Monday, March 12, 2012

March 12, 2012 E-Mail (His last one!!!)

To be honest this week was a tough one.  I really tried working hard knowing that it's one of my last weeks and I felt like I worked hard, but we didn't see much come from it at all.  I think it's satan just trying to get me to think that I can be lazy and not do anything.  But that's not true.  So this week will be a good one.  We did do a lot of tracting and met some good people that hopefully we can start teaching soon.  We have a lot of set appointments already for this week which is always a good thing.  Saturday night we decided to go and try to see an investigator to invite her to church.  Well there were about 4 cops in front of her house searching the cars outside.  We decided to turn around and take off.  She's been really flaky as we have been teaching her.  We will see what happens when we go back to see her.  Really I don't have much more to say.  I'm sort of in a blank because I can't believe my time is almost over.  Thank you so much to everyone for the love and support I have received.  I know that the gospel is true and that it was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith.  I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that His son is our Savior.  I know that through Jesus Christ we can overcome anything. Whether it be a sadness or a sin or whatever it is.  I know that the book of mormon is true and that it guides us closer to our Savior as we read and study it.  I'm so grateful to have been a missionary and experience the things that I've experienced.  I hope you all have a great week.  And I'll see you soon!
Love Elder Schvaneveldt

March 6, 2012 E-Mail

This e-mail will be a short one.  Our p-day is today because we went to the temple.  It was a great experience as usual.  I've only got to go 3 times since I've been in the field.  I'm looking forward to going more often.  A member here took us.  There is also a Costa Vida in Spokane now.  Man it felt good to go to Costa Vida again.  We also went to Spokane last week.  It was sort of interesting because it was for our zone leader council.  Well we always have a ride meet us and drive us.  He forgot about us so we had to drive our own car and we got there 45 minutes late.  Luckily President Palmer understood. As far as missionary work goes, really not much happened this past week.  It was sort of a tough week.  But Sunday we had some good things happen.  In singles ward to non -members just showed up with a friend and they said that they're interested in learning more.  Then a couple of members in our family ward came up to us and asked us for some copies of the Book of Mormon to give to some friends.  So I really think that our teaching is going to pick up.  We are teaching some really good people right now, but they just seem to be stuck in a rut.  A lot of them have some problems with some commandments and that really keeps them from progressing.  Sorry this is so short.  I know that this church is true and that true
happiness comes from living the principles of the gospel.  When we are obedient, we are blessed.  I know that God loves all of us and is aware of everything we go through.  I hope you all have a great week!
Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Thursday, March 1, 2012

February 27, 2012 E-Mail

I know that you're probably getting really sick of short e-mails, but this one will be pretty short too.  This week was another way fast one.  First off I guess I'll talk about Larry.  I told you about him last week.  Well we are no longer teaching him because he moved back to Yakima.  We had a few different appointments with him this past week and he bailed on just about all of them.  I guess he had to go to the hospital a couple of times and that's why he couldn't meet us.  Then on Friday we went to see him because we had an appointment and he wasn't there again.  We called him and he told us that he was in court but that he was on a 5 minute break and asked if we could meet on Saturday.  We were just standing in the parking lot of the motel where he lives talking to the person that came with us to teach him and he called us back.  He told us that someone had called him and told him that we were waiting for him outside his door.  So he called because he didn't just want us waiting for him because he wouldn't be home for awhile.  Then about 5 minutes later he walked up.  And told us that he had a 30 minute break and that he was just there to get something to eat but that he still wanted us to come back on Saturday.  At that point it was obvious that he was lying to us about something.  So we went back Saturday and no one was there and the person at the motel told us that he moved back to Yakima.  We aren't sure if he really was interested in the gospel or just in welfare help from the church.  Luckily we got his information of where he lives in Yakima so we can send the missionaries down there to see him.
We met another lady who we thought had a lot of potential but she is being extremely flaky as well.  I just wish people would be honest with us and tell us if they really wanted us there or not.  She keeps telling us that she wants to come to church and had so many questions.  And then she never goes through with her appointments.  It's just frustrating.  It's not always their fault though.  Satan does everything he can to stop something good from happening.  I was thinking about that last night.  We were reading through Joseph Smith history with a recent convert and that part really stuck out to me how it talks about how Satan tried so hard to stop Joseph from saying that prayer.  Because he knew that it would lead to the restoration of the true church.
This week is going to be crazy because we have our zone leader meeting in Spokane.  Plus I think we will be doing exchanges with the assistants which means we will make a couple trips up there.  Also we are going to the temple next week, so I probably won't e-mail until Tuesday.
Things are going great here.  I'm grateful to be a missionary and to share the truth with others.  I'm so grateful for the gospel in my own life and the blessings that have come from it.  I know that this is the true church.  Thank you so much for your love and support.  Have a great week!
Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February 20, 2012 E-Mail

