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

Monday, December 15, 2014

photo--South Carolina Sisters'

“If you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.

I really didn't think it would be possible to squeeze any more love and happiness into my being, but He's done it again, but seriously this time I think I'm about to burst. Morgan's getting baptized on Saturday, I've yet to teach anyone so faithful, strong and prepared, he's going to go so far! I'm so excited. His grandparents fly in from Utah this wednesday and the baptism is Saturday. Aw man, I wish I could skype y'all in, it's going to be a day to remember for sure! to come next week!! other news...
The Haynes are planning for their baptism way off in February, but we wanted to do something to get them excited. We bought a poster board and made a giant, neon green baptismal calendar. Complete with a big picture of Helaman and his army, and little CTR, Jesus and Church stickers so they can map out their spiritual progression for the next few months. It looks so good! Too bad they weren’t there for their lesson, they were out playing with friends, and were supposed to be home but had forgotten. It worked out though, we were able to visit a little with sis Haynes and talk with her about how she’s doing. She’s so amazing, and has been the EASIEST less active to bring back. Ha, all we had to do was knock on her door. She’s done everything else, and has been a rock in her family in bringing them to church.

Following a big dinner of waffles and bacon, we went over to the Horrocks for a big dinner of tacos and crepes for dessert. We were so stuffed, but it was worth it. They’re the sweetest young couple, with a new baby girl. He was raised in the church, and she was raised catholic but has always been around members and is familiar with it all. They had a great experience at sacrament. All meetings are great, but this one was especially good. So next week is Sadie’s last week, she bore her testimony. She also signed it at the same time, which isn’t as easy as you’d think…it’s like trying to speak 2 languages at the same time, and not only that, but she was sharing a story from her mission in Peru so she was translating her memory from Spanish to English to American sign language. What a woman!! Sadie bore powerful testimony about charity and faith. She then bore testimony of Kitt’s testimony and how he has such great faith to continue to come week after week, surrounded by people he can’t communicate with, and she encouraged everyone to learn sign, even if it’s just so that they can learn from his testimony. I’m so glad the Horrocks were there for that. They were really touched. We spoke for a while and got to know them, and closed with a thought from the Book of Mormon and also about #HeistheGift. They said we’re welcome back anytime. It was a little hard to teach because Sis Horrock's mother is in town for the holidays and she’s more devout catholic than her daughter, but it’s so sweet how both of them have a strong desire to get back into religion because of the birth of their daughter.

We ended the night with another miracle, a last minute impression to text a less active was heeded, and they texted right back and said we could come by!

Morgan came with us to institute for his first time, and just our luck they’re studying the D&C. After the opening prayer the teacher says, “So what did we finish talking about last time?” Class response, “the sons of perdition”. That little missionary alarm goes off in Sis Burbank’s and my head, and I lean over to Morgan and try to simply explain what the sons of perdition are. The rest of the class was all about D&C 76, the 3 degrees of glory, haha, oh glory. We asked Morgan afterward how he felt, he said he liked it, but was a little lost. It was still good for him to find a little bit of fellowship and mingle with other singles his age.

Taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the Haynes. Izayah was asking when he could get baptized, his mom was all for Feb 7th, but Brother Haynes said they still needed to talk about it. Izayah starts to panic, “dad, no, please let me get baptized!!”. Later Jojo was having a bit of an attitude and his mother wasn’t happy with him and told us how he had lied earlier in the week and had peeked at his Christmas presents. We had just finished talking about repentance and the steps, so Izayah chimes in, “Jojo you just need to recognize, regret, etc” and he explains all the steps of repentance. Haha, I love these kids!
Dec. 13:
That evening we helped Paula decorate for Christmas and did a little Christmas lesson afterward. Gerald, the 6 yr old was helping his uncle Daniel get some stuff from the back closet, we heard a big crash and Daniel then tells Gerald that he’s not allowed to tell anyone about this, but to just keep it between them. They’d just spilled a little box of nails or something, he was just joking around. Haha, but Gerald comes out and comes straight up to me and says, “I’m going to use what we learned”, “and what’s that Gerald?”, I asked. “Honesty”, he replied. About a week ago we’d had a lesson with Gerald and his sister Alysa about honesty and integrity. Gerald then went straight to his Grandma and told him that Uncle Daniel had made a mess, it was so cute, and I was so proud! **tear**

love y'all!!!!
find some Christmas miracles!!
love, sister smith:D

oh and a little bonus, this was just something I've been thinking about...
On my mission I’ve been blessed with some baptisms, some solid investigator and miracles. During those moments it feels great and I’m happy, but what happens after; After the font is drained, after the closing prayer is said, after my mission is over. Those moments are great blessings from my Heavenly Father, but they’re not lasting. What brings me lasting joy is my relationship with my Heavenly Father and Savior, after all of that’s over, or whether it never happened at all, I find great joy and fulfillment in my progression in the gospel; faith, repentance, covenants and enduring to the end. There’s a quote from cool runnings that the coach says, “a gold medal is a great thing, but if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it”. I like applying that same quote to baptisms, or anything else we find validation in (callings, money, awards, compliments, praise, attention, etc), “if you’re not enough without it, you’ll never be enough with it.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Christmas Miracles

I just can't get over how happy where I am, doing what I'm doing, with the people I'm doing it with! I love sharing the gospel, I love teaching, serving, smiling and knocking on doors that no one answers. I love finding with faith, sharing my testimony and studying the doctrines of Salvation. I'm so grateful for the many Christmas miracles that are being placed in our path everyday. Here's a glimpse of my miraculous week!

Christmas Miracle #1: We were going to Rhi’s like we had planned last night, but when we pulled up to her house, neither of us felt like we should be there. We said a prayer, and concluded the spirit was restraining us from being there, so we carried on with our plans. We decided to go drop by Elena’s (a recent convert), we tried calling all THREE of her phones, no answer, but we still felt good about dropping by. It turns out she had her friend Barry over, we asked if we could do a quick lesson with them and he was all for it. We then presented, through the power of the Holy Ghost, one of the best restoration lessons. Barry loved it, and could really feel the spirit. He told us he felt hope, and a desire to learn more. He was so excited, and felt like he could finally get answers to his questions. Elena was amazing and bore a powerful testimony about how the gospel and church had helped her through some of the darkest times of her life.. We committed Barry to be baptized Dec. 27th, he said of course. He’s stoked to go to church with us this Sunday, and get this! He lives right next door to the church! Miracles are out there, and I’m so grateful for the spirit that kept pushing us towards Barry. He kept saying at the end what a miracle this was, there was no coincidence. You know, I’m kinda really grateful that Heavenly Father allows us to act in faith. When we decided to not go to Rhi’s and continue onto Elena’s the spirit didn’t say, “you can’t go to Rhi’s, and you need to go to Elena’s because there’s someone there you need to teach”. And then when we tried to call her 3 different times and she never answered, the spirit didn’t chime in and say, “no, you still need to go to Elena’s there’s this guy named Barry and he’s super prepared, so just keeeep on driving”. No. we didn’t get that, but we carried on, and ta-dah, MIRACLE! J

We had a birthday dinner and lesson with Sis Lincoln and of course the rest of the family. We talked about, ENDURING TO THE END! And related it to how we need to endure to the end in minute to win it games. Their family is doing so great, the other day when we taught them about temples Sis Lincoln told us how excited she was to go to the temple. I love this family so much! We did the oreo game, when you have to wiggle an oreo down your face into your mouth. Bro Lincoln decided that the oreo wasn’t worth the work, so he gave up after 2 tries. Haha, he said that, like life, you have to be working towards something that’s worth the work. Eternal life is always worth it, so we need to sacrifice whatever it takes, however money and recognition aren’t so why “labor for that which is of no worth”.PS: Sis lincoln told us how excited she is to go to the temple one day! :):)

During lunch we went to town decorating our apartment for the most wonderful time of the year. Paula donated a full size Christmas tree, but when we pulled it out of the box to set it up, we realized it was missing the top piece, we improvised, and with a little fluffing, ornaments and lights we the the best Christmas bush this side of the Mississippi. We hung snowflakes from the ceiling, arranged a little nativity set, colored a big “Joy to the World” banner and just basked in the majestic feeling of this wondrous season. I couldn’t be Jollier!!...even if Jollier isn’t a word;)

