Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Many prayers for Sarah right now! I love you and know that the Lord is watching over you. As well as many angels that are round about you.

Lots to update on! On Saturday, President called to tell us that Sister Call was being transferred. Yeah we were a wreck the past couple days.. but we are doing a little better. Aside from that, we had a great week and saw miracles.

We are still teaching Karaissa and her familia. As well as Michelle (her neighbor) and they are AWESOME. They are all still super interested. The girls especially are super excited. They loove mutual and the young women in the ward, it's great. We are teaching Amelia who will be baptized on the 24th!! Her family has been less active but are now coming back and she is excited to be taught! Also, Megan is amazing and we had an incredible lesson with her last night. Sister Homewood came with us and the Spirit was super strong. I was filled with our Savior's love for her so strongly. We followed up on her praying about the Church and she said she received her answer!!!!!!! She described it as "calming". I seriously just wanted to cry when she told us this and we invited her to be baptized and she said yes!! She is going to prepare for January 11th :) love her soo much!

Also, we had our mission Christmas party in Manhattan this past week and it was a blast. To start out, we watched a really powerful movie on Christ and it really strengthened my testimony and helped me to remember why I am even out here on a mission. It helped me to remember the Atonement and how it applies to each and every one of our brothers and sisters no matter what they are going through. After that we had a testimony meeting and it was incredibleee. Then we played charades and had a grand ole time and ate yummy food. Oh and we wore ugly Christmas sweaters so it was great. 

I was super nervous for the holidays coming out on a mish but it has been great! I love being a missionary sooo much and wouldn't trade this for anything. I am grateful for this time of year to remember our Savior and the emphasis on serving and loving.

Merry almost Christmas!! I love you all.

Sister Smartt

PS joke of the week:
While Sister Call and I are bawling our eyes out, she managed to blubber this joke out
"You can't just tear apart Sister Small! Pick on someone your own size!"
Yeah we died.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sis Call decorating our tree

Getting some Christmas spirit 

It's cold here!!!

But I love it!!!!

Well basically it is like ZERO DEGREES. But I love the snow, it is soooo pretty. I feel like we are in a winter wonderland and everything sparkles. Minus the fact that I drove last night in the mad storm and had to drive like a gma cause it was so sketch. Okay but we we were so beyond blessed this week!

So MLC was great. The Manhattan sisters slept over the night before, then we jumped in the "Egan Van" along with the zone leaders and office elders. It was a blast! Okay so guess how they started the meeting? So cruel slash so powerful.

President runs in towards the beginning with one of the AP's and a letter from the First Presidency. All serious, he announces that because of the increase in missionaries, they have prayerfully decided to reduce all the lengths of missions by 6 months. It hit me like a ton of bricks and I felt so sick to my stomach. My initial thought was that is soooo not fair and 18 months is already too short. Of course sisters are crying (maybe me included) and the elders were all pretty upset. It was a really powerful time to evaluate how precious this time really is. Of course it ended up being a joke but it set the tone for the meeting and allowed us to all focus 100%.

Thursday we met with the AP's (Elders Neeley and De Leon) and our zone leaders (Elders Moyle and Bartholomew) to plan for zone training on Friday. It was way cool to all come together with our ideas and zone training turned out to be AMAZING. We all felt like we should start out the meeting the same way that MLC started. President sent out a voicemail announcing the reduction of mission time and we hooked it up to speakers. We actually felt kind of bad because some of the sisters immediately started bawling hysterically. We went around and expressed why we felt like that and it was incredible to see how much everyone loves their missions.

We are still teaching Karaissa and just love her sooo much! Bro Scerbo and the elders joined us to dedicate her home and give her a blessing. It was a super powerful visit. Her house is always a party and the neighbor kids were over for one of the visits and are now new investigators! Michelle, Kylie, and Madison came to church :) Also, we met with Megan (referral from Felix) and she is such a sweetheart. She's super interested too. Between them and the Douglass fam, we were blessed to find 13 new investigators this week!! Oh and yesterday in church we were both able to speak in sacrament meeting. Relief society and young women's also asked us to help teach so we realized we double booked and had to split. I was blessed to be in RS and share my testimony about Joseph Smith. It was incredible to take myself back to the many experiences I had at the Liberty Jail and to remember how I have been able to come to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and to reaccount how I have come to know him.

