Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Date: Sat, Mar 2, 2013 at 10:18 AM
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.
Sister Smartt

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