Sunday, January 17, 2016

What matters most...

Yeah Courtney is just about to go home. Time sure does go by fast! Her friend actually got dengue two weeks ago if you didn't  know that. So they have been in the hospital. But she seems like she is having fun on her mission. I know a couple of the going home missionaries in our zone here pretty well so it is going to be sad to see all of them go this next transfer... including my companion. I hope I get to see him after my mission. He is such a great missionary and I don't know if I will ever even get to see him after he goes home, but it will all be good. 

Wow! That is super good that you were able to go and help the Roper's out. I guess they are probably going to be moving pretty soon or going to a home or something like that. They have been really good neighbors... never had to worry about loud parties with them haha. 

That is great that Kyle e was able to speak in Bear Valley ward this week. I am sure he did a great job. 

I will have to think of what it is that I am going to send home in the next few weeks. It will have to be soon because otherwise I won't be able to get it to her in time....

So for my spiritual insight for the week. I just have one small quote from M. Russel Ballard. He said, "What matters most is what lasts the longest." We can use this simple quote to prioritize the things we do in life. For example, playing a video game gives you enjoyment only during the moment in which you are playing. And quickly leaves when the game is done. Playing basketball gives enjoyment during the game, and can give enjoyment afterwards as you enjoy better health. Being baptized can provide a lifetime of enjoyment through the Gift of the Holy Ghost and further blessings in the life to come. Being married in a temple of God for eternity makes an eternity of enjoyment possible. If we think about our actions and ask ourselves, "How long will this last?" we can kow what is of no worth, what is important, and what is absolutely necessary in our lives. And if we make a priority those things that last for eternity, then we will receive blessings that will likewise last for eternity.

I love you all!
Thank you for all that you do!

Elder Schroeder

1. philippine flag at the american war memorial cemetery
2. a picture of some writing on a wall

P.S. this is where Elder Hinckley dedicated the Philippines for missionary work.
Here is a short excerpt from a talk I found on it. from augusto a. lim in 1992 general conference

I would like to express my love and appreciation to my eternal companion for the support and love that she has completely extended to me through all these years of membership in this Church. I suppose many of you already know I came from the Philippines, home to close to 67 million people, the Pearl of the Orient, but now a land devastated by earthquakes, typhoons, floods, and even volcanic eruptions. But I will not, however, talk about the calamities that have caused much hardship and tested the faith of our people, but I would rather talk about the great spiritual blessings that have been experienced in abundance as the gospel is spread in the land.

The restored gospel was first introduced by Latter-day Saint servicemen and women while serving in the Philippines near the end of World War II, but missionary work officially started in the Philippines (from the records of the Southern Far East Mission) on April 28, 1961, when Elder Gordon B. Hinckley, then a member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, met with a small group of members at the American War Memorial Cemetery in the suburbs of Manila to offer a prayer invoking the blessing of the Lord on the missionary work in the Philippines.

Before giving his prayer, President Hinckley, in a brief talk, made this prophetic statement: “What we begin here will affect the lives of thousands upon thousands of people in this island republic, and its effects will go from generation to generation for great and everlasting good.” (Philippine Islands Area Conference, Aug. 1975, p. 20.)

After his brief remarks, President Hinckley offered a prayer in which he said:

“We invoke Thy blessing, Father dear, upon the missionaries who shall come here, that Thy Spirit may touch their hearts, that their lives may be clean and virtuous, that their examples may be marvelous before the people, that they may be blessed, as it were, with the ‘gift of tongues,’ that they shall speak the language of the people, that they shall work with singleness of purpose to Thy name’s honor and glory, that they shall go forth without fear, that none shall stay them, and that they shall declare with teaching and testimony, the restoration of Thy holy work for the blessing of Thy children. Father, give them joy and courage and faith and satisfaction in their labors, and make them fruitful.

“We invoke Thy blessings upon the people of this land, that they shall be friendly and hospitable and kind and gracious to those who shall come here, and that many, yea Lord, we pray that there shall be many thousands who shall receive this message and be blessed thereby. Wilt Thou bless them with receptive minds and understanding hearts, and with faith to receive, and with courage to live the principles of the gospel, and with a desire to share with others the blessings which they shall receive. We pray that there shall be many men—faithful, good, virtuous, true men—who shall join the Church and who shall receive the blessings of the priesthood, and who shall accept and grow in leadership, that Thy work here shall be handled largely by local brethren, under the direction of those who hold the keys in this day and time, according to the law and order of Thy church.” (Gordon B. Hinkley, “Commencement of Missionary Work in the Philippines.”)

A few days after that historic meeting, the first four full-time missionaries arrived from the Southern Far East Mission based in Hong Kong. From a handful of members in 1961, the Church in the Philippines has since grown at a remarkable rate, now increasing by more than two thousand members per month. As a result of close correlation by the full-time missionaries and members, membership is now three hundred thousand distributed in forty-eight stakes, sixty-five districts, and thirteen missions. Five of the thirteen mission presidents and all the eight regional representatives, all stake and district presidents are now native Latter-day Saints. Sixty to 70 percent of the more than two thousand full-time missionaries now laboring in the field are also native Latter-day Saints. And now, standing majestically in an elevated grounds overlooking a valley where hundreds of thousands live in the heart of Metro Manila, is the Manila Philippines Temple.

Hope you enjoyed it. It is really great to stand in the same spot in which missionary work started in the whole Philippines! and to know that it was dedicated at that very spot

love you all!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Busy week and enjoying it!!

Hello Family!

