Monday, March 31, 2014

biking, biking, and more biking

Hey Family!
I hope y'all have fun on your cruise this week.  Enjoy it for me too!  Don't get too many tan lines.  :)  I already have a pretty good one on my feet and it's not even summer yet, priceless I tell ya. 
This week has been quite the interesting one.  Haha nah it's been a really good one!  Well, here's the story.  Monday evening we're driving back to our dinner appointment from across town because we were down at LSU with our district.  Of course it's during rush hour and we're driving on the freeway.  Sister Wolf was driving and the car infront of stopped so she went to switch lanes but didn't see the semi coming up in the other lane.  The first half of the semi drove by and barely missed us because we were barely in their lane but then the second half, well just the tires of the semi clipped the front right side of our car.  There's not very many people that can get in an accident with a semi on the freeway and walk away alright!  It was a sweet experience to say the least.  We aren't lucky, we are blessed.  God was definitely there protecting us, if she would have driven just a tiny bit faster we could've been hurt really bad.  But hey we're all good so don't worry.  :)
So our car is in being fixed and we've been biking all week.  Ya know, I just have to say that biking isn't that bad.  Haha I love it!  I wish I could go into more detail about all our biking experiences this past week but that would take way too long.  The only downside is planning is terribly hard, goodness I don't know how to plan when biking.  I used to think that we'd spend all our time driving everywhere but now we just spend all our time biking everywhere.  We took the bus a couple times though and lots of members gave us rides so it was all good.  Plus the bus routes changed all up yesterday and the bus is free all week so we're gonna be taking the bus a lot more this week. 
Overall it was a very good week!  We got to go to the temple with Miranda on wednesday.  Holy cow she's gonna make an awesome missionary that's all I gotta say.  I'm so excited for her.  I believe she's flying out to Utah on the 12th so y'all should text her or something today to figure out when you can meet up. 
The highlight of the week was yesterday!  Guess who came to church!  Chandra and her family came.  :)  goodness it's about stinkin time.  Whenever they've tried to come before something always comes up.  Saturday night we got a ride for them to come out to the woman's broadcast so they came there and really enjoyed it.  And said they were gonna be coming to church the next day.  They ended up waking up late and missed the bus so they took a taxi and stayed for the last two hours.  They all really like it!  Plus the McCartney's offered them a ride home and even a ride to church in the future.  Such a sweet little tender mercy.  They invited us over for dinner last night too and man I just have to say that I love them so much.  It's awesome to see how the gospel changes their life. 
Oh and here's another sweet miracle!  About a month or so ago we were walking down the street in Mall City (same place and day that guy kissed us).  Well when we were walking over there this guy came up to and asked us if we're church people so we said yes and talked a little about the church and got his info and what not.  Turns out he lived in third ward so we gave his info to the sisters there and that was it.  On tuesday they called us up to update us about Alin.  And guess what?  He got baptized on Saturday!  We got to go to his baptism and it was so sweet.  It was a little blessing to see that often times we don't see the results of our efforts, but you'll never know the effects you'll make on someone. 
Sarah!  I must say that the picture of you and Nik is one of my favorites.  Haha it's the best.  :) 
And Emily congrats on getting the scholarships.  Haha I don't know what adivce to give you for school.  My only advice would be to make a stinkin decision soon!  Goodness, you and your decision making.  Just kidding, you know I love you.  :)   
Oh before I forget!  Here's a scripture for y'all.  So in Ether the Jaredites were preparing to cross the waters to the promised land.  They made their way to the shore and, "they dwelt in tents, and dwelt in tents upon the seashore for the space of four years." (Ether 2:13)  They just waited there for four years!  And this is what it says next, "And it came to pass at the end of four years that the Lord came again unto the brother of Jared, and stood in a cloud and talked with him.  And for the space of three hours did the Lord talk with the brother of Jared, and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord." (Ether 2:14)  They forgot to pray and ask the Lord what to do!  Here's the key though, I don't think they forgot to pray.  I mean, it's pretty hard to just forget God.  I think they weren't being sincere in their prayers.  That's the trick of why they were waiting there for four years.  They either weren't paying attention to answers, weren't acting on answers they were receiving, or just random little things that kept them from praying with real intent.  So the question is, how can y'all say more meaningful prayers?
I love y'all so much!  Hey and never forget that you're awesome.  :)
Love Always, Sister Schmutz 
p.s. if you're offering to send something, some starburst jelly beans would be greatly appreciated.  :)  haha and a water bottle.  I broke the one that y'all gave me for Christmas forever ago, goodness and I don't know what to do without my water bottle.  I'll look for one today at the store though so don't worry about that.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

wedding and baptism!

