Wednesday, June 15, 2011

June 13, 2011 E-Mail

Finally some pictures!  I think this is Rodi's baptism.

My mind isn't functioning to well so I can't really think of everything that happened this week. First off, we went to visit Anabel and she told us how she had received an answer to her prayers.  That was really cool.  She had been praying that her son-in-law would find work. So he went out and started to look. Then then the next day he came home and told her he had found work. And he has gone a long time without work. We are still working with her husband Juan, he just has some bad addictions that control his life. But we have had a few really good lessons with him and he is thinking about being baptized. So please be praying for him!
Rodi was baptized this past Saturday. It was awesome. Then he was confirmed yesterday. I was able to baptize him and the Branch President confirmed him. In his confirmation it talked a lot about serving a mission if he has the desire. He acts like we wants to, and he will be receiving the priesthood next week. He is such an awesome kid. I'm really grateful for the opportunity that I had to meet him and to work with him.  He will continue to strengthen his testimony and be a super strong member.  I can't remember if I have mentioned Ruben or not, but his son is a member of the church just not very active right now. Well we have been teaching Ruben and he wants to get baptized. He was supposed to get baptized next Saturday but wasn't able to come to church yeseterday. So we gave him the goal to be baptized on July 2nd. But he too will need a lot of prayers. So please pray for him!!! So many great things are happening in our area. And little by little I see my spanish improving. I still have so far to go but I've had a few people lately tell me that they thought spanish was my first language.  That made me feel pretty good. Then I'm immediately humbled when I try to say something and I can't. But I have really seen God's help with the language. It has been great.
Every Thursday morning we go to the bishops house for breakfast and correlation. This past Thursday we pulled up and his dog was going insane. I'm not sure what kind she is but she's a little smaller than Kimber.  Well what happened was she was eating a round bone and she forced it up around her bottom jaw and over her teeth and she couldn't get it off. Her whole jaw had swollen. So the bishop tried ripping it off but couldn't.  Well he also has another dog who is a great dane who probably is about my size. He looks like a pony. And the problem is that the big dog will kill any other dog when they are in pain just to put them out of there misery. So my job was to control the big guy. It was very interesting. He tried to eat me a couple of time but we had some good bonding time and I found his sweet spot right by his back leg. I had to do that while the bishop zip tied the legs together and the jaw on the little dog and ground the bone off with a grinder. It was one heck of an experience.  Other than that not much happened. I had a district leader training in Moses Lake on Tuesday then we had another training there on Wednesday for new missionaries and trainers. So we really didn't spend a ton of time in our own area. But the Lord still blessed us.
I'm so grateful for the gospel. Yesterday I was translating a talk and the lady was saying how we are here in this world, but as members of the church we are different than the world, well at least we should be. We should hold ourselves at a higher standard. And as we do so we are blessed. I've really been thinking about commandments and rules and stuff like that. They are only there to help us be better people. I'm so grateful for the Book of Mormon and the teachings that it contains. I love you all so much and thanks for all you do!!

Elder Schvaneveldt

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011 E-Mail

It was a good week this week. Really not to much happened. We did have one crazy story. We are working with a young couple right now and we had an appointment with them on Friday at 6. Well the girl texted us around 6 and told us that her boyfriend still hadn't come home from work. And he usually gets off at 2. So we told her to text us when he got home and we would go down and visit them. Well we never heard from her. So we texted her that night and asked if he came home and she said no. So the next morning we texted her to try and set up an appointment and she said he still hadn't come home. So she started to get really worried and practically texted us the whole day because she didn't know what to do. Well around 6 on Saturday night she texted us and told us to come down because he was home and she was going to be kicking him out and he would need help moving his stuff out. So we went by and got the fellowshipper who goes and visits them with us because we didn't really know what kind of situation it would be. Well they live all the way at the bottom of a dirt road and as we were driving down the dirt road we saw some guy laying in the middle of the road and another guy was giving him cpr. Well it was the boyfriend and the girls dad that was giving him cpr. So we hurried and parked and ran up to them and he wasn't breathing. A few minutes later he started to breath and the ambulance and everything showed up. I guess he got nervous when he got back home because he saw the girl and her dad so he grabbed his dogs and started walking up the road. So they got in the car to go get him and just saw him fall on his face. It looked like he had a seizure. We don't know what happend but they hauled him off in the ambulance. Then we went to leave after everyone had left and we got stuck in our car. Because we parked a little bit in a ditch and there was a ton of gravel and the dirt was really soft. So someone driving by had to pull us out. By that point it had been a really crazy day. Then Sunday morning we woke up and had a text that said he had been using meth and drinking alcohol. It was just really crazy because he seemed to be doing so well when we were teaching him. But last night he text us and told us how he really wants to change his life and was asking if we would still be willing to help him. So we are going to go and see them today. It just really opened my eyes on how the commandments and the gospel bless our lives. Of course we are still going to go through hard times, but we are just so much happier and better off when we do what God wants us to do. It also made me realize that some times God gives us certain trials to help us be stronger in the end. I think this was a big eye opening experience for him that lead him to want to change. We went and visited another guy who was baptized not long ago and he had a similiar story. His wife had been a member for about 6 years but he didn't really believe in God and liked to drink. Well one night he was drinking and rolled his car. He realized that was an experience that God gave to him to help change his life. He was then baptized and has never been happier. I know that the gospel truly can bless us if we follow the counsel from the scriptures and modern day prophets.

