Tuesday, March 18, 2014

bus day

Hey Family!
First let me begin with the awkward moment of the week.  You'll appreciate this one, Sarah.  :)  Sister Mills calls and we're just talking and what not.  Then she says:
"Is your sister dating this guy that Sister Andrade knows?  The one with all the pictures on facebook?  Because Sister Andrade said she doesn't think they are yadayadayada"
Haha so I say "They are engaged to be married!" completely joking. 
Then I go on to explain that I don't really know what's going on back home and they aren't engaged.  (Keep in mind that Sister Mills talks a ton on the phone)
Fast forward to the next time we see her.
We walk in the door and she's laying in bed because she didn't get to bed until way late. 
So she's partly asleep and she says, "I thought you said your sister was engaged?"  
"I wrote on her facebook wall congratulating her on the engagement."
"You did what?! Aw man, that's so awkward!  Sister Mills, did you not hear that I was joking?  They aren't actually engaged!" 
"What? I thought you said they were! And then the guy however you say his name wrote back and said we are not engaged..I'm really confused!"
Haha it was hilarious.  Goodness, I hope that made y'all laugh.  :)
Hey so on a side note here's some good news!  We told Chandra about the ward boundaries and how she'd have to go to second ward.  And the thing is she's in charge of all the media stuff at her church every sunday and doesn't want to just ditch them and leave em hanging because no one else knows what to do.  With that she was super down about going to the other ward because she wouldn't be able to make it to her other church and then she'd have to go even further to get to church.  But then we saw it all as a positive thing so she'd have to make the decision now what to do.  So we didn't really know what to do.  Long story short we called President Wall and explained the whole thing and he said that she can come to first ward!  He said it's fine if she has to keep going to her other church as long as she knows that this is Christ's church on the earth.  Man, we couldn't be happier.  :)  and he took care of everything with the stake president so it's all good now.  She's doing wonderful and is so excited for everything.  She's gonna get baptized the week after Easter in South Carolina so that her best friend and her family can all be there.  I'm sad we'll have to miss her baptism but I'm so excited for them!  Plus she gets baptized the sunday right after transfers so I hope I'll still get to be here.  And then we'll be able to start teaching Geneva and Johnathan because she wants them to be taught too so they can make the decision for themselves.  Aw man, they're awesome!! 
It's been a really good week here.  We were super busy and saw lots of miracles so it was awesome!  Oh hey and remember the story I told y'all last week of the guy we contacted, Tony?  Well we tried calling him but we wrote down the wrong phone number so we stopped by.  It wasn't a good time but get this!  He called us later that night just to let us know he had our number and was looking forward to next weekend when we can come over!  It's super sweet because no investigators ever call us, I mean Chandra doesn't even call us to see when we can come over!  It's always us that's the annoying ones to them calling all the time.  Man, I'm super exited for him.  :)
The highlight from our week was our bus day.  The whole mission had to take a bike day one day this week and it's terrible biking in Baton Rouge because of all the traffic and there's no bike lanes so we decided to just take the bus instead.  Holy cow, it was definitely a day to remember I tell ya.  It was awesome!  Let me just explain the whole day for ya.  We left two hours early to get downtown because it was all the way across town and the buses don't run very often.  The bus drivers are crazy drivers but it was all good and we somehow survived.  We waited at the terminal for a while and lots of people actually came up and talked to us.  It was sweet and surprising because mostly everyone had never heard of the church before.  The only bad part was the buses were so loud we couldn't hear anybody while waiting at the terminal, plus everyone that rides the bus is insane.  This one old guy called us angels!  Lots of people looked at us all funny probably because we had no clue what we were doing, and we were the only two white girls around.  Then we caught our second bus and made it to the apartment complex we were going to and visited four ladies that lived there.  I actually started talking to some guy that was sitting next to me on the second bus!  Here's how it went,  I said:
"Hey, how ya doing?"
"Alright how about you?
"Doing good.  Where you headed?"
"To the lawyer for something or other."
"Oh sweet"
"Where you going?"
"Visit some members from our church."
"Which church?"
"The Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints.  You ever heard of it?"
