Our Missionary

9/19/2015
If you look on the left side of this photo, on the back behind the guy standing in the front of this photo, you can just barely see Elder Schmidt's head.  Do you see it?  This is him at the recent transfer meeting.  ~smile~smile~

This is the only photo of Curtis, so we will have to get him to send us a photo of him and his new companion later.  He didn't seem to get in any of the other photos the mission provided.  I guess he is just riding under the radar.  



September 16, 2015

Hey Everyone,

I have been transferred!!!!

I am going toooooo........(drum roll, please)

Darien, Connecticut!!!!

I have heard awesome things about this place.  I hear it's one of the wealthiest places in the United States and that the members feed us a ton of food, so get ready to see a much bigger me.  LOL!  I was a little worried about being transferred because I didn't want to go somewhere that I didn't know anyone, but my new companion is Elder Larkin, who was in the Bronx with me when I first got here and I will be roommates with Elder Johnson and Elder Richards who I know.  I'm actually pretty good friends with Elder Richards and my roommates are also my Zone Leaders so I will get all the juicy stories about the Zone as they are happening. ha ha.  It's going to be such a great time.  I can't wait to get there...oh yeah, I'm writing this on Monday because Elder Holtom thought it would be a good idea to clean himself out before surgery by drinking Magnesium Citrate.  

Another cool thing about Darien is that I get a free gym membership to a sports training gym called Blue Streak.  One of the Elders here said that some pretty big athletes work out there.  He said that he has worked out with Ray Rice.  Maybe that will help me keep the pounds off.  Ugh!  

This week was a tough one.  I had to say goodbye to all the members here.  It feels like I'm leaving home again.  I've grown to love the people here so much and I've made some friendships that I know will go beyond the mission.  We taught the youth class here last Sunday and I told them all after that I was getting transferred.  After class this kid named Xxxxx came up and said that Elder Holtom and I are his families favorite missionaries and that we had to go over to their house one last time, we plan to go tomorrow.

Brother Newsome, a member of our Bishopric just shook his head when I told him and said that he didn't like transfers, and that he was going to talk to President Smith about having me stay in the Bronx.  ha ha   He said that I've been here too long to be transferred and that I have become a part of the ward.  I really feel like that is true.  I feel at home here and I know that it's probably going to happen in my other areas as well, but it's just so weird to me.  It's going to be weird to be in a ward that functions properly and that I'm not going to have to walk into a church building and find a crazy person in there that cusses us out, that I have to kick out of the building.  I just love the Bronx and being in the city, but I know that there are other people that I need to meet and to teach as well as other areas that need me.  

Gosh, I'm sorry if none of this makes sense.  How are all of you guys doing?  Is the weather starting to cool down there?  It is here.  (Mom, I will be in the forest, so I will send you pictures of the fall colors.)  It only got to 75 today and tomorrow should be lower.  Any fun things going on?  I'm at my new apartment.  It's actually a house with two bathrooms.  We have a lost upstairs where we all sleep, and we have study rooms downstairs.  This transfer should be a fun one.  We have dinner appointments set up forever.  It is going to be bad for my waistline though.  Anyways, I have to go get packed, but I will talk to you later.  

PS:  Some stuff should be getting to me soon.  Our roommates said a TON of mail is there for me.  Thank you so much.  I love you guys!  :)




9/8/2015
Hey Everyone!!,

How's everything?  This week has been a pretty boring one, but transfers are coming.  I'm pretty sure I'm getting transferred somewhere.  It feel like I have been here forever.  It's fun here, but still I need to go somewhere.  Right now I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Manhattan.  We probably aren't gonna do anything today at least I hope.  I'm tired today.  Oh yeah, I didn't get any mail yesterday for my birthday.  Everyone was like, I'm sorry, but it was so fine because I know that you guys were saying it's coming.  I wasn't worried.  Anyways, I gotta go.  I will talk to you guys later. 

Love, 

Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad

Mom, There was a wedding at our chapel or a reception so I took some pictures for ya cuz I know you like this stuff.






In Elder Schmidt's last letter he talked about all the conferences and training he has been doing.  Here he is at a "conference" with the other missionaries in his zone getting two awards a local community center gave out.  Awesome!









