Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WEEK 72 Eureka, McKinleyville Ward & Humboldt YSA Ward 

Family and Friends, 

Wowzers. That sure was a short one. It came and went so ridiculously quick that these past seven days seem to be a jumbled blur. With that being said - I don't even think there would be a word in the English dictionary that could correctly pinpoint all that happened. Weirdly enough, there isn't a single event or thing that really stood out to me this week. Nothing grand, spectacular, or even striking for that matter. It really was just a steady week of good ol' missionary work. 

Each day I spend out here in Northern California, I continue to grow in love and true appreciation for the privilege of serving a two year mission. There certainly are good days and bad days and we have our ups and our downs - just as any missionary would. But nonetheless, there isn't a thing that I love more than wearing The Lords name on my chest each day. I find myself holding my name tag more and more each day. I touch it a lot more when speaking to people and I wear it proudly. Most of all, I am grateful for all the experiences I've had with this little black name tag. 

I've been a few places. I've seen some things. I've witnessed miracles. I've witnessed sorrow. I've watched people change the course of their lives. As a result of all of this, I too myself have struggled. I too have changed. I've come to know Jesus Christ. I've seen an immense amount of tender mercies come from He himself. I have an undeniable testimony of the realism behind missionary work. There is power in this calling. There is truth. It is real. 

I will be the first to tell you - it isn't always the easiest thing waking up in the morning with tired feet, worn down bodies and wearied minds. I don't always necessarily wake up with a gleaming smile on my face. I don't always feel so eagerly inclined to get out and put my feet to the pavement. Often times, I'm quite worn out and I try to justify the work I've done thus far that it would be good enough for the Savior. As these thoughts occasionally or periodically run through my mind, the words of Henry B. Eyring always motivate me to press on. 

"...whenever I am tempted to feel that I have finished some hard task in His service and deserve a rest, The Savior’s example gives me courage to press on. His labors in mortality were finished, but He entered the spirit world determined to continue His glorious work to save souls." [April 2010, Act In All Diligence, General Conference]

Saving souls is what we're all about. This is The Lord's work. This is His church. I could feel no more grateful for the opportunity I have to represent Him as a full time missionary and witness the tender mercies He provides us. I am a witness of His reality. I have not seen Him with my eyes, but I have seen Him with my heart. I will forever hold my name tag as close to my heart as I can for the allotted time I have left. 

Here's to another great week of doing what I love most. I'll see you all soon enough. 

-Elder Schaefer

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