During my morning prayers, I was just smiling the whole time. We saw some great miracles as well, a whole bunch of people came to church, they even had to open up the overflow! Morgan got confused about the Christmas devotional, and that little diligent guy came to the church at 8AM! We felt so terrible, but he ended up coming back again at 8PM. Another miracle, we were panicking because we couldn’t find anyone to come to Kitt’s with us, but at the last minute we called Elena and she came through for us. Kitt’s so funny, he lets us teach the new member lessons, simple stuff like tithing and fast offerings today, but as soon as we finished, he was like, “ok, finished with that, now I have some questions!”. Kitt’s so funny, and was asking all about Christ real birthday and how it coordinates with the Jewish calendar, aw man Kitt, I told him that I’m learning so much from just teaching him. He literally studies the gospel all day. He’ll bust out these student institute study manuals and flip all through it showing us different sections and then ask some crazy question. He’s unlike anyone I’ve ever met-I love him so much!\

Love y'all, go lip sync to some Christmas tunes, enjoy your family and share the He is the Gift video with someone from
PS:guess what, only 16 days til christmas!!!!!!! haha, and even better only 12 days until Morgan's baptism!)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Sisters and Elders Thanksgiving Turkey Bowl

Our first thanksgiving meal was with Doris, her son and her 6 grands. It was so much fun! They’re just a good ‘ol southern black family. The meal consisted of yams, rice, collard greens, potato salad, mac-n-cheese and a Tur-duck-hen. Not all of your traditional western thanksgiving foods, but when we told them that back home I’d never had a thanksgiving with mac-n-cheese they were appalled. Keenan exclaimed, “what?! That’s the only thing I look forward to each thanksgiving!”

Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without Mac and Cheese

Welcome to December, and this week's edition of The Lord's Vineyard: Summerville, South Carolina Edition...I'm your host, Sister Smith and I'll be filling you in on the miracles, adventures and happenings of my time serving as a full-time representative of our Savior Jesus Christ, hope you enjoy and feel a little more joyful after reading!!

Nov 24th:
The Cicon’s had Morgan over for FHE tonight. I love how we’re on such a steady schedule with morgan. Every Monday we go over and he follows us to a members house to have FHE, then every Friday at 10:30am we meet in his driveway on camp chairs and have a lesson. He’s the greatest. He told us he’d finally finished 2 Nephi, he’s a little nervous for his baptism, but he’s getting excited as well. The Cicon’s had no idea he was getting baptized, so when they started asking him how he was feeling about the church and such, he piped in, well I’m getting baptized Dec. 20th. They were like, “WHAT!?”, they had the peeeerrrfect reaction, as they both shouted and congratulated him with jubilance. Which is how it should be, this is one of the most life changing decisions, he’s making an eternal covenant with God, I think it deserves a few emotional pyrotechnics.

Nov. 26th:
After unexchanging with Sis Havens, we went to the Haynes for our lesson. We taught the little munchkins about the plan of salvation. We started with having them color their own, and I did my best to help the 6yr old not “scribble-scrabble” all over, because as she told me, “you can’t scribble-scrabble, it’s dangerous!”. We cut them out, and laid it out piece by piece explaining it all. I love breaking things down to a child’s level, that’s the simplicity we should all be looking at things with. We mixed up all the pieces and challenged them to put it all back together again. Izayah, the 10yr old was great, we’d only asked him to rearrange the pieces in order. He not only did that, but proceeded to explain to us about what each piece was, and how it fit into the plan. He was a little confused about what temples are, and told us that’s where all of our bodies are kept, we quickly cleared that one up, haha.

Nov 27th:
HAPPY HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I couldn’t be more grateful to be where I am right now. Smack dab in the middle of the Lord’s vineyard, sporting a shiny black nametag bearing the name of Jesus Christ, and his Church in these Latter Days.
For the first time ever, I got to participate in the Turkey Bowl. It was a blast, and felt so good to play a competitive sport after such a long time. Our ward was combined with the 3rd ward, so we got to play with the other sisters and elders as well. We layered up, and headed out. Sis Wheelock was so pumped, the day before she’d been sick with the flu, but sure enough she shook it off, and said there was no way she wasn’t playing in the turkey bowl because of some little flu. Sis Mathias was a little unfamiliar with it all, but she caught on fast. We randomly split up the teams, making sure companions stayed together to make sure companionship unity was maintained. We played 2-hand touch, only sisters could guard sisters, but if a sister caught a pass it was an automatic down. We did pretty good, and I think represented the face of all sister missionaries everywhere. Sis Burbank caught a touchdown pass, I played more on the defense and tipped a few passes, took down a few runs and caught a interception, and Sis Wheelock had the same. haha, and this was sis Mathias' first time playing american football, and she didn't do too shabby.

Our first thanksgiving meal was with Doris, her son and her 6 grands. It was so much fun! They’re just a good ‘ol southern black family. The meal consisted of yams, rice, collard greens, potato salad, mac-n-cheese and a Tur-duck-hen. Not all of your traditional western thanksgiving foods, but when we told them that back home I’d never had a thanksgiving with mac-n-cheese they were appalled. Keenan exclaimed, “what?! That’s the only thing I look forward to eachthanksgiving!” The rest of our Thanksgiving was with the Blonquist family.

Nov. 29:
All afternoon we were struggling to find anyone to let us in and teach. We pulled up to our last plan, and it was only 7:30…I prayed for a miracle, and that some way these people would let us in, and we’d be able to teach them. We knocked in the Peterson’s neighbor’s door. We’d tried before to meet with her, because the Peterson’s told us they might be interested. She answered and let us right in! We got to teach her, Amy, and her boyfriend, Joe! They’re middle aged, with families of their own and were the sweetest little miracle of the night. Looking back I can tell how the spirit guided us, we were lead in our questions and we taught in a different way than we ever had. It was doctrine focused, but applied in a casual way that testified of how ultimate truth is out there, and it can bless their individual lives. They areed to read from the Book of Mormon, and said we were welcome to come back, and even sent us on our way with a big bag of chex mix! I’m smiling just thinking about how sweet Heavenly Father was in leading 2 cold, lonely, rejected sisters to their home, so we could be an instrument in His hands.

ok, this episode ended up being an extended addition! But there was just too much goodness and blessings this week! hope y'all experience the same! miracles are out there, go get em!!

Love y'all!

Sister Smith

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hey y'all, Another great week flew by, seriously where did November go?!?

Hey y'all, Another great week flew by, seriously where did November go?!?
well at least I have evidence that it happened based off of these little weekly email things, but otherwise I'd hardly believe that 7 more days just passed by!!
check it out!
Morgan followed us over to the Dunn’s for a family home evening with their family. It was so fun, talked about humility, he was a little nervous at first, but it soon lightened up and he told us that his favorite part was playing apples to apples with them all at the end. We were a little nervous at the end when the Dunn’s started talking a lot about polygamy and such, but Morgan didn't skip a beat, he’d already researched that and learned about how it was needed for a time, and that God had commanded it. He’s so great!
We’d texted him about how he was feeling about the Dunn’s and his baptism and we almost died with every text he sent, I’m just going to type it word for word.

Morgan: I’m feeling good about it grandma (his grandma in Utah) and I discussed it some and she fully agrees with y’all that I shouldn't wait any longer. She also, like y’all told me that the doubt is the devil trying to convince me that I shouldn't go through with it. So hearing it from y’all and her, and based on how I feel as I've been progressing I feel fairly confident about doing it the 20th!! Sis Burbank and I were going nuts, he’s the best!! He sent a bunch more about how the gospel has been blessing his life, how he feels when he studies from the scriptures, how much he wants his family to accept this, and so much more:)

The Lincoln lesson was a blast, and I’m so glad Sis Harvey was there. You’d never know that she’s a newer missionary, which is how it should be. She had a member tell her once that she “looked” like a greenie, that you could tell her companion was a long time experienced and seasoned missionary, but that Sis Harvey looked “green”. I told her that wasn't true, and that being told you’re green is a compliment. I had a good friend give me the advice before I came out in the field to “stay green”. No matter how long you’ve been out stay that on fire, obedient, humble, submissive, always looking to improve green missionary.

