Monday, January 27, 2014

Love the People... Love the Work!

Jan 14, 2014

Hello Pamilya!
There sure is a lot happening at home... We often do small activities of having potential missionaries work with us. It really is a great experience. Such an amazing opportunity. I would definitely have done a mini mission as a youth preparing for a mission. That is such a great idea!!!
It is funny, Elder Woodburn's mom sent him the exact same thing about the new mission president. I can't believe how close the time is new to get a new president... 

I wish I could do a 5K right now. One of my goals actually is to run a marathon the summer after my mission. The great thing is that my companion loves to run too! We go running ever single morning... except Sunday... so I am still in good shape. I hope I can go running every day for the rest of my mission. We usually only run about a mile or so... then push ups and sit ups and things. Super great.
Glad to hear about Sid's job. That will be a great opportunity. I would definitely never want to sub high school. That is a death wish.... 

Alright, so this week Elder Woodburn and I were more busy than we ever have been on our whole missions. We had so many meeting and special things to take of along with working an area... So we were running around everywhere all week... there sure is a lot of administrative work that it takes to run a mission. We had no day this week where we got to work a full day in our area. We had so much to do. We sure have a great opportunity to teach this zone a lot. We had MLC this week with all the other zone leaders and President. It was a great meeting and very uplifting. We also got to have our zone meeting yesterday. Elder Woodburn and I were able to answer a lot of questions and clarify a lot of things. Our zone should really start working hard and becoming better instruments.
As for the work this week.... we didn't have much time but, we did have some great lessons with our investigators. We have to do some emergency splits last night so I worked with a member in our area. It was a great experience for the member, because he is preparing to serve a mission. Super, super great! We got to teach a great uplifting lesson to a member family and help them with their family mission plan. I amazed all of there little kids by solving a rubix cube,  they were all so amazed. It is so great to be a missionary and so great to "catch the vision" of what missionary work can really become. I feel like I just want to baptize everyone I meet, everywhere that I go. I love the people here and want them all so badly to change their lives. 

We witness so many miracles here on the mission. And I am learning so much every day. The scriptures and the Spirit are our most powerful tools. Let us feast on them, and use them to change the lives of others. In faith, this work will hasten. And we can all become a part of this wondrous work.
Love you all
Elder Schroeder
p.s. I think my English is getting worse and worse every day... I say stuff wrong all the time.. darn

Jan 19, 2014
Hello Family!
Its too bad that mom has the flu... Runners knees can really be pretty painful too. I don't know if you guys have found this out yet, but you can get some knee brace kind of things that hold the patella (knee cap) in the right position so it prevents wearing on your femur. Because runners knees usually comes from a condition called patella-femoral wearing, where the back side of the patella is rubbing against the femur the wrong way because it is misaligned. Does she feel almost like grinding/rubbing/clicking sensation behind her kneecap when walking up stairs? That's usually the biggest indicator. That is a bummer though. It can be super painful for sure. (a good replacement workout for running is walking briskly in loose sand-very good workout). Good replacement since the beach is so close.

Anyways, so the new area is doing great. Elder Woodburn and I work as a really good team. I just wish we had more time to work in our area. This last week we were running exchanges on Wednesday, and we get home at 9:30, and find out we have an Elder who is not doing so well. He is a new elder from Tonga and is not used to wearing shoes. So he got some really bad blisters on his feet. We started taking care of it right when he got but it got infected (really, really infected). So we end up having to take him to the emergency room at like 10:30 (the time we are supposed to be in bed sleeping). So we were there for a lot of the night until President got there. So now Elder Woodburn and I are now in a threesome with Elder Lovete, a Filipino. Transfer day is pretty close now so we don't know what is going to happen... but it will all workout in the end. We spent the whole week going back and forth from the Hospital to check up on those two. We are all good now though and the work will keep going forward.

About the work though, We have one for sure baptism that should happen in mid February.  Then we have a few others we are trying to work out. We are working with a couple to get married so that she can be baptized and their family can be sealed. Just because of the laws here it is hard to get people to marriage. If you are under 25, you have to get parental consent to get married, and she is only 22. So her mom lives in the province far away and it is hard to get the parental consent form done from there (although it is very simple).... They really do want to get married and sealed, and she really wants to be baptized, they just think it will be easier to wait 3 years so there is no extra paperwork... We know exactly what to teach them and I have got faith that they will know what to do.

It is frustrating to see people so close to a covenant and so ready for it, then the world blinds them. I pray that everyone can learn the truth and not procrastinate their day of repentance. I don't know the words in English but it is Alma 43:34, "huwag ninyong ipagpaliban ang araw ng inyong pagsisisi." (do not procrastinate the day of your repentance) something like that in English. If we can all learn it, hold onto it and take it into our hearts, we can and will become much more loving people.
We also have some great new investigators that really want to learn a lot. The sisters in our ward have this great investigator named "P" too. We all help teach him in priesthood every Sunday. He is going to be a future leader for sure.

