Tuesday, May 31, 2016

WEEK 48 SAN RAFAEL  2nd Ward

Family and Friends,

Concluding a week of being told many times as to how idiotic,
ridiculous, uneducated and misguided we are as missionaries - you
could say it wasn't exactly the warmest welcome to the area my first
couple days here. My testimony has been shaken and tested a great
amount. We've definitely come home with weary, saddened hearts a
couple nights this week, but regardless of all the negativity and
hardship that was placed before us, Heavenly Father gave in return a
greater abundance of blessings than we could've ever both hoped for
and imagined.

Having literally only been in the San Rafael Area for five days now, I
can already say that this was an easily adaptable change. These are my
type of people. You'll find a great range and variety out here. Almost
everything from fashionistas, to athletes, to nerds, to businessmen,
and even farmers. Despite the occupational choices of these people,
it's needless to say that they've got money. And lots of it. With
money, comes a lot of wonderful things. But there seems to be a
constant variable that most people are lacking - and that being The
Gospel. Racking up a total of 962 total in-active members in our Ward,
it'd be safe to say that most have become complacent with their money
and have fallen away from what matters most. It brings me a lot of
discomfort to see these many people in which Satan has a great hold
upon their hearts and have become so lost in . On the contrary, it
gladdens me to see the prophecies fulfilled that were foretold in The
Book of Mormon regarding becoming too caught up in the "materialistic"
matters of life. What an interesting conversation it has been to knock
doors and hear members (who were at one time very active in the
church) explain to us that they don't "need God anymore". Goodness
gracious, I pray and yearn for each and every one of these people.

The majority of the work in our area is done with Less-Active finding
and reactivation. Elder Cawley and I had a neat experience this week
as we visited a member in our Ward who hadn't been seen at church in
almost three and a half years. Sister Mulligan is a single mother
living here in San Rafael with three kids and one who happens to be
autistic. These kids are filled to the brim with energy and
enthusiasm. I'm not 100% sure why?... But maybe it was the coffee
their mother was letting them drink while we were there?! Maybe. Just
maybe. Elder Cawley kept the kids busy for a good thirty or so
minutes, while Sister Mulligan and I had an amazing conversation
regarding her conversion and what first made her want to join the
church. In talking about this, it made her extremely emotional and
feelings of the past had overcome her. In every way shape and form,
she was overcome with the spirit - or the Love of God. [Galatians
5:22] Following our visit with Sister Mulligan, we extended an
invitation to her to act on these feelings and exercise her faith in
The Lord. You wouldn't believe who was at church this past Sunday.
Sister Mulligan and the whole clan. What joy and happiness filled my
heart in seeing that a little recollection of stories, could bring
such power to our lives.

I know and can testify for myself, with all truthfulness of heart,
that The Lord can comfort us in times of need. He can lift us when
feeble. He can bless us with his love and compassion. He will watch
over and protect us in the darkest of times and deliver us from all
the many different circumstances we face. He lives. He is real. I have
witnessed his mercy and long suffering for "a soul so rebellious, and
proud as mine". I'm forever grateful for The Gospel of Jesus Christ
and the change it can bring to our lives. I know it. I live it. I love

I'm more than excited for this upcoming week and seeing first hand,
The Lord so graciously extending his care towards us as His
missionaries. This is His work. It's certainly not the easiest work in
the world, but it is the greatest work that there ever will be.

Until next week. Be safe. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer

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