Sunday, February 28, 2016

New Companion from California

Hello Family! 

This week has been an interesting one. I cannot believe that it is transfer week again already. Time is just going by super fast. I only have two more transfer days after this and then the next one I will be going home. I am excited to see all the new missionaries! It is a lot different training the new assistant. It is so amazing all of the things that I have learned in the time that I have been here. 
I got my new companion on Tuesday morning. We picked him up on the way to the airport so I got my new companion and then dropped off Elder Burgos at the airport. It was weird to say goodbye to him, thinking that I may never be able to see him again. He was super nervous to go home but is looking forward to his next chapter in life. He is excited to get married too.

Well, my companion's name is Elder Jason Whittle. He is from Brawley California (i am not sure on the spelling) but not too far from where we live!  So we know a lot of the same places and things which is pretty cool. He is a farmer and likes cows. He is really great! He speaks really good tagalog and is a super motivated missionary. I forgot how big of an adjustment it is to be a new Assistant. He is doing really well and is learning everything that I teach him. I think we will be a great companionship and have a lot of fun together. He wrestled in high school and was super good at it. He also is really smart, so that is good. 

Anyways, we had 6 investigators at sacrament this week and were able to help a lot of people this week to understand the Atonement. We taught this one lesson this week and this one lady thought that we were asking her to pray to Joseph Smith. Then she went on for about 15 minutes how it is the same for her as a Catholic when she prays to saints. But we got it all straightened out by the end of the lesson... it was just a little weird. It is amazing to me how the Apostasy has changed and altered so much of the plain and precious truths of the Gospel. It is such a great opportunity to be here and help a people with such strong faith to understand those simple truths that have been corrupted and lost through time. It makes me want to stand in the public markets here on a soap box and just tell everyone that it is against the commandments of God to shop on Sunday. But it doesn't work that way. I am learning a lot of patience and enjoying seeing others as their understanding changes and as they come closer to our Father in Heaven. 

I am all out of time with emailing today though, we had to run around the mission a bit this morning so we lost a lot of time for all the other things that we have to do today.

Love you!

Elder Schroeder

This is Krista she stopped in to meet me, she is a convert from my cousin Taylor's mission. 

Goodbye to Elder Burgos

Sorry, I had an email written up this week but there was some computer problems apparently around the whole mission. We received permission to go on for ten minutes to resend emails. So here it is, I wrote it last Monday!

Hello Family!

This week has been great! We had 8 investigators at church on Sunday! Elder Burgos and I have been working so hard and are seeing some great results from it. Too bad Elder Burgos is going home tomorrow. I have really enjoyed being his companion. We have almost been companions for a total of 6 months now. It is crazy how fast time goes by.

I don’t know who my new companion is yet. We thought we would find out on Friday but I guess President had something else in mind. Usually we get them a few days early so that we can do some training with them before their companion leaves. I will get to train him how to do everything. It will be a lot of fun and should be a great experience. Transfers are coming up again here really soon. We have one more week of interviews and then it will be transfer week. So this week we have 2 more interviews and my new companion will get to teach with me for the last of the interviews. I am sure he will be really excited for it, which will be great. Anyways, I am sure you can tell how excited I am to get my new companion. It is weird because basically everyone in the mission is watching to find out who my new companion is. Last night, during follow ups everyone was asking me because they thought he would already be here.

 Anyways, the network in the office right now is super slow and I don’t know if the email is going to work. Anyways, I am enjoying the work. I hope I can get this email off today. It was working well earlier but is off and on right now. 

 Well it seems like you have been having some really interesting experiences there... 

I am really enjoying being here and serving. It feels like I don't have very much time left in the mission. Its weird and It feels like I will be home in no time at all. I am really just focusing on the work and fulfilling all of the different responsibilities that I have.

Here is a spiritual insight for the week:

I was reading and pondering the scriptures in preparation for my interview that was supposed to be on Friday (it was rescheduled to another day because some other things came up). We were assigned to do a few things in preparationo for our interview. I was reading in Ether 2 about the brother of Jared and I realized how we need to take action on the faith that me have. When we face problems, like the Brother of Jared did, there are two things that can happen. One, God can give us the answer or two, God will make us find the answer. The brother of Jared had two problems, no air and no light. God gave Jared the answer to the first problem, but He expected for the Brother of Jared to find an answer to the solution. Once he found a solution, God still had to finish the job. No matter what problems we encounter, we may be able to find the solution to the problem but we will never be able to fully solve or finish any problem without the help of our Heavenly Father and His divine hand. At the same time God will not often do for us that which we can do for ourselves. We need to be seek to be self reliant, but always dependent upon our God. 

 Sorry I hope that makes sense. I am working on about 10 things at once right now. 

Well I am pretty much out of time for emailing today. I have my interview with President Ostler today as well, which should be in a few minutes. 

Love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Schroeder

The Atonement is the Bridge..

Hello Family!