Curtis sent a couple pictures with his letter this week.  
This one is of Washington Square Park
Displaying image2.JPG
Yo what's up family?!?!?!?  ��
I've got some news!!!
I don't know if I told you guys about Elder Holtom's little predicament.  He has his wisdom teeth coming in.  His dentist back home told him that they wouldn't till he was like thirty, but they think that stress caused them to grow in faster.  Anyways, he went to an oral surgeon a couple weeks ago and the surgeon said that one of them absolutely had to come out.  It was completely horizontal and was pressing on the jaw and the nerve.  The other three were optional and would cause the recovery to be longer.  So basically his choices were to get the one tooth out here and stay in a little bit of pain, but he would stay in the mission.  The other option would be to get all of them out back home.  Before I say which choice he made here are some details about Elder Holtom.  First, he is completely self insured.  Once he turned eighteen he started making his own money and he has been able to handle all of his expenses himself when it came to medical and dental.  His two other siblings have been able to do the same thing.  Second since he has been making his own money he paid for his entire mission himself.  In fact, he is currently making money while he is serving his mission because he has some coding contracts that have not run out yet.  He does pretty well for himself.

So the cost to get one tooth out with anesthesia is a little over $1000.00 and he has to pay that entire thing himself, no insurance.  If he went home he could get all his teeth taken care of for a lot less than $1000.00.  So the choice seemed obvious.  Go home and get everything done, but he has decided to stay.  I don't know if I would have picked that option, but he prayed about it so it's obviously the right thing.  At least with this I know that I'm probably getting transferred next time.  The crazy thing is that he says he might do no anesthesia because it would be cheaper.  I hope he doesn't because that's going to suck!  

Anyways, it's Tuesday and we just got done with playing basketball at the church with some hood rats.  It is a stressful event sometimes with all those kids.  I will have you know that in two out of the three games I played, I scored 5/7 of the baskets.  Some of them were even the famous half court lay ups.  Ha!

This week was full of trainings by the zone leaders and the district leader (Elder Holtom) mostly about online proselyting aka: Facebook.  Pretty much the idea of the training was that they want us to have the members post things and tag us in it.  They want us to post less because the only people that really see our posts are people back home, but if a member posts something then people around here see it and those are the people that we can teach.  It's crazy, our mission is only 1 of 12 missions with Facebook right now, so they are wanting us to experiment with it and find out what things we can do with Facebook to share the gospel.  It will be really cool to see how this all progresses. 

Oh yeah, this week I got to go on another split with the zone leaders.  It was so much fun.  I was with Elder Murphy who is the oldest missionary in the mission.  He's 26 almost 27.  He told me a while ago about why he started his mission so late.  Basically he was inactive and going to college.  He was called originally to the Ukraine and was reassigned because of the whole thing that was going on over there.  He has a degree in Psychology.  So he can read my mind.  Kyle you better have got that joke.  Anyways, it was super cool and he helped me a lot with my studies and pretty much everything else too.  

Whew!  This week was a good one.  How are all of you guys?  Anyone doing anything fun?  Anyone going to any Homecoming Dances, Lexi??? LOL.  Let me know how y'all are doing and have an awesome week.  It's  P-day today and it has been awesome.  We went to the Brooklyn Bridge and took some pictures then we road the tram to Roosevelt Island.  It is awesome here.  I'm sitting outside a Starbucks right now writing this last little bit, then we are going to Central Park to play some Frisbee and soccer.  It should be fun.  Byeeee!!!

Love, 

Elder Schmidt

Sent from my iPad






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.

Central Park...


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

Street vendor

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....





What is up family??!!

This week was awesome!  The two boys, XXXXXXX and XXXX  (the name were removed to protect the new members, but here is a hint....their names are Curtis and Kyle's middle names...ironic isn't it??  I thought so.) were baptized and I was able to confirm them on Sunday.  Best day of my mission bar none!!!!  It was such a good feeling.  After they were baptized they said that they felt good and that they felt empowered.  XXXXXXX is only 13 but he already acts like a full grown adult.  He is going to be an awesome Priesthood holder.  Our ward is doing so good lately.  When I go to church on Sunday everyone is getting along, there isn't any gossip going around (that was a little bit of a problem before) I feel a lot more comfortable with everyone and they feel a lot more comfortable around the missionaries.  They are all trying to help us out by inviting their non-member friends over to their houses for lessons and we have been helping them use Facebook to share inspiring messages with their friends.  The member missionary work here is getting unreal.  I feel like I'm in a different area this week.  It's going to be awesome to see what happens.  

