Saturday, September 20, 2014

COLORADO Baby Bunny Miracle!

16 months on my mission...can't believe I have only two months left!
So this week was a bit crazy. Ok I guess every week so far in my mission has been crazy... but this transfer is weird! Remember last week where I said Sister J left... well she's back. We are in a trio again, still biking. It was cool to see President make her own decisions. She choose to come back even though her health isn't great for biking but she wanted to give it more of a chance.

We had an INCREDIBLE lesson with the A's this week. I finally had a lesson with Bro. A after 3+ months here! It was one of the hardest lessons I have ever had with a less active, I think. I was almost in tears and was ready to full-on cry after the lesson. We read 3 Nephi 17 with them and Bro. A read most of the chapter in Spanish which was fantastic! The Spirit was SO STRONG when he was reading. I know the Book of Mormon is true! The Spirit is the same in all languages. We started talking about faith, and it was so sad to me to hear from him that he doesn't have much faith. It was heart breaking. I testified to him that I KNOW that Jesus Christ is always there for us. It was a very special lesson to me because I was able to think back on a time on my mission when it was hard and a specific time when I felt Jesus Christ there for me. I know that He will ALWAYS be there. We just need to look for him and continue to DO THINGS that will increase our faith. It won't just come, but we have to ACT. If we contribute nothing, we will receive nothing in return. I know that as we strive to increase our faith, it will come! Heavenly Father wants us to know Him and to come close to our Savior. Faith changes lives. Let it change yours!

Look at this super cute baby bunny!
We had a lesson with Captain scheduled for 7:00 one night at the H's. We got there at 7 and Bro. H told us that Captain couldn't come till 7:30 and that we could go to his neighbor's house and talk about genealogy. Ok! so we tracted a neighbor, not interested, then went to the neighbor that he suggested. He didn't answer the door, so we keep walking and all of a sudden there was a BABY BUNNY right THERE!!! Ok, so there are bunnies ALL over Colorado and Wyoming. So seeing one so close was fantastic! Then my companion and I decided to catch it, since it is pretty much impossible for anyone to catch them, but this was a baby one so it should be easier. WE CAUGHT IT!!! Thinking about it later, that bunny probably had LOTS of diseases... not safe. After we were done holding it and took a few pictures, we needed to wash our hands. We walked a bit to see if one member was home, didn't see her car, so then we thought of a few other members we could go to, then it came to us... why not go to the K's? The part member family I love! We had invited them to see Elder Cook at stake conference and that was the last time we talked to them, since we didn't see them at stake conference and were really bummed :( So this was a great excuse to go visit them. We washed our hands and we just were talking to Bro. K about how he is going elk hunting this weekend and then all of a sudden he said "Thank yiou so much for inviting me to see Elder Cook. I went." AAAAAAHHHHHHH

Someone gave us a cake, so we biked it over to some of the people we teach.
Just picture Sister S's heart swell with joy and put on a calm face (not to freak him out but still excited look). I was STUNNED!!! ARE YOU FOR REALS? YOU CAME TO CHURCH?! This was after I heard that we should back off a little from inviting him to church things because his wife doesn't appreciate it (it can cause tension in the family) but by following the Spirit with invitations EVERYTHING WILL WORK OUT!!!!! I WAS SO PUMPED after we invited him, then so sad that he didn't come, but Heavenly Father knew that I needed to hear from HIM that he came! It was FANTASTIC!!!! I might have been bursting out of my seams if I saw him at church in front of MANY people, so this was perfect! He went on to tell us that he came by himself. His wife stayed home with the kids because one of them needed to rest after being in the hospital a few nights before for testing. WHAT?! To have the courage and drive to do that, the Spirit is totally softening your heart and you are REALIZING IT!!!! Just wait, it gets better....

BROTHER K TOLD US THAT HE HAS BEEN TO GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!! I was so excited. He told us that he loves President Hinckley! "I don't care what religion you are, President Hinckley was a great man!" Yes, that is what he told us! AAAAHHHHHHH I just am so excited to see what happens with Brother K. He is going to get baptized, just not sure when. I love this family! Heavenly Father blessed us so much, and we aren't sick yet so I think that bunny was fine :)

R is still getting baptized, but without telling her father.... she is 18 and that's the advice her mom had for her. Her mom is going to support her and she's totally ready! I am so excited for R!

Have a fantastic week! I love you all! I know that the atonement is REAL! Jesus Christ truly is there for me and you! Seek His comfort and help.

