Wednesday, December 26, 2012

December 26, 2012 - The day after Christmas ;)

Hey Mom it was awesome to see you yesterday and all I wanted to do too was just look at everyone's faces but the picture was blurry so that was a bummer.  It was my best Christmas this year too.  We had a lot of fun all day.  The fun started on Christmas Eve at the Woodward/Ostlund home and it's a big family of step-brothers and step-sisters so in total we had 18 people there I think.  Sister Woodward made poppy seed chicken which was delicious and I'm glad we didn't take any drug test's because we would have failed.  We played a game called Acquire with Bro. Woodward before dinner and played Ninja and foosball after dinner.  Christmas morning we went over to the Summer's home to open gifts and then went to 7-11 for Christmas breakfast haha.  A couple of donuts and hot chocolate is what I got.  The Christmas conference was special as Elder and Sister Olsen, the VC directors are going home soon so they said their goodbyes.  We watched "Elf" and I don't think I've ever laughed at a movie so hard in my whole life!  I got to sing "Santa Claus is Comin to Town", "Joy to the World", and do the haka for the lunch program.  It was good.  Then we went down to the Carter's home and I called you.  After that we had dinner and kinda sat around and played with the kids for a bit.  Bro. Carter and his youngest were sick so they stayed downstairs as us and the other guests were upstairs.  Sis. Carter had quite the time trying to take care of us all so we decided to relieve her of some unnecessary stress and we went back to the Summers.  We had Chinese food and Diet Coke while enjoying our time there.  Brendan and I played "Saratoga"(Stratego) together and I won, twice.  Then I played Isabelle and beat her once.  Yeah I've got a great military mind, I can beat a 13 and a 9 year old in Stratego.  I'm the next Ender Wiggin.  Anyway that put a cap on our night.  Today we woke up to snow! slush falling from the sky.  But it was white!  It was my first snowfall in DC and I'm suuuuuuuuuuuper cold because of it.  We visited the National Gallery of Art for a bit and so Michaelangelo's David Apollo that is there.  We also visited the American History Museum and toured pretty much everything in there.  A lot of it is closed for renovation to be opened in October 2015.  But the best exhibit I thought was the "Star-Spangled Banner" with the flag that flew over Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song.  It was really cool and stirred lots of patriotic feelings.
Going back to Sunday we had K and S at church along with K's girlfriend N.  They are out of town in Pennsylvania but it was so fantastic to get them at church and even better that night we went to the temple with them!  They marveled at the beautiful Christmas lights surrounding the even more beautiful temple.  It was fantastic and really helped them out.  Can't wait til they get back so we can see them again!

Looks like one really awesome recent convert in this ward, J M, will be moving to Richmond.  He found a better job with better pay there and cheaper cost of living so he's gonna move there.  He is amazing and his testimony is so solid so I know he'll do even better there than he is here.  

As the Christmas season comes to a close I look forward to the new year.  My goal is to have 2013 be the best year in my whole life so far.  Even better than the awesome year of 2012.  I know that the Lord will extend his blessings to me upon my faithfulness and obedience to his words which are written by our beloved prophets and inspired leaders.  I look to make my time here worthwhile not only to myself, but to others, who are the most important benefactor of my service.  

I love you Mom!  To the edge, Elder Schoemig

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

December 19, 2012 - Christ, faith, hope and gift

Merry Christmas everybody! And to my aunt Jenny, happy birthday! I can't believe in 6 days is....wait for it... CHRISTMAS!!! Today was our transfer temple trip and I had another great spiritual experience, it's one that I want to share because it has to do with Christmas.

At Christmas time we all give each other gifts. At Christmastime we celebrate a gift that was given to us a long time ago. 2012 years ago in fact. In the Celestial Room I read like I typically do my favorite chapter, Ether 12, and was truly searching for the scriptures to touch my heart. This section did and I would like to share it with all of you. "For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world. But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen. Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith. Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God. Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled." This scripture did sink into my soul as I was reminded of the greatness of the heavenly gift, the Son of God. He came into the world to show us the path, a more excellent way. It is my deepest and most tender testimony to say that Christ is my Savior, my Redeemer. He is the lover of my soul and I am in His hands, even as my hand is in His. Remember that this Christmas season it is the purpose to be Christlike.

Our two golden investigators didn't make it to church this Sunday but we are still a go, this time for January 6th. Pray for K and S to be ready as ever and to keep it up. We are not discouraged, in fact we are elated, because this means more time to teach them, it was kinda rushed up til now.
P.L.A.C.T. and go Irish and Knights. I love you Mom and family and friends! To the edge, Love Elder Schoemig

Monday, December 10, 2012

December 10, 2012 - Few days early weekly report

Hey everyone it feels like not too long ago I was emailing home!  Having this Monday P-day is kinda weird.  Anyway as some of you already know it was my birthday on Friday!  I am now the age of 20 years.  I'm sure you all have experienced the dramatic increase in wisdom and knowledge when you have a birthday, it's like one day you are a little padawan and the next a Jedi Master.  But seriously, I don't feel any different other than the fact of looking back on this past year and seeing how far I've come and how much I've learned on my mission, and the fact that I don't have the word teen on the end of my age.  That'll take some getting used to.  I'm a grown up now hahahahahaha.
Well I want to give everyone the thrilling news!  I've been sick with the cold since last Thursday!  Wooooohoooooooooooooo!  So my birthday was actually kinda miserable however I did enjoy the rest, relaxation, and awesome "Cars"  birthday package I received.  The members here in Calvert ward have been very good to me however.  For my birthday dinner we went to the Summers home and had fajitas and birthday cake and ice cream and they got me a real good lookin purple tie!  I wore it to church on Sunday and got tons of compliments.  Then on Saturday night we went to the S's, our ward mission leader, and they got me a $20 Walmart gift card!  Along with the gifts I've got a lot of birthday wishes and "get well soon's" hahaha.   It's been a good birthday despite the sickness.  

Saturday afternoon we had the pleasure of visiting K B, the son of a member in our ward.  He was living with his dad in Pennsylvania before moving here recently.  He is not baptized so we started off by getting to know him for a couple of weeks by inviting him to the turkey bowl and basketball before our lesson on Saturday.  The Spirit was strong during the lesson.  Elder M and I make a good duo if it's ok to say so.  We know K could feel the Spirit by the way he listened, commented, and asked questions.  We invited him to be baptized on December 23.  He said yes.  Then he asked us a question that I didn't see coming but a question that I could answer honestly without a shadow of a doubt.  He asked us, "Is it worth it?"  and we both responded with a resounding, "Yes."  I promised him that these next two weeks while he prepares himself will be the best two weeks of his life.  We committed him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith.  It was wonderful when we asked him if he believed if Joseph Smith did see the Father and the Son and he said in effect, "yes, why would someone make that up?"  We have another lesson with him and his little brother, S, who is 9 and not baptized tonight and we are eagerly awaiting it.  Pray for them, they are wonderful boys.  

Last night we went to the temple for the first time with the lights all up!  Bishop and his family drove us and it seemed like about half the ward was there!  Brother S is a renowned opera singer and he was performing so that's why a lot of people made the trip up.  The lights are beautiful, and what made it even more special was the fog.  The temple was truly a light on the hill, as the fog carried an ethereal glow around the temple and Christmas lights.  I got to see one of my very, very best friends as well there!  Elder J P from the DC South mission was there and we shared a long embrace and lots of smiles.  He looks so good!  We took pictures that I'll have to send off to him.  

This week will have some excitement to it as we have our mission conference with Elder Packer of the Seventy coming to inspect us or whatever he's gonna do.  I'll get my Christmas packages at that meeting :)

Love you as big as the universe!  To the edge, Elder Schoemig

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December 5, 2012 - Birthday

Hey Mom I'm doing great here in Calvert ward! It's been fun and we just picked up 2 new investigators from a part member family. It is an 18 year old boy and his 9 year old brother. They had us over for dinner last night, which was super delicious, steak and shrimp. Yes I'm getting spoiled haha. Their names are K and S. Keep them in your prayers. We are trying to focus a lot on part member families and less actives. Tracting here doesn't work out so well. We'd have to walk forever to get from one house to the next. It's very nice and roomy in Calvert, complete opposite of what I'm used to in DC. Hopefully we're going to the beach today to try and find some cool shells or sharks teeth.
The B's confirmation on Sunday was fantastic! All four of them were so happy and it has been such a blessing to be able to be a part of this family's transformation. Me and the mom, N, really get along because we're both Baltimore Ravens fans :) I love them, the B, the family not the football team.
This Friday is my birthday. The S's family are having us over for dinner and so I'm really looking forward to it. They are super cool. I got the package from you and one from Grandma. I must be honest and tell you that I couldn't wait to open at least one so I opened the one from Grandma. It made me smile so much and put those warm fuzzies into my heart. Thank you family and especially Tracy for all the health and hygiene facts hahahaha.
I'll be writing the letter to Bishop Badger today :)

I'll have to look into the new curriculum. I know that our ward had a youth meeting for the new YM and YW programs but I don't really know what it is yet.

I'm so grateful for all the blessings we have received as a family. More and more miracles are poured upon our heads with each passing day. I think that's the way God intends it to be done. We are humble and do His will so he blesses us. We give our thanks and continue in righteousness and He blesses us even more abundantly. I'd like to call that the "Humility Cycle". Too bad the Nephites never could figure that one out.

I'm praying for my best friend Elder Lewis. I love him so much and have had him in my thoughts and prayers. Elder Lewis is a warrior unlike any other.

Love you family! As big as the universe! To the edge! Elder Schoemig

p.s. the new Visitor Center is SOOOOOOOO cool
(Mom's note:  Elder Lewis/Taylor had surgery today and there was complications but other than that, he came out of it.  So we are grateful for it.)