Monday, March 31, 2014

Williamston near the heart of the Mission!

Dear Family and Friends,
     As some of you may know if you read the letter last week I have been transferred to Williamston which is outside East Lansing. The crazy thing is that I don't actually live in Williamston it is like 15 minutes away. I actually like in Okemos in another ward's boundaries..... it is a little weird, but hey it works! It is pretty different from Midland and it is a bummer not really knowing my area as well and getting to know a whole new ward again, but I am determined to get to know the area and ward just like I did Midland! It is crazy though because I have already seen President Hess once and Sister Hess twice which is totally awesome!!!! There are a lot of benefits for being near the heart of your mission.
This past week....
Monday: Packing for transfers has been the most stressful part of my mission thus far. Sure I can knock on a strangers door and invite them to come closer to Christ no problem, but ask me to pack a bunch of stuff in a limited amount of space and I can't do it. Don't worry I made it to transfers, but it did cross my mind to call President Hess and say I can't leave Midland because I couldn't pack all my stuff.
Tuesday: Wake up early, drive to Mt. Pleasant, leave the area you love, drive to Lansing, meet your new companions, feel a little lost, but then remember that the Lord has called you to this new area and that he will help you get used to it. That is pretty much what this day was like. It is always a little hard the first day because you have no idea who or what your companions are talking about and you feel a little lost. I am so grateful I have a testimony that the Lord knows where we need to be and when we need to be there it makes me feel a lot more peaceful about transfers.
Wednesday: It was my first day ever taking public transportation. Yup, I road that bus for the first time ever in my life and let me tell you this bus route thing is confusing and I was nervous and I am so glad that I have companions who know what they are doing! We did however talk to a nice gentleman he wasn't interested in the gospel, but he was super nice!
Thursday: Whenever you get a new companionship you have to learn how to make it work and how you can incorporate all the different ideas together and that is what we did. We meshed 3 different people's ideas together and we are trying to get this trio thing to work well. I have great hopes for this area!!!
Friday: We met with our investigator Clair and she is so prepared! We taught the plan of Salvation and she loved it! She has a baptismal date for April 19th. We just need to get here to church and to feel the spirit there then I she will progress even more to baptism.
Saturday: We door knocked all day. I am finding that all over Michigan a lot of the people are the same... they all have a church they already attend to which is great, but they don't have all the truth. I am still trying to figure out a way to teach them this without getting a door in the face. I'll keep working on that, if you have any ideas shoot me and email!
Sunday: New faces!!! Before church started I stood in the back of the chapel and I went through the members with Sister Flora. I pretty much quizzed myself before sacrament started so I could get to know the ward members. Like I said earlier I really want to get to know this area well and the members as well, it makes the work so much better!
Spiritual Thought: This morning I was studying and I read 1 Nephi 19:7-9 and it talks about how Jesus Christ was spit upon and ridiculed for being kind and loving the children of men. At first that made me think that as a missionary it is okay to be persecuted because Jesus Christ, the very person we represent, was ridiculed and killed for being righteous. As I pondered a little more I started to think about today's society and how they believe Good is Evil and Evil is Good. We will be mocked and laughed at for standing up for what is right, but we must know in our hearts that what we are doing is right. It doesn't matter what society thinks of you, what matters is what Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ think of you. I know that when we choose the right and stand up for those things we bring joy to our Father in Heaven. I know that it is hard to stand up for those things especially if you are standing up to those you love and if you are standing alone, but always remember that the spirit is with you and that you are never alone. Remember the primary lyrics, "He is always near me though I do not see him there. And because he loves me dearly I am in his watchful care so I'll be the kind of person that I know I'd like to be if I could see the Savior standing nigh watching over me." I know that we are always being watched over and cared for. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love Always,

Sister Miranda Smith 

I'm going to Williamston!!!!!

