Monday, January 27, 2014

What a week in Anderson, SC

What a week! missionary work is the best annnnd I'm running out of time on the computer, hope y'all have a good one!! here's my week....
Finally got to meet Dave, I’d only heard stories and had seen him in his doorway. He’d never let us in because he kept saying he was sick. Sis Godfrey felt like he was avoiding us and I also was getting a vibe that he wasn’t very interested anymore.   Miracles, he let us right in on Sunday. He told us how he’d watched the Joseph Smith movie like 4 times, believed he was a prophet and desired to be baptized more than ever before!
      During our lesson with Jimmy I had a first time experience. So Jimmy and his wife Tish live with their less active mother who can’t come because she’s old. She’s so sweet, but also loves to chat and her stories tend to last a long time. Normally the missionary has to be the bad guy and tactfully find a way to interrupt and redirect the conversation back to the gospel. Well when Sis Jones was going off on one, Jimmy actually cut her off and told her we needed to get back to this (referring to the part in the BOM we were reading). It was so great!-it really shows that he has a sincere desire to learn more and find out the truth for himself. It may seem like a trivial gesture, but it’s kinda a big deal.

Went along knocking and searching for a lead named Robin Kelly. As we were freezing our badges off in the sharp 20 degree windy weather( South Carolina goes from 70 one day to 20 the next), we came across this kind old man walking his dog. He told us how his wife had died about a month ago and asked if we’d like some of her coats. We weren’t so interested in the coats as we were about getting into his home and having an opportunity to teach a lesson. Turns out after we went inside and he was handing us hanger after hanger of fancy leather, faux fur, and trench coats we found we were talking to Robin Kelly himself!-miracle right? He’s a retired biology professor, and from what he’s researched likes the teachings of the mormons. But he denied our invitation to church because he told us the only time he gets to spend time with his kids is when he goes to the Baptist church in Clemson with them. HE was a really genuine, sweet man. I believe we were able to help eachother out, we got some nice leather jackets. I got a SWEET mountain man brown jacket thing (it’s seriously my favorite souvineer from SC so far) and 3 nice sisters were able to uplift a widower going through a difficult time right now. Glad the Lord set it up so we’d be able to catch him out walking his dog, otherwise he wouldn’t have been home and we would’ve missed him.

love y'all!!

sister smith:D:D

Monday, January 20, 2014

Learn to stop saying prayers and begin to PRAY

Every Sunday we go over to the Ward Mission Leader’s home for lunch after church with the elders and the whole fam. I love it because it reminds me so much of Sunday dinners at the grandparents…but with a lot less people. It’s always a good time and prone to deep doctrine conversations. Today as I munched on a tater tot was all about Kolob, and who Adam’s parents were, big foot and such-always a good time.

In regards to the simple beauty of preaching the gospel, here's how the Anderson part of the Lord's kingdom is coming...

Went to a specialized training this morning, of course speculating that we’d be getting ipads. I didn’t have the highest hopes because I’ve been hearing about ipads coming “some day soon” since my mission began. We did however talk about online training, and how “soon” we’ll be using facebook and such. We also had some other great trainings.

It’s about an hour drive to and from Simpsonville so we got to listen to a couple talks that Sis Godfrey owns, they were both so amazing! One was “Learning Not Earning Heaven” by Brad Wilcox and the other was “The Mortal Christ” by Jack R. Christianson. Both taught me so much!!

Some of the things that stood out to me…

-We lived with God, if going back to him is our only pursuit why did we leave in the first place?! We were at home with him, however we did not feel at home, we were uncomfortable because we were not like him.

-we need to stop saying prayers and begin to PRAY

-Brad had a friend tell him that he’d stopped coming to church because he prayed and God told him he loved him just the way he was. Brad responded that’s true, just like I love my Grandkids just the way they are, but it doesn’t mean I don’t want them to learn to walk, talk, read or write. Heavenly Father knows we can do better.

-Christ’s life purpose was to do the will of His father. If we ALWAYS seek to please ONLY God, and not compare ourselves to others. We may be lonely at times, but we will always be happy

Went over to check on Sis Patricia Lomax, she was baptized a while back and has recently really been wanting to get back into church. This lady is the epitome of joy. Like when peanutbutter met chocolate, or Lehi partook of the fruit, that kinda joy. She’s just always got the biggest smile plastered on her face, and knows that when she’s living the gospel, THAT is what brings her greater joy. She’s really set on coming back, and has such a strong desire to bring with her-- her family and boyfriend! Yes!-part member and less active families are such goldmines, because so often their friends and families aren’t members, AND their friends/families already have that fellowshipper built in.

