An African Heart

An African Heart

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Nice Week

Yup. It was a nice week! We prepared for the Mission Leadership Council which was held in Nairobi on Friday. We studied ALOT of material and got an idea of what we would be doing, and then we let the Spirit guide and wow wow wow. Went fantastic. The last time I cried while bearing testimony was like, last year. I have found that back home I thought crying = good testimony. Wrong. The Spirit can make you cry, and there's nothing really wrong with crying, but for me I generally bear testimony and don't cry. But I was pretty dern choked up while I bore testimony on Friday. In answer to my prayers, the Lord has granted me charity for all these missionaries. I know them well and I really do love them. It's going to be very hard to not get to see them anymore, and I can tell you right now that leaving my mission will be harder than when I left home. Ugh... I love serving the Lord and there's still so much I could do if I had more time, but there is a time and a place for everything, and I will simply continue to serve just as faithfully in whatever calling I have when I'm home. For now, I am thoroughly enjoying my time out here :)

We also had a talent show today in Nairobi Stake. Elder Jensen, one of my best buddies (who really was one of my best buddies in the pre-mortal existence because we can finish each other's sentences, almost literally) and I with Elder Gideon put together some musical numbers. First we did a trio of "God loved us so He sent His Son", which we had done a few times before with a missionary choir. Then, we did "How Great Thou Art", Backstreet Boys style, and it turned out beautiful actually. Haha people began to get really excited. Then the finale - a hip hop version of "Battle Hymn of the Republic". People went crazy. They were so excited when we finished! And not cuz we were bad, cuz they liked it! So i can only imagine the musical fusion that will flow when Elder Jensen (Blaine is his first name) and I and Tanner and Benny and Daniel get together and get down with our bad selves. Oh yeah.

I am really pleased to serve the Lord in the calling of an Assistant. But I feel like I can always do more! It's not a very good feeling... which means it may not be from God... but I just feel like I am not doing very much. I will be able to serve my last transfer, next transfer, in the field before coming home. That's in 3 weeks, and I'll keep you updated on where I go and what happens. I love these people and this country. I pray that I can do what He wants me to do and be humble enough to be His instrument. I want to do good because He needs people He can trust. Plus I am happy when I do good. I don't ever want to let my pride keep me from learning from others no matter who it is; keep me from doing what the Spirit tells me to, even if I disagree; making things right, apologizing, or humbling myself to admit that I'm wrong, or anything else. Pride is so dangerous and I am prone to it, so my guard is high against it. I have, with the Lord's help and President Hicken's help, cleaned my thoughts. I have bad thoughts now and then, but when a bad thought comes, I go to the Celestial room of the IF temple and "Abide with me, 'tis eventide" plays in head to invite the Savior's presence and Spirit, and ell evil goes as I focus on clearing my thoughts. I have really seen that the promise in Ether 12:27 is true, that the Lord will, when we humble ourselves and come to Him and do what we must, progressively and line upon line build our weaknesses into strengths. Man family!!! The Gospel is so liberating and comforting and secure. I can't ever leave it no matter what life throws at me. I love the Lord and my Father alot. And of course, love you all too. You guys are so cool. Hope you have a fantastic week, and remember, "I know that wrestling is fun... a nice punch to the face, pile-driver to the face... but you cannot do it! Because it says in the Bible not to wrestle your neighbor..." (Nacho Libre)

With all my love, Conrad

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Week 2.... gone?!?!?!?!

I should start this email by doing what the Spirit tells me to, and that is to tell my wonderful eternal family how much I love them and appreciate them. You are amazing people and we are a family that is loved and watched over by the Lord and our Father. Angels are continually protecting us as long as we are doing the right things and being safe and healthy. I love you all very much. My patriarchal blessing has a line that says, "I bless you to be forever grateful for the home you were blessed to be born in that you could come into a home and be born under the covenant and know you are truly blessed to be part of a family that have the blessings of eternal marriage and family." And the blessing is 100% fulfilled. I am sure I will see even more as I progress through mortality, but I have felt recently how amazing each of you are and how much you all contributed to me being a worthy Priesthood man. Thank you all with all the sincerity I can put into an email. I pray you will feel the Spirit testify to you that not only do I love you, but our living Lord, Jesus Christ, is watching you now and loves you even more. I know that is how it is.

The tragedy of Westgate was pretty terrible. So uh...... yeah..... the reason you never received an email was cuz President had me come to the office with my comp and get on the office computer and send out a mass email. And in compiling the contacts and everything, I seem to forgotten to put my mom and dad in....? BUT!! I had sent Mom an email only a few hours prior so I figured ya'll would be ok. But all the missionaries were safe. A couple missionary were inside when it started, but amid bullets and grenades of terrorist, escaped unscathed and helped a few other old people out. Amazing, and terrifying at the same time. That's the first miracle, that they escaped fine. The second miracle: President and Sister Hicken had left the mall only minutes prior to the attack!!! They had felt like going early to the mall for shopping that Saturday, not knowing it was a prompting, and the Lord saved them. Third miracle: This one will put you on edge a bit. Elder Gideon and I had planned to go and visit Westgate that very day. It was our p-day and he had never been. However, neither of us felt like going and felt a bit tired and so we simply didn't. Talk about the Lord's complete intervention. He protects his saints and servants. Take care of the Lord's things and He will take care of you.

On a lighter note, I am so happy to be with Elder Gideon again. He is such a great missionary and brother to me. We get along great, and each of us have skills and abilities that makes our duties pretty dang easy and extremely enjoyable. President says I will leave the office at the end of this transfer, which is right at the end of October. And then... my last 6 weeks starts. Ugh......... my head swims with a billion different thoughts and too many emotions when I think about it. But I am doing my best to make the most of my mission still. I still crave to be obedient because I am always happy when I am. Being obedient is so satisfying!! The Spirit will be with you and you know the Lord would be pleased with you. I'm definitely not perfect, but I am trying to do better. Elder Gideon is a great companion. We really feed off of each other's positive encouragement and I feel great when we are companions. We'll be brothers and friends forever, no doubt.

This Sunday, tomorrow, we will be going to Mwanza in TZ. Then this week we are getting ready to start a tour around the mission for MLC, mission leadership councils. President Hicken really has us do alot. It is helping me grow in too many ways. I love it so much. BAH!!!

How is Tanner doing? And when you guys see him next, will you get his personal email and have him email me with it. I only have his mission one which I think will shut down soon. And what about Justin Moscon??? Where the heck did he disappear to?!?!? Oh yeah, been emailing Hailey... she's doing great :)

Not much else to report. Time is dwindling for me, and it is the most bittersweet I have felt in my life thus far. We are working hard here and I am doing my best to stay humble. I love the Lord. Tonight, me and my companion, along with the Office Elders, Elder Cele and Elder DeWitt, are going to read the Old Testament around a campfire. I am almost brought to tears at thinking I will have to leave my mission. Yuck. But keep up daily scripture study. I know it isn't easy, but you will rarely feel uneasy or unrest or stress if you devote time to the Lord every day. Love you all so much. I do miss you, but I know the Plan of Salvation and I know everything will be well no matter what happens. Please stay healthy.

Love always,
Elder Schneider