Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a plentitude of food

Hola familia y amigos!
So I guess its a good sign because I’m so focused on the Lord’s work… but sorry because I haven’t thought anything about what I’m going to write you today. Haha. So it may be short. But here are some random thoughts, hp0e they make sense.
1. Forks are rare here. Usually the people just eat with their hands or use the tortillas as we would utensils. Sorry to say I’m picking up the habit. It’s just so much easier! Ha. MLIAIH
2. It’s a rare day when I don’t talk to a crazy or drunk man. Including our investigator who had a baptismal date. Hmm maybe we’ll be postponing that one. MLIAIH

So this week was good.. lots of trials of patience and faith, but its coming together and I’m learning a lot. It has been amazing with that lady I told you about last week, Issis. She is the most faithful person I’ve ever met… and her husband is just as excited about the gospel and starting this new life…the night we talked about getting married they both agreed they definitely wanted to. Then the next day we were talking to Issis and she told us that he was so excited he woke her up 3 times in the middle of the night and just said ¨ Hey! We’re getting married!¨ haha. And he wasted all their phone minutes calling all his family to tell them the news. How cute! We’ve never found a man like that in Honduras. Yesterday they didn’t come to church so we were worried and rushed over there right away to see what happened... just to find them putting their humble belongings in a taxi. Moving out of their house! We were so worried, of course, and she ends up telling us that the owner of the clothes store where they work and live said they had to leave because she doesn’t like the Mormons coming in her store to teach. But Issis just looked at us with a smile and said ¨Don’t worry about us. We’re happy. We’re not going to lose this faith. I Know God with take care of us.¨ Can you believe that faith? So they are moving into this little house with out a roof (we’re going there today to help them put something up), they have no job, no money and two little girls. But they have faith. It was such an incredible example to me and I’m so grateful to know them. More updates next week on them! But until then please include this family in your prayers.

Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving! We worked hard and had lots of work to do, but then when we came back made a mini but delicious feast. See pictures attached.
Okay no time left, sorry this is so scattered. But thanks for all the prayers and love.

Love! Hermana Smith

p.s. love the plentitude of food we made our feast out of? Hehe. But it’s a lot more than lots of people here so I’m grateful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010

Hello family!!!
Wow, what a great week we had! I’m definitely starting to see some of the trials that always come with the GREAT things we have, so its hard, but its been worth it. I read something the other day that said ¨The difficult things we do bring a lot more pleasant memories than a lot of easy things.¨ Its so true in missionary work! Its not easy, but it definitely brings the memories I want to have when I leave.
One of the awesome miracles we’ve had this week happened Saturday in the morning. Our district decided we’d set up a table with pamphlets and Liahonas and lots of fun things to give away. So we set it up in the middle of a busy area and handed out free stuff to the whole world. It was so funny because nobody was interested until we told them it was free.. then they were all over it. Haha. Anyway so one lady walked by and said something in English because in our district there are 4 northamericans. We all just kind of laughed but didn’t think anything of it because she just walked past and we didn’t catch her. Anyway then a few minutes she walked past again and didn’t really say anything but all of the sudden she asked me what we were there for, vacation, etc. So my companion and I started talking to her in English and explaining what were there for. She had lived in CA 9 years but is from Honduras. She has a perfect accent. Anyway so we finally got to the contacting, testifying part of the talk (super hard, btw in English) and apparently I said something about families (don’t remember that, but she did) and it really touched her heart. So she was SO excited for us to go over and teach her family. She runs this little second hand clothes store so we said we’d stop by. So we went by yesterday and she was waiting for us. We talked a little and chatted about some of her beliefs, why she didn’t like any of the other churches and she told us she’s been searching for a church to go to. Then when I had said something about families that really hit her because her family means SO much to her. She has a husband and 2 little girls. We had given her a liahona in English and she said she read a little bit but mostly looked through the pictures and LOVED how beautiful the families looked in the pictures, all sitting together in church. We explained that’s totally how it is and she can have that eternal family too. Anyway we ended up teaching an hour and a half (standing up), basically teaching a little about everything because she had so many questions and was just loving it. She kept saying ¨I just love your religion. This is what I’ve been looking for!¨ she even said she was absolutely going to shut her store on Sundays so she can go to church. Anyway basically it was the most amazing lesson I’ve ever had and I just walked away jaw dropped and so grateful. I wish I could tell you everything but I just don’t have time. But I think the cutest part is that we explained a little about FHE and that the families are so important that we even set apart Monday for the families. So she called us later that night and asked us what time it was on Monday… we thought she was talking about when we were going to stop by and shop in her store, but she was like, ¨no, the family night thing… what time is that?¨! haha! So we’re going over there tonight to teach her how. Were going to teach about family prayer, play DON’T EAT PETE! And have rice krispie treats. Yay! So excited!