This week has been a great week! We were able to get a lot done. We had several zone interviews and training that we gave, MLC, and all the other missionary work that we do. We had 5 investigators at church on Sunday. 3 of them are a family and have gone to church 2 weeks now! Elder Burgos and I are excited for them... except Elder Burgos is going home a week from tomorrow, so he wont get to see it. 

Also, one thing that is pretty cool. A recent convert of Taylor's is going to visit me at church in a few weeks. Her name is Krista, I don't know if grandma told you about her. I will be sure to take a picture so taylor can see that I met her. That should be pretty cool.

I am pretty sure that my going home date is the 28th. If not the 28th then it will be the 13th. So either way it will work out. I am going to ask president in my next interview with him (which will be in a few weeks). 

Yes, we had MLC this last week. The picture of Elder Fawson and Lindaya is from last tranfer... actually maybe 2 transfers ago... but Elder Lindaya (the filipino) is training Elder Fawson who is 6'8". That was actually really funny when President assigned them to be companions... Everyone in the room was laughing because Elder Linday went to hug his "son" and said "paano ito" which basically means "how is this going to work" (referring to the hug). ha I hope that makes sense...

As for the package... I am not sure... definitely some beef jerky... I don't know what else... I guess i will have to think about it.... maybe cake mix? it is super expensive here.. some nice chocolate cake maybe. maybe a nice tie. not sure. Ask Kyle maybe what he would like in a package.

No, I did not get mugged. 

Who is in the super bowl???

I will be sure to pray for Joy's mom. I hope she gets better. She has been fighting hard. I hope joy is doing well.

So the work in our area is going really well. We were able to help a sister this week to do some family history and print off a family name, so I am really excited for her to be able to take that family name and go to the temple with it. It was like pulling teeth to get it done, but now she is really excited to be able to do the grandfathers baptism.

I am nervous for Elder Burgos to go home. If anything goes wrong after that then it is my fault because I will be the senior Assistant. It will all work out though. It always does.
A new Senior Couple also arrived this week from Long Beach. They are Filipino and are some of the pioneer members here in the Philippines. They are assigned to work in one of my old wards, Makati 1st. They are two really great people, and super nice. His brother is an area seventy and his niece actually served her mission here when I was here. I just found out this week that she is getting married. I met her boyfriend a few weeks ago in the office actually when she came in to visit with President Ostler. It is really great to have the Addurus here with us. He was the first in his family to convert and now there are over 150 of them that are members. 

Well here is my spiritual insight for the week. 
This comes from MLC. One of our jobs is to write up MLC notes (basically everything that is said in the meeting, or at least the important parts) and to send it out to the leaders in the mission. So here is one part of President Ostlers Closing remarks that I feel impressed to share.
"We have a Heavenly Father who is a God of justice. (Justice is unchangeable law that brings consequences for our actions). For every action, there is a consequence. Since no unclean thing can dwell with God, we would never be able to make it to exaltation; however, God is not only just but also merciful. Mercy is to receive something that we do not deserve. Mercy is something we do not earn, but we receive because of love. Justice and mercy cannot coincide without something to bind them together.

 The Atonement is what binds Justice and Mercy in a way that fulfills both the demands of justice and the pleas of mercy. “With the Savior, we have the bridge. He pays the price. He allows God to be merciful” (President Ostler). 
It is our Father’s plan, and Christ was the one willing to do it. Without him we would be helpless to return to our Heavenly Father.

Alma 42:14-15, 24

            14 And thus we see that all mankind were fallen, and theywere in the grasp of justice; yea, the justice of God, which consigned them forever to be cut off from his presence.

            15 And now, the plan of mercy could not be broughtabout except an atonement should be made; therefore Godhimself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring aboutthe plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, thatGod might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also

            24 For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and alsomercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved.

Repentance is what brings us across the bridge. Our investigators must show by their actions that they are willing to cross the bridge. We have a loving Heavenly Father and Savior. I know that he lives, and the Book of Mormon opens the windows to this and makes it clearer than ever before."

And attached is a small illustration that goes along with the remarks.

I love you all!

Elder Schroeder

p.s. there is a joke here in the mission. Hymn number 252 is now called "Put Your Schroeder to the Wheel"

Palawan visit/training


Hello Everyone!

This week was a very busy week, and we got a lot done! Monday was preparation day and very busy like always. Tuesday morning we flew over to Palawan with President and Sister Ostler and began interviews and training. It all went really well. We have now taught that same training class 9 times, I think. So I could probably deliver that training asleep doing a handstand with my eyes closed. It is going really well though and I feel like everyone really enjoys the training. Elder Burgos and I teach really well together and enjoy doing it. We get to do a practice teaching demonstration every time in front of everyone. Always great. 
Anyways, the next few days were spent with the interview schedule. President and Sister doing their things while we kept everything organized and gave training. We got out to work every night for a little bit in our old area and were actually able to teach 5 lessons and get 4 new investigators for the zone leaders area while we were there in Palawan. That was nice and it helped them out. So we have a standard of 190 oyms a week as well... that was a struggle to get this week since we have about 10% of the time that a regular companionship has to work... but it was all good. We worked hard and we got it. Also taught quite a few lessons in the area and found a few new investigators. We were really blessed with the time that we had to work in our area. 
SO we got back Friday around lunch time, had weekly planning, and went out to work. 

