Monday, October 24, 2011


pictures are of baptism. the three girls were our baptisms and the guy with a tie is a member going to his mission in spain on my birthday jan 4th and he baptized his cousin who is the other guy in the picture, we played soccer last munday in the rain and it was a lot of fun. the americaans vs the mexicans and we won 15 to 5, and then this is the highway to nacajuca that is all flooded even with the sand bags down. it was almost all sunny this week though. 

Hola hermanos y hermanas y familia.

this week was a very good week and was full of miracles and very special moments. I am very happy to be able to be here in my area and to be an instrument in the hands of the lord to complete his work. Starting from last sunday when we had the lesson with yuridia and norma where at the start they said they were catholic and then changed and accepted a date to be baptized this week. we went with them a lot this week. When we taught the commandments i was a little scared theyd have a problem. they accepted everything perfectly and there was a great spirit there. they got an answer from god and nothing was going to change that. even the day after when one of the friends of yuridia put coffee up to her face and tempted her to have some, she said no! we also went with them one day and watched the joseph smith movie. it was a really powerful lesson where i bore my testimony and where we talked a lot about their progress and the change that has happened in their lives. yuri said something that was really great that she was so thankful for us talking to her. We were talking to a worker outside her house when i decided to talk to her so she wouldnt think we were just waisting the workers time. we set up an appointment, they came to church, they accepted a baptismal date and were prepared 100% by god for this change. she said it was a change she knew she was prepared for and needed but she just didnt know that she needed it until it happened. She is super strong and im excited to have her come to lessons with us to help less actives and investigators. the baptismal service was really great. I got to baptize yuridia and elder peine baptized Norma (sister of yuridia 11 years old) and Natividad (16 and works in house of a member). The elders in our district baptized a man who is the cousin of a member getting ready for his mission. We decided to do the service after church because it is always so hard to get ppl there saturday. the room was super full. we couldnt even sit down and there wre more ppl waiting outside! i played the guitar and sang Te necesito si. which is I need thee every hour. it went really well and i felt the spirit. the baptisms went pretty well, but the elders who filled the faunt didnt put enough water in. only up to the middle of my thigh and so we had to do a few over again, but it was good all in all. I was super happy the whole day and over and over i keep saying how exicted i am for them all. I am so grateful for the hand of the lord in this work and know that it is by him and through him, that ppl are converted. 

something really cool about sunday as well is that Judith was confirmed. it took a few weeks but finally she is confirmed a member. the miracle of that is that we saw her saturday and she said everything was good for church. i felt like i should call her sunday but she didnt answer so i sent her a message and called her again, and then when we were about to leave i said well we'll just go check her house. we invited her to come with us to church in a car and she said it was perfect because she was going to go in a taxi but realized she didnt have any money. she was already dressed and everything and her kids as well and we all went together. 

Natividad´s baptism was also a miracle that we werent planning on. when we were in a lesson she opened up and said why she didnt get baptized before. it was because someone had called her and told her she shouldnt. she wanted to but then in the end didnt for that. she said she still wanted to and felt good about everything. nati is very very very veeeeeeeeeeery shy. i think especially around two white guys. so she doesnt talk a whole lot unless we really get it out of her but her prayers are always amazing and she says everything she needs to. in one prayer she gave as she finished she began to cry. that was the first real emotion ive seen from her and she said she'd never felt that when praying before. she felt the spirit super powerfully and then next time we came we gave her a date for this sunday. God is answering our prayers and the prayers of our investigators. 

this sunday we also found a family of 5. we contacted the guy and he made a big fuss that the last time other missionaries talked to him they never came by, so i basically went by so he wouldnt think bad of us but wasnt expecting anything. we were able to put him and his family on date to be baptized in three weeks . i hope they will keep that date. 

we also found a less active hermana named delphina that i think is like 50 but she has a lot of neighbor friends and now is super excited about sharing the gospel and church. she hadnt gone in a really really long time, but now is going to be super strong. she has so far invited 4 of her neighbors and two came this week to church and said they liked it a lot. they are two girls that are 14 and 18. the hermana delphina goes and like hangs out with them at movies and to eat and stuff which is really funny but very much her personality. her husband is away a lot for work and i think she likes having friends. we will probably be able to have Maria and Elidia the two girls to be baptized in these coming weeks. Almost all our investigators that are progressing now are girls. but we have had a lot of guys too but they have fallen off, and we have a few really great families too. one family that is great but hasn't come to church yet so we'll see. they invited us to dinner last night though and are really great ppl. 