Dear Family and Friends, 
   Yes, we are still cold here in Michigan. Yes, we do hope that the spring will come. Yes, we are still as positive as ever! 
Oh yeah I am being transferred to Williamston (if you couldn't tell) which is in Lansing. I will pretty much be at the heart of the mission. I will be in the stake where my mission president is and I will be around a lot of other missionaries which is crazy!!! I have usually not been around so many so we will have to see how that goes. I will be in a trio and my companions are Sister Murri and Sister Flora and I hear that they are great! Also I will be serving near MSU which is awesome because I love campus! 
Monday: We ate at the Leonhardts house and they had prepared green food for us because it was St. Patrick's day which was totally awesome!!! They are a great family and have been wonderful examples to me of member missionary work! 
Tuesday: We had a lesson with Lisa and she is amazing! I am so sad to be leaving her because I just got to know her and now I must leave! She is a little sad herself. The hard thing about missionary work is the part where you have to leave! I know that Sister Greene and her new companion will do great though and take care of the area! 
Wednesday: We met with a girl named Tilah who is a member of the ward and she is so great! She talks to her friends about the gospel and she has goals to give them copies of the Book of Mormon! I am super excited to see where is goes because Sister Greene and Sister Fulmer (new sister) might have a lesson with her friend this week! 
Thursday: We ate with the Wall family again and I love them! They are a wonderful family and they too are great examples of member missionary work! They have done great things for us and I have enjoyed getting to know them and their family as well! 
Friday: I found out that I was going to Williamston! 
Saturday: We had a lesson with Dakota and I told her that I was leaving and she was so sad! It was so sad! I can't believe I have to leave Austin and Dakota! They will definitely be missed! 
Sunday: Sundays are the best! The Lovells invited all of us missionaries over for dinner and I just love them so much!!! We had lunch together and Brother Lovell sang us a song and it was just great! I also got to know one of the Elder's investigators better because she was there and I am sad to be leaving her and I didn't even teach her! Sunday was just a wonderful day as always! 
Spiritual Thought: My thought won't be super long today and you will have a commitment. It Gospel Principles the Elders taught the lesson on the life of Jesus Christ and it was wonderful! The spirit was so strong! Whenever we testify of Christ the spirit is always there. The Elder showed a wonderful mormon channel message about the Christlike Attributes. As soon as the movie played the spirit just hit me and it brought tears to my eyes. I am so grateful for my Savior and His example to me. I know that he lives and that he loves each of us so much! I will never forget how I felt when I watched that video and I would ask all of you to watch it. It is only 3 minutes long and I know that it will touch you as well! He lives! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 
Love Always, 
Sister Smith 

P.S the video is called Christlike Attributes and you can find it on! Totally worth the 3 minutes! 

There is sunshine in my soul!!!

Hey Family and Friends!!! 
    We have been so blessed to see the sunshine and some warmth this week and it is wonderful!!!!!!!!!!! :D There is sunshine in my soul today!!! It is a whole 40 degrees out right now and I only have to wear a light coat, A LIGHT COAT!!!! I feel like the only people who would really understand where I am coming from are those who have served missions in cold places.... we will band together and rejoice in the sunshine! 
Monday: I am not really sure what happened last Monday.... I know I did something. As you can tell my Mondays aren't the most memorable. 
Tuesday: Oh man we had all of these people to meet with on Tuesday and they all cancelled!! It was a huge bummer!! The crazy thing though is that almost all the missionaries in Midland were cancelled on which is crazy! Okay so for Dinner Sister Greene and I got Panera and guess what they have! They have cinnamon raisin swirl bread! It was great!!! It just reminded me of my childhood which is great! Oh also the elders didn't have the best of day so Sister Greene and I got them cookies from Panera and left them on their door step and ran! It was so great! It really made our day being able to do something nice for someone else! "And behold I tell ye these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God."Mosiah 2:17 
Wednesday: We picked up a new investigator! His name is Bill and his wife Hillary is a less-active member who we have been working with! We had a lesson on prayer and we asked if we could teach him the lessons and he said yes! Woo-Hoo! We are excited and we are really hoping that he is doing this for himself and that the spirit will touch his heart! 
Thursday: We picked up a new investigator as well. I have actually taught this woman before so she is a former investigator. Her name is Eulene and we were able to talk about some of the concerns that she has and figure out how we can help her past those! We are praying that we will be able to have the spirit with us so that we can help her and discern her needs. 
Friday: This was the most beautiful day in my entire life!!!!!! Oh my goodness I almost cried when I walked outside because the weather was so wonderful! The sun was shining and it was 35 degrees outside! We were so happy to go door knocking! We didn't have to wear our hats or our gloves and we were able to get away with wearing one pair of tights!!! That whole day I had a heart full of thanks towards Heavenly Father for the weather! Nothing could have brought us down that day! We also were able to pick up a new investigator named Kathy! Her husband is a less-active member and he is great! He has a solid testimony of the church he just feels uncomfortable at church because he would be by himself and because he was once an alcoholic he feels that not a lot of people in the church can relate to him. It was so funny though. He was pretty much telling his wife to take the lessons. We are looking forward to meeting with them again! 
Saturday: We were door knocking right before we were going to have dinner with some members and we knocked on this door and and man just started yelling at us and telling us that we were wrong and that we were a cult! Haha! I don't know why I find it funny I just do. We stood quietly at this man's door as he was telling us these things then he started to calm down. We then told him that we believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he is our Savior, then he started to lighten up and was a bit more friendly. The thing people always say to us when they yell at us is that they are telling us this out of love.... it doesn't feel like I am loved when I am being yelled at and told I am a cult. No wonder they tell us to not be contentious cause you go no where. 
Sunday: A less-active member that we have been working with came to church! Her name is Sister Wisneiwski! It was great!! Having a less-active come to church is always great! We also talked with Austin and Dakota who were both able to go and do baptisms for the dead for the first time on Saturday which is wonderful!!!! Dakota was describing her experience and it was wonderful! She told us that she felt full and peaceful! Austin also did really well at being reverent! Oh man also at the end of our lesson Austin gave a wonderful, meaningful prayer which like never happens!! I was so happy!!! 
Spiritual Thought: For some reason I feel like I need to write about Charity today. Charity is the pure love of Christ and it is one of the 8 attributes of Christ. We cannot obtain any of these attributes unless we pray for them and ask for help in developing them. We pray to have charity for others, so that we can have the ability to see our brothers and sisters as Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ see them. When we are able to feel love for others it gives us more motivation to help and serve them. The charity that we develop for one another will endure forever. The relationships that we form here on earth do not end, but they endure. Do not give up hope for loved ones that may not be following the teachings of Christ, but hold fast to them and love them! Seek comfort through the Atonement and ask for guidance and help. The Lord loves all of us and we are all important in our Father's eyes. "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." I say these things in the names of Jesus Christ, Amen. 
Love Always, 

