Monday, April 1, 2013

Happy Easter from Katelyn

FAMILY ! : ) 

Wow I know this has been such a roller coaster of events, but I want to say thank you SO MUCH for your love and support through all of this! I know it can´t be easy!!!

Beautiful palm trees!!

I hope everyone has had amazing birthdays, and had an amazing Easter!!!!! Yes, they don´t really celebrate it here sadly... ha at least how we do! I hope you all had such a great time with the family and being all together!!! Yesterday we sang in Sacrament Meeting I know my Savior lives for Easter Sunday. Such an incredible experience. I testify that I know my Savior lives. I am so incredibly grateful for his sacrifice for each and every one of us. For completely obeying the Father´s will! I know he loves me and knows me inside and out! I have come to learn more about him every day! I love my Savior so very much!

A beautiful bridge we walk across each day!

This has been an incredible experience and I have learned so much! I can´t wait to share with all of you my experiences and all the things that I have learned! I can´t wait to see you all, and to also continue my relationship with Taylor.
I know that I need to come home and see what our future holds! :)

JORDAN IS ENGADGED!?!?!?!??!?!?!!? Are you kidding me!!??!?!?!?!? Oh my word. I am so extremely happy and exited for her!!!!!!! PLEASE let her know of my love and my excitement for her and Antonio!!!!! I just got her letter and a letter from her family this week so please tell them thank you for me! :) SO EXITING! 

Yes, we are organized, ready to go and do

This week has been so great. We have taught so many lessons and yesterday gave out so many copies of the Book of Mormon. We had a bunch of chocolate eggs so we used that as our way into many homes yesterday.

In one lesson we were teaching this week we were talking about eternal families. Hermana Pereira said Hermana Smith has been privileged to be born into this gospel and to have a family all sealed together for eternity. So then I bore testimony what this gospel has done for our family. And how extremely grateful I am for parents who love each other and for the knowledge that we can be together forever! I really am so grateful for each and every one of you! Thank you for your constant and unfailing love for me. You are in my prayers constantly.

Dad I hope work is going well, mom keep brightening others day with your beautiful smile, Conner and Tanner keep having fun and being kids... but be good for mom and dad. Austin and Lauren I hope you had a wonderful time together away this past weekend!

I’ve tried many exotic fruits this week, fig, tuna...unreal. We went to the Faria with Hermana Medalla from the ward and helped her carry all her produce...all the fruits and veggies here are HUGE!!!!
the Faria

Yesterday dogs chased us... first time so far. We came out of teaching a lesson to Jose (first lesson about the Book of Mormon and Baptism and he accepted the baptismal invatation!!!) and 3 dogs were waiting at the top of the hill. H. Pereira picked up a stick but that didn´t really scare them off... not thinking and panicked I just started running. hahaha dumb move. So they chased me of course. One was trying to bite my legs over and over again finally we out ran them. I seriously was so shaky. IT WAS TERRIFYING! HA Wow in the eyes of those watching it was probably very hilarious!

The Chilean people love crocks... the shoes every time I see them I just smile and think of Grandma Smith!
 Santa Ines

They love their bread here... I´m trying to convince the barrio to have an activity “MAN SHOULD NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE” and have everyone bring their bread and then do like a scripture game. ha I was trying to explain it to Hermana Pereira but she didn´t really understand...

The familia Fredes is this huge family that I absolutely love in nuestro barrio! We had lunch with them yesterday. HUGE. Then passing by their house on our way home last night we saw the car of our investigators Janet and Diego at their house... so we made up the excuse we needed to use their bathroom to get in and teach them. Surprise CITA! :) It was the twins turning 40 in their family birthday and they invited us to stay for cake. WOW so much more food!

My first Completo... so big I couldn't finish it!!

They are so intrigued by my sock bun down here that I demonstrated I think 50 times yesterday alone.  I offered my sock for Manuel because it was his birthday... but like dad, he is bald. Ha They all started laughing and joked asking Hermana Pereira if she had an even amount of socks!   We have another appointment with them tonight! Teaching the restoration, it has been an incredible experience.

We are also teaching women named Carmen the restoration and after sharing the first vision she just began balling. The spirit was so strong! She wasn´t able to attend church because her daughter, from Santiago came into town, but we hope she attends general conference this week because we really focused on the importance of prophets!!!! 

RO HAY HU. I love you in GUADANI
Thank you all so much for your love and support!!!! I cannot wait to see you soon!!!! !
Hermana Katelyn Smith :) :) 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Our Sweet Missionary, Katelyn

On December 1st of last year, Katelyn met the most amazing man.  His name is Taylor DeHart.  He is from the Huntsville area.  He served a mission, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He served in the Lansing, Michigan Mission.  They started dating each other.  Yes, they both felt something different, that they had never felt before.  They both fell in love with each other. 
Katelyn had already received her call, and she knew she still needed to go on her mission. 

