Monday, December 23, 2013

Seriously the Best Christmas Ever

This is seriously going to be the best Christmas ever. Being able to give everything to others and the Lord, or at least trying to, is just so spiritually refreshing! You really have to just experience it for yourself. The beauty of missionary work is you never have to think about yourself-it's the greatest! But even when I try to give my all, he gives more in return in the form of extremely supportive family and friends, thanks so much y'all-and have a Merry Christmas!!
Hope you enjoy the Christmas miracles Sister Black and I have been witnessing here in Hartsville, SC

Sis King texted us earlier in the day letting us know Rosio wouldn’t be home so that lesson fell through…L But that’s ok-it’s all part of the Lord’s plan, because we were able to stop by Akia’s. We walked up (past the house with the stunning Christmas display of lights spelling out Jesus) and saw her car was there-yeeesss! We were almost turned down when her mother answered and said she was sleeping, but persistently we asked if she knew when we could come back, after she went to go talk with Akia she let us in, Akia arose and we had an awesome lesson. She had slept through Church, but said she still wanted baptism and that we had full permission to knock on her window Sunday morning to get her up. Oh, we can definitely do that-haha, never imagined I’d be making wake up calls to people’s windows on my mission-whatever it takes though.

Heavenly Father just timed it all perfectly, he always does. For some reason or another I decided to park on a different street than we normally do and because of it we were able to catch Amy right as she’d gotten home. Her husband had fallen off the roof and shattered his elbow (ummm, ouch!). When we went into the lesson of the restoration, she loved it, we shared the first vision and she was just awestruck about it all. We left her with a Book of Mormon, but sadly because of Christmas next week we weren’t able to set up a return apt, but we’ll definitely be back. On the same street we were able to have a lesson with Tonya/Will and Darlene. 

So today may have just been the best lesson so far. Seriously at the end of it, I wouldn’t have been surprised if a camera crew jumped out of the bushes telling us it was all set up for a special “District” episode, and that everyone was just acting-BUT-no amount of acting can impersonate the holy ghost. Here’s what happened. Sis Brown and Gearheart had met this nice older man the other day and set up a return apt. When we arrived he was there with his family all running about and we asked if we could share a message with them all. So we pulled over a kiddie table, a couple chairs, a rocking motorcycle and gathered in with James(the grandpa), Angel(the mom), De’Ondra(the 9yr old), Shakeela(the 19yr old), Keeondra and Dishawn(the twin 4yr olds) oh and half way through the lesson Stella (another grandma) creeped around the corner and joined us. We went into the message of the restoration and taught extremely simple. Bearing brief powerful testimonies, asking inspired questions and they just were so elect. Angel mentioned, as we were talking about Joseph Smith, how she feels the same way about churches-they just never feel right, like something’s missing. We used the pictures in the pamphlets of Christ and the first vision. After the first vision Shakeela had tears streaming down her face, and her 9 yr old brother chimed in “even I’m about to cry and I’m a boy”. We then gathered in a circle, held hands and had Angel pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet. They told us we could come back anytime, haha but we weren’t done yet. We brought up baptism and committed all but the 2-- 4yr olds to be baptized January 11th! When we mentioned how we liked  to use a calendar to keep track Angel volunteered to run inside and grab a calendar she had. We stopped her and said that we had one she could use-but we loved her enthusiasm! We were able to set up a return appointment for Christmas Eve and they said they’d definitely be at church tomorrow. As we were leaving they couldn’t stop telling us how glad they were to have us over, and how much they’d been wanting to get their lives in order and be baptized. They even told us how amazed they were that their dog hadn’t growled or barked the entire time. DAAAAH!-what the best lesson ever! We walked away from it just speechless, asking ourselves…what.just.happened? How grateful am I that the Lord allows me to be apart of such amazing, faith building experiences. It just shows how when you’re willing to turn the lesson over to the Lord he’s willing to trust you and give you those miracles. It’s all about trusting in the Lord and turning it ENTIRELY over to him, so he can in turn trust you. Even though I won’t be able to teach them again, I will eagerly be awaiting the day when they send out the baptism texts for the week and the whole burgess family is on there! Feeling on top of the world right now:)

Sister Smith:D

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Never give up on people

     Southern phrase of the day "a minute" often means a very long time, DESPITE it's actual english translation-interesting eh? 
For example, if someone were to ask me how long I've loved this gospel, I'd say "oh, it's been a minute" aka-since, birth. No wait-since the beginning of eternity-which doesn't have a beginng, soooo moving on to more tangible topics here's the weekly highlights!! love y'all 

    It’s funny when people say “just down the road”-when you live out in the countryside of SC, “just down the road ends up being a lot farther than you anticipate”. So after we drove “just down the road” from Sister Horn’s to the referral she gave us, we pulled up to a gorgeous brick home, with multiple cars-one of which sported the license plate “WOODHAM”,  so we knew we were in the right place. Skeet wasn’t home but we got to talk with Wanda who had lots of questions, didn’t agree with the idea that not everyone can go in temples (she understood once we explained but didn’t agree). She was very forward about her beliefs and conviction to the Methodist church so I was hesitant, but was led to offer her a Book of Mormon. And as soon as I pulled it out and said “we’d love to give you your own copy”-she lit right up and was so excited. She was ecstatic to finally have one of her own to read, and had been wondering what she was going to do at the doctors office all day tomorrow. We testified, prayed and went away quite pleased with how things turned out-hopefully we’ll get to stay in contact through the Horns and see how it all works out. 

So Ernest had been calling us sporadically, so we’d call back or stop by but no one would answer. Finally we caught him and walked and talked like normal. He told us how he had been accepted into a University in Indiana-when I brought up baptism he said he'd  like to do it this time. It’s so hard to know how he really feels-being a 20yr old guy I don’t think he loves to talk about his feeling received an answer. I rolled with it and busted out my planner and the baptismal interview questions.  Remember when we dropped him and Sis Makin and I went away weeping-and now baptism! What?! I can still hardly believe it!