I definitely know that the Lord has led us to so many families and people this week. I’m so grateful for His hand in this work and the opportunity I get to see miracles and change MY life for it. Aren’t I selfish?
Just to finish I thought I’d invite you all to read D&C 11: 12-14.

[12 And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do ejustly, to walk fhumbly, to gjudge righteously; and this is my Spirit.
13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
14 And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.]

I know that one of the hardest but most important things we have to do on this earth and in this life is learn to follow the spirit’s promptings. But I hope I’m right in saying that ALL of us have wondered how and struggled to do that. I know I did and still do some times. But I was reflecting on something I heard this week that one of the things we have to learn is how to recognize the spirit when its not burning a hole in our chest. Have you any of you wondered how? The scriptures are full of answers to this question and doubt, but this scripture in D&C really hit me hard this morning. Maybe some of you can find an answer too.

Love you all so much! Keep your faith strong and keep smiling to strengthen the faith of someone else.

Love, Hermana Smith

Monday, November 15, 2010

best week of my whole mission!!!!

Hey family and friends!!!
This was definitely one of the best weeks of my whole mission!!!! Basically Hermana Cutler and I are just kicking bum here. Okay well its ALL pure mercy from the Lord, but we’ve been seeing SO many miracles and I’m soo grateful.
Before I begin to tell some, let me tell you a little more about my companion. She’s so great... probably one of the best sister missionaries I’ve ever met. I have so much to learn from her. We’ve made it a goal to be perfectly obedient and I absolutely know that’s what has given us the success we’ve seen. She’s been out 13 months so she’s kind of on the down hill. Oh! And she has a brother serving right now in guess where… Yekaterinburg Russia! Ha! The same mission that my brother served in. Crazy huh?
Anyway when we went to the change meeting NOBODY believed us that we were companions.. and when they finally did all the north americans were so jealous. We’re definitely breaking the ice with this one and we’re going to be a companionship that everyone watches… especially president. Haha. But we’re determined and excited to prove to the mission that 2 north americans can totally do it! And I think he’ll be excited… because just in these 5 days we have been contacting the whole world and we’ve found SEVEN new families… 4 of which are married.. Which is the biggest miracle in the world because NOBODY is here. We’ve made it our theme to contact families. Our philosophy is: if we look for families, we’ll find families. So literally we look for only a mom and dad and kids. And we’ve found them!! Just last night we walked out of the house of a new family that was golden and we just looked at each other, kind of laughed and said, ¨we are so blessed!!! What is going on???¨! hahaha just everyday we come home, look at all we did during the day then fall on our knees in gratitude… because its all the work of the Lord. Even our district leader keeps asking us what we’re doing to find so many families! Its incredible and I feel so blessed in this week!
We’re totally hoping to have 2 changes together and I have a feeling there’s a chance we could. Pray for us that we can so we can help a ton of people here in Talanga! We both just know we’re going to see a lot of baptisms! Wahoo!!!
Because of this miracle I’ve seen in my mission I’ve definitely increased my testimony that the Lord knows what we need. He sent me my companion in a time I really needed her. I know He answered the prayers I didn’t even realize I was saying. He knows my heart and my mind and what I need to be happy. It’s incredible.
The church is absolutely true and the best thing we could share with everyone. SHARE THE GOSPEL. With members, non members, your family, and yourself. Live it and Love it.
Love you all so much! thanks for your support and prayers.

Love, Hermana Smith

Ps. One funny: right in front of our house there’s this stadium type thing where they have chicken fights…Like they let a bunch of drunk guys tie sharp stuff around the chickens legs and let them kill each other…For fun! It is so weird. It’s like chicken colosium. Haha.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

making history

AND WE JUST FOUND OUT THE CHANGES.... you'll never believe it.. i'm still in shock.

