Monday, January 15, 2018

Captivating Decapitating story

So we were helping the Johnson’s paint their house, and Brother Johnson was telling a story about how he learned to decapitate a chicken. It was very captivating, so captivating that I accidentally painted on their sink faucet. So we named it the captivating decapitating story.

Anyways, this week was good, just a normal week. We did get transfer news, and I will be staying in the area for my final transfer, but I will no longer be a STL.

We were able to have an AMAZING lesson filled so strongly with Larry and Maria last night. It was so perfect, and our member present, Brother Carter, was able to extend a fantastic invitation to Larry to receive a priesthood blessing, and it was so powerful. The priesthood is real y’all! 

Other than that, I can’t think of much else from this week. And I don’t have much time left anyways

Only one more transfer to go. Can you believe it?! 

Anyways, love y’all!
Sister Smith

 Safety first= safety glasses

Jensen’s

Jensen’s

 Last pic with Sister Clark

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Temple Trip Tuesday

It’s not a pun, but it’s a nice alliteration.

Anyways, the week always seems long when pday is on a Tuesday, but this week will seem shorter, so I guess it all balances out. 

This past week, it was mostly just like any other week. I was kinda sick on Wednesday, so that wasn’t fun, and then my comp wasn’t feeling good the rest of the week. It’s just that time of year, and we have gone to so many people's homes this past week where they have been sick, and it’s not just the, “I’m sick” excuse people use to get us to go away. 

We did have a lesson with a part member family about why we go to church and stuff, and we brought a member with us. We asked the member to share the blessings of going to church and how it helps him. Well, he starts talking about how hard Church really is when you have young children and talked about how it’s the hardest 3 hours of his week and what not. He even said that, “church is harder than hell.” We were getting a little nervous, but he eventually tied everything back together and said that despite the difficulties, he sees how it makes his week better and how he has learned to cherish seeing all his girls dressed up in the backseat of their car and everything. I think it helped the family to have someone give them some real talk though.

We also got a referral for a member who has been inactive for awhile who requested a copy of The Book of Mormon from online. We didn’t even have her records in our ward. We were able to contact this referral within 20 minutes of her requesting The Book of Mormon, and she let us right in. Apparently, her 6 year old has been a little curious since they went to church a little bit ago with the grandparents, so the mom decided that if her daughter wants to go, they will go. And they came to church on Sunday! Interestingly enough, our ward mission leader knows them a little bit and had been feeling like they needed to invite her to things. And last night, there is a group FHE put on for the missionaries to bring people to once a month now by one of the high councilors, and she came with our ward mission leader’s family. So that is exciting.

I also learned that the mission president looks at how much money is on all the missionaries mission cards, and if you start accumulating too much money, you get a phone call from him. This may or may not have happened to me this week... But the reason I have more money than usual on my card is because I haven’t had to buy too much with members giving us stuff and then a member payed for our groceries last week. So we just have great members, and it is a blessing. 

It was a little sad to hear about President Monson’s passing, but it has been a great time to reflect on those things he exemplified and those things he has taught us. It gave me the opportunity to think about what he taught me and some of the things he has said. Two of my favorite quotes from him are, “may we ever choose the harder right than the easier wrong,” and “never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”

Anyways, love y’all!
Sister Smith 
Gotta stay hydrated when you are sick

Found this this week 😂

Pizza with Jared (Brother in law) last Monday night

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Juan on Juan

What do you call Spanish basketball? Juan on Juan. 
These are the jokes that come from missionaries haha

Anyways, HAPPY NEW YEAR!
This week was filled with a lot of great things, a lot of miracles for the mission. To start, our zone and district were really struggling to find people to teach, so we did a fast. Last week, our whole zone only found 4 people, but this week, just our district set a goal to find 20 new investigators, and we reached that goal! Also, the visitors center set a goal of about 2,200 referrals this year at Christmas Lights (which is doubled from last year), and last night they had to get 200 referrals to reach it. That’s a crazy goal, especially because Christmas Eve had 151 referrals, which was the highest ever. Well, with the help of the Lord, they got 220 referrals last night. We all ended the year on a good note.