Madison Scott and her grandma Elain…alaine? (questionable spelling) are the best, buuutt, live so far away!  We only get to see them when we go out to Bishopville, so this time we committed to make this visit super effective and on topic. They both love to chat, and madison-typical 14yr old-can be slightly distracted sometimes. It started out a wee bit off topic as usual, but we pulled out the cups and Alaine really picked up on the idea of one true church, and how it needed ot be restored. We helped them recognize the holy ghost, and Alaine  was almost in tears as Sis Black bore testimony. We asked them to pray and read from the BOM and invited them to church and to the Christmas party. As we left they told us we’d be seeing them before Christmas. We’re almost positive Alaine knows it’s true, what’s holding her back, we don’t know.

Still love y'all! and cool thought from Pres. Hinckley. In a devotional he gave once he spoke about how during Christmas we rightly focus entirely on the Savior, but he said it'd be important to carve out just a little time to remember Dec. 23rd-the birthday of Joseph Smith. who "has done more, save Jesus Christ, for the salvation of man than any other person"-John taylor (definitely paraphrased, sorry Pres. Taylor.

LOVE-Sister Smith:D:D

Monday, December 16, 2013


Sisters' Conference

Another South Carolina pineapple

Hartsville fire hydrants are the cutest

Found lights in attic and trying their Iron man powers

Going to Temple with Sister Sundi Catoe

So excited to go to Columbia Temple and see new movie

Monday, December 9, 2013


Christmas approaches and SC can't decide on what weather to have....80 degree like it was last week, or back down to 8 like it says in the forecast for wednesday. no matter, it's all good when your in the Lord's service. But seriously-he keeps giving me the best gifts ever for Christmas, even though I'm trying my hardest to give everything to him.

Best lesson to start off the morning! We knocked this door, and a nice black woman maybe in her early 20’s answers-I only was able to get out a smile and “hey, how’s it going?” and she immediately invited us in. Later she told us she was just being friendly but I’m pretty sure it was the spirit. We talked about the restoration and Joseph Smith and then asked her about baptism. She said she’d think about it and I had the thought come to me-let’s pray about it. We invited her to pray, and at first she was hesitant. Sis Black helped her feel more comfortable with the idea and she readily went along with it. We knelt and she offered a simple sweet personal  prayer, just asking heavenly father if he wants her to get baptized and if it was right for her. The spirit was so strong as soon as her prayer started, and during the middle you could tell she started getting a little choked up about it all. We hugged, set up a return apt and walked out of there feeling on top of the world. I’m still wondering why heavenly father decided to bless us with such a great golden person?! What did we do to deserve this? Akia just ate up everything that we said and honestly it was one of the best lesson ones I’ve ever taught. The spirit just guided our words perfectly-I’ve never been able to explain it all so simply and efficiently-i love being a missionary!

SHE GOT HER DEER!(sis black promised her if she would read from the BOM she’d get a deer while hunting) We had our lesson with Ellen, and yes she started reading the Book of Mormon and yes she got a deer. Sis Black was so cute, jumping out of her seat squealing a little when Ellen told her. What I was most excited about was how much Ellen seemed to love the Book of Mormon-she hadn’t made it very far but was already marking it up. She basically believes in it-and told us it only makes sense that there would be additional records about Jesus Christ. She loves to “run her mouth” as she says, so we’re slowly making progress trying to help her understand more of the doctrine. She’s just eating it all up. I can’t get over how excited she gets when we talk about things that she already believes or that teach her something she’d never considered. In her thick southern accent she reacts with “oooooooh” and “oh, woooowww”, sometimes she’ll gasp and I’m waiting on the edge of my seat to see if it’s a good gasp or a gasp followed by a “well I’ve never heard that before”. She wholly accepted our invitation to watch the Christmas Devotional with us at the Barfields this Sunday and was really interested in hearing the prophet speak.

Miracle! We were driving to a back up, and for some reason I went against the back up we had planned and pulled into check on a lady we hadn’t seen in a couple weeks. When we parked sis black questioned me asking why weren’t we going according to plans-i didn’t have a solid answer and was starting to feel lame for making such a decision. We’d already parked so we went ahead to find  Priscilla and as soon as we hopped out of the car, Priscilla and her 2 grandkids pulled up. In response to the miracle, Sis Black exclaimed-“it never ceases to amaze me”…I breathed a sigh a relief and a silent prayer so grateful for the guidance of the spirit even when I fail to recognize that it was the spirit guiding me. We had a swell little lesson, and she told us she really wants to come to church when she’s not working. But she’s not willing to commit to anything until she gets more into the book, comes to church and finds out for herself. That is just fine by us.

welp-hope y'all have a good week and that you really take elder ballard's challenge seriously to bring one soul closer to Christ this Christmas:)

love y'all!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Fried Turkey is the Best

South Carolina is so great! Back in Utah people would joke about frying turkey's and it only ever seemed like a legend...until now. People all over the beautiful south celebrate the day of gratitude by deep frying a big ol bird in a pot, and I'm not sure if I can ever go back to the traditional oven baked bird. Here's a wee bit more on the lovely holiday week!

We were able to have another lesson with Marie, who just seems super golden. If only she wasn’t so busy so we could teach her more often-but still. So often she’d say something about what she believes and we’d bust out a scripture from the BOM that went along with what she said. She was like “whaaaaat?-did I write this, everything I’m saying shows up in this book”. She’s a chatter though so we weren’t able to get as far into the lesson as we would’ve liked. But as we were reading books open and everything there’s a knock at the door-whaddaya know her landlord drops a turkey off wishes her a happy thanksgiving and heads out. MIRACLE!-we told her it was because she was reading the scriptures. She was so awestruck, saying “yeah, you know I was thinking about that and about how I hadn’t gotten one yet and didn’t have anything to cook, and then that happens”. I was like “quick start reading again maybe he’ll bring back some pie!”. No pie, but it was way cool-you just never know what miracles may await as you obediently heed the Lord’s counsel.

