Monday, January 19, 2015

Final Blog for Sister Lindsay Smith're probably wondering why I've gathered y'all here today...

I don't know what to write...Not sure how to being by summing up the past 18 months of experiences in just a wee little email. haha, I fully expect all y'all to be utterly interested in every "that one time on my mission..." stories so I can' impart to you the blessings and miracles that my heavenly father has given to me, and continue to reminisce, haha.

A wise sister, aka, my companion shared with me that, a mission, no matter where you serve becomes a second home in your heart, it and the people associated with it become sacred, because it was then that you came to know your Savior like you never had before. True story, this little southern state, not given a second thought by most people is full of some of the most Christ-like people I've ever met, those of our faith and those who are not.

My mission has taught me how entirely dependent I am upon the Savior and His gospel. There is no other option if you hope for peace and happiness now and forever.
Yes, I'm going to be an awkward missionary, and yes, if you happen to have a "Y" chromosome I'm going to want to give you a handshake at first, don't worry I'll snap out of it soon enough and pull you in for a big ol southern lovin' hug!
Besides the awkwardness, I don't want to lose any of the changes I've made on my mission, but if I've learned anything about the gospel, it's not about maintaining the changes I've made, it's about continuing to change.

Change is only possible through the atonement of Christ, because of Him, we have every opportunity tool we need to become our best selves, best suited to serve God's children. I know we have a living prophet, revelation is one of the most unique and important features in this restored gospel, the restoration all started with revelation given to the prophet Joseph Smith by God our eternal father and our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is God's words, for his children. I could go on forever, but I'd rather tell y'all in person.

LOVE Y'ALLL! Thank you a million for the endless prayers, support, letters, packages, emails and examples that y'all blessed me with before and during my mission.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Blending with the Natives y'all

Sister Smith returns Jan. 22nd and her talk in Sacrament is Feb. 15th at 9 am

First off..I was on exchanges with the Moncks Corner sisters and after a lesson with some members she commented, "you don't have much left on your mission do you?" (seeing as how I'm almost to the single digits, it's a tender subject, and I was so caught off-gaurd)...
"why do you say that?" I quickly responded.
"because you use the word "y'all" quite casually"
my thoughts, "yeeeees!, I blend in with the natives!" *fist pump*.
Next to all the miracles that have been popping out of the wood works, that little comment made my day.

We pulled up to Sis Hilpert’s home, a less active we've been trying to get in touch with. I looked over at Sis Burbank and she had a strange look on her face, and said she wasn’t sure how she felt about being here. Often we’ll get those promptings, we’ll pray about it and then reassess the situation. We waited and contemplated for a minute, said a prayer, and right during the prayer Sis Hilpert pulled in. It ended up being a little miracle for the day! She let us right in, for the first time! We were able to share some scriptures, and her troubled teenage son is a little interested because he’s noticed his Christian friends have it a little more together, and he wants to “find God” as well. Sis Hilpert, who’s name is now Sis Milone (yeah I was hoping it was Malone (you know? Carl Malone?) as well) is very supportive, but has been reserved about pushing her religion too much on her kids. Buuut, she knows how much it would help them, so she's being a little more pushy, in the most charitable way possible.

What's pushy about someone pushing you to eternal life eh?

Our lesson with Morgan was great, his 10yr old niece popped in to sit with us. She talked about how she wants to be baptized and was telling us how much she loves church when her mom takes her, they’ve gone on-and-off for the past little while, but for some reason none of the girls have been baptized, and then Becky hasn’t been baptized either. Who knows why?? But little Savannah is such a good influence, she told us, “I make sure to complain to my mom when we don’t get to go to church”.

While teaching about tithing, Savannah asked, “how do they get the money to God? I know they don’t just build a tower, I heard about that story. Uh-uh don’t do that.” Morgan jumped in and explained it clearly and simply. What a great future missionary!

Sis Soctomah arranged for a member to take us out to ZTM, so they could save some miles, she warned me to not lean my head back in the car because it’s very possible that I could acquire lice. The Moncks Corner sisters went through a nasty battle with the little head munchers, both of them are now sporting shorter haircuts, haha, they look good. Nothing’s more beautiful than some diligent, serving missionaries :).....update: so far no itching. fingers still crossed!

well, I love y'all lots!

sister smith:):)

Monday, January 5, 2015

I don't even know where to start right now?
Well let's start with the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm so grateful that we have it in its fulness upon the earth today. Thanks to the gospel and Christ's atonement, 2015 can be the best year yet! Life is great, the gospel works, God is near, and I'm so joyful:D

anyways, here's the week!

