Saturday, August 15, 2009

July 27th 2009

Can you believe I've been a missionary for 4 months now?! Craziness, I know! Well, I am loving this transfer so far. I absolutely LOVE my companions. I feel like I can be my dorky self around them and they still love me (kind of like all of you!) We've been working hard this last week and have seen a lot of progress. We have quite a few new investigators, now we just have to work and work and work and pray to ensure that they will progress.

I'm starting to absolutely love the people here in Hawaii. People say I look like a local, so that makes me feel cool :) (All thanks to Mom's genes). 2 days ago I was talking to some ward members that said everyone who descends from Hyrum Smith is ultra talented. They were talking about a family they know where all the kids are pretty much geniuses and can play so many musical instruments and on and on. Haha I couldn't help but wonder if our family missed the boat on this. Maybe we are just full of exceeding awesomeness that we didn't need all those extra talents. I think Dad just got the last of it. Haha. But it's fun to talk to ward members here who are born and raised Hawaii locals. Before I came on my mission, people would always say "you're going to learn how to speak pigeon" and they were right. I guess you'll have to wait until Christmas to hear, but it's funny. They have a specific tone of voice when they ask questions, it makes me laugh. Instead of saying the number "three" they say "tree". They always say "kine" (meaning "kind"). An example would be, "yeah dat's da good kine". And one of our ward members always says "action" randomly. Kind of how todd and I say "face" at the end of the words all the time (e.g. dog-face). He always calls us "lady missionaries" too. If we're about to start a lesson he might say, "alright, let's hear some lady missionary kine action".

So in case you couldn't tell, this last week has not only been hard-working and successful, but it's been FUN! Being patient has its rewards. We've had a few minor annoyances though. We ran into a couple anti-mormon types and we taught a lesson to a member yesterday who found it necessary to ask dumb questions because "people are gonna ask you this stuff and you need to be prepared!" (please NEVER do that to a missionary. It's obnoxious and will not help in any way). In the moment, we always know what to say because the Holy Ghost guides us. We CAN answer the question/accusation if necessary, but usually the Spirit just says, "don't waste your time, there are people waiting to hear this message. Go find them!" My curse is that I am strong-willed and opinionated. I WANT to defend this church and the truth. I've had the same disagreements as most of these people and I've found the answers to settle my concerns, so I know exactly how to refute their arguments. But the biggest help for me has been 2 Timothy 2:23-24 "But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes. And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient". It's important to truly represent the Lord and act as he would.

Papa wrote me an email that reminded me that it's important to stand up for the truth while being loving. Just like the Savior was charitable and loved all mankind, but he wouldn't back down in his beliefs and always defended and worked for truth. So I need to find that balance in defending the truth while being humble. While reading the Book of Mormon the other day, I saw a similar situation with Alma and Amulek. In Alma 10 it says, "Now it was those men who sought to destroy them, who were lawyers, who were hired or appointed by the people to administer the law at their times of trials, or at the trials of the crimes of the people before the judges.
15 Now these lawyers were learned in all the arts and cunning of the people; and this was to enable them that they might be skilful in their profession.
16 And it came to pass that they began to question Amulek, that thereby they might make him cross his words, or contradict the words which he should speak.
17 Now they knew not that Amulek could know of their designs. But it came to pass as they began to question him, he perceived their thoughts, and he said unto them: O ye wicked and perverse generation, ye lawyers and hypocrites, for ye are laying the foundations of the devil; for ye are laying traps and snares to catch the holy ones of God.
18 Ye are laying plans to pervert the ways of the righteous, and to bring down the wrath of God upon your heads, even to the utter destruction of this people.
19 Yea, well did Mosiah say, who was our last king, when he was about to deliver up the kingdom, having no one to confer it upon, causing that this people should be governed by their own voices—yea, well did he say that if the time should come that the voice of this people should choose iniquity, that is, if the time should come that this people should fall into transgression, they would be ripe for destruction."

Haha I want so badly to say that to people. Maybe someday the Spirit will lead me to that, but probably not. It gives comfort to know that people were just as hard-hearted and twisted in beliefs 2,000 years ago as they are now.

Well I'm getting kicked off the computer but I love you all and miss you! Send me letters!!

Sister Smith

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