We actually got a referral, those things were pretty special out in Hartsville. We drive out to this guy named Grant. Cozy little home off the edge of a lake (Anderson has a big ol lake right next to it, Lake Hartwell) and the couple who answered was very shocked to hear that their son had actually requested missionaries. He was at family’s in Kentucky at the time, but they told us they’d give him our number when he returns. According to them he’s a lost 19yr old searching to find himself, might be atheist, but is at least interested in religion. Walking out I could totally imagine this little lost sheep (in the form of a 19yr old man), finding out about the church, praying sincerely for the first time and WHAMO, getting baptized! Oh-then I just had the grand fantasy of him popping out wanting to serve a mission. Faith in the Lord’s church, love for these people and hoping for those miracles-that’s what makes missionary work and life so fun and meaningful.

*sigh* it's really nice to be able to look back over the week and see...oh hey, I think I might've made a difference somewhere.

Hope y'all enjoy the last bits of january :D
love y'all

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Great people that came into Sister Smith life while in Hartsville

Fav Levanon lady May Saleby

Gale McDougald

Barefoot and Jake

Hartsville Ward Mission Leaders
Br. Solomon and Br. Krein

Hartsville District
Sister Smith and Sister Black
Elder Cash and Elder Hawkes

Christmas in South Carolina these hanging Santa were everywhere

Sister Smith and Sister Black in Christmas PJ.   Hartsville members were really generous it was
a fabulous Christmas. 

Sister Catoes the wonderful sister that let Sister Smith and Sister Black
skype their families on Christmas Day.   It was so good to talk with Lindsay

Monday, January 13, 2014

Toto we're not in Hartsville anymore

Toto, we're not in Hartsville anymore....
In honor of the tornado warnings we received and the transfer that just took place I felt it suitable to quote it....have you ever thought of the endless possibilities of gospel related themes from that movie??? it's cool-welcome to the thought process of a missionary, love it:)

Yup, I was packed up and moved to Anderson, SC. It was hard to leave my birthplace of Hartsville but I know that the Lord knows best and I'm excited for this big ol learning opportunity filled with uncomfortable situations. Pres Holm always stresses how we should just become comfortable with uncomfortable situations, life's better that way.
in other news, here's some highlights from the week:D

Haha, gotta love South Carolina, because it was so cold they started school 2 hours later. These people are hilarious, love em!  This is from Hartsville before Wednesday transfer.

We went back to check on Emery again and she was home and ended up being the biggest miracle. As we taught lesson one-which was far from perfect-she understood and accepted it all. She had the typical “yes mam” response to everything we said, but she’d pipe in comments/questions like “what are we supposed to do if that priesthood power is lost?-we can’t get baptized then?”, so golden-that’s where we bust in Joseph Smith, restoration of the gospel. She knelt with us, prayed to ask if Joseph Smith was a prophet and as Sis Black was inviting her to be baptized she only got out “Will you” when Emery enthusiastically shot back “yes!” Sis Black finished her sentence, emery responded yes again and we put her on day for feb 1st, invited her to church and she told us it’d be no problem, that there was NOTHING holding her back from coming. She’d gone through some messy stuff; abusive relationship, but was ready to make it right and turn her life to God. The spirit was so strong and pure, and I can’t wait to get that text someday announcing the baptisms in the mission that week and to see her name come up. I wish I could be there for it, but there’s another sister out there that Emery needs, and I believe there’s a sister that needs Emery and her faithful example as well.

