She doesn’t mention this in her letter below but found it too funny not to share. They came home this week and someone had cut the lock to the roof and stolen their brand new washing machine off the roof that just replaced the one that was stolen a couple of weeks ago. Life in the DR.
From: Nicole Schmidt [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: 03/03/2015 12:35 PM
Subject: 5 Months in Paradise + Some Tears
Sent: 03/03/2015 12:35 PM
Subject: 5 Months in Paradise + Some Tears
Hola a todos!
First of all, Happy birthday to my sister Caroline, i'm sorry I don't have a tribute pic but I will one day I promise you!! I didn't have time to take one this morning. And happy birthday to my cousin Austin!!! I hope your birthdays were/are just wonderful!!
I also got letters from Luc, Jessi, and Mom this week. Jessi- LOVED your letter. Cried. Died. Smiled. Normal. And Luc's letter was too good... I laminated it. Good to know somehow he got permission to play my uke and use my laptop- and that he just found out our twin cousins are twins. Thanks for the handwritten letters- they are the BEST.
So you guys. My heart is FULL of gratitude today. In my topic when I said some tears, it's tears of happiness. Because as i'm writing this email, i'm seriously about to cry!! The missionary is just incredible. I can't believe I hit 5 months this week. It breaks my heart. I have just come to completely love this country and the people!! It has been a blessing every step of the way. The hard times have helped me to grow, and the good ones have completely changed my life. I can't properly express with words how much the mission has been a blessing for my life. I was called to help others, but I know that a big reason why the Lord called me to here was to help me change as well!!! I just have never felt closer to the spirit, closer to my heavenly father, and really, closer to heaven as I have these past 5 months. It is a truly rewarding, wonderful, miraculous journey.
So this week was full of drama, tears, spiritual highs, and lots of miracles- basically a typical week in the life of a missionary! To start of with the drama/tears/laughing moments: Hermana Pichardo and I were in a lesson when all of a sudden her eye started killing her. It hurt bad enough and we couldn't find any relief that we had to go to the hospital to get it checked out in the night! however, the eye doctor wasn't in so we had to go back again yesterday. But as we were up in Gazcue for the hospital, we saw a little bit of Carnaval. Basically a ton of locos dressed up in huge costumes. Especially the locos part- the people were CRAZY in the streets. However, missionaries are protected that's for sure because we didn't run into any trouble. Well long story short, we now have medicine for Hna Pichardo's eyes but we have to go back up for more tests next week.
Here's a funny lesson for you: We are contacting in the street when a guy calls us over asking what our believes are and yada yada, and we are super stoked!! Like this is the miracle we were feeling was going to happen today!! So he gets us chairs outside his house and we start talking to him about the church. He is listening really intently when suddenly he says: "That's cool, can I tell you my story?" And so we say of course!! And he stands up and with a huge dramatic performance tells us how he was saved and the miracles he witnessed and how he saw God in a dream, and all that good stuff. And we are just sitting there like.... Ah..... What do we do?? I mean he was going off talking for a long while!! So my comp asks if we can sing a hymn to start a lesson and he says yes, so we sing a hymn. And after the hymn he says he has a hymn for us!! and stands up and starts rocking out to his own solo, and we are sitting there like... Ah..... What do we do?? Again. So completely horribly hilariously awkward. Turns out later on he just wanted to bible bash, but hey, he was so passionate at least he really cares about what he believes in!! And maybe one day he'll get baptized and preach the gospel with fire in his teaching!! (hopefully not snapping, clapping, and wailing his arms however).
And now for some spiritual stories! (the best part, I know!) We taught Jeninson this week and he is progressing so fast! He has his cute little son and loves the gospel. We took him on a church tour and he loved it! he was almost in tears the whole time and after said: I was just praying and praying for the truth and then Hna. Schmidt and Hna. Pichardo show up on my door like two angels handing it right to me!
Those moments. They are like a baseball hitting your heart with happiness. It just takes the breath right out of you!! How incredible.
Also Kevin!! Kevin baptized the last of his sisters to be baptized this week so now all 6 of the Almonte Garcia family kids are baptized!! the other hermanas are the ones teaching the whole family, Kevin was the only one I had the priviledge to teach. However, i'm really close to the whole family so this was such a special baptism. Especially to see my convert baptize 1/2 of his sisters now!! And the other hermanas told us this week that BOTH of the parents want to get baptized now!!! And Kevin will baptize his parents!! Oh gosh... here come the tears again.
Kevin also blessed the sacrament for this first time this week and was flawless. So proud of him! He seriously is like a little brother to me. You just come to truly become family with all of the people you get to serve as a missionary.
Funny story... So after Kevin baptized his sisters we forgot to tell him to drain the font and you can only do that in the font!! Well... the only solution was me dressing up in baptismal clothes and getting in and draining it. So who knew that I would be in the baptismal waters the same day as all of them as well!! ;) And if you are wondering... no I couldn't drain it....... This is why Hermana Schmidt should not be the one to do something ridiculously funny things like this :)
Ah man. I just can't stop talking now about how much I love the mission. I love it I love it I love it! Today we could go to the aquarium and I was looking out over the ocean and just thinking how incredibily lucky I was to be here, and not only to be here, but to be here as a missionary. I am so so so so so lucky. It's now become my second home and the fact that time is flying just hurts me to the core! There is nothing like the Dominican Republic. There is nothing like being a missionary. There is nothing like really, really coming to know that 1. There is a God. and 2. He loves us. Like really, really, really loves us you guys. If you ever doubt it, you can rely on my testimony. I testify that YOU (whoever you are that is reading this) that God loves you. He wants you to be happy and at peace every day that you are here. He has given you so much so show that he loves you, and he wants you to see that. I know it, I know it, I know it.
Hurrah for Israel!!
Hermana Schmidt :)
|Kevin baptizes the last of his siblings|
|At the Aquarium enjoying the beautiful view|
|With Roommates at the aquarium|
|With her companion Hermana Pichardo|
|With her companion, Kevin and his sisters|
|Kevin and his sisters|
|Kevin and his siblings all baptized members|