Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I'll be seeing y'all soon

Hey Family!

Aw man Emily, you get to move out this week.  So exciting!  You should've just waited till I got back so we could all move you in together.  You're gonna love college, I promise.

Goodness I don't even know what to say.  I can't believe my mission is done already.  For real it doesn't even feel like I'm going home this week.  I don't know, it's so strange because I feel like I'm just gonna be here forever.  Missionary life for the rest of eternity, sounds pretty great to me.  :)  Everybody's so sweet here I'm gonna miss them all so much.  But hey, I am excited to see all y'all.   

Oh hey!  The article was in the newspaper.  I had Sister Mills post it on Sarah's facebook page so hopefully y'all saw it.  Haha with the picture of us playing cards everybody at church said, "Hey!  What are y'all doing playing poker in the newspaper?"  It was pretty funny.  And then random people we'd go visit would mention it too.  

Guess who got married on Saturday?!  Andrea did!  Haha she was pretty nervous I think.  She wouldn't even invite us for the wedding but that's alright.  I think it was just her mom, the pastor, her daughter, and her husband.  She's excited to get baptized soon.  :)  we still have like six lessons to teach her so I think she'll be getting baptized sometime in September.  

Oh my goodness but guess what is happening.  Sister King is getting transferred too.  Oh man, the poor sisters that are coming here will have to learn their way around and how to use the bus all at the same time.  Goodness, I'll be sure to keep them in prayer.  Whoever they are though they're pretty lucky.  I mean they get to come to an awesome area with tons of potential.  And they have two investigators that are progressing towards baptism.  I tell ya, it doesn't get much better than that.  And they even get to ride the bus too.  I think when I get home I'm gonna get on a bus and just ride it around the city all day because I'm gonna miss it so much.  For real, sometimes the bus is the highlight of my day.

That's about the only news around here.  Oh and Latoya came to church yesterday too!  She's another one of our investigators I don't think I've told y'all much about her but she's real cool.  It was her first time at church and I think she enjoyed it.  I don't know, we had to teach the sunbeams during second hour yesterday and then teach the young women during third hour so we didn't go to any class with her so hopefully it was alright. 

I just want to say that I love y'all so much.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve here in Louisiana.  I have a testimony that it's the little things that count and that God cares about each of us.  It's as simple as that, He loves you.  And that love is what changes everything.  I'm sorry, I wish I could type more but I'm so stinkin tired.  I think I might be getting sick cause I couldn't sleep at all last night and my head hurts and what not.

We're gonna go see Sister Mills today and then head over to the temple tonight and dinner with a couple members before hand.  Haha Missy scheduled it all and she says my fan club is taking me out to dinner.  Goodness, I'm gonna miss it here that's all I can say.  

Anyways, I love y'all.  And will be seeing you in just a couple days.  :)

Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, August 11, 2014

farewell / homecoming

Hey Family!
 
First I'll answer y'alls questions before I forget to.  As far as homecoming talk goes I'd rather give it sooner than later.  I'm gonna be sending my bike home as soon as I can get a bike box.  It only costs like forty bucks or so to send it using bikeflights.com and the box can weigh up to seventy pounds so I'll just fill the rest of it with clothes and other things that won't fit in my suitcases.  Haha yes mom, I'll bring home all of my clothes just because you asked.  Except you should know I gave a couples skirts to Sister Brady way back when just because I knew I'd never wear them.  And nope, no Sister Berg has moved into our ward recently.  Maybe she's in a different ward though.  And nope, no article in the newspaper yet.  You can check online though, the newspaper is called the Advocate.  Haha and I touched one of the alligators but I wouldn't hold one.  You could sit on one and hold his throat but he didn't seem to happy when we were there so I didn't do that either.        
Sounds like y'all had a fun weekend up at Bear Lake.  I remember back when we went up there for youth conference.  Good times!   
 
Aw man, can y'all believe it.  I only have a week and a half left.  I don't know what I'm gonna do with myself!  I'm gonna miss this place like crazy.  Especially all the people we've met.
 
