No email today - something even better - Robbie in person!!! Rob's plane is about an hour and a half late. Apparently there were bad storms in DC. It's due in at 8:57 pm by the last update. Can't wait!
How cute is this?! President and Sister Matsumori with Elder Schaap at the pancake breakfast for all missionaries going home.
Wow, this is really weird, although I know that this is the last e-mail I will be sending home from out here, it doesn't yet feel like that is true. I guess I will start with how our week went. Elder Gumbi and I were able to start teaching a few new people! Like I have mentioned before, it is pretty difficult to find people with school being out for the summer, so we have been trying to work with former investigators. We met two people this week, one of them is a young man who, coincidentally is from out here, but played football at Pasadena City College, where Elder Gumbi played basketball! So there was an automatic connection there! He had worked with the sister missionaries over a year ago, but didn't really get a whole lot out of it, but he said he liked how we presented it, and was interested in what we had to say! I told him that I would be leaving soon, so he wants to see us again before I go!
And we met another guy who is from Africa, so Elder Gumbi was able to relate to him as well! But he had worked with the sisters as well, for quite some time, and he eventually stopped progressing, so we went over the whole purpose of the Book of Mormon, what it was about, where it came from, and the message it carries, and his interest was sparked! So we will be meeting with him again before I go as well!
We were also able to meet with our investigator who you guys have heard about, and he is still very interested! The problem we have had with him though, is that when Sunday comes around it seems as though he is nowhere to be found! We have driven over to his place with members ready to pick him up, and we can't get a hold of him... so hopefully he will be able to make it this Sunday before I leave!
Well, I guess it really is this time... I can't tell you how weird this feels to be nearly done with my mission. I don't know what has been more weird, getting ready to go on my mission, or being about ready to be done. Either way, I am grateful for all of the experiences I have had while being out here, a lot that I will never forget! That being said, it hasn't all been easy, nor do I think it was ever supposed to be, in fact I am pretty sure that missions are designed to make you stretch, further than you ever thought you were able to, because it is only this way that we are able to realize our own potential. I recently heard a talk by President Hinckley where he said, relating it to life, that "most putts don't drop, and most beef is tough," but he also talked about how it is these exact times that if we handle them the right way, can be times of our greatest growth.
I am grateful for the times on my mission that I was able to see firsthand how the gospel blesses the lives of those who are follow its principles. It has become more and more apparent to me as I have been fully emerged in the gospel, that it is really the only thing that is going to bring us real peace and true joy in this life, and in the life to come! I am grateful for the chance that I had to come on a mission and meet all of the people that I have, for the friendships I have made, for the lives I was able to touch, and for those who have touched my life! I am also grateful for all of the support I have had from you guys, and from countless people that have done things for me that I may not even know! I am especially grateful for my family and putting up with me as a young punk kid, and helping to get me on a mission! I love you all so much! And I am really and truly grateful for everything that you have done for me! I hope to start working on returning the favor when I get home! I Love You! And I can't wait to see you in a week!
WOW! What a week! So on Friday night, we were getting ready to go to sleep, and all of the sudden we hear these strong winds outside, like none that I have heard since I have been out here, and then we hear these loud crashes that sounded like trees snaping in half, and power poles breaking, then our power goes out, and before we could even think anything of it, a tree branch comes and breaks through our window....
Alright -- I am just kidding, it wasn't that intense, but that would have been sweet! Got you though didn't I? It was pretty crazy though! The power did actually go out, and there was some crazy wind, but the craziest thing about it was the lightning! There were flashes of lightning probably every 2 or 3 seconds for about a half our or so, it was pretty insane! I took a video, I will show it to you when I get back! But no, we were only out of power for about 18 hours, we were very lucky! On Sunday night, some other elders who were out of power came and spent the night with us because it was too hot! I don't ever remember losing power in the Summer before! It is pretty miserable!
So, power was out in the church building as well! I thought that I wasn't going to have church on my last fast and testimony meeting of my mission! But we ended up holding sacrament meeting in the institute building, which was interesting because it was so small even for our ward of about 50 people! That is where our ward used to meet like 5 years ago! So it was fun.
We were able to teach an investigator we've been working with again after church, we taught him about the Plan of Salvation, and he told us that he wants to be baptized! Unfortunately it is going to be like 2 weeks after I am home, so I won't get to see it... but I am really excited for him!
And then we started to teach a new person who is from Cameroon, and she was actually found by other missionaries, but they found out that she is of age to go to the Singles ward, so they passed her to us! Elder Gumbi is able to relate really well to all of the people that we are teaching from Africa, it is really cool!
More good news, we got a text back from our investigator that we haven't heard from for like 3 weeks! And we are meeting with him on Thursday, so hopefully we will be able to figure out what was going on! Things are going really well for us right now, hopefully they will continue to do so! So that is about all of the updates that I have as far as investigators go.
As for tomorrow, one of the members of our ward knew that I was going home soon, and so he said since P-day was on the 4th of July, he doesn't have work, so he offered to drive us anywhere we wanted to go! So we are going to go to Florida! haha just kidding again, but we are going to go to Great Falls National Park, on the Potomac River, which I have heard is really cool! So be expecting some pictures from that!
Anyways, Have a great week! Jealous that you went boating! Weird that I will only be sending one more email home from here.... Love you!
- Elder Schaap
Pics 1 & 2 - Got the Birthday Party Box!
Pic 3 - Some of the aftermath of the storm!
