Monday, July 27, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 44 Letter 07/27/15

Subject:  I have a Green Card

Hola a todos!

Happy birthday to my cousin Michael! I hope it is wonderful! :) 

So this was my ''stay inside so you can get better'' week and it went just swell!! Although I wasn't happy about it at first, the Lord super helped me through it all with peace, comfort, and healing. Needless to say, I am just SO pumped to be back in the vineyard of the Lord--- happy and healthy! :) I have to tell you all thank you so much for your sweet emails of concerns, and for the prayers. You have no idea how much I needed your sweet words and encouragement! Thank you for showing me what it means to offer selfless service. Love you all more than words can say! 

So yes. I now hold a dominican republic GREEN CARD. They switched us from our visas to GREEN CARDS. I don't know why. I just feel super cool. Green Card. Green. Card. It's a green. Card. So no worries fam bam- I am a legal person in this country now! Woot woot! 

My companion worked super hard this week with the hermana leaders doing exchanges, and i'm just so grateful for her! She is just so sweet, and so hard working. It's definitely given me a boost. Along with the STLs who have seriously sacrificed so much time and energy into helping us and our area. They just rock. I am surrounded by GREAT individuals. 

But I finally left the house Saturday afternoon. When I left, walking into the fearce DR sun was like comin' right back home and the only thing I could think to say or do was throw my hands in the air singing Let it Go from Frozen because in Spanish it's ''Libre Soy'' Which means i'm free! So I sang ''Libre Soy! Libre Soy!'' Too bad I don't have the long braid and fancy dress, but at least 1/2 clean hair and a stained skirt would pass. 

It was a fantastic night! We taught Bierka who is SUPER interested in the church. She's a mom of 3 teenage girls, and her husband and her are LEGALLY married (Sing and shout alelujah!) Her husband works for JetBlue so is barely there, but we finally met him on Saturday. But Bierka always says her whole life has changed from our lessons and she feels so good in them! The only problem is getting her to church, but we taught a powerful lesson about the plan of salvation and I talked to her about her potential, and who she was before this life. I testified that really, truly, she lived with a loving Father who had a perfect plan for HER personally. That it was quite possible that part of that plan would be sending missionaries and the help she would need, and promised blessings if she accepted the message they would share. The spirit was so strong and she was tearing up saying ''I do want to accept it, how can I?'' We shared about baptism and the importance of the church and showing God our willingness to follow him by ACTING. She readily agreed and wants to be baptized the end of August! What a blessing! :) 

So we are just seeing miracles and I know such amazing miracles are up ahead! I feel so blessed to be such an incredible ward and area. It's much more than I could ever ask for and my heart just feels with joy talking about it! There is nothin' better than being a missionary!! Well, maybe being a mom. But you'd have to ask my mom to know that one. 

A theme for my week was FRIENDS. We listened to some talks on audio and they were just so powerful! One was ''I love my friends'' by Hank Smith. I know that friends are super important and i'm including this part in my email to encourage my family to listen to it-- especially cal and jess. I loved this quote by Neil L. Maxwell in the talk : ''The finest of friends must sometimes be stern sentinals- Who insist that we become what we have the power to become.'' Loved that! I have been blessed with great friends on my mission, and great friends in my life. As many of you are coming home from your missions, I hope you know I love you all so much. And am truly grateful for your example. Thank you for serving the Lord, and for doing it worthily. Those who are coming home, I hope you know your example doesn't stop when you lose the tag. Your influence has to keep going, Your family needs it. And Friends. I know you can continue forward helping and serving those around you as you've done for a year and a half or 2 years. You guys just rock! I love you all so much!  

To finish i've thought a lot about this quote: ''Don't pray for easier lives- pray to be stronger men. Don't 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!'' 

Also: ''You can tell God how big your storm is, our your STORM how big GOD is.''

Hurrah for Israel! :)

-Hermana Schmidt :) 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 43 Letter 07/20/15

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 07/20/2015 10:17 AM
To: Bunney Schmidt
Subject: Look At All the Blessings!

Hola a todos! 

Happy birthdays this week to my cousins Noah and Jerrett, I hope they are wonderful ! :) 

I'm sorry I didn't write but I'll let you all know why. I had to get a small operation done in the hospital a week and a half ago to remove a kidney stone and put in a stent. It's been a super painful process, but a SUPER growing one too. It's so true that ''good timber does not grow with ease, the stronger the wind the stronger the trees!''

Just so you all know the 4 baptisms on the 11th went off without a hitch and were AMAZING. The spirit was so strong and it really testified to me that I was in the right place. I'm so grateful to my Lord for this incredible opportunity to be one of his missionaries! 

And I thought i'd update you on the 4 of them and how they are doing, as well as Daniela, our convert who got baptized in May. 

1. Daniela. She is doing wonderful!! She is teaching with us as we are teaching and sharing with her mother! Her testimony is so strong. 

2. Jose Miguel. He is super excited about the gospel and wants to serve a mission! He is helping us teach his brother, Fidel, who has shown a ton more interest and really has a grand potential. 

3. JESSICA. She is just on fire with the gospel!! She wants to leave with us all the time and all she talks about is ''In 8 months i'll get to turn in my mission papers!!'' ''I can't wait to be a missionary!!'' ''Just think in a year I could have my own nametag!!'' It's so special. We had a super cool experience with her this week. She left for an afternoon with us to teach and this man started bashing on her so super hard for her decision to be baptized and said, ''You don't know the history of your church and your own beliefs! Your church is all about polygamy and has ridiculous beliefs.'' That is the first time, I Hermana Schmidt, have had any opposition said like that in my whole mission. But Jessica stayed super composed and responded afterwards, ''Thanks for your comments. I just want you to know that I know this church is true. I prayed about my decision and it wasn't because of the missionaries that I chose to be baptized in this church. It was from a burning feeling from the Holy Ghost that caused me not to sleep for two nights. I just know it's true! All of it.'' Needless to say, she will be a ROCKIN missionary in a year! She is also teaching her sister with us. 

4. Pedro and Jorge. They are teaching with us as we teach their parents. They have gotten into a steady habit of reading the sciptures and the Liahona! For two young boys, that is so very impessive. His dad has seen a change in them which has caused him to have more interest in the church.

I just wanted to share that update because it's so special how strong these converts are and their willingness and desire to share the gospel with their own family members. I'm so very impressed with them, and hope to be more like them and always have a fire to share the gospel! It is the best!!

Last, after I was in the hospital I was told to take it easy. And... knowing me.... taking it easy was like ''Okay lets just work the afternoon but lets walk 15 miles.'' And that resulted in more pain and a new UTI. It hasn't been easy and I had to go see the doctor again but, I had the most touching experience in the hospital on Saturday. 

I was sitting there, frustrated and in pain, literally praying so hard in my heart for something, anything to pull me out of this dark hole. Well, side note. My mom wrote me this week and told me she was praying fervently for my health. When I read that today, I really felt like the Lord answered her prayer in an unusual but special, special way. 

Yeah, we were all hoping I would be better by now and up to full speed. But here I was, sitting in the hospital, not ever wanting to see another hospital again. An older woman had been there waiting for a family member and had been observing us and my conversations with the doctor for the morning, and she had seen one of my more painful moments. So as I was sitting there, she stood up and asked me ''How are you feeling?'' I said, ''Well... More or less.'' She said, 

''where is your mom?'' 

I said, ''The US''

She said, ''Stand up for a second.''

I wasn't feeling very well enough to stand so I was a little hesitant, but something just told me stand. 

She said, ''I know your mom would love to be here for you at a moment like this. And I know you would love a hug from her. But you can hug me, and pretend that it's your mom. Maybe that can help you just a little bit.''

We embraced. I sobbed. 

I knew it was an answered prayer, to my many prayers and my mom's. Even though she was far away, I felt the love of my mom very close. Heavenly Father was able to work through a stranger because the stranger was willing.

How often do we look out for the people who are hurting? The people who simply need a hug? The people who just need something, anything to pull them out of a dark hole. 

I hope I can answer more prayers for other people, as this woman did mine. May we all be more like this selfless, loving woman. 

We can always choose to look at the trials, or the blessings. But... I've learned there really is no difference when we focus on the blessings. The trials ARE blessings because we grow and we come to see that God really loves us and is so aware of us! 

Hurrah for Israel!!

-Hermana Schmidt 

her new companion Hermana Jackson

Her zone on transfer day
I mustache you a question

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 42 No Letter 07/14/15

Hermana Schmidt was not able to write a group email this week but will next week.  Her 4 baptisms went through as scheduled on Saturday so that was a wonderful day for her, I have included photos. 

Unfortunately she woke up late Sunday night in a ton of pain and it turned out to be a bad kidney stone.  After not responding to the medications, they felt it best to operate and remove it so she is recovering thus no group email.

Transfers were this week and she is staying in the same area and her new companion is Hermana Jackson.  She is about to hit 6 months in the mission and her previous companion Hermana Cabos was her trainer.

I will leave this with a quote from her:

“Don't know why my body rejects this country but at least my mind and spirit doesn't! ha .”  

Jose Miguel, Jorge, Pedro, Jessica and Hermana Cabos and Schmidt

Pedro and Jorge and Jessica and Jose Miguel and the Bishop

Jose Miguel and Brother and Friends

Hermana Schmidt and Hermana Cabos and Jose Miguel and Brother

Pedro and Jorge and Hermanas

Pedro and Jorge and Hermana's

Pedro and Jorge and Family

Hermana Schmidt and Kitten

Hermana Schmidt

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 41 Letter 07/07/15

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 07/07/2015 1:16 PM
Subject: Best Week of My Li-i-i-i-i-i-i-fe (That song has gotta be ancient for you all by now)

Hola a todos!! 

Can I just say I am typing like a maniac because of how extremely excited I am to share with you all about the amazing things that happened this week!? AH. So. Excited. :) Best. Week. EVER. Of. My. Life. ! 

Okay so here goes. This will be a shorter email (I think) but full of happy, wonderful news! 

1. Jessica passed her interview!! She said she feels so good and is so excited to be baptized this Saturday! She also went to the ''zona colonial'' (historical landmarks of christopher colombus and other people who discovered the Americas) with us and a member today, and she was just glowing! She told us a couple of days ago: ''Last night, I was thinking about this whole process and learning about the church and I started crying because I felt so strongly that the Lord knew what I was doing and was proud of me!'' It has been such a cool miracle to see her progress and to see her draw so close to the Lord.

2. FIDEL. Fidel is Jose Miguels brother- the jose miguel that will be baptized this Saturday as well. He has slammed the door in our face and told us plenty of times he did NOT want to listen to us. Needless to say, we stopped trying to teach him and started trying to just be friendly if we saw him at Jose's house. WELL. This last week we passed by and invited him to a YSA activity our ward was going to have, and he got super excited about it. Something just clicked! He said he has some curiosity about the church. We started teaching him and he has been so super receptive. How cool to see someone's heart softened! The Lord is good!! 

3. Pedro and Jorge. They are two kids who have had such a hard process to be baptized. We've been teaching them with their parents and their parents had said lots of times they just didn't think Pedro and Jorge behave well enough to be baptized. They read their BOM and pray, and are super prepared so we were working so hard with them and their family this week to reach their goal to be baptized this Saturday as well... and... Their parents accepted and they passed their interviews!! 

4. Elisiel. Elisiel is 8 and needs to wait to be baptized. His mom is lessactive and needs to reactivate before Elisiel gets baptized. However, he is reading the Book of Mormon like crazy! He says he loves it. And he's super smart!! How cool to see that the Lord can touch anyone's hearts- even small children (or especially small children!). 

So there you have it!! We will be having four AMAZING indiviuals being baptized this saturday!! I am just bursting with joy. It's been a hard process and a lot of work but the Lord really has prepared the way and provided so many miracles! I feel so incredibly lucky to have seen the Lord work wonders in the lives of these his children. 

The biggest miracle however, was between my comp and I and our goals we've set. Our mission president has elevated the spirituality of our mission so so high! It has been such a cool process to see. To help, he has set some high goals to keep us motivated and working hard. When I saw some of the goals, I was shocked!! They were so high and nearly seemed impossible!! But my comp. and I decided we would work our hardest and have faith that it was possible to reach our President's goals. If we didn't, we could at least say we strived anxiously to accomplish them!! But this week we hit one of the goals!! It was so so so so exciting! The Lord has truly helped us. 

I just know the Lord lives!! He is So good!! :) 

Keep your chin UP, work hard, and be obedient. 

Hurrah for Israel! :) 

-Hermana Schmidt 

Hermana Schmidt and Hermana Cabos in front of museum

Photo received from a member

Columbus Home

Columbus Home

Columbus Home

Columbus Home

Hermana Schmidt and Jessica

Hermana Schmidt and Museum

Hermana Schmidt and Hermana Cabos with member and Jessica

Hermana Schmidt at museum

She says she loves this country