Monday, March 3, 2014

8 months!! I can't believe it!!!

Dear Friends and Family, 
   The Gilbert Temple is dedicated!!!!!!!!!!! I can not wait to go there! It will be only one of the best days of my life!!!!!!! I hope that you all tuned into the dedication and thought of how blessed you are to partake of something so special. I am so glad to go on a mission because I have an even greater love for the temple because I haven't been able to go in so long. Poor Elders they can't go for 2 years... luckily mine is only 18 months! Well a quick forecast update... It is still cold. This morning it was 5 degrees and the other day we weren't able to go door knocking because of the wind chill and frost bite!! I know it is insane!!!! All I want is for spring to come, you could send me some warm sunshine now! Key word, warm. Well this is my week! 
Monday: I felt so accomplished! We cleaned the car, apartment, my clothes and I wrote letters all in one day! This is a massive accomplishment for us and I am so grateful that we were able to achieve this goal of ours!!!! I find joy in the small things of life! :D 
Tuesday: This was one of those days where your planner just gets thrown out the window and you think to yourself, "Why in the world do we even make plans!?" but.... the still small voices whispers "It would be a lot worse if you didn't" I have a testimony of making plans and doing your best to follow those plans! 
Wednesday: We had a district meeting on the Sabbath Day and why it is so important for our investigators to come to church. We talk about this a lot mainly because the people we teach have a hard time attending church. There are some amazing blessings that come from attending church though and really all you need to do is come to church. Why is it so hard to take just 3 hours out of your entire week to get blessings and be spiritually uplifted? I have never fully understood how important church is until I went on a mission and I still don't fully understand, but I definitely have a more solid testimony of keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. 
Thursday: This day we weren't able to go out door knocking... But half way through the day we did trade offs with the Sister Training Leaders and I went to Mt. Pleasant with Sister Christensen! It was great! I made a random accomplishments list and it turns out that I have a lot of them. We also went to a DFS (Don't ask me what it stands for cause I don't know) meeting at CMU. It was interesting, we had a discussion with Atheists and Agnostics about whether or not parents should tell their children about Santa or not. You're probably thinking how in the world does that pertain to missionary work and the gospel well my friends it does! We got on the topic of morals and bam! we talked about the gospel and how children should be raised. Tying things back to the gospel is always great! 
Friday: We had a lesson with Dakota and it was on the Young Woman's Theme. I never realized how amazing that theme is! If you take the time to break it down and take the individual values it is amazing!!! It really came from our Father in Heaven. I recommend any woman young or old to read it and reflect on what it is saying and how we can live up to that! We are Daughters of our Heavenly Father!   
Saturday: Oh man have I got a story for you! Sister Greene and I got totally Antied on Saturday! It was crazy well not too crazy, but boy am I glad to have the gospel and a testimony of it, for sure! It was really interesting because I asked the person if they believe everything on the internet and they said no and that it is a bunch of hogwash.... :/ Not sure why they believe the Anti though... If the church wasn't Christ's church it wouldn't have so much stuff being thrown at it. In the wise words of Taylor Swift "People throw rocks at things that shine." As I testified of the church and that it was Christ's church my eyes started to get teary, I felt so sad for that person and that they didn't understand and also for their family. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ's church on the earth today and I will stand steadfast in my testimony. 
Sunday: We had a lesson with the Toronjos and that was good! We talked about the temple and baptisms because they get to go and do baptisms for the dead this Saturday and I am so so so excited for them!!!!!!! Ahhhh!!! It is going to be great! Dakota is so excited to feel the peace that she has heard about that is found in the temple! I have noticed that since I have been on my mission I really and starting to get excited about family history work! I am excited to come home from my mission and work on it cause I want to help my ancestors have the blessings that I have and who wants to spend eternity by themselves? Not me!! I have really felt the scripture Malachi 4:6 take place in my life! 
Spiritual Thought: So I was thinking about what I should talk about today and then while we were in the Family History Center emailing, our district was together, we watched the new Mormon Message about bullying. After we watched it all of us were silent. We didn't know what to say to each other after. Our District Leader Elder Derricott said "Is anyone else's charity well overflowing?" It was so true! After watching this video all I wanted to do was tell everyone to STOP IT and love one another!! We need to stop tearing each other down. We are all children of God and we need to act like that to each other. Charity never faileth- Moroni 7:46. There are so many times in the scriptures where is talks about loving others and praying for them. We are taught to love all people no matter what even if they are not choosing to be good to you. Something that I love in the scriptures is Matthew 5:44 where it talks about praying for your enemies. I know it is sometimes hard to love others, but I promise that as we pray to have charity for others our Heavenly Father will bless us with that Christlike Attribute and we will be able to feel our Father's love for our brothers and sisters! I know this to be true in the name of Jesus Christ, amen. 
Love Always, 
Sister Miranda Smith 

p.s Watch the Mormon message!!

