Monday, January 6, 2014

Good Ole' Ganderland!

Dear Family and Friends, 
    I want you all to know that I am alive and well! The snow is up to our eyeballs and we are stuck in our apartments, but we will survive. We are doing our best to stay warm in this unfamiliar, strange weather that is going on. We are Michiganaries and the work must go on!!!!!!!! :D An't that just awesome! 
So you may or may not be wondering about the subject line. So the people in Michigan are called Ganders and so I am serving in Ganderland. True Ganders have a Michigan accent, meaning they end a lot of their words in s, so Walmart is Walmarts and how are you is Hows are yous. It's pretty great, I love it here. So this week.... 
Monday: We had dinner with a couple from the ward and they took us out to a Japanese Steak House. It is one of those places where they cook food in front of you. I ate sushi everyone!!! I ate it and I liked it!! I know crazy!!! They also gave us a ton of food. It lasted about 3 days. Yummm!!!
Tuesday: This day was so so so cold. There was an awful wind chill and Sister Whipple and I were out in the boonies!!!!! I actually started to get a headache from the cold and that is something that I have never experienced. Also we didn't talk to like anyone cause the drives are like a quarter of a mile long out there!! There was a super nice woman, the very last door we knocked on, who invited us in and gave us hot chocolate. Have you ever had a cup of hot chocolate after being super super cold. It is the most wonderful feeling in the world. Best cup of hot chocolate ever!!!!!!! 
Wednesday: We taught Austin about the priesthood and now he is preparing to receive it!! Oh funny story. We had some young men come and the deacons quorum president was there. He was trying to help Austin understand something and he said "Being a missionary is hard..." it was so funny!! We were like yeah it is!! 
Thursday: We planned Dakota's baptism which will be on Friday night and we are just so stoked!!! We also taught our new investigators Meagan and Lamont. They are awesome and we are so excited to teach them some more!!! They reacted really well to the Book of Mormon!! Also they have like a 5 month old and an almost 3 year old! We are seeing them this week and we are excited!! 
Friday: We ate at the Kim's home. They are Korean and they made awesome Korean food!! Being a missionary I have definitely broaden my horizon!
Saturday: We got Courtney's phone number!!!!!!!! He is an investigator and it is pretty great!!!! 
Sunday: Church is great. I love church. We went and saw Austin and Dakota. I love them, they are great. I am learning a lot when it comes to teaching kids. I still love them and I really want them to understand why learning the gospel is so important. After the lesson Sister Whipple said I am going to be a great mom. I was very grateful for her comment! 
I'm not exactly sure what my special scriptural thought is today..... awk. 
For your enjoyment here is a wonderful poem about being in Michigan. 
It's Winter in Michigan
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour,
At thirty-five below.

Oh, how I love Michigan
When the snow's up to your butt.
You take a breath of winter air
And your nose gets frozen shut.

Yes, the weather here is wonderful,
So I guess I'll hang around.
I could never leave Michigan

'Cause I'm frozen to the ground!

Happy New Year Everyone!!!!!

