Monday, September 5, 2016

Last week HERE WE COME, YIKESSSS!!!!


(Sister Courtney Smith)
So I don´t have to many words for this week. I really just hit a blank at all that happened during the week. Haha but to say what I can is that I am really so happy here. I honestly don´t want to leave. It´s really strange that I'm going to have to go home. We´ve been teaching a couple families and individuals that are really looking for the truth and it will be so hard to have to pass them off and I won´t be able to continue helping others. But it´s a phase of life. I bore my last testimony to my ward here in Porto in testimony meeting and I started bawling. I already know I´m gonna be a wreck on the plane! Don´t expect me looking pretty this week!

So I had my funeral in district meeting which was fun hahaha I really can´t believe it´s coming to an end. We are close to helping Rosa get baptized and as well one other family :) I don´t have words because it makes me sad thinking about it too much. I didn't think I would be like this at the end, I´m just going to have the fondest memories about Portugal and the people here. I really don´t believe I´ve been here for a year and a half!!!! hahaha I´m only coming home because they are making me or else I would be staying another transfer 😘Can´t wait to see you guys though!

Peeps if you want to come to my homecoming: Homecoming is Sept 18th , 9am at the church right behind Walmart in Cedar Hills Utah 

I guess I´ll end my last email with my testimony that I know that God is our Heavenly Father, He loves us and has a plan for us. I know that Jesus Christ is our best friend and our Savior. He is my redeemer and my comfort. He really does wipe my tears and calms my heart. I am so grateful for my chance to get to know him more by doing his work. I know that the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints is his church that leads us back our heavenly home. Salvation is a reality and we are working every day for it :) I love that our lives have purpose and that we are here to help each other follow that plan. I love you guys so much. Thank you for being there for me along my journey here in Portugal and in life. Have an amazing week!!! Love you all!!!! 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Really proud about the work we are doing & Saying Goodbye Home in 2 days!

(Sister Courtney Smith) 
Well this week just flew by right before my eyes. It´s really strange that I only have one more week of normal proselyting because next week we will be having conferences with Elder Zwick!!!! :) So needless to say my mission is coming to an end :( But i´m really going to take advantage of the time I have because I don´t want to say goodbye to this chapter of my life.. it´s so good.

Well the biggest news is that God really did bless us this week!!! All the sudden after pday ended we went to a meeting with a new investigator named Rosa. We taught a powerful lesson and she just looked at us and told us that she thinks she finally found the church shes been looking for :) we all were in tears and we were so excited to help her get to know our message!! She was very excited about the book of mormon and accepted our invite for baptism!! We showed her the church on Wednesday and she really liked it... she went into the baptismal font room and she looked at us and said I don't know why but I really want to be baptized! :) We taught her the second lesson and she really enjoyed learning what her purpose is in this life. She has a crazy back story but she has a lot of potential. She is so funny because in the end of the lesson she started singing Bob Marley song Happiness. hahahaha it made our whole day! She´s a gem, she wants to be baptized the weekend before i leave!!!! What a miracle it is!!!!!!!!!! God just handed her to us and it really is a sign to me that when we do our best and work hard we see success. Maybe not a lot or when we want it but it comes. I felt so much love from my Heavenly Father... I was not expecting to receive a blessing like this so when it came it literally felt so surreal!!! We taught the third lesson and she really loved learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ. She sang another Bob Marley song don't worry about a think cause every little thing is going to be alright.... hahahaha she just brightens our day :) She already wants to help others know about the message too! She came to church and is learning a lot so Please Pray for her!!!! :)

We also found a woman from Angola!!!! Her name is Rita and she is amazing!!!! She is a teacher, and she is apart of an evangelic church the kingdom of God well she saw our church when she was visiting Texas but she was too shy to ask about it because she doesn't speak English very well so when we knocked her door she was happy to let us come back and share our message with her :) She lives right down the street from our church so we are excited to have her visit next week. She really understood our message and she was so intrigued to read the book of mormon and find out for her self!! She has three kids and two grandchildren. We get to meet them next time :) She was so cute she asked when we would visit again WE DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TO ASK... THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN! :) I have a love for Angolans they seriously are the best people you´ll ever meet! She also gave us a coconut tart! :) Gotta love it!

We talked with Joaquim for the first time. He is an old investigator from the elders who is a member of the jehova witness church, and he had a lot of questions about the book of mormon and didn't quite understand why we would need more scriptures or a new prophet. It was one of my favorite moments to explain my testimony and my knowledge of the gospel. God really gave us his spirit to teach him and help him understand the importance of the Restoration. He agreed to really give the book of mormon a chance and that he will pray :) We have a meeting next Saturday!


