Monday, July 4, 2016

See you next week!

Hello Family!

Happy Independence Day!! 

Well this is strange. I think I might be able to email again next week but I dont know. So how it works is that I fly out early of monday morning from Puerto at like 6 am to Manila. So Sunday I will make my way to Puerto and spend the night there. Then to Manila. Monday, I think I will be in the office the most of the day, so I may be able to email there. Then departing actvities on Tuesday and Wednesday I fly out. It is weird how close this all is, and it is weird that I have been to so many departing activities before, but now it is my turn.... weird to think about. 

So this weeks spiritual insight has to do with the teachings of the Savior. I have a personal goal to finish every single study activity in preach my gospel, because people never do them (I only have 2 left).... So this insight comes from one of these activities. What you have to do is read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and 3rd Nephi. And you have to write down all of the questions that Jesus asks while he is teaching. It is amazing to look at the angle of His teaching in this way. It gave me a new perspective on the way Jesus Christ teach. As reading it, it seems like the answer is always so simple. When we ask questions, are the answers simple? Despite the answers being simple, they provoke deep thought and pondering. Many were amazed at the questions and parables that he gave. Do our questions provoke meaningful thought, or do they leave others confused? In other instances you see the question of the Savior entice judgement. For example, when being judged before Pilate, he asks a witness if he witnesses these things of himself, or if others told him to say these things. Regardless of the answer, self inspection on the side of the witnessing party and the accusing party would result. It is amazing, despite the simpleness of His questions, how thoroughly they were able to cause others to ponder their own salvation, their own sins, and what it is they should do to follow the commandments of God. It makes me think of how I teach, how often I ask questions, how I respond to others questions, and how easy my questions are to answer. I think it would be of great worth to all of us if we were to take a moment before we were to ask a question to ponder what we would feel like if we were asked the same question. 

Anyways, it is cool to look at the way the Savior teaches. One cool thing the church is doing right now is they have a new program to help teachers called "teaching in the saviors way." I want to read it. 

Sorry, I am all out of time to email. i love you all! Have a great week! I will see you next week!

Elder Schroeder

Tears of Joy!

6/26/16

Hello Family!

Things are going well here. Yes, president came this week and was able to visit with all of us. They went to thebaptism that   happened in the branch this Saturday. Elder Crowder and Elder Beltran were really happy that President was able to attend their baptism. It is interesting, I noticed this time how much differently people act in front of President. So many people wanted to take pictures with them... it was pretty funny. I told them they are like movie stars when they come out to visit in places like this. 

We have zone conference this week. We are going to be leaving today to go to puerto so that will be a good time. 
We are excited to be able to see the training and everything that is happening. It is going to be interesting to go to zone conference and not have to do the training. I am looking forward to it all! 

Having a senior couple here is such a great blessing they bring in a great spirit into the lessons. Here is an experience from this week.

We had a great experience this week with the Atkinson's. Elder and Sister went with us to a few appointments the other night, and we were able to teach this one family. The father is less active, his wife goes to church on and off, and they have a daughter that we are helping to get to baptism. Their daughter has been very close to being ready several times but has never had the support of her father. The Atkinson's had a good discussion with him, the problem was his work. At the end of the lesson, he said he would ask his boss for the day off because it was his birthday. At about 9:10 just before sacrament was about to start, we saw his wife and kids walking in and thought, oh no! He did not come. Just a few seconds later, we saw him walk in as well. I looked at the Atkinson's with a big smile, and they were filled with such great joy (they were both crying). I felt the spirit so strongly. This family has been prepared for the Atkinson's to really help them prepare to go to the temple. He used to never be willing to come out when the missionaries were there. Things are going really well with this family and we are hoping that this brother will be prepared soon to baptize his daughter. 
Heavenly Father prepares people in very interesting ways. He blesses us as we work together in love and unity. He is vitally concerned with the work of every single member of this church as we strive to accomplish the work of Salvation and Exaltation. 
The closer it gets to going home that weirder and weirder that I feel. It has gone by very fast. 

Love,

Elder Schroeder

Friday, June 24, 2016

Enjoying the work!!

6/19/16

Hello Family!

Wow! Lots of news this week in the email. That is great that Joy and her family were able the ride for Julie.  If you didn't hear, one of the counselors of President Ostler had to go home early because he found out that he had prostate cancer, but when he got to the states, it has since spread. Apparently his operation is happening really soon. Anyways, I would really like to visit him when I get back. They live in Utah so maybe on my way up to school I could stop there or something if it is not to much of a hassle.

About food when coming home. Something mexican possibly. Or steak. Steak is good. With all that good stuff. BBQ'd corn. Mashed potatoes. Stuff like that, or mexican food.

