Wednesday, September 7, 2016

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

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]❤️

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