Sunday, August 25, 2013

Where do I begin?! This has been the craziest, most fun, awesome, incredible week of possibly my whole mission! Ok I have only been out for 3 months, but still...

We taught a guy who speaks Mandarin; the language barrier made it kind of hard, but he gave us good pointer on how to teach people coming from his background.  We taught him when I was on an exchange with Sister H.

Our District Meeting was on Thursday which coincided with my 3 month anniversary in the mission field.  I had been asked to teach on the Area Book and Reporting Tools. WHAT?! You are giving me 2 hours (1 hour on Wed, and then another on Thurs during Personal Study) to plan this lesson? Trainings are hard because it is for the other missionaries. I think I would much rather teach members or investigators, but oh well!  The lesson went well; the Spirit truly teaches!  All of us sister missionaries wore white shirts and ties to this meeting.  It was really fun and the elders were all laughing and shaking their heads!  Love it!

On Saturday we we woke up early, got the other sisters and then headed up to our Stake Presidents house. Sister D had breakfast ready for us, because we were going to go up to the mountains to gather wood as a service project.  I love being in the mountains; being in nature is wonderful!  So we headed up for about an hour or so, got to Colorado and we loaded huge things of wood into trucks! It was SO MUCH FUN! We tossed logs to each other and staked them up in huge trucks. The elders stacked huge 8 foot logs (poles/trees) on a flat bed. We were by a lake, it was very pretty. We ate lunch up there, and then headed back down to Wyoming. On our way back we got a text from P: "I had an event today that really strengthened my testimony."  We set up a time to meet with her on Sunday so she could tell us about it.

At district meeting on Sunday I found out that I will be training a new missionary, and that I’m staying in the current ward in which I’m serving!  I am so excited!  Then I received a call from one of the assistants to the Mission President.
“Hi, I am calling on behalf of President Brown. He wants you to train this transfer.”
“Yes, I just found out!”
“Well, we have something to tell you about the sister you will be training.”
“She has been assigned to speak Spanish.  We don't have enough Spanish speaking sisters to train, and President wants you to train her. Will you commit to being obedient and to have language study with her every day?”

He continued to give me some more instructions and then we finished the call.  Wow! This training assignment just got 10 times cooler! I get to train a sister who has been assigned to our mission to speak Spanish. I have not been re-assigned to speak Spanish :( but that's ok! I get to learn Spanish for the next 6 weeks! We are going to find some Spanish speaking investigators/ families so she can teach them in Spanish!

We also found out that there will now be two districts in my town, and 16 missionaries total. Missionaries galore! SWEETNESS!

On Sunday I helped my companion pack for her transfer to Colorado.  We went to church and then met with P.  She told us her experience from the day before.  I love her so much!  She truly knows the gospel is true and was able to testify to someone about it, and she wanted to share that with us.  She is incredible!

On Monday we headed to Fort Collins and stopped at the temple lot.  The groundbreaking is this Saturday.  It’s very exciting to have a temple being built in our mission.  We continued on to the stake center where I met my greenie, in a fur coat.  Yes, I really did it;  it happened to be in one of the vehicles the Elders brought and was from Salvation Army, so I wore it when I came into the room and gave her a hug! Way to make an entrance and a good first impression right?! It was hilarious! My new companion, Hermana S, is AMAZING! She came directly from the Mexico MTC (where she learned Spanish) and then all the way to Colorado, then to Wyoming all in one day! Poor Hermana! This wonderful Hermana has never taught the lessons in English, and I will help her with that, and she can teach me some Espanol. I AM SO EXCITED! I wanted to learn Spanish for my mission, so here is my chance. I want to be able to bear my testimony in Spanish, how cool would that be?!

Well, I am excited for what this new transfer has in store! I want to see some wonderful people be baptized! I love you all, thanks for everything!!

Sister Kelly Smith

 P. S. This was my dodgeball outfit for an activity on P Day....

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The REAL Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Town in Wyoming!

So I thought the town that I live in is the creepy town with no kids from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, WRONG!!!! I have found that place and man, oh man, it was an adventure!

