Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Week 17- Will I Stay or Will I Go?

  We weren't sure whether we would hear from Elder Schaff or not on Monday. This week is a transfer week, and it is falling one week early, so that everyone can get settled before Christmas. The news from him is, that he is not leaving his area. He will remain in Fresno, continue to serve in the same ward, but he will have a new companion, named Elder Lopez. Elder Mendez is going to a different area in the mission and we hope that he will do well and that his foot will continue to heal. This is what Hayden had to say this week-

  "Ok, this week was fantastic, for the most part. There were some tough moments, but I felt like I converted to the mission this week! My focus has just suddenly been fully driven towards the work, it most likely happened Wednesday. It was a full day of teaching, and we found 5 new people to teach! (4 of them were referrals for English missionaries, but still!) The Spirit was strong that day, and there was even a small miracle that night. M's daughter started listening to our lessons, and her son is a 4-year-old nightmare. He's always screaming for something and demanding help. So that creates a hard environment for the Spirit to teach. BUT, on Wednesday we invited her to baptism and as we approached that moment, her screaming child jumped up into her lap and fell asleep. It was 8:00 pm and she told us he normally goes to bed at 11:00 pm!!! So, that was a small miracle.
  So, investigators! We have too many in our teaching pool! (I know that's a weird missionary problem.) But we can't see everyone fast enough! We got some of the people without appointments into a schedule of appointments, which has been good; but we still will probably be dropping some in the future. M had a powerful experience with the Holy Ghost on Sunday when we were learning about the temple in 2nd hour! She said she felt an overwhelming sense of peace and joy and goosebumps up her arms as she was learning about the temple and the great blessing it can be in our lives. 
  G explained that she felt like "butterflies were in her stomach" every time we met with her, which was a feeling she couldn't describe. We were able to discuss the Holy Ghost, and how she could bring that into her life if she would commit to make the efforts to go to church. (Which has always been her hurdle, because she watches all those kids!) She said she would pray for God to open a way for her to come! She is ready to act!
  I talked about M's daughter, she is doing good and reads the BOM on her own if she wants to! "Mia" has stopped smoking but couldn't get to church last Sunday, so we'll see what will become of that situation. "A" went through a faith crisis of being unsure if she could give up praying to the Virgin Mary. Our member present asked her 1) "What does Mary do for you?" A: I'm not sure 2) "By what power can she answer your prayers?" A: "I'm not sure, but I feel she does" So that is interesting...hopefully we can support her through that!
    We contacted a referral that was super far away, and we were going to have to drop him if he wasn't there. But he was there! He spoke English and Spanish, as well as his family, so we decide to hand him to English Elders near by so he can get visits more often. Earlier we had left him a Book of Mormon, and he has been reading it this whole time! He's only 13 years old, but super determined to find the truth. I don't have the chance to teach him, but it was inspiring to meet such a dedicated youth. 
  Many things have happened this week, but there is not time to record it all. I will try to update everything next week!!! I'm not getting transferred, but my companion, Elder Mendez is. I will be with Elder Lopez. We'll see how that works out next week. 

  Thanks very much to all the letter writers! I was very touched by all of the people following my story. Sometimes it feels like I'm just documenting all of this for some great story book when I get back, but it's cool to feel that people are living the journey with me to some extent!

(Family: I hope to be able to write a bit of a personal message to all of you next week. Maybe we won't always have chaos in the emailing room! It's been hard, but that converting Wednesday made the week worth it!!! Picture next week.)"

--With all my love,
Elder Schaff 

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