Since he is coming up on his Half Way mark in 24days I should probably get on it!
So Elder Schroeder seemed to Really like Faro. They had an actual ward building that hosted many of the surrounding missionaries, so anytime there were baptisms Mitchell & his companion got to attend & often got to fill the font. They also get to help at the chapel when they have relief society, or Young men & Young Women activities. He enjoyed the primary program. He said it was just like home except it was in Portuguese & there were 5 primary kids.When we google mapped his apartment, we were able to virtually walk from the church building to his front door of the apartment! AMAZING!!!
He also got to go on splits with the zone leaders and several other missionaries. He even got to see his companion from the MTC, since he was in the neighbor area about 15mins away. They also got to go on splits with members which was fun & reminded him of home. The young men in Portugal also get to serve a mini mission in Portugal before leaving on their actual mission. It is a great training for both them & the full time missionaries. Mitchell had the opportunity to sit in the hospital for a few day while his companion battled some stomach issues. He also got to sit with his zone leader Elder Phillips for a couple of days while he was sick. The other missionaries passed up this opportunity due to boredom, but Mitchell said they took advantage to read, relax & study. He seems to find a way to put a positive outlook on every thing! WE ARE SO PROUD! We also feel so blessed that Mitchell has had really no illness while he has been out!
During these winter months it has rained a lot! I think Mitch would prefer snow. He sent us a 29 sec video showing the rain & his rain soaked pants, that were wet from the ground up to the top of his thigh! He also sent a pic of his soaked feet that had turned black because of his soaking wet black socks & shoes. However, he never complains...he just wonders how the population of Portugal are able to hide out inside ALL THE TIME, when it is raining! :)
Also while in Faro, they played Futball(soccer) every monday with some members & investigators.
Due to my slacking there are too many stories of investigators to share. They did have a chance to teach a man from the Czech Republic english. He did teach a friend of one member that does not live in Faro. Mitch said he was one of the most humble men he has ever met, they gave him a book of mormon. The week before Christmas he taught a Mom & her kids. The son plays many of the same video games that Mitch does. As he was showing Mitch all the new games he had just bought, Mitch said his Heart hurt a little! :) (this is most likely what He would have gotten for Christmas if he were not a missionary!) The boy invited him to come play on the weekend or on Christmas, when he & is mother found out that missionaries do not play video games & don't get weekend or Christmas off, they told them that is not right & they were going to die! :)
Him & his comp had a baptism on the saturday before transfers. He said it was bitter sweet. The baptism was incredible, but then all the missionaries in faro were being transferred on monday. The new sister missionaries would take over. The ward members had a huge party for all of them!
On January 20, Mitchell was transferred to Castelo Branco. It is in the center of Portugal, very close to the border of Spain. He is in the mountains. He still has not seen snow, but can see it in the snow capped mountains. He says it reminds him of home. His new comp was from Cape Verde Africa, and his native language is portuguese. Mitch says they still make fun of his accent, but he feels pretty comfortable with the language. His first P-day after transfers he traveled 4hours to Viseu to be comps with elder Harris while his comp went to Lisbon for district leader training.
Castelo is remote, so they travel a lot. They travelled three hours to Combria for Stake conference, then they got to travel to Covilha where they got to attend a baptism of two young men. There is no font, so they baptized them in the river. He said it was very cool & cold! :)Unfortunately, Mitch's camera battery was dead, so he could not send pictures.
His birthday was February 8th. He celebrated his 20th birthday, the usual missionary way, by knocking doors! :) No cake, but we did send him Reeses Peanut butter cups because he can't get them in Portugal!
He informed us yesterday that Castelo was divided into two areas so he has a new comp Elder Barros.
Not sure where he is from, but we are eager to hear about their great adventures!
|Ward building in FARO|
|Mac & Cheese!!!|
|Baptism In Faro|
|GoodBye Party Faro|
|Good Bye Party Faro!|
|View from Apartment Castelo Branco|
|We LOVE this guy SO MUCH!!!|
|Tracting in the RAIN!|