More photos of the Zone Conference. Can you find
Curtis Elder Schmidt in them???
(Hint: This is a trick photo. The Elder sitting down is Elder Schmidt's companion. So, I'm sure Elder Schmidt is close by, just not in this photo.)
I love this photo below....looks like Elder Schmidt is actively participating. LOVE IT!!! Brings a tear to a mother's eye, I'm not gonna lie. :)
(Photos courtesy of Elder and Sister Zimmerman from the NY NY North Mission. Thank you!)
Let's play find Elder Schmidt in these photos....
At his recent Central Park outing. It was actually a Zone Conference.
More at Central Park
You won't find Elder Schmidt in this photo....but his Mission President and children showed up.
Can you see the carnival in this photo?
You can see it better below....
Police officers in the park
Band playing for donations
Street artists willing to draw your portrait for a fee
For a fee ($50 for up to 20 minute, plus $20 per extra 10 minutes, plus tip) you can take a ride on a horse-pulled carriage. Not cheap.
The following photos are some of the statues in the park
Look for Elder Schmidt again...
At a Multi Zone Conference.
At a breakfast
Do you see Elder Schmidt in the background??
If you look close you can see just a part of Elder Schmidt in this photo....
You can see Elder Schmidt as he listens to the Zone Conference....
Elder Cook spoke about being a successful missionary. He said, "Spiritual experiences happen in your life not to just bless you, but to bless the lives of others.". Then he left an apostolic blessing on our mission. He blessed our missionaries to be uplifted through hard times. He said, "NYC can be a demanding place, I bless you to not feel guilty, don't feel rejected, you will understand what needs to be done. How you are serving isn't just for you, it is for your family. Your family now and your future family. Everyone who is dear to you will be blessed from your service". He closed by bearing his testimony of the Savior. He said, "I know my Savior, Jesus Christ, I know what he looks like and I know his voice!" We have had some very special experiences in the NYNYN, and this day will forever remain in our memories of a time when an Apostle of the Lord bore a very personal testimony of Jesus Christ.
July 8, 2015
Hope you guys had a good Fourth of July. Here it was just like home except way louder. Everyone here loves firecrackers so as we were walking we would get M-150 thrown at us and stuff. I kicked one back at a kid. At night is when the big ones were going like M-1000 and bigger. They don't mess around here. Fireworks went into the morning a little bit even. Monday we were walking around and found an M-150 so that will be fun. (Don't worry we are going to the middle of no where to do it.) Oh yeah, and this Fourth was filled with food!!! We went to a members house and she normally feeds the entire district of 10 people but only 4 of us showed up so it was bad when she pulled trays and trays and trays of food out for us. Oh and they were Sisters who had been sick that morning. And one of them is a vegetarian. I ate 7 hamburgers, 5 hot dogs, a ton of Mac and Cheese, 2 pieces of barbecue chicken, 3 cookies, and 2 pieces of cherry pie. When we left, Elder Holtom went looking for ipecac. He was determined to clean himself out. We couldn't find it so I told him that magnesium citrate would clean him out. So, long story short he was on the toilet for a while making a mess. Oh, I forgot somewhere in there looking for the ipecac, I threw up out of no where. Anyways some other stuff that went on this week.....The sisters handed someone over to us that should have been handed off a while ago. He is super awesome! His wife is a member and his daughter is nine and wants to be baptized so he said that he wants it to be a family thing. His name is XXXXXX and he is so cool. He had awesome questions about us and what we believe. He actually thought we were like 30 years old. He flipped out when we said we were just 19 and 21. We are going to be meeting with him like 2 times a week because he wants to learn as much as possible so he can help his daughter. Another person we found was named XXX. He ordered a bible from us and told us he just started going to church again at a Christian Church and he is loving it. He is one of the most sane people I've met here. Next time we meet with him we are going to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon and hopefully invite him to church. Those are the people that really stood out to me this week. I feel like I'm starting to better recognize the smaller miracles that happen every day, like when we miss a train and end up contacting someone on the platform. I feel more and more that I'm making a bigger impact on people's life than I had thought before. It's so cool. I love missionary work! It's so perfect and awesome. Anyways, I will send some pictures and videos and stuff showing the random stuff that happens here in the Bronx. I hope you all have a great week. :)
Sent from my iPad
How is everyone? Today for P-day we are going to China Town, which is supposed to be a pretty hard place to get around but we have missionary that wants to take us on a tour. So, I might get a $20 "Rolex". That should be pretty cool.
