Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 18 Letter 01/26/15

From: Nicole Schmidt [mailto:nicole.schmidt@myldsmail.net]
Sent: 01/26/2015 8:57 AM
Subject: Adios English

Hola a todos!!

So this week my email will not be nearly as pathetic as last time I promise! 

1st off. On our way home from emailing last week, Hna. Fletcher slipped in the mud, landed on her foot, and crack! FRACTURED IT! So we had to go get x-rays, go to doctors, and spend a lot of time in the house this week. Which was kind of sad for her last week, however we still had a lot of great adventures! :) And because we had to stay in a lot, I finished the Book of Mormon a day earlier than I thought! Reading the whole thing again in 17 days was a great, great thing to do! I don't know if i'll do it again on the mission that fast, but it was a great experience. Especially to read pretty along with Smith and Kevin!! They are just over-achievers ;) 

So on Saturday morning we went to Gazcue (the cool part of Santo Domingo) where the mission office is, for Hermana Fletchers going home meeting. All the people who weren't going home, went on splits with the missionaries in the Gazcue area and guess who I went with.... HERMANA TRIPLETT!! And her companion, Hna Gingel. It was a lot of fun. And we saw really cool things in their area! Including, Columbus's first house in the new land, the house of the royals, the land of the ruins... it was SWEET. But... I forgot my camera.... :(. One day there will be pics of me there though, don't you worry! 

Later that day was Kevin's baptism- and also his little sister Scarlett who the other hermanas taught. One by the one the whole family is getting baptized! 4/6 of the kids will be members by the end of February. So now we just have to help the parents and the other 2 sisters and we have a whole new family in the church!! AH. :) Then they all move to Chicago in February or March. Kevin says he wants to apply to BYU new year when he's 17, and then serve a mission in 2 years. I think being in the states will really help him! And I'm so excited for him!! I might go to school with my 1st convert :') Who knew? The baptism went beautifully!! There were some trials right before, but it all ended up just perfect. I was tearing up the whole time just seeing the glow that Kevin had! It was really, really special. 

Sunday he was confirmed. In his confirmation he was promised if he stayed valiant he would serve a mission and later have an eternal family in the temple! It was so powerful, and once again.. the tears were rising the whole time! I have no doubt that he can stay strong in the gospel. He is incredible. 

So now the big news...

I'm Staying in Los Frailes!! I'm the only one staying in our house. Our house was all from UT, which is rare. So all english speakers! And now.... 3 hermanas are moving in who only speak spanish!! My companion is Hermana Pichardo. She is dominican! I can't wait to meet her!! So i'm going to have an all spanish home now!! Ah!! 

I'm really excited, but really nervous. But, I know that this is the Lord's mind and will and he will help me. He truly is there for us and can make us capable of accomplishing the things he asks us to do (1 Nephi 3:7). I think of the quote:

"Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks! Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle-- you shall be the miracle!!" - Phillips Brooks

I know he can change me and qualify me for the next adventure. Because without him, I really am nothing. But with him, I know all things are possible! (Phililpians 4:13). 

So yes, i'm nervous. Because it's the unknown. But I'm really grateful to not just step but leap into the darkness and trust that Heavenly Father will open up the way. It's a cool opportunity to have faith, and for that I am grateful. 

I love you all, thanks for your support. 

Hurrah for Israel!! :)

Hna Schmidt :) 

Angelin the first member of Kevin's family to get baptized

Her first baptism Kevin and his sister who was taught by roommates also baptized

with Diego, a great ward member missionary

with Kevin and family

with Nayelin who will be baptized soon

Kevin after getting confirmed

with Kevin after getting confirmed

with Kevin after getting baptized

with Hermana Fletcher and Kevin and Smith

Kevin on his baptism day

with Hermana Fletcher and their bishop

Monday, January 19, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 17 Letter 01/19/15

From: Nicole Schmidt [mailto:nicole.schmidt@myldsmail.net]
Sent: 01/19/2015 1:23 PM
Subject: It's cold here... It's gotten all the way down to like 75 degrees! ;)

Hola a todos! 

I feel like i'm breaking rules by emailing because it can't already be monday again! 

So this week we all got to go to the temple!! It was just wonderful. There is nothing like the peace in the temple!!

Some challenges this week is that Smith and angel won't be baptized the 24th :( Smiths' grandma hates the church and she wouldn't sign his baptismal form, so right now we are praying for a miracle for her heart to soften because Smith is so ready! We've tried to talk with her ourselves... however... that didn't go over well at all so there are some members who are going to try! Yay for member missionary work :) And angel hasn't completely stopped smoking yet but he has improved so much so we are shooting for February with him!! 

but Kevin is getting baptized this week!!! :) And we watched the Joseph Smith movie with him and smith and it was great. They both shared their testimonies and it was super powerful and wonderful!! :) Kevin Said, "Before I didn't really care about anything and now I do. I've prayed and felt that this is the true church."

So Smith and Kevin finished the book of mormon in 12 DAYS. Ah. They are incredible. I'm still following the schedule I made to finish the day of Kevin's Baptism so I'm in helaman. But Wow, reading the BOM has been so great for me as well!! Some great verses I loved so far this time through are:
2 Nephi 2:8
2 Nephi 29:7
2 Nephi 33:3
Omni 1:26
Mosiah 5:2
2 Nephi 30:6
Mosiah 7:33
Mosiah 28:3
Alma 5:7-9
Alma 19:6
Alma 26:15-16
Alma 36:27
Alma 57:27
Helaman 3:35

Well that's really all for this week, sorry it is short. I love it here, and the work is going great!!

Hurrah For Israel! :)

Hna Schmidt :)  

Addition to her letter from her mom:
I asked her more about the Smith’s grandma thing and here was her response:

I can tell you that Smiths grandma yelled at us though. It went like this. 

We passed by to tell smith that we changed the time of our appointment to a half our earlier. And his grandma walks out in a towel and starts yelling "HE WILL HAVE NO MORE PART OF THIS STUFF. I DONT WANT IT AND NEITHER DOES HIS FATHER" but the thing is he can have permission from his aunts to so he has permission to visit with us, he just can't get baptismal permission except from his grandma or dad. So we just stood there in shock as she stormed out, 

and smith turns to us smiles and says, "so 6:30 right?"

oh smith. haha :) 
She says there are a ton of big Tiger Sharks in the ocean by her house and here is a jaw

Her zone in the East Mission at the Temple

Santo Domingo Temple

In front of the Santo Domingo Temple

With Hermana Fletcher

With Hermana Fletcher

Another with Hermana Fletcher

with Hermana Fletcher who finishes her mission next Monday

Monday, January 12, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 16 Letter 01/12/15

Hola a todos, 

1st off, happy birthday on the 16th dad!! I'm putting this in the fam email so everyone wishes him a happy birthday :) Just so everyone knows, he likes shrimp, stuff for his classroom, and pictures of his missionary daughter ;) Also, today is my one year mark since starting my mission papers!! Woohoo! 

so I decided that this email would be a story rather than a weekly update. It's the story of smith and kevin! 

About a month and half ago we were teaching one of our investigators, Arlette. We asked if she knew anyone we could teach. She suggested two teenage boys- Smith, who lived across the street and Kevin, His best friend. 

At the time, we didn't know this, but Kevin is the brother of the other hermana's recent convert, Anyelin. 

So we stopped by and got an apponitment with them. For the appointment, neither of them were there. Normally, we wouldn't bother passing by again unless there's a definite feeling, but there was! We both felt we needed to try again. So the second time, Smith was there. We taught him about the love of our Heavenly Father and it was a very powerful lesson. He happily accepted a return appointment. 

The next appointment, Kevin was there too! For the next week we were teaching them, but they weren't following through on their committments or coming to church. Transfers rolled around and Hermana Fletcher and I were praying and working really hard to find people who could be ready to be baptized before the end of Hermana Fletcher's mission (on the 26th). We weren't really expecting Smith and Kevin. There's a mission rule that if they are under 18 they have to come to church 3 months straight with out missing church before baptism- unless their progress is really picking up and get permission from the bishop for an earlier date. But, we didn't see their progress picking up enough to get that permission- or for them to seek it. However, the Lord had a different plan. 

The first thing that happened was Kevin came to the stake baptism night and started showing more of a committment to make that a goal, which was the first big change we saw in either one of them. After that, the coolest thing started happening to me as a missionary. Something like never before. 

Ideas started flooding into my mind for these two. I feel like as a missionary, a lot of time i'm left on my own for ideas so that I grow, ya know? But Sometimes, there really is divine intervention. I was thinking of things I would have never thought of on my own. And not only that, I was developing more love than I ever have before for these two teenagers. Complete, love. It's an exquisite feeling. 

Almost immediately, these two went from wishy washy to determined golden investigators. They started teaching us the lessons and asking us for assignments that they could teach us! They asked to meet with us EVERY NIGHT. So we started meeting with them every night. They completely dropped coffee, and were determined to progress. Kevin was the first to say he was for sure wanting to be baptized, and a couple of nights later smith said, ''I finally got my answer!! I left our lesson and I was full with complete joy. Nothing like ever before. I want to be baptized" Wow. I was speechless and on the verge of tears. 

