Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Hello my family!!

Well what a week it has been! In some ways it seems like it flew by and in others it seems like it has really drug on. We have a had some good things happen this week and we have had some things come up that we have had to deal with. However, over all it has been a pretty good week. This week we met with one of our new investigators, his name is Jay. We had a really good lesson with him. The first time we met with him was because we got a call from a member asking if we could go and give him a blessing. Elder Taylor thought it was a little weird because they had tried meeting with him in the past but he would always dodge their appointments, and said that he was really traditional. So we thought it was weird that he was asking for a blessing. So we went over to meet with him, this is just another testimony to me that the Lord is in charge of this work. That night we had three appointments cancel, so we were driving around disappointed when we received the call from the member. So we went straight over. We had a really amazing meeting with him and the spirit was so strong there, it was like it just slapped us in the face. We talked about a lot of stuff with him. He told us why he use to miss the appointments that he had with elders. He said that from what he understood there were a lot of similarities between their culture and the church. So we talked about how you have to distinguish between traditions and culture, and how there are similarities. He brought up medicine men so we talked about that and how God commands there to be no priestcrafts. It was a really awesome lesson and he really understood it. So this week we had planned to talk abut the Book of Mormon. So in the beginning we were just talking and he asked a question that led right into bringing the Book of Mormon in. It was amazing. We read the introduction with him, and he thought it was amazing! We had him read the second paragraph the talks about how the Lamenites are the principle ancestors of the American Indians. As soon as he understood that he said I want to read the whole thing! It was awesome. I am really excited to continue working with him. He really wants to change his life.
This week we had a pretty neat opportunity. Just after district meeting on Thursday we got a call from the seminary teacher. He wanted us to come and talk to the students and present pass along cards and Book of Mormons. He challenged each of them to pass out at least one pass along card this week and if they were filling up to the challenge to pass out a Book of Mormon. All of them took at least one and most of them took multiple pass along cards and there were about eight kids that took Book of Mormons. That was pretty awesome to see. Then later that day we got as call from one of our bishops asking us to speak in Sacrament meeting, and he gave us the topic of missionary work. So I decided to talk to the youth about missionary work. Something that I have come to realize on my mission is that the youth have so many opportunities for missionary work! Something I wish I would have realized more when I was a teenager and done better at. But the best way that we have is in the way we live our lives. There is a quote and I'm not exactly sure who it is by, but President Uchtdorf used it in last Aprils conference. It goes "At all times preach the Gospel, and if necessary use words." I really like that! Because we all should be like Paul when he says "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ..." We should be proud to be a member of Christs church, the one and only true church on the Earth today! Make it known, and be an example to those around us, perhaps that is one of the greatest missionary tools that we have. "Be an example of the believers..."
Sounds like it will be a busy week back home. Seems like you have a lot going on. It would have been fun to be there for Rachel's blessing. Maybe one day I will make it to one of those. Well I hope you all have a wonderful week! I know I will! I love you all!

Elder Schmidt

Happy Valentines Day!!! <3 <3

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Yaateeh my family!
Well it has been quite the week here in Winslow. Their is a lot of responsibilities that come along with this new calling to serve. Last Monday we spent all day driving up to Farmington for Zone Leader council and didn't get back until late Tuesday night, so basically two days of work were gone. The meeting was really good though. It is fun to be able to work closely with President Jones and receive council and direction from him. In the meeting we primarily learned of what we are going to be teaching in zone conference. We have three zones that get together for zone conference, so that is quite the pressure for me to prepare something of benefit and present it to that many people. It is on the 22 so we have a couple of weeks to get everything put together, so hopefully it all works out. We do it with the Flagstaff Zone and the Page Zone. Our Zone is the Winslow Zone and it covers: Winslow, Josph City, Holbrook, and on the rez Sanders, Greasewood, Dilkon, and Leupp. The two district leaders are serving on the rez so when we do exchanges it will be fun to go spend the day there. There is one set of elders that we are worried about. It came up in district meeting the other day that they are not doing companionship study, and we got a phone call from some other elders who were told that they are doing a lot of hanging out at peoples houses and staying out late. So last night when we called President we talked to him about it and what we can do to help. Then this morning we went to go fax numbers in and the guy that we go to do that at is the high councilmen over that branch and said they slept in and didn't come to their PEC meeting. This is where it comes hard for me to be in a leadership spot, but it sounds like we are going to have to uplift them in some way. We have some idea's so hopefully we can get across to them.
We are working with some really good people. It is a lot different here then anywhere else I have served. I have never had to deal with someone on probation before. Now here it seems like most of the people we are working with have to wait to be baptized because they are on probation, and most of the recent converts had to wait because they were. But something that we realized is that it took something dramatic like that to change their life, and now they are doing really well. There is a man and a women that we are working with that got their children taken away from them, and that's what it took to get them to stop drinking and smoking. Yesterday in church I saw Rachael's mom and went and talked to her. Her other daughter is not baptized and really wants to so we are going to start meeting with her. That would be pretty cool to baptize sisters, and they live in different states. We will have to see though I guess dad doesn't want her to get baptized.
I hope you all have a wonderful week! I know I will! Time is flying by! I love you all!
Elder Schmidt

Monday, January 30, 2012

Week 1 in Winslow!

Hello everybody!

Things here in Winslow are going pretty good. It is definitely a lot different then Blanding. It is not so green and there is a lot more people. The work here is much much slower then it is in Blanding as well. My new companions name is Elder Taylor and he is from Oroville. So not to far away from you back home. He is really awesome we get along really well and have a lot of things in common. It is kind of fun to have a companion that is close back home so that we can stay acquainted. He is a pretty funny kid, he laughs all the time. We were talking the other day when I first got here and decided to set some goals for the area while we are here serving together. They just split the area this transfer so the work is kind of slow at the moment. So we set some goals on what we ant to accomplish while we are here. Yesterday we went and met with the two Bishops and talked to them to see where they are at with the ward mission plan and to get referrals from them. We had some good visits, so hopefully we can build that trust and really get the work moving forward. It doesn't seem like the missionaries have really been working with the Leaders so that is one thing that we want to work on. That is one thing that I really learned to do in Blanding because we covered so many units; I guess we were forced to work with the leaders which was a good thing. So I hope I can take some of those things that I learned and apply them here and wherever else I serve.

There is defiantly some more responsibilities that come a long with leadership callings. Today we have to head back to Farmington for Zone Leader Council. It should be pretty fun but it is about a 3 hour drive or so. I guess we do little skits and stuff to report our zone's numbers so we have been trying to do it, but neither of us are very good at that type of stuff (I'm sure you know what I mean). So we will see how that goes. It is kind of fun to get to know more Elders and work with them and hopefully help them.

I like Winslow so far. I'm sure when the time comes for me to leave I will not want too. Just like Window Rock, and Crownpoint, and Blanding. That is one thing I have learned on my love the people. I never understood how that could be. Growing up I heard people talk about coming to love the people on theirs mission, and I never understood how that could be. But it is something I would only come to know by experiencing it for myself. I love the people here and I always will.

Well I hope you all have a wonderful week! I'm sure I will. I love you all!

Elder Schmidt

Monday, January 23, 2012

No Regrets!

Yaateeh my family!

