Thursday, November 16, 2017

"Chunky dunk in the Jesus tank"


Those words spoken by Sister Nadia Carey in her testimony after she

was baptized 😂 She was talking about a story and how things could
have been different and how she could could have been doing other
things, but instead she "took a chunky dunk in the Jesus tank."
Another funny thing was that Sister Clark and I were called
"fish-onaries" by a little girl. Of course, I thought it was fitting
because we are fishers of men lol

Anyways, this week was good. NADIA WAS BAPTIZED on Saturday! Wahoo!
And her baptismal service was so good. We actually had to go to the
chapel for everything else besides the baptism because there were so
many people who came. And her testimony was super strong and powerful.
It was just super exciting and fantastic. Everything was just so good
and went pretty well.

We had a couple of exchanges this week. I stayed in my area for both.
Sister Clark and I almost felt like we did an exchange with ourselves
between the other 2 because we were gone for 24 hours, together 24
hours, and gone for 24 hours. I was exhausted by the end of the second
exchange though because it was basically a lot of finding since our
teaching pool is kinda winding down, and I was the one who had to lead
the area on exchanges and put in all the areas/names for finding. It
was a relief on Friday to not have to plan nearly as much because we
had weekly planning and a Christmas Lights meeting. On the exchange on
Thursday it was really awesome though because we got some referrals
from members that we went and visited. We went to some members to ask
about neighbors that are in our area book as formers, and by doing
that, they started talking about their other neighbors as well. So we
now have a new tactic and strategy that we are really going to try to
approach and use this week.

It was also crazy because Saturday night we got a referral from some
Gilbert elders about an investigator who moved into our area. We were
right around the corner from where that family moved in, so we stopped
by. Turns out that it was a family that is friends with Nadia's
family, and Nadia's daughter and this other family's daughter are
really good friends, so the daughter came to Nadia's baptism!

This week was also fun because Sister Talbot came back down for the
baptism. She actually came to see Larry and Maria while we were having
a lesson with them. She waited in her car for about 20 minutes because
she saw that we were there and didn't want to interrupt, but then
Larry went out front to do what he calls, "exercising his agency"
(smoking), and I guess he saw her and invited her in. It was kinda
weird because we continued the lesson, and Sister Talbot just taught
like normal. It's like she was companion again, but she wasn't. It was
fun though. We also both had dinner at Nadia's last night since her
and her family were doing an early Thanksgiving with the family that
was in town. She smoked the turkey, and it was soo good.

Also, it looks like Maria will be getting baptized on Sunday after
church. She has her baptismal interview tonight, so we are hoping
everything goes well!

Anyways, I love y'all! Have a great week!
Sister Smith

These are the texts I like to get from investigators (now recent convert)

Baptism

Baptism

Baptism

Weekly dog pic

Post dinner pic

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Something fishy

I was on exchanges with Hermana Zundel in her area on Saturday, and I
was looking through a Spanish workbook from the MTC, I saw the word
for sin, which is el pecado. I thought it was close to the word for
fish, so I asked Hermana Zundel. The word for fish is el pescado. We
had a short discussion, and at the end I said, "it still seems a
little fishy to me."

Anyways, this week seemed a little long and out of order, but it was
great. Last Monday night, we got to carve pumpkins with the Jensen
family, and that was a blast. I always appreciate members who treat us
well and trust us (especially when there are knives involved lol).
Tuesday, we got to go to the temple for Halloween night. Nothing like
spending time with the dead on Halloween 😂 It was great though. I got
to participate in sealings to parents for the first time, which was a
fantastic experience. There definitely is power in eternal families.
Wednesday, we went over the final details for Nadia's baptism for this
Saturday. It seems like it will be great and lots of people will be
there.
We had weekly planning on Thursday this week because we had zone
conference on Friday. Zone Conference was really good. We were able to
have a great discussion on having the Spirit more fully when we teach
and are talking with people. Ultimately, it comes down to that you
have to make it personal to them, personal to you, and really make it
meaningful. I also studied on the Spirit teaching people yesterday in
my personal study, and I came up with a good example of why the Spirit
is so necessary. I thought about how as missionaries, we often teach
people about what praying is and the correct way to pray. It's kinda
like the what and how of prayer. But, the Spirit is the one who
confirms to them really why they themselves need to pray. If they
don't feel the Spirit while we are praying with them or when they
pray, they won't continue to do it. I also was studying how to make my
personal prayers more meaningful, and I came up with 3 words based off
of a quote I read. They are: Meditate, Contemplate, Supplicate. In
other words, we really need to think about what we are going to say
and ask for before we pray. This also allows the Spirit to guide our
prays as well.
Friday night to Saturday night, we had exchanges. I went to a Spanish
area again. The Lord showed me a tender mercy though in one of our
lessons. We went to read The Book of Mormon with a family in the ward.
I know enough Spanish to be able to read decently, but I never feel
confident doing it. Well, in this lesson there was a kid who was
struggling a little bit to read in Spanish, so it didn't make me feel
quite so bad about my reading, and it gave me a little bit of a
confidence boost.
So that's basically my week in a nutshell. Hope y'all all are doing well!
Love,
Sister Smith


Pumpkin carving

I don't like the last three digits of the odometer reading for the
end of this day...

