Elder Drew Schneider is serving a full-time LDS 2 year mission in Billings, MT. Drew is originally from Snowflake, AZ but had recently moved to Mesa, AZ before heading out to Montana. His family loves and supports him. Thank you for your interest and support via this blog.
Well it's me again! Sick of hearing from yet? Ok good. So
here's my weekly update. It's also been 4 months for me. It doesn't even feel
like I've left yet. But I'm loving it out here and we are doing thebest we can
right now. The hardest part is the stinking cold! It's starting to get chilly
out here and now we have a car share so we have to be on bikes and walk around
a lot. But I just got a pair of 20 below snow boots so I'll live.
The work is going good. We have a young guy on date for
baptism and we also have a sweet family we found that we have high hopes for.
We are praying that they progress. The Ward is doing good and they are getting
better at their member missionary work. I really love this ward because I've
been here for a bit and I've got some good relationships with some of them. We
are learning to work with them better. We are still a little low on dinners but
it's because no one can feed us at 5. All of the families in our Ward are young
families with husbands that have to work late. But we've been getting more than
enough food in the end, we are eating well.
Elder Wylie is almost done training. He is doing really good
right now. He is speaking up more and working faster and more confidently. I
wish he could train, it would be really good for him. He is learning quickly
and starting to take the lead in a few things. It's looking up.
But besides that there is not a whole lot. Just loving it
out here. There are so many miracles that happen on the daily basis. Time is
flying and I hope that we keep finding success. The best part of all of this is
just seeing how I'm growing up. I'm still the same weird me as always but I'm a
little more responsible and I'm learning to work with people better. I think of
you guys all the time and I hope you are doing good! I love you!
Well, it's going! Things are good and I'm alive, there's not
much to complain about. Me and Elder Wylie are just pushing on. We've found
some good usage of our time and we have been working pretty hard. We are on a
car share now so we have to ride bikes half of the time. It's good though, it
gives me some exercise. My weight is going up and down haha. I got down to 145
at the beginning of my 2nd transfer and now I'm almost at 160. I think it's
because I ride a bike more often so I'm building a little more muscle. But I
don't care if I weigh 120 or 180, it's the sacrifice I make to be on a
We just had Halloween and that was a good time. We can't
proselyte on Halloween night after 6 so we just went to a members house. The
people go hard here in their decorations. But there isn't a whole lot that we
can do on Halloween. Me and Elder Wylie were out tracting yesterday and we met
our first crazy guy. He was legit crazy. He was stumbling around the streets
under the influence of some drug. He made us talk to him and starting saying
some pretty scary stuff so we left pretty quick, but it was a new experience.
We handled it the best we could haha.
We have some more people with good potential now. We put a
young guy by the name of Cody on date for the 28th. He is doing great and
progressing well. And we have another young guy named Sean that is interested.
The family we had on date earlier is progressing really slowly so we are giving
them some time. But we still have hopes for them. Besides that we don't have
anybody right now. The Robison family got baptized yesterday. They aren't in
our Ward but we were the ones that found them, so it was still pretty cool.
Well, I don't know if there is a whole lot more to say! But
I'll do better at writing stuff down so I can email it all on Mondays. Things
are going good, I'm happy and we are just working hard and staying obedient.
And I'm super glad I'm in Montana because this place is beautiful. I just get
lost in the beauty of the snowcapped mountains and the rolling hills. The
people are nice too and I couldn't be put in a better situation. I miss you all
and love you all so much!
it's me again. This week was a bit better. There wasn't much success but it was
still good. Me and Elder Wylie are going hard out here. Lots of stuff is being
learned. This is scaring me how fast this is going by. It's also hit me that
I'm kind of not new anymore. But anyways, I'll tell you what's new.
So yesterday was the baptism of a guy that both of
us wards have been teaching. He got baptized before the rest of his family so he
could baptize the rest of them. It was super spiritual. So I will send a picture of them later. We have one guy that is pretty solid and is
committed to baptism. We don't have a date set for him yet but we are praying
about it. But besides that there is not much. We have been doing a lot of tracting
and trying to find people but it's like finding a needle in a hay stack. We are
just not worrying about it. But elder Wylie is doing good. Winter is
coming guys! It's freezing every night and it's starting to cool off during the
day too. It wouldn't surprise me if it snowed before Halloween. There is snow
on top of the mountains, it looks pretty sweet. The people here also go all out
for Halloween. It's kinda of freeky walking down the street at night with all
of this sketchy stuff out haha. We can't proselyte on Halloween anyways.
