Sunday, December 20, 2015

Address:
c/Clara Campoamor 18, 8ºD
Zaragoza 50018
España

Buenos Dias!
   We seem to be having a lot of difficulties with the buses this
week, but it has made more interesting. We figured out that the buses
for two months are on strike and do not pass by as frequently. We have
had a lot of luck in showing up just on time to the bus stop right
when it is coming though. One day we we're coming back from getting
groceries and we needed to get off the bus. My companion got off first
and I was right behind her, but the doors slammed shut and the bus
started to move. I tried to get the bus driver's attention, but he
didn't seem to care. I got off at the next stop and quickly ran back
to my companion with the groceries in my hands. Another day the bus
was packed and we were stuck at the very front near the bus driver.
So, I started up a conversation with him, and it was going really well
until he opened up the door to let more people in and the door
squished me. My companion started to laugh thinking it was the
funniest thing. Another day we were in the bus, and still trying to
get to our area when all of the sudden the bus driver stops the bus,
turns off the lights and kicks everyone out. "Strike time" he said.
Noooo... That meant walking another 45 minutes in the cold to get to
our area.That's great!
       Just like all companions of Hermana Schmidt, my companion got
sick and needed to go to the hospital. Luckily we had the relief
society president with us, who is like our other companion, to help us
out. She was so kind as to take us to the hospital and back. Another
day in piso. That was just one day though. My companion is so good and
just keeps working. It's really cold in Zaragoza. We don't really have
a lot of investigators right now, so we do a lot of talking in the
street and knocking doors, but the members are really great and allow
us over sometimes.
     When I first arrived here my companion said that we were going to
have a Christmas concert and I needed to memorize a lot of songs. We
practiced them during our companionship study and also sung  them for
an elderly lady in our ward who lives at a rest home with a lot of
other elderly people. They loved it. We go every Thursday there. By
the time the concert came around I was pretty prepared. Then President
Dayton and his wife came. We did dancing while we were singing and I
just made up some words on some songs, but everyone loved it.
        We had zone conference with our President and learned about
the Atonement and about love. It makes more sense to me now why Christ
would suffer for us, people who sin, who make mistakes, and even
reject him. In Romans 8:38-39 it reads,
"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor
principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
    Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to
separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
     It amazes me how much our  Savior loves us. He knows our
heartaches and our happiness. He rejoices with us and mourns with us.
He understands us and shows us his love. He has asked that we have
charity because it is the pure love of him. As we serve, and don't
criticize but instead try to understand, we will be able to more fully
feel of he love Jesus offers us. "wherefore, the Lord God hath given a
commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love.
And except they should have charity they were nothing."(2 Nephi 26:30)
   I hope that we may all remember the true meaning of Christmas and
fill the world with the love of Christ.

¡Os quiero mucho!

Hermana Schmidt
Misión Barcelona España

Monday, December 14, 2015

¡Hola Mujeres y Caballeros!
       I have finally been transferred. Maybe the last time seeing as
how I have a tendency for staying in each are for 6 months. I'm now in
Zaragoza! It's not as humid here, so the cold weather is bearable. My
new companion is Hermana Plant. I was supposed to go in the train from
Bilbao to Barcelona then back to Zaragoza. I would have passed by
Zaragoza on the first train, so I called the office to let them know
that I would be getting off right away in Zaragoza. They were okay
with that. I forgot my coat in the train, but luckily an elder on the
train will be coming back to Santander on Wednesday and can give it to
me.
      We had a baptism this week! Alba finally got baptized!
Everything went perfectly and a lot of members showed up see her
baptized. She was very nervous, and excited about the whole thing, but
after she was baptized she was so happy and calm.
    After the baptism, we had to hook up a machine to suck the water
out of the baptismal pool. Our ward mission leader accidentally tipped
it over and water sprayed everywhere. All of scattered, including the
ward mission leader. One of the elders practically jumped over the
pool in order to stop the machine from shooting out water. He and my
companion, who had the bad luck of having been standing in line of the
water, were soaked. We all had a good laugh about that afterwards.
    I walked out with my house slippers on, and didn't realize it
until we were in the elevator. We had to return quickly to the
apartment and change out my shoes.
    I also slept talked this week. My companion said that she woke up
to herself talking. When she woke up she realized that she had been
responding to what I was saying in my sleep. Apparently I was telling
her directions. She had to nudge me in order for me to stop talking.
      I said goodbye to everyone in our ward. With one we made
Marzipan, with another we ate chicken, and the others luckily didn't
give us food because I was way too full to eat anymore. We left for
Bilbao and we had to fit my two giant suitcases into a really tiny
elevator. At first we were just going to send up the suitcases, but
when we saw hat there was a little more room we thought that we might
as well get in. That was a bad idea. The elevator got stuck and
wouldn't let us out. That was awful, but my companion started to pray
out loud, and called the sisters that lived there. We finally were
able to get out. That was scary.
    I love this work! I'm excited for this change and this opportunity
to progress.

