Monday, May 13, 2013

For starters, it was SO GOOD to see you all and hear your voices. Thank goodness for Mom and for Skype and for Mother's day in honor of mom.
Last Tuesday we had an appointment with Adakcin. (John had to leave to take Isaac to school..) But it was soo good to get to know Adakcin better. She is the sweetest! She made us these beautiful necklaces, I will have to take a picture of them and send it next week. She is the one from Sudan and has been battling breast cancer. We read from the New Testament with her (John 3:16) while she read hers in her language Dinka and we read from ours. It's so cool to see how once again, no matter the language, the Spirit can still testify, even if you have no clue what they are saying at the time ha. She is pretty good at reading in English too, so we gave her a Book of Mormon in English and we read with her from it. She loved it! She also shared how much the Bible helped her through her chemo.. it was amazing to hear the power of her faith. They were all three supposed to come to church tomorrow but backed out the night before. Adakcin wasn't feeling well.. and we think that John didn't end up coming with Isaac because he was having a hard time with Mother's Day  (his wife died only a couple years ago). But I love these people so much and we are planning on seeing them tomorrow.
One evening last week we went to check up on this less active family who we have been thinking a lot about. The Millers. And when we arrived they let us in, we met the whole fam (some are recent converts). And the dad's girlfriend Echo was there. Supposedly they have been waiting for us to come teach her.. we just never got the memo from Bishop! Ha so we are going to start teaching Echo, we have an appointment with them tonight, they are going to feed us dinner and then we will teach her Lesson one, the Restoration. She is so sweet and we are really excited about it! Brother Milller is INSANE though. He is literally Will Ferrill, we were dying laughing.
A couple days ago was Elder Simper's bday (the apartment we skyped from) and all the sisters at the Liberty Jail hid and surprised him when he arrived to open up the jail. It was so much fun, I will send the video soon. Only problem is, he almost had a heart attack. He isn't the youngest of lads..
I got to talk to Lindsay on the phone a couple days ago! The one who is out of our area but I just love her so much. She is doing so well! And I actually met the elders who are teaching her, coincidentally yesterday, so we were able to talk about her and they encouraged me to keep calling her whenever I can at the jail.
Yesterday, we got to "sleep in" until 6:30!!!! Who even knew I would ever use those numbers and those words in the same sentence? Ward council was cancelled so we didn't have to be to church until about 8:30. Mother's Day was so good, hearing all the talks about moms and getting to think about how awesome you are mom. I am seriously the luckiest girl in the world. And of course my favorite part is always when the primary kids go up and sing to all the moms. Surprisingly it didn't make me homesick! But it was obvi the cutest thing I've ever seen. Not gonna lie, I was nervous for this day. And I was nervous to call home. But it was sooooo good to see you guys! I know it didn't make me homesick because I prayed that it wouldn't. And that's the power of having the COMFORTER as a companion. If only I have always been this in tune with the Spirit..
I am just starting Mormon in my reading. So I read a lot from 3 Nephi this past week. One thing I loved when I was studying it, was in 3 Ne 11:15 when the people go up ONE by ONE to Christ. It reminded me of a quote from the Atonement class I took in Saint George. "In the Garden, He did not see a mass of humanity, He saw a stream of individual faces. One by One." How powerful is that? To think that Our Savior knows us personally, by name, by face. Yeah he is the Savior of all mankind and He redeemed each of our brothers and sisters. But it wasn't all at once. He suffered for us each individually because he loves us that much. I am so so grateful for this testimony I have and for my personal relationship with my Savior. And I want everyone to have that.
Another quote I love that I read this past week "As we continue the work Joseph began, the challenge is not convincing others that Jesus is real, but that He is relevant. Developing a relationship with the Lord means spending time with Him." I can vow to that. I have never spent more time with Him than I have in these three months I've been out on my mission, and I have never been closer to Him. I love the gospel and my Savior so much.
I hope you all have a good week! Seriously though. And I am SO STOKED for my baby bro to turn in his mission papers this week!!! I am so proud of you Bug and I know it will bless you so much. I am still so new at this, but I already know this is the best decision I could have made.
The Church is true and I love you all,
Sister Smartt in Missouruh, over and out.
PS the battle of the hair ball is still in rage.
PSS I started driving again and oh how I have missed it! Except it is so different driving here, there are so many hills, it is sketchy and different.

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