This week is going to be a busy one. I am doing really well and feeling a lot more comfortable with my leadership responsibilities. So that is good. I can't believe that I have been here for about 8 weeks now. It is weird how fast time flies when you are always busy and have no spare time. I am going to be happy when I don't have to look at my watch every 10 minutes. We are always squeezing our time to get the most out of it. 
I am enjoying the work a ton! We found out this week that one of the families that Elder Burgos reactivated just got sealed in the temple. And my trainer, Elder Avila, just got married in the Manila temple on Saturday! I cannot believe it! He got married to the girl that he would always tell me about way back even in our first areas. That was over 2 and a half years ago!
And then Kyle is also getting married. Everyone I know seems to be getting married. And that is a big focus we have here in the mission too. Temple sealings are the goal here for this mission. We have pictures up here in the office for all the return missionaries that are married and all of the families (recent converts and returned members) that have been sealed in the temple. Every week the board gets more and more full with pictures of families at temples. It is a really great blessing to see and experience as I am working here to do the same. 

I can't believe that President Koster is going to be assigned bordering our mission! I don't know if i will get to see him or not though. That is really cool though. I will know three of the mission presidents here, and all but one of the area presidency. 
Anyways.... I am pretty much out of time.... 
oh on a side note, our battery died in our car yesterday. So we got a new one today. so thats that. They use no maintenance batteries here in the mission so they tend to go bad every now and then. 
Ah we had MLC this week which was really good. Second MLC down and everything went really well. It was different this time because president gave Elder Burgos and I about three hours of the whole meeting to present training and to practice teaching with the whole MLC. We set up the whole meeting and selected topics that we thought the mission needed with President approval So it was really interesting to really make everything and get everything ready for a meeting like that. I only have one more with elder Burgos and then I will have my new companion. Then if anything ever goes wrong then it will be my fault. I am nervous but feeling pretty good. My companion will be great whoever it is.

And the work is going well. We had 3 investigators at church this week... highest since elder burgos and I have been here. And we are looking to have 5 next week, or more. We are going to be super busy and not get as much time to work this week though so we need your prayers. We taught a lot of really good lessons this week and have a few people that are getting ready for making some covenants. It has been a great few weeks to be able to work a lot and take a small rest for New Years from having such an intense schedule. I am excited to welcome in these new missionaries onWednesday though... and to say farewell to the departing ones. It is so interesting to see the old ones go and the new ones to come in. You can just see how much a mission changes a person. It is hard to explain. You can just see it in their countenance and in the spirit that they carry with them.

Well, I am sorry I am really out of time.
I love you all!

Elder Schroeder

here is a picture of a baptism that we had in our ward, not ours but we had an investigator be able to attend  

Check out the Manila Philippines Mission blog! The Ostler's update it often. As a mom, I sure appreciate all they do for the missionaries under their care!! I love every post and to watch for pictures of my boy!

Happy New year!

Hello Family!

Our mission had 76 baptisms in December. Highest month out of the whole year. Our goal this year is to have 100 baptisms a month. We have 10 zones so each zone is responsible for 10 baptisms a month, it is definitely possible and I am excited to work on reaching this goal. 

Oh so I have one question. Or I guess an assignment for you mom. So My phlebotomy certification expires in october for the state of california. My national certification has already expired. Could you please check and see what I need to do to renew my certification. I want how long it will take to process everything in order to renew. I am a little concerned with the timing and when I get home.. So could you do that for me?

Sounds like you had a fun trip up to rexburg.... beach theme reception is a pretty cool theme for the wedding.  Kyle could wear an eyepatch. That would look good. Haha..

Our baked mac and cheese was okay.... The middle of it got a little burnt on the bottom because the oven had a big flame burner at the bottom... but it still tasted good... it was expensive because we bought real cheese. And the ham was good. I managed to make a glaze for it which was really good. I think the elders liked it. Then we ordered 4 pizzas which is always good, and we made deep fried oreos. It was a pretty good new year. I didn't  take many pictures... and I don't think I got any pictures of the fireworks because there weren't meny before 10:30... at mid-night the noise woke me up so I peeked out the window from my bed for about 5 seconds then went back to sleep. The fireworks weren't that crazy though this year I heard because it was raining super hard aparently at 12. How was your new years? You didn't have to go to the youth dance this year, a first for you for lots of years. 

It is strange that you are all doing wedding plans now and that Kyle and Cathy are doing engagement pictures on saturday. 

Elder Burgos and I had a good week teaching a lot of people and inviting a lot of people to come closer to Christ. It was a great week and we were able to teach quite a few lessons. Saturday was a super hard day. It was the first saturday I think in my whole mission that I was not able to teach a lesson. We were walking around all day long and didn't get to teach a single lesson. But we got to talk to a TON of people about the gospel and we got a lot of return appointments. Elder Burgos and I think it is because a lot of people were hungover and resting from the last few days of partying that they had. We are having a hard time getting investigators to come to church so we are really working on improving that. We feel like we are doing everything we can but they just aren't going to church. So we are going to work on that. We had one come this week but not any of the ones that we were actually planning for...

And as for my spiritual insight for this week, I just want to share my testimony with you all. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father. He wants to bless us, and His only desire is for us to be happy. I know that we have a Savior who has experienced all of our pains and afflictions. Whatever it is that we have done wrong, we can repent. I know that The Book of Mormon is the word of God. If we read it, ponder it, and pray about the truthfulness of it, we will know it is from God. I know that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet of God and was made an instrument in the hands of God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to this earth. I know that we have a living prophet of God, Thomas S. Monson, who leads and guides the church through prophecy and revelation, and that he holds all priesthood keys necessary for the salvation of man. I know and proclaim all these things to be true in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love you all!

Elder Schroeder

here are pictures of all our food for New Years.

more food and my kabahy (people that live in the same apartment with me).
left to right: Elder Burgos, Packard, and Ballif

oh and by the way i cut the ham with a machete because all of our other knives are dull and we dont have a sharpening  stone.