Thursday, September 29, 2016







WEEK 64 Eureka, McKinleyville Ward & Humboldt YSA Ward  

Family and Friends, 

What a week this was. My first impressions and feelings regarding this transfer are all but negative. Hearing stories and opinions from other missionaries, the area that I'm now in has often been called "the promised land". Not many people have ill or bad memories coming from this place due to the members, geographical surroundings, and amounts of people that earnestly are searching for the answers to life. After having only been here a short six days - I can certainly attest and confirm all of these things to be valid. Unfortunately through the time span of these last six days, we've spent a large portion of our time--16&1/2 hours to be exact--in a car driving to & from meetings in Santa Rosa. It presented a lot of opportunities for Elder Adamson and I to catch up and reminisce past memories from our previous area, but I'll leave our boring car conversation to be told another day. Here's the highlights of all that has gone down. 

Tuesday: The first night I got into town, we arrived at the apartment and I immediately started to get unpacked. This short and speedy process only took a bit of time and left a good couple hours for us to get out into the area and do some work. We made haste (as time required us to) over to a family's home that are currently recent converts to our Ward. Being the amazing members that they are, they had invited over one of their close friends to receive the missionary discussions and learn more about The Gospel. This happened to be the first time we had ever met Frank, and regardless of having just become acquainted, we delve right into the first discussion. A great portion of our discussion was about Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. How great it was for my companion and I to have seen the spirit work on Frank in such a way that everything we explained had made perfect sense to him. Brother & Sister Lynch also played a great role in testifying and sharing their story of conversion. To be short and sweet - my first night in the area set some high expectations for this upcoming transfer. 

Wednesday: We woke up, had some wonderful personal studies and quickly began to discuss a Zone Vision for the missionaries here within the Eureka Zone. Elder Adamson and I got pretty creative to say the least. After studies were over, we left the house and went to pound the pavement. We walked and talked to a ton of people this morning in hopes to finding some new investigators and people to teach. Our efforts weren't as successful as we had hoped in contacting people, so we decided to visit a couple potential investigators within the area. As the Lord guided us to Annamarie's home, we found ourselves in a great conversation about The Gospel and invited her out to institute the following week, but also to meet with us within the coming days. Our morning and afternoon turned out to be so great! The latter part of our day was just as wonderful as we met with church leaders in our Ward and discussed some new potential families to find and teach. A lesson with Chester (a Less Active YSA member) followed our meetings and we taught him about keeping The Commandments. I came home tonight feeling so content with the amounts of work we got done! 

Thursday: As Tuesday morning wasn't available due to transfers, District Meeting took place today and we as missionaries were addressed on becoming better teachers and teaching with greater purpose. I greatly appreciated the messages that were shared this morning and I was touched by the spirit. Following District Meeting, we had lunch with all the Elders in our District and played a couple 'get to know you games'. This was so much fun! I'm grateful for the missionaries that I am privileged to serve around. They've all got so many cool things about themselves. Elder Adamson and I spent the entire rest of our day packing, and loading up the car for a mission leadership conference that was to be held the next morning. Being prepared and ready to go, we started again on the long haul back down to Santa Rosa. With a great amount of delay in our travels (due to traffic) we didn't get to the AP's house until 11:00 at night. Today was a long day, but it ended so well as we got to spend the night with Elder Achal and Elder Hatch in their apartment. 

Friday: With four Elders in our apartment and only one shower, we didn't get to exercise this morning because of lack of time to get ready for our Mission Conference that was to be held from 8:30AM-4:30PM. Boy oh boy. This was one of the longest meetings of my life, but thankfully we were greatly uplifted and blessed with the privilege of being taught by President Wright and Sister Wright. We counseled on a lot of topics regarding mission culture, mission performance, humility, being unified as companionships, etc. Again - it was a long meeting. A really long meeting. But I was able to take away some little nuggets from each section that was presented to us. As circumstance permitted and after our meeting, we again made the trek back to return to our proselyting area. Without question, this took the remainder of our night. A long drive, beautiful scenery, good conversations, and listening to a whole lot of BYU Vocal Point made the drive all worth it though. 

