Monday, March 7, 2016

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. - March 7, 2016

This is it. The last email. 

How do I even begin to start this one? This experience has been the best, most amazing, heart wrenching, uplifting experience I've ever had in my entire life. I have no idea how I did it, I really don't. I don't know how I made it, but here I am, at the end, writing my last email as a missionary. I can't believe it's almost over. 

I haven't been a perfect missionary. No one is. I'm convinced the system is set up in a way so that you fail every single day. That way, you learn how to really and truly rely on Christ. You learn what it means to stand back up after you fall.

So, here are some numbers and stats about my mission. I've had a whopping 18 companions, including those in the MTC  - Sisters Hatch, Sondrup, Jones, Warren, Kolo, Fa'oa, Boyd, Samanez, Wooten, Bell, Hansen, Dominguez, Hunkin, Stephens, Leon, Brewer, Hoffman, and Bueno. I've been in five trios. I've served in seven areas - Ucon, Pocatello West I, Tyhee II, McCammon, Grace, Inkom, and Eagle Rock. I've eaten 516 bananas on my mission. I've been a missionary for 558 days. My longest area was Ucon (six months), my shortest was Grace (two weeks), and my favorite area was Tyhee. 

The summer I spent in Pocatello was probably my favorite part of my mission. I learned how to be truly happy. I found what happiness is. I found it. No one can ever take that away from me. I love Pocatello and everyone I've met there more than anything. It's literally my favorite place on planet earth. I was sent exactly where I needed to go. I didn't need to serve my mission in some remote, exotic, far away place. Idaho was perfect for me, and will always be special to me. Idaho is my home. 

To everyone who has written me, thought about me, prayed, followed my mission blog, etc for the past 18 months, thank you. Thank you for your support. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. It's meant a lot. 

To everyone I've met on my mission, thank you for changing my life. Thank you for helping me find real happiness. Thank you for being some of the best people I've ever met before. I've met my best friends out here, and leaving is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.

To the missionaries I'm leaving behind in the field, make the most of it. It goes by fast. My mission has been the best experience of my life. I love you all so much, I'll miss you a lot. God speed. Don't get too trunky :)

I'll end this one with my testimony of the gospel. I've spent the last 18 months teaching, testifying, and growing. I know that the gospel is true. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God's church, established again on the earth. I know it is. I couldn't say that before my mission. I thought it was a good idea, and I thought it could be true, but I can honestly say with all sincerity of my heart that I know it's true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and helped establish God's church again on the earth. He saw God and Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ. It's given me more power, more light, more knowledge than any other book has. It's changed me, and I know it can change anyone's life. I know God is real, and I know He loves us. He loves us more than any words can describe. His whole life, His existence, is dedicated to us. I know Christ lives. He lived for us, died for us, and lives again. Christ alone knows exactly what we're going through and exactly how to help us. He doesn't make everything perfect. But He does perfect us and builds us into the kind of people that can overcome anything. I know the Atonement, His sacrifice for us, works. I don't know how, and I don't think I ever will. But it works. This life is not easy. At all. But with Christ, it's possible. We can do everything with Him. I know He lives and I can't ever deny that. This gospel is the most important thing in my life, and I know I don't act like it all the time, but it is. I love it so much. It's changed my life and given me hope in a better world, one free of chaos, one free of everything bad. I know if I live my life in line with the gospel, I'll be ok. 

I have absolutely loved my mission. More than anything. But, I'm ready to go home. I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to start the next part of my life. I have given everything I have for the past 18 months, and now I'm ready to move on. I'm ready to serve in a greater capacity. I'm ready to try and change the world outside of Idaho. I'm ending happy.

To quote Paul the apostle, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith." 

I'll see you on the flip side. 
Sister Morgan Ruth Smith, Idaho Pocatello Mission
August 27, 2014-March 8, 2016

P.S. to all my friends still on missions, email me at! LOVE YOU GUYS!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Last P-day, Ordinances, and Feelings - February 29, 2016

Well. Today's the last full p-day! We're not gonna focus on that because I'm having really mixed feelings right now. 

This week was..amazing. As you guys know, we had a wedding/baptism/everything this Saturday. It went so, so so amazingly well. It was perfect. So, this couple, Kate and Chuck, have been meeting with missionaries for the past three months or so. Their daughter, Lilly, got baptized a few weeks ago. Some incredible miracles have happened with them. I'll go into more detail when I get home, but Kate decided to get baptized. First, she and Chuck needed to get married. So they planned for it on the same day. It was just..amazing. Chuck got ordained to be a priest after that, and he was able to baptize Kate. It's so amazing to see the changes that people make. They are truly some of the best people I've ever met in my life. The next day, Kate got confirmed and Chuck was able to pass the sacrament. 
That's what missionary work is all about - helping people receive ordinances to come closer to God. That's what happiness is. I'm so glad I had this experience.

I'm feeling..really weird about coming home. Really weird. I don't know if I've done what I needed to do, I don't know if I've helped the people I needed to help, but..I know my time is coming. My time to be a missionary is almost over. But I still have seven days to work hard. That's what I'm looking forward to. We have the departing missionaries temple trip this week, I'm really looking forward to that. 

Love you guys! 

Haka with the Elders
Leann is a tag-along with the Sisters!!
Chuck and Kate's Baptism

Monday, February 22, 2016

Thoughts and two weeks - February 22, 2016

I go to the mission home in 14 days. How insane is that. I remember when I was in my first area, about two months out, and I went to bed one night after a long day, I looked up at the ceiling, my eyes got wide...and I thought I would be a missionary forever. I was convinced I'd never go home. And now..I'm looking at it square in the face. That's insane.

This week was a nice, normal week. We taught a lot. We have a baptism/wedding this Saturday that we've been helping the family involved get ready for. That's been fun. I really like them a lot, they're amazing people. 

I spoke in church yesterday and I'm pretty sure that's the 25th time I've done so. 

So, I've had a few experiences this week that have really made me think about what brings actual happiness in life. I don't know everything, but I'm coming to realize that happiness is using our agency to follow the gospel. We use good judgement and do the things we know we need to do. Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement. Sometimes we need to make dumb choices to know what makes us actually happy. You have to know the bitter to know the sweet. That's just how life is. We need to make mistakes in this life so we can know what makes us happy. We're going to make mistakes in life, that's going to happen. But we can learn from them, we can grow, and we can be better. I regret every mistake I've ever made, but I don't regret what I've learned from them. The gospel's where peace is. Life is complicated, but the gospel isn't. 

Life is hard. But the blessings of enduring to the end far outweigh the consequences of giving up. My mission has been so perfect, I can't wait to talk more about it at home. 

Anyway, have a fantastic week. I love you all! 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

I was in a band - February 15, 2016

Biggest news of the week - I was in a band!
So, the trio of elders in the stake right next to us had a baptism this saturday. They were going to do a musical number, so I was like, hey, can I join in? So I brought my guitar and we were in a band! I did the bass line, Elder Wright did lead guitar, Elder Ieti did ukulele, and Elder Moe did lead vocals/guitar. It. Was. AWESOME. We sang a song called "Lovest thou me," i'll send you the recording we got of it. It was so much fun to do that. So now I can say I was in a band. Cool.

Other than that, this week was pretty...meh. Bueno was sick, she muy bueno! hahahaha i never got tired of that. It was a pretty normal week otherwise. And I's the normal weeks that make the really good ones stick out. 

