Sunday, April 27, 2014

When in Doubt, go Visit President

I'm a buffalo!
Monday: We went to the local museum and it was awesome! We were only there for an hour or so, but it was fun!

Tuesday: 11 MONTHS BABY!!!! YEAH DUDE, it's for reals I have almost served as a missionary for ONE YEAR, time is flying by, AAAHHHHH!!!!!!! We had a lesson with D, and we will probably drop her this week, SO SAD!! But she isn't progressing towards baptism. We talked about Easter, and Jesus Christ and her knowledge of the Bible is awesome, and she totally knew that Pilate knew Christ was King of the Jews and didn't want to stop him from being crucified or something like that. Well I was super bold. I was like YOU are kind of like Pilate. You know this is true, but you aren't doing anything about it. But no hard feelings, because she prayed at the end and thanked us for being there. We got to help a lady move and it was so nice! Also got to ride in the back of a truck, love it! Nothing against that in the Mission Handbook!

Wednesday: District Meeting, and I didn't give a training!

Haha it was nice! We had an awesome training and great discussion. I love being able to gain insight from the Spirit through other missionaries!

Thursday: Exchange with Hna. S! Well that was one of the most interesting exchanges I have ever been on. I didn't know what to do, and I randomly was like, "Hey let's go talk to President!" So we went up to the mission office and talked to President Brown! I love President Brown! And it was really good for me to see what he had to say to Hna. S! When in doubt, go visit President and Sister Brown! I gained insight from him on how to help this Sister which was good! Then that night we went to contact one of their referrals and guess what?! There was a guy knocking on a door in that neighborhood, and we talk to everyone so here's how it went down:
Him: "Hi!"
Me: "Hi!"
Him:  "Are you from around here?"
Me:  "No we are actually missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!"
I continued to say something about the gospel and asked if he wanted to learn more.
Him:  "Yeah!"
So that was sweet! He wasn't home though when we went by on Sunday.

Friday: My comp was sick.

Saturday: My comp was still sick, but I got to go on a SPLIT for the first time on my mission!!! Meaning I was the ONLY missionary, and I went with a Laurel in the ward, it was AWESOME!! Just me and the Laurel for this lesson with P while my comp was at home with our member! It was cool and not really that weird being without my companion since I was still with someone, and she totally taught with me and it was LEGIT!!!! Got to go to the Saturday Session of Stake Conference, it was AWESOME!! I love that session! President Brown was there and asked all of us missionaries to stand up and then he introduced all of us to the congregation, it was sweet!

Sunday: STAKE CONFERENCE on EASTER! It was a pretty good day, except for the fact that we got dropped by L, yeah the one with a baptismal date a month or so ago :( she wasn't really progressing, sad day!!

Love you all, I was totally going to share some insight from Preach My Gospel this week but out of time, sorry!!! READ IT, it will change your life!!!!! So will the Book of Mormon, that will change you life more :) If you let it...

Sister Kelly Smith

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The COLORADO Safeway Sandwich MIRACLE!!!!

Ok, only in COLORADO can a Sister Missionary, a.k.a. ME, get a SUNBURN on Friday, and then have it snow a few inches on Sunday! FOR REALS?! What is this place?! Just a place I LOVE!!!!

Monday: P-day!

Just chilling in the warm sun and writing in my journal
Tuesday: So we didn't have a dinner appointment that night, but members asked us to come by that morning to share a message with them and then they would give us money for dinner that night! (This is KEY for the rest of the story). So we went over that morning and shared a message about the Book or Mormon, then went to service! We had a lesson with one of our less-actives... it was a super sad lesson. He is just satisfied with his life and doesn't want to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true! He dropped us... he doesn't want to be happier and receive a spiritual witness that the Book of Mormon is true. Alma 32:6-8: it's ok to drop people and spend your time with those who are willing and ready to change. I cried... I also got to go home for dinner (but I didn't use my money to buy dinner), so I went running and just talked to Heavenly Father while running. Then a member texted us and it was EXACTLY what I needed, so we got to go to their house and share a message with them. I got to feel their love and it was awesome!

