Monday, March 25, 2013
Hey!! Sister Smartt here, and all is well. First off thank you all so much for your love and support! It means the world to me.
As far as giving our real address dad, they recommend sending it all to the mission office (the address you have) because when we get transferred and stuff then it all works out because they always just forward us the mail. But I can give you my address next week, I don't have it with me. Okay so first of all, Heavenly Father wasn't too happy with my idea of winging my talk yesterday for church. So He ended up cancelling church all together. Just kidding, He made it snow which cancelled church. Yeah we had a SNOW DAY! Who even knew they cancel church for things like weather? Not this az girl.. But yeah according to Sister Smartt's weather report (since we don't see the news or formal reports) I'd say we got about 12 feet of snow. It was madness! Also sidenote: I just found out that snowflakes are real!! Like the pretty shapes. I literally always thought it was just clumps of slush falling from the sky. But those cute little snowflakes you cut out of paper? Yeah they exist in real life. What a great surprise. We were grounded to stay in our house so basically we studied all day and got into some super deep talks about the gospel, possibly wasting some time because we got into topics that our mortal minds can't comprehend at this point and yeah my mind is blown! I learn so much from Sister Minall, she is AMAZING. Also, being locked up in a house yes we still managed to laugh all day long. I am ready to pass off lesson three to the district leader which I'm pretty stoked about!
Thank you for all those addresses! Such a help. Also, I am praying for grandpa and also aunt kristine! Thank you for keeping me updated and I pray for you all every day. I LOVED the letters this past week. Especially Brynlee and Reese's drawings hahah I was dying! So stinking cute. And they remembered to add the missionary tag :)
I am just going to tell you about some things I remembered/learned this week. At the jail training that we have every thursday morning, this last one was so so good. We talked about angelic and divine help. I know without a doubt that I have angels round about me, throughout my life and especially now as a missionary. Or maybe I'm just more aware of them.. But I can promise you that they are always there! I feel so strongly sometimes that Uncle Dave is with me and it is such an amazing feeling and strength. Also, grandpa and grandma Turley. I know they are there! I can feel them at times. What an amazing thing! Hey mom or dad, do you know if we have any extra copies of Uncle Dave's copies of the Book of Mormon where he recorded his testimony? Grandma suggested that you send me one so I can give it to someone I meet out here that's really special to me. That would be way awesome! So funny story, at the training, I was called as "Referral Royalty" ha so basically at first I had no idea what that even meant. They asked me to do the training with all the sisters at the jail because they forgot I was called as a full pros sister and didn't get the training in the MTC. When I reminded them, they were like oh my gosh!! And gave me a crash course of the whole system the day before training and I just winged it. What we do, from referrals we get we can teach people over the phones and there's like a teaching center in the basement! It's actually way cool and I'm excited to be a part of it.
Remember HAYWIRE from Prison Break? The guy that was hysterical and while all the prisoners were off stealing money and killing people he went and stole a little girls bike, helmet and all, and then broke into Dairy Queen and was eating ice cream. Well okay with that, I totally met him!!! Hahahah spitting image at least and personality as well. We visited this part member and less active family and he let us in. We talked with the mom cause she just had surgery so she hasn't been to church in a long time. But her son (haywire) kept interrupting to tell us about his cats. And his sci fi addiction. It was the funniest thing I've ever witnessed and we love him! He is 40 years old but his mom kept yelling at him to go to his room, I was so incredibly confused. But his brother and sister in law, they aren't members and they want us to come teach them! We had an appointment yesterday but since we got snowed in, we are going back Saturday.
I think I mentioned Elder and Carrol in my last email but we are still visiting them. This past week Carrol was at work but we taught Elder about the Restoration. The Spirit was SO STRONG. After I recited the First Vision and we bore testimony, Sis Minall asked him "Elder do you believe Joseph Smith saw our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?" I didn't quite know what to expect for what he'd say but his reaction was so great "Well OF COURSE. Who'd lie about that?" Elder is the sweetest man and we just love him so much! Then it was so fantastic he's like "I'm pretty sure the Big Man upstairs wouldn't be to happy if I denied it or told you it wasn't true" And we again just bore testimony. He is the one from Guatamela and his English is so so good but we found out he can't read in Englsih or Spanish, never has been able to. I want him sooo so badly to try reading the Book of Mormon or our pamphlets I just KNOW he could do it with the Spirit. I have been praying for him constantly. He was commited to coming to church and then it was such a bummer because of the madness of a storm that cancelled it!
