Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Fun Mission Memory with the Crenshaws

During the holiday season, we tried to visit many of the people who were in our ward and the ones we were teaching. One of our favorite families, the Crenshaw Sisters (here's my shoutout to you!) had a camera. I dearly love Sophia and Meghan. They helped us with so much. They also were very good at laughing at us :)

And that is what probably led to this video being shot. Our Christmas rendition of Angels We Have Heard on High, starring Sister Lovell, Elder Thorne, Elder Poole (the beatbox), Sister Worthington, and me. Please,  do not hurt yourself by laughing. When all you hear is church music for several months, this sounds much better.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My People

You are not hallucinating, this is Candace. I am back from my mission at least for a while, and I have been released, so I have taken back over my blog. I do believe that is the first time I haven't introduced myself as Sister Smith in about 5 months :)

I got back on January 29th, and I wasn't sure what I would write on here, but I think that right now, I would like to share some of the experiences and people I got to meet. I love them all so much, and I was able to learn from each and every one of them. They deserve to be recognized.

Connie was a wonderful lady. She was baptized when she was young, and then took care of her parents when they got cancer one right after the other and died. She went without a lot of the luxuries of life, and taught me how to enjoy what I have in the moment. She has a strong faith in the Savior, and knew that she was a daughter of God. She let the sisters into her home and welcomed the missionary lessons. She even asked us a couple times if we planned out our lessons and if she could have more of those lessons :) She was a very sweet lady. She taught herself how to drive to church so that she could get there early every time and meet new people. She taught me Southern Hospitality and a couple of good southern phrases. There are only a few that I meet with a good strong accent, and she was one :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013 I'm Coming Home

Dearest Loving People,

It has been a hard couple of months out here. I wouldn't ever trade it for the entire universe. My knee problems got in the way of the work though, and so this week I am headed home for a medical release. We'll all see what the future brings.

So, as much as I would love to tell you about every single thing that happened this week, I would like to rely on the power of my calling as a missionary and bear my testimony.

I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that he loves me. He went through EVERYTHING that I will ever have to go through because that is how much he cares for me and wants my happiness. I know that this is all true for each and every person who has lived or ever will live.

I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he followed God's will in restoring Jesus Christ church on the earth today. I know that the teachings of the church are true and that it is up to each and every one of us to decide what to do with them. I know that as we pray and study and become closer to God, we will be happier in our lives if we will simply let ourselves. I know that Gratitude is such a strong value that it becomes tangible when we use it in our day to day lives. I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us and wants to give us everything that we need to succeed at our goals and more.

I know that the Book of Mormon and the Bible are the word of God. I know that they have been given to us as a tool to become closer to our Heavenly Father, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I know that we can receive answers to any question we may have in them, if it be God's will. I know that the Book of Mormon has strengthened me in my life, and that by reading it everyday, I have grown much closer to my Father in heaven, and that I have more fully come to understand His will for me.

Last, I know that I was sent on a mission to invite others to come unto Christ by receiving the restored Gospel, which is faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. I know our brother Jesus Christ ALWAYS wants us to come closer to him, no matter where we may be in our lives. I know that the gospel is the way to happiness and true joy. I know that I was able to facilitate others feeling the Spirit and coming closer to Christ. I know that although I did not serve my full 18 months, that I can serve no matter where I am. I know that the Lord has much bigger and better plans for me than I could ever have for myself, and that if I will simply take his hand and follow where He leads me, I will fulfill my soul's sincerest desires. I know that I am a daughter of God, and that my Heavenly Father loves me more than I can even comprehend.

I know that sincere, earnest prayer will lead us to our Heavenly Father's waiting arms. Prayer is one of the most important blessings in my life. I know that I can always pray, whereever I am, whoever I am with, whatever I am doing.

I know that my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, died and suffered for me and everyone else. I know that he always has his arms stretched out towards us. I know that he lives and that he loves EVERYONE.

I know these things are true, and I know that you can know too.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

I love you all! Please, remember that you are loved and there is always someone waiting to listen to you.


SISTER Candace M. Smith

January 22, 2013

January 22, 2013‏

Sister Candace Smith


The Hale family that I told you about last week is awesome! They committed to come to church this week, so when Sunday cam around and the car wouldn't start, they simply walked to church! They apologized for being late after walking over a mile with the mom, an 11, 6, and 3 year old. The husband didn't come, but it was amazing to see how much the mom wants her kids to have a foundation in Christ. Awesome family!

I've been pretty sick this week, so we haven't left the apartment a ton. sorry, but I don't have a lot to write.

We were told the last total that they got of sisters coming out is 7 in February and 13 in March. There are only 14 sisters out here, so many sisters will be double training! That's crazy!

