Monday, November 11, 2013

And another baptism in her area!

Speaking of still having Halloween candy left, Sister Jeppson is awesome with health! I mean, she was in a hot dog singing a song she made up about New Jersey food in the tune of "food glorious food." Tell me a mission President's wife that is as awesome as that... you really can't! Anyways, her little seminars have helped me to be healthy! I even look at pictures of some things at restaurants and am grossed out! So that's a neat change. I can see a difference in my energy! I feel like it's Heavenly father's way of rewarding me for serving him :) 

Carlos is doing good! He did come to church, and he seemed to like it.  

Diego is great! Such a social butterfly. He got the Priesthood this Sunday and so he is going to the temple with us on the 21st! We are really looking forward to that! We are going with Densie, the recent convert the Elders baptized last Sunday! 
And SURPRISE! We had another baptism on FRIDAY! his name is Vinicio and he is 23. Lives with a member family and was invited to our talent night in October. He loved it, got comfortable and then came to church. The Zone Leaders taught him, the same Elders who taught Densie. They said he just grew more. Vinicio felt bad one day and said "I'm pretty slow at reading... I'm only in 1st Nephi 11.." Uhh AWESOME!  The man even remember Ishmeal's name! So he was baptized on Friday and President Jeppson came again! It was pretty awesome. He was baptized on a Friday because he had to get the Holy Ghost on Sunday. He left Sunday night to Arizona, where he will work for 6 months! So it was really sad to see him go. When he got the Holy Ghost, he was assured that the Lord had huge plans for him. GOLDEN! He's also planning on coming back to go to the temple in December! He is such a boss. We also sang come thou fount in Spanish. It was sweet.
                                                               Vinicio's baptism

Whenever times get tough with Spanish, I just think "my family has to be impressed. I have to have this down by Christmas!"  Spanish hymns are my favorite! They just have so much power to them. I've already memorized a couple on accident because they are my favorites and I just sing them all the time. :) 

I don't know if Nestor is in our area or not.. he came to church this Sunday but we are meeting with him for the first time tonight!
The Robles family.. Are you ready for this?!

So last Sunday they had a lesson in Young Women about the temple trip they were having that Saturday. After the class, Diana begged to go to the temple, but we explained she had to be baptized before she went to the temple. So she asked us if she could get baptized during the week so that she could go! We told her we had to teach her a couple things, but that she could get baptized really soon. So we set her on date for the 17th! We've been to her house like every day this week and she is always SO excited to see us! We even took Diana 11, her brother Gabriel, 13 and Ariana 13 the less active to the library and we all watched videos. It was so much fun! And Diana got to watch a video of a baptism, plus she's seen the recent two we had last week. She goes to the church every day for activities and volleyball and things like that and she just is in LOVE! We were walking her to the church the other day and she said "you know, I consider you guys like sisters to me" :') It is so much fun to work with her and Ariana! They are both so hilarious and they just crack us up. 
We were having a lesson with Diana and we were sharing a scripture in Moroni, and we teach her in English because she understands and it's easier. So I was introducing the scripture, and I was explaining Moroni and I said "se llama Moroni (mor-oh-nee) in espanol... and she whispers "sounds like macaroni..." Oh man we all started busting up! Those girls are hilarious! And when Diana prays, she always prays for us and thanks her Heavenly Father and tells him how excited she is to be baptized and to receive the Holy Ghost. We are so so happy for her! And we hope she is going to lead her family into the waters of baptism too. her brother Gabriel has come to church with us 3 times willingly, but he just doesn't want anything to do with it. 
                                                  Ariana, Hermanan Schaefer, and Diana!
I have a Spanish/English dictionary, but my companion doesn't let me use it during companionship study when I need it. I have to figure out another way I already know how to say it. But I feel like when I do that, I won't ever learn the words I want to say. 

We have interviews with the President this week so that will be awesome.
He is such an inspired man. he will just look at me and be able to tell everything that's going on.
When he was set apart as a mission President, he was blessed to be able to know us as if he'd known us since we were young. I have truly felt that as he has talked to me, even the way he shakes my hand- he knows me inside and out.
I love you lots and lots and lots! Have such a great week!
Hermana Schaefer
Or See-shizzle. whichever you prefer :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Almost Thanksgiving!

Wow can you believe it's already Thanksgiving?! 
This transfer has gone by SO fast, and yet I can't believe I'm STILL in training! I have about 3 more weeks left! 

Carlos didn't go to church because his cousin was in town. But he's doing pretty good. 

GOLDEN DIEGO! Is still awesome as ever. :) He got a new job this week and so he had to work this Sunday. Boo! And we haven't been able to set up a time for his family history, mainly because the center is only open for like 2 days a week. Because he wasn't at church, he didn't receive the priesthood so he can't go to the temple yet! Which was a rule I didn't know. Even 12 year old boys have to have the priesthood if they want to do baptisms! So we are aiming for next week. He fits in SO well with the ward and we love him! We are doing his new member lessons. The ward missionaries aren't as frequent here in Union City. We are aiming to have more members with us in lessons though. That 3rd testimony always helps!

So my companion is famous! Sister Schwendiman is in the church news! She and her former companion have pictures and there's a whole article about NJMM and the work sister missionaries do on Liberty island! We are now both world renowned. (me in general conference, her in the church news!)

