Tuesday, June 25, 2013

transfer number 4

Hey Family!
So it sounds like y'all think I'm being transfered tomorrow, and here's the big news...I get another 6 glorious weeks here in Baton Rouge!!!  Plus I get to stay with Sister Andrade as well!  We're both stoked and ready to make the most of this upcoming transfer.  I'm super happy to be staying here because there's so much work to do and there's so many people we need to help.  And man I absolutely love it here.  Dad I just have to say that it's crazy that the longest you stayed in an area was for five months or so.  Last night at dinner we were all talking about the longest we've been in a single area and the average was around seven months.  Haha and Elder Franke served in the same area for fourteen months.  It mostly depends on your mission president, but I think President Wall usually likes to keep us there for a couple months at least.  Oh yeah, and Elder Franke is going home tomorrow and I give him y'alls address and phone number and he said he's gonna go see y'all.  It's gonna be weird without him here because he came to BR the day that I got here and now that he's leaving I'll be the one here that's been here the longest.  Everyone's leaving but me..haha but I love the people here so it's all good.  You'll have to tell him I say hi when he calls or comes to see y'all.  He's an awesome missionary.

Anyways a sweet miracle from this past week was a media referral.  Basically if you get onto mormon.org you can type in your address and info and missionaries will come visit you.  So we got one two weeks ago or so for a girl named Valarie and we decided to just stop by because she didn't answer our calls.  Turns out her son Jonathan is a member in our ward currently serving his mission in Vegas.  Everyone always talks about him and how good of a missionary he is so it was sweet to be able to meet his mom.  Jonathan is the only member in his family and we've met his cousins before but they're anti.  We met her for the first time last monday and she's a super sweet lady.  We just talked to her a little about how you receive mission calls and what Jonathan's doing everyday.  And boy you could just feel the love that she has for her son and how much she misses him.  While we were sitting there talking there was just this overwhelming feeling of love that Heavenly Father has for her and how important she is.  She's had a crazy life and she's just super sweet.  It's awesome because we asked her if she ever went to church with Jonathan and she said she didn't.  But she said she'd ask for work off so she could come in two weeks.  It's an awesome experience because we have to teach her from a different approach because she wasn't the one that actually put in her info online.  Haha I'm guessing it was Jonathan because she said he keeps asking if any missionaries have stopped by.  So basically she's not real interested in learning more...but she is open to listening.  So our plan is to just take everything real slow and start at the basics and just be her friend.  Plus what's even better is whenever she's cancelled she always let us know and always reschedules.  That means a ton because even members cancel and don't tell us.  Aw man I see so much potential in her!  With Jonathan serving his mission I think it's softened her heart so much and nows the time for her.  If you haven't read the talk from President Monson during last preisthood session of conference you should.  I hope and pray that Valarie will be like that experience, it would be a sweet miracle!
Thank y'all so much for the packages and letters.  Seriously I feel so spoiled for this past birthday.  Maybe I should be away from home for every birthday in the future.  :) but really thank you so much I love everything you sent.  My two favorites are the blue shirt from Sarah and the brown and cream skirt.  Thank you!!  And Emily that sticker and card you made are sweet.  Dude I hope you're taking graphics again next year because you're awesome at it.  I put the sticker on my journal to help motivate me to write more often...so hopefully it will help!  Haha and I think I'll be good on clothes for the rest of my mission.  Thank you so much! 

Sarah I hope you had a great birthday as well.  Sounds like some fun times going to the sand dunes and what not.  The zone leaders and prarieville sisters came over Saturday morning with breakfast for us which was super sweet of them.  Then the rest of the day was pretty normal just visiting lots of people and doing the Lord's work.  We had dinner at a members home and everyone sung to me.  And then we went over with the office elders and zone leaders to the Olsen's (the office couple) to sing happy birthday because it was also Elder Olsen's birthday.  And then the office elders and zone leaders surprised me with a poster card with candy for my birthday.  A super sweet day none the less.  Oh and the Banks made me a cake that we ate on Sunday.   :)
Elder Franke, Foremaster, Ageda, and Jessop.

