Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 16, 2013

Hola, family and friends!

It has been a crazy week! Haha, I'm not even sure where to start! I guess I will just go day by day!

On Tuesday, we had devotional and Elder Quentin L. Cook came and spoke to us! It was amazing! We also sang in the choir, which was a super spiritual experience. I love the MTC choir! And I love the General Authorities! They truly are men (and women) of God, and they always say the things that us missionaries need to hear! I'm excited to hear whoever will be speaking tomorrow at Devotional.

Wednesday was the tough day. But it was good too! We got two more districts in our zone - a district of 8 Elders and a district of 6 sisters. The sisters are intermediate, so they is why they are all together. They kinda keep to themselves, but they're very nice. The Elders are hilarious! And they all sing really well, so we made sure that they came to choir with us yesterday. I'm excited to get to know all of them more the next 3 weeks. Yeah, 3 WEEKS til I'm in Mexico! (Hopefully!) My district finally started hearing about visas this week, and Elders Anderton and Auten are actually in Las Vegas today meeting with the Mexican Consulate and receiving their visas. Please pray for the rest of us and all the other missionaries that we will be able to hear about our visas soon! But anywho...on Wednesday, we had a really rough lesson with one of our investigators, Laura. We weren't working great as a companionship, and I could tell that Laura wasn't believing anything that we were saying. I left that lesson pretty upset with myself and Hermana Linford, and I didn't even know what to deal with it. I just went into the bathroom and kinda fell apart, haha. After a few minutes, I just got down on my knees and started praying, asking for help and comfort. And immediately, and I mean immediately, I could feel the Spirit fill that little room. It started at the top of my head and moved down until I felt completely peaceful and calm. In Alma 7:11-12, it talks about Christ's Atonement, and how He suffered for ALL things in our lives. At the end of verse 12, it says that He did this, "that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." The word "succor" means to "run to the aid of". I truly felt that Wednesday night. I know that my Savior has felt everything that I have gone through, and that if we ever need help, all we have to do is ask. He WILL run to our aid. 

After Wednesday, the week got WAY better! Don't get me wrong, Wednesday was still an awesome day, and I treasure every single day here. But we all have rough patches, but as long as we learn from them, they will help us to grow!

On Friday, I had another really neat experience with the Spirit. All of us missionaries have been struggling with the concept of asking inspired questions. So on Friday, Hermano Rasmussen decided that we were going to practice asking inspired questions! So he asked us to, with our companions, ask inspired questions. He told us not to say a word until the Spirit prompted us to. So, Hermana Linford and I just sat there in silence for about 5 minutes. I had a question come to my mind a couple of times, but Then she asked me a question. It kinda threw me off guard, the question she asked. But as we talked through it, I found that it really was something I needed to talk about, something that I had really only talked to Heavenly Father about. Then I asked the question that had come to my mind and...she started to cry. And we talked, and I asked more questions as the Spirit directed, and she was really able to open up to me about things that had been troubling her. It not only brought us closer together as companions, but we were able to recognize the significance of asking inspired questions. After that exercise, Hermano Rasmussen wrote a question up on the board, a question about repentance and the Atonement. He asked it, pretending to be Christofer (the investigator that he pretends to be), and immediately some missionaries in my district started saying things. And he kept asking it again, not satisfied with the answers, and asking how he could change. I felt like the Spirit was running me over like a train, but I just kept my mouth shut. With 8 missionaries in a room, it's been easy for me to just sit back and listen. But then Hermano Rasmussen looked over at me and asked, "How can I change? How can I change my ways and desires?" And I just looked at him and quietly asked if he had faith in Jesus Christ and the Atonement. He sat there for a really long time and then looked back at me and said, yes. Then I bore my testimony that through faith, and through the Atonement, he could change, that Heavenly Father would help him to change. Then he smiled at me and said, "THAT is how you are going to feel all the time, and I promise that your investigators will receive testimony of the truth of your words through the Spirit." It was a really cool experience. It really helped me gain confidence in my abilities as a teacher, a helper to the real Teacher, excuse me. After that, our lessons have improved so much, and I am just that much more excited to go to Mexico! It truly helped all of us!

And yesterday was amazing! I just love Sundays! And I know I say that every week but it's true! Sister Ann Madsen, a cute older Religion professor at BYU, spoke at Relief Society, and she gave an amazing talk. And Hermana Linford and I decided to watch a talk from last conference and we watched, "You Can Do It Now!", the talk Pres. Uchtdorf gave at Priesthood Session. It's fantastic, go watch it if you never have before! We said goodbye to another district...and I'm going to miss them a lot! It's crazy how close you get in such a short amount of time. We went to choir, then the Sunday devotional. The BYU Men's Chorus came and sang to us :) It was really good! And then we finished the night by watching "The Testaments". 

I am so grateful to be a missionary, a witness, a representative of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I know that He lives. I know that He loves us and that only through Him can we return to live with our Father in Heaven again. I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I love the Book of Mormon. I seriously can't get enough of it every single day. There is a true power that comes from that book, if we study it and truly apply its teachings into our lives. I love all of you so much!!!! I hope you have a fantastic week, and that you will feel so much joy and happiness this Christmas season.

Love always,
Hermana Smith

Photos: Us with Hermanas Marx and Edwards, Us with Elders Wilcox and Keith, and Us with CUPCAKES that some random Elder gave us last week! Awesome week!

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