But anyways with the Lincolns we taught the 10 commandments and had them break up in groups, learn about a few commandments and then present a mini lesson. At the end I taught them the hand signals to remember the 10 commandments with, then we did a game where I would call out a number, commandment or do the hand sign and they’d have to give which commandment was associated with it. I was able to give Gabbie my little picture I drew for her, along with the CTR earrings my mom gave me, and she loved them and put them in right away!

-went on 3 exchanges this week, with my favorite Sis Harvey from Kaysville, Sis Vaifanua from Cali (haha, nobody messes with her here, because she's Samoan, haha, but alot of people mistake her for being black), and Sis Mathias my favorite German sister!

Aw man! We went over to Elena’s for smores, and due to the fact that the fire kept EXPLODING, we got a little distracted and weren't able to include a lesson. That bothered me, but I’ll make sure to make it a priority next time. Her logs she had were wet, so when the water heated up the pressure would build then WHAMO! Explosion complete with plumes of sparks and flying coal. It was quite exciting, and made smore making a dangerous activity. It really was pretty scary though, eventually we backed away, not far enough though, I got hit in the head with a big chunk of wood, and Sis Burbank got burned when a small piece of coal fell down her shirt, it was so crazy! Haha, something really crazy for me was that she just made the fire on her back patio, didn’t clear the area, didn’t worry about the piles of dry leaves everywhere, it’s so humid they don’t have a real fear of wild fires starting up. I’m not in Utah anymore that’s for sure, haha, she kept laughing at Sis Burbank and I because we were nervous about not having a firepit, or about all of the dry leaves just hanging around, or the fact that the fire kept exploding and burning logs would fly all over the lawn, we even heard one fly up and hit the roof.

I'm, so grateful for everything! But that's a silly cop out, I've found a lot of joy as I pray more specifically. Today I'm especially grateful for my Heavenly Father's grand plan to help us learn how to make decisions. Yes he wants us to rely on him, but he duly wants us to become like him so that we may know in each situation what decision He would make.

Gee whiz there are some good days ahead!
hope y'all have some too!
Sister Smith
Love y'all!

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm Dreamin' of a White Christmas the Missionary way

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!..haha, but not like the ones I used to know in utah with snow and what-not. Well the snow would be nice, who knows maybe we'll get a little this year! But what I'm ever so excited about is the baptism that'll be happening dec 27 with morgan in his WHITE baptismal suit.
Sis burbank and I keep asking ourselves how have we been blessed with such an awesome, elect person to teach??

Morgan came with us to Bishop Walker’s home for an FHE lesson with the Walker family. It was so perfect, their family is amazing and it was cool to see Morgan participating in the lesson, and not being afraid to speak up. I was eavesdropping when bishop was talking with Morgan about going to institute, Morgan seemed pretty interested!

A few days earlier we'd committed Morgan to watch at least one talk by President Monson, the next day he texted us and said that he'd read 2 already. He told us how he could feel the power of the spirit when he spoke. He also made the connection that whenever he reads the Book of Mormon he feels good and peaceful and that he gets the exact same feeling when he'd study President Monson's talks! so cool!

I had such a joyful surprise, our first lesson of the exchange was with Becky! miracle moment!! I had taught Becky back when I was with Sis Willis, she’s the sister of a less active/recent convert in our ward (Paula). She’s the greatest, always has a fabulous analogy on hand to relate to what we’re teaching her. We even committed her to baptism, and then she moved back home and I hadn’t seen her since. Becky lives on the edge of the Walterboro sisters area so they’d only had a chance to meet with her once. She was surprised to see me standing behind Sis Allen. It was such a joyful reunion, similar to when the sons of mosiah are reunited after their missions, and our joy was even greater because she’s still interested in baptism and learning more. We went over the plan of salvation again, and she told us how it answered so many questions. I’m so grateful for the plan, and even more grateful that our Heavenly Father decided to let us in on the plan and gave us a few details about what’s happened, what’s happening and what will be happening in His planJ Becky committed to prepare for her baptism for Dec. 13th.

Sis Burbank and I were able to spend a whole whopping hour together, and then we swapped again and I headed out to James Island with the lovely Sis Kayla Stout. I was so glad to be with her, I came out with her and I’ve never really gotten to know her besides the few nights we stayed in a hotel together at the beginning of our mission.

We got to teach a man who may or may not have multiple personalities, but he's super intelligent and has a desire to learn.

Sunday was Sis Burbanks birthday! yup, the big 2-1!! we celebrated with a big breakfast with the other sisters and then running off to our regular Sunday meetings. It was SUCH a good day, we had Kitt, Alysa, Gerald, Alyssa (#2), the Haynes family, Elena and Morgan all at church!

Love y'all so much! How blessed are we to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives, I know that it's through our savior that we can truly "lay hold upon every good thing". Through the enabling power of the atonement I'm able to have the strength to change and improve, and when I fall short I know that the redeeming power of the atonement is there to cleanse me.

It was a little disheartening to meet with a less active woman sunday, she'd been raised in the church, her parents were converts. She attended BYU-i, and byu hawaii, sealed in the temple, her husband converted. But because of the world, and some anti-material she's now fallen away, and not just from the church, but she no longer believes there's a Savior or a Heavenly Father who loves us and cares about every aspect of our lives. What a way to live?

Go out and spread the love y'all!!
signing out!

Sister Smith!!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Our Church smells like popcorn

The quote of the day comes from a billboard we saw the other day, it read, “Our church smells like popcorn”. It was an advertisement for their church. While MY church may not smell like popcorn, I’m so grateful for the blessings and eternal happiness that it offers insteadJ

Well, it’s a beautiful fall day in Summerville, South Carolina, and once again, here we are, at our computers reading about sister smith’s week. Thanks for tuning in, and I hope and pray something I say will...
A. motivate you to come closer to our Savior
B. bring a wee bit of sunshineyness to your day!!

here's the week!...
We ran down to the Lincolns and got to sit in on their FHE. I felt like a proud parent watching them put on this awesome FHE lesson about rising higher than our trials, they made analogies to kites and how kites need wind to fly. Then we each made kites and enjoyed a little kite decorated cookies. So precious. Gabby, the 7 yr old showed us the mini Book of Mormon she had made for her doll-so awesome! Love this family:D

We drove our usual 2hrs to Columbia for MLC this morning, I LOVE MLC (mission leadership conference)!
The spirit was super strong, and we spoke all about how we can now implement becoming better planners and finders. There are a few new policies no longer are we saying, “Hi, we’re the missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints…”, now we start by saying, “Hi, we’re your missionaries!”

Our usual Friday morning lesson with Morgan was just splendid! As alwaysJ He’s just finished 1 Nephi, and had all of these awesome questions for us about, “who are the gentiles? What’s the devils church? What’s the gathering of Israel, the house of Israel?” He’s big history buff, so he loved the chapters of when Nephi is shown a vision of the future by the angel. Morgan even recognized that when it’s talking about the Jews and Israel, how it connects with what’s happened in history. He readily accepted tithing and fasting, and said that he’d no doubt following it after he was baptized. He still has such a fire for it all, and he’s changed so much. Instead of being more reserved and not confident about the gospel, when there are pauses during the lesson he’ll chime up. We had just shared about the widows mite and he pipes in, “God doesn’t really care about how much we make, he wants us to give all that we have”. He’s feeling excited about his baptism, but asked us if he’s not ready when the time comes, will it be a big deal if he drops out? We told him, of course not, that this is his day, but that honestly he’s ready, and those feelings of doubt and uncertainty are only going to increase as the devil tries harder to dissuade him from doing this. No matter what though, Heavenly Father will be there through it all.

When Bro Lincoln came with us to teach the Haynes family, he shared a little more insight into his family, and it melted my heart!
We knew that a few weeks ago he and his wife had taken each of the girls aside to ask them how they were feeling about the missionary lessons and such. Isabella told him, “there’s no other option, this church is where we need to be”.
He also said that about a year ago, before we’d even started teaching, Gabby was at a Lutheran church with her mom and said, as a 6yr old at the time, “I don’t believe this, I want to go to church with Papi”

This church is true, and children are some of the most pure Christ like vessels for the spirit to work through!

