Monday, January 27, 2014

Zone Leading...

Well I got changed, I got moved to this place called Arce, it's in the same zone but in the other district. It is a pretty interesting little town. If I were to describe it in few words it would be this: small town, no strait flat roads. It's an older style town, and is in a foot hill type place. Basically if we are not walking down a super steep town hill, we are walking up one, I think I am going to drop some weight here for sure! But it is really cool, all kinds of old school houses and lots of really cool people. The ward isn´t quite as strong as my other one, but that's just an opportunity to make it better! Apparently about 100 people come every week. Which is just a little bit below average. One huge advantage is that the members give us dinner every single day of the week! It is heavenly. I have really enjoyed the food they have made, I would eat white beans with hotdogs every day rather than make pasta. Our house also has a barbell in it so I have been stepping it up a bit on the exercise. Hopefully it will help. 
     My companion is Elder A, a super cool guy from Argintina, but luckily, he is from a part of Argintina that borders Chile and Bolivia, so he doesn´t talk with a really weird accent, and he isn´t super prideful like most Buenos Aerans. We have gotten along before we were companions and now we are going to get along great. I have a picture of him that I will send to you guys later, along with some pictures I took of Arce. It is way beautiful, a great view of the valley below. 
    We have a few baptisms really soon, one is the S family, a couple that just have to get married, but due to some birth certificate complications it is taking a little bit longer than planned. But hopefully this week we can get that fixed. He has stopped drinking and they are both looking forward to getting baptized. We have a couple other youngs people, a kid named C, that should get baptised in February. C´s parents aren´t married but the mom is a member, but the new husband can´t get baptized yet because she needs to get divorced first. That normally takes like 3-6 months so that's not anywhere in the near future, but I will probalby still be here when they get baptized. What we are really focusing on right now is finding new people. There are tons of less active members here, literally hundreds. Most of them have friends and family that aren´t members. So we are going to take the ward member list and look really hard, find them, and bring them back, along with their friends and family. There is this place called La Joya, where I think we will have lots of success. I am excited to be so close to my old friends. 
    It was awesome getting to listen to Elder Cook, he talked about missionary work, and how we should be happy in the work, if we view service as a sacrifice we will be miserable, but if we view it as the opportunity that it is we will have more joy. How as we serve the lord we gain the forgiveness of our sins. It was way good. Well my time is about up I will have to send the pictures next week when I have more time, and more pictures. Can´t wait to hear from all of you!
Elder Schriever

Monday, January 20, 2014


     Well to be perfectly honest we havent been told for sure what is going to happen this upcoming change. They will hopefully let us know today or tommorow. I really want to know whats going on so does everyone else, but they always let us know about changes at the very last moment. I guess thats just part of the game. I know for sure that I am not training next change or going to Belize, but I could be finishing Elder C. training still. I guess we will soon find out (me sooner than all of you) That is mostly what has been going on here. I am thinking that basically our whole district is going to get broken up, we already know that one guy is going to Belize, Elder S, and his companion is going to be training. We are all also looking forward to meeting with Quintin L Cook on thursday. We are all bracing to get ¨macheted¨ or just ripped apart for being lazy/disobedient, but who knows what it will actually be like. I'd imagine we get chastized a little bit but mosty encouraged to work harder and be better, that's what we really need anyway. 
     This week most of our people bailed on us for church. We had found a new family this week that were super positive J and J, but when it came time to go to church they were nowhere to be found, didn't answer their phones and weren't home. Somewhat dissapointing, but maybe something came up, who knows. C went to a wedding that someone had in the church to see that it doesn't have to be anything fancy. I think it helped her a lot to realize that the most important part is following a commandment of God. We are shooting to get them married for February 14th, and we have a short window to get all of the papers figured out and get them both excited about it. We are going to have to hurry and really get them going. But she has started to read the Book of Mormon more consistantly and we are really excited for that. That has been one of her problems in the past. Most people here don't have the habit of reading books, they don't like to do it and they are mules to get started. But It is so important. If someone doesn't read, they are never going to get a true testimony of the Book of Mormon, or Joseph Smith, or of the Church. Its one of the most important steps in conversion. and she is starting to take it. Who did come to church was a man named T L, a non-member husband of a super active wife. He also is a active member of the Catholic church. which makes for some interesting lessons. It has definitely given me a good test on my bible knowledge. I have read the new testament twice in spanish, and am currently almost through Exodus, chapter 21 to be exact, my goal is to read the bible cover to cover, twice, and I am still a little bit behind. But I knew enough so that he know we study the bible as well as the Book of Mormon. It was crazy because earlier that day I was reading in 2 nephi 9, the last little bit, and I looked through a couple cross references to the bible, while I was chasing down that reference another scripture would catch my attention from that same chapter. For example in Matthew 11 where it talks about how the law and the prophets were up until John the Baptist. I was stitting there and decided to try and come up with how I would answer that verse if someone mentioned it to me, by going to ephesians 4: 11-13. How Christs church is founded upon Prophets, apostles, etc, until we come to the unity of the faith. Anyway every scripture that I had looked up earlier that day, were the same scriptures that he used to test us. It was amazing for me to see how the lord prepared me to teach that lesson and respond to his individual questions. We taught him about prophets and apostasy, and invited him to pray and read the Book of Mormon. Overall it was a great visit. I really enjoyed it. 
      We have been working with the V family trying to get the wife reactivated so they can get sealed in the temple. She has now been going to church for three Sundays in a row and she will soon get her recommend to go and do baptisms for the dead. A huge step. She has schizophrenia and bipolarity, so it is sometimes hard to work with her. But she has been making huge strides. Our goal is that they get sealed in February, possibly March. Either way we are really excited for the progress she has made, especially in overcoming the nasty side affects. She has been so great. 
      Well thats mostly whats been going on here. I am gonna try and send some pictures to all of you guys so stay tuned. Love you all and hope for the best. Take care. 
Elder Schriever