 
Oh my goodness, and y'all will never believe what happened!  So on Thursday we go over to teach Andrea and she says, "Ladies, I've decided I'm getting married."  Oh my goodness, it was the best day ever.  And what's even better is she said she's getting married next week!  Her husbands friend is a pastor and he's gonna marry them.  Haha I was speechless, I had no clue that it was gonna be happening so soon.  If only she could get baptized before I leave...but that's alright.  I'm so happy for her.  :) 
 
After I got up and shared my testimony last week they called and asked me to speak.  Haha Sister King was supposed to speak but they said, "Sister Schmutz!  You're leaving.  If you want to you can speak this sunday and Sister King can speak in a couple weeks."  I didn't really want to speak but Sister King convinced me into speaking so I did.  Haha it was kinda like I was giving my farewell.  I was thinking the other day and there's only 13 transfers in a mission.  Out of those thirteen I spent ten of them here.  Aw man, it's like home and like family.  :)  I got so lucky to get to spend so long in North Baton Rouge. 
 
 
Anyways, I wanted to send y'all my talk.  This isn't exactly what it was like cause I added a couple more things there but can't remember what I said, plus it was all mixed up because I started typing it and then had to write and rewrite and by hand and yeah, it just got all messed up there were arrows pointing every which way.  But here it went pretty much:
 
Man, I just have to say, after getting up and sharing my testimony last sunday I thought that'd be the last time I'd get to be up here.  But I guess y'all just can't get rid of me. 
 
Alright so I wanted to start off with a story.  Back home my family has a boat so every summer we drive down to Lake Powell and stay there for a week.  Just go boating, swimming, driving around, ya know, that sort of stuff.  A little background on the story so it makes a little more sense is our boat is rather old but it still works pretty well.  Occasionally it won't turn on.  When that happens my dad has to open up the engine and does a couple things and usually it starts running after that.  Sometimes it takes a little time but usually it comes back on.  We always keep a couple paddles in the boat just in case it won't start so we can paddle back to somewhere to get help.  So anyways, a couple years back we were out in the middle of the lake, pretty close to the marina but a good couple miles away.  It was really hot out so we turned off the boat and jumped in the lake real quick to cool off.  And when we went to turn it back on it wouldn't start.  It was taking a little longer than usual to fix so my sisters and I looked at each other and said, "Well, we might as well start paddling back to the marina since we might be stuck out here."  We got the paddles out and stood on the seats to start paddling.  It wasn't even five minutes later that a boat driving by saw us paddling and came over to ask if we were alright.  They ended up towing up back over to the marina so we could get a little more help starting the boat.  And then we were good to go. 
 
The reason why I'm sharing this story with y'all is because six years later I still remember those nice people that came to our rescue.  They did something little out of their day that made a big impact for our day.  Without them we would've been paddling for hours in order to make it back.  Those people came to our rescue.  And that's what I want to talk about today.  Rescuing people. 
 
I don't know about y'all, but whenever I think of rescuing someone, stories like that are the first thing that always come to mind.  But there's so many different example and ways to rescue someone, the possibilities are endless. 
 
I looked up the definition of rescue in the dictionary and it said, "To save somebody or something from a dangerous or harmful situation.  To prevent something from being discarded, rejected, or put out of operation."  So with that definition I want to relate it to rescuing people spiritually. 
 
President Thomas S. Monson said something similar to that.  He said, "The world is in need of your help.  There are feed to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save."  And that's exactly what we're here to do.  I'm sure each of you know someone that needs a little rescuing in their life, whether they aren't members yet or they simply aren't coming to church as much as they should.  It's our responsibility to reach out and rescue them.  We have to save them spiritually and we can do that through the gospel. 
 
 
I was thinking of things I've learned while on my mission because our whole purpose is to bring others unto Christ which is ultimately rescuing people.  And I came up with three main things we can do. 
 
#1 being love them.  When you think about it, the principle of love is what motivates us to do things, and ultimately brings lasting change.  There's the saying that, "Love Lasts, Fear Fades."  Which is true.  Think of Christ's example in John 8:3-11 "And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman‍ taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.  Now Moses in the law‍ commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?  This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his‍ finger wrote‍ on the ground, as though he heard them not.  So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin‍ among you, let him first‍ cast a stone‍ at her.  And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.  And they which heard it,‍ being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even‍ unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.  When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?  She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn‍ thee: go, and sin‍ no more."  Christ loved her for who she was and because of that she went and changed.  The love we express to others can motivate and change them.  When you're rescuing someone they need a friend that's always there for them no matter what.  In Proverbs 17:17 it says, "A friend loveth at all times."  They need someone that can love them no matter where they've been or who they are.  I know it's true, loving unconditionally changes everything. 
 