It’s been raining allll day, and I was so excited to use my shnazzy umbrella and raincoat-plus I just love the rain! We were knocking the SIDE DOOR (so many people in the south don’t use their front doors, like, EVER. So it can be the biggest dilemma trying to decide which door we should knock on) just chilling out and “BRRRAAAAHHH!” this big burly man with some scruff scares us from behind. We both jump, and I’m busting a gut at our reaction. Turns out our “attacker” was a jolly dude named James. He was super friendly, and had an infectious higher pitched chuckle, which made the fact that he would laugh at his own jokes even better. He seemed really open to everything we shared, except for the fact that he put it right out there that he’s a Baptist and always has been. But we were able to have a pleasant mini lesson under his carport in the rain (poor sister black was freezing) but I just loved this guy. We talked about a whole bunch of things from the Book of Mormon to frying turkeys to “how is it gonna work in heaven if I marry 2 women on earth?”. I wish people wouldn’t be so closed minded to change, they’re so comfortable where they’re at that they don’t realize they’re getting’ comfortable in a run down motel room when there’s a castle right around the bend, aka the restored gospel, but he’ll come aroundJ

We stopped by our favorite pretend investigator Verley. Naw, she exists, she’s just never home. We met with her a couple times and she had made her way about 30 pages into the Book of Mormon-we were like SWEET! So we kept trying back to see her, no luck. We always get to chat with her 7yr old Troy though, he’s cool. We’ve also gotten more familiar with some of her other family members. One of which is James-he’s been into some pretty bad situations, wants to turn his life around and while we were talking readily agreed to come to church with us. He said he’d be ready by 9:40am and he would follow us over. When we were telling him how everyone is invited-he was like “so I can really bring as many as I want?”..ummm “yes!”. I had fantasies that night dreaming about James inviting all these people, and us leading this huge caravan of cars to the church.

Thanksgiving was grand-we went member hopping all over the place, slightly worried that we'd also be fed about 8 different times. No worries there, every members home we had arranged to come over to were either all finished eating or weren't quite ready. So I didn't have the normal-stuffed to the rafters thanksgiving, but I couldn't be happier and more grateful for the situation that the Lord has place me in now.
Love Y'all!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

What I am grateful for EVERYTHING

oh my goodness-with thanksgiving coming up what am I grateful for EVERYTHING!!! serioulsy I am just so extremely happy, it's hard to convey...especially when I'm restricted by email...hope this suffices :D

The lesson with Rosio was so tender, and the spirit was definitely present. It was just a teensy bit difficult seeing as how Rosio only speaks Spanish. Sis King would translate for us, as we tried to convey short basic ideas to her and sis king would explain what Rosio wanted. Dah-I wish I knew more Spanish! Haha, the only thing I could say was “me llama Hermana smith” when we first walked in-and my lovely American accent made it so that she probably couldn’t really understand that. In other words, sis king had to translate my Spanish to espanol. But at least smiles, hugs and the spirit transend all language-tender right. Rosio really wants to learn more, and wants her boyfried to learn more but has to work every Sunday. Gratefully we were able to set up to meet with her every Monday at 6, and there are plenty of people in the ward who know Spanish. She seemed like such a sweet lady, and if she’s saying everything that sis king says she is-she also has oodles of faith!

Bonus I forgot to share, when we were at Craig and Connie’s we were talking about the Book of Mormon and randomly Connie’s like “show them your tattoo!” and he shows us on his arm his large tattoo of angel Michael-but here’s the kicker. They then go on to tell us that he’s planning to put a tattoo of Moroni praying over the Book of Mormon on the other arm (the picture in the front of paperback BOM), we were like, oh neat!...haha, some people.

Today was one of those lessons that I get nervous about, it was with Cindy and the reason for the nervousness being that the past few lessons she’s seemed less and less interested. Not really wanting baptism, not sure if this was right for her, and such. We spent the lesson helping her realize the times when she’s felt the Holy Ghost, and it was awesome! She mentioned how when she first was baptized in a Baptist church she was so happy and felt so good, but that feeling went away when she got into a bad marriage and suffered a lot. We asked her when she felt that same happiness now and she said 3 things: when she meets with us, when she had her priesthood blessing and when she spends time with her niece. We told her that was her answer. Then we walked over to the church filled the font and she was baptized. Rubbish-salvation doesn’t come without a price-she did tell us that she wanted to keep working toward it. But for now, Heavenly Father was giving her the answer to take it at her own pace. Because of her disease (multiple sclerosis) she just can’t do as much. I can be patient, as long as it’s on the Lord’s timetable and not ours or cindy’s; I’m willing to wait.

It’s not gas, it’s not a liquid-it’s a SOLID investigator. Sis Black pointed out a home we hadn't knocked yet, not thinking much we made our way down the long gravel driveway. We met Ellen Wilkes at the door and she let us right in. She told us she’s not really stuck on religion, she goes to a nondenominational Christian church, but her whole motivation is to become more like our savior. We spoke with her about how she just strives and prays to be able to follow the holy ghost. She’s a huge hunter, doesn't work, but pays tithes on the deer she gets. She’s so prepared and readily accepted the Book of Mormon and said she’s read it. Sis Black promised her that she’d get a deer if she read from the Book of Mormon-at first I was like- Whaaat? But I backed her up and promised her the same thing. Afterward Sis Black said she’d just felt the need to and sorta doubted it at first but went with it. I know that those promises we make will come forth as we do our part, and they do theirs, blessings of having that authority of our calling.

hope y'all have a great turkey day and that y'all remember what's of the UTMOST importance to you, theeen, here's the kicker, share it! what use it a great gift if you're not willing to share it with someone else. 
love y'all!
ps: fav southern saying of the day "Imma slap the taste outta yo mouth!"

Monday, November 18, 2013

Peter found he could walk on the water not by sitting on the boat

The ward here is really coming along, from when I first arrived to now I can totally see the work of the Lord hastening. It's a slow process-but I know it's just going to snowball. These baptists are so committed and devoted....just to the partial truth. As the work progresses and we're able to baptize more families in tight-knit communities like Hartsville, people will start to ask questions-theeennnn, WHAMO-when people ask questions their hearts are open and the spirit can come in. I believe it'll just snowball from there-and people will be so eager to get baptized, they just might....miss a football game to do so (crazy eh??)
welp, this week was fantabulous-here's why...

