Monday, July 8, 2013

what's a missionary?

What a strange week...  It's interesting that the life I thought I was going to be living and the life I am living as a missionary now are completely different. I have really had to learn the definition for the word missionary. Not just someone assigned to preach and baptize. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ... it whatever way that might be.  
One of our members passed away last Sunday night and her funeral was this Thursday. We had our little part in the funeral, helping with the music, and were glad that we had been able to spend a lot of time with this family before this happened. It's always a very interesting situation to watch a beautiful human go from a state of health to having to rely on every other person around her to live.  It just goes to show how much we need to be relying on our Savior to live. I found at that funeral that my way to help Hermano Viveros come closer to Christ was just to accept a huge strong hug that that little Mexican man gave me. (It's not against the rules! I promise. We just figured out that it was a self proclaimed rule among misisonaries to keep the awkward situations to a minimum. Ha ha as if that were possible!)
That night we didn't have a curfew. We went to a park with our zone and got to watch fireworks! The fact that we didn't have a real curfew that night didn't matter. I thought we would have taken more advantage of it, but by the time that fireworks were over we were practically zombies. Plus,  a few of us Sisters had to wake up early the next day and get on our way to Liberty Island. That was really one of the coolest things. Talk about not feeling like a typical missionary. Hoping on a boat and touring around Liberty Island. We volunteered on the island for 5 hours. Which was awesome because it is such a touristy place that I got to use all of my people skills, combined with different languages to help them. I got to use my English, my Spanish, the little Portuguese that I know, two sentences in Russian, and Thai that I remember and even some charades to a Chinese man that had NO idea what I was saying. He did understand the word name though! We weren't allowed to proselyte there but it didn't really matter. We had more people ask us how they could contact us than ever before. And we stick out like a sore thumb to members!
One early morning after the next. We got a phone call from Nina at 445 saying she was outside ready for us. If there is one thing I know that is more scary than walking down a dark alley at night.. its riding in the back seat of a Latino woman's car while she is swerving around the streets of NY yelling at the top of her Puerto Rican voice at her GPS at 5 in the morning. One of those once in a lifetime opportunities. But the temple was incredible! The look on Nina's face when they said her grandmothers name was priceless. Pure joy.  It really is a unique experience to be able to do such sacred work for a close family member. Or anyone in general. I really did feel like as I got to do baptisms as well, in Spanish. It has been quite a long time since I have done them, and now that I am learning more and more the importance of that sacred covenant I felt really special to be able to do it and in another language that I have adopted as my own.  
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!! Okay so my little learning high this week has been on the 12 tribes of Israel. Ok I'm not going to go into it because if I start I can't stop.. But I want to mention a little about the tribe of Manasseh. Mainly because a lot of the people we work with, the Latino's, are from this tribe. They have a very special gift and their gift is to receive revelation through dreams. These week we had two experiences with that. We were with one of our members this week teaching a part member family. We have been trying to teach them for the past month because the dad wants his two boys and his sons girlfriend to get married but he won't come to church!! We're  like.. uh.. hello!! You're missing something!! But we have been able to get in a lot the past two weeks and we had a really powerful lesson with them. It seemed to really click for the middle boy and he sincerely thanked us for coming over and for helping him. As we were driving home we were talking about him to the member and mention that Cesar Alonso bla bla bla. It clicked something for her and she said, WHAT? That's his name? I had a dream last night that Cesar Alonso HAD to be baptized. So we went straight back to his house, walked up to the door, and I said, "Alonso, serguira el ejemplo de Jesucristo y ser bautizado por alguien que posea la autoridad del saucerdocio de Dios?" (Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the preisthood authority of God?) and he said YES! It was so amazing! Completely let by the spirit. We sat down in the car and just stared off into space for at least a full minute. I love this work!
The next, well transfers are coming up.. and we were sitting in gospel doctrines class yesterday and telling this story and talking about transfers with out branch mission leader and it reminded of Nina of a dream she had. She started to cry telling me that she had a dream that I was telling her that I had to leave. Sister Millward didn't but I did. MAN!! That's rough! I love this woman so much and she does not want us to go. So... I guess don't be surprised if I get transferred in a couple weeks!
I love you all so much. I know that this church is true. There is no doubt about it.. If you have any.. read the Book of Mormon. It answers all the questions! Onward and Upward!!
Ps. That picture of me by the toilet is me and Sister Millward playing a prank on the sisters that we live with!! Just put a couple snickers bars in the toilet and it looks like someone left a lovely mess!! Ha ha ha and a beautiful morning New York skyline!!
Hermana Schwendiman

Me and Hermana Jordan at the fireworks
On my way to volunteer at Liberty Island
Beautiful NY morning skyline 
Snickers prank on the other sisters... ha ha

No comments:

Post a Comment