Monday, June 24, 2013

A Day In the Life of a Missionary

Hi Everyone!
The broadcast yesterday is definitely going to change, quite a good amount about missionary work. You said, "it's exciting that I am part of such a huge change" and it is exciting. However, more importantly you guys back home are part of that change - the only way this change can happen is if the members step up and go out with the missionaries, give them referrals etc. I am excited to hear the stories of those people you guys bring into the church also!!!

This week was a pretty crazy week, we had tons of appointments. In fact many of those appointments were with members seeking after referrals. We have been doing this for quite a while and it really is beginning to show some fruits. We are now teaching two member referrals and we received two more referrals this Sunday.

When I say this week was crazy, I will give you an example of this past Saturday. I documented a day in the life as a missionary. I actually stopped taking pictures around 6:00 pm so I missed 3 stops that we made.
1-3 baptism for John, that's me on the right standing in waist deep water 
4- go back to the apartment (shower)
5- leave the apartment 
6- walk down the street then turn left (this is right outside my apartment)
7- walk along the Savannah 
 8- walk across the Savannah
 9- teach a lesson at this house (kadafi)
10- walk down the street  
11- teach a lesson at this house 
12- walk up a hill and down a trail

13-14 teach a lesson down the trail at this house
15-walk back up the hill and down the hill again
Lots of walking...
16- a members car drove us to the church we helped him prepare his talk for Sunday 
17- teach a lesson at this house 
18- walk up a huge hill for the third time that day then go and teach two more lessons 
(I missed two pictures sorry)
19- meet a member next to this store 

Traditional Trini food that i made. it's Roti and Curry

Here is one story for the week! Elder Salima and I met Jesus Christ on Friday, oh yeah we also met Billy Grahm or however you spell his name. ... this was a vagrant we met walking down a hill. He began talking to us so we kind of got stuck there. We probably got stuck talking to him for like 5 minutes, cause if you tell him you have to go they will just say "alright one last thing" and then talk for another long while. I will tell you right now, if any person came strait down from the states and talked to a vagrant here they would never ever be able to understand them. But hey I can hold a conversation with them now! So yeah just like Connor, I had to learn another language ;) haha but the one I learned was quite a lot easier.

Anyway this Sunday was crazy, we spent 2 hours traveling to and from church and 7 hours at church. This was because of the broadcast, it is amazing to see the commitment of the people here to come to church! I just think, what if we had to spend over an hour and a half traveling to church (like most of the people here do) I wonder how many people would show up to church?

Well now onto the important stuff ;) We had a pretty cool experience with "M" this week. Since his father stopped him from coming to church I thought a lot about what we as missionaries could do, I prayed for guidance, scoured over scriptures I could share with his dad and came up with ever possible apology, explanation, etc. After I had formulated what we should say and do I prayed again for guidance. As I prayed, I basically felt that sharing these things with his father would do nothing. I then felt that what we should speak to his father about was of the great goodness of God. To share with him the great love that God has for him and his family and then to bear witness of the great blessings that can come into his life from the teachings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was quite amazing to have this experience. Just another great testimony builder that the Lord will help us after we have done all that we can do. From that, I also realized there is something "M" can do, we taught him about fasting and prayer and asked him if he would fast and pray with us on Sunday, to soften his dads heart. He loved the lesson! It is amazing to see the faith of people being exercised. And guess what? after all of this, when "M" asked his dad if he could come to church, his dad openly said yes! Awesome!

"T" is doing great he received an answer last week that the organization of the church is Gods'. We just need to help him realize what exactly that means. He loves the Book of Mormon! He started reading it just a little while ago and he is now basically one of those people who can't put the book down. When we stop by during the week, we basically just help him understand what he read, because he doesn't have much of an education.

Oh, I have yet to tell you about "V"! "V" is a mostly blind man we have been teaching, we didn't think much of him at first because he just sat in on a lesson we had with a more solid investigator. However, he came to church this week for the whole nine hours and he loved it! He also expressed to us that ever since we taught him it is all he has been able to think about. It is incredible to see how the spirit works in different people! He wants to come to church every week now and we are going to set a baptismal date for him very soon.

