Saturday, April 8, 2017

Yes, Ahmed, I do like girls.

April 3, 2017

Hello glorious family and buddies! Mom reminded me that I haven't done a group email in a while, or at least not one that is very thorough! Well, well, well... Those days are over! Yes! Heeng hwah cherfing snootsil! (Buckle up.)

Monday (27 March)- We met with this older guy named Bashkim! We met him on the road a few days prior, and he stopped us, and said, (in english), "Yes, hello. Will you please tell me the meaning of these two english proverbs? 'The second wife sits on the right knee.'" ... Uh... Haha we told him that we didn't really know what it meant, and then he asked us about another one, and Elder Harris gave his interpretation, and then he thanked us and started to leave, but we told him that we share an important message about God, and after a little bit of discussion, we got his number! We met with him on the 27th, and we shared a short version of the Restoration, and gave him a book of mormon! Way cool guy. He was really focused while we shared the message, and agreed with all the things we said, so that was way cool! Then afterwards, we met with a guy named Ahmed! He's 19 years old and from Libya! We met with him the day before, and gave him a book of mormon in Arabic! Which looks sweet, by the way. We met with him on the 27th, and we start walking and talking, and we talk about my mission, and he asks if we like the girls here, and we explain to him that we don't date while we're on our missions. Then he asks me if I have a girlfriend, and I told him I've never had one, and then he's like, have you ever kissed a girl? No. Then he's like, People in America think you're gay if you're like that right? Hehe. Oh man. Haha! I assured him I'm NOT GAY, and that I like girls. Haha, then we talk about the Book of Mormon, and he tells me he read it for about 30 minutes the day before, and I'm thinking, "cool! He read a little bit of it! Maybe like 2 or 3 chapters!" We keep talking, and we find out that he read the ENTIRE BOOK OF MORMON in 30 minutes the day before! We should have asked him some more follow-up questions, but we didn't... Oops. Anyways, we talked a little bit more, and he had a buddy with him that didn't speak english very well, so we were explaining what our message is about, and after we explained, Ahmed said that he would be interested in joining our religion! YEAAAAHH!!! I got excited and said that we could meet again, so we planned a meeting for Saturday at 8! Woot! He's a way cool guy :)

Tuesday- We taught a member named Sulejman! He was baptized about a year ago, but I don't think he had a firm testimony when he got baptized, because he has never read the Book of Mormon, and is now inactive, but we are helping to come to know that this church is the true church.

Wednesday- We did a whole bunch of street contacting! I met these cool two Iranian guys! And we're gonna meet with them next Saturday and give them copies of the Book of Mormon in Persian! Ha! Then later in the day, we met with Andrit. We had a lesson with someone, but he didn't show up, and we were walking, and Andrit, a street vendor selling some belts was like, "Hey! Will you give me one of those bibles?" And we're like, "Do you have 10 minutes so we can explain where it came from?" And he did, so we explained it, and gave it to him, and he started reading it when we left! It was cool!

Thursday- We go to this Dentist's work to give him a Book of Mormon! Cool guy. His name is Orgis. We also taught our last English Course for 2 weeks. English Course here is way fun! We teach grammar, and then play catch phrase, and tell them idioms, and then do a spiritual thought! It was cool.

Friday- We did some more street contacting, and we also sang at this boulevard and handed out some fliers for this fireside we'll have! It was way cool, because even President Weidmann came and did street contacting with us! He's so cool.

Saturday- We went out to the artificial lake, and gave this older couple a copy of the Book of Mormon! Then we went to a baptism! Way cool. The man who got baptized is named Nadir. He's also from Iran, and speaks Persian! Way cool. Then afterwards, ate out at Fast Xheni Fast, started our fast, and met with Christopher, which is an American Theology Professor here at a University in Tirana! Our lessons with him are pretty interesting! He himself is Orthodox, but he knows and has studied and been a member of several religions in his life. I'll tell ya more about him next week!

Sunday- We had lunch as our two districts in Tirana, and we had burritos! Yum. We even had real taco seasoning! Did I tell you about my black friend from Durres named Cleon? He's a missionary for another church, and he gave me "a ketchup" and some taco seasoning! Hah! When we were at his house, he was like, "Do you want a ketchup?" And well, how could anyone deny a nice black guy in Albania giving you "a ketchup?" So I said yes. We then went to have a lesson with this guy we meet who is pagan, but he wasn't there. Darn. We ended up teaching this group of like 10 crazy rambunctious Albanian kids the Restoration. This sounds way cool in theory, but they didn't really pay attention except for these 2 12-year old girls. So we gave them a pamphlet! Then we watched Conference, and HOLY COW! POCATELLO AND NAIROBI!! HOLY COW!!! Then we went to go meet with Ahmed! But he didn't show up, and didn't answer his phone, so we're hoping he still wants to meet with us...