#2 guide them.  The path is straight and narrow.  At times it can be hard to find but we know where it is so we can reach out and help others find it and stay on the path.  We're here to guide them in the right direction.  In 3 Nephi 18:32 it says, "Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal‍ them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them."  Christ is the one that heals them but we're the ones that help them find Christ.  It reminds me of an experience I had back when I was thirteen.  For youth conference one summer we went to a cave the tour guide took us way down deep into it.  At one point we stopped and he told everyone to grab onto the railing.  He then turned off the lights and we had to walk ten minutes or so to where the other light switch was.  Man it was so dark you couldn't see anything.  At one point I let go of the railing and I couldn't find it when I reached back.  I had to stop for a second and really search around until I touched it.  It's the same way with rescuing people.  Some are real close, they just have to take one more step towards the railing and others have to go a little more.  but just like it says in Isaiah 41:13, "For I the Lord‍ thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee."  Christ is there holding one hand.  And when you're guiding someone you can be there holding the other hand.  
 
#3 never give up on anybody.  No matter how many times you invite someone to church, or try to pick them up, or no matter how many times they won't answer their door, you must never give up.  One of my favorite scriptures is Proverbs 22:6 "Train‍ up a child‍ in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it."  And I know it's true.  I like to interpret the scripture a little differently though.  Before we came to earth we all lived with God and Jesus Christ.  They taught us the principles of the gospel.  We lived and loved them there.  We were trained in the way we should go.  But throughout life many people choose to go their own way because they have their own agency and their own choice.  But something I do believe is that everybody will come back.  Just like the scripture said.  It may take some time and the situation has to be right.  But they will come back.  Think of the example with Alma the younger.  He was raised in righteousness but soon started persecuting the church.  His father prayed day and night for him.  And in Mosiah 27:14 his prayer was answered.  "And again, the angel said: Behold, the Lord hath heard‍ the prayers of his people, and also the prayers‍ of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed‍ with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge‍ of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince‍ thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers‍ of his servants might be answered according to their faith."  And Alma came back.  We must never give up on anybody. 
 
So to all y'all here today I'd like to invite you to reach out and rescue somebody.  Love them, guide them, never give up on them.  Somebody needs you.  Out of everything I've learned while serving my mission the greatest thing is simply this: the gospel of Jesus Christ is the answer to everything.  For it's what truly makes one happy, eternally.  And I know if you live by it's principles it can have that affect in each of your lives.  I know that God and his son, Jesus Christ live and love us.  And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 
 
 
Anyways, I just want to let y'all know that I love you!  And I do have a testimony of the gospel.  It's the why and how of who we become. 
 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, August 4, 2014

August

Hey family!
 
Thanks for sending the pictures from lake powell.  Looks like y'all had fun down there.  :)  and up running the snake river!  Tell all our cousins I say hey and I love them.  Hope y'alls week has been pretty good. 
 
 
Ooh some exciting news!  Last pday we were just at the office playing some board games with the Elders and President Hansen came walking in with a reporter from the newspaper down here.  He asked us all a couple questions and took pictures of us playing games too.  So maybe we'll be in the newspaper sometime soon!  Sister Mills said the religious section is every Saturday so we looked just the other day but nothing was in it yet.  So maybe it'll be there this coming weekend.  I'll keep y'all posted on that. 
 
 
It was kinda a slow week but a good one too I guess you could say. 
 
We taught Andrea H. the law of chastity and surprisingly it went really well.  Haha when we got there we pulled out the pamphlet and she just laughed and said, "Oh I know plenty about this."  The lesson went great though and we went over everything and at the end we told her that in order to get baptized she either had to marry her 'husband' or they'd have to move out.  We understand everything with loans and stuff for school so we just asked her to pray to know what to do.  Haha she said something like, "I know what the answer is gonna be.  The question is will I really do it."  Basically she's just afraid of marriage.  Which ya know, I don't blame her.  Freak I don't want to get married anytime soon.  But ya know, I think she's gonna get married.  :)  her 'husband' really wants to already plus she said her mom would like it too.  We'll see what happens though.  The best part of the whole lesson was the very end.  (we were two hours later than usually visiting her because our car wouldn't start and we missed the bus...long story.)  But anyways at the end her husband walked in the door and this was the first time we'd ever met him.  Right before he opened the door she turned to us and said, "Alright, no more talking about this."  He was really nice and brought in some laundry detergent that she needed, said hey, and then went into another room.  Then Andrea turns to us and says, "I didn't even have to remind him to bring some home!  Maybe I should marry him."  Aw man, I love her so much.
 
