Monday, January 19, 2015

Final Blog for Sister Lindsay Smith're probably wondering why I've gathered y'all here today...

I don't know what to write...Not sure how to being by summing up the past 18 months of experiences in just a wee little email. haha, I fully expect all y'all to be utterly interested in every "that one time on my mission..." stories so I can' impart to you the blessings and miracles that my heavenly father has given to me, and continue to reminisce, haha.

A wise sister, aka, my companion shared with me that, a mission, no matter where you serve becomes a second home in your heart, it and the people associated with it become sacred, because it was then that you came to know your Savior like you never had before. True story, this little southern state, not given a second thought by most people is full of some of the most Christ-like people I've ever met, those of our faith and those who are not.

My mission has taught me how entirely dependent I am upon the Savior and His gospel. There is no other option if you hope for peace and happiness now and forever.
Yes, I'm going to be an awkward missionary, and yes, if you happen to have a "Y" chromosome I'm going to want to give you a handshake at first, don't worry I'll snap out of it soon enough and pull you in for a big ol southern lovin' hug!
Besides the awkwardness, I don't want to lose any of the changes I've made on my mission, but if I've learned anything about the gospel, it's not about maintaining the changes I've made, it's about continuing to change.

Change is only possible through the atonement of Christ, because of Him, we have every opportunity tool we need to become our best selves, best suited to serve God's children. I know we have a living prophet, revelation is one of the most unique and important features in this restored gospel, the restoration all started with revelation given to the prophet Joseph Smith by God our eternal father and our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is God's words, for his children. I could go on forever, but I'd rather tell y'all in person.

LOVE Y'ALLL! Thank you a million for the endless prayers, support, letters, packages, emails and examples that y'all blessed me with before and during my mission.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Blending with the Natives y'all

Sister Smith returns Jan. 22nd and her talk in Sacrament is Feb. 15th at 9 am

First off..I was on exchanges with the Moncks Corner sisters and after a lesson with some members she commented, "you don't have much left on your mission do you?" (seeing as how I'm almost to the single digits, it's a tender subject, and I was so caught off-gaurd)...
"why do you say that?" I quickly responded.
"because you use the word "y'all" quite casually"
my thoughts, "yeeeees!, I blend in with the natives!" *fist pump*.
Next to all the miracles that have been popping out of the wood works, that little comment made my day.

We pulled up to Sis Hilpert’s home, a less active we've been trying to get in touch with. I looked over at Sis Burbank and she had a strange look on her face, and said she wasn’t sure how she felt about being here. Often we’ll get those promptings, we’ll pray about it and then reassess the situation. We waited and contemplated for a minute, said a prayer, and right during the prayer Sis Hilpert pulled in. It ended up being a little miracle for the day! She let us right in, for the first time! We were able to share some scriptures, and her troubled teenage son is a little interested because he’s noticed his Christian friends have it a little more together, and he wants to “find God” as well. Sis Hilpert, who’s name is now Sis Milone (yeah I was hoping it was Malone (you know? Carl Malone?) as well) is very supportive, but has been reserved about pushing her religion too much on her kids. Buuut, she knows how much it would help them, so she's being a little more pushy, in the most charitable way possible.

What's pushy about someone pushing you to eternal life eh?

Our lesson with Morgan was great, his 10yr old niece popped in to sit with us. She talked about how she wants to be baptized and was telling us how much she loves church when her mom takes her, they’ve gone on-and-off for the past little while, but for some reason none of the girls have been baptized, and then Becky hasn’t been baptized either. Who knows why?? But little Savannah is such a good influence, she told us, “I make sure to complain to my mom when we don’t get to go to church”.

While teaching about tithing, Savannah asked, “how do they get the money to God? I know they don’t just build a tower, I heard about that story. Uh-uh don’t do that.” Morgan jumped in and explained it clearly and simply. What a great future missionary!

Sis Soctomah arranged for a member to take us out to ZTM, so they could save some miles, she warned me to not lean my head back in the car because it’s very possible that I could acquire lice. The Moncks Corner sisters went through a nasty battle with the little head munchers, both of them are now sporting shorter haircuts, haha, they look good. Nothing’s more beautiful than some diligent, serving missionaries :).....update: so far no itching. fingers still crossed!

well, I love y'all lots!

sister smith:):)

Monday, January 5, 2015

I don't even know where to start right now?
Well let's start with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful that we have it in its fulness upon the earth today. Thanks to the gospel and Christ's atonement, 2015 can be the best year yet! Life is great, the gospel works, God is near, and I'm so joyful:D

anyways, here's the week!