Have a great day cause it's the most wonderful time of the year. Naw, regardless of the holiday season it's a beautiful time to be alive, it's the most wonderful time of this dispensation!

your missionary,
sis smith

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween photo fun

Sister Burbank and Sister Smith Match---What

What Sister Missionaries do when locked down for Halloween

Where to take all the muffins?????

Don't y'all go backsliding now:)

Southerners love to use the term backsliding. Such as....
"I went through a time of backsliding when I stopped going tuh church"
haha, and until I came across jeremiah 3:22, I never knew it was an actual biblical term! who knew? challenge of the week...Use the word backsliding in an everyday conversation! :D

This week contained no backsliding whatsoever. The Lord's work continues, and it's such a blessing to be in the front row watching and participating in it's hastening! so blessed:)

It was so neat in our lesson with Doris to see the influence of the spirit, and witness evidence of how the spirit can only testify of truth. We started our lesson, and she started talking about how she just wasn’t quite picking up on the Book of Mormon, it just wasn’t sitting right. As she was describing her understanding we could tell something was off. I interjected and started from the beginning and said that the Book of Mormon starts in 600 BC—and her eyes lit up! “oooooooooh” she says. “that makes sense”, she’d never understood that the Book of Mormon was occurring during the time of the Bible. She thought it was many years after the Bible had ended, and it wasn’t sitting well with her. As soon as we clarified and were able to teach of the truth about the Book of Mormon the spirit swept in, and she felt the truth of our message. She’s more interested than she ever had been before, and asked to have us come back in a couple days for another lesson. The Book of Mormon is so powerful!

Tonight we had a combined lesson with the Lincolns and the Blonquists, it was a fun full house! We had the Blonquist family of 7, the Lincolns family of 6 and Sis Burbank and I. We did a lesson on keeping the Sabbath day holy. We used ice cream sundaes for our object lesson. First we made a Sundae, and put things that are good, but don’t belong on a Sundae like, ketchup, hot sauce, ranch, artichoke hearts, etc. Just like some things are good, but we don’t do them on Sundays (shopping, sports, work, cleaning, etc). Then we scooped everyone a bowl of ice-cream and put things that DO belong on Sundaes; sprinkles (church), hot fudge (prayer), m&m’s (scripture study), etc. Haha, I even introduced everyone to putting frosted flakes on their ice cream and they really enjoyed it. A great part to see how the Lincolns progression was coming along was at the end. We played scripture charades with everyone! It was so neat to see Sis Lincoln and the girls participate and have fun. Bro Lincoln was one of MVP’s of team 2. It’s amazing to see how far Sis Lincoln has come! When I first started teaching her with Sis Willis she was so reserved, and each lesson I felt like I was walking on glass, trying to say EXACTLY the right thing. But now she loves us, and we joke around, it’s beautiful. She was telling us how Isabella was going on a little trip with some of her friends from her old church, and she said, “my church”, but then corrected herself and said, “well I guess they’re not my church anymore”. At first I was a little disappointed that they’d decided to wait until April to get baptized, when Gabby turns 8, but I feel really good about it. In the past with other investigators I’d felt inspired to encourage them to have their baptisms sooner, but it wasn’t the case with the Lincoln family. When Sis Burbank asked Bro Lincoln when Gabby’s baptism was, he said April 26th then turned to us and said, “looks like y’all are going to have to make a little trip out”. Um, YES! Sis Burbank and I are contemplating getting airplane tickets, or if a road trip would be cheaper after we get home from our missions:D:D

what else???
-we were on lockdown at 6pm so we enjoyed face painting, and other scripture related games of nonsense for a few hours with the 3rd ward sisters

-Some of the Elder’s from the 2nd ward have a less active member that makes bread deliveries, he had a BUNCH of extra mini-muffins and loafs of bread. They filled a room at the pig pickin’ and let members take as much as they wanted. At the end the bread was all gone, but there were still about 100 boxes of mini pumpkin muffins. We’d already taken 8 boxes to pass out to families and opted out of taking any more. While we were cleaning up Elder Smith asked if we had a Book of Mormon in our trunk they could have. We said of course and started to go grab one, he said he’d grab it and asked for our keys, I passed him the keys and we continued wiping down tables. He and his companion Elder Shawcroft took off a little too quick, and our brains quickly made the connection. When we called out after them they broke out into a run and all 8 elders of the various wards piled out of the muffin room carrying boxes and boxes of muffins and shoved them all in our trunk. Haha, it was so funny, there was nothing we could do. We gave out about 20 boxes that afternoon to various families and we still have about 30 more boxes in our trunk!

Christmas is a only a mere 52 days away!! haha, I love this time of the year, and I'm trying my best to be jolly about the time change since it gets dark around 6pm now. Oh well, life's great!

love y'all!!

sister smith:D:D

Monday, October 27, 2014

Oct 26, 2014

After gospel principles we were talking with Morgan, (he came for his second Sunday in a row!!), Sis Eagan came up and asked Morgan, are you investigating the church. You wanna know Morgan’s response?? “No, I’m joining.” I was signing with Kitt, so I missed it, but when sis Burbank told me I was so thrilled!!!! Morgan’s the best, he has so much faith and he shows it! …good things are in store for this one. I really can’t get it out of my mind of how amazing it would be if Morgan chose to serve a mission…sigh.

Oct 20, 2014

Tonight was a great night as well we had 3 lessons. First was one with Kayla, it was quick, effective and then we were off. The best form of missionary work is being able to do quick efficient lessons where you leave them at a spiritual peak, the whamo, you’re gone, and they’re left wondering “what just happened, and how can I have it happen again”. Ok, that’s the ideal, not saying it happens everytime with us, but we try real hard. Our second lesson was with Morgan and Bro Duren. It was on the gospel of Jesus Christ, I love teaching and testifying about the Atonement, I feel like my understanding has deepened so much on my mission, and Morgan really wants to have that “clean start”. Our third lesson was with Cindy, and included the world’s most loved rhythmic game, ping-pong! Cindy’s a 60yr old grandma ping-pong master, and invited us to play. We just hit it back and forth, never really keeping score, but we could tell she could’ve smashed us at any moment, I was so impressed. We talked a lot about the organization of the Church, and different things she’s experienced since her son is a member. So much fun, and my skills haven’t taken too much of a beating either.

Oct 21, 2014

Sis Eagan joined us for our lesson with the Lincolns and it was so perfect! We told them last week that we’d be doing a testimony meeting today. We started with talking about what a testimony is then me, Sis baker an Sis Eagan shared a brief testimony and then we went youngest to oldest. Gabby paused for a long bit, and we tried to help her figure out what to say, then she cuts in and says, “can I say the church is true?”, “of course!”, so she says, “I know the church is true”. Isabella bore a precious testimony about God’s love and how he’s there for us. Kami was awesome and shared a little story about a time she prayed at a cross country meet, and felt a spirit of peace and comfort come over her. Sis Lincoln told how she’d been thinking A LOT about investigating the church, and all that they’ve learned and felt. She told us she’d try to get through this, and told bro Lincoln not to look at her, or she’d start crying. She said they’d had individual interviews with each of the girls to see how they’ve been feeling about it all. I was in awe at how amazing all of them are, how elect, how strong the spirit was, haha, I had to try hard to not drool. She said, choking back tears that she knew she was taking her family in the right direction. In the end they committed to praying about taking the next step and being baptized November 29!! Sis Eagan shared her conversion story, and it was so perfect for Kami and sis Lincoln! She testified how in the beginning when she was taking the lessons she wasn’t 100% about it all, and was super nervous but continued on, and eventually that witness came. I was so nervous the whole time, and felt like I couldn’t say anything I wanted to. But I KNOW that what they felt, and what I felt will never be forgotten, but my stumbling and stammering will quickly be whisked away. AH! I can’t even express how much joy explodes in my innards every time I think about their family, and how much they’re progressing and what additional blessings lie in store!!

