Monday, August 18, 2014

Subject: My Heart's In The Heartland Foreverrr

Is this real life?........
This past week has been another incredible week here in Kansas. Yesterday was one of the best Sundays I have had on my mission! Almost everyone came to church!!!! The Thompson's came FINALLY.. hahaha love you Crystal! Dirk came! (This suuper awesome guy from Germany. His father-in-law recently joined the church in Chicago and we miraculously met them awhile back) Gerard came and..GET THIS.. brought a friend!! He's a missionary already. Naomi came with her kids and nonmember husband. The Randalls were there. The sacrament meeting was seriously the best ever! All of the talks were spot on and perrrfect for our investigators. And President Rawson (stake pres) spoke! It was a dream service. I couldn't be happier for all those that were there :)
Let's get down to the miracles already. Yesterday, after church, Gerard called and left like probably the nicest voice mail ever. He was literally sobbing and just thanked me over and over again. He explained how in these past two weeks his life has already changed. He KNOWS and I KNOW that God led us to him. He told me that he has never felt this joy in his life before and He is FILLED. He also told us of miracles that have been happening in his life "ever since we gave him 'that book'". The power of the Book of Mormon is real my friends! It really is. I have seen it time and time again on my mission. And in my own life. This book has changed me and it can change anyone who reads it with a sincere heart! I know this to be true. Meeting Gerard about a week and a half ago was a miracle that I will never EVER forget. I feel so strongly that the Lord sent me here to Kansas to bring him the gospel. He just keeps telling me over and over again that I was an angel sent to him and that I look exactly like his sister who he hasn't seen in almost 20 years. He said because of that, he felt it was a sign from God. Miracles happen today, according to our faith. I believe this with all of my heart! God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and this is how He has always worked. I know that I am merely an instrument for our Lord but he is a miracle worker!!!! It is so beyond true.
These past 18 months have changed me. I had noooo clue what I was set out to do when the Lord sent me out here. But after many, many trials of my faith, I have seen the hand of the Lord in His work. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If you want to be happy, LIVE IT. We are here on Earth to prepare to live with our Father in Heaven again. And with our Savior. My testimony of my Savior has grown soo much. He is my best friend. Words do not describe the power that I have felt as I have turned to Him. He truly has strengthened me beyond my own abilities. He has comforted me, filled me with love, and has literally changed me every day. Helping others to feel of His love is thee best thing in the world. He truly is "THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD." I know that the church of Jesus Christ has been restored. There is not a doubt in my mind that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He was called to be an instrument for the Lord to restore the gospel. Again, the BOM IS true. I could never deny it. I know that President Monson is the prophet of God on the Earth today. He truly does receive revelation from God for the world. Because The Lord guided him, the age for missionaries changed which changed my life! It was an answer to prayers for me and soooo many others. He truly is inspired.
Leaving the mission field might just be the hardest thing I will ever do. Awhile back President Rawson said something that hit me sooo hard.. slash killed me a lil bit. Literally. It was my last zone conference and when he found out that some of us were leaving soon.. He just cried. He broke down and cried! All he could say is "I'm sorry.. I really am. Going home is the closest to death that you will experience in this life." BUT I know I can do it with the help of my Savior. "I believe in Christ so come what may." Right? I don't know what the Lord has in store for me next.. but I do know that I can continue to be an instrument for Him the rest of my life. My discipleship is settled. I love my Heavenly Father with all of my heart and I am willing to do whatever He asks. I know that my name tag, with my Savior's name, is painted on my heart forever. I have considered super gluing it to my favorite shirt..... and I might bawl my eyes out when they make me take it off. BUT full time missionary or not, we can always have one painted on our hearts.
"There are times when we have to step into the darkness in faith, confident that God will place solid ground beneath our feet once we do."
- quote from Pres. Uchtdorf that I have been reading almost daily. This describes my feelings to a tee.
I love you all so so much. I am sooo humbled and grateful for all of the love and support you have given me.
With love,
Sister Smartt
ps.. reality has hit. I will see you in 18 months... or a couple of days....Miracles to be seen in KS until then. LOVE YOU. 

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