Monday, July 15, 2013

Hey Family!
That's a crazy story of how y'all got to meet Sister Andrade's brother!  It's definitely a small world to say the least!  That's sweet that ya got to meet him.  Now that Sarah's gonna be home next week y'all need to go find Sister LaPorte at temple square.  If she has time have her take you on a tour of God's plan.  You'll love her!! 
I also got the package on Saturday..thank you for sending back the flashdrives!  I plan on sending another package in a couple weeks cause I got some sweet stuff for y'all and I need to send home my backpack and some clothes I can't wear.  I'm sure you guys already heard but we can't wear backpacks anymore!  Haha I was so mad when I found out but I got a sweet bag from target which is fine to be using but it's super heavy with scriptures in it.  So I'll be sending my original backpack home soon so you guys can make good use of it.  Do you want me to send anything specific back home?  Mom I also traded the shoes last week maybe I'll try sending a picture next week if I remember.  They're red with flowers on them.  :)
Holy cow Andrew I'm jealous that you're going to Africa next month!!!  When I get back home you're gonna have to take me down there and show me around.  I'm super excited for you!! Be sure to take lots of pictures and send some to me when you're back home.  How long will you be over there for anyways?
Sarah you are amazing!!  Thank you so much for the quotes and pictures you were able to send.  I know you're super busy with finals and such but it means so much!  In our apartment this past week we printed out tons of pictures of temples and other quotes Sister Andrade already had and we're making a collage on one of our walls.  It's gonna be awesome.  We're calling it our wall of inspiration.  :) I'll send you a picture soon.  If you have time in this coming week could you please send me some workout exercises from pinterest?  Also in answer to your question, it depends on your mission but we aren't allowed to chat online or anything.  Throughout the week we have media time where we can come to the library in the mornings and watch videos and read stuff on the church websites but other than that we can't go anywhere online.  Keep up the sweet henna parties and work hard this coming week with finals!  Haha and I'm working on finding some sweet stuff for you Whitney, and Dee at some thrift stores.  I just need to get a couple more things. 
Emily!  How was traveling all over this summer been?  I think Havasupai or however you spell it sounds like such an awesome place!  Did you get to take any pictures while you were there?  Also august is coming up soon.  Mom said you might not be doing soccer this year...have you decided yet?  Haha you should just keep the normal family tradition.  ;)  have I mentioned that all my companions call me Schmutzy? always makes me think of you.  :)  I miss you guys!  Have y'all picked out a puppy yet?
Mom and Dad!  I have a challenge for y'all either before the end of summer or before I get home.  Go to all the temples in Utah!  It's been one of my goals to travel to as many temples as I can so that'd be sweet if y'all could do that.  Plus there's tons of blessings that come from going to the temple anyways!  I hope y'all are doing well and enjoying your summer.  Thank you for always writing to me!! 
Let's see, this week went by surprisingly super fast!  Before we know it July will already be over which is beyond crazy.  It's been raining here almost everyday which I absolutely love!  Yesterday it was sunny and bright out and then all of a sudden it just started pouring.  There was water everywhere and giant puddles every step of the way!  There were leaves and branches everywhere and the rain was coming in all directions.  It was completely crazy but awesome!  It only lasted about ten minutes and then it was fine the rest of the day.  Don't ya just love the rain though. 
There haven't been too many crazy miracles this week but there's always little ones.  Sister Evans was in the hospital earlier during the week because she had a stroke so we decided to clean up her yard while she was gone.  She just had lots of leaves and garbage everywhere and we still aren't even close to finishing because we had to go but it was fun.  Haha I love doing anything that will let me get out of wearing a skirt.  Visiting her in the hospital was super sweet as well.  Sister Evans is such a sweet lady so willing to give to everyone and is super friendly.  She has five daughters that are all hilarious as well which was so great! 
Another favorite of mine is Sister Easley.  She lives right next to the church and is the sweetest 93 year old lady.  Haha whenever we leave her house we always wonder what kind of old lady we'll be like.  Her daughter lives with her and they're complete opposites which is so funny.  She's always feeding us candy and giving us food and just loves for us to come visit.  A couple weeks ago we went over and cleaned for them because neither one of them can really clean since they both can hardly walk.  It was awesome to see how appreciative they were of us.  And then this past week we went over and were gonna pull some weeds for them but they wouldn't let us because it was too hot out.  So instead they had us move a bookshelf into another room and they were so grateful!  I love being able to do the simple acts of service that others often can't do. 

