Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Hey Family!!
I hope y'all are having a great summer break and making the most of the last couple weeks you have.  I can't believe that school is starting again so soon and time just keeps racing on!  School starts next week here!  Andrew and Emily both get to be seniors this year...it's so crazy!! 
This week has been a super good week!  On Saturday we had a ward activity for pioneer day but it was raining the whole day so not very many people came out.  Seriously when it rains here it pours, and I mean pours.  It was fun with everyone that did come though.  We just had a picnic up at a little park but it was awesome because they have these ponds with fish that you can catch and release so all the kids were doing that and guess what? I caught a fish!!  I should've taken a picture but my camera was in the car so I didn't get the chance to.  Haha the best part was when we first went over to the pond, I was asking Aiden if he caught any fish and he said  he caught a couple so he threw in his fishing pole, then I did mine, and Sister Andrade did hers and at the same time we all caught a fish.  It was a pretty exciting moment.  :)  We got to eat lots of food at the picnic and then we also had a water balloon fight and played uno.  Man I love the ward here so much! 
Weddin, her niece, and me.
I'd have to say a sweet miracle from this week was helping the Wleh's move.  They're the family with six girls and she's a single mom and the girls are all the cutest (I've told y'all about them before)!  We usually stop by to see their family at least once a week but we hadn't been able to this week.  Then Saturday morning at the bishops storehouse we asked Tracy if she was bringing her girls to the ward activity later in the day and she said probably not because they have to be moved out by monday so we decided to go help them.  We didn't even know they were moving!  We helped out a little before the activity and they already had everything moved but in their moms bedroom everything was still there.  And Tracy was gone the whole time we were there so with Erica and Janice we were able to carry the mattress and dressers down the street to their new house, plus the elders came and helped with the big things.  Seeing Tracy's reaction when she found almost everything in her room moved was the best!  She was so grateful.  :)  haha they were trying to convince Erica to call us earlier to come help but they didn't.  Seriously their family is the best family ever, it's a party everytime we got over and they all love each other so much.  I hope my family can be like that one day! 
Something I learned from the Book of Mormon this week was in Alma 59.  Moroni was talking about the cities and how it was easier to maintain them rather than having to take them back from the Lamanites.  As it says, "knowing that it was easier to keep the city from falling into the hands of the Lamanites than to retake it from them."(v.9)  "Therefore he retained all his force to maintain those places which he had recovered." (v.10)  It relates to the less active people that we've been working with.  In the "baptize, retain, and regain worthy converts" part of our mission vision I think it's just like Moroni said, it's easier to retain the members of the church than to regain them.  So it's our responsibility to retain the members.  That's exactly what we've been trying to do lately.  At church we're noticing who doesn't show up and we're trying to visit them throughout the week so that they don't eventually become less active.  Imagine it this way if you so please, you have a bucket of water half full and an empty bucket.  It's so much easier and quicker to fill the bucket when it's half way than when it's empty.  The less active or semi active members are the half full bucket and the less active that haven't come to church in a couple years are the empty buckets.  It's not impossible to fiill either one of the buckets, but in order to help out our ward we have to create more full buckets so the full buckets can help all the empty buckets.     
Hey Mom and Dad, I wanted to ask y'all to send your own conversion stories.  With lots of members we've been visiting I always love hearing how they joined the church and when their testimony really came to them.  And I was thinking, and I've never heard either of yours.  Also Dad and Andrew y'all should send either your favorite story from your mission or one of the craziest ones! 
I'll write to y'all next tuesday!  You guys better write me next week you little stinkers.  ;)
Love Always,
Sister Schmutz

