Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 24, 2014

Dear family,

Elder Sua'ava and I have had some pretty good success recently, and a lot of food, too. Since we have been shopping at BJ's (I don't know if I've told you about it. It's almost exactly like Costco and we got a membership for it on a sweet deal) we have been eating more healthy and more overall I think. And then last month I'm pretty sure I spent some of the money I got for Christmas on groceries because I didn't organize it, but that means that I have an extra cushion if food, too. I have been eating tons of ginger snaps this week along with granola bars and the cookies and candy that Grandma Schenk sent, and then Friday night we took home a big BIG bag of bread from a member. It has some different types of rolls and other large varieties of bread that are now in our freezer.
Mom, I haven't had a chance to check out the blog you set up because I need to be on a computer to go there. Most websites are blocked from the iPad. But the day before that I started mine and put a post on, I will check yours and see which I will keep. The one I made is athttp://talkabouthappiness.blogspot.com/ so you can look at it if you like. I just have an intro post on it and I will make another before I start to publicize it much on Facebook.

This is my letter to president

Dear President Calderwood,

Elder Sua'ava and I are growing in our unity and it results in us having more miracles. We are finding more people, now the hard part is just having continual contact with them. Some came to church before even being taught a lesson! 
I have also been learning more about how I am supposed to work with the branch mission leader and branch president. 
One of the things that I am thinking about now is online proselyting. Last week I thought about the huge masses of people in the world that we cannot get to, but that the internet can. I know that we need to focus on our areas that we have been given, but I also feel that we have been called here in part because here we can do online proselyting. The things that we do with online proselyting will change the history of the world, because they are some of the details that lead the Hastening. 
Sorry for writing so many thoughts, it's how my learning process is on the mission I think. I learn about five lessons at a time, I think, and each lesson progresses at its own level and rate. And one of those is the importance of every missionary here. Each companionship performs their own miracles and has strengths, and those strengths together accomplish a lot. I see it clearly in each companionship in our district, and it shows me the importance of unity, also how the Atonement uses many people to reach perfection. God can do a lot of things himself that he doesn't do. Instead he organizes us to bring perfection out of our imperfections.

I am so glad that the Lord is teaching me so much. I am trying to appreciate those blessings extra as I try to obey purely out of love and not from desire for blessings. God is blessing me so much. 

Elder Schenk

Got to go, love you so much! This has been such a good year. I have learned more than in any year, I think, and my learning is accelerating. 
Con todo mi corazón,

Elder Schenk

Enviado desde mi iPad

February 17, 2014

Hey Fam! 
Yes, I got the package with the Seahawks shirt. Thanks for it! I have liked having the sweater you sent, too. I wonder if Katie would be alright with you reading Eleanor the Captain Underpants books.  If not, we can just wait till I get home to read them with her. 
Have you been able to keep doing P90X in the mornings?
Elder Sua'ava and I just fished shopping at BJ's and I feel really good about it. I found some good healthy foods that are cheap like bananas and carrots, and peanuts instead of peanut butter (much cheaper - peanut butter is expensive!) But the best part of my shopping is a cereal I found. It's called Cascadian Farm and is founded in Skagit Valley, WA! It's from Sedro Woolley. It has traveled just as far as I have! I can send a picture of it.
Is Friday night the branch had a Valentines Day activity with music and food. I didn't get to dance much, we kind of had to dine and dash, but a few people saw me dancing and were blown away! I don't know if the other package has gotten here yet, no one has checked the office as far as I know.
A cool thing that happened, an investigator planning on getting baptized was at English class with us and invited everyone to church as well as a CPR activity we were doing. So one guy came with his wife. Then we invited him to the valentines day activity and he came! Then we invited them to church and they came! They aren't even investigators yet! But we will try to teach them this week. One if the hard things about the work is that people aren't very good at making time. But we are planning on meeting with them some time this week. 

This is part of my letter to President Calderwood

I've seen this week some of the great power that the Lord has given me. During part of the week I felt less of the gift of tongues, and realized how much less I could do without so much extra help from the Lord.  I also recognized how much more I need to dominate the language to teach better. I was never satisfied with being just "missionary fluent," but after teaching with Elder Padilla and having experiences with English missionaries teaching in ZTM, it illustrated to me even more how much more teaching ability I could have. I also realized how much more I can serve the Lord when I am well rested. If I don't get to bed on time, I can't really serve the Lord with all of my mind. 

