Thursday, January 27, 2011


Hello everybody!

This week has been a little bit tougher for our district and zone. I actually am totally fine, but several people have been going through some hard things which I think is brining down morale and people just seem to be a little out of sorts. I just found out that one of the elders going to Georgia went home this morning which is so sad. That being said, while it would have been better for him to take care of things before coming on his mission, I have so much respect for him for taking care of things now and for caring enough about this gospel and the people in Georgia to fully prepare himself. I am so grateful that I know and feel worthy to be here doing this amazing work. I feel the power and authority of my calling more and more and I am becoming increasingly excited to go to Armenia. I was thinking about it this morning at the temple and I think I am finally really developing a real love for the Armenian people and I am anxious to really get to know them and learn their "ways" haha. I just keeping working hard and praying that I can be the most effective missionary I can be so that I can help the people who are being prepared for me personally to teach. That is why we get called to specific missions - because we need a specific mission president, or we need a specific companion and there are people set aside for us. That is why it is so important to be worthy to serve and to be obedient because the Lord is going to place someone who is searching for truth with a missionary who is not prepared to be an example and to teach them truth by their words and their works. So, those are some things I have been thinking about lately.

This Tuesday for our devotional Elder Evans spoke and he talked about President Thomas S Monson. He just shared some personal experiences that he and his family have had with the prophet and things he has said and done with people on a personal level. He bore his testimony that president Monson is the prophet for the world, and also for the individual, kind of like how Christ is the Saviour of the world and the Saviour of each individual child of God. I want to go back and read P. Monson's talks now and come to know him better. He is an amazing, loving, kind, inspired and powerful man.

For some other updates, TRC went really well last night. I am still progressing with the language and so is Sister Burnham. She has been struggling with it, so it is so wonderful to see the Lord blessing her for her hard work and our prayers. Last night we gave our first baptismal commitment and it went really well. Our investigator is going to get baptized in 3 weeks! Hahaha... too bad she's already a member and not really a real investigator. Oh well. I am still healthy and happy. My knee is healing I think, slowly but surely. The MTC doctor sent me to another specialist (did I already tell you about this? I forget). I went to a sports med doctor and they took xrays and there is nothing wrong with me as far as my bones go. He said its probably just patello-femoral irritation, so that means there is some kind of issure with my knee cap in english. He gave me some more muscle strengthening excercises and a brace to wear when i work out or walk to the temple or somewhere a little further away. Its going to be all good. I am doing my part and following their instructions and the Lord wants me to serve in Armenia so He'll make it work. Oh, I have also been overdosing on Aleve. I am not even in very much pain, but the doctor said to take it to keep inflammation down so things can heal... I hadn't noticed any inflammation but whatever.

Ok, so I asked the other sisters what to write about cause I wasn't sure what to share, so here is what they said to write about them.
Sister Burnham: She is the best thing to happen to me (this is actually pretty true, I love her and we are drama free in our relationship, which is so nice when there is so much drama going on around us). She is inspiring, beautiful, looks great in braids (which I do for her btw), talented - especially with sewing buttons onto things and with Armenian, and she has a rock solid testimony.
Sister Bailey: She does this thing with her face where is goes all scrunched up, she emits foul smells (true story!), and she has a tail.
Okay but truly (this is from me) she is hilarious, easy going, physically so strong (she broke the wall sitting record - 7min and 37 sec), she is gorgeous and has a strong testimony.
Sister Huntington: She is an Angel (says sister Bailey), and there are no words to describe her (says Sis H). I say she is beautiful, talented (gorgeous singing voice and she's in theatre), she is hilarious, and she can make sounds come out of her that I just don't understand how they're made.
Sister Lindstrom: is a recovering smoker (she just sounds like one because she is sick), and she owns a casino in Las Vegas (outright lie). She is actually wonderful, kind, and very generous. Also, she speaks amazing french and served a mini mission in France. This is the sister who is going to Latvia and is a solo sister/mine and sister Burnham's third companion.

Alright, I love you all! I hope everything is going well at home. I haven't really hearn any good updates. How is Sonia doing and when is she due again? Feb? And how's Aleks? What ever happened to the guy that Emmy was helping to join the church? TELL ME THINGS! I feel left out of the loop!

If you want to discover a type of Christ in The Book of Mormon read Alma 17 and think about Ammon as Christ, the King as heavenly father, the waters as baptism, the sheep as us and/or the shepherds as us depending on how you want to look at it. Im a shephard cause Im a missionary!

