Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Brown Christmas in Colorado

Some lessons that I have learned this week... I had the chance to study ALL DAY on Saturday this past week. My companion was sick, so that meant PERSONAL STUDY TIME FOR S
ISTER SMITH FOR HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS and it was one of the BEST THINGS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!! OK, actually it wasn't the best thing ever, but it was amazing! One hour in the morning is not enough so I was really grateful for the chance to study pretty much all day. I received so much personal revelation and reinforced for me that I love studying! I kind of felt like I was studying for a final or something -- this will really prep me for college again... Studying from around 8 in the morning till 10 at night, oh, it was incredible!!! Well I wanted to share some of my insight from studying:

I was reading The Fourth Missionary. Ok, EVERY missionary should read this email, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU!!!!!!!! Granted, it is 30 pages long, and has scripture references tied to it, so enjoy!!! I LOVE IT and IT HAS CHANGED MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are some quotes from it:
"If you are not doing what the Lord would have you do, you cannot believe in yourself; you cannot believe that you are worthy to receive God's help and guidance in your life. You cannot have faith to pull down the blessings of heaven into your life."

"Redemptive change happens... only if you unconditionally surrender your will to the Lord." - This is what I am working on right now! To completely give my will, my all, my desires, EVERYTHING to the Lord! I am on His errand, and I am going to be His servant! Only He can create the servant He needs me to be, but I can't hold anything back!!!

"Turn them all over to me, give yourself to me and I will make of you a new self in my image. Give me yourself and in exchange I will give you Myself. My will, shall become your will. My heart shall become your heart." -C.S. Lewis

"In the end, your heart and your will are all that you have to give that the Lord does not already have."

"Everything that you have to give to the Lord, has its origin in Him, except one thing;  your will. He does not have your heart, nor your mind, unless you give them to Him. It is the only gift you have to offer that He does not already have. And so when you give yourself, you truly give Him everything."

"Just give it up. Surrender your will to Him. Unconditionally. withhold nothing. Turn it all over to him; all of your desires, wishes, ambitions, dreams and hopes. Be true and faithful in your head and in your heart, not just your behavior. Trust in Him. Trust Him who knows all things. Trust Him who has all power. Trust Him whose love for you is perfect. Trust Him who alone suffered, paid and atoned for your sins and for your weaknesses as well. Trust Him that He will make of you, immeasurably more than what you will ever, ever, in all eternity, make of yourself. He will create of you a masterpiece, You will create of you only a smudge. You will create an ordinary man; He will create a God."

So amazing, right?!! This is the intense, amazing, incredible talk I studied in one day (ok I finished it the next day in personal study). I have never wanted to be a better missionary than I have after reading that talk!! EVERY SINGLE MISSIONARY NEEDS TO READ IT!!!! I was told to read it before my mission... well honestly, I don't think it would have had as much meaning. If you have time to read it before your mission, do it!! If you are on your mission right now, READ IT!! It will change your life!! I PROMISE YOU AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF JESUS CHRIST that HE wants and is willing to help you!! Let Him into your life!!!

CHRISTMAS Merry Christmas, everyone!! In the morning we got to go to the stake president’s house here and have breakfast, and then have an EPIC NERF WAR!!! Almost all of the missionaries in the zone came, so it was pretty fun!! Then we went to a less-active's house and they made us cinnamon rolls and the couple were just so nice! They had stockings for us. AAHH the little things make all the difference :) After our second breakfast we went home so my companion could Skype her family. I sat in the car, and opened a Christmas present from my family and CRIED MY EYES OUT!! haha OK I didn't really cry that much but I was so moved by the testimonies written in that book. Thank you to everyone who wrote in my Christmas book -- it was one of the nicest things I have ever received! I received strength from you all!! THANK YOU!!!! I really enjoyed my time just sitting in the sun, windows rolled down reading my scriptures and pondering! It was incredible! I read Alma 7 (since someone asked me to read Alma 5 then Alma 7). Amazing chapters!! After that we went to dinner, it was so fun!!! There were a couple families there and I loved just being with a family with kids and lots of people, it was so great!!!

Then I GOT TO SKYPE MY FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE MY FAMILY SO MUCH!!!! BEST PRESENT EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you haven't met my family, well you should because they are SO COOL and LOVING and KIND and GENEROUS and I JUST LOVE THEM!! Plus, they taught me the gospel in the home so who couldn't love that?!! Afterward I got to watch Tangled. I wanted to watch Despicable Me 2 (since it came out while I was on my mission and Pres. Brown gave us a long list of qualified movies to watch and that was one that made the list)! But honestly, I am glad that I watched Tangled because it is so great! I got to sit next to a little girl on one side of me and a 4 year old boy that snuggled with me! AH so cute!!! Tangled can TOTALLY be applied to the gospel, in many ways, WATCH IT, APPLY IT, Email me and tell me how you applied it to the gospel! "Now at last I see the light...." YEAH SO COOL!! Um Rapunzel is totally a princess, a daughter of God, but doesn't completely see it until the end. EVERYONE is a CHILD OF GOD, but some people don't know that yet. HELP THEM COME TO KNOW THAT THEY HAVE A HEAVENLY FATHER THAT LOVES THEM, that they are a  DAUGHTER OR SON OF GOD!!!! Do it!!! Anyway, I had a great Christmas!!

I KNOW that my Savior Jesus Christ died for me, atoned for me and loves me! He loves you too!! I KNOW that Jesus Christ LOVES YOU!!!!!! I KNOW that Heavenly Father loves you!! Kneel in prayer to Him! He wants and is yearning to hear from you!! The Holy Ghost will comfort you.

We need to do God's will. When you are obedient to the commandments or the mission rules you can believe in yourself and therefore you can have FAITH. Faith to create and experience miracles!!! Don't' just aspire to become a great missionary, aspire to be His SERVANT!!!

Moral/challenge of the week: Obey (do what you should be doing) so you can have the confidence and then FAITH to do God's will.

Happy New Year!!!

Sister Kelly Smith

Eating chocolate covered bacon.              ------->
Everything is still better with BACON, although nothing is as good as Sister L's bacon.     

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