Tuesday, January 19, 2016

WEEK 29 Rohnert Park 3rd Ward-

Family and Friends,

Yet another week flies by and I've got more great things to share with
you. The weather around here has been a bit of a hindrance to the
work, but Elder Thomas and I have worked with what we've been given. I
wish in someway I could share every spiritual experience that happens
to us, but there isn't enough time of day. Here's the slightest
description as to how neat, fun, and crazy our week was.

Monday: Not just your regular, average, ordinary, P-Day folks. We got
our shopping, cleaning, and other stuff done earlier in the morning to
get it out of the way. Following these less exciting parts of our day,
we started off for the church with one thing on our minds. Ball. We've
recently been placing bets with the Zone Leaders and a couple other
Elders as to who would win in a "friendly" game of 2 on 2. As quickly
as the games started - it also got out of hands fairly quickly as
well. Some of the guys still trying to live in the "glory days"
thought it might be a good idea to lace up like they were getting
ready for the 2015-2016 NBA Finals. After playing for some time, and
with just my luck, we got beat and lost most of our wagers. I guess
I'll be buyin McDonalds sometime soon. Ugh. That's alright though. A
little competition didn't hurt anybody. Except for when my companion
got poked in the eye and couldn't see for 15 minutes. But it's
alright. He persevered. Threw some dirt in it and went back into the
game. I guess you could say I was proud. After a good ol long day of
ball, we returned home for our dinner appointment and for some
finding/tracting with our Ward Mission Leader. Man, what a hoot that

Tuesday: Probably the best day out of the whole entire week
considering the brilliant ideas that came from my companion and I.
After attending a Zone Meeting (with our San Rafael North Zone) and a
Zone Lunch that followed, we headed back to the apartment for some
serious repair work. Elder Thomas and I found a pair of bicycles on
our back porch that had probably been sitting there for the last
decade. These babies were old, out of shape, and definitely in no way
safe for somebody to ride. After some maintenance work from my handy
dandy companion, he fixed these babies up into tip top shape. Of
course I stood there dumbfounded because I couldn't even distinguish
the difference between a valve stem and a sprocket... So my companion
filled in quite well on this one. We then took these 1980 Red Rockets
out and set pedal to the pavement. Looking like complete dorks, but
feeling like a kid in a candy shop, we pedaled and pedaled and pedaled
some more. Talking, speaking with and cracking jokes with all those
that we crossed paths - it turned out to be one of the funnest days on
my mission. Even though every single one of our lessons canceled on
us, and the weather was uninviting for us to be outside - we didn't
mind. 'Twas a day full of contacting and getting cussed out by some
homeless people on the streets. But hey! We were happy. We didn't

Wednesday: Started out with our weekly "Shoebox" service and sorted
the usuals. Not much to add there. Following our service, Elder Thomas
& I had another brilliant idea to take a trip to the local Chipotle
and get us some manly man burritos. Im not even exaggerating the least
bit in telling you that my burrito weighed a good 2-3 pounds. Quickly
after putting myself into a food coma we again went out biking. Elder
Thomas and I stumbled upon a guy named Anthony that had a couple
questions as to our religion and our beliefs. He told us that his wife
recently died & he was looking for some truth and wisdom as to how he
could live again with her. It was a GOLDEN opportunity that all
missionaries dream about. We then offered for us to come by sometime
and share some more of our beliefs. He gave us his phone number, and
we are planning to teach him this upcoming week! After biking for a
couple more hours and rollin around town - we set out for a lesson
with Brianna and Sili. As we approached Sili and started prepping him
for the baptismal interview questions, he quickly informed us that
he's been smoking weed for the past seven years now and doesn't plan
on quitting any time soon. Apparently he didn't know "Mormons dont
smoke." I haven't walked out of a lesson laughing as hard as I did,
but it was a tender mercy from The Lord. We were so thankful we didn't
plan to baptize him under these circumstances. I guess we're just
gonna have to try and weed him off the weed. ;)

