Monday, March 25, 2013


Hey Family!
It's been a crazy busy week but so awesome.  First of all, you guys definitely need to go find Sister Calderwood on temple square.  The saying that you never know how much you'll miss something or someone until it's gone is so true.  I miss her so unbelievably much and wish she could be back here...but it's all good.  She'll be up at BYU-I after she gets home and I plan on visiting her in Alaska!  So please go find her for me and tell her how much I love her and miss her.  All the sister missionaries on temple square know each other so when you go just ask one of them if they know where she is and if you can't find her I'll mention something in an email to her next week.  Take some twix too and tell her it's a little gift from me because they were her favorite.  Seriously she's the best and give her a hug for me.  Oh and mom her name is Wendy Calderwood.  She served down in Hoama for two transfers before serving with me and I believe she has two transfers left.  Louisiana definitely isn't the same without her here.  
Anyways, my new companion is Sister (Elise) LaPorte!  She's also a temple square missionary and she's been out nine months.  She's from California and she's one of the nicest person I've ever met.  Seriously she's great too.  It was hard leaving Sister Calderwood but Sister LaPorte easily makes up for the missing piece in my heart.  Transfers are next wednesday so I'm hoping President will keep us together, and hopefully for the next two transfers because that's all the time she gets here.  I have a feeling we'll be together this coming transfer but we shall see.    
The beginning of this week was very busy because we were trying to see all the people Sister Calderwood wanted to see before she left.  It was sad because she didn't want to go back to Temple Square and we didn't want her to leave either.  But guess what?  We got to go to the temple on Tuesday!!!  During district meeting we mentioned how it would be awesome to go to the temple as a district before Sister Calderwood left because both our wards temple nights were that night.  Our district leader ended up calling President Wall but he never answered but we ended up just going anyways.  No one else in our district could come though so it was just Sister Calderwood, Elder Bawden, Elder Johnson, and I.  Aw man though I love that temple.  Definitely the perfect way to end the day. 
Wednesday morning we drove to President Walls home and they drove Sister Calderwood to the airport and I was in a trio with Sister Jones and Bowen for the rest of the day until we picked up Sister LaPorte at the airport.  Haha I'm sure she wasn't expecting only us to be there but President was in interviews for the day so we got to pick her up.  And then the rest of the week we've just been getting back to work.  
There's so many lonely women in our ward that feel like they don't have friends so we're gonna create a weekly activity for all the ladies in Relief Society where we can get together and do something.  I think it's gonna be awesome because there's so much work to do.  So any cheap ideas you have would be greatly appreciated. 
Here's just a couple of the miracles that have occured this week: 
numero uno:  Dezarae Graves, she's a less active member but wants to turn her life around and come back to church.  Somehow she contacted the missionaries which referred her to some other sisters who referred her to us.  And boy she's amazing.  She's been a member basically her whole life but was baptized without really knowing anything.  She wants to feel the spirit again so we're gonna teach her all the lessons and help her understand everything!!
numero dos:  Jaylen was baptized!!  Elder Burch and Franke have been teaching her and we were able to attend her baptism on friday.  She's an awesome girl with such a strong testimony.  Haha apparently it takes four hours to fill up the font and no one turned it on then so we had to dump pots of water from the sink into the font.  She also had to be baptized five times because she couldn't get under the water all the way.  But all is well and she was cool with it all. 
numero tres:  Miraculously we haven't gotten too lost.  Also we've been listening to the same CD on repeat for the last week!  It's a miracle we aren't sick of the music yet.  Fifteen songs all day everyday, it's pure joy.  So if yall aren't too busy some CD's would be greatly appreciated.  Sister Calderwood had all the CD's so currently we have none.  The Elders put tons of music on my USB except it plays half of one song and then skips and won't play anymore.  But please only send CD's if they're good ones.  I won't listen to any of the real churchy ones if ya know what I mean.  No offense Andrew, but your music was all pretty lame.
Oh yeah, I ate crawfish for the first time this week!!  It looks nasty because it's this little fish thing.  But you break off its tail and eat the meat.  All the spices cooked on it make it delicious.  The only problem is there's barely any meat.  But it's almost crawfish season so I'm pretty excited!!  
Sarah and Emily I wrote you both letters last monday except I didn't actually get around to the mailbox until friday so yeah, your letters are on their way!  Sarah you signed up for piano, what is the world coming to?  Haha just kidding, it will be great.  It's bad down here because everyone expects the sister missionaries to play the piano and I'm always just like...yeah I can play but I can't sight read...awkward.  Could you please send me Mary Beth, Samantha, and Julia's addresses?  I guess I could just email them except I personally like receiving letters anyways.  Tell everyone back home that I say hi and I love them.   
I'm glad yall enjoyed the pictures.  :)  I'll try to take some more this week and send them to ya.  Send me some too!
Mom some more clothes would be nice.  I've noticed that most of them I have to wear something under anyways because they come too low in the front.  So if you have any time find higher necklines or you could just send me some regular shirts and then send those two black and white shirts from my closet here.  Sarah should know which ones I'm talking about.   
I received Big Grandma's letter this past week which was so nice.  Haha it was very random but I'll write her back soon.  We're running late today because we had to clean up the apartment this morning so if I don't write her today I definitely will next monday.  Let her know that I love her and I'm praying for her and grandpa. 
I love hearing from yall and hope everything is going good with work and school.  With the upcoming easter holliday remember the true meaning of it and also share your testimony with someone!!  I love yall so much and look up to your examples.  Give any a hug for me and tell the ward I say hi! 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz
p.s. go see Sister Calderwood please!!  and tell me about it.  :)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Mississippi River

