Monday, September 11, 2017

Butterfly

So our roommate, Hermana Young, will always say "Mariposa!" every time
we see a butterfly (since that is butterfly in Spanish). We found one
on the ground that was mostly dead, so we brought it in and put it on
her desk. We left a note that said, "it BUTTER not FLY away." And then
later I added, "now that it's dead, it's probably not in a very merry
pose." (So I made a pun using English and Spanish.)

Anyways, this week was good! Christian, Aaron, and Carson were all
baptized on Saturday! It was such a good baptism! Aaron is autistic,
but he is super sweet and he definitely added some humor to the
baptismal service. After he was baptized and changed, he walked out
and said "I'm here! That wasn't so bad." The Spirit was so strong. As
missionaries, we always do a presentation, usually on the Restoration.
President Townsend was there, and apparently our Restoration
presentation was one of the best because he went home and told Sister
Townsend that who then told us last night. So that gave us a
confidence boost.

Also, Sister Talbot and I sang in sacrament meeting for one of our
wards, so that was nerve wrecking. But I made it through. We did a lot
of running around and stuff this week to eat dinners with people from
Sister Talbot's old areas. But it was fun.

Also, Saprina had an awesome experience. We invited her to pray about
a baptismal date, and she did! And, she described her experience like
this, "I was praying about it, and it was so clear. It was all white,
and in black letters October 22 appeared." Needless to say, she is on
date now. This is an excellent example of how we can and will receive
answers to our prayers when we are sincere.

Mhmm. What else. Oh yeah, transfer news. So I knew I would be getting
a new companion since Sister Talbot is going home. So I'm staying in
my area and will be companions with Sister Clark.

Love y'all!
Me while driving, "Look, Blue Bell truck! Sister Talbot, take a picture!"

We have a normal district I promise



Smith Family. They are so much fun!

Larry and Maria

Wolf family baptism!


Weekly dog pic (we also washed her for service)

Sister Glynn


Bye Sister Talbot 😭😭😭

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Foiling my plan

So I had leftover food I was going to put foil over, so I pull out the
foil and start getting it. Then the whole roll come out of the box and
fell on the floor. I immediately remarked, "well, that foiled my
plan!"

Anyways, this week has been pretty fantastic! The Lord has blessed us
in so many ways! We had many great lessons. We are helping prepare the
Wolf boys for their baptism this Saturday! We are so excited for it.
We finished the lessons, and they have their interviews this week!
Well, the oldest son Christian is really the only one who has to be
interviewed by the district leader. So yeah. It's fun and crazy and
everything all at the same time.

We also went and got facials as a way to meet with a less active
member since she does facials and we haven't met with her for awhile.
So a member came up with the idea, and then she payed for us and
herself a facial. It was relaxing and I definitely want another facial
now. But it was really good since we had about 2.5 hours with her.

An awesome experience we had was last week we contacted a referral we
got from the elders since they helped her move in, and this week we
had our first discussion with that family. It is a mom with 4 of her 5
kids that live with her. We walk in, and they were making us
breakfast/lunch (it was 11am and they made pancakes). Her reasoning
for making us food was, "What kind of mom would I be if I didn't feed
you?" But the best part was that the Spirit was so strong and when we
asked them what it would mean to them if this message was true and if
Joseph Smith was a prophet, the mom said that they are pretty sure
that they know that Jospeh Smith was a prophet by all that came from
it and how many people have had better lives by joining this church.
She even said, "if I had to give you a percentage, we are 89% sure
about it." Like, it was super awesome, and they want to read the Book
of Mormon.

There is also an investigator named Saprina. It's an interesting
situation. She was taught the first two lesson by missionaries in the
Gilbert mission because that is where her friend lives (who is trying
to be more active). But we got a referral from her boss. But she is
actually YSA age, so we technically shouldn't be teaching her. But
counseling with the other two sets of missionaries, we came to the
consensus that we would teach her until they decide to transition to
the YSA ward, and she can just got to church in the other ward for now
since that is how she is progressing the most since Sister Talbot and
I have had the most luck with meeting with her and her friend. Funny
story I forget to tell was a couple weeks ago we had a lesson set up
with her, and when we got there, the YSA missionaries were there since
they had gotten a different referral from somewhere else for Saprina
and just happened to show up right before us to try to contact her
lol. So we had a lesson with four missionaries. Anyways, now that we
have an extended edition of her background, she is super awesome!
Like, her and her friend are now in 2 Nephi 6 in the Book of Mormon,
and they always have questions for us us about what they have been
reading, and they are always really good questions. And this week, she
told us about a spiritual experience she has, and we can tell she is
starting to recognize the truth of things, and it is so great! I just
love meeting with her, and in the past week or two, her brother and
friend have also been sitting in on the discussions as well. Ahhh,
it's just so great!

