Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Good week in Jurupa

This week was a great week in Jurupa! Sister Boyd and I were able to teach 20 lessons and have 7 of them with a member-present. OVerall things are going well and life is good!
Well, on Friday, President Smart emailed us and told us that California, Redlands  and Rancho Cucamonga are going to becoming a new mission and that in July that will affect us as a mission. There are 58 new missions that were announced throughout the whole world! That is just amazing! I am so excited for this great work! That will definitely change our boundaries quite a bit with these two missions, plus the Carlsbad mission. I will send you President Smart's email and you should check out the website. It is such an amazing time to be a part of this great work. The Lord truly is hastening his work!
Amy is progressing so well! WE taught her Saturday, yesterday, and we are teaching her tonight and tomorrow. She is on date for baptism for this Sunday! We are so excited and she is too. She was prepared to hear this message and accept it in her life. On Saturday, she asked, "What way do I  have to be living? I have been doing things and wondering if that is wrong." She was so concerned that she was making mistakes and she is just eager to learn. We went over the baptismal interview questions right there even though we hadn't taught most of lessons yet, but she was put at ease. I really love teaching Amy because she is just so eager to learn and the Spirit is guiding the lessons through her questions. She just wants to know everything she can and it has been wonderful for us to be a part of. We showed up at Church yesterday at 8:30 and Amy was already there because she wanted to get a good spot for 9:00 church. :)
I love this work and I feel so blessed. Sister Boyd has been a huge blessing and teacher to me over this past week. She is full of energy and we work hard, while having fun. I love it!
This is a great work! I love you all!
SIster Gretchen Schillemat

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Staying put but with a new companion

Hello Family!
So it was transfers this last week and I didn't leave! YAY! But sadly, Sister Fia left, but my new companion is Sister BOYD! She is from Maryland and I lived with her when I was in Riverside. I probably told you all about her and she is amazing! I never thought we would have the chance to be companions, but I am soooo excited! She is a hard worker and she is just a ball of energy and love. We are excited for the work that is going on in the area and know that miracles with continue. I was really sad to see Sister Fia leave, but I know that she will be great with SIster Larsen, who was my MTC companion. :) Sister Fia and Sister Larsen are going to do wonderful things in Corona! Hopefully Sister Fia will be able to come back to some of the baptisms coming up as well!
Life in Jurupa is going well. :) We are seeing lots of miracles and we are excited for all that is in store. Sister Fia and I had three mini-missionaries are Saturday for the day. Let me tell you about one miracle that we saw. I was out with one sister  and we didn't have much success getting in anywhere, but we had a referral to contact. Well this referral was (get ready for this one): Our homeshare's (Monica) daughter's (Alisha) husband's (Brandon) parents. Anyway, we went to the house and it turned out that Alisha and Brandon were actually there, which was perfect! Absolutely a miracle! Brandon is not a member and Alisha is. Brandon has investigated the Church on and off for years. We offered to leave a Harvesting Blessing with them and they accepted. We left a blessing with them and I knew that it was for Brandon, just as much for his parents. We invited Brandon to be baptized and he declined, but it was a good visit nonetheless. It was a miracle that we were there. We went back to our homeshares right after that and told her about it. She talked to her daughter and found out that she was already back home and that they were only there for a short time. It was absolutely the Lord's timing.
We have been so blessed as missionaries. I love this work sooo much! I am excited for all that is ahead.
We have an investigator named Amy, who is on date for March 3rd and she is progressing well. She came to Church again this past week and we are so excited for her. :) Hilda is on date for March 10th and Hannah as well. We are just going to keep working hard!
Congratulations Geoff on BYU-I! Amber's home! I am excited for her!
I know this is the Lord's work! I am so blessed to be a part of it. We talked about Christ-like attributes today in our District Meeting and I am excited to focus on a different attribute of my Savior, Jesus Christ for these next weeks. I have grown in my knowledge and testimony of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and loves us so much. He is aware of our lives and all that we are doing. I know that He can heal us spiritually, emotional, physically. 
I love you all! Have an amazing week! Talk to you soon!
Sister Gretchen Schillemat
This is a picture of Sister Boyd and I four or five months ago at the temple. :)

Gretchen and Sister Gonzales, who often comes along with the sister missionaries.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Life is good!

