Monday, March 31, 2014

transferred and a new calling

This is going to be a rather short email this week.. well because we're going fishing!!! Ha Yes... I said we are going fishing. and No.. it's not the same as going up to Strawberry with my dad and throwing a line in the water and catching up on life but... we have a full tackle box in the trunk and somehow ended up with four poles. (we owe some people some fish..)  It has been dumping rain (welcome to spring) for the past 48 hours straight but as of about 3 hours ago.. cleared up and blue skies are overhead. The members here are so awesome! This ward reminds me of Union City.. but I have been jipped the same amount of time. That's right.. getting transferred. 
The Lord saw me fit to extend me another calling.. 
This is how it happened.. 
We get a phone call and Sister Haddock answered and Presdient Jeppson was asking her about her health and checking up on how she was doing. We had been sitting on the couch and talking about it right before and as he wrapped up the conversation he asked Sister Haddock if he could talk to her companion.. My thought was that he wanted to ask me a couple questions about her and he asked me how I was doing.. 
"I'm doing very well President. How are you doing?"
"Well I am doing really good right now because I am able to call you on behalf of the Lord to extend a calling to you to be a Sister Training Leader!'
"Are you allowed to do that?" (Yes that was my actual response. My filter seemed to have been shut off for the moment and I was so thrown off by the change of topic that the words just came out..)
The best part about that all is the next morning at Leadership council with all the Zone leaders and Sister Training leaders... President talked about how its always entertaining extending callings to sisters because you can usually hear snickering in the background of the occasional companion that says "I called it" and then there are OTHERS! He just stopped after that and looked and me and laughed.. smooth Sister Schwendiman.. smooth... 
So for those of you that aren't aware what a Sister Training Leader is... I don't know either so.. wish me luck!! Just kidding.. We do not take the position of Zone leaders and not district leaders but we do everything they cannot do for the sisters.. for example exchanges. They tend to frown upon Elders going on exchanges with sisters.. hmmm.. but then we can be as personal and ooey gooey and sappy and sad and all that fun stuff that we sisters have to deal with. So we are assigned to anywhere from 16-22 sisters and we go on exchanges with em all!!! Woo we all know how well my last exchange went.. 
I also am SO sad to leave THE BRUNS (New Brunswick). It was amazing to me to see how much I stinking love these people in just 6 short weeks. I had to see a lot of tears yesterday and I felt a lot of love!! I also am SO sad to leave my companion but I have sworn promises from our district leader, the sister training leaders, the assistants and the mission nurse that they will all watch over my compa. Man it's amazing how 6 weeks ago we had hardly heard each others names before and now she is one of my best friends for the rest of my life!! 
This mission is the greatest and I love God! 
Onward and upward! 

Hermana Schwendiman 
Our last district meeting and the district leader whacked me in the face right before that... go team!
All this sisters before we divided and conquered for the STL's to go to a meeting and compa's to go together.  Stinkin' beautiful sisters is what they are!
Scariest car ride of my life... it's still weird that elders and sisters can ride together...

