Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hey Family!!

New Orleans was great!  Way back when, President told Sister Andrade that she needs to go see New Orleans so we decided to ask the office elders to go today and they said yes so we ended up going with our district which includes the office elders and north elders and then we also invited prairieville and tiger bend so it was just our old district that came along.  As always a great time with fellow missionaries.  :)  sorry we're off to a dinner appointment soon so I'll try writing as fast as I can.  

This week we did tons of service.  Let's just say I've never sweated so much before in my life.  For specialized training we had an hour of instruction and then President wanted us out and doing something so we had a zone service project all day for two days.  Hot and humid weather equals a lot of sweat.  And then we were helping lots of people move all week.  Man I love serving though.  :)

Oh hey and there's a new video for the temple and it's awesome!  If y'all haven't seen it yet you should go soon...it's so good.  

Other than that this week was just a weird one because I hardly saw anyone from the ward.  We went on exchanges and I was down in second ward for wednesday.  Then thursday and friday we were doing service all day and saturday we were helping people move all day.  So we hardly got to see anyone.  All I can say is I love our area and the people here.  

I hope y'all have a wonderful week.  I love y'all!

Love Always, Sister Schmutz 

Monday, August 19, 2013


Hey Family!! 
Thank you for sending the package.  Y'all are the best!  Mom be sure to take the money out of my account to pay you back for the scriptures.  I wrapped them this morning and we'll give them to Alexis on Wednesday when we see her.  :)  Holy cow, school starts this week for you Emily!  It's crazy how fast time keeps flying by.  August is almost over and before we know it the year will already be close to done.  Thank you for the bracelet from Africa, Andrew!  Dad sent me a picture of the stuff you brought home and it all looks pretty sweet.  When you find some time you'll need to send a couple pictures.  Dang Sarah you'll need to get a job with red hanger when you move back in the winter.  Even better go to prestige and talk with Sikander or Ryan.  It sounds like things have been going awesome at home.  Go find Sister LaPorte!  I told her y'all are coming and she'll be looking for ya.  Hey and before I forget I have a sweet miracle to tell y'all. 
Alright so last week I told you about Kiwanna, right.  Okay so on Wednesday we went over to see her.  I was talking with Sister Andrade before and mentioned how in the past my companions always commited everyone to be baptized and I never had...so of course she said that today was my day!  After six months you'd think it's about time.  Anyways we get there and talk about the priesthood and authority along with following the example of Jesus Christ.  I was nervous to commit her but finally just said it haha and I caught her off guard.  Basically this is how it went.  "Kiwanna will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the proper authority?"  "What did you just say?"  "Umm..will you be baptized by someone holding the proper authority?"  "If that's a good thing and what I'm supposed to do then sure!"  Long story short we talked about Joseph Smith afterwards and how he saw the Father and His son.  We asked if she believed that someone could see Him and she said she didn't believe it could happen today.  I think we overwhelmed her a ton but nonetheless we committed her to pray to know if Joseph Smith really did see God and Jesus Christ.  Then Sunday rolled around and she said she was coming to church but she never showed up.  So we decided to just stop by Sunday evening and see what was up.  Long story short she forgot to ask work off so she had to work and then she forgot to tell us she couldn't come.  So we were all just sittin there talking about who knows what when she says, "You know how y'all asked me to pray about Joseph Smith?  Well I have something to tell y'all but I don't think anyone but y'all will believe me."  Turns out she prayed and this is what she said, "Icould almost hear the answer was yes but Ifelt it in her heart that it was true!"  Holy cow we didn't even know how to respond to her!!  Oh yeah and here it gets even better.  While we're sitting there, in walks some random people and low and behold one of them was at church today!  Turns out her cousin is actually a member and she didn't even know it!  Her cousin actually lives up in Baker but she attends our ward alot because she's helping her dad get to church so they can both go to the temple.  Kiwanna's cousin sat in on the lesson and shared her testimony which was so awesome!  Such a crazy story but so amazing!! 
Another little miracle was on friday we didn't know who to go see.  All of our plans had fallen through and we were just stuck.  While driving I thought that we should stop by Sister Holland's home because she lived nearby and she was home!  We found out she needed help moving all her stuff into storage so then we were able to go help her the next day.  It's inrecible how the Lord always places you in the spot where you're needed.  Plus when we were there she basically taught us!  She shared about her conversion story and how she shared the Book of Mormon with a friend.  She's incredible! 
Seriously mission life is the absolute greatest!  I love all the people in Louisiana, especially those in North Baton Rouge. 
Something I learned in my studies this week was in the book of Job.  In just the first chapter terrible things had happened to him repeatedly and all so fast.  These terrible things included, "slain the servants, burned up the sheep and the servants, fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword, thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine and the four corners of the house full upon the young men, and they were dead."  But through this, "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged(accused) God follishly" (v.22).  He didn't get mad at God for everything that had happened because he understand that God has a plan for everyone and He understands more than we can comprehend.  It's amazing because often times in these circumstances we tend to blame God and continue to ask him why?  But when we begin to understand his ways it makes it just a little easier. 
I hope y'all have a wonderful week!  I love y'all so much.  :)
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, August 12, 2013

Ain't God Good

Hey Family!!
First things first y'all need to go find Sister LaPorte!  She goes home in November so I know it seems like y'all still have a lot of time to go find her but before you know it she'll be back home.  And I already told her that everyone is home for summer and you'll be heading down there soon.  So go find her!  In answer to your question Sarah, you could take starbursts.  :)
This new transfer is so different but it's gonna be a good one.  They split our district so now it's only us, the office elders, and the north elders in our district.  I miss having prarieville and tiger bend but it's also nice because it's just our ward in our district which means we'll be more unified.  Plus the north elders were double transfered in so they don't know anyone so there's a lot of work to be done!  It was kinda a slow wek to start off with but nonetheless there were still plenty of miracles.   
Here's just a couple miracles: 
numero uno: Kiwanna is a new investigator of ours that we met a couple months ago, she's actually the niece of another investigator we've been teaching and we finally called her up and visited her this past week.  She's just searching for peace and comfort and earnestly wants to understand Christ more and come to church!  She couldn't make it to church yesterday because she had to work but she said she's gonna ask for church off.  This was her text to us on saturday,  "They made the schedule before I got a chance so I won't be able to make it but I will ask them to give me sundays off sense I will be joining your church so I can't make it but next sunday will be promised."  We taught the plan of salvation when she was at her aunt's a couple months ago but other than that we only talked about Christ when we came to visit her.  But her family is all set on coming to church and I think she's amazing!  It will be awesome to see her help out her whole family and also help herself. 
numero dos:  We called up a less active member, Sister Queen to see if we could come see her and she said yes!  On thursday we planned on talking about the Book of Mormon and she said she wanted to start reading it over again and so we get to go read with her every week now!  Plus she doesn't usually come to church because it's hard to get a ride but she ended up coming yesterday and staying for all three hours. :)
numero tres:  On friday we had plans to go see Sister Williams but when we got there her daughter said she wasn't home.  We randomly picked someone that lived nearby to go visit and it turns out that Tommy, the guy we randomly stopped by to see, is actually Sister Coleman's nephew!  He said he would love for us to come over more often and bring the spirit back into his home.  We called up Sister Coleman and she was super surprised we just found her nephew so now the goal is to get him back to church and then he can give Sister Coleman rides to church as well!  Unfortunately neither of them came yesterday but it's always a work in progress. 
Emily congratulations on making captain this year!!  Remember to always be a good influence on those around you.  You're gonna be great at it and I'm so proud of you!  Let's just say I'm glad to call you my sister.  :) 
When Andrew gets home definitely have him write me about his experiences in Africa.  I want to hear about everything with pictures included!! 
Thanks for writing to me Sarah!  The missionary work in Baton Rouge is going well.  Always so much to do and so many people to see...I absolutely love it!  Surprisingly it's not that hot and humid out lately.  At least for me it's nothing compared to the humidity we felt on the cruise but maybe I'm just more use to it.  I loved all the pictures you sent of Lucy!  Haha man she looks like a little trouble maker but also a sweetheart.  So have you been working at Kohl's during your seven week break?  I must admit that I miss work a lot and I'm excited to go back.  Geez it's so crazy that you're gonna be starting your third year of school soon!  Sister Calderwood, LaPorte, and Andrade all went to BYU- Idaho which I think is so crazy.  Haha we were at Miranda and Tasha's the other day and we were talking about how crazy it would be if the four of us were roommates there.  Good luck thinking about which major to change to!  Hey and you should wait to go with me to India or Thailand next year.  :)     
Mom and Dad thank you for all you do!  I'm printing out your talk so I can read it later but it sounds great so far.  I gave a talk in sacrament meeting way back when I first got here but other than that I haven't talked since.  Thank you for figuring out all the scripture things mom!  Dad, Barney Cutchen is in our ward but he never attends because he used to work with the bishop in second work.  We still try to see him every other week or so.   
Let's see...something I learned from the Book of Mormon this week was in 3 Nephi 5:2-3 which says, "And they knew that it must be expedient that Christ had come, because of the many signs which had been given, according to the words of the prophets; and because of the things which had come to pass already they knew that it must needs be that all things should come to pass according to that which had been spoken.  Therefore they did forsake all their sins, and their abominations, and their whoredoms, and did serve God with all diligence day and night."  The part I really like is right before they were talking about the prophets and how they were testifying of Christ and how the signs came which meant Christ had come.  And because Christ had come they decided to forsake, or abandon all their sins and everything they were doing wrong and full heartedly serve God will all diligence everyday.  Christ is the ultimate movitator for everything.  They were willing to give up their sins, which is often times the hardest things to give up, in order to serve God. 
I hope y'all have a wonderful week and know that I love you!!
Love Always,  Sister Schmutz   