"Yeah, just a little."
and that was the end of it.  Haha I fail at contacting people but hey at least I tried.  Usually my companion would say something then but she was behind me.  Now I just gotta work on knowing what to say next.  (yes, you'd think I'd actually know what I'm doing out here but I still have no clue)  Anyways after we visit everyone we make sure we're at the bus stop at the right time so we can catch the other one that will get us to our car.  We planned it perfectly to catch the last one since the downtown one ran later.  So the bus comes driving by and totally see's us and then just drives straight on by without stopping.  Haha oh boy, so we had to wait another hour and catch the next one.  We make it back to the terminal and confirm what we thought that our bus to the car isn't running anymore so we try to figure out what next to do.  The Spanish sisters said if we got stranded to call them and they'd come get us.  So we call them but they don't answer and it's getting later and later.  In the meantime this guy comes up and makes sure we'll be safe wherever we're going.  And a couple other crazy people come up singing and doing weird things.  We were gonna take the bus down to highland to be at the stake center but it wasn't in sight so we just jumped on this other one to make it a little way closer to home.  We weren't actually thinking about getting on the one to florida so we'd only have to walk a couple blocks to our car.  Oh yeah and on that last bus to the terminal we start talking to this guy and he asks us for our card and number.  Haha he texts us later and says how beautiful Sister Wolf is and how he wants to date her.  Oh yes, she got a boyfriend on her mission.  Priceless moments!  So we catch the last bus to bluebonnet and get off.  We call the office elders to see if we can catch a ride but they're far away so we decide to just start walking to our car.  It's probably around four miles away.  We walk across this bridge and a police man stops us to ask if we're okay so we just say yes and we're walking to our car.  He said he'd follow us there to make sure we get there safely.  Haha so he's following us and after a bit he yells across the road "where is your car?" meantime down the hill this other car is yelling at us so we walk down and it's some members from another ward.  The members assure the police man that we'll be in good hands and they take us.  Haha they were just like, Sisters just call us next time for a ride!  So they took us and gave us dinner and we made it home safely.  Goodness it was quite the day. 
Haha the day probably sounds pretty lame to y'all but it was sweet.  We're definitely gonna be taking the bus more often!  Haha we even considered volunteering to give our car away to another area so we can ride the bus full time, but we decided to just ride the bus anyway and keep our car for when we really need it. 
Anyways, that's about all in our week.  We get to be witnesses at a wedding tomorrow evening!  Haha it's gonna be us and the elders there plus bishop.  The Torres are getting married and then they're getting baptized on Friday!  They're such a sweet family that was taught up in South Carolina a couple months ago and their children got baptized but they couldn't because they weren't married.  And his divorce papers were finally completed.  They have a real sweet story too.  The elders knocked on their door and Brother Torres was so angry at one of them just because he was real annoying so he invited them back so he could beat them up.  But then he had a dream and in the dream he was told not to hurt the elders but to listen to them.  And ever since then they've been strong in the church. 
And then Miranda is going to the temple next week!  She invited us to come with, I'm super excited for her.  :)
Anyways, I hope y'all have a good week.  Thanks for always listening to all my random stories.  I love y'all!!
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Hey Family!
So here's the good news..I'm still in North Baton Rouge with Sister Wolf!!  Man, I'm so happy to be here, I just love it, and I love my companion too.  :) it was a stressful beyond stressful week though.  Lot's of little things kept coming up and I won't go into much detail about them but hey it's all good now. 
Our district got all switched up again.  The new north Elders are Elder Navitikula and Elder Ford and then the Office Elder switched out of our ward and we're in a district with the South Sisters and Zone Leaders and LSU Sisters.  Man I miss our old district so much, it was definitely one of my favorite districts.  Sister Toleafoa went home too so we got two new spanish sisters living with us because they're in a threesome.  Lots and lots of changes this week!   
Oh and here's the other exciting news..Chandra is gonna get baptized on Easter!!  She called us up on tuesday and said, "so I decided I'm getting baptized on easter!"  She said she was gonna get baptized in South Carolina because that's where her friend Amy lives but now she just said they'll be coming down here and she'll get baptized here!  We've still got a couple things to teach her before then and she's gotta come to church but I'm super excited for her.  We've got to get things figured out though because President Wall said we could keep teaching her and she could go to whichever ward she wants.  But we mentioned that in PEC and everyone was saying how she needed to go to second ward.  So we called our stake president and he said she needs to go to second ward unless there's a really good reason why she needs to go to first ward and in that case we'd have to get permission from the first presidency.  We didn't get to see her this week though because her daughter, sister, and nephew were all in the hospital and things were a little crazy.  We're gonna see her and talk about the ward boundaries and see what's going to happen.  Needless to say I think she'd fit in at either ward really well, everyone just loves her!  Maybe I'm just too selfish and I don't want her to go to second ward.  Maybe we'll just keep teaching her but bring the second ward sisters along and she'll get baptized down there.  I'm not really sure, but everything will work out!  Our plan then for afterwards is to teach them all the new member lessons but at a simpler understanding so then Geneva and Johnathan can understand and they can get baptized too because she wants them to make their own decision.  I'm really excited for them.  :)  
Aw man, that's sweet y'all got to hear from Sister Tiller.  Y'all should go to her homecoming if she hasn't already had it.  I got to go on a couple exchanges with her and she's amazing.  Goodness, I just love her!  Haha and mom there's tons of missionaries here that went to Olympus, I think I've counted at least seven while I've been on my mission.  I never knew any of them personally though so I can't remember their names.  Sister Toleafoa went home last week too so y'all should find her as well.  I love and miss her too!     
the McCartney's dog had puppies.  :) aw man, nothing cuter than baby pitbulls!