I have been enjjoying the work here a lot. Unfortunately, I got really sick this week. It took us out of the work for a whole day. I was super sick, but I am all better now and full of baptizing energy. So things are going well again. 

President Ostler is actually coming to Quezon this weekend.  He probably wants to help out the branch here because we have a lot of YSA preparing to serve missions. They just need some extra strength right now and a little push to get them out on missions. I think this is going to be the extra push. It will work too. Our branch is very excited! We are going to spend all day today cleaning our apartment so that things will be in tip top shape if our house gets checked this week. 

Some good news as well with the work here is that we got the senior couple moved here. The Atkinsons are now here in Quezon 24/7. This is going to be a really big help and strengthen a lot of members out here. We had 5 investigators at sacrament again this week and our 2 baptismal candidates are still eligible so we are praying hard for them. We are encountering some other problems here but we can work through all of them. 

Have a great week!
Love you all!

Elder Schroeder

Blessed in Quezon District!

6/12/16

Hello Family!

Thank you for registering for my classes! The schedule looks like it works out pretty well. Thanks for putting all the effort into that. 

This week was really great! I think as a district we had the best work that quezon district has had in the past year or more. We have been blessed with some very hard working missionaries here. In our area, we are working with a few people very closely as they get ready for baptism. We have 2 investigators that can probably be baptized before I go home. There are lot of others but they have more complex problems that still need to be worked out and it will probably take a little more time in order to do so. But the work is exciting here and we are able to always teach a ton of lessons. 

My companion is from a place called Tarlac (I am not sure on the spelling). It is on Luzon and is Tagalog, Ilocano and several other languages but he only speaks Tagalog. Yeah that is too bad that I was not able to have dinner with the Haynie's... there really isn't too much time for things like that as a missionary. 

I wish I could be there to see the bike ride for cancer thing. Way to go with the preparation for trek! You were not sore the next day? Hiking around Daley Ranch is always fun. 

I cannot believe all I have left is a month. I am trying not to count down but it is really hard not to when it is so close. Anyways, I try not to think about it. It is funny actually... my companion actually talks about what his plans are when he goes home a lot more than I do. It amuses me since he is still in his first area. 

Excited for the Padres game! That will be a lot of fun. Who are they playing?

Kyle isn't going to be able to come down for my homecoming is he? He told me that he probably couldn't come and with school or something, that it proabably will not be able to work out. I think they have finals that week or something. 

Have a great week!
Love,
Elder Schroeder

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New companion and training

6/6/16 

Hello po family!

I am slowly turning more filipino. 
I speak tagalog 24/7. I am teaching my companion how to cook filipino food and stuff like that. It is fun to train a Filipino when I can actually understand the language and everything else. It is a good relief. My companion's name is Elder Santos. I sent a picture earlier with some other ones. 

It is weird because is seems like I am going to be home in no time at all basically. 

This week was really good. We spent a lot of time waiting for our companions to come from the mainland. So we got to go to Puerto and spend a whole day there. I got to go by and see all the members in Santa Monica which was super great!! The District President said that he would feed me before I went home. So maybe the night that I am in puerto before I fly into the mainland, they might be able to feed me one last time. 
It is really great to serve the Lord. Everyone keeps joking about how close I am to dieing and how long I have been in the mission. I just remembered actually, since last transfer, I am the only person in the mission that even has met president Stucki before. 
It has taken a long time to finish off what I started but it has been worth every moment. 

I am all out of time for email this week. Sorry president had a ton of questions for me this week so it took me a long time to answer all of them in my weekly report. 

I love you all!
Elder Schroeder

P.S. I am super excited for trek!! 
Here are some pictures. 

Elder Santos and I 
The truck we took to get home from district conference. 

All of us in the back of the truck 

Sunset from our house

Monday, May 30, 2016

Great Week!!

5/30/16 
Hello there!

Wow! That looks like quite the schedule for school. I will be happy with whatever schedule you get me. I prefer on campus classes over online just so you know. Taking religion online is fine though....
Thank you for all that you are doing for me with school!

Lots of emails to write this week so I'm short on time. 

This week was great! We had 7 investigators at church! We are being blessed in the work and enjoying our time of service. 

Oh and by the way, I am going to be training a new missionary this next transfer. So Elder Hernandez is going to be transferred out this week. 

Lastly, we caught a rat, mouse, spider, and tuko (gecko) this week. The rat is a good story. The power went off at like 1am so our fans stopped working. Of course this made us all wake up because it was so hot. Then we heard something moving in the kitchen. So we got up and were running around the house trying to catch a rat at 1 am. We got it! Then went back to bed.

