Monday, January 26, 2015

Training in Lansing, etc.

Hey everyone!

Man, what a great week. Monday night we taught Kirstin at the church. She is doing well though! She has already finished the Book of Mormon. We also went to FHE that night and played "9 square" (like 4 square but with 8 squares surrounding a king square) and I wrecked face. We did trade-offs with Paw Paw over Tuesday. I brought Elder Fairbanks to campus with me, and he is HUGE. 6'8" and 300+ lbs. I think people on campus were scared of him. We had a full, active day of finding and teaching and picked up some new investigators.

Wednesday for district lunch we did a buffet at Pizza hut. Big mistake! Later in the day we went and taught Kirstin on her break at Olive Garden. She told us she'd buy us dessert if we guessed her favorite scripture in the Book of Mormon. I guessed her favorite chapter and verse in two guesses, one right after the other. I enjoyed my black tie mousse cake thouroughly.

Thursday was incredible! We went to Lansing for a leadership training (DL's, ZL's, and STL's). Brothers Hemmingway and Radford from the mission department  (IN SLC) cam and blew our minds with an awesome training. They opened up facebook to district leaders and told us to have only one account and delete the other. That's whey you've seen me on facebook now! The best part is they taught us how to teach super efficiently and simply and it blew our minds. They gave us lots of good finding advice, and how to work with members. It was probably one of my most favorite trainings ever. 

Friday, we applied the things we learned. With the two new investigators we were meeting with that day, we taught a simple restoration out of the pamphlets. We taught Autumn, a freshman from Detroit and committed her to read, pray, come to church, and be baptized in half an hour. We taught Nick, a Christian from India the same lesson but in half the time and extended the same commitments. We also taught the Restoration to our investigator from Nepal named Prashant. He loved it too and we set a date with him as well. We taught Sierra and had a sort of break-through lesson with her. She opened up and told us she had been avoiding really praying about the Book of Mormon because she's afraid of the answer she'll get. She's gotten opposition from family but I think she understands how significant this is now. Later in the day we had hotpot with our chinese dad, Long Chen. We ate a lot and it was very good. Shoulda taken pictures.

Saturday we did a church tour with Autumn and Nick and they loved it. We were supposed to have a total of 6 people come to church, but two ended up coming. Some got sick and others left town and Kirstin didn't come either! Gahh, she is sorta making us crazy! Nick and another investigator Jacob came. They both had good experiences though. 

Man! My emails are long. Sorry.

 I love each of you a lot! The message we share is true and it will bring the love of God into the lives of anyone who hears it! Peace in this life cannot be achieved without the gospel of Jesus Christ. Keep up the missionary work I hear about! 

-Elder Schmutz

Attached: a picture of myself and Elder Fairbanks. I told people on campus he was my bodyguard. No one thought it was very funny.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Quick Update

Hey everyone!

It was a busy but good work. Kids are back on campus so we had plenty of teaching opportunities! We picked up a handful of investigators, almost more than I ever have in a week. The highlight is Prashant from Nepal. He knew little about God and practically nothing about Jesus Christ. We taught him the plan of salvation and he loved it! He had so many golden questions that are answered by the scriptures. He practically asked if we could be exalted and that was a breath of fresh air considering so many of my former investigators were hung up over our divine potential.

Kirstin is still doing ok, but she didn't come to church! :/ We're meeting with her today.

To close, I want to share with you a text conversation that we had with a potential investigator. We doorknocked into him before break, his name is Hao (from China). He opened the door with boxers only on and we had a pretty good conversation. His girlfriend, Juju, was also listening and not clothed very much. He gave us a number to text after the break. The other day we texted him.

Us: Hey Hao, how have you been? It's the Mormon missionaries who knocked on your door a month ago.

Hao: What

Us: We talked to you before break about God. We talked to you and Juju at your apartment, do you remember?

Hao: Obviously not. Juju is my cat! Why are you talking to my cat?

Us: You told us your gf's name was Juju. Is your gf a cat? Either way we want to kow if we could come visit you tomorrow.

Hao: Umm I guess. My girlfriend is named Allison my cat is Juju. Who would name their child juju

Us: Haha I agree, you'd have to be crazy to name your child Juju. Could we come at 5?

Hao: Ummm 5 is not good how about 3?

Us: Yeah that would work. At your apt or campus?

Hao: Apartment would be best so I can feed Juju.

Us: Cool we'll see you then!

Hao: Sounds like a plan

...The next day as we are standing outside Hao's door....

Us: Hey Hao are you close to your apartment?

Hao: Wait this isn't someone joking with me

Us: No we were serious and we're standing outside your apartment.

Hao: Oh dude I am so sorry I thought you were pranking me

Us: haha ok. Can we come another time for reals?

Hao: I seriously have no idea who you are.

Us: You and Allison answered the door in the evening one day and we talked to you for not even 5 minutes about God's plan for us. You were only wearing boxers and you gave us your number so we could set up a time to come back. Do you remember this at all?

Not Hao: You definitely have the wrong number.

Us: Do you really have a cat named Juju? If not you're the one punking us. Do you live in Kalamazoo?

Not Hao: No I live in Decatur and I do not own any cats I honestly thought you were one of my friends messing with me.

....The conversation continues and we eventually invite this person to learn. Nothing came of it except a pretty funny text conversation.

Love you all! Have a great week! I'd send you some pictures but I don't have my camera on me. We are short on time since we're not emailing at the library (MLK day). I love hearing your updates and your own missionary moments! Don't be afraid to open your mouth; the Gospel is so 100% true!!!

-Elder Schmutz

Monday, January 12, 2015

T-Calls, Etc.

Hey everyone!

Well, the big news is that I'm staying at WMU for another transfer! Wooo!!!! Elder McMurtrey and I are re-united after two long weeks. In other news around the mission, they recombined Grand Rapids and Spring Lake into one zone and the same with Lansing and Meridian. So we're back down to one zone per stake.

Not a lot to report on this week. Worked really hard in K2 with Elder Olsen. Went to St. Joseph on a blitz (their apartment is on the last stage of treatment for bed bugs; heck no am I sleeping over). We drove there through a severe blizzard with no visibility. I think it was the following morning there was a 100+ car pileup on the highway so I feel blessed we didn't get into a wreck of any kind. It was bitter cold pretty much all of this week but it's warming up nicely. The students are coming back to WMU so I'm stoked out of my mind to start the REAL fun. These past 6 weeks have been full of miracles but it's also been really tough with so many members and students out of town! It was sort of a blessing our area got closed for two weeks but now we're eagerly anticipating proselyting here again.

MLC was on Tuesday and that was nice. We can go to the temple more frequently AND we can listen to more music now. 

That's about it! Love you all, I'm out of time because we need to go help with transfers.

-Elder Schmutz

Picture: a cross-stitched Jesus displayed in the upper rooms of the Kalamazoo University Branch.

Our mission president made some banners that say "We are Family" and "We can do hard things".
They'll be displayed at every big training from now on. Pretty dope.

Monday, January 5, 2015

1st Week of 2015

Hey everyone!

This week was good. I'm working in K2 basically full-time so not much is happening in our area. I've had fun greenie-busting Elder Olsen who just got done being trained. It's been a weird week since transfers aren't happening yet but I'm away from Elder McMurtrey. 

The coolest news is that we taught Kirstin on Thursday night. She fed us and a member that came with us. During dinner she handed me a little envelope with mine and Elder McMurtrey's name on it. I put it away thinking I would read it later. We finished the Plan of Salvation with her and the lesson went really well and it made perfect sense to her. As we asked her about how she's been feeling while reading the Book of Mormon she told me I should open the note and read it to everyone. It practically said that after much prayer and thought she knows what we have taught is true and that she needs to be baptized. The Spirit was very strong and it was a pretty sweet experience for everyone there. Elder Olsen and our fellowshipper looked pretty shocked/excited.

Kirstin is progressing super well, she's finishing up Alma and knows what she needs to do next. The only problem is that Satan is working SOOO hard to keep her from church. Not only could she not get out of work this week but she also had strep, bronchitis and the flu all at once. Prayers would be much appreciated. 

We're teaching some other really prepared individuals in K2, but mostly we're finding. They have also found some really solid people doorknocking. We started teaching this lady Cheryl that loves the Book of Mormon and knows it's ture. I also met their recent convert Robert who was baptized two weeks ago. He was doorknocked into, and I think he read the Book of Mormon in two weeks and has since read half of it again and has read all of the standard works AND Jesus the Christ and the Articles of Faith. He's a 60-year-old reading machine.

Kalamazoo is just full of miracles right now. I pray every night that I won't get transferred now that we have found Kirstin and so many others. We'll see though, the pattern is not in my favor. It's probably going to be a big mix-around for the zone leaders and I've been here 3 transfers already. I'll go and work super hard where I'm sent. It's likely I'll go to Lansing, Traverse City, Wyoming, or Mt. Pleasant (CMU). 

Love you all! God has a plan for each of us and this is His truth.

-Elder Schmutz