Tuesday, August 23, 2011

August 22 E-Mail

This week has probably been one of the best weeks of my mission. It started out on Tuesday when we went to Spokane to listen to L. Tom Perry. That was way awesome. He went through and taught us the restoration in detail. He also had Elder L. Whitney Clayton and he taught us about the Book of Mormon and prayer. The coolest part of all of it was that we got to shake Elder Perry's hand! We introduced ourselves and he told me he thought I was from Logan when he heard my name. So somewhere down the road he know's some Schvaneveldt's. The spirit was very strong as we sat and listened to them speak. It only lasted a couple of hours. I wish it could have been more. Then on our way home from Spokane Alma texted us and told us she had her tithing all ready to pay to the bishop. That never happens from people who aren't baptized yet! And she was baptized on Saturday. It was great. I was given the opportunity to baptize her and it was awesome. She was so prepared. As I have said before I have never seen someone so prepared. We set a baptismal date for her on our second visit and she went through with that date. And she gave up stuff and made some big changes. And she is doing great. I can't wait to see her with a calling. She is a great addition for the ward here.
Right after her baptism yesterday we had another great opportunity that a lot of missionaries dream of. The Sisters in the area next to us are teaching a spanish guy named Oscar. Well he is a radio show host and basically famous around here. Everyone mexican knows him. Well he was doing a grand opening for a restaurant and invited the Sisters and they invited us because they were a little bit worried about there spanish. So we got there and go to introduce ourselves on the radio. Then he took us in and bought us lunch and we thought that was it. Then he called us back over to where he was hosting the radio station and gave us the mic and turned the time over to us. So we were able to invite everyone on the radio to church and also on a church tour. It was sweet! We are hoping to see things from that.
Then immediately after that we went and picked up a kid in another ward to go team teaching with us. Well we had planned to do all spanish work but he didn't speak any spanish. I told my companion we should go and try to see Angela since she speaks english. She is the one who fell off the charts forever and we have seen a few miracles with. Well we went over and she let us right in. She dumped all of her concerns on us again and then she said but it doesn't even matter. The night before a kid had showed her some anti stuff about the church and she found herself defending the church. She told us that helped her realize that the church is true. And that the book of mormon is true. And she set a baptismal date for the 3rd of September. It was amazing! Then she came to church on Sunday and of course Alma was confirmed.
This has been one of the best transfers for sure. I have seen tons of miracles and worked my butt off. We did get our transfer information last night and Elder Jones and I will be staying together. But we have been given a little more responsibility. We will do some work in the singles branch here too. So that is pretty exciting. We are also getting a priest this week from Spokane and he will be with us all week. There young mens wanted to do a mini mission thing for a week. So the stake president got with the mission president and put it all together. We pick him up tomorrow and he will be with us until next Monday. I love this gospel and I know it's true! I'm so grateful to have a living Prophet and look forward to general conference that is coming up. I hope you all have a great week!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 15, 2011 E-Mail

We had a great week. We did end up moving last Tuesday. We are in a lot smaller of a place. We were really spoiled before. But it works out well. Our house is about 8 miles away at least from most of our work so we don't spend anytime there because we don't have the miles to be able to go back and forth for meals.

Everything is looking good with Alma to be baptized this Saturday. We saw a huge miracle with her last Tuesday. We went and visited her Monday evening and she had smoked 7 cigarettes that day. She was really discouraged because she hadn't been able to quit. Well we taught her about fasting and had planned to fast with her on Wednesday so that she would be able to quit. She had also read a part in the bible where it talked about fasting and prayer to overcome those types of things. Well Tuesday morning we were doing some service and when we finished we had a voicemail from her asking us to call her. The majority of the time that is not the best sign. So I called her back and she said you're never going to believe it, but I woke up and they're gone. So I said awesome! Don't go buy anymore. And she said no, I still have the cigarettes but the desire to smoke them is completely gone. She said she woke up and was praying and just felt the Holy Ghost touch her and the desire to smoke leave her. So she went outside because she didn't really believe what was happening. She grabbed a cigarette went out to light it and she never lit it. She hasn't smoked since Monday!! For the past 30 years she has been trying to quit and not been able to do it. Then she put all of her trust in the Lord, and she did it!! It's gotta be one of the craziest things I have seen my entire mission. We found her about 4-5 weeks ago. Within those weeks she has completely changed and gained a testimony of the restored gospel. She is by far the most prepared person I have seen. And she will be baptized on Saturday. We are very excited about that!! She is going to be an amazing addition to the ward. Last night when we were visiting her she told us that she didn't see Ms. Bonnie at church today, who is a recent convert also. But anyways she told us that she was going to go over and check up on her to make sure she was okay. She will be awesome in the relief society!!
I also had my testimony strengthened in prayer. We went to go see an investigator who was doing really well and preparing for baptism but then about 3 months ago she fell off the charts. We have tried to see her and talked to her a few times but never been able to teach her. Well last Friday we felt prompted to go and see her. We parked in front of her house and I said to my companion that we should say a prayer. So I prayed that we would be able to teach her and discover all of her concerns. Everything worked out perfectly. We got to the door and knocked and a visitor was leaving at the same time. So they had no excuses to not answer the door. Then she was right on the other side. So she came out and started talking to us. We hardly said anythig at all and she just unloaded all of her concerns about the church and everything on us. Then I felt really prompted to share a scripture with her. I turned to it and my companion looked at me and started to smile. He then said the exact scripture popped to his mind. We read it and she just said wow. And we have an appointment set up this week. So that's very exciting!
We also taught the lady who we gave the Book of Mormon to. The one who said she had been praying for that. We had a decent lesson with them. I feel that she is very prepared but her husband might cause some stumbling blocks. He is a great guy just doesn't really understand the restoration of the gospel.
Yesterday I spoke in sacrament about following the example of our Savior. I focused on the attributes. It just really reminded me how perfect he really is. And also how it's a commandment to become like him. We are so fortunate to have the restored gospel to help us along our journey to become more like him. To be able to be baptized by the proper authority then to go to church and partake of the sacrament that is blessed by the proper authority all so we can become more clean and become more like him. I love this gospel and I love you all! Thanks for everything!