Hasta la vista

Hermana Schmidt
Misión Barcelona España





Sunday, December 6, 2015

¡Hola!
       The members in Santander are so awesome. We were invited to a family's house, who are from Columbia, for thanksgiving, and they went all out. We had pumpkin soup, stuffing, salad, mashed potatoes, and instead of turkey we had chicken. It was so fun. 
        The morning of Thanksgiving, my companion forgot to grab the keys to our apartment. We quickly called the elders, who have the spare. We went to their apartment building to wait for them. Someone let us into the entry way, and so I took that as an opportunity to hide behind a wall so I could scare the elders. That plan would have worked had an elderly man not come in two seconds before the elders and started talking with us. I'm just glad my companion was at an angle in which she could see who was coming in or else that old man might of had a heart attack from me jumping out from behind the wall.
        The Christmas lights have been put up all around Santander and this week they were turned on. We are now in a Christmas wonderland and it's getting so cold here! My poor companion is getting sick again. We had to get flu shots on Tuesday after a zone conference we had with our mission president. Shots don't mind me, but my companion refused to get a shot and so she is paying for the consequences now.... Just kidding, it's not the flu that she has.
        Transfers are next week. Maybe I will be leaving...
     On Tuesday and Wednesday it was raining and there was a lot of wind. I was on exchanges in Bilbao and our umbrella ended up breaking, and so we walked around for two hours getting soaked. I have an Idaho coat though, so I wasn't too soaked. We found four new people to teach though! Three of them were a group of girls from Nicaragua who had just recently arrived in Spain. They were grouped together and the member who was with us suggested to talk to them. So, being the blunt person I am, I walked up to them and broke up their conversation. They started listening and accepted to have an appointment with us. The rest of the day we just saw a whole bunch broken umbrellas in the garbage cans around the city.
       We are going to have a baptism of Alba this week!!! There will be pictures next week.
    My ponderize scripture for this week is in 1 Nephi 13:37 -"And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at that day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be."
       When I normally think about building up Zion, I usually think of the stakes in which we live in, but as I was studying the verse, it came to mind that the best place to build Zion is within the walls of our own home. D. Todd Christofferson said, in his last general conference address, "we must remember that in the beginning, the Church was the family, and even today as separate institutions, the family and the Church serve and strengthen one another."
     I am so grateful to have been born into such a wonderful family with parents who taught me correct principles and made Christ the center of our home that helped me to strengthen my testimony in our savior, and now I have the opportunity to share this message with the people here in Spain. I'm so stinkin blessed! 
    
I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Schmidt 
        

Sunday, November 29, 2015

¡Hola a todos!

