Saturday, July 26, 2014

An Epistle from Sister Smith on Her Way

Oh goodness..... It's been a week and a half and it's been AMAZING! I love my District and I love the MTC. Last Saturday, we all went to the Provo Temple and did a session. It was super great. We watched the NEWEST video. Way cool!
(My District at the Provo Temple)
Sunday, I finally became the official Sister Training Leader. And on that Wednesday, I was able to welcome all the new sisters and elders. We have four new sisters and fifteen elders. The sisters are awesome. Elder Pearson, Vanderwood and I welcomed them all and it went super great. We gave a tour and answered their questions and made them feel comfortable as best we could.

I think on Sunday, I ran into the ASL missionaries. It was super rad! I signed with them and asked where they're going and just talked. It was so weird cuz afterwards, I thought back and couldn't believe the conversation I had was just in ASL, because I understood it perfectly. One of the elders even said that they have a sister in their District that is going to Arkansas for her mission. I asked if she was from Washington, and they said yea! That must be the girl that Elder Rainey and Stephenson (from the Deaf Branch in Seattle) were telling me about!  

On Sunday, we also had a Devotional up at the Marriott Center. T.C Christensen spoke... He's a cinematographer for LDS Pictures. He was talking all about 17 Miracles and Pioneers and stuff. What I got out of that was that I need keep a journal ALONG the journey as opposed to only once I get there. We had another Devotional on Tuesday, which we sang in the Choir at. We sang "Lead Kindly Light" for Stanley G. Ellis of the Seventy. He had all his family speak and I learned a ton. The most powerful statement I got out of his talk was that we need to give it all we've got! In D&C 4, it says, "Serve Him with all your heart. might, mind, and strength". We can't hold back. I thought that was super great and a good reminder. 

One other thing that spoke to me from the Devotional was an analogy of the train to the Gospel. We are all on a train of life and some people get on (converted), and some people get off (fall away). But it is still going and going and not stopping until Christ comes again. It's our choice to stay on and we need to thank Heavenly Father that we get to be aboard. 

On Monday and Thursday, we did 75 minutes of service. Monday, my companions and I cleaned the bathrooms within our Residence. We swept the floors and wiped the doors down. We also swept the stair steps. On Thursday..... We cleaned toilets, mirrors, and sinks, in the Women AND Men's bathroom. That was DISGUSTING. 

Our investigators have been SUPERB. We teach Marco (Our PI... Progressing Investigator), and Barbara (Our TRC... Teaching Resource Center). Marco is our teacher as someone that he taught on his mission. It was amazing. Eventually, as a companionship, we realized that he was lacking the faith that God will answer his prayers. So we testified to him of the Atonement and love from his Father in Heaven. And it was AMAZING. We got him to pray for the first time and he experienced something that I can't even explain. It was beautiful. We came back the next day and he said he felt so much better and lighter (because he continued to pray night and morning). We then explained the intro to the Book of Mormon and the importance of it. And we committed him to read Moroni 7. Our final meeting with him is on Monday and we plan on inviting him to be baptized. Stoked!

Barbara went awesomely as well. We taught her Monday through Thursday. She's of Jewish heritage, but not practicing. That kind of threw me off, but it went really well. We taught her about the Atonement and the purpose of the Book of Mormon and how God loves her and wants her to return to Him. We invited her to be baptized on Thursday and she said "I think so, but I'll have to talk to Harvey". Harvey is her husband. It went REALLY well and got me even more pumped to teach real people.

On Friday, we spent the whole day in In-Field Orientation. Basically, we were taught how to be our best in the field. We learned about working with members, talking to strangers, and expectations relating to success. It was a long day, but we learned a ton. "Lose yourself and you will find yourself".

The MTC has been amazing. I've learned so much about myself and about working with others. As many people know, I get frustrated with myself because I easily get irritated with others. It's been a struggle having to be with two sisters constantly, but we've made it work! I've been focusing on not getting frustrated, but rather viewing them as Christ would, with the pure love of Christ. It's a challenge, but I have truly grown to love them. One important thing I've learned is that "you must be your first convert". Which is so true! I've learned so much and had to grow so much, and I've come so much closer to my Father in Heaven. I love that I've experienced that so that I can truly testify of the truth. 

I had an eye-awakening experience the other day where I realized that I need to do better. I can't tell others that the Book of Mormon is true if I haven't truly and earnestly read it and asked if it was the word of God. It's crazy how much insight one can gain when you truly sit down and ponder the scriptures. I love it here but am stoked to enter Arkansas. 

"Respect your Elders!!" -Elder Tucker
"Are your shoes felt?" *Elder Pearson touches them* "Well now they are!"
"SSSSHHHHH!!! She's praying!!!!!!!!!!!" -Me (:
"Aren't missionaries supposed to have good bladders... They only have one Pee Day a week!" -Sister Holst

Anyways, that's all for this week! I'm pumped to enter Arkansas in THREE days. I'm ready to help others come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I can hardly wait! I love this Gospel so much and want to be out teaching it! 

"Perfect love casteth out all fear".

Be strong, I love you!

(My bed with all my necessities... Pooh Bear, scriptures, and blankie)
(My closet and desk while at the MTC)
(MTC Campus Area)

(MY COMPANIONS: Sister Larsen and Holst)
(The Elders... Such studs. Like Nephi!)
(Excited about my name tag... It's official!)