Tuesday, August 30, 2011


pictures: hna juana and her family. Ireal, jessica, nora, babies (brian and alison), a picture of me elder green and elder thompson from my mtc district. and a picture of part of my area with all the appartements (valle real).
WEll Hello everyone. This was a really great week and i had a lot of really great experiences. Firstly on monday we went around saying goodbye to a lot of ppl. tuesday i dropped elder hernandez off and then went out with the other two elders in my district for the day. i was able to meet some of their investigators and gave one of them a date to be baptized.
my new companion is named elder michael peine (pine). his name in spanish is paine, which means comb so lots of ppl joke about that ha. He is from salt lake city utah and went to east high school and i know some ppl from there, though he doesnt know any of the ppl i know. he is a good elder. his spanish is a little like the guy from the best two years at times, and he has a lot to learn, but it will be good to work with him. he is excited and a hard worker and obedient so i think everything will be fine. he played soccer in high school and plays guitar, but his personality is a little different than mine, but i think it will be good.
this week there were a ton of great things that happened. Hna. Paula is really great. her boyfriend is a member and we have everything set for her baptism. she is an amazing investigator and our lessons are always really great with her. She lives in a different area than her boyfriend though so well see what happens with that. she wants to be baptized here and we've already taught her everything.
found a new investigator this week named paulina. she is a friend of a recent convert. she is looking for a new church and we taught her once and she came this week to church. she seems really great. the same member also brought her cousin who now has a date to be baptized the 10th. we had 158 ppl in church this week. it went way up! usually there is 100-125 there. we have been working hard, and hopefully it will be able to stay up. we had 5 investigators in church and it was a good day even though a few didnt come that should have.
miracles of the week. we had been teaching a girl named ana for a while. she is really great and has received an answer that the book of mormon is true, but never acted. this week her and her mom said that they want more religion in their life and family and that they are going to start coming to church and hopefully will get baptized. Also this week hno Irael. the husband of juana (got baptized last week) had a great experience. We were teaching the taught jessica and he usually just listens from afar but we always knew he was listening well. this time he blurted out, "i have a comment" he then said "i havent talked to anybody else about this yet because i wanted to wait until you got here." he then said he was think a lot about what we had taught him the other day, and then he went to sleep. he then went on to explain how in his dream he was reading the book of mormon and then defended it when someone said that it wasnt true. he woke up with the feeling that the book of mormon was true. He then turned to me and said, "what do you think that means?" I felt the so happy when he was telling me the story and i knew that it was an answer to his prayers. we are working with him to be able to have sundays off so that he can be baptized. the rest of the family is progrsssing to baptism as well.
yesterday we also were contacting and we said hi to a guy. we usually say "buenos tardes". we walked by and said buenos tardes and he answered. hey whats up guys! (without an accent. thats important because lots of ppl try to do it to here to immitate us ha.) Anyways we talked to him and guess where he is from? PORTLAND OREGON! he lived there and has a sister in beaverton. I was shocked. I tried contacting him in english and my companion was just laughing. i couldnt speak english at all and said half the words in spanish ha. It was pretty crazy though. i havent seen hardly any americans apart from other missionaries and the first one i talk to here in mexico is from portland!
I feel like im forgeting some stuff, but overall this week went really well. i can now work how i want and work hard and we are having lots of success. I am trying to have more faith and trust more in god and that has helped me a lot. I love it here and am doing well, even though it is very hot, and humid. I love you and miss you
elder smith