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

YAY for adventures

I am tired. Sometimes that is just what has to be said. This has been a really weird week for us but God does answer prayers... and He works in mysterious ways. That being said, remember last week when I was complaining about not being able to just stay at our apartment.. well This is what happened. Monday night.. after a busy P-day.. my companion was not looking so hot. We took a logical course of action and decided to go home and let her lay down. We got home and I walked into the bedroom to grab something and THUD!! My companion had passed out. That led to a long night in the hospital.. but don't worry.. the work goes on!! We taught a full lesson on the book of mormon to our nurse and he said he wanted to read the intro during his break and that he also wanted the missionaries to come over.. That's Mike. Well they stuffed her full of fluids until she felt stable enough to walk to the car and they they gave us the boot. So we wandered out of the hospital around two or three in the morning and made it back to our apartment.
The next morning Sister Haddock was still shaking but we made it to district meeting and zone lunch but that was it. The mission nurse confined us to our apartment. (this is the part that I mean, God works in mysterious ways) .We were feeling a little out of place.. so he made us stay somewhere.. for 48 hours. Yes, our one day consignment led to two. So that was Tuesday and Wednesday. Wednesday night we get a text... "Sisters, you're moving on friday. Get everything ready so that we can be there at 10am to move you out."
Thursday rolls around.. and we have to pick up another sister at the chapel at 745 yhat morning and she was the lucky winner that was able to help us pack. Then we dropped her back off at the chapel and then pushed onward to go teach that night. A really cool aspect of a companionship is that you know each other SO well.. you know when the other is not being themselves. Her shaking had not stopped but we followed doctors orders and had her on tylenol and were told that the shaking would stop. 
Friday.. shaking did not stop. But we had to clear out our apartment. Picked up the other sister again (her companions were at a meeting) and then.. we moved!! Probably not the best idea.. because being the good missionary that she is, Sister Haddock pushed herself. She was TIRED!! Woo wee.. 
Then we were in our new place.... The "cave" it was pretty awesome. And yes I mean was. What happened next made our weekend a little more crazy. And I know it's going to sound like something crazy happened but I'm letting you know now... nothing did... But we were emergency moved out of our apartment on Sunday. We're safe!! I PROMISE! But it was a little hectic and we're glad we're out. So back to the Sister training leaders apartment. Sunday night and last night we stayed there and will be in a new apartment today. Just what sister Haddock needs.. a little more chaos! It's a good thing we are good friends with the Sister that we have basically been living with!!
Okay but here comes the highlight of the week.. 
Starts off at 530.. Driving to the other side of New Jersey to see the Doctor for Sister Haddock. This actually helped me a lot.. they are concerned. Don't think i'm weird for being happy that they are worried about my companion but it just... calms me down that we actually have people working with her now and are following up on us. They checked her heart and the ran some blood tests and he wants us back in there on friday and if they can't find anything.. we have a plan of action. So after our roadtrip (with the other sisters of course) we head to the all-sister conference! How about best birthday ever! Ever single one of the New Jersey Morristown sisters were there AND President and Sister Jeppson. It was a blast. After that.. we had time to rush home and shower real quick and RUN out the door. We had an appointment which turned out to be more of a party (by the way I have the best mom in the world). I had set appointments for the night and my scheming companion and creative mother turned them both into parties. Well the first was hilarious. One of the Elders we work with down here, is birthday is the 18th so we did a little bit of a double celebration. Everything was green and we looked super cool in all of the green festivities my mom sent us. Plus I had cake!!! The glueten-free kind.. thanks to my mom again and then we were off. I was blind-folded, yet again, and walked into this house just to be surprised again! This was awesome because it ended on a spiritual note, our district leader, who planned this whole surprise party with my comp, had prepared a really cool lesson as well.. Well then we sang happy birthday.. again... the spanish way.. that ends with your face in the cake.. I even knew it was coming and dodged it the first time but I was laughing and my disctrict leader shoved the cake up as my comp shoved my face down and I didn't even see round 2 coming. 

I wish I had so much more to tell you about investigators and the area and less actives and members but what I do have to tell you this week is that God trusts me. I have been able to see his hand in my life and watched him be able to work through me to help his children. I've seen it over and over again and I can't even express the love that he has for me and the role I have right now. Never underestimate his great power. I ALSO want you to know that I am happy and healthy and that is the truth. It's easy to want to cover up problems as a missionary.. well as a human in general because we think that if we have problems that we are weak. That is not true and I have been able to continually learn through my trials. Hey just one suggestion.. Maybe start praying for my next companions.. ha ha just playing... kind of!

Well I love you all. 
Onward and Upward. 

Hermann Schwendiman

Happy 22nd birthday to me!!
a St. Patty's surprise party... 
A little cake in the face...  with Sis. Haddock
The new apartment... for two days anyway!
Sister Gilbert, Me, and Sister Henrickson at the all sister conference

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

what a week....

Well this is going to be a little bit of a different letter this week.. Some strange things happened. 

