Tuesday, February 2, 2016

WEEK 31 Rohnert Park 3rd Ward-
#1: An activity we missionaries did with all of the youth in our
Rohnert Park 3rd Ward. Super fun!
#2: A couple of us Elders messing around after getting all sweaty and
playing basketball.

Family and Friends,

 Due to a bit of some technical difficulties this past week, I wasn't
 able to send my weekly email out. Thankfully, all of the problems were
 solved with my iPad and I'm able to get this weeks letter to you. My
 intentions behind these letters are to one day (upon the completion of
 my mission) combine each and every email into some sort of "missionary
 journal". The day-in-day-out letters aren't the most fun to read, but
 I hope I can provide some light on how our week truly went.

 Monday: Today was another great P-Day. I know it's quite redundant to
 hear that come from me each week, but P-Days really are blessings from
 Heavenly Father. After doing our studies, and grocery shopping (with
 the eight and a half dollars remaining in my bank account), we quickly
 did a clean sweep around the house and headed out for the Petaluma
 Chapel where all the missionaries in our zone were gathering to play
 glow-stick dodgeball. This was quite the activity. I got hit in the
 eye with one of the glow-sticks, so that wasn't too great but the
 basketball games we played afterwards made it all worth it. I don't
 know what's been in the water lately, but I've been playing the best
 basketball of my life out here. Maybe Steph Curry & I just got a bit
 of a connection since the both of us are out here grindin in Cali?!
 Maybe not. I don't really know. But after a good days worth of ball,
 we headed to dinner with Brother and Sister Ray. Wouldn't have
 expected anything else other than another four course meal from them.
 Delicious! Following dinner, Elder Thomas and I went around tracting
 in a nearby neighborhood. We found an awesome family that we're
 planning to teach this upcoming Saturday. Can't wait to see what that

 Tuesday: I guess "Tuesday Morning District Meeting Revelation" really
 is a thing. With all of the craziness going on around here, I slacked
 off a bit this past week and completely forgot to plan for District
 Meeting. Thankfully, The Lord made it quite clear in what I was
 supposed to teach, so that was a huge blessing. #Hallelujah. After
 eating an awesome Chipotle burrito for lunch (thanks mom & dad), Elder
 Thomas and I set out for a lesson with our one and only investigator
 Diane. Preparing for this lesson was quite a doozy because we didn't
 necessarily know what to share with her. We decided to show her the
 Mormon Message titled "The Hope of God's Light". What a success this
 was! After watching the video and talking about the Plan of Salvation
 with her, she got VERY emotional and started crying. The spirit was so
 strong and she opened up to us A TON. I then felt prompted to invite
 her to church this upcoming Sunday and she committed. I guess we'll
 see if she truly does show up?! Shortly after leaving our lesson with
 Diane, we drove down to a doctors appointment in Santa Rosa for Elder
 Thomas. Commuting to Santa Rosa was great, but the multiple hours we
 spent waiting at the hospital weren't so awesome. This took the
 majority of our day & the rest of our night was spent at the Garcias
 for dinner & a lesson.

 Wednesday: I don't think I'd ever say this in my whole entire life,
 but today was quite enjoyable. Not that every day isn't enjoyable, but
 today was different. We went out to do some service for Sister Ray on
 her farm and it turned out to be the funnest service I've done here in
 Rohnert Park. It was so peaceful being out there on the hillside in
 the warm sun, listening to the breeze blow through the long green
 grass, and digging holes like the farmers of old do. Well, they may
 still do it now, but I'm not a really in tune with that whole farm
 workin life. After this delightful service, we made the decision to
 eat at In N Out Burger for lunch. With a blessing from Heavenly
 Father, the car ahead of us paid for the whole entire ticket for us
 four Elders. SOOO nice of them! After devouring that piece of art, we
 set out for Brother Clites' house. We taught him an AWESOME lesson,
 read from the Book of Mormon and then proceeded to give him a
 blessing. We committed him to coming to church this Sunday as well, so
 we're gonna keep our fingers crossed! After our lesson, we went to
 dinner at Rachel & Chas' house where we spent the rest of our night.
 We shared a spiritual thought and Rachel "cleaned up" Elder Thomas'
 hair. Apparently the cutting job I did on him only a week ago wasn't
 that great. Hahahaha but thankfully she taught me how to better cut
 it! You can bet your bottom dollar that I'm gonna start charging
 Elders for haircuts when I get good at it.

 Thursday: Today I woke up a bit late, and rushed to personal studies.
 I hate when I sleep in. The entirety of my day has a completely
 different feeling and vibe when I sleep in. I know Heavenly Father
 blesses us when we abide by the small, simple commandments.
 Unfortunately we also had Sister Flemmings farm service planned later
 that morning, so I'm sure you already know how much I loved that.
 After poop service, we planned (with the other Elders in our
 apartment) to drive down to Petaluma and have lunch together at
 Buffalo Wild Wings. Upon arriving at BWW, it came to my attention that
 a couple of thugs were out in the middle of the street screaming and
 hashing it out one with another. As quickly as I saw this, they both
 started swinging on each-other and a fight broke out. I pulled the car
 over, ran out into the middle of the street and tried to break up the
 fight. With multiple people running over to my aid and helping me rip
 them off one another, we heard police sirens only a couple hundred
 yards away. Twas perfect timing for the cops to show up and get the
 situation under control. After about 45 minutes of sitting in the
 pouring rain, answering questions and giving the officers witness
 information - we finally made it to our place in which we had
 previously decided for lunch only a couple hours prior to this
 madness. The rest of our day was spent at the church Weekly Planning &
 that in and of itself isn't even worth explaining. It's just... Well,
 boring. That's the easiest way to put it.

