Red Lodge Montana

Red Lodge Montana

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

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