Dear Family,
This week we touched the Mississippi River!!  Sister Calderwood, Janet, and I just so happened to be visiting a sister in our ward that recently had a heart attack and she asked us to pick up her medication and groceries.  She lives what we like to call downtown just because the houses are closer together and it's far away from where we live.  So anyways we were trying to find somewhere to eat afterwards so I started driving and there was the Mississippi so we went and touched it.  Not as big as I was expecting and unfortunately there's no gators in the river, but it was still awesome.  Oh and I took a couple pictures...:) they're kinda blurry and I hope I'm uploading the right ones.  enjoy  :)

Mom we don't have a set time we can email each week, but usually we email for about an hour to an hour and a half.  Basically we just limit ourselves because there is no set limit, and there's things to do besides emailing all day.  The craziest thing I've eaten would be pig tail and fried pizza.  I had jambalaya for the first time this past week, we actually made it for lunch and it was tasty.  Our ward is the Baton Rouge 1st ward and we're the only ward that meets there.  I believe there's four wards total in Baton Rouge.  The zone leaders, Elder Burch and Franke and the office elders, Elder Bawden and Johnson are in our ward.  Along with Sister and Elder Olsen.
Sarah I did get your letter, thanks so much for creating the planner cover, it's awesome!!  I'll write to you more in a letter.  Andrew it's crazy how much homework and things you have to do.  Keep up the good work buddy!   
It's so crazy that I'm getting a new companion this week.  We don't even know when Sister Calderwood is flying back yet or anything.  I really don't want her to leave, but definitely be sure to go find her.  She says at temple square they have certain places they have to be throughout the day like giving tours in certain visitors centers.  But I'll email her next week and try to find out when you guys can come find her.  She's got red hair that's hard to miss.  :) oh and don't worry, I'm starting to take more pictures now. 
It's been a pretty great week here in Louisiana.  And boy let me just say, it's starting to get hot already and the humidity is picking up.  On Saturday we did service the entire day which was awesome!  It was the first day on the mission where I didn't change into a skirt for the entire day.  The majority of the day we cleaned up someones huge yard that just hasn't been taken care of.  It's a huge project and basically half of our zone was there.  And then we surprised a potential investigator we met the other day by raking up all her leaves.  I love completely surprising people like that because whenever we ask to help everyone always says no.  But when we just go and do the work they're so grateful. 
Something cool I've learned this week is how the Lord really is hastening his work.  Someone mentioned how the strongest families they know are the ones where both parents have served missions.  And I think it's true.  Being on a mission I've learned so much and I've definitely changed.  I've changed in the way I'm going to raise my family and in who I am as a disciple of Christ.  The world is getting so much stronger in influencing families and people.  And as members of the church it's our responsibility to step up to our calling and act.  There's so many families down here that know what they need to be doing but just don't do it.  I wish I could just show them how their entire life will change when they put God first. 
Here's the ABC's of life:
Believe in Yourself
I think they pretty much cover everything. 

It's always the constant effort that really counts for all missionaries.  I feel like we're always planning to visit these people and we drive around all over the place and yet no one's home.  But awhile back President Wall said to remember that Heavenly Father is aware of our intentions and he is grateful for the effort we put into the work.  Not every second has to be full of teaching others.  But just like our mission purpose says, we're here to love, serve, and teach.  The best thing we can do is help them understand the love that Christ has for them.  
But anyways, nothing really too exciting happened this week.  Or at least nothing too crazy did.  I love being here and all the people that are here.  There's lots of work to do.
Love you all so much!

Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, March 11, 2013

Pig Tail

Dear Family,
It's so crazy to think I've already been gone a month.  Everything is going by so fast and I can hardly believe it.  But then again, everyone says the MTC doesn't actually count so technically I haven't even been here a month yet, but we're coming up on it. 
A day doesn't go by that I don't fall more in love with Louisiana and the people here.  A mission seriously is the best!  Oh and speaking of missions, Emily did you ever get my letter?  I sent one the same day as Sarah's except I put a couple more pieces of paper in yours so I'm not sure it actually got to you.  And I put the mission office as the return address so who knows, maybe it was returned there becasue it was too fat to send with just one stamp.  Haha and Dee since I know you'll be reading this I sent a letter to you with just a regular stamp and I'm hoping they'll just send it to you anyways despite the fact that it's out of the country.  I haven't received it back in the mail yet so we shall see. 
Oh and want to hear the greatest news?!  We can now email friends and anybody we want!!  I guess since there's so many missionaries going out now they changed the white handbook and all missionaries can email more than family.  So Sarah be sure to change that on the blog and I'll try my best to respond to any emails.  I don't have anyones email right now so I can't really email them...but I'll email back!   
Emily, a to do list would be great or maybe a bucket list paper.  In zone meeting and just with Sister Calderwood the other day we decided it would be awesome to create a bucket list of things to do during the transfer.  So here's a couple on our list so far...we only have a week left together though so I'll let you know how things go.  Our list includes: sticking our foot in the Mississippi River, eating possum, see a live alligator, eat beignets (fried scones with powder sugar), get matching t-shirts, and yeah.  Don't worry, we're still working hard on mission work, these are just little side things.  :)  Oh and not to mention I've got the greatest christmas present in mind for you guys.  Maybe I'll just have to send it earlier, or as soon as I go buy it, but it will be a sweet surprise.   
Sarah definitely get an early morning custodial job, it'd be sweet.  Haha don't ask me how, but we got to bed every night at 10:30 and wake up at 6:30 and yet I'm still so dead tired.  I can only imagine you waking up so early'll be like a walking zombie.  Which will be pretty hilarious.  Oh and before I forget, I've been meaning to tell you that you guys can wear all my clothes and what not except for the shirt Jed gave me from Nepal.  Well, I actually wouldn't mind having you guys wear that except if you ruin it you'll have to go all the way back to Nepal to get me a matching one. 
Oh yeah and I got a letter from Nik today!  A big surprise but he's doing great, Sarah.  Here's something funny he said that I can relate to, "This might sound strange...When I was called to be a trainer I felt like a young father with a lot of excitements and fears."  I'm not even a trainer yet but I know how this feels.  We like to call our trainers mom and then it's cool because we're all related.  And then my moms trainer will be my grandma.  And others she trained will be my sisters.      
Mom and Dad man I miss you guys so much!  I love hearing how everythings going back home and in the ward.  We have ward conference next week which I'm looking forward to.  And then guess who gets to speak the next sunday?  Yours truly gets to.  Man that will make me speaking at church once a month for the past three months.  January for my farewell.  February at the MTC.  March in Louisiana.  Maybe I'll just have to keep up the record and ask to talk every month.
Andrew, it was nice hearing from you too...oh wait.  Haha just kidding, I know you're busy with school and what not.  I just wanted to say hi.  :) 
Man our ward here is absolutely amazing though.  It's crazy too because the three main white families are all moving out within a couple months so basically there goes all the white people in our ward, along with the whole primary.  But I love all the black people, they're hilarious and so funny.  Being here makes me think of Jed and all the black people he must be teaching in Africa, truly awesome!   
You will never believe what I ate this week....pig tail!  Haha we went to a members home for dinner and the basic staple of Louisiana food is red beans so she cooked that for us along with pig tails.  I wasn't going to eat any but the Elders said I should so I took a couple bites and it wasn't that was interesting though.  Sister Calderwood's eaten gator and she says it's seriously the best.  I'm looking forward for that day to come.  But really the food is good down here.  They have all these restaurants that they don't have at home, but are so good.  I already know I'll miss a couple like Waffle House and Cane's.    
Let's see...this week was successful and good.  We're teaching the Wleh family in our ward because she's a single mom with six girls and they're kinda less active.  But boy the culture is so different down here, I have no idea how to make them all pay attention and want to learn.  So Mom, with your primary expertize what advice do you have?  They're the cutest kids but the influence of the world is so strong in their lives.  
Since I haven't really described Louisiana to you I guess it's about time I do...or at least more detail about Baton Rouge.  So if you're looking on a map we have basically the whole area north of the interestates, there's no definitely boundaries.  Our ward building is on Winbourne which is just like fifteen minutes away but way on the other side of town.  The stake center is the one right by the temple that we saw on google earth.  Louisiana is all so flat but there's lots of big trees.  The other day we drove way up north to visit a member and everywhere around her house was just a forest, it felt like what Louisiana should feel like.  Baton Rouge is super confusing because all the main roads have two names.  And so yes, even though I've been here for three weeks or so, I still get lost.  There's some pretty sketchy neighborhoods here but we only go during the day.  And it's not really that bad anyways so don't worry mom.  :)  oh and the leaves fall in the springtime, which is strange.  
You guys are gonna hate me for this but I haven't taken a single picture since I've been here.  I know it's terrible but I'm just the worst at taking pictures.  I'll work on taking some though so I can show you guys what it's like down here.  Man I'll have to remember to tell Jed how grateful I am for all the pictures he always took. 
We met a couple sweet people this past week and hopefully we'll be teaching them this coming week, so I'll save time and tell you about them next week.  Oh and something sweet I've seen down here is how the Bishop's Storehouse works.  We get to help out with it every other Saturday and it's truly amazing how the church work and provides for those in need.  So be sure to pay your fast offerings! 
I'm not really sure what else there is to tell you.  So write back with any questions you want answered.  I love you guys and keep up the great work.  
Love Always,  Sister Schmutz