Sunday, April 26, 2015

Letters for the week of 4/19/15 (Sorry was slow this week)

Hey dad I'm sorry to announce that I will be attending the Yankees

game this Wednasday hahah sorry i held out as long as possible lol
anyways we are getting a lot more investigators it's so cool I sent an
email to moms so you can read about one of our investigators hahah
ummm yeah everything is good here I got my package and all mail goes
to the mission office thank you so much I love the matching ties hahah
it came Tuesday. All mail comes Tuesday hahah all the hi chews are
gone and the jellybean so lol it was so funny elder Sorensen was super
excited for the ties lol thank you so much. How's home? I can't watch
videos for some reason but I got like 2 pictures oh yeah umm can you
guys set up a couple Skype accounts or let me know if you want to just
call and let me know the number so I can contact you guys umm I will
let you know the time next week probably if I can alright well I gotta
go hahah

This is Dad(Kevin) talking now. I could not have been more excited then when we found out Curtis was going to NYC. There is so much there and so many things to see and there is such a vast variety of people and cultures. The one thing that scared me about NYC and Curtis was the chance of becoming a Yankee fan and now this Wednesday he would be attending his first game. I think the only thing worse then him becoming a Yankee fan is if he all of a sudden said Dad I am a Cowboy fan. 

I hope those who are reading this know that I am saying this all tongue in cheek. I and Kyle both had mission presidents that allowed us as whole missions to attend different things in the area. There is so much power when you are able to speak to the people in the area in which you are working and being able to say how much you enjoy things in their area and how great they are instead of ya I heard that they are neat or fun or beautiful, you are able to build an instant rapport that allows you to transition into a Gospel conversation cause it is almost inevitable you will be asked why you are there and what you are doing.

Here is a copy of Curtis's letter to Sondra for this week

Hey Mom,

How's home?  The mission is good.  I like it much.  I am having fun.  Just kidding, I am loving it here!  We have a decent teaching pool now and we are still having to actually schedule appointments.  This past week we met with some one named Kamara from somewhere in West Africa.  I think Sierra Leone.  He totally did not agree with anything.  He thought it was a terrible idea to pray to know if one religion was true because he felt that it would condemn the others and he didn't want to sin by judging another church.  But he said that he wanted to meet with us more so we said we could come over Wednesday's and we planned to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ because we felt it was very relateable to him and every other religion.  We were surprise to see that Kamara had company over when we got there.  One of the people was his pastor.  We were so scared his pastor was going to try and rip us to pieces.  He started to understand that our religion and his were very similar in belief so that was awesome.  At the end of the lesson he said that he wanted to speak with us more and that we might have a few converts.  It was ridiculous!  Elder Sorenson and I flipped out that night!  We are going to be teaching him tonight so I'm pretty excited.  We are teaching a lot more people and it is awesome.  

How are all of you?  I hear everyone is having more fun now.  I don't nee anything really here.  I couldn't get a watch in China Town unfortunately.  There were too many cops around, but I can go some other time to get them.  We might get the Bronx pants today, but I don't know.  We are kinda just playing basketball today cuz we are tired.  Send me some questions and I might answer today.  

Love you,

Elder Schmidt

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Letter for the week  of 4/13/15

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'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.  


Elder Schmidt

Here is a video and some pictures
This is a model of the vessel that brought the Brother of Jared and
his people to the New World. This was made by a member Curtis met
Bro. Pepis, he is going to try to build a full size one some day 
Some of the great art work you see on the walls in the Bronx!
I can honestly say I never saw a sign in all the apartments I live in
while I was serving in Oakland, ask us not to urinate in the hallway.
I think this is my favorite picture yet.
Curtis with his companion and trainer Elder Sorenson  

Here is a video with the meat turning on the BBQ spit.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Elder Schmidt's letter for April 8th. Curtis talks about playing "Temple Ball" in Manhattan. The temple in Manhattan is very unique, the temple is in the upper floors of the building with the lower floors being a church office building, a chapel, and a culture hall with a basketball court. When you go into the building there is an elevator that is just for taking you up to the temple. 

        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. Tomorrow 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.


Elder Schmidt

Once we get a picture of the "Bronx pants" I will post them, for Curtis to call something ridiculous it has to be way our there. After all we are talking about the boy who would run up and down the street with his brother wearing morph suits!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Curtis with President and Sister Morgan
First night in field @ mission home in Scarsdale

Wednesday, April 1, 2015


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.

Elder Schmidt
(from my iPad)