Sunday, January 31, 2016

¡Buenos Dias!
    I feel like this week has been an answer to prayers. On Tuesday we
had a lot of visits cancel on us and my companion and I were a bit
frustrated, but kept working and trying to find people to teach. It
seemed as though our efforts were in vain, but the next day we all had
our interview with the mission president and what he shared was
exactly what I needed to hear. It seemed to change my way of thinking
and since then I have felt better about area in which I am in. My
companion and I felt as though we had so much more energy to just get
back to work and be the best missionaries we could be.
    With this new energy and happiness we went into a lesson very
excited because we had so much hope that his person would accept a
baptismal date. The lesson was going really well and we, but then the
countenance of our investigator seemed to change. She started to ask
us question that would make us question our faith, but we learned
something important. With every question she asked, we bore powerful
testimony. The lesson did not go as planned, and our investigator
seemed to being doing worse than better, but we felt strengthened in
our testimony although we were very sad about the outcomes because the
lady was so amazing and we so badly that she would accept our message.
     There is a scripture on Romans 8:5 that my companion shared her
thoughts on it with me. It says,"For they that are after the flesh do
mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the
things of the Spirit." Under the footnote for the word "mind" are the
words "guard&watch"  In other words They that are after the flesh do
desire to protect the things of the flesh, but the opposite would be:
they that are after the spirit do desire to protect the spirit. How
often in our daily lives do we think of protecting the greatest gift
that God has given us: the Holy Ghost. This was a powerful reminder
that I need to always strive to be worthy of this gift.
    A miracle that happened this week was one night we had 30 minutes
left until we needed to be back in our apartment. We thought about an
investigator that lived close by and rung her doorbell. She answered
and let us in. We shared with her a little lesson and invited her to
church. She told us that she really wanted to, but would greatly
appreciate it if we came and picked her up. Sunday came and we rang
her doorbell. She answered! We all went to church together and she was
so happy to go to church again. It had been the first time in one year
and she said that she had missed it.
     Before ending I want to share a quote by our Prophet Thomas S. Monson.
  "He who created us and who loves us perfectly knows just how we need
to live our lives in order to obtain the greatest happiness possible."
The talk was entitled: Keep the Commandments.

Love you all!

Hermana Schmidt
Misión Barcelona España

Sunday, January 24, 2016

  This week seems to have a common theme to it. We seemed to run into
a lot of Jehovah Witnesses or they ran into us. I was on a
companionship exchange with the Sister Training Leader and during our
companionship study we heard our doorbell ring. We run to the door,
look through the peephole, and see that there are some Jehovah
Witnesses standing there. Opening up the door, we greet them and
listen to what they have to say. We let them know them know that we
were missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
or in other words "Mormons." They were a little taken aback, but we
shared with them just a short message about the plan that God has for
us and gave them a pamphlet. They took it and went on there way.
   Later on in the week, my companion and I were knocking doors and a
cute little old lady opened the door and let us in. We were so excited
that someone was actually letting us come inside. We started to get to
know her and what she believed, and tried to share with her our
message, but she kept cutting us off saying that only 144,000 people
would be saved and other strange things that did not make sense. We
bore our testimonies of what we knew to be true, but we felt like we
needed to leave. Just as we were about to leave the little old lady
tried to give us a pamphlet that was of the Jehovah Witness. We
politely declined the offer.
  On a long bus ride, my companion and I decide to split up. I sat in
a four man area facing backwards were I could see my companion in he
next row. The people in front of me thought I couldn't speak Spanish
and started talking about how we must be JWs. I wanted to laugh, but
sat quietly for a moment and watched as my companion seemed to be on a
dating show. One person after another sat down next to her and she
would start talking to them. When they left another person would come.
It was fun to see the people reacting in different ways. I began to
speak with the people in front of me. I asked where they were from and
they were shocked that I could speak their language. We had a really
good conversation about the church and I was able to get their number
and address to visit them!
     We played soccer on Saturday morning with the members and my
soccer skills have not improved. I almost made a goal.....for the
other team... The ball was coming my way and it was just high enough
that I could hit it with my head, but it went in the opposite
direction that I wanted.
     We have an investigator from Argentina that has met with
missionaries before but has a misunderstanding of what the church is
and our beliefs. We were a bit unsure of what we were going to teach
her, but when we got there it seemed as if we were able to be
instruments in God's hands. She had us learn some tricks with making
food and we started getting to know her better. She talked about
deaths that had happened in her family and my companion and I felt
impressed to teach her about the Plan of Salvation. As the lesson went
on her countenance changed and she became more accepting of these
thrushes. I love it when the spirit is the teacher!
     I hope you all have a fantastic week full of miracles and can be
instruments in God's hands to magnify your callings.

