Monday, January 30, 2017

I have more chins than a Chinese phone book

This joke was told by one of our members as we were joking around during one of our lessons.

Anyways, highlights of this week. We had exchanges on Tuesdays. I stayed in my area again. We had multiple lessons and found a new investigator! This was a miracle because we went to a home of a referral from Christmas Lights (who we found out is not interested) to teach a lesson, and we taught him outside and his neighbor came out and sat on his own porch. This neighbor seemed to be listening, so after we went and talked to him. He wants to come to church and changes his life. 

Wednesday, we had a worldwide missionary broadcast, and we now have a new schedule! It's great because we have an extra 2 hours on pday. It also allows us to have more flexibility during the day as well at night. We now plan in the morning, which was weird at first. The main goal of all this though is to keep missionaries healthier not only physically, but mentally and emotionally too. So we can get an extra hour of sleep if we want as well. Even though it has only been a few days, I do feel like it takes away a little bit of stress since mornings and nights seem less hectic. 

Thursday, Sister Hirschi was sick, so we stayed in. It gave me some time to reflect in my journal more fully as well as do extra studies. Even though we wanted to be out working in our area, it was a little relaxing for me to just write, ponder, and study. I have come to love to study the scriptures and the gospel. It was weird because on pday now the only studies we have is personal study for 30 minutes. Before my mission, studying for 30 minutes seemed so long. This morning, Sister Hirschi and I did the 30 minutes and it flew by and we wanted more time. Back to Thursday though, at night we had 1 lesson set, so we did splits so Sister Hirschi could rest more while I went out into the area. We not only had our 1 set lesson, but we ended up having 2 other lessons as well. It was a good night for me because of that as well as just a conversation I had with the member who went out with me. I also appreciate members who are so willing to help out missionaries whatever it may be.

Saturday, we had an interesting morning with our first lesson. Sister Hirschi was still sick, and we had a plan so that she wouldn't have to go to the lesson and spread germs as well as so she could continue to rest. Well, like most things in missionary work, that plan fell apart. So we did an emergency exchange with another companionship for that lesson. It all worked out. We also had a miracle in our lesson that night. We hadn't heard from our investigator Oskar for about a month. But we were able to get in contact with him on exchanges and set up this lesson. We went to the VC and went through the Book of Mormon pod (basically short video segments on the gospel of Jesus Christ also using Book of Mormon scriptures). We asked him if he had any questions at the end of our lesson. This was his response, "how soon can I be baptized after keeping the Word of Wisdom?" and he told us he has been keeping it since the beginning of the year. Like, what?! But we explained that he has to come to church and keep the other commandments. He was willing though, and he came to church yesterday! It was awesome.

Yesterday was great. we had a special stake conference for our family ward stake where Elder Ballard and Elder Costa came and spoke. It was soo good. Elder Ballard talked about some things, like controlling our physical body so our spirit can grow, but the majority of his talk revolved around reading scripture passages and going through them with us to show how much we really can get out of the scriptures if we slow down. Elder Costa talked about keeping the Sabbath day holy and caring for others. Overall, the feelings I had throughout it all was just that I want to take what I learn from my mission and apply it to my life after. Then, in our YSA ward, Sister Hirschi and I spoke on spiritual goals. I have been on my mission for 5.5 months, and this was my first time speaking in sacrament. It went well though. After, we had dinner at a member's home where we watched all the videos in the series of "His Grace" on Mormon Channel while eating. They were amazing and I am constantly reminded of the power of the Atonement. It truly can change lives and help us through anything. One of my favorite examples from the scriptures is Alma the Younger. The change can be seen in Mosiah 27 or Alma 36. I love his description though of his change. He says in Mosiah 27:29, "My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss; but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched, and my soul is pained no more." We can all be relieved of pain when we rely on Christ and His Atonement. I have seen its affect in my life, and know that it works. Never forget you can always turn to Christ!

I love you all! 
Sister Smith

Dinner texts from YSA members 😂 (and we did have Taco Bell for dinner)

Bahama Bucks for our weekly planning snack. I hadn't had it in a long time

Chilling on Chelsea's couch with her

Chilling without her

Pre-talk selfie

Chelsea gave us candles. I got a Texas one and Sister Hirschi got an Arizona one since she goes home in 2 weeks. The Texas one smells good, but I just can't think of what the actual scent is...

Sister Hirschi thought it would be funny to have me stare at the calculator since I'm "so smart" 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Houston, we have a baptism!

Well, this week was fantastic! CALEB WAS BAPTIZED! The baptism service was on Saturday night, and it was very simple, but very powerful. He was very happy afterwards.