Wednesday made the 2 hour ride to Anderson, South Caroline a city about 26,00 with other large cities nearby.  No more trailers and long dirt roads to get to people's houses.  As Lindsay was a country mouse and is now a city mouse.  She is 1 hour from the Blue Ridge Mountains as far from the coast as you can get in SC.  Here's something from her new area.
When we were out trying to contact a lead, there was a nice fella fixing his car out front, as we started to talk with him, he told us to go and visit with his wife, who also doubles as a preacher. I should have more faith and hope but I was mostly expecting a pleasant bashing from the preacher, false! Ramonica was just the sweetest, totally Christlike, not into the whole denominational thing. At first not really feeling the whole BofM thing, until we explained how it doesn't replace the Bible at all. I especially love the way people open up to the BofM as soon as you start sharing scriptures with them-power of the BofM! She agreed to read it and we were able to set up a return appt!

welp, that's enough
have a sweet week-love y'all

ps: the new comp is Sis Godfrey from auburn, CA. She's been out 3 months, great sense of humor, also likes to run in the mornings (woot!) and has a gift for bold simple statements.

This is Lindsay's mom and interesting thing about Sister Godfrey about 3 months ago I was in Deseret Book and heard a young man say his sister was going to South Caroline so I immediately introduced myself and had to talk about my sister missionary already in SC.  He said his sister was at the Sister Missionary Mall and I almost went to find her,  but then felt like a stalker so I didn't and now I wished I had --to have met one of Lindsay's future companions.  

Monday, January 6, 2014

Sister Smith and Sister Black at Midnight Rooster Cafe

Doresha and Edward trying out Sister Smith camara

Exchanges with Sister Anderson

Cool p-day adventure at Kalmie Garden

Lindsay loves emails but letters make her smile

Happy new year and a new area

The call came through Saturday night at about 10:15pm announcing my being pulled out of Hartsville, dah-cut to the heart. This is where I was born and raised! and totally pun intended, part of my heart will always be in Hartsville, but the beauty of faith, hope and charity issss, that I know that the Lord know's what's best for me and that wherever I go will bless my life forever and I will forever love my God for the direction he gives my life. Won't find out where I'm headed til Wednesday morning, soooo that part of my story is to be continued....
in the mean time here's a flashback from the was a good one:)

One of the more fun lessons I’ve ever had-it was with the Gilbert family. The parents are less actives trying to come back and the 3 kids all are thinking about baptism. So we did a lesson about the parts of the gospel and likened them to cookie ingredients. We then showed how we need all the ingredients to make the cookie, you can’t leave anything out. Dominic (the dad) said the sweetest thing when we were asking about when he’d be able to get his priesthood back. He said it’d be great to be able to baptize his kids, but if they’re ready before he is he doesn’t want them to wait. That’s what real love and real faith is, sacrificing your wants and desires for other’s salvation and ultimate happiness.

Moving on, we met with a lady after that, Claudine. We only had a brief minute with her, but as we shared a little bit about Heavenly Father’s love, and the peace the gospel brings her eyes were glued to ours the entire time. Her eyes even began welling up, DAH-I just wish she didn’t live so far away. At least she told us she’d try to make it to church, so who knows.

Went over to Shawn’s apt for our return apt, not really knowing what to think, we talked with him for like 7 sec and set up a return appointment. We knocked a couple times, no answer-then just on time a nice lady opened up. Told us Shawn wasn’t home, he’d gone to work, with a little boldness she let us in and told us she didn’t really have anything else to do (I can’t believe I’ve gotten so persistent since my mission-I used to be more of a people pleaser, now I’m working to be a God pleaser) so inside we went! I absolutely LOVE IT when we get inside people’s homes. It opens so many doors (literally!). We sat down and started into the message of the restoration and were able to share about how loved she is, and how she can feel hope in the gospel. She prayed with us to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet, and although we weren’t able to set a baptism date because she wasn’t quite sure, she just couldn’t stop crying at the end. She said it was crazy that we ran into each other at all. She’s Shawn’s girlfriend, doesn’t even live there, rarely has a moment to herself to get away (she has 3 little kids) and by some miracle her sister said she’s watch the kids tonight. It was so great, during the lesson we were able to get out of the way of the spirit by teaching simply. We showed her the classic cheesy picture of the family in the restoration  pamphlet (complete with 80’s sweaters and all) and as she pondered on the picture.  She opened right up to us about her concerns about her current family and her desires for her future and we didn’t even have to ask. Heavenly Father knows her perfectly, the spirit’s willing to teach her what she needs, we just need to get out of the way.

Happy new year y'all, hope you make some kickin' goals that include spreading the gospel message:)

love y'all-signing off from Hartsville for the last time
Sister Smith