Hola Familia and Amigos!!
Did you complete my challenge I gave to you all? To share the Bednar talk from conference? If not, it's okay. we have this wonderful thing called repentance, where we can try again! ;) (es un chiste) but I hope you all did the challenge!
First of all, THANKS FOR THE PACKAGE. I may have shed a tear or two, because it was like everything I could ask for in that moment. I sure do have a great family!! My roommates also say thank you :) one day I will send my package to you guys when the DR Stamps get here... hopefully that's before I leave the CCM! Luc, it has your birthday stuff in it- so i'm really sorry if it gets there way later than your birthday. But I will be thinking about you on your birthday :) Also tell Mckenna, Hermana Echard from Utah State says congrats on her mission call! Also LEXI I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU. You are going to be a great missionary!! A mission is the best decision you could ever make, no joke!
Wow this week was SO amazing! I wish I could type out every detail of the awesome experiences we had but I don't have time, but I will do my best.
Starting with last friday at the university-
So we only got 5 Book of Mormons to hand out but we had a ton of pamphlets of the restoration and the plan of salvation as well. We started off and literally... every single person we talked to either accepted a pamphlet or a book of mormon!! They all seemed pretty interested. Later in the time there, a man came up to us and started praying for us. His name is Antonio. He is catholic but interested in learning about different religions. He seemed so interested after I repeated the first vision to him!! When you share the first vision, especially memorized and slowly (as the Lindley's taught us - shout out to them), there is so much spirit in the conversation and it just floods in! After that he got the mission info, and he is actually meeting us tomorrow at the university so that we can teach him the second lesson!! Our teacher Hermana Diaz is helping us out, because it's like... real. I'm teaching a real investigator tomorrow---- AH. I'm so excited!! After that it started pouring rain, and I mean pouring. Utah rain is fluff fluff, in the DR we get real rain! After that we went around and I had an idea that we should go sing around this huge group of students. Mostly we just got weird looks but hey because we did that we actually gave out our last 2 books and the rest of the pamphlets! So all though we laughed about how silly the whole situation was, it ended up being a good choice :) Plus, Hermana Triplett is a super great singer so she impressed people I believe.
So yeah, THAT WAS AMAZING. People here are so nice! Every time we said hi to people (mostly) they smiled and talked to us. It was great. Oh, we also talked to a girl named amada who was just so ready I think to hear the word. She gladly accepted the Book of Mormon and hopefully will follow through on her committment to meet with the missionaries!
We had a great broadcast devotional with Elder Bednar and his wife. In part of it they talked about faith and power. He said, "Power does not come until after action, and fear is the absence of action". That can not be more true for us right now! Our mouths won't be filled before we open our mouths, only after! We have to be brave and just attempt to talk in spanish if we want the power behind it. And fear is what holds us back, in my most terrified moments here I remember that and think, Okay Hermana Schmidt - have you shown your faith and done something so that the Lord can help you with His power? And it has made a huge difference, especially in perhaps the most powerful experience since arriving here. Also, they talked about how every missionary should have their family pray every day specifically for their missionary to receive the gift of tongues. I was so excited to extend that invitation to my family, but you guys are so inspired and wonderful you already accepted the challenge before I invited you to do it! And this week, I needed it. I felt your prayers, so thank you so much.
A couple of nights ago, our teacher let us go to a nearby park and talk to people about the book of mormon and the church. Hermana Triplett and I said a prayer for help, that we would be lead to those willing to listen and ready to listen, and that our mouths would be filled. So we walk down the side road of the park until the very end. Before we get there, I kept thinking there's the end and we still haven't found anyone, maybe we should turn back. But as soon as I thought that, the Holy Ghost so powerfully in my heart helped me to know that there were people ahead who WE needed to talk to. Only about 10 seconds later, we ran into a huge group of workers... these people were very poor but so humble and kind. We started talking to some (about 3) and 2 of them left pretty quickly but one was truly interested. As we began talking about Joseph Smith and the first vision, suddenly 2 or 3 more workers came over and listened. In less than 15 minutes we had 10 at a time around us, (actually talking to about 5 at a time) and we had to take seperate groups! There were probably more than 15-20 people during our time there that read the pamphlet who we didn't get to talk to because of other conversations. I felt like we were Alma and Amulek in alma 32.... that was seriously us. The scriptures came alive for me. These people in the DR are ready, humble, and willing, and when we become like the people in this country- then the Lord will show miracles in our lives. That's when the Lord can change us. That is when we can recognize that the Lord loves us. I especially thought of verse 6- read it. It was the coolest experience of my (whole life) mission so far.
That night I got 22 mosquito bites, (we didn't have time to put on repellent my teacher said), and oh boy it has been painful and horrible and I can't sleep--- However, it was 100% worth it. A mission is 100% worth every pain, ache, stressful moment, hard nights... It is SO worth it. Seeing those people so excited and just see light come into their lives just a little bit was life changing. I'm so grateful I could witness such an amazing scene. I am truly so fortunate to be here!!!
Now on a more funny note my class built a "tower of bible" this week with our scritpures. Hopefully I will have the pics to send. It was great! Also Elder Wood, probably one of the most funny people I have ever met, taught us a lesson on redneck spanish words like: Abierto- as he pronounced it "Ab-ur-toe" (instead of ab-ee-air-toe) and said it means a work out between your abs and toes. So there is that! Another person this week said, "This foodo is no goodo for me estomacho" so there is also that. I also got yelled out by the lady we visit teach in the CCM because in my broken spanish, she thought I was telling her false doctrines... whoops good thing I have Hermana Triplett to help me out! (and I thought she might kill me so i'm grateful I survived) There are a bunch of native missoinaries here who are secretly cracking up at all the wrong spanish words we say- but it makes for comic relief right? :)
I just want to let you all know that this choice to serve a mission was the best choice I have ever made. I'm so grateful to be here and be an instrument of the Lord. I love you all, but more importantly I know the Lord loves you all a million times more than I ever could. His heart is big enough for all of us :) Trust in the Lord, trust in his timing, and trust in his promptings. He will never lead you astray.
The church is true, The book is blue, CTR when a choice is placed before you!
Love you all, but not with more love than a missionary should give,
Hermana Schmidt :)
Also we ran out of books for everyone at the park and all of them wanted to meet with missionaries!! :)