May 2, 2016:
Sooo I talked to President on Saturday and I will be returning June 21st.. So I know you received the email for returning travel and everyone, but I am not sure when they are going to be able to purchase
my ticket or to reserve my seats with the other missionaries seeing as it should be a few weeks earlier than previewed. But now that we have the date we can move forward with planning out the surgery and plan out everything else that we will need to do over the summer to get everything situated and ready to go for the up coming school year. I would really like to live out of home, whether that be on campus in another housing or in a little house with some other roommates or whatever but I really feel like I need to move forward and get ready for life. That being said I will need a job. So if we could start looking around or asking around that would be awesome!
President Giles has probably just been very busy getting settled in but this coming week or maybe the week after I think it would be OK to contact him. His name is Jarom Giles and his wife is Isabelle. They live right across the street from the church right off of 45th behind Albertsons. So you can find out what you want to do about that or with that information.
So this past week we spent a lot of time focusing on Sihem and her progression to baptism. We had a calendar with all the lessons we needed to teach and on what days and what engagements we needed her to follow to make sure that she had made all the progression needed to be baptized. The only problem that we met this week was that she comes from a strong Muslim background and is living among a lot of people who potentially could become hostile towards her des soon to be baptized. She has accepted the fact that it is somethings she knows she needs to do and hasn't looked back! It's amazing to see her faith and trust that everything will be ok! But we were still a little uneasy with letting her just go straight to baptism so we called president to get some advice and ask him who he would like to interview her and he himself will be coming down from Lyon to give her, her baptismal interview and see the situation for himself. It's such a nice thing for him to do! I can't believe he offered to come down but he did and so tomorrow around 12 he will be interviewing her for her baptism. So everyone pray for her! And he is also going to talk to me more about the surgery and what we are going to do for that to make sure I can go home on June 21st and that my surgeries will all be taken care of.
So this week we had a funny/awkward missionary situation. So basically we didn't have anything to do until 4 or 4:30 so we called Sihem to see if we could see her and she didn't answer, so we went and were passing people and we didn't find anyone so we decided to go to the church and get some things done that we had to do for our ward list and updating it so we walked over there and got there a little late and right before one of our rdv's and as we turn the corner there is this old ami named Freddy waiting at the door.. So we let him in and there is a member there to clean the church and so he introduced himself and thought like we had a lesson set up with him, so we went with the flow and like sit down and as soon as we sit down Sihem just shows up to the door of the church! So we let her in and the member gets more confused and so we go and sit back down and then Maddelana (who we were actually waiting for) shows up and comes in and so we were all just there super awkwardly like trying to figure out what to do haha we had two Amis, a recent convert and a member all in the
church just confused as a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. We ended up teaching everyone together and then let Freddy go home, asked Sihem to go wait for us upstairs while we talked to Maddelana and then ended up teaching Sihem afterwards haha so we are pretty efficient I guess.
We also went on exchange this past week, I was with elder Kahn who is in Valance. He is from Utah and in his second transfer. We met up and went to play basketball with a member who ended up not being able to come so we balled with a couple kids who were there, and while we were playing we left our ball on the side of the court where two little girls were playing. And they grabbed our ball to play with and I didn't think anything about it. So we finish balling and walk over to our stuff to grab our ball and our bags and low and behold.... No ball... We got ripped off by some little girls!! Haha the ball wasn't very good anyway though.
We are all good for the FaceTime at 3:30 I think. And I never got the package! I think it is because on our mailbox it is written "les missionnaires" not "les elders" so they probably saw 'elder Schettler' and had no idea where it was supposed to go. Sorry I forgot to tell you that before! But yeah I will have my new and last transfer assignment by then! I will let you know all about it, I think I should probably be staying here and probably will be getting a new companion.
May 9, 2016:
Yeah so I got my new companion yesterday and he is super sick! His name is Elder Tyndale-Biscoe. He was born in London but he has spent basically all of his life in Malaga Spain. He has actually been out for like 7 and a half months now so he isn't super old but he has a lot of stuff already figured out. We are gonna have a bunch of fun I feel like! He is super cool!
