Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Neeeeever enough time, sigh, well all clever introductions aside here's my week!!!

BEST.DAY.EVER! ok, I think I say that about many days on my mission, but I’m super duper grateful Heavenly Father let me sit in on this one. Today Brian Tate and Dave Ham were both baptized. Brother Tates was super simple, he didn’t want any big hoopla. There were only about 12 people there. After the prayer we went ahead with the baptism. It was amazing, the spirit was so strong, everyone was crying, including him (he’s never one to let anyone see his true emotions). You could tell from the look on his face that there really is nothing sweeter than the joy that comes from the redeeming power of the atonement. Afterward the bishop gave a few remarks, and Sis Tate’s father bore his testimony about how much it meant to their family (All of SisTate’s family are members, and they’ve been praying a long time that Bro Tate would eventually get baptized). There was so much love in the room-and I don’t think Sis Godfrey or I can even comprehend how big this was for their family, and the impact it will have on countless others.

Dave’s baptism was another unique one. Because of the baptism earlier that day poor Dave had freezing cold water when he was baptized. Dave is also a big poet and brought along some of his poems that he wanted us to read after he bore his testimony. He gave me “an angel without wings” to read in honor of his nanny who wasn’t able to come and lucky sister godfrey got to read “the unborn cry” a poem that speaks out against abortion. It’s super sweet, but not necessarily what you hear at the typical baptism. Definitely 2 baptisms I will never forget.

Woke up at 4am this morning to use the bathroom, looked out the window and what did I see, popcorn popping on the apricot tree? Nope-it was starting to snow and it was really coming down. Because of all the snow, and South Carolinians lack of snow removal stuff we were stuck in our apartments for a day and a half. We were going crazy-but we got our map looking spiffy, made a bunch of treats for Dave's baptism and managed to set off the fire alarms w/o burning the cookies. Yeah there just so happened to be a plastic tray beneath the oven that got a wee bit melted. good times:)

1. Miracle time-we met this guy walking his dog a couple times down this street we’ve been working on. We talked with him for like 2 minutes, invited him to church and whaddaya know he actually showed up! He told us he really enjoyed it and was planning on going back next week!

2. Here’s a new door moment for the books; we went to visit a ward member, sis stewart. She’s super sweet, sadly her husband is excommunicated and wants nothing to do with the church, regardless every Sunday she packs up her 4 young kids and brings them to church. He husband just so happened to answer, and hanging from his opposite hand was a dead mouse he was holding by the tail. I instantly thought of my mom and wondered how she would’ve reacted. Turns out he just owns a bunch of snakes and was about to feed them before we knocked. Not even thinking before we left I extended my hand to shake, and ended up shaking the hand he had previously been holding the mouse with.yum. counting the blessings of handsanitizer :)

lovlove y'all super lots, yup yup. Hope that in honor of president's day, pay heed to the counsel of the president of our church and go bring some precious soul closer to Christ. I promise you won't regret it:)

lovlove! Sister Lindsay Smith

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Feeling Blessed in Andersen

Why Heavenly Father chooses to bless me so much I'll never know (at least until eternity), but I'm definitely feeling loved to have the chance to have 2 baptisms this weekend!! So stoked for these awesome guys:D:D can't wait to tell y'all all about it (by the way, we met this Russian family who pointed out how much I say y'all and I've begun to realize how the word manages to bound into at least every sentence. I can't really remember the last time I said "you guys"---love it!). But since that blessed day hasn't happened yet I'll let you in on some of the recent blessings/miracles we've seen this week.

Had my first ZTM in the Greenville zone and Elder Daegen Oviatt is actually one of my Zone Leaders (I went to high school with him). President combined most of the zones so our gathering was much bigger than any other ZTM, which meant that taking a zone picture at the end took waaaay longer. It’s quite the feat to try to take timer pictures with at least 15 different cameras. It involved lots of pushing buttons and running back and forth.The trainings are always really great-and the thing is I might have to find ways to infiltrate ZTMs when I get home because everything taught applies to life in so many ways such as....being unified, personable, positive, being on purpose, being doers not tryers and not becoming content, working towards something greater, setting expectations (during this one Elder Oviatt kept referring to a talk called “the 8th string quarterback” by Steve Young and I reeaalllly want to read that talk now.)

