Sami singing the song she wrote

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Aug 28 email

We sent Sami a package this week with some goodies, some pictures & bookmarks from her niece and nephews & some stationary that one of her big sisters had made her. So now I will have to wait till Monday or Tuesday to get a letter because she wanted to use the stationary!

Dear Family,

Thanks for the package! It made my day. I got it on Wednesday. The cookies were delicious. I am writing you a real letter because I have new fancy paper!!! Watch out for that. I am also going to try to send some pictures too if I can find an envelope that is big enough. Hna Schiffler was supposed to leave on Tuesday but then she got a really bad nosebleed on Monday morning and we had to go to the ER and get something stuck up her nose. Gross and sad. She is better now. So now she doesn't know when she is going to the Spain MTC because they automatically delay you for 2 weeks if they delay you at all. This week was great. Look for legit written letters in the mail on cool paper (thanks, Jennie). My district loved the cookies (thanks, Mom/Jennie/Xander/Suzanne/Zack). I loved the cookies because they were delicious. I love you. I love you because you are delicious. Have a wonderful day.

Deliciously yours,

Hermana Smith

Saturday, August 22, 2009

August 21 letter from Sami

I had given Sami the names of a sister missionary leaving for the Concepcion mission on Aug 24 (Hermana Amanda Leggett) and several elders (twins & one of a set of triplets) who will be leaving for Chile the same day as her - Elder Tyson Welling, Santiago East, Elder Aaron Mayberry - Santiago East and Elder Ryan Mayberry - Concepcion). I 'met' their moms on the Missionary Mom email group LDSmmChileSo.

Dear Family,

DearElder would be best for everything in the MTC but it's okay if you send me email. I probably won't read it very well though. No tiempo. I'm really excited to get a package! I think it will be really exciting and delicious. I have already met the sister who is going to Concepcion on Monday and we talked. I think she is the same sister because neither of us knew of any other sisters going to Concepcion who were at the MTC. By the way, Amber said whoever was updated my facebook was doing a really great job. Cool, but weird. A little creepy sometimes when I think about it. But I dig it. Sometimes I just want to take a nap. Not right now. But maybe. Anyway. It feels like there is never enough time on P-Day. I need time!!!! I think I bore my testimony to one of the elders or an elder who knew one of the elders who are going to Chile because I remember someone talking about twins who were going to different missions in Chile. Spooky. I know. I'm glad that you give me facts about Chile. I am not prepared! Oh well. It will be fine. I think I'll be okay without bringing a winter coat because I will have so long to find one. If I was getting there right before winter started it would be different. I think I need much warmer clothes if it is really as cold as you make it seem. More wool. Or maybe even some wool period. I can't think of any good questions for the sister in Constitucion but I'm sure you can and you will tell me if you do. :) Okay, to answer some of your questions: Not everyone in my zone is going to Chile but everyone is going Spanish-speaking. Only people in my district are leaving on the same date from my zone but there might be people from other zones who are leaving on the same date. In fact I think there are because I think I met two elders who are going to Concepcion who got here the same day I did so we should leave the same day.

We have Sacrament meeting (en espanol) with our zone and Relief Society with all of the sisters here at the MTC. Sunday is nice because you have a lot of MDT (Missionary Directed Time) which means you get to chose what you work on. But you still have to agree with your companions. On Sunday there is choir practice for the Tuesday devotional and Music and the Spoken Word which is really cool to watch. They also have a Fireside and they play church movies after that. We plan every night at 9 for the next day. I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of things like Personal Study and using my time effectively. The longer I am here the more I realize how precious time is and how I shouldn't waste any of it.

Oh! I saw a black widow during my personal study! It was near me in the grass and then I saw it walk across the road so I started to crawl after it to see if it really was one. Hermana McDaniels picked it up with a stick. Then she put it down when she saw what it was. It. Was. Awesome. I've also been to the RC (Referal Center? Maybe? I'm not sure) a couple of times. It's a little nerve wracking sometimes but it is pretty cool. You call to make sure people go the free things they ordered from the church like the Bible of The Lamb of God DVD or the Book of Mormon. I mostly get answering machines because the time I have to call is weird. We are also a chatting district so we get to chat with people online if they go to and have questions they want us to answer. They actually have missionaries that serve in the RC as their entire missions. They teach the discussions and everything through the computer. Technology is so cool. My time is running out. I couldn't remember my password for about 5 minutes but the computer already started counting down my time. I love you all!!! Have fun studying the scriptures and the gospel. 2 Nephi is great. Start using Preach My Gospel as a tool in your grospel studies. It is amazing!!!

Hermana Smith

Como se dice awesome?
Wow. Don't knock my spelling. I can only speak.

Friday, August 14, 2009

1st email - Friday Aug 14

Sami finally got her email set up & we received her 1st email today (her P-day is Friday). As noted in her letter, she still prefers the dearelder letters versus email while she is in the MTC due to the short time she has access to the computer.

Dear Family,

It is Preparation Day so I get to set up my email account.

So... now you can all email me whenever you want. But the catch is I only have 30 minutes on Preparation days to read AND respond to emails. So it might be better if you sent me DearElder still when I'm in the MTC so I have more time to respond. Wow. So I have 4 letters from you, Mom, and I don't even know where to begin answering all your questions so here goes. (I wish I typed faster...)

I am doing great. I love my roommates. The Hermanas I am companions with and I are the only ones in our room. Normally there are 6 people in a room so it's really nice to be able to spread out and have a lot of space. There aren't any other sister missionaries in my district going to my mission but Hermana McDaniels is going to Santiago East. Hermana Schiffler leaves in 2 weeks to finish her training at the Spain MTC. Who knew there was another one in Spain? My MTC mailbox number is 214 but I think you already know that.I would love it if you just sent some short sleeve shirts to me. I don't know how many I left there but I think I'm going to get rid of some of my shirts that don't stay tucked in very well so it would be nice to be able to replace them. I don't think I will get my travel times until about 2 weeks before I am supposed to leave. My estimated departure date though is October 5 and I don't have to wait for a visa so unless anything bad happens I should be leaving around then.

My study schedule is rigorous but also pretty self-motivated. I feel like I am wasting a lot of time because of my poor planning but I think I am getting better at it. We wake up at 6:30 am every day but the Hermanas and I have been getting up a little before 6 am so we can have gym time that is only for sisters and senior missionaries. Sometimes it is nice to exercise without any elders around. We are supposed to speak Spanish as much as possible which I haven't been that good at but I am trying to use it more. I made flashcards to remember conjugations and learn new vocabulary. SO far I haven't been stressed out by the language. I think there was a reason I took French and German. :) We have gym time and we can play whatever we want. Lately we have been doing volleyball. Sometimes I'll run a mile or so on the track. It's fun. They have 4 square but I haven't tried it yet. I got set apart fine. Actually it was wonderful. President Breinholt set me apart (1st counselor in mission presidency) and he said exactly what I needed to hear without knowing anything about me really. I know it was the Lord who knew what I needed to hear and who guided President Breinholt's words. I got all my shots and paid for them. I might send you something to fill out to see if the insurance will pay for it but I might not. It wasn't too bad and I don't have a lot of time. I love reading your letters, Mom, they are so cute! Anyone else I'm related to who hasn't written me may feel bad now. Except Jennie and my nieces and nephews. I'm REALLY excited to get a letter with a stamp on it!!!!

Hermana McDaniels is from Texas and Hermana Schiffler is from Salt Lake. Feel free to send any and all goodies you want to send. Getting mail really does brighten your day even though I already love it here. It doesn't seem like stressful work at all. But it is work. The quiche sounds yummy. They feed me well here but I haven't seen any quiche. yet... Mom, it really makes me happy that you stalk other missionary's blogs for me. I hope my clothes are warm enough... I got some new skirts today at the Sister Missionary Mall. My companions needed some things they couldn't get in the MTC so we were allowed to go there. One of them was expensive but it is really cute. I might mail you some pictures today. If I have time. I need pictures of pretty much everyone. I don't really have that many at all.
Well, it sounds like you guys are having a lot of fun in Washington. I know this sounds mean but I don't miss you yet. It's a good thing! It means I'm not homesick. I haven't been homesick at all actually. But I love you guys so much and I'm excited to be here. The computer is going to kick me off in a few minutes. SOOOO..........



