Monday, April 28, 2014

Letter # 48 (April 27, 2014)

Funny story. There was a flood, and a heavy heavy heavy rain, and my umbrella broke... I kind of got wet.  (Do these even work in the Phili's?)

So, mom asked me to tell about something funny...  One thing that was fun this week: Sister Van Slooten from the MTC is now our STL (sister training leader) here in Bacolod Central, so we were able to go on exchanges. I kept asking for advice and feedback, but she said she felt weird about giving me advice, because "we are like the same." Haha, well, I'll just rely on the Holy Ghost to tell me how to improve.  I'm still waiting for the time when Sister Smoot (Jenna) and I can go on exchanges. We will have a powerful testimony of eternal families :) 

Sister de Leon and I have been working really hard in our area. She just finished training before we became companions (her trainer was Sister Nice who was trained by sister smoot). She is really professional and hard working so we are getting a lot done. Before I got to the area, President asked us to fix it because there hadn't been a baptism since January. This month we have been able to schedule weekly baptisms. They all still qualify except for one of them who is still struggling with the word of wisdom, but it is so amazing to see how much hard work, relying on the spirit, and being exactly obedient can save any area. Sister de Leon didn't know a lot of the mission rules, and everyone knows me as the strictly obedient missionary... so after the first week, we set things straight and have seen miracles. Sometimes I really don't like being strictly obedient. Lets be honest, no one really wants to be around the missionary who is always following all of the rules, even the small ones, because everyone wants to have fun. But I can't stop, because this is how the miracles happen. Every companion I've had though has thanked me later. I'm glad I was raised by you mom and dad, because you taught me the importance of being obedient all the time, even when it is definitely not the popular option.  Don't worry, I'm not a grumpy face about it, but I don't think it's worth it to give up my integrity (which would give up the miracles for this area) in exchange for being the "every-one-loves-me" missionary. I don't know if this makes sense, but just know that we really are happiest when we are keeping our covenants and being obedient. The spirit is so much stronger in our lives and we are better protected against temptation. Each time we actively obey, we are putting on an armor against Satan. Likewise, every time we make the small little sins (even like not reading the book of Mormon or not going to class or not obeying mom and dad right away) we take off part of our armor and are exposed to Satan's temptation. Strict obedience not only brings miracles, but makes us stronger and stronger.  (wow, I'm so intense... but it's true :) ) 

It's been so hot here since it's the middle of the summer. I used to carry my umbrella for protection from the sun, but it stopped helping and it's heavy - so I left it home yesterday while proselyting. We went on companion exchanges with two relief society members in order to get more appointments done. The relief society member I was with works in the primary so she was able to help a lot of our family investigators. Half-way through our time, the deathening heat turned into dark clouds and within 5 minutes we were saved by pouring rain. The rain here is different. It's not sprinkles, it's like standing in the shower at all times. I was soaked through within seconds.  It's still pretty hot even with the rain, but I was grateful for the small relief. We still kept teaching, but the relief society member (my companion at the time) was so worried about me. She looks a lot like aunt Marcie and loves service just like her. She kept drying my off with her rag that she brought along and kept trying to help me. It felt like I was with family again and it always feels good to be taken care of again. Just know that the Lord watches out for us and gives us little tender mercies now and again to remind us that we are daughters of God and to remind us that he loves us ALWAYS. 

I love you so much, sorry this is a really random letter, with not a lot of specifics... maybe the heat is making it hard to think... haha. I love you all! Love, Sister Smoot

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