Our friend Joe that we met, he never came to church the week before like he had promised and was so stoked for and we went to visit him. He told us that it had caused problems with him and his fiance (just like we predicted) because she is Catholic and has been wanting him to go with her but he won't because he has a problem wtih some of their beliefs. And I can imagine that it'd be frustrating because now he wants to come with us to church! So we are working with them. We finally got to meet his fiance Laura and she was SO nice! She used to really love the missionaries that used to come visit them, so hopefully we can progress to be able to actually teach them and soften her heart.
We meet lots of baptists out here like I've mentioned! Also, some Jehovah's Witnesses. It blows my mind to talk with them and hear their beliefs. It has strengthened my testimony so much because it confirms to me of the truth we have and the fullnesss! The only thing the JW's will talk about is "Well what's God's name?" They try and get you to say Jehovah but we know that is the Son. And I learned a lot from Sis Minall this week about the whole referrences in the Old Testament vs. New Testament and all the confusion there. Okay so crazy story! We go to visit Tonya and Virginia, who live right next to Elder and Carrol. When we get there, 4 police cars race up! And run into tonya's place..... sooo we haven't heard from her since..
Remember Shirley I told you about? The sweetest little old lady that broke her neck going to do baptisms at the temple for the first time? K my heart seriously breaks for her and I love her so much! But oh my goodness we volunteered to clean her house this past week and....... AHHHH k so correction 9 cats (not 8, NINE) Because she's 77 and of her condition she can't keep up with her house especially with all those cats. And she has no one that helps her. Come to find out she is a HOARDER as well. I'm not even kidding. I had to pray so hard to have a good attitude while cleaning there. I have never seen a worse situation. She doesn't use her kitchen, it's turned into her cat litter, literally they are just lined up. And throughout her tiny house there are just cats everyhwereeee and cat hair flying through the air, like I could not even breathe. (I can hear alisa calling me out on being dramatic) but honestly it was so much worse than what I'm even describing! There is just stuff everywhere you can't even walk and she won't throw anything away because she is a hoarder straight up! It is not a healthy place to be and I just want to help her so bad!! She has such faith though and I really admire her. I will try and take a picture of when she fell because you won't even believe how badly her face got bruised/disfigured. It is so sad.
Okay my last thoughts for today! We got into a discussion about grace. And I went back and studied the talk "His Grace Is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox. AMAZING. Everyone read it pleaaase. Dad I remember studying it a little bit with you just before I left on the mish and I forgot how amazing it is! Here are some favorite quotes from it: "Heaven will not be heaven for those who have not chosen to be heavenly" We need to become more like our Savior before we will even have a desire to be in His presence. Sounds silly at first but when you really think about it, we will have the same personality and temptations after this life and it's not like we automatically will become celestial. It is a continuous progression and if we are humbled to accept His grace and to strive to be more like Him, we are on the path. "It would probably be Jesus begging the unrepentant sinner, "Please, choose to stay. Please, use my Atonement- not just to be cleansed but to be changed so that you WANT to stay." Our Savior loves us soooooo so much and He has paid the price, we just need to accept His love and His grace. And as we apply His Atonement, we shouldn't just be cleansed but we should be changed. The enabling power of the Atonement is so so amazing and I know it is real as we put our trust and faith in Him.
I love this gospel with all my heart! I am learning so much out here and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I am dedicating this time completely to the Lord and I know that as we are exactly obedient, He will work miracles through His servants. I need to share this message with everyone/anyone I can and I know He can help me do that. I know He can lead us to those that He has been preparing. This is such an amazing work! And we are having a blast while we are at it. Who even knew a mission was so fun!
I love you all!
