Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ringgold, Georgia - yup, she made it!

I just received a few pictures of Kristen with her companion and her mission president - here is a quick excerpt from her email from this week. She said that she was really pressed for time this week and apologizes if she didn't respond to your email this week and will do her best to write to you as soon as she can.

I am in a little town called Ringgold, Georgia.  I dare you to google earth it because it is so country.  It is really pretty and Ringgold itself is a small little town, but we cover SO much area.  We cover most of the georgia portion of the mission.  We luckily have a car!

There was a man, justin, that was just baptized 4 days before we got here so we have had the chance to do the new member discussions with him and work with his wife in preparing to get baptized.  Justin and casey have 3 kids.  ethan and caleb have already been baptized and emily will get baptized next year when she turns 8.  They are a really cute family!

it is funny the extremes down here.  80% of the ward is RICH RICH RICH! The houses and properties up here and mind blowing, but on the other hand the 20% is poor poor poor. You really either live in a mansion or a trailer, there is no medium like there is  in utah. beyond that most people dont take super great care of stuff.  The poorer end is very.....messy i guess you could say.  I have been to a couple houses that make Great Grandma's look like the cleanest castle you have ever seen.  The cool thing though is that it doesnt matter. I am able to see them through the eyes of Christ and you dont pay attention to the worldly things, it is all about the person and where they are going.

We have the Blaylock's that live 5 doors from us and Donna is just my favorite.  She is really sweet and down to earth.  The nice thing about the south is they tell it to you straight and like it is. There is no going around the bush, they just say it.

It has rained some.  My first night here there was a huge thunderstorm and rain, but surprisingly my hair isnt monster. I havent used my rain coat cuz it is too hot.  It has been like 95-105 with humidity and it is awful. Tracting was awful, but when we are in the car and stuff it is totally doalbe.  Thankfully our apt has AC. 

The rest of her letter was about - Mom..please send me... Heh.. 

Oh, that said, if you are sending mail or packages, please send them to the mission home and send them 1st class mail or parcel post so that they can be forwarded to her. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sister Fanny, you are hereby called to serve.......

Hi....my name is Fanny.

I was called to serve in the Steiner household over 21 years ago.

This is probably one of the earliest pictures of me on my mission, Yes, that little girl would put my hat in her mouth at any time - no warning! Sometimes, she would run with me in her mouth like that, chewing away, giggling through her teeth as we would play at the park, or at Jenny's house.

 I was her first real companion. Her trainer. Oh, there were other companions at times, but I was never transferred far, and when the time came I was the one she choose.

Our companionship chatting with Teacher Betty

You see, I went to preschool with her. I was even given my own place with my own name card. Teacher Val understood the importance of our companionship, I appreciate her for that. Teacher Betty and Teacher Jan and Teacher Mary all understood too, I was as much a part of preschool as any other student there. Because we were a pair, a team, best friends!

I was diligent in attending church as well, I was glad my companion was so eager to learn all she could in nursery. I loved going! We got to sing and have treats and color! Then we moved up to Primary! WOW! More singing and more coloring and we got to learn more wonderful things about Jesus and all he did for us. I loved her for taking me with her and letting me learn right along side her, she never left me.

We played. We learned to cook and clean and wash clothes and how to get dressed and pick up toys and make our bed and do our homework and how to drive and how to pray and how to read and how to make good decisions - and how to fix bad ones and what college we wanted to go to and what boys we wanted to date

We have some amazing family. This is a picture of us with our Grandpa Baumgart - he's pretty cool!  And the other picture is us with our Aunt Kelly at the Zoo. When we were little our family was sure that we were always together, they knew how important my mission was, they knew how important I was to her and that our companionship was vital to her happiness.

I'll never forget when it was time to go to first grade, she was so scared. I was so sad, because I knew I couldn't go. First grade teachers were not like preschool and kindergarten and primary and family, they thought it was time for her to be more grown up. But you know what? We figured it out -  and the first grade teacher never knew I was there! Neither did the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, middle school or high school teachers! I went to EVERY first day of school....EVERY ONE! Because I had to.

It was my mission!

Do you know why people on their everyday "missions" carry backpacks, or purses, or wallets?

I do.

It's to carry their companion in.

It's how I carried out my mission for her, I was in her backpack, every first day of school she had, right there, within touching distance, never out of sight.

And guess where I am now? That's right....in a suitcase, still her companion, still within touching distance, headed to Tennessee. Still on my mission.......

Here's to a great 18 months! 
Good luck Sister Steiner and Sister Fanny !

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

So long, farewell

Well friends it has been a great ride! I am now off to serve the Lord for the next 18 months in the Tennessee Knoxville Mission.  I know, without a doubt, that that is where I am needed.  I don't know why or for who, but I have learned the past few months that it doesn't matter and that I need to have nothing but the utmost faith in the Lord because he knows!

Getting ready for my mission has been a whirlwind between leaving my beloved Utah State and roommates to having to move home to sending my brother on his mission and enduring many stuggles and inner demon as I have prepared.  There were many more things I probably could have done to get ready for today because I will be the first to admit I am nowhere near as ready as I need to be, but I am holding on with firm faith that as I enter the MTC today with a my small understanding of the gospel and my firm understanding of God and a testimony of him that that is ok and that I will be directed and learn what I need to in time.

I leave with you a couple things as I go.  First, remember to always pray to our Heavenly Father.  He is always there and and always listening and knows literally everything.  Second, have as much faith as you can possibly muster within yourselves.  With faith comes so much understanding and love.  And third, remember who you are and that you are a child of our Heavenly Father who loves us.  He would not have put you here at this time and in this place if it weren't for his complete faith in you as his kids.

I love each of you and am so grateful for you prayers and support.  Please write and keep in touch! I do not know how great I will be at writing back fast, but I will.  Know that you are all in my prayers and I cannot be more thankful for the love and support you have given me over the years!

Much love,

Sister Steiner

PS - my mom will be updating my blog with pics and new happenings!