Sister Clark and I, even though we didn’t reach our companionship finding goal, we were blessed with a few more referrals, plus meeting and being able to talk with a few other people who showed some interest. This will hopefully help us in our finding goals in the next few weeks. We also have been in contact with a few investigators who we have had a hard time contacting, and it was nice because during weekly planning, we had a few more people to talk about and plan for. 

We had one more exchange this week, and it was kinda nice to go to another area and not have to worry as much about planning for the day. It was also nice because I went on exchanges with Sister Caswell, and she goes home when I go home, and so we are in the same boat and understand each other on certain things. On this exchange though, we had one lesson where it was just natural to teach and testify of the plan of salvation. We stopped by a former investigator’s home, and they let us in. We really didn’t have a plan. We started talking to her, and by the end, we taught almost the whole plan of salvation. It was nice because I didn’t feel rote or like I had to teach the Plan of salvation because it was what we planned, but it really was by the Spirit and from the heart. I could feel the Spirit testify of the truthfulness of it to me. 

I just can’t emphasize enough how much the Lord blessed us this week. It was a great week to end the year. Even church yesterday, even though it was super long for us, I really felt uplifted and ready to begin this new year. We also were able to help someone move into their apartment last night. Of course, they were moving to the third floor, and my body hurt after going up and down the stairs with stuff for about 45 min, but it was totally worth it to help someone out. You could tell that they really appreciated the help.

To start the year, the mission had a big activity for all the missionaries where we could play various sports from 8:30am-12pm and then eat lunch. It was so much fun, and I played about 2 hours or so of soccer. Needless to say, I am sore, and I will probably feel it even more tomorrow morning. I also played a little bit of softball. It’s just great to be around other missionaries who want to have fun and just play sports and everything be pretty positive the whole time while playing.

I love y’all! Have a great first week of the year!
Sister Smith

Zone pic

MLC

Matt and Oakley 😍

Video of Matt trying to surprise me. 
Definitely went for Oakley before Matt lol

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

But wait...



Idk if I used this joke last year or not, but I’m using it again if I did.
How did the wisemen present their gifts? We’ve got gold, frankincense, but wait! There’s myrrh! 

Anyways, hope y’all all had a good Christmas! 

This week seemed kinda long, but that’s probably just because pday is on Tuesday instead of Monday. But we were pretty busy and all over the place this week. We had 3 exchanges, and we had another sister join us for Christmas Lights Tuesday night because her companion was sick. So basically, Sister Clark and I had all kinds of different companions this week. 

From Monday night to Tuesday night before Christmas Lights, I was on exchanges. Then, we picked up the other sister whose companion was sick. Tuesday night at Christmas Lights was fun in a trio because we felt a little more obligated to talk to people on our own because it’s a little intimidating to have not only 2, but 3 sisters come up to you and start talking, so we just kinda divided and conquered (within the rules though). So we talked to lots of people, and the Visitors’ Center got 102 referrals that night! That was crazy to get that many referrals for a Tuesday night. 

Wednesday, I got to go into a Spanish area again. I think the hardest part for me with that is I can understand what the people are saying, but I just don’t know enough (and am not confident enough) to respond back or make comments. Most people are nice enough to help you though when they know you don’t know much or are learning Spanish. Also, we tipped a trailer up in the air on accident at dinner that night. Long story short, Sister Shumway and I were having dinner with a family, and so were the elders in the other part of the Spanish area. Because of something, we ended up eating part of our dinner outside on the back of a trailer. As we went to get off, 3 of us were all at the back, and it was just like a seesaw. Luckily, all the food had been taken off, so everything was okay.

Thursday, we went caroling as a district to some people from our different areas. It’s always fun and rewarding to see the people’s faces light up with joy as you begin to carol to them. We also had dinner with the Jensen family, where we got to decorate some cookies. And mine turned out pretty great considering my artistic skills. The daughter even wanted to copy one of mine. We also got to go to Christmas Lights again, and I was finally able to actually get a few referrals myself. 