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Transfer Number 5

Hey Family!
It looks like y'all are doing well back home.  Having fun with Lucy all the time...she looks like quite the little sassy puppy!  So the big news for transfer number 5 is that Sister Andrade and I are both staying in Baton Rouge!  I thought for sure one of us was going to be leaving but we're still here.  I'm super happy and ready to make the most of the coming transfer.  We've already set some goals and things to accomplish and it's gonna be great!  We're both in our comfort zones here and ready to work hard.  Our district is staying all the same except the zone leaders are switching to a new area so that means we get two new elders in our ward in place of the zone leaders, plus they're gonna be on bikes!  I don't know how they're gonna survive in our giant area on bikes but I'm sure they'll make it work somehow.  And then we get one new office elder.  I think it's gonna be a terrific transfer.  :)  I'll let y'all know who they are next week!  I'm so happy to be staying in BR 1st ward for at least another transfer because it's just home for me.  I love all the people and all the craziness that goes on in our ward because it makes us who we are. 
This past week has been a pretty sweet week!  I wanted to share just a couple miracles with y'all before I forget:
numero uno:  On the last day of July we had a lot more miles than usual to drive so we decided to go visit some members that live way out in the boonies that we usually never get the chance to visit since miles are limited.  After repeated appointments fell through it just came to my mind to go see this active family, the Palubinskas because I knew they lived up in the general area.  So we found her house and stopped by and she let us in.  Only to find out that she's been having a terrible week/day/month and her husband has been out of town for the past several months so it's just her and her daughter there and she just needed some peace and comfort.  I'm not sure if anything we said really helped her but she said we were an answer to prayers!  It was awesome to see how the spirit can work in bringing us to exactly who needs us. 
numero dos:  Last week we started reading 1 Nephi 2 with Sister Mills in order for her to start reading her scriptures again and we commited her to keep reading.  Previously in the past she said she would read but she never did so this week we came over prepared to read 1 Nephi 3 with her.  But low and behold we showed up to find out she read all the way to 1 Nephi 22!  She said she's been staying up late when it's quite and peaceful so she can read the scriptures and she's felt the comfort that comes from it.  Seriously the Book of Mormon is absolutely amazing!! 
numero tres: The spanish sisters put on a musical fireside sunday evening for everyone to invite ward members, investigators, and anyone.  And guess who came?!  One of our investigators, Nicollette came!  She said she really like it.  Plus it's been super hard getting in contact with her because we don't have her address and her cell phone is broken.  But she's awesome!!  I think I mentioned her to y'all before when I was talking about shepharding with Sister Lewis because they work together and that's how we got to meet her.  And then yesterday we got to clean up Sister Lewis' yard with the rest of the district just because everything was al overgrown and such.  We're hoping to be able to help her clean the inside of her house with her so we can bring Nicollette over to her place soon and have lessons there. 
Haha and yes Mom, I did get y'alls email last week.  I got it right before we were leaving though so I had already written and sent my email to you.  Thank you for helping me out with everything.  I hope work is going well for you and primary is going okay as well.  Good luck with trying to train Lucy in the upcoming weeks!  You'll have to let me know if anything funny happens with her.  :)
Good luck with soccer tryouts today Emily!  You're gonna do great.  Sarah write me back!!  Tell Andrew that he better send me some pictures from all his experiences in Africa! 
Something I liked from the Book of Mormon this week was in Jacob 2:8 "And it supposeth me that they have come up hither to hear the pleasing word of God, yea, the word which healeth the wounded soul."  When you think about it, it's really unique and inspiring that the word of God (scriptures) can heal the wounded soul.  A soul is also refered to as our own spirit and when we die our spirit is what we take with us.  Everyones soul/spirit is unique to them because it contains all the memories and personalities that only they can hold.  So it's amazing that no matter who goes through what, the word of God can heal you.  In relating to that is the talk  Sugar Beets and the Worth of A Soul by President Monson.  I found this talk earlier this week and absolutely love it.  It's so inspiring to know how much every single soul is worth to God.  And that's where it all comes down to, saving the souls that are lost or fallen away.  In ward council earlier this week we've been talking about how we can improve our Work of Salvation in the ward and Elder Jessop mentioned what Elder Bednar said back when he came to visit last year.  Elder Bednar said something along these lines that he wished someone would pray in sacrament meeting that they'd be able to help those lost souls and then in priesthood/relief society everyone left and found someone that wasn't at church but needed to be and it was their responsibility in helpin them come back next week.  It would be my dream to have that happen to our ward because there are so many people that could and need to do that.  If we all just find one person and help that one then eventually they'll be able to help another one and the list keeps going on and on.  The work of the Lord is hastening and we have to step up and be ready for when he comes again. 
I hope y'all have a wonderful week!  Know that you're always in my prayers and that I love y'all dearly.  Let me know if you have any questions I can answer next week! 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz