Tuesday, June 14, 2011

week 24

Alo family dearest!

As always I hope and pray that all is well. I feel so blessed to have such a loving, supportive, encouraging, caring, fun and varied family. My mind is at ease knowing that the blessings of the Lord will be with you because of your goodness. Keep getting better and better and I won't have to worry at all anymore!

This week I have been struggling with ... well I don't know what it is or how to phrase it. I think it's frustration, but I'm not sure with what. Probably mostly just with myself for not being perfect, and then with others for not being perfect. It really doesn't seem fair to be frustrated with them for having the same problems as me, but again, I'm just not perfect! We kept pretty busy this week and actually found 3 new people to teach which is really exciting. The key now is discerning their needs as well as their level of interest. All we can do is extend invitations to them according to their needs and where they're at, and pray that they will follow through. There is nothing we do until people are will to make and keep commitments. That's the part where I get frustrated with people - when they say they'll do something but they just don't. But I have to avoid and fight against discouragement because discouragement prevents you from feeling the Spirit and the Spirit is essential in this work. The Spirit is essential in all things actually - if we don't have the Spirit of the Lord with us then we can't progress or learn or receive the direction that we need to fulfill our purpose in this life. Every time I go off on tangents like this I am reminded of how the gospel just all makes so much sense.

Last P-day we went to President Carter's house for a "by invitation only" party for some of the missionaries. He hosts them every month I think to give us the chance to get to missionaries in other parts of the mission and see our friends who are far away. The Vanadzor sisters had also been invited so I got to hang out with Sister Deaver. It was great. She goes home in like 3 weeks! That's crazy! I'm going to miss her a lot. I also got to meet all of the 3 new elders in the course of the last week. I'm not the baby anymore! But that means that people expect me to be able to speak and stuff... thats scary. This week we also traveled VERY far to a town called Parakar to see a member of our ward who recently had heart surgery and so hadn't been to church for a long time until last week. Our zone leaders came with us to make sure we'd be safe or something because it was so far away and we didn't know him well.... but I think there were other reasons for their coming.... I'm not entirely sure. Either way, it was an interesting meeting. We picked up the man's wife as an investigator, but I don't know how sincere she really is. We'll see. It's so far away (it takes over and hour to get there) that if she's not really really golden then we probably won't continue with her. Her husband is pretty sweet though. He travels the far distance to come to church even though his health is not great. Later that night we had a meeting with two of our investigators, *S and A*. I love them SO much and I just want them to develop testimonies and start acting on the invitations we give them so bad. Every time we meet with them the Spirit is just so strong, it's thick. At that meeting we showed The Restoration video and bore testimony that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and of the Book of Mormon. We explained yet again that the only way to know for themselves that it's true is to read and pray. I hope they start actually doing that! On Friday night we had a branch activity that was very long and kind of boring haha. They just planned too much, and wanted it to be all spiritually uplifting and what not. Not that that is bad, but it just resulted in sitting for a long time trying to focus which is not my forte apparently. We just wanted to dance! Haha. Church yesterday was pretty good actually. It was fast and testimony meeting, and since I am guessing I'm going to be transferred within the next couple of weeks I figured I should bear my testimony at least once (without being forced, like the other times I have done it). It was a really good meeting and I felt the spirit and so I bore my testimony on the Spirit and how I love having the opportunity to feel it so often as I testify to people of the reality of the atonement and the truthfulness of the gospel. Obviously my language was a little more simple than that, but that was the general message. After church we had a meeting with a lady who approached us this week and seems pretty interested so we're excited about her.

I'm going to send some pictures which takes some time, so that's all from me today. Remember, the church is true and is the only way to true joy!
Sister Smith

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