Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 27, 2010 E-Mail

I'm sure this will be pretty short since we just barely talked.  Christmas Day was awesome.  Eubelina was baptized.  Then she asked me to confirm her too.  So I've never done that in English let alone in Spanish.  I was really nervous.  Then right before church we called her and she didn't think she was going to be able to come because her Grandma had just passed away and they were all on the phone with people in Mexico.  So we went to church and she wasn't there.  Well she walked in just in time to be confirmed.  I was really nervous.  It was hard to tell if I was feeling the Spirit really strong, or if I was just freaking out.  Probably some of both!  But it was a good experience.  Other than that it was a slow week as far as work goes.  Thursday we had zone conference in Moses Lake so that took up most of the day, then Friday was Christmas Eve then Christmas day.  Of course we still worked everyday, but things were just a little bit slower.  I'm glad everyone had a good Christmas.  It was great to talk to everyone.  Thank you so much everyone for everything.  I was very well taken care of and that's because I have awesome family and friends.  I love you all.  I'm so grateful that through this gospel we can all live together again.  I know that through living the teachings of Christ that we will be well taken care of.  He really doesn't ask that much of us.  We just need to humble ourselves and do it.  I love you all so much!  Have a great week!

Christmas Day Skype!

We were able to Skype with Kade on Christmas Day, it was awesome to see him!  He didn't want to see us or the house, he thought it would make him sad so we set it up so we just saw him.  Grandma and Grandpa Fortie and Grandma and Grandpa Schvaneveldt were there too so he talked to all of us.  He hasn't given us weight updates since he left the MTC but he has kept gaining weight and his cheeks look chubby!  Mom asked him if he was trying to not eat desserts but he said that he never realized he liked dessert until his mission.  He isn't concerned because his clothes still fit, even though he told us that one of the members sews his buttons on for him when they pop off!  He had us all laughing a lot and it was so good to talk to him. 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 20, 2010 E-Mail

So the good news of the week is that Eubelina has another baptismal date. And it's for Christmas Day! So that should make things exciting. And this time it should be for real. She had a meeting with the Branch President yesterday. It was pretty awesome, we went to visit her and she told us she wanted to be baptized by the end of the year. So we invited her to do it on Christmas Day. Well her ex-boyfriend was there to be with his kids and he is a baptist, but he was encouraging that she gets baptized on Christmas so that was way cool. The other exciting news is that we visited a lot of members this week who haven't been to church in a way long time. Well 7 of them came yesterday. So that was pretty good to see. There was more people there than I had ever seen in this ward.

I don't have much time at all today. The computers at the library weren't working so we came to the family history center but it's only opened for like 20-30 minutes. So this will be short. My new companion is way cool and he is a fluent spanish speaker which is way nice. His parents were born in Mexico, he was born in California, but moved to Tennessee after that and that's where he came out from. We get a long great and things are going good. I didn't get to take my companion to his new area, we met his new companion in a different place. It was pretty crazy because the main highway was closed down because of a wreck on black ice. So we had to take some crazy backroads through the hills and stuff to get there. It was a fun adventure.

As far as calling home I'm not sure when yet. Probably between 12:00 and 2:00 our time. And I won't be able to call Seth. We can only make one phone call. I'm not to sure about all of the rules yet but I don't think we can talk for very long either. Our mission is pretty strict. And Dad was wondering if we could skype. I'm pretty sure we can't. If anything changes I will let you know somehow. If you have any questions just ask Brother Pedersen.

That's way sad about Steve. I hope he will be okay. I for sure will pray for him. Let me know what happens with that. I apologize this is so short I just don't have anymore time. I got all the packages so thank you so much. Tell Kent and Lori and Brent and Annette thanks! Also Gary and Rayann. The guy we live with has been opening all of my packages to see if they are individually wrapped. If they are then he puts them under the tree. If not, he wraps the box. So that works out pretty good. I'm so grateful for the oppurtunity that I have to be out here serving. Christmas as a missionary really makes you think more about the true meaning of Christmas. So I hope everyone has a good week and remember the true meaning of Christmas!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010 E-Mail

