Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10, 2014 - Closer to the edge, Mosiah 20:10-11

"Now I'm closer to the edge"
Can't believe this is it.  Last full week.  Make it count. 
I stepped into this world of diligence and love two years and two days ago.  I have fought as it describes in Mosiah 20:10-11, "as a lion... and for their lives... and like dragons." This is my pinnacle, my shining moment, my masterpiece, and all glory be to God.  I will work this week as I've never known myself to work, I will serve this week as I've never known myself to serve, and I will love this week as I've never known myself to love.  This isn't about me however.  This is all about Him. 
I have seen Him here in DC.  I saw Him in the eyes of the first deaf Ethiopians I taught here.  I saw Him in the brothers and sisters that faithfully attend church every Sunday despite living paycheck to paycheck, and in neighborhoods where I never would have dreamed of living before my mission.  I saw Him in the laughing and crying children every week in church, at the park, on the streets.  Most recently I have seen him as my dear friend, Z A, got dressed in white and was baptized.  I have seen Jesus Christ all around me.  I hope others see Him in me.
Am I ready to come home?  I have found peace with it.  It is OK.  It was meant to be an ending so that I could experience the joy of a beginning again.  The Lord wants us to love things so deeply and so tenderly and then to give them to Him just as we give Him the things that we don't love about ourselves: our sins, trials, and pains.  The total commitment that is consecration comes in gifts great and small that we give to the Savior. 
I know I have been and will continue to be engaged in the greatest work that has ever been.  I know that the Lord and Savior of whom we speak and seek is this Jesus Christ, of whom the Bible and Book of Mormon testify.  I know that Jesus Christ restored His church and worked through a man, Joseph Smith.  I know Joseph saw what he said he saw.  I know that the temple is the House of God on the earth, and I love to see the temple.  I know that the family is so important that the appointment as the fundamental unit of society was not only given to us by God, it is part of what makes God.  God is our Heavenly Father.  He love us and wants us to be with him.  He gives us mountains to climb, hills to sled down, valleys to walk, and rivers to cross so that we can come closer to Him both in the journey and desination.
Man's extremity is God's opportunity.  Now I'm closer to the edge.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Learning how to use Ipad

Elder Schoemig's mission area are one of the few that get to learn how to use Ipad and here is the picture as he is learning how to use it.  :)

Elder Schoemig - bottom left corner

February 3, 2014 - IT'S OK! and a shout out to his father...

Hey Mom! The title of my post this week is, "It's OK."  That was something I learned to say last Saturday night, but I'll get into that a little later.

First of all, Z A is getting baptized this Friday!!! Woooo hooooo! It'll probably be the last baptism I have while I'm a full time missionary, barring some unexpected miracle, and it tastes so sweet! He is so ready and we've been able to meet with him a ton these past few weeks.  He had a really busy holiday schedule with family but that's all done now so we're in the clear! It's cool because it'll be the two year mark of when I got set apart by President Carpenter. 

I need to send a shout out to Dad, you know what day it is today. I learned many lessons that night, and I don't know why it happened, but it's OK.  I know that if you had stayed or if the Lord had decided to take you home it would've been in our best interest as an eternal family. I love you Dad!

So the past few weeks have been just a *little stressin with knowing that the iPad's were coming (yes we have them, no I don't particularly like them, guess I'm too "old school," but they are nice for certain things), and that my days left as a missionary are dropping like the temperature did a week ago (we had highs of 14 degrees, not too bad, I know Sister Lewis had -19 in Chicago at one point, but still cold).  Anyway, one of the recent converts and women that've I've learned to love and trust because of her amazing insight into what I'm feeling, sat me right down and gave me a 45 minute talk on how I've touched so many people's lives, and I've become the best missionary I can be, so why am I stressin?, and just enjoy the ride.  She made me count to ten and take a breath, after which I said, "You're right.  These past two years I've worked so hard for this.  I've done everything that I can, and I'm gonna enjoy the last two weeks, but still work hard.  I've done what I came here to do.  And I'm gonna miss it." (cue the tears) And then she said, "And?..." And I said, "And it's OK." I've been told by a lot of people lately that it's ok to cry, it's ok to miss the mission, it's ok to be starin down the barrel of a shotgun called "Going Home", that it's ok to this, that and the other, but I finally realized that it is OK.  You'd expect that when the greatest force for good in the entire universe, the Atonement, comes and drapes itself upon you that you'd feel heavier right? Wrong, you feel lighter because that force is the love of God, which takes our pain, sorrow, and grief away.  

I love you to the EDGE OF THE UNIVERSE! I'm closer to the edge, Elder Schoemig