Monday, October 8, 2012

General Conference!!!

Our Elder shares the Love.......

Latest message home from Elder Nate:

Did you all love conference or what?  Big things happenned!  It's so great to hear that you all had such an eventfull week, with trips, and with work and meetings, and activities.  Sounds very tiring, but very fun nonetheless.  It's great to hear that all of my teams are doing well too, (except for the Dogs.... but its all right. There's always next year; same goes for your fantasy football team, too, pops).

Wow!  What a rainy week it has been, (and that goes for every aspect of the work, not just the weather).  It was a rough one, but hey, that happens sometimes.  But my research so far has proved to me that the only remedy for bad weeks is working hard, praying hard and hoping that things pick up.  It has been raining basically all week and just that alone makes the work harder than usual.  But all in all Elder Garcia and I are tending to the people of Geronimo well and we are still getting along fine living alone.  The pension is a little quieter, but nothing really to complain about.  We are finding more time to read and do all of the necessary stuff that we never have time to do during the week.  It's not as bad as I thought it was going to be, only speaking in Spanish all day, every day.  Wednesday was English class and that went well, now that I am heading the class alone.  But, it's fine, I actually really like teaching and the time flies.  Thursday was a rough day, not that anything bad really happened.  It was just kind of a waste of a day,  I had to wake up at 5:00 in the morning to go to the mission office, and I spent the whole day waiting in a series of lines to get my visa taken care of.  But the time didn't go horribly slow, and I got to reunite with my friends from my district from the MTC for the day.  That was nice, and I used the spare time in the lines to write out a few letters.  Friday was really slow until the evening when we had a really nice lesson with Javier.  He is an investigator that Elder Clyde and Miller were teaching and now we are teaching him.  The lesson went really well until we watched the Joseph Smith video and the video BROKE literally 10 seconds before the part of the first vision, but that didn't faze us because Elder Garcia had a backup disc.  But, guess what?  When we put in that disc, and it BROKE, but this time 5 seconds before the part of the first vision....... you have got to be kidding me..... but even though that lame turn of events happened, Javier came to conference on Saturday and LOVED IT!  He smokes and drinks, but we set a baptismal date for him on Saturday night for the last Sunday of this change, November 11th.  So, hopefully, we will be celebrating Veterans Day and Mom and Dad's birthday here with a nice baptismal service.
Saturday, we spent the whole day at the stake center watching conference, and that was a really cool day for us.  The sessions werew from 1 to 3pm, from 5 to 7pm, and then priesthood was from 9 to 11pm in the night. The way we did it here was that us gringo missionaries had a room to ourselves in the stake center where we were able to watch all of the sessions in English.  We all went to the super market right before and stocked up on snack food and candy, and just watched and absorbed the words of the Prophet and Apostles.  It was quite the experience!  And wow! What big news there was!  18 YEAR OLDS SERVING MISSIONS!  How awesome is that?  In all honesty, I am very thankful for my year berfore my mission to kind of find myself and figure things out, but there are definitely a lot of 18 year old men and 19 year old women out there ready for the work, and I am very much looking forward to working with them.  (I know this announcement put Andrew in a peculiar situation, and I gave him my tidbit of advice in a separate email).  Sunday was a little hard, because the satellite at our stake center broke, so the whole stake had to watch the conference via the internet with really bad quality.  We gringos were unable to enjoy the conference in English.  The Sunday sessions were great (at least from what I got out of them), but it was different in Spanish.  I am very much looking forward to next month when I can get the conference edition of the Liahona and pick up on all of the things that I missed.
Sunday night was a rough night for Elder Garcia and me.  After the closing session, we had a lesson with Marjorie (She's the girl who is being baptized this Sunday and is living with a member family).  We had a very long conversation with her mother who does not support her decision to be baptized in the slightest.  Her reasoning behind it was just so ugly; she feels that the rules of the church are too strict and that it impedes people from being free and having fun.  She said all this as she gulped down her booze, and all I could do was shake my head and pray that she could see how completely wrong and backwards her thinking is.  The highlight of that night was when Marjorie bore her simple testimony of how her decision has been made; she knows what she is learning is true and she is going to be baptized.  It was a very powerful moment for me to see.  Last night ended with a short visit to the house of one of my favorite families, the Pardos.  When we showed up at their house, there were a lot of cars in front, and nine or ten other people there.  The grandmother of the family was in a really, really bad condition, and members of their family came to visit her.  Before we left, Elder Garcia and I had the opportunity to see her for a minute, and never in my life have I seen someone in the condition she was in.  I am not going to go into detail about it.  All that anyone could do was wait, and she finally passed away at 4:30 this morning.  Elder Garcia and I received the news when we woke up, so this morning we have been at the chapel setting up for the service that is going to happen tonight. Then tomorrow we are going to go with them to the cemetery for the burial service.  It was a strange end and start of my week.  It is sad to see my favorite family so sad, but I know, and they know that they are going to be reunited after this life, and with that knowledge, everyone that this death has affected can be given peace.
And that's basically where I am at right now,  I love you all so much.  Thank you for the letters, the prayers, the emails, the pictures, and the love.  Thank you all for everything that you do for me.

I love you all.  I'm praying for you all.

until next week,
with love,
Elder Schwartz

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