|Elder Lima from a ward where Elder Andrew Schwartz was serving in Brazil last fall, has arrived in Chile|
and has met with the other Elder Schwartz, brother Nate.
It's good to hear that everyone is keeping busy -- zumba, workouts, meetings -- you´ll be seeing Steve Young (at youth conference), how cool! And it makes me really happy to hear that you guys were doing some service too. That is excellent.
Speaking of excellent -- Elder Sercovich and I had an AWESOME week! This past week went by really well for Elder Sercovich and me in some ways, and in other ways we learned a few things that we need to improve on in our teaching methods. Elder Sercovich has been a really good example for me especially during this past transfer (which is the last transfer of his mission). He is dedicated and working hard, and I think that´s what i love most about him -- he is soaking up every last drop of the mission. His great energy gives me energy. This week we went on divisions again -- I was able to spend the day with Elder Bushman in his area, and we had a good time together. I learned a lot of good lessons from that guy. It has seriously been a major blessing having him in the zone (Todd's cousin). It was a rough day for Elder Bushman. I could tell that he was a little stressed out. We had five "really awesome" lessons planned throughout the day, but sadly, one by one as the day progressed, they got cancelled. We tried everything to fill our time -- the list, contacting, trying to visit old investigators, but nothing worked. The first and only house that we entered that day was at 9:40PM -- it was the home of a new investigator, and we were able to have a really good lesson with him, his wife and a family friend -- we sang a hymn together, and it was the first time that I had done that in a lesson in a long, long time. What I learned from Elder Bushman that day, was the importance of being dedicated to serve the Lord. I think that it would have been really easy for him to get upset, frustrated, depressed, or want to quit, especially in the late hours of the day. I was thinking that at 9:30 pm he would probably be thinking about throwing in the towel for the day, but he was persistant, and that late evening lesson was a huge success. We were able to come back to the apartment that night, happy and filled with the Spirit, instead of upset and down -- the effort and persistance paid off. Elder Bushman is a very dedicated missionary, and I will be teaching the zone class with him on Wednesday because Elder Sercovich has a "job preparation seminar".
For me personally, the highlight of the week was the devotional with Elder Evans. On Thursday night we got a call from the assistants telling us that all four of the santiago missions would be meeting in a chapel in the north mission on Saturday to have a special devotional with Elder Evans of the Seventy (Church leader from headquarters). It was totally short notice, but absolutely amazing. We left our apartment at 6:30 AM and the meeting started at 9, we probably got thtere a little before 8 but the place was totally full, almost 1000 missionaries in the same chapel -- INSANE! We had the devotional from 9am to 1pm. Elder Evans had a lot to say -- he is the Seventy that oversees missionary work, so it makes sense. The really cool thing was that we had ANOTHER meeting with him from 2:30 to 5:30pm for just the zone leaders and sister missionary leaders and assistants, and that meeting was one of the best meeting i have ever attended, EVER! We got a way better seat, and it was just, amazing. I also ran into him in the bathroom during our lunch break between meetings -- kind of awkward, right? But we had a really nice conversation -- he actually grew up in Lafayette, so he knew about Martinez -- his sisters went to Acalanes High School, and he was just there in the Bay Area a couple weeks ago. So, we got to bond a little as we dried our hands there, kind of cool ahaha. Elder Evans talked a lot about our missionary purpose of helping the church become established through real growth, and that too many missionaries just go out to try to baptize as many people as possible, and shortly after those people get lost and go inactive. He talked to us a lot about how we need to help people become truly converted to Christ and His gospel, not just get dressed in white and get wet -- that there is a big difference. And in the second meeting, he talked a lot about the doctrine of the family. He made it sound like things are getting really bad out there in the states (as far as society's value of importance of the family), well it was bad when I left, but it sounds worse.... wow! He told us that it is our job to teach the doctrine of the family, and put it into practice when we return home. ALSO, I met Elder Lima at the devotional. I only talked to him for 30 seconds, but we took a photo, and of COURSE i saw Elder Dusty and Hna. Jennings, too.
Today we had a little zone get together at one of the chapels in the stake -- we played soccer and basketball and had a sweet barbecue -- it was a really good time. It was kind of a goodbye party for Elder Sercovich and Elder Surmik.
Anyways, I love you all. The Church is true, and keep being great -- have an awesome week. Go make someone smile.
(ALSO, Dad it would be awesome if you put an attachment of "The Family A proclamation to the world" on the blog, Elder Evans cited it like 341230753475 times)
Some additional pics.....
|These elders know how to cook...and eat|
|Over 900 missionaries strong|
|Elder Schwartz with Elder Dusty and Hermana Jennings, both friends from BYU|
|Great Fun at Mission Conference|
|Noche de Hogar (Family Home Evening)|
Some additional pics from Noche de Hogar....
|From Activity about the Atonement with push-ups (and a tattoo?)|