Today was a good
preparation day besides the fact that everybody just sits on their IPads all
day! It's so annoying how easily distracted they get from their stupid IPads.
But whatever, they miss their families.
This week was great. I don't have a whole lot to say though. It's been tough. Me and my companion are getting things down a bit. I'm getting exhausted from always making sure things get done. I guess I'm
learning something from all of this. I'm just having a hard time right now I
guess. I'm trying to stay positive and I'm doing a pretty good job at it. I
asked the zone leaders what they think would help and hey said I'm doing
everything right. So I guess I will just carry on!
We don't have any new people to mention. We've been doing a lot of tracting to
find people. I'm just going to keep praying and doing what I'm doing. I have
faith! We get along well and have fun in the apartment and stuff. Well, I don't have a whole lot to say this week, I love
you all and hope you all are doing good. I will write a better email next week.
To all my friends and family around the world! Jk you all
live like 20 min apart haha. But it's the beginning of my 3rd transfer! I'm
officially not a trainee anymore! It's so nice to not be a "new" missionary
anymore. I'm a cool normal missionary now. But I still feel like I just barely
got out. But anyways, things are all good up here in Montana.
The work was much better this last week. We had some success
that made us feel a little better. We actually have two people on date for
baptism right now. We were out tracting a trailer park neighborhood and two
kids rode up in their bikes and were like, “hey who are you?” and we were like,
“hey we are the Mormon Missionaries” you wanna learn about Jesus? And so they
took us to their house up the road and we taught them and their mom. We put
them on date a few days later and things are looking pretty good for them. We
will see if they continue to progress. So they were pretty much just a straight
up miracle. I'll take it.
As far as training goes, it's just the same. Me and elder
Wylie are learning to teach a little better and I feel like I'm starting to be
a better leader. He is still as shy as can be but I have to be patient and just
let him work through it. He has a desire to improve and is trying to speak up
more. Encouragement is the best thing to do in this case, but I still love the
kid. I talked to the zone leader and asked them what I could do to get him to
speak up, they said I was doing the right thing so I just keep doing what I'm
We got transfer news today! I'm staying in Belgrade. Which
I’m happy about so that I can stay to teach this family we have on date. Oh and
if any of you remember, there was a family that we taught at the beginning of
my mission that just walked into church one Sunday, the Robison family is their
name. Anyways, the problem was that they were in the other wards boundaries and
we had to pass them off to them and do it without offending the family. But
they went quiet on us for a bit, so we just kind of let them go. But they came
back! And the other Ward elders are teaching them again and have them on date
for baptism and all that good stuff! I'm pumped because I taught them two
lessons and got them started and all and now they are following through! I'm
counting them as a baptism. They are an awesome family that was super prepared.
I think that's most of it for this week! We had some awesome
stuff happen and I'm really happy. I love you all and miss you all so much.
Keep the emails coming! Have a good week!
This week was another good one. Which is funny because we barely taught any lessons, but it’s because of the things me and Elder Wylie learned. We were able make a lot of improvements in both our teaching and our usage of time. We actually taught some good doorstep lessons in which the people were uninterested to begin with but by the end of our little doorstep lesson we had set up a return appointment. I’m making elder Wylie be more involved in our teaching and I'm doing better at focusing on his training. Once I'm done training myself I feel like we can focus a little more on him and then we can also have more time. But training is going good. We still don't have anyone on date but we do have some solid progressing investigators that I have high hopes for.
