Lovely Week!

Lovely People,

Over here in Singen, Germany life is good. Just like always, we saw a ton of God’s miracles πŸ™‚

Last week, I probably talked about Beauty Sunday, a friend of ours who is learning about the church. She is just so amazing. She was nervous before to commit herself or to learn too much more because of things in her past that had haunted her. Well, this week she turned completely around. She told us that she has been so unbeleivably happy since she has been reading the scriptures and coming to church and learning about God from us. She said that no matter what comes her way, if her papers don’t come through or if she doesn’t have much money, or whatever, she just can’t stop being happy. She really feels God’s love. THAT’S what this work is all about, my friends. It was just AMAZING! We were able to teach her more and she wants to be baptised on the 17th of April! I am so excited for her to do this, because of all of the peace and lasting joy that it will bring into her life. The gospel is just…. too good.

We also had an exchange (austausch) with the sister missionaries from a diff area this week. They are the coolest girls ever! The Sister I worked with, Her mother just found out about five weeks or so ago that she has breast cancer again. she has been nothing but tough, brave and amazing throughout this whole ordeal. She works and helps people and brings in blessings for her family. Her mom will have a little bit of time left before she departs this life, but she takes what could be an easy excuse to be mad at God and instead, leans on Him.ΓΆ She told me that she finds peace and she knows, more than ever before that her mother will not stop being her mother because of earthly death. No matter what side of the veil she is on, her mother will be there for everything. She may end up going home early to be with her family, but I am so glad that for now she is here, so I can learn a little bit more about how to be a truly strong person and to really trust in God and let His love fill my life.

That is all we have to do, let His love fill our lives. It is there and ready for us, but we just need to go and get it. We get to teach people how they can do just that on the mission. It’s the best thing ever. I love being here, doing this thing and just getting to know and learn from all these people from so many different walks of life!

In this Easter time, we are blessed to be reminded of a message of true hope. This message that Jesus Christ lives and that he suffered, died and was resurrected so that we might all have life everlasting. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has this awesome video out and I challenge you all to watch it, share it and follow what it says, it just made my day. I know that as we live so as to use this gift, it will make our lives amazing. (Even after death).

I love you all!

Sister Smith

Still Singen!

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Sister Berry and I making green eggs for the institute! The Germans thought we were crazy! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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The YW in our ward did a beauty night with us and look at my nails! so fun!

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Spring is beginning, it’s so beautiful here!

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Beautiful place I get to live in !

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Zurich

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Zurich

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It’ just so beautiful here!