Wednesday: Zone Meeting. Instead of giving a training, I got to hold a council session, it was LEGIT! Overall it was a great meeting, probably one of the best since I have been in this zone! We got a text from B, one of our new investigators asking about church. I was SO EXCITED!!! She was asking if we could show her where her daughter would go (Primary) and it was just so cute, I loved it!!! L forgot about our appointment and was not feeling great so we just shared D&C 121:7-8 with her. Still a lesson, but sad that we didn't get to do what we planned :(

Thursday: Got to teach seminary, and I loved being with the youth! It was hard, though! One, my companion is not a morning person... two, we had to teach 3 Nephi 8-10 about the signs that happened before Jesus Christ came. That is not something we usually teach... so yeah that was hard! haha It was different and awesome! The youth in my ward are some of the coolest people; I miss being with the Young Women in Laramie, but I love YW everywhere! I don't think I will be able to go to Girl's Camp this year though :( SO SAD!!! Got to teach a less-active recent convert that night! He was baptized last April, but kind of dropped out of church when he moved here in July. So it was good to go over part of the first lesson again. Priesthood blessings are the BEST! DO NOT hesitate to ask for a priesthood blessing, they are seriously from our Heavenly Father who wants to help you, and communicate with you! Don't forget to communicate with Him!

Sunburn on Friday
Friday: After service my companion and I wanted to get lunch. Well she wanted to get lunch, and I had food at home before we were going to weekly plan. so she got some food and I was like ok, sweet. Let's go. Last week I had mentioned that I LOVE Safeway sandwiches. so she was like, "Do you want to go to Safeway (it was across the street)?" I was like "Eh, it's ok." Then I realized I still hadn't used my money from dinner on Tuesday, so I was like "Sure, why not?!" So we go to Safeway, I get my sandwich, and I asked if I could just pay for it right at the deli. The cashier said "Yes," then who walks by as I am paying?! OUR FORMER INVESTIGATOR WE HAVE TRIED TO GET IN CONTACT WITH!!!!!! MIRACLE!! She told us she was moving, and it was very brief, but I was like "Hi L!" and the lady with her was like "Wow, she even knows your name!" It reminds me of the quote: "You have been called to serve, which means you give and give and give. In fact, you are not happy if you are not serving others. Your assignment is to change lives and because your exposure to each passing person in life is often brief it is wise to touch them quickly and deeply." So, hopefully that brief miracle will touch both of those ladies' lives in a way that I might never know! We went home, got to be outside for a couple hours in like 77 degree weather. I GOT A SUNBURN! It was awesome in the moment, because that means I will tan, but it kind of hurt after!

Saturday: Exchange with Sister D and it was AWESOME!! We taught in unity so well, and were able to teach the Plan of Salvation to M and C! C is finally over her Mono. They said they would come to church after Easter! YES, PLEASE!!! I'm stoked! Then we got to go to the Colorado Mormon Chorale that night and it was so nice to listen to music about Christ and just sit back and enjoy the Spirit! Sad though, because none of the people we invited showed up :(

Snow on Sunday!
Sunday: CHURCH!! I love church! My companion wasn't feeling well so we didn't do much that day! And it snowed...for reals, this is crazy! It was like 28 degrees. 50 degree drop with only a day in between!!!

Monday: THIS MORNING, RIGHT BEFORE E-MAILING I FOUND OUT THAT C GOT BAPTIZED YESTERDAY!!! IT MADE MY DAY!!!! I am so glad that C made that step to draw close to our Savior, Jesus Christ!

So, Preach My Gospel is like the best thing ever! Best manual we have besides the scriptures. I love going through it from the beginning! READ IT, and let me know what you have learned! I will share a cool insight from it next week.

Sister Kelly Smith 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

COLORADO to MONTANA?! My life is a JOKE!!!!!!!!!