Sister Miranda Smith   

Spring is coming.....sort of.

Hey Family and Those who love me enough to read this, 
    You know how in Arizona during spring break you get to go to the lake and wear shorts and just enjoy the sunshine well...... in Michigan it is another story. For spring break here we get to wear coats, scarves, mittens, and layers of tights. Sister Greene and I were walking this week and we had a day in the 40s then it started to rain.... then it got colder....BUT on the bright side I can see some of the grass!!!!! I have missed the grass!! When I get home I am going to frolic through a field and have a huge smile on my face!! The crazy thing is that I will probably be really hot because I think 45 degrees is slightly hot now..... It's going to be a problem. 
Monday: Whom ever thinks that P-Days are nice and relaxing as a missionary was either never a missionary or they never served in a place like Midland. 
Tuesday: We had a lesson with Lisa! She is amazing!! She is so prepared like golden!!! She has already read the standard works once, and the Book of Mormon 3 times and she has already been taught all of the missionary lessons! She was taught by Sister Whipple and Sister Kane while she was home from being in China for DOW. She recently got back from China for good and wants to be baptized. The downfall is that her family is totally against the LDS church. We are praying that she will have the courage to tell them that she wants to be and is going to be baptized. 
Wednesday: We taught a less active woman named Sis. Wisniewski and she is so funny. She always says that we need to be proud of her and that she is attending church more often now. We are very happy that she is doing that, but we know that there is more that we need to do other than go to church. She is a wonderful funny lady though and we like teaching her! 
Thursday: We had a half-mission training!!!! I got to see Sister Hunt!!! It was awesome!!!! They also had departing testimonies and one of the assistants to the president is leaving and he gave a wonderful testimony. We talked a lot about becoming Book of Mormon missionaries meaning we are going to be using the Book of Mormon more than ever!!!! Which is pretty great cause I love that book!!! 
Friday: We celebrated pie day!!!!! A family in our ward, the Walls, celebrate pie day every year and they invited us and the elders to celebrate with them! I have probably the best pie I have ever had in my entire life!!! I have banana cream pie and blueberry pie and it was amazing!!! I loved it!!! 
Saturday: We ate dinner with the Lovells and I love their family! They are like every missionaries dream family! They are always inviting people to activities and to learn more about the church! It is amazing!! They also have cute kids so that is always exciting! They have a little 3 year old named Leah and she is so cute! 
Sunday: Sister Greene and I taught the Gospel Principles class. The lesson was on scriptures. Sister Greene and I decided that we would talk about feasting upon the words of Christ. I thought the lesson went pretty well, but I feel like not many people share the same enthusiasm as missionaries do for the scriptures. 
Spiritual Thought: Who loves having joy? I know that I love being happy and having joy! Do you know who else wants us to have joy, Heavenly Father. In 2 Nephi 2:25 it talks about how we are here to experience joy in this life. How are we able to experience joy when life is so full of opposition and things that just make life hard? The secret is that it is our choice. It is our choice to how we react to the opposition and trials that we have been given. In Alma 26:27 Alma was about to give up teaching the people when the voice of the Lord said to turn back and bear their afflictions with patience then they would see success. The Lord gives us trials so we can grow stronger. We have the choice to either move forward and be happy or to dwell on things of the past. I love the scripture in John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." We can be cheerful because we have our Savior Jesus Christ who has overcome sin so that we can live with our Father in Heaven once more! Our mission president taught us to say "I think I'll decide to have faith in Jesus Christ," whenever we feel sad or discouraged. We have reason to rejoice and be happy always! Heavenly Father loves us and cares for all of His children and He wants us to be happy, but it is up to our decision whether we are happy or not. Happiness is a choice! I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 
Love Always, 

Sister Miranda Smith 

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....