there have been a bunch of other really great things, i need to start keeping a list so i remember and can write fast. today i took elder peine to buy a guitar. he bought a pretty nice one and so now we can play together. i was interested because someone in utah gave me a little toy harmonica with ten notes, in finding a good harmonica and so today i bought one that has 20 holes and a button that shifts everything a half step. im going to try and learn a little bit. it looks pretty cool, but note sure ill get to use it too much here. 

well i love you all and miss you very much. everything here is awesome and i'm really learning a lot and having some great experiences. have a great next week. 

elder smith

Monday, October 17, 2011


Hello everyone.  Thank you for all your letters and your support.  this week was really great. i had a ton of amazing experiences and some trials as always. the longer i have here the more the scripture in 2 nephi 2:11 has become really true. there is always opposition, but thats what makes the good things so great. this week there were some funny things that happened. one is that i saw a volkswagon beetle with butterfly doors. i thought it was funny when the guy climbed out hah. also this happened last week but i forgot to say it. every night when we come home there are a ton of kids playing soccer and stuff in the street. they always looked and there was an occasional "good morning, no good night" shouted out ha, but one night we stopped and talked to one of the kids. within 10 seconds 25 little kids from ages of 5 to 17 were gathered around asking questions and talking to us. needless to say we are the "cool kids on the block now" and they always say good night when we go by and ask us to play soccer with them. a similar thing happneed when we went to nacajuca this week. we were waiting for a combi (taxi van) and as we waited the high school got out and all the students were waiting too. one of the girls stopped and talked to us because her cousin was a recent convert in our ward. similar to the little kids, when they saw one person start to talk within 10 seconds we were surrounded by about 40 teenage students, mostly girls all asking questions and taking pictures. i used it as an opportunity to talk so i explained who we were, why we were there, and asked them "do you all believe in jesucristo?", they all responded in unison YES! then i asked and do you say your prayers? a few less. then i invited them all to come to church and they all know where it is and said theyd come. we moved away shortly after that and they all followed us around til we left hah.

this week we had an amazing experience with two sisters named yuridia and norma. norma is 24 and her sister is 11 and they live alone apart from their parents. theyve had some rough stuff happen, but are living happily together now. We found them last sunday and taught them a few times. we taught the restoration and the spirit was really stong in the lesson. they almost didnt come to church but i invited them again the night before and then they decided to come. it was the primary conference and was really good. all the songs and speaking parts were really well organized and it was well done. we had 180 ppl in sacrament including 5 investigators we brought, and 3 less actives that are solid now! anyways so we went and talked to yuri and norma after church and we sat down and she said she needed to tell us something. she said that she liked everything and it was great and she wanted to keep learning but wanted us to know that no matter what she was going to stay catholic for personal reasons and her family. while she said this i ddint feel worried or anything. i just listened and when she finished i started, with a mentality of that she just doesnt understand everything thats happened yet. it was an amazing experience where we were able to rely on the spirit and have it guide us. she mentioned that she felt the spirit during the hymns in church, and when she read and prayed about the book of mormon. i explained something that i hadent thought about to her before about the staight and narrow. that we are walking but on either side of us there are millions of voices shouting in our ears telling us to follow them, that its easier, faster, happier, and where everyone else is. its almost imposible to hear but there is another voice. its soft and its quiet, but its the voice of the lord and its telling us to take one more step forward. if we dont listen we will be swept away into forbiden paths. we have to focus all of our energy to hear the voice of the lord and follow it. i felt the spirit very powerfully and know that it was from god for her in that moment. it was a lot better in spanish and in the moment too hha. In the end my comp shared a scripture and she was crying. we gave her and her sister a date to be baptized for this next sunday after the services in church. i know that god guides us and im so thankful for his spirit in this work. when we really listen and strive to follow, god will guide us in each step we take. 

there were a ton of other really amazing things that happened this week where we were guided by the spirit to those that god has prepared. one man who is a nonmember but his family are members says that he has had 9 years of missionaries and at least 40 differnent missionaries have come but he's never felt like he should be baptized. we met with him sunday for the first time formally because before i thought he was a member. we answered his questions and sometimes it is just time for ppl. in church that day i taught a class on eternal marriage (i know im highly qualified to teach that haha) but he was there and last week the lesson was on eternal families or something like that. i talked about the plan of salvation and the role of families in gods plan. it is amazing that as a family we truly can be together for all of eternity, if we follow gods plan exactly. anyways sometimes its just someones time to accept, but i told him he needs to be sealed with his family, he as the head of his household and family needs to baptized his daughter in two weeks who just turned eight, and to do that he needs to be baptized first. i invited him to be baptized this next thursday and he accepted. he still needs to decide but i feel that he will be baptized. it was an amazing experience to see how the lord will complete with his work. 

