Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Jared will return Sept. 19th and speak on Sept. the 22nd

 One of those wedding I talked about is still going perfect but the other one is being delayed because of the paper work.  They are still really excited about their wedding and baptism but it will all happen after  i get home. Anyways anything else you wanted to know? Sunday the bishop grabbed me right before sacrament meeting and asked me to give a talk on family's. I instantly thought of mom and how she always said that would happen. I talked about our family, told them that everything my mother says happens and what made the difference in my life.It was an ok talk but I could do better and am a lot less nervous to talk in front of everyone but I still get a little little nervous. I'm sure with all the talks I will have to give coming home that I will loose that. 
 rock on --- Schmidt
PS  Jared does return the 19th of this month but will be off with his brothers  in Southern Utah for the first couple of days.  He speaks in our ward at 11am on Sept. the 22nd and would love to see all of you later that afternoon.Those of you who knew the 'little brother' aka Jefferson he is at BYU for a semester and will receive his mission call this next week.  Time flies...

Friday, August 2, 2013

Best Week Ever

Well this week was all going wrong until we had our miracle. It was my strongest experience I have ever had with fasting and prayer. We had a hard time with getting permission from Leticia's mom for her baptism and week after week she was getting sadder and sadder. We would go to teach her and she would start crying asking what she is doing wrong or what will happen if she never could be baptized. She really was doing everything she could,so it was sad. She would give us references and we would invite them to be baptized and you could see the desire in her eyes as they filled with tears. I felt one day that we need to make a goal for the 21st. I had no idea how it would happen but we told her that would be her baptism day and started to fast and pray. She started to invite people and this last week before the 21st everything imaginable went wrong. Her mom didn't let her go to church and didn't ever want to see us again. Her grandma started a fight with a member. It was super crazy and Saturday (the day before) we still didn't have any progress or permission. We didn't know what to do so we told her to keep praying and the next day would be her baptism. That night the member that had problems with the grandma called Leticia and went with her to her house, got in, talked to her family and yesterday, the 21st, she was baptized. It was a really cool experience. Her faith was for sure tested but she went forward with confidence in the Lord and everything turned out. It's amazing to say something and have the Lord do it. This really helped me understand the magnitude of my calling and the importance of relying on the Lord.
I'm in the end but I'm still learning a lot and I'm sure I will be learning for as long as I'm in the mission and for as long as I'm striving to do my best after the mission as well. This week I didn't hear too much from the fam so I didn't have many questions to answer but I would love to hear from y'all and you can all feel free to tell me how much you miss me and how excited you are to see me.    
                            Rock on -Schmidt

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Still working hard in Brazil

We did have a couple days this week when everything was going just fine and because of this we now have a teaching group again and also have some great projects we are getting going with the members. When I came into the area we started a missionary minute in every sacrament meeting where one member every week would get a book of Mormon and give it to a non-member during the week and share the next week their experience passing a book to the next member. It was going well but we didn’t get the results we wanted. So we developed the idea a little more. We made a check list for the members of the next steps they need to do including passing the reference to the missionaries. We made up the paper last night and it turned out really cool. We also are working on a fireside with the mission pres and an open house. I hope it all works out and things keep progressing.
        If you remember Carol, the last person we baptized, she is doing well. Her cousin, Leticia, still has not been baptized because of her mom but is super firm. She is really prepared and really wants to take this step in her life so its sad to see her mother put a stop it all of this. It’s weird sometimes to see parents keep their families from the gospel. I’m glad I was blessed with parents that helped me stay on the right path and all that because I’m for sure not as strong as some of these investigators we teach. We are working on some plans to help her mom and Carol and Leticia are helping us teach all their friends. It’s been a really cool experience to see the fire burning in new members and also see them re-light the flame in some members.
         We also have a super cool family of five. The mom and dad and three kids who are all about 20, 25 years old. One of the boys is blind but really cool and plays the guitar very well. After contacting them on the street one day they went to church and this week we will start teaching them. Another family is also starting right now and I think we will have a chance to help the parents get married. The last person I wanted to tell you about is Jessica who was contacted by a sister and who we started teaching this last weekend. She is progressing well and liked the church this last Sunday. For now this is about it but I have a lot of hope for this teaching group and a couple other people that are starting out right now. We also will be finally getting the papers in for Osmar’s wedding this weak, it took a really long time but will finally get going.

