Surprise Ending!

Hey family

  Sorry I am writing a little late today. The ciber had internet problems. I love the package that I got last week. I was touched when I saw that mom had been noting in the book that she sent to me. I was touched because her notes only go 5 or so pages in which means she probably didn’t finish reading it before she sent it to me. I appreciate it a lot! The topic was actually an answer to some of my prayers over the last 2 weeks. I’ve been trying to find out how I can better myself. I know I have a lot to get better in, but I just didn’t know how or the best way to do. That was the first topic or so of the book. I still haven’t finished cause we have also been pre planning FHE so that if someone invites us over one day we will already have some fun ideas that will also teach a certain principle. It’s harder than you think, took us 2 and a half hours to make one. We now have 3 awesomly planned FHE´s!
 I’m still in the tiny town of Purranque. I’ve been here for 3 months now! Wow time has gone by fast! I’ll be here for sure until July which is when we have transfers again. Elder Cummens thinks he is leaving and I’m staying. I think the same. But you never know. Our little Mexican Mission President likes to trick us. The second that we feel comfortable and want to stay where we are we end up leaving. I just got to make sure that I don’t let President know that I love Purranque. 😉 haha
   Today we wanted to go on an adventure! Our area is so big that there are 3 small towns in it. We dont really go to the other ones because if we start teaching people down there, they have no way of getting to church because buses don’t run that early in the morning on Sundays, unless they have un auto y casi nadie tiene un auto aqui. Entonces hoy, caminamos de Crucero que es el otro pueblito hasta Purranque que es mas o menos 14 kilometros. Estamos tan cansados porque cada dia caminamos mucho y en nuestro dia de preperacion, caminamos mas!! Somos locos enserio!
   Despues un poco de tiempo ne la mision, yo puedo mirar por atras y ver que yo he cambiado mucho. Soy una otra persona. Todo via soy Elder Spencer Schmidt pero un diferente version. Una mejor version. La mision en realidad puede cambiar muchas cosas. Usted puede cambiar por el mejor, su vision de que es importante, y muchas muchas mas. Pero solo si usted permite la mision cambie si mismo. Si usted en realidad esta haciendo que debe hacer. Si esta magnificando su llamamiento y trabajando con todo su abilidad y todo de su corazon. Puede ser mas como Cristo y llegar a ser a su pontencial. Todovia estoy mejorando y aprendiendo pero poco a poco soy mejor que antes.
   Yo estaba leyendo en tercer Nefi capitulo 12:48 yo creo. No estoy seguro. Pero dice “quisiera que fueseis perfectos asi como yo o como vuestro Padre que esta en los cielos es perfecto”. Y yo estaba pensando. Porque dice ´sea perfecto´ si no podemos llegar a ser perfeccion en esta vida? No tiene sentido cierto? Bueno, yo encontre una respuesta que funcion para mi. Hay algunas personas que tocan el piano y pueden tocar algunas canciones perfectamente. Hay algunas personas que pueden construir un edificio grande perfectamente tambien. Entonces podemos llegar a ser a perfeccion en algunos aspectos pero no totalmente. Pero podemos ententar. Esforcamos a ser mejor cada dia. Jesucristo tambien dijo que el no llagaba a ser perfecto hasta despues el tercer dia! El vivio una vida perfecto pero no lo era perfecto hasta despues su resurreccion. Pero el hizo todo que puede para ser perfecto.
   Y creo que podemos seguir su ejemplo. Siempre podemos mejorar. Bueno, esto es todo que yo tengo por esta semana. Buenos suerte en todo que hacen.
   Chau hasta la proxima semana. Escribe me si necesitan algo!
Elder Spencer Schmidt 🙂

We listened to a talk by Elder Holland in the CCM that was only for the missionaries (although you can probably find it on youtube.) He said that missionaries feel like they are leaving the real world, or their life behind to serve a mission. Elder Holland said, No! The mission is real life! Welcome to the real world! The fight against Satan and God! Thats the real story here. Not what clothes we are wearing or where we are working but its where we are in the fight. I really didn’t understand that as well as I do now. He is right! (of coarse.) The whole reason why we are here on this Earth is to gain a body and to prove whose side we are on and if we are going to be part of the fight. Satan uses his tools such as vain, vulgar, and carnal things unworthy of the Children of God. We are here to choose who’s side we are on and to stay on it.

