Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Another Week in La Venta- May 30, 2011

Hello everyone. i had a really great week this week and i'll try to get everything into this email. to explain the pictures as well. there was a terantula in our shower one morning i walked in and looked down and was a little surprised ha. we put it in a bag and threw it outside, we told other ppl later and they all said we should have killed it cause theyre pretty dangerous. its the first one ive seen though so dont worry. also i thought dad might like the harley we saw here hah. the others are from when our investigators (maria and roberto) got married, and then the baptism in the ocean. elder watts got his first baptism in the ocean so that was really cool.

this week was amazing. I am really starting to understand how to teach and listen to the spirit and how to adapt lessons to each person that we teach. i feel a lot more personable, and i feel like we develop a stronger relationship with the people after just a few minutes of talking. It is really an amazing experience to feel the lord working through me and have things ive never thought of come to my mind to say, that just seem to work perfectly in helping these people here. we have met some really great people and had some really powerful lessons. one of the ladies that we are teaching is named guadalupe. she is really great and is really studying the scriptures. she was having a little bit of trouble one lesson and we came over and she told us the first thing "i dont think we should talk anymore, i think i got an answer that i need to go back to my old church..." when i heard this i would have thought that i would be very worried. that isnt what we planned on thats not what happens very often either. usualy we drop ppl because they dont progress. though when she said this i was excited for the opportunity and knew it would be an amazing lesson. i prayed very hard for guidance the whole lesson and felt that the spirit dirrected us as we taught her. we focused on the book of mormon and how big of a role it plays in conversion, and about how her prayers would be answered. the lesson was very powerful and ended with me bearing my testimony about how i came to know the book of mormon was true. this time i chose to tell about an experience i had on my mission when i finished the book of mormon again and prayed to know about it. i dont tell these stories very often in great detail in lessons because they are sacred things. i know that she felt the spiritl, and that it was what she needed. she is continuing reading and praying and is a really amazing lady with great faith.

this week also maria and roberto got married. it has been planned to happen SOOO many tiems and also this week was planned for tuesday then thursday then finally for friday which was the last day it could happen so that maria could be baptized this week. I was praying so much this week that it could finally happen. i had been studying patience in the christlike atributes part of preach my gospel because i didnt feel very patient ha. It was hard when they are so close but just hadn't done it. the day before, (thursday night) roberto said it was going to happen but i still had my doubts. we got president nazario to drive us to their house and didnt find them at home. we drove back to the centro and found them waiting outside the registro civil to get married. theyd already gotten pictures and coppies of all paper and were ready. they needed three more witnesses becuase me and elder watts cant be witnesses but president nazario knows everyone here and in 30 seconds had three people's credentials (drivers licenses) and went off to make copies. the ppl came and signed and then they got married! it was literally the happiest feeling in the world when i saw them waiting to get married. they were excited and i was just so so happy ha.

the next day there was still no water in la venta to fill the font so we had to go all the way to santana to the beach to do the baptism. it was a great experience. it was just me elder watts, roberto, maria, their baby and one other of their girls. it was really small but really great. we had a little meeting, sang families can be together forever, and i gave a small talk on baptism, took some pictures, and then elder watts got to baptize his first person in the ocean. he was way excited and it was really great. the beach was beautiful as dusk and the sun was big and very red, though it doesnt look that way in the pictures. the spirit was very strong as they stood in the ocean waves and said the prayer and then baptized her in the water, just how christ was baptized. it really was so amazing to see this family make changes. we started teaching them when elder sanchez first got here but then stopped because they were talking to other ppl and didnt really ever listen to us. we went back to teach them after they went to a primary activity at the church and everything changed! i now understand why we have those activities. they are amazing. never hesitate to invite someone to a church thing even when it seems like they wont like it or it will be awkward, because they work miracles. this families atitiude towards the church changed and the hna maria started coming to church they started listening, they read the book of mormon, gained a testimony, got baptized and they are amazing. god prepares his children for this message and we are talking about robertos baptism in three weeks. he was basically a drunk and now is awesome and i could see him and branch president someday! we had a really great talk with him and president nazario on the car ride home. We've talked a lot about the temple with them and i am so excited to see them agian in one year to see them be sealed for time and all eternity.

I love you all and miss you very much and hope that everything continues well for you all at home. i am going to stay another transfer here in la venta so by the end of this next transfer i'll have almost a year in the mission and almost 7 months in la venta haha. I love the mission and am very greatful for all the amazing experiences i have had in the midst of many trials as well, but without those the blessings wouldnt be so great. we are going to have another baptism this next week and we are working hard to find ppl to baptize every week now. ill talk to you all in another week.


elder smith

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