Monday, March 18, 2013

Training Days......

Sorry, I didn't get last week's email up on the blog.  So, this week, I have posted both messages from Elder Schwartz, plus several new pics that he sent along.

Here is the one from 3/11/13:

Dear Family and Friends,

This letter isn't going to be too long, but I am going to try to send a lot of photos.

Like I mentioned in my last email, Elder Garcia and I have divided the sector, and that's been making the work a little harder.  But I know that with time, it'll all level out.  It's a little hard getting used to working in only half of the area I've been working in, and only seeing half of the people that I've been accustomed to seeing for the past 8 months, but I'm trying not to let it get me down much.

Elder Sanchez and I are starting to get along better.  At first it was kind of hard -- there is always an awkward stage at the beginning of a new companionship that seems to go away with time.  Well, that awkward stage was dragging on a little bit with Elder Sanchez, and I was getting a little worried.  BUT, NOW we are fine.  He was just having a kind of hard time becoming accustomed to the mission lifestyle.  I'm trying my best to put myself in his shoes, and help him out the best I can.  He is a really good missionary, and he is starting to come out of his shell a bit more.

This week was stake conference, which was great.  I got to see President and Hna. Wright.  They both gave great talks, and we had a special visit from a member of the Seventy.  I don't remember his last name, but he is from Argentina and he did a really good job, too.  The stake conference had an overall theme of missionary work, which was really cool.  Almost all of the speakers talked about the importance of missionary work, and all of the youth from the local area that have their mission calls bore their testimonies. it was SWEET!

The investigators are doing....... alright.....One of the women we were teaching...Welllllllll, she got.... pregnant.  Well actually, we don't know for sure yet, but last time we talked to her she was on her way to the hospital to find out..... SO, this whole situation makes it really difficult to teach her, because we always taught her at her boyfriend's house.  Basically, the woman's family never want her to see any member of her boyfriend's family ever again ever.  I just feel bad for every person involved in the situation -- for the woman, and her boyfriend, for the parents, for the future baby.  Big decisions have big consequences.  I don't know why some people don't understand that.

We have zone conference again in a week and Hna. Wright asked Elder Garcia and I to sing again....... oh no....... 

Uhm, but that's pretty much it for the week.  Elder Sanchez and I are doing well, and the sector is well. Being a trainer is kinda really hard, but I think I am starting to get a handle on it.  I love and miss you all.  Stay safe, say your prayers, and I´ll get back to you next week! 

Love you all!

Elder Schwartz

Elder Sanchez and I getting to paint the apartment

With Daniel and Edith and Elder Garcia

With Daniel

Elder Garcia and Elder Henderson made an "Elder Schwartz" doll....

Me and the Elder Schwartz "Doll"

Elders Schwartz, Garcia, Daniel, Elders Henderson and Sanchez
Eating Completos

Here's the email from today (March 18th):

Dear Family and Everyone!

Sorry, I don't have a lot of time....... This is going to be a short one.... Sorry...........

It was such an eventful week though!  It was a great one.  Elder Sanchez and I are doing well.  We're getting more and more used to each other with every day.  No, the life of a trainer isn't super easy; it's actually way harder than I was anticipating, but we are doing okay; we are doing well.  It is SOOOO COOL to hear that President Doll and Sister Doll are coming to MY mission!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness!  Seriously, I have been SO BLESSED TO BE HERE.  First, Kelly in the MTC, then Cindy and Dusty and Hna. Jennings, and now, the Dolls!  Ahaha, I think that the Lord knew that I was going to feel a little lonely sometimes, ahaha. They are going to LOVE LOVE LOVE IT here.  It's the greatest mission on earth!  

Two really cool spiritual things happenned this week that I want to share with y´all:

The first is that yesterday Eduardo taught the Gospel Principles class in Sunday School and he did AN AWESOME JOB!  Just being able to sit there and listen to him explain to people about the Atonement like he has been a member his whole life was such a cool experience to be a part of.  To think that just a couple of months ago, he didn't have any idea of these blessings that we take part in every day, even existed!  Now, he´s teaching it!  I may have teared up a little durring that class.

The second experience happened while Elder Sanchez and I were looking for new investigators on Thursday night.  The work has been kind of really slow since the division of the sectors, and it's been kind of hard for Elder Sanchez and I, especially because Elder Garcia and Elder Henderson are seeing better progress in their side.... it's a little frustrating...  So, Thursday night we pulled some names of old investigators out of our area book and started searching.  Well, we found this one name, Fernando Cabello, who was an investigator like two years ago, and who I had never heard of.  Well, his address was written in the area book, but the address that was written didn't actually exist.  So here we are, Elder Sanchez and I in the middle of the road at nine at night looking for a house that doesn't seem to exist, so I start praying in my head, and Elder Sanchez and I start walking down the street.  Suddenly, the idea comes into my head to stop and knock on a specific house.  It wasn't a voice or anything, just like a feeling, a thought, so I knocked the door.  No answer. We waited like five minutes, and then I started to walk away, but Elder Sanchez told me to stop and try again, so I did.  After a good two more minutes, an elderly man answers the door, and I asked him if he knew a Fernando Cabello who lived close by, who was receiving missionaries like us.  The man told us that, yes, he knew a Fernando Cabello, but that he's a practicing Jehovah's Witness, but then, interestingly, the man invited us in.  He introduced us to his wife and then sat us down on his couch, and in all honesty, I was preparing myself for the worst.  I was reviewing bible scriptures in my head because I thought that a bash was about to go down.  But after 30 seconds of silence, the elderly man breaks out into laughter and tells us that he is Fernando, that he's not a Jehovah's Witness, and that he has actually been waiting for a long time for the missionaries to come back to visit him.  Apparently, he was visiting with the missionaries when his house was in the boundaries of our neighboring ward, but when they changed the boundaries like a year in a half ago, the missionaries just stopped visiting him, and his contact with the church was lost. We talked with him for a little while, and he shared with us his expectations for our visits, which was amazing! (he was like, "in a perfect situation, you guys come and visit my wife and me weekly, and we can read together, and you can teach us the lessons, I can ask you questions of the doubts that I have, and that we could help him feel closer to God and Christ."  We asked him if we could do anything for him before we had to leave and he asked us to leave with a family prayer and blessing on the house.  It was like a DREAM.  I've heard stories like that in the Liahona and stuff, but I wasn't convinced that they like actually happen to normal missionaries.  It was SUCH a powerful experience for both Elder Sanchez and me.  We are going to be visiting Fernando and his wife tomorrow night.  We left them with a couple of scriptures to read, and we are super excited.

Anyways, I am out of time now.  I love you guys.  The church is true, stay safe.  I DID get the letter from Connie´s FHE group, and tell Cousin Cindy "thank you" for her letter, too, and that a response is on the way.

Until next week, with love,
Elder Schwartz

P-day BBQ on the 15th floor.  The shoes aren't mine....

Elder Garcia was scared...


Almuerzo with kids...

And with Pauline

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