Monday, November 30, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 62 Letter 11/30/15

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 11/30/2015 1:10 PM
Subject: Cold... ??

Hola a todos! 

Happy Birthdays to my brother in law Aaron, and my uncle gabe!!

First of all to those who are sending me countdowns of my time left : John 4:35.  .. :) 

So this week was... well... cold??? I forgot what that feels like, and i'm pretty sure it was still 70 degrees but I was freezing like 1/2 the time. The pics are of last night when I was wearing two huge pairs of socks, two sweat pants, a long sleeve shirt, and a hoodie and I STILL was cold!!! 

This week was full of big leadership/mission meetings so we were going back and forth from our area and out, but we still managed to have some great lessons in the little spaces of time we had! And the meetings were really spiritual and powerful and i've definitely set more goals for myself to become a more consecrated missionary. As well as as a companionship and for the sisters we've set goals to accomplish that :) We are excited! 

We taught the family a couple of more times from last week, their names are Rosa and Rafael. They are so prepared and have just LOVED learning about the restoration. They said, ''We can just feel this is SO true!'' Rafael has sight problems so he asked for a priesthood blessing so we will get on that in the next week. We set a baptismal date with them for the 27th of December and they accepted full heartedly!! They said, ''Do we have to stop smoking to be baptized??'' And we said, ''Yes.'' And Rosa said, ''Well than we will do it! We start right now.'' And they are cutting back SO much on their smoking it's truly a miracle!! 

Also we have a family who will be baptized in December with them who finally came to church!!! If it all works out we will be having two FAMILY baptisms next month. That is seriously my dream to see families joining together!!! We really have faith that it can happen. 

So probably the most powerful moment for my companion and I happened on Saturday. The whole day EVERYTHING fell through, and that day it was HOT. We were walking and walking and every person we wanted to see (or could see) wasn't home. We were contacting but no one wanted to listen to us. We had set to leave with members all day but only one showed up in the late afternoon, and by the time we were with her we were both completely exhausted and discouraged. We sat on a bench with our member for a second to think and we both looked at eachother with the face of ''I just wanna go home''. But in that moment, a surge of energy pulsed through me and I felt as clear as day that our work wasn't over and that God would provide the miracles if we took the steps. I can't really explain that moment, but I felt very, very close to my savior.

So we took the step. And another one. And even though every bone in our body was screaming at us to stop, we didn't, and step by step we felt more alive and more powerful. In only 2 hours we were able to teach 7 houses. And to finish off the night we taught a family from the states who said they feel that it's true and want to come to church. The daughter has been reading the pamphlets and filling out all the questions in the back. It was a miracle.

It taught us that discouragement, yeah it can be normal, but if we remember that night we will remember that perhaps the most important thing we can do to combat discouragement is step. And do it for the Lord and WITH the Lord and the miracles will come!!! They really will!!! I testify that God provides the way for us to accomplish what he commands and that that pathway is full of celestial moments and pure joy. 

I've truly never been happier than I was than at the end of that night. 

Hurrah for Israel!! 

-Hermana Schmidt 

They were actually cold

Cool moon photo

Another cold photo

Thanksgiving Dinner

A neighbor cutting down part of a tree

A selfie with their pet Cosmo

Thanksgiving Dinner with the Sisters

Thanksgiving Dinner DR Style

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 61 Letter 11/23/15

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 11/23/2015 11:32 AM
Subject: A Week Full of Joy... and People from the states.

Hola a todos! :) 

Happy Birthdays to my 2nd cousin Spencer, Cousin Tiancum, and Nephew Dean!! :) I hope they are great! (With lots of cake) 

Okay this week was so great! One of the best of my missions by far. :) I am loving my calling, my area, and obviously being with my best friend Sister Greenie-street. :) Seriously, this week and this new transfer have already been huge, huge, blessings. And I am so grateful. 

So I will start off with the funny and get to the spiritual/learning moments of the week. 

To start off with the funny, I left early Tuesday morning to come to La Romana on a big bus alone (Which is allowed for transfers). The bus driver assured me that he knew ''exactly where I needed to go'' and so I thought, no need to really ask further questions. Well, my ''being by myself'' anxiety picked up half the drive through and I realized I should probably ask the worker on the bus if they were sure where I needed to be let off, and explained it how Sister Greenstreet explained it. They said, ''Well yeah, but that's not the name of the park you need to go to..'' And I thought Oh No. Well to no avail I tried to convince them that I knew what the name of the park was. So they basically forced me off the bus with all of my suitcases and stuff at a park that for sure, there were no companions to be found... haha. So I was alone, by the freeway and a park, with all of my suitcases. I started asking motorists for their cell phones to call my companion... about 20 min. later I was safe and sound with my comp. It was just funny that I was stranded and as the pobrecita missionary I am I didn't have my own phone... haha. 

Another funny thing was that one of our investigators has CARPET. I bent down and started basically petting the carpet out of shock, and I think I kind of scared our investigators but... Some things are just too good to resist. I almost started crying. This was a big deal. 

Hermana Greenstreet is basically my twin as she used cheerleading stunting to explain something to me this week. We speak the same language.(She knows Cheer lingo from our first companionship and she hasn't forgotten... haha) I also said, ''Hermana Greenstreet you ready?'' (to go) and she said, ''OKAY!'' *clap* (as in, ready.. okay!!) Oh my. She also is a wonderful companion to me as she has killed moths and bees for me this week also. 

Something cool about my area is that it is very touristy. It's an adjustment to see a lot of Americans and a LOT of touristy stores and souvenir places. It's super pretty though, and we are really close to the ocean and a cool river with a lot of cabins. We taught some lessons in the cabins and that made me feel like I was up in the Utah mountains, or cour dálene, or Guernville or something! It was really cool. 

So on a cool spiritual note. We taught this french exchange student this week and she is progressing a lot. She's going to be in the DR for 8 more months. Thankfully she has learned sufficient spanish to be able to teach her and she comes to church and everything. We had a really powerful lesson, because knowing about what's going on in France, we shared about the power of faith and the Love of God in times of trouble. She said she didn't have any relatives or friends hurt in the bombings but that she felt her touch really wrenched by the turmoil going on in her country. She felt so grateful for what we had to say and we saw a lot of hope in her after we left. :) It was really special. 

We also found a new family and we contacted the wife who said, ''No it's okay, maybe another day you can come back'' (which is the dominican no). But then her husband came out of the house and said, ''No you girls can come in and teach us.'' So we were torn on who to follow but they then thankfully both let us in and we started teaching them the restoration. The man said, ''This is so weird. I have never really thought about this but the last two days I've had the same thoughts running through my head about why are there so many churches and which is right? Like over and over. And two days later you girls are here. I feel that this a sign from God.'' And know the couple is so interested!!! It was amazing. 

So I just wanted to share some cool things I learned about leadership this week with my new calling. I learned
1. That it is NOT about us. It is 100% about the people we are called to help. If we have that attitude, the Lord will truly pour down revelation from heaven on how to help them. 

2. We should be creative and different. Yes, there is order to things and things we have to do, but we can also be creative. We are trying to do our exchanges different and do them with ''themes'' that they can study and that we can discuss during our companionship. Mainly, our gifts that we develped and received in the preexistence, and how the world sees us vs. how god sees us. It's been fun to think of new ideas for time with the sisters. :)

3. We should ask inspired questions and give them opportunities to come up with their own solutions to their problems/concerns. If we give them all the answers and all our ideas, it might come off as ''know it all'' and such.  If they can exercise their own leadership abilities, they can and will grow and trust us more! 

4. PRAYER is key. We have to pray for every single one of them and how we can better serve them and what they need. The Lord will guide us and show us what steps to take. 

We sent them a text this week with 3 questions 1. With the eye of faith, how will our companionship be in 5 weeks? (end of transfer) 2. With the eye of faith, how will our area be in 5 weeks? 3. What do we need to do to be able to enjoy these blessings in 5 weeks? 

I loved the feedback from the sisters. One said, ''When we were discussing these questions I just pictured my companion and I in the stripling warrior army so we decided to study that. We decided to study that story every time we  face our opposition these next 5 weeks to help us to keep going strong.'' Another said, ''Our new focus is to be stronger, more obedient, and more spiritual.'' One said, ''This practice really helped our companionship and was so inspired. It personally helped me get excited for a transfer I was not excited for.''

The Lord truly has helped Sister Greenstreet and I come up with ideas to meet the needs of these sisters. He is so good!! And he loves us and them SO much! I am so grateful for the opportunity to help them and for the opportunity to rely even more on the Lord for help. 

Thanksgiving we will be having a thanksgiving feast (for lunch) as sisters after a meeting. I'm so excited!! I hope everyone has a great week and great thanksgiving. As President Uchtdorf basically said, Remember that gratitude is an attitude, not a list of possesions. :) 

Hurrah for Israel! :) 

-Hermana Schmidt 

1 month old puppy

Comps round 2

Creative Exercising

Refusing to jumprope

Beautiful country and beautiful La Romana

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 60 11/16/15

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 11/16/2015 12:18 PM
Subject: Big News! :)

Hola a todos, 

So I have 0 time to write a family email this week because i'm being selfish and choosing to talk to my mom more. :) :) 

First off CONGRATS LUC on your play!!! I am so proud!! :) And Danni with your performance at Macs. Way to represent the Schmidt Krew! 

So the big news is that I am leaving San Pedro and my daughter :( BUT I am heading to La Romana to be a STL (Sister Training Leader) with the one.. the only... Hermana GREENSTREET!!! We were together back in los frailes and destiny has united us once again, and I couldn't be more excited to be back with my twin :) :) 

A cool thing that happened this week was that a less active came to church and we introduced ourselves and he went dead silent. After 15 awkard seconds (I thought he was about to pass out) He said, ''I literally dreamt this moment and felt this morning that I just had to come to church. I didn't believe that my dream would happen or anything but here you two are, exactly the same as my dream. I feel like this is God telling me something. I need to come back.'' SO COOL!!  God really does work in mysterious ways. 

I am so excited for this new calling and this chance to serve the sisters around me. I just hope and pray that I can help them love their missions and have success and energy for the work. That's my #1 goal is to help inspire them to be better daughters of God. Not so much about being bossy or the ''queen''.. more just a servant who loves them and wants to help them reach their potencial. I am so excited and all the sisters that are in La Romana right now (including Hermana JACKSON who is headed out there as well) are Amazing!!! I am so excited to work with them. Here's to the next big adventure! :) 

Yay for the christmas, temple, and interview transfers!! So stoked ! :) 

Hurrah for Israel! :) 

-Hermana Schmidt 

San Pedro Beach

She loves how beautiful it is there

Next to a palm tree

Her zone

Her district

Another district

A light house

Elder Walters, Elder Johnson, Elder Pea-MTC Buddies 13 mo later

Another thug shot with her MTC friends 13 months later

So Hermana Schmidt

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 59 Letter 11/09/15

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 11/09/2015 9:30 AM
Subject: The Rains Came Down, Floods Came Up, Hermana Schmidt fell down, And the cockroaches came up..

Hola a todos! 

I don't have very much time because I sent pics and i'm taking the time to respond to some emails this week. 

But here's some updates/stories::

We served on Saturday by cleaning the whole church like deep cleaning it. Yay for Mormon Helping Hands. :) And I finally got a vest!! Woot! :) (Also I wore jeans/tennies for my first time in almost 14 months... lets just say I was walking like a grown man trying on high heels for the first time in his life.) 

We have continued teaching the 21 year old twins, one is named Luis who is progressing really fast!! He told us ''A year ago I just felt like giving up coffee. It was giving me headaches and so I just gave it up completely.'' UM YEAH. Super prepared!! So cool and he came to church! :) Miracles upon miracles. 

It is FLOODED here in San Pedro!! It's calmed down today because sewage has cleared up a bunch but it has downpoured so we were stuck inside/inside other houses a lot this week. But thankfully not for very long, and thankfully my companion knows how to make some good hot chocolate. :) 

That being said, the ground is very slick and my shoes (the ones I have used my ENTIRE mission) are pretty worn out so the bottom part is also slick... I have had some fun falls this week. One time we were leaving with a member and I slipped almost into the splits on this one sidewalk, and I stood up, twirled really fast, and said I was just dancing. It was a good member/missionary bonding moment because we died laughing. Let's just say I am already a klutz as it is, so the slippery ground / water up to our knees almost doesn't exactly help the problem. 

This morning I was walking down the stairs and slipped!! I fell down almost a whole flight of stairs. The miracle is that I don't even hurt and it was a badddd fall. I seriously believe in protecting angels for missionaries... no joke!! 

About two days ago my companion woke up screaming at 6 in the morning and ran out of bed and turned on the light. I seriously think she is a champ at making my heart almost fail. I'm serious. But she yelled, ''LOOK AT IT!!'' A HUGE COCKROACH was on her bed!! It had been on her neck and woke her up. What a blessing. At least we survived. :) 

I love you all and sorry for the lack of updates but it's almost transfers!! Ah. I am praying I stay in San Pedro!!! I love you all and thanks for all of your support and prayers. 

Hurrah for Israel! :) 

-Hermana Schmidt 

Getting ready to clean

Companions in the rain

Another of companions in the rain

Hermana Schmidt in the rain

Another in the rain with floods

Playing the piano

Cleaning the church

Another cleaning the church

Companions cleaning

Another cleaning

The "cleaning" photoshoot :)

Hermanas in her district

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 58 Letter 11/02/15

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 11/02/2015 10:37 AM
Subject: Creepy Crawly Halloween

Hola a todos! :)

Can I just say that this was one of the BEST weeks of my life!? :) Aw I am just so so grateful to be a missionary. This week I tried to really focus in on thinking of the importance of putting on my plaque, and who I was about to represant. I knew every morning that I would represent the church, the lord, and my family. As I thought more on it, I realize what a joy and blessing it is to even have a plaque. It has given me a boost every day, and every moment that's hard i've tried to look at my plaque and think that ''I'm doing something great. I'm doing something for the Lord.'' and it makes it all easier, and so, so worth it. 

