Monday, April 28, 2014

l. tom perry, jaime, games

Just to start of for the week... Having Elder Perry here in the mission was awesome!! I was able to shake his hand and as I did I felt like my head had to be tilted all the way back to be able to see into his eyes. He is one tall, and very personable man. As I shook his hand he said to me,"Schwendiman. Schwendiman? Let me think about how I know that name..." Well he knows my great grandfather. It was fun to listen to him speak as he would talk about the other apostles and said that Richard G Scott was incredible and he couldn't live like he does because he goes to bed at 8 o'clock and gets up at 4 every day. "... and I can't go to bed without checking up on the red sox before I go to bed."
It was fun to be able to hear from him. His testimony of the savior was incredible. I didn't know this before but apparently President Jeppson, with the help of his sister, lined up Elder Perry and his wife! And Elder Perry wanted to make it out here before President Jeppson goes home (July). So we were able to reap the rewards!! 
Then the week continued as usual, exchanges.. Sister Schaefer, my child of inheritance, came here to short hills with me! That was weird... but awesome too! We saw Jaime quite a few times this week and we had an incredible experience with him. He has been playing soccer with the ward members and they mentioned to us that he said that he's going to have to quite smoking because he's having a hard time playing soccer. So we knew we had to battle that lesson asap. We taught him on Wednesday and as as our lesson was wrapping up he told us that he had quit smoking two days earlier. This is something that he has been doing since he was 8 years old because of the way the culture is where he came from but has been sober from everything else other than smoking since he came to this country. That's over 5 months and now has been smoke free for a week now! Our one catch is that he hates fruits. He hates them so much and so me and my companion have been scheming ways to have him eat fruits and vegies. 
One of the proudest moments of the week was at zone conference. I thought my competitive nature had simmered down but I was proven wrong this Friday. A few zone had gathered together, as we do every three months, and after we eat lunch, it's tradition that we play a game. This one should be mission illegal but it's the most fun!! It's called the bouncy ball game... Every person grabs a bouncy ball and president gathers them all together in the middle... we circle up around him as five are taking out... up go the bouncy balls and crazy go the missionaries. Round after round, missionaries pushing missionaries, bouncy balls go bouncing.. and eventually the numbers start to dwindle. I have reiterate... we have many competitive missionaries in this mission, and not just elders.. well the picture below demonstrates the final three. Even though it may look like I have a clear shot to one of the last bouncy balls.. It was swiped out of my hand, a little pushing was involved.. and I lost.. But President was proud!! Ha ha ha The best is the faces of the people on the side! 
Ah well the work goes on and life's not boring!! I love this work and my calling!! 

Onward and upward!
Hermana Schwendiman 

the final three!
let the games begin... many competitive missionaries and not all are Elders.  ha ha

Monday, April 21, 2014

go, do!

Last night as we slid out of our car after a beautiful Easter afternoon, I glanced up the street and saw a gentleman walking down the sidewalk in our direction. We walked straight up to him and continued to "contact" him. After that there were two more people walking from the opposite direction, we talked to them as well. We then went and attempted to knock down the door of a referral, without success.  We turned to walked down the steps and noticed that a car had pulled up. As we walked down the path, she started to creep her window down. We talked to her. The moment we stepped back from the car I turned and noticed a girl sitting on her porch. She had seemed to be looking right at us and the moment after I asked my companion, "
What about her?" the girl posted on her porch yelled over to us, "Ya.. You can come over!!" We did. As if she had heard what I had said. 
I wanted to share this story to be able to relate the feelings that I had as we headed towards our car to go home. I had a few thoughts come to my mind, one of them was realizing to me how natural it had become to contact people. Not necessarily the actual contact, but something that I had recognized is that there was no thought process before those contacts. It was just go and do. Also something to notice is that all of those people were simply put in our path for that time. I find an urgency to talk to everyone. I notice people when we are driving down busy roads and it bugs me that I cannot talk to them. The blessings that have come from this select standard has changed me more that I can even express. 

Our investigators are doing great. Jaime called us this week and had some bad news. The people he lived with were mad because we occupied the kitchen when we came over and now are not allowed to meet there. The most amazing thing happened though, he did not just leave it at that. He desperately tried to invite himself to lessons that we were going to have with a member he knows or any member that lived near or if we could even meet outside. The faith of this man is going to take him so far. 
Also... I went on an exchange this week.... BACK TO MORRISTOWN!!! It was so odd and so awesome! Saw members, and even an investigator that me and my companion had found that had just got their divorce papers in so that they could marry their current "other half" of thirty years. I saw Neeeeeeeena!! 
Our email time this week was cut in half due to Elder Perry.. I think I'm okay with that! :) So those of you who didn't get a personal email, next week! Love you all 
Onward and Upward 