Love,
Elder Schroeder
 
                 spider that I caught

Here is a very interesting flower that we      found walking through the jungle,

A pet bird (wild) of some filipinos that they let Elder Hernandez hold. 

                             Gecko
This is where we held a sacrament meeting in a place called Malatgao (a future group that we are working on)



Witness of the Widow's Mite

5/23/16 
Hello!
This week was really good. We have caught a total of 7 mice in our house this week. And one rather large rat. We have been killing them in various humane ways. We caught all of them live with either a broom or sticky pads or other odd traps and things. It has been pretty fun chasing the mice around the house. We still have a rat in the house somewhere but he has not shown himself recently. We are working on catching him still. 

I like the idea of the exploring and stuff in Alaska. That would be a lot of fun. 

The work is going well! We had 6 investigators at church this week and 6 less active members go to church as well. It is great when we are able to help others to start making choices that bring themselves closer to God. We have a lot of people we are teaching and I am really enjoying it more than ever!

Here is my spiritual experience for the week. Three weeks ago, an older man maybe in his late 60's came up to Elder Hernandez and I and asked us to help him with something. He then took us into the library in the church. Then he took out his tithing slip and ten pisos and asked us to help him fill it out becausehe doesn't know how to read or write. I have been to this man's house and I know that they have nothing.  For his whole life he worked doing copra which is taking the husks of coconuts. He would get paid 200 pisos for every 1000 coconuts that he would husk. (He also let us try husking them which was pretty cool). I have witnessed the widow's mite in real life and it is defintinely true. 

Have a great week!
Love,
Elder Schroeder

1. Lechon baboy (roasted pig) at a birthday party. 
2. Look closely at the cat's back near the edge of the drum
3. This guy, former Elder Martinez, was companions with Taylor when he was still a new missionary.






Friday, May 20, 2016

Opportunities, Learning and Practice

5/15/16

Thank you for starting all of this for me, especially for the semester override. That is really good! It is a possibility to get into Med school but there are some challenges I'll have to work out- First, taking all of the classes to get a BS in Psychology while also fulfilling requirements to get into medical school would require me to take an extra 20+ credits on top of my degree. Second, yes BYU provo has better credentials. I would like to go to a really nice medical school, so that I have more options for residencies once out of medical school. If I were to stay at BYU idaho I would probably switch my major to chemistry. I don't think BYU Idaho has a biochemistry major. Maybe minors in Bio and Chemistry? 
It is a hard decision.... I am not sure but I need to decide soon right... If I were to stay at Idaho, I could have a full tuition scholarship next semester, I am pretty sure... 
I will think about it this week and let you know what I want to do.

I am excited for going to Alaska! That sounds like a ton of fun! You have no idea how excited I am for that. 

The work is going well in the area. Elder Hernandez is doing well and we are working hard. We were able to get some investigators to church this week! We had 4 at church and 2 seem really interested. One of them is for sure going to be baptized. The problem is that she lives pretty far away from the church and it is hard to be able to get out there and teach her, but I think it should work out. We are just going to have to spend a lot of time out there and it should be really great! We have been seeing good success in some areas of the work but been having a hard time with the other areas. I think the branch missionaries were afraid of me at first because the branch president told them that I was a former assistant and they thought I would have a rather rigid personality... so they were afraid to work with us.... But I think they are finally starting to realize that I am not like that, and we have a few ward missionaries that are really enjoying working with us now. 

Oh on another side note, This week at church I got to confirm a sister who was baptized this last week which was a really great experience. I was also able to be the last minute concluding speaker becuase the speaker didn't show up. Then I got to teach gospel principles. I really got to participate in the Sunday meetings well this week. That was a great learning opportunity. I can see how the Lord is teaching me teaching skills and allowing me all the practice that I need. 

I am excited for the trek too! It should be lots of fun. I remember when we did trek. Can you believe that was 4 years ago already! Is it going to be at the same place? 

It was a really good opportunity to be able to confirm someone a member of the church and to give them the opportunity to receive the holy ghost. I could feel the spirit guide me and help me in the blessings that were given to her. The priesthood is real and the power guides and directs the work of salvation and exaltation in this Church

Love you!

Elder Schroeder

Here are some pictures. Teaching Elder Hernandez how to safely pick up a jellyfish, a coconut orchard, and the bat we caught in our house this week



Insight on Revelation

5/8/16

Hello Family!

Thank you for sending the pictures! Looks really good! You both look really good and young and all that. 

That is a strange coincidence that you wrote about the chairs that santa brought last year... I remembered them last night as I was praying. It is odd that you remembered them too and wrote about them. I will get to sit down on one of them again here in a few months. Are they holding up well still? 