 
I shared my testimony yesterday during fast sunday.  Ahh it was my last fast sunday as a missionary.  It's so weird to think I'll be home in just a couple weeks.  I don't even know what to do with my life... I'm gonna miss it here so much. 
 
Anyways, here's another random funny story for y'all.  So we're at Sister Mills place and she randomly asks,
"Some people say right before you die there's this bright light.  Is that true?"  or she said something like that.
Sister King says, "I don't know.  I've never died before."
And Sister Mills goes, "Sister King!  I was being serious here.  Quit making jokes!"
Maybe y'all had to be there but it was funny cause Sister King was totally serious.  Aw man, Sister Mills I love her. 
 
 
Anyways, I can't really think of much else that went on this week.  I want to share a scripture with y'all real quick though.  This was when the Lord was talking to Enoch and telling him what to teach the people, "Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.  Behold my Spirit is upon you.....and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me."  (Moses 6:33-34)  I love it because it's all up to our choices.  If we make the choice to serve God, then we have the promise that he'll walk with us always.  Of all the things I know about God, I know that He always keeps his promises, every single time.  I know that he's always there and walking with us if we simply choose to follow Him. 
 
I'll try to send y'all some pictures from the alligator farm. 
 
Love y'all so much!
 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Pioneer Day

Hey Family!
 
Sounds like y'all had a good time at Lake Powell.  Haha I'm glad y'all missed me too because I wanted to be there so bad.  Maybe we can take a quick trip before school starts.  ;)  that'd be pretty sweet.  
 
Aw man, Penny called you the other day!  Haha maybe they'll hire me back for three weeks before I gotta go up to school.  I miss that place and everyone there.  Do you know if Ryan is still manager at Prestige or did he leave?  And Sikander?  Where's Emily's new job at?
 
The heat and the humidity have definitely settled in this week so it looks like it's gonna be boiling hot from here on out.  Man, it's just my favorite thing to be dripping in sweat all day long.  Just kidding.  Nah, it's bad but the good thing is the bus is always blasting the air conditioning.  So if you're dying of heat you just gotta jump on the closest bus.  Hey..I guess that's one good reason for coming home...no humidity!  Nah, I'm happy to see y'all too.  I just love this place and the people so much.  It's gonna be sad to leave. 
 
We had our annual ward Pioneer Day BBQ on saturday.  I just have to say, the best part of it is there's these little fish ponds and you can catch the fish and then release em.  But I guess since it was a cold winter or something all the fish were too small this year to catch.  Such a bummer I tell ya.  I was really looking forward to it.  Our investigator, Andrea came though and she seemed to really enjoy it!  And she came to church yesterday too.  We're gonna teach her the law of chastity this week so please keep her in all y'alls prayers.  :)  she's awesome though so I ain't worried too much about her.  
 
I can't really remember much else of what we did this past week.  Oh yeah!  The alligator farm last monday.  It was weird but really cool.  I'd send y'all pictures but there's this sign right in front of my computer that says you're only allowed to plug in headphones and flash drives to the computer.  So...I'll try to be obedient.  Haha I'll try to send some next week though.  Alligators are giant though and really lazy.  The tour guide guy went close to them and fed them and what not.  They're just weird creature, that's all I gotta say.  
 
Anyways, I finished reading the Book of Mormon this morning and I wanted to share just a couple scripture I liked with y'all.  First being Moroni 9:25 "My son, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which I have written grieve thee, to weigh thee down unto death; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his suffering and death, and the showing his body unto our fathers, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever."  Mormon was telling his son, Moroni this because the people were so wicked and there were all these terrible things happening.  But I think it can relate to anybody really.  For example, "My daughter, be faithful in Christ; and may not the things which you are going through grieve thee, to weigh thee down in sorrow; but may Christ lift thee up, and may his suffering and death, and the showing his body unto our father, and his mercy and long-suffering, and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever."  I know it's true.  If we are faithful in Christ then everything will be different.  I have to say, while on my mission I've been able to see that.  It's hard to describe but I know that if you're striving to to always remember Christ you will truly be happy and everything will go better.  It's as simple as that.  If you want to be happy, do everything you can to gain a personal relationship with God and Jesus Christ.  
 
Second scripture being Moroni 10:32 "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God."  Pretty sure it's the youth theme for this year.  I don't know it's just a cool scripture.   
 
The computers being all dumb and keeps kicking me off.  Hope y'all have a good week.  :)  love y'all!
 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, July 21, 2014

oh man

Hey Family!

Aw man, y'all are going to Lake Powell this week.  You lucky ducks.  :)  I wish I could be there with y'all. 

Oh my goodness, did Sarah tell you?!  Yesterday Sarah, Nik, and Elise were skyping with Sister Mills and she called me.  Haha I could hear their voices through the phone!  We probably aren't allowed to do that but it was pretty cool nonetheless.  It made Sister Mills day too, so thank y'all for doing that.  Oh hey were you in Rexburg when it got all flooded out the other day?  Elder Steele showed me some videos of all the water everywhere and it was crazy!!   

Haha and here's the story of Elder Rothschild emailing you, Emily.  The elders and us always have this joke going around of who we're going to marry.  So long story short I said, "you should write my sister, Elder Rothschild!  Not my twin sister, she's got a boyfriend.  But my little sister."  and then I showed him some pictures and gave him your email.  And low and behold he actually did email you.  And that's about it.  :)  you should email him back though.  He's a pretty cool guy. 

Anyways, here's the crazy story from this week.  So remember last weeks story about BJ and Melissa?  Oh man, so we text him on Saturday to make sure they're still coming to church on sunday and here's how it goes.  I'll just type out our messages so it will make more sense. 
"Hey BJ are y'all still coming to church tomorrow?"
"yea of course ..."
"Sweet we'll be saving y'all a seat.  It starts at 9am.  May we come and teach y'all more tomorrow evening too?"
"Sure.  Can I tell you something ..."
"hello"
"Yeah what is it?" in the meantime I'm just thinkin aw man, what's he gonna tell us.  And then he says,
"I'm kinda have a crush on you, I think your really really cute"
Aw man, it's the worst when that happens!  Way to ruin everything.  We just texted him back and told him our purpose for being here and what not.  Man, I was so excited for the both of them because they were so sweet.  And he said he was gonna come to church tomorrow but they didn't show up.  We stopped by their place later since sunday is their only off day but they didn't answer.  Maybe we'll just pass them over to the elders to teach.  The thing that bugs me about the whole thing is he has a stinkin girlfriend and they were both really interested in learning more about the gospel.  I mean, things like that happen all the time but not when the people are actually interested.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens. 

Oh but there is some exciting news from the week!  Andrea came to church yesterday for the first time and really liked it!  Not the Brazilian Andrea, the Andrea that lives next to the Dixon's.  Aw man, she's so sweet.  We taught her on Thursday too and she really wants to get baptized.  She has a date set for Aug 3 but that ain't gonna happen.  Just minor details, ya know.  The other day we were visiting her and asked her how long she's been married to her husband for.  And she said they actually aren't married yet because if she gets married she won't get any grants or loans to keep going to school.  So basically she said she'll get married to him in four years or so.  But hey we haven't taught her the law of chastity yet so when we do we'll commit her to pray about what to do.  And in the meantime hopefully keep coming to church.  She's awesome though.  Sister Poole was able to bring her because Andrea owes some money on her truck so she can't drive it right now, so that was super nice.  I was freaking out during church too because the lessons weren't all that good and the talks were on the temple and she probably had no clue what anybody was talking about.  But hey the spirit must've touched her heart because she said she's excited to come back next week.

That's about our whole week right there.  Pretty good one to say the least.  Haha wait here's one more weird story.  So we're walking down the street and this guy rides up on his bike.  We wave to him and ask him how he is.  He gets off his bike and pretty sure he's drunk or something.  But he says, "Who?!"  and says it a couple more times.  We were just a tad bit confused so we said, "Who what?"  To which he replies, or at least this is what I heard, but he could've said something different.  "Whose a possessed black nigger?"  I replied, "Um..nobody."  and that happened a couple more times, and then he said, "Whose bullet proof?"  same thing, "Nobody."  In the meantime he was getting up way close.  And he says, "I'm bullet proof!" he said a couple more random things repeatedly and then I said, "Can we give you a picture of Jesus?"  Haha and I think it freaked him out because he started backing away.  Then we said, "Alright.  Have a good day Sir." and walked away.  Really weird.

