Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Interesting Experiences... Change in Perspective...

Hello Family!

Being the "old man" in the mission is interesting. Mostly everyone that I know in the mission is going home either this transfer or the next. And all the people who are old in the mission, despite having a lot more mission experience than me, still sort of look up to me. It is a weird feeling and I haven't quite figured it out yet. I feel like my experiences are going to be a great blessing as I am able to help those around me to learn more about the Atonement. I get more emotional in my teaching now and it's strange. I find my eyes watering often when I testify of the Savior. I always thought that I wasn't one to cry but I guess that's changing a bit. I feel like I need to say something really manly now to make up for that last comment. The spirit is invited into my teaching much more now than it ever has been before. I can really relate well now to people that I meet who are dealing with challenging times. It is a huge blessing for sure.

That's cool that I got a letter from the prophet! It's funny haha, I am already in the mission when the letter comes. It's a pretty simple letter. Thanks for sending a picture of it. That's pretty unique.

This week has been...... interesting. Lots of stories. And I suppose that these stories illustrate the some of the problems that are typical to the Philippines. On Monday last week, we were walking down the street and a lady yells "yeahhh baby" to us from the side of the street (which happens pretty often actually).... but then as we look over we quickly realize that she was flashing us. We sped up our pace a bit and looked away. Lets just say that she was a rather large lady. And I'll leave it at that. Another story. We got on a jeepney going to part of our area and a little kid gets on to beg for money. We aren't allowed to give him any according to mission rules. So he keeps begging and the driver and barker both get mad. (a barker is the guy who stand outside the jeep and yells trying to get more people on the jeep). So the driver hits the kid with a piece of wood and the barker punches him in the back. (this kid is probably 14 years old). So the kid leaves. Then out of nowhere the barker gets hit with a big gulp cup full of pee. The kid then proceeds to get his butt handed to him by one of the barker's nearby friends.

There are a lot of problems here... but there is also a lot of good.

Elder Dodini and I were talking about this the other night. In America or any other first world country, there are many people who don't believe in God. They say, "if there is a God, how could he allow so many bad things to happen? How could He allow poverty in the Philippines? How could he allow a holocaust?" Or things like that. Those things aren't prevalent so much in the states. But when you come here to the Philippines (or in other similar countries) where those things are prevalent. Poverty everywhere, and low standards of living, you see that those are the people who believe most in God. They are the ones that are living the criticisms of first world countries and they see that God is real. Those who live in the states, or Europe, or wherever there is a lot of prosperity, have a very limited perspective. It destroys their faith in God when it should strengthen it. Our problems are little compared to those here. And those here still have greater faith than almost all that live in better circumstances. It really changes your perspective to live among the loving people of the Philippines. They have their vices too, just like Americans, but at least their faith remains in the face of difficulty and hard times.

Besides that, the area is doing well. God has really been working hard preparing this Area for Elder Dodini and I. I will let you know next week more about our investigators because most are still pretty early in the teaching. We have a lot of promising looking investigators though. It is going to be a fun transfer!

Elder Schroeder

Here are some pictures:

Me with a bunch of kids

Elder Dodini kissing a lovely dog

Picture of us in a crowd of people who are worshiping an idol.

I look pretty tired in the pictures but I promise I'm not. I'm doing good!!

Hello Family!

Happy Birthday Pops!!

This week was interesting. Have a lot more stories again. I don't think a week will go by in this area without having any new strange stories. I will spare you this one due to the nature of the story. Let's just say that it was something that no missionary should ever see and not appropriate to share.

Transfers were also this week. Elder Dodini and I are staying together for another transfer and we are both happy about that. We are pretty good friends now. We got two new elders. One American and one Filipino. Elder Calixto (the Filipino lives with us in the bahay) and Elder Barnes is in the other ward in our district. He is going home at the end of this transfer.

I also got to give a talk on Sunday in sacrament meeting. I spoke for about 15 minutes on fathers, families, and how we can better teach the importance of Christ in our homes. It was based a lot on an article in the June Liahona called, How we Preach of Christ in our home. (Link to the article )
I told the story of when Kyle and I caught the fort on fire and related it to how my parents taught me the difference between right and wrong. It was a pretty good talk, I think. Everyone was asking me how long I had been in the mission after the talk. I'm not sure if that means my Tagalog was good or bad. haha.

So as far as the work goes, we have some really promising investigators! I am going to tell you about three of them. 
The "T" family are super awesome!! They were being taught before I got here but are super nice and really intelligent people. They really love when we come to teach them and they went to church this week. Sister T was fellowshipped really well by the RS. Brother T enjoys speaking English to us, which is fun. They understand really well what our purpose is with them and realize the high possibility of them getting baptized. The only problem is that the sister is super busy with work. So we are working that out with her.

The next is a new investigator we have. Her name is "AJ" she has been prepared so well for our message. She was asking the perfect questions and I don't doubt that she will be baptized. She is 21 and is about to take her examination for electrical engineering, super smart. We are also teaching her family.

Lastly is "A". He is the husband of an endowed member. The first lesson we taught him he said that he felt something different when I showed him the pictures of my family. He said he had deja vu. Like he had seen those pictures before. He has been taught by many many many missionaries before and said he hasn't ever felt the Spirit but that he did when we were there. His only problem is that he is really really busy with work. He said he was going to go to church but he ended up getting home from work at 4am Sunday morning. So he was too tired to go. We just need to pray that the Lord will provide a way for him. He is a great guy and will be baptized I'm sure. It just may take a little while.

So I think that's all I've got for this week.

Remember that we all need to follow the Savior and Repent for all our sins like King Benjamin says in Mosiah 4:10 Read it, live it, and you'll be happier. Simple as that.

I love you all! You're in my prayers! Have a great week!
Elder Schroeder

p.s. That looks like the Sierra trip was a ton of fun!! We will have to plan a boys trip, when I get back.

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