Monday, January 23, 2012


pictures: group of niños that we taught when i went on divisions. it was the first lesson we had wih them all and this week 6 of them will get baptized there! the girls wanted one with me too, my little novias haha. we had a ward family night and the game was eat the donut from the string without hands. on the left is josue our investigator that will be baptized this week, hopefully with his family. after i went and my statagy worked but had consequences haha.

Hello everyone. hope you all had an excellent week and are doing well. 

this was a great week here in mexico. it has started to get hot again. i had forgotten what it felt like to be really hot while walking around all day, but today has been the hottest in a while and it'll probably stay around for a while, like until i leave haha. it is pretty crazy that this week i completed 18 months in the mission. it feels really weird to have been out so long and at the same time to only have a little left. hopefully ill be able to get a lot done in the last time i have left. 

from the pictures you can see that i taught some more kids this week. we did divisions a lot this week and i went to an area called paquital with one of our district leaders named elder warren. they had a family come up and say they had some kids that hadnt been baptized. we went by to teach them and there were a ton of little kids with lots of energy and we are best friends haha. it was a lot of fun to teach them and they all now have a date to be baptized this week. it is truly a miracle. the zone had been baptizing only like 6 or 7 people the last few months and was the worst in the mission basically. from what we have lined up for this week we should finish the month with about 22 baptisms which would really be a miracle. the missionaries are excited and it should be really great. though this is a month with 5 weeks but hopefully we'll keep up the hard work. 

the family we've been teaching are named lorena, josue, and erick. they are really great and we have seen a lot of progress in them. we hope that all three will be able to get baptized this week. they have a store next door to some members and we teach them either outside the store or sometimes we go in. we have taught mostly josue, but the mom has also been reading a lot and praying and has an answer but will need help to have the faith to be baptized. that is our goal for this week to help her. pray for her. 

we have been giving "how to get your girlfriend to marry you" tips to one of our investigators who is trying to keep the law of chastity with his girlfriend. they have lived together 6 years and have a kid together but the girlfriend says that she doesnt want to. its a crazy story. he was on his own at 12 years old and then was living with this girl at 13 years old. they now are 19. he is humble and warming up to us, but we´ve been helping him to be better to his wife and coaching him on how to talk to her and take her out on dates and stuff so she´ll see that he does really want to marry her. its pretty funny but good to see that he has the intention to keep the commandments. 

the biggest miracle in the zone this week is that there was an investigator that we had thought had killed someone in his past when he was like 15 he is now like 70 something. he has changed and grown a lot spiritually and got divorced and married this last week which is a miracle in itself. to get baptized with a sin like that you need to write a letter to the prophet. in the interview it came out that he really didnt kill anyone but just pushed a guy and he got hurt. in his prayer at the end of the interview he said to god "help me to follow this path i know that i didnt kill anyone and that this baptism is valid in thy eyes". it was a huge miracle and him and his wife were both baptized. 

the donut pictures were from a ward activity. josue won his turn. i tried to do it fast by putting the whole donut in my mouth. i did that, but i couldnt pull it all off the rope. i ended up slingshotting a piece of donut at the girl who was taking the photos and it hit her in the forehead. it was really funny haha. and we all had a good laugh. 

other events. i ate cow eye, tongue, head, and cheek tacos this week. i didnt know what they were at the time, but it tasted normal. a little soft. 

also we are practicing a choir for the stake conference in two weeks. a 70 is going to come and the temple presidency and mission president. i am in charge of the choir. we are doing be still my soul, but in spanish. it sounds pretty good and im excited for that. i will play piano for it.

i love you all and miss you very much and hope that all is well. have a great next week. 


