Tuesday, July 29, 2014

dying missionaries

Hey!! Thought you'd like to see this one! 

Apparently we're "dying" missionaries. This is our "hot seat" tradition. Where after our last zone meetings all the missionaries are allowed to ask the departing missionaries whatever questions they like! Usually starts goofy and funny and then ends spiritually and we get to share testimony.   This was today, all three of us are going home.

And part of our "departing trip" yesterday! We went to the statue of liberty and Ellis Island!! and the Russian teardrop memorial! 

Also, one of THE BEST zone pictures I have ever seen. Taken by one of our Zone leaders! 

Climbing the statue of liberty... a few stairs.. The mission presidents daughter Emily is taking the picture.

That's all!! Love you!

Hermana SChwendiman 

Monday, July 21, 2014


This weeks email is going to be more of a series of pictures...
1.Our poorly taken timed photo after an exchange

2. We took the train to a meeting in another town.. took too long and our meter was going to expire. This would be the result of asking elders to help us out! Well.. we "hung" in there! 

3. By far one of the best letters any of my companions have gotten from their younger brother..

4. Our departing missionary temple trip! This was only about half of the group.

The best p-day activity today!!! We went golfing!!

Well I know pictures speak more than words.. so I hope you enjoyed :)
Con mucho carino,
Hermana Schwendiman

Monday, July 14, 2014


My letter this week is going to be focused around the disguised ways that the Lord uses us to do his work. This week has been a challenging one for me.. It's a complete contradiction. All I want to do is work, but my health right now is forcing me to slow down. We've had to take a step back because I keep hitting points of pure exhaustion.. I think my body is a little worn out! At the same time.. there is no better feeling knowing that I have worn my body out serving the Lord.
Our new mission president, President Taggart, has thrown a little twist in my prayers. We had a meeting with him a few weeks ago and he talked about how great it is that we are praying to find the ready people. He then started to share a scripture in Alma 16:16 about how the Lord is continually preparing people to receive the gospel. In every single on of our areas.. there are prepared people!! We are spending so much time TRYING to find them... why aren't we praying for THEM to contact and find US?? 
That was his question for us, so.. we've been praying for it. The next day we were walking down the street and we waved to an Indian man who was standing on his porch across the street. We waved and said hi and he waved back and started to walk off of his porch and towards us, so we went and met him at the end of his drive way. He just started to talk to us! HE started to talk to US! It was so odd.. and he loved everything we said and told us he had been studying religions. So we asked him if the English missionaries could stop by and bring him an English copy of the Book of Mormon. "Absolutely!" he said. "I would love that" 
Well we ran into the sisters in our church building yesterday and they said they had met with him. He is a solid investigator and loves the gospel!
Example two. We were at thursday night volleyball night with the English ward and Spanish branch. There was a cute 24 year old girl there from Columbia.. Daniela. One of the members yelled out "sister missionaries!!" as we walked in. After a game, I was sitting on the side watching and she came and sat down right next to me. She was curious about what the member had said about us being missionaries. SO I started to talk to her, get to know her, explained our purpose as being missionaries, and told her why I was doing it. I notices for a brief moment that I was kind of staring off in the distance as I was thinking and sharing and as I turned to look back at her, her eyes were red and full of tears. She told me that she couldn't believe that there were people like that. Good people. We instantly became friends and I told her that she needed to go to the YSA activities and that she should have the missionaries over to her house. When I told her that, she almost insisted. I gave her info to the missionaries in her area.
See.. it really isn't about numbers. It's about doing what we are asked to do. Praying for the right things, having the right desires, and being in the right places. I may never see those two people again, Lary and Daniela, but I'm confident that we were able to give them the first piece to their unsolved puzzle. This gospel is the most true thing on the earth. Those of us that have it, and know it... are lucky. It's time we share that happiness with even more of our siblings.
con mucho amor, 
Hermana Schwendiman