Monday, March 18, 2013
Hey hey hey!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUG!! And HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY EESA! I love you both so so much. This week was another great one. First off, for questions to be answered. YES I got your package and I got it Saturday so pre-st patty's day, which was fantastic. Thank you so so much!!! I about died when I saw the headband and wore it all during studies obvi. Also, I hope you had a great st patty's day and you didn't get too many welts from pinches. Even though that holiday is so overrated. To answer Uncle Stephen's question, yes Caleb Baldwin was in the Liberty Jail with the prophet Joseph Smith. They were there from Dec. 1st, 1838- April 6th, 1839 (COLD MISSOURUH MONTHS). There were six men that were sent there but one (Sidney Rigdon) represented himself in court and was actually released earlier than the others, just a cool side note. I am learning so much of the history here I love it! I've never really been interested in it like this before, so this is all new and exciting for me. Oh and I didn't have Aunt Dianne and Uncle Stephen's address.. But I was meaning to write them a thank you note! If they are still staying there please pass the word. But also thank you sooooo much for the gps! We get so lost here and I have no clue what we'd do without it. Our area is HUGE it is insane! K sorry if I repeat info from last week, I can't even remember what I typed because it was so fast and I'm such a spazz with what I send. Our ward roster has about 600 people on it!!! And most are less actives and part member families. So to say there is a lot of work in this area, that'd be an understatement! Last night, Sis Minall and I spent like three hours at the bishop's house just going over the roster, finding out all we can about everyone in the ward. It was so helpful! We got through the h's and will finish on Wednesday! Members here have 12 families on their hometeaching list, INSANE. Dad and Bradent can you even imagine!? Ha it is soo ridonkulous how many people. We are going to focus a lot on visiting those that the bishop recommended visits too. And there are A LOT. Like seriously I'm pretty sure I could spend my entire mission in this area haha. On top of those people, we are meeting tons of people here that are pretty interested! We don't have any "progressing investigators" yet but we just opened this area so we had nothing to start with. We are praying to know who to focus and who needs our time and attention the most!
Let me just say that I LOVE THE LIBERTY JAIL. I feel confident in the basic history, enough to give tours on my own. And that's what I needed is a solid base. I will continue to learn/study as I go but I am also learning a ton from the presentations and all those who pass through this historic and sacred jail. The prophet went through so much for us! He was called of God and he was on the Lord's errand. These men that were imprisoned here were innocent, charged of treason. They were accused of trying to "take over Missouri and overthrow the government" when in reality they were just trying to establish homes for their families and live peacefully. Today, we can learn sooo much from these experiences that took place here. The prophet had such faith and courage even going into the jail. He had no clue when he'd see his family again, he had no clue what would lie ahead for them and all the saints that he was called to lead. What an amazing man! While he was here at the jail, he poured out his heart for all the saints and those suffering and asked "O God, where art thou?" Even though they were treated terribly in that cold cramped basement jail, he was worried about others. He was able to be comforted as he turned to the Lord, just as we can do for anything and everything! And always. Also, it was a place of painful refining for the prophet and these men but they learned a lot and that's how our lives are! We are given trials to be strengthened. And to help others. I love the prophet Joseph Smith and the early saints and all they went through for me and you. Most importantly, we admire and turn to Joseph Smith as an example and a prophet of God, but we don't worship him and many people think Mormons do. We turn to our Savior Jesus Christ, just as Joseph even did. People's beliefs here just blow my mind!!! The majority of the people we have met have been baptist. And some have even said "Well yeah basically the main difference between you and I, is that your church doesn't believe in Jesus Christ and that he died for us and rose on the third day." Literally we have had people say that. I'm like wait whaaaaat? Ha. We most certainly know that Jesus Christ came to this Earth, suffered for you and I and is our Savior and Redeemer. He is the center of our church. I've seen on tv and been told by people that some believe that they just have to be "saved" once. I don't think I ever understood what that meant until I have met some here that share what they believe on that. One lady (She is older and super grumpy, she said she has never opened the door for "people like us" in suits or anything, and that we were reallly lucky that day haha) anyways, she is baptist and we sat on her porch for like 40 minutes talking about our beliefs and she shared some of hers. She told us that she was saved in 1995 and that she could sit on her butt the rest of her life if she wanted to but she knows she has a place in heaven because she was saved back in '95. Literally those words came out of her mouth and I couldn't even believe it! Yes we are saved by our Savior, his grace is always there for us, but faith without works is dead. And we have been commanded to follow Him! We have commandments to follow and we are to be continually progressing. We have had the same concept said more than once here and it literally blows my mind!!! We have the fulness of the gospel back on the earth and it just makes too much sense, I want everyone to understand ha.