This wednesday i'll be recieving a new companion named Hermana Cutler... yes, a northamerican! two white girls together!

hahah we're totally gonna ROCKK this town of Talanga. She's totally awesome and we know each other really well. In fact, she's the sister i've stayed with twice when we've had to stay with sisters. both times was with her. anyway, i'm super excited!!!! wahoo!! oh and we have a mutual friend (shout out for you, Amanda!) because she's from Draper Utah.

well, apart from that theres nothing much too exciting. haha. but here are some funnies for you:

1. I've noticed lately i'm totally turning into a honduran. I clean, eat, cook, wash clothes, tie bags, speak, do EVERYTHING like a Honduran. just need to get a little more tan and put in brown contacts and i'm set! MLIAIH

2. So turns out Latins are extremely superstitous. ive heard a lot of philosophies, but this is one of my favorites... if you slurp your drink from your spoon when you're old you'll have a double chin. my companion rebuked me last night for doing that then rebuked me for laughing my head off when she explained why. MLIAIH

Well this week was pretty hard, not gonna lie. i got sick this weekend because it suddenly turned extremely cold and i got stuck without long sleeves. just caught a cold but we couldnt leave all weekend, so it kind of stunk. but its all good. im super excited to start fresh this week with a new comp and lots of success i know we're going to have. yeah!

but being sick i got the chance to read through my journal from the beginning of my mission and i feel inspired to share something i had written that really hit me hard again.

¨ Its my philospohy latley that the mission is a constant fight for time. In the beginning, you're fighting or it to hurry up, by the end for it to slow down. And in the moments in between you cant figure it out... what time it is, where its gone, and how you're going to try to adjust it. But really what we have to do is let it happen. Time is time. Its constant and fair... we all have 24 hours each day. its up to us to figure it out how we're going to use it, then let it be. There's no changing time.¨

anyway that's my thought for the day. I'm grateful for this TIME i have in my life to learn and grow and give to others. there's nothing like it.

well, love you all. gotta jet!

hermana Smith

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

lots of funnies and lovelies

Wow, sorry this is a day late but we had a fun adventure in Tegucigalpa yesterday.... and we just got back this morning. but im here, alive and ready to tell you about my week!
This week was pretty normal... lots of work, lots of life lessons, etc. .... lets just jump right in to what I know you all want to read:
1. I found a gecko in the shower the other day. luckily it was dead. mmm! MLIAIH
2. my companion offered me a smoothie the other day but for the first time, I denied. why? it was made of tomato, lemon, onion, water, chile, salt, ice. DIS... GUSTING. MLIAIH
3. we were with an investigator who we've been teaching a lot and she was saying the prayer. ¨ please bless the sisters that have been visiting me. bless hermana Cruz with her hurt foot, and the other hermana who has a strange name and I can’t remember it... but I know that thou rememberest it.¨ MLIAIH
4. My companion had me come out and look at our water the other day because she found a surprise.. about 20 tadpoles at the bottom!! yep, the same water we do EVERYTHING with... I’m going to be buyin a lot of soap this week. MLIAIH

We had lots of Lovelies this week too, that I wanted to share with you. Last night we got stuck in Tegucigalpa so we stayed the night with some other sisters. so we got to go on divisions and it was super fun! I went out in a trio with another north American sister! anyway we were in my old area, La Vega so we wanted to go visit some old investigators of mine because the sisters didn’t really have any plans. so we went to go visit these 2 young girls.. like 14 years old. they were outside with about 5 other friends hanging out and studying. when they saw me they shouted. ¨look! the gringa!!¨ I was excited they remembered me after 6 months! anyway so we chatted and they were SO excited to be talking to TWO white girls. then we entered the house with all their friends and one of their moms to watch a short video. we ended up watching 2 short videos and it was a miracle because the mom had SOO many awesome questions about the 2nd video (about how she can see her family again even though they've died). suffice it to say it was so powerful. so we explained that yes she can depending on her obedience here. then Hermana Cutler invited them all to pray and know if it was true, then be if they got an answer, she invited them to be baptized. and all 7 of them said yes! haha!!! it was a miracle! so they're going to go back in a few days to keep teaching them. I was so excited to see that miracle!!

anyway, I gotta go but I wish I could just write all the miracles that happen. I’m so grateful for the spirit that guides this work.. it’s impossible with out it.

thanks for all your support and love. keep praying hard and looking for missionary opportunities.. they're everywhere!

With lots of love,
hermana smith