This week was awesome! We had like 4 dinner appointments, which NEVER happens. One of them was this member named Brother Pepis who lives in a 1 room apartment above some people who I never had met. We were a little nervous to bring all ten missionaries from the Ward but Brother Pepis insisted. It turns out that the people who live under him are his family and they were having a huge Greek Easter Party. It was crazy! The video I'm sending is a full lamb being cooked over coals. It was awesome! IT was an awesome missionary experience as well because none of Brother Pepis' family were LDS. They were all drinking and stuff, so it was super awkward at first, but we started talking to them and really enjoyed their company. Afterwards we went upstairs to share a message with Brother Pepis and we talked to him about the Jaradite's boats an how we can be like the stones and be a light for others. As it turns out, Brother Pepis has made a Jaradite boat that works completely. It is at 1/60 scale. He is talking to the church to see if he can make a full size 60 foot boat. It's insane how smart/crazy this guy is. He is trying to create a new turbine to make a wind powered/solar powered car. He use to design boats and stuff....it's so crazy!
Anyway, this week flew by. We have found 3 new investigators who seem pretty solid. We also, in one day, found 10 potential investigators for the Sisters and the Spanish Elders. It is so crazy how much Spanish is spoken here. I have already learned to introduce the church in Spanish, but my companion can usually share a brief message and refer them to the Spanish Elders. It's like I'm in the SPANGLISH program! My companion says I will learn Spanish pretty well here because a lot of places here have a ton of Dominicans. In one of the areas English Elders actually ordered Spanish tags because no one will speak to you if you have an English tag on.
The area I am in is awesome! The members love missionaries, but there are very few members. It's about 80% or less and we have five sets of missionaries in the Ward. Last Sunday I went to the youth class (because they have very few youth. They all meet in one class.) The Elder I went with says our job is to make sure no one teaches false doctrine. I thought he was just kidding, but he was not! Ha Ha. The entire time we had to stop the teacher from teaching all these things that other religions do for Easter like Lent and Palm Sunday and all that stuff. It was so bad. The teacher talked about Christ like he believed in the trinity and stuff. Yikes!
The members here are awesome, but they are just very uneducated in the gospel. I am loving it here! The people are awesome. I've only been kicked out of a couple buildings. I love knocking doors with a passion. LOL! I know this is where I need to be. I love sharing the gospel. I am getting a ton more comfortable. My companion is trying to get me to campaign for AP. Ha Ha. We joke about the real purpose of missionary work being leadership positions or numbers.
It's been really fun. I'm on the subway right now going to China town and a guy just came in selling stuff. He calls himself the human vending machine. There is so much that goes on here. I love it! It's impossible to have a repeat of the same day here. Anyways, I'm sorry this letter isn't super long. Today has just been really busy and I didn't write any of this in a draft throughout the week.
Video of the lamb cooking
Jaradite boat Bro. Pepis made
A sign in one of the buildings we were in.
Me and my companion, Elder Sorenson
We received a letter today from Elder Schmidt's Mission President.
Included in the letter was a photo of our son with his Mission President and his wife. President and Sister Morgan. He looks happy, doesn't he?
I have to apologize for the poor quality of this photo. It came a little yellow or orange.
I tried to scan it into my computer, but apparently my scanner isn't functioning properly right now.
I'll have to have my oldest son help me with the scanner when he gets home.
This is a copy of the letter we received from President Morgan about our missionary.
Let me apologize, up front, for the poor quality of this letter. I had to take a picture of it since the scanner isn't working properly. The letter basically says that they welcome Elder Schmidt's enthusiasm to serve, it gives the information about his companion, and states that they have transfers every 6 weeks so they want all mail sent directly to the mission home.
