Sunday, July 21, 2013

Prayers in Wyoming

I have gained a testimony of fasting, that's for sure! I fasted this past Sunday for my companion, and it worked!  I also had another cool experience. Nikaela asked me if I had felt the prayers that you have been praying for me. YES!  I know that prayer works and have felt the Spirit witness to me that the prayers of all those back at home are heard by Heavenly Father.

Yesterday was our P-day, and we gave up time to teach a lesson, and it was one of the best lessons ever!  I was so concerned about how it would go because the YW president came with us, and she is very bold. Because she came, we were able to find things out about this less-active saint that I probably would never have known. I love that lady!   After our lesson, we got in touch with our street contact from Kenya!  The one I told you about 3 weeks ago. It was so good! Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven, and we definitely saw that yesterday. Miracles!

Today, I woke up at 6am (yes 30 minutes earlier than we are asked to), to get ready for my interview with President Brown.

The new sisters in my zone are nice, and I get to go on exchanges with Sister H on Saturday! Twenty four hours with Sister H, so excited! She is awesome.

Oh, I reached my 2 month mark, is this for real?! 16 months left? The time is FLYING! Time on my mission is weird! I feel like weeks go by so slowly, some days seem forever (like the day my companion was sick this week), other times it goes by way fast.

Friday, July 12, 2013

The Highs and Lows of Wyoming

This week has been the longest, worst, amazing week of my mission.

Tuesday: I got to meet my new mission president, President Brown. He is so funny, but strict and powerful. There are going to be a lot of changes to the mission.  This was the day that I struggled with why I was here, why I was out serving a mission, and struggled with my testimony. Now, I know that the church is true, and President Murphy warned me about this moment.  I did not know what to do, because my first instinct in that situation would be to call my Mom.  So I called "Grandma". If anyone in town could help me with my testimony, it would be her. So we rode over there and an investigator was sitting in her living room, I couldn't talk about my issues in front of someone we want to join the church. Then another investigator walked in a few minutes later, ready to have a lesson.  Teaching those lessons definitely helped. I had no idea that's what I needed.

Wednesday: I got to go to service, and luckily Sister W was there. She is my best friend in the Fort Collins Mission. Truly an eternal friend, that I only met on earth 6 weeks ago.  Then I got to go to Girl's Camp (only for a few hours), and it was so good! After struggling with my testimony a little, going up to camp was exactly what I needed!  I love this gospel so much!  I LOVE GIRLS CAMP! It was so different as a missionary than when I went as a young woman or stake leader.  We were wearing missionary attire while we were up there, yeah a skirt in the dust, oh well! My companion and I stopped and talked to a different ward that doesn't have sister missionaries, and we commented on their matching outfits, they were cool shirts! Their leader complimented us too, "You guys look good, I love the badges." We just said, "thanks, we are missionaries, we have to wear them, and dress like this." IT WAS HILARIOUS! She thought we were YW who had dressed up as missionaries for a skit! That's where my heart lies, so playing a few games with them was great!

Thursday: the 4th of July! Woke up, got ready, cut studies short to head up to the park, where the entire town gathers for the Fourth of July! I wanted to drop my stuff in the other sisters' car, so we waited for them for a bit.  When they arrived I knew something was up.  My best friend in the mission had received her Visa to Brazil. Sister W was just a Visa waiter here in Wyoming, and only after 6 weeks of waiting in the field she got it (that's super fast)!  Proselyting in the park was hard, but so fun! It was hot (but 90 degrees really isn't that bad compared to the weather back home)! I placed my first Book of Mormon with someone at the park.  All the missionaries in our district (12 of us) were there and had a table out, so that was fun! Then we had district meeting, and then dinner at a members' home.

Friday: one day closer to hearing about transfers! I have literally been on edge all week!

Saturday: Today is the DAY!! Went to service, my last time with Sister W.  Today was also Sister S's birthday so I made her breakfast, and then later we went to a party at the B family! They are a super fun family that loves us, and we love them! We had breakfast for dinner, which is my personal favorite. Then we headed to Grandma's for Sister S's second party, with all the missionaries and some other friends. And the wonderful Transfer Day (where we find out what is happening in this next transfer). So at 8 pm Elder H. (a zone leader) read out what was going down with our zone. Sister W - going to Brazil (no shock there), Sister H - going to another city (WHAT?! Both my favorite sisters are leaving??!!), Elder H. - going to another part of the mission. Two new sisters are coming to our zone, and guess what? Sister S and I are still companions.  I am still on bike, and still in the same apartment.  My companion and I had the best companionship inventory we have ever had that night. We both cried -- she didn't want to stay and I was hopeful that I'd get to train a new missionary. Both of us did not see this coming... and we are together for another 6 weeks.  We will need to make the best of it!  But guess what helped? The amazing package I got from home! I love you Nikaela! I miss your voice so much.   I love that song you sent me, and I listened to it over and over that night. The package actually came Friday, but my companion and I decided not to get it until Saturday. What a tender mercy! It wouldn't have meant us much if I received it the day earlier.

Sunday: The hardest day of my mission so far... I had to say goodbye to two sisters I love. I feel like I have NO ONE to rely on, except my Savior, Jesus Christ. The one person who knows exactly how I am feeling.   I can testify to you that Jesus Christ knows us so well. He was there with me Sunday night comforting me. I did not feel alone! There are angels all around us! I know that I could not have bounced back from that as well as I did without their help!

Moral of the story: you are going to have highs and lows in your life. Literal ones (like the hills of Wyoming, the temperature of Wyoming...) and you are also going to have emotional highs and lows. I never thought a mission would be this hard. I knew being away from my mom, would be hard, to be away from my family, my support. I am not homesick, I just miss hearing your voices and words of wisdom.  I need to learn how to rely on Jesus Christ and His Atonement more so now than ever before. I know that Jesus Christ died for me, but to strengthen and deepen my testimony of the Savior is going to come. I want that connection and personal relationship. Despite my disappointment with the transfer assignments, I am so excited to stay here in this town, and help the youth out in this stake and ward. We got to teach YW on Sunday and that was great!

So many missionary miracles happened on Sunday, as well as in our ward, it was amazing to see!

Sister Kelly Smith

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Wyoming + Boots + Bike

Well, I am in Wyoming, so why not get a pair of boots?! I bought an awesome pair of boots from a thrift store, and they are real! Brand new ones are a minimum of $100 -- yeah, that is not going to happen with this missionary! So Sister W showed us a thrift store in town, and they had a few to select from. Sister W got a pair, she really wanted to get them as a souvenir. So I got a pair too, and I think I might have to wear them for my homecoming talk. Haha, Dad will you allow that?!

This week was interesting. I feel like I say that a lot! We had super high goals, and guess what? We only accomplished one of the goals. But our numbers did improve from the previous week, so that's good. But it is very frustrating to set high goals and then come almost nowhere near to accomplishing them. I have to prepare an hour-long training on goal setting and planning this week. I might have to teach it to the district (the district leader asked all of us to prepare a district meeting training, and then we don't know which one of us will actually give the training till Thursday morning during the meeting, and the stake president will be pressure). I have so many ways I want to improve my goal setting, and then actually planning on how to accomplish them. I think we fell short this week because we didn't plan out as well as we could have, and we didn't have the drive as much throughout the week. My companion was also not feeling well on Saturday, so we stayed in the apartment all day. If I have to be the companion that just sits with the sick missionaries, I will do it, if the Lord wants to me to. I just really like talking to people, so being with one person all day and having almost no interaction with other people is hard! Being at home, in "the world" would have been easier, there are more things to do than missionary approved activities! Although I could have watched The District again if I had wanted to.

Cool experiences from this week:

1. My bike pedal fell off yesterday, twice! The first time I just screwed it back on, while on the side of the road. That lasted for a while, but I needed a wrench. The second time it fell off, we had just finished dinner at a members home, so I asked him to fix it for me, and now it is solidly in! Although it might be warped, but I hope my bike lasts at least for my mission, I like it! I don't want it to fall apart!

2. My companion and I were headed home for lunch after an appointment and instead of crossing the road (to get to the right side to bike on) we decided to walk a block or two to get to the stop light, and then cross the street. Well we were walking with our bikes down the street and passed a guy. We stop and say hi. We had seen him before when biking a few days earlier. We gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet (usually we would give The Restoration, that's the first lesson, POS is second), and he said he would be interested in coming to church! He is from Kenya and is AWESOME! But he didn't come to church. Hopefully we will see him again! He was my first street contact, actually sharing about the gospel, not just handing something out! MTC training paying off!

3. GIRLS CAMP TOMORROW: it is official, we get to go for a few hours! SO AMAING!

4. I realized that this stake needs youth activities. They have hardly any! I am so excited to help out with this, and hopefully I get to stay in Wyoming next transfer.

5. TRANSFERS ARE THIS WEEK! What?! I've been in Wyoming for over a month? I am almost done with my first transfer in the field?! Time goes by way fast!

Things to know: Set goals, and then make plans to accomplish them. Put your trust in the Lord, and pray. Angels are with us! I have felt an angel in the room before (last week), and could recognize her -- it was an amazing experience!

I love you all! Thanks for the continued support through letters, prayers, and gifts/pictures!

Love you lots! Oh I get to meet my new mission president in half an hour, AAAHHHH so excited!

Sister Kelly Smith

Don't worry -- this was P-day, that's why I am in, um, "normal clothes." 
Normal clothes to me now is a skirt/dress and shirt. Jeans = abnormal!