Friday, November 16, 2012

November 12, 2012 and PICTURES!!!!‏

Me (Candace) and Sister Worthington


Hello all you wonderful people!

I am extremely sorry for the weird and lame letter last week. I will attempt to have a much more entertaining, uplifting, and informational letter this week :)

I'm excited for the new youth program. We haven't been able to learn about it yet.

Second time I've written this letter. Computers stopped working at our complex :(

On Monday, we picked up a Coke for a less active member that we were on our way to teach. When we got to the register, the cashier said to me, "You're going to give me that book, right?" I sputtered out yes and then started to explain what he was about. He told me he already knew what it was about, had a testimony of it, and was in Kenya when the church was brought there in the 70's. It turns out he didn't know where a church was, but he has been baptized, so we set him up with the Elders in his area. Andrew is excited to go back to church :)

We have a Brother/Elder in Paper Mill Ward who has the same knee condition as me. He taught me how to properly do some exercises to build up the muscles in my knee, because that is how you get the pain

to stop I guess. He is really looking out for us. I think he is a psychiatrist or doctor or chiroprator, or all of the above actually wouldn't surpise me. :)

We had Zone conference this week. It was so cool! We combined two zones and so had over 40 Elders there, and then me and Sister Worthington :) It was kind of funny. Elder Gibbons, our area seventy, spoke to us about how missionary work is realated to the Abrahamic Covenant. It was an amazing talk that I need to go over again so I'll understand. :) President Wolfert told us how the lowered ages is affecting our mission. First of all, by this time next year, our mission will have 80-100 more missionaries than we do now, and lots of them will be sisters. This is where he turned to me from the pulpit and said, "Sister Smith, are you ready to train?" PANIC ATTACK MOMENT!!!! I haven't been out a full transfer! But I'm working on it. There is a good chance that I will train as soon as I am done with 12 weeks, so in January. He also told us that  everyone will be on bikes! I'm so excited to be on bikes, but a little scared for the pain. My knee is not being nice! Thanks for all the prayers by the way. I've really felt them!

Because my knee has been hurting so bad lately, I had another Priesthood blessing this week. I almost couldn't drive to get there. This helped with an idea Sister Worthington got by inspiration. We are using my knee to help the ward get more blessings! We basically told the ward that we were sorry that we haven't been involving them more and that we wanted to use this to bring our efforts closer together, like when the Soviets and the US worked together to free a couple trapped whales in 1987 during election time. We are asking for rides and team ups for every single day and sometimes several times a day. I can't wait to see the miracles that this will bring :)

We had a movie night this week with Linnette, Marilyn and her kids and friends (Erica and Candace!). We watched Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration at the church with snacks. The Spirit was so strong! The

kids and friends were asking for clarification and asking about what we believed. It was cool, especially when Marilyn, a convert that was baptized in September, answered most of the questions. It was so cool.

My knee was a blessing right after I got that blessing! We were out contacting (talking to literally everyone we see and tracting doors if we feel drawn to them) and we had to walk up this huge sloped driveway to get to some workers. This guy, Kurt was only going to take a second to talk to us, but then he noticed that I had my crutch and was having trouble on the hill. He said he would listed to whatever we had to say. He accepted a Book of Mormon and we also gave him our number, a card, and where and when church is. It was awesome.

Movie Night! sooo cool!

Linnette's Baptism

-- Tell a funny experience.

Telling everyone I'm the lame companion...and waiting for them to get it :)

Probably actually Kurt. That was cool.

-- Tell about your investigators.

We don't have a lot right now. We are in finding mode, which is hard because I can't go for long on hills.

Hollee is doing good. She is trying to quit smoking and hasn't really been taught full lessons yet. We have to teach her at the church, so we don't get to see her alot :(

McKenzie is simply amazing. She came to church for the second time this week. :) She is doing great and only needs to finish being taught the commandments and talk to her mom. Then she'll be baptized!

--What is one thing that helped your testimony grow when you were growing up?

Learning to pray and know things for myself. I remember kneeling down when I was almost 8 and asking if the Book of Mormon was true. That is why I was always able to bear my testimony and feel like coming to

church. I knew for myself and I knew that if I ever had any questions, I could always ask God in prayer and He could answer me in many different ways.

Also reading the scriptures, but now I'm breaking the rule of only one thing that helped my testimony :)

I love you all so much! I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's church on earth. I know that we can come closer to God by going to church, reading our scriptures and praying to Him. I know that the Priesthood is truly the power of God given to man to act in his name, and that worthy men who hold it can make a huge change in the lives of others, simply by being good examples and willing to help when there is any need. I know that the Power of Kindness opens the hardest of hearts and truly brings us closer to Christ. Never forget that you bear Christ's name as a disciple and that you have the knowledge to change people's eternities. I love you all. Be safe. "Be of good cheer and do not fear".

Love you!

Sister Candace M Smith Christ

View of the Atlanta Temple from our Single's Ward Building

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012 My companion saves my butt, then tries to murdelize me!‏

11:14 AM

I am too lazy and tired to write this all again, so I copied and pasted from the email to my Mission President, taking out anything you don't really need to know. "So, I'm doing pretty good. I just got out of my doctor's appointment, and I found out some fun things. First of all, I'm cleared to drive! We even double checked with the doctor! Second, I have a Lateral Hamstring Strain, which basically means I went a little too far a little too fast on the hills. It takes 3-6 weeks to heal, which means in 4 weeks I could be good as new! I just have to use crutches when going up and down hills so that I don't hurt it anymore. Third, I have Chondro Malacia Patella in both knees, which I guess means that it hurts to move my knees. The doctor said to google it, which isn't likely to happen in the next year and about 4 months. I have so little time to work here, and I plan to use it fully!