I know I bragged about how awesome my comp was last time, but to confirm, she is still amazing!! I am so grateful for her. She is leaving April 19th and I don't know what I'm going to do without her so we aren't going to talk about that. A couple random new facts about her, she was a convert at 20. She is a vegetarian, loves working out. She is the funniest person you will ever meet, super bold and straight up which I admire. Also, she's going straight to London to live with her mom for awhile after the mish, then she'll probably go to Utah. She's had a lot of companions from az and I am going to convert her to the az ways. Hope you don't mind if I volunteer our house if she's ever in the area. You will love her she is awesome!!!
Last week we met this guy named "Guy" at taco bell. He ordered the doritos tacos and got regular and was debating to go get them exchanged. I told him that's a ripoff you need the dorito, so we got talking. After he got his tacos, we kept talking, sis Minall asked about his family and he basically poured his heart out about his daughter that's struggling (people tend to open up to missionaries it's like the tag has some magic or something). And he told us a lot about work and everything else. He noticed my tag and asked if we were latter-day saints and I told him yes sir! His mom used to meet with some elders and he got super excited. He wanted to know more abotu the BOM and we told him a lot abotu our beliefs. He asked where he could get one for himself to read and was SHOCKED when we gave him one to read, he was super stoked. Sadly he lives out of our area but I feel grateful to have planted a seed and for him to hopefully accept the gospel and share it with his family.
Elder and Carrol. We came back to check up on Elder's reading and what he thought of the Restoration pamphlet. His wife answered and we got to know her for awhile. Elder came down and invited us in for dinner! We were able to spend the evening in their home and share more.. Mostly we got to know them a lot and we were hoping they'd come to church but they didn't.. We will definitely go back to see them soon.
K so more on this POOR lady Shirley in our ward. Oh my goodness my heart breaks for her!! She is 77, got baptized last year. Last summer she tripped at the temple and broke her neck and messed up her poor little face! She will be in the brace the rest of her life because she's too old to do surgery. She lives by herself and none of her nine kids go visit her.. It is very hard for her to take care of herself but she makes it to church every sunday! She is such a strong woman and has such faith. We went to visit and first off side note, she has like 10 cats and my throat felt like it was going to close up ha. So just know I really love this lady because there is hair everyhwere, she can't vacuum or clean her house and we are going to come over this week to clean for her. She is so positive too! She's always like well you know it could be worse! And she loves visitors.
Our ward mission leader is Bro Moyle who is awesome! K guess how insane! His little bro is best friends with my home teacher in st g (LEXI- LUKE!!) HA. Also, he just got engaged to my friend Bri in st g which blew my mind cause I found out through them. Anyways, we meet with him weekly with the elders and got more organized and such. They have the cutest kids and let me just tell you that it was the first time that my heart like broke not being able to hold kids. Their daughter skye kept coming over to me the entire time and asking me to pick her up and I wanted to cry! I miss holding babies and playing with kids but it's all good, I'm doing somthing much more important right now. Like Idk, saving some salvations. But really! There is so much to do and so many people that need our help! Last night was hilarious.. we went to dinner at a members and first off there backyard was some sketchy woods like insane/haunted. It was pouring ice (not rain, snow, hail. ICE) and we ran inside. There were 7 kids in that family, all under the age of 13, all homeschooled, and we ate our sabbath day din on a beach towel on the tile floor. They're moving soon because they don't have enough room for their family ha. I loved them. I love all these people our here it is such fun getting to know them!
We are working hard here and enjoying the journey!! Sister Minall and I basically have the same brain and have a blast all day long. We get work done so quickly because we agree on basicalyl everything and mesh our ideas together. We are also like real funny. We live in the attic in our house and on the way up our creekidy stairs there is this huge landing with like raaaandom junk. I will take a pic next week for a visual. But we surprise each other with presents from the junk landing. We took the creepiest doll from there and hid it in sis Lewis's bed and tucked her in real good. It was so funny. Also, sis minall just found out that fruit by the foot is not really the most accurate way to measure a foot......hahahah
I love you all so much!!!!! Please write me letters. They help me so much you have no idea! Stay strong and I will see you in like a year and half.
PS the pictures- this house we tracted at was INTENSE it had dolls and chairs and jewelry and plants and insane stuff covering the front lawn. So enjoy that. Also, I am praying for all of you! Every day. And grandpa get better please I love you so much!!! Oh and Kella and Devina you better write me as soon as you find out boy or girl!! So exciting!
Monday, March 11, 2013
March 11, 2013
Well hey family and friends!!! I am sooo incredibly happy right now.
Let me start with last Wednesday which seems like an eternity ago. We woke up at 4 a.m., got all packed up and loaded 31 missionaries onto the bus. Driving out of the MTC gates felt GREAT! HA. I couldn't stop singing Wide Open Spaces by Dixie Chicks. Don't judge me. Anyways, the MTC was amaaaazing and I loved the power of being with all those amazing spirits. But it feels good to be out in the real world again! So it was so good to talk to you on the phone at the airport mom, dad, and alisa! Seriously so good. We were on the tiniest sketchiest plane and it was pretty much packed with missionaries it was funny. We flew directly to Kansas City and my first impressions of this place was that it was so flat! And I never know which direction we are headed because there's no mountains... hahah and it's not humid yet at all which was a fantastic surprise!
We were greeted by President and Sister Keyes and they are AMAZING, oh my gosh I love them so much. Sister Keyes reminds me of you mom. Which is comforting. She is just so cute and motherly and ahhh it was so great to stay at their house. But k so straight from the airport we were able to go on a tour of the sites around here! Seriously this is the best mission ever we are so blessed! We got to see the Kansas City Temple, took some pics. Then we went to the Liberty Jail. The spirit was INCREDIBLE there. Oh my goodness it was so powerful. I think it especially meant a lot to me because I have theeee worst memory in the entire world and I totally remembered the jail from when I was 12. When we came here that summer I remember it being one of the strongest and most powerful times I've ever felt the Spirit and that was inside the jail. So it was great being back. After the presentation, president Keyes said in front of all the group "Hope you were paying attention Sister Smartt. That'll be you tomorrow night." I couldn't tell if he was kidding or not but yeah I was freaking out inside. The mission home is so nice!!! It was a tight squeeze with all the missionaries staying there but we made it work and it was a blast. They fed us real yummy food (heavenly coming from the MTC caf). We then had interviews with President Keyes that night to tell us where we are called.
You won't even believe it!!! I am serving in the Liberty Jail for my first transfer! I was sooooooo excited like seriously this is the best thing that's ever happened to me. Everyone keeps asking how I bribed president because sisters that were called to serve there on their mission calls sometimes don't even get the opportunity and it is such a privelege! Well we know that the Lord makes the decisions and I can't thank Him enough. So please thank Him as well! This is how it works. Monday is P day. Every day we have a shift at the jail and it changes daily. One day of the week is full prostelyting. And the days that we are at the jail we also go out tracting and teaching after or before our shift. We are always on the run. So we stay super busy!!
Thursday morning I met my companion, Sister Minall. SHE IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!! Oh my gosh I am sooooo so so lucky. Like I am going to explode right now with excitement. I know this will prob be the best transfer of my entire mission and I am just going to soak it all in. Sister Minall is from Maryland (close to washington DC area though) She is the funniest person I've ever met, soo so spiritual and powerful, she is amazing with people and basically I just want to be her someday. She is half black, basically a pro boxer and she's gorgeous! We have a blast all day but we work so hard! Our area (Shoal Creek Ward) is actually 30 minutes from where we live because we live in a house that is right next to the Liberty Jail. And our area includes Gladstone and N KC. It is a huuuuuge area with tons of "members in the ward" but more than half are inactive. There is a ton of work to do! This is Sister Minall's last transfer and we aren't talking about that because I have no clue what I'm going to do without here I love her so much already!! But anyways, since we are both new to the area, we are opening it and there's tons of work to do! Basically we started out by getting ahold of the WML and talking with members of the ward. We don't have an area book to start with so we are starting out completely fresh.
I LOVE TALKING TO PEOPLE all day long. This is the best decision I've ever made. Just sharing what I know to be true and feeling so good and being able to feel the Spirit all day long. We have had a couple dinner appointments with members and on Friday on our way we went early and stopped in an apartment complex. We met some amazing people! We met this guy Donardto that was super interested and wanted us to come teach him and his family! Which was soo so cool because he was walking across the street from us and I had a feeling we should go talk to him. His appointment was yesterday thought and he actually wasn't home.. But we knew we were there for a reason! So we started knocking on doors. We met a man named Elder (from Guatemala and obvi he needs the gospel in his life and he is already an "elder" hahah we joked with him about that) then we met Virginia who is an older lady next door and she wants us to come back as well! This week we have an app. Also she sent us to her next door neighbor Tonya and we have an appointment with her this week as well! Everyone we have met here is sooo inteterested and I know there have been some that have been prepared it is amazing!!
