Thursday, December 12, 2013

Merry Christmas From Midland, MI

Hey there!

Good week. Heather is still progressing and will be baptized this Friday. We met her 13-year old son Nick for the first time and we're going to start teaching him on the weekends when he's in Midland. 

We've been doing a lot of finding. This week we didn't have a lot of outward success but Elder Peterson and I feel good about our efforts and are determined to work hard and find the elect that the Lord has prepared. 

I think the theme of this week was finding amazing, kind people that have no interest in conversion. We door-knocked into the Marcou's who have listened to, fed, and loved the missionaries for 15 years since their daughter converted. They told us right away not to get our hopes up because they're not converting but they're going to feed us dinner this week. So yeah, they're awesome and love the missionaries.

We had a very similar experience with Kathy and Richard. We door-knocked into them and they let us in right away. We kinda stood there for a sec because we didn't realize they were inviting us in. They were just finishing lunch with their Catholic friends who attend the same congregation from down the street. They fed us pumpkin bread and herbal tea (it was hilarious to watch Elder Peterson drink his herbal tea, it was his first time having tea of any kind). We talked a while about our families and ourselves. Eventually, their friend asked us to "explain our religion in a nut-shell". We taught the Restoration and had a great discussion. They all kindly declined any invitation or commitment of any kind, but we still had great conversation. Richard told us to let him fix or tune-up our bikes whenever they need it. They are awesome people. I think the most significant thing of our conversation was when they asked if we could say a closing prayer. We all held hands (it was normal-feeling this time) and Richard said the prayer. He addressed Heavenly Father, thanked God for our blessings, asked safety to come to us, and closed in the name of Jesus Christ. This was a humbling experience for me. I think I had categorized them as trinitarians (a big obstacle around here) but we talked after and I realized that they believed in what we call the Godhead. So that was a cool experience.

So aside from everything else, the Midland Nativity Exhibit was amazing. It was this weekend all day every day where over 600 nativity scenes are displayed for the public to see. The whole building was full of Christmas trees and lights and unique displays. So that was awesome. We hosted a room on Friday and Sunday and that was really nice. No one asked us about Gospel-related things (we were instructed not to start such conversations) but I think it was a good use of our time. The Spirit was strong and many non-members smiled and greeted us as they moved from room to room. 

I'm running out of time, so that's about it for now. I love you all a lot and you're great! I hope you all got to hear the Christmas devotional, because it was awesome. Honor the Savior this Christmas season by reaching out to those who need love, comfort, and a higher purpose in life.

-Elder Schmutz

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