Tuesday, May 1, 2012


lots of pictures and a lot more that i didnt send ha. 

this was a great week and we had a lot of success and got a lot done. 

this was my last week here in mina and i could say taht it was my best week here. we worked hard this week with tania so that she could get married and baptized. she is someone really special and is going to do great things. she doesnt have a lot of support from her inlaws, even though they are all members, they are all still inactive. the wedding went well but took a long time. it is a lot different than in the united states. here you just show up with your license and birth certificate and sign some papers and give them 500 pesos. also the rest of the family didnt take it too seriously so that was kinda sad. at one point they were signing the paper and the mom said, "its going to be for the rest of your life!" as a joke and then the judge lady said, "well we´ll see, probably not." it is a little bit of a sad perspective but something that has become true now a days. they are happy though and tania was able to get baptized.

her baptismal service was really great. we had some great talks. one by a girl named rosario and then another one by our recent convert of two weeks named vicente. he is on fire! he has the priesthood and is going to every activity there is. he is going to be a leader in the church for sure. we asked him to bare his testimony because one of the assigned speakers didnt show up. he w/out preparation gave an awesome testimony and shared something i didnt know. he said that before we talked to him on the street that day, he had been praying to god that he would put someone in his path who would help him in his life. shortly after i contacted him while on exchanges and he has been progressing ever since. it was a really powerful testimony and helped a lot. i got to baptize tania which was awesome and then elder johnston did the confirmation the next day in church.

i had a way cool interview for baptism with a lady who is basically constrained to a bed. she is having dialysis. i walked into her room and immediatly felt the spirit. the interview went really well and at the end i asked her to pray and she said no because she didnt feel she was good at it yet. i asked her to again and she said yes. she started to pray and immediatly broke into tears, thanking god for the blessings in her life and for the savior. she has such great faith and it was a testimony builder to me that even when physically we have little to nothing, god can make us powerfully spiritually. 

sunday was probably my best sunday in the mission as well. it was basically like a farewell for me ha. elder johnston and i spoke and i played a piano solo that i arranged to "if you could hie to kolob". after i helped do some things that they asked me to with the primary lke give away presents for "kids day" and they took a picture with us with them cause i was leaving. 

before my talk i had been praying really hard to first know what i should speak on, and then once i got to church that i would be guided to say what i needed to. Elder johnston gave a really great talk about the importance and significance of the sacrament. then i played the piano solo, and then i got to speak. the spirit was really powerful after i played the song and i told everyone i was leaving and thanked them for all of their love and support and service. i then spoke on the subject of answering the question of "why are we here" or "what is our purpose". I read some scriptures in moses 1:39 and DandC 11:20 and then shared a quote i liked by a 70 from conference that said, being active in the church and the gospel are not the same thing. i looked at the congregation after a few minutes and could see the staight scripture talk was not going so well, so i left my notes a little and started to speak about an experience i had in sacrament that day. Our convert Vicente and a recently activated and ordained priest named ricardo blessed the sacrament. when i looked at them during the sacrament i understood a little more about what christ did for us. i talked about the power christ has to change our lives and asked the people. Where was vicente and ricardo 4 weeks ago? vicente didnt know what the church was and ricardo was who knows where but because christ loves them and they obeyed, now they are servants of god´s army. as i spoke about them i got choked up a bit and had to stop speaking. that is when the spirit started to come really strongly.  i shared a quote by president monson about how we are a chosen generation and shared a few other points about what we need to do in this life. the to close i read my favorite scripture in mosiah 14:3-6 and then finished with a story. i asked everyone to close their eyes. i then described what it would be like to return back to the presence of god. describing ascending up and seeing the light and then seeing christ and being in his presence and telling him that in this life we served him with all of our heart might mind and strength. i then read Matthew 25:23 that basically said. well done, my good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over few things, i will make thee ruler over many things. enter into the rest of thy Lord. as i read that scripture i started to cry as well. the spirit was there so strong. i looked as i finished my talk at the congregation and just about the whole ward crying. I know taht that is our purpose. to one day return to live with god. the more we can remeber the faith we have the more often we have powerful spiritual experiences, the more power we will have to overcome the temptations of this life and return with our families, to the presence of god. 

i love you all and miss you very much. sorry its a little long this week ha, but it was a good. week. i am sad to leave my comp and all of the members and people here in mina, but i know that god directs this work and there will be many more experiences in store. hope you have an amazing next week.


elder smith 

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