That being said, my companion and I have set goals on our gratitude and our personal prayers. We are trying to focus in on small ways to be more diligent servants of the Lord. Sometimes I think as missionaries we focus on bigger tasks like ''Ask referrals from everyone'' and ''leave with a member every day'' when we sometimes lose focus of the small things that really matter and that lead us to accomplishing the bigger tasks. So we thought on it and after reading a liahona together we decided to start changing our personal prayers. In stead of praying in our minds in the same room, we now seperate and pray outloud in different bedrooms in the house. We do it early enough to really have time to pray sincerely but still get to bed and get exercising on time. Can I just say WOW. It has been months since i've prayed outloud alone in a room. The spirit has overwhelmed me just over the past couple days of doing it. I really, really feel that I am talking WITH (not just talking to) my Heavenly Father. I've never felt more guided by the spirit in my entire life. Prayer truly is a precious tool we have between us and heaven. 

Now that I am going with the spiritual, we had some AMAZING lessons this week!! My companion got her hair done a couple of weeks ago and we contacted the hair lady. Her name is Vavan. She taught me how important it is to find opportunities to share the gospel- everywhere! :) We started teaching her and recently she said, ''I just feel like my whole life has turned around since meeting you. Ive been searching my whole life for the right church, and have never felt satisfied. But i'm started to fill something, and it's new and wondeful!'' She accepted a baptismal date for November 21st and came to church yesterday and loved it!! Such a tender mercy.

We also have been keeping up with the Less-actives and we found one named Claribel who got baptized TWENTY years ago!! She said she lasted just a small amount of time in the church and that she's felt a difference. But that she's ''just to busy with jobs and school to get back into it''. Well we had a lesson on the power of the Book of Mormon and how it can lead us to do what's right and we started talking about how much God loves us that he has given us tools not only to guide us to him- but to guide us BACK to him. The spirit was so strong and we talked about her divine nature and potencial. There were no dry eyes in that lesson. It's never too late for anyone. We should never give up hope!! 

Another night we were teaching a lesson and I felt a strong impression that we needed to go visit 21 year old twins that we are currently teaching. They usually are there only on thursdays and sundays and it was a friday so I was a little hesitant, but told my companion and we agreed to go. When we got there one of the twins were there! He told us that he had been reading from the book of mormon and had really been enjoying it. His mom even got more interested for the first time. Now his WHOLE family is listening to the gospel!!! I seriously just know that we can do nothing without the spirit!! 

On a funny note, this week was halloween. Well, we had a nice fun week of finding new creatures in the house (yay). On monday, I was in the kitchen and I saw my companion slowly entering a bedroom and I was like... uhh.... is someone in our house..!? And I slowly followed and she said, ''SHHH he might hear you!!'' And I was about to pass out because I thought there was someone in the house. I don't do well in moments like this. She flipped on the switch and flew into her bed and I was like WHAT IS GOING ON, and she said, ''a rat! a rat!!!'' and I was so relieved but then it hit me,, rat.... and I was no longer relieved. So I did the only logical thing and said, ''Hermana, this means war.'' So to go rat hunting we had a pole, a pot, war makeup, and our camera recording it all. My comp was searching as I was recording... not because I was scared or anything but because someone had to record ;) and something flew out from my suitcase and it was a huge IGUANA. She thought it had been a rat but nope, just a huge reptile. So that was a relief (not). But it left and we were good. 

On Holiday I gave candy out to some neighbors and their kids, the most halloween has been celebrated in the DR ever I believe. 

This week was just wonderful. I am seriously LOVING opening and training this area!! The Lord has been truly there for us. I just know that this gospel gives us all the answers of our soul, all the joy we could possibly have in this life .And I KNOW that it is NEVER too late for anyone. It doesn't matter where we have been and what we have done, we can always return and feel whole again. I read something this week that said something like this ''Í used to think the atonement had holes in it because it could heal everyone but me. But I came to realize there's 7 holes in the atonement.. his hands, his feet, his wrists, and his side... and I realized that he suffered those holes for me and there truly are holes just for me in the atonement, and I can be whole.'' I loved that and I testify of the atonement and the reality of a living Savior and the reality of a restored gospel.

Hurrah for Israel!! :)

-Hermana Schmidt 



Hunting for the rat