Wednesday, November 30, 2011


hola familia. i hope that everyone had a great thanksgiving and is getting back into the rhythm of everything again. everything here is going well. 

i had sorta an embarrasing moment this week that was funny. we were with the zone leaders because they did a baptismal interview for one of our investigators. we were walking to our house for some papers and as we were walking i thought i saw one of my converts named paola. but i wasnt sure it was her. she was walking away from us sorta so i yelled out to her "HNA! HNA PAOLA" and she turned around and i waved and she waved back, but then my companion leaned over and said. "elder thats not paola..." it was pretty embarrassing. she was sorta confused. and i just chased  down some random 20ish aged girl and yelled at her and waved at her as a missionary. haha. everybody had a good laugh at me though ha. 

valedia is a 17 year old girl who is really great. we have taught her about 3 weeks. her parents dont want too much but she has done great. she has read, prayed, come to church, takes notes on what she reads, and received an answer the day after she accepted a date to be baptized where she felt the spirit and started crying. the day before her baptism her dad decided to suddenly not give his permission though he had said the whole time that he would. we had a good lesson with him but it didnt go too far in helping him say yes. we'll see what happens. 

another 15 year old girl wants to be baptized and is a friend of a member, but cant for the same reason. also a really good investigator couldnt come to church because the night before her husband got arrested and she had to go to the jail far away. 
yuri and norma got robbed this week. someone broke into their house and stole stuff and her wallet with all her credit cards and identity and everything. we walked past their house and found her outside on the phone right after it happened in tears and just said, "they robbed us". i helped her cancel her credit cards and then we had a lesson where i explained some things about challenges and about what matters most and also i gave her a blessing of comfort and counsel. it was hard on them though and theyve been scared to be in their house. the next day we went back and she was a lot better. she took it all well and chose to stay strong in her faith and increase her faith. i was worried it would be something that would make it hard for her to keep in the church. we did like 2 hours of service helping them clean the whole house and after i felt really good and so did they. they are really amazing and i love them and know they will always be strong and will be leaders in the church. 

other news. we had a thanksgiving dinner with the millan family which was really nice. they made "turkey" thought it looked and tasted like ham ha. it as really good. i did our tradition and asked everyone to go around and say what they were thankful for. i made a video too. it was really cool. 

one day we went out on this road i'd never been on into this like farm area and taught this random guy and then got a ride back in the back of somebodies truck we just flagged down sorta. they were going to the hospital and dropped us off in pomoca. 

sunday i got to speak in sacrament meeting. for a lot of reasons i felt like i should speak on why life is so hard ha. or in other words, why there is an opposition in all things. a lot of people commented that it was really powerful and that they felt the spriit. yuridia (recent convert from before) said that while i was talking she looked up and saw like a white light all around me. she said it didnt go away the whole time. that was pretty cool. it has been amazing to see the hand of the lord, even in times of lots of trial. it was definitely not an easy week, but i think i learned a lot. i think a scripture that i would use that would fit what i learned this week would be philipians 4:11 where pablo says that he has learned to be happy whatever his situation. god gives us the experiences we need in this life. we need to be willing to suffer and sacrifice when needed to be able to learn what we need to to return to his presence one day. 

i love you all and miss you

elder smith

pictures : thanksgiving with the millan. some pictures with a christmas tree in the house of a member and a recent convert. idk if is better or worse than the others. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


pictures. me in front of the chapel in tierra colorada (where we go to church each week), us with a two week old baby of a less active/one recent convert couple that we saw and blessed their house and they are going to bless the baby in december, and a puppy of a member who tried to eat me.