    It's becoming really cold here in Santander. My poor companion
doesn't have a coat and so we will be buying her one today. It has
been raining like crazy these past two days and we have been soaked
through. On Saturday was when it started to become really cold and
rainy. We needed to go to a pueblo to visit a little girl who was
recently baptized. The walk from the bus station to her house was
about forty minutes in the wind and rain. Luckily it wasn't raining
hard at this point. My companion and I had a lot of fun though. Sunday
was about the same. All of the visits we had planned cancelled on us,
but the great thing about the weather being like this is that there
are more people in their houses. We called a widow in our ward to see
if we could visit her. We were already at her door when we called, but
we told her we would be there in five minutes so that she could get
ready if needed. I love visiting the older ladies in the ward. They
love to talk, but it's okay because I love to listen.
      Here in Spain there are a lot of people from South America and
they are so receptive to here about our message, but I have gotten in
a habit of only talking with only South American's and so I made a
goal to talk with more spaniards this week. We were blessed to find
three girls that are from Spain, and they are all really young. One of
them is only 16 and when we visited her it was the night of the
Barcelona vs. Madrid fútbol. We had our lesson on the doorway of an
apartment building. She was so good! She brought questions and
everything.
     One day we visited another widow in our ward who does not see
very well, and she had made a tortilla de patata for us. We were
fasting that day and so I had to explain why we were not able to eat,
but we gladly wrapped it up to eat it the next day. When we saw it the
next day we realized that it had not been cooked all of the way, so we
felt very blessed that we had not had eat it the day before. We cooked
it the rest of the way and ate it. I love tortilla de patata!
     It's amazing how, as a missionary, you can go from having a blank
day to having a day completely full of things to do. We had one day
where all we had to do was a list of pass-by plans. But, by the end of
the day we had done a service project, found an awesome new
investigator, saw some recent converts and members.
     The little girl of our recent converts can now say Hermana. That
was exciting.
   This week has been full of miracles! I love the mission! They still
call me Amish here haha, as well as Catniss.  Some things never
change.

¡Os quiero!

Hermana Schmidt
Misión Barcelona España




¡Buenos Días!
     We have a completely different district then whenever I first arrived in Santander. I have literally seen missionaries come and go, and I have stayed. I love it though! I am so blessed to see the beginning and baptism of my converts! Alba has committed to be baptized on December 5th. We are going to be helping her this week and next week to move her stuff into her new house. She is so excited to be baptized finally.
     My birthday was this week. I'm no longer a teenager! My companion made me breakfast and gave me a cup with cows on it. I love the milk here and have a fascination with cows and she finds that funny. The whole day members were calling me to sing happy birthday. I received an orange from one member when I had to pass by the church. Another member gave me mittens that she had made, Cesar and Carolina took my companion and I to Pizza Hut and we also had cake. My companion is pretty strong. The tradition in Spain is to take a bite of the cake before you cut it, and so that is what I did, but my companion pushed my head so that the frosting was covering my face and some of the cake went up my nose. Everyone had a good laugh.
       On Sunday, the elders (who have amazing musical talents) did a duet. One played the piano and one sang. The members were in awe afterwards. After the meeting, the bishop came up tours and said that since the elders sang this week the sister missionaries needed to do something the next week. What?! I'm not allowed to play the cello during sacrament meeting so I can't use the only musical talent which I have! This should be an interesting Sunday. 
        In English class this week we asked a simple question to all of the participants. The question we asked was, "What is your favorite food?" One man answered, "my favorite food is children..."
"Children! Niños?"
"Oh no, pollo!"
"Chicken.."
That made a lot more sense. We were a little worried for a second. 
     This week was full of funny/interesting things. We are finding more people to teach. The members are helping us more and we are having so much fun. There are so many things to be grateful for in life, but having the gospel in my life has probably been the greatest blessing of all. I was reading in Luke 17:11-19 and remembered that we should always be thanking God for all the blessings in our lives. It helps us to be more happy. The plan the God has for us is the Plan of Happiness. He has given us everything that we need to be able to be happy in this life. I know that he loves us and that he is always watching over us. 

I love you all!