I don’t know if I can describe the feelings oen gets as a missionary. Maybe it’s just this overwhelming hyper huge scale of feeling. Some moments are hard. Really hard. The people you have been teaching reject you, and all of the blessings they have seen and all of the things that you hold so precious and know will help them feel god’s love for them and eventually have eternal life. This week that happened with Lovet. She wasn’t keeping her commitments and she told us she’d rather not learn more from our church. It it’s sad for us because we are still so invested in helping her and know that she will see more blessings, truth and love when she follows Christ and joins the church. Still, we know she will find it someday and at least we gave hera glimpse of what we know. BUT THEN, most moments are great. Really, really great. They make it all worth it. You feel the Saviour’s love pulsing through you to every person you speak to. You get an affirmation in your heart that even those who have rejected you have learned something or felt something or have been somehow helped by what you do. You are allowed to share the love of God literally as a vessel in a very strong and real way. You bring miracles to pass, you change lives, you just serve God. This week we went finding a lot. That means a lot of miracles and a lot of rejection. A few miracles we saw were, as usual, unorhtodox. As we were ringing one house, we found a member ( we forgot she lived there) and she had just gotten out of the hospital that week. She really needed a visit. She wasnt able to say much, but we shared a word of prayer and talked with the family. They were able to come to church that Sunday. Another one was surely an answer to the Elder’s prayers (LOL). We rang a full building of doors. One person let us in (of like 20). We thought it was the top floor, so we run up to the top only to find the door closed and the equivalent to a no soliciting sign that told us to go away. Confused, we slowly made our way down the stairwell, when the floor below called for us. We started talking to the woman at the door and then suddenly, in English, she said, ” Are you the mormons” I kind of stuttered and said, ”That is a spitzname.. oh or nickname for us..” She said, ”Oh, okay! Cool. My husband, John is learning with the mormons right now.” So we go into the apartment and find John! A guy who the elders have been teaching but he was about to take a pause from learning becuase he and his ”wife” aren’t officially married and he wasn’t willing to move out or get married. It is a super tough situation, but God’s laws are clear. It would be worse for him to make a promise with God if he is not keeping the comandments described in the scriptures and as the missionaries teach them. John was very secretive about where they lived and scared to introduce his family to the missionaries. We got on really well with his girlfriend and the family, we joked with them, talked with them and shared a short message before leaving, stunned. That night we called the elders and they were so excited. We don’t know for sure what will happen to the family or how big of a difference that might have made, but we know God has a plan for that lovely family. We also got to work more with Beauty Suday. She is doing great things. She is learning to read, coming to church every week and listening to us every week. She is battling a lot right now with her past. In Africa someone harrassed her and really left a mark on her. He was a part of a church there and just really scarred her memories of baptism and church, but we are helping her feel God’s love and the healing power of the atonement and she is slowly healing and getting ready to make more steps toward her Heavenly Father! Christiana is doing just fine! She is excited to be progressing and reading a lot more in the Book of Mormon. She really identifies with Nephi, one of the first people we meet in the story, who is standing strong although his brothers are disobeying and making life really painful for him (physically and emotionally). This week we also spent some time with a Young Woman in our ward. She is such a lovely girl and a great example. She invited us over to have a Beauty Night with two of her friends who do not go to our church. We got to know them really well and they are such fun girls! We painted nails, talked about the church dance they’d be going to the next night, and a part of that was the Tree of Life in Lehi’s dream. She initiated the gospel conversation and was so amazing. I just want to thank all the strong young women out there! You are all so great. I have been so blessed by your examples. It is not easy to go through life with such opposition, hardships and temptations all around you. All I can say is I know that no matter what the fight is worth it. If you lean on Heavenly Father and never let Him get out of your sight, He will never ever let you down. I know that. It’s worth it! I am reminded of Mormon, who was all alone in his fight, or so he felt. He is a prophet at the end of the Book of Mormon and all of his people are wicked, they’re killing one another and fighting and just totally forgetting that Jesus was just there with them and what He said. Mormon, still, tries his best and does what’s right. He keeps the plates (later to be the Book of Mormon) safe and raises a righteous son in a seemingly impossible circumstance. He dies, probably feeling like he let a lot of people down. But we have the Book of Mormon because in part of him. It has changed my life and so many lives. In addition, because he was so focused on saving the life of his people, and he worked with God the whole time, he was surely saved. I am so grateful for him and for each of you. It’s not easy, but who said it would be? It’s right and it’s worth it! Love you all! Sister Smith

Another Amazing Week!

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Sister Berry and Sister Smith. They accompanied the wonderful Bro and Sis Lee to try a new restaurant they found in town. They look happy, must have been good!

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Zone conference with the Freiburg Zone! Great Group of the Lord’s servants!

I am having a great week. Missionary life is sooo cool. I cannot beleive I am already halfway through my time here. Where doesa the time fly when you are working hard and having fun and helping people come closer to Christ?! It just disappears. I guess we can do that in our everyday lives anyways, eh? Not like I do here, but through small and simple kindnesses and love and just doing our best to follow God. πŸ™‚

One miracle we saw this week: As we went to teach Beauty Sunday (awesome name right? Africans are the coolest! ), we met her sister, Racheal. Her sister asked if we were JW, like everyone does, and then kind of got out of the room. We were nice and kept on going, teaching and talking with Beauty. Racheal came back in and was actually super ready to listen. We were talking about the things Jesus taught about asked us to do in this life.

A few of the key things he taught of (as we read in 3 Nephi 11 in the Book of Mormon, among other places in the scriptures) is to have faith, repent and be baptised. As we talked about the last point, we asked Beauty if she would be baptised, if she thought it was good for her, and she hesitated and got a little confused, but Racheal stepped in and said she wanted to be baptised into our church. She said she has been going to a church in Ludwigsburg (same mission as me, but different zone) and she loves it, but her heart is not in it. She does not feel right there and she feels it would be wrong to baptise there, but she said the minute we started teaching she knew, because of the good feelings and warm feelings she felt, that she wants to be baptised into our church. We were so happy for her! She then went on to explain to Beauty why baptism is so important( because it is the way we start a new life and really focus on coming closer to Christ to use the atonement he gave us and be saved) She was saying, ”Why wait?” lol, anyways at the end everyone left happy, a little changed, and felt the spirit of God, and that is really the goal.

She is now being taught by elders where she lives and they are going to set a baptismal date with her this week!

