Red Lodge Montana

Red Lodge Montana

January 4, 2016


Tuesday was like an emotional roller coaster. But it was all golden in the end. So it started good with an amazing personal study. I don't know why but it was just phenomenal. It was like I just understood everything all of a sudden. Anyways, the day continued on great too. We went and did some service for an active member family. They are finishing up their basement that has been sitting unfinished for a long time, kind of like our house in Snowflake. So we went and helped them do some work there. Me and Elder Wylie painted the ceiling and one of their closets. Elder Potter tiled their bathroom because his Dad lays floors for a living so he knew what he was doing. And I've painted a few times so that wasn't anything new for me either. So we did that from 10-3. My shoulders were a bit sore from painting a ceiling for 5 hours straight. And Elder Potters knees were killing him from tiling the whole time too. But it felt good to work on a project like that. I can't wait to see the finished product, if I even do! I might be transferred by then.
So we have that awesome service right? Then guess what I do. I lose the mail key. So we get back and look for it for about an hour. And to add to the frustration is that I have my mission card in the mail. So I can't buy anything because I can't get my card! And the Guptils have a spare but they are out of town so I can't get it open until they get back. It sucked. It made me so frustrated.
Then, we have have an amazing miracle after that. It's a long story but it's super cool so I have to tell you guys. So you're going to need some background here. There are two parts that come together and make it cool. So… It starts about 2 months ago. And this first part is freaky but it turns out awesome. Ok, so we me and Elder Wylie are walking through a part of town called River Rock. We were out tracting and street contacting people. So we're just walking along doing great and then we see this guy up ahead of us. And as we get closer I start to notice something funny about him. He's totally wasted or high, or both! So he can barely even walk. He's stumbling so hard. And as we get closer he sees us across the street (because we were of the other side of the street). And as soon as he looked at us I just thought, oh boy, here we go. And he was like, "hey, come talk to me". And said it short and snappy. And I was like, "what?" trying to act like I didn't hear him. And he said it again, "come talk to me!" So we're like umm ok. So we cross the street and go and start talking to him. And this guy was so gone upstairs, like wacko. We were having a hard time even get a point across to him because he was just so disoriented and his mood kept changing! One minute he was chewing us out for not knowing the story of King Solomon and then the next he was praising us for doing what we do. So this goes for like 10 minutes. And finally I'm like ok, let's just get our point across and go on our way. So I just say, hey man we just have a message about Jesus Christ and his restored gospel. And this is where it gets freaky. So he says back, "Jesus, I know Jesus. I have Jesus in my heart but I will still kill everyone in this whole valley." And that's when I'm just like ok let's go! So I'm trying to transition us to our farewell and parting words but he's on fire now. He starts looking at us and is like, "you don't know the things I've done or will do!" Then he points to me and says, "you don't get it do you, but you (and points to elder Wylie), you get it!" And I'm just trying to leave. I'm like okay may the Lord be with you, hope you have a good day. And we are both super scared of course. And then he says this as we try to walk away, "I'm gonna kill myself, because of you! I'm gonna be dead tonight! Just watch!" So we are walking away with haste at this point. And Elder Wylie looks backs and I'm like don't look back just keep walking! And he's screaming and swearing and freaking out behind us in the middle of the street. And we get a ways away and call the police and tell them of this crazy