Monday, December 28, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 66 Letter 12/28/15

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 12/28/2015 11:55 AM
Subject: Christmas Miracles (And Fails)

Hola a todos! 

Happy birthdays to my MISSIONARY COUSINS Lexi and Elijah!! Woot woot! Schmidt missionary power! 

So this week we saw a huge miracle with the familia sosa! Last monday during our FHE with them, Erek, the husband, said, ´´Look hermanas, I don´t want to get baptized right now. I´m not ready. I´ll keep learning, and going to church, and supporting my wife, and when I feel ready I will get baptized.´´ Well I was totally shocked because he had passed his interview and seemed so set, and my eyes started welling up with tears. I felt heart broken that so clearly opposition had nailed him so hard that he was backing out of one of the best decisions of his life. Sadly, I didn´t really say all that I was thinking and feeling in the moment.

But the next day we felt strongly to call him, and when we did we told him everything we were feeling. The bar next door was BLASTING music during the call so even inside the house, with the windows and doors shut, we could barely hear him. We found a ´´more quiet´´ spot in the house and we asked him if he could say a prayer over the phone to know if he should get baptized right now. So in our house, and him in his house, we all kneeled down and over the phone he said a prayer. It was SO powerful and then after that the spirit hit me so hard and was like, ´´have him visualize his baptism´´ so I did an visualizing exercise with him and afterwards he said, ´´You´re right. This is my time. I´m getting baptized.´´ We both burst into tears we were so happy. It taught us more on what missionary work REALLY is. It´s all out of love and guided by the spirit, that is FOR SURE. It was serene. 

But, on Friday the wife’s grandpa Eli, passed away so they had to go out of town for the weekend but we will be having their baptism promptly. 

On Christmas Eve we were going home from the mission christmas activity with the assistants and our zone leaders and some other sisters and on the way the car broke down!! So we did the normal thing to do, wait for help, and take pictures. It was a christmas eve adventure I will never forget. We got home really late, but hey, at least there was a good reason.. and now some good pictures? 

Christmas was AMAZING! Talking to my family was just the best. And as much as they say it, I do not believe I have an accent. ;) My family is the best and cutest family there is, that´s for sure. Couldn´t be more grateful for them. 

So just a thought for the new year through my studies and thinking. I think there is something divine about setting goals and making plans, and accomplishing them. I think the greatest plan ever made was before this life, that is, the plan of salvation, or the plan of happiness. I think God is our number one example of setting a hard plan or goal in order to achieve something amazing, and actually doing it. What if our Heavenly Father had said, two years before Christ was born, ´´you know what? This whole trying to inspire my children to make good choices and seeing them fall so much is getting really hard, maybe I should just forget this plan.´´ How would life be?? I think when we set new years goals and plans, we are becoming more like our Heavenly Father, and even more so when we actually do them! I think he can really help us, and he wants to help us. He wants us to have dreams, and goals, and plans. He loves us. 

And I´ve learned that every year is part of our plan of salvation, so how will we take this year in the scheme of our lives and take advantage of this time to become the best people we possibly can through the atonement??

I also want to share a short story on gratitude as we think about each of our circumstances, abilities, and talents. Yesterday our first counselor shared this story:

There was a poor man, who spent most of his time making any sort of income to survive. He always thought ´´I´m just so poor and have nothing´´. One day a wise buyer walked up and said, ´´You think you´re poor? I can help you out.´´ And the poor man said, ´O.k.! I´ll do anything!´´ The man then said, ´´I will give you $10,000 for your arm´´ and the poor man said, ´´of course not!´´ to which the wise man replied, ´´Really?? Hm... How about $30,000 for both of your arms??´´ and the poor man said, ´´No! I can´t live without both of my arms.´´ The wise man said, ´´Okay $20,000 for your leg.´´ And he said, ´´No I don´t want to live without a leg!´´ And he said, ´´$400,000 for both legs??´´ And the poor man said, ´´No!´´ The wise man said, ´´How about $1,000,000 for both of your legs and both of your arms??´´ And the poor man said, ´´No I will not give you my body parts. I can´t live without them, and they are precious! ´´ To which the wise buyer then said, ´´Look how fortunate you are, and you never realized it.´´ 

This year, I really want to be more grateful for what I have. I really want to think of all of the wonderful blessings the Lord has given to me, and less about what I might be ´´lacking.´´ I think gratitude leads to happiness. I know the Lord has given us everything, and every day we wake up and have an opportunity to make a bowl of cereal, or make an egg, or leave to work, or leave to school, or even leave to preach the gospel, we should be grateful. Because in that moment, he is giving us everything. He always gives much more than we deserve, and he only asks us our hearts and to follow him, willingly and happily. 

I´m just so happy to be a missionary. And for all the wonderful blessings the Lord has given me. He truly is so good.

Hurrah for Israel! 

-Hermana Schmidt 

Sisters at last zone meeting in the transfer

Another of sisters in last zone meeting

Car Broke Down Photos

More Car Broke Down Photos

Still More Car Broke Down Photos

Still More Car Broke Down Photos

Still More Car Broke Down Photos

Cat Nightgown we sent her

Christmas Mission Activity

Elders under the hood

Zone leaders getting out to fix the car

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 65 Letter 12/21/15

From: Nicole Schmidt [] 
Sent: 12/21/2015 2:04 PM
Subject: The Best Week...EVER :)

Hola a todos! 

Happy birthdays to my cousins kevin and Jacob. 

Oh my goodness, how do I even start this week?? SO many blessings, miracles, and adventures to count. 

So I will start with the best, La Familia Sosa. So we watched the Joseph Smith movie last monday with them for FHE (they had doubts about him) and after the movie the spirit was SO strong and we felt so strong we needed to ask them if they believed if he was a prophet. Erek, the husband, said firmly, ''yes!''. And they felt SO much better about being baptized! They had their interviews on Saturday and both passed. We will be having their baptismal service on Saturday this week. 

After that lesson we had a cool miracle moment and testimony of the blessings of obedience. It was 9:10 when we left their house (we have to be home at 9:30) so we had to hurry home because we were far away. Normally we wait for a carrito to take us (a carrito is like a public taxi) but none were coming so we decided we had to do our best to be obedient so we would just walk as fast as possible, and get on a carrito if it passed us, instead of waiting. So we started SPEEDWALKING like none other, and 2 carritos passed us without seeing us! We were literally dying at it was 9:27 and we weren't even that close to the house. I said a silent prayer in my heart that if possible, we could make it home on time. Right then a carrito passed, who wasn't even the right route, but offered to take us! It was such a miracle. Walking in right at 9:30 never felt better. If we do our very best, the Lord really will provide miracles!

So sad/not sad news was we visited a new ''golden investigator'' named Judelka who has come to church a lot and so we thought she'd get baptized super fast. We prayed and prayed that she would accept the gospel and her baptism date and were so excited for our lesson..Well, That very lesson she very happily showed us her baptism pictures from a year ago in Santiago.... Not saying that her being a member is a bad thing because it's not... but.... sigh :( :) 

Another miracle of the week was that we had NO food in the house and we needed to eat there on Sunday so we were like... ug... what do we do?? At the moment of realization there was a knock on the door and it was a member and he brought us 3 take out trays of food becaus ''his family felt like it''!! The Lord is just SO good, it's amazing. I never ceased to be amazed at the tender mercies he just pours down on us. 

So remember that I mentioned that we live by a bar that plays music until 5 AM? Well, I may or may not have gotten sick of it at 3 AM one morning and just decided to call the police... I was thinking they probably wouldn't do much. But by miracle, they showed up at the bar 15 minutes later and told them to turn down the music (I was enjoying the scene from my window) and so I woke up hermana greenstreet (like a nice thoughtful companion) and excitingly told her what had happened. She was like, ''Wow that's great hermana schmidt.'' And I said, ''I'm Just so happy''. So now we just keep saying ''I'm just so happy'' whenever something good happens. That may or may not have happened more than once this week (The calling the police). *Missionary power*

We got to stay at presidents house... AKA THE HOTEL. We got a hot shower :') and it even had pressure. Lately i've had hot showers because I boil water on the stove and put it in a cold water bucket... but this one actually had pressure :') So happy, so very, very happy. We got to stay there because Hermana Hinrichsen and I (another sister) got to do a musical number for a special sisters conference so they wanted us to practice there. So... I will be hoping for more musical number opportunities. ;) It was so wonderful... and comfy... and quiet...:) 

So just a quick comment. I learned a leadership lesson this week on the important of listening! I never realized how much revelation can come if we take a moment to think about what they just told us and REALLY think about it. After really listening. I took time, after listening to one of the sister's struggling, to sit there with her and just meditate a couple of minutes. The Lord seriously 100% opened my mind and I knew exactly what she needed. It was amazing. Listening+Meditating.. works wonders!! :)

The Lord directed us to SEVEN new families just on Sunday which was a HUGE miracle. So the work is just rolling and the Lord is just amazing. I love it here so much!

I hope everyone has a wonderful christmas this week! :) Love you all so much and thanks for all you do. 

Hurrah for Israel! :) 

-Hermana Schmidt 

Hermana Schmidt and Hermana Hinrichsen

Miracle Meal that arrived on Sunday

Her mission president with Henry Eyring

Practicing for performance

Comfy beds 

Practicing the Piano

More practicing

View from Presidents Home

Monday, December 14, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 64 Letter 12/14/15

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 12/14/2015 11:53 AM
Subject: I Feel My Savior's Love.

Hola a todos! 

Happy Birthday to my cousin Michael! :) 

so this week my companion got a weird stomach virus so we were sadly in a lot of the time. But we were able to have some exchanges and I was able to see some of our investigators! 

We had the chance to go to a tourist swap meet that will be in our area every monday for the next 3 months. So, that will explain some of the pictures. It was really fun, and fun to shock all the dominicans when we started speaking spanish (because they all automatically think we are just tourists and don't know) and then they realize they can't hack up their prices.... Spanglish for the win! 

On a sad/funny note, we live close to an outdoor bar that BLASTS music all through the night. We haven't slept very well, but... it is christmas time. AKA dominicans loco time. But... the opportunity from all of this is that it's teaching me what music in spanish I probably shouldnt'listen to after my mission... haha. 

But we were able to go the temple TWICE !:) Once as a mission (and actually do a session) and once with a family we are teaching who have a baptismal date for the 26th this month named La Familia Sosa. (That sounds weird in english, i'm sorry). The first time with the mission was just marvelous, as it always is, and it always gives me such a boost for the next little bit before the next temple trip.

The second trip was so amazing, and the spirit was really strong as we taught La Familia Sosa. We realized their #1 doubt is with Joseph Smith and so we will be watching the Joseph Smith movie today with them, and we really feel that will help them understand his role in the Restoration and why we need to have a testimony of his calling. 

We taught our French Investigator, Mevina, who is here for 10 months. We taught her in english, which was super cool because I was on exchanges with Sister Pichardo who barely speaks english but suddenly in the lesson could really teach the gospel with power. The gift of tongues is so real! It was super powerful, and Mevina is really excited and now is reading her french BOM. 

We had a cool experience this week that strengthened my testimony of the Lord's hands in his work. We were with a member and her car broke down while we were going to appointments. We were stranded at night, in the sketchiest part of our area, without real knowledge on how to help her car. So for 2 hours we were working on it, trying to fix it, and nothing was working. Then, after 2 hours, a man pulled over and started helping us. It turns out he lived really close, with his wife and kids, and actually wanted us to come visit them! The Lord truly works in mysterious ways. 

There's not a lot more to update on, but I was reading my scriptures this morning and I loved these verses in Mosiah 5:

And they all cried with one voice, saying: Yea, we believe all the words which thou hast spoken unto us; and also, we know of their surety and truth, because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually...And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodnessof God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come; ... And we are willing to enter into a covenant with our God to do his will, and to be obedient to his commandments in all things that he shall command us, all the remainder of our days, ...herefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen.
So I am studying right now the topics of conversion and consecration. I absolutely loved those scriptures and I am really trying to consecrate my mission to the Lord, and more importantly (and after my mission) my life to him. All I want is to be truly converted, fully consecrated, and to participate in this grand work until I can't any longer. I know that when we turn it all over to the Lord,and truly always try and do his will, we will be happy. We will feel full and whole and holy and satisfied. It's the road to pure joy. And we are all on the journey, and although it's a process it's possible! With the Lord we can consecrate our lives, and be his disciples. We just have to follow Him and do his Will. I love this quote from Brad wilcox : ''God wouldn't refine you if you weren't worth refining.'' I try to remember that when I get frustrated or slip up and fall short... that it's a process and the Lord is just refining me because he sees what I can become. And what we all can become. And what we can become... is someone like him. Perfect and wonderful!  I truly feel his love, he is wonderful. 
I love you all so much!!! Hurrah for Israel! :)
-Hermana Schmidt 
Bus Ride to the Temple

Hermana Schmidt and Hermana Greenstreet 2nd temple trip

Hermana Greenstreet and Hermana Schmidt Temple Trip #1

Another of Hermana Greenstreet and Hermana Schmidt

Hermana Schmidt

Hermana Schmidt, Hermana Greenstreet, President Corbitt

Hermana Schmidt, Hermana Greenstreet and cute Yallin (Kevin's sister from her first area)

Hermana Schmidt and Hermana Greenstreet with Sister Sosa

La Familia Sosa

Another of La Familia Sosa

Tourist Swap Meet

Companions at the Swap Meet

Her DR Headband purchase

Another of the Tourist Swap Meet

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hermana Schmidt Week 63 Letter 12/07/15

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 12/07/2015 11:04 AM
Subject: Tarantula.

Hola a todos! :) 

Happy Birthday to my cousin Victor! I hope it's great :) 

So there is not a whole lot to report this week, and for that I am sorry. This email will be really short. 

So we saw a Tarantula by our house. First one i've seen... thankfully. I almost had a heart attack. So I did the only logical thing to do and whipped out the phone and got super close and took a picture. Totally normal. 

We did intercambios (exchanges) and I went up to Hato Mayor which is CAMPO. Its an area basically in the mountains and is very very different from the city life. The people are really humble and kind. It was a sweet area to visit this week.

While in the Intercambio we were teaching this family and the mom said, ''Look. If I ask a catholic they will say they are the right ones. Or any other religion. So obviously you guys are just going to say you are the right ones. So that's that. I can't really come to believe any of you guys.'' And we thought for a moment and then answered her and flat out said, ''You know what, I don't want you to believe us. I don't want you to trust in just our words and take them and that's that and we are right and whatever. That's not what its about. We are here in invite you to pray to know if this is the church with ALL the truth. If this is really the Kingdom of God on Earth today. We want you to trust in the answer you receive from God, because that's what I trust in. I received my answer, I know it's true. I know its true not from a pile of evidence or even the words of my parents and leaders and the scriptures (although those helped), I know its true because I prayed with all of my heart and received an answer directly from my Heavenly Father. I know it's true.''

The spirit was sublime in that moment. A testimony is more powerful that any ''evidence'' we have, really truly. 

Other than that Hermana Greenstreet and I are focusing on being healthier and so far we are doing good with our food and exercise. It is making a HUGE difference for me. It's crazy how much just small changes in the way we eat can make such a powerful impact on the way we see ourselves and feel the spirit. Word of Wisdom for the win! 

Rosa and Rafael are doing AMAZINGLY. We had a sweet lesson with Rosa where we had her 'visualize' her baptism and her husbands baptism. She started crying and said, ''I want that so bad! I will do anything!'' So we told her they had to get married legally and stop smoking completely, well we set a marriage date with them for the 18th and they are down to one cigarette a day!! Miracles upon miracles! :) 

We are going to the temple this week and I couldn't be more excited! We are actually going twice, one with the mission, and one with a family we are teaching who will be baptized the 19th if everything works out. I am just living the dream I swear. This mission is the best decision I have seriously ever made and I am so grateful. So so grateful. This truly is the Lord's work my friends, and it makes me so indescribely happy. 

Hurrah for Israel!! :) 

-Hermana Schmidt 

First Escalator Ride in a long time

Lighter Hair

Christmas Cards Coming Soon

Her Bestie

Life in an Ikea Bathroom

Life in an Ikea Kitchen

Merry Christmas from Hermana Schmidt

On their way to a meeting

Subway coming soon

Tarantula outside of their home