So anyways, how are you guys doing?  Dad, you're home now right?  Anything interesting going on at home?  Let me know everything.  Ha Ha.  Today we're going to Central Park to play sand volleyball and ultimate frisbee.  I swear it sounds so weird to me when I say stuff like that.  I forget I'm in New York a lot.  Anyways, have an awesome week.  

Love, 

Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad


Hey Everyone,

This Saturday is our baptism!!!  They asked that one of our re-activated members could do the baptism, which will be awesome.  AND then on Sunday I will be confirming them as members.  I'm SO excited for them!!!  They have been investigating the church for a while and their Mom is a member, but she said she wanted them to make the decision to be baptized for themselves.  Yesterday she pulled us aside and said thank you and that she feels that her sons are finally ready.  They are awesome, I can't wait for Saturday!  It's going to be awesome.  Anyway...How are all of you guys?  Anything going on back home?  Is Dad back home yet?  Lexi, who are your teachers this year??  Is there anything you guys want to hear from me?  Any questions, concerns, thoughts, feelings, or impressions?  Ha Ha, anyways have a great week.  :)


Love,

Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad



After their individual district meetings, the districts combined into the full Kingsbridge Zone to have lunch and take a few photos today.
Elder Schmidt with his companion, Elder Holtom

Can you see Elder Schmidt in the background?

Elder Schmidt on the first row

The silly photo

The Zone together for lunch.


These last two photos are from a Zone Conference on August 3rd.  




Hey Everyone,

This was the longest week of my life!!  And for no reason.  Nothing bad at all happened.  It was actually a pretty good week.  Thursday we met with those two boys and talked about their plan to make it to church after they are baptized.  They said that when school starts it will make it easier because the schools here give students metro cards.  Friday was a little bit chaotic because we had to do a ton to get ready for a baptism happening on Saturday.  The Sisters were baptizing a little girl named Xxxxx.  Our Bishop was going to baptize this girl called last minute to say he couldn't go.  Friday night Elder Holtom got a call from the Sisters asking if he could do the baptism.  It was super cool!  It was his first time baptizing someone.  He kept having me show him where to put his hands.  Ha Ha!  Anyways, the baptism went well on Saturday.  A lot of people came to support her.  It was the best baptism we've had in this ward I think.  Sunday right before church started the Sisters walked up to me and said, "Elder Schmidt, can you do Xxxxx's Confirmation?"  I of course said YES!!! It was such an awesome experience!!!  I can't remember a word I said, but I just remember everything else was completely blocked out and it was just silent.  I'm so glad that I'm here serving a mission.  It's awesome here.  I'm loving everything.  I hope everything back home is going well.  :)

Love,

Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad


8/4/2015

Hey Everyone,

How are you all doing?  This week was a long one, but a good one.  We made contact with the two boys I talked about in a previous letter.  Their names are Xxxxxxx and Xxxx and they are scheduled to be baptized in a couple of weeks!!!  They are so dope.  

This week we found a forest in the middle of nowhere.  It was pretty cool.  Today was transfers.  Elder Holtom and I are staying in da Bronx, so I am probably gone after this cycle.  Anyway today was a crazy day.  I didn't have much time to write this email, so here is a picture of the forest.  LOL!

Love,

Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad




As promised here are a few photos of Elder Schmidt from his last Zone Conference/Interviews with President Smith.








