Sunday, December 29, 2013

Is This Really Colorado?!


Well, this week has been a blur. I feel like I have just been on an exchange all week... but slowly reality creeps in and I realize that I am not in Kansas in anymore... um I mean Wyoming! haha But for reals I am not in Wyoming anymore and I miss it like CRAZY!! Who knew that I would come to love Wyoming so much?! I sure didn't. But the people there are truly incredible!! I love them so much! My first full day here I felt like a chauffeur, just driving my companion around to our district meeting and then to appointments. I am the senior companion so I am the designated driver, but she knows the area so, yeah a chauffer! That's ok! Thanks to my GPS and my awesome direction skills (seriously my talent has come in handy) we have gotten places pretty well! Although I totally accidently drove outside my area... into a different town this week, OOPS! haha

So Wednesday night we didn't have any appointments and I was tired of living out of my suitcase so we decided to go home around 7:15ish so I could un-pack, get settled, so then I could get to work. Well, we drove past the church on our way home. I pretty much just told my companion nope we are going to the church; I need to meet the Bishop! So we went in and what is going on in the gym? It was our youth playing Just Dance (from a projector) for mutual! What do we do? JOIN IN! Great way to know the ward, right?  We were a little hesitant at first (ok I really wanted to join in), but the leaders were totally cool with it. SO I TOTALLY GOT TO KNOW THE YOUTH THROUGH JUST DANCE and they let us join in on the gift exchange :) I got a hula skirt :) You can never get tired of new skirts on a mission, right?! I will not wear that proselyting... I did meet the Bishop that night, which was great!

I have met so many members here it's good, but hard! My usually talent of remembering names has kind of gone out the window. It will just take time!

Saturday was pretty awesome! Sister L got permission to see me!! Yes! From Wyoming!!!! Ok, week made!! It was so fun to be with her and Hermana S again! Old times :) GREAT TIMES :) Hermana S and I ended up going on an impromptu exchange, it was awesome!! Then we just kept the exchange going till that night! SWEET!!! Seriously Saturday was such an amazing day!! Best day in Longmont so far, maybe because it felt like I was in Wyoming?!  Haha but seriously it was so amazing! Hermana and I taught a dinner message in English (we were in her area and she is Spanish speaking). So nothing really changed from when we were companions! We hadn't taught together in 3 months, and wow it was great! I felt like we were companions again, so awesome.

On Sunday nothing says welcome to the ward like being asked to say the opening prayer in Sacrament Meeting!!!! It was the first time I have ever had to pray in Sacrament Meeting, it's kind of nerve wracking!! But it's all good!!! There is a lot of work to be done in this ward. There are pretty much no progressing investigators and so we set some ridiculously high goals this week, and it will happen!! I want to see miracles here so badly!! This ward has a lot of potential; it will be good! I will learn to love tracting, so that's a plus right?! Last night after dinner I was like, we have to go to this house because it looks like a family lives there? So I turned the car around and went, were they interested, no. That's ok! I will do anything to find a family here in COLORADO!!!!!!! Starting over isn't fun, but that's ok! I can do it with help from the Lord!!! I came across 2 Nephi 4:19-21 today in my studies, SO GREAT!!!!!

Well, have a MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone!!!!!! Don't' forget to share the love that our Savior has for YOU with someone else you love! That is the best thing we can do this Christmas season!! It is going to be great!! Heavenly Father loves you and wants everyone to know that He loves them! You can help them know that!! SHARE THE GOSPEL, and help the missionaries out by sharing the gospel :) haha have a great season!!!

Love,
Sister Kelly Smith

P.S.  Sister Smith got to skype with her family on Christmas Day.  Boy, was that a highly anticipated event and so happy for all of us!  It was great to see her happy face and hear her bear such strong testimony of the restored Church of Jesus Christ and to hear how much she loves being a missionary!  We love this girl!!!!!!

Heartbreak in Wyoming, and the start of an adventure in Colorado...

Written:   12/17/13

OH MY GOODNESS, hardest week of MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I GOT TRASNFERRED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

I AM SO SAD!!!!!!!!! I spent more time in that little town, in Wyoming, in the best ward ever -- longer than I did in my home ward. Yup, it's true and I'm so sad that I had to leave!!

I am now in a town in Colorado, in the southern half of the mission. There is no snow here, it looks like it could be fall or something!  I live on a farm... with members... and 3 horses... I miss my ghetto apartment in Wyoming that didn't have any outlets in the bathroom or the heater wouldn't work sometimes, but this will be good, or so I have to tell myself!  Most return missionaries do not tell you how hard getting transferred is!! AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH I think I went one day without crying this week.
                                                                       This is the view out of my window every morning

President called me on Friday night (the night before we find out about transfers). He asked me if I would be a Sister Training Leader (basically a zone leader over sister missionaries). I said yes. Then he asked if I could do it in another place other than the town I was in. Commence Sister Smith in tears but still said ok. I have to be strong for the other sisters, but am glad that I have this opportunity to serve! I get to go on exchanges with them (which means exchanges with Hermana S - one of my old companions)!!! I get to deal with any issues that come up with the sisters, and go to Mission Leadership Council, STOKED!!!!! Ok, I'm kind of nervous, but I'm excited! It will be different in this zone, but this is where Heavenly Father wants me to be.

Saturday I found out that my companion and I BOTH would be transferred. ARE YOU KIDDING???!!! I was swept into this ward, and now I am swept out!! That means even more craziness because our records need to be really good and the new missionaries are going in completely blind to all the people we are teaching, so hopefully they get the hang of it! I just can't tell you how sad I am! Usually I don't cry that much but I was so sad, kind of crazy and I felt like a wimp, but at the same time I didn't care!!!

On Sunday we taught 10 lessons (oh, we taught the most lessons I have ever taught in a week: 26, and we had a goal of 30). But 10 in one day was pretty good! We said goodbye to so many people! Church was so hard because I got to sit next to amazing people and man, it is HARD!!! I am so grateful for the chance I had to serve in one of the best places in the mission (but I guess every area can be the best depending on your outlook). I felt so loved by so many members -- a lot of them were sad to see us leave. Said goodbye to some amazing young women, recent converts P and D!

Monday = a day FULL OF PACKING and saying goodbye to more people!! Oh my gosh SO HARD!!! I said goodbye to 3 of the people Heavenly Father let me teach through the Spirit! AAAHHHH I cried so hard, and I'm about to cry right now just thinking about it. Said goodbye to the awesome H family! Liz, good luck on your mission you will be great!!! Thanks for making me feel so loved!! Got to see one of our converts really quickly! Haha he wore a BYU sweatshirt just for me, ok for reals it is Yale, but since the first time I met him I will always bug him about the Y! Then the hardest part of ALL!!!! Going to the L's where C and C were there too! Ok, just put an amazing family and two amazing recent converts that Heavenly Father truly blessed me with, was SO HARD!!!! I cried! DANG I am a hot mess this week!! Dinner was complete with BACON of course, and laughs and tears! I love teaching the Plan of Salvation and obviously I used visuals... because that is how I like to teach! Oh did I fail to mention we had one last Nerf War, well we did! I love you all so much!!! Priesthood blessings are real, love them, embrace them, ask for them! They are a good comfort, and just plain amazing!!

AAAHHHHH this is so hard!!! I just want to cry thinking about it! Well, all I can say is living on a farm will be an adventure. Living with members will be an adventure, living in Colorado will be an adventure. Being a Sister Training Leader & senior companion with a sister who has already been in this area for 3 months will be an adventure. Loving this ward will be an adventure, but through Christ all things are possible! Proverbs 3:5-6. Heavenly Father knows what He is doing with our lives, even if I don't understand them. I have never wanted to go home more than this past week, but that ain't happening! I will love this new area, through Christ!
<--- This is my new room, set up with my Wyoming Christmas tree (I cut the top off of our tree that we had in Wyoming and brought it with me).

