Wednesday, December 3, 2014

December 3-Elder Schultz's Birthday & Preparing for the Holidays

Dear Family and Friends,

            We can’t believe how fast time is flying. In one week we will hit our halfway mission mark; nine months! Our release date is September 10, 2015 (Nancy’s birthday and our anniversary).

            Last week on November 26, we celebrated Elder Schultz’s 70th birthday! What a huge milestone! He says even though he looks old, he only feels about 50! This mission has kept us so busy; we don’t have time to think about feeling old. It was pretty uneventful, because I was sick with the stomach flu, so we didn’t go out to a restaurant. But he received some really nice emails from our children about why they “were thankful Harry Schultz was born”; and some very nice gifts too. He says we will celebrate next year when we are home. If you all remember, it was also our son, Harrison’s 24th birthday too. Happy Birthday, Harrison!

My gift to dad. Our friend and co-missionary here Elder Clement painted this. 
I got it framed. We love it.

            We also had Thanksgiving the next day here as zones. Our mission is divided into 3 zones of about 5 districts; so we had about 40 missionaries there. Our zone had dinner together in the Visitors’ Center Bistro, which is down in the basement. We all brought the food, had a delicious meal, and played a fun get-to-know-you game, too. It wasn’t quite the same as dinner with our families, but it still was a memorable time.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Thank you Buhrley Family!

            Our big Thanksgiving event for the mission, on November 22nd turned out to be an incredible success! At the beginning of that week we didn’t know how many would be coming, since only a handful had RSVP’d. We had bought food, and were preparing for about 125 persons. Each member of our committee of 5, divided up the Stake and took 3 wards; we called the bishops, ward mission leaders, and really stirred things up.  By Thursday, we had about 140 positive responses; people who are newly baptized needing fellowshipping, less actives, and nonmember investigators. We were so excited! We had planned so many details. They were divided into 6 groups of about 25 persons each, and we were their tour guides. We had wagon and carriage rides, then went down to about 5 of the historical sites (each one doing a different route) as groups. My group had a newly baptized family of 7: from Keokuk. Also we had a young new member family of parents with 3 small children from Fort Madison, and two other women from Galesburg. Even though they were very different from each other, they all enjoyed each other’s company and bonded.

Here is a picture of my group I took around. The Keener Family from
Fort Madison and Walls from Keokuk.
            After the activities, we went to the stake center and had a really nice Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Several missionary couples helped setup, serve and cleanup. The autumn decorations of pumpkins and colored leaves looked wonderful! Elder Schultz and I, and another missionary couple put on the program with singing, jokes and playing instruments. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. We ended up feeding over 150! We are so thankful to Heavenly Father for helping us make this possible! We felt His hand in all the planning along the way. One of the best blessings was that even though the whole week was cold in the 20’s, that day it was in the high 50’s! It was perfect weather! We have a saying here that there are “Nauvoo Miracles,” and this was one of them.

            We are also in the thick of our “Miracle of Christmas” concert. We only have 2 ½ weeks to get it polished. There are so many aspects, i.e. rehearsing the choir, and bell choir, getting flyers, posters, and tickets printed, getting a live Nativity together with costumes, practicing with the 30 voice children’s chorus (which I am in charge of), decorating the chapel with Christmas garlands and wreaths, and all the technical stuff like risers, light trees, spotlights, media and video screens, etc. Whew! We are getting nervous because a lot still has to be done, but also excited, because there is such positive response! We are hoping to have about 700-800 each night! And we are hosting a VIP Reception the hour before it starts for dignitaries from the cities surrounding here, i.e. mayors, ministers, chambers of commerce and leaders. We are surely praying for a successful audience, and praying for good weather. If there is a snowstorm, it could keep people from coming, so please remember us out here in your prayers!

            We continue to also serve in the Visitors’ Center and historical sites. I was in the Family Living Center last week, and helped decorate it for Christmas. Elder Schultz had an Administration Day to work on the concert. The week before we both served in Carthage, and then each took a couple of tours. Numbers of people are down, but they keep coming. We were busy the week of Thanksgiving because of the holiday. We can’t express enough how much we love this mission. We feel like we are contributing a lot to “hasten the work” of the Lord before His second coming. There are many people out here in the Midwest, Northern and the Eastern states that need the gospel, and the wonderful blessings that come with living the Lord’s commandments. We are doing all we can to attract visitors to come to this amazing place, and feel the spirit of the early saints who built it. We will become the official site leaders of the Visitors’ Center in 2 weeks, and also on the Public Affairs Committee. We are planning to host a “Time Out for Women,” and several concert series events in the coming months.

            I would like to leave you with my testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He lives and loves me, and each one of us. I know that this is His restored church on the earth today, and I am so very grateful that we celebrate His birth this month. The church just launched a month-long missionary push, to help invite people to learn about the Savior in their promotion- “He Is The Gift”. We were just trained about it all. They have spent a lot of money buying number one position on YouTube for Christmas Day, and want all of us to go on the website “” and view the short 2-½ minute video. PLEASE DO THIS, then share it on all your social media that you can. Use the hashtag #sharethegift. Get this message out, please! It is the one small thing you can do to be a missionary that will really make a big impact!  Their slogan is “Help others to Discover the Gift, Help others to Embrace The Gift, Help others to Share the Gift.” This is something you can do today! Please do it for the Lord, in gratitude for all He has done for you.

We love you all and think of you every day. We are grateful to have been called to this wonderful place and honored to wear the Lord’s name on our badges.

Love Elder and Sister Schultz

No comments:

Post a Comment