The adventure all began on Saturday afternoon! There are a few less-active families in a town that is about 45 minutes away from where we live, but still in our ward boundaries. Now that we have a car, we decided to head up there and visit them. Well, we get to town and it is TINY! Population: 245, but I think that it must be less! Well, we passed the small town and continued on to a dirt road, in search of a less-active family that wants to come back to the gospel. We have NO contact info for this family, except a dirt road that they live off of, and a ranch name. Well we were driving, and driving, and finally a ranch came in to view. (Keep in mind that we have already passed a No Trespassing sign or two...) We stopped at the ranch, and prayed before getting out. Saw some people and asked them about this family/ranch. The woman had never heard of them, ugh, ok! So we continued on the road in search for them. This is how important the gospel is! It blesses lives, so why not find a family that wants those blessings?! After about an hour of going down this dirt road (and my leg starting to cramp up from driving) we decide to turn back. I put the car on cruise control on a dirt road. I just wish we could have found that family!

We went back to town, and tried to find the less-actives in town! Well we knocked on a fair amount of doors, and NOT ONE person answered their door! Seriously, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang town. I did not see one child, at all!  As we were walking down one of the few streets (it might be a 4 street by 6 street town) we saw a man working in his yard, so we started talking to him, and taught him a short lesson. He is about 57, wearing short shorts and invited us to go hot-tubbing…twice!

We had another lesson with P,our investigator.  She is golden! During companionship study that morning, we were planning our lessons for the day. We decided to show her Finding Faith In Christ (FFIC) and talk about some other commandments. She has already taken most of the lessons, so we thought she would like it. We arrived at the lesson, and A is there too (an investigator for another set of missionaries that we know). We got straight in to FFIC, and it was POWERFUL! Afterwards we just got to testify; I love testifying!! P asked us, “How did you know that this is what I needed? I wanted to know about the miracles Christ performed” (that's pretty much the entire movie, by the way). She then went on to tell us an experience she had with a miralce. IT WAS AMAZING! The influence (like you said Mom) is incredible! Did we have a profound moment planning that lesson in the morning? No we didn't, it just came to mind, and it helped her! IT WAS AWESOME! Then I invited her to pray about setting a date for her baptism, and she said YES!  Aaahhh,  I got so excited! I want to be here so badly to see her get baptized! Transfers are in a few days, so I seriously hope I am still here to see her get baptized! I love her so much, she is amazing! But she is in the Lord's hands, and in His timing! Please pray that her mom's heart will be softened and she will allow P to be baptized!

I gave a talk on Sunday, and it went well! The Atonement is so real! I felt the Spirit so well during the Sacrament hymn, it was wonderful! I love the power of the Atonement, and did not fully realize what it entailed until I got out on my mission. I KNOW the Atonement is real, and that Jesus Christ performed it for each one of us individually!

I am on an exchange with Sister H right now, and it has been the BEST few hours I have had in a long time! I love that sister, and am so excited to hang out with her after our missions! She lives 30 mintues away from us, which is SO COOL!!

Oh, President and Sister Brown came up this past Thursday for Zone Training, and it was incredible! They came to Grandma's for lunch, and the other missionaries came too! They participated in the tradition at Grandma's (If you are new, you get to sing a solo). Well they started singing a duet of I Need Thee Every Hour, and let's just say it was a rough start. I turned to Sister H and said let's join them, so we did and the other missionaries joined too! President Brown had to stop, and just look down, I think that was a powerful moment for him, and for us! I loved singing with them, and the symbolism that shows is pretty cool! He will lead the way for us, but we need to step up and help him fulfill his calling. I am beginning to love President Brown! He loves us, and it shows!

I love you all! This gospel is TRUE! I love feeling the Holy Ghost in my life! The Atonement is real, and Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you!!!

Sister Kelly Smith

A tractor on the ranch we stopped at to see if the people there knew where a family we were trying to find lived. You all know that one of my favorite Disney movies is Cars… tractor tipping anyone?!!


Late post from Aug 6, 2013

Well this week was incredible!

Tuesday: Taught 5 lessons, what?! Seriously, five lessons in one day, that's a new record for us! 

Wednesday: Taught 3 lessons, so our total lessons were already up to 10 (taught some on Monday). RECORD BROKEN! The most we had before in a week was nine, so to get 10 by Wednesday = a miracle!!  

Thursday: Taught 3 more lessons, had a great dinner with a new family that just moved in. The W family is so great:  single mom with 3 children, and this is where Chitty Chitty Bang Bang comes in. They moved in and noticed that there aren't very many children out! It is so true. This town is like the town in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang where there aren't any kids out.  We have been asking members if they have neighbors with kids, so we can go teach them!

