Thursday, July 25, 2013

Awesome weeks and interesting eats!

To our family and friends: I'm a bit behind on updates, we are still out of town but I've found sometime between everything to blog. We have been enjoying our visit with my parents, nieces and Sidney and Scott for their graduation at BYUI, and having lots of fun! (bike riding, bridge jumping, river rafting, fishing, enjoying the outdoors) Enjoy! Robin 

For transfers this week (Wednesday) Elder Salima is going down south to a place called San Fernando and Elder Kramer -he is one of the zone leaders, is going to the south to a place called Couva (I have spent a lot of time with Elder Kramer and Whitlock, they always run out of water at their apartment so they come to ours, and we also spend every p-day together) I am staying in my area and my new companion will be Elder Jamison. He seems pretty cool. I was able to talk to him on the phone a little bit. Elder Whitlocks new companion will be Elder Hatch, he is the Elder I went on trade offs with the other week and I'm done with the 12 week training program!

Good work mom on the deck! I am impressed, that doesn't seem like very easy work! I also hope you guys have tons of fun in Idaho for pioneer day that sounds like a load of fun parades, fishing, shooting! All around patriotism and hearts of children turning to fathers.

Also, Sister Kelly sent some letters from the primary to me so expect some letters in the mailbox in the next couple weeks for the kids in the primary, and don't open the letters cause they are for the kids, you know how much they love opening letters. You can just ask Sister Kelly to give you the letters, after the primary is done reading them.

So far as the work here it is awesome! We should have some baptisms next transfer, and I will probably get to baptize them!!

Elder Schroeder

Also, don't forget to tell Sid and Scott congrats for me when they graduate! Love you guys !!

This is the national dish of Trinidad - called pelow or paylow
depending on who you ask

This is the American family that feeds us every Sunday and I skyped from their house on Mothers day, they will be in California soon.

This week has been awesome !!! My new companion, Elder Jamison is from Riverton, Utah and has been on his misison 15 months - about the same as Elder Salima. He is awesome! We are very similar, we have the same ideas, both not fans of EFY music, love classical music, love to work, and keep the apartment clean (which is extremely nice) The only difference between him and I, is he has experience. Elder Jamison is a genius when it comes to missionary work. Just in the short time that he has been here our missionary work has drastically changed. We already have all day Tuesday and Wednesday planned out with solid appointments and many other appointments for the following days. I have learned and am going to learn so much from him and at the end of this transfer. I am going to be more than prepared to be an awesome missionary. I am super excited to learn all I can from him, and let me tell you it's a tremendous amount.

This week was a little slow though because it was transfer week. However, we have found quite a few new investigators who seem very promising and awesome! I am excited to bring some of the members to go teach them. Basically, right now we are focusing on the investigators we already have and getting member work going here. We are trying to become the missionaries our mission president and Bishop want us to be, which feels good. You can tell that when you follow the structure outlined in preach my gospel the Lords hand is there behind you. I actually read a cool quote in the teachings of Lorenzo snow on Sunday, " The work in which you and I are engaged can only prosper and be forwarded through the blessings of God upon our faithful and honest exertions."

It definitely is true the work is in our hands to do, but the progression of it is in Gods hands. So all I can do as a missionary is work honestly and faithfully and hey according to Doctrine and Covenants 121: 20-21 He has to prosper the work. The same goes at home, I know if you guys at home try your hardest to bring souls unto Christ He will bless you and those whom you teach. Man I have begun to preach... haha

Anyway here is an update on "M" his birthday is today and he will be baptized on August third !!!!!! whoohoo!! He is awesome has a testimony of Jesus Christ, Joesph Smith, President Monson, and of everything we have taught! He has a bunch of friends at church! He is super excited to be baptized and his parents are very supportive of his decision.

"T" is basically at the same stage, (he needs to finish the legal paperwork and get married) the only thing now is we really want more members to befriend him so we are trying to take more members over to his house and get to know him.

Two of our other solid investigators "M and S" are out of the country :( they will be out of the country on vacation for about a month :( so that's kind of a bummer.

"J" is doing awesome (he is 11) only now his mother is very hesitant in allowing him to be baptized. His father is a member of the church but the mother is not, we feel that the mother is hesitant because she doesn't know who goes to the church or anything so we are making very strong efforts at bringing members by so she can meet people from the church. We would love to get her to come to church and we always invite her.

The work here is going awesome, no doubt with our work and faith, the work here in Port of Spain is going to explode! I am super excited to see it happen! It has already begun!!

I love you all so much have a great week, until next.

Elder Schroeder

Eating chicken foot

My new companion

More chicken foot and pigs tails (pig tail is actually very very good)
yum yum!! I can go without chickens foot...

Monday, July 8, 2013

Another great week!

Sweet to hear from guys! Sounds like you are as busy as ever and will be busier. You are already turning into traveling grandparents haha.. I hope you guys have fun river rafting and traveling all over. Tell Sidney congratulations for me, that is super exciting! Also, good luck. Lastly, the insects here aren't bad, when you get out of the town areas they get worse. As for now though there is no need for bug repellent which is nice. Having loads of arm hair helps too cause the mosquitoes can't bite you there. 

This week has been great! I got to go on trade offs to a new area.  It's fun to see how when you as a missionary are perfectly obedient and just work as hard as you can that fruits can't help but come. I will tell you there is a fine line between just working and giving it your all.  I look forward to the fruits of perfect obedience and spurring the work on. 

This week we were entrusted by the Lord with 2 awesome new investigators! One is a woman that Elder Salima contacted with Elder Contrerez when we were on trade offs. She loves Jesus Christ and loves the message we have about Him. When the spirit tells her that this is the truth, I have no doubt that she will follow. The second lady is the fruit of persistence. We have many people here, when we contact them they say, "oh I have my own religion and I will never change." Usually, when they say that we mostly just give up on them cause they aren't willing to listen. But when she said this I said,  as she was walking away." I know that the message we have can bless your life tremendously." She stopped and gave me her ear for just 30 seconds, it was long enough to make an impression.  It was awesome to see the change in someone just by bearing a quick testimony of the truth!! We have been able to teach her twice now!  Our testimony as missionaries is the strongest arrow in our quiver (that's a quote from James E Faust - I believe) 

"T" is doing great!  We finally helped him realize, what the answer the spirit gave him meant. He can answer all the baptismal questions now with a solid YES!!!! All he has to do now is finalize his divorce and get married. (all he is waiting for is his wife's signature) so that is awesome! 

"M" is also doing great, I believe we got over the hurdle with his dad. His dad now talks to us and jokes with us which is awesome!!! So now his parents will let him get baptized but there is only one problem... they basically think that he has to be perfect before he is baptized. Every time we talk to them about his baptism they say "oh yeah he can be baptized, he just has a few more things he has to work on." They are super supportive of him in all his actions, like going to church and stuff it's just that they won't allow him to be baptized yet.

This week was pretty sad too. Along with the success we had to drop a few investigators. They are just not keeping commitment and progressing, we have taught them for months now. It is super hard to tell people you have gotten to know so well, that you cannot come anymore. It comes to a point though when we have to. We cannot waste a minute of our time :/ it is so sad :( 

On a lighter note, I have seen many interesting things here in Trinidad. There is basically a vagrant that lives on every street - their minds have been fried by drugs. There aren't many dull moments here. The other day we saw one pooping in the middle of a field :O  I wasn't even surprised so, based off that you can tell there a many strange thing that happen here.

Well another great week! I love you guys and I will talk to you later.

Elder Schroeder (Sholda or Shoda) - as they say here

Cute Kid!!
We have been helping build this house.

 Sunset from an investigators house 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Teaching, Iguana & the Flu

Sounds like you guys had an awesome and exciting week and Dad probably had a relaxing one. Hearing about Catalina and the Del Mar fair makes me a little bit home sick. I think, if anything I miss the weather back home, those hot summer days back home would feel just marvelous as compared to the hot ones here.  I really have grown accustomed to the weather here, I don't even really sweat anymore unless I am walking or something.

It was super cool to hear the story about President Marler - you know as missionaries it is stories like that that make us excited haha.

So this week was a little different... It started off great! I feel like now I have really learned how to teach by the Spirit, it is amazing to share my testimony with the people here! This whole experience makes me think of the missionaries in the Book of Mormon and how they taught.  The majority of the teachings in the Book of Mormon are the testimonies of the prophets, t
hey allowed the Spirit to guide them as they taught. The same should go for us as missionaries, there is a scripture in Doctrine & Covenants 68:4 "And whatsoever they shall speak when moved upon by theaHoly Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the bpower of God unto salvation." 

Now about our investigators. Yes, we are still teaching "A" she has yet to come to church because she usually stays somewhere else, with some family for the weekend. "V" likely would have come to church again this last Sunday but we couldn't get a hold of him and arrange a ride for him this Sunday. It is so hard to get our investigators to church every week, we have so many solid investigator that want to come to church but something happens every time so that all of them cannot make it. However, there is good news, the church here in Port of Spain will be reopened on the 21st of July!!!! yay!! It should be easier for both investigators and member to come to church!

The beginning of the week went pretty well, teaching wise. Fridays and Saturdays are usually our best days and guess what happened Friday? Around lunch time, I got the Flu :( I just thought it was a bad stomach ache so I went out teaching, as the day went on it gradually got worse and worse. I started feeling hot, got a headache and got super weak. We headed back to the apartment (about two miles) -on foot, to change because there was a sports activity for investigators and members. We got changed and started walking to the church and it hit me like a brick, yep I threw up on the corner of the street... a lot ... we went to the activity cause we were pretty close to the church already and i just rested. I got a ride back to the apartment when it was over and proceeded to sleep from about 9:00 pm Friday to about 4:00 pm Saturday. I limped to a baptism then got home around 6 and slept from then till 10:30 Sunday morning and then went to church. Got home form church slept from 8:00 till around noon today and now I feel fine. I don't think i have ever felt so sick in my life. Now I am good though so no worries!

On a lighter note, I caught an Iguana on Thursday, Elder Salima and I were in Curepe (pronounced keerib) doing a baptismal interview and on the walk to the bus road I saw it and caught it. Everyone was super impressed haha!! - mostly the locals. I think that they think all we missionaries can do is teach the gospel.

Elder Schroeder's Iguana

Other than being sick, this week was great! The mission president came to our ward on Sunday. I got to talk to him a little bit, which was cool. It's always fun to get to know the mission president a little better.
I love you all, I hope you have a great week! Until, next week.

Elder Schroeder