Monday, October 21, 2013

weakness into strength

Hey Family!
How are y'all doing?  I heard that it's snowed a couple times back in's getting cold here as well!  Don't worry about the email not coming through last week, I was able to receive it saturday in the mail.  Thank you for sending it!  I hope y'all are feeling better and having a wonderful week.
Sarah, I loved the pictures Dee took of you!  Covington is probably thirty minutes away from New Orleans I'd guess.  You just have to cross the causeway which is the bridge that connects the north shore of lake ponchrtrain to the south shore, and I hear that it's twenty five miles long.  Look up pictures of the causeway, it's so crazy to drive across because at some point all you can see is water around you!  On the northshore our ward covers lots of different cities including Covington, Mandeville, Madisonville, Abita Springs, Folsom, and Bush.  Hey and Sister Andrade is back at temple square now so y'all need to go find her before she goes home the end of November!           
In answer to your questions Mom, buying food isn't too tight if we use our money wisely.  I'm sure it depends on your mission but here we get I think $157 a month which is a ton compared to what I used regularly back in school.  I'm not really sure why the member here gives all the missionaries money every month, but hey I'm not gonna complain!  The only thing I wish is to give it to someone in need.  I knew so many people back in Baton Rouge that need it so bad, but the gift card is to a local grocery store that isn't back there otherwise I would totally send it to them. 
I knew you'd be asking soon what y'all could send so I came up with a couple things...but these are for a Christmas package or something and these are just the essentials (so don't send them until you're sending something for Christmas or something :), I don't need anything else: a member card for my camera (I lost my second one (don't worry it was blank) but the first is nearly full), a couple pairs of the carinessa SB bottoms, and these shoes I found at Famous Footwear that are kinda like canvas and the brand is Rocketdog color is gray they're the same as in some of the pictures I sent y'all (yes I'm weird and wear the same pair of shoes everyday and I'm asking for another pair just like them) but hey don't worry about sending much else that's about all!
And my adivce to help the missionaries serving in the home ward would be to just invite them over to get to know them and have them share a messages with y'all.  One of the hardest things about being in Covington is there's so many active members that we hardly know any of them.  And I'm sure serving in Utah is way different, but working with members is always the hardest.  A year or two ago they took Sisters out of Covington because I guess they were becoming big burdens to the ward, and it's super hard gaining the members trust back.  Whenever we stop by no one ever seems happy that we're there.  So get to know the missionaries, pray for them by name, and pray for opportunities you have to share the gospel with those around you!  And be kind to them...teaching members is always the hardest and most intimidating so talk a lot with them and become their friends! 
It's been a good week for us here, to say the least.  We've been going through the roster meeting more and more members and visiting more people.  Seriously, I'm not gonna lie though the hardest thing about being in Covington is teaching when there's a man there.  Haha the whole time I was in Baton Rouge pretty much the only contact we had with men were at church and meetings, plus the elders don't count because they're basically little kids at heart.  It's intimidating sharing a message with a family because most of the men here served missions and know everything we're doing wrong.  Let's just say this, I love all the single ladies we get to visit.  :) just like in Baton Rouge we have a couple that we get to visit on a weekly basis and I love it because we get to strengthen their testimonies, give them someone to talk to, and learn to discern what we can share with them that will best help. 
The miracle of the week was a referral we received from a member.  We actually received it before I got here but we were finally able to contact Celina this past week.  Well, here's the original story.  We called her and asked if we could come by two weeks ago she said yes at so and so time.  We called the day before to make sure it was still good and she said yes.  So we show up and obviously someone's home because you can hear them but they won't answer the door and didn't answer our phone call.  Man I was thinking we got stood up, big time.  About a week later we were in the area so we decided to just stop by.  She let us come in and kinda explained why she didn't answer the door last time.  She explained a little of her situation and holy cow she's been going through a lot, I felt weighed down just hearing about all her burdens.  I guess she was meeting with the missionaries in New Orleans a little bit ago and was attending church there and really liked it but never was baptized or anything.  She's a single mom and wants to find a church to take her daughter to so she's been going to all these random ones here and knows for sure she doesn't want to go to a couple.  So our goal is to teach her everything again and bring the spirit back.  I asked her what she liked about going to church down in New Orleans and she said it just felt good.  She felt the spirit and so now we just gotta help her understand!  I'm so excited to get to know her better and see how the gospel can change her life! 
Here's some scripture for y'all to ponder about. 
Jacob 4:7 "Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things." 
Ether 12:27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
The Lord gives us weaknesses so that we can become humble.  When we become humble we remember that without the Lord nothing would be possible.  And therefore when we're humbled, the Lord can build us back up the way he wants us to be.  He has the eternal perspective of everything and ultimately knows what's best for us.  Our weaknesses can be turned into strengths if we rely on the Lord.     
Well, transfers is next week so I'll write to y'all on tuesday.  Thank you for all y'all do for me.  I love you!!
Love Always, Sister Schmutz  

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