Sunday, August 13, 2017

Final Email

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I cant believe it but this is probably my last email to you because next week i will be flying home. I cant believe that the 2 years has come and gone. It has been the wildest two years of my entire life. Within these two years i have had the highest and lowest points of my life. From them i have learned exceedingly many great things. These two years have taught me things that i could not learn anywhere else. Its like a mini life packed into 2 years. 

Above all things that i have learned the greatest thing i have gained on my mission is a testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ and the change of heart that has come as a result of it. I know that my reedemer lives. I know that This church is the church that God himself has established on the earth and continues to run it by living prophets. I know with all my heart that the book of mormon is true. I have read that book and disected it and pondered it and prayed about it so diligently for 2 years and i know through the power of the holy ghost that it is true. I know it. No one can or ever will be able to take that knowledge and testimony away from me. I will forever stay diligent and valiant to that testimony that i may sit at the right hand of God and look to him with a clear conscience of mind that i did what i could. I will bring my family and friends along with me. These 2 years have changed my life. They have changed others lives. I am heartbroken that i must leave. But i will follow the counsel given in a quote "Dont cry because its over, smile because it happened" Farewell Malaysia. God be with you till we meet again. See you soon!!!

Elder Schwemmer

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Sorry this email will be short because we dont have a lot of time because we are traveling to singapore today.

This week was a great week. We have been able to move our new investiigator numbers up the line and get a few people on date for baptism and a few at church. My faith has increased in preach my gospel this week as i have been preparing trainings for zone conference. It has been hard to coorilate with Elder Mickelson over in bintulu having to call him each day. But we have got it all figured out and i am very excited to present our trainings.

This week we had a cool miracle where a chinese married couple wandered into the church on sunday. They didnt know where to go so they accidently joined the malay branch. But we were able to locate them and set up an appointment for this week!

This week we had a really cool day with members. So half of our branch list is this one family where all the aunts uncles cousins and everyone are all members. Unfortunately they are all also less active. But this week we found a way to softly warm them up to us missionaries as we invited them to a futsal activity. A lot of the less active cousins came and were able to have a good time and we started with a prayer and thought. It was great!

Elder Schwemmer


This week was a pretty rough week to be honest. I was out of my area for 3 days which made things difficult. MLC was great though! I enjoyed it. My biggest take away from MLC was to really just love my zone members and to let that be my motivation for all things that i do. This week my prayers have included me asking myself how can i love my zone members. And not only the zone members but everyone in general. Chinese people, my companion, my family, everyone. When we are motivated in all that we do by love everything is just better. So i have been thinking to myself all week how can i love people more. My answer came during priesthood class on sunday. Elder childs made a comment about love. And he asked us who is the person in this world that loves us the most. We of course said our mothers. Then he asked us why? And i hadnt really thought about that but he explained that she loves us so much because of the sacrifices she has made for us. She has given up everything in her life for us and thats why she loves us. Christ loves us so much because he sacrificed literally everything for us. I love my mom and i love christ. I am going to apply the principle of sacrifice into my duties as a zone leader and missionary and see if that doesnt increase my love towards all.j

This week my miracle was that i was able to get back to Miri safely. Had some complications in kuching but all worked out. As for working with members this week we have some great activities lined up for the branch. Something that we did in kuching that was a game changer was we made the branch parties the best time of peoples lives. And not only that we brought 21 nonmembers. That totally impressed the branch and they all were gungho on missionary work after that. I hope to do the same in miri. We have gotten stuff set up this week for that to happen.

Elder Schwemmer



This week has been great being reunited with my son Elder Johnson. He has improved a TON since i was first with him. Its crazy to watch how fast the lord can change someone who will let him. This has increased my faith in the gospel and missionary work and how it changes people. And as always every single day my faith skyrockets because of the book of mormon. My personal copy of the book of mormon is the most prized possession i have in my life. Yes, even better then my play station back at home.

This week we saw a miracle as we were able to meet a man who is now on date for baptism on august 12th (the weekend before i leave) and he attended church with us this sunday after our first time meeting us. He asks all the questions they teach you to answer at the mtc. Its great.

We have had some incredible miracles in working with members recently as we have been able to  reactivate the very first person who joined the church in miri. She was miris first baptism and was very strong before but has gone less active. But not any more! They are bringing in a good energy into our branch which was much much needed! 

Elder Schwemmer


Sorry for not emailing last week. Pday got a bit crazy. We went caving at the Niah caves with an investigator family. on the way back from the caves they took us to their long house in the jungle where we had to kill our own dinner. it was crazy. there was blood everywhere haha. i killed a duck. pretty fun. But this week was a great week! We are able to consistently find new investigators and people to teach. Me and elder barlow are working well together.

