Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Walking Dead (and Thanksgiving)

BELIZE!!!! was awesome, I´m not going to give too many details or send pictures so that we have stuff to talk about when I get home. It's my version of Dad´s "Radio Silence" I think that If i save some stuff to tell you guys the first few days we will have more to talk about! These past few days have been a whirlwind. We had a baptism on Sunday of the mother in law of one of the counselors of the bishopric, she is about 70 years old and has knee problems, and is afraid of water. It was probably one of the most difficult baptisms I have done as far as the ordinance goes. She stiffened up when she had to go back. I didn´t  throw her in the water but had to force her a little bit. But in the end she was happy. 
    I went to work in some of the zones this week and went to a few areas that I had never been to called San Juan Opico and Joyas de Cerén. It was really good, they are all teaching lots of families and its great to see. There is nothing better than teaching a young couple and realizing that if they decide to follow Christ that it will have an eternal impact on all of their children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Its so great to see. 
   As far as mission work goes we had a successful week. We have been able to find several new investigators through recent converts and members. It was good to have more people in our teaching pool sometimes I feel like we just walk in the same circles over and over again. We need to break out and do something new. 
   This week has been hard to keep the bagginess away. Between all of you in your emails and the missionaries that call me every day and let me know the day and hour countdown, and realizing that there´s not much time left. I have resorted to finding out their countdown as well and everytime they remind me I remind them. For example this morning Elder K called me and said "Hey Schriever we have an emergency!" "What what happened" "You only have 15 days left, thats 360 hours" " Let me think just add that to the 98 other days that you have left.. thats only 113 days!!!" "Okay hey I gotta go" Its probably not the best way but I can't just roll over and take it. It's gonna hard facing my last full week but we´ll get through it. 
    I wanted to take some time talk about Thanksgiving. A grateful person is always satisfied. and when we focus on being grateful for what we have we are so much happier. I am so grateful for the time to be a missionary. and for the blessing of having the true gospel in my life. I have seen what a difference it has made. I am also grateful for the opportunites Heavenly Father has given me, to get an education, to have a good job, to have a great family. There are not many people in the world more blessed than me. I want to thank you all for taking the time to write me and letting me know how everything is going. I hope you all have a great thanksgiving and a wonderful weekend! 
Love you all!
Elder Schriever

Monday, November 17, 2014

17th of November

Wow what a great week!
    I am just super excited right now. We had a fantastic week. Monday started off pretty good, nothing too out of the ordinary. We just hung out, and had a few family home evenings. Tuesday was back to work. I went to go visit this zone called Puerto la Libertad, which is right on the coast. It was pretty good, we found a couple of new investigators, taught some of their positive investigators, and did a few baptismal interviews. It was soooo hot. I was about ready to tear the tie off, but luckily I didn´t. That part of the coast has a beach called "El Tunco" which I hear is ranked number #3 of best surfing beaches in the world. It's on my bucket list to visit someday. 
    On Wednesday and Thursday I was in Antiguo Cuscatlan working in our own area. It is always an adventure seeing what's going to happen. Most of the people we are teaching are pretty flaky so lots of appointments fall down. Sometimes we spent too much time running around and not enough time teaching lessons. But we´re working on that. What the Bishop has asked us to do is focus on working and getting a better relationship with the members. So instead of knocking doors we should visit the members and help them out. It has been great so far, we are working with the family members of the elder´s quorum president. It is so much more enjoyable working with members than alone. It's great. 
    Friday I went back to Izalco to work. I got to go to this place called San Julian, which is from my first district. It´s super rural with lots of farms, and sugar cane fields. It was way good. There was a relatively new missionary that I got to work with named Elder M who is super tall. I come up to his shoulder. He is a volleyball player and will probably play for BYU after the mission. Super cool guy, he´s just starting but he´s doing good. It was a flashback to back in the day when I was first starting. Weird. 
   The highlight of the week was Saturday with the sealing of J and L. R and P were there as well. As well as their mom who was sealed to her deceased husband and two of her children. It was a fantastic day. It was the best to be able to see the whole progression from talking to Jacob for the first time, to seeing him get married and baptized, to sealed this past week. There were many other missionaries who worked hard during this past year to make sure that happened, who weren't there to see it. It's humbling to realize that there is no one person that deserves the credit for the good that is done. It is an effort and achievment of many. 
    I am nervous about the cold it sounds like things are pretty chily up there, I am not to sure how well I am going to deal with that. I am too used to the heat. Thank you all for writing me and for taking the time to share what's going on. It really helps me feel connected and not totally cut off from the world. This week is going to fly by and then I will be talking to you soon. Next Monday I will be in Belize, so I might not quite get to write for the whole time. Have a great week!
Elder Schriever