Oct 24, 2014

Earlier we used our miracle miles and drove out to visit some long lost less actives out in st. George, only about 30min away but we rarely get out there, here’s who we found…
-Harry, he lives in a state park. Haha, took us a minute to find his address using our GPS.
-Mike, the Pentecostal husband of A less active lady. He was really nice, we related on missionary work, and he advised us not to fall off the path.
-the Harley’s weren’t home, but I was able to determine that their electric fence was indeed on, haha.

Love y'all, don't forget to look for the miracles and how it all relates back to our Saviors Atonement, and then share it with someone else:)

Sister Smith

Monday, October 20, 2014


 Our lovely little sisters in Summerville.--- Burbank, Mathias, Wheelock and me!
                                        Sister Burbank and Sister Smith ready for the day

Beautiful, Beautiful week except maybe getting the Flu Shot

ummmm, let's just get into things shall we:)

Last year Sis Holm had recommended it, but this time Sis Turner was very direct in telling us we didn't really have a choice, and that we didn’t have to worry because mission medical (our missionary insurance) would cover the entire cost. Haha, she ended the email with, “make sure to text the mission nurse after you’ve gotten the shot, so that we can know who has been an obedient missionary”-what the guilt trip?! Haha, I’ve never had a flu shot in my life, and I’ve also never had many issues with the flu, so I wasn’t too excited to get it. But just as Nephi says in 2 nephi (the very last verse) “I MUST OBEY”. So all four of us went to the CVS and got our shots together! I was a little unhappy when the lady told me it was going to cost $13 still. I asked her if I could just negate my purchase of the shot at this point, but she told me no…which made me think "what if I really didn’t have any money? Would they have made me stock shelves for 2 hours to earn my flu shot?!" Just kidding, I paid for it, begrudgingly, received the shot, and now I’m convinced that just out of pure irony I’m going to get the flu this year. I haven’t been sick my whole mission, well I haven’t been sick enough to have to stay in, and I pray I never will. I was really nervous I was coming down with something because when night time rolled around y stomach was feeling a little queasy, and I kept getting the chills, and then feeling feverish all night long, but it passed, and all is wellJ

Speaking of illnesses, we had a “sick” lesson with Morgan Vaughn tonight.   He’s a 20yr old whose dad was raised in the church, but fell away at a young age. Morgan’s dad’s side of the family is still active in the church, and he’s always wanted to know more. He’s super intelligent and insightful for a 20yr old boy, and he sincerely wants answers to his questions about the purpose of life, and what he’s doing here. It was crazy awesome as we taught him the restoration, he understood and agreed with everything. He’d already read the pamphlet we left last time, and as we read he was able to tell us what part came next. He would bring up different things he wants to achieve, or things he believes and we were able to pull out scriptures in the Book of Mormon to prove that his beliefs are true doctrine!

We had MLC again today-I love MLC so much! It’s amazing to gather as the mission leadership council and strive to represent the missionaries in our zone. This time was extra special because we had two representatives from Salt Lake City. One was Bro Hemingway from the Church’s proselyting dept, and the other was Bro Hall from the Church’s finance dept. They spoke with us the entire time, answering the questions we wanted to know. I loved what they trained on about how this is the LORD's work, not ours. HE will hasten his work how he wants it hastened, and we can either get with the program or not.

At MLC the people from church headquarters told us when we’re contacting that we should try telling people, “we’re your missionaries!” This afternoon we went to check on a less active family. This man answers the door, and we asked him if this was the Hartley’s residence, he told us they had moved. I jumped in “well, we’re your missionaries!”-Sis Burbank said, “We come out sharing a message about Jesus Christ”. He then told us…”yeah, let’s not get into that” and he slowly closed the door while we said farewell and passed a card quickly to him. Haha, it wasn’t quite the response I was expecting...

beautiful beautiful week, hope yours is just dandy as well!!

love, Sister Smith!!

Monday, October 13, 2014


P-Day adventure Sister Willis, Sister Wheelock, Sister Ruell and Sister Smith

First Alligators seen while in South Carolina

Sister Smith loves when she can ride the bikes as missionaries with Sister Wheelock

A Beautiful Busy Week

This week was beautiful, one of those weeks where you just go out and work your heart out, the times blows by. Then WHAMO, Monday is here again and you get sick to your stomach thinking about how quickly time is passing by. In the words of the beloved white handbook, "time is one of the most precious resources your Father in Heaven has given you". By the way, that doesn't just apply to missionaries either, so after you skim over the adventures of sister smith, go out and do something good today!

We were in DDM, and good ‘ol Elder Taylor was giving his training when suddenly Sis Wheelock says…”um, what’s coming out of the vents?”

We all looked up to see large plumes of smoke coming in through the vents in the ceiling. All four elders immediately stood up and told us sisters, stay here we’re going to go figure this out, and they all quickly shuffled out one-by-one in their suits and ties to save the day. Well, we weren't going to just wait in the relief society room and get smoked out so we all left to go wandering ourselves. Sis Burbank grabbed a fire extinguisher hanging on the wall of the kitchen and we wandered around aimlessly trying to solve the problem. We never figured it out, we assumed the outside vents had sucked in some smoke from a nearby burn pile. But in the end we were able to relocate to the primary room and continue to be instructed about asking for referrals, the importance of following up and extending commitments. All is well.

Oct 9

Sis Call went biking with me this morning, we tried to contact a very nice Spanish women who told us she didn’t speak any English. I stammered out a messy, “we missionaries Jesus Christ”, she nodded and smiled but I don’t think she had any idea what we were saying. I then proceeded to try and do charades to show her that we wanted to help her rake her leaves, but she had no idea what we were talking about. Haha, it probably didn’t help that my charades was also mixed in with sign language.

We had our ASL class with Sis Barker, Sadie wasn’t able to come so we were on our own. We decided we’d start trying to memorize the sacrament prayers. It was much harder than we thought. It made it so much more meaningful to learn it in sign, it really helped us to take it word by word, and concept by concept. I love how visual sign is, it helps me to truly remember what the sacrament is all about, and I’m so grateful for each Sunday I get to renew my covenants with my Father.

Oct 10

During conference Sis Burbank and I both got the impression that we needed to drop Joan. Dropping investigators is the worse, but the spirit confirmed again in our lesson with her tonight that dropping is what will be the best for her in the end. She’s just not ready for the gospel right now. Even though we were dropping her, we still made an effort to involve members and had her friend Sis Winters join us. We read a little from Alma 22, and I asked Sis Winters what sacrifices she’d made for the church and how had they blessed her. Sis Winters was so enthusiastic about the gospel and the church. I’m pretty sure if there was a stenographer present, many exclamation points and ALL CAPS would have been usedJ She shared that she never really sacrificed, because she’d been blessed 10-fold for living the gospel. It was perfect for Joan, although she may not now be ready to commit right, she was able to feel a strong spirit and excitement from Sis Winters. Now is the time for members and missionaries to work together, I’m so grateful for inspired prophets in these days to direct us on how to hasten the work!:D


-Sadie our interpreter couldn't come so I interpreted all Sunday long for kitt! dah! I'd never done both sacrament, sunday school and priesthood!
-Elena took us out for japanese hibachi!
-went to taco bell for my first time, now I feel like a real American!
-starting to memorize The Living Christ, so beautiful.

love y'all much much!
carry on and have a great day!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Hanging on a bridge at the Middleton plantation (it's like stepping back into a Jane Austen book!)

Got a new companion, Clemson the great dane! haha, I got to ride in the back with him when we drove with Elena,
 best dog ever!

I cannot believe October is already here.

This week went by crazy fast due to the fact that we went on 3 back-to-back exchanges. I saw sis Burbank for a total of 45 min on wed, and 2 hrs on Thursday.
However, I'm grateful, especially due to the amazing messages we were able to hear from the Lord's servants at General Conference. It's killing me how quickly time is flying by, haha, including my time to email so let's get to it eh?:)
here's a bite of my week.

We had another FHE with Joan at the Cicon’s. The FHE lesson was a practice baptism for cody, he’s 8 and is being baptized next Saturday. Before the lesson, cody went up to joan and said he had a special invitation for her. I figured he was just going to invite her to his baptism, but he blew me away when he stuttered out, “Joan, I wanted to ask you, will you be baptized with me, and my dad can baptize you?”. My heart melted with that little guys sweet and sincere invitation. It melted again in disappointment, when Joan said she wasn’t ready. We were so proud of little cody though, it was the sweetest thing. It makes me so excited for the future when I see solid families being raised by parents who BOTH served missions.