So as you can see the week had some really high points!!! Our personal numbers have been the best they have ever been in this area since I´ve been here and I feel really proud about the work that we are doing :) I know that our church is the church of Christ and that he restored his gospel through Joseph Smith. I know that the book of mormon is a proof of that very statement :) I love being able to bring this message into the lives of those here in Portugal!!!!!! Have a good week! 

(Sister Makelle Smith) - Coming Home in 2 Days! Will post then...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Baptism, Coming Home! & Faith, Obedience & Diligence!

(Sister Makelle Smith) 
So this past week was so awesome!!! DANG Birthday weeks are the best in the mission!!! So I don't really know what to say other than I have just felt the love of the Savior and our Heavenly Father so much this week! I know He loves me as His daughter and His missionary. I kept thinking of Court the whole week too and who I am so proud of her and the work she has done!! 
We had a ward sign language class taught by Patricia my recent convert who is deaf. Now the relief society is all learning sign language to be able to communicate with Patricia!! So special, I know the church is true! 
For  my birthday we got milkshakes and cheese fries haha we went all out!! It wasn't anything close to training table in Sandy but it was yummy! The members gave me some gifts and the best gift of all is that Romulo was baptized!!!!! YAY! He is so dang cute!!!! He had to be baptized 2 times. We all laughed. When he came out he just had this HUGE smile on his face, he is so happy to be apart of the church of Christ he has a testimony of that! We sang I love to see the temple, and I cried on the spot! I was able to be apart of his life and influence him to make the right choice. He said he wants to serve a mission and one day I know he will be sealed in the temple! Wow I love this guy so much!!!! 
I just have such a love for this work and for this gospel! This year and a half passed by so dang fast and it is coming to an end! I love my Savior and His church. I am so grateful for the whisper the Holy Ghost gave me to serve a mission. I know that I was called here for a reason. And I truly feel like I fulfilled my purpose here! I love the Brasil Florianopolis Mission. And I love the people here that I have met and helped. This mission has changed me. God has helped me change to the person he has wanted me to become. I love all of my family who has loved and supported me and I am so grateful for all the prayers!! I am just full of gratitude!! Now I just need Court to come home with me!!:) Love you guys, see you all back home!!:)

(Sister Courtney Smith) 
Well this weeks letter is gonna be a short one because i´m not really in the mood to write. I feel like I forget everything that happens that´s cool during the week! hahaha Well some cool things that happened:
Zone meeting and Ward council meeting: It was pretty neat! I feel weird being the oldest but it´s really nice to still be able to enjoy the last of my mission! I feel like all my friends left and I am the lucky one who gets to stay :) I really want to better this mission and the church here in Portugal! I love how I still get to grow and learn even in my last transfer! I think President Amorim was pretty smart when he called me to do both :) Our zone meeting was actually on my bday so that was fun I´ve been a little emotional this week but I think it´s just normal, I'm still trying to press forward with a steadfast faith in Christ. I feel like I´m learning and relearning a lot about faith and how it will help me as a missionary and as a person. I know I can have faith in the Savior and in his gospel and when I do what he asks my Life turns out so much better than I had planned! 
My birthday was awesome :) after the meeting we went to KFC for a celebration lunch and it was great! hahaha I haven't had it for a while so it was a good treat :) Then we worked and visited some of my favorite people. Taynara and Siderley made popcorn and we drank some soda :) We brought cookies and we taught him about baptism.. I don´t think I could have asked for a better night :) Literally I wouldn't want to spend my day any other way than testifying of the Savior and his love for us :) They even gave me some presents, I got that cute little bear from them, I really love the people here :) Other than that we have been doing a lot of contacting and tracting... it´s been one of the hardest weeks of finding people that I´ve ever had on my mission but I´m going to continue doing what´s right and try to be better this next week! On Sunday we kept working hard and one building we found 5 people who said we could come back and teach them!!!! What a blessing from God it was to know that we just need to show our faith, obedience, and diligence. I love the gospel and the little miracles we see everyday. I love my companion and the love she shows for me. I couldn´t ask for a better way to be ending my mission! 
Crazy that Makelle is already going home this next week... I die a little inside at the end of each day but I know it will all be the way it´s supposed to :) Have an amazing week! 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Happy 21st Birthday! 2weeks left, 4 weeks left!

