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
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



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

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Hitting it with E's

So Sister Talbot is the music coordinator for the mission and is in
the process of training another missionary to take over that, but we
were looking at songs we could sing for a mission meeting, and there
was one song with a high E. I was just looking at it and said, "That
high E is just so high and it's hard for me to hit. But then there are
some people I know who just hit it with ease." Then, I realized the
pun I had just made was not intended, and we just laughed about it.

Well, this week was long and busy and crazy. Monday night, all of our
plans fell through—typical mission life. Tuesday, we had transfers. It
was crazy because we were trying to finish packing and cleaning since
all 4 of us were moving out. And we played Tetris with all of our
stuff in our car. Luckily, I have learned how to put things in car to
maximize space. It was stressful though. But I got Sister Talbot, put
my stuff in another car, and headed to our apartment. When we got to
our apartment, this was Sister Talbot's description, "It seems like a
tornado came though the apartment and picked up an outhouse on the
way." In other words, it was a disaster, was really dirty, and it
smelled really bad (like wet dog 😷). But it is all better now because
we took three hours out of Wednesday to clean it with our roommates.
The smell is gone. It is organized. And it is clean.

We were busy this week. Because Sister Talbot is the music coordinator
and we have 3 big mission meetings coming up in the next couple of
weeks, we spent a lot of time at music practice. And because my
companion is in charge, I am singing in at least 2 of the musical
numbers. We also had an STL meeting one morning, so that took up time
from our area as well.

But we were able to meet with some of our investigators this week.
There are some super awesome people in this area! But we have one
investigator who has a strong personality and just has had a lot of
things happen in the past. Sister Talbot warned me that she sometimes
comes off like she is bashing. Luckily, she told me that before
because during the lesson she basically criticized the way I taught
something and the phrases I used. If she hadn't told me beforehand, I
would have been shocked and probably a little upset about it. I still
felt a little criticized though. Then I got over it lol.

I also taught my first skype lesson this past week. It is a little
different, but I am so grateful for technology that allows us to still
be able to teach someone even if we can't meet with them in person for
whatever reasons.

This past week I have been thinking a lot about faith and miracles.
Ultimately, miracles are a result of our faith. If we want something
to happen, we first have to have the faith that it can and will
happen. We also have to have enough faith and trust in the Lord that
if the miracle we are seeking does not happen that it is the will of
the Lord and for whatever reason, it is better that that particular
miracle does not happen.

Love y'all!
Sister Smith

You know it's going to be a good transfer when you see this the first night

Closest thing to my weekly dog pic

Krazy Air crew today

It was pouring rain outside

 Highway signs 😂