Tuesday, September 27, 2011


hello everyone.

a lot of cool stuff happened this week, and some stuff not so cool ha.

tuesday i did divisions with the zoneleaders. i was in my area with one of them and was able to learn a lot from them and to be more direct. i am working harder at speaking with authority and directly so that the ppl know what they need to do to change and can make the decision if they are going to or not.

we also found a girl that is 17 that works as a housekeeper for a family in our ward. she spoke a dialect that is basically the same as spanish and i couldnt tell the difference but she is hopefully going to be baptized next week on the day of conference.

we found a cool family of 3, mom and two sons when we were walking and in a car they yelled. "elders!". we went by and found that they were investigators from 2 years ago but never got baptized. we had a powerful lesson and they know it is true and need to get baptized, but the father isnt too thrilled about it. we havent been able to talk to him yet.

judith got baptized and it was super great. she is really amazing. she is going to be a great member. the bishop didnt show up to the baptism and didnt send us a message saying he wasnt going to or anything. so i called president casteñeda and got permission to do it without him. so i presided in the baptism haha. it was a little frustrating though because we waited until 640 when it was supposed to start at 6,. then the next day judith was really sick. she came anyway though just for the confirmation but the bishop forgot to do it. when he announced the prayer at the end i threw my hands up in the air to get his attention. in that moment he remembered but sat back down anyway. i felt terrible becasue she came just for that and she wont get confirmed until hopefully next week. there are a lot of problems in this ward with the bishop and stuff. litterally like 50 or more ppl are inactive for things the bishop has done. its rough without much support from leadership. there are some amazing families that help us out a lot though.

we also had a cool experience where we got a reference from the mission for a family, contacted them, and then walking by the house they called us over to talk. it was a family that is less active that moved into our area. we met the wife of one of the members and gave her a date to be baptized and she seems really great.

this week i completed a year in the mission field. it is weird to have been out so long, cause thinking back, utah didnt seem that long ago. and also with conference coming up, i think of the last conference, and that doesnt seem long ago at all. the mission is going by really fast and its hard to think i just have ten months left. im going to try to make the most of it. we have a lot of great things coming up and are finding a ton of great ppl

a funny story.  we contacted this guy on the street and he told us to go to his house. we got there and found this lady outside. we asked her if the guy lived there and she said she had no idea who he was and that she lived alone and was named romana. we said we would coe back the next day. walking out we found the guy and walked to the same door. he called for his wife elizabeth. the lady eventually came and acted like nothing had happened. we taught them the law of chastity and shared the restoration because they werent married. they seem okay, but it was funny. at the end of the lesson she  changed a little and apoligized for actions ha.

oh we also found a guys credit cards and went to his house and he seems pretty good. hopefully he will accept everything. he is a 19 year old alcoholic, but not so much now. he wants to change and hopefully he will.

we had a zone activity today and played soccer and volleyball and it was fun. it was an hour long bus ride standing to get there and come back though ha.

love you and miss you and hope that everything is going great for you at home.


elder smith


from last week.
hello everyone. this was another great week here in villahermosa. im going to have to do everything a little more condensed cause i dont have any time. 

this week here went really well. the pictures i sent are of me in the temple. elder sanchez (old comp) and elder piña (old dl). me with a dog named bruno that is way cool like it dies when you pretend to shoot it and gets the keys and stuff but if someone he doesnt know really well tries to pick him up he growls and bites sort of, just puts his teeth on you. this was the first time ive got to hold him so i had to take a picture. also this is the family of the hna. judith and her little girl. she got out all of her stuffed animals to play with me haha. they are a lot of fun and the hna. is really great. 

this week i had some great experiences. we found a really cool family that im exicted for. we had a lesson with the mom nad kids and she told us of some big problems they were having and i felt really really good with them and was able to promise her and their family some really great blessings. im really excited to see them progress to baptism. 

we have been finding a TON of ppl. an average of 13 ppl a week. and this last week 15. so we have a very very big teaching pool that has added a little bit of stress to trying nad find who is going to progress and hwo no. it is a good problem to have and much better than the flip side ha. 

i had a surprise training this week. all the zone and district leaders and trainers in the two zones in villahermosa had a two day training with presidente castañeda and also we got to go to the temple! i was super excited to go in the temple and we did the session in spanish which was way cool. i felt so much peace in the temple and it was really a grat expereice. i learned a lot in the training as well, but it made our schedule really hard when we had to cancel/not show up to lessons. everything here is really last minute. 

