Monday, March 31, 2014

Wk 53 - La Castellana!! :)

Area: La Castellana
Companion: Sister Dequina

So my new area :) It's amazing!! I have never had such incredible members to just be so willing to work and to help out! I love it so much!! My companion is also amazing!! Her name is Sister Dequina. She is the only member in her family. She was also Sister Monson's trainer and I will also be going home with her. :) I was in Bata with her for 5 months. We both trained and opened areas in neighboring wards then she left the month before I did. She is an incredible missionary and just so happy. :) I love her so much!! :) I admire her too so much!! Her dad has passed away but now has a step dad who's living with her mom. 

My area is amazing! Our house is old,so some things have been getting fixed and the last thing was finished this morning :) It's a really nice house and I love it :) It's cute! I didn't take pictures and haven't yet gotten a new card reader, i'll check mine again and see if it works, but anyways about my area... :)

My area is amazing!! Me and Sister Dequina are opening an area and are the first sisters in this branch. Their branch is getting bigger so they are reconstructing the church right now, so we are in a meeting house! Our Sacrament meeting is outside which is kind of fun :) I love it!! And yesterday they also had us speak in church! It was kind of fun :) For some reason though, I don't feel too nervous, just more excited to be able to continue!! We are starting to get more investigators and the members are helping us a lot!! I love it :) We have i think they said around 100 people attending church :) We just have 2 elders and 2 sisters here; the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders, so kind of cool and it's in the La Carlota Zone. A member also gave me a note from Sister Lisaca's sister :) it made my day! :) We live on Nolido Street. I am not sure the address. It's next to a sign that says SSS something. I don't know haha I'll have to work on that :) but we have all of the proper(city) and the elders are in the bukid (mountains). It's kind of fun :) 

yeah this week is the banana festival haha so yippie!! :)  they have a lot of things set up i'll see what i can do about pictures ;)

Yes our toilet is normal but no seat or lid. We just got it fixed this morning so it flushes now :) we just dumped water the past couple days. It's an elders area that just got added sisters so they made the sisters here in the proper. Yes we still have a bucket shower also. It's fine though because I'm use to it now :) There's most of your answers dad :) any more?? :) haha

I love this area it's very nice and I'm excited to continue to help it progress :) we are also going to Bacolod today for MLC :) I'm excited to go and am excited to continue in this area! AH!! Oh! also this ward has a calendar to feed us... uh oh... but so nice of them :)

Back up a little...Touring the Cebu missionaries was amazing!! I absolutely loved it!! :) Their STL's replaced us and we had an incredible day that day! We just split and toured them around :) It was kind of cool! And after I went by the investigators who's house burnt down, one of them, Jesse(bob marley) texted and asked where we were. Then he came and gave me two bracelets. One for me and sister lara. It was cute :) They said they would get baptized.They all want to :) It's amazing!! :) AH!!!

Anyways, I love this and I hope to just continue to work harder and harder and become happier with the work I have here. I am so grateful to be a missionary and help people find the truth. I love this work. I love the true church here on earth and am so happy for everything God has given me in life!! I know we wouldn't have what we do without this church!! 

Thank you for all you do and your support!! :) Keep being the amazing people you are!! :)

Love, Sister Smoot

Monday, March 24, 2014

Wk 52- New Change!! :)

Area: San Carlos
Companion: Sister Lara

San Carlos and Escalante Zones

The trainers at the zone conference- the zone leaders,
sister training leaders, and assistants
(President Lopez posted some information on Facebook this week about the mission boundaries changing for the Bacolod and Cebu missions. San Carlos- where Jenna is currently serving, will become part of the Cebu mission- so she will be moving in order to stay in the Bacolod mission)
The old boundaries of the Bacolod mission:
The new boundaries of the Bacolod mission:

