Monday, June 23, 2014

mauricio's dunked!

As I was reading a talk this past week a line stood out to me... Elder Niel A. Maxwell shared a little bit about his feelings about serving God and I wanted to share it with you because as he shared it, I felt like it came from my own heart. He said (with my own little added change), "I pledge that my little footnote on the page of 'the New Jersey Morristown Mission’s' history will read clearly that I wore out my life in helping to spread Jesus’ gospel.

And I would gladly give up my energy, health, sleep, anything... if it means that people like Mauricio can enter into the waters of baptism!!
HE WAS DUNKED!! Go Mauricio. I wish every single one of you could have been there but it was the most simple, smooth, quick, and by far the most powerful baptism I have had on my mission. The moment he entered the water you could feel a power boom out into the whole room. As if Satan no long had power on him and that every sin or trial or problem he ever had.. left his body in one instance!
That was easily a mission highlight for me.
Also, transfers are tomorrow!! I am so excited and also sad because it's also President Jeppsons departing meeting. And also a few of my best mission friends. A little bitter sweet. We are all very excited to meet our new President Taggart.
Well have a great week!! I love you all!   Onward and upward! 
Hermana Schwendiman

Pictures are from the baptism. 
Maurico... he's really happy even though he doesn't look like it in one of the pictures. We usually have to hold hispanics down, tickle them, tell them a joke, give them food, ANYTHING to get them to smile in a picture.. I'm working on my tactics. Bribing seems to do the trick!
and then the cutest kids. They belong to our branch president and I love them! 
And then Mauricio brought two of his roommates to the baptism and they are on my potentials list. They came to all 3 hours of church. Stayed for the baptism. Then even came to the ward activity that we had after. They are pretty much apart of the branch already!!

Mauricio's baptism (he's in the white shirt)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

a little pathetic

Well I hate to say it but this weeks email is going to be a little pathetic. Sometimes I wish I could just have a camera man secretly follow me around and then at the end of the week, take out the highlights and send them home to you! But it's not quite like that, and I am even more tired than I was last week! I love this mission!! I did include a couple pictures though.. Both are from the all mission conference that we had this week. New Jersey is know for a few things, one of them being "Carlo's Bakery" and so we had another cake competition and I just sent the funniest one! If you notice the faces in the photo, it's our mission President and his wife! And then a picture of our zone.. We were all assigned a color to our zone, and we somehow ended with brown.. but that's my fantastic zone!! 
The weather is great!! It feels like Utah weather right now, the humidity hit for a couple weeks but this past week it disappeared!! It's been awesome!! 
I also grew in my appreciation this week for my father. If any of you know my dad you know how incredible he is and I am one lucky girl to have him. He has made me who I am today and I owe everything to him!! I have also grown in my appreciation for my Father in heaven. I feel especially grateful that I feel that I can compare my relationship with my earthy father with my Heavenly Father. That's a lot of love and I am one lucky sister missionary!! 

Short and sweet!! I hope you all have an incredible week!! 

Hermana Schwendiman

PS Mauricio is incredible!! He came to ward activities and service projects this week!! He's getting baptized next week!! Wooo!! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

how 'bout that?

Well this week I'm going to do this a little bit differently. I somehow ended up with my journal in my backpack and seeing that I am to the point of exhaustion where my cleverness has seeped away, I'm just going to be quoting myself throughout the week.
"It is so much fun to have Jaime with us on the streets, and he loves it too! I am seeing a side of the work that I have never seen before.... He asked us if he could come out more and if they were even close enough to bike to he would be there.... it's like we are in a trio!"

"I can't even express the love that I have for my family..."

"#growing #ihopenotphysically"

"We met with on of our less actives, Melania, and as we read in Alma 13:27 about not procrastinating repentance she just started to cry and told us she needed to be at church this sunday."

"Exchanges are the best! They just seem to get better and better too! We contacted a man today who shared with us about starwarsism. That even by saying "May the force be with you," it was just like saying, "May God be with you." With Darth Vador as Satan...."

"I think that today was the first time in my life that I walked up to a complete stranger and gave her a hug." (street contact that had been crying. She ended up being super drunk but we were able to walk with her to her aunts house.. crossing busy streets... glad we helped!)

"The best part of the day was when we went to volleyball and saw Mauricio. He looked so stinkin happy. He told on of the members that quiting smoking was so hard to do but that he was doing it. He doesn't even look the same. A completely different person.. The members are starting to get excited about missionary work and are starting to ask us more and more about our investigators.. This has nothing to do with us. It has everything to do with Mauricio and changing this branch. They deserve it. They work hard." 