Thursday: Today we woke up a bit earlier than normal to attend a Zone
Conference that was being held in Santa Rosa. Elder Thomas & I made
our way out of the house bright and early. Unfortunately we got lost
for a bit on the way there, so that was fun. NOT. After a tid bit of
frustration, we eventually found our way to the chapel and ended up
being a couple minutes early. Despite the rough start of a morning,
Zone Conference was absolutely amazing. I always feel such a sweet
spirit every time we get the chance to hear President Wright and
Sister Wright address us. Not only did they give such great segments,
but the AP's did as well. I really enjoyed all of the things that
everybody shared. Without a shadow of a doubt, I walked out of that
meeting with a more firm knowledge of the truthfulness of this Gospel
and the divinity of this work. It really couldn't have been a better
day. After Zone Conference, we drove home, had dinner at the apartment
and set out for a couple lessons we had that night. We went to see The
Lavulo's (one of my most favorite families of all here in Rohnert
Park) and the spirit was so strong in our lesson. We talked to the
kids about serving missions and Elder Thomas and I were able to bare
our testimonies on how thankful we are for our missions and the
blessing it has been in our lives. After our lesson and looking back
on our day, I felt so uplifted that I went to bed with a permanent
smile on my face.

Friday: This morning I had a wonderful personal study where I received
some cool revelation for myself. I read from Alma 5 in The Book of
Mormon and it was such a bittersweet kind of thing. I learned a lot
about myself and the things I need to most improve on as a person as
well as a full-time emissary of The Lord. After studies, we drove all
the way down to Petaluma for a zone service opportunity that we had.
We ended up moving a family for about 5&1/2 hours. Elder Thomas and I
had been fasting all day, so that was a bit of a challenge for us
moving heavy, awkward, homely objects. It really was such a treat to
help this family move, though. I love doing service! After service we
came home, took a bit of a nap, and then headed out to our dinner
appointment. Elder Thomas & I had been fasting today in hopes that we
might get Chas to take the missionary discussions. After much
anticipation and built up emotions by the end of the night, we
extended the invitation and he declined. At first I was super bummed,
but later that night the spirit spoke through me and I felt so
inclined to ask Chas if he would like a priesthood blessing in
preparation for his upcoming school finals. He gladly accepted and the
spirit of The Lord was ever so present. Walking away from this
experience, I learned that sometimes The Lord doesn't always give us
exactly what we want - but rather what's best for us and our
investigators in that given time. I know I will see Chas baptized
someday. I know it.

Saturday: Such a fun day! The rain was coming down like it never has
before, so we decided to take the Corolla "off-roading" on the way to
our Farm Service. Oops. At Sister Flemmings, we trudged around in more
poop and mud. From my knees down, I was caked in llama and sheep
feces. Super gross! After coming home for lunch and a deep scrubbing
in the shower, we went to the church for our Weekly Planning. You all
know how I feel about Weekly Planning, so I'm just going to leave it
at that. You could've found us biking around town for the rest of the
night teaching and sharing messages with everybody we met. The Lord
blessed us richly with a couple people that wanted to be taught. Elder
Thomas and I continue to come home every night with so much joy
knowing that we are replenishing our teaching pool. I guess you could
say we've just been having fun chasing people around town and sharing
The Gospel.

Sunday: Today was quite uneventful. It started out pretty rough, but
took a turn for the better. I woke up a little late, and had to rush
this morning to get ready for church. I felt super bugged, flustered,
and aggravated to say the least. Upon getting to the church building,
we walked in and were immediately greeted by the young men in the ward
asking if we would mind blessing the sacrament. Not exactly what I
wanted to hear right when we walked into the church - but willingly we
went up there and were able to serve in such a small way. Throughout
the duration of church, Elder Thomas kept complaining about how sick
he felt and eventually he needed to get home. The rest of our day was
spent in the apartment. Thankfully, I was able to get some good
studying in and I learned a bunch of cool things. It really was
exactly what I needed. Blessings in disguise, I guess.

Tender Mercies on Tender Mercies. I'm thankful for all that I've
learned thus far out on my mission and the things that Heavenly Father
has revealed to me. I hope to continue in progression and deepen my
testimony of this Restored Gospel. I know it's true. I'm thankful for
all its done for me and the relief it's brought in my life. I know my
Savior lives. I know he loves, watches over, and protects us each day.
I'd invite you to reflect on how often you thank your Heavenly Father
for all the things he so graciously blesses us with. Count your many
blessings. Name them one by one. As you do each day, I promise you'll
see Him along your side.

