Monday, May 21, 2012

Gretchen has a new companion.

After talking and laughing a lot with Gretchen on Mother's Day, it's back to business as usual which means change, of course.
  Hello Family!
The big news for this week is that I have a new companion! Crazy! So here is the scoop:
I was living with Sister Toala, Sister Jones, and Sister Sellers. Sister Jones and Sellers are ASL and Sister Jones goes home in July. There are no new ASL sisters coming into our mission, so Sister Sellers was given the choice to go English in the mission after Sister Jones leaves or to be moved to another mission. Well, Sister Sellers is hard of hearing, so she decided it would be better to go to another mission. So, she was transferred VERY quickly to Sacramento last Tuesday. That left, SIster Jones in a limbo for a couple of days. She didn't know what/where she was going, but she just stayed with us and we team splits a lot. Then we had multi-zone conference on Thursday and President Smart asked to speak with all three of us. And Sister Toala was first and she found out that she was being transferred to HIGHLAND, my old area! There is a sister that is pretty sick, so Sister Toala was sent up there to help Sister Birrell.
So my new companion is Sister Jones! (A different one from before...) Interesting part: Sister Jones is still doing ASL until the end of her mission! So, I will be learning a little bit of sign, but President Smart said that I don't have to learn it really. We are going to try to get A LOT of splits, so Sister Jones isn't teaching every Deaf lesson by herself. I feel so bad! She has to voice for me  when the investigators are talking and then sign whenever I say something. It has been quite interesting, but we are both erally excited! It is going to make us very busy, which I am sooo excited about! I love being busy!
Needless to say, it has been an interesting week! Our apartment went from 4 to 2 sisters in a week and I have a new companion. She is wonderful! She is from Hurricane, Utah and is teaching me a lot! I have loved the few short days working with her!
That is the big news, but we had a good week! We had quite a few lessons and great investigators! We had two lessons with a Part-member family, the Williams, which were amazing! The last lesson was hard because it was Sister Toala's last lesson with them and she had to say good bye. They are an amazing family and we are just so excited for them. We love the questions they ask and they all are very open to the message. The father is not a member, but he said he really likes the visits. :) We just love them so much! And Katelynn turns 6 on Kirstin's birthday. :)
We met a couple of new people this week, one of which has a son named Lancelot, which was pretty cool. :) She was really receptive as well. The Elders actually met her and then she wanted to meet with missionaries. So we finally met her and we taught her a little about the Restoration and she was so surprised how many of the same beliefs that we had to others. She was really open to the visit. Then we prayed with and for her because she has been going through a pretty hard time, and she started to cry. She said that she wasn't used to random acts of kindness and when we prayed for her that was an act of kindness she wasnt used to. We are meeting with her again soon. :)
Overall it was a kind of crazy, but good week. Lots of changes, but life is good. Missions are always inspiried, so I know I am where and with whom I am supposed to be. Sister Jones is truly wonderful and patient with me, which is such a blessing. :)
This is the true Church of Jesus Christ and I am so thankful to be a member. I am so grateful for the blessing to help others come closer to Christ. I am thankful for the Spirit of the Book of Mormon. We are so blessed to have that additional witness of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know Jesus Christ loves us!
I love you all!
Sister Gretchen Schillemat
ps. I read Ether 4-6 today and there was a lot of cool connections in those chapters. In chapter 5 it talks about the three witnesses of the Book of Mormon, and I thought about how everything relates to the Godhead and the divine role of three. (if that makes sense) We have Bishoprics, Presidencies, the First Presidency all as three. And that is the way the Godhead is set up. Also, it talks about the stones that the Brother of Jared put in the boat and how they gave them light, so they could get through darkness. There were two on either end of the barges. The stones can be compared to the Bible and the Book of Mormon and how they are lights to help us through the darkness of the world. Just something to think about... :)
Have a great week!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

First week in Riverside--Adjustments.

First, before I forget. I won't be able to skype until 6:00pm my time, which means 9:00pm your time. I'm sorry it is so late, but that is what happened to work out. Just be on skype by 8:30 or so and I'll be on shortly after! I am excited to talk and see your lovely faces!
So Riverside is a hard area, but things are going well nonetheless. The people are a little less receptive, which makes it pretty difficult, but it was still a good week. It was certainly hard to leave Highland, such a familiar place, but I have been greatly blessed in Riverside. The ward is AMAZING! We have the best Ward Mission Leader. He is always right there to help us and just wants to serve! He is truly a blessing. Then the ward is just so kind and I love them already! Very welcoming and love that I am from New Hampshire. :)
So the miracle for the week is a family named the Williams. We went over to their house on Monday night for dinner and after sharing a spiritual thought, we kneeled to pray. Kaitlyn, the 5 year old daughter, prayed with our help for the first time out loud! It was amazing and then her mother Amanda, started to cry. It was a wonderful experience. And then on Saturday night we had a little time before we had to be home and we stopped by. We met Mikey, the father/husband, who is not a member, but he was very open to our visits. Cody, the 12 year old son, is also not a member. Amanda said to us, "Guess what? After you came to visit on Monday night, Cody said he wants to be baptized." We were SO EXCITED! It was exactly what we needed after having several appointments fall through. We then talked with Cody about baptism for a little and asked if we could leave with a prayer. So again we knelt down, and we asked Kaitlyn who she wanted to pray. She pointed at her dad. Mikey was hesitant and nervous to say the least, but after explaining how to pray, he said a beautiful prayer. It was a miracle evening! Then the next day, they were ALL at church! It was such a special experience because we often take prayer for granted, but this was the first time for Mikey and Kaitlyn to pray outloud. Think about how happy Heavenly Father is to hear from them!
Missions are full of miracles! :) We just have to look for them!
Thank you so much for the package you sent Mom with the Relief Society! That was such a surprise and a wonderful treat! :) Tell everyone Thank you!
I found out a really COOL connection yesterday! We were over to the Senior Sister Missionaries apt to eat dinner. They live right across the way from our apt. As we were talking, Sister Crews mentioned that she used to live in Oneonta (probably spelled that wrong..), NY. I knew that sounded familiar, so I asked if she knew any Haehnels. She was like, "Bob and Marion...or something...Did they lose a daughter about 10 years ago?" I then told her is was Mike and Maureen, and yes, that was my cousin. She knows them! She lived there over 25 years ago, but she goes to visit almost every summer! What a small world! Ask Mike and Maureen if they know a Sister Crews!
I love this gospel. I love how we truly are a big family. That is the goal of our loving Heavenly Father. He just wants us all to be a family! Sealed for time and eternity! I am so grateful for temples!
Thank you all for the support and love and many prayers! Keep sending them my way. :)
So very excited to talk/see you soon!
Love you!
Sister Gretchen Schillemat