Hey family!
Hope y'all are doing well.  :)  thank you for your letter, Sarah!  It made my day!  I'm a slacker and haven't written anyone lately but I'm glad someone will still write letters to me.  I hope your week has treated ya well. 
The Torres got married and baptized this week!  It was super sweet.  Man, they are so awesome too.  I'm so excited for them!  Steven and Kayla are both hilarious...I just love it.  They'd be at church every sunday but we never really talked to them until this past week.  Haha here was our conversation with them last sunday....
"When are y'all getting baptized?"
"We don't know!  Do you know?" (terrible planning and communication on the elders part)
"As soon as you're married you can get baptized."
"Could we do it all together the same night?"
"Haha well yeah, but how about we do the baptism later this week?"
"I just wanna get baptized already!"
Bishop Smith married the two of them tuesday night.  And then they got baptized friday night.  They are so sweet and have such strong testimonies, it was a sweet experience!
Let's see what else happened this past week..  Bishop Smith got released yesterday!  Man it's hard, I absolutely loved having him as our bishop.  We walked around the corner after church yesterday and he was just sitting in this empty room going through some paperwork and he looked so sad.  Haha we told him he needed to go find someone to get a hug but instead he just got up and asked us for hugs.  He gave a lot into his service and it really meant a lot to him, we'll miss him so much! 
Sister Wolf, Sister Seegrist, Sister Stennett and I all sang in church yesterday.  Well, Sister Stennett played the violin, but still.  I think it sounded pretty good!   
Hmm, there's not really a whole ton to say.  Our week was kinda lame, everyone kept cancelling but it's alright. 
Chandra's doing well.  We had an appointment with her on friday but she wasn't there which is very unusual because she'll always let us know if she has to cancel.  And then her phone just went straight to voicemail and we didn't know what was going on.  We invited her to the baptism but she said she might not be able to make it.  And she was definitely planning on coming to church but she didn't show up sunday morning.  So yesterday we decided to just stop by and see if she's alright.  The timing was perfect because they just got home.  Turns out they were planning on surprising us at the baptism friday night but then Geneva started acting up and they couldn't come.  And the same thing happened sunday morning before church.  The devil is working real hard on her but we're gonna go over today and bring someone to give her a blessing.  She's amazing!  I think the sweetest thing about Chandra is how in tune she already is with the spirit.  She was saying yesterday how they need to make it to church becaue she don't want to get baptized in a church she's hardly been to.  It's awesome because she always brings up what we need to tell her, but she thinks of it herself.  We're super excited for her!  I love how she has a real desire to know the truth for herself.  :)
Lately we've been going through the elders old area book and it's so crazy!  Back in 2007 there were tons and tons of people that got baptized.  It's interesting because mostly all those people are less active now.  The records for those people are terrible too.  I don't know, maybe the elders just didn't write down when they taught them.  But for the most part they didn't even teach them everything before they got baptized.  It made me start thinking about the people we teach now.  Although their baptismal number was higher back then I realized that the goal we have now is not just to have people get baptized, but have an enduring conversion process.  It's sweet because that's what a mission is all about.  I mean yes, we serve a mission to help bring others unto Christ.  But the biggest part of that is bringing yourself unto Christ and becoming more converted yerself.  It's just like this scriptures,  "When thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren" (Luke 22:32)  I think it's not only needed in todays world, but it's also the only way to make it though...that is by our testimony.  So the question I have for y'all is, how are you becoming more converted everyday?
Just wanted to let y'all know that I love you.  I love the gospel and I know that Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for us, and for that I am so grateful. 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

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