So last Tuesday morning I headed up north on the transfer van- a van with about 11 missionaries. I always thought it would be fun to go on the transfer van, it was kinda anticlimactic but it was fun though because Sister Hollander (my daughter from Kaibab) was on the van too! So we got to catch up lots and got to hear about all the progress of those we taught together in Kaibab. I also got to see 2 of my favorite sisters on the way up- Sister Pene in Richfield and Sister Luebbert in Beaver. And we have Zone Conference this week so I will get to see them again woohoo!
Ok, Did you know that 90% of the turkeys for Thanksgiving come from Moroni, Utah? Yep, pretty cool huh. Except the fact that you can smell them everyday. But I think I've already gotten used to the smell.. I am now a Moronian or Sanpeteian, that's the county we are in.
We cover 4 different towns here. Moroni, Fountain Green, Wales, and Chester. So there are 5 wards, 1 stake and we cover it all. Reminds me of good ol, Kaibab except even smaller haha. About 1 month ago we had interviews with President and Sister Center (love them!!) President was asking what areas I had served in and I mentioned that I loved the small towns in the Kaibab stake. He said "You could have gone to a lot smaller town than Kanab." Haha I never thought I actually would but I am excited to be outbound again and just really focus on these people that I get to serve.
We are about 20 minutes from the Manti temple which means I will get to go there for our temple trip next month!!!!! Eeee so excited!
The people I have met so far are "mostly kind". Yesterday was testimony meeting and a girl gets up and says she likes her neighbors because they are "mostly kind." Hahaha everyone was laughing. It was good. But no I'm just kidding, they are amazing! 2 of the Relief Society Presidents have told us that we can just walk into their home at anytime and eat whatever we want or if we have want a ride to get ice cream or McDonalds they will take us. People are more than generous here!
We live in a basement of some members, Joe and Ricki, who are just awesome. They are a young couple with the 3 cutest kids ever. And she is due with another in less than 1 month now. The kids love hunting so we get along. Not that I know anything about hunting but I get to brag about my dad and brothers a bit. My first day here when I met PJ (8) he comes riding up on a four wheeler yelling "I caught a skunk!" Haha oh just wait, I am in a red neck town. If you look at some of my pictures below you will get it.
I'm pretty sure everyone here is either a "Christensen" or a "Cook" which makes it super confusing but I guess you got a 50/50 chance of getting it right. It is always hard at first to figure everything out and who is who but I will catch one. You wouldn't think a small town would be so confusing.
The work seems to have been a little slow around here lately with non-members but we are teaching a lot of in-actives. I was kinda bummed when I found out that we do a lot of in-active work. In the past when I have tried to reactivate members it just has been super hard. In-actives all seem to be super unmotivated and lazy! But there is a lot here that are wanting to come back to church and asking us to teach them the lessons again. I specifically want to talk about one we met last night, Lucille.
Have you ever known that you were in the exact place at an exact time that God wanted/needed you to be. That was us last night and probably one of the highlights of my mission so far. We decided to go stop by Larry and Lucille, who have been in-active about 15 years. But just lived here in Moroni 5/6 years. Right as we walked in we were welcomed with big smiles and the sweetest lady ever, Lucille! Turns out they haven't gone to church more than 2 or 3 times since they have lived here but Lucille went that day! We had no idea she had gone, no idea who she even was. She had even talked to the bishop yesterday about meeting with us. She has really bad anxiety problems but decided she needs to overcome it so her and Larry can be sealed. That is her goal right now. She was raised in the church but really doesn't remember a lot. She asked us if we would be willing to teach her the lessons! Uh YES! Anyways, I'll make this shorter. But we sat for a while and really got to know her, like her whole life story. She told us she felt completely comfortable with us and now claims us as part of her family. My heart just melted! It was just amazing to testify that God knows her and is completely aware of her. He knew that we needed to stop by last night because today her anxiety might have kicked up again and she might not have called us. We have made all these plans for lessons, cleaning her home, and even baking cookies with her. She is just the sweetest. She has the real intent to come back to the gospel and to enter in the temple to be with her family for eternity!
I hope you all now that God is aware of you also. He knows our needs, wants, desires and will do anything to make us happy. That's what this gospel is for- to make us happy. I know that as we are continually trying every single day to come closer to our Heavenly Father that He will bless us with what we need.
Here is an amazing video on lds.org that shows this as well. Please watch it :)
I love you all and hope you have a great week!
You can still send things to my mission office.
They will forward everything to me.
107 S 1470 E STE 304
St George, UT 84790
Sister Allan has just arrived in our area, and we can already tell what an asset she will be in our little community. Sister Diaz has already been such a blessing to us and is doing such a wonderful job of taking the reigns, so to speak. We hope they both stay for a long time! They both have such a happy disposition and are sure and steady in their testimonies which is easily felt by those whom they come in contact. We had the privilege to be taught a lesson by them about the Restoration and and reflect on our feelings about different aspects of it. The Spirit was so strong as we contemplated things like the Godhead and their roles, Joseph (the boy praying in the sacred grove and the prophet), the gifts of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel. Our children even opened up to them so I know they have been given spiritual gifts that reach into others’ hearts. We love these Sisters and really appreciate their efforts in helping us as members fulfill our duty to share these sweet messages with those around us!
Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful Daughters with us – although we are in Utah, we actually face unique challenges in keeping Gospel standards and commandments here, especially in our smaller communities. Progression in this valley will and has happened because of the efforts of great missionaries like Sister Diaz and Allen. We are so happy to have their wonderful influence among us!
Have a super-duper day!
Love, the Stuart Smith Family