I really like the family cycle that you mentioned. That is really good because that actually comes from a leadership training given by the 12 apostles. We got to watch it. I don't know if you did. I really like the way that the ward did it in teaching it. Really good idea. Elder Bednar actually talked about that family cycle in the training. It is really great. That is how we can build multi-generational families. The biggest drop off we see in the church is between baptism and temple endowment. If we can help one another to make it to the temple endowment, we will see greater and greater growth in the church. 

We had 4 investigators at sacrament meeting this week! We were blessed so much even though we only got one full day of work and a few hours of work in our area this week. It was a real blessing to see the family we invited to go to church actually show up and even be on time! The ward did a great job fellowshipping and there is a strong chance that this family will continue to go to church. I really hope it all works out. They are a really great family. 

Here is my spiritual insight for the week.  a quote from President Monson. He said, "no failure ever need be final". I really love this quote. Often times we mess up and give up at the same time. Messing up does not mean that you need to give up. I really love how the Savior 
instructs us...

 21 ¶Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

 22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

This instruction can also apply to ourselves. We need to forgive others, but we often forget that we too need to forgive ourselves. As we make mistakes, we need to repent, forget it, and move on. When we fall, we can always get back up again and try one more time. If we do not repent, then we will not get back up again. 
I was reading an article on that gave 4 simple steps to change. One-ask for direction. Two-think small. Three-Take time to reflect. Four-keep trying. As we do these 4 things, we will be repenting. As we do this, we can forgive ourselves or others for mistakes and move on in the Spirit of God changing our lives until we become perfect, even like He our Father in Heaven is perfect. 

Have a great week!
Elder Schroeder

Press Forward...

Wow it seems like wedding plans are coming along and you are all getting busy with everything. It is really exciting... I wish I was there then I could fix kyles car the right way so he doesnt mess it up haha. Just kidding. I am doing great! It is weird to think that kyle is getting married. He hasn't even been home a year and he will be getting married, best of luck to him. 
I am excited to see what the wedding invitation looks like. I bet Joy did a great job.
I am just about ready to go out and do all the other preparation day things that I have to do. We have all of our meetings done and all that... I just need to eat and finish writing this last email here to you all. 
This week we are going to Palawan for 3 days. We are leaving tomorrow at 9:55 and getting back on Friday morning. So we are not going to be able to work in our area that much this week. But we get to go "vacation" on Palawan and work in our former area. I am really excited and also sort of bummed. We are going to eat "Tamilok" while we are there. You can look it up this week to find out what it is... otherwise I will send you a picture of it next week. 
I am working super hard and we are  being blessed a lot for it. We were able to have 22 new investigators this week. We have so so many people we are teaching... bummer thing is that none of them went to church this week. Satan is working hard on these people and has a lot of power over those who don't know the gospel well enough. We will keep working with them and their faith will grow. I know that they will go to church one day and will be able to feel the Spirit as they do so. 

Here is my spiritual insight for the week. Here is a quote from the words of Neil L. Andersen about pressing forward,

Press forward implies something more than simply going forward. Press implies something is preventing your advancement, and you must push through it. To go forward in this life, you must press temptations aside, press through obstacles, press the doubt and the fear under your feet, and embrace the divine qualities of faith, hope, and love.
There are many examples fitting for the words of Elder Neil L. Andersen. One that I really like has a picture that goes along with it. When Peter came unto Jesus as he walked upon the water. Peter initially felt resolute and firm in his faith, and was able to walk upon the water. He "press[ed} the doubt and fear under [his] feet" and did exactly as the Savior did. When he saw the large waves and felt e would be overcome, his doubt won over faith, and he sank. At this very moment, possibly after quite some struggle, he reached to the Savior and the Savior reached to him. He was saved. The picture that I attached to the email is one of my favorite pictures of this event. It shows how Peter must have really felt as he came close to drowning in the sea. It shows us that when we lose faith and hope in the Savior, then we suffer, however, he is always there to lift us up out of the depths of despair when we need him most. We must too press forward in faith and always keep our eye on the Savior. Keeping our eye on him will help us to push those doubts, fears and struggles that we have under our feet, where we can overcome them. Then we will be able to embrace the divine qualities that the Savior has and live like him. 

Love you all!
Elder Schroeder

here is a picture of the church we go to on JB Roxas street. If you want to look it up it is on the corner of Enfanta street and JB Roxas in brgy Olympia. 

And here is the picture of Peter and Jesus