Hey before I go here's a quick scripture to think about.  4 Nephi 1:38 "And it came to pass that they who rejected the gospelwere called Lamanites, and Lemuelites, and Ishmaelites; and they did not dwindle in unbeliefbut they did wilfully rebelagainst the gospel of Christ; and they did teach their children that they should not believe, even as their fathers, from thebeginning, did dwindle."  The key is they didn't dwindle in unbelief, but they chose to rebel.  Everything always turns back to our agency.  So the question to think about is, how are your choices affecting you? 

I just want to say real quick that I love y'all so much.  And I have a testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ will bless your life more than anything else.  I've seen it countless and countless times.  The secret to it though is you have to live the gospel of Christ everyday the very best you can.  And look back on all your blessings.  After all, your blessings grow when you count them.  Christ lives and God loves us.  I know it's true.  

Love Always, Sister Schmutz

p.s. Missy convinced me the other day to move back out here.  I'll clean out one of her rooms and live at her place for free.  And since I've mastered the bus system I'll ride the bus and go to school at LSU.  Sounds pretty good to me.  What do y'all think?  :)  

p.s.s. or p.p.s?  Anyways, our district is going to an alligator farm over in Hammond today.  So if you never hear from me again it's probably cause I got eaten by a gator.  But know that I love y'all anyway.  :)  I'll send pictures next week!  

Monday, July 14, 2014

blonde hair and blue eyes

Hey Family!

Aw man, I'm so happy y'all got to meet the Walls at their homecoming.  They're awesome people.  :) and I miss them so much!  Y'all could just send a CD with the recordings on it if you want.     

Oh hey and those Book of Mormon notes that I sent home are for Emily.  I didn't have time to write a note in with the package but it was part of our challenge together.  We agreed to read the Book of Mormon by the time school got out and with every chapter write down something we learned.  So that's mine for ya.  Where's your end of the deal, Emily?  ;) 

So yeah, I got a new companion!  Her name is Sister King and she's from Phoenix, Arizona.  She's been on her mission for six months and she's really nice.  Haha I don't know what else to tell y'all about her.  And Sister Wolf got transferred up to Marksville.  I miss her but know she's doing good.  Ya know, at first I really didn't want to get a new companion for my last transfer but now I'm really liking it.  It's weird, new companions help you to grow in different ways.  I actually think I was more trunky last transfer than this one.  Aw man, look at me.  Only trunky people talk about not being trunky.  Haha just kidding I want and need to work real hard the last little bit to help Sister King get to know the area and the people.  Plus I love the people here so much I can't just leave em hanging.  I think my goal this transfer is get members present at as many investigator lessons as possible.  Honestly I just forget to call and invite them so we hardly get any members coming out with us.  But we have so many sweet investigators that sincerely want to learn more and the members could really help. 

Hey!  When are y'all gonna come to Louisiana so you can meet all these cool people?  Here's a great idea!  Let's just all move to Baton Rouge.  Aw man, dream come true.  I've even adopted two children while on my mission so we already got family here!  Haha I'll explain.  At church Heather-Marie and Alasia like to call me mama for some strange random reason and drag me around everywhere with them.  It's hilarious!  I'd tell ya a funny story but you'd have to be there otherwise it'd make no sense.  It's funny, half the people in the ward know I go home pretty soon and the other half think I have a while left.  I love this place so much.       

Anyways, oh my here's the sweetest miracle.  I like to call it our transfer miracle because if we hadn't gone to transfers we wouldn't have ever met this couple.  Here's the background.  So Wednesday we go to transfers and what not and on the way home I think, "Hey we should go to walmart!"  because we haven't been grocery shopping in weeks and I don't want to starve my poor companion.  So fast forward to the end of shopping.  We're using the self check out machine to get our stuff and this couple squeezes past us to get behind us in line. 
They turn to us and say, "Are y'all Mormons?"
So of course we say, "Yeah!" 
"Oh cool!  We saw y'alls name tags and figured you were."
"Have y'all ever talked to missionaries before?"
"No.."
"Can we give y'all a Book of Mormon?"
"Yeah, we'd love one."  And we explain a little about it and how it's another testament of Christ.
"Aw sweet!  We'll go read it tonight!"
"Can we come by and teach you more about it?"
"Yeah.  Can y'all come over tomorrow?"
And then we get their info and what not and that was about it.  We called them the next day but they were at work.  So we went back on Sunday and were able to teach them the restoration.  It was a real good lesson too and I think they understood everything too!  Aw man, they related to Joseph Smith because they've been to so many different churches and have seen how they all teach kinda the same things but they're all different.  They're really interested and want to find out the truth for themselves so it's just really cool.  We didn't even get the chance to invite them to church, Melissa just turned to BJ during the lesson and asked, "You want to go to their church this sunday?"  Aw man, so cool!  I'm so excited for them.  It's so sweet because I've never taught a couple that are both interested.  haha and the funniest part of the lesson.  Melissa says, "In the Baptist church they believe Jesus had blonde hair and blue eyes.  In y'alls pamphlet his hair looks blonde!"  Super random and funny.  We just said, "oooh we've never noticed that before."  And moved on.

Before I got to go I just want to share a quick scripture with y'all.  1 John 3:18 "My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth."  Always remember, actions speak louder than words.  The scripture makes me think about something we were discussing in ward council yesterday.  Our ward has a big problem with transportation issues and getting people to church.  We were talking about how we need to assign certain people to pick up others, and yes it can be frustrating at times because we'll get there and they won't be ready or don't want to come.  But we just have to keep doing it until they do come.  Brother Richardson from the high council was there (he's one of my favorite person in the stake) and he reminded us of the covenants we made to consecrate all we have to the Lord.  I don't know, he went into more detail but it's too much to write.  It's so true though.  Our actions speak volumes more than our words.  We have to quit sitting around and expecting others to do things and go do the things Christ would want us to do.  After all, we already promised Him that we would.  

Love y'all so much!  Enjoy your last soccer tournament.  And good luck with finals, Sarah!

Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

happy 4th!

Hey Family!


So the news is... I get to stay in Baton Rouge for my last transfer!!  Sister Wolf is getting transferred though which I'm really sad about.  I really hoped we'd be staying together but that's alright.  I'm gonna miss her so much.  Man, I have to say that Sister Wolf has taught me a lot.  And by a lot I mean a lot.  She's awesome and I love her so much!   


Goodness, I feel so bad for the poor soul that gets to be my companion for this transfer.  I feel so bad because she only gets six weeks to learn how to get around in the crazy city of Baton Rouge and learn how to use the bus system and everything.  Goodness, keep her in y'alls prayers.  I only know Baton Rouge so well because I've been here forever but she only gets six weeks to learn it.  I'll have to teach her all that I know! 


We met President and Sister Hansen this last week.  It's weird...I don't like getting new mission presidents.  You expect them to just automatically know you already and all this stuff but they don't.  It's just hard because President Hansen came and he wants to change so many things.  My personal opinion is he shouldn't be changing anything quite yet cause he just got here and he doesn't know anything about Louisiana!  Louisiana is a special place I tell ya.  You can't just do things the normal way down here.  I mean, I love this place like crazy but some things should just be left the way they are.  I mean, we aren't in Idaho anymore.  Other than that though they're pretty cool. 


Ooh so the exciting news!  Geneva and Johnathan got baptized and confirmed on Saturday.  I just have to say it was one of the best baptisms I've been to too.  :)  First let me tell ya.  On Thursday we go over to their house and Geneva comes out crying saying she doesn't want to get baptized on Saturday.  We were kinda freaking out too because she wouldn't even watch her mom get baptized.  And we had no clue what was gonna happen at the baptism.  But Saturday came along and Amy's husband, Jonathan did a really good job with them.  Geneva got straight in the water and was really calm and only had to get baptized once.  It was super sweet.  Haha and then Johnathan wouldn't plug his nose so he had to get baptized twice because his knees kept coming out of the water.  I'm so happy Amy and her family got to come down.  I think it helped calm everyone's nerves and make everything go a lot better.  Oh and the best part.  After their interviews, Elder Navitikula kept saying how strong of a testimony Geneva has.  He said he couldn't really understand her but the spirit was there really strong.  So cool and I'm so happy for them.  :) 


Sounds like y'alls 4th of July was pretty good.  Since it was our p-day we switched our proselyting time to the morning so we had the whole evening to do whatever we wanted.  Our district had a BBQ at the zone leaders apartment.  And then us, the office elders, and the north elders went and got snoballs.  (Snoballs are the greatest invention ever.  It's a snowcone but it has ice cream in the middle and lots of flavors)  And then we went downtown and walked around the city.  And got to watch the fireworks on the levee.  It was a really good day.  Man, I love the elders so much! 


