Monday, December 2, 2013

Week 2 - Midland

Hey friends and family! This was a fantastic week. The Lord has been blessing us with bounteous blessings that I feel unworthy to be given. I feel I have learned a great lesson on gratitude and relying on God and His Spirit in the work. Mission work would be impossible and unendurable if the Lord was not in it. He is. I know that very strongly. 

Heather is progressing really well still. She came to fast and testimony meeting yesterday and had a very powerful experience. Truly, things have not been going well as she's been investigating the church. She's faced endless opposition it seems (darn Satan). Heather is very humble and thankful for the Lord's blessings which has also been a big lesson for me. She is just great, and will get baptized December 13th

We also had a miracle find that was a huge blessing! This Tuesday we went to follow up on a potential, but ended up talking to her older sister-in-law, Christa (26). At first she was pretty stand-offish and was like, "I believe that there is room for everyone in Heaven, not just 144,000." So we were like, "That's the Jehovah's Witnesses..." This opened up further discussion that led to us being invited in. When we walked in, her dad and not-even mom-in-law gave us a very cold welcoming. We ended up going downstairs to talk away from the others that weren't so interested in us. Christa cried for a while and apologized on behalf of her family and also expressed some serious discouragement concerning religion. The pastor at her church had recently been put in jail for serious crimes, and this had shaken Christa's faith which she was feeling guilty about. We used the Book of Mormon to work her through many of her questions on faith. This lead into the Restoration and how the Book of Mormon came to be. She was way excited about all of the points of doctrine, especially that there is a modern-day, living prophet that we know and sustain. We're excited about her and she is excited to learn more. Also, her Dad came in and out of the conversation and realized that our intentions were good and ended up apologizing for his and his girlfriend's rudeness. His girlfriend was still super rude when we left, but oh well. I think we're going to end up teaching Christa, her kind-of sister Courtney, Chris (her dad) and her ex-boyfriend Tony. So yeah. Miracles happening there. 

Other than that, our week was filled with finding and getting to know some of our investigators and hunting for potentials from the previous elders. 

THANKSGIVING WAS GREAT. We did weekly planning, then our Ward Mission Leader called us to come over and help prepare for Thanksgiving (that's where we had Thanksgiving). It was the best! Along with Bro/Sister Jones was the Jenkins and their 5 kids and a widowed Sister, Sister Doring from our ward. It was a blast and the food was very good. After eating we went out and met with some less-actives and recent converts until it was time to go back for dinner (dessert) at the Jones'es. My favorite was the blueberry pie (the Michigan blueberries make ALL the difference, Mom. I finally get it now). After having dessert the Jones'es requested that we play some games with them, the first being "Guess Zoo?" which is a matching game for ages 3+. It was pretty funny because it reminded me of getting into some heated Matching games with my parents, so I felt right at home. We also played Bananagrams. I really struggled because the whole time I worried about spelling inappropriate words which says a lot about my pre-mission vocabulary (I am in sore need of repentance, I guess). The Jones'es are great and I will get a picture of them when Christmas comes around because they're having us over for Christmas too which I'm way stoked about. All their kids will be in town which is fun because they're all college-aged and/or married and at BYU.

The holidays are great. The Midland wards put together a Nativity Exhibit every year that features over 600 Nativity scenes from all over the world. Last year like 2,000 people came through the doors to see the exhibits. It's a huge deal around here. Expect pictures next week. 

I LOVE CHRISTMAS-TIME SO MUCH. Have a blessed December and remember to keep your holiday cheer focused on the Savior. I've been studying the New Testament/reading Jesus the Christ and I'm blown away by the fact that I do not know and love Christ nearly as much as I have previously thought. Always remember to take part in and appreciate His love and eternal sacrifice in any way that you can. Pray, study His word, and worship Him always and LIVE LIKE HIM. 

God bless you, friends and family. I LOVE YOU SO SO MUCH.

-Elder Schmutz

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