Okay this pictures are not to be judged. We were secretly passed some "do-rags" as part of a zone goal. They came with a few funny and new things that we had to "do" with them. Then, every companionship is supposed to take pictures with them on... but we obviously we a little confused ;) 
And yes... we did take advantage of 7-11!!
We love NJMM and the mission office.. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

third world

Well this week, through out living conditions, I really felt like I was able to live and work in another country.
We moved into an apartment a few months ago and with the increase in weather temperatures.. we didn't realize that we had no air conditioning. The mission does not provide air conditioning units and so we have been enjoying the beauty of 103 degree weather in our lovely steam room of an apartment... then our breaker broke. I'm not sure how accurate that statement really is.. but nonetheless.. we have no electricity! Not sure how that one happened.. Maybe it was part of Hurricane Arthur that came through. Wasn't much more than a major thunder storm for us but it was pretty intense. Our spider infestation has continued and I am now proud to announce that I have overcome most of my spider fear! And then.. you have the missionaries who underestimate their own grocery shopping (that would be us last week) and we suddenly realized we had no food. TO say the least, we really did enjoy our own living conditions this week!
This was a fun week for us because we were able to meet the new mission president and his wife, President and Sister Taggart! We had a mission leader council and it was an incredible experience to see a mission president with the greenie spirit. To watch the mission already changing and to see there there is not one right way to work. It is a big change, but change is a good thing!
We had fourth of July celebrations too! Even though none of our members or investigators understood what they were really celebrating, they brought the Hispanic festive spirit and we celebrated our nations Independence day! We were able to stay out and meet with all the other missionaries in our zone and watch fireworks. The only day in the year where we get to stay out past out curfew, and watching the fireworks was so much fun!
We saw a fun miracle this week. We saw  a lot of miracles but I want to share one in specific. We suddenly felt the urge to park our car at our house and walk to our next appointment. We have been trying to find a lot more people to teach and so we were hoping that we could meet some on the street. Just about 10 minutes later we walk up to a woman and started a conversation with a simple question. "Do you think that God loves you?" (It's a random approach that we wanted to try out once during the day!) Anyway, this woman started to tell us that she had just been praying while she was walking home and had just got off the phone with her mom, tell her that she didn't have any friends in this country, she wanted to learn english, and that she wanted to start going to church more. It's just a simple experience to show that God works through us. He answers prayers, and we have a return appointment with her for later this week!
God answers prayers!! 
His work continues to move forward. 
Onward and upward!
Hermana Schwendiman
PS We were able to go up to Ellis Island again this week! That's the new york picture. The other two are from the night of the fourth!! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


We were sitting in PEC this Sunday and my new companion was introducing herself and where she was from, "Cottonwood heights, Utah" she shared. And then the first counselor asked us how close we lived to each other. "Eh, about 5 or 10 minutes.. but she lives in a different city." Then he responded.. "ooo rival high schools!" Then it clicked.. We DID go to rival high schools! Luckily my mom went to Brighton as well and so I had a pre-prepared soft spot for it! She's is pretty awesome though. 
Well you wouldn't realize it, but the World Cup effects our work more than other other thing that has every happened out here, in my opinion. Then again.. I wasn't quite out here for the hurricane two years ago.. but the World Cup would come in close second. Not only are we working with hispanics.. but we are working with every hispanic country in the world. I have been more updated about the World Cup in the past few weeks than probably most of you at home. Unless soccer is bigger than I every realized it was in Utah. 
Two of the major evidences of this was;
1. Our first councilor to the Branch President somehow got away with wearing his country's jersey underneath his suit. Go Mexico! 
2. We were coming out of a lesson last night and got to the car and all of a sudden we heard a group of people yelling in their house.. and then many different houses seemed to have the same problem. Costa Rica won.. and we were in a Costa Rican neighborhood. I think the best part was that there was one house that was really delayed.. and then about 10 seconds after the commotion, one more house added in! Their satellite must have been a little slow. And then they all ended out on the street. 
Well that's about all I have for the week. It was busy and we found two potential families! Gotta love this work.
Onward and Upward
Hermana Schwendiman

New Jersey Green... it's ALL green!