Monday, December 19, 2011

December 19, 2011 E-Mail

We had a really good week. This transfer was sort of weird because it was only 5 weeks instead of 6. Usually the last week of the transfers is a little tough for all the missionaries. But this past week was great! The bad news with transfers it that I will be going to Moses Lake. It's a mixed emotion thing. I've come so close to so many people here. But I'm excited for the change as well. I will be doing all english work now. But it's in a place where there are a lot of hispanics. So I will still speak it while tracting and doing baptismal interviews and stuff. But I won't attend the spanish ward or teach spanish people. My companion only speaks english as well. His name is Elder Soderberg. He is on his last transfer so I will send him home then most likely end my mission in Moses Lake. Or as big D would say, the prophets puddle. I've heard a ton of good things about serving there.
Honestly I can't think of much that happened this week. We had one day where all of our set appointments went through. I don't think that has ever happened before. We have some investigators that are doing really well. We also found a couple of new ones. Jennyfer is still doing amazing. They are trying to get there divorces taken care of so they can get married and baptized on December 31st. I'm sad I won't be here for that one. But it's ok. She has come to church like the last 5 weeks in a row and is just soaking it all up. We watched the big long Joseph Smith movie with her and her boyfriend this week because it shows all of the trials that Joseph Smith goes through and what he does to deal with them. They were both able to relate to him. We also read Doctrine and Covenants section 121 with them. It's a great section as it talks about the prayer that Joseph offers while in Liberty Jail.
My testimony this week has just really been strengthened in the restoration of the gospel. As we watched that movie, or taught the restoration to various people I really felt the truth of this church. Then yesterday in church they talked a lot about the Book of Mormon. It has to be true! I know it is. Because that, I know that Christ is our Savior and that we have a modern day prophet. I'm so grateful for that. I love you all and hope you have a great week and a very Merry Christmas!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

PS. My new address is:
10821 Grace Lane NE
Moses Lake, WA 98837

December 12, 2011 E-Mail

We had a great week! Last Monday right after our p-day was over we went and had family home evening with some members and also our investigator Jennyfer who is dating the less-active Victor. They are doing really well and we actually saw them quite a few times this week. They both are currently living the word of wisdom which is a huge step for them. It was awesome because they threw out all of the cigarettes and also the coffee so that they wouldn't even have the temptation. They also will be able to live the law of chastity before her baptism date. They should be able to at least. They are both waiting for divorces to go through before they can get married. Well they should both be taken care of by like the 27th. As of right now they are planning on getting married then her getting baptized. It's been so great to see the changes and the happiness come from living the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's a happiness that anyone can experience regardless of where you're at in life. They have had some ups and downs between all of the trials they are having as well as the withdrawls from the smoking and drinking coffee. But over all, the quality of their lives has improved a bunch.
Tuesday morning we went to Spokane for our zone leader council. That's always a great experience to be uplifted by our mission president. It's sort of tough on us though because we are the furthest away from Spokane. Which means we have to get up at about 3:30 on those mornings. I think it really slows us down sometimes for the next few days. But we're doing well now! We talked a lot about patience. That really stuck out to me. I feel like I have become a little more patient throughout the mission. But I still have a long ways to go!
I had another experience that I've never had before. The sister missionaries called and said that a member of their ward needed help giving a blessing. Well it turns out it was to a guy with terminal cancer and he didn't have much time left. They caught it to late. Well I was the one who got to give the blessing. It was interesting because in a situation like that you pretty much either heal the person or let them know they are leaving this world. As I was giving the blessing I was not receiving any promptings that the guy was going to live. His whole family was there as well and I'm not sure if any of them are even members of the church. So I didn't want to say what I was prompted to say but knew I had to. As I told him he would be in peace and comfort as he shortly passes from this world the whole familly started to sniffle a lot harder. But I got a very warm feeling letting me know that's what needed to be said. It was an interesting experience.
And I think that was pretty much the highlights of our week. I know this church is true. I know that this is the true and restored gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ here on the earth. I know that by living this gospel that we will simply be happier. Thank you so much for everything! I hope you all have a great week!

Love Elder Schvaneveldt

December 5, 2012 E-Mail

We had a great week but it was a tough one for teaching. It seems like every door we knock on after four they just tell us it's late and cold and to leave. It's starting to get dark pretty early and it has been really cold but no snow. I find it funny that people complain about how cold it is but then they don't let us in. It's also funny when people tell us it's late so we tell them it's only 5 then they don't really have anymore excuses. But the truth will always be rejected. It has been since the beginning of time.
We had a great week starting last p-day actually. We went on a crazy hike up to this giant cross on top of the mountain that lights up at night. Well we didn't take a trail, we just went straight up. It was intense. After we got down we got a call from a less active that we have been working with and his son was in the er and he wanted us to go give him a blessing. We changed our clothes and got up there as fast as we could. It turns out he was in a bunch of trouble and the cop was there waiting for him to be released so he could take him to jail. The cop waited for us to get there and give him a blessing so that was cool. He had gotten into some trouble earlier that day and the cops were looking for him. Then he got in a car wreck so it was pretty easy for the cops to find him. His two friends just ran from the scene. Well he had a concussion and wanted a blessing. We gave him a blessing then took off and they saw immediate results on his recovery. We are also teaching the less actives girlfriend and she was there and that really helped her know that the church is true. The next day we went over to there house to teach them and it was a very powerful lesson. I was on exchanges so Elder Kurtz wasn't able to be there with me. Before I left I gave both of them a blessing of comfort because of the hard times they are going through. It was one of the most spiritual times on my mission that I can remember. It was so good to be an instrument in the Lord's hands to help others feel His comfort. Then on Saturday we went with Victor, the less-active, to the jail to visit his son. That was an experience that I have never had. It was good to see him and to see him feel so much better. He understands he is in a bunch of trouble but is trying to make the best of a bad situation. Victor and Jennyfer both came to church yesterday and Jennyfer loved it. That's like her third time coming in a row. Victor struggled during church because all of the topics were things that he is currently struggling with. But he completely understands that it's going to be that way to help him improve. Last Friday he told us he couldn't quit smoking yet and he didn't know when he would. Then last night he told us that he feels in order to really progress that he needs to quit smoking today. It's such an amazing experience to see the spirit work with people like that. That was by far the highlight of the week.
We also had zone conference which is always good. It was here in Wenatchee which was nice because then we didn't have to travel. We learned all about the Doctrine of Christ. That is a very popular topic for us in zone conferences. I love it though because that's truly how we help others have happiness in there lives. We help strengthen there faith so that they can repent and be baptized and receive the give of the holy ghost to be a constant guide in our lives. The gospel is the best thing! I'm so grateful to be a missionary. I'm grateful to help others come unto Christ. I know that this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he restored the church through the power of God. I know that the true evidence of that is the Book of Mormon. I love you all and hope you have a great week!