What, No Journal, Must Be Busy !!!

I know she has become an avid journal keeper, lookout Chris Bradbury.

She must be one heck of a busy girl if she's not keeping her journal...

Well... Where do I start?!? Lets just say that I haven't written in my journal for 20 days now. Maybe that'll give you an indication of how things are going! We are so busy!!!! I am exhausted and I love it!!! Crazy eh?! Who enjoys being tired?! It's so satisfying! We are starting to teach new people which is exciting. The work here is moving along and Sister Bastian and I are getting stuck in!

I've decided that I need a spring coat as it's starting to warm up down here, so as well as cleaning, that's our goal today... Find a new coat for Sister Smart! I don't think Sister Bastian knows what she has in store for her today... I've tried to explain that I am probably the pickiest shopper and that I hate it with a passion but I guess she won't understand until we get started :/. P'days are not suppose to be stressful but I feel this one is going to be!

We were asked by the Branch to attend and represent the Church at a Conservative Christian Fellowship Panel this week... It was very interesting!! There was a panel of five and the format was just like "Question Time"! They discussed same sex marriage, mental health and church attendance and the "The Big Society" which was in the Conservatives manifesto. We didn't have to participate at all. We could have done if we'd wanted but we didn't feel the need as everyone was in agreement... Thankfully! I don't like debates!!

We had Zone Conference on Tuesday... It was amazing! Seriously... The inspiration that our leaders receive for us is amazing! So many of my questions/prayers were answered! I love being with so many missionaries... It gives me so much strength knowing that they're going through the same things, having the same experiences and challenges. And I didn't feel super awkward of self conscious! :D I figured that I just needed to enjoy it for what it was.

We just found out that Elder Fingerle passed his driving test this morning!! We prayed so hard for him, as he really needed to pass! Elder Christensen is going home this next transfer so Elder Fingerle didn't really have the option to fail or we'd end up having Zone Leaders that can't travel around the Zone. Super pleased for him! They're amazing Zone Leaders and I'll be sad to see Elder Christensen go!

This is currently my view... Elder Wilson!! And his Nephi forearms... Elder Schmoekel named them that after they measured their muscles... Elder Wilson's forearms are bigger than Elder Schmoekel's upper arm. Why they were measuring their muscles I don't know but it was very funny when they told us! It really does take some getting used to... Having Elders serving in the same area!

I've really been focusing on my study the last couple weeks and I feel that it's getting better... More productive and effective. I am learning a lot about the Gospel and about myself. I love the gospel and how it can change our lives if we embrace it!

Remember who you are and try your best in all you do!

Love, Sister Smart

Elder Christensen and I... Had to get a memory photo before he kicks it to California!
Sister Steffensen and I... I love her!!!! She was in my MTC group!

First Real Transfer - Part Two !!!

Well the transfer turned out not to be traumatic, she took it in her stride...

Today, right out of the blue we received a phone call from the Branch President (like the Bishop) of the Branch (like the Ward) she has just moved into. At first we were alarmed, but he very quickly quelled our concerns as he started singing the praises of our very own Sister Smart, saying that he could not believe the short time she had been out as a Missionary and also the very short time that her and her companion had been together, he said they gelled like a pair of very long serving, experienced Missionaries and that although she is a 'very forthright woman' (I know not what he means!!!) she is an absolute first class Missionary.

His wife works in a position where she visits Ashton about every six weeks and has offered to ferry any amount of luggage & packages up and down the country via his wife on these visits.

He is actually up here with his wife and family with it being half term this week, so we are hoping to meet them at the temple on Thursday evening...

This week has been a good week! Sister Bastian and I work really well together and feel like we’ve known each other for ages!! We got to our new flat on Tuesday evening with a lot of help from Elder Fingerle and Elder Christensen (Zone leaders) and President Crewe (Poole Stake President).

For Elders I’d say it was quite clean! We still haven’t unpacked as we wanted to clean before we put our things away but we’ve been so busy that we haven’t had time to. One of us will cook and one of us will clean each lunch and dinner time but you can’t get much done plus the flats big! Some days we have taken a snack out with us for dinner as we have had too much to do. Today is the day of cleaning and unpacking which I am very happy about as not being able to find my things has stressed me out! I need to find a place for everything!

I am so happy to be Sister Bastian’s companion and I am learning a lot from her. I know that this experience will help me grow into a better Missionary and person. It is very exciting to be here in Salisbury. It’s very different to Yeovil… It’s a big city and we’re very close to the centre. The people are different, the place is different and we share the area with Elders… And that’s really weird! Seeing them so often and what not. We’ve not bumped into them in the street yet and I doubt we will as the area is huge!!! 80miles by 80 miles so I’ve been told. We have a lot to do here and we know the kingdom will build as we work hard. The Branch are very pleased to have Sister Bastian and I and are making us very welcome after (apparently) 32 years without Sister Missionaries. They are very Missionary minded which is amazing and they are just as eager as we are to move the work along and build the kingdom.

