Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Serving the Lord, Greatest opportunity ever!!

February 3, 2014

Hello Family!
Wow! Webelos leader huh and assistant cub master? Those two will have a lot of fun together with those kids.

Elder Belnap is Elder Stephens companion right now. We are doing exchanges with them tomorrow. I will be going with Elder Stephens so that will be fun. Heard he is a really hard worker. It will be weird to be working with someone that is from the same place over here,  more than 7000 miles away from home... crazy. The old AP really is a great missionary. His new companion Elder Wilson is super awesome too! We are spending p-day with those two. They both love sports and snowboarding and everything. We really are blessed to have such great Elders working along side us, good and inspiring for our missionaries here in the zone.

This last week has been pretty good. We have this killer investigator named "J". He is practically a member already. Everyone has been asking us if he is an investigator because they are not sure if he is just a visiting member or not. He is a super good guy and will be baptized on Feb 22. That's the plan anyway. We are so excited for him!

We are really working at getting the Zone into a more faithful and hardworking spirit. We feel like our zone isn't working as hard as it should and are going to do a lot to get it where it needs to be. We have a lot of great missionaries that came in from this last transfer and I am 100% sure that this work is going to shoot forward. We had a rough month last month and a lot of room for improvement. We had no baptisms in our whole zone last month at all... but the good thing is, we already have two this month. Another problem I see is that missionaries focus on the numbers too much. When I say it is great we had 2 baptisms already this month, it really makes my heart fill with joy that two children of God, our brothers and sisters, have made their first step into the gate. It is such a blessing to be a part of it.

Sometimes as missionaries, people think that we are robots. That we don't have our own problems, that it is easy to make the right choice. I can testify without a doubt, life is still rough for us. We still make wrong choices, we still sin, but we have the Gospel. We can overcome it all. It isn't easy, but it is very possible. I love the opportunity to take the sacrament every Sunday, without it, I don't know if I could hold up.  I love being able to repent, change my life for the better.  I still have got a long way to go, but I know I am going the right direction. Something our President tells us. "it doesn't matter where you are at, it just matters which direction you are going." It is so great to know that even the vilest of sinners, can receive the same blessings as the most righteous,  if they are just willing to repent, and humble themselves before God. I know it is true, because I do it. Over and over again, and it works every time, if my heart is in it, if I am sincere.

mula sa inyong pinaka-poging anak,
Mahal ninyo,
si Elder Schroeder

P.S. sour patch kids or watermelons. Maybe coconut mnm's.... I definitely need beef jerky. That is the number one need here. Oh, if you could put a small money clip in that package too, I could use that. I lost mine somewhere.... just a metal one that I can use in my pocket, not like a wallet type or anything- just metal. They are super cheap (or at least should be) I can't find them here. Maybe a new tie. I am running out, keep giving them away to Filipinos.
Have I told you how much I love you recently? Because I sure love you A LOT!

February 11,  2014

Wow! I had no idea about Mr. Kimbarow, they will all definitely be in my prayers!
Yeah, sorry I forgot to tell you about the p-day switch.

Serving the Lord is the greatest opportunity I have ever had! This past week, Elder Woodburn and my work has really taken off! Working hard for so long with seemingly with no results sure is a test of faith... but we are now looking forward to three great baptisms coming up! and many many potentials on the same path. The field really is white and if we just thrust in our sickles with all our might, great sheaves will be placed upon our back! It is true, sometimes we feel like we work and work and work to no result. But the Lord is on our side. He is vitally concerned and intertwined in this work. Who else wants this work to succeed more than the person who sacrificed to make it all possible? He is helping and guiding this work.

"J" is heading to the gate of baptism faster than any investigator that I have ever seen before and he has so many great friends in the church already. We don't even need to as members do the
fellowshipping. They just do it because they actually LOVE him.  Then we have two part member families that with both have some teenagers baptized also "B" and "JC".  Part of our goal here in the Philippines is to "save the rising generation".. and these two have a great foundation in the gospel and are ready to make the steps. We have so so many great new investigators and progressing ones.... it is just so exciting to be a part of this work here. Hard work really does pay off. I would tell you about all the other investigators we have, but I am pretty low on time. I love you guys. This Church is true!
Love, Elder Schroeder

P.S. Super excited to see pictures of the beetle! I will send some pictures next week. Oh, and our exchanges with Elder Stephens and Belnap went great! Elder Stephens and I really worked well as a team together and got a lot of great work in that day. He is a good leader for sure. It is great to see how much knowledge he has of the gospel now and how much he has been able to grow just being baptized a few years ago. He will be a future leader in the Church for sure. It was weird talking about people back at home when we are over 7000 miles away from it... working together. It was a lot of fun for sure.

Love you all!

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