Tuesday, April 21, 2015

1 week left! Assignments came in! You won't believe it!

Together for 1 more week!
(Sister Makelle Smith)
My most favorite week! :) This week has been amazing, I have been so happy here! I love it and I love all the people in my life! I felt like the devotional this week was just for me! "Put on the alter of God all you have, and God will magnify your talents and gifts 100 fold. The atonement is not only for cleansing but for strengthening and comfort and for when we are discouraged. Fear and disappointment can be eliminated through the atonement." He read from John 14 MY favorite chapter in the New Testament. I literally felt like the Savior was speaking to me "Makelle, peace be unto your soul, I am here, I am with you". Wow it was so powerful. I felt so much peace that Christ is there to help us when we need Him and will truly succor us.
I have been learning a ton about how I can teach with discernment and with the spirit. I need to not just ask filler questions, but listen to the spirit so I can ask inspired questions. I taught a relief society lesson this last week and I got to see it in effect this week! We taught "Jo" his last lesson and he and his son committed for baptism with more time! :) Turns out Jo was my teachers investigator in Mozambique! Her name was Joanna and she and her family are strong members in the gospel today!
One day we were learning past and future tense subjunctive grammar, it was really hard so I asked a lot of questions. Elder Pacheco - Idk I just learned all this on the streets, you need to go to the streets! Me- I've never been to the streets! Sister Irizarry - The streets never taught me grammer! HAHA so many funny things, not enough time to write all the funny things my district says. But oh gosh I have never laughed so much in my entire life until I came here! We taught each other as companions and it was so cool. I want all of my lessons to be like that. Doctrine that specifically relates to the investigator and the lesson that is taught with love! I taught Sister Irizarry that the gift of tongues is not only for the language Portuguese, but for the words you should say to the investigator! She taught me that I don't only need to be patient with myself but that I need to have a bright hope for the future and that if I hope in Christ I will succeed! We WILL be comforted by the Lord Alma 17:10-11.
We practiced street contacting with Courtney's district, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be and these people are missionaries! Our district is smaller so I had to teach by myself, I did a pretty good job! I am starting to feel confident that I can do this! I prayed for patience and for the gift of tongues, it is crazy what the principle of asking and being obedient will do. The Lord is blessing me every day.
We got to skype a man from Sao Paulo named Darwin. We taught him a 30 min lesson, He was so sweet and laughed a lot! We could understand the jist of what he was saying and he could understand us! He speaks a little English, my comp said she has a cat, then he said he likes to shower with his cat. HAHA he was cute. He meant he likes to wash his cat. We talked about faith, the spirit was so strong when we all bore our testimonies of the Savior and talked about his conversion story. He gave us the best review. He said we we very happy, entertaining, prepared and excited to teach. He even said we had good language and the spirit was strong. Irma Kimball was impressed.
I know that my talents and my personality was meant for Brazil, I am called there for a reason. I cannot wait to be able to share my testimony with the people there!! In class we talked about the moment when people realize they are a son/daughter of God. I remember the moment when I was 14 and I felt God's love for me as His precious daughter. Once I knew how special I was my faith in His gospel grew so much. I can't wait to help His other children have this experience and help them to know they are all special and worth so much in the eye's of God.
On Sunday Sister Irizarry and Elder Pacheco were called up to give talks in sacrament meeting. Elder Merideth said that if this was a game of battleship we just missed the bombs. HAHA This means we will probably be giving a talk this Sunday since we will be leaving this week!
Monday was my favorite day! Outside of our classroom we saw a duck and all of her ducklings so cute! Also we were playing kickball on the field and there was a couple with a dog, so of course we go and see it! It was a mini maltipoo! Elder Merideth called it a rabbit/dog because it was so little! Turns out they bought him at the puppy barn! Hahaha If I can't go to puppy barn, the puppy barn comes to me:)
We taught our last lesson with Erika. Last time she said she wanted to be baptized but just wanted to be more prepared. We talked about the atonement of Jesus Christ, and how it can give her forgiveness, strength and comfort in her life. But she can only receive all of these things fully when she is baptized and confirmed with the Holy Ghost. She said that she wanted and needed these things in her life for her family. She committed to be baptized on the 10th of May! (Even though Erika is our teacher, it felt so real). She gave the closing prayer and I teared up. I felt a different kind of spirit. It was a moment of pure joy. She wanted to follow the Savior and be a part of His gospel! This is why I am here and I know that this is my purpose. I have never felt so good! I get reassigned tomorrow, and by next week I will be serving in a different state before I go to Brazil! Wherever I go I will follow the will of the Lord. I trust Him and I have faith He will lead me and take care of me. He has so far. Thank you for all of your support, Until next week! Amo voces!!<3

All Reassigned to the same place!
I can't believe where!
Update: (Just recieved Tuesday night)

We all received our reassignments!!! The elders opened theirs and then all of the sisters decided to open ours after dinner! We got in our classroom with all of the other districts in our zone! Courtney and her companion were there too! We sang the Hymn "I'll go where you want me to go". The spirit was so strong! Elder Meredith said our prayer in Portuguese. The Elders spilled that Sister Irizarry and I would be serving in the same place! I looked at the paper and it said:

