Monday, February 23, 2015

Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative

Hey everyone! This was a super eventful week and I'm going to try and pack it all in this email because I don't have much time.

Transfer calls! From talking to other missionaries, no one saw the results coming but me. I'm staying another transfer in WMU and Elder McMurtrey is being transferred to whitewash/train Battle Creek! My new companion will be Elder Marley, he is coming from Holland which makes 3 missionaries in a row that to from Holland to WMU. (Me, Mac, and Marley) I saw Elder Marley at our last training and I told him he was going to come serve in K-zoo with me. CALLED IT. I am beyond ecstatic to stay at WMU for a 5th transfer. I'm a lucky dog.

Saturday: Went to the temple with a member of the branch, Kiersten Meales! She joined the church a couple years ago and is becoming reactivated so we got to go to the temple for her to receive her endowment. You can see all of the pictures on Facebook, I'm not going to bother posting them through email. It was incredible to go to the temple after 18 months! I was dying to get there and it was so awesome. I never would have thought I would go to the Chicago temple during my time in Michigan, and I'm really glad I got to go thanks to the new rules. I'll probably go next month with Long Chen and Chris Bates when they receive their endowment. 

In other news...We got broken into last Monday night! We left our apartment at 6 for trade-offs and interviews with Sturgis, and when I and Elder Erekson returned, I knew right away we had been broken into. Our stuff was kinda thrown around; they clearly went through all of our stuff pretty thoroughly. They climbed up our balcony into the unlocked sliding glass door. They stole an expensive watch from an elder, our Microwave, vacuum and broom (who would steal a broom, IDK), my companion's GPS, stamps, and a single dollar out of my wallet. I accidentally left my wallet and they just took the cash I had which was very little. However, they did steal my nice Timbuk2 bag from Celia and Benson which was saddening. They didn't steal my scriptures though which was a miracle. Although it was pretty wack and it sucks getting stuff stolen, I feel very fortunate that they didn't take my scriptures or whole wallet. 

Our interaction with the police officer that came was pretty hilarious. He had lots of questions about our rules and why on earth we were together for only 24 hours and had to stay within sight and sound of each other, etc. Elder Erekson invited him to learn and he got wayyy sketched out but it was a pretty fun and funny experience. 

The area is doing good. Alex decided he wasn't ready to get baptized this weekend, but he is super solid and will be baptized soon. Kirstin is having a lot of family issues and wasn't in town. She still talks to us though so that's a plus. Tomorrow is her last day at OG we're pretty sure so once she's outta there we'll be able to teach her and get her to church. We picked up a lot of other great new investigators and we're seeing them progress really nicely. 

Love you all! Have a great week. 


Monday, February 16, 2015

Well Hey.

How is everyone? Things are pretty good here, it was a crazy week because of the weather. We are in a rush so I'll try to keep it brief (but it never happens). 

The highlight of this week was our training with Elder Nash. We thought it wasn't going to happen for a bit, but it did. We had a training from him yesterday and it was very good. 

Last Monday us and the K1 Elders went to the mall and got some really cool pants at Banana Republic for a good sale. We did a photo shoot (pictures attached). 

We did a trade-offs with St. Joseph on Thursday night with the plan to trade back on Saturday morning at Elder Nash's training. I had a great day with Elder Giar, we did some finding earlier in the day and then taught investigators and less-actives for the rest of the evening. I really like all of their investigators, they're teaching some really cool people in St. Joe. When we got home from the evening my companion called to tell us that Elder Nash got cancelled until SUNDAY because of a severe weather warning. Our exchange got extended about 30 hours. The weather was so bad we couldn't leave our apartments for some of the day. When we did, we luckily got let in by investigators and other less-actives when we stopped by. We also went and visited this super cool member who plays percussion! After we taught him a lightning lesson he let me play his marimba/drum set and we jammed out for a sec. That was a pretty sick tender mercy. We talked for quite a while about all of his close friends in the drum corp world (Scott Johnson, Ralph Hardimon, etc.) basically people I idolize.

So that's it for this week. We need to jet off because we're doing a bunch of baptismal interviews tonight in Sturgis. The zone should have 10 or so baptisms this weekend, including one from us!

Love you all,

-Elder Schmutz

Banana Republic Models in the Middle of a Snowfield.
P-Day Well Spent. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Church Wasn't Cancelled!