Hey Everybody,

How are you all doing?  This week was pretty fun, we had a zone training with President Smith and discussed Joseph Smith's first vision.  It's cool to see all the things that can be pulled out of the scriptures every time you read them.  We also had interviews with President.  It's crazy how well he knows everyone already.  He is super calm about everything.  At the end of the interview he said anytime Elder Holtom and I wanted to, that we can go up to the mission home and hang out and talk with him to get to know each other better.  We probably won't do that, but the invitation was still cool.  Anyways, we are trying to meet with a family recently who has two sons who want to be baptized.  We haven't met them but we have heard that they are super prepared.  It is going to be awesome if we can meet with them.  Besides them we have been doing a lot of look ups and member lessons that have actually been going very well.  Today we are unsure of what to do for P-day since it is so hot outside.  Some Elders are going to Rucker Park, so that might be the thing we do too, but we will see.  Anyways, have a good week everyone.  Bye :)

Love,

Elder Schmidt

Sent from my iPad


Here is a little information about the Park Curtis mentioned in his letter


Rucker Park is a basketball court in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City, at 155th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd across the street from the former Polo Grounds site, it is geographically at the base of a large cliff named Coogan's Bluff.  Many who played at the park in the Rucker Tournament achieved a level of fame for their abilities, and several have gone on to play in the NBA. 

Although many professional basketball players have played at the court after gaining prominence, many others developed their basketball skills at Rucker prior to becoming notable in the sport, including:  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Rafer Alston, Kenny Anderson, Nate Archibald, Ron Artest, Sylvester Blye, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, Wilt Chamberlain, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, Connie Hawkins, Kyrie Irving, Allen Iverson, Jumpin Jackie Jackson, LeBron James, Earl Manigault, Stephon Marbury, Jamal Mashburn, Earl Monroe, Chris Mullin,  Joakim Noah, Satch Sanders, Lance Stephenson, Sebastian Telfair, Jamaal Tinsley, and Kevin Durant.




This is what happened back in May, and what Elder Schmidt's former Mission President's wife had to say about it.....

We were  blessed to have Elder Quentin Cook and his wife Mary here for a couple of days. Elder Cook was gracious enough to let us have an all mission conference with him. His sweet wife talked about music in your lives and had all the missionaries sing, "Help me Teach with Inspiration". She said, "You are a problem solver, solve the situation first, then ask the Lord for confirmation. Look to the hymns for comfort and peace and you are never alone."
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.


Check out these great photos of Curtis and the gang when they just got off the plane in New York!  











July 22, 2015

Hey Everyone,

This week came and went so quickly here!  Pretty soon it will be my fourth cycle here, and I could be somewhere completely different.  Elder Holtom finally called President Smith about his wisdom teeth to ask if he would need to go home for it or not, but of course, President Smith didn't answer.  I don't think he will get sent home for that because other missionaries sometimes get their appendix out like Jed.  Only time will tell.  It would be weird staying in this area for another cycle.  That would be a quarter of my mission in 'da Bronx.  LOL!  

This week we helped a ton of people move out of apartments.  So many people are leaving which is scary.  We have lost a Young Men's President, a Young Women's President, the Ward Mission Leader, and some other people in big callings that I can't remember right now.  The ward feels empty now.  Apparently, this happens every year during the summer.  We should be getting more members moving in at the start of the college semester because they will be attending Columbia University.  The more I think about it, this week feels weird.  Almost all of our appointments were either moving people, or dinner/lunch appointments.  One of the dinners was at a Mediterranean place in little Italy with a member from Manhattan from Elder Holtom's last area.  I thought I was going to hate the food because it is all like seafood, but I got the swordfish and it was so good.  Who knew swordfish was so good?  I think every day this week we had a meal appointment which just doesn't happen in the city.  I thought I would be gaining some weight because of it, but I've actually lost some.  I'm at a total loss of 10 pounds this cycle.  Our whole zone has been in this health kick.  It's pretty fun getting up in the morning and running or playing soccer with some other Elders.  

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you guys how long boarding went last week.  We found some sweet hills and one of the Elders we were with fell going down it pretty bad.  He fractured his wrist a little bit and cut up his entire left side.  There is a video of it going around and I need to get a hold of it.  Oh, another video that I need to get a hold of is of the riot we saw outside our window.  

Last week someone was shot and killed right outside our window.  We weren't home when it happened, but they build a shrine across the street from us.  The first night it was up a huge group of people were standing around it and all of a sudden these two dudes started fighting.  Then the police swarmed in.  There were about 50 police officers just moving these people like cattle.  It was crazy!  We even saw a dude get taized, which was crazy!  And we got some of it on tape, which is super cool. 