So I will just jump right in to the week, since, well, my world is flipping upside down!! Pretty much just read Wednesday to get right to the point, but Tuesday was a MIRACLE DAY!!!

We have the emblem upside down (Wonder Woman instead of Mighty Missionary)
Monday: Got to play some sweet volleyball!!! It felt so good to play volleyball again after a few months! And dressing up for it is always a plus :) Then I started an exchange with Hna. J which was super awesome!! We had dinner with K's family and I asked her about her friend that she gave a Book of Mormon to... he had already read the Introduction and was excited to read more, SWEETNESS!!!!!!

Tuesday: Exchange continued and just so everyone knows, miracles happen on Sister Training Leader exchanges, like I can't even describe this day, MIRACLES!!! And we were completely guided by the Spirit which was INCREDIBLE!!! My exchange sister came to my area, which was great. :) We had four lessons planned that day... only one of the planned lessons actually happened, but two other lessons came about because people canceled. Guess what?! We got a NEW INVESTIGATOR!!! She is GOLDEN!! Pure GOLD! She knows two families in Longmont who are LDS, guess what?! BOTH of those families are in my ward, like for reals and one of them, who used to be her principal years ago, just got called to be in the Bishopric two weeks ago!! MIRACLE!!! So we are super excited to continue working with her. She already has three copies of the Book of Mormon and asked us about church because she needs direction and support in her life and for her kids. LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!! She sent us a text afterward just thanking us for stopping by, so incredible! Then we tried to contact another referral that night, he wasn't' home but lived like a few houses away from D, one of our other investigators. So we were headed to the car but we could see that D's light was on, so we thought about it but I was a little hesitant because we told her we would stop by Wednesday night. But then we both were like "No, we need to go tonight!" So we did, and she told us "I love having you here and my schedule got crazy so I wouldn't have been able to meet tomorrow night." Wow, so good to follow the Spirit! Was it a direct prompting? No, but it was a good thought, so why not?! I invited her to be baptized... then she told us that she had already had a date before, and was going to but hasn't actually done it yet. She has been praying about it still and just hasn't gotten the green light yet. Ok, we can work with that! I love D, so great!

Wednesday: Well I was asked to give the training again... I give a lot of trainings for district meetings and zone meetings, oh well! This was interesting because it was also interviews with President Brown during it. So he pulls us out one by one during the district meeting. So I basically just had everyone role-play the whole time, easier for me and great practice! So this is where my world flipped upside down. I love President Brown and wow we have both come a long way since the beginning of our missions and especially since that first interview I had with him back in July. Well we started with a  prayer and he asked how I was doing, I told him and asked for help on different situations... well then he said something that made my heart drop. "Sister Smith, will you take on a special assignment?"
"Yeah, of course President Brown!"
"A member of the Seventy asked me to pray about a Sister in our mission that could head start the JustServe program in the Montana Billings Mission and help the office staff get that program running."
"Ok... (tears starting to fall down my face, and thinking ok I have heard people switch missions before but it's super rare)."
"I have prayed many times and you keep coming to mind. I know that you have a strong testimony of the JustServe program because of the testimony you shared at the last MLC and your emails about the lady you worked with up in Laramie."
"President, are you asking me to switch missions?"
"I am not asking, the Lord is asking you to. But there is a bonus, I'm sure you and your companion will be traveling around the mission. Part of their mission covers Wyoming and I know how much you love Wyoming!"
"Ok, that's true. Can you give me any idea on what I will be doing, or am I the only Sister from our mission going to the Billings Mission? When do I leave?"
"You are the only one from our mission going. But I know the Lord wants you in that mission for the next few months, for the rest of your mission. I also know that it will be hard but so rewarding. Think about how many more lives you will be able to touch. You will be leaving at the end of the transfer."
(In complete full on tears just thinking of all the amazing people I will be leaving and all the missionaries in the CFCM I have come to love) "If this is what you feel is right I will go to Montana."
"Please pray about it as well, but yes, I believe you are the one that needs to go help them with the JustServe program there."