Hermana Schwendiman 

Friday, April 18, 2014

elder perry is coming

When I got on emails this morning, I opened our mission presidents weekly letter and this is one of the first things it said, 
"Last Monday I got a call from Elder L. Tom Perry, advising me that he and Sister Perry would like 
to visit our mission Monday afternoon, April 21. Needless to say, I accepted the offer. So, we 
will be having an All-Mission Conference Monday afternoon, April 21, at the Morristown 
 "As most of you know, Elder Perry is second in line to become the next 
President of the Church, after President Boyd Packer. His health appears to be very good…he’s 
92 years old. I am so excited for him to meet our missionaries and to feel the power of all of us 
SO needless to say, we are really excited! Also just a little update.. in the mission right now we have a standard that every companionship should be contacting at least 10 people a day.. This obviously have brought so many miracles. As of numbers 8,749 contacts for the week and Our total since March 1st is 39,823. It's incredible that as we set our own standard and goals... the blessing come and come, they do!! 
This week we found two people that are so special!! They both, I believe, have come as a direct blessing of following and pushing the mission standards.
1. Jaime. (Hi-May) Jaime is incredible and I seriously love this boy so much already. We found him when we were visiting a potential investigator and he wanted nothing to do with us so we asked him where the latinos lived around the area. His next door neighbor. We found Jaime!! He is 24 and from Chile. Just moved here 5 months ago and reminds me so much of Diego!! He is getting baptized on the 11 of May and came to church this week!! 

2. Eva also came to church and is ALSO getting baptized on the 11 of May!! She is the cutest 14 year old girl from Guatemala and she already has made best friends with a cool 12 year old girl at church. She's not a member either but her dad was just baptized two weeks ago!! 

Well short letter this week but I love you all so much and will organize my time better next week to write you a longer one :)

Onward and Upward 

Hermana Schwenidman 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

life is good

Tuesday after transfer conference we make it back to my new home. The place where I was going to be able to unpack and settle in. We walk in the door and I scoot my back to our bedroom and my companion turns to me and says, "Oh yea, we have to move in a month.." I just couldn't help but laugh!!! I think I laughed so hard that tears came to my eyes.. but our lease ends at the end of the month. And also we are in a four-man apartment and they are trying to get rid of all of them. Luckily we found an apartment already and will be out by the first of next month. If I've done the math correctly that will have put me in 7 apartments within 12 weeks. I think it's fair to say I have developed the talent of quick and efficient moving!! 
SO my new compa! I don't know where my words have gone for this one, but she is the best!!! Her name is Hermana Boudesocque (buddah-sock).. and YES, it is nearly impossible for Hispanics to even care to learn our names. What they usually do is look at my last name and realize that they don't want to even try and find my companions name and stick with that one... but this just leaves people careless. Other than the members here... because I found another Schwendiman. I believe the only other Schwendimans in the state of New Jersey.. and I met Brother Schwendiman yesterday. We figured out (well he figured out) that we are something like second cousins once removed.. but they are in the English ward here so ALL the Hispanics already call me by name! 
Well more on my companion. She is the best! I don't understand why we were put together because we have both wanted this since we were both born into the mission, and it usually just doesn't work like that! We entered the MTC on the same day but she already knew Spanish. Little smarty pants. But we also go home the same day and for some reason have just clicked since the beginning, and now we are finally together. 
We had a really awesome miracle last night. We had an appointment with a man who basically eavesdropped an entire discussion we had on the street. So we show up and he wasn't home. The next phone call he told us that he had left work too late and wouldn't be home for another half hour. Outside of his house though were two of our other investigators, they were smoking. But we talked to them and at the end we felt like we should ask them for a referral, and something not very common happened... they gave us one!! Pablo said that he had a friend that lived just down the street that we should visit and we took off down the street to track him down!! Well we got to the end of the street and were going to turn right but looked left and saw down the street a muchacho that we wanted to contact.. as we got closer we realized it was yet ANOTHER one of our investigators. (They all live in one house.. it's incredible). There are 6 or 7 apartments in this one house and well.. he sat down on his front steps and we ended up having an incredible lesson with him. To his side he had put his grocery bag full of work cloths and water and another... a 6 pack that he had just bought. One of the beautiful things is the change of weather. Beautiful early summer nights make it much easier for people to slow down and take some time to talk to us. 
Well he started to tell us that one of his friends came into his apartment the other day and he was sitting at the kitchen table reading in first Nephi.. I don't know quite how to explain the joy that comes from a response like that but it's incredible!! Then he continued.. later on he said that he really wanted to come to church today and was planning on it but he had to go into work at 12.. that was when conference starts over here and thought he was going to be able to come to our 9:00 service.. he then said that he was going to plan on being there next week. Another one of those amazing things to hear.. and then... the best part was when we were wrapping up, we were talking to him about that beer that he just bought and how that's not going to help him and he said.. "You know what.. I'm going to go give it to my friends and I think i'm going to stick to water tonight!" I felt like I had just won a championship game, or gotten 100% on a final. 

Life is good. Gerardo is a blessing. More like a miracle. Conference was incredible. This mission is my life. Onward and upward! 

Hermana Schwendiman 

Fishing last week