Monday, February 8, 2016

Hermana Schmidt Week 72 Letter 02/08/16

From: Nicole Schmidt []
Sent: 02/08/2016 11:19 AM
Subject: Who knew cleaning up cigarettes would be such a spiritual experience??

Hola a todos!! 

Happy birthday to Marissa my sister in law! :) I hope it's a great one! 

To start off we found out the next transfer news (I say next to not focus on the fact that it's my last, but everyone already knows that... haha) and I will be staying in LA ROMANA! :) And I will be training a new STL-- Hermana Shaw! Okay, so funny story. My mom had actually talked to Hermana Shaw before her mission and later on told me about it and said, ''who knows maybe you will train her''. So when president told me the news for this transfer I told him what my mom said and we both agreed that she is an inspired lady. :) (although it wasnt the type of training she thought, she was right on the dot :) ) 

I just found out one of my old investigators, Fidel, from my second area got baptized!! The first time we met him he slammed the door in our face and yelled at us. Little by little he warmed up and soon he started taking the lessons. He changed little by little but kept saying ''i'll go to the mormon church every sunday the rest of my life, but I will never be baptized.'' Isn't it amazing how the Lord can just work miracles in the hearts of people?? It was a joyous announcement to hear! :) 

So this week was just FULL of spiritual edifying experiences. The first being with Rafael. I've written about him and his wife, Rosa, quite a few times and how they were dropping their smoking addiction. Well, they haven't progressed for a while or come to church and my companion and I felt that we needed to drop them for a time to help them decide to act in accordance to their faith (those are some of the hardest decisions a missionary has to make). Well, we went over to explain to them the whole situation and we arrived and Rafael just looked awful. He looked defeated and there were cigarettes EVERYWHERE. I mean, everywhere. On the ground, in the garden, on the patio... just everywhere. And it reaked of smoke. My heart literally sank at the sight of it and I just had the strongest sense of disappointment come over me. I prayed in my mind to know what to say to Rafael in order to help him and to make sure he knew that even though we wouldnt be meeting with him for a time, that we still loved and cared for him.

And in that moment, pure, pure love just FLOODED over me. It was seriously as if, even for a brief moment, God allowed me to see him how God sees him, and to feel how he feels for him. My heart broke even more and I just knew without one shadow of a doubt that he was a beloved son of God. I started teaching him and tears welled in my eyes and I just could barely muster the words out. Eventually we explained why we needed to leave for a time and would wait to continue when they came to church. He seemed very sad, but he was very understanding. We finished the lesson and as we stood up I had an uneasy feeling come over me like ''I gotta do more. I gotta do something more for him. I can't just leave like this.'' Then a huge prompting came to me and it was one of those *well duh* moments from the spirit: 

Clean up the cigarettes.   

So we immediately acted and we asked for garbage bags in order to clean them all up. We filled a good about of a bag and as I was cleaning, I looked over at Rafael and he was just stunned, but beaming, and with tears in his eyes thanked us for the service. I realized that service really is the best way to help another person we can't just be like ''Hey your house is dirty, you should fix that'' True disciples of christ will feel impressed to feel ''Hey their house is dirty, let's see what I can do about that.'' And although I am not perfect at always doing that or following those promptings, I'm grateful that God places in my path person after person to serve and to bless, although I am a very unprofitable servant. The Lord is so good. I think if we had just left telling him he needs to stop smoking without doing much, it would have just been that, empty words and a bitter end. But I could tell it really, really touched Rafael because he promised he would find a way to get to church in the next couple of weeks- which he has never done. I really think it will happen. 

Other than that, we are teaching a new family and the mom has come to church like 5 times but is never home but we finally caught her! We taught her and the first lesson she said, ''So how can I be baptized?? Do I have to become a miamaid and laurel or whatever they were saying about those girls in church today??'' (she's in her 40s haha) and we explained that she didn't and that the process is easy and we gave her a date right then and there for the 27th this month and she said, ''I really want to. But I want to with my husband and daughter.'' And we asked if she had the faith to see that miracle and she said yes. The spirit was so strong and I can just feel that, that entire family will be baptized so soon!! The Lord truly does prepare his elect. 

I love you all and can not express with words how grateful I am for all of your support. Every day, and in every way, my mission has become the best, and even better, and even better, experience of my entire life. And I couldn't do it without the support I receive from all of you. I testify that this is the completely true church of the Lord!! It is his kingdom. Oh, it truly is ''wonderful, wonderful to me.'' I can feel it every day, that angels are around us and guiding us and this is God's mighty work and his mighty truth. I testify that the gospel binds a family together in unity and happiness, in this life and for the eternity. I know that God loves us and LIVES. He will never leave us alone. He truly does see us as how we can become, perfect, glorified beings like he is. I just know it. I know it, I know it, I know it! 

Hurrah for Israel!! Hurrah for missions!! 

-Hermana Schmidt 

Another Goodbye

After organizing

Before organizing

Dead and Alive

Goofing Off

Back to brown hair <3

Invites they handed out

Hermana Schmidt and Hermana Greenstreet

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