When somehow Siri will give you the score of the World Series on
your iPad when most things are blocked.

Weekly dog pic

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Chips on your shoulder



So Sister Clark and I were moving out of our apartment, and we were

carrying stuff out to our car. She had a big of chips leaning on her
shoulder. Of course, my response was, "Man, you sure have a lot of
chips on your shoulder."

Anyways, this week was kinda different with everything we had going
on. So we moved on Tuesday, and we moved into a member's home. It's
good, but different. There are definitely pros and cons to it all.
Pro: wifi, which means emailing while laying on a comfy couch. Con:
the thermostat is usually at 80°, but sometimes at 84°... I also feel
like I have 2 strikes right now because I apparently didn't shut the
front door all the way when we left one morning (because it is a
little harder to shut), and then I also put a canned drink in the
freezer and forgot about it and it exploded... So now I am on edge for
strike 3.

Wednesday, we had a Fall Festival for Mountain Vista Ward, which was
great. We had a less active member come, which is the first time she
has come to something in a long time. There were also lots of other
non members there too!

We had MLC on Thursday. We found out that sometime in November, our
mission is supposed to be getting smartphones! We will keep our iPads,
but it will start a transition to all missionaries having smartphones
instead of tablets. We don't know how immediately it will be though
before all missionaries just have smartphones. But I love going to MLC
because it is an extra opportunity to learn and grow. We also had
multiple lessons, and I think we finally figured out the trick to keep
the Wolf family focused and engaged in the lessons (we have had a hard
time the last few weeks focusing everyone).

On Friday, we had an STL meeting in the morning. It started off
talking about how God is always aware of us and knows what we need. It
made me reflect on how many times I have seen God's hand and known
that He is aware of me. I also like a statement that was made. It was:
"If you don't believe that you have a loving Heavenly Father, why
would anything else matter? If you don't believe that He loves you,
why would you want to return to live with Him?" This is so true. If He
doesn't love us and we don't love God, it wouldn't make sense to want
to go back to His presence. This is why as missionaries, the first
point in the first lesson, so the first things we usually teach, is
"God is Our Loving Heavenly Father." That's the basis, and because He
loves us, His Son, Jesus Christ, was sent to earth to atone for our
sins. Because He loves us, He wants us to have this knowledge, the
knowledge of the gospel. Everything is based off of those statements.

On Saturday, we helped with the Salt River Cleanup Project. It seems
like it wasn't too long ago that I was helping with this, but it was a
year ago... But it was fun. It was interesting. Sister Clark and I,
along with 2 other people we were with, went to pick up a blanket that
we thought was trash. As we were pulling it up, we saw a skeleton of
what we think was a dog 😐. So I guess we found someone's dog that had
been buried for some time. Later that night, we had Skyline's Trunk or
Treat. I think Skyline is my favorite ward that I have served in. I
just feel like I am home in that ward. There were lots of people that
came, including non members and investigators. They were playing music
though at the party, but it was kinda disappointing because it was
mostly kids singing the songs. Sister Clark called it, "Unsatisfying
Disobedience." If we were going to listen to music, it should have at
least been the real thing lol

Last night, we had a lesson with Maria where we went over the
baptismal interview questions. It's a good thing we did this though
because we found out there was a misunderstanding about the Word of
Wisdom. Unfortunately, it means we have to push her baptismal date
back a couple of weeks 😒 Everything else seems to be good for her
though. A small miracle was that her baptism wasn't announced over the
pulpit earlier yesterday. We had talked about doing it while in Ward
Council before sacrament meeting, but then when sacrament meeting came
around, it wasn't announced. Thank goodness!

Hope y'all all have a good week!
Love y'all!
Sister Smith



We acquired dry ice while at the fall festival

When it's 80 inside, you male it cooler yourself lol

Mission Leadership Council pic

Salt River Cleanup

Weekly dog pic?

Haha jk--real weekly dog pic

Face painting. Multiple members did a double take
(Sister Clark did this in about 5 minutes) #artdegree



I thought people only did this for Christmas

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

But no pun in ten (minutes) did...

I couldn't really think of any puns or jokes from this week, and I
have been trying to think of one. But no pun in ten (minutes) did...

