Thursday, July 19, 2012

Elder Schaap is Home!

Marcie, Rob, Steve

Rob, Dani

Welcome Home Elder Schaap!
It sure is nice to have Robbie home again.  There's nothing better than that first hug when your missionary gets home!  We are so proud of you!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Homeward Bound!!!!

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.

These Elders are all on their way home!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Last Email!

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!

- Elder Schaap

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

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

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Happy Birthday!

Hello Family!

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

New referrals

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The YSA Ward is Growing!

Hey Everyone!

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!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Nationals Game Today!


So sorry I forgot to tell you that P-day was going to be on Thursday this week! But we went to the Nationals Game today! It was fun to see everyone in the mission there!

As for Transfers, yes Elder Gumbi and I are staying together for my last six weeks! I am really excited about it too, we are starting to get a lot of good things going in our area, so it should be a good last transfer for me!

We had something really awesome happen this week! On Thursday night, we got a text from one of our investigators, and he told us that he wanted to meet with us one last time before he headed off for the summer, and he said he wanted to meet at the Visitor's Center, so we met with him the following morning, and in total we were there with him for about 3-4 hours, just trying to resolve his concerns, because he has heard all of the Preach My Gospel Lessons many times. So we just decided to talk about the Book of Mormon, and its significance and importance.

We had a very open conversation with him, and tried to present things to him in a way that he hadn't heard them before, and it is funny how the spirit works, because something that we said to him kind of in passing had a very big impact on him, and kind of led him to do a self-evaluation on where he stood as far as the gospel is concerned. After we had just about finished talking he told us that he didn't really have anywhere to be for a few hours, so we figured what better place to hang out at for a while than the Temple Visitor's Center?

So we stayed there and showed him around, all of the displays and exhibits and things, and then we asked if he had ever been down and walked around the Temple itself, he said he hadn't, so we did that. As we were walking to the temple, I told him about how when we first get out to our missions, President tells us to go and walk on the Temple grounds alone for about 20-30 minutes, and just think about what we are doing, why we came on our missions, and commit ourselves to the Lord. I have no idea whether this struck a chord with him or not, but after we had walked all the way around the Temple, he told us that he felt really good, and that he had new material to start thinking about in his journey to find out whether or not this is the path that his life needed to be on, which we were really excited about. Then as we were leaving he told us that if he feels the same at the end of the summer as he did when he was at the Visitor's Center, that he would be baptized when he comes back for school in the Fall! We were really excited! He is making lot's of progress, and I hope he continues to through out the summer!

As for our other investigator that has committed to be baptized, unfortunately he didn't make it to church... he told us that he has been busy, he just got a new job and things are pretty crazy apparently, but hopefully we will be able to meet with him before Sunday so that he can make it out to church!

That's about it for me though! Thanks for the updates! Jealous of Dani and Brad right now! [They're in Portugal and Paris for 10 days] Love you guys! Talk to you next week!

- Elder Schaap

Pic #1 - Random

Pic #2 - District Picture, we had a White Elephant gift exchange for our game! (I got a spatula, and I gave those slippers that Sister Holt is wearing hahaha!)

Pic #3 - Baseball Game!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Baptism Commitment and a New Companion

Hola Familia!

haha I feel like I start all my emails the exact same way, so I thought I would switch it up a bit. So good to hear from all of you though! It seems like you guys are going like 1000 mph with all the stuff you are doing at home! You are crazy! But I wouldn't have you any other way!

Anyways, things are going well for us here, the exciting news of the week is that one of our investigators committed to be baptized! He is scheduled to be baptized on June 24th (the day after Mom's Birthday!) So we are looking forward to that!! He came to a barbeque that the ward had on Monday for FHE and was able to get to know a few of our members! And hopefully we will be able to get him up to the Visitor's Center, and to church soon!

The other big news is that I have a new companion! Haha you are probably saying to yourself right now, but wait transfers aren't until next week, well you are right... but there was a missionary who got in an accident on his bike, and sprained his wrist, so he wasn't able to ride his bike anymore, so they sent him to a car with me! So my new companion is Elder Gumbi, who Grandpa Bob actually new from his ward in California! It has been pretty fun so far, but as for my last transfer, who knows what will happen now? Not me! But Elder Gumbi is from Zimbabwe, and so he is able to relate to the people from Africa that we are teaching, which is almost all of them!

So that is the big news from here! Sorry for being so short... and I don't have my camera with me today... so no pics... Sorry!

Thanks so much for everything that you guys do! You are the best family I could ever ask for! I Love you guys! Have a great week!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hey Everyone!

That is so cool to hear about your race that you guys did!! I still can't really even imagine riding a bike for 100 miles! You guys are crazy!

Anyways, things here are good! We have been coming up with some good ideas as to how to work more efficiently in our ward, and things are starting to look up! We met a new guy this last week, he is a former investigator that had been working with the missionaries about a year ago, and he told us that there wasn't really any reason that they stopped visiting him, so we have another appointment with him this next week, and hopefully we will see him at church too!

Yesterday we also met with a new person, and things look promising with her! So hopefully I will have a lot of things to say about them next week!

It is crazy how many people are moving out of the ward! So we are praying a lot for new people to come in! Hopefully we will have some interns soon.... except they are usually here by now... haha so we will just keep praying I guess. Anyways, sorry I this is so short... But I love you guys! Talk to you next week!

-Elder Schaap

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day

Hey everyone!

Man... it was soooo good to hear all your voices on Sunday! Crazy that that is my last phone call out here to you guys! Anyways, we had a pretty sweet week!

You will never guess what happened... So last Sunday one of the couselors in the bishopric came up to us and asked us if we knew of anyone that would be good to give a short 5 minute or so talk about Mothers. We couldn't really think of anyone at the time, so he told us to give him a call if we could think of anyone. So as we were thinking about it through the week, Elder Morris and I both got the feeling that we should ask our investigator if he would like to. So on Friday, when we had a meeting with him we asked him, and he didn't even hesitate to say yes! So we were like SWEET!

Meanwhile, as Sunday got closer and closer, we were wondering how it all would work out, but everything went fine! He actually prepared material to talk on, and he did great! He didn't even hardly seem nervous! And the coolest part about it was, his was totally the best talk out of all the people that spoke, he was very insightful! He talked about how a lot of times we think that mothers just favor their children because they are their children, but he says that that is just us not recognizing the potential in others, and that mothers are able to do that because of their great love for their children. Pretty interesting!

So that was the highlight of our week, it will be interesting to see what happens in these coming weeks, with graduation and all, we are not sure what is going to happen, if we are going to lose most of our ward or not, and if we will get interns. We shall see!

Anyways, Love you guys, hope you have a great week!!!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Elder Bednar Comes to DC!


Wow, I can't believe that Dani is graduated.... that is unreal to me! Crazy! Nice going though Sis! Sounds like you all had a packed week! That is sweet!

My week was really good, Elder Bednar came and spoke to our mission at the Visitor's Center, and it was really neat! I thought it was going to be mostly in the format of him and those who accompanied him (Steven E. Snow, Bishop Causse, and Elder Girard) mostly just speaking, but when it was Elder Bednar's turn, he wanted everyone to be involved, so he let people ask him and those with him questions. I don't know, I feel like I can't really explain to you in an email what it was like, so I will just talk to you about it on Sunday! But it was an awesome experience! And I have a whole new respect for Elder Bednar! I also was able to watch the CES Fireside by Marlin K. Jensen, and we had one of our investigators there, and he said he liked it, and we are meeting with him this Friday!

Other than that, I have found out that finding YSA people to teach is HARD! Especially at this time when finals are happening, and school is about to get out! But we are doing our best, I am hoping to try and start tutoring people soon! Yikes! It was just an idea that we had, but of course it depends on how well I remember to do math and physics and stuff after 2 years of not doing it at all! So we will see...

Other than that, we had a zone activity today, it was penguin sports. If you don't know what that is, it is where you wrap your knees together and just play regular sports, it is pretty funny to watch! Can't wait to talk to you guys Sunday!!! I am PUMPED! Love you guys! and TALK with you soon!

- Elder Schaap

Pic 1 - So Elder Bednar actually spoke to the 3 missions here, and I ended up sitting right next to Elder Zach Paswaters... do you remember him? He and I played little league baseball together. So that was cool to see him! I think it has been like 10 years or something.

Pic 2 - Zone Activity

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Elder Bednar Coming to DC!


Wow, seriously these weeks keep going by faster and faster! Anyways, things are good in my new area, and I can't believe I totally forgot to tell you about my new companion! His name is Elder Morris, he is from a town in New Mexico that only has like 200 people. This is his 4th transfer in his mission, and he this will be his 3rd transfer in the singles ward.

It is really interesting being in a singles ward, I'll be honest! I forgot about all of the random callings and things that they have like FHE Mom, and Institute Director haha. And we go to all of the activities, because that is where most people invite their non-member friends, so it is pretty sweet! Oh, and another weird thing is I kind of forgot what it was like to have drama hahaha... pretty funny. Overall though, I really like it, which is good, because I wasn't sure what it would be like starting off, but all of the members are really helpful. Geographically we cover 2 stakes (which probably doesn't seem like much in Utah, but our mission only covers 4 stakes), and there are only about 40 active members of our ward! Pretty interesting.

Well, I was only able to meet one of the investigators that we are teaching this week, and he is really cool. He has been meeting with the missionaries for a while now, and it was really strange to me the fact that he is doing everything that he needs to be. He has read all the way to Alma in the Book of Mormon, he is praying, he has come to church a bunch of times, and he has met a lot of the members of the ward, he even stopped drinking coffee! But he still doesn't feel as though he has received an answer that it is true or not, so I have been doing a lot of studying and praying about what I could do or say to him to help him get his answer, we should be meeting with him again soon! So hopefully it will go well!

Oh, I forgot to tell you last week, Elder Bednar is coming to our mission on Saturday! Should be pretty exciting! We were told to study two talks in preparation for him to address us if you guys want, you can look them up too! One is called "Ask in Faith" given by him in General Conference (I don't remember when) and the other is called "Seek Learning by Faith" which was a CES broadcast I believe in 2006. Anyways, can't wait to talk to you guys on Mother's Day next Sunday!!! [it's really on 5/13 - Marcie] When would be the best time for me to call? We have church from 12-3 so 2-5 your time, but as far as I know I am flexible after that, so let me know!! Love you guys! Have a good week!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Transferred to Glenn Dale YSA Ward

Hello Everyone!

Yes, this week was transfers, I will be leaving the College Park Ward, and going to the Glenn Dale YSA Ward... not really sure what to think about that yet, President must have a sense of humor I guess haha. It should be good though, from what I have heard there are a lot of good things going on with the ward, and we are teaching some cool people.

This last week was a good week for us though. It is funny sometimes how things work, we have been doing our best to get in with the ward members and leadership, because we feel like there is a separation with our efforts and theirs, so we were trying combine our efforts. We have been trying to do that for this whole transfer, and then out of no where this week, they reorganized our bishopric, and that decision wasn't even final until the Saturday afternoon before church. So it will be a good opportunity for the elders that are there now to have a fresh start and hopefully build good relationships with the newly called leadership of the ward.

Other than that, we had a cool experience this last Wednesday with a lady that I think I told you about her before, but she has 5 kids, and she is on the go all the time, so it is really hard to find a time to meet with her. While we were there on Wednesday though, we were able to talk with her, and show her how the gospel is not something that is going to further complicate her life, but it is going to help with all the stresses and troubles that she is currently facing. Hopefully they will be able to continue teaching her! But that is about all for me this week! I can't believe that Jordan is home... crazy! Love you guys! Have a great week!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Working with Members

College Park Zone


How is everyone? Well things here are going well! This week was pretty sweet! There has been a huge push in our mission lately to work with our members, the only problem with that is they don't really give a whole lot of direction to us as to how to go about doing that, but this week Elder Stoor and I realized that one of the main set backs that we have with trying to work with members is infrequent contact with them.

Really the only time that we see them is usually at church, and then if they have us over for dinner, that's about it. So we started trying this week to try and make appointments with them, to come and teach them and their families on a regular basis, and we had some really good experiences!

In fact one of the families that we talked with on Sunday told us to come back the next day, and that once school was over we could come over to their home and teach them a couple of times a week! So we are trying to get things off the ground there, but we are pretty excited about it!

We also met a cool lady this week who has a nephew that converted to the church and is now on a mission, and she wanted to learn more about the church. We were over there the other night, and she had a bunch of questions for us, and wants us to come back. And we have a few other people that we haven't had the chance to really teach much to yet, but we are hoping to meet with them this week!