Note to self: Never slide tackle on turf, but I didn't let the goal in. Totally worth it.
This monkey that we saw, we didn't get close because he was trying to bite, but he was so cute!

Monday, January 13, 2014

roasting hot january weather

Well everyone, 
It's been another good week in the mission! This week was mostly uneventful, I spent most of it doing interchanges and baptismal interviews for some of the other areas in the district. Our district right now is way cool. I will want to hang out with all of them when we all get back. But that might be a while because everyone else is pretty new. in our district of eight missionaries there are five in training. Which is only possible because there are two missionaries that are ¨cotrainers¨ because they both have the same amount of time, 11 weeks in the field. We are all gringoes, (which is probably going to get changed in a week) but we will enjoy it while it lasts. We all had interviews with President Hintze this week and he just realized that there we were all gringoes. Haha so I don´t think thats gonna last long. The interview with president was awesome, every time I leave wanting to be better and work harder, and I feel so much more motivated. He really is a excellent example of a Christ like leader. We are a little nervous to see what will happen with changes this next week, it feels like we all just got here, and now its about to be over. There are all kinds of rumors and guesses about changes but noone really knows. I guess I will let you guys know in a week!
     We are all really excited because Elder Quintin L Cook is coming to talk to the 3 El Salvador missions on the 23rd of January. we are all going to be meeting by the Chapel at the temple, I will probably see some of my old friends from the Santa Ana mission as well as President Cordón. 
     As far as investigators go this week was a pretty good success. C and her husband had decided that they wanted to wait until July 7th to get married, because that's when he first asked her to be his girlfriend. But we took her over to a family home evening with another family in the ward and now she is pretty set on getting married on the 14th of February. Horray for Valentine's Day! So we are both pretty excited about that. J T  is also doing well. Hopefully he will keep reading and be able to come to church this upcoming week. The big success of this week really was in the new investigators we have. This week we found two new families that both seem really positive, in total 11 people that we will start teaching. It is exciting and hopefully they will continue to learn and grow. we are always looking, but it is nice to have some new peoplle to start teaching. Sister V went to the whole three hour block today and is well on her way to getting sealed. I really hope she can do it. She is so close!!!
      This week we got a lot of support from the ward and it has been great. They really make the difference. There are members here that have such a strong testimony it is just astounding. They have it harder than almost any other person I know but they have a rock solid faith, which is really encouraging. 
     This Sunday I was reading a little bit in Doctrine and covenants section 18 where it says: 
15 And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one asoul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father! 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the akingdom of my Father, how great will be your bjoy if you should bring many csouls unto me!
It really got me thinking about how big of a difference one person can make. One person who decides to follow Christ can change the lives of everyone around them, as well as the lives of all of their children and grandchildren. I can´t wait till the day when I will get to greet the people who I have helped along the way, give them a big hug and cry for joy. I know that as we work hard to bless our fellow  sons and daughters of god our heavenly father will bless us and them immensly. Hope you all have a fantastic week and are all working hard on your new years resolutions! Love you all and look forward to hearing from you soon. 
Elder Schriever