Katelyn and Taylor

Since she has left she has felt this longing to come home and get married. 
In two weeks Katelyn will be returning from Chile to plan her life with Taylor.  We are excited to see our sweet daughter again!!!  She loves him with all her heart.  He feels the exact same way.  This is a part of her letter from 2 weeks ago. 

To change the direction of things a little bit, mom and dad I have prayed and prayed. All day everyday. With furfer intent to know the will of God.  I testify to you that I did need to have the experiences I did in the MTC, and to have met the people I met there. My companion taught me so extremely much.

These past few weeks here in Chile have been incredible. I have learned so much from the people here. They are so extremely loving. Families are so closely bonded. Sons have so much respect for their mothers, couples enjoy strong bonds with each other.  Everyone is so friendly, and would do and give anything for anyone. Even with nothing they are so happy. It´s the gospel that brings them this happiness! My time here has been incredible. My companion and her story have taught me so much! Her testimony has brought me closer to my Savior!

Seeing the change in our investigators and in those being baptized is incredible. Their faith is so strong! This is where I have needed to be to have met the people I have.
However, Every day I’m caught up in many thoughts and feelings, impressions to not so much focus on the language but to focus on the gospel.  

Me and my beautiful companion!! Just contacting away.....

This past week I’ve received revelation that my time here is over. That I need to come home.  Which sounds absolutely crazy I KNOW!!! Tomorrow Hermana Pereira agreed to fast with me about what I needed to do. But through constant prayer, this is the answer I have received. That I need and should come home and to continue my relationship with Taylor. 

Please do not let these words scare you or worry you. I´m safe, my companion is incredible and so incredibly patient with me (poor thing ha) I could not ask for a better one, the people are so welcoming and friendly, our mission president is incredible, the language has been difficult but I’ve been learning a lot every day.

I know that the time that I have had here has changed my whole outlook on life.
On the gospel. On my Savior. I have such a strong testimony of this gospel and know that it is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth! Without a doubt. This is God´s plan of happiness. I have felt so strongly the love of God for me but more strongly for the people here. Through them the Lord has taught me so many things. I’m so glad that I have been given this opportunity to serve for just a short time here. I know that the people I’ve meet and the stories I’ve heard were just for me. And through them I have come closer to my Savior and Redeemer.  It has been incredible experience and miracles happen every day when we place our faith in Christ. Now I must place my faith in Christ  to know things will work the way they need to. I know the Lord has a plan for me.

Our testimony gloves from Sister Oaks

What an experience, what incredible truths have been witnessed to me. Now the Lord has made clear to me a different path I need to take. Everyday that constant feeling comes to me. You need to go; your mission here is done. It´s hard because I want to be here, I want to be in the conversations, but for some reason the spirit keeps telling me. And as I try to pray the feelings away so I can focus, it´s the same.  Tomorrow we are fasting together to confirm that this is what the Lord wants of me. Because I will do whatever he commands. He sent me here to Chile, I know and have felt that it has been the right thing. I know I was meant to be here. But now I need to do something different. Mom and Dad I hope you can understand. I don´t want to confuse you or worry you. I don’t have a better way to describe it than this. After tomorrow I will talk to the mission president to see what needs to happen.   I´m so happy here and feel the spirit so strongly. But after much prayer... and let me tell you it´s been A LOT!  I feel this in my heart that this is what I need to do. Family I love you so much!

Know I’m safe and that I really am good....  this is just the next step. I don´t want to make anyone disappointed but I feel in my heart this. I hope you can understand. After talking with my mission president this week we will see what needs to happen! I will let you know next week for sure! Until then. I´ll be working hard here to continue to bring the gospel into the lives of others! I love you! Have an amazing week! My thoughts and prayers are with you always!! I know this is the gospel of Jesus Christ!! I love you so much! 
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct they paths. 

xoxoxoxoxoxo CON MUCH AMOR 
Hermana Katelyn Nicole Smith 

A beautiful day in Chile...

Katelyn’s letter from this week

First off I’d like to start off by saying I love you all with all of my heart and I’m so very grateful for everything you do more me constantly! I could not ask for a more incredible family!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU! Thank you so much for your prayers and your support for me! I really cannot tell you how blessed I feel to have the incredible support I do because most missionaries here do not have any support from family or friends! SO THANK YOU SO MUCH! I love you so much! I have been getting all kinds of emails from everyone I never have time to respond to all of them, but please tell everyone thank you so much for me! Ever word of encouragement is so meaningful! THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!!!!! 
So yes, lots to have been thinking about this week! Dad thank you so much for email and mom thank you so much for your advice!!! It´s really helpful and I will remember to breath! ha! Of course everyday my mind is in all sorts of places, since I’m here on the mission I know that I cannot waste the Lord´s time so this week I’ve really tried to focus on concentrating on his children here in Chile! I have felt his love for them so strongly! I have a testimony that we are all spiritual brothers and sisters and God is indeed our eternal father!