It's been raining here a lot so it's actually not too hot out lately which is nice.  Geez and the rain here is crazy.  We were at the Banks on Sunday and it just started pouring outside.  The thunder and lightning here is crazy loud as well.  Haha so when we were leaving Tae said she'd walk us out to the car under her umbrella but the whole front yard was a giant puddle and we were drenched but it was all good. Haha I love the rain!  I can't wait until August and September when hurricane season is really here and will rain a ton more.

Sister Banks, Tae, and Beatrice.

Something sweet I read this week from the Book of Mormon was in Alma where Ammon and Aaron went about being good old missionaries.  Seriously those two are the perfect missionaries and such good examples with perfectly inspired questions, ideas, testimony, and commitments.  Something I loved was in chapter 20 verse 29 when Ammon just found his brothers from prison, it saying, "And when Ammon did meet them he was exceedingly sorrowful, for behold they were naked, and their skins were worn exceedingly because of being bound with strong cords.  And they also had suffered hunger, thirst, and all kinds of afflictions; nevertheless they were patient in all their sufferings."  Some days I feel like no one is progressing and everything we do fails.  But when you look at the brothers of Ammon they were imprisoned and beat for trying to share the gospel.  When you see that, all you can help but think is we've got it pretty good.  And it's true, we are blessed to be able to share the gospel right now at this time.
I hope y'all have a nice last week of june!  Time just keeps on flying by. I love y'all so much and thank you for all you do for me!  Oh yeah and President Wall did call about Annie, he apologized for putting it off for so long.   
Love Always, Sister Schmutz  