I love you all. I'll see you soon. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

WEEK 28 Rohnert Partk 3rd Ward-

Family and Friends,
What a week it has been. Definitely one full of its ups & downs, but I
think it's very valid that I've been experiencing such things. Here's
another quick recap coming at you. :)

Monday: Well, today was one of the more different P-Days I've ever
had, but it was super great. We woke up, went through our regular
morning routines, and then were soon surprised by our Zone Leaders at
our apartment. They came by just to say hi and "check up on us." After
hanging out and talking for a bit, we all headed out to Olive Garden.
This is truly where we spent the better part of our day. We heard that
they had a deal running in which you would only pay $7.99 for
UNLIMITED SOUP, SALAD AND BREADSTICKS. As a missionary this was like
winning the lottery. We sat at that restaurant for nearly 3 hours. We
stuffed, and stuffed, and stuffed, and stuffed ourselves more. Since
we all had consumed enough soup, salad, and breadstick to fill us
through the rest of the week, we decided it might be time to start off
to the church and get emailing. Emailing time came to a close quicker
than anticipated - which meant it was now time to head out for dinner.
After dinner we spent the whole rest of the night in the apartment
where Elder Sombke could finish packing for transfers tomorrow.
Hallelujah he's outta here.

Tuesday: TRANSFER DAY! I woke up today and jumped out of bed happier
than I ever have within these past six weeks. We got ready, finished
up a few things around the house, and then headed to the church where
Elder Sombke would say his final goodbyes to some of the missionaries
in our zone. 'Twas very bittersweet for most of us. We then started
our long car ride out to the Santa Rosa mission office for transfers.
Upon arriving, we ran inside as quickly as we could trying to escape
the POURING RAIN. We eventually found the senior couple in which was
assigned to take Elder Sombke up to his new area in Lake County. They
then pulled the car around to where we could start loading Elder
Sombke's luggage, and start heading off. I must add that I transferred
every single bit of his luggage from the back of our car into the
Senior Couples car. As I did this (in what seemed to be a monsoon), he
stood there and watched. Without a thank you, a professional
handshake, or even a single word coming out of the kids mouth - he got
in the car and they were off. Quite sad. But fortunately I got to head
back into the mission office, dry off, and hangout with a couple of
the missionaries that I've made friends with over the past 6 months.
After a few hours, Elder Thomas (my new companion) finally showed up!
He's so awesome. We then started back to Rohnert Park for a night full
of unpacking and getting him acquainted with things around here.

Wednesday: Today was my first real day with Elder Thomas and I must
say that we are SOOO MUCH alike. He's such a cool guy! We get along so
well, and have many of the same interests. I actually started to feel
like missionary work was fun again. Not only was it full of laughs and
funny stories, but we got a lot of work done. We went and saw a bunch
of people and had about 2-3 street lessons. This never happens here in
California, so we were thrilled. After working quite a bit, we decided
it might be good to have him meet some of the members in our ward. We
then had dinner at the Llewellynes and they made us pancakes. (We had
Log Cabin syrup with those pancakes, so that was a tender mercy.
Almost felt like home. #Blessing) Dinner then ended and we quickly had
to make it over to Brianna & Sili's home for a lesson. Upon entering
this lesson, we had planned to actually drop this couple because of
their lack of attendance at church. Soon after we entered the home,
things took a change for the better and we actually set a baptismal
date with Sili for Janruary 23rd. What a miracle this was. We walked
out of the lesson that night "high-fiving" one another and jumping up
and down with excitement. We were so pumped.

Thursday: Today seemed to be a bit of a drag, but we still managed to
get some work done. We started out the morning bright and early at
Sister Flemmings for some more mud restlin', poop scoopin' fun. This
is clearly not my favorite thing in the world, but again. I'm alive.
After being completely covered in mud, and soiling my shoes with poop
- I think it meant it was time for a shower. We came home, got clean,
changed and headed out for what seemed to be a full day of lessons. Of
course each and every one of them got canceled, but we persevered. We
then walked around for what seemed like an eternity, but met some
really cool people in the process. After all this commotion, we had
dinner with our Ward Mission Leader & his wife. Brother and Sister
Luchini fed us some good food. With Brother Luchini, we had a Ward
Correlation meeting to discuss the needs of our investigators and
those we as missionaries are teaching. He offered some advice, and
then asked if he could come out and work with us that night. Holy
Moly, I learned SOOOO much from that man. We went to visit our most
promising investigator (Diane) and boy did he change the game. She now
wants to get baptized. Literally, it was amazing to see. He connected
so well, and really just threw himself out there without regards for
his feelings. To our surprise, it happened to be very successful and
Diane asked if we would come back to teach her on Monday. And yes. We
will be taking Brother Luchini to that lesson. Hahaha

