Saturday, November 19, 2016

Week 69 ~ November 14, 2016 ~ Trump

Well the news of the week has been the same here as I suppose it is there. Everyone wants to hear my opinion on our future president. I don't really have a lot to say but I feel bad because a lot of the people here have pretty good reason to not love him.  But I do think that it's too early to know how anything will turn out and I feel grateful that regardless of the country's leaders are I know that the church is headed by a prophet of God. 

Um... As far as missionary work goes there isn't a whole lot to report. It was really rainy here last week which makes it hard for us to find people to teach because no one leaves their house. But we have two investigators progressing. I will update you more next week because, as always, I am out of time. 

Oo! Fun fact, the mission president’s wife sent me to get acupuncture for my back. It was a crazy experience. I'll send pictures next week. 


Hermana Schmidt

Week 68 ~ November 7, 2016

I don't have a lot of time, but I put the only picture I took this week. My district leader (Elder Ruiz), who has been my district leader for 7 transfers now and has basically become like a brother to me, and I started a diet (he's going home at the beginning of December) and this was the piece of pizza he cut for me. Jaja. 

Happy November. Don't forget about Thanksgiving. 

 Hermana Schmidt

Week 67 ~ October 31, 2016 ~ Halloween/Día de Muertos

Happy Halloween! They basically don't celebrate Halloween here (there are some people who have parties or kids who go trick or treating but... that's about it) but everyone asks about it. A lot of people think that it's a satanic holiday and can't believe that the church lets us celebrate it. I'm not really sure still how to explain that but I don't feel like it's necessarily satanic. 

This week was a little challenging because they changed the boundaries of our area and the majority of our recent converts and several investigadores we were left with very little work. But that just meant we had to dedicate more time to finding. Which always goes super poorly in this area but... At least we were making an effort. And we saw some results and hope to see more in the coming weeks. 

Today, in celebration of Halloween, we got together with the elders of our district to carve pumpkins. They said that our companionships pumpkins turned out looking just like me, but I'll let you decide that 

Have a great week.

Hermana Schmidt

Week 66 ~ October 24, 2016

Week 65 ~ October 17, 2016

Hola Familia,

I ran out of time last week and I am almost out of time again. (Even after almost 15 months I'm still not great at managing my email time. Jaja.) The exciting news for today is that we have a baptism scheduled for Saturday!!! Moises is finally going to be baptized. I think about how much I have seen him change the last few months and I feel so amazed at what the gospel can do for people. He stopped smoking and working on Sundays. Started living the law of chastity and studying the scriptures every day. And it shows, in his face even, the change that he's had. He always tells us that God is blessing him in every part of his life, even his business is doing better. Those are the kind of miracles that happen every day in the lives of the people that the missionaries teach.

Well.... I think that was the exciting news for this week. I hope to be sending pictures next week which will be a new transfer, but will almost surely find me here in San Luis.

Love you all!

Hermana Schmidt

Week 64 ~ October 10, 2016

Week 63 ~ October 3, 2016

Well Conference was amazing as usual. I don't know if you guys noticed how much they talked about joy. I loved that because living the gospel really does bring so much joy into my life and one of the greatest blessings of being a missionary is spending all of my time trying to share that joy with the people here. One of my favorite statements was from Presidente Nelson when he said "The unrighteous can experience many emotional sensations but the will never know joy."

This week a flat out miracle happened. The mission is full of miracles but sometimes they happen so slowly that you don't really notice, but this one was obvious. We were in companion exchanges and it was almost time to go to the house for the night. We decide to knock on one more door and walked a few blocks to an address that we had from a contact that the other missionaries had left in the area book from almost 2 years ago (we're getting a little creative in order to find people to teach). When we knocked on the door someone asked who without opening. We asked for the name we had and the voice told us that she didn't live there. Something told me to keep talking to her so I did and she opened the door. We explained that we were missionaries and wanted to share a message with her. We were pretty much shocked when she invited us in. I thought "She's either someone who is really prepared or she is going to murder us. That's a risk I'm going to have to take." When we were walking in she said to me "God sent you to me, didn't he?" I told her that He had. Turns out she was really prepared. She started telling us about how she's always tried to do what God asks and that right now she is attending a Christian church but has been feeling that God was going to introduce her to another church and was pretty sure that we had come to her house in answer to her pray to know where God wanted her to go. We had almost no time to teach her, and we didn't even have a Book of Mormon to give her, but regardless she accept another visit and came to the Sunday Morning session of conference. I hope we will be able to continue to see miracles with her and in our area. 

Everyone else is still progress. We have an investigator with a baptismal date for Saturday but she only has been taught the lesson about the restoration, so I think we'll probably be waiting at least another week. The point is that people are prepared not just that they agree so we will give her all the time she needs. 

Pray for us. And watch conference again. I would love to but we unfortunately still don't have iPads. #mexicoproblems
Have a great week.

Hermana Schmidt

Week 62 ~ September 26, 2016 ~ Milagros

Well it was a great week here. I feel like I probably don't start enough of my emails like that even though it would be true. 

This week was a lot better. We had a lot more teaching appointments, we got to see the General Women's session (which was awesome. I would definitely recommend it for anyone who missed it.) and we had 5 investigators come to church. What a miracle. Venecia came with her daughter, accompanied by her boyfriend who is a member. Cristian, who is also the boyfriend of a member, came as well and he's actually seemed a little more genuine in his interest in the gospel. Patricia and Joselin came for the second time and they are actually progressing a lot, even though sometimes I'm not so sure. I think it's Patricia is a little antisocial and that makes her kind of hard to read. But she shared some really spiritual thoughts in Sunday school that helped me to see the progress that she's making. 

And what made me the most happy is that Moises came with his daughters! Finally everything seems to be one track again so that he can be baptized October 8th. And his daughters said that they enjoyed church and stayed all 3 hours. Hopefully we can start teaching them as well this week.
Well. There are always miracles when you look for them.

Enjoy the cooler weather! 

Hermana Schmidt

Week 61 ~ September 19, 2016 ~ Las 24 Semanas

When a new missionary is in their first two transfers we call it their "12 semanas (weeks)" But right now the running joke among the missionaries is that I'm in week 13 of 24.  Jaja. Their say my mission is one eternal training. Jaja. But I have found that I really enjoy the opportunity to train new missionaries.

That being said, week 13 did not go very well for us. It was Mexican independence day last week (I always knew May 5th wasn't independence day but it still is kind of hard to adjust) and I don't know if everyone went on vacation or just didn't leave the house but the streets were empty, no one answered the door and everyone canceled their appointments. It was brutal. Then my companion got really discouraged when the typical new missionary blisters started. Poor thing basically reminds me of a Disney Princess so it wasn't hard to imagine that it would be difficult for her tiny body to handle. And our investigator who was going to be baptized this Saturday didn't come to church so we decided to wait until after general conference for the baptism. 

But all of that aside there we so many blessings. We received a lot of incredible references, we couldn't meet with any of them last week because they were busy, but we went to visit one earlier today and she is SO prepared. She accepted a baptismal date here in a few weeks (she has already been to church varios times) and we are super excited. And it felt nice to finally give my companion the opportunity to teach a first lesson. 

Well we're just going to keep working hard and I'm going to stop trying to figure everything out. Things here happen on a timetable that is not my own and I should be used to that by now.

Que estén bien! Besos!
Hermana Schmidt

Here is a picture of me with H. Bante, the other is a foto of one of the other new sisters named H Christensen. She came up to me and said "This is really weird but I already know you. I read your blog before I went to the MTC" Haha. 

And a #tbt (even though it's Monday. If you want to wait until Thursday to see the picture that would be fine) to when we went to the zoo!

Week 60 ~ September 12, 2016

So María Fernanda and Juventino were baptized! 

Moises was not able to move out of his house in order to stop living with his girlfriend so we had to postpone his baptism until the 24th. But I think it is good that he'll have a few more weeks to prepare. 

