Tuesday, December 22, 2015

WEEK 25 Rohnert 3rd Ward-

Family and Friends,

Much like all the other missionary emails I get from friends around
the world, I certainly admire the "day to day" reports as to how
things are going in each others areas. Most of the emails and letters
I send home consist of random thoughts, ideas, and spiritual moments
all packed together like a snowball. I must apologize to those whom
have been reading these outrageous pieces of literature. It will soon
be changed into something more interesting and worthwhile. Without
further adieus, here's a quick rundown of all things Elder Schaefer.

Monday - 'Twas a pretty boring P Day to say the least. Most of our
zone was split up and busy attending to other things. We basically sat
at the church, talking, emailing and playing basketball with our Zone
Leaders (Elder Frodcham & Elder Wilson). We then had dinner with the
Piombo family later that night. They're honestly one of the coolest
families I've ever met. They LOVE feeding us and having us over. For
the better part of our evening, we talked about the new Star Wars
movie, and discussed our predictions for the movie. Unfortunately
it'll be another 18 months before I can see that movie, but we still
made our best guesses. Following our dinner appointment, we went to
visit a family that is soon moving out of our ward.

Tuesday - Such an awesome day. We had district meeting today and it
was so great. Elder Beeston & I decided to combine our districts and
to share a video about The Atonement. It was one of the most powerful
videos I've ever seen. Although, not church produced... It brought a
special spirit into our meeting. I loved that! After district meeting,
I went on an exchange with our Zone Leader (Elder Wilson). He happens
to be a Spanish speaking Elder, and we were heading into his area - so
I anticipated that I wouldn't be doing much talking. Later that
evening, we were out knocking doors and I approached a man that looked
to be Latino. From the 3 years of Spanish classes I've taken
throughout High School, I decided to just throw myself out there and
try to have a conversation with this man. Now, my Spanish was very
broken, but to my much surprise, I received a witness of the gift of
tongues that very night. I stood there and had a full conversation
with the man, and I felt The Lord putting words into my mind as I
explained our purpose, and what our basic beliefs were. Soon after my
conversation with him, we walked away, and Elder Wilson and I just
BUSTED out laughing. We were so blown away at what had just happened,
that we couldn't even believe it. It seemed almost comical to me that
The Lord provided me with such a sweet experience.

Wednesday - Exchanged back to our regular companionships, and headed
out to a FULL day of service. We started with helping a sister (in our
ward) move out of her storage units. We moved the NASTIEST, OLDEST,
AND DUSTIEST furniture I've ever seen in my life. We had spider webs,
cob webs, and dried up rat feces all over us after this service
project. With smiling faces, we kindly thanked her for allowing us to
serve her & then returned home for a very lengthy shower. We then had
Waffles & Costco bacon for dinner & did more finding for the rest of
the night. Nothing too eventful.

Thursday - We had our Mission Christmas devotional today! What a
spiritual, fun, exciting, and hilarious experience this was. Each zone
from the mission was asked to rehearse a "Christmas skit" & perform it
in front of the mission. We danced to a remix song of "Once There Was
A Snowman" and made ourselves look ridiculous. But that's alright. We
had fun. It was so great to see all my friends from the mission and
talk with them for a bit. For our devotional, President Wright asked
that every missionary memorize a verse of scripture as a gift to our
Savior this Christmas. We then all stood up in unison and shared our
verse. It was so cool. After our devotional, we drove home, had
another four course meal with The sweet Ray family, and then followed
a lesson with Brianna & Sili (our investigators). We had a lesson with
this couple and tried to commit them to baptism. They have been
meeting with missionaries for a couple months now, and we decided it
was time. The husband committed to a baptismal date, but the wife is
still holding back. She's having problems making this decision because
of her families strong disliking of our faith. Briana knows that she
will be cut off from her family if she makes this decision, so we are
patiently waiting for her to muster up enough courage in taking this

Friday - Basically just planned for our upcoming week and got ready
for our baptism on Saturday. We went over to Alexandria & Xavier's
home with a list of things they need to remember to bring in
preparation for their baptism. (We forgot to remind our investigator a
couple weeks ago about bringing extra underwear & a towel to dry off
with after her baptism. In forgetting this, I'm sure you can imagine
the sticky situation we were in a couple weeks before). We didn't want
to let them forget any of the "essentials" and being that they were
kids - we HAD to make sure their mother was aware of these things. We
then went over to an investigators home, and was canceled on. Might I
mention... We have been canceled on three weeks in a row. I think we
might have to drop this one.

Saturday - Wow. I haven't felt the spirit so strongly ever in my life.
Today was the day of Alexandria & Xavier's baptism. Elder Sombke & I
were privileged enough to have been chosen in performing this
ordinance for these adorable kids. The Spirit of The Lord has never
pierced my heart as deeply as it did this day. I had a "fiery burning
in my heart" with the knowledge that Xavier & Alexandria had just
entered into a sacred covenant with their Heavenly Father. Thankfully,
I was there to assist them in making this happen. I know and can
testify of the Saviors presence at baptisms. There's no doubt in my
mind that he was there, sitting in attendance. I felt him ever near. I
was also thankful to have given a talk at the baptism on the subject
of receiving the gift of The Holy Ghost. All in all, we had an amazing
day. Elder Sombke & I had permanent smiles on for the rest of the day.
I have never felt so full of joy and happiness before in my life. It
was a feeling in which is truly unexplainable. I was so blessed with
this opportunity and I knelt down in fervent prayer that night
THANKING my Heavenly Father for putting them in my path.

Sunday - Today happened to be our ward Christmas Program. What a crazy
day this was. We combined with the Spanish Branch and it was a Dual
Lingo Sacrament meeting. For the most of the talks that were going on,
I couldn't maintain focus. It was a little frustrating, but this
frustration subsided after partaking of the sacrament. This holy
emblem is one of great importance to me and the sanctification it
brings is one of the greatest gifts from my Heavenly Father. I so
appreciate the blessings that we obtain from taking this week to week.
After church, we then had a "linger longer" in which all people from
the wards stay together and enjoy food with one another. Again,
another Dual Lingo activity that didn't make much sense. But we
enjoyed it for what it was worth. Elder Sombke had a full night out in
the rain this day and came home SOAKED from head to toe. In a more
literal sense, we didn't need to take a shower that night after
returning home - because we were so wet. But, it felt good to get out
and work despite the elements we were facing. I guess Satan just knew
how much I hate getting wet, so he made it POUR this day.

In conclusion, one must know that this week was one of success. With
two baptisms, a baptismal date set, and another potential baptismal
candidate - I think it's safe to say that this area is POPPIN'.
Heavenly Father has blessed us so richly. I'm thankful for the
blessings in which we have the opportunity to claim from serving a
full time mission. I hope all of you reading this are feeling of the
Saviors love and feeling a greater conviction of what he will do for
those that serve him. The blessings are for all. (Not just for those
that carry the name tag). I invite you to seek out and partake of the
blessings that we are able to obtain if only through obedience.

I hope and wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. I'll see some of you
on Christmas, but for the others... I'll see you in a couple more
months. Who's really counting though? ;)

Love you all much. GodSpeed.
-Elder Schaefer

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