Just so many great things happened this week. On Tuesday, we had ZTM, and I gave a training on the need to be a Christlike missionary. It was a great reminder for me as I prepared and gave this training. Originally, it was supposed to be given by my companion, Sister Hirschi, but she and the other departing missionaries were taken to the Gilbert temple that morning by President and Sister Townsend since the Mesa temple is closed right now. I am grateful that I could give the training. 

Wednesday, we were able to have many lessons. One person we had a lesson with was an investigator who requested a Bible and Book of Mormon via It was an interesting and entertaining lesson. She is very outgoing and charismatic. She was talking about how she knows Christ will be coming again soon because of the signs we are seeing. She was talking to a friend once and her friend said, "I can smell Jesus. He is coming." Also, she was telling us the "things the Spirit was wanting her to say to us." This included that I have a calling to preach in life. She also told me that there is a good young man looking at me and keeping his eyes on me and that I will get married young... She asked if I had a young man back home and I said no. She said, well you do, and he is looking at you. He is a good man. So that was interesting and funny...

Thursday, my zone had interviews with President, and it is always nice to talk with him and discuss how things are going. Then, that night we had a lesson with a part member family that I felt like went well. The family was just able to laugh and it was sweet to see them interact. It was also great to hear the mom share her thoughts as we went about the lesson. So we are hoping to work more with them.

Friday night we were able to have 2 awesome lessons with investigators that are slowly starting to progress again. One in particular, we have seen him become happier as he has started doing those things to help him progress once more. 

Saturday, we had some lessons with investigators that went pretty well. We think one of the investigators might be a little overwhelmed currently with everything, so we are going to slow it down a little. Saturday night was pretty great. First, we got to watch part of a religious freedom broadcast that was shown in Arizona, and it was really cool to see church leaders address this topic. One of them addressed how there is a hierarchy of how much we can do and regulations we ourselves can impose. We had to leave the broadcast before Elder Oaks spoke, which I am sure it was fantastic and am sad I had to miss it, but that is okay because it was so we could prepare and set up for Caleb's baptism. So that happened. And he was confirmed the next day in sacrament meeting. 

So yeah, a great week! Lots of laughs and lots of smiles.

I love all y'all!
Sister Smith

We did goofy golf for FHE, so we gave our third team member, Chelsea, a name tag

Sister Godfrey, my companion while our companions went to the temple

Sister Thomas's dog, Tommi

Dinner with Lucy--she made homemade empanadas 

Me and a goat

All the goats

Us and the Gastelum's dog, Mona

Missionaries and Caleb!  He didn't want a pic in the white jumpsuit...

Missionaries and Caleb + his girlfriend Whitney 

Our YSA member Savea had us relax after dinner

Our Harry Potter closet in the apartment

Monday, January 16, 2017

I was Hungary, but then I got a Hirschi

I was going to make this my subject last week, but I forgot... So it is this weeks haha But yeah, it is because Sister Csolity was from Hungary and then Sister Hirschi's name is said like the chocolate

Anyways, this week was good. Nothing too exciting. Most of our investigators were sick at some point this week, and some are still recovery. There seriously is something going around because so many people have been sick.

We did have a miracle lesson with one of our investigators. She was a referral from Christmas Lights and we had not been able to meet with
her yet, but Sister Hirschi decided that we should text her. So we did and got a response that she was going to have surgery the next day and wanted us to come over that night. We were there in 5 minutes. We were able to bring her some peace and comfort, which is what she wanted. Hopefully, we can meet with her some more because she wants and has
started to make some changes in her life.

This week, we also had Zone Conference. Sometimes, they can seem long since they are 6 hours long, but they are always very spiritually
uplifting. Something that is a big emphasis in our mission right now is becoming more Christlike and also becoming more consecrated missionaries. It is something that I have thought about a lot, and
sometimes it can be so hard, but the best way to help others come unto Christ is by continuously drawing closer to Him yourself and focusing on Him. That should always be our goal.

To go along with that, I was reading in Alma 8 this morning and Alma goes to Ammonihah to teach, but gets rejected and leaves. As he is going somewhere else, an angel appears and tells him to go back. This was Alma's response: "Now it came to pass that after Alma had received his message from the angel of the Lord he returned speedily to the land of Ammonihah." Alma returned speedily. He didn't take his time and casually go back. It made me think of times when I have received correction and/or correction from the Lord. It is easier to "return
speedily" when we have a desire to obey the Lord and actually want to do it, when we are consecrated to the Lord. If we don't want to, it will be hard and we most likely won't complete the task to the best of
our ability and how the Lord would really have us do it.

