Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Week 2 of the MTC & 2nd Try

Well hey!
Can you all believe that I've been in the MTC for almost 2 weeks now? I mean, you probably can, but I seriously can't. It's a funny/kind of frustrating feeling that I can't remember a single thing I've done in the past 13 days if I think too hard about it. The only thing I know is that I have had so many spiritual experiences and I've grown so much that I can't even remember the details of them all. Most importantly, I remember how I feel and how I have felt and I know that all is well through faith. My testimony has grown ten-fold in my time at the MTC. I am telling you all now (and mostly myself) that I will never forget what I've felt here and feel now. Gold loves us.
My plan for this email was to send you pictures and tell you about them but these lovely MTC computers won't even allow my to connect my camera with a USB. They'll just have to wait until I get out into the field which is TOMORROW.
Whoa, I'm so excited to get to Michigan. I am so excited for my alarm to go off at 2-3 a.m. so we can prepare to go to the airport. I'm excited. That's all.
Half of our district left Monday morning which was pretty sad. I miss Elder Lester, Elder Sheperd, and the Sisters a lot. It's funny how attached we got to each other in less than 2 weeks. It must be because we had so many spiritual experiences together.
I'm sorry, everyone. Now that I'm sitting here I have nothing to say other than I LOVE YOU. I feel so much peace in my heart and the only way that's possible is because God is watching over me. I recognize the Holy Spirit so much more. I love God. That is all.
-Elder Schmutz

Then, bless his little heart, he gave it a second try!

I promise from now on I'm going to record things I want to tell you all in the moment that I have them. I feel lame sitting down for 40 minutes and wanting to tell you all so much but not being able to. You're all great.
Let me tell you something that happened like 5 minutes ago. Elder Safley and I went to the outdoor cafeteria to get bagged breakfast. On the way out by the outside door, a rug's corner had been flipped up and curled. From outside of it a mouse appeared. It was so cute and tiny. Elder Safely was about 5 feet away when I pointed at it and said, "Hey, look at that cute mouse". He stopped right where he ways and yelled at me "KILL IT". I continued to stand there, pointing at the mouse as it froze about 2 feet away from me. This went on for a few seconds. I continued pointing and repeating variations of, "it's so cute, I'm not gonna kill it, I'm not just gonna step on it" and Elder Safley repeatedly yelled at me from 5 feet away, "KILL IT, SMASH IT!". The mouse continued to stay still, eating some bagel crumbs or something. Realize that a few other missionaries were standing around and witnessing this whole thing.
Elder Safley's great. I realize that we are quite different but we have gotten along SO WELL because we have the same purpose. Yeah.
Pray for Elder Schmutz so that he may be able to write emails that make sense.
Love you all.
-Elder Schmutz

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

MTC: Letter #1

Well hey everyone!
I LOVE YOU ALL. I'm doing well, and I love the MTC. I've been so busy I haven't been tired to feel homesick, although I do really miss my niece and nephews the most (sorry). Hearing/thinking about them makes my heart ache a little, but not enough to distract me from my work.
I'm sure all of you will understand when I say that the MTC is like drinking out of a Spiritual Firehose. So much revelation and growth that I can't even remember it all at the end of the day. And Celia, as you told me in your letter, I realize that the Spirit really is physically exhausting.
I'll just get started. My companion, Elder Safley, is awesome. We get along super well and we work well together, and he is meant to be my companion. We have had great success in our TRC/Progressing Investigator experiences, but what we realize our greatest weakness is yielding to each other. Ok, this is mostly for me. I'm more naturally outgoing so sometimes I need to hold back so he can have a chance to share his testimony. Other than how we work together, Elder Safley is from Roosevelt UT, a small town somewhere near Vernal? He talks in a sorta small-town accent which is pretty cool. He likes cars and driving things (he liked to talk of his back hoe frequently) and he did a year at Snow College before coming here.
this shift key is broken so im gonna stop using it. dont judge.
I've only told mom and dad this in the one letter i've sent but i was made a district leader last Thursday. it was kinda intimidating but i'm honored that I was trusted to do it. I LOVE MY DISTRICT. i'll tell you briefly about everyone.
Elder lester/Shepherd are the zone leaders and they have a really funny relationship. Elder Lester makes jokes and picks on Shepherd and Shepherd quietly takes it all in while pretending that he is full of hate for lester. They really do get along though and they have lots of respect for each other.
Elder Martin/Wiscombe have an interesting relationship. Wiscombe is really laid back and into laughing but Elder Martin is very serious and dedicated to utilizing every moment in the mtc for spiritual growth. he has an amazing knowledge of the gospel, and can recite like any scripture. I realize that he is so dedicated to the Gospel because that's kind of all he has concerning family. His family doesnt really talk to him because they aren't active. I thank you for all at least being willing to write me.
Elder Palmer plays banjo and guitar. I asked him if he knew Sufjan Stevens and he doesn't. He's from Arizona and also kinda has the small-town accent but he isn't from a small town. I don't get it. Elder White is....I don't know how to describe Elder White. He....yeah. He's nice and has a testimony but his sense of humor generally is kind of strange. Which is awkward because he is humorous like, always. LOVE HIM THO.
Sister Funoa/Peterson are the best friends I think which they admit sometimes gets in the way of their studying. Sister Peterson is from Philly and sister Funoa i think is from Utah. They talk "hood" and it's pretty hilarious.
Sister Muro/Woodruff are great. Sister Woodruff is from a small town in Cali and sister Muro is from Orem. They are the greatest example of friendship of hardwork in our district. They get along super well and (from what I've seen) spend their study time the best. They're great.
As a district, we're pretty much the coolest. We laugh and joke and have our own table at the Cafeteria. I forgot my camera, I was gonna upload some pictures of us all at the temple so I'll have to send another short email with that today.
Celia, you asked about gym time. I play volleyball and basketball. My screens are notorious and my bump/set is pretty good. Workin on dat spike doe.
I'm need to finish up so I'll talk about one other experience that was really special to me so far.On Saturday during companionship study, Elder Safley and I were working when a teacher came in and asked all of us (most of our district was in the classroom) if any of us would volunteer and teach a TRC whose missionaries fell through. Elder Safley said right away that we would do it, which was odd because usually I'm the outgoing one. I was terrified, but we followed the teacher and he showed us what room we would be teaching in. We said a prayer that calmed my fears then we went in. We met Mark and Tammy, non-members who live in the area. Mostly we talked to them and answered their questions. At the end, we invited them to pray, and they agreed. It was a great prayer that Mark gave, and at the end they were silent. They admitted that they had never prayed openly/vocally like that and it was really special. We were out of time, but Tammy said she wanted to talk to their mormon neighbors about the Plan of Salvation since we mentioned that when we talked with them.
I'll never forget Mark and Tammy. They were such kind people and we had a really genuine talk with them and I felt so much love for them. The church is true, everyone. I learn this more and more every day that I'm here. I've gotta get off and change my laundry tho. LOVE YOU. I'll try my best to send some pictures.
God be with you till we e-mail again.
-Elder Schmutz