Words of wisdom for the week: live every day like it's your last, with Jesus Christ at the center. And I will live my mission like every day is my last.

I LOVE you all!!!

Sister Smartt

PS this morning Sister Small put up a mini Christmas tree and decorated our basement. It was the BEST EVER. Christmas is here woooooWOOO

Monday, December 2, 2013

Lyndee became my bestie! Made us sit at the kid's table
hahaha - it was so fun!

Thanksgiving din - Natalie (sassiest little girl you'll ever meet)
Sis Call and these weird brain things that fall from trees here

Crocker Family baptism!!

Our amazing ward mission leader, Bro Scerbo and his wife,
drove us to Manhattan and took us to Longhorn after!!
Being spoiled at Longhorn!

Greet week in Lake Shawnee! Felt sooo good to finally be able to work some.
Thanksgiving was great. The members spoil us so much. And they won't stop feeding us!!! So basically we need to start running hard core ha. But we literally ate all day... breakfast, lunch, and dinner appointments. Every appointment was so solid though, with nonmember friends and family. Also, there were THEE cutest kids so it made me feel like I was home for a sec, sitting at the mini kid's table for Thanksgiving din.

WE FOUND A NEW INVESTIGATOR! Karaissa was a self referral. We didn't have much info on her and were hoping and praying she would be receptive to our visit. She let us RIGHT in and said she had been waiting for us.. She used to meet with elders for a long time and explained her past with missionaries. She knows the Church is true and wants to be baptized! She has had an incredibly rough life but is such a strong woman. I was seriously sooo overwhelmed with love for her and her family. I knew that she was one soul the Lord sent us here for. She is stoked to have sisters and we know this is her time! She is so prepared. Oh and she showed us all of the church books she has read (teachings of the prophets, articles of faith) and she has read the D&C as well as the Pearl of Great Price. We kept having to pinch ourselves to confirm it was real life. We love her soo much already and are so excited to serve her. 

Both Friday and Saturday we went to Manhattan for baptisms!! The Crocker family was baptized Friday evening and it was just too great. It was incredible to see their family so happy and full of the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Hannah, Ellie, and Brayden were soo adorable when they saw me and attacked me with hugs. I love their family! Saturday was Ivan's baptism (Sister Call's investigator) and it was soo so good. He has a very powerful testimony and it was cool to witness that special day for him. Oh and we got to see Felix there!!!! He set us up an appointment with another referral, his friend, (Megan) in Topeka for Tuesday.

We finally got to go to our ward on Sunday! It was awesome to meet so many of the members and introduce ourselves/bear testimonies. It was one of the most powerful fast and testimony meetings I have ever been to. I love this ward a lot and it is quickly filling the holes in my heart from leaving the Little Apple. Being a Sister Training Leader is still a learning experience for me. It has been hard and sometimes I feel like we are therapists.... literally. But I know the Lord will help me and I have a lot to learn!

I can't even remember if I told you guys last week.. But the KWM is doing what's called Noche Blancha. (White Christmas) and we have set a goal to have 40 baptisms before the new year! We are inviting EVERYONE to be baptized on the 24th of December. What a better gift to give our Savior right? Please pray for the mish and us in Lake Shawnee to find those that the Lord has prepared. Sister Call and I have faith that there are at least 2 of our brothers and sisters that will be ready in this area.

I LOVE YOU ALL! Oh and thank you mom and pops for the early Christmas present, I was seriously so happy when Bro Homewood gave me them. 

Much love,
Sister Smartt

PS this old man called us last night and asked us to marry him. Sister Small died laughing to say the least.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Leaf jumping at the Topeka Zoo!!

Elders Garnett and Pack (ex-zone leaders) with Sis Call and I

K State stadium!!!!

Poor Sis Payton:(  Fun times but FREEZING in the ice storm!

Sis Payton and I were both comps with Sis Stewart
- just had to!

I feel like the worst auntie ever... but happy late birthday to CADEN!!! I love you Cade and hope you had the best birthday ever. I can't wait to talk to you in about a month! And a shout out to KYLE! Happy birthday!!! Hopefully they make you a sweet turkey cake again.