Well it has been another amazing week here in Blanding! On Wednesday we had a baptism for Lucreshia Smith. It was very good. She was really excited abut it; she was telling everybody about it and inviting them. Their was a pretty good turn out for her. Their was even some nonmembers their which we were able to talk to and so hopefully we will be able to start meeting with them soon. Then on Saturday Sean Murphy got baptized! It was such a wonderful day. It was a really good service. It was the first baptism that ward has had in quite some time now, and their was a lot of support from the members. It was really good to see all the fellow-shipping that is taking place with that family. President Hinckley said one of the three things that a new member needs is a friend. I could not agree with that any more. Every body needs someone to sit by them or even just say hi to them when they are at church. I guess that's what most of the less actives we work with need too. People just want to feel welcomed and have someone say hi. The Murphy's have decided to turn their lives around and go in the right direction; it is truly amazing to see the Spirit work in people and change their lives! That is one family that I will never forget! We also did a very good job of finding this week. Which I was really excited about because we have had so many baptisms recently our teaching pool was starting to go down. We have some really solid new investigators which we are excited to start working with and helping them progress!
I guess it was a pretty good way to end my service here in Blanding. I have been called to serve as a zone leader in Winslow Arizona. My new companions name is Elder Taylor. He started his mission here in Blanding about a years and a half ago. I really wish i wasn't leaving Blanding, I really do love it here and have met some really amazing people. They say that your mission is the best two years of your life. The only time I disagree with that is when you have to say good bye when you get transferred. Having to say bye to people like Keosha, Rachael, the Maelies, the Murphy's, the Slavens, the Nielsons, and the Arthurs was really not fun. These are people I have made life long friends with. But every time I leave I don't want to and then I meet more amazing people. It was pretty special to me to have three different people say to me last night that they were the reason I was sent to Blanding. I don't know if it was for a specific one or all collectively, but I feel and hope that I have fulfilled my purpose here in Blanding and accomplished what the Lord intended me to. I feel that I leave here with no regrets. I have worked hard and seen the fruits of that labor. It is not me but the spirit that is in me and those who I have taught that produced those fruits.
I look forward to serving the Lord in Winslow, and pray for his help with the responsibilities that he has in trusted in me. I hope that I will be able to help those that I serve and uplift them to be better servants of the Lord. Well I hope you all have a wonderful week! I am certain that I will! Yes mom I will write you as soon as I get there! I love you all!

Elder Schmidt

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hello Everybody!
How was everybody's week? Ours was well...pretty awesome! It could not have gotten any better. Last Tuesday I received a phone call from the Zone Leaders telling me that we were to switch District Meeting to Friday and weekly plan on Thursday because President Jones was coming to district meeting to do interviews. So the next day I needed to call President for something and he asked what time the temple has sessions and told me to figure it out so that we could all go together. So I made sure I figured it out and we all got to go to the Temple with President and Sister Jones after District Meeting. It was a wonderful day!
Then on Saturday we had Keosha's baptism!!!!!!!! I get really excited about every baptism but for some reason I was especially excited for her to get baptized. I think part of it had to do because a lot of people were kind of doubting if she would go through with it because of her whole situation with her family. But these past couple of weeks she has really stood up and had her mind set on doing it and didn't listen to her family. It was a wonderful baptism service! The Spirit was so strong there; we didn't want to leave! She is extremely shy and does not like being in front of people at all! Like, she hates being in front of people. So there were not very many people at the baptism and we got permission to do the confirmation that same day. So she was happy about that! It has been pretty awesome to see the gospel change her life. The elders had met with her two times before I got here and things did not go very good. So I have been through the whole conversion with her and have truly seen her life change. She is so happy all the time! The scripture that was the turning point with her was Mosiah 2:41, and it is now one of my most favorite scriptures. I told Elder Moncur that if I were to leave Blanding now it would be ok with me because I witnessed Keosha get baptized.
Sean Murphy is getting baptized this Saturday! He is another one that I am really excited about! It is pretty amazing how the Spirit works and how everything has changed with him and his family. When the Spirit hits someones heart and they choose a path there is no stopping them. He gave up smoking and coffee like it was nothing. Two things that he has been doing for most of his life. We also have a baptism for a girl named Lucreshia Smith. She is eight years old. We are teaching her mom and her. Her mom said I think I was baptised and so we had the ward look up records and after a month they finally found them. So she is a child of record. We told bishop about how he is suppose to do child of records interviews and he was real cautious because he didn't think she was ready and didn't even want to do the interview, but the ward mission leader eventually talked him into it. They came out of the interview and he said she knows more then anybody I have ever interviewed. We met with her a couple of times to review and she literally asked why are we doing this I already know. It was pretty good. So we have that baptism on Wednesday night.
Well It is hard to believe that this is week six of the transfer. It has absolutely flown by. I don't really want to leave Blanding, but this past week I have really had this feeling like I am going to then the first thing President asked me in my interview is if Elder Moncur knew the area. So I don't know what that means but we will find out on Saturday.
Well I hope you all have a wonderful week! I know I am going to! I love you all!
Elder Schmidt
Keosha's Baptism