Anyways, this week was filled with ups and downs. One of the downs was
that Saprina was supposed to be baptized Saturday night. Everything
was set up, we were all there for the baptism, and she and the YSA
missionaries never showed up. Apparently, she had some last minutes
doubts, so they were at her apartment talking through it. We said a
prayer as a group though, and the Spirit was so strong as it was being
said. But I wanted to cry because I was so sad and my heart was a
little broken. But the YSA sisters got it figured out, and it looks
like she will be getting baptized next month.
The other down was that we got a text from the Cannan family saying
that the kids' dad doesn't understand their desire to go to church,
and he doesn't want them going. 😭 another heartbreak from this week.

On a lighter note, our investigator Darla Palmer came to the ward
activity we had on Friday and was able to meet some people from the
ward. And quite a few members came up and introduced themselves to
her, so that was great! We also had some awesome sacrament meetings on
Sunday. One was designed for nonmembers, and the Spirit was so strong
as the simple doctrines and principles of the gospel were taught. One
of these was the Restoration. The member who spoke on this topic did a
great job, and basically said something similar to what almost any
missionary probably would have said if they were asked to speak on it.
As this member spoke, it really made me realize the power that the
message of the Restoration has and the Spirit it can bring into the
room as we testify of it.

Oh, and we got transfer news. I'm staying with Sister Clark in the
same area, but we will be moving to a difference place to live for
this transfer. Only 3 transfers to go 😱

Anyways, I love y'all.
Sister Smith

Weekly dog pic

District

Look how big the kittens have gotten

These kids got baptized (They were taught by Sister Clark in her
last area. I did teach them one lesson though when I was in a trio
temporarily with Sister Clark)

I think all missionaries could probably use this lol #stressed

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Scaring the bageezus out of them

So last night we were reading The Book of Mormon with Larry and Maria
in 1 Nephi 17, and we were reading the part where Nephi shocks his
brothers. Larry made a comment about it scaring the bageezus out of
Laman and Lamuel, to which I quickly remarked that it probably
actually scared the Jesus into them. 😂

Anyways, this week was good, although it seemed like it was pretty
long. We had a great lesson with the Cannan family this week! We got
there, and they just started asking us questions that they had about
what we had taught the time before because there was something they
didn't quite understand and they had a discussion amongst themselves
and didn't know the answer, so they asked us. The daughter Alice was
introduced to the word of wisdom by some people at school, so we had
to also teach that. It's cool to see them learning and wanting to
know, and even discussing what we have taught them!
We also had a less active member we have been working with make
reading/listening to The Book of Mormon a bigger part of her life, and
we were having a Skype lesson with her, and there were some technical
difficulties due to the fact that she was driving, so we thought the
lesson was just going to end, but instead she pulled over just so she
could have this lesson with us! It was a miracle!

We had a Sisters' Conference this week, too. There was a really cool
diagram and explanation of how men and women have different roles when
it comes to us learning and growing and gaining eternal life. I wish I
could explain it via email, but it would be really hard. But it was
explained in a different perspective and way than I have ever heard
and seen before.

A miracle that happened this week was that a few weeks ago, we dropped
a potential investigator named Darla because the place where she lives
has a gate and we didn't know the gate code, and we tried calling her
a couple of times, but we never heard anything back. Well, this week
we got a referral for her, and she had referred herself online. We
called her, and she answered! We then set up a lesson. At the lesson,
she told us that about a month ago, she got calls from some sisters,
but she lost the number. Since she did want to have us come over, she
just requested to have missionaries visit. We had an awesome first
lesson with her. Unfortunately, she didn't make it to church because
she woke up feeling sick, which was a little disappointing... then
again, what's new? Don't all investigators get sick on Sundays so they
can't make it to church? (I've only seen this a few times... and by a
few times, I mean lots of times).
Sunday night, I stumped everyone (a family and my companion) playing 2
truths and a lie as a get to know you game. Granted, my lie was kinda
cheap, but that's okay. I used 1) I try to send home a pic with me and
a dog every week in my email home, 2) My favorite color is lime green,
and 3) I have 3 dogs back home. They all thought one of the first two
was the lie, but really I only have 2 dogs back home. It was kinda
funny though because they have a dog, and I guess after they pray,
they play with their dog with a laser pointer. So we said an opening
prayer, and the dog rushed over to the spot they keep the laser
pointer and started freaking out. At least we know the family prays
often enough for the dog to have a habit and know where to go.

Also, even though yesterday was super long with it being a Monday with
no set plans all afternoon, there were a few small miracles. We were
able to catch 2 people, who were on a list from the ward for us to go
and contact, at home that we have never been able to catch before, one
of which normally would have not been home but happened to be home.
One of these people, I had tried so many times before, and I almost
just gave up, but yesterday was our lucky day with her.

An analogy that was given by a youth at church that I liked was
relating a strong iTunes password to a strong testimony. This youth's
mom iTunes got hacked, and he talked about if you have a strong
password, it is harder to hack. If we have a strong testimony, it is
harder for others to break it down and lead us astray.