A bunch of the ward came together to help the Lincolns finish up moving, there was such a great turnout, we didn’t end up doing very much, besides watching the faithful priesthood holders magnifying their callings. Sis Lincoln was amazed, she said she had no idea what was happening, all of a sudden all of these men were at her home moving things and they were finished in 30min. They drove all the packed cars to the property and everything was unloaded, she never even had to lift a finger. Bro Lincoln chuckled and said, “she’s never experienced a Mormon service project”.

We received a new ward roster and Sis Burbank spotted a new name in our area. We had the Connors in our plans for the past few days, but we’d never had time to actually drop by. Finally around 6:30pm tonight we did! In the dark of the night we found the house, and were astonished to realize we’d worked literally all around this house. We were teaching Doris across the street and I’d knocked and contacted their next door neighbor. Haha, we even were driving by Christmas day, saw them playing in the front yard, commented on how cute of a family they were, and then their dog ran out in the road and I almost hit it. I’m so grateful that me killing their dog wasn’t our first encounter. Anyways, when we stopped by tonight she let us right in. She was baptized in Montana and super involved, moved to Washington but wasn't a fan of the ward. She admitted that was her own fault, not the ward’s. They’d just moved here a few months ago. The miracle of it all is this: About 2 yrs ago Danelle was talking with her husband about how much she wanted a church, the next day, 2 sister missionaries knocked on her door and she was baptized. Now in the present day, she was talking with her husbandYESTERDAY about how she wanted to get back into church, and WHAMO we are lead to her door! She ended up coming to church the next day with her 2 boys too!

One of the best lessons with the Haynes, it was great, thanks to the spirit we were able to discern that Bro. Haynes really wants to do this for his family, but he can’t if it’s not true, so it’s kinda tearing him apart because he feels like his family is disappointed in him. He didn’t actually say all of that, but that’s what the spirit helped us discern. Sis Haynes also opened up how hard this has been for her, that she’s been so strong and really wants this, but it’s hard because he’s not really progressing. She still has concerns of her own, she’s only recently been coming back to church.

Sister Haynes shared in church on Sunday, “I wasn’t living life fully without the gospel. Then the one day I had just been thinking about church, the sister missionaries (US!) showed up at my door”.
I wish I could say we had a crazy amazing vision that directed us to go to her home, nope. Sis Gubler had told us she thought her neighbor might be Mormon, and we thought we’d check it out. It’s neat to see how God was really guiding us the whole time.

It was funny at the end of the lesson, Sis Burbank asked if they’d talked about WHEN the boys could be baptized. Izayah came shooting down from upstairs saying, “I want to be baptized, and I’m going to be baptized! There’s nothing you can do to stop me (this is the 10yr old by the way). I want the Holy Ghost, I want the holy spirit. I want to be a missionary like them one day!”.

…and the Lincoln family dwelt in a tent. Meanwhile in the wilderness of South Carolina, the Lincoln family has entirely moved into a little trailer and a tent for the next 3ish months, until their home is built. Oh boy, I can’t even imagine. This is a family of 6, and they also have 2 Brazilian mastiffs. The 3 girls all sleep in the same bed, Jared is on the pull out couch, the dogs are on the floor and bro and sister Lincoln are in a tent that bro Lincoln has lined with insulation to keep them through the 2 coldest months of the year in SC. That family is so faithful; they even still had us over for our usual lesson and dinner. It was seriously one of the best meals; we had tinfoil/hobo dinners and smores for dessert. By light of campfire we read from Ether 12 to them about faith. Bro and Sis Lincoln really opened up about how all of this is a huge act of faith. It seems crazy to everyone else, but they feel good about it and have pressed forward. They’re not in the ideal situation, but they know it’s where the Lord needs them to be right now. What a great life lesson? Plus bro Lincoln added, it’ll help them prepare for when the second coming draws nigh.

Sis Lincoln laughed and said, “It’s only been 2 days, ask us if we want tinfoil dinners and smores in a month”.

love y'all!

Sister Smith!!!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Sleepover with Presidents's Ok

Merry Christmas from Sister Smith and Sister Burbank

Merriest Christmas Ever!!!

