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

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