Monday, October 21, 2013

Last Week in Izalco?

     First off thank you so much for the package! We have been loving the Vocal Point CD, especially ^Reedemer of my soul¨but really the whole album is amazing, the flash drive is being put to good use and Rodrigo loves the $2 bill. It made my week getting that package. The fruit by the foot and gushers were also equally awesome. it was a huge throwback to my childhood.
     Well everyone it looks like this week might be my last here in good ole Izalco. President basically told me I have changes but more on that later. The good news is that the baptism/wedding went smoothly. It took most of the day because we had to set up most of the stuff, make decorations, go run to get the cake. But in the end it turned out well. President and Hermana Hintze even came by to see it. They really like to visit baptisms I guess. J and L looked super happy, and H seemed way excited for her baptism next week! It´s been super nice to see some fruits of the labor sometimes it felt like I was just working and working and nothing was really happening. I am super grateful to them for giving me the opportunity to teach them and help them along in their eternal progression. 
      I got a chance to talk to President a little bit and his exact words were "I'm not gonna say anything but take lots of pictures." It's gonna be really hard to say goodbye to everyone, eight months has really given me time to get to know almost everyone here in Izalco. the first move I imagine is always the hardest, but I am sure I won´t understand what its like until after I try it. I am especially going to miss my companion, Elder S. an awesome guy and an awesome missionary. It's been super fun to be with him.
     I am writing so late today because we had another zone activity, we took a bus to this really far out town and took a four hour hike back into these waterfall. It was so beautiful. It was really a childhood dream to hike through and tropical jungle and see a 60 foot waterfall. Easily the coolest p-day activity we have done. The waterfalls were super high and mist was spraying everywhere. It almost reminded me a little bit of hiking in Oregon, but a lot more hot, humid and with tropical plants and spiders everywhere. One of our zone leaders swing on some vines hanging off a ledge tarzan style, it was pretty cool but a little sketchy, not too sketchy though.
     We have been staying super busy for the most part with investigators and visiting members. It's really just non stop. But it really is one of the most rewarding experiences I have every lived. The mission really is a refiner's fire that purges all of the junk out of you. I have learned so much and hope to learn much more in the future. I can´t wait to see what the next chapter in the mission will bring. Hopefully good things.
Love you all and hope you have a great week take care!

Elder Schriever

Monday, October 14, 2013

Izalco Week 30 something

Well everyone we just finished another crazy week, 
      It has been a super stressful week. J. and L. have their baptismal date set for this Saturday (the 19th), but out of the blue J. decided to change his last name, a lengthy process that takes about two months, and would mean that he wouldn´t be able to get married and therefore baptized for another two months, so until December. His fiancee is pregnant and due in November which would complicate things even more. I fasted harder than I ever have before, my companion as well. When we went there yesterday to talk to them about it L told us that they decided to put God first and worry about something small like that later. It was an answer to our prayers and I think of it as a miracle
      So this week we have to hurry and plan the wedding and make all of the arrangements for the baptism. But that's a good problem to have as a missionary. They are going to be a huge help to this ward as well. They have already given us a reference to another really positive family and yesterday J. asked us where he could buy the missionary pamphlets so he could share them with all of his friends, we told him we would have a stack of 25 for him today! He is going to be a great member-missionary and will help the elders here a lot I am guessing. He has already left with us to visit people and was sharing his testimony and everything. They are going to be great! I will be sure to send lots of pictures of the wedding baptism. 
     The week after that this guy named R. C. should be getting baptized, he is a 24 year old and we met him through a member over in Sonzacate, He says he will get baptized on the 26th and is reading the Book of Mormon and going to church. Hopefully everything goes smoothly with that. Right now I am doing my best to look for new investigators, with almost nine months here in Izalco I have a feeling that this change will be my last here. I don´t want to leave the next missionaries with no one to teach and basically having to start from scratch. Right now they would be left with a bunch of people with some church attendances but super positive people not really. so this week the focus will be get the people baptized that we have committed to baptism and find some new positive people so that Elder S. and his new companion will be able to continue right from where we left off. 
     We are writing super early today because we reserved a soccer field here in Izalco and we are going to go play soccer as a zone. Most likely it will be Latinos vs. Gringos again, in which case we may or may not lose. We won last time, but our gringo zone leader last change played soccer and was a beast so we´ll see how it goes this time around. Elder S. played soccer in high school as well so he will be key, really the only thing I have on the Latinos here is my size, they are all short and thin so I have to use my size to my advantage. Either way should be a great way to get some exercise and also to relax a little bit. Sometimes push ups and sit ups just don´t cut it. Right now we have a bunch of cool guys in the zone so we need to take advantage of our time together, its almost over. 
    We´ve been having some problems with the missionaries in one of the areas of my district. President is going to come and do interviews for all of them today. It's been pretty frustrating and has made me pretty mad. There is nothing that sets me off more than a disobedient missionary. I would say I am very patient with almost anything else, but once someone messes around with the churches reputation, and the Lord's work I take things very seriously. Hopefully it will all get smoothed out today with President. Anyway that's mostly how things are going on my end of things. Working hard and enjoying every minute of it. I didn´t get to hear from a lot of you but I guess that's what I get for writing a little earlier in the day, hope everything goes well and love you all! 

Elder Schriever

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conference Weekend

 Hey everyone!
       I hope you all got my letter last week, I got an email back saying that it didn´t send to some people. Hopefully it got through to at least some of you guys. I loved general conference, fortunately we got to watch it in English. we all crammed into the family history room and watched it over the Internet on some of the computers. it was a little slow so I missed some cool facts right at the beginning of the Saturday morning session, like the new temples. But did get to hear that as a church there are now 15 million members. pretty cool stuff. right now i´m downloading the audio of conference so that I can listen to it when I have soom spare minutes.  Some of my favorite moments/ talks were 1 Elder Dube´s shouting you never look back! and just the whole talk, a wonderful and powerful message to never dwell on past failures or successes but to press forward and serve the lord with all your heart might mind and strength. It was very applicable to missionary life. 2. elder Hales (if I remember right maybe elder oaks) talk about how gods law is different from civil law, and how even if something is legally allowable it can still be a sin. 3. Elder uchtdorf´s talk about "come, join with us" I always enjoy his talks he is one of my favorite speakers 4. elder Eyering´s talk from the Saturday afternoon session (someone told me they enjoyed that one as well) a wonderful talk about how we can help bring others to Christ through our prayers, faith and example.
       This week was awesome for the work here in Izalco, J. and L.C. both accepted a baptismal and wedding date!!!!! and went to almost all of conference, we are going to go talk to them again tonight but it sounded like they really enjoyed conference. another small miracle was the familia C. 
he has been a member for twenty something years, but inactive for the past fifteen, she was never baptised after an elder told her in the baptismal interview that she had to read the whole book of Mormon before getting baptized. when we first started visiting them she would go run and hide in the far corner of the house, but she has really opened up, and finally after months of prodding they finally went to church. she seemed to have enjoyed it. we will try and keep working with them both.
     something weird that happened just this morning was running into a church group from Florida in the supermarket. they are down here on a service trip to a sister church in this little canton. they just got here this morning. we were walking by and this white guy said "hey guys" we both just kept walking because lots of people here know a little bit of English, especially the drunks. but then we saw a whole group of gringos with their phones and everything walking around. we talked to them for a little bit, they were super nice and really good people. It was weird getting to talk to people from the states again. and cool to see people that care. They were super surprised when we told them that we were down here for two years, I think they were alittle taken aback. but it was still pretty cool to talk to them.
    today as a zone we are getting together and playing dodge ball and ordering pizza hut. I am pretty excited, it should be way fun. Elder S. has been coming along really well with his Spanish and teaching abilities. he is now participating just as much as I am and it is a huge relief for me. Its hard training a gringo and for about 6-7 weeks doing the majority of the teaching. but he is getting to be really good. We are already making plans to room together when we both get back to BYU, he is someone I would have been friends with outside of the mission. great taste in music, loves sports. if its any indication modest mouse is one of his favorite bands. so its inevitable that we get along. it´s crazy that its already October, this change has flown by so fast and i really don´t want it to end. I have a lot of time here in Izalco but I really am comfortable where I´m at. I know the area super well, and I have an awesome companion. but that probably means that its time for me to change. I guess we´ll find out in a couple of weeks. Hope school is going well for you all and that you all have a great week! talk to you soon!
Elder Schriever