I had an interview with President Anderson through the phone yesterday. It was good to hear a familiar voice in English!  He was so sweet and sincere as always.  I shared with him my thoughts and I’m sure he told you them as well! The counsel of my mission president was to wait it out and hang in there till cambios in two weeks! President Anderson counseled me to also wait it out and try to really experience the fruits of the mission. It really is such an incredible place. The Lord really is guiding his work here, and uses others to be His hands.

The most beautiful flower ever... They are everywhere!
With all taken into consideration and as I continue to pray and fast I still feel the need to come home still! I´m going to continue to work my hardest here for these next two weeks. Its been hard determining what to think and how to feel with all of this emotion these past couple weeks! But Hermana Pereira the other day quoted the scripture, "see that ye serve Him with all your heart might mind and strength." As I thought of this I want nothing more than to serve the Lord with EVERYTHING I´ve got... but as I thought I haven´t been able to give it all I have because my heart truly isn´t here.  It’s with someone else, Taylor. I don´t know how to better explain it. But that´s the best I can do at the moment! Taylor wrote me an incredible letter about his thoughts on all of it. I want to take everything into consideration! But I continue to feel the need to come home! Again I don´t know what the process is or what needs to be done but this next week we will see! I hope you can understand. I cannot thank you enough for you love and support!!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL SO INCREDIBLY MUCH! With so little time on the computers it´s hard to express and tell you everything! But I know this is what I need to do right now! 

This past week we have seen real progress in our investigators. Maria Jose has a date for baptism for the 31st she is praying about it to see if it´s right. We fasted for her yesterday and then last night went and taught her with the Elders. Wow, she is so close and after fasting for her all day I could just feel the Love Heavenly Father has for her so much! Their neighbor a lady that´s 88 years old tripped and fell yesterday and so during the lesson she came over and the elders gave her a blessing! It was such a beautiful experience to have Maria Jose see her father (convert of one year) and also the elders use their priesthood authority! It was such a beautiful experience! Here on the mission I have seen and heard so many incredible experiences with the Power of the priesthood! I testify that it is indeed the power of the Lord restored on this earth once more. As weird as it sounds I’m doing a lot of English classes here. Everyone wants to learn English! And there is not a better way to do it than with the gospel. Marisol and Monsurrat her daughter are learning a little bit. Yesterday I helped Monsuratt learn the Alphabet and as I did Hermana perirea talked to her mom Marisol. Some how the subject of fasting came up and H.Pereira was saying that as a church we fast 1 every month. How it´s such a great experience and how your spirits are uplifted when we fast with a purpose in mind. She expressed her want to fast because she said she needs a lot of help in her life. We told her that whenever she wanted to start to call us and we would fast with her. When we said this the spirit was so strong and she and her daughter just began balling. I love them so much! We are continuing to teach them and hopefully after the fast Marisol will want to come to church next Sunday! ha as we were leaving yesterday she hurry and ran to her closet and pulled out these two hats. ha she said I have a billion hats and I want you so have a hat of mine! ha they are so incredibly giving here! She also made us crapes! ha When you fast the Lord truly does reward you with countless blessings... temporally (we had I swear 700000 ounces (dinner) yesterday!) and spiritually (our incredible lesson with Maria Jose)! In the lesson with Maria Jose we talked about the Hold Ghost and how she was going to feel when she received her answer and then read with her in Moroni 10 3´5. I am praying so hard for her. She is so close and I know her whole family wants this for her as well!  Everything is good here! I have such a strong testimony of this church and know that it is the true church restored by the prophet Joseph Smith! I know families are eternal and I am so incredibly thankful for that knowledge!!!! I LOVE YOU ALL WITH ALL MY HEART! Con todo mi corazon! GRACIAS por su amor constantamente! Please have such a great week and pray as a family, as we counsel families to read the scriptures and pray together here we have noticed such a unity and strength that comes through doing this as a family! My prayers are with you! I am so grateful for you! And for everything you do for me!!!!!! 
Hermana Katelyn Smith 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Hermana Smith

WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT I WOULD EVER TURN 20!?!?!?!?! So crazy! Thank you so much for your birthday wishes and the package! HAPPY BIRHTDAY to Conner and Lauren this week!!!
Thank you so incredibly much for your constant love and support for me! I cannot thank you enough! Dad thank you for all the words of encouragement.