Our first go at the challenge (to invite 2 people to be baptized on a specific date everyday), even though it was p-day and we only had 3 hrs to proselyte was a huge success! Raven agreed to be baptized on dec 14, and the lesson just seemed so spiritual. She was getting involved and asking questions, and agreed to read and pray about the BofM. Lesson of the night, where there’s a will there’s a way-especially where it’s the Lord’s will.
So crazy little thing happened...Elder Bednar came and spoke to us! nuts right?? I so wish I could tell you everything that happened in the brief 3hrs we had with him, but hope this suffices.
One of my favorite analogies that elder Bednar shared was in regards to when peter walked on water. He said that Peter found out he could walk on water not by sitting in the boat, but by jumping out. He had to act in faith first and only when he kept his gaze firmly upon the savior was he able to walk on the water. As soon as his gaze faded he began to sink. Bednar explained that’s how we need to be, we need to jump out of the boat and trust that the Lord will be there and that the Holy Ghost will guide us. He will never let us drown, we may choke down a lot of water, and struggle sometimes-but we will never drown.

Tammy’s faith and diligence never cease to amaze me. I really wish I could just record some of the conversations and lessons that we have because the stuff she says is just so great! We sat down to help her figure out more of what she wanted to say in her testimony for the fireside and we had her just go for it and pretend like she was there. She didn’t ever look down at her notes, and stumbled a few times at the beginning asking if she should say that, or how she should say such-and-such. But once she got going and the spirit took over it was so powerful. I love her testimony of the Book of Mormon. She spoke of how she was reading it before she was meeting with the sisters because mark had been given a copy earlier. She bore testimony of by reading “the book” (which is what she always refers to it as) she has just found peace and felt whole. She said “I’m 45yrs old and I’ve never felt this way before”. She’s really upset that Mark isn’t baptized yet and doesn't fully support her, but she doesn’t let that get in her way. She said “if he’s not going to take me to church, I’ll make him pay for a taxi, so he might as well come along”. A lot has changed, she seemed so much more timid and shy when we first started meeting-now she’s bold, independent and confident-and just is full of that light of Christ-mmm, she's beaming!

well then, I hope y'all are remembering what's out there....lost souls who need the blessings of the restored gospel!!..oh and miracles. heaps of miracles, mmmm and some love coming from your south carolina sister

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy veterans day y'all

happy veterans day y'all-and seeing as how we're all veterans from the great war in Heaven, I thought I'd throw out heaps of love and respect; and a big old thank you for making the right decision to come to earth annnnnd to choose to continue to fight for the winning team!
So...hurrah for israel and I wish y'all the best in slaying the natural man!:D

more from the miracle filled life of sister smith....

We were finally able to see Tammy today after about 1 week and a half due to being out of town and she was sick one day. She hadn’t read the Book of Mormon at all because she’s been so busy and told us how she’s been struggling a little bit, and just hasn’t been as happy as she was before. Voila-perfect example-we were able to teach and explain how it’s doing the little things like church attendance, repentance and reading our scriptures that bring us happiness throughout the days of our lives. We were a little nervous going in because the zone leaders had asked us to ask Tammy if she’d bear her testimony at the fireside coming up. Tammy’s such a shy timid person we weren’t sure what her response would be. When we first broke it to her she looked terrified, through testimony and assurances we were able to get her to agree. She’s even looking forward to it because we told her how much it would strengthen her, and hopefully help Mark receive his answer. 

It was such a great little day today. One of the highlights was when we were out knocking a road called morningside (doesn’t that just sound pleasant), we came across an older woman who answered the door. As soon as she answered I could sense something was wrong. Her voice was so timid and quiet. After we told her about who we were and the joyful message we bring she told us she was Baptist, always had been and wasn’t interested. I knew she didn’t really mean that, she doesn’t know what she’s missing. We kept talking and asking questions-and slowly as we bore testimony and spoke of our Savior the spirit began to work on her. Walls were coming down and started tumbling as we spoke of our families. She told us about how her husband had passed, and the we spoke about her children and grandchildren and THEN as we reached a silence in the conversation. She asked us if we’d like to come in and see her family. It was so precious, she showed us all of the pictures on her wall and then brought out the picture of her and her husband. They had been married for 56yrs. The spirit was so strong, we felt as if he was there in the room with us because you could just feel the love these two people had for one another. We bore testimony of eternal families and by the end we were all tearing up, and multiple hugs and thanks were given. She said we could come back and visit. Walking away sis black said she felt like her husband had sent us there. I totally agree, not only does he want his work done, but I know he wants her to have peace and happiness for the remainder of her life. Either way-I love being a missionary and being the Lord’s hands in His great and marvelous work.

 Exchanges was really neat, most of the lessons we had set up fell through, but we were able to meet some really solid contacts.
One of them was Karen. We had met her husband while he was out doing yardwork and he welcomed us back, when we pulled up she was just sitting on a lawn chair in her garage enjoying the night air I guess. We hadn’t met her before, but as we started talking and sharing she told us how her husband has suffered a major heart attack and how they were always in and out of the hospital. He was inside resting at the moment, and we were able to share scriptures with her and bear testimony. She was just the sweetest strongest woman. We referred her to and she welcomed us back. I just know the gospel could bring her so much peace and comfort during this hard time-but I’m grateful that the South is so religious and Christian despite the fact that they don’t have the FULL truth at least they have the knowledge of our Savior and his love to help them through the storms of life.

and one more!!
Mini miracle…as we were out knocking I realized I’d somehow dropped all of my Jesus and Temple pass-a-long cards. Well on our way back we found them all in the road where I had dropped them, and get this they’d been run over buuuut the Jesus pictures were protected by the temple pictures!

love the word "y'all" and I definitely LOVE Y'ALL!!!
Sister Lindsay Smith:)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Never Suppress a Generous Thought

