Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Western and Transfers, etc.

Hey everyone! 

Marquiese and Jim are still doing well, Marquiese has become another recent convert that goes out teaching whenever he can. It's so awesome! I'm excited to go out and find more prepared people. 

Elder Villaneda is being transferred away to Meridian (Lansing area) to be a zone leader there. We've really enjoyed our transfer together and I'm a bit surprised we didn't stay another transfer. My new companion will be Elder McMurtrey. I'm very excited! We got to work together (plus Elder Derricott) before we picked up our first trainees. The zone is getting changed up a lot and I'm way pumped. A lot of experienced leadership is coming to the zone to train again before they go home.

This week for us was way good! We found a super cool dude named Cornelius doorknocking. We taught him once and he accepted a date and is excited to learn more! We also got a hold of Ebony again. We're supposed to see her tonight and I'm praying we do because she was super cool. We have been blessed with a lot of success in the past six weeks. We're seeing more and more miracles as we are in our rebuilding stage for the area.

So remember about the zone goal I told you about last week? As a zone we set a goal to get 20 new baptismal dates set by the end of the transfer. When I emailed you last we were at 4 of 20. It came down to the wire, but we hit our goal of 20 new baptismal dates! It was incredible. On Wednesday alone, 9 new dates were set. We were sending texts to the zone every hour (or more) it seemed. On Saturday evening (last night of the transfer) we were at 18. Elder Villaneda and I sat in our truck marveling at how well the zone had done and even more how much Heavenly Father had blessed us. We were a little sad that we had come so close but wouldn't reach the goal. At 9:18 p.m. we got a call from Sturgis telling us that they had set two more people on date that day! We screamed like little girls when they told us. 

I have seen it time after time on my mission. I know that Heavenly Father answers righteous prayers if we have faith in Him. 

"And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shalreceive, behold it shall be given unto you." (3 Nephi 18:20)

So yeah, that's mission life! I love you all, I need to close because Elder Villaneda needs to pack and we need to clean! 

-Elder Schmutz

I picked up some West Coast slang in my time with Elder Villaneda. 

"We out here"

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jim and Marquiese's Baptism

Hey everyone! 

This week was incredible. It ended with Jim and Marquiese getting baptized and confirmed. Wow. It was so wonderful. I'm going to send a bunch of pictures so you can finally know who all these people are. I see more and more how God prepares all of His children to accept the Gospel. As I said before, basically the whole branch consists of recent converts, each with amazing conversion stories. This is God's work and I want to teach the Gospel forever.

It's always the people you don't expect that get baptized. I wasn't there, but Jim during his first lesson basically bashed the whole time. He read the Book of Mormon though, and his heart was softened. His fellowshipper Chris Bates did a great job, too. I got here the day we taught his second lesson and he was ready to accept everything. Marquiese was doorknocked into and sort of forgotten for a month or so but he also loved and accepted everything we taught. He has changed a lot during the short time we've taught him. Both of them got up and bore their testimony yesterday and it was powerful. Marquiese said he has come to know the Book of Mormon is true in a way he cannot deny. So solid! I just love them so much!
So, cool thing. As a zone we set a goal to set 20 new baptismal dates by the end of the transfer (this week). The Elders and Sisters are excited and we've already set 4 of 20. We set a date with Adrianna and Eugene. Adrianna is the only non-member of her family and has been taught before but has not accepted a baptismal invitation before. We taught a powerful restoration that clicked with Eugene and both of them accepted baptismal dates. Unfortunately one of their sons puked right as we teaching about the Book of Mormon...Now all of them are sick with the flu...Hopefully they better really quick so we can start teaching them all of the time. :)

As far as other things in our area, it was a slow week. We were driving everywhere so we basically taught whenever we weren't in the car somewhere. We had MLC Tuesday which took all day and on Wednesday I was in Coldwater on trade-offs. Thursday was Jim's interview day and then we had to drive down to Sturgis to do a couple baptismal interviews. Longest drive. Then Friday night we had to drive to South Haven to do another interview. We had 5 baptisms within the zone this weekend! Exciting but means lots of work for us. Our zone is pretty large, there are 34 total (biggest in the mission since Lansing got split last transfer). 

Conference was unbelievable. All of my questions and concerns I wrote down were addressed. In general my favorites (in no specific order) were Elder Lynn G. Robbins, Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Elder Jörg Klebingat...I basically loved all of them.

Alrighty. I love you all! I think that was about it for this week. I love you all! Have a good week!

-Elder Schmutz

Me, Chris Bates, Jim and Elder Villaneda

Men of K.U.B.
Me, Elder Paulson (visited from Lansing for the baptisms), Marquiese,
Adam French, Jim, Elder Villaneda, Chris Bates, and Long Chen. 

Me and Brother Bates. He's ripped and comes teaching with 
us all of the time. He was baptized in January as well and is 
going to be turning in his mission papers really soon.

I'm wearing Elder Villaneda's glasses because they look 
better on me anyway.

Sister Salisbury, myself, Adam French in the back, and Sister Page.

Sister Salisbury has been a member 6 months
Adam was baptized 1.5 years ago
Sister Page was baptized like 5 months ago

Me and Long Chen. Long is from China and was found over
Facebook (we use FB on campus).
He was baptized in January.

Monday, October 6, 2014


Time is short this week! I love you all and I'll update you more next week.

General conference is amazing. So so good. 

Our zone training went well and was successful. After our training the mission president and assistants came and showed us "Meet the Mormons". It was amazing. I encourage all of you to watch it when it comes to theaters or whenever you have a chance. It was very inspiring, I laughed too much and almost cried a bunch of times.

Marquiese and Jim came to every single session of conference and loved it. They will be baptized this weekend. So excited! Kyle and Sharrae are still doing well, but we're having hold-ups with them getting married. They're ready to be baptized once they're living the law of chastity in full.

Things are still going well here. We are busy teaching investigators and recent converts almost all of the time, but in the time in between that we find, we talk to awesome, prepared college students. 

Added a picture of me by a Western sign. 

Love you all! I'll hopefully have more time next week to write you!

-Elder Schmutz