Tuesday, December 1, 2015

WEEK 22- Rohnert Park 3rd Ward

Family and Friends,
Due to the lack of letter that I was able to share this past week,
I've certainly got something to make up for. I'm sorry that it's been
so crazy around here, but I do have some super great things to tell
you about. I've been blessed beyond words and I'm very thankful for
all that happened to me in Fairfield California. Fortunately, The Lord
saw me able to serve some other wonderful people and share this
astounding message that I have of the Gospel. The new area in which
I've been assigned to serve is in San Rafael California. It's a
smaller town in San Rafael known by missionaries as "Ro-Po". Or in
more of geographical terms - Rohnert Park. This isn't the prettiest
place on the whole planet, but I really walked into a miracle of an
area.

The very first day I got here, I was assigned my new companion Elder
Sombke. Elder Sombke is barely fresh out on the mission and we are
both new to this Rohnert Park area. He's from Virginia, & has been
around the world and back about five times. He's an awesome missionary
with a lot of motivation, and he's VERY knowledgable about The Gospel.
I was so very excited that I was getting the opportunity to serve with
him - until we got into the car after transfer meeting. The very first
thing he shared with me was... "Elder Schaefer, I don't know how you
do things around here, but don't plan on getting close with me or
emotionally attached as companions. I'm not like that and we aren't
going to be like that." Hahahahaha I didn't even really know what to
say. I was very confused and to be honest I still very much am. He's
an interesting kid to say the least, but we're trying to work out our
differences. I have all the faith in my heart that The Lord will make
all things right after a couple weeks of being together.

But aside from this companionship drama, the work here is POPPIN'. We
have an investigator on schedule for a baptism this coming Saturday,
and four other people taking steps to entering into the waters. (I
feel like it's kind of an early birthday present for me considering
that my birthday is on Sunday & our baptism is the day before.) These
people are so ready to begin steps of returning to their Heavenly
Father. Each of their countenances reflect a sense of gospel light and
I'm so excited that I get to be a part of their journey to
discipleship. I've already grown such a love for the special people of
Rohnert Park and the missionaries in my zone. I am feeling greatly
blessed with the special circumstances here that come from being
called to serve in this area. I have a duty to fulfill and I'm
confident that with The Lord on my side, "all things will work out for
our benefit."

With it being thanksgiving this past week, we had a hilarious
experience with the sweet family that brought us into their home to
feed us. It was nothing like my mom's home cooking, but I was at least
able to laugh a little bit about our situation.
On Tuesday morning, we received a call from a member in our ward. This
sweet sister explained to us that she was feeding us for thanksgiving
dinner and we needed to be at her home PROMPTLY at 5:00. Not a minute
later. Not a minute before. So, we made our best efforts in showing up
exactly at the time she asked. We knocked on the door. No answer. We
knocked again, and after a great amount of time, a young teenaged
Samoan girl answered the door. Very confusingly she asked... "Oh,
hello. Is there anything I can do for you?" We responded with "Oh hi,
ummm yeah, uhhhh we are the missionaries, and we were uhhh told that
we were eating thanksgiving dinner here at this home tonight?!... I
think?" Shrugging her shoulders, this cute girl opened the door and
invited us in. She told us that they had already eaten, but there was
some leftovers that we could grab if we wanted. Hahahaha Elder Sombke
and I looked at each other and slowly walked into the home. To our
immediate surprise a very large Samoan family greeted us with hugs and
lots of kisses. Real kisses. Not little face kisses. Real ones. Hahaha
they all invited us into the kitchen and they began to fix us up the
little scraplings of what was left from their feast only a few hours
before. So, needless to say... I ended up with a plate of fruit,
caesar salad, four brownies, a cookie, and a few pieces of turkey with
gravy all over top. Hahahahahahah it was the funniest thing in the
world, but I was so thankful that this family was so willing to give
us what they had left. Oh and did I mention that we didn't end up
meeting the sister that actually invited us over to her home until we
were actually walking out the door? Hahahaha it was a little awkward,
but we made the best of it that we could. I guess that's what
thanksgiving is like out on the mission? Maybe I'm wrong?

I was also able to teach my first district meeting this past Friday as
well. What an experience that was. We played Jeopardy and I centered
the questions mostly to Gospel related subjects. In this effort, I
tried to make strides in bringing together some unity between us
missionaries. It ended up being so much fun, and our district did
absolutely awesome. But Holy Moly. I learned so much about myself and
how imperfect that I am as a person in general. I really have a lot to
improve on as both a missionary and a person. I'm going to try my very
best in all that I do, but just hope that The Lord picks up for my
short comings. Prayers are very much appreciated.

This seemed as a very scatterbrained weekly letter, but I hope that
you were all able to get some sort of idea as to how crazy this past
week has been. Regardless of all these things that went on, I was
especially grateful for the chance to reflect on my life and think
about all the things we have so graciously been blessed with. This
week was awfully full of thanksgiving for myself and I'm so grateful
for all of you and the wonderful people you are in my life. I'm beyond
thankful for the lessons learned, the love shared, and the acceptance
given. I could never begin to describe how much you all mean to me and
how deeply my love is for each and every one of you.

I love you all so much. Do me a favor and play in the snow for me.
I'll see you soon.❤️

-Elder Schaefer

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