Okay. MIRACLES this week!
First of all, Densie was baptized! He is the bishop's daughter's boyfriend about 20 years old. He was taught by our Zone leaders. He had the missionary discussions before, but cut the poor missionaries off in the middle of a lesson and said it wasn't right for him. Then his girlfriend moved to Utah for college, and he was really devastated about it. He was so devastated that he got on his knees and prayed to know where his life was going and he asked for a sign to see if the church Marilyn (the gf) belonged to was the right church for him. Two nights later, he had a dream, where him and Marilyn were sitting on a couch together and they had their wedding rings on and they were holding a book of mormon in their hands, and as the seconds went by, they were aging, wrinkles and all. So Densie took this as a sign that he needed to join the church! He had the missionary discussions and 3 weeks later he was baptized! (the baptism was yesterday). And guess what?! President and Sister Jeppson came!!!! We are about 2.5 hours away from the mission home so we don't get to see them that often. It was so cool to talk with them and tell them about good ol Union City!
                                                                Densie's baptism

At the Baptism, we had 4 investigators there AND a less active! Crazy awesome! They played the Joseph Smith movie while they were changing and it was the most powerful video I've seen! I bet it was because President was there :) Also, me and my companion and the Zone leaders sand soy un hijo de Dios (I am a child of God) With the guitar. So Marilyn, Densie's girlfreiend was "there" via skype and she was bawling through the whole thing, and so was the whole family of the bishop. Densie was baptized 3 times because his knee kept coming up, and he just laughed. Even when he bore his testimony, he didn't cry! BUT when we got to the second verse of the song, he was just bawling. He just put his head in his hands and sobbed! Oh then I started crying and I couldn't sing because that just sounds so bad. It was so awesome! The Spirit was SO strong!

We also had a street contact as we were walking to pick up investigators for church. He said he couldn't go, and then he showed up! He also came to the baptism too!!!!! His name is Nestor, but I don't think he lives in our area :/ 

Also, we have been working with the Robles family. The mom is like 20 years less active and her two kids and husband are non members. We picked up the two kids (woke them up and basically dragged them out of bed) and it turns out, Diana 12, the daughter is friends with Ariana 13, the hilarious less active we have been teaching. So they just chatted away on the way to church and Diana stayed because she had a friend! She LOVED young womens and asked us if she could go to the temple trip with the ward this Saturday! We told her she needed to be baptized for herself first, and she asked "can I be baptized right NOW?!" It was pretty awesome! Densie's baptism was at 6 and so we picked her up for that and the whole way there she was just chatting about how she wants to be baptized, and how her dad supports her and how she told her mom about the temple and her mom said she wanted to go with her! And then she was like and then my whole family can be BAPTIZED! And she came to the baptism and she was so intrigued. And she asked me to baptize her. Hahahahaha I wish! Oh how I wish. But we explained the Priesthood and she was okay with it.The Lord has been so good to us :) 
Hopefully we can get that family baptized and active!!!


Love, Seester CC :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Working at Liberty Island! 'Merica


We went to the gym this morning! We were there for like 2 and a half hours! I did the treadmill, 10 minutes of a cycling class and some other machines... AND we batted our pretty little eye lashes and got a FREE one week pass! WOOHOO! So we are going to wake up early this week and work our buns!

No new investigators yet, but we've had some pretty cool contacts on the street! We'll see what comes out of them. We are in an all walking area! For zone conferences and certain training meetings we have to get a ride because they're all like an hour away. We are right by New York and the meetings are in central Jersey so it's a little ways away. It's getting pretty cold! I was an ICE CUBE at liberty Island and I haven't really defrosted since! It's really cold in the mornings and at nights but the afternoons are alright, nice and warm :)

And I'm feeling good! My health is good, it was nice to work out this morning! We probably only have 5 weeks left before she gets transferred! Hopefully I get transferred into a driving area for winter ;)
Also, IPADS are coming in April 2014... OH YEAH. Can't wait for that!!!!! 

On Saturday we got to Volunteer at Liberty Island!!!! (The island where the statue of liberty is). Only Sisters get to. WOOHOO! So. Here's what we did. We drove less than 20 minutes, took a ferry and got to the island. We had badges that say we are volunteers and we kept our name tags on. BUT... we were NOT allowed to proselyte or talk really about the church. It's a separation of church and state law government thing and it was SO HARD. People would look at my tag and ask me all about it, but I could only give short answers and say very minimal things. The church and the island have been working together for 13 years, and one little slip up could ruin a lot of things! So there is a place on the island- the island is pretty huge. There's the entrance to the platform and a line for the crown, there's a gift shop and a cafe, and there's a huge quad area and a pathway to walk around the statue. We were at a small booth where people could get free certificates that said "I went to the statue of liberty!" So two companions were on the computers putting in their information and me and another sister were talking to the long line of people and just leaving a good impression. We got to meet people LITERALLY from all around the world! Here are the places I can remember- FRANCE ( it KILLED me... like I almost cried. Definitely talking French again when I come home!) Poland, Turkey, a lot from the UK,India, Venezuela, Scotland, Peru, Mexico, Russia, China, Germany, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Argentina, and Columbia! Not to mention all sorts of states! A group of 4 18 year old girls were from MODESTO!!!!!!! It was so awesome! I talked to them for a really long time! We also met 2 LDS people too. They came up to us and were like SISTERS!!!!! It was neat :) I forgot my camera, but I will send pics next week! I got one from sister Schwendy.. Like my patriotic red white and blue? :)

Diego is doing haha But he loves the church. He is trying to look for a new job and we were like okay but you have to find a job that... and he finished our sentence and said "I know, I know that lets me have Sundays off..." BINGO. Gold star for Diego! 


Sister CC :)

First Baptism!

Hola Amigos! 
We took a light-rail train that went into Jersey City and we went to the mall again, but this time we went across the street to target! SO MUCH FUN. I loved every minute of it!

Okay so... Diego!!! We baptized DIEGO!!!! It was so cool! So throughout his whole mission process, I felt like we just dumped a huge bucket of water on him with info. We are like surprise! Law of tithing! surprise!  Law of chastity. But wait! There's more! hahaha He joined an English class 2 weeks ago which started right after work. So it was hard to meet with him. He would be too tired to go to class sometimes and so he would call us and say he was home! Lucky he was like a dry sponge ready to soak up all the info. Seriously everything about him and his story is just perfect. How we found him, the way he was just so ready, and the way he just ate everything up. This last week we taught him the law of chastity. It was actually pretty funny. Diego is a crack up! He promised to keep it, just like every other commitment we invited him to keep. 

