Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Hello everyone. i had another great week here in la venta. i had a lot of really great experiences and it has been hard to have to say good bye to everyone after so much time here. i have really grown to love the ppl here and have had so many amazing experiences. it feels almost like im leaving home to go on my mission all over again. i added a lot of pictures of a few of the ppl i said good bye too. i got transferred to an area called tierra colorada, villahermosa. i am going to be a district leader there and will have a mexican companion named elder hernandez, but i dont think i know him. my whole district is going to be mexicans. i know one elder that is in my zone right now that im going to be with in my district and he´s really cool, so im really excited, but kind of nervous too. villahermosa is a big city and its really really hot there, it will be really different to the small town of la venta where i know almost everyone it feels like haha.

the one with a ton of ppl is a family that we found just one week ago that im really sad to leave. i told them a few days ago i was leaving and the mom started crying and then we went over last night and we had food and they bought a cake and everything. the kids are super fun and all love us haha and its pretty crazy when we´re over there, but they are sincere and willing to test out the book of mormon, but just really really good ppl.

the old lady is named nineva and is dying. she has failing kidneys and i have known her since i got here almost. i found her with elder tanner. it is sad that she hasnt fully accepted for her family and her health,but she knows the book of mormon is true and we explained the spirit world and stuff to her and i hope she gets the chance there because i dont think she has too much longer. she also made a dinner for us which i think was a big sacrifice for them but she is really amazing.

i went over to the hna cristal with the little girl janise who is about two now. i have seen her grow up from little baby to walking and talking and everything and they're really great. i had a lesson with cristal the other day and cried a little bit saying good bye. she is really amazing but has some problems with family, but i hope she´ll keep moving on. i talked a lot to her about how the decisions she makes affects hundreds and thousands of ppl through her daughter and her daughters daughters and so on, and she thanked me for everything at the end as well which really meant a lot to me.

i still have to say good bye to a lot of ppl tonight and will go to coatza tonight and leave for villahermosa tomorrow at 740 in the morning.

i had a lot of cool experiences this week finding and teaching and following the spirit. one of these experiences was that we went over to drop a really great family because they werent progressing. they thought any religion was good and werent dedicated enough to testing out what we were teaching them. I wanted it to be fast, but we got there and we went a different way than i ever would have thought. it ended up that we talked about the book of mormon and he talked about how he thought there were other ppl apart from Israel. i showed him a few scriptures and then read the title page about the jaridites coming from the tower of babel and he said "i think i received my answer about the book" i asked him how he felt and he said alegria which is really happy, and scalefrio, which is goosbumps/shivers. i told him i knew that was an answer. it was a powerful experience to see. unfortunately he cant get over his belief that any religion is okay and is not willing to make any sacrifices to progress and i dont know what will happen.

i had a really powerful experience this week teaching a noche do hogar (family night) that the branch does every tuesday and thursday. i was sharing the ensign message from pres uchdorf about making decisions and it was something i didnt prepare very well for. it was kinda dry but then i felt like i needed to do something powerful. there were ppl there that needed something. i changed the tone of the lesson and focused on the ppl and the spirit. and ended up with a very powerful lesson. many ppl after commented on the spirit that was there and i definitely felt it very powerfully. i focused on eternal families. and at the end i had everyone close their eyes as i painted a picture for them of returning to god and jesus christ and read matt. 25:21. it was very powerful and as i started to read i could barely get the words out. i felt a lot of love for the ppl there and hopefully that helped them to make the decision to change their lives and really obtain this grand blessing of the eternal life.

i also had a cool experience with a guy we met on the street. we talked a little to him but he was with some drunk friends. later that night he found us and started asking really weird questions like " do you believe in the power of god?" i was like yes the priesthood and all that god does...? but then i figued out why and it was something that reminded me of salt lake. he had probably read some website and just went with random anti mormon stuff. like the galatians 1:8 scriture and he asked very condescendingly why do you still have joseph smith if he was an adulterer. Elder watts would say i got mad like moroni again ha. but it was very powerful. i now know how to answer powerfully any of those type of questions and as it says in the scriptures i had the spirit and couldnt be confounded in my words. it was pretty cool and i focused everything on my testimony that i got from actually reading and praying about the book of mormon and used some very stong phrases but it got the point across and i felt the spirit. we saw him the next day and he stopped his car and with a smile shook our hands and everything and he said he´d opened up the book of mormon. i hope he will take it well and be humbled enough to read and to pray.

everything is going great here. I do love the mission and the ppl and am having amazing experiences. i love elder watts and it will be very hard to leave him here, but i know his new companion and he is good as well so im excited to leave la venta with a lot of great investigatos and lots of ppl that will shortly be baptized and to work hard in villahermosa. i love you all and miss you very much and hope this next week is amazing.


elder smith

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