Our baptism was super cool though., I know a member has the pictures we took so once I get those I will send those as well to you! But as for now I only have super blurry ones that a member took on a different elders iPad... The older generations just can't seems to figure out how to take pictures on electronics or anything. Haha bless their hearts though for willing to do it for us. But everything went
pretty well, we had to wake up at 5 and be the the church at around 6:30 to print programs, print music sheets, make copies of papers, fill the font and just make sure everything would be ready right after church for her baptism. She came to church as normal and had a great time! Then just as soon as everything was done we started to realize (as every thing we do as missionaries something wasn't correct) the person who was supposed to be presiding had to change cause one of them is a police officer and got called in on emergency and the bishop couldn't stay so we were frantically searching for someone to replace him. We finally found the second counselor in a interview with someone like five minutes before it started and the DMP (who baptized her) had to conduct as well because the person who was supposed to conduct wasn't there either... Haha but after that things went smooth until we realized that there were more people than music sheets by a large number so Elder Warner had to rush out to print some more off and when he was gone we had to do the opening prayer without him (he was supposed to offer it) but everything with the baptism went great actually! No hitch there and when we waited we sang a compilation of songs that Sihem had picked for us to sing. We sang "I'm a Child of God", the day of my baptism and a few more. Then when she was done she
walked straight to the pulpit and started giving a testimony haha the bishop just looks at us and like shrugs and just let her finish, she gave a super good testimony though! She was so excited and you could tell she was like the happiest person ever at that moment! But afterwards we just had some cake a cookies and other little things people brought and everyone gave her the warmest welcome ever! It was a really good baptism though! Everything ended up ok haha but that's about it for this week.
May 23, 2016:
Hey everyone., sorry I didn't have time to write at all last week! We had a bunch of stuff to do! I was in Lyon to go to missionary leadership council. It was a good time, I got to see all the people who I will be going home with this coming transfer. We talked a lot about what we need to do to help our mission and ourselves reach out to obtain our former goal of 91 baptisms! It was a really fun and good experience. But the week before that was my first week with Elder Tyndale from Spain, he is super cool! He is from Malaga and he loves to have fun like I do. We get along super well!
The first week we were together we went to lunch with a kid in the ward who was preparing to go on a mission to Canada! His name is Ryan and he is super awesome, he left last week and I am not sure how he is doing yet cause I haven't heard anything but I'm sure he is going to kill it out there in Montreal! We also had a rdv with a couple new Amis named Nowella and Pamela who are both from Congo, they came to a rdv together (we only knew Nowella) and we were able to teach them with a member and we had such a good lesson and invited them both to be baptized. Nowella said yes right away and Pamela asked a little more questions and said she would think about it. We were able to see
them again during the week and she said that she would prepare herself as best as she could for baptism on the 18th June!
This past week we were able to do a bunch of stuff as well, we got to do some service for a member and we got to teach a bunch of lessons to our Amis as well as zone training! So we started the week off with a lesson with Nowella and Pamela where we taught them both a bunch of the gospel and commandments which went super well. We also got to see Nell our 16 year old aim who is getting baptized soon and taught her like almost all the commandments in one lesson which was very
difficult believe it or not haha we did it super fast and got through the lesson in under 45 minutes... With little kids and everything! Nell is super cool and understands everything very well. I am excited
for her and hope she will be able to be baptized before I leave., there are a bunch of things that will be happening the following weekends and so it might be pushed until the week after I leave. 😔
But good news from this past week is that we have started to see our amie Marie-France again! She is like 22 and super awesome! So this is super good news for us. We are going to see her with the Baret Family this week when we teach Nell. So I guess we will be doing a double lesson thingy. This week we also got to help someone move a washer and pulled it down two stories and dumped it at a dump and then picked up the new one and dragged it up two flights again which wouldn't have been that bad if I didn't cut my hand carrying the first washer. I had blood just like running down my finger by the time we were done. Haha I hid it from the member so he wouldn't freak out but yeah I got
rocked. The rest of the week was sort of just normal passes and looking for less actives and new Amis. Nothing too interesting to talk about.
