Monday, April 18, 2011

semana 6 transfer 2

After the trial comes the blessings, nao? This past sunday was a little beyond dissapointing. Once again, we had no investigators at church. We had done everything we could, to have the members involved and arrange rides. Come ten o'clock, no investigators. We couldnt leave and try to round people up because we have to take care of the music and other things in sacrament meeting, sometimes I wonder how this branch would go if we missionaries werent there. The work has been really slow and we've been struggling to find people who are ready for this message. We had one woman who was so rude to us last week, we knocked on her door to ask her about her neighbor, to make sure we'd came to the right place for our lesson (they werent home yet) and she opened the door and said Good Night and when my companion said, we just have a question for you, she opened the door again and yelled, get off my property now! We've had some other experiences with people cussing at us and stuff, but hey, we didnt provoke anyone, so its not our fault they are so foul tempered. We have been praying to know what we are doing wrong that we've been having no sucess and we had a fast this weekend for Chasity and Roland and for finding those who are prepared. Today, we had a miracle. Yep, Sister Smith is coining the term Miracle, because its true! God blessed us this morning. We had met this man 2 weeks ago on preparation day when we went to the car wash/laundry mat. We gave him our card and told him a little about the plan of salvation. he had a family member recently die, so sad. He called us around ten fifteen and said he was at the laundry mat if we wanted to come over and talk with him. (Like I would pass up an opportunity to teach) dropped my language study and we were over there in minutes. We taught him outside the mat, and even with the noise of the highway and other laundry washers, we were able to teach him the restoration and some of the plan of salvation. He did speak alot, but he was listening intently. before we even commited him for baptism he was asking when our church meets for worship. He is tenatively getting bapized May 28. he is a really kind man, and very humble. When we told him how Joseph Smith had little education, he smiled and said, like me too. Its just so great to see how people recognize that they can all relate to Joseph in some way. The spirit was there and we were all filled with joy, I think one of the greatest fruits of the spirit. I am just so grateful that the Lord saw our faith and blessed us today. We've really needed it, as we've been facing a lot of opposition and lack of people who are interested in doing the work required to gain their own testimony. I pray we can conitnue to have success and bring souls to The Church of Christ, to partake of those eternal blessings that come through the covenants we make under the proper authority. The Priesthood Power is AWESOME. I wanted to share a quote from Dieter F. Uchtdorf's talk in Priesthood session of this april conference. "Don't let a day go by without doing something to act on the promptings of the Spirit." We are all entitled to have the direction of the spirit, and we can pray for this guidance. I was reading this morning in Alma 31, about the Zoramites who built their rameumptum prayer tower in their synagoges. as I as reading I was pondering on, how a people, can get themselves off the path of correct doctrine. something that stood out to me was in verse 11--that they didnt observe the performances of the church, and did not pray daily to avoid temptation. To me, that shows how important daily sincere prayer is, your time to converse with the Lord, and then to have sabbath day oberservance, a day set apart to focus on the Lord, to renew our baptismal covenants. There are a lot of people who dont understand what church is really about, they get hung up what other people are doing, "so-and-so is hypocritical, therefore I will not go to church". do we go to church for man, or for God? Keep praying ya'll so satan cant weasel his way into your daily lives! Heavenly Father hears us and wants to bless us, if we just ask! We've had some real fun tracting experiences this past week. por exemplo: we went to a apartment complex, and it seemed like almost every door we knocked on was a lonely old lady who just wanted someone to tell their life story too, not to hear abou the gospel. The last of the set of lone grandmas, was this little black woman, wrinklely beyond all reason. She had no teeth too. Anywho she had us come in and sat down. She had a TV on so loud, we couldnt hear a word that she was saying, ( we already struggled to understand between her aged voice, accent, and lack of teeth to help for words) excpet for NO when sister Aka tried to turn off the TV. We sang her a hymn and hit the road. We met some really crazy weird people too over there. Are we sure that sign said Applewood apartments, or Applewood Asylum? haha they were some sweet old ladies, but they had no intention of hearing the gospel, sadly. the picture I attached is a drawing I did of another tracting experinence where sister aka got a little excited to get in the door.... the other picture is a sign our recent convert, Gwen Alsburry has in her workout room. Actually, its her husband Willy's work out room. he is pretty obsessed with working out. he looks pretty good for a middle aged man, i guess hes middle aged, he is like 54....100 is dead, 1 is new, so 50's is middle? yah anywho thats about all folks, love sister smeech

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Transfer 2 week 5

Yesterday, I wrote a note to satan. This is how it read: dear satan, I loathe you. I distain your desires to make my life and the lives of my companions depressing. Also, you think you are pretty clever, and you may be cunning, but I know Who has greater power. So satan, eat dirt! with righteous indignation, Sister Smith So the story behind the need to hate on the devil was due to a series of uneventful, reject-filled and depressing days, possibly adding up to a week or two of being off the game. Unfortunately it took us until this sunday to admit to each other that we felt like complete failures and even had thoughts of, what am I doing here, I should go home, I wasting the lord's time. So after some reflection during lunch break after church, I was looking for something to give me hope. (admittedly, I was feeling pretty low) I pulled out my mission binder and opened to the monthly newsletter for February. The Assistants had written something that turned my light switch on. Went to the jist of "dont get discouraged at the sad attempts satan makes to slow this work" HA! there wasnt anyting wrong with us, it was satan pulling us down and we didnt even realize it. That made me feel relieved and angry at the same time. Relieved to know the cause of this distress, and irritated that I let satan work at me for so long! So I presented this amazing information to my companions and we sang hymns to bring some life back into us. boy was I ready to kick some opposition's butt! SUCKER PUNCH TO THE FACE, SATAN! Also, I got my first sunburn of the year. I meant to email a picture but I forgot my camera. Heres an image for your own imagination. Okay, so I was wearing a button up shirt, sort sleeved. Outside in the Hot Louisiana sun in front of walmart from 10am-2pm. my tan line on my arm is mid bicept, and I have about a 1.5 inch stripe on my neck/chest. Pretty much ridiculous. It sure is a conversation starter when we go tracting now. Sister Hislop said it was my pre-tan for brazil. Skin cancer is what I call it. but yeah, it was worth it. We went to De Ridder to help with a finding opportunity our district leader was doing. And it was rather fruitful, dont have to waste precious time with people who dont care to hear. We are going to do this in oakdale, and hope to find some simliar results. I hate hearing people say, Im baptist, Im catholic. thats nice, but what does that really mean? Guess what? Im a follower of Christ!! Ha, my companions were teasing me this week about "all the mail" I get. Actually, this week was prettty rocking. Thanks everyone who sent me some love. I had a letter everday for 5 days. alas, my companions had 0. (What can I say, Im just that loveable?) just kidding. I am really greatful for the abundance of love and support I have had from so many people. And Im finally buyin stamps this week so I can actually write people back! Hope ya'll have a swell week! ps. if you have missionaries ask you to do missionary work, please do it! just say'n cuz thats something we really have a problem with. and besides the fact that the branch is so small, but we have a lot of troubles getting people to come with us to lessons. dont be afraid to share the truth. this is an urgent message! Its our salvation at stake! :) Eu amo voces! sister smeech