Yeah... so that was my interview with President Brown. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????????!!!!!!!! What just happened?!! Ok, so finishing the training was difficult but luckily district meeting was almost up, commence Sister Smith BAWLING HER EYES OUT!!!!!!  Family, I get to call you at the airport in three weeks! I will email you more about that later. I never thought I would be on an airplane until November when I come home, but nope, the Lord has a different route for me right now...

Thursday: Tried to continue on with missionary work thinking of everything I have to do in the next three weeks... we had a planned lesson with a new referral from Hna. S and F, and it was a MIRACLE to get a member to come with us, she took her lunch break from work, but unfortunately D spaced and totally forgot we were coming, he was in the shower when we showed up... sad day! We will try to meet with him again soon!

Friday: Got to have one last Mission Leadership Council (MLC) in the Fort Collins Mission. The night before I got my shirt. MOST LEGIT SHIRT EVER!!! "Keep Calm and Let Kelly Handle It!" President Brown's first name is Kelly as well... so I got a picture with him wearing it, BOOM SHAKA LAKA!! BEST THING EVER!!! I am going to miss President Brown SO MUCH!! I have grown to love him and Sister Brown! Our lesson that night canceled so we knocked on an investigator's door at 8pm (that we have only met with once, weeks ago) guess what?! SHE ANSWERED!! Ok, 8pm is like the hardest time to keep working, but we had a lesson with her, MIRACLE!!! We have a return appointment. Last time we touched on the fact that we lived before we came to earth and her fiancé was NOT part of the lesson, this time she told us that he was listening and really liked that part! Well I believe he will be joining us for this next lesson, SWEETNESS!!!!!!!!

Saturday: GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!! Everyone just needs to listen to General Conference! We were able to have two unplanned lessons in-between the sessions which was INCREDIBLE!!!! Then right after we took B (a young woman) with us to see a referral, that week we had contacted her and said we could come back on Saturday after 4, so we went at 4:15 and had a lesson with her!!! MIRACLE, another new investigator!! Two new investigators in the same week, MIRACLE!!!!!! Oh, and to have a member on the first lesson is like UNHEARD OF!!! It is RARE!! Although I have been blessed with that a couple times on my mission :) A is so great and just asked us so many questions--I am excited to have a lesson with her this week. Right after that, we had another lesson with a less-active we have tried to contact many times, talked to her a couple times and just wouldn't let us in because of her husband. She called us the day before and wanted to meet the next day, DONE! So it was good, and she just needs to feel peace from the Atonement right now. Her son isnt' a member so hopefully this is a door that is opening, LOVE IT!!

Coolest tripanionship, right?! haha go President Uchtdorf
Sunday: Elder Ballard's talk, hilarious especially from a missionaries point of view! Follow-up with your friends!! Oh and please send me your insights while studying Preach My Gospel! I studied a little bit form Chapter 4 this week, and love talking about the Holy Ghost because He is the true teacher! Because of Elder Ballard's talk I started Preach My Gospel from the beginning today :) I will share my insights in each email... hopefully I will remember!

Well my friends, this week was really hard, but so great!! I have already started packing in my free time... it is harder than I ever imagined! I don't know what this new adventure in Montana will hold, but for now and for the next 7.5 months I will enjoy the..... Colorado Fort Collins Mission. Yup that's right, APRIL FOOLS!!!!! haha This is the only joke I could play.  Yeah, so I am staying in the Fort Collins Mission, but I love pranks so I wanted to do something!!!

Love you all,
Sister Kelly Smith

Sunday, April 6, 2014

COLORADO, The Land of Bugs!