Emily!  Congrats on making it into BYU-I!  I hear you got the winter/spring track.  What do you think of that?  Have you heard back from BYU?  Good luck at choosing where you'll be going.  :)  you know if my opinion counted which one I'd be voting for.  Hmm...it's a hard decision though.  Man I want to move back to Baton Rouge after my mission...maybe I'll switch and come to school here.  Anyways, enough random tangents.  Let me know where you decide! 
Sarah, I like your glasses.  :)  however, you do know that people won't be able to mix us up anymore because I don't got no glasses.  What are we gonna do? 
Oh here's a sweet little story for y'all.  Saturday night we were in this neighborhood trying to contact a less active but they weren't home. 
As we were driving away Sister Wolf said, "ya know, this would be a really good neighborhood to tract." 
(You have to keep in mind that we hardly ever tract because it's not effective and we hate doing it.  We'd never been to that neighborhood before too, so I guess it was kinda a good place to go.) 
Then on sunday all of our plans and back up plans fell through and we didn't have anyone else to see.  It just so happens that we were just around the corner from this said neighborhood.  So low and behold we decided to just do it.  We pulled up by the less actives house but he wasn't home and his neighbor randomly opened the door and was staring at us so we drove around the corner and parked at the school.  We were just sitting in the car talking trying to avoid having to get out.  While we're sitting there this guy keeps walking back and forth on the sidewalk looking like he was talking to his bushes or something, haha it was very funny looking.  
We walk by him on the other side of the street and he says, "hey how y'all doing?"
"Good, how about yourself?"
"Alright" (everyone in Louisiana says alright for everything...just a random fact for y'all;)  and then we just kept walking because we didn't get the nerve to go talk to him. 
We knock on tons of door and no one answers.  The two that do answer say they aren't interested so we decided to head home.
We turn the corner and see that he's there so we cross the street to his side and walk towards him.
"Hey what y'all selling?" he says
"Oh, we're missionaries just sharing more about our church and beliefs."
"Y'all do this all day?"
"Sure do!"
"You mean that's what you've been walking around doing?"
"Yes sir"
"Man, I thought y'all didn't want to talk to me.  I was the first one y'all saw and you just walked past."
"I want to listen." 
Haha definitely a very humbling experience.  Lesson learned, never skip past the first person! 
His name Tony and we ended up talking a little about the church and gave him a Book of Mormon and he really wants us to come back next week and share more with him. 
It was a sweet experience because Heavenly Father taught me that sometimes those he wants us to talk to are placed right in our path but we just walk on by.  We've got to talk to all of them, even despite the fact that we don't want to.  Hey and when we do do that, we won't have to waste our time knocking on all those other doors.
Man, I love being a missionary and learning more about Jesus Christ and his gospel everyday, it's absolutely wonderful.  God really does have a hand in all that we do every single step of the way.  Keep strengthening your testimonies everyday y'all.  For it's our testimonies that keep us strong in the hard time and help us become who we need to be. 
Before I go here's a quick spiritual thought for y'all.  It's from one of my favorite talks, The Word is Commitment by Elder Marvin J. Ashton, "Most of us who have ever heard of the great American leader Abraham Lincoln will recall what he said of his mother: “All that I am, all that I hope to be, I owe to my Angel mother.” (in Abraham Lincoln’s Philosophy of Common Sense, ed. Edward J. Kempf, New York: The New York Academy of Sciences, 1965, p. 60.) But how many of us know what his mother’s last words to him were? They were “Be something, Abe.”  Not only is this wise counsel, but it also expresses the yearnings of most fathers’ and mothers’ hearts to have their children be something. Simple terms, but, oh, how powerful, “Be something.” I am so pleased she didn’t say, “Be someone.” She said, “Be something, Abe.” There is a significant difference. In the dictionary someone is defined as “conceived or thought of, but not definitely known,” while something is identified as “a person or thing of importance.”  Abraham Lincoln’s mother knew her son, his potential, and the rocky roads ahead of him; hence, she wanted him to commit himself promptly to being steadfast and immovable in living and promoting deeds of courage and faith in the lives of all mankind."
