Thursday, September 29, 2011

Leaving for California on October 4

Here is Gretchen's latest letter. She will be off to California in just a few days.   
Hey Family!
Another week has gone by! It has been a good week. I don't remember if I told you last weeek or not, but I finally saw Miles. He looked like he was doing really well. I keep running into Elder Cooprider as well and I leave the day before him. He is definitely excited to be leaving soon I think.
So this week was good! Sunday really is an amazing day. I love sacrament meeting and the devotionals that we have here at the MTC,. This week's devotional was quite amusing because the speaker made several jokes and made fun of a lot of missionaries (in a loving manner). I don't know how to say it in a nice way, but I don't think anyuone was offended at the devotional.
Sister Larsen is still an amazing companion. She works so hard and is always checking on me to make sure that I am doing well. I love her and know she is going to do great things!
So one of the investigators that we have been teaching (it is semi-real. We meet him in the Teaching Resource Center), named George, is one of the most amazing old men. He just lost his leg a year ago because of a blood clot and becuase of that has found a lot of faith in Heavenly Father. He knows he is supposed to be baptized, but is worried about hurting his marriage because his wife isn't supportive about it. He asked us at the end of the lesson if we honestly believed he would get baptized, and instead of telling him yes or no, I just expressed my love for him and Heavenly Father's love for him. He really is an amazing man, and I have come to love him just in a couple short visits. I think he will get baptized someday. I think he just needs to take that leap of faith and do it because he knows everything is true.
I am really excited to get to California. The MTC has been a wonderful experience and I have learned a lot, but I am eager to start teaching more people. I leave next Tuesday early in the morning. I am allowed to call home from the airport, so be prepared for a phone call!
So Peder was wondering what the MTc was like. I will give a brief explanation of a typical day at the MTC.
6:00 gym for the sisters only. There is aerobics, yoga, etc.
6:30 wake up / prepare for the day
7 Breakfast
7:30 Class
10:30 Personal Study
11:30 Lunch
12:25 Gym/Prepare after
1:25 Personal Study, TRC, etc
4:30 Dinner
5:15 Class
8:15 Distric Study/Zone Teaching
9:00 Daily Planning
9:30 Prepare for bed/comp inventory/comp prayer
10:15 quiet time
10:30 Lights out
Peder, your schedule will have a lot less personal study because of the language and will probably be quite different, but that is an example of my day. The class and gym times move around quite a bit, but we always have them.
Preparation day is obviously differrent and my favorite part is the temple. I just got back from the temple and I love it. It is such a blessing to be able to go every week here at the MTC. I realized that I have been able to go to the temple every week since I first took out my endowments, which is a wonderful thing!
Life is so good! I love being here and know that Heavenly Father wants and needs me here. I am working on giving Heavenly Father 100% every day because that is what he deserves. I know that I can do that if I pray for help!
So I haven´t heard from Poul, Geoff, Johanna, or Dad. How are you all doing I want to hear from you! Send a letter or dearelder me! I heard a little about your games Geoff! Keep up the good work! Poul, you owe me a letter! Dad, how are you doing. I am doing well! Don´t worry about me too much!
Thank you for all the letters and support! Thank you for your love and prayers! I love you all!
I don´t know when I will email next week because I fly out on my MTC p day but I will send you one as soon as I can. Love you!
The Church is true. Jesus Christ lives. He is my Savior and yours too. The plan of happiness is such a blessing. The knowledge of the plan is truly a blessing as well! I love you all so much!
Love, Sister Schillemat

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

One Week In the MTC

Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Hey Mom and Family!

Life is so good here! I love it so much. I have learned so much since I have been here. The MTC is a perfect way to get ready for teaching in California! 

So first of all, my companion. Sister Larsen! She is absolutely amazing and is exactly what I needed here at the MTC to make this experience wonderful. She is from Colorado and she is just wonderful. She comes from a family of six children, four of which are adopted. She and her family are so loving and care so much about people. She has helped me become better and is always trying to make me happy! She is a fireball as well. She loves to be loud and enthusiastic, which is a perfect complement to my personality. She truly is a blessing here at the MTC.