Love you all,
Sister Kelly Smith

Saying Goodbye Again

Most Sisters in this mission have not had the number of companions that I have had. I have now had 13 companions (if you include the MTC) and I've only been out for 12 transfers. It's as if I have had a new companion each transfer, which isn't the case. New record for shortest time I have had a companion: 2.5 DAYS!

Overall, this week was CRAZINESS!!! I love how Heavenly Father blesses us with hard, trying times to help us learn and grow and then also gives us MIRACLES and tender mercies at the SAME TIME!!!

Monday: It was NOT a relaxing P-day, but that's ok! It was great to be of service to other Sisters in picking them up and taking one to the mission home. I actually really love doing behind-the-scenes type of things :) We visited a lot of people that night for Sister C to say goodbye!

Tuesday: TRANSFERS. Ok, super cool thing. As I am typing, a man is ASKING Sister C a question about the CHURCH!! IN THE LIBRARY!!!!!!!! RIGHT NOW, BEST THING EVER!!!!! He is asking about the dress of our religion leaders! OK THIS IS SO COOL I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY and how we STICK OUT because we are wearing a tag with Jesus Christ's name on it :) He even called us "Sisters" SWEET!!!! BEST BEST BEST!!!! OK, back to Tuesday. So I got my new companions and we didn't get back to our area, all three of us, til about 6:00pm. Well we had to be at the church building at 7, and it's 3 miles away. about a 20 minute ride but since my new comps had't been on bike before or it had been awhile, I wanted to give us more time. We got there in time for the RS activity! One of our investigators came. :) Then we went to the family history center with B and the story of "The 3 Sisters" came to my mind when someone mentioned us "3 sisters." So in my family history there was someone who lived in northern california and planted 3 trees in a row representing 3 sisters. I am probably ruining this story beucase it has been YEARS since I heard it. One day for a family outing we went to this spot and hiked up to the place where these 3 trees were planted. Maybe that's one reason why I have been in a few trio's because I have 2 sisters, Julie and Nikaela and I couldn't have asked for a better TRIO! That is my FAVORITE trio :) Me, Julie, and Nikaela! I can't wait to reunite with my sisters and we can be the 3 Sisters again :) Ok, we still are, but I am exicted to be with them! I am excited to be with my whole fmaily, but the story of my ancestors came to mind in the family history center which I thought was just super cool! The Spirit of Elijah?! I think yes!

Wednesday: We got a NEW INVESTIGATOR!!! Ok, for reals his name is Captain P. Cool right? He should be a doctor, but I don't think he is... haha I have known him for almost 3 months and we finally got to teach him which was GREAT! It was a crazy all-over-the-place lesson though, but I hope that it helped him. We answered a fair amount of his questions which was perfect. The environment was not the most ideal for teaching, with kids running around and people going in and out, but that's ok! It was still with a member, in his home, which was fantastic! And it was nice to teach with him, it was like we were in a quadpanionship. haha

Thursday: Found out that Sister J would be leaving us to be in a different trio in the zone :( We had fun while it lasted though! I told my comps on Tuesday about this really cool investigating family. The only thing is... they like to dress up. They are completely normal except that they like to dress up. So I l kept this whole prank a surprise and I dressed up, the "fellowshippers" dressed up, and my comps switched name tags! It was SO FUNNY!!! They were really members and so cool! I kept a straight face for most of it, and even brought out Alma 32:21, then Sister O "investigaotr" broke it to them that it was fake. TOO FUNNY! Not even time to explain this more, sorry! Probably SUPER confusing!

Friday: We stopped by Bro. Keefe's (PMF) to invite him to see.... ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK at a special stake conference. Yes, an Apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ was coming to the town I am serving in and speaking at a stake conference! Well we went by and he was SO GRATEFUL and sincere when he thanked of us for thinking of him to invite! It was fantastic! He hasn't shown too much interest but it was just a MIRACLE that he was so grateful and I just loved it. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! The Spirit touches hearts and it's the BEST THING EVER!!!!!

Saturday: I got to shake ELDER QUENTIN L. COOK's hand!!! Along with Elder Craig C. Christensen (Presidency of the 70), Elder David S. Baxter (70), and Elder Rhodes (Area authority)! Ok, that was such a cool opportunity. Wow, to have a mission conference with these inspired men was incredible! I can't believe how blessed I am. Elder Cook truly is an apostle of the Lord. I KNOW it. He has been called to be a SPECIAL WITNESS of Jesus Christ. He KNOWS our Savior's voice. He told us, and I know what he said was true! He talked a lot about how we are assigned to serve where we need to be. I know that this is true. Elder Packer said recently that he still didn't know why he was a member of the 12. We don't need to know why we are where we are, but know that God has placed you there for many reasons. He loves you and He loves His other children he has placed you near to bless their lives. Many times we will never know the impact we make as disciples of Christ. We just need to strive to be the best we can and continue to be like Jesus Christ. Elder Cook explained 2 things on average that converts remember learning from the missionaries. They usually just remember the Spirit that is felt when we come into their homes so we need to be worthy. But they also remember:

