Monday, May 30, 2011

May 23, 2011 E-Mail

Sorry I am so slow in posting this!

Not to much happened this week.  It was a good week though.  Annabel is still preparing to be baptized this next Saturday.  We are really excited for that.  I was in Royal City on exchanges because I had to go do a baptismal interview and my companion went over and saw her and taught her about tithing and she just agreed and said sure I'll do it.  It's so awesome to see people like her who have that faith to make changes in there lives.  Another couple we are working with is trying to get married so they can live the law of chastity.  But you have to have id to get a marriage license.  And that's a problem right now.  So we are helping them out with everything we can.  They aren't sure about baptism yet, but if they live all of the commandments then the Holy Ghost will testify the truth to them and tell them they need to get baptized.  Each time they come to church they seem to like it a little bit more.  We had an awesome family home evening with them last Monday at the Bishops house and we are going again tonight with them.  The ward here is awesome at fellowshipping new people and we have an awesome Bishop and Ward Mission Leader.
Just as Weston's e-mail said, we have been dealing with the same problem.  Everyone we were talking to said that the world was going to end on May 21st.  So whoever made that one up probably feels pretty dumb right now.  We have had question after question about it.  And everyone who has been asking us believes in the Bible and it says that only God knows when the world is going to end.  I'm getting pretty sick of the topic.  It was really bad about a year ago too because that's when the movie 2012 came out.  So I'm glad that the 21st has passed and that we are all still alive.
I had a little experience yesterday with the spirit.  Sometimes investigators come to church, they pull in the parking lot, then they turn around and leave because they don't feel comfortable coming into the church.  Well yesterday we were in our gospel principles class and I felt like I should go outside to the parking lot and call some people.  Well I'm learning to not ignore promptings like that.  So I got up and went out with my companion and started calling some investigators and less actives to tell them they could still make it to sacrament meeting.  Well no one answered.  So we started going back inside and one of them called back.  So I answered and talked to him for a minute and he told me he was going to try and make it to sacrament meeting.  And in the mean time another investigator pulled up.  I don't know why, but for some reason I just think we were supposed to be in that parking lot when the investigator got there.  It's just sort of cool to see how the spirit works.  It wasn't a loud voice or anything that told me to go out and make the phone calls.  I just felt like I should.  So I did and we were able to meet the investigators outside and take them in to there classes.  It was a cool little experience.  That's about it for this week.  Transfers are next week already!  I'm hoping I get to stay here in Mattawa.  I really like it.  It's a great place.  But I have loved all of my areas.  I know that this church is true.  I know that the Holy Ghost is real and that it can communicate with us.  We just need to be willing and available to listen.  To many times we get drowned out by the things of the world.  Serving a mission has been the greatest opportunity for me to gain a testimony.  I'm so grateful for all of you and your love and support.  Have a great week!
Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 16, 2011 E-Mail

It's been a busy p-day so far. We actually moved houses this morning. We are now living in a house with a young couple, and they are just tending the house because the owners are on a mission in New Zealand. It's a sweet house. So that's some exciting news.

