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.
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!