Friday and Saturday were basically all finding. We did day exchanges on Saturday with some sisters because it’s impossible to do a 24 hour exchange with them with Christmas Lights. We had a great conversation with one guy on exchanges, and we offered him a copy of The Book of Mormon 3 times in the course of this conversation, but he turned it down all 3 times. Friday night, I also ate some spicy Thai food. It was great, but my companion and the member who took us out for dinner couldn’t handle the heat when they tried a little bit of my food. They all thought I took it like a champ (although my lips burned sooo bad from the spice level). 

Christmas Eve was great. It was weird only having sacrament meeting in all three wards, but it was nice because I felt like we didn’t have to rush off somewhere. One of our wards did a super beautiful and awesome musical program, which included four cellos being played. It was great! 
We were also fasting because our zone and district have been struggling with finding new investigators, so each companionship took a day to fast, and ours was Christmas Eve. I almost accidentally broke my fast early because we went to a member’s, and they offered us a treat, and it sounded and looked good, so I grabbed one without thinking. Luckily, Sister Clark said, “Don’t do it! Don’t eat it!” and I was able to remember that I was fasting, and I slipped the treat into my bag to eat later. Sometimes, Satan is sneaky though. That night, we went to the Hewitt’s for dinner, where we ate way too much Chinese food and had a great time. And we were also sent home with all the leftovers. We now have rice for days. But a miracle happened that night! We got a call from a member in another ward with a referral for us! It was an answer to our fasting and praying. And the referral even called us back this morning, and we are going over there tonight!

Christmas was also a little more relaxed. We woke up, opened our presents, got ready, studied, and then called home. After, we went to a part member family’s home for lunch (the Abelings—they had us over for Thanksgiving too). We tried to contact the referral we got, but no luck. We then went over to one of our bishops’ houses, where we mostly played some games with them, especially the youngest daughter. We had to eat dinner really fast though because we were supposed to be at the temple at 5:45/6ish to get ready for the concert, but dinner wasn’t ready until 5:30. I don’t think I have ever gotten to the temple so quickly as I did last night. I was really pushing tiwi (a box that monitors our driving and will only let us go up to 7 mph over the speed limit before a red light comes on and tells us to “check your speed”). I was on cruise control and there were a few times when the red light blinked on for a moment but tiwi didn’t say anything. We got there just on time. Then, we had the concert, which was fun, but it was a little crowded on the stands. After, we had hot chocolate with a family, and they had lots of ingredients to make all kinds of different flavored hot chocolate. To end the night, we came home, and the daughter of the member that we live with was over, and she has a German Shepherd. So that was a good way to end Christmas.

I do love the Christmas season though and being able to focus on our Savior. I know Jesus Christ loves us and performed the Atonement for us. I know He gives us light wherever we may be at, just like the symbol of His birth was light both where He was born as well in the Americas. He provides peace and joy in our lives.

I love y’all!
Sister Smith

Opening presents a member gave us last week

District pic

My decorated cookies

When you wear an orange skirt, and all you have is an orange jacket #trafficcone

Weekly dog pic part one

When Elder Smith’s screen freezes 😂

Christmas with Claire Cederstrom an her family

Dog pic part 2

Matching pj's thanks to my mom


Christmas morning exercise/showing of the presents received

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Why do Mexicans make tamales at Christmas?

So Maria told us this joke the other night (btw, she is Mexican). The answer is: so they can have something to unwrap

This week, not much happened within our area. We are continuing to find more people to teach since our investigator pool is pretty vacant. I have been studying Chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel on finding, and I realized that I could be much more effective during the first contact I have with most of the people I talk to. 

We got to help out at Christmas Lights a couple of times this week. We were able to have a few good conversations with some people there. We didn’t get any referrals (that is one of our roles when we are there), but hopefully we helped at least a few people feel the Spirit while there. I just always love being there because the lights are beautiful, but also to just be on temple grounds for a couple of hours is nice. It is exhausting though.