Pretty sure I had the Merriest Christmas in my life!! of yet...isn't it great how because of the gospel of Jesus Christ there is no cap on our happiness?!
It was a WET and WHITE Christmas, no snow but a baptism on the 20th and the elders had a baptism this past Saturday as well. As far as the WET part of it, it was pouring all of Christmas, loved it. I kept hoping for a sudden arctic wind to bust through and turn it all to snow, but seeing as how that would've caused widespread panic a midst the native South Carolinian, I'm glad that it just stayed as rain.'s my week!!!

Sister Wheelock and I had a great day on exchanges, man I love that girl. Our first lesson was with Glenda and Poncho, Bro smith (we like to pretend that we’re family) joined us as well. He knows poncho from his police force days.

The lesson was amazing, Poncho has been reading and loves it. We asked him if he’d been praying about Joseph Smith and such, and he said he had, but he hadn't received his answer. His wife Glenda pointed out that his interest and desire to read the Book of Mormon and learn more, could be his answer. He agreed, and went on to relate to us the first 5 chapters in the Book of Mormon.

Christmas eve. We spent the morning and lunch with the Haynes, making cookies and having a big turkey lunch.

Later in the afternoon we went to Elena’s for Christmas eve, she had invited Kitt over as well, so that was fun being able to talk with him in a casual setting. Haha, that didn't last long though, after a brief chat about his family, we started talking about the apostasy, and I tried my "hand" at signing about how God had prepared Columbus, America, the pilgrims, the dark ages, the 2 great awakenings, all to lead to the restoration of the Gospel.

We made it home, changed into our Christmas jammies and moved all of our Christmas decorations to the main room where we’d be sleeping. We got permission from President to have a sleepover with the sisters in our apartment complex, so they came over with their blankets, pillows, presents and Christmas decorations. Our room was so lit up, it was grand! It felt so magical. Sis Burbank’s family tradition is to watch Joy to the World each Christmas eve, so we were going to end the night with that but first couldn't get it to work. After we ran to the sisters apartment and got another DVD it would only play it in Spanish…then French…Chinese…and finally after mashing buttons and flipping it on and off it came up in English!! Yes-christmas miracle! Haha, one thing my mission hasn’t broken is my terrible habit of falling asleep during movies, I was trying so hard to stay awake for sister Burbank, but just couldn't do it. Eventually we all drifted to sleep by light of a little Christmas tree in the corner, with visions of baptisms dancing in our headsJ

For the past 25 days Sis Burbank and I have been keeping track of the 25 miracles of Christmas. We taped a big white board up in our main room and would write one at he end of each day, so here they are!!

1. Barry--- a new investigator

2. MLC

3. Lesson with Paula

4. Companionship unity with Stout and Nielson and Cookout!

5. Lori’s on date, and we got a x-mas tree

6. Kebo’s baptism, Sis soctomah’s first baptism!

7. Elena came to Kitt’s with us last minute

8. The Duns invited us to come for Christmas!

9. Lincoln’s lesson (they’re just a big ol miracle on their own)

10. Horrocks had us over for dinner out of NOWHERE!

11. Went to institute with Morgan, and it just so happened to be the very last one of the year

12. Morgan was interviewed for his baptism

13. Sis Barker made cinnamon rolls, a Christmas tradition for sister BurbankJ

14. New family to teach, Kelly and Amber and their 3 girlsJ

15. Sis Wheelock was here (haha, she chose today’s miracle)

16. Elena had pizza with us last minute

17. We found Sister Fagin finally, and people actually laughed at our skit

18. (Sister Stout wrote this one, she’s so sweet) “Sis Smith helped me a lot!!

19. (fromSister Wheelock) “Sister Wheelock wuz here again”


21. MORGAN GOT THE HOLY GHOST AND PRIESTHOOD, and his dad came to church

22. Free frosties from Wendy’s

23. Exchanges, Poncho and Bro. Smith’s perfect lesson

24. Got permission from Pres to have a sleepover with Sis Mcneely and Wheelock!

25. He (Christ) is the miracle!!
He really is the miracle though, all of the miracles we were able to see happen were because of Christ. It’s been such a neat experience to write down and record the daily miracles, seeing them come on so many different ways. I’m so grateful for this beautiful Christmas day I’ve had to celebrate my Savior’s birth in a special way. I’m more grateful for my mission that’s helped me to celebrate Christ’s birth the past 18months, and forever helped me to gain a greater appreciation and love for my Savior and EVERTHING that he’s done.

Christmas was great, spent it with members for the most part, and just basked in the love I received from friends and family back home.

love y'all!!