The day before his baptism, we had a WEDDING!!!! We have been preparing and decoration for it all week long! It was a huge celebration for Claudia and Jose. It was so much fun. Reminded me a lot of Lindy's wedding! I definitely didn't feel like I was a missionary with all the music and chatting for a couple of hours. Just as the ceremony was starting, Diego arrived! He came up the stairs and he was like Hermanas, I need to talk to you. So we were like uhhhh okay... so we left the gym where the wedding was held and went over by the bishop's office. I thought to myself, this is it. It has been going so perfectly so far and everything has worked out. SOMETHING has to go wrong! So we talked for a good 20 minutes and tried to really listen to him. He said that he has a lot of thing weighing on him, that he feels like he really needs to repent of some things and that it will take time. Wow what faith! Diego understood this huge commitment and the need to repent before baptism. We talked a lot about the atonement and shared the scripture where it says and as oft as they truly repent, they will be forgiven of their sins.Then we knelt down right there and he said a prayer in his head. He was crying, but as he finished, he said he felt this weight lifted off his shoulders. What an awesome experience! 
The baptismal service went well with him. He looked so great dressed in white and he will be such a GREAT addition to the ward! We are super excited for him! We have a rule here on the mission, if the recent convert finds a family name to baptize in the temple within 6 weeks of their baptism, we can go with them to the temple! We are anxious to prepare for that :)

We had a pretty great baptismal day. Claudia and Jose were also baptized! Jose was first, and when Claudia came up, he went back into the font and hugged her. Such a sweet moment!!!! And then Diego was next, and Elder Gigilo baptized him! He went to high school at the CCM when it was a school! So we got to share a lot of fun memories. After Diego, a lady named Ana was baptized. Wow the gym was half-full!!!
Here's what the President said about the baptisms mission wide:

'Incredible week of baptisms...22!
"And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdomof my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"  D&C 18:16
My cup is full tonight.  I love you all.
What a marvelous week for the State of Jersey. 22 people entered into covenants with their 
Heavenly Father to keep His commandments and always remember His Son. This is the largest 
number of people baptized in a week in our mission for several years. As I’ve expressed before, 
you can sense there are important things taking place here. The work is accelerating; the 
Gathering of Israel is being hastened; and our missionaries are serving with all their “heart, 
might, mind and strength” to bring it about.'

It was an awesome day :) 

This week, we had a lesson with the DeLeon family. The dad served a mission but is inactive and the mom is investigating, and their son was baptized a year ago! So it's hard to teach them all and they have 2 little boys. So we did a family home evening with them, where you hide candies and they look for them, but you keep one in your bag, so they can't find it until someone asks. Then you relate it to prayer and say you can't get all the blessings until you ask God! Then the dad said, Well what if I wanted a bigger blessing, like a cake?! And we had JUST gotten home from a dinner appt and they gave us this small cake from a bakery so I had it it my bag. So I said "no way!" and I got the cake out and gave it to them! It was so hilarious!!!! The dad was almost crying, he was laughing so hard! Then he said "I am going to ask you before God because you are a lot faster!" Haha it was really funny.

Another funny thing that happened is we were doing service for a potential investigator of ours, painting the kitchen, and she asked sister Schwedny if she wanted to eat something. She said it twice but sister schwendy didn't hear her. So I asked the question for her and repeated the question (This was all in Spanish). So I said Hermana, quere comer alguien? ....... algo= something and alguien= someone....... WHOOPS! I totally just asked her if she wanted to eat someone!!!!!! And then we all started cracking up and I volunteered Elder Gigilo as tribute and he said "I don't know, I'm kind of spicy!" hahahahaha it was so funny! 

And Hermana Lara. I just love her. She is a member in our ward and she bought sister schwendy and I rings the other day! She came up to us at church and said "I always thinking of you two." She always makes food us too and brings it to church!

 Transfers happened TODAY! Sister Schwendy and I are staying together, which they always do with trainers and trainees. We are getting a new zone leader and a new district leader though! 

LOVE YOUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!! )

Hermana Schaefer

Monday, September 30, 2013

Shout out for between Conference sessions!

Oh I loved the relief society meeting! I love the good-better-best example in temples! Good to teach, better to prepare, best to LIVE! I also loved the perspective when you are thinking thoughts about yourself, Is this how the Savior would want me to think about myself, or is Satan trying to beat me down? LOVE IT!
Leading the area was fun! I didn't know I knew that much spanish!
Yes, our team ups knew Spanish. The older generation, like my age hardly know English and the younger generation know more English than Spanish.
Sister Schwendiman and I were just talking about how back at home, you guys say the names in American accents, like everybody loves Ramon. But his name is said with a Spainish accent, JUST like princess and the frog! We had to drop him :( Sister Schwendy had a really hard time with that. Especially since her grandpa passed away and he was like a grandpa to us. Always taking care of us. But in the missionary purpose perspective, we had 10 WHOLE LESSONS with him, one every day. They would never go as we planned, and he basically would give us a bible study class. Plus we were still on lesson one. It was making me feel guilty because there are so many other people we could use that hour with!
. Sister Schwendy told me something really awesome today that her brother told her- who happened to serve in Nashville Tennessee!!!!! He said- You have to strengthen the ward and its members first. If you only focus on the investigators and bring them into a word that isn't functioning like it should, then the investigators will crumble with the ward. SO TRUE! This week we both felt prompted to focus on less actives and ward members.
We had a lesson with Diego on Sunday! He really scared us because he didn't come to church and he didn't answer out text! So we called him a little bit later and he answered the phone and said they called him in to work last minute! So that's why he couldn't come and didn't answer our text. We had an awesome lesson with him. It was fast Sunday because of Conference and we had a crazy night so I wasn't able to fast dinner/breakfast but still 24 hours. So I felt really weak, almost like I was going to pass out. But the Spirit was still so strong! We talked about the Word of Wisdom. I noticed that he had a bottle cap opener on his keys. UH-OH. I was kind of nervous but then I realized that if you timidly ask someone to keep a commandment, then they'll timidly keep it. So you just have to be bold and identify blessings. AND this is why we do the Baptismal Commitment so early- because they've already committed to this promise and that is their goal. And they must do certain things to achieve that goal- like keeping la plabra de sabiduria :) (WOW)
Here you have someone who Satan just can't seem to attack because he has so much faith! We are so proud of him. Sister Schwendiman started talking funny towards the end of the lesson, and she talked about how she wasn't all there because she was fasting. Then she told him she was fasting for him.. and I was like COMO?! TAMBIEN!!! (What?!, me toooo!!!!!) We both did NOT know we fasted for him and when he heard this and saw our "not so coincidence" (spirit) his eyes just lit UP and he was so happy. Then HE offered to say the closing prayer. OY VAY. SO COOL. His baptism is set for the 13th of October, because next week is conference!!!!
President said this in his e-mail this week:
Everywhere I go I have members approach me and tell me how much they love the missionaries in their ward/branch. I always tell them, “I know, I love them too.”
Sweet story of the week!
This week, as Sister Schwendiman and I were walking down the street with our Book of Mormon in hand, we passed a man who whispered to himself- as though unintentionally- "Hey I have that book.." and he kept walking. It was SO hard to hear, yet it was clear as day what he said. We turned around and asked "what did you say?" He again repeated I think I have that book and said that a co worker had given him a book of Mormon about a year ago and he read part of it. We set an appointment with him for the next day. Our lesson seemed to go perfectly. We had a great introduction, and we got to learn all about him. We had a great lesson on the restoration and Carlos then accepted the invitation to baptism on October 20th. What a neat situation! We are excited to teach him more.
In between sessions, idk if it’s on sat or sun, but they are having a special about the MEXICO MTC! And I think I'm on it! They had camera everywhere when we first got there. So keep your eyes peeled!!
Worldly moment-
The other day sister s and I were planning and we went to get ice cream at the same time and a Michael Jackson CD was playing... HEAVEN. I didn't even know I liked Michael Jackson! haha oh the things you find out on your mission :)
Love, Hermana Schaefer

