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!!!

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 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).

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!

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!!!

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!!!!!!!!!    -------->