Man I just love the people here and how open they are.  Not to mention everyone has been through so much but they're so loving and willing to give to others.  It's amazing.  :)
A person I've come to love in the Book of Mormon is Alma the younger.  I love that he completely changed his life around and after he did so he never went back to his old ways and habbits.  People are less active because of 1. the environment they're in and 2. they aren't reading from the Book of Mormon.  Alma was the perfect example of this because he changed the people around him and he taught them the gospel.  All the less active members we come in contact with are surrounded by family members that are doing drugs, making bad decisions, and just plain lazy.  The thing that still completely shocks me about North Baton Rouge is how all the guys are so lazy.  For the most part, at least in the more ghetto areas, the women are the ones caring for all the children and working to make money.  Don't ask me what the guys do all day, they're just lazy bums.  But just like Alma, the people here have humbled themselves and are trying to make a difference.  It's our role as missionaries to help the less actives by changing their environment, or in other words teaching their friends.  I also love Alma because when he was talking to his sons he taught them what they needed to hear.  In other words, he taught people not lessons.  In Chapter 38 he's talking to Shiblon and he knows he's been through hard times so he testifies to him that all will be okay and like it says, "I say unto you, my son, that I have had great joy in thee already, because of thy fiathfulness and they diligence, and thy patience and thy long-suffering amont the people of the Zoramites."(v.3) And then in Chapter 39 he's talking to Corianton and of course he's a different person so he's going through different things so he talks about what he needs, "And now, my son, I have somewhat more to say unto thee than what I said unto thy brother; for behold, have y not observed the steadiness of thy brother, his faithfulness, and his diligence in keeping the commandments of God? Behold, has he not set a good example for thee?"(v.1) Alma taught his sons according to their needs.  And then the last greatest thing I love about Alma is that he always shares his testimony with others.  With all of his sons he told them how he came to know of the truth, and nothing is more powerful than a personal testimony. 
I hope y'all are reading the scriptures daily.  The stories that are included are absolutely amazing and so true!  I promise that by reading just a little everyday you'll be able to find more peace and joy in your daily life and be able to withstand temptation easier. 
I love y'all!! 
Sister Schmutz

Monday, July 8, 2013


Hey Family!
I just have to say that I'm so jealous y'all are getting a new puppy soon!  The pictures you sent were adorable!!  It's a bummer that I by the time I get back home it will be all grown up and big but that's okay.  I have three favorite dogs over here in Louisiana.  Number one is Boudreaux, he's part wolf and giant but he's a big teddy bear.  Number two is Nunu, she's a pitbull full of so much energy.  And number three is Duke, he's a little guy and is always so calm.  Dogs are just the greatest aren't they.  :)  I'll try sending a picture of Boudreaux for y'all next week. 
This week was kinda hard but it was good nevertheless.  Let's just say there were lots of haters, maybe it was because of the holiday weekend?  Who knows, but it's all good and it's the start of a new week!  The greatest lesson I learned this week is how grateful I am to be able to keep busy and work hard everyday.  On Wednesday we didn't leave the apartment the whole day because Sister Andrade wasn't feeling well.  I stayed busy reading, working on our map, cooking and what not which was fine, but the next day it was so hard to get motivated to go and do anything.  Throughout the mission people always ask what motivates you to keep going which honestly I didn't know.  Until I was reading a conference talk one day called 'Act in All Diligence' and learned that ultimately we should do everything because the Savior and His love for us.  Someone once said, love lasts fear fades, which is why we must teach out of love because otherwise it will eventually fade.  Everything in the gospel always turns back to love.  The love that God had for us to send his son to die for us, the love that Christ had for us to willingly submit to his Father's will.  And what do we do?  We love everyone in return.  One of my favorite scriptures is in Moses chapter 7:

27 And Enoch beheld aangels descending out of heaven, bearing btestimony of the Father and Son; and the Holy Ghost fell on many, and they were caught up by the powers of heaven into Zion.
28 And it came to pass that the God of heaven looked upon the aresidue of the people, and he wept; and Enoch bore record of it, saying: How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?
29 And Enoch said unto the Lord: How is it that thou canst aweep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?
30 And were it possible that man could number the particles of the earth, yea, millions of aearths like this, it would not be a beginning to the number of thy bcreations; and thy curtains are stretched out still; and yet thou art there, and thy bosom is there; and also thou art just; thou art merciful and kind forever;
31 And thou hast taken aZion to thine own bosom, from all thy creations, from all eternity to all eternity; and naught but peace, bjustice, and truth is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst cweep?
32 The Lord said unto Enoch: Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own ahands, and I gave unto them their bknowledge, in the day I created them; and in the Garden of Eden, gave I unto man his cagency;
33 And unto thy brethren have I said, and also given commandment, that they should alove one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they bhate their own blood;
The Lord was crying because all he asked of his people was to love one another and yet they hated each other.  Everything always turns back to love!  Anyways not to go off on some random love tangent but it's super sweet to really study the affect that love has on others. 

