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

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