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10th

Well family this week flew by and I hardly know where it went! 
    We had a pretty good week. I feel like I learned some new and important things. one of them being that Papa John´s all you can eat doesn´t sound that good after ten slices. One of the other things was about the importance of daily morning Book of Mormon study.  Sometimes we leave the house at around 8 in the morning, and we don´t get back until late at night. I realized that I am starting to loose the habit of reading my scriptures in the morning, and was reading them at night. It's not bad exactly but its not the best. I decided that I need to make a habit of reading the Book of Mormon during the first hour that I am awake. It really has made a difference. I just feel like my whole day goes so much better. I also feel like I have some more material when I have to pull a lesson out of nowhere. It's a habit I want to have my whole life. 
    We had a leadership meeting this week with all of the zone leaders, President talked about a pretty cool topic. He talked about how the difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how we use them. I always have seen the "Problems" of investigators as a huge issue and something that takes away from their spiritual experience. But it was interesting to realize that it depends on how the people take those "problems" that will turn them into opportunities. for example, I went to this area called Monserrat with some elders to teach a family. They are good people, just plain and simple, awesome family. But the dad does not want to get married, at all. He said "I feel that I have made a commitment with my wife in my heart, and that's what's important" he doesn`t feel the need to be married quite yet. We started to explain the law of chastity to him but it was pretty clear that we were going to get nowhere trying to convince him that marriage is for him. So in the end we just left the pamphlet, and committed him to pray and ask God what he should do. When I left I realized that this is the way it has to be. If he can receive an answer and overcome his doubts it will be a strong part of his conversion, and will be a source of spiritual strength for the future. So when I am walking through my area wondering who on earth I am going to teach, it helps to remember that "stumbling blocks can become stepping stones" We were able to find a bunch of new people this week to teach and we are having more support from the members. It's been great. This coming weekend J and L are going to get sealed in the temple. Its going to be a great week! I`ll be sure to take lots of puctures to send to you all. 
     Right now the mission just seems super dead, everyone seems to be tired and lifeless. So me and my companions are basically the cheerleaders right now, just trying to get everyone excited about missionary work and going out to get stuff done. This week we are going to be all over the place. Its gonna be great. I was looking at our schedule for the next few weeks and its going to be crazy. We have this week where we have a full week to work, then the next week will be basically all meetings. The next week we will be in Belize and then its the last full week before changes. So basically I have two full weeks to work in my area. We gotta leave it all on the field. We have found some really exciting new investigators and I really want to teach them. Today is going to be a chill day, I just want to relax for a few hours. Sounds like everyone is doing good, getting greared up for the holiday season. I love you all and hope this week is the best! 
Elder Schriever

P.S. The picture is the V family who I helped get sealed, they came to the mission temple activity!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Changes without much change

Hey family how´s it going?!
    This week was crazy, we had so much stuff going on! First things first. Changes. Nothing crazy big happened Elder R and Elder R went home. I was pretty sad to see them go. They are both great guys and were great companions. I am gonna miss them alot. They both seemed very happy and relieved to be going home. Maybe content is the better word. After two years of hard work and finishing with honor it is a big deal. This time it hit me hard, knowing that when the next changes come around, it will be me who is giving my testimony and packing my bags, what a scary thought. It just doesn´t quite seem real. I have six weeks to get as much good done as I can. I want to baptize another family before I go. That is the goal. My new companios are super cool, one is Elder G, from Mexico City, He speaks english and comes from a pretty well off family so he is almost like a gringo. He is a really cool guy and a great missionary we are going to do great! The other is Elder R from Utah, he is a cool guy too. he is pretty young and still has around six months to go, it has got to be hard being with a bunch of dying missionaries. Poor kid. 
    I have been driving lots this past week since I am the only one that has a liscence for the meantime. I have gotten lots better at weaving through traffic and getting places fast. Its pretty fun. There are basically no speed limits here. Its great. I have only killed one dog so far so I´m doing okay. 
    This week we also had the mission temple tour, I was in charge of leading the meeting which was crazy because I had to coordinate the groups and make sure that the timing was right. At one point there were like 400 people there and some groups were going too fast, others were behind. It was pretty stressful but it turned out well, we had everything color coordinated to determine the groups but some people still didn`t understand. But it made for a super stressful week. This week is going to be more relaxed we have several multizone meetings, and then the whole mission is going through a temple session. Its going to be a good, low stress week. Just teaching the gospel and talking to people, I can do that. This week one of our big focuses is going to be taking all of our recent converts to the temple to do baptisms. I think it will help them all feel the spirit and get a better apreciation for the temple. It's something that so many people don`t understand. This week Sister J came back to church for the first time in over twenty years it was great to see. She has some stuff to work out but she will get through it. 
    Well that is about all thats going on working hard and having fun. hope you all have a great week and I`ll talk to you soon.