(Sister Makelle Smith)
Well this was another great week. I have been learning a lot that God truly knows us inside and out and that He always always takes care of us as his children!
The baptism date for Robert has been postponed, he is needing to commit to live certain commandments in his life. He still wants to be baptized and be apart of the church, he just needs to choose to follow. Marisa as well moved to another city so we ended up passing her to the elders. Super sad. But Romulo is prepared and super excited for his baptism!!!! We are just so excited for him to be baptized this Sunday!!!!He is just a gem and makes me so happy. He reminds me of my brother Garrett when he was younger, his smile just lights up my heart!! We taught him tithing this week and we used little candies and we asked him to give us one. He did and in return he got a huge lollipop, he was super happy and want to pay his tithing!! We started teaching a new investigator Giovanna, she is 18 and super cute!!! She is just so interested and truly understands that there needs to be just 1 true church!! We taught a less active member and his wife that is an investigator this week and we taught about families and that as we follow the savior and enter into covenants we can have an eternal family!!! Wow there were some tears and we read Mosiah 2:41!! So excited to help them come back to church!! I am just so grateful to be able to testify of Christ and that he is our savior and redeemer! His church exists today!!! I was reading a talk by elder gong called always remember him. He talks about how Christ was crucified and resurrected. He is the only perfect being who still carried the marks in his hands. He is the only one who has to carry that pain with him. But he does it to show is love for us as our brother. For this we are written on the palms of his hands never to be forgotten. I love this gospel and the chance to always be clean by the atonement of the Lord. Amo vocês!!😘
(Sister Courtney Smith) 
Sooooo I can´t believe that this week I´m turning 21 years old!!!! It´s super weird to think that I´ve had two birthdays here in Portugal!!!! :) Wow and along with that I will hit my 17 month mark!!! I have less than a month!!!!!!!!!! I´m going a little crazy hahaha but i´m so thankful i´m training because it´s keeping me really really busy and focused :) Sister Hulsey is actually amazing!!! She is going through the normal greenie stages of stress, homesickness, and anxiety, but you know it´s a part of the process and I know she is doing everything she can to be an amazing missionary :) She has so much power when she speaks and she is an amazing example to me! She literally radiates the light of Christ in her eyes and in her smile!!! ´We are teaching the same people this week! We talked with the family from Cabo verd and they accepted baptism invite! They want to continue learning the lessons and finding out more :))!!!!! It was awesome!!! They are seriously a perfect family with a lot of love! We are excited to go back tomorrow! We also are teaching Olga!! hahaha we taught her the third lesson and she talked and talked and talked Portuguese people love to talk! It was interesting because the third lesson is all about the things we need to work for in the life to live happy, so when we taught her she just wanted to prove to us that shes doing everything right already... but she came to church and it was great to see her progress :) We hope to mark her in this next week! We also met a new family! They are wonderful! The mom Patricia is Portuguese and the dad is Brazilian they have the cutest baby boy in the world :) We taught the first lesson and they really enjoyed it! It´s so cool to teach people who are actually interested in learning and understanding the message!!! :) we hope to visit them tomorrow as well! as far as Alberto well the Elders will have to start teaching him soo I hope they do a good job so he can get baptized :) It was a pretty challenging week because our president really wants us hitting the goals we make and unfortunately we did not hit our goals.... I felt like we gave everything we could and did our best but we fell short. I was honestly really frustrated and upset because I thought I was putting all my faith in God so why didn't he help us? Well sometimes it´s not our timing its the Lords... so we are going to move forward and look for better ways to accomplish what God wants for us. We also got to stay with Sister Cabral for a day she was set apart and is already a fantastic missionary!!!! :) It was a pleasure to be with her! Well I know that what we are doing is Gods work and he is helping us everyday. I know he knows me and wants me to be happy but I have to do my part to be able to be worthy to receive his blessings. Love you guys!!! Have an amazing week!
This scripture really helps me this week :)
 28 ¶Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.
 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
 31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Baby Girl! & I know the BOM is true!

