Tuesday, November 29, 2011

November 28, 2011 E-Mail

We had a great week. But with the Thanksgiving holiday everything sort of just went by to fast. And as usual, I can't remember much of what happened. The coolest part of the week was that we had a baptism! John got baptized into the young single adult branch here. It was awesome. It happened on Wednesday night and was a great service. We were a little worried that not many people would show up since it was the holidays. But we had a great turn out. He had one of his really good friends baptize him. He was already practically a member. It was great to see how the branch fellowshipped him. The only bad part about the baptism was that while they were changing we watched the first vision. When they came out my companion got up to shut off the tv and some random guy there started to boo. That really killed the spirit. But over all it was great. I ended up giving one of the talks because the kid that made the program called us about a half hour before the baptism and said, "Hey Elder Schvaneveldt I asked you if you could give a talk on the Holy Ghost right?" He didn't, but that meant I had to. It went well.
Our turkey day went great as well. We had to do a lot of planning and paper work and that was a good day to do it since we couldn't really go out and knock doors. It was still a proselyting day, just not knocking. After all of our paper work and things we went and had dinner at the Pedersen's. As usual, that was really good. Then we decided to go to the hospital to see an investigator we have up there. We spent some time with him and shared a good lesson. After about an hour we decided to leave. As we were leaving a lady from behind us yelled, "Are you mormons?" We turned around and she could clearly see that we are mormons. He dad had just been admitted in the hospital and she was looking for someone that could give him a blessing but they are from Moses Lake so she didn't know anyone from up here. That was a good opportunity to be in the right place at the right time.
We have one investigator that is doing really well right now. Her name is Jennifer. I talked about her last week a little bit. Her boyfriend is a less active who I have been working with for a while. The both of them have come to church the last two weeks and really enjoyed it. Last night we had a lesson and as we were testifying of the atonement, the both of them got some watery eyes. The spirit was really strong. She wants to be baptized but they have a lot of changes that need to be made. But through the gospel of Jesus Christ they can do it.
That's about it for this past week. My back is doing a lot better this week. It helped after getting cracked back into shape by that chiropracter. I'm so grateful to be on a mission and to experience everything that I have. I know that we all have trials, members of the church, and non members. But through Jesus Christ we can overcome any trial or temptation that is thrown in our path. I love the scriptures and the teachings that they contain. Thank you for all you do for me! Have a great week!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

November 21, 2011 E-Mail

Our week started off great. Last p-day we had a church tour scheduled that went really well. Her name is Tabitha. I can't remember if I talked about her or not last week. Well she really enjoyed it and plans on coming to church. She wasn't able to make it yesterday because she went to a baptism at a different church for a friend of hers. We also gave a few more church tours. I love giving them because the majority of the time the spirit is really strong. Another one was to a young couple named Stefanny and Rodrigo. She is 17 and he is 18. They just barely had a baby about 2 weeks ago. Stefanny is a member and somehow the bishop got there number and passed it onto us. So we got in contact with them and started to teach them. Stefanny wants to come back and Rodrigo seems some what interested but you can see the fear he has of what his family might say because they are all catholic. They also were going to come to church yesterday but they hate going out in the cold with the brand new baby. And the weather the last few days hasn't been the best. It finally snowed! There is a guy here named Victor and he is a less active. I have been visiting him since I got to the area and trying to help him return to activity in the church. Well he has picked up some bad habits and gone through a lot of things and feels bad about coming back. So we went to see him the other night and he has a girlfriend living with him and he told us that she was interested in the church. We took them on a church tour as well and they came to church yesterday and seemed to really enjoy it. She wants to be baptized but has some things they need to take care of first. Then another church tour we had was with two girls and both of there names are Olivia. We had talked to one of there moms a long time ago and felt like we should go back to the house. Saturday night we went back and met Olivia and set up a church tour for last night. She said her whole family would be there. So we went to the house on Sunday to have them follow us to the church, I had very little faith that it was actually going to go through. Well the girl was there and said that her family had actually gone out of town but she wanted to come and her friend Olivia wanted to as well. We were glad to finally find some young single adults. That has been something that we have been struggling with since we were put to work in that branch as well. They might not come to church this week because of the holiday weekend. But they did want to come another time.
We should be having a baptism this week as well. I think I told you about John. Well he is a really cool 21 year old. He has now read all of the Book of Mormon and the Doctrine and Covenants. He is planning on being baptized the day before Thanksgiving. He should have been baptized a long time ago!
Now for the crazy story of the week. The sisters had met this guy and invited him on a church tour but they didn't really feel comfortable around him. So we took him on the tour. He came to the church and the sisters introduced us to him and then they left. We took him over to start the tour and we always ask the people why they come on tours. Well his reply was one I had never heard of before. He told us it was because one of the sisters was so beautiful and how that was his dream girl. This dude was like in his 40's or 50's. Pretty creepy. Well we continued with the tour and didn't even get done because there was a stake dance going on and the music was really distracting. Anyways he said he would come to there church services Sunday morning. So we had to go to the sisters sacrament meeting and tell them to go to a different one. He came in late and had his coffee and we were in the foyer because it was during the sacrament. I was really hoping he just wouldn't come. We waited out in the foyer and the guy was making some rude comments about some disabled children in the foyer then the deacon came out and offered him the water and in return he offered the deacon some coffee.... So we went in after the sacrament and about half way through the talk he got up and went out. We followed him out and he said it just wasn't for him. He told us his intentions of coming were to make that sister his wife... So I had to un invite him to church. That's a first. We just told him he was welcome there to learn more of Christ. But that was not appropriate if he was coming to see the sister and then asked him not to come back if that was his intentions. So I don't think he will be back.
Saturday morning we were moving firewood for a family that I moved firewood for last year. Well I was carrying the first box and it didn't weigh much at all. Maybe like 30 pounds. Well I set it down and threw out my back. It hurt like heck. I couldn't even bend over at all. It still hurts pretty bad but I went to a chiropracter last night and he adjusted me. We will see if that makes a difference over the next couple of days. I sure hope it does. And right after we moved the wood the sisters called and asked us to come help and move an investigator. So that didn't help out at all. But other than that it was a great week! Dad asked if we find out about transfers early as zone leaders. We find out on Saturday night usually and everyone else finds out on Sunday night.
I'm so grateful for this gospel in my life and for all of you. I'm grateful for all the blessings that God has given me. I'm so grateful for His plan that He has for every single one of us. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!! Hopefully this gets to Jared because I wanted to tell him happy birthday! Have a great week!