   That’s what I’m doing here on the mission. I’m showing people to God’s side, the path that leads to happiness, the straight and narrow one. Then allowing them to choose. Which is a God given gift, Agency. Given to Adam and Eve and to their children. This is the real world. What this life is all about. The life I was living before was me learning and choosing which side I’m on. Now I’m Fighting! And not only for myself, but for everyone that I can. I’m a Soldier and Recruiter.
   So Yes. It’s hard to see and hear about the world moving on without me, but in reality I’m right in the dead center of it. Satan has just caused a cloud of diseption to come over the world to hide the real purpose of this life, this mortal exsistance.
   Yeah I’ve had a lot of time to think this week. Haha. It sounds like the family has a bunch of fun things planned and staying busy. Which is great cause it sounds like its all worth while. And ya the Family Pamphlet you sent a picture of, we teach with those all the time. I filled mine out the best I could, but Mom, if you want for homework over the next month or so can you send me a breif paragraph about each one of my great grandparents?
    It’s been a great week. We still don’t have any baptisms coming up but we are teaching a bunch! Oh Yeah! I got my package today! We went to Osorno for P-day! Thanks for everything!!
    I forgot my converter to transfer pictures from my card to the email but I’m going to go home after this, grab it, and send some. By the way I bought a Hard Drive to save all of my photos and videos and music on. I’ve heard way too many elders, sticking their cards into the computer and BOOM their whole mission deleted. That happened to Elder Cummens last week but after I spent a couple of hours on the computer I was able to find them all again for him. SCARY!!!

   Love you all and thanks for the emails!!
Elder Spencer Schmidt

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Staying in Purranque

Well we just found out transfers and me and Elder Cummens are staying together here in Purranque. I’m pretty excited!

Just last Saturday we had a baptism. His name is Bro. Omar and he is a funny guy. It’s difficult to learn for him but he slowly gets it. We have to pass over things many times. But it’s alright cause we baptized him in the end!
This week other than the baptism nothing too exciting happened. Just a normal missionary week. On Friday we celebrated the birthday of a kid in our ward named Mateo.  He is crazy but he likes me a lot. Same as his older brother Jesus. They are 7 and 4 and wild childs!!! We had fun setting up for their birthday and playing the birthday games with them. We justified it as appropriate for missionaries because we were at the house of possible investigators. We were at her (Karen) neighbors house cause its cleaner.
I’m sorry but it’s getting really difficult for me to think of new things to write about cause a missionaries week is nearly exactly the same every week. Today we made our own lunch and played kid games with the Sister Missionaries. Elder Cummens said that we are allowed to do things with them because we are the only missionaries out here in Purranque. He said President said its fine. We canonly do certain things though and can only be in certain places. So it seems fine to me.
Man I’m sorry I’m really running out of things to talk about.
The Bednar thing is awesome, we did that in the CCM with him. All of the MTCs connected over internet and we could email a text to him of questions.
Love you guys!!
Elder Schmidt
P.S. Here is my letter to Breanna
Hey Brea. Sorry for being dumb and forgetting to reply twice!!! It’s just when I get new emails it pushes the older ones off the screen and I forget. But that’s no excuse. It sounds like life is pretty hectic right now. I remember those years. It seems like you can never stay on top…. (especially if youre skipping 😉 ). Well I can’t say the mission has just been sitting here eating bon bons, (little dumb dad quote haha), but it is a life changing experience. Yes it’s incredibly difficult sometimes but the joy and blessings that come from it way outweigh the difficult times. The mission has helped me grow and stretch me in so many ways. Heck I’m speaking spanish now! But I’ve also learned how to be a better leader, teacher, and servant. I’ve learned a little more humility which I didnt know that I was in dire need of. I’ve also grown the attributes I thought I was already good at. Like for example I have always been kinda good at feeling other peoples feelings. It even says that in my patriarchal blessing.   So yes, the mission can bless you in a million ways. But you being a girl dont let the mission stop you from doing what you feel like you should do. If you feel like you need to just go to college. Then do it!! Youll learn tons of great things there too. Heck it could even lead to something that I shouldnt mention… (starts with an M and ends in arriage.) Take Mom for example. She turned out amazing!!! I dont know how much more the mission would’ve helped her cause she was amazing already. So I leave it up to you. Mom and Dad do too. They’ve told me they want it to be your desicions and they won’t be disappointed in whatever you choose. As long as you feel its what the Lord wants you to do. So pray about it. You have time! I love you a ton and I wish I could be there to talk to you face to face but I’m a couple thousand miles away doing what the Lord wants me to do. But I’ll see you soonish! Love you!