Love,
Sister Kelly Smith

Happy Note: I saw Sister K today!!!! Sister K (a friend from college) HAS ARRIVED IN THE FORT COLLINS MISSION!!! She isn't in my zone, though, that's ok! I am so glad that I got to see her.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Mater the Red Nosed Tow Truck, and Possibly My Last Week in This Wonderful Town



This week was INCREDIBLE!! I have so much to write that I don't even know how I will fit it all!!! As most of you might be aware, or might not be, transfers are this week. Meaning I find out on Saturday where I will be for Christmas, and where I will be for the next 7 weeks of my life. This next transfer is a long one (they are usually for six weeks). I know I always get worried about transfers, but come on, I’ve been here for 7 months of my life. To let you know what that is like, I have spent more time in this ward on my mission than I have in my home ward in California..That's crazy right?! YES IT IS!! I have come to love this ward and these people in WYOMING more than I ever thought I even could! I have been reminiscing a lot recently and I remember back 7 months ago when President Toombs pulled me into his office and told me that I would be going to Wyoming. I thought my life was a joke and that I wouldn't really like it. The beginning of my mission was rough, but guess what?! I LOVE IT HERE WITH ALL MY HEART!!! My ward is THE BEST!!! The people here are so genuine and love the gospel, and they have a desire to share it! I have seen so many missionary miracles with ward members this past week, it has been great!!!! So even though my heart is breaking, I will try to sound positive and excited (because I really am about certain things), just the overall leaving part has me pretty shaken up!!

This week we saw many miracles of people's hearts being softened, becoming more open to hearing about the gospel and wanting to change. Seeing these miracles is a testimony to me that hearts are changing, the church is true, and that I am doing my job!!

We had a lesson with our Spanish investigator. This was the first lesson we had WITHOUT any other Spanish speaking people. so with my limited Spanish and with the Spirit, we had one of the most powerful lessons I have ever had with her!! We watched Finding Faith in Christ in Spanish (with English subtitles) and WOW holy cow it was GREAT!!! Honestly I love Spanish, and I just get to bear simple testimony and in broken Spanish...but I LOVED IT!! She said she feels her faith growing when we meet with her, ok SWEET!! We are doing our job!!

We had a good lesson this week with an investigator on the Plan of Salvation! Oh, I will try to send a picture next week of the awesome Plan of Salvation outline I learned this week. IT IS SO COOL in my opinion!! Then we went to the Relief Society Progressive Dinner in my ward. OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS AMAZING!!! There were some non-members there, but the most powerful thing for me was that my testimony of MY Savior increased so much!! I cannot describe to you how much it grew! I felt the Spirit, and it was perfect! I love the sisters in my ward -- they are so nice, and their testimonies strengthen mine! Sometimes you need to help your own testimony grow so you can help others with theirs!! After the dinner a few of us missionaries got together at the Institute building to practice our song that we would be singing for zone conference. We sang If The Savior Stood Beside Me. Ok, just picture me crying again!! My emotions have been SO CLOSE TO THE SURFACE this past week it's ridiculous, and not like me.

Friday was kind of a packed day. Since we are covering two wards, it was a huge accomplishment to have a day where we only taught lessons in our secondary ward! It was awesome!! We got to go to the Stake Center to look at the Nativity event being held there. GREAT MISSIONARY OPPORTUNITY!!! There was a room with pictures depicting the life of Christ. WOW, the Spirit was so strong in that room, I LOVED IT!! I love being able to relax for a bit, but still be a missionary, and let my testimony grow!! After a lesson with a member who just needed support, us four sisters in this town practiced our songs for the Nativity the next day.

On Saturday, we went down to Colorado for an all mission conference.  It was the first time since the opening of the Ft. Collins Mission that we all got together! It was so cool! The best part, Elder Craig C. Christensen (from the Presidency of the Seventy) came to speak to us! Elder Rhoades (the Area Seventy here was in attendance too).   I was taught spiritually and it was amazing!! We had a Q&A time with President Brown, President Christensen, and Elder Rhoades, it was wonderful.  We rushed home and made it back in time to sing at the stake center for the Nativity event. It was kind of crazy, but we were safe and we made it! haha the conference was so good!!!!!!! I love meeting General Authorities.   We were given a homework assignment to write a one page summary of our understanding of the Plan of Salvation. It was so cool to read and study and write out what I know about it! I basically just testified. I'm out of practice when it comes to homework... Dinner with the L family that night WAS INCREIDBLE!! I haven't laughed that hard in a LONG time! I laughed so hard I cried!  Missionaries: remember to laugh! I don't think I have laughed enough this past week! Missionary work is fun, and I need to remind myself of that more!!

Sunday: AMAZING DAY!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE going to church! I love going to church in a ward where it truly feels like a ward family! I love going to feel the Spirit and to take the Sacrament!! The Christmas Devotional was INCREDIBLE, right?!! If you haven't seen it, spend an hour of your time and watch it! A live Mormon message is what I would call Elder Russell M. Nelson's talk... which was SO GOOD!!! I got to watch it sitting next to a Christmas tree, with an investigator, and with a family I love! Life can't get better than that!!! I got a priesthood blessing that night and sound advice from a very knowledgeable man. Oh my goodness, I didn't even realize how much I have been hurting this transfer, and especially this week. I am so sad to leave this place. I figure I am leaving since I have been here since I started my mission (except the MTC). I have grown to love these people and I feel like my time in running out. So I was a little stressed, and priesthood blessings always help me out! They are great! I rely on them so much!!

Monday: P-Day! I took a while to just write in my journal. It was good. We had a lesson with some recent converts. I LOVE THEM! Ok, the little boy is HILARIOUS!! The Word of Wisdom has now turned into the World of Wisdom with a revolution complete with captivity. haha He is 10 years old and just mixed up some of the words-- it was so cute and funny!!

I learned so much about my Savior this week and His Atonement for ME!! I am excited to start applying it to my EVERYDAY life!! At zone conference, we got to watch 17 Miracles. For some reason I brought my journal to zone conference... I am a missionary nerd and took notes/impressions during the movie! I wasn't the normal missionary who just relaxed to enjoy the movie. I gained so much insight, and the music and movie is SO POWERFUL!   Later that day, we had a lesson with an investigator, who now says she is willing to come to church with us! WHAT? Heart softening. I have seen so many miracles this week it's CRAZY!! This woman was not even interested in meeting with us originally, but due to impressions from the Spirit we went to visit her. I love being her for so long because when I moved into my apartment 6 months ago, my companion and I tracted into her. Yup, she remembered me and was willing to come to church after the holidays, PROGRESS!!!

Moral of the week: Hard times come, and your heart can break! But due to wise people in my life I have learned that heart ache is ok. That it shows I care. I love these people so much! I love my mission. I have had hard times, but everyone does! It is part of life! I love my Savior Jesus Christ and am so grateful for the Atonement! Without it, we could not do a lot of things! We couldn't live! Eternity hung in the balance when Jesus asked if there was any other way. There wasn't, and I am so grateful that He performed that Atonement for me, Sister Kelly Smith. He atoned for you as well! He LOVES us all SO MUCH! So does our Heavenly Father! I KNOW IT!!

Love you all,
Sister Kelly Smith

Quote of the week: "You know it's cold when an igloo can be warmer than your apartment!" Yeah our apartment was a little cold this week... down to -45 outside, well it was about 46 inside (so cold when you should be studying or falling asleep).

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Thanksgiving and a Christmas Tree in Wyoming

This week was a weird, but it was an incredible week! Weird in the sense that we didn't teach one lesson to an investigator, yeah, you read that correctly! I think it has been a long time since I went an entire week without teaching an investigator.

On Tuesday we taught two of our recent converts.  His mom is terrific, but her son stole the show.  He is a pro at the Plan of Salvation! It is so good to see that he still remembers it :) When he describes the veil... "It's a big drainage pipe that we all go down through before we get to earth and it erases our memories." Yeah, that works! At least he remembers it, and added his idea :) Way to go my little man!!!

THANKSGIVING. Ok, it was incredible!! I loved it so much! I got to go to my favorite two families homes and it was AMAZING!!!!! I felt like I was with family and it was the best!! We ate a fair amount of food, and everyone should try Sister L's pumpkin cheesecake, delicious!!!!!

On Friday, the AWESOME L family gave us a Christmas tree! AND IT'S REAL!!! Ok, this is a luxury item on a mission, NO JOKE!!! It's AMAZING!!!

We practiced a bit with the other sisters in town on Saturday for our Nativity musical number. We have 15 minutes to fill next Saturday night while people are walking around looking at nativities at the stake center.  :) So we chose which songs to sing, and what not.

This morning we had a MIRACLE, and I am excited to see what comes of it! Maybe nothing, but I am so hopeful.

We received a media referral today, who seems prepared to hear the gospel, so we are going to try to meet with her today.  I wrote her in my planner twice, in case she isn't home the first time we go by, because we want to contact her soon.
                                                                                                    <-----Our Tree!!!!!                                                                  The Elders have their ties back (they let us borrow them), but have a wonderful Missionary Christmas :) Thanks Cox family for your inspired idea through the first Christmas card I received this season :)





Moral: be positive, even if things go against you, remain positive! I think a lot of the morals are for me, so maybe that's why I write them out!

