Goodbye Palmyra, Hello Palmyra!

Wow, big changes!! So transfers happened. But to explain them I have to back up a little. Our mission is undergoing a significant change, and I get to be a part of it! Thus far, all sisters called to this mission who serve around the Palmyra and Rochester areas also serve
part-time at the sites and visitors’ center. This is not how it is in other visitors’ center missions. In other places they have some sisters work part-time and some sisters work full-time at the visitors’ center. Our mission is starting the transition to this. Starting tomorrow. As Visitors’ Center Trainers we, and one other set of sisters, will be serving full-time, all day everyday at the visitors’ center. Then as time goes on we will receive more and more sisters and more companionships will be added full-time. It’s so exciting! We will be living in Palmyra in some really nice apartments just down the road from the Smith Farm.

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Unfortunately one of us is not makin’ the transition. That’s right, Smith and Barrett are being separated! It’s not fair! One transfer was not long enough for this dream companionship. It went by so fast it honestly felt like a dream. Sister Barrett will be staying in Farmington and she will be training! That is one lucky sister coming from the MTC to be her companion. I’ve learned so much from her, luckily we just live around the corner so we’re still planning on exercising together and sharing clothes.

Speaking of exercising, it’s not every missionary who can say they run to the Sacred Grove in the morning for exercise! I have been waiting my whole mission for that day, and this week it was warm enough! On Wednesday we ran to the Grove, walked through, said a morning prayer, and ran back. The next day we ran up to the temple and walked around and then ran back. Seriously the coolest experience ever! I live in the greatest place on earth. Hands down. My life is a dream.

And my dream gets better because I get to be companions with Sister Jacobsen! I’ve been waiting my whole mission to be companions with her. She came out two transfers after me, with sister Ewell, and she is such a rockstar. We’ve been in the same zone, but besides that we haven’t served near each other. So I’m so so excited to be her companion and she is from NEPHI! We’re neighbors and we have mutual friends. Stoked for the next transfer.

In other news this week, we deep cleaned our church building on Saturday as a ward. Apparently some important people are coming here this weekend, does anyone know any-thing about this? Just kidding, PRESIDENT EYRING AND ELDER AND SISTER HOLLAND ARE COMING TO PALMYRA THIS WEEK! Gah, does life get any cooler? And I have the amazing opportunity to be in a couple of meetings with them. Wow. Wow, wow, wow. I’ll tell you everything next week. I expect EVERYONE to tune in to the Face to Face, whether you are a youth, or a hundred years old. They’re broadcasting it from my favorite place and you will literally get to see where I serve.

image3Here I am tracting in Palmyra. 

image6And here is Sister Smith ready and waiting for people to get on mormon.org. I love you all and I love being a missionary!

64 Degrees in February!

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Biggest event last week was the MLC (Mission Leadership Council) on Friday. We went to the mission office on Thursday with the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders and received such great training. It was awesome. President Evans is just the coolest.image2 I accompanied Sister Barrett on a musical number, Come Unto Christ, and it went really well. She is such a talented singer!image3

The other big news of the weekend is the weather!!! Holy shpamoley! Soooo nice, spring is in the air. It was over 60 degrees on Saturday and Sunday and we took advantage of that fact to do some tracting! It’s a reason to be smiling when the sun is shining. I love the winter and the snow, but I’m ready for the warmth. We haven’t felt the sun in months!

We had some extra miles so we went on a mini road trip first thing this morning to Sodus Point. It’s on Lake Ontario and it’s one of the most northerly points in the mission. Very much a tourist location in the summer. It was a ghost town when we went today. I’m sure people thought we were crazy climbing carefully over the icy dock to the lighthouse. Still a super fun adventure. It was pretty cold next to the lake with the wind, but it would be amazing in the summer. I love seeing the different areas in the mission.image7

How is it 13 months already? I swear I was just burning my skirt to commemorate my 1 year anniversary just last week! This past month I’ve been studying the Christlike attribute of humility and yesterday I read an awesome talk from October 2003 General Conference, The Empowerment of Humility, by Richard C. Edgley. This was my favorite quote, “Humility and gratitude are truly the twin characteristics of happiness.” This past month I have been given many humbling opportunities and I have grown so much. And I’ve been so happy! I’m grateful for so many things: my companion, my calling, but above all, the Atonement of Jesus Christ which allows me to change and try harder every day. I’m on the six month slide, and it’s speeding up. It’s a sprint to the finish and I’m making the most of each moment! I’m also grateful for my amazing family and friends, I miss and love you all and I love being a missionary.image10

Lovin’ February

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The adventures of Smith and Barrett…

1: Farmer Smith.  We fed the cows hay and put down fresh straw. I learned a lot like 1) the difference between straw and hay, 2) the difference in pitchforks and their uses, 3) the difference between silage and haylage..both stink horribly, 4) being a farmer is fun….for a day.image2

2: New photo exhibit at the Visitor Center! Large photo stills from the Bible videos. So cool. I love this photo in particular because the authority He is giving His apostles is the same exact authority we have today! So cool! And it’s the same authority that set me apart as a missionary, something I am forever grateful for.image3

3: A lady in our ward gave us GIANT stuffed peppers. None of us had 
ever had stuffed peppers so we stuck them in our crockpot and prayed that they were stuffed with something good. Success!image4

4: Back in the pilots chair. Online teaching is so cool. I chatted with a guy from New Zealand who wants to learn more but isn’t ready for missionaries so I’m going to keep in contact with him and answer his questions. We also have some people we have sent to local mission -aries who are getting baptized this week. So cool. 2 Nephi 39:8 “and it shall come to pass that the Lord God shall commence his work among ALL NATIONS, kindreds, tongues and people, to bring about the restoration of his people upon the earth” ..that’s what I get to do online! Teach the world!

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5: I went on exchanges with Sister Embley! She was my STL in Buffalo and so we’re already exchange buddies. Exchanges are convenient when it’s your housemate. We did service at the library covering old books in plastic, lots of tracting, visiting less actives and doing all that good stuff.

6: Investigators. Before I came to Farmington they were working with an 8 year old boy named Cameron who is a less active’s grandson. We’ve been trying to meet with them for so long and we finally caught them at home! And he still wants to learn! And there was another girl they met before I came, named HEAVEN, how cool. We finally got in contact with her too and we’re going to go back and teach her family.

7: Things at the sites are still going well. It’s kind of slow, but we are using our time to prepare for when the spring breakers come. I had an awesome family come in the other night to the Hill Cumorah. They only made it to the Smith Farm, so I took them to the back room with all of our cool displays and we just talked for over an hour. I told them all about the others sites and they were just soaking it up. They were awesome and I was reminded of why I love being a site sister. Teaching the gospel to people is just the best, and when people come to US wanting to learn, it’s so cool. I love these sites, these stories and everything about my calling.

8-9: Happy belated heart day from us. I just really love being a missionary.

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News from the Land of the Restoration

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What is new in the land of the Restoration? Oh we just had the best day EVER!

First off, zone conference was AMAZING! So many good trainings! I love being a missionary.

We meet with this super sweet lady named Janet who has had a really rough year since her son died. She’s not really investigating the church but we visit her and share uplifting messages with her. She loves us sister missionaries. Last week we invited her to pray and she did! This was big. She said, “you told me to pray and so I’ve been praying!” She’s so sassy, I love it. Then we asked her if we could read the Book of Mormon with her and she said we could, so we did this week! Woohoo! 

Yesterday we ate dinner with some members who only eat out of their food storage from December 1-March 1. They showed me their storage and it was insane. They cycle through it in the winter and then replenish it in the summer. People in New York are crazy about their food storage, it’s pretty impressive. Somehow we ate taco pie from food storage…

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Okay, best day ever. Started at the TEMPLE! That’s right my favorite place on the planet. (20 degrees outside. We make it look like 50. Sister Barrett says if we wear flowers, spring will come quicker.) The cutest old lady, Norma, went through for her endowments after being baptized a year and a half ago. She’s had a really tough life and the gospel has changed it completely. It was a joyous day indeed. So happy for her and so happy to be there with her. Nothing like the blessings of the temple. Then we went to our shift at the Grandin building and the senior couple bought us lunch from our favorite canal side cafe. Tender mercies. AND we had so many groups come in to take tours. We were taking people through back to back.  People are returning! At least on weekends.. so fun to be taking tours again and meeting such incredible people! Could this day get any better?? Yes it could!! Surprise of my life! SISTER EWELL SURPRISED ME!!! They made a last minute trip with my fav people, Samra (baptized a couple years ago) and her son Rhyan aka one of my best friends. They made a last minute trip and only had a few minutes but it seriously made my life to see them. (Did I mention I love sister Ewell?)
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Aaaaand, they brought a package for me that arrived at the Orchard Park apartment that morning from GERMANY (thank you Lisa!) filled with yummy European candy and socks! It was a good day. image5
I love being a missionary and I love you all! Church is true!