November 14, 2011 E-Mail

Another crazy week is gone. I don't have a ton to write about because I just wrote on Wednesday. I guess I'll start off with transfer information. I'm sure Sister Pedersen already told you. But I'll be staying here again with my same companion. I'm really excited about that. We are able to work really well together.
We've had a couple of good things and a couple of bad things happen this week. I guess I'll start with one of the bad. It was probably the worst lesson I have been in my whole mission. It was with a couple who believes only in the bible. Well we thought we had been making a lot of progress with them helping them understand that if they want to know if we are right then they need to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. Well we went over with the stake president and we had planned to read a talk about the Book of Mormon with them. It would have answered a lot of the questions that they had about it. From the start there was a little bit of a different feeling than our other visits. And he mentioned a few times that all they needed was the bible. Well we began to read the talk and he got really upset. He began to raise his voice and totally reject everything we had been teaching. I think he got into some more anti material about the church. It sucks how much there is of that. But I had the worst feeling I have had my whole mission in that house that day. And it's because the spirit was not there at all. He began to reject truth and the spirit just took off. It was horrible! After he had been talking for a while my companion and I were just speechless. We teach by the spirit, so it was very very hard to say anything when the spirit was not there. The guy recognized that and offered to say a prayer. After the prayer the stake president said a few things then they invited us back next week.... I can't really figure that out but we will go and see what happens. It's sad because they just don't understand the happiness that we have received through living the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I know we can't force anything on them, and I know that they are happy people who have a lot of faith. There is no doubt in my mind about that. But they just can't see that we are offering more and that we are doing that because we love them. So that was discouraging. I don't think I have prayed so much for my investigators.
But on the bright side we did see a miracle this week. There is a lady in our area who has a friend who is a member of the church who lives in a different area. Well he invited her to a bbq and she went and really enjoyed it and met the missionaries there. She invited them down to her place for dinner. They went and explained how we work in different areas and that they would give the information to us. It turns out that this lady lives really close to where we live. Well she called us and asked for a priesthood blessing. Our first lesson started off great and the spirit was felt. Then the second lesson was a tour of the church and she really enjoyed that. She has been to tons of different churches and actually is the reason why the orthodox church is here in Wenatchee. But she is really open to us. She told us that she has recognized that God has been putting mormons in her path for a reason and she wants to know why. I guess over the last 6 months she has had a lot of contact with the church and that has stuck out to her.
Another sad/funny story. We met a new spanish family this past week and taught them a couple of times. Well on Saturday we taught just the guy. He seemed to really enjoy what we were teaching. We told him we would come by on Sunday and that he could follow us to church. We went by and found a note on the door saying thanks for bringing the word of God to there home but they were not interested in any other church than the catholic one. That is like the first written out note that me and my companion have gotten.
I'm so grateful to be a missionary and to have the experiences that I've had. I know that faith precedes the miracle. We have seen that over the last couple of weeks as our investigators have dropped us but we have been led to more. I know this church is true and that Jesus Christ is truly the head of it and that He is our Savior. Thank you so much for all of your love and support. Have a great week!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

November 9, 2011 E-Mail

Sorry I am so behind!