      I also noticed that my study time got really weak this last week and I’m going to focus on this more this next week and try to make it a real habit for the rest of my life. I have seen the difference it makes in my day and want to make it permanent. 

Life is good --- rock on --- Elder Schmidt


Monday, June 17, 2013

Jared's still out there...

   So this week was good. Could have been better but what can ya do? We had the baptism of Wesley. He is 17 and lives with his mom and 5 younger brothers and sisters. We have been working with them for about two weeks and its going super well. The only problem is that the cousins and other family members outside the apartment are talking a lot and telling them not to go with us. Only Wesley has been to church but he told us he made his choice and those others can talk all they want. He is a super cool kid and reminds me of my first baptism,Caique who is getting ready for his mission. They have the same age and both passed through some of the same problems. Anyways I'm sure we will be able to help the rest of Wesleys family and I'm sure I will write more about them. Oh and as you will see in one of the pics I'm now using crocks haha and its great!
      This Sunday all the new investigators we had to bring to church fell and we were a little sad to zero out on new people in the church until we got there and a member had brought with her a golden investigator named Carol. We visited her Sunday after church and I already know that this will go well. Even better is that the member said that she has another family she will try and bring this next week! rock on.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sorry no pictures of Jared lately, I hope he has someone else take the next ones

   Well this week was good and my toes are getting better.I went to a foot place and they pulled some big chunks out of my toe nails and its feeling a lot better. I went back today and they cleaned up a bunch of stuff for me and I will have to keep going back to make sure all goes well but right about the time I get home she said it will be 100%.That's good right? 

We also had two baptisms this week and it went super well. we did have five but some stuff happened and we had to remark for the next week but for two sick elders I would say we are doing well. I'm really excited to work in this new area and I know we are going to get a lot done. We are already starting some new programs with the ward to involve them and they are excited and ready to go. We are also working with a lady named Marta and her two kids Victor and Inara.They are super cool and I know they will be happy members soon.
This is Ina├žio that I told you about a month ago. We marked his wedding and baptism and taught him everything and then I had to leave but he was baptized Saturday with my 'son' Elder Cherry. 

This is Welton. We baptized him this Sunday and it was really cool. His wife and in laws are all members but for the last three years, after getting married and going to church 'sometimes', we found him and he finally decided it was time. He is pumped to bless his little boy.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June catch-up on Elder Schmidt

          I'm doing well. my area is doing well and life is good.i did a division with my district this week and went back to my last area and was able to talk to a family i baptized and one of the kids just turned 8 and asked me to baptize him. that makes everything worth it. we also found a kid a taught that after i left no one went back. i talked with him a little and told him the other two kids would finish were I left off and help him get baptized. he said yes and it was just an awesome experience that day. even if the kid is that there is very incapable and was sleeping in the lessons. what can you do, they just don't make missionaries like they use to.
          Our area is also doing well and we had the baptism of two brothers victor and luan. this next week we will have the baptism of weldton. he is awesome and soooo ready. we still have a lot we can do better so we will keep working for that. also as some of you already know my house was robed last night haha and we all just kept sleeping. for basically the only time in my life me and another kid that lives in my house took a sleeping pill and i was out cold. our house was all locked but we don't have the key to the back door that opens to the land lords house and two or three more of her houses. so at like three in the morning two dudes got into that part and it was free game. nothing of mine was taken so I'm not to pissed but one kid lost all his pictures from his mission. another kid lost a radio he was using to Liston to music so I'm blaming it all on him. the cool part of everything is that the night before the spirit was trying to warn me. i never lock the doors or do anything like that and just leave it to my comp. last night I locked all the doors and even felt like i needed to lock the back door and tried all the keys but we didn't have the key haha... so I'm not sure why he had me try but what ever. all in all it sucked but no one got hurt and we (they) only lost worldly things so its all good.
          life is good and i hope all of you are doing well. rock on --- schmidt