Hermana Schmidt
Misión Barcelona España 





Sunday, November 15, 2015

Hola Everyone!
   Transfers have come and gone, and I have the blessing of staying in Santander for another four weeks!!! I'm thinking I may only have three areas my whole mission. 1 for every 6 months. How cool would that be?
     It has been so warm these past couple days. I thought it was supposed to get cold up north. We've been walking around in short sleeves and I was loving it. Then all the sudden it decided to change on us and is now soooo cold! 
     They have the cutest little trains in the sidewalks that are actually where they roast the chestnuts. I didn't realize that was actually a real thing, but that it just made a nice Christmas song... Apparently they help to keep you warm. I will have to try them out.
     We are already starting to decorate for Christmas here in Spain seeing as there is no Thanksgiving. My companion and I have decided to be Americans still and celebrate the wonderful day of thanksgiving by making hand turkeys out of paper and giving them to the members with a list of reasons why we are grateful for them. 
      Our recent convert, Cesar had a birthday, and knowing that he loves to cook I bought him an oven mitt that looked like a platypus and gave and made a recipe book as well. He loved it! 
     On Saturday, we visited another recent convert, who is 10 years old, with her family. Her mom cooks amazing Peruvian food, and this time we had fried rice with some meat. She had put some ginger into the rice, but I didn't realize what it was and stuck the whole chunk in my mouth. That was the most awful feeling ever! My mouth was on fire and my tongue was tingling. I want so badly to spit it out, but didn't want to be disrespectful either. I eventually swallowed it all and drank a big glass of juice. I made sure to pick out the ginger chunks after that. 
    I would like to thank all who have been so good to my family this past week. I know that it has very much appreciated. 
      Elder Dallin H. Oaks taught about Christ and his atoning sacrifice. He said, “Having ‘descended below all things,’ He comprehends, perfectly and personally, the full range of human suffering.” We might even say that having descended beneath it all, He is perfectly positioned to lift us and give us the strength we need to endure our afflictions. We have only to ask."
  I know that our Savior knows exactly how we feel, and we can receive comfort through our trials as we ask. I love you all and hope you all have a great week.

Hermana Schmidt
Misión Barcelona España 















Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hola Everyone!
     Well we are starting to see some success for our labors. We still
are having a hard time finding people to teach but are keeping a
positive attitude, and enjoying talking with many people and teaching
our investigators that have not disappeared on us. We also have grown
to have a love for the widows in our wards who do not receive many
visits. Our new ward mission leader is actually helping us with ideas
of how to help the ward members build their faith so that we can work
together on the work of the Lord.
     I love to scare my companions at least once while I am with them,
and this week I still had yet to scare Hermana Jorgensen. One night,
while we were sleeping, I heard her get up to go to the bathroom. That
gave me about 2 minutes to get in a good hiding position. At first I
got in her bed so that whenever she tried laying down there would be a
person there, but then I thought she might punch me. So, I crawled all
the way underneath her bed so that I could grab her ancle. That would
have really been scary and I'm not that cruel. I finally decided to
just crouch down beside her bed so that whenever she came around the
corner I could scare her. She screamed pretty loudly. I hope our
neighbors weren't woken up. I had a good laugh though.
         We arrived early to a lesson and we were just going to talk
with people in the street while waiting, but I told my companion that
we should see if our investigator was at home. It was a good thing we
did because our investigator was just on her way out when we rung the
doorbell. We were able to have a short lesson in her doorway and set
up a return visit. She started asking us questions and seemed really
interested. I'm excited to see her again this week.
   (By the way, transfer calls are this week and I might be going. Any
guesses to where I will be sent?)
        My companion had her 20th birthday this week and so I woke up
early to make her French toast, and had a whole day of visits set up
with members and investigators to wish her happy birthday.
         One of our investigators is a lady from here in Santander, but
because of bad experiences with other religions she has decided to not
talk about God. She won't let us teach her but she loves to teach us
how to cook. So we go over to house and she teaches us. Lately she has
been asking more questions about our religion, and we have been able
to teach her some basic principles. She is such an amazing woman, and
I love visiting her. I think that her heart is already softening.
        My friend, Alba, taught us a traditional dance of the area we
are in. We were going to do it for the talent night, but sadly there
was not enough time to practice. She also ended up bringing a flower
arrangement to the church. She works doing that kind of stuff, and
flowers during All Saints Day is very common. She also gave my
companion and I a bouquet of flowers for our apartment.
            We had a talent night with the ward, and so I was able to
play my cello! All for of us missionaries also did a skit of Alma the
Younger and the sons of Mosiah, but in modern day. The members loved
it. Not too many people participated. I think they were too timid to
get up in front of everyone. I guess as missionaries we just have to
get over that timidness. I normally don't sing in front of people, but
now I don't really care if my voice is bad, I still sing. 😋
  My Ponderize scripture for this week is in 1 Corinthians 10:13
"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but
God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye
are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that
ye may be able to bear it."
     God is always willing to help us, but sometimes he stretches us
as well. We will always be able to do what he has asked of us as we
act with faith and are obedient to His commandments. By stretching us
he is helping us to progress, and helping our weaknesses become
strengths.

I love you all, and hope you have a fantastic week!

Hermana Schmidt
Misión Barcelona España


Hey everyone!
  So just about five minutes ago I saw a double rainbow! That was pretty sweet. I will send the picture so that you all can see it. We went to the castle again today because my companion has not seen it before and it her birthday week after all... Do you have any ideas of things I could do for her birthday to make it a memorable one? 
   Yesterday we were walking to a member's house who lives pretty far away, and close to a large field. Out of nowhere, we saw a horse come around the corner with a little boy on top. That was unexpected and I'm sure our faces showed our surprise. The little boy took the horse out running, and when we told the member about it she told us that the gypsies live on that part of Santander. I have always heard about the gypsies, but have seen very few. Now I know where there village is at, and guess what! It's right around where the new church building is going up. 
    We had exchanges again with the sister training leaders this week. This whole week has been a lot of talking with people on the street, but no one wanting to listen, but a blessing when we got to Carolina and Cesar's house. Their niece, who is 19, was there, and we were able to teach about the Plan of Salvation. She had a lot of good questions and has already been to church once. We have a lot of hope for her. 
   Alba, the girl that plays the cool instrument, brought me her cello to play. I just need to buy a string and I will be able to play it for church meetings! I don't know how I get so blessed.
   I was studying a talk by Quentin L. Cook this morning and he talked about being temple worthy in all times. A quote that I liked from it was: 
“self-control is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets. Avoiding something tempting once will help you develop the ability to resist other temptations in the future.”- Dr. Walter Mischel
     It's true what is said. As we work our self control and achieve our goals, or resist temptations we will have more confidence and be more happy and who doesn't want happiness.
Love you all!

