Tuesday, May 27, 2014

transfer number 12

Hey Family!
Hey Mom, before I forget, Elder Steele mentioned the other day how there's a returned missionary scholarship at BYU.  Don't know if that's true with BYU-I and what not but you should look online or call them and figure it out. That'd be real sweet.  Thanks so much!!
Hmm memorial day..why yes we did do something out of the ordinary.  Haha nah it wasn't that out of the ordinary but it was interesting.  Remember a couple weeks ago when I told you about Elder Taylor (not a missionary) the pentecostal guy and his wife that tried to convince us that we needed to speak in tongues.  Well yesterday we went back to see them and when we get there he says, "follow me, we're going down to my church."  And man I was just thinking, oh boy what is gonna be happening down there?  So we walk down the street.  The church was like in the pastors house but not so it was kinda weird.  Anyways they just invite us in so it's Elder Taylor, his pastor Mother Wade, and her great grandson, Minister Jackson.  We started to teach them the restoration but then Mother Wade just started talking and went off forever so we didn't get to teach.  Super nice people but they were just trying to convince us the whole time (3 hrs) that God and Jesus are the same person.  Neither of us were gonna convince each other but it was quite interesting.  We gave them a Book of Mormon so hopefully they'll read it.  And that's about it. 

It's about time I sent home a picture or two, right?  :) 

Oh hey! I'm not being transferred.  And Sister Wolf isn't either.  :)  I'm happy to be staying here!   Here's my address in case y'all forgot it:

Dude Emily!  That's so cool some random coach called you up and wants you to play soccer for their school.  Full scholarship and books too, man that's pretty good.  Is the school pretty good?  What are you gonna end up doing?  Don't worry, I'll keep you in my prayers, I know you and your decision making.  :)  good luck deciding!   
The week down here has been going pretty well.  How about for y'all?  We went on exchanges earlier last week.  And I kid you not, three people asked if Sister Stennett and I were twins, pretty funny!  We had a fish taco party last week with our district.  Got to go to the temple.  :)  helped Chandra put up shelves.  Saw a couple investigators we haven't seen in a while.  And just a bunch of good things.  :)  oh and even better news.  Our whole district is staying the same for the coming transfer.  I'm so excited, I love our district! 
Hmm let's see, I guess I could tell y'all about some of our investigators.  We have a sweet one named Rhonda that I love so much!  Some random person invited her daughter to Gladys Knight so Rhonda ended up coming too.  The Elders delivered the Book of Mormon package to her but they told us to go back and see her.  We've taught her twice so far and both times just went over the restoration.  The first time we only got about half way and she was super confused.  But then the second lesson we reviewed and taught the rest of the restoration.  I don't know, it was just a really good lesson.  We taught together in unity and helped her really understand, it was super sweet!  Plus she had real questions and concerns.  She had an aneurysm a couple months ago so she can't remember a whole lot but she's super sweet.  I'm excited to see her progress! 
This is just some random pond we found at an apartment earlier this week.  Random but cool!

Another sweet investigator is Dottie.  We haven't been able to see her lately because she's been real busy with work.  She's so awesome though!  She's one of the nicest people you'll ever meet and is always in a good mood no matter what is going on.  Please keep them both in y'alls prayers. 
I was supposed to instruct last week in district meeting on Charity but we ran out of time.  So I figured I'd tell y'all what I learned instead.  We all know why we need to be more charitable.  So here's some random things I came up with on how we can become more charitable: 
Choose not to judge.........................3 Nephi 14:2-5
Have to give it to receive it...............Golden Rule: treat others as you want to be treated
All you need is love........................John 13:35
Remember Jesus.............................Matt 4:23   WWJD?
Increase service................................Mosiah 4:15  
Think to pray.....................................Moroni 7:48
You see their potential......................Who are they to God? 
Pretty cool huh? I love charity because it's simply loving others the way that Christ loves them.  I remember one time we were visiting this lady named Valarie Barton (her son's on a mission but she's not a member).  She didn't really know a whole lot about God or even Christ.  But when I was sitting there I could just feel that even though she didn't know God, He loved her so much.  And then you could just tell how much she really loved her son.  And I loved her for all that.  I don't know, it's hard to explain, but it was really cool. 
I just want to let you know that I love y'all so much.  And never forget that God loves you too.  :)
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, May 19, 2014

happy graduation!