Saturday: Being given the opportunity to get out of our proselyting clothes for a couple hours and going to perform some service for a Less Active member in our Ward, provided as a great way for us to strengthen a relationship and potentially return to teach about church attendance in the coming weeks. We worked in the beautiful, sunny weather at trying to fix up the home of this member and provide some finishing touches as he is soon to be selling this home. How great it felt to be doing some dirty work and not having to be wearing slacks and a white shirt. We really did take as much advantage of that situation as we possibly could've! Returning from our service project at about mid-day, we took advantage of the weekend (people usually being home) and went finding. We knocked a lot of doors and found a lot of success in this! We found a new family to teach, and also found a couple people that we turned over to some other missionaries in our zone. Hopefully all works well with these new families! Elder Adamson and I were pretty pumped. We had dinner tonight at the local Subway and that put us in a good position to teach Frank another awesome lesson. We shared the message of The Plan of Salvation and it answered a ton of questions that Frank had. He was so inclined and so touched with our message that he committed to being at church the next day. #BestNightEver

Sunday: Single handedly the best day of the entire week. The area seventy that presides over our Eureka Stake was in attendance at both of our Sacrament Meetings today. He bore such a powerful testimony and witness of the Savior and it strengthened my testimony a great amount. I'm so thankful for inspired leaders of the church and their willingness to serve in the many capacities that they do. Being missionaries assigned in the McKinleyville Ward and also covering the Humboldt YSA Ward, we are required to attend both wards and all meetings. Again, another long day but so spiritual as we attended great meetings. I'm so thankful for Sunday's. Another highlight of our day was the weekly skype call with the AP's & Mission President and discussing our weekly Key Indicators. I was so happy to again see Elder Achal and Elder Hatch. 

I can't even begin to describe how thankful I am for this new area and the new opportunities that have been presented to Elder Adamson & I in the past six days we've been together. I love my companion so much and am so thankful for the opportunity to serve with him again. I am more optimistic about this transfer than I ever have been before. Here we go, baby. Here's to another week. 

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

-Elder Schaefer

Wednesday, September 28, 2016












 WEEK 63 SAN RAFAEL  2nd Ward

 Family and Friends, 

As time is scarce and I lack the words of even describing how I'm currently feeling, I must first and foremost express my deepest gratitude and love for all that has transpired over the past four and one half months. There's so many wonderful people that I've met and have had the opportunity to rub shoulders with, while we were each united under the cause of serving The Lord. I've never felt as sad to leave an area as much as I do this one. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Heavenly Father wanted me here in San Rafael to learn, grow and develop myself further as a missionary, but more importantly as a valiant son of God. My feelings or words could not adequately do justice what I feel on the inside of my heart. I must lean to the lyrics of a highly successful, impactful, poetic, and service driven woman herself. 

"I wanna leave my footprint on the sands of time
Know there was something that, meant something that I left behind
When I leave this world, I'll leave no regrets,
Leave something to remember, so they won't forget

I was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I've done, everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know
I was here

I want to say I lived each day, until I die
And know that I meant something in somebody's life
The hearts I have touched will be the proof that I leave
That I made a difference, and this world will see

I was here
I lived, I loved
I was here
I did, I've done, everything that I wanted
And it was more than I thought it would be
I will leave my mark so everyone will know

I was here." 

Heavenly Father has blessed me so immensely and has brought my life so much happiness. I am more than pleased and proud of the calling that I bare. I know that without God & his eternal plan - none of this would be possible. None of this would've happened. None of the people I met, homes I entered into, relationships I built, and lives that we touched could've even come remotely close without The Master. On top of it all and what I'm mostly grateful for are the blessings that others have been to me. I could never closely explain the impressions that have been made upon my heart. Forever grateful. 

Looking forward and thinking about where I'm headed, I'm optimistic and excited about the experiences that now await me in Mckinleyville, Eureka. I know that this will be another place for The Lord to mold me in what He would have me be. Getting to be companions with one of my favorite missionaries in the mission is going to be an immense blessing as well. Elder Adamson & I will certainly appreciate all sorts of prayers that we can get. We're expecting big things and are planning on heavily relying on The Lord for all we need. For with Him, all things are possible. 