Happy birthday to dad and to Brittany., it looks like both of them got little trips to go do what they wanted! I am super jealous of Brittany going to Mexico on a cruise! A cruise sounds so much fun! I want to either go on a cruise or go to Newport Beach or somewhere in Cali in general. I miss the waves and just seeing the ocean and being able to go in. 🏊🏼🏊🏼
Letter to Mom- May 30, 2016:
So our Amis this week were pretty on fire! They were showing up for rdv's and keeping engagements like it was their business! I was so pleased to see our Amis who had struggles to find time to see us, end up being able to find a little bit of time and coming to us and learning about wheat we had for them that day. We also hadn't seen Sihem the week before so this week we tried to see her a few times and finish off some of our new convert lessons! She loves talking about gospel stuff and having a good time. She has really come out of her shell since we have met her, at first she was pretty soft spoken and didn't want to interrupt or be loud. And now she will just butt in and testify to others and it is the coolest/funniest thing ever! She even got up this past week to give her testimony in fast and testimony meeting! She did such a good job too, I was so proud of her! It is amazing to see her progression from week to week. And we also had our Amie Pamella show up to church, she normally shows up in normal clothes but this past week they asked what they needed to wear so I explained that normally woman wear skirts to church, but it wasn’t something that is required to come to church, but she went out of her way and got all dressed up and showed up all by herself (she normally comes with her friend, but her friend couldn't come). We also went to see Louise Eyraud who is 79 and will be getting baptized at the end of this transfer. They are super cool, all of our Amis are doing pretty well and we are excited for them all! We should be having some success at the end of this transfer and at the beginning of next transfer so let's hope that everything goes as planned and there are no speed bumps or anything that make it so things don't roll out as planned!
As for how I feel at the end of my mission, I would say that for sure my confidence has gone up, mostly in the fact that the language isn’t really a barrier anymore and the fact that it has become somewhat normal to just talk to people that you don't know and try to get to know them. There are a lot of things you learn on a mission that give you a certain confidence that you aren't really aware of either. Like most of the changes in myself have been very slow forming and ruling over these two years and it would be hard for me to pick them out, as I have been watching them grow little by little everyday. The beginning of my mission it was obviously a challenge to speak with people and to get along with people because of the language but now that I am coming to the end I have found that no matter what language you speak or how well you speak all that matters is that the people know that you care about them and you want what is best for them. They can feel your love and that will take you a long way. At the beginning of my mission I feel like I was good at telling people the words I loved them but now as it has progressed I have learned how to show people I love them. It is something that comes naturally when you serve them. I think that is something that will help me throughout my life, and something I want to continue to develop cause I'm still not perfect, or even close. But I am getting better at it, and that's all that matters right?
Letter to Dad-
Letter to Dad-
This week was a pretty good week, we did our usual things we went to see Louise Eyraud who is 79 and will be getting baptized at the end of this transfer, we went and saw our other Amies who are doing great, we had great lessons with them and were able to get a bunch of questions cleared up like what they need to wear to church they both were wondering why everyone wears skirts and all the men wear suits haha so we got to explain that to them and when they came to church they had skirts on! Haha it was so cool to see, cause the first few times they just came in like pants and stuff, which is fine, but they made the extra effort this week to look really good and it showed! We should be having some success at the end of this transfer and at the beginning of next transfer so let's hope that everything goes as planned and there are no speed bumps or anything that make it so things don't roll out as planned! I will be able to explain all of this more in depth when I see you guys in a few weeks., this coming week will probably be my last real update on what's going down out here, then the week after that will mostly just be a coming home email haha so let's make this coming week an email to remember? Ya! It has been a long time that I have been waiting for success like this and it is finally coming,mot is awesome to see what happens when people wait and keep pushing forward through the tough things and the hard times, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It's just for some of us the tunnels are longer.
I love and appreciate everyone you do for me! Let me know if you have any questions or anything you need to know from me before I get home. We should have a lot of stuff to do that first week I get back.. Ha so let's maybe start planning out what our priorities are and then we can attack those things first.
June 7, 2016:
Wow, I would just like to start this letter with my condolences to
Mathew Sneiders family and friends. I never got to know him too well,
but to have your life end early in such a manner is tragic for anyone
and for any family. I am glad that we have the knowledge that there is
a life after this life. That can bring so much comfort especially in
moment of difficulty such as that.