elder smith. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Hello everyone,
well today i only have 9 minutes to write so its gonna be cliff notes version.
i got to go back to la venta! it was way cool. hna patty who had the dreams about me and getting baptized and stuff got baptized this week and i got permision from president to go and baptize her. i got to see a lot of ppl from la venta and it was crazy to be there again. at times the mission flies by and others it seems like so long ago that i was a new missionary not knowing spanish or how to teach or anything when i got to la venta. it was so great to see the people there and to see some converts. the little boy is a convert of mine named josue and wouldnt stop hugging me the whole time i was there ha. he is great and is going to be an awesome missionary. he had a hard life. could barely read, worked 13 hours a day for 2 dollars and didnt have a good home life. he is now living with members and sang perfectly reading the hymn at the baptism and is at church every week. it is amazing the changes the gospel makes in lives. the hna patty was really excited too and it was really great. the baptism was at like 8 at night though so that was different and COLD! haha
we had a lot of miracles this week. we did exchanges with the assistants again and i went with elder barrios. we contacted references and ppl we'd talked to and made appointments with for like 2 and a half hours and nobody was there or would let us in. i kept a positive attitude (that has been the focus for me because of the talk by pres monson in the january liahona) or ensign, and i prayed for guidance. turned my head saw a house looked the other way and felt good about the first house. knocked the door. there were 30 boxes of beer outside, the lady came out and said "isnt it a little late to be out..." but we talked and preached the gospel to her and she let us in. she had two sons of 13 and 18 years and by the end the 18 year old that was playing video games at the start, cried because he knew god had sent us to give this message to his family that really needed it. that also made the mom cry and almost me hah. the spirit was really powerful.
also we are teaching another family and a 13 year old boy got and answer about the book of mormon. he said "i read and prayed and felt something really weird right here (pointing to his chest)" my comp said, "thats what it feels like when god answers us. it was a good feeling right? of peace and happiness?" and the boy (josue) said "Wow, god answered me". it was way cool and i felt the spirit.
also a daughter of a convert that has about 3 months in the church came to church this week. she had never talked to us before and didnt want to. we had a lesson with her and her and a step daughter of the same convert accepted to be baptized. it was way powerful too and i know something that the hna claudia (convert) has been waiting for, because almost no one in her fam accepts her.
okay well i am out of time. i love you all and miss you a ton. my time is running by fast and i am enjoying every minute of it and learning so much. i am thankful for my heavenly father for this opporutnidad and am so happy to be here and share the gospel. i know that this is true what i teach and that this is the true church of jesus christ witha living prophet in these days.

have a great week
elder smith

Sunday, January 15, 2012


las fotos: surprise birthday cake on the 2nd. they shove your face into it when you take a bite haha. , we played soccer on this cool turf field and elder watts was there too it was fun, i got another cake and they all sang another night after i cot back from villahermosa and they shoved my face in that one too, but just my nose got in haha


i hope that you all had a great last week and very eventful. tuesday in the night we went with president castañeda to villahermosa for the zone leader conference. he met us outside burger king at like 9 at night ha. it was funny that there were like 8 missionaries outside burger king,  and then i rode in the back with all the bags and boxes. i chose it because at first i thought it would be more comfortable than squeezed on a bench, but idk i didnt think that it was a 3 hour ride ha. it was fun though i talked to an elder the whole time and got to know him better and he is a lot like me in what he likes and stuff. the conference was really great. we talked a lot about what is happening in the mission and on how we can help all of the missionaries feel more urgency and have more initiative. it is really a principle in life. sometimes we put things off or dont put in our all because we think we can do it tomorrow, but we all know what the scriptures say about that type of attitude ah. we need to be anxiously engaged in a good cause always striving to be better and help one another. 

my birthday was actually the same day as the conference but i sorta forgot, and nobody there really knew so it was pretty much a normal day haha, getting back though some members got me cakes and i got some presents too. a girl in my ward got me a sweater cause she was helping us with a lesson one day and i kept complaining how cold i was, (sorta jokingly, but i was actually cold), but it was nice of her, and the brand name is Vitale, so that was a coincidence ha. 

