Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Transfer 2 week 3

First order of business, shout out to minha mae, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!! I hope you recieved uma carta nesse dia. Segundo, I am moving this week, probablmente friday. new address: 315 N. 13th St. Oakdale, LA 71463 Thanks for the lettter mom, and bethany. made my week. this past week has been really interesting for me to say the least--Im really trying to learn patience. And boy, some days are much harder to do that than others. Something nifty this past week: last sunday we went out tracting and found a older couple, Jackie and Gerald. Jackie had answered the door and straight off was saying "Im Baptist" (I love it when people throw out their religion like that, trying to get us to leave.) and we kept talking though. Her husband came to the door to see what was going on, and apparently I asked if we could have a prayer with them (I dont remember saying that, but apparently I did. Thats the Spirit for you). That got them to open the screen door that was dividing us. Gerald was refusing at first to join, but by a little coaxing of us all, we had all joined hands and prayed. sister Aka afterwards pipes in, holding up her empty water bottle, could I have some water please? With that we were in the door and they were feeding us dinner. We've made a friendship with them; it is amazing to look back and see how hostile they were at first, but they were able to soften their hearts. We tried to talk about the book of mormon, but Jackie wouldnt have that. this past week we stopped by to see them, after we had been praying much and searching the scriptures to see how we can touch their hearts. We found out Jackie had gone to Boston with her daughter for the week, but we were able to sit and talk to Gerald. (this is the great part of being a tripanionship; we can have lessons alone with menfolk that otherwise would be not appropriate) We talked about temples and doing work for the dead. Gerald wasnt listening at first; he started to go off on what he believed, about it just being heaven and hell and you have to know Jesus in this life to be saved. So I asked him, well what about the people who never hear of jesus in this life? are they condemned to hell? He said he's always had that exact question. I opened up to Corinthians 15:29 that talked about Baptism for the dead and we talked a little about the spiritual world. If we could sit down and teach the plan of salvation to him and his wife, oh my gosh that would be so awesome!!! sister aka read a scripture to him from the book of mormon and that really opened his eyes to the validity of the book, I think. They are one of those people we read about in 2 nephi 29:6, why do I need more bible? "I have all the word I need right here in the Bible. I dont need the book of Mormon!" Its so interesting to me how people are so blinded by the devil. they really are good people, they want to follow the lord, but when it comes right under their nose, they are afraid of change, afraid of something that isnt what they've known before. We can see how Gerald's heart is softening, and we pray that Jackie will too. If they would just listen!! I dont really get insulted when people reject us, it more makes me sad. Its like, hello, this will strenghten your testimony in Christ. You have nothing to loose by reading this. So why wont you just try it out? The book speaks for itself. Everything this church is about relies on the Truthfulness of The Book Of Mormon. If its true, than Joseph Smith was really a Prophet, called of God to re-establish the Church. That it was translated by the power of God. That God does speak with us today, that there are Prophets here on the earth today. Hows the weather up North? Its crazy down here, hot one day, freezing the next. We had to turn the heat back on last night. yeah, whats with that? haha I am so stoked for General Conference this coming weekend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Revelation! Ah got a new favorite scripture to share this week. Mosiah 2:34 Hope everyone is doing well.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Transfer 2 Week 2