This past week has been madness! We literally only had two days in our area... the rest were filled with meetings, service, exchanges, and sickness. Tuesday we did service at the zoo. I LOVE that we get to do that in this zone too. It was a blast raking leaves and then we maybe jumped into a giant pile and it was so much fun. Can totally check that of the bucket list! Then our ward had us serve at a blood drive in another church so that was interesting. I kept flashing back to when I donated and passed out and like had a seizure.. good times.

All of Wednesday we were in Manhappenin'!!!! I feel a little guilty about it, but driving into Manhattan just felt like home. Sister Call and I were freaking out.. probably a little too excited. That night we had a conference call with Sister Bell and all of the sister leaders, which was way good. Thursday we had a specialized training with the AP's and President Bell and it was sooo good. Elder Neeley and Elder Deleon are awesome elders and gave some awesome trainings. Also, they LOVE roleplays. I have decided that I am going to make myself love them and it has started to work hah. After the training, I went with Sister Payton to the Lawrence University Ward (KU is KState's rival sooo that was a struggle)... but we had a blast/adventure. That evening we froze though.. We walked to a bus stop only to wait an hour and a half in the crazy ICE storm (who even knew those existed?) and found out the bus was not coming..... Poor Sister Payton didn't have tights or gloves on and my gloves didn't fit her and it was so sad because we were just frozen! We were laughing the whole time though. And ended up calling a member to come pick us up for our next appointments. Later their member told us the weather said it felt like 8 degrees outside. Sadly, we both ended up getting sick! I just got the flu but Sister Payton has hand mouth and foot disease! Soooo many people are getting sick out here. This weather is way too cold for my liking. But I.Can.Do.It.... 

It has been hard not being able to work in our area as much as we would like.. but I know that our calling is from the Lord and so we can trust in that. And I love that we get to exchange and learn from so many sisters! We have been able to get to know some more of the members and have had some AMAZING lessons with them and they are so stoked to be member missionaries. 

Luckily since I am just overcoming the flu I have an excuse to take limited portions for our THREE thanksgiving meals.... yeah wish us luck ;) hahah but I am so grateful for this holiday to remember what we are thankful for! I am especially grateful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, my family, my companion, my mission. The Church is true!!!

With all my love and thanks,

Sister Smartt (Small, sparkles, nibbles choose your pick)

PS yesterday since we were stuck inside all day we watched tons of church movies (Legacy, Mountain of the Lord, John Tanner story- soo good!!!)

"Consecration is the only surrender which is also a victory"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Apryl - biggest sweetheart!! Made me this quilt just before
going to the bus-stop.

Mihoko Skabelund!! Convert from Japan - Love her!!

Waiting at the bus stop in Junction City....sketch!!

Topeka Zone and Pres & Sis Bell with Stk Pres. Averett

Love these sisters!  Sis Price (far left) is from Gilbert.

Yummy cookies Sis Broz made us!!!

Sisters Small

Okay so let's just say that leaving the Little Apple (Manhappenin') was quite the struggle but I know the Lord was helping me. I made so many eternal friends there and I am sooooo grateful for all that I learned those 6 months I was blessed to serve there. Transfers on Wednesday were insane. The mission has changed transportation to using the Greyhound buses to give us more opportunities to share the gospel. And anyone that knows me knows that I love public transportation so I was stoked about this. There have been some way cool stories from that but there has also been some mad happenings where missionaries have been stranded, kicked off of buses, etc. Long story short, we arrived at the bus stop and waited for a couple hours longer than anticipated.. After awhile, our zone leaders got a call from President Bell telling them that they might not have anybody ride the bus because of how many mix-ups and problems it has caused. As they were trying to make a decision the bus starts to pull up... aka they had to make a decision in 30 seconds because those buses don't wait for anybody ha. They were like okay just kidding everyone get to the bus.. we all grabbed our stuff and ran towards it only to find out they didn't even have room for us and our stuff... (even though we had pre-purchased tickets?) Sister Call and I were put into some senior missionaries car (the Peterson's) and they shipped us out to Topeka.