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Hola!
  Well I nearly died this week, but that's okay. I'm alive still and keeping myself busy with all of the visits we have had. On Tuesday we had interviews with our mission president in Bilbao, and of course that day the bus decided to stop at every pueblo making us 40 minutes behind schedule, but the scenery was beautiful. We arrived in Bilbao at 2:30 and my appointment was at 2:40. It takes about a half hour walking to the church so we started speed walking/running to try and make it in time. I was a little ahead of my companion, but received a distinct prompting that I should slow down. Just as I did so, a very large stone fell from a 9 story building, where they were doing construction, right in front of my face. Glad I was not under that rock. So advice for all: follow the spirit. It saves lives. 😊
   Last week while coming back from Bilbao I lost my last chappa (name tag) because my last companion wanted my other one and I only had one left. I am now stuck wearing Hermana Jorgensen's chappa until I receive more. We get a lot of confused faces sometimes when people read our chappas and see the last names are the same. We just say that we are cousins to joke around. The members find it funny. I am now called "the false Hermana Jorgensen." 
     We visited a lot of the members this week so that my companion can get to know them. I absolutely loved it. People are really missing out whenever they don't do their visiting/home teaching. I found that all of the members that I have visited have really amazing/funny stories to share about their life. I love making the widows 
In our ward smile by passing by for a short while and leaving some chocolate with a note on their table before we leave. We always shared a spiritual message at the end, and it was neat to see how grateful some of the members were for the message we had shared because it was exactly what they had needed. The members also like to feed us LOTS of food. We are trying to still show them that we are not like the elders, but that we are normal girls. The food is very good though.
     One day while talking with a person in the street we got a thumbs up from two other people walking by. We finished talking with the person we were with already haven shared a short message about the Book of Mormon and getting his information to meet with him again. We noticed that the other two people that had walked by were walking slowly, so we went and spoke with them. The seemed very interested in what we had to say and we were able to teach them a little right there. I'm glad that my companion is observant and saw that thumbs up. 
     Alba, our amazing Cantabrian investigator, said that she has a cello that she doesn't ever use. Whenever I found that out I was shocked and she laughed at my expression. She will be bringing it on Thursday and said I can borrow it until I leave here. She is the best! 
     The mission is so much fun. I don't think that I have ever been so exhausted in my life, and I sometimes I don't know where I get the energy to keep going, but the people here are amazing and there is always someone who needs help. In John 21:15-17 it says-

15 ¶So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

  We are all disciples of Christ trying to follow his example. He is the great shepherd. We have the opportunity to be shepherds and lift those around us. I love the example of our Prophet Thomas S. Moms on who goes "to the rescue" to find those lost sheep. They may be our neighbors or may even be family members. I know that as we serve and lift others we will also feel lifted.

Love you all!
Hermana Schmidt

P.S.- cow tippin does not only happen in the states!

Hola todos!
     Another week has gone by with fun adventures and learning
experiences. This week, while visiting different pueblos in our area
to try and find people there to teach, we found a yellow sidewalk
reminding us of the yellow brick road, and I thought that it would be
very fitting for the topic of this week. 😃 As we are obedient and
stay on path that the Lord has shown us, we will be able to overcome
any obstacle that may be our way and receive the blessings that the
God has prepared for us.
     On Monday my companion and I arrived a little early to a visit
with our recent convert, and were surprised to see that the mom of the
husband was at the house. She was a bit upset that her son had been
baptized and become Mormon. But, after talking with her, we were able
to help her see how this decision had blessed her son. Then the niece
came, and our recent converts being smart, invited them both to pray
with us before they needed to leave. The niece talked with us a little
and we were able to get her information and set up an appointment.
Taking the opportunity that was presented us was a blessing.
         We received another reference from a member, and yesterday we
were able to visit them with the member to accompany us. They were an
elderly couple that had been married for over 50 years and their
friend. The elderly couple was so sweet and kind, and the friend was
very opinionated and liked to interrupt a lot. We explained very
simply the plan of salvation, but that was a struggle with the friend
interrupting every five seconds, but it's all good. The elderly couple
loved it and want us to visit again, and I hope that the next time we
will be able to actually talk with them...
        I was reading in Matthew 14 this week and was reminded about
the importance of partaking of the sacrament and where our thoughts
are focused as we do so:

32 And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith
to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

33 And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be
sore amazed, and to be very heavy;

34 And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death:
tarry ye here, and watch.

35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed
that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take
away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou
wilt.

37 And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter,
Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour?

38 Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly
is ready, but the flesh is weak.

     Sacrament meeting is only an hour and the actual sacrament part
is only 15 minutes, but so often I remember falling asleep and not
enjoying the blessings that can come as we remember what our savior
has done for us and starting the week off spiritually refreshed and
ready to do better. I think it was President David O. McKay who said
that he had never been to a boring sacrament meeting. We have so much
we can learn as we are spiritually prepared each week when we come to
church. I love sacrament meeting.

 Well I hope this week you all have fun and have many wonderful
experiences sharing the gospel with your friends.

Hermana Schmidt