Love,
Sister Kelly Smith


My mom forgot to post my 6 month picture a couple of     --->
weeks ago.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Solar panel van, secret heart attack and the beautiful sky in WYOMING!!!

Well family and friends, I am still kind of shocked that I am already emailing again. Weeks can fly by it's CRAZY!!!

We met with Bishop from my main ward, and he is so great! He gave us a list of members who might need our help (those who are less-active). GAIN THE BISHOP'S TRUST!! If he trusts you, then he will trust you with those he is over!

We taught our investigator this week and it was SO AWESOME!! Her 9 year old grandson was there and MAN the children in this town are so cool!! They are so close to the Spirit it is incredible!! He prayed for the first time in his life, and I was there to hear it -- MIRACLE!! Ok, for real, being a missionary is SO AWESOME!!!! I get to see miracles every single day! But you have to look for them! I get so excited for the little things that are big steps for people! Hearing a 9 year old boy pray for the first time is SO COOL!!!

We had a meeting in Fort Collins on Friday, SO FUN!! I love the trainers meeting :) I have gone every single transfer I have been out and it's great!! I hope I get to go next transfer too :)

On Sunday I witnessed the best thing ever:  Someone I taught, who was baptized a few weeks ago, received the Aaronic priesthood.  This is what it is all about.  People making covenants and receiving blessings, and then going on to help other people :) I love being a missionary!

I LOVE MY LIFE!! Even though it is really cold here sometimes, I still LOVE THIS TOWN SO MUCH!! This ward has become my family, and I couldn't have asked for anything better! It is not a joke where Heavenly Father sends you on your mission.  He knows what He is doing! It took me a while to know that this is where I am meant to be... like I had to be in the field to figure that out!! I love this work!

Moral: Find miracles in the small things, it will bless your life :)

Oh and someone heart attacked us this week and it was INCREDIBLE!! We still have NO idea who did it! I love the scriptures that are on the hearts and uplifting quotes! Thank you to whoever loves us that much to spend time cutting hearts and putting them in our apartment, THANK YOU!!!

Love,
Sister Kelly Smith

This holiday season invite someone to hear the first missionary discussion, DO IT!! It will bless your life; it will help your testimony grow stronger!!!




Solar panel van, NO JOKE!!!!!!!!!    -------->



Sunday, November 24, 2013

Two Wards, One Town, and a Fasting MIRACLE, can you believe it?!



This week has been a CRAZY WEEK, but I LOVED IT!! I found out about 15 minutes after emailing home last week that my companion and I would not only cover the family ward that I have been serving in for 6 months, but also another ward in town!! AAAAAHHHHH I was SO EXCITED!!! I thought my companion would like a fresh start, so this is it! We are swept in to a new ward, and we get to serve in my favorite ward! BEST OF BOTH WORLDS!!


<--What you can do with studying the scriptures everyday!! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my scriptures! This is only one page. THE SCRIPTURES ARE MEANT FOR US TODAY, and can totally help with teaching, like how to teach!!


Tuesday: Found out I will get to cover two wards, and it was a super exciting thing but that means starting over. It brings me back to six months ago when I first got here and my companion and I were swept in. So I went back to the knowledge of what we needed to do, and what I have learned since being out: contact the Bishop and the Ward Mission Leader. Sweet!  Let the work and fun begin!!


Wednesday: We had dinner with a man who is less-active and his wife who is actively involved with the Church. It was so powerful!  This brother reminds me a lot of one of my Grandpas. I think it would be awesome if my Grandpa (who recently passed away) was sitting and listening in to the lessons we teach him!  My companion asked him if he would come to church on Sunday and I was so proud of her for asking him that!

Thursday: We had a lesson with another investigator, and it went SO WELL!! It was interesting to teach with another set of sisters, but that's ok! This wonderful woman said she would be baptized once she knew it was true, and SHE FELT THE SPIRIT AND RECOGNIZED IT!!! I think it is hard for people to recognize the Holy Ghost in their lives (I mean I even struggle with that). Well, she said she felt all tingly! THE HOLY GHOST!!! That night we met our new ward mission leader, oh man, I am so excited to work with him!! He had a vision for his ward and we get to help out.  I LOVE IT!!!! It will take a lot of help from the members but it is definitely possible!!

Friday: Six months!  I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend my six month mark! We went out to lunch with the woman who was the first baptism I ever had here in Wyoming! She is truly amazing and we had a GREAT experience at lunch! I love her, and talking to her is AMAZING!! Everyone should be friends with her, because she is just that cool and nice! Well when we got the bill... there was note inside instead. A member somewhere in the restaurant paid for our meal, and wrote us a note bearing her testimony to us and thanking us for our service as sister missionaries! It was amazing!! The lady who wrote it was a convert herself and her family! It was so nice!! Then I got to meet with another recent convert that night at my favorite family’s house!  I seriously could not think of a better way to spend my day.

Saturday: We did service at the Stake Center in the morning. We helped a mom find her son. Her son goes to church (he is 7) with a member but she isn't. She came to the clothing drive and he got lost so we helped her out!

Sunday: We had two dinners since we are covering two wards, one from each. It was hard, but so good!!! We had a lesson with another investigator, which went well, and man, she is GOLDEN!!!!  Our first dinner was awesome because the six girls in that family sang to us, and it was SO CUTE and BEAUTIFUL!! Then we had our second dinner. We asked our second dinner if they would invite someone to dinner; they did!!! Guess what? A FAMILY!! The same mom (and her three sons) that we helped find her son the day before!! The coolest thing is that the youngest son received a Book of Mormon from missionaries at a park this summer.  Want to know something cool? I am pretty sure that I was that missionary at a booth in a park this summer that gave this little boy a Book of Mormon, which he started to read. Well we asked him if he would pray about it to know it's true, his response: “I already know it's true!!!”  AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH That day we fasted to find a family... this could be that family!! Fasting works, let me tell you!! I know it does! I have a testimony that it works!! Oh in church with our new ward the Bishop had us get up in the middle of Sacrament Meeting and bear our testimonies, OK welcome to the ward! haha It was great! I love bearing my testimony, but over the pulpit is a little harder, but still great!!

Monday: P-DAY!! NERF WAR!!! I LOVED IT!!! SO AMAZING!!!!!!!!! P-Days are so amazing to relax for a few hours out of the week! [This picture shows our set-up before the game began.]  But teaching is THE BEST THING EVER!!! I want to teach all the time, and I really think we can find a family this transfer!!

Love you all,
Sister Kelly Smith

Moral of the week: fasting works!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Baptisms, Transfers, Fresh Starts In WYOMING!!!!

Well... transfer calls came in... I'M STILL HERE!!! Like no joke, for real, this is my 5th transfer in this area, my first area! It's so awesome!! Seven+ months in one ward, I'm down!! Haha I love this town, so I'm excited! It will kind of be like starting over though, because our investigators got BAPTIZED!!! So now we are pretty much only down to one progressing investigator!! NOOOOO

With a new transfer can come a fresh start! I am still with my same companion, so I will finish out the training program with her! Fresh start: how about finding a WHOLE FAMILY that has been prepared by the Lord and is just waiting for the Gospel of Jesus Christ?! I think, yes!!! Through prayers and faith it can happen!!!

I really only want to talk about Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. the other days were great but these just trump all!!

Friday: P got BAPTIZED!!! It was so amazing!! There were so many people there to support her that we had to bring in extra chairs! I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. Ok, I would SO much rather teach than give a talk, but I was honored that I was asked to give a talk! I love P so much and man, her baptism was incredible!!!

Saturday: A missionary’s dream come true!! Who gets to go to 3 convert baptisms and then one 8 year old baptism in one day?!!! WE DID!! It was so amazing!! I love baptisms and to be able to go to 5 baptisms in one weekend was INCREDIBLE!!! Can every weekend just be like that?! Let's just have baptisms EVERY WEEKEND!!!! Members: get to work on inviting your friends to church, baptisms, to read the Book of Mormon, and to hear the missionary discussions! The Hastening of the Work is real!! Your friends are waiting, today is your day, so get out inviting, get on your way!!! (That was a bad
way of trying to re-do Dr. Suess' quote to fit missionary work.) Saturday evening we went to Little B's baptism, and he is one of the cutest 8 year old boys ever! I love him, and he is a good shot when it comes to Nerf Wars! Saturday night we went to have dinner with our less-active who is pretty much active now. He made us steak! Ok, seriously the steak was like as big as my plate! Needless to say I had lunch for the next day, as well.  The steak was amazing though! It had been marinating for like a week, dang it was so good!! After dinner, news of our transfers came.... I'M STAYING!!! I had been so nervous and freaking out the entire transfer! I just felt like a time bomb ready to leave... aaahhhhh, but I get to stay, 5 transfers baby! BRING IT!!! I love this town so much!! Now, I get to experience pretty much every season in this town… crazy, right?!

