Sunday, August 17, 2014

McKinsey returning home and speaking

Hello everybody.
McKinsey will be returning home on Aug 29. She will be speaking in our church services at 11:00am Sunday Aug 31. 15782 Farmway Rd, Caldwell, ID.
You all are invited to attend. We will be having an open house that afternoon that you are also invited to attend.
We can't wait!
Ken and Vicky

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014

Hola familia! 
how´s the week going?? hope all is swell and well. This weeks been hot hot hot and i´m ready for air conditioning. 
Our new companion is Hermana Mattson! She´s a sweet thing from Oregon and she actually had a birthday on thursday! we made her breakfast in bed and we ate lots of sugar that day :D She turned 27! she´s going to be an engineer. quite interesting! We´re having a lot of fun with all this. Honestly we haven´t had any problems of being in a trio. We´ve always heard these horror stories but we´re doing great and Hermana Mattson is such a sweet missionary!! She came with a strong testimony and its so sweet to hear her bear testimony to the investigators! Literally, its the best thing ever. She has no fear, honestly, and tries to do her best. We´re very lucky to have her as our companion. she helps me remember the little things that are important. 
We had an amazing lesson with a man named Francois and he wants to get baptized! The spirit was so strong in the lesson and at the end he prayed!! This was our 3rd or 4th visit with him and he was always ashamed to pray in public but he prayed at the end of that lesson! It was such a blessing to be in that lesson. 
Man, its weird to think that all of this will end in a few short days. Hermana Hansen wrote me to tell me that i just needed to have fun and thats just what i´ll do :) obviously, we´ll still follow the rules (duh) but i´m gonna eat my heart out with all this nice european food! AKA pastries, ice cream, chocolate, etc. ¡VIVA POSTRES!
Love ya! 
Hermana Smith

Monday, August 4, 2014

August 4, 2014

Hey family! 
happy birthday dad! we celebrated by eating peanut butter and eating homemade oreo ice cream. we enjoyed it a lot ;) 
I´ve been showing off all my sobrino pictures and they all say oohhh and aahhhh. its quite adorable :) 
Also, are you excited?! we have another baby!! you´re all uncles and aunts and grandpas and grandmas again! We have a new baby missionary! 
yep! We´re training! Quite exciting. A breath of fresh air. 
But it was a good week! We´re really starting to get around well with the area and especially with the investigators. We´re still cleaning out the old and bringing in the new and life´s just great. We are very blessed to be here in Alcalá, serving these people. My areas are definitely sacred grounds to me.
Something we´ve been discussing a lot was our manner of being as missionaries-whether serious, cheerful, etc. And we came to the conclusion that we needed to use the example of the Saviour, but also of our mission president. President Jackson is this super happy and goofy guy and we all are smiling around him. we just can´t help it!! Sometimes, with an awesome mission president like him, we´d think that the leaders would join. We have heard many stories of leaders using angry words or yelling, etc. and we obviously don´t appreciate that. Something i have learned that there is noooo excuse to be angry (in most occasions) and we should always smile and love. I´ll be taking that as a goal for these next few weeks and for the rest of my life. Its a really good Christ-like attribute. 
Well family i love you!! thanks for your letters!!
love, Hermana smith. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014

