Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011 E-Mail

We had a great week this week and we are finally seeing some progression.  Yesterday was another tough Sunday.  Jeff, the guy who has been paralyzed and really wants to come to church, almost made it yesterday!  We had a ride to go get him and everything.  Well he was a little to big for the van that we had to go pick him up.  So he didn't quite make it again.  But we are going to try again next week.  We did have some great lessons this week.  One of them was with a lady named Idalia.  We met her a while ago tracting and went back to see her.  It was a really spiritual lesson about the restoration of the gospel.  She really enjoyed what we were teaching and she actually understood it.  She accepted a date to be baptized but that might be changed because she is working in the harvest right now picking apples.  That makes it really hard for people to get to church.  A guy in another area asked his boss for a Sunday off so he could be baptized and confirmed.  His boss almost fired him on the spot.  But the harvest should shortly be coming to an end.  Another great lesson was with Chad and Melissa.  They have found a lot of anti material and when we were there they pulled out the computer and brought up a website that said, "50 questions to ask a mormon."  The things were so untrue but they had no idea.  Anyways, the spirit was not real strong while we were talking about those things.  Then we had them go to instead and look up a video.  As soon as they did, the spirit came in the room so strong.  It was awesome.  Then again that is the job of the spirit, to testify of truth.  And it for sure did that as we watched a clip on that website.  Speaking of that, my profile has finally been accepted.  Those were probably the two main lessons.  We got to do some service too.  A lady in the ward had a heart attack so we went and cleaned out her chicken coops for her and also helped her husband rip down an old shed.  That was pretty fun.  He's a crazy old guy and I thought he was going to kill himself.
Sounds like things back home have been pretty crazy.  Dad being in Japan, Seth and Sierra trying to get into there house, all the dogs since Sis and Justin were in Barbados, then Ty and Bree being in Arizona.  Maybe things will calm down soon.  I couldn't believe that story you sent about the neighbors.  That's to bad the girl wasn't living when they found her.  I'm curious to hear more about that.  This week I decided to have my messed up toe nail taken off.  It wasn't really bothering me, but every so often I would have to basically do my own surgery on it and that wasn't to fun.  And there is a pediatrist here in one of the wards so he just ripped it off and killed the cells.  It didn't really hurt much but he did it on Saturday evening so he didn't want me working anymore that night.  We had a great church tour set up, so I went to the Pedersen's and watched church movies with Bro. Pedersen and my companion went and did the church tour with another member.  I'm excited to meet the guy because Elder Kurtz said he is really cool.  This transfer is going by so fast it's nuts.  I think in a couple of weeks we are going to go to the temple.  I'm excited because it will only be my second time my whole mission.  I miss it.  I'm also going to Spokane tomorrow.  Because we are Zone Leaders we go on exchanges with the Assistants.  They are coming out tomorrow and then I'm going back with on of them for the day.  It's a pretty far drive just to be there and work the area for the day, but I'm excited.  Considering I was called to the Spokane mission and haven't been near there my whole mission.  But I know the Lord puts us in the areas we need to be in for a reason.  At our dinner last night we were talking to the member about that.  It just made me really think about how there is no such thing as a coincidence.  God knows what He's doing.  That's something that my testimony has been strengthened in.  I love this work and I love this gospel.  I know this is the only true church.  Thanks for everything!!  Have a great week.
Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011 E-Mail

Well the exciting news for this week is that we had a baptism. I can't remember if I told you anything about this one previously. His name is Andraez. He is an 8 year old boy and has been coming to church pretty much his whole life with his Grandma and Uncle. But neither of his parents are members. Which makes it a convert baptism. It was really cool. And his uncle was the one who got to baptize him. That was the coolest part. His uncle is only like 16. It was a great experience for all of them. Although it was one of the most stressful baptisms I've had. You would think that with an 8 year old it wouldn't be that big of a deal. Well about 45 minutes before it started the branch presidency informed us that none of them would be able to make it to preside over the meeting. So we had to call a member of the stake presidency at the last minute to come over. We also had a very hard time finding people that could help with the program, such as talks, prayers, etc. The harvest time right now is just killing the spanish branch. Hopefully it will shortly be over. The attendance on Sundays is really bad during the harvest season.
I think I told you about our investigator who is in the wheelchair who was paralyzed from the chest down. Well he was supposed to come to church yesterday but he had some health complications and wasn't able to make it. But is planning on coming next week. It was a tough day yesterday with investigators at church. We had many people give us a definite yes that they would be there and none of them made it. It's horrible to see the stumbling blocks that are put into someones life when they are only trying to do what is right. I appreciated the talk in conference about how satan is real. It's true. I see it everyday that he just tears people down as far as he can. Luckily God is way more powerful and through faith we can overcome anything that satan puts in the way. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way that we can receive true happiness in this life.
Another cool thing that happened this week is that we got a legit media referral. My companion nor myself had ever received one that the person actually wanted us to come over. Usually different people just send them in for family and friends. Which is great. But when we get them we go over to the house within 24 hours and then we have to call in and update them. I have never had a positive update. Well we received the text telling us to take a together forever dvd to this ladies house. So later that afternoon we went over. Her husband answered the door and told us to come in. They were actually the ones who wanted us to come over!! It was a miracle. His wife was actually gone, but he said she was expecting us. Through playing phone tag for a couple of days we finally made an appointment. The problem is that they are going out of town for a while. But as soon as they get back we are going over. It turned out that she went to Hawaii to visit her aunt who is a member. They went to the temple and things and she wanted a together forever dvd. But they were out. So through the missionaries there we got the referral. We heard that she had been reading in the Book of Mormon and everything. Her next door neighbor is a strong member so they had talked about it before we even went over there. We are very excited to see what comes of it.
Well all is going great here. I know the church is true. We watched Elder Hollands talk the other night, "safety for the soul" and it just made me reflect on the beauty of the Book of Mormon. I know it is the word of God. I know that it is true. And I know that it is the keystone of our religion. I'm so grateful for the prophet Joseph Smith and the faith and endurance he had. I love doing what I'm doing. Have a great week!!!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