I just really love this area. The Lord has blessed this area so much.
The Lord has been blessing our whole mission. Last month, we set a
finding goal of 680 and baptism goal of 30, which was far reaching a
little bit for our mission. Well, we knocked the finding goal out of
the park by finding about 850 (we don't know the exact number yet) and
we reached 30 baptisms (which I think I may have mentioned last
week... if I did, oh well). It was so awesome. Sister Talbot and I
even reached all of our companionship goals for our key indicators
this week. Like, I can't even describe how I feel about this past
week. It has just been so awesome!!

Also, we went to the ghost town again and went into "the mystery
shack". It was trippy the way gravity was in there. It kinda made me
sick. But we were able to get the person who runs the place to give us
a buy one get one free admission, so that was nice 👍

Anyways, I love y'all!
Sister Smith

Weekly dog pic

FACIAL!

When an elder doesn't feel good and you have soup in your fridge 😂

Y'all, gravity was messed up in this place. Leaning forward with no effort

And backwards

We so cute


Enjoy the video of us trying to get of this chair with gravity messed up

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

You've got to be kitten me

So we had a lesson with the Wolf family, and they had 5 little kittens
that were only a few days old. I can't remember what was being said,
but I ended up making the joke of "you've got to be kitten me" as I
was holding one of them.

Anyways, the Wolf family is awesome. The mom and daughter are members,
but the three sons aren't, but they are hopefully going to get
baptized next month! They really are the best and they are doing so
well, and both them and we have noticed a change within the past month
that we have been really working with them. And they also have a new
animal in their home every time we come over haha
And another part member family, Larry and Maria, are doing better as
we continue to meet with them. They are slowly making their way
through 1 Nephi, but Maria has a serious desire to understand more as
she reads. Even though she's not the member, she is the one who pushes
them to read, pray, go to church, etc. It's really cool to see that
happen.
Then, there is our investigator Nadia who reads The Book of Mormon
almost every day, and she is in 3 Nephi! It was also cool and powerful
to hear her talk about her own personal experiences she has had about
receiving personal revelation by reading The Book of Mormon and also
hear her talk about applying the doctrines and principles found in it
to her own life as well as we read with her this week.

Some miracles from this past week: are Sister Talbot and I got our
weekly email saying how much money we had left on our mission debit
card, and let's just say we didn't budget our money the best for this
month, which means we couldn't really buy anything today if we didn't
want to use our own personal money. But the Lord provided us a way to
not have to buy much today! We went and did service for a sister in
one of our wards, and she sent us home with a box of food. Then, there
was a stake women's conference that had a fair amount of extra food
that was sent home with us. THEN, another member gave us water and
eggs. We are definitely blessed and so grateful for that.

I have definitely noticed though that the Lord works miracles and
provides for us when we are obedient and have faith. First of all, the
food thing happened. But I also was thinking about how He has provided
a way for Sister Talbot and I to reach our goals for finding new
investigators for each week. They have come a lot in the form of
referrals, which is definitely the Lord's work. Also, our mission set
a goal to have 30 baptisms this month, which was 12 more than last
month. And guess what? We reached it! When we have goals and faith,
the Lord helps us out!

I am grateful to be serving as a missionary, and I love that I get to
share the gospel everyday. I love learning and growing.

I hope that all my family and friends in Texas are doing well and are
safe. I have seen pictures, and it seems unreal to me. I am definitely
praying for everyone.

I love y'all! Hope y'all have a great week! And for those in Texas, I
hope you can dry out some!
Sister Smith

Feeding the kitten! It's so cute

Kitten

Bat!

Mmmmm. Bat for dinner. haha jk

Weekly dog pic + countdown (the family has a son who comes home the same week I do, so they have a countdown)

People: "You match. Did you plan to?" Us: "nope! It just happened"

Roommate pic

#AZMM be like, members feed us so well. lol

Sundays be like... 

...

...

I think the definition of drizzle might be different depending where you are at...
(Katy is in the middle of Hurricane/Tropical storm Harvey)

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Didn't C it

So I was on exchanges, and we were going to a member's home whose last name started with a C. We drove right by the house, so we had to flip around. She still didn't know which house it was, but I saw a big C on a door, and so I pointed out that it was probably that one (as we almost drove by it again). We parked, and I said, "I bet you didn't C that one." 

Anyways, another crazy busy week. We had a mission tour on Thursday with Elder Wilson and Elder Wakolo and their wives. It was really awesome. It was long though. We got there at 8am since we had a song practice before (yes, I sang in another musical number). We didn't leave the mission tour until around 5:45pm. It was all really good though. Our main focus was on using The Book of Mormon in missionary work to help others become converted. It made me realize that most missionaries, including me, don't use The Book of Mormon enough to help others become converted. We introduce it, read it a little with them, and then move on. But there is so much more potential for using it. Even in our lives, we often underestimate the power that it can and does have. We also had a meeting just for the sisters after where we talked about how we can't compare ourselves to others and basically we have to keep improving ourselves. We also went around and each of us said something that we have learned on our mission. It kinda felt like girls camp in a way haha But it was definitely a spiritual boost. It was funny though because in the sisters meeting, Sister Wilson was talking about how some people appear to be at the top of the scale and others at the bottom. She was describing one of the people on the top like, "This person was born in the church to the Smith family on side, strong family, they are smart, athletic, funny, musical, etc." I leaned over to Sister Talbot and (half) jokingly said, "oh, I didn't know we were describing me." She laughed. But we went on and discussed the pros and cons of seeming to be on the top and on the bottom.  