We also had a bit of time to contact this week. One of the people who had interest actually started talking to us from out the window, which was funny. We were delivering some things to a family in need that our congregation had gathered together out of there own homes or with their own money (how great are they?) and the guy yelled to ask if that was for him, jokingly. We kind of thought, oh great here is another creeper, but smiled, of course and laughed and said no. Then, as we came back he asked which church we were from and said he absolutely needed to know more about Christ. We will meet with him this week! πŸ™‚

We found a few more people who want to hear more, but that was the best story πŸ™‚
We also got to work with our lovely friend Nancy, who wants to be baptised on the 18th of April. Last time we met, we had one of the best lessons I have ever had on my mission. She cried, the member we took with us cried, and we all just felt the spirit so strong. Her fiance had lost his job, their marriage papers were not coming through easily (they want to get married as soon as possible, but they have to have an insane amount of paperwork, from Africa no less, to be able to do that) and she felt as if God had forgotten her.

After this amazingly spiritual lesson, she went to visit her fiance and as they were moving his last stuff out of his apartment, he got a call from his work that had told him they had no room for him just before. They asked him to come back, but he demanded better conditions and a contract if he were to come back. He ended up getting a 1.50 euro per hour raise and a year safety contract.

Nancy knew it came because she had been praying and trusting in the Lord. She had never read more in the Book of Mormon and pamphlets and said , ”You know now I am truly, really interested in being baptised.” So we taught her about the importance of Chastity, or staying clean before marriage, respecting your spouse by only being with them in marriage and basically just keeping yourself pure, and set a baptismal date with her. She came to church and really got a ton out of it. She is glowing like never before, it is just so good to see the miracles of the Lord bless lives!! How lucky am I to see these and help people. Too lucky!

We also had four birthdays in the ward this week and we got invited to a family party for one on Sunday that was SO FUN. The family was super nice and we got to share a spiritual thought about Love. We read the definition out of The Bible Dictionary (In German is in the Book of Mormon) and then a passage from the bible about how nothing can separate us from the love of Christ and of God. Today I was also reading in John 15 and it just hit me how the love we have for one another and for God binds us to each other and guides us on. We are all children of God and he loves us all. At the appointment, when we asked the family what love was to them, one boy said this and pointed to his family and how they were all together. That is true. I have felt no greater love than the love of Christ and the love that comes from our eternal families!

Have a great week and never forget how loved you are!

Sister Smith

StillSingen!!!

This week was a little different, here’s why:

Monday, P-day, traveling to a less active who lives a few hours away, then cleaning and ect. Great appointment with this lady, she really needs visits and we really felt the spirit touch her as we were there.
Never felt love like that before my mission, just pure intense love flowing through me to her!

Tuesday- District Meeting with Elder Lee, the couple missionary, as our district leader and only the elders in our ward in our the meeting with us. It is team Singen, all the way! πŸ™‚ I can feel the dilligence and even see the marks of tired but incredibly happy missionaries as we share our best and deepest experiences with The Book of Mormon. I feel a comraderie and a connection, like a small family as we learn and become even more changed together. We go out and serve and share our limited knowledge, but mostly the feelings of the spirit, with others.
Facing little daily fears as we talk to people, cute old ladies on the bahn, families on the door and random guys on the street who need what we have desperately, but have no idea who we are and probably think we are crazy. After we take the plunge again and again, being filled with indescribable joy. Knowing it is enought to just try my best.
We, again, just get to be this vessel which ships the love of Christ to these people. It is just amazing.

Wednesday- ”Normal” Missionary day. We got to visit our lovely Christiana and Beauty. Christiana is glowing with the spirit, as she is now a member. She is filled with a glow and a calm that allows her to take on anything. She was called to Italy this week to finish her papers. She makes plans to get it taken care of so that she and her daughter can be safe. She has no money,. nowhere to stay and no food, still she goes on saying ”By the Grace of God I will make it.” She prays and reads and is now in Italy, waiting for her appointment and excited to return. She always says that she is so grateful for all she has and for God, but we have so much more reason to be grateful for her and her spirit. Some people just have this faith to move mountains, faith to leap without knowing where they might land, as long as God is on her side she cannot lose. We meet with a few people then have a German class with an amazing member, Sister Zimmerman, and Sister Lee. We laugh and just have a great time learning the best language ever.

Thursday- Studies, one appointment, then travel. Four hours to Munich with the elders. We talke to people and gaze at the beautiful country on the way. See all the missionaries at the Leadershiop Council and have a great devotional watching J. R. Holland. Sleep in Munich.

Friday- Amazing MLC Siter Kohler gives the best talk ever that inspires everyone, then we keep it going as we brainstorm and evaluate how to keep these missionaries doing great things and how to make that last forever in their lives, in the lives of the people they help and in the mission. Travel back, study.

Saturday- Study, visit members and travel to Zurich. Even better ride and planning Our Zone meeting for Tuesday. First meeting of Stake Conference. It was amazing and we got to sit next to a lady we did not know and get to know her. She is an amazing member and loves the missionaries. She said she loved us so much and gave us 10 Euro, would not let us decline it and beleive me we tried. So we kind of put it aside and went home with the Lees (they are the best!!!)