Monday, January 9, 2012

Yaateeh every body!
Well we had another really good week here in Blanding and it looks like this week will be amazing too! We have a baptism coming up this week. Keosha Benally is getting baptized!! I am soo excited! When we started working with her she had no real belief in Jesus Christ or God. It is amazing what the Spirit can do! I just look back and see the difference in her life and how she has changed, and it is another testimony to me that the Gospel of Jesus Christ truly does bless lives. It has been kind of difficult because her family is really abusive and non-supportive. Her family lives down on the Res in Montezuma Creek but she lives up here with some members. Her family has really held her back but when we finally set a date with her she made up her mind and stuck to it. It was really surprising to me how it all worked out. So it will be a wonderful week! It always is, especially when you have a baptism.
Well I got all of your pictures! Thank you very much! Dad I haven't received your letter but should probably get it today, so thank you! It is crazy to think how much all of those little ones are going to change in the next year (did a just say a year, where did the last year go to). It sounds like Ryan and Austin are pretty excited about their new puppy. That must be fun.
Its hard to believe that it is week 5 of the transfer. It seems like we just went down to Farmington to pick up Elder Moncur. The time seems to go by faster and faster. It does not seem like I have been out for 11 months. I forgot how long I had been out, and then I realized and i really freaked me out. I have waited 19 years for this opportunity and now it will be over before I know it. I hope that I can look back with no regrets.
Last P-day a member took us out to natural bridges then to goosnecks national park and then to monument valley. So these are some pictures of those. It sounds like a plan to me to plan a trip to go to Monument Valley after I get back. It is really beautiful there! They are actually building a new chapel down there. The Mexican Hat chapel will be closing and they are moving it there. It sounds like it is going to be a really good move. It is coming along pretty good, they were roofing it last week.
Well I hope you all have a wonderful week! I know I am! (mosiah 2: 22-24) I love you all!
Elder Schmidt


Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year!!!

Hello everyone!
Well I hope you all had a good New Year. Ours was pretty good we slept right through it. We didn't get to stay up late or do anything. Rachael did get baptized on Saturday! So that was a wonderful way to start the New Year, but other then that the day was really slow. We had a really hard time getting in with people. Saturdays are usually pretty slow but it seemed even more so that way this Saturday. Everybody either had company over or was sleeping so they could stay up or were getting ready to go out somewhere. So we ended up just going to some members after we had dinner. Rachaels baptism was amazing thought. There was so many people there! We had to hold it in the chapel instead of the Relief Society room because their were so many people. It seemed like it was almost a sacrament meeting; there were so many people there. Keosha, one of our investigators was there. We have been trying to get her to a baptism for a while because we felt that it would really help her, but she is scared of being in large groups of people and in front of people. So it wasn't the greatest thing for her. I have never met anybody that is so afraid of people before. So we had to go talk to her about it and how whoever she wants to be there will be there. She is getting baptized on the 14 and she still has her mind set on that which is awesome! We have a few baptism's coming up this month which we are really excited about. It should be a white month here in Blanding. Between the other elders and us we have 14 dates for this month. It sounds like some of theirs will fall through but we should still have an awesome month! We are looking forward to it.
So did everybody enjoy their Christmas break? Now its time to get back to the real world. We are looking forward to it. These past couple of weeks have been kind of slower in regards to the work, but everybody is getting home now. Things should be getting back to normal which will be really good. We had some really good lessons with some of our investigators just before the break then they all left for the Holidays and we haven't been able to meet with them for a couple of weeks. So we are looking forward to getting the teaching pool going again.
Where did the last 11 months go to?? I can't believe that I have been out for that long! The time flies by. I hope I am living up to the Lord's expectations. This next year is going to fly by!
Well I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you all! Be safe and Be smart!
Elder Schmidt