Monday, August 10, 2015


I can't begin to describe how grateful I am for all the packages, letters, and emails that I have gotten over the past week and a half.  Every single one of these have been so exciting to receive and open throughout the time I've been here at the MTC. It feels like Christmas morning when I check the inbox on my email, and the mailbox in our residence hall. Getting all of these things makes me feel a certain sense of "home away from home." I'm am only now starting to realize how hard it is to be away from family and friends. When people always told me it'd be tough being away from your mom, I kind of blew it off. I'm now sitting here wishing I could hangout in the family room and talk with her while she tickles my back.  You really miss the "little things" when you're out here alone. I didn't ever think 2 years would be this hard. I miss you all very, very much. Despite it all, I know that because of my service to the Lord, he will be keeping a close eye on every single one of you.❤

This week has truly been one of the hardest tests of my faith that the Lord has put me through, up until this point in my life. I've grown and matured more than I ever thought I could. Teaching investigators, searching the scriptures, fingering through endless pages of Preach my Gospel, & praying until there's nothing left to say, is just a small glimpse of how rigorous and draining this whole mission thing can be. Just when you think you'd had enough, your instructors cram some more gospel doctrine down your throat... just because it'll "help you teach investigators one day." I have relied on the merits of the Savior to get me through all of this. Without him, none of this would be possible. My imperfect and mortal personage couldn't withstand all of this alone. I'm so grateful to know that when I need a shoulder to lean on, the Lord is right by my side. D&C 84:88 "... I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

Teaching investigators has also got to be one of the most frustrating things in the world. You devote so much of your time to study and prepare a lesson that pertains to these individuals just to find out that they "still don't believe the Book of Mormon to be the true Word of God", or "I just don't understand how not drinking coffee will make me happy."  Because of the love that I have for this Gospel, I am so anxious to share it with them when we have appointments scheduled. After completing lessons, and it not being well received, it eats me away inside. It's been a huge lesson to me that conversion takes time. Rome wasn't built over night. Building a testimony is the same way. It takes time and a lot of effort on our part. My favorite quote I've heard from my time being here was from a speaker we had in a devotional. "When you start seeking, he will start speaking." This is one of the most true things I've ever heard. I've found it very useful when teaching investigators and even in my own personal study. The Lord will speak to us, as we earnestly seek him. If you don't believe it... Then try it. Test the lord and his goodness. I promise he will not fail you. 

I can't wait to get out of this freakin place. The schedule & activities we do have gotten so redundant, it's a task in itself to even get up in the mornings. Our instructors keep preaching to us... "it will be different out in the field". I'm really hoping so, because class for 8 hours per day is reaaaalllyyyy getting old. We have 12 kids crammed into a classroom that's honestly no bigger than my bathroom at home. We all laugh until we're blue in the face and try to make this the funniest it can be. (Well, all of us except my companion. He just sits there in silence. He kinda freaks me out a bit.) The kids here are great and the relationships we've built with our have been awesome, but I'm still ready to ski-daddle.

Looking back on all of this, I know that these trials have been given to me for a reason. The Lord gives us trials in our lives so that we may "humble ourselves before the Lord." (Helaman 12:1-4) Without these stumbling blocks, things would be too easy. And of course, The Lord can't make things too easy on us.  We're here for a reason. Life on earth is an opportunity and a blessing. Our purpose in this life is to have joy and prepare to return to God’s presence. While we are in mortality, we will have experiences that bring us happiness. We also are guaranteed to have experiences that bring us pain and sorrow. These experiences provide us opportunities to learn and to grow, to distinguish good from evil, and to make choices that will one day bring us back to live with our Heavenly Father. I know that my mission is going to be a process. I understand and have faith in my Heavenly Father that despite the trials I face while out here, he will be with me. He will work through me to "bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." I'm ready to face anything that comes my way.

Thanks for all the love, support and care that you have all so graciously shared with me. You don't know how much it's meant. You're all great.  Can't wait to see you again.

I love you so much. I'll see you soon. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer

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