Dear Sister Smith:
At this time, we have not received your visa to travel to your mission. You will be serving a temporary assignment in the Montana Billings mission until your visa arrives.
I was in complete shock. If you knew me you would know this is originally where I wanted to go! The Lord knows me so well and has blessed me so much. I am so grateful and feel so much peace that this is really where I am supposed to be. I love this gospel and I am so excited to share (in English) the joy that comes from following our Savior! Sister Irizarry is coming with me along with Elder Merideth, and Elder Pacheco! WOW we will all fly together and serve in Billings Montana, Then once we all receive our visas all four of us will be serving in Florianopolis, Brazil! So amazing, This is one of the happiest days of my life! Sister Parks and Sister Kirkendall both got reassigned to the Provo, Utah Mission. They were shocked, that is an understatment! But they are both super excited, they are from Texas and Nevada! We leave tuesday morning! :)

This pic says it all!
The beauty & power of God!
Hello everyone! This is Sister Makelle Smiths mom. I just have to tell a little about this! I'm still in a bit of shock right now. What a tender mercy moment for a mother! So a couple of weeks before Makelle is to leave on her mission to the Provo MTC she got an email from a girl who got her visa already to go to Brazil. They both got their calls at the same time. So Makelle was getting pretty excited and convinced that she was going to get her visa to go straight to the MTC in Brazil. But after talking to many people, everyone was saying that she will most likely go to the states first. I had to then sit her down and explain that she would NOT be going to the Brazil MTC most likely. She thought about it and started to cry. She had waited so long to go! We sat down and talked through it and it was hard for her to think she would not be going straight there. (Another tender mercy she didn't go straight there). At the end of our pow wow I asked her "Ok Makelle so where would you like to go in the US minus Hawaii?" She said Montana! I looked at her and said "what"? Yes I want to go to Billings Montana! Ok well Makelle your not going to go there nor have I ever heard of anyone going there. Most likely you will be going to California. Makelle, "no, not California!" Me, so whats in Montana and where in Montana? Makelle, I want to go to Billings Montana because there are mountains and ranches and flowers and open spaces. It looks so beautiful there! Me, well good luck with that. Most likely Cali, Texas or Florida. She then cried it out and realized that she wanted to go where the Lord wanted her! Well, fast forward to today :o ! Never would I have believed it if I didn't have that conversation with her before she left! Wow, she got what she wanted and so did the rest of her district, ha ha ha! You all have Makelle to thank for going to Billings Montana! The Lord really does listen and answers our prayers :)
4 going to Montana and 2 going to Provo Utah
Sister Smith and the kissing pose!
Sheesh!
Friends Forever!
Cafe Rio! Who sent that to them?!

(Sister Courtney Smith)
Well this week was the last normal week! This week will fly by so fast! This week has had some awesome learning experiences for me! 
The first one was on last Wednesday, I was feeling a little sad because my mind wasn't focusing on Portuguese. I prayed during gym time for strength because i was really needing it, right after when I was dropping my package off at the mailbox we got our travel plans for Portugal!! Oh my goodness!!! I immediately felt so much love from my Heavenly Father! I'm flying from here to New York-Paris-Portugal!!!  I'm so stoked and feel so blessed to be able to go straight to my mission! The crazy part about the story is that our plans weren't supposed to come until Friday! They came on Wednesday right after I had prayed! Our Heavenly Father will bless us because he knows what we need, good or bad. 
 Another experience this week that helped me see this was when Sister Landbeck and I go to have our first TRC with a Brazilian women on skype!! Her name is Claudia and we taught a lesson on Patience! It went really well she loved our message! But right after I felt sad, because she was speaking so fast, she was speaking in Brazilian Portuguese, and she wasn't the most bubbly person out there! For some reason after I felt discouraged. That night Sister Jeppson was talking to us about Faith and how important it is in our Gospel! It hit me so hard right then and there how central the gospel is on the principle of Faith! We have to have Faith in all things! For me it's having Faith that God knows me and what I need in my life to become the person God wants me to be. He wouldn't have called me Portuguese speaking if He didn't know my capacities, my strengths, and my weaknesses! My faith in God grew exponentially that day and I will never forget it! I know my Father is watching out for me personally and wants the best for all his children. I couldn't believe how much my eyes were open and that night! I"m no longer afraid or scared, but have complete faith that God will guide me and help me everyday! 
I want to share a scripture its in 2 Nephi 28:30 "For behold thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts" As we choose to follow Him for our self and dedicate our lives to our Savior He will help us see and understand all we need in this life! We will be blessed more than we know if we only will choose to accept Him and His gospel into our lives! I'm so excited for my real investigators! I can already feel my love growing for them, I can't wait to bring them eternal happiness into their life even with broken Portuguese! Um mais Semana!!!! Love you all!

Flight plans to Portugal! 

Update: Sister Landbeck did not get her visa so she was reassigned in the states. We were not told where. Sister Courtney Smith will be the only sister going to Portugal this Tuesday.

2 comments:

  1. I have greatly enjoyed your blog Sister Smith. My daughter, Suzanna, is (was!) your daughter Sister Courtney Smith's MTC companion. Sister Landbeck's older brother served a two-year mission in the Montana, Billings mission, we love that part of the world too! Such a delight to know that your daughter is excited to go there.

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    1. Just saw your comment today May 5th. Courtney enjoyed being with Sister Landbeck and learned so much from her. I was happy to see that Sister Landbeck did get her visa at the last second. Sister Smith said she was not happy when she heard that she was getting reassigned to California, but it all worked out in the end. I got to talk with Sister Landbeck for a minute at the airport and thank her for being a good companion to Sister Smith. We hope to come visit that way some day when Courtney gets home from her mission. Take care especially with all that is happening over there in Baltimore. If Sister Landbeck has a blog please send the link. I would love to see how she is doing. Take care.

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