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hey Family!
Sounds like y'all had a fun weekend floating down the river and what not.  Summer is coming to an end so quick it's crazy!  The weeks keep going by faster and fater and before ya know it it's already a new week.  Enjoy lake powell this week!  Be sure to take some pictures and send them.  The one thing I miss the most about Utah besides the mountains is the sunsets...seriously you can't ever see the sun set here which is so weird! 
This week was oh so good!  It was basically just like any other week though so I'm not sure why it was so good but it just was.  Our goal this transfer has been to work with more members because we're here to help strengthen the members as well as less actives and investigators.  But so far we haven't really been doing a great job at it.  But this week we got to see lots of members just because we stopped by.  Haha and since I'm not gonna be in this area forever I'm trying to introduce Sister Andrade to everyone so she'll know everyone for when I leave.  The best thing about working with members is that they provide a constant friendhsip with investigators and when you get to know them they trust you more.  Even just going over to some members homes once, as soon as we get to church I can tell there's already a better relationship.  I guess you could say it's hard in our ward because our active list is very few compared to less actives.  So often times the members are just too worn out from doing everything but I love working with all the members! 
All the missionaries in BR 1st ward.  From left to right goes Elder Navitikula, Foremanster, Gilbert, Ageda, Jessop.  The elders always match their tie colors on sunday so we decided to join in yesterday.  :)
An awesome moment from this past week was on wednesday.  We tried stopping by a couple peoples homes but none of them were there so we decided to go tracting before our next appointment.  We hardly ever go tracting because it's the least effective way of finding people but we decided it would be good to do anyways.  No one was home and those that were didn't want to let us come in.  But here's the miracle.  We were walking back to the car to head to the appointment when this guy walking by asked if we were Jehovah Witnesses.  So we said no and what church we're from and so he asked us if we had a book.  So of course we gave him a Book of Mormon and got his address and he said he'd love for us to come over.  We went over a couple days later and we met him and his sister.  Their names are Christopher and Porshia.  I would guess he's about 15 or so and she's 25.  Long story short a couple years ago their mom passed away and some senior couple missionaries in the area were teaching them.  It's a pretty sweet story! 
Oh and one more awesome story!  Every thursday night we have gospel study at the ward.  We used to come way back in the day but for the past couple months we've just been leaving it to the elders because it's a bunch of guys that come to play basketball after.  The office elders and the zone leaders couldn't make it so they asked us if we could teach so of course we said yes.  There will either be days when no one comes or tons of them come so we were just expecting none to come.  But low and behold Manny, the elders quorom president came in with his friend Levi.  It was just those two for the first little bit but it's an awesome story.  Levi just started reading the Book of Mormon one day because he felt like it and wants to know where to go in life and kind of the same questions as Joseph Smith.  He knew Manny was a member so he called him up and we got to teach him the restoration!  Aw man the tender mercies of the Lord.  :)  then about halfway in everyone else started showing up for basketball and they joined in on the lesson since we were already teaching.  So we got to teach twenty black guys where the Book of Mormon came from!  Definitely a sweet moment of the week! 
We found a crayon fence in the middle of Baton Rouge so of course we took a picture!


We've got a busy week this week so I'm really looking forward to it!  I'm cutting the email short cause I'm gonna try sending y'all a super funny video and some pictures!  I'll try writing more if I have time and can figure it all out.   

Love you!
Sister Schmutz  

Sorry I couldn't get the video uploaded...it's too big. 
Here's what I learned from the scriptures this week.  :)
While reading Alma 55 this week I was able to relate it to us and our less actives/investigators. In the chapter there were Nephites taken captive by the Lamanites. The part that really stood out to me was in verse 16 it's talking about what the Nephites did after the Lamanite guards were dunk and asleep. The Nephites, "cast in weapons of war unto the prisoners, insomuch that they were all armed" Instead of just coming in and taking the captives out before the Lamanites awoke they provided them with weapons so they could defend themselves. If you relate the captive Nephites to our less actives/investigators and the other Nephites as the missionaries it begins to make more sense. Here we are bringing the weapons to them. The weapons might include the scriptures, the spirit, stronger testimony, and lots more. But it's their responsibility to do something with them. If the Lamanites were to wake up they would have to choose to fight back and be prepared by using their weapons. Our responsibility is to help teach them what they can do to strengthen themselves. 
I'm sure Gottlieb sounds familiar to Dad.  :)

thank you so much for all you do keep up the good work. I love y'all! 

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?  yep...it 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