Then, seeing their progress so rapid and having every ward member saying that they were ready, and feeling they were ready, we set a temporary baptismal date of the 24th until we got for sure bishop permission. In the meantime, I gave them a BOM challenge to read the whole BOM in 18 days and finish on their baptismal day. They accepted it. I learned that I should do what I extend, so I am also reading the BOM in 18 days right now and in Mosiah. I will finish ont he 24th. However, I didn't know if they would stick to it because their assignments had only been 1 chapter a day at the most before, not 14-15! But to my complete shock and amazement, they surpassed the schedule I gave them and read all the way through Alma in 4 short days. That book... it changed them more than anything. They want to be baptized, and help the missionaries and go on missions! It's amazing!! 

Well, then we had a hold up last monday. The 1st counselor told us No, there are so many less active young men in the ward that they are worried and they wanted smith and kevin to do the 3 months. We decided not to tell Smith or Kevin until we talked to the bishop. We talked to him and he agreed, hesitantly, to give them an interview before having a firm decision.. Well on Sunday, we saw a miracle. The bishop interviewed them and then he came out and said, ''You were right. This is what God wants.'' It. Was. Amazing. 

So they are blowing everyone's minds, not just mine. They are helping us make a ward plan to help the less active members, and will be coming on appointments to visit these young men with the missionaries after their baptisms. How sweet is that!? But this whole process hasn't just changed them, it's changed me. It's changed me to believe in change. To believe in miracles. To believe in the Lord's direction in our lives, because I wouldn't have put that much energy into these two withought feeling that from the Lord. They are ready, they are powerful. And i'm seeing in a change in myself that I never expected. All I want is to bring others the gospel. Come what may! I will do what the Lord needs done. Because this really is His work! I am priviledged to be a part of God's army in the last days, as we all are as members of his true church. I know the Book of Mormon is true and has power, it's changed me and now i've witnessed it change two others immensely. It really does have a changing and invigorating power. I know that this IS the Lord's church. May we all find ways to experience this kind of joy of bringing others to the church... It truly is extraordinary. 

I love you all. Hurrah for Israel!!

Hermana Schmidt 

This is the photo I got when I said "Send photos, I like to stare at them during the week" Haha

The Hermanas with Kevin and Smith

The letters they gave Kevin and Smith when their baptism was approved

Monday, January 5, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 15 Letter 1/5/15

From: Nicole Schmidt [mailto:nicole.schmidt@myldsmail.net]
Sent: 01/05/2015 11:26 AM
To: Bunney Schmidt
Subject: Happy "Black" year!! (Whole year in the misión) :)

Hola a todas!

I have found I'm slipping into the missionary trend and I am having less and less to email and say each week. Time is just going toooo fast!! First, we had a meeting this week with some of my CCM Friends which was awesome!! They are all doing a great job... and some can barely speak english. Hoping I don't get to that point too ;)

And as far as the work goes we had AWESOME highlights this week!! I am just so indescribably happy!!

Kevin and Smith came to church!! I almost cried! It was a great testimony meeting and they loved it. The Young men really befriended them which wow... members just make a huge difference! Look for new people in meetings, you never know how much good you can do :) But they BOTH said they want to be baptized the 24th!!! AHHHH. My Little brothers are getting baptized :) And they are just so receptive. We taught them the Word of wisdom and they committed to live it. Well they went home that night and their family made them a lot of coffee and they didn't take it! Wow. I am so impressed with how ready and committed they are to this! :)

Angel is also doing wonderfully. We are in the middle of his stop smoking process but still hoping for the 24th for his baptism :)

I just want to share my testimony about fasting. It really brings about miracles. 1st we saw Angel (after a priesthood blessing) gain an immense amount of hope and faith. Then we saw Smith gain permission from his parents and gain excitement to be baptized! And perhaps the highlight of my whole week was with an inactive member.

We were teaching a less active family and there is an inactive 20 year old son. He never wants to listen or participate, and normally just watches TV when we are there or refuses to want to listen. Well part of my fast was to know how to help the inactives in the Ward, and last night I had some promptings on what to say to him. And all of a sudden, he just completely opened up!! I couldn't believe it. He asked the family to turn off the TV and be quiet and listened the whole lesson, prayed, and participated! WOW. Bringing people to the góspel is really awesome, but also helping people come back is really awesome too!! I am so lucky to be able to witness these miracles and see the light change in people's eyes. It's wonderful.

Well it's now the new year- 2015. I'll be here all year folks :) I couldn't be more excited!! My goals this year are centered around change. How the Lord wants me to change and mold me into a better servant and daughter! I know his grace is sufficent to mold me, help me, and keep me going, as I start this new process in my life of trying to focus on how I can improve, how I can apply the gospel in my life, and that's truly when the Lord can use me as his tool in this work! Here goes the best year ever! :) Love you all, and thanks for all of your support!!


Hna Schmidt

Happy New Years

Happy New Years Another Pose

Reunion with Hermana Triplett