Sunday- Take the bus with almost our whole ward, a special bus they ordered to take us. It was the best member time o(like 3 hours on a bus to Zurich) we had a blast and got to know everyone a little better. Turns out, everyone who was on the bus was expected to pay 5 Euro (yeah, we should have known that..) and miraculously, we had the 10 Euro. What a miracle. Literally no other cash on us because our MSF didnt come in last week and we spent it all throughout the week (It was sunday, we didnt need cash). This lady saves us. At the confernce, there is a choir that is AMAZING. We are uplifted and the Kohlers are there and life is just great. Studies, sleep.

So you can see loads of traveling, but life is just good.

As missionaries and people in general, we are all our own unique kind of Instrument. (This is what I learned from Sister Kohler). We are the means by which others hear music. We must let the musician play us and clean us and tune us if we want to get the best sound to come out of us. That means to always be in contact with God, though prayer, following His guidance and living righteously, to always be repenting of our mistakes and to always be striving to do our very best. As we do so, we can assuredly make the best music ever. We need every instrument, that’s why us missionaries are here, to help gather our strings and drums and pianos and woodwinds and ect. Just everything. God loves us and values each of us, no matter how unique our sound or structure. I know that. I also know that we do want to make music, because it is so sweet.
As someone who had passed the music on and seen it change lives, felt that pure, incredibly strong love flow through me, I can say, there is nothing sweeter than making music.

There is nothing better than doing His work. I love this gospel, I know it is true!

I have also been reading a lot of Helaman chapter 5, in the Book of Mormon, lately and it really struck me how important this work is, how important each of us are to God and how he will do anything to get us back home safe. This chapter is super good, advice and soothing balm for the soul. Read it, see what you get out of it! πŸ™‚

Love you all, don’t forget how special you are!

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Travelling to Stake Conference in Switzerland!

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We had an amazing Stake Conference!

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I got to see the lovely Sister Pratt this week!

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Sister Berry,,,,,she’s awesome!

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The Lee’s are the best ever! WE love them so much! Such a cute little restaurant too!

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Baptism!

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Christina and her family, they are so wonderful!

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a nice Pday dinner and dessert of course! Sister Smith and Sister Berry

DSC02646-2 DSC02648 DSC02650-2 DSC02652 074-3 005-3 DSC02638-2This was a WONDERFUL week. We are just living it up here in Singen, Deutschland.

We had a double baptism in our ward this week. Somboon Luu and Christiana Ebeyi. I know Christiana because she was our investigator, so I will talk about her. She is from Nigeria and was raised a little rough, as one of over 20 in Africa, and has a 5-year-old named Miracle. She is the perfect example of humility and is a light in my life. I am just lucky to know her and definitely blessed to have the ability to help her get closer to God.

She got baptised this week and I was able to wait for her and help her change after coming out of the water. She was sopping wet, and she just took a huge breath in after. She was blown away by how clean she felt. She beamed so bright and said it ”just felt like something flew away.” She felt clean and warm and just ready to start over. Christiana also got the opportunity to share her testimony right after she was confirmed and it was super great. She is just a wonderful child of God! I love her.

We are also teaching her friend, Beauty Sunday. Beauty was there with her 5 year-old, Victory and little ‘Victory was mad that he could not be baptised yet. We explained why and he laughed and then Beauty just beamed. She really felt the spirit and also wants to learn more and one day be baptised. She is another tuly faithful, strong woman who holds God in the center of her life.

Stanley came to church with his friend, John, who wants to be baptised this month and I sat next to him and John. Stanley told me I need to sit in between them in case they need to protect me. I laughed and said, no I am okay because the girl behind me asked me to sit right in front of her. He said ”I may be tall but I don’t bite.” hahaha He is so funny. He is making great progress toward the priesthood and the temple, but he is a stubborn one. He is a GIANT teddy bear.

We also got the chance to meet with many less actives this week. Most of the women we met with are super strong in the gospel and love it, but just don’t get the chance to go because of huge family issues or sickness. A women we met with today is called Sister Graf. She is over 80 and was born in Romania. She was a Romanian refugee as a child and lived in Russian and then in Deutschland. She had to work from the time she was small, her mother alone at home. She then married a man who became an alcoholic and she had 4 kids. She found the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Germany when she moved here and has really battled to stay on the right path. After many years of faithful discipleship and doing her best to follow Christ, she had an accident and began to lose her memory. Now she struggles to remember what we talk about five minutes after we say it, but has a testimony that is rock solid. She cries because of how much God has helped her in her hard times and how much she loves Jesus and what he did for us. That is truly amazing.

I just have so much love for these people.

Missionary work is the best!!

Sister Smith