Monday, July 29, 2013

Visit to Pirque

Pirque area

Hey family!  

Well it sounds like things are going wonderfully out there in California.  It's great to hear that scout camp was a success and that mom is going out and doing visits with the missionaries!!!!!  Way cool!  AND Wow, it sounds like little Elder-Roo is doing big things out there in Brazil and that's CRAZY to hear about his trainer, HOW AWESOME IS THAT!?!?!?!?!  

Well, this week went by really well and super, super fast.  It sounds like, yes, you guys have already seen that I DID happen to find Elder and Sister Doll out here in Puente Alto, and it IS amazing having them in my district -- what a treat!  

Great to see friends from home -- Elder and Sister Doll from Concord

Lots of big things happened this week, and probably the biggest was the baptism of Micaela which took place yesterday.  Micaela is 9, and her mom was an inactive church member, and we have been teaching her and her mom over the past few weeks and, yes, she decided to be baptized!  Her uncle baptized her, and it was a really great experience for everyone.  I think that the greatest part of the experience was when Micaela's mom gave a talk during the baptismal service, and gave this super awesome testimony of how important this gospel is, and what a key step baptism is.  It was way cool to hear her give a talk, because since our visits, she has slowly been coming out of inactivity, and I feel that through her 9 year old daughter's example, she really was saved.  

Micaela's Family at her baptism

Micaela's Baptism
I was able to do divisions (splits with other missionaries) on Thursday and I went to a sector in the zone called Colonial with Elder Pimintel, from Ecuador.  Even though I am the District Leader and I was supposed to be the one capacitating (training) him, I promise you that he taught me way more than I taught him.  The elder is an amazing teacher, and a way good example.  He just had this special way of taking the doctrine and making it really simple and really easy to understand... I think that sometimes US missionaries make things more complicated than they need to be... I'm pretty guilty of that..... But anyways, I finished the divisions with a new insight on the importance of good teaching skills.

Another cool thing -- on Friday Elder Packer and I got to travel out to Pirque and do a baptismal interview for the trio of sister missionaries in the district, and Pirque IS SO COOL.  It's like wide open range, farm town, like the exact opposite of my sector.  My sector is a bunch of tiny houses bunched together and Pirque is like Idaho -- lots of open spaces.  It was awesome -- I got to see horses and cows, and it took like a way long time to get out there.  My already high respect for those sister missionaries, like tripled, as they have to walk SO MUCH!  It was a good interview -- her name is Camila, and she is 13 years old.  Her father was baptized a few months ago, and he was able to baptize her and from what the sister missionaries told me it was a really great baptismal service.  

Road in Pirque

Fog in Puente Alto
Anyways, sadly I am running out of time, but I want you all to know that I love you, and that the church is true, and we are so blessed to have it in our lives!  Keep the faith, keep being amazing!  

Until next week, with much love, 

Elder Schwartz

More pictures....