Monday, April 4, 2011

Transfer 2 week 4

Awesomest letter from the family this week, thank's ya'll. Este semana passada, this past week was so crazy. We had entrevistas (interviews) on weds, and moved on friday. that was a whole day affair, packing, cleaning, unpacking, cleaning from 630 am to 830 pm. Of course being the mighty mouse that I am, lifted things heavier than I should and had myself pretty sore the last two days and today. My companion managed to massage out a couple of knots. foolish child that I am! But oh, how great was general conference!! We are so blessed that we get to hear from our prophet and apostles and other leaders twice a year, ten hours of pure awesomeness! I really hope my branch was listening; we have a lot of less active and inactive people who need the help and love of our memebers, but our memebers seem to be afraid because of past experiences and hard feelings. Its difficult in such a spread out area too, but we really need our people to reach out in order for the church to grow here! We couldnt get any of our investigators to conference, so that was highly dissapointing but Jeanette, our recent convert, did come up to Alexandria for it. She was just soaking it all in. Between sessions, the elders from our zone that watched conference at the stake center and us went out and did some tracting to invite people to come. That was pretty cool, we found some potentials for the elders in alec. I dont remember if I told ya'll about Laken, we'd been working with her wehn I first got to Oakdale, but we had to drop her because there was nothing we could do to help her. Her family and husband's family were not supportive of her going to church with us at all, let alone be baptised. She hadnt even told her husband she'd been meeting with us. She was receving a lot of heart ache for her association with the church. When we were driving back from conference, sis. hislop had an impression to stop by. We finally got to meet Taylor. Laken was pretty nervous about it, but we told her it would be okay and that it would help him see that we are normal people. that night she texted us and said that he didnt give her a hard time and asked what we believed in. I hope this is a door opening for that family. Laken wants to be part, but she couldnt without her husband. So favorite talks from conference? Soo many to pick from! k. I'll list and share favorite parts, and then ya'll can tell me what ya thought of 'em, too, certo? L. Tom Perry--Observance of the Sabbath day. That was so great! It reminded me of a talk given when I was in high school about dressing appropriately for church. I loved how he broke down the purposes for the sabbath, and talked about how these things have been established since the creation. At the end of his talk he said, remember that the greatest joy we recieve is by following the Savior. amen, elder! Kent. F Richards--Pain, what is the purpose? I really like his message, because we all suffer pain. I thought of one of our members here who has a hard time with why the innocent suffer. It is opportunity for us to seek the Lord, l loved how he quoted orson f whitney, something to the effect of-- No pain we suffer, no trail is wasted. Education to develop faith, patience, humility. through thisese we gain education we came here to aquire. "The Savior is NOT a silent observer!" I thought of the book Kebra and I studied with Pres. Moyes last year, "He Did Deliever Me From Bondage" and how, when we greater understand the Savior's love for us, we better understand ourselves and our relationship to God. he quoted D&C 50:40-42 awesome verses. Read them! Pres. Boyd K. Packer "John, leave it alone" If you have been offended, get over it. Don't ruin someone else's life or your own! this gospel requires work if you are carrrying a burden, forget it. Forgive, repent. Move on. Russel M Nielson (He came to the MTC at Christmas, so he's pretty special to me) I loved how he said, "our faith now becomes part of the faith of our posterity later." He made me excited about living the gospel and raising (someday) children in righteousness. He mentioned D&C 98, which is a great section about enduring trials. Why do we need to strengthen our fe? Becvause difficult times are ahdead. "fear not,. your future is as bright as your faith." Richard G. Maynes- Lambs follow the Sheep. yes, yes they do. I thought of this family we've been wanting to teach, the Ortiz family. we finally got to sit down with Luce and the children. She's quite catholic and just not willing to let herself hear. And just as that statement says, children follow the parents. Dallin H Oaks. AWESOME! Desires are what come number one in our lives, I see it as a missionary alot. People who have the desire to know if these things are true, do come to know. Those who are only half hearted or not willing to do the work required, remain blind and ignorant. Wow not much time left to talk about sunday session, oh jeeze!! k favorite quotes "the only way to see the view is to make the climb" (Paul V. Johnson) I loved that--if you dont endure to the end, you wont have eternal life. its simple. yep. maybe someday I'll have that hanging from a wall in my house. you never kow. "Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words." (somebody Pres. Uchtdorf quoted) DAVID A BEDNAR!!! AMAZING!! this talk got a big fat star next to it in my notes. Cuz who doesnt need more help in undersant the spirit of revelation? "The holy Ghost is a revelator, no man can recieve the holy Ghost without recieving revelation." I loved how he expalined the different patterns of revieveing revelation. D. Todd Christofferson--being willing to accept Chastisment. God is not a butler or a therapist as many Christians think so. haha that was clever, and so true! This is probably my second favorite talk, because you cant do better if nobody tells you to change. I thought about this summer when I was helping mom and Sandy Best cut the grape vines. Even though it looked so sad and naked afterward, it had to be done in order for it to be more fruitful.. We are the grape vine, the currant bush. The lord knows in what ways we need to be cut for us to become what we can be. I hope ya'll had a great weekend as well. Thank you for all your prayers and love, sister Smith