I love my mission. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I'll see you soon. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer

 








 WEEK 62 SAN RAFAEL  2nd Ward
 
Family and Friends,

Miracles. Miracles. Miracles. That would most perfectly sum up the
week we just had. With only two weeks left in the transfer, and not
knowing what is going to happen to the both of us - Elder Magee & I
upped our expectations and turned our efforts up 500 degrees. Boy, oh
boy. There were so many wonderful things that happened. I felt very at
peace this week, and an overwhelming sense of happiness as we worked.
Normally I find myself very stressed towards the end of the week, but
that wasn't the case this time. I felt happy. I felt at home. I felt
an unwavering certainty for what we were doing was correct and true. I
wish I could correctly remember all that transpired this week, but I
plan to provide some of the highlights from each of our days.

Sept. 5 // Monday
Today was one of the chillest P Days ever. Elder Magee and I didn't do
much, but that was certainly the beauty behind it all. We hung out,
kicked it with the Schroeder family, hung around the apartment, told
stories, listened to music (approved music of course), went shopping,
and then had a BOMB dinner at a nearby restaurant called BJ's. This
was the "cherry on top" to our day. Seriously. After dinner, we made
our way out of San Rafael to do some finding. We had a scheduled
appointment at 8:00 PM with one of our members, and that left a few
hours for us to do some finding around their home. The majority of
people weren't happy to see us and had no problem with telling us off
and explaining that they "never wanted to see us around town again",
but we decided not to read into it very much. Thankfully, after having
struggled for a few hours in knocking doors, we made our way to
Brother McDaniels home for a lesson. Due to circumstances with his
family, Brother McDaniels hasn't been to church in a while and has
wandered onto some different paths. In an effort to reinvigorate his
spirituality, we shared a message about the Restoration of The Gospel.
The spirit was so undeniably strong in that home while we were
teaching. I felt the love of Heavenly Father and His spirit. Brother
McDaniels was so moved and deeply touched by our lesson that he
committed to coming to church this upcoming week. Elder Magee & I
jumped for joy all the way back to our apartment this night.

Sept. 6 // Tuesday
Today was a day filled with hard work, heat, and sweat. It's been hot
around here the past couple days and boy did we feel it. This morning
we didn't have district meeting (Elder Angulo wasn't prepared...), but
we made the best use of our time trying to go and see people.
Admittedly, we spent a bit too much time in the apartment this morning
talking and joking around, but we did make up for it the rest of the
day. We did some visiting of less actives, read the Book of Mormon
with one of them, and also had the privilege of meeting some members
in the ward that we've never met before. We had an awesome lesson with
Brother and Sister Williams whom happen to be a part member family.
Walking, and contacting also found a great place in our schedule
today, but he blessings came as we did so. We found another part
member family in our Ward that insisted on us coming back sometime
next week to share a message!  The best part of today was the Book of
Mormon class that followed dinner. Elder Magee and I have made a great
effort in trying to broadcast and propagate our Book of Mormon class.
A couple people from the Ward came out tonight and we had a huge
discussion about Alma 44. I loved it so much. It was so interesting
for me to see members of the church getting so engaged with reading
the scriptures and talking about them. I loved it so much! I am a
living witness that the scriptures change lives. I know and have such
a strong testimony in the scriptures. They are one of my most favorite
parts about the Gospel. My companion and I were so delighted to have
seen the Book of Mormon class increasing in numbers. We hope to see
more this coming week!