So to reply to your questions for this week related to my return
1. The day I get back I would love to go out to eat with you guys, go
be release preferably as soon as schedule would permit and then to end
the night we could go home and maybe play some family games or just
spend some time together... (And now that we have a hot tub, I already
told some people they could come hot tub that night) haha so I might
have some people coming over later that night for a bit to hot tub..
Haha I hope that is ok! But I really really want to hot tub. I think
the temple might be a little too time consuming and if we are going
the next day that will work for me. (We could maybe just go to the
temple grounds as the whole family?)
2. I think I answered that in number one. Haha
3. Things before surgery that I wrote down were, cell phone, boating,
shopping for clothes, a movie night, go to breakfast, I wanted to also
go on a hike, I want to go see my friends (norm, the Dunn family, Jake
Flynn etc.) but aside from those few things we should be pretty free.
I would be ok with doing maybe some day trips to place like park city
or something with the fam. I will unpack when I find time haha I
shouldn't have too much cause I just sent a box home full of books and
stuff, 7kg to be exact.
4. I always preferred the food to be right after Sacrament Meeting
back at our place, and I would love some crêpes or maybe some
Baguettes and cheese with fruit. Just good old French stuff haha those
are just some ideas, if you can think of anything else I would love to
hear them! Or croissants maybe?? Mostly stuff we could buy ready to
This week was a good week though, we had a bunch of stuff that we got
done. We were able to see a bunch of our Amis and even got one of them
over to a members house to have dinner with us all! It was so much
fun. Tuesday night we had a rdv with our Amie Marie-France who is 22
years old and super awesome! She is studying pharmacy, so she is
pretty smart. The second councilor in the bishopric asked us to invite
her to his house to eat and have a little lesson so that is exactly
what we did! It went sooo well. He is the coolest guy everM his name
is Élie Baret and he is legit like a comedian. He is a gendarme which
is basically the equivalent to SWAT in America so you would hunk he is
super serious, but no. Haha we had fajitas and they were super good!
We also had lessons with Pamella and Mmd. Eyraud who are both too
cool! Pamella was sick most of the week, and so we offered to give her
a blessing and she wanted us to so we did and it was a cool experience
to be able to bless her and see her thankfulness for the blessing. She
is making good progress and we are happy with how she is doing and
everything. Then Mmd Eyraud our old lady amie, is still going strong.
Haha she comes every week and is just counting down the days till her
baptism! It is down to 12 days! She will be in the water soon enough,
she is so excited! We are going to do her baptismal interview tomorrow
so pray that everything goes well. Siham our recent convert, is doing
super well as well! She comes every week and to like almost every
activities there is to come to at the church every week. She is at
English class, family home evenings and institute every week. It is
crazy! I do t know how she does it. She is at the church more than we
are some days haha. We are in the process of helping her commence her
genealogy so she can take family names to the temple this coming
temple trip in a few months!
Grenoble is a beautiful place, my favorite thing is the mountains for
sure,mi love just looking around at the mountains and it makes me feel
like I am at home a little bit. Something I will never get over is the
beauty of mountains and the forests. I love the beach and sun, but
something about the mountains makes me feel right at home. And aside
from that I really like the city itself, it is super cool looking with
a bunch of old buildings but it is still a more modern French city
than Marseille for example. So it has the best of both worlds,
classique French style and modern art flares. Haha but my comp is such
a cool kid, this transfer he has really been teaching me the
importance of family. He loves his family more than anything else and
it is just s good example that I have to learn how a man should treat
his family. I thought I treated you guys pretty good but I can always
do better. Ha but as for things I have developed on the mission is
probably the habit of waking up early. That was not me at all before
the mission especially during summer! But now I can't sleep in even if
I try! I woke up at 5:30 this morning and I don't even know why, I
guess my body thought that I had had enough sleep for the night...
Cause I def could not go back to sleep. That and I can sort of grow a
small beard now. Haha but aside from that it is just personality
traits I feel like I have developed, but I don't even know what they
are. You'll have to wait and then tell me what you see.
Anyway, I love you guys so much! I will write you next week with my
final email and everything. Hope all is well and stays well!