Sunday: We told people we were staying together this transfer and they were so excited, some were shocked, which it is shocking! I mean I have already been here for 6 months!! The Relief Society President asked us and we told her, and she was so happy she said that it was an answer to prayer! Aaahhhh OK, I feel loved in this ward -- it's incredible! Primary Program in church = AMAZING!!!! I felt the Spirit so strongly in Sacrament Meeting! I love being a missionary!

Missionary life can be difficult, but seriously I feel so loved it's crazy!!! I. Love. Missionary work! I am so excited to find a family this transfer! Through prayers and faith it can happen! Heavenly Father wants everyone to be baptized, so help Him out! Find those people!!

Love you all,
Sister Kelly Smith

<----This is my planner for this transfer! Just something fun to change every transfer! Well, Julie, Nikaela, I love you and you will be with me everywhere I go (since this planner is always with me -- if it isn't, I get kind of worried)! Who knew I would become a planner?! 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Things You Can Learn in Wyoming!

This week might have been the hardest and best week of my mission.

I did one of the hardest things you do on a mission. I dropped an investigator. We planned on teaching a lesson but just ended up talking and asking him what he wanted to get out of us meeting with him. It turned out he just liked the company.   Well, through the Spirit I realized that he needed to be dropped. So, when he decides he truly wants to learn about the gospel and pray, he can call us.  It was so hard, but sometimes it is necessary.

On Halloween we had district meeting and three of the sisters here in Laramie (one from each companionship, actually) wore granny shirts! We all matched, like literally the fabric was the same, but different styles-- it was so fun! I loved dressing up, even though it was in a missionary approved manner!

Sister L, in our ward, sends us text messages almost every morning with inspirational thoughts.  Friday morning she sent “James 1:5-6. ‘Prayer is the provider of spiritual strength, the passport to peace, miracles are wrought through prayer’ - Thomas S. Monson. Have a miracle of a day Sisters!" I read that and then started crying.  It was exactly what I needed to hear. Heavenly Father will work through other people to bless our lives. As missionaries, we get to be that answer to prayers and that blessing, but we are people too, and I needed that so much that day.  Support from members is huge! I was able to talk to Sister L for a bit and received a priesthood blessing from her husband that morning. It was so key and huge a miracle! I love the L family more than I can say.  On my mission I have learned a couple of important things.  1) Rely on Priesthood blessings and the counsel you receive in them (write down what you remember was said afterwards).  2) Rely on your mission leaders. I was able to talk to one of my Sister Training Leaders (equivalent to a zone leader, but a sister) for a couple of hours and it felt so great! She is amazing and I love her so much! You grow to love people easily and quickly on a mission, I have realized.

We went to dinner at a Spanish investigator’s house... the weirdest thing I have ever eaten on my mission is now Cow Stomach, yes Cow Stomach AAAHHHHH it tasted ok, it was in a spicy broth type thing, but the texture, WOW! It was like a wet sponge in my mouth, weird and not my favorite thing in the world...

This week we had another baptism, someone we have been teaching, actually I’ve been with him for all the missionary discussions. It was kind of a crazy morning trying to get last minute things done, filling the font and what not, but it was great! I got to give a talk on the Holy Ghost, and because of my stress filled week it was really just my testimony on the Holy Ghost. The next day, on Sunday, this brother was confirmed in Sacrament Meeting.  Then during the meeting he got up and bore his testimony.  That’s a missionary's dream right there! I just think it is so cool that you get to be a part of someone’s life, share your testimony with them, they gain their own and then let everyone else know about it! AMAZING!

I got to meet Rulon Gardner, the 2000 Olympic Gold Medalist for Wrestling (I think maybe weight lifting) but still an Olympic medalist!! CRAZY COOL!!!

 On Monday we got to spend the day  being edified by the Spirit through the teachings of a GENERAL AUTHORITY, and it was fantastic!  I got to shake Elder Gay’s hand and he promised us amazing blessings in this area, in our missionary work. I am stoked! It will be hard, but oh so worth it! I love this work.

Well transfer calls come in this Saturday and my time here in this town is limited I know that.  Whether my time here will be for another few weeks or only until next week the Lord knows, and I am in His hands!

Missionary work is so hard, but it is so worth it! I have never felt so happy or stretched (spiritually, emotionally, physically), but it is amazing! I love baptisms and I am stoked for another one this weekend; they are all special, but this one will be particularly sweet!

I love you all,
Sister Kelly Smith

 In the words of Bishop Livingston: "Waapa!!"  He says it a lot, and now we have it in action!!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Roadtrip and Exchanges in Wyoming

I love Wyoming; that is something that I have come to know! I thought this place was the wilderness when I first got here 5+ months ago, but now, NOT AT ALL!! I love this town with all my heart! The people here are INCREDIBLE!!

Tuesday: We got to go to mission prep class, and it was so fun! One of my friends here is getting her mission call TOMORROW (most likely) and I seriously hope she gets called to California, to my home mission! haha It would just be so fun! I love teaching mission prep, or helping out with the lesson.

Wednesday: Crazy AWESOME day! My companion and I taught 6 lessons that day! This is a HUGE accomplishment for us! We had a lesson with an investigator and we finally taught as companions! I gave her a huge hug afterward because I was so excited! It went way better than I expected! I’m proud of her for stepping it up, and letting the Spirit teach through her! Our investigator didn't read the Book of Mormon since we last met with him, so I was devastated, and I let him know, too.  We need to be devastated and show it when someone doesn't read the Book of Mormon; it is the KEYSTONE TO OUR RELIGION! Later that evening, we got to go to mutual, and it was so fun! A 12 yr. old and a 17 yr. old taught me some things and then I taught them things. We role-played together and it was fun!

Thursday: EXCHANGES with Sister C! She is SO COOL!! I had so much fun, and I learned a lot from her! We got to go to the L family's and I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! I think I mention Sister L in every email, because she has made that much of an impact on my life!  We had an opportunity to hear a woman pray in Russian, and it was so beautifu!  I have gained a new appreciation for languages on my mission: Spanish, French, Russian, German, and most importantly the language of the Holy Ghost. That is the universal language! I have no idea what our investigator was sayin, but I felt the Spirit

Friday: We did a fair amount of service, which I love to do!

Saturday: Trip to the small town in our ward boundaries. It was so fun to go on a roadtrip! We were able to contact a less-active family, and teach them a lesson.

Moral of the week: The Holy Ghost is the one that teaches! Invite your friends to activities, to hear the missionaries, to read the Book of Mormon! The Holy Ghost will help you as you open your mouth. Doctrine and Covenants 84:85. I really like Alma 32:21 right now, it’s such a powerful scripture.  I still get kind of shocked that people don't read the Book of Mormon. It is so important and vital to our success in life. We need it to feel the Holy Ghost more in our life. I have loved studying it on my mission, it's incredible!!!

The Holy Ghost is REAL, Heavenly Father LOVES YOU!! So do I :)

Love,
Sister Kelly Smith

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Three Miracles, Just Serve, all in Wyoming!

The cold weather makes it that much harder to go out and work. Luckily it has been sunny the past few days, and that helps a BUNCH!! I am used to being able to sleep in, watch a movie and drink some nice hot chocolate and sit by a nice smelling fire in bad weather. NOPE, not on a mission and guess what, that's OK, because you get to be a part of MIRACLES!!!! If you don't have much time, read the moral of the week, that's the key part to this letter this week :)  But if you don't read about my days you might not hear about the MIRACLES!

Tuesday: We had dinner with the Relief Society President and her husband, and guess where? The local high school for a fundraiser dinner. They bought our dinner, and it was so fun to be in a high school with lockers, and not a campus-style high school like the ones in California! It was fun to switch up the dinner routine :) We got to help someone move at night and then we shared a message with them, because that's what we love to do. Help people and invite them to do things that will bring them closer to our Savior Jesus Christ, and recognize His hand in their lives!

Wednesday: We got to go to Mutual and help out with the YOUNG WOMEN. I loved it! We got to role play with them inviting someone to church or giving them a Book of Mormon, it was cool! This week they are going to bring a friend and practice teaching them a gospel principle. Missionary work is starting to catch on fire in this ward!