Friday, March 29, 2013

A Great Week in Brazil

As for this week:
        This week was awesome! We had one baptism, 11 new people with us at church and found one more great person after church that got her answer in the lesson and will go to church the next Sunday and wants to be baptised. We also had a pizza night on Saturday and it went really well. The biggest thing I'm learning is how to really put my trust in God,make goals with Him and do my part trusting that it will happen -whether I know how it will happen or not.
   I think I told you guys about Anderele, the girl we are reactivating. Well the rest of her family lives on the same street and she helped us get to know them and their friends. So because of this we have a couple we are working to marry and their kids that are pumped to baptise and a couple 16-18 year olds that are going really well. The lessons are going amazingly well and best of all is that the parents are just as into it as the kids... that can be the hardest part in brasil... or I guessing in any mission.
  Tereza, the old Lady that went to church last week was baptised this Sunday and her husband went with her and really liked it. The only problem was that the 40 year old son that lives with them was drunk when we picked her up and told her and us that she can't get baptised. I thought, well ok its not going to work for today but when I asked her she said thats why she was going and thats what she is going to do, so we just did it. I will have to see what happened with the son tomorrow.
     After church we went to a members house to contact a reference with him. She was not home so we started talking a little and right as we were thinking of going home the girl got home. Her name is Luisa and she is 15 years old. Her family is a little messed up but she is super focused and down to earth. We went ahead and invited her to have her lesson with us in the neighbors/members house. She loved all of it and said in the closing prayer that she thinks she found what she has been looking for. She got super exited to go to church and be baptised and basically about everything. Our next lesson is tomorrow and I'm expecting another awesome lesson. 

 That's basically it and because of all this our ward is way more exited and down to help us. So ya its going well. If you trust in the lord and go forward with faith those things just work. Only problem is I could get transferred now.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Jared is still out there

I loved the photo haha thanks! its good to know that it still snows in utah and its not so hot all over the world. Its summer in Brazil still and the everyday rain is coming to an end so now its just hot hot hot. Im proud of the self control you all had to go to church the other day. Also its starting to sound like I wont recognise our house when I get home. haha thats funny the oven caught on fire.
       I didnt know about the new missions. Not even the new ones in Brasil. So I'm guessing that it wont affect my mission.
  Well for this week I'm just super happy for Roberto. He is now going to church and activities by himself and Sunday a member gave him a batch of church shirts, ties, a tie clip and some stuff for soccer because he loves to play Tuesday nights with the Elders quorum. He is doing super well and I'm hoping to be able to reach his brothers. Also we had a huge blessing Sunday. A member that moved to a place without the church at 8 years of age now moved back but with her husband and she brought him to church and he is super cool and I think he will be a great member. He told us he just wanted to understand a couple things. so ya I think this will go well. Only problem is he doesn't want us to come to his house until next week because they just moved in. Anyways I'm setting up a couple family nights and stuff like that so that we can get going on his teaching this weeek. Other than this we are starting in a new part of our area and I'm thinking this month we will get a lot of work done.
      In other news, out chapel was broken into for the third time this month and this time they took our piano. The best part is that they tried to then sell it to a member on his way to church- haha.
 well rock on --- Elder Schmidt

Monday, February 4, 2013



So, this will be the last of the mission emails. I'm at the end of the line. It is a weird place to be.

But, we are still working hard. This last week was probably the best week of my whole mission. Kuopio is just really taking of now and things are happening all over the place. We taught 30 lessons this week, and had 11 member teaches. Im not sure what it is, everything is just falling into place. Our investigators are solid and progressing well, our members are excited and giving referrals and coming to teaches, it's exploding here. We have set a couple baptismal dates and have found new investigators with potential. The down side is I take a train to Helsinki tomorrow and somebody else takes my place. Its been bittersweet to see a lot of exciting things happen but in the back of my mind know that I wont be here for much longer... I've had a good time here in Kuopio and am thankful for what I have seen going on here in this city. I'm sure the next guy will do a fine job. Fine indeed. We got word last week that the next guy will be a fresh out of the MTC greenie. Some greenie fire is what this city needs to take those next steps.

Like I said, it has been bittersweet all week. In church they sang "Til we meet again" because I was leaving. This is a powerhouse branch and there are a lot of really great people here. It sucks to say goodbye, but that is just how it goes. Plus, Im going to a place where I can use facebook. So, it's not too bad.

We had the final District Meeting of my mission this last week. It was pretty cool. I made district trading cards of every member in the district and listed some strengths they have and gave those out as awards. We have a solid district. We also did the trust drop game (where someone stands on something and falls back and everyone catches them) Haha then after that we had saved some Pday time and we went bowling. I bowled terribly but it was still fun.