What!? Can you believe that for Sis Makin’s last exchange, I got to be the one she went with!! I was so excited, over 1 yr ago this sister finished training me, and here we were reunited one last time. I couldn’t grasp how quickly time had passed. It was great to serve with her again and see how much we both had changed, but still our teaching flowed as it once had in Hartsville. We had the most amazing lesson with the Lincoln family. They opened up with their concerns, Sis Blonquist answered their questions and bore powerful testimony, and Sis Lincoln told us that she doesn't “get” it all quite yet, but she’s getting there.

We had planned to teach about temples and eternal families. After sharing a little, sis makin asked sis jenny Lincoln if she wanted her family to be together forever. Jenny told us this was a rather sensitive topic, and both she and Cami began to cry. We learned that Jenny had been previously married and her husband, Cami and Isabella’s dad, had passed away. She asked, “if we go through with this and get baptized, and I go through the temple with Bro Lincoln---will Kami ever see her dad again?”. I was struck dumb, both Sis Makin and I were speechless on the best way to answer this hurting family’s concern. Sis Blonquist was amazing as she bore testimony of the power of covenants and trusting in God’s plan. She shared how we’re all family, linked back to Adam, and if we make and keep covenants we will be with the ones we love. It was perfect.

We ALSO learned that Jenny Lincoln hadn’t been invited to come to the women’s broadcast, but she’d contacted Sis Blonquist about coming to the broadcast, and they all came to church the next day as well! I love this family so much, and I’m so grateful to be here and now teaching this family the gospel of my Savior.

what else??

-we got permission from president to use jillian michaels workout videos, so pumped!

-elena came to conference, loved it! and cried the whole time:)

-had conference lunch with bishops family both sat and sunday

-found a few new awesome investigators I'm really excited about!

I love y'all so much!

I'm so grateful this week for the power of personal revelation, and how the Lord answers our questions through his servants. Don't stop asking questions and seeking for growth, the Lord doesn't want us as we are, but wants us to become something so much more.


Sister smith

Monday, September 29, 2014

Love MLC

Haha, I honestly have no idea on how to start this email. So I guess I'll just jump into the meat of things:D ...speaking of meat, I just remembered we still have frozen gator in our fridge we need to cook up. What better general conference snack eh?

MLC (mission leadership council) was great! We had a big open discussion about what needed to change in order for us to reach our goal of 720 baptisms in a year, as opposed to the average 600 baptisms a year. Tons of stuff was thrown out, everything from more PMG, to personal conversion. I was stumped on what the answer was because there are a million diff areas that we CAN improve in, but what does God want us to focus on. Pres shared that he’d spoken with members of the proselyting dept in SLC, and they said the #1 determining factor to increase baptisms in an area is effective planning. If missionaries plan, they will baptize more. ESPECIALLY when they ask these 2 questions. Who are we teaching? What do I need to do tomorrow/next week, to help them progress?

President also shared about faith being a principle of power. I loved how he broke it down into 5 steps we can take to increase our faith

#1 Determines our desires, what do we want, is it a righteous desire
#2 Prayer, it’s not just a onetime thing. But converse with the Lord about it, debate with him about it, talk with him about it all the time
#3 Labor, get to work and do all you can
#4 Believe that he’ll help you, and accept whatever the Lord sees fit to bestow
#5 Trial: there will always be a trial of your faith. If you endure, then you know you have faith.

Best fast Sunday of my entire life! Right after the bishop bore his testimony 4 kids stood up and walked to the podium. One by one they turned to kitt, and shared their testimonies in ASL. It was so touching, Sadie (our interpreter) was crying, most of the congregation told us afterward that they were bawling. The kids shared perfect, sincere, simple testimonies: of God’s love, prophets, the atonement and eternal families. When each one finished their testimony, instead of the typical “amen” hand motion, Kitt and Alison raised their hands in the air and did an applause in sign language. Kitt was so excited! It was so beautiful and the spirit was so strong. Kitt also got to prepare the sacrament for his first time. This ward is doing so much for Kitt, Bro Barker (our Ward Mission Leader) said that most of PEC this morning was focused on meeting Kitt’s needs. They’re pretty set on moving our ASL class to Sunday’s during Sunday school, instead of Wednesdaynights so that more members can come.

The women’s broadcast was tonight! A week ago we’d met Doris and she’d expressed interest in going with us. We hadn’t had contact since then and I was worried she’d entirely forgot, or lost interest altogether. When we showed up at 7 to drive over with her…she wasn’t home…but 3 min later she pulled up and said she was juuust about ready to go. We did a little church tour before, and she was in awe at how beautiful our building was. She said growing up she’d been told to always avoid 2 people. The Joehovah’s witnesses and the Mormons. She was really curious when she met us last week, and thought she’d finally find out for herself. She really enjoyed the broadcast, and said she felt at peace.

Another pleasant surprise at the women’s broadcast was when we were walking down the hall and out pops sister Lincoln from the RS room! We’d casually invited her Tuesday, but didn’t do much else. Sis Blonquist invited her, and even stopped by to pick up Sis Lincoln and Isabella! Isabella said she LOVED the broadcast and sis Lincoln enjoyed it as well. THEN the next day, the whole Lincoln family came to church! Sis Burbank and I are so stoked about this family. I’m excited for our lesson Tuesday. The women’s broadcast was all about temples and covenants, so I think is only suiting to talk about eternal families.

Love y'all, can't wait for conference!!!


Sister Smith!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Honorary high priest group this isn't blasphemy

I realized the other day that I haven’t been to Relief Society since I’ve come to the Summerville ward, and it’s very likely that I’ll continue as an active member of the high priests group. I've always been so curious about what they do in there. Haha, and it's all because we’re needed to interpret for Kitt. The ward is working really hard to find a long term solution though, they realize having missionaries relearn sign language every time transfers occur isn’t the greatest option.

This Sunday marked the first time I translated for all of Sunday school and priesthood. Luckily Sadie was able to be there for Sacrament meeting, but after that I took over. Heavenly Father blessed me a lot, and I wasn’t too stressed out. Kitt could sense it though, deaf people have a knack for sensing emotion and he told me to stop being so nervous, he joked and said when I’m nervous my sign isn’t as good. I love sign so much! Granted I’ve only ever learned to count in any other language, I still am biased that sign language is one of the better ones because of how expressive it is. I love how visual it can be. For example I didn’t know the sign for boy scouts, not sure if there is one, but to help Kitt I acted out what a scout was. I created a little mental image of a scout with a sash, merit badges, neckerchief and doing the scout solute. I know I’m nowhere near where Sis Willis was, and it’s hard not having her to turn to to ask questions. I believe that not only is Heavenly Father helping me with the gift of tongues (hands), but he’s definitely helping Kitt with the interpretation of tongues so that he can understand me and my broken sign language.

Sis Willis’ last day was a good one, and I’m so glad. It was packed full of appointments, and she even got to invite 2 more people to be baptized. Becky was reluctant at first because she said she wasn’t sure where she was going to be in the next few weeks, she might be moving, or staying, she doesn’t know. I can’t remember what I said, but the spirit guided me as I explained how simply preparing for baptism is what Christ wants, and that when the time comes everything else will fall into place. The spirit is was more clear and eloquent, but y’all get the idea.

other quick news of what's been hip-happening:)

-I killed my first companion...yup, the amazing Sis Willis is now home in Missouri
-because of what I just mentioned, I got to hone in my tetris skills as we used ever last pound and air pocket of Sis Willis' luggage. Haha, her carry on weighed about as much as she did. Instead of having her practice lifting it over her head, we had her practice her most pitiful "help me" face.