Thursday: Awesome district meeting! I love district meetings and the insight that we can receive. I got to do the recitation on My Missionary Commission by Elder Bruce R. McConkie. It is a great thing to memorize (and we do for our mission). We got to visit one of our investigators again, with the Spanish speaking elders. It was so good to be in her home and to hear Spanish. Yes, I have missed Spanish! I understand it and loved just hearing it and knowing what was going on for the most part. It was such a busy day.  Then we taught two more of our investigators and had great lessons with both of them.

Friday: We got to do service for 4 hours, cleaning someone's house and it was really fun!

Saturday: Three Miracles in ONE day!!! We went to go pick up the sisters here on bike (they were headed to our Just Serve project, so might as well pick them up). On our way to their apartment, we got a call from a teen investigator who comes to church every week but who doesn’t take the missionary discussions due to her parent’s wishes.  I haven’t talked with her since July.  She called to tell us she has permission for us to teach her --- MIRACLE!

At our Just Serve project I saw a non-member that I helped move in months ago, and it was good to see her. She invited us over for dinner this week. Miracle number two!!

That night we went over to celebrate another investigator’s birthday. Well her mom had a present for her daughter to open last... what was it?  Cards: "Announcing A Baptism." THAT'S RIGHT!!!  She is getting baptized!   I started crying, and her mom was like, “This present was more for Sister Smith.”  Thank you!!! haha I loved it! I love the relationships I've been able to build here! I am seriously so excited!  Miracle three.

Sunday: We went to three Sacrament Meetings and it was cool! We got to teach in Primary sharing time for a bit which was super fun!  We were able to teach five lessons that day and that is a huge accomplishment for us.

Monday: P-day!! P-days are so relaxing. I carved a pumpkin; it was fun!


Moral of the week: Weather the storms of life. This can be taken literally. If you are going to a mission that gets cold, or really hot, and you just want to stay inside, I completely understand! I've been there. But when you work, miracles occur, and Heavenly Father lets you be a part of them, and it is the COOLEST THING EVER!! Weather the storms of life, emotionally, spiritually -- you can do this. Some great advice I received from someone very dear to me: "Stay true to who you are without letting other personalities affect you.  Somehow, try to see if you can figure out how to become the eye of the storm where all is peaceful as the hurricane rages around you.  It takes Christ being at the center with you, as you already know.  But when things got so crazy for me, I tried to visualize being that eye of the storm and depending more on Christ to see me through.  Because, in my heart I knew, that if I could pull that off, I'd feel better and so would everyone else.  Unfortunately I wasn't successful at that much of the time, but I was at least some of the time.  And every time I didn't let someone's personality get under my skin, life was so much better all the way around." Second piece of advice from someone I hold dear to my heart: "Missions can be tough at times and they can test and try you but I know that if you keep strong & always have the Spirit with you (sometimes that is hard when you're down or things aren't going your way...and that's when the importance of prayer comes into the picture), you will always come away with something learned or a stronger testimony of something or a closer relationship with your Heavenly Father or...whatever the case may be, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.  So cliche but it's true.  Listening.  Really listening for answers, comfort, love... Listen for answers to prayers.  Listen for an “I love you” from our Father.  You never know how answers will come, a song, a kind word, a scripture, a beautiful Wyoming sunset ;), a hug... but we have to truly listen.  The Savior is our strength and we need to trust Him with all our heart.  Is that an answer?  I think so."

There are so many different personalities on a mission. You talk to people from all walks of life and it is cool! I talk to people I don't EVER think I would talk to at home. There are so many trials that you might never think would happen. Like a loved one passing away, or someone rejecting the gospel (ok that one you might assume will happen) but there are many different aspects, like getting sick, etc. The pain we feel can be emotional, physical, or spiritual -- the key is that we rely on the Savior for strength. I am definitely still working on that, but through time, prayer, study, and faith it will come, I know it! 

Monday, October 21, 2013

Interviews! Meetings! A General Authority in Wyoming!

Week of meetings and interviews. I love meetings, but who knew as a missionary we would have lots of meetings?! I didn't!

On Thursday we had a Zone Meeting, and interviews with President Brown! This interview went so much better than my last one :) Then on Friday we got  to go to Fort Collins for a trainers meeting! All the trainers and greenies get to go to this meeting.  There is one for the first transfer you are being trained, and then the second transfer you are being trained! Well... I have been able to go to this meeting every transfer of my mission thus far. Since I have either been trained or training! haha It was a great meeting.  I drove the zone leaders’ truck (which holds 6 people) down to Coloardo. Yup, 6 sisters all crammed into a truck; it was awesome!




Beautiful Wyoming in the fall!! I love this town so much! It went form summer to winter to fall to winter!! It can't make up its mind on what season to be! haha But this is fall, and it's GORGEOUS!!!
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Our lesson with P went really well. I will be so excited if she is able to be baptized!
Lesson with A was fun! I love teaching her and her family! They are active, and it is so nice to just go in and teach a spiritual uplifting message, that can help them out! After the lesson, Sister D, my companion and I went upstairs and sang some primary songs! Because of that we sang a musical number at A's baptism!

On Saturday I got to go on exchange with Sister H!! It was so fun, but we both were sick, so it wasn't as good as it could have been! We met with a former investigator who is willing to have us come back :) this sweet old lady was hugging her Book of Mormon and told us she knew it was TRUE!!  I love this elderly lady!

Saturday night was the Adult Session of Stake Conference! I LOVE the Adult session of stake conferences!! They are usually my favorites... if you can have a favorite session! Well, the Presiding Bishop, Bishop Stevenson was there, his wife, and President and Sister Brown. It was an AMAZING meeting! To be a few rows in front of a General Authority was so cool!! I loved it!! I got to hear one of my friends, H, speak too which was super awesome!!

Sunday morning we got to go to the Youth Session of Stake Conference! Yes, the YOUTH session! I got to hear from Bishop Stevenson AGAIN! And my mission president! It was a different perspective than the adult session.  Then we got to talk to people for a bit. Then we went to the General Session of Stake Conference. I sat by Sister L, and it was incredible! Sister L has changed my life so much!! I owe her so much, it's crazy! She has blessed my life, and I don't know where I would be without her! She makes sure that I am doing well, and sends us uplifting texts :) General Session went well. Afterward we got to witness our less-active D (not so less-active anymore) receive the Melchezidek Priesthood. THAT'S AWESOME!!!! Got to speak at A's baptism and it was really good. I love speaking at baptisms! Although this one was a bit harder because I was not feeling well at all! I prayed beforehand that I would just be able to make it through. This head cold has been so bad, but I made it and it went well! I received a priesthood blessing and I know the power of the priesthood is REAL! I feel so much better than I did. It is a result of prayers and the priesthood and faith! Then we got to go Grandma’s for Sunday night singing... well a recent convert T, told me his conversion story while we were there, SO COOL!! I love hearing conversion stories!!!!

On Monday we had a fun Pday, even though it SNOWED another 4 inches!! Well, I am glad I have boots now!! We were able to teach three lessons on a Pday, which is super awesome!!

Have an awesome week. Moral: keep working hard, even when you don't feel good. Pray, rely on prayer! I am trying more to do that! 2 Nephi 22:2. This scripture is a really powerful one to me right now! I am trying to rely on my Savior for strength! Let me know if you have any tips or ideas on how to do this :)

Love,
Sister Kelly Smith


I have been out for 5 months!!! Yes I am wearing blue tights.... they are fleece lined and SO WARM! Well, warmer than normal tights... and there is a pumpkin, because it is October, for Halloween! haha 
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Sunday, October 13, 2013

Snow and Bacon in Wyoming

Ok, so I think the rest of my emails should just always mention bacon in them, from now on! haha

My new companion and I got off to a busy first day together, teaching a lesson to a new investigator, having a great dinner with a family in our ward who had invited someone to dinner so we could teach again.  AWESOME!  I love member missionary work, it’s the best kind!  We also got to teach someone who has not been coming to church as much and that went well too.  I think back to my first few weeks in the field and boy, they were nothing like this past week we had! I am glad that she has this opportunity to just jump in!

On Thursday we learned that we switched district this transfer, so I am back in my first district when I got to Laramie, for my first two transfers! Well... we are the only set of sisters in this district.  That is a first for me to be the only set of sisters, but it's fun!

