Monday, February 24, 2014

seems like spring is here

Hey Family!
My email is being really weird today and won't let me write any new emails without replying to old ones so I hope y'all get this!  I'm glad y'all are feeling better too and the weather in Utah sounds real nice.  It got up into the 80s here this past week and man it was hot let me tell ya.  I thought I'd be ready for summer but I like the cold weather just a little bit.  :)  things have been going great here though!  How's life treating y'all? 
Mardi Gras is coming up so we're gonna be going to a parade downtown this weekend with Sister Mills and possibly the spanish sisters.  Can you believe it, I'm going to my first parade.  Man, I feel all grown up!  Haha but for real everyone can't believe I've never been to any parade before.  Not very many people in Baton Rouge really celebrate Mardi Gras though.  Over in Covington people were putting up decorations two months early and what not.  It's a weird holiday and king cake is nasty.  Geez there's no school for anyone the entire next week! 

Let's see, what else has been happening.  So I told y'all that Chandra moved just about two houses south of our area but President said that we can keep teaching her.  She's great and I love her family so much!  It's hard though because they got no car and our ward already has a big enough problem to get members to church.  And then the bus system doesn't run on sundays.  She said before though that they'd take a taxi to church but last week she said they couldn't come on sundays but they'd take the bus to church wednesday nights if we start up bible study again.  I think we'll just need to teach her the importance of church and then they'll make the sacrifice to come.  The thing I've really learned this week is that no matter how bad I want something to happen, it won't happen if it's not on the Lord's time.  I know that Chandra and her family are going to come to church and join the church too and it will completely change their life.  I wish so bad it could be right now, I'd give anything to give them a car to come to church.  But ya know what, Heavenly Father has a plan and we have to trust in his timing.  So in the meantime we're just gonna keep teaching her and doing our best to help her work towards baptism.  Goodness they are just the sweetest. 
The same thing kinda applies to Kiwanna.  We hadn't been able to see her in a couple weeks because she was never there and then her phone broke and all these other things.  She's the same way as Chandra.  She wants to do these things but her circumstances won't allow her to at the moment.  So once again, I know it's hard for her to get to church now and it feels like there's so many obstacles to get her baptized but at the same time I know she will be able to when she's ready. It's not on my timing, it's on the Lord's time.  She got a job working at Sonic so hey at least now she's making some money and she really wants to move out which will be really good for her.  Maybe we'll convince her to move within walking distance of the church.  :) well see. 
But for now we aren't gonna give up on either of them and we'll just help them prepare for when the timing is right.  Man I tell ya, I love how God has a perfect plan for each of us.  It can definitely be so frustrating but he does know best.  
This transfer we've been focusing lots on investigators because all the time here before we were really focused on less actives.  And the thing is it's so easy to find new investigators in Baton Rouge because everyone will listen.  I mean our investigators won't always be here waiting around to find the truth.  Our less actives will always be there, no offense to them, I mean I love them all dearly.  It's awesome though we've given out more Book of Mormon's this transfer than any time before in my mission.  I just love it!
Another sweet investigator we have is Andrea.  I think I told y'all about her last week.  She's from Brazil and is the cutest and sweetest lady.  Her and her husband came to the ward activity we had friday night and she really liked it.  She loves for us to come visit her too.  
Sister Banks spoke at church yesterday for the first time in her entire life!  It was amazing too.  :)  haha she was freaking out all week and didn't know what to say. She tried calling all these people to help her but no one really gave her that much help.  It was real good.  She just started temple prep yesterday too so hopefully we can get Sister Banks to the temple soon.  That'd be awesome!

It was quite a good week to say the least.  We got to go to the temple on tuesday for our ward temple night and it was so good to be back.  Goodness the peace that comes from going to the temple is unreal.  :)  we walked though the ghetto to find some less actives and met some sweet potential investigators.  Haha here's a story from the ghetto...Sister Wolf is much better at telling stories though so I'm just gonna quote her: 
So the other day we're walking down the street. We just came from contacting a lovely fellow who was quite interested in learning and it had only rained a little so we were only a little wet. It was a great day!
WELL, you know that Satan (the little bugar) has to put some sort of kink in things! He doesn't like seeing missionaries happy! So we cross the road and pass by a bus stop. This man comes out of the bus stop and asks us who we are. The man is about 6"2, black, probably 63 years old and has no teeth, poor fellow.
"I'm Sister Schmutz." Sister Schmutz says. He takes her hand and kisses it. Then he turns to me. 'Oh boy, this is going to be interesting.' I think.
"I'm Sister Wolf." He takes my hand and kisses it too. Then he puts his arms around both of our shoulders with him in the middle, kind of like those pictures of those people at the drunk parties with the drunk fart in the middle and two beach babes on both arms. Except we aren't beach babes and this guy was a lot older than those guys in the pictures. Poor Sister Schmutz looked kind of shocked and was just sort of standing there with his arm around her. I really didn't feel like being hugged by this guy so I was trying to step away from him but I couldn't really, especially since he was still hugging my companion and I wasn't quite sure what to do in this scenario.
"Why don't y'all come to my house?"
"We can't, we're missionaries." I say.
"I'm on a mission too." He says. Then he kisses both of us on the cheek. That kind of ticked me off. His breath stank on ice and smelled like bad beer!
"Nope, we can't." I say again.
"Nobody can?!"
"Tell you what, we'll send the Elders and they can come teach you. Take this Book of Mormon and it can teach you how to know Christ better." I take the Book of Mormon out of my bag and sort of shove it at him. Sister Schmutz, (I love Sister Schmutz, have I mentioned that yet? She's awesome!) takes out a pass along card and begins to write down the elders' number.
"Why don't you girls come teach me? I'm by muself and I'm nice!" He says. Sister Schmutz is writing down the end of the phone number when he reaches over and kisses her on the neck! That made me mad. You do NOT kiss my companion on the neck!
"No!" I said.
"I'm nice!"
"If you're nice then you're not gonna touch us!" He looked shocked and let go of both of us.
"Now you take this book and phone number and you call the elders and come to know Jesus Christ." Sister Schmutz handed the card to him and we began to walk away. Then he called us, "Hey, you se that apartment over there? On the corner? That's mine!"
"Ok." we said and walked away.
"It was probably mean to the Elders to give him their phone number..." I said.
"We'll tell them about it at dinner" Sister Schmutz said and we walked away laughing.
That guy was ridiculous and obviously slightly tipsy. It was a very interesting experience but kind of hilarious in a really weird way too.
I was reading in 3 Nephi 11 this past week and here's something I really liked, there was this voice that came from the sky talking to them but no one understand. It came again and no one understand. "And again the third time they did hear the voice, and did open their ears to hear it; and their eyes were towards the sound thereof; and they did look steadfastly towards heaven, from whence the sound came. And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard." (v.5-6) The key is they had to open their ears to hear it. That doesn't mean that their ears were blocked, it means they weren't paying attention. It's the exact same way with us and the spirit. We always have the spirit with us but a lot of the time we don't tune ourselves in to hear it. I think it related to what Elder Perkins said at zone conference. We can't just do things when the spirit prompts us to. We must do everything and stop if the spirit prompts us not to.  After all, Heavenly Father isn't going to tell us every single step we need to take, otherwise we'd have no agency.  It's up to us to do something, and he'll stop us if we're going the wrong way. 
I just want to say that I love y'all.  And I think you're pretty awesome.  :)  I'm so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the pattern it has to lead and change our lives.  It's not just the principles we learn, but it's our way of living and effects everything.  Truly wonderful. 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz  

Monday, February 17, 2014

belated valentines day

Hey Family!
Happy late Valentine's day!  I'm glad y'all are still alive after having to go to the doctor and the hospital so many times this past week.  Goodness everyone is just getting old and sick.  Haha or at least that's what I feel like.  Coming back to Baton Rouge there's a couple people that have cancer now and are sick, it's rough.  But none the less it's been good. 
Haha here was the highlight of my week in a short story for y'all.  We were helping Chandra move so it was us, the elders, a couple of her cousins, and then the minister from her church.  All the guys took the stuff we loaded up to the new house and we stayed back with Chandra to help pack up more and what not.  So we're just talking and she's like man, guys sorry this is minister is here and then you guys are here.  I didn't tell y'all he was gonna be here and I didn't tell him y'all were gonna be here.  So we were just like nah it's all good he's real nice and it's not awkward at all.  Haha then she says, it's awkward for me!  I feel like I'm cheating on my boyfriend or something!  Haha it was so funny.  :)  I just love that family.  President gave us permission to keep teaching them even though they moved out of our area.  Plus they're gonna be moving up to South Carolina next year.  They still haven't come to church yet and it's just hard because she's super busy.  She even said that they were gonna take a taxi to church because they don't have a car and the bus system doesn't work on sundays.  We aren't gonna give up on them yet though.  I'm excited for them to move to South Carolina because Chandra's friend that's a member lives up there and they will be living like only thirty minutes away. 
Hmm let's see, I forgot my planner so I can't remember a whole lot about what happened this past week.  Oh! We did find this sweet new investigator.  Her name is Andreia and she was actually a media referral because the sisters from temple square have been teaching her over the phone.  She's from Brazil and is real sweet.  We got to teach her and her husband when we saw them the other day and they're awesome!  Plus they actually have a car unlike the majority of our ward so they should be able to get to church.  Her husband works with taxes though so he's super busy for a little bit but hey I'm excited for them! 
Oh yeah!  here's the best part of my week!  So we get this random phone call from a number we don't know and they left a message just saying to call them back.  They didn't say who it was but I knew I recognized the voice so I thought about it and it was Melissa Lewis!  So we called them back and got to talk with Miranda for a little bit.  Goodness, I love that family so much.  They ended up coming to bishops storehouse on saturday to pick up some food.  It made my day getting to talk with them and see them!  They're gonna miss Miranda so much when she leaves on her mission but I tell ya, it's gonna be the best thing for her family.  The bishops wife in her ward is flying out with Miranda and they're going a couple days early so y'all should totally invite them over for dinner or something!  Remind me to send you her phone number next week.  Miranda said I can come to the temple with her when she goes too so I'm real excited for that!  She's gonna make the best missionary!! 
Anyways that's about all, sorry this week not much happened.  But still it was really good.  Man I can't believe how fast time is just flying by the transfer is almost over.  I hate it!  I wish I could be a missionary here forever.  I love the people in Baton Rouge.
Y'all are awesome!  And I love you!!
Love Always, Sister Schmutz    

Monday, February 10, 2014

happy birthday father!