....seriously, who has time for clever beginnings today-not I. meh, cool finding of the week-this neato flashlight that looks like iron man's chest, now as we walk around in pitch darkness we flash that at cars and whamo! instant safety, we like it alot.
here's a wee bit from me week:)

on exchanges-she had started up with a big wall and as we spoke it came down and she allowed us in. Later after we called to set up a return apt she said to give her a few more days so she’d have time to read the Book of Mormon. I was stoked! She was serious about reading! When we went back, she was super nice, let us in and had us sit down, even let us begin with a prayer…then she broke my heart.meh. She told us she had read and just didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of Joseph Smith being a prophet. Her pastor had told her to just be honest with us, so she said she’d give us our book back, but that she was going to stick with her religion. I asked her if she had prayed about it and she said she did. She apologized if she had wasted our time. I didn’t know what to do. We smiled, agreed to disagree and still be friends, but inside I was desperately seeking for some kind of guidance, something to say to her…dah! It was so sad to walk out of there, because, according to her, she had done what was required. I still know moroni’s promise is true-I’m just not sure what heavenly father’s plan is for her, and was there something more we could’ve done. She’s just the sweetest, most kind hearted woman-and I just want the best for her. And I know heavenly father knows what’s best, I just want to know why it doesn’t include the restored gospel in her life right now.
Oh yeah-next little miracle, we stopped by for our lesson with Ronnie and as we pulled up we noticed he was with a friend chilling in the lawn chairs out front of their mobile home. From afar he shouted that is wasn’t a good time and we should probably come back later. Naturally I’d be ok, we’ll try to come back later-all polite and nice right. NOPE-I felt the need to go in for a closer visit so we could meet Ronnie’s friend. We introduced ourselves and told him who we were, explained the BOM a little bit and he was very interested. We left him with a copy, he said he’d definitely read it and was very curious. Straight up we had him read the first paragraph in the introduction and he was like, “yeah, I believe it, that makes sense”. Unfortunately we couldn’t set up a return appointment because he was staying with his mother-in-law while his home in Virginia is being built. And theeeeen, right after him we went to try and contact sis solomon’s son who is less active but happened across his roommate drew who was a breath of fresh air…he was extrememly polite, kind, open and accepting of everything we said. He said he’d read the Book of Mormon and would love to meet with us again when we stopped back in to see Erik. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves-it was so great! Heavenly Father was keeping us on our toes, by knocking us flat with a mini miracle. I love being a missionaryJ
The lovely Donna Brown came out with us because it was her assigned week through the Relief Society. I’d never really talked to her much, just knew who she was. She came with us to see Mike Weatherford, and little did we know (but of course heavenly father did) that they had previously worked together at the Dixie Cup plant. Not only that but this time, with most of His questions out of the way we were able to cover more of the story of the restoration. Sis Brown bore a powerful testimony about Joseph Smith and Mike said he’d be coming to church this Sunday to check it out. Mike’s the kind of person that commits to something, so I totally believe that he will, he also said he’d start getting into the Book of Mormon. Having Donna be our little miracle just testified to me that Heavenly Father’s trying to tell us –MEMBER MISSIONARY WORK! the soft sweet voice of the spirit.

Well, I hope y'all are taking Elder Ballards challenge seriously, because seriously, nothing can bring more joy than having charity and sharing the gospel. Fav quote from Eleanor Roosevelt "never suppress a generous thought" and what's more generous than sharing the blessings of the restored gospel with members, nonmembers and less actives everywhere!
Sister Smith:)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Hi Y'all from Hartsville(photos)

Sister Smith with Brandon  & Kay
Sister Smith with
Peter Porkchop at Cole's farm they give the Sisters eggs every Sunday
Sister Smith with Willie he's been sick but is excited to be baptized

Another pineapple

Sister Smith named John's dog "Happy" and it has stuck

Sister smith with Laura, Adrianna and Izzy

Sister Sleepover before transfer Sister Walker, Wood, Hopper, Makin and Smith

Sister Smith and Sister Black doing service at Cindy Watrus

Here' making the devil mad

it's been getting chilly, not gonna lie. I'm not sure if it's just because I've adjusted to the warm balmy weather that used to be, oooor if it's actually "cold". The temperature reading in Chewy (our 2011 toyota corolla) says it's only been in the 50's but it feels more like 40's...Im thinking it's because of the humidity. I'm super stoked though-because cold weather outside means that hopefully people will be more willing to let you into their home instead of standing on the porch and talking with you. can't wait!
here's some little excerpts from the y'all!

We got back meeting, then coordination ran late so we were late to out apt with Mike Weatherford, a nice, curious guy who had met with sister missionaries quite a while ago. He had some really good questions-I love it when people have questions! It means their heart is at least a teensy bit open. Just as Alma taught-they only need a desire to learn, and that desire will work in them, they’ll then be able to taste the fruit and like Lehi know that the fruit is most desireable.

Liz Rackley and her families getting baptized, it’s decided, she doesn’t know it yet but she’s what you’d call a “dry Mormon”. We met her at the baptism lunch of one of the member’s son. When we went by to talk with her that member, Celia Thompson, was there-surprise!-we had no idea she was going to be…which was rather interesting because we had prayed about different members to contact to see if they could come with us. When we prayed about calling sister Thompson the spirit told both of us no-so I guess the spirit didn’t want us to waste our time because he knew she was going to be there. Anywho-when we arrived she lives in this gorgeous log cabin just off of the lake/pond. She had a whole list of questions she had come up with from reading about Mormons. She’s so solid though; all of her friends are Mormon, they’re a great clean family with good values, she’s open to learning more and told us her main motivation was to find out what her friends had that she didn’t. We were able to answer her questions and leave her with a Book of Mormon. She said she’d definitely read it and come up with more questions, haha, maybe in powerpoint for this time (we were joking about how she had typed up her questions on her iphone and had copied and pasted different articles and references about the Mormon religion) the spirit was definitely there to help us out, there was a time when she brought up the question about-Do Mormons believe God lives on another planet, and I could tell it was alluring to the Kolob idea but I had no idea how to address it, buuuut luckily the subject changed and we didn’t really ever go back to that-phew. Hmm, Liz Rackley-I have a great feeling about her, and not just because she sent us on our way with rice krispie treats either.:D

Score! We were able to see Gary and Jeanette, and put them back on date for baptism on November 16. They have something they have to do this Sunday but said they’ll come next Sunday. Something I loe that Gary said when we were telling him that now that their choosing the right and working towards this big commitment to our Savior the devil is going to be working his hardest to stop them-to which Gary responded. “let’s make the devil mad”-yes Gary, lets:)
Well, here's to making the devil mad. hope y'all are successful!
Sister Lindsay Smith

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Hooray for pictures-

Made it to the North Carolina State Line but not crossing over

A Cotton field in South Carolina

Time to put the Nephi sandles away until
April 2014 General Conference

Lindsay does not let the rains
of South Carolina stop them.
Fall weather
calls for lots of rain.
Transfer day and new companions  Sister Baker with Sister Makin and then
 Trainer Sister Lindsay Smith and Sister Black from American Fork, Utah

