Saturday, March 31, 2012

more pics from 3-26-12

3-26-12: 4 months to go!

pictures. helped ppl chip paint and paint, road a tricycle to help someone move, eating corn with elder poulson, monkey, monkey reading little book or mormon, monkey climbing tie, kissing a chicken, baseball field in minatitlan. 

well it was an eventful week with a lot of cool experiences and some difficult ones. 

tuesday i waited in the bus station all day from 630 to 330 for all the misionaries coming and going and while waiting felt the earthquake. it was pretty cool. i thought i was just dizzy but then saw everyone else was also feeling it and realized it was an earthquake. sadly my first reaction was to take out my camera and take a video instead of run for cover. it wasnt too strong though, but just a cool feeling. it lasted like 2 minutes but was weird to feel the earth moving. i got a funny video too.. 

my new companion is named elder johnston from nevada. he is cool and really similar to me and is a great missionary so im excited to work with him.. i think we´ll have a lot of success together and have a lot of fun too. 

we found some great investigators this week that im excited about. from the family they are still suffering and we dont know why they arent coming to church. they were gone all week and got back. the little girl didnt get confirmed still and it is sad. she said she was going to church in the morning and then didnt show up. its rough. we need to work a lot with them this week. 

we got a reference from the bishop that he met in his taxi and she is named lorena. we went and met her and the first thing she said was. "i want to go to your church". i was shocked and we taught her and she is preparing to be baptized on the first of april inbetween the two sesions of conference. it is def a miracle. 

we had some great lessons with vicente also and he has been a miracle but was out of town i think this weekend and couldnt come to church so he fell off date for baptism. he is learning a lot though and reading a lot in the book of mormon. the book of mormon is the greatest tool for conversion. 

we went on divisions on friday and i went with elder poulson, who im living with next year. he is a lot of fun. the next day we got back they took us to this lady that is selling a monkey. my comp had to beg for like 15 minutes for her to let us in, but it was a ton of fun. if we could i would totally buy a monkey. it climbed all over us and was like wanting to cuddle up to you and stuff. it was way fun ha. we also taught it about the book of mormon ha. 

i completed officially 20 months this week in the mission and it is way crazy. i see all the people i know going home and find myself as the oldest missionary in the zone with two others from my generation. 

we went to a baseball stadium today for like the mexican major league team and the gate was open so we walked in and asked to see the boss to ask him if we could use the field for an activity. by the end we got intived by them to come teach the team the word of wisdom and the law of chastity. there are 28 profecional baseball players they want us to teach. we will have to figure out some sorta plan for that but should be really cool. and they said they´d lend us the field a monday we want too. 

im happy and working hard and learning a lot. i am excited for conference this week and for the zone. we are having a lot of success right now and hopefully april will be the best month in the history of the mission. 

i love you and miss you. 


elder smith

Sunday, March 25, 2012


fotos. baptism with family, with some members, i sang "im trying to be like jesus" w/ primary, birthday cake for cristal

Hello everybody, 

it was another great week here, but also a week with some challenges and sad things. 

tuesday we went on exchanges where i stayed in my area with an elder form another area in the zone. we contacted a man named vicente on the street and it was one of those where i felt like we should see him as fast as possible. we put an appointment with him for the next day. when we went he was waiting and ready. we taught the gospel of jesus christ and he accepted to be baptized the 1st of april. he said he needs to come closer to god and he has been completing with all of his commitments including reading and praying about the book of mormon. he also came with us to a baptism that two other elders were having in our zone and liked it a lot. the only bad thing is that there was a youth activity before we had helped out with and we played like 10 min of volleyball before the baptism started and he got to know ppl and it was all good, but then he hurt his ankle. i didnt think it was too bad, but he missed church because he had to go see a doctor ha. it is all fine now though, but ya the only bad thing about activities like that, though it helped him a lot so i think it was worth it. im excited for him and know he will be a future leader in the ward. 

we had some good meetings this week with pres castaƱeda and the stake presidency and also with the ward in making plans for missionary work in the stake and talking about how we can complete our goals for this year in raising the assistence and trying to split the stake the fastest time possible. 

we´ve been teaching a lot of really great ppl. we´ve been teaching the sister in law to palmira, maria and her husband javier. they dont know a lot about the gospel but they are trying and willing to learn. they have a date to be baptized together the 1st of april as well. 

we had the baptism for cristal on her birthday this last thursday. it went really well and we had a lot of members there. i sang the primary song "im trying to be like jesus" with the primary and it went well, and then their neighbor and member of the high counsel baptized her. after they brought barbacoa and cake and we sang the mexican birthday song, then i got everyone to sing "happy birthday" when they brought out the cake. there was a great spirit there and helped everyone feel unified. 

there are transfers and elder medina is going to go to palenque and i am getting a new comp named elder johnston. he is cool and i know him already. he will be a new zone leader so i will have to do a lot more of the things until he gets the hang of it. he is a good missionary though. it will be sad to leave elder medina, he has been a great companion and helped me to grow a lot. 

