Wednesday, September 7, 2016

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

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