To Pops,
I can definitely see the workings of the spirit out here when we teach. In just these couple months my testimony of the fact that the spirit works through missionaries has definitely increased. I have learned a lot down here. the people here don't have the greatest education so most of the time they don't fully understand the lesson. Because of this I have thought to myself what can I do to help these people understand more. As I studied and prayed about this the spirit bore witness to me that I am not the one doing the teaching, the spirit is. Its cool to hear that experience you had and i think about it a lot. the spirit has definitely directed me to stray from our lesson plan, and It is awesome to see how the spirit moves you to teach.

I love you guys and I thank you so much for the great support!
Have an awesome week!

Elder Schroeder

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

This week has flown by! I am already almost half way through my second transfer, my goodness how the time is flying! Sounds like a fun water park - they supposedly have one here over the ocean called Harry's or something. Hearing that makes me miss the ocean, can you believe it, I live on an island and I miss the ocean? haha! It's cool that you got to go to the speedway, looks like fun.

That is a sweet story dad, I do recall the name Matt, I think you have mentioned that story in the past. And also about what you said that it is an accumulation of experiences that changed you. I can definitely see that Satan has a huge grip here and already I can see that Satan works in lucrative and hidden ways whereas God works powerfully and gloriously. I am sure that throughout my mission, I will see it ever more. Thank you for that.

Alright the crazy story from last week... Myself and Elder Contrerez - we were on trade offs, met a lady that exclaimed, "I love to see my sons!!" she then invited us inside. Once we got inside her gate she locked it behind us and yelled to one of her friends on the street and said that we were two gentleman from England who have come to spend the night with her. After she stated how old she was and that she was born on June 28th 1921 she said she wanted to show us something weird. As we followed her through her yard she continued to relay to us on more than one occasion that she was born on June 28th 1921. She led us to her backyard and showed us the view from her backyard and said now you have something weird to tell your brethren when you meet up with them again. crazy !! You had to of been there. Then she led us back to her front gate and before she left she said that we can just call her moms when we see her again. As we left we said, "bye moms" she looked at us strangely with her hands on her hips and said, "no, no, no Moms is for your mothers call me Grammy" she was crazy ..... it was pretty funny - now anyway, at the time it wasn't too funny. I have met more crazy people than you would ever believe. So many people are affected by drug use and what not. 

Anyway here are some more Trini things. The people here love to add the letter S to the end of words. For instance: traffics, that's mines, and whatever word they really want to. Also the people here think physical labor is super hard, like cutting bush which is super easy or shoveling and carrying gravel. 
Anything that requires physical labor the people here think you need to hire someone who specializes in it. Like a gravel carrier or a bush cutter. There are also some other weird things I have learned about - they have things called manicues which are basically opossums and its a delicacy here. Also, you know that tree we had growing in our back yard that was destroying the sidewalk, it is a native tree here. I have also eaten so many different types of mango's I cant even think of them all! .. long ones, short ones, tiny ones, huge ones, slimy ones, dry ones, some of them taste pretty weird. I am sending a picture of the doubles here - they are the texture of crepes - kind of, and they put curried garbanzo beans on them (they call that chana) they are amazing!


One of my friends emailed me and he talked about the weather on his mission. He said it is 99 degrees and like 50% humidity and he had to walk everywhere cause their car privileges we taken away. it just made me laugh. I will tell you it is the worst when it starts to rain and the clouds have yet to block the sun its like over a hundred degrees and raining . 

Now to the important stuff. "M" the 15 year old boy I told you about, who is a solid investigator is supposed to be baptized on the 29th of this month but his father won't allow him to come to church. His dad was offended about 10 years ago. Could you pray for him that his heart will be softened? "T" is doing great! He has been struggling receiving a confirmation from the Holy Ghost that this is the true church and on Sunday in gospel principles he got his answer!!!!! So now basically all he has to do is get his divorce finalized and be married then baptized! booyah!! "J" who is 11 was able to come to church and he loved it! His dad took him and he loves his dad. His dad is supposed to be baptized this Saturday. He seems to be taking the lessons very seriously. The other night when we ended the lesson, we asked him if he would pray as usual, and he did. It was a lovely prayer but in the prayer he expressed that he will likely drink in the future. We have yet to teach him the Word of Wisdom.
It just struck home to me of how different it is here. The kids here see everyone over 15 drink and they see their parents have many relationships.  It just amazes me how much iniquity there is here. The people change so much for the gospel and it is amazing!!! 

We also went to the zoo today - the zoo is sketchy haha., no it was super fun cause you can basically play with the animals and they also have three ocelots which are awesome!!! There was also a crocodile cage that basically if you wanted to you could touch the crocodile.

Well, I love you all until next week. 
Elder Schroeder

Monday, June 10, 2013

Interesting & Awesome!

Last week was interesting on Friday (5/31) we got fed breakfast lunch and dinner. Breakfast by an investigator - while we doing service and digging a cesspit about 6 feet deep we had a type of roti that is kind of like a quesadilla. Lunch with a different family, we had coo coo with kingfish. And dinner with a someone in the ward we had Potato salad, macaroni pie, pelow, and Stewed Chicken, that was amazing. However, at about two in the morning Saturday night I woke up with food poisoning. I never threw up but laid in bed for about two hours not able to fall asleep. I finally fell asleep but when I woke up in the morning I felt exactly the same. I stayed in bed til about 7:30 :/ A cool thing about this experience though is that I prayed for strength to go throughout the day  and it was given to me. Pretty much all of our appointments fell through that day so we went to members houses to try and get some referrals. By and by Elder Salima and I ended up doing service by cutting bush for two hours, it was pretty interesting and fun.

Lots of opportunity to help people out.

This week has been pretty awesome! Today is the two month anniversary of me being on my mission.

P- day today 6/10/13 Maracas Falls

For the young women preparing to go on a mission really emphasize the first couple lessons in preach my gospel meaning the restoration, plan of salvation, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. When you know these lessons deeply you can teach them simply. There is a saying that goes for students when they learn vocabulary - if you cant explain a word simply, you don't know it good enough. The same goes for the lessons in order to teach them simply you have got to know them inside and out.
The two teenagers we are teaching love the message we have and they really don't like the people that live around them - cause they are always drunk of doing other things. This is good cause it is hard to find youth who don't like to participate in those types of things here. They both want to know the truth really badly so its only a matter of time. We have taught the restoration to one of them and the other the restoration and the plan of salvation. Thank you so much for the idea of using the For the Strength of Youth. I didn't even think about it! If it isn't available to us at the mission office then we will just get one from church. By the way it is a young woman she's 17 and the young man is 15, they are cousins.

The work is going awesome here we just started teaching a kid, his dad is going to be baptized soon, the dad lives in Diego Martin and the son lives in our area so we get to teach him. It was pretty crazy how it worked out, we actually had been teaching the mom without knowing that the dad - who had been coming to church, was the father of her kids. When we asked if we could teach her son she gladly said yes. Getting permission to teach youth here is super hard. The kids are usually super excited about it but the parents don't trust us.

Yes, I am sleeping well because I work out every day! Who says you get out of shape on your mission.
Interesting fact the other day I was in a maxi and it had air conditioning and I actually pushed the vent away from me cause I was cold, it was still probably like 75 degrees in there haha.

To pops
Happy Fathers Day! You have been a great father and your guidance has always helped me - especially as I was growing up. I really appreciate the opportunity I had to work with you so much before I left on my mission, we got to do quite a lot together which I thought was pretty awesome. You have been a great father and I am sure you probably will continue to be ;) haha.

I feel like once you get the taste of missionary work and really get to teach someone, no matter how inexperienced you are, each missionary has something they can offer that another missionary can't. It really is awesome because after basically the first week every missionary in the district speaks with credibility. It is super hard to explain exactly what I am thinking. Anyway, I am loving the mission, even though it can be challenging. I also know that it is definitely changing my life. What would you say changed your life the most on your mission just curious??

Elder Schroeder (The Real #1)

P.S. I didn't really have time to tell you the crazy story this week but I should be able to share it next week.

FYI- you can look at Connor's post and you'll see there is a little rivalry between our boys. They both think they are #1. They actually are; Connor was 1st born by a whole 4 minutes and Kyle was the 1st to leave on his mission. I think they are both great!!