Monday, April 15, 2013

Sis Smartt here!! Hope you are all doing well :)

This week was a great one. First off, it hasn't hit me yet that this time next week I will be with a new companion...... and Sister Minall will be in London.. But setting that aside for now and we'll talk about this past week! One amazing thing that happened, was that I got to call Lindsay from the Jail. (We taught her for her very first lesson and it was AMAZING. She was out of her area so we had to pass her off to other elders) We have still been praying for her and thinking about her often, so it was awesome to get to talk to her on the phone. She is doing so well! I asked how her lessons have gone with the elders and she told me all about them and what she has learned. She explained that ever since we invited her to read the Book of Mormon she has been studying from it, and ever since she said "I have been so much more patient and peaceful to everyone around me, and especially to William and his dad." She has recognized that this book has already changed her life. She went on to explain in more detail about how she has felt different ever since she started reading it. That was so awesome to hear! I bore testimony to her that she will continue to receive even more blessings as she continues to study from it and receive more blessings from the restored gospel. She got pretty choked up when I told her that and she told me that she doesn't even know how that could be possible, that she has already noticed such amazing blessings. She is AMAZING and I love Lindsay so much! I can't wait to go to her baptism in the near future. She was so prepared. And basically it has strengthened my testimony soo much to hear about her experience! The Book Of Mormon can change lives. It truly is ANOTHER testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. How blessed are we.

At zone training this past week, I was once again in awe at how amazing these missionaries are that I serve with. Like seriously my mind is constantly blown. I try my hardest not to compare myself to them and any feelings of inadequacy I push aside, I know that we are nothing without the help of the Holy Ghost and the strength from Our Savior. One thing I liked from that training was that "Some day is a dangerous word". We need to get to work and be productive always. Also, someone mentioned something about "Gratitude is the mother of all virtue". I promised myself that whenever I am having a hard day I will write in my journal that night about everythinggg I am grateful for. It's impossibly not to feel blessed and happy when we do that. Also, turning it to what more we can do for others, that always helps to turn a day around. Another thing I loved from that training "Christ is the why and why is the bullseye" of missionary work. Our whole purpose as missionaries and as children of our Heavenly Father is to become more like His Son and help others to come closer to Him. A scripture I memorized this past week was Mosiah 28:3 "Now they were desirous that salvation should be declared to every creature, for they could not bear that any human soul should perish. Yea even the very thoughts that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble." This is the story of the Sons of Mosiah as they go to preach to the Lamanites. They are passionate about their purpose because they realize its importance. I know how important and true our message is and I need to do better on remembering that always and talking to EVERYONE. 

We met with Shane this past week. When we first met him he had been struggling big time, and had been job hunting for a long long time. This past time he shared that he had been offered many jobs just recently and that it was right after he had met with us. He asked me when the first day we met him was and a specific date.. I was racking my brain and was also wondering why he needed to know. Well he was calculating if he should contribute the success with finding work, to God and to the fact that it was right after the missionaries had come into his life. He still doesn't know what to think, but we bore testimony to him of the blessings of the gospel and that when we put God first in our lives, he WILL bless us spiritually and temporally. It is so awesome to see these blessings from an outside perspective and to KNOW that it comes from God. I just hope and pray that his faith will increase so he can have that knowledge. We are meeting with Babawalle and Cecillia and their children tonight. (Nigerian family) They are very involved with their church but are so willing to meet with us and definitely have felt the Spirit strongly so I pray for them constantly that they will be able to come even closer to their Savior and join His church. 

This past week, Sister Minall was super sick for a couple days. It was soooooo tempting for me to want to go sleep while she was but I didn't let myself and I got a lot of work done. We are finally finished organizing these 600+ members on our ward roster. It felt so good to have that strength and energy when I prayed for it. I was also able to read my patriarchal blessing for the first time out here. And it was so so powerful! Took me back to the day I received it. All feelings of inadequacy were overcome by the promises I have been given. Also, I was able to read a lot from the Book of Mormon this past week. Wow I just love that book and I am learning from it/loving it more than I ever have before. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY, end of story. Side cool thing I learned: Just as faith is an action word- charity is as well. As we are filled with this PURE LOVE of Christ, we will serve our brothers and sisters and we will do something about it because we will have that desire.

Wanna hear something cool? On mornings that are slow at our shifts at the jail, we have some study time. And I have been able to go into the reconstructed Liberty Jail by myself and sit and study by myself. It is the most peaceful and sacred spirit in there, it is incredible. I feel so blessed to serve here. I had sooo many amazing tours this past week and met some awesome people! One that stood out to me was this pretty large group, but there was this Guatemalan couple. They didn't speak English very well but the man wanted to bear his testimony after the third narration of the presentation. He bore it in Spanish I had no clue what he was saying but holy crap the Spirit was soooo strong! Many people were in tears. Someone translated afterwards and it was the most beautiful testimony.

I'm excited and nervous and sad for transfers this week, but all is well here. I learned so much from this transfer and I am grateful for all the experiences I had! Time is flying and it's weirding me out.

Love you all!!
Sister Smartt

PS. A couple funny stories this week.. there was this huge goose crossing the road that we almost hit and it gave me a heart attack. That's not something you see in az is a goose just chillin in a neighborhood. Sister Minall was laughing so hard and loved telling people how I had freaked out over it. Haha also... I am worried about me. I said "potatuh" instead of potatoe. Like seriously this Missouruh place is really getting ahold of me.. and the prob is that it's only been like five weeks. Pray for me.

One last thing.. we have been teaching this couple Robert and Rhonda for a bit (he is way inactive and she is not a member) but we can't tell if they will progress and if the Lord wants us to keep teaching them.. they just love having us over for saturday breakfast. Anyways, they have like a bijillion dogs and cats (as does everyone here......... it is a struggle). Sister Minall and I were in the dining room and one of their HUGE dogs comes in and literally takes a dump right next to our feet by the table... Sis Minall was like "Ummmmmmm ROBERT..." It was no big d to them, happens all the time.. Oh and this was right before we ate not after..

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