Hey, fam!
This week went really well and we´ve had some awesome experiences happen! We´ve better our contacts in the streets and now we´re trying to meet with all of them. We´ve had sooo many lessons fail us! But that´s ok; it´s all part of missionary work! It´s been quite funny, really, seeing all of our hourly planned lessons get crossed off. 
We have a baptismal date!! His names Luis and he´s from Cape Verde. He told us from the beginning that he´s been look for more peace in his life and thats why he´s listening to us. His families catholic but he isn´t. We set a baptismal date for the 17th of August and he accepted it inmediatamente. Afterwards, he told us that he´s been wanting to get baptized because he´s never been baptized and he wants it in his life! Wow, so powerful. He didn´t come to church on sunday, but he´ll be there next week. I called him and gave him a good talk and he said he´ll come from now on:) no more discos!
We were able to help 2 recent converts NOT go inactive and it was so powerful listening to their testimonies. they gave talks in church and the spirit was sooooo strong! Recent converts really have powerful testimonies. 
Going to the temple this week was SO powerful and sooo needed!! My spirit just feels like it needs a spiritual boost, just like a body needs to sleep at night. I loved being able to sit in the celestial room and to soak it all in. I love the temple!
We have an investigator here who´s family is muslim and she wants to get baptized immedietly. She´s been investigating for 2 years now and her parents don´t even know that she´s graduated from seminary this year and that she´s even investigating the church. I don´t know what to do and we´ve had members tell her to run away and live with them. Part of me wants to give her advice, but I honestly don´t know what my place is with her. We shouldn´t tell her to abandon her family to be baptized, but we should also tell her to put Christ first into her life, etc. She´ll turn 18 in september so she´ll be able to make her her own decision...hopefully. Everytime we meet with her, she cries because she wants it so much. she´s helped us in lessons and always tells the person that her one dream is to be baptized in the church of Jesus Christ. It´s so sad to hear all this and I just wanna give her a big hug. 
We have more progressing investigators (investigators who read) and its been nice seeing a little bit of the fruits of our labors. I love working here in Alcalá and its been so much fun seeing the success we´ve received. I hope to leave my area better looking than when i came! 
The Elders have a recent convert here from Cameroon and he´s so amazing! He´s the most converted person to the gospel i´ve ever met. In a FHE, we were told to draw an island of our dream and he drew a picture of the tree of life and said he wanted to be there, to have eternal life with his family. WOW. His wife lives back in his country but he´s been telling her all about the church and she´s been demanding missionaries and a book of mormon!! the missionaries there haven´t even called her yet (after a long time), so we told Ebenezer that if he writes his testimony in a french book of mormon, WE would send it with the direction to the nearest capilla. He was sooo excited!!! It was great to be of service to someone. 
Welp, I love ya family! Stay awesome and hopefully things will run smoothly in the trek! 
Loves y mucho hugs
Hermana Smith, ¡LA TÍA! 

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

Hey family! 
This week was SO good!! We had so many little miracles and we were able to talk with a lot of people. Hermana Johns did a really good job being in charge of the area while i was gone for the leadership training meeting. She´s such a hard worker. I was so blessed to be her companion. I remember before this transfer I was praying for a hard working missionary and I received the best one! She´s always willing to do our best, even if it means getting our of our comfort bubble. 
The leadership training meeting was the BEST. I learned SO much and I loved that it was more a council instead of just us sitting and listening!! I learned so much more from that than any other meeting. We were all able to share our thoughts and experiences and learn from each other. I remember when I was with Hermana Fowers and we would read the section about leadership in the white handbook and we both loved the fact that it says we should live the Gospel and it goes back to what President Jackson told us in the meeting, that our extra responsibility does NOT mean that we are better than the other missionaries. 
We had a street lesson yesterday with a man from Africa, named Francisco. He had the most amazing questions about the restoration and as we would explain it, he would interrupt us with more questions about the restoration. These questions weren´t at all annoying, but they tied PERFECTLY with the lesson. We were able to give him a book of mormon and he promised that he would read it. We felt the Spirit soooo strong in that lesson and he invited himself to church next sunday :) We feel he´ll be a great future ward mission leader.
As a district, we´ve been thinking about what we could do to serve more and on Saturday we were able to wear a Mormon Helping Hands shirt thing! My first in the mission! It was great and we helped sort clothes for the children. Plus I gave blood on wednesday again and it was amazing because, obviously, we need to always be sharing the gospel. As my blood left me, I was able to talk to the nurse about our work and what we did, etc. She told me she loved it because we weren´t the first ones to give blood! she told me that she´d seen many missionaries giving blood and loved that we did that, even though we didn´t have too. 
I honestly think giving blood is one an addiction, because I really want to give blood again. 
On wednesday, we STL´s talked in our Zone meeting for 30 min about what we´d learned in the meeting tuesday and it was great! I had a lot of fun with it, mostly because I wasn´t the only one talking. We talked a lot about the importance of the members help and also activation and retention. (i translated those 2 words into english and i don´t know if i said it correctly....)
We had another street lesson with this old man and he was jehovas witness. i was kind of scared to talk to him from the last scary lady but he was sooo nice and we were able to have a good gospel discussion. he was so cordial (sp.???) and my doubts and a little bit of scary jdubs went away. A little mercy from the Lord, I think. 
We´re going to the temple on wednesday!!!!!!!!!!! i´ll finally see the new video!!! whooohoooo!!!!! i´m so stoked for the temple. so. stinking. exciting. you have NO idea.
We have a lot of activities that happens in the YSA center and there´s a foosball obviously i like to show off my skills. I´m tied with another elder here (at greatness...hahaa jk) and its been sooooo fun!! Hermana Lema told me I was the Captain Moroni of Fooseball!! that was such a lovely compliment. 
Ok. What to wear in Spain:
-Honestly it doesn´t matter what you wear. I´d prefer that you don´t look like a tourist in Mexico, for example. We´re in Europe and we tend to dress a little bit more nicer than americans. We don´t see a lot of people in jeans, but wear whats comfortable. Khaki shorts will work, but not denim. It´ll be hot in madrid, for sure, so I wouldn´t suggest layers. In the islands its cooler but very humid, so you´ll be sweating no matter what. I´ll be in my skirt the whole time because its a lot cooler than wearing tight stuff. 

