Sunday, October 25, 2015

Never think that your testimony isn't enough

October 19, 2013
Hello family, 

This week I learned over again just how good God is to me! I have the most beautiful area, an amazingly crazy companion and the best district. Our investigators are one of a kind and all day every day I get to wear Christ's name next to my heart. Sometimes I can't help but be blown away by the fact at Heavenly Father lets little old me teach his children something so wonderful.

That being said here comes the week! Monday night we just ran around like crazy trying to make it to all of our
citas. We got to teach some of our amazing members. This week we stopped by Gladys a members who just started a new job making her schedule insane! I felt prompted to leave a note with her family. We ran into her on the street later and she told me just how much that note meant to her and how she carries it around with her. Isn't it wonderful Heavenly Father allows us to be his hands to lift those around us?

This week Hermana Esplin and I had to give a talk on obedience. I got super excited. I love talking about obedience because it is really something so simple. You choose to be or you don't. Black and white. The morning of district meeting I was reading Jacob 5 and verses 71 to 74 really stuck out to me. How those who were called to labor were asked to give everything and when they did the lord of the vineyard worked alongside them! What an honor. But beyond that they were blessed because they were obedient to all of the commandments of the lord of the vineyard they had the chance to not only work with him but see all of the bad rooted out of the area and replaced with the good. How incredible. I was also struck with verse 75. I pictured in my final interview on my mission. After president Anderson walks out of the room having the savior walk in. And what I might hope to hear on that day. I hope it's something along these lines: 

75 And it came to pass that when the Lord of the vineyard saw that his fruit was good, and that his vineyard was no more corrupt, he called up his servants, and said unto them: Behold, for this last time have we nourished my vineyard; and thou beholdest that I have done according to my will; and I have preserved the natural fruit, that it is good, even like as it was in the beginning. And blessed art thou; for because ye have been diligent in laboring with me in my vineyard, and have kept my commandments, and have brought unto me again the natural fruit, that my vineyard is no more corrupted, and the bad is cast away, behold ye shall have joy with me because of the fruit of my vineyard.

I know that God has something incredible in store for each one of us. And that the path to becoming and receiving that is through obedience. We choose whether or not we will become when we choose every day to do the small things.

After district meeting we only had 45 min and it's a 15 min walk to and from our area. But Hermana Esplin and I decided to go and make the most of it. We went to the home of an investigator and there was a cute family there. They were new in Spain and had already met some members who had given them a Book of Mormon. We literally just walked in on a perfect situation God had set up. I am so glad that we came to the party that he set up. How amazing that Heavenly Father allows us to take part in this work!

Tuesday night was not quite as fun, almost all of our citas failed us. And one of our investigators with a fetcha really quite rudely dropped us. You might say I was kind of down. For the first time I really related with Alma when he says, oh that I were an angel. I had always thought oh that's super cool that he loved talking enough that he wanted to do it just louder. But for the first time I imagined him whispering that phrase. Maybe even in discouragement. Oh that I were an angel, oh that I could shake people and help them understand the importance of this message, oh that I could grab their attention and help them see the purpose of this life, and yet I can't. I started to feel this kind of helpless discouragement. But then I remembered the second part of what he said. How this wish was a sin. Because I should trust that God has given me the tools I need to succeed and I have all I need to find the people ready to hear this message.

Wednesday morning we taught C! She is probably the cutest lady. She had a member exchange student come and stay with her a couple years back and she was so struck by the difference in him that she listened to the missionaries. But it wasn't her time yet. She wasn't willing to accept the message. Well she recently reached out to us because she just couldn't shake the fact that Jordan had something different about him. I am so excited to work with her!

We also got to eat with cute M, she always makes the most wonderful food and is basically the most wonderful person. Wednesday night we had consejo [council meeting] and noche de hogar. Per usual. We played mafia for noche de hogar. I was "the person" and somehow everyone figured out it was me. Normally they nominate 2 or 3 people to kill off, no, it was unanimously decided that it was me.

This week we brought Al with us to teach Ae. We knew this lesson was going to be important so we prepared a lot just trying to get her really excited and committed to her baptism. But for all our preparation our words just weren't working. We finally turned to Al and asked her to share her baptismal story. It was perfect. She hit it right on the head. And Ae committed to her date and just passed her interview yesterday! :) I love the members here. Never think that your testimony isn't enough. Sometimes it's just what is needed.

Friday morning was probably the craziest morning ever! We went to teach J but ended up talking with her mother because J was busy. Her mother is blind, Hermana Smalley may have dozed off during her first lesson. But shhhhh, it won't happen again. Next we ran to V our Bulgarian investigator to try to set up a Skype with the Elders in Bulgaria for this Sunday. Well we were there and ended up teaching V a lesson and a Pakistani woman English. We went running from that cita to Y and watched the restoration video with her and helped guide her to scriptures to answer her question! During all of this I got attacked by ice cream and flies. Quite the morning.

Friday afternoon we got to teach Charles (insert British accent). He is wonderful and super interested so I can't wait to keep teaching him! We ended up having to teach him in the door because there wasn't another woman in the house but he took it like a champ!

Saturday morning the Elders had a baptism. We stayed behind to clean up afterwards, here's your funny story for the week. Elder Adcock during the baptism got a huge migraine and was just really hurting so Elder Johnson and Elder Tenorio went to go give him a blessing and take him home. Before they left Elder Johnson gave me the master key to the chapel so we could clean. Well turns out the key he gave us was actually to their Pizo. They got there with Elder Adcock covering his eyes so that the light wouldn't bother him and Elder Johnson realized what had happened and had to say, "please don't hate me, I don't have the key, Hermana Smalley does" Elder Adcock  said "why on earth did you give the Hermanas our keys!?" They ended up sitting outside until the other Elders got there. When Elder Johnson came back to the chapel I asked him, Elder this key doesn't open anything here what is it? And he just said really loud "I don't want to talk about it". So always double check what keys you are giving away :)

Friday night we got to teach our sweet M about the temple. She is so excited to go and do the work for her family! Walking there was an adventure because of the rain. My shoes don't work in the rain so I was falling like every other step. But we made it! We also made it to Mar and taught her a wonderful lesson about the importance of reading the Book of Mormon. And we had a great time teaching Al and her family about the things we need to do to fortify ourselves against sin. We used the example from conference in April about the soda cans :)

Sunday was insane! But wonderful! We had correlation planned for 1:30 and a lesson with G at 1 as well as An's baptismal interview. Somehow it all worked out. We managed to do it all and go with the Elders to give a blessing to C. We ate with bishop and then off to work again!

Sorry if that was just a really awkward summary of all that has been happening, but I am eternally grateful for this amazing chance I have to be working here. I know that I am far from perfect but God still lets me experience the joy of this work. I just want to serve God with my whole soul. I don't want to hold anything back from him. I want to give him all I am so he can make me more than I ever was.

Just know there are many prayers headed your way from Spain. I cannot believe Joel is coming home so soon! And I can't believe Spencer is leaving so soon! What amazing things God is doing for the Smalley family! What an amazing time to be alive.

Sorry if I seem a little enthused. I had two bowels of chocolate cereal this morning. Love you all so much!

Hermana Smalley

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