Monday, June 30, 2014

Last Day of June, 2014

Wow. Time flies when you're doing the Lord's work I guess.
Things are going alright here in Holland. The only bad news is that one of our awesome investigators we set on date got anti'd pretty hard and it's going to be really difficult to get through it. She believes in aliens and stuff and basically thinks anything on the internet must be true. Also, our blind investigator Jackie has disappeared...We hope he's okay. He couldn't have gone very far.
Basically, we're working really hard at finding right now. I'm just so impressed with Elder Hudson though because he just does whatever it takes and jumps right into finding and teaching. I was definately not that strong when I started my mission. We have a lot of fun though. We have lots of awesome potential investigators that I will hopefully be able to tell you more about next week.
I'll tell you about just one tender mercy from this week. We went to go check on a potential that me and Elder Jackson doorknocked into. We found out that she really wasn't interested. Right after we finished talking with her, I remembered a house on the corner that we knocked on when we knocked the street but no one answered. I decided we'd go try it again. Well, we biked all the way down the road and knocked on the door and found Bob, a kind Catholic man that is very interested in our message. We'll hopefully be teaching him this week.
We introduced the "Willing and Brief" invitation to the members yesterday. The presentation went well so I'm hoping we can get some member referrals that take up our challenge to use it in their missionary moments.
Love you all! I'm doing well and enjoying life. President and Sister Hess are now gone and President and Sister Jacobsen are over the MLM. We'll get to meet them in like 10 days which is very exciting.
-Elder Schmutz

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lansing Fun, New Comp, Etc.

My new companion is Elder Hudson! He's from Nibley (Cache Valley) UT. He graduated from High School not even four weeks ago. He's a percussionist, played in the Mountain Crest drumline, and we are just basically best friends already. The best part is that he is just super prepared. He just jumps in on anything we do, finding or teaching. He knows his stuff but is willing to learn more. He really is training me.
Nothing big to report from Holland this week. Our investigators are progressing pretty well. Next Sunday we're teaching 5th Sunday and will institute something called the "willing and brief" invitation" in Holland. It's basically an easy commitment invitation for the members to remember when they get into gospel discussions with their friends/aquaintances. We heard about this from Sister Coltrin whose daughter is serving in Nevada currently. They started it over there and it has had a ton of success. It basically goes like this: Would you be WILLING to listen to a BRIEF presentation on __(Jesus Christ)____ by two of our ____(awesome)____ young missionaries serving in your area? When they accept, you just get their name, number and address and pass it on to the missionaries. REFERRAL. Hopefully it will take off in Holland.
 That's about it for the week I think. Most of my time was spent working in Lansing with the zone leaders, Elder Bass and Elder Elwood. We had a good time in the three-ish days we were together. We went on splits one night and me and Elder Elwood started teaching a Mom and daughter that had seen the Book of Mormon play. That was pretty sweet. I learned a lot from the both of them- they are both very wise and experienced.
Love you all! Thanks for all of the love and support.

Me and Sparty

My new companion Elder Hudson!

Picture of my Tripanionship this week

Just me at the MSU Stadium

Monday, June 16, 2014

Transfers, Flag Day, etc.

I actually have no time for once so I gotta make this quick.
Transfers came! Elder Jackson will be heading to Saginaw! I'm pretty jealous, Saginaw is a sweet area/ward (but not as sweet as Holland, for real). Apparently, I didn't mess up my first trainee badly enough so they're giving me a second go. I pick up my new companion on Thursday and I'll be in Lansing until then. Also, I'm going to be a district leader. I'm excited but nervous to be district leader; I've been blessed with such great leaders in my 10 months so I hope I can be a good leader to others now.
I had the best birthday/flag day ever. After studies and an appointment Elder Jackson and I headed down to the farmer's market in downtown Holland to wish people a happy flag day. We coordinated our outfit too; I wore a red tie, we had our white shirts on, and Elder Jackson wore blue. We just wished everyone a happy flag day. We got the same two responses out of everyone. 1) It's Flag Day? and 2) You aren't Jehovah's Witnesses? We got some good contacts out of it.
After that we biked around and dropped in on potentials, formers, and other investigators that Elder Jackson has taught since he's leaving now. At one point we got stuck behind a train so I took out some "Questions of the Soul" cards and passed them out to the waiting cars. That was way fun.
So our newest progressing investigator is Mechelle Dean, a former's wife. She's legit and she loves us. She invited us over to a huge father's day bbq. When we got to this huge neighborhood gathering everyone was looking at us like, "why are you here?" but then Mechelle stopped everyone and yelled loudly, "EVERYONE. THESE ARE MY FRIENDS". Then everyone came up to us and introduced us and it was sweet. We got some sweet contacts and referrals because everyone loved us. They were a little drunk but that's ok.
That's about it. I gotta run. I love you all!
The picture is of E. Jackson and Mechelle.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Half-Mission P day-ski's, etc. etc.

Hey family and friends!
The last person that used this computer must have been like 90 because the font on everything is changed to mega-huge mode. I think just about everyone in the library can read this email so here goes.
This week was pretty aight. It was pretty miraculous how quickly we set quite a few dates and found new investigators in the past weeks and now we're distinguishing between those who are ready to progress. Just when disappointment happens it seems like Heavenly Father blesses us with another tender mercy. The Lord's work is just so rewarding. I'm never coming home.
The week started off kinda slow. I did trade-offs with my DL's companion Elder Coziar. We had a great time, he's a goofy kid. Four out of five appointments fell through on Tuesday though. That was a bummer. Alright though. We still worked hard and did all we could.
Wednesday was AWESOME though. We had half-mission p-day, where half the mission came to Holland to play games together and have a good time. I got to see lots of missionaries that I haven't seen for quite a while, like Elder Leavitt, one of my first zone leaders. I also met Elder Schultz who is my new good friend. We were teamed up together most of the day and everyone was mixing us up. Pretty hilarious. We played some big games like relay races and tug-o-war and split up into smaller groups to play stuff like ultimate frisbee and kickball, etc. Super fun. Pictures will be included.
The rest of the week went by super quick even though we struggled to meet with investigators. We've been lead by the Spirit to find some very cool to potentials. Last night I felt prompted that we should bike north of us and check on potentials since we have quite a few of them in a concentrated area. We were drawn by the Spirit to knock on one door, and we contacted this awesome family and had a forty-minute conversation on their doorstep. Other cool coincidence/tender mercy: their 14-year old daughter is a percussionist and loves Lindsay Sterling and other Mormon artists.
We also had an amazing lesson with our investigator, J.R. He's been taught for a while now but it's been hard to get him to come to church becasue he and his wife went once and didn't really get it and didn't have the best experience. We invited the Spirit and taught about the blessing of obeying God's commandments. They both committed to come to church again and the Spirit was there for sure.
Everything else is going alright. I'm happy. Transfer calls are this Friday. That's something to look forward to. It's a big transfer; 16 coming and 16 going. Kinda exciting. President Hess leaves in a few weeks too.
Love you all!

Me and Elder Schulz

Just one of good ole' Lake Michigan

Elder Jackson and myself at Lake Michigan

My name tag broke as well.

We went to go visit the lake!

Me and Elder Leavitt

Me and my pal Elder Derricott

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2 June 2014

Hey family and friends!
I can't even handle that it's June already. You're probably sick of hearing that but it's true. I've spent the past few minutes trying to remember everything that's happened this year. There's so much but it feels like it was not even 2 days ago.
Not much new this week. We've just been strummin' along finding and teaching. Things are picking up bit by bit. We have been biking everwhere which I would love except it's been super muggy a few days this week. I just about died last Tuesday (not really, I just wanted to). I will have to get used to being sweaty all of the time I guess.
I'll tell you a bit about our top investigators since I didn't have time last week:
We're teaching Angel, a member's girlfriend and she's doing well. She comes to church and enjoys it and feels the Spirit. Progressing towards baptism.
We found Ray last week, he was a former that I taught on trade-offs when I came to Holland. He was super happy to see us again (I have no clue why elders stopped teaching him) but he's a sweet guy that wants to change. He's just a couple years older than we are so we get along and he calls us his friends. He is also working towards a baptismal date.
We started teaching Jackie Robinson. No, not the baseball player. He's an almost completely blind man that lives on his own. He's ripping through the Book of Mormon on tape. Came to church yesterday, enjoyed it.
There are others that are working towards baptism as well. It's been humbling how much Heavenly Father has blessed us this week and the last. Things turned around really quickly, and it's only possible because this is His work. That's all I see day by day. Heaveny Father and Jesus Christ are in this work.
I feel like that's about it, this transfer is a blur! We start exchanges tonight, Elder Coziar is coming for a day to work in Holland with me. This Wednesday is half-mission p-day which will be crazy fun! I'll have to send pictures.
I love you all!