Judith is the hna that is in the picture and is going to be baptized this next week. we wnet over the other day and she really opened up to us about all of her life. her experience with her husband leaving why there are problems between her and her family. she is really alone with her kids and been through some really hard things. we talked to her and she is golden. she has a ton of faith and is coming to church reading the book of mormon and learning and applying everything. It has been a grat blessing to teach her. 

we have a lot of other really great investigators as well and we will see if we can get a lot of them to be converted and baptized in these coming weeks. i lvoe the mission and am learning and growing so much . i am trying to work as hardas posible and love the ppl and be happy. sometimes i get stressed with everything we do, and thats what im working most on not doing. the pppl here are amazing and help us a ton and i am grateful for all the relationships ive made with ppl here. 

i love you amd miss you and hope you have a great next week.


elder smith

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Hello everyone,

well this was another great week here in mexico. monday we played soccer again but it started pouring rain. it made it a lot of fun, but we were soaked by the end. me and my companion make a pretty good team schoolin the mèxicanos in our ward who are pretty good ha. This week there was quite a bit of rain, to the point where i actually felt cold. if im not wet though, im hot and then i get wet from the humidity. its still not too comfortable haha, but the temperature is cooling down a bit. one day everything got soaked and my planner has servived but it is a little wet ha. .

this week was amazing and i am really able to see miracles happening here. one experience was really cool. we went by an investigator named Jacibes (haseebes) one night and found her unable to move around because her back hurt so bad. she is like 22 and lives with her family who are also investigators. We gave her a blessing and then found out a few days later that she started feeling better right away and the next day when she woke up, she was perfectly healed. We talked a lot about the preisthood and about how we are healed through our faith. Christ always says after his miracles. by your faith you: can see, can walk, can hear, live, are forgiven of your sins. everything that we do in life is based on our faith. 

we have been finding a ton of people to teach lately. We talk to a ton of people on the streets and stop by the ones who say we can and who seem the most interested. In the past three weeks we have had 41 new investigators. we have had to drop many of them, but have given 20 of those 41 dates to be baptized. that doesnt seem to be enough to always help them get to church though and right now we have three people progressing towards baptism. As you can see, getting people to church is the hard part. we did find some really great people this week though. one lady named Judith is prepared. we talked to her one day in the park and i felt good about her and so i asked if we could go over the next day. she said yes. we had a great lesson with her. she said one of her old boyfriends was a member that went on a mission and one of her friends said that if she wanted a united family that she should go to the mormon church. She accepted a date for baptism for the 24th of september and came to church and everything. she is really great. we also found a really awesome family last night. we stopped by their house cause we´d talked to the parents one day. we talked about who they were and what they believed in and we decided to teach them the plan of salvation. it was perfect. we talked a lot about the family. i asked a lot of questions and was really sincere with them. i asked a 11 year old boy to explain what repentance is. he didnt really know so i helped him teach it with an example. it was awesome that at the start of the lesson the family was all over the place, the kids were in and out, the parents were on opposite sides of the room and little participation. by the end all five of them were huddled together, arms around one another, the littles boy kissed his mom on her cheek, the parents were sitting next to each other holding hands. I explained how our message was true and for the family, and that it brings families together. i joked that it had physically brought them closer in just the little time we´d been there. It was super cool and the spirit was really storng. the mom was crying a lot by the end. im way way excited about them and hope all goes well this next week. we are going by tomorrow to visit them again.

this week one of the daughters of the hna juana (got baptized a few weeks ago) had a big trial. her husband left her. she has a 10 month old girl and is pregnant with another. She had  been shying away in lessons lately but we had a whole lesson dedicated to her. you never know what is going to happen in missionary work and for that it is so important to have the spirit. i walked in and played with the little girl for a little while asking how things were and then very seriously juana told me that he daughters husband left. i was then left to ponder how i as a 20 year old who has barely dated and definitely has never been married was going to counsel this family and this lady who just had this happen. i am faced with problems like this in one way or another almost everyday. life changing problems that people face and they ask us what we think. it is those times when i pray the hardest for the guidance of the spirit. we had a great lesson and at one point i asked her. "nora, why do you think that god gave you your children?" she answered with something like because he loves me. i then asked, "nora, do you think god gave you your children not knowing that this was going to happen, or do you think he knew?" she answered that of course he knew. i then explained how that should give her some peace. that god does indeed have a plan for her, and he knows that she is going to be able to complete with that, if she trusts him and exercises her faith. she will hopefully be able to be baptized this week or the coming week. 

this week we also had the baptism for the hna paola. Paola is amazing and i am so excited for her. i met her the first week i was here when she told us shed like to go to a baptism. we invited her and she asked how she could be baptized. we taught her, and through problems she went forth with faith unshaken. i am astounded more because she wasnt raised in a home that practices a religion. her family doesnt support her, but her boyfriends family does and helped her alot and she helped them also. She has a solid testimony and it was amazing to finally see her baptized. i played and sang "lord i would follow thee" and it went really well. when she was baptized i felt the spirit super strong and had a huge smile of my face. i am really able to feel the joy of this work and know that it is true. 

i love you all and miss you very much and hope that you have a great next week. Thank you for all you do for me. 


elder smith

Monday, September 5, 2011


Hello everyone. First to explain the pictures. Our fridge was completely frozen over and we spent like 30 minutes hitting all of the ice out with the end of a broom and a fork (best tools we had ha) when i got most of it out I found two chocolate coins. I was pretty dang excited cause by the time i finished i was all sweaty and everything, but we got it all working well now ha. Also, the little boy in the door way. We ate at their house and we said we were going to leave and he said "i dont want the elders to leave!" and began piling toys up on the door and the final thing was his spiderman tent and himself haha. other sunsets, my district. One member had those glasses and we tried them on ha. oh and my guitar brand is ESMI. So i added a T at the end so that it is ESMIT, which is how everyone says my name "elder esmiT" haha

well this was a really great week. we had alot of good experiences. and some hard things as well. first of all we had a cool experience with the hna paola. she is the girlfriend of a member here that we have now taught everything. this week we found out that she cant be baptized here in our area because she doesnt technically live here. we have been teaching her in the house of her boyfriend and have already taught her everythign. she will be baptized in an area close to ours this next sunday. we had a cool experience where we were able to teach her and prepare her for her baptismal intervew. As we taught her she brought up a doubt that she didnt know if thomas monson was a prophet. i explained some things and bore my testimony to her about the organization of the church about her testimony and my testimony and it was really powerful. we ended up talking a lot about just life. why it is so important that we found the true gospel of jesus christ. she is amazing really and so ready to be baptized. it has been amazing to be able to teach her. she also told us that after the last time we taught her. she stayed and talked to her boyfriend about everything and that while talking she received her answer to everything. she said she knows it is all true! her family doestn support her really but she says thats not important and is doing everything for her future family! im way excited for her baptism this next week!

another cool experience is that one day we got a text from a new investigator. she is named paulina and is a friend of a recent convert. she is 17 and came to church last week with her friend. she told us that she couldnt meet with us that day as we had planned. we went about the day lookign for ppl to taech and everythign and it ended up that we were by her house, without the intention but we were going to meet with an investigator that lives close. they werent home, but paulina walked out and was on the phone. she hung up and then said hi. i asked how she was and she said mas o menos. i told her she looked like menos o mas and she said that it was really bad and started to cry a little. she explained how one of her friends had just died of leucemia. We took the opportunity to share a quick message with her. i started off by sharing alma 7:11-12 that talks about how christ suffered so that he could help us when we go through trials and he knows exactly how we feel. I then talked about the plan of salvation, about where her friend is. by the end of the conversation she had stopped crying and i managed to make her smile quite a bit. i felt the spirit as i testified and i think she felt it as well. hopefully she will be able to continue to progress and receive the help she needs from our savior. 

funnier stories. It is funny sometimes the things elder peine says. he is a really great elder and really excited but mixes some stuff up sometimes. one time he asked a lady if she was pregnant and then when she asked what he said he said "nada....". another time he asked who a lady was next to a guy we were talking to and he said "oh thats my wife" and he responded with the same words as him. instead of saying oh thats your wife he said oh thats my wife. there are some other good ones, but he has grown a lot and come a long way in just two weeks. we are working hard and having a lot of success. 

we are trying to get the daughter of juana and her husband married so that they can get baptized, and have found a few more cool families. Yesterday i taught a lesson half in english with that guy from portland. he is a very very stereotypical guy from portland. i asked him some questions and he responded with very obscure answers. like who is god for you? well is depends on who you think god is... i also asked him what he believed and he said he was catholic but that he took things from budhism and muslim and all different types. it was funny but cool to talk to him and to teach in english. it was a little hard, but at the same time easier to teach in english. it sounds weird, and i said weird words that dont translate well from spanish to english, for example. "i know that this will give you grand blessings in your life." then i paused and said "i dont think ive ever used the word grand before right now..."


elder smith