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" 

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