I don't know where i am going yet. They will let us know on Friday when we head back to Bacolod. We are touring the missionaries from Cebu of our area on Thursday and then Friday morning heading back to Bacolod. We will probably not be staying with our companions or as an STL. They aren't making any new zones is what they said so everything will change, but we find out probably on Friday when we get to bacolod. Thursday we have to have everything packed and an over night bag for that night and yeah!! That's pretty much all I know. I know President Lopez will be here and we are doing breakfast which will be put together by me and sister Lara. Just pastries and bananas is what president said. I will write a letter- you just both had the same questions :) did i answer all of them?? Yes it removes all cebuano, we are only ilonggo now. Lucky me i got to try cebuano no? :)

Well, as I sent you the other email and as you know from President's Facebook, there is a change this week. We are transferring out of Cebuano. Cebuano is going to Cebu mission now. We don't have any new zones, just new missionaries in each zone. So everything will change. We were told, most of us will change companions, and most of us won't have the same callings we do. So this will all happen on Thursday. Oh! We almost also got pulled into Cebu mission is what was said, but Sister Lopez begged for us to stay in Bacolod, so I'm happy about that. :) Now that I've told you that I can tell you more about this wonderful area that I am going to miss a lot.

Let just say, I love this area!! It really is amazing! I can see it's potential and even though I didn't see all the baptisms that I know will happen, At least I got to know the people here. And got to learn a little Cebuano. But this area is amazing!!

Now my thoughts are a little more organized because we've had to organize them so we can be ready to tell the new missionaries on Thursday. But We did have a baptism last night and it was amazing!! It was Nenita, the grandma of Abigail a few weeks ago!! She was so happy and had an amazing feeling!! :) I love how happy she is and how much the spirit lifted her up!

Last Thursday, we had zone conference!! Which was also amazing!! We had Trainings by all the leaders. Yes as a sister training leader, I gave a training. They just gave us a time limit and said STL's have 45 minutes. So we (with Sister Lara) split the time. I can't believe how fast 20 minutes really does fly!! Holy cow!! But it was amazing!! I taught about Showing Christ's love through Patience. I talked about the Christlike attribute in Preach my Gospel Chapter 6 about patience. It was incredible how, again, I wasn't given the training. I prayed to hope to find something that would help the people there. Most of them were previous zone leaders and elders. We only had 6 of us sisters including me and sister Lara. It was incredible though!! I gave it in a mixed Cebuano/Ilonggo/English. Haha. We were told to speak as much of Cebuano as we can, but i'm still between cebuano and ilonggo, plus the little english that I didn't know for training missionaries. I only know the simple language, not deep. :) But it was amazing how the spirit helped me to say what I needed to in each language. Elder Rasmussen (not sure the spelling of their name) one of the couples who doesn't speak ilonggo, came up to me and said you were right on the dot today, I was not patient at all today. I was like oh good!! I helped someone different than i expected, but still helped at least one person. God really does help and support us. I also know it wasn't me that helped him, I was just the lucky one to have the opportunity to be his mouth piece at the right moment. That's why it's so important to be in tune!! I love the Spirit!! :)

Ok, so I guess my brain is really not that organized, sorry, I just have a lot of information going through my head. Haha. But we do have a lot of people prepared for baptism here. Rolley is one and he is amazing!! Sister Lara totally followed the spirit on this one to go find him and he's come to church the past two weeks now and is so ready to be baptized. He serves his family like none other and his mom died about 2 years ago in 2012 of cancer, and he's incredible!! Like he's been looking for something in his like, like to make him feel important. I wish i could continue to teach him! He reminds me a little bit of Matt. I shared about Matt to him also and how the Plan of Salvation really helped him through the trial and I think it helped him a bit. He's 21 and I love the spirit and how incredible!! We started in our first lesson with him about the restoration, but something changed it to the plan of salvation, just in what I said, sister Lara even switched pamphlets while I was talking. It was an incredible spirit led lesson the first time we met him and it just continues!! He's also good friends and neighbors with recent converts, so that helps. :)

Then we have Eugene that is amazing too!! We met him on the sea side. And just started talking to this big group of people and he ended up joining them. He was the only one who accepted the invitation and actually came to church! Late, but at least he came!! These past two weeks!! I was like wow!! He also showed up last saturday right after the baptism because we invited him and we just taught him a lesson at the church and in his prayer he asked to be baptized in the church!! It was amazing!! I love it!! So powerful ang spirit! :) I want to keep teaching! but at least the next missionaries will have something good for them to harvest. Even through the pouring rain these two came to church!!

Church... so funny!! We had a brown out so no electricity. Windows open and a farewell as well. Not very many people were there when church started. Sister Lara and Elder Crossland were speakers. And Guess who played the piano?? ME!! hahaha... i played simplified hymns... I am so working on that when i get home! I want to gain that talent. I enjoyed it though and messed up the first one a bit, but i prayed and God helped me remember a bit and I received his help as I played the piano! It was incredible!! I was told good job after too!! haha The Elders were surprised with how good i was (on the simplified hymns) hahaha i was told right before it started. Our pianist is on a week long short term mission in bacolod 1st ward :) My first area!! But they actually came yesterday for her graduation and it was amazing having Sister Fenne, who was her companion, stay with us last night. She brought such a sweet spirit and I love the love she has for our Savior and the gospel!! She was sister Neis' companion in the MTC and also was assigned in Provo mission for a while. I think in our area somewhere until her visa came. She said she was with Lacey Monson. But anyways so cool!! :) I loved it so much and she's very talented at singing! :) I loved it!!

Also, the investigators who's house burnt down. Carlos and them. Carlos knows it's true but wants more time to feel ready. He didn't come to church, but he will get there :) I KNOW HE WILL!! He is amazing!! And the rest of them know the same thing. They know it's true and I wish we could keep teaching them and help them! But at least, again, the next missionaries have something to keep them busy ;) I love this area!! I love the work and I am so grateful for every opportunity I have had to be here!! :) I love you so much!! Thank you for everything!! :) Have a wonderful week!! :)

Love, Sister Smoot

singing: I Stand All Amazed
training- patience

San Carlos Zone

i don't remembered if i answered you mom, yes i did do a musical number also at zone conference. :) and also president pulled us up in his training who all sang and gave us parts and told us to sing and then we sang and i miss that so much!! I was almost in tears!! I was alto and the only sister too. then he pulled up people who don't sing and told them the same thing. gave them parts and they sang not in tune but they sang. Then president related it to companions and how we aren't always in "harmony" with our companion but the important thing is to be obedient do what is commanded and finish it. Don't stop. I loved it!!! It was my favorite thing ever!! I forgot to add that to my letter :) haha but I love it!! best analogy ever!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wk 51- Happy Birthday to me and Sister Lara!! :)

Area: San Carlos
Companion: Sister Lara

added the candles you sent :) :)

This week has been amazing!! I am so sorry!! so many emails that i don't have a ton of time. But our birthdays were amazing!! Thank you for all the birthday wishes and for everything you do for me!!

We had a good time this week. With both of our birthdays and sister lara hitting one year. She burned some clothes but those pictures are on her camera. It was kinda fun :) She's a cutie!! I absolutely love her to death!!

from Matthew :)

my birthday!!
what's inside?! haha sister lara took so many pictures!
 i don't know what to send and i look terrible!! good morning!! haha on my birthday :)

 it was a Neapolitan cake (however that is spelled)
strawberry chocolate and vanilla :) 
my cake :) thank you sister lara!! :)
haha yes it's huge and still in our fridge... slowly eating it.. 

Ah!! I can't remember what happened this week!! sorry!! I did write it all down though!! It was a wonderful week haha. Palag-put... i don't know what to say!! Sorry!! I have a lot on my mind trying to be ready for tomorrow and we are almost out of time for emailing.

This week we had amazing experiences yesterday teaching the plan of salvation. two different lessons, I felt this real concern of our investigators to want to do the things they needed to to return back to heavenly father. I absolutely loved it!! I do love this work!! I love how much we can feel the spirit and how much Heavenly Father watches out for us and helps us and never puts us through anything we can't handle!! 

I love you family so much! I am so sorry it's short mom and not very informative!! Please forgive me i'll write more next week!! I love you all!! :) I just need to relax right now and be happy :) I love you!!