Hello everyone, well another week has come and gone and this week was really good. today i completed 16 months as a missionary. it is really weird to think about. in some ways i feel like i have experience. and in others i feel like im still really new. the mission definitely keeps you humble thats for sure. i am grateful for my opportunity to learn so much and to be able to work with so many amazing people and to serve the lord. i am grateful for my mission, my ward, the people here, my investigators and recent converts, my companion, and all of you at home, both friends and family. It is going to be thanksgiving, but they dont celebrate that here so itll probably be chicken and tortillas for me haha. we eat chicken almost everyday. a lot of missionaries complain, but im pretty used to chicken all the time ha, and i like it so thats good ha. and its way better than the other missions in guatamala and stuff where its pure rice and beans.
well this weeek we worked a lot. now that elder peine is done being "trained" (first two transfers) we dont have to study an extra hour and a half everyday and get to leave the house earlier. so that makes it a lot easier to get more work done. before it was really hard and we were always late, now we are on time and completing our goals. we contacted 200 people this week again. the mission goal is only 140 so that is really good for us and we are waiting for the blessings. the last time we did it we got a lot. hopefully every week we will be able to do it and start teaching more and more lessons. we are teaching about 30 lessons a week. a little less usually. we find 10 or more new investigators each week, and have just a few in church, but this week we had a girl named valedia who will hopefuly get baptized this thursday. she is super great and faithful and diligent. she is 17. we are teaching her and her parents, but her parents arent as interested. she on the other hand, reads the book of mormon everyday and takes notes, and prays and comes to church and even went to a young womens activity which most of the members dont even go to which is sad but true. we gave her a date to be baptized this week and she received an answer that the book of mormon is true the same day after we left. we went by and she told us that she read and prayed like we'd asked her and that she started crying. she was confused by why she cried and what we felt and as we explained it she understood that it was the spirit of god, and testifying of the truth. after church sunday we showed her the baptismal font and she seems good for the baptism this week or possibly next if not this.
funny note that i forgot. last week elder peine and i were interveiwed by 4 college studentes studying english in english. they needed to have an interview with a native speaker for their class. they showed up to the church one night and it was funny. elder peine took a video. theyd been studying and were in their 5th semester and were surprised how our spanish was so good in just 11 months and 3 months here in mexico. (gift of tongues :) )
other funny things. we taught a jewish person. i had never met a jewish person here, but it was a jewish person who believed in christ and everything which i hadnt heard of either. it was interesting. he'd also read the whole book of mormon. he said he wasnt too interested in going on but he'd come to church. he didnt come but maybe another day. also a little girl (the one from the picture last week with the plan of salvation book) when we walked into the house gave me a kiss on the cheek. i didnt tell president but i think its okay if i have a 5 year old girlfriend here haha.
two cool spiritual experiences. tuesday was district meeting. i wasnt too sure what i was going to give as my class, but i knew my topic. the purpose of missionary work. As i started i asked each person why they were here on the mission. it is a little more interesting to hear sister missionaries. i have been trying to help them because they havent been working very hard still. I shared a few experiences, and about the hardships i had the last few weeks, and bore my testimony that i know why i am here and that i am guided by god and that all of the blessings i receive heavily outweigh any hardships. it was something really hard for me to express and i cried a little. when i looked up, everyone else in the room was also in tears. it was a powerful moment for me as a district leader to see that i was able to receive revalation for what they needed to hear and what i needed to hear myself say. I know that this work is directed by god through his spirit.
another experience is that we met a woman named greselda. she has been in our area two weeks and we found her a few days ago. she has a little baby and separated from her boyfriend a few weeks ago. in our lesson i felt inspiried to talk about prayer. i asked her if she had prayed for help. she said yes and said she felt the sprit. a peace and warmth. for the last three days shed been praying for guidance and direction and on the third day we showed up at her door. it was just a random door we knocked on the way down the stairs. I know that god directs us and is always with us. He is conscious of our problems and our trials and is always ready to help us, if we are willing to ask. prayer is real. but prayer is not prayer unless we have the faith to know that we are really talking with god. i have been so blessed to be here in my mission. i hope you all have a great next week. i love you and miss you all and am grateful for each one of you.
elder smith

Saturday, November 19, 2011


1. zone activity
2. familia mejia and millan saying goodbye to a member who went on the mission
3. house fail : forgot the stairs and or balcony
4. little girl of a investigator we teach
5. lots of dogs sleeping in the street. cant see but there are like 10
6. at temple
7. temple
8. temple with elder peine
9. yuridias birthday. 23
(not in right order with pictures now)