-my new companion is Sis Burbank from Logan, Utah. she's a powerhouse of a missionary, played soccer in high school! came out the transfer after me, and is awesome...I'm so stoked for the future we have together:) (haha, that sentence sounds so precious:)

love y'all,
"go forth with faith to tell the world the gospel is restored!"
still loving,

Sister Smith

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Photo of MLC

Sister Linday Smith and the MLC Mission Leader Committee.  These are the Elders and Sisters that look over the zones of the South Carolina Columbia Mission  and President and Sister Turner

Never trade what you want MOST for what you want NOW

Another week!...gone!
Well, despite how quickly time flies by, I love being able to recongize the growth and change that the atonement enables me to do. No matter what point in your life or mission you're at, you can always change. Sis Willis and I talked a bit about that considering she's DYING in a few days (for those of you not familiar with the missionary lingo, it means she's going home this thursday).
Well, can I tell you about this past miraculous week already?...mmk, here's a couple excerpts from the 'ol journal!

On exchanges Sis Wheelock and I tore it up. Their car is out of commission so we got to bike all day! Lucky us-- it was the rainiest day all week. Biking around sopping wet in a skirt with a helmet, I felt about as classy as canned cheese on wonder bread. BUT- I loved it! Suprisingly, despite how much time we spent biking from appt to appt we had a really awesome day full of appts and contacts. A few favorites were Liz: sweet 72yr old black lady who, after teaching about the Holy Ghost and baptism, told us how much she wanted what we had. She said, “before y’all came around, I went to church my whole life just going and clapping, never really learning stuff, but y’all are really teaching me”. Another awesome lesson, was a miracle contact we were guided to thanks to an appt that fell through. Kris and Paul were right outside Tamika’s and just so happened to have time to talk. Kris had been to a mormon church before and liked it, Paul was an ex catholic, really knowledgeable and was super interested in learning more! Also, I just wanted to give a shout-out, thanks to all the drivers who were aware of two soggy sisters biking home one dark and stormy night. I have a lot of respect for those elders, and jealousy! There’s just something invigorating about coming home exhausted and dirty when you’ve been doing the Lord’s workJ

We had our first ASL class tonight, and it was a much bigger success than we ever anticipated. Sis Petersen, had texted us earlier in the day asking if we were still doing it. Sis Willis and I figured she’d be the only one there, but we were ok with that. Turns out we had sis Peterson, Elena Andrews, annnd 4 others, and the elders joined us because no one showed up for Book of Mormon class. The class went great! We went over the basics of the alphabet, some greetings and how to introduce yourself. It was so fun to teach everyone, and they were all so excited about learning it. They had lots of questions and kept asking about the smallest little details of the signs. We’d never been that detail oriented until they pointed out the slightest inconsistency between Sis Willis’ and I’s signs. I’m super excited if this is how the class will continue from here on out, it’ll be interesting next week when Sis Willis isn’t there, and it’s up to me to lead the class. Or, miracles could strike and I’ll get a companion who’s secretly fluent in ASL. Fingers crossed!:)

The adult session of stake conference was awesome. We had a couple members of the 70's come because the stake presidency was being changed. It was Elder Alan Meredith, and Larry Y. Wilson. The old presidency had been in their positions for 10yrs! A few things that were touched on…

-A story when Elder Meredith was with L. Tom Perry. Elder Perry was speaking with his waitress and said, (in his booming Elder Perry voice, “we need more people like you in the church, you’ve got SPUNK! We need more spunk in the church”

-It’s no longer enough to JUST be an example, we must OPEN OUR MOUTHS

-You can’t just believe something because it SOUNDS wonderful, to believe it, it has to be true.

-A ward’s barometer on how they’re doing is how the members sing the songs of the restoration. We need to be singing as if we just stepped out of the sacred grove. Elder Wilson then praised the saints of the Charleston zone for their zealous singing. (It really was an amazing thing to hear)

-“Make sure you never trade what you want MOST for what you want NOW!-elder Meredith

-“More important than anything else (in regards to the new stake president’s wonderful characteristics) HE HAS BEEN CALLED OF GOD.


challenge of the day...WILL YOU, implement the word "y'all" into your vocabulary at some point today?

I promise that if you do, you'll feel that sweet sweet southern joy start to bubble up inside of you:)

-Sister Smith

Monday, September 8, 2014

How the work is Hastening very fast in South Carolina

Well 'til next week's adventures come to pass, here are a few shnippets from from this week! love y'all!!

Lesson with the Lincoln family-Over the past week they’d been studying on the priesthood. I think Bro Lincoln (he’s the only member in the family) may be overloading it a little bit. He said they studied a little bit into the differences between the Melchizedek priesthood and the Leviticus priesthood. We took it back a few notches and tried to help them understand what the priesthood is, using the classic ice cream truck analogy. We asked them how they were feeling about it all, Sis Lincoln said she’d been praying and some days she’s all for it, but then other days she feels like she needs to put the brakes on. They said they’d continue to pray about it. Miracles happen, for the 3rd week in a row Bro Lincoln said he didn’t have work so they’d be able to come to church. We think that secretly he’s asking for work off, and then telling us it’s all just a big coincidence.

Today marked the first time I got to attend MLC, which stands for Mission Leadership Council. It consists of the 12 zone leaders, the 12 sister training leaders, the AP’s and president and sister Turner. We got up around 5:30 to make it to Irmo by 9am. The meeting didn’t start until 10 but we needed time to practice our musical number with Sis Glauser and Lester who we recruited to sing with us...that's right Sis Smith actually consented to being a part of a musical joke.

MLC was great President Turner came out with our new mission vision
1.720 baptisms this year, starting in August

2. Every missionary plays a part in every baptism

3. Unity felt among the entire mission!
Also at MLC I got to talk with Sis Lexi Glauser a bunch. Turns out she went to SUU. We were in the same student government organization. She was also in my YSA ward (I didn't know her because she went home every weekend), and she had also been in my house down in cedar city multiple times to study with roommates. small world eh?!?

I don’t believe Heavenly Father made Sis Stanley get sick, so that she and Sis Stout couldn’t go on exchanges with the Goosecreek sisters, but I think it was divine guidance that we now get to go with them. We weren't planning to before, but viola, Heavenly Father had a different idea. Sis Manning joined me in Summerville and we had a great day. She went out biking and was such a champ. She was so excited and optimistic. Our first appt with Becky was awesome. Becky’s pretty familiar with the church, and likes what she’s learned so far. Becky then gave this amazing analogy about how Christ’s church is like a lump of dough. When he died different people took that lump of dough and added/took away things to turn it into pizza crust, pie dough, dinner rolls etc. But none of them were the original dough, and no matter how many times you change the rolls or pizza crust you can’t turn it back into that original lump of dough. The lump of dough has to be rebuilt ingredient by ingredient. We were like, exactly, that’s what Joseph Smith did when he restored the church! And she was like, “yeah, Joseph didn’t do anything that God didn’t tell him to do”. I was dumbfounded at her faith, but the spirit prompted me to ask, “Becky, do you believe that?”. She paused and said she wasn’t sure yet. We invited her to pray about it and Sis Manning committed her to being baptized as she received her answer.

gotta run, love y'all!!!
stay busy with the work of the Lord!

Sister Smith

Monday, September 1, 2014

Learning the gift of tongues with my hands

We had another lesson with Kitt’s deaf sister Pakeather, she goes by Keatha (Kee-tha), and isn’t a fan of her name. She told us that the nurse was the one who named her, rough time. Anyways, the lesson was awesome, Kitt was able to come and made it a fantastic member present lesson! It humbled us in our signing abilities, we thought we were becoming somewhat proficient, but watching Kitt and Keatha sign together, we realized we get the “dumbed down” version from kitt. We did the restoration with her. I absolutely LOVED watching kitt sign about Joseph Smith and the first vision, he’s so expressive and fun to watch. It’s unlike any story telling I’ve ever experiences. I’m coming to believe how sign language can be much more effective than the English language because of how expressive you can be. Long eloquent words are nice, but there’s something better about how Kitt signs the first vision, watching him act out Joseph Smith being blinded by the pillar of light, and being in utter amazement at seeing God and His son, and being told NONE of the churches are true. The spirit testified, and Ketha enjoyed and believed, but wants more time to study. This time the deaf had the advantage, Kitt’s oldest brother Bernard also decided to join us sitting in a chair near the dining table we were seated at. Just a refresher Bernard is the one who proposed marriage to Sis Willis and I, and tried to debate with me about the similarities between Spartacus and Christ. Anyways, Bernard was badly injured when he served in the military, and now Kitt refers to him as crazy Bernard. The ENTIRE lesson, Bernard was sitting there talking to himself. At first Sis Willis and I thought he was interpreting to himself what we were talking about, but soon realized he had no clue what we were saying. For 45min he just sat there talking to himself, Sis Willis and I were a little distracted, and Kitt joked that it didn’t bother him or Ketha at all. He babbled all sorts of stuff, one time yelling out, “the nina, the pinto and the santa maria!”. He’s so funny, Kim (ketha’s hearing daughter) turned to us and said he does this all of the time.