My faith has increased this week in faith. I have been learning a great deal about faith recently. In my pondering and studies i have come up with the following definition of faith in my own words. Faith is the thought that preceeds all positive action. So many times the scriptures tell us to "remember" christ. Why? Is because "as a man thinketh, so is he" As we keep our baptismal and sacrament covenants to remember the savior that floods our minds with positive thoughts which leads to positive actions. Every action we take is influenced by faith. We have faith that the water in our shower will turn on so we turn the knob. We have faith that the microwave will cook our food so we nuke it. We have faith that we can find 2 new investigators so we talk to everyone. Faith is a law of god and nature and the gospel makes so much sense to me. The book of mormon is amazing! I cant get enough of it!

Our miracle this week occurred last night. We were in a gold mine where gold was oozing through our fingers. We were invited to attend a family party of the very first member in miri. She has been less active for a long time now. We showed up at her house thinking it would just be us and their family of 5. But it turned out to be an extended family party. All of their cousins aunts and uncles were there. They were all related to members of the church and me and elder barlow went CRAZY talking to everyone. We got sooo many good potentials out of it and have an appointment with all the potential Melchizedek priesthood holders that were there for next saturday at 7! 

Elder Schwemmer

Zone Conference

This week was an awesome week. I really enjoyed zone conference and giving my first training as a zone leader. I am loving being a zone leader. It motivates me and helps me to push my hardest. 

This week i experienced a faith building miracle. As a zone leader you get a lot more stressed about your numbers. You want to lead the zone and be a model area for the rest of the missionaries. Well the week was half way over and will still had nothing and we didnt have anything coming our way. We were talking with everyone we could see but nothing was coming from it. So on thursday night i plead in full sincerity for the lord to be merciful to us. To bless us as we work our faith with 2 new investigators. The following day was friday. As you know friday is english class day. A new family of five walked into the door. we talked with them all throughout the class and then after class were able to meet with them and they became new investigators. The have the cutest little 5 year old down syndrome baby and down syndrome people have such a special place in my heart. The lord hears our prayers and if we knock he will open. I know that.

After our zone conference trainings we are going to try a lot harder to involve our members in the work. We are going to do this by feeding ourselves spiritually in our studies, then feeding the members, then teaching them how to feed themselves which will lead them to have a desire to share the gospel and they will bring their friends into the fold.

Sorry not much this week!

Elder Schwemmer


SELEMAT GAWAI YALL! This week was the holiday called gawai. It is the new years celebration of the iban and dayak tribes. We got invited to a gawai party at one of the members houses. The party was crazy! She lives in a little wooden shack on stilts in the river. Like her house is literally standing over the river. The tradition of the iban is to drink a TON of alcohol but they made a mormon version and replaced it with corn juice. Haha i think the corn juice is probably a worse option lol. But we partied hard. Ate lots of good food. Learned Iban dances and iban songs. It was way fun!

This week was a bit of a tougher week. We had to dro a lot of investigators who werent showing progression. Dropping people is always sad but it is an act of faith to give you more time to work with those who will progress. Because the people that we had werent really progressing we have put more of a filter on the people we teach. If during the first contact they are not showing real intent and willingness to meet and keep commitments we leave them with a pass along card or something to read with our number on it, even if they were willing to give us their number. Also during the first lessons we could easily set up return appointments and make them new investigators but we have held off on doing that and reserving that for the people who show genuine desire and interest. Though our numbers may be smaller in the short run, this will all pay off in the long run. The amount of baptisms will be higher later down the road. And thats really what matters right? 

My faith has increased this week in the power of prayer. I am trying really hard to understand prayer and the power of it. I have found that our praying posture can actually have a big effect on our prayers. Being a super tired missionary sometimes we pray on our bed or sometimes my knees are on the floor but my upper half is just plopped out on the bed. This leads to falling asleep easily and hard to stay focused. The body and the spirit are inseparably connected. Hence the word of wisdom. The way our body feels can greatly effect the way our spirit feels. When i make an effort to stay sitting up while i pray it makes me more focused and keeps my mind on track. When i focus my body i also focus my mind. I also feel that it shows more respect to our father in heaven. I used to pray in the position that muslims do and my mom used to always say "no butts higher then heads" Now i understand so clearly why she would say that haha. 

The miracle we saw this week was how we have been able to find through outside of the box ways. For example this week we decided to try chess contacting. There is a park near by us that us FULL of chinese people and familys. On one of the picnic tables we set out chinese chess. And to our surprise people would just flock to us. With in a matter of minutes we have a group gathered around us to watch us. We challenge people to play us and use that time to contact them. Doing things like this makes the work so much funner and so much more effective!

This week our branch changed times to 11:30. Our branch president is hoping that that will make more people come. We are trying really hard to work with the members here but not much is happening. Our branch is small and struggling. I am trying to organize weekly youth activities to bring the branchs youth closer together and have more energy and to bring in those golden referrals!

Elder Schwemmer