An African Heart

An African Heart

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Insert Title Here

Elder Gideon says "Hi." He's chilling with us in the office right now!! And he misses you too!

So uhhhhhh..... this week was nice.... we had our Nairobi Zone Conference, and President has been working like a.......... person who works really hard. Interviews, branch and district business, mission branches, dumb concerns from crazy people - SO MUCH for mission presidents, ESPECIALLY in 3rd world countries where the Church is still in embryonic stages. But he has Priesthood keys to direct the work with direct revelation from the Lord, and my companion and I are seeing this revelation in action. President Hicken is an amazing Priesthood man and leader and I am learning ALOT from him. I love him alot and can't wait to keep learning more. One of his favorite quotes ever is this:

"Obedience is powerful spiritual medicine. It comes close to being a cure-all." -Boyd K. Packer

Good quote, very true too. This week I have been trying to work more on loving people and not ever speaking negatively about them. I had a great companionship inventory with Elder Mulondo. He helped me to realize that I cannot say that I love my brother while I'm speaking anything negative of them (in a casual setting, but when we're in with President it's obviously different, evaluating missionaries and stuff). And he's absolutely right. I have really failed to speak good things of my past companions. I have always known that if you look for the good in somebody you'll find it, and if you look for the bad in somebody you'll find it, but i have failed to talk about the good and focus on that. Instead I had been focusing on their natural human weaknesses that are simply a part of mortality! We all have them, and they're all different. When we see somebody else with attributes that we can see need to be fixed, and focus on that, we fail to see ourselves clearly. Thankfully Elder Mulondo helped me correct this. Now it is much cheerier and I feel good and happy, and I am even developing greater love for my past companions because I am seeing them how the Savior would! I love Elder Mulondo and I am thankful for him alot. Please email him too and just let him know that we all love him and that he's awesome :) his email is

Ok confession time. When I read Elder Bodily's email, I felt a mix of depression, jealousy, happiness, and longing. While i love my time here and really enjoy everything i'm learning, I miss the field so much :( There are things i have even learned now that i just wish i could go apply now. I did work hard out in the field for sure, but at the same time i wish i could have worked harder. On reflection I know i did my best, but something about being out and blessing people's lives and being active and about every day feels so good! But I am so happy that the Lord is granting success to Elder Bodily. He is a great man and my best friend and i love him alot. I have alot i can learn from him i'm sure. Sounds like he and that Elder Nygren know where it's at. They sound pretty DANK, yo!!!!!!

Oh yeah! I asked Elder Mulondo what he might want in the next package whenever it comes, and he said these:
- an LDS card game called "Search, Ponder, and Play"
- an Idaho shirt (and i would LOVE an Idaho shirt as well, preferably potato themed)
- he didn't mention this one, but he's an AMAZING soccer player, he was given a 4 year full ride to Makerere University in Uganda to play soccer for them, and he turned it down to come on mission. So if there's some cool soccer thing that a soccer player could use, that would be nice too :)

So besides dat, we are here in the office for a while. Next week we take off to Western Kenya for the last zone conference. whew! Then transfers come, and i'll be down to 3 transfers. 18 weeks. *deep breath* :)

Loooooooooove you all kabisa!!!!!!!!!
Elder Schneider

Hey wonderful family :)

So I haven't really had time to read your emails all the way or respond to them because it's been a very busy day here in the office. I was surprised when I looked up at the clock and it was 6 already! So I didn't email today, but I wanted to atleast include some things that need to be said.

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS JESSIE!!!!!!!!!!!!
woooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Everyone and their dogs knew that you would succeed, and I personally love you and am proud to call you my sister. I know the rest of the fam feels the exact same way :) YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!

Second, I just want the family to know that I sustain and support President Hicken in every way possible. He is a man called of God and I am 100% loyal to him. Just because it was tough a bit to adjust to his style and sustain every decision he makes, I have quickly come to see how inspired he is. I have also learned the lesson that we do NOT criticize the Lord's anointed. God called him, so who am I to disagree with a decision he makes? As his assistant I will give my counsel and opinion, then when he makes the decision, I will support it as if I made it myself because he has the keys from the Lord, given to him under the hand of Jeffrey R. Holland last month. So I just wanted it to be very very clear that I sustain and support President Hicken in every way. Besides that, he is coming to be a very good friend of mine. I love him and his wife and they are great people who have given ALOT to the Lord. They really dropped everything and came to serve here in Kenya. Great people and i love them :)

