Monday, March 4, 2013

Tender Mercies

Hi Family!!
Thanks so much for the sweet pictures you sent in your email, haha I loved the one with the rice.  :)  you would never believe it but we went to a chinese buffet twice within the past week.  I never thought I'd eat so much chinese food in Louisiana, but whoever thought of a chinese buffet was a genius.  You should've seen it, the members that took us to one of them ate five plates, and yet they're stick skinny.  Anyways, enough about the food. 
 In answer to your question about questions, please send all your questions together otherwise I won't answer all of them.  And you still need to answer my question about what I should send you guys in a package soon.  Mom I'll try to find some shampoo sometime soon, don't worry about sending any to me, it's all good!  I'm not entirely sure when I received your letter because we don't check our mail everyday because it's so far away from our apartment, but it was definitely here by Sunday if that helps at all.  And thank you so much for sending it! 
So the story behind Temple Square missionaries...they all get called to serve there, but while there everyone gets called out of bound for four months or something like that so they can actually experience what proselyting missions are like.  So we get lots of them and yeah.  :)  they're all awesome missionaries.  Sister Calderwood is going back to Temple Square March 20 and will be there until the rest of her mission, so be sure to stop by and see her if you can.  I'll have to send you a picture sometime so you know who to look for.  Since the transfer isn't over before March 20 President Wall said I'll be getting another missionary from Temple Square as my companion.  Which shall be interesting because they all say it's so different...I kinda feel like I'll be training her which is weird since I'm not even done being trained yet, and she'll know more than me.  But nevertheless I'm looking forward to it. 
Haha I'm glad we have a car too, this week we decided to ride our bikes one day because our District Leader said it was bike day.  Yeah, um not a good idea.  It actually wasn't too bad except for the fact that we live right next to a real busy road and there's no bike lane.  So we only went to one house and then came home and got the car.  But I hear the thing to do is drive to a big neighborhood and then ride your bike around in there.  But we shall see.  Our District Leader is also one of the Office Elders though so we always catch rides with them and he says to not worry about miles too much as long as we're using them wisely. 
Mom if you do plan on sending a package soon you should send the purple shirt I got from Kohl's that I left along with a couple more t-shirts.  But no worries if don't.  I'll just get some awesome ones from a thrift store nearby to remind me of this crazy place.  However, if you are thinking about sending an Easter package or something I've thought of a couple things you could include, but ya know only if you are already planning on sending it because otherwise I don't really need any of this stuff.  So here's my list so far... sweatshirt, lotion, sharpie finepoint minis, more skirts and tops, t-shirts, and CDs.  The only CD I've really been able to think of is Jonsi.  I believe that's who it is, the people that did the music on We Bought A Zoo.  Or just that soundtrack would be great.  I don't really know, just any CD that's uplifting and not annoying like motab or anything like that would be great.  We spend forever driving so it would just be nice not listening to the same CD's over again.  Also you can put music onto a USB which will play in the car as well.  So if you're not too busy that would be wonderful.  And have I mentioned that you guys are the best?  :)
So the story behind's a long story but unfortunately he dropped us kinda.  We taught him the word of wisdom and he was set on giving up smoking and drinking but over the remainder of the week he kinda gave up hope.  And then on Saturday we called him and basically he said he doesn't think he can do it and because of that he doesn't think the Church is right for him.  It was hard hearing this because he was so dedicated and willing.  But we continue to pray for him and I know sometime he'll come around and be able to quit smoking.  
I've learned to just love the people here, there's so many amazing ones.  Two distinct ones are Sister Matthews and Manny.  Both of their spouses aren't members and yet they give up so much time to the church and stay faithful throughout everything.  Sister Matthews husband was even almost baptized but then his church knew he was becoming converted so they gave him a calling to teach and he's been doing that ever since.  They both have such strong faith and hope that one day everything will be okay.   
Dad that's awesome you got to clean the SLC Temple this past week.  It sounds like such an awesome experience and I'm looking forward to going with you when I'm back home.  Our mission goal is to teach 20 lessons per week.  The first week we taught 10 and the second week we taught 12, so we're working on it.  Just this past week we actually got to interview with President Wall which was great.  President Wall and Sister Wall were the second people this week to take us to a chinese buffet.  But oh man, he always knows how to uplift and encourage you, he's the best.  Haha and I'm glad there was no "Grande Place" like in Brussels because I would've been freaking out. 
Tell Scott congrats on his baptism, that's awesome news! 
Yo Sarah, I can't believe I've been out a month this week.  It feel like I've been out for years, but then at the same time I feel like I just got here, it's weird.  Oh and hey I got a letter from Dee and she said to write her back soon except I don't have any Canadian stamps so tell her it might be a little while, or maybe I'll just send it with a couple American stamps.  When does spring semester start?  and have you signed up for any exciting classes yet?  Our apartment is pretty nice if I do say so myself, it's tiny but homy if that's even a word.  We finally got a bunk bed this past week!  That's crazy about everyone getting their mission calls.  Haha and when I went to mission prep once I asked Annie if she was going to go and she said no...I guess she changed her mind.  I did get your letter actually last monday but I didn't have time to respond so I'm sending something today.  I have a sweet project for you and Emily to do together but I'll explain it in the letter, you'll need to open your creative minds.    
Emily I need an actual letter to write you back, it's true what Sarah said.  I'll only write you back if you write me a hand written letter.  So get on that you little stinker.  :) and write me emails too.  I love you guys and tell Andrew I say hi too. 
Okay so before I forget I just wanted to tell you little miracles I've seen this week. 
Numero uno: Sister Wiggins (this crazy awesome black lady, recent convert, first person I met in the ward) well we went to visit her and were thinking we could talk about the temple and baptisms for the dead since she's been a member for a couple months.  Turns out another member from the ward went to see her in the morning and talked about the same thing but she didn't want to tell them why she didn't want to go to the temple for her family.  We got talking and she was able to open up with us and she told us all these terrible things her family did to her, but we talked about Joseph from Egypt and Nephi with his brothers.  And it all just clicked in her head that she still needed to get baptized from them despite the fact that she hates them.  You woud've had to been there. 
Numero dos: Sister Nope (elderly widow, super nice lady, her house is like a legit castle. not even joking) we went to rake her leaves and yeah I'm just gonna paste the story from what I told President Wall in the weekly email (A little tender mercy I was able to experience this week was serving a lady in our ward. She's a widow and we stopped by her house the other day but she wasn't there. We noticed she had lots of leaves in her yard so we decided to come back and rake them up for her. When we came back she didn't answer but we just got to work. And here's the amazing part, when she got home she said her yard guy was supposed to come tonight to clean up the leaves except he hadn't come. It was perfect timing on our part becasue he came while we were there but saw we were already doing it so he just left. And then later talking to her she told us that if we would've asked her to rake the leaves she would have said no because she doesn't like asking people for help. She said we were little angels for coming and working so hard. It's moments like these that help me see the Lord has a hand in everything we do. He's mindful of every little thing and while we serve him he blesses us in the simplist ways.) 
Numero tres: Janet (yw, called us to come with us, amazing) she called us up Saturday morning asking if she could come out with us today so of course we said yes.  Well, that's basically all but it was a little miracle because when I was 17 there's no way I'd call up the missionaries to see if I could go out with them. 
Anyways, that's about all.  I love you guys so much, keep up the good work. 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

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