 Friday: Today we woke up, had our regular morning studies, and
 finished the rest of our weekly planning that didn't get done the
 previous day. We had cabin fever for most of the morning and couldn't
 wait to get out of the house, so we finished the planning as quickly
 as we could. After planning, Elder Thomas and I started preparing for
 a presentation in which we were asked to give this upcoming Sunday. We
 were asked to present some information on the importance of member
 missionary work, and maybe talk about some possible ways in which we
 can get members of our ward more active in sharing the gospel. With
 such a task, and much time to take up, we spent most of our day
 preparing presentations, writing out our lesson plans, and printing
 materials that were needed. After the beginning of our day being super
 stressful, we unanimously decided to take a bit of a break and do some
 "window shopping". Window shopping quickly turned into real shopping
 and we then walked away from the Nike store with some sweet stuff! I
 snagged a jacket and a new pair of Nike FlyKnits. But! After a little
 bit of chill time, it was RIGHT back to working on our presentation.
 Later this night, I had the chance to interview a young boy from the
 Rohnert Park 2nd Ward for Baptism. It was SO AWESOME! To say it was a
 spiritual experience would be an understatement. I was so thankful to
 have taken part in this.

 Saturday: Woke up late again this morning. Ugh. The whole rest of my
 day was super stressful and frustrating. I tried to keep my patience
 and keep calm, but EVERYTHING went wrong. We started the day out at
 FedEx Kinkos where we picked up all our materials for Sunday. The
 items we had printed out didn't exactly go as planned, bit with the
 short budget we've got - we had to make do. After Fedex Kinkos, we
 drove out to Petaluma to attend a baptism for the young man in which I
 interviewed the night previously. It was such a cool experience
 watching him make covenants with his Heavenly Father this day. I felt
 an undeniable spirit of love, calmness, and happiness. Without a
 shadow of a doubt in my mind, I knew he was making the best decision
 in the world. Upon returning from the baptism, Elder Thomas and I took
 the bikes out and rode around for quite some time. We knocked a whole
 neighborhood of doors in search for a young fellow named Anthony.
 After much intensive labor, we weren't seeing much "fruit". Despite
 these feelings, we decided to come together in prayer and ask Heavenly
 Father for our spirits to be uplifted and replenished. We both felt a
 complete change in demeanor and attitude. The rest of our night went
 by smoothly. Especially when a member invited us out to Cold Stone
 with them and paid for our milkshakes. That was pretty sweet!

 Sunday: Wow. I think this has proven to be one of the most
 overwhelming days of my mission, but I certainly learned a lot.
 Sacrament Meeting was amazing. The whole Piombo clan spoke in church
 today for Phoenix's farewell. The spirit of missionary work could be
 felt through the whole room. I got emotional a couple times in
 thinking back to the days that I took the leap-of-faith in leaving my
 family for two years. I think I might've been a tad bit emotional to
 see Diane showing up and sitting with us through all of sacrament
 meeting as well. I was SOOOO glad to see her there in attendance.
 After Sacrament Meeting, she told us how much she loved the meeting
 and how she wanted to come back next week! We as missionaries couldn't
 have been more delighted. With positive vibes ringing throughout our
 bodies, we headed into give our presentation to the whole
 congregation. Unfortunately we were cut short on time and weren't able
 to share all that we prepared, but nonetheless - it went PERFECTLY.
 The Spirit directed Elder Thomas and I in every aspect of this
 presentation. I couldn't have been more thankful! After our church, we
 waited around for the 2nd Ward Sacrament Meeting to start because I
 was asked to confirm Vinny (the young man that got baptized) as a
 member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. With much
 surprise to us all, Vinny's mother got very sick the day before and
 couldn't attend Sacrament. So, the confirmation didn't happen but next
 week we are looking forward to it. The rest of our day was filled with
 boring, and long meetings. Nothing too special.

 At the end of each day when we return to the apartment, I'm finding
 myself to be more and more thankful for the hardships in which
 Heavenly Father blessed me with earlier in that very day. I'm slowly
 finding out that Heavenly Father is molding and shaping me into
 exactly who I need to be. Hardships, trials, and tribulation come to
 make us stronger than we once were. This week wasn't an easy one. With
 pressing circumstances and hard things coming in many shapes and
 sizes... I've been humbled. But I know I've been blessed for enduring
 these trials. I hope you've been seeing blessings come from my service
 to The Lord & I hope you've been seeing his hand in your life more
 often. A scripture to perfectly describe a very valuable lesson I've
 learned this past week comes from the New Testament. Matthew 16:25.
 I'd invite you to read it and ponder for yourself in what ways YOU can
 better serve your fellowmen. In return, Heavenly Father promises us
 that we will "find ourselves" if we "lose ourselves for his sake".

 I want to bare you my personal witness that I know He lives. I know
 that the greatest work we can do here on this earth is the work within
 the walls of our own homes, and serving our fellowmen. I've seen my
 life change dramatically from what It once was. I know I'm happier,
 healthier, and more in tune with the spirit. I know you can too
 receive and claim these blessings as you lose yourself in the service
 of others.

 I love you all and wish the best. I'll see you soon. GodSpeed.
-Elder Schaefer

No comments:

Post a Comment