Conference was amazing. Being out here I can truly appreciate and enjoy conference like I should. I went into this conference with a completely different attitude than what I have had in the past. I actually wanted to learn something and I really was prepared to go into it. There was so much more meaning to the words of the leaders of our church because I went into it with a desire to learn. The spirit testified many truths to me as I listened. Some of the things that I really enjoyed were heard in the priesthood session. I believe that President Eyring taught that the Lord will magnify our efforts when we just simply try our best and do our job. When we have faith and patience and follow the will of the Lord we can see miracles unfold in front of us. Another thing that I soaked in was a talk about self-improvement. And the speaker told us to ask the Lord, "what lack I yet?". I love that. When you combine this talk and ask the Lord, "what lack I yet?", and, "what is thy will for me?", we can see a new horizon of opportunity. When we are doing everything we can think of to overcome an obstacle and are praying for help do we ever stop and say, well, obviously this isn't working, what does the Lord want me to do. And no, that doesn't mean sit around for some answer to magically appear in front of you, it means that when you feel like you've tried everything have you tried what the Lord wants you to do? I come to this realization often when looking for people to teach. I feel like I've searched everywhere and tried everything and I don't know what else to do. So I ask God, where do you want me to go and who do you want me to see. And then I go with what I feel like is an answer. It may be just a thought that popped into your head or maybe what something someone around you will say, but it will trigger a surety of what you should do. One of the assistants that came on an exchange with me told me to pray and then if it felt good, do it. So I did. And it's made a huge difference. Because after all, this is the Lords work, not mine. And the same applies to everyone. Because the Lord has a will for everyone. So I encourage you all to ask God what his will is for you. And then ask, what lack I yet? He will show you your weaknesses and your faults so that you can know for a surety of what is to be done. Yes, it takes humility and faith, but the rewards can be great. And remember, if you pray without faith and with resistance, it will do you no good. To add to that, you must have real intent. That means that when you do get an answer you will follow that prompting. It may not be what you expect, but it's probably right on, because what you were trying wasn't working so the lord showed you otherwise. Ask in faith that the lord will show you all things, and stay clean so that the Holy Ghost can tell you the truth. This one simple truth can make a huge difference in the quality of your life.
This is my last week as a trainee and it feels kind of weird, but I'm so glad it's on the last stretch. Because I will no longer be a new missionary, I will be fully trained. Well, I hope I will be! Anyways, it's just nice to not have to call and report training every week. So I'm excited to just focus on being a trainer and not worrying about checking a list off for me too. And elder Wylie will benefit from it more too. Things are looking great for us missionaries, we are getting this down slowly. But I tell you what, time is flying!! I can't believe I've been out almost 3 months already. I swear I was just packing haha. But it's a joy to be doing such a great work. There is nothing better I could be doing for my life right now. I see that very clearly now. Even when it's hard I still remember that what I'm doing is good, so I should be happy no matter the circumstances. I love you all and I'm praying for you all. Just keep being awesome!
Until next week, bye :)
Well, I’m on week 11! I’m almost done training! Yes! This
week was hard. But I guess they all are. It was super up and down. I swear a
mission is just to throw your emotions in a loop. Cause your mood can change in
like 5 minutes out here. One minute I’m angry and depressed and then another
I’m as happy as can be. I guess that’s just how it is when you're learning.
The progress of our work is not really going anywhere. And I
used to tell myself numbers don't matter, but it gets really hard when you're
trying your best every day and there isn't a whole lot of progress made. But me
and elder Wylie have really broken down our teaching and kind of discussed what
we need to improve on. So we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We see
what we can do to improve and we get better daily. So I know that success will
come eventually. And the better we teach the more likely we are to get into
someone’s home for the second time. And that’s the key, if you can get into
their home with another member and teach a powerful lesson, because doorstep
lessons are hard to do. But we are figuring things out like I said. And I
actually look forward to go out and teach because I have the opportunity to
practice what we learned. I see lots of success in our future.
Some funny stuff has happened this week too. Sometimes when
you're just tired from work and you're tired of rejection the littlest things
can make you laugh. For example, we do service for the Library every Wednesday.
And one of our jobs is to pick up a ton of these little crab apples that fall
off of the tree they have. So we picked up a ton of these little apples and put
them in a plastic trash bag. And this bag was loaded. So were like, how
are we going to get this bag over to the trash can? so i was a dunce and
thought it work if I just ran with it really fast. And so I take off with it. I
get half way through the parking lot and then the bag rips open, apples all
over the parking lot. Normally I would get angry but I was just so sick of
annoying things that all I could do was laugh. And now we have that funny story
behind us. And sometimes people just make me laugh. I meet some crazy
In all things are still great. At times I get homesick but
it usually passes in not too long. I think the best thing I can do is just stay
busy. We had exchanges with some of the assistants last Monday and that helped
us a ton. They taught us how to be way more successful. We now know how to plan
way better so that our day is full of useful things that are actually
important. So things are looking up and I'm excited for the future. My teaching
is still pretty rusty but I'm improving. I need to learn how to teach to meet
people's needs and help them understand why the things we teach can bless them
and how I can show them it's true. Once I can figure that out it will be a lot
better. I just have to go by the spirit. And in the end, everything we do as
missionaries should be by the spirit. The lord always has a place for us to be
and someone for us to go see. We just need to ask him and he will show us.
