Monday, December 2, 2013

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Hey Family!
Looks like y'all had quite the good time down in California for Thanksgiving!  Dinner on the beach, lots of soccer games, and exotic birds at your hotel...doesn't seem like it could get much better than that!  Aw man thanksgiving is just the best, I love this time of the year.  For thanksgiving dinner it was all six of the missionaries and then six total Conlin's at their house because a couple of their kids were away at school and what not.  The food was super good too!  The only new thing was fried turkey and it was delicious!  When you fry a turkey it makes it so it's not dry so it was just real good.
Holy cow this week has been full of miracles (little ones and real big ones), truly amazing!  So here's a couple of them for y'all:
#1  Monday: We went to the thrift store and I found this awesome skirt.  Navy blue with white polkadots plus it was only 3 dollars.  It was a little too big but nothing a safety pin can't fix.  Doesn't get much better than that!  Haha I might have worn it almost every day this week...  
#2 Tuesday: We were seeing some people down in Mandeville and we had this less active member on our list to try to see.  We've been trying to meet her for weeks and she never is home so we had no idea if she actually even lived there or what.  So we just stopped by kinda just expecting Mary not to answer because she never has before.  But low and behold she was home and even let us come in!  We got to know her and discovered she's been having a hard time lately because a couple of her relatives passed away last month and then her husband had a stroke and he isn't able to talk right now.  We didn't go into much detail because you could tell she didn't want to talk about it and she was crying a little bit.  I didn't know what to share with her because I wanted to bring comfort so bad, but then Sister Brady just started sharing the thanksgiving thought we had planned for her.  It was amazing because she said it was exactly what she needed to hear!  And then she told us how her friend invited her over tonight but she just felt like she needed to stay home so she did.  And then we came by and shared a message that was exactly what she needed.  Holy cow is all I have to was a miracle!  We have plans to see her again later this week and I'm so excited!!
#3 Wednesday: We always see one of the single sisters in our ward so this past week we stopped by like usual and all her family was home.  Pearl's daughter Vicki was home and was just sitting there while we were talking to Pearl.  (her daughter is a member but less active..she hasn't seemed too interested in the past seeing her) so it was kinda awkward because she was just doing stuff on her phone while we were talking to Pearl and we didn't know what to do so we started sharing the lesson we had planned.  I didn't even think Vicki was listening but after I said something she turned and actually talked about the gospel and was involved in the lesson!  We were able to talk with her more and actually relate to her which was so cool.  I'm hoping she'll be back next time we see her so we can start getting her more involved!
#4 Thursday: A couple weeks ago we were trying to visit some less active members that we didn't know and see how interested they are and meet them.  So there was this one sister that Sister Brady said they'd been trying to see forever but no one ever answered.  So we stopped by and her husband Dale answered..and let me just say, he's the sweetest guy I've ever met.  He told us that his wife died about seven years ago in a car accident.  And of course me being me, I didn't say anything about the plan of salvation or what not and we apologized for his loss then left.  For the next week and a half he'd been on my mind constantly.  I knew we needed to go back and somehow share the gospel with him but I just didn't know what to do.  He lives out in the middle of nowhere just by himself and he has no family children, nothing (he's probably in his 50s or 60s).  So I was thinking and President Wall asked us to be ODD missionaries, meaning observe, discern, do.  We had interviews on Wednesday and he said I've got the observe and discern part down I've just gotta do it.  So I just decided ya know what, this could be super awkward but we're gonna make him cookies and bring them to him on thanksgiving to just let him know we've been thinking about him and maybe somehow talk about the gospel.  So we made peanut butter cookies because it was the only ingredients we had and then we drove all the way out there.  He was home and super surprised to see us and it was kinda awkward.  It was cold and he invited us in but there wasn't a woman in the home so we couldn't go in.  We didn't really know what to say and I have this bad habbit of asking people how they are a billion times when I don't know what to say.  So we talked with him for a second and I asked him again and he mentioned to us how he thinks he has cancer again.  He had cancer a long time ago that prevented them from having children and then he had melanoma cancer last year and he believes he has it again.  Oh my goodness, I can't even tell you how bad I wanted to just forget all the rules and go into his home and just talk with him.  I feel like meeting him is the reason I've been called to serve in Covington.  I'm learning to rely on the spirit more and more because I seriously love Dale and want to help him, but I have no idea which direction to take or what to do.  We're planning on going back out with the Elders this week and then hopefully soon we'll bring a sister with us as well.  He is the absolute sweetest guy ever!  So please keep him in your prayers.  :)
There's a lot more miracles from every single day but those were definitely the highlights from the week. 
Mom thank you so much for the're the best!  Seriously I can't believe how fast this transfer has flown by.  It's already transfers again next week!  I asked President on Wednesday what he thinks is gonna happen and he said I'm probably staying in Covington...but that's always bound to change.  I'll be letting y'all know next week though for sure. 
 Sarah..goodness Nik sent me a package the last day he was on his mission!  Man, and I thought he was slacking off at writing back.  He's a good guy.  :)  he sent a Duck Dynasty shirt and said to send you a picture and I was going to but then discovered my camera broke.  Don't worry I'm gonna go buy one at Target today.  And then I'll be sending you a picture.  It was funny because I read his letter and didn't even look at the shirt until the very end.  In his letter he said something along the lines of "your family loves you, I love ya, and my family loves you.  family first."  It's hit me lately how important family truly is and how family should always be first.  And then I opened the shirt and it said family first on it.  Be sure to tell him thank you for reminding me how much my family means to me.  :)  hmmm and for spring semester I'd move over to the new complex...or the willows! 
Well, here's a question for y'all...what do you want for Christmas?  :)  All I can think to ask for is a collage of pictures from the last year!
I love y'all so much!  Each and every one of you.  That means you Mom, Dad, Andrew, Sarah, and Emily!  Also Lucy, Tye, and Moema.  :)
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

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