Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Merry Christmas and Another Great Week!

Hey everyone!

So good to talk with you guys on Sunday!!! Thanks for all the pics of your Christmas!!! Ha I love the shirt Dad!!! Classic... And Dani, you have no excuses not to email me anymore seeing how you can email from just about anywhere on the planet now with your fancy new gadget!

Well this email is going to be short, because not a whole lot has happened since Sunday.

We met with our cute little 10 yr old investigator again last night, and it went really well. Her Mom and Sister both sat in on the lesson! And things are on track for her to be baptized on Jan 8th still. We just have one more visit with her, and her interview to go. I am sure I have said this before, but I really hope that this whole experience will be meaningful to both of them, and that her mom will have a renewed commitment to the gospel. They both have made a bunch of progress, and things are going really well.

That is about it for new things around here though, most everyone we talk to tells us to try back after the holidays, but things are going well, and Elder Salanoa and I are having a good time together! Love you guys! Have a good week!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. I am at a different place for email today, and it won't let me send pics ... :( I will send them next week! Love you!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


First things first, Elder Salanoa and I will be staying here together for another 6 weeks in Montgomery Village! I am really excited, we have a lot of good things going for us right now, and hopefully we will start to find more and more people!

We were able to teach the young father we've been working with again this week! And it went really well! He is really starting to understand the gospel better, and apply it to his life. We set a goal for him for baptism on the 29th of January! He has been reading the Book of Mormon, he didn't make it to church this week, but I feel like he knows that this is something that is going to help him in his life, and bless the lives of his family members.

We also met with the young lady that we've been teaching again this past week, and we will be meeting with her again tonight! Hopefully we will be going to the Festival of Lights at the Temple with them sometime this week as well. She is planning on being baptized on the 8th of January. So January should be a really good month for us!

Well, that is sweet that you guys hang out with the Postmas! Because I am totally hanging out with them when I get back! Tell them thanks for the Christmas card! I can't believe that it is almost Christmas again.... crazy, it feels like last Christmas wasn't that long ago!

Anyways, I am PUMPED to talk to you guys on Sunday! I don't know the exact time or anything yet, but they told us that we could text home to figure all that stuff out, so be expecting that sometime before Sunday!

I Love you guys! Thanks for all that you do! Can't wait to hear your voices on Sunday!! Talk to you soon!

- Elder Schaap

Pic 1 - We are the body guards haha

Pic 2 - 3 Generations!

Pic 3 - Every last District Meeting of the transfer we play a game. This one is called "Planner Check," You hold your planner on the back of your hand, and a rolled up magazine in the other, and try and hit others planners off of their hands while trying to keep yours on your hand. Its pretty fun!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Great Investigators!

Hey Everyone!

Man this week went by really fast. I can't believe I call home in less than two weeks now! I am not sure of all the details yet... I will probably let you know next week when it is closer. As far as I know though, we will not be doing parking on Christmas day, so don't need to worry about that.

But we had a really good week! I don't remember if I told you or not, but we had been having a hard time finding people that were willing to even listen to us the past couple of weeks, but this last week we started teaching two new people! One of them is a friend of a member in our ward, and he has actually come to church a few times. He has a Buddhist background, so it is interesting to teach some one that doesn't have any Christian background at all, but it is very cool, and he is really interested. We are really excited about him, he just recently had a son and that is what kind of sparked off this whole thing. He came to church again though, and to the ward christmas party, so we are very hopeful for him, we are meeting with him again on Friday.

We also met a guy who is from Tanzania, it was funny how we met him, we were going around his neighborhood, and his two little daughters were playing outside, and they went in and got him for us. He let us right in and told us that he had actually met with missionaries when he was living in Europe like 10 years ago, and he already had a copy of the Book of Mormon. We talked with him for probably an hour or so, and he wants us to come back and talk more with him. So we will see how that goes, we are just gratefull that someone let us in to talk with them.

As for our cute little 10 yr old investigator, she is doing really well, we are planning on the first of the year for her. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation last night, and it went great! I just hope that I am still here when all that happens... Transfers are this coming week, and I have a feeling that I am leaving, but who knows.

We also had our Mission Christmas party two days ago, do you remember me telling you about last year's? Anyway, we got to watch Kung Fu Panda 2, so that was fun! Not gonna lie though... I fell asleep at the end of it, so I am going to have to watch it again sometime.

I got Ashley's wedding announcement... that was pretty weird! Not the announcement itself haha, but getting the announcement! Oh, and when I told Sister Allen (Ashley's cousin), she told me that no one in her family even told her about it yet haha. I am excited for her though, that should be fun!

Well, I think that is about all I have for you this week! Oh... I got the Christmas package! Thanks! haha I put up that tree! I will have to take a picture of it for you! Oh, and transfers are on Tuesday, so that is when I will get on the computer as well. Love you guys, thanks for everything!! Have a good week, and I will talk to you soon!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Service to Others


How is everyone? It sounds like the weather is starting to cool down over there! I kind of wish that it would over here! I don't know for sure, but I think it has been if not in the 60's then close to it. I want to have snow! Soon enough I guess.

Anyways, things are going well. We are having a rough time finding people that are interested in the gospel though, it is not from a lack of effort, it just seems like no one really wants to hear us out. Everyone seems to get really busy around the holidays, and I guess they don't have time for us or something. It won't stop us from trying however, hopefully we will be able to find some people that are willing to listen to us.

As for our 10 year old little girl and her mom that we are teaching, they are doing really well. We met with them again last night, and I was amazed at how much the little girl is able to understand. I think back to when I was 10 years old, and I don't think that I understood nearly as much as she does. It has been really cool to see the transformation that has occurred in her mom, and how teaching her daughter has helped her to strengthen her own testimony.

Unfortunately that is about all of the progress that we were able to make with our investigators, but like I have said before, we have been starting to work with our members more. On Monday, we were able to have a cool experience with one of the families in our ward. We did service for them in the morning by helping them clean their back yard up, because the husband just recently had knee surgery, and isn't able to do much physical labor. And then that evening we went over to their house for dinner, and we taught an FHE lesson on Christmas and giving to others.

I guess before I was a missionary, I thought of missionary work as knocking on doors, and teaching people who were not members of our church about our church. I never really thought that I would be teaching people who are already members, but it has been pretty amazing to me to see how missionaries can have an impact on individuals, families, or even an entire ward by teaching them.

Well I love you guys! Thanks for the emails! And for the package! Hope you have a great week! Can't wait to talk to you! Love you!

- Elder Schaap

Pics from the Festival of the Lights

Pics from the Thanksgiving Feast of Sharing that the Mission helped with (These are on the mission blog at Thanks Sister Matsumori!). Elder Schaap was in the early crew that helped to prepare the meal. They carved 350 turkeys and cut about 900 pies. The later crew served the meal. Approx. 4,000 people were served that day.

Pics from the CDM (combined district meeting) for Seneca Zone (Sister Matsumori again)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Hello Everyone!

Sounds like there has been a bunch of stuff going on back there! Glad to hear that Thanksgiving went well! Sorry I missed out on the pies! They sound really good!

Our Thanksgiving was pretty fun, we played soccer in the morning (our Elder's Quorum tried to organize a turkey bowl the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and we didn't think too many people would show up, so we got like 10 people to come play soccer with us), and it was really fun, after that we were running around all day to different members homes to eat their food. I think that members kind of get a kick out of watching how much the missionaries can eat haha, because we would tell them that we were already going to someone's home for dinner and they would say, "Just come over, and you can have a piece of pie or something." I can't even tell you how many pieces of pie I ate, but it was a lot. Oh, and there is a member in one of the wards that doesn't want the missionaries to go with out having left over turkey for sandwiches... So he buys each companionship a turkey, has one of the members cook it for us, and then they just give it to us. They weren't small either, probably like 18 lbs each, so we had A LOT of food. I was missing Uncle Rick's stuffing though, and I didn't have any candied yams... I bet you guys did though!

That is sweet that you got to go to the Postma's homecoming! They are the best! I bet they did a great job! And that's sweet that you met Elder Vakalahi! Tell him that he better hang out with me when I get back!

Anways, as you can imagine, this last week was a little slower as far as missionary work goes, but it was still good! We met with two sisters last night, and it was amazing! I really feel like both of them are starting to understand how the gospel applies to them, they were both asking really good questions, and it was starting to click with them.

We have also been trying to do more with our members in the ward, so we have been teaching lessons at their FHE's, last week we were with our bishop's family, and on Monday we were with our EQP and his family! And it has been going really well!

It is crazy that the Festival of Lights at the Temple is starting up again... but it should give us a lot of opportunities, pretty much everyone around here, even if they are not remotely interested in our church goes to the Festival at one point while it is running.

Well, thanks for all the updates! You guys are the best family that I could ever ask for! I love you! and hope you have a great week!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. Talk to you in less than a month!!!

Pics - Biking in the rain ha!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!


How is everyone? I would bet that you guys are already starting to cook for Thanksgiving! Eat some stuffing for me! We have been doing good though. It has been raining more and more the past few weeks, and I think that soon it will start to snow pretty consistently, which ought to be interesting because our area is huge! And my bike doesn't do too well in the snow... no worries though we will figure something out.

We had some cool experiences this week. President and Sister Matsumori spoke in our ward this week, on missionary work obviously, and it was really neat to see how the ward reacted to their talks. During Priesthood opening exercises, we told the ward that we wanted to start teaching lessons in FHE to families in the ward, and asked if anyone would be interested. Right after we had asked, two people got up and told everyone of the great experiences that they had had with the elders in their home, and then probably about 20 people rose their hands and said that they would like us to come over! So we actually had our first one on Monday night with the Bishop and his family! And it went great!

As for our plans for Thanksgiving, we are going to be going over to one of the members' home and spending most of the day with them. It should be really good, and she is a pretty good cook too! There are a few other members that we will be going to see throughout the day as well, so it should be fun! Oh... and instead of a turkey bowl, we are playing soccer with one of our less active members, and a bunch of his friends!

Well, I hope you guys have fun with Thanksgiving! Take lots of pictures! And I will too! By the way... I am totally entering the pie competition next year! Love you guys!!!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. My speakers broke this last week :( there was a short in one of the wires, I am going to try to look for some new ones, but if you guys could see if they still have them at the Simply Mac store, and find out how much they are that would be great! Thanks!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Elder Kearon, Having a Good Attitude, and Focusing on the Positive

The Kearons and Matsumoris


How is everyone? I hope the trip is going well, and that you guys are having fun! Things here have been going really well, Elder Salanoa and I are getting along great! It has been an interesting experience for me to be teaching a new missionary how to be a missionary. I guess there is a lot of things that now to me are second nature, and I don't even have to really think about them, so I sometimes overlook the fact that he doesn't know what I am doing. Overall though, so far it has been really good, and I am doing my best to make Elder Salanoa's first few weeks of his mission good ones.

Unfortunately we have had another one of those weeks where our appointments just don't seem to hold. He had an interesting first week of his mission though, because it seemed like every single day other than Monday, we had a meeting of some sort to go to.

On Friday, Elder Kearon from the Seventy came and spoke to our mission, and it was a really neat experience. He and his wife covered a number of different topics, I guess the one that stood out the most to me was when he talked about our attitude. He told us straight up that missionary work is not easy, and that our attitude towards the adversities that we face can have a huge impact on our success or even happiness over the course of our missions. It reminded me of a talk given by Elder Wirthlin called "Come What May, and Love It."

We had a pretty cool experience the other day though. We were out checking on a less-active member, and they weren't home, so we turn around to go get our bikes, and we see this lady so we decide to go talk to her. Well we ended up spending probably about an hour and a half talking to her all about the gospel, we were able to clear up some of her misconceptions of our church, and she invited us to come back on Thursday!

I have noticed an interesting trend with conversations about religion lately, and that is that both participants in the conversation want to prove that they are right. It eventually gets to the point where people don't even remember what the original disagreement was on, and really they don't care, as long as they leave the conversation on top. If you think about it, that doesn't do anyone any good (and if this is the case, then neither of them are following the principles they believe anyways!). So I have decided to try a different approach when we talk to people.

With this lady that we met, we could tell that she had done some research on our church, and she had found some things that she didn't quite agree with (obviously right, or she would have joined :P), so when she talked with us about some of her concerns, we were able to see that they were mostly just misunderstandings, and come to find out her beliefs are pretty much in line with those of our church. Hopefully that made sense to you, basically instead of focusing on the negatives we tried to focus on the positives, and it went over a lot better.

Well, I hope all is well back there in Utah! It is raining here today, and I think that we are going to start seeing more and more of that, and that it will continue to get colder. How is the weather there? Let me know! Love you guys, have a good week!!!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's Transfer Day Again!


Well it has been another crazy week here. I haven't been feeling the greatest, not terrible, but not great, and it has been this way for like 2 weeks now... so Elder Pound made me stay in bed all day on Thursday, it is really weird, it is like when I wake up I feel bad, but by lunch time I am all better... I don't know what the deal is, but the Nyquil and stuff that you guys sent has really helped, thanks!

So anyways, yes, transfers were this week, Elder Pound left, and actually went to my old area in DC 3rd. As for me... I am training!! Yep, I got a greenie! I was super nervous at first, but not as much any more. My companion's name is Elder Salanoa, he is from Samoa! We are going to have a lot of fun! He converted to the church about 10 years ago, and he is very excited to get to work, so that is what we are going to do.

This will be a completely new experience for me though... I haven't been with any really young missionaries, but it will be good. They have a pretty cool new program too for Trainers and Trainees that they just started in our mission last transfer, so assuming everything goes normally, we will be spending 12 weeks together. Should be fun!

As for our investigators, we were able to go to the Visitor's Center with one of our investigators, and he had a really good experience! He is moving, slowly but surely. Our other investigator is doing really well, not a ton to tell you about her though, as for now she is still planning on getting baptized on Christmas Day.

We had Stake Conference this week, Elder Cardon came and spoke, and it was really good, he talked a lot about teaching the gospel to others, he gave an awesome example of his strategy in teaching his son at age 15. I would tell you the whole story, but that could take all day, basically he didn't try to force anything on his son. He found something that his son enjoyed doing, and did it with him, and eventually Elder Cardon's son was able to teach himself gospel principles. I probably did a terrible job explaining that to you, but ask me about it when I get home, because it had a pretty profound impact on me.

Well I am pretty freakin jealous that you guys ate TRI-TIP and APPLE PIE with the POSTMA'S... but I guess there isn't a whole lot that you or I can do about that haha. Well, have fun on your trip! Tell Brad good luck, and tell him to practice up too, since I got these new shoes, I am a whole new basketball player! Ha! Just kidding... he would still light me up with one arm behind his back! Well, love you guys! Thanks so much for everything! By the way, there should be a package coming to you guys very soon... I sent it last wednesday, so let me know if you get it! Love you!

- Elder Schaap

Elder Salanoa and I at the VC!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Schaaps and Postmas Finally Meet!

We had the Postmas over tonight for dinner - what a treat!!! They've been Robbie's second parents and guardian angels out in the mission field in DC while he's been there, and they just returned from their mission last Friday. We couldn't wait to meet them, and what a great time we had tonight laughing and crying and chatting over dinner. We love you Postmas! ---

Steve & Marcie

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Mission Highs and Lows

Hello Everyone!

So good to hear from all of you! Things here are going pretty good, I can't believe that next week is transfers... crazy how fast time goes.

This week was a little rough to be honest, we had a lot of appointments, that we had members scheduled to go to with us, that fell through, and when that happens, there isn't a whole lot we can do. We have some things set up for the rest of this week, and Sunday is Stake Conference for us, and I believe it is Elder Cardon (I think) that is coming, and he is having a special meeting for Investigators and Recent Converts, so we are trying to get a few people to that, which should be sweet!

It was cool to have our sister investigators come to both the Trunk-or-Treat, and the Halloween party this last week! I think that they are really starting to get back into the whole church thing which is really good to see. I think that they are understanding more and more what the gospel is all about, and how it is here to bless our lives. We are meeting with them on Thursday, and hopefully we are going to get members to have them over for FHE's and stuff like that once a week!

Not really any other notable news unfortunately, we have been working hard this past week, we just were dealt some bad cards I guess, this next week should be much better though! Sorry for being so short this week! Love you guys! Looking forward to the package!

- Elder Schaap

Pic 1 - The first snow (Oct 29)

Pics 2 & 3 - We went to the driving range today, it was sweet! I gotta say, for the first time swinging a club in like 16 months, I did pretty well too...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Opening Doors


How is everyone?? Hopefully really well! It sounds like you guys are starting to get some of the same weather over there that we have been having here. It is starting to get quite a bit colder, I even had to pull out my hat! That is sweet that you guys got to hear Elder Bednar speak this last week! I don't remember if I told you or not, but Elder Kearon will be coming to our mission at the beginning part of November, so that should be pretty sweet!

This week has been pretty awesome! We had a cool experience on Friday, one of our members has been trying to set up a time to have us and their friends over to dinner, and we were finally able to do it this week. It was awesome, everything pretty much went great, and they were asking a lot of good questions. We talked all about the Plan of Salvation, and the Restoration of the Gospel! And the couple that we were teaching seemed very interested!

We also had a meeting with another investigator, and he is actually reading from the Book of Mormon, and getting things out of it! This may not seem like a huge thing to you guys, but they were working with him for about 2 months or so before I got here, and hadn't really gotten anywhere, so we pretty much just laid it all out for him.

