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.
While we're walking we get talking a little.
"What's the little guys name?"
"Aw he's cute.  Is he your little brother?"
"No.  He's my son."
"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? 

Monday, June 23, 2014

the final ride

Hey Family!
Aw man, thanks so much for the birthday wishes.  I'd say it was definitely a good one, specifically for three main reasons.  Alright so here they are:

First being, no one at church knew it was my birthday.  I just didn't tell anyone, plain as that.  So in ward council after church Brother LaBorde turns to the Elders and says, "Well, are y'all gonna tell everyone else the news?"  (the real news was that Elder Gillen is being transferred this week which is two weeks before transfers)  But one of the Elders says, "Oh yeah!  It's Sister Schmutz's birthday!!"  Then everyone turns to me and asks me if it's really my birthday.  So I say yes and the whole ward council starts singing happy birthday to me.  Aw man, it was priceless.

The second being, we had this appointment with the LSU Sisters to meet this potential investigator they want to give to us.  So we get there and the lady isn't home.  You have to understand we're in the ghetto and the LSU sisters don't go to the ghetto very often and from past conversations you can tell they're kinda freaked out about it.  So Sister Wolf turns to me and says, "Let's go contact those two guys." (two black guys.  maybe in their twenties or so.  just chilling on the ground.) while the Sisters are getting back in their car to drive away.  Haha I think she wanted to kinda show off to the Sisters.  But I was like, "hey!  might as well."  So we just go up and talk to them and they're super funny.  They said we were brave for just coming up like that and talking to them and what not.  Oh my and here's the best part.  They're talking about how God is like a gangster for all these silly things.  And one of them turns to me and says, "You're a gangster.  You can see it in your eyes."  And then he turns to Sister Wolf and says, "You aren't one quite yet.  You've got a little more to learn."  Haha oh man.  It made my day.  Dream come true to be called a gangster by some ghetto black guys. 
Third reason being, the office elders came over for dinner.  We can't go in their apartment and they can't come in ours so we were just eating on the porch when low and behold it just started pouring.  Haha just being funny I said, "We should all go stand in the rain and get drenched."  So yep, you guessed it.  We all went and stood in the rain and played around in the giant puddles.  The spanish elders drove up too so we convinced them to come join us.  Aw man it was too good.  Definitely a good birthday.  :)
Thanks for the package too!  The skirt and one of the shirts is too small though, so do you want me to send those back to you? 
Oh my goodness.  Before I forget here's the absolute best moment from the whole week.  Wednesday we were at bible study and Elder Gillen and Elder Navitikula were teaching about Faith.  So Elder Gillen turns to Johnathan and asks, "how can you increase your faith?"  To which he replies, "keep the law of chastity!"  Oh my, it was the best moment ever.  We all just busted up laughing.  And then Elder Gillen says, "Well, we know what the Sisters have been teaching you lately."  Oh man, we taught him the law of chastity last week.  And Chandra said ever since then he mentions it everyday.  Eleven year olds say the best things.
Anyways, I'm gonna keep this email short so I can send y'all some pictures.  :)  the bike ride today was awesome.  Well...we were all supposed to ride as a district on the levee but half of them were really late and lots of confusion.  But still it was very fun.  We ended up just riding around with half our district and half the spanish district.  And then we all went to get some pizza.  The weather was perfect today too. :)  Oh and the t-shirts say "the final ride"  on the front.  And "bringing hope to the world one mile at a time"  on the back.  Just incase you couldn't read it. 
Love y'all so much!!
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, June 16, 2014

happy birthday twinner :)

Hey y'all!
First of all, I want to apologize for completely forgetting father's day.  So Dad, I hope you had a good one.  :)  also I hope you know that I love you dearly.  Second of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SARAH!!  I sincerely hope it's a good one for ya too.  Hey and as mom says, you're turning 21, her favorite number!  There couldn't be much better than that. 
Anyways, thanks for signing up for all my classes Sarah.  Seriously you're the best.  And honestly I can't remember what any of those places are to live so by all means you can go ahead and pick somewhere.  I tell ya, I can hardly remember anything from before my's so weird!
Today's our last day to write President Wall.  Goodness, it's so weird to think we'll be getting a new mission president.  I wonder what he'll be like.  President Wall doesn't leave this week but next week our whole mission is gonna spend two hours biking on pday as the last and final ride for President, cause he loves riding bikes.  And then the week after President Hansen will be coming. 
Ya know, I believe that God loves us so much he'd do anything to make us happy.  Last week it was so hot I was dying.  So in my prayers I just said, "Man, I can't do this anymore.  Please cool down the weather just a tiny bit if you can."  And guess what happened?  It's been raining practically the whole week!  Mercy it's just little tender miracles that make your day.  It rained so much too it was awesome.  :)  oh and there was even a tornado over in Plaquemine.  Don't worry, everyones fine, but so crazy!  Ain't God good? 
Some exciting news around here...Sister Easley turned 94 yesterday!  I love that lady so much.  Freak I hope I can be like her one day.  Whenever we go to visit her she always says, "eat anything you want" and really does mean it.  Haha it's hilarious.  And you can just feel how much she loves God as soon as you walk into her home.  Man, I just love everything about her.           
Ooh the other exciting thing that happened this week was that we got to go over to New Roads to contact some media referrals and people that went to the Gladys Knight performance.  It's definitely weird leaving Baton Rouge, it just feels like I'm going across the country when really it's just across the river and a bit.  It was sweet though because we got to give out seven copies of the Book of Mormon.  So many people had never even heard of the church before.  The only downside is we only go over there once every six months or so and church is forever away.  But hey that's the least of our problems.  Oh my here's a story from the other side of the river for y'all.  We received this media referral way back forever ago for a lady that wanted a bible and she lived across the river.  So we just called her and said we probably couldn't make it over but asked if we could mail it to her so she said yes.  So we figured we might as well stop by since we were already gonna be over there and see if she ever got the package.  So we drive up and the address is this old abandoned/burned down motel in the middle of this little neighborhood.  We were just like, "nah, this can't be it" so we drove around again.  We knocked on another door thinking we had the wrong address written down but nope.  So we drove by again, and again.  And just figured we'd try to go knock on the door because there was a car in the gate.  So we walk over and all the gates are locked.  This lady in a trailer next door opens her door and yells over, "go to the other gate."  So we were just like, "hmm might as well."  Got in but nobody answered the door.  We walk around the corner and there's this guy opening the gate for his car.  And I just thought, "man, he's gonna get mad at us for sneaking in through the gate" so we sneak back out the way we came in.  Right when we were walking over the ditch the car with that man drives away and there's a lady in the back with the window down yelling something at us but he just keeps driving away.  We thought they'd drive back around but that was it.  Such a strange experience. 
And that's pretty much our whole week right there for ya.  :)  Haha just kidding.  We had stake conference that was really weird but good.  And we gave out a total of seventeen copies of the Book of Mormon.  It was a pretty good week if I do say so. 
Anyways, I gotta go write president.  Hope y'all have a great week! 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, June 9, 2014

it's getting hot!!

Hey Family!
How's it finally feel to be graduated, Emily? Man, I've been thinking about you this week. It's so weird to think that you're gonna be starting college this year. There's this girl named Krystyna in our ward that just graduated too. She's a lot like you Em, haha I love her and you so much. Goodness, I miss y'all!
Anyways, back to business.  Freak I don’t know what classes to sign up for or where to live.  Can’t someone just make all these decisions for me?  Just kidding…then it’d mean we don’t have any agency.  And if we don’t got no agency then we’d just be walking around like little robots here on earth. 
Sarah!  Sweet job on getting a scholarship.  Goodness, you’re nearly done with school!  Freak how did every apartment already fill up for fall semester? I can’t even remember what any of the places are to live at.  Hmmm the only thing I’d say is don’t pick the ivy, Tuscany, or mountain pines.  Haha man, that’s like all the options you gave me.  Are there any other good cheap places?  Hmm and as far as classes, sign up for family foundations first.  I still need a science foundation so be sure to get one of those.  What happened to those foundation capstone classes…do we still need to take those?  The other classes sound all great.  I really have no clue what classes I should be taking.  Hey!  Are you implying that I can’t cook?  I’d like you to know I’m an excellent cook…haha just kidding.  Just sign me up for whatever, they all sound great.  Maybe I should just come home and go back to work for a bit because I don’t have a clue what I want to do.  Hmm the only majors I can think of right now that I’d be  slightly interested in is dental hygiene, landscape design, something with architecture or what not, early childhood special education.   Thanks for all your help Sarah!  Hey and tell Nik I say hey.  I like your dress too.  :)
How was y'alls week?  It's getting hot down here!  Goodness, the heat just drains you out.  And I hate the humidity.  Other than that it's been a pretty good week.  Our district has a goal to give out lots of copies of the Book of Mormon and the companionship that gave out the most during the week gets a trophy at district meeting.  Last week we failed and didn't give out any.  But this week we actually were able to give out a few!  It was pretty sweet.  We had to get our oil changed so we were sitting at PepBoys forever.  There was hardly anyone there but a guy came and sat right next to me so I knew I needed to talk to him.  It's funny, when Sister Wolf wants to talk to someone she always looks at them a whole lot and awkwardly stands by them.  I was just waiting to see if she'd say something because I think it's hilarious.  So she kept doing that and finally said, "how you doing, sir?" and he said, "alright, how you ladies doing?"  a little chit chat, and to make a long story short I said, "I like your cane." (it was a pretty sweet cane if I do say so myself) and then we just talked about lots of random things.  I asked him if he liked to read.  He said yes so I gave him a Book of Mormon.  It was sweet because he said the missionaries used to come over and teach him about it forever ago.  He read nearly the whole book.  He lost the book though and really liked it.  He's not in good health right now though so he'd said he'd call us whenever he isn't at the doctors office.  But man, I just loved him.  He's a big old black guy with dreads that go down to his knees and super friendly.  The best part of the conversation was when he said, "ya know, it's not very often that two white ladies come talking to me."  I sure hope he calls us!  
Ooh the other sweet experience from this week was finally getting to teach one of our potential investigators, Red.  Way back in February we met this guy that knew a little about the church and said we could come back.  For some reason we kept trying but he was always busy or we couldn't make it.  There's a member that lives at his same apartment complex so he said we could come over after our appointment with the member.  So we're waiting for the bus forever!  As in it's an hour behind schedule and we were just burning up sitting in the sun.  A nice member from another ward saw us sitting there and offered us a ride.  So we got to the apartment an hour earlier than planned.  So we decided to just see Red then. It was a miracle because he said he was just getting ready to go to bed, but we caught him just in time.  We taught the restoration.  And he said once he finds out it's all true he'll tell everyone!  He's got a lot of potential.  So excited for him.  
Oh my goodness, and here's another miracle.  We have this investigator named Andrea.  She lives out in the boonies so we couldn't see her when we didn't have a car and she never answered the phone either so we didn't have contact with her for practically two months.  Before that she was really depressed and basically only wanted us to come over because she wanted friends.  It's a miracle because she's been changing so much ever since we've been back visiting her.  We finally started just reading the Book of Mormon with her because she'd never read it by herself.  She absolutely loves it too!  Plus last week when we saw her she shared her testimony of how the Holy Ghost helped her come out of her depression.  And she said the closing prayer for the first time.  It's so sweet because I thought she'd never progress and we'd never be able to help her.  But all it took was a little time and teaching to her needs.  She's so sweet too.  I love her so much! 
Anyways, I just want to say that I love y'all so much.  Truly from the bottom of my heart.  :)

Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, June 2, 2014

happy june :)

Hey y'all!
Congrats on graduating this week Emily.  :) 
Hope y'all are doing well and summers treating you good.  Holy cow it's been raining so much down here, the streets were like rivers.  Lots and lots of water everywhere.  How was running the river, Dad and Andrew?  Man, I wanna go swimming so bad.  The other day we sat by the swimming pool and put our feet in for a little close as we could get to swimming.  Reminded me of all  our summer swimming parties down at Grandma's.  Tell her I say hey and that I love her.  :)   
This week was a really good week!  For many's a couple little ones:
...Sister Bailey (one of the spanish sisters) was sick this week and the doctor said she couldn't go out for a couple days, so we got to drive around thier car a whole ton and visit lots and lots of people.  Man I tell ya, you can get places so fast when you have a car. 
....On tuesday we visited the Dixon's or Wleh's whatever you want to call them.  Sweet family I love them all so much.  So at the end Catherine asks if she can say the prayer.  So of course we say yes.  During the prayer this is what she said, "please let the people in prison be let out."  haha oh boy it was so funny.  And then Janice turns to her and says, "they're in jail for a reason!  they shouldn't be let out!"  oh and the things kids say! 
...I took Sister Astle out with me since she was sick of being stuck home all day with her sick companion.  She is so sweet!!  Man, everyone we visited absolutely loved her!
...We finally started teaching Geneva and Johnathan!!  They're so smart and so ready to get baptized!  They have a date set for July 12 or 13.  Oh and even better Chandra got up and shared her testimony yesterday.  Holy cow it was amazing!  Sweetest person ever.  :) Such a good testimony of how she found the church and how it's the best thing she's ever done.  That family is gonna do some great things in our ward! 
...We helped Sister Depew move to a new apartment.  She was so grateful!  haha it was hilarious too because Elder Navitikula is freaked out from cats and wouldn't even come in the same room as the cat.  The elders drive me insane sometimes but for the most part they're real funny and I really like them. 
Overall it was just a really good start to a new transfer.  I love it here so much.  I love the people here so much too.  Our ward can be very frustrating sometimes just because some people are so lazy and won't do anything.  Goodness, it's so irritating.  I would go on complaining about it but y'all don't want to here that so here's a quote for y'all.  :)
"Friends, especially my young friends, take heart. Pure Christlike love flowing from true righteousness can change the world." -Jeffrey R. Holland
I believe it with all my heart.  I've learned lately that we can't change anyone.  No matter how much we do to try to change them it won't happen.  But the best we can do is be that example to them and love them as Christ would love them.  When they see that example and feel of that love they'll have the desire to change.  That's what it's all about.  Love changes things!  So the question is, what are you gonna do to change the world?   
Anyways, I just want to let y'all know that I love y'all so much.  Thank you for all the love you've shown to me. 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz
p.s. y'all will be pleased to hear that I started writing in my journal again.  I know, it's only taken me more than half my mission to do it.  But hey, better late then never is what I always say.