Monday, January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011 E-Mail

It's been a pretty good week. We have done a lot of tracting. It's been weird though, almost everyone has been really nice to us. People are usually always pretty nice, but there are always some rude people. But lately everyone has been very friendly. Having such a big area means we will be doing tons of tracting. Especially because that area hasn't been worked to good for the past 4 or so months. But good things are happening over there. We actually had 2 investigators come to the new ward yesterday. Yesterday was our first long church day. I think we were there from about 8:00 in the morning until 5:00 at night. We had a little lunch break in there but that was all. It was good, I should be very clean of my sins after taking the sacrament 3 times in one day!

There really is no new news. Megan got a calling yesterday and she is the new gospel principles teacher. I thought that was pretty cool. She will be an awesome teacher in there. We do currently have another investigator working to be baptized on February 19th. His name is Jorge. He is one of the people in that part member family. Everyone is moving to Idaho, but he is staying a little bit longer, so he will probably be baptized while he is here. The other two will get married and baptized in Idaho. Jorge is an awesome guy. We left him with a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon. Well he read the chapter, he also studied the topic in the gospel principles book, and he studied it in the bible. So he really is doing what he needs to in order to progress. His only problem is coffee. He has cut back tons and tons. But he hasn't quite quit yet. We are going to visit him on tuesday night so we will be talking a lot about the coffee. Mom, you asked if we ever cook for ourselves. Yeah we do. We don't have to very much though. Tony, the guy we live with usually cooks for Beth which is the older lady who we live with. She hardly ever gets out. I think since October she has only been out twice. She is on oxygen and in an electric wheel chair. So this bus thing has to come get her anytime she wants to leave. So it's usually only if she needs to go to the Doctor or something. But one of her Doctors usually comes to the house. So that's it for this week. Next week I'm not sure when or if you will get an e-mail. We are going to go the temple and I'm not really to sure if we can still e-mail or not. I guess you will find out. I'm so grateful to be part of this gospel and to be able to share it full time. I know that as we apply faith in our lives, anything is possible. Once we put all of our trust in the Lord, he will carry us along. I love you all! Have a good week!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011 E-Mail

So I'm sure you're probably waiting to hear if I am getting transferred or not. Well I'm going to tell you the bigger and better news first. Megan was baptized on Saturday and it was an awesome service! Everything went really well and she was confirmed yesterday. I will send some pictures. It was so awesome because she got up after she was baptized and shared her testimony. She said I am looking so forward to going to the temple in a year from today. Then she said wait, I can't because I remember I already checked this and the temple is closed that day because it is a Sunday. So it will have to be the next weekend. It was so awesome to hear her say that and see a convert who already has that goal. Because that's what this is all about. It's not just about baptizing and being done. It's about enduring to the end and setting those even greater goals such as being sealed in the temple. The spirit was so strong there it was crazy. Everyone was just so happy.

Ok, so now about transfers. Well, I'm being put out of my comfort zone a little. I will be staying here with Elder Garcia again which I'm really excited about. But, we are now sweeping into another ward. So we are now responsible for the two wards and also the spanish branch that is contained within those boundaries. And the new ward boundaries where we will be are huge. Our area used to take about 5 minutes to drive from one end to the other. Well now it will take about an hour. I already know a few people in the ward over there so it will be good. You guys actually met the bishop of that ward. He was with Brother Anantatmula when they met you at the park and ride to give them a package to bring to me. I'm really excited too because Brother Anantatmula moved out of our ward, but we now cover the ward that he moved in to. So it's going to be a lot of work. We need to make sure and balance the work in both areas. It's actually what I was hoping would happen, but I didn't think it really would. The one missionary that was there actually goes home today, then the other one is being sent over to Spokane. He was a little confused and bummed out that they are taking him out, but he is needed over in Spokane. So we now have the car full time too. But all of these changes also switched up the districts too. I'm still the District Leader, but we had a companionship added to the district. And they are Sisters. But they are really cool so I'm excited about that. So It's going to be a little bit of a challenge to sweep into another area, but I'm really excited. Sweeping into this area where I am now is probably what has helped me grow the most. And I'm really excited I'm with Elder Garcia again. It's so nuts to think that I have been in this one area for 6 months now. It doesn't feel like that at all.