With Elder Schade



Chilly in Brazil

Elder Andrew Schwartz and his little Brazilian friend

Dear Family and Friends,

Man, this week has been crazy!  So much has happened and I'lll try to fit in the highlights.  First off, I discovered that it actually gets cold in Brazil.  This whole week it has been the coldest in Brazil since like 1960 or something.  It was brutal.  Especially getting up at 6:30 in the morning in an apartment with no insulation or heater of any kind.  We turned on the stove and huddled around it to stay warm #missionlyfe (is hashtagging still cool?)  But, I got over it, and today it is finally warming up. So I guess I'll give some things I experienced this week.  Remember that kid Felipe that we invited to church on the way and he accepted?  Well we had an awesome lesson with him this week and he accepted an invitation to be baptized!  However, we got a text from him on Friday saying that he had studied and strongly felt that our church is true, but he decided to go back to his old church anyway.....Literally the last thing we expected!  It just doesn't make sense how he can deny the answer he received.  It's sad sometimes, but people do have their agency and can make decisions for themselves.  I wish him the best.  So that was kind of a downer for the week, but things got better.  We have five pretty firm, progressing investigators: Joel (the old man we walked with last week), Alan ( a 13 year old boy), Paublo, (a 16 year old boy) and Erica and Carlos (a couple waiting getting married so they can be baptized), and they are all awesome!  They are all progressing really well and we think we will likely baptize three of them this week, so hopefully those go through.  Another experience we had this week was with a less active family last night.  The father, Claudio, has been struggling with a drinking problem for a while and we have been trying to help him and his family.  We stopped by there last night and we came in and asked the wife, Claudia, if everything was okay.  She started to break down crying and told us that Claudio has still been drinking and that he tried to kill himself.  I couldn't really understand what was going on because my Portuguese isn't that great, but Elder Watt took control of the situation and firmly testified to Claudio that he needs to start living the commandments, and that he needs to be a man and take care of his family.  I could feel the Spirit very strongly as he testified, and Claudio accepted the counsel, and we left a blessing on the home.  I know that this gospel changes lives.  I know that as we live it, we become better people. I'm so lucky to be raised in such a fantastic home with parents who love me.  I'm sorry that this letter was a bit of a downer, but everything is going great.  I love Brazil.  I love the people.  I so badly want to help them, and I know this gospel will bless them.  I love you all.  Thanks for all of your support and love.  I know this work that Nate and I are doing is true.

With love,
Elder Schwartz

P.S.  I chose my soccer team. And choosing your team is huge here. The people say it defines you as a person.  So, my team is the Corithians. VAI CORINTIOS! 

Corintios Logo

Colorful view of the city

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Welcome, Elder and Sister Doll

Elder Schwartz and the Dolls (good friends from Concord now serving as senior couple missionaries in Santiago)

Dear Mom, Dad, and well... Everyone!
So, sorry, but this email is going to be one of the shorter ones; Elder Packer and I have a lot of lessons to teach tonight, so we had to cut our internet time a little short.  Firstly, It is great to hear that everyone is doing well, that you are all staying so busy, and I am very happy to hear that lil' Elder Andrew made it all the way to Brazil without any problemitas.  I want to hear all about his first week!
This week went by well, of course.  The vast majority of the weeks go by well -- I'm a missionary, so every week is a good week!  Ill try to give you all the best recap that I can..... FIRSTLY, Yes I got to talk to Elder Doll, and yes he IS in my district.  I talked to him on the phone twice so far, and I will be seeing him tomorrow (in district meeting), so I am really excited for that.  On Tuesday all of the Chileans had the day off, so we had a ward activity!  It is called the "Porotada" and I think the best english translation of that is "Beanfest".  Yes, our whole ward got together, and we ate beans, and that was pretty much the activity.  It was a lot of fun actually -- lots of people, lots of food, and it helped me get to know a few of the ward members a little better, which was nice. 
On Wednesday I did divisions (splits) with Elder Bills, and that was a really great time.  He isn't the most social and loud and voiceful guy, but I learned a lot from his example and the way that he teaches.  I felt like when I was with Elder Bills, every action that he did or every word that he said, he did it with his heart, and that's something that I want to get better at.  I think that I get caught up in the routine of things sometimes, and that's not good for us missionaries.  But it was a really fun day with Elder Bills.  We taught seven lessons that day, which is a lot for this sector, so we were really happy about that. 
Something else that happened this week that was equally as awesome, is that I gave my first baptismal interview!  That was pretty intense.  Elder Packer and I went out to a neighboring sector and I had the opportunity to do the baptismal interview for an investigator for one of the companionships in our district, and it was a really good, really spiritual experience.  I interviewed Claudia, who is 43, and she lives with her daughter, and also cares fotr her parents.  I know that the decision to be baptized is not only going to chage her life, but her eternity.  She got baptized yesterday. 
I just want to end this little email with a short testimony that I know that this gospel has the power to change lives, and that's actually the reason why it exists, to help us make the necessary changes to be able to worthily return to of Father in Heaven.  I know that if we can live this Gospel with faith, that's exactly what will happen.  Thank you all so much for your love and cards and prayers and thoughts and everything.  Hopefully everyone'll have a great week -- I know that I will.

con mucho cariño,

Elder Schwartz

District with the Dolls and Elder Nate Schwartz


Dear everyone!