We spent the beautiful morning knocking and actually met a couple people who were interested. One was Linda, a sweet Baptist from DC who was visiting to help some family out. She said she had a Book of Mormon and some guys had stopped by before. As we were talking she told us how she used to study with Jehovah Witnesses until they shared their beliefs that God and Jesus Christ weren’t the same person. Immediately in my head I was like, well yeah we believe they’re separate as well. Normally I would just come out with it so she’d know what our beliefs were, but for some reason I felt the need to not share but to continue discussing it. Neither Sis Godfrey or I came right out with it, but we talked about it in a general sense and how the bible can make it confusing for someone to figure out. We quoted the different scriptures where Christ talks to his father, but then relented to the argument where Christ says that he and the father are one. By the guidance of the spirit we were able to get her to start asking questions herself. We eventually guided her to James 1:5 and said that God would let her know. By the end we shared what we believed about the God Head and invited her to find out the truth for herself. She said she definitely would. I could tell this really struck her as she explained why it would be important to understand who exactly she’s praying to. We may not have gotten to the first vision; well hey we didn’t even get past the first teaching point but I know we were guided to help her understand a foundational doctrine, and it was amazing to have the spirit work through us and be able to witness someone truly “getting it”.

*Sigh* today was like a really awesome preview before a big movie. Omari, Chris and Toby were all baptized. They’re all sons/nephews of Marlin a recent convert who the elders have been teaching. It just made me so giddy for Dave and Bro. Tate’s baptismsnext Saturday!! Today was just one of those days where it’s so good to be a missionary. Toby’s only like 11, Chris is 13 and Omari is 10. I can only imagine how much this decision can change the course of their lives if they endure to the end. It was neat to have some of the scouts there supporting them as well, makes me wish I would’ve made a bigger effort to go to other baptisms at home. They’re so common in Utah I think we take for granted how huge of a step Baptism is. I mean it’s the gate that gets you on the path to eternal life we’re talking about here!! Few things are more beautiful than the view I had at their baptismal service. Sis Godfrey and I were sitting behind the elders and the 3 boys, they had their arms around each other and were just beaming dressed in white.

well, I love y'all much much and hope that you enjoyed this weeks summary from the blessed-lovely-toogoodtobetrue life of Sister lindsay smith:D

Monday, February 3, 2014

Crazy South Carolinians when it SNOWS


   It snowed! It was soooo lovely to be able to get a wee glimpse of the beautiful blanket of white. There was baaarely enough for me to scrape together a snowball to nail sis godfrey with, it's funny the way people react out here to the snow was BARELY starting to stick to the roads and everyone was of course panicking. The Addison’s called us and said they were cancelling correlation and that we should probably go immediately home ourselves. Later when we were talking with the elders, they said they saw a guy who had already swerved off the road and the snow wasn’t even sticking to the road yet. Silly south Carolinians. Oh yeah, and because of the half inch of snow school got out 2hrs early, it was cancelled the next day, and the day after that it started 2hrs late, gotta love this crazy south Carolinians.

   We had at least one miracle come about from the snow. We stopped by sister Mckee’s to wish her a happy birthday and drop off some oreo truffles I had made, she’s a less active wasn’t feeling to hot, but we got to spend the next hour eating bagels and talking with her daughter Kimberley. Kimberley’s our age, goes to Anderson University and would’ve never have been home except for the fact that classes were cancelled due to the snow-yeah snow! She’s super sweet, tons of fun, loves Zelda and was really interested in coming to church and reading the Book of Mormon. She’s hopped around to all sorts of churches and hadn’t attended an LDS one since she was super little back when her mom was going. She also told us about a friend she’d like to bring who’s been going through a rough time, umm “yes she’s invited!”. Her only hold up was that she wouldn’t have anyone to sit with, easy ‘nuff we volunteered ourselves. Wow, sometimes I feel like heavenly father just puts people on a platter for us all garnished with parsley and what not.

   Both Bro. Tate and Dave came to church today, and now that Dave has passed the 2 church attendances marker we’re all set for both of their baptisms on the 15th! So stoked for both of them, haha, bro. tate is the first person I’ve taught who is set for baptism but is dreading it. The idea of baptism he loves and is all for it, however he absolutely abhors being in front of people. So the idea of standing in a font in front of everyone while they watch him is just completely revolting. When we talked with him about it tonightat our lesson I just marveled at how against it he is. Jokingly I asked if we even we were invited, and sis tate had to tell him that we were coming-he didn’t even want US there! When we were talking with sis tate later she said that for a time he didn’t even want HER there-his own wife! He’ll get there and go through with it though, and in a years time he probably won’t even have a problem standing up and giving a talk in sacrament. Right now I think his biggest issue is getting confirmed in sacrament meeting and having to sit in front of everyone in church. It’s so funny, because in the privacy of his own home he’s super open and doesn’t seem to have any trouble talking with us. they're great though, can't wait for the day when they can all go through the temple together. His wife is still in awe that this is actually happening-so excited for this fam!!

hope y'all have the chance to be nourished by the good word of God this week, and that perhaps you do a little nourishing of yourselves. The world could use a heaping helping of vitamin gospel.