Saturday, December 18, 2010

Week 3

This week has been awesome. There is so much to learn in so little time but God surely blesses us to be able to do so. How else could we? thirty minutes is never enough time to write everything I want to say! We'll start with a fun thing we did last night during our class study just before dinner. It was a game that totally was an explaination of how an apostacy works, so we it was related to missionary work. So we each got a piece of paper and wrote down a sentence of whatever came into our heads. ie. elder smith falls asleep too much in class, or The alarm clock should be smashed into smithereens with a sledge hammer. (that was mine) and then we would pass on the paper to the next person who would draw what the sentece said. then they would fold it so you can't read the first sentece so the next person would have to write what they thought the sentence was doing. and that went on for a couple of rounds. My favorite one started as I like ice hockey and ended up being Sister Black went on a date with Elder Jensen. story about Elder jensen, he's going to tiawan in a couple of weeks he's not in our district but we've befriended him as he is very dutiful of seeking out esp. sister black to pick up our trays when we've done eating. its actually pretty cool that the elders do that. And its amazing to see how they can sometimes even act like men.
I'm trying to act more like a woman, but ya'll know how being dignified throws off my groove. My district jokes about how I should have gone to some place in africa where they speak click, aka "sister smith's sound effects".
I've been thinking alot about my purpose as a missionary, and truly learning to know what investigators needs are. You really have to show so much love and truly love people in order for them to trust you, to open their hearts to you and you have to be completely open to. Thats where the spirit comes in Handy. :) So the thing that I want to be able to leave here with and say I've learned, is how to truly teach with the spirit.
I have been blessed to have such an amazing companion, we flow together really well in teaching and we possibly do the best job, but that is probably because the other companionships are trios and that is difficult. We still have much to learn and to listen but its good to see that we're progressing. Sister Randall is such an example to me. I just love her. We decided we're going to be friends forevver.
So going back to the idea of seeking the investigators needs, we did a little activity in class yesterday that was very, actually good. I wasnt so sure how I felt about it at first. Our teacher, Irmo Cope had us sit down with him as a group and just ask any question we wanted, to find out what HIS needs were, not as a role play character, but as himself. We were able to use our knowledge and actually really help him in something he was struggling with. And then my district volunteered me to be next. I was nervous because, who really wants to be completely open and honest in front of 8 other people? its scary but I really wanted to give them all the opportunity to have it realistic. I suprised myself when I cried, I truly have come to trust my sisters and elders, else I could have in no way said anything that I told them. I was very grateful that they truly listen to the spirit and said things I needed to hear. Sister Shaha really touched my heart when she shared Jerimah 1:5-10,16-19. I feel like a child, like Moses too. That I can't share the gospel to its full potential due to my lack of words. I read Ether 12 as well. I know that If I but all my faith in the Lord, He WILL put words in my mouth. He has trusted me with the calling and I will not fail Him. I pray for humility. I pray for strength. I pray for power beyond my own. I seek guideance and assistance; for peace and understanding. I know the Lord will provide in His time.
I hope everyone is enjoying this Christmas season and truly taking the time to reflect about the Atonement and Miracles of Christ our Savior. He chose the most humblest of situations; think about his birth, his life, and you will know how much he truly loves each and everyone of us. I am so grateful for the atonement that redeems and enables me each and everyday as I fall and rise again.
Sister Smith
ps. I'm going to be in the talent show on christmas! also, mom, Im supposed to tell my parents if they are sending packages they must get here before the 22nd else I wont get it until after the chirstmas hollidays.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week 2