Sunday, August 28, 2011


fotos. temple with elder hernandez, baptism with hna juana. hna juana and her daughters and their kids, hna gave us rootbeer floats- that is the first time ive seen rootbeer in mexico. a little girl made a heart for me. i made her do it for the picture but the first time she did it without me sayng anything ha.
well this was a big week and a lot happened. As you all noticed, i was a little frustrated with things. sunday i was working really hard but just beat. i said a prayer that i just wanted something good to happen. from then on the week went really well. We had a miracle with the hna. juana. she didnt go to church, but we went over monday and things changed. she didnt come i think because she wasnt sure about her date to be baptized and didnt want to tell everyone there that she was going to or wasnt going to. we went by monday and she said ive got great news. she then went on to tell us how she was was washing clothes but that she was mad that she couldnt think of an answer of why she wasnt going to be baptized. as she was thinking about it she said that she felt good about being baptized and made the decision. she couldnt think of a reason why she wasnt. she has read up to mosiah in the book of mormon and has felt the spirit. i was able to baptize her and the service went really well. we did the baptism and confirmation after the stake conference and had to get permission from the president and bishop. everything was well planned, except an hour before i asked her if shed brought clothes and said no. we ran around looking for clothes. luckily the assistants had a very big overall that she used, but couldnt zip up all the way, but she brought a shirt so it worked out. Also the water was green coming out, but there wasnt anything to do about that. the service went well and an 8 year old got baptized at the same time too. i also arranged and played guitar and sang "i am a child of god". im trying to compress a video to send but idk how, and i dont know too many computer words in spanish ha. hopefully it works. it went well and i felt the spirit singing and i got a lot of compliments. it really was a miracle that she got baptized and i am thankful for her faith and for the lord for these blessings. i have been studying a lot about faith lately and have learned a lot. faith is a theme that is in many ways very simple, but at the same time something that we cant quite understand completely. i have been striving to increase my faith through study of the scriptures and prayer and hard work, and have received many blessings.
i had interviews with the president this week but didnt get to talk with him too much because he got a phone call. he gave me a really big complement that surprised me though. he asked me how i was working with the ward and i told him of some things we were doing with the bishop and to help with some problems the ward has and then he asked me. "what would the difference be if elder scott and elder ballard were working in your area in your place." i wasnt sure what he was going for so i answered. "well...it´d probably be better :)" he said a few things and then said. "well i think theyd be doing the same thing that you are doing there in helping the people and the ward."
also i am going to be receiving a new companion tomorrow. elder hernandez has been a junior companion his whole mission and has 10 months but has grown a lot and is a great missionary and now is going to be a senior comp and district leader. i am going to be getting a new missionary straight from the mtc again so im really excited for that and for everything we have going in our area. There is a girl named paula that will be baptized in 2 weeks that is really amazing. we taught her the plan of salvation and it was a powerful lesson guided by the spirit. The mission is hard but worth it. i hae learned a lot and grown a lot. i sometimes get too serious but am trying to find the balance between serious, organized, responsable, obedient, and fun and myself. but its still in the works ha.
love elder smith

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Hello. well to answer the questions. it is still super hot here. idk why but its just a little hotter here in villahermosa than any other part of the mission. It is hot and humid and i am more accostomed to it, but it is still super super hot. i have had day dreams about an oregon fall, but dont think it will be that way ha. There hasnt been too much storms or even rain this week. a little at night but not much. i am currently serving in both areas. a little time in both. in a few weeks im going to be totally in nacajuca, but im delaying going in there completely because of families we have here, but ill have to do it soon i think. the baptism was super stressful because the other elders didnt plan anything. it wasnt our baptism, but we ended up doing a lot for it but they didnt do anything. and so it was really unorganized and the members didnt do what they were supposed to and we brought 6 investigators that all made comments after of "why wasnt anyone else there" or "why did it start an hour late" so it wasnt a super great experience. not completely bad, but the organization part was really bad.
this week we had some good things happen and some hard things as well. on monday we had a meeting with all of the district leaders and talked about how we can be better at meeting our goals in our districts and as a zone. it went well and i learned a bit.
this week we had to stop teaching the robles family. the dad doesnt want to be baptized because he is catholic. he is catholic because his family has always been catholic. they say they know the book of mormon is true and everything. it is really hard. yesterday i spoke very boldly to him. so that you have a picture, we read 2 nephi 33 with them and i explained. we love their family and it was hard to leave them. in the end it ended on good terms that they could continue reading and praying and coming to church and maybe someday they will be able to be baptized. we spent a lot of time with them in my time here in this area.
we were able to find a lot of good ppl and had a lot ready to be baptized this week or the next but they didnt come to church which has been pretty hard, but hopefully next week they can come and keep progressing.
yesterday i had a pretty cool experince where i was pretty down about church and was trying to just work really hard. we were contacting and i prayed and told my companion. "i just want something good to happen" After following a prompting to go to another area and contacting a few ppl, we found a family. we taught the grandma, a daughter, and a boy of about 13 years. they all felt the spirit and accepted to be baptized! it was a great experience. the only problem for me is that the grandma and daughter live in another area so we have to pass them to other missionaries. but hopefully the family of the boy that lives there will be able to accept as well.
well i love you all and miss you. i am happy here working hard and trying to do everything i can to complete with the work that god has prepared for me here. I hope you all have a great week.
elder smith