dude talking about suicide and killing people in River Rock. Super scary. It was a story to remember. The feeling I had around him was unique. I remember thinking very clearly and even saying, "I feel like that man needs help". And of course he does, but I felt the spirit tell me. It was a different prompting from what I'm used to. So that happened 2 months ago right? Fast forward to about 2 weeks ago. Me and Elder Wylie have a great night planned. We have two lessons planned. One with an investigator and one with a member. So they end up both falling through. But I was determined to keep working that night. And it's really hard to find anyone past 8, but I was determined. So we have a member take us out to River Rock to go find some people. We check on some potentials and what not. And here we are again walking down the street. And we see this lady shoveling her porch at 8:30. And I'm like, what the heck, who's out shoveling this late? So we go talk to her. She turns out to be super interested and wants to learn more. We set up a lesson and are all pumped right? Ok now fast forward another week. We go to the lesson we planned with her and she's not home. It sucked. So for the rest of the week we knock on her door several times to try to find her, no success. So about the 4th time we knock on her door someone finally comes to it. And guess who answered the door. It was crazy guy!!! I was like, no no no no. Haha it was so funny but scary at the same time. Anyways, he tells us she's not home. He obviously didn't remember us from the incident we had with him 2 months ago, which doesn't surprise me. So we come back another day and she's home, finally! So she tells us she's sick and doesn't feel good, and Elder Potters like, you want a blessing? And she said yes! We end up explaining to her how it all works and give her the blessing. By the end of it all she is crying and we are bearing out testimony of the truth and power of what she felt. And she continues to tell us all these things she's going through and how her husband (crazy guy) is sick and how she needs help from us and God. After that we set up a lesson to come back and teach her what she felt and about the gospel. And the lesson happened. And let me tell you, I've never been in such a good lesson in my whole life. We had such good unity and we and we all flowed so well. The spirit was there strong. And we put her on date for baptism! And it just all came together. And I could see how the series of events came together to make something amazing. Starting with the crazy guy and feeling the prompting that he needs help and then finding her late in the night shoveling the snow. There was a reason why I ran into both of those people. And now we are able to give these people the beautiful message of the gospel. It was such an amazing feeling. I'm so thankful to have been able to been a tool in the hand of the lord in this experience.
And that was a HUGE miracle this week. Her name is Angela by the way. But here's a plot twist. Guess what? I'm getting transferred to Thermopolis Wyoming! I'm both excited and sad that I'm leaving. Because I want to keep teaching Angela but I think I did what the Lord wanted me to do and now I can leave. He wanted me to find her and help her, now someone else gets the pleasure to keep going with it and baptize her. I've done my job in Belgrade, it will always have a place in my heart. I've grown to love this Ward and area but I'm excited to get to go through the same experience in a new area. And I'm gonna miss the elders I'm with too. Me and Elder Wylie have grown so close and I'll miss him. He's grown so much, it's crazy to see how much more confident he is and how he's turning into a strong and powerful person. I can't wait for his family to see him when he gets home, he's like a new person. But it was an honor to train him. I learned a lot from him.
But that's most of the stuff worth mentioning this week. There is so much I wish I could tell you but I can only write so much. But anyways, I love you guys and want to hear from you! Here I come Wyoming!
     -Elder Schneider

