Things are going well up here in Canada! This time in Newfoundland, it's sunny, windy (always) and beautiful! The trees are full and green, flowers are blooming. Everyone is out walking with a spring in their step. The blue water sparkles and blows salty air over to us. Summertime is the only time to be in Newfoundland :) (newfen-land is how they pronounce it, not New-Foundland) Its a wonderful time to be a missionary, that is for sure!
This week's e-mail is a little longer (trying to make up for my failures in the past few weeks!) I hope it helps you to have a clearer understanding of missionary work and some of the situations we work with. We learn so much, it's a refining process! Each day we have to choose to have faith, to never give up, and to align our will with God's. It's exhausting! And sometimes we fall short, just like everyone else. But it is also amazing how much can be accomplished, how the Lord has a plan, things always seem to work out just the right way. We find that extra person, or have a miracle.
Here's a bit about my week:
Monday: We had a good start to the week. Our p-day activities were fairly mild. In the evening we tried some finding, contacting people who used to talk with missionaries, etc. And we visited with Sister Whyte. She recently moved here, so it was nice to go over, cut some watermelon for her and get to know her a bit better.
Tuesday: The beginning of the meetings! We've had things lined up all week. On this day we had MLC or Mission Leadership Council. We skyped in with all of the Sister Training Leaders, Zone Leaders and the President and his Assistants to talk about missionary stuff! It's always really fun. Unfortunate that it has to be via skype, but there are just so many areas and we are so spread out. It's the best way. Then we had an apartment inspection! The senior couple, the Gordon's live right above us. And every transfer they come to check out the apartment, make sure we're maintaining it and see if they can help us if things aren't working right. Luckily, we passed! We spent our time trying to find people to teach during the day, and in the evening we had the Doctrine of the Gospel class at the church. Elder Maughn, an Elder from Idaho who just came out last transfer, gave the class and he did a good job! We rotate with them and the Gordon's every week, so we'll teach again the week after this one.
Wednesday: Another thing we rotate is our district meetings. We switch between having them in St. John's and here in Bay Roberts, this week it was in St. John's. Our meeting was great! I was asked to prepare a 15 minute doctrinal discussion for the beginning of the meeting. I really felt inspired as I prepared it. We discussed how to become skilled. I had Sister Troutner (she came out last transfer) come up and play Mary Had a Little Lamb on the piano (she doesn't know how to play the piano) it was a mess! I then sent her and Sister Fenn off to the primary room to learn for five minutes. In the meantime we talked about our Study Guides.
Each day we study for 15 minutes on a specific topic. The mission created a study guide for us based off of the main things we learn and teach as missionaries. (these can be found in ch.3 of Preach My Gospel- if you don't have one you can access it on lds.org. just search it and it should come up!) So typically in Doctrinal Discussions you go through what you did in the study guide that Wednesday morning and help the missionaries to learn something from it.
The funny thing is that I actually got mixed up with what week I was on, so I prepared my doctrinal discussion for a whole different lesson but each missionary is on a different one depending on when they started their mission so it doesn't make too much of a difference!
So we were talking about the Word of Wisdom-the Lord's Law of Health. I read with them a scripture in Corinthians that talks about how our bodies are temples, they were bought with a price, and all of the things we do should glorify God! We are his hands, his tools. I related that to if we had a hammer that was afraid of hammering a nail, or if it thought it "knew" it could actually work better as a saw, then that tool really wouldn't be too useful to us. It's the same with us. God knows who and what we are, how we can be used to help His children! We just have to do our best to do His will. Then we will be useful tools in His hands.
When Sister Troutner returned we had her come up and play Mary Had a Little Lamb again. This time she played it almost flawlessly. What had it taken? A simple 5 minutes of being taught and practicing. It's the same for missionary work, or any work! We need a teacher, and we need practice. That's how we become sharp tools.
We finished off the discussion by reading from Preach My Gospel about our purpose, how important this work is, and we all stood and recited "Our Commission". I really felt the spirit. I know this work was true! It was a powerful experience for me, and I hope it was for them too!
We then received great training from Elder Tincher in reviewing Zone Conference and talking about working with less active members. How to help and encourage them!
While we were driving back along the Trans Canada Highway, it was pouring rain, and the wind was really buffeting! I thought we were going to die! Thankfully we were very blessed and we arrived home safe and sound. It was a long (hour and a half-ish) drive.
That evening we had a lesson with one of our investigators! Then we had Branch Council and a Family History class via skype from a woman in Corner Brook! I love Family HIstory!
Thursday: We started off right, with a meeting! haha. This time it was for all of the Sister Training Leaders in the mission. Getting ideas on how to help the sisters that we watch over. We visited with a member family, the Martlands, and Sister Somerton. They live in Carbonear and Clarke's beach. So we were all over!
Friday: Weekly planning! Basically, every Friday we take 2-3 hours to go over next week, we plan out what we are going to do, who we will visit, places to go. It's pretty painstaking. But we try to make sure that we're planning with the Spirit. so we can really do what the Lord would have us do, and help and visit the people He would have us visit! We spent some time in Shearstown trying to find a few specific people and we saw the cutest puppy! (yay! I love seeing puppies!)
Saturday: It was Sister Fenn's 13 month mark! Whoa, crazy!!! When we were companions the first time I had been out for 9 months, and she was just hitting 6. Time goes by quick. We were kind of all over on Saturday the highlight was doing service at the SPCA Thrift shop (they are raising money to build an spca here, there isn't one close for now) and visiting with the Shorts. There is also a carnival in town! So when we stopped by the Shorts to visit them they weren't home initially. We dropped by the Carnival to try to talk to some people there, picked up cotton candy (yay!!!!) and then tried the Shorts again, and they were HOME! It was a miracle :)
Sunday: Church is always fabulous. I get to conduct the music and Sister Gordon and Sister Fenn switch off playing the piano. In the evening we went over to the Shorts for supper. It was nice to see them again, their daughter even taught Sister Fenn and I how to French Braid! (another miracle if you know me at all ;)
All-in-all it was a great week. The Lord's hand is in this work. We're continuing to have faith that we will be able to be His hands, to help serve, uplift and teach the people in the Bay Roberts area. I'm grateful to be a missionary. I'm so thankful for my dad. I love him so much! And I'm also grateful for my Heavenly Father. For all he has provided me with, and the love I feel from Him.
I hope all of you have a fantastic week, take some time to say a prayer, help a friend in need, and smile!
Lots of love,
Sister Kat Smith