Other than that, things are going good here, my legs are getting in pretty darn good shape, so Dani and Mom - Watch out! Just kidding, there is no way that I could ride 100 miles... that's crazy! But we rode to the furthest (and highest) part of our area the other day, and I was able to do it with out too many problems, it took us 37 minutes haha I timed it on my watch. Just a little sidenote... the first time Elder Pound took me there, we had an appointment, we got to the end (the biggest hill) and knocked on the guy's door, and he said, "Oh, I forgot we were meeting! Right now isn't a good time." I wanted to ask him if he realized the size of the hill we just rode up to get to his house... haha I was a little upset to say the least.

Anyways, thanks for the package, I just got it today! The shoes are sweet, and they fit!! Love you guys! Have a good week!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. Sister Matsumori started a mission blog! It's at

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Love Those Why I Believe Firesides!

Our zone activity today -- Laser Tagging!

Trying out my Lumberjack skills

The Postmas and Me!

Hello Family!

Things have been pretty crazy this week! I don't even know where to start! So Wednesday night, we met with that investigator that I was telling you about, and it went really well! Unfortunately, he wasn't able to make it to church on Sunday, but we are going to be meeting with him tomorrow night again, and hopefully we will get to meet his wife as well!

And then, a few weeks ago, I called the Postmas and told them that I needed to see them one last time before they left, so they came and took Elder Pound and I to lunch! It was really good to be able to spend time with them before they leave, apparently they are leaving on the day of Halloween. That morning though, we walked out of our room, and it turns out that one of the hoses in our hot water heater had sprung a leak during the middle of the night... so we had a little bit of flooding in our apartment! No worries though, none of our stuff was ruined, luckily all the flooding was close to the kitchen, so that was really the only part that was affected. So we have been trying to take care of that a lot of this week, hopefully we will be moving apartments soon...

Anyways, our investigators from California came to church and "Why I Believe" with us this Sunday, it was awesome, they had a really good time. I also got to see the Postmas at the fireside! Then on Monday night, we were able to go over there with our Bishop, and answer a few of their questions that they had. We actually had dinner with our Bishop on Monday night, and he was running a little late, so we were just sitting outside on a bench that we had, and his neighbor came up to us and introduced himself, and asked if he could ask us a few questions, it was really cool, and eventually when Bishop returned home, he joined in on the conversation as well. I don't know if we will ever teach him again, but it was a great opportunity for us and the bishop especially to bear his testimony to his neighbor!

Thanks for all the emails and updates! It is so great to hear from you guys every week! I love the shoes, they are sweet! Sorry to hear that it is getting cold there already, it hasn't been too bad here... but I think it probably will start getting a lot colder very soon, that is ok though, I would much prefer it be really cold than really hot!

Glad to hear that Austin's homecoming went well! Tell him he should send me an outline of what he said! Thank you guys for everything! I Love you and hope you have a great week!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. Oh yeah - there's a Cafe Rio in Olney, MD - Wahoo! and rumors of 5 more coming soon to the DC area. Awesome!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Teaching in Mo-Ville

Hi Everyone!

It seems like time keeps going faster and faster, and I feel like I don't even remember what has happened in the last week! Anyways, we were able to meet with the less-active member from California and her daughter again yesterday, and they came to church on Sunday as well! And we invited them to come to "Why I Believe" with us this Sunday, so it should be great! They are pretty much our main focus right now, and hopefully we will be meeting with them a more frequently.

Other than them, we haven't been able to have a whole lot of teaching opportunities, and not too many people are interested in what we have to share with them. We did have a cool experience though at one of our members' homes, they invited us over for lunch on Monday, but they didn't tell us that they were planning on having a non-member there for an FHE lesson afterward, it was really cool too because it was about half in Spanish, and half in English, there was another member there who served his mission in Mexico, and he taught the lesson on missionary work of all things! It was great!

We have an appointment with an investigator tonight, who I have only met once, and apparently they had been teaching him for a few weeks before I got here, but it should be good, and we have a member coming with us as well!

I love you guys, and I hope that everything is going well, thanks for all that you guys do! You are the best! Have a good week! Love you!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mo-Ville and Conference

...So we have a ping-pong table in our appartment, and we decided to take some action pics, and I tried to make some good faces! Haha enjoy!

Hello Everyone!

Well things have been going like crazy here in the Montgomery Village (we call it Mo-Ville for short) ward, it is A LOT different than Bowie, there are spanish and french missionaries that cover the same area that we do, and I have roommates, so we are around a lot of missionaries all the time where as in Bowie, it was pretty much just me and my companion for the most part. And I am really sore from riding my bike so much... guess I need to get back into shape! Things are really good though, we had a sweet experience happen this last week, we found a less-active member that has recently moved from California, and her records aren't even in the ward yet, but we were able to have dinner with her and her daughter on Monday, and it turns out that they are having sort of a tough time in life right now, but they want to get back to church, and the daughter has not been baptized yet, so hopefully we will be able to reactivate the mom as well as have the daughter be baptized.

I was able to meet quite a bit of the members, even though this week was general conference, but I can already tell that this ward is awesome, and they want to do missionary work. Speaking of conference, I thought it was amazing! As usual! Some of my favorite talks were both of Uchtdorf's (naturally...) he always seems to have a way of putting things so that it makes sense to me, Elder Christoffersen's talk about repentance, and all of the missionary talks as well. Unfortunately we weren't able to have any investigators at conference though. And sorry, I don't have my notes on me right now, or else I would go into more depth, but I took a bunch of notes!

Elder Pound and I are doing good, even though he sometimes has no mercy on the bikes for me haha, so things are going great, and we work really well together. It is kind of nice... ok, it is really nice to not have to worry about teaching my companion how to do missionary work, not that I have ever really had to do that, but it is cool, because we can just hit the ground running rather than having to get everything in order beforehand. But all is well here in Mo-Ville, and it should be a fun transfer! I hope you guys are doing good! It is so weird to see you guys and Austin in the same picture.... yikes! Hope everything is going good though! And thanks for the shoes, they came yesterday! Love you!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hello Montgomery Village!


Well I hate to say, but my time in Bowie has come to an end (for now)! It was really hard to say goodbye to the people there, I think that is why people don't usually stay in an area that long, because you get too attached to the people there. Anyways, I am excited to meet new people, and to work with a new companion! I am now in the Montgomery Village ward, and my new companion is Elder Pound, he has been out just one transfer less than I have, and it seems like there is a lot of good things happening in this ward. I am going to be on a bike, and apparently this is the biggest bike area in our mission... so I will be able to get rid of some of the weight that I got in Bowie haha this first week will probably be a little difficult, it will be good though.

We had a cool experience last night, the last few days were crazy because I wanted to say goodbye to a bunch of families in the ward, and people that I had worked with, and we didn't know how we were going to see all these people with the amount of time that we had. Anyways we got a call from a member telling us that she had been talking with her neighbor who had been having a lot of health problems recently, and wanted us to give her a blessing. We were able to go over there, and it was a very cool experience, and even though I won't be able to continue working with her, we were able to set up another visit with her on Friday. She definitely felt something, and she told us that her faith had been struggling lately. Hopefully she will be able to remember how she felt as she received her blessing.

Unfortunately that is about all I have to report this week, hopefully we will have some people at general conference this weekend! And I will have some sweet stories to tell you!! Love you guys! Thanks so much for all that you do for me!!! Have a good week!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. Tell Uncle Rick, Happy Birthday for me!!!
and tell Austin hi as well! I can't believe he is coming home already!!! And tell him that I got his letter and will write back soon!
Love you guys!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Almost Moving Time....


Man this week was crazy! Friday was our President's interviews, and although President didn't come right out and say that I was leaving, he told me to "finish strong" haha so I am pretty sure that I will be going to a new area next week. I am ok with it though, I love it here in Bowie, but it is time for a change. I don't know what happened when President said that though, because all of the sudden we have a packed full week! So it should be good!

Well, I spoke in church this last week, it went ok, I thought it could have been better, I wish I would have had more time to prepare, but things were crazy, and I only had a few days' notice. Not too bad overall, except for the fact that we told all of our investigators that I was speaking, and not a single one came to hear me... One came late to church, but he wasn't there when I spoke.

We had a great experience at the Visitor's Center with an investigator couple on Sunday, she loved it, but he was kind of indifferent, but it was a good experience overall. Elder Kennedy and I have been noticing a trend with our investigators, we work with them for a little while, a relationship develops, they may come to church a few times, but they don't read the Book of Mormon, so we have tried to put more emphasis on the Book of Mormon with our investigators, and explain to them, that to get an answer whether it is true or not, they cannot just passively read it, but it has to be something they really want, to the point where they would do just about anything to get their answer.

Anyways, sorry, but I have to be short today. It was good to hear from you guys though, Hope you have a great week! Love you!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fall Sports Day

Man, it sounds like you guys had an awesome week! Glad to hear that everything went well with LOTOJA! That is awesome!

This week was pretty good for us too! Our ward is trying to implement what is called the "Perry Plan" which I could go into a bunch of detail about, but basically it is a way for the full-time missionaries to be more involved in the reactivation process of less-active members, and it is just getting started, but we are already seeing good things come from it, I will let you know how that goes over the next few weeks.

As for our investigators, they are all doing very well, we had a few meetings with one sister, and she is very excited to go to the "Why I Believe" fireside with us this Sunday! And hopefully she will be coming to church too, because I just found out yesterday that I will be speaking in Sacrament meeting this Sunday as well! I will be talking about how to prepare to receive the Priesthood, and to serve a mission. So should be good! And hopefully I will be able to convince our investigators to come to church by telling them that I will be speaking! Haha!

Yesterday we met with another sister, and she actually read her Book of Mormon!!! And not only that, she actually comprehended everything, and had questions for us! Still not sure why it has taken over 3 months to get to that point, but I am just happy that she has actually started to not only read, but she has had at least a little taste of some of the blessings that the gospel has to offer, hopefully she continues to do so!

Today was Fall Sports Day... weird to think it has been a whole year since the last one! It was fun though, to be able to see some of the friends that I have made out here, although, I think I am going to be pretty sore tomorrow haha oh well, it was worth it.

Well, it was good to hear from you guys, sorry I missed the "Juanito Bandito" haha sounds like I would probably enjoy it a lot though! And yes I did get the letter from the primary, today actually!! Always good to get stuff like that!

Love you guys! Hope you have a good week!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Making some progress


So good to hear from you guys, sounds like you guys are having a good time getting ready for LOTOJA! That will be sweet, you will have to tell me all about it!

Things have been going really good for us here! This week was a lot better than a lot of our previous weeks, Elder Kennedy and I are both feeling much better, and we were able to have good visits with all of our investigators!

We met with one of our investigators last night, and watched a short video with her and discussed kind of where she was at, also found out that she still is not reading... she keeps promising us that she is going to do it, but everytime we go over there it seems like something comes up, and she wasn't able to do it, so we are going to follow up with her constantly until she is doing it on her own. It was a good visit though, we had two different members there to help teach, and they were able to connect with her. Hopefully, she will start to progress more than she has been.

We met with another investigator yesterday, not so much her husband, he had to be somewhere, but it was a really good visit with her, and she told us that she wants to start learning more, and having us over for more formal teaching visits!

And we were able to talk with another young man for a little bit, and find out where he is at, like I said before, it is going to be a little slower with him, but he actually came to church this week on his own! His wife was sick, so she couldn't make it. He came and sat next to me, and we were able to have a good chat.

Another cool thing that happened this week, a family in our ward has been working with one of their friends, and so this week they asked him if he would like to meet with us and learn more about the church, and he said that he would! So that is going to start next week! Apparently he has already been reading the Book of Mormon as well! So we are really excited about that!

But that's about all I have for you this week! I love you guys! And I hope you have a great week! Let me know how everything goes with the bike race!!! Love you!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Natural Disasters...

Pic 1 - Me being sick haha

Pic 2 - All of the "destruction" that Irene caused haha

Pic 3 - Backflip pic from last week

Well, this last week really was crazy! We had two natural disasters!! Haha, unfortunately neither of them were really the full thing, they were just tastes of the real thing. We really didn't have any damage to our car, our apartment, or anything really... Pres. M was right, I think most of the missionaries were a little disappointed, I know that Elder Kennedy and I were! We didn't even lose power!!

It was kind of weird actually, because both of us were sick this past week, I came down with a cold on Thursday, and then the next day, Elder Kennedy got a stomach bug, so we were both out of commission for a few days, including most of the storm. So church was cancelled this last week, and leading up to the storm, all we were doing was going around trying to help people for the storm in any way we could. It was pretty funny actually, I guess people here aren't used to all these natural disasters, and so when they hear that something is going to happen, they kind of go crazy haha Elder Kennedy and I went to the store on Friday to pick up a few things just to make sure we were ready, and one of the things that I wanted to get was some bread, you wouldn't believe that there was not a single loaf of bread in the entire store, the shelves were clean! It was really funny!

Anyways though, things are still going well for us here, I am finding out that being in an area for 4 transfers is not easy... I can't put my finger on exactly what it is, however, it is not impossible. Our finding efforts were kind of put on hold for a bit this last week, because of the sickness and natural disasters and all, but our investigators are doing well! We are meeting with one of our investigator couples tonight, still trying to get them to the VC with us and their neighbors who referred them to us, so I will let you know how that goes. One of our other investigators is still moving a little slow, we found out this week that he does not like to be pushed, and even though we have tried to be sensitive to that, his wife told us that we should try to slow it down a little more. The good news is, we should be starting to meet with them on a more regular basis. I think they are getting settled in to the married life now. As for another lady we're teaching, we had a good meeting with her last week, and the member that went with us told her that he and his wife would go over to her house and do FHE with her! Which will be really good for her, because she doesn't feel like she understands the scriptures when she reads them by herself.

That's about it for this week, like I said, it was pretty crazy, but not much worse than some of the rainstorms we have gotten here lately! Love you guys!!! Have a good week!!

- Elder Schaap

Monday, August 29, 2011

Hurricane Irene

We received this very reassuring email from President and Sister Matsumori yesterday. Much appreciated. Thanks President!

Dear Missionary Families and Loved Ones:

The missionaries in the Washington DC North Mission have reported to me that they are all safe and no one was injured in any way. None of their apartments sustained damaged although a few of their parked vehicles were hit by falling limbs (at least, that’s their claim). Our entire mission lost power last night and by this morning, those serving in the northern half of our mission have power restored. The electrical companies are forecasting that it may take a few days to restore power in the southern-most areas of our mission (Lexington Park, Patuxent, White Plains and Calvert). We will be in continual contact with the missionaries without power to insure they have adequate food and water.

While all of the missionaries stand ready and willing to assist with service projects, I have instructed them to stay in their apartments for a few hours this morning – until the downed power lines have been repaired and trees removed from the roads.

Our missionaries continue to be richly blessed and protected. Frankly, many of them were disappointed that Hurricane Irene didn’t provide as much “adventure” as they had anticipated J.

Thank you so much for your concern and especially for your prayers.

Love and blessings,
President Jim and Sister Vicki Matsumori

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


P.S. I didn't really do a backflip off the wall, but it looks like it huh!

P.P.S. The standing backflip is for real though! (I still got it! Haha!!)

Hello Again!!!

First off, there was an earthquake yesterday! Ha! It was pretty crazy, we were in a building at the time, but nothing too big happened. It seemed like some machine was digging underneath us, and I really didn't know what it was, but we looked out the window, and saw that people out there felt something as well, so I figured it had to be an earthquake! So now I can say that I have felt an earthquake.... even though it was only 5.9 over 100 miles away haha! I did feel it though!

Anyways, this week was actually pretty slow for us, just a lot of things going much differently than we thought they would, or how we planned they would, I won't get in to too much detail, we just had a bunch of stuff fall through that we weren't expecting, but such is life I guess, so we aren't going to let it get us down. We were able to meet with one of our investigator couples again though, and they are doing good, they weren't able to go with us to the VC Sunday night, but we are hoping to get them there with in the next week or so. We also met with another lady we're teaching, and she is still held up on a few of her concerns, so we are trying to work through that.

Unfortunately that is about all of the progress with our investigators I have to report this week, we weren't able to meet with Robert but we will this coming week. And we are going to be focusing our efforts on finding more people to teach this week.

Well, I have to tell you guys about what we did today, we went and took sunrise pictures at the Lincoln Monument (again!) today, and it was sweet, there were probably about 12-15 missionaries there when the sun came up! And later in the day, a bunch of other missionaries showed up, and we were playing frisbee and football on the national mall! So that was sweet, and I have some cool pics for you guys too!

Love you guys! And hope everything is going well!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. We received this email from the Mission Office on 8/23/11:

Dear Missionary Families,

In light of the 5.9 earthquake which occurred this afternoon in the Washington DC area, but nearer Richmond, Virginia, we wish to let each of you know that all missionaries have been accounted for and there has been no injuries, no property damage or anything of any concern to the missionaries or the mission field. Thank you for your concern. All are doing well and can faithfully continue in the work of the Lord in the Washington DC North Mission.

Washington DC North Mission Office

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Transfers - Staying in Bowie with Elder Kennedy!

District Picture

Me with our investigators

Hello again!

Man these weeks seem to go by faster and faster each time! Well it turns out that Elder Kennedy and I will both be staying here in Bowie for another 6 weeks! Ha, which is very unheard of in our mission, in fact I am almost sure that two people staying together for 3 transfers has not happened to anyone else since I have been out! We keep joking that we will have been companions for the whole entire summer, from Memorial Day to Labor Day haha! We are excited though, we have a lot of good things going on right now, and I think Pres. Matsumori is pleased with the progress that we are making with the ward! And our Ward Mission Leader told us that this is the biggest teaching pool the missionaries have had since like 2 or 3 years ago! So everything is going really well!

We were able to meet with a few new people this last week, I don't remember if I told you or not about the couple that was married the same day that Dani and Brad were, but she is a member of about 2 years now I think, and was baptized up near Baltimore. We were able to meet with her husband on Friday, and we had a really good visit with him! Hopefully we will start meeting with him a few times a week, things have just been hectic with them getting married and moving and stuff like that. Now things are starting to settle down though.

We went over to one of our investigator couple's home again yesterday, and it turns out that the wife is actually telling people about our church, and doing missionary work herself! Everybody in her church keeps asking her where she was the other week, and she has no problem telling them that she went to the Mormon church! Which is awesome, and although she wasn't at our church this last week, we aren't worried about it, because we know that she will be back, and we will continue to meet with her, there is a "Why I Believe" fireside this Sunday, hopefully they will be able to go to that, I think it would be great for them.

Good to hear from you guys! The Tour of Utah sounds fun! I can't believe that Connor Richards is home already! Crazy! Austin gets home in 6 weeks! Time is going so fast! Well, you guys are the best! I love you and hope you have an amazing week!!

--Elder Schaap

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

New Move-In Packets Work


Wow... another week gone by, things are going super good for us! Unfortunately I think my time here in Bowie is getting short :( Everything is going really well though.

I had a sweet experience last week. So in the Bowie ward we go out on splits with the members 3 times a week, which is pretty unheard of in our mission, most wards are lucky to have splits once a week, but anyways, so in order for that to happen we kind of have to have a lot of things to do, so the Elder's Quorum came up with a sweet idea for when we don't have appointments or people to check on, they have what are called New Move-In Packets which is basically information about the area, kind of giving us a good way to break the ice. Well before last week I really hadn't had any success with them, and they have been doing these packets for about a year now, and they were considering not doing them any more because it just wasn't bearing any fruit. But last Wednesday, I was out with the Elder's Quorum President of all people, and the first person we talked to invited us right in and told us that he had been looking for a church, he has had a few family problems over the past few years and thinks that he needs to get back into it! He told us that he wouldn't be able to make it to church this last Sunday, but he will be for sure this next Sunday!

Oh, and we had the wife of one of our investigator couples at church this past Sunday, and the best part about it was that she went up and bore her testimony!!! It was so awesome, ever since then, when we have been at members' homes they keep asking us about her and saying "That was awesome!" So we are finally starting to get somewhere! Hopefully we will be able to go to the visitor's center with them sometime before I leave!

Well, that's about all I got for ya this week, but it sounds like you guys had a fun filled week! That's always good to hear! I love you guys! And I will talk to you next week!!! LOVE YOU!!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Great Teaching Moments


Good to hear from you guys! Things are going good for us! We had kind of a cool experience this last week, so one of the investigators that Elder Kennedy had worked with in his previous area (White Oak) actually moved to our area! He apparently has worked with the missionaries a couple different times over the past few years, he is a very knowledgeable guy that likes to talk haha we met with him yesterday for about 30 minutes, and I think Elder Kennedy and I got about 5 sentences in the whole time! So we are going to have to work on that a little bit, but he is a cool guy, and Elder Kennedy was very excited when he got the phone call.

We also had the chance to help a part member family in the ward move (to a place that is still in the ward) but they actually got married on the same day Dani and Brad did, and things have been kind of stressful for them, but hopefully now that they are moved, everything will settle down, and we will be able to start working with them more often!

Another cool experience we had this past week, we went over to check on a less-active, part-member family and we asked him what his feelings were toward the church, and he told us that he knows that it is something that he should be doing, and also that he should be getting his kids involved as well! So we have an appointment with them tonight, hopefully they will be coming to church this Sunday!

That's about all I got for ya this week though, I hope everything is going well for you guys! Oh, and by the way, you think the weather is rough over there haha just wait until you come out here next Summer!!! haha you think 50-60% humidity is bad?? Love you guys!!!!

- Elder Schaap

Pic - haha Here is what the thermometer said when we got in our car one time!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Baptism!

Our Baptism

At the Baptism

Happy "Hump Day"

Hello Family!!!

Man, this week was sweet! And crazy, but still sweet! Our young man that we've been teaching was baptized on Saturday and it was amazing, his mother and grandparents, who are all non members, were at the baptism! It was such a cool experience though, because his dad had a lot of "firsts," he gave his first talk on baptism, he performed the actual ordinance of baptism for the first time, and he gave his first priesthood blessing! And all of them were for his son, which made it that much cooler! Both the son and the dad had very spiritual experiences! Hopefully the rest of their family did too!

As for our other investigators, we are still working with the young lady we've been teaching, and she actually came to the baptism! She is just having a harder time accepting the gospel, she says that she feels it is true, but there are a few other things that she is getting hung up on, we had a good meeting with her yesterday though, and we will be going by tomorrow as well, not too much new going on with her right now though.

Last week we actually went to dinner with a couple we've been teaching, they took us out for Sushi!! It was good, I don't know if it was as good as Tokai, but since we are in Maryland, they have real crab in their sushi, not imitation! haha but they are doing good, still moving pretty slow, but she asks a lot of good questions, we are hopefully going to get them up to the Visitor's Center soon, I will let you know how that goes. We did meet with another couple, it was interesting, it turned out to be more of an informational visit with them rather than spiritual unfortunately, but hopefully we will be able to take some members over there, and they will change their minds!

Well, I love you guys!!! I hope you have a wonderful week! Talk to you next week!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Importance of a Testimony

Hello Family!!!

So good to hear from you guys! Things are still going really well for us here! The young man we've been teaching is getting baptized this week on Saturday the 23rd actually instead of the 24th, so that is going to be sweet! Our other investigator, however will not be getting baptized... this week, she no longer has a date set, but I will talk about that later. So we had a good meeting with our baptism candidate yesterday, we went over kind of some of the logistics of the service and things like that, and he is ready to go! We did have kind of a speed bump with his mom last night, but we got everything smoothed out, and his dad told us that some of their family is coming into town for the baptism, but they will only be here on Saturday, so we are going to see if we can do the confirmation on Saturday as well!! (His family are not members just FYI) So that is going to be pretty sweet!

As for the young lady we've been teaching, she is still doing good, and we will be meeting with her tomorrow, she kind of realized that she wasn't ready to be baptized this week, but the reason she wasn't ready was because she hadn't been doing some of the things that we had been asking her to do. So we are going to try again to set a goal for her to be baptized, and I will let you know how that goes next week!

We also went to the home of the couple we've been teaching again yesterday, it went really well, she is still asking us all sorts of questions, and I think that she is starting to realize that her beliefs are very similar to ours (if not the same). I feel like she is overlooking what matters most, yes it is good to know the doctrine of the church, but I still don't even understand all of the minute details of the gospel. What is important though, is that I have a testimony that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet and to restore the gospel, as long as I know that, the rest will come with time. I just wish we could get that across to her.

We had another cool experience yesterday as well, Elder Kennedy and I were checking on a less-active member, and we decided that we would go try and talk to a lady that we saw walk into her house, it turns out that they had met with the missionaries from this ward only about 5 or 6 months ago, and that the only reason they stopped is because they moved and lost contact! They have a 13 month old baby, and he teaches Physics at a private college, we didn't get to talk to them for too long, but we are going back next week, so ask me about it then!

Well, I think this might be the longest email I have sent so far on my mission! haha! I hope that you guys have a great week, and it was good to hear from you! Love you!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. Sorry, don't have my camera with me, I will send pics next week though!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It's been a year! Plus...Baptisms!

Hello Family!!

Things are continuing to go well for us! We are still working a lot with the young man and young lady we've been teaching. He is still doing well, we were a little concerned about how his mother was feeling about us coming over so frequently, so we decided that we had to sit down with her for a bit and lay everything out so that she didn't feel like we were hiding anything from her. It turned out that she was fine with it, her only concern was when she didn't know beforehand that we would be coming over to their house so everything is good there! Now Elder Kennedy and I just have to get everything planned out for the baptism on the 24th!

She is still doing good, I don't know if I told you guys or not, but she takes care of her mother full time, and so this last week her mother went to the hospital and she couldn't make it to church again, but she is still planning on the 24th as well! We have had a few good meetings with both of them this past week, and they are moving right along!

Also, we went over to the home of the couple we've been teaching yesterday again to help them with their yard, and it was sweet! She is starting to ask more and more questions! This past week at her Bible study class that she goes to, she asked the people their if it would be ok if she invited us to come with, and they were fine at first... until they found out that we were "mormon missionaries" which she didn't take to well, so she is becoming more and more interested about our beliefs, hopefully we will be going to the Visitor's Center with them soon!

Well that's all I got for ya this week, Love you guys and hope to hear from you soon!!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Helping Neighbors

Pic 1 - District Picture

Pic 2 - A ghetto house... the picture doesn't really do it justice though.

Hello Family!

Good to hear from you guys as always!! Things are continuing to go well for us here, and we found out a few nights ago that both Elder Kennedy and I will be staying here in Bowie for another 6 weeks!! So we are excited!

We had a good week this week, I don't think I told you about the couple we've been meeting with last week. They are neighbors of one of the members in our ward, and he recently shattered both of his heels (long story) and so he is pretty much out of commission as far as any real physical work goes, so we went over there and mowed their lawn, and their neighbor told us that his lawn is usually pristine, and he takes really good care of it, so Elder Kennedy and I were thinking that we had to be on the top of our game. So afterward we asked the wife how we did, and she told us that the lawn was the best she had ever seen it! And then as we were leaving, we ended up talking for like 40 minutes or so about the restoration of the gospel, and she is really interested now!

As for the young man we've been teaching, he is doing well, we met with him twice this last week, and we are meeting with later on today! He is doing really good, and he is now scheduled to be baptized on the 24th of this month, and things are getting better all the time!

And with the young lady we've been teaching, we were able to go to the Visitor's Center with her on Saturday, which went really well, and she asked a lot of really good questions. She was supposed to come to church on Sunday, and then feed us after, but she called right near the beginning of church telling us that her mother went into the hospital the night before, and that she wasn't going to be able to make it, so we will be meeting with her later this week.

Other than that, not much to report, the 4th of July here was pretty uneventful for us because we had to be in our apartments by 9 o'clock haha so not much happened... we heard some of it though! So mom, the same happened to me, the 4th of July didn't really feel like the 4th of July. Oh, and I did get my package! Thank you!! Everything was in pretty good condition...some of the candies fell out, nothing was melted though! haha so that is good! But I love you guys, and have a good week!!

- Elder Schaap

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Great investigators, Birthday and Peach Cobbler

A great member and Elder Kennedy and I at the Visitor's Center!

Texas Roadhouse for my Birthday!!!!

Baseball game!!!

More great members and the Birthday cake that they made me (with a few typos hahaha but its the thought that counted!)

I made Peach Cobbler a couple weeks ago!!!

Thanks everyone for the Birthday wishes!! I am not going to say it was the best birthday ever, because I wasn't with you guys! But it was still pretty good! One of the members here took us out to Texas Roadhouse! It was amazing! And there was another member that made a cake for me! So it was really good!

But things here are continuing to go well for us, we are still mainly working with the young man and young lady we've been teaching. She came to church again this past week! And she enjoyed it, she also offered to feed us in a few days! We were able to introduce her to a few of the members of the ward as well, so things are moving right along with her, and we are getting ready for July the 24th! Hopefully I am still in the area, transfers are this next week, so we will see! And then with the young man, we were able to meet with him last night, he is awesome! I keep getting worried that he doesn't understand what we are teaching him, but when we go back and ask him about it he remembers pretty much everything, still no date set with him though... trying to figure out the whole situation with his mom, but no worries, it will all work out!

Well sorry I don't have a whole lot to say this week, but it sounds like you guys had a really good week! And I hope that everything works out for you guys with the appartment, and sorting out all your wedding stuff haha! Love you guys!!! And thanks again for all the Birthday wishes!

- Elder Schaap