So the good news of the week is that I am staying in East Wenatchee for another transfer! And I will be here for Christmas which I am super excited for! And the even better news is that my new companion, Elder Garcia speaks spanish fluently! So hopefully my spanish speaking skills will increase. So I'm extremely excited for this next transfer. Other than that, not a whole lot happened this week to be honest. Eubelina has been sick so we haven't been able to meet with her at all. I'm really hoping having a native companion will help us out with some of our spanish investigators, so I'm looking forward to that. Anyways, we're supposed to meet with her tonight as long as she is feeling better. We are also supposed to meet with Jesus again tonight. I'm sure you remember me talking about Alondra. Well last night my companion and a native speaker went over to meet her husband. And that was the problem there. But they were able to clear everything up and we will be able to continue teaching her, and I guess he said it was all up to her if she wanted to be baptized and come to church. So hopefully he wasn't just saying that because the missionaries were there. Because he apparently says the complete opposite when we aren't there. So that pretty much was about it for this week. Saturday we had a pretty good storm. It was about a foot. Then it pretty much rained all day yesterday so now it's just a slushy mess and a ton of the snow is already gone. So we were out tracting for quite a while and it was snowing pretty hard. We had a couple appointments that night at 7:00 and 8:00 so luckily Brother Pedersen came out with us. Our car sucks in the snow that's for sure. The traction control system on it is horrible, and the tires are no good either. So we couldn't make it to a 5:00 appointment without walking, then after that we just tried to get it home and we got it home but it wasn't going in the driveway. I was getting a little frustrated. I'm used to always driving a truck whenever it snows other than last year when I had the Audi but then if it was bad enough I would just drive the tow truck so it didn't matter. But when we got to our house, Brother Pedersen was there early shoveling for us so that was nice, then he took us out and we made it to at least one of our appointments.

I was shocked when you sent me pictures of your new car mom and there was no snow in the background. And Seth said it's lik 50 degrees or something there. That's crazy. But your car is nice. You said you don't like the bluetooth thing how you just push a button on the steering wheel to answer your phone, well here in Washington it is illegal now to talk on the phone and drive unless you have a bluetooth deal. Have they changed any of those laws or anything back home?

You also mentioned the lady we live with being in a wheelchair, yeah, she doesn't walk and hardly ever leaves the house. I think she has left the house twice in the last three months. So we try to do as much as we possibly can for her. She is on oxygen and everything too, so it's pretty hard for her to do much. She had a stroke so her left side doesn't want to work to great.

Well that was about it for this week. The talks in church yesterday were about the restoration of the gospel. I know this church is true and that it was restored by the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that through the power of God he translated the Book of Mormon. And I know it is the word of God! I love you all!! Have a good week!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 6, 2010 E-Mail

Sounds like it has been a good week back home. I only know the Pierson guy and Bryan. That other guy I'm not sure who he is. But I'm sure it will be a great bishopric. And that's awesome that the Thinnes lady is getting baptized. And to bad about the Defabio guy. I'm pretty sure I met him a couple of times. Hopefully things turn out for the good. And Mom, that's pretty cool that you will be getting a new car probably today. I think I know what color you are talking about. Those cars are pretty sweet. I will be shocked if Dad is going through a dealer to get it. Is he? And it was good to hear that Kimber finally has decided that she can go in her big dog house that Seth built. That dog can either be a little genious or just plain out stupid. Sometimes I wonder about her. And yes, I did get my package with the thermals and also the Christmas tree thing. It's pretty sweet. I think my companion might be a little jealous! It's cool to get to open something everyday from people at home. Dad was telling me about how Seth's window was broke on the truck. Not much has changed since I left. I remember that thing having problems before. But that would be a long drive to Colorado in that cold weather with a window that wouldn't go up. But it sounds like you all had a really good time over Thanksgiving and that Sis was a good cook. That's pretty cool too that she got to do an ultra-sound on Bree. I bet that was pretty fun. And now you have Remi living with you while Sis and Justin go to Belgium? Just don't let him get into the normal food!

Things here have been pretty good. It was actually a pretty slow week overall. We were out with a member one night and all of our appointments bailed on us. So we went to visit an old lady who is a member of the ward. Well we decided we would just shovel her driveway for her. While we were doing so her next door neighbor yelled over and asked if we were her grandkids, and she said no that we were the missionaries from her church. So anyways we went over and met the lady. Her name is Connie and we were able to help her out and shovel some of her snow too. We were also able to teach her the restoration while doing so. She was a little intoxicated, but very nice. She told us how she knew that we are angels sent to her during this time of her life because she needs God in her life. She was really nice and we went back to try to meet with her but she had left a note on the door saying something came up. So we are looking forward to getting to meet with her again sometime. Then an Elder in the district got sick so we switched off with his companion for one day so they could do some work in there area. So not a whole lot happened here this week. The lady we live with wanted us to do service and set up all of her Christmas lights since she is in a wheelchair and can't do a whole lot. So we were able to do that. Eubelina (yeah I found out how to spell her name for real, It's a little strange but that's how you do it) she's still doing well. We are going to meet with her tonight. We were also able to meet with Brian Cooper again this week. We had lost contact with him for a couple weeks over the Thanksgiving Holiday. Then yesterday we were able to talk with Ryan. I'm not sure if you remember him. I tracted into him when Elder Beus was here during my first transfer in this area. Well we haven't met with Ryan for probably 6 weeks but we were able to make an appointment with him for tomorrow. So that was pretty exciting. We also met with Jesus again. He really wants to be baptized. But we found out he won't only lose his girlfriend which is practically his wife, but he will lose everything he has in Mexico. Because she said if he gets baptized then he will just have to live with that he has here. Which isn't very much. In Mexico he has a house I guess and a bunch of other stuff. So we are going to continue to work with him. And that was about it for the week. Transfer calls are next Sunday and then transfers will be the following Tuesday. So we will see what happens. I hope I get to stay another transfer. But we will find out what happens. So if you're sending stuff for Christmas you can either wait until I have my address, or you can just send it to the mission office and they will forward it as long as it's through usps.

