Fill Your Life With Good Vibes - Annie Schmidt

Posted on October 26 2016

"Fill Your Life with Good Vibes"
-Annie Schmidt

11/25/2016 - Annie's Manifesto

Dear Jonny and Chris,
As you enter high school everyone around you is going to be very VERY excited. The Sophmores are excited about finally entering high school, fulfilling their dream of becoming someone new, changing how things used to be, becoming extremely popular, or (like for you), just having as much fun as possible! The Juniors will be excited that you are coming in (even though they won’t admit it) so that they aren’t on the bottom anymore. They will think “now I am officially part of this school and can act like I run the place a little bit more.” Please, dear Jonny and Chris, don’t let the fact that you are Sophmores and that some people will want to treat you badly or exclude you, just because that is how they were treated as Sophmores, keep you from SHINING your light and being as involved in the school with every (and any) crowd or group you desire and as much as possible!

As for the Seniors, they will be pumped out of their minds to become “thee Bountiful kids” in charge, as seen in the rest of the school’s and community’s minds! They want to be followed. They want to be seen as much as possible! On the front row of EVERYTHING. They want to seem like they are calm, collected, and don’t really care about ANY of that “high school stuff”…BUT THEY DO. Every single one of them. Like the Sophmores, they want to become as popular as possible and extend their influence far and wide! Well, the thing is, that they usually (pretty much always) succeed! Their influence changes and affects the entire school, even the entire community for that whole year. But THEN, guess what? It ENDS. You are lost in a goal to, “be cool,” or“be popular.” And before you even have time to wake up and realize it, you have been pursuing a goal that has no valuable reward… for 3 years (that is longer than a mission), and you have dedicated that time to sheer selfishness. And before you know it, IT’S ALL OVER. You feel confused, upset, torn, and uneasy as you watch the Juniors quickly and easily fill your spot as “KINGS AND QUEENS.” You watch them go on so easily and readily without you…willingly letting go of your presence, BECAUSE THEY HAVE THEIR OWN SENIOR YEAR to worry about now! And everyone is way too busy worrying about themselves.

Does that sound appealing? If it does, then by all means go for it! Go have that same high school experience! It will have ups and downs. But mostly just “eh’s” and “blah” days. Sure you will do some exciting things and make some crazy memories…but once you are gone, you are truly gone.
However, if that DOESN’T sound fulfilling, meaningful, worthy of 3 years of your mortal test and chance to serve and share the blessings you’ve BEEN GIVEN and to become like God…well then…maybe you might want to listen…maybe even take to heart and act upon what I am about to say.

IF you want to TRULY be remembered and have a LASTING influence and effect on your school and community…STRIVE TO ALWAYS BE MOTIVATED BY LOVE. Desire to serve, because you care about your eternal brothers and sisters all around you (and not to mention potential eternal best friends!) The best kind of leader is motivated by charity, the pure love of Christ…and something I KNOW to be true is that CHARITY NEVER FAILETH!

In other words: If you sit by lonely people at lunch, because you care about them, YOU WILL BE HAPPY.

IF you invite people who are different, the same, insecure, mediocre, stand out, or blend in, to join your friend circle (in class, at events, etc.) and if they can feel that care and charity from you…and when you SEE the AFFECT of them suddenly grasping the fact that you are doing this, not for attention, to be popular, good, whatever, BUT FOR THEM…YOU WILL BE HAPPY.

IF you ask a girl on a date, who may not be the most popular or pretty, (but she had a wise and inspiring comment in seminary), because you want her to know that she is also of much worth and that you admire and encourage her strenuous efforts to do what is right…seeing and feeling the appreciation in her eyes and from her heart…THIS WILL MAKE YOU HAPPY.

Taking ONE SONG during each school dance to dance with someone outside your group of friends (choose a different group and truly dance with them). DO IT FOR THEM, not to show off your dance moves, have them show you their best moves! Compliment them! Build them up! …..They will feel cared for, special, important, and maybe even cool…You will see it in their eyes and feel it from their heart and…YOU WILL FEEL HAPPY.

