Monday, April 29, 2013


Hey Family!!
First exciting news is that Alexis was baptized this past Friday!!! It was such an awesome day and holy cow she's such an awesome girl. Her grandpa was able to baptize her and the tenderest moment was when she came out after she was dressed again. Sister LaPorte and I were standing by the door because we were showing some mormon messages and her grandpa came and stood by us. She came and stood between me and Brother McCartney and put her arm around both of us and she whispered, "I feel so clean." Pretty sure I was the only one that heard it, seriously the tenderest moment ever. I love Alexis and her family so much. Haha and then another tender/funny moment. At church yesterday I was sitting back by a less active lady we've been working with and Sister LaPorte was sitting up by someone that needed her. (long story short you're supposed to sit by your companion but we split for the meeting because we were needed by two different ladies) Alexis came and sat by me and we kinda forgot to tell her what was gonna happen when she got confirmed. So the bishop called her to come up and she was so surprised and didn't want to go up. So I quickly said you're gonna get the holy ghost! go go. I guess you're always learning something new everyday, right. It was just a funny moment looking back on it afterwards but she was so excited. In every lesson she always mentioned how excited she was to receive the gift of the holy ghost. Man, to say the least Alexis is awesome. :) so the baptism and everything was so awesome and meant so much to her whole family. The pictures attached are of Alexis and her sister Alasia. 
Here's a couple miracles before I forget (besides Alexis, of course:):
numero uno: Church yesterday was packed! Even in Relief Society there was only one seat left empty. It means so much when you spend all your time loving these people and trying to help them progress. Sundays are either the best day of the week because everyone shows up to church or they're the worst day of the week because no one shows up. And this past sunday was one of the best ones yet. It's just a little reminder that the effort we put in actually has results and means something. The people here are progressing!! And just like I like to say, you're either progressing or digressing, you can never stand still. 
numero dos: We possibly have three solid progressing investigators this coming week! The saying that the Lord will provide when you're doing what is right is so true. I'll explain more about each of them next week but they're all golden and want to learn more for themselves. 
numero tres: Saturday was our stake day of service way out in Lafayette about an hour away. We got to drive in the van with the Elders and it seriously hit me that I'm not in Utah anymore. There were trees and water everywhere, down here in the real bayou. I'll have to bring y'all down sometime soon to experience the real south. :) we got to help clean up a school though and it was awesome to see the difference after we were done. 
numero cuatro: A couple weeks ago we tried stopping by to see Sister Casselberry (less active lady) the first time she wasn't home and the second time her daughter said she was sick. We kinda took it as in she's avoiding us so we decided to give her some time before trying to come back. The other night we got a call from a Georgia phone numer and it turned out to be her mother! Turns out missionaries haven't been by in years and she was talking to her mom and wished so bad that we would have left our phone number because she wants us to come by (we usually leave our phone number but not very many call back). She's been going to a catholic church because her husband is anti and doesn't want to fight with him. Anyways her mom hearing this decided to track down the local missionaries and that's how she got our number and told us how we really should stop by again and it's an answer to her prayers. I hope that all made sense! It was such a cool experience and it's neat seeing that the Lord has a hand in everything. 
I hope y'all are having a great week back home. Most of the schools here get out in two or so weeks so summer really is on it's way. You're gonna be a senior Emily!!! Sorry I've been so terrible at writing you guys back. I think it's been nearly four weeks since I've written an actual letter to anyone but hopefully today I'll find time. Plus we're out of miles so we can't really go anywhere but home today anyways. But please keep sending letters! Haha Sarah it sounds like your semester is already packed full of fun. Who are these people you're hanging out with a ton? And are there tons less people there with the mission age change? Haha and I knew hardly anyone on the second floor...strange. Oh my and guess what? We did exchanges this week with the Praireville sisters and I found out that Julia and Sister Wheeler knew each other in the MTC, I think they might have even been roommates. Such a small world! I saw a picture of both of them on the wall and was so surprised!
Oh yeah and before I forget...mothers day is coming up and I believe we can skype if y'all want to. I'm not entirely sure how it works yet but the elders said for christmas they went over to our ward mission leaders office and got to use his computers, but that was when there were only four of them so I'm not sure how it will work for all six missionaries. Plus could we possibly use google hangout or something since I have no idea what my skype info is. Hopefully President will let us know more info next week. But if we do get the option to skype or phone call which one would y'all want to do? And will Sarah and Andrew be home for the weekend? 
Thank you for all you do! I love you guys so much. Mom and Dad thank you for all your continual support and love. You're the greatest! :) 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, April 22, 2013


Hey Family!!
While driving through Louisiana the other day I came to the realization that Utah will never be as green as this state.  Maybe I'm just crazy but I LOVE all the trees here and how everything is ridiculously green.  I'm not sure when exactly everything started turning green but I noticed it the other day and it's seriously the greatest thing ever.  In Baton Rouge you don't really realize it because it's a big city, but occasionally there will be random roads that lead into the forest and it's really like a wall of trees everywhere outside of the city.  Imagine trying to cut all that down to build a house...killer.  The beauty of the earth really gets you thinking though, Heavenly Father definitely has a hand in everything here on earth.  If y'all haven't seen it you should watch the Earthly Father, Heavenly Father mormon message.  I may or may not watch it every morning while I'm eating's my favorite one!!  It's got me thinking about the gospel though and how every single thing Heavenly Father has given us which is unbelievably crazy and so awesome.  The least we can do is obey and serve Him!
As tradition calls, here's a couple miracles from this week:
numero uno:  We were heart attacking some single ladies in our ward late monday night.  After we got home we got a call from Tania calling us saying that no one has ever done anything so nice for her and that she'll never forget it.  She kept going on and on and was basically crying she was so happy.  Seriously it was the sweetest little miracle seeing how little things change people so much.  Haha she's from Brazil and is still working on her english and she said she can't put into english how she feels, it was so sweet.  
numero dos:  We were able to attend the temple this past tuesday night as well.  At the end someone from our ward took us into the sealing room which was beautiful.  I love the Baton Rouge temple because it's so small and feels just like home.  Man the temple is awesome, isn't it.   
numero tres:  We're (Heavenly Father) converting all the eleven year olds in Baton Rouge! It's a long story but we're teaching a lot of eleven year old girls and they're all so cute and have a great desire to follow Christ.  Not to mention...Alexis is getting baptized this Saturday!!  She is so unbelievably excited and we're all excited for her.  I'll send pictures soon.  :)
numero quatro?:  We've been trying to meet this less active lady Sister Smith for a couple weeks now but she hasn't been home whenever we stopped by.  On Friday we stopped by again and right when we were leaving she pulled up.  Long story short we found out she was moving over by Denham Springs and we helped her move her clothes into her car.  We asked if we could help with the move and she said no but eventually she said yes so we showed up with the elders saturday morning and helped her move two giant truck fulls.  She was so grateful too and it would've taken hours without all of us. 
It was a really great week here in Louisiana and we've been keeping busy doing the Lord's work.  Oh yeah and we had our first crawfish boil last night!  Let's just say this morning I still smelled like crawfish and there was so unbelievably much it was ridiculous, but oh so good.  Y'all will have to come down sometime after I'm home and get the full effect of the south.  :)   The work here is slowly progressing but we're constantly working on it.  Our ward just needs the support from one another but everyone is focused on themselves. 
Anyways I love y'all so much.  Thank you for all you continually do for me and the Lord. 
Sarah good luck with school starting this upcoming week, you'll do awesome!  Just remember with hard classes that Heavenly Father pushes you out of your comfort zone so that you can learn from it.  And trust me, He knows us all better than we know ourselves.  How's it being back in good old Rexburg?  And just think, after this semester you'll be halfway done.  Woot woot!!
Emily you looked gorgeous for prom!!  Who was your date and what did ya do for your activities?  Details woman, details!  
Andrew enjoy Europe this coming week!
Mom and Dad I love you guys.  Thank you for sending a new package!!  Y'all are the best.  Hey and is there anything I can do for ya?  
Love Always,  Sister Schmutz