Hey Family!
So this morning I'm waiting there for the bus just thinking about what I'm gonna write to y'all.  And I think, "holy cow, Emily graduates this week!  That's so crazy.  I'll have to send her something."  Then I get to the library and realize school in Utah gets out two weeks later than in Louisiana so you still got a couple weeks left.  Oops my bad, anyways I'll probably forget in two weeks so I'll just tell you now.  Congratulations Emily!  How does it feel to be done with high school?  Oh hey and you look beautiful in your prom dress! 
Hey Sarah!  Haha nothing really new or exciting is happening.  Well, it officially feels like summer (luckily it hasn't gotten too hot yet) so that's real nice.  Man I tell ya, winter is so depressing when you're a missionary.  I've never been so excited for summer in my life.  Mostly just for the nice weather and the sun light.  :)  Honestly I have no clue what classes you should sign me up for next semester.  The only thing I have to say is finish my generals, religion, maybe an exercise class, etc and have 15-17 total credits if possible.  I don't know what I want to do with my life, goodness gracious!  I've been thinking about maybe just going back and deciding to do Dental Hygiene.  But who knows, if possible you could try to sign me up for BIO264, I think that's needed for it.  Web design would be sweet or landscape artist or something.  I don't know!  And it don't matter where I'll be living, anywhere is good.  Thanks so much, you're the best!
Anyways, how was y'alls week?  You got any plans for summer coming up?  Our week here was pretty good!  We invited lots of people to church yesterday though and you'd think more would come because there was a linger longer.  I mean free food, who wouldn't come?  But no one came...it was weird hardly anyone was at church.  But other than that it was great!
The best news was that Sister Coleman came home from the hospital on Friday!  She'd been in there practically four weeks after her surgery.  I told y'all before but if you forgot, she had to get her vocal chords removed because her cancer came back.  The good news is she was on a feeding tube a week ago but now she's just on a soft foods diet.  She can't talk right now and don't know how long it will be before she can or if she can.  But she's really healthy and looks good.  :)  man I miss her talking though, she's so funny!  Luckily she can just write down all her funny comments.  I love Sister Coleman so much!  Goodness, she's one of my absolute favorite people here.  :) 
Oh!  Here's a sweet miracle.  So for the Gladys Knight thing we tried calling up a bunch of less actives on the roster to invite them to come.  We got a hold of this one lady named Margo that we'd never met before.  She was super nice and said they'd like to go.  So we just stopped by and gave them their tickets real fast, didn't really get to talk much.  It was sweet too because they live behind a business but it was confusing to find them.  Luckily we drove up and they just drove up right before we did.  Anyways, they came to the event and loved it!  She called us the next day and said how much she appreciated us inviting her and that we could come over whenever.  Then the next week we went to ZTM and the Prairieville sisters asked us if we knew this lady named Margo and if we invited her to Gladys Knight.  They said that she came to church the next sunday and shared her testimony and it was so sweet.  Then the other day we called her to see if we could come see her and she said that she's starting to go back to church!  She got baptized in 3rd ward so she's going back over there.  The sisters said she's been coming every week too!  It's a bummer she doesn't come to our ward, but hey at least she's going to church now. 
I'm sure there were more miracles from this week but I can't think of any of them right now!  I just love it here!
Here's a sweet scripture I read this morning, Mosiah 7:29 "For behold, the Lord hath said: I will not succor my people in the day of their transgression; but I will hedge up their ways that they prosper not; and their doings shall be as a stumbling block before them."  The Lord won't help us a whole ton when we aren't doing good things.  He always wants us to choose the right!  But then it turns to this scripture, Mosiah 7:33 "But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage."  He'll always help us out, but not when we aren't trying to get out.  Lesson learned, if you want help take the first step. 
I love y'all so much!  Hope you have a great week.  :)
Love Always, Sister Schmutz

Monday, May 12, 2014

happy mother's day

Hey family!
It was so good seeing y'alls faces yesterday.  :) man I love y'all.  And thank you for the surprise, Sarah. You're the best!  Geez I can't believe how fast time is just flying by.  School is out next week and summer is practically here.  Way too fast I tell ya! 
It's been quite the rainy week this week.  Haha we've had to walk in the rain more times than I would prefer, and definitely way too wet.  But that's alright, I love the rain!  My shoes are still wet and smell nasty though!  Goodness, I hope the people sitting around me don't notice.
So the exciting news is we got a car yesterday!  I know I mentioned it on the phone, but hey I still wanted to let ya know.  We hardly have any miles though so we're still technically a bus area, but that's alright.  We're supposed to share the car with the North Elders too but they don't have their license at the moment so we get it just for now.  It's so weird to be back in a car from walking all day everyday.
Ya know, something sweet I've learned since being back in Baton Rouge is how God has a perfect timing for everything and everyone.  When I was here before we were super focused on less actives because we felt like we needed to strengthen our ward before we could bring anyone into the ward.  I don't know, I guess I was just scared of baptizing less active people to say the least.  But I've learned that everyone has their own timing for coming back to church and it's unique to them.  We went over to see Chandra this week and she told us how she went to mutual with Geneva and how none of the girls were showing any respect to their leaders so then she just straight up told them how they needed to behave and what not.  (and let me just say, someones needed to do it for a while now!)  The next week she went back and none of them had their cell phones out and they actually paid attention.  Chandra is so awesome!  Goodness, I think she's exactly what our ward needs right now.  When she see's something that needs to change she goes and does it.  It's kinda hard to explain but she's perfect for our ward.  She reaches out to others which is so awesome because she'll be able to reach out to the less active people as well. 
It's crazy, I've also been reflecting on why I needed to serve a mission, like what was my specific purpose.  And ya know what I realized?  I had to come here and serve a mission to realize what kind of a member I need to become.  For real, without coming out here I would probably never go visiting teaching because I didn't see the importance of it.  I'd never call up a member that wasn't at church just to see how they're doing.  The list would just go on and on of things I wouldn't do.  But that's the biggest thing I've learned.  As a member of the church we not only learn the gospel at church every sunday and in our own studies, but the most important part of that is how we apply it and live the gospel.  The gospel is so much more than just doing the right things.  It's about reaching out to those around you and actually doing the things Christ would do himself.  Aw man, it's so awesome!
Anyways, enough about these random things I've been learning lately.  Here's a sweet scripture for y'all.  Jacob 1:7 "Wherefore we labored diligently among our people, that we might persuade them to come unto Christ, and partake of the goodness of God, that they might enter into his rest."  It's as simple as that, if you want rest (rest from your cares, afflictions, troubles, physical, anything) then you have to come unto Christ.  And you can come unto Christ by learning of him and following his example.  When we do such we're able to come to the power of his infinite atonement, therefore truly finding rest. 
I love the gospel of Jesus Christ so much.  I love the power that it has to completely change everything.  And I love y'all so much too!
Have a great week. :) 
Love Always, Sister Schmutz
p.s. I'm giving y'all an invitation, read 2 Nephi 31 (it's my favorite chapter :) and think of how you can live the gospel better.  The gospel of Jesus Christ is not only the how we should live, but it's also the why.