Monday, November 24, 2014

Hermana Schmidt's Week 9 Letter 11/24/14

Ugh, she’s sick, well was sick! And she couldn’t send any photos :( I asked her what amebas were and she said there it means some type of parasite and that I shouldn’t be nervous because tons of missionaries get it and it’s from vegetables usually so I guess I should be glad she is eating veggies.  Also, she mentioned in a separate email to me that she is the only person in her zone that doesn’t get hand written letters (she got a few in the CCM so thanks to her friend Leda and Aunt Rebekah and the Abbotts).  We are just all creatures of technology in my family so I am going to try to get better at that.  If you would like to send her a handwritten note or card or picture or anything, it is just a regular U.S. Postage stamp to Miami (a contracted company that pouches it all to the DR) and her address is: 

Sister Nicole Renee Schmidt
Dominican Republic Santo Domingo East Mission
SDQ 4102
2250 NW 114 Ave. Unit 1A
Miami, FL  33172

I can’t wait to read next week’s email, I am sure it can only get better after this week, poor girl. Bunney

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 11/24/2014 12:33 PM
Subject: The Trials In Life Shape Us

Hola family and friends!!

So, this week was full of trials. However, it was also full of miracles, blessings, and lessons learned. 

First of all, last monday I was sick to my stomach with pain, and so we took the night off. I woke up on Tuesday in even more pain, so we called the doctor to figure out what to do and he told me rest and tylenol. I didn´t sleep that night because of the pain so we went to a lab on Wednesday and did a lot of tests. The pain just got worse, and so the mission doctor thought, It could be amebas (that´s the spanish word and idk the english one) so he gave me medicine for that and i´ve been getting better!! Not perfect, but SO much petter and the pain isn´t constant like before, so it probably was Amebas and we can finally work!! 

Second, I got a bad eye infection on top of all of that. 

Third, our area has been really struggling and not progressing. All of our baptismal dates fell through. I guess it was good to be sick because we didn´t have a ton of appointments, but it´s been hard trying to pick up the missionary spirit of the ward and help investigators keep committments. But I know Heavenly Father will help us, we are here for a reason and that might just be to get this ward back into the spirit of missionary work. 

We didn´t really get to go out this week because of that, so that was rough but!! I have the best comp. in the whole world!! She was so good at helping me feel better every second. 

However, I did learn something I needed to learn. 

God loves us. Like.... really loves us. Before my mission I thought, hey if my trial isn´t big enough I can just deal with it on my own, I don´t need to ask God for help. But this has shown me that God wants to help us, with the big and small trials. In every moment. He filled my heart with joy so many discouraging moments this week! I think I had my most hard moment of my whole life this week, with the bishop thing, missing my family, and being in pain... it was a HARD moment. A moment I thought I should just give up. But, then I prayed. My heart swelled with joy and comfort that God has a plan for me, and that plan wasn´t sending me here to quit! It wasn´t calling me to fail. He called me here to be an instrument, and if that means I gotta go through some rainstorms to shape me into the servant he needs than so be it. I will go through the hurricane because I know my Heavenly Father will be there for me. He IS our loving Heavenly Father. He IS always, ALWAYS there for me. I´m just so grateful I could feel that so strongly this week I felt like I could just burst into fireworks! What an amazing feeling and special experience. 

Yes, I am grateful to be feeling so much better. But even more i´m so grateful to have my testimony strengthened because of these trials this past week. Trials are opportunities to grow if we trust in Heavenly Father. 

Hermana Jenkins shared a story this week about a donkey falling into a hole. He fell into this big ditch and the farmer thought he was going to die, so he started shoveling dirt over him for a grave. But the donkey instead shook off the dirt, and used it to step up higher and higher until it climbed out. Sometimes we need some dirt in our lives to grow, change, and step up a little higher. 

I know God lives. I know he is good. This is his work. I will go where he needs me, change how he needs me, and do what he asks me. And that will make all of the difference. I know it. 

Hurrah for Israel!!

Hermana Schmidt

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hermana Schmidt's Week 8 Letter 11/17/14 (A Tribute to our Bishop)

Subject: How much of life do we miss waiting for the rainbow without thanking God that there is rain? (Tribute to my dear homeward bishop and his passing)

Dear Friends and family,
Normally I would tell you everything, well as much as I can, about my week and about my wonderful adventures as a sister missionary. And believe me, this week was wonderful! With many adventures! One being I taught 2 great lessons and totally felt the gift of tongues kick in, and saw, LITERALLY saw, a change in their countenances and eyes. It was incredible. Another woman didn´t accept our message because her eyes are so bad and thats all she can focus on right now, fixing her eyes. But she cried as we told her how much god loved her and the purpose of trials in this life, once again the gift of tongues really kicked in for that lesson. How special it is to be a missionary and help those whos heads hang low.
That´s my very brief overview because, i´m sure a lot of you have heard, my dear sweet bishop from UT passed away this week. I read about it this morning, and I´m still in shock. But I felt inspired to make my email mostly about him, and also about the purpose of trials.
So, Bishop Loveless. There are some people in the world who when they smile or laugh, it´s like the world stops and you would be perfectly content seeing them never stop smiling or laughing, that was Bishop. As i´m sure it is still is on the other side. I can´t express with words my gratitude for Bishop Loveless. He helped me in the hardest time of my entire life, and without him I know I wouldn´t be on a mission.
I´ve been reading the D&C since arriving, and a verse reminds me of bishop. 81:5-6. : Where be faithful, stand in the office which I have appointed unto you succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees. And if thou art faithful unto the end thou shalt have a crown of immortality...
I don´t know if I know someone who endured to the end better than Randy Loveless. And magnified his calling because he lifted my hands that hung down, and strengthened my feeble knees... so many times. Ah he is an incredible man.

My dad wrote me that there must have been a big celebration when he got to the other side and I am sure of it. I am sure they were so excited to have such a strong soldier join their side of the battle!! I know he IS an amazing person, not was, IS. Because life does not end here, I will never accept that. God is loving, and I know he has a plan and that plan includes that there is life after this. And Randy Loveless is a valiant soldier, he was here on Earth, and he is now on the other side. I know it.
At girls camp this year he talked about trials and it reminded me of D&C section 58:2-4. Basically blessings follow tribulation. He was a perfect example of that! He trusted God and I know he wants us to all do the same. Because wow, he was just amazing at that. Trusting God at every single point.
To my bishop:
I will miss your girls camp skits, your slip ups on the pulpit, your funny jokes, and your laugh and smile. I will miss your advice to me and your ability to cheer me up and bring sunshine to the darkest of times. I will miss your ability to boldly testify of the gospel to crowds and to just one person, and bring the spirit every time. But I know I will see you again. I know you are bravely fighting on the other side. Thanks for all you did for the ward, and especially for me personally.
To everyone else:

I know Bishop would be telling us all right now exactly what he told us before his passing, Trust god in the hard times. God will help us and he loves us.

How much of life do we miss waiting for the rainbow without thanking God that there is rain?
Praying for you Elder Loveless, and the entire Loveless family. Thanks for all that you do.
Hurrah for Israel!!! (On both sides of the veil)

Hermana Schmidt

President Corbitt and his wife

Hermana Fletcher-her companion

The Crazy Rain

The Devil as she calls it

Getting to use her raincoat


Her view from the roof

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hermana Schmidt's Week 7 Letter 11/10/14 (we didn't get a week 6 letter because of her transferring)

From her mom (me):
I had a chance to email her back and forth for a few minutes and asked her about her meeting with her mission president and her response was the following which I thought was so touching:  And my meeting was incredible... First he said as a mission president he had the ability to see someone´s potential and he already knew I would be a leader my whole mission for him. And then I asked him for a blessing and in it he said my future kids are with me every step of my mission.... and that was just incredible. I sobbed like a baby through that one for sure!”.  She is missing home and missing her family (11 days was a long time to wait to email) so I consider this meeting with him a huge blessing in helping her through the harder days J  Enjoy reading about her week!

Dear Family and Friends,

The keyboards are really hard to use here but I will do my best to write as much as possible. Sorry it´ll be more of an update this week rather than a spiritual thought because i´m getting used to the time and everything.

So first to finish off the CCM. AH. I miss the CCM and my district so much!!! I for sure had the best district (plus CCM family) in the universe. Last monday we had orientation all day which was boring, except that Elder Wood kept taking over the translators mics and would make funny comments during breaks. That´s the only thing that kept me alive during that day because it was so long. That night we had a district testimony meeting in spanish and the gift of tongues is real! Everyone´s spanish was amazing. Then my district did a musical number at the last family prayer and then said goodbye (through many tears). It was like saying goodbye to my family all over again. 

But for my first area! I am in Los Frailes! My comp. is Hna Fletcher and she has been on the mission for 15 months!! She is amazing at spanish and just the best trainer I could ask for. It´s fun that she´s going home soon too because she is going to visit you family and tell you things from me and such. She is fantastic and I couldn´t ask for a better first comp. in the field. 

In the first 24 hours she challenged me to give baptismal committments. And FOUR people in the first 24 hours of my mission accepted the invitation to be baptized!!! What a miracle. And a great way to start off the mission. OH AND ELDER TATE IS MY ZONE LEADER. I see him everything Thursday.

One man we are teaching is named Choubert and he is from Haiti. He is super interested and great friends with one of the recent converts, Alex. Both of them are total jokers but we have great lessons with them. Choubert will be baptized the 29th. 

So RAINSTORMS this week were huge!!! I couldn´t sleep because of all the thunder but it was pretty cool. The kids have slipnslides here but it´s on the concrete, not on nice material. It´s funny to watch them sliding down the sidewalk. 

Calli, I have a boy i´m setting you up with. His name is michael and he is your age, and is the best kid in the ward. He offers to go to lessons with us and is such a great example. He´s the most active member in his family. But I told him after his mission and showed him your picture so if that works out in the future, I am the bomb at matchmaking :). Jokes Jokes (kind of). 

The highlight this week was teaching Arlette, a 13 year old whose dad died in September. My spanish really kicked in and I promised she would see her father again and apparently she has been putting off baptism but after I talked with her she finally accepted to be baptized!!! It was amazing and the spirit was just so strong. It was such an amazing blessing. 

So I don´t have much time so i´ll just tell you a bit about my house and stuff. Bucket showers that are ice cold have really made me grateful for the CCM showers and showers in UT. But it´s been very humbling. Our home is right by the ocean and is nicer than most of the homes here so it´s really cool and a great experience. I have a dog... kind of he is a dog by the house and I named him feo or ugly. Which was funny. It´s a great area with a great ward who all is happy to help us. 

I have no time for personal emails and I am so sorry but I love you all!!!!!!! Thanks for your emails and your support. They are great strength for me.

Hurrah for Israel!!

Hermana Schmidt 

Goofing off with their teacher

Her district

A photo with Elder Wood, the Elder that keeps everyone laughing

Her first day in the Field

The mosquito nets on their windows

Her roommates at the CCM