Monday, June 10, 2013

the rain

Transfers came and went and Sister Millward and I are stuck together! We go together like peanut butter and jelly and are so exctied to stay together in this area! We are, on the other hand, losing our zone leader, district leader, and two of our roommates. It's been so fun to live with five of us in the apartment. Five of us and one bathroom! It's not as tricky as it sounds.. unless showers get started late and you end up getting in ten minutes before studies are supposed to start! Speaking of showers.. it poured this week! So once a week everyone that drives gets to take a day and get a little taste of what it's like to be a walking missionary. It's usually on a thursday but we had a couple appointments that we needed to have and for some reason couldn't get moved around. So we planned it for Friday. We were a little naive of the weather though, becuase as wek left that day it was bright and sunny. Beautiful day in New Jersey. But as we walked out of an appartment building after an appointment we were unaware that the forecast was rain... all day.. by the time we got around the corner we were dripping from head to toe. Complete downpour. We got home, ate a little and were a little more clever and thought to grab our umbrellas this time. Brand new dry clothes and off we went. We stayed relatively dry until after our last appointment. The rain just got harder and those umrellas were useless. That was such a fun day. We do not have rain like that in Utah. 
On other news I full on stiff-armed a stranger on the street! We had been walking back to our car this friday and I saw a latino man just a couple yards aways. Perfect. We shared a short message with him and he was SO excited to talk to us. We started to wind up our lesson and he bolted at me. With arms wide open to give me a hug. This had not happened yet. Usually you can stick out your hand quick enough to just leave it with that.. but he was just a super enthusiastic little latino man and my first instinct was a stiff arm.. he had basically gotten both of his arms around me as I stood there trying to keep that distance between us! I went straight into panick mode. Watch out everyone, I'm a missionary!
I never realized what it was really like to be a missionary. I had heard all growing up about what it meant to love the people, forget yourself and go to work, how hard it was, how rewarding it was, the points where you realize why you are there, and the points that you realize you have no idea why you are there. I have learned more that I thought was possible.. but I think that one of the things I have learned the most is that it's not about me. In any situation. It's not about me. I have been learning that as I learn to really love and care for my companion, and to realize how many people there are that don't have the gospel in their lives, and to realize that they (everyone else) are more important. I have also realized that if we really focuss on others, we will be taken care of. I think that is a lesson that I will continue to work on learning my whole life. It's hard though. But the things that seem most important to us, are the things that did not come easy.
Frank. Frank is from Costa Rica, 27, and has the personality of my oldest brother! Every time we talk to him he reminds me of my brother. The way he acts and talks! We had met with Frank a couple times over the past couple of weeks and he is just hungry and doesn't know it. Every time we get there he always starts with, "What do you have for me today?" He took a huge step, and came to church yesterday!! Something that we have been focussing on is the power of prayer. One of my favorite things to experience is listening to someone pray for the first time or the first time in a very long time. They seem to be the most honest and sincere prayers becuase they have to realize that they are actually talking to their Father in heaven. The power of prayer is huge. I think I forget sometimes how lucky we are to know that at any point in time, we can have a conversation with our Father in heaven. So many people don't know this. They don't know how much He loves them and is just ready to answer their prayers and bless them. He is just waiting on us to act. Frank accepted a baptisimal date yesterday!! The 30th of this month! How lucky are we as missionaries to watch people change their lives.
Nina is SO incredible! She has been working on her family history like crazy! We were at her house this week and her sister called her with the date of her grandfathers death. It was so cool to watch her get taught in the Family History center and just watch her jaw drop and her face go into pure shock when she started to find her relatives. Once we get her membership record number, she will be good to go. We have a temple recommend interview set up for her and once we find a name, we can all go together! I love watching her get so excited about temple work. She is just part of the ward. These new missionaries coming into our ward are going to think she's been a member her whole life. She is so passionate about it. And about missionary work. She is always asking us if we have found anyone else to baptize. 
Love you all so much! Onward and Upward!
Hermana Schwendiman

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