Monday, October 26, 2015

Well this week was riddled with highs and lows and ups and downs

Well this week was riddled with highs and lows and ups and downs. It started out with a big down Tuesday morning. At