Monday, November 26, 2012

Am I Staying or going? Well....

Hello Family!
Well, I am getting transferred! Crazy! It was actually kind of a crazy surprise for me because on Saturday night when they do normal calls, they told me that I was staying in Riverside. I was shocked, but excited to be staying here for the Holidays. I didn't say good-bye becuase I was told I was staying!
Well, this morning, I got a call from President Smart and was asked to train again. My new companion will be from Tonga and I am really excited to meet her tomorrow! What I am most scared about is that I am training and being doubled-into a new area. I have never done that before. Thankfully Jurupa, where I am going, is really close to Riverside, so I will be able to still see the Riverside zone often. Plus the Jurupa zone seems great. I need lots of prayers this week though! Lots and lots. New companion. New area. Training. Ahhh... Little scary, but I know that I will be okay with Heavenly Father's help. I know that with Him, we can do all things. And I certainly know that I will need His help these upcoming weeks. Lots to do and lots to learn. .
Well, this week in Arlington was reaslly good. We had Damarrius, who was baptized two weeks ago, pass the sacrament yesterday for the first time. We also had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We had two meals that day. One was with a family in the ward and the other was with Sister George, Sister Nelson, and Elder and Sister Price, all senior missionaries. That was really a great time to be able to just sit down and chat with all the missionaries. I love them so much and will miss them a lot.
We met this amazing family last Sunday night and went back and visited them on Tuesday night. We started talking with them and the father was pretty hestitant because he is very involved in his Christian church. Well, we kept talking with him and his three children, who are young adults and we taught the Restoration. It really made them think. They were asking questions and then would say, "That makes sense. God would speak to all of His children." At the end, we committed them to read from the Book of Mormon and the father said they only needed one Book of Mormon. We told them we had more, but he siad only one was enough. Then one daughter said, "I want one." And the son said, "Yeah, I'll take one too." So we ended up getting four for all of them to have their own. It was really a wonderful Spirit and they kids were more receptive. I think with time, the father will come around. We are just excited for that family!
We had good lessons this week with lots of people, despite the holidays. :) 
I love serving a mission. I love being here in Riverside, California and meeting all the people that I do. I know that I was called here for many reasons and I am just so happy to be here. I know this is the true Church of Jesus Christ. I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet on earth today. 
I love you all and am thankful for this wonderful Gospel that blesses our family so much! 
Love, Sister Schillemat
ps. Mom, my straightener broke a couple of months ago but have had companions with one. But now...I think I will need one. You could either put money in my account or buy one...It might be easier to just put money in my account or something...Just let me know!
Also, any stationary or letter writing stuff is good! 
pss. Also to add to the excitement today, as we were driving to email, someone bumped into the back of our car. It didn't do any damage, but it was not my favorite part of the day. Worst part was that the guy didn't even pull over. He hit us, and we pulled into a parking lot very close by and he didn't follow, but went straight through the light...That was the most frustrating part of it all...
But I am happy! I love being a missionary! There is always excitement and surprises! 
Love you!  
psss. Pictures: Tim Tams! Sister Gilmer's first experience. :)
Out District :)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Former Missionary returns for a visit

Sister Jones comes back for a visit

Hello, week six of the transfer....

Hello Family!
This is the last week of this transfer...Next week may bring change for Sister Schillemat...
But, what a great week it was! We had the 3 boys confirmed yesterday and Damarrius received the Aaronic Priesthood and was ordained a Deacon. Things are going well with them and they are very happy! It is wonderful to see the blessings that come from living the Gospel.
Yesterday was a particularly good day! We met two new families and prayed specifically for their needs. We have return appointments with both of them on Tuesday. :) The father of one of the families said, "You came at the right time. I am now separated from my wife for a time." The son in the family said, "Please pray that my family will stay together." It was a wonderful experience. The Spirit was very strong as we met together last night. We are praying that all will continue to go well as we meet with them on Tuesday. The other family, we met on Friday and set up a return appointment. I had actually met one of the daughters, probably six months ago, with Sister Toala. We both remembered our encounter and it was amazing to see how we were able to meet again. Heavenly Father leads us to specific people and puts us in their paths.
We are excited for Tuesday! :) We have one other family that the Elders referred to us that we are meeting that day as well. :)
One investigator Luis is doing well! We had a good lesson with him this past week and he came to Church. He is progressing well. :)
This Gospel truly blesses families. I have seen how happy and blessed families are when they live the Gospel. And on the other end, I have seen how tough things can become when we begin to lack faith and disobey. I hate to see that happen. I feel so blessed and happy from the Gospel, and sometimes I wish that I could just tell everyone that! I know that obedience brings blessing and if we would just obey, life would be much better. Even though trials still come, we would know that we will make it through. I know that Living the Gospel is the only way to be truly blessed in all aspects of our life and to have never-ending happiness in the eternities.
I love this work and I am so thankful for the blessings that I receive everyday. I am so thankful to be able to say, "We are representatives of Jesus Christ." That is an amazing honor and privilege. I know that this time that we have been given as missioonaries is so short, and that we have to remember that this whole year and a half is the Lord's time. P-day, lunch, dinner, every minute is the Lord's time. I know that blessings come when we lose ourselves in the work and remember who's work this is.
Happy Thanksgiving my dear family! I am so thankful for my Savior, Jesus Christ and for his love for me. I am thankful that I can repent and be forgiven. I am thankful for you! A wonderful, supportive, and comforting family that is always there for me, as a missionary, a daughter, a sister. I am thankful for the blessing of serving a mission and seeing the joy that the Gospel brings to families. I am thankful for the blessings that come through prayer. I am thankful that I have a testimony that sustains me through trials. I am thankful for my loving Heavenly Father. I know He lives. I know He loves us and knows us individually.
Thank you for being wonderful! I am thankful for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I know that it true!
Love you siempre,
Sister Gretchen Schillemat 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wow, what a great week!