Love, Spencer
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“We call upon you … to rise up, to measure up, and to be fully prepared to serve the Lord.”

Hey guys!!!

    Arent you excited for Sunday Skyping!? First of all I want to ask you guys to write down all of the questions you might have now, so that we can get the most out of our time.
    This week was awesome! There are two awesome stories.
1. We were walking to this neighborhood named Aguas Andines and right about as we were getting there, it started to rain. So we were like dang, now we have to walk 10 minutes back to the house to get our stuff on. After we got on our rain stuff we walked back. On our way back we were stopped by this guy that was drunk and he tried to grab us. (that’s normal). We just kept walking then he called out saying, “Elder I need help!” So we stopped and turned towards him. He told us that he has been drinking, (as if that wasnt already clear), and he began to tell us that he has a problem with alcohol that he can’t stop. He said that tomorrow he was going to jump in front of the train so that he could find peace. We new instantly that we were here for a reason. We started talking to him and told him that this isn’t the plan God has for him. He was confused by that. “Why would God care about me, why would he care if I jumped in front of the train?” We told him because he is a son of God. He then began to weep. I then added, “and we are his sons too, so that makes you our brother. We don’t want you to jump in front of the train.” He then said thank you very much. He said “until I see you again Hermanos” and walked away. Just as he was leaving we asked for his address so that we could visit him. He told us, then left. The next day we finally found his house way out in the country of Purranque. When we got there a woman answered. We asked for a Jose but she said she has never had a Jose live here before. She didn’t even know one. So that was weird. Why would he gives us some address that existed and not even live there? He even said that he wanted to be visited the next day. So we never have heard from him. The moral of the story is that God is going to put you in the path of people that will need your help. What are you going to do?
2. Story numero dos. We Elders and the Hermanas(sisters) had a Family Home Evening with the members that they live with because his father is doing bad with cancer. We started the FHE and right after the opening prayer someone knocked on the door. They answered it and it happened to be an in-active member and her boyfriend. Her boyfriend is from Germany but can speak spanish and english too. She told us that she had a burning desire to visit Jenet and Vlademir (the home we were in). They started talking with all of us and we figured out that she is pregnant and they have the problem that she wants to be married in the temple but he isn’t a member. But he really wants to be the baby’s father. He is technically Catholic but doesn’t like the religion. So they have this problem. The girl is a member and wants to marry in the temple but he isnt a member.  I instantly remember that about 5 months ago I bought a Book of Mormon in German. I then leaned over to Vlademir and asked if he could drive me home. We then ran out and we drove to our house real fast. I grabbed the book and came back. When I got back I shared my testimony of the Book of Mormon to him and asked him to read the Testimony of the 3 Witnesses in German. As he read none of us understood, but the spirit was there. I then began to teach him and talk to him about his doubts. I spoke all in English because he understood English better. Everyone else just sat there and listened. Even Elder Cummens. After 20 minutes he agreed to come to church and said he would read the book. Yesterday they both came to church and stayed for the whole thing. We talked afterwards and said that he would be in town on Tuesday and wants me to teach him more but in English. So on Tuesday we will see how he progresses. It’s amazing for me though because I couldn’t have been more prepared. I had a Book of Mormon in German and I could teach him lessons in English and share my testimony in English. I had the Spirit with me. The Hermanas today told me that they couldn’t understand what I was saying, but knew that I came here for him. I guess they even cried while I was teaching him because of how strong the spirit was. I’m excited for Tuesday!!
    These experiences were about the best parts of this week. I am going to Skype you guys on Mother’s Day at 7:30pm our time.
  I love you all!!! See you Sunday!!
Elder Schmidt

A few firsts: erupting volcano and drinking weeds!!

     Hey so you heard about the volcano huh!? Well let’s just say that I got to watch it and take pictures. When it’s only 70km away you get a pretty dang good view!! We thought we were going to have to stop the work for 2 weeks or so but over night the smoke and ash blew over the Andes into Argentina and then into Uruguay and Northern Chile. Crazy huh!? A volcano blew up in our mission but doesn’t even touch us. It was weird cause as we were watching the volcano we noticed that no one else was freaking out. Which was weird, we thought the Chileans would be acting like us.I guess volcanoes blowing up are normal here.

