Friday, August 9, 2013

THAT time already?

Is is really THAT time???  Yes..........yes it is!!

I will be on Southwest flight 1723 coming in Salt Lake at 7:30 pm Tuesaday the 13th!!
There will be many tears......but what a experience it's been!

One thing I can promise.....we have given it our ALL!!

Young Performance Missionaries, Nauvoo Summer 2013

Saturday, August 3, 2013

An Apostle visits......

What a wonderful week we've had. I mean, of course, it is getting so hard. We are all kind of falling apart physically. Sicknesses are coming back and fatigue is taking over our mind control haha but we know with the Lord we are sustained and we can do all things!

This last week Elder Dallin H. Oaks came to town!! He was here for a family reunion and not on church business or anything. We didn't want to bother him much so when my companion and I saw him at pageant we tried to steer clear for his sake. But this last friday he came and gave all of us missionaries a training meeting! It was SO good. It was kind of like a college lecture a bit but I didn't mind. It was very historical. He mostly spoke on money problems the church had right around the death of Joseph Smith and the turmoil between Emma and Brigham Young. It was very intriguing. ANd he also randomly spoke on the holy ghost. It was great to see and hear an Elder of the Twelve speak when it wasnt conference. I was curious as to how it would be, but he was still just as eloquent and smart as ever but to have it be more personal and fun was so nice. His cute little wife spoke too for a bit and she is just a doll!!

After the meeting they actually came to our performance of "just plain Anna-Amanda'! I was totally shocked! He was in the back row and I now play the hostess and granny in the beginning opener act for the show on top of being mamma in the actual show.  I called on his wife for a game we were playing when she raised her hand. It was fun!!

Then after the show they all came out and were bombarded by people of course. He was surrounded by family too which was cute but he found me in the crowed and shook my hand and actually hugged me. Maybe he forgot you're not supposed to hug a sister missionary haha. but I suppose an Apostle can do whatever he wants. haha then we got a picture or two with him! I tried not to be an obsessed groupie so I hope I did well.

So that evening, (I suppose friday was my big day of events) after Sunset by the Mississippi long story short one of my fellow sister missionaries and I (Sister Porter) actually gave out a Book of Mormon! It was the most incredible experience. I just happened to be with her talking to this cute couple on the front row after the show. I don't have much time to go into the conversation but they seemed like they were SO ready to hear and accept the gospel! In my heart my thought was "JUST GET BAPTIZED ALREADY" Everyhing they were saying was exactly what we hope people to feel while they are here! It was incredible!

I have a bitter sweet feeling about leaving here so soon. It is so sad to leave such a beloved and sacred place. And to be done being a missionary. I am going to be so sad to no longer wear a nametag, but I am so grateful to be where I am because I have learned so much! I think and hope I have changed and grown to be an even better person than I was before. ANd I am so much more confident in talking about the gospel randomly now to people. I can take all these attributes home with me and apply them.

I love you all and I love this gospel!

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Pageant started this week! It is such a great show! I love being able to be a part of it all. We are in 2 big dance numbers and thats all but it is awesome. We come on for the "welcome" dance and I do some big lift things in it. Then we are also in the "Evening" dance where I get to do some "Scottish fling" dancing! I love it! It is such a priviledge to work with such amazing people. The people in the core cast is pretty much who I want to be when I grow up! Maybe someday I will be like Aurora and Jeff Dickamore. haha they are so wonderful! (They play Robert and Becky Laird in the show from Scottland) Anyway it is such a good old time and I LOVE working with the family casts! At first I thought it would be pretty difficult to work with kids and teens and stuff but they really are so great! At the end of one dance we have to get into a "family prayer circle" for the close of the scene and last weeks "red" cast I was with the Barns family and they were so nice. Last night was their last night and this week the new cast is starting the shows (They do two week rotations then switch out the families) and I am now in a prayer circle with the Woods and the Hills. Sounds funny eh? just wait and me and Elder Black are in their group so the Woods and the Hills are with the Blacks and the Smiths... Yes indeed what a funny happenstance. It is truly a wonderful experience. Even if we perform on a 45 degree raked stage. It's a hoot


So since we are only in 2 dance numbers we have a good amount of time to sit and talk behind the outdoor stage. We have started to have wonderful deep gospel discussions. It is so great. Last night we talked about how to keep our focused outwards and serving the Lord and the people who come here in the midst of self obsorbing duties here such as how our acting is or how our singing is or our costumes or hair or attitude. It really is a hard balance.

Elder Partridge gave a wonderful analogy, how in a regular full time mission if the world was a music store, we would be the man behind the counter helping those who come into the store searching for truth, and fixing instruments, but on this mission, we are the instruments itself. We are brought into the store, we are tweeked and worked on until we sound just right so we can continue to make the music the Lord would have us make. We both have the same goal but our roles are different. Anyway I have to go now but it was a wonderful analogy.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

...on we go!!

With all the changes from sister Allen leaving us, things have been quite lively lately. I am now Granny in our little kid puppet show ( and I think they told me I am going to be the hostess for it too.... I'm not sure) Sister Allen's part of Catherine was given to my companion Sister Welch. She sounds SO fantastic and I couldn't be happier for her! I also jumped in on the street vignette we do "Youth of Zion". I now play Caroline Rollins (of the Mary and Caroline Rollins that saved the 116 pages of the Book of Mormon) it sure is fun!!

Everyone is working hard to get along and to move the work along, but sometimes it gets difficult. But I know that if we all soften our hearts, the Lord will bless us and show us the way to be true disciples of Him.

I'm trying to think of things that happened this week. It is crazy that it is already another week out here. The days are SO long, so I can't believe how fast the weeks go by. I don't know if I have told you this saying they use out here before but they say, "The days are long, the weeks are short, and dinner never comes!" Ain't it the truth. our friday's are probably the longest. We start at the temple at 6:45 and go go go all day until trail of hope and that ususally doesn't get finished until after 10 pm. We are going so much that we have to actually bring all of our stuff with us that we will be needing ALL day, because we don't ever come back to our house until the late night.

I love it though. I've really learned what hard work is, and the true definition of being worn out! Also, I learned you can get a WHOLE LOT done in a day when you wake up at 5;30 or 6 am!! What a though eh?

I love this gospel and I love that I have the priviledge of doing something so great! I know we have a living father in heaven who loves us individually and unconditionally. He knows the intent of our hearts and will love us through any trial we might face. I know the Lord's timing is everything, we only need to trust in Him and have faith that His will is the best and all will work out. Joseph Smith was a real man and a true prophet of God. He did indeed see God the Father and His son Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove and he translated the true Book of Mormon through divine inspiration. I love this churhc and I know it is true!*


Saturday, July 6, 2013

what??? hehe

We have friends in the kitchen....who make us lunch every day.  Though these sweet couple missionaries will remain nameless they are WONDERFUL and they took this picture of us and they wanted to send it home for me. Proof positive that we have all kinds of fun!! I think we look so cool! I love you all!!


YES!!  it is what you think you see...........a real French braid!!! I am so excited!

Ups and Downs

 We started pageant rehearsals this week. Yep just added it to what we are already doing. We rehearse from 8 to 9:30 and call for our regular shows are 9:45 Its interesting thats for sure, but awesome.

Also, we found out tragically that one of our sisters has to go home. Sister Allen. She is a stalward individual and such a great girl. There is something wrong with her though and they aren't quite sure what it is. I've been there before and so a LOT of my same feelings are coming back like they did last year. It is interesting but hard. What a blessing it was to find out about my cancer before I came here. What happened to sister Allen would have happened to me..I feel I was so blessed and taken care of.  My heart is with her and it is hard for all of us.  But we all just had an amazing testimony meeting and I personally feel a lot better about the whole thing.

My prayers are with you Sister Allen and I love you.

I am learning so much, there are ups and downs but things are great and the Lord's hand is in everything.  I love this work...and it IS work!!


Sister Samae Smith

from June 23rd....HALF WAY

We had the opportunity to go to the mission presidents house today for lunch (Just our district) and we got to talk with him and his wife for a long time afterwards. They told us their whole story of how they met and got married and such it was a fun time. I get to work with some really amazing people out here! The very best.

And seeing BJ was the GREATEST surprise ever!!! I can't believe how much I missed him since I've been gone. People here think it is SO funny that he calls me Sally... that has never sounded strange to me but I suppose it is pretty odd. I loved him being here though.

Vocal Point is here this week. It's pretty funny, they walk around in the EXACT same clothing everywhere they go. It is pretty cute to see so many A Capella b-boys running around. We heard a snippet of a song today of theirs and it was great. They are nice and they can really sing! I'm excited to hear them tonight in the fireside though (They are performing for us) and then we get to see them on tuesday after Sunset by the Mississippi do their show.

we have officially reached the half way mark. Yesterday was day 51 out of 102 days here. It is crazy that it is half way over. Elder Camp said this second half is going to fly by twice as fast as the first half... and I am determined to not have any regrets on the last day. Focus. Focus. Focus!! It will be great. And I am going to be the best missionary I can be. first a missionary, then a performer. Thats what I'll be

love, sister smith

Monday, June 17, 2013

Sister Smith: A Spiritual giant and gifted performer with a powerhouse voice. Nauvoo has never seen such an amazing performance missionary. Love you Sally. @samae_mae

