Wednesday, October 28, 2015

WEEK 17- Fairfield 2nd Ward
Family and Friends,
This past week hasn't been the craziest in the whole wide world, but
yet again we were blessed with many miracles or "tender mercies" if
you will. Yes I know I say that a lot, but every week provides with
something new that never fails to impress. I guess that's just the way
The Lord works, right? Waaaaayyyyy up, I feel blessed.😉
Despite the rough going last week with my companion Elder Smittenaar,
I decided to not worry about him very much, but rather to just press
on and work my very hardest. Through much prayer and asking of The
Lord, I tried to steadily keep my motivation in hastening this
wonderful work. I tried my very hardest to be positive and optimistic
about this situation, but it began to weigh on me again. I began to
feel as if I didn't belong out here and it was just time for me to
call it quits. I mean, I had been out in the field for almost 4 months
now. I knew what it took to be a missionary. I knew how hard it was. I
got it. I had learned so much and it all made sense. Yet, The Lord had
given me this trial (of a companion) in my life and I didn't know what
to do with it or how to manage it. I was stuck in between a rock and a
hard place.
One night this week we had been out finding people for about an hour
and a half. We had been knocking doors and nothing was going right.
Literally nothing. We had had a couple doors slammed in our face, we
had been given the most horrible, awful looks in the world as we tried
to meet people, and people were just flat out rude to us. I was
frustrated. I was tired and I was ready to head home. Soon after this
river flow of emotions, I had a little voice come into my head that
whispered... "Just one more." Just. One. More. I pulled out the Area
Book, and looked for people that were in the area. I found a house a
couple doors down and decided that we would just knock this last one.
We did so, and to my surprise a little old lady opened the door and
immediately sighed with relief. She quickly invited us in and began to
share with us how she had recently been going through "the trial of
her life." She talked and talked and talked (most of it we couldn't
understand because she was oriential) but the next few words that came
out of her mouth changed my whole demeanor. With tears rolling down
her face, she told us - "I had been praying for people like you to
come for the past 3 days now. I needed help and I needed a message of
upliftment... And you were there for me. You knew I needed it. You
came. You really really came." Now, sitting in this woman's house
thinking about what had just happened the past 20 minutes,  I couldn't
believe what I had just heard. This lady who was extremely in-active
in the church was looking for us to come share a message with her -
and we were there. We came. We really really came. Now, this story may
seem of very small significance but it shook me to my very core. To
have known that this lady needed us was a privilege. But to know that
The Lord guided ME SPECIFICALLY to see her (regardless of my reluctant
behavior) was beyond my own comprehension. It was such an amazing
experience to know that as missionaries, we really are guided by those
"still small voices". Again, a story of such little significance, but
yet so powerful to know that The Lord pushed me into the very place
that I needed to be, to help and minister to this sweet woman. It only
took one more try. It only took a couple more steps. It only took a
little faith.
After this amazing experience, The Lord saw need to provide me with
her another hidden "tender mercy". Our whole Fairfield Zone of
Missionaries scheduled to attend the Oakland Temple this week. We all
drove down and planned to be in an Endowment Session at 10:00 AM.
Well, upon arriving to the temple I began to feel around for my temple
recommend and it was quickly apparent that I had made a big mistake. I
quickly looked over to my companion and whispered... "Hey, I think I
forgot my recommend." Yes. My temple recommend. My golden ticket in. I
know. It was absolutely ridiculous, but the events that followed made
up for it all. The Temple President eventually had to call my Mission
President and confirm that I was worthy recommend holder. After about
20 minutes of waiting and the clock ticking past 10:05 AM it was
evident that my companion and I just weren't gonna make it into the
session. I'm sure you can imagine how I felt. Awful. Embarrassed.
Saddened. I really felt so dumb. But soon out of his office came out
the Temple President and he explained to us that even though we didn't
make the 10:00 session, we could head up to the 3rd level of the
temple and assist in marriage and family sealings. Elder Smittenaar
and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and agreed to doing
this. At this point I really just wanted to get into the temple and do
SOMETHING. After this whole long, drawn out process - We got up there,
and The Spirit that I instantly felt was one of the strongest I've
ever felt in my life. I broke down. I broke out into tears and I had
never before felt love like I did then. I felt so thankful and so full
of love for my family. I felt that I was blessed with the most
wonderful people in the world. I had a mother and father that loved me
very much. I had two amazing sisters that have been there for me
through the thick and thin. I had brother in laws that were the
biggest role models and best "older brothers" I ever could've wished
for. I had 4 beautiful nieces that I loved so dearly and cared for so
very much. All of these thoughts were flowing through my mind and it
made me appreciate my family more than I ever had before. I was so
happy to perform these saving ordinances in the Temple and bind
families together for eternity. I realized the importance of these
saving ordinances and how essential it is for us to be together again
someday. I can't wait for the day in which my family will be sealed
together for time and all eternity. It will certainly be one of the
happiest days of my life.
Aside from these two long, long stories (that you probably didn't even
read) - the work this week was pretty steady. We again had 18 lessons
and we picked up two new potential investigators this week. We did a
bunch of service in moving a hoarder, gave 4 separate blessings to
people, and woke up two mornings in a row at 4:45 AM to teach an early
morning seminary class. It was a great week. Seriously. I am out of
words to even describe how thankful I am to be out here. I'm just....
thankful. That's really all I can say. I love this work and I'm
growing a substantial amount. I'm grateful for the blessings that come
from a mission and I can't wait to see what The Lord has in store for
me in the future.
I hope all is well with everything back home. I love and miss all of
you a great amount. I'll see you again soon.❤️

-Elder Schaefer

No comments:

Post a Comment