It seemed to be a good week but I can't remember much. I apologize I'm e-mailing today. We went to the temple so we had to change our p-day. It's about 5 pm here and we have been up since a little before 3. It was good going to the temple though. I miss going. It was also good because we got to meet Elders Garcia and Peterson there. We spent part of the day with them in Spokane then we just got back into Wenatchee.
It was sort of a tough week because I was sick a few of the days but still got out and worked everyday. Last week we were up before 6:30 almost day. One day at around 3:30 because we had to go to Spokane for zone leader council. So between the lack of sleep, weather changes, and just not feeling well I got a really bad fever and started to get pretty dizzy and had a really bad head ache. But Brother Pedersen and my companion gave me a blessing and I'm feeling quite a bit better this week. I'm trying to blame my fever on those new socks you sent me mom. Those things are nuts, I'm pretty sure they do raise my body temp. So thanks for those.
Our investigator in the wheelchair was the only one who was able to make it to church this week. A lot of our investigators have dropped us or sort of disappeared. We are going to be focusing on finding. We know that as we continue through the trial that we will be blessed to find those who the Lord has prepared for His gospel at this time.
Sorry this is so short! I love you all so much and thanks for everything. I'm so grateful for temples and the chance to go and get away from the world and feel of the spirit so strong. I know this church is true!! Have a great week!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

Monday, November 7, 2011

October 31, 2011 E-Mail

So far this transfer has gone by faster than any other transfer. Although we still have a couple of weeks left but it feels like it just barely got started. Last Tuesday I spent the day in Spokane. We drove out early on Tuesday morning and got back really late on Tuesday night. That's the first time I have done exchanges with the assistants. We should do move, but we are just so far away from them that it's hard. But it was a really good day. We taught some really good lessons. I haven't really taught anyone without somewhat of a christian background and we taught one girl who was buddhist. That was really neat. Especially to watch her say one of her first prayers ever to God. I love watching baptisms and things, but there is nothing to me as spiritual as watching someone say a sincere prayer for the first time ever. On our way back to Wenatchee, Elder Eardley took me by one of the mormon.org billboards in Spokane. I told him he would have to point it out to me and all he told me was that no he wouldn't have to. We came around the corner and there it was just huge. It definately sticks out more than anything else. And the crazy part is that it has a special light about it. There are many other billboards by it with lights on them and everything, but they do not light up like that one. It was awesome to see that. Then on Wednesday morning we got to go do some service. I think I already talked about the member who had open heart surgery and can't do much so we have been going by to help her. Well her husband is a none member and we got to help him some more on building his shed. He has met with the missionaries tons of times and has never really progressed. But his home teacher had a very loving and bold conversation with him the other day and told him that he just needs to make a decision because he basically already knows that the church is true. We will see what comes of that. But it was really fun getting to help him. Then on Thursday we got to help a lady move. I love doing actual physical labor every once in a while.
Yesterday was a great day at church. Jeff, the guy in the wheelchair, finally made it and loved it. But man, were we stressing. His ride was having vehicle problems and was about 40 minutes late. So we were sitting in sacrament meeting just waiting and waiting. Sundays as a missionary are not days of rest. They finally showed up and he stayed for all three meeting and loved it and wants to come back. It felt really good to finally be able to help him get to church. We also had another investigator there named John who will be baptized within the next couple of weeks. We were teaching him for a while and lost contact for about a month. He had moved and things. He is 21 and goes to the young single adult branch. Well we called him the other day and got to go back and see him. He has read all of doctrine and convenants and is in 4th nephi of the Book of Mormon. A month ago he wasn't ready to be baptized. But after reading that much he changed his mind. We are just waiting for him to get his work schedule to actually set a date. He is an awesome guy. The sad news it that Chris didn't come to church yesterday so he can't be baptized on the 12th anymore. But we had an awesome lesson with him last night and his date got changed to Thanksgiving day. So all is still going well here. You might not get an e-mail next week. And if you do, it will probably be on Wednesday. We are going to the temple so our p-day is going to be changed.
I'm so grateful to be a missionary and to help other's come unto Christ. We have really tried to raise the bar a little bit the last couple weeks and have been working so hard. It's been so great to see the changes that others are making in there lives. I know that the Spirit is real and that it is everything in this work. I know that it leads and guides us to the places that we need to be. I love you all and thanks for everything!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt