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