Monday, October 28, 2013


Enjoying a quick lunch with Sis Call

Love these Sisters!

Olive Garden after Zone training!

Who even knew Halloween was the creepiest holiday ever? As a missionary I am seeing it in a whole new light ha..

Saturday was our ward's Fall Festival! Which turned out so great. Such a fun time and I just realize more and more how much I love this ward and this area. Erin and Joshua came which was the greatest surprise EVER. They are amazing!! Sadly the University sisters will have to start teaching them because they fall under their age and aren't married..... yet :) So maybe we will work on that haha

We are still teaching Susan and Nancy. Both are progressing very slowly but we are working hard with them and praying for patience. We weren't able to have much contact with our Ecuadorians this week... or the Self's. Amissa and Cazaiah were able to come to church yesterday though!! The youth welcomed them warmly and it was a great Sabbath.

Our less actives are doing pretty well! Tonya is still reading and praying daily and it is incredible to WATCH her heart soften. The Spirit is such a powerful tool. As a returned missionary, it is all about helping her to remember. But really, that is how it is with everyone right? We chose Jesus Christ before we came to Earth and we agreed to this beautiful and trying plan of our Heavenly Father's. The Rodger's (less active) invited us over for dinner this past week! So grateful for that tender mercy. Sadly, they still weren't able to come to church but they are progressing in their reading and praying at home.

We met this girl named Jessica who has met with missionaries in the past. Her husband is deployed and he is a member! She is willing to meet with us again :) Also, the Crocker's dad is home from deployment and seeing their entire fam at church together was a beautiful site. They are sooo stoked for their baptism on November 29th!!

Yesterday in Relief Society the lesson was on the power of obedience. For part of the lesson we focused on 1 Nephi 3:7 about the Lord preparing a way for us to accomplish what he commands. I was sooo overwhelmed with the Spirit when I remembered the huge miracle it was in preparing for my mission. I knew that the Lord was calling me and despite my worries/discouragements/etc. I knew that if it was right He would prepare the way. And He did! Remembering how perfectly EVERYTHING worked out allowing me to go was amazing. I know I have seen His hands in my life so many times. He is real and He loves us so much.

"God does notice us, and He watches over us. But it is usually through another person that He meets our needs." -Spencer W. Kimball
There are people out there that need YOU. Your gifts/talents/service/testimony and YOU can make a difference and be an instrument in the Lord's hands. 

I love you all and hope you have a grand ole week. Eat too much candy, it's appropriate this time of the year.

With love,
Sister Smartt

Monday, October 21, 2013

My fave, Serenity!  I miss my onesie!

Sister Murphy and me!

Howdy. And a happy early birthday to Aunt Cheryl!! love you!

We had such a great week, Sister Murphy and I! Many many tender mercies from the Lord and some great lessons learned.

This weekend was stake conference so Saturday night we went to Salina for the adult session. The First Presidency wrote President Napp (our stake pres.) and 6 days before stake conference he opened a letter saying that all of the Saturday session needed to be dedicated to missionary work. So he rearranged the entire program. Talk about last minute miracles. It turned out AMAZING. Every talk that was given was so inspired. They had all of us missionaries sit on the stand and we sang our mission song as the special musical number. I have grown to looooove that song. I could feel the spirit so incredibly strong, from head to toe. It was amazing! Then President and Sister Bell were able to speak. The Spirit testified of how important this work is and that it truly is being hastened by the Lord! The Second Coming is so near my friends. A favorite quote from Sister Bell "If you don't wear a name tag every day like us, paint one on your heart!" SO TRUE. I love that. All of us need to remember who we are and who we represent as members of the Lord's church.

Natasha and Amissa Self have committed to prepare for baptism on November 9th!! Amissa and her little bro Cazaiah were able to come with us yesterday to stake conference. It was a tad long for a hungry 12-year-old boy but hopefully they liked it haha. Barbara Shorter has also committed to prepare for baptism on November 9th! She has such a strong desire to change her life but her surroundings (home/family/friends/etc.) are not the most positive influence... so she could use the prayers!

Okay so to explain about Heavenly Father hiding our phone. Yesterday I may or may not have lost our phone... we searched high and low and couldn't find it anywhere! So we ended up leaving to a couple appointments. One appointment bailed so we came back to look some more. After another search, and remembering to pray, I kept thinking we need to just have our neighbors call it! So finally we go out and knock a couple doors who aren't home.. We were about to go to the next floor but sister Murphy was inspired to knock on #5 and tada we met Steven and Edwin!! Edwin was a JW from Ghana and wasn't too receptive to our message. But Steven called and found our phone and THEN accepted a BOM!!! Obvi Heavenly Father was hiding it for a very wise purpose :) The University sisters are going to meet with him.