I got my flight plans. WHOOOOOOOO. It's all real now..haha

Anyway, have a good week!
Band Practice

Thursday, February 11, 2016

I Found Crazy People

This week was so much fun. So last monday, i asked my companion where the sketchiest part of our area was. This led us to go tracting at a trailer park out in the sticks. I am SO GLAD we did so. The first door we knocked on, this guy spoke Spanish gibberish to us. Like, "holablahblah yo no hablah blah blah english" and then shut the door. Ok. Then we went to another trailer. We knocked twice, and right before the third knock, someone inside yelled out "NO!!" and we walked away as we stifled laughter. 
Then. We pass this lady outside and she yells, "Oh no, it's the God Squad! Come on inside!" we did. And i am forever grateful that we did. She went on a 30 minute rant on how she is neither a man nor a woman. And she didn't know what Idaho was. I'm pretty sure she was on several drugs. It was so crazy. At least we had a member with us. Hahaha. So i'm glad that happened.

Other than that, this week was great! Bueno and I get along super well. We've been working really hard and getting a lot of things done. We have a ton of appointments this week, which is awesome. I haven't had that since my first area. 

Things are going pretty awesome. The weeks are flying by and I don't have that many left, but i've still got time and i'm making the most of it. 
Love you!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Sup, IF - February 1, 2016

So this email will be much newsier than last weeks. Sorry! We didn't have much time...

Anyway. So transfers happened this week. We got to the transfer site in Pocatello around 7 in the morning, loaded up all my stuff onto the trailer, I got on the big van with a bunch of other sisters, and we went off. It was a total party on the way up there. There were like, 12 sisters in that van. It was awesome. We laughed the entire time. Then we got to Idaho Falls, I got off, met my comp, saw some old friends, and saw a bunch of missionaries I don't know. Seriously, I know like five people up here. I guess that's what happens when you spend most of your mission down south..oh well. My comp is Sister Bueno (yes, that's her last name) and she's from Georgia. She. Is. Awesome. Seriously, we've laughed so much the past few days. It's been so much fun. I like her a lot. 

So, the area. We cover Eagle Rock stake, and we have nine wards - 39th, Mill Run, Old Butte, Osgood, Pioneer, Rosewood, Sageview, Village Park, and Westview wards. It's a pretty big area, but we're always busy. Which is good. I spoke in church yesterday, that was fun. It was probably about my 25th time or so speaking in church. 

I. Have. Thirty. Five. Days. Left. That's crazy. I've been thinking a lot about how I'm going to continue to grow when I get home. i've been thinking A LOT about how I've changed, if I've even changed, etc. It's weird to think about going home. It's gone by so fast.. I have no regrets with anything here. I've loved it here and I'm excited to make five more weeks of memories, miracles, and good times. 
Love you!

Not much time – January 25, 2016

Sorry! We don't have too much time to email today. Biggest news of the week, I'm getting transferred up to Idaho Falls for my last transfer. I'll be in the Eagle Rock stake with Sister Bueno, she's only been out three months. So that will be fun!

It's a whirl of emotions being transferred for my last transfer. I'm sad to be leaving Inkom, but I know I need to find one more person. And they're up in IF. So. Yeah.

We went sledding this week and it was fun.

Anyway, Have a great week!
I'll have more to talk about next week, sorry!

Good-bye, Inkom
Brother Vanderkooi - Family History Center 
Farewell, McCammon
The Clark Family
The Sisters in the office
Morgan's new companion, Sister Bueno - in Idaho Falls (IF)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

It's snowing, we were walking, and it was cold - January 18, 2016Flirty

Sounds about right. 
Remember a few weeks ago when I drove into a fence? So we had to take it back to the shop to get everything else fixed up. So we didn't have a car this week. That wasn't fun. But it's ok. It was snowing a crap ton, but it's ok because i like snow.

So. Even though it wasn't a huge, successful week (it was pretty normal, nothing huge happened), it just hit me how much this experience means to me. I love it. I love it so much. 

Here's a funny story. So we're teaching a family and they have an 8 year old son really flirty. On Saturday, we were at their house. He kept hugging me and before we left he asked, "Can you sleep over in my room?" hahahaha. At church on sunday, he sat next to me and drew me a picture of us. He's such a cute kid. 
Flirty boy on the left!!  I love that Morgan is giving us one of her authentic smiles!!
Anyway, transfer calls are this week. At this point, anything can i'll let you know next week what happens. Literally anything could happen. But...its my last transfer and that's so weird. Ugh. 59 more full proselyting days...haha. 

Love you!


Monday, January 4, 2016

End of My Blackout Year - January 4, 2016

So in missionary terms, your blackout year is the year you spend entirely on your mission. And...mine is over. The time has gone by so fast. I can't believe it. I honestly can't. 2015 has been the best year of my life, hands down. It's been the most incredible experience I've ever had. I can't even put into words how much I loved 2015. And 2016 is prepping to be pretty dang good, too! But, I realized yesterday kind of why 2015 was the best. About May of last year, I was miserable. I wasn't having fun, I wasn't really progressing, anything. And I prayed that something would change. God sent me my answer in a 4'11 Peruvian companion who taught me how to work hard and completely forget about myself. And I realized...I am truly and honestly only happy when I think about other people and forget about myself. Before the mission, my life was the Morgan Smith Show. Everything was about me. Everything I was mostly for me. Even my reasons for going on a mission was because of me. And I realized..that doesn't matter at all. I don't matter. Other people do. I am completely happy when I forget about myself and focus on others. That's why 2015 turned out to be one of the best years ever. My life isn't really about me anymore. I'm not perfect...I still think about myself a lot. But. I'm working on changing, and that's what matters.
This week was amazing! We had the opportunity to go to the temple in Rexburg and that was awesome. A ton of miracles happened this week. We had a referral that we went to go contact on Tuesday night. it was 8:45, dark, snowing, cold, etc. But we knocked on this guys door, and it went perfectly. We set a return appointment, and when we came back, his less active wife was there and was talking about how she wanted to go to church again and how she wants her husband to be baptized and stuff like that. They're in the perfect position to accept the gospel, too. It was perfect.
We also set a baptismal date with one of my favorite investigators! Pleaseeeee pray that she'll know that February 13th is when she needs to be baptized. She's got some stuff she needs to overcome, but she's amazing and we love her a lot. She needs a lot of prayers.
New Years was awesome, too. On NYD, we had a giant breakfast thing at President's house. It was so much fun! We had a huge game of Phase 10 going on at one point. Like, 10 of us were playing at once. It was awesome.
Anyway, have a great week! 8 more.

Merry Christmas, Indeed – December 28, 2015
Dang, Gina. This Christmas was so good. Obviously you saw me for about an hour..but here's how the rest of the day went.
So, we woke up around 8 (all day pdays mean we can sleep in) and opened presents. I promptly put on my new sweats and wore my Vans blanket around and put on new socks. So. Thank you for those!!
We had breakfast with the Nelsons (the people we live with). They had all their family over, so that was fun. Then, we went and skyped. I graced you all with my face and funny stories.
Then, we drove down to McCammon and had lunch with one of the bishops that Sister Brewer was close with. She served in McCammon for like, 7 months by the way. So. That was fun! He was the bishop in the ward where Janice got baptized, and he said she's been coming to church every sunday! that was soooo good to hear. But we had fun, played phase 10, and then we drove back to inkom.
We had dinner with one of our Ward mission leaders, Brother and Sister Clark. I just love them. They are amazing, and dinner was so much fun.
Then, we went to the institute building in pocatello and watched movies and played games during the evening. So, it was a fantastic christmas.
So, the baptismal date we set didn't really work out as we would have hoped.'s ok. We did all we could. And we'll still work with them. It's all good, though.
We're going to the temple tomorrow. HALLELUJAH. I am SO EXCITED. We're going with the Clarks, so that will be fun. Yayyyyyyy

anyway, have a great week! love you
Going out for hibachi
New Year's Eve 
A visit to the Rexburg Temple