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

birthday time

Hey Fam!
Thanks for all the birthday wishes!  The big 20 already...boy does time fly.  Haha I haven't told my new companion yet that it's my birthday this Saturday and I don't plan on telling her either.  :)  no worries though, Sister LaPorte knew I wouldn't tell anyone so she made sure to tell some of the Elders and she gave some birthday party supplies to Sister Seegrist that we didn't use for her birthday and she'll probably do something.  And if not we've got dinner at a members home so it's all good.  Plus I already feel super spoiled with two packages and two letters within the past week!  So....HAPPY BIRTHDAY twinner!  I hope ya have a great weekend Sarah and make the best of the start of a new decade.  I got the picture for ya down in New Orleans. 
Oh yeah and Happy Father's Day Dad!  Sorry I forgot to tell you that last week...I completely forgot it was father's day until Saturday when someone mentioned it.  Why is it that no one pays any attention to father's day and always mother's day is such a big deal?  Who knows.  But none the less I hope y'all had a great time all together.  I'm glad y'all enjoyed the package I sent home as well.  I'll let ya know if I want you to print out any pictures as well but for now just send back a blank flashdrive. 
I was so sad to hear about Annie but I know that we'll be able to see her again.  President didn't call me or anything so I actually found out yesterday from y'alls letter.  It's definitely hard losing a best friend and I'm gonna miss her so much but I loved the talks you printed out.  Annie will be with us again!  Plus losing a loved one just makes you want to be the best you can be so that we can see them again after we die, right?  So keep being awesome!
This week has been a pretty sweet one.  Actually there's an awesome miracle I want to share with y'all.  Last week we called the Theriots, they're active members in our ward. We just called because I felt like we should go get to know them better.  Sister Theriot always plays the organ and Brother Theriot always conducts so I've never really gotten a chance to talk with them at church.  So we called them up and they said they'd have to mow their lawn before we can come over.  So of course we asked them if we could help and they said no.  But I wasn't taking no for an answer, plus lawn mowing is the best.  We had appointments for the rest of the day across town so we called the zone leaders because they have a truck and could easily pick up a lawn mower.  Luckily they didn't have any plans so they headed over.  Turns out the Theriot's lawn mower is broken and he's been coming up with ways to fix it but nothings been working.  So long story short they haven't mowed their lawn in two years.  And let me just tell ya, the grass down here grows like weeds...crazy fast.  I didn't get to actually see it but they said it was up to their waist.  After a couple hours they only got the front lawn done and decided to come back.  Oh yeah and people came by and were gonna fine them but saw that they were starting so they said they have until monday to do the rest.  So on Saturday we all went back over and finished up the lawn.  And here's the sweetest miracle.  Now they want to invite us back over for dinner, they have a couple referrals for us, and they want us to help with their visiting teaching!  Truly sweet miracles when you LOVE, SERVE, and TEACH (our mission vision).  They're a crazy group of people but I love them!
It's always hard getting used to a new companion but it's going good.  I miss Sister LaPorte so much and all the love that she had.  If you could ask me one thing I learned from her it's that you need to express your love often and to everyone.  Seriously she's the best at that.  Also it's good to act like a fool sometimes because it always breaks the ice and lets others love you as well. :) She'll be back on temple square until november when she goes home so y'all definitely need to go see her.  I don't know which area she's serving in so I'll email her today and figure that out so y'all can be in the general area she'll be.  Plus she's the Relief Society President for temple square so she's always super busy.  But if she has time and wants to, let her take you on a tour of either God's Plan or the Relief Society building.  Y'all will absolutely love her and tell her I miss her so much!!  And then Sister Calderwood just went home last week sooo ya missed your chance of seeing her if ya didn't already. 
My new companion is Sister Andrade (pronounced like Andrage) from Brazil and also temple square.  It's crazy how different everyone can always be.  I'm learning lots from her and also learning a lot about myself.  The greatest thing I've learned about myself while being with her is how much I love and care about the people.  Haha if you ask Sister LaPorte she would say I'd never like to talk on the phone which is true, I never did.  But since I'm the one that knows everyone now I feel such a great responsibility for all the people here.  It's hard to describe but just because Sister LaPorte and I aren't together doesn't mean that I can just let these people we've been working with fall away. Heavenly Father has placed me with precious souls in my hands and my biggest fear is that I'll be transfered and the missionaries will stop seeing them and they won't continue coming to church.  I love all the people so much I just pray that I'll be able to help them the most while I'm here.  President Wall said that we might only be together for the two weeks until transfers which I'd say is a pretty good bet since I've only had temple square missionaries.  But then there's also a brazilian lady in our ward that needs someone that speaks portugese.  Last night at their interview President told her he was gonna transfer her but then Sister Andrade told him about Tania and how she needs her.  So he's gonna think and pray about it and then we'll see what happens.  I guess we'll know for sure next week when I email y'all on tuesday.  I can't believe another transfer is already up! 
One of my favorite scriptures to use lately while teaching is 1 Nephi 16:28 it's talking about the liahona and how it will work.  "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them."  But something sweet is changing the words to apply to the persons situation or questions.  For example "And it came to pass that I, Jenna, beheld the questions which were in my soul, that the answers I will find according to the faith and diligence and heed which I will give unto the scriptures."  Pretty sweet isn't it. 
And then I was also reading in Alma chapter 11.  Zeezrom and Amulek were asking each other all these questions to understand what they knew and in verse 34 Zeezrom said talking about Christ, "Shall he save his people in their sins?  And Amulek answered and said unto him: I say unto you he shall not." When I first read it I stopped for a minute thinking how could this be?  It's only through the atonement that we're able to be forgiven of our sins.  But here's the main part, Christ won't save us in our sins but he will save us from our sins.  We must choose now to change and use the atonement and then we'll be able to be forgiven.   
Well fam, I love y'all so much!  Thank you for all the love and support.  Keep up the great work y'all have been doing. 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz
p.s. the Holloways will be there this week...but possibly next.  They're dropping of AJ at BYU before heading up to Salt Lake.  Brother Holloway said he's gonna be seeing my family soon!  So be looking forward to a call from him!   

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hey Family!
I hope y'all are doing well because it sure sounds like ya are.  You're officially a senior now, Emily!!  How does it feel to almost be done with high school...only one short year left.  Boy does time just fly by or what.  Haha and Sarah you locked the keys in the car, classic.  Mom in answer to your question you don't need to buy bug spray, shampoo, or conditioner online.  I got plenty of it right here and I'll be fine.  You can send the powder stuff if you want.  Thank you so much!!!  How was sheparding yesterday Dad?  Seriously I absolutely loved it!  Don't call the doctor, I'm fine.  Tell everyone back home I say hi!
It's been a good week here in Baton Rouge and time just keeps racing on.  Sister LaPorte is flying back to Temple Square this wednesday which means I get a new companion.  Definitely a bittersweet moment but all is well.  I'm gonna miss her so much!!  So please go visit her and Sister Olden on temple square.  There's still plenty of work to do and I'm excited.  We're dropping off Sister LaPorte and Sister Olden tuesday night at presidents home and then Sister Seegrist and I are gonna be companions for the night until we pick up our new companions at the airport wednesday morning.  There's only two week left until transfers and President makes it sound like they're only gonna be with us for the two weeks but we shall see.  And since we already know who the temple square missionaries are I'll either have a companion from Brazil or the Philipines...I'll let y'all know next week! 
Stake Conference was this past weekend and I really liked something our stake president talked on and wanted to share it with y'all.  So here it is  :)
Make Everyday Count:
1. Evaluate your time and what you're doing with it.
2. Prioritize what's most important.
3. Spend time together as a family
4. Work at it.
5. Never give up.
I like it because everyday we have here on earth is very short compared to the whole idea of eternity and we need to be making the most of our time.  Sister LaPorte always says that we need to use our time not make plans to fill our time which is so true.  Time is one of the most precious gifts we've been given and so we we need to sacrifice our time for the Lord.  And yes, families are together forever, but today is part of that forever and we need to spend time with our loved ones. 
I think one of the greatest things I've learned while on my mission is the idea that you're either converted to the church or you're converted to the gospel.  I never really knew what the difference was but here it is.  If you're converted to church you attend church, read scriptures, participate in your calling on sundays, just the basics.  But to be converted to the gospel means that you sacrifice your time outside of church to helping those around you, study scriptures daily, and doing all you can to strengthen members.  I guess it really took me to getting out on a mission to see the real difference.  It's the exact same way with our ward here.  20% of the members do 80% of the work because they're that dedicated.  So a big part in what I do is helping members become truly converted to the gospel so they will give so much to the Lord.  I could keep going on and on about members who are truly converted to the gospel because of all I've seen them do, but the stories would be endless.  So I invite y'all to think about it.  Are you converted to the church or the gospel?  If someone offends you at church would you still come or would you stay away?  Would you give up time of sports and laziness to see struggling members?  Are you willing to sacrifice right now for the Lord?  And if you are just converted to the church, it's not too late to become converted to the gospel!
Another sweet thing I've been able to see is how missions can change your life.  Before my mission I never really thought I'd learn a lot about myself while on my mission, but it's true.  You learn a ton about yourself as well as others.  I think I've told y'all about her before but way back when I first got here Miranda moved here from Denham Springs.  She's the only active member in her family and she's surrounded by hardness and yet here she is deciding to serve a mission.  When we first started visiting with her she didn't want to go on a mission.  Elder Burch always tried to convince the youth that they should go on a mission even though they don't want to.  A couple weeks went by and when we came over she told us that she wants to go on a mission!  In no specific order things have happened that have tried to keep her from going but here she is just an interview away from her mission papers turning in!  We recently found out that her mom has cancer, her dad doesn't approve of her going on a mission, and she has no way to pay for it.  But miraculously, but as always, the Lord provides.  She didn't have insurance to get the medical papers done but she called them up and they said they'd do it.  Plus she was sick and had to see the doctor anyway and they filled out her papers.  Her mom isn't active but she's real excited for her.  And her aunt is offering to help pay for her mission!  They haven't had a car for the past couple months but she's been able to find rides to mission prep and to church.  Seriously the testimony she has is such an example to me and I can't wait for her to get on a mission!! 
I absolutely love all the people here so unbelievably much. 
Something sweet I learned from the Book of Mormon this week was in Alma chapter 8.  Alma was commanded to go to Ammonihah and preach to the people calling them to repentance.  When he got there no one would listen, and like it says in verse 13, "reviled him, and spit upon him, and caused that he should be cast out of their city, he departed thence and took his journey towards the city hich was called Aaron."  He was called to go there but no one would listen so he was depressed and just wanted to leave and turn around.  When he's walking away an angel appears to Alma and says, "Blessed art thou, Alma; therefore, lift up thy head and rejoice, for thou hast great cause to rejoice; for thou has been faithful in keeping the commandments of God from the time which thou receivedst thy first message from him.  Behold I am he that delivered it unto you." (v. 15) So the angel commands Alma that he must turn around and approach the city from a different entrance.  And when he does this Amulek was there and took him in, fed him, and went out teaching with him and they were successful.  The moral of the story is that when things don't turn out the way you want them to be, try approaching things from a different perspective.  At times I feel like nothing we do is helping others and we're forcing them to read the scriptures when they don't want to.  But just like the scriptures say, we must try things from another way. 
Anyways I love y'all so much!!  Be looking forward to something coming in the mail this week...  :)  also the picture is of Brother Maughan our ward mission leader and his wife. 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, June 3, 2013