the week got crazy starting friday. we had a meeting with the stake president about some stake things which was good and then we started working and had some good lessons. in the night we went to help elders in our zone go to an appointment with a family that i found in their area when we were on exchanges a few weeks ago. the family is really great and i was disappointed when they were leaving when we showed up. we taught some lessons though and it went well. when we were leaving the member that was helping us got a call and we left fast. listening in the car i wasnt sure what was happening only that his dad was sick. in the end we went to two houses looking for him and then went to a place outside a grocery store. we showed up and there was a huge group of ppl and an ambulance. someone signaled to the member we were with and my comp leaned over to me and said "he died". we went over and saw his dad in the back of a taxi. he had a heart attack and died right there. there were like 50 ppl around and it was really sad. at one point my comp asked if we could do something and the member asked us to give him a blessing. i annointed and my companion who knew the man from before when he served here gave the blessing. the member was expecting that he would give him a blessing to bring him back, but my comp gave the blessing that he would rest, that he would be able to receive the gospel in the next life. it was something hard for the member, but i felt the spirit powerfully in the blessing and had tears coming down my face as we finished. i have seen a lot of death in a short period of time here, and it always reminds me of how fragile life is. also that everything in life seems to come in groups. a lot of hardship all at once. 

the next day went well but my batteries were about done. we worked hard all day sunday and had a lot of success. we helped elders in another ward and did a bunch of splits. i went out with the bishop and we had two really great lessons and found a family that has a grandson that isnt a member that wants to be baptized. they also have a daughter that is in a wheelchair and doesnt have control of her body. i was able to give 6 blessings in two days. it is an experience where i have learned more aout the power of the priesthood and the power of faith. i have learned more also about being more direct and clear in lessons. inviting ppl to repent and be baptized because i know its the only way they can be happy. 

i feel like this whole letter is rambly, but its hard to express the experiences that i had this week. i am grateful for my mission and the things that the lord has taught me. i am greatful for my caling to be a missionary and to be a zone leader and all the things i am able to learn as i serve. i am amazed to see how the lord is able to work through me. i love you all and miss you very much and hope you all have a great next week. we should have a baptism this week that we are excited about! 


elder smith

Monday, January 2, 2012


okay well i dont have anytime today so i will just give some short points of what happened. 

i got a new comp. he is named elder medina and is from morelos mexico. he is pretty cool and i like him a lot. i am also the senior zone leader now so i dont feel as much like im being trained all over again. he served in an area in the zone at the start of his mission and he lived in the same house we live in now so he knows the area pretty well already so its gone smoothly. 

this week was pretty full and difficult. we had a baptism set for this saturday and president castañeda came and did the inverview for us, but our investigator didnt pass. he still has a few things he needs to sort out in his life. it was kinda sad, but we'll keep working with him and hoping for the best. 

ive had a lot more contact with pres castañeda this week and he has given us some more advise and is helping us, so that is good. 

the mission was putting on a movie in the two stakes in minatitlan and i had to set most of it up with the stake pres. it went really well. it was called 17 miracles about the pioneers. it was really great. we filled the stake center and almost everyone was in tears. 

i had a really cool experience. i got a call from the zone leaders in coatzacoalcos saying that a family in la venta was coming to my ward this week. that it was someone id taught and that they were going to move to my ward to get baptized. they didnt know everything but gave me a number to call. it turned out it was just one sister i had taught in la venta. she was really close to baptism but didnt make it. in the last 4 weeks she had a series of dreams that i was in. they were really cool dreams. but anyway. she was here in mina to see here family for the new year and was going to come to my ward but went to the wrong building but came after and we talked to her and she is hopefully going to get baptized the 14th of january. hopefully ill get to go to la venta and see it. i would be super super happy to be able to do that. but it was a true miracle. 

also a family here got me a cake that we ate sunday night. it was really good. there was the family, the bishop and his family and some of the other ppl from the ward that im close to and they sang happy birthday (in english) haha. and then here you have to do something called the mordida (the bite) and they always shove your face in the cake. so i did it and got my face shoved in the cake, so i got pictures but for some reason they wont load so youll have to wait til next week. the ppl here are very nice and i love them all and am excited to keep being here with them. 

there are some other things but no time. i love you all and miss you very much. hope you had a great new year. 


elder smith