Anyway, so I got a priesthood blessing from the Ward Mission Leader in Paper Mill yesterday. In it, he stated that my knee would be a hinderance and an obstacle, but not a roadblock in the work. God also blessed him to say that this is a great opportunity to come close to Christ. I was so grateful for this blessing and the many other wonderful things that were said in it. Now I just have to remember them and keep a positive attitude.
I'm really sorry if this email is really jumbled. The doctor was really tugging on my knee, so I'm kind of hurting, so I don't really make sense to myself. Just ask any questions if you are confused about anything.

McKenzie is doing well. She is anticipating telling her mom, and I think that she is feeling a lot more sure about herself, because she realized that she is so much closer to God now, and that is what her mother is always telling her to do. We are praying about a baptismal date.

Hollee didn't come to church yesterday, and we think something is wrong, but since we haven't been able to see her, we don't know. She definitely at least has people in the ward looking over her as legitimate friends though. We are super grateful for that and are hoping to see her as soon as possible." So, could you wonderful people at home do some research for me and figure out what it means that I have this "condition"? I really want to know. The doctor told me to take 2-3 Ibuprofen with every meal, or I can take about as much Aleve. This scares me alittle bit. that is alot of drugs to pump your body full with. Okay, so Mom, I met a very special lady this week. I met Sarah Jean. I don't know her last name, but she wants to be taught, and she knows Wiltbanks! We were led to her door, much like with Adelaide's door (spiritual experience below). So, on Tuesday, we have to be locked in our apartments by 6pm because they don't want anyone to take out any anger on us. That is good. I don't like being hurt :) I'm so glad that we don't have to be political while we are out here. The five minute newscast that we heard was bad enough and I wasn't even trying to listen. Pretty dirty run, huh? Thank you, wonderful women, who sent me a package! The clothing and food items are much appreciated. I have one question... How was the wrapper still on the wafer stick thingies (Pirouettes) but there were stickers stashed inside?!?!?! Which Houdini did that! :) Love you. The clothing is super cute and came the day I had to start using crutches, so it was perfect timing. Sad day for our Paper Mill ward, but both of their new converts just moved out of the ward. :( The sad thing is they are soooo good at supporting new members! They have felt sooooo loved! We'll have to keep in contact. --What did you do for Halloween? Our missionaries dressed up as............missionaries. They pulled it off really well. There were a LOT of people to talk to. LAME!!!!! I was Elder Poole from District Cool for Halloween! And my companion was Elder Thorne. We had a dinner appointment and switched name tags with the English speaking Elders. I was District Leader for over an hour! Then they found a screw in our tire. We had to go inside by 6pm and stay. We played games and didn't do weekly planning like we probably should have...:)

--Everyone is trying to be like Arizona and turn their clocks back. Is daylight savings time only in the US or does Peru do it too? SO LAME!!! We were supposed to change our clocks Saturday night, but I assumed that our phone was smart enough. It wasn't. We showed up at the church at "8:15am" for Ward Council, and the Relief Society President told us we were an hour early. Oh well, more study time :D

--what was your funniest experience this week? MY COMPANION TRIED TO KILL ME!!! IT WAS TOTALLY PREMEDITATED!!!! Voice of reason here (a.k.a. Sister Worthington): it was not premeditated and in my defense, I love bread! *Sister Smith steals the keyboard back from her crazy, killer companion* She tried to kill me! We were in the kitchen, and I was eating a honey bun, because the portuguese branch loves us and gives us food every week :) So I was eating a honey bun that Sister Crazy over here had tried and NOT LIKED. I'm telling you, she is a fruit loop :) So I'm happily eating this wonderful delicious pastry of amazingness, and she turns to me while in the middle of a sentence and gasps SUPER loud while she looks at me with a "I'm going to eat you smile" (Keisha Lyn, I only know this smile because of you :)) I was so suprised and laughing that I big piece of honey bun lodged in my throat. Once I realized it wasn't coming out very easily and she realized I couldn't breath, she started pounding on my back. I am glad to say, I survived, although my throat hurt really bad afterwards. :)

--Candace how did your training go with President Wolfert?
 Anyway, the trainer/trainee meeting went great, besides me being in pain. It was awesome, and we were all fired up to go afterwards. They almost didn't let me leave with the ability to drive, but I worked it out.

--What was your most spiritual experience this week? Adelaide, oh Adelaide. We were trying to get gas and then go contacting, and for some reason, our GPS took us outside our area to go get gas. We knew we were supposed to go there, though. Then, we just followed the spirit. Earlier that day, we had both kind of figured out that I need to learn how to take the lead, so I was doing that. I just kind of went where I was led. We went into this nursing community that was literally dead feeling, except for this one area. We went over there. We ended up at someone's garage and what we thought was a back door. I thought, that's creepy. We decided to do it anyway, because as missionaries, we do awkward and rock it! Anyway, so we went up to the door, and a nurse answered. I felt that we should ask for a male resident. She said he had died...awkward. I asked for the living resident. She said that she was dressed for bed and couldn't come to the door...awkward. I asked if we could come back another time to talk to the resident. She said sure! Then my companion saved my sorry butt. She asked the lady if she had ever heard of our church. She said YES! The lady, Adelaide, had talked to the Elders quite a bit and had a BoM. She is a great lady and has such a spiritual strength about her. She isn't in our area, but she is in our mission. We are calling her today, then will probably pass her on to the other missionaries if she is okay with that. We later found out we almost left our mission, which we don't like to do. We knew the spirit was leading us, otherwise, we wouldn't have done it.