Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Lord schools me everyday...

Feb. 17, 2014

It is almost carnival time here. However my area is way out in the bush so there probably won't be any parties and we have a car anyway so we wont be on the streets. And yes,  I said we have a car it is a brand new 2013 Chevy Cruze! booyah! We get to go off-roading in it all the time because there is only one main road in my area really,  and all the rest are dirt.

Elder Brown is awesome he is about 5'9" and he weighs about 215 .. he is a big boy! His biceps are about the size of my thigh, probably a little bigger, but its alright cause my biceps are the size of his thigh... yeah.... right... haha.. We get along great! We both love to work out so we have some great workouts in the mornings. He is Polynesian and he is from Utah. We work well together... he was trained by a missionary named Elder Hatch I am pretty sure I told you about Elder Hatch earlier on. We got along great on the few trade offs we went on (teaching wise) so we can teach great together. I don't know if that made any sense...

Anyway this week has just been quite a bit of learning my way around and getting to know the members and investigators and thing (pronounced ting) they say that a lot here in the bush. Oh yes my area is definitely in the bush ... lots and lots of bush! It is sweet, I love it!

We have a great member named "W" who goes out with us all the time, he was baptized just recently and he is just getting a grip on teaching. It is fun to get to go teaching with members more!  I am sure I will be doing that a lot more having a car and all.

Among all the people we have been teaching there are two that really stick out to me the first is "R" He looks like he was once a rasta man but has since let that alone. We just started teaching him and we set a baptismal date for the 8th of March right off the bat. He is growing spiritually! Which is exciting to see! I just hope he continues to grow! The latter is actually a family, their surname is "P", There are 4 in the family and their friend "C" is also being taught. If they can make it to church the next couple Sundays they will be ready! They are a very bright family, I have a lot of hope for them!

I am excited for this transfer with Elder Brown! He is a great missionary we are going to have a lot of success together! Sorry for the short email this week the internet here is slow. I will just have to adjust, I should be able to write more next week.

booyah! and no I did not put that dent in it... never would I ever! .. and yeah it does go really fast ;)
Elder Schroeder

Feb 23, 2014
Haha...did it work? I am sure you are nervous enough just with me driving in the craziest place on earth ;) I am real used to driving on the left side of the road now. It's going to be weird when I come back home! As for who drives the car I am the one who drives all the time.

Elder Brown has been out 6 months about. He is a great missionary! Definitely knows what he is doing. He also is super focused its been the most spiritual couple weeks of my mission so far with him!

As for how carnival works down here, the whole weekend this coming week is going to be pretty intense as far as I hear. We are commanded to be inside all day Monday and Tuesday next week. That means I will be emailing on Wednesday next week. We also have been counseled by the members in our area to get inside before dark on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Apparently, there are obscene amounts of drunk drivers and ting out there. (yes i said ting - its a filler word used here) so President Mehr has basically left it up to us to decide if we should stay out or not.

To Dad....Great counsel. Thank you!

This week has been great! As before mentioned the past couple weeks have probably been the most spiritual couple weeks on my mission. Elder Brown and I are doing great keeping in tune with the spirit. We have 12 people with baptismal dates right now and ever growing! The Lord has truly blessed the people here in Valencia! I hope and have faith that he will continue to consecrate our work as we consecrate our lives to him. It's interesting how that works.

I am especially excited for a couple families, the first being a less active member in an area called Cumoto (komoto) which is a little way off the beaten path. Truthfully he has little support from the members in the ward.. very few know him. However we have made a strong effort recently to get over to his home at least twice a week. We have seen him -from the beginning, come out of obscurity, I hope it will continue! Just because we reached out and showed him a little friendly love, I hope he comes back to church and forms some new friendships! So his support will always be there.

Another man that I think fondly of is "F" we met him in an attempt to teach his daughter actually, and perchance we happened upon him.  From the start he seemed an austere man, kind of closed off from the world, that I accredit to his condition. He had a stroke and presently has cataracts- one severe in his right eye and less so in the other. We are making a bold attempt at getting him to the beach! While we were teaching he explained to us that he used to love going to the beach or I should say loves going to the beach to go fishing. He doesn't have much support so as he was explaining this to us I simply thought to myself, "if I was his age and could not get out or do anything, especially the things that I love... I would be miserable!!!" My bowels were moved with compassion (you may remember that from the Savior himself) and I wanted more than anything to get this man to the beach! To do what he loves!

Instantly, I realized that this is what true missionary work is! I knew that before but it hit me with stark contrast this time around. As I considered this instance further, I have come to understand to a greater degree how much mercy the Lord wants to extend to us. He understands us perfectly and desires to take away our afflictions. Previously this thought or concept had come upon me but this time it was profound!

One thing I have loved and continue to love on my mission is that the Lord schools me everyday! I have learned something new everyday, it is great!

Well,  that's it for this week. I love all of you!!!
Especially you MUM and POP
Elder Schroeder

March 5, 2014
Thank you for all the birthday cards and letters!! 