Soooo here’s the thing. I could go on and on, but it would be so cool if you guys could absorb the idea of LEADING WITH CHARITY and just make it your own!! Keep the spirit with you and do ANY and EVERY random thing HE prompts you to do and I promise that you will make a mark for good, not only in the heart of your school, but upon EACH and EVERY human heart you take even just 5 minutes to care for and to encounter EVERYDAY. I promise that this mark will be lasting. In the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

• “Senior year, Annie and I had English together. She always brightened the class with her comments and compliments to everyone. I remember one day we were examining a poem about popularity and the teacher kept repeating the word “popular” during the discussion. After the third or fourth time that word was thrown around, Annie raised her hand and, as if she couldn’t hold it in any longer, burst out, ‘Can we please just stop using the word popular? I hate that word! What does that word actually mean anyway? We should just throw it away and everyone just be nice to each other.’ She went on about how we all can make others feel ‘popular’ and by doing so we can just forget about that word.”

• “One night Annie came to midnight sushi with a group of friends and me. As we excited the restaurant there was a homeless woman playing the guitar. We all hurried past, but Annie stopped, knelt down by this woman, and folded a dollar bill into a ring. She told the woman how beautiful her music was and put the dollar bill on her finger while we all stood a safe distance away just watching. This stuck with me for years.”

• “Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life.” President Monson

11/16/16 Obituary and Funeral service announcement:

When Annie was 6 years old, she had her first public performance in front of 2,000 people, as a guest vocalist at her dad’s concert. Any nervousness Annie felt in front of such a large crowd was quickly drowned out by the beautiful, captivating power that music had upon her soul. A breathless pause followed the end of the song, then the crowd erupted. This dynamic of successfully finding the joy, rather than the fear, in every moment played out again and again throughout Annie’s life.

Annie dreamed of writing, producing, and performing the music that seemed to flow inside her. By the time she was 21, she had produced several songs with her best friend (and brother), Spencer. She felt a driving sense of purpose to pursue music and was studying music production and technology. Recently, Annie told her roommate, “I can’t wait for the day when I can share my music with thousands of people.” We hope this dream of our sweet Annie can be fulfilled as people listen to this deeply meaningful song that she and Spencer co-wrote, co-produced and recorded lead vocals on. She recorded her last vocal tracks for it shortly before she passed from us. Please click this link to listen: Don’t Worry Darling

Annie truly desired to come closer to God. She also hoped to lose herself in loving others. She had a wonderful gift and ability to reach out to people… to make them realize their value. A highlight in her life was a high school humanitarian trip to Peru, where she fell in love with the people and culture. She served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Macon, Georgia, where she gained many close friends.

Annie was 100% authentic and real. She had a passion for people, self-discovery, learning, nature, surfing, long boarding, discovering great music, unique foods, and dancing. She would demonstrate her sweet hip hop moves anywhere anytime. Her final message to the world was:
Fill your life with good vibes.
This motto of Annie’s is reflected in the following comments sent to us by her friends:
“She was compassionate to the point she felt pain for the downtrodden.”

“Annie was constantly wanting to share some new song with you. She loved to connect with people through music.”

“Annie is fearless.”

“She brings the absolute best out of everyone she is around.”

“She makes you feel like the coolest person in the world and want to be a better person.”

“She is so beautiful on the inside. It is the most admirable thing about her.”

“I have never met someone so loved by everyone around her.”

“She changed so many lives without even taking credit.”

“She’s the most random, spontaneous, funny ball of energy, and never boring to be around.”

“Her spirit is selfless and forever joyful.”

“She always had love radiating around her.”

“Annie is excited about everything… so passionate about life.”

“She would say, ‘It’s all about love.’ She talked about how Jesus was all about love.”

“When I moved out here my senior year, Annie would make me go to lunch with her and a friend of hers who was special needs. I used to ask her why don’t we go to lunch with our friends, and she would always say, ‘Because this girl doesn’t have friends. We are it.’”

We will dearly miss our absolutely fabulous, wonderful, incredible and amazing Annie!!!

Annie passed away October 16, 2016 of injuries sustained from an accidental fall while hiking in the north-face cliff area below Munra Point in the Columbia Gorge region of Oregon. She was born December 30, 1994 in Salt Lake City, Utah to Jon Schmidt and Michelle Anderegg Schmidt. She is survived by her parents; brothers Spencer, Jonny and Chris; sister Sarah; grandparents Werner and Lieselotte Schmidt and grandparents Jerry and Cathy Anderegg

The family would like to thank the following:

John Harding who literally sacrificed a month of his life coordinating the search effort. His extended sacrifice had an incredible impact. His love, faith, and moral support were deeply felt! It blessed our life in deep ways and we will be forever grateful!

John Harding’s biological family as well as his work family (FranklinCovey) who were amazingly supportive of him as he took leave from both.