Hey family!
Before I forget, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!  I hope it's a good one this time and y'all enjoy your weekend down in Vegas.  Thanks for being who you are!  I'm sending you the warmest wishes all the way from Louisiana.  :)
Oh and by the way, thank you so much for the one year package.  I loved the camel and the descriptions you put with them!  Definitely a clever idea.  The spanish sisters got us Jesus necklaces too and we got to celebrate a little.  Goodness I can't believe how fast time flies by..I don't even want to think about it!  It's been a good year to say the least, definitely a good year.  
I love being back in North Baton Rouge, seriously it's the best!  We're back to seeing Sister Banks ever week so we're working on a goal to get her to the temple.  Little steps to help her get there but she'll make it.  It's sweet to see the progress in her because she asked us to come by every week to help her learn more and what not.  So we've been visiting her forever so we're focusing on how we can really discern her needs and help her.  Man, she's just the greatest!  I think as we help her out more we'll be able to bring the rest of her family back to church a little more too.  Chad moved to Utah a couple months ago!  And Ron comes to church with Sister Banks.  So now we've just got to work on Tae and Dericka! 
We saw the McCartney's this week too!  Goodness, I love that family so much!  Haha the best was seeing Aiden.  He wasn't at church on sunday so when he saw me he ran up and was about to give me a hug but then remembered he can't and shook my hand.  He's a funny, funny kid.  Haha and he's got a mini fro now too.  Too great!  They moved to a nice house just a couple streets away from their old one.  And one of their dogs is gonna have some puppies in just a couple weeks.  They're all doing great and becoming stronger in the church!  I guess it's kinda like the same as with Sister Banks...they've been coming to church but we're gonna see them once a week to help them progress even more.  Man it would be awesome if we could get Amanda to the temple.  It'll just take some time though.  In the meantime it's just the little things! 
We were super busy last week and this week we're booked full of appointments, and I mean booked full.  Goodness it's crazy but I love it! 
Here's an update on Chandra, Geneva, and Johnathan.  I love them so so so much!!  Goodness I don't know, I just want to take away all the hard things they're going through and make everything alright right now for them.  They've been busy with lots lately so they kept cancelling our appointments.  On Tuesday they cancelled again because Chandra had a hard night so we made them some spaghetti and took it over for dinner.  It was pouring rain on the way there and we could hardly see anything, plus the road was a giant river, but we made it over!  Chandra was asleep but we just dropped it off to Geneva and Johnathan and then left.  They are incredible I tell ya.  Johnathan read a paper to Sister Wolf that he wrote and he talked about how everyone was bullying him at school because his family was poor and he told how he worked with the principal to stop the bullying.  We were supposed to help them move today but it was raining so they postponed to wednesday.  They're moving just to another house in Baton Rouge but here's the thing...Government street is the dividing line between our ward and 2nd ward.  And they are moving two houses south of the street!  Freak it just messes everything up because they were supposed to come to church yesterday but they didn't have transportation, they said they were gonna take the bus but then they didn't.  And now where they're moving it's not on the right bus route to get to the church and it doesn't run on sunday.  I don't know what to do!  Sheesh, keep them in your prayers please!
Anyways, y'all don't want to hear about all my complicated problems!  If only everyone could have a free car that wouldn't cost any money all of our problems would be solved.  Man, the Elders even have an investigator that rides his bike to church and he lives pretty far away.  More people need that type of dedication!  Haha or just a miracle to happen. 
But here, I'll tell ya about my companion.  Sister Wolf is from Austin, Texas but her family moved to Clearfield, Utah a couple years ago so I guess I'd technically say she's from Utah.  She's awesome!  She can make anyone feel good about themselves, she easily makes everyone laugh, and she's real fun to be around.  I love her!  Our district is pretty awesome too.  Elder Morrow is our district leader (he was my district leader forever ago too) and he goes home in just a couple weeks.  His companion is Elder Bushman and he's just waiting for his visa to go to Brazil.  His mission president just emailed him though and said his visa came so he'll probably be living this week.  He's a funny kid...I'll miss him!  And then the office elders are Elder Watkins and Elder Adkins!  Yes (the one related to KC and Candace) he still remembers you Andrew!  Pretty fun stuff.  :)  we have lots of fun together and work hard.
I gotta get going, but I love you family!  Have an awesome week.
Love Always, Sister Schmutz