Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 9 - Working Hard

  Mondays are always filled with anticipation in our household, as we wait to receive Hayden's emails. Unfortunately, they generally start to come while I am teaching piano lessons, so I cannot respond to him, he just responds to our emails. Still, it is good to hear from him, he seems to be doing great and is working hard, and as a bonus, this week he sent a few photos!!

Elder Schaff at the Mission Office

Elder Schaff and his companion at the Fresno Temple
 Below is the email that he sent for the blog, but my favorite line was not in this email, he sent it in our family email, and I am going to share it, because I was just so touched. I think he misses us, he wrote, "I want to say that I'm really grateful for each of you and wish that I had spent a little more time with everyone. You guys do the best to do that now. I'll apply it when I'm back." 

 "Hello everyone! Well, this week has been a burden (in the beginning) and an immense joy. It started poorly last Monday evening. My companion and I went to teach a less-active member and apparently my companion had decided that I needed to teach this lesson without any of his help. The catch was, he didn't tell me that this was his expectation. Well, after about 40 minutes of my awkward Spanish conversation, (this happened because my companion would participate in the casual conversation) I realized that Elder Mendez was waiting for me to start the prayer and lesson. As I prepared to do so, he decided that I was clueless and concluded the lesson with a prayer. I got ROASTED that car ride home. Worse than a pig on a forgotten BBQ spit! I received a hard lesson about having enough faith to follow the Holy Ghost in all things that I must do, even if it means responding to something when I didn't fully understand what was said to me. Very tough, but very true. 
  Since that moment I have been more faithful in the work and the last 6 days have generally gone well. So much has happened!
  Our investigator "M" has accepted everything that has been taught thus far. She likes how the commandments really only bless our lives and sees the importance in them. She just needed to come to church yesterday to be baptized, but she didn't come!!! So now we'll have to aim for a new date for her baptism. She is really firm and sees the blessings of the gospel in her life. As a result, I think she'll be baptized at some point.
  I met Familia "L" for the first time this week. "N" is the head of the family, and has a wife and 4 kids. Really only he and his wife listen. They also see the blessings of the gospel. The hurdle for them is also church. Sometimes they are too busy to receive lessons as well... we hope that by bringing members with large families that they can understand the importance of church and see that it is possible.
  "G" is a 60-year old woman who has received the lessons fairly well. The hurdle is also attending church... then we were given some interesting information as we taught the commandments...she has a 45 year old boyfriend, unmarried, living with her! This becomes a limiting factor as unmarried persons living together cannot be baptized. So the details of that story were shared with my companion and I, but are very long. Long story short, I hope we can help her understand how to work that out.
 "A & L" are unmarried and living together. "A" was recently baptized. "L" thinks she wants to be. They are making renewed efforts to attend church. We're working with them about living together. They're unsure about marriage, so they think they might separate living areas until they are able to make that call. But they know the gospel is important! "A" has a strong desire!
  I'm working every day to play my part in contributing to the mission, and how I can help despite my clearly weaker level of Spanish at this time. It's my testimony that counts!
  On that note: I know that this church is undeniably true, and that it is only through Jesus Christ that we are able to heal our souls. He is the Savior of all the world and invites all to draw unto Him, and He will aid them. We only need to make the effort. The Book of Mormon is a true book of scripture, and is so important because all of the stories contained in it relate to the challenges of today. Finally, the Holy Ghost is an important guide in our lives, and as we do the will of God, it will bring us peace and joy, a kind like no other on this Earth. To feel this joy is God's purpose for us in this life. I testify of such in the name of Jesus Christ.

I hope that's a good enough summary for the week! Have faith and all things are possible!

--Elder Schaff   

His apartment
Another view, do I spy a dishwasher?!

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