This is my Final Farewell


Hermana Smith

(your _______ ) (insert relation here)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Samantha's 2nd letter from the MTC

Sami doesn't date her letters, but this seems to have been written on Sunday in a little free time she had. She says her P-day is Friday & hopes to get her email set up this week.

She was set apart in the MTC because we were traveling for several weeks before she entered the MTC. I was a little worried about her being set apart from someone she did not know, but from her letter it sounds like it turned out just right.

Padre y Madre and Jennie,

I don't know if you have received my other letter yet, but I have a mini-P-day today so I wanted to write you. It is still great here. It just gets better and better. I get to study all the time. The only problem is there aren't enough hours in the day. I want to study but I feel like so much of my time is wasted by my poor planning. I learned how to pray in Spanish two days ago! They don't waste any time here. I have been praying for the gift of tongues so I will be able to speak and understand Spanish. But the Lord only helps us after we have done all we can do (D&C 25:23) so I think I will have to sweat a little before I see the Lord's hand more clearly in my efforts to learn Spanish. The food here is tasty. :) Maybe I will get sick of it after a few months, but there are so many more important things to focus on so who cares.

I think I told you who my companions are, Hermana McDaniels and Hermana Schiffler, but I can't remember. So there it is again maybe. I love how there is so much focus here on Christ. Missionaries will come up to you and ask if they can bear their testimony to you in the language they are learning. I don't remember what day it was (they mesh together here...) but three French elders, or French-speaking I guess, came up to bear their testimonies. They were all going to different places and none of them was France (Belgium, Switzerland, and the Ivory Coast). It was so cool to hear them! I think I speak French better than one of the elders though . . . We probably got here the same day.

I pray I will be able to make the best use of my time here at the MTC. It feels like every time I open the scriptures or Preach My Gospel (which is a lot) I learn something new or am inspired in some way. I feel so much peace and excitement at the same time here. When the 1st counselor of the MTC mission presidency set me apart on Wednesday, he said exactly what I needed to hear. I told him hardly anything about myself, but he knew what to say. I know it was the Lord speaking to me through him. Since then I've had that peaceful assurance that this is good and right and where I need to be right now. I wish I could write more but my P-day is almost up and I need to get ready for dinner. My regular P-day is Friday, so I won't write until then. So . . . write me lots! I haven't been able to set up my email yet. I don't think I will be able to until this coming Friday so please write me letters. It is exciting to have something to read. Have an amazing week family.

Hermana Smith
Helaman 5:12

You may send me yummies if you want!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Samantha's 1st letter from the MTC

We received this letter on Sat Aug 8 - it seems they must have the new missionaries write their parents the evening of their first day - probably because we don't get to enter the MTC anymore. It was great to hear from her and know everything was OK.

Dear Mom & Dad, :)

The MTC is so great! I love it here already. Everyone is so
friendly and helpful. I’m getting really excited about the work & I
feel like this is where I am supposed to be right now. My nametag
says “Hermana Smith” so I guess I start off in Spanish right away.
They have you put a sticker on your nametag the first day and
everyone welcomes you and helps you if you get lost. You can
have my sticker for sentimental purposes. (she put the sticker
on the letter) There are two other sisters in my room. So we are
all companions in a threesome. They are both really nice and
friendly. I unpacked all my things tonight. I have a desk all to
myself. I think I’m really going to love it here because I do now
and people have been telling me the hardest time is from now
until Sunday, but I feel fine. I don’t feel any stress at all.
I don’t have to worry about anything besides studying the gospel
and preparing myself to be a good servant for the Lord. We are
divided up into companionships, districts, zones, then missions.
All of the missionaries in my district are going to Chile (2 different
missions though; Concepcion and Santiago East) except for one
of my companions who is going to Madrid, Spain in a couple of
weeks to the MTC there. I don’t have an email address yet but
I’ll let you know when I get one.

My estimated departure date is 05 October but I’ll let you know
flight plans and dates when I get them. Thank you so much for
being the best parents I could have asked for. I’m having a great
time here so don’t worry about me. I love you both so much!
Keep me in your thoughts & prayers (especially that I will be
able to learn Spanish). Much love to everyone.

Hermana Smith - that’s me :)