In testimony meeting yesterday I thought a lot about the Savior. I guess because of Christmas and everything. I know that Jesus Christ paid the price for all of our sins. He suffered for us in the Garden of Gethsemane so that we can overcome spiritual death, and he was resurrected so that we can all overcome physical death. Because of what He did, we can be clean of our sins through Faith, Repentance, being Baptized, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. And if we do those things, through Him, we can have eternal life and live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. I love you all. Thank you so much for all you do for me and the support you give me. Have a great week.

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Saturday, December 4, 2010

November 29, 2010 E-Mail

So it was sort of a slow week with the Thanksgiving Holiday.  We did our best to be as productive as possible, but not many people wanted to meet with us.  We ate with the Andersen family in our ward.  It was really good.  Then after that we went to another home and played games with them.  That was pretty fun.  I won a couple of gift cards so that was cool.  Then after that we went to a family that is in the spanish branch and ate with them.  It was really good.  Other than, they dished up our plates for us.  So we had a ton of food.  Then after that we went to another home of a recent convert in another ward and had some pie.  So we had plenty of food.  Then Friday night, we had another Thanksgiving dinner at the Pedersen's.  That was much better because I was able to enjoy it because I knew that it would be my only one.  So that was our Thanksgiving.  Then the Spanish Branch had a Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday night.  We got there late and all of the food was gone.  So that was okay.  We got to watch a baptism of a family of 4 after that.  So that was pretty fun.  That's pretty cool that Wade and Dennis are in the bishopric.  So is that the 4th ward?  I wasn't surprised to hear that either of them were in there.  You asked if I have been wearing that big down coat.  Nope, it's still in my suit case.  I think I'm immune to the cold.  For the most part I have just been wearing my suit and that's it.  The coldest it has been has been one night and it was like 5 degrees.  And that coat is huge.  So I haven't used it yet.  That was pretty crazy that newspaper article you sent me about the Cevering kid.  It was a really cool story.  I remember seeing the other kid at school when I was there.  That's way cool he saved his life.  I do have a pretty crazy story of something that happened the other day.  So Saturday we were tracting and there was this house with a couple of tow trucks parked out front.  So I though oh yeah I gotta knock that door.  So we went and knocked it and the guy was not friendly at all and basically just slammed the door.  Well we drove back by the house yesterday afternoon and there was caution tape tied around the house.  So I started to look close and the windows were all boarded up and you could tell the house had caught fire sometime after we had knocked it.  Then we were talking to Sister Pedersen's Mom, and she dispatches for the emergency stuff here, and she said the guy died.  So we were probably like the last ones to talk to this guy.  Then his house caught fire and I guess he was sleeping and didn't have any smoke alarms or anything so he died of inhaling smoke.  How nuts is that?  So that's a random story.  That lady who let us right in last week, Berta, well we were able to teach her again this past week then she came to church yesterday.  But it wasn't the best meeting for her to come too.  She came to the spanish branch and american people were speaking.  Well the one guy decided he was going to try and read a conference talk in spanish for his talk.  I felt bad for him cause he was trying but no one was paying attention because no one could understand him.  So it was sort of just a bad first sacrament meeting for an investigator to come to.  I just feel bad because the branch is doing the best they can with what they have.  They really are trying hard.  But anyways, I really hope Berta will give it another chance on a Sunday when things work out a little better.  Another story, some missionaries really dread knocking doors.  Especially after it's dark.  But we have been asked to do our best to find new investigators between 5:00 and 7:00 pm because that's when people are home.  Well it has been a struggle to get some of the missionaries to actually do that.  The first door we knocked on let us in.  And that hardly ever happens.  So that was pretty cool.  That was pretty much are week here.  I'm glad everyone back home had a good Thanksgiving.  I kept hearing about this crazy storm that was going to happen in Utah.  But it sounds like it never really happened.  Grandma asked if we ever have to teach the classes in church.  Tell her that in my last area we did, but here we don't.  This Thanksgiving made me realize how much God truly has given me.  I am so grateful for this church and for Joseph Smith and the courage he had to go through all that he did.  Without this church who knows where we would be.  So I truly am grateful for that and also that we have a living prophet here on the earth today.  I know Thomas S. Monson is called of God and that if we listen to him we will be given the instruction to keep us safe from the worldly dangers.  I hope you all have a good week!  Love Elder Schvaneveldt!