i love the mission and these amazing experiences, especially with the families. we dont have to do too much in life except be obedient and listen for what god tells us to do. if we are obedient and trying our best always to complete with our purpose, god will guide us. i hope you all have a great next week. i love you all and miss you very much. 


elder smith

picture: i havent been too good at pictures these weeks but i am using the white board hha. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Just to make sure you have the right address: 

misión méxico villahermosa
av. ciruito CD. Deportiva no. 206
col. Atasta C.P 86100
Villahermosa, Tabasco

Well another week has come and gone and they are going by faster and faster. we were very busy this week with the goal of getting 200 contracts.  That means we talk to 200 people on the street or in houses and invite them to listen to our message about the gospel of jesus christ. We also taught 32 lessons this week not which is really good. we are working hard and being blessed and i am learning a lot.

this week we found a ton of new investigators. one is named barnebe. we contacted him coming when we were coming down the stairs of an apartment building and i saw a light on in the house. we went over and he came to the door. we talked for a while and he basically said no at the start. after talking for about 5 min he invited us in to continue the conversation. when we sat down he explained how he doesnt let just anybody in, but that he felt that what we have to say is important and felt like he should let ius in. we taught the book of mormon and the restoration and he accepted everything. he is of another religion but said that he is going to read and pray.

we met another guy named jesus that is a psychologist. he is really intelligent and listens well, which makes lessons interesting. he came to church this week and the meeting went really well. we got there a little early with him and took him to meet some members, showed him the sacrament table and explained everything, and to meet the bishop and the stake president was visiting too. i met the stake president last transfer when we ate at his house so it was good to see him again and he was nice and talked to jesus for a little. As im writing this and saying things in english it sounds weird to be using the name jesus to describe a person. its less werid to say it like hayzeus like spanish. there are a ton of ppl named that here. anyway i spoke with my companion in sacrament meeting. i quoted a lot of general conference and even president monsons beatles reference to "all you need is love" i liked that a lot. i used that im my talk because i talked about love and charity and the book of mormon. i used it to try to get the members more excited to gain a testimony and do their visits and home teaching. i do love the ppl here and am trying my best to love them more and more. another sister spoke and the stake president gave a really graet talk as well and jesus liked the meeting a lot. hopefully he will feel good and have read the book of mormon when we go by tonight. 

also before i forget there is a sister here named sister millan and i was talking to here the other day. she lived in florida for 6 months and has a daughter still living there in college. anyway we went to eat inbetween conference last week with their family and she asked us totally out of the blue if we liked chipotle or if we knew it. i got super exited and said "I LOVE CHIPOTLE, THATS LIKE MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT!" it was pretty cool. it was weird to be in a restaurant last week too. and it was just pizza hut but they gave us menus and it felt really weird. haven't done that in a long time. ha

back to the week. we were walking sunday night when a guy in a house called to us. we went to talk to him and he said. "Who are you guys? you are everywhere! everywhere i go i see you!" we explained that we walk around a lot, and that the ones in other cities are not us, but are other gringos not related to us, but from the same church ha. we then contacted him. i invited him to change his life. i explained the gospel of faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the holy ghost and enduring to the end and invited him to be baptized right in the moment. he was super exicted and accepted to come to church and to be baptized. we gave him a date for the 23rd of october. It was one of those right place at the right time sort of things, which seems to happen more and more as we are guided by the spirit! it was pretty cool though. 

later that night i had a really good experience with an inactive sister. she was the relief's society president but now is inactive because she got offended and her two daughters who are old are also inactive. we have gone by a lot with them in the past, and lots and lots of missionaries have gone by but she has never come back. we went over and i had a video clip of the emma smith movie in those d and c dvds that you sent me mom. we watched it and at the end, her and her daughter were both crying. as the video finished i didnt say anything for about the next 5 to 10 minutes. hna vadillo started talking and she said and was taught everything that came into my head to say. she was so grateful that we had come by and was truly taught by the spirit. all of us were. she has complimented me before and this day as well how the way i do things as a misionary is different that the others and she can feel a real change when we come in. she talked about how god had prepared us to come to her and help her. i spoke a little bit about trials and how we can overcome them. god doesnt give us trials to hurt us rather he gives them to us to strengthen us, if we choose to combat them with faith. if we try to do it on our own we will fall. I explained that to her and expressed the love that god has for them and their family and i even cried a little. the spirit was very powerful in that room and it was a real blessing to have participated in feeling that. 

the mission is an amazing experience. I am so blessed to be here among these amazing ppeople. i love the opportunity to share the gospel and to help people who are willing to act. there are a lot of hard things that happen, but so many blessings that outweigh al of the hardship. I love you all and miss you and hope that you have a great next week. 


elder smith

Friday, October 7, 2011


Hello everyone. It was another great week here in villahermosa. It sounds like everything is going really well back at home and i'm glad that you all enjoyed conference.

conference was a really great experience for me. it was a little different because we went to the stake center. we were there the entire day saturday and most of the day sunday. i learned a ton from conference though there were a few distractions. i watched about three talks in english with elder peine ina room with some other missionaries, but then that failed, then we went into the chapel with everyone and then the power went out and we missed like 3 talks. also in the middle of sunday morning some lady stood up and started screaming and her kid was having a seizure or something. im still not sure. it was pretty crazy but other than that, it was normal. I was able to learn a lot and to receive a lot of personal revelation through the talks of how i can be a better missionary, help my investigators and how i can better myself as a person as a whole. 

i learned a lot about overcoming trials, the importance of the work that i do and most of all the importance of having the spirit and love. The spirit will guide us and will protect us, even when we are in the most difficult of times. it is the comforter, but also teaches us all things that we should do. as a missionary i am going to strive more and more to be able to listen to the spirit and act on what i receive. there was the talk by the guy from sunday school i cant remember his name, but he said there was a difference between having the spirit and teaching with the spirit. i have found that to be very true. there isa reason that we dont give memorized discussions anymore. it is because it limits the guidance of the spirit. it reminded me of a talk of elder holland before that talks about "if you have not the spirit ye shall not teach". he says that this is commandment language, like thou shalt not kill. if i dont follow the spirit it doesnt do much good to have the spirit, and i cant teach without it. i have been working harder and harder in understanding my role asa missionary and person in this world and how i can transfer what i learn to an eternal spectrum. there was the talk i think by elder cook that said, most of the things we worry about arent of eternal importnace, and when they are we can depend on the lord to help us resolve them. it is something i am impressed with president monson. even though he has so much of a mantle and responsiblilty, he is cheerful, loveable and loving. he is not overcome by his calling. he is able to do it only because 1 he is a prophet of god, and 2 he relies fully and completely on the spirit and has an eternal perspective. it is something that i read about in the talks they gave at presidnet hinkleys funeral a few weeeks ago that he was the same. his most commonly used phrase when faced with a large problem concerning the church was "oh, things will work out".  i love the mission and this opportunity to learn how to deal with responsibilty, relying on the lord, and staying positive in all situations. 

i had an opportunity to test that when on saturday our baptism fell through, basically for a member who decided they didnt want to come to conference and who was supposed to bring the investigator (natividad). i figure all is well and that we will better prepare nati who needs more preparation and use it as an opportunity to teach the less active family who didnt complete. hopefully we can help both

it was interesting here early in the week. a vile of the popes blood and one of his cloaks or something came to pomoca. it was really weird to talk to ppl in the streets about it. i used it to contact though and talked about how we believe in a living prophet and how they would hvaae the chance to hear him this week. nobody took the offer but hopefully they learned a little. 

we had a cool lesson sunday night. sunday night was hard. we got back, had a lesson where we couldnt teach too much because he was really busy, then went to a family that i love and the dad said basically he didnt want anything to do with us or god and wouldnt even let us talk, it was rough, but walking away from that instead of putting my head down, i followed president monsons advice and kept looking up. we talked to each person we passed, and then we talked to one guy and he invited us to come in and talk. he is a psycologist and intelligent, which helped a lot in our lesson. he was catholic but not active, but did know about the scriptures. i feel like he will progress and be able to be baptized. he askes the questions such as why are there so many churches and how do we know who has the authority. i told him we didnt have time then but tonight we are going to teach him the restoration and i have high hopes for him. 

I love the mission and am grateful for the life lessons that i can learn and for living prophets and apostles. I know that this is the true church of jesus christ in its fullness. i know that the book of mormon is the word of god and the evidence we have of the restoration. as elder holland says and the 70 that talked about the book of mormon, we cannot come to know for ourselves if the church is true until we embrace the divinity of the book of mormon and its teachings. it teaches us and answers the questions of our souls. read it and pray about it and expect and answer from god and he will give it to us. I love you all and miss you and hope you have a great next week. 


elder smith 

pictures: baptism of judith, the door was locks so i had to climb over stuff to get the door open without the key, me and my hijos in the mission elder watts and elder peine, daughter of judith (3) with my tie and nametag,