Monday, April 23, 2012


well im about to start my last week here in my area. it was a great last week and i am really enjoying my time here and seeing a lot of growth and changes in the ward. In my letter to president castañeda last week i asked him if i could train a new missionary again for my last two transfers. I have found that i really do like training. i am thankful for the time i have had to serve as a zone leader and i have learned a lot, but feel as though i will be able to grow more now serving as a trainer. President called me one night and talked to me about it, and sent in his letter a hint at that that is what i am going to be doing. that would mean i would go to a new area and get a brand new missionary. new experiences are always good. 

this week we focused a lot on tania. she is really doing great. i am amazed at how much she learns just hearing things once. i think i have become really accustomed to ppl not listening very well, and she actually listens and remembers almost everything we say. she has a baptism for this saturday. we just need to take her and her husband to get married. i called the judge today and he said any day this week we can go. it is pretty simple here to get marreid. 500 pesos, your license and birth certificate and thats it. they are excited and hopefully we can help the whole family of her husband who is inactive. we brought a few of them to church this week. 

we´ve had a little trouble the last few weeks finding ppl to teach. that hasnt been a problem for me really ever. there are always people, but it has been hard lately. though in that aspect it has been hard, we have been working a lot with the ward. i told dad in his letter a little about the ward. when i got here there was hardly no organization. no presidents of primary, elders, sumo sacerdotes, or young men. now it is starting to all come together. we have really great presidents of primary and elders and young men has a recent convert as president that doesnt really know very much, but we are working with them all and they are growing a lot and starting to work. for example yesterday we went and did visits with the ward. not too many showed up, but we went out with the first couselor of the bishop who is less active. we talked to him and he told us about his conversion three years ago and how they were sealed as a family in the temple two years ago, about his job, and we got to know him a little better. he left more excited to work and hopefully we see change. from the visits we did we found a TON of new families of less actives that we can help and a lot that have people in the family that arent baptized. we found a house with like 25 ppl i bet with only one active member who is assisting another ward. though i wont be here to see much of the change, i know that the ward right now is going to start to explode and that it is going to be a new ward very soon, and for that i am happy. 

this week also vicente, who got baptized last week, received the priesthood! i am excited for him. he is going to be called as a ward missionary and help us. he has been going to institute and going to all the activities. he even came to do visits sunday. like three days this week he was in church for like 6 hours ha. 

we had a great primary activity this saturday where we set up a scavanger hunt and at the end we had book of mormons wrapped up in gold paper that we gave out to the investigators. hopefully we´ll find some good teaching opportunities there. it was fun. the 30th here is Childrens day. just like mothers day or fathers day. there was food and a piñata and games and stuff and it was cool.

today for our zone activity we went to a profecional baseball team stadium and played a soft pitch baseball game against another zone. we made jerseys and got food and everything. elder johnston and i organized it with the zone leaders of acayucan and it turned out really great. nobody got hurt and even the sister missionaries liked it ha. we took a lot of pictures but i forgot my converter so it'll have to wait til next week for the pictures. 

well everything is going really well. a lot is happening and i am excited for a lot more and to keep learning and having spiritual experiences. the offices called me this week and asked me which airport i was going to return to so they could start to buy the tickets and stuff. that is a little weird and i know the last time is going to go by too fast, but i will work hard to make the last three months the best and where i grow the most. I love you and and miss you a ton. have a great week. 


elder smith

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


pictures. pizza, elder johnston went to the dentist, baptism of hno vicente

hello everybody. it was another great week here and i learned a lot and had some amazing experiences. 

we have been struggling a little to find good investigatores. it seems we find them and they seem to be really great and then they dont turn out to want to talk anymore or they just want to talk but they dont want to do anything else. it has been a good experience and we have been focusing a lot on trying to help the zone to improve. there were a few problems in the zone this week that we had to try and resolve. we had to go to a companionship and have a talk with them because they werent getting along very well. hopefully it helped, we´ll have to see the affects in the long run. you learn a lot of things in the mission, like problem solving, having good relationships with ppl, patience, diligence, love. and lots more. all of which you have to apply everyday. i am grateful for the things i am able to learn from other ppl and the experiences i am able to have. 

we took elder johnston to the dentist one day because his bridge fell out. that was an interesting experience. i call the doctors and dentists here doctors in a box. because they just have a tiny little room where they work. this dentist just had to glue the bridge back in but he said he was a sergical dentist. i think he has the same time as dad does in dentistry. i dont think id trust him to do surgery though. he was nice though and we invited him to come to church. 

tania and carlos are progressing well. tania came to church this week and really liked it. we had a great lesson with her where we taught her the restoration. she is only 19 but she understood the principles of the priesthood and apostasy better than like 90% of the ppl i teach here. she wants it all to be true and is preparing to be baptized the 29th. tomorrow we are going to go to set the date for their wedding. hopefully it will be this friday. 