Yesterday we went to church of course and the Shoal Creek ward is fantastic. We already know lots of the members and it is so fun meeting everyone!! Except k it is so different from any ward I've ever been to.......haha k first off when babies are screaming their heads off it is totally the norm to just let them do that and not leave the chapel.. while there are speakers.. so it's like not as reverent sometimes and I was shocked! Also funny side story, there was this man right in the middle of the chapel who zonked out as soon as the sacrament meeting started. And he was snoring SO LOUD (like combine mom's with grandpa's with like an army of a retirement home snorers) SOOO SO LOUD. All meeting. I was seriously laughing so hard inside and no one else was phased. So i'm assuming it happens weekly. At least he comes to church right?!' Oh my gosh another side note: this sweetest old old lady in our ward she fell in the baptismal font and broke her neck!!!! Keep Shirley in your prayers.
Reading that about grandpa broke my heart a little bit and know that I will pray for him constantly. I'm so grateful for him and that they were able to drop me off at the MTC. Our family is amazing and I love all of you so much! I pray for all of you every day.
I have never been more tired in my life but I have never been more happy. The gospel is so true and I am going to share the joy from it with as many people as I can. The Atonement is real and our Savior loves us so so much.
PS one thing: we have to memorize five bijillion things as new missionaires and you know how I said my brain was gonna explode at the MTC? Well yeah it's spiked a bit. But guess what? I can learn so much as a missionary! I know it's because I'm not doing it on my own. This is the Lord's work. So my first day working in the jail I felt a tad overwhelmed because I wasn't called to a vistor's center mission and I didn't stay that extra week in the MTC for it.. they do extra training there but yeah so I have a TON OF HISTORY to memorize and also we are supposed to memorize this huge paper and we have to memorize all of the lessons. I am just taking it a step at a time. And supposiveldy I'm good at hiding my emotions because everyon'es like oh my gosh you are sooo chill about all this and so relaxed! And you didn't even get taught all the history there. So we have this huge site guide to study for the Liberty Jail. I only read through the summary like once and didn't feel ready to give a tour yet. I got sneaked into giving a tour!!!!! And I remembered like everything it was insane!!! That never happens. History is my worst subject and I can never remember names or dates, etc. but I totally can here and it is soo so cool! So I have a lot to study/learn but I can do it.
I LOVE YOU ALL! The gospel is true!!
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Date: Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 10:18 AM
Subject: WEEK TWO!
Subject: WEEK TWO!
Dearest family and friends,
Next time you hear from me I'll be in MISSOURUH. What the crazy!!! Ahhh I am so excited though and stoked to be out in the field. The MTC has been amazing but I think Heavenly Father knew what He was doing when He called me to an English speaking mission so that my MTC experience is only two weeks. I didn't realize how claustrophic I was until we went for our first temple walk last week. As soon as we exited the gates, I was seriously on a high! hahaha I was literally like prancing around and wanted to skip. Even though they told us in the sister's meeting that skipping is not lady like. I couldn't contain myself, my apologies.
Let me start by answering some questions! Yes, I got the package and my district loved the cinnamon rolls. So mom and dad they basically love you already!! And also, let me just say how THANKFUL I am for all the letters and support this week. It has meant a ton to me and has been a HUGE help. I love all of you so much! I did get Mikaela's letter mom and dad so thank you! And also aunt kristine's. I might be sending a couple checks home if theres' not a chase there just a heads up! Also thank you thank you for shipping all that out to the the mish home, greatly appreciated :) If you could send me some addresses: Jen/mitch so i can write back, jamie, mikaela... and there were some others but I'm blanking. Bug, kay kay wants to say fantastic job at your meet! Was that just a normal one??
So dad you had asked if we had a fireside with a general authority. YES WE DID. And obvi it was awesome. Elder Ballard came and spoke to us on Tuesday because that's when the devotionals are. And let me share a couple things I loved that he said. He focused a lot on the power of simple truths. He reminded us to relax here at the MTC and remember how much we already know. We have been taught since primary the amazing truths of the gospel and now we just need to be able to learn how to teach those to others. But always be confident in what you already know. I know there's so much more to learn but we do have the basics and the fundamentals are key. Also he talked about the power of having the Holy Ghost as your companion. As you and your companion both have the companion of the HG you will be so incredibly strong! Another thing I loooooved is when he talked about how amazing and comforting to know that the Lord trusts us. He called us to His work and he trusts us that much to relay the gospel to His children. How powerful.
