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

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