Monday, October 28, 2013

Loving Chile

Elder Schwartz and Monkey street art

Dear Everyone!

Dad, thank you so much for the email and the photos.  It looks like the ward Halloween party was a hit!  Like I said in my email to mom, our ward party is on Wednesday.  YES, they do celebrate Haloween here in Chile, pretty cool huh?  Its great to hear that you are all keeping busy, and it sounds like you're using your time very wisely.  It makes me really happy to hear that you are spending so much time helping the missionaries.

This week went by really fast for Elder Sandoval and me.  We were really busy, which is great!  Claudio and Mercedez are doing awesome!  We visited with Mercedez a few times this week, but we had kinda lost contact with Claudio for a while.  Actually, yesterday was the first day that we talked to him in about two weeks, but from the conversation we had with him, he is doing really well, and we are going to be teaching him tomorrow.  He found a job through the church job search services actually, so that was a miracle.

This Sunday was stake conference which was really cool.  The talks were awesome, and President Wright was there too and he and Hna Wright spoke too.  They did an amazing job.  A less active member that we have been teaching for a while named Jessica came, so we were really stoked for that.

I think that for me the highlight of the week was the opportunity that I had to go on divisions, twice!  On Tuesday I went to the ward Violeta Cosiño, and I spent the day with Elder Bushman (Todd Baer's second cousin), and, man, he is so cool!   The kid is a total stud!  He is basically in the same boat as Andrew, training and District Leader, and he has 6 months in the mission, and his spanish is SO GOOD.  It was a way good time.  We get along really well, so we had lots of fun.  He actually reminds me a lot of Andrew.  And with Elder Bushman, we taught this one really awesome man that I'm probably never going to forget.   We visited a brother whose wife has cancer.  He goes to church almost every Sunday, but just for sacrament meeting, because he can't leave his wife at home alone for very long.  We visited with him and shared a scripture and just as we were about to end the lesson, he says to us, "Elders, I have just one word of advice for you.  When you go to the houses of investigators, or converts, or less actives members, or whoever -- teach them about the importance of faith.  Help them understand what it is and why it's important.  Because if these people have just a tiny bit of faith, they'll be able to overcome everything.  Just like the scriptures say, if you have the faith like a tiny mustard seed, it can move a mountain.  A little bit of faith can make miracles much bigger than moving mountains -- it can comfort and bring peace to the life of a man who has to send his eternal companion off into the next life."  That hit me really really hard.  We ended the lesson with a kneeling prayer, that I had the opportunity to offer.  He thanked us both a bunch for the visit, apparently no one from the church had gone to visit him for really long time.

On Saturday I got to do divisions with Elder Pagalo from Ecuador in the ward Alvaro Casanova, and it was also a really, really good experience.  What I loved about being with Elder Pagalo is that he asks AWESOME questions durring lessons.  I wish that I was as good at asking questions as him.  We had a good time together.  He has been in the Alvardo Casanova ward for more than a year!  Could you imagine?  But he is still doing a really good job, not letting his lengthy time in the area affect his ability to work.

Today was a pretty easy day.  Elder Sandoval and I spent the morning with the missionaries from the zone and we played soccer.  It is Elder Sandoval's last p-day in the mission.  This is his last week.  I'm just going to try my best to send him home on a good note and make this week the best week ever.  That's my plan at least.

Thank you all so much for your love and support and prayers and everything.  I just finished a major writing session for all of you that have written me -- so expect your responses soon.

I know that the church is true and I am so thankful for the time that I have to share its blessings with the people here in Chile.  It really is a treat.

Until next week, with much love,
Elder Schwartz

Loving Brazil

Elder Andrew Schwartz near the "Football" field 
Dear Everyone!

It sounds like you guys had a pretty exciting week.  That Halloween activity looks like a lot of fun.  I hope a lot of non-members were there ;).  It's good to hear that everything is going well with everyone.  OH, and yes I got the package...I actually got it my last week in Planalto and I forgot to tell you (sorry!) but thank you for all the treats and the pictures! Everything here in São Caetano is awesome...difficult, but awesome.  It's not really that it's difficult, it's just that people here are a lot more closed than they were in Planalto, but we're getting creative and finding new ways to get more investigators. 

Usually we have been spending the majority of our time finding new people to teach. Here, knocking doors isn't really effective because no one is home, so what we do is we walk on a busy walkway in the middle of one of the main streets and we stop everyone that passes by and converse with them.  Usually these people aren't interested in hearing a message, but what a lot of people are interested in here is learning English, so we have these invites that we give to people with the address of the chapel and the time of English class . So our goal here is to get a lot of people inside the chapel as much as we can, not just with English class, but with soccer, and with other activites that will bring more people to the chapel itself.  Another thing we are doing is we are writing notes in Books of Mormon with the address of the chapel, the schedule of church, and our phone number and we're going to leave them at the bus stops around town. We're just starting this little plan out, so hopefully in the future it will bring us more investigators. 

Book of Mormon to be placed at bus stops

Elder Fernandes is doing well, he's a really fantastic missionary and he has a gift with talking to people.  The only thing is that he is not very confident with the doctrine of the lessons yet, but with time and practice, he'll be a stud and a half.  Unfortunately, yesterday and Saturday he got a virus so he was in bed most of the time.  We were, however, able to attend all the church meetings, and today he is feeling a lot better. Yesterday we went to church early, which might have been a mistake only because I got asked to give a talk on the spot.  It worked out really good though, I had about thirty minutes to prepare a little something and I spoke on the role of faith in doing missionary work, and what things we can do to strengthen our faith to do this wonderful work. 

Some highlights of the week would be:  firstly, we were on our way contacting a reference that we got, and when we got to the house we knocked the door and a man came out and told us that the reference lived in the back.  So we knocked the back and found out she wasn't home so we decided to go back to the man, named Alex, who we had spoken to, and then we offered to leave a message with him.  He accepted and we left with him the message of the resoration of the gospel.  It was a really good lesson and the spirit was strong.  We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, to know if it's true.  We also invited him to be baptized when he knows that these things are true, and he accepted that as well, and we have a goal for him on the 10th of November. This upcoming week we're going to follow-up with him and see where he's at with everything, but I'm really looking forward to our next lesson with Alex. 

Another highlight of the week was when we had a really good lesson with a less-active ward member named Paula, and her son Johnny who is not a member.  Paula has been less-active for quite some time, but she knows that the church is true and she has a testimony of everything; she just has a lot of difficulty giving up coffee and she feels embarrassed to go to church because she feels guilty about doing some things contrary to the church teachings.  Paula asked a lot of questions about salvation and what would it be like after this life and what would happen to her if she wasn't keeping the commandments.  She knows she needs to keep the commandments and give up coffee, she just lacks the faith to be able to give it up.  This upcoming week we're gonna help her strengthen her faith and help her see the importance of going to church.  We're hoping that as she starts to return, Johnny will go with her and we will be able to help him have that foundation in the church.  

Those are pretty much the really good highlights of the week, The district is still doing well.  I conducted a training this past week where we worked on helping investigators who have difficulties:  going to church, living the law of chastity, and paying tithing.  It was a really good training, and I feel that we all learned a lot.  For our area, because we have some difficulty getting people to go to church, it was especially good for us.

Anyways, it's good to hear that all of you guys are doing well and that everything is going great in good ol' Martinez.  I just want you all to know that I love you guys and that I know that this church is true.  I know that we have the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, and that through this gospel and the Atonement, we can be freed from the burdens and guilt that come from sin and be able to return to the presence of our Heavenly Father. I hope you all have an amazing week!

With love,
Elder Schwartz 

Yummy frozen acai treat that a member bought for Elders Schwartz and Fernandes

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sao Caetano Do Sul

Recycled pic from last time.  What could be better than Elder Andrew, his companion, and PIZZA!

Dear Family,

It's good to hear that everyone is staying busy! That's exciting to hear that you guys are preparing for trek again. Trek was an awesome experience, I grew a lot spritually and it was a great way to meet new people. Everything here in São Caetano is awesome. The ward here is about the same as the ward in Planalto. We have a lot of really good members and they are all really good at receiving (welcoming) the people we bring to church. Yeah, our bishop is a Chileno and yeah, he has a different accent, but he's lived here in Brazil for a good amount of his life so his Portuguese is flawless. 

This week we had a lot of good experiences. We have been working a lot with Wesley and his family. The only problem that we have with them is that Wesley's mom Sandra talks a lot, so it is really hard for us to teach, because we don't get that much of a chance to speak. Other than that though, they are progressing well. Sandra said that she already believes that our church is true, but she still hasn't been to church yet, and she still doesn't know if she should be baptized or not.  We invited her to pray and ask God if she should be baptized, so we'll see next time we stop by there. Wesley wasn't able to go to church because of work, but his little brother Renan came to church with us and he loved it!

We had another cool experience this week with a family where two of the kids are baptized but inactive. We stopped by the house this week hoping to present ourselves to the family and leave a little message with them. We only got a chance to talk with the mom, Rosangela, and a daughter, Twany, who are not members.  We found out that one of the inactive daughters, named Thais, who is moving back to that house is having a really rough time and having problems with self-infliction and depression.  We were able to offer a message about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how Christ can help us with the problems and difficulties in our lives. We invited them to to go to church and to pray and read the scriptures as a family to help support each other in their hard times.  Thais went to church on Sunday and the ward was so good and welcomed her with open arms. 

This week I also had the chance to go on another division (split) with Elder Iorg in his area to do some baptismal interviews for their investigators. It was a really cool experience and I learned a lot. Elder Iorg helped me a lot with my teaching skills.  He told me that I am too worried about the things that I want to say when instead, I should be worried with what the people we are teaching are saying.  It's so true, because if I just talk at the people I'm teaching like some sort of speech, they're not gonna listen.  People rather will more likely remember the things that they say rather than what I say. It's something that I hadn't realized before, and now I am trying my hardest to incorporate it in all of my lessons. 

Other than that, my district is doing well.  I have two sets of sisters and the zone leaders in my district and I was able to give my first training this past week.  It went really well -- we practiced teaching investigators who have problems with accepting the Book of Mormon as scripture, and accepting that we have a living prophet today.  My district is really great and I look forward to working with them in the future. 

Well that's basically all the highlights from this past week. I just want you all to know that I'm doing great, and I'm loving it here in Brazil, and I'm loving the fact that I get to serve the Lord for these two years. The Church is True!

Elder Schwartz

Sorry, no (new) pictures. I forgot my camera :(   

Are You Ready for Some Football!

Caroline, Alex, Elders Schwartz, and Sandoval

Dear Family!

It is great to hear that everyone is doing so well!  And thank you for the weekly photos, i really enjoy that.

This week went by so fast!  Lots of good things happened, but it's making me sad that time is going by so fast because Elder Sandoval only has twk weeks left!  We gotta make them count!  Mercedez and Claudio are doing well, we had a good family home evening with  Mercedez this week.  Our family home evening with claudio didn't happen because he found a job, which actually is good news.  This week I got to go on divisions (splits) with the Assistants.  I went to their area, and I went with Elder Schade, who I was rooming with in Chiloe.  He is a really cool guy, so we had a really good time together.  I learned a lot, that's for sure.

This week during my scripture study, I was reading in Alma, and it has been so interesting, because this time reading Alma, I have been able to really connect personally to the characters: to Alma, to Amulek, and to Ammon, because they are missionaries.  I am kind of walking in their shoes, and I feel like I understand a lot better how they feel and do and say.  Anyway, this week there was a passage in Alma 14 that really stuck out to me, verses 9 to 11. See Alma chapter 14 here.  It helped me to understand why bad things happen to good people, or why Heavenly Father allows bad things to happen.  I know that every unjust thing that happens in this life will be made just in the life to come, just as Alma testified to Amulek on that hill on that sad day.

Dad, you had some questions about trek......if i remember right, there was a music night, and some old time dancing too, right?  I remember that i really liked that part, or maybe it was a musical devotional....... whatever it was, i really enjoyed it.  I also liked the log cutting activity....... and it was fun because we had free time every once in a while and we were able to meet up with our friends and just talk.  I remember that in that activity i really got to know Dakota Smythe a lot better, which was cool.  Oh, and the end with President Score dressed up as Brigham Young with Porter Rockwell, that was good too.

It makes me really happy to hear that you are working with the missionaries in our ward, keep it up!  Give them references (referrals), that's what they need!  

Today was good.  Alex and Caroline from Chiloé came up here to La Reina to see Elder Sandoval and me, and that was a lot of fun.  We had lunch and played soccer.  It was a great time.

Anyways, sorry this email was so short.  Thank you so much for your love, for your emails, for your thoughts and prayers and everything.  I am really, really blessed to be here in Chile, in Tobalaba.  It's where I want to be, but more importantly, it's where I need to be.

I love you all.  The church is true! 

Until next week!

Elder Schwartz

Monday, October 14, 2013

Reunited With Long Lost Friend

A Chance meeting with BYU Roommate Elder Dusty in Santa Lucia
Dear Fam,

Well Pops, it sure sounds like you all had a really good week.  Thanks for the pics, too.  I sent a couple of photos to mom, and there should be some attached to this email.

This week went by really really fast for some reason.  We didnt have any big meetings with the mission presidnet or anything, but we did have this really cool meeting on Wednesday with our stake president, Presidente Giuffra.  He is a way cool, way down to earth guy, and it's going to be a lot of fun working with him.  At the end of the meeting, he showed us this old projector thing that the missionaries used back in the 80's.  Wow, technology has come a long ways since then, ahaha.
(Comment from old man -- yes, it is actually a film strip projector, which I and likely my brothers used on our missions, way back in the 80's.  I even notice a familiar film strip of "The First Vision", which I'm sure I showed hundreds of times.)

Low Tech Device (pre DVD, VHS, YouTube, ipad, etc.) for showing media presentations

That looks like a young man wondering which church is right...

This week was particularly good because we worked a lot with members.  We also have a TON of family home evenings planned for this week, so we are really excited about that.  I think that the biggest news of the week is that we set the baptismal date with Mercedez and with Claudio, so right now Elder Sandoval and I (with the help of some leaders) are doing all that we came to help them meet that goal.  (Also, mom told me that you guys are working with the missionaries and feeding them, etc. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!)

Elder Sandoval and I spent a good portion of our Saturday doing service, and actually it was the first time that I have done service here in this sector.  We helped a less active lady move her things from her house to a house down the street.  There were about eight of us in total that helped.  It was a really good time, and she was really, really grateful for all of the help.

Like I have said in earlier emails, I am reading the Book of Mormon for my personal studies.  I have the goal to finish it before the end of the year, and I am at the tail end of Mosiah right now.  It was so interesting, because I was reading about King Benjamin right around the time of General Conference, and I realized that I was reading about one of the first general conferences EVER!  I love how Benjamin's people gathered around, and there were so many that he had to make a tower, and that people brought their tents and their family and their flocks and that there were so many people that some couldn't even hear him, so he had scribes write down what he was saying and they passed them out to everyone (first copy of the Liahona ever).  I know that if we can place our tents facing the prophets (figuratively) and follow their counsels, we will be blessed.  One of my favorite quotes from conference came from Elder Hales when he explained that the greatest blessings that come from General Conference happen AFTER the conference is over, when we apply what was said into our lives.  

I am so thankful for this time that i have to serve as a missionary, and I am thankful for the love that i can feel on a daily basis from my Heavenly Father.  I know that he loves us and wants the best for us, but He will only come to us if we seek Him!  Thank you for your love and support and for everything that you do for me.  I am really looking forward to hearing from you again next week!

with love,

Elder Schwartz

P.S. Yes, i saw Elder Dusty today.  We found each other in Santa Lucia.  It was the best reunion ever -- he is doing GREAT!  Pretty much made my mission!

Elder Dusty and Elder Nate

From a random parade in town....

New Companion, New Area, New Responsibilities....

Elder Schwartz with new companion, Elder Fernandes from Switzerland (born in Brazil)

Dear Family and Friends,

Man, oh man... do I have a story for you guys!  First of all, thanks for the e-mails and updates on everything.  It's good to hear that everything is going well with you guys.

Let me start off with transfers. So, Tuesday morning Elder Steil and I went to the transfer site, which is one of the chapels in our mission, a little bit early for a meeting for new district leaders. Generally, when you go to transfers, you would bring your suitcases with you and then go to your new area.  However, the zone leaders told me that I should just leave my stuff at Planalto because I was staying in the same zone.  So, we went to transfers that morning and I got to go to that training meeting that the Assistants gave about the responsibilities of a district leader.  It was a really good meeting and it calmed me down about my new assignment.  Later we stayed at the transfer site all day until all the new missionaries arrived.  The trainers were given a training from President Tanner where he talked a lot about our influence as trainers and how we need to be an example on our trainees because we will have a great impact on the rest of their missions.  Then we all met together, the "news" and the trainers, and we got to meet who we were training.  My new companion's name is Elder Fernandes, and he was born here in São Paulo, but he lives in Switzerland.  It's awesome, because he is already fluent in Portuguese, German, and he speaks a little English, and he is already a powerhouse missionary!  I don't even think I need to train him because he is already doing really well as a missionary, and he has a lot of great ideas for what we should do for this new area.  Oh, and the new area that I'm serving in is the city of São Caetano do Sul, and I'm serving in the São Caetano 1st Ward.  It used to be that we had sisters taking care of two wards here in São Caetano, but the mission split it, and now we take care of one ward and they take care of the other.  So it was late by the time we left the transfer site, and it took about an hour and a half to get to Planalto to get my stuff.  So basically by the time we were ready to go to our new area it was almost 8:00 at night.  I had no idea how to get to our new area too because all the mission office gave me was the keys to the house and a cell phone.  So I called the sisters to ask them how to get to our area and they said that it was way too late to be able to get there on time and that we should sleep at our house in Planalto.  So, that night we took the extra matresses that we had and we put them on the floor and that's where Elder Fernandes and I slept the first night. Great way to start the mission (for Elder Fernandes), huh?  So, that next morning we had our zone training and we were able to meet up with the sisters and they helped us get to our new area.

Good Thing there were extra mattresses around
That was just the start of the week.  We were able to get to our new house and unpack and start looking through the area book so we can get ourselves situated.  Unfortunately, the sisters didn't have any real progressing investigators when we got there, so we spent our time doing contacts until a meeting that we had later that night with our Ward Mission Leader and the sisters to help us get more oriented in the area.  We also got a chance to meet the bishop who is a Chileno (shout out to Elder Nate) and a really good guy.  I'm excited to work with him. Then during the week we spent a good amount of time getting to know the area, walking and talking with people, and we visited some of the people the sisters told us to visit.  One was a family of six people who are really nice and really faithful to God.  The only problem is that the mom talks, and talks, and talks, but a really good family.  We were able to invite one of the sons, Wesley, to a family home evening we had at the chapel, and he went and loved it.

Another cool experience we had was one with a less active member named José, but he goes by the nickname Barba (which means beard in portuguese).  We were able to meet with him and talk about his concerns.  Elder Fernandes shared experiences that he had in his life when he was less active in the church and realized the true purpose of going to church is not to do it for others but to do it for God.  The spirit was strong and we made a good friendship with him that day.  Later that week, we went to the home of Paula, a less active member, who has a son who is not a member but has been going to church recently.   Elder Fernandes shared the same story and we were also to get the confidence of Paula and we invited her to read the Book of Mormon and pray.  We're gonna follow up with her later this week.

On Sunday we were able to take Wesley to church and the members were awesome with him. They all came up to him and introduced themselves and made him feel welcome.  Since it was testimony meeting, Elder Fernandes and I bore our testimonies and introduced ourselves to the ward.  There were a lot of great testimonies given and the Spirit was really strong there.  Unfortunately, Wesley could only go to Sacrament meeting because he had work, but when we got to Gospel Principles Sunday School class, we found Barba sitting there, which the members said was a miracle. The members were really good to him too, making him feel welcome and being really friendly.

Overall, it was a really exciting/stressful/busy/awesome week.  I'm really looking forward to this upcoming week.  I just want you all who are reading this to know that I know that Jesus Christ lives.  I know that He suffered for all of our pains and sorrows.  I know that this church is truly God's Kingdom on the Earth.  I know that God is our Heavenly Father and he loves each and every one of us.  I can't wait to hear from you guys next week!  Keep praying for me, because I need it! 

With Love,
Elder Schwartz 

Introducing Elder Fernandes to the staple food of!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Changes Are Coming

A Ward member did this picture of us.....

Daaaaannng Pops, lookin freshhh!!!  (see below for photo that this comment refers to....)

Hello Everyone! 

It's sounds like everyone has a had a nice and busy week back home. You got to watch Priesthood session at home?!?!  Welp, there goes our family tradition, but it was fun while it lasted.  So I guess I better start with the big news.... We got transfer calls this morning and I found out that I'm getting transferred out of Planalto to be a district leader and a trainer and open a new area!  I just went from little responsibility to A LOT of responsibility.  It was a little overwhelming for me to take in at first, but I know that the promise in 1 Nephi 3:7 ( Link to Chapter ) is true, that the Lord gives no commandment without first providing a way for it to be accomplished.  So I will go and do!  I don't know what area I'm getting transferred to or who I'm going to train, but I do know that I'm going to another area that's in my zone, so it will be cool to have the same zone leaders, and I will get to see everyone I know at our zone meetings.  Elder Steil is staying here in Planalto and he is also going to be training so that will be really cool.

Other than transfers, our week went by really well. We spent a lot of time trying to get our investigators pumped about General Conference and the opportunity we have to hear a living prophet of God speak to us. We also decided this past week to begin focusing more on the less-active members in our ward and help them get reactivated.  It turned out to work out really well for us, because we found two less active families with children who are over eight years old who aren't baptized yet, so Elder Steil and his trainee will be working a lot with them in the next few weeks.  We had a good lesson this week with a few families where we showed the video "Together Forever" (I think that's what it's called in English because the Portuguese is: Juntos Para Sempre) and in one of the lessons, the mom of a recent convert started crying.  We talked with them afterwards about the blessings that this restored gospel brings to us such as how our families have the ability to be together not just in this life, but forever.  I'm grateful for this blessing and the knowledge that this gospel gives me that our families truly can be together forever :)
That brings us to conference weekend.  Let me tell you guys how we watched conference here.  We had conference set up to view in the chapel for us, but there weren't a lot of people there, because most of our members watched it at home.  However, some of our investigators were able to go and they loved it!  Unfortunately for me, I had to watch the sessions in Portuguese because there was nobody at our chapel to watch it in English with me.  Actually, it was good for me.  I understood the majority of what was said and I know that whatever it was that I needed to hear, I understood. Overall, they were all really great sessions.  I loved the focus that was brought on the importance of the missionaries and the members working together, because if this work were to be done only by the missionaries, we would have very little success.  I guess my favorite quote from conference was from Elder Ballard  (I think)  Link to Talk .  It was when he said to the full time missionaries:  If you want more people to teach, you need to talk with more people.  That might have been the most blunt and direct instruction for me.  I feel like we haven't been teaching as much, so with this new big change coming up, I plan on talking to as many people as possible about the gospel. 

Well, I hope that all of you are doing well and all enjoying life like I am right now.  There's no place I'd rather be than right here in Brazil, doing the Lord's work.  I know that this work truly is His work. I know that our Heavenly Father is PERFECT, and he has a plan for each and every one of us.  I love you all, and I can't wait to hear from you guys again next week!

With love,
Elder Schwartz

More pics....

Pic from pops' mission days that was found posted on Facebook...brought about the comment at the start of post

Elder McKeen, Elder Woodruff, Me, Elder Correia

General Conference!!!!

After Watching General Conference

Dear Family and Friends,

You guys are going to kill me, but Elder Sandoval and I are going to be LATE to a very important family home evening, so this is going to be the shortest email that I ever send you ever....... .......SO....SORRY!

General conference was AMAZING!  I loved it, and, yes, I got to see it in English.  We had an English room in our stake center building, where I and about eight other missionaries watched all five sessions of conference while pigging out on junk food.  There were lots of talks that were really good, but I think the one that stuck out to me the most, was President Uchtdorf's ( Link to talk ) during the priesthood session.  I really liked his comparison about our desires and what the Lord requires of us, "wanting to give the guy who cuts us off in traffic a piece of our mind".  I also really really enjoyed Elder Holland's talk. ( Link to talk )  Thank you for sending me the Oaks talk from 1992.  I am not sure why it came into my mind, but I remember that Dad really likes it, and i wanted to read it. Link to Oak's Talk from 1992

Phil DID email me, finally!  I love him!

And I got the big news on Andrew.  (See details in message from Andrew below). I KNOW that he is prepared for what the Lord has called him to do.

It was a great week -- a really busy week.  I had to get my visa redone, so I spent a whole day in the center of Santiago.  We had a leadership meeting with President Wright earlier in the week, and there was some BIG NEWS.  We are going to have a meeting with Elder Holland in November -- how exciting is that!  

I am SO sorry for the shortness of this email.  Thank you so much for your emails every week -- they really do mean a lot to me!

More details next week,

with Love,
Elder Schwartz