Oh shoot I almost forgot again!!! Mom my favorite scripture for my mission plaque, wuold have to be Proverbs 3:5-6. LOVE IT. "Trust in the Lord with all thine heard and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths." That was by memory so let's hope I didn't just butcher my favorite scripture.... hahah so probably double check me. If we are allowed two, then I would say 2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the Spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of sound mind."
Sooo basically I'll give you an overview of what we do here. We wake up at 6 or 6:30, work out, get ready, eat breakfast. Then personal studies, companion studies, and classes all day until about 9:30. We usually end up asleep around 11. I'm like shocked how much energy I have! It is the best feeling in the world to feel soooo exhausted by the end of the day. Yeah mornings are a tad rough but I am on the top bunk so I tumble out and that basically wakes me and then I am good to go! And goood for the rest of the day. I've never seen so many people fall asleep sitting up it is quite entertaining. Yesterday was a long day! Instead of the normal studies and classes, we had what is called In-field orientation. It's for all the missionaries leaving soon and we had this one loooong class from 8-5:30. SITTING ALL DAY. HA. We had a lunch break but that was like it.. The class was super good but holy cow it was LONG! Let me share a couple things I learned. As missionaries, talk to EVERYONE. Literally. Because you never know who has been prepared and who you can touch and plant some seeds. Elder Christensesn (off of the District) taught us for a bit and it was awesome. First of all it was hysterical to see everyone freaking out about all the rm's off of the district, they literalyl treat them like celebrities here. So he shared how he met Germann the big teddy bear off of the show. And he said how they pretty much weren't going to talk to him and walked past because he looked super grumpy and rough. But both missionaries passed and a little ways dwon the road they stopped. And knew they should've talked to him. They turned to see Germann running towards them! He was looking for them and was sooooo ready for the gospel in his life. Amazing! And amazing that they were in tune enough with the Spirit to stop and know they needed to talk to him.
Also, we talked a ton abotu the importance of incorporating the members into the missionary work. "No mission can acheive its full potential without member help" -Thomas S. Monson. They create a friend base as well as show the investigators more examples and that normal people exist within our church.
Dad you asked if I had seen Makaelee Owens yet. Nope I haven't! I have seen tons of people from high school though! And people I knew in Hawaii and St. g. It's been so cool to seee them out here! Also, I saw my friend Justin from St. George and he works here. He lives with a bunch of my friends so he sat with our district at lunch and I wrote a couple notes to my friends on napkins and he was going to relay the mail first hand delivery. I saw paige tingey the day before she left!! oH and I can't believe all the new missions! insane!!!! 58! So like I said, I am soooo thankful for the letters this week. And one from Elder casey he wrote an awesome uplifting one about the mtc and mission work. And it reminded me that his mom gave me her email on facebook and asked to give it to you guys to send my weekly emails. So if you log onto my fb account and go to my messages, find laura casey and you can see where she gave it.
One thing that has been extremely hard is teaching with a companion. Mine is super quiet and trying to balance our opinions has been a struggle. I try to keep the conversation flowing with those we are teaching to get to know them super well and its super hard because she won't jump in unlesss I directly say "And my companion knows.. or I know my companion believs.. etc." and she feels like she doesn't talk enough. Which made me feel super bad because she felt like her opinions don't matter. She told me that she thought I thought that. That was super hard to hear! I didn't think that but the fact that she felt like that, I didn't even know what to do. We have been working on it and it is a major wake up call to make sure you give the other person time to talk.
Dad I wanted to call you so bad the other day! I was super frustrated and I literally just wanted nothing else than to talk to you. I realized that the only person that will ALWAYS be there for me is my Heavenly Father. And I turned it over to talking to Him. When people say that you learn to have the most heartfelt prayers in your life here and out on your mission, I know a little of what that means. I know that He is always listening to me. And I know that each of you can pray to Him as well! He loves all of His children so so much.
From Elder Ballard also: "On the Lord's errand and entitled to His help"
I love you all so much and I love this gospel with all my heart.