How are you all? I'm in the middle of my first week. Had some time, so I thought I would start an email to you guys. I'm doing good. We mostly knock doors. It's funny, we call ourselves the blood hounds because all we do is find that we rarely teach in this area, but it is awesome, We knocked like 200 doors today, literally. I am so tired but it's a good tired. Today we saw a precession for Easter where all these catholic people were walking down the street. The companionship that we are roommates with saw one with like 250 people and at the end of it all, they had hung a fake Jesus doll on a cross, They showed us pictures and it was crazy! hahah. I am loving the Bronx. There is so much to see.is General Conference and I will write more after that, so goodnight...... sorta kinda, not really.
In between sessions we tracked because we seriously need to find someone to teach. After we were done, we went to a bodega and got what I can only describe as the greatest sandwich of all time. Chipotle chicken with chipotle Gouda (or however you spell that cheese) with an egg. It was so good! hahah. During the priesthood session we had root beer floats from the ward and that was fun. It's and we are about to study, I just wanted to write you some more, I will continue later. morning
Hey it'stoday in the morning. My companion is in a meeting, so I'm just chilling. hahah. Today seems like it is going to be awesome. We aren't knocking any doors.
It is noworry if this email is super weird, hahah
I will get better at emailing some day, but anyways,we ended up knocking on one door. It was a family from the Dominican Republic and the only spoke Spanish so we are going to have to pass them off to the Spanish elders. But we met a man named Lewis and his wife Sydney and they are awesome. They asked us if we were able to go to their house and we were just like yes of course! hahah. They did like half the work for us.
To answer some questions our apartment address is 2415 creston rd. Our area is pretty ghetto, but I hear if you get below 154th street it gets really bad. hahah. Umm any mail.... goes to the mission office though. If Kyle wants to send ties, there are no rules on ties, anything goes. We haven't taught too much. It's mostly just knocking doors or going to parks to find people. A lot of the people here don't speak English, so I'm the minority. Everyone thinks that my companion is Dominican because he's black. It's so funny.
Right now I am sitting on a subway train and we are going to the temple to play some temple ball (just basket ball in the temple). hahah. We played yesterday at our building and I didn't get to use my half court shot. hahaha. So we will see how today goes.
Another little fun fact.... I guess that I am eating like ten times healthier. hahah. We eat salad and stuff all the time. Unless we are going to a bodega, because there we get the best and the least healthy sandwiches ever. hahah. Chipotle chicken with pepper jack and an egg! It's the greasiest, most delicious thing in the world! hahah
Oh yeah, and today we are going to buy what we call Bronx pants. hahah They are the most ghetto thing ever! The people here are awesome, but they sometimes just dress ridiculously. hahah
So yeah, that's what's been going on here sort of... You can ask questions if anything seems weird or if I didn't explain something well. I am not allowed to talk to much back and forth but I am allowed to receive emails every day and write drafts through out the week. So I will try to answer any questions and tell you everything as much as possible.
Sent from my iPad
I'm in my new area. I got my iPad! It's P-day......
My companions name is Elder Sorenson. He is pretty
awesome! He wants to go basketball contacting sometime,
so that will be cool. I don't feel like I'm in New York right now.
Oh yeah, I'm in an area called King's Bridge. It's the west side of the Bronx. It's so cool! We are in the clerks office of our church building emailing. It's pretty awesome here. The weather is nice. It snowed the day we got here, which was cool to see. How are all of you doing? I don't know what to write, so ask me some questions and I will try to answer some later.
(from my iPad)
Manhattan New York Temple
New York, New York North Mission Area
It was awesome to hear from him.
We forgot to purchase a calling card before he left, so he ended up using a ton of quarters. I can just imagine how that looked walking through TSA with all of those quarters. Yikes!
He said he spent Saturday in Urgent Care because he had an
allergic reaction to something. They think it was the laundry soap.
He used Tide or Cheer. We ALWAYS break out whenever we use Tide and most times when we use Cheer.
That's why we always use ALL.
Besides....I love the smell of those little
mighty packs anyway.
Curtis has a 4 hour flight to Atlanta, Georgia
with a layover and a plane switch
to get his plane to New York.
We think he must have arrived at about 4 - 4:30 p.m. our time today! So exciting!
The other thing, it was snowing today in New York.
I talked to someone that works in New York just north of where Curtis was going and she said it was cold and snowing. About 30 degrees! That ought to keep Curtis on his toes. LOL!
The boy has never lived in snow. He has visited snow, but he has never had to shovel it or be out in it day in and day out.
Shoot....neither have I.
Well, we are super excited for him!
Let the fun begin! YES!
He has arrived!
Thanks for all your letters and emails. First off, can you send me like everyone's email that you can, so I can write everyone in the family and stuff? Ha Ha. I am so pumped to get to New York though. I can't wait to embrace the cold. Oh, and I think this is just gonna be an email for everyone, just so I don't have to worry about writing two and when I get out to the field I will make sure to write real letters too, because there is just so much I wanna send. Ha Ha
The MTC is awesome! We have our last lesson with Ben, our MTC investigator, that we have been told COULD BE a real investigator or just a member. We have gotten pretty far with helping him see Christ in his life and teaching him the doctrine. I told him that we weren't there to just teach him and that it was up to him to put in the effort and make this something that he wanted. He yelled at me and told me that I could just leave. It was so freaky, but we got it turned around and he started to listen to us and HE PRAYED. It was awesome. He ready some of the Book of Mormon and prayed about it. He said he didn't feel anything but he promised to keep praying about it. We are going to be teaching him the gospel of Jesus Christ and ask him if he will talk to the missionaries in his area because this is our last time teaching him. We want him to be able to keep progressing.
Anyways, at the devotional last Sunday the head of missionary work talked to us and it was awesome. I wanted to share something his wife said. She related life to a piano and how the black keys represent the bad things and the white keys represent the good things. The important thing to remember though is that even the black keys make music. Ha Ha. I just loved that little metaphor. At the devotional Elder Hamulah of the Seventy came and spoke to us. He was the Mission President of Kyle's Mission before he served there. He talked a lot about faith and how without faith, hope is impossible, because there is no want. Sorry, I just keep jumping from topic to topic. I'm just super excited. Ha Ha. Um....tell Kyle he is lame and he will never be as cool as me. And tell Lexi that I didn't cry once. Ha Ha Ha. JK. I cried a lot! Ha Ha. Um, but anyways, I am learning so much and I can't wait to learn more. I will get back on in a bit to talk more, I just have to get my laundry.
Love you all,
We have Kevin's, Kyle's, Grandpa Schmidt's, and soon Curtis's badge we want to
hang up in our home when Curtis comes home. I think that will make a neat memory.
Don't you think?
The Church now issues a license to each missionary. They need this in some areas...usually NOT the United States. Kind of cool to see it though.
This is a photo of the district Curtis is in at the MTC. Right in front of the Provo, Temple.
And the crazy shot of the MTC District....
Care Packages Received while in the MTC.....Breakfast food seems to be the theme so far.
This a photo of a few of the people in the district too.
This is a photo of Curtis and Trevor McLaws! Trevor left from Mesa, AZ. to the MTC before Curtis and will leave the MTC after Curtis. He is learning a new language.
Don't they both look happy?
I love that about missionaries.
The smiles. They just beam.
I'm doing good. It's awesome here. My companions name is Elder Nelson, he's awesome. We are starting to become friends and its awesome to teach and learn with him. The Dear Elder thing is working fine. I got your letter. The MTC is awesome and teaching is so easy here because the spirit is so strong here. It's hard and I am super tired all the time, but I'm learning so much here....and I can't wait to go share the gospel with people. I was mad a zone leader last night and I get to help next week introducing the new elders and sisters in our district. I got my flight plans today I leave on will be landing first in Georgia and then transferring to a flight to NEW YORK. Ha Ha. Sorry this email is all over the place. I just have been having a lot of things happening. Oh yeah, I SAW TREVOR MC LAWS! He is doing awesome! I might be able to get a picture to you guys some time, but he is doing awesome. He was so happy and It's awesome to see someone I know here. We started teaching lessons and stuff the first day and we haven't stopped. I didn't know they had real investigators here that they let the missionaries teach. Well, I'm gonna write Mom and anyone else I can now. Ha Ha. Thank you for helping me get here. I am so happy to learn and to grow as a missionary, and sharing God's purpose with others and helping to bring them to Christ.