1. the First vision
2. The Plan of Salvation

SHARE THESE WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS YOU LOVE! testify to them, and the Spirit will touch their hearts! I know that the Spirit encourages people to change their lives. I know that God loves YOU. He has given us His Spirit to testify to our spirits that He loves us more than we can ever comprehend! Romans 8:16 :)

Sunday: Well because I am serving in this zone, and Elder Cook chose to come to this stake, I got to see him TWICE! He spoke a lot about the temple and how we are here to prepare for the temple. I know that there are many people prepared to hear the message of the restoration and the importance of families and how we can be BOUND to them FOREVER! He also spoke to the members and non-members there that missionaries should be teaching, so that was cool! Members = full time finders. Missionaries = full time teachers! B got to shake Elder Cook's hand, that was really cool for me to see! I love being able to see the progress of others. R came too :) I was really bummed later that day when we had a lesosn with R :( She told us she doens't think she will be getting baptized this Saturday, which broke my heart. She is still interested, but just not getting baptized this soon :( I'm so sad! I know that it is in Heavenly Father's hands and everything will go the way it is supposed to though. This could be the time she needs for us to help her get involved and loved by the other ward. Just hard to hear because I know it will bless her life so much! The gift of the Holy Ghost is REAL and POWERFUL!!

Sister C came to surprise me at my house this morning and we get to spend p-day together! YEAH!!!!

Love you all,
Sister Kelly Smith

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Three Sisters in Colorado

Summary for the week:

We got to testify in seminary and wow, it's early! OK, not really, but the hour difference is HUGE! We got to testify of Joseph Smith. Seminary is a POWERFUL place to learn. I could tell that one freshman boy was feeling the Spirit and it was the best thing to see! I love when people feel the Spirit! Heavenly Father loves us all!! District meeting--it was a powerful meeting as we looked at all the things it takes to work on BECOMING a preach my gospel missionary, to BECOME one who preaches HIS gospel. It is a powerful talk and love the power of becoming! I have the rest of my life to continue to BECOME-- I don't just have to try and cram it all in the my 18 months as a  missionary but I can start now and recognize WHO I want to become to work on the rest of my life!

On Wednesday night we got a call and a few texts from our Bishop and Bishop's wife... saying that their daughter just got home from her mission and needed a companion since they both had meetings that night and she wasn't getting released till 9:30 at night. Usually a Sister would just have her mom be her companion but since they were tied up, she came with us. Hermana H-- It reminded me of being with Hermana S, except when we taught in English she struggled with the language. When I was with Hna. S when we taught in Spanish is was harder (since it was the beginning of her mission). I LOVED being with Hna. H for a bit! We got to go visit the A family and she spoke to Brother A, who speaks very little English, and it was AWESOME!! Hna H served in Chile and loved it!  We also met with J, and Hna. H asked him a question: "J, do you love God?" J: “Uh... yeah, I guess so.” Hna. H: "Do you love God more than your bed?" haha it was great!  Maybe he will come to church soon.

We got a NEW INVESTIGATOR!! He is awesome! He is in the 70's, dating a member in Utah and knows two families in our ward. It was one of the BEST first lessons I have had in a while with an investigator! His question going into the lesson that we could address (and knew about beforehand) was "Why the Mormon religion verses other Christian denominations?" So we were able to talk to him about that and explain the priesthood and revolve the first lesson around the priesthood. I LOVE teaching with Sister C and the Spirit! All three of us were in unity, or so it felt! Before we even had met with him he had read through 1 Nephi 10, WHAT?! FOR REALS?! SWEET!!!!!

Sister C and I with temple in background....progress is being made very quickly on this temple!
I found out about transfers... I'm staying here and will be with Sister J and Sister B.   Back to bike, covering only one ward again.

We taught R about Priesthood keys and Bishops. She lives in another ward boundary so we are going to try and get her to go to the other ward, but for now she is still getting baptized on the 13th, WOOT WOOT! I also got to meet Bishop Wheeler’s (from RK3) BROTHER!! It was great to meet his family! I felt like I was home in a way.

I love this gospel! I love my life! Twelve weeks left to be a full-time missionary and twelve weeks left to prepare even more to be a missionary for LIFE!!

Love you all,
Sister Kelly Smith