That's so sweet that y'all got to see Sister Calderwood!  I haven't heard from her forever and was thinking about her the other day. 


Anyways, I'm gonna cut this email short so I can send y'all some pictures. 

Love y'all so much!!
Love Always, Sister Schmutz 

Monday, June 30, 2014

4th of July

Hey Family!
Sorry I don't got a lot of time to email today... I'll type as fast as I can.  Our pday is actually on Friday this week but we're emailing today because the library will be closed.  With President Hansen coming in yesterday he's doing zone conferences all week to get to know everyone so our pday got switched later in the week. 
Anyways, ooh the exciting news is that Geneva and Johnathan are getting baptized this Saturday!  Chandra's friends from South Carolina is coming down for the baptism too.  It should be real nice.  :)  I'm super excited for them too.  I'll be sure to send y'all some pictures. 
It sounds like y'all are having a pretty great summer.  Be sure to tell Austin I say hey! 
We've been doing real great here too.  :)  ooh here's a cool story for y'all.  So on Saturday we're going to contact this media referral we got and we walk all the way there but she ain't home and her husband is getting ready to leave to work real quick so we just drop off the bible and keep walking. 
Sister Wolf asks, "where we headed to?" 
And I say, "the bus stop on Prescott."
"Why don't we turn around and go the way we came from?"
"Umm I think this way is shorter.."  You have to keep in mind it's burning hot out and we're already dripping in sweat.
So we turn the corner and there's this girl holding this little toddler and trying to carry a giant thing of laundry. 
So Sister Wolf asks, "Can we help you carry it?" cause she kept stopping every couple steps.
"Umm..Yeah!" 
While we're walking we get talking a little.
"What's the little guys name?"
"Aiden"
"Aw he's cute.  Is he your little brother?"
"No.  He's my son."
"Oh..Cool"
"What y'all doing out here?"
"We're missionaries from our church."
"So are y'all out here trying to get people to come to church?"
"Kinda...and teach them about Jesus."
I can't really remember the rest of the details but we gave her a Book of Mormon and she asked if we could come back and teach her.  Her name's Keaina and she's super sweet.  She just lives in a little apartment by herself.  She looks like she's twelve but she's probably seventeen or so.  She's quite but real nice.  I'm real excited to go back.  The experience was sweet because it shows that God wanted us to meet her that day.  If we didn't have plans to go see the referral we'd never be over there.  And if the referral wasn't home we'd never had kept walking which means we wouldn't have turned the corner and seen her right when she needed help.  It was just a sweet little miracle!
Oh and here's one more sweet miracle before I gotta go.  So way back a couple weeks ago we're visiting the Dixon's and teaching them on their porch.  Their house is one of those that's connected to another one so their neighbor is sitting on her porch and listened in on the lesson a little bit.  At the end she asked, "Where's y'all church located?"  We said, "Up on Winbourne across from the golf course."  And she said, "Cool.  I'll have to come sometime soon."  And that was it.  Then fast forward a couple weeks and our district has this challenge to give out lots of copies of the Book of Mormon.  So we're thinking and decided we should give one to her!  We give her one and she said she'd love to read it and we could come back later to talk about it.  Then fast forward to last week and we stop by to see her.  She's busy but says to come back the next day.  So we got back and she read a little of the Book of Mormon.  Had lots of questions.  And we got to teach her the restoration.  She related a lot to Joseph Smith wondering which church to go and knows God will answer her.  Aw man, she's so awesome and I'm so excited for her.  Oh yeah, and her name's Andrea.  We have two investigators named Andrea now but they're both pronounced differently.  :)
Anyways, that was about our whole week right there for ya.  Hope y'all are doing well. 
Hey and a quick scripture before I leave.  "Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my Well Beloved, who was from the foundation of the world." (Helaman 5:47) It's as simple as that.  If you want peace then you got to turn to Christ.  When you learn of him you can receive his peace and rest. 
Love y'all so much!  Have a great week.  
Love Always, Sister Schmutz
p.s. transfers is next week!  What do y'all think will be happening?