I did withdraw that money. I will take a picture next week with what I got... a set of real good hair clippers and a traditional cutlass with a leather sheath.

The wheels on the car look sweet! You have got yourself one sweet ride there, I can't wait to drive it ;) hehe

As far as how our carnival went, it was pretty fun actually.  We just stayed inside all day and actually our neighbor was so kind as to give us about a dozen or more coconuts! So we spent some good time chopping those open and drinking them. We even put some in the fridge and then drank them, it was the best! The first day didn't consist of much, we just stayed inside and talked and ate and studied things. The next day however was much more fun.. in nightly calls I found out that we were approved to go to an activity held at the church in Arima (about 20 minutes west of us) it was super fun! They had a bunch of games planned and we then had a huge water fight which was epic. That went from 10 am to 4 pm then we went home ate some brownies and watched one of the movies the church produced called The Testaments. It's a very popular movie among missionaries. That is pretty much what our carnival experience was like.

As for how my birthday went we actually got one of our investigators married on my birthday! It was awesome! We have a man in our ward named "Bro S" who does marriages in all of the east part of Trinidad. He is a fiery guy and we got to drive with him to the wedding. He was they first one to sing Happy Birthday to me, it was pretty hilarious! Anyway at the little wedding,  I got a slice of cake so that was my wedding/birthday cake haha. We did have a lot of brownies and ice cream during carnival though so no worries.

Anyway to the fun stuff! We have been super hard at work! We hit all of our goals this week which was great. We have so many people in our area that are interested in the gospel. Lots of promise. The only problem is getting them to church.  Our area is a pretty good distance from the church and it is a little more difficult than most areas to get travel into town for church..not impossible but difficult. I wish the people just understood the great importance of these things.. anyway...

We have a guy that we are teaching I am especially excited for... his father is a member and "D" hasn't been taking much interest in the gospel. Apparently the missionaries have been trying really hard for the last long time with him but to little avail. Recently though his interest has finally blossomed! He is very interested in everything now! He plans to be baptized. So he will probably be baptized a couple weeks from now! I am excited for him though... oh yeah he is 14 by the way.

Another couple people recently moved up to Valencia and the missionaries in Arima referred us to them. They have been investigating for some time but the missionaries there couldn't get them to set a baptismal date. The first lesson we had with them we set a date! They are awesome and they understand the principles of the gospel very, very well. They are even already married and they have referred us to their whole family!

Well, I think that is it for the week !
Love the both of you!
Elder Schroeder!

March 10, 2014
I got the Birthday package thank you so much!! I still haven't finished eating everything in it. I have found that I don't much like candy anymore, just occasionally. I am glad I like to eat healthy. I don't feel that that will ever be a problem in my life.

Anyway it is awesome to hear about that great opportunity for Casey I really hope he gets in! That would be awesome "Casey the air traffic controller" I could see that. He would need to get himself a sweet pair of nerd glasses though ;) just kidding

Sounds like Connor is having quite the time in the Philippines with the penguin and sea lion and such.  I hope your arm/shoulder does well in surgery.

This week was a sweet week! Elder Brown and I were all over the place ... I mean ALL over the place. We drove so much this week but it is all good. There are a few reasons why we were all over the place. Firstly, we had a conundrum with paying our apartment rent.  Usually the mission does electronic payment but our landlord is one of the few that does it a different way. In short half way through the week we had to drive to Valsayn 30-40 minutes away and pick up the check and then drive back to Sangre Grande about an hour away to deposit the check at his bank. After that we had to drive back to our area (about 20 minutes) so that was fun. All of the other driving we did that week was productive such as baptismal interviews.

About baptismal interviews. I have never had the spirit witness to me of another persons worthiness so strongly in my life. It really is incredible to see that the rights of the assignment are meted to you when you need them. We were able to attend the baptism of two people in our district this last Saturday. One of them was "M" She completed a part member family and made it an all member family! So that was nice. The latter was "S" he is a bachelor in his mid 20's and he also is great. I am excited for the both of them!

As far as how our teaching went this week I am especially excited for two people "T"and "D". They both plan on being baptized on Mar 22 and I firmly believe that they will be prepared for that day.  They both have come from pretty rough backgrounds but I can see the light within them waxing stronger everyday! It is amazing to see! oh yeah they are sisters by the way.

From Mar 22 on out we have a baptism planned for every weekend up until April 12. I hope we can help all those preparing reach the wonderful day of their baptisms. Overall we have 18 people with baptismal dates! Pretty exciting!

Another person I am excited about is "D" I believe I spoke about him a little last week His father is a member and he plans on being baptized Mar 29. If he receives a spiritual witness before then he will be baptized, he understands everything well. He needs to come to church and get and answer to his prayers. It is an exciting time for Valencia lets see if we can convert the whole area! haha. but seriously...
Thank you for sending the pictures by the way. Here are some for you:)
Love, Elder Schroeder

 little bit of birthday/wedding cake! 

 This mud came out of nowhere!

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