Monday, August 26, 2013

hello hello

Well hello hello! Or in the words of the Jewish family that lives down the street... "Shalome!" Ha ha One of the things I love about being in a walking area is that we have our "regulars." Giovanni, who cuts hair on the corner and enthusiastically waves at us every time we walk by. Pedro, super old man who is ALWAYS sitting on the same bench on the same street every day. Santo, food stand man who gives us free food and calls us his kids! The sugar peanuts cart guy who still won't listen to us but secretly loves us! It's so different than being in a car all the time! 
Veronica was confirmed this Sunday. She is so incredible!! I have been SO lucky to be the one that the Lord has chosen to watch the lives of these people change! Nina and Veronica. They were both SO ready. In fact Veronica told us on Sunday that she is going to go on the temple trip with the Relief Society this Saturday! Well she can't go because she doesn't have a membership number yet, but hey, that part was easy! She just has such a desire to be better. To grow! 
We are in finding mode... because all of our investigators have been filtered out.Which means contacting. Which means all of the fun people on the streets... we get to talk to even more!! There was this one man yesterday as we walked by he yelled out "Messangers? Are you messangers?" We had such an awesome talk with him and also have an appointment with him. We have been really lucky and have been able to find a few potentials that really genuinely seem interested. Hope we can get the ball rollin on em!   We are teaching three main investigators right now.. 1. Jairo: Comes to church every week but he doesn't have time to meet with us. We taught him prayer yesterday after church and we loved it because all of the members treated him like a rock star when he walked in. That means a lot to a man in his mid twenties with no family. BUT HE WONT PRAY!! The last lesson we taught him he refused to pray. So naturally we taught pray. And luckily I turned out to be a little stubborn and wouldn't take no for an answer.. it took a lot of digging but he finally prayed! Even though it wasn't out loud, he prayed (so we think). We have Raul. Who just told us this week that he will keep meeting with us if we continue to sing like angels.. well needless to say we are handing him off to the elders.. it's unfortunate but sometimes motives aren't where they should be. and 3. Mari! She wants to be baptized so bad but won't do anything unless her husband is right by her side doing it with her. So we will be trying to see her as much as possible and try and snag her husband. Hmm... BUT her mom is taking the lessons!!! She lives in the Elders area and came to church the past two weeks!! YES!! 
But all is great in the New Jersey Morristown Mission! We are all happy and healthy! We have a fun week to look forward to. Last week of the transfer and we are going to make it count! Love you all! Onward and Upward! 
Hermana Schwendiman

PS one of the members that we work with a ton in this area just got her mission call... SALT LAKE CITY EAST!! ha ha ha She's is awesome and will be there around Christmas time! Hermana Quiles! 

The view we see everyday
Some members of our ward
Veronicas baptism

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

the mormons are here!

What a fitting title! "The Mormons are here!" That would very much explain our week. We were walking down the street and we walked past a fire station and these four fire fighters were standing outside. One of them said, "Hey are you the Mormons?" Well that's generally a really good thing, or a really bad thing to hear. Never is it normal. So started to talk to them and he shared with us this little story. He said, " SO i'm Baptist and I was sitting in church last week and they started to go off about how the Mormons are here, the Mormons this, the Mormons that. THE MORMONS ARE TAKING ALL OF OUR PEOPLE! We should send our our missionaries too!!" We were just dying!! It ended up being a really funny conversation about how the Mormons are here. 
Something that we keep hearing over and over every time we contact someone on the street is the they tell us that they have seen us around many many times. I know are area is fairly small but it amazed me. We had a man finally walk up to us and say, Ok I've seen you walk by many times and I have some questions for you! Our little saying in our companionship is that we don't contact people, the people contact us! It's so crazy how much they recognize us and how many more people we need to be talking to! It's sometimes easy to just talk to a person here, a person there, but in reality we need to at least invite ALL of these people to hear our message. That is something we have been working on. We have seen some really cool things as we push ourselves just a little bit more.. We contacted this man named Juan on the street last week and gave him our number because he sounded interested but we were in a hurry. He ended up calling us during our next lesson. So we met up with him right after and he told us that he basically wanted to change and this and that. So we walked him to the church to show him where it is and on the way there this little thought came into my head. Invite him. Not just to church.. but to be baptized! So I did!! and he said yes!! ha ha we don't know how much of him is actually "there" but he said he wanted to be baptized!! We have an appointment with him tonight so that should be fun!
Okay Veronica was baptized yesterday!! She was so ready. We were teaching her last week about tithing and fasting which for many people is a really really hard lesson. So we started to teach and she goes, "Oh, I already know what that is! I did that a couple weeks ago!" She had come on a fast Sunday and saw somebody paying their tithing and offerings and asked them what it was. And so she did it and said she didn't eat for the rest of the day!! One of those situations where you don't really believe what is going on! She is awesome! So she was baptized and came out of the water and look SO happy!! Her husband didn't feel like coming.. but her mom came!! And her mom is being taught by the elders! So we're praying for a miracle right now! Her stinkin husband.. poo.. but the bishop was welcoming her into the ward and he shared that out of all of his years being a bishop Veronica was the first to ever come to his office and introduce herself, saying that she was going to be baptized, without him knowing first! She stood up and wanted to share something after too. She shared that how she knows she isn't perfect but how she is so excited to be a part of this family and how she is going to work so hard!! She is awesome and this is going to change the life of her boy Grabrielle! Next step, TEMPLE!! I hope we can help her find a name just like Nina! 
So I don't know if you remember the story about how I asked the huge Popeye man on the street if he needed help with his groceries, and then we ran into him a couple hours later at the library... Well he was baptized on sunday too!! Woot woot! He actually told the edlers that he wanted ME to speak at his baptism!! ha ha ha well this is even more funny. SO this man is HUGE!!! and both of the elders that were teaching him were rather small... Really small and skinny. So I heard the way he got baptized and I had to share.. They had him get on his knees and the elder pushed him forward.. but he started to flap his hands around and so they had to do it again. They are probably about the same height with him on his knees.. so the they had to do it again. BUT HEY! Raymond is baptized!! 
Well this work is awesome and we had a super fun week. I cannot believe we are already looking at the end of this transfer. Kind of weirds me out how fast time goes. Especially when you measure it by transfers! AH! Well onward and upward and I love you all! Sorry no pictures this week. They'll all come next week! 