Hello Family!

We have had some couple of crazy days including today! Sorry for the late email. With Veterans' Day, we didn't email until today and with a crazy afternoon, we didn't get to the library until after 4:30. What a great thing to be busy though!
So first off, we had the baptism of the boys! They are so wonderful and the baptism went well! We had many of the ward members there, which is such a wonderful part of the baptisms here in Riverside. I just love how supportive the ward is. All the boys were excited to be baptized and a little scared, but it went well. Damarrius, the older, is kind of scared of water. He went first and he looked nervous, so Sister Gilmer and I were saying silent prayers while he was getting baptized. But it went well and his two younger twin brothers followed right after. It was a wonderful Spirit. Their great uncle, who is a member, bore his testimony and told about their younger brother Donovan, who is 7. Donovan asked, "Uncle Sherman, am I going to recognize them after they are baptized?" Uncle Sherman replied, "Of course!" Brother Sherman White had told the boys that they would be different and new people after they were baptized and Donovan thought they would look different as well. :) It was so cute to hear about Donovan's questions. He will be 8 in February, so we are excited for him to be baptized as well!
We also had an investigator, Louis, at the baptism of the boys. We had invited him to be baptized, and he siad he would have to pray about it. But we also invited him to come to the baptism for the boys. He really enjoyed the Spirit there. He also went to the Veteran's program that our ward did that evening. We didn't go, but Louis told someone that he felt like he was home while he was there with the ward. Louis is a Veteran, so he was also recognized along with others with the ward. We are meeting with Louis tomorrow and are excited for that!
Victor, who was baptized last month, passed the sacrament for the first time this Sunday. It was great to see him use the Priesthood. He will probably bless the sacrament next week, I imagine. He is only two months older than you, Geoff. :)
Last week we had a wonderful multi-zone with a new approach for finding. It is about using our sacred calling as missionaries and representatives of Jesus Christ to bless (in the form of a prayer for us sisters, but using the Priesthood for Elders) others' homes. It has been really amazing to see then miracles that come from it and we are excited to see the success that comes from this in the future! 
Things are just going really well here in Riverside! I love this work and love being a missionary. I know that the Lord is preparing many to hear this great message and we have to just open our mouths! I am so glad to be a part of this great work. I love it! :) 
Here are messages for you all:
Mom, Kaysville? That is where Christa Schank is from (The girl who stayed with us during Sarah's wedding). That's cool! Christa's family has six kids too... :) I would definitaly know if it were her family though. :) Very cool pictures as well!
Dad, How hsa work been? I haven't heard from you lately. I love you!
Kirstin, How is the semester going? How's Jimmy and Lucy?
Poul, How is work? Are you in school right now?
Andrea, I loved those pictures you sent! You all look so good!
Jo, Are you excited for Thanksgiving break? Are you coming home?
Peder, Keep working hard and being great! I love you!
Geoff, Congratulations on contacts! They are a life saver. :) How is everything going with school?
I love you all so much! I pray for you often and just love you with all my heart. Being on a missionary and being away for so long, makes me more grateful for you all! 
Love you lots! The Church is true!
Sister Gretchen Schillemat 
Picture: Deiontae, Darian, Uncle Sherman, Damarrius, and Donovan at the baptism!

 Me with Elder and Sister Haygood! They are the senior couple in our ward. Sister Haygood had to go home for surgery, so this was the day they were driving home last week. I love them!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Hello from Sunny California!

Hello Family!

It is good to hear that you are safe and sound! Everyone was talking about the storm over here on the west coast, so it is good to hear you were all right. 

Things have been going well out here! We have 3 boys preparing for baptism this Sunday and they are pretty excited! (We are too!) They love Church and are excited for this! I'll send some pictures next week. :)

Also, on Saturday night we got a call from a former investigator and he wanted to come to Church! We hadn't heard from him for the back two or three months, so this was great! Our ward mission leader went to pick him up and he also brought his neighbor. It was great! Then there was another man that lives across the street from the Church that just moved in and he just showed up to Church. He really enjoyed it. While in Gospel Principles, someone asked him if he was a member and he said, "Well, I guess I am now..." We will have to teach him about how he really can be an official member of the Church, but he was a great member of the class yesterday. :) 

Last night we stopped in at a woman in our wards' home. We were looking at her family pictures and as I looked at all her brothers and sisters, I was like, "I know her!" Her younger sister was in my BYU ward freshmen year! It is such a small world in the LDS Church. 

I feel at a lost today for what to say. The computers are down at the library, so we are at the Mission Office. I think I am just not in my normal spot, so my brain isn't working too well. But things are going well! I love this work! Peder is right. There is a  limitless amount of people out there for us to help and to share the Gospel with. 

I love you all so much and can't wait to hear from you next week! Love you! The Church is true!
Sister Gretchen Schillemat

PS. We were at a less-actives home on Friday and for some reason the pumpkin festival came up and they watched the show about the two cities battling. They knew about Keene's Pumpkin Festival!