Sunday, January 30, 2011

Week 9

ALRIGHTY! so ya'll were thinking this would be my last email from the MTC. you and I were both mistaken.
Sorry meu Pais, no phone call on wednesday porque when we went to the travel office they said there were no reassignments.
Im sorry I couldn't call, and it would have been a waste to try and write a letter becaause I knew you'd get this email first.
So whats going on? I may have a reassignment next wednesday, but I may not. there is a possiblity I could be staying in the MTC indefinately for the next few weeks, there are so many Brazil bound Missionaries in the field that is just not feasable to continue reassigning until this visa issue breaks through. Brazilian elders are even being alowed to start their missions at 18 instead of 19 because of this. So I was pretty upset to not get a reassignment, Im totaly at the point of cabin fever (and I really miss being the one to cook my own food... PB&J is the only time I can do that here) and to have the let down of, no, you will not be going into the field next week, was pretty hard. So maybe I kicked the wall and said I hate the MTC. BUT I have gotten over that. I know that there are tthings beyond my control and I need to be patient and trust the Lord, and ENDURE TO THE EEND. as in the end of the MTC. haha Im looking at it as an opportunity to really focus in on improving my portugese (like, maybe using the right tenses when I speak now would be a great start!) and imprpoving my lessons. 2 ne 31:20 got to hold on to what my purpose is here, and where else would be a better place than within the Lord's School? I dont know what is gooing to happen within the next couple of weeks, but I know that it all happens for a reason and that I clearly have something to learn from this. Its just figuring out what that is, thats the hard part. So....some funny things that have happened the last few days:
sunday: we were (as in the sisters of my district and I) condemened as Cheese Thiefs by our elders.
let me explain. *ahem* so after relief society, us sisters were of course starving, nigh on to death. We came to our class room and looked at our shelf of goodies. The crhistmas shoe box only contained a few hershey kisses and spilt nerds that older laugfenberg coughed on. BUUT there was something new! MANA FROM THE HEAVENS!! next to the box was package of critz crackers, and a box containing summer sausage and a sleve of wisconsin cheeese. Let me clarify: The shelf is the law of consecration: the coat rack below it is everybodys, the grammer books are everybody's the picture of christ is everyones, the christmas box of chocolates is everyones; so wwouldnt it make sense that the crackers and cheese are a free-for-all as well?
that delicious cheese crumbled perfectly. It was SOOOO DELIGHTFUL.
three hours later....
Sister Shaha: "Oh Elders, who ever brought in the Cheese and Crackers, THANKSS!! it was soooo goood!"
ELder Smith:"WHHHHAATTTTTT!!! are you kidding me?!!!!
he finds the box and sees the cheese missing
Elder Thourp:"He''s been saving that since Christmas!!"
"Elder smith: "This is not funny, where did you hid the cheese?!"
sisters (with the except of Sis. Ricchio, she was wise and did not partake) "we ate it!"
The elders continue in a frantic search until elder Laugfenberg pulls out the wraper from the trash.
"Elder THourp: "We leave it inn the classroom for one hour and you eat it? YOU ATE THE WHOLE SLEVE?!!"
"Sister shaha timidly...."there was five of us......"
(Sister Randall and I were laughing so hard we couldnt even breath at this point)
then elder smith still woouuldnt believe us. "okay, whwere is it, did you put it in a ziploc and hide it?
no seriously elder, we ate it.
the Recompensation: A box of Goldfish crackers and a box of jolly time popcorn.
nothing like a good sunday afternoon?
So we dont do ppranks in the MTC, alas, sister randall and I do approve of a good joke.
goes as foollows.
I enter our bedroom (all four of our roomates are present) very angrily grap my toothbrush and head out, slaming the door.
Sister randall comes in shortly followed by Sister Shaha who states, "dinner was awkward, are you two okaay?"
Sister randall explains how she had a meeting and when she returned, she looked through the peepwhole on the door of our class and saw me hugging one of our elders.
I enter. silence. Sister shaha says, are you ok?
I ignore her in fuming silence.
After she leaves, I turn to my companion and say, "what, now you are going to talk about me behind my back?"
akward silence, the room was heavy with it!!!! ((sorry im cracking up here!)
We have this fake argument about how it was nothing, and sister randall is the coordinating sister and has to report it.
Our roommates faces were priceless.
They appreaciated the joke afterwards, one sister said sshhe thought, man, sister smith is ridiculous!!
Indeed I am.
But for the record, I didnt hug any elders.
And maybe you dont find this all that hilarious, but we did. indeedd. you should have been proud of my acting skills,
I was so LEGIT!!
alright out of time.
Hope all is well,
thanks for all the letters everyone,
Love Sister Smith

