Monday, December 30, 2013

New Assignment- Makati City

December 23, 2013
Hello Family!

So first off, about transfers. I am in an area called Makati 1A. Elder Woodburn and I have just become Zone Leaders of the Makati East Zone. I can't believe that God and President Stucki were inspired to give us that assignment. I feel like there is so much that I need to improve on to be a better person and a missionary. I feel inadequate for the position to be honest. But I do know with all my heart, that whoever the Lord calls, he qualifies. And that I have been called of God. I have a job to do, and I know that I can do it with the Lord's help, even though I don't feel worthy of it, and I am still a relatively new missionary. Well, I have a lot of work to do that is for sure. You probably remember Elder Woodburn right. You talked to his mom a bit before I believe. He was wondering if you were still talking to her. Anyways. So I am so excited to call you guys! I will probably call around 12:15 my time Christmas day. We are allowed 1 hour and a half. I can't wait to be able to talk to you guys and I already know one of the first questions Mom will ask me...

So in our new area, we are right next to all the super rich people.. it is actually in our area.

We also have all the malls and buildings and things in a place called Global. So we have places like IHOP, Texas roadhouse, Hard Rock, and other things like that. It is like a version of America just filled with Filipinos. So so much different than my last area. We have a couple barangay's (like subdivisions) called Pitogo, and South Cembo. It is so fun to be here in Manila and to be a zone leader here. There are so many people.

(one funny thing is that both of our Lolos "grandpas" are the AP's right now. The Elders who trained both of our trainers are both the AP's... weird bloodline.) I am not sure if that made sense.... 
Anyways again. In our area we are really just trying to figure everything out. Where people live, where things are and everything. Because we are both new in the Area. Elder Woodburn knows how to get around though because his area before was just a few miles away. We are sure having a lot of fun though here in our area. We have a few good stories already.
One good experience we had just yesterday. We were going around with the ward mission leader to members and less actives houses, and we go in to teach this active member family. So we decided that Elder Woodburn would lead the lesson. And as he searches for something he wants to share I think, "darn, I have the perfect scripture that I want to share," but I gave him the lesson and let him lead it. So then when he goes to share, he shares the exact some scripture that I was thinking to share. I had received inspiration from the Spirit to share that scripture, but as we taught with unity and I let my companion take the lead... we both received the same inspiration from the Spirit. We had done no planning for what to teach this family, we hadn't even mentioned that scripture to one another before. And from the whole Book of Mormon. We were both inspired to share the exact same verse. (Alma 6:6) It is so great to have a companion that is a skilled teacher and listens to the Spirit. We are both going to learn so much from one another.
I am having so much fun teaching about the Savior in this time of the year.  I love being able to serve the Lord and be an answer to others prayers.
This Gospel is the only way. Through our Savior and Redeemer. He is the way, the truth and the light, no man can come unto the Father but by him. (that's from John 14:6). I know it, and I testify of it. I love you guys. Keep spreading the Savior's love to others.
Elder Schroeder

We had an amazing Skype session with Elder Schroeder Christmas eve!! 
He is doing well, he is healthy and very happy!  Robin

December 30, 2013
Hello Family!

Hello everyone. We sure talked to a lot of drunk people this week.... people sure do love to drink here. We had a bunch of people offer us drink on Christmas eve... anyway. What a blessing it is to serve in such a great cause. This week was a bit bumpy... everyone was super busy. Elder Woodburn and I worked our butts off and had almost no success. We had one new investigator this week when we should have like 14... soooo, we got chastised a bit from the APs... haha. Loving chastisement.... but we are really working hard and doing our best. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be blessed for our efforts in this coming year if we just press forward with steadfastness in Christ. As we exercise our faith and act on it, miracles come. 

I am loving this new area so much. The people here still have strong faith in Christ, they just tend to be more caught up in the world and a little more stubborn, there are still many that love our Savior and want to learn. One of our investigators really is having a hard time accepting our message. We had a fast as a companionship for him and I just know that God is going to soften this man's heart in his own due time. There really is no other way. I have seen it more than I ever have before. We are dependent upon the Savior for this work to progress. I am so excited to teach this man. He is such a wonderful person and has such strong faith in Christ. His wife is a member and is desperate for our help... God will soften this man's heart, I just know it. I just hope I can be a worthy enough servant to be an instrument in the Lord's hands.