Annie Castiel who directed on-site operations and pulled off a miracle for us in arranging the best dog teams in the country practically over night. Her dedication and extended sacrifice had an incredible impact without which our daughter might never have been found. Annie Castiel was a literal God send.

Annie Castiel’s family

The search dog handlers, their families and their dogs as listed below:

Great Basin K-9 SAR Ogden, Utah (Weber County)
Team Members:
Joe Jennings and “Gunny”
Paul DeLong and “Taylor”

Snake River Search
Team Member: Dave Forker and “Loki”

Western Montana Search Dogs
Team Member: Colette Daigle-Berg and “Chapter”

Independent Handlers of Utah
Team members:
Janice Holley and “Scout”
Marie Ginman and “Guinness”

Independent Handlers of Wyoming
Team member: Liz Hall and “Reu”

Independent Handlers of Montana
Team member: Opie Jahn and “Olaf”

The 100s of search volunteers that responded from the online communities of Annie, Spencer, Michelle, Jon, the Piano Guys, and “Find Annie Schmidt”.

The 100s of volunteers from the following stakes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that searched and supplied food as listed below. All were in awe of what you provided.

The Lake Oswego Oregon Stake
President Dave Lake

The Mount Hood Oregon Stake
President Crismon Lewis

The Gresham Oregon Stake
President Richard Craft

The Dalles Oregon Stake
President Lynn Bischoff

The Bountiful Utah Heights Stake
President Dan Lake

Our home ward in the Bountiful Utah Heights Stake
Bishop Matt Child
Relief Society President: Jerilee Jones
Thanks for the amazing level of love and support! So many of you traveled from Utah at your own expense. You’ve brought us meals. You’ve filled our home with flowers. You’ve put candles on the streets. You have truly born this burden with us and made it much lighter. We deeply love our Ward Canyon Ward family!

The sustaining influence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through whom our reunion with Annie is guaranteed.

The 1000s of people all over the world whose fasting, prayers and support we deeply appreciated and we deeply felt.

A special facebook group that was formed by Annie Castiel after the official search had ended. She organized a smaller group of people that continued coordinated daily search efforts until our Annie was found. Heartfelt thanks to each of them for their sacrifice and incredible dedication! Also a heartfelt thanks to their families. Their names are listed below.

Harlan Brock
Lydia McGranahan
Annie T. Castiel
Julie Anderson
Jan Holley
Alan Mortensen
Jake Anderegg
Jeremy Davis
David Strand
Nick Norrander
Jesse Anderegg
Kevin Ainsworth
Sarah Memmott
Christine Anderegg
Davren Bell
Ron Stiles
Dave Perry
Tammy Brennan
Stacie Heiberg
Mark Ihrig
Cathy Anderegg
Myra Smith
Charles Larkin

All of you who traveled long distances at your own expense. You are heroes to us! We dare not mention names lest someone be forgotten. Please know of our deep admiration and gratitude for you and your families!

Alan Mortensen for his incredible coordination of fundraising and his extended sacrifice that was deeply felt.

Kevin Eubank (El Nino Foundation) for his incredible coordination of fundraising and incredible support.

Members and families of the Multnomah County Search and rescue personnel. Thanks for the exceptional people that you are.

Multnomah County Sheriff’s department. Thank you for your service.

Annie Snyder (Annies roommate) who gave countless hours of help, support and leads. Her extended sacrifice was deeply felt.

Michael and Sarah Isaacs who brought their trailer that housed much of the operations of the search. They were so unselfish and sacrificed much for us.

John & Cheri Noffz who provided their motor home, food, supplies, and moral support.

Kimberly and Eric Motto who were master organizers and who provided motor home, moral support, restrooms, trailer and took care of so much.

Chad Knowles who was Master of Maps, participated on the last dog search, explained the terrain and was there each day.

Jesse and Jacob Anderegg (Michelle’s brothers) whose extended sacrifice and specialized skill had such an incredible impact. You guys truly went all out and we feel of your deep love for us. Thanks also to your families.

Leta Robinson (Michelle’s sister) who worked tirelessly to fill Michelle’s shoes when Michelle returned home. Sanity saver. Your love, faith, patience and moral support were legendary. Thanks also to your family.

David Anderegg (Michelle’s brother) who provided organization, specialized skill, faith and major moral support. Thanks also to your family.

Spencer Schmidt (Annie’s brother) who left it all in the mountains looking for his sweet sister. He was a lifesaver to his dad on several occasions. His leadership and faith were greatly appreciated.