Monday February 24, 2014
February is coming to an end ALREADY!!!

Hey Family and Friends!!! 
   I hope that you have all had another great week and that you are enjoying yourselves. I just realized something... I pretty much start off every letter the exact same way, man I need to change some things up to keep all ya'll interested! Lets try this again, Top of the mornin' to ya! It is a beautiful 19 degrees outside and the sun in shining, what more could you ever ask for as a Michiganary! In other news, this week consisted of many wonderful days and many not so wonderful times, but that is missionary work! 
Monday- Sister Greene and I went to this store called Amish Reflections! Did I mention that we also saw a buggie and a cart on the road the other day. It probably does not sound that cool, but for some reason I just think it is so cool. That makes me think about how others see us missionaries.... no wonder they always tell us to act as Christ would at all times. Well anyways we went to the store and purchased some popcorn, I know you're probably thinking I am crazy, but that is okay. Oh also we went to Salvation Army and guess what! I got 2 skirts that fit and that are mission approved for less than 5 dollars! Seriously why did I never shop at second hand stores before my mission I don't know, but they are great! 
Tuesday- We met with this sweet less active girl (she is 24) and she is so nice. We had lunch with her and her visiting teachers. One of her visiting teachers just asked her plainly why she was not coming to church and she told us that she had no good excuse! We are hoping that we will be able to meet with her more often. She is so great also her name is Heather. 
Wednesday- Sister Greene and I helped out a family in the ward, who is moving to Saginaw, with cleaning out their home. It went well until we started to mop.... either we don't know how to mop very well or there was just so much dirt tracked onto the floor that we were unable to successfully get it cleaned, until we laid the mop aside and just got one our hands and knees to clean the floor. That is right mom, I cleaned a floor on my hands and knees without anyone asking me to do so. 
Thursday- Oh my goodness!!! We had only the best Zone Conference ever!!!!! The leaders in my mission are totally inspired! The spirit was so strong at this meeting and I knew what we were being taught would help us in the work! We talked about becoming pure vessels and sanctifying ourselves. We also talked about how we can find new people to teach. We also talked about making this map called the Gold Mine Map. I left that meeting so excited and pumped for missionary work!!! Hurrah for Israel!! Friday- Sister Greene and I made our Gold Mine Map which consists of all the Part member families, less actives, referrals, investigators and findings all organized by location and color on a map! I am convinced that RMs could all probably be really great detectives based on the work that we do in the mission field. 
Saturday- Okay this day was the worst!!! I work up feeling sick, but I went about my morning the same like with exercise, studies and lunch, but as we were getting ready to leave the apartment I broke down and ran to the bathroom and well.... the rest is history. I spent that day sleeping and laying in bed. It was the first day in my mission where I was really sick so I think I should be pretty grateful. 
Sunday- I was still not feeling awesome, but compared to the day before I was doing good! We met with a less active man named Robert and we talked with him and got to know him and his situation better. He agreed that he would met with us more often and talk with us which is really great!! His wife isn't a member so we are hoping that she will be interested in the gospel which would be so great!!! 
Spiritual Thought- I want to share with you a story called Plastic Pearls some of you may have heard this, but why not hear it again! There was a little girl who went to the store with her mom and saw a pair of plastic pearls. She instantly fell in love with them! She begged her mom to get them for her and her mom did. The little girl did everything with those pearls and she wore them all the time. One night her dad came in at night and tucked her into bed. He asked his daughter "Do you love me" she replied "Of course I love you daddy" 
"Even more then your plastic pearls"
"Yes, daddy"
"Then will you give me your pearls" he said 
"Daddy I love you, but I can't give you my pearls" Her dad said okay and left the room. The next night the little girl's dad came in and asked "Do you love me"  This time the little girl hopped out of her bed and said "Dad I'll give you anything! My jump rope, my dolls anything, but my plastic pearls!" Her dad kissed her goodnight, said okay and left the room. The next night the dad came in to tuck his daughter into bed and this time the little girl was out of bed and had her plastic pearls in her hand. The little girl told her dad "Dad you know I love you even more than I love my plastic pearls." The little girl handed over her plastic pearls to her dad. Her dad said "I always knew you did" and he pulled out of his pocket a real pearl necklace that he gave to his daughter. 
We tend to be like this little girl, we hold onto things that are good but we are missing out on the great things our Heavenly Father has in store for us. We don't realize that Heavenly Father always has something better for us all we need to do is trust in Him and His love. His love is greater than any love that we can imagine and He has much greater and more beautiful things in store for all of us if we give up those things that hold us back from obtaining them. I know that Heavenly Father loves all of us and that he sent His son Jesus Christ to atone for our sins. I know that as we come unto Christ and are perfected through Him that we will see all the beautiful gifts that Heavenly Father has to offer all of His children. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 
Love Always, 
Sister Miranda Smith 

P.S sorry for the long letter again....  

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