This week was rather interesting, but still it was super awesome. One, because the WEATHER!!!! I FELT LIKE I WAS IN WYOMING AND IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER!!! Ok, the Toy Story clouds are coming back, the grass is green, spring is here and I AM LOVING IT! Weather seriously makes such a HUGE difference in my attitude and how I see everything! There is definitely a reason why I was sent to a sunny place with beautiful clouds :)

Monday: P-day was good, but sorry for my weekly email last week... I, um, well, I'm not super creative in a limited time, so if I do that again I will work on it a little bit more. Got to teach an awesome dinner message with a new book that I made (ok I didn't create the idea, but I worked on it last week while my companion was sick)! This family reminded me a LOT of my family! Just joking around the table not really doing the classic boring questions that people ask when missionaries come over. They were literally themselves, which was awesome! Then I broke down. I was in so much physical and emotional pain that I knew I needed a priesthood blessing. That past weekend was super hard for me because it was the most pain I had been in in months! Priesthood blessings are always the cure :)

My Miracle Wall
Tuesday: Tuesday was weird, but we got to go to an awesome Relief society activity!!! We put things in a bag, and then the Relief Society sisters guess who's bag it is... well I put one of my Nerf guns, my Tow Mater ornament, and heart post-its. My companion called me out though... I don't know if anyone in the ward would have gotten that it's me, because the only family in the ward that knows I like Nerf wasn’t’ there :) but it was really fun, I got to explain the things in my bag. 1. I love Nerf! 2. I am kind of obsessed with Cars, and Tow Mater is my favorite :) One lady was like "You brought a Tow Mater ornament on your mission?" me: "No, a boy gave it to me while I was on my mission!!" Bodie, and Jamen, I MISS YOU!!! 3. Post-its, I have a miracle wall and I love post-its!! It was super fun to just be myself and let others see that!!!

Wednesday: We had an INCREDIBLE district meeting where my testimony of my Savior grew so much! We finally brought a member to our lesson with L... well L was still at her doctor's appointment. So we didn't' get to have that lesson. We had a lesson with C instead. Wow, that was an interesting lesson! A new ward missionary came with us and it was PERFECT! We were pretty much companions, it was AWESOME!! Well, C is a tough one. He has been a member for 63 years and has NEVER prayed to know if the Book of Mormon is true. For reals?!! So we worked on that, but it is hard to help someone understand that they NEED to simply just pray to know if it is true. But he doesn't want to, so we will work on that desire. He knows that the Book of Mormon is Another Testament of Jesus Christ, so that's a plus. We went to go pick up my book that I gave a Young Woman and she has been wanting to give a Book of Mormon to one of her friends, but has been really nervous and just didn't really know how. Well I gave her this book (Green Eggs and Ham, but missionary style) the day before. So we go to her house to pick it up and what does she tell me?! That she is going to give the Book of Mormon to her friend TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!! I about screamed! Her friend knew she was going to give it to her, so she had too, it was THE BEST!!! K is one of my favorite people in this town right now! We bonded over this experience she had this week!!

Chocolate Waffles
Thursday: got to have a "lesson" with T (our new investigator that we get to have TOMORROW since she will be moving in to my area TOMORROW)!!!!! She is excited to listen to the Prophet, this weekend! So cute, love T already! We also got to have a lesson with S and J, but not only was it a lesson but I made chocolate waffles for them! This lesson was a miracle, because it is hard to get lessons with them and our dinner happened to cancel on us. Well, that was truly a miracle in disguise because J texted us at 5:00, and was like “can you come at 5:30?” “Sure we can, because we have an open night!!!” It was a good lesson, and good to just spend time with them! It is always important to develop relationships with people! Miracle afterward too... my companion has had a hard time loving this area, and she turned to me in the car. "I think I love them." AAAAHHHH huge miracle!!!
 It felt so awesome to not have a dinner break! We just kept working and I LOVED IT!!! Oh I got some LEGIT music this week. 1980's EFY music is the BEST!! I loved reminiscing and dancing to the old stuff that I used to listen to on road trips and such, THE BEST!!! If you don't know what old EFY is, go listen to it! "Friends Stick Together" So funny!! And super great!!

