Red Lodge Montana

Red Lodge Montana

October 12, 2015

3rd Transfer

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 doing.
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!
     -Elder Schneider

October 5, 2015

Another good week

Dear Family,
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 :)

                   -Elder Schneider

September 28, 2015

Week 11

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 Montanan’s.

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.

     -Elder Schneider