Hey y’all, here I sit in my new area, aka SUMMERVILLE, at the library, with many other lovely sisters (one of which is my companion the amazing Sis Willis from Missouri) and some valiant elders (because you can’t just go around calling elders lovely). It’s out in the Charleston zone and is a much smaller area than my past two areas. It’s interesting, it’s not like it’s more populated than my past areas there are just more mormons in the area so the ward boundaries are smaller. It’s grand though. Hope you enjoy this weeks email. Be good nowJ
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'm just so tired of goodbyes! ever since I found out officially it's just been non-stop. Leaving Anderson feels almost as hard as leaving my family to leave on my mission. I've never been an emotional person, but I couldn't believe how many tears I had to choke back. those blasted emotions!
My final full day with sis Hendrix, was cut short because of all the trainer training she did. We left early that morning piled high in the Allen’s minivan. I was in the middle with baby Ariana, and Sis Hendrix was in the back with Rosemary. Rosemary was especially excited to be going, and only stopped chattering away when sis Hendrix took a brief nap. The Allens are so awesome. They set it up so that they’d stay in a hotel overnight and drive the other sisters back the next day after transfers. We even got permission from President Turner to go walk around the temple with them. It was Danielle’s first time, and Blake hadn’t been there since he’d done baptisms years ago. It was so sweet to finally be in the temple again. I miss it so much! But I know that the work I’m doing is where I really need to be, and that principle was evident as we sat in the front waiting room. Coolest little miracle. I’ve been cheering on Ariana the past forever, trying to get her to walk. She’d done one, maaaybe two steps before. But when we went to the temple, she took her first 3 steps in the waiting room!! We took some pictures, and kept psyching them up for when they’ll go through themselves! I’m so excited for them, they’ve changed so much and come so far. They keep telling us we’re the missionaries who’ve really got them going, but I know it wasn’t us, but years of many many people, not to mention the spirit and God having a big ol hand in it all.
Did I mention that I’ll be learning sign Language while I’m here?? Yup, all the sisters here have been learning sign language for an investigator (Kitt). Kitt’s actually getting baptized this Saturday, and I know my transfer is divine and all, but I feel soooo bad that I’m the one that’ll be here for it and not Sis Glauser or Grover who worked so hard with Kitt. But I know that this is all according to the Lord’s will, so I’m going to do everything I can to fulfill his purpose for sending me here at this time. I’m hoping that the 1 year I took waaaay back in high school will come back. I’m so excited though, a little nervous considering I only have one transfer to get down ASL, as opposed to the 2-4 transfers that other sisters have had to learn before getting a new companion.
Baptism Day! It was such an amazing baptism. There were so many ward members there to support him, despite the torrential afternoon rainstorm we experienced. It’s such a miracle that there are a few other people in the area that know sign language that are willing to help interpret. The Bryant smith and his wife both served ASL missions and live in the goosecreek ward (he’s stationed there for the navy right now. What a miracle!!). Ruth lives in Augusta and just took a bunch of classes through school, she’s amazing. There’s also Sadie Johnson from north Charleston. She took some classes in school and then had a calling in a deaf ward when she lived in Utah.
Anyways, we had Ruth and Bryant there to interpret. There were also about 30 members of the ward there to support Kitt. I couldn't have put it better myself when bro David Hatch said after the baptismal ordinance, “this is one of the times where I think it should be appropriate to clap”…haha, later thinking about it kit couldn’t of heard it anyways, so we could’ve just signed congrats instead.
Afterward Kitt shared his testimony and Ruth and Bryant interpreted. He had the most amazing testimony. He told about going to the Methodist church with his dad, but not being able to understand because he hadn’t gone to deaf school yet. After learning sign, he studied a lot and got involved with the Jehovah witnesses for 18 yrs. One day when he was at the Laundromat he found an LDS gospel principles book and started reading it. A few weeks later he was at walmart with some friends and saw the sister missionaries. Sis Paxman saw Kitt signing and ran over, purely because she wanted to meet a deaf person. Sis Paxman doesn’t know any ASL, but went for the contact anyways! Anywhoo after lots of lessons purely writing back and forth a few sisters learned a little ASL, and finally 9 months later he was here at his baptism. He said he now felt like a new man, with a new spirit. His old spirit is gone and we are all now his friends and his brothers and sisters. The spirit was so strong, and I’m so happy for him!
sorry this was a long one....
much much LOVE!!