Hey Everyone!!!
   I hope that you all had a Merry Christmas and got to spend time with family and loved ones! I was really cool to spend Christmas at someones home other than my family because I was able to see the different traditions that the families have. I love that we have ward families wherever we go cause it makes Christmas as a missionary a lot better. 
So this week was pretty sweet!!!
Monday: Okay super funny story! Sister Whipple and I were door knocking in an apartment complex and this woman would not open her door. We pretty much talked to this woman while she was looking at us through the peep hole! Sister Whipple was just so funny cause she just could not handle that the woman wouldn't open her door and there I was having a discussion with a door. It was pretty funny if you ask me. How cool would that conversion story be "Yeah the missionaries came and I talked to them through the door, but I really felt something." I think it would be pretty sweet! 
Tuesday: We had a zone training! We talked a lot about teaching and what it means to be a good teacher. You know something great, when you want to be a teacher and you go on a mission you learn so many things on how to be a good teacher, lucky me! That night we went to the Bishop's home along with like 3 other families in the ward and had dinner! It was pretty funny cause we started working on this like 1000 piece puzzle with some of the people there and well that was just fun getting to know the members better. 
Wednesday: It's Christmas!!! I had breakfast at the Nanny's house and that was so much fun! They gave us our own stockings with our names on them!! It was so much fun!!! Oh yeah I almost forgot, I got to talk with my family!!!! That was so great!!! I hope that you enjoyed it as much as I did. Something that I really enjoyed was seeing how happy Sister Whipple was when she talked with her family. It was really a neat experience. We also ate dinner at a member's house and that was great! We played this game called Wackee Six and also Spot it! They were super fun and that family is just so awesome! 
Thursday: Something that we run into a lot are no soliciting signs and there was a whole neighborhood that was no soliciting and we sadly got kicked out even though we are technically not solicitors. Lameness...
Friday: Oh my goodness this day was just crazy! Sister Whipple and I were door knocking this street and no one was receptive! It was like the scripture Alma 26: 27. Shortly we found a man named Tom and he is looking for more purpose in life! We are hoping to meet with him soon! 
Saturday: We met this man named Courtney and he is awesome! He is really into his baptist church though but! he is willing to read the Book of Mormon which like never happens! He read some of 3 Nephi 11 with us on the door step and the spirit was so strong! 
Sunday: We had this really fun Family Home Evening with a family we door knocked into like 3 months ago! It was so great! I don't know exactly how interested they are, but their kids want to come to activities and they also said they would come to church!! It was pretty great and I now have even more of a love for FHE!!!!! Families are Forever!! :D 
Oh yeah by the way I am not being transfer and I am staying with Sister Whipple. Nothing is really changing, well everyone else is changing in our district, but us. Also Sister Hunt is still my Sister Training Leader. :D 
So for my spiritual thought I would love you all to read either Matthew 5:14-16 or Moroni 10: 3-5! They are both great oh and 2 Nephi 25: 26!!! These are all great scriptures and help me a lot when teaching and knocking on doors!! 
Also something really cool that I did on Christmas was make a goal to do something for Christ. It is a little twist on a New Years resolution, it is what are you going to give Christ this year. It was really great because it helped me look at where I am now and where I want to be at the end of next year spiritually. I recommend that you all take the time to do this and write it down and keep it some where where you can see it! 
I love you all!!
Love Always, 

Sister Miranda Smith 


Hey Everyone!!! 
   I hope that you are all doing well today!! I hope that you are all able to enjoy this holiday season because it is a wonderful time to be with family and remember the importance of our Savior, Jesus Christ! This season really is great when you get the opportunity to remember the true meaning!! It was crazy cause we were shopping this morning and it was packed at the grocery store and all I could think about was how crazy this wonderful holiday season has gotten! I was standing in line buying my things and all I wanted to do was say it doesn't have to be this way!! I didn't, but I did start singing a Christmas hymn and well I wanted to sing that a little louder also, but I didn't. I really hope that you remember the importance of this holiday and why we have it. It really is a wonderful time of year! 
Well this is what happened to me this week!!! 
Monday- We had a totally crazy P-day meaning we were super busy trying to get everything to fit with our time. It amazes me how even on our P-Day I still am running around trying to get things ready for the week. No time to rest, oh well! 
Tuesday- We met a young family!!! It was sweet! They let us in and they talked with us for a while. We talked a lot about church and what we do at church. I just have a love for church since I have gone on my mission and it is so wonderful and I just love it!! We are hoping that we will be able to teach them. As of now they are a potential, but at least they have potential!!!! And it is a family!!! 
Wednesday- We had a really awesome District Meeting about prayer!! We talked a lot about how we need to help our investigators understand how important it is to pray. We also talked about how they can receive an answer that the Book of Mormon is true. It was really great because I was able to look at what we I need to do to better help our investigators so that they can come closer to Christ. I love that we have this gospel and that we get the opportunity to strive everyday to make ourselves better at sharing it with others!! I also get to learn so much on the way which is really amazing!! 
Thursday- Something I love about the Midland Ward is that they are so missionary oriented! They love missionary work and they are always looking for ways to share the gospel! We had dinner with the Jones family and they were telling us about all the ways they are trying to share the gospel!!! The thing is though not a lot of people are receptive, but they still keep trying and praying for opportunities to share which I just love and appreciate so much! They are wonderful examples to me of what I want to do when I get home from my mission. 
Friday- Nothing totally amazing happened this day, but I want to tell a cool story that happened earlier this past week. So we were out finding and we have been really trying to improve on listening to the spirit to tell us what to talk about at door steps. Okay so we knocked on a door and a young man answered ( he is about our age) and I just had this thought to talk about prophets so I did and he was like "I really am interested" and he put shoes on and came outside to talk with us. He was so interested in prophets and that we have one on the earth today. They crazy thing is that a man drove into the drive way and he told us that we needed to leave like right now. I am sorry, but I was not moving, so we stayed. The guy was just really freaked out and really wanted us to leave. The man in the car got out and just walked past us and said nothing. Dillion the guy who answered the door opened the door for him and he went inside to open it and the man from the car slammed the door. Well Dillion was now inside and we didn't really know what to do, but I didn't want to leave so waited a bit and dillion came back out!!! We asked him if he wanted to learn more and come to church. He said that now wasn't a good time, but that he was really interested. I am just still thinking about him and that he just needs this gospel!!! Well that is my story, it's probably a you had to be there moment. 
Saturday- AUSTIN WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Woo-Hoo!!!! It was so great!! It was a little stressful cause Sister Whip and I didn't really know how to get a baptism organized, but hey it worked out!! Sister Toronjo and Dakota and a member named Anna all played a special musical number and it was amazing!! It was "When I am Baptized" and the spirit was just so strong! I loved it!! Also their dad who is not a member was there which is wonderful!!! I really hope that he felt the spirit and really felt the love that everyone has for he and his family. It has been so fun seeing him progress into where he is at now! It is such a privilege to teach someone the gospel!!!! 
Sunday- We had an amazing lesson on Joseph Smith, by the way his birthday is today the 23rd. It was wonderful and I know that he was a prophet of God and that he was the instrument in God's hand to bring forth the restoration. I love that fact that God works through imperfect people, but also that we strive so hard to be like our Savior Jesus Christ. 
I love you all and I hope that you have a wonderful Christmas!!! Don't forget to remember Christ!!! 
Love Always, 
Sister Miranda Smith