we had a zone conference this week. presidente castañeda came and talked a lot about how we can improve. he talked a lot about the things we talked about in the zone leader council. he talked about having an eternal perspective. of thinking about why we do the things we do. we baptize so that they can be converted so they can have eternal life. we are preparing these ppl for eternal life. sometimes we get caught up in the stress or technicality of things and forget the divinity of our life and existence. when we focus on the big picture and work to please god in all we do, we will be happier and accomplish much more in this life. he also talked a lot about the atonement and brought a very powerful spirit. i didnt even want to leave the room after he talked when there was the break. we talked about a scripture in mosiah 27:28 that says we have to repent almost unto death. we talked about what that means. we came to the conclusion that we have to go to our own Gethsemane. we have to understand really what christ did for us, and feel some of his pain. he talked about how many of the apostles and profetas are known for crying in every sacrament meeting. it is the most important meeting in all of the church. 

saturday we had the baptism for hno vicente. it went really well and there was a powerful spirit there. I got to play a song and sing. i chose "love at home", though in spanish its called "cuando hay amor or When there is love" and the words are a little more general not just about love at home. it went really well and i felt the spirit as i sang, and many ppl told me that it brought a great spirit to the service. elder johnston baptized vicente and at church the next day i got to confirm him. it was a great experience. he is an amazing guy and has a strong testimony. he has read and prayed everyday and understands everything. he is part of the ward already and is going to be a future leader for sure. next week he should receive the priesthood. he is 27. it will be amazing to be able to see his progress. 

well thats just about everything. it was a great week and i learned a lot. i love the mission and am so greatful to be here. it is super super hot now. i told mom that i went to sleep last night and at 10:30 it was 92 degrees in our room and we just have one fan to share ha. all part of the experience though. the ppl are amazing and we´re working hard to build zion here in minatitlan. i love you all and miss you a ton.


elder smith

Monday, April 9, 2012


pictures. got my easter package (thank you mom and fam!), mission pres came for a youth conference, my second pair of retired shoes i have one more that will last til the end though for sure doc martens, the kid we helped, food on sunday.

hello everyone. it was another amazing week here in mexico and we had a lot of really great expereinces. 

we had the opportunity to go to villahermosa for the zone leader cousel. we always have a two day meeting there where we talk a lot about the problems in the mission and how we can do better. our zone did really well compared to the others but we are trying to improve because the mission has been a little down. this month we put a huge mission goal and we are going to work hard to reach it. we talked a lot about the "real growth" of the church. we dont want to just baptize and then have the converts fall away, but the key is to help people really arrive at the conversion before baptism and then work with the members after so that they can stay together. we talked about how we can achieve that goal and it was mostly focused on becoming truly like christ, which was something that i had been focused on the days before we got there. it is amazing to see how the spirit prepares all of the mission leaders for the conference and share exactly what the mission needs. 

a funny thing. i saw a tv when i was leaving a house and it was the three ninjas on tv. 

we worked really hard with all the missionaries in the zone this week. we are trying to get them really motivated and to have more faith to see miracles. last week we challenged them to find 2 people to baptize in that very week that didnt have dates before. and this week we are trying to put 40 baptismal dates as a zone this week. we have seen a lot of miracles and i know we will continue to see them as we exercise more faith.

we´ve been working hard with vicente and he is progressing really well. he has read a ton of the book of mormon and all of the pamphlets we´ve left and is developing an increasingly powerful testimony. he will be baptized this saturday. also we´ve been working witha couple named carlos and tania. carlos is an inactive member and tania isnt a member. we committed them to getting married this week and they are excited and feeling the spirit doing their family prayer every night. 

other funny stories. we helped a little kid who got his arm stuck trying to reach a coin he dropped. his arm was caught between a metal fence protection. thats the picture. i asked for oil and then we got a crowbar to get him out. it was odd. also in the same house that we ate mungungo last week she gave us that fish. i liked it and ate two, but elder johnston didnt like it too much haha. 

anyways there are a lot of great things happening here. we changed houses too and our new house is a lot nicer and just us two there which is better as well. im loving the mission and learning a lot and have a lot to get done and a lot to learn in the time i have left. love you and and miss you a ton. and hope you have a great next week. 


elder smith

Saturday, April 7, 2012


well not hardly any time today sorry. i love you all and miss you a ton. this week was full of miracles and i learned a ton in conference. 

coolest things that happened is that our investigator vicente came to conference with his niece and they liked it a lot. vicente will get baptized the 14th and hopefully we can start to talk to the niece. the members helped them a lot to feel comfortable and talk to them and everything. 

we did service for a convert of mine that is really poor. it is really dirty. he is old and cant work and his fam doesnt help him at all. it was fun and we helped him a lot. 

conference was awesome. i loved it and watched it in english for the first time in 2 years haha. much more powerful in english. 

had some hard times with an investigator who has a controling husband. they arent married and he wont leave or let her do anything. it is hard. she has a growing testimony and has received answers to prayers but needs the gospel but he wont let her. we´ll see what happens.

we found and met a ton of really great new investigators this week and are teaching a ton. hopefully we can help a few families to be baptized in the coming weeks. 

we ate mundungo. which is cow stomach. i hate it. i had it once in the mission before but ate it all. this time i ate like half then had to stop or i woulda thrown up. my comp took like all of his and wrapped it up in a paper and put it in his backpack. i wasnt so fortunate to have the opportunity ha. its super chewy and smells like garbage haha. it was an experience though. 

i love you and miss you and hope you have a great week. 


elder smith