Monday, July 15, 2013

Hey Family!
That's a crazy story of how y'all got to meet Sister Andrade's brother!  It's definitely a small world to say the least!  That's sweet that ya got to meet him.  Now that Sarah's gonna be home next week y'all need to go find Sister LaPorte at temple square.  If she has time have her take you on a tour of God's plan.  You'll love her!! 
I also got the package on Saturday..thank you for sending back the flashdrives!  I plan on sending another package in a couple weeks cause I got some sweet stuff for y'all and I need to send home my backpack and some clothes I can't wear.  I'm sure you guys already heard but we can't wear backpacks anymore!  Haha I was so mad when I found out but I got a sweet bag from target which is fine to be using but it's super heavy with scriptures in it.  So I'll be sending my original backpack home soon so you guys can make good use of it.  Do you want me to send anything specific back home?  Mom I also traded the shoes last week maybe I'll try sending a picture next week if I remember.  They're red with flowers on them.  :)
Holy cow Andrew I'm jealous that you're going to Africa next month!!!  When I get back home you're gonna have to take me down there and show me around.  I'm super excited for you!! Be sure to take lots of pictures and send some to me when you're back home.  How long will you be over there for anyways?
Sarah you are amazing!!  Thank you so much for the quotes and pictures you were able to send.  I know you're super busy with finals and such but it means so much!  In our apartment this past week we printed out tons of pictures of temples and other quotes Sister Andrade already had and we're making a collage on one of our walls.  It's gonna be awesome.  We're calling it our wall of inspiration.  :) I'll send you a picture soon.  If you have time in this coming week could you please send me some workout exercises from pinterest?  Also in answer to your question, it depends on your mission but we aren't allowed to chat online or anything.  Throughout the week we have media time where we can come to the library in the mornings and watch videos and read stuff on the church websites but other than that we can't go anywhere online.  Keep up the sweet henna parties and work hard this coming week with finals!  Haha and I'm working on finding some sweet stuff for you Whitney, and Dee at some thrift stores.  I just need to get a couple more things. 
Emily!  How was traveling all over this summer been?  I think Havasupai or however you spell it sounds like such an awesome place!  Did you get to take any pictures while you were there?  Also august is coming up soon.  Mom said you might not be doing soccer this year...have you decided yet?  Haha you should just keep the normal family tradition.  ;)  have I mentioned that all my companions call me Schmutzy? always makes me think of you.  :)  I miss you guys!  Have y'all picked out a puppy yet?
Mom and Dad!  I have a challenge for y'all either before the end of summer or before I get home.  Go to all the temples in Utah!  It's been one of my goals to travel to as many temples as I can so that'd be sweet if y'all could do that.  Plus there's tons of blessings that come from going to the temple anyways!  I hope y'all are doing well and enjoying your summer.  Thank you for always writing to me!! 
Let's see, this week went by surprisingly super fast!  Before we know it July will already be over which is beyond crazy.  It's been raining here almost everyday which I absolutely love!  Yesterday it was sunny and bright out and then all of a sudden it just started pouring.  There was water everywhere and giant puddles every step of the way!  There were leaves and branches everywhere and the rain was coming in all directions.  It was completely crazy but awesome!  It only lasted about ten minutes and then it was fine the rest of the day.  Don't ya just love the rain though. 
There haven't been too many crazy miracles this week but there's always little ones.  Sister Evans was in the hospital earlier during the week because she had a stroke so we decided to clean up her yard while she was gone.  She just had lots of leaves and garbage everywhere and we still aren't even close to finishing because we had to go but it was fun.  Haha I love doing anything that will let me get out of wearing a skirt.  Visiting her in the hospital was super sweet as well.  Sister Evans is such a sweet lady so willing to give to everyone and is super friendly.  She has five daughters that are all hilarious as well which was so great! 
Another favorite of mine is Sister Easley.  She lives right next to the church and is the sweetest 93 year old lady.  Haha whenever we leave her house we always wonder what kind of old lady we'll be like.  Her daughter lives with her and they're complete opposites which is so funny.  She's always feeding us candy and giving us food and just loves for us to come visit.  A couple weeks ago we went over and cleaned for them because neither one of them can really clean since they both can hardly walk.  It was awesome to see how appreciative they were of us.  And then this past week we went over and were gonna pull some weeds for them but they wouldn't let us because it was too hot out.  So instead they had us move a bookshelf into another room and they were so grateful!  I love being able to do the simple acts of service that others often can't do. 

Man I just love the people here and how open they are.  Not to mention everyone has been through so much but they're so loving and willing to give to others.  It's amazing.  :)
A person I've come to love in the Book of Mormon is Alma the younger.  I love that he completely changed his life around and after he did so he never went back to his old ways and habbits.  People are less active because of 1. the environment they're in and 2. they aren't reading from the Book of Mormon.  Alma was the perfect example of this because he changed the people around him and he taught them the gospel.  All the less active members we come in contact with are surrounded by family members that are doing drugs, making bad decisions, and just plain lazy.  The thing that still completely shocks me about North Baton Rouge is how all the guys are so lazy.  For the most part, at least in the more ghetto areas, the women are the ones caring for all the children and working to make money.  Don't ask me what the guys do all day, they're just lazy bums.  But just like Alma, the people here have humbled themselves and are trying to make a difference.  It's our role as missionaries to help the less actives by changing their environment, or in other words teaching their friends.  I also love Alma because when he was talking to his sons he taught them what they needed to hear.  In other words, he taught people not lessons.  In Chapter 38 he's talking to Shiblon and he knows he's been through hard times so he testifies to him that all will be okay and like it says, "I say unto you, my son, that I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy fiathfulness and they diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering amont the people of the Zoramites."(v.3) And then in Chapter 39 he's talking to Corianton and of course he's a different person so he's going through different things so he talks about what he needs, "And now, my son, I have somewhat more to say unto thee than what I said unto thy brother; for behold, have y not observed the steadiness of thy brother, his faithfulness, and his diligence in keeping the commandments of God? Behold, has he not set a good example for thee?"(v.1) Alma taught his sons according to their needs.  And then the last greatest thing I love about Alma is that he always shares his testimony with others.  With all of his sons he told them how he came to know of the truth, and nothing is more powerful than a personal testimony. 
I hope y'all are reading the scriptures daily.  The stories that are included are absolutely amazing and so true!  I promise that by reading just a little everyday you'll be able to find more peace and joy in your daily life and be able to withstand temptation easier. 
I love y'all!! 
Sister Schmutz

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