Monday, September 30, 2013

love y'all

Hey Family!
Haha first off, Sarah you've gotta take me on a tour of the i-center when I get back.  It's crazy hearing about all the secret tunnels and things that can happen there.  It's definitely a cool building.  It's funny hearing about all the tunnels because that's all the elders would talk about with Sister Andrade and temple square, wanting to know about the tunnels.  Keep up the good work with school and with your calling.  You're amazing! 
Mom I'm sorry to hear work has been so busy lately.  I'll be sure to keep you in my prayers!  I don't need anymore clothes so please don't buy or send any.  Thank you for thinking of me though!  Haha I remember you telling me the story of your transfers before Dad, quite the story I tell ya!   
In Covington luckily we do have a car haha and yes I am the driver again.  I'm just waiting for the day when I won't have to drive anymore but so far none of my companions have been able to drive so it's always me.  At least it makes getting to know the area a little bit easier.  I practically already know my way around here which is pretty nice.  I guess the only reason I say our area is so big is because we cover four cities close by including Covington, Abita Springs, Mandeville, and Madisonville.  But then there's also these two tiny towns Folsom and Bush way out in the boonies that are in our area.  We haven't been out there yet but they're way out there.  Because we're on the north side of the river it's not humid or hot.  Haha it's actually been down in the low 80's lately and as soon as I walk outside I think I need to grab a jacket.  Here's what goes on in my head,  "Man it's starting to get a little chilly outside, I should grab a jacket or something."  Then I think, "Hold on, it's only in the 80s.  You're gonna freeze in the winter Jenna (they say it gets colder on the north side) get used to it!"  One thing I still can't get over about here though is how dark it gets!  It's getting dark earlier and earlier but seriously once it's dark you can't even see across the street.  Maybe it's because all the trees but who knows, it's crazy.  Also Dad, believe we're two hours east of BR. 
There are tons of families and active members in our ward here.  Basically it feels like a ward from Utah because no one here is actually born and raised in Louisiana.  Covington is basically the rich suburb of New Orleans so everyone moved here to work down there and they just cross the causeway to get to work.  It's a lot different than Baton Rouge because there's tons and tons of young families haha and in BR it was all old people.  We do get to ride our bike more often though which I actually enjoy!  Well let's just say this, I enjoy it when we don't have to ride on busy streets.  We've been short on miles so we've had to ride almost everyday.  Oh my but guess what?  They don't make the new missionaries coming into the field bring bikes!  I guess they're just gonna recycle and use our old bikes to provide them with ones.  I'm gonna send my bike home though at the end.    
I'm super excited for conference this coming weekend.  We got to watch the relief society broadcast on saturday night and it was so good!  Haha President Monson is my favorite.  :)  do y'all have any special plans for conference?  You gonna build a fort Sarah? 
As tradition calls, here's something from the Book of Mormon this week, talking about the tree of life and Lehi's vision, it said, "love of is the most desirable above all things." (1 Nephi 11:22)  Throughout everyones life I believe the one thing everyone constantly desires is love.  The power that love has is incredible and I know I've already written to y'all about love before, but it's because love is the answer to everything!  "I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." (1 Nephi 11:17)  We might not understand everything that Heavenly Father wants us to go through or anything, but love has the power to get us through anything.  When I think of the word love I always think of Sister Eackles.  In BR she was basically the wards mom because she cared for absolutely everyone and always had others on her mind.  Upon meeting her you'd think she's always been this way haha but talking with her she said when she was little she used to be a little devil and hated everyone.  She's been through so much in her life and yet here she is loving everyone.  I asked her what advice she would give to us and she said always stay close to God.  When you stay close to God I know that the love he has will be able to shine through you and you'll be able to express to others the love that He has.  So this week I invite y'all to remind someone you love just how important they are to you.  The little hint of love can and will completely change someones day. 
As always, keep reading your scriptures and becoming who God intends you to be!  Let me know if I can do anything for y'all! 
I love y'all so much!! 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Hey Family!
I didn't tell you where I was going last week because we found out on wednesday.  What happens is everyone that's being transferred meets at the stake center in Baton Rouge.  Everyone sits on the sides of the chapel and when President Wall calls your name and area you meet your new companion in the middle and then sit together.  So my new area is Covington and my new companion is Sister Brady! 

My favorite street in all of Baton Rouge.  But now there's billions of streets like that in Covington. 
To say the least it's definitely nothing like Baton Rouge and I miss it terribly.  There's no more city, ghetto houses, garbage all down the side of the road, black people, ghetto talk, and no more family.  I guess the best way I would describe BR 1st ward is one giant family.  I mean yes, everyone had their own problems and such and no one was perfect but the love you felt there was incredible.  Seriously I would give anything to go back.  I don't know how they're making it by back there either because President put in Elders for our spot so that means there's no sister missionaries in the ward, which is crazy because every single person we see doesn't have a man in their house so the elders can't go into any of them.   
Chandra, Geneva, and Johnathan.  Even though we'd only met them a couple weeks before, I love them so much!  Pray that they'll be getting baptized soon!
The hardest thing about being in Covington is missionary wise it's super slow.  Our area is giant too and the city is tiny.  We're out here in the middle of nowhere pretty much.  In our district there's the Covington Elders and the Mandeville Elders.  It's just a whole new experience because everything is completely different.  I counted just on the ward roster this morning there's at least twenty members that don't want to be contacted anymore.  And I feel like no one even likes the missionaries which is hard!  In Baton Rouge everyone loved the missionaries, even if they didn't want to come back to church we could still go and read the scriptures with them but here no one wants us here I feel.  I guess it will just take some time getting used to. 
Sister Easley, the absolute sweetest lady I've ever met.  I hope to be like her one day.  :)
Nothing much really happened this past week though, just trying to meet all the members in our ward and remember who everyone is.
Amanda, Alexis, Alasia, and Aiden.  My ABSOLUTE favorite family!  We'd visit them every wednesday and it was the highlight of my week.  Alexis is going to the temple for the first time this week and Alasia just told us she's gonna talk to the bishop so she can get baptized soon.  Seriously the sweetest family ever. 
Sarah, holy cow girl you're the Relief Society secretary?  Congratulations, you're gonna do wonderful at it!  Haha you actually have a legit calling in the ward now, that's intense!  I sent the three LSU shirts for you, Whitney, and Dee, haha I thought I wrote it on the letter in the package but I guess not.  Y'all will need to take a picture with them on and send it to me.  Good luck with the upcoming semester of school  It sounds like you're busy but also doing well so far.  Tell everyone that I love em and hope y'all are doing great. 
Miranda, Melissa, and Tasha Lewis.  I love them all so stinkin much!  Miranda's getting her mission call soon! 
Emily I started the Book of Mormon and I'm on 1 Nephi 8 already so if you haven't started yet you better get reading! 
We couldn't say goodbye to Sister Mills because she was in Seattle, so we heart attacked her door.  She's one of my absolute favorites.  :)
Here's something I learned from the Book of Mormon this week:  Nephi, Laman, Lemuel, and Sam were commanded to go get the brass plates from king Laban but no one really understood why.  Laman and Lemuel were complaining, and Nephi prayed to understand, but all they knew was that it's a commandment  and they must do it.  But here's the cool part, Nephi was attempting for the third time to get the plates and he was constrained by the Spirit to kill king Laban.  He didn't want to but remembered this, "Inasmuch as thy seed shall keep my commandments, they shall propser in the land of promise.  Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law.  And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass." (4:14-16)  It's saying that the scriptures (their brass plates) would tell them everything that they needed to do and that's the whole reason they needed to get the plates of brass.  And then in 1 Nephi 5:10-22 it explains the importance of the scriptures.  The scriptures are so extremely important and yet so many people forget to read them.  We must remember that to read the scriptures is a commandment from God! 
The Wleh family is crazy but it's a party at their house everytime we go over.  Imagin having six daughters! 
 I'm gonna send pictures of some of my favorite people so I'll write to y'all more later if I can.  I love y'all!
Kiwanna on the right and her mom Julia on the left.  Kiwanna has a baptismal date set! 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz  