Sister Smith

ps just so you know... I am running out of healthy foods soooooo....... LOVE!


Barev amen vok!

How are you this fine, sunshiny day? I am wonderful! The MTC is a wonderful place. This week has been really good, and really short! It is amazing how fast the time flies. I think I say that every week, but seriously! I only have 4 weeks left here! They say that in the MTC the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days. It is so true! every day is so long that by the end of it I can't remember what happened at the beginning of it, and then all the days all mush together because they are all so similar. It is surreal. Well, before I really get started I just wanted to remind you that I love you SO much and I have you in my prayers. I try not to think about home too much during the day, but every once in a while someone will pop into my head and I will smile, and at night when I pray I take time to reflect on each of you and wonder what you're doing and how you're doing. You are all my support and my constants. I love you. Keep doing what is right and the Lord will continue to bless you. I can already see the Lord blessing our family and I know it will continue and I am so grateful for it.

Alright, so the only day from this last week that really sticks out is Tuesday. On Tuesday I got to leave the MTC again and walk over to the clinic across the street for my pysical therapy for my knee. By the way, they think that I have some issues with the cartilage under my patella, so it is still causing my some discomfort, but I am doing things to fix it now so PLEASE keep my little (right) knee in your prayers. I am not letting something so silly put a damper on my missionary service or slow it down! Anyway, it was SO nice out that day and sunny and then just being in the outside world was great. I was on such a high from it. And in the therapy I got to take a nap while I had a hot pack on my knee, and at the end I had electrical stimulation on my leg. Have any of you had that before?! It is the weirdest/coolest thing ever! My foot was all twitching all over the place and it felt so weird. I went back to the MTC doctor yesterday and now he wants to send me to some sports med doctor in Orem who trains athletes... I feel like they are making such a big deal of this, but I want it fixed so I will just keep going along with it. Anyway, so Tuesday night we had a devotional from Elder Gong of the Seventy. He was so wonderful and his talk was based off of "Be of Good Cheer" so that lit up my life a little bit more. It is days that Tuesday that keep me sane and happy to be here. They make up for the frustrating days... which i really don't have very many of either actually. I just like where I am and what I am doing.

Oh I almost forgot. I also asked my favourite Elders, Elder Peterson and Elder Poulsen to give me a blessing before I went for my therapy. It was apparent that they haven't given many blessings, but if was SO cool to feel the priesthood working through them. I am grateful that there are men (even if they are very young men) who are willing and worthy to hold the priesthood and the reponsibilities that go with it. I love those two elders so much. I love all of my district. We are so close now and I am already looking forward to when we are all home from our missions and I can hug them and be friends with them in the real world! That being said, I am already dreading the time when I will be done my mission. It is crazy, but the thought of going home ever and not being a missionary already terrifies and saddens me. I am going to give this my ABSOLUTE all so that when I do get home my only saddness will be because I am done, and not because I didn't do my best.

So yesterday I had a bit of a less great day. It wasn't bad, but I was tired and just blah. And I also had my interview with my teacher Brother Dixon (we have interviews every week). I was in there and expressing my frustrations with myself because I feel like now I am just plateauing with the language. And I hate that! I want to keep progressing at a rapid pace so that when I get there I will be on top of the world. So I was asking what I can do and he said "yeah... you pretty much just need to go to the country" and I was like "but I'm not ready!" and he said "yeah you are. You'd be fine". BAH! Crazy! But it was nice to hear that. That doesn't mean Im gonna stop working hard, and that I won't try to work harder, because I want to be more than just fine when I get there. I want to get started right away and have nothing holding me back. But it was still so encouraging to hear. I still have lots to work on though. That was pretty apparent at TRC last night. I need to just practice more and also improve my accent. But Its so exciting when I am talking to the investigators and I understand what they are saying and respond to their questions in this language that sounded SOOOOO foreign to me just 6 weeks ago. Well... and still does when they speak at a fast pace, but I'll get there.

Alright eem untaneekuh, yes shat seeroom em dzez! yev yes shnorawkawl em zder hamar!
(I love you lots and I am thankful for you!)

Sister Smith

Monday, January 17, 2011


Alright, so this is crazy, but I am halfway done at the MTC! I think I forgot to tell you, but our 12 weeks have been cut down to ten because our mission president is going to be away when we were supposed to go, so we're going early. We leave on Feb 16th! I am so excited but SO SCARED! We spend so much time asking our teachers about it and I just get so excited and scared.