The first of which (sometimes it just happens) was on an exchange. We started Friday morning, my companion and I, and she asked me if I had had any crazy exchange stories.. I really hadn't had any super crazy, one-for-the-books, gets around the mission kind of story and so that ended up being a rather short conversation. Well we get back to the apartment that night (now on exchanges) and it turns out the the apartment downstairs had actually done something with all that ruckus they have been making during our personal and companionship studies for the past week and decided to throw on five layers of paint and redo the floors... Well all of these things (well fumes rather) creeped up into our apartment and decided to hang out there for the day.. make that going four days strong now. We made it through nightly planning and about an hour being home realized we were NOT going to be able to make it through the night. We threw open the windows and started making calls to our leaders to see if there was any way that we would be able to sleep somewhere else. We ended up staying that night at the Sister Training Leaders apartment.. Woo wee.. 
After that exchange Sister Haddock and I headed back to see if the apartment had aired out enough so that we could go back. Our apartment was so cold.  About a half hour in, we both had major head aches. That resulted in night two at the Sister Training Leaders apartments. Sunday after church... well... I found the good ol' family business!! Who new... The first picture... looks like its actually spelled right. But the second one shows a little more clearly that the painter messed up a little. BUT HEY!!! The Schwendiman Taxidermy business!! I knew I had been in the wrong career field... But after that, back to the apartment, starving!! Clever little me (picture 3) turned up the heat!! Ate lunch by the fireplace... well since the apartment downstairs took the weekend off and never vented the apartment it ended up in a third night at the Sisters apartment. It's been a little rough. I remember being frustrated yesterday because I feel like I haven't been very stable. Moving around a lot and feeling like I just wanted to be able to stay somewhere for a little. And then we are moving at the end of this week.. BUT we were able to go see our apartment. The us and the senor couple have nicknamed it "the cave" and it is... a cave!! But the coolest feature is the all-pink bathroom! So excited. You'll get pictures of that this week. But later last night (moving on to the more spiritual points) we met with a member family. 
The Sarabias. First of all, we walk in and there are at least 100 tamales sitting on the table just waiting for us.. and while we ate they shared how they met, which led to how they were converted to the gospel by a member referal, and then eventually sealed in the temple, and now they have a boy on a mission. It was really neat to hear Hermano Sarabia share is thoughts about how when they were married by a Catholic priest.. the words "till death do you part" had always haunted him. The moment he started to nurture his "seed of faith" was when the missionaries shared with him about eternal marriage. He said, "That is when I knew that this HAD to be the right church!" Well we shared with them that we wanted to commit them to be able to share the gospel with others.. or more specifically, be the member that referred them to the missionaries. We gave them a book of mormon and the moment we said that Hermano Sarabia said, "well there's a neighbor that just came into my mind..." and then he was interrupted by his wife.. "NO WAY!!! YOU HAD THE SAME PERSON COME TO YOU??"
Well we formed an "attack plan" with them. It's really interesting to see that if you really are willing... the Lord with give you missionary experiences! He has so many people ready.. he's just waiting for us to put in our request to be his tools. 
This church is true. Families can be eternal. There are people ready. 
One thing that change my way of thinking this week was from on of our Zone Leaders. " Every person on this earth chose to come her to qualify for celestial glory. How many people do we walk by every day that has forgotten that. The people who are looking for "something more" (or other words that goal of celestial glory) but have no idea where to find it. Well that changed out mindset this week.. We contacted 61 more people than we did last week... they are out there. It's our job!
Go get em!
Hermana Schwendiman 

Monday, March 3, 2014

weekly email.. i'm a slacker!

Dearest family and friends, 
I have officially been slacking at weekly emails! But just a quick update.
Things are great!!

Hermana Schwendiman 

Ok I will make up for my lack of writing, with pictures!! They are more fun anyway! 

The famous Workout World that has "Jersey Strong" magnets.  One of the girls at the front desk saw that we were Mormon and called us "her people" and just gave us a whole stack!
Some of the missionaries that work in our ward with us.  We are still missing 3 elders though.
Tindara... our cat lady.  It started out with my holding one baby kitten and then she kept bringing them and bringing them.  I'm not even positive how many cats I'm holding at that point but I am positive that I have 3 chins.  That's true character right there!!!

We are doing awesome in New Jersey! We are happy. We are healthy. And the work is moving forward!! Love you all!  Hermana Schwendiman