Monday, September 16, 2013

It was a great week in the work of the Lord! It felt soooo good to work hard and to know that Sister Stewart and I gave it our all.

I have a very strong testimony of the power in praying for specific things/goals. We have been praying constantly that we will be led to those that are prepared and ready to hear the gospel and I felt like we were doing all that we could but we were lacking specificity with our goals. And after our zone meeting this past week, I was just re-pumped to be a missionary basically. I am so grateful for the examples that I have around me to strengthen my testimony and to give me a boost when I am lacking the faith that I need. As a mission, we are going to start keeping track of how many copies of the Book of Mormon we give out daily and really focus on using it as our main tool in teaching everyone we meet. (it always should be, but we needed this extra reminder/strength and we were able to give away 16 after this focus was made!) 

Anyways, so we pray a bijillion times a day right? Well I decided that I, personally, need to be more specific in my prayers and in the goals that I ask for help from the Lord. So one day we set out and I asked Heavenly Father to help us find 4 prepared people that we could give these 4 copies of the Book of Mormon to. And guess what? He led us to 6 that day!!! And we only had a short amount of time for proselyting so it was a miracle, no doubt. 

Right now we are teaching this lady named Susan, who is sooo so great. She is such a sweetheart. She has been reading the Book of Mormon and we invite her to pray as she reads but she doesn't see the need to pray until she finishes it. We really focused on the importance of the Spirit and its role to teach us as we study/learn. She said the closing prayer which was soo amazing and hopefully she has been praying this week as well as reading. Also, she is planning on coming to a service project with us for Relief Society this week, which will be way awesome.

We are still teaching Apryl! She had a death in her family.. so she had been out of town. But she was able to come to church! When we got to her house to pick her up for church, she told us that she had been sick all morning but she felt that the prayers at church would help so she was going to try it out... Needless to say, she didn't last long and ended up running out in the middle of sacrament meeting and then Sister Wangsgaard took her home.. ha but what faith Apryl has! Love that woman. NO ONE can stop her hahah.

Exchanges were this past week and it was interesting spending the day in the University Branch with Sister Hodson (from PG, UT and knows Hilary and Sam!!) and Sister Fortuna. They didn't have any appointments set up so we did A LOT of street contacting around campus, which was so different from anything I have experienced yet on my mission. People were surprisingly nice and we were able to teach many lessons just out and about. We did have a funny experience at the end of the day.. we were all pretty beat/delirious but these three white guys passed by us and I offered them a card. They said sure! (note: no accent was noticed) Sister Hodson went on to ask if they had a belief in God. They just stared at us with thee most confused looks on their faces. She re-asked the question and they just continued to stare. I, thinking they had misunderstood her, asked it again and rephrased God as Higher Power. We all felt like we were dreaming and thought they were A) Drunk or B) playing dumb and just making things awkward on purpose (typical college guy hahah jk) but anyways. They finally started talking and we found out they were from Brazil! They didn't look foreign at all so we weren't expecting that.. but I threw in a couple Spanish words- iglesia and Jesucristo  (close enough to Portuguese yeah?) and they looked a lot more comfortable and began talking. It was funny/we laughed real hard after ha.

I re-found a favorite talk this past week!! It is "The Challenge to Become" by Dallin H. Oaks and I looove love it. It incorporated so many of my favorite scriptures/quotes. Here are a couple favorites from it:

"The Final Judgement is not just an evaluation of a sum total of good and evil acts- what we have done. It is an acknowledgement of the final effect of our acts and thoughts- what we have become. It is not enough for anyone just to go through the motions. The commandments, ordinances, and covenants of the gospel are not a list of deposits required to be made in some heavenly account. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a plan that shows us how to become what our Heavenly Father desires us to become."

"Our needed conversions are often achieved more readily by suffering and adversity than by comfort and tranquility"

This week, focus on something that is keeping you from being completely in tune with the Spirit and from becoming what Heavenly Father has designed you to become. Be specific with your goals and Heavenly Father and our Savior WILL help you. I am so grateful for the gospel and this plan that has been revealed to us and the help that is there for us. I love this Church and I love being a missionary!!

Sister Smartt

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