A bunch of the ward came together to help the Lincolns finish up moving, there was such a great turnout, we didn’t end up doing very much, besides watching the faithful priesthood holders magnifying their callings. Sis Lincoln was amazed, she said she had no idea what was happening, all of a sudden all of these men were at her home moving things and they were finished in 30min. They drove all the packed cars to the property and everything was unloaded, she never even had to lift a finger. Bro Lincoln chuckled and said, “she’s never experienced a Mormon service project”.

We received a new ward roster and Sis Burbank spotted a new name in our area. We had the Connors in our plans for the past few days, but we’d never had time to actually drop by. Finally around 6:30pm tonight we did! In the dark of the night we found the house, and were astonished to realize we’d worked literally all around this house. We were teaching Doris across the street and I’d knocked and contacted their next door neighbor. Haha, we even were driving by Christmas day, saw them playing in the front yard, commented on how cute of a family they were, and then their dog ran out in the road and I almost hit it. I’m so grateful that me killing their dog wasn’t our first encounter. Anyways, when we stopped by tonight she let us right in. She was baptized in Montana and super involved, moved to Washington but wasn't a fan of the ward. She admitted that was her own fault, not the ward’s. They’d just moved here a few months ago. The miracle of it all is this: About 2 yrs ago Danelle was talking with her husband about how much she wanted a church, the next day, 2 sister missionaries knocked on her door and she was baptized. Now in the present day, she was talking with her husbandYESTERDAY about how she wanted to get back into church, and WHAMO we are lead to her door! She ended up coming to church the next day with her 2 boys too!

One of the best lessons with the Haynes, it was great, thanks to the spirit we were able to discern that Bro. Haynes really wants to do this for his family, but he can’t if it’s not true, so it’s kinda tearing him apart because he feels like his family is disappointed in him. He didn’t actually say all of that, but that’s what the spirit helped us discern. Sis Haynes also opened up how hard this has been for her, that she’s been so strong and really wants this, but it’s hard because he’s not really progressing. She still has concerns of her own, she’s only recently been coming back to church.

Sister Haynes shared in church on Sunday, “I wasn’t living life fully without the gospel. Then the one day I had just been thinking about church, the sister missionaries (US!) showed up at my door”.
I wish I could say we had a crazy amazing vision that directed us to go to her home, nope. Sis Gubler had told us she thought her neighbor might be Mormon, and we thought we’d check it out. It’s neat to see how God was really guiding us the whole time.

It was funny at the end of the lesson, Sis Burbank asked if they’d talked about WHEN the boys could be baptized. Izayah came shooting down from upstairs saying, “I want to be baptized, and I’m going to be baptized! There’s nothing you can do to stop me (this is the 10yr old by the way). I want the Holy Ghost, I want the holy spirit. I want to be a missionary like them one day!”.

…and the Lincoln family dwelt in a tent. Meanwhile in the wilderness of South Carolina, the Lincoln family has entirely moved into a little trailer and a tent for the next 3ish months, until their home is built. Oh boy, I can’t even imagine. This is a family of 6, and they also have 2 Brazilian mastiffs. The 3 girls all sleep in the same bed, Jared is on the pull out couch, the dogs are on the floor and bro and sister Lincoln are in a tent that bro Lincoln has lined with insulation to keep them through the 2 coldest months of the year in SC. That family is so faithful; they even still had us over for our usual lesson and dinner. It was seriously one of the best meals; we had tinfoil/hobo dinners and smores for dessert. By light of campfire we read from Ether 12 to them about faith. Bro and Sis Lincoln really opened up about how all of this is a huge act of faith. It seems crazy to everyone else, but they feel good about it and have pressed forward. They’re not in the ideal situation, but they know it’s where the Lord needs them to be right now. What a great life lesson? Plus bro Lincoln added, it’ll help them prepare for when the second coming draws nigh.

Sis Lincoln laughed and said, “It’s only been 2 days, ask us if we want tinfoil dinners and smores in a month”.

love y'all!

Sister Smith!!!