Friday: Probably my least favorite day of the week. I felt so lazy
today and didn't really want to do much. I don't know if I'm getting
sick, or what's going on - but I didn't feel all that motivated to
work. Slightly frustrated, we still headed out and went finding. We
knocked probably fifty doors and only talked to about three people.
One of the men in which we started talking to found out we were
missionaries, threw his newly lighten cigarette on the ground, and ran
inside his home slamming the door behind him as if we carried some
sort of plague that he didn't want to catch. Elder Thomas and I just
looked at eachother and started BUSTING out laughing. It was pretty
funny. But after walking, knocking, and talking for a while, we headed
to the church where we would then have lunch and start weekly
planning. Again, my least favorite part about the week. Super, super,
super, boring. No dinner appointment followed weekly planning, and I
felt pretty sick, so we went home and laid down for our dinner hour.
Following this, we had a great lesson with Alexandria and Xavier (our
recent converts). The kids got to know Elder Thomas for a bit, and
then we taught them The Restoration. Just a really good ending to what
seemed like a forever long day.

Saturday: Such a great day. We obviously had our studies in the
morning, but we also had a HUGE service project that our whole zone
ended up attending to. A sister in our Rohnert Park 3rd Ward was
moving out to Petaluma (a town about 10 miles away from Rohnert Park)
and needed help. All 14 of us missionaries packed up the whole house,
and filled the U-Haul truck with her belongings. We then followed her
over to her new home in Petaluma and proceeded to unload everything
and get her situated into the apartment. It was pretty cool! She
bought us all pizzas afterwords and we took them over to the church to
eat together as a zone. A few of us Elders ended up playing basketball
for the whole lunch hour, so that was sweet. Being able to manage
eating pizza and play basketball at the same time was quite the task.
Needless to say, we endured it well. :) After service, we came home
and Elder Thomas got his workout hour in (he has an injured back, so
he has to lift and stretch for an hour each day). I studied a bit, and
then we went out to hit the pavement. Due to the baptisms we've had
recently, our teaching pool is very empty. We went over to visit some
less active families and try to find some new investigators, but
weren't very successful. This is gonna be a long transfer in terms of
trying to replenish that teaching pool with investigators.

Sunday: Woke up a bit late today, so I started the day off a little
rough, but it progressively got better. Church was again amazing, and
I loved every bit of Sacrament meeting. Working Primary each Sunday
does certainly test your patience, but the women in there are very
very good to us. After church we had a Ward Council meeting that
lasted about two hours. Ugh. That wasn't too fun. After ward council
we came home, changed out of our suits, and went to a nearby park to
contact some people. Most of the people we were talking to were
homeless and absolutely wacko, but we were actually able to say a
prayer with some of them and they seemed very thankful for the prayer
we offered. After walking around for some time after, I had a homeless
lady jump up in my face and start screaming at me as to how "Mormons
were crazy". But - I think the situation quickly proved to who
might've really been the crazy one. Hahaha we had an awesome dinner
tonight with The Smith's. I love going over to their home. They're
such an awesome family! The rest of our night was spent at the Stake
Center where we had a "meet and greet" activity with the new
missionaries in our zone. Pretty fun night!

I'm certainly loving life out here in Rohnert Park. I think it's so
great that Heavenly Father gives us the chance to serve missions and
grow closer to him. My testimony and beliefs have grown dramatically
over these past six months & I love my Savior more than anything. I
hope all is well back home & I pray that each of you experience
continuation in your own spiritual testimonies.

Be safe until we meet again. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

WEEK 27 Rohnert Park 3rd Ward- 


1: My awesome zone๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ
2: Believe it or not... There's a "Draper Park" right next to our apartment.
3: My district. Unfortunately there's only a silly picture of us.
4: Packing that UHaul truck FULL.๐Ÿ˜‚

Family and Friends,
With it being the New Year, I've set many resolutions for myself (as
there are countless amounts of things I need to improve on) and one
being that I am "more on top of things" in general. My weekly letters
will no longer be random thoughts, and deep study topics that happened
to come across my mind this week. I want to give a more complete
rundown of everything that has happened - so you all can be along my
side throughout this journey. Hope you all enjoy and don't become
bored while reading. :)

