Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas and New Years

Very good week this week! Not much to report on since i talked to you like 5 days ago but it was a solid week! Like i said i ate christmas eve dinner with president and his wife and family and a family from our ward which was awesome! and on christmas after i talked with yall we watched robin hood, the disney one! (The mission president, President Larry Gelwix, allowed the missionaries to watch G or PG rated Disney movies and the movie Forever Strong on Christmas day). Very fun!

We should have a baptism this saturday! commited our investigator named Stephanie to it! She is soo solid! Got teach another guy after playing another game of basketball against him. Unfortunatley we lost but he still listened because he liked our committment! haha 
Regarding the process on his Visa: Sent in the FBI fingerprint stuff so you should get the clearance in like a couple weeks so be looking for it and send that off with the address i sent to dad! 
Keep praying for our investigators please they need all the help they can get to make the necessary changes to get baptized! Thanks for all your love and support! TELL CALVIN TO EMAIL ME SO I CAN TALK TO HIM! SOMEONE TELL HIM! I'm working my hardest with the time I have here! I love it here and will be here as long as the Lord will allow! Love you all!
"Christmas wasn't too bad on the mission"
Waking up Christmas morning with Elder Lord
Picture of the beautiful countryside in CA
Trying to get something out of a tree at the Mission President's house

The night of Christmas dinner with the Mission Pres and a fellow ward family, apparently something was stuck in a tree and they were trying to hit it out???

Friday, December 27, 2013

Feliz Natal

You can call our cell phone on Wednesday at what looks to be like 11 my time. We have only 40 Minutes no longer! But we will use it no worries! When you call, if I can figure out the skype thing i will set it up on my end and see if i can get it working and then we will just use skype, but if not we can just call!

My parents and Cassidy talking to Dallas on Christmas day

If carley is calling at 11:15, when you call me you will have to tell me what account you want me to connect with and then you can use the other one for carley! that would be cool if we were on at the same time! Still call at 11:00 and if that doesnt work out we can hang up set a time later to talk and you can wait till carley is done and then after just call me back at the new time we set. But still call our cell phone at like 11 and we will move quickly to figure out logistics. Awesome week this week that i will tell you about in the call!

Found some new investigators and have really started gaining the trust of our ward members which is awesome! Like i said though is the call will be 40 minutes but cant go much longer because we need to be exactly obedient! I have been opening all the gifts and they are awesome! I have saved a ton for Christmas but have been opening the 12 days of Chirstmas ones! Love the tape recorder!

Make sure though if we end up skyping that you have solid internet connection because any lost time is still part of the 40 minutes. He (President Gelwix) says that is one of the bad parts of using skype. But we will see how it goes! Cant wait to talk! Love you all!!

Monday, December 16, 2013

We're Playing Basketball! Favorite Missionary Experience

What a week! SO i have officially been here a transfer as of Wednesday so i don't feel so green anymore;) But seriously this has been such an amazing experience! So i promised a long email about the week so here it goes! We have had some great experiences teaching this week! My favorite experience since being out....

Ok so we were tracting one night in an apartment complex for college students and when we got there we parked next to a basketball court and when we got out I had the feeling I needed to talk to the guys playing ball. I figured it was just me telling myself that, though, so we went on our way and went and talked to some people. During our talking, I kept feeling like we should talk to the guys playing basketball, but I kept letting it go. SO about an hour passed and as we came back to the car they were still playing so I got the message at this point and I walked up and asked if i could give them one of our pass along cards.

Elder Lord, Elder Schoen and President Gelwix

They said they would take one if we beat them in a game of basketball.... You can imagine my excitement... So before we played i compromised. I said that we would play only if they would hear our message after we won. They agreed and needless to say, I made sure we didn't lose. We won 11-0. Haha so afterwards we taught the three of them and we have met with them one more time and one of the three says that he will be baptized when he knows it's true! And I'm telling you he is solid. He came with a typed up list of questions. and he came telling us all about how he wants to research the right way so he used and He is really awesome!

We are still hoping our investigator "M" will make it to the 28th for baptism. We also have a girl named "S" who is planning on getting baptized but her dad hates the idea of her being a part of the church but she is such a solid investigator! I'm loving every second of being out here! My companion will now be the new DL over our district, so that should be fun. We are gaining the trust of our ward members which is really helpful in keeping the work going! I'm having to take time to fix some of the visa complications which is rather frustrating but everything will work out. I am putting all the home information as the primary info they need so you will be able to work out any further problems hopefully! SO the way the Christmas calling is working this year is you will call our cell phone on Christmas day and we will get to talk for 40 min. I will email you the time to call next week. Should be great! We had a huge Christmas zone conference which was amazing! Loved it!