Today’s lesson with Evan (our little 8yr old friend) included walking various transformer action figures through the plan of salvation. He even found an ambulance transformer for Christ and made Optimus prime Heavenly Father. It was definitely one of my favorite plan of salvation analogies. Next we made it to the Duren’s in time for pizza, Sis Willis was praying it would be pizza. We ended the night with a lesson with the Lincoln family. This family is amazing, they do family scripture study and read 2 chapters this week in preparation for our lesson. The 11yr old, Isabella even shared with us the notes she had taken about Alma ch 32. They’re reserved about baptism still, but said they would if they found out the truth, and promised us they’d pray about it as they read from the scriptures this week.

Tried my hand at interpreting today in church. Heh heh, see what I did there;) But anyways, Sis Willis did sacrament meeting, but had to leave for the bathroom during Sunday school so I started interpreting for Kitt. I believe in the gift of tongues. I still struggled, was slow, and missed a lot of words, buuut I felt confident, and my finger-spelling was flawless-it was so awesome! As soon as Sis Willis came back she took back over, I asked her if it’d be okay if we tag-teamed it in the final hour and she was all for it. She’s so willing to step aside and do whatever it takes to help me learn, what a saintJ It was the fifth Sunday so it was all combined. It wasn't the easiest lesson to interpret, seeing as it was all about self reliance. Kitt is either a great actor, or a genius. We tried our best to explain about the bishop’s storehouse, and emergency preparedness. It felt so so so good, I’m feeling better about my ASL, but I know it’s not even close to where it needs to be. Kitt told us we need to practice more, or get a real interpreter. The deaf community can be rather blunt, and not tactful at all. Kitt’s pretty kind and understand, Alison, not so much, but I’m getting used to it.

well that's all, time to scoot. hope y'all make like laborers in the vineyard and make the most of this lovely labor day.

love y'all!

sister smith

Monday, August 25, 2014

Figure out your purpose, and then strive to live on purpose.

DISCLAIMER: for those who don’t typically tune into the marvelous adventures of sista smith in the south, the following email is bits and pieces copied-and-pasted from her journal. She has this really spiffy typing gadget that allows her to type her journal during the week then plug it in and download it each week. So if the chronology is off, and it doesn't make total sense, that’s why:)

I don't even know where to start with this week.
#1 I can't believe how quickly it's gone is it already Monday again!?
#2 this key board is abnormally quiet.
#3 We were blessed with a "cold front" to come through Summerville, and instead of being in the 100's we're down to a brisk 90.
#4 I keep telling myself, I couldn't be happier but life goes on and continues to prove me wrong. I remember being at the beginning of my mission having a smile plastered across my face because I was just so stoked to be a missionary, serving the Lord 24/7. But now that a little time has passed, my joy has increased exponentially because I'm coming to understand this work even more, and understand my Savior and his gospel more and more. I love it, and I'm so grateful for this opportunity I've been given to discover what the Lord's definition of success is, compared to the world's definition of success.'s the week!!!

For FHE tonight we had Joan come to the Cicon’s. The Cicon’s are the sweetest, cutest family. We sang a little song, Olive, the 3yr old, said the cutest prayer thanking heavenly father for everyone. After she mumbled out in the name of jesus christ amen. Her brother pointed out that she had forgotten to bless the visitor. Immediately Olive bowed her head again and said “and thank you for Joan in the name of jesus christ amen!” it was so precious. For the lesson Sis Willis and I retold the Joseph smith story, and Cody (the 7yr old) acted it out. It was all so perfect, Joan loved being around their family (she’s often lonely since her husband passed about 4yrs ago, and her mother 2 months ago).

The Cicon’s are such amazing parents. I realized after our lesson another reason why my mission will bless me forever. My mission has given me the opportunity to work closely with so many amazing families and take from them what I want in my own family. On the other hand if I had just got married right out of college, I wouldn't have had anything to pattern my family off of except for what I’d seen in my own family. My upbringing was perfect, but it’s so helpful to see different parenting, because every child is so different.

Today was one of the greatest days on my mission, and definitely one of the greatest exchanges. It was so fun to be with Sis Baker. She was one of my dear friends in the MTC and I hadn’t been in her zone since my first 2 transfers.

It just so happened that for our exchange we planned to bike all afternoon, and whaddaya know the weather decided to peak at 106 degrees with obscenely high humidity. We loved it though, we smiled wide, and loved the breeze as we biked all around. We spent the first 2 hours checking on leads. When we biked to our next area to work in we stopped at the Bi-Lo grocery store to fill up our water bottles. We were sitting on a bench inside, drenched in sweat, red faced, joyfully looking at GPS again to find a certain road-a random man walked up, handed us 2 cold water bottles and said, “here I thought y’all might need these”. Then he vanished in a puff of smoke…did I mention he was also dressed in nephrite garb and had 2 friends with him. Ok not really, but we walked out the door before we could stop and talk with him, what a saint?!

We went knocking for the next little bit and came across a huge miracle in the form of a young mother seeking to draw closer to God. We started speaking with Kayla on her front porch, and Sis Dent was inspired to bring up how we help people recognize the spirit of God. Kayla was captivated and let us in, which was a huge relief because it was definitely over 100 degrees outside. We spoke about her upbringing in the catholic church and how just the other night she had been talking with her husband about getting back into church. Not only that, but one of her best friends is a Mormon had been trying the past few weeks to bring her to church. But wait there’s more, today had just so happened to be the one day she decided to take off, and send her 4 kids with her mother, so she could have a break. We shared the restoration with her, and when Sis Dent recited Joseph Smith’s first vision the spirit filled the room, and Kayla felt it. She told us she hadn’t felt this way in a long time. She said she had chillbumps all over. We pointed out that was the spirit. She said the only thing she could compare that feeling to was when she held her first daughter in her arms after she was born. As we invited her to be baptized as she found out the truth for herself, tears welled up in her eyes. She expressed some of the home problems she was dealing with, and we promised her that the gospel can change us as we apply Christ’s atonement. Walking out of that lesson Sis Dent and I just stood all amazed. It was one of the most spiritually powerful lessons I’ve had in a long time, but I know that we were entirely guided by the spirit. We put ourselves in a situation where we could be guided, most of the time I’m sure we didn’t even know we were being guided, but He was there.

About a week ago we were asking Kitt about his family, and if any of his other siblings lived nearby or if any of them were deaf. He gave us the address for his sister Pakeather. Out of his 7 siblings, only he and his sister are deaf. It was only a wee bit out of our area, so we got permission from our zone leaders to venture and communicate with a new potential deaf friend and we had an excellent find! Insteadof just meeting Pakeather, we got to meet 2 of kitt’s other siblings, and Pakeather’s 2 daughters. Both of Pakeather’s daughters (Princessa and Kim) are hearing, but speak sign. One’s in highschool and the other is 21. Sis Willis taught Pakeather and I spoke with her 2 daughters. They were really interested, not quite like “you have the restored gospel?!” interested, but they were super curious about what we believed in and why in the world 2 young girls would come out and do this. We left them all with Book of Mormons and set up to come back later in the week. I also found myself a man, he told us we could come back and marry him, and that he’d take care of us. He’s only about 50yrs older than me, smokes a little, and I can only understand about 65% of what he’s saying.

That's all folks:)

I hope, urge, encourage, and exhort you to figure out your purpose, and then strive to live on purpose. Take control of each opportunity during the day to learn and become more like the savior. When you pray, PRAY, take that time to talk with your father in Heaven. When your with people, BE with them, listen to, understand, not just to respond.
Our Heavenly Father has such great things for us to do, to help us become something great.

love y'all so much:)

remember to brush in circles

-sis smith