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).

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