Sept. 7 // Wednesday
Another crazy day in the books. A day with a bit of disheartening
moments, but also glad and joyous moments to make up for it all. I was
dead tired today as a result of yesterday, but I was so thankful that
The Lord pushed us through all that we did. Studies went as well as
they normally do & then we made our way to Brother Cowans home for the
first lesson of the day. I love the man to death. We watched one of
the most amazing talks in the world that was recently given in the BYU
Education Week. I was so inspired and touched by the spirit. I know
without a shadow of a doubt that our Apostles are inspired and led by
God. It brought me to tears that morning as we watched Jeffrey R.
Holland & David A. Bednar talk at BYU Education Week. It was amazing.
Following our visit here, we then started on our way down to Santa
Rosa where we spent the better part of our day at a training meeting
with President Wright. Of course we met Elder Everett & his greenie
for lunch before the meeting! I love the guy so much. He honestly is
my best friend in the mission. The meeting we had was so cool as we
talked about missionary work and adjusting to mission life. I also got
to see Elder Achal so that was fun as well! Not having a dinner
appointment tonight, Elder Magee & I just went out to work. We visited
with Brother Fordham and had an amazing lesson with him. The people he
is now housing in his apartment are interested in the Gospel and
changing their lives. Unfortunately, Brother Fordham has picked up
smoking (as a result of these people moving in) - but we gave them all
blessings--of strength--to resist the temptations to smoke. I felt
sorrow tonight as I saw Brother Fordham smoking. I love the guy so
much & I don't want him to be hurting himself (spiritually) like that.
It was a rough ending to our night, but also made us happy to know
that we had some new potential investigators to teach.

Sept. 8 // Thursday
Goodness gracious today was an emotional roller coaster. I didn't like
today very much. Wasn't the greatest fan of today. But then again -
today was just great. We worked with the circumstances we were given &
had the most amounts of success that we could. The morning started out
a bit rough as Sister Martin (a less active member in our ward)
brought us into her home and lectured us this morning on how awful and
disrespectful my spiritual thought was on Charity (that we gave her
last week). This really bothered me. The whole rest of the day went by
quite well, though. We went to the Food Bank and worked hard there. I
was actually able to talk a bit with one of the ladies at the Food
Bank and she asked that we come teach to teach her about eternal
families. This was such an awesome experience as many members of the
Marin Food Club sat around us and listened very intently while I
discussed and shared our beliefs on Eternal Families. It almost felt
like I was giving some sort of sermon and people were crowded around
us listening and disregarding anything that was going on around them.
Heavenly Father certainly directed and guided my words because of the
effect that it had on those that were there! After the Food Bank, we
went to have dinner at Brother & Sister Hartman's home. They're the
coolest family EVER. The majority of our night was spent there, but
Elder Magee and I decided to go out and contact some people before the
night was over. While out & about - a Hispanic family came up to us &
through the small Spanish I know, I explained to them ALL about the
church. They seemed genuinely interested and told us how they want to
start coming and start allowing the gospel to change their lives. It
was amazing. THESE PEOPLE CAME UP TO US!! It made me feel so blessed
that I was able to have helped them & shared some sort of gospel
message to them in their language. We discussed our church services
and they committed to going to the Spanish Branch this coming Sunday!
What a great end to the night that was.

Sept. 9 // Friday
Not much happened today. That sounds quite ridiculous in terms of how
crazily busy we should normally be, but Weekly Planning and putting
some finishing touches on our Utah VS BYU Football game took the
majority of our day. Elder Magee and I laughed a lot today, though. We
laughed pretty hard and enjoyed ourselves. This was a miracle in and
of itself. It felt good to talk, laugh, and joke around with my
companion. Sometimes everybody needs that, right? Yeah. It was a good
day all in all. I do indeed love my companion. He's such an amazing
missionary and friend. I'm more than thankful for the friendship we've
built with one another.

Sept. 10 // Saturday
Sun up to sun down. More bloated than I've ever been as well. Today
was the greatest day of the entire week. We worked and ate food from
the early morning hours and deep into the night. Our morning started
off with the event that our Zone hosted here in San Rafael. We called
it the "San Rafael Deseret Duel". All investigators, members, less
actives, and missionaries were invited for a good morning of throwing
around the pigskin. This was one of the funnest highlights of our day.
As we followed our football game, we had another AMAZING lesson with
Brother Meyers. He's still progressing towards baptism and is doing
wonderful. After here, we made a drive out to Fairfax to see Sister
Espocito and the clan. Thankfully - no more evil spirits in the home.
That was a blessing! Our visit went well with her and following this
visit, we did some good ol fashion finding in the "bush" of fairfax.
This area is densely populated with people & trees. That's just about
it. Nothing more, nothing less. We lost ourselves a couple times, but
also found ourselves in another part member home teaching and sharing
messages about Jesus Christ. After having done this for a couple
hours, I just had the biggest smile on my face. This was the happiest
part of our day. I love teaching people about Jesus Christ. Above all
else, the most spiritual part of our day was when we returned to
Brother Fordhams home for a lesson with the family that just recently
moved in with him. We taught the family The Plan of Salvation and it
was single handedly one of the most powerful lessons I've ever had on
my mission. No joke at all. She asked us as the end of our lesson that
we help her prepare to become a member of our church. It was so
amazing. Our night ended on such a high note & it made it even better
to hear that the Utes beat the "Team Down South". Best. Day. Ever.

Sept. 11 // Sunday
Sunday's are some of the weirdest days we have on the mission. Because
our schedule is so full of meetings and duties to attend to, we don't
have much time--or any time, for that matter--to proselyte. Regardless
of how busy we are, I'm always just thankful to go and feel the spirit
at church and partake of the sacrament. Truly one of the most
spiritually rich parts of our week. We also take the sacrament to a
lot of widowed, unable bodied women because they aren't able to attend
church on Sunday's. This always provides for a lot of sweet and tender
experiences as the ladies explain to us the wonderful history of their
families and history of their membership in the church. I just love
hearing the stories and wonderful experiences (pertaining to the
gospel) that people have had throughout their lives. It truly is such
a faith building experience.

I've said it before & I'll say it again. Each night we come home just
so grateful for all that we have. As weird as this might sound - it's
almost comical to us the amounts of love, support, and blessings that
we receive from Heavenly Father and all those back home. I could not
be more thankful for all that has been given to me & I just wish I
could do something to bless your guys' lives in return. I have to
trust that serving a faithful and diligent mission will bring
blessings to the families and individuals that treat my companion and
I so well. I am so extremely blessed. God has given me so much in my
life. "Because I have been given much, I too just give." I guess I've
gotta lay it all out in the line for these next ten months that I've
got left. I don't want to miss out on any blessings that I could've
had and I don't want any regrets upon my return home. #TeamNoRegrets
#LordsTeam #WorkHardWorkHard

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

-Elder Schaefer

Wednesday, September 7, 2016





WEEK 61 SAN RAFAEL  2nd Ward

Family and Friends,

What a strange feeling it is to be emailing you once again. It seems
that my weeks are beginning to be shorter and shorter. As though I
never would wish, the days seem to be getting shorter and shorter as
well. I find myself throughout the week very troubled and struggling
with finding enough time in our days to accomplish all that is needed
and scheduled. One of my greatest frustrations in the mission is not
feeling as if I was completely and entirely successful in "exhorting
the people [of our area] to believe in God unto repentance" [Ether
12:3]. Very seldom are we able to visit and teach everybody we set
out for each day, but I know that Heavenly Father makes up for these
things. He is a merciful God. I know this to be true as we watched
this unfold before our very eyes in seeing all that happened with the
small amounts of lessons we actually did teach.

Door knocking and sufficient amounts of walking to make one person
satisfied for the next ten years of their life took a great portion of
all that went on. We walked. A lot. We knocked. A lot. With lack of
miles on the car, and many canceled lessons, this was all there was
left to do. As I'm sure you'd guess, most people pleasantly declined
our offers of salvation. Fortunately, it provided for some hilarious
experiences with those that reside here in California and it allowed
my companion Elder Magee to get some great practice with contacting
people. As he should be (for only being out 3-4 weeks now), Elder
Magee is a little apprehensive about talking to people. As it took
some rough conversations and very detailed explaining to get the ball
rolling - he finally got the hang of it and actually asked somebody to
be baptized. It was so great! I've never seen him so happy before & it
made me genuinely happy to such progress in my companion. I do love
him dearly. Please pray specifically for my companion that he might
continue to see small successes and 'fruits' from the labors we
perform each day. I know this will be a great blessing to him.