Love, Sister Smoot
at church!!

some of our recent converts got my camera on my birthday!

we deep cleaned our house :) haha to get rid of things haha we were told to do so.
but it was nasty we never open those cupboards! 

happy birthday sister lara!! and happy birthday to our BML!! we ate with their family :)

Questions Alan asked Jenna and her answers:

Q) Did anyone know that it was your B-day yesterday?
A) yes :) haha they announced it in church too and i spoke... how embarrassing haha

Q) Did you do anything to celebrate, or was it a normal day?
A) um... my companion bought a cake on saturday night pulled me into the store she's so cute!! :) and a lot of people sang happy birthday... 

Q) Are birthdays celebrated similar to the way we do it here with candles on a cake and stuff?
A) yep!! if they can afford it.. :) haha

Q) How does it feel to no longer be a teenager?
A) i don't know.. i don't feel much different hahaha i'm still little jenna i think :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Wk 50!- Zone Training Week!!

Area: San Carlos
Companion: Sister Lara
All the STLs! (Sister Training Leaders)

at MLC  (Mission Leadership Conference)

This week has been really good!! Lets just say I had zone training last week. I was feeling really down so I got a blessing from President Lopez after and I can not describe how happy I felt!! I felt so clean so pure so incredibly happy!! Zone training was also incredible!! Because I felt so amazing! The training the next day went even better!!
I taught about overcoming obstacles. It was incredible the spirit that was there. We talked about Christ and talked about a lot of different things. People added and that was incredible and I cried (thought I'd gotten over that, but not yet, maybe never) but just what I'd experienced the day before I overcame Satan getting to me. Telling me I'm not good enough. These things really do happen!! I know that Heavenly Father is more powerful and the Priesthood is definitely power from God!! I know this church is true and overcoming obstacles is so important as a missionary and just in life in general. The more you are closer to God, the easier it is to overcome trials. Trust him!! Don't let your testimony falter!! :) I LOVE MY SAVIOR!! I LOVE THIS CHURCH!! I KNOW IT'S TRUE!!! :)
We also had permission to work with young women, so we worked with one that is Sister Melanie Ledewan. I am not sure how you spell her name but she's 16 and she is amazing!! We got on a tricycle and she was in the back and another sister was with us sitting in back with her and me and sister lara were in front. She started asking her about her family and she introduced herself as a member of the church and I just handed her a pamphlet and so she could give it to her. IT WAS AMAZING!! Even if we challenge members to do it they have a hard time, but she was so proud and happy! I turned to her after and told her good job!! and She was like ah!! I was so nervous!! But the sister accepted and is in a different branch but she gave her a pamphlet! and it was amazing!! I want to be like her!! Be a proud member of the Church of Jesus Christ.

To be honest these little miracles that have happened this week aren't just people doing things. It's people putting their trust in God and having faith that he will put in their mouth what they need to say. It happened to me and it happened to melanie. I know the teaching I did on Wednesday wasn't from me, it was from God and I had the opportunity to be his instrument. I want to teach like that ALWAYS!! I prayed before that he would be able to teach through me because I was too nervous to give the training myself. But God did it for me :) I am so happy and lucky to be his servant and I know that not only me as a missionary is his servant but all of us as members of the true church here on earth are missionaries. I never want to stop! this work it's amazing!!

I know sorry... i sound like a missionary but it's the best work ever and I love it with ALL of my heart!! :) So grateful for everything we have and for this work and the love of my Savior, our Savior.
Thank you for all of your examples and for everything!! I wish I could feel as happy as I do now ALWAYS!! I will try, but i know the times when you are down make these times even better!! :) I love you all!! :)

Love, Sister Smoot

p.s. thank you for all the birthday messages :) love you!  

Sister Sefetti is now with me at MLC :) It made me so happy!! :) She is from my batch in the MTC if you remember :) I love her dearly and so grateful for her example!! :)

This was our trip home. Elder Crossland gave up his seat to a sister but the whole 3 and a half hours until about the last hour there were people standing. It was packed and they kept stopping and letting people on too. Only in the PHilippines! i love it!! haha

thank you for the package :) i got the flower off the top! I will take more pictures of my packages when i open them on sunday :) thank you!
 sister lara cut herself some bangs the other day :) haha love her!!