Anyways, all is well here in Mesa.

Love you!
Sister Smith

This church sign always makes me laugh...

Zone pic at Zone Conference

Sometimes you bond with investigators by playing basketball with them (for the record, I won all 3 games of around the world and our game of one-on-one)

Keanna (investigator), Me, and Sister Hirschi

Missionaries can end up with a lot of keys sometimes

We had to do splits during church and so Shanna was my temporary companion and she put on her name tag that she keeps on her scriptures as a joke

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

They had tablets too

So in relief society in YSA, someone made the joke about how things are different now then back in the Bible and the teacher made the joke that they still had tablets back then lol

Anyways, this week was pretty fantastic! A lot of things happened. Transfers were on Tuesday, so Sister Hirschi is now my companion. We definitely have fun. We received about 7 referrals in 3 days, which is a lot, and we are working on contacting all of them. We have attempted contact, but some of them didn't answer their door or phone, so we will continue to work on that. But having a new companion come into your area is always good because it adds a new perspective and new ideas.

On Thursday, I was in a trio from about 10-5 because there is a sister, Sister Elisan, who got permission to stay on her mission for an extra week for a special reason, so while her companions were in a leadership meeting (MLC), she joined us. It was fun and really useful when we went finding in an apartment complex with a member because we could split up and cover more ground with the time frame we had. 

Also I learned this week that cleaning a house as service for someone is definitely better than cleaning your own home.

This week just felt very busy and productive. We didn't have too many lessons unfortunately, so we did lots of finding, but we have a few more lessons scheduled for this week now. 

Today, Sister Hirschi and I enjoyed the sunrise on temple grounds and it was stunning. Then a little later, we explored downtown on Main Street some, so I have lots of pictures.

This week, I began restudying the Christlike attributes, and as I have studied, I have realized how connected they all are. If we want to have more patience, we have to have faith. If we want more knowledge, we have to be diligent when we are studying and finding answers. I also began studying Alma 5. There are so many inspired questions, and as I read, it takes me back to Christlike attributes. If I want to be better and be prepared, I must continue to work on becoming more like Christ. I would like to challenge you to read through Alma 5 and ponder those questions that Alma asks as to how you can become more like Christ by improving your Christlike attributes.

I love you all! Have a great week!
Sister Smith 
Sister Hirschi and I

Trio for the day

This tree reminds us of the whomping willow from Harry Potter

Sunrise pics :) #noedit

Things we do for pics

Downtown exploring

So dramatic

My hand heart is bad, but that's okay. It's the effort that counts, right?

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Happy (Transfer) New(s) Years! #newyearnewcompanion

So we got transfer news on new years eve, so that was the most exciting thing that happened that night as missionaries lol. Anyways, I am staying in my area, but I am getting a new companion named Sister Hirschi. I am excited for this new year and for a new transfer to start. I am really happy though to stay in this area though because there were a few people that I have come to love and wanted to continue working with.
One of them is Caleb. He has progressed so much and he is on date for January21 ! I am so excited! We have gone through everything and we have seen him soften little by little and make small changes so that throughout the past few months, he has changed so much.
Reflecting on this, it really is about making small changes over time to ultimately making a big change. It is like walking up a staircase--you take it one step (or maybe 2, possibly 3 if you have really long legs haha) at a time until you are at the top. That is what this life is all about. As it says in  Alma 34:32- "32 For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."
And this is so true! We are to prepare. When preparing to run a marathon,you practice. You start by running shorter distances and build up to the marathon. You don't just show up to the race.
Something that was sad this week was that we got a call from our investigator Phil saying that his daughter didn't want him to be baptizedMormon (because we put him on date this week), so she will be picking him up and taking him to her church now on Sundays and he feels like he has to do what his daughter says since she helps take care of him... We have a plan to go back and have a least one more lesson with him and try to get him to church at least once because he was starting to progress more and more and we could tell he really wanted to try it out. Sometimes it is just so annoying when other people prevent someone from doing the right thing.
It is also sad because it was the last night of Christmas Lights on Saturday and all the lights started coming down this morning. It is going to be weird not having them anymore...
Anyways, Happy New Years! Set goals with the help of Heavenly Father! It will help so much!
Love y'all!
Sister Smith
Merry late Christmas to myself lol

Last District pic together

We are pros with chopsticks (not really...)

Once there was a snowman (full of goodies). Now it is small, small, small.

Last night of Christmas Lights
Have to keep Mary and Joseph dry somehow...

Drove by the one Whataburger within while taking other sisters back to their area.