Alec Hale, one of Spencer’s closest friends, whose extended sacrifice had a great impact. Your love, faith, selflessness, friendship and service to our family was also greatly appreciated.

Lydia McGranahan who searched almost daily for a month, driving back and forth an hour and a half each way until she did actually find Annie. She was the first one with dog “Rue” to find Annie.

Dave Perry who also searched pretty much every day for a month and sacrificed greatly. His technical expertise was a huge asset. Great family friend.

Detective Heidi Helwig of the Portland Police department who was very responsive, supportive and professional.

Damon Talbot who lent us the resources and support of his organization “Destiny Search Project”

Rob Boyden life long family friend who forged the river with Jon, was the navigation expert, did after dark searches, offered max moral support and sacrificed tremendously. It meant so very much.

Carl Sandquist life long family friend who was the tech wizard, patience master, navigation expert. Your love, faith, moral support and extended sacrifice were deeply felt.

David Simone who provided project coordination, masterful negotiation skills, leadership, faith and major moral support. And his wife Shelly Ross who offered meaningful support and arranged for national media. They are dear family friends.

Our Piano Guys family: Al van der Beek, Steve and Julie Nelson, Frank Nelson, Jeremy Crawford, Paul Anderson and their families for their extended sacrifice, major moral support, leadership and facebook support. So much love from these amazing people in our life!

Bishop Terry Clark from the Westlake YSA ward in the Lake Oswego Stake for his insights, extended support and sacrifice.

Howard Smith whose extended sacrifice, and tracking and mountain man skills were invaluable.

Chad Rawlings who strengthens everyone’s faith around him just by who he is. His extended sacrifice was deeply felt.

Bri Lawrence who was true blue… there each day. We felt so much strength from you

All those who donated to the search effort. Your support was greatly appreciated.

Janet, Richard and Tim for incredible moral support, and great sacrifice that was deeply appreciated

David Crosby who provided drone helicopter search and moral support

Family cousin, Sheralynn Pratt for moral support and for many hours administering the “Finding Annie” facebook group (which she started). Thanks to all who helped Sheralynn: Kylie Pratt, Sarah Pratt, Lisa Arvay, Elise Distler, Damon Talbot, Carmel Martin

Family and friends who prayed for us and found ways to help us back home. We thank each one of you.

Kevin Tucker and FLIR’s Surveillance group who combed the area from the skies with their infrared search and track technology. They donated this service.

Our dear friend Denise Summerhays who googled “infrared search”, found Kevin Tucker, told him our situation, whereupon Kevin kindly volunteered his services

All of Annie Schmidt’s close friends for their incredible support.

Brian and Sherrie for your devoted sacrifice and support.

Kelly Jackson and family whose extended sacrifice we are grateful for.

Lewis Naegle whose extended sacrifice was deeply felt.

The Portland Police Department. Heros all of them!

Alexandra Gulbransen who helped us put together the video for “Don’t Worry Darling” and made her funeral video.

Michelle Boley for gathering memories and momentoes,

Amy at Dick Hannah Volkswagen who was beyond kind in helping us with Annie’s car.

ABC News whose national story helped us get the word out.

Thanks also to all the local News and Newspaper organizations

Funeral Services will be held Monday, November 21st at 11:00 a.m. at the Bountiful Utah Heights Stake Chapel.
Address: 33 N Moss Hill Dr, Bountiful, UT 84010, with a public reception from 9:30 til 10:30 prior. An additional public reception will be held at the same location Sunday November 20th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers donations for search related costs may be sent to: The El Nino Foundation-Annie 680 North 1100 East Bountiful, Utah 84010

UPDATE 11/13/16

Today we are remembering a week ago at this time when we concluded a special period of fasting and prayer with so many of you. We want to thank you all so much again! We absolutely feel that it was a complete miracle that we found Annie. People literally came out of nowhere this week to provide the search effort with some of the best dogs and handlers in the country. We are 100% convinced that without this, Annie would never have been found. The people who have helped in this effort are angelic, their motivation absolutely selfless. The way it all came together, the timing, the weather everything was truly miraculous. Although our pain is deep, we are feeling so much gratitude this day for all of those who have helped us find our sweet Annie!

P.S. We will post an obituary with funeral details in the next couple of days.

UPDATE 11/12/16

We just received word from the medical examiner that the remains found yesterday have been positively identified as Annie. The cause was determined accidental.

You have lived this trial with us and we pray that this may bring a greater level of resolution and peace for all of us.