I don't really know what to say today because we just spoke yesterday. And it was great to see you!! 
 I am doing well and enjoying the time I have to serve. It is great to feel the spirit in such great abundance every single day! I hope that I can always have the spirit with me every day for the rest of my life. It is hard even as a missionary sometimes. And it is even harder when not on a mission. I would challenge you always strive to have the spirit with you every single day.

This week my spiritual insight is about prophecy. From accounts dating back to the earlier days of the church, many people often recall members prophesying great things in meetings and gatherings. Sometimes I feel like the word prophecy scares us, like it is something reserved for only apostles and prophets. It is true that they all have the gift of revelation and prophecy, but as members of the restored church, we are also entitled to a certain amount of revelation and prophecy, within specific bounds. If you listen carefully in sacrament meetings and other gatherings, you will hear those that are spiritually mature deliver prophetic messages. By prophetic, I do not mean that they are prophets or entitled to become one, but prophecy and revelation are spiritual treasures that we can all receive. Listen carefully to those that are seasoned spiritually and you will hear it. You will feel that it is true. Because we always have a presiding authority (either a key holder or someone acting under the authority of such) at church meetings, we can rest assured that these spiritual promptings taught, will be correct and true, unless corrected by the presiding authority. We do need to be careful when delivering a message or testimony of this nature, but we do not need to be scared to do so. The spirit will always guide us and help us to know what is truth and what is not. 

I am very excited for the future of the church here in Palawan. I have served here for almost 10 months now and I have seen the church grow so much! I have seen groups start, a branch formed, a branch split, and the day is fast approaching for Puerto Princesa to become a stake. I have spoken to some of the very first members here on Palawan and helped baptize some of the newest. One individual that we baptized in my very first area is on a mission, and another individual that I interviewed for baptism left on her mission just last month. The church is growing fast here. I can see the day when there are branches and wards are scattered all throughout this island and penetrate the hundred of islands that have not yet even heard the gospel yet. It is great to be part of such a great and marvelous work!

I hope you have a great week!
Love,
Elder Schroeder

Prayers...

May 1, 2016
This week has been another great week! Bad news though... Elder Hernandez has some sort of leprosy on his feet... So we have not been able to work. We actually don't know if it is leprosy. I was just saying that to scare you. He is taking antibiotics and is being taken care of well. His feet look a lot better than they did before so we should be able to start working this week. Your prayers for Elder Hernandez would be much appreciated so we can get out and start working. 
I have been able to work with the elders that are in our bordering area though which has been nice. I am really able to teach these Elders a lot. It is a great blessing to be able to help them to learn. The oldest missionary in our district excluding me has been out 9 months, and there is only one filipino. So they have a lot to learn still with the language and culture, but they are all great missionaries. We really enjoy being able to serve together. I may be conducting exchanges with the Rizal elders here in the next week or two. I am excited for that.

About the mothers day call. I will be calling on Sunday at about 1 or 2 our time. So you can expect a call around that time. We have permission to check out email on Friday if you need to change plans... and we can make the call any day on Saturday, Sunday or Monday here. So we are pretty flexible. We will check our email again on Friday to make sure everything is all good still, otherwise, just expect the call at that time. 

Interviews this week were really good. I got to teach the budgeting class to the narra zone and I think it will really help. I am also helping Elder Hernandez and the other Elders in our house to learn that better as well. It is going to help a lot. 

I am still praying for Joy's mom. It is really sad to hear that it may be that close. I hope she is taking it well. It is so great to have the gospel and to know the Plan of Salvation. I know that we will be able to see her again if we live faithful. 

For BYUI,  I cannot think of anything that you need to ask. Just be sure to mention that I am preparing to go into a bachelors degree program for Biochemistry. 

Sorry, this email was a lot longer.... but the computer lost internet connectivity and I lost about half the email. So I am all out of time. The draft that was saved did not return all the way. I had a cool spiritual insight on here but now it is gone and I have no time to rewrite it. 

For the school stuff. Just make sure that I get classes that will prepare me for biochem. Also bio 180 and chem 101 or 105 with a lab Is what I would like to take. Please do your best to make sure I get good professors. ratemyprofessor.com is what I use. Sid can help you out with this if you need help. Sorry this email is sort of lame... I wrote a lot more earlier but its gone now:/  have a great week!
Elder Schroeder
I love you! and thanks for the recipes!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

New Area- Quezon, Palawan

4/24/2016
Hello Family!
So I am not really use to emailing here in the field. The computers are a lot slower so I don't get as much time actually typing. So I am running short on time and this email may be a little shorter than regular. 
My companion is Elder Hernandez. He is from Las Vegas and is Hispanic. He is super nice likes to joke around. We have already been able to have a lot of fun and are going to keep having lots of fun in the next few months. It is weird to think how close I am to going home. The thing is that I don't have any time to really think about it because I am busy training and working hard.  I'm going to help  Elder Hernandez's with learning Tagalog. I hope to be able to help him out a lot. 
He is great though and it is a lot of fun to be his companion. 
This week was great. Yes,  I stayed an extra day to help with training and orientating the new missionaries. I got to drive the departing missionaries around all day too, which was great. And then on Wednesday afternoon I went to Palawan and escorted two new missionaries there where they are also going to be trained. 

