Tuesday, June 26, 2012

6-25-12

hola, ¿como est├ín?

i hope that all is well and that everything is going great for you all. I have to first apologize to dad and grandpas for not saying happy fathers day last week. i wrote super fast and had remembered but then forgot when i started writing. we have been focusing a lot on family history right now as missionaries and sharing that with ppl and it has helped me to be very grateful for my family roots.  i am grateful for the example that you have given me and for all of the opportunities that you have given me and for all the things you have taught me. everyday i tell stories to ppl or use examples from my life or teach ppl the same things that you have taught me or helped me with. you are the best dad ever and i love you a ton. i also love you mom and grandpas and grandmas and all the family and my friends to the family as well :)

this week was super great. thursday we did a fireside. first we had a baptism for jesus. it went really well and there were a few investigatores that showed up to see it too. elder barrera and i sang, i need thee every hour. i played guitar and i also intended to sing the harmony part. i have never really learned how to do that too well, but i just did what sounded okay and it ended up going well. i got to baptize jesus and it was a really great service. after the baptism we gave our firside message. we watched a movie about having to change our lives and our attitudes to be able to acheive success and then talked about the message from president monson from january about "living the abundant life" or something like that "la vida abundante" about the power of our attitude. it was really great and i shared some good stories and it sorta reminded me of like being a motivational speaker mixed with preaching the gospel. it went well and then we watched a video from a clip of the movie of football like "battle of the giants" or something where a kid carries another kid on his back the whole langth of the field. set up well, it is a powerful spiritual tool and i saw various ppl crying. it was super spiritual and then after we went outside and made a fire and roasted marshmellows. it was a lot of fun and turned out really really well. a little girl of 10 years who was visiting said "i want to be baptized in this church".

sunday was a huge miracle. we have been focusing on the assistence at church and we should of had like 75 ppl or something, but even though we started the meeting with just 33, it ended up with 110! we were super excited, especially because the family of this little girl that came to the activity showed up. they are a family of 5 and really really liked the church. the dad stayed like 15 min after church ended in the room just talking with the family that brought them talking about how the theme of the day, adversity, was so perfect for his life in that moment. When they walked into the chapel i was so happy i almost cried ha. we contacted 200 people this week on the street and i kept telling my comp, if we contact everyone that passes us, we will be blessed. it was hard and we worked super hard but we were blessed. it is another example of how god always tests us. he makes us go as far as we can, until we almost cant go any farther and then in the moment where we are about to give up, if we continue to trust in him, he blesses us with everything. 

we had a ton of rain this week and i had to walk without shoes a little one day, but it was fun. we get caught in the rain sometimes,but thats alright. i love you all and miss you a ton. it is super weird that i only have 4 weeks left, but it wont hit until im like literally coming home, like on the airplane ha, so im gonna keep working hard and hopefully we will be able to have a lot of blessing. hvae fun at trek this week. 

love 

elder smith







Tuesday, June 19, 2012

6-18-12

pictures: got mad so i broke the tree (really got torn down by the storm), elder barrera with our lasagna,.  on the rooftop of part of our area, helping elder barrera with his haircut, my novia, fam that we made lasagna with, eating a lizard










well this week went really great. we had a ton of aweome experiences. i dont really have much time to tell you about them all but it was a good week. we are going to help baptize the grandson of our new ward mission leader. he is really great. we thought he wasnt going to understand a whole lot, but he surprised us all when we taught him, and he said a prayer at the end that i was able to feel the spirit so strongly that i and basically everyone else cried, including his grandpa. he is going to be a great future misionary. the ward is doing well. we have a sister named guadalupe that is doing really well. hopefully she will be baptized this coming week. she is progressing a lot. I don't know if i told you about her but she is the one whose husband died a year ago and she is living alone with her 7 year old son. she is really awesome though and invited us to eat with her today. the mission is awesome i am glad to hear everything is great at home and i am excited to come back and see you all, but i am sad that it is coming to a close here. i am going to use every minute of it. it has rained a lot and there was a pretty big storm thursday with trees falling and lots of wind and rain. we got pretty wet a few days, but we enjoy it ha. i am so grateful to be here and i have been learning a ton lately. i am practicing a hymn with the primary that they are going to sing next week in church, so hopefully that goes well. I am seeing the lords hand in everything and working hard to recieve his blessings. I love you all and miss you a ton. 

love 

elder smith

Monday, June 11, 2012

6-11-12


fotos: eating at a tacoria, me by a big spider, chilis rellenos, in the back of a truck, what we use to cook with, with a kid we found on the street with lots of turtles, me and elder barrera ready for the rain.









