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
was.

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
mind.

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

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