Hermana Schmidt
Misión Barcelona España

Sunday, January 17, 2016

¡Ya Vinieron Los Reyes!
      We celebrated Kings' Day this week. This is the day when all of
the little children are most excited because the Wisemen come to bring
them their gifts. It was a normal day for us missionaries as we were
out on the streets trying to talk with people who were in a rush to
start cooking and do some last minute wrapping of presents. We ate
with a member in our ward and had a Roscón de Reyes for desert. It was
so delicious! We also sang to the lady in the rest home. She seems to
be forgetting s bit more of her memory which was sad to see, but we
answered her even when she had asked us the same question two seconds
      People don't really seem to be very open during the holiday
seasons. A lot of people have too much "prisa", but we kept a smile
and knocked doors. After a day of rejection we were blessed to knock a
door of someone who actually wants to listen to us! We met with her
yesterday and she seems golden! My companion and I also went to a park
to do some proselyting there because they aren't in such a hurry to
get to go places. We saw two young men training to be matadors. They
had a strange invention of a fake bull head connected to a wheel with
some handle bars. One would push it and the other one would dodge it.
We thought it was so interesting and decided to talk to them. We had
to walk a while out of our way to get to where they were so they knew
we were coming for a while. They were pretty awkward when we talked to
them and not very interested in what we had to share, but they let us
take a picture of their invention at least.
     We were knocking doors of another building and there were so many
dogs. Every door we knocked seemed to have a dog behind it. At one
point all the dogs in the building were barking and we were pretty
sure some people were going to be coming out angry at us for
disturbing them, but all of the sudden we heard a "mooooo....." And I
don't think we were the only ones confused because all of the dogs
became quiet as well. A cow in an apartment building? I hope not!
       We taught a member, and her non member daughter, about the plan
of salvation and the mother absolutely loved it. We had made some
little drawings to help them to be able to understand it a little
better and at the  very end the mother asked if she could have the
drawings.  She had just lost her father a couple weeks before and
hearing that lesson gave her a lot of peace. I love that we can be
instruments in God's hands to help his children!

¡Que tengan una buena semana!

Hermana Schmidt
Misión Barcelona España

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Feliz Año Nuevo!
   It's amazing how as missionaries, everyday we are out in the cold
or heat, rain or snow, just to find maybe one person who will listen
to our message. Often times we do not even realize the good that we
are doing. From the kind smile to bringing someone into the fold of
Christ, we do a lot of service and yet and some points it can feel
daunting. My companion and I have had a lot of success this week, but
we didn't even realize the good that we had been doing until Sunday.
    Many times our visits cancel on us, and that is why we end up in
the street again. This happened many times this week, but one day we
decided to go and visit the mom a recent convert who was not a member.
The mom wasn't there, but our recent convert was. We visited with her
for a little while. She had been struggling a bit and we shared with
her some scriptures and gave her courage to keep moving forward. We
left her with a smile on her face. When Sunday rolled around, she went
up to share her testimony and we were surprised to hear her talk a
little about how much our visit had helped her. She had decided to
serve a mission and very content with her decision.
      On New Years we ate some typical Spanish food and lots of
chocolate with the mother of our relief society president. We did the
tradition of the twelve grapes at Midnight with the sisters in our
apartment. I can never get all of the grapes down because they have
seeds in them.
     Sunday seemed like a day of the missionaries. One of our
investigators came! My companion was asked to give the opening prayer
in sacrament meeting, the elders passed the sacrament, I gave the
opening prayer in gospel principles, and my companion and I gave the
lesson in relief society about goals. I got into relief society and
saw the daughter of a member we visit, and this little girl does not
allow hugs. She is only one, but it has been my goal to get a hug from
her. After 6 months of being here, my companion was allowed a hug, but
Sunday was my day. I bent down and said, "Hermione (yes, that is her
name) un abrazo por favor?" And she gave me a hug! I felt accomplished
in that moment.
       Random thought: I think I found out the reason that the Spanish
people give besos as a greeting! In 2 Corinthions 13:12 it says "Greet
one another with an holy kiss." The people here are very Catholic so
it's possible.
       I was also studying another scripture this week in 2
Corinthians 12:9-10 that says, "9 And he said unto me, My grace is
sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most
gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power
of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in
necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for
when I am weak, then am I strong."

