Friday, February 19, 2016

WEEK 33 Rohnert Park 3rd Ward-

#1: This is a senior couple in our mission that are heading home this
week. They're some of the sweetest people I've ever met. We had to get
a picture with them.
#2: Bro & Sister Rays dog "Katie". She's the biggest three month old
dog I've ever seen. She's adorable though. I had to pick her up and
take a picture hahahaa
#3: Prophet activity. And yes. I was asked to wear tights.
#4: All the primary kids who came to see us.
#5: Elder Thomas & I locked out of our car in the taqueria parking lot.
#6: Took a trip to the beach on P-Day.
#7: Doin some service at Sister Flemmings disgusting farm. But still
smiling. :)
#8: The Ocean.

Family and Friends,

It's kind of crazy to me that one week can go from doing absolutely
nothing and suffering to even get through... To us having a ton of
great, wonderful, awesome, amazing things happen. The mission is so
different from week to week it keeps you constantly on your toes. Each
week, each day, each hour, each minute provides with something new and
something to learn. This week I'm especially grateful for the
opportunities I have to serve as a missionary - rather than the
obligation that it is to be serving The Lord. Here's the run down:

Monday: Today was SUPER-DUPER in all aspects. Some very generous
members in our Ward surprised us with a couple bags full of groceries
and the "essentials". Because of this, we didn't need to do our weekly
shopping! As soon as morning studies came to a close, we jumped in the
car (with the other Elders from our apartment) and headed to Navato.
There, our zone was planning to combine with another zone (from our
mission) and have a big ol Dodgeball Tournament. But, of course before
we got to the church building - you already know we made a quick
little pit stop at Chick Fil-A. But that's beside the point. With
stomachs full and minds set on the tournament trophy, we showed up in
full unison. We battled. We fought. We lost a game or two. But in our
last desperation efforts... We pulled the W. We won the dodgeball
tournament and drove home crowned with the trophy, resting on our back
seat. Victory were our cries during the hour long car ride home! From
being all sweaty and decked out in team war paint, we headed home for
the usual "P Day Shower" and made quick haste for dinner with Brother
& Sister Ray. (Might I just add that they must be the most lovely
people in the world. We adore them.) Soon following dinner, we made a
couple important phone calls to some of our investigators & then came
home so I could prepare for my last District Meeting of this transfer.
With it being the last meeting for this transfer, I had to do it big
and go out with a banger.

Tuesday: This morning was crazy. We woke up and immediately had to
start getting ready for our day. Elder Thomas and I had previously
scheduled a "Companionship Study" with the sister missionaries in our
district. This required us to be driving all the way out to Petaluma
at such an early hour, just so we could be on time. Of course traffic
was AWFUL. When we got there (10 minutes late), I quickly realized
that we forgot a couple things for the district meeting I had planned
so this all kinda flustered me a bit. Thankfully the companionship
study and district meeting that followed all this madness was
completely led by the spirit. I left these meetings feeling like a
different person. With no time to spare after all this, Elder Thomas
and I changed out of our proselyting clothes and into service clothes.
We headed to a service project here in Petaluma. We moved a ton of
dirt and provided a lot of work in a members yard. It was so much fun!
I love getting all dirty. Hahaha this service took quite some time, so
after this we headed home to shower and then to Pizza Hut for our
dinner appointment. The rest of our night was SO great. We contacted a
few referrals and picked up two separate families to teach. We set a
return appointment with them and plan to teach them this week. With
about 45 minutes left for the night, I so badly wanted to go home. I
was tired, and kept thinking to myself... "It's only 45 minutes.
Heavenly Father understands." I then felt promoted to ask in prayer
what we should do with these last 45 minutes The Lords time. I just
kept getting feelings that we needed to go out and contact a couple
more people. Well, it happened to be exactly what The Lord wanted us
to do. We met a man named David who's been looking for "the true
church" and asked if we come by to teach him. What a blessing this

Wednesday: Woke up this morning and completed the normal studies we
do. After being spiritually fed, it was time we head out to Sister
Ray's farm. (This is definitely my favorite service we do.) We got a
ton of work done on the farm for Brother & Sister Ray and it felt so
good. I love doing service for these people. I've learned so much from
them! After their service, they again gave us money to eat an In N Out
Burger. This time, Elder Thomas and I couldn't even eat the food we
ordered. I think we might be getting a little bit sick of all the
Double-Doubles. After trying to choke down our food, Elder Thomas had
an appointment with the mission president in Santa Rosa that needed to
be attended to. We drove all the way out & I waited out in the office.
I got a little nervous with how long he was in there, but everything
seemed to be A-Okay when they came out. Following his appointment, we
sped home in hopes to catch Diane in a "surprise" lesson. Thankfully,
with The Lord on our side - we did. We taught her another amazing
lesson and asked her to be baptized. She agreed and said that she
knows this is the true church. WE WERE FREAKING OUT. So happy! After
our appointment here, Elder Thomas needed to go home and rest his
back. The other Elders happened to be at the house and Elder Perez was
sick, so we put the two of them together and Elder Beeston and I went
out to work. It was so much fun with him! I got to speak Spanish and
put my three year high school Spanish speaking to the test. I loved