December 28, 2015

Tripanionships are fun

Hello family!!

I just saw you all not too long ago so this won't be long, but there are some pictures I'm sending you. Not much has happened since I talked to you, just living the dream! The tripanionship is a blast. We are getting a lot done. We had a billion lessons with members this week. Elder Potter is really helping me get my energy up because he's alittle more outgoing so it's helping me get chattier like I was at the beginning of my mission. I love elder Wylie to death but he's so quiet that it was starting to rub off on me! The other Belgrade Elders got in a wreck this week haha. So I better drive careful!

I already told you about my miracle this week so I will just skip that. But I love you all and I will send a better email next week! I love you all, keep in touch :)

     -Elder Schneider

Moose is loose at the Jr High

December 21, 2015

Tis the season!

Hello my beloved ones! I tried to write a lot more and in detail this week. I want to tell you a little more of what's going on in my life :) I wish I could know what's going on in your lives! But I can catch up in 18 months. But anyways, there was a lot of good this week.

The week had a good start with the Christmas conference. Man that was a good time. There was like half of the mission there. It started off super rough and sketchy but it was all worth it in the end. It was sketchy because we woke up at 3:30 to be ready to leave from the Church to Billings by 4:30 so we could get there by 8:30. But we just had a pretty big storm. So the roads were super slick and snowy. We drove all 150 miles there going 40 mph the whole way! It was like 4 hours of driving in the back of a tiny truck. My butt hurt so bad after haha. But we made it just in time for the conference. We started with a bunch of singing and then we heard a bunch of talks and testimonies from President and his wife and other missionaries. That was super uplifting and spiritual. And after that we ate lunch that was super delish. I got to see all of my old missionary buds from the MTC, it was an awesome reunion. And I also saw Elder McMahon too. It was really good to see all of those people. We had the opportunity to catch up and to have some good laughs. Elder McMahon is still the same crazy Elder but I love it. I got a bunch of pictures with them that I will send. But the best part of the whole thing was the little show President put on for us. We got to see a bunch of pictures of all the missionaries that their families sent in. And you guys sent in the goofy one of me in that ugly sweater and yeti jacket. So half of the mission saw that and laughed at me. But it was all a good time. After that we had another surprise. Right after we finished eating and finished seeing the pictures, president runs in yelling, HEY GUESS WHAT, GUESS WHAT! HES COMING! WE HAVE TO SING LOUD TO GET HIM TO COME! So we start singing Christmas songs and then one of the assistants jumps out in an elf suit and is like, louder! Hahaha so we keep singing louder and louder and then Santa walks in. The other assistant was dressed up as Santa. So we all got pictures with Santa, it was pretty sweet. It was just so funny to see president like that! He's way more playful and fun than I thought.

After that we drove straight back to Belgrade (another 4 hours). We went straight to a member lesson. The reason why I bring this up is because the lesson went great because we finally taught a good lesson for the whole family, including the kids. We've really been trying to work with kids and how to teach them better. So we asked some people what we could do and we looked in the friend and whatnot to prepare this lesson. Well, it went great! We told a short story about charity and asked the kids what they thought and asked how they could show charity. Then we gave them all a simple and fun challenge. The kids loved it and really got something from it. Then the kids made us hot chocolate, it was pretty cute. It was just a good accomplishment for me and Elder Wylie.

One of the unique experiences for me this week was to get to meet a returned missionary! One of the boys from our Ward just got home from his mission. He served in South Korea. We ate dinner with them and had a lesson and got to know him and talk about his whole experience. It was really weird to see it from his perspective. It also made me miss you guys though. And to add to it, I had a dream that night that I was a returned missionary and I was going through all of that excitement and fun. I woke up super sad for like the first hour. But after a bit I was ready to go, I moved on quick. But it was neat to see him. And the parents had talked about him so much to lead up to it so it was like he was a friend we were waiting for to come home. He's the only child they have so its to be expected that they we be so enthusiastic about it all. We've already taken him out to a lesson with us, he's awesome.

I found out the skype info for Christmas. So we get to skype you guys on our IPads on Christmas whenever and wherever we want! So we will just do it from our house because we have wifi. So just let me know when you guys want to Skype so I can work around your schedule, I will be open most of the day. We only have breakfast and dinner planned so the rest of the day is open. It's pretty sweet we get to do it on our IPads, that will make it easy. The only bummer about mine is that the screen is all cracked. It happened this week, I don't even know how it happened! I just pulled it out my bag in the middle of tracting and it was all cracked! I didn't even do anything to it. And I don't think it was cold enough to crack it from changing temperatures so it's really a mystery how it happened. But it still works, oh well.

I had my first storybook experience this week. This one I was waiting to have. It was an old couple that invited us in and gave us a cup of milk and cookies. It was too perfect haha. It was all cold and snowy outside so it was the perfect set up too. They were so old and precious. They were like, come back any time! You can bet I will be back there! Plus they had a really unique story to tell us. I never get tired of hearing people's unique and personal life stories that shaped them into the person they are. Sometimes I'm in awe with the tribulations that the most ordinary looking people go through. As I hear these stories I start to get a glimpse of the love God has for his children. They are so precious to him. I feel the genuine need to help and love people as I listen to them and teach them. I sometimes forget the eternal importance of each soul. I try to imagine how much he truly loves us, but it's impossible to comprehend for now. As we learn about others and feel their pain we can't help but to care for and love them.

