Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 16 - He Just Got Some Letters, Wonder Who They're From?

  How can it already be December?! The last few weeks have flown by, and when you have a missionary out serving, you need to organize, buy, wrap and ship their Christmas package early, by December 1st for Hayden's mission. So, at the end of November, I shipped him a box that had a felt Christmas tree and ornaments to decorate his apartment, a paper nativity scene, a USB loaded with Christmas music that he can listen to in the car, lots of information on the #lighttheworld campaign and a very special mailbox. Many of our friends and family members wrote letters to Elder Schaff for Christmas, I gathered all of them and placed them in 24 red and green envelopes labeled December 1st - 24th and loaded up his mailbox. He received that package last week and is loving it all. At the end of last week, I sent a second package with Christmas stockings and wrapped gifts for Christmas morning, so he and his companion are going to be all set on the 25th.
  I love this time of year, always have, it truly is a wonderful time of year. A special season to celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ, to reflect on Him, and the gift that he has given all of us. The longer Hayden is gone, the more I want him home, but what a wonderful gift he is giving to us this year, his service to the Lord. Every day I pray for his well being, his success and that he will grow and become who he is truly meant to be. Each week, I am seeing that he is truly growing and changing as he is molded by this work, by the service he gives, and by the highs and lows that he experiences. So, even though I cried like a baby, down in my basement, when I found his box of Christmas ornaments, and even though I miss him so much, there is truly no other place that I want him to be this Christmas.
  Here is the news from Fresno-

  "This week was hard at first, just because we had a lot of investigators without appointments, which is making a chaotic situation for trying to consistently further the work. So, we've had some slow days. On Thursday, I had exchanges with my district leader, and was informed that I had not received proper information on some more rules from my trainer... he corrected me and showed the proper way, and then helped me correct my trainer. That was actually a good experience though, because we are living in exact obedience again, and the first day that we were sure we were living all the rules, we experienced a miracle.

  We were able to meet a friend of Matilde, the woman that we recently had the opportunity to baptize. Her name was "Mia", and she was in a time of great mental and spiritual need. We've been teaching her since Friday and she has already made significant progress in inviting peace in her life again. She is quitting smoking right now, and is super excited to be cleansed of all her sins and relieved of mental stress and guilt by baptism.

  Matilde has been doing well and is anxious for her daughters to listen to us, so that they can have the same peace that she has invited into her life by doing so. It's a really powerful experience that immediately after she has received all of the blessings of becoming a member of the church that she wants to share those blessings with everyone she knows.

  I'm down on time, but I'd like to share a call to watch the Christmas Devotional, and remember that the true Spirit of Christmas is in service to our fellow men; inviting others to rejoice in the Spiritual Peace that the Savior brought into the world at His birth.

  Hopefully we will make contact with our investigators again, so that I can have more stories!!! It's been a fairly dry week

  SHOUTOUT to my Grandpa and Grandma, Uncle Nathan and his family, Uncle David and his family, the Hughlett Family, and the Christophersons!  Thanks for the letters! (These are the just the ones he has read so far)

--Elder Schaff
Elder Schaff received his mail box full of letters!

I want to share a few more lines from a different email-
  "First off, I really love my mailbox and want to thank most likely Mom, but also anyone else that organized that within our family. Those letters have been a great boost and rather touching. I hope the family is enjoying preparing for Christmas and feeling the Christmas Spirit. Are you #Light[ing]theWorld?...
  I know you're all doing great things back home and hope you'll keep a spiritual focus in a part of everyday, I know it is really uplifting and helps us remember our divine purpose and potentials.
  Be obedient to all of God's commandments-- if we are 100% obedient we can be shaped to 100% of what he wants us to become...
  I'm feeling a bit sleepy... better get to the blog email. I love all of you!!!"
A felt tree for Elder Schaff and Elder Mendez
The decorated Christmas tree for the apartment.

"Jesus Honored his Parents" and so can you! from the #lighttheworld campaign

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