So that has been the exciting news for this past week. To be honest, I'm sort of brain dead and can't think of what happened. If I think of anything else I will send a hand written letter. I love you all so much! I know this church is true. I know that the Lord has his hand in everything. I also know that by sharing His gospel, not only will we bring joy into others lives, but also into our own! So share the gospel!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Kade finally sent some pictures, yay!

Elder Schvaneveldt doing one of the things that he loves most!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

January 18, 2011 E-Mail

This week was pretty good. One of the highlights would be that we got to go do some service clear up in the middle of nowhere. There is a none member up there who has a daughter is a member. Anyways, he just had neck surgery. He's the same one who's truck I helped fix. I think I wrote about it a while ago. Well we went up and chopped a bunch of wood for him. Well we thought we were all done but then he went and cut down another huge tree. So it was a good day, and it was good to really be able to help someone out in need. Then after, they fed us some elk steaks. They were very good. My companion is a funny eater sometimes and is a little weird about animals. It was pretty funny. It was his first time eating anything like that. We had a really good lesson this past week with a part member family. Well my companion was testifying at the end and he testified that Gordon B. Hinckley was the prophet here on the earth today. That turned into a really funny conversation. The team teacher we had with us, Hermano Trejo, leaned over to me and said, "apostasia" which means he made an apostate statement. Then after, Hermano Trejo was giving him a hard time. And we had about a 45 minute drive back. It was hilarious, Hermano Trejo kept saying wow, I didn't know that he resurrected and became the prophet again! So those were probably the two highlights of the week.

We had a lesson the other day that really made me realize I had a testimony. A guy kept calling us a cult and just hating on the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. It made me realize how I know that it's true. I shared that with him, but probably not in a loving way like I should have. To be honest, I was getting very upset. So in the end we just told him over and over that he probably can prove us wrong, but he can't prove God wrong. So we invited him to pray about it. He said he would read it and pray about it. So we will see what comes of that. I don't think we will be going back for awhile.

Cody and Megan are doing awesome and are getting excited for the baptism this Saturday. It's going to be awesome. She has been coming for so long that she is friends with everyone in the ward, and even people in some of the other wards. So there will be a lot of people there.

This last week, we had a zone conference thing, and in the middle of it, a guy came in and said he needed some help. So 4 of us went out to help him. Well he was from a mortuary and had brought a body in a casket for a viewing that night. So we had to help him unload the casket. So they put it in the relief society room for the viewing. Well they were also having a viewing on Saturday morning so they just left the casket in there until then. Well the guy we live with, Tony, is in charge of building cleaning every Saturday morning. Long story short, he was at the church doing his regular thing, and was caught completely off guard when he walked into the relief society room and there was a casket wide open with a dead body in it. Well Tony is not afraid to make any type of comment. So Sunday morning we were in priesthood and they asked if anyone had anything that needed to be brought up. So Tony spoke up. He asked that people would let him know when there were going to be dead bodies in the church before he started cleaning. Then he didn't say anything. It was pretty crazy because a lot of people had no idea what he was talking about.

So that was it for this week I think. I love being a missionary and having the oppurtunity to always bear testimony. I know that this church is true. I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. I know that His Son Jesus Christ died for us. I know that Joseph Smith truly did restore this gospel and that he was called of God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Thomas S. Monson truly is man called of God to lead and guide us today. I love you all so much. Have a great week.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

January 10, 2011 E-Mail

We had a pretty slow week this week as far as teaching goes. But we did have 4 investigators in church yesterday so that was pretty cool. Remember the Cardenas family? They are the ones who we taught the law of chastity and they moved out into a different area and were baptized. Well anyways, they are now living back in our area. So we are teaching Hermana Cardena's significant other and also her son and his girlfriend. They are doing really well and progressing great. It was awesome to see the whole family at church yesterday. We are also teaching a guy named Jose Luis. His girlfriend is a member so he comes to church with her. So we went out and taugh the Cardenas family a couple of times this week. The problem is, they live about 45 minutes away and we don't have near the miles to be driving that far. So we always work with members when we go out there. We have done a lot of tracting lately and haven't seen to much success from that. I'm sure that there has been success, we just haven't seen it. We were able to make quite a few appointments for this week. It's so nice now that the holidays are over. Most peoples lives have calmed down a lot. So this week should be awesome.