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Hola, well another week has gone by here in villahermosa, and everything is going by really fast. this transfer is almost over, and today i found out that my companion is going to be transfered in two weeks and i have a lot of names and addresses to learn before then. this week the temperatures have gone back up, and its pretty hot during the day and the night. also last night we got rained on, so it's not the greatest weather right now for missionary work in mexico ha, but its still good. the robles family has been good. they are the family with 5. the parents are catholic but not really. we have been working with them since we got here but it is hard for them because the dad sells vegetables on the streets all day everyday just about and if they dont sell they dont have enough to buy everything they need. it is hard because we've tried finding a new job but he hasnt done much with the options the stake has given him. yesterday we reveiwed the 10 commandments and they said the 2nd commandment of the images isnt in the catholic bible so i borrowed theirs and they were very surprised when it was indeed there. hopefully that will help a little that they can make it over the hump and get baptized. we were able to find a good family this week as well that has a date to be baptized the 27. the hna. juana is another great investigator. we teach her whole family but she is the only one who is really progressing. we always sing hymns with their family and they like us a lot. she has a date for this next week, the 20th, so hopefully it will be able to happen and she will get her answer. we worked a few days this week in nacajuca and it went well. it is weird not having anything there and we walk around talking to ppl and trying to teach. This last week we were contacting and we passed a house and there was a guy in his hamock and i said hi and was going to talk to him, but we kept walking. on the way back it was the same, and we passed by but he yelled at us and we went over and taught him and he was really great. i need to be a little more confident in following the spirit, but it is good that god cuts me a break once in a while too. i did my first baptismal interview this week and it went really well. there was a baptism for a 10 year old girl named enya. she was really great. her baptism went well also but i was super stressed out. it was supposed to start at 6. at 6 nobody was there. enya and her family got there at 610. and the members that were the talks and the 1st councelor who was going to preside got there at 635 and walked in super casually. there were only like 4 or 5 members there. elder hernandez and i brought 6 investigators but im not sure it was the greatest experience for lack of ppl- the talks were about 30 seconds long and also very casual. After the talks i played the guitar and sang a hymn. I talked a little before and tried to bring the spirit. i sang "más cerca dios de ti" or nearer my god to thee. my companion said it saved the baptism a little and brought the spirit. i felt good when i sang and also when enya got baptized. After she was baptized she started crying and she shared her testimony later and said how good she felt. that she felt something she never had before. i think for the stress of the baptism and everything i couldnt sleep that night and i felt pretty sick all day sunday especially because we were fasting and i couldn't drink water. i went to bed early and drank a lot though and now i feel fine. everything here is going really well. i am learning a lot and having a lot of great experiences. Today for our zone activity we watched lion king and hercules and that was fun and brought back some memories ha. I have a meeting tonight with the zone leaders and other district leaders. We have some good goals set for this month and we have been working hard to be able to complete them and i am excited to keep working here. I love you all and miss you and hope that everything is going great at home. love elder smith

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Brad's New Mission Address

Here's the new address that you should all use to send him a letter or package!