This week we had transfers and imagine my surprise when they told me that Hermana Machado was going to be transferred. It's not very common that the trainer stays in the area, and I am going to miss her a lot. But I was even more surprised when they told me that I was going to be training AGAIN! 12 more weeks! Haha. Basically all that I have left. But I feel really blessed to have the opportunity again. My new companion is named Hermana Bante, she is 19 and from Oaxaca. I feel so blessed to be her trainer. She is already helped me to feel less tired and more animated to keep working. I left my camera adapter at the house so I can't send pictures (H. Machado sent me the other foto) but I'll have lots to send next week. 

Well I'm (as always) out of time so I can't write more but keep praying and I'll keep working! 
Hermana Schmidt

Week 59 ~ September 5, 2016

Well I don't think I've ever had a more roller coaster week in my whole mission. There have been a lot of awesome things and a lot of hard things. We had one day were we had 7 appointments, which is crazy because there have been weeks here when we don't have 7 appointments. We had members who were going to accompany us to all of the appointments with investigators. That never happens. I finished my planning the night before and thought "Maybe I have learned a thing or two in the last 13 months." And guess what happened? No one was there. We finished the day with 3 lessons, none of which were with a member present. I wanted to die.

But then when we did our weekly planning session we were planning for 3 baptisms. For a lot of you that probably seems normal but I have never planned for more than one baptism in a week. I felt like we were doing awesome all over again. Then Sunday came and NONE of our investigators with baptismal dates came! We talked about it with the ward mission leader, the bishop and the district leader and chances are they will still all be baptized this week. (All three had real reasons they didn't come. It wasn't just that they didn't want to) But it's just not as exciting as it would've been and it frustrates me when things don't go according to my plan.

The big news around here the last few days has been Trump's visit to Mexico. The people here are, as you can imagine, not huge fans of him. I basically tell people I have no idea what's going on there politically and I just pray that people with make wise decisions. Last week I was listening to a talk by Elder Cook and I thought he gave some really wise counsel. He said that everyone should feel obligated to vote and "the cost of freedom has been too high, and the consequences of non-participation too great, for any citizen to feel they can ignore their responsibility." I can't really comment on candidates because I am absolutely ignorant of the situation but I can say that I think that Elder Cook gives us really wise counsel.

To finish I was also listening to Hank Smith's "Break-up with the World" and I love a quote that he shares. It says "The best decision I ever made was to give up something I loved to the God I loved even more. He has never forgotten me for it." Sometimes I think we forget that God rejoices with us, even if it's when we give up something we never should have had. It doesn't matter. He will always remember the sacrifices that we make because of our love for him. 

I love you all. Have a great week.
Hermana Schmidt

We went to a zoo! It was awesome. There were 3 white tigers, regular tigers, a lion, leopards, a camel, and all sorts of monkeys. And it was in the middle of nowhere. It was super cool. But the lion got a little agitated because we were REALLY close to him. I pretty sure he could have broken down the fence if he wanted to. Luckily he didn't want to. 

Week 58 ~ August 29, 2016

There is no time but here are some sweet fotos. One is my companion and I at church. The other is us with Monica our investigator who just moved to Utah. (It was before our district meeting so we're in skirts. But we still use pants normally) Today we took a bus tour of san Luis with our district and it was sweet. I have awesome fotos and videos to show everyone when I get home. Woohoo! 

Miracle of the week: Sunday a less active sister came to church with her 4 children. (two of whom are baptismal aged) and told us that her kids went to church all summer with their grandma and they made her come to church and find us because they want to be baptized! Woohoo! We'll start teaching them tomorrow. 

Love you all. Have a great week

Week 57 ~ August 22, 2016

Well this is going to be the last week that our investigator Monica, will be here in Mexico. It's crazy that on Saturday she'll be in Utah. And I'll still be here... Jaja. But it's OK. I'm just sad we won't be able to keep visiting her and I hope that everything goes amazingly well for her in the great state of Utah.

