Tuesday, December 8, 2015

WEEK 23- Rohnert Park 3rd Ward
Family and Friends,
Crazy week. Crazy, crazy week my loved ones. Heavenly Father couldn't
have blessed us with any more miracles then he did. Some of the things
that happened almost didn't even seem real. I think this one goes down
in the books as being the most successful and spiritual week that I've
had. Elder Sombke and I had lots of struggles but despite these
mishaps, the area seemed to continue steadily. Some of our
investigators here have been so "on the fence" lately (concerning
baptism) that is often times very frustrating. We've been encouraging
them to pray about what we are teaching and to attend church.
Unfortunately these things that seem so fundamental - are hard
concepts to grasp for those we teach. But then again, on the other
side of the coin, some of our investigators are so ready for the
gospel that it almost seems too good to be true.

One of the biggest highlights of our week was the opportunity in which
we had to see our sweet investigator Megan be baptized this Saturday.
It was a very tender moment filled with much emotion and spiritual
truths being testified to all those that were in attendance. I was so
happy for Megan and her decision to show her faith in her Savior Jesus
Christ and be baptized a member of His church. But, not only did she
find the true church of God, she also received the Gift of The Holy
Ghost. I was so privileged to have seen this amazing ordinance take
place and I will forever remember it.

In the spirit of baptisms, we were also able to commit a less-active
families children to baptism this week. Alexandria & Xavier are their
names. These kids are some of the sweetest, kind hearted, and most
loving people on the face of the planet. I've never met siblings that
have a bond as they do. They're so adorable one with another. Every
lesson we give, they insist on offering the opening & closing prayers
and it always leaves me with such a renewed testimony as to how true
this Gospel really is. This Gospel has changed their lives around and
they are so willing to accept it. In their prayers, they pray for us
Elders and they ALWAYS thank Heavenly Father that he sent us to their
home. It brings tears to my eyes every time I hear those words coming
from deep in the heart of those children. We set baptismal dates for
these amazing people on December the 19th. The children also insisted
that Elder Sombke and I are the ones that will perform their baptism.
In knowing that these kids would ask US, to baptize them means the
world to me. They will be the first baptism ordinance in which I've
ever taken part in. I'm beyond excited for this opportunity. These two
kids have touched my heart in a way that isn't able to put into words.
I love them so.

While visiting a less active family this week, I had a spiritual
experience that will also never be forgotten. As soon as we entered
the home, I knew something was different. I knew that we had entered a
home that needed The Spirit and it had a very negative vibe. We began
talking with the family, and they seemed significantly interested as
to what we had to say. It almost seemed as if they were waiting for us
to say something that would determine the outcome of their whole
mortal ministry. I knew that The Lord had put us in their home for a
reason. As our lesson with them had ended, I felt that there were
deeper needs that needed to addressed. I then asked if we could do
anything for this sweet family and the wife immediately asked for us
to give her a blessing. She asked for a blessing of comfort, and
healing for the emotional and physical trials in which she's faced
most recently. In placing my hands upon her head that night I felt the
Savior right beside me with his hands upon mine. He spoke through me
and the words that I needed to say came right through my mouth. I
didn't even feel as if I was the one giving the blessing. My whole
body seemed as if it wasn't even there, but I was just the one
speaking. After the blessing was closed, this sweet lady turned around
to me, with tears in her eyes, and gave me the biggest hug in the
world. She began to express to us how hard her life had been recently
and how genuinely scared she was with how her body was working and
operating. She told us that our blessing was indeed EXACTLY what she
needed to hear, and it couldn't have been more perfect for her
circumstances. I later left this home knowing that the priesthood
authority in which I am privileged to use is truly the authority of
God. One does not have experiences such as this that may come as
"coincidences". This is not self inspired. This is not proposed by
man. This ordinance was and is ordained of God.

Aside from the spiritual and emotional aspects of our week, another
great event that happened was my birthday. You know the tune - "One
year older and wiser too, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!" The cute primary
kids in our ward sang this to me on my birthday and it made me so very
happy. Some more events that brought me such joy was being taken out
to dinner with our dear family friend John Winchester. Taken out to
lunch with sweet Sister Petersen. Receiving a call from President
Wright and hearing him sing me happy birthday. Coming to see our car
ALL DECORATED with balloons, posters, candies, confetti and other
sorts of stuff from the cute sister missionaries in my district. A
member baked me a birthday cake. And then to top it all off - We had a
literal five course meal for dinner. We only get fed once a week, so
this was really a miracle for us. Hahahaha

In conclusion, I had the best week ever. It just couldn't have been
better. I wish that I could film everything that happened, and I could
send it home for you all to watch. Even though I want very
differently, my words aren't able to depict the special events that
happen here. I want to take everybody on this journey with me, but the
stories will make for great conversation when I get back home. ;)

I miss you all dearly. Holidays and birthdays are hard being away, but
I know the blessings that will come are of far more worth than I can
even comprehend.

Be safe while I'm gone. I'll see you soon. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer

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