favorite memories.

I hope you continue to adjust to the ward. One thing I am finding is that good friends don't always need to be your same age or your same situation. I'm sure as time goes on you guys will find your niche.

I have had an amazing week. I hope everything is going well back home, and that you don't just sugar coat everything for me.
Love Elder Steed