Bryan Jerry Smith — at Historic Nauvoo Visitor's Center.
Sister Smith: A Spiritual giant and gifted performer with a powerhouse voice. Nauvoo has never seen such an amazing performance missionary. Love you Sally. @samae_mae

Monday, June 10, 2013


Oh my goodness!!!! My mother surprised me this week!!!! It was THEE most happy day!
I was told that no family member could make it out to Nauvoo. Period. But friday night, as we were doing the trail of hope, I was playing Sally Randall and we had many groups coming through. On about the 7th group I was told we only had about 3 more groups to go. I did my vignette as normal but as the group was walking away two people were oddly hanging behind. It was all but dark outside and I couldn't quite make out the faces. Once my eyes adjusted I saw a broken arm and a famialiar face. It was my mom and my Aunt Laura!!

What a blessing! It was a total miracle and surprise! They barely made it to come see the trail of hope and stayed until today. They got to come see our Nauvoo singers group, both casts of our High Hopes performances and our Sunset By the Mississippi. They weren't too distracting but around just enough that her presence was spectacular. I LOVE her! And I am forever grateful that she and my aunt could make it out.

Back to work. This week has been pretty great, like most weeks, but I felt a very large sense of unity especially this week. Our cast A (which has half of our group) has really come together to learn new songs and new "group" type of things to do and say together. I love them.

We got to go on the Community of Christ tour of the Joseph Smith's historic home site today. It was interesting to get the tour of Joseph's Mansion house and his original house with Emma. And also the Smith's Family Cemetery. It was great! But it was noticeable that the spirit wasn't very much present. They were very thorough and very informational tours, but the spirit that we constantly try to convey in every tour and every performance on the LDS side of Nauvoo was not present.

I love our church. and I KNOW it is true!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

...and the WORK goes on.....

All is going well here! Just going and going. This passed week I have come down with a bit of a sick thing... I don't really know what to call it. It has been going around in the sisters' house! One of the sisters got strep throat and so we are all trying very hard not to get it. The doctor here didn't test me for that but he doesnt think I have it. He gave me a z-pack to help and I think it might be working. My voice is almost all the way gone today though. But I have faith that it doesn't matter how I sound because the Lord will provide a way for His message to get across.

I think I am on the up and up of getting better. But the work must still go on. I am so glad I am here to work hard and do what the Lord has asked of me. We are working hard as a group to become more unified, it is difficult at times because we are all 'leader' personalities. Plus we have our actual leaders and directors and then above them we have our ecclesiastical leaders.. So we are currently making that better.

Our first preparation morning was fun. We had it on thursday and everyone was up and at the temple by 6:45. They made me stay home and sleep through it though because I wasn't feeling well. But afterward, we drove to Keakuk (pronounced k-ee-uh-cook) and went to walmart. That was fine as usual, then...We drove down Mulholland street (which is like the main street here) and parked and went to lunch! It was the first time we were out doing something we wanted and chose to do on our own. We were so happy. We went to this store called the Mercantilel Store where they have TONS of historic Nauvoo memorabilia and also a lunch place in the downstairs. It was so fun to spend some fun time with my sisters. Then of course, we were back in the visitors center by 1:30 getting ready for High Hopes. Only half of a P-day haha. Life is crazy. But I am happy!

I love you. And I know this church is true. My testimony is growing every day and I just want to share it with everyone I meet. We were told a thought that has stuck with me while performing. Each of the people in the audience aren't just audience members or 'people' these are souls. If there are 300 or only 30 each person is a spirit brother and sister and are individual souls. It makes it mean more when we perform....and we DO perform!!

Visit to Carthage Jail

Monday, May 27, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Sister YPM in Nauvoo

…So, about our shows, We had a dress rehearsal day on Friday so we got a bit of a first run practice of what our day is like. And yesterday was the real deal. It is so strange going from practicing in silence to having a real audience. It really livens up the place. I am in cast A and my day usually goes as follows:

Wake up by 6:30 to shower and get ready (5 girls sharing a shower... its crazy. But the upstairs girls have 6 or 7 sharing a shower so I'm not complaining)
We get together as sisters before we leave and have a circle prayer in our living room and come up with a word of the day to try to remember and live by. (like obedience has been one, reverence, focus, energy, do-ers etc)
We drive to the visitors center and have prep meeting by 8 am to 8:30-ish with the band YPMS and we prep and do whatever else needs to be done so that we can be at the cultural hall (the original one on main street) by 10 for our cast call for Just plain Anna-Amanda. (If you are in B cast, you would then get ready and go do "Nauvoo Singers" which is the singing group that walks around town and sings TONS of random, happy, fun, and spiritual songs.