1. How are you getting along with your new companions? Spencer how is the new area?

I'm getting along great with my companion. She is really funny. This week we were listening to Primary songs in the car (I am really low on good music). We got to the song that says, "if you don't walk as most people do..." Sister Young started singing it randomly later that day and we finally realized what it said. It was so funny!

2.  Spencer, does the weather ever get cold there? I always see it in the 70's or 80's.

Here it is COLD!!!!!! It was 31 degrees when we went to district meeting at 10:30am bleh

3. What was your most spiritual experience this week?

We are working with a less active member who decided he wants to come back. He referred himself through (AWESOME!!!). Anyway, we brought Brother Bergaust from the ward with us, and I had been led to Helaman 5:12 during Personal Study that morning. We committed him to read the Book of Mormon everyday. Then we shared Mosiah 4:27 where it talks about not pushing ourselves too hard but still being diligent (something I'm definitely working on!). He was just so in tune with the spirit the entire lesson. At the end, I kept being prompted to open my mouth and start to ask a question. The question that came ouit was, "As you are pushing yourself to change and working so hard to become like Christ, what would you like our help with? How would you like us to help and support you with this?" It was like a huge wave of the spirit crashed down on us right then. It was powerful. Opening our mouths is a very important thing to remember to do, no matter where we are in our lives.

4.  Do you eat dinner with members?

All the time. Dinner last night got canceled, so they brought us pizza instead. Yum! We have dinners this week everyday but Tuesday and Friday.

5.  What is one thing that we did as a family that helped you prepare for your mission?

I think really knowing that I could gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon on my own, and that I can always find the answers. So many people rely on the missionaries or leaders for all of their answers, when they can receive personal revelation through prayer and reading the scriptures. It is a really interesting thing, because I don't really understand that outlook very well.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

January 14, 2013

Subject:  January 14, 2013 From Candace Smith‏

Mi familia,

I don't remember anything that I wrote last week, and I'm a little out of it, so please forgive me if this letter makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

With that warning, this week has been interesting. I found out that I know pretty much nothing about anything but praying out here, which is pretty much the only thing you have to know, but some info about the ward members or actually knowing how to get anywhere would be nice. The GPS keeps trying to make us leave the mission :/

Sister Young was in her last area for 7.5 months, so she knew a lot about it. I think I know 10 people in the single's ward. I seriously am so bad with names.

It's okay though. We are learning how to work together and learn the area. We are also learning the map so that we don't break any rules by leaving our area :)

I have lost my brain and can't think of anything else to say...

Hey, could everyone send me their favorite scripture? That would be really cool! 

--  Candace, is there any special things you want me to do or get for Linnette while she is here? (The first sister baptized in Candace area is in Phoenix)

Study the scriptures a little with her if you can. She is an amazing woman, and I'm not sure who would learn more from the study.

Oh, and show her indexing if you can.

--  How are the new companionships?

Sister Young is great! She has a fun sense of humor. She really likes things to be clean, so I'm pretty sure she cleaned our entire apartment while I slept today (I'm a little sick because I haven't been sleeping well.) Anyway, she is great at working with ward members, especially since she whitewashed (or pinkwashed) or last ward from Elders who weren't obeying rules. She worked with tons of Less Active families and got to know the whole ward.

-- What was your most spiritual experience?

We were driving down Sherwood Lane (just a little neighborhood street that i love the name of) and we saw a mom and two kids gardening in the front yard. We stopped and came back to talk to them. They moved to Marietta two months ago from Woodstock and she was trying to find a church to go to. We asked if she had ever heard of the Book of Mormon, and she said that yes she had. Her husband's family was members, and they had been to church with them a few times. We asked if we could come share a message with her family and she said, "Sure, how about tonight?" We scheduled for 6:30pm. When we got there, it was raining and they were in the middle of dinner. We expected to have the door slammed. She came to the door and welcomed us in, asked us if we were hungry, and then sat with us and listened. The entire family gathered around as we shared what the church believes and how we can know it's true. The dad sat and was nodding his head the whole time. So, when we left, we asked when we could come back, and they said that any night but Wednesday was good, just drop on by.

The dad was raised with a methodist mother and a LDS father. He chose the methodist church because Sunday services were shorter :) So we don't know if he has been baptized or not, but the rest of his family hasn't. His wife Leigh and daughter Chloe are now investigators, and I'm sure the two youngest, Madeline and Owen, will listen too. It was an awesome experience on Sister Young's first night here!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Dec 24 & Dec 31st Letters

You may have noticed there was no letter on Dec 24th or 31. She wrote a quick note and said she was fine and didn't have time to write.

It was great to talk to her on Christmas Day. I wish I could of taken a picture of her with her new haircut it was very nice.
Thanks for all your love and support for our girl


First Transfers!

January 7, 2013
From:  Candace Smith

Date: Mon, 7 Jan 2013 14:08:44 -0500

First Transfers!

I'm staying in Marietta!!!!! I'm so excited!!!! Sister Young, who I have been on exchange with, will be my companion. Sister Lovell is, of course, going home :( To be with her eternal companion who is waiting for her...:D And Sister Worthington is going to Suwanee with Sister Nielsen (who I was in the MTC with :)

We have transfers on Wednesday, so the next couple days are work work work :) I love it!

Mom: The new calling is soooooooo exciting! You will do great, because you know the most important part of Geneological work is praying to be helped and guided. Ask for the help of those who have gone on before. I am gaining a whole new appreciation for those who want to be found and have their ordinances done.

This week we were privileged to go on exchanges with Suwannee. Sister Nielsen came and Sister Lovell went. It was really fun. It was a little interesting to see Sister Nielsen, because she has progressed in leaps and bounds since the last time I saw her. I... have struggled a little bit. I just didn't know what was going to happen. To see more about this, look at the very bottom, in the spiritual experience part :)

While Sister Nielsen was here, she proposed an idea for journaling. It called the Three apps. Everyday, you should identify at least one thing that fits into each of the three apps, which are 1) Joy App (something that fills you with joy and you can get excited about); 2) Pride App (something that you can be proud of yourself for doing in a good way. For me, getting out of bed is regularly in this category); 3) Wisdom/Tender Mercy (something during the day that you can identify as giving you more wisdom or being a tender mercy from the Lord.

So I'm doing this now in my Journal, and it really helps me to stay positive. It's really cool.

Now, I copied all of the questions I saw in the 15 emails I had in my inbox and answered them below. Some were repeats, so I answered them once.

Please update us on your investigators? (not a question!)

McKenzie let us start teaching her 14 year old daughter, Taylor. We've taught her two short lessons. She is awesome. In the first lesson we had with her, we invited her to read daily with her mom. The next day, she waited up until 1am to tell her mom that they hadn't read yet. She is so cool! McKenzie is helping a little in the lessons, and really making sure Taylor is thinking for herself.

Wen-Wen is praying about being baptized. This week was amazing though because we were able to have two lessons with her, and she shared a cool experience. She likes to choose where she will read next in the Book of Mormon, so she was reading in 3 Nephi 9 and read verse 22. She thought of the time she had wasted that week and immediately knelt down and asked to be forgiven. She is sooooooo amazing! She is coming to church regularly and meeting a ton of new people who are so nice!

Laura had moved to Buford, but now is back closer. We gave her one of the Spanish Book of Mormons that you sent me Dad (Thank you! Thank you! Thankyou!!!!!) and she is working on not getting overwhelmed. She has a lot going on, so the peace that comes through prayer and the scriptures is really important right now.

We kind of have a new investigator. We don't know how much he will continue to try to learn. We had knocked on his door like 3 or 4 times and talked to him each time, and this time Sister Worthington testified of temple work and how our ancestors need us. He made an appointment on the spot and we were able to teach him. We are hoping we can teach his whole family. Oh, his name is Darryl.

----What New Years resolutions have you made?

I'm going to be more positive, even when it is raining outside. Never underestimate how much Sister Smith HATES the rain ;)

---How are they celebrating New Years where you are?

Gunshots and fireworks. Definitely no comment...

---Where did you spend Christmas?

Sista Perry's!!!!! And The Kindt's house, where I called you from. We went  to the Kindt's house for breakfast and games, and then Sister Perrys for dinner and a little singing. We had a short nap in between while Sister Lovell called home.

---What is your favorite thing about your mission so far??

What you are able to learn from each and every person you meet, including your companions. You just have to be open to learning :)

--I thought it interesting that the church had an activity that lasted all night on new year's,  I assume that is to give them something to do so they don't go elsewhere and get in trouble?

It's to give them a place to go where they won't feel uncomfortable and where they can meet someone who they could marry...People actually date and get married from Singles wards's awesome!

--Do you set your mission goals Monthly or weekly?

Both. You have daily, weekly, monthly, and sometimes transfer goals.

--When do you set personal Goals?

Every single second of the day, I swear.

--Do you have Companion evaluations?

Never heard of them, but we evaluate ourselves all the time and make weekly goals for the companionship

--When is your next transfers or change?

Six weeks from Wednesday

--How many investigators made it to Church?

TWO!!!! It was cool. Both Laura and Wen-Wen were there. McKenzie and Taylor were going to be, both McKenzie's boyfriend (a member) got really sick and went to the hospital. He got a priesthood blessing, so it will all be okay.

--What was your most spiritual experience this week?

I got a blessing this week because the weather got even crazier after Christmas. It was good to hear that I am for sure supposed to stay in this mission at this time and that I am doing well. I just need to develop more faith. I was promised that if I had faith in this and other blessings, and continued to pray and study my scriptures, that I would make a full recovery!