The thing I wish I had done more of before my mission: learn more hymns on the piano!!! I have played the piano so much on my mission! For district meetings, trainers meetings... yeah, if you know the piano and are going on a mission, learn more hymns --  it will help you out!

We had a lesson planned at the L’s house Thursday night… well my companion was in for a BIG SURPRISE!  The L's and I planned this Monday night -- Nerf attack with the L's boys.  And what was I going to do?  Just walk in their door?  For real,  they said I could!  So we pull up to the L's house and say a prayer (we try to always pray before lessons) and then I grab my bag from the backseat, and load my Nerf gun.  The look on Sister G's face was PRICELESS! I'm sure she thought I was crazy, I mean I do have my fun moments! haha  So I said, “Let's go!” Nerf gun loaded and ready and I walked in! The L boy's ATTACKED!!  Man they were so ready, and they were good!! It was so much fun!  Welcome to Wyoming Sister G, and welcome to being companions with Sister Smith! We have fun, and work!  And sometimes we blend the two together!

Thursday it finally felt like Fall!! Orange leaves, crisp windy air!  But Friday morning we woke up to 6 inches of SNOW!!  I am NOT joking!! 6 inches!! My life is kind of a joke sometimes... really!  It was only Fall for a day!! Well, guess who didn't have snow boots yet? Guess who has never driven in the snow before? Guess who loves the summer and is not ready for winter? Me!!   Guess what? Friday was a great day, even with snow! I drove in the snow for the first time in my life. My companion and I are still alive!  Went to a lesson at Sister H's, and Sister H found out I didn't have snow boots yet, so she gave me one of her extra pair! She told me, “You get blessed for helping missionaries out; I am just greedy for blessings!”  haha It was funny! But I'm so grateful!

Also on Thursday, we had a lesson with an investigator, and she said that prophets must be on the earth today, it just makes sense! WHAT?! OK, guess what you can watch in your home tomorrow and Sunday? General Conference and you can listen to the true and living prophet on the earth today!!   Later, I received a text from the eight year old who we have been teaching and is getting baptized; she wants me to speak at her baptism.  It melted my heart! I am excited too! I felt so loved!

Saturday: I was looking forward to this day for a long time! GENERAL CONFERENCE!! We went to the Stake Center to watch the first session, then to the L family’s for the second session!  Our investigator was there and so was the sister who just got baptized recently.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE General Conference! Wasn't Elder Bednar's talk amazing?!  I was getting things that weren't even related to tithing, but still blessings in our lives! I got so excited when I heard that Elder Holland would be speaking that session!! It felt so wonderful to just be in a home, with a family, watching General Conference! The way I am used to it! And love it!

On Sunday, two sisters in our zone made us cinnamon rolls!  The General Conference tradition of homemade cinnamon rolls for the Sunday morning session of Conference CONTINUED, on my MISSION!!!! It was wonderful!   We watched part of the second session at Grandma's house and that was so nice! I love Grandma and am so glad I got to meet this sweet elderly lady! Then we had a lesson with our eight year old student, I love that girl so much!   Her mom gave us cinnamon rolls too!! I guess a lot of people have that Conference tradition.

On Monday we had a good P-Day. We had dinner at our stake president's house, because it is a new transfer, and guess who shows up too? President Brown, our mission president!  Well, that was a surprise! And then once dinner ended we had to rush out to our lesson! I did get to chat briefly with President Brown on our way out of the house, but we needed to go teach a lesson, and he was definitely understanding of that!

Well today is Tuesday, and most of the snow has melted, and it is back to looking like Fall! It's about 60 degrees and I am wearing a short sleeved shirt! I think Wyoming is getting to me; it has already touched my heart forever!

I LOVE WYOMING!!!!

Love,
Sister Kelly Smith

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Heartbreak in Wyoming

Super, super hard week emotionally, but all is in Heavenly Father's hands.  Being sick, and finding out about transfers was hard!

We have been really busy teaching and meeting with people this week, although Friday it seemed many people weren’t home when we stopped by.   But we went to a movie night that we invited our youth to. 17 Miracles is an amazing movie! Two of the youth that came brought non member friends! I think we will just plan our own youth movie night; The Testaments is pretty awesome!!  .

Our last district meeting of the transfer was on Thursday; it has been an awesome transfer with my district!

DREADED, DREADED Saturday, the day we find out about transfers. We went to a baptism in the morning, and I was talking to one of the other sisters. She said she knew that one sister got a call from one of the AP's saying she was training. OK, so I figured I wasn't training a new sister and neither would Hermana, We didn't get a call from the AP's.  This is good, we thought we would both be staying... or both be leaving :( Well we worked hard that day, got to watch the General Relief Society Broadcast. After the broadcast we went over to the L family for dinner, pizza with bacon on top! haha. Bacon is ALWAYS served when we are there! Sister L made us chocolate covered bacon! It is just a huge joke between us! Well it was about 8pm when we left their house, and we started to head to Grandma's house to hear where we would go for transfers.  The zone leaders send out a voice mail, but we still get together. Well, we saw that the voice mail was already out, so Hermana and I decided to listen to it in the car... I pulled over, still in the L's neighborhood. and SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENED!!!!  The zone leaders said who was leaving our zone... Hermana, WHAT?!!! Are you kidding me?! She was only here one transfer. Both of us burst into tears!!! I was so sad. Then they said who was coming to our zone: "We have a new sister coming to our zone, and Sister Smith will be training her." ARE YOU SERIOUS?! haha I love training, but seriously, Hermana was leaving me! We were crying so hard! So we decided to go back to the L's and tell them. When they opened the door and saw our faces Bishop L thought we were joking, nope! We just sat and cried with their family. They were so sad to see Hermana leave! I get to be here for at least 1/3 of my mission, and she was only here for 6 weeks! It was really hard to sympathize with her, because she was leaving her first area, and I have never left my first area! I am so sad.  I did some praying after I found out I would be training again, and had some great personal studies! My heart is broken, but life goes on! I loved serving with Hermana, and miss her tons! She is in a Spanish area now, with a Spanish speaking companion which is so good for her! I'm really glad she gets to use more Spanish! She taught me so much; it was such a fast 6 weeks with her!

I am so glad that I am still in the same ward! It is crazy to think that I will be here for 1/3 of my mission, 6 months!! THAT'S AWESOME!! There hasn't been a sister that has stayed longer than three transfers in this town in a long time! I would love to be able to stay here for 7.5 months or more, but as I was talking to one of the AP's, he said Pres. Brown doesn't want people to stay in areas longer than 6 months, so this is it for me in this ward. I am so sad! But it's my chance to WORK SUPER HARD and MAKE IT THE BEST TRANSFER EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Monday, we went out to lunch with Bishop and Sister L. It was so nice to hang out with them. It was P-day and man I love that family SO, SO, SO MUCH!! We made them bacon cupcakes, part of our joke :) We delivered them that night, and BAM, NERF WAR WITH THEM!!! It was so fun and was a great last night with Hermana!

On Tuesday, I went down to Colorado to pick up my new greenie! So fun to see friends again, and sad to leave Hermana! Well, it's a new adventure and I'm excited! I wore the same fake fur coat from last time I trained, and when I came in, one of the other new missionaries was like “You two are made for each other!”  OK, that's good!  One of the AP's told me before I met Sister G, that she was funny! Alright, I'm ok with having a funny companion, I am definitely OK with that!! haha Let the fun times and training begin!

Moral: be prepared for anything in life. You are in Heavenly Father's hands! He will take care of you, even when it is hard! Trials are part of our eternal progression and salvation!

Love you all,                                   
Sister Kelly Smith

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Baptism in Wyoming

AWESOME, AWESOME WEEK IN MY MISSION!!!!!

We taught many lessons to people who are either investigating the church or are less active and considering coming back to church.  We get so excited when they come to church and to the youth meetings during the week.

My companion is a fabulous teacher and she is an incredible missionary!

We got a door slammed in our faces!! I was laughing too hard when that happened! For reals, someone shut the door, and we didn't even see them! haha It was the weirdest, funniest thing!  Well I guess I am officially a missionary now, ok not really, but I feel like every missionary has to experience that.

The baptism on Saturday was incredible!!! Yup, I could say that and it would suffice!  I love, love, love baptisms!  After our young investigator was baptized he said, "That was fun!"  I gave the talk on baptism, and I told the story of the art collector and his son, and the auction.  If you have no idea what I am talking about, sorry! I will have to send that story out after I get home... it is one of my favorite stories that has great symbolism to our lives! I feel so honored to have been able to teach this wonderful mom and her son ALL the lessons!