 
hello everyone,
 
this was another really great week and we were able to see a lot of miracles. there was a really big problem with the familia lopez barregan. the family that we have been working with since the start that we got here. one of kids lies a lot and is trying to separate the parents. his dad marcos and the hna gloria are trying to get married, but marco antonio (the kid) doesnt want them to.  anyways so he went and told the bishop and police that his step mom beat him and it created a HUGE PROBLEM. it wasnt really true, but the hna gloriela got mad because the bishop talked to the police. the bishop didnt know that the kid was lying and without explaining a lot, the bishop did what i or anyone would have done in the situation. they didnt say anything bad to the police like go throw her in jail. they just returned the kid home when his dad got there and there was no problem really, but the hna gloria got really mad at the bishop. we got thrown into the middle of the problem without understanding what happened. one miracle is that the day it happened in the night we showed up because they asked us to and then the relief society presidency showed up at the same time. I hoped we would just do a normal lesson but the hna gloriela got mad and told us about it....ha. but luckily the 2nd couselor is a phyciatrist and helped a ton. it was a way cool lesson. we mixed psychology with the gospel. by the end of the lesson. marco antonio and gloriela and marcos were all hugging and crying. It was something really powerful to see. from feelings of hate to love. the spirit was there so strong and it was a true miracle that i know god touched their hearts. sunday we were able to meet with the bishop and the family and fix talk that problem out as well so right now, everything is good. they should get married this week or next and then get baptized. missionary work can be a lot or work mentally, physically and psychologically ha.
 
also we had a miracle that we found a lady named guadalupe whose husband died a year ago. she came to church and we found her some friends who are members and she is set for baptism after we teach her everything else.
 
this week we also found a really great family. it was literally the very last house at the very end of the colony. we went and they let us in and it went really well. i learned a little more what it means to be humble. here everyone says humble is just a nice way to say they are poor, but really that has nothing to do with it. i learned humility is just doing what the lord asks and not depending on ourselves, but trusting in him.
 
i got really mad yesterday at a guy who tried to bible bash. idk why i got so mad. not at him, but just afterwords. i still have a ways to go until i can develop more charity for people like that ha, but i learned a lot from the situation. i read in the manual of george albert smith about missionary work and in my talk i gave this week in church i used a quote from it that says basically this, "i;ve never been ashamed to preach the gospel. idk why i would need to be ashamed just because i know the truth and someone else doesnt know it." he said it isnt our responsibility to make them know that it is true but it is our responsibilty to help them know how they can know. i know that this is the true church of jesus christ. that there is a living prophet and 12 apostles and that we have the priesthood auhtority of god to complete with the ordanances of salvation, including the sealing of a family. all that god does all that he did and will do is for our happiness, if we are willing to humble ourselves before him and trust in him always.
 
today i am going to help an hermana make lasagna. she asked if i knew how and i said that i saw my mom make it once. so we´ll see how it goes haha. everything here is going really well. we are preparing a fireside next week. nobody here really knows what that is and they thought an actually "fire" was mandatory, so next week we are going to make a fire, and bring marshmellows and everything and we are giving the class. we´re making it a ward tradition once a month.

i am loving the mission and seeing changes here in the ward. i played my come thou fount song in sacrament meeting and they all liked it. also we decided to have the primary sing a song in church in two weeks to try and bring more ppl to sacrament meeting and we practiced sunday. the ward got excited in the ward counsel and said they are going to rotate an organization to have a special number each week now!
 
i love you all and miss you and hope you have a great wek.
 
love
 
elder smith

Monday, June 4, 2012

6-4-12

this week went really well. i dont have like any time today im already late cause i had to go to the mission office to pick up my new temple recommend from presidnete and i went into his office after waiting like an hour an a half or something and then got to talk with him for a little bit which was nice though. he knows a lot and is super spiritual. you can feel it when you walk in. but due to that today i didnt have much time for stuff. 

the ward is doing great. we had a baptism this week. he is named jose and is from teapa. i learned that part of my area also includes the state of chiapus and a whole nother county! so its even bigger than i thought. jose is awesome and his parents are too, but the cant get married for issues with their papers. 

we had an assistence of 99 in church on sunday and in the ward counsel with all the leaders they were all super pumped. the ward counsel is really great too because everyone comes and the bishop just says, "elders, howd the week go?" and we share whats happening and what we need. and all the leaders say what they are going to do to help. and thats basically the whole ward counsel. 

our goal this week is to only teach complete families. that is the best way to progress. we have talked to a lot of families. there are so many problems due to disobedience to the commandments that destroy families. but we have been able to teach a lot of ppl and help them to begin to understand and receive the blessings in their families as they live the gospel of jesus christ. 

im focusing on a lot of things and learning a ton. i cant express in these letters all of the amazing experiences and the spirit that i am able to feel as a missionary. every day my testimony is strengthened and i receive spiritual confirmation that this is the true chruch of jesus christ and that christ lives and loves each one of us. I love you all and miss you a ton. and wish i could explain more, but no time. have a great next week. 

love 

elder smith

pictures. baptism of jose with his family, outside the church with elder barrera. i played "i feel my saviors love" and everyone said they liked it a lot and brought a great spirit, on the bus to teapa, it is a little scary haha and super super bumpy ha, but its alright ha always an experience