Hello everyone.
well another week has come and gone and it went pretty well, but some tough stuff. some issues with a recent convert and the two girls taht were going to be baptized cant for permission issues and also dont really want to. there are some tough things that happen, but there are also some really good things. i am trying to work hard and to get everything done that we can.
well i didnt get transfered. i wasnt sure what was going to happen, but im staying here one more transfer. I told a lot of ppl i was probably going to go. since i thought it was possible, i played a song on piano in church. i made an arrangment of "come thou fount of every blessing", it turned out really good and lots of ppl complimented me and said that it brought a powerful spirit to the meeting.
we had another very successful week bringing less actives. ive decided thats definitely the mission ill do when im old. i think its a lot of fun to see ppl come back. the guy i talked about last week came and you should have seen his wife. they walked in and he came in his white shirt and everything and we went over and hugged him and shook his wifes hand and she just had a huge smile on her face. she'd gone alone to church for years and years, and now he says he's back to stay! also we brought a family of 4 that has been inactive a few years. and have activated a lot more. Its been way amazing to see how the lord guides us to find them and helps us to know what we need to do to help them. we contacted a man on the street last week and went over sunday and found out that they are members. they have 10 year old twins that aren't baptized. we had a good lesson with the parents and the mom cried. I am super excited for them.
also i had a cool experience with yuridia and norma. it was yuridias birthday so we went and ate with her and bought her a picture frame and gave here that with a picture of her baptism and also i gave her some of my american candy. the next day we were talking and she mentioned how a member came and visited her (something i am very very very grateful for) and they talked a lot about temples and sealing families, and it really impacted yuridia in the faith she has. i then told her about how when she said that she'd broken up with her boyfriend a week or so ago, i was happy because i knew god is preparing something way better and that she will be able to go to the temple. she said a few days before she broke up with him she prayed to god to know if he was who she should be with and got that answer and said she felt the same way that god answered her and that he is preparing someone for her. They are amazing investigators and are going to be strong members forever.
i love you and miss you all
elder smith

Monday, November 7, 2011


hello everyone. this was another great week here in villahermosa.

i forgot to say this last week, but there were emergency transfers again and now there are two sister missionaries in my district. it is a lot different to have sisters in my district. there have been a few problems. they are both really new in the mission and one is from ecuador and the other from peru. the sister from peru is really homesick. she had to wait three months like me before getting here but in the mission in peru where they have their mamasitas who cook for them three tiems a day and do their laundry and cleaning. its a lot harder for her here. she wanted to go home and she stayed but they hardly did anything this last week. so im trying to help them with that.

there was a few weird things that happened this week. one of which comes in my subject. we were walking and a drunk guy that speaks english started talking to us. and it was interesting, but we wrote down his addresss to visit another time and as we walked away he said "see you this weekend homie", probably one of the last things i expected to hear in mexico. also one day after finishing a lesson that was pretty good we asked them if they had any questions. the lady then turned to us and said "have you ever prayed to know what color god´s blood is?" i somewhat confused said no. and asked her why i would want/need to know what color gods blood was. she didnt answer that but said that she thought it was red, but prayed and found out it wasnt. i explained what we thought about the matter, that blood represents mortality, therefor we dont have blood when we are resurrected, but we just have glorified bodies of flesh and bone, and that god has a perfect body, and doesnt have blood. she didnt answer that but just told us to pray. it was and interesting conversation.

we had a ton of really cool lessons this week. we were able to really be guided by the spirit in finding people to teach. i heard many times this week. "its really weird that you guys showed up right now cause i was just...(whatever the thing was)" we visited many people by the direction of god this week, and it is always a mazing to see his hand in this work. i dont have much time but i just want to share a quick experience from yesterday. we went to eat after church and we wre at a house of an hermana who is active but her husband isnt. they are both endowed and sealed in the temple but he hasnt gone in years. we ate with them and then shared a message before we left. i shared the scripture in efesios that talks about how we need to always look forward and not back and that we need to look forward to the great prize that we can receive through christ. i shared a message about that and then talked pretty straight to the guy. i then used an example that i had heard. that a dad took his family to disneyland. they lived far away but they drove and it took a day or two to get there. when they got to the gate where you enter in and it has the big sign that says "disneyland" and the giant parking lot. he drove like he was going to enter but instead did a u turn. the whole family, especially the kids started screaming that he´d missed the turn, that it was the other way to disneyland, after driving a ways im sure some were in tears. after he´d gone a ways he pulled over, turned around and said, "thats what it will be like if we dont all make it to the celestial kingdom (heaven) together."