Haha So I'm at the library right now and it's pretty bad. There's a guy in the corner who is listening to Tu-pac, the rapper out loud, doing hand motions and rocking his body... doorag and all! And the guy next to me smiled and I smiled back and now he is googling "church near union city." HAHAHAHA Love it!

Sometimes you just have to get ice cream....

Sometimes, you just have to get ice cream :) 

But seriously, sister schwendy and I felt prompted to get ice cream. Turns out, the owners uncle is a patriarch but he is not a member. He asked about a singles ward in manhattan and we referred him to the elders in his area. The Lord works in mysterious ways. ;) Plus the ice cream was muy fantastico...

#Forevergringa 9/23/13

Yesterday it was super windy!!! I don't know where it came from, but it reminded me of Rexburg! We have this carpet in our house and it's kind of weird.. it's not hard but it's not the softest carpet. But I have calluses on my knees from kneeling on it. I hope I keep those calluses for the rest of my life :)
I am doing great! My week was sort of strange because it wasn't a "normal missionary week." Sister Schwendiman was sick this week! It started last Sunday, we actually had to go home after Sunday school. Most of the week she was sleeping because she was so fatigued. We barely had about 9 lessons this week when on average it is 20. But my trainer and I are learning together and are working hard to help this area grow in the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This Tuesday we had an exchange, where we switch companions for a day! I was with Sister Richardson, a Sister Training Leader. She is so awesome! I loved seeing someone else's point of view and style. She helped me so much! BUT. Sister Richardson is only English speaking, and Sister Schwendiman went to another area on her exchange. So not only did I have to know our area, but I had to LEAD the lessons! I finally could understand why I was being pushed to my limits. My trainer had told me about this exchange and she knew I would have to take charge and I could only do that if I really knew the area. We had a team up or a member of the ward to come with us at every lesson so that was nice. We taught 2 or 3 lessons and I was able to talk! It was SO cool to lead the lessons and to be forced into knowing what I had to for these investigators. I realized that I knew more Spanish than I thought I did, and that was a really great booster for me. That night was Noche de Hogar or family night and we were in charge of it! I came up with a topic and a lesson plan and it was for our ward so it was all in Spanish. But I did it! It was way fun to teach and I got some compliments afterwards about how "I look so white but can speak Spanish really well." LOL #Forevergringa
SO. Investigator-wise:
We have an 85 year old Cuban investigator named Ramon. He is so funny! I probably get a good 5 words out of each of his lessons. He knows the bible REALLY well, the poor book is just falling apart. So we've been challenged to really know our stuff. He is so nice and he just loves us. He said in all his 40 years at his other church, no one took the time to stop by like we have. Little moments like these testify to me of why I love this church. We are taught to be kind and everyone likes kind people. So it must be true :) He took us out to lunch and he gives us kisses on the forhead all the time. I'll have to get a picture with him. He surprised us and came to church! Sister Schwendy sat with him and he told her he likes the church and he had lots of questions for us. We had a lesson with him after church and I didn't talk the whole time. Ramon likes to show us the bible basically the whole lesson and aint nobody got time for that. So we say Ramon- look. We dont gotta lotta time here. So you can listen to us and find out why we're here or we can have a little bible class. And then he listens :) Bold and loving, bold and loving. So I didn't talk for basically the entire lesson which was about 45 minutes. I was really struggling to stay awake and it was hard to translate his Cuban Spanish. Voices we being a little bit raised and it was really time to go, so I FINALLY spoke up. I had this super soft voice and I swear I was talking in slow mo because I had just had 3 hours of church and a 45 minute lesson where I didn't talk during all of that time, and I had to translate and use my lil brain a lot. So I was talking really quietly and slowly and the words just CAME. I just couldn't stop talking. I just bore my testimony of why I knew what we were telling him was true, how we loved him and that's the reason we wanted him to know it was true too. I probably talked for a good five minutes and at the end everyone was just staring at me (Ramon, my comp and our team up). They didn't know what to say. So we left and when we got outside, my companion said "that was like PERFECT Spanish!" And our team up said "how did you do that?!" IT WAS SO COOL. The church is true :)

DIEGO. He is the 20 year old who is from Honduras! He is AWESOME. Found him on a prompting, which I think I explained last email. He has been doing WONDERFUL. He has attended all of our activities- family home evening, institute, and this Sunday, HE CAME TO CHURCHHHHH!!!!! But, lets back up to Saturday. So although Diego has come to these activities, he hasn't had a lot of lessons. The last lesson, we gave him the restoration video. He watched it, and so on Saturday we had another appt with him. He was like wait I am like Joseph Smith. That's me! I have the same questions as he did! OH IT WAS SO COOL. And then we invited him to be baptized. And he nodded his head and it just kept on nodding :) I want him to enjoy the full blessing this gospel has to give him so I was STOKED when he said yes! His date is on October 13th. It would have been sooner but the 6th is conference!! He came to church yesterday and said he liked it a lot, that it was different but a good different. I couldn't be happier :)

