Monday, March 11, 2013

Pig Tail

Dear Family,
It's so crazy to think I've already been gone a month.  Everything is going by so fast and I can hardly believe it.  But then again, everyone says the MTC doesn't actually count so technically I haven't even been here a month yet, but we're coming up on it. 
A day doesn't go by that I don't fall more in love with Louisiana and the people here.  A mission seriously is the best!  Oh and speaking of missions, Emily did you ever get my letter?  I sent one the same day as Sarah's except I put a couple more pieces of paper in yours so I'm not sure it actually got to you.  And I put the mission office as the return address so who knows, maybe it was returned there becasue it was too fat to send with just one stamp.  Haha and Dee since I know you'll be reading this I sent a letter to you with just a regular stamp and I'm hoping they'll just send it to you anyways despite the fact that it's out of the country.  I haven't received it back in the mail yet so we shall see. 
Oh and want to hear the greatest news?!  We can now email friends and anybody we want!!  I guess since there's so many missionaries going out now they changed the white handbook and all missionaries can email more than family.  So Sarah be sure to change that on the blog and I'll try my best to respond to any emails.  I don't have anyones email right now so I can't really email them...but I'll email back!   
Emily, a to do list would be great or maybe a bucket list paper.  In zone meeting and just with Sister Calderwood the other day we decided it would be awesome to create a bucket list of things to do during the transfer.  So here's a couple on our list so far...we only have a week left together though so I'll let you know how things go.  Our list includes: sticking our foot in the Mississippi River, eating possum, see a live alligator, eat beignets (fried scones with powder sugar), get matching t-shirts, and yeah.  Don't worry, we're still working hard on mission work, these are just little side things.  :)  Oh and not to mention I've got the greatest christmas present in mind for you guys.  Maybe I'll just have to send it earlier, or as soon as I go buy it, but it will be a sweet surprise.   
Sarah definitely get an early morning custodial job, it'd be sweet.  Haha don't ask me how, but we got to bed every night at 10:30 and wake up at 6:30 and yet I'm still so dead tired.  I can only imagine you waking up so early'll be like a walking zombie.  Which will be pretty hilarious.  Oh and before I forget, I've been meaning to tell you that you guys can wear all my clothes and what not except for the shirt Jed gave me from Nepal.  Well, I actually wouldn't mind having you guys wear that except if you ruin it you'll have to go all the way back to Nepal to get me a matching one. 
Oh yeah and I got a letter from Nik today!  A big surprise but he's doing great, Sarah.  Here's something funny he said that I can relate to, "This might sound strange...When I was called to be a trainer I felt like a young father with a lot of excitements and fears."  I'm not even a trainer yet but I know how this feels.  We like to call our trainers mom and then it's cool because we're all related.  And then my moms trainer will be my grandma.  And others she trained will be my sisters.      
Mom and Dad man I miss you guys so much!  I love hearing how everythings going back home and in the ward.  We have ward conference next week which I'm looking forward to.  And then guess who gets to speak the next sunday?  Yours truly gets to.  Man that will make me speaking at church once a month for the past three months.  January for my farewell.  February at the MTC.  March in Louisiana.  Maybe I'll just have to keep up the record and ask to talk every month.
Andrew, it was nice hearing from you too...oh wait.  Haha just kidding, I know you're busy with school and what not.  I just wanted to say hi.  :) 
Man our ward here is absolutely amazing though.  It's crazy too because the three main white families are all moving out within a couple months so basically there goes all the white people in our ward, along with the whole primary.  But I love all the black people, they're hilarious and so funny.  Being here makes me think of Jed and all the black people he must be teaching in Africa, truly awesome!   
You will never believe what I ate this week....pig tail!  Haha we went to a members home for dinner and the basic staple of Louisiana food is red beans so she cooked that for us along with pig tails.  I wasn't going to eat any but the Elders said I should so I took a couple bites and it wasn't that was interesting though.  Sister Calderwood's eaten gator and she says it's seriously the best.  I'm looking forward for that day to come.  But really the food is good down here.  They have all these restaurants that they don't have at home, but are so good.  I already know I'll miss a couple like Waffle House and Cane's.    
Let's see...this week was successful and good.  We're teaching the Wleh family in our ward because she's a single mom with six girls and they're kinda less active.  But boy the culture is so different down here, I have no idea how to make them all pay attention and want to learn.  So Mom, with your primary expertize what advice do you have?  They're the cutest kids but the influence of the world is so strong in their lives.  
Since I haven't really described Louisiana to you I guess it's about time I do...or at least more detail about Baton Rouge.  So if you're looking on a map we have basically the whole area north of the interestates, there's no definitely boundaries.  Our ward building is on Winbourne which is just like fifteen minutes away but way on the other side of town.  The stake center is the one right by the temple that we saw on google earth.  Louisiana is all so flat but there's lots of big trees.  The other day we drove way up north to visit a member and everywhere around her house was just a forest, it felt like what Louisiana should feel like.  Baton Rouge is super confusing because all the main roads have two names.  And so yes, even though I've been here for three weeks or so, I still get lost.  There's some pretty sketchy neighborhoods here but we only go during the day.  And it's not really that bad anyways so don't worry mom.  :)  oh and the leaves fall in the springtime, which is strange.  
You guys are gonna hate me for this but I haven't taken a single picture since I've been here.  I know it's terrible but I'm just the worst at taking pictures.  I'll work on taking some though so I can show you guys what it's like down here.  Man I'll have to remember to tell Jed how grateful I am for all the pictures he always took. 
We met a couple sweet people this past week and hopefully we'll be teaching them this coming week, so I'll save time and tell you about them next week.  Oh and something sweet I've seen down here is how the Bishop's Storehouse works.  We get to help out with it every other Saturday and it's truly amazing how the church work and provides for those in need.  So be sure to pay your fast offerings! 
I'm not really sure what else there is to tell you.  So write back with any questions you want answered.  I love you guys and keep up the great work.  
Love Always,  Sister Schmutz

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