Anyways, I love y'all!
Sister Smith

 Sisters' Conference

When the maintenance man uses your colored pencil to write the note...

Weekly dog pic is back!

I am my mother's daughter. This is what happens when you walk down
the Halloween candy aisle...


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Mode of transportation

So we had a district meeting at the Mission President's home this past week, and after we were eating lunch. We were talking about biking, and President Townsend asked what Sister Clark did with her bike. She said she locked it on our back porch. He then asked me if I had a bike, and I said no. Sister Young (my old roommate) told me right after I responded no to not having a bike to not use the broom out on the back porch because they had used it to kill some spiders. Knowing her, I knew her train of thought. President Townsend, on the other hand, thought she was telling me not to use the broom to fly around as a way to get around since I didn't have bike. We got a good laugh out of that one. (It was probably funnier if you were there and not just reading it)

Anyways, not much to report from my area this week. The investigators we have been working with are still progressing. No one new really. 
We did get a new area book app--Area Book Planner 2.0. We are... adjusting to it to say the least. Apparently, a lot of missionaries have complained about it since we got an email from the APs saying that we need to be patient in learning how to use it. 

I want to add an experience from this week though. On Thursday morning, I felt a little discouraged about how our day was going to turn out. I had this new area book I was trying to use and trying to plan with, we had a couple lessons already cancelled, we didn't have a dinner set up, and I was on exchanges, so my companion at the time couldn't really help me plan too much. I didn't know what we we going to do for the day. The Lord took this day that I thought was going to be terrible, and He filled it with little miracles to make it a pretty great day. I sent a fb message to an investigator with a scripture, and she responded saying that she needed that right at that moment. We went to contact a referral, who I was pretty sure wasn't going to be home, but I felt like we should try. He wasn't home. But then we saw one of our new investigators, whose lesson fell through the day before, walk around the corner. We were able to go and talk with her for a short time and set up another appointment. We had another good lesson with one of our investigators. We ended up with a dinner. We had a good lesson with a family in the ward. And because one of our lessons fell through, we were able to contact someone else and have a good lesson with them. So all in all, everything worked out, and the Lord helped me and really had everything planned. Then, I was reading in 3 Nephi 13 where Christ tells the disciples He has just called to basically not worry about temporal needs and such, and He will take care of them. He just did that for me! 

On Saturday, we did help out with a triathalon. I waved an orange flag for 2-2.5 hours to try to get drivers attention so that they wouldn't hit the bicyclists. My arm did get a little tired after a bit, but it was fun to help out. And it was fun to see how impatient some people are when driving lol

Yesterday, during one of our testimony meetings, there were some silences. But I looked over at our investigators who were sitting next to us, and they were reading The Book of Mormon! It is always great to see those you are working with reading The Book of Mormon. Also, we had authentic Louisiana gumbo last night for dinner that our investigator Nadia made for us. It was so good (especially after fasting all day)! 

So yeah. I love y'all! Have a great week!
Sister Smith

Kinda slacking on pics the past couple of weeks. And no weekly dog pic again 😭

Dinner at Nadia's with the lemon blueberry trifle

Dinner at Nadia's with the lemon blueberry trifle

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Wake me up when September ends

Well, it is now October. Time sure does fly by, whether we want it to or not.

This week was good. Nothing too exciting.
There was General Conference, which was great as always. I personally
felt like there was a huge emphasis on trusting in the Lord, service,
The Book of Mormon, and following the prophet's counsel. It is always
cool that there seems to be a few topics that are really focused on
each General Conference, and it is always inspired by the Spirit.
Also, I love how we can learn so much from the general authorities in
the church. I was reading in 3 Nephi 1:24-25, and it talks about how
some people misinterpreted the scriptures, but then they came to a
knowledge that they had done that. I think it is fantastic that we can
have the scriptures clarified by listening to and reading conference
talks as well as anything else that is given unto us by the leaders of
the church. We have so many resources to gain knowledge!

Something that was fun and cool this week was that we went to Mutual
for one of our wards. They had a fire, and after eating hot dogs,
different youth and youth leaders were called on to share an
experience that they have had with the scriptures. The Spirit was so
strong as each one testified of the scriptures and the different
experiences they have had finding peace, comfort, and answers through
the scriptures. The scriptures really are true!

On Saturday, I wasn't feeling super great at all. We had a lesson with
Larry and Maria that night, and it is amazing how the Lord provides a
way for us to accomplish His work and purpose because during that
lesson, I didn't really feel sick. I know it was by the power of the
Lord I was able to make it through that lesson.

Anyways, not much else from this week. I hope y'all had a great week!
Love you guys!
Sister Smith


Missionary parking for district meeting

 Quick sunset pic