Thursday, June 16, 2011

June 13, 2011

Don’t Worry, Be HAPPY

Dear Family and Friends,
This has been my theme song lately. We've been having a few trials and difficulties lately its been a good experience learning how to be happy even through trials. more on that in a few minutes...

1. I have a new companion, Hermana Aguilar. Also, we have a PVC pipe shower where we have to reach up and turn the notch from the pipe. Problem: my companion is very short so every morning I have to go turn the shower on and off for her. hahha. makes me laugh every morning. MLIAIH
2. The other day at the transfer meeting we were all getting ready to leave because we had finished the meeting. But all of the sudden I looked in the chapel again at the big screen where they had shown the changes and for some reason BYU TV was on... all I saw was the face of BRONCO and it made me a little more than way trunky. hahha. I'll be there soon, cougars! MLIAIH
3. i had another dream about oatmeal chocolate chip cookies the other day. I dont know if I’m more excited to eat those or see my family.... haha. MLIAIH
Anyway so like I said I've been doing a lot of thinking about how much the gospel makes me HAPPY. I'm not going to lie, sometimes I dont show it. I get frustrated and disappointed and discouraged and I dont show my hope in the gospel and that it actually has changed my life. But I'm repenting of that and setting goals... dont worry.
So this morning I had a study on the words Happiness and Joy and I learned a lot of things.
More than anything I learned that when we are free from sin and full of hope, that's when we are really, truly, eternally happy. I invite you all to do a little study and you'll find that a lot. ¨Wickedness never was happiness¨.
And that's something I've really learned and lived. I've learned to repent and feel the gospel work in my life and I've been happier on my mission than ever in my life. I realized the other day that here on my mission, thanks to the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ, I love more easily, I smile more sincerely, and I feel a wonderful peace in my life. That’s not to say my mission has been butterflies and rainbows.... I’ve cried harder than I ever have and have felt the deepest sorrow than I ever have, but if there was no sadness, there would be no joy, right? I'm so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and the answers that are found in the basic steps of the gospel. In that way we can be happy here, now, and forever.
It’s really been an incredible experience learning how the gospel really works in MY life, and for that I am so grateful.
Let the gospel CHANGE your life. Repent, and be happy.
Love you all so much!
Hermana Smith

June 6, 2011

I think this email is going to break the record for the shortest one... time flies when you're on a slow computer! hahah .

Things are going a lot better in our area. we had a good week with lots of happinesses and pick me up moments. hahah. Those are what I like. This week is transfer week so wednesday I will have a new companion... dont know who yet. And I will enter into my LAST change... talk about weird. I have mixed emotions.... a little excitement and a lot of nerves. I want this transfer to be the best.

Just wanted to share a short thought that I found in my scripture study today. I looked up the definition for Zion and found 7 definitions. but the first one hit me hard, it says that Zion is ´´an unselfish state of mind¨. Interesting, huh? If we could all achieve unselfishness we would make up the perfect Zion as a church, as families, as ward and branches, as friends. I thought that was so interesting. I invite you to think about that, read Mosiah 18: 21 and Moses 7:18, then set a goal to improve. Think, ¨How am I contributing to and building up Zion??¨

Well that's about it folks. enjoy the pictures. Love you all SO MUCH!

see you soon..
Hermana Smith

May 23, 2011

Hello family and friends! (i've run out of creative openings.. sorry!)
This week was... well, not the most productive. we spent almost 3 entire days traveling, in zone conference and everything. A little hard knowing how much time I DONT have left, but we'll make up for it this week. (but at least we got in more bus contacts) The most exciting news is that we had emergency transfers so I now have a new companion. not that I'm excited for that because I miss my companion but I know it was the will of the Lord because I know we will see lots of great things happen in this area. My new companion is a mini missionary from here in Honduras.. she's preparing for her own mission soon. Although she doesnt have as much experience and its hard to adjust to that, she's going to be an incredible missionary. She's dedicated and excited to do this work.

This week I gave my final testimony in my last zone conference... that is a weird feeling! after the 5 of us gave our testimonies President Flores had us stand in front and gave a few ¨last pieces of advice¨... as you can imagine he mentioned the ¨m¨ word... i just laughed thinking how long it is going to take me to feel ready to get married.. ha.

Sorry I couldnt think of any funnies this week... or at least ones that are explainable over internet. haha.

Just wanted to share something I learned from a recent convert a few weeks ago. this guy is amazing.... he used to be a famous preacher in the catholic church but after he had a few dificulties he lost touch with God, etc. But then he found the elders and started learning about the church. when he moved here to our town he walked into the church one day, met the elders in our branch, and got baptized a few weeks later. He has the strongest testimony and is serving well in the branch. there are plans to have him teach seminary. Anyway, he was giving a talk in church (amazing... ex preacher!) and something he said really hit me hard.