Monday: Woke up & had to deep clean the entire house because apartment
inspections were this week, so that kinda stunk. We were also in a
hurry to get our shopping done so that we could get a head up on
emailing family... But despite the early morning rush, today was so
awesome. I think I might even be bold enough in saying this was my
favorite P-Day while having been out on the mission. A member in our
ward (Brother Harumi) put on a big event at our church building for us
missionaries and our investigators to come play basketball, eat TONS
of food, and just hangout. He's a big Samoan guy that is genuinely one
of the best cooks I've ever met in my life, so it made it even better.
In regards to how successful it was - the activity turned out to be so
great. Each companionship of missionaries were all able to build
better relationships with our investigators, so you could say that we
basically killed two birds with one stone. Our investigator (Chaz) who
came to play with us gave me an elbow right to the face, so that felt
wonderful. But, after stuffing our faces & playing basketball for a
couple hours, we had to hurry home to shower and get ready for our
dinner appointment. It's pretty safe to say that I literally almost
fell asleep while eating. I was BEAT. But that's okay. It made for
some good laughs on the car ride home. Ha just kidding. My companion
doesn't talk in the car. Or talk EVER. Like, EVER. So, we just
finished the night going around and visiting people.

Tuesday: Not a bad day at all. This morning we had district meeting
and unfortunately with it being the last district meeting of the
transfer - I knew we had to go out with a BANG. I just felt that the
central message needed to be on "Finishing Strong". We talked about
finishing this transfer with no regrets and giving it our very all.
After district meeting, I inspected everybody's cars and made sure
everything was running well. We then proceeded to take district and
zone pictures with our "Title of Liberty" (Alma 46). Afterwords,
everyone else started lunch hour, but Elder Sombke, Elder Thom, Elder
Beeston, and I had different plans. We had a service project
immediately following all of this madness. We sped over to a members
home in our ward and then began packing her WHOLE home into a 17 foot
U-Haul truck. Thankfully, we had Brother Kenworthy there to assist us.
It happened to be one of the funniest things I've ever seen. This
U-Haul truck was packed so tight that there wasn't even a inch of
space to spare. We were laughing hysterically as Brother Kenworthy
played Tetris with all the pieces of furniture and fit them into
places we never could've imagined. After our service we went home,
showered and headed over to the Armours for dinner. This happened to
be a pretty spiritual experience as I was able to bear my testimony
about The Gospel and making my decision to come out on my mission. I
got pretty emotional, but it was a good emotional. Rachel Armour & I
have gotten really close over this past transfer. Our stories are a
bit of the same in terms of her husband not being a member and my dad
not being a member. Chaz & I have also built a bond, so I'm hoping
that he'll allow us to start teaching him the lessons. The night then
ended with some finding.

Wednesday: We're getting closer and closer to transfer news, yet it
seems to be further and further away. Ugh. I can't wait. We started
the day off with our regular studies, and then headed to "shoebox
service". Here, we pack shoeboxes full of toys, hygiene products, and
things of that sort for children that are in need. After Shoebox, we
headed home for lunch and to get ready for the day. We then headed out
to the church to set up Elder Sombke's Facebook and get him rolling
with that. It ended up being a two hour ordeal because he didn't want
to get off of it. He just wanted to keep scrolling and scrolling
through his news feed. Frustrating, but I didn't say much. Soon after
he was done, we headed over to Brother Clites' home for a lesson. He
insisted that instead of a lesson, we sat and listened to Mormon
Tabernacle Choir for an hour. Normally, I would've hated that - but it
turned out to be okay. Following our visit with him, we had dinner
with the Harumi family again. Woooohoooo. I never stop laughing &
smiling at their house because their little girls are hilarious and
Brother Harumi makes me laugh so hard. They're awesome! Elder Sombke
and I left their home that night and had to go for a "drive" around
town and waste some miles on our miles log. We're not trying to get
cut miles this next transfer, so we have to make it look like we've
used them all up. So that's basically how my night ended. A long car
ride on the freeway with the windows completely down... "Just because
Elder Sombke likes the wind flowing through his hair." To some it
might've seemed peaceful, but for those that know me - know that I
HATE the helicopter sound that comes from having the Windows down in a
car going 65 miles an hour & especially when it's 45 degrees out at
night. But it's okay. I'm alive now. I lived to tell the tale.