Monday, April 15, 2013

no email? just kiddin

Hey Family!!
When I first got on and saw there was no email from y'all my first reaction was to write back to ya "what? no email.  guess you won't hear back from me either. haha just kidding."  But then I waited around a bit and saw your email come in so all is good.  Don't worry I still love you guys and I will always email y'all.  :) even when you don't have time to email me...*mm Emily mm* just kidding but seriously I want to hear from you. 
Thank you for calling the office after Grandpa passed away and letting President know.  He called me friday afternoon to inform me of grandpa's passing.  He just said that he had some bad news and that grandpa had passed away last night.  Asked me if we were very close, I said yes.  Asked if I would be okay, I said yes.  And yeah.  And he actually gave me permission to call home to find out funeral arrangment and what not but I chose not to because I don't think it would've made the situation any easier.  Plus there's less than a month until mothers day!  I was gonna call Big Grandma but I ended up not because I didn't know what to say to her at the time and I know that next week will be harder on her.  Let her know though that I'm praying for her and think about her often.  I said a special prayer after we stopped driving for grandma and the spirit was really strong.  So instead of calling I wanted to write to her.  Here's some things I wanted to share with her that I was thinking about the rest of the day so if you could let her know that would be great.  
When someone knows they're about to die, the last words they always say are cherished and remembered, right?  Knowing this, in Enos 1:27 it says, "And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest.  And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before him; then shall I see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me: Come unto me, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father.  Amen."  These were the last words Enos wrote before he passed away and I love them.  Heavenly Father has a place prepared for each of us and he's waiting for us to come back home.  It's no easy task losing a loved one, but it makes the loss a little bit easier knowing that He is waiting for us and is there ready to greet us.  And then in Alma 40:11-12 "Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection-Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.  And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of thos who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow." I know that death isn't the end, it's the beginning.  At this time Grandpa is really beginning his life and he's free from everything on the earth.  Know that you are never alone and that you've been promised angels to bear and lift you up in hard times.  And I can assure you that Grandpa is one of those angels surrounding you.  I love you Grandma.          
Sarah you're leaving back to Rexburg this Saturday!!!  Boy does time sure fly or what.  Haha and you'll be surprised to know this but I already knew Amanda was gonna be your roommate.  She wrote me a letter earlier this week and told me you were one of her roommates.  Now she gets to live with me once and you...lucky duck.  Be sure to tell Dee and Amanda I say hi and love them.  Are you excited for the new semester to begin?  Oh hey and take my fan for those hot summer days.  I feel like all the missionaries here go to BYU-I so just be warned if some random person comes up to you saying hi they could've possible served in Louisiana.  I miss you Sarah and don't worry about writing back as soon as you can.  I'm sure things are crazy with the start of school and moving.  
Haha Dad, my emails are all so positive because I'm serving in one of the best wards in Louisiana!  I mean I've never been anywhere else, but I hear stories of bishops down in other cities hating the missionaries because they think they aren't doing any work when really they are.  So basically no ward support which makes missionary work quite impossible.  But we've got the best ward around.  Our stake president likes to call our ward united nations because there's so many different cultures and races.  It's great.  :) plus it helps when you've got an awesome companion and district.  I did receive the GPS on Friday.  Thank you so so so so much!!!  Seriously it's a life saver and without it we would be so lost.  Well, actually it's possible to go without it, but it makes us use our time more effectively and as you know, time is the most precious thing we have.  Oh and just fyi if you're ever thinking of buying another GPS I would definitely recommend Garmin, it's way easier to use.    
Mom maybe since you guys will basically be empty nesters once again you and Dad could start volunteering at the temple or something.  Who knows though...just an idea.  :)  I hope all is going well at work and home though.  Oh and hey before I forget.  If you have some extra time would you mind finding me some more shirts to send to me?  We really have no time to go shopping here and I would love more colorful pattern shirts that are lose and don't show all your sweat ask Emily about colors that don't show your sweat as much (summers coming) if you don't know what I'm talking about.  You can take some money out of my account to buy them with.  No rush though...maybe just think of it as an early birthday present.  Thanks mom, you're the greatest and I love you dearly.  :)
Here's just a couple miracles to start off this week:
numero uno: Alexis is officially progressing!!!  I'm not sure exactly what I told y'all before about her so I'll just say it all now.  Her grandparents are active members in our ward and her mom is less active.  She's eleveen right now and has been coming to church basically on and off her whole life.  I'm not entirely sure why she wasn't baptized when she turned eight.  Anyways, the yw president asked us to teach her and it took us about a month to get in contact with her.  I randomly called her to come to the yw broadcast and she came!  Sister LaPorte asked her if she wants to be baptized and she said yes so we've been teaching her ever since.  Basically she already knows everything so it's awesome teaching her and she's even been keeping all the commitments.  She stayed for all three hours of church yesterday despite the fact that her mom left after first hour.  And she's so excited to get baptized.  So if things keep progressing as they are her baptism date is set for April 27th.  We're so excited for her and her family!!  Even her mom is so supportive and listens in on all the lessons.  The hardest part is getting her to come to activities and church because they live out in the boonies and yeah.  
numero dos:  We went over and visited Barney Cutchen this past week and seriously he's the sweetest guy!  Be sure to tell Sister Crowley that I stopped by and that he talks very highly of her.  :)  While there he even let us come to lunch with him and it was delicious.  According to him he's been attending 2nd ward and working with the bishop on preparing to enter the temple.  He recently moved into our ward though so we're gonna try and get him to come to church sometime soon.  Everyone down here has word of wisdom problems so he said he's trying to quit drinking coffee but it's hard, also he needs to stop drinking tea.  But he's a great guy and so sweet with great stories.  
numero tres:  we survived saturday after riding our bikes literally the whole day.  We were running low on miles for the month so we decided to make it a bike day.  (the last one we had was with Sister Calderwood and that only lasted probably 30 mins) but Sister LaPorte was super excited to go biking so we planned out who we should see and planned different roads to avoid.  Anyways, we were literally on our bikes for four or five hours straight because no one was home.  We went way far away from home too and our legs and were burning we seriously couldn't go any further.  Haha and to make it worse we were fasting.  Eventually we decided to break our fast and eat dinner and we called the tiger bend sisters to come pick us up.  It was quite the experience to say the least.  But hey at least it makes us way more thankful for our cars.  And we randomly asked a family where the closest gas station was to use the bathroom and they just let us into their home.  We talked about what missionaries do and this week we're gonna take them by a thank you card and a Book of Mormon.  
So to say the least it's been an interesting week but a very exciting one.   What crazy new stories have there been from back home?  I miss y'all but I love ya so much more!!
Love Always, Sister Schmutz
p.s. here's a great lesson I've learn...never cancel any plans with the missionaries.  It's seriously the worst news we can receive because it messes everything up.  Also invite them over for dinner on Sunday's.  I don't know why but Sundays are always the hardest days and members never invite us over for dinner then.  Y'all are the best!!