Monday, March 26, 2012

Amazing week in California!


I just love hearing from you every week! It makes me so excited to
email. I just love you all so much. End of story. :)

Geoff, keep making Mom smile for us while we are gone! I love to hear
that! Geoff, you have grown up so much and before you know it you will
be out serving a mission. Always be strong and make sure that you are
always preparing for the work. It is amazing!

So it truly was a wonderful week in the mission. Yesterday we returned
home and after daily planning and companionship prayer, we were
kneeling around our beds and I just felt so much joy. It is
incomprehensible joy that I felt. I really was just so full of
gratitude yesterday. I have to say it was probably one of my favorite
days on my mission. We worked really hard last week, and we saw the
fruits of our labors. I want to tell you about one man in particular
that made my day yesterday.

We have been teaching, "Red" William Carpenter, an 80 year old man,
who lost his wife about 3 months ago. Red is an amazing man, who has
been reading the Book of Mormon for years, watches BYU TV ALL the
time, and just knows a lot about the church. Well, we have been trying
to get him to church for several weeks now, and he hasn't come. Well
this past week we met with him twice, called him every day(or nearly
every day), and even showed up to his house Sunday morning to make
sure he was up and still planning to go. I fasted for him twice. We
did everything that we could do to get him to church. And then he
came. It was the most wonderful feeling in the world. It reminded me
of the scripture, "It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can
do." We knew that we had done everything that we could possibly have
done, and the rest was up to Red and the Holy Ghost to help him come.
And he did. I was just filled with so much gratitude and joy! It was a
wonderful feeling. (We are trying to get Red to commit to baptism, but
he is still praying about it. That is what we want! But a good sign
was that he told his daughter about maybe getting baptized! We were SO
excited! He needs lots of prayers and support, but he is great!)
We also had a total of 7 investigators at church yesterday, which was
HUGE! We have nevber had that many, ever. Well, since I have been on
the mission. It was such a miracle. And they all liked it! (As far as
we know. :) ) Red stayed 20-30 minutes after church just talking to
people! Another investigators felt so welcomed! We had one
investigator, Karena, who loved YWs! It truly was a beautiful day at

I am so grateful for my mission. I love that I have this wonderful
opportunity to serve for a year and a half. Time is going so quickly,
I don't want to waste it. I know that this is truly the Lord's time
and I have to do all I can do build up the kingdom in this area. I
know this is where I am supposed to be. I have really grown to love my
mission and my area. Highland feels like my home ward. I have never
been so involved in a ward before and for so long. I love the people
and they take care of us so well. We know that we are loved and I am
so grateful for that. I know that I am here for a reason, and I love
serving with SIster Birrell! She is just wonderful and we enjoy each
other so much!

I forgot another great part of yesterday! Karena is pretty scared of
water and getting baptized. Before Gospel Principles, Karena was
voicing her concern and her mom Lisa was trying to tell her that it
was okay. Then, Kaylyn, who was baptized last month, started to
explain to Karena how she too was scared of the water. Kaylyn told her
that if you have faith in yourself and faith in #1 God, that all will
be all right. Kaylyn said that she knew the Sisters wouldn't do
anything to hurt her and that she would be fine. She explained coming
out of the water as feeling all fresh. Kaylyn's testimony was truly
beautiful! We knew that she was comforting Karena and helping her very
much! Then during Gospel Principles, Kaylyn was asked to talk about
the Holy Ghost that she recently received. She explained it so well
and simply, and stared right at Karena and Lisa, so they would
understand. Sister Birrell and I couldn't stop smiling. We were so
happy. We were able to see a recent convert doing exactly what she
should be. Kaylyn's testimony was beautiful and she was helping Karena
and Lisa so much! (Sister Birrell and I both were thinking about how
wonderful Kaylyn would be at fellowshipping them! Perfect!)

Thank you so much for all your love and support! I love serving here
and I love that I have a wonderful family at home! You are loved and
missed dearly!

Mama- Thanks for all you do! I am glad that Geoff is making you smile!
His letters make me smile (and cry) too!
Papa- How are you doing? How is work? What kind of ice cream did you
get at Rick's with Mama?
Kirstin- How's little Lucy? How's school and work? When are you moving
to Keene?!
Andrea- How are the boys? How's running going? I am going to have to
run with you when I get home! I decided I am going to come home
"well-rounded", so I'll need you help! ;)
Poul- Congratulations on the calling in the singles ward! That will be
great for you to get more involved! Any dates coming up? ;)
Jo- How is school going? Is it warm up there too?
Peder- You are in the highest baptizing mission! That is insane! You
are working so hard and I love hearing your stories! Love you!
Geoff- Good luck with track this year Geoff! I know you'll be great!
How's school going? What classes are you in?

Love you all so much! Keep praying for me! I always need it! You are
in my prayers out here in California!

Sister Gretchen Schillemat

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