PS: I broke the wall sit record: im on the wall of fame in the MTC gym. 15 mins 58 seconds.
your child has legs of steel.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 8

Oh Mai o Pai!!!!
So next wednesday I should be finding out where my re-assignment is. I cant believe I've already hit that mark. So Everyone, poll in your votes for where ya think Im going!
Im going to have to buy another suitcase because of all the books I have, darn it And esp. if I have to buy another wardrobe, I might need some extra space. And esp. if I have to buy another wardrobe, I might need some extra space.
Oh yeah so mom and dad, I will probably be calling sometime wednesday night to tell you my flight plans, we'll have 5 mins to talk, and I believve while we are in the airport we are allowed to call home, since we didnt get to at christmas.
This week has just flown by.
Its been a good week for remembering my place in the world, I was getting a little prideful about my companionship, so I got to bite the bullet and remember Who it is that helps me do anything. When I am on my own to teach, its useless. just got to keep the perspective and always remember that this work is the Lord's and needs to be done in His way. I love P-days, I can open mail before 930, I can get away with being late ;) but most of all I get to go to the temple. The temple is the only place where I dont have to be anybody, where I am just a child of God, where I am from and what is going on in life doesnt matter. As I was sitting in the Celestial Room, I thought about how I feel when I am in the temple. I feel at home. Its the only place in my life right now that has that feeling, its great. But isnt that truly how it is? If the temple is the house of the Lord, and we are His children, shouldnt we feel at home there too?
yeah. reassignments. thats all I can really think about right now. Our Brazilero friends just got their travelplans, so its starting to sink in that the duration of the MTC is drawing near. (These Brazilian Elders are going to the Netherlands).
Thank Grandma Kunz for the letter, I got it yesterday. It was good to hear updates about the family, I love getting a lettr from Grandma, I pretty much brag about her to everyone.
Oh! and one of my roomates, Sister P.....uh I forgot her name. descupa. Anywho she went to school up at Laramie and she knows Jordan. When she mentioned Laramie, i was like.....when did you go there? and so then of course I have to ask if she knows, because Jordan is pretty awesome! but yeah, I am the worst roomate ever because I dont remember any of the Sisters names, and they've been here a week. I only see them in the mornign at night, so I have somewhat of an excuse.
AND Bethany, you rember Marie Parkinson, our Women's Health teacher? I totally saw her at devotional last week, I talked with a little but I had to go catch up with my companion and I didnt even ask where she and her husband were serving. But she recognized me. para beins I know! ( im pretty sure i just spelt congradulations spelling in english and portugese seems to be getting worse daily)
Next letter ya'll will be hearing where Im heading to next!
I wish I had a clever joke or something to tell, or maybe something spiritual, I dont know...
Oh yeah! here;s a good one! its my favorite:
Why did the sock cross the road?
Because it wanted to stink up the town.
(laffy taffy wrapper jokes are so great huh.)
Thats all for now folks!
Mais amor em Cristo,
Sister Smith
ps. scripture of the day: Romans 13:11-12
pps. Mom (or someone), could you get a song from Sister Olsen for me? its one about baptism that I sang with her for her son's baptism.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week 7