I have really learned how important it is to repent. And how repentance actually works. I have always accepted the principle and know it was true.. but I haven't ever really figured out HOW it really works. I have spent a lot of study on it, a lot of pondering, and fervent prayers. I feel like I know have a very deep and solid understanding of how it works, how we can be found spotless, how we can return to our loving Father in Heaven. And I want to share it with everyone. Lets all repent! Lets all help others to repent. Lets change our lives for the better and help others to do the same. What joy there is in repentance. There is no other greater gift. I know it and I love it. Lets all set a goal for this new year to always be a better person today than we were yesterday. It is possible because of that great gift that our Kuya suffered to make possible. I love you all. Have a happy new year!
Ingat kayo palagi!
Elder Schroeder

1. sungay ng kalabaw

2. astig na kotse

3. maliit na siwsiw. kulay pink at purple

view from our apartment

cool building in our area

wall art in Makati city

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Testimony of our Savior

December 16, 2013

Sorry, I didn't bring my cord for my camera today.

The details with the call, I will Skype you guys for sure and it will most likely be around 10:30 our time... and I am not sure what day either. Do you want me to call you on your christmas day? cause I am a day ahead here.... and make sure you tell me what email your Skype account is under since you changed your email around.

THIS ONE IS FOR THE WARD as Bishop Dye requested to be shared next Sunday for Christmas.
Christ is the Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer. What Jesus Christ has done for us is beyond our comprehension. He has taken upon himself OUR sins. Only through His justice and His mercy, we may return to live with Our Father in Heaven. I know that His love for us is real. He made the ultimate sacrifice because of that love. And we should strive to live worthy of that love he displayed for us in his infinite atoning sacrifice. Brothers and Sisters. We need to repent. The only way to fully take advantage of his love and mercy is to wholeheartedly and humbly repent. I know this is true. Forgiveness is the greatest gift that we may take advantage of in this season, and any other season. Let us repent, and forgive others of their wrongdoings. If you feel afraid to repent, it is never to late. And EVERY person is worthy to repent. No matter how weighed down you feel, no matter how abominable the sin, Christ's love has overcome all.
At this special time and season of gift giving, let us walk in ways of righteousness and show the same love that Jesus Christ has for us. I know that He lives, that He loves us, and that through his love, we can all receive the greatest gift of all, Eternal Happiness with our Father in Heaven. Of this testify, in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen. 

He can just read this to them and tell him to tell them that "EVERY MEMBER SHOULD GIVE THE GIFT OF A REFFERAL TO THE MISSIONARIES IN THE WARD"... that would be the best christmas gift of all as a missionary.

Elder and Sister Newson arrived about 2 or 3 weeks ago. They are doing great and really love the branch. I am so glad to be able to help them learn more about the Philippines. They are going to be such a powerful instrument here in Santa Monica branch. I can see it already.

Pretty normal week. Really working hard to keep the area pumping so that the new missionary will have a lot of fun in the water. (i am also not 100% sure that I am transferring yet).... about 95% chance. I will find out tomorrow.

Ingat Kayo palagi
Elder Schroeder

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Trials and Love

December 2, 2013

So I don't have that much time this week. Long story. I will type fast. So I got my Christmas package... I didn't see the hand written letter from Grandma Evans. It was in there?

Anyways... that is sad news to hear. The first thought I had while reading your email about Grandma Evans passing was, I am so glad she is with Grandpa again. This scripture comes to my mind, Alma 34:32. "This life is the time for men to perform their labors..." I am happy to say, and to add my testimony as a representative of Jesus Christ, that grandma and grandpa have performed all their labors. Meaning that they have fulfilled the gospel of Jesus Christ while here on this earth. Knowing and feeling the joy in my heart and soul of this knowledge that I have is such a great blessing. I know that the power to bind in heaven and in earth was restored to this earth, never to be taken away again. They truly and really are sealed for time and all eternity.

I would like to share an experience I had this week... The past few weeks have been particularly trying with the work here. I am tired, worn out, and feel the burden on my body, mind, and testimony. As my companion is sleeping, I kneel down, and I say a sincere honest prayer to our Father in Heaven. I know I am not going to give up. I know that I will press forward, no matter how hard the work is, no matter how alone I feel sometimes. As I am praying, I feel nothing. No comfort, no help, nothing. As I am pleading, I stop, and listen to the Spirit... I think, what does God want me to learn, what is the Spirit telling ME to ask for?And I know and say the words, "Please Father, help me to feel thy love." Immediately I was surrounded and encompassed by something REAL. I felt our Father's love for ME. It was what God wanted me to learn, it was what the Spirit was telling me to ask for. And my testimony is stronger than it ever has been before. The work hasn't changed. My situation isn't any different than it was before. The work is still hard, people still reject our message. But I know that I am not alone in this work, in this life. Our Father in Heaven is on our side, no matter how hard this life may seem to get. Our situation may not change for the better, and it probably won't change at all... but the Love of our Father in Heaven, the love of our families, and the love of our friends can carry us through any trial or hardship. I know that our Father in Heaven loves us. His love is real. And I know that I love you. Our family is united in the Gospel and sealed by God's own power. There is no doubt in my mind. Grandma and Grandpa are reunited. And we WILL see them again. Remain faithful, remain strong, and remember the love that God has for every one of us.

I know as Alma says, "And then shall the righteous shine forth in the kingdom of God." We shall all shine forth together in the kingdom of our Father, if we but endure the trails and hardships that we must face in this life.

Love from the Philippines,
Elder Schroeder

December 9, 2013
Hello Family!

I was planning on sending a bunch of pictures this week to you guys but this computer is not
working.. maybe I will be able to get it to work. Oh well.

This week ha been great! I feel the inspiration of the Spirit so much in my life. Elder Aguinaldo has been making huge strides in his teaching skills, finding skills, and everything! He is doing so great and we are having a lot of fun working together. Now that I am getting a lot better at Tagalog, we really are having a lot of fun together. He is such a funny guy and we really entertain the members and investigators a lot (without being disobedient, i might add). It is so fun to be with a companion that knows how to have "righteous" fun and to know how to make people laugh. It is still hard sometimes with cultural differences but we never fight... cause I don't let it happen. One thing, I have definitely learned from having a companion (that isn't my brother or best friend or anything like that) is patience. I have grown so much in patience. Patience and love is so key to being a good companion. I hope I get along with all the companions that I have in the mission... because I definitely like to get along with people. I have seen how spiritual gifts have also helped me with having a companion. Diane mentioned spiritual gifts to me in her email to me this week, and it just made me realize how great of a tool spiritual gifts can be to us in this life to endure through the hard times and press forward.

Our investigators have been doing great and I feel like I really know how to be an instrument in conversion..... I feel like I haven't been able to make any baptisms happen in the last couple months because of my inexperience.... it is a bummer but the truth for sure. Now that I actually know what I am doing... we have 5 baptisms that are going to happen here in this area by the end of January... But I will probably transfer just before these baptisms take place... bummer. I have finally figured things out enough to be able to get missionary work done and to hasten this work. I am so glad I have been able to be an instrument in this area though and I have been so blessed to learn how to be a better and more effective missionary. I am probably transferring on 18th of December, about 95% sure. I will probably know next week...

About our investigators, we have a lot of good ones! I have really learned well how of set up and work an even and dispersed teaching pool... where baptisms will come consistently. I cant believe how much the Lord helps in this work. None of the work that we do here would go forward without his hand in it. One of our investigators is the wife of an American who was baptized in Puerto Rico.... long story, pretty cool though. She will be baptized in January. I love missionary work! Love you guys! Send my love to Everyone at home!

Ingat Kayo Palagi!
Elder Schroeder