We are working with quite a few less actives. It is really cool because they are some that Sister Stewart and I worked hard to contact and now they are more and more receptive. Sister Glenn (Shawn's cousin) is going to let us teach her every Sunday to "practice the lessons". She also committed to bring a friend eventually :) We met the Carter's and she is actually from st geezy, we have some mutual friends! (raquel, brooke, nicole) We are also teaching Mary Lou who is thee funniest lady ever and beyond proud of her fresh mullet. Also, Felix found a job! Happy days!

Still loving the Little Apple and enjoying the journey. A quote I want to close with:
"They won't care how much you know until they know how much your care." SO true. Charity is the key to bringing others unto Christ and I am learning more and more about that each day.

I love you all so much! So grateful for the prayers.

Sister Smartt

Monday, October 14, 2013

Lil Sis, Shawn and Sparkles

Apryl !!! I love this woman!!

See black bean story in letter

Don't ever forget Fast Sunday as a missionary!!

Sis. Murphy and I on twin bikes!

Good morning fam and friends! And HAPPY birthday to Camille!!! I love you so much and am soo beyond grateful for your example to me. Also, shoutouts and happy birthdays to Kimberly, Michelle, and Kella! Love you guys.

For starters, I love my new comp. We laugh all day long (hence the email title) and we literally make up the most ridiculous songs all day to whatever we are doing, it is the funniest/we feel like true missionaries who are losing their minds. But most importantly, we continue to see miracles in the Little Apple and work hard. Yesterday at church, Sister Pickering (who was giving the Relief Society lesson) asked us ahead of time to participate in the lesson and basically share certain things we have learned as a missionary, how our perspective on life has changed, and how our hearts have changed. I was so overwhelmed with gratitude to be a missionary. I have learned SO MUCH it's not even funny. I love my mission beyond belief. I know that it is shaping me to become more of the daughter of God that He has destined me to become.

Sad news!! Apryl is moving :(..... to Junction City. So not too far and she still claims that she will attend church with us. We did explain that there are sisters there as well but she said she is not ready to leave her babies (that is what she calls us). She LOVED fast and testimony meeting yesterday, it was incredible. There was this specific testimony by this young man in our ward who bore testimony about attending a funeral recently at another church and how he "wasn't filled" there like he is "spiritually filled" in our church. Sitting next to Apryl during church is incredible. She is used to really interactive churches so the whole time she is going "AMEN! That's riiight! hmmmmhmm" hahahah I love it so much. When this boy bore testimony she was like "YES that is exactly how I feel!!!" She truly sees and feels the difference in our church because it has the fullness! And the power of God within it. Amazing.

So we are still teaching the Shorter family and we had a greaat lesson with them this past week. Sister Murphy and I both felt that we needed to focus on the Word of Wisdom next. We were slightly nervous on how they would accept it, but it was incredible! They know that smoking is bad, they have a desire to quit, but they just haven't had any luck in trying to quit before. We PROMISED them the help of the Lord as they do their part. The Spirit was really strong there. Even though the two older boys were in the background the whole time rapping about the Book of Mormon... haha interesting times in their home, let me tell you. We also met this guy there and he was SO enthusiastic about life, it was fantastic. He loves checking out new churches and said he is going to attend ours and WILL get up and introduce himself and make sure everybody gets to know "THEE gary ______" (Can't remember his last name) But he didn't end up coming to church yesterday..

Satan is so real my friends. I bore my testimony about this and how we NEED God in our lives every day, all day to overcome the evils of this world right now. We truly are in the last days. Sadly, some of our recent converts are really struggling! Karen finally made an appointment with us for last night but bailed... so please keep her in your prayers! Brother Harsh (Felix) has such a strong faith but neeeeds prayers. He is really sick right now, just lost his jobs, and Satan is working so hard. I hope he doesn't mind me sharing all this but he is just such a great example of holding strong! Yesterday he calls us before church (sounded AWFUL) to tell us he is sick.. but asked if we could pick up his tithing for him so we could take it to church. WOW. Talk about incredible faith. I am so grateful for the examples I have seen out here and the faith I have witnessed.

We are still teaching the Crocker kids and they are amazing. LOVE to participate in the lessons and are sooo excited to be baptized and invite their friends to it. We are planning for around Thanksgiving because their dad will be home from deployment and their families will be in town :) Also, we are still teaching sweet Renee. And Susan! She is doing good. We had a perfect convert team-up come with us last time that really encouraged and strengthened her to not give up.

