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 castaƱeda 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

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