Other than that, I don't really have a whole lot for you. Thanks for figuring everything out with school for me! You guys are the best!!! I can't even tell you! Love you guys! And have a good week! By the way, I might be sending some stuff home soon! just fyi... Love you!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. That is crazy that Jordan is coming home tonight!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pics from Mission Blog

Sister Matsumori is so good at keeping the Washington DC North Mission Blog up to date. There are some great pictures on the blog from the semi-annual trip to Arlington National Cemetery that Pres and Sister Matsumori take for all the missionaries who will be coming home in the next 6 months. The link to the mission blog is in the right-hand column of Robbie's blog. Check it out!


P.S. We received Robbie's flight itinerary last week. He comes home the night of July 18. Wow!

Teaching New Families

Hey everyone!

It is always nice to hear from all of you! It is fun to hear about all the things that you guys are up to! As for us this week, Elder Stoor and I have been working hard, we have been doing our very best to just find some new people to teach, and we had some pretty cool things happen this week! We have been pretty bummed about the family that we've been teaching for a while, because they were so great, and everything was going smoothly until they came to church, and then things kind of have slowed down.

We were visiting one of the Less-active members in our area, and she told us that she has wanted to come back to church for a while, but the only thing that has been holding her back is the fact that her husband doesn't like the church, apparently not for any particular reason, just that he doesn't know what it is about. So she said that they had been talking, and they think it would be best if they were able to meet with us, so that we can hopefully answer some of their questions!

And also, we met a new family this last week as well, and wouldn't you know it, they have 5 kids. Crazy how that happens, we haven't really started teaching them yet, but hopefully this week we will!

And on Sunday, one of the guys that we received as a referral and have been talking with on the phone, just randomly showed up to church! It was sweet, so we are meeting with him on Friday! So a lot of good things that are starting to happen!

Anyways, that is about it for this week! Thank you guys for all that you are doing for me!! You are seriously the best family that I could ask for! I Love you, and hope that you have an amazing week!

- Elder Schaap

Pic 1 - The temple with the tulips out front

Pic 2 - My group from the MTC, I am rooming with the 2 guys on the ends

Pic 3 - All the missionaries that go home with me in July

Pic 4 - We have been trying to catch this guy for weeks! I found him eating my bread that I accidentally left on the counter...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

General Conference!

Wow, where to start?

I guess with Conference - So Good! Man I think you guys would be surprised at how much I actually love General Conference now, for some reason I am just able to soak all of it in like a sponge, and I love reading the talks after the fact and getting even more out of them, so I am excited for the May Ensign to come out!

As for my favorite talks, of course President Uchtdorf, talking about judging others and "don't judge me because I sin differently than you" haha he is great, his talks are always good. Some of my other favorites were Elder Hallstrom, who talked about the difference between the gospel and the church, and how someone "can be fully active in the church, but inactive in the gospel." Elder Oaks about Sacrifice. And I think it was Larry Y. Wilson who talked about when we teach children, we need to make sure that we are teaching eternal principles, and not just because we are angry with them or things like that. But they were all very good, like I said, I can't wait to get the new Ensign!

Well unfortunately, the family we are teaching did not make it to GC, in fact we are still not exactly sure what their feelings are about the church anymore, we have had a little contact with them, mostly on the phone, but once on their doorstep. We just don't know, their lives are very stressful right now, so it is a possiblity that they are just overwhelmed, we are not sure, but we are hoping to find that out this week.

Other than that, unfortunately most of our investigators have kind of dropped off, so we are doing our best this week to find more people, and work with the members of our ward.

I don't think I told you, but today I had the chance to go to the Arlington National Cemetery, it was pretty cool, there is a lot of history there, they have a trip for all the missionaries go who are going home in the next 6 months, and we saw some cool things like the eternal flame on President Kennedy's grave, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is pretty intense. And it was fun to be able to see all the people who I have been out here with for so long.

I got the card, and the planner covers from you guys! Thanks, they are great! Anyways, thats it for this week! Love you guys!

Elder Schaap

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Sorensens in DC? Cool!


So I was sitting at church on Sunday, anxiously awaiting the family that we have been teaching to show up, and I was looking out to the doors to the chapel every few seconds, and out of no where I see these two very familiar faces, and what do you know it is the Sorensens! They had no idea that I was going to be there, and I definitely had no idea that they were going to be there, it was a pretty cool coincedence, but kind of weird at the same time, that is the first time that I have seen someone from home since I have been out here... but it was great, it was like we hadn't missed a beat, they caught me up on all the things that are going on back in Utah, and I was able to tell them about what had been going on with me for the last 2 years.

Anyways, the family that we have been working with was able to come to church! Unfortunately, they didn't have the best experience... the Sunday School lesson was on Exaltation, which is the last lesson in the manual, and it was a bit heavy for their first time at church, so they left right after that, and they told us they would call us to let us know when we could come over again... kind of a bummer, but I suppose that it is better that they know all those things now, than having them come to the surface a few years later. Keep them in your prayers, hopefully we will be able to see them again and help resolve some of their concerns.

Yesterday we had a pretty cool experience, we were out knocking on doors, and this guy answers the door with a guitar hanging on his shoulder, which I always love because I automatically have something to talk about with them, but we were able to talk with him for a while, and he really started to open up to us about some of the things he was going through in his life, and we told him how the gospel could help him. He told us that he wouldn't be able to meet with us for a while, but that he had to get some things straightened out in his life, and then he would give us a call. I love it when I am able to relate some of my past experiences to others, and tie in the gospel as well.

Well thank you guys so much for everything! I Love hearing from you every week! You guys are the best family I could ever ask for! I love you! And hope you have a wonderful week!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Teaching Families and Pics of The Cherry Blossom Festival

Hello again!

Man these weeks keep going by faster and faster.... it is crazy, anyways. We had a good week! It kind of took a little bit for things to kick off right after transfers, but we were able to have a really good meetings with the family we're teaching, they are so awesome... seriously, they are great! We went and saw them Sunday after church, because they weren't there unfortunately... but we had a really good visit with them, they are still reading the Book of Mormon, and we are going over there again tomorrow, hopefully taking a member with us. They have just a few hang ups on a few things, but the cool part about it is they are not just giving up on it, the father was telling us that he had a few hesitations, but that he needed to do some more praying about it, and that he was sure it would be cleared up after that. They are awesome.

We also were able to meet with a family that I am not sure I told you about, we met them a while ago, but most of our contact with them since has been on the phone, but we helped them with some service this week, and we were also able to go to the VC with them as well! They got a ride with one of the members in our ward, and really enjoyed it, and said that they wanted to come back, and bring the rest of their family! So hopefully we will get to do that soon!

Anyways, that is about all for the updates on investigators this week. Today we went to the Cherry Blossom Festival! It was pretty sweet too! I took some pics for you guys, hope you like them! Love you and have a good week!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Transfers - Baptism Date - New Member Going Through the Temple - and Cherry Blossoms!


Well I have some super exciting news! So we were doing service for a member the other day, and she is actually an implant in the DC 3rd ward, and one of the members of the bishopric is her home teacher, and he was there, so I got to talk to him for a bit which was nice! I asked him how our great new member that we baptized while I was in DC 3rd Ward was doing, and he told me that she is going through the temple soon! Well that happens to be today!

And another cool part about it is that Elder Krugman is finished with his mission officially today, but he and his parents are going to go as well! So I got to talk to her a bit today, and I am really excited for her, she is doing so well!

This week was a super good week though, the family that I was telling you about is amazing! We met with them 4 times last week! And we went to the Visitor's Center with them, it was awesome. They are going to be baptized on April 8th! They are so great! They have been reading the Book of Mormon, and he decided himself that he was going to live the Word of Wisdom.

As for Transfers.... Elder Lott will be heading out of here, and I am getting Elder Stoor, he is from Idaho, and he has been out now for about 3 months, he came out with Elder Lott actually. So I am excited, I have only heard good things about him, so we should have a lot of fun.

That's all for this week though. Thanks for everything, I haven't got the package yet, but I am sure it will be here soon. Love you guys!!!

- Elder Schaap

Pic #1 - District Picture

Pic #2 - Guess what are starting to come out already?!?!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Investigators!


Well this week was pretty sweet. I told you about how we have been struggling to find new people, well this week, all of our prayers were answered! We got a call on Saturday from the Visitor's Center telling us that a mother and her 5 children had come to them about 30 minutes before, and the mother said that she and her husband had been talking, and they wanted to join our church! So we pretty much called them right away, and then we were able to meet them in person yesterday! They are pretty much awesome, when we left, he was telling his wife that he wanted to read from the Book of Mormon, and they want us to come over again tonight! So we are really excited about getting to work with them.

We also had another cool experience, we were going to lunch at a member's house, and as we were getting out of our car, this guy out on his balcony told us to come and talk with him for a few minutes so we did, and we are going to start teaching him as well!

So we are very excited about all of these new people, and hopefully we will be able to meet even more cool people!

Anyways, sorry but that is about all I have for you this week, but I am going to make up for it with some long awaited pictures! Love you guys! Thanks for everything!

- Elder Schaap

Elders Schaap and Krugman -
comps in DC 3rd Ward over a yr ago

A hairy dude of unknown origin...

Bad tie times 5?

That one eyebrow thing...
in front of Jaws and a giraffe!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Working With Less Active Members

Hello Everyone!

Thanks for your emails! It is always nice to hear that things are going well back at home! I can't believe that Dani is almost a Master of Business Administration... I am still not convinced, that is super convenient that she started school right after I left, and finishes just before I get home! I have to see it on paper! Haha just kidding, that is exciting though, and I bet she is going to be the most excited!

As for us here, things have been going... well I guess! Like I said we are working with the Less-Active members of the ward a lot, and we are trying to get them coming back. We weren't able to meet with the one family that I was telling you about, we just talked with them on the phone a few times, and they are in a tight spot right now, and want to get things at least somewhat figured out before they have us over again.

And then we were able to help one of our investigators move out of his appartment, and I had mentioned that I could do a backflip in a previous lesson with him, and he didn't believe me, he said "No way a guy as tall as you can do that!" haha so he was pretty surprised when I actually could do it! haha

Other than that, things are going pretty well. Elder Lott and I are still having a lot of fun! And we are doing our best, so hopefully we will be able find some more people this week!

That's about all I have for you this week, Love you guys and can't wait to hear from you next week!

- Elder Schaap

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Teaching and the National Zoo

Hey guys! Good to hear from you all!

Things are going pretty good for us here, we still have had a little bit of a tough time finding people that are interested in the gospel, but there is one family that we met the other day that was a referral from the Festival of Lights at the temple, and they were very nice and interested in meeting with us more, we didn't get to do much teaching while we were there, but hopefully they will all be coming to church this Sunday!

We are still working with our other two investigators, but it has been a while since we have been able to meet with them, they really only have one day of the week available, and the past few weeks that day has been busy as well, but we are helping them move tomorrow, so that should be good!

There are a lot of reactivation efforts in this ward, and the leaders of the ward are trying to get us more involved with that, so far we have been able to help teach a few people, and it has gone really well, but there is a lot more to do!

Anyways that is about all I have for you this week! Sorry for being so short, but thanks for your emails, and I hope that you all have a great week!

- Elder Schaap

Pics - for Zone Activity today we went to the National Zoo and did a scavenger hunt! And there is a planking pic in there too!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

College Park East - Doing Fine!

Rob wrote us a cute email today that he said was just for the family this week. He didn't want me to post it to the blog. All is well, and things are moving along just fine in College Park East. He just had a few things to say that were just for his family. Watch for his email next week!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Church and Basketball

Hello Fam!

Sorry for being so late today! Things here in the new area are going great though! Sometimes it is scary how much mine and Elder Lott's senses of humor are alike... hahaha it has been really fun, and we have been working hard!

I figured out this week that there wasn't as much stuff going on in our area as I thought there was, but we are doing all we can to change that! We met with two young men on Thursday last week, which went really well, we taught them about the Sabbath Day and church and all that good stuff, but unfortunately they still didn't make it out to church on Sunday. It is interesting, the ward has a basketball team, and apparently it is really popular, so much that they have an A and a B team just for our ward. Apparently a lot of non-members have played in the past, but this year our bishop said that you can only play if you come to church, and one of these investigators really likes basketball, so he figured he would come to church, and eventually started liking it, and wanted to meet with the missionaries! And since then, we have started to teach his friend as well!

Other than that though, we don't have a whole lot of people that we are working with, so we are trying to get the ward more involved, as well as find people ourselves! We are still in the process of trying to get things organized though, as well as clean up. Hopefully we can get through all of that soon though, and start finding lots of people that are ready to hear the gospel!

Anyways, thanks for all your emails this week. You guys are too funny about the whole Juanito Bandito thing... you will have to show me! Love you guys! Have a good week!

- Elder Schaap

P.S. We went to the Museum of Natural History today, and I took some pics for ya!

Also a picture from our last district meeting last transfer.