Milagres abound here in Oakdale.
Gwen's baptism went smoothly and spirit-filled. She was so grateful for the support she had from the branch members, as none of her family came to it. She got to be dunked twice because her toe popped up! haha but she said she felt as light as a feather. It is so amazing to be part of the change in people's lives, and to know these great children of our Heavenly Father. Gwen has such great influence on people; through her example she will most definately be a missionary for the Lord. Our little branch is growing! Another little miracle happened on wednesday, our transfer day. We had recieved a referral from church headquarters and had set up an appointment to meet this little family. Chastity, Roland and 3 yr old Hayden. Chastity told us how she discovered mormon.org. (ya'll if you havent checked out already, do it!) She's a memeber of a forum for mothers, I think like one Leda has been on? for all mothers of different situations. Anywho she joined one for LDS moms cuz she'd been curious about what we believe. She liked somethign one woman had said and clicked on her profile, which took her to her blog. there she saw a link for mormon.org and there she read about things that she's passionate about, like families and modesty and LOVED what the church has to say about those things. We met with them and taught them about the restoration, focusing on how it blesses our families. the spirit was so strong, and they both accepted an invitation to be baptized. We are so excited to get to meet with them on saturday; they live at the futherest region of our area, so we actually did a phone lesson about church attendance this morning. (Acutally Sister Hislop and Sister Aka did while I did language study. lol) Satan sure works against us thats for sure; they hadnt read anything yet but we got Chastity re-commited and excited to study. Another amazing thing that happened sunday that I definately will call a miracle--
So we met this fella in Pitkin (Another outta the way part of our area) a few weeks back and had taught him a mini mixture of the restoration and plan of salvation. We were suprised he listened to us, because he is the one out of the thousand down here that isnt religious. We havent been able to even get him to pray with us or let us pray (he's got some resentment issues with God, obviiously) Eh told us that he only listened to us because he could feel how sincere we were, we werent just putting on a show. he likes us, he even lent us his favorite CD of christain music Tyson Tyrell or something like that. Or maybe Tyrell Thompson? anywho..we didnt listen to it of course, against the rules but we had someone else tell us about it so he wouldnt be offended. haha. He said he'd better get it back, that he might even come to church to fetch it. We called him last week and invited him but he didnt show. Saturday night I decided to invite him again, I left a message telling him to come and make our day. I was honestly shocked when I saw him walk into the chapel. He even said he'll try to make it next week. He needs to realize his relationship with God; if you read about prayer in the bible dictionary it talks about the relationship between understanding you are a child of God and your desire to pray. Its sad when people have forgotten that they are children of God.
God has surely been gracious to me this week, through all my weakenesses, He allows me to be part of His work, and see such amazing things. And to realize that there are miracles. Sometimes its easy to chalk it up to coincidence, but things really arent that way here.
Hope ya'll are having a fabulous week.
love
sister smith
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Oi! Tudo Bem?!
Estou muito animado por este proximo semana! "Por que" voce pergunta? Eu respondo, "por que nao?!"
This weekend we had a baptism for Gwen! SO AWESOME! these are the pictures.
* * * * * * * * *
video

My companion, sister aka was trying to teach us a dance from her village in the ivory coast.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Transfer 2 Week 1

the login page comes over the screen, the crowd around the computer is anxiously awaiting as you type your login information. clickety-click goes the sound of finger to key. hearts are beating with the excitment of finding out what has happened for the highly favored, Sister Kristin Smith. A couple of children begin to fuss, feeling the anticipation in the air.........
And the moment you have all been waiting for:
TRANSFER 2: OAKDALE!!!!!!!!
So put your whiteout back in the drawer, my address is stayn the same!

Wasnt that just 100% pure excitement?

Yes indeed I am in a fabulous mood. Voce pergunta, por que? Eu digo, por que nao?! POR QUE BATISMO!
This coming Friday, darling Gwen will be (finaly) entering the waters of baptism.
She'd been putting it off, but didnt really know why she didnt feel ready.
Last time we met, sister Gale read to her Mosiah 18 that basically says,
what have you against being baptized if you know these things are true?
She started laughing and said, "...I'll do it. Im gunna do it. Im going to be baptized."
As Sister Vidrine said, its great to get some color in this branch!
Pictures will most definately be coming next week. Gwen is just awesome, I love this woman. She's just been so accepting to everything and has such strength. I hope that she gets to see her family the join the church in this life, becuase I know that is something she greatly desires; to not have to stand alone again and again.

This past friday was a mission wide bike day; our focus was to be talking to people more than usual, and to see some miracles.
I'm still trying to figure out what miracles came of that day, Im sure we touched someone's heart for down the road but the big
thing we got out of it was how to get away from being hit on. Seriously, almost every group we stopped to talk with were hitting
on my companions and saying highly inappropriate things to them. (Lucky for me, I look like im 13 so people leave me alone)
We had more than one person try to get phone numbers for dating related purposes. I guess thats what ya get when you are
a set of attractive young females. Its the mantle of our calling. ;) We had to drop Denise and Markcus because they got too
caught up in anti stuff. Its so depressing to see people that you care so much about, and that you've been working with to just
forget everything you've ever taught them and believe a bunch of crap someone made up. I think the most irritating/hurtful thing
was when Markcus said we dont pray to God. um.....we've said over a dozen prayers with you. Who do you think we were
referring to when we said, Dear Heavenly Father?
I just hope someday they will meet missionaries again who can better help them. The gospel blesses us so much; gives us
hope for who we are, and who we can become. I know it has helped me gain an understanding of what my purpose is. Gives
me a reason to do the things I do; a reason to change, a reason to work hard. I think as humans we need that. Without the
help of our Savior, we really would be pretty lame individuals.
Which makes me think of another of our investigators, Joshua. he calls himself a scholar, he loves learning and loves to talk about intellectual things. So of course he likes to talk with us because he's deemed us the only people in Oakdale worth having a conversation with. Kakaka He is one who will read and study all we ask and more, but getting him to pray is harder. he thinks its egotistical to pray, to try and change the will of God, as he calls it. And he only sees Christ as a good man, a philospher. If we can help him to understand the role of the Holy Ghost in his life, the relationship between man and God, he would be a fantastic memeber of the Church. Sister Gale (I love this woman, she can be so blunt {in a good way} and honest in teaching. I asipire to teach like her.) reminded him of a fact he was trying to skim over last time we met.. She told him truth is truth and you cant change it due to your personal opinion, God never changes due to what man wants. he had to agree.
Oh we had a tornado watch last week too; is it bad that I secretly wanted to have one hit town or nearby so I could see it?
Im glad to hear that Ben had fun at Morp; sounds like an interesting experience that he can learn alot from.
Dad, have ya talked with Dave (?) at alpine since the other day? I remeber when we went over there a couple of times as a kid and I loved his picture posters
in the upstairs office of the cars that had animal looks to them.
Glad the gardens for everyone are getting underway; spring is about here, we've had a couple of cool days but it will be warming up in no time. I wish we had some moutains or at least hills here, its all flat land!!
Good luck in life this week ya'll!

Pictures from the past week or so:



1-- my favorite green house. we a commited a lady to baptism there 2 weeks ago and havent been able to see her since cuz she works double shifts...
2--this just made me laugh
3--my comps and I made turnips together!!
4-my last district... sister gale, sister hislop, me, elder adame, and elder green. i think we look like a rock band or something








Monday, March 7, 2011

transfer 1 week five--TRANSFERS PROXIMO SEMANA!






As the subject line indicates, transfers are coming up next tuesday. That means I will be having my dia de preperacao on tuesday instead of monday. FYI
I've been meaning to mention in the last two lettters home,
Grandma!! OBRIGADA OBRIGADA por the delicious homemade rapsberry jam.
indeed I do ration that tasty goodness. the package arrived the day after I sent off the letter to grandma, so i didnt get to say thanks in my personal handwriting!
P-days go by too quickly, the days go by too quickly and it seems like we never get to everything we had hoped for.
Jeanette Swallow did indeed get baptised. That was awesome. She was so happy that she was shaking after she came out of the water, just kinda praying her thanks to Jesus. ...okay down here people have interesting ideas about what things are supposed to be like when you feel the spirit, so I was afraid of what would happen; but she didnt do anything crazy and after she changed she gave a powerful sincere testimony of Christ, the prophet Joseph and her desire for her family to see the truths of the restored church. She was supposed to be confirmed yesterday but didnt make it to church...yeah it seemed like half our congregation couldnt make it out, so it was a little depressing but that is their choice; can't force people to do things.
I think my favorite town that is in our area is Pitkin; its a lil strip of homes with interesting people. We met a fella named Randy that really wasnt that interested at first; one of those people who you afraid are going to be argumentative (doesnt believe in organized religion because of the hypocracy he has seen) but at the end of our discussion, he said, you know what, I will pray. You've got my interest up and I can tell this is real to your hearts.
yeah it is!!
Mardi Gras is this week, so happy fat tuesday. we'll be still proseylting, just avoiding certain areas esp. mamou (they are all pretty much catholic out there, and boy is that the party spot of allen parish).
This week's letter is going to be kinda on the lame side as to that my brain isnt really wanting to focus on what has happened; did a lot of tracting, which I like doing but at the same time we've got so many potentials and no progressing!! people dont like to keep commitments so then we have to move on; kinda depressing I know.
Good quote for the week:
kristin: "Sister Sherwood, I just love you."
Sister Sherwood: "I do too that is why I cleaned the bathroom."

Sister Sherwood is the funniest lady ever, she is one member we can always count on for help. She says the only reason why she hasnt left this "god-forsaken place" is because of missionary work. She's a trooper and dosent put up with crap. (probably has something to do with working at the state prison).

pictures for this week:
1) a sign we saw on someone's porch in Pitkin
2) you know you are redneck when you use your old printer as a door jam
3)jeanette's baptism.. k sister Gale has the short hair, sister hislop the long hair..you can figure out the rest.


I miss ya and thanks for the letters. I feel pretty special when I get a letter almost everyday, dear fan club ;) next thing you'll know I'll be asking for donations or something. eu estou brincado (im just playing!)

tchau,

sister Smith



Saturday, March 5, 2011

Photos from the MTC and Louisianna
















transfer 1: semana 5

Serio? Semana CINCO?
A verdade.
well, where to start.
I know ya'll wait impatiently by the computer screen each monday, waiting for the moment for the "you got mail" to pop up and to find that you have recieved yet another epistle of the events of Sister Kristin Smith's adventures in Louisiana.
Wait no longer.
This week has been another one of those weeks, Im still not quite sure how I feel about it. So we were supposed to be having our first baptism on friday. Well, the day before Jeanette texted us and said she had to work and needed to postpone to the next weekend....okay......you'd think she would have thought of that before choosing the date and time. We couldnt get a hold of her all weekend and she didnt come to church. We are worried about her, her family probably isnt supportive. So we may or may not have a baptism this weekend, but we should soon, our other gal we are working with, Gwen, is about ready. she loves church and is really feeling it. We are going to recommit her for a date this week.
So sometimes we have disappointments, but we always get a miracle. Here's my miracle for the weekend. (around here the word miracle gets tossed around alot...I guess Im just lacking in fe or something cuz I wouldnt title half of the things that happen around here as miracles, but any how, thats just me....okay. sorry got off on a tanget about the culture of my mission!)
SOOOOO
Sister Gale went with our senior couple to turkey Creek and then sister Hislop and I went to Oberlin. Our area is quite large, so it was a divide and conquer day for the sisters of Oakdale. When S. Hislop and I got to Oberlin, we stoppped by to see a gal they'd met before I arrived. she wasnt home so S. Hislop decided we neeeded to pray. so I prayed for the Lord to show us the way. Last time we were out there, I had taken fancy to this green house. It stands out not only because its bright green, but because its clean and neat, unlike most of the surrounding homes. I said, hey why not go there? I imagine a grandma living there wearing floral prints.
We knock on the door and I say, Im not really sure what I want to say, but here goes! the door opens, and a mid-40 yr old woman answers and I say hi, how are you doing? and she says, come on in. (BEST DOOR APPROACH EVER!! hahaha) We sit down and chat a little and we end up teaching her about the restoration. she was just accepting everything we were saying, strong fe, she has strong fe. We commited her to be baptized. she said she knows the Lord sends people to us to help us, thats why she let us in. She'd met with JW missionaries before but she "had never felt a connection". she said she felt that with us. That when we prayed she felt "something....like...it was the Holy Spirit". So neat experience there. I guess you could say I was prompted; didnt even think to ask myself, is this a prompting? it was just lets go there. Im learning still. I hope that the more I follow through with things that the more I can understand if I am recieving direction. Moroni teaches, "if it inviteth and enticeth to do good, then it is of God."
We have a busy week planned ahead! That makes me so happy. Nothing is worse than feeling bored or useless. I expected to be stressed out all the time when I hit the field, and I havent felt like that at alll. The MTC was more stressful thank Oakdale! lol We're working hard to help the church grow out of obscurity here. Its very small and not a lot of people of heard of it. Of course they all like to say, well, Im baptist, or Im catholic. Well, thats nice! But guess what, we've got more! we've got something that will help increase your faith and strengthen your relationship with Christ, awesome I know!

People have cool names out here. My favorite: Teddy Raspberry.
Narissa, Deshane, Tre, Shenekqua.......the more we get into the projects the harder time I have at remembering people's names. Seriously. Oh speaking of the projects!
yesterday we went to visit a gal we'd met the last time we went there, we met a guy who was pretending to be interested in what we had to say, and he was explaining why he and his brothers sag their pants and call it the "hood"
"We call it the hood cuz, it means its our home."
"See that fella over der, he be gansta. Da rest of us, we stay outta trouble. We just sag cuz, ya know, its like comfortable"
Hood=home
Sag=comfort.

So there you have it.

thanks for the letters everyone, they brighten my day! my companions are certain I have a fan club.

LOVE ALWAYS, SISTER kristin Smith