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

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