We love Lake Shawnee! Sister Call and I feel like princesses every morning. We live in some member's home, the Broz. (Yeah sweetest name ever) They SPOIL US. It is soooo surreal being in a HOME and I just love it so much. We live in the basement apartment which is super nice. Also, it is sooo beyond peaceful out here because we live like out in the middle of the country. Sister Broz is not active and the Bishop and bro Broz were both so thrilled she agreed to let us live there. They treat us like their kids and we love them already.

Luckily we had that zone training Friday so we were able to become acquainted with the zone and such. We love them! It was super hard leaving Manhattan, for both Sister Call and I, because the Manhattan zone are all besties basically. But we loved it here right away. The training went well! They also had the coolest role plays ever! They planned ahead to have real investigators, members, and less actives meet us at the church and we just rotated and taught them all lessons. It was awesome. 

We have been getting organized and planning a tooon, plus the meetings so we haven't had much time to work sadly. But we have met some members and they have all been awesome! Our ward mission leader (Bro Scerbo) is from New Jersey. Him and his wife are HILARIOUS. They work/talk at 100 miles per hour and it is so awesome. They are stoked to get work done! Also, side note, the ward is sooo excited to have sisters so that is a huge bonus! This weekend was stake conference, which again was focused on missionary work and we were blessed to sing our mission song on the stand again and the talks were all incredible. It was so fun being with President and Sister Bell and all the missionaries in this area all weekend!

I started out with not the best attitude about being called as a sister training leader (STL) but after meeting the 10 sisters we are over, I just looooved them immediately. I know that this is what Heavenly Father would have me be doing at this point in my mission and I know He will help me. It is pretty different because we go on exchanges at least once a week, have tons of meetings, and are on the phone a LOT. Sisters call us all the time with problems and it is going to be a great learning experience in serving them.

To end, I LOVE MY COMP! We have soooooo much fun all day long and we feel so blessed. Literally every day we ask ourselves if this is real life. It is too good to be true. President and Sister Bell were dying laughing when they saw us! They told us to wipe our smiles off of our faces and that we are living a dream haha. Only kidding of course.

I love you all so much! A huge focus lately has been Elder Ballard's challenge, that was issued as a challenge again this weekend, to reach out to at least ONE person before Christmas. So will you all just do that!? (say yes) I KNOW the Lord will help you. And it truly will be the best Christmas present we could give our Savior. 

You are in my prayers,

Sister Smartt 
aka Sisters Small (everyone now combines Sister Smartt and Sister Call because we are the same person)

PS Pres and Sis Bell are soooo funny every time they speak. Favorite quote this time: Sister Bell gets up for the adult session and starts off by announcing that "The mission age has changed to 16 years old because they already know everything and their moms won't cry at the farewells." True story. Sorry mom. :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Loove these Sisters!

Sis Call (new comp) and Sis Thompson

Sis Murphy and I sharing the B of M!!

Manhattan 1st Ward Missionaries and the amazing Pacadas!

Samoan Elders!!

Varsity Donuts - yummiest donuts on Pday!

November 12, 2013

Holy crap I can't believe how much has happened this past week.. it has been a tornado. For real.

We had the most amazing zone conference with Elder Marcus B. Nash, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy. INCREDIBLE!! It was much needed and I felt/learned so much. He was an amazing teacher and truly allowed the Spirit to speak through him to teach all of us and to answer many questions and concerns we had. I think my favorite thing I learned from him was the definition of bold. I am sure I have heard this before but it was truly an answer to my prayers when he shared this. 

BOLD: Speak with clarity and confidence and LOVE. 

I had like thee biggest a-ha moment and it was such a comfort and strength for me to learn this by the Spirit. As a missionary, I have had the goal to become a bold servant of the Lord. I have felt discouraged time and time again when I start to compare myself to others and then I am humbled and remember I have other strengths and talents that the Lord has blessed me with. But this definition of bold I can do!!!! I can so do that! The Lord has told me many times that the quiet demeanor and manor of my Spirit will touch the hearts of others... so I was always confused on how to be bold. A servant of the Lord (Elder Nash) taught me so much and helped me so much to progress as a missionary and taught me that I truly can be bold.