       During this time of year we are normally setting goals to
better ourselves, but so often after the first week/month we get
discouraged and give up. We start to recognize our weaknesses. I would
encourage all of us to not get discouraged. Instead recognize that our
weaknesses and rejoice in them because they are the way that Christ
shows his power. As we work every day to over come our weaknesses,
little by little through the enabling power of Christ they can be made

 I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Hermana Schmidt

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Hola Mis Amigos!
  Christmas is so much fun in Spain! Or maybe it's also because I'm a
missionary. On Christmas Eve we went with the relief society president
to sing Christmas carols to her friends and to give gifts to a family
in our ward who are from Africa. All of the little children were so
excited to receive gifts for Christmas. We then went and saw a lady
who had just lost her father and were able to give her comfort and
Christmas joy. We are now teaching her children. In the street we ran
into the uncle of one of the sister missionaries who is serving in
this mission. He isn't a member and we will be teaching him. We had a
Christmas Eve dinner with the R.S. President and another family from
Africa. Christmas Eve is a bigger celebration than Christmas Day. Even
though we were allowed to get home an hour later, we still had to get
back to our piso before because the buses stopped at 9.
   We got home earlier than the other sisters one night and so we
decided to scare them. We made sure we had all of the lights turned
off and waited. I was in their bathroom and my companion in their
room. The sisters came in and started to pray to start their planning.
When their prayer finished, I slammed the door to their bathroom.
There was silence for five seconds, then we hear shuffling and the
front door open and close. They were running down the stairs! We ran
after them, which made them even more scared until they realized it
was us. Our neighbor, an old man, came out to see what was happening.
We told him and he just started laughing.
      The rest of the week was full of service, great lessons, and
lots of food.
Hope you all have a Happy New Year!

¡Feliz Navidad!
   I can't believe it's already Christmas again! The year went by way
too fast. I'm so blessed to be in Zaragoza for Christmas. We have a
lot of amazing members who we will be spending our Christmas with.
This week we tried to spread the Christmas cheer and sung Christmas
carols with the young women to the all the old folks in the retirement
homes. They loved the songs even though we did not sound so great. I
think they just loved having people to visit them. It was fun to go
around and talk to them afterward.
   We had a good week planned out, but nothing went according to plan.
We had very many interesting experiences as well as many blessings. My
companion and I just learned to laugh. I believe that laughing is the
best cure when things don't go as you had planned. It's a lot better
than getting angry or sad. It says in 2 Nephi 2:25 that "men are that
they might have joy." My companion and I have had a lot of fun in just
spreading that joy especially in this Christmas season.
    We went to the house of an investigator to teach her, but when we
got there we found that she was a little sick and cleaning her house.
So, we took advantage of the situation, rolled up our sleeves, and
started helping her to clean the kitchen. As we were helping her, we
talked to her and got to know her better. Our love grew for her as we
served her. We realized her needs and wanted to help her. Everyone
deserves to have a happy Christmas.
      Our ward had a Christmas dinner. A family came that had not been
to church in a while. They had two young girls who I just fell in love
with. They were so funny. They were a bit shy at first, but I started
getting to know them. They said I looked like Katniss and asked if I
would give them an autograph. Umm.... Instead I just wrote a little
note to the two of them and signed it Hermana Schmidt and below, in
parentheses, "Katniss." They flipped when I gave it to them, and in
return drew my companion and I a Christmas card. They came to church
the next day! I was so happy to see them!
      In the mission we help a lot of members who have fallen away
from the church and we also help people to come to know the church and
make covenants with God. It amazes me how their are so many people
that fall away from the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many times it has to
do with certain people getting upset and rumors spreading, sometimes
it's just a lack of interest. I felt confused as to why people fell
away. Didn't they have a testimony? As we all know, life is not always
easy. There will be trials in our life that will test our faith, we
will feel as if our testimony is weakening and start to question if
things are true.
   One day as I was reading in the Book of Mormon, I could not get
this question out of my mind. Why did so many people let the trials of
everyday life effect their faith? I tried to put myself in their shoes
and think of things in my life that could possibly test my faith. The
passing away of family members, the feeling of being judged by others
or rumors spreading, lack of love in the ward, etc. ... Then a
question came to mind: "Do you know the Book of Mormon to be true?"
... That made me think. Then, without hesitation, I thought to myself,
"Yes! I know the Book of Mormon is true!"
    Things started to fall into place after that. Because I knew the
Book of Mormon to be true, I also knew that Joseph smith was true
prophet of God who restored the church of Jesus Christ and translated
the Book of Mormon by the power of God, and because that power has
been restored, we are also able to make sacred covenants that will
enable us to return back to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father
and be with our families for eternity.
      It makes more sense to me now the saying of the Prophet Joseph
Smith: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most
correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a
man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any
other book.” As we read the Book of Mormon everyday and study its
teachings and pray to know that it is true, I know that we can receive
the answer that it is true and, as we receive that testimony,
everything else will fall into place. I am so grateful for the Book of
Mormon in my life. It really is the keystone of not only our religion
but also our testimonies.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!