October 10, 2011 E-Mail

So my new companion and I get along great. His name is Elder Kurtz from Prescott Arizona. But it seems like we haven't got a whole lot of work done this week because of our different meetings and transfers and things. On Thursday we had to go to Spokane for our zone leader council. That always takes up about a whole day. We are up at about 3:45 and get back to Wenatchee at about 7:00. But we learned a lot on how to improve the things in our zones.
The campaign has been really cool. They started showing the commercials and things on October 3rd and we had quite a few people tell us they saw them. Members and non-members. One lady was not interested in listening to us at all. But after seeing a commercial she at least promised that she would check out the website. So if you haven't made profiles yet, do it! It doesn't take very much time at all. I made one, but I'm not sure if it's up yet or not. Tons of people are making them so it takes awhile for them to get approved.
Our investigator Chris accepted a date to be baptized for November 12th. He's the one who has a girlfriend who is a member. We got there and he told us how he wanted to wait like a year to get baptized. So my companion and I taught him a lot about how that is not something you want to wait for. By the time we were done he said yeah, I think I'll wait. I was pretty frustrated. We had a team teacher with us who bore his testimony and then talked about receiving the priesthood and stuff. Then after, Chris was like oh yeah I agree I get what you're saying. Maybe I shouldn't wait. Then he set the goal of November 12th.
We are also working with a couple who the missionaries were working with in the past. They just have some problems with the word of wisdom that they don't want to give up. They are really nice good hearted people though. They came to watch a baptism this week. That was really cool. I know this is pretty short but things are going great. Sometimes things aren't quite as exciting as Jared who is a branch president, or Weston who has to deal with typhoons. But I love my mission. I know the church is true! I love the Book of Mormon and the Bible. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Through him, we can live with God again. I love you all! Thanks for everything.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

October 3, 2011 E-Mail

This e-mail probably won't be to long because nothing crazy happened this week. No weddings or anything stressful like that. So I'll start out with transfer information. I will be staying here again. My companion, Elder Jones, will be leaving. He is going to Othello to be with my MTC companion. And an Elder named Elder Kurtz will be coming to be my companion. I'm really excited. I've served around him a little bit, in fact he was my zone leader when I was in Mattawa, and I really enjoyed him. He has only been out 6 weeks longer than me.
Basically the highlight of this week as you all know was General Conference. I really enjoyed it and I was even able to stay awake this time! I need to review my notes again to remember it all, but the one talk that really stuck out to me was that one yesterday morning about the Book of Mormon. That talk was sweet. The whole time I was just thinking about some investigators that we have that won't read in the Book of Mormon. If they could have just heard that talk! I loved how he said that it's either of God, or of satan. There are no inbetweens at all. As we read it, if it makes us feel better and closer to God, which it does, then it is of God. If it makes us feel closer to satan then it's of him. But it clearly won't do that. I love how he quoted a few scriptures. It testifies of Jesus Christ and brings us so much closer to Him. And it's the keystone of our religion. If it's true, then the rest of it is. I can't wait to get that talk printed off and read it with a few people we have been working with lately.
I just thought of this awesome guy named Jeff that we met this past week. He is paralyzed from the chest down and has been since last May. He had a 19 year old son that had passed away and they were at the funeral home getting his funeral set up. Well on there way home his wife fell asleep driving and rolled the car and it paralyzed him. This was all out in Iowa and due to finances he had to move out here to live with his mom. He had the most positive attitude for all that he had been through it was amazing. He is stuck to his wheelchair and wants to come to church but has no transportation because they can't afford a wheelchair accesible van yet. We are working on finding a way for him to get to church. He is a really cool guy.
Jesus and Desiree are still doing really well. Jesus has been really busy working because it's right in the middle of apples and pears up here. So a bunch of the hispanics are really busy. Hopefully as the fruit season dies down, our work will pick up. Alma is also doing great. She came to conference yesterday and all she could say was, "awesome!".
I love the gospel and I know it's true. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God. I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know the church is true! Have a great week. I love you all!
Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September 26, 2011 E-Mail and Pictures!

