Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Last week in Utah!

So, I signed my visa yesterday and am going to be flying out to mexico monday the 27th. The mission president let us stay here for christmas or else I think i'd be leaving today. It is pretty crazy that i am finally going to be leaving. All of this time waiting here, I have become very familiar with this mission and how it works and have lots of families and missionaries here that it will be sad to leave. I am especially sad because I will be leaving right before the Ramirez girls get baptized. I was probably going to be able to baptize at least one of them too, so its a little sad. They will get baptized though and hopefully set a good example for their little brother and their parents. It was fun to sign my visa and i got to see all of the guys from my mtc district. we had some good chats about everything. I also talked to an elder who was in the same mission as elder thompson and he said that elder thompson hadnt gotten his visa yet, so i'm not sure about the other elders from my mtc district that are in other areas.

It is hard to write anything else now that i know that I am going to mexico, but this past week has been a great week, that has also posed its own challenges. English missionary work is definitely different than spanish missionary work here. I have been able to have a lotof good experiences in lessons and such, but it is a lot harder to find people to teach. Also i'm coming into an area that hasnt been doing quite as well as my past ones. I have been the senior companion for the last week and have basically done 80% of everything in lessons and outside of lessons. It has been hard because i dont really know what is going on too much in the area or with people, but it has worked out pretty well for me and has been a good learning experience. I had a really cool experience this past week with a man named Rodger. He has been taught by the missionaries for the past 3 years, and still wont pray. I went over and i think it was my first or second lesson in the area. I didnt know what they had planned to teach other than that it was prayer. I sat there for a while as the elder that went home shared some things, that rodger kind of shot down. He then shared a personal experience that was really cool and i think rodger was a little more accepting to that. He then basically tried to close the lesson, but i hadnt said anything yet, so I jumped in and told him that i had something to share. I linked together a few scriptures that i had found while i had been listening to the other elder and then I bore my testimony about prayer and about the things that he needed to do. I felt very guided in this experience it was really cool to see it happen. I felt the spirit in the lesson and at the end of the lesson he accepted to say the closing prayer. I also went over and taught him one other time this week and i had the same experience. This experience I was not even thinking about what I was saying and was actually impressed with what was coming out of my mouth. I was definitely a mouthpiece for the lord in this situation and was able to teach the things that he needed. He is pretty stubborn though and still wont pray on his own. I have a pretty good lesson planned for him tonight and i have a lot of really good scriptures lined up for him. Some of them that i really feel apply directly to his life and situation that I was helped to find this morning in my studies. Hopefully i will be able to find a way to get to him and help him to exercise his faith before I leave.

I also had a really cool experience sunday night. Hugo Flores got baptized. It was so awesome to see him and i felt the spirit so strongly when he went down into the water. I literally had the biggest smile i have ever had on my face after he came out of the water and it didnt leave me for a long time. It always makes me so happy to see people choose to follow the savior. Especially around this christmas time, there is nothing better that you could do than to show your faith by being baptized. Hugo is an amazing young man and I hope that he will be able to prepare himself to go on a mission. I was trying to convince him to go to byu next year or even uvu and be in a byu ward, so hopefully he will do that and be out on a mission in a year. He has an amazing testimony and an amazing spirit and i know that he would be such a great missionary.

I hope that you have an amazing christmas and have fun with family and friends. thank you everyone for all of your love and support of me on my mission. I will do my best to work hard and be the best representative of jesus christ that I can be. I love my mission and i love this gospel and i know that it is true.


Elder Smith

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