     This week has been interesting. Elder Cummens and I got sick, we think from the food our Mamita made us. It was kinda gross but when it’s all you have, you got to eat it. Then we got sick. The members heard about it and came over to our house and gave us weeds they picked out of their backyard and told us to make a drink out of it. It was interesting but not as bad as I thought. It did help our stomach’s settle.
     I’m starting to turn Chilean. I point with my lips instead of my fingers. That’s how Chileans point, by sticking out their lips like they’re puckering. I am eating mayo with my rice….. Yeah, that took a long time to get used to. I’m making my own bread or (pansitos). I’m drinking mates (mah-teys) its like Chilean natural teas, basically stuff you find in your backyard. I’m drinking Ecco which is hot drink made from wheat. Aji (ah-hee) or spicy peppers- aren’t spicy to me as much. You know how I used to hate spicy!  I give things an accent sometimes when I talk in English. Yeah, Chile is getting to me.
     Today we went to Osorno because we had to go to the Police Office to change our address in their system. Purranque doesn’t have a police office. So we went shopping at the mall, ate there too, and now going to head home after I send this.
     Oh yeah! Elder Boyd wrote me! He said he came down to Medford for interviews or something and thought of me and sent me an email. He is someone that I still look up to as an example.
     Dad asked, I think, if I only write to you guys, and the answer is yes because I don’t have anyone elses emails. I have both grandparents but they told me to not worry about writing them cause they read my blog. Kellin hasn’t written me for like a month and a half. Olivia hasn’t since like February. Logan and Ricky, I sometimes forget to send them my weekly. Other than that I have no one elses emails. So yeah basically just you guys. Kimmie finally just wrote me back. So I have PLENTY of time to write you guys.
     Oh and I got Brea’s letter! Thanks Brea I loved it. It’s awesome getting letters!!
     We have to start coordinating a time for us to Facetime on the 10th of May!! I don’t know the time difference now because of when the time changed. I dont know why but Chile decided to skip the time change this year. So we didn’t change.  I guess you can do that. Haha Chileans are Crazy!!!
     I love you all and I’m going to try to put something in the mail for the sibling’s birthdays. Mom´s will come later but I’m working on it. Haha! I’m working hard even in the hardest days. I’m trying to prove myself, that I can do hard things with the help of the Lord.
Love you all,
Elder Spencer Schmidt
Family Home Evening with the Gonzales family. Can you tell the 14 y/o has a crush on me?
Mission Farewell for Matias Burgus
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Pictures of Volcano erupting from our house

First Baptisms!

Thanks for the pictures. Dang! Dad looks good in a blazer!

  It’s great to hear that everyone is doing so well. Brea with her “driving”, NO!! jk! Hahaha! L.J. killing it in soccer! Halley ballerina-ing it up. That’s a tongue twister right there. And Evan being a reading Fiji fightin’ machine! Sounds awesome!
  Yes we had 3 baptisms this week. Elder Cummens baptised Christian. Hermano Andres baptised Maria Olga, the old lady. And Eduardo Muñoz baptised Paula the wife of Christian. Maria Olga is the grandmother of Paola, she’s 93!! Yes we sang, but instead of my solo we just all sang Families Can Be Together Forever. Or… Eternas Pueden ser las Familias. It wasn’t too amazing. Let’s just say that Latinos are better dancers than singers. And Elder Cummens was a drummer. But the family loved it because it was from us to them. The spirit was so strong. Their daughter bore her testimony because she was baptised a year ago. Shes now 14. Watching them being baptised showed me two things.
   1. We work our dang tails off, hours and hours, for a 5 second dunk in the water. But it’s all worth it. Every second is worth it!!!
   2. What we do as missionaries to most people, seems like the end. They think baptism is the final goal. But no. It’s actually only the beginning. Baptism is just your first step in the direction towards Eternal Life! There are so many more ways in which we progress and even more ordinances and covenants we make. How amazing is the Gospel of Jesus Christ in which we can never stop progressing?!
   Anyway, they were confirmed the next Sunday. Christian then received the priesthood right away that day! That’s awesome because a lot of times here, they wait like 3 weeks and it’s so aggravating for us because this is part of the paperwork we have to do. Anyways it went perfectly. They are going to be great strong members of the church.
  Being the District Leader or companion of the DL over 5 Hermanas is a lot of work. We have to do everything!! Our sector lacks in work being done because we are constantly doing stuff for the Hermanas or taking phone calls from them every 5 seconds. haha But it also has its awards. They make us cookies for district meetings or come play basketball with us because we want to do something active. They’re great though. They feel like my sisters. After lunch everyday we have english classes for an hour or so. We play basketball. We sing random songs, usually Disney, while waiting for people to show up to meetings or activities. They made us lunch today because of all of what we have done for them. So its great!
   From the pictures you sent the storm troopers look the same to me. Maybe I’ve just been here too long. And it looks like Darth Vader’s helmet was melted or crumbled. Hmmmmm interesting!!! I’m excited. It bugs me because all the members tell me how good this movie and that movies was. Or I’ll be at the store and hear American music playing. Little heart wrenchers.
   This week me and Elder Cummens have decided that on June 25 we are going to have Christmas because this last christmas was hot and I didn’t have christmas music and it just didn’t feel like christmas. So on the 31 of April we are going to listen to Haunted mansion music and any creepy classical stuff we have for Halloween cause that’s how it feels right now but just more rain. 3rd Thursday of November We are going to have Thanksgiving and listen to any thanksgiving type of music we have. Then 25 of June is Christmas. I’ve been collecting so much music from, other Elders. Mom sent me 2.5 gigs and now I’m up to 10 gigs!! Elder Cummens has 39 I think but a lot of his stuff I don’t want. Like 10 gigs of video game music. Please No!
   If you could send some sheet music that would be great. I’m actually starting to be able to play some hymns on piano. I’m so excited. For some reason its easier than it ever has been before. Oh and if you have any good church books there for me to read. That would be sick. Like at night when we are relaxing before bed. I know they are heavy so if it will be too expensive don’t worry.
   I’ve been so preoccupied with everything that Mondays sneak up on me. Thanks for everything guys!!
See you all next week and remember, “It’s a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow!”
IMG_0023 I had to zip up my coat all the way because I gave my white shirt to Eduardo to baptise in. Glad I wore my coat instead of a sweater! haha
IMG_0015 The two guys on the left side are Hermano Andres and Eduardo. Then Maria Olga, Paula, Christian and Elder Cummens.
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Chilly in Chile!

