Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Transfer #2 - Staying in Patuxent!

Hello Family!!

Good to hear from you all, and that you are doing well! That's crazy that you guys had snow this week, we haven't seen anything like that here, but I am sure we will soon enough. Well this week was really good for us! Donna came to church - for all 3 hours - and had a really good experience. We went over to her house the following day and asked her what she thought of the whole experience, and her response was really funny, it went something like "It was weird, I didn't think anyone was really that nice" haha so it went really well, and the Relief Society did a great job of introducing themselves to her and making her feel comfortable. The best part about that visit was that we gave her a Baptismal Date for Nov. 13th! We are really excited about it and so is she!!

As for Rob and his family, we weren't able to meet with them unfortunately, Rob and his son went on a camp out for scouts Friday - Sunday :( So consequently that means that he can no longer be baptized on the 6th because he has to come to church atleast twice before that can happen, I am not too worried about it though, because we are going to be meeting with him and hopefully his whole family this week and after that the plan is that they will all come to church and have a new baptismal date!

And for transfers...... I will be staying in Patuxent, but I have a new companion, Elder Johnson, it should be a pretty good transfer, it is definitely going to be different for me though, because I am now the one who has to know everything about the area since I have been here the longest. Elder Walker was sent to the Anacostia Central area which I hear is a pretty rough area, but I don't know a whole lot about it. I don't have a picture of me and Elder Johnson yet... maybe next week I will. It has been a pretty interesting day though, because Elder Walker and Elder Nowlin had to go up by themselves to Transfers because there was no way all 4 of us could have fit in the car with all their stuff, so my new companion and my other new roommate had to drive down here by themselves with only the GPS to tell them what to do haha it was a long trip, but they eventually made it. Other than that I really don't have a whole lot for you guys other than

Thanks for the package!! Just what I needed.... more candy haha seriously though I loved it, and the cookies are amazing! Funny story though, the camera you guys sent me is actually older than the one that I have haha the one that I have is 5.0 megapixels and the one you sent is only 4.0. Ha I guess I will just keep it as a back up unless you guys want me to send it back. It is good to hear that Brad got the whole 2 minutes - 2 minutes - 2 minutes - 2 minutes (with the hand motions.... of course) talk, you can't cook a steak any other way (unless of course they are really thick steaks, then it is 3 minutes - 3 minutes - 3 minutes - 3 minutes hahaha) But I love you guys!!! Glad to hear that you are all doing well! That's sweet that you got to go to a jazz game! And I am super bummed that I don't get to go to the USU basketball games this year :( haha I love you guys so much!!! And hope you have a wonderful week! And tell Grandpa to start feeling better!!

- Elder Schaap

Pic #1 - My District
Pic #2 - My Appartment

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

"Why I Believe" Firesides

Hey everyone!!

So good to hear from you guys! I feel like I am not going to be able to recognize anything by the time I come home, so much has changed already, and it has only been 3 months!!! Well this last week was pretty sweet! We had 2 investigators come to church, I don't think I have ever told you about Donna before, but she has a pretty cool story. So Elder Walker and his last companion found Donna and her two neighbors, Leon and Cook, when they first ran into these guys Leon was the most interested in learning more about our church, well a few weeks passed and Cook became more interested, well until just recently, Donna did not seem interested at all, in fact they didn't even give her a Book of Mormon when they first met her, but she has had some struggles lately and is looking for answers that no one was able to answer before she found us! It has been pretty cool to see! It seems like everytime we go over there she is always stressed out about something, but by the time we leave she has settled down and relaxed. The coolest thing was that on Monday, while we were over there, she decided all on her own that she needed to stop smoking! Me and Elder Walker were in disbelief!!! She said that after she finished the one pack she had (which had like 3 cigarettes in it) that she was going to quit, well we went over there yesterday to give her a book, and there was a big old sign on her fridge that said "I QUIT" it was so amazing to see, she isn't kidding about it! She won't even let anyone smoke in her house anymore, and we are going back over there tomorrow to give her a packet on how to stop smoking! Pretty sweet stuff!

We also had the chance to see Rob on Monday, and we were actually late to his house because Donna had so many questions. But our visit with Rob went really well, and we are going back to his house this Friday to have dinner with him and he is going to introduce us to his whole family! He also said that he wants to go to one of our members homes for dinner and meet them the following day, and then come to church - with his whole family - on Sunday! We are very excited for him his family!! Hopefully they will all be ready to be baptized by Nov. 6th!! Definitely keep them in your prayers!

So this last Sunday was pretty cool, other than the fact that we had 2 investigators at church, Elder Walker and I went to the Visitor's Center for what is called a "Why I Believe" Fireside. We went with a recent convert in the Ward, his name is Bob, and he gave the opening prayer at the meeting! But the Fireside is very cool, they have a couple of recent converts speak about how they met the missionaries, what made them convert and things like that, they are held every month hopefully we will be taking Rob and his family to the next one! The last speaker's name was Barrett Christensen, and he works in the LDS Philanthropy office, he gave us some cool stats from 2009 about what the church's humanitarian aid had done in the previous year.

I got the packages, Thank You!!!! Dad, the raincoat is sweet!!! I like it a lot, there is no need to get another one, it will just be more weight to carry around. That's cool that you guys had dinner with the missionaries and the Robbs'!! Freakin Billy is huge!! I haven't been gone that long have I? And tell Kendall she better write me back! Crazy! Mom, what's with the new car?!?! haha and I see that you still didn't sell Dani's car yet! And that story about Jordan is too funny haha Dani, glad to hear that you had a good fall break! But it's back to work now!! Keep it up! Well I love you guys so much!! Give Grandpa my Best! I hope that everything works out there!!! And I hope you guys have a great week!!! Love you!!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. The pictures are from the Visitor's Center display that they have going on right now, and the Temple!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Baptism on Nov. 6!

Hey Hey Hey!!

So good to hear from you guys! Things are going really well here! We have a new baptismal date!! Our investigators name is Rob, and he is scheduled to be baptized on Nov. 6th! I am pretty excited about it, especially because he has a sweet story, here it is: So his mom is catholic and his dad is southern baptist, and he remembers one time as a little kid when the missionaries came to his door and told he and his dad that if they read from the Book of Mormon and prayed to ask to know if it was true, that God would answer their prayers. Well since his dad is Baptist, he wouldn't let Rob read from it and hid it from him, but this always sparked his interest and apparently has been wanting to meet with missionaries again so that he could get his hands on one of these books. Fast Forward to about 1 month before we met him, Rob and his wife were recently talking about what church they and their two kids were going to start attending, and then what happens, we show up on his door step! Such a cool story! And we are way excited for it, so hopefully I am still here when it all goes down! Transfers are on the 26th this month (Yes I know that is a tuesday, but pres matsumori has meetings that he has to be at on Wed, Thurs, and Fri, that means P-day will be that day as well) I really think that I will stay though, so I am pumped!! The best part about the whole thing is that if he gets baptized, it is almost guaranteed that his whole family will as well!! We are very excited for that!

Other than that, we had a mission conference this last friday, and Elder Gibbons from I believe the 2nd quorum of the seventy came and spoke to us. It was a very good meeting, the main focus of it was how we can more effectively work with members, and he gave us a few interesting stats, 65% of all recent converts are referalls from members, and 80% of all recent converts knew members before they were baptized, so it goes to show us that if we are working with our members, our chance of success is much better!! Pretty sweet stuff! So we are going to try and do just that!

Well that is about all I have for you guys this week!! Keep the updates coming, that is sweet that you met a missionaries that lived in Austin's area! 3 baptisms in 3 weeks?!?! There is a member in the ward here that served in the Salt Lake City South Mission, and he said that there is roughly 180 baptisms a month in that mission! Dinner with the Robbs' sounds fun too! I haven't gotten the packages yet, everything goes to the mission office before it actually makes it to me, so things generally take around 7-8 days to make it here, but I am excited!! And don't worry about another coat, its not a huge deal. Glad everything is going well! Everything here is still good! I love you guys a ton, and thanks for everything!!!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

1st General Conference in the Mission Field!

Hello Family!!!

Well this week was pretty sweet! Thursday was crazy!!! I don't know if you saw anything about the weather here, but there was the end of a tropical storm passing over us, and we received about 12 inches of rain from what I hear, whatever it was, there was a ton of it!!! Didn't stop us though haha we still did our normal thing. Friday, I had my first CDM, which is where we get interviewed by President, it was pretty cool being able to sit and talk one on one with him for a minute, but it really wasn't much of an interview, he just asked if there was anything that he could do for me, and then I was out of there.

As for Conference, I was able to watch all 10 hours of it in our ward building here! And it was sweet, I loved every minute of it, I even took notes!! Pretty cool, some of my favorites were Elder Holland on Saturday morning, when he talked about the sacrifice that his parents had made so that he could go on a mission really made me think about you guys, and everything that you have done, and are currently doing for me to be able to be out here, it kind of put a new perspective on things for me, and really made me appreciate you guys more! One of the others that stuck out to me was Pres. Uchtdorf's, both of them actually, when he talked about focusing on the simple things, and the quote "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" I love that, so many times in our lives we get to caught up in the little details of things when we really just need to take a step back and look at the big picture. His one about Pride was really good as well, and he had some very good incites, one of the things that stuck out to me was when he said something to the effect of when we are prideful it either means we are jealous of someone or we want someone to be jealous of us, there is quite a bit of that out here, he also said that we can be grateful for blessings, but don't inhale them, that was a funny statement, but profound at the same time so many times in our lives we take advantage of those things that we have when really we should be grateful for them. My other favorite talk was by Elder Bednar about the Holy Ghost, I loved how he said that just because we have been given the gift of the Holy Ghost, doesn't neccessarily mean we have received it, it doesn't just come to us with out us putting forth effort to receive it. I wish I had my notes with me right now, I would probably be able to go in to greater details on what I got out of them, but maybe I will just write a letter home this next P-Day :)

Other than that though, I would really appreciate if you guys could send out a rain coat for me, if possible I would like to have one that is a black, longer than my suit coat, waterproof, and that has a hood, if you have already got one for me, then disregard those details though haha. Also, if you could send out my Black neoprene gloves, last I remember, they were on my dresser, and if you could my thermals, also in my dresser. Thanks!!

Mom - We actually have a GPS in this area, but if I do go to an area where I need one, I will let you know! And yes I believe they do give the conference Ensigns to us, and we also have a monthly subscription I think. And Thanks so much for the gift cards!!!! I can assure you they will be put to good use!!

Dad - I am sorry to hear about Kyle, that is a rough situation, especially for Marilyn. I haven't heard anything about the stink bugs though. And General conference has not really had any effect on the work here, other than the fact that we tell people that they can hear the living prophet on tv!

Dani - I look forward to getting your letter!!! Keep powering through these two days until your break!!! You can do it!!

Love you guys!!!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. Check out the choir in Priesthood Session, Sean was right behind the chorister!! That was so cool to see him!!