Like I started out with, I LOVE MY MISSION. This church is true. I love all of the truths that have been revealed to us, it is amazing. Go out and share this with everyone you know or meet!

I love you all and really appreciate all the love and support. A scripture I committed to memory this week was:
Alma 26:12 "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself but I will boast of my God, for in His strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise His name forever."

Sister Smartt

PS Apryl quote of the week- We were driving to church and she squealed uncontrollably after finding a bee in the car. Sister Murphy was like "Ohhh it's fine, it is a honey bee- won't sting you!" With no hesitation Apryl says "I don't wanna bee HIS honey!" Hahahaha I love her sass.

PPS Funny story (see pics) Yesterday I was all ready for church and we were making lunch real quick.  Our can opener is awful but I wanted these black beans in my the can opener didn't cut the can all the way through.  I tried pushing it down and it EXPLODED ALL OVER ME! Hair, skirt and all. Yum.  Lesson learned: Don't ever forget that it is fast sunday as a missionary or you and your comp will suffer!!  hahaha no bueno!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Sis Call - love her so much - one of my dearest friends here

Sis Fortuna from Cali

Sis Stewart - 4 1/2 months together!  I'll miss her!!

sketchiest bus station for transfers in Junction City...
all a tad delierious at 2am!

Sis Murphy my new comp - went jogging her 1st morning
in what turned into a major scary rainstorm!

I LOVE MANHATTAN! Step into my jungle!

What a crazy week!! It was most definitely bittersweet. Started out with some frantic efforts in helping Sister Stewart pack and say many goodbyes to our friends here in Manhattan. I still can't believe we served together for 4 and a half months! I didn't realize how much I would miss her.

Transfers were INSANE. We had to wake up at midnight to get ready for the next day and drive to Junction City to be at the bus stop at 2 A.M... It was madness. Luckily we were not the only missionaries there at that drop-off because that was by far the sketchiest place I have ever been to. Not to mention, the Holy Ghost goes to bed at midnight and it wasn't until 3 A.M. that the bus left.. We had a grand time with all of the missionaries there. All of us were so delirious and not accustomed to being up at that hour. At the bus stop, we were greeted by this hilarious Indian man that rolled out of bed when we arrived. He printed the tickets and sat outside and talked about the gospel with us! It somehow felt disobedient to be teaching the gospel at that hour.. haha but it all felt like a dream. 

After our companions ditched us, Sister Call and I were on exchanges for the day!! I LOVE her so much. She is one of my dearest friends out here. After crashing at the JC sisters apartment at 4 A.M. and spending the day in JC and working out of area books, we picked up our new companions that evening. Sister Murphy (my new baby) is AMAZING. Holy smokes. She was born to be a missionary. I have already learned so much from her.

We are going to see MIRACLES this transfer. And we already are. First off, we got to listen to our LIVING prophet!!! How cool is that? Conference was amazing. I echo President Monson when he said he would write in his journal that it was one of the best sessions he has ever witnessed. It was sooo powerful. Basically every talk was written for me and I received some amazing insights for myself and this area and our precious friends we are teaching!

Some favorites:
When Elder Ballard talked about missionary work, it struck hard to me that I have never felt more loved than when helping others feel the love of God. -Alma 29:10 "when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."

One of my favorite memories of my mission so far happened about a month ago, that I don't think I have shared yet. Sister Stewart and I went to visit our friend at the Oriental Market and she gave us these coconut popsicles. We were biking away and passed this lady who looked like she was having a really rough day. I was only able to say hi how are you doing!? She just kind of grumbled and went on her way.. As we were leaving I KNEW that we couldn't leave that sister of ours in that state. We biked in her direction and couldn't see where she went.. We just kept biking and praying that we would be able to find her. Miraculously she was at this house we were JUST visiting before we went to the market. She was sitting on the porch with the kids we had just met and she was hysterically bawling. I offered her my popsicle and asked her how we could help her feel better. She started crying even harder and finally came to us and allowed us to just give her a hug. We were hugging a complete stranger on the side of the road and comforting her and I knew that was what Christ wanted us to do at that time. She opened up to us that she had just witnessed a suicide. My heart literally ached for this woman and I wanted her to just allow the Savior to heal her heart. We weren't even able to teach a lesson but I know that we were meant to be there to comfort her in her time of need and she will always remember the Church that we told her we represented. I pray that she will be led to missionaries someday. And going along with Elder Ballard's lesson, I have never felt more loved before than when testifying to someone else that God lives and loves them.