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Hey Family!
First let me tell you about interviews a couple weeks ago.  President and I were talking about the area and the plan was for me and Sister Andrade to stay together until she goes back to temple square in four weeks, then I'd get a new temple square sister for two weeks, and switch at transfers and have one transfer to train the new sister in North Baton Rouge, and then the plan was for me to switch areas.  So basically it was set in stone that I was supposed to stay in North BR for another two transfers. 
But low and behold we got a call from the zone leaders last night and both Sister Andrade and I are being transferred.  Here's what happens last night.  We're at a dinner appointment with the Larsen's, and the zone leaders just called the office elders telling them one of them was being transferred.  Immediately after the zone leaders call us so I answered and they said both of us are being transfered.  I couldn't believe it so I handed the phone over to Sister Andrade and she asked him if it's true, and yes we're both being transfered.  It felt like my heart was just ripped out of my chest and smashed on the ground.  Haha yes I know I'm being dramatic here, but it's true!  It's not that I'm scared for my new area, I'm scared for the people here and don't want to leave them.   
here's a picture to make your day a little bit better.  :)
I don't even know what to think.  I thought for sure I was staying so I wasn't prepared to hear the news last night and I'm not ready to leave.  My heart is so full for the people in North BR and what makes it even worse is we're being double transferred out so there's bound to be tons of people dropped that we need to see on a weekly basis. 
It's so hard leaving the members and investigators!  We finally started having a couple investigators that are really interested and are starting to progress.  And what makes it even worse is yesterday we recommitted Kiwanna to be baptized on November 2 and she put it on her calendar and everything so it's really going to happen, she's counting down the days!  I just pray that the new sisters will be able to build that trust back immediately and be able to help her.  And then we were teaching a family, Chandra, Geneva, and Johnathan.  I told y'all about them earlier and I absolutely love their family!  We were just starting to teach them and they're golden.  Not to mention all the less active members we see on a regular basis.  I'm gonna miss everyone so stinkin much!! 
Chandra, Geneva, and Johnathan were supposed to come to church this past sunday but she texted us saying they couldn't make it because they had to find a new place to live because rent was due on monday and they didn't have enough money.  While on my mission the hardest thing is seeing all these people trying to do the right thing but are struggling so much financially or with other problems.  At times I just want to give them everything, give them the money for rent, and rides to church, and fix all their problems.  It's incredibly hard to see others suffering, and I felt that way hearing about Chandra and her family.  Thinking about it though it made me think how Heavenly Father felt while Christ was suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross.  People always focus on how much Christ suffered, but when you think about it it's hard to even imagine how Heavenly Father felt.  And the thing is he feels that way with everyone.  Heavenly Father has the power to make all our problems right, but he doesn't because he knows it's the way we have to learn and grow.  I'm sure it's real hard for him to put us through trials but he knows it will bless us. 
that's Boudreaux, the wolf!
Mom and Dad thank you so much for sending my ipod this past week! Y'all are the best.  Don't send anything to the address at my apartment anymore until I know the one for my new area, we'll find out tomorrow at transfer meeting.  If you are sending something just send it to the office though. 
Emily thank you so much for the letter you sent this past week!  I don't have time to write back today because we need to go say goodbye to lots of people but I'm gonna start reading the Book of Mormon tomorrow and our goal can be by the end of the school year, or you can change it when you want.  I'm gonna write everything I learn in the Book of Mormon and give it to you when I'm done but feel free to do whatever you want.  I'm real excited to start reading with you! 
Sarah!!  You finally got to see Sister LaPorte!  She's really is the greatest.  Haha what did she tell you about me?  I'd have to say the funniest memory I have with her is when we were cutting vegetables for the Wleh's.  We had to cut onions and our eyes were both watering so bad!  We had just cut jalapenos before though and I touched my eye with the jalepeno juice so it was burning!  Haha and in the meantime they asked us to try this other thing that they cooked so Sister LaPorte shoved it in my mouth because I couldn't open my eyes at all.  Haha we were both crying and laughing.  Finally we left and and went home and there Sister LaPorte touched her eyes with the jalepeno juice and her eyes were burning.  So I told her it was the jalepenos and she was freaking out!  Haha good times.  Good luck with the start of a new semester at school!  Tell Dee and Whitney I say hey.  :) 
Well, my mind is going crazy with things we need to do and people we need to see before tomorrow.  Hope y'all enjoy your tuesday and rest of the week.  I'll write to y'all next week! 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz  

Monday, September 9, 2013

ax and ye shall receive

Hey Family!
I hope y'all aren't getting too sick back home.  It's crazy that y'all say it's getting so hot and humid there because it's not really all the hot here.  It rains pretty much every afternoon though which is awesome!  I love the rain so much!  Haha and I can believe it that Lucy is getting real big.   
This week went by real fast but it was such a good week!  We had interviews with President and I'm pretty sure I know where I'll be serving for the next couple transfers but I'll let y'all know when I know for sure because I don't want to jinx anything, but let's just say I'm super excited!  Seriously time keeps going by so fast it's crazy! 
Alright so here's a sweet miracle from this week for y'all.  Well first let me explain the subject for the email, ax and ye shall receive.  Everyone in Louisiana says ax instead of ask.  And exactly that happened this week.  So last sunday we were fasting for Kiwanna because she had a baptismal date set but she hadn't come to church yet.  When we first met with her she said she'd just ask for work off because they were already overstaffed anyways and she thought it would be easy to get off.  But as soon as she asked her manager told her no.  We didn't know what to do because you can't just tell someone you've barely met that they should quit their job so we were working on building her faith first so she'd have enough faith to  quit her job.  Well we went by on Friday to see her and asked how she's been doing and how works been going.  And guess what she said...she quit her job!  She said she quit because she was sick of her manager, but really it was an answer to our prayers!  I'm so excited for Kiwanna and the things that are instore for her future! 
Something cool I learned in my studies this past week was related to unity.  In ZTM on friday we were talking about unity and something important I learned was that as a companionship you can be united, but you can also become unity in disobedience.  It relates to the people building the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11.  The people were building the tower to find a shortcut to heaven.  And like it says in verse 6, "And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do."  The people were all united in one purpose and one cause, and there were evident blessings from it.  But then in the next verse the Lord goes and confounds their language.  He confounded their language because they were united in disobedience.  They were trying to find shortcuts when they should've been living the right way and not finding shortcuts.  It's the same way with building unity in companionships, we can't find the shortcuts to be obedient, we must do the right thing together. 
I hope y'all have been reading your scriptures lately.  I promise that the blessings that will come from reading daily will be far greater than will come from anything else you could spend your time doing throughout the day. 
Hey and before I forget, Sarah, or Mom, or anyone.  Could you please find my ipod and send it to me this week, also send the charger!  President Wall challenged us to read the Book of Mormon before October 14 because the Book of Mormon play is coming to New Orleans then.  He said we could listen to it too and the office elders said they could put it on our ipods so we can listen to it in the car.  Thank you so much!! 
Hmm there's not much else to tell y'all but know that I love you!!  Send me any questions you want next week!  Hey and transfers is next week so I'll write y'all on tuesday.   
Love Always, Sister Schmutz


Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Hey Family!
Sorry we didn't get to email yesterday because the library was closed.  It feels like I haven't written to y'all in forever! 
Holy cow and I have a crazy story to tell you!!  Saturday we were visiting a referral and Brother Chou from our ward kept calling us over and over again.  So while Shandra was busy for a sec we went outside and decided to call him back because we figured it must be important.  So I get on the phone and he says, "Sister Schmutz, I have someone I want you to talk to."  And here's the crazy part, it was McKenzie Cooper!!  I guess one of the Chou's kids live in Oklahoma in the ward she's serving in and they were there visiting for the weekend.  We only talked for a real short amount of time but she sounds like she's doing great!  I'll have to find out more from the Chou's when they're back in BR. 
This past week was an awesome week.  Since it was the end of the month we had extra miles and part of our ward area crosses the Mississippi but no missionaries ever go over there because we don't have enough miles.  I think it was about two years ago when elders were assigned there but there was no progress so they took them out.  And currently there's only two active members over there, I don't blame them though because it takes them an hour to get to church.  So we decided to cross the river on Friday!  It was real pretty over there and we tried contacting a referral but she wasn't home and hasn't answered her phone.  Other than that we tried stopping by a couple less active members, we saw the Dedon's (active members), and then tried some tracting.  Let's just say all the people that live out in the middle of nowhere live there for a reason, because they don't want to be contacted.  But overall I think it was a great experience.  New Roads, the area up by False River was beautiful.  I'll send some pictures home to y'all next week.  Plus we got a brand new car this week so it was fun driving way over there in it. 
Another highlight from the week was when we got to watch Mulan for our monthly ward movie night.  Usually we have to watch church sonsored movies because the missionaries are in charge of movie night but President gave us permission to watch Mulan and it was great. 
A sweet miracle from this week was a referral we received from  It's kind of a confusing story but I'll try to explain it clearly to y'all.  So the referral was from her friend that lived in South Carolina and it said that she was interested in learning more and had two children.  So we try stopping by the address given and the guy there said that Geneva didn't live there anymore, she lived with her mom.  We were confused so we asked how old she was and he said 13, but the referral said that she had two children.  So we asked for her address here but he didn't know it but he gave us her phone number.  The phone number was the same as the one received but the one we had had a different area code and when we called it didn't work.  We were just about to stop by again to ask him for another phone number when I thought maybe we should try the local area code.  We asked for Geneva Johnathan because that's what her friend said her name was but turns out those are her two childrens names.  Haha so Shandra invited us over and she fed us.  Turns out they went to church in South Carolina with her friend and loved it there and really felt the spirit.  And she's been trying to find that same peace again.  I'm so excited to start knowing them better and bringing the peace and spirit back to them! 
us and prairieville down in NOLA.  :)
Something I learned in my scripture study this week was about faith.  Every month we strive to develop a christlike attribute and this last months was faith so I was already studying it a lot getting lots of conference talks to read.  And in Moroni 7 it talks a lot about faith, hope, and charity with how they're related.  In verse 40 it says, "And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope.  How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?"  In order to have faith we have to first have a belief.  And then we exercise that belief until we do have faith.  The definition of faith is unquestioning belief.  And the key to changing belief into faith is hope.  Hope is the key factor that changes our belief to unquestioning belief because we have enough faith. 
Sorry I have to hurry and email President before an appointment we have to be at soon.  I love y'all and hope you have a wonderful week! 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz