Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Paradise and well... Minnesota!

Here's the latest out of paradise and well...Minnesota!
First Sister Schmidt:
Dear Family,
So not much has happened, but things are getting better!!! So I'll just tell a couple of stories. This week me and my companion went to this baby shower for one of the members just to stop by and say hello and all I can say is WOW!!! Africans really know how to party!!! There was loud music, tons of food, and tons of people. We didn't stay for very long but when we left one of the Africans gave us two plates of food!!! And yes, we tried it, which in my opinion was a very poor decision.
   The first thing we tried was the rice which wasn't too bad and then we tried the chicken wings, it was Instant FIRE!!! I thought we would die. I probably drank several gallons of water that night. Oh yeah, and the flyer for the baby shower said "come and party from 5:30 am to 1:30 am !!!! (Sigh Africans) But I have also come to love and greatly respect them as they have this amazing faith in Christ and they are always so happy and loving to everyone. I have so much happiness as I teach them and have really come to learn a lot about them and the African culture.  We also tried some food called fou fou and if you've seen the movie The Good Lie, it's what they feed them in the camps.  It tastes like play dough.
    Me and my companion are working on our African accents and it's hilarious,because sometimes as I pray I'll start praying in an African accent without even realizing it  Things are also getting much better with my companion. We are learning how to work off of one another's strengths and have become a great companionship. Don't get me wrong we still have a lot we can improve upon, but through Christ all things are possible. The baptism is this Saturday and we have lots of investigators that will be coming! I am so happy that she is making this choice for her life and I know that it will bless her Forever. 
      Thanks for the updates on Elijah, I miss you guys and him a lot, but I know I'm in the right place and that this experience will change my life for the better. I am also getting better with names so that is a great blessing right now. We also learned a cool African phrase from the girl getting baptized "JHE TEM TUA" It's French for I love you and I don't know if the spelling is right. It's cool because lots of the Africans don't speak African they speak French, because they were colonized by the French and picked up their language. Some of them do speak some African though and the only African language we have heard off so far is "Ebonics or Ebo" 
     Thank you all for your letters, they REALLY make my days so much brighter and dad thanks for the Thomas S. Monson talk you recommended, I read it and it was really good!!! You guys are the best family I could ever ask for and I pray for you a billion times a day!!! I really love it here and my area and the people are amazing. It supposed to start warming up soon so I'm WAY excited for that one! No excited for early morning jogs though. I love this work and am learning so much. Learned this funny quote it's a little twist on a different one


Yup, I can relate to that!!! 
Well, have to go now.  I love you all SO SO SO , MUCH!!!  I'll be praying for you guys all the time.  I miss you guys with all my heart and I keep our family picture right next to my bed at all times.  Be safe!  Jhe Tem Tua!!!
Love you all,
Sister (Alexis) Schmidt 

Now to piece together what Elder Schmidt said
and he didn't send any pictures this week:
Dear Family,
How have you guys been?  I am having a bit of a hard time, it's been raining non stop which has me kind of down.  Man, I guess I never realized how hard a mission would be, but it's the best way to learn so maybe you can just say an extra prayer for me to pull through it.
  Well, we got new Sisters and Elders in our area and I got to hear 2 General Authorities speak, Elder Haney and Elder Christianson of the seventy.  My companion and I are good and we are slowly teaching more people.  One is Nick and the other is Jane.
I've been reading a ton of scriptures and finding ones that talk about the second coming, man it sure seems like it's getting closer, scary and exciting.  I like D&C 130 and  my new Book of Mormon hero is Alma the younger, he was awesome.
Gotta go love you guys,
Elder Schmidt

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Once a week Schmidt update

It seems like I'm so busy that when I get time to blog,
it's a once a week update and I only get around to
blogging about my two missionaries any more.
I do have some other updates as well today.
Paul had his quarterly cat scan and MRI
yesterday and all is still clean and no
new tumors--yay!!!  They will continue
to monitor him quarterly for another 2
years then not so often after that.
I've had many family members ask about
how I am healing and for those of you
who don't know, I cracked some ribs
but I am healing nicely and am getting
around fine.  It's been painful but I'm
really fine.  Thank you for your kind
words and prayers on behalf of Paul,
myself, our missionaries and our
whole family.
Ok, on to our missionary updates (ladies first):
Dear Family,

How are you all doing??? My first area is called Elm Creek (near Brooklyn Park) and white people are in the minority here. Just tons and tons of Africans as far as the eye can see. :P I have taught several of them already and they are so nice. Not so excited for their food though. My companion has had some and there is cow stomach, cow veins, chicken feet and more. Yup, so you want weird food on your mission, come to Minnesota!!!
 We did a zone conference service project as soon as I got here. The ward we are in is super nice and I love them. Having a hard time with names though! My new companion is Sister Kirkman and for the first couple of days she really just drove me up the wall!!!!! She loves sports and is very competitive and serious at times, but she is also an amazing teacher. The weather here is um...well..nice and brisk. Here in Minnesota we like Spring, Summer, and Fall. :P The high this week has been mostly 5-10 degrees so yea that's been fun. It's all about layers and fashion goes completely out the door for this very reason.
We are having a baptism next week so super EXCITED about that one!!! Her name is Mardea and she is also African. All the people here are mostly from Liberia and Nigeria and sometimes they are very hard to understand, but I still love them and am so excited to teach them this gospel. I still have a TON to improve and work on but I am getting used to it as I go along and I can't wait for summer!!! Hope you are all doing well and are safe. Miss you guys with all of my heart and hope to talk to ya soon. 
Love, love, and even more love,
Sister (Alexis) Schmidt
P.S. I LOVED the package. My favorite part was the bubbles and I blew them all over the MTC!!! 
Me and my companion sister Kirkman
 Zone conference service project

 Hope, pray for her!  She is close to committing to baptism!
 Mardea, she is getting baptized this week!  SO excited for her!
OK, now on to Elijah (Elder Schmidt):
Dear Family,
I am so excited to bring you guys over here when I get home.  I hope you are saving up and save extra incase you want to go island hopping.  We had transfers and it looks like I will be here in Hilo another 6 weeks.  I sent a picture of a crater we hiked to we didn't get too close but we got to see the glow from the lava.  I got an aloha kiss from an old lady, so that was interesting.  We have a new investigator and we got into some super deep doctrine this week with some new members that had learned things wrong.  I am giving a baby blessing today who will be having surgery, so that's cool.
Things are basically going good.  Hopefully you guys are doing good too.  I am happy to be doing the Lord's work, as hard as it can be at times.  I saw the new Imagine Dragons cd at Walmart today and I about died! Ha ha!!!   I have to go, I'll write you more letters this week.  Love you guys with all of my heart!
Elder Schmidt 
P.S.  Please, please, please, don't listen to the new Imagine Dragons cd without me..... please?
( To the above request his sister Michaela says--"yeah right!")



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Waterfalls, Toads, and Plane Rides to -1

Ok so first of all I am so sorry for anyone (and everyone) who
got all of those forwarded emails.  Elder Schmidt apparently
responded to a blog post update I sent him so all of you
got those as well.  I have informed him to start a new
thread next time.  So now, on to the update this
week.  Here is what I pieced together from
Elder Schmidt and under that from
Sister Schmidt.
Dear Family,
It really stinks being sick on your mission, it just seems to drag on because there is so much that you could be doing but there's not much you CAN do when you are sick.  So far we haven't been teaching that much, everybody is busy or not home but we at least talk to one person a day.  Yesterday we ran into a Pastor.  He said he didn't want to waste our time but then he asked us some questions.  My companion  bore his testimony about the plan of salvation and the Pastor said he didn't believe it and said we were wrong but my companion stood his ground and said that he will stand for what he believes forever whoot whoot!  Testimony power!  Even if he didn't believe us, we did our part.  I have given another blessing and taught some cool lesson this week too.  We taught the Awai family this week, they tons of girls.
 Ok some funny experiences, Elder Hill my zone leader thought it would be funny to put a bull frog in my scripture case so when I woke up to read my scriptures, low and behold I found a little surprise; it was huge.  So I thought I would play a trick on him by putting it in his bag.  I left it in there and then went to go do missionary work.  When we came back to our pad the frog was gone (insert dramatic music here).  So we had to find it and we eventually did find it, under my bed.  Ha ha!  So I got a container and dragged it outside. 
Another experience was when we were riding to a dinner appointment and we passed some hula girls ( teenagers) and a bunch of them waved hi because they are in our ward which was kind of awkward.  I did get into a bike wreck this week but not that time, ha ha!  In one of these pictures we are at the Akaka falls this week on P-day and Elder Hill picked me up and I couldn't keep a straight face.
I hope all is well with you guys and Alexis gets to Minnesota safe.  I pray for you all every night.
Love Always,
Elder Schmidt



 Now for Sister Schmidt:
Dear family,
I hope you guys had a great Valentines day!  I did with all the mountains of candy that you sent me.  I shared a lot of it with the Sisters and Elders at the MTC.  I love the MTC, it's like a super spiritual academy and I've learned so much and grown so much already!  I just love everyone in my district like family already, we are definitely keeping in touch.  We left for the airport at 3 am this morning and they just said take a bus to trax, then take trax to the airport, here is your ticket, good luck--yikes!  I was afraid we would get lost but we didn't.  Our flight was 4 hours long and we made it great.  We went from 57 degrees in Utah to -1 here and it was so cold off that plane!  I am used to it though because we have lived here but everyone else in my district is like form warm places and they were so so cold!  Ha ha! 
I love my mission president and his wife already, they are so nice!  I think we are staying here tonight and going to our areas tomorrow so I will let you know where my first area is. I love you guys so much and I hope things are good there.  Thank you for your prayers and love, I'll  email again on P-day, (probably Monday).
I love you more than you know,
Sister Schmidt
Someone texted me this from the MTC

The Mission President's wife texted this after
they landed.


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Two to report on

So this week I am reporting on two since Alexis is now at the MTC. 
First here is the latest from Lexi (ladies first) then an update on
Elijah under that:
Dear Family,
I Love you guys so so so so so much!!!  Thank you for the package!  I loved all the valentines from the kids, thanks you guys!  I loved the valentine card and Dad I thought it was hilarious when you said "I love you and FYI I used my gun this week!  I just know you guys want me to gain weight from all the treats you sent me, I own my own grocery store now.  The MTC is AMAZING!!!  I've learned so much about teaching that I never knew before.  I have been teaching real and acting investigators and studying the gospel a bunch.  It was awesome on Sunday because we had a devotional on the character of Christ and putting off the natural man and turning out like the Savior and not turning in.  It was Amazing!!! I am so not as shy as I was when I first got here.  My district is 36 and they are the best and I already love them like family.  The cafeteria food could use an upgrade though.  My companion is Sister Marissa Lacaneinta (La-ca-nein-ta) and I love her already.  We got new missionaries today and they just all look like sad little puppies and I just want to hug them all because I can relate.  I am already used to getting up so early but I won't say that I like it.  I fly out to Minnesota on the 18th (next Wednesday) and we have to leave the MTC by 3:30 am!  I am so excited to get out there and start teaching.  I miss you guys and love you guys so much!!!
Love you Schmidt Family,
Sister Schmidt

Now to hear form Elijah:

Dear Family,

I got your package and I loved everything in it, the "backpack" like bag works perfectly for what I need and everything else was awesome!  Thank you!  I made a scripture box for scriptures so they don't get wet.  I was so sick this last week that I was in bed a lot but I got a blessing form president at zone conference and I am feeling much better now, so maybe now I can get to work.  Zone conference went really well and I was able to meet a bunch of other missionaries.  It  hasn't rained much because Hilo is in a drought crazy huh?  I had deer meat which I didn't like and my first coconut which I did like.  How are you guys doing with Alexis gone now too?  I think it will get easier over time and when we both come home it will most definitely be a HAPPY DAY for all!!!  You guys are the best, hang in there and Dad, be careful at work all right?!

Love you guys a ton,
Elder Schmidt



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

He's sick and She reported today

So here is the news out of Hilo this week:
Dear family,
I just got all of your letters which always without fail makes my day!  I kind of miss the snow but I am enjoying the warm climate here.  I have a very strong testimony that there is no better place for me to be right now.  Keep busy and so will I and the work and the time will just fly by.  My companion is a hard worker and has a lot of love for the people out here.  I am doing my best to be a leader and I am putting my heart and soul into this work. 
Something kind of funny happened last week when we were doing a service project at a less active members house.  He gave us lunch and the drinks were strawberry guava, pineapple orange, and lemon ice tea which I thought was lemonade and I drank half a glass of it before I realized it wasn't lemonade. Ha ha!  I had some repenting to do last week ha ha!
I am teaching this week but we don't have any close to baptism yet.  I have gained like 15 pounds and sprouted up another inch so Jarom and Noah my be growing but I will probably still be taller when I get home, the race is on ha ha!  I am used to biking around a lot and I went fishing on p-day and saw crabs and sea turtles and we caught like 20 fish.  Then I got really sick, a pretty bad cold.  I got a blessing and I have been taking lots of medicine along with chicken soup and orange juice but it doesn't seem to be doing anything so I might have to go see the mission office doctor because it's starting to interfere with work.  I will let you know how that goes.
So Alexis, your letter made me cry, I love you too.  You are amazing and I am so proud of you, I know you will be a great missionary!  Michaela, recipes I like, ramen with veggies they call it Saimon, and  rice with eggs and spam for breakfast.  A tip for the boys, don't have a place in mind that you want to serve a mission, just be ready to serve wherever Heavenly Father wants you to serve.  Stay out of trouble, keep moving forward.  I miss all you guys so much, keep sending the drawings, listen to mom and don't forget me.
Love you,
Elder Schmidt

On another note, Alexis reported to the MTC today. 
Here are some pictures from that...


Monday, January 26, 2015

Crazy Hilo


Here is the latest news, only now out of Hilo:
Dear Family,
I am glad you guys are doing good.  As you know I am on the Big Island now (Hawaii).  My area is Keaukaha, Hilo and it's loads harder than my last area, it is a biking area and we have been biking about 7 miles a day so my butt is really sore.  On my first day a scientist we were talking to told me that I was going to hell and that I should give up my religion and  go to a different church.  I declined of course,  I stood my ground and bore my testimony to him.  That's ok, I did my part. 
There are lots more nationalities here, Pilipino, Marshallese, Tongan.  There are also more locals here that have a heavy accent and they talk really loud. This is kind of a scary area, there are lots of gangsters,  crazy people here who are on drugs or drunk, and the cars are even crazier, so I have a bit of culture shock.  I had to bless a home for somebody and that was pretty creepy.  It's scary, but God is here and I know that He will watch over me. 
Some cool things about this area, it's home to the biggest mountain on earth, which is a volcano.  No we are not too close to the lava but we hope to go see it on one of our upcoming p-days.  Last p-day we went to an underground cave.  It was so pitch black dark that we couldn't see anything with the lights off, not even our hands in front of our faces so that was cool.  I have been going on exchanges with the zone leaders and I have been giving lots of blessings, so that's been great.
My companion as you know is Elder Tuuban who is a 24 year old  Pilipino.  He speaks English but he has a heavy accent.  He is in really good shape and he is teaching me how to work out and eat healthier.  He is also training me to take over the area and replace him as district leader, so we will see how that goes. 
To answer your questions, I think I look pretty much the same except  my voice is a bit deeper, I'm a bit taller, and  I have lost about 5 pounds.  Worst foods I've tried so far, poi and squid.  Thank you all for writing me and drawing pictures, you never know how much you love your family until you don't have them anymore.
I love you all,
Elder Schmidt


Monday, January 12, 2015

First Transfer

The latest news out of Hawaii from Elder Schmidt:

Dear Mom and Dad,

So I have some news, I am getting transferred on Wednesday to Big Island aka Hawaii.   I will be in Hilo and it's a super local area, so it should be cool.  Elder Gee is staying here and getting a new companion, Elder Penrod.  I am a bit nervous but I know it will be ok.  My new companion is going to be Elder Tabon who is Philippino.   He is also the district leader which is cool but kind of overwhelming because I was told that when he leaves I will be the next district leader. 

I am really happy out here other than missing you guys a ton.  I cleaned up our whole pad and organized it so now that I am leaving it looks really great ha ha!  Thank you for the birthday package and cards/gift cards, I loved them!  No, I didn't have cake.  I know you sent me a mix but we didn't make it because we had a dinner appointment at a recent convert's house and she said she had a cake for me.  But sadly we found out that she was killed by someone who we were told was hired to kill her but they are still investigating.  I guess he had some past issues with her which led him to do that, so yea, I had no cake on my birthday.  Yeah, I am most certainly NOT in Utah anymore ha ha!   We get a lot of that kind of thing out here but times that by three and that is the area I am going to next.

How is Alexis?  Any exciting news?  You guys didn't get rid of all my stuff right?  I will try to write you more and I will write and send pictures when I get to my new area.  Oh one more thing, if we have a small waterproof backpack can you send me one because I will be in a biking area and it rains a lot in Hilo.

I love you guys more than you know,
Elder Schmidt