Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chubbuck, Idaho!

Elder Andrew with Eborn Family from Chubbuck.  Ryan Eborn served some of his mission in Martinez and then lived here for a while after his mission when he was newly married to Lisa.
Elder Andrew with the Eborn kids...

Poppa Schwartz was out of town last week and didn't get the emails from Elder Andrew Schwartz posted on the blog, so here are the two emails from June 17th, then June 24th:

Hey Family!

So the good news is that this week was awesome, the bad news is that I forgot my camera no pictures for right now but maybe later. Glad to hear that everything is going good. Mom with HER NEW CAR and work, and Dad with BASEcamp and his other activities.  Elder Nate is right.  The missionaries in this mission do gain a lot of weight because we get fed by members almost every day. I think I already put on 5 pounds. I should probably work out a little bit more....aha!  How is my brother Phil?  Haven't heard from him in a while (Hey Phil if you're reading this that means you should write me.  Love you!). Has graduation already happened yet? Man it seems like yesterday I graduated. Crazy!

Everything over here is awesome!  My companions are doing great!  Elder Aiono is really musically talented; he sang for some members yesterday and played the guitar for them, and it was awesome. Elder Cappelen is one of the funniest people I know. I love my companions! We also have been working really hard!  Some highlights of the week:  One of the investigators my companions were working with before is getting baptized. Her name is Melanie and she is married to a son of a family who is really awesome. She apparently has wanted to be baptized for a while but she was scared of what her parents would think but she finally decided to set a date for this Friday! So that's pretty exciting. Another investigator we've been working with, Jeff, moved from his trailer on Tuesday to his boss's basement and we thought we wouldn't be able to teach him anymore because he was out of our area, but apparently his boss is moving in August, so on Saturday we helped move him back in, but he now has a roommate helping him out so that was a blessing. He even came to church yesterday and during sunday school the lesson was on the word of wisdom which was something he needed to hear because he started smoking again. He said he really enjoyed it and he's going to try to quit again. On Thursday, Elder Cappelen and I went on exchanges with Elder Malau'ulu, one of the Zone Leaders. He's from Samoa and he is HUGE, but he's a teddy bear.  It was really great because we got to work in his area and had some cool experiences. We had the opportunity to give a blessing to an ex-convict who just had surgery for a brain tumor. We had a great experience with him and we shared spiritual thoughts, sang him a song with a ukulele, and he bore his powerful testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was amazing. 

That's about it for this week. Everything is going great with me and I can't wait to here from you all next week.

I love you all!
Elder Schwartz  

Hail in Chubbuck

Elder Schwartz's wall in his apartment

From June 24th:

Dear Family and Friends,

How is everything?!? Man, I can't believe that another week has passed by. It seems like yesterday I just sat down and wrote you guys!  It's good to hear that everything went well with Pops and BASEcamp. I know that it will impact the kids that attended for the rest of their lives. It's also great to hear that my brothers are doing great and that everyone is happy. 

Everything over here is going fantastic. We just had a baptism this Friday for Melany. Apparently, she had been interviewed to be baptized for two months but she didn't want to do it until she told her parents.  Last week she told us that she was ready and we went through with the baptism last Friday. It was a small, but awesome service. She wanted it to be small, so it was only family, close friends, and us. Her husband performed the ordinance and did the confirmation the following Sunday. Even though I don't know her that well, I can tell she is going to be a fantastic member of the church.  Our other investigators are doing well.  Jeff came to church again this Sunday, he could only go to sacrament meeting but he said he enjoyed it.  When I first got here, our ward mission leader for one of our wards issued us a challenge to tract out his entire ward boundaries and find out who lives where, and set up appointments with both members and non-members to get to know them a little better. That's what we've been doing pretty much this whole week along with a few lessons with both members and investigators.  Since the broadcast on Sunday from the Church leaders telling us that members should be more involved in missionary work and finding people for us to teach, I have a feeling that we will be tracting less which will be great. Our mission president has already given us some instruction on how to better work with members, and, no, we can't use Facebook, YET.  However, he said that when we receive specific direction from the missionary department, it might be implemented.  So maybe sometime in the future I will be able to get back on social media but for now, nothing. 

