No email today - something even better - Robbie in person!!! Rob's plane is about an hour and a half late. Apparently there were bad storms in DC. It's due in at 8:57 pm by the last update. Can't wait!
How cute is this?! President and Sister Matsumori with Elder Schaap at the pancake breakfast for all missionaries going home.
Wow, this is really weird, although I know that this is the last e-mail I will be sending home from out here, it doesn't yet feel like that is true. I guess I will start with how our week went. Elder Gumbi and I were able to start teaching a few new people! Like I have mentioned before, it is pretty difficult to find people with school being out for the summer, so we have been trying to work with former investigators. We met two people this week, one of them is a young man who, coincidentally is from out here, but played football at Pasadena City College, where Elder Gumbi played basketball! So there was an automatic connection there! He had worked with the sister missionaries over a year ago, but didn't really get a whole lot out of it, but he said he liked how we presented it, and was interested in what we had to say! I told him that I would be leaving soon, so he wants to see us again before I go!
And we met another guy who is from Africa, so Elder Gumbi was able to relate to him as well! But he had worked with the sisters as well, for quite some time, and he eventually stopped progressing, so we went over the whole purpose of the Book of Mormon, what it was about, where it came from, and the message it carries, and his interest was sparked! So we will be meeting with him again before I go as well!
We were also able to meet with our investigator who you guys have heard about, and he is still very interested! The problem we have had with him though, is that when Sunday comes around it seems as though he is nowhere to be found! We have driven over to his place with members ready to pick him up, and we can't get a hold of him... so hopefully he will be able to make it this Sunday before I leave!
Well, I guess it really is this time... I can't tell you how weird this feels to be nearly done with my mission. I don't know what has been more weird, getting ready to go on my mission, or being about ready to be done. Either way, I am grateful for all of the experiences I have had while being out here, a lot that I will never forget! That being said, it hasn't all been easy, nor do I think it was ever supposed to be, in fact I am pretty sure that missions are designed to make you stretch, further than you ever thought you were able to, because it is only this way that we are able to realize our own potential. I recently heard a talk by President Hinckley where he said, relating it to life, that "most putts don't drop, and most beef is tough," but he also talked about how it is these exact times that if we handle them the right way, can be times of our greatest growth.
I am grateful for the times on my mission that I was able to see firsthand how the gospel blesses the lives of those who are follow its principles. It has become more and more apparent to me as I have been fully emerged in the gospel, that it is really the only thing that is going to bring us real peace and true joy in this life, and in the life to come! I am grateful for the chance that I had to come on a mission and meet all of the people that I have, for the friendships I have made, for the lives I was able to touch, and for those who have touched my life! I am also grateful for all of the support I have had from you guys, and from countless people that have done things for me that I may not even know! I am especially grateful for my family and putting up with me as a young punk kid, and helping to get me on a mission! I love you all so much! And I am really and truly grateful for everything that you have done for me! I hope to start working on returning the favor when I get home! I Love You! And I can't wait to see you in a week!
WOW! What a week! So on Friday night, we were getting ready to go to sleep, and all of the sudden we hear these strong winds outside, like none that I have heard since I have been out here, and then we hear these loud crashes that sounded like trees snaping in half, and power poles breaking, then our power goes out, and before we could even think anything of it, a tree branch comes and breaks through our window....
Alright -- I am just kidding, it wasn't that intense, but that would have been sweet! Got you though didn't I? It was pretty crazy though! The power did actually go out, and there was some crazy wind, but the craziest thing about it was the lightning! There were flashes of lightning probably every 2 or 3 seconds for about a half our or so, it was pretty insane! I took a video, I will show it to you when I get back! But no, we were only out of power for about 18 hours, we were very lucky! On Sunday night, some other elders who were out of power came and spent the night with us because it was too hot! I don't ever remember losing power in the Summer before! It is pretty miserable!
So, power was out in the church building as well! I thought that I wasn't going to have church on my last fast and testimony meeting of my mission! But we ended up holding sacrament meeting in the institute building, which was interesting because it was so small even for our ward of about 50 people! That is where our ward used to meet like 5 years ago! So it was fun.
We were able to teach an investigator we've been working with again after church, we taught him about the Plan of Salvation, and he told us that he wants to be baptized! Unfortunately it is going to be like 2 weeks after I am home, so I won't get to see it... but I am really excited for him!
And then we started to teach a new person who is from Cameroon, and she was actually found by other missionaries, but they found out that she is of age to go to the Singles ward, so they passed her to us! Elder Gumbi is able to relate really well to all of the people that we are teaching from Africa, it is really cool!
More good news, we got a text back from our investigator that we haven't heard from for like 3 weeks! And we are meeting with him on Thursday, so hopefully we will be able to figure out what was going on! Things are going really well for us right now, hopefully they will continue to do so! So that is about all of the updates that I have as far as investigators go.
As for tomorrow, one of the members of our ward knew that I was going home soon, and so he said since P-day was on the 4th of July, he doesn't have work, so he offered to drive us anywhere we wanted to go! So we are going to go to Florida! haha just kidding again, but we are going to go to Great Falls National Park, on the Potomac River, which I have heard is really cool! So be expecting some pictures from that!
Anyways, Have a great week! Jealous that you went boating! Weird that I will only be sending one more email home from here.... Love you!
- Elder Schaap
Pics 1 & 2 - Got the Birthday Party Box!
Pic 3 - Some of the aftermath of the storm!
P.S. from Marcie:
We received an email from the mission home on Monday to let us know how things were going afer the big storms in the East. Here's a link to the message - everyone is ok: Update after the storms
I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.