Wednesday, October 31, 2012

October 22, 2012 Full Letter

Hello Everyone!

Liam is still adorable! I love it!

Okay, so good news or bad news first? Bad news? Good choice, since it isn't that bad. As you all probably know, Georgia has some very hilly country and we go out contacting and walking these hills quite a bit. Well, we were walking on Friday, and my knee started hurting really bad all of a sudden. Now, I knkow what you're thinking, but you are wrong. I have been doing EVERYTHING I could to take care of my knees. I don't even kneel when we kneel in paryer. I sit on the ground. It's annoying, but I do it because I don't want to put any extra strain on them. I told my companion the first time we were contacting about my knees and I have been very open about how they are feeling and have kept a very close eye on them. Unfortuanately, that was obviously not enough.

Anyway, I told Sister Wolfert about it and our mission doctor happens to be in Orthopedics, so I'll probably be meeting with him soon. So I want to have my brace just in case. I'm going to go buy a bag of frozen peas today also. I hate ice, but I hate being lame more :)

Oh, and the sister missing from the picture with the Wolferts went home. She tried to change her mind and they wouldn't let her. I might be a little mad about that, because it was a therapist who said no. Annoyed! but accepting...:(

Anyway, GOOD NEWS :)

Hollee, our YSA investigator, told us she wants to be baptized yesterday! So excititng! I've already witnessed two baptisms since I've been here. We have to wait til December, but I'm sooooooo excited for her! The amazing peace and Spirit that people feel at baptisms is amazing.

We picked up a new investigator yesterday too. Greg is engaged to Carolyn, who has been inactive since she was 13. She has wanted to come back to church since she met him though. He has been able to see the blessings of the Gift of the Holy Ghost leading her through the most difficult time of her life and he says he wants to be baptized. I don't think he realizes exactly what the church even believes except for God and Jesus, so we'll see how well that goes.

The elections are creating a lot of hype about mormons... We are loving it! It has given us so many opportunities, like yesterday at church. Gerry, a local Jew (there are sooooo many Jews here!) came to church to figure out exactly what Romney believes. I was talking to him, and he had already read all our standard works! This guy had great questions and I hope he comes back, even if it is only to find out all that we believe.

So, our goal this week is to share a piece of our testimonies with every single person that will listen to anything that we say. Even the people that speak another language. (I wish I knew Chinese and Portuguese!). I know that as we share our testimonies with others, that we bring the Spirit, which touches their hearts if they let it. That is what interests people. Having the Holy Ghost with us is essential, even when we are just at the grocery store and aren't able to talk to anyone. People can feel the influence of the Holy Ghost and they can see it. I have had several experiences already where people come up to me out of nowhere and ask about the church. It has been amazing to see.

I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I know that He wants me to be in Georgia and wants me to be myself and use my talents to share the Gospel, which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end. I know that His Spirit is with me while we teach and that it leads us in how to touch the hearts of others. Baptism and Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost are some fo the best blessings I ever could have received in this life. They have opened the gate on the path to the Celestial Kingdom and I know that Christ is helping me as I help others to find the key to that gate. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God and that he fulfilled a great work while on this earth. I know the Book of Mormon to be the word of God and I know that it can uplift us at all times, no matter what we are going through. I know that God listens to our prayers and that He always answers them. I know that we receive our greatest strength in life by asking God for help and then going and doing. I know that God wants us to be extremely happy and that is why we have prophets and the church. The Plan of Salvation truly is the Plan of Happiness.

I love you all!

* Candace how many times did you get on the computer last week? Was it all at the same place? You said you only have 30 minutes to read email, write it and write to the President. That is not much time.

So, I got on the computer a couple times cause I had to get a visitors pass which only gives you 30 minutes, but then my companion gave me a little of her time. If you have a library card, you can have 2 HOURS!!! So I got more time.

We are doing email at our Apartment complex, which is the Azalea Springs complex in Marieta, Georgia. Look it up and you will feel better. It's a REALLY nice place.

I'm so excited for a package! Oh, don't forget the knee brace please :)

* Candace what city are you in? You told us the area, but that isn't on our map.

I live in Marieta, but the Paper Mill Ward covers parts of Marieta, Roswell, and some of the addresses even say Atlanta. The Singles ward covers a HUGE area. Seriously, people come from 40 miles away and that isn't completely uncommon. The best part? The single's ward building is in Sandy Springs, RIGHT BEHIND THE TEMPLE!!!! That's right, I get to see the temple on Sundays and Tuesdays (Institute). We aren't supposed to go on the grounds though. We just have special permission to be there because they wanted sisters, so we work with elders from the Georgia Atlanta Mission. They had a baptism this week :)

* Tell us about your most spiritual experience.

Hmmm, that would probably be with Tim. We were out contacting (like tracting, but you just talk to literally everyone that you see.) because our mission goal is 70 conatcts per week per companionship. That is hard, but our area has a lot of walkers, so it's okay. We were walking past a bus stop and saw a man sitting in the grass (which is like, true grass here. It's weird! and there are a TON of trees. It's really creepy at night. but I digress), so we talked to him. He lost his job that day and didn't know if he had enough money for the bus. He is from Kenya and was having a hard time counting his money. Anyway, the best part of the experience was he knew that the money wasn't his biggest priority. He knew that he had to trust in God and that he would be okay, he would just have a hard time in the meantime. Unfortunately, his phone had been disconnected and he was evicted, so we can't contact him, he has to contact us. I just loved being able to watch when the Spirit really touched him and let him have lucid moments. It was a powerful experience that really humbled us and helped us concentrate on each individual.

Love you all!

Sister Candace M. Smith

P.S. Did I mention that I replaced a Sister Smith when I came? Like brother like sister :)

** Note from Sara: Spencer and another Elder Smith in Peru traded places on the last transfer. That is why she said like brother like sister.**

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