Sami singing the song she wrote

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Emails from April 12

Sami's email to us:
Hey family, sorry about last week. Sorry about this week too. Hehe. I was trying to download General Conference on my mp3 player so I could listen to it while I exercise (I am completely serious, by the way) and that took a little of my time. And we had a zone activity today. It's starting to get cold. I haven't gotten your package yet but I'm pretty sure that it's here. I don't think I'll have time today to stop by the office and get it. But I think I'll get it this week. I finally thought of some things I could use. A little late, I know.

Post it notes - they are really expensive here (around 2 mil) and very useful for missionaries.

Cute stickers or pictures of gospel things, in Spanish if possible.

Little colored tags to mark pages

Things that will keep me warm

Oh. The Bishop and his wife told us how to make Manjar! It's just sweetened condensed milk boiled in a pot of water in the can for 2 hours. Try it. They gave us some of theirs. It was good. Makes me feel bad eating it though. Gross. But good.

Daniel and Jorge in San Carlos got baptized the 28 of March!!!! Mom, Daniel is that kid you talked to on facebook. Now he is studying in Conce. I was sad to miss their baptisms but SO HAPPY to get a picture of them all in white for my birthday!!! (courtesy of my wonderful ex-companion Hermana Rodriguez)

I'm trying to get myself ready to teach someone else how to be a missionary but it's harder than I thought. I'm still working on organizing myself and getting settled into the sector here. Thank you so much for the emails everyone!! I will be answering them all personally in the following weeks. Sorry for the delay. I'm not sure where the time goes every P-day... It's getting cold. I think I already said that. I already have man rain boots (we don't mess around with pretty boots here) but I think I might buy warm boots for when it isn't raining.

As missionaries we are studying the Christlike attributes of obedience and love this cambio. I am trying something different in that I am reading specific stories in the BoM that have to do with these attributes and then applying what I learn to me. So far I love it! I hope I can continue improving my study time. What time management skills and study skills I am learning. I love you all. Please tell Rebecca Clark happy late birthday and if she sends me here address I will make her a special card!

Loves to all.
Hermana Smith

I have a few songs in the make so sit tight for a while. (something to look forward to - I WILL eventually get the one she sent uploaded)
And her letter to President Chavez:
President Chavez,

I feel even better in my area this past week. I still have some challenges but I love being here. We are working with some new investigators and trying to spend every day with them to help them feel and recognize the Holy Spirit. I feel very good about that. Hermana Carzolio and I have a goal of being more honest with people. Rather than just doing things the way we have seen is the best, we are explaining why we do things that way.

For example, we explain why it is better that we spend every day for shorter visits instead of staying away from them without telling them before or not allowing a few days between visits. That is helping our investigators to read the Book of Mormon and ask about it through prayer. But we are still left with the challenge of bringing them to church. We had a great day on Saturday. I felt the Spirit very strong in some of the lessons, as I really felt led by him. It was an excellent experience, but because our investigators did not come to church then we have failed at our goal. If we can explain better and help them recognize the Spirit maybe that will help them get to church and prepare to make covenants with our Heavenly Father.

You always have to repent and improve. I feel like I'm finally improving my studies so I can recognize, and that makes me super happy. Hopefully it can stay that way throughout my mission and my life. Always doing better.
We have good investigators and all the tools. Now we only need to develop the ability to use them to the best of our abilities.

See you Thursday (?) For interviews!
Hermana Smith

Emails from April 5

I am way behind on posting to Sami's blog - something to do with all the last minute details (and genealogical research) for my trip to Europe in 2 weeks. I have asked her sister Jennie to help keep up the blog, so hopefully between the two of us we can do so - even on the 5 weeks that we are having our own adventure in Europe visiting some of the areas that our ancestors came from.
April 5 was Sami's 22nd birthday!
First her very very short letter to us!
Thanks so much for the videos everyone!!! I couldn't really understand your video, Mom, but I will try again next week on a different computer. This will be short. I went to the mission office to drop off letters and they gave me cake (look how well the mission takes care of me). Everyone there (including Presidente Chavez sang to me). AHHHH. Speaking of President Chavez, I haven written him and I am running out of money at the computer.

I'm sorryyyyyyyy....
love,  Sami

p.s. Thank you Mike and Jeannie!!! Replies next week!!!!!

Now a rough translation of her letter to President Chavez:
President Chavez,

First, thank you very much for singing at the office. What a blessing to be so close and able to eat cake. Some days ago I realized that my birthday was very close. I began to ponder where I was a year ago and what I've achieved this year. A year ago I was waiting to get my mission call and was very excited and somewhat anxious. Most of this past year I spent on my mission, and that has been a blessing to me. I am firm in my belief that I have learned more in these last eight months that in all my life before, or at least more about the things of God and how I can apply them in my own life. That is why I am so grateful and would not change anything.

Something that I felt this week is that I have to improve my organization. In the Scriptures it says that God organized the material to carry out the creation. Being an attribute of the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and one that I have problems with, I felt a distinct impression that if I want to be prepared to teach the sector and help another missionary to the transition between the CCM and the mission field, I have to start right now to become more organized.

I feel this sector will improve my faith and diligence and my dependence on the Lord, something I've wanted to learn from the beginning of my mission. I'm ready for His guidance. I'm trying to make the necessary changes so that He can guide me better in his way.

I know we could have no difficulty is too big for the Lord. That gives me comfort and courage to go forward with faith in the mercy of his arms.

I hope to continue to learn even more in this next year of my life.

with love,
Hermana Smith

And finally her letter to Jennie:
 Jennifer Lynnette Smith,

Thanks for the birthday message and little chicken. ! Thanks for liking my song! General Conference was awesome! Really though, I think I was the most attentive and have gotten the most out of these past two conferences than in all my time before. I got to watch them in English which = big blessing. Have you tried to watch them in French? Definitely not the same.

They talked so much about the family, inspired you to do something about it? hehe...just kidding...hehe. I started to see my investigators as my children and then I thought, "if this how I did with my investigators, how much more am I going to mess up my real kids?" Aww, not really. But it is a lot of responsability and that thought hits you every once in a while.

have an awesome week and enjoy the last session of General Conference, don worry, I won tell you how it ends. :)