Monday, May 19, 2014


The unofficial stereotype of the student-teacher relationship has no place in the world of the church. I was reflecting on a lesson that we had with a man named Mauricio this past Saturday and as I did that I replayed the lesson in my head but I chose to watch it from the view of a more narrow minded, perhaps naive point of view. 
There were two young girls sitting across the kitchen table from a dark hair middle aged man. The apartment was small and the flowers on the table were wilting away but they were consumed in a deep conversation. I couldn't help but ask myself what in the world this rough looking man and these two young girls could be talking about so intensely. He did had a rough look but open eyes, surely his life had been drug through a rocky path. You could notice it by his clothes and the worn out look on his face. One of the most strange things that I noticed was that the girls were the teachers.. it was obvious that they weren't nearly as old as this man, maybe close to half his age but he listened to them as if he were a young boy sitting at his grandfathers feet and intently paying attention to the stories of his past. Eager to learn. The longer they talked the brighter grew the room until the point where it was almost seeping out of the small kitchen window into the dark evening. Then something even more miraculous happened, they each had a  blue book open in front of them on the glassy kitchen table it was clear that one of the girls had just read a part of it. She rested her hand on the book as if it were something that gave her power and as she talked tears swelled up in the mans eyes. He followed her comments by saying that he knew the book was true. What was this book? The very moment I thought they had finished their discussion I was once again flustered that they were not standing up to leave, yet they were merely standing to be able to kneel down on the cold hard floor. Were they praying? Yes. As they lowered they heads down the words started to flow out of the mans mouth...  

To teach you don't have to be older, wiser, more experienced, have a title. It''s not the worlds view on it but it's the right view. Sometimes it doesn't make sense.. but that's okay!! It's not supposed to make sense all of the time because faith then wouldn't be considered an essential factor.

Onward and upward friends and family!! I love you all!

Hermana Schwendiman 

Monday, May 12, 2014

trials like fruit

Well the humidity dropped in about 4 days ago. We were outside the other day and one of the missionaries in training said.. "I feel like I'm walking through steam." The comment was made back, "WELCOME TO THE JERS!!"
Sometimes it still feels surreal to me that I am in New Jersey. That I am a missionary. That now I'm one of the "older" missionaries. As they call us.I don't feel it. I remember hearing when missionary would say that they had been out for a year, 13 months, and 14 months and just being thrown back at how long they had been out on a mission, it first hit me a couple weeks ago when a newer missionary asked me how long I had been out and her response was, "Woa.......!!" 
Well transfers have come and gone and Sister Boudesocque and I are still her in Short Hills. I will be with her for 6 more weeks! We have a lot of work to do here... 
Jaime!! He is our number one right now and incredible. He quit smoking two weeks ago cold turkey. He isn't the same person that he was when we met him, not even close. 
One thing that we see over and over again in life, our lives, the lives of others, lives in the Book of Mormon, any life.. is the trial of faith. It's odd to say, but it was really neat to see Jaimes trials come. To watch from a really personal perspective Gods pattern of faith. The moment he accepted everything.. he was fired from his job because he didn't speak english well enough..  Jaime has clung on to every teaching that we give him, even the word of wisdom. Which is hilarious because he still HATES fruits and vegetables and really anything healthy.. SO this last week when we went over there to teach him he bought a huge bowl of fruit.. but the only way he would eat it was if he layered it with sweetened condensed milk... but it's progress! 
There is something so unique about being able to watch somebody become familiar with God. I think one of the only other times you are able to witness this is as a parent. Which brings me to another point. MY MOM!!! 
Mothers Day. Did you know that this was the 100th official mothers day since it became an official holiday? Neither did I until yesterday. Something that I have loved and learned and loved to learn is how blessed I am to have the parents that I do. If any of you know them, you can't help but agree.. but that's something that I never fully appreciated and realize that I probably never will be able to fully appreciate. I have incredible parents who have raised me in the church, taught me right from wrong, have let me make my own decisions (mistakes), and have loved me through every phase of my life. The world and their views on family are changing. No, changing isn't the right word because that doesn't imply the negative and incorrect overview of the decreasing pride that the world has on the family. It's not simply changing, but increasingly disintegrating. What  a shame. Anyways, I loved talking with my parents! And my dog.. ha ha 
Life is good here in New Jersey. It feels that this IS my life. It always had been and always will be. I thought about how funny it would be if this was how it was forever and if we had to always have permission to talk to our families for the rest of our lives. Well i am glad that is not the case but for now... it makes me super happy!! 

Onward and upward family and friends!!

Hermana Schwendiman 

Jaime with his bowl of fruit
Sister and President Jeppson... I sure love them!