Today- We played Football and Futbol in the morning! I'm down to about 176 lbs. Whew. Too many crepes. Then we got haircuts, and our barber agreed to hear our message, and then we cleaned up the appartment, went shopping, put our suits in the dry cleaners, and came here... after eating a crepe.

My spiritual thought for the week is below, (it's out of my email that I sent to my mission president):

This week was a slower week, but a great week nonetheless! One great thing that has happened this week is that my testimony of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ has been strengthened. As we have been showing the Prince of Peace video, I was having trouble seeing and understanding why the Resurrection of Christ has so much significance for us. I understood that because of His resurrection, we will all be resurrected as well, but I wasn't seeing the present application. I understood better this week that when the Savior conquered death, He also conquered all imperfection, shortcoming, sickness, sin, human frailty, sadness, and all other mortal difficulties. It is because of His resurrection that we have the ability, and hope to become something bigger and better than ourselves. It's because of His triumph over death that we can triumph over our shortcomings, our weaknesses, anything. I love my Savior, and I am really enjoying studying about Him.

I love you all! :) I'm sorry the email was a little bit scattered, but I hope you loved it! :) I know this is the work of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I testify that He lives, and that His Resurrection is for us. These things I testify, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Schneider

"Be Careful! Don't talk to them! They're savage! Protect yourselves!"

March 20, 2017

Hey! How were your weeks? Mine was good. A little bit long, but it was good! Tirana is cool! So is Elder Harris! He's a good singer too!

Anyways, I don't have a whole lot of time, but Tirana is cool! I like it a lot! It's a little bit more developed than Durres, so that's cool. There's also a bunch of people. Like two bunches. It's a huge city. There's also like 16 missionaries in Tirana, or something like that, so that's pretty crazy. My district is still only 4 missionaries, but we see the missionaries that are in the other ward in the church building we use often. We play frisbee in the mornings sometimes, and we had a fun P-day together today, so that was cool! But it's cool! I feel like the people might be a little bit more closed off here, like it's kind of harder to get them interested, but maybe I haven't had enough time here yet. We'll see... Oh yeeesssss..... We'll see......... Ahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! We do more activities here also. On Saturday, we played soccer and frisbee with the ward, and we did service on Thursday or Friday. I'm not used to that, but I like it! It's nice to take a break from only doing street contacting, and teaching.

It's a huge city, but it's already a good start to this transfer. We found some really cool people to teach already, so we'll see how it turns out! :) One is named Xhulian. He's 19, and we gave him a book of Mormon yesterday, and he was really looking forward to getting it. It was way cool. Haha, it was a weird meeting though yesterday when we met with him. We met him in a park, first off, and we all sat on the same bench, and then this lady came over and asked us to help her change her ringtone, and that took like 5 minutes, because she couldn't decide which ringtone she wanted, and then we just sat and gave a small restoration lesson, and gave him the Book of Mormon. Then later this old drunk guy came over, and he's like, "Hey, you never gave me one of those books!" And we were like, "huh?" And then he's like, i got your number! And he pulls out his phone, and he's got the number for the elders in Durres! His name was Ivo Savo, and it turns out I had talked to him like 2 months before, but apparently he lives in Tirane! Anyways, then this old lady told us not to talk to him and to wash our hands because he was drunk and not very sanitary looking, and then she started telling us about the Orthodox Church, and then we invited her to hear our message, and we got her number, and then as we were leaving, we talked to some guys that were in the park, and they were like 8 kosovo guys, and then the old lady, was all like, "Be careful! Don't talk to them! Kosovar are savage people! Protect yourselves!" Hahahaha!!! Oh man. The elderly here are so funny.

I visited a cool Communist bunker today, which was fun. I'll send the photos and videos next week, but it was cool! I love you all! The work is rolling here! I know that we are capable of progression when we are obedient, and don't let the natural man take control. Love you all alot!

Elder Schneider

March 13, 2017


Hey family!! I heard Katie had a bridesmaid's party! I can't believe Conrad's almost married. That's so weird. I don't think it will hit me until I come home and visit your appartment, but man! Craziness!

Anyway, the big news this week is that i'm being transfered to Tirana! It's the capital or Albania, and it has 4 wards in it! I'll be going to the 2nd ward (staying true to #2) and my companion is Elder Harris. He used to be in Jessie's singles ward in Pollman! He just finished his training, which means I'll be senior companion. I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of growth will happen in this transfer.