Last weekend we had a movie night for investigators and members. We watched the Joseph Smith Movie and had yummy refreshments. It turned out so good!! We were able to see many people that we have been working with and it was such a blessing to us and them! The Self's were able to come and are so ready to set a baptismal date. 

Tomorrow I am getting transferred to Topeka. Lake Shawnee to be exact! Sister Call and I are opening an area for Sister Training Leaders, over 12 sisters. Let's just say that I have soooo many mixed emotions!! I freaked out when I found out we would be companions. (She has been one of my best friends on the mish so far. She was in Independence when I was at the Liberty Jail then we both got transferred to Manhattan and have been serving around each other for the past 6 months!!) I feel like we must have been besties in the pre-Earth life as well. I am so stoked to be companions with her and learn more from her! I was not expecting this call, because I thought I would get to finish training my baby sis Murphy!! I do know that the Lord has been preparing me though and I have most likely just been in denial.. ha

These past couple days have been a roller-coaster. Too many goodbyes for my liking. And to people and an area that I LOVE with my whole heart!!! I have felt so beyond inadequate to be a Sister Training Leader. Everyone is so kind and encouraging and telling me what a great job I will do but really I just want to be a normal missionary hah. I have been studying the enabling power of the Atonement a ton and I KNOW that the only way I can overcome many of my fears (like training 40 missionaries this Friday) will be with the strength of the Lord. Sunday evening we were with the zone leaders and they ended up giving many missionaries priesthood blessings for this upcoming transfer. It was the first blessing I have received since I have been out and it was MUCH NEEDED. I am so grateful for worthy men that hold the power of God on the Earth and bless the lives of others. I was also told in it that there are specific souls waiting for ME to find them!!! I can't wait to be led to these brothers and sisters of ours!!!

I know I have shared this scripture like a bijillion times but it is so different when you actually have to apply it :)
2 Timothy 1:7
"For God hath not given us the Spirit of fear, but of POWER and of love and of a sound mind."

I love you all so much! I am sooooo beyond thankful for so much love and support.
Also, Jen and Sarah, you are in my prayers. I love you guys.

Sister Smartt

P.S. R.I.P. the Little Apple... I can't wait to come back and visit this place and all of the people that I have grown to love soooo much these past 6 months

Monday, November 4, 2013

Love these Manhattan colors!!

Love these fall colors!!

Add caption

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the best dad in the world!!!! I love you so much and am so blessed to be your daughter. Party hardy for me. Everyone spoil him extra for me.

Holy crap the Little Apple is BEAUTIFUL right now!!!! Sister Murphy and I freak out all day long. The trees are literally tie-dye. And there are some hot pink ones, it is unreal.

Okay so this week we were very blessed and I have a couple favorite stories to share. Let's begin with Brianna. One of the evenings we were in an area that we aren't able to get up to very often so we were excited to be there and check up on some people. We were "trollin" (no I didn't forget an s- comp joke...) down the street and first of all there was a huge herd of WILD TURKEYS! It was hilarious and we loved every minute of trying to catch those things. But more importantly, there was this girl heading towards us, walking her dog. As soon as I saw her I just knew we were there for her. We approached her and started a casual convo (complimented her cute puppy and such) and quickly transitioned into her religious background and we were able to teach about the great apostasy and the Restoration. She was almost in tears and said "THIS is what I have been waiting for".. "This just makes so much sense"..."I have always thought there was something more than the Bible". She gladly accepted a BOM and committed to read and pray. We were beyond happy and were about to set a return appointment.. She almost burst into tears and explained that her husband wouldn't be okay with that but she is really interested and wants to learn more... We were praying and trying to discern how to best go about the situation when her husband Stewart shows up and drags her away. I will never forget the look in her eyes as she was leaving and just thanking us SO much for bringing this into her life. We have been praying for Briana since and have no way of getting ahold of her but know that she WILL accept the restored gospel one day. The Lord is preparing our brothers and sisters for His message.