Much love!

The Schmidts

UPDATE 11-11-16

We are VERY hopeful for closure tonight. Today the dog teams found human remains at the bottom of a cliff in the area below Munra Point. The area is so far off trail and dense with vegetation that it required SAR to pretty much crawl uphill to get there.

Conclusive identification of the remains is impossible. The medical examiner will have conclusive identity verification by Monday or Tuesday. There is comfort in knowing from the circumstances that there would have been no suffering.

We can positively identify the clothing and personal items found at the site as belonging to Annie.

The Sheriff’s department is making a public statement that there is reason to believe that Annie has been found, awaiting conclusive evidence from the medical examination.

We wanted each and every one of you who are special beyond words to us to hear it first.

There is no way to thank our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ for the support we have felt through you. You have searched with us, prayed with us, hoped with us, fasted with us, supported us and sacrificed for us. We thank you from the very bottom of our hearts!!!!

Much much love!

The Schmidts


UPDATE 11-4-2016

Search for Annie Update.

Dear friends. Our intense search for our sweet Annie continues with great hope. Every thought and each day is filled with the expectation of the miracle that we will find her! We are thankful for everyone that is concerned, praying and helping. In that spirit we offer this update on the search for Annie and an invitation to you to participate on Sunday November 6th.

1. The water and mountain areas adjacent to Annie’s car continue to be searched by county search and rescue (including sonar and dog search).

2. We have contacted private entities to supplement the county SAR efforts.

3. Damon Talbot with Destiny Search Project has been incredible in organizing ongoing search efforts on the “Find Annie Schmidt” public face book group.  

They have organized a social media blitz for this weekend (see link at the very bottom). Please join the group at this link:   


4. Ongoing investigation by the Portland Police Department.

5. [Day of prayer and fasting to find Annie].

To all who desire, we ask you to participate with us in a day of fasting and prayer this Sunday November 6th. The Schmidts will conclude our fast at 5:00 pm mountain time Sunday. We invite everyone, wherever you are, to unite with us by offering your own private prayer with us at that same time. We will be asking our Heavenly Father to lead us to find Annie and to give each and everyone of us a feeling of peace that she is in God’s care. We have faith that “the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:3) will hear and answer our united prayer.

Please know of our love and appreciation for all of you! We feel your support, love and faith so strongly at this time!  


Jon and Michelle Schmidt



Our “Uncharted” album is scheduled for release this Friday. We had planned so many things leading up to its debut — including our Petra Indiana Jones video, but it all seemed so insignificant relative to what has happened with Annie.

We’ve been so touched by the outpouring of love and support from everyone — the countless prayers, the social media sharing, the hundreds of volunteers at the rescue site, food donated by local vendors — the unselfish sacrifice of so many on behalf of Jon and his family. People are good. So good. As tragic as these events are, they prove that despite how the media and politics paint our world, the color of love and the human heart shine through everlastingly more vivid. No one should be a stranger when in dire need. We are all family.

We wish we had better news. We were not able to find Annie. The search is being discontinued at this time in consideration of the health and well-being of everyone involved.

But all is not lost. Annie’s Mother, Michelle, wrote a beautiful post that we’d like to share. It summarizes all our feelings as we leave the search site.

“I desire for everyone to know, who has exercised their faith in behalf of our family, your faith has not gone unanswered. We have been literally carried and sustained through day after day. We have felt a calm and a peace beyond ourselves that have enabled us to get up each morning and function and do what needs to be done that day to continue our efforts to find our daughter. We know that this is a result of your prayers. Thank you (times a million).

We have been unable to find our sweet daughter’s body at this time. But these things we know. We know that Heavenly Father has heard the countless prayers and combined faith exercised by people literally all over the world. We know He has heard us, and if He choses to not show us where to find her, then we trust that there is a purpose in this. We know we are in His hands. We know He loves us and everyone who has reached out in such kindness and support. We can feel peace in putting our lives in His hands and pray that His purposes will be fulfilled in this whole experience.”

Michelle’s optimism and faith is what our music and videos are all about. Our recent projects, “Fight Song / Amazing Grace,” and “It’s Gonna Be Okay” have now taken on an even deeper meaning for us. We hope and pray to be emboldened in continuing to create content meant to further spread this kind of optimism and faith.

Please keep sharing these posts in hopes that someone is still out there with information that could lead us to Annie.

If you have a message you’d like to send to the Schmidt family please leave in the Facebook comments below.

Thank you,


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