As random as this might seem, I had the privilege this week of working
some of the Spanish vocabulary that I learned--a few years ago--from
my Sophomore year of High School. A part member family invited us into
their home this last Monday & the wife didn't speak a lick of English.
As soon as we entered into the home, the wife was very interested in
who we were. She asked all about us, where we were from, our "real
names" and what we were doing as missionaries. In the broken Spanish I
know - I desperately tried to give her my most accurate depiction of
my story and life. As if it wasn't enough for her, she asked that we
come sit in her living room and teach her the first missionary
discussion. Can you imagine the look on my face? I literally struggled
throughout the whole lesson, and fought my way through with all that I
knew. I basically just bore my testimony over & over & over again. It
obviously wasn't the best lesson I've ever taught in my life (because
it was in Spanish), but this sweet lady seemed to be touched. It
brought her to tears & quite honestly I felt like letting a few tears
fall for how horrible I thought the lesson had gone. Thankfully, The
Lord compensated and worked through the little Spanish I did know.
This isn't the first time that this is happened to me on my mission,
but each time I walk away absolutely amazed at how God spoke
vicariously through me. It was such an amazing experience. Please pray
that this sweet lady will soon meet with the SPANISH elders and allow
them to teach her more.

As my precious companion and I had discussed the situation with, and
the circumstances that currently beset the Espocito family - we came
to the conclusion that we needed to lay off a bit & give them a bit of
a break. It's been almost four weeks since we've last seen them, and
oddly enough, I received such a strong impression this past week to go
see them. I knew the drive out would be long & chances are they
wouldn't be there, but I knew that Heavenly Father wanted us there.
So, we made the trip out to Fairfax. Pulling up around 7:30 at night,
something seemed different about the home. It had such a dark and
heavy presence there. Something that I've never felt before.
Disregarding my gut-feelings and the initial impressions I had, we
knocked on the door in hopes to get in and see them. As soon as the
door opened, we were greeted by the nine year old daughter and she
invited us in. As she ran up the crickety old stairs to find her mom,
we took a seat in the living room. Shortly thereafter, the stereo
system turned on & started blasting static noises. Pictures on the
walls started falling and the heaviness in the room increased. There
was a darkness of spirit in that home & Heavenly Father had put us
there to change that. There was a spirit in that home that clearly
didn't want us there. We offered a house blessing, gave Sister
Espocito a blessing, and then shared a message about keeping the
adversary out of our lives. They've recently been through a lot lately
& I know God put us there for a reason. Please pray that this family
will soon again find The Lord and turn to Him in these tough times.

A lot happened this week & I'm thankful for the work and service we
were able to render. It brings me joy to know I'm playing a role in
building The Lords kingdom here on earth. Above all else, I learned a
great deal about trials this week and why they come. I learned how to
truly exercise faith in the midst of rough days and rough weeks. I
know that without prayer & without the Savior - I probably wouldn't
have been able to get through these next couple weeks of the transfer.
I'm grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for
me. His sacrifice so that I can be comforted in tough times. His
sacrifice so that I can be led to understand and comply to Heavenly
Fathers will. I know without a shadow of a doubt - that He is waiting
to change us. It's whether or not we're willing to reach out for that
change to come about.

The Lord is my strength. I love this great cause in which I'm engaged
in. I know it is true.

-Elder Schaefer


WEEK 60 SAN RAFAEL  2nd Ward

Family and Friends,

It seems as if it is beginning to become beyond monotonous each week
to continue in sharing how glorious and wonderful the past week has
been. We come home each night in great appreciation for all that The
Lord continues to bless us with. I couldn't compare this week to
anything other than the marvelous stories of missionary work
throughout the scriptures. It was quite evident that Heavenly Father
wanted us to see many of His children throughout this week because
instead of us looking for people to teach - people came looking for us
to teach them. Weird? Yes. Normal? No. But hey - we couldn't be more
grateful for a constant replenishing of our teaching pool.

You know the great (and sometimes overused) stories in The Book of
Mormon about Alma and his fellow missionary brethren going to teach
the Zoramite people? You know  about the successes and many listening
people that gave ear to what they had to say? Well, Elder Magee and I
experienced a great deal of that earlier in the week. We set out and
decided to go to a less fortunate side of town--if there even was a
less fortunate side of town here in Marin--and walked the streets
around there. As we walked around - people opened their windows,
yelled across the street, welcomed us into their homes, asked us for
copies of The Book of Mormon, and insisted on us bringing those little
green shielded rings with the letters "CTR" imprinted on the face of
the ring. Could you say #miraclesonmiracles? People. Real people.
ASKING US FOR CTR RINGS?! We couldn't believe our very eyes. We plan
to meet with these people within this next week. Please pray that our
visits and appointments might be successful.