June 13, 2016
So this past week seriously flew by! We had a bunch of stuff we had to
do, we had to do two exchanges before the transfer was over and we
barely squeezed them in this past week haha. Things on the mission
seem to just get busier and busier as you are here longer, I swear at
the beginning I would have never imagined how fast time would be going
and how much stuff you do at the end. It is crazy! That being said I
am trying to appreciate the moments, take in everything and as we say
in French "j'en profite" which means I'm just trying to make every
moment worth it. I was able to be in Lyon twice this week and I also
go to spend a bit in valance. It is always a good time to return to
cities where you have already been and know some of the people there.
When I go back to Lyon it is funny to see which people still remember
me even though i haven't seen them in over a year! It is such a good
So this week we started it off with an exchange with the Ecully elders
so one of them could come interview our amie to be baptized. So we
decided to take advantage of the moment we had and do an exchange
cause we both had pretty busy days. So I show up in Lyon and we call
the Amis who they were going to see and only one of them confirms...
Classique.. Haha I swear this happens every exchange. It's become sort
of the norm that things never ever ever go as planned on exchanges. So
we went and saw the ami we had to see and ate lunch with him and
taught him. He is from Mexico and is getting baptized is next week!
Elder spoors is borrowing my white pants for his baptism( I won't need
those anymore...) so that is going to be awesome! And afterwards we
just went out and found some old Amis and talked to some people cause
no one else could see us. It was a good fun day though, elder spoors
is from London area so we got to talk a little about his home and what
England is like. Sounds like a pretty cool place. We might have to go
out there! Haha but now Madame Eyraud our amie is for sure getting
baptized this coming week! I will send you pictures of it! She is
super cool and counting down the days till her baptism. We are
currently at 5.
Aside from that we also had an exchange in valance this week where we
went and did a big move, so we brought all four missionaries and tried
to just get it done as fast as possible, it took us about half an hour
to get everything out of their apartment and maybe another half hour
to get everything back in the new one! Seriously one of the fastest
moves I've ever been a part of. French people normally are not up to
par with their moving skills, but this one was well organized and we
got it done in a jiffy! Such a change of pace from the four hour five
hour moves I've seen my whole mission! But we then went out to find
some people at a park (look at pics) which is probably the only cool
thing in valance to be honest.. But we just chatted with people and
stuff. I also got to see some members I knew when I was in valance for
a couple weeks and so we caught up and got to chat a bit. That was
The highlight of the week though was stake conference in Lyon. So I
was there Saturday and Sunday for conference and it was a blast! We
got to see a bunch of missionaries and tons of members I knew in
Confluence. There is a member Frère Girard, who saw me and just came
over and gave me the biggest hug! He has since my depart, been married
and sealed in the temple! He told me that with the biggest smile ever
on his face and I could help but smile right back at him. I also got
to talk to the always awesome Leporé family! Seriously my favorite
members in all of France. Roland is the stake president now and he did
a great job, he gave a talk on examples of faith in history and how we
should do the same. His wife as well have a talk in French which was
pretty dang good considering she's American. It was all around a great
conference in Lyon.
Ok now for like my last email type stuff... I guess I should maybe
explain a little bit of what I have learned and what not during my
mission and how I have grown personally, spiritually and in all areas
of my life. I am not positive however exactly how to explain it. It
took me two years to learn and I guarantee that it is not all there
yet, but what I would like to express is my love to each and everyone
of you who have been there with my the whole way. It has meant a lot
to me to hear your support and love no matter how consistent or
profound our contact, I appreciate it. I also know that no matter what
we sacrifice for the lord he will give us back ten fold what we have
offered unto him. And I feel as though I have come to appreciate the
small things in life deeper and to be able to experience things with a
more clear vision of who I am and what role I play. I have come to
understand the gospel on a deeper more personal level and it has
become something real for me, something worth sharing with everyone.
So if you want to get to know more about the changes in my life I
would like to invite you to spend time with me, and see for yourself
what has changed. Cause frankly I have no idea, there are too many
things for me to notice.
I will tell you all about my week when I get home 😊 I am unbelievably
excited to see, hug and talk to each one of you!
As for my questions
1. What time will we be going to the temple?
2. How many times can we go boating before surgery? And can I bring friends..?
3. Any requests of things you want me to bring back?? Chocolat? Haha
4. What is the topic of my homecoming talk? 😬