Hermana Schwendiman 

Monday, August 12, 2013

u.c. working good

I've tried to mark my progress as a missionary and as a person.. and all I remember is that when I left for my mission I was determined not to be "weird."  I wanted to know how much I have learned, and grown, and changed, but I think that is the interesting thing, How do you measure that? I imagine it being more of leaps and bounds of difference, being able to realize when you had miraculously attributed a talent or a skill or personality trait. The truth is that it is only little by little, step by step, do we make those changes. I may not be able to see my own life changing but one thing I am able to see is other people changing. Veronica is getting baptized this sunday. I remember the first time we met with her and her husband. He was SO blunt and told us that this was never going to be for him and that he will never go to church. As Veronica has been progressing, he may not realize it, but he is progressing too. Little by little. He told us this week that one of these days he is going to surprise us and come to church. That is huge! He is worried that his wife is going to continue to become a better person and she is going to see that he isn't. I loved hearing that because that means he knows there is room for him to improve. Yes he may be scared that she is going to think of him differently but that might be exactly what he needs! 
God has his plan. He knows what people need. We have another investigator that we picked up this week. She has been investigating even longer than Veronica, and her name is Monica. Her SUPER less active son has been coming to church and last week when we went to go meet with him, she wanted to sit in on the lesson. She actually told us she liked us and that she could really feel the spirit when the missionaries are there.. she just doesn't feel it at church. And she LOVES when the pastor walks by and she gets to touch his hand and she feels super special... well.. luckily we have another appointment already set with her and she told us she will come to church this week!! Maybe her and Veronica will become the best of friends! You never know.. I hope that she gets to see Veronica's baptism and that we can get her in the water!! She needs it! 
I do love being a walking missionary.. Especially in this city! There are people everywhere and there is never a dull moment! I love this area and love my comp. We did have a little bit of a sad week though. We had funeral yesterday and the burial today. Man fell off of his ladder and broke his head open, was in a coma and they ended up pulling the plug because he was brain dead. Life is SO precious!
Well it's just a short one this week but I am happy and healthy and working hard!! Onward and upward! 

Hermana Schwendiman

Monday, August 5, 2013

the view of new york

We have a better view of New York than New York has of New York!! Now we are starting to feel more comfortable in our little area. It is the complete opposite of where I was before! I used to be in the most forresty green, east coast, beautiful area in the mission. Now, I am sitting in a room full of hispanic people and I haven't seen anything green in weeks! It is so much fun here though because it feels like I am in another country. I can count on both hands the number of white people I have seen since I have been here. And one full hand is the other missionaries! Even the stores are in spanish.. It is awesome!
So last week I believe I talked about Veronica and her husband! She has been investigating the church since 2011! A miracle happened though, and she is now getting baptized on the 18th! We are so excited for her and so grateful that we can be here doing the Lords work. It's true though, that it is all his work. We couldn't do any of this on our own. He decided to place Sister Jane and I together in this crazy little city in the path of these investigators because he had a special challenge for us. The people in the ward are incredible. I don't know how many times this will happen again but we have more people that want to come out with us than we have time for! People in the ward actually come up to US and ask US if they can come. Unreal. I hope we are doing it justice here. There were some members this week that just sat us down and thanked us for what we are doing. They thanked us for the seeds we are planting and that we hardly have ANY idea of the effect that we have here. I just started to cry. A mission was not made to be easy and its so easy to measure your results in numbers. We were told many times this week that we only see a tiny fraction of the work that we do. These members are incredible!! 
We have been visiting with a couple less active recent converts that didn't click with the last missionaries so well. One of them being Eddy! Eddy is a hilarious 12 year old boy that was baptized a year ago. His parents aren't married because he is married to some other woman back in their country (thus is the story with everyone out here) BUT another miracle!! The papers have been started and hopefully soon he can be divorced, they can get married, and then they can be baptized and then go through the temple and then be sealed! Wala! They are an awesome family! 
Yesterday was a little bitter sweet moment. I saw president at a baptism in our ward yesterday and as he was leaving he said he was going to a baptism in Morristown. That baptism was of Diana and Kenny. The two kids of the less active grandma that we were working with, Sister Millward and I! It's a good thing we are all on the same team here.. because I would have loved to be there for the last step with them! I heard that Kenny started to swim in the baptisimal font!! This is the same kid that when given the sacrament for the first time said, "WOW!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE BREAD SAMPLE!" My face just dropped and I started to laugh so hard when I heard that!! 
Well all is well here. Excuse me if my letters make no sense at all. I haven't been speaking english, even with my comp, (we're trying to go a week straight at least without english) and I've noticed that my sentence structures follow the hispanic pattern! BUT onward and upward!! Love you all!

Hermana Schwendiman 

Us at the end of english class! 
thats Eddy and his cousin doing the monkey face in honor of my dad!