It's been sort of a spiritually draining week this past week. We have ran into quite a few people who are having problems with immigration. And it's usually the kids that are having the problems because they commit the crimes and get thrown in jail then get deported. Well the kids that are getting deported were brought here by there parents when they were only like 5 years old. So they don't even know anything about Mexico or anyone there. So all the families just worry that there kids are going to get killed by the drug cartels. So it's really a sad thing to have to listen. Also a guy who is older that we are working with is having some issues. He is an awesome guy and has a wife here and three little kids. He is worried that he might have to go back to Mexico. So enough of the sad stuff and on to the good stuff. Annabel accepted a date to be baptized and it's in two weeks on the 28th of May! She has off and on investigated the church for like 20 years. We had a few really good lessons with her this week and the first one was in a members home. Well this member had lost her husband not to long ago and we were teaching the plan of salvation. Well Juan and Annabel lost a child about 21 years ago, so that really hit them hard. It was an awesome experience. Then another time we were just over visiting them and reading from 1 Nephi chapter 5. It doesn't talk about baptism at all. But for some reason I felt very prompted to invite her to be baptized. She immediately accepted. Then she told us that it was something that she was wanting to do and she had already talked to her family about it. So that is the goal that she has right now. She is such an awesome lady. We went and visited her yesterday and she told us how she just really wanted this foundation for her life right now and for her grandkids. She regrets not helping her own children but knows that she can still set a good example and also help the grandkids. So she is doing great.
Johnathan and Tianna are still doing really well too. We went by and saw them this past week and they had read like 5 chapters in the Book of Mormon since our previous visit. Well that hardly ever happens so it was cool to see that. Then we taught them in a members home this last week and tonight we are taking them to the bishops home to teach them there. We are really starting to see things pick up.
Last Monday we had a good opportunity. Our Bishop here owns a dairy and occasionally he has to kill a cow if they get hurt or something. So he had a ton of beef. Like 1,800 pounds or something like that. Well he just followed us around in his car to different homes to give out the beef. It was really awesome to see people's faces when someone does an act of charity like that. We were talking about charity yesterday in Elder's Quorumn and it made me think of that experience. Then someone spoke up and said the greatest example of charity other than our Savior is missionaries. It just made me realize how blessed I truly am to have this chance to help out for two years. It truly is not a sacrifice but a blessing. I love the work and love what I'm doing and seeing changes in peoples lives. I know that the work of God is the most important work that we could be involved with! I love this gosepl and I know it's true. I love you all and thanks for all your support. Have a great week!!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 2, 2011 E-mail

Not a whole lot new happened this week. Annabel came to church yesterday and she is sincerely praying to know if she needs to be baptized. So we are pretty excited about what is happening with her. She is the nicest lady ever.  As far as Estel goes, we lost contact with her. I think she started working a lot. So we are going to continue trying to catch up with her. Hopefully we will be able to.

This week a member invited us over to eat, and in order to eat with members during the week there has to be a non member present. So we called her and told her that she had to invite someone who wasn't a member. Well that was very easier for her because here there are usually 3 or 4 families that live in one house. So she just got the roommate to come out. Well her roommates name is Lucy. She had met with missionaries a little bit in the past, like 6 years ago, and had even gone to church a couple of times. While we were eating dinner she started to ask the questions that the plan of salvation answers, for example, where do we go after this life. So we were able to answer her questions We went back to see her yesterday and taught her the whole plan of salvation and she seemed to love it. Her questions were all golden questions. The problem is, she is going to have a baby sometime within this week. So we left her with the pamphlets on the lessons to read and told her we would keep checking on her. I'm really excited about her and to see what happens. And the member she lives with is a great example to her and has a strong testimony.

We had another very good but dissapointing lesson this past week. It was with a guy named Benjamin. I can't remember if I told you about him or not. He is from Mexico and comes up all alone for half of the year to work. He lives in a very run down concrete shack type thing. Well we have taught him a few times and it went pretty well. Then we went back to see him on Saturday and he had read a bunch of the Book of Mormon and said he wants to be baptized he just needs a little more time. Then he told us that he got a new job and would be moving Sunday to Yakima. So he was progressing very well then moved yesterday. That's happened to me a few times. But I'm going to keep in contact with him and send the missionaries in that mission to go visit him and he will for sure be baptized in the future. So it's still very exciting because the seed is planted.

That's about it for the week. We are allowed to do skype on Mother's day. And we are allowed to talk 45 minutes maximum is what we were told. So we are trying to find a members home we can go to. I'm not really sure what time it will be at. Probably between 2:00 and 4:00 our time here. We are in church until 1:30 but I'm not sure what time our dinner appointment will feed us. So I will just have a member call you sometime between 2:00 and 4:00 to let you know. I hope that works. At least with skype I will get to see Tydan!

I'm so grateful for all that you do for me! I love you all! I'm grateful for this gospel and the many blessings I have received from it. I know that this is God's true church here on the earth today. I know that the plan of salvation is real. If we live the gospel then we will be able to be exalted and live with eachother forever! I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice. I know he died for all of us! I hope you all have a great week.

Love Elder Schvaneveldt