Thursday: Had another big day filled with service. We started our day
out at a farm. Again, for those who know me... This isn't exactly my
forte. Scraping up poop, digging out fence lines, moving hay, cleaning
out goat pens, slodging around in mud, and trying to do all of this
with a smile?! Yeah. Not fun guys. Not at all. I must tip my cap to
those who've grown up and worked on a farm their whole life. It takes
a special person. But I think I'll be alright one day working in an
office having to deal with incompetent people, rather than dealing
with gross "farm things." Especially Llamas. Don't even get me started
on those. They literally might have to be the ugliest things on the
face of the planet. No joke. But before I get too far on a tangent,
lemme finish up the day. We left the farm service to help Sister
Rudiak clean out and move stuff around her storage unity. We got
dirty. But it was fun. After cleaning up at home and heading out to
work, we drove to Brother Wendels home and shared a message with him.
Immediately after our visit, I got a call (from the Sister Training
Leader in my district), saying that we were needed. A missionary in
our district had just got news that someone in her family had just
passed away that day. So, we basically canceled ALL appointments for
the rest of the night (including dinner) and headed over to help
console her. Elder Sombke and I also went and bought all of her
favorite treats for her and brought them over to the church. She
seemed to be doing a lot better than we thought, but she asked me to
give her a blessing of comfort. As I laid my hands on her head, I felt
a prompting in which I've never felt before. Far too personal to share
on here, but I'm just thankful for the power of the priesthood. It
truly works miracles. I'm thankful Heavenly Father has given me the
authority to act in his name, and perform things that he would do...
Had he been there in that moment. There wasn't a better way to end the

Friday: HAPPY NEW YEARS! Doesn't feel a bit different to me, but I
hope you all had tons of fun for me. Today really wasn't anything
special. We did our Weekly Planning, and of course that was awful.
Elder Sombke didn't do a single thing because he just assumed he was
"leaving the area, and didn't need to be doing anything for the next
couple days." So, that was fun considering I planned the upcoming week
ALL BY MYSELF. No biggie though. We got it done. For the rest of the
today, I was super super super sick, so we didn't do much. I felt
absolutely awful, so we just went out and did some finding. I think
Heavenly Father really was testing my patience tonight.

Saturday: Went over to Rachel Armours home this morning and sorted
through baby clothes with her. She's really the greatest lady in the
whole world. I love her so much. After sorting through clothes for a
couple hours, she insisted on taking us to lunch at a local Taqueria.
It ended up being the best burrito I've ever had in my life, so that
was neat. After lunch with Rach, we went over to our investigators
home (Diane) & "heart attacked" her door. We wrote on a BUNCH of
sticky notes, and stuck them to the front door of her home. They
happened to just be fun little notes that she would see & know we were
thinking about her. We've got an appointment with her this coming
Thursday, and we are going to ask her to be baptized so I'm super
excited for that. The rest of today ended up being very unproductive
because all my companion wanted to do was hangout at the church and
play on Facebook. So, as he sat there and continued to sit there for a
good two and a half hours - I decided it was enough. I whipped out our
phone, and just started cold calling people. People I've never even
met in my life or seen before. I just got their phone numbers from the
area book and dialed them up. It was a little awkward at first, but I
embraced it. I wasn't going to sit there and waste my time with him
anymore. After this joy of an experience, we ended up heading over to
the Lavulo home and taught them a lesson. They're so great. I feel as
if they're literally my family. We challenged them to making some
"spiritual resolutions" this upcoming year. I told them I'm gonna
follow up with them on their goals, so that'll be fun. Tonight we also
got Transfer News, and as predicted - IM STAYING HERE! Wahoooo! My new
companion will be Elder Thomas. Elder Sombke is OUT.

Sunday: My most favorite day. As it was for you, we had fast Sunday
today. Elder Sombke & I got up to bare our testimonies today. The
spirit was so strong and there was an undeniable truth in my heart
that this is the true church of Christ. I just know it. In this
Sacrament Meeting, I felt that I had never before been that happy in
my life. It's quite weird. It's just brings pure joy knowing I'm a
part of something that is so accurate and depicts the very structure
that Christ forged while he walked this earth. In every essence,
quality, and standard that this faith was founded upon - the common
theme is predicated with one eternal purpose. Returning to and
becoming like our Savior Jesus Christ. He paved the way. He set the
trail. With much to give in return, all He asks is that we follow in
His footsteps. Do as He would. Provide as He would. Our church allows
us to do so. With the guidelines that've been set, we can receive true
happiness for time and all eternity. I'm thankful for this knowledge.
I'm thankful for this Sunday and the opening of mind that came from
attending church today. The rest of our day could not nearly compare
to this experience, but it was spent in good company visiting those
who would say their last goodbyes with Elder Sombke.

Again, very sorry for the long letter. My intentions are not to bore
you with my "day to day schedule", but I do feel that this provides
for a better summary of what happens during our week. Spiritual
occurrences happen on a daily basis, but some are so minuscule that
(to some) they seem very irrelevant.

I hope you all have some wonderful New Years Resolutions. I certainly
would like to hear about them if you don't mind sharing?!

My love and deepest appreciation goes out to every single one of you.
I'll see you soon. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer