Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

Dear Mom, Dad, and Everyone

The last week has been good, just like always. The good news is that we are finding more people to teach! Elder Rose and I started teaching them from step one, getting to know them. Our other investigators had previously been contacted and taught by the missionaries, and we just continued teaching. I had wanted to teach from the start, so it was a good experience. We had just studied about "How to begin teaching" in Preach My Gospel, so we used that, and it was good! one of the people we taught called about English class and asked if we could teach her and her son personal lessons, and she said she wanted her son to have good examples around him. So we agreed with enthusiasm. The first time we met her was on the street by the library, and she started telling a story that I could understand pretty well, but every time she asked me if I understood, she would ask me in a weird way, or there would be a lot of street noise, so every time I had to ask her to say it again. So pretty much she thought I couldn't speak spanish well. It was definitely a change from the norm, because people in the branch almost always complement my spanish. I figure I need humbling.  I think I mentioned them last week but we started teaching them this week. we had a lesson with them and then another day we shot hoops a little bit with the son. It was nice and I feel like we developed a stronger bond and trust with them. Last night we also had an investigator over to dinner at a member's house. It was really fun. Elder Rose and I squeezed into his tiny car with him and drove from his house to the sanchez's after visiting with him shortly. The Sanchez's always have friends from another branch and missionaries over for Sunday dinner, and they didn't hesitate to invite him to dinner too when we asked them about it. The people here are great and really welcoming. He had a good time, told everyone his stories that he always tells to new missionaries when they come over to his house, and I had a great time just listening. I also ate a ton of food. They make plenty usually and want you to eat up, so I was filling up and just about done when they pulled out some tamales for everyone. They are super filling, and I was already almost maxed out, but I was determined to conquer. They gave us two apiece, and I finished the first one (which was a little bit of a struggle) and was making very slow but steady progress on the second one before we left because one of the sister missionaries in our district needed a blessing. But dinner at the Sanchez's with him was a great experience. I feel like doing something fun and more relaxed with an investigator, or anyone, is a great way to develop your trust and relationship. After he dropped us off Elder Rose said that he felt like our relationship with him just jumped way higher. I felt the same, and we hardly even talked to him at the dinner. I just listened and ate. When we visited the sisters to give the blessing, they asked me to give it. I felt a lot more pressure blessing a person instead of just an area or apartment. But the blessing went great. It's really cool to use the priesthood. It's really cool to be directed so clearly and specifically to bless someone and put into words what God wishes to give them. The Gospel is sooo cool! I have noticed blessings of the Gospel a lot more in my scripture study and overall experiences recently as a missionary. All things in the Gospel lead toward blessings for us. I have "Blessings!" written on a lot of pages in my Preach My Gospel. Because it's what it's all about! God wants to bless us, so he gave us commandments so we can earn blessings, He gave us the Holy Ghost, scriptures, prophets, apostles, agency, families, the Priesthood, bodies, the church organization, activities, blessings, EVERYTHING so we can be blessed, and have happiness! Heavenly Father is the best.

This week we had interviews with President Calderwood. Mine was short because he was getting behind, but it was good. Whenever I see President Calderwood, he always makes me feel so loved and important. It's probably just me, but I feel like he seems particularly happy to see me among everyone else in the district or zone. He probably makes everyone feel that way. In the interview he talked about how we as a mission have gotten good at setting inspired goals, but haven't gotten good yet at planning daily and even more frequent sub-goals to accomplish these. I hope to be able to master this and conquer my goals. As a companionship and district we have some pretty high goals, but I know we can make them. We just need to do work.

Thanks all who have written letters of love and encouragement. I love them. Sorry I haven't written you all back, I'll work on using my time better. Katie, I am repenting and have tried to find a postcard at a couple of places, but they didn't have any. Today we shouldn't be too busy and I am determined to find one.

Love you all! Have a good week!

Elder Schenk

Hey Dad,

My week was great, as always. Elder Rose and I have a lot of fun together. Our personalities mix well, and we find a lot of funny experiences and situations that happen daily. It's great that you are looking for ways to share the Gospel. One way that I want to try to get members here more involved is to share a short lesson to bring in the spirit, maybe about the restoration, and then ask the members who they know that they want to have the gospel. What friends and family do they want to see in the Celestial Kingdom? And then I will ask them to pray about what they can do to best share the Gospel with them. So you could try that. If you want ideas of how to share the gospel, or copies of the missionary lesson pamphlets, or anything like that, just talk to the missionaries. They really want to help you with that kind of stuff. This plan to help the branch get more missionary active is a newer idea for me and I haven't gotten to use it with many families, but I hope it helps them. It's too bad I couldn't help out picking a basket for Mom! maybe next year you can shop for it on a Monday and send me pictures of the options and I will check my email and let you know which one is best. So we'll see. Give Mom a hug for me! and give her an extra good one on Sunday for me!

I'm learning more what it's like to use the priesthood and give blessings. I now know what you mean when you say a mission is worth it because of the experience you get using the priesthood on someone that's not your wife or child. I will be practiced and experienced when I get home. I'm really glad you are such a good strong priesthood leader Dad. Our home is a lot better off because of it. A couple of families in the ward don't have fathers with the priesthood, and it's really a bummer that they can't bless their families in that way. They just have to helplessly wait for someone to bless their wife or children. Thanks for being a powerful man of God. I've seen your example and that's how I plan to be.

Love you so much Dad! Thanks for your prayers.

Elder Schenk

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