Monday, December 30, 2013


Buenos Días everyone! 
     From what I heard from everyone Christmas was a success, and that new years should be fun as well! This week has been pretty awesome for sure! On Monday the whole mission went over to Sonzacate to have a mission party. There was a talent show, games, and as well as a more spiritual part, talking about the birth of Christ. It really got me motivated to start working a little harder and searching for more people who need his love. There was a scripture that kept coming to my head the whole time. It goes very well with the scripture on my mission plaque (omni 1:26) It's from Heleman 3:35. It talks about the sanctification of your heart as you give it unto Christ. In that part of the scriptures the church was going through a lot of trouble and hardship because of the prideful members. But those who trusted in Christ took that hardship and used it to grow. Don´t know why but it just kept coming back to my mind this past week, especially during the meeting. 
     The Bishop also invited us over to eat at his house on the 24th. We had turkey, rice, bread, and wait for it ROOTBEER!! Here a can of rootbeer cost about a dollar which really thinking about it is a normal price. But here that's just ridiculous. It was so nice to get to drink some good ole A&W rootbeer again. The turkey was also really good, I ate so much I almost threw up, but it was totally worth it. He is also giving us dinner tommorow for new years which should be way good as well. Rest assured I am being well fed. We were being pretty carefull that day because mostly the Christmas tradition here is to get crazy drunk and walk around the streets, or go to the beach and drink there. The whole city just reaked of alcohol. But luckily drunk people can´t walk very fast so we were able to avoid most of them. New years eve is supposudly going to be worse, but we will be fine. The strangest thing was that no one was home on Christmas Eve. The streets were just empty, and no one was home. We ended up going and meeting a few less active famlies that live out in the jungle, about a kilometer outside of Campos Verdes. Which was pretty fun. Some very humble people. 
     Christmas morning of course we got to skype the family which is always a treat. Thinking back on it, its the second to last time that I am going to be able to do it. Baggy thought for the day. You all seemed like you were having fun, and doing well. No one cried either which was good. 
     in response to some questions that people had. While we have four missionaries here in the ward, we both have seperate houses. I would prefer to have four to a house, but that's the way it is. There are a total of eight missionaries in our district, four here in Campos Verdes, and four more in this place called Nuevo Lourdes. All gringos. Which makes things pretty interesting. We all get along really well and it makes P-days and district meeting really fun. This next Monday we are going to go to the Ruins that are really close to here in this place called San Andres, we already have the bus and everything. So just FYI I won´t write that day until later, hopefully around 1 or 2 in the afternoon. 
    Now that 2013 is almost over I have been thinking alot about what I want to accomplish in 2014. I don´t know about you guys but there are lots of things I would like to change, better habits and talents I would like to develop. I would like to challenge all of you to put high goals. And then work hard to reach them. A few of my goals include: becoming 100% fluent in spanish, exercise every day, and be able to do 100 pushups straight by the end of the mission, baptize more than 13 people and read through the bible and triple, in spanish, twice. I want to make the best of my time here, and realizing now that I only have another year to do it kinda scares me. Lets go! Okay I´ll talk to you all next year! 2014 here we come!!!
Elder Schriever

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hump Day and almost Christmas