Tudo Bem!! thats portuges for, basically, doing good? This week has been amazing. I have already felt myself being stretched by the Lord, if I don't learn patience here, I will never learn it anyway else. It is very difficult for me learning a new language and not get frustrated with myself, but I've been praying for peace and patience and God has granted it to me. He helps me remember, even if its just one word or phrase and I am so gratful for that. All that matters is that I give my 100% and God will make up the rest, through the enabling power of the atonement. I forgot to say in my first letter the coolest part about my companion, we are both going to Cuiaba. Oh and just so ya'll know, I finaly can pronounce my mission right. its like QueAba. stress on that first a. awesome, I know. I had my first time at the TRC on wed, it was supposed to have been thursday but there are so many portugese speaking missionaries here due to the visa hold up that we had to be split up on two days. TRC is the language training center; I get to go and talk with people in my mission language. yeah, so my story about that. My companion is really good at remembering the contacting phrases and prounouncing, I'm good at smiling and saying ola. She was super super nervous about practicing contact with real people (outside of our district I mean by real people) and I wasnt at all. It should have been the other way around. anyway so we were being told how to do everything and after that ended, I was like, what are we doing? I just zoned out for the last ten mins. she was like, WHAT?!! now im even more nervous. Sister Randall, your fine we'll be amazing. You know your stuff. and Im not saying that to make you feel better its the truth. It was funny to me anyway. Yes, Im the oddball in our district with my unique ways of expressing myself that make people think, what? did you really say that? don't think that will ever change. But really I have an awesome group. sister shaha (shayhay) is so strong and fearless. Sis Black and Ricchio are super sweet and always have interesting points to add about the doctrine. Elder Laughenberg (Its spelt different but I forget) is hilarious, him and Elder Thorpe have spilt something on themselves everyday pretty mcuh this week. Elder L. even clipped a bunch of napkins to his shirt and tie and still managed to become a wreck. If anybody finds a very large bib or even a towel, send it! we want to give him one for Christmas. Heck even a poncho would be good. Elder Thorpe is a future elders quoram president, I think. He is so dedicated and out here for the right reasons. Elder Smith is clever and smart, he already knows french and spanish so he's a great asset to everyone in the class. MY companion is "like an angel". She always bears a sweeet testimony. I see all these good things in my district that encourages me to try and do better. I've been thinking alot about Jesus Cristo e seu expiaso (thats jesus christ and his atonement) I am so grateful that he came and died for me, that our Pai Celestial (heavenly father) saw that there would be a need for redemption for mankind, that we would enevitably mess up. I know because I've been there. we've all been there. Satan wants to take us down, to not see our potential and give up. I will not give up ever! People want to know the truth, they are truly searching for it, just they don't, half the time, realize it. I listened to a talk by Elder Holland (voted class favorite by district 54) I believe it was called the miracle of the mission. SO powerful. find it. read it. He is so straightforward and says it how it is. Power comes from righteousness. Power comes from obedience. "astonish people. Bring some thunder into their lives!" He also talked about how everyone's mission will not be easy. people aren't going to be lining up to be baptized and the only thing you have to fear is pnemonia. He talked about the atonement, how it was in no ways easy. it couldnt have been. so why expect the mission to be? It will be the hardest thing. BUT THE BEST THING. have no regrets. Im running out of time for this week, but I just want everyone to know how excited I am to be here, to be serving the Lord. To truly start to know what real humilty, faith, determination, diligence, patience and sacrifice is.
This life is the time to prepare to meet God. Are you preparing?
(sounds like a corny ad line....I know...)
Scripture for the week, read Mark 1:2-3
Sister Smitche.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Week One

If I was really cool I would have titled this week one in Portugese, but I haven't learned any numbers yet. There is a red timer in the corner of the screen that reminds me of those evil online tests and quizzes from college that makes me nervous. So I obviously made it to the MTC in one piece. Where to start. Well on the plane actually I sat next to an Elder who is going to be serving in Tulusa, Oklahoma. I decided he is perfect for Megan, just her type. His native tounge is Hmung. (I dont know if I spelt it right, but she would say he looks alot like her favorite boy from yuba high) HAHA I thought she'd appreciate that! My district is pretty small, there is 8 of us. The special thing about us though is that the sisters out number the elders. We have 5 sisters. 3 elders. Only set like that in the whole MTC. My companion is Sister Chelsey Randall from St George. (oh by the way you say Randall in portugese is "handoaw" and smith is "smitche") I am so lucky to have her as my companion! We get along very well, and she is good at pronunciation so she helps me alot. We're trying really hard to work together to make the best use of our time here at the MTC.
I am so grateful for the teaching methods here, they are exactly how I felt about missionary work. Its like we've moved passed the dicussions to preach my gospel to a higher level. Of course we talk about the lessons but we're not focusing on just knowing the material. ITs so much about communication. We are constantly asking, What does the investigator need to feel? What are their needs? where are they on their spiritual journey? If we cannot understand the person and show them that we sincerely love them, we will never be able to get through to them. Both of minha professoros are RMs from Brazil missions. so they have a lot to share. The brazilians are awesome!! There is a class down the hall from mine going to somewhere in europe where the elders are from brazil so we try to talk to them. I am finding that I can be a leader, our first day of class we had no teacher so everyone was just sitting there leafing through preach my gospel so I spoke up and said that we should read over the first lesson and then discuss it. After discussing we talked about the scriptures that would best support our teachings for our people. Alot of brazilians are catholic and espistical (spelling?) and so we had a good scripture chase. I see the elders with their mass of enthusiasm and having the frequent devotionals and testimonies help to keep the focus! my scripture of the week is Alma 17:1-3. Ben and Ammon, I suggest you memorize. This, to me, is the key to truly teach people unto conversion. Its so much more about the spirit you bring than the words you speak. At least that is how I feel. I hope everyone is doing well.
Sister Smith

. . .continued. . .

okay so you can send me emails through dear
I think you just need my mailbox information. They print them out and then I get mail more than just on P day.
I will need some serious deet for brazil. anything 30% would be great. no rush though.
I dont want to get dangee fever like my teacher did!
also, I had to get tetnus shot. that was it and only 20 so not bad, thank merlee for me the cash it came in handy!
ugh I should have wrote more in my first email but oh well, 30 mins goes by so fast and they keep us so busy
I just cant wait for bed everysingle night!!!
so yeah, dear would be great, then I wont spend my email time reading emails and not answering.
love you so much,