It is really great to be back in the field. The word must have gotten out because the whole branch knows that I was an assistant. It is super awkward but it will stop eventually. It is a big part of the culture in the church here. Filipinos often aspire to be assistant when they find out that you were an assistant.... It's a big deal for them anyway, just an interesting fact here. 

The area is about 3 to 4 hours away from puerto and you have to take these shuttle vans. They pack you in pretty tight and the air conditioning isn't quite strong enough but it is not too bad. It is about the same size as santa monica and there are a lot of people that live here. I am really looking forwad to the work here. 
One thing that is not so good here is that there is no running water during the day. This is because there is a drought right now and they do it to conserve water. So we have to stockpile water in buckets and bottles and stuff to be able to have enough water to shower at night. I really like it here though and we are going to get a lot done and have fun. 
Sorry, running out of time to email!

Love you! 
Elder Schroeder

I hope you had a great birthday!
I have been to taytay before too by the way! It's awesome theybordganized a new branch! 
I am sorry you didn't get that job :( I was praying for you. 

We are going into puerto for interviews this week. Staying in a hotel called GoHotel

Here is a picture of Me, Elder Crowder, Elder Erwin and Elder Hernandez (left to right). 


The next picture is us 4 assistants after our day of orientation (right before I left to palawan). 


New Assignment

4/17/2016
Hello Everyone!
I have an announcement! 
I am transferring... any guesses? Paranaque? Bonifacio? Manila? Pasay? nope! I am going back to Palawan! It should be my very last area. I am excited needless to say. I think I am the only missionary to ever be assigned on Palawan 3 times. I will be there for a whole year in total. I am really excited to go there. I am going to be serving on the more southern part of the island, where I have never been before. I have seen the whole northern half, now I will get to see the whole southern half. I will be a district leader in a branch called quezon. I will also be able to conduct exchanges with the furthest south part of the mission that is open for missionary work. It is called rizal. So that will be a lot of fun to be able to do. I will get to see the whole island basically. 

There have been two new assistants called to replace me. Elder Whittle will be in a threesome with the new assistants. Elder Leofo (Samoan) and Elder Garcia (Filipino). They are both really great Elders and are going to be able to do a lot of great work in their area.

Congratulations to Casey! Is he going to start looking for work somewhere or start a business? 

Happy birthday too to Cathy! It is weird that Kyle has been home for a year now already. He sent me a picture of Cathy grinding a metal propane tank. I guess they are making a BBQ or something like that... it should be interesting. 

Yes, you should really start getting in shape for trek. I guess I need to do the same thing... I am in shape and all just not as in shape as I could be. Anyways, I am excited to be able to go on the trek with you. It will be a lot of fun! 

For the voucher, I don't know where else I could go to... the problem is that I really wouldn't have anyone to go with. It doesn't really matter to me. I was possibly thinking that I could go up to college a little bit early to be able to look for a phlebotomy job before the semester starts. I don't know if you already had plans about how I was going to get up to Idaho or anything though. I would like to visit the east coast sometime and see all the historical stuff over there. Or go see the sacred grove. That would be fun  or I could fly over to Arizona and visit summer's family. Maybe I could arrange a ride along with Glen? Well, I think that is enough of ideas. Alaska would be the best though! 
How much was my scholorship/grant for?  just curious

I am glad dad has been doing well with sanding jobs. I miss getting my hands dirty.
I hope you can get the new job as a Behavior Technician. That would be really great! You would do really well. 
You may have noticed that I withdrew last week from my account. Just letting you know that it was me, not some crazy person that robbed me. 

This week was really good. Things always seem to kind of just stay busy here. Nothing really ever winds down here in the office. Interviews are coming up though so the new assistants will be super busy. They got me to teach a class though when we have interviews on Palawan. So I am not really quite out of it. President's expectations for the work in Quezon are really high. He is expecting the whole branch and district to catch on fire. I really hope that I can do well.

As for my spiritual insight this week... It comes from what I shared in our meeting earlier. I was chosen (since it is my last few days in the office) to give the spiritual insight for the beginning of our meeting. On preparation days, I have been reading the book you sent me Patience Loader Rozsa Archer and it has been great!

