Sunday, August 31, 2014

Letter # 66 ( Aug. 31, 2014)

Sorry this letter is going to be a little shorter because I wanted to write mom for her birthday. So, again, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!! 

This week has been one of the more challenging weeks of my mission. But nothing to stress about. Challenge = growth. I prayed a couple weeks ago for the opportunity to really push the development of my Christlike Attributes through these last few months of the mission. I want my growth to peak instead of taper. That is always kind of a dangerous thing to pray for, but I know it will be for the overall good.  As a result I've shed a few tears, gained a little weight, added some acne, and learned a lot. I am so greatful for this never-ending molding experience. I love the word "refining." We have such an amazing opportunity to continue to change and grow. 

We spent most of our time this week trying to find new investigators. I say try because people are literally running away from us, hiding from us, telling their friends not to talk to us, and lying to us. A phrase that Sister Natarte always used to say comes to mind, "Do you want Salvation, or Not?" But everything will be okay, because I know that I am doing everything I can, and am working each day to work with the spirit to be guided to the people who are ready. We did have a miracle again on Saturday night. (I don't know why each week is the same. 1 week of desperate, endless searching. Then a miracle on Saturday night before church. I feel so bad complaining, some people have their whole mission like this without the huge miracles I get to see. I still have so much to learn.) It is a little hard here in missions like these, because there is a lot of pressure and a lot of expectations for our "outward results." Getting text reminders about how low our numbers are and how we need to repent if we don't have a baptism each week, is always a nice slice in the heart each week. On Saturday night, we were looking for more investigators by searching for some former investigators and we saw a member talking to a group of friends. We stopped and talked to them and it turns out one of them was from a family of all members (less-active) but had never been baptized. She is 16 and remembers going to church when she was really little, but when she turned 6, they started going to the Catholic church again.  We invited her to church the next day with the member who was talking to them and the member committed to go with her. On Sunday, lo and behold, This Sister Geanbie came to church. We were so excited to see her. We had scheduled an appointment with her whole family that afternoon, but when we went yesterday, only sister Geanbie was there to listen to us.  We taught her and we realized how smart and ready she is for the gospel. She basically bore her testimony about the spirit that she felt during sacrament meeting, and said even though she had been going to the other church, she felt empty/off like something was missing.  We finished the message of the restoration and after answering all of her questions, I asked her if I could then ask her a question. I asked her if she would follow her Savior, Jesus Christ, and be baptized in His church? She committed through her tears and accepted October 4 as a baptismal date. I know I am so spoiled to be in such a sacred part of our saviors Garden. There are so many more miracles and people waiting for us to find them. I am excited to continue on in this work. It brings such a spirit of peace and comfort as we help others on their path to eternal happiness.

Each day we see so much sin and sadness, but there is also so much joy and happiness. It depends on us, what we want to see. (is that correct english?) I love you all so much and especially for all that you have taught me. Thank you mom for teaching me about this gospel and the way to really find happiness no matter what the circumstances are. I know that you are the best mom in the entire world!

Love, Sister Smoot

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