I was able to go on exchanges this week in a different area. Exchanges are usually always pretty fun. The area I went to has been pretty dead lately. So we did a lot of tracting over there and found some pretty good potential investigators. The Elder I went with is going home in two weeks so it was fun being with him cause he is really working hard and enjoying the last couple weeks of his mission.

Cody and Megan got back from there wedding last night. So we are going to visit with them tonight. And we will be talking about her baptismal program. That is going to be such an amazing service. She is already part of the ward and everyone loves her so much. I'm way excited for that. She basically already is such a strong member. It's awesome to see people make changes in there lives and come closer to Christ.

I didn't quite finish the Book of Mormon challenge that we were given but I'm still working on it. I'm in 3rd Nephi I think. I truly do have a testimony of the Book of Mormon. I know it is true. By reading it, my testimony in our Savior has been so strengthened. I love the Book of Mormon and all of the counsel that we can receive from it. So read it!!

Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have a good week.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 3, 2011 E-Mail

This week has been pretty slow. I haven't been feeling really good for

about half of the week, but we still got out and worked everyday. But

it was tough finding people home or people who would listen. I'm

excited for the Holidays to be over and for lives to get back to

normal. We did have an awesome experience on Monday night though. We

got a phone call from Cody, who is a member. Well him and Megan got

married on New Years Eve, and that's all that was keeping her from

being baptized. But we thought it would be a while before she got

baptized because he wanted to do it. Well he called Monday night and

asked when transfers was. I told him the 23rd. So he asked if Megan

could be baptized on the 22nd and that they really wanted me to do it

and that's why they wanted to do it then to make sure it was before I

get transferred just in case. So Megan will be baptized on the 22nd.

We are praying that Cody will be able to do it, but if not I was pretty

excited that they really wanted me to do it. So that will be a very

exciting day. She has been coming to church pretty much since last

April. That was for sure the highlight of the week. New Years was

fun. We went to dinner to Red Robbin as a district then we went and

watched The Other Side of Heaven. And that was about it.

Last Tuesday we had quite the experience. We were going with the other

Elders into there area to go help them do service at a none members

house. This guy has a daughter who is a member and he just had a crazy

surgery and lives clear up on the mountains where there is no power or

running water and it snows a lot. It's like a 45 minute drive for us.

Well his truck was having problems so that's why they took me. Well

anyways we got off the main road and onto this dirt road to go to there

house. Well it was pretty much just ice packed. Well Elder Mudrow was

driving, and he came to a corner and the car didn't want to slow down

so it went straight into a huge snow bank. So that was pretty fun

other than the car got high centered. So we tried getting it out and

couldn't do it. So we figured we would go fix the guys truck then he

could come pull us out. So we got to his house and I was able to fix

his truck so he could pull us out. So he got us out and then Elder

Mudrow realized that he had lost his phone. So they guy took him back

to look for it and he couldn't find it so we just left. We got back

and he used our phone to call the mission office to tell them what

happened. They told him it would cost him $300. So the next day we

called Brother Pedersen to take us back up to search for the phone. So

after the really long drive we got up there and started looking and

said a prayer. Well we didn't find it. So then we went to another

place where it could be and there it was burried in the snow. So

prayer works! Then on the way down the montain we stopped off the main

road to look at the view. Well Elder Mudrow fell down. So jokingly

Sister Pedersen asked him if he had the phone and he said yes. Well we

got home and he realized he didn't have it. So he had to drive back up

the mountain and find it again where he fell. But he found it and it

works! So he didn't have to pay for it. That's my crazy expereience

of the week.

So that's it for this week. Hopefully I will have a more interesting

week now. I love you all so much. I'm so grateful for Joseph Smith

and all of the faith he had and all that he went through so that we

could have the true and restored church here today. That right there

shows it's the true church. No one would go through what he did for

nothing! I know that he saw God and Jesus Christ. I know that he

translated The Book of Mormon by the power of God. And I know that The

Book of Mormon is true! I love you all and have a great week.

Love Elder Schvaneveldt