I just want you all to know that I love you!  Even if I've only talked to you once before, you have made me who I am in one way or another, and I thank you for that.  I just want to share with you all a little insight a friend has shared with me that has helped me in my mission and can help you all in life.  ATTITUDE MAKES REALITY.  If you go thru your day only having a bad attitude, then you're gonna have a bad day.  If you are trying to accomplish something and you don't have any faith in yourself and you believe you're going to fail, then you're going to fail.  If you have a positive attitude, however, even if things aren't going how you want, and you continue to have faith and believe in yourself, you will have success, you will overcome, and you will be HAPPY.  And if you don't have any belief in yourself and in what you're doing, I just want you to know that there is One who does.  He is your Heavenly Father.  He loves you.  He wants you to be happy, and he wants you to have success.  As I go throughout my day and I start to feel down, I take comfort in the fact that my Heavenly Father loves me and that through him I can do all things.  My attitude changes. I am more positive.  I have success.  I want you all to know how great you are and I pray for you, and I share these things in the name of Jesus Christ who is our Savior and Redeemer. Amen.

Until next week!

With love,
Elder Schwartz

Here's A Llama for your troubles...


Poppa was out of town for last week, so I didn't get the email from June 17th up, so here is the one from Elder Nate Schwartz from the 24th first, then followed by June 17th.  No pics included in these last two messages......

Dear Everyone!

Dad, I absolutely loved the email, and it sounds like BASEcamp was a huge hit.  I am sure that the youth absolutely loved it.  Mom has to do jury duty?  Aha!  And thank you for the pictures -- it sure seems like Andrew is having an awesome time in Idaho, and that he loves his companions and is working hard, awesome awesome awesome!  Well, I dont know what your highlight of the week was, but mine was that AMAZING DEVOTIONAL THAT HAPPENNED THIS WEEKEND ON MISSIONARY WORK!!!!!!!  Yes, I got to see it and it was exactly what we missionaries needed.  The talks were amazing, and the new techniques, everything, completely inspired.  So, in the future it looks like we will be using more technology.  I havent heard anything from anyone yet, but I'll let you know when it happens.  AND the "Chapel Tour" plan, I dont know if you remember a couple months ago when I talked about us doing a tour in Geronimo, where Elder Sanchez and I were dressed in white and we taught about baptism.   Well THAT'S what they are going to be doing worldwide now.  Apparently, they were testing it out in this mission, and some other ones first, but now they'll most likely be doing it EVERYWHERE.  Which is really cool, because I personally felt like it was a huge success.  I loved Elder Perry´s talk, one of the best talks that I have heard in a long time -- that love needs to be the sourse of our acts, and that is something really important, not only in missionary life, but for life in general.

This week went by really fast.  Elder Packer and I stayed really busy, which I love.  We had Zone conference on Tuesday, so we got to hear five straight hours of pure amazingness from President and Hna Wright.  They mainly focused on the importance of the temple, and I learned a TON.  We had some really good lessons this week, but my favorite was probably the one that we had on Saturday night with a man named Hno Ponce.  The Ponces are a way cool family in our ward who were recently reactivated.  Their daughter Nicol just got her mission call and is leaving in 2 weeks, and the mother, who recently cut my hair, also reactivated with her daughter and they were able to go through the temple together on Friday.  Well, Hno Ponce, the father, is a little farther away from activity than his wife and daughter, but we had a really really powerful lesson with him Saturday.  The man wants to change his life, and wants to get temple-worthy.  Apparently, when he was waiting outside the temple for his daughter and wife on Friday night, he had a really powerful experience, so now Elder Packer and I have the opprotunity to help guide this man to his way back.  Yesterday at church, the stake president pulled us out of class and asked Elder Packer and I to accompany him as he gave Hno Ponce a blessing, which was another amazing thing that happenned this week.  

Whelp, my first 6 weeks in Chiloe are coming to a close, as this transfer ends on Saturday.  Will I get moved out?  Doubt it.  Chiloe is a really special place, and hopefully I'll have some more time here, but I'll let you guys know what happens in my next email.