I know that y'all have great potential.  The thing is we can't see our full potential, but God can because he has the eternal perspective.  He has more instore for us than we can possibly imagine, and all we've got to do is strive to do the right things.  He doesn't expect us to be perfect, but he expects us to try.  So think of that this week, what do you want to become and how can you become?  The word is commitment.  :)
I love y'all so much, I really do mean it.  
Thank you for everything!
Love Always, Sister Schmutz  

Monday, March 3, 2014

mardi gras

Hey Family!
I'm sorry to hear about all the crazy things that have happened to y'all this week.  I will definitely keep Grandma and Paul in my prayers.  The power of prayer works I tell ya, that's all there is to it.
We've had a pretty sweet week here in Baton Rouge!  Oh and hey it's actually transfer week.  The library is closed tomorrow for mardi gras so we're emailing today but we don't find out until tonight whether we're being transferred or not.  So I'll let y'all know next week what the news is.  Sister Wolf and I really hope we'll be staying here together, man I just love this place!  Baton Rouge, I tell ya there's no place like it.  :)
Last monday we went down to the captial with our district and then we went to touch the Mississippi.  I'll send y'all some pictures because it was definitely one of the best p-days I've had.  Man I'm gonna miss our district!  Elder Morrow is going home on wednesday and Elder Bushman is flying out to Brazil today.  And then usually one of the office elders gets transferred, so everything's getting switched up. 
We went to a Mardi Gras parade on Saturday.  We were allowed to go to one parade during the day and the spanish town parade is the big one in Baton Rouge.  Sister Mills was supposed to come with us but she was sick.  But we hung out with tons of other missionaries.  Haha and boy let me just say it was supposed to be a family friendly parade but it wasn't family friendly at all, haha I never want to go to any other parade.  It was nasty, we'll just leave it at that!  There were tons and tons of people it was crazy.  We did catch quite a few beads though so we have them all hanging from our chandelier in our apartment, it's pretty sweet!
Let's see..here's the sweetest story from the week.  Yesterday we go over to see Chandra and we're just talking about all these random things because it's Johnathon's birthday on wednesday and they're having a big party on saturday so she's gotta get all this stuff done before then.  We had planned to talk about baptism and it felt right but when we got there Sister Wolf and I both kinda felt unsure about it because of all the craziness going on with her life.  And she mentions how she's very involved with her church and she can't just leave them hanging because she's in charge of all the media stuff.  And she doesn't know what to do...Then just out of the blue this is what happens. 
"So how was the baptism today?"  Chandra asks. (Catherine Wleh turned 8 so she got baptized right after church and we invited Chandra but she couldn't come)
"Oh it was wonderful, I mean they didn't turn the water on in time so we had to dump pitchers of water to fill up the font.  But otherwise it was all good."
"So you do full immersion for baptism?"
"Yep, we sure do, just like Jesus was baptized."  (go on explaining about the symbolism)
"Chandra why do you think it's important to be baptized?"
Then she goes on to explain all these awesome things of exactly why we need to be baptized.  (follow Christ, always remember him, etc)
"Exactly! all those things you just said, here let's read some scriptures about baptism"  We turn to Mosiah 18 and read when Alma baptized all these people.  And the crazy thing is the scriptures just said exactly what she said for why we need to get baptized!
"How do you feel about those scriptures?" 
And then she just starts crying and says, "That was my confirmation that this is what I need to do."  Definitely the sweetest moment ever!  You have to keep in mind that when we first started meeting with her she kept saying that she needed a spiritual confirmation that this is all true.  She's very religious and knows a lot but she wanted that answer from God, and it just wasn't coming.
"You know, I've been fasting and praying since January and I told God that he needed to tell me if it's true before Easter.  And Easter is in April!"
"So you're saying you know all these things are true?" 
"Yes, otherwise I wouldn't let y'all keep coming over to see me!  So what do I need to do to get baptized?"  Ahh that's every missionaries dream question!!
"Keep inviting us over, reading, praying, and come to church." 
And then Geneva says, "I want to go to church with them!"  It was incredible y'all, absolutely incredible.  Man I'm so excited for them!!  We didn't set a date from them to be baptized yet because she's gotta get things figured out with her church plus they gotta get a ride figured out to come to church.  But hey those are only minor details.  I couldn't be happier.  :) 
Anyways, I just want y'all to know I love ya.  And I love being a missionary.  :)  I'm gonna send some pictures home so this email will be a little short, but enjoy the pictures. 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz