Saturday, August 13, 2016

God saw fit to surround me with incredible missionaries

July 11, 2016
My goodness dearest family!

Can it be that a whole transfer has passed again? I cannot believe it! Anyway let's try and give you guys a better weekly letter than I have written in a while. Lemme see...

Monday we all made hamburgers and ate watermelon and had a huge water fight. It was super fun. After that we went to see B in Alcantarilla. It was such a good lesson we got to teach her about the Book of Mormon. She loved it!

Tuesday morning we had an awesome opportunity to go to Cartagena to go and be with our Hermanas in their zone meetings. Hermana Gale and I got to give a taller about listening more about what God has to say about us than what we have to say about ourselves. We talked about how often our worst feelings and reactions come from thinking about what others are thinking too much and how we just need to focus on our relationship with the Savior and do our very best. It was an awesome meeting and I learned a lot.

That night as we were walking, we stopped to contact a man and in English just says, hey sisters! Turns out he was a member who hadn't been to church in years. We had an awesome conversation with him. And got his info so we are hoping to help him out.

That night we went to R's house again and ate outside with their cute family. R informed us that the elders had lost their phone. Again!  So we called it a couple of times and then a man called and we arranged a time to pick up the phone. So everything was good and happy except that the poor elders didn't know that!  Turns out they had an awful night and started a fast that they could find their phone because it was the second one they had lost. Next morning we head to play basketball for exercise but the elders didn't show. We needed their help that morning so we had to walk to their apartment. When we got there the elders came outside and proceeded to tell us all about what happened. The look on their faces when we explained that we found their phone was priceless. I think they almost cried.

Anyway. Murcia zone meeting went really well. I gave a taller about where we are going and how we

must choose now to stay close to the Savior. After we all went and ate pizza together.  That night we got to teach M again. He is so awesome! We taught him about the Book of Mormon. It was hard for him to  accept ,but as we explained and testified he slowly began to accept it ,and in the end promised to read it.

Thursday we got to do intercambios with Hermana Lopez and Hermana Hojholdt. It was so good. I was with Hermana Lopez she is a brand new missionary. We also had correlation. Elder Mitchell's very last one,

R made him a cake and we sang God be with you till we meet again. Then we had a ward soccer activity. Always a fun one here in Spain. The members all school us.

Friday was a blur of busses and teaching in the streets. Saturday morning we got transfer calls. En fin me voy. I leave for Jerez Wednesday -  crazy. Right?  I will probably finish my mission there. Crazy huh?

Sunday I gave a talk about God's love for us. And had to say goodbye to this wonderful ward. I also found out I was teaching gospel principles as the class started. D came from Alicante to say goodbye to me and Elder Mitchell. Then we ate with M and J. M was a mini-missionary with me at the beginning of my mission. She helped me a lot. It was so sad to say goodbye!

Then we had to go to see U with R.  It was fun to talk to him and just bare my testimony of the truth.

I will be honest, this week has been a little bit of a roller coaster emotionally for me. I don't think I have ever felt so personally attacked by the adversary in my life. But this week I have found immense comfort in the sure knowledge of Gods love for me. I know that it is constant, even when I mess up, even when I fail repeatedly. Somehow He still sees the best in me, He never gives up hope that I will pull through. He is my Father. I am not sure why I have been struggling so much, I have never liked being the person who needs help, but this transfer I have needed help. I want to thank you for the Angels that you have put around me. I have tried expressing to her, but I don't think I can ever explain enough just how much my dear Hermana Gale has helped me. She has been there not questioning, not judging, always loving, helping me for the past 6 weeks. It cannot have been easy for her, but she has been nothing but graceful and supportive. Elder Mitchell has been my district leader for 5 transfers now. Some of the hardest transfers of my mission. His quiet example of dedication, and constant support have meant more to me and my companions that he can know. Elder Andrus has also kept us laughing and he and Elder Mitchell have been ready to do what ever we need at the drop of a hat. Elder Meredith has also been with me for 5 transfers now. His sincerity and genuine concern has meant so much to me. He also has a love for this work that keeps all of us going. I know that the people we are with are inspired. I am so grateful that with trying to refine me, God saw fit to surround me by such incredible missionaries.

I know that the "trials" I am passing through are nothing in comparison to many other people. They cannot even s
cratch the surface of what my Savior went through. And yet, even though he suffered so much more, He still has love and compassion for me. I think of his hands. (1 Nephi 21:15-16). I am literally in the scars on his hands. And when I think of that, and all of its significance, everything else doesn't seem to matter much. I can go forward because I know He will never forsake me.

Anyway I am so glad to be here and learning so much! Anyway address of Elder Mitchell's church is 3271 west 2550 south West Haven, Utah. Don't believe anything he says about me.

Love you all so much!

Hermana Smalley

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