This week we had leadership training meeting!!! It is where we have a huge conference for all new missionaries, trainers, zone leaders and sister district leaders. I SAW SISTER CLARK! It was so fun to see her and catch up with her! She is in the next area over. It brought back a flood of memories from the MTC :) But the training was two days. SO COOL. We did a lot of role plays and had a lot of lessons. We had some bomb diggity food too. Sister Jeppson is the BEST at that! We were spiritually fed too :) For the role plays, we would have a zone leader or sis training leader be the mediator, and we would have 3 missionaries, 2 to teach and one to be the investigator. For the last role play, I was walking to a group and I walked by president Jeppson. I love him! He is so involved and he was acting as a mediator. I greeted him and sighed with relief when I "escaped" and walked past him. OR SO I THOUGHT. I felt something grab my albow- his hand- and a voice said you're with ME. *GULP* Cue the seizure. Cue the passing out. Right about now...CUE ANYTHING!!!! How could I teach with him RIGHT THERE?! Sheesh was I pressured. BUT. We ended up having a really cool lesson on prayer. President would help me and the other missionary with things to say to the "investigator." I called him my holy ghost :)
At the end of the two day training, Elder Harris who is an Assistant to the President, said some closing remarks and added. "Wow. We are 20 years old and we just spend two day learning and training on how to be a disciple of Christ. Just think about that." It was a really cool point of view for me because I could be doing a lot of other things right now especially my age, and yet I chose to serve. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.

This week, we also had SERVICE! We picked some weeds at the town hall in the city of Passaic. It was so much fun! I love serving. It was cool to see other missionaries and talk with them. We also had talent night on Saturday! It was really fun. I actually sang last minute... 3 Elders were playing on a keyboard, the uke and a guitar and they needed a singer. It was nearer my God to thee, or Mas circa Dios, de ti. It was fun :)
Well, this week was slower but just like every other week, it ended. Take care of the missionaries in the ward. It'll come back around to me and Sammy :) I love you.
Con todo el amor in el mundo, y de su hija in noueavu (<-- haha french spelling!) Jersey, hasta ver.

Hermana Schaefer <3

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bits of Mexico and NJ

                                                                   Yeah Buddy!

"Mexico Sunset-No Filters-This is Real life!"

                                                                   NYC Skyline on 9/11

                                                                       Real Tacos!

                                              Mexico City Temple w/ teacher Hermana Arbon

                                                              I will go, I will do...........
                                                       Sweet, Sweet Dr. Pepper. How I have missed you!

Sneaky Sneaky Sir

Well, I just got back from MCDONALDS. American food. YUM. Oh it was heaven. I have been craving fries and a shake for so long.

Okay so this week was hard. Like really hard. Hardest week out on the field. Get it? Because I've only been in the field for a week? ;) Haha but it has all been new. The Spanish, the area, the Zone, everything. 

One day, our appointment wasn't there, so Sister Schwendiman had me pick our back-up. And I told her we should see Blanca, a super old lady. So she asked me again, are you sure? Out of all the back ups we have who do you want to see? And without hesitation, I said BLANCA. It just blurted out of my mouth. And it didn't make sense because every time we go see Blanca, she is NEVER home. So this would be our 3rd attempt at seeing the mysterious old woman. I had to lead the way without any direction so of course, we got lost. I was going every which way and I was about to go crazy because I don't like the feeling of not knowing where I am. So by some grand chance, I found the house. And when we got there, of course, Blanca wasn't home. (So in NJ, there are like 3 story houses and a family lives on each floor) so her neighbor answered his door and we started talking to him. REALLY nice guy who is a chef in New York. He had to go to work though, so we didn't get a chance to really talk to him. But as we were leaving the house, a young man started walking up. I just new this was the reason I was prompted to go to Blanca's. He lives on the 3rd story of her house and was just coming home from work. And conveniently there were two chairs one one side of the porch and another on the other side. Everything was just so perfect. Even the lesson went well. He was so receptive to hear the message and he has come to FHE and Institute this week! He is 20, from Honduras and is looking for the truth. Good thing we have it!! 
We had a really powerful lesson with him about Joseph Smith and the Restoration and he soaked it all in. He's all alone, moved here in May and has no family, they're back in Honduras. He started crying when we told him we have a family here, a ward family who takes great care and  loves us. We will invite him to be baptized TONIGHT! 

So this week was a lot better than lasts appointment wise. We were just booked which is such a good thing! We had lots of dinner appointments and such. We are fed very well!  And when we get fed, WE ARE FULL. Oh Latino food. It makes me stuffed. If we have a dinner appointment, we just snack all day. We try not to have a dinner appointment ever night because we're in a walking area- one of 4 in the mission! So we don't want to stay the same weight. If we have the advantage of walking, we better lose it! We run every day and one time we BOOKED it down 8 blocks because we were going to be late. We walked in the door and were kneeling to pray for planning by exactly 9 pm. Oh the miracles of the mission :)

This week we did service for a member. She was not feeling too well, so we offered to help her clean her house.  Working was fun and she also fed us lunch! That's the thing about Latinos, is that they hardly have any more and that is apparent when you walk into their home- but you can always count on them giving you supplies and especially food- and a good meal at that! So the Hermana was feeding us, and she gave us macaroni soup as an appetizer but sister Schwendiman is allergic to gluten! So I stealthily had to eat hers without the Hermana noticing! I felt like James Bond. haha I have gotten sneaky on my mission! 
Gabriel- the son of a recent convert. he's almost 3 and he is SO energetic! We we at the church doing family history for the recent convert and I of course wanted to play with the baby boy! So we were just playing around in the room, I was lifting up by his hands, it was a blast! And then he starts running around me. It was so funny and then he just had the giggles! And then in a FLASH he started to go through my legs while crawling, and then he stood STRAIGHT UP in my skirt! And then he started laughing so so hard! I was like OH MY GOODNESS! And I was trying to get him out. Everyone in the room, The recent convert, fam history worker and my comp were wanting to laugh but also had funny looks on their faces. It was so funny. And embarassing.