Alright-o! this week has flown by! I swear yesterday was my last p-day, the count down is starting. I have two weeks until I get a reassignment, Sister Shaha is sure I should be going to Kansas. (Might need to pick up some red shoes, no?)
This week has been really good for me. I've found I hit that plateau and so I've been trying to pick up the slack and work harder. This work is so important; I want to be as prepared as I can be before I get pushed out into the field. This tuesday devotional we were graced with the presence of Elder Jeffery R. Holland, he was here for Thanksgiving, so I didnt think I 'd get the priveldge to hear from him but alas, he came! Nos amos Ele! Sister Randall and I, if we were to have favorite Apostles, would pick Elder Holland. He is just such a powerful speaker. He knows how to pierce our hearts! One of the nifty parts of his talk, he shared how "Preach my Gospel" came to be. President Hinkley, in a meeting with people involved with missionary work, asked what was wrong with the program that so many missionaries who go and serve faithfully come home and go inactive. he was very emotional about it, and made the furrow in the field of change. The focus is for us missionaires to convert ourselves, so that we can be able to fully have to spirit so we can truly teach to the needs of the people. I love the vision of Preach My Gospel and truly feel the weight of my calling. This responsiblity is huge! Elder HOlland told us that "you are the hope of Israel". how humbling, I am just a 21 year old girl, yet Israel depends on me? Well, thankfully I have the Lord to depend on. He knows how to help all His children, far better than I could ever pretend to think I could. I am so grateful for that, for having oracao (prayer) and that direct communuication with the Lord. God is just so awesome! Earlier that day in Large Group meeting, we talked about our Proposito (purpose!) as missionaries. OUr teacher talked alot about how we have to have faith in ourselves that we can do this work. he gave an example of on his mission, he got to the area and had no idea about anything really. In his first meeting the mission presdient said the goal was to contact 7 people a week. qwhen his companion and him were planing that night, his comp. asked, how many contacts should we do, he said, 7. they got seven. the next week at weekly planing, his comp asked again, how many? and he responded, lets try 8. each week they'd do more and more until their next meeting, everyone was like, WHOA ELDER! how do you do it? what do you do? apparently his area had been "known" as a "difficult" area. When we put limits on ourselves, we never can improve. We have to believe that we can do anything, we have to trust in the Lord. I turned to my companion Sister Randall and said, Im thinking we're going to have to set a goal for Cuiaba to be the next city of Enoch. Pretty sure its attainable. :) haha No but seriously; it shouldnt matter where you serve; if you have the right positive mindset, you truly can do anything. Its just like that story of the little train that could. Ya'll know it--well it was my role many times as a kid when I was trying to do something that was hard for me. I'd say I think I can, I think I can. I know I can, I KNOW I CAN.
Everyone, I know you can do whatever you set out to do. Have faith, rely on the Lord and He will bless you abundantly, this I know, as its become increasingly clear everyday that I am in the MTC, everyday I teach a lesson.
Speaking of lessons.....I totally blasphamed yesterday in the TRC. I half blame my lack of portuguese vocabulario. So We were teaching a muslim man about the restoration and everything. I got the clever idea to share the scripture in ezekiel 37 about the stick of joseph and the stick of ephraim, and how it is the bom and biblia--togheter are a complete whole. Well....briliant me.....thought of the Torah instead of the Korahn so Im saying, yeah the book of mormon and biblia, or the koran, go together. my companion was like !!! sister smith!! (after the lesson of course) so yeah, don't be comparing scriptures and tell people to book of mormon and the koran go together! its a lie!
But hey, at least I didnt tell someone they are a message, like sister Ricchio did. :)
My portugese is coming along, I love this language. Its great to see improvement, but I cant help thinking the day I get to brazil that Im going to feel like Im starting over again at day 1. But to be optomistic, I know I will be fluent by next Christmas! (if not i've got some serious issues!!)
Well, I wanted to say something hilarious, but Its not coming to me. Except my Sister Randall and I are tootally pulling a joke on our roomates tonight. We already prepped them last night for it. It is going to be funny and hopefully they dont hate us for it. oh well if they do because its just too funny.
I will tell how it goes later.]
Mom, thanks for the items in the box, got em today. Meu pais sou bom!
sister smith

