Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Another Year-2012!

Happy New Year! I can't believe that it is already 2012. Time goes very fast and I can't believe it. New Year's Eve we had a zone activity with some volleyball and food and then we headed back to our apartment to relax a little. We weren't allowed to be out past 6:00 pm, so it was a good night for relaxing.
So this past week was a productive week for our companionship. We taught 23 lessons, which was the most I have ever taught in one week. It was great! Plus we had 5 member present lessons, 5 lessons without a member present, and 6 Recent Convert/Less Active Lessons. Those were the highest numbers for us in a long time (or ever!). We also had 145 OYM's (Open Your Mouths), so it was good!
It is kind of frustrating this week because it is looking pretty sparse for lessons, but we will do our best. I know that we had all of those lessons and OYMs because of Heavenly Father. "With God, nothing is impossible." Luke 1:22
We have this new investigator, named Angela. She was a referral from some Elders serving in Colton (close to Highland, but I don't know exactly where it is...). She met with us last week and is came to church on Sunday. She has such a strong desire to learn, which is wonderful! We are excited to see her continue to progress in the gospel. :)
I want to tell you a little about the last lesson of the week. We met with Sister Trujillo, a less active woman. She had three of her grandchildren at her house that night but before we had a lesson with all of them, we just talked with Sister Trujillo. She lost her son, Alex, and grandson, Adrain, almost 18 months ago beacuse they were murdered. We had heard bits and pieces about what happened, but she explained more of the story with us on Sunday. Then we started talking about the Plan of Salvation. Sister Trujillo knows that the only way that she was able to get through that trial was becuase of the knowledge of the gospel. She could and still does find so much comfort in the Plan of Salvation. We talked about how many people would benefit from the knowledge that we have. People would find so much comfort and peace from that knowledge. Plus, it gives everyone the perspective to continue doing what is right, no matter what happens. Because of what happened, Sister Trujillo is now the guardian of Ethan, the brother of Adrian and son of Alex. Roxanne, Ethan's mom, is not making good choices, so Ethan can't live with her. My heart goes out for Ethan. He is only 6 and he was there when his dad and brother were killed. Ethan now doesn't have his best friend (Adrian) or his dad. But the good thing is Ethan is living with a loving and kind grandmother who knows the Plan of Salvation. With time, Ethan will come to know more about the gospel and be baptized himself and find comfort and strength. He will be a strong person because he knows the wonderful plan God has for him and he will know that there is a reason that he is still here on earth. There is a reason for every one of us. I know that is true. I know that with the Savior's Atonement we can overcome anything that we are going through and do His will for us. I know that I am supposed to be here in California and there are people for me to meet while I am here. I know that this is part of God's plan for me. 
On a more uplifting note, we went to the temple last week! I love the Redlands Temple and it was what I needed. :)  I love going to the house of the Lord and being able to renew covenants with my Heavenly Father. I know that the temple is a place of revelation and peace. I felt a strong spirit as soon as I walked into the temple and I am so grateful for the opportunity to go. 
Life is good here is California! I love the people and the area and I am learning lots! I know that as I continue to work hard that I will learn what Heavenly Father wants me to. :)
Scripture time: 
3 Nephi 14:7-11 
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seekest, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.
Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone?
Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?"
Heavenly Father will always give us good gifts, but we have to ASK him. We have to pray for us to receive some of our blessings that Heavenly Father is waiting to give us. I love how Jesus Christ relates to parents in this scripture and says, "If you, being imperfect, know how to give her children good gifts, how much more will Heavenly Father, who is perfect, give us, his children, good gifts, IF we ask?" I know that we need to ask and the windows of Heaven will be opened as we will receive blessings! Always remember to PRAY DAILY! Your Father in Heaven wants to hear from you. :)
Well, I love you all! I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know that through Jesus Christ's Atonement, we can overcome anything that we are going through. I know that our family is so blessed because we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Love you! Keep up the great missionary work Mom! Have a wonderful last couple of days in New England, Kirstin, Andrea, Roland, and Jimmy, and kids. :) Jo, Travel Safe! Poul, keep working hard! Geoff, enjoy going back to school! Peder, love you missionary brother! :) And Dad, hope all is well with work!
Much Love,
Sister Gretchen Schillemat 

ps: How is family scripture study?

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