Wednesday, September 28, 2016

 








 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

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