What a crazy week!!! The first really cool thing that happened was that we had a visit from a seventy, Elder Lynn G. Robbins. It was awesome. He didn't just focus on things here in the mission, but things for life. It was all about how we have 100% agency for all we do, which means we also have 100% responsibility of all of our actions. He talked to us about being good parents and stuff, that part was sort of weird. It was really cool though because we got to be with him almost all day. Because all of the zone leaders and district leaders met with him for a few hours before the rest of the missionaries did. We have been really blessed to be in the presence of general authorities recently. It has been awesome! I think it has lifted the mission quite a bit.
Now for some more exciting news, we had a wedding this week! And a baptism! It was crazy and I'm never going to plan another wedding as long as I live. The fun started last Monday night when they went to get there marriage license and they showed up about 10 minutes to late. Well in Washington there is a three day waiting period between the time you get the license and the wedding. The day they were going to get married was Friday. So that meant the only day they could get there license was on Tuesday or else it was to late. But Jesus works about 40 minutes away and stays up there all week long because he can't afford gas to come down to Wenatchee. And Desiree is currently out of a car and she lives about 20 minutes from the courthouse where you get the marriage license. Thank goodness for awesome church members!!! We were able to make it all happen. Sister Olson, an awesome Sister of the ward went and picked up Desiree and the kids and took her to the courthouse. Then the one and amazing Brother Pedersen saved the day again. He drove my companion and I up to where Jesus was working and we picked him up then brought him back to Wenatchee then Brother Pedersen drove him back up after. He also saves us I swear. Well we were at the courthouse waiting for Sister Olson and Desiree to get there. They told us that they had to be there by 4:30 and they showed up at like 4:31. It was a close one, but they got the license and all went well. God had his hand in everything we did this week. So Monday night they had there baptismal interviews and all was well, Tuesday they got the license. So we thought we had jumped the main hurdles. We were wrong. Thursday night we were setting up for the wedding and it was getting late and we needed to get home. We had a member there helping us, but we didn't just want to leave her hanging on her own. It just happened to be that a bunch of young single adults were there who could help set up. So we were able to leave and they set it all up. Friday we had everything planned out. We had a lady going down to pick up Desiree at 4:30 then go to the church to do her hair and do all that girl stuff. Well at 4:35 we were in a meeting with our bishop and we got a text saying she couldn't do it. So 2 hours before the wedding we had to find someone that could do her hair and go get her. We were freaking out and didn't really know what to do. And Desiree was also starting to have like a nervous break down. We were calling everyone and it just wasn't working out. Then we drove by the church and saw a ladies car there who we thought could do it. We drove up and she wasn't even there, but it turns out that another guy was there and he was like oh just call my wife she could do it. So she came straight to the church. Now we just needed a ride for Desiree. She had asked a member to get her some shoes and bring them to the church. Well the member just felt prompted at that exact time to go and take the shoes to Desiree. She got there right as Desiree was starting to worry and not know what to do. She also surprised her with a sweet wedding dress and she drove her to the church. That was Sister Olson again saving the day. Then we got a call saying that Jesus needed a ride from there house to the wedding. So we called everyone we could think of and no one could do that. Right as we hung up with the last person, a couple showed up to the wedding about 45 minutes early. They had gone and got dinner and felt for some reason that they should just go to the church and eat it. Well the guy was able to take us to pick up Jesus. We went down and took him the tux that someone let us borrow and then we came back. By the time we got back there were tons of people just helping Desiree and taking care of her kids and everything. Everything worked out!!! It was amazing it all came together. Without the spirit working in members lives, it wouldn't have happened. Then they were baptized on Saturday, and confirmed on Sunday. This week wore me out more than any other week I think! But it all happened and it was all because of the great members here. We had members from all of the wards helping. And that was our week!
I love the mission! And I love the people, including members and investigators. I'm so grateful for this gospel and for repentance. It has been great seeing people's lives change, including my own. I know that Christ is our Savior and that through him we can be cleansed. Through reading the Book of Mormon we can come so close to him. I love you all so much and thanks for everything! Have a great week!