Finally, I made it to Brazil!!!  This week has been so crazy!!!  But I guess first you guys wanna know who my trainer is.  Well, remember how I said there was a family (from Pocatello) who had a son here in my mission, Elder Watt?  Well....he's my trainer!  HOW CRAZY IS THAT!!!  I BAPTIZED HIS SISTER IN LAW!!!  I PLANTED A TREE IN HIS FRONT YARD!!!  What are the odds that something like this would happen!  I think President Tanner was way inspired with this companionship, because we work so well together!  Elder Watt loves to go out and work hard, and so far this week it has been paying off. 

The flight from Detroit to Sao Paulo went well. It was long, but I was able to sleep a little.  When we landed, we met up with our travel coordinator and then we split into our different missions and left on a bus to the mission home. It was cool because Elder Despain (one of the elders from my district in the MTC) also got his visa so it we had a little reunion on the bus ride.  Apparently, he and I are the only two that got our visas and the rest are still waiting in the US.  I got to meet President and Sister Tanner in the mission home, and they are AWESOME!  I know I'm gonna learn so much from them.  Later, we had a luncheon and we met our trainers and that's when I found out Elder Watt was my trainer.  We took the metro to our place in Sao Bernardo do Campo which is the city where we serve. The area I'm in is called Planalto, and it is way bigger than my last area (in Idaho) which was pretty much one street. This week we did a lot of work, and a lot of miracles happened.  

I don't have much time to write, but I will try to give you guys a few highlights. This week we invited eleven people to baptism and six of them accepted dates!  The Sao Paulo South mission has a goal of a baptism per week per companionship so everytime we teach, we invite someone to be baptized.  One of the miracles that happend this week was on Saturday.  We met up with one of the few young men in the ward, Felipe, and he gave us referrals for six of his friends that he plays soccer with!  And not only that, he came with us the whole day, and we were able to meet our goal of member lessons.  He helped us so much with our lessons that later that night we treated him to pizza.  He was definitely an answer to our prayers!  Another miracle that happened was we were going to pick an older man named Joel up to go to church with us.  We had just contacted and started teaching him this past week.  We were on our way to see if he could go and it started to rain.  He initially wasn't going to go because he was going do something for the nearby soccer field (that's all I could understand since my Portuguese isn't that great), but since it was raining, he was able to go with us!  Also, on the way to church, a young man named Felipe (different Felipe) was walking in the same direction to go do something and we invited him to go to church with us and he accepted!  They both (Joel and Felipe) came to church and they loved it!  We have a lesson with Felipe this week and we're going to continue to teach Joel hopefully baptizing him on the 4th of August.  SO MANY MIRACLES.  This week has been such an example of how much hard work pays off.  We have worked like crazy this week and I know that as we continue to work hard we will have success.  

Right now, the language is a little hard. I can somewhat communicate with others but it's hard to understand what everyone is saying the majority of the time. I know that as I continue to work hard and do my best that the language will come.  I hope everything is going well for everyone back home!  I love you all!  I know that this work that Nate and I are doing is the Lord's work!  The church is true! 

Until next Monday!