Friday: We got to do service at the YMCA! OK THIS WAS A MIRACLE AND I FELT LIKE I WAS IN HEAVEN! So I decided to wear my hair in braids (that was the first step) 2, I was wearing a Wyoming sweatshirt. 3. The clouds looked like Toy Story clouds, bright blue sky, windy and it reminded me of June in Wyoming, so that was awesome. 3. We get to the YMCA and what are we doing? Organizing their summer camp trailer thing, like the EXACT SAME THING as the one I got to use at my old job!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH I was super excited!! Even though I didn't get to organize, I weeded instead, just being around camp equipment, being outside, and enjoying the weather was a MIRACLE and the BEST THING EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WAS STOKED OUT OF MY MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't wait to go back to being a summer camp counselor!!! I have thought about EFY, but hey I could probably do more missionary work if I went back to working at SPARKS!! I just loved this service project SO MUCH!! Everyone was like “Wow you have a lot of energy and really love this!”  haha It was funny because a missionary was like “yeah I can see you being a camp counselor!” THANK YOU!!! IT's THE BEST THING EVER!!!!!!!!!!! Ok, missionary work is the best thing ever, but summer camp counselor comes second, but it's still amazing!!!! I got to go on an exchange with Sister C that day. We took an adventure finding invitations to the General Women's Broadcast for the next day, it was fun!

I'm driving a Jeep!!
Saturday: during study time I asked Sister C why they got new mattresses recently. She said THEY HAD BED BUGS!!!!!!!!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME??!! How many times have I slept on these mattresses because of exchanges?... Why have I been getting bites in the middle of the night?... Oh probably because of BED BUGS!!! That saying "Goodnight, don't let the bed bugs bite." yeah it's REAL!!!!! So I think I might have bed bugs now... we will see. AAAAHHHHH The exchange was good! I got to drive their Jeep, it was fun!! As we were driving to our dinner we drove past the church building. We saw five teenage boys smoking on the church property. So what did I do? Turned the car around, parked at the church, said a prayer, got out and instead of just asking them to leave church property I did what missionaries do, PREACH THE GOSPEL!! "Hi! do you know what this building is? It's a church building. Will you come to church with us tomorrow at 1pm? We teach about Jesus Christ and how the same church that He set up when he was on the earth is on the earth again today. We would love to see you there!" The boys slowly left and it was super funny! They thought I was weird, but I was thinking about how the gospel is a gospel of change. When people hear the truth, they want to change. These boys wanted to change, they left the place they were sitting and started smoking/playing basketball across the street! I loved doing just what we are asked to do, share the gospel! That conversation was DEFINITELY guided by the Spirit becasue I didn't know what I was going to say beforehand! I ended the exchange by watching the General Women's Broadcast at the Stake Center. OH MY GOODNESS it was the best MEETING EVER! For reals, everyone needs to watch it, especially if you are 8 yrs old or older! I was crying throughout it because the Spirit was so strong and speaking directly to me! BEST!!!!! Go listen to it my friends! baby!!!

Sunday: BIGGEST MIRACLE I HAVE SEEN HERE IN THIS WARD! L CAME TO CHURCH!!! Like no joke, after almost 3 months of working with her, she came to CHURCH!!!! So I was sitting on a pew talking with a member in our ward and all of a sudden L walked in, and my reaction was just so impulsive and filled with JOY. I imagined that this is what it will be like to see my family after the mission or what the Spirit World will be like. I literally was just like "L!" and got up and gave her a hug -- seriously amazing!!! HUGE, HUGE, HUGE MIRACLE!!!
Ended up having a lesson with a less-active and he gave me a CD of church music, he is so great! Then when we got in the car after the lesson we looked at our phone and a couple said that they were on their way to visit the same person we just finished visiting! So funny, but really good for him to have that support! Oh we were driving down a street yesterday and I saw four VW Bugs on the same street! There are a lot of bugs here in Colorado... real and vehicle wise!

Have a fabulous week! Don't forget to listen to General Conference! It is one of the best weekends of my life!! Ok, at least the best weekend in the first 6 months of the year!! The Savior lives! He loves you all so much!! Heavenly Father loves you!

Sister Kelly Smith