I shared this scripture and it brought immediately into my mind all the stories that I have read so far from her journals. It is in Alma 34 when Amulek is teaching the impoverished people among the Zoramites who have been casted out of the churches and synagogues and not allowed to worship like the more well off affluent zoramites. 
He says, 39. Yea, and I also exhort you, my brethren, that ye be watchful unto prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing. 40. And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions; that ye do not revile against those who do cast you out because of your exceeding poverty, lest ye become sinners like unto them;
41. But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions.
I remembered the story Patience wrote about a general that wrote everything into her name in his will... and she gave all of it up on the call to gather zion. Before that, she lost a job at a hotel and was persecuted by her own sister as well as other friends and acquaintances around her. After giving up what was accounted to be a large fortune, she made the trek with her family across the ocean in the which her cousin died and was buried at sea. Later (in the part I haven't read yet) she suffers hunger, fatigue and the loss of her father to be obedient to the call of God. During the whole time, she would always say she was so blessed to have found the true church and to have a loving Heavenly Father. You can just feel the spirit as you read her words of her heartfelt testimony. I am sure it was not easy at the time she actually experienced these things, but in her later years, she could not help but thank God for how much she was blessed throughout her whole life. Patience had a testimony in the words of Amulek that one day, if we bear with patience our afflictions, we will be able to rest from all. 

Thank you for the email! I love you!
Elder Schroeder

P-day Malacañan Palace


4/17/2016 

Here are some pictures from our trip to Malacañan Palace this week!
It was really cool to go there and learn some more about the History of the Philippines. The tour guide was impressed because I answered a few of his questions and things about the history of the presidents and things like that. 
It is pretty amazing! The palace was actually built by America (using Filipino laborers). It has become the symbol of executive power in the Philippines. America has really contributed a lot to the development of the country. 
 
Sending you another email in a bit. Have a mtg., then I send it. 


  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Unique experiences...


4/10/2016 

Hello Family! 
We just finished an office staff meeting and our meeting with president. We just started planning training for interviews that will start again next transfer. We also talked about some other things and it seems like I am going to be transferred. President of course said that he does know yet, but it really sounds to me like I am transferring. Enough talk about that though, it is not for sure yet. I could be staying here. Wherever I am needed, there I will go. 

This was a good week and I enjoyed being able to watch conference. Conference was super good! If I had to pick one thing from conference that I got in general it would be this: We need the power of more members entering the new and everlasting covenant to protect us from the increasing influence of the adversary. Everything we do as members should point to preparing those who have not yet become part of this covenant to become ready, and for those that have entered into the covenant, to continue to live worthy to receive the power available through the covenant. (you may think that means I want to get married, but its not). All the efforts that we do as members point to that moment where two individuals enter into the most powerful, sacred and binding covenant. This covenant is eternal and supernal, and all who area an appendage of it have the opportunity to receive the power to become like Captain Moroni, an enemy to the Son of the Morning, able to make Satan tremble at the very thought. Our eyes and minds need to be centered on the temple.

I feel like the brethren have really been focusing on this in preparation for the coming days and all the diverse forms of temptation that will cause many to be lost in strange paths. 

I don't think I would ever want to run for president. 

Thank you for taking care of all my school stuff!

Yes, I got some answers to some specific questions. It was pretty cool actually. I don't remember if I told you, about last conference. I had written down a question I wanted an answer to which was, What should my career be? And in the conference three doctors spoke back to back all sharing experiences from their careers. I thought, oh maybe that was just a strange coincidence... So I had the same question this time around, "What should my career be?" And the very first speaker that we got to listen to was Russel M. Nelson, who shared another experience about his profession as a surgeon. I have been praying about it, and I am getting more and more sure this is what I should do. So that has been a really good experience for me. It may be good also to note that I have not just been expecting some sort of sign or miraculous vision or anything of the sort, but I have been praying earnestly for a long time, and the spirit has told me in silent ways and confirmed it in my heart and mind. He has also used His servants to tell me in another small way, that I should pursue this course. That has been a unique experience to me seeing how God works through both His servants and His Holy Spirit. 

I love you all! Sorry my email is short.

Elder Schroeder

4/12/2016 

Proud mom moment!! 
A post on Facebook from Sister Ostler:
"The Hansens just sent pictures of our wonderful assistants' apartment!  Wow!  They are a great example!  Having three couples helping with housing checks has really improved the quality of cleanliness throughout the mission.  Apartments that pass inspections get free cleaning solution and even treats sometimes!  :)  You moms should be proud!" 

I recognized Elder Schroeder's belongings all neat and orderly:) Way to go Son!!! 




Busy in the office...

4/3/2016
Hello Family!

This week has been super busy. It seems like things just get more and more busy the longer that I stay in the office. We had departing activities for a few missionaries this last week. We took a missionary in from the India mission who will be finishing his mission in Boston. We had our very last zone conference which was great, and then we had another missionary who has been wiating here for his visa for 5 months finally be able to go back to India. We have several other visas that are being processed for other missionaries and they will be heading off to their missions soon as well. 
We are kind of the satellite mission for all the other countries around here because we have all of the main government agencies around and the airport is in our mission. So we handle most of the odd things like that when dealing with a lot of missionaries waiting for visas and things like that. It is an interesting experience.  

Anyways, I am enjoying the work here and learning a lot still. I am learning a ton about myself and the spirit and the Plan of our Heavenly Father. 

How are things looking with school? When does registering for classes start. I need to make sure that I get all the classes that I need in order to qualify for my AA before transferring. So if you could double check on the requirements and see what I am missing for an associate of sciences to make sure that I get all those required classes. Sidney and Kyle can help with that I am sure. 

The work is moving along, we had another 11 new investigators this week and are looking forward to all of their progress. We found one man last night who seems really promising and very intelligent. He seems like he is really open to learn and become a member eventually when he receives his answer. We have a few others that we are really excited for in this area. One man that is getting close to baptism. He has been to church 4 weeks now but we haven't been able to teach him much yet. Wealso  have another one who has been to church on and off for the last 6 or 7 months. MLC is this week so we are looking forward to being able to go forward and help the mission to make some big improvements. I really feel like this MLC is going to be a great one. 

Anyways, sorry I have been running back and forth from the computer with office staff meeting and meetings with President to plan training. So I am finally going to be able to get my email off right now, I think.

Here is my spiritual insight for the week. It comes from personal study this week and the words of Job. As we know Job, he was blessed tremendously by the Lord, and it was all taken away in an instant. All of his livelihood and those dearest to him destroyed in a single instant. After which, he developed various skin diseases and was abhorred by all those around him. Despite the revilement and jeering off his former friends and acquaintances, Job continued to praise the Lord and glorify His name. Directly following the ridicule of several rich and honored men and a response of Job, a man named Zophar offers this great teaching.  
5. That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment? 6. Though his excellency mount up to the heavens, and his head reach unto the clouds; 7. Yet he shall perish like his own dung: they which have seen him shall say, Where is he?" (Job Chapter 20). Despite the nature and false accusation of what Zophar said to Job, the teaching remains true. That those who are brought up in pride because of worldly success shall be brought down to be low, and in the day of judgement, shall be counted as naught. The bounds of the Atonement of our Savior are endless and ever-reaching, but continue only in the direction of righteousness. To say that the Atonement is infinite and eternal is only held true for that which judgement AND mercy can be applied. If pride prevents one to be humble, then we will find ourselves outside the bounds of an infinite atonement. We must seek to be like Job and ever rejoice in the redeeming power of our Savior so that we may find ourselves within the bounds that He has set. The spirit continues to teach me and help me to understand the scriptures in a new light.

Have a great week! I love you all!

Elder Schroeder

By the way the pictures from the going home activities were an odd off transfer day. The next transfer day is on April 20th. President said today that I will most likely be transferring "unless he changes his mind." So I will probably have a new area here in a few weeks. Wherever it is, I am excited to go and serve. 

Love you all!


Friday, April 1, 2016

Philippines= The Pearl of the Orient

March 28, 2016

Hello Family!

This week was all good here! We have had extra missionaries staying with us at our house this week on and off. i am learning a lot about selfless service and good things like that. 

Anyways, I am at a loss of words for this week and I am not really sure what it is that I should say in my email this week. We are teaching a lot of people and we had 20 new investigators this week. That means that we taught 20 new people for the first time this week. We have really been blessed to be able to find a lot of people to be able to teach this week. It is a great blessing to serve in a land where people are so willing to listen and to have time to learn from us. 

I am really enjoying the work here and having fun doing lots of different things. We finished another zone conference this week and everything went really well. We have the last zone conference this week and I am really excited for this last one to be over. We also have a batch of missionaries going home this week, we have a temple day, and we have exchanges this week. So we will be super busy this week like normal. 

Yes by the way, my plans are to go to a semester at BYU-I and then to transfer to Provo. (at least I am pretty sure).  Is that 1962 impala for me? haha... kidding. I hope you have a fun time up in Idaho. Don't freeze to death out there. 