Elder Schwartz

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

High on the Mountain Top... (Well, Hill Top, Anyways)

Hill Above Chiloe

Dear Mom and Dad and Everyone,
It's great to hear that the family reunion was a success, and thank you so much for the photos.  It's way cool to hear that Andrew got to visit James and Stacy!  What a treat!  Great to hear that Mama is feeling better and that things are in their normal busy routine. 
Well, this week went by really fast, but it was a super good week.  In fact, it was probably the best week that Elder Packer and I have had so far together -- lots and lots and lots of lessons, which is a missionary's dream.  Basically, we have every day filled with teaching appointments, and we have a couple of baptisms lined up for the end of this transfer.  I am going to try to hit this week's highlights as best I can.
Wednesday was a really cool day because in the morning we had a District Leader meeting with President Wright.  That really helped me out a lot, because I am still really new to this whole District Leader thing.  More than anything it was a capacitation (training) meeting to help us understand our role as leaders and how we should be spending our time during the district classes each week.  ALSO, I HAVE SOME REALLY COOL NEWS FOR YOU GUYS.  It is not 100% certain yet, but I had a conversation with President Wright a couple of nights ago, and he told me that Elder and Sister Doll are likely going to be IN MY DISTRICT!  How crazy is that?  They'll go to my weekly district class, and I'll be calling them and stuff.  Isn't that crazy?!?!?!  Ahahaha, I almost died when he told me that. 
On Thursday, we visited Alex and Caroline, and their 3 year old daughter Columba had just gotten really sick.  She was crying uncontrollably and was really warm, and she just looked really really bad.  SO, Alex asked us to give her a blessing, and so we did, and then we left right after.  Well, the next day Alex come running up to us in the streets, and he's like "Elders, Elders, youre not going to beleive this but 45 minutes after you gave the blessing, Columba was as good as new!"  We were shocked and excited and thankful, and it was really cool to see that little miracle this week.  I feel like it really did help out Alex and his family.
On Sunday, the Ibarras came to church, the whole family.  Elder Packer and I then watched the coolest thing happen, as a member family literally took The Ibarras from us and sat down with them and introduced them to other members, and explained things to them, and helped them feel comfortable.  It was so cool to watch!  The Ibarras left church that day with smiles on their faces, and about eight copies of the Liahona in their hands, and Elder Packer and I didn't really do anything.  IT WAS PERFECT.  That's what the First Presidency wants; it was so cool to see those members jump on the opportunity and to do some missionary work.  This is an integrated work, and I know that the more time the members and missionaries spend working together, the faster and the stronger this work will move forward.
ALSO, on Sunday, during the opening hymn, a bishopric member gets up and whispers something to Elder Schade, then Elder Schade gets up and whispers something to Elder Nuñez, and then comes over and whispers to me, "Well Elder Schwartz, you, me and Elder Nuñez are all giving talks today..." WHAT!  It was the opening hymn, and I had to give a talk!  I literally had less time to prepare the talk than I had to give the talk!  I ended up talking about the Plan of Salvation, and how it gives us purpose and a foundation in this life.  I think it went pretty well for a talk prepared in only 10 minutes. 
Also, fun fact:  for lunch on Sunday I ate raw fish (a peruvian dish called seviche), and now it's Monday afternoon and I am still not dead, so I am feeling pretty thankful right about now.
And that's really all that happened this week.  I know that this church is true, and thank you all so much for your prayers and support and emails and letters and thoughts and everything -- I really can feel the love from out here.

Until next week,

With much love,

Elder Schwartz

Some more pictures from P-day:

Puente Alto


Rappelling down the hill

Barrio Chiloe -- Can you spot the chapel?

Elder Packer and binoculars

Big Coca Cola factory

Cell Towers

Goodbye Idaho!

Elder Andrew Schwartz was able to call home from the airport yesterday morning as he was departing his 6 week stay in Pocatello Idaho, heading to Brazil.  He told us how much he loved serving in Idaho, how the people were so awesome there, and how he loved serving with his companions, and in the ward, and with a great mission president.  He said that he will miss Idaho, but is looking forward to the work in store for him in Brazil.  Although, he would not likely be sending an email this week, he was able to tell us some of the things he did this past week.  He was able to do service for members on the church -- a member of his ward who has a son serving currently in the Brazil Sao Paolo South mission.He thought that maybe they could end up companions someday.  He was able to attend the temple with his mission president and other departing missionaries.  He loved that.  A highlight for him this past week was being able to visit his cousins James and Stacy and their girls Caylyn and Ashley.  It was a joy to see family in the mission field.  They made a wonderful dinner to send him off and sent us some great pictures of the visit.  Earlier in the week we got a photo from a member there with two missionaries trying to ride with a member in a "smart car".  Doesn't look so smart to me....