We also had our Ward Christmas party this week. That was a blast. I really love these people, they are awesome. We had a family give us presents at the party too. They wrote us a letter too. The letter they wrote us was a thank you letter for the help we gave them while they were going through some struggles. We gave them several blessings and some lessons with that. But it felt good to know that what we did for them really did help them. I'm just glad that they gave us the opportunity to help them. People too often try to handle things on their own. You can only go so far with that. At one point or another we will inevitably need help from other people. But I'm grateful for the humble people that let us serve them. It means a lot to us missionaries. The next night after that we went the the other wards Christmas party to sing a song. Haha I never thought that I would ever do something like this but it was a blast. We had Elder Wylie beat box while the three of us sang Joy to the World. We sounded so bad but it was hilarious and their ward loved it. The only real talent was Elder Wylie's beat boxing. And then on Sunday we went out caroling, I've never done so much singing in my life haha. We just did the the same thing we did at the ward party. But we actually got some success out of it! We had a less active family invite us back for hot chocolate! So that was a big success right there. We will have to see where that goes.

That's a long email, almost too long. But oh well, I did it different this time. But I miss you guys and love you all! I can't want to talk to you at Christmas. And the news about grandma was sad so I've been praying for the family. She's an amazing person that will be missed. Anyways, that’s all for this week!

     -Elder Schneider

L O V E   Y O U

December 14, 2015

Sometimes Subjects are Boring

Family! How are you all? Good, I'm glad you're good. Another week has flown by. So much to tell you guys but I never know where to start. I guess I'll just start with the work and how it's going.
We have no one on date or progressing. But we have a ton of potentials that we are working with. We have been finding a lot lately and we are seeing a lot of hope for the future of the Belgrade. It feels like it is about to blow up with investigators and baptisms but it's just not there yet. Elder Wylie is doing good. He's teaching a lot more and we are learning to work together. And we are learning to work with the ward better. We got some members to come out and teach with us.
Our adventure of the week was intense. I was on an exchange with Elder Demille, my district leader. We were going to a lesson to someone who lived way out of town. So we put in their address into the GPS and started driving. So it takes us to a dirt road. And we drove on it. Bad idea. We got so stuck it was ridiculous. WE WERE THERE FOR 2 ½ HOURS! We had to have the tow company come pull us out because a regular 4x4 truck couldn't come get us out. So they got their special mud truck to come pull us out. They were so confused how the heck we got a Chevy Cruze that far into some mud. It was hilarious and super awkward at the same time. I took some pictures of it too. So after we got it pulled up out we had to go straight to the car wash. It had mud in places is wasn't supposed to have mud. We washed that thing for like 30 min straight with a pressure washer. And now their car shakes, oops. But it was something to remember.
One of our cool miracles of the week was someone we found. It all started because I made a determination to not waste any time because we had been wasting too much time that we could have been doing more effective things with. So I had this determination so stay busy and work no matter what. So on Thursday night we had two lessons set. And they both fell through. And they were later in the evening so we didn't know what to do as a backup. But I was determined to work. So I just called a member up to take us to River Rock (which is big neighborhood of like 1000 houses). I didn't know what we were going to do but we were going to do something. So we get there and just start going around visiting anybody and everybody at like 8:00. And just so you all know, Montana shuts down at 8. People just wind down and stick to themselves. So tracting is a no go. In that time we usually go back to the house and call some people and set some lessons up or something like that. So it was abnormal to be out like this. And it just snowed so that makes it even more quiet. But I was determined. So we are just walking along the streets and we see a lady shoveling her porch. I'm like bingo. We go talk to her and she was just the most prepared person. It was so cool. And it was like 8:30 almost 8:45. That never happens in Montana! She told us how she was on her path of finding Christ and was very open to learn what we had to say. So it was like bam, a miracle. It may sound small but it was pretty big for me. I needed it. It was one of those stories where something extraordinary happened.
Christmas is approaching and its feeling great. The holidays are the best as a missionary. We get lots of food and we get to chill. Not much more you can ask for as a missionary. But I hope that Christmas for you all is about giving. See what you can give to the Lord and He will give you more than you can imagine. It's a blessing to have the knowledge we have. We need to use that knowledge to the best of our ability to serve and love others. Anything you do to others is the same thing as do if to the Lord. So do something for others! That's my advice :)
But that's all for this week. Thank you guys, love you all!    
     -Elder Schneider

December 7, 2015

We're the Olders

Family! I hope you all are alive and well. This is just another quick update! But it was a good week so I'm happy. But Christmas is coming up and I'm excited to be able to see you guys! It sounds like you all have been doing really good and I can't wait to get an update and get to talk to you all!