Friday:  We taught a single mom and her son at a member’s house. These members have been working with this wonderful lady and her son for quite some time. It is incredible to see members doing missionary work! We can't do it alone. These two are so prepared, it is AWESOME! I used my new visual aid "Apostasy Cups" to teach part of the lesson, and they make teaching so much easier.  But teaching by the Spirit is how we really teach! When we teach by the Spirit the words I say come so much more smoothly, it is so nice! I have really noticed that, that when you teach by the Spirit, He is the one teaching. How I say things just sounds so much better when The Spirit is there. It was a powerful lesson.

Saturday: We did service by moving things from a storage unit to a house; it was not a lot of fun, but at least it was service, and we were a huge help! We also did some service at grandma's with some other missionaries…so much fun! I got to use a power tool (thanks for showing me how to use them, Dad).

Sunday: We had one of the most powerful lessons ever!  We had 19 lessons, the mission standard of excellence is 20. We decided to visit a less active that has only recently let us into her home. So we went and she was home, and let us in so we gave her a lesson! This was our first real lesson with her, without anyone else to distract us. We were able to totally teach by the Spirit!  After listening to her and sharing our message, we sang "Abide With Me ‘Tis Eventide" to her. Aaahhh, I love music; the Spirit can be so powerful through music and it was! Later on she mentioned that she was reminded of "I Need Thee Every Hour," so we sang that one for her too, and she joined in, harmonizing!  I LOVE IT!  This lady is incredible, and wants us to come back! She is now open to having visiting teachers, when she wasn't open to that earlier. I LOVE MISSIONARY WORK!

Monday: BEST P-DAY EVER! Hiking and bouldering/climbing up huge rocks was so much fun! To be out in nature and enjoy the 8600 ft. elevation was awesome! It is kind of crazy to think that I basically live on the mountains! When I get home I will be in good shape, hopefully!

This week was full of miracles! Have faith, and enjoy! I know that this gospel is TRUE! I love feeling the Holy Ghost! I am truly blessed! Thanks for the love that I received this week! Emails and letters are so great! Good luck to anyone entering the MTC soon! Love you all family and friends! 

Love you all, good luck this week, be safe!!

Sister Kelly Smith

P.S. We pranked two sets of missionaries who were out of town for a meeting.  We set goals for them, like “become an AP” and “become the missionary your future wife (or mom) thinks you are!"

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Happiness + Wyoming = Fun Memories!

Week of 7/23/13 (this is a late post)

This week has probably been the most fun week I have had in the field.

On Wednesday our lesson with J family canceled on us, so we biked toward another less active, and decided to stop by a different one on the way. We meet with G a lot, but always standing outside, and she talks to us though her screen door. We knocked, she answered, and said “come on in!” Are you kidding me, of course we will! We only had a short time, so we set up a return appointment for the next day. Then after dinner we went to a ranch. I got to wear my boots! Sis. S and I headed out of town to go to our investigators’ ranch! Not to have a lesson, but to join the YW for mutual. I got to brush a horse, and pet one.  There were also two potential investigators at mutual, and I got to hang out with YW for a few hours, so I definitely enjoyed that!

We taught a lesson at Grandma’s home and a non-member was there and didn’t mind joining us.  He wasn't ready for a full lesson, so we set up a return appointment.  When we returned to our apartment, the sisters had hot chocolate for us, so nice of them!

On Saturday I had my exchange with Sister H and we went to our appointment with G, but no one answered the door.  We headed up to the stake center on bikes, which is the worst ride in this town, and it started to rain, no, it stormed. Our arms and legs were red afterward from being pelted from rain, hail, dirt, whatever was blowing. And the WIND was horrible!! I almost ran into Sis H going up the hill because the wind was so strong!  Sis H started singing "Come Come Ye Saints," it was so funny!  We got to stand under a less active/part member family’s garage during the rain storm, and were able to talk to them for a bit. Being in bad weather is horrible, but things came about because of it.  We had knocked on this house before, and no luck. Because Sis H and I were out in the rain and their dog ran out, we were able to talk to them.

On Sunday we had dinner at the L family’s home and it was a lot of fun.  They had invited a friend, who has already read the Book of Mormon through Alma…what a golden investigator!  Brother L told us that he thought that we (Sis. S and I) are a good fit to teach her.  Now, there’s a reason I am in this small town in Wyoming!  I am so excited to teach this woman and her son! She is so nice. I hope I stay here long enough to see her and her son get baptized!