So, the definite highlight of this week was having Elder Jeffery R Holland come to speak to use at our devotional on Tuesday night. It was so intense. He is probably the most powerful speaker out of all the general authorities, especially when he's at the MTC cause he doesn't hold anything back. He was literally yelling at us for parts of it. It was great. His main message was that we as missionaries need to develop testimonies of our own because we no longer have a script to follow. We have to know this gospel, and we have to know that we know it and believe it. He also really emphasized how crucial it is to gain strong testimonies so that we don't come home and go inactive. Over 50% of missionaries do, which is just sickening to me. I don't understand how a person can teach this and help people change their lives so much and bring so much light into others' lives and then just turn their backs on it. I can't imagine that! Elder Holland also talked a lot about Peter and how when Christ died he didn't know what else to do, so they went back to fishing, because that was all they knew until Christ came. He then related the story of how the apotles had not caught any fish all night, when a man (Jesus) on shore suggested that they cast their net on the other side. When they did, there were too many fish to even bring the net up. At that point Peter recognized the man as the Savior and was the first and only one to jump out of the boat to swim to shore, to his Master. Christ then asks the question "do you love me more than these" (or something to that effect) three times, and Peter answer yes each time, but on the third time it finally comes across. As Elder Holland spoke these words it was as it Christ was speaking to me personally, asking me if I love Him. It was so overwhelming and powerful, but wonderful when I could say yes. "Then feed my sheep" was Christ's response. Leave your nets behind and do my work. I have left my nets behind and I am preparing to feed His sheep. And it is not only for the next 17 months that I am feeding His sheep, Elder Holland was very clear that if we truly love the Lord we will cast our nets aside and feed His sheep forever. For all eternity. That is what we commit ourselves to when we are baptized, and in return we gain salvation and exaltation, "which are the greatest of the gifts of God". And not only are those our gifts, but we are also helped in our daily struggles and trials. We are blessed with the Spirit to comfort and sustain us. We are blessed with loving families to encourage and support us. This Gospel is so awesome! It is so true. Elder Holland is a true apostle called of God. And the craziest of it is that he is in Sister Burnham's ward!!! That lucky girl has talked to him on several occasions and he knows her by name and has hugged her. Not that he is a celebrity or anything, but  he is an incredible and powerful man.

Ok, so other than that, here are some other highlights from the week;
I got to be a host missionary yesterday for some of the new sisters. It is crazy to think that that was me just 5 weeks ago. They all looked to scared and unsure. i remember freaking out, but I love it here now.
TRC this week went well. This week I worked harder on the language and it definitely payed off, but I seriously need to do better. I still get so frustrated because I can't say what I want to say. But at one point last night I was bearing my testimony of families and God's love for us, and I felt the spirit so strongly. It was so cool.
In less good news, I have been having some problems with my knee since Christmas. It really isn't anything too bad, just some achyness. I went to the physiotherapists here for a couple of weeks, and I just went to the doctor and he's gonna get me all fixed up. He thinks its just my patella from running too much. I have faith that it'll be fine, so Mom, don't freak out,

Alright family, I love you all! I keep you all in my prayers and I am so grateful for each one of you. Lilke Brother White says every time he leaves "Be diligent" (but in armenian).

Yes seeroom em dzez!
Kooyr Smeet!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Week 4- Can't believe it's been a month


I have not left myself much time to write a big email cause I was writing some little ones. But I will try to get my fingers to move fast enough to make this satisfactory for you all.

Everything has been going really well. I am still progressing well with the language and I love it! Armenian is so cool. I love how it sounds and feels and it just makes sense to me! I reread what I wrote about my setting apart blessing and it is coming to fruition so exactly. I remember Pres Thomas said that I would be able to learn easily the complexities of the alphabet and the grammar. I love the grammar, I find it easy, and the alphabet was not the challenge I thought it would be. Where I am struggling a little is just with memorizing words, but I know that will come along as I work harder at it. I also need to practice speaking it more (its called SYL, speak your language). I need to SYL WAY more! That being said, I did win the Tahkahvor tie (king's tie), which is what we use as our incentive to SYL. Basically we all vote at the end of each day for the person who SYLed the most, and whoever wins gets the tie and everybody has to do what they say all the next day. I had it on Christmas... which means I was the first to get it. But I am still humble, don't worry. I am severely humbled every time we going to TRC and I realize that I don't really know anything yet. BUT being humbled is what I need. It keeps me motivated.

