Monday, March 5, 2012

Two Baptisms and watch out-this is a long letter!

Hello Family!

It is always a treat for me to hear from you! Thank you for all the
birthday wishes and love! It was a great birthday week, and I loved
it. :) Sister Birrell would randomly say, "It's your birthday week!"
and that made the whole week even brighter. :)

This past week was miraculous is other ways than normal. We had a lot
of Recent Convert/Less ACtive lessons, which perviously were
struggling. So that was really great! It just meant some other areas
(like member-present lessons) suffered a bit. But we will get the
balance someday! I am still learning a lot all the time!
So my favorite miracle of the week is one of the lessons we taught.
There is a couple, the Liras, that just moved into our ward. We met
Sister Lira last Sunday and we set up a time to come by. The first
appt fell through, but then we finally got in with them. Sister Lira
was just baptized last July (the 31st I think), but her husband is a
less-active member and was baptized when he was 8. Anyway, we started
on the lesson and said we were going to be talking about the
Restoration, and Brother Lira got up and said,"Oh, I've heard this one
many times..." He walked away for a little bit, but then he decided he
would sit in on the lesson. We started talking about  lot of different
things, prophets, how Heavenly Father loves us, and the Book of
Mormon, but it wasn't a typical Restoration lessons. The Spirit was
absolutely directing us where to go. During the lesson, I think we
were talking about the Book of Mormon, and I asked if we could read
Moroni 10:3-5. We read it, and then Sister Lira said, "I can't believe
you picked that one. That was the scripture that the Elders read to me
when they told me a personal story and I felt the Spirit for the first
time." She started to cry in awe that we had read that scripture, one
that meant so much to her. (I knew that was definitely the Spirit
because I remember while we were reading it feeling like it didn't fit
with the lesson very well, but that's the scripture that I felt like
we should read.) It was an amazing expereince. We then asked about
family prayer and invited them to start doing that every day. I have
such a strong testimony of family prayer! Thank you Mom and Dad for
all of our prayers as a family. It is such a blessing. The Liras
agreed to do family prayer. Then we prayed, and following the prayer
Sister Birrell said, "I feel impressed to say this, but my dad often
tells me that we are warriors in the battle here on earth and if we
are in thefight against Satan, we are going to get wounded. But that's
okay." As she shared that with them, Brother Lira began to cry. He had
recently lost his brother to cancer and took it very hard. He said
that he often would say that he was going to be a warriorin heaven. He
pointed to the wall where there was a sword hanging there. That was
exactly what he needed to hear. Sister Birrell and I walked out of
that lesson feeling so blessed that the Spirit directed us. We knew
that the Spirit had taught that lesson and we were just the
mouthpieces. That was truly a miracle! To add to that miracle: Their
whole family was at church yesterday! :) The Spirit is so powerful! I
know that it changes lives!

That was one miracle of the week. :)

Oh yeah! About the title of the email!
Saturday, March 10th we are having 2 baptisms! Well...ones for
Highland 2nd ward (not our ward) and ones for Highland 1st (our ward).
Let me explain. :)
So Nancy is someone that we have been teaching since January (or the
end of December). She is the mother of a less-active woman, Melody. At
the time we started teaching her, they lived in our ward boundaries,
but then they moved into the 2nd ward's boundaries about a month ago.
But we got to still teach her! It was great! Since I first met her,
she just said she was hungry for the truth and she knows that she had
found it. :) Yesterday she said that she her search was over! She is
such a strong woman. So she is getting baptized this week!
Then the second one is Joseph LaPorta! I know I have told you about
him before, and I am soo exccited for him to be baptized! I have been
teaching him since my first transfer in the mission field and the time
has finally come! He has worked so hard to be baptized, so we are very
excited for him. He is going to be a great addition to the ward, and
we are just so excited!
Nancy's baptism is at 4:00 and Joseph's at 6:00 on Saturday! It is
going to be a great day! Pray for both of them!

I really love being a missionary. I see myself growing all the time. I
know that I still have so much to learn and I still make many
mistakes. This past week was one of those weeks where I just felt like
everything I did was wrong. Not everything, but lots of appts were
falling through and plans weren't working out... Sometimes it was
justreally hard. But then I remembered that I am doing my best. Even
doing my best, I am still going to make lots of mistakes, but that is
why we are so blessed with the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ
lives and he loves us so much!
The Book of Mormon is such a powerful book. I love reading from that
book. I know that that book is true and as we apply the principles in
the book, then our lives are filled with light!
I really liked the scripture Alma 19:6 this week about light infusing
joy into our souls. And then this morning I read in Helaman 5 about
how we are in darkness when we don't repent, but repentance can bring
light into our lives!  Any other insights on light and darkness? There
are so many good scriptures on that!

I just remembered a funny quotation from yesterday: We were talking to
some kids playing basketball and one of them asks, "Does your church
give away free food?" We replied, "No." Then another little boy says,
" Ours does! But we have to pay for it..." :) Sister Birrell and I had
a good laugh!

We also talked to this older man that likes the church, reads the Book
of Mormon, and watchs the BYU channel a lot. We asked him about his
reading in the Book of Mormon. He said he was in Alma right now and we
asked how he felt when he was reading it and his reply was,"I want to
fight with them!" :)

Life is great out here in California! Tell me about your miracles. :)

I love you all so much! Thank you again for the wonderful birthday
wishes! It was a great birthday in the mission!

Love you lots! The Church is true. Heavenly Father loves you!

Sister Schillemat

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