We had MLC on Saturday with Elder Wilson and Wakolo as well. It is definitely awesome to be in these meetings because you get to grow even more as a missionary, but there is also a lot of leadership training that can be learned and applied for after the mission as well. 

I also had two more exchanges this past week. One of them was with Sister Drasbek, and it was kinda weird being her companion again, mostly because we were used to being companions in the MTC, and the mission field is a lot different than the MTC. It was also weird because we have both changed in the past year, but it was really cool to also be able to see that change. 

Something awesome that happened this week was that we were teaching a family that has 3 sons who are old enough to be baptized but aren't yet. While teaching the Plan of salvation to them, we got the impression to ask one of the sons (because he was the only one really in the room listening) if he wanted to be baptized. He did, and we put him on date. The mom said, "well, if he is getting baptized on that day, we might as well have the other two sons baptized on that day too." What a miracle! Also, technology is great because we were able to show a video from my iPad onto their TV thanks to Apple TV. Because my iPad was already connected, we were able to draw out the plan of salvation on my ipad, but everyone could see it on the TV. The mom said she liked it, and that she had never had the plan of salvation drawn out like that before. 

Sister Talbot and I also got asked out on a date. We were talking to this guy, and he had met with missionaries in the past, and we asked him if he would want to meet with missionaries again. He said "nah, but if either of you want to go to a movie, I'd be down for that." We kindly restated our purpose, and he rode away on his bike 😂

I'm sure there were more things that happened this past week, but I can't remember it all.  
Love y'all! 
Sister Smith

Weekly dog pic

Apple TV picture fun

More AppleTV fun

Sisters at the mission tour

You would think that the white stuff on the Christmas tree was decoration,
but it's not. It's actually cat hair
 😷

Sister Drasbek and I after exchanges.
Have we changed (looks wise) in the past year? Haha

Solar Eclipse viewing

I do have this picture where the sun was reflected onto my chin 😂 and I didn't even notice it until after the picture was taken 

Apartment temple pic

Companion temple pic


Sister Talbot and I with Sister Wakolo


Solar eclipse viewing video #nerdlife lol

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

2 for 1

The other night we were having what our apartment calls "family time"
and we were watching the end of the movie Prince of Egypt, which is
all about Moses and him leading the people out. The ending is them
crossing the Red Sea and the army getting drowned basically by the
water coming down. I said, "You can wave them goodbye." Then I
followed it up with "Sea ya later!"

Anyways, this week was good. I had my first 2 exchanges as an STL,
which was fun. The first one was kinda like a trial run to see how I
needed to do things and learn from it. Hopefully, I keep getting
better at conducting exchanges haha. But this week was super crazy
busy, and this coming week isn't going to be much different.

Amongst the craziness, we were able to find 2 new investigators that
seem super awesome. Like, they are totally willing to come to church
and read the scriptures and everything. It's amazing. We also had a
couple lessons with another investigator who is slowly coming along
who I am learning to love more and more. To go along with the
craziness, last Monday night we got taken out of our mission
boundaries by a part member family because they really wanted to take
us to a restaurant. Luckily, we were able to have them change where we
ended up eating so we didn't have to eat out of the mission.

We had zone conference. I sang in a musical number, so that was fun. I
had to give a training about faith and miracles. I love what the Bible
Dictionary says about miracles—"Miracles should not be regarded as
deviations from the ordinary course of nature." Miracles do happen
daily, we just have to be able to have the faith that they will happen
and then have the Spirit to recognize those miracles.

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to be apart of the Tucson Arizona
temple dedication. It was really awesome and the Spirit was so strong.
It also reminded me of how special the temple really is and why I
should always have and be worthy of a temple recommend.
We also had a member Missionary fireside last night, where I was apart
of another musical number. I'm catching up on all the singing I didn't
do when I was growing up haha. But at the fireside, there was an
investigator from another area who came and sat by us since the
missionaries from her area weren't there. In the middle of it, she
wanted to talk to us out in the foyer. She expressed some of her
concerns that she had. It was an interesting and cool experience for
me because even though this was the first time I had met her, I could
really feel God's love for her, therefore I felt an incredible love
for her.

Anyways, I hope y'all have fantastic weeks! Love y'all!
Sister Smith

12 months down

Or 1 year complete, aka, my birthday

When the candle falls...

These shoes used to be black a year ago... they will soon be
retired, especially since they almost have small holes forming 😢 RIP my favorite shoes
 
Lydia, an investigator


 Zone Conference

Weekly dog pic


What you have to do with a couch after elders had it...


Ghost Town explorin' today