Monday, April 2, 2012

Conference, Conversion and Hiking

Gretchen with her companion, Sister Birrell, and their mini-mission companion.

 Picking Tangerines--it must be California!

Hello Family!

It was another wonderful week in California! Conference was wonderful
and we just loved listening to all the talks!
Before I forget, as you know the Relief Society General Presidency was
reorganized. The second counselor in the RS was Sister Reeves, who was
the previous California, Riverside Mission President's WIFE! How cool
is that?! It was really funny durin conference because all of the
Elders that knew her were SO excited and couldn't believe it! Very

Conference was great! It is cool listening to conference with
investigators in mind. I really liked Elder Holland's talk as well
Mama. One line stood out with regards to Red, an investigator.
paraphrasing: "If you've made covenants, keep them. If you haven't
made them, make them." Red is still not committing to baptism, even
though he is so close. I just thought about how much that applies to
him. He needs baptism, and it is never too late. Pray for him.

We have a new investigator, named John, who is great! We taught him
twice and he came to both sessions of conference on Sunday! He is
reading the Book of Mormon and he asked, "Is it weird that I just
can't put the book down?" As a missionary, that is like a miracle
statement! We were very excited and he is on date for April 28th.
Problem is that he is in between houses, so he may not be in our area.
We're hoping that all works out, but we will see. Everything will work
out I guess, but we might not be able to teach him much longer. Time
will tell. It is all in the Lord's hands. I am so grateful for that.

We have another two investigators, Lisa and Karena, who are both
wonderful! Lisa has really been drawn to the church and it is amazing
to see. She loves being in the church and can feel the love of others.
She told us last week that it was like we had a aura around us and she
likes spending time with us. It was really wonderful to see how
excited they are about church. They are financially struggling, but
last week when we showed up, Lisa said she had to show us something.
She comes out with a new dress and skirt for her and her daughter! She
was so excited! It was just amazing to see because that was a
sacrifice for them to buy the clothes, but they wanted to. The Lord is
sending us so many tender mercies. I love being a missionary.

I loved how conference has themes. We had just taught John the Plan of
Salvation last week, so when we watched the Sunday morning session, it
was like he was taught it over again. It was really all about the Plan
of Salvation. Then there was a theme on families. I love family! I
love you all so much! I am grateful for the time that we spend
together and being a part of an amazing eternal family. Thank you for
all you do!

Well, semi-missionary related: We went hiking this morning for p-day!
It was a great hike and Sister Birrell was in heaven. I really enjoyed
being outside and it felt like a mix between Utah, New England, and
Arizona, which was great! There were trees like New England! It was
really nice to just be outside. :)

Missionary work is going really well. I love serving the Lord and know
that I am always watched over. I know that the Book of Mormon is true.
I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know that President Monson
is the Lord's mouthpiece and prophet on the earth today and I am so
grateful for him.
The Church is true! Jesus Christ lives!

Thanks for all your love and support! Happy Easter! :)

Sister Gretchen Schillemat

ps. Sister Birrell and I FINALLY found a connection between us. It is
Jared Cline! He served in Sister Birrell's home ward for his last
area. And Sister Birrell's dad is the Bishop, so Jared was at their
house for Christmas 2010. Crazy, huh? :)

pss. We have another mini-missionary with us! Sister Dickerman is from
Indio and is working on her mission papers! Very cool for us!

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