On Wednesday night, we went to mutual so we could talk to some of the young men about how to study and what to study to prepare for a lesson as a missionary. It was good. We started off by asking some questions, mostly about mission lingo. One of the questions was, “what does it mean to have a baby?” The answer is to be a trainer, but one of the young men responded with, “to be sent home early.” We all got a good laugh out of that one. After, we played chair soccer with them. Chair soccer is a lot more difficult in a skirt and with only socks on...

Thursday, we had zone conference. We got to do a nativity, and I was Mary. It was funny at one part though because they talked about how Mary was with a child, and elder named Elder Child, who was also up front at the time, waved his hand at that part. 

Yesterday at church, the fire alarm went off during sacrament meeting. I thought it was kinda ironic though because the person speaking was speaking about obedience and how the people should have just gotten on the ark, looked at the serpent, and how we just need to do the simple things. When the fire alarm went off, people kinda hesitated if they should leave or not. I wanted to go up to the person who was giving the talk and tell him to make the analogy that we just needed to leave the building. I was disappointed when we finally all went back inside and he gave the last little bit of his talk that he didn’t tie in the fire alarm. 
My companion made a good point though about how if we don’t treat the fire alarm as a real thing, even when things seem to be perfectly fine, we will never treat a fire alarm as a real thing. It made me think about following the promptings of the Spirit. If we don’t follow the first one, or don’t follow it because everything seems to be okay, then we never follow the Spirit and take the promptings seriously.

We also had the opportunity to speak in church in one of our wards. We were asked to speak on experiences that helped us know that the Savior and His Atonement are real. I love this topic, so I was excited to talk about it. No matter when, when Jesus Christ and His Atonement are talked about, I can always feel the Spirit.

Love y’all!
Have a merry Christmas! 🎄 
Sister Smith

Christmas Lights

Zone Conference nativity. I was Mary

Zone Pic

Went to lunch with these Sisters on Friday to discuss with them
 some of their struggles in their area

The fire truck at the church building


Found these this morning in the gym at the church. 
Whether they were blind, we know not

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

“Candy, candy corn, candy canes, and syrup”

On Saturday, I felt like Buddy the Elf because we had so much sugar, and one of the contributing factors to all that sugar was being served vanilla ice cream with maple syrup on top. It didn’t really taste bad, it was just too much.

Anyways, this week was pretty good. We did a lot of service. On Tuesday, we helped two older women in one of our wards put up Christmas decorations. Sister Burlew, who was one of the women we helped, even took us out to lunch before we put up her decorations, which was a miracle because we didn’t have much time between her and the other person we helped that day. It also saved us a handful of miles (which will probably be really important this month). It was fun to help put up the Christmas decorations because it helped it feel more like Christmas time. 

Tuesday night, we also got to go to the temple to do baptisms with Maria. It was great to be able to spend time in the temple. It was also great because this time I had family names, so I was able to do some baptisms as well. Maria seemed to really like being inside the temple. It just brings such a sense of peace and calmness. It was just refreshing.

We got to help with the Christmas Lights on Thursday and Friday night. Thursday night, we had a slightly interesting experience. We had a lady come up and start talking to us. Just small talk, nothing much. She then offered us cookies because, she “knows how hard it is to be away from home for Christmas and [she] wanted to give us something.” We took a cookie, and then not too long after she left, we had a host from Christmas Lights tell us that we may not want to eat the cookie because this same lady was passing out propaganda/anti material the other night. I then proceeded to keep the cookie in my pocket the rest of the night since there wasn’t a trash can near. Sister Clark still ate the cookie anyways. Don’t worry, she’s okay. 