Due to some slight complexities with the situations of one of our
members, we've been teaching a Brother in our ward that has recently
been excommunicated. As our lessons with him are often times very
interesting - this Brother is making huge strides to one day becoming
worthy to be a member of the church again. We are battling alongside
of him and we have been insistent in helping him with all he needs in
preparing to being baptized again. He's one of most down to earth men
I've ever met in my life. Because of his previous mistakes in this
life, he's currently struggling to overcome addictions and temptations
that beset him. It's such a strength to me to be visiting him and
seeing the changes that he's making day-to-day through Jesus Christ.
I've never been so happy and supportive of another individual as much
as I have been with this Brother. I love him to death. Please pray
that he might continue to stay strong and resist the enticings of the
adversary.

The most amazing and divine part of our week actually included the
whole district of us missionaries here in the San Rafael area. Friday
night, all eight of us decided to meet at the Golden Gate Bridge to
walk and contact all those that were on the bridge in hopes to catch a
couple new investigators. While making our way down to the Golden Gate
Bridge, our whole district ran into a ton of complications. Some
sister missionaries in our district ran out of Gas, the other Elders
forgot jackets and had to turn around, and my companion & I took the
wrong exit off the freeway - which meant we were ALL extremely late to
meet up. Coincidence? Nothing is a coincidence in Heavenly Fathers
plan. Later that night as we were walking, we came about a man whom
seemed to be in an apparent amount of deep sorrow and despair. Almost
completely simultaneously, as this man walked past us, all eight of us
missionaries turned our heads around. The spirit immediately grabbed
every single on of ours attention and demanded that we go over to
contact this man. Unfortunately because of the ridiculous amounts of
wind, he didn't hear the initial words I spoke, but thankfully, a
companionship of the sister missionaries followed him & talked with
him for quite some time. Turns out this man had earlier planned to
walk the bridge and commit suicide that night. Did all of this happen
accidentally? No. God put every single one of us missionaries on that
bridge that night, and prompted EACH AND EVERY one of us to contact
that man. God lives. He is real. He knows each of us and what our
needs are. I know that this situation could've gone very differently
had we (as servants of The Lord) not been there. Please pray this man
continues to find meaning in his life & will no longer have thoughts
of suicide.

In spite of all things that have happened this past week, I could not
reiterate how greatly joyous I am. I love where I am. I love being a
missionary and serving for The Lords church. I have such a strong
conversion to this Gospel and each day am amazed at the truthfulness
behind this church. I know God stands behind my companion and I each
day. I know the Savior is with me every step of the way.

He lifts me when I'm weak. He strengthens me when I'm down. He guides
me in all my paths. Through his stripes, I'm healed. Through his great
Atonement, I'm given hope for a better life and future. I'm grateful
for this knowledge above anything else I have in this life.

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

-Elder Schaefer

[Isaiah 53:3-6]❤️





WEEK 59 SAN RAFAEL  2nd Ward-

Family and Friends,

Another incredible week here in the San Rafael 2nd Ward. With my new
companion, Elder Magee and I completely smashed all of our Weekly
Goals and Key Indicators. Heavenly Father played such an intricate
role in the successes we saw and with everything that happened - we
owe it all to Him. I'm grateful for His guidance in entirely
everything that we do. I feel it. I know He's there and I know this is
His work. I know He leads this church and leads us as missionaries to
fulfill His purposes in directing others to walk the path that
eventually leads to Eternal Life. There is no greater work here upon
the earth.

As per normality in the majority of my weekly emails, I tend to focus
on how well we're doing in the companionship, how hard we're working
in the area, the successes we're having, and other things of that
nature. Reflecting upon and looking at all these emails - the common
denominator here is solely focused and centered upon me. Being a
missionary and participating in such a wonderful service opportunity
to others, I sincerely want to change a few things. I want to break
this pattern and make some of my weekly emails something in which all
of you at home can be following alongside and (in some way or another)
working with us out here in the field. I want to keep you updated on
those that we teach. At the end of the day, these people we have in
our teaching pool need you. They need your prayers. They need your
support. & we need your faith.

One of the most divinely inspired things that happened to us this week
was this past Thursday night. Elder Magee and I decided to visit one
of our less active members that lives quite a distance away from us.
We took the long drive out, and to our surprise - the member was not
home. Frustrated and ready to turn around, we decided to get out of
the car and walk around for a bit. We prayed before getting out of the
car & immediately we found a man walking the sidewalk nearest to us. I
decided to jump on the occasion and be courageous in everything I
asked. About twenty five minutes after speaking with this man--whom we
came to know as Jimmy--he invited us into his home to teach him. He
expressed to us in our meeting that he had recently been praying to
God for a messenger of truth to come along and teach him about how he
could come closer to The Lord. Coincidence? I think not. Following our
lesson, he willingly committed to being baptized and invited us over
to come teach him again next week. Please pray that our meetings next
week with Jimmy will go smoothly and the spirit will continue to touch
his heart.

An investigator that we've been teaching for a couple months now
recently took a leap of faith in attending church this past Sunday.
Katisha was raised as a deep southern baptist and has had many
problems with understanding our church doctrine. It's been like
pulling teeth meeting with her and allowing the spirit to teach her
because of her upbringing and the beliefs she upholds. Regardless of
this continuation of struggling situations, Katisha showed up for
church on Sunday morning and wept for the majority of our meetings.
She just kept explaining to us the feeling of "being home" and "being
more comfortable with these people, than any other church she's ever
been to before".  I know with a surety that she felt the spirit of God
testifying to her about the truthfulness of this church. Please pray
that she might continue to meet with us and continue to exercise her
faith in the church.

One of our most heart wrenching and deeply saddening appointments took
place at Brother May's home this past Saturday. As this was a familiar
family dynamic for myself, it especially meant a great deal to me.
Brother May is not currently a member of the church and has most
recently had his wife pass away. While Sister May was still alive &
here on the earth, she was undoubtedly one of our strongest, most
devoted, and highly converted members of the church. She was
absolutely amazing! We knew that with the passing of Sister May,
Brother May was struggling a great amount. He was heartbroken and
missed his wife more than ever. When going over to visit him, we
decided to be very careful and conscientious of the things we shared,
but also firm in the testimony that he would and could one day live
with his wife again. We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and
the enabling power that this church brings in letting us live again
with our families after this mortal life. I poured my heart and soul
out to him in explaining my family situation & how badly I want to
live with my family for time and eternity. I explained how my father
was not a member of the church and how closely I felt to the situation
he was currently in. I literally gave him everything I had. After all
of this, Brother May explained to us that he wasn't willing to be
baptized a member of the church, and be sealed to his family because
he couldn't give up some worldly addictions he is currently bound by.
In all honestly, after this experience - I've never been so
demoralized in my life. I had something to offer him that would enable
his family to live together after this life, for eternity, and he
wasn't willing to change. Please pray that Brother May will feel the
inclinations to change & live the Gospel as the rest of his family
does. Please pray that he might overcome these addictions and one day
be sealed in the temple to his family. We need this. He needs this.

Brother & Sister Koch are also a part member family that we're
currently teaching right now, and Brother Koch is still yet to be
baptized. We've taught them all the lessons, and have explained the
importance of living the Gospel here on the earth. They're intrigued
and extremely interested with the teachings of the Church and they
have a desire to one day return to church. Unfortunately, Ken has
horrible back problems and is basically bedridden. He goes in for an
MRI and potential surgery within the next couple weeks. As per his
desires, we are praying that the operation might go smoothly, his
recovery will be quick & he will soon be able to be baptized a member
of the church. Please join us in these prayers.

With these being the most important and needful people in our area,
we'd appreciate any sort of help we can get. Your prayers will be
greatly appreciated. I hope and want my letters home to be uplifting,
encouraging, and filled with wonderful stories of the many miracles
that we see sporadically throughout the week. These amazing people and
their lives are what we're currently engaged in. I promise to continue
and make a couple of my weekly emails solely devoted to keeping you
all updated on everything that goes on around here.

I appreciate all the love and support I receive. You all have no idea
how much you mean to me.

I'll see you soon. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer





WEEK 58 SAN RAFAEL  2nd Ward-