(Sister Courtney Smith)
So needless to say I´m Training!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoooooo this week has flown by so fast!!!! :) Well just to update on what´s going on, my comps name is Sister Hulsey she is from Lindon and she´s just about the most perfect trainee that you could ask for!!! I was a little nervous to get the call that I´d be training and still stay a sister training leader but I'm ready for the challenge!!! I really just feel so motivated to give everything I have to help every person I see! We had our training meeting and when I got her I was so relieved because she is such a sweetheart and super super chill!!!! She really looks for ways to understand and speak the language and shows love to everyone she talks to! Everyone loves her too!!! :) We have a bunch in common and I know that my last transfer here won´t be any comp problems whoooohooo :) I told her that I wanted this transfer to be the best transfer of my mission and her mission as well, she got really happy and I know we will be a very obedient dupla :)
So we have been talking to literally everyone in our path!!! It´s so cool to see the difference it made in our week!! We´ve been marking a lot more appointments and we are finding a lot of new people to teach! One time we were in the metro station and I told her to choose someone to talk to while we waited because we can´t waste our time! And she said that guy on the bench, so we went over there and she started the contact and he said wow what church are you from and she explained and all the sudden he said wow because I'm really looking for a new church! I feel lost from God but I want to find him again! She invited him to church and he said if he had time he would come! His name is Alberto and he's from Guine. Sister Hulsey was glowing!!!!!!! She was so happy to follow the spirit and find someone looking for the truth!!! She literally has a light about her and is so ready to work and I love that!!! :) We also taught Olga this week the second lesson we sung I am a child of God and she started crying again she said she doesn't want to be baptized again but we bore testimony that if she came to church she would feel something different. Well when Sunday came we had three investigators there!!!!! What a miracle!!!! :) Alberto called us and said I made some room to come I didn't want to loose the chance to see how the church is and Olga came in the door with a huge smile on her face :) It was one of those moments when I knew God was blessing us for all of our efforts :) I know He is here with us as we do his work!
It´s funny because Makelle ended the Book of Mormon this week and I ended last week! Reading in a different language was kind of tricky but the spirit helps you understand and I was able to see the stories and the doctrines in a different way! I know that the Book of Mormon is true!!!! :)
For Pday we went to the really touristy spots of Porto and Sister Hulsey ate her first francesinha :) Whoooo it´s been an amazing first week and I know that it will be the best one of my mission!!! LOVE you guys!!!
(Sister Makelle Smith)
So this week was great again!! Haha I am just loving Brasil and so happy to be here!!
This week was very special because I was able to finish reading the Book of Mormon in Portuguese!! It was a goal of mine from the beginning and I am so grateful I did it! It was so hard at the beginning because I didn't understand anything, but as I kept reading I starting understanding more and more. The spirit truly testifies to us! I know with my whole heart that the Book of Mormon is sacred scripture inspired by God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true in all languages around the world. I know that the Book of Mormon testifies of the plan of salvation and of our Savior. I know that Jesus is the world´s Redeemer. We bore our last testimonies at the pulpit this week wow that was super sad. But it felt good to know I have done my part! Robert told a member yesterday after church in the car that he stopped drinking coffee and he is committed to live the law of chastity!!:) He has been sad lately because of family problems but we are super excited for his baptism. Please continue praying for him so he can feel happy and ready for his baptism!! Also Romulo was authorized by our president to be baptized. He will be baptized on the same day as Robert!!!:) Marisa has a baptism date, but we will probably put it for next month! I am so grateful to be here helping Gods children progress and make covenants with him to one day have eternal life!! I LOVE the mission!!!!! Love you guys!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Splash zone! & Training!

(Sister Makelle Smith)
This week was pretty good!! We have been able to visit more of our investigators this week! We taught a new investigator Marisa who is the mom of Jaqeline who is a member! She has been to church a ton of times, she just was never baptized! She loves the missionaries. We taught her the restoration and she knows that she needs to be baptized and she wants to be a member of the church so she can watch her daughters sealing in the temple in the future!! So neat! Her and Robert have the same baptism date!!
We are also teaching Romulo who is so dang cute and progressing a lot! We invited him to pray last week and he said he would pray and ponder when he went to fly his kite! Apparently kite flying is super popular here. He said for days he felt really happy and light. He said that was his answer from God that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the church is true!! He wants to be baptized!! We just need to talk with his mom. If she doesn't get baptized I don't know if Romolo can be because he is only 13. But pray for them so they can all be baptized this month!! Haha when we were at Romulos house we were all drinking cevada and eating crackers when I was telling a funny story, Sister Irizarry took a big sip and she laughed so hard she spit her cevada all over me. Hahahaha we laughed so hard it was like from a movie, I got soaked, I was in the splash zone!
We visited Robert and he is still doing well, he just needs to commit to stop drinking coffee. He doesn't even like it, he just drinks it because he hasn't seen a difference if he drinks it or not. But please pray so he can stop drinking it! This week has been great and we are excited to keep teaching this week too!! Thank you for all of your support and help I love you guys so much!!💞
(Sister Courtney Smith)
Hey so this pday was aboslutley crazy!!!!! Hey mom!! Guess what i´m training!! So I don't have time to write but i'm ok and alive and I love you!!! :) Have a good week!