Elder Schwartz was traveling from Pocatello to Salt Lake City, then to Detroit Michigan, and finally from there to Sao Paolo, Brazil.  At each stop he ran into more missionaries heading to Brazil.  He was able to talk to his mom again later in the day from Detroit, and also his brother, Phil who is working in West Virginia.  We assume that he is now in Brazil.....but we are anxiously awaiting word of his safe arrival....

Next post will be about that......

With Stacy and James

With Caylyn and Ashley

Yummy Dinner!

Smart Car Adventures...

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Fourth of July and Sushi???

Fourth of July with Elder Packer



Well, thank you so much for the weekly update, Mom and Dad, and I love, love, love the pictures!  It sure as heck looks like everything and everyone is doing well, which is great to hear, and hopefully everyone had a fantastic Forth of July, wherever you were!  Mom, its great to hear that you are feeling much better.  Sounds like it was an eventful week.  It was an eventful week for us here in Chiloé too.  I'll get to that....

I've been emailing Dusty every week, and I want to try to meet up with him sometime... but I am not sure if I can or not...... BUT I REALLY WANT TO DO IT.  Yeah, I see Hna Jennings from BYU every once in a while.  I think I have seen her like 4 or 5 times since she has been here.  I think she's training right now, so she's doing a really good job.  The Dolls come on the 15th, and odds are that I WILL see them because the sister missionaries that are working in the branch that the Dolls will be going to are in my DISTRICT.  So, the odds are very much in my favor that I will be seeing them soon.  By the way, it is rainy and cold here..... :/

Okay, and SADLY, I
am almost out of computer time, so I am going to have to run through everything super fast.  Also, I just sent an email full of pictures that I hope you got......

Okay, so this week we did lots of Family Home Evenings with lots of members and investigators, and it was way cool and fun.  We must have done like seven Family Home Evenings...  We really zeroed in on some less active families this week and got to help them out a little.  I know that I am being super general but I really can't think of anything too specific...OH!  So, on Tuesday we visited Alex and talked to him about the lesson that we had with him and President about sacrifice.  And during the lesson, President gave an example of a sacrifice that he and his family did a while back that turned out to be a huge blessing.  They decided to their cable on their TV to spend some more time and focus on the family..... awesome example.  WELL, on Tuesday when we visited Alex, he told us that he decided to do the same thing!  Ahaha, my jaw dropped when he told me, so that was kind of cool/funny.  Hno Ponce is doing well.  He came to church and we are having scripture studies with his family now.  (Now that his daughter is on a mission, I feel like they really like the presence of missionaries in ther home... I bet mom and dad can connect to that feeling).  

Anyways, the 4th of July was good.  We had a zone class and the zone leaders bought us all milk and oreo's, and that night we drank Dr Pepper, and made Chocolate Chip cookie sundaes, and ate sushi -- a kind of weird mix of things but it was nice.  Oh, and at our zone class we sang the Star Spangled Banner -- the latin missionaries kind of got a kick out of that.  

Today, we went to the Costanera Center, a really big building/mall in Santiago.  There we met up with an Elder Neher who is a cousin of the Palmieri family, and I am pretty sure that he met Andrew during a Thanksgiving or something.  He told me that he knew me through finding the blog when he got his mission call!!!  How cool is that!  So we spent the majority of our P-day together -- way nice, way good missionary!  And yeah.

Okay, spiritual thought of the week: 1 Corinthians 13: verses 1 and 2. 

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not acharity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of aprophecy, and understand allbmysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

At a family home evening this week, a member shared these verses which talk about Charity -- that really without charity, we are nothing.  It does not matter how much we know, or how skillful we are, if we don't have charity, we will never know how to use those things in the way that God wants us to.  I really liked that thought.  I love you all so much.  Keep being amazing people.  I miss you and I look forward to hearing from you again next week!

With much love,

Elder Schwartz

Sunset in Chiloe 
Cinnebon with Elder Bills
Elder Packer's homemade Cinnamon Rolls

Elder Neher
My little puppy friend
Tallest building in South America in the fog

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pocatello Has An Airport?

Goodbye Elder Aiono with Dessert in Pocatello

This may be Elder Andrew's last email from the Pocatello mission, as he is scheduled to depart for Brazil next Monday.  

Dear Family!

I can't believe it's already P-day!!!  The week has gone by so fast!  It's good to hear that Mom is recuperating well and that you guys had a good 4th of July.  Tell John and Susie Happy Birthday for me.  It sounds like you guys had a lot of fun with Uncle Clark and the family coming to visit again.  I really enjoyed the pictures.  I can't wait to hear how the Moffitt family reunion is next week!  I'm so jealous!  Make sure to send me some pictures.  So I got my itinerary today, and I'm going to be leaving from the Pocatello Airport on Monday the 15th, and I'll be flying to Salt Lake City, and then from Salt Lake I'll go to Michigan, and then from Michigan to Sao Paulo.  I'm not sure of the times yet, but just be ready for me to call you guys when I'm at the airport!

This week has been a pretty weird week.  It was Elder Aiono's last week here so we spent some time saying goodbye to families before he left us on Friday.  We also had some appointments fall through, so we spent a good amount of time contacting people and trying to set up appointments for the upcoming week.  One of the highlights from this week would probably be last Monday -- we had the opportunity to do some service for a family, where the 19 year old son was just recently baptized, and wants his mom to hear the message, so he had the missionaries and some families come to her garden (without her knowing), and we weeded and tilled it for her.  It was a really good experience, and we're planning on weeding the rest of it today.  I'm hoping this will help us get into the door and have a lesson with her.  The other highlight from the week was definitely the 4th of July. We had an all day P-day, with the exception that we were to go to as many public events as possible in our proselyting clothes.  We were able to go to the parade and pretty much everywhere we went, we were cheered.  It's awesome to see all the support we have from the members here. Later that day we had a party at our place where there were probably 15 people, and with our little place it was packed.  We had the Samoan elder cook rice and we got chicken from Walmart. It was wayyy fun!  That night we got to watch the fireworks and had our curfew extended.  The fireworks were a little delayed, but we still were able to see them.  I'm grateful that I was able to be in the US for the 4th of July, but now I'm ready to go to Brazil!!!  This last week I have here, I'm not gonna leave anything back!

Thank you all for all of the support that you have given me. I know that the work that Nate and I are doing is the Lord's work.  The church is true!

Love you all!
Elder Schwartz

Monday, July 1, 2013


Goodbye Elder Smith

Our latest email from Elder Nate Schwartz arrived today:

Hey everyone!  

Firstly, its great to hear that we had some family (Clark and Bonnie and her daughters) over to visit.  I seriously can not beleive that it's July all over again.  I have been here in Chile for almost a whole year!  How crazy is that!?  From the photos it looks like everyone is doing well, and its good to hear that mom is doing okay with the operation and everything.  She is strong.  I'm not too worried.  

Yes, changes (transfers) happened, and yes I am STAYING, but that's really not a huge surprise.  I feel like I am going to be here for a while though.  Elder Packer and I are staying as companions, which i am happy about because we work well together, and Elder Smith is on an airplane right now, and the newest member of the Chiloe group is Elder Bills, who is a really cool guy, very down to earth.  He is going to be a great zone leader and roommate.  

This week, like almost every other went really fast -- lots of things happened.  I'll try to hit the highlights:

On Saturday Elder Packer and I had a lesson with Hmo Ponce and Alex and President Wright!  That was really cool, and we talked about sacrifice.  We shared the story of Abraham and Isaac and talked about the importqance of making personal sacrifices today, and why the Lord asks us to do it.  I feel like it helped both Alex and Hno Ponce out a lot because they both have lots of hoops to jump through, addictions to break, and other good stuff.  They are both growing and doing really well.  One of the coolest parts of being a missionary is seeing the growth that happens in other people's lives.

Another really cool thing that happened this week was that on Sunday during Sacrament meeting, Elder Packer and I were able to give a baby blessing to the grand daughter of a less active sister who we have been teaching for the past several weeks.  That was a really really cool experience.  

On Tuesday I gave my last district class of the change, and we went around the room and each missionary shared one thing that they learned over the course of the change and it was a WAY GOOD class.  I loved listening to those missionaries share their thoughts and feelings and experiences of things that have happenned in their lives over the last six weeks.  

I am very thankful to be able to be here, in this mission, in this ward.  I am learning so much, from watching changes happen in the lives of others, and as well in my own life.  I know that the message that Andrew and I are sharing is true, and it is such a blessing to have in our lives.  Thank you so much for all of your love and prayers and letters and kind words and thoughts and everything!  They are definitely heard and felt!  I love you all so much!  Until next week!

with love,
Elder Schwartz


Winter in the Andes


Elder Andrew Schwartz and Elder Cappelen

Here is this week's email from Elder Andrew Schwartz:

Hey Everyone!

It's good to hear from you guys, and that you had an exciting week!  It's good that Mom is feeling better and I hope that everything goes well and she has a speedy recovery. It sounds like you guys had fun with family, and your trip to Santa Cruz.  It was really nice of the Eborn's to take us out to Kiwi Loco (frozen yogurt) and share some nice memories about good ol MTZ.  This week for us was pretty insane.  I guess the most important news is I GOT MY VISA!!! I AM FINALLY GOING TO BRAZIL!!!! President called us on Thursday first telling us that I got my visa and I was scheduled to leave today.  However, he called us the next day and said that I actually am not leaving until July 15th.  So I still get to be here for two more weeks!!! It's good because I get to finish out the transfer here.  Other big news is that one of my trainers, Elder Aiono, is getting emergency transferred on Friday to become a Zone Leader in a new zone by Bear Lake that our mission just got.  I'm sad that he's gonna be leaving our trio, but he has important work in Bear Lake.  So it will be Elder Cappelen and me for the last while I'm here, and then he's probably going to train someone who's not a "visa waiter" after I leave.  So that's the exciting news from this week.

Ten Thousand Young Men/Scouts

Our investigators are doing well.  We have had a little trouble finding new investigators lately, but this Sunday Elder Cappelen and I taught the third hour of church to the adults about member missionary work, and two members gave us referrals who sound pretty solid.  Another cool thing that happened this week was that about 19 of us missionaries went to the Priesthood Encampment in Shelly celebrating 100 years association between the Church and Boy Scouts, and there were 10,500 people there!  We were able to work at a "visitor center" and help the boys receive the Thomas S. Monson Award.  We had different stations and they had to come to each of us and have a discussion, and we would pass off a requirement for them to get the award.  We were there from about 9 am to about 8:30 pm and it was EXHAUSTING, but it was awesome to work with all the youth and talk to them about the gospel and how they are preparing to serve missions.  The coolest part though was when all the young men were gathered for opening ceremonies, all the missionaries walked right to the front because that was the only place where there was room for all of us to sit down, and EVERYONE started cheering for us.  I don't know of any other place in the world where a missionary can get cheered by over 10,000 people.  It was AMAZING!  The support from them made the work that much more enjoyable!  I love it.  Well, those are pretty much all the highlights from the week, and I'm almost out of time.  I love and miss you all!  Thanks for everything you've done for me.  The church is true!

With Love,
Elder Schwartz

Melanie's Baptism from last week