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:)