Hey Family!!!
Sorry I don't have much time to email this week again either.  It's a long story but it's been a crazy p-day from eating at a buffet with some members for three hours, to teaching a lesson in the middle of our p-day, to having two dinner appointments tonight and we have to cut our p-day super short.  I'm writing as fast as I can though because I need to still write President Wall and my district leader. 
The first picture is with Sister Coleman.  I know she looks super pissed but she's the greatest lady ever and one of my all time favorite people we visit.  She's a hard one to understand because of her accent.  :)

There's been some pretty sweet miracles this week though:
numero uno: We were in an area trying to see a potential investigator and decided to stop by some members homes that were nearby.  We usually only stop by the woman's homes because the Elders see the men and we do the woman but we stopped by anyway.  We met Brother Born and he's the sweetest guy ever.  He's paralyzed and no one has visited him from the church for a couple years because I guess he used to be very angry.  But he was really nice and friendly.  Later on in the week he forgot about an appointment he had with us but he called later saying he was in the hospital with kidney stones and we asked him if he would like a blessing and he said yes so we brought the Elders over.  Then on sunday he called and just said thank you repeatedly over and over again because it means so much to him to see that we can searching out for him and willingly love him so much.  Seriously it was a tender moment hearing that phone call. 
numero dos:  Our ward has been slacking on ward missionary correlation (basically missionaries meet with ward missionaries and discuss people to talk about in ward council) but we finally got it started two weeks ago and had another meeting last week with some members from the bishopric and our ward mission leader and it was awesome.  We talked a lot about visiting/home teaching and the importance of it because everyone in our ward needs a friend.  Then on Sunday practically all of the testimonies were on friendship and visiting/home teaching, plus in Relief Society our teacher felt inspired to talk about that and everyone is up and ready to do it!  Super sweet how the Lord has a hand in all that we do. 
numero tres:  Yesterday Sister LaPorte and I did our first sheparding with members from the ward!  The Elders do it once a month and you just split up with members and go visit people for a couple hours so we finally did it yesterday for the first time and I absolutely loved it and learned so much.  I went with Sister Eackels and Sister LaPorte went with Sister Brown and it was awesome because I learned so much about the people we went and visited and was able to help the members feel these missionary moments that we see everyday and often take for granted. 
The second picture is with a couple of the young women.  From left to right goes Weddin, Erica, Anya, Sister LaPorte, me, and Kimberly.  I love them all so much!!

Mom in answer to your questions my ear is fine but my hearing isn't completely back to normal.  I haven't taken the allergy medicine because allergy season is already done and over with.  Do you think the allergy medicine will help with bug bites?  Because I get at least a couple everyday and they swell up fast.  Don't worry about sending any liquids, I'll get them when I can.  And don't worry about going and finding more clothes.  The ones you sent me were all perfect and are doing wonderful jobs!  thank you so much!!  Oh but hey y'all can send me more pictures through emails.  I finally got a library card and I can print up to four pages of colored everyday and twenty pages black and white for free. 
And the last picture is of our current district.  From left to right the Elders go Jessop, Gilbert, Ageda, Foremaster, Franke, and Gates.  And then the Sisters are Olden, me, LaPorte, and Seegrist. District = Family.

Emily that would be sweet if you got a job teaching swimming down by Oly.  It would definitely be a fun summer job and that's what it's all about.  I miss work a lot!  Sarah send me some pictures please...and tell this guy I say hi as well.  I've got a sweet package coming home to y'all soon but it might be a couple weeks...just be patient with me, there's so much to do here! 
Sorry I have to go!  Enjoy the pictures.  :)
Love Always, Sister Schmutz