Curtis tolerating the selfie his sister insisted on taking of the two of them. Doesn't he look excited? LOL! Brotherly love!
I have LOTS of photos for you today. These first couple were taken last night when Curtis was set apart as a missionary....
This is a photo of Curtis with our Bishop.
We couldn't get a photo with Curtis and our Stake President. He ran off to another meeting right after.
We all woke up super early this morning. 4:00 a.m. to leave the house by 5:00 a.m. to get Curtis to the airport. These next shots are of the gang at the airport....
All four of my kids....and Jose. Jose is the next young man to go on a mission in our ward AND he has been a very good friend to Curtis. (check out how excited Kyle looks....WOW!)
These next two photos are of the plane Curtis was on to get to the MTC in Provo, Utah.
Curtis was lucky enough to have his Uncle Victor pick him up at the airport in Salt Lake City. Victor and my niece Ashlee took him out to eat just before driving him to the MTC in Provo. This next photo was taken on the curb outside Ashlee's home. See the snow on the mountains in the background?
Curtis in the car just before reaching the MTC in Provo. See the wood dashboard? Victor must be driving the jaguar.
Curtis getting his luggage out of the car curbside at the MTC
These two are going to miss each other.
I got my pictures! YES!!!
These first two are my favorite. Now to decide which one ends up on my wall.
I think it's going to be this one in front of the temple.
After several serious photos, Curtis couldn't take it anymore and he started being silly. These next few shots are a few of him being just that.
All of this (and more)....
needs to go in this...
This is where Curtis will be next week for about 18 days. After that, it's off to New York! Go Curtis. Kevin sent me a text today. I guess Curtis was a little freaked out this morning about the whole mission thing. It's starting to really hit him. Thankfully Kevin was home to talk to him and give him a blessing. My husband struggles with feeling that he cannot contribute to our family right now. Let me tell you, he did more today than most fathers could ever do. I am so grateful Kevin was there for Curtis. It means so much having a husband who holds the Priesthood in our home to bless all of our lives. I am so proud of both of them. Curtis for coming to his dad for help, and Kevin for acting quickly to help Curtis. Love that!
Our Future Missionary.....
Yesterday we went to Beehive clothing to pick up a few things Curtis will need when he goes through the Temple. After that we stopped to Deseret Book and picked up the books Curtis will need to take with him on his mission. We also picked up an oil vial similar to the one you see below but it has not been stained or varnished like the one in the photo has.
So far Curtis likes the New York Temple or the red drawing of the Mesa Temple. Either way, whatever he decides will be a neat way for Curtis to remember spending time with this leader as his assistant 11 year old scout leader. I love that!
Curtis (the blondie with the glasses) surrounded by the other Priests. He loves his buddies in this ward!
P.S. My P-Day is Friday. Ha Ha
How is everything at home? Everything here is awesome. I'm learning so much about how to share the gospel and I'm learning a ton about how to listen to the spirit. It's awesome to see just how much I knew before the MTC. I'm so excited that i get to share this amazing gospel and teach them about the atonement because that is really what the gospel is about. And to see how anything you teach someone revolves around Christ and His atonement. We learned today that the purpose of a missionary is the same as any general authority and even the same purpose as our heavenly father. It's amazing to see just how important missionary work is and that we are literally acting on gods behalf. I told Dad about all my info and those things so he should tell you. Mom thank you for all the outstanding things you do for me. Another thing we talked about is that a parents purpose in the gospel is the same, to help your children receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end, and that's exactly what you and dad have done. Just like missionaries you couldn't force us to go on missions or read Scriptures or any of those things, but you taught us the importance of doing those things. Mom thank you for all that you have done for me, since I got into the MTC I feel like I would be making you proud. I have started so many habits that were hard before. I read my scriptures, pray (all the time), and I have cleaned up my language to be more missionary like. I can already see the blessings of these habits. I feel the spirit everyday when I teach and do the things missionaries do. Again, thank you mom. Ha Ha I've been saying that a lot but, that's because I mean it. Let me know how home is and all that stuff,
The photo above is a photo of everyone that came to the setting apart. My parents, brother and sister, Kevin's mother, all of our children and husband, then my Brother-in-law, Sister-in-law, three of their children and their spouses, our new little niece, Danielle's boyfriend (not pictured) and Kyle's girlfriend (not pictured), and our sons good friend, Jose (not pictured). I'm in the photo too, but I'm a hot mess. After all the stress of getting this young man out the door, lack of sleep, and the heat, I was a wreck. The hair wasn't curled and I was wearing the worst ever outfit I own BUT I had green on for St. Patrick's Day. ~smile~smile~
This is another photo of my children again and my daughter's best friend, Brittney. She is like a 3rd daughter for us.
This is the family at the airport. I still did not curl the hair. Yikes!
The boys. Missionaries: Past, Present, and Future!
Kyle and his Dad. I included this shot because this is about where Kyle and I ran into Charles Barkley, former player for the Phoenix Suns. When I say ran into, we nearly bumped right into him. When I asked my husband if her knew him, he said...."Yeah, he's just some random guy." I couldn't believe it! Of all people to not recognize a former player....Kevin! Unbelievable!!!! No joke! We saw Charles Barkley. He was maybe one to two feet away from me. Who could forget that round head of his? ~smile~
This is Charles Barkley. This was the man we saw in the airport today. Or should I say, almost ran right into.
The plane taking off down the runway.
Curtis out to eat with family.
Another shot curbside
Curtis in front of the MTC
Curtis with his cousin Ashlee and Uncle Victor at the MTC
This is the Sister Missionary that helped Curtis with his luggage
Curtis walking to the entrance of the MTC
Curtis getting closer to the door.
Curtis looking back
Curtis still looking back at his family
Curtis walking through the door of the MTC. This is a proud Momma moment.
(Ashlee, thank you so much for taking all of these cool photos. They are priceless! We so appreciate that! And thank you Victor for picking Curtis up and taking him to lunch. We appreciate that so much! This is one moment I am so grateful we have family in Utah....you see, we wish they all still lived here in Arizona with us. Utah is close, but not close enough.)
This one is the goofiest! Love it. I cannot wait to share this with his future wife and children many years from now. LOL!
Curtis gets to walk through these doors for the first time today. Sure, he has been to the temple for baptisms but that door is on another side of the temple. Today Curtis goes through the front door with the rest of us. Eventually we will walk through those doors for the first time with Danielle and Lexi too. This is an exciting day for sure!!!
Curtis took his oil vial with him to Scouts and showed the other leader. This leader carves neck tie slides out of wood and they are really cool. He even carves things out of bone too. When he saw the vial Curtis had he offered to carve something into the vial for him. So, we have been on a hunt for something. We went on a hunt for some basic drawings. I told Curtis the lady he should talk to is his Grandmother. I bet she could design something for him. Here is what we have found so far....
The Manhattan, New York Temple
The Mesa Arizona Temple
The Mesa Arizona Temple
In the middle of church Curtis added this app to my phone so I could count down the days until he leaves on his mission. Check out the caption.
"Day of crying". Can you believe that? Ah that boy. l should not cry the day he leaves and show him. LOL! Like that will ever happen. Like my kids always say, "Mom cries for everything." I should take that as an insult but I don't. I own that. It's true. And I am okay with that.
Curtis was called to Serve in the New York, New York North Mission.
He enters the MTC on March 18, 2015
He enters the MTC on March 18, 2015
I love these two. Lexi told her Dad yesterday that she is going to miss her big brother when he leaves on his mission. I remember when these two were little. Curtis watched over and protected his little sister and he still does. Even though Curtis is too "cool" to admit it. He really cares about his little sister. I love that!