DeLeon Family:
Eddie Jr. is a recent convert of one year. He is awesome. Eddie Sr, the dad, served a mission in Honduras but is now inactive. Claudia, the mom and the girlfriend is an investigator. So the other day we went over to their house and we were talking about the temple and BOOM. Eddie Sr told us he was going to send in his divorce papers again. The reason he and Claudia aren't married is because he was married long ago but they never got divorced. Eddie has sent the papers once before, which are $600 but the wife ripped them up! So now he is meeting with a lawyer and has the faith to do it again. Then they'll get married right away and she will get baptized and then they will get sealed in the temple! Oh it was a great lesson. Such faith! They all came to church on Sunday!

Investigators and members firmly point at me to pray. We always give them the option and they always, without fail, pick me! Because I hardly talk in lessons. I think they want to see if I can actually speak Spanish! Haha

There are the barber shop workers who ALWAYS come out of their shop to say hi to us. Like, they leave their client in the chair and they give us a holler. Crazy Jersey Kids. 

So the ambulances and police cars like to play with their sirens. Literally. They never just turn them on. They like to press the button. It's like a little kid playing cops. It cracks us up every time!!! 

Spanish is coming great! I understood most of church! Oh it is such a blessing. 

 I hope you are having a good time in your lives. Don't be afraid to share the gospel. The Lord will fill your mouth, even if you have the slightest of faith. I have seen it happen time and time again. This church is true. I wouldn't be here if it wasn't. :) 

Hasta Ver,
Hermana Schaefer

The Missionary Field Schedule

Can you believe it?! I'm in New Jerseyyyy!!!! I love it here! 

Hmmm Union City isn't as crowded as San Fran. There are a lot of people but it's not overwhelming like San Fran. 

Everyone speaks Spanish here. Like EVERYONE. The younger kids speak a lot of English because they learn it in school, but literally every older person I have met, starting in their 30's and up are not from the U.S. And they are literally from EVERYWHERE. Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico, Cuba, Spain. You name it, we have it. . UN POCO LOCO. So I get all sorts of accents in!

So, if you didn't catch that, EVERYONE speaks Spanish here. Even if their skin is white or black, it's always Spanish. So that means have to speak Spanish! DUN DUN DUUUUNNNN.... it's been rough but I was called and set apart to do this! So I can :) I usually just bear my testimony or share a scripture. Sister Schwendie leads the lessons, and sometimes she'll say "mi conpanera quiere compartir una escritura/ su testimonio con usted." (my companion would like to share a scripture/ her testimony with you) And I'm like, I WOULD?!?! Haha but she is always inspired to say things at the right time, and it's amazing how it works. Don't get me wrong, sometimes I am shaking my head as violently as a sister missionary can in the middle of the lesson. But she just nods hers and smiles. So I take a deep breath and try to speak as best as I can! I always do fine, and sister Schwendie always politely helps me. 
SHE IS THE GREATEST!!! She reaches her 6 month mark on September 20th! She is fluent in Spanish and has a love for the people and for the work! 
There is a rather large Jewish community here!  There is like a building for them with Hebrew letters I think? 

We literally just roll out of bed at 6:30, say a quick prayer, get dressed and hit the ground running! One time we stayed in and stretched but we deserved it. Then we work out for the full 30 minutes, so if we start at 6:40, we end at 7:10. 
Then we shower, get ready and eat and start personal study at 8:00  -30 minutes of book of mormon, 30 minutes of PMG or other approved material. 
Then we do companionship study for 2 hours. It doesn't take long though, because I have a great companion and we go over what we learned in personal study, read out of the missionary handbook (the rules), read a page of a conference talk that came in my mission binder a binder for newbies. 
Then we do something called 12 weeks, and it's a program that helps me take the lead and be more involved. This past week, I was supposed to take charge in inviting our investigators to be baptized. We watch videos of the district (we have a baby DVD player) and we do role plays pretanding to be our investigators. Then before we know it, the 2 hours are GONE! Then it's language study from 11-12. I have a little study plan and I feel myself improve each day. I read out loud from the BOM for 20 minutes, for pronunciation and reading gospel terms. I also write down 10 spanish words a day to memorize. 
And then I do a lesson from one of my study books from the MTC. It's fun and that hour just flies by! 
Then it's lunch time!!!! We always eat at home and we try to eat somewhat healthy. Then after lunch, it's off to work!
We set up lots of appointments and back up plans. Since we are in a walking area, we go by and see who's home. It's a really easy area. There are main streets, like New York Ave, Palisade and Burgenline, and then there are numbered streets, like 36th, 27th, etc. Then there are houses on "blocks" Like the 200 block or 700 block. So Say an investigator lives at 201 27th street. We go down burgenline, turn on 27th, and if we are at the 500s we walk down until we get to the 200 houses.

We had a pretty "dry" week with investigators. We had a Zone conference on Wednesday, and weekly planning started on Thursday, which takes 4 hours! So we didn't have a lot of time to see people and set appointments. But we set 14 appointments on Sunday so we are going to have a full week! I like being busy :)
 So we have a progressing investigator! His name is Miguel and he actually plays piano for Sacrament meetings but he isn't a member! He is SO good at the piano too! So I was in charge of extending a baptismal invite and I did! AND I DIDN'T MESS UP! He said he had to think about it. Sister S wouldn't have that! So she was bold and challanged him to pick a date and pray about it... And he did and he stuck to it! We met with him again on Sunday and had a lesson. He is still on board for October 27th. 

I don't know much about any other investigators. I think we have 3 with bap. dates but I haven't met them yet! 3 came to church but I was so lost at church. We had correlation in the morning, then church right after. So I had 5 hours of using my brain to translate. It was hard! I'm also behind on time and elevation from Mexico, and jet lag but it's not as bad as I thought it would be! It's working out well!! 
Funny story: So we have columns in our planners, and we plan EVERYTHING, meals, study times, meetings, appointments, back-ups, back-ups FOR the back ups, everything. So I think it was like my 4th day, and we were planning, and I asked sister Schwendie why we didn't have a back up for the "Almuerzo" family. Well, for those of you who don't know, Almuerzo is Spanish for lunch. DUH. Oh I was pretty embarrassed. But I just had to laugh it off with Sister Schwendie! It was really funny. 
Also, I have a little bit of a Spanish accent. 