p.s sorry for the long email. 
It is Austin at his baptism!!!!!!!!! 

My mustache milk picture! 
Thanks Aunt Brandee for the gifts!!! 
Sister Whipple

Some of my two favorite nativities. Did I tell you that there was like 740 nativities and I got to count all of them!!! 

 One is of the Massai tribe in Africa and the other is from Peru and it is totally awesome!!! I loved the nativities. 

Christmas cards!!!!! 

It is Cassie and Kyle!! Cassie was baptized and Kyle is being taught! We found Cassie through Kyle!!

 Elder Hamelin and Sister Hunt!!!! Elder Hamelin goes home in a transfer! Mt. P family!!

Whelp.... I've got nothin'

Dearest family and friends, 
   Hows yous doin's? Everyone from Michigan ends their words in s. It is pretty epics. 
Monday: We went to a concert at a baptist church. This was the first time I have ever been to another church besides my own. It was very interesting. You're probably thinking is that even possible, yes, yes it is. We went with members of our ward to support their friends. We also got a lot of weird looks because of our name tags, but it is pretty awesome. 
Tuesday: Sister Whip and I door knocked a lot this day. We knocked into a lot of more experienced people and it was just really funny because we had like 5 people open the door and say "I only came to the door because I thought you were my company coming." Haha how funny. At least they got to hear just a little bit about our message before closing the door to keep the warm air in their home. Priceless. 
Wednesday: Nothing sticks out too much in my mind for this day. Oh wait! We had dinner with members and they brought one of their friends! She had a ton of questions about missionary work and about the church itself. It was pretty great, we also had a lesson about the Book of Mormon. We challenged her to read it, hopefully she does cause that is truly how we gain our testimonies, by reading the word of God. 
Thursday: I WAS IN MT. PLEASANT!!!!!!! It was so great to go back to Mt. P. I got to see Alison Alpin a less-active that I worked with. I also got to see Robert!!!!!! He is doing great! He is a now a home teacher and he has the priesthood and he is going to bless the sacrament soon!! Isn't that so amazing!!! I also got to see Cassie another recent convert that I was able to teach. She is amazing!! She goes out with the missionaries all the time and helps them teach. She also wants to go on a mission and she loves the gospel and the scriptures. She is an example to me of such strength. I feel so blessed to have been an instrument in the Lord's hand to bring my brother and sister to their Savior and this true gospel!!! 
Friday: We had half mission training!! I love trainings they are just so amazing. They really are inspired. We also had a Christmas party which was pretty great! President Hess did the oreo challenge where you have to get the oreo into your mouth from your forehead in a minute! It was fantastic!! We also had departing testimonies and they were amazing!!! RMs (even though they aren't yet.) are amazing. Don't tell them to change when they get home, yes they are totally awkward, but they have a very special spirit and I love it! 
Saturday: Sister Toronjo and Dakota Toronjo did a special musical number for Sister Whipple and I for Christmas. Dakota played the violin while Sister Toronjo sang Christmas songs!! It was so great and one of the best Christmas presents ever!! I love the Toronjos!!!!!! 
Sunday: We had a lesson on the Law of Chasity and the Word of Wisdom with Austin and Dakota so a 12 year old and a 14 year old! It was pretty great!! HaHa!! Good thing their mom had already gotten to talking about that. I guess I am just getting practice for my own children! HaHa!!! I love being a missionary!! 
Well that was my week!! I hope that you all have a wonderful week!!! I love you all so so so much!!! 
Love Always, 

Sister Miranda Smith