Not much has happened since I updated you last on Wednesday! Thursday was pretty slow. Our investigator from India no-showed probably like 5 appointments this week because we can't understand him over the phone. That's cool though! Makes for funny moments. We had dinner with dad Chen on Friday followed by teaching an investigator with three members. It was pretty sweet. We also had stopped by sports night before teaching Kirstin the word of wisdom. She took it like a champ, but we knew she would. She didn't get to church this week because her boss is psycho and her coworkers wouldn't take her shift but the (kinda) good news is that she had such a horrible day at work that she put in her two weeks notice! It was great, she needs to get a job that will allow her to honor the Sabbath day and keep it Holy. 

Saturday we walked around everywhere and did some quality finding. We also went to Insomnia Cookie (have I told you about that?) and we got ice cream sandwiches. I almost died because it was so rich; I only got through half of mine before giving up.

Sunday was super good! Since Break the fast/Bring your friend to church day was cancelled last week, we had it yesterday. Not many of the members were there but us and the sisters had a few investigators. President and Sister Jacobsen came and visited for the sister's investigator's confirmation (he got baptized Saturday!) so it was good to see them. Our investigator Alex and a new investigator Tony. Alex stayed the whole time and made tons of friends, it was great! We had two lessons on agency but both of them were really good. We had a turkey dinner/lunch after and had tons of fun! 

In other news, we got called by some girl from Iowa that tore her ACL and has to get surgery so she's back home (in Kalamazoo). She ran into some other Elders on campus two years ago and kept their number and called us. Her roommate in Iowa was mormon and got her to read the Book of Mormon and she loved it! She called us last night mid-hysteria (we think she was on pain-meds) but we're hoping it will be a good teaching opportunity and we're not just getting punked or something.

Love you all! The mission is great. We're having some good laughs and being obedient. I learned again this week that I need to not freak out over things I have no control over. The lesson I must learn over and over again is patience, I'm sure of it. 

-Elder Schmutz

Did I already send you this picture? Can't remember.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Quick Update

Hey everyone!

I didn't get to email you until now because Kalamazoo got hit really hard in a winter storm! We were practically snowed in for all of Monday and everything was closed anyway. I was on trade-offs yesterday so here I am now. 

This last week was incredible for mission work! On Monday we went to FHE and our investigators came and loved it. We started trade-offs with the assistants in the evening, and I got to stay at WMU with Elder Green! We had a great day full of teaching. Missionary work has changed quite a bit since our last training. We spend less time tracting and personal contacting and more time teaching the members. We got more referrals this week than I have in the past transfer. In the evening we taught Dontreal who prophesied to both of us. That was pretty great. 

Wednesday was slow, but we got a really solid referral from a married couple in K1 ward that want us to teach their best friend. 

Thursday we did trade-offs with K2. I was in K2 again with my MTC companion Elder Safley! We had a pretty good but rather cold day. We picked up a bunch of referrals from this lady on the street we started talking to. She wasn't interested but when we asked about her neighbors she basically pointed out to us which of her neighbors needed the Gospel or had recent life changes. We picked up a ton of potentials as a result; that's why you ask everyone for referrals! We also got let into this guy's house named Phil McNeil. Super prepared. We taught him the Restoration and set a baptismal date with him. 

Friday we were in Battle Creek doing a blitz. We were supposed to be teaching the rest of the day when we got back but everyone fell through. A busy day nonetheless. 

Saturday was really cool! We were walking and we talked to two people total that whole day and we picked them both up as investigators and set baptismal dates with them. It was a very cool experience; this is God's work, not ours. The rest of the day was spent teaching other lessons and helping a part-member family move.

Sunday was SUPPOSED to be "Bring your friend to church" day. We woke up and it was snowing hard; it had already snowed a good foot. Church got cancelled and I went hysterical because we were supposed to have 6 investigators there AND it was going to be a great finding experience. Oh well. God had other plans. We got permission to do a little sacrament meeting with the district AND Kirstin came. That was super cool. The Spirit was strong. The rest of the day was spent doing call-ins and helping other missionaries get around without dying (we have a truck so it travels well in severe snow storms). 

Monday we were snowed in and weren't allowed to drive so we played this nerdy/super fun game called Munchkin with the K1 Elders that live right by us. 

Quick update turned into a journal entry. Sorry! In other news, my new nephew Sebastian is super cute and I love his face already.

Love each of you. I'll send some pictures next week!