Friday, December 17, 2010

A Day in the Life of a Visa Waiter... Emergency Transferred!

Well this past week was really great, except I got a call late last night that said I was being emergency tranferred to go to an english area because one of the elders is going home because he finished his mission, and the other one got his visa and is going to veracruz. I am changing today so i didnt have time to say good bye to a single person or anything. I am going back to my old area, but am going to be in english which only covers half of the area. I was in the oquirrh and oquirrh point stakes last transfer in spanish, now i am just in the oquirrh stake in english. My new companion will be elder caterson. He is from southern oregon, and I have gone on exchanges with him before for one day. It will probably be good for me, but i wont be able to speak any spanish until I leave, and it will just be hard to be in another new place a week before christmas. On christmas day you get to go around anywhere in the mission and visit recent converts or members or investigators. I had planned to go with elder brown and elder martin and elder cline (elder browns comp now) and go through my area and my last area and it would have been perfect because thats where everyone is that i know. Now i dont know if i'll get to do that and might have to go to ppl i dont know. I'll be fine though. All part of the experience, and i'll try to learn whatever it is i'm supposed to from this experience. I got too sad and mad about being transferred again last time and i'm going to try to learn from that, but it still is hard.

Anyways, on a lighter note. This week was amazing. Wednesday we had the baptism for michelle martinez. She is a 16 year old nicaraguian, and was way ready. She scared us a little bit because she showed up at about 650 and still needed to change and be interviewed. the baptism was supposed to start at 7 and didnt end up starting until about 730. Other than that the baptism went great. I got to be a witness again and I felt the spirit so strongly when she was baptized and I listened to the words that were said. I also had the opportunity to bare my testimony while they were getting changed and then they came back out half way through so I got to bare my testimony directly to her and it was amazing. I love to see the faith that our investigators show when they get baptized. I have so much respect for the people that listen to us and who whole heartedly are searching for the truth. It is truly amazing to see the process of their search and then to see them get baptized. I am looking forward to mexico for this reason because here i havent had the opportunity to stay in an area long enough to see a conversion start to finish. We have many in my area that are about to. The Ramirez girls are close and have a date for january 2nd. Hopefully i'll still be here for that, but i'm not sure.One more cool thing about michelles baptism was that after it was all over and people were congratulating her, she started to cry, and i also saw after she hugged her mom, that she started to cry as well. They both felt the spirit strongly, and it is even more amazing because michelles mom is not a member, and was not always the easiest to work with. Hopefully they will be able to teach her now as well.

This week we also had a cool experience with a girl named jade. She is 16 now (had a bday last week) and has a baby. She lives with the family of the boy that she had the baby with, and they are active memebers. We started teaching her about two weeks ago and she seemed a little shady at first, but became progressively interested as we came by. We went over on thursday or friday and we asked her some questions about how things were going. We asked her if she had been reading and she said she had been with her boyfriend everynight and that he was explaining what she didnt understand. We then asked is she had prayed about it. She then told us that the first time that she prayed about it she started to cry. She receieved her answer! We were way excited for her and we had not planned to do so, but when she said this, we gave her a date to be baptized for the 9th of january and she accepted.

Friday was an interesting day and didnt go as planned at all. We were supposed to have an family home evening with the ramirez family and the escodero family (members in the ward). We went by the Ramirez family to have them follow us to the house, and found that they were all sick. We knew that some of them had been sick but thought that theyd be better by now. This gave us the opportunity to help them by giving them priesthood blessings. I got to do the annointing for the first one, and then Ermalinda asked me to give her a blessing as well. It was a great experience, and I havent gotten to see them much, but when I went over the other day, they were all feeling better, and they were all able to come to church on sunday except for the dad. The priesthood power is real and can always be used to serve and perform the will of God. We ended up going and doing the fhe with just the member family, and we watched mountain of the lord with them. It is a good movie and it went well until the last 15 minutes, which is the most important part, where it kept skipping. It wasnt the greatest lesson so hopefully we'll get to try again and get everyone there.

I have been super excited about this area because we have been finding so many new people. The last week me and elder mueller have been doing a bit of tracting. not a lot of time, but it has been increadibly affective. We would choose houses, and almost always they would be hispanics and would be nice. One lady we talked to had to g around the side of her house to talk to us becuase her front door was sealed shut, but she talked to us for a while and was super excited about reading the book of mormon and told us about how some of her family were recent converts, including her mom who had just gotten there for vacation from mexico. We also met this couple whose names are Veronica and Fransico. We went by and taught them, and they were really nice. We taught a good first lesson and had the spirit in the home. I was able to teach about joseph smith and give the account of the first vision and i felt the spirit very powerfully as I recited his words. We gave them a date to be baptized as well and they accepted. We taught them one other time this week and veronica read a lot, and is really excited about learning more. We also found the Soto family of 5 and also a lady and one of her friends who i'm pretty sure are going to get baptized nad are totally ready, and a few other couples as well, all just in this week.

Hugo is for sure getting baptized this sunday. We went over to their house and we walked in and he said "i have something i need to tell you guys. I got my answer, and i'm gonna get baptized on December 19th!" I was so excited for him when he said that. I knew that he had been praying sincerely for an answer and I knew that his answer would come. He is getting one of his friends who is a recently returned missionary to baptize him, which is awesome and will help him to stay active. He is also making a ton of friends in the ward and is doing the ward activities and sports that they have every tuesday night. He is oging to be a great new member, and hopefully he will be able to prepare to go on a mission in a little over a year as well!

the last experience I want to share is about how the Lord guides us in his work. We went to a families house for dinner after church this last sunday. We ate and talked and everything and it was great. then an older lady came in and asked if we could help give her a blessing. We did that, finished eating and then I shared a scripture. I wasnt sure which scripture I wanted to share, and this time I felt that i really needed to think about it. Sometimes I can just pick and it works, but this time i really took my time choosing. I ended up picking my missionary plaque scripture 2 nephi 22:2. I hadnt shared this scripture hardly at all this transfer and i felt like it would be a good one, especially around christmas. I started to introduce the scripture and everything seemed normal, then I started to read it. "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song, he also has become my salvation." After i shared the scripture I began to explain the significance of it to me and how we could all apply it to our lives. I explained how we all have our struggles, but that if we trust in our savior, that we can be helped through any difficulty that comes our way. I said a few more things as well, but as I began talking i looked up and notices the women who's house we were at had started to cry. I was not sure and i didnt ask what she had been going through, but she told me how that was one of her favorite scriptures, and how she new that she could receive help by trusting in Jesus Christ. This was a testimony to me of how I can be an instrument in the Lord's hands. He helped me to find the scripture thatthat family needed at that very moment. My moto for the past few weeks has been, "slow down, and love the people." This encompasses everything that missionary work is. I need to slow down and really have a love for the poeple that I serve. As I seek for the spiritual guidance that i need to help these people, and as I teach with the power and authority of God through the Holy Ghost, I will be given what i should do to best serve the people here.

I love my mission, and I love being able to learn and to grow from all of my experiences. I am sad that i have to leave, especially to an english area, and that i didnt have a chance to say goodbye or anything, but I'll be fine, and am going to learn from the mistake that I made last time. I am not on my time and its not my decision and there is something more that I need in this new english area before I leave for mexico. I love you all and I miss you. Thank you so much for all of your love and for your support.


Elder Smith

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