We had an awesome lunch after the baptism, provided by the L family! Sister L is an awesome cook, and we have this running joke that I get bacon every time they feed us a meal.  Sister L made sure that there was bacon in the salad!  One time sister L just cooked us two slices of bacon to take home with us after a lesson, it was hilarious! I was laughing so hard! It's the little things on a mission that make it fun and memorable!

Sunday was the confirmation for the two who were baptized on Saturday, and it was great! The mom said that it was powerful when she was confirmed a member and received the gift of the Holy Ghost! I would be so confused without the Holy Ghost in my life! The Spirit is the one that teaches, and has blessed me so much in my life; now other people can enjoy that gift too!!! EVERYONE can enjoy that gift! Ask the missionaries, they can help you!  We can help you feel more peace and understanding in your life, but that is only possible through the knowledge we have of the Restored Gospel

I just have no clue what will happen with transfers... I find out in a matter of days. Seriously this transfer went by so fast! I am almost 1/4 of the way done with my mission, seriously?!!! TIME GOES BY SO FAST!!!

On Monday for P-Day I got my hair cut by a sister in our ward.  Let's just say I am still getting used to the fact that I have bangs!  I haven't had bangs in years, side bangs… interesting but I will get used to it :)

Challenge to ANYONE who reads this: Invite someone you know to hear the first missionary lesson! YEAH DO IT!! If you read this and are not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, go to Mormon.org and request to be taught by the missionaries! Seriously DO IT!! Even if the only reason you do it is for me, DO IT! You will bless lives when you invite, you never know what someone might say! They might say no, or yes! But you have to invite to see what happens!!

Love you all,
Sister Kelly Smith

Sunday, September 22, 2013

When It Rains, It Pours!

Many of you may know about the flooding that happened in Colorado; well here, in the part of Wyoming I am in, we just had lots of rain.  I believe all the missionaries here are safe, and those in the flood areas get to do flood relief service, which is so cool. I would love to do that! But, at the same time, I am so glad that I don't have to worry about that.

On Tuesday I found out that someone in my family passed away; that was hard.  After teaching some lessons, and attending meetings, I came home and called President Brown back (he had called just as we were going into a lesson). He said that I could talk to my family for  10 minutes, but said I needed to keep it short!!   I talked to my family and it was the best, but so hard to do! Family, I love you so much, and hearing your voices and being able to call you in September is a huge miracle/blessing! I planned on only two phone calls in the field, and on Tuesday I got and extra one. I am blessed! Seriously, such a short conversation, but I loved it!

Wednesday was zone conference. There were about 60 missionaries. President and Sister Brown came up, and it was held in my zone.  There were three zones here (there are eight in my mission).  Zones are the missionary term for “stake,” but the zones are the same as the stake boundaries. So missionaries serving in three stakes came. Sister H was here for zone conference and talking to her was awesome! I loved seeing some of the elders in my zone that live way out.  President gave some great training, but training from 9am-4pm is a long time!  We did have a nice lunch break in between. After saying goodbye to Sister H and some other friends, I came home and cried.  The news from the day before was starting to sink in, and I still don't think it has set in all the way, but then saying goodbye to a dear friend was hard too. So I cried, but receiving a priesthood blessing that night was wonderful! I love being able to hear directly from my Heavenly Father what He wants to tell me.  We taught a lesson that night to a less-active, and one of our new ward missionaries came with us. She is awesome, and I'm so excited to work with her and her husband!

On Friday, we went to the soup kitchen for the first time since being in this town, and it was so great! We made zucchini bread. We taught a lesson to the awesome seven-year-old girl at President D's house, and I love that little girl! But man she was talkative on Friday night, it was hard to get the lesson in! She is not going to get baptized this transfer, so hopefully I am here in October to see her get baptized. When we were coming out of the lesson, we saw President D (the stake president) with a gun and it was awesome! Welcome to Wyoming!

On Saturday we did four hours of service, most of it at Salvation Army, I love that place! We almost got our 10 hours of service in this week, which was great! I don't know if I have mentioned this, but I am in a pilot mission for "Just Serve." Each companionship of missionaries is supposed to get 10 hours of service in each week. It has been difficult scheduling that in, especially with teaching so many more people now. And teaching takes priority over Just Serve. We met with our new ward mission leader, actually he had us over for dinner, and it was awesome! He just moved into our ward, but has lived in this town for 20+ years, and gave us four referrals! I love the W family!! They are BYU fans, and just amazing. They are totally going to help us out with missionary work, and probably with anything we need...

On Sunday we found out that the people we have been teaching decided to get baptized next Saturday!  I am super excited for them and look forward to their special day when they make covenants with Heavenly Father.

On Monday we had to pick up the license plates for our car, so we drove down to Fort Collins mission home.  We stopped again at the temple site in Fort Collins, and the Holy Ghost was there! I can't wait for the temple to be built. I got to stand in that lot before it was dedicated, and after it was dedicated. There is a different feel after it has been dedicated! We also went shopping (P Day) and met up with some other sisters and elders in that area.  It was a great hour hanging out with them, and so worth the driving.

Moral of the week: Work hard even when you don't want to. Even when you feel sick, physically or emotionally. The Holy Ghost is there, look for it! Look for the miracles in your daily lives! Sometimes it is hard, but the Lord always has a hand in our lives! Ether 12:4, have faith and then hope, and you can make it through!

Build your foundation on our Savior Jesus Christ. He is there for you ALWAYS! I am still trying to work on that, and probably will the rest of my life.  Heavenly Father lives and loves each of us!  I KNOW THAT! I know it with all my heart, that He is truly there for us! There is a power in the Book of Mormon and I love reading it. Immerse yourself in it every day!  Don’t just scan every day, read every day.

Love you all,
Sister Kelly Smith

Sunday, September 15, 2013

MIRACLES! MIRACLES! MIRACLE Wyoming!

I have no other title than MIRACLES! Miracles are amazing!! I love being able to be a part of a miracle, and this week held MANY!!! I don't know how to describe the joy I have felt this week! Yes, pure joy!

On Tuesday, we got a voice mail, to our phone, "Hi Sister Smith, my name is B., and I am interested in joining the Mormon church. Please call me back." WHAT?! WHO GETS A CALL LIKE THAT?! MIRACLE!!!! I made a video with that voice message so I can remember that for a long time! Hermana called back, set up a time to meet with him.  Ok, how did this guy get my name? I did not street contact him, or tract into him, something is up, but still SO COOL! We asked him where he got the Book of Mormon and pamphlet. He told us he was in Colorado that weekend and went to a baptism down there. He flipped the Book of Mormon over and there was a sticky note on the back, "(Town) Missionaries, (Our number), Sister Smith & Sister" I knew EXACTLY who wrote that, SISTER S, my last companion!!!!!!!! No joke, I knew her handwriting, I mean I had seen it for the past 3 months! Sister S must have met him at the baptism in Colorado! He called us 3 days after receiving it. He read the Restoration pamphlet and said it made sense, he was already into 1 Nephi chapter 3 when we met him! We taught him the Plan of Salvation and wow it was so amazing!

Sunday.  "This is the BEST DAY EVER!" yes it truly was the best day of my mission so far.  We started out the day at 9:30 ward counsel: so amazing! We had a progress record filled out front and back and had to put more lines on the back for people that we had visited. It is really nice to show your progress, the people you are working with, and explain what you think they need, and how the ward can help! Then we went to 11:00 Sacrament Meeting. One of our new investigators showed up, and that was awesome!  Plus the back pew was filled with our investigators!

In Relief Society Sister L walked in a bit late and sat right behind us, and whispered to us, "Some of your investigators are really leaning towards Sept. 21st to be baptized." WHAT?! You can't tell me that in a meeting!!!!  The most joy I have ever felt on my mission was in that moment!  I am so excited to go to their baptism.  This picture of us (above) was taken less than an hour after getting home from church--we were SO excited!!

So that's the best day ever! To have four investigators at church, and then to find out that two people want to get baptized on the date that you set them (an inspired date) makes it AMAZING!!!!

We were able to teach a few lessons on Sunday and man, we are on FIRE!!! We taught 23 lessons in a week; most missionaries in this mission don't do that I think... I mean 20 is the goal to get to, but to pass it 2 weeks in a row! We are shooting for 25 this week!  The progress we have seen with the people in this small town is INCREDIBLE!! I figure I will be leaving in 3 weeks, SO SAD! I will be so incredibly happy to stay here for another 6 weeks, but we will see what the Lord has in store!