love you all! thanks for your letter, mom!!! i enjoyed it! thanks uncle eric and aunt char for your letter! i loved it!

hermana smith. 

us with our helping hands shirts. all the people standing up, except for the black guy, are missionaries, but their chapas were on the inside.
hermana coburn and i after we gave blood. she got stabbed twice.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014

hola familia!!!!
This week was AWESOME!!!! We were tired of people feeling sorry for us because we were the newbies and white washing so we set some goals and we tore this place apart!! We were able to get quite a few contacts and lots of lessons in the streets. At first it was like treading through water, but then our legs got stronger and the water more shallow and we were running!! It was great and I can´t wait for another week. 
We´ve been visiting the members and getting to know them so that they can trust us more and its been great, because we´re there to stregthen them and they can understand that we´re not there to strangle a reference out of them. 

we had a lesson with a romanian woman named Anca and an RM was with us. we were 15 min in the lesson when the door was knocked and jehovas witnesses came in. now. i have no bad feelings towards them but i try and avoid them as much as i can. most of them here are not nice like that lady that passes by our house at home!!! so they came and apparently this RM had some bad experiences with them and this other lady had some bad experiences with us, so they immediatley got into a really heated bible bash. whew!!! talk about thick, the tention!! we just wanted to run out of there but the ladies finally left and the member had to calm himself. A lot of stuff was said about the church and I just felt terrible that Anca had to witness all of this. Though afterwards, she asked us questions about the plan of salvation and we were able to talk about the plan and the spirit was soooo strong!! it was literally night and day, the difference between our message and what she had witnessed before. It was interesting, because just that morning i was reading in 3nephi11 when Jesus taught that contention is of the Devil and not of Him. EXAMPLE NUMBER ONE. i testify of that scripture!! We called her a few days later and she told us that it would be better that we not stop by....haha ouch. its hard when that happens but i know that she still ahs the book of mormon and one day, again, the missionaries will knock on her door and she´ll be ready for them. 

i went on my first exchanges this week and it was great!! i stayed in my area and it was my first one and it went very well. I had been studying about the exchanges in the leadership section in the white hand book and also i´ve remembered my experiences from other sister training leaders from the past, and I loved it so much! I had good examples and it was great to read int he white hand book that a good leader is a leader that lives the gospel of jesus christ. How true is that!! i´ve been trying to do just that, live more the gospel of Jesus Christ. its been very fulfilling seeing the little changes in my life and in the life of my companion. 

So we´ve been contacting a lot and we had one lesson set up but the woman failed us. we were super bummed because she was a mom and had a lot of potential, but i tried to have a positive attitude. I said a small prayer in my heart and a thought popped into my head; in the mission, there are no coincidences. if we have a failed lesson, that means that Heavenly Father has prepared something else for us and we just needed to get to work to find that person. We immediately set off to contact and we contacted this man and he turned out to be goooollden!!! We had a great lesson about the restaration and he told us that he had researched us a lot online and we gave him a better source :) its called and our number! booyah! 