Saturday was full steam ahead all day basically. We woke up, helped someone move, got ready, went to a baptism for a child in the ward since Larry and Maria were invited to go, and they invited us. As always, the Spirit at the baptism was super strong. Then, we helped an older couple decorate their tree. Then, we got home to finally do planning and studies only to realize that we were actually supposed to be at a lesson 15 minutes earlier. We rushed over there. Then, we did planning and personal study at the church (we didn’t even do comp study because there was like no time). We had a few good contacts in our area. Then, we had the Christmas Party for Mountain Vista Ward. The whole gym was full, and there were lots of non members there. It was great! 

Sunday, it was the usual church meetings. On Sunday night though, our stake had a Christmas Devotional where each ward choir sang a song, and there was one talk at the end. It was full of the Spirit. I just love music so much. We even sang with one of the ward choirs. It was fun and uplifting. 

I will add that it was really rewarding to do all of the service of helping with the Christmas decorations because the members appreciated it so much. Each one that we have helped has come up to us multiple times to tell us that they just love their decorations and stuff. It’s just good to know that you helped someone and they have been cheered up and blessed by it.

This morning, it was a lot of fun at zone sports. We started off by playing free for all dodgeball (and I even won a game). Then, we decided to play soccer free for all dodgeball where instead of throwing the ball at each other, you have to kick it. Let’s say there were multiple faces hit. But I won 2/3 games! 

Anyways, I love y’all! 
Sister Smith 

Weekly dog pic

Welcome to Mesa y'all

Christmas lights






Check out this car



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

“Mint” a lot to me

So Sister McGee, who was my roommate for a transfer, goes home tomorrow. When we were roommates, her and her companion would always eat the mints I had (I gave permission to them that they could have some). They ate so many that they started buying mints and refilling my bag. Today I left her a pack of mints and a card that says, “you sure mint a lot to me.” Hopefully it makes her laugh.

Anyways, this week was good. We didn’t have a whole lot going on. We did have MLC on Thursday, and on the way there, since it was the last day of the month, we were calculating our miles for the month to see if we could also make it to the temple that night to help with Christmas Lights (since our ride to Christmas Lights told us they were leaving earlier and we didn’t want to do that). After some quick, extensive evaluation and calculation, I may have suddenly, but safely cut across a few lanes to take an exit off of the highway to cut off a couple of miles. We pushed the limit, but we ended up with 8 miles to spare for the month. I have never had this close of a call with miles before, but it all worked out okay.

On Saturday, we got to go to the temple with Nadia since it was her first time to do baptisms for the dead. We didn’t do any baptisms since we didn’t have family names, but it was great to be in the temple. It was awesome to see Nadia do baptisms for her own ancestors, and the Spirit was so strong! 

Saturday night, as part of Skyline’s Ward Christmas Party, we went caroling at a care center, and it was a lot of fun, especially to see how much it meant to the residents at the place. They wanted us to stay longer and sing more, but we didn’t have the time. I wish we could have stayed longer though!

We also got transfer news, and nothing is changing for Sister Clark and I. 

The other day, I was studying 2 Nephi 4, and I feel like I connected with Nephi and what he was saying. In verses 17-19, he is all sad and down because he feels like he should be better than he is. I was thinking how this relates to me as a missionary. Sometimes, I feel like I should be so much better at things because I have been out for awhile, but then I remember how much I have grown and changed, and those things I feel like I should be better at are still a lot better than when I first became a missionary. Now, I am just more aware of my shortcomings and where I can improve, kinda like Nephi. But like Nephi in chapter 4, I know I can trust God. Verse 26 also stood out to me, “O then, if I have seen so great things... why should my heart weep and my soul linger in the valley of sorrow,...and my strength slacken, because of mine afflictions?” We may not be the best and we may have afflictions, but we have seen great things from Heavenly Father in our lives, and because of that we can have happiness and not “linger in the valley of sorrow.”

I love all y’all! Have a great week! 
Sister Smith

Weekly dog pic

Me every morning

Temple trip for Nadia


Not so much zone sports pic


Bad Christmas Lights selfie

BBQ for lunch. Not going to lie, it wasn't as good as
Texas bbqand it was slightly disappointing