Have a fantabulous new year. We should be looking to change daily, and not just use the new year as an excuse to apply the atonement, but I hope that it motivates us to look back , move on and press forward with a steadfastness in Christ and a perfect brightness of HOPE!

-Sister Smith

Monday, December 22, 2014

Best White Christmas Ever

no better way to start a weekly email.....
BAPTISM! aka making eternal covenants with our Heavenly Father that allow us to progress, sanctify and consecrate ourselves to become like our Savior Jesus Christ, thus bringing about the most intense happiness and joy, now and in the eternities!

December 20:! Morgan was finally baptized…and it wasn’t an easy process. We got to the church early to help set up and hear that glorious sound of water filling the font. We moved it from the relief society room to the chapel because of how many people we had coming. This was definitely the biggest baptism we’ve had, there was a huge support from the ward, all of the families that he’d worked with, he also had a lot of his family come, it was awesome! He had uncles, cousins, siblings, parents, grandparents (I finally got to meet the lovely bro and sister Vaughan from Lehi, UT, they’re so sweet!), his dad and grandparents are the only members, so that was neat to have them all. Haha, the adversary continued to try and foil Morgan’s salvation. When we went to move from the chapel to the font, we discovered that the plug in the font hadn’t been properly placed, so the water had leaked out, it was only up to Bishop’s knees! Lucky for us, we have the best font filling water pressure in the stake and it only took about 10-15min. Morgan looked great in white, bishop was standing in there with him, but we realized his grandpa wasn’t here yet, and he was going to be one of the witnesses. His grandpa was in the bathroom, and was an older fella, took about another 10min. Oh man, the adversary was giving Morgan every opportunity to back out. I can imagine only a few other circumstances more awkward; standing waste deep in water, in a white flattering jumpsuit, about 40people are standing over staring at you, for those who you can’t see directly they can watch you in the overhead mirror. I’d imagine the feeling is similar to how the hippos feel, little kids with their faces pressed up against the glass, oh man I felt so terrible. But it happened, he did it, the spirit was there and it was a beautiful, beautiful thing. Morgan is one of the most prepared and faithful people I’ve met. He’s been through so much and is so determined to continue with this course correction he’s made for his life. When he shared his testimony, is was short, sweet and true (what else is there??). He said he knew the church was true, and that it was the only one that had the priesthood authority, he’s grateful for his baptism because it means that he can always have the Lord with him in his life, and he’s determined to keep with it.

what else...

December 17, 2014
Zone conference finallllly came, I’ve been so excited for it and it arrived. We combined with the Florence zone, so we had to drive 90 min up to Sumter, haha which is actually where I had my last Christmas zone conference back when I served in Hartsville. It seems as though I’ve come full circle. At zone conference we…

-practiced our skit, realized that the elders half of the skit was way better and more prepared than ours so we frantically started brainstorming ways to make our part up to par on the laugh scale.
-talked a lot about planning and becoming better planners so that we can be better missionaries. Planning really is the key, if we think about it Heavenly Father is the best planner in the world, just ponder on the PLAN of salvation for a wee bit. If we ever hope to become like him, acquiring the skill of a master planner has to be one of our desires.
-broke for lunch, BBQ, potato salad and chili, a good southern lunch
-did our skits. Ours was one of the funniest, I was so relieved each time laughter would erupt from the audience, haha, definitely a Christmas miracle!
-watched Meet the Mormons. I loved it, and was one of the few who DIDN’T cry during the missionary mom part.
-drove back to Summerville with sis stout, she’s joining me on exchanges. The rest of the night we taught bro Isom and Lauren how to pray in sign language and then visited with a long lost semi-less active, Sister Fagin!’s amazing how you can just drop off the radar if the church doesn’t have your current address.

love y'all and hope you have the greatest Christmas ever!

I'm so greatful to be in the position I am on my mission. The world, and many members and missionaries look at the missionary rules as restrictions that hold us back, but I have been blessed with direction from my heavenly father to allow me to foster the greatest potential for spiritual growth. just think, I don't have to worry about finances, school, work, relationships, dating, what I wear, nothing, my only concern is bring others to Christ. What a job?! :D:D It's the greatest in the world and I earnestly pray that y'all can take the time to have a moment with the Savior, and ponder or the reality and divinity of his birth, ministry, sacrifice and death, and how he still lives today and leads us in His restored church.

Love y'all!!

love, sister smith

In 1 month I will return Jan. 22 at 2:22pm  an early present for my mom Birthday 2-22