Tuesday, April 19, 2016

WEEK 42 Rohnert Park 3rd Ward-

#1: Elder Everett and I on top of Brother Harumi's home cleaning out
some gutters. Tough, gross, but fun service! (Oh & yes. I am deathly
afraid of heights. This took some courage)
#2: The picture says it all.
#3: These California Sunsets starting to come back. Love it!
#4: Sweet Rachel cutting my hair. Again. She's my favorite.❤️ Oh & new
kicks too. #J'sOnMyFeet

Family and Friends,

I don't think I've ever been so tired in my life. Seriously. This week
was a true test of my physical and mental toughness. Back home, I was
very cemented in my beliefs and quite often entertained the thought
that High School Football was one of the hardest things I'd ever done.
One of the hardest things I would most likely ever do. One of the
times in which I would've been the most tired, sore, run down, beat,
and fatigued. How awakened I was and humbled to know that conditioning
in ninety five degree weather does not nearly surmount to pure and
true consecrated missionary work.

A great amount of conviction was added to my testimony that these two
years were not meant to be easy - "because Salvation is not a cheap
experience. Salvation never has been easy. How could we believe it
would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him?" I don't
know of a better way to depict my feelings other than these powerful,
insightful words from Jeffrey R. Holland. Again, we were tired. We
were weary. But The Lord carried us and provided for us a great amount
this past week.

But first - Elder Everett. What a blessing. He is one of the greatest
companions I've ever had. We're working harder than I've ever worked
before. We're having amazing gospel conversations amongst one another
and building a relationship that I've never experienced with a
companion. We teach with such a power and authority that is unmatched
by any other companionship I've been in. Our efforts have been
completely and 100% unyieldingly devoted to The Lord and his work.
We've realigned our efforts and will - to conform to His. We've been
more than exactly obedient and sober in our mindset. And because of
these things - the work here in our area has increased ten fold. We
just scheduled a baptism with Molly for this coming Saturday. We
tentatively scheduled a baptism with Diane on Tuesday and committed
her to coming to the full three hours of church this past Sunday. We
just found a new family to teach and taught them the very first
lesson. They committed to praying about Joseph Smith and the
Restoration of The Gospel. Brianna and Sili are starting to become
re-activated and are showing signs of commitment. The Salgado family
has told us that they want to be baptized - but are just now needing
to be taught the lessons and meet the requirements in order to get
this underway. Without a doubt, we've been blessed immensely.

Scheduling this baptism for Molly has been more than a process within
and of itself. Due to legal complications with the Father, we've had
to make many phone calls with the Police Department in trying to get
permission for Molly to be baptized. A few strings had to be pulled,
but nonetheless - she's absolutely 100% clear to be baptized. Elder
Everett and I couldn't be more excited for this on Saturday.

With it being a new transfer, our mission was due for another Zone
Conference with President and Sister Wright. In attendance were the
San Rafael North & South Zone and the Santa Rosa North & South Zone.
What a grand experience this was in getting to see a bunch of past and
previous mission buddies. I was so happy to see each and every one of
them! Not to mention, we learned a ton regarding teaching methods that
we can better work on as missionaries. I love the council and
direction that both President and Sister Wright offered. I look
forward to applying and working with the things that The Spirit taught
me in this wonderful conference.

Having the most exciting news at the end, I must conclude with the
major blessing it will be to have Elder Bednar addressing our whole
mission this coming Saturday. Absolutely a once in a lifetime
experience. I can't wait to see what he will share with us.  Hopefully
my hand will be able to write quickly enough to record everything he
says. ;)

Until next week. I love you all. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

WEEK 41 Rohnert Park 3rd Ward-

Family and Friends,

Concluding a week of constantly having a smile on my face and enjoying
every second of being out here on my mission - my cheek muscles have
never felt as sore. I don't know if I've ever been so lucky, happy,
and blessed all at the same time. Heavenly Fathers hand and spirit was
quite noticeable throughout the duration of this past week.