 I love it here! I am safe, happy and healthy and there is a lot of work to be done.

 My trainer is SOOOOO AWEESSOMMMEEE. She is from Sandy, Utah.  So is so fun and she does nothing but be happy and obedient, but not like a Robot. I LUCKED OUT SO MUCH. She always asks me how I am, and I've only cried once this week, when I was telling her how much I loved her and how my prayers were answered! I can't stress how much I just love her. I tell her all the time that the rest of my mission is going to be a big bummer because no one will compare! Okay that's not true, but it will be really hard to have someone as great as her! 

Know that I am doing so well! LOVE YOU! 
Con muchisimo amor, 

Hermana Schaefer
Work Hard, Play Hard.
P.S. Stay sweet. (Hot Rod)

Work Hard Play Hard....Jersey Strong!


Thank you to all who have e-mailed me and have assured my safe arrival! I am in Jersey safe and sound! 
Okay wow. NEW JERSEY. One Elder has counted all of the nationalities he has taught and he is up to 131. It's seriously a foreign place here! 
I AM IN UNION CITY! I can see the New york skyline when we go outside. SO COOL! 
  I really believe I'm in another country. So the "UC" is like a Mexican version of San Fransisco. Lots of natives, lots of shops and just busy. It reminds me of Mexico!  People hear about New York and the "American Dream" so they move out and up into the world. They they realize all to quickly that New York is beyond their financial capacities and what do they do? They cross the Hudson! So we get them! It is seriously foreign down here! I love it so much.
My companion and I cover blocks 26-37 and we live on block 38! 

My trainer? My Presidents? My area? My meetings? My Zone? MY LESSONS?! :)

SO TOTALLY AWWWEESSOOMMMEEEEE. Sister Hilary Schwindiman. Seriously though. And get this. She has been praying about me for days, as I with her and she was going over the new sister list and she saw my name and thought "I have Sister Schaefer. She's mine." And there wasn't a picture or anything! So she just met me yesterday and we were being paired together and President Jeppson was announcing all the Training companionships and he said "Sister Schwindiman and Sister Clark!" My heart dropped! I was SURE she was going to be my comp. So they were paired and another sister went and then President Jeppson was like "oops, there's a mistake! Sister Schaefer, YOU are with sister Schwindiman!" Oh we both jumped up and down! We were so happy. WE JUST CLICK. And we keep telling each other we are going to be one of thpse companionships that rooms togehter and whos kids play together. I LOVE HER. When she was assigned to me, we had a transfer meeting. So all of the newbies, Missionaries going home and people getting transferred were there. We filled the chapel! And everyone knew her! And they would say hi to her, then look at me and say YOU LUCKED OUT. SHE IS THE BEST. So seriously. I don't know HOW I got so lucky. Heavenly Father really looks out for me! HE IS THERE. 
She is so obedient but even MORE FUN. She just has such a huge heart and loves me to death. We has the CUTEST ideas and she just makes missionary work enjoyable. 

Tomorrow we are playing a contacting game where we each have to talk to someone with our criteria for a day. Like we each contact a man who is bald, or we each contact someone with a blue shirt on. HOW FUN IS THAT? AND she gave me a planner all tabbed and filled out- color coordinated too! AND she wrote me a letter addressed as "To my future companion" because she didn't know who I was yet! So she wrote this note a while ago. AND she gave me candy an earrings!  She loves to work out, which is awesome.   I am excited to actually get some exercise in! This morning we went running. SO refreshing!
It's pretty hot here, not too humid though! Someone told me it's going to be a hard winter so I am trying to prepare myself for that. 

OKAY. President and Sister Jeppson. THE COOLEST. Seriously though. President Jeppson played a little missionary song in his orientation on the guitar and he made fun of an Elder who got Dear Johned in his song! SO FUNNY. So he LOVES music. GET THIS. ALEX BOYE IS HIS SON IN LAW!!!!!!! I saw a family picture and I was like waiiittt a minnuuutteee... sure enough my suspicions were right! SO since he loves music (Played base in a band for 30 years and sang in the MOtab!) He loves US to love music! Seriously though, I could talk about the Jeppsons all day long. They just LOVE the missionaries.

Oh, we are in a walking area!! Only 3 sister companionships do NOT have cars. I am glad I'm walking though! It's a work out, you get tons of contacts, and we don't need a car! We cover hardly 10 blocks.. haha.
MISSION MOTTO: Work Hard, Play Hard.

The Jeppsons are FUN too! And they stress that New Jersey Morristown Missionaries are OBEDIENT. But they mey make it fun so it's not even difficult! We even obey the laws of the land- so we dont cross the street until we get a go sign. 

Well, it has been a blast so far! I LOVE EVERYTHING AND AM SO HAPPY IF YOU CANT TELL. 
 The Lord really knows me. He loves me beyond my capacity to understand. And he puts up with me. I AM SO LUCKY to know I am of royal birth- His daughter and I can't wait for others to hear and understand that. IT CHANGES LIVES. And I am a part of that. 

Well, These few days have basically been unpacking and meetings! But I love you all! And will get to e-mail you on Monday! 
Hermana Schaefer

She made it to New Jersey!

I'm here safe and sound in New Jersey! Our flight was delayed for 4 hours but when we got here the Jeppsons (Mission President and wife) were waiting for us and we met them. THEY ARE AMAZING!
And we had a huge pot roast dinner!

Hermana Schaefer

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Last Blog from the CCM!

Sheesh time really does fly! the count down is ON! T-minus 5 days! It feels like I´ve been here for 10 years. and at the same time I am so ready to hit the field! I love my district so much though. So it will be really rreeaalllyyy hard to leave them. Also, I am really enjoying this bubble from the world. I saw parents of a missionary holding hands and I did a double take. I FEEL LIKE I´M A SHELTERED UTAH KID!! hahahaha but I´m not excited to get back to the real world, because its so loco. 