Third, I love you guys ALOT! Not finding faults in my past companions as Elder Mulondo has helped me to do has opened my eyes. I am seeing all the good my past companions did for me. They were wonderful and I thank the Lord for them and their help to me. Without any one of them I wouldn't have an attribute that I now have. I have a testimony of speaking good of people. I'm not trying to brag, but since the day Elder Mulondo and I talked about it, I haven't talked bad of my companion once. I mention that because it is possible for all of us IF we exercise serious will power and reliance on the Lord through prayer and scripture study. I don't mean any of this in a prideful way, because there are a billion things i can work on, and in the world i'm just another person. But i know that God loves me as His son, and that the Lord loves me as His own brother. I know it is way more important to help others than help myself, and i hope i can do that better. I love you guys sooooo much and I am always happy to be in your family. Let's stay positive :)

We're taking off to Eldoret tomorrow and we'l be back on Thursday, so i will try to email then. Love you all times infinity and beyond. You guys bring me the greatest happiness I feel :)

Love always, Conrad

Hungry, Happy, and...... uh...... Mundivagant

haHA! How many of you ACTUALLY know what mundivagant means??? Yeah i didn't either. In fact, i'm a dirty cheater. I got on and looked up synonyms for "traveling". So yeah, mundivagant means that you are traveling a lot.

In other news, I'm starving right now and a little bit... uh. Getting a new mission president is a toughie. But i think new mission president or not, being an Assistant has lessons to teach. One big one, for example, is humility and sustaining your leaders. As an Assistant, President Hicken told us, we are similar to a counsellor. We give counsel, we advise, and when he makes a decision (whether in line with our counsel or not) we go with it and support it as if it is our own. HOLY PIG DOG STINKIN TWINKIE ROASTING PILLOW FIGHTING HASH SLINGING MASH FLINGING TRASH SINGING RASH BRINGING SASH DINGING GOOBERS BATMAN!!!!!!! EASIER SAID THAN DONE!!!!!!!!!!!

(a few deep breaths later)

Sustaining a decision that you do not agree with is an acquired skill. And i am learning it. It is something quite amazing about the Church, and when it is not there, nothing could get done because a decision could rarely be made unanimously. So yes, that is what my life basically consists of right now. But i love and sustain President and Sister Hicken with all my heart, I love and sustain my companion, and most of all i love the Lord and i'm so thankful that He understands me. I need to do my scripture study for today too, thanks for reminding me.

So we got back from Der Al Shazam and Arusha and we are leaving tomorrow to take off to Eastern Kenya. Pretty excited for that! From the sound of things, we will be flying to all the places in the mission instead of driving from now on because President Hicken doesn't like driving. COOL! I'm ok with that for sure. Although airports are a pain, driving 8+ hours is a bigger pain. But this time we are driving so keep us in your prayers please!!

Dar es Salaam was nice and humid, as always. But it was actually not that bad... it's "winter" there, meaning it is below 80 degrees. The conference was nice and short, we role played, and President interviewed TONS of people. He is spending a long time so he can get to know people. President also took us to a fancy shmancy restaurant on the Dar coast. It was SO cool. It was night so the shore pics aren't good. And when you look at the pictures and see something hanging out of my companion's mouth, that is a fish head. He ordered an entire fish. They brought the whole thing and he devoured it. Yup, Africa for sure. Arusha was also nice, but polar opposite weather wise. COLD!!!!! I actually used 2 blankets for the first time in 19 months. And it was about that time that i realized, ".........I'm gonna die when i go home." So it was nice knowing you, but as soon as i step off the plane, i'm dead. In Arusha we got a lift to Church from some smoking, raggae listening guy we flagged down. HA! Don't worry, there were 6 of us and 1 of him, so when he tried to rob us we beat him to a pulp and took his clothes. hahaha joking, he was super nice. When we got off the truck, i even invited him to church next Sunday :) in Swahili :D "Wiki jayo, umekaribishwa kanisani!"

So now that we're back in Nairobi, we're just in the office. Ugh...... do i miss teaching the Gospel? 1000000% Do i miss tracting and contacting? I used to dislike contacting alot so i never thought i would, but i do. And from the sound of it, President Hicken may keep me here in the office up until i finish my mission. But don't think that i am murmuring. I love whatever calling the Lord allows me to have. I am SO thankful to be here in the office. I am seeing what it will be like to come home and have to adjust. I am also learning so many skills that will come in extremely handy in professional life and people skills that i am thankful for. AND, President Hicken is always willing to pass on wisdom and advice and it is wonderful. I am very thankful for the chance to serve. I love my mission with all my heart, and i pray sincerely that I can do all that the Lord would have me do. Love you all times infinity and beyond! You are the cat's pajamas!!!!!!

With love forever, Elder Schneider 2, the Sequel