Transfers were this Tuesday and all I can say is - hallelujah. I've
been tasked by The Lord and given the opportunity to train another
missionary. My new companion comes straight out of South Jordan, Utah.
From the moment I first saw him at the mission office, I just KNEW we
were going to be companions. It was like one of those "epiphany
things" where you just all of the sudden saw your new best friend on
the mission. Elder Everitt is one of the most amazing guys I've ever
met in my life. He's twenty two years old and has been less active for
the majority of his life. His story blows me away. I couldn't be more
grateful that Heavenly Father blessed me with such an amazing and
experienced companion. I don't think I'm going to be the one doing
training around here. He's going to be training me.

In discussing goals for this upcoming transfer, Elder Everitt and I
decided to reach for the stars. We plan and expect to have no less
than four baptisms in the next six weeks we have with one another.
Call us crazy, but I have faith that this will happen. We're really
going to try on working with implementing the "Principles of Baptism"
into our teaching, contacting, finding and planning. Obedience +
Skills + Faith = Principles of Baptism. We've got a good forty two
days planned. You can bet on that.

I learned a great lesson this week in listening to the promptings of
the spirit. Although very subtle, these promptings we receive are
words coming directly to our heart from a loving Heavenly Father. As a
result of following these promptings, Elder Everitt and I were able to
pick up two new potential investigators. I know that these feelings
aren't self imposed. I know that it wasn't just a "coincidence" that
we knocked on Anna's door and ran into Peter at the gas station. God
is in the details. Minor or major. He knows where, and when we need to
be at the exact time. He puts people in our lives for a specific

I have such a testimony of this Restored Gospel. I have such a
testimony of the young fourteen year old Prophet Joseph Smith. I know
that he saw God the Father and his son Jesus Christ. I know and can
testify will all sincerity in my heart that Jesus the Christ was our
Savior. His sacrifice was perfect. His plan is perfect. The Atonement
and suffering in The Garden of Gethsemane can swallow up any pain,
hurt, guilt and affliction we experience in this life - because He was
there. He always is.

{Isaiah 53:5}
"But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our
iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his
stripes we are healed."

Endure my loved ones. Endure. We're not alone.

-Elder Schaefer

Thursday, April 7, 2016

WEEK 40 Rohnert Park 3rd Ward/Rohnert Park Spanish Branch- 

#1: Went over to visit the Edwards family for the last time. I will forever remember these sweet kids.
#2: Now that Sister Aguilar isn't here to make my Daily Planners for me, I've had to learn myself. These were a couple that I finished this week. I'm sure you'll like these ones, momma.😉
#3: Word to the wise. Never & I repeat... Never wear these socks around Californians. It's foreign to them. They'll quite literally pull out their phones, take pictures, send it to their friends on snapchat and make fun of you.

Family and Friends,

I apologize for the recent weekly emails that have come in late.
Things get so crazily busy around here that I'm always finding myself
having forgotten to send them out to all of you. I certainly could be
a lot better at this!

For each and every one that watched - you know General Conference was
beyond amazing. Goodness gracious was it a spiritual feast, or what?
And then to top it all off with that "mic drop" of a talk by Jeffrey
R. Holland?! He's wonderful. I'm especially impressed with the words
he shared in the latter part of his talk when speaking about those who
come short in the process of keeping the commandments. He said:
"Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord
blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for
commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and
strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in
that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep

I'm especially thankful for his motivating and peace giving words. I
found great comfort in knowing that The Lord is looking to bless those
that are constantly striving to be better and do better. But also is
my heart full of gratitude for all the other amazing testimonies and
words delivered by other apostles and leaders of the church. I know
that these men and women are empowered by God. Their emotions and
countenances directly reflect that of The Spirit. Their words and
deeds directly reflect that of The Saviors. [Matthew 7:15-18]

I'm getting a new "greenie" tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited. I
am feeling very privileged in being tasked by The Lord with training
another missionary. This area and I are going to be immensely blessed
with a new young buck ready to "harvest the field". I know that The
Lord has kept me here in Rohnert Park for many reasons. I never
imagined that it would've been for six months, but I will forever
remember those that I've had the privilege of rubbing shoulders with,
working with, and serving with. Here's to another transfer in the
marvelous Rohnert Park 3rd Ward.

