Wednesday, November 23, 2016

WEEK 66 Eureka, McKinleyville Ward & Humboldt YSA Ward  
Family and Friends,

Struggles & miracles. Struggles & miracles. Struggles & miracles. I'll be honest, many times throughout this week I wanted to call it quits. The adversary laid down a heavy amount of burdens upon me to the extent that it almost seemed unbearable. As my emotional and mental state fluctuated a great deal, an enormous amount of success increased in our area. As a companionship, we pushed one another well past our comfort zones and worked. We pushed it so hard. I would be safe to say that I've never before been so tired and weak in my life. 

In the midst of all that weighed down on me this week, I tried to think about the person in which suffered most upon His mortal journey. I directed my thoughts towards the Savior and I tried to think about all He went through and the agonizing pains that were inflicted upon him. I held onto these feelings and thoughts in the back of my mind throughout the week and earnestly looked for all the blessings that did come regardless of the ever discouraging tactics of the adversary. Looking back on it all with the perspective I now have at the end of the week, I can't even begin to describe how many miracles outweighed the vicissitudes. Yet again, The Lords promises were fulfilled. [Romans 16:20]

Tessa, an investigator that fell into our hands by the mere grace of The Lord--in directing us in our finding efforts--has committed to a baptismal date for Sunday, October 30th. At the beginning of this transfer, I got down on my knees and specifically gave a prayer asking for The Lord to bless my companion and I with a baptism within the coming weeks. I pleaded that of all the doors we knock, all the people we contact, and all the homes we visit - that he would give us just one person to baptize. In return, I gave him my promise that we would work our hardest, continue in obedience, and do as He would have us. By any means we haven't been perfect, but we've tried our very hardest and now we have an investigator on track for baptism. I am so thoroughly excited and gladdened that Heavenly Father blessed us for our efforts. I know whole heartedly that He led us to Tessa and prepared her for us to knock on her door. The Lord truly works in mysterious ways. I am so thankful and excited for Tessa. 

Between the homes of our investigators and the appointments we've scheduled in the past week, Elder Adamson and I have made it a point to visit ALL Less Active members that live within the area. What a marvelous blessing this has been. The most powerful experience came as we knocked on Sister Crutchfields door. She hadn't been seen by missionaries in almost 3&1/2 years. As we sat and talked with her, we discussed her conversion story and her love for Jesus Christ. The spirit immediately filled the room as we changed pace from her conversion story and began discussing her inactivity. Needless to say, there wasn't a dry eye in the room. I felt the Saviors presence so strongly as I testified of His reality. I felt overwhelmed with a sort of peace and happiness that I've never felt before and these feelings were mutual to everyone in the room. Sister Crutchfield agreed to letting us come by again and "help her get her life back on course". I was so thankful for this spiritual experience as it strengthened my testimony as much as it may have hers. 

In the overall efforts of being out knocking doors and contacting those on the street, we picked up a total of five new investigators that want to be taught The Gospel. In many occasions while talking to these people, I felt that my words and comments weren't coming from me. It was nothing I said. It was nothing I ever could've thought of. It just came and Heavenly Father worked vicariously through me. I was so thankful for the opportunity that I was given to be a conduit of the spirit for The Lord. I'm more than excited to teach these new investigators, as well. 

My most favorite and the 'highlight event' of the week came on Sunday as I partook of the Sacrament and witnessed the strengthening power that it provides. I've never felt something like it before in my life. All the weight that I was carrying from the previous days of the week were lifted off. My tired body and slightly decreasing desires of going out to work were swept away. I felt so new and refreshed. Church is certainly an essential part to our weeks and the blessings that come from attendance are far worth anything else in this world. I know this to be true as it was unfolded in front of my eyes yesterday. 

At the end of the week, and again looking back on it all - The Lord provided. I grew a lot. I was stretched a lot. I was pained a lot, but the blessings that came far outweigh anything I went through. For being one of The Lords missionaries, I'm forever thankful. This is my joy. 

Until next week. I'll see you soon. GodSpeed.

-Elder Schaefer

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