There were some fun things we did this week. We also did a lot of service. We loaded up a trailer with like 2 1/2 cords of wood. It was just me and Elder Wylie and 2 high priests from the Ward. It took us like an hour. And then we made a bunch of cute crafts for the library haha. That took us a while too. We tied like 100 bows on these little cut out paper mittens. It was a blast.

We had some really good lessons this week too. We gave this member family a blessing. Then we taught another family and it was a really great lesson. Their little girl calls us the Olders haha. That same little girl drew a drawing for us, it was pretty sweet.

I've really been trying to follow the Holy Ghost more often this week. So I was trying extra hard to listen to promptings. So we were walking down the street and I see a guy smoking on his porch. So I think to myself that we should talk to him. So we did. He turns out to be interested. Not only that, but this guy has the coolest life story. He tells us of how he's been homeless and all that stuff. He also told us his past experiences with the church and he has always had good experiences with it. Which is always a relief because usually people just find all the wrong things with the church. So we've mostly just listened to the guy tell stories because he's so interesting. But he's lonely and just needs someone to talk to. We will start teaching him more in the future. But it all started with listening to a simple thought that came from the Holy Ghost. It's crazy how such a little prompting can turn into something amazing.

There isn't much more to say! I love you all and miss you all! I hope you guys are enjoying life!

     -Elder Schneider

Workin the inner 70's dude working at the Thrift Store

Decorating the Apartment
Mini Christmas Tree


November 30, 2015

Oh Heck Yes!

Hello Family,

Well another week has flown by. This one was good. It was good mostly because we enjoyed it. And honestly, idk why we enjoyed it because we didn't have a whole lot of success. I guess we just have a good time as we go. I also learned a lot this week too so I may get preachy on you guys. But anyways, it was a good week.

The first thing I should talk about it Thanksgiving. Man Thanksgiving as a missionary is the best. We had three Thanksgiving meals. We had one at 2, one at 3, and one at 6. It was dang good. I was sooo full! And the best part of thanksgiving is that we are allowed to just hang out all day because we can't really work. So we just ate food and hung out at members houses. We played foosball at members house and I found out I suck at that game. I got owned by their 16 year old daughter. She's like 5'2" but she's sassy and rubbed it in my face haha. And then we just chilled at home for the rest of the night. It was a good day to just have fun and not stress.

The work was pretty good this week. Like I said earlier, we didn't find a whole lot of success this week but we did try hard. We had to work despite the cold... Saturday night it was 1 degree when we were out. The snow here just stays because it rarely gets above freezing temperature so the roads get packed with snow that just turns hard and slick. I've seen like 3 flipped cars on the side of the road already. I'm being careful though, don't worry. I've got a good system to stay warm while we are out. I just wrap my face like 5 times with a scarf and then throw on my over shoes with a thick jacket and then some hand warmers in the pockets of my jacket and I'm good to go! My funny story of the week is we were out Tracting on Friday and this little black boy came up to us and was trying to fight us. He was like cmon man lets go! Stickem up! And then he ran up to Elder Wylie and punched him in the crotch. I laughed so hard. It definitely went in my journal. It was kind of sad, but it was too funny.

One of the things I've really been thinking about this week is faith. But faith in a different way than what I traditionally think. Normally, faith for me is to trust that the lord will provide. And it usually works pretty good. But I've learned a little more about faith this week. I learned that sometimes we need faith to trust that the lord won't provide everything we ask. Sometimes he expects us to have to figure it out on our own or to not be helped immediately. For example, this week me and Elder Wylie have been praying for a faith promoting experience or a miracle. And we waited for it to come, but it never happened. Was it a lack of faith? I don't think so. I think it was that the Lord knew that we didn't need it. He knew we wanted it but knew that we didn't need it. He knew that it was probably better for us to not to get it. This way we learn more and grow more. As I learned this I thought of Dad in his current job situation. He's been without a job for a little while now. And through this whole process Mom and the rest of the family has had a lot of faith in the Lord, that he will provide. So why hasn't the job been provided for even when we all have the faith? Well I think the Lord is teaching us. I think he's not providing immediately so we can learn and grow. Through these times of trial we are often closer to God than ever before. We learn to work with what we've been given and develop a greater appreciation. The best part of this test of faith is the reward after. The Lord promises us with blessing as we endure faithfully. He may bless us with the literal deliverance of that trial, or we may be blessed by just simply having a new understanding. Either way it will be a relief and a greater feeling of love towards the Savior will be found.