One thing I have really learned a lot in my service here is the importance of actually opening up the scriptures. I absolutely love and appreciate reciting verses of scripture in lessons and in conversations with people, but I have just noticed a problem with a the use of scriptures in the church. The people love to use the scriptures they have "memorized"... each Filipino has their own few scriptures they have "memorized" (sort of)... so in lessons and things, they just teach from this small pool of memorized scriptures and NEVER open the scriptures in the lesson.... Since they can't remember where they are at, they end up paraphrasing scriptures and adding their own words. We often have investigators ask us after the meetings, "why didn't anyone use the scriptures the whole time?"... There is no doubt great value to memorizing the Word of God. I cherish it personally and strive to memorize much of God's word, but there is an inherent Spirit and unbounded power in opening and reading God's word, word for word. I love how much time I have to study the Word as a missionary, and I realize it is not like this for most; but I do know that we do need to make a greater effort to cherish His sacred word.

I am loving the mission and having so much fun serving. I am so happy that even as a representative of Christ, that I can still be myself. I feel like I can really touch hearts most as people see that I am a real person.

Mahal na mahal ko po kayo,
Mula sa inyong poging anak na lalaki,
Elder Schroeder

p.s. I have really been working on memorizing a lot of scriptures. Our mission president does not require anything to be memorized except for things like D&C 4 etc.

p.p.s. If you could, whenever the reports of the new presidents come out, could you send it to me? I would love that. And whenever you send the next package, could you put a 5x7 picture of the San Diego temple in it?

p.p.p.s. ipagdadasal ko po ang mga tuhod ni mama upang ipapagaling siya. (not sure if google translate will get the jist of that. if not, just ask me and ill send it in English next week
love you guys!

Jan 27, 2014
Hello Family!
Well, I sure hope your shoulder gets better. I don't know much about shoulders unfortunately, and I am definitely sure that Mike knows a lot more than me. You're in good hands there.

I am sure having a lot of fun serving here. Elder Woodburn and I just got transfer boards. Our whole zone is flipping around like crazy! It sure will be a good rejuvenation... our zone has been slacking way bad. Some of these missionaries are just so lazy, or when they work, they don't know how to get results. I am excited that's for sure. The old AP who is going home in a transfer is going to be in our Zone now here... that should be interesting.

Well the work this week was pretty good... we were not able to work on Tuesday after district meeting or on Wednesday because I got some really bad food poisoning or something. So that was quite an experience. But the work was great otherwise. We have this absolutely great investigator named "J" He is super killer! We taught him the restoration and he went to church on Sunday. He was fellowshipped by the members better than I have ever seen before. It is like he is a member already! We are going to baptize him Feb 22! I just know it. We also have another teenage kid that is in a part member family that is going to be baptized as well in Feb. Super excited. I love the work. I love these people. Even though we can get pretty frustrated sometimes teaching in the land of vices....

So last night, a little girl was lost. They thought a crazy relative took her but the  relative is back now and he doesn't know anything about it. So either she was kidnapped or got lost or something. She is three years old and lives down stairs to us. So our neighbor asked us today to help look for her, since all of us walk around the city all day every day. I just don't know how anyone could find a lost child in this kind of a city. There are thousands of alleys and skinitas (super skinny alleys) everywhere. So sad. I really hope they find her.

I can't believe that Hunter is already getting married... on my birthday too! That is way, way fast... I saw Elder Stevens last at MLC. We talked really quick there about Hunter's homecoming and all that stuff. I am wondering who will be able to cook more Filipino food you or me?
Just found out today too, that Elder Stevens is going to be an AP on Wednesday. He really is a killer missionary and really has got his head on straight. He is a great guy and will be a great leader for us!

Just one spiritual thought. 1 Nephi 10:21 "wherefore, if ye have sought to do wickedly in the days of your probation, then ye are found unclean before the judgement-seat of God; and no unclean thing can dwell with God; wherefore, ye must be cast off forever." Just imagine at the day of Judgement. If you have done evil all the days of your probation... it will be the last moment that you will ever see your Heavenly Father again.. for all eternity. Isn't a few hardships, a few hard decisions, and a little repentance while here on this Earth worth an eternity of happiness as an eternal family? This has and will continue to motivate me to make the right choice, and I know it can help you too. Love you all. Have a great week!
Mahal n'yo,
si Elder Schroeder

p.s. In my birthday package, if you send one, I would love to have some beef jerky in it. That is what I am really missing here.... (a lot of beef jerky). Love you guys. Maybe some sour patch watermelons too.... I can't think of anything else. Marami pong salamat!

 View of my area from St. Lukes hospital 11th floor

                                Whatever you need, we've got it here in Makati 1A

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