We should be having another baptism this upcoming Saturday for Rode. He came to church yesterday for his third time and the craziest part is that he came alone. His family members who are members of the church couldn't make it. I called him yesterday morning and he said he wasn't going to be able to make it because his shoulder hurt. He works at a potato factory and lifts sacks of potatoes all day. So we were sort of bummed and thought he wouldn't make it, but he came. So we are looking forward to next Saturday. It's getting a little tough to find people who can come to church because working is really picking up. Dad asked what kinds of trees and stuff are around here. Well there are a ton of grapes, cherries, apples, and apricots. There are also a lot of potato fields, alfalfa, timothy, wheat, onion, corn, and peas. It's pretty much pure farm country. There is also asparagus. That one is tough because they work 7 days a week and rough hours. And as soon as that ends the cherry picking starts. And that will go 7 days a week for however long it will take. The weather hasn't been real good so the farmers are all a little upset. But the last few days it's really warmed up. That has pretty much been my week here. I love what I'm doing and I love sharing the gospel with those who don't have it. It truly has helped me to receive a testimony that this is the true church. I'm so grateful for all of you and your love and support. Have a great week!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

May 31, 2011 E-Mail

It's been a really good week so far!! Saturday morning we had a baptism. And she was confirmed on Sunday. It was so awesome. We went to her house on Sunday to see how she was doing. Well she told us that when she was confirmed she just felt warm and could feel something like shaking inside of her. It was definately the feelings of the Holy Ghost. I had the opportunity to baptize her, and when she came up out of the water she was just so happy. She almost looked like a completely different person. It's amazing what the gospel can do for people's lives.

We had another little miracle happen too. She had her interview on Thursday night. Well Thursday afternoon a member called me up to see if we wanted to go eat with them and I told him sure as long as there was going to be a non-member there. So he said yeah Rode will be there. So we went over and the member who called wasn't even there, but his wife and brother-in-law were there. So we ate dinner then we started to teach a lesson. Rode was supposed to be baptized a while back but hadn't come to church. Well recently he has come twice. And something just told me to go through the baptismal interview questions with him and invite him to have an interview that night. So I did and he accepted. We didn't think he would really show up for his interview, but he showed up like 15 minutes early and so he will shortly be baptized. He still needs to come to church again. And the good news is that I get to stay in Mattawa for another transfer so hopefully I will see it all happen! I will be staying with the same companion for another transfer.
One day we were out knocking doors in the middle of nowhere and we came across a cherry orchard. So we went back into it and found a little trailer. So we were talking to the people then all of a sudden this really loud noise went off and scared me half to death because it was really close. Well I thought it was a gun. It turns out they put like air cannons in the orchards and they shoot off every so often to scare of the birds. it about made me wet my pants.
The mission has really been focusing on talking to everyone and asking everyone for referals. A couple of weeks ago we met this hispanic problem and she just started dumping all of her problems on us. She just went on and on for like 45 minutes about her son and going to court and everything. Well when she was done I asked if she knew anyone else we could go visit who was really going through a hard time. And she said sure you can go visit my niece Alma. So we went down the road and found Alma. She told us to come back a week later. So we went back a week later and she let us right in. She's a 20 year old girl who has a 2 year old baby girl. She also began to tell us her life story. It made me realize that when people recognize us as God's servants, that they trust us with stuff like that. Well this girl just broke down and started crying. It was a very spiritual experience. You could feel the spirit so strong. Then we taught her a good lesson and she invited us to come back.
That was about it for this past week. It was a good one. I love this gospel and I'm so grateful for all he blessings it can bring to anyones lives. I was reading in Luke about the Prodigal Son and it just made me realize that we are all children of God and he loves us no matter what we have done. We can also be completely clean of all of our sins through our Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you for everything and for all of the love and support! I love you all!!!