It was another crazy week.  We stayed really busy, and whenever that happens the time just really flies by.  And we were even able to find a few new investigators.  We tracted into a pretty old guy a little over a week ago and then we took him on a church tour this week.  I don't think he's really interested in what we are teaching, but more interested in the building itself.  But he's a really nice guy.  And then we met a kid named Larry.  Larry seems very prepared for the gospel at this time.  Some other missionaries met him at the library and gave us the referral.  He's only 19 years old and he has a girlfriend and a 1 year old daughter.  But they aren't living together.  I think their may be some arguing going on between them right now.  Well he's pretty much homeless and living in a motel room.  He started on drugs when he was about 13 and just got clean about 3 months ago.  And he also just got out of prison recently.  When he decided to quit doing drugs he pretty much had to turn his back on all of his family members.  Because they all do drugs.  So right now his life pretty much sucks.  We taught him a couple of times this past week and took him on a church tour and he loved it all.  The spirit was very strong.  Yesterday morning he called us so we could get him a ride to church.  We had it all set up and then he called right before and told us he had to go to the hospital because he has some heart problems.  And that's the last we have heard.  Hopefully we will make contact with him today or tomorrow.  The sister missionaries also told us about a lady that just showed up to church yesterday.  It turns out that she lives in our boundaries.  We should start teaching her soon.  We tract quit a bit and it doesn't always work, but I think it shows our faith and then we are always blessed with finding people in different ways.  A few non-members came to the singles ward yesterday with their friends too.  I think we will teach at least one of them this week.  So things are going great.  I'm sorry this is so short but this computer is messed up.  I feel like Nick in Argentina.  I can type a lot faster than it can think.  It has taken me a very long time just to get this much written down.  I know this church is true and I know that we are blessed as we are faithful and diligent.  We can have the guidance of the Holy Ghost just as Nephi had the Liahona.  We just need to apply our faith and do our part.  I love you all!  I hope you have a great week!

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 2012 E-Mail

Things are going well.  My new companion is Elder Jensen from South Jordan.  He's a really cool guy and has been on his mission for about 18 months.  So far we seem to work really well together.  It's always a good sign when the week goes by so fast that you can't remember any of it.  Pretty much I can only remember what happened yesterday.  Ashley got confirmed.  It was really neat.  Her in-laws came, and her father in-law is the one that did the confirmation.  It was fast Sunday for us because the previous Sunday was stake conference.  Later on in the meeting Seth, her husband, got up and bore his testimony.  It was really awesome and the spirit was so strong.  So she is now a member of the church with the goal to be sealed in the temple in a year.
On Saturday we had a lesson with a girl who was baptized right before I got here.  She is young, 19, and faces a lot of the temptations and trials that people our age face. Well it seemed like she was sort of doubting some things.  She had a lot of questions to ask us.  Well the whole time I felt prompted to do a couple of things, number one was to give her a priesthood blessing, and number two was to help her understand what she does believe in.  We had a team teacher with us and he felt some of the same promptings.  So I simply asked her if she believed in God, Jesus Christ, the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and Joseph Smith.  Her response to all of those questions was yes.  She got a big smile on her face and just said wow that made me so happy.  I told her as long as she believed in those things that everything was alright and the rest would come with time.  I love when the spirit works through us to help our Heavenly Father's children.  I also gave her a blessing at the end and that helped a lot.  Things like that help me realize that God is real and that he can communicate with us.
In that same lesson, the team teacher was talking about his mission and how they would pray that people would just show up to church to be taught.  So I decided I would pray for the same thing.  And yesterday two non-members showed up to church!  One is a 9 year old in a part member family who was being taught previously.  We were able to set up an appointment with their family.  Then the other guy just came with his girlfriend.  She didn't want us to push him yesterday but she said if he comes next week that we could ask him to be taught.  It was a tender mercy from the Lord and an answer to my prayers.  And that is all that I can remember from this week.  I know that this church is true.  I'm so grateful for prayer.  I know that we can establish a relationship with our Heavenly Father through prayer.  He listens.  And he answers.  I hope you all have a great week!
Love Elder Schvaneveldt