He said that our problem is that we get too used to saying the saying ¨we`ll never be perfect... or we can fail this once and repent because we'll never be perfect.¨ and its true, we justify ourselves a lot of times. But he explained that if we really have faith in the gospel and we really love God, we will strive to be perfect. Faith equals obedience. exact obedience. anyway he expressed it a lot more powerfully and effectively than I did, but I liked it because it gave me a great motivation to really strive to live the gospel with exactness and stop justifying myself.

anyway, just food for thought. (now i have thoughts for food... the ice cream selection is looking way good right now.)

Well I hope this week is marvelous and inspiring. Keep working hard in whatever you do and make the world a better place because you were there.

Love you all so much!
Hermana Smith

May 16, 2011

10 weeks to go????

Hola familia!
Well, another week down and I’m feeling good. (tired, but good).
Every day I become more and more grateful for my mission and all that
I learn and grow here. I love this country and this people and this
1. Did you know the word for Zorro (as in the mask of) means SKUNK in Spanish?? I always imagined it meaning ¨noble fighter¨ or ¨defendor of the good¨ or something like that. Nope. MLIAIH

2. The reason I know that is because this week my comp and I are studying animals. I’m learning in Spanish and she in English. But the funny is that I realized as we were practicing that she’s learning the words for armadillo, ostrich, and pheasant, but doesn’t remember how to say cow, horse, or pig. MLIAIH

3. I saw something in the grocery store the other day that I had completely forgotten existed: shaving cream. Its not very common because its SO much cheaper to use a bar of soap. MLIAIH

4. Speaking of shaving, do you know how much it hurts to use a going-bad razor and a bar of soap, to shave your legs that have a million bug bites? Pain. MLIAIH

1.Henry got dressed up in a white shirt and tie and blessed the sacrament for the first time yesterday…. He had been practicing the prayer for several weeks and said it perfectly…. It was beautiful!

2.This isn’t lovely.. yet but this Wednesday is my last zone conference which means my final testimony….. I literally NEVER imagined the day would come.. but I’m excited and nervous…. 3 minutes to sum up 18 months?

Things are going great here in La Esperanza. There is so much work to do and little time to do it, but we’re seeing lots of progress. The branch is getting ready to send out FIVE missionaries in the next few months… we’re scared because we’ll lose all the people with callings but I know the work here is going to sky rocket when the blessings of their service come back to this little town. The families are excited and scared because they’re the first missionaries in almost 10 years. (3 of them are the 3 kids in the Branch Presidents family… 2 twin girls and a boy are all leaving together) Anyway it’s a great time to live and serve here and Im so excited and grateful.
Just a thought from my scripture study that I wanted to invite you all to read in your personal study this week. In D & C 10: 46 to 52 talks about what the BOM prophets wanted to be in the BOM… it made me think about if I’m using the BOM to the potential it was written.(does that even make sense.. you get the idea)
Anyway love youall so much. Thanks for your support and love prayers.
Keep them coming!
Love, Hermana Smith

May 9, 2011

Hey family!
Well I talked to some of you last night.... so this may be boring, but I thought I'd send a short email anyway.

Things are going well. We're happy and working hard and learning lots here in La Esperanza. I'm so grateful for the gospel and the huge influence it has in my life and i want it to have in other's lives. I'm learning so much, especially that Heavenly Father answers prayers and listens to every thought we have. He DOES influence our lives, even if its not in the time we expect or want. I surely have a testimony of that.

1. In the states the biggest holiday is Christmas, right? Here... Mother's Day. we're talking fireworks, marichi bands, days off of school, and celebrations in every public organization. I didnt realize it was so big until I woke up at 4 sunday morning to fireworks and a car driving around on the street with a loud microphone congratulating all the mothers. MLIAIH

2. The other day it was a sunday and we were visiting our new converts. They had a (very tempting) Earth, Wind, and Fire song on that was getting my trunkyness up. So i jokingly mentioned how werent supposed to have parties on sunday... he got the idea so went into his house to change the song... I was expecting silence when I heard `My heart will go on` by Celine Dion. haha. much more appropriate. i guess its the thought that counts. MLIAIH

3. Have you ever seen 2 drunk men fight? haha its really funny. we say a whole bunch yesterday.. i think the men were depressed because Fathers day is hardly celebrated here so they all went out and got drunk. MLIAIH

Well I'm sorry if this is short and boring.. but I promise things are going great and I love being here. The days are going faster and my time is running down, so I'm trying to give it my ALL while it lasts. The gospel is true and Christ has a plan for us. Priesthood power is real and so, so important in our lives. I testify that the Book of Mormon is true and should be read by all of us, EVERY DAY. Dont let a day pass by without feeling even a little of the power of that book.