Friday, January 7, 2011

Week 6

Its been another awesome week here at the MTC. But to be honest I am so ready to get out into the field! We've had a lot of people leave this week from my branch, and Im totally jealous of them. 3 more weeks to go!
We all like to guess where we will be reassigned, I just hope its a warm place. :) The Provo temple has been closed the past two weeks for the holidays so it was AWESOME to get to go today. Sister Randall and I went and did sealings, I've never done one before. That was a great experience. I love the spirit that we feel when we are at the temple, everything is so much simpler, and worries of the world arent present. Believe it or not, a missionary really needs it! With the stress of the week, its so good to be somewhere where I can forget that I am Kristin, Forget that I am Sister Smith, and just be a child of God.
This wednesday was a little crazy. My district had service in the morning and then we got to be Hosts for the incoming Missionaries. THat was a great experience, since I got in late on my arrival, I didnt have a host to show me around. I got to meet two very sweet sisters, very different from each other, but none the less there was that similarity we all have, the spirit and a desire to serve.
This week was a little intense, it was my first time teaching a lesson in Portugese at the TRC (teaching resource center). I definately speak tarzan style portugese, but what is inportant is that I open my boca. (tarzan style portugese means half the time I dont conjugate or use connector words like if, and but also etc) but my language is definately improving and so is my pronounciation. Entao... (so...) back to the TRC. We we supposed to go on thursday, but we got a note when we got back from hosting that we had TRC in an hour. We didnt even have a teacher there! Its been difficult with the scheduling because the man over scheduling has been in singapore for the last few weeks. Lucky for us, one of the teachers for another district in our branch offered to watch us. Irmao Perry was one of our subs during christmas break. He's awesome, I've learned alot from him. anywho, I have to say the lesson went pretty well. If there is anything I can say I have really learned in the last five weeks is PRAY. ALL THE TIME. I Know that when I pray, God will always help me. He's never let me down yet, and everytime my companion and I have sat down and prayed for help before a lesson, the spirit has been significantly more present and we'be taught more clearly than when we hadn't. When I was teaching about Joseph Smith, the spirit was so strong that I couldnt help myself from crying. Its so humbling to be able to have that witness that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ over and over as I teach and testify. itts great. The next day we had TRC again, even though we are only supposed to once a week, but who am I to complain, its more practice that I need! My companion and I really tried to focus on what the needs of the investigator was. As I was teaching about the importance of familys, the thought came that I need to get to know more about his family. so I asked "quantas pessoas em sua family?" how many people are in your family? He told us it was just him and his wife, and his only son died 8 years ago. My companion and I got the chance to talk about eternal families (thats in lesson two, so it was a good push to try and figure out what words to use!) When I got to talking about the savior, I was directed to chapter 7 in Alma, verses 11-12 that talks about how Christ not only suffered for our sins, but for our pains and sorrows etc. After our lesson was over, Sister Randall told me that just before I asked the question about his family, she had the feeling to ask how many people were in his family, but she didnt want to interrupt me while I was talking. What a testimony to us about how important it is to teach with the spirit, to listen, and to teach in unison! so yeah, that was a little experience I had this week.
Thank you Bethany for the pregnant photos! they made me smile. extra wide.
Also, mom, if you havent sent me anything yet, could I get some tights? my legs are freezing and my roommates tell me that I have to shave my legs because its disturbing and not very dignified. I suspect they are correct.
OH! I learned a new years song for brazil! (we made friends with some brazilian elders on their way to the netherlands. they are awesome!)
its goes:
Adaus ano velho
feliz ano novo
muito dinheiro no bolso
saude pra dar e vender!
Happy new year everyone!
Love, Sister Smitche
p.s. here's a reading assignment! Read Ether 12 and Heb 11 and tell me how they are similar.
pps. everyone! thanks for the letters! I really look forward to nightly letter reads!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Week 5 "half point"

Offically been here at the MTC one whole month. As much as I love it here, I HATE IT. hahaha hate it in the way of Im just ready to move onto the next step. those english speakers are lucky, only two weeks in here. But its great, Im learning so much about teaching, portugese, the gospel and myself. I dont know what to say this week, there is so much going....I forgot to bring my journal with the highlights of the week.
okay, so here's one.
Comparing Brazilian Portugese to Portugal Portugese:
Imagine Cary Grant. Thats the Brazil going elder. Now imagine Sean Connery. Thats the elder going to Portugal.
This coming week Eu no falo ingles! On saturday we're doing a half day of speaking onnly portugese, and on monday a full day. I will not be saying much. Wednesday will be our first time teaching a lesson in the TRC in portguese, so pray for us! and from wednesday all out, no more english. Its going to be awesome. Im excited, because it will really force me to think harder (not that I am not thinking hard as it is, there has only been three nights out of this month that I havent gone to bed with a raging headache) but I really need to work on conguagting. Most of the time my sentences consistst of a noun with a couple unconguated verbs. Yeah that will get me real far in the field!
Its such a great opportunity to learn a language with the Aid of the Spirit of God. I know I would be fifty times worse if it werent for His help.
Christmas was definately unique, I participated in the Talent Show and we had Elder Nelson and his wife stay the whole weekend. I got to shake hands with Sister Nelson after Relief Society and her good friend, Sheri Dew. Having so many great women as an example, oh how I am blessed!! Sister Nelson talked to us about making the right priorities, and seeking the spirit in all you do. She taught us the importance of seeking answers to prayers through the Book Of Mormon. Before you pray, she said, have your scriptures in hand and think about what question you need answered. In your prayer Thank God for the scriptures and how they bless your life. Ask to know what to do or wahtever it is that you question. AFter you pray, open your scriptures anywhere and start reading. You wont have to wait long before you will be answered. I can testify this is trus as I have tested it for myself. God wants to help us, all we have to do is exercise a particle of faith. We also had Elder Lowell M. Snow from the Seventy come, one thing he said that really stuck out to me is that a testimony is not enough, you have to be converted. He said a lot of other great things that I wrote in my study journal but I failed to bring with me to share. curses. I got a assignment for the duration of my time here in the MTC, I get to be the music coordinator. yay for me! I was secretly hoping to slide by without any "callings" but alas, I didnt. what was I thinking to particpiate in the talent show? hehe no it will be a good experience, and Im excited to be able to play the piano more often and maybe increase some talents. Its grreat to be able to discover new talents, and to be able to use them to bless others lives. agh 5 mins left! !!
I am so grateful to be here, to have been entrusted with this calling from the Lord. I pray that I can overcome myself to be able to fully give myself over to Him as he needs to do this work. It is so important for us to share what we know, don't let any opportunity slip you by. The doctrines of Christ are simple; they are true. It is through Him and Him only that we can ever return to our Great Father in Heaven. Love you all, Tchau,
Sister Smith.
READ Ether 12! its the best chapter on faith EVER. and moses 6:31, Jermiah 1:7-9, 14-end.

Week 4

I think its week four?

I think it is christmas eve day too?

The days all mesh here, Im so busy but its so good to be so busy too.

OH!! so coolness, I've ran into three people that I knew before the mission, one sister I had a class with last fall, and Kyle Eby who I worked with at Thatcher Brook. He is going to be a great missionary, heck he has already had an experience with contacting this past week on his districts temple walk. He saw this woman and the holy ghost practically yelled at him that he needed to talk to her. apparently she was close to suicide and he and his companion were able to talk to her and they have permission to write letters to her. I got to read one that she wrote and that was really cool to see how missionary work can be done even while in the MTC. Also, Federico Martinez, he was one of my FHE brothers last fall. He is so awesome, it makes my day everytime I run into him.

This week has been a big time of learning and growing for me, I think. My normal teachers are gone for the break so we've had substitutes. One in particular, Irmao Perry is such a great teacher. Not going to lie, I was pprreetty scared of him at first because he tells you how it is, he acts how a real investigator wouulldd. If he's not feeling the spirit in a lesson, he'll ask you to leave. He's super focused onn us learning to teach with the spirit and really cares. I love it.

My companion, Sister Randall is such a help to me. I am so grateful for her, she knows when I need a breather and she knows how to support me. I only hope I can serve her as much as she's served me. As Im learning to teach with the spirit, Im able to speak more clearly and concisely. Now Im trying to invite the spirit more into my life to be with me constantly so that I can attain that gift to express myself well. I am so excited to go to Cuiaba!!!!

Oh myy 'lanta I just cant get there soon enough. Im falling in love with those people down there already. Irmao Perry served part of his mission in Cuiaba and he was filllliinng sister randall and me in about it. So when I said it was hot, I didnt really realize howw hot "HOT" was. Lets try the high being around 117 plus humidity. yeah. its calleedd CONSTANT STREAM OF SWEAT. Im thinking, I'm not going to be using lotion or makeup foorr tthe duration of the time that I am there. He also said that there arent many sister missionaries outside of Brazil called there because it is so hard. People die because its so hot. Not saying im going to die. Going to be drinking alot of water. But I guess in a way what he was saying is that God only sends tough sisters there, so sister Randall and I were talking, are we really that tough? We can handle girl's camping it out. Im actually kinda relliieeved that I can get away with lookking hideous and getting away with it since I won''tt be able to help myself. haha

the language is coming along slowly but surely, I know that It will come. this week in the TRC sister randall and I taught an old couple the second lesson, "riding the bus" with them and talking in portugese. That went pretty well, thhoouugghh we are still working on conguagtion and tenses, we were still able to comminicate and unnddeerrstand each other. so this keyboard has some serious delay and thats why everythiinngg iis like dddddddddddddnnneeeeeeeoeoeoe. fubecca (slacker). aannywho, we were able to teach with the spirit and share things that were helpful for our investigaattors. I love praying. I love how everytime sister randall and I pray before we teachh oour "investigators" that we are blessed with the spirit and our words are right. God is Awesome.

As its Christmas this weekend, I just want to share my testimony of Our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that he suffered in gethsamne, and on the cross of calvary for me. I know that He is the son of God, with a divine responsiblity to take upon himself all the pains and sins of the world. I know that he rose again on the third day, concurring physical death. I know he appeared to the Nephites in Bountiful, and that he will live again. Eu se que Jesus Cristo e meu Salvador. Eu se que Joseph Smith foi um profeta de Deus. Em nome de Jesus Cristo, Amem.

much love in Christ,

Sister Smith