February 6, 2012 E-mail

This week was another crazy one and it just flew by.  And I don't have my companion here by my side to remind me of everything that happened.  He left yesterday for the mission home and is probably getting on a plane right now to head to Vegas.  He worked all the way up to the end and was excited to go home.  I'm really grateful that I had the opportunity to be his companion.  We worked really well together.  Transfers this time aren't to exciting because I already knew that I was staying.  And my new companions name is Elder Jensen.  I don't know who he is.  I will meet him tomorrow.  He served with Elder Soderberg and he told me that he is really cool.  So I'm excited.
The good news is, we had a baptism!  Ashley got baptized on Saturday and it was awesome.  Everything went well.  Her husband Seth was able to baptize her.  He was really nervous but I could tell that it meant a lot to the both of them.  A lot of ward members came as well as their family members.  Even her family came, her mom isn't a member and her dad is very less-active.  We have been trying to pick up the work in the young single adult ward.  We have found a couple of new investigators recently but they are just all so busy with school and work and things that they struggle to find time to meet with us.  We had a church tour with one this week and with his girlfriend as well.  Ithink they will get baptized.  I'm just not sure when.  Young single adults can be hard to work with because of all the temptations that are out there such as drugs, sex, alcohol, etc.  It's sad how satan can just tear people down.  And his target is either to destroy the family, or make it so that people can't start families.  That's why everyone needs the gospel!  That is for sure something that I've learned on my mission, if you want happiness, then live the gospel.  It won't wipe our problems away, but it will help us deal with them.  I'm so grateful for the gospel in my life and all it has done for me.  I'm grateful for my Savior.  I know that he died for our sins.  Through him we can be cleansed and return to live with our Heavenly Father and our families.  I know that this church is true.  I love you all!  Have a great week.  Thanks for everything.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January 30, 2012 E-Mail

This week really flew by so I can't remember much that happened. We are excited for this Saturday because our investigator Ashley should be getting baptized. She is really excited and is getting a lot of support from her husband's family as well as the ward. This ward doesn't have very many convert baptisms, so when there is one. They get very excited. The last baptism before this one was last January if I remember right.
Yesterday we went to our PEC meeting and the Bishop called on my companion to say the opening prayer. After he said well the reason why we picked on Elder Soderberg to say the prayer was because.... Well I thought he was going to say because that will be his last meeting in that ward. But that's not what he said. He said because I'm going to ask his companion Elder Schvaneveldt to speak in sacrament meeting. And I hate speaking! Especially at last minute. But it went really well. I spoke with some old guy and he told me he could take up anytime that I couldn't. But I took up my 12 minutes and it went alright.
We had a pretty neat experience this week. Our appointments had fallen through and we didn't really know what to do because it was later at night and our teaching pool is really small right now. Well we felt prompted to go see a guy we have been working with. We got there and he was just completely drunk. At first he was being sort of comical and he invited us in. Well then he got really sad and was even crying on my companions shoulder. That part was pretty funny. but he has been through a lot because he has a couple of kids and doesn't get to see them often and he's been to Iraq and stuff too. So his life has been tough. Well he told us he just wanted to kill himself because he had nothing to live for. All I could really think of doing was to give him a blessing. So we gave him a blessing and right after he was different. He asked us why we came over and we told him because we felt prompted to. He told us that if we wouldn't have came over that night that he probably would have killed himself. I'm not sure if he really would have or not, but it was neat to see how the Lord works. Either way it was obvious that he needed our help that night.
Last night I also found out that one of my investigators in Wenatchee is going to get baptized this coming Saturday. Her name is Kathy, you may remember me talking to her. She was really strong in another church and was actually the reason why the Christian Orthodox church went to Wenatchee. Well Elder Kurtz called and told me that he saw her on Saturday at a baptism and he went to say goodbye to her because he goes home soon. She told him how she wished she would have been on the ball earlier so that she could get baptized while the first missionaries that taught her were still there. Well that night at 2 in the morning she woke up and she couldn't sleep and all she could do was think about the conversation she had with Elder Kurtz. So she texted the missionaries and asked if their was any way she could be baptized before Elder Kurtz went home. That made me really happy. I was hoping she would get baptized when I was in that area but she was having some health issues and other road blocks. It's so great to see people accept the gospel and receive all of the blessings included with it.
I'm so grateful for the Gospel and the comfort it has given me during rough times. And also the happiness it has given me during good times. I know that this gospel is true. I know that God is our Father in Heaven and that Christ is the Son of God and our Savior. I know that this church is true and that it was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I hope you all have a great week! And thanks for everything!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt