Friday, September 6, 2013

August 19, 2013

Wow you saw dragon boat races? we had them here! I didn't go see them but considering the incredible chinese population here I'm sure it was a big event. The english/chinese ward here in flushing had a picnic for it and we had some food from it, but that was pretty much the extent of our dragon boat celebration.

Elder Wright and I are doing well, and he is teaching me a lot. He still doesn't like it when I give him the phone, and he is a little timid when I ask him how we get home, but he is great at teaching and asking people questions, and he makes sure we plan good lessons for the investigators. When he gets fluent at Spanish, which should be soon, and when he knows  all the logistical things of the mission, he will be a fantastic missionary.

Here's my letter to President

President Calderwood,

This week has been humbling. Not so much because it has been hard to lead or find things to do with Elder Wright, or because I am struggling to teach him anything. It's because I feel like he is already a better missionary than me. He continues to point to how we can plan lessons better, how they can really be teaching the investigators, not lessons. He teaches me a lot, and helps me remember a lot of things that I had learned in the MTC, but forgotten about in the field. I think this is really what I need on my mission. I feel like Elder Wright is perfect. Last transfer, I had a little desire to train eventually, but I really wanted a veteran companion who is just fantastic at everything and could teach me all the best ways to work and live as a missionary. Now, I feel like I have some of both of those things. I am deleloping as I train Elder Wright and lead out, but I also have a great companion that teaches me a lot about how I can improve in my teaching, planning, and other areas of the work.
This week I also had an exchange with Elder Liston, and I learned that day that I need to connect with the people when I fearless them. If not, I'm just a well-dressed teenager in the street with a nametag, telling people that they need to come to my church, and somehow it will change them. There is no connection there. This and other things I am learning are what I need to build Zion here. The Lord is accellerating my learning curve by surrounding me more closely with greatness. This is humbling me by showing me more clearly how much more I can become. Wow.

So more than ever, thanks so much for allowing me to be surrounded by all the people here, especially Elder Wright. I am really excited to watch the rest of his mission, and I hope that I can just help him develop what else he needs to share all he has with the rest of the mission, and the rest of New York!

Elder Schenk

So I haven't seen the package yet, but we might go to the office today and I will see if it's there. Hey did you hear that the missionary dress standards changed? We can wear light pants like kakis, and now they want us to have side bags instead of backpacks. President Calderwood just told us this:

Dearest missionaries,
Many of you have heard that the mission department has published updated standards for missionary attire. In summary the two major changes are:
1. In order to look more professional and less like college students, the new dress code outlines the use of shoulder bags instead of backpacks,
2. More vibrant colors have been added to the list of options.
You can find the new dress code on code. Do not think that you need to change over night. Use your judgement and wisdom with your money and the thing that you currently own. As you replace items in the future, you can be more aware of the code.
Thanks for all that you do. We love you all so very much. The Lord is pouring out blessings and miracles upon us for our righteous desires to be obedient.
Warmest regards,
President Calderwood

Wow I've copied and pasted a lot. Elder Stegner is on the computer right now in wisconsin, so we got to talk back and forth a little. it was good.
Love you all! take care!
Elder Schenk

Hey Dad,
It's really cool that you are studying the Atonement. I've been learning about it a lot here. President Calderwood talks about it, and I feel like the more I know about it the more I can use it, and the more power God can have in my life and the work here. President Calderwood talks about how the Atonement covers sins of omission, comission, and weaknesses. So recently I've been praying that my weaknesses in the work are made up for, and that I can improve them. I ask that about teaching and finding the people here, and training Elder Wright. The week went pretty well. I had an exchange with the zone leaders and I learned about when we contact people we need to not just invite and testify, we need to connect with them. We need to develop a relationship or a reason to trust us. Then the people are more willing to listen or at least to meet with you later on. The problem is that this way of contacting takes more time and energy, but it's a challenge that I need. I think it's a step that will help a lot, because before we would fearless over 70 people a week and testify and all of that, and nobody would come to church. So now we need to add something. My fearlessing needs to get better. So that's what is going to happen.

Way to go on 31 years with Mom! you two are the best parents. I was thinking recently about how you seemed so much more involved in my life than a lot of other people's parents, but I never really felt like you were intruding. It was just understood that you are watching out and guiding us, and you actually wanted us to have fun in our lives! So good job.

The work is kind of slow, but we had a really good lesson and now two new investigators. Elder Wright and I are going to have a good two transfers together. He has taught me a lot and is a really good missionary already. I'm lucky to be learning from him. A lot of the things that I'm learning are things that I learned at the MTC, but I had forgotten while being caught up in the mission field. So it's really good to refresh and relearn all of these important things, and strengthen my fundamentals.

Love you! thanks so much for your prayers, I wonder what my mission would be like without them. I am sure your faith is giving me power.

Elder Schenk

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