Right now I am sitting on the train across from people who speak Fujinese Chinese, it makes me think about all the people in the mission who don't have missionaries in their language to teach to them. There are few opportunities for such people to learn the Gospel. And then I think of all the people who do have missionaries in their language here, but don't hear it because we can't find them, or even from our fear to speak. The world needs so many more missionaries to take the Gospel to every man. A million in the world might do the trick. But we aren't going to get that. So what the few of us do needs to be big. It needs to reach all 8 million people here, and even more than that, because there are so many nations, kindreds, tongues, and peoples more. We need to have a massive wave to touch all these people. And it needs to be powerful, or they won't listen, and it needs to be personal, or they won't care. I remember the words you spake to me almost a year ago. There are broken families strewn across this city. How can we even start to get to all of them? And then the rest of the people; maybe not broken yet, but still need the Gospel. 

Thanks so much for all of your love! It's been a good first year. This morning I was thinking about how long I've been here and how many experiences I've had, and I thought for a second "it's only been a year?" 
Love you a lot! The package is pretty much ready, I will try to send it this week. Elder Sua'ava keep on saying he will send a package home, too, but then preparation day comes around and he doesn't want to do it. So I keep on having expectations that are crushed. 
Anyway, have a good week! Cuídense 

Elder Schenk

Enviado desde mi iPad

February 10, 2014

Hey home!

This week and recent past I have learned soooo much! It has come as certain ideas have floated around my mind, and as I have read the stories in the Book of Mormon of the sons of Mosiah teaching the Lamanites. There is so much good stuff to learn there! I am receiving a lot of revelation, and I love it.
This is part of what I wrote to President Calderwood

I can't believe how much The Lord is teaching me. I've come to better understand the Doctrine of Christ, as well as the doctrine of conversion, and it really changes the way I see life as well as success. God asks us to be perfect, but knows that we aren't going to be able to do it, so his desire is that we follow His plan for us, which is so perfect that it allows us to be imperfect at it. As we follow it, we follow His desires and can please Him in that way. Now I am starting to see specific ways that I can use it in my work and life. 
In Alma chapters 17-22 I have learned a lot about the doctrine of conversion. It has changed the way I teach. I understand lore the value of us testifying often. As representatives of Christ we have the power that people can believe on our words as the Lamanites did to Ammon and his brothers, and then that belief can help those we teach to act, and develop their own testimony. I have heard many say that the people shouldn't just believe us and they should ask God. The people should believe us, and that can carry them to develop their own faith in God as they act and ask Him. This applies with investigators and in the family.

The more I understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the more beautifully simple it is! 
This week we found a cool family to teach, and the mom and dad both have a good amount of LDS family! They seem to have their lives well under control for living in New York. It's impressive.
Got to go! Love you

Elder Schenk

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 3, 2014


I'm glad the Super Bowl went well. We stayed home and didn't have visits, Elder Sua'ava was feeling sick. We almost didn't go to church, but in the last minute he decided he felt well enough to go. We would have gotten to church just about on time but the train we were transferring to (on the weekend the trains run different so we have to transfer from the M to the J). We waited forever for it and it was less than a stop away but stuck behind construction, so then we went downstairs to take the bus, and while in the bus the train passed overhead. So we got to sacrament meeting about 40 minutes late. While waiting for the train I saw maybe two Seahawks shirts.
 Elder Sua'ava is feeling a bit better now. Being district leader is a good experience. It has taught me a lot and helped me grow the most, and helped me get a lot of experience receiving revelation. I like that. I am feeling a little more organized and I am learning more tricks with the iPad on taking notes and organizing, etc. it can make your studies really cool.
I already went to the temple for my "one year mark" back in December, I will get to go do baptisms with recent converts soon and I will go at a year and a half.
I have a year left to serve since yesterday. That's weird. But the first year has been well more than worth it. What I have learned is worth about ten years of study, I can't imagine what I will learn in the one I have left. Let's see what happens.

Well, I got to go, love you a lot!

Elder Schenk

January 27, 2014

Dear Mom,
I'm glad your birthday went well!
This week was a good one. Elder Sua'ava and I had some good visits with some families. And we said some jokes with one family. Elder Sua'ava taught me a good one. How much milk does a cow drink? Mucho. But you say it like a cow moo-ing. It gets some good laughs. 
We also had a good visit with a less  active family where there are lots of family members that live there. So we asked if the rest could join in, and walked through their house to invite them. More came, and then one of them said they would cook for us the next time we came by. So we came by later on in the week and had a nice lesson. She actually isn't a member, and we extended a baptismal commit. The more I have gotten to know the family, the more I have come to love them. 
We also finally got a visit with a family we have tried to look up a lot of times. Sometimes we find them at their house and they say to come back at a certain time, and we did and they weren't there. But we finally got a visit with them and it was good!
 Love you so much! Have a good week     
  Elder Schenk
Sent from my iPad