Another huge experience this past week involved Sister Crump. (CUTEST old less active lady that Sister Stewart and I used to visit often). We have been trying hard to get in touch with her and started getting really nervous because her phone would just ring and ring.. She is 93 by the way. I had been really worried for quite awhile and so we asked our ward mission leader to check into it and he told us that he just got an email regarding her and it made it sound like she had passed. I was heartbroken!! I love that woman! It was really, really testing my faith about the Plan of Salvation. We found out a couple days later that she hadn't passed but had fallen and was stranded for 2 days with no help.. We were able to visit her in the assisted living that she was taken to and the Spirit was so incredibly strong as we visited her. I feel VERY strongly that we are called to help prepare her for specific missionaries in the spirit world. She has never been active but her husband passed along time ago and was very active. I can feel him rooting for her!

We had an awesome lesson with Wendy, one of our Ecuadorian friends. She loves the message we share and she referred missionaries to visit her family back in Ecuador. We were able to show her the temple where she is from and she LOVED it and wants to prepare for that. She shows an incredible faith in our Savior. We are also still teaching Jessica, who is not a member but her husband that is deployed is a member. She is super willing to meet and was planning on coming to church until she got called into work :( We also saw some miracles in Ogden (a little town about 15 minutes away that we can't go to very often) and were led to some very prepared people. We met a male version of Apryl! His name was Forrest and he was SO ENTHUSIASTIC about life. He loved what we shared and the elders are going to start teaching him. It made me miss Apryl a ton but she still calls and updates us all the time. She always cries and says how much she misses her babies!! We are also teaching these two older girls, Jessica and Raven. They claim to be "earth based" and were AMAZED after learning the Plan of Salvation. Both of them had so many a-ha moments and it fit perfectly with their beliefs just had more to add and was so clear.

"Pres. David O. Mckay once said something like this: "The greatest battles you will ever fight will be within the silent chambers of your heart." That is the battleground between what you want and what the Lord wants. If you surrender, if the Lord wins, you win also. If you win, if your will prevails, you and the Lord both lose. The only way to win is to lose. Lose yourself in the Lord's work, and you will win beyond your wildest imaginations, for "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him." (1 Cor. 2:9)" 

I know that we can not even comprehend all that the Lord has in store for us if we just align our will with His. I love this gospel with all of my heart! I am so grateful to be a missionary at this incredible and exciting time. 

Love you all,

Sister Smartt

Monday, October 28, 2013


Enjoying a quick lunch with Sis Call

Love these Sisters!

Olive Garden after Zone training!

Who even knew Halloween was the creepiest holiday ever? As a missionary I am seeing it in a whole new light ha..

Saturday was our ward's Fall Festival! Which turned out so great. Such a fun time and I just realize more and more how much I love this ward and this area. Erin and Joshua came which was the greatest surprise EVER. They are amazing!! Sadly the University sisters will have to start teaching them because they fall under their age and aren't married..... yet :) So maybe we will work on that haha

We are still teaching Susan and Nancy. Both are progressing very slowly but we are working hard with them and praying for patience. We weren't able to have much contact with our Ecuadorians this week... or the Self's. Amissa and Cazaiah were able to come to church yesterday though!! The youth welcomed them warmly and it was a great Sabbath.

Our less actives are doing pretty well! Tonya is still reading and praying daily and it is incredible to WATCH her heart soften. The Spirit is such a powerful tool. As a returned missionary, it is all about helping her to remember. But really, that is how it is with everyone right? We chose Jesus Christ before we came to Earth and we agreed to this beautiful and trying plan of our Heavenly Father's. The Rodger's (less active) invited us over for dinner this past week! So grateful for that tender mercy. Sadly, they still weren't able to come to church but they are progressing in their reading and praying at home.

We met this girl named Jessica who has met with missionaries in the past. Her husband is deployed and he is a member! She is willing to meet with us again :) Also, the Crocker's dad is home from deployment and seeing their entire fam at church together was a beautiful site. They are sooo stoked for their baptism on November 29th!!

Yesterday in Relief Society the lesson was on the power of obedience. For part of the lesson we focused on 1 Nephi 3:7 about the Lord preparing a way for us to accomplish what he commands. I was sooo overwhelmed with the Spirit when I remembered the huge miracle it was in preparing for my mission. I knew that the Lord was calling me and despite my worries/discouragements/etc. I knew that if it was right He would prepare the way. And He did! Remembering how perfectly EVERYTHING worked out allowing me to go was amazing. I know I have seen His hands in my life so many times. He is real and He loves us so much.