President Gelwix talked about the nativity and went into depth about Matthew 1 and 2 and Luke 2 and 3. Very spiritual and uplifting. Got the packages from everyone and i am planning on opening most of them on Christmas day! Other than the 12 days of Christmas ones, which I have opened the first two! LOVE THE SOCKS!!! I'm wearing them right now for preparation day!

Dallas' Christmas socks.

And the subway gift card is greatly appreciated! Thank you soooo much for the love you send my way! The church is true and I'm soo grateful for Jesus Christ! He is the reason for this season! I love you all soooo much and look forward to talking to you all more both through email and talking on Christmas!
Elder Schoen!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dec. 9 Update

SO this week was good not great! Had a lot of lessons fall through which is super frustrating but to our great surprise we still snagged 6 new investigators for the week and all seem pretty solid! We will see how prepared they are! 

Elder Schoen and Brother Larsen in Fresno, CA

As you know i saw the larsens! which was fun! haha. (insert Courtney's note: Mr. Larsen/Brother Larsen is one of my dad's mission companions from the Paris, France mission back 100 years ago, just kidding)

We had a travel trainer with us for a couple days and he was sooooo trunkie. but he was fun! We are getting fed every night!! Haha and there is this steak house here that i have eaten at like 6 times already that is soooo good!  DOGHOUSE GRILL Is what it is called! sooo good! me and elder lord are working hard and starting to gain the trust of the ward which is crucial! Transfers end next week which im sooo pumped for! even though i will be staying most likely;) Not much by way of interesting stuff this week and it is all in my journal so it is hard to remember but the stories are there;) I will try to have better emails for you next week and hopefully some pictures! I want to know about sports!!!!!!!!! keep me updated please!! ;) haha every time i see a game i want to watch but i cant.. so i need you to tell me! Sorry this isnt very long but im doing good staying safe and im loving life! 

We had Elder Porter of the 70 come and give us training on the gospel of Jesus Christ and it was great! Hopefully our solid investigator will keep a commandment so we can baptize him soon! Love you Soooooooo much!

Elder Schoen!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Turkey Week

All is well here in Fresno! Tell everyone I really do appreciate their love and prayers being sent my way! I can really feel the strength coming from all their prayers (D&C 29:6)

And, as it is written—Whatsoever ye shall aask in bfaith, being cunited in prayer according to my command, ye shall receive.

'Im just going to answer your (my dad's) questions because nothing really happened this week just a lot of doors slammed in the face and people not interested but man do I love this work!!!!!!!! For my area- it is going really good! we are starting to gain the trust of our ward and people are starting to refer us to their friends which is awesome! The young adults are all great! My companion and I are seriously getting along so great! We are really working hard and although we haven't seen a whole lot of success, we are waiting patiently for the miracles to happen.

We are teaching an investigator right now who is REALLY close to baptism but is struggling keeping a commandment, but he is for sure going to be baptized! Hopefully soon! YSA ward is kinda different (insert Courtney's note: he never attended a young single adult ward before he left, he only attended the family ward) but pretty fun!

We have a meal appointment like every night which is fun! A lot of going out to eat funny enough so to answer your next question, yes i am gaining weight but I'm dieting and working out more now so I can lose it before I go to Brazil! The biggest things I have gotten good at are getting ready superrrrrrrr fast and planning out in -epth! I also have found a new love for Tapatio (hot sauce).. I put it on everything! Our transfers are just 6 weeks but if my visa doesnt come I will most likely be here for two transfers! We have very good district meetings and i learn alot about how to better myself as a missionary! Apparently next week we are having a 70 come for our zone meeting! (insert Courtney's note: "a 70" refers to someone in our church leadership, you can see the image below or read more here: It should be good!


Im doing really good with my journal! havent missed a day yet! Full pages too! We will see if i can keep it up cause it can be hard sometimes but i will try! Im trying my VERY hardest to keep my language up! i.e. talking in Portuguese to my companion, teaching members in Portuguese while my companion teaches in english (they love it when i do that), and talking with all the RM's (Returned Missionaries) from brazil! As far as my visa stuff, i called president gelwix and talked to him about what to do and he says that he has had to do this before so he knows how to help;) so everything should work out just great! Honestly Missionary Work is the Greatest!!!!! It is soooo much fun talking to everyone! even when people slam doors in your faces you learn to grow every second!! This mission truly is changing me in sooooooo many ways!! :) LOVE YOU ALLLL SOOOO MUCH!!