New companionship read to go forth and hasten the work
Sister Black and Sister Smith in Hartsville, South Carolina

Monday, October 21, 2013

Overjoyed in helping the Lord work his miracles

We have had a few people stop us as we're out contacting that tell us, "you can't solicit in this area, didn't you read the sign" to which we joyfully respond, we're not selling anything we're giving it out for free! That's right the message of the restoration is free, and if only you'd give it a chance you'd realize that the teensy-tiny bit that is required is given back to us 100 fold in blessings from our heavenly father! what?! crazy I know...makes me wonder why people don't just come running to the baptismal font....because the devil is a sneaky one, and just as  Elder Holland said, salvation has never been easy, so why should we expect the work of salvation to be so.
it may not be "easy" but boy is it worth it:D I love being a missionary!!
this week in SC...
We went way out to a referral who stood out to me that the Bishop had given us. Out we traveled to Mohawk road to find a Jeffrey bowcutt. We knocked on the door, no answer. Knocked again-no answer. Just then the phone rang so we paused on the doorstep to check the phone, just then we saw a lady peek through the windows. We quickly silenced the phone and waited, we could hear that she was on the phone also. After she hung up she opened the door and told us Jeffrey had moved.  We told her who we were, and turns out she’d actually talked with missionaries in the past a little bit but had never really gotten into the Book of Mormon. We bore our testimonies and spoke about the truth of our message and how much God loves her. Then there came a point in our conversation where she paused and just started weeping, as she told us “he’s a good boy, he’s just going through a hard time”. We had no idea what she was talking about. She went on to explain that her son is in a juvy rehab place and she’d really been struggling and that we were the answer to her prayers. After more testimonies, tears and sharing we left her with a prayer, and she committed to read the BOM. As we walked off she couldn’t stop telling us how we were the answer to her prayers, and I couldn’t be more overjoyed to have had the Lord allow us to work miracles in people lives. 

We had an appointment fall through so we decided to stop in on a lead I remembered that we had planned as backup, didn’t think much of it at the time. Knocked on her door, she opened it saw us and immediately invited us in-I was so shocked. Turns out she’d met with the missionaries a little before, but now she was really looking for the right church because she wants her grandson to get involved in a good church. She loved what we had to say, the spirit was so strong during the first vision and agreed to read the pamphlet we left with her that night when she was at work. Um, hoorah! I’m so grateful for missionaries who’ve come before me to pave the way so that when people come to that point in their life when they’re questioning and looking for truth-the missionaries will be there! Times like these also give me hope and teach me to have more faith in those random little contacts we meet throughout our day.

We had another meeting with Gale and she is just the most tender thing since puppies and cupcakes. She’s really struggling with depression, and told us all about how much she’s been crying and how she hates not being able to function regularly because of the depression. She told us that she cries all the time, but recently since we’ve been coming she’s been praying a lot more and crying a lot less. We taught her the plan of Salvation and she was really interested, told us all about how she’d never been taught anything like that. It always blows my mind when we ask people, “have you ever wondered where you came from? Or where you were before you gained a body and came to earth?” and so many people (like Gale) answer, “well I’ve never really thought about it before”…in my head I’m like “how could you not have thought about it before-now I understand why it’s one of those “golden questions”, it really gets people thinking and interested, becaaaaause we have the answer. Anywho, she’s the sweetest and told us over and over again how we’re just the biggest answer to her prayers, and we’re her angels-and I think it’s funny because she’s the answer to all of our prayers. I pray so hard that we can find those the Lord would have a teach so that we can bless people with this glorious message….heh heh, we complete each other:)

well, I think one email can only hold so many miracles-if only you could capture the joy this work brings to me. 
Love y'all and hope that you can have the blessing of recognizing the Lord's hand in your life:)
Sister Smith:D:D

Monday, October 14, 2013

Now is the time for members and missionaries to work together

The mist...sounds like a horror movie, oooooor it could just be the newest weather situation I've never experienced here before. It's not raining, and it's not just humid but it's literally misting outside. The Utah instinct side of me looks out the window (or win-der, as they'd say here) and the dark clouds, slight breeze and leaves on the ground just scream cold weather and snow, but pop outside and it's a pleasant 70-75 degrees.
Awesome lesson with Mark and Tammy, He basically told us that he has such a strong testimony of the bible that anything we show him in it he believes. We’re like Great! It’s a start, at least his heart and mind are open, I know as soon as he gets more into the book of Mormon, a testimony of it is sure to follow.
Later that night we had another great lesson with Porsha and he husband. I forgot she told us she was going to cook for us, so when we showed up at 7:30 she had a big spaghetti dinner waiting for us, she’s so great!...however I’d already eaten and was so sick after I stuffed down the giant plate-o-pasta. We chatted openly about Joseph Smith and the restoration and they both agreed that what we said made perfect sense, and Porsha’s only reaction to the first vision was “oh wow”. Porsha’s actually really good friends with a member so we encouraged her to ask her questions after they both agreed that they’d start reading the Book of Mormon. Before we left they wouldn’t let us leave without food. Her mom who was in watching TV got up just to grab us some cookies and Raman from the pantry, threw in a package of bologna and not to mention they gave us a coupld plates of leftover spaghetti. They’re so cool! Love em-and I can totally see them getting sealed in the temple one day, can’t wait to teach them more, and really praying they find the time to read the Book of Mormon.