Today was good, Elder Paxman and Elder Nunez came over to make elder Smith breakfast to celebrate his last P-day.  We went to the mall and got some more old style photos taken.  I'll be sure to get those scanned and sent to you next week.  I just want to close this email by thanking you all for your love and support and for really everything that youre doing for me.  I can feel it.  I know that this is the true church, and I know that Andrew and I are doing what the Lord wants us to, and we are both learning so much in the process.  Until next week,
with much love,

Elder Schwartz

Dear Family,
Firstly, YES, I GOT THE PACKAGE AND THANK YOU SO MUCH IT WAS AWESOME.  I very much enjoyed that.  It is great to hear and see that everyone is doing so well, Dad you look so skinny!  And its great to hear that you had a good Father's day.  Phil looks like he is loving his life on the east coast, and Andrew seems to be having a great time in Pocatello.  Today, I sat down and did a major letter writing session, so those few of you who have written me a letter recently, expect the response soon.
You guys are going to kill me for this, but i really dont have too much time to write in detail about the week.  It was really good, and it went by really, REALLY fast.  I feel like every week goes faster and faster.  I have now been in Chiloe for a whole month!  How weird is that!?  There were several highlights of the week, one of them was that the district class went REALLY well.  We did this teaching practice outside and the district loved it, which was great.  I feel like it helped us out a lot.  I did divisions (splits) with Elder Schade during the week too, and he taught me a lot.  He is a super good missionary -- his enthusiasm really is contagious.  Elder Packer and I did a good job statying busy this week going from lesson to lesson to lesson to lesson.  Oh, and I got to talk with Eduardo today for a few minutes!
I don't have any photos for this week.  Sadly, my camera was broken for a little while, BUT IT'S FIXED NOW, so don't worry.  Today was good.  I had to wake up early and go to the chapel with Elder Schade so he could practice his musical number for the zone conference tomorrow.  We went to the HUGE mall in the center of Santiago and bought Cinnebon.  Delicious!  This last Sunday Elder Packer and I taught the Gospel Principles class at church, on the Gifts of the Holy Ghost.  It was a way fun lesson -- a really fun class to teach.
Everything is going really well down here in Chiloe.  I am used to the ward and the people, and the sector.  It is great and I love it.  Of course, there will always be a special spot in my heart for Geronimo, but Chiloe found a part in my heart, too.
I know that this is the true church.  I know that Andrew and I are doing the work of the Lord.  I see His hand in this work on a daily basis.  I know that through obedience, we are able to fully enjoy the blessings of this gospel, and I know that families can be together forever.
Thank you all for your love and support and everything.  I miss you all, but I know that we´re all in good hands.  Keep being great, and i´ll get back to you all next week.
with much love,
Elder Schwartz

Monday, June 10, 2013

"Chile" Dogs

Chile Dogs

Elder Nate Schwartz's latest email is below.  He loves hearing from you all.....

Dear Everyone,
Love it.  Love it, love it love it.  It seems like everyone is doing so well!  Andrew looks great with his mission president and all, and the baptism (cousin Jack) looks like it was a great time, and mom, WOW, that car is amazing!  Congratulations!  So much cool stuff is going on!  Didn't gratuation just happen this week, too!?!?!  WHERE IS THE TIME GOING?  I really can not believe that it has been 2 years since my high school graduation!  I am SO OLD!  Phil with the liberty bell, classic!  ALSO:  Elder Smith (the zone leader who is from Idaho) told me that the missionaries in the Pocatello mission gain A TON OF WEIGHT, so make sure lil' Elder Andrew is doing his daily exercises!
This week went by too fast!    Firstly, no, Jose didn't get baptized this week..... we are working on it though.  I am not losing my faith on this one; Jose NEEDS to be baptized, he is too cool.  This week we are going to continue working on sorting that out.  Other cool things that happenned this week.... We had zone class on Tuesday.  Elder Schade and Elder Smith taught it, and it was really good.  It helped me out a lot recognizing the needs of our zone and district and what we need to do to improve.  The district is doing really well.  Seriously, the Elders and Hermanas in my district are AWESOME!  Alex and Caroline actually went out today to look for their marraige date at the "registro civil", but we have a meeting with them tonight, so I'll keep you posted on that.  We just got our Ward Mission Leader this week.  I don´t know him too well yet, but he seems like a really good guy.  His name is Hermano Chupana and he is from Peru; and hello I had two peruvian companions, so I think we are going to get along well.  Elder Packer and I had the opportunity to give a blessing to the dying mother of one of our investigators this week.  Actually, it was a really special experience; none of them were members, and the mother couldn't even talk, but there was a special spirit in the room with us and her family around her bed.  In my first week here we met a family, the Ibarra family, and we have been teaching them over the past few weeks.  Well, the Hna Ibarra came to church yesterday, so that was awesome.  Elder Packer and I had seven investigators with us in church this past Sunday -- WHAT A BLESSING!  Elder Packer is a really good, really hard worker, and as a companionship we have been doing really well together.  This week I was able to go on divisions (splits - switching companions) with Elder Romero (an Elder from my district) and I went to his sector, Barrio Cordillera.  That was a really good time; he is a great missionary.  It was really weird for me to do divisions in a leadership position though.  I am still trying to get used to the whole District Leader thing.  It's a big adjustment, but my district is really good and supportive, so that's helping me out a lot.  Today we met up with a few other Elders in the zone and played basketball, I wrote a few letters, and we went to walmart.  It was a really relaxing day, and now I am ready to go out and work!  I just want you all to know how much I love you all and that everything out here in Chile is going swimmingly.  I know that the Church is true, that we really do have a Heavenly Father who loves us and wants the best for us, and I am so thankful for the opportunity that I have to spread His message with the people around me.  Stay sweet, and until next week,
Elder Schwartz