But that also leaves us with even fewer investigators. Right now we really only have two investigators that live in our area. We have a few more people that we teach but we teach them at work. They come to church with our ward and everything but they should really be baptized in the ward that they live in. But they all have a ton of things that keep them from getting baptized. 

So basically we're trying to focus on finding new people but it's hard in this area. We talk to people in the street, because we're not allowed to knock on doors, but most tell us no. And the few that tell us yes live in other areas. Our area is very wealthy and so the majority of the people who live there work all day and travel by car so it's not really likely that we would find them in the street. We've been trying to work more with the members but well I didn't exactly love giving references to the missionaries before I was one either. 

I have been thinking a lot about section 121 of D&C. I really love the whole section but I've been thinking a lot about the last 12 verses: 

 34 Behold, there are many called, but few are chosen. And why are they not chosen?

 35 Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world, and aspire to the honors of men, that they do not learn this one lesson—

 36 That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness.

 37 That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man.

 38 Behold, ere he is aware, he is left unto himself, to kick against the pricks, to persecute the saints, and to fight against God.

 39 We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.

 40 Hence many are called, but few are chosen.

 41 No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned;

 42 By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—

 43 Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

 44 That he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death.

 45 Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

 46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever.

We all want miracles. We all hear about the blessing of obedience and we want them but we don't want to make the sacrifices necessary to obtain them. Becoming a "spiritual giant" is not a mysterious process. If we obey, it will happen. It's one of the things I have learned about the gospel. It's not a guessing game. God has told all of us from the start exactly how things work. We're the ones who are inconsistent. But with that also comes hope, confidence, that if we follow God's plan we will receive the blessings. How wonderful.

Well I love you all. Have a great week! 

Hermana Schmidt

Week 56 ~ August 15, 2016

Well I don't think I have much to say this week. Monica, our only progressing investigator, quit her job and is getting ready to move to Utah at the end of this week or during the next. Which is exciting for her but kind of disheartening for us. 

I had exchanges with H. Labrum again which was awesome! Here is a sweet foto of us. Well... That's about all I have to report. It's a tough area but when things get harder the Lord blesses us even more! 

Love you all! 

Week 55 ~ August 8, 2016

My mom told me that I didn't send an email last week. I don't remember not sending one, but that's probably because I just forgot. I feel like the weeks are passing so quickly I can't separate the events into the weeks in which they happened. 
This week we got some good/bad news. The bad news is that we will not get to see Monica get baptized, but the good news is that she's moving to Utah so I will get to see her after the mission! And she wants to go with everything ready so that she can be baptized there. We're pretty excited about that. 
We've really been struggling to find new investigators. The people here and not super interested in what we have to tell them and the majority of the people in the street don't live in this area, they just come to work. We've started inviting the member to plan family home evenings with us and this week we had three. It all went pretty well and I think this will be a good start for us. We still need to think of other ways to find that could work for us, but so far we've been pleased with the response we've seen from the member. 
This week there was a huge YSA dance here in San Luis and so YSA from Aguascalientes and Zacatecas came and on Sunday they came to our ward. It was so interesting to see people I met in my first area and think about everything that has changed since I was there with them. I also got to see one of the hermanas that was my companion for a day when I was without companion. She said that everyone in Aguas misses me a lot which made me sad, because I'm not there, but happy that they miss me too. 
Well this week I would like to share two thoughts that I read in Liahonas:
"Life is beautiful and worth living." -Presidente Uchtdorf
"What we should remember when we behold Him is that because of Him, and all He did and all He was and is, we too can triumph. We also can overcome. We can live abundantly in the midst of trials. If we choose to “behold” Him and accept and apply His saving gospel, He will save us. He will rescue us from the effects of our own fallen natures and foibles, and He will save us from sin, from spiritual mediocrity, and from ultimate, eternal failure. He will purge, refine, beautify, and eventually even perfect us. He will give us joy and peace. He is the key to abundant life." -Elder L. Whitney Clayton
Un fuerte abrazo,

Hermana Schmidt

Week 54 ~ August 1, 2016

Week 52 ~ July 18, 2016