The gospel is true! I love it so much! I LOVE WYOMING!!! Seriously  I do! I love my bike, it helps keep me in shape, even though I have bruises, and probably a scar from it.

Thanks for the prayers and support! You are all amazing!!

Sister Kelly Smith

White Surprise in Wyoming

So the weather in Wyoming is ridiculous!! Seriously it is JULY! The end of July, it should be hot right?! But seriously the weather here is crazy, ridiculous! It will rain and be stormy and then decide to be sunny and warm! I have had to wear socks to bed recently because it gets cold at night!  I was shivering yesterday, and I guess you will have to wait till the end of this email to figure out what the "white surprise" was...

On Friday night we bike up our dreaded hill, and did it super fast (we had to get there on time for dinner, since we had already missed an appointment by listening to a less active vent to us). Sister S's asthma was really bugging her, so that night I decided to talk to the zone leaders the next time I had a chance, and bring up that we needed a car for Sister S (health wise).

On Saturday, we got a text from the zone Leaders (I had not talked to them about the car yet), "Hey we have a really nice gift for you; don't leave your house till 10."   Well around 10:00  I see a white car pull up, and then Elder B and Elder M come upstairs.   WE GOT A CAR!!!!  I felt like a 16 year old, whose dad just gave her a car for her birthday! Aaahhhh, so that's our white surprise.   Anyway, we got a CAR! And it is brand new, with only 112 miles on it. It is a beautiful white Ford. Isn't that hilarious?! I drive a white Ford! Four weeks on foot, six on a bike, and now we have a car.  But what is super nice is that I have a bike, and I can use it! We are still going to bike places, but other places where we don't want to bike, we don't have to!

Later on we tried to get a hold of our appointment for that afternoon, but he never answered, so we decided to go to the institute building at about 2:25 and just wait for him to see if he showed up. Well, we pull in (with our car), and no one is in the parking lot. We got worried that the building wouldn't be open, and we don't have keys to it. However, before we even got out of the car, another car pulled up right next to us. We got out and headed to the door; it was locked. Then the girl who had just pulled in came up and asked if the door was locked, we said “yes.”  She then asked us if we knew where she could go to get a blessing. She looked like she belonged to the Young Single Adult (YSA) ward. We called the zone leaders who agreed to come immediately to the institute building. This girl said she had arrived in Wyoming only a few days before, and was having a rough time. I just asked if she needed a hug, and she eagerly agreed and was crying. Her faith in a priesthood blessing was incredible! She has so much faith that she knew some of her questions would be answered in her blessing, and they were! Faith is amazing, and it’s so crucial! This was such a huge miracle to me as a missionary. As it turned out, our appointment canceled on us... but if we hadn't been there at that time, we wouldn't have been able to help! I love miracles, I love this gospel, I love Heavenly Father!   It reminded me of, "Ask the missionaries, they can help you!" (haha) She asked us a simple question, and we were able to help, it was a great feeling.

Sunday afternoon we went to contact a referral, and decided to tract a couple houses around it. We do not like tracting, and usually don't -- we haven't had any success from it. So we went tracting and a girl about 18 opened the door, and we told her we are missionaries, and then we asked if she knows about our church, and she said “no.” So we went on to talk to her about it, and guess what?! She wants to know more!  She has many questions about really basic things like the reality of Jesus Christ, etc., so we told her we would come back, after we figured out she has a Mormon friend, a laurel in our ward!

We were able to visit so many people with the car, it was AWESOME! Sunday in ward council we found out a less active would be moving into our ward that day, so we decided to drive past the less active’s new house on our way to district meeting, and see if they actually had arrived (it was on the way). We drove down the street and a moving truck and trailer were there and a man was standing outside the house. No members were there. So we parked and got out and talked to him. Sure enough this is the person who has moved into our ward.  We were the first ones there. We talked to him, and they had literally pulled up minutes before we did! He hadn't even called a member in our ward to let them know they had gotten here yet. Members from our ward showed up a few minutes later to help them.  It was beautiful to see how the Lord loves his children and allowed us to be part of the welcome for this new family.

I love this church! I love this gospel, and the fact that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us dearly! I love it! I love General Conference talks, and am so excited to listen to our prophet in two months!

I love you all, thanks for the support!

Love,   Sister Kelly Smith