Tuesday, March 24, 2015

1st Pday! 1st Emails! Pics from Courtney

Sister Courtney Smith & Sister Makelle Smith
They Still See Each Other!
Hey! Wow!!! that is all I can say right now! Alright so I guess I"ll just give you a run down of what has happened this past week! So when I first got here I was assigned to a trio! That was pretty awesome! My companions names were Sister Landbeck and Sister Jeppson, but half way through the day Sister Jeppson got assigned to be with her cousin!! Now Sister Landbeck is my only companion but I love her to pieces! We all room together! The rooms are like a dorm and really fun! One of the biggest shocks was that there are so many missionaries!!! It's kinda weird to always be doing something too! I was so happy and I felt the spirit so strongly when we all sang called to serve! I had been imagining it for so long!! Class was very difficult for me! I didn't realize really how hard it would be to switch my thinking from English to Portuguese! Some things I've learned this week are: When the Lord asks us to to do something, be EXACTLY obedient!  Not somewhat obedient, ALWAYS be obedient. This will keep you close to the Savior and in return He will bless you. I know that the people in Portugal are the people I can best help accept the gospel! I'm also on the Lords time not mine! I will do everything I"m asked because this is His mission, not mine. My purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end! I feel so honored to be a representative of my Savior Jesus Christ!! I know that my struggles in learning a language and adjusting to missionary life are worth bringing souls unto my Savior! I love Him! I know He lives and loves us! He loves us so much he atoned for our sins so that we could return to our Heavenly Family and we can be with our earthly family through out the eternities! I go to my Heavenly Father and cry on my knees asking Him for more faith, strength, peace, and most importantly the spirit. I can now say that it won't ever stop, even after my mission! Being here has shown me how I want to continue living my life, so I can become like my Savior! I have committed to myself and to God that I will always be converted to the Lord! I'm so Happy and feel so blessed to be on this journey the Lord has sent me on! Until next week! Love you all!
Sister Courtney Smith
Sister Smith & Sister Landbeck
Roommates :)
Sister Courtney Smiths District

( No pics from Makelle :(  Hopefully she figures out how to download ha ha ! )
Hey everyone, Man I miss all my friends and family! So far these last 6 days have been the hardest of my life and have truly tested my faith, but they have also taught me to always hold on to my testimony and to appreciate what the Lord has done for me! I know I am a disciple of Christ and I CAN DO THIS:)
Wed- Crazy day! Most of it is a blur. When we first arrived they kept shoving me in hallways with caution tape. I felt like I was in world war Z, HAHA. I got to my classroom and met my teacher Irmo Workman and my District: Elder Meredith- Brigham City Utah, Elder Pacheco(who moved into an advanced class after two days)- Cali, My companion Sister Irizarry-Layton Utah:) I cried when I found out she was my comp. because I had met her before I came here. Sister Parks- Austin, Texas, Sister Kirkendall- Henderson, Nevada. There are only five of us now, Elder Meredith is a solo missionary, but he has to eat with us! We learned some phrases and I didn't understand a whole lot, it was a long day. My companion got the flu so she went to the isolation room haha called quarantine. Haha my favorite word now. And I was in a trio for a day. 

Thursday- Longest day of my life! We wake up at 6:15am and it's still not enough time to get ready I usually wear my hair natural and do my make-up. We got to bed at 10:30pm but I am not used to that so it's hard to fall asleep. We learned more vocab and I still haven't understood much, I wanted to give up. But I am not a quitter, I can do all things with the power and the spirit of God. 

Friday- We taught our first lesson to a girl named Danielle. It was basically a script and I didn't understand a whole lot of what I was saying to her, but sister Irizarry helped me so much! She is so encouraging and helpful, she is fluent in Spanish so she can help carry the convo along when I can't. I know the Lord sent her as my companion to help me and I am so very grateful for His mercy with my weaknesses. I started crying in class because I couldn't understand. My teacher Irmo workman spoke to me in English (usually he only speaks in Port). He told me in order for God to give me the gift of tongues, I must labor and struggle. I must call upon God to help me know by the spirit what to say to my investigators. I have to have faith and be Obedient. He told me Sister Smith you are not slow, you aren't failing, you are trying your best, YOU ARE LEARNING, aren't we all. He says I have the spirit, and that the language of the spirit is what converts not correct Portuguese. I believe this, God is testing me, but I am promising Him to be faithful and to keep trying again and again. 

Saturday- I still don't think I'm grasping the language, it is so hard haha. I go blank in my head and it is so scary. I have learned that I need to stop saying I can't speak Portuguese, but say I will speak Portuguese one day with the help of the Lord. We gave our second lesson, and it went ok. We've learned we can't go by a script we must speak by the spirit. But I could understand what she was saying, it was so great! I was called to speak this language to help someone in Brazil who speaks this language. I know God will help me learn the words I need to say to those people. I learned the next lesson was to be without notes. I thought I can't even haha but really I couldn't even form sentences. But we needed to have faith. 

Sunday- We went to sacrament all in the language of Portuguese. It was hard to understand but they sang I Stand All Amazed and it brought the spirit to me and I learned that God asked me to be here, going through these hard things. So I am going to do it because I believe in Him and His power! We went on a temple walk. My companion and I just laugh all the time, it keeps us happy and stops us from crying! She reminds me of my cousin Mia and I love my companion with my whole heart, I want her to be successful and happy, more than I want myself to be. I feel like we have been friends forever. At the devotional we watched a talk by David A Bednar, and I learned that we need to turn away from the natural man and turn towards the Savior and others around us. I need to work on this. I have been trying to worry more about others and what God wants rather than what I want. Patience is something I need to be better at!

Monday- My best day so far! I didn't get frustrated, We gave our lesson to Danielle and it went awesome. I remembered everything I wanted to say, not perfect but she could understand. I am so Grateful for the help and guidance God has been giving me! I said my first prayer in front of the class in Portuguese, which was a miracle I could remember the words. I am beginning to understand and it makes me so happy that when I'm not so focused on myself then I can learn more and become better! This is not my mission it's the Lords! I am feeling so much peace that this is where I am supposed to be even though I miss my family! The MTC is getting better and I can't wait to learn more Portuguese and to become a better missionary day by day! I love you ALL!
Sister Makelle Smith

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