This last Sunday was last Sunday, and it was an amazing day. I LOVED our fast and testimony meeting. The Spirit was so strong. The mood was set by a musical number by two departing elders. I completely forgot to tell you about them! I love them. They are Elders Greciano (from Spain) and Elder Baret (from Belgium). They are now in Greece! They were our zone leaders when we first got here. At first I just thought they were weird and awkward, but they were the best of the best! They were such good examples of exact obedience and discipline. Everybody loved them for it, which gave me hope. Anyway, their song was by no means musically good, but it was beautiful and invited the Spirit none-the-less. In addition to that, I had been having a few rough days. I felt disliked because ... well as you all know, I can be a little harsh with people, and that was not appreciated. I wasn't being mean or anything, but its just that when I see things being done that are against the rules, I say something about it, but not always in the best way. I still know its good to be obedient and to encourage obedience, but I think some people in the district felt that I was enforcing rather than encouraging. Anyway, I was very humble on Sunday, which really helped me to feel the Spirit because I was seeking it so desperately. I bore my testimony of my knowledge that this is where I need to be right now. I finally really received my answer to whether or not I should serve a mission haha. That just goes to show that sometimes you have to just do without fully knowing before hand. Anyway, This is where I need to be to learn the things I need to learn. And soon I will be in Armenia where I will be able to teach people what they need to know to have true peace and joy in their lives. I am so excited, although still quite nervous. It is going to be amazing though.

I have 1 minute! I love you all! I hope all is well. I pray for you and I am grateful for your love and prayers!

Sister Smith

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Week 3

That is what we say when we're too lazy to say shnorhakalootsyoon, which means thankyou haha.
Thanks everybody for helpingt o make Christmas and my birthday joyous occasions. I got all the packages on time. I laughed so hard when I opened the kettle... I kinda guessed thats what that would be... so I guess I can use that now instead of heating up the water in the microwave.
I wrote a real letter on Christmas about christmas so as soon as I finish that I will send it so you can have more details than I can give on here with my limited time. Just dome highlights, Elder Nelson and his wife (who lived in Calgary for a long time before they married) can and spent almost the whole weekend at the MTC so we got to hear from them several times. It was pretty great. For my bday everybody was soooo sweeet. Sister Lindstrom (oh, I don't think i have told you about her yet- she is our roommate and in our zone. She is going to Latvia, but because she is a solo sister she is mine and sis Burnham's comp a lot of the time) made my bed and gave me a gift and had her aunt send cupcakes (she lives super close) and part stuff. And everybody wrote in a card for me and said happy birthday MULTIPLE times. It was really nice. I was so tired yesterday though, so I was kind of out of it for a lot of the day. All in all though, I felt loved. The balloon was hilarious ps. OH and THANK YOU for the healthy snacks!!! I don't need any more food for a long time, but I'm glad I have something familiar to eat that won't eat away at my stomach.
So this morning we got to go to the temple, but not to do a session. We spent 3 hours cleaning in all the little nooks and crannies (sp???). It was fun though and it was nice to be doing something with my body. It is crazy how clean they get the temples. It is because it is such a sacred place so they want everyone to feel special and comfortable there.
I have been singing in the choir lately with Sister Lindstrom. It has been fun and a nice change to the schedule. I really don't know what else to update you on though. We do pretty much the same things every day. Lots of studying with breaks for eating and gym. I am still enjoying myself a lot. I am more used to the schedule and I feel comfortable here. It is crazy to me that if I was english speaking I would already be gone! how do people feel ready after such a short period of time!!!??? Although, we spend most of our time learning the language so I guess if I didn't have to do that it wouldn't be so hard.
We had to teach all in Armenian again last night, but this time just to our teacher who was pretending to be one of his incestigators. It is still hard and it really hit me for the first time that pretty soon i am going to have to do that for real! AH! I hope by then I will be able to understand people's questions and be able to invite the spirit more by focusing on it instead of what to say next. It is so hard though! But we'll get it in time. I am still progressing well with the language. it's crazy but I think I am having an easier time with learning Armenian than I did with learning French. I have definitely been feeling greatly blessed by the Lord.
I love you all and I feel you love and prayers. They sustain me when I am having down moments. I am praying for you all as well. I pray that you will all accept and live the gospel as best you can because it brings so much joy to your life. I know it! Elder Snow of one of the seventies spoke to us and said that we are expected to become perfect. Perfect through Christ! And its EASY! All you have to do is have faith to repent. If you don't have the faith, it just starts with a desire. So let that desire work within you and it will grow and your desire can become faith which can become knowledge which will change your heart and bring you closer to God.
Yes Seeroom em kez!!!
Sister Smith