I'm still so grateful for the opportunity to be in this
mission. I don't know if there is another mission with so much integrity and
truth. The leaders of the Billings Montana mission are leaders of God and they
know how to lead a successful mission. Obedience is standard here and I
appreciate it so much. It shows how obedience brings success too. I'm pretty
sure that the Montana mission is one of the highest baptizing missions in the
US. The members here are awesome too. Sometimes they slack on their missionary
work but they are so loving. It feels like home. The area I'm in is awesome
too. There is so much potential for success here too. I just want to reach it
so bad because there haven’t been very many baptisms lately. If we can get the
members to get going on their work it would help a lot. But anyways, that's
all. I hope you all are doing well and are finding answers to life. I love you
all. I'm keeping you all in my prayers.
Here are some pictures too! And the nasty pictures of the
meat hanging is in Bro Guptils garage. He butchers elk and stuff for people so
I thought I would send it to you.
So I just got my iPad back so I have a lot to catch up on.
The first thing is the baptism that happened on sept 2 of course. That was so
awesome, I've never done it before so it was an experience to remember. But I
was so nervous when I did it. I didn't dunk her all the way the first time so I
had to do it again.. But she still loved it, which is what matters. She
described it as "rejuvenating". She had a lot of support and she
enjoyed it very much. Then the next day on Sunday I got to confirm her too, and
I was even more nervous for that! I had to do it front of the whole ward! But I
tell you what, that was even more awesome than the Baptism. I could just feel
the Holy Ghost descend upon her. I have never before been able to perform such
an amazing ordinance. There is real power in the priesthood. I was able to talk
to her a few days later and see how she was doing. She said she noticed and
immediate difference after she received the Holy Ghost and that she still had
that same feeling. That really strengthened my testimony and put a smile on my
As well as that, as you all know I'm training. My companion
Elder Wylie is an awesome guy. Let me just explain to you his personality. He
was painfully shy when I first met him. But, he's coming out of his shell. He
is actually so full of personality and humor. He keeps surprising me with
hidden talents and skills. He can beat box and play the drums. He's also very
smart and a deep thinker. But my favorite part about him is his desire to work
and follow the rules. It’s like a breath of fresh air. Elder Wylie and I are on
the same page and we are loving it. We often have no clue what we’re doing but
we just learn as we go and enjoy it. Me and him get along very well. It’s
weird because I’m having to be out going and be the confident one that has to
approach people and be the example. But I’m surprising myself actually. I’m
doing a better job at taking the lead already and I can’t wait to see how much
more improvement I have to make. And I also love seeing my companion blossom.
He kind of knows the doctrine well already but he just needs to be able to
teach it, and its coming, slowly but surely. He's very good at being organized
and working smart. And this helps me a lot, because I can get sloppy sometimes.
He makes sure we work smart and that we do things right, not just fast. So I'm
learning a lot from him too.
One miracle I had this week was a blessing I had the
opportunity to give. We were out contacting some less active people and we come
up to this lady's house. She lets us in and is happy to see us and all. So we
talk with her for a bit and then we notice that she was doing homework or
writing something. So we ask her what she was doing and she says that she was
writing a paper for some college homework. But she said that she had gotten a
bad concussion a few months ago and wasn’t able to focus very well so it’s been
hard for her to do any schooling and writing and stuff like that. So the
thought pops in my head, priesthood blessing? I ask her if she’s gotten one to
help and she said she had and it helped, but she would like another one. Me and
my companion are like heck yeah we will give you a blessing! We take out the
oil and go through it all. So we give her a blessing and leave her with a
pamphlet. We came back about a week later. We ask her how she was doing and she
said she was doing great. She said the blessing helped her finish her homework
and it was as if she had never gotten a concussion. And we were like wow,
that’s amazing. The priesthood power is real. That was the first time I have
really seen the priesthood heal someone. So I have no doubts in its
I’m starting my tenth week in the field here and its getting
pretty crazy. I don't really see a whole lot of success with the people we are
teaching but we are having success with ourselves. I get the feeling that it
might stay this way. There is so much religion out here it seems as if there is
no room for the LDS religion. But I just have to keep being patient and realize
that there is nothing I can do when people are not open. If they want to
listen, great, if not, oh well. We try our best and that’s what matters. But I
want to know about you all more! Keep me updated! Tell me what’s going on in
your lives! I hope you all are doing well, I love you all. Until next week,
peace out! And I’m sending pictures in a bit