I'll see you soon. Be safe. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer

WEEK 39 Rohnert Park 3rd Ward/Rohnert Park Spanish Branch-  

Family and Friends,

Yet another seven days passes us and I find myself writing home again.
Normally I'm so very excited to share my experiences with all of you,
but in being truthful, we did very little from the last time I wrote
home. Not much happened this week and there's not a lot to tell you
about. There's been a standard that has developed over this past
transfer within the companionship and its one of much laziness. It's
been a constant uphill battle trying to get my companions to go out
and teach. Thankfully, we've found common ground in wanting to help
and provide service for the members in our Ward, but that's just about
it. This is essentially what we did all week. We worked at Brother and
Sister Rays farm. And when I say we worked - we worked.

With Easter having been this past weekend, Sister Ray had planned to
put on an Easter Egg Hunt for all the children in the San Rafael
Stake. Fortunately, there was TONS of work to be done on the farm in
preparation for this big event. From cutting grass, to scooping poop,
to moving rocks, to shoveling dirt, to planting flowers, and cleaning
the houses - it's safe to say that we were looking at about 4-5 hours
of service per day. I couldn't have been more proud of what we had
done once the yard was cleaned up. Now, being sunburnt wasn't my most
favorite thing in the world, but seeing the yard look as great as it
did after four long days... It was such a great feeling. Not to
mention, the event went wonderfully. Elder Perez, Elder Torres and I
were asked to cook meat on the grill so that was super fun for us! We
had a blast seeing the outcome and success of this Easter Egg Hunt.
What a sweet couple of days this was.

Some constant thoughts that ran through my mind during this past week
were coming from a couple verses that I read one morning during
personal study. In D&C 18:10-15, (specifically verse 15) it talks
about how we as humans may labor our whole lives and as a result - we
might only bring one soul unto Christ. But, we know that "great will
be our joy" if we are indeed successful in this effort. As more and
more thoughts came about, I started to think about how different
things would be if I changed roles and put myself in the position of
being that "one person" whose soul was starting to be converted unto
Christ. I put myself in our investigators shoes and tried to look at
this whole situation in a new light. With the knowledge, joy and
happiness that I have now as a member of The Lords church, I cannot
begin to describe how badly I would want this blessing in my life if I
didn't have it.

If I was living in the pre-existence and knew who "my missionaries"
would be, I would have spent eons begging and pleading at their feet
to come to this earth and labor with all their might to find me. If I
was in heaven when this person came to earth, watching them start
their life, I would have whooped, hollered, cheered and encouraged
them for every good choice they made, regardless of whether they could
hear me or not, because my salvation was riding on it. On that
person’s mission I would want them to tract 1000 doors a day, talk to
EVERYONE, never sleep-in or stay up late, do effective studies, and
not be lazy in any way, shape, or form. I would be praying that they
would work so incredibly hard their entire mission just so that I
would have the greater chance of coming in contact with these
missionaries and being given the opportunity to accept the gospel.

I think that as a missionary I lose sight of this sometimes. I don't
realize what I have and how important it truly is. I have come to feel
that I MUST labor for the entirety of my mission to find that person
who's salvation is at risk. To find that person who's looking for
something better than themselves. To find that person, who in the
pre-existence, might have plead, begged, and is now relying on me to
find them and offer them eternal life.

This calling is one of importance and urgency. I can't wait to see
what's in store for us this next week. I know and can testify that the
more we give to our mission, the more we get in return. The more of
our self we lose to this amazing work, the more we find ourselves. I
want nothing more in this life than to forever be on The Lords errand.
I love this with all my heart.

I'll see you soon. Have an amazing week. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer