Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Another conf...district conf...a missionary story

Well this week was pretty crazy, I think I told you before that we have been having a ridiculous amount of appointments cancel, and it didn't stop this week unfortunately, so we have been doing a lot of tracting. Good news is it hasn't been as hot, in fact yesterday it was really pleasant, about 70 degrees and not very humid. We gave one of our investigators a baptismal date this week, which was pretty exciting, but he didn't seem too thrilled about it and was kind of skeptical, we are still hoping and praying that he will continue to work with us and work towards the goal we gave him. I had my first district meeting this week, it was pretty cool, except we have to drive about an hour just to get to the chapel, we are so far away from everything down here, we have zone conference tomorrow and we are going to have to drive about an hour and a half... It was a little depressing though, at lunch after district meeting all of us were talking and most of the guys in my district have been gone over a year haha I am the youngest by far! Time really has flown pretty quickly, it is hard for me to remember what all happened during the week, I can remember church and the rest just seems like a blur, I have already been in this area for 3 sundays! I am half way done with my first transfer... weird!

So I know I haven't really given you guys too many "missionary" stories, but that's because I haven't really had too many. I do have one though, we have been working with a man who was actually excommunicated from the church in 2001. It is a pretty interesting story, I won't tell you what he did to get exed but I will say that after that time, his life got pretty much ruined. He lost his family, his job, and his health, pretty much everything he had. He was very involved with the church, he was in a stake presidency at one point, a ward mission leader as well, he was also employed by the church. Well I probably don't have to tell you this, but he was humbled, the hard way, and he came to the realization that it was not the church's fault for what he had done. Anyways, he is an awesome guy, and he can't wait to be baptized... again. Unfortunately for him and for me, it is a very long process for an excommunicated member to be baptized again and it is going to probably take around 2 months until he can get baptized, so it is doubtful that I will get to see it happen, but we will continue to work every week with him and we know that he will be ready for it when that day comes.

I think that is about all I have for you guys, Dani school sound crazy!! I know how you feel though, this is the most busy I have ever been in my life too!! Mom, the other missionaries in my appartment are Elders Deklerk and Nowlin. And dad, quit freaking me out with these headaches of yours! NO YOKE! Grandpa, thanks for the letter, it is always good to hear how things are going with you guys!

Well I love you guys so much, you really are the best family ever! Hope everything continues to go well! Until next week...

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

One Month Down Already?!

Where to begin??? I guess a good place to start is with the weather haha it is so ridiculous, you Utahn's don't even know what it is like to have humidity, it has been in the low 90's here and around 80% humid this last week, basically you walk outside and you instantly start sweating. And to go along with it, almost all of our weekly appointments that we usually have cancelled on us this week, so we have been tracting a lot more than usual. So we are in a car area like I told you before, and we have a limit of 1550 miles a month, which is 50 miles a day, well a city in our area called Mechanicsville is 23 miles away, which means we could go straight there and straight back and only have 4 miles left for the day... needless to say, we are ahead of schedule for our miles this month, we have already gone over 1000, hopefully they will allow us more though.

Today is P-day, and we went with the Lexington Park elders, the ones we live with, and went to a members house to play ping pong and air hockey!! So much fun! It has been a while since I have played either, but I still remember how haha. It was good to hear that Dani's trip was fun! And that school is going well! Although I am still not totally convinced she is going to school, that is super convenient that it starts right after I leave and will end right before I get back.... haha

I wish I had more to tell you about my week, but we mostly just went tracting, some lady that we found tracting the first week I was here was a pretty promising potential investigator, and she cancelled on us 3 times this week... she is sick, so she has an excuse, it is just frustrating. Also, we ran into this couple that was very interesting to say the least, they were nice people, or at least they came across as nice people at first, and they tried to put us down, telling us that we didn't know what we were doing with our lives, and that we didn't know how to really work. That actually made me smile and just think to myself, she has no idea, because I can guarantee you missionary work is harder than any other work she has ever done in her life, and because I have never been as sure as I am about my life than right now, being on a mission.

