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 :)

Sister Kelly Smith