Sunday, December 22, 2013

Week #29 (Dec 15, 2013)

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! From, Pulupandan City Plaza.

Wow, time is going fast!

This week, I witnessed miracles. I know that sounds dramatic, but it was a relieving breath of pure oxygen after being drowned ten feet below the surface of the water. This week we had some trainings from our zone leaders that mostly make me feel inadequate, stressed, and depressed. However, this week was the most motivational, encouraging, and useful zone meeting that I have ever been to. I am so grateful for our zone leaders and the love the spirit helped me to feel in that meeting. The meeting was  a lot of different ideas and techniques to use in the mission, and there were a lot of answers to a lot of things that I have been praying for. Mostly on the mission, I have just been trying to figure out what is going on, and then figure out how to actually help people. I have felt very inadequate and very disappointed that I didn't get a followup trainer and that I have had to figure out a lot of things on my own. But day by day I've been learning how to receive a lot of personal revelation for the area, our companionship, and also for each investigator. I've learned so much from this personal revelation for others, but I'm still working on receiving personal revelation for myself. This training wasn't a particularly spectacular, but the spirit was present, and I was able to really receive some help with my "personal issues." Haha. I don't think that I am a crazy person, but the spirit helped me to realize that even if I become perfect, I will only be a perfect Sister Smoot. not a perfect Elder or Sister so-and-so.  Our potentials are so amazing, but comparing is incredibly destructive and foolish. I have obviously learned this so many times in young womens, from my patriarchal blessing, from you all as my family... but I have been comparing myself so subconsciously, that I didn't realize it until that meeting. Sorry, that was a really long explanation that probably doesn't make sense, but just know that I am doing well and feeling positive and excited to keep going.

We have a lot of new investigators with a lot of Potential. One investigator who had to decide whether to get married or to move out of his house was in tears at the end of our "Law of Chastity" lesson. We had been a little nervous for that lesson, but we had practiced and prayed and prepared. At the end of the lesson, he just said thank you at the end of the lesson. He said he knew that something was wrong, but he didn't know that it was a sin to live with a woman before he was married. He thanked us for helping him know how to live a better life. He then committed himself to follow the Law, because he now knew that it was something God wanted for him. There have been so many powerful experiences like that this week, and so many faithful people dedicating themselves to God. The past few weeks I have let myself get a little bit negative about different people and their dedication to following God, but I have repented of those negative feelings, and have since seen and felt so much faith from each individual. Sometimes faith is expressed in so many different ways, but true faith causes action. And I am so grateful for all of the action and dedication of a few of our investigators. 

Last night after our last appointment, one of the little girls in the family looked at me really seriously as we were walking out and said, (translation) " do you have a mom at your house?" Sister natarte and I just smiled at each other and said, "no, just us." Then she asked us, "what about a dad?" We just chuckled and I told her that we all have a heavenly father that is always with us, even when we are alone. But just so you know mom, a little girl is looking out for me and is very concerned that you are not here with me! 

Also, I gave my third talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday. They have all been in Ilonggo, but they get a little better each time as my fluency gets a little smoother. But I spoke about the conference talk about having a game plan for missionary work and gave them the three new commandments we received in conference. 1. To pray to bring a specific person to Christ each day. 2. to pray for the missionaries in your area and for their investigators each day. 3. to invite someone to an activity at church or in your home.  Elder Johnson, the other american missionary also spoke on missionary work and the ward's involvement. But, after I helped our ward, I just kind of wondered how our family is doing with the new commandments. Or the new commandment that Elder Johnson shared from Elder Ballards talk to invite one person into the gospel by Christmas. How is that going for all of you in Utah? Let me know, because I don't know a lot about missionary work there. 

Anyway, just know that I love you all so much and I'm excited to talk to you at Christmas! i still pray for you all every day and want all of you to feel my love, but more importantly, the Saviors love. I hope you all remember the really important things, even though you are all so busy! Lots and lots of love,
Sister Smoot

Sister Trisha's Baptism. We wore the headbands that she gave us on our first visit with them.

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