Monday, January 6, 2014

So this is the New Year, and I don´t feel any different‏

   ¡Que Ondas!
Well 2014 is here in full swing, but really nothing much has changed. I sang the Death Cab for Cutie ¨New years Day¨song on New Years, as well as the U2 song of the same name. Nothing much happened here on New Years other than a whole bunch of drunk guys walking around, and us missionaries saying hi and then walking way faster to get away from them.  Most people went to the beach or to more touristy spots so we had to go searching for anyone who was still in their house. We ended up having a couple good lessons that day. There is this one guy we started teaching that has really left an impression on me. His name is D. A., and he met the missionaries around 12 years ago. He has one of the craziest lives that I have ever heard of. He is from Guatemala, and lived there for most of his life. He knows the church is true, and knows all of the stuff. But due to participation in the Guatemalan Civil war in the early 90´s has been unable to get baptized. Now over thirty years later he is suffering from all kinds of mental problems and disorders. He has to take pills to fall asleep and sedate himself or he won´t ever sleep. Basically he lives in what I would call darkness. Sometimes when we are teaching him I have no idea what to say. What can I say to erase the horrors or years past. It has definitely got me thinking about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. There are so much suffering, and hardship, it's hard to imagine what it would be like to feel all of that. It was totally different telling someone that through repentance they can be cleansed from sin, when what they have done is so serious. But I know that Christ suffered for all sins, the big ones as well as the small. We are hoping to have an interview set up with President, and send his case to the First Presidency for approval. We´ll see how it goes. 
       We are also teaching Ernest Torres Jr. He hans't been able to come to church. But hopefully this week he will be able to. We invited him to be baptized on February 8th, he said it was way too soon. But he wants to get baptized. We hope that he will realize that its the right step as he goes to church, and continues to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. But he really has sincere desires to change. 
     This Sunday Sister Vi. finally came to church for the whole three hours. It has been a real struggle, but she finally came for the whole block. She suffers from bipolarity and schizophrenia, which has made things more complicated. But she had an interview to the temple to go do baptisms for the dead, and the bishop said that if she would start going to church, she could go. It will be a big step towards getting them sealed in February or March. But she is definatly making progress. 
     C. and her husband decided that they want to get married, but they also decided that they want to wait till July 7th to do it. I won´t be there for sure but as long as it happens I´ll be happy. We will have to put them on the back burner then because thats way too long of a time to be passing by several times a week. We are going to try and bring the bishop over to talk to them, maybe this upcoming week. We´ll see what happens. Working with families is the best and worst. It makes things so much more complicated, but if you succeed it is so worth it. We are also working with the V. family but they are being super lazy right now so I think we are going to give them a break. Hopefully in a week or two they will decide that they actually want to do something. 
     We had an awesome lesson this week with a less active family, the T. family. We taught them The Restoration and my companion and I taught really well together. We have been struggling with sharing time well. Elder C. is somewhat uncomfortable with his Spanish, and I don´t like to have too many long, awkward pauses. But this lesson we were both on the same page and I don´t know where he pulled it out from, but his spanish was spot on. We were both super excited after that lesson. We are going to keep looking for new people and encouraging the people that we do have. With changes in two weeks I have no idea what will happen. But I really hope that I stay here in Lourdes at least one more change. I have made some really good friends here, and love the area and ward. Our district is way cool, and we make things fun. 
    On a sad note we went to the ruins today to find out that they are closed mondays and tuesdays. So that was kinda frustrating. Looks like I will have to pass by on my trip back here someday. We are however going to play soccer next week on a full size turf field, which should be way cool. Our bishop´s wife makes clothing, and the Elders in our ward are paying her to make some soccer jerseys for us. I will send you a picture of them once they are done, they are going to be sick. 
      Oh, in other news, on new years day we went over the the G. family's house with the four elders in our ward and helped make chicken and duck tamales. The best part was that we were assigned to butcher the chickens and ducks. It was another good reminder of the phrase ¨running around like a chicken with its head cut off¨ I would like to make an additon to that phrase ¨running around like a duck with its head cut off¨mostly because they go for a lot longer. I will send pictures for sure. The chicken tamales were way good, didn´t manage to get my hands on any duck ones. They are made with banana leaves, not corn husks. but the principle is the same. Well thats mostly whats been going on over here. 
     Hope the reality of going back to work and school doesn´t hurt too bad, its just an inevitable part of life. Just think spring break is only like two months away! Stay golden, I'll talk to you all soon!
Elder Schriever