Well family,
 This week I became the proud new father of my new mission son. He is Elder C. He is half Latin half black but from Farmington, Utah. And way cool!! I feel kinda bad for him because everyone thinks that he is from Honduras and probably wonders why he can´t speak Spanish fluently. Also his name is a slang word for friend in Spanish so everyone gets a good laugh out of it. But they still haven't quite figured out Schriever yet. Most members haven´t quite gotten it down but some are getting close. It's kinda crazy, Elder C. knew President H. before the mission, as a matter of fact he was good friends with his son and spent lots of time at their house. Pressure!! But we have gotten along really well and are having lots of fun. Hopefully we will have lots of success these next few changes if we are obedient and work hard. 
     We are having a kind of competition right new between the two districts in our zone. Our district is all gringos, and the other district only has one, a zone leader, who now officially renounced his gringo standing. So we are basically having a contest to see who can do more work. It makes things kinda fun and if it inspires us to push a little harder doesn´t do any harm. Every time we get out of a district meeting or anything like that we do a team break and yell GRINGO POWER! You gotta keep things fun. 
    This week was kinda rough as far as the work goes mostly because I wasn't there Monday or Tuesday because Elder M. left on Monday I had to go in trio in another area and so to start out we didn´t have many fixed appointments but now things are rolling and we have been doing well. The M. family has been somewhat hard to get a hold of but the lessons that we did have with them have been solid. We didn´t get to talk with C. this week either because of some problems that they are having but hopefully in the next coming week. F. C. is finally going to get a lighter schedule at work so he will hopefully be able to come to church this coming week! He had a baptismal date, but it couldn´t happen because he was to busy with work to make it to church. Now if that is figured out hopefully in the next coming weeks we will be able to see him baptized. It might be tricky though because he is like a small bear I don´t know if I could lift him back up out of the water! I guess there are worse problems that we can have. E. T.´s son is also doing well. He works at a cable call center and it's a little rough. The hours are long and there is nothing angrier than an American whose cable isn´t working! He speaks English really well. But when people talk really fast because of anger is is a little trickier to understand. There is also really bad traffic right now due to some road construction coming back from San Salvador so he gets home at about 8:30 every night. It doesn't leave much time for missionary visits but soon his hours should lessen up a little bit and he will hopefully be able to attend sacrament meeting. 
     M. V. (wife of the family we dug the well for) came to church yesterday! They are a super humble family, don´t have much like some of the people here, but they are super nice people. She can´t read really so it's going to be tricky teaching her. We will have to really break things down for her so that she can understand, but that's totally doable. Really the gospel isn´t complicated, its just the application that is sometimes a little tricky. 
    I am super psyched for Christmas. Hermano V. invited us over for Christmas dinner. His son is the head chef at the Hilton Hotel in San Salvador. So it should be amazing. I don´t know if anything can match dad's dinners but this one might come close:) We also have a misson party basically next Monday, over in Sonzacate. We get to wear normal clothes and I think that it is pretty informal. Should be a good time. For Christmas I am afraid we will have too many dinner appointments to be able to eat it all! I guess we will just have to suck it up and eat all of the delicious food that people give us. 
     It was great to hear from all of you, it sounds like this upcoming week might be a little rough with finals and everything but that's just the way things go sometimes, there are always ups and downs, occasionally lefts and rights as well. I just want to let you all know how grateful I am for all of your prayers and for taking the time to write me. I hope that this Christmas season is one of joy and happiness, it really is a wonderful time to remember Jesus Christ and all that he did for us. Without him there is really no hope at all. I love the line in Oh Holy Night ¨his law is love and his gospel is peace¨ really the whole purpose of the gospel is learning to love. We should try to share this love with all those who in this happy season, for one reason or another are down or having a rough time. It would be great if we could all make an effort to reach out to someone and help them feel of our Savior´s love. We will realize that as we do our own gratitude and happiness is so much more. I love you all and hope that this week is an excellent one. 
Take care,
Elder Schriever