Beating Cristofer

Chilean "Water"



Below is Elder Andrew Schwartz's first email home from the field.  Here is his address for packages and letters:

Elder Andrew Schwartz
576 B Pheasant Ridge 
Chubbuck, ID 83202

His email address:

He'd love to hear from all of you.

Hey Family!
Welp, First thing I wanna say:  IDAHO IS AMAZING!  I never thought I would ever say that in my life.  I love it here.  Pretty much everyone knows who the missionaries are, and are familiar with the LDS church.  The members are fantastic.  We get fed dinner everyday and everytime we go out to eat, it's paid for.  It's awesome!  So yes, I am in a trio of missionaries.  How cool is that?!?  Instead of just one trainer, I get two!  It's such a blessing!  Their names are Elder Aiono and Elder Cappelen and they are fantastic trainers!  Elder Aiono is from Long Beach, CA, and Elder Cappelen is from Milwaukee, WI. They are hilarious and at the same time they work really hard.  I'm so lucky to have them as my trainers.

With Elders Cappelen and Aiono
So, this first week in the field has been great! I left the MTC on a bus with other missionaries who are both waiting for visas, and some assigned to Pocatello. It took us a few hours and we arrived at the mission home to meet the mission president, his wife, and the rest of the presidency. President Brinkerhoff is my mission president and he is a very spiritual man and an overall great guy! I love him already!  We spent the day doing some orientation and that night we found out who our companions were.  Since I am serving in the town right next to Pocatello, my trainers came that night and we moved my stuff in the apartment. I got to know my trainers, and we hit it off instantly.
With President and Sister Brinkerhoff
A lot has happened in the past week.  We spent most of our time helping me get to know the members, the area, and our investigators.  My first day at work we took one of our investigators, Jeff, on a tour of the church, and I got to know him a little bit. He is an older man that Elder Aiono and Cappelen have been teaching and he has been progressing really well since I got here.  Another guy that we have been working with recently is a less-active single guy named Andy who sent you guys the picture of us at Ruby Tuesday's.  He is really inspirational and spiritual I wouldn't have guessed that he was less active, if my trainers hadn't told me.  He has a lot of great insights about life, but it saddens me that he has so much potential that he is not using by not participating in the gospel.  He is really friendly to us, and loves missionary work.  Next time we see him, we plan on asking him about his lack of participation, and figure out how to better help him come unto Christ. 

With Andy and conpanions out at dinner
Every day we have had dinner with a family, and shared a message with them to help get them pumped about missionary work.  The work in this mission is really focused on member help and getting referrals.  The members are so fun to work with and they are all super nice!  I invite all who are reading this to help out the missionaries AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE!  Whether it be giving them referrals, feeding them dinner, teaching with them, or just a simply chatting with them; do it because as a missionary; I know how much it helps.
It has been great to hear that everything is going well with everyone. I'm glad that my brother in Chile is loving his district and that my brother in the AmeriCorp is tearin' it up on the east coast. Keep me updated with everything because I would love to hear from everyone!
I love you all!
Elder Schwartz

Monday, June 3, 2013

Elder Packer and Elder Schwartz.....

Dear Everyone!

It's great to hear that everyone is doing well and staying busy.  Thank you everyone who has been writing me (and be sure to thank Alice Wells for the letter, it helped me out a lot).  Thank you for the photos Dad, and be sure to send my love to James and Stacy and the girls.  It's awesome to hear that Elder Andrew Schwartz is so excited for his reassignment.  One of the elders who I live with, Elder Smith, is actually from that mission and he will be home at the beginning of July.  I know that Smith is a really common last name, but I'm sure they'll run into each other somehow.  

