Monday, August 18, 2014

Sista Smith in Summerville, South Carolina

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:)

mmmk, I don't think I ever filled y'all in on my new companion Sis Willis. she's great! Sis Willis is 21, she's from Joplin, Missouri and was raised in the church. She's has such as strong testimony, loves everyone (and everyone loves her) and she's so enthusiastic. She's hilarious to be around and has an amazing singing voice. This is her last transfer before going home, but she's ready to put her shoulder to the wheel and finish strong. I'm bummed I don't get more than one transfer with her, but grateful for the chance I have to learn from her.

now onto the week!

Flashback!!! Something really cool happened at transfers. Sis Black, my daughter, was there and we were chatting a little bit. Then she asked me if I remembered who the Fenners were. I honestly had no clue, after giving me a little more information than just their names I remembered them. They were a less active couple that we had juuuust started teaching before I left Hartsville. He was so depressed and could barely move, let alone make any commitment to coming to church. She’d only met with us once, but wasn't too keen on coming back unless he did. They used to be super active, held high positions and went to the temple, but had chosen to be offended after they moved here. Welll, Sis Black informed me that they had gone back to the temple, were super active and were actually the ones who drove the elders to transfers!!! I know I didn't do much, but it was such a tender mercy to get a glimpse of something good that had come about from my efforts.

A few things have caused our miles to take a turn for the worse. #1 The sisters weren't able to find a ride to Columbia for transfers, #2 A few extra miles were needed before I came and #3 The exchanges we’ve done so far have been to the farthest away areas. We decided to start biking. We share 2 bikes with the other sisters in our apartment. Prior to me coming Sis Willis said they never really biked. One reason because they were in a 3 pack last transfer, and the transfer before that…they just didn’t. Anyways we were a little nervous about looking disgusting and sweaty at our appointments, but felt good about our decision. It ended up not being bad at all, Heavenly Father blessed us with overcast weather, and although it looked like we were about to get poured on, it only drizzled enough to cool us down. Even though I feel like I’m way out of shape, the biking part of it wasn’t too bad, it’s not much, but after adding it up we went about 20 miles. I LOVED being able to work, pedal and breath the fresh air. I loved the breeze and being able to see the city at a slower pace, I loved everything about it besides the fact that I sweated a wee bit more than normal. Even having to try and ride in a skirt wasn’t that bad, I only got caught in the gears once, learned my lesson and from then on tied my skirt to the side with a hair elastic. The biggest issue we faced that day was that we didn’t anticipate how dark it would be when we got out of our last lesson. Summerville 1st isn’t exactly SUPPOSED to be a biking area because there are a few big roads with minimal lighting and even less shoulder space to ride on. We had to make like frogger to even get to the correct side of the road, and when we pulled up on Old Orangeburg Rd. we knew it would be a very unwise decision to try and ride it. We prayed that miraculously some member that just HAPPENED to be driving a truck would see us and rescue us, but instead the spirit reminded us that the other sisters in our apt had a bike rack. We quickly called them to rescue us and they swiftly came to our aid. After that we decided we’d take the Prophet Jacob’s advice and be wise enough to not bike at night any longer.

We couldn't believe it, when we had our lesson with Kit and Alison today we asked Alison about her own baptism. Previously she had said she wanted baptism, but not yet. After the baptism she’d told us that she’d felt the spirit very strongly and that it had touched her heart. When we brought up baptism today, she started off telling us she was shy, and that she’ll eventually get to baptism, but as we continued on she became more and more confident about her baptism. She even wanted to do it this coming Saturday, but we had her move it to the 30th of Aug so we’d have time to prepare her. I’m so excited for her! And it’s really neat because Sadie (one of the interpreters from the north Charleston ward) told us that the deaf community is very tight knit, and because Kit is intelligent he’s very influential and will bring many to the gospel with him. After the lesson Kit gave us the address of his sister who lives nearby and is deaf, and also said he’s going to write Sis Glouser and send her to a deaf friend who lives in Spartanburg. I have a dream that one day the Charleston zone will have it’s own deaf branch, that would be too cool!

-Went on exchanges in Georgetown and James island. In James Island I got to see a ton of downtown Charleston, saw the beach for my first time and contacted up and down the pier for an hour or so.
-Sign language is coming along muuuuch better, but still wish I could say more. meh, it'll come:)

love y'all more than you know, annnd so so grateful for how each of you has touched and impacted my life.


Sister Smith:)

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