communicating in a universal way

So…the big news of this week is that they changed our schedule! SO RUDE. We finally got so used to our schedules every day and then with two weeks left they decided it would be fun to change it. Oh well. We’re surviving. But, the sad thing about that is that we aren’t on the same scheduel as the other Russian zone. They have Tuesday P-Day  now, and we still have Wednesday so that is sad. Can’t complain too much because we only have ELEVEN days left!! WAHOO! It’s crazy what a time warp this place is because seriously I have no concept of time anymore. It’s great. But, sad. 

More about my week. We….ate, slept, studied, studied, taught, and then studied some more. And…ate some more. 

We brought a member to our lesson (one of our elders) yesterday and it was AMAZING! It is crazy to see the difference in reaction from an investigator when you have someone that they can relate to in the lesson. All he did was bear his testimony, but when he did it, our (practice) investigator, Dima, was so much more attentive and it was so powerful. We had a new investigator for a little while, Roma, who is an ER doctor, and 26 years old. He is very intereested in tons of churches, and has met with the missionaries before. The big thing with him to us was, does he have a desire to know the truth? Or does he just want to learn more about churches because he loves to learn and he loves to know more about churches. I have been going into lessons with only a notecard with some vocab of things that I know I might need and that I have needed in our “practice” lessons as a companionship. 

OH OH OH!!! THE FIELD IS OPEN!!! IT’S SO GREAT! I love it. So much. We play lots of soccer, some softball, and it is so wonderful! 

This week we have been doing something new, thanks to Adam Ostergar! He just left yesterday (Tuesday morning at 4am) for Italy! But, while he was here, he and his companionm would testify to X amount of companionships every day. They testified to us a couple of different times, and it was SO cool to see how confident they were in their speaking and how they sounded like it flowed SO well. We decided to follow in their footsteps! We now testify to 10 companionships a day. It’s cool, because I have come to figure out what I am super comfortable talking about, and what I feel like I have nothing to say about. So, they I go back and make a list of words for the next day or two that I have to use in my testimony and those are words that I will practice, and hopefully retain. The cool thing about this is that not very many people here at the MTC are speaking Russian. So, when we go and testify to people they are almost never people that understand what we are saying.  There have been tons of times where the missionaries that we have testified to will say, I have no idea what you said, but I can feel that you know it is true, and I can feel something when you testified. This elder from Mexico, that didn’t speak very good english, said, “You are going to be a wonderful missionary because you know it’s true. I can feel your knowledge and testimony! People aren’t going to care so much what you say as what they feel, because that is what converts people!” That was such a wonderful reminder at that moment to me of the Spirit and how it testifies to people and it really is not me. Yes, I am here. Yes, I am the one testifying. However, the spirit is the one speaking to people and softening their hearts and showing them what is important, and helping them to feel a difference in their life when they are exposed to the gospel. I am so grateful that the Lord is here for me no matter what and that he always has my back even when I can’t really speak any Russia, and he will help me communicate in a universal way. 

I need to be worthy of having the Spirit with me ALWAYS, and I need to be able to llisten to him so that I can teach in a way that will better facilitate other peoples learning. 

Also, last nights devotional was on Family History. At first, I didn’t really like it. but then thinking about it more I appreciated it some more! It is cool because people care about their family. We all have one. That is something that we can tell people about in a non-threatening way, and spark their interest. Even if someone isn’t interested in the gospel they might be so excited to hear about family history because of parents or grandparents or siblings that might have passed on. I might not love family history yet, but I am coming to understand it more and I feel like it will be a wonderful tool to introduce people in Russia to the gospel. 

I know this church is true, and I love it so much. My testimony grows every day. I love my family so much and am so grateful for the Plan of Salvation! I am so glad that I can live with them ALL again one day when we return to our Father in Heaven! 

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts. I just think about that when I am having a hard day! 

Love you all. Hope you have a wonderful day! LOVE YOU SO MUCH! 

Love, SISTER SCHAFF

These pictures… the one smelling the flower is elder shepherd…that’s what happens when the elders have my camera…
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me and parker, thank goodness he just loves to smile! Hahaha.
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one of the portrait elder hunter drew me–I look GREAT don’t I??!?!?! hahahah. 
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