Class here is amazing as well. I have had some great teachers while I have been here. One of them is a good friend of mine's younger brother. He looks so much like Scott which is always funny. The other teacher is Brother Taylor and he just makes the class run fantastically and teaches us a lot about the Spirit. The third teacher we have is Brother Fagenburg and he served in Ogden, Utah, where a good friend of mine is serving right now. There are sooo many connections here! BYU and the LDS community make the world so small! Before I forget, Sister Larsen is like best friends with Molly Pond's younger sister! Crazy small world! There are bunches of other people I have seen as well.

I have seen a lot of people that I know. Right when I got to the MTC, the hostess that brought me to my room was a girl in my ward last year.  The first night in the MTC, I saw Elder Butler! It made me feel so happy! I love to see people that I know. Then on Sunday on our walk to the temple I saw Elder Cooprider and Elder Butler again and got pictures with both of them. I will send them home soon!

I really love being here! My district is pretty awesome. :) We all get along well and have a good time, while learning so much about the gospel. I love being with people who have the same goals and desires to serve.

So a little bit just for Peder: The MTC is great! You will enjoy it. There is soo much to eat, but be careful! It is pretty fatty food, but you'll enjoy it I'm sure. Take advantage of every teaching opportunity you can because that is when the Spirit can work through you the most. You can be guided by the Spirit to speak the truth. For preparation, keep reading your scriptures and preach my gospel. Practice teaching if you have time. Learn more about the Holy Ghost because that is what they stress at the MTC. It is all about teaching by the spirit. You will really enjoy it! The MTC has wonderful Sundays and I am sure that the holiday here will be amazing! Love you soo much and you will be great!

So one of my favorite days here was this past Sunday. Relief Society was wonderful as we learned about being of good cheer and how the Lord will stand by you. (D&C 68:6 I think) Then we went to Sacrament! That was my favorite part of the day, which is ironic because I had to speak. So in the MTC before every Sunday you have to prepare a talk to possibly give to your branch. This week it was on baptism. Sister Larsen kept telling me all morning that I better be ready because they were going to call on me. And guess what? They did! They only call on two people to give their short talks, but I was one of them. It was really amazing actually though because as I began my talk asking that the Spirit would guide me in what to say. That is exactly what happened. I was prepared, but then the words came out of my mouth smoothly because I was guided. It was wonderful. Plus it was just so nice to take the sacrament that day. It was what I needed.

I just got back from the temple as well, which was so amazing. (I use that word a lot! Sorry!)  Provo has a beautiful temple and it was great to have that opportunity. Going to the Salt Lake Temple to do a live session was also a very cool experience.

I really do love it here and know that I will continue to learn a lot! Some of the quotations and scriptures that I like from this week:
*It's hard to leave behind the good things, but it is required to get to the great things.
*3 Nephi 5:13 is a good Mission Statement for missionaries.
*Repentance is all about love; your love for our Savior and his love for us.

There is soo much more, but I am having a hard time finding it. I love you all! The church is true!

Much love,
Sister Schillemat

PS: Send your response through That way I get your message the day of and I don't need to use my 30 minutes on the computer reading emails. Plus I love to hear from you! It is sad not to get mail... ;) Spread the word if you'd like (facebook maybe...). All you need to know is my mission. California Riverside and maybe my mailbox... 156. Thanks! Hope to hear from you soon!

Note from Kathy: is a great way to keep in touch with all of the missionaries in your life.  I highly recommend it. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

On her way!

Gretchen entered the Missionary Training Center yesterday (Sept. 14).  She sounded very excited and very ready when I talked with her about two hours before.  I can't wait to get her first email.  I'm a very proud mom of Sister Schillemat. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Gretchen's Farewell Talk

"With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. Face your doubts. Master your fears. “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you." -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Gretchen gave her farewell talk in the Keene Ward today and spoke about the importance of following through with a decision once you know it is right.  The quote above from Jeffrey R. Holland was her favorite and gave her strength to continue in her decision to go on a mission.  Tomorrow (September 12, 2011), Gretchen flies out to Salt Lake City and she will enter the Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, September 14!   Go forth and serve, Sister Schillemat.  

Friday, September 9, 2011


Gretchen's Addresses
MTC Address:
Sister Gretchen Edyth Schillemat
MTC Mailbox # 156
CA-RIV 1004
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Mission home:
Sister Gretchen Edyth Schillemat
Californa Riverside Mission
5900 Grand Ave
Riverside, CA 92504-1328

She is leaving so soon! Feel free to write her anytime. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011