A sweet miracle from this week though was two of our investigators came to church yesterday!  The office elders used to be teaching them back in january or somewhere around there but when they got transfered they stopped seeing them.  Long story short they never had an area book so no one knew about them but one of the elders called us up and we got to meet them and we've taught them a couple times since them.  Their names are Natasha and Rabrisha!  It was Rabrisha's first time to church ever and she brought her son with her and both of them seemed to really enjoy it.  And Natasha said she'd been a couple times way back when.  All Natasha said was that it was the same as the last time she went and she wanted to go home after sacrament meeting.  But Rabrisha loved it and said she wants to stay for all three hours next sunday!  Oh and Natasha is Rabrisha's mom.  I'll tell y'all more about them next week. 

Another sweet miracle was getting to work with Miranda and Tasha's mom, Melissa.  The Lewis' are my absolute favorite family in our ward.  Mostly because I feel like I can relate to them all and they don't pretend to be the perfect family.  I know I've already mentioned them before but I can't remember what I said.  Melissa has thyroid cancer so she can't physically do much for a couple weeks in the month but she loves doing service so we got the whole family to come help out at Sister Heard's home.  They just moved into our ward back in March and I remember Miranda being so shy, just like me.  And now here she is preparing to go on a mission!  And Tasha is awesome as well.  It takes some time for her to get used to all the changes in missionaries but once we do she's open.  For some reason she reminds me a lot about Sarah even though they're complete opposites.  I love just getting to know them and their family because they've been through so incredibly much.  It's honestly taught me to never judge anyone for things you might not know.  Also Boudreaux is their dog and they have tons of bunnies.  :)  we're working on getting them all to come back to church, but it will just take time. 

And then we went shepharding yesterday with Sister Lewis which was sweet.  We couldn't get another sister to come with us so Sister Andrade and I had to stay together, but it was still great.  We got to learn tons about the area from her and it was sweet to hear how much of a blessing it is to have sister missionaries in our ward.  Perfect timing if I do say so myself.  Also we have a pretty crazy area...I already knew this but found out yesterday that a couple years back the zipcode 70805 which is where our chapel is located, was ranked the most dangerous in the nation.  Don't worry though Mom, missionaries used to be banned from going into certain areas but it's all good now.  Plus we're being safe and protected by the Lord and there's no where I'd rather be...I love North BR!  Working with members is truly the way to go!  Now we have a return appointment with Sister Lewis and she's inviting her non member friend to be there!  Sweet blessings.
Hmm..I don't know what else to tell y'all.  If ya have any questions or anything let me know and I'll try to answer them!  Good luck with picking out a puppy!  And best of wishes with finals in the upcoming weeks, Sarah!  I'll actually write you back today for once because we're going down to Gonzalez for the day.  The Elders decided to make a special trip down because I asked if they were going down anytime soon so I could trade my shoes since that's the closest store and they said we could go down today!  Thanks for the shoes Mom!  I like them but they're just like my other ones so I'm gonna try switching them, I hope that's okay.  Oh hey you should name the new puppy Boudreaux if it's a boy.  :)  Also Sarah you will never believe this, actually Nik might have already told you, but he was in the same district as Sister Andrade in the MTC!  it's such a small world!  Also Bro. Holloway said he called you guys but y'all never answered...

Enjoy your week!  I love y'all!!    

Love Always,  Sister Schmutz

p.s. the picture is from last monday sorry it's so zoomed out.  That's our whole district!  We went mini golfing and then the Prairieville Sisters and us went shopping at Goodwill! 