Well, I love you guys!! Keep writing and telling me what's going on! Dani tell me how everything goes with.... everything haha too many things to name off! But I hope all is well at home! And I will write again next week!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. I got the package today! Thanks so much!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Dinner with the Members

Elders Schaap and Walker
Photo by Jeffrey Borgholthaus
Brother Borgholthaus sent me this picture yesterday via email. He's in the Patuxent Ward with the Elders, and they had the missionaries over for dinner at their home Sunday night. He took this picture and said he always enjoyed receiving pictures of his son when he was on his mission, so he thought that Sister Walker and I would enjoy this. How thoughtful! I love it! It's so nice to know there are great people like Brother Borgholthaus looking out for our missionaries!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Keep on Tractin'!

Hello Family and Everyone else!

I am doing good, it is freakin hot here, but other than that everything is good! My first week out in the mission field was a busy one! We actually taught a lesson last week on Wednesday night a.k.a. my first day here so that was pretty exciting, we taught a man named Tyrone, he is awesome and has a lot of questions about the gospel, hopefully he and his wife will eventually be baptized before I get transfered! Thursday was a really busy day, we had 3 appointments with some other pretty solid investigators that all have a good chance of being baptized before I leave, so that will be good. There was an Elder here just before me, and he was here for I think 3 transfers and he only had 1 baptism, so we are doing our best to get that number up! Well the other day, I think it was Friday, I went tracting for the first time, man it was hot!!! I think it was about 98 degrees and 60% humid, Dani, would you rather..... Be in 98 and 60 here in D.C. or...... Be in like AZ and have it be a dry 110???? I don't know, but I think I am leaning more towards AZ haha

Anyways, I knocked my first door yesterday! Yikes! It went ok, I was way nervous though! I didn't know what to say!!! Hopefully I become more comfortable with that by the end of this transfer. Things are going good though, other than the fact that it is really really really hot. How are things at home? I had no idea Pres M's dad died, that is way sad, but yeah he didn't even say anything to us. Dani how's your freakin trips???? That's good to hear that Brad isn't a chump hahaha just kidding, I knew he wouldn't be. Well you should be on that one show, because you are having the BEST WEEK EVER haha seriously though... let me know how everything goes.

Oh, also yeah we get fed every night by members haha get this, they have a list at church that people sign up to feed us, yeah.... it's filled for the next like 3 weeks haha so awesome! One more thing, I don't know if I said this yet, but this area is way greener than I thought it would be! I thought it would be like all city and developed, nope there are tons of trees, way more than Utah. Well I gotta get going, but hope you guys have a great week, and Dad, freakin get better!!!!!! Love you guys!!

Elder Schaap

P.S. Also, tell Jake that's sweet!!! (Jake Nelson got his call to the Arkansas Little Rock Mission and leaves Nov. 10) And freakin tell him to email me!! haha Thanks

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Welcome to Patuxent!

Hey everyone!! I made it to D.C.! The flights sucked, but what do you expect when you leave at 1 in the morning? We got to D.C., and the airport here is huge!!! It has a train in it! haha but our luggage got lost because our layover in Georgia was too short for them to be able to get it into our flight to D.C. When we first got here, we went straight to the Temple, and I have to say, all of those pictures I saw of it, definitely didn't do it justice, it is unreal how pretty the Temple here is, definitely my favorite. I tried to take some pictures to show you how amazing it really is, but you all know how good of a photographer I am... After that however, Pres and Sister Matsumori let us sleep, thank goodness, I think I got a total of maybe an hour and a half of sleep on our flights, but I slept well in the mission home, so it was way nice. Other than that though, on the first day here we just went over some random stuff about what we should know, and things we need to learn about the area here. Sister Matsumori made some awesome food for us too, spare ribs for dinner, and this morning she made a breakfast casserole!

Well I am an official missionary now, I didn't really count it at the MTC, but I am now! My trainers name is Elder Walker, he is from Spanish Fork, he doesn't know our cousins though. He is a pretty cool guy, and I think he will be an excellent trainer. The area I am serving in is called Patuxent, I think it is the 2nd most south area in the mission. It is very nice here, there is definitely a lot more trees and things here than I thought there would be, I thought it would be mostly city, but it really isn't. Oh, the humidity..... SUCKS!!!! Holy cow, it is bad, haha one of the kids that drove with us back from the mission home had his glasses fog up as soon as he stepped out of the car! All those people that were telling me that it is way humid here were definitely right. Hmm... I don't really know what else to tell you, the Matsumori's had all of us new missionaries do a session at the Temple with our trainers, so that was a pretty cool experience, we live within walking distance of the church, and there is a Five Guys and a bakery very close as well. We are about 2 hours from the mission home, so I won't be seeing much of the Matsumori's for a little while probably. My companion tells me that we get fed by members nearly every night, Score!! Well I still have to unpack tonight, it is weird, I am really here!

- Elder Schaap

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm in DC!

Just a quick note - Robbie called us last night from the Salt Lake airport. It was REALLY good to talk to him! And then we got a fun phone call early this afternoon from President Matsumori to let us know that he had arrived in DC just fine. There was a little problem with the luggage because their connection in Atlanta was so close, but they think the luggage will be coming on the next flight or two. All is well in DC, and President Matsumori is happy to get his first new group of Elders. It sure was fun to talk to him. He was calling all of the missionary moms to let them know that their sons had arrived safely. What a nice thing to do! I'm sure glad that Robbie will be in the mission field with the Matsumoris presiding over his mission. They are really great people, and I feel very safe knowing that they will be watching over Robbie for the next two years!


Monday, August 2, 2010

Off to DC!

Rob and Cousin Jess at MTC

Rob and Sean at MTC

DC and Atlanta Elders leaving on 8/3

Rob and Bro. Tanner, his MTC teacher

Rob's MTC Zone

Hey everyone! It is so weird to be in the middle of my last day here at the MTC, I feel like I just got here! But it has been good, and I am ready to finally get to this wonderful D.C. that I have been hearing so much about. Well thanks for the packages this week!!! Everyone was jealous of my Dr. Peppers! ha! Also thanks for my pillow and sheets. Yesterday was fast Sunday... longest day of my life!! I almost didn't eat for 24 hours, from 6:45 pm - 4:30 pm the next day! Yikes!! Mom I hope your trip was fun to vegas and all!! By the way, I am sorry if I don't get to all the questions you asked me, but I am limited on time, its ok though, after this week I won't be. As far as my travel Itinerary, no families at the airport, but I leave from SLC at 12:50 AM and get to Atlanta, GA at 6:22 local time, or 4:22 Utah time, we have a 1 hour layover in Georgia, and then we fly to Washington Dulles Airport and get their at 9:10 AM local time, 7:10 Utah time I know I can call from SLC airport, and I would assume that I can call from DC when I get there, but I don't know yet, if not I am sure they will let us email or something just to tell you we got their safely. One last thing, Dani you didn't think I forgot did you??? How the freak was your phone call?!?! I got a sweet letter from BB this week, he gave me some pretty good advice, tell him to give me his address so I can write him back! But seriously Dani, tell me all about it, did you take a picture when you got the call?? haha I bet your face was soooo funny! I wish I could have been there!

Well like I said before, I am freaking out a little bit about actually getting to D.C., I feel like there is tons of pressure on me, but I am sure I will have a good trainer that will show me how it's done. Besides, they don't make bad missionary trainers right? I guess I will find out! It is going to be weird not being with my district 24/7 though, in my district 6 of us are going to D.C. and 4 are going to Georgia Atlanta North, and we don't even fly together, how dumb is that?! No worries though, we will all keep in touch, and afterwards I am sure we will have reunions and things like that. Well keep me up to date on how things are at home! I love hearing everything about it! But time is running short on the computer, so I will talk to you tonight probably around 11:00 or 11:30!!!
- Elder Schaap