Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

Man, April zoomed by.

This was a pretty decent week. We picked up this former named Gregory who is probably the coolest. He a 50-year old black dude who is basically my best friend already. In other news, our investigators on date are progressing at their own pace. Curt and Patty are reading now but they didn't come to church yesterday...Curt is "on call" as a maintenance man for a Senior Living Center. Apparently if a toilet breaks he has to be there A.S.A.P. to fix it. Ben also didn't come because he was up late the night prior at a concert of some kind in Mt. Pleasant. 

So other cool stuff: We got flagged down on our bikes by a member from Boston. We had lunch with him and some of his colleagues. He is a convert that joined about 10 years ago and is way cool. He gave us advice about college and stuff.

Did a trade-off with Elder Anderson, my new district leader. He is a lot of fun, very smart. I went to Midland 1 in that time and we found and taught like crazy. We found out that one of their progressing investigators is poly-amorous. Like, she is married AND has a boyfriend in New York City. The husband's cool with it, too. That will be a sweet Law of Chastity lesson. Anywho. Me and Elder Anderson are good friends already. I'm sad that I'll probably be leaving Midland next week. 

Jeremy is doing well again! He kinda fell of the radar a few weeks but came for the past two weeks. Al Knivila came again which was seriously the coolest. Our Sunday services were really good. 

Sister Henson in one of our meetings shared a passage from a book called, "The Holy Secret". I'm having a hard time explaining it in summary, but she highlighted the significance in the Gospel of leaving things behind. We as missionaries commit people every day to change their lives and their nature and leave behind an old life and follow Jesus Christ. That can be hard. Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden so that we could come to this earth and eventually receive eternal life. Jesus Christ left His life of sinlessness to take upon Himself the sins of the world so that we could be cleansed from sin and eventually return to our Heavenly Father. This made me think of the worldly, corruptible treasures I hold dear and need to let go of. It is part of life that all of us forsake our old life and "lay up for [ourselves] treasures in heaven..." Matthew 19:29 says,

29 And every one that hath aforsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for mybname’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inheritceverlasting life."

Anywho. That's my scattered, obscure sermon for the week. Hope you all are well. Know that I love you.


Picture included: A weird selfie of myself and Elder Anderson.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 21 - Week 36

This was a pretty awesome week. We found new investigators, our current investigators are progressing nicely, and I ate a whole box of Peeps by myself.

I decided just now that I'm going to loosely organize this email by Preach My Gospel's 12 steps to planning. We'll see how it goes.

INVESTIGATORS ON DATE: Curt and Patty are still doing pretty well. They have a bunch of fellowshippers. They are having health troubles though and they've been really busy with work and other family matters. They would have come to church but they felt obligated to go with their family. They attended RES LIFE Easter services instead which is basically a rock band warehouse in the middle of nowhere. I guess it will be a good contrast when they come to our services next week. I think they have the Emma (dog-child) situation handled so we're golden. We went over and visited them yesterday and gave them an easter basket and worked through anti they found on the internet. Haha. Anti-mormon literature is just comical at this point. Maybe it's more so in Midland, but literally our first lesson is usually addressing anti. 

We also found a very kind man named Ben Guffy. He has fire tattooed on his forearm, long, bleached hair, and he's ever-so-slightly less accountable. He's way cool. Elder Graves and Anderson doorknocked into him on trade-offs and we went back a couple of days later. He was ready for us. Before we literally said anything he said, "You know, I've always wondered where I came from. Where was I before my mother's womb? And what is the purpose of life, anyway?" We were in awe by those golden questions. We taught the Plan of Salvation with those cards and he loved it. He wanted to be baptized right off the bat. He read the Book of Mormon in between our return appointments and keeps commitments. Ben is great!

INVESTIGATORS/LESS-ACTIVES TO CHURCH: We invited so many people to church this week, member and non-member since it was Easter. I mean, everyone goes to church on Easter. We were bummed that not as many showed up but we still saw a huge miracle. 

I'm going to have to go back a little on this one.

A member named Al has been inactive for the past 22 years. He's become an old, sick man, very bitter about the church. Our ward mission leader, Brother Jones has been his home teacher for just about that long. Bro. Jones took Jeremy (our recent convert) home teaching to go see Al. Jeremy and Al became really close friends. Al is now encouraging Jeremy to stay active, receive the Priesthood, go to the temple, everything. Al came to church yesterday after not setting a foot in the building for 22 years. He participated in Sunday School and Priesthood and bore amazing, profound testimony. He is working on becoming an active member himself. There are so many other details I could share that would just help you understand what a miracle it was.

Ben also came to church and enjoyed himself.

FINDING: We found another lady named Luann who knows members from both Midland 1 and 2. We taught her and have a return appt for tomorrow. 

You already know about Preston from last week's email. He cancelled our easter appt (he had work) but we reset for next Sunday.

That's about it as far as proselyting goes.

I've been forcing Elder Graves to go running with me in the morning. I know, Elder Schmutz running, it's hard to believe, but it's for real.

I saw a squirrel commit suicide this morning. Just ran right into the street and got hit by a car. I've been pretty broken up about it. 

So that's about it as far as random information goes.

I love you all! If you haven't seen it already, go to and watch the "Because of Him" video. (or copy/paste on this guy ----> ) So well done- we used it all week in our teaching and finding.

Jesus is the Christ and HE LIVES.



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

April 14th, 2014 / Week 35 / A Glass Two-thirds Full

Hello friends and family!

I have been out on the mission eight months today. I kind of can't believe it. On one hand life before the mission feels so far away but on the other hand I feel so....Green. It's been an amazing eight months though. I know there are so many miracles and growing experiences ahead, too. 

So, this week was a miracle. Especially this weekend. We set Patty and Curt Cormier on date Saturday night which was awesome! May 17th. I love them. I'll have to get a picture with them to send to you. Curt has a flowing mullet, he's a drummer, and loves the scriptures. He also has a sweet Bostonian accent. We get along great. There are only two concerns so far - Curt has already been baptized four times so he's praying hard on authority. Also, they don't like leaving Emma (their dog) home alone so getting them both to church at the same time might be an issue...

SO, also on Saturday night the assistants called us. They asked if we would join with them in a fast for our areas. We fasted for Curt and Patty and also for new investigators that will progress and fasted for their investigators on date. 

Our Sunday services were so good. One of the young women's boyfriend Chazz came and had a great time. We gave him a Book of Mormon and will hopefully be teaching him. After church, we followed up with Anne, a lady we door-knocked into last week who also happens to be a former. She loves Jesus and believes whole-heartedly in reincarnation. That'll be a tough one to navigate past. 

The coolest miracle though is that we went home-teaching to see some less-actives, the Keyes family. We went with Brother Millward AND Brother Stevenson so it was kind of a full house. When we got there, the Keyes had a friend, Preston, who sat in on the Spiritual thought. Our original plan was to share the First Presidency Message which awkwardly morphed into a discussion on Alma 32 and the Book of Mormon. Sabbath-day observance found its way in there too. It was a pretty comical spiritual though BUT Preston wants to learn more so the ATONEMENT IS REAL. 

We also set a few return appointments with people we haven't been able to meet with in weeks so that was way miraculous. Such a goodSunday. The Lord blessed us tremendously. 

So yeah, that's it. We're going to see Curt and Patty again tonight. Things are going alright. It's raining a lot and Midland is flooding, seriously. I'll send pictures next week. The golf course is a 13-foot deep pool I think.

I re-did my Plan of Salvation cards and laminated them with contact paper. I've been lame at sending pictures so I thought I'd send you one. 

Anywho, I love you all.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Gen Conf, etc. etc.

Hey family and friends!

As far as proselyting goes, not much new to report. We did a lot of door knocking this past week. Pretty slow since everyone left town for spring break. 

We did have a sweet lesson with Curt and Patty though. We invited them to baptism and Patty said yes right away but Curt was hesitant. Both Curt and our member present, Bro. Jones talked for quite a while so we didn't get to follow up and set a date but that will come next time we see them.

We also had a really good new-member lesson with Heather Hale. We talked about temple/family history work and eternal marriage. It was a really powerful lesson, and was really good since the next day she went to the temple for the first time.

K, so let's talk about General Conference. 

General Conference is just heaven-sent. After hearing the words of the prophets and apostles, how could you question that this is Christ's restored church? So much power. I suppose the most outstanding thing to me was the powerful testimonies and witnesses of the truth of the Gospel at the end of each address.

The first session was very good. My favorite talk would probably be President Eyring's at the end. The story of his great-grandfather Heinrich was very touching. 

The second session was really good as well. It was fun to hear W. Craig Zwick, especially since I could brag that I know Scotty Zwick (the infant that tumbled out of a moving truck in the arms of his mother). 

MAN. Priesthood session was unbelievable. Everyone should hear, study, and re-study the talks in the Priesthood session. Elder Oaks' talk was incredible. Next was Elder Hallstrom, his talk was awesome (he's coming to visit us in May as well as Elder Ballard). The next talks were just amazing. It was the best priesthood session I've ever attended. The Choir was good too. 

I was so stoked about Elder Ballard's invitation for all members to read and study Preach My Gospel. What a great idea! It encourages me to be a better Preach My Gospel missionary and work better with the members in the divine way that Preach My Gospel dictates. The rest of conference was just great. I was brought to tears many times by the power and the love that is so strong during conference.

That's about it for this week. Things are going pretty well. It's finally warming up. Funny story - our ward mission leader Bro. Jones invited us to Dairy Queen before the priesthood session. While we were there they were playing that weird song by Erasure and I just laughed like a dork. 

-Elder K. Schmutz

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March 31, 2014 - Week 33

Hey family and friends!

This was an awesome week. It seems that whenever we don't have a car, miracles happen. We found four new investigators and just had a great time walking around all of Midland. 

Early in the week we found Jake Wray. He's the brother of a former that we were trying to start teaching again. He was there and invited us back and we had a cool lesson with him. He's a 22-year old that wants to go into philosophy. He's already read the Book of Mormon twice and is now reading it again. He talks really fast and a lot which makes for interesting teaching but he's fun. He was planning on seeing us again at church but he didn't make it. That's alright. We'll get him. 

On Saturday morning we got a referral from Heather Hale, a recent convert. One of her neighbors and good friends, Patty, requested a blessing due to recent health problems. Bro. Jones took us over there and we knocked on the door. Patty let us in right away. She sat us in the living room with her husband, Curt. Before the blessing we ended up having a full Restoration discussion that was really powerful. Both of them were very receptive and Curt shared some amazing spiritual experiences that jive with the principles of the Restoration. We ended up giving both of them blessings and Curt came to fast and testimony meeting the next day. They are way cool! Patty kind of reminds me of Fay from "What about Bob?" She talks just like her actually. Curt is from Boston so he has a sweet accent and a flowing mullet. He really enjoyed church, too! We'll be seeing them again tomorrow night to continue teaching them. 

Later on Saturday we followed up with a lady named Janet. We door knocked into last week and she let us in. We taught her about the Book of Mormon and we're going back once she's had time to read.

WELL. That's what's going on pross-wise. We got a call from our zone leaders last Thursday telling us that Elder HOLLAND (of the 12) and Elder Hallstrom (of the 70) are coming to our mission May 20th. So excited. 

Three different members and some other missionaries told me that I'm looking slimmer. I was flattered. I've lost 15 lbs. during my time in Midland.  Family, you'd be so proud of me if you saw how healthy I've been eating. AND I'm exercising. Can you even believe that?

Well, that's about it. Midland is great. Last week the computers were really slow so I didn't get to attach pictures from the Butterfly exhibit. I'm going to do that now. (A blue morpho landed on Elder Krebs)

Are all of you stoked for General Conference? I am. Eat plenty of pop-tarts for me. 

I love you all! Stay strong. 

-Elder K. Schmutz 

Elder Graves and myself in front of a tiny waterfall at DOW Gardens.