Monday, December 9, 2013

Training Part 3

    Well everyone this week has been a crazy week for sure. As the subject of the email says I will be training this coming change. And Elder M. will be headed off to Belize tomorrow. I don´t know quite yet if I will get a brand new Elder or if I will just finish the training of an elder like I did With Elder M. I guess we will find out on Wednesday! Because I am training and he is going to Belize we had to go to all kinds of meetings throughout the week which really got in the way of proselyting, which was pretty frustrating. We really need to work hard right now. The M. family has been having a somewhat hard time. All the churches here once they see that the missionaries are coming to someone´s house start to gossip about people, and tell people all kinds of lies about our church, this week it happened with two different investigators. It´s really frustrating sometimes, it reminds me of the parable of the sower. Where some fall into hard grounds and never take root, others fall on rocks etc... The M.´s this week got "macheted" about how the Book of Mormon isn´t needed and how our church teaches doctrines of men. We had to do damage repair for most of our visits, and only the less active grandmother came to church. Which in many ways is still a success. 
     The other example of persecution was with C. some members of the church she used to go to before confronted her about how she was going to church with the Mormons and having the missionaries come over to teach her. They came over saying "that we believe that Jesus Christ was re born in Joseph Smith and that we only worship him", and that we don´t celebrate Christmas, and then when she told them that we do, they started to tell her about how Christmas was Satanic, and all other sorts of dumb stuff. I am happy to say that she defended the small testimony that she has. She let them know that in her time going to church we only talk about Jesus Christ. It was great. And yesterday we finally got to talk to her husband. Who through a Mormon high school teacher, has read the book of mormon and doctrine and covenants. He actually knows a ton of stuff about church doctrine but has never told his wife. Hopefully we will be able to start teaching him as well. 
     Also the mother of a member, M. that we have been teaching came to church for the first time. She was been a Prophetica church her whole life, (ill tell you about the prophetica church some other time) but basically there are a lot of things we need to work on. She has been visited by several pairs of missionaries but this is the first time that she has ever been willing to go. It was great, unfortunately the talks in sacrament meeting were really boring and not well given but the Sunday school class was awesome so that was good. 
    Okay funny story time... so we were teaching this less active member, and we asked her if she had been reading the Book of Mormon. She told us that she had. We asked here if there was any part that called her attention, and asked what part. She spent a few minutes looking through Alma and went to Alma 31. She said " I like this part about how its describes these people praying, they go up on this tower raise up their hands and read this prayer. It's just beautiful! Listen to this, "Holy holy God, we believe that thou art God and we believe that thou art holy, and that you were a spirit and are a spirit, and will always be a spirit, that's just so beautiful! What is it talking about here?" I was genuinely a little freaked out as I explained that it was the Prophet Alma teaching the apostate Zoramites who were denying Jesus Christ and how they built this tower... etc.. etc... I think she was a little confused at the end. But basically we explained that the Book of Mormon has good examples and bad examples and that was a bad example. I laugh about it right now but I was a little worried at the time. 
     Well it sounds like its been super cold over there in Idaho/Utah, I'll make sure to soak up the 80 degree weather and eat lots of mangoes, avocados, and tangerines for all of you. Have a good one! 
Elder Schriever

Monday, December 2, 2013

December already???

    Well I still can´t believe that it is december already, it seems like it just got to be November! The Christmas season has finally come which means that in every lesson we are singing Christmas Carols, and when we are studying we are listening to Christmas Carols. We only have twenty five days and we need to make the best use of them possible! Most people here have never heard of the Christmas carols that are in our hymnbook. A lot of times this is the first time they have heard Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, etc.. etc... But people really seem to like them. Its kinda cool to be their first experience with good christmas music!
    Thanksgiving was actually a really good experience! I was feeling a little bummed Thanksgiving night, mainly because I was so hungry! but then we bought a huge sandwich called a mexican Torta. super good, and after that I was feeling better. We also had a half mission get together on Friday with Sonsonate, and Sonzacate zones, So I got to see Elder Stoker and all of my good buddies over there. We had Turkey and mashed potatoes and President even showed us a highlight reel of the denver broncos, Oakland Raiders game, Aparently it was an "analogy on how we should work as a team" but I think it was an excellant excuse to watch a little bit of American football. No complaints here. Then we played a family feud type game. Zone against zone. We got dead last because they people that they used for the survey are all the senior misionary couples in Belize who don´t know anything about anything. But in the end its not that big of a deal. It was a way fun day for sure! 
     As far as missionary work goes this week was pretty good. We were able to teach lots of lessons, and the M. family came to church, as well as this woman named C. She is from San Miguel and has a very thick San Migelian accent. If you watch the Mormon Message from El Salvador about the temple. She talks exactly like those kids do- dropping S´s. Here´s the link to the video. Its awesome to watch this video now because I understand exactly what they are saying and can pick out some phrases that mostly Salvadoraneans use. I remember before the mission when I would watch this video and think that I would never be able to learn Spanish. and now I listen to it and its just normal life, day to day conversations. It's cool to see how far I've come in that respect. Anyway she is super positive and has really enjoyed coming to church so far. We need to do a lot of work with the M. family but they are awesome. Hopefully they will get baptized by the end of December. 
    I am a little nervous about this next change. I would love to stay here in Lourdes, but I don´t think I will because this change will be the end of Elder M.'s training, and right now every available missionary is training. I guess we will have to see what happens but I´m not sure how long Ill get to stay here. Which is really unfortunate. Fingers crossed that I don´t leave. 
    Today for our zone activity we are going to San Salvador and going bowling. Now normally I am not a huge fan of bowling but I am actually really excited! It should be way fun! It also means that we won´t get to go to the ancient ruins that are close by but I am doing that for sure next week! I love to hear that you all are doing well and enjoying your thanksgiving break. I hope to have some pictures to send next week. Now that I have figured out sending them by word it will be lots easier to do! Well I love you all and miss you tons. Best of luck to all of you! 

Elder Schriever