 “Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” Yup is starting to get pretty wet here. Cold at night and in the mornings. But from what I hear, it’s only the beginning. Oh dear. This week we didn’t have our baptisms because Olga got sick and they all wanted to be baptized as a family, so officially this Saturday we are going to have 3! Last Saturday the Hermana’s investigator got baptized. Super spiritual!

  Yesterday we set this man named Luis Omar with a baptismal date for 16 of May. Purranque is on fire!! There are 16 people in the Rahue Zone with a baptismal date and 11 are from the Purranque District. Our other investigators agreed to get married so that we can set them up with a baptismal date too for the 16 of May.
  Hermana Pedrial this week had appendicitis. So she is out for 2 weeks! So since the Hermana’s in Rio Negro are in a triplet we brought down Hermana Mota to be companions with Hermana Sambrano so that they can keep working. A member is going to stay with Hermana Pedriel. Hermana Mota is from Brazil and her spanish is like mine cause she grew up speaking Portuguese. Her accent is so funny. It’s almost cute. I now know what I sound like to the Chileans. So Elder Cumens and I had a lot of trips to Osorno and errands to run and meetings to go to. So not much work this week.
   I know what you’re talking about when you realized that this church is so global. I was watching General Conference in spanish but during the songs I would sing in English. It then showed the sign language people on the screen and I realized that everyone is singing and praising their God in any way they can. Japanese, Spanish, Sign Language, English etc. But we were all singing I Know that My Redeemer Lives or Yo se que El vive. What an amazing church this is!
  Halley wrote me a letter this week and it was so thoughtful and well written. She really has a skill in writing. I thought it was at first from Breanna but then is said at the end from Halley!! Wow she is truly a gifted writer.
  I hope that next week I’ll be writing about the baptisms that we had! But I love you all and it sounds like your trip to Hawaii went great! About the Ukulele if you want to send it, sure. It would be easy to carry around but I’m so exhausted and hungry once I get home. I eat, say my prayers, then go to bed. In the mornings we study scriptures, get ready for the day and head out in the rain. Hardly ever will I have time except P-days. But if you want to send it, sure I’ll take it.
  What you could send is more slacks. I am growing out side ways, and up and down ways, of some pairs I have. I think I’m a 32w 32h now. I don’t remember. Or you can just put some money on my card and I can buy some at the mall in Osorno. It’s your choice. Also can I have a scarf? An Elder here gave me his and I love it, but it smells like him. Like BO. I think that’s it. I have a gift to send for a combined kids birthday. It’s nothing too cool but it’s what I can do. I’ll try to send it so that they get it before or around Breanna’s birthday.
  I love you all!
Elder Spencer Schmidt
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