im not sure if he took his family back home or if they wnet back to disneyland, but i think ill probably do that someday. anyways they were all laughing a little and liked it a lot, but then i talked very seriously to them about why we are here in life. we live, breath, walk, eat, sleep, and do everything we do, for the sole purpose of gaining experience so that we can Return to live with our father in heaven again. as i spoke i felt the spirit powerfully and the hermana there was crying. by the end of the lesson the hermano who hadnt gone promised that he would go back to church. then invited us to come back next week for a fish dinner haha. It was a really powerful experince. and i know that it was guided by god. they have everything, but sometimes the ppl that dont go just needa little push, or sometimes a harder shove, to get back where they need to be. thats why home and visiting teaching is so importatn. its one of the most important callings in the church, and more important than any to magnify.


elder smith

Friday, November 4, 2011


Hola todos,

I hope that you have had a great week. To answer some question things that you had. This will be a short letter but a lot of cool stuff happened. The short things, I found a waterproof sidewalk outside the mission office. I signed my visa again so I’m legal in mexico until the end of my mission. I got to see a few guys from my MTC district which was really cool. They are all doing great as well. We contacted a mom and her kid and her kid was named melquesidec! We haven’t seen them yet and it wasn’t the greatest contact but we have to go for his name ha. Also there is no such thing as Halloween here. Everyone knows its Halloween and likes to remind me about it, but here iss the day of the dead. Dia de los muertos.

There is a lady named delfina that we activated that has been finding a lot of great investigadores for us and she loves to talk. It is always hard to leave cause she’ll talk to herself for like an hour if you let her. One day she had a shirt on that said “little miss chatterbox”. She didn’t know what it meant and I thought it was really funny. Everyone here wears clothes with English but don’t know what it means. We told her and it was pretty funny ha.

We had a cool experience where we showed up at the door of an investigator and they told us they had a death in the family that day. We were able to share the plan of salvation with them and it was a really great experience. i am very grateful for the atonement and for temples. We had our class in church this week on the importance of temples. And that’s the whole plan of god. We live to get a body and be tested, we have to be worthy to enter the temple, we seal our families so we’re together forever, and then we stay worthy and keep helping other people have their families to be together forever until we die.

I had a really amazing experience Sunday. Norma, Yuridia, and Natividad were all confirmed in church. I started crying when yuridia and norma were confirmed. That night we went to their house and watched the testiments. In talking after, yuridia shared her testimony. It was probably one of the most powerful experiences of my mission to hear her. She said how a week before we had found her she had spent an entire night praying to god for help. She is 22 and caring 100% for her 11 year old sister. Working and studying at the same time. She said she felt alone, sad, confused and helpless. She didn’t sleep that night and literally prayed the whole night long. I wont tell everything, but she felt a peace and calmness that the lord would help her. A week later she heard muffled voices outside and came down to see what was going on. She was resting and had a strong prompting to come down. She opened the door and there we were talking to a man working on her house. She felt like she should invite us back. And two weeks later she was baptized and a week later confirmed. She said that two weeks ago she thought it was a coincidence that we’d come, but now she sees that it wasn’t. she said “I asked for you to come”. She then looked me in the eyes and promised me that she would never fall away and that she knows that this is the true church of jesus Christ. I felt the spirit so powerfully and was in tears with her the whole time she spoke.

I am so very grateful for my mission and for my opportunity to serve the lord. I know that the work that I am doing is the most important thing I could possibly do with my time, and that I am being guided by the holy ghost to complete the will of god. I know that god lives and loves us and has very special plans for yuridia and norma and all of us.

I hope you have a great next week. I love you all and miss you very much.


elder smith