The weeks fly.  I really cannot believe that a whole week has passed since the last time that I sat at this computer and started writing you guys.  This week went by really well for Elder Packer and me.  We did not have a baptism this past Sunday, but if things work out as planned, we will have one THIS Sunday.  We are having problems getting permission from the boys mother, but I get along really well with her for some reason, so hopefully we´ll be okay.  The boys name is Jose and he is 16 and he is way cool.  He does visits with us, and he brought his girlfriend to church.  He really needs to be a member.  Actually, all of the youth in the ward are really active in missionary work here.  They love going on visits with us, so we take advantage of that and teach with them as much as we can.  It's helping them a lot to be more prepared for the mission.  ALL OF YOU YOUTH READING THIS:  DO VISITS WITH YOUR LOCAL MISSIONARIES; IT WILL HELP YOU OUT SO MUCH!!!!!!

District class was really good this week.  Seriously, I was so blessed with my district; I have THE COOLEST missionaries in my district.  I absolutely love working with them.  Last week we had this capacitation (training) for new district leaders, and it helped me out A TON.  

It has rained the majority of the week, and it's really cold here.... the mountains are covered with snow again; winter is just barely starting.  But aside from the weather, everything is really really good.  Sorry that this email isn't so detailed..... i forgot my journal...... 

Lots of Rain.....

That becomes Rivers....
OH!  I almost forgot something,  So this week we visited this investigator family, Alex and Caroline.  The missionaries had been visiting them for like a year, but they stopped teaching them for a month or so because they weren't progressing. WELL, this week we went back and visited them, and Caroline came to church with her kids and then we had dinner with them last night, and now we are fasting with them so they can find a date to get married!  So that was really cool this week, getting to know them.

Anyways, i love you all, and I am very happy here in this sector.  I know that the church is true, I know that both Andrew and I are doing the Lord´s work, and i know that He is watching over us and proctecting us and leading us to the people who need our help.  I am very thankful for this time that I have to focus myself 100% in His will.  Until next week,
with much love,
Elder Nathaniel Schwartz

Zone after soccer

Lunch by Elder Packer

Elder Schwartz sent this along.  It is a quote that his mission president shared, and he thought is was fun and interesting......

Hugh Nibley’s Book of Mormon Challenge 
Hugh Nibley, The Prophetic Book of Mormon
(Salt Lake City: Deseret Book,1989) pp. 220-21

It appears that it only took some 63 to 70 working days, April through July, 1829, to complete the entire translation of the Book of Mormon, a complex religious history covering 2,000 years and more than five hundred pages.

To demonstrate how astounding this is, Hugh Nibley once asked his Book of Mormon class at Brigham Young University,
"Since Joseph was younger than most of you and not nearly so experienced or well-educated as any of you at the time he copyrighted the Book of Mormon, it should not be too much to ask you to hand in by the end of the semester (which will give you more time than he had) a paper of, say, five to six hundred pages in length.

Call it a sacred book if you will, and give it the form of a history. Tell of a community of wandering Jews in ancient times; have all sorts of characters in your story, and involve them in all sorts of public and private vicissitudes; give them names - hundreds of them - pretending that they are real Hebrew and Egyptian names of circa 600 B.C.; be lavish with cultural and technical details - manners and customs, arts and industries, political and religious institutions, rites and traditions, include long and complicated military and economic histories; have your narrative cover a thousand years without any large gaps; keep a number of interrelated local histories going at once; feel free to introduce religious controversy and philosophical discussion, but always in a plausible setting; observe the appropriate literary conventions and explain the derivation and transmission of your varied historical materials.

Above all, do not ever contradict yourself! For now we come to the really hard part of this little assignment. You and I know that you are making this all up - we have our little joke - but just the same you are going to be required to have your paper published when you finish it, not as a fiction or romance, but as a true history!

After you have handed it in you may make no changes in it (in this class we always use the first edition of the Book of Mormon); what is more, you are to invite any and all scholars to read and criticize your work freely, explaining to them that it is a sacred book on a par with the Bible.

If they seem over-skeptical, you might tell them that you translated the book from original records by the aid of the Urim and Thummim - they will love that! Further to allay their misgivings, you might tell them that the original manuscript was on golden plates, and that you got the plates from an angel. Now go to work and good luck!"