This week, a spiritual experience comes from all the new investigators that we had this week. I remember something from our conference with Elder Maynes. He explained to the missionaries that if Elder Haynie and he were to go outside, that they could find someone to teach in 5 minutes. The faith and the power that those two men have made an impression on my mind. I always would think to myself or doubt, how receptive are the Filipino people? Is it really that easy to find a new person to teach. This week, we were able to have 20 new investigators. One week, several months ago, Elder Burgos and I were able to have 22 new investigators. My faith has grown immensely, and I can now also say, "give me 5 minutes, and I can find someone new to teach." The people here are so receptive to the gospel. I understand that not everyone will be prepared to accept the message and to really take it into their heart and mind. However, this Pearl of the Orient is a blessed land and prepared for missionaries and for this work to go forth with great power and great haste. It is such a blessing to have been chosen to serve here for a short period, and I pray that I can make the most of my time here. God has prepared these people to listen to the message of the restored gospel. 

As a side note, you may remember from an email of mine some time ago that the Philippines is referred to by the brethren as "The Pearl of the Orient." I learned this week that in the Philippine National anthem, they refer to the Philippines as "perlas ng silanganan" which means, pearl of the far east. I can testify, this is the pearl of the far east and is crucial to the preparation of missionary work in this part of the world. Great things will be brought to pass as the Philippines becomes and area of strength!

Thank you for all the prayers and emails!
I love you all!
Elder Schroeder

Easter Week

March 23, 2016

Hello family!

Well there are quite a few things that they do different here for Easter. There are a few places that do a few different things. One interesting one is that there is a place where some people actually volunteer to be "crucified" for a short period of time to represent what Jesus did for us. So there are literally people who are crucified for a few minutes with nails and everything. Another one thing that people do is really different is that there are some other people that beat themselves over their own backs with whips... then once it is all swollen and red and puffy, they cut themselves on their back (they do this so it draws a lot of blood to the skin, so when it is cut it bleeds a lot more than it normally would). So those are some pretty extreme things that they do here that are not really anywhere else. The Catholic days like Ash wednesday, palm sunday, and good friday are really the biggest focus here. Whereever you go in the Philippines there are thousands of people that go to church on these days. So it is interesting to see so many catholics go to church. All of the filipinos also buy little woven pieces of palm frongs and hang them up in their houses until they buy new ones on palm sunday the next year. So almost everyone has dried out woven pieces of palm frongs hung up in their house all year round. They also do something called the "Black Nazarene" (but they do this all year around regardless). They have a statue of Jesus bearing the cross (it is called black because his skin on the statue is black and he has curly hair) and then they lift up that statue and everyone worships it. I have a few videos of it, remind me and i will show you what that is like when i get home. So thats a few things that they do different here than in the states. 

Oh yes we went to Palawan this last week. I forgot to tell you that we were going. It was good. We got fed by the Branch President in Santa Monica. They always make fun of me because of how many times I have come back there. Idon't  know if they will ever forget me out there. I have been back there so many times now. haha. I don't know if I will ever get to go back though. That was probably my last time. But I actually do not know yet. It is not for sure yet but I think that I will be transferred this next upcoming transfer. Hopefully, if I do,  I will get to train. That would be a great blessing. 

I remembered this week that you had your anniversary. I hope it was nice! 32 is a lot! I am afraid to say that you are getting "old." No no I am just kidding, give it one more year.

I am really looking forward to driving Dad's car. It looks great!!! 

It is weird everyone I know seems to be getting married or finding someone to get married to.

Anyways, here is my spiritual thing for the week!

One spiritual experience for this week comes from my study of the scriptures. I was reviewing a story that I enjoy in the Old Testament as I was contemplating one of our investigators struggling with a law of chastity problem that he has. I was reading the story of Jephthah the Gileadite. He was the captain of the armies of Israel and had made a promise to God. If he would be made successful in the upcoming battle, he would sacrifice unto God the first thing that came out of his house upon his return. These are his words:
 " 30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands,
 31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering."
He was blessed by the Lord according to his promise as recorded in verse 32, "¶So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the Lord delivered them into his hands." At this point he returns to his home and "his daughter came out to meet him ... and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.
 35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back." 
Jephthah made a specific promise unto the Lord, and he knew with all of his heart that he needed to fulfill the promise that he had made. Despite how hard it must have been and despite the pain that he felt after a short period of lamentation, Jephthah fulfilled his promise made unto the Lord. The scpriture states, "39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed." 
As I was reading this, I thought to myself, "what am I willing to sacrifice in order to fulfill MY promises unto God?" As members, we have all made certain sacred promises with God. He expects us to keep them. There are no loop-holes, no ways around it, no alternative terms by which we can satisfy those promises, except by the way He has set and through His son. We must be willing to sacrifice all disobedience and show him that we truly love him. 
The spirit often points things out to me that I need to sacrifice and give up to be obedient and fulfill my promises. It is a wonderful gift to have that guidance and to seek to magnify it always. I invite you to do the same.

Well, that is all I have got for this week.
I love you all! 
Elder Schroeder