So excited for Danielle! That is definitely an amazing blessing! I can't wait to see pictures of the baptism. :) I will keep her in my prayers as she continues to take the lessons.
This week was a good week. We taught 20 lessons, which was sooo exciting! Finally. I feel like we are trying to all we can and are more on top of it than in other areas, but it has been a atruggle to get our lessons. It was really exciting to teach so much last week.
We met with a new family this last week. It is three generations in one house. The daughter, Amy, mom, Charlene, and grandma, Pat living together. Well Charlene and Pat are both members of the Church but have been less active for a long time. Amy is not a member, but is so excited about the gospel. We met on Wednesday and Amy was just so excited to be learning. She told us she wants to come to church and she was there on Sunday, for all three hours. She seemed to really enjoy it as well. We are teaching her again on Wednesday and are excited for her.
Life is good as a missionary! I am happy. :)
One thing that I was reading this morning was in Helaman 12. It talks about not setting at naught the guidance and counsel of the Lord. How often in life, do we think that we know what is best for us? Or we want certain things and don't seek the guidance of the Lord? I know that as we seek the Lord's guidance and truly follow it, we are blessed in all things. I know that His plan for us will always bless us, where our plan for ourselves is not guaranteed. I know that the Lord lives and loves us.
Thanks for all you do and all your love. Happy Valentine's Day. :)
Love you,
Sister Gretchen Schillemat

Monday, February 4, 2013

Ether 12:27

Hello Family,
This past week was an interesting one. We had a not so good week for lessons, but here is the highlights.
We are teaching Hannah, the girlfriend of a member. She is doing soo well! She is on date for February 17th and came to all of Church yesterday. We are really excited for her!
We also continued to teach a family of four this week. We gave them a harvesting blessing a little over a week ago and we had a really good lesson with them. They all could feel the Spirit and were grateful for our visit. We are excited for what is to come.
I loved Peder's email today. That was just what I needed to hear. Sometimes we do feel like we are always failing and that we are kind of alone. But we are never alone. We always have the Savior, Jesus Christ, our loving Father in Heaven, and the Holy Ghost. I am so thankful for that. This past week we had one lesson that didn't go as we, I should say, as I, expected. We were on splits that night, so after the lesson I felt like I had really failed. That whole night and the following day it was really bothering me. And I think this was an opportunity for me to learn and to grow. I didn't depend on the Spirit like I should have. I didn't prepare for that lesson like I should have. Although, I wish it didn't have to go that way, I am grateful for that experience because it was an opportunity for me to really change what I am doing to be more prepared in lessons. It was an opportunity for me to see my weaknesses and depend of the Lord more, so that they can become strengths. I am hoping and praying that the next lesson with that family will be more filled with the Spirit and that I will be a better conduit for the Spirit.
Missions are hard. But they are the best time of our lives. I am so thankful to be serving a mission. I am so thankful for the people that I meet and the people that I come in contact with. I love this work. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. This is His work.
Thank you for your love and support! I love you all! Geoff, Congratulations on being an eagle scout!
Love you all!
Sister Gretchen Schillemat

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Gretchen's good week! One of many....

This week was full of miracles and I feel so blessed. As I wrote last week, we prayed for a family and we ended up teaching two new families this past week. One was the one that I wrote about last week. The other was a Harvesting Blessing that we had on Saturday night. That was really a miracle. We were tracting just a few houses and we had no success, again until the last house. The Lord often works that way. :) Then we knocked on the door of this house and they let us in. They told us that we had already talked to them at a gas station a couple of weeks ago, so they knew who we are. We offered to give a Harvesting Blessing and they gladly accepted. After we offered the blessing, one of the two daughters was crying. The mother was explaining her feelings and it was truly the Spirit. We invited them to be baptized, but the father was not very open to that. But we asked if we could come back on Sunday and they agreed. We came back again and had a lesson with them. They have not committed to baptism, mostly because of the father, but we are going to meet with them again this week. The daughter, who is a senior in high school, has a spark in her eye, and you can tell the Spirit is working with her. It may not be the father who is baptized, but his children are feeling and recognizing the Spirit. We are so excited for this family! 
We also had Hannah, who we started teaching last week, commit to be baptized. We taught the Plan of Salvation on Wednesday and after the lesson, Hannah said, "So I didn't give you a clear answer about being baptized on February 17th. But I want you to know I accept the goal." :) We were so excited and are seeing the Spirit work in her. :)
Then Sister Fia, while we were on splits, went and taught the Montiel family. The wife committed to be baptized on February 17th along with one of her sons, who is 8 years old. The father received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday as well. :) We are so excited for this whole family! They are progressing so well and we feel so blessed to be a part of this great work. 
Life is good here in Riverside! I love this work and I am so happy to hear all is going well with you! Poul and Mom, who are doing wonderful things as missionaries. I want to keep hearing about Danielle and how she is progressing. :) Poul, where'd you meet her? Is she from Keene? Fill me in a little more on that. I am so excited for her to be reading the Book of Mormon and feeling the Spirit of the Restored Gospel. This truly is the Savior's Church. I know it without a doubt. I know that The Book of Mormon is true. I love to read it! 
I love this work. I love serving the Lord. We had multi-zones this past week and it was just what I needed. It was sadly my last multi-zone conference, which is unbelievable to me. Time is going too quickly. I loved the conference though. President Smart emphasized that we need truly act on the feelings that we had at the conference. He compared it to investigators who feel good at lessons, but don't act on the things that are shared. We may have felt good at multi-zones, but if we don't act then it doesn't help us progress. I am excited to act on the things that we learned and reviewed at multi-zones. 
Thank you so much for all you love and support. I feel your prayers every day. Thank you for all you do! I love you!
Sister Gretchen Schillemat