P.S. from Marcie:
We received an email from the mission home on Monday to let us know how things were going afer the big storms in the East. Here's a link to the message - everyone is ok: Update after the storms
Thanks for all the birthday wishes!! It has been a good day so far, we went to the temple this morning, and all the missionaries who are going home this transfer had a meeting with the temple presidency, which was super cool!
This week has been a good for us! I did something this week that I haven't ever done before on my mission, and it was pretty sweet! We did chalk drawings on a bridge over the main road where a lot of people walk. We drew (or attempted to draw) the plan of salvation, and answered people questions that they had about it. And it was actually pretty fun, I was surprised at how many people were asking us questions! It was really good, and I had the opportunity to teach this lady who prayed that morning that she would find something to help put her life back on the right track, and it turns out she did! It was really cool! I think she was talking with us for about an hour and a half, and she felt like it was an answer to her prayers! She told us that she wants to come to church, and make changes in her life!
We also had a good meeting with one of our investigators whom we have been working with for a while, and Elder Gumbi and I decided that we weren't really making a whole lot of progress with her, and she hadn't been reading out of the Book of Mormon, so we watched an Elder Holland talk on the Book of Mormon, and talked about how it really will change your life, but you have to read it and apply it in order for it to do so! I feel like we were able to get somewhere with her, and strengthen her desire to find the truth!
We also had a cool experience at church on Sunday! Some of the Summer sales people that are here selling pest control for the summer brought someone to church with them, and we taught him right after church! He is from Maryland, lived here all his life. He has been searching for some direction in his life for a while now, so hopefully he will find it in the gospel!
That's about all the updates I have for you this week though! It is weird how fast time is going now! But I am doing the best I can to make the most of the time I have! I Love you guys! Have a great week! Oh, and by the way, I will be emailing on Tuesday next week, because the public libraries are going to be closed because of the 4th of July! Love you guys!
- Elder Schaap
Well, you wouldn't believe, I actually wrote you a good email right before this, and then come to find out when I tried to send it, something went wrong, and it didn't save, and it lost the whole thing!
Other than that though, things have been going great! It is alwasy so good to hear from everyone! Elder Gumbi and I have been doing really well, we had a really cool experience the other day, as we were teaching one of our investigators. As we were talking with her, one of her friends showed up to come visit her, and we kept trying to get him to come in and listen, but he said he didn't want to, but later in the meeting, she had to take care of something really quick, and so she told him to come and talk with us while she was gone. It turns out that he doesn't really have any direction in life right now, and is just kind of living in the moment with out any real thoughts of what the future holds for him.
Which was interesting, because Elder Gumbi and I both felt as though we had been in the same situation at one point in our lives before. So we talked with him about God's love for us, and how he has given us the Gospel as a compass to guide our life, and things like that. When he first started talking with us, he told us that he didn't really believe in God, or anything, he was just kind of going with the wind. By the end though, I could sense that he felt there was more to life than just playing it by ear. The funny part about the whole thing is that I don't even know if we will ever see him again, hopefully we will, but even if we don't, it was a good feeling to know that I was able to have a positive impact on his life, and hopefully someday he will find the gospel!
Unfortunately I don't really have a whole lot else to report for our other investigators. Our investigator who had committed to baptism has kind of dissappeared... the last time we talked with him he said he was really busy with his new job, and that he would call us, and that was like a week and a half ago or so.
But we are starting to get some referrals from other missionaries! Which is really exciting because we didn't get any my first 5 or so weeks here! So hopefully we will be able to start teaching some of them soon!
Anyways, Love you guys! Thanks so much for all that you do! Have a great week!
- Elder Schaap
Pic #1 - Elder Gumbi, Alex Boye, and me!
Pic #2 - Elder Gumbi and I with our Duct tape ties haha
Pic #3 - For FHE on Monday, we did a photo scavenger hunt on U of M campus,haha it was pretty fun, one of the things we had to do was to take a picture with someone sitting on a bench
So good to hear from you! I can't believe how fast time is going... crazy! But everything is going well for us here! We have been doing our best to keep busy! We are hopefully going to start teaching a friend of one of our members! Which should be really exciting!
We got a new ward mission leader, and some interns are actually still coming to the area, we have about 20 now! So things are looking up!
Unfortunately though, our investigator didn't make it to church this past week, still our only contact with him has been over the phone, we had an appointment yesterday, but he cancelled on us, so it doesn't look like he is going to be able to be baptized on the 24th... we still don't know exactly what has been going on, he said he has been super busy, he just got a new job, so it is understandable, it would just be nice for us to know what is going on with him!
We have been meeting with a young lady investigator a lot lately, she is from Cameroon, and she has been making a lot of progress since we have been meeting with her, the only problem is that she is a home aide, and she works on Sunday, so it is hard for her to get that off. Hopefully we will be able to see her come to church sometime soon though!
Other than that we are doing our best to find new people to teach! It is hard in the singles ward! But we will figure something out!
Sorry for being so short, but I Love you guys! Have a great week!
- Elder Schaap
Pic #1 - I am thinking of taking up a new style when I get home, what do you think?
Pic #2 - I tried my hand in baking... kind of filled them up to much, but they tasted good!!!
Pic #3 - I don't think I told you about this yet! These are Scotch Bonnet peppers, they use them in Jamaica, and they are hotter than Habanero peppers! One of the sisters in our ward is from Jamaica and feeds the missionaries once a week, and it is tradition for each missionary to eat one whole! I did a few months ago, and it was by far the hottest
thing I have ever eaten! Don't worry, I have it on video!
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.