Monday, August 8, 2011

August 8, 2011 E-Mail

It's been a good week but a crazy one.  I'm sort of worn out.  The day after we finished up with our 80 hour finding week we had to go to Spokane for a zone leader council meeting and I had to drive.  So I was up at 4 in the morning.  And as a missionary you never have time to catch up on the lack of sleep you get through out the week.  But it was a really good meeting with the mission president and all of the zone leaders in the mission.  I can't remember if I told you or not, but next Tuesday we get to go back to Spokane again.  And that's because Elder L. Tom Perry is coming to our mission and will be speaking to us on the 16th.  I'm pretty excited about that.  I think a 70 is coming with him but I'm not sure who.  Also in September we will have another 70 coming to tour the mission.  It should be a great blessing and an uplifting experience to hear them speak to us.
Our investigator Alma is still doing great.  She has a ton of faith and the greatest desire to quit the habits that she has so that she can be baptized.  Yesterday I was fasting that she would come to church and she didn't show up.  I was sitting on one of the benches sort of murmuring to myself since she wasn't there and I looked up and the bishop was pointing to the back of the room.  She came late.  Lesson learned, not to murmur and just to continue on with faith!  Anyways she stayed for all three hours and just loved it.  She felt the spirit so strong that she just cried the whole time she was there.  It's so awesome to see investigators that fulfill there commitments and receive testimonies on there own.
On our 80 hour week the first three days were tough.  They were about 13 hour days each day and we walked a ton because we tried to stay on foot so we could talk to everyone.  We faced a ton of rejection and not many people wanted to talk to us.  On either the third or fourth day, one of the first doors we knocked on we met a lady named Melissa.  I told you a little about her last week.  She said she had been praying that if God wanted her to read the Book of Mormon he would have it delivered to her door.  And then we knocked on the door.  She was working two jobs so we haven't gone back yet, but we have an appointment today.  We also met a really cool hispanic lady named Myra.  She's a young single mom.  We were going to her house to try and see her dad but he wasn't there and we met her.  She has faced a lot of trials in her life and sort of got away from religion but she's ready to come back.  Then one night we met this lady who is really cool.  She has 4 large dogs on the other side of the fence so as we walked by they started to bark and the lady came out.  It turns out that her grandparents were members of the church and that her family is looking for a church here in East Wenatchee.  We are trying to get a church tour set up with her but she also works a lot.  Then we met a lot of crazy people.  One kid we met I'm pretty sure is the brother of Napoleon Dynamite.  He was nuts.  He's a jew of some sort so he wasn't to excited to be talking to us.  And a lot more happened but I think my brain got fried from the heat and the sun.  So my memory is not doing to well.
This past week just made me realize that it doesn't matter how much rejection we face.  This message is still true.  It just reaffirmed my testimony that this church is true, that Joseph Smith was a prophet called by God, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  Thank you for all that you do for me!  I love you all!  Oh yeah, we are moving houses tomorrow and I think my new address will be....
2965 Jamaica St.
Malaga, WA 98828
Have a great week!!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

August 1, 2011 E-Mail

The 80 hours is going great.  Right now we are at about 74 so we have at least 6 more to do today.  It's been crazy but we have seen some miracles.  The main one that sticks out is that we knocked on a ladies door and she acted like she was going to bash with us.  Well I lifted up the Book of Mormon and she said that she had prayed earlier that morning and told God that if He wanted her to read that book that He would send it to her that day.  And at about 9:30 AM we showed up.  We are going back next week to teach her.  We did a lot of walking, had a lot of rejection, saw miracles, saw the power of prayer, and some good sun-burns.  It was definately a hard working week.  We haven't taken a dinner or lunch since last week.  It's been awesome.  I even got a little sun burned through my shirt.  But all is well and I should have some more time to write tomorrow.  We are going to Spokane tomorrow for Zone Leader Council so that will give us a little break then we will be right back at it.  Hopefully you get the flooded basement cleaned up and all is well.  I love you all!!  Thanks for everything!