 My district:)

 This week we found about 10 new investigators.  I truly believe the Lord prepares the hearts of men to hear the message of the gospel.
 Many of our investigators are young girls. Monsuratt is about 12 years old, yesterday we taught her about the importance of baptism and she said she would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized but not any time soon. We are working on her.  The less active Monica we found came to church on Sunday with us and had a great experience. The ward members are all so welcoming and loving! Again, seeing the conditions some of these people live in is SO INCREDIBLY humbling!

 Making yummy food!

A reference we received from the elders the other day we called. His name is Cihefredo and was just a street contact and in 5 min accepted the invitation to be baptized!!!! When we called him to ask when we can start teaching him he answered oh YES THE MISSIONARIES!!!! When is my baptism!!?!?!?!? WOW!!!! SUCH incredibly strong faith! The spirit of the Lord is definitely leading us to those who are ready! I have a testimony that this is his work!!

The Cutest Familia Ever, with the happiest baby,  la fairia

I´m learning many of the customs here. DAD, a lot of your habits are acquired from here I’m learning! hahaha pointing with their lips. There love for sausage, meat, and crackers... hahaha. I can only help but think of you. They feed us as missionaries SO MUCH FOOD!  but we do a lot of walking.

Making empanadas!!! Noche de hogar con la familia Medalla.  Marie Jose their daughter accepted the baptismal date for March 30th from the elders.

The Chilean people are so sweet. To greet you they kiss each other on the cheek. They LOVE to talk... you ask them one question and they will just go off.... ha the problem is following where they go!  The members of the ward call me tomato head because of my infamous bun head.

The sunsets here are beautiful! Every sunset I whip out my camera and my companion asks do you not have sunsets in the United States... ha clearly she doesn´t understand my love for them. hahaha. She is so great and so patient with me. She has taught me so incredibly much concerning people. That they are souls not numbers!!!

They are obsessed with toy story down here... all the kids have toy story dolls and toys. We do a lot of contacting in the plazas. It´s hard here because many of the people are visiting and on vacation. The houses are all gated in and so are all the apartments, we have to be buzzed in. This makes it difficult to tocar puertas... We yell through the gate HALOOOOOO! Really loud. My companion says I´m bad at it because my voice sounds like a 10 year old. ha. I’m working of the power part of it!

The stars here I have a question about... ha dad you said you would look up and they would be completely different... the other night I looked up and there was ORIN!!!! ha I was a little confused!?!?

Dogs are like box elder bugs here. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE! I now understand All of Cameron’s pictures!  The temperature here I don´t know what it is exactly. But in the morning it´s really cold and in the afternoon about 6ish it gets really hot. Ha but I swear I’m always cold! Our pention is small but quaint.

Yes, this is a real spider!! Yikes

This dog follows us around everywhere!! This is also what the gated homes look like!

I had a great birthday, and don´t feel 20 years old at all. My companion woke me up singing happy birthday in English. The people here all really try to experiment their English with me.  She put a candle in my cereal! For lunch we ate with Naomi and her daughter Javiera. They are the sweetest they made a huge lunch, with brownies and candles and Javiera gave me a necklace and earings from Chile. They were so thoughtful and definitely made my birthday!

Yesterday we had a conference with the Mission President and one other zone. There were about 30 of us and 6 of us Hermana companionships! I understood the gist of what was going on. Hearing everyone’s testimonies was so powerful and the spirit was definitely present! We did a lot of role playing and practices! A LOT! But I really need as much practice as I can get! The president and his wife are so powerful and have such strong testimonies! I am so grateful for their love and support!

I´m trying really hard to be here in body and spirit. I want to do the will of the Lord!  I’m Praying hard for the guidance of the spirit each day. Because without it, I know I can do nothing. I’m so very grateful for you as my family.  Thank you so much for your constant prayers and concern for me.  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! When in members homes my favorite thing along with bearing my testimony is showing pictures of my beautiful family. I know I am so blessed to have the family I do!

CONNER 16 years old.... WOWOWOWWW!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRO!!! AND LAUREN ALSO HAPPY BIRHTDAY!!!!!!! You both should be getting cards soon. 
Don´t know when with this funky mail system but know there are cards coming for you! 

Mom and Dad thank you so much! Dad I hope you are feeling better concerning your health! I´m sorry you were sick! Mom continue being that light I know you are in so many peoples lives. So many people ask me do you miss your mom. And I want you to know that I miss you so incredibly much! You are my hero and my example. Thank you for everything!!!! 
Con mucho amor your daughter, 
Hermana SMITH