Monday, February 17, 2014

MIracles and Service


Dear Family and everyone!

WOW!  It sounds like you all had a really busy week, but busy with lots of really cool things.  Seeing the pictures of Mormon Prom was really cool....and weird, because one of the pictures had Aaron Brinkman in it and he looks SO MUCH OLDER!  But it's nice to see that the house hasn't changed too much at least.

It was a good week for Elder Sercovich and me.  It was fun, it rained, and it went by really quickly. There were several highlights.  First, I went on divisions (splits) with Elder Surmik in his sector, and that was a pleasant experience.  Elder Surmik works in the same ward as me but we have the ward area divided in half, so for my first time in the 6 months that I have been in Tobalaba, I was able to see what the other half of the ward is like.  Elder Surmik goes home in a couple of weeks so it was nice being able to spend some time with him.  I learned a lot from his example.  I think one of the biggest lessons that I learned this week was from Elder Bushman in our district class on Wednesday.  I asked Elder Bushman last week if he could help Elder Sercovich and me to become better at asking for referrals.  I explained to him, that we have been rejected so many times that I've been starting to become a little unconfident asking for them.  So he dedicated his class this past week to "Asking for referrals".   We had a really good discussion and did some really good practices, and it helped Elder Sercovich and me out a lot.  Actually, this week Elder Sercovich and I recieved and contacted more referrals than we ever have before, and I know that the credit goes to Elder Bushman and his class. On Sunday, a less active member named Jessica (who we visited earlier in the week and who we asked for a referral from) brought one of her friends named Karolina, to stake conference with her.  Jessica had given her Karolina a pamphlet that we had given to her earlier in the week, and on Sunday evening we were able to visit Karolina with Jessica and a few other members to share a message with her about the pamphlet.  The pamphlet was on the Plan of Salvation, and Karolina's husband passed away 4 months ago, and she has been really depressed for the past while, so she told us that she felt like she found exactly what she needed in the pamphlet and the message we shared.  It was a huge miracle for Elder Sercovich and me to witness.  We have another lesson with her tomorrow night, and this whole big turn of events has happened as a result of Elder Bushman's lesson.  Because if he hadn't helped us to get more excited to ask for references, we might not have asked Jessica to share the gospel with her friends when we visited her, and we might not have ever met Karolina. That was our big miracle of the week.  It's so funny how a bunch of little seemingly insignificant things can turn into something amazing.

Elder Sercovich and I were able to go on divisions (splits) with some kids (youth) in the ward this week too, to help them get ready for their missions.  One of the lovely things about Tobalaba is that there are lots of active youth here getting ready to go on the mission, and we use them to teach and work with us as much as possible.  We were also able to get some service done this week too.  On Sunday we had Stake conference, and we had to get up at 5:30 in the morning to go to a priesthood meeting at the stake center.  President Wright spoke and he was happy to see all of his missionaries there bright and early in the morning.  It was a special stake conference, with a satelite broadcast from Salt Lake directed to the 34 stakes here in Chile, and Elder Cook spoke.  It was funny because before he gave his talk I leaned over to Elder Sercovich and I told him that Elder Cook reminds me a lot of my Dad, not because he is bald, but just because of the way that he presents himself.  I think that if i could compare Dad to any apostle, it would be Elder Cook.  And when Elder Cook gave his talk, he spoke a lot about raising his children in the San Francisco Bay Area in California.  I had no idea that he lived there for 33 years.  It was a really good talk, focused on the importance of making your home a haven from the temptations and difficulties of the world. 

Maybe a little resemblance...?

Today was P-day and we went bowling -- it was the last time that Elder Sercovich was going to be able to do it, so we went.  I forgot to bring my connector for the camera, so I dont have any pictures for this week, but next week I PROMISE that I won't forget it.  

I love you guys so much.  I know that the Church is true.  Thank you for all of your love and support and prayers.  Have an excellent week!

with much love,
Elder Schwartz

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