Monday, September 29, 2014

WMU Continued

Hello to the people I love!

I'm still doing great here in Kalamazoo! The K.U.B. is simply the best. Kyle, Sharrae, Jim, and Marquiese are progressing beautifully towards their baptism in two weeks. 

Ebony is struggling and we haven't seen her for a couple of days. She wants to make friends and come to church but she is so shy!! She has a hard time connecting with people. I appreciate all of the prayers for myself and my investigators but if you could especially send a prayer out for Ebony it would be much appreciated!

So what happened this week...I've forgotten what's gone on. The time just flies by here, it's unbelievable. We found two new investigators from a referral from a family in K-zoo. I didn't teach them because I was on trade-offs, but Adriana and Eugene are way cool. Adriana is just about the only non-member in her immediate family. She's met with Elders and Sisters for a first lesson many times but they never made much of a connection like we have.

I went on trade-offs with Elder Derricott on MSU campus and it was pretty crazy (awesome). There are lots of students there. We found two new investigators and personal contacted on campus most of the day. One of the people we found that day is one of their top investigators. In their second lesson, they basically taught the plan of salvation + exaltation and he loved it. Haha. 

I'm listening to the Women's broadcast while I type. You should all listen to it if you didn't yesterday! It's been very good so far. Hey, it's General Conference Weekend and I'm so excited! I'm equipped with Pop-tarts so I'm ready to go.

Other cool thing coming up this week: zone training. We're training on some really good topics that will help the zone out a lot. I'm way pumped for it. Afterwards, we're going to watch "Meet the Mormons" and that will be way cool. If you haven't heard about that yet you should look it up.

Love you all! Have a sweet week. Choose the right!

-Elder Schmutz

No I didn't take this picture while I was driving. 

Rollin' through downtown K-zoo

Monday, September 22, 2014

So Yeah

This week was way good! I'm still loving it here on Western.

Sharrae got her license so she and Kyle are getting married this next Sunday so they can get baptized on October 11th! They're way cool. Kyle also has a son named Khalil and he was so funny but he made me miss my nephew Khalil. Jim came to church again yesterday and he's doing well. He is progressing towards the 11th as well. Marquiese came to church the first time yesterday and LOVED IT. He is way cool. I should have got a picture with him because he came to church looking way snazzy. Also progressing towards the 11th of October

Our other investigator Ebony is still doing well, working for the same date. We taught her the Law of Chastity last week and it went well other than I started laughing during the lesson. Humiliating. I've taught the law of chastity a bunch of times but for some reason I just couldn't handle teaching it to a college student. Once I giggled everyone else started laughing. It was bad news. I ended up getting sent to another table to sit by myself while Elder Villaneda finished the lesson. My uncontrollable laughter has got me into trouble on my mission. It's something I'll have to overcome through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, seriously. 

I did trade-offs with my trainer Elder Reheis this week and it was probably illegal how much fun we had. We doorknocked all day since he and his trainee are whitewashing the area they're in. South Haven is probably the nicest stretch of Lake Michigan. Pictures included.

Heavenly Father has been blessing us tremendously. The Spirit is being poured out upon Western campus for sure. We had a pretty amazing experience Saturday. We had another 90 minutes until the end of evening so went to campus to talk to people. We prayed that we would be lead to those that God wanted us to talk to at that time. The second we got out of the truck (we drive a truck which is cool) two freshman girls approached us and one asked, "Where is the church at?" She continued and told us that she was a member from Nigeria and hadn't been for a long time but wanted to come. Her friend was from Uganda and not a member. We talked for a while and invited them both to church and her friend to learn more (she accepted and is way interested). After getting hit on by a really drunk girl for way too long we felt prompted to go to the Bernhard center. We ran into another less-active member there. Both came to church yesterday. I have seen it many times before, but I know that God answers righteous prayers that are full of faith (3Ne18:19-20). Ask and ye shall receive!

Well I love you all and you're great. I'm sorry if I tend to ramble, I just get so excited when it comes to missionary work!! Stay strong. I pray for you all the time! Thanks for all of your support and love and prayers.


This is me, Elder Reheis and my only brother (as far as mission genealogy goes) Elder Sauer 

Sunset over Lake Michigan

Monday, September 15, 2014

Western Dreamland

Hey family and friends!

This was my first week at WMU and it's the best! I love Elder Villaneda to death (I already knew that) and the work is on fire. The majority of the Kalamazoo University Branch (KUB) are recent converts, and they go out teaching with us all of the time! The member support is incredible. 

I'll tell you about some of our top investigators. Kyle and Sharrae are super prepared and have been taught everything three times over. They're basically members at this point. They are waiting to get an I.D. in the mail so they can get married so they can get baptized! Way solid. We're also teaching this really cool girl named Ebony, she's really shy though. Ebony came to church yesterday for the first time and loved it! We have many others that have accepted dates and are progressing well. Jim is a friend of Chris Bates, a recent convert that does the most teaching with us. He also came to church for the first time yesterday and was telling everyone he was marked for baptism next month. 

It's way fun to talk to college kids. We find lots of people by stopping them as they walk to class and teaching them about covenants or the nature of God. We also distribute questionnaires that create many potential investigators. Campus proselyting is awesome, but it's very different. I feel that I'm learning to be a missionary all over again!

I'll have to get some pictures with the members so you know who I'm talking about when I talk about them in the future. I attached a picture of myself and Elder Villaneda. We are just so busy all of the time. We don't even take time to eat, usually. The Lord takes care of our needs though and we are given strength, like Alma the Younger (Alma 31:38). 

I love you all a lot! Mom and Dad, I hope your packing and moving goes well. You're in my thoughts and prayers, as well as the rest of you. Be faithful, do what is right, trust in God. 

-Elder Schmutz

Monday, September 8, 2014

Transfers, WMU, etc.

Hey family and friends!
I thought I'd have more time to update you this week but it turns out I'm getting transferred! I felt that I would have another six weeks in Holland, but I'm actually going to Western Michigan University to proselyte on campus. My new companion will be Elder Villaneda and I'm so excited! He was my district leader when I first came to Holland. Now we'll be leading the Kalamazoo zone together.
So, Octavio and Santos are still doing well and want to learn, except they want to learn in Spanish so...Either the Grand Rapids Elders will teach them or someone in the Holland ward who speaks Spanish will teach them while the Elders listen.
Other updates: we saw our Catholic friend Bob, who fills his time by taking care of butterflies. We met at a sandwich shop (he treated us) and we discussed the Book of Mormon and priesthood authority. In the middle of our discussion he pulled some living monarch butterflies out of his pocket and started handling them so we were just like, alright. He has no intention of converting (yet) but he is reading the Book of Mormon so only time will tell :). Other than that, a few promising appointments fell through but we found lots of potential investigators door knocking.
The week 6 goal as a district went well, and although we didn't hit our goal people went out and worked hard! It was inspiring to see, I really have loved my district (picture included). I've loved my 12 short weeks with Elder Hudson but he will do a great job navigating the area. We celebrated our last 12 week companionship study by indulging in a Coke.
Well, I sure love you all. I'm excited for things to come. I couldn't do it without all of you love, prayers and support. I am so grateful for  Jesus Christ who enables me to become better day by day. His power is so real, it's undeniable. I know that this is His church restored to the earth through a Prophet of God. I know that by the power of the Spirit, and that's undeniable too.
Have a good week!
-Elder Schmutz
If you have some time, read or listen to "His Grace is Sufficient", a BYU devotional by Brad Wilcox. You can also read the abbreviated version from the September 2013 Ensign.

Celebratory Coke Friends

Also: This Chess Set in Downtown Holland

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hey There

So I don't have much time, we get to do quick emailing since our library was closed. Things are going super well! We had a miracle on Sunday- a member's room mates wanted to be taught the gospel and one wanted to receive a blessing. We taught a simple, powerful Restoration and concluded with a blessing. We picked both of them up and one of them quickly accepted a baptismal invitation. He's way solid and his name is Octavio. Santos is a little weary since he's been baptized before but wants to learn more.
This is week 6 of the transfer so transfer calls are Friday! I could stay or go since Elder Hudson will be done with his training. To encourage us to work hard all week our district set a goal to set 6 new dates and find 6 new investigators collectively. We're super excited and Octavio was the first new date set! We have a lot of other exciting things to come, I'll have to tell you about them next week.
Love you all, gotta go.