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

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