Icing on the Cake: SHOUT OUT TO MY AWESOME FRIEND FROM BYU WHO GOT CALLED TO THE COLORADO FORT COLLINS MISSION!!! So excited to see you in December!!

Moral of the week: miracles abound, recognize them, look for them.  It is great to be training, I LOVE IT! It is hard, but with the help of the Lord everything is possible! I hope you could feel the joy and excitement I have for missionary work, and for the opportunity to be a part of miracles!

Love,
Sister Kelly Smith
 P-Day snack:  cinnamon roll waffle...mmm good!






Flat tire in Wyoming after service project in the mountains... no cell phone reception. Missionaries got it covered! I learned/watched how to fix a flat tire :) President D came to our rescue (car full of sisters, and his wife) when he realized we weren't following anymore.






Sunday, September 8, 2013

WYOMING keeps me so busy!

This week was one of the craziest busiest weeks ever! My planner has never looked so full!  We are teaching so many people the gospel!  Many of the people we are working with are teenagers, and I love being with them.

We are still teaching P and a recent convert, D.  P and D are huge examples to me!  Both are 16, and just incredible!! The YW in this ward are amazing! I think they bring in more missionary opportunities than the rest of the ward.  The YW here are so strong!!

We are also teaching a Spanish speaking investigator, who lives a couple of miles out of town.  Mi companera taught her the first lesson in Spanish, but guess what?! I SPOKE IN SPANISH TOO!! That's right, the gift of tongues is real! Hermana S taught me how to bear my testimony in Spanish a few days before, or that morning, I forget, but I bore my testimony in Spanish! It was probably the most simple testimony I have ever given, but still it was my testimony, in a different language.

On Sunday we had the busiest day of my mission so far, I think! We taught 9 lessons, yes 9 total lessons in ONE DAY!  I have taught 5 in a week before, but to get 9 in one day was huge! We taught a total of 22 lessons this past week, the most lessons I have ever taught in a week before! The mission standard is 20 lessons/week, that includes dinner messages too. This week we had 15 scheduled lessons, not including dinners... we will get more than 20 lessons this week too and it feels great! I LOVE WYOMING!!! I will bawl my eyes out when I have to leave!

Sunday dinner was hilarious!! the couple we were having dinner with made a fire outside, in a fire pit so we could have S'more (Andies mint S'more, got to try them, delicious)! So Bro S. went to go check the fire and all of a sudden we hear their neighbor yelling at him for having a fire! The fire was in a pit in their backyard, but then the man next door got the hose out and I thought he was just spraying the fire to put it out, but in walks Bro. S. soaking!  The neighbor sprayed him with the hose!! It was so crazy! People get upset over a fire-- it wasn't even a bonfire, just in a little pit for s’mores... well we didn't have s’mores that night, but it was a CRAZY DINNER for sure! Journal worthy!

Later Sunday night, we were at Grandma’s for singing.   I got to talk to H (a 15 year old young woman and recent convert). She is so amazing! One of the highlights of my mission so far was talking to her, just me and her outside of Grandma's house for about 30 minutes!  She is just so amazing, and I love being able to help the young women and I truly love them! I love being in a ward where I can help the young women! To talk to them heart to heart is my favorite thing!  I wish I could really describe how I felt and how it was! Seriously, a highlight of my mission thus far, standing outside, on a summer night talking about the gospel and bearing testimony IS SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Yes, that many explanation marks are necessary!)

On Monday, it didn't even feel like a P-day we were so busy! My companion doesn't just have greenie fire, she has greenie inferno (as Elder R says). We have not taken an hour long lunch this whole transfer except for in Fort Collins.  Time is flying by!  We had a lesson at 7 at the Bishop L's house! SUCH A GREAT LESSON!  Our investigators are golden! Last night I felt like myself in a lesson. It is really hard to be myself, funny and spontaneous when talking about things so serious and of the soul. This gospel is a gospel of happiness, but it has been hard for me to laugh and stuff when talking about things that lead people to salvation.  Well anyway, I basically told them they would be baptized on September 21st! It was really funny how I did it, but it was definitely by the Spirit, and they are going to pray about it!   I hope they get baptized in a few weeks.   Even if I don't see them get baptized I am so glad I was able to be an instrument in the Lord's hand to be there when the Spirit taught through us! I love being able to teach by the Spirit, and plan by the Spirit! This is the Lord's work, I just get to enjoy the ride and watch miracles occur! That lesson was amazing, talking about the doctrine of Christ. Our young investigator (10 yrs old) said when he went to a baptism, he felt the Holy Ghost a lot.  It was so cute!

My companion has a passion for missionary work like no other!  We got four new investigators this week! LOVE IT! Our zone leads the mission in most new investigators for this past week.  I love this work so much! I love bearing testimony of the Atonement, and of our Savior's love for each and every one of us. I know that God, our loving Father in Heaven loves YOU! Yes, whoever reads this, YOU, as an individual.

Thanks for the love and support!

Love,
Sister Kelly Smith


Sunday, September 1, 2013

The BIGGEST miracle I have ever witnessed!

We had an amazing experience this week. Friday night, during our planning time for the next day, my companion prayed and set a goal that we would find a family of four that speaks Spanish. She even drew a picture!  On Saturday, because of the schedule we had in regards to the Fort Collins Temple groundbreaking broadcast, we only had two hours scheduled to find my companion’s family of four. Luckily we cover all of this town if it’s a Spanish speaking family, so we drove looking for Spanish-looking houses outside of our ward boundaries. Well I remembered what the stake president's wife told me about a housing complex and I decided we would go there (it's about 3:20 at the time, 40 mins left). So we get there and knock on a door; it happened to be a member so we asked if there were any Spanish speaking families in the complex. She told us about a little girl named L. We went to another area in the complex and there were two girls at a playground. We stopped and talked to them, and one of the girls’ names was L! She is 8, and so cute. We asked her if her parents spoke Spanish; they do! So we gave her a Restoration pamphlet in English, and one in Spanish (with our names and phone number on the back). She flipped one open to the picture of Jesus Christ visiting the Americas, and with children around Him.  She said, "I wish I could go back in time..." We told her that Jesus Christ will come again. "He will?!" with a huge smile on her face. We also told her that families can be together forever and she was just like “WHAT?! REALLY?!” It was so cute. We told her to give the pamphlet in Spanish to her parents. She rushed home right then! We got in the car and excitedly thought “L has a brother and we assume a mom and dad... family of 4.”

On Sunday, after Sacrament Meeting, we went to teach the 9 year old primary class. I have known about subbing in this class for about a month. We got to the classroom, and we were just situating the children when the Primary president came to the door with two girls who were visiting--one of them was L! NO JOKE! My companion and I sort of freaked out with excitement. Here was the 8 year old girl that we found yesterday in a nice dress and in the primary class that I have known we would substitute for awhile!  Here's the thing, we didn't tell her about where church was, what time we meet or anything... how did she get here? So instead of teaching the Primary lesson, we taught the first discussion about the Restoration to the primary class. To say the least, it was different than usual! Usually when we teach kids, their parents are right there telling them to listen... but we had to keep them on track and it was better than I could imagine.  The other girls in the class were saying how great and fun baptism was! When the class ended, we rushed out to our car and got a Spanish and English Book of Mormon. One for L and one for her dad. She said she was with her dad at church.  It turns out that L is in a family of 6, and they were all at church!  Two more people than we hoped for! I am so glad I know this ward because we were able to do some digging that afternoon and we found out that one of the ladies in our ward gave L's dad a Book of Mormon two years ago! 2 years ago!!! This lady’s husband invited them to church the day before, the same day we met L and gave her the pamphlets! This was a huge testimony to me that the Lord truly has a hand in everyone's lives. He is preparing people for us to find!! The area we were in when we found L isn't in our ward boundaries, and for her to show up at the building we meet in for church, at the same time we meet (3 wards meet at our building, and there are 3 buildings in this town that hold church), and to show up in the very primary class that we were subbing for: MIRACLE!!! This is the biggest miracle that I have ever been a part of! I LOVE MISSIONARY SERVICE!!! This is what it is all about!

This gospel is true! I love, love, LOVE missionary work! And it truly is work. I don't think I have ever been this exhausted in my mission, and life!!! The Savior is there for each and every one of you! He loves you so much! The Atonement is real! I have felt the power of the Atonement in my life, and especially on my mission.

Sister Kelly Smith

On P Day we climbed a mountain.  Here, my companion and I are jumping for joy!  Haha






One of the people we are teaching gave us this cute moose for a gift.