Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WEEK 71 Eureka, McKinleyville Ward & Humboldt YSA Ward 

Family and Friends, 

You won't even believe what I'm about to tell you. Truthfully, some of the things that happened this week were almost too good to be true. I look back at all that happened and I can't help but to be astonished and even a bit dumbfounded as to the amount of miracles this area has seen over this past week. I would be making an understatement in saying that The Lord caused a tsunami wave of blessings to crash right before our very eyes. 

I have not much to say regarding the subject of fasting, other than it's an undeniably fundamental principle of truth and it brought great spiritual strength to my overall testimony of the gospel. At the beginning of the week, I had been feeling an overwhelming sense of prompting, to fast for a couple of the investigators in our teaching pool that have recently been plateauing in terms of progression. I started my fast and called upon The Lord to help us in opening the hearts of these people to be more receptive to the gospel. 

The majority of the week went by with not much of an answer. Finally, after feeling all sorts of disheartened, but still holding onto whatever pieces of hope that dwelt in my heart - our investigator Frank found some time to meet with us on Friday night. Upon entering the home that night, it was quite evident that he had just had a torturous day at work and didn't seem to be in the mood for much of a discussion. To our surprise, this whole situation changed very quickly. We had one heck of a lesson that (at one point in the lesson) had Frank on his knees praying to God and asking if our message be true. As he did so, he explained that an overpowering sense of warmth and 'tingling' filled his body. Frank had received a witness from the Holy Ghost that what we were teaching him was the truth. He received a witness that God wanted him to know that this church, was the true church here upon the earth. Frank felt so strongly this night and was so overcome by the feelings of the spirit, he pleaded with us to come teach him (in the coming days) about the Word of Wisdom so he could drop his smoking habits. We never saw this coming and I fully believe God played an essential role in our lesson that night. 

To make matters even better, we had a substantially 'life changing' experience with Tessa on Sunday afternoon. After some battling with the adversary, her school schedule, work schedule, and sports schedule - Tessa was finally able to make it to church this Sunday. (Now - we hadn't met with, seen, or even talked to Tessa for the past two weeks. We had thought that everything we had with her was lost.) As we began jumping for joy when we saw her arrive at church, the next thing that happened completely changed the game on everything. In a conversation she had with Elder Adamson, she explained that she had been investigating the church far beyond our weekly lessons we had with her. She told us the prompting she had received to study more and find more out about the church. In doing so, she knew she had to be baptized. Tessa didn't even ask - she TOLD US she was going to being baptized on November 27th. My jaw dropped in amazement as all of this unfolded. Tessa is getting baptized. Who would've ever thought? 

After pinching myself a couple times to awake myself from the 'dream' I felt I was in - another blessing was opened to us as we visited one of our investigators Christiana. Christiana has been investigating the church and has met with missionaries for years, now. The majority of the missionaries she met with - had given up on her. They didn't feel she was ready to be baptized and weren't willing to work through some of her troubles with her. Elder Adamson and I have made it a point to visit Christiana regularly and teach her the same discussions until she was ready. As we walked into her home late Sunday Night, she expressed her deepest desire and wishes to be baptized as a member of the church. After hearing this, again, I looked at my companion with astonishment and my very soul swelled with emotion. God had opened her and prepared her to become baptized. We set a baptismal date with her for December 3rd. Who would've ever thought?

The fasting and sacrifices we've recently made have really, really worked. It truly made a difference. God answered our prayers. God changed the hearts of these people. He worked a mighty miracle upon them. There is no other explanation. For The Lords hand and efforts in all we did this week - I'm eternally grateful. I know He was with us every step of the way. 

I feel the need and privilege to express the raw emotions that reside within me. I wish I only could tell you and find the words to describe how much I thoroughly enjoy being out here on my mission. Being engaged in The Lords work is single handedly the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. There isn't a thing in this world that I feel so strongly about. The gospel is true. I stand as a living witness. 

May The Lords blessings be upon each of you this week. I love you all dearly. 

-Elder Schaefer

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