Elder Bradley Smith
AV. Circuito CD. Deportiva No. 206
Col. Primero de Mayo
Villahermosa, Tabasco, Mexico CP 86190


hello everyone. i dont have a ton of time again but ill try and get in a few things.

my area is pretty cool. we mostly work in a huge area called valle real that has like 2000 appartments. we walk a lot, but i think less than la venta. The biggest news that i have though is that i am getting a new assignment. sorta. There is a town called nacajuca that is in our area, but that missionaries have never been to before. the bishop in our ward talked to president casteñeda. and we are now going to share our area with the other two elders in our district and my
companion and i are going to start to work full time in this town of nacajuca. it is about minutes away from our house in a taxi and there are only active members there and like 5 inactive members. Basically it is completely untouched and White already to harvest. Im pretty excited to go there but it is going to be a lot of work. this week went well. and i had some cool experiences. we had a really powerful lesson with the robles family where we had to explain some things and make them very clear. our message is that the true church of jesus christ was restored and is here on earth. we made that very clear, and it was strong, but i think that they, mostly the dad, got it. they came to chruch and after church the dad said. well im just about convinced. im super exited for them, but they are really poor and we still need to teach tithing.

also this week i met a man named priciliano. we were looking for a contact and nobody was home. i heard ppl in the apartment next door so i went over and knocked. out walked a huge guy without his shirt and tatoos. he probably weighed 300 lbs, and wasnt super fat. it was funny cause i just started to share the message with him. we didnt expect it but he invited us in. at the end of the lesson i asked if he had any comments and he said that he felt really good. really peaceful. he thanked us for coming by and said that our message was from god and that he needed that feeling. this huge guy was on the verge of tears. it was super powerful and a cool experience.

last night we had a good lesson with a less active lady. we ate with her and then i wanted to share a scripture. she is less active for a comment the bishop made, but is a older lady, not married but has two daughters and the type that took offense and now doesnt go to church but in every way of her life, she is active. i shared helamen 3:35. last week i saw this scripture like 4 times in one day but never used it. it was the perfect scritpture in this moment for her. she was taught by the spirit. i explained the scripture very well nad then she talked for a long long time. but the goal was accomplished. her and her daughters are going to come back and they know why.

the mission is amazing and i had a lot of other great experiences. i got to give a talk this sunday in church with a few minutes notice that went pretty well, then with no notice had to teach the next class but it all went really good and im pretty accustomed to that now. i love the mission and these ppl and am excited to keep progressing and growning. thank you for all you do for me and for your letters and emails. have a great next week.


elder smith


1/ What is your address or street you live on? (I want to look on google maps.)

my city is called pamoca. im not sure what the street is called but there is a park sort of close and we are in appartments that look the same as all the others ha.

2/ What do you guys do for food now? someone cooks, buy and cook etc.

i eat cereal in the morning, or tortillas with peanut butter and water. then at 2 we eat with members everyday and its usually pretty good. some sort of meat, almost always chicken, with rice and vegetables, and torillas. then at night if there is time when we get home i make tortillas with peanut butter or quesodillas with ham cheese and hot sause that are pretty good on a little electric stove.

3/ What is the name of your ward and stake?

our ward is called Tierra Colorada in the stake Villahermosa

4/ Tell about your average day, tracting apartments, street contacting like you did in LaVenta.

we contact on the street with just ppl that walk by all day. we dont tract too much in apartments because not too many ppl are home. usually i try to knock the doors on the same level when we get to an appointment and nobody is home, but other than that we dont do much door contacting. we set up appointments sometimes with contacts on the streets, but those arent too reliable, but there wasnt hardly anything at the start when i got here so we had to do it, its getting a little better now, but its hard when appointments arent there. we usually stay in our area of pomoca but we have another area that we might try to go to tomorrow that is called nacajuca. but i havent seen it yet. im told it is about the size of la venta though, and hasnt been touched by missionaries, so im excited to go there. we try to teach as many lessons as we can in the day. sometimes in door contacts we ask to come in and they let us. normally lessons are with investigators. we have about 5 less active lessons a week. and try to have 10 new investigators every week, which means each week we also have to drop a lot because we cant keep all of the investigators if they arent sincere.