 It´s been so rewarding to see a little bit of the fruits of our labors. Lately I´ve been reading a lot about working in the Lord´s vineyard and how the servants were ´´few´´ (jacob 5 my friends) but they still worked hard and got a lot done. As missionaries here in spain and all over the world, we are few, but we are getting a lot of work done! 

I know that this is the work of the Lord. Uncle Greg sent me a quote and it made my heart squeeeeze good: “There is no mortal man that is so much interested in the success of an Elder (or Sister) when he/she is preaching the Gospel as the Lord that sent him to preach to the people who are the Lord's children. He begot them in yonder world, and they came here because the Lord wanted them to come.´´— Lorenzo Snow 
I konw that i am meant to be here in Spain and what a privilage it is! I love this work and I love my Savior. Remember to stick in your sickle and reap reap reap!! 

Loves y mucha hugs
Hermana Smith

PS. In spain, they have 2 last names; the fathers last name and the moms maiden name. Many spanish missionaries ask for name tags with both the last names. 

I´m getting a chapa that says Hermana Smith Smith  :D

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014

Hola Familia!!! 
Otra semana en la misión. Es la mejor. Es guay porque puedo hablar español y comunicarme con los trabajadores de las restaurantes mexicanas. Es lo que tú quieres mamá! 
Hoy fuimos a mercadillo (dígalo con un acento argentino!!!!) y compramos mucha fruta. Era muy barato!! Había mucha gente y nos perdimos un poquito pero todo salio bien. Creo que compramos 8 kilos de fruta....QUÉ RRRRRICCCAAAA. Muy barato...pagamos menos que 10€. 
Tenéis que utilizar el google translate o hablar con Jasón para que él lo traduzca. 

Today, we spent literally half our pday with a recent convert. She´s from brazil and her sister did our nails!! I have a french manicure :) they´re really pretty. 

My companion and I keep on receiving letters from people serving in different missions and how they are WATCHING THE WORLD CUP (with pres permission [or so we hope]). obviously we are both super jelly. sadly, spain has been done for awhile and USA played hard and well to the end, but unfortunetely, its just not in the blood for us! We were at a Brasilians house and they turned the game off when we came, but they gave us the shpill of everything and they were hoping that Argentina would lose, etc. We asked why and she said that apparently, the brasilians hate the argentinans!! Haha, i told her i was for Argentina (really i´m for Holland cuz they´re my ancestors and better looking and tall) 

Don´t worry, parents. I get along VERY well with Hermana Johns! She´s the greatest. Her sister is serving in paris france and knows elder miller very well!! they entered into the mtc the same day and everything. what a small world! we get that a lot here in the spain mission.

hermana johns and I have been trying to better our contacts in the street and to try and be exactly obedient also. It´s says a lot in preach my gospel that we need to be teaching about the restored gospel and a lot of times we do that, but we don´t put a big emphasis (oh do you spell that?!?! dad correct it and then delete this message!!) on it. We´ve seen great little miracles everyday and it just shows the the Lord is definitely watching over us as we do this work here in Alcalá. 

we have slowly found out from the other missionaries and also what the bishop has told us, but the members here don´t really trust us as missionary. We´re trying to visit as many members as we can and try to gain some trust us. So far so good! The relief Society sisters are really good. they´re very willing to help! 

We have a little investigator named Ana maria. Shes from romania and has 8 months here. She´s a cutie and veeeeeeerrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyyy touchy. Like extremely. She´s 15 years old and kisses us on the cheek like 10 times each lesson. She´s reading well and likes what she reads. She can´t really concentrate very well (wow this brings back memories...) but we just end up teaching her like a little child. 

We celebrated the 4th of july by eating hot dogs and no bakes and rice krispies :) it was quite tastey :D yuummm
I love you family!!! Qué tenga una buena semana. Os quiero un MONTÓN. 
Cartas a mi piso, por favor?!?!?!?!?! Hermana Johns la recibe casi cada día. Porfa :D 
Podréis apuntar vuestras conversiones de la iglesia? cuando mama bert me la envió, me ayudó muchísimo. 

Siempre estéis en mis oraciones. 

con mucho cariño de vuestra hija, hermana y amiga
Hermana Smith

us eating homemade oreo ice cream for whitneys 20th birthday :)
and us celebrating the 4th of july! 

Hermana Lema de Ecuador
My companion! Hermana Johns
Hermana Coburn