I invite you to live the teachings in 2 Nephi 9: 52. Pray. Give thanks. REJOICE.

Love you all so much!
Hermana Smith

Monday, May 9, 2011

May 2, 2011

Hello family!
For the first time in a long time, I have lots of news to write! This week was pretty normal, but I have several stories:

1. So its against the law to ride in the bed of pick up trucks here. But the more often than not I see at least one pick up full of policemen in the bed. Hahah. MLIAIAH
2. So you know how the day after a work out your muscles hurt in the morning because they’ve relaxed so much? I bet you’ve never thought about that happening in your feet. But every morning I wake up, get out of bed and stumble a little as I walk because my feet hurt so bad. Haha welcome to the area La Esperanza. MLIAIH
3. We had to go to the hospital the other day to visit a lady and her baby in our ward. It scared me so bad… it’s like a festival of sketchiness. I’m so grateful for our hospitals! MLIAIH
4. So we have this lady we’ve been working with for a while… I think she’s gonna be an eternal investigator, but someday I know she’ll figure things out! Anyway she had been receiving the Jehovah’s Witness for about a year, and still has contact with the lady that gave her classes. So we went to her house for our appointment and heard voices from outside her house, reading what sounded like scriptures. We asked her daughter who was outside playing who was there and she said she thought the JW was there. Great! We thought we were in a sticky situation, but the girl ran in and told her mom we were there. She opened the door and we saw nobody was there.. just her Book of Mormon. She was reading out loud from the chapter we had left her… FINALLY!! It was the first time she had read in almost a month. Hahaha. Oh me of little faith. She had read it and marked her favorite scriptures. MLIAIH.
5. This more than anything a hint for mom: I had a very trunky dream a few nights ago. All about oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I think I woke up drooling. MLIAIH

So remember how about 2 months ago I wrote about the pastor who walked in on our lesson? Well happened again this week… with the same pastor. Ugh. He told us he thought the Lord was showing him a sign that he had to teach us the Plan of Salvation.. that’s why we had run into each other so much. Ha. After a few awkward and frustrating minutes I realized it was a sign.. but for me. I’m proud to say this time I was a lot more patient and didn’t lose it. I realized the importance of having the spirit, and we left laughing.
It was funny because everything we said he turned back on us. When we told him we didn’t have time and we had an appointment we had to go to he started lecturing us saying there is always time for God, etc… we just laughed and left.. no use arguing. I just wonder what he would have said if he knew our appointment was for lunch. Hahah

Well gotta run. Talk to (some of) you Sunday!
Love you lots, and I love this gospel!
Love, Hermana Smith

April 25, 2011

Hello family and friends!
Another week in the mission has flown by! I can’t believe how fast it goes! But I’m so grateful for this time I have to serve and work hard. It’s coming down to the wire!
So this big news for this week is that we DON’T have transfers… again! Hermana Morales and I are breaking the tradition and staying together 3 transfers…. Hope she doesn’t get sick of me for 4 and a half months! I’m excited because we can just keep working hard and improving.. we don’t have to start new with a new companionship because we’re already used to each other! Haha. She’s awesome.

1. This morning was the worst ever. We woke up at 6:30, a little bit cold because it was raining… and there was no electricity. Just imagine you are tired all day, every day you have to wake up to a cold dark rainy morning and you CANT sleep in. hahah. What a temptation! MLIAIH
2. Today we took a bus to another city for a pday activity. Of course us 4 missionaries were standing up because there was no more seats… perfect opportunity for the zone leaders to dare me to contact the bus (stand up in front and talk to everyone). Then they handed me a pack of ¨Law of Chastity¨ pamphlets to hand out after I contacted. Of course my pride got the best of me and I had to take them and say I’d do it, acting like I WASN’T scared. No way I’m going to look so chicken! So I did it… contacted the bus and now about 55 people have heard my testimony and lots have a pamphlet about the law of chastity. Hahaha. It felt great! Now I’m going to put a goal to contact 15 more buses before I go home. MLIAIH
3. I love the people in La Esperanza, but I cant help but laugh at some words they use. There isn’t a lot of education here so they make up different words or change the correct ones. And now I have a hard time saying them right. Hope people can understand me when I get home! MLIAIH

Welp, things are going well…. ¨regular¨ like everyone says here. Don’t have much time to write more, but maybe more good new next week!

Love you all so much! Keep your faith strong!!
Hermana Smith