5/ What are the biggest changes from LaVenta to Villahermosa?

there are a lot of ppl here. there is a city. i live in a suburbish type thing though. not downtown. im pretty close to tierra colorada that is a little bigger and has a walmart but we go to a similar store called chidraui that is closer-. the ppl are all in more of a hurry and dont let us in quite as much. i dont get quite as many gringo comments or girl problems, though there are still a lot. we walk a lot, and teach inside apartments more. in la venta it was almost always outside houses. and i dont think ill every be able to know all the ppl in the city like i practically did in la venta haha.

6/ How many Elders in your in your district names and where from how long they have been out?

4 elders. elder hernandez 9 months. elder corona 9 months and elder herrera 5 months. they are all mexicans. there are only 3 americans in my zone.

7/ When do you have district meeting?

district meeting is every tuesday at 9 in the chapel in tierra colorada, or we meet as a zone in the stake center in villahermosa.

okay. well this week was a good one. we were able to have some cool experiences and find some good ppl. and i am growing and learning a lot. i forgot my planner so i am going to see what i remember. The robles family (5) didnt come to church this week. we worked with them a lot this week and had a lot of really good lessons. i am always really happy in lessons with them and smile a lot and i really love their family and want them to be able to be baptized really bad. the zone leaders have been calling us every 5 minutes to check how they are because they want to make a goal for the zone. they havent come to church twice yet, but the zone leaders are saying they can still be baptized this next week, so we are going to try, but they still have some doubts that we are trying to work out. we had a super powerful lesson saturday with them where i told my experience about knowing that the book of mormon was true, and got really choked up while telling that. my comp is a convert of 2 years and he told his story, and we brought a couple in the ward. the husband is the elders quorm pres and the wife is a recent convert and they are preparing for the temple in a few months. it was a super great lesson and they expressed that they know the book of mormon is true, but then they still said they werent sure about the baptism. last night i spent a lot of time praying for ways that we can help them and to know what they need. i wrote down as much of the things that came. one of them was an assignment that i have for you mom and dad. I want you each to write a letter about why the church is important to you and the family. but serious, not just "its good because we can be together forever" but really something that changed your lives at one point, something that means a lot. why you know the church is true and why you still go. I feel like they think religion is important and feel like the book is true, but not enough to feel the need to make a few more sacrifices and i think this will help at least me a lot to help them, and will help both of you a lot. i might try to check this week fast so that i can help them fast if your could try to do that in the next few days that would be perfect. i hope that they will keep strong.

We also found a great family last week that came to church this week and they are really really great. we have a lot of fun with them in lessons and i always like singing hymns with them at the end and they always end with a smile. the hymns are really powerful, and i always take a minute or two after and re read the words and show how they can use the hymn in their lives. i always tell them that they are practicing for my choir and at church i told them here is where all the practice is going to come in to play, right before we sang the first hymn. They still have a few things to work through, and they will be out of town this week, but hopefully they witll be great.

the other date for baptism we had fell this week as well becaue she didnt come to church. she is good. but her husband who is a member is drinking and smoking which makes it hard. we are trying to bring her aunt to the next lesson and we brought her once but the investigator couldnt do it.

this last week a member that lives by us that helps us a lot had here birthday. she jokingly noted that we should bring her a present but then said she was joking. we were about to go home that night and i remembered and told my comp that we should get her something. we went into oxo which is like 711 and i bought her a little ice cream thing. we went to her house and gave it to her and she almost cried. it was a good example to me that little acts of service make a big difference to ppl.

well i officially completed one year in the mission! its a little crazy and it hasnt hit really. i havent reflected too much. but i am feeling really happy and enjoying every contact and lesson and trying to saver every moment. presidente castañeda gave me a good compliment this week ha said "Siento que tendrá mucho éxito. la razon es que es un misionero escogido y los escogidos escucharán la voz del señor por medio de usted. ánimo!!!" which means "I feel like you will have a lot of success. the reason is that you are a chosen or elect missionary and the elect will hear the voice of the Lord through you." I have felt really good this week here and am working hard to really find out how i can be better and help these ppl. i dont want to be a salesman that has the same pitch for everyone, but i feel more like a person giving something that truly means the world to me and trying to help them feel that so that it means the world to them as well.

i am loving my time here in the mission and am leaning a lot! i love you all and miss you and hope you have a great week.


elder smith