We were in a lesson and got a text from President Holm that said to give him a call when we got the chance.DAH! Do you realize what that means! President doesn’t ask you to call him unless you’re getting transferred/training. Sure enough, I gave him a call and I’m staying in Hartsville and I’ll be training a new missionary. Sister Lundholm asked me how I felt and I just told her that I’m grateful for the prophets promise that the Lord qualifies who he calls. I so desperately want to be that perfect example that doesn’t hinder my companion in any way; I want to be uplifting, loving, humble, open, fun, responsible, obedient-basically the perfect missionary. Which isn’t possible, but what is possible is that my Heavenly Father will help me to be the companion that Sister Something needs. We had stake conference tonight and a member of the 70 was there! Whaaat?? So cool right? Yeah, like one of the guys who’s on the centerfold of the general conference ensigns. It was Elder Paul V. Johnson. The theme of the night was….sure enough-Missionary work, and getting the members involved. I need to repent, we’re not the best at working with members and I often take the excuse that there aren’t many in our area to work with, welp, NO EXCUSES. They showed the clip of Pres. Monson from conference, and I couldn’t be more thrilled when he boldy declared to the church “Now is the time for members and missionaries to work together” (that may or may not be the exact wording). I’m feeling the pressure on our end of things too-especially now that I’ll be training. How can I set the example for how to work with members, and how to get the members involved? Definitely lots of prayers, as always. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to train, serve and rise to the prophets call. To hasten means to accelerate and go faster than the current pace. We have been called to hasten the work, and it’ll be hard; we might get winded, our muscles may ache-but boy oh boy will it be worth it! Just imagine how the church can grow-the beautiful thing about missionary work is the great ripple effect it can have.
 I hope y'all have a great day! Love ya tons! ...and go heed the prophets call! the time is NOW. Funny, the last time I remember prophets and apostles focused so much on one topic was back when they were stressing the need to get out of debt, food storage, plant your own gardens, and what not. Now it's all missionary work-interesting eh? well i can assure you canned peaches are important but nothing is sweeter than sharing your testimony and the blessing that accompany it.

Sister Lindsay Smith:D:D

Monday, October 7, 2013

Abraham Lincolm said

Abraham Lincoln said something like this...."give me 6 hours to chop down a tree and I'll spend 4 hrs sharpening the ax." what a guy-it was definitely one of those ax sharpening weeks. Between LTM (leadership training meeting) and general conference there was so much sharpening. BUUUUT-now is the test. We've been taught but will we actually apply it in our lives and start hacking at the trees. 
The work is there, the work needs to be hastened, and it's up to us!
I couldn't have been more excited every time a general authority gave a talk, prayed about or mentioned missionary work. Seriously though-if a call from mulitple apostles and the prophet doesn't motivate the members to get more involved in missionary work I'm not sure what will. It's basically along the lines of Noah being like (check out those clouds on the horizon, what're you gonna do about it?!)
Anywho-It's such a great time to be a full time missionary. I love it:D
here's why....

We stopped by Tammy’s at 7, we’d tried texting her multiple times to set up an apt but she’d never responded-which wasn’t like her at all. We found out why, she was out with some nasty bug and had been throwing up all day. She tried so hard to come out and meet with us, but was pale as a ghost and looked miserable, so we sent her to bed then had an awesome little lesson with Mark about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We brought up baptism and he told us again that from what he’s learned of the church-so far so good, buuuut he wants to figure it out for himself by reading the Book of Mormon. As we were heading out he was telling us all about how he had to get to bed so he could get up at 3am to go to the gym, and how he was going to take Tammy’s phone and read the Book of Mormon while he works out. What? We didn’t even bring up that idea! We were so excited, definitely a “heel-clickin’” moment, sis makin’s still practicing her heel clicking.
We then went to see Maggie with Sister Mixon.  We were planning on teaching about the plan of salvation but thanks to the beauty of being a preach my gospel missionary, we were able to adapt the lessons to her needs…aka…we spent most of the time talking about baptisms for the dead. I know that the spirit was touching her heart, because she really took up to that idea. Just like in Elijah’s prophesy the hearts of the children are turning to their fathers. I feel like we never have enough time with our investigators, when we’re teaching the time just flies. There is so much work to do, so many people to love and so many ways to develop a closer relationship with my savior. BUT-time is the only limited thing we have. When I get home I want to no longer waste hours on worthless activities that don’t pertain to my God or to others. Too often the adversary tricks us into turning inwards and even tries to tell us that watching Netflix will be more rewarding that popping in on a neighbor for a brief visit. FALSE-people are so amazing, God’s children are amazing and they need us just as much as we need them…not Netflix. 
Oh blessed night-we had a lesson with Gary and Jeannette. Jeanette let us in, she’s this super sweet large black woman. When I say large I mostly mean tall, she’s probably almost 6’, as we were talking with her waiting for Gary to get home I saw a silhouette in the door way and it looked like maybe it was her son or something, but when he came into the light we found out it was Gary!! They’re so cute, so in love and he’s so much shorter than she is, about by 1’ I’d say. They accepted our baptismal invitation and said they’d try to make it to general conference. So it’s definitely been a blessed night.
Some little tidbits that I learned and loved from the Leadership Training Meeting this week...#1 Being a missionary isn't trying to convince someone that what I’m saying is true. But letting them know-w/o a shadow of a doubt-that I know that what I’m saying is true.#2 consecrated effort is never wasted. My life doesn't belong to me, it belongs to God-that’s what it means to be an instrument in His hands. #3 There is a reason why in a vehicle the windshield is so big and the rear view mirror, in comparison, is so small. It’s sad but too many people are trying to drive into life looking in that rear view mirror. You will get in many accidents that way.#4 You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink….however you CAN salt the oats. #5 whenever I come away from a big training or meeting, like LTM or general conference the most important part is what I take away from it and actually do to alter my life according to what the spirit has taught me. Soooo, meditate and look over all that’s been said/heard and then pull out just 1-5 of the things that my Father in heaven wants me to do to improve.

mmmk, that's nuff. now go out and be a missionary...follow the prophet eh?
Sister Lindsay Smith:D

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Tammy and her husband Mark

Tammy's Baptism

Elder Clifford, Elder Hawkes, Tammy, Sister Makin and Sister Smith

Boiled Peanuts a food of South Carolina
Elder Hawks gave them to remind them to be "Bold" Missionary

Monday, September 30, 2013

photos of Hartsville

 One of Sister Smith and Sister Makins investigators have a reflecting door.  Hi we're from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and we have a message about our Savior Jesus Christ to share with you.

Beautiful Hartsville South Carolina sunset and a random couch  at a pond--- would make a great pondering spot.

Poaching in South Carolina

We returned for an appt with this super cool veteran Dennis, and he was more than willing to meet with us buut he said he mentioned us to his wife and pastor and they weren't too happy. The pastor called us poachers and Dennis told us it probably wouldn't be the best for us to meet. meh. poachers? seriously? we had a good laugh over this one, if poaching means that we're bringing you into Christ's fold then yes Imma poacher, and proud of it!

