Monday, November 18, 2013

happy birthday mamacita!

Mom!  It's your birthday this Saturday and you didn't even remind me like you did for Emily's birthday, what were you thinking?  ;)  I guess it was the real test of whether I'd actually remember your birthday or not.  Luckily I was looking at a calendar the other day and it hit me that I need to tell you happy birthday today otherwise it will be too late!  So, my dear mother, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  Thank you for being the wonderful example you are to me and for all the sacrifices you put up with for me personally.  I love you bunches.  :)  I'll try to get a card to arrive exactly on Saturday so be sure to check the mail! 
Sarah, I must say that I love your skirt in the picture you sent!  Haha and your boots...:)  the blog looks sweet so thanks and you're welcome to do anything you want with it.  Holy cow and Lucy is getting so big, she won't even be a puppy by the time I get home.  Where even is the dog shelter up in Rexburg?  So how's school and classes all going?  Before you know it the semester will already be done!  I wrote Andrew a letter the other week and since he's postponing the isys program for a year to do premed then that means he graduates the same year as you, right?  That's so weird to think about!  I have no idea what I want to do as far as a career goes but luckily I still got a little time.  ;) something I've learned on my mission though is I absolutely love old people.  They're hilarious and share the same stories over and over again but they're the sweetest!  So who knows, maybe I'll find something to do with them.  Be sure to tell Nik I say hey to him!  Hey and asked him why he stopped writing to me.  We were sharing some cool mission experiences with eachother and then he just stopped responding...or maybe I forgot to respond.
Dad I will definitely find the time to narrate the photos like Andrew did so y'all can see and know some of the awesome people I've met down here.  Hey and while I'm thinking about it, transfers is on Dec 11 and I know Christmas is coming up so please don't send anything before then and wait until I tell you if I'm being transferred because if I am I won't have enough room to take everything with me that y'all send.  thank you!!
Emily and Andrew, don't stay too busy with school!  I love y'all.  :)
This week has been real good.  We were able to teach the most lessons we've ever taught here in Covington and do tons of service as well so it was really sweet.  It's been a while since I've wrote a couple miracles so here's some for y'all.
miracle numero uno: We helped Sister Tapia practically the majority of the day wednesday set up tons of decorations for the eagle court of honor that evening.  Holy cow let's just say the cultural hall looked amazing!  I should've taken pictures so y'all could see but unfortunately I didn't.  We always get to help Sister Tapia with little things she needs help with and I love the opportunity to serve her because she's so grateful!   
miracle numero dos:  Way back forever ago President Wall really emphasized using pamphlets in every teaching appointment.  Of course we've studied them and found different ways to use them and it's been cool using them, but this week it was a miracle using them.  We wanted to teach Pearl about repentance and let's just say Pearl could talk for hours and hours on end.  She's one of the single sisters we get to visit and I love her so much!!  Haha she always tells the same stories over and over again and has such a negative outlook on life but she's so funny.  We've tried everything to get her to pay attention but nothings seemed to work.  She talks right through the mormon messages, won't pay attention when we just read a scripture, and with scripture stories she keeps on talking.  So this past week we decided to read just the part of repentance from the pamphlet.  She read it and didn't get distracted (well she still did but not as bad), and then we asked her to read it again and strive to repent daily.  When we saw her on Sunday she said she's read it a couple times and loves it!!  It's a miracle I tell ya. 
miracle numero tres:  Yesterday we went up to Folsom because we had a dinner appointment way up there so we decided to see some less actives up there as well.  In the whole time I've been here we've only been up to Bush once, but never to Folsom.  (Those two are the two small towns way out on the edge of our ward boundary) all I can say is the people are so nice up there!  Every single person we met was so friendly and let us come in, it was the absolute best!  It was gorgeous up there too.  If I wanted to live out in the country I'd definitely move there.  The whole town of Folsom only has two stop lights too, so crazy!! 
miracle numero cuatro: Since the Covington Elders are on bikes it's our job to visit the less active members that they can't reach.  So we've been going through all the members with an address in Covington or Abita and visiting them even if they're single guys, because usually we just go for the single ladies.  Well we met this one guy this week and he was super nice.  Said he stopped going to church back in college, his wife isn't a member and they have one little girl and another on the way.  They asked us if we wanted to share a lesson so of course we said yes and pulled out a quick scripture.  (first of all that never happens!  usually people just want us to leave)  And then they asked us when we can come back!  I can see real potential with Jeremy coming back to church and potentially Sarah joining the church as well.  So excited! 
I absolutely love it here in Louisiana and love the people here.  We always joke that all the crazy ones somehow end up in Louisiana, but hey that means we're crazy as well because we're here!  I love seeing how the gospel completely changes people and how the simple steps of showing someone you care about them will change everything.  Of course we have our hard days, but those days are what makes the good days so much better. 
Also here's a challenge for y'all.  In Preach My Gospel it says, "As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase."  I was thinking a lot about that and how it can relate to member missionary work.  The first thing that came to mind was the story of Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah.  Of course we all know their conversion story where they went about persecuting the church and then an angel appeared unto them and told them to stop, they repented, and completely changed.  Of this experience Alma says, "My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity.  I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God.  My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more." (Mosiah 27:29)  he was able to truly understand the atonement because he had to use it.  And then it goes on to say, " Now it came to pass that after the sons of Mosiah had done all these things, they took a small number with them and returned to their father, the king, and desired of him that he would grant unto them that they might, with these whom they had selected, go up to the land of Nephi that they might preach the things which they had heard, and that they might impart the word of God to their brethren, the Lamanites- That perhaps they might bring them to the knowledge of the Lord their God." (Mosiah 28:1-2)  When Alma and the sons of Mosiah understood the atonement better they wanted to share it with everyone and that's exactly what they did!  So I just encourage y'all to study, pray, and apply the atonement to your life so y'all can have this great desire to share it with everyone.   
Thank you for all y'all do!  I look up to each of your examples.  And guess what?!  I love y'all.  :) 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz     

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