Some other news.....
We got some new neighbors that came up to introduce themselves and to tell us we are being too loud.  Ha Ha!  It was two guys that were married as well.  I had forgotten about the same sex marriage thing until that happened.  It was a little weird when the guy said this is my husband.  Ummmm....Well, today we are going up to Yonkers to meet some of the members Elder Holtom knows and they are probably going to feed us.  Then we are going to the mission office to turn in my driving record because I forgot to do that when I got here, then we are going to hang out with some other Elders up there.  

I hope you all are doing well.  I'm loving it here and I am doing well.  And just so you know, I am allowed to reply to emails.  President and Sister Morgan didn't want us spending our entire P-Day emailing people like girlfriends and stuff because some Elders were doing that.  Anyway, BYE!
Love,

Elder Schmidt

Sent from my iPad



I love this photo!  It reminds me of what I see in my mind when I think of our missionary.  

 And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.
Doctrine & Covenants 84:88


Last round of interviews/selfies with President Morgan before he leaves.....  there's Curtis, still smiling!!!  

Here is President and Sister Morgan one more time before they leave the big apple!  



this is what Deseret News shared about Elder Schmidt's new Mission President recently....
David L. and Rebecca C. Smith (IRI)
Eight new mission presidents and their wives have been called by the First Presidency. They will begin their service in July.

David Lynn Smith, 42, and Rebecca Cardall Smith, three children, Keller 2nd Ward, Colleyville Texas Stake: New York New York North Mission, succeeding President Thomas B. Morgan and Sister Debra Morgan. Brother Smith serves as a bishop and is a former bishopric counselor, ward Young Men president, elders quorum president, seminary teacher and missionary in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission. Partner and executive vice president, Veridicus Health. Born in Salt Lake City to Richard Lynn Smith and Sirkka Eliisa Laitinen Smith.
Sister Smith is a former ward Young Women president, ward Primary presidency counselor, Sunday School teacher, and missionary in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission. Born in Salt Lake City to Duane Volker Cardall and Margaret Layton Cardall.


Hi Everyone,

This week was a pretty normal one.  Not many huge things stuck out to me besides the weather.  It is so hot and humid.  We walk a block and we are both drenched in sweat.  At least it makes people listen to us because they feel bad for us.  It's at like 74% humidity today it's gonna be like 85 degrees.  It is rough, but I love it!  This Wednesday we are long-boarding around Manhattan, which is just going to be an awesome thing to be able to say to people after the mission.  

Anyways we have a couple of investigators that are looking promising.  One will probably be baptized in August or September, so I will probably be gone then.  Here is a chance that I could be here a while longer which would be cool, but bad at the same time.
The reason I might stay is because my companion may need to go home.  He didn't get his wisdom teeth pulled before his mission because he was told he didn't have to.  They are starting to come in and they are hurting he says.  I don't think he is really going home, but there is a slight, very slight possibility.  Nothing much besides that is going on.  I'm sorry there is not much to say about this week.  I need to write these emails throughout the week so I can have more to say.  Anyways these guys are trying to go so I will talk to you guys later.

Love, 

Elder Schmidt

Sent from my iPad


This made my day!!!!

We got a photo and a letter from Elder Schmidt's new mission president.  Here is that photo....



Curtis looks happy and that is certainly worth every minute he spends serving the Lord.  Just look at that smile.  Love it!

Photos of the New York, New York North Mission at the Yankees Game, with the Mormon Tabernacle singing.
Photos from the New York New York North Mission site.







New Mission President and his family








July 8, 2015

Hey Everyone,

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. :)

Love,

Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad


Hey Everyone,

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.  

Love, 

Elder Schmidt

Video of the lamb cooking
 Jaradite boat Bro. Pepis made
 Graffiti 
 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.  
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
This is the header of the mission blog Sister Morgan of the New York, New York North Mission.  They are serving with their son.  The mission blog address is:  http://nynynorthmission.blogspot.com

I check it from time to time to see if they have posted any new photos of their "new" missionaries.  Nothing yet, but it's fun to check it out and see what has happened in the mission before Curtis got there.  So, take a look.  
________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hey,
        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.