Thursday: A little bit different of a morning then we've ever had. We
woke up on time and immediately realized that the apartment inspectors
were coming to check our apartment & we hadn't done a single thing. Of
course, the other Elders slept the whole time... But Elder Beeston and
I deep cleaned the whole house in about an hour. It truly was amazing.
Hahaha I couldn't believe we did it. The apartment inspectors got here
a bit late, so we sat around and did a bit of studying before they got
here. Turns out the cleaning Elder Beeston and I did looked great! We
passed! Shortly after they left, we got ready and headed to the good
ol' poop service. Gross. This kind of dirty is not fun. Not fun at
ALL. In being covered in poop and other "farmy" we came home for
showers and lunch. Elder Thomas and I then set foot to find some of
our less active members in the ward. This effort would be perfectly
described with one word. Unsuccessful. Nobody was home! With a doctors
appointment scheduled for my companion at 4:00, we had to head out and
get to that. I sat there in the waiting room and talked to as many
people as I could. It seemed like an eternity of being in there, but
he eventually came out and we went straight to our dinner appointment.
This dinner appointment was with another part member family in our
ward, so we were pumped. We totally kicked it off with the husband and
talked with him for so long! When it was time to head back out, we got
a call from the other Elders in our apartment. They told us "Elder
Schaefer, there's something for you on your desk." Thinking it was a
package from home, we drove to the apartment. To my much surprise it
was a little note. I opened it up, and on the note it read: "Elder
Schaafr will you bathtize me?" A little girl in the Spanish branch
(whom I've gotten pretty close with lately) wanted me to "bathtize"
her. CUTEST thing in the world. This made my whole day. She's been
investigating the church and has asked ME to baptize her. Ahhh! The
rest of the night wasn't as great as what had just happened, but we
went to the church and had to take a required online missionary
course. BORING!

Friday: This morning everybody in the apartment woke up together (for
the first time this transfer) and we all studied for a prophet
presentation we were doing the following morning. We studied together,
learned off of one another, and read about the prophets that we were
assigned to be. I was asked to depict Joseph Smith as best as I could.
The previous couple days I had asked in my prayers for my testimony of
Joseph Smith to be deepened & I honestly believe this was The Lord
giving me the change to study his life and experiences, to then
"deepen" my testimony. He surely does work in mysterious ways, but I
was so thankful! After studying for a bit, we went out together to do
a huge service project for a member in the Rohnert Park 2nd Ward. It
took literally all day. Literally, ALL DAY. We cleaned this woman's
house, moved furniture, shampooed carpets, dusted, put new pieces of
furniture together, and much much more. After this hard and long
grueling service, we didn't have a dinner appointment - so Elder
Thomas and I decided to eat at the local Taqueria. When we got in
there, I realized I forgot my money and went out to the car to grab
it. I pulled to open the car door and quickly came to a realization.
We LOCKED OUR KEYS IN THE CAR. Ahhhhhh. I was so frustrated. Needless
to say, we spent the rest of our night out in the taqueria parking lot
waiting for a police officer to come open our door for us. We waited
for 2 & 1/2 hours. Lets just say it was a "not so good night".

Saturday: Much like yesterday, we all woke up together (yet again a
miracle) and finished up studying for our prophet presentations. When
10:00 AM struck, we were out of the door and heading to the church in
full prophet attire. To say I looked ridiculous would be SUCH an
understatement. Fortunately, I looked "just like young Joseph"
according to all the older women attending this primary activity.
Regardless of what I thought and others thought, I was ready to play
the part and deliver the best message to these young Primary Kids. It
turned out great! I had a super bad headache at the end, and I was
left there wondering how the characters at Disney Land do this stuff
for a profession... But it was fun. We then ate lunch at the church
with all the kids, and were left to up afterwards. We all had such a
great time! We came home, sat around for 15 or so minutes and Elder
Thomas got a super bad headache. This left Elder Beeston and I (again)
as the only ones in the apartment that wanted to do anything. So, we
left the other two elders at the apartment and attended a baptismal
service for a young lady in the Rohnert Park 2nd Ward. We gave the
"missionary moment" together at the baptism and it was SUPER FUNNY.
Elder Beeston is hilarious. Following the baptism, we went to visit
Diane, and visit with a recent convert Mike. Both of the visits were
very successful and ended up being exactly what we wanted! Upon
returning home, Elder Thomas informed me that his headache had not
subsided and he couldn't go out to work. The rest of the night was
spent in the apartment.

Sunday: HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!!! I woke up this morning and had the
biggest smile on my face. I love Sunday's SO MUCH. We had Stake
Conference today and I LOVED all of the speakers. They gave some
really cool analogies that related to what we as people here on the
earth are destined to do. I was so thankful to have gone to this a
Stake Conference because all of the speakers provided EXACTLY what I
needed to hear. We also had Brother Clites attending church with us
for the second week in a row, so we were ecstatic about that!
Following Stake Conference, we hung out for a bit and talked with a
bunch of the members. I have grown such a love for the people here in
Rohnert Park. They're so wonderful! This lasted for a bit, and then we
needed to head home because Elder Thomas' back, head, and stomach were
killing him. Needless to say - we were at the apartment for the whole
rest of the day. He spent the day sleeping and I spent the majority of
the day studying. I got some good studies in, but I just couldn't do
it for much longer than three hours. My brain was done. Hahaha but it
was a pretty good day!

Without much explanation, it's obvious my companion Elder Thomas has
been battling through some physical, mental and emotional trials. It's
gotten to the point in which he is contemplating going home. President
Wright has asked that he give one more week to determine whether or
not he will make this final decision. I would ask with full sincerity
of heart that you guys pray specifically for him. He is such an
amazing missionary with so much potential. I don't want to have to
drop him off at the airport. Again, prayers would be well appreciated.

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

-Elder Schaefer

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