Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014 - Getting closer....3 weeks this Wednesday

"Gooooooooooooood afternoon Silver Spring Zone!" is how I normally greet the zone when we send mass voice messages that we call fittingly, "call-outs."  And that is how I choose to greet you today Mom, with a great, big, guttural "goooooooood afternoon!"  Anyway... I really appreciated the email this week, it makes me very excited to hear about what good basketball players Dakota and Carson are, but I think I can still take 'em :) It's great you got a smart phone! I would like to get one eventually as well, hopefully sooner than later ;) (That's a really BIG wink by the way)  The ASL temple session sounds like tons of fun! I know I've really enjoyed it all the times I've been.  It really helps to discover some more of the emotion behind the Plan of Salvation, however I haven't seen or even know if they have a translation for the new film yet.
Well this past week was a big week for the ASL program out here, as you know from my message to you.  I didn't get to go to the meeting on Saturday, but I did type up a proposal that I sent to President that hopefully was well-articulated and able to drive home some important points.  It was, at the very least, a base from which we can continue to gather ideas and make informed decisions with.  President Cooke informed me that the meeting went well, and that Elder Gerrard was very supportive in making things happen. We met with the ASL branch leaders, President Cooke, and Stake President Windley on Sunday morning to make sure we are of one heart and one mind.  The big part was, "how do the members feel like the ASL missionaries can be used most effectively?"  We decided that strenghening the core, the branch, before reaching out to other groups that have started up, is most important.  One of the main ways that missionaries will be most successful in strenthening, retaining, and baptizing in the ASL program is to have STRONG language fluency.  I personally wish I would have not had that time when I was not interested in signing, but I wish I would have worked hard to be more fluent and able to communicate.  One way that the branch wants to see the ASL missionaries continue to improve language fluency is to have them stay in the area for a lot longer, and to have them cover different areas, and to transfer them between each area.  The ASL branch and the two Presidents agreed on regular meetings to continue the effort and to get the ball rolling in where the branch wants and needs to be headed.  I am very excited and supportive of this effort, and know it will yield great results.

Ok wow... enough about that!  We did some other things this week too.  We taught Brother A two lessons and we decided to have his baptismal a little farther out, actually right before I come home, so that we can make sure we meet with him and have all the lessons and everything.  He is really excited, turns out for the past few weeks he had a lot of family members in town and was very busy entertaining them.  Darn family members getting in the way of a baptism ;) We had a snow day on Tuesday where we got about 5-6 inches and stayed in all day.  We planned and studied and cleaned and when we got bored we played in the snow!  It was really fun. We are busy getting ready for... iPads this week!  We are excited to see how they will help us out in our preselyting efforts and to create new ways in which they can be used.  We are also busy preparing for Zone Activity next week where we will be playing dodgeball and eating pupusas.  This morning we actually had a dodgeball fight in our apartment..... as you can imagine 6 Elders+15 dodgeballs= 1 messy missionary apartment! But we cleaned up don't worry.

Well, what can I say?  I've been very emotional lately.  I'm like one of the many pregnant women in our ward.  Super happy one minute to be "livin the dream" and the next just super sad and dreading the day when the badge comes off, permanently.  It's helped that our transfer motto has been "cry if you need to."  I am doing very well and positively for the most part though.  I think that I would rather go out working hard with all guns blazing and crying and being-torn-up-inside-because-I'm-gonna-miss-this-so-much than ANY OTHER WAY.  I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, and the end was never easy, but it was also never the end.  I am closer to the edge. 


Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014 - Armor of God: Victorious!

Goooooooood afternoon Schoemig Mom!  (can you hear me impersonating Ty from Extreme Makeover:Home Edition?)  This morning I woke up at 5 am to go down to the Lincoln Memorial for sunrise pictures, probably for the last time, and played football and ultimate frisbee.  Walking on the National Mall used to give me chills, now it feels like home.  We also went to the famous Ben's Chili Bowl on U Street, I'm an official Washingtonian now!  It is the home of Bill Cosby's favorite half-smoke chili dog.  I know Grandpa Jarvis is gonna be proud of me, and I think we should go there when you're here.  It was delicious, however after eating it I felt like I walked like Bill Cosby does now... niiiiice and slooooooooooow.  hahahahaha.
I was so psyched to see the picture of Jamieson and you all on Facebook!  He is one of my favorite companions, and I know you felt the same love for him that I did.  I spent 6 straight months by his side, doing the work of the Lord in the ASL program, so we grew pretty tight.  

That's good news about the ASL program and the church!  I'm very excited for that, and hopefully I can be involved back home.  And it was good to hear about all the kid's success, I pray for them every day.

This last week was a hard fought week in the battle for righteousness, and those wearing the Armor of God came out victorious.  I felt really, truly alive and awake last week as we talked to everyone we could and invited them all to learn more.  As a result, we have lots of potential for this week, and our whole zone was blessed to find 53 new investigators last week!  For this mission, that is a TON!  Everyone was just letting their knees hit the floor and their shoes hit the pavement as we worked our tails off to be obedient and #findandbaptize!  It was sweet!  Now we turn those new investigators into investigators who are fellowshipped by ward members, come to church, set a baptismal date and be baptized and confirmed!  This work is exciting!

Ok, there's nothing I need... BUT don't plan anything for the night of Thursday February 20th, because we'll be going down to Calvert to eat dinner with some of my very favorite people on the mission.  I'll try to set up some other meal appointments for us!

LOVE YOU TO THE EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE AND BACK AGAIN! closer to the edge... Elder Schoemig

Monday, January 13, 2014

January 13, 2014 - Mom stressed? Nah...more like can't wait to get to hold her son! ;)

Heyyyyyy yooouuuuuu guuuuuuuuuyyys! And by "you guys" I mean Mom.  How
ya been?  Holding up?  It's probably been stressful for you knowing
that your son is out on a mission in one of the most... interesting...
cities in 'Merica.  I just wanted to say, don't worry, just relax and
take the rest of the time that he is gone to not stress, cuz your son
will be doing the workload of the both of you while he finishes his
call to serve.  And he couldn't be more energetic, engaged, and
emotional than he has ever been!  This past week we had transfers as
you know and Elder Schoemig got a great new companion named Elder Adam
Ron Arnett IV, or just Elder Arnett, from Gilbert Arizona.  Elder
Arnett is a super hard worker and also a super fun guy so we've just
had lots of good workin and fun at the same time.

We picked up new investigator named E from Kenya on Saturday,
we're really excited about him.  His wife comes back from Kansas this
week so we're looking forward to working with him and her.  Their son
is 3.

Thanks for all the updates on everyone, they mean a lot.  I feel like
I'm gonna have a lot harder time to win at basketball with all my
little brothers growin up!  I'm glad Erik got home, he is the man.
I'm looking forward to getting to know him more.  Sounds good with the
whole Mt. Vernon thing.  I'd like you to meet some of the great people
I have met out here, as well as visit the sites in DC.

I love you so much!  to the EDGE of the UNIVERSE!!! closer to the
edge, Elder Schoemig

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6, 2014 - Last Transfer this week for Elder Schoemig

Hey Mom! I was super proud to hear that Dad was the Employee of the
Month, he is always that in my book though.  Wow I didn't realize that
bringing me home required so much effort, but I guess it would have to
take a lot of hard work to take me from a land I love.  Glad to hear
about your experience and testimony from Relief Society, as well as
all the news from the kids.

This week IS transfer week and Elder Giles is leaving me :(  But he is
going on to become an Assistant to the President, and so he will be
with Elder Miyasaki, one of my former companions!  Last Saturday night
we got all the information about transfers so I know where everyone is
going and they all have to guess until Wednesday.  Some do pester you
about what's happening and it's hard to not share but I hold my peace
:)  So with Elder Giles and Elder Miyasaki being AP's I have named
myself, "the Assistant Trainer" since I was with them both haha.

I'm very happy with our work these past few weeks, I feel like we are
finally getting the ball rolling with some of the less actives and
investigators.  Brother A should have his baptism in the next
couple weeks.  We have a date set for this Friday but it might be
pushed back to next Friday.  I believe we can do it this week though.
We got to meet with a member who just moved here from Virginia, I
N, and her non-member husband I.  He will be investigating
and says he is looking forward to reading the Book of Mormon.  Also we
have been able to receive many good referrals lately that will
translate to us having lots of new investigators soon.

I am very pleased with the copies of the Book of Mormon that you sent
me with the testimonies in it, I am working hard to find the right
people to give them to, and gave away one last night!  We actually had
a meal appointment with a member, the Mills family.  They live in
downtown Silver Spring in a big apartment building.  They are moving
soon and so Sister Mills wanted us to go with her to say goodbye to
her friends in the building and to give them a Book of Mormon, so we
did!  It was really cool to see how a heartfelt giving away of the
Book of Mormon allowed us to talk to so many people.  None of them
committed to meet with us, but they all promised Sister Mills that
they would read it.  One lady even let us in for a few minutes before
we had to go to make it to our next appointment.  It was a sure
testimony builder for me of the power of members with enthusiasm for
sharing the Gospel.

Speaking of our next appointment though, it was a former Miss America
from Utah.  Her name was Sharlene Wells when she won, but now it's
Sharlene Hawkes.  Her and her daughter who was recently released from
her mission in Rochester where she knew and served with me MTC
district mates Elder Robertson and Elder Inkley, spoke about living in
faith instead of fear.  It was super great and really set the tone for
next transfer.

Well I best be going now, I love you so much Mom! As BIG AS THE UNIVERSE!

closer to the edge, Elder Schoemig