Monday, July 1, 2013


Hey Family!
It sounds like y'all had a wonderful time up in Rexburg this past weekend.  The places y'all went sound pretty're gonna have to take me when I get back.  Swimming, sand dunes, frozen yogurt, and family, nothing sounds better than that.  :)  Seriously I can't believe it's already July.  Time is just flying by so stinkin fast. 
A random picture of my desk for y'all!
Thank you for sending back the flashdrive this coming week!  I haven't gotten the shoes you sent yet mom probably because the office is crazy busy with transfers this past week.  Also my ear is all good now.  :)  nice haircut Emily!  Haha and I loved the pictures of y'all.  Thank you for sending them!  Sarah, go onto facebook and add Wana Lee Mills as your friend.  She's the sweetest lady in our ward and I told her to go find you but I'm not sure if she did or not.  And then tell me what she says and everything, you'll love her. 
It's been a really good week to say the least.  Our district is completely changed now with transfers but it will be good.  
Here's our district:
Office Elders: Elder Jessop, Navitakula, Gilbert
Zone Leaders: Elder Foremaster, Ageda
Tiger Bend: Elder Morrow, Sun
Prairieville Sisters: Sister Seegrist, Thornley
All of us there helping the Tate's move...that's our whole district but the office elders are missing.
All the companionships changed except ours but it's sweet.  Our biggest focus for this transfer is getting to know everyone in the ward better.  We have a huge list of members but hardly any of them are active and the majority of them we've never met.  Plus tons of them have moved and their phone numbers are disconnected so we're gonna try meeting as many people as we can and helping our ward.  I'm real excited for it because there's so many people that we need to see! 
Church yesterday was awesome!  I'm not gonna lie though, it's stressful coming to curch as a missionary because you're constantly thinking of the less actives and investigators that are attending that haven't attended forever.  Wondering what they're thinking of everything and if they understand everything.  But yesterday Brother Born came to church for the first time in forever!  We've been working with him lately and he keeps coming up with excuses to not be there.  But he came yesterday and stayed for two whole hours which is pretty sweet considering he's in a wheelchair and it took a lot to get him there.  Plus Miranda's sister, Tasha came for the first time in a long time as well and she stayed for all three hours!  Their cousin Leila came also!  We even got all three of them to come to a fireisde last night and Tasha said she actually enjoyed coming to church!  At first I was worried because it took a couple weeks for Tasha to start talking to us and then once Sister LaPorte left Tasha wouldn't come into the lessons again.  But we've built the trust back up again and we're getting through to her!  Miracles do happen.  :)  Our next step is to get her and Miranda both on missions, and Leila as well!  Seriously they are the sweetest family.  They've been through a lot but they're doing great despite the set backs.
Praireville Sisters and us helping the Tate's move.  That truck was completely packed full by the end of the day.
This week we also got to help some members from the 3rd ward move which was awesome.  Haha seriously we've helped so many people move and clean their houses I've learned that I'm only gonna give my kids one toy and we'll keep the house reasonably clean.  I love doing service though and finding little ways we can serve those around us.  Sister Andrade and I also cleaned Sister Easley's home.  She's 93 and the sweetest lady you'll ever meet.  Since she can't really do much, and her daughter that lives with her doesn't really clean that much either we went over and dusted everything which she absolutely loved. 
Birthday Breakfast!
In Alma Chapter 32 of the Book of Mormon, Alma goes about teaching people but no one seems to be listening to him.  But "they began to have success among the poor class of people"(v.2) these poor people were cast out of their synoguges and couldn't worship because they weren't dressed nice and what not.  I love this story because in North BR there's tons of people struggling to make it.  Majority of the people have multiple jobs and they barely make it through the month.  The story goes on to say that they were cast out so they could be humbled, "he beheld with great joy; for he beheld that their afflictions had truly humbled them, and that they were in a preparation to hear the word."(v.6)  I know that this is true, we're all put through things so that we can become humble.  So many people I've met here and humble and willing to give of everything.  People feed us when they hardly have enough food for themselves.  But here's the problem, "blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God."(v.16)  Everyone was compelled to be humble because they have no other choice.  But in reality they hardly have enough money but here they are with their fancy iphones and nice cars.  So yes, people are humble but they aren't humble because they choose to be.  I wish everyone could just understand how worldly things don't matter at all.  This probably makes no sense at all...but it made sense in my head this morning.  The people in Louisiana are crazy but I absolutely love them!     
Sister Andrade and me.
Anyways I love y'all so much!!  Let me know if there's anything I can do for you.  The pictures today include 1. Sister Andrade and me.  2. Praireville Sisters and us helping the Tate's move.  That truck was completely packed full by the end of the day.  3. All of us there helping the Tate's move...that's our whole district but the office elders are missing.  4. A random picture of my desk for y'all.  Enjoy!   
Love Always, Sister Schmutz