These two casts switch daily)
Perform Anna-Amanda from 10:30 to 11:15
Be back to the visitors center by 11:30 for lunch
Back to cultural hall for the second run of Anna-Amanda at 12 for the 12:30 show
Meet the audience, and running back to visitors center to get ready for High      hopes.
Have notes from last high hopes performance at 2.
Sing on balcony at 2:15
Start first cast at 2:30 of High Hopes (casts switch off)
Meet audience at 3:45
Reset stage and do notes again at 4.
Sing on balcony at 4:15
Change for Sunset by the Mississippi costume  AND be done with dinner by 6:30
Meet on outdoor sunset stage at 6:30
Sunset show at 7
Meet audience at about 8
RUN to trail of hope by 8:10 so we can start it by 8:30
And perform that until the last group gets through, however long that may be (usually around 10pm)
Then go home, say prayer with my sisters, and do it all again the next day!!

What a happy day. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else! We are going non stop so sometimes writing letters home is rough. I think once we REALLY get into our schedules we will know more about how to manage our time and it will become easier.
It has been SUPER rainy here. The humidity hasn't bee bad. Except for the one day we had to run to the basement of the visitor’s center when they were worried about a tornado. (I just re-read that and laughed at how casual it sounded. It was just another day here in Nauvoo.) That doesn't happen often, and it wasn't anything too bad to worry about. It was just a HUGE storm. Like, I did the lightening strike/ thunder count and it was literally only like 2 or 3 seconds away. But everything was fine, and the humidity actually wasn't too bad after the storm passed. I just want to soak up this cool weather because we were told it is going to get HOT here!! (I didn't even pack a jacket I thought it was going to be so hot... So that was a fail on my part) but it hasn't been like Utah cold so no worries.
We get to go to Carthage jail in about a half an hour. I am SO excited! What a privilege. We have a scene in High Hopes that we sing a song called "No ordinary brothers" and it is all about Hyrum and Joseph and how they stuck together through everything. Even to death. It is the moment when the letter from Willard Richards reaches the town and everyone hears about the martyrdom. We are all in our own sections on the stage, spread out in our own family groups, spotlight on each gathering, mourning together. It is absolutely beautiful. Then we end up on our knees, symbolically coming together in one big prayer, in 4 part acapella as we sing a beautiful/sacred prayer to heavenly father about helping us move forward.

"Father in Heaven, grant us this day, strength to move forward, forgive, and obey. Spreading the gospel now and forthwith. Ne'er to forget that we knew a prophet of God... Our brother, Joseph Smith."

 Going to Carthage jail today will change that scene forever for us we hope. We are told we will have the chance to sing there. And I just cannot wait. I learned so much about the prophet the last time I got to go there. I always thought it would be this sad, mournful, solemn place. But it is definitely not, it is a place of love, of faith, and of hope for the future of the church. It made me invigorated the last time I was there. So I know today will be spectacular. I can't wait to tell all about it.

We get to go to the temple every thursday morning at 6:45 am! That seems SO early but it is completely worth it. Our first time was last thursday and I LOVED it so much. What a beautiful temple we have here. I love looking into the meeting room where the early saints would attend church and conduct meetings. I also love looking up the huge spiral staircase that leads to the hall of the celestial rooms. I love it.

Like I said before I am Sally Randall in our trail of hope presentation. She is in her 20's with a husband and family. I wanted to share my monologue which is an actual letter written by Sally to her family in England:

June the first 1846

My dear family,
The temple is finished and dedicated to the Lord. It is a most splendid building. I am very glad that I am worthy to have a name with the saints of God and to enjoy the priviledges that I now do. You think there is no need of going from here but the mobs are threatening continually to come upon us. We heard they were coming today, but I have not seen anything for I believe there is faith enough in the city to keep them back until the saints all get away. We have to make a great sacrifice in order to do so. Most are selling out, although at a very low price. The saints have been going steady since last February and are still going by hundreds. We expect to start in a few days for the west. We go as Abraham went, not knowing whither we go. But the Lord will go before us and he will be our front, and our rearward.
Sally Randall."

What faith. What diligence to follow the word of the Lord. Not knowing where she was going to go, and leaving behind the most beautiful temple.
Well I must run.

Love, Sister Smith.

Monday, May 20, 2013

3 Weeks to Polish 6 Shows....Opens on Saturday!!!

Rehearsal for three weeks straight M-S

From early in the morning til LATE at night....7 am-10pm

Spiritual Feasting....

Singing His Praises.....

! Happy Birthday !

Loving Sisters and NEW dresses

Not just singing, LOTS of dancing too......

NEVER been happier!!