We received a phone call from Elder Willers and Elder Astle (who took over in Yeovil) on Saturday explaining that Sam had dropped them. I am really disappointed but I am not allowing it to affect my work here in Salibury. Maybe just now isn’t his time… But it will come! He bore his testimony last Fast Sunday and he received a witness from the Spirit so the only explanation is Satan and Satan at his best.

We have Zone Conference (three Zones together) this Tuesday and I am very much looking forward to it. I love learning and gaining strength from the other Missionaries. I feel nervous though… So many people and I feel well self conscious! And I’m saying the opening prayer K!! Elder Christensen (ZL) laughs at me when we’re at big events! He tells me it’s like the first day at school… You just have to put yourself out there but I’m really not good at that! I like to watch and obverse before I include myself but if I keep going at this rate I’ll only be including myself at my last Zone Conference… Haha! Luckily for me Sister Bastian is a social bug!! So she’s been giving me some tips and hopefully I’ll feel a little better at this one. I’ll report next week.

Sister Bastian and I have seen many miracle here already and we haven’t even been here a week. Excited is the best way to explain how I feel about everything this week and I am very happy.

Hard work pays off! Collapsing as you walk through the door at 9.30pm is a very accomplishing feeling! And I know that is the case for every aspect in life.

“Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ya shall also reap good for your reward.”

Doctrine and Covenants 6:33

Love, Sister Smart

Sister Bastian fell off her chair!!!! I nearly wet myself laughing!!!!!!
We got soaked!!!
The Elders left this on the fridge for us :)
Sister Bastian trying to pack :| not cool!! Haha!!

First Real Transfer - Part One !!!

This week saw the announcement first real transfer, its not happened yet, look out for next weeks exiting finale to this two part epoisode!!!
Well.... This week has been crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As you know, Sister Brown has moved! We expected it so it wasn't a shock... It was sad for her to leave but exciting to have a new companion.
We went to Transfers on Wednesday and I found my new companion, Sister Bastian. She is from Mapleton, Utah... When she introduced herself she said "I'm your typical Utah Mormon!". Which she is but she's great!!! I love her. We are very much the same... We think the same and like things to be done the same way. The only difference is she's skinny and prettier! :) We're even the same height!! She has been out for 9 month so she is very experienced. She is the Sister Training Leader for our zone, so we will be going on lots of exchanges. I am very excited to learn from her!!!
On Thursday we got a phone call from President Millar.... He told us that we will be "pink washing" (his words!) to Salisbury on Tuesday which is tomorrow! Basically Salisbury have got two sets of Elders and there are a lot of Sisters in the branch that want to work with the missionaries but can't as they're all Elders. The branch started to pray for Sister's on Sunday last week and on Thursday there prayers were answered. We are simply trading with one set of the Elders. I know one of the them that is moving into Yeovil as we're in the same district... Elder Willers! He is amazing and will be great for Yeovil. I don't know his companion as he only transferred in on Wednesday but will get to know him soon I guess.
Poor Sister Bastian had just unpacked on the Wednesday so I don't think she is looking forward to packing again. I'm not either!!! I don't know how I'm going to get everything back into my bags! We will be at it this afternoon so wish us the best of luck! We're swapping tomorrow afternoon/evening with help from our amazing Zone Leaders.
As Sister Bastian is the Sister Training Leader and she had a meeting in Staines on Friday so I went on exchange with a Sister Stewart in Portsmouth as her comp is also a Sister Training Leader. It was a very interesting day! Portsmouth is quite some distance from Yeovil so Elder Fingerle and Elder Christensen (Zone Leaders) picked us up on Thursday at 9.30pm after our last teach... It was a good journey with good conversation but we didn't get there until 11.30pm :|!!!!!!! It's been a while since I went to bed that late... 3 months actually! We're both still recovering! Two hours there and two hours back... It was kinda weird being with Elders for so long!!
So Salisbury is going to be on fire when we get there as we're determined to make it a ward... It's currently a Branch!
Our first day I felt like the worst Missionary in the world as I compared myself to Sister Bastian who has been out 6 months longer than me. I've tried to snap myself out of it... I've managed to turn it into a positive I think by recognising how I cam improve and learn from her.
Overall I am very excited about the move but I will miss Yeovil! The members have been great to us here! Saying goodbye to Jamie on Sunday was weird... I had so much to say to him about the Gospel... It's all good though as the Ward are taking good care of him, plus next May I'll be his full time friend! :) Sam is amazing and will be Baptised on March 2nd. I know that the Elders will take good care of him! And hopefully Sister Bastian and I will be able to come back to his Baptism. And then we can be friends after his mission as he will be going around this time next year... He told me that yesterday and I'm super excited for him!!!!!
So much has happened in the last week and it feel like forever since I emailed last!!! Busy busy crazy week!!!!! I think I've told you everything important!
Thank you to everyone that send something for my birthday... It's nice to be remembered!
The gospel is true!!!! Work your socks off at being the person Heavenly Father expects you to be and you'll see the blessing flood into your lives!
Love, Sister Smart

Sister Bastian and I!
The Ralph Family and I. Ed is the Ward Mission Leader here in Yeovil! Love this Family!... Last Sunday in Yeovil!!
Last Sunday in Yeovil... Left to right: Me, Sam, Sister Bastian, Jamie, Sister Barker and Elder Barker.
The Barkers and I... They go home very soon and one of our last visits with them.
Ellie Hazell and I... Love her and her family!!!
Me, Sophie (Ellie's best friend), Ellie and Ange (Hazell)! Going to miss them!
Don't know if you can really see but I've got a dodgy finger! Not cool!!
Sister Brown trying to pack... She got there in the end!!

Transfers Are A Looming !!!

This week is transfers, and at the time of going to press, we still weren't sure if she was staying or going. So I guess it will be next week when we find out now.
Hello hello!!!!

Thank you so much for the Birthday wishes, gifts and cards!! We had so much fun last Monday... Photo's to follow!! On Tuesday (my actual birthday) we had Domino's pizza for dinner to make it a little more birthday-like... A birthday is just a regular day as a missionary otherwise! Elder Barren (from my District) and I are Birthday buddies... He is 20!!!!!!!!! :O I feel so old!

Sister Brown and I had a lovely week, not without disappointment or frustration but it was a good week. We received a referral for a lady in Wells, so we contacted her and arranged to visit her at her home. We got to Wells after a 1 hour and 30 minute bus ride, found her house, knocked and she didn't answer. We went away and returned about 20 minutes later but again she didn't answer and it was very obvious that she was home. It was extremely frustrating and disappointing but I am learning how to deal with those emotions.

Sister Brown and I feel that our companionship may be coming to an end so we have had mixed emotions. We have laughed a lot this week!!! I will miss her but I know that Heavenly Father has other companions in my path so I can continue to grow.

As transfers are this week we had a "District - Transfer predictions"... Elder Willers drew a table on the whiteboard and everyone put on what they thought would happen. I'll send a photo so you can see! We're expecting phone calls any minutes to announce the moves so we'll see! I kinda have a feeling that I'm going but it's more likely that Sister Brown will move but who knows!!!

Yesterday Sister Brown and I had an amazing experience! Sam, our progressing investigator with a baptismal date attended church with us. He didn't attend last week so on Wednesday I expressed how I had gone to church with a question in my mind/heart and received an answer. As you know, yesterday was fast and testimony meeting. About half way through, Sam leaned over to Sister Brown and asked her if anyone can go up to bear their testimony. She said they could and about two minutes before we were due to sing the closing hymn he stood up and bore his testimony of the Book of Mormon, Jesus Christ our Savior and Heavenly father. He explained how he hadn't known it was true until then. His testimony got the loudest “Amen”. After sacrament meeting he told Sister Brown and I that he had got an overwhelming feeling during the meeting and now knows the truthfulness of the gospel. I am so happy for him!!! After the meeting some of the YSA invited and offered him a lift to institute. Sister Brown and I were so pleased that the ward are fellow shipping him. Revelation through church attendance is amazing!!

Jamie has been unwell for the last week or so. He has been working too much and I have been telling him off for weeks... He admits now that he should listen to the women in his life! His mum has been telling him off too!! I am concerned for him... I really do hope that resting will fix him! We taught him on Wednesday with our ward mission leader but he really is quite unwell. He was determined to have our lesson as he doesn't want to fall behind.

Oh, one last thing... Sister Brown decided it was about time that she learned how to whistle. She's lucky that I love her or I would have punched her! I did have to ask her once to give it a rest as she had been at it for hours. Being a missionary helps you grow in so many ways... Patience! :)

The church is true!

Love, Sister Smart

Sister Brown and I on our trip to Nine Springs last Monday... Birthday celabration!
Nine Springs again... We want to go back again! There is so much more to see!!
Make sure Jimmy sees this one!!!! :)
Salisbury District - Elder Schmoekle (DL), Elder Wilson, Sister Brown, Me, Sister Gisonda, Sister Brinco, Elder Barren and Elder Willers.
District - Transfer predictions - We guessed from top to bottom... If that makes sence... S=Stay, M=Move and T=Move.
Birthday buddies - Elder Barren and I!
The Poole zone... Won't be like this for long!!! Transfers!
My amazing birthday gift from Sister Brown... She made this scarf for me!!! P.S. I think my camera has gone a bit dodge! Long face!!!!!