bad news. friday night jose fell again and drank. nobody told us. saturday jose and palmira fought because palimra was mad that he drank. it is sad that she didnt support him more and be positive. he was drinking EVERYDAY, before we found him, and he drank once in a week. i know it is harder for her to believe he can change because he had failed them so many times before and for so long, but he was really changing. everytime we met with him he had an experience where he cried telling us about, but she was always negative about him and i think it got to him. in life we need to talk initiative and do things ourselves for ourselves, but also we always need support. a positive attitude, kind words, and a compliment go much much much further than we may think, and the same goes with a bad word or tearing people down. it went much much further than i had ever imagined that saturday in the morning he left to cancun where thy lived before and we dont know when he´ll be back. we will keep working with the family here and try to contact him so that he can come back. he didnt get confirmed yet. they told us this sunday morning. it was rough. the lord blesses us with so much, but sometimes i let that get clouded out by the bad things that happen. I am eternally thankful for the knowledge that god has given me of his gospel. i have learned so much about the terrible consequences that occur when people dont keep the commandments, especially when it comes to drugs, alcohol, and adultery. it is a sad world unless we make it a better one. just as ive learned that, ive also learned that happiness is a decision. if we want to be happy, we can be. not to sound cliche or anything, but it really is true. i have learned to not be destroyed when bad things happen. whereas wehn i was reading in my journal at the start of my mission i def did ha. 

i know that god loves and knows us and that he has an eternal purpose for each of us.  i know that everything in the end turns out well and that everything that happens is for our own well being. i love and miss you all and hope you have a great next week. 


Elder Smith

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


this week went really well. we had a lot of success but also some disappointments. 

we were able to baptize the martinez lopez family which was amazing. only that we found out the day of the interviews that cristal doestnt turn 8 until the 15th. so her baptism is this week, the 15th, on her birthday.

the baptismal service was really special. we decorated the room and also played a song. we prepared like 30 min before because the other ppl that were going to do it couldnt. we did the "when i am baptized" song. i think its called that. the one that goes. "i love the see the rainbow whenever there is rain. i played the guitar to it. and figured out the chords to it pretty quick. there was a stong spirit when we sang and hno jose (the dad) started to cry. i got to baptize jose as well and when he came out of the water he started to cry again. it was amazing to see the change that god can make in the lives of these people. this family needed help or they would have shortly fallen apart. they told us they were considering divorce and everything. it is amazing to see how god calls us when they are ready. it was a miracle that we contacted them on the street, entered the house, that they accepted us so amazingly. i know that god leads and guides us when we are worthy and faithful and listening. no matter what the problem or the question, he answers and he leads us because we are his children. it is amaizng to see the humility in a grown man crying because he feels the spirit. at the end of the baptism we sang families can be together forever. i sat behind the family and felt so much love for them and for god. luckily there was a little kid sitting next to me playing or i probably would've cried also haha. 

we got to go to these waterfalls today as the zone activity. it was way fun. i really wanted to go in though. elder medina and i climbed some rocks to get around to almost behind the waterfall. it was kinda slippery though so luckily none of the other missionaries followed the bad example of the zone leaders. i took about a million pictures but the computer isnt letting me send any more for some reason so ill send more next week. 

also this week i went to villa and signed my last visa. i got there late because there werent any taxis willing to take us early in the morning so i missed my bus but i got on another one shortly after and got there. i saw a lot of my mtc friends which was great. on the bus there i saw a little blonde haired, blue eyed boy and shortly after heard a lot of english then saw two more little kids. it was weird. i asked them who they were and turns out they were some fundamentalist group that branched off from the reorganized church of jesus christ of latterday saints and that is from chihuahua, mexico in some super small colony that they just live in. the lady was really nice and tried to explain some stuff. it was interesting though haha. what are the odds. 

i love you all and miss you a ton and hope that all is well. it is weird to be planning housing and classes and stuff for byu and to think that ill be back. its excitng and very sad all at the same time. the mission is amazing and i am so grateful for all of the experiences that god has granted me and for all of the things that i have learned. I hope you have a great next week. 


elder Smith

Friday, March 9, 2012


pictures: betsy (bishops daughter) gave me a ctr ring, baptism, baptism, villahermosa a truck full of cow heads, mamela (sorta like a mexican pizza sorta, but not really)

Hello everyone,

it was another great week here in mina. i have been able have have some great experiences. 

the coolest thing that happened this week is that we had the baptism of the hna lorena. she is the mom of josue and erick who got baptized like a month ago. she has been waiting to be baptized and is really ready. it was a really powerful service and we did a lot to prepare for it. we made invitations, program, and got lots of ppl to come. also the cake that mom gave me for my birthday i hadnt made yet so i made it for the baptism in the church. it went well and everyone loves american cake. i only ate a small square but it was more fun to share it ha. in the baptism we sang families can be together forever. i played the guitar and sang one verse in english and then lorena, josue, and erick and my companion and i sang it in spanish. it went really well and sounded good. we had a recent convert give a talk, her first one ever, and she did a really great job and had a strong spirit. at the end of the service hna lorena gave the prayer and started crying in the prayer. it was really a special moment. i love this family a lot and we hope to be able to help the dad to accept also. 

