Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy Easter!

hello everyone and thank you for your emails. i had another great week here in mexico and have had some really great experiences. i dont have a ton of time to write but ill try to address everything and say a lot. This week we found out about cambios. i thought it was a joke at first that i was going to receive a new missionary and i thought i was going to go to villahermoa instead of elder sanchez and that he was going to get a new missionary. Well it wasnt a joke and it was real haha. my new companion is named elder watts and he is from fairview, utah. He is a good elder and is willing to work and he likes a lot of the same things as me (sports, guitar) so we get a long well. The only thing is that he is a new elder straight from the mtc, which means that he cant speak spanish. I have really felt the help of the lord this week in all of our work. I was telling my branch president about benchmarks in my spanish. two weeks into the mission i had an experience with the gift of tongues with angeles where i was able to bear testimony in spanish that she could understand and that i was able to understand everything that she said. it was powerful and the spirit was there. i slowly progressed in my time in salt lake and learned a lot, and then i arrived here in mexico where i once again grew very fast in my spanish. then when elder tanner left to his house and i had to talk a lot more than before, i was helped again to improve when it was necessary. then i improved a lot with elder sanchez. and again this week i felt a major improvement in my Spanish now that i need to have better Spanish. i understand basically everything that everyone says and can explain and say just about everything i need to. It is an amazing experience to have to see how the lord really does qualify us for his work in our own weakness, and he makes us strong and powerful so that we can accomplish the work that he gives us. I am looking forward to making strides in what i am able to do as a missionary in teaching with the power of the spirit and in finding those those that are ready to accept this restored gospel.

This week for easter things really were normal. i actually forgot it was easter until i walked outside sunday morning. there's really no indicator and there's no easter bunny or anything here, so there werent decorations. In church on easter the president sent me a text right before the sacrament asking me to give a talk. i prepared something quickly and then as i was finishing preparing the person right before me started using the same quotes from gospel principles as i was going to use. i in like 30 seconds had to change my topic, but it went pretty well. i talked about the atonement and the savior and tied it into easter a little bit.

another funny story is that last night we were walking in the streets. we contacted these people in a park and then as wee were walking away a big group of people behind us whistled at us to come over. usually big groups of people arent the best situation, but we were too close to ignore it. we walked over to find the entire police force of la venta or like 7 guys. they asked us questions and i talked to all of the police here in la venta for 10 min. it was a good conversation and i have a lot of new friends for protection now so no worries mom haha.

also a picture i sent is of my sandals. they've been broken for a while and ive been just sliding around in them haha.

this week i had a great experience with Cruz Alberto. He is a boy of 17 years and is a son of Catalina (some of her other kids have been baptized). when we have gone over to their house before, cruz was almost always drunk and trying to say swear words in english and never really wanted anything with the church. After a while of this, he changed jobs and started working very close to our house. everyday we would pass by and he would wave and say hi, and we would wave and say hi back. after a while of this he started saying that he was going to come to church, but then never really did. then one week he said it and we reminded him everyday of the week and we went over to his house sunday morning to find him ready to go. He came to church and we started teaching him, and he changed 100%. He has a testimony very strong in jesus christ and has a desire to follow him. in three weeks he changed his life. he was on a path to become a drunk really, and he changed course and now is strong on the path to lead to eternal life. He denied opportunities to drink with friends and avoided situations, and he told his boss that he doesn't work on sundays when his boss said he needed him to work. He is very strong and i had the opportunity to baptize him this last week. I also participated in his confirmation and i felt the spirit very powerfully in both situations. I know that this is the true church and that the power of the priesthood is the power of god. i8 am excited to see cruz continue to progress and to prepare for his mission in one year.


elder smith

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