I love love loved conference. I wouldn't say I have a favorite talk but it definitely answered prayers of mine and helped me to see a whole new light for some of our friends we are teaching. If you haven't watched conference, DO IT. I loved President Uchtdorf's talk and the question of WHY in the world would anyone dedicate as much time to a church as we do!? His perspective was humoring and so true. But because we know that it is the Lord's church, we know that it will all be worth it in the end :) "Our daily walk with Jesus Christ leads to peace in this life and eternal joy in the life to come."

This past week I studied "The Challenging and Testifying Missionary" and it is changing me and the missionary I want to be. Every day is a constant battle to be more bold and to rely more on the Lord. I loved this talk so much!! I loved how beautiful and bold it was written. We are to "use the lessons to confirm our testimonies and to give them greater assurance" and to be a "challenging and testifying missionary" rather than just a teaching one. The Spirit truly is the teacher and we need to do all that we can to invite everyone to come closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and to enter into covenants with them.

Thank you for all of the love and support. I am so blessed. I invite each of you to share the gospel today! Follow the invitation from our prophet to reach out to at least ONE. If everyone does this, millions will be blessed. And like stated in conference, that would be the greatest Christmas gift we could give our Savior. The Church is true and God loves you. He is always there.

I love you all!
Sister Smartt

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sister Bell !!! Love her!!!

Sister Dean!

Sis Call, Sis Fortuna and the hyena!!

Sis Stewart and I at Sunset Zoo for service project


Emily Stapley (best teamup ever, we love her! and FATIMA!

Sept. 30, 2013
Well I blinked again and it's Monday!! What the.... This past week was great though. Although we did have a bijillion meetings and not as much time out proselyting as we would like.

Okay so first off, we pulled weeds with hyenas, hence the email topic haha. It was so sweet!!! Most of the missionaries in our zone did service at the zoo because an investigator works there. Best service EVER.

On Tuesday there was a Sister's meeting. Yes, it may have started out with some yoga. They spoil us sisters. But they had some trainings to help some of the sisters that are really struggling.. Sister Bell is such a sweetheart and put this whole program together and it turned out wonderful! Sister Dean and I were asked to do a 30-minute training on makeup.. which was interesting because I feel like I make up my own rules with makeup and as I missionary I can't ask google for help. But it turned out good! I shared some quotes from the Atonement class I took about how our light of Christ shines through our eyes and how powerful it is to focus on the eyes and also our smiles :)

Friday was Apryl's husband's funeral.. we got special permission from the AP's to attend that. She was THRILLED to see us there and it was soo good to be there for her and comfort her as much as we could.. It was hard though. It was also extremely hard because the service was held at a Methodist church in Ogden, aka we aren't allowed to proselyte at other churches.. I wanted so badly to bear testimony to them of the plan of happiness that we KNOW has been revealed. It was a very neat experience attending that and seeing a whole new perspective. There are others who are trying their hardest and believe they are striving to follow Jesus Christ. They just don't have the fullness.. 

On Friday was also district meeting and we were asked to give a training on the Book of Mormon.. It was super short because Elder Swensen and I are both training so we had to hurry to this conference call for training new missionaries. Which turned out great. Even though they called on me like 12 times and it is always interesting saying prayers/singing hymns over the phone ha. Then they randomly call on one missionary at the end to bear their testimony and luck of the draw they called on me.. But I got to find out my new companion's name! Sister Murphy. I will meet her on Wednesday evening.

Susan is doing great! She is so solid. Loves reading and praying now. One hurdle to jump is helping her to come to church. She was at the Renaissance Festival this weekend but we are really going to emphasize the importance of church and keeping the Sabbath day holy. Nancy is also an older lady that we are teaching and she is recovering from surgery so has a lot of time on her hands. She has been reading and praying as well and was home-bound so she couldn't come to church.. But she is awesome. We are also teaching the Crocker family! They are soo cute. Three of the kids have not been baptized so starting tomorrow we will teach them the lessons so that when their dad returns from deployment at the end of October, they can be ready for baptism!!

I am grateful for more time in this beautiful area and great ward. I love all those that we are teaching right now!! And I am so grateful for these past 4 and a half months that Sister Stewart and I have been companions. I have learned soooo much. 

We were blessed to have an investigator (Erin) that offered her washer and dryer so that is where we will be headed. And then off to play sports with the zone!!! SO fun.

Hope you all have a great week. You are loved.

Mosiah 24:15 "And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord."

xoxo Sister Smartt