Later that day we had our weekly visit with Carolyn, and as much as it kills me that she won’t just accept our message she is progressing. We really went deep into prophets today and helped her understand why we need a prophet, but more importantly why SHE needs/wants a prophet. After multiple explanations and scriptures, she finally agreed that she would pray to know if God had a prophet on the earth today. She seemed to struggle with the idea that she would have to go through someone else to hear what God has to say to her, but she was like “I can go to God myself”. She’s so great-and I know it’s taking her so long to come along because she’s so solidly planted in her beliefs, we just have to get her to start questioning those beliefs thennnn, WHAMO, baptism and she becomes the most stalwart Mormon ever. Oh yeah-our lesson was interrupted about 8 times by the telephone. She never answered it but every time we got to hear her voicemail. This voicemail totally embodies Carolyn, a larger, black, fried chicken and God loving woman. It says “whatever you need, God’s got it, leave me a message—BEEEEP” haha, love it!
Had our first lesson with Tammy as an official member of the church. Mark joined us and we talked all about how service is so important and how many opportunities there are for service in the church. Mark loved it all, he loved how organized the church is and how we all look out for one another (through home and visiting teaching). We asked him if he wanted to get baptized and he said to give him a couple weeks. The spirit’s totally doing a number on him though. Their house doesn’t smell so much like smoke, he didn’t resist too much when we asked him to say a prayer, and this weekend because they’re going out of town he was totally willing to go to the nearby LDS branch that we looked up for him on Even Bro. Krien said he totally noticed a difference in mark. The first Sunday at church Mark was like, “I’m only here to fulfill a promise I made”-the next week at church he told us he’d only be dropping Tammy off but he came in and stayed for all 3hrs again. He’s gonna get baptized and then a year from now they’re gonna get sealed in the temple-it’s so great! Tammy thinks she’s happy now, oh just waitJ
Such a miracle filled night! We went to try and do a lesson with Tiffany, no luck, but the idea to go out and see Connie arose. And whaddaya know she was actually home, we hadn’t seen her in over a month. Later that evening we go for a lesson with Frankie, his girlfriend wasn’t home and he had the kids so we couldn’t meet, then the idea comes to mind to knock on Calvin/Ivin’s old apt and Ta-Dah! We run into Carmen, a cute little (seriously not sure if she’s even 5 ft tall, makes hugs super awkward) black girl, in her 20’s who had previously been coming to church and meeting with the elders. Her current job now required her to work Sundays so she hadn't been able to come again and after they left she just lost touch with the missionaries I guess. She said she’d be able to come to general conference this weekend though, so we’re super excited for that! OH yeah! And when we were walking away down the stairwell we heard her exclaim “yes!” as she walked inside her apt. BAH! The message of the restoration truly is a reason to exclaim “yes!” :D:D 3rd miracle of the night, we had about 15 minutes until 9pm so on our way home we stop to try and set up an apt with Z (our Asian friend who’s just curious about Christianity in general) and before we go to Z’s we both get the idea to visit Carol/Susan nobody answered so we proceeded to Z’s. Turns out he had just barely gotten home from a trip, and we were able to chat with him for a bit and invite him to conference, he said he’d try to stop by for one of the sessions.

BAH! only 5 more days until conference!! do we realize how lucky we are, we have modern prophets who speak with God and then let us know all about it! I felt like I had a spiritual overload just from the RS broadcast. BTW-if you're male and didn't see it I'd highly recommend watching it:D can't imagine what it's going to be like to have 8hrs of it this weekend!!
Sister Lindsay Mae Smith:):)
Sister Smith's Zone they only meet once a month so she hasn't  got all their names down.
Back:   Elders  ?,  Willie Hawkes, Clifford, Clunker, Bowen, Blank, Tuttle
Middle:  Sister Smith, Raull, Houston, Jackson, Daniels, Dent, Bean, Makin
Front:  Elder Marangi, Bro & Sister Towers,  Bro & Sister ??, Elder Davis

Monday, September 23, 2013

Who would of ever thunk

Who would have ever thunk that on of the most common difficulties people have with the book of Mormon is finding the page numbers. Just one of those things you don't think about until yer on yer mish and your investigator is quietly struggling to turn to the page.but yeah....onto more exciting little excerpts from the week.
I think I just found the little dipper on my leg. Yes, the constellations of mosquito bites are abundant upon my legs, and I’m guessing it’s from when we wandered around the Cole’s farm. The Coles live out in Mcbee and we paid them a visit hoping to inspire them to do missionary work and give us referrals. Missionary work wise, it wasn’t the most productive but I think it helped to talk with them and get them to like/trust us so maybe they’d be more keen to working with missionaries in the future. I NEVER would've guessed that the Coles who give us eggs from their chickens every weekend are originally from Southern California. Bro Cole was an electrical engineer and one day they were sick of living so jammed packed in with the rest of Southern Cali, so they sold their home, packed up and moved to South Carolina where they now make a living off of farming on their 94 acres of land.
September 21-Got a call this morning form Willie’s sister telling us he wouldn’t be up for baptism today because he wasn’t feeling to good. After we hung up we immediately called Willie and found out his knee was super swollen, we promised/testified that the Lord could heal him and get him to his baptism he just needed to have faith. Texts were sent out amongst the zone for extra prayers, the zone leaders went to the nursing home and gave him a blessing, but when the time came Willie and his nurses agreed that he wouldn’t be able to get baptized today…I really thought he was going to make it this time. Something always comes up, I just want to drag him down her and dunk him before he dies or something. He deserves this, wants this and more importantly NEEDS this-just gotta keep trying and having faith, it’ll happen.
Tammy’s baptism was AMAZING! Sis Makin and I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost, we took tons of pictures the spirit was so strong and everything went perfectly. She was so cute and happy, and mark was there and it was just such a nice night. It’s still so surreal that it actually happened. Blows my mind that the Lord allowed lil ol Sister Smith to help someone progress towards and make it to baptism into His church, I’m so blessed.\
it's so hard to find the right balance between doing your best, but then acknowledging that you can do better. but it's worth it, never get complacent with who you are, because Heavenly Father knows you can be so much more. 
Sister Smith:D

Lindsay said South Carolinans think the pineapple shows Southern hospitality a sign of Welcome.  She finds them all over Hartsville.
This is one house she's not sure about knocking on


In Hartsville they paint their fire hydrants all different--pretty neat and easy to find