"God does notice us, and He watches over us. But it is usually through another person that He meets our needs." -Spencer W. Kimball
There are people out there that need YOU. Your gifts/talents/service/testimony and YOU can make a difference and be an instrument in the Lord's hands. 

I love you all and hope you have a grand ole week. Eat too much candy, it's appropriate this time of the year.

With love,
Sister Smartt

Monday, October 21, 2013

My fave, Serenity!  I miss my onesie!

Sister Murphy and me!

Howdy. And a happy early birthday to Aunt Cheryl!! love you!

We had such a great week, Sister Murphy and I! Many many tender mercies from the Lord and some great lessons learned.

This weekend was stake conference so Saturday night we went to Salina for the adult session. The First Presidency wrote President Napp (our stake pres.) and 6 days before stake conference he opened a letter saying that all of the Saturday session needed to be dedicated to missionary work. So he rearranged the entire program. Talk about last minute miracles. It turned out AMAZING. Every talk that was given was so inspired. They had all of us missionaries sit on the stand and we sang our mission song as the special musical number. I have grown to looooove that song. I could feel the spirit so incredibly strong, from head to toe. It was amazing! Then President and Sister Bell were able to speak. The Spirit testified of how important this work is and that it truly is being hastened by the Lord! The Second Coming is so near my friends. A favorite quote from Sister Bell "If you don't wear a name tag every day like us, paint one on your heart!" SO TRUE. I love that. All of us need to remember who we are and who we represent as members of the Lord's church.

Natasha and Amissa Self have committed to prepare for baptism on November 9th!! Amissa and her little bro Cazaiah were able to come with us yesterday to stake conference. It was a tad long for a hungry 12-year-old boy but hopefully they liked it haha. Barbara Shorter has also committed to prepare for baptism on November 9th! She has such a strong desire to change her life but her surroundings (home/family/friends/etc.) are not the most positive influence... so she could use the prayers!

Okay so to explain about Heavenly Father hiding our phone. Yesterday I may or may not have lost our phone... we searched high and low and couldn't find it anywhere! So we ended up leaving to a couple appointments. One appointment bailed so we came back to look some more. After another search, and remembering to pray, I kept thinking we need to just have our neighbors call it! So finally we go out and knock a couple doors who aren't home.. We were about to go to the next floor but sister Murphy was inspired to knock on #5 and tada we met Steven and Edwin!! Edwin was a JW from Ghana and wasn't too receptive to our message. But Steven called and found our phone and THEN accepted a BOM!!! Obvi Heavenly Father was hiding it for a very wise purpose :) The University sisters are going to meet with him.

We are working with quite a few less actives. It is really cool because they are some that Sister Stewart and I worked hard to contact and now they are more and more receptive. Sister Glenn (Shawn's cousin) is going to let us teach her every Sunday to "practice the lessons". She also committed to bring a friend eventually :) We met the Carter's and she is actually from st geezy, we have some mutual friends! (raquel, brooke, nicole) We are also teaching Mary Lou who is thee funniest lady ever and beyond proud of her fresh mullet. Also, Felix found a job! Happy days!

Still loving the Little Apple and enjoying the journey. A quote I want to close with:
"They won't care how much you know until they know how much your care." SO true. Charity is the key to bringing others unto Christ and I am learning more and more about that each day.

I love you all so much! So grateful for the prayers.

Sister Smartt

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lil Sis, Shawn and Sparkles

Apryl !!! I love this woman!!

See black bean story in letter

Don't ever forget Fast Sunday as a missionary!!

Sis. Murphy and I on twin bikes!

Good morning fam and friends! And HAPPY birthday to Camille!!! I love you so much and am soo beyond grateful for your example to me. Also, shoutouts and happy birthdays to Kimberly, Michelle, and Kella! Love you guys.

For starters, I love my new comp. We laugh all day long (hence the email title) and we literally make up the most ridiculous songs all day to whatever we are doing, it is the funniest/we feel like true missionaries who are losing their minds. But most importantly, we continue to see miracles in the Little Apple and work hard. Yesterday at church, Sister Pickering (who was giving the Relief Society lesson) asked us ahead of time to participate in the lesson and basically share certain things we have learned as a missionary, how our perspective on life has changed, and how our hearts have changed. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude to be a missionary. I have learned SO MUCH it's not even funny. I love my mission beyond belief. I know that it is shaping me to become more of the daughter of God that He has destined me to become.