 According to the flight plans I have now, which almost always changes according to people who have left, I have a 2 hour layover in atlanta georgia on Monday. TWO THINGS ON THE LIST. fast food and calling home :) Sister Clark will come with me and we will be comps until we get there!
GET THIS. Yesterday, I was like I REEAALLYY have a feeling I´m gunna get a letter today... so I checked the mail room and our district didnt have any letters. :( So I was like shoot it was all in my head. But when I went back to the class, 3 LETTERS WERE ON MY DESK! Turns out they just hadn´t sorted the mail yet! Oh I was so happy I ripped them open like a child on Christmas DAY. Oh it was quite the scene. Everyone appreciated Devan´s art work and Derrick´s Spanish! Haha I tried to read deanna´s letter which she wrote mostly in French, and I was saying the words with a Spanish accent. It was SO sad! I really miss French, but if I only focus on French, I won´t be as excited to learn Spanish. Then I wont learn as much! But boy is it really coming along! 

I just got back from the temple and I was able to understand.. oh basically everything. Mostly because it was all church words and that´s mostly what we´ve been learning, but still! It was awesome. I can do this! THANK YOU FOR WRITING ME! I love each and every letter!!!!!!!

My misquito bites are healing slowly but surely. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night because a bug flies RIGHT by my ear.. It´s scary. Serious business.
oh yeah.. sooo....( in spanish) I FELL OUT OF BED LAST WEEK. I AM ON THE TOP BUNK..... And you might wonder how in the heck I´m alive. So get this. I wake up and I am in the process of falling. And it´s too late to save myself. I am already a goner. BUT GUESS WHAT. I LANDED ON MY FEET. I swear angels carried me off my bed and set me on the floor. Yeah. you better have the tingles (goosebumps) right now becuase it´s true. Angels saved my life. I just literally fell on my feet, facing my bed. I had my arms in the air and my butt sticking out, kind of like a football stance or something. It took me a minute to catch my breath. Then I just casually climbed up the latter. NBD. Sweet, huh? And it´s a long way down. A girl broke her foot just landing on it wrong when she slipped off the top bunk. I could have seriously gotten injured, but the Lord needs me on my feet! :)
Speaking of being seriously injured... Uhh remember how I told you that story of Elder Andersen tripping over the net and hurting his foot? Yeah, it´s broken in TWO places... And he´s the Zone leader! He´s been walking on it for THREE WEEKS. When he first went to the doctor when it happened, it ws the Mexican doctor so Elder Andersen couldnt really understand him. It was still really bothering him so he went to the American doctor this week and he was like you need an xray right away! So he got to take a little trip into the city and he got an xray and sure enough.. broken in two places! Poor guy! He has to go hom for two weeks before he goes out into the field to let it heal. His shoes gave him GREAT support and its too late for a boot. He just has a limited area to walk in.. to the classroom, the comedor and his house. ´Doctors orders. Hes not bummed though so thats really good!  
We did get Latinas! And they actually went through the temple for the first time today! It was neat to watch :) They are 4 in our house. We have 4 more Americanos, two in our room. They are both awesome! One of them is a convert of 2 years! So much faith :) They are both in an intermediate class so we still speak a lot of Spanish.
Things are going great with my companion! Nothing has changed really, just my prayers and my patience. :) It´s amazing how much my Heavenly Father is willing to do for me :)
I see the CCM president all the time! He eats lunch in the comedor. Sister Pratt teaches relief society and Presidente pratt teaches a devotional on Sunday and always leads the meetings.
yay for my package!!! Thank you! I am really looking forward to that! ;) Deanna said she sent hers too! double whammy! 

So about my week:
One day our class wrote on the board "INTERVENTION." When Hermano Klabacka was teaching. On the next board they wrote "are you john the beloved?" All the Elders are seriously obsessed with him! Its so funnny!
Often times, we ask our teachers a phrase like "como se dice punch him in the face!?" and they always reply with "amor." :) gotta love MTC standards!
So we were doing this role play and we were a seminary class with all different faiths and Hermano Klabacka was the teacher. When we do these role plays, we are "investigators" and we choose names because we´re not acting as missionaries. So we went around and most people picked the Spanish version of their name, so I was "Sienna" Okay I think thats french.. butt... ANYWAYS. H. Klabacka got to the last 3 elders and they siad their names were "pedro, santiage y Juan" Or peter James and John. We couldnt continue the seminary class for a while. We were all laughing pretty hard!
Also, H. Klabacka is a HORRIBLE investigator. Like seriously. He falls asleep every 30 seconds. Even if we are engaging him and are asking lots of questions. so one night, He went up to Elder tews and hatch after their lesson and was like okay so I have something to admit. I fell asleep in your lesson and I responded to one of your questions.. IN MY SLEEP! Did you catch it? Luckily they didnt know enough spanish to understand that it was jibberish. It was so funny. Horrible investigator. Terrible. Haha
The Elders in the district gave me the nickname of "herMAMA Schaefer" :) I guess I haven´t changed much! They say it´s because I fix their things and am the mother hen. Like today. I reminded my district to triple check for their reccommends at breakfast and one of them forgot it! My great accomplishment for the week. Thank you, thank you.
Devo on Sunday was the bomb! A member of the MTC presidency or maybe just in mexico, he was a member of the 70! His name is ovtavio something rather. He spoke in general conference is the last 3 or so years. He was giving a devo and a was talking about nephi and he pointed to the screen and said "Nephi said..." But the super annoying "restart your computer" thing popped up and he goes.. well, he didn´t say THAT.
It was also funny when he was saying how the Lord didn´t know the lady he was talking to, i think the lady at the well? was related to someone Jesus was good friends with. And in the chapter we were reading, in verse 15 it told us their relation and he goes Jesus must have not read verse 15! SO FUNNY!
Well, I have to go because pday is over.. BOOOOO!!!!!!! BUT. I cant believe it is the end of August. I forgot to plan my life out past July 24th. Whoops. 
I love you so much!!!!!!!!
All my love,
Hermana Schaefer