I know that the Lord knows you very personally. He knows just how much you can take. So you can bet He's going to test you! But He will never leave you alone.  You can always call upon His strength no matter the situation. There is so much that can be given to those that just ask.

I miss you all and love you all so much! Keep me updated, I want to hear about your lives.

     -Elder Schneider

Me eating the pumpkin pie mom sent me

This is me and Elder Wylie working at community café, where homeless people get food.

November 23, 2015

Stuck in Belgrade Forever

Hey guys! Yet another week has passed by and it's good be out here. Just got transfer news yesterday! I'm staying in Belgrade. I guess I've got some more things to do here. I'm also staying with Elder Wylie. So we will have a lot of fun this coming transfer. We are both just normal missionaries now. At the end of this transfer I will be in Belgrade for almost 7 months. Wow. But I like it here so I'm cool with it. I know everyone here and we have some good work going.

We have a really great investigator right now that is super interested. She was in the hospital with her friend because her friends Dad was sick. So her friends dad asked for a Mormon bishop but the bishop was busy so he sent the missionaries. They gave the dad a blessing and a short message. Anyways, they live in our area so they were referred to us and now we have a sweet investigator. She had like 4 pages of notes and questions to ask us, it was really cool. It was the first time that I've seen someone that excited about learning the gospel. And the best part of it is that her boyfriend and her friend are interested too. The other guy that was one date for baptism is going through a rough patch right now and I think he might fall through. I think the guy he's been working with isn't a good influence on him so he doesn't see the need to come to church anymore. But he is still open to meet with us so we are hoping we can clear up some problems and stuff. And if he's not ready in the end, so be it.

Thanksgiving is coming up and we've got two families that are feeding us. Yes. So that will be nice to have two Thanksgiving meals. We are getting fed a little better here. Idk if it's us or if people are just really busy but out Ward just really has a hard time feeding us. Our Ward mission leader said that its just the time we eat is what makes it hard for families to feed us. We just need to get in their homes to give them a spiritual message and that will help, well, that's the idea at least.

That's about all for this week. I don't know if there is a whole lot more to say. But I'm looking forward to this transfer, it will be fun! Just remember I miss you all and love you all so much! Keep me updated!

     -Elder Schneider

November 16, 2015


Hey guys! Here's an update from the past week. It's been real up and down! But it's been good over all. We've had some good experiences and we've also had some bad ones. But over all I'm good and alive.

Elder Wylie is on his last week of training! It's flown by! He is doing really good. This last week he just really improved for some reason, I don't know. He started talking to people and taking initiative, it's lovely. And he is really enjoying things now because he is more spontaneous. We have also had some good experiences this week with members. We had a young family ask us for help and we gave them blessings and a spiritual thought. It was a great experience. We also are finding more and more people. I don't know what it is all of a sudden but I will accept it!

Transfers are coming up and I have a feeling I'm going to get transferred. I'm in a good spot right now so if I do get transferred I'm happy and if I don't then I'll still be happy. The only thing that will be sad about leaving would be that I wouldn't be serving around the elders that I came out with. I've really grown close to the elders I'm with so it will be sad when we get split up, but I'll live.

We had our second snow storm and it was awesome. I love the snow, it's fun. It's gonna really drop in temperature here pretty soon. It's been like Snowflake so far, but it's going to get way more intense from now on. We are still living with the Guptils and I think they are getting sick of us haha. But oh well, they signed up for a two year contract so they have to follow through!

Lastly I just wanted to mention how we have a guy on date and he is solid. He is really committed and ready to make that covenant. The only thing about his date is that transfers are the day before so if I get transferred I won't be there for it. Oh well, as long as it happens it doesn't matter. But I'm excited about him.

That's all for this week! I love you all so much and I wish the best of you! Keep me updated!

     -Elder Schneider

Elder Schneider and Elder Wylie