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

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