"We got to teach Mauricio tonight at teh Bernals. Watched the restoration cideo.. He is incredible. Went from a pack of cigarettes a day (20) to only 5 today. You can tell he's not used to people listening to him. He LOVES to talk" 

"....stake womans conference. I don't know how we did it but without ANY preparation (that wasn't our fault... it was super late notice) we taught two 45 minute classes on how to use Preach My Gospel in our every day life." It's a good thing I've read it... ha ha 

"But then came the best part of the night. I call these next couple hours 'musical chairs." We go to teach Mauricio and Jaime came! He has a huge testimony and it was good to have him there. But after, he had to leave, and at the same time our less-active, Jose, walked over (we were outside and they live in the same house just different floors). We had an appointment with him but Mauricio stayed. We talked about the Book of Mormon. Then just as we wrapped up.. In walks Rollings, Mauricio's friend. And then had another whole lesson. Rollings told us that Mauricio is always sitting at the table reading 'the book.' Made me laugh when he was wanting Mauricio to talk to him and give him attention but his nose was in his book and kept telling him to hold on. But also, Mauricio showed his book mark to Rollings, the temple, and told him that that's where he was going to get married."

"There he was. No hat. No earrings. Huge smile. "He saw me and same to sit right next to me. And then as if that didn't make me happy enough, I look over and Serafin walked in the door. No way. Back to Morristown we go (He was a less-active I worked with in Morristown while I was there) He finally came. ( He moved into our branch.. elders area...) He sat down right next to Mauricio. So happy. And if THAT weren't enough.. Jaime was there and came and sat on my other side. Less-active, investigator, missionary, recent convert. How's that for an odd group? It was so incredible how full the chapel was today. A darling family (of 5) moved into the branch.."  (it may have just been the family of 5 that we have been praying for. Super strong members and darling kids :) ) 

"today during sacrament meeting they sustained Jaime for receiving the priesthood. He stood up and as everybody showed that they were willing to support him he sat down and in shock just said, 'Woa...' " 

"There are no words to describe how much I love this work. This is my life. My duty. My calling. There are fewer experiences that even compare to when your investigator says, 'I KNOW  it's true!' or when they come to church or even say 'it's weird to call people Hermano or Hermana because I've never had that before.." 

Just a little side note.. The picture where I'm wearing two skirts... Yea... I was on an exchange and we stopped by Jaime's to walk with him to our appointment and a soccer ball fell out of the car and I just went to flip it in the car with my foot... RRRRRRRRRRRIP! I don't think I've ever seem Jaime laugh that hard and I'm sure my face was priceless. Luckliy there was nobody behing me.. That I knew of! 

Oh.. and we invented a game. Since our apartment is full of spiders.. sister boudesocque and I have been forced to overcome our fear of them.. we have a little hacky sack and a tally board. We now kill spiders with hacky sacks.. Unless they are running across the floor.. we have a designated shoe for that or on the ceiling.. then we cast lots! 

Well that's my week. I love you all and hope that the rain over here doesn't spread over there! or the spiders.. Onward and Upward :) 

Con mucho amor 
Hermana Schwendiman 

Monday, June 2, 2014

roller coaster week

This really has been on roller coaster of a week! But what would a mission be if all things ran smoothly.. or life in general? 
We did have a lot of smooth sailing though.. rough seas.. droughts.. and here we are again for another P-day. That's one thing I've learned, time passes! Soak in the good moments.. be patient through the trials! 
Highlights for the week:
1. Tuesday I had an incredible exchange with the most stereotypical sister from Hawaii. The stereotype is to Hawaii.. not the sister missionary side. She was super "chill," happy, loved good food.. it was a blast and we both learned a ton. 
2. A couple weeks ago I wrote about a man named Mauricio.. well Mauricio is getting baptized on the 22nd of June! I have never taught anyone in my mission that has been as excited as he has! Most of the people we teach already have a relationship with God, believe in Christ, and go to church. Mauricio has had to turn is life around.. His life in Costa Rica was not easy. His life in general has been a rather big train wreck.. but he has the biggest heart. Every time we have an appointment with him, he cannot wait to share with us what he has learned in the Book of Mormon, we don't even have to ask him! He said that he felt like he wanted to go talk to the whole world and go meet everyone, and he doesn't really even like talking to people! He is changing and you can see it in his face. He was so happy that it made me happy, I noticed my cheeks hurting by the end of the lesson. The most amazing thing about Mauricio is that he commits himself to do anything before we have to. We discuss something and he commits himself to do it. He makes any valley or trial worth it. 
3. Jaime came out to teach with us. Multiple times actually! He just walks next to us down the streets, hugging his Book of Mormon. If the appointment isn't home, he's the first to say, "Okay where to next?" He loves being a missionary! 
4. I had my interview with President Jeppson that we do every three months! The most incredible interview that I have had on my mission! but unfortunately it was my last one as well. He finishes his mission in just a few weeks. Its sad but also very exciting! 

And I just have one funny curve that we took on our roller coaster ride...
We got locked out of our apartment this week! Our phone died at 8:30, we were home at nine just to find out that our keys were locked inside. All windows locked.. neighbors didn't answer.. so we ended up at Jaime's calling the assistants because it was the only number that we had with us and then played a tini prank on the english sisters.. before they let us sleep on their floor! It's a good thing they actually let us!! :) 

Love you all so much! May your roller coasters be as fun as mine!

Onward and upward! 
Hermana Schwendiman 
PS Pictures coming next week. Sorry.. I know it's no fun without pictures!