It is strange being so close to the end. It really has gone by pretty dang fast (in hindsight of course). I have a lot of different emotions going through me. It is so happy and exciting, yet so sad and intimidating at the same time. I feel like my life has always been pretty planned up until this point, but now there are many different twists and turns it could take. But, overall I'm pretty excited and can't wait to see you all. Sometimes when we are out trudging in the cold I let my mind wander to a warm happy place. In other words, Disneyland.

But, until then.
Love you all.
Thanks for all the support.
Thanks for not forgetting about me.
See ya soon.
Vanhin Merkley

Hip Hooray moment

This week we had the best week we have had here in Kuopio. We set three baptismal dates and found 7 new investigators. It was really awesome to see everything work out. The baptismal dates are solid and are looking good. Unfortunately, the first one is set for 2 days after I leave Finland.... It is a rough pill to swallow, but still very rewarding to see how excited she is. We were teaching a lot this week and had a lot of cool things happen. We checked up on another investigator who did not know if he could stop smoking, but he had written down a plan to help him stop and was going to go to a help group that week. It was another hip hooray moment.

I'm excited to see you all. But until then yall.
Love you.
Vanhin Merkley

Friday, February 1, 2013

Lady Vikings Garden section

This week we had splits which went well. We were in Savonlinna and I got to be with Vanhin Rogers again. They have been having an interesting time down there. They lost their keys and couldn’t get into their apartment, so basically they were living in the chapel for the past week. Taking sponge baths and sleeping on the floor and everything haha. But luckily, when we got there, a locksmith had made them a replacement key a few days earlier and we were able to sleep in the actual apartment. The bike lock was still locked though so we took the bike to a guy and he hacked the lock off. haha Just another day in Savonlinna.

We also had splits with the Zone Leaders and also a district meeting. It was pretty funny because I had been busy and had not really planned a lot for the District Meeting so the day of I was sort of scrambling to get everything together and then I called the ZL and said "Ok, so do you guys have a little message you would like to share today in the meeting" Short pause. Then they go on to explain that they thought they had mentioned that they were taking the WHOLE meeting. He-he-he ew... But I guess that is my payback for not planning in advance. Haha. It was a good meeting and we did a lot of role plays. For those of you who don’t know what a role play is its where you practice teaching and someone pretends to be an investigator. They are slightly awkward at first, but after the first 100 you get used to them. Yep Andy, you will know exactly what I mean shortly....

We have a tradition to do something fun on saturday night (and plus it was my 2 year mark yee-haw)  So we went out to eat at this really sweet Viking style restaurant called Harolds. They have the whole shebang with fiddle music playing, flickering candles, and even viking hats. The waitresses are dressed up all medieval style. It has really cool style and the food was way good. My companion is a big meat eater so he got a big viking style steak. I... ordered from the "Lady Vikings Garden" section... and got a vegetarian salad type thing. But, it was way good and my viking man pride only took a few hits.

It was a solid week.  We are working hard and I am trying to not get too trunky. Haha It actually hasn’t been too bad.
Love you all.
Have a good week.
Vanhin Merkley



This week was good. We had 11 teaches fall through which was fun. But even with that, we have been teaching a lot and its been cool. We had a solid mother investigator in church who said she really liked it, and then a random guy we had talked to and invited just showed up to church and is now an investigator. Pretty sweet.

We have this other funny older man investigator. His house is a very interesting smell. I would never use the word `good´ to describe it, but maybe something like ´damp´. Ya, damp is more fitting. But the good thing is that after a few breaths, you get used to it. The problem is getting through those first initial breaths... He is a really nice guy though and has been dry from alcohol for over 10 years. It is sad how many Finns drink too much, it is a problem and seems to be even worse in the winter time. One more fun fact about this guy is he collect VHS of recorded t.v. shows. Right now he is up to 850 recorded and saved. I told Elder Oberhansley that I want to be there for the memorial 1000 VHS saved and recorded.

This sunday, President and Sister Rawlings were in Kuopio and giving a talk. We picked them up from the airport, but apparently were supposed to give them a ride to church the next day. We were not aware. 10 minutes before church starts we got a call that said they were ready and waiting... We had walked to church and did not have any way to get them. We asked a member to go grab them as fast as we could. They eventually got there, 10 minutes late. I just sheepishly looked at President Rawlings and gave him a look of ´please don’t fire me´ look. But of course, he just laughed and afterward apologized that he forgot to make it more clear that they needed a ride. Haha as you can imagine, we felt pretty dumb.

Thats about all.
Have a good week.
Love you guys.
Vanhin Merkley