I don't know how many letters I have written home, but they are feeling really redundant. (# 74!) There are so many good things that happen each week mixed with the stress and challenges that a mission brings. I'm not always sure what you want to know, hear, or learn about. This area has been my most challenging as far as progression of investigators. I feel like sometimes I am just chipping away at a cement wall that is 500 feet thick. Each day we see miracles that can blow out another 5 feet, they are miraculous and appreciated, but the chipping continues. I think I am learning the most about Christlike attributes, and constantly feel my patience, charity, and humility being tested. Isn't cool that even when you feel burned out, torn apart, drained emotionally and physically, you can still experience more cleansing and purifying? What a blessing.
This week I had a tender blessing and got to go on exchanges with Sister Nielsen. (My companion from the MTC). We have been in this zone together for the whole 4 months, but last time I went on exchanges with her companion, so this was the first time to go with her. We have gotten so close here in the zone, and I am so grateful for her. We were together too when we went to Manila for fingerprinting. We are going through some of the same things, so it was great to work together for a day in her old area and find some new investigators, some old investigators, and just work together. Our teaching skills and language skills have improved a lot since our first lesson in the MTC back in May 2013. It was mostly cool to share our experiences from the mission and learn from each other. There is always still so much to learn.
Don't worry about telling me to work hard dad- I am. I'm doing everything I can and trusting that this is the Lord's plan. I still feel like I have another month, and I forget a lot that I only have 1 more week, especially while planning. But I know that the Lord will take care of his Vineyard. He is in control. I love you!
Love, Sister Smoot
Note from Kendra:
I was able to contact Ashley's companion Sister Russon who is from LEHI! We have been sending each other the weekly letters the last few times so we can get more information and its been so great to see both missionaries perspectives! Here is part of what sister Russon had to say about the week! i am assuming this was with sister Smoot.
This week we saw some cool miracles. First of allwe were getting ready to head home for the night when we got a phone call from Sister Ejusa, one of the members in the ward. She called telling us that she had a referral for us! She set up a time for for us to come teach. It was amazing. We went and taught her and I felt like I was in one of the Preach My Gospel videos. The member is well off so we were sitting on couches instead of plastic chairs or bamboo benches which what we usually do. It was really cool. Then night we were teaching a newer investigator named Rony. He has a cool story of how we found him. He's related to some members and we were looking at the CMIS for some less-active families. The address for the member family was wrong so we ended up at Rony's house instead of the members. But every opportunity to teach right? We started teaching him and he seemed really interested but we weren't sure if he was drunk or not. Then we came back to follow up and after several times were able to teach him all of lesson 1 and most of lesson 2. He is so receptive. He also reads everything we give him and remembers and understands it! He had so many great questions and just picks up on things so quickly. If you review he lets you know that you already taught it and so you just have to keep moving. He didn't make it to church because he feels guilty. He feels like he can't go (even though he goes to the catholic church every ). Definitely Satan working on him to keep him out. He is so special and I know that it wasn't an accident that we found him!