the family martinez lopez is the family we have scheduled to be baptized this week. we had a meeting with the stake president and when he heard we had a whole familiy he stopped the meeting and started calling ppl to prepare the service. he said he didnt want us to do anything but that the members would. that is good because here the organization of the church isnt so good. there hant been a elders quorem presidency for my whole time here and they called a ym pres who is a recently activated recent convert. it is good and gives them an opportunity to serve, but also means a lot doesnt get done. the bishop leans on the missionaries because he has nobody else. but slowly but surely we are making progress here in the organizaton and leadership. anyways... the stake president used our phone to call the leadership, set everything up and used all of our saldo (minutes on the phone.) phones here are a jip. we get 450 pesos a month, its free to talk to missionaaries, but to members it costs anywhere from 4 to 6 pesos a minute to talk. so we get like an hour of phone talking time to members a month. he used like 150 pesos in half an hour ha. but it was good. we are preparing the family for their baptism and they are really excited. they had to go to the hospital sunday but said they are ready for the baptism still and are going to go next week. 

we had the zone leader cousel in villahermosa this week and it was really good. we go for two days and talk about how to improve the mission. our focus this month is in sanctifying ourselves. we talk about a lot of things and there is always a really powerful spirit there with all the leaders of the mission there. today we played soccer and football on an artificial turf field. soccer was fun and i think i wouldve been a lot better at soccer than i am at basketball if I'd played as much as i did basketball, but oh well. it was fun. and mexicans have no idea how to play football haha. it was fun too though.

well i love you all and miss you. i gotta go get a haircut and get to work. have a great week. 


elder smith

Friday, March 2, 2012


hello everyone. it was another great week here in mexico. i really learned a lot this week and grew. 

i have really learned what it means to pray always. ive learned about the atonement, and about the blessings god gives us when we have faith and act on impressions.

last sunday before church we were inviting our investigators to come to church. while walking i felt like we should talk to a man walking with his son. we met them outside of another church and we usually dont contact out front of another religion and we almost passed, but i decided to put my hand out and say hi. we met him and he said he was named jose and his son was named jesus. he told us we could go by tuesday in the morning. tuesday at 12 we stopped by. a young man came out after some muffled voices and asked what we wanted. we said we were looking for jose, and he said "ill see if he´s here", in other words, "ill see if he wants to come out". it usually turns into a, he´s busy, he´s in the shower, he is about to leave, or he´s not here. but he said. "he´ll come in a little. you can pass (come into the house). we sat down and jose and his son and also his wife, palmira (like where joseph smith lived ha), and cristal his daughter. and also another sister in law namd maria and her two babies. it was a really special lesson. we shared the gospel of jesus christ. faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. as we shared the message we asked them questions and they responded with sincerity. they immediatly told us their problems as many people do. and we showed them how the gospel can save them and give them more blessings as a family than they can know. as we finished we invited each of them to be baptized on the 10th of march and they all accepted. as they accepted jose began to tell us the story that we didnt know about what had just occured. he said. "the day you talked to me on the street. i was drunk. last night i had a dream where i saw someone who took me by the hand and said, `follow me`. today when you came by i thought that i would say no, because i say no to everyone. i never let ppl come in. i always tell my wife to tell them to go away, but today i said yes. i know that this is the path for me." 
as he shared this message i felt the spirit very powerfully. we werent able to teach them the whole rest of the week for problems that happened and we werent there in the morning, but we saw palmira in the week and she lit up. she really had a light about her. she expressed how happy she was to see her husband. that he was saying how they were going to go to church and how he hasnt drank. Sunday they all came to church, and they brought the young man that answered the door for us the first day as well. in sacrament meeting they took up a whole row and everyone was super excited to have them there. they cried during sacrament meeting. in the gospel principles class, they all shared their testimonies and maria made everyone in the room tear up. they shared how god loved them and how this was the path for them. in priesthood we had to go into the high counsel room because the priesthood didnt fit in our normal room. the bishop thanked them for coming and jose shared his testimony again. he explained how since the moment we talked to them on the street he hasnt drank a drop of alcohol and how he is going to come to church every week. in this moment i felt the spirit as a warmth. not to sound cliche but i felt like god was hugging me. i felt warmth and peace. 

I know that god has prepared this family. i know that he leads and guides all of his children and that this is the church of jesus christ. i know that families can be together forever and that god has a very special plan for this family. 

this next week the hna lorena (mom of josue y erick) will be baptized and next week, this family! 

i love you all and miss you and hope you have an amazing week. 


elder smith