I bore my testimony about something special. I was reading in an Old Testament Study Guide for the 2nd coming, and recently, I've been thinking about the reality that God really, actually, exists. I read a part from that study guide that said that when Christ comes, many will be converted to the gospel, but still, missionary work will be happening, and not everyone will be converted. I've been thinking this week what it would be like testifying to someone in the time that the Savior will be on the Earth that He is the Savior of the world, the Son of God, and that He was crucified for our sins. I think my testimony will have a different spirit about it when that time comes. However, I believe that we can testify with that same spirit now. I testify that I have learned through the Holy Ghost that God is our Heavenly Father, that Jesus is the Christ, and that this is His kingdom here upon the Earth. I testify that I am His missionary. I testify and promise you that you can know these things and can always progress.

I love you all! I'm gonna go teach a guy named Lefter now! See ya next week!
Elder Schneider
Unë pashë një shtyllë drite...

Hey! This week rocked. You may have noticed that it is Wednesday... That's because yesterday was Tuesday, and the before yesterday, we had a mission conference with Elder Moreira from the Area Seventy! So our P-day is today! But anyways, the conference was sweet. I don't have a whole lot of time today, but I wanted to share our experience tracting yesterday. It was raining, so we decided to go visit one of our buddies that we taught, but he wasn't home, so we started tracting, and after a few doors, Elder Wilson is like, "We gotta get on the same page." He was right. Tracting has always been a little bit awkward for me, but we decided that we would share a 3-5 minute version of the Restoration at each doorstep. We saw it in a video at our mission conference, and it was powerful and clear, and brief, and awesome! The following is what I sent to my mission President today: When we watched that small video of the 2 returned missionaries teaching the Restoration in under 4 minutes, both Elder Wilson and I were touched. We decided to try that out yesterday as we were tracting. It was amazing. Unlike my past experience with tracting, I really felt the Spirit strong, especially as we shared the First Vision. This had a visible impact on our work as well. From about a 1 and a half hour session of tracting, we received 5 numbers and address from the people we contacted as we were tracting. Not only did we help people to understand the importance of our message, but Elder Wilson and I were ecstatic, and excited and almost giddy, because we were feeling the Spirit so much as we were sharing. That was the best block of tracting that I had ever done, and one of the most enjoyable sessions of contacting that I had ever done. It was incredible to see the difference that sharing the message of the Restoration has on people when we share it clearly, briefly, sincerely, and powerfully. I know it's true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet. I know we have an incredible life-changing message. 
I love you, President! I love this work, and I love my Savior. I testify that He is a real. That in a way that I don't understand, He has taken our sins upon Him and made it possible that we can have joy. I love Him, and I love that we can know each other in this work.

Those things are true! I loved it yesterday! Also, Fation is going to wait a little bit to be baptized, which means I probably won't see him be baptized, because I'll probably be transfered next week, but that's alright! It ain't about me! :) I love this work! It's moving along here in Durres! I love you all as well! I testify that the Savior lives and that He directs this church! 
Elder Schneider

February 27, 2017

Mirembrema. Hey real quick! This is what happened this week. We met with Arian and his buddy Anri, and they're really cool! We also played soccer with them, and "it was good!" (-Seth) Also, Fation is on his way to be baptized on 11 March! Woot! I'll take a picture of him this week.

Spiritual Thought #1: I had an interesting thought about church a couple weeks ago. I was wondering why it's so important that we go to church. I was thinking about ordinances, and the covenants we have made, and about how the partaking of the Sacrament really helps us refocus and keep our eyes pointed towards the big goal of Eternal Life, and also the talks in church, and the friendship we have helps us to stay focused and to really be strong to keep the covenants we have.

The teaching pool is actually pretty good for the moment! We have one investigator named Fation, who is scheduled to be baptized on the 11th of March! He's cool. Also, we have an investigator named Zabit that is actually incredibly interesting! The first and second lessons that we had with him were pretty contentious. He has been taught by the Family Federation, I think they're called, or The Moonies. They have interesting beliefs. They believe that Samuel Moon, this Korean man is the Savior, and they also believe that the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was sexual desire, or something like that. It's real messed up. But anyways, we met with him two times, and I would not have seen him progress in the least bit, but he came to FHE on monday, and we got a better relationship just being friends, and then we met with him again on Saturday. Before the lesson, I prayed that I would be able to love Zabit and be able to see him as our Father sees him, and teach him as if Heavenly Father was there watching, hoping that I teach in a way that Zabit would want to believe and repent. This lesson was 9999999 times better. There was love, the Spirit was there, we were meek, and we learned, and Zabit accepted commitments, and even came to church the next day! It was incredible.

I love you all tons. I'll take more pictures this week. I'll also try to get the pictures from Blerina's baptism. The person I baptized is named Blerina Lala. She's 24, and the sisters taught her, and now she's a member! Woot! Love you all!

Elder Shnajder

Did Gehrig get his call yet!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?