 Saturday General Conference was awesome!   I got so much out of it, but there were so many talks on marriage and family, hahahah  Oh yeah, We watched General Conference at the church, but in like a small room because more people show up from the Spanish branch, so they get the chapel.  It was seriously just like just missionaries watching and that is probably what is going to happen today.  It was so funny whenever marriage was mentioned we would turn to a couple of the missionaries that are going home the next cycle.  

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 Sunday morning and we are about to study,  I just wanted to write you some more,  I will continue later.

Hey it's Monday today 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 now Wednesday.  Sorry if this email is super weird,  hahah 

I will get better at emailing some day, but anyways, Monday 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 Monday 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.


Love,

Elder Schmidt
Sent from my iPad
_________________________________________________________________________________________________

Hey Everyone,

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. 
Ha Ha

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.

Love,
Elder Schmidt
(from my iPad)

If you want to write our son on his mission this is his address:



Manhattan New York Temple


New York, New York North Mission Area


____________________________________________________________________

We got a phone call this morning at 5 a.m. from Curtis!  
HAPPINESS!!!
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!  
LOVE IT!

_____________________________________________________________________

Hey,

I sent a letter to dad that was for the whole family, but I got more time, so I will write some more to you. Ha Ha.  The MTC is awesome as always.  Oh yeah, I forgot to say who is all in my district.  I will send pictures after the MTC if I can.  My companion is Elder Nelson.  We are staying in the same room as Elder Green and Elder Martin who are awesome.  Elder Green is super smart but can get annoying and Elder Martin is pretty cool.  He just has been on edge being companions with Elder Green and all.  Oh yeah, and they are serving in Gilbert, AZ so that was cool to hear...I forgot to tell you that.  Ha Ha.  I always tell them how much I wanted to leave Arizona for two years.  Ha Ha.  But then there are the Sisters.  Sister Zalaya who is going to the same mission.  She is companions with Sister Bishoff who is also going to AZ, and then Sister Harman who is going to Canada, and Sister Lawrence who is going to Los Angeles.  That is everyone in our district, but as a Zone Leader I am sort of over our branch along side Elder Nelson and I am over the new 8 Elders and Sisters in our branch/zone.  It was crazy when they came on Wednesday and I got to kind of see how much I've changed.  Anyways, life is good.  Let me know how everyone is. :)  I love you all.  Ha Ha.  Not really but sorta.  Ha Ha.

Love,

Elder Schmidt


___________________________________________________________________________________

Hey Dad,

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,

Elder Schmidt


This is one of the badges Curtis will wear throughout his mission.  LOVE IT!  
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.
Love it!  

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.



Take a look at what the missionaries did at a park in the New York, New York North Mission.  The Plan of Salvation.  How cool is that?


Hey Dad,
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 march 31st,  I 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.

Love,

Elder Schmidt
AKA: Curtis

P.S. My P-Day is Friday.  Ha Ha


Curtis tolerating the selfie his sister insisted on taking of the two of them.  Doesn't he look excited?  LOL!  Brotherly love!


Hey Mom,

 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,


Love, 

Elder Schmidt


I have LOTS of photos for you today.  These first couple were taken last night when Curtis was set apart as a missionary....

 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 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!)

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.  


These next two photos are of the plane Curtis was on to get to the MTC in Provo, Utah.  

The plane taking off down the runway.

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 out to eat with family.  

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

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.)


These two are going to miss each other.
Kyle posted this on Facebook yesterday.  Love it!!!


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.


This one is the goofiest!  Love it.  I cannot wait to share this with his future wife and children many years from now.  LOL!

This silly young man will be missed.  We love him and wish him the best.  

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.....

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!!!  


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.

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


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!


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 opening his mission call.  He was sick hence the reason for the lap blanket.  


Curtis was called to Serve in the New York, New York North Mission.
He enters the MTC on March 18, 2015

Curtis (the blondie with the glasses) surrounded by the other Priests.  He loves his buddies in this ward!  




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!

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