Sad news!! Apryl is moving :(..... to Junction City. So not too far and she still claims that she will attend church with us. We did explain that there are sisters there as well but she said she is not ready to leave her babies (that is what she calls us). She LOVED fast and testimony meeting yesterday, it was incredible. There was this specific testimony by this young man in our ward who bore testimony about attending a funeral recently at another church and how he "wasn't filled" there like he is "spiritually filled" in our church. Sitting next to Apryl during church is incredible. She is used to really interactive churches so the whole time she is going "AMEN! That's riiight! hmmmmhmm" hahahah I love it so much. When this boy bore testimony she was like "YES that is exactly how I feel!!!" She truly sees and feels the difference in our church because it has the fullness! And the power of God within it. Amazing.

So we are still teaching the Shorter family and we had a greaat lesson with them this past week. Sister Murphy and I both felt that we needed to focus on the Word of Wisdom next. We were slightly nervous on how they would accept it, but it was incredible! They know that smoking is bad, they have a desire to quit, but they just haven't had any luck in trying to quit before. We PROMISED them the help of the Lord as they do their part. The Spirit was really strong there. Even though the two older boys were in the background the whole time rapping about the Book of Mormon... haha interesting times in their home, let me tell you. We also met this guy there and he was SO enthusiastic about life, it was fantastic. He loves checking out new churches and said he is going to attend ours and WILL get up and introduce himself and make sure everybody gets to know "THEE gary ______" (Can't remember his last name) But he didn't end up coming to church yesterday..

Satan is so real my friends. I bore my testimony about this and how we NEED God in our lives every day, all day to overcome the evils of this world right now. We truly are in the last days. Sadly, some of our recent converts are really struggling! Karen finally made an appointment with us for last night but bailed... so please keep her in your prayers! Brother Harsh (Felix) has such a strong faith but neeeeds prayers. He is really sick right now, just lost his jobs, and Satan is working so hard. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing all this but he is just such a great example of holding strong! Yesterday he calls us before church (sounded AWFUL) to tell us he is sick.. but asked if we could pick up his tithing for him so we could take it to church. WOW. Talk about incredible faith. I am so grateful for the examples I have seen out here and the faith I have witnessed.

We are still teaching the Crocker kids and they are amazing. LOVE to participate in the lessons and are sooo excited to be baptized and invite their friends to it. We are planning for around Thanksgiving because their dad will be home from deployment and their families will be in town :) Also, we are still teaching sweet Renee. And Susan! She is doing good. We had a perfect convert team-up come with us last time that really encouraged and strengthened her to not give up.

Like I started out with, I LOVE MY MISSION. This church is true. I love all of the truths that have been revealed to us, it is amazing. Go out and share this with everyone you know or meet!

I love you all and really appreciate all the love and support. A scripture I committed to memory this week was:
Alma 26:12 "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself but I will boast of my God, for in His strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise His name forever."

Sister Smartt

PS Apryl quote of the week- We were driving to church and she squealed uncontrollably after finding a bee in the car. Sister Murphy was like "Ohhh it's fine, it is a honey bee- won't sting you!" With no hesitation Apryl says "I don't wanna bee HIS honey!" Hahahaha I love her sass.

PPS Funny story (see pics) Yesterday I was all ready for church and we were making lunch real quick.  Our can opener is awful but I wanted these black beans in my noodles...so the can opener didn't cut the can all the way through.  I tried pushing it down and it EXPLODED ALL OVER ME! Hair, skirt and all. Yum.  Lesson learned: Don't ever forget that it is fast sunday as a missionary or you and your comp will suffer!!  hahaha no bueno!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sis Call - love her so much - one of my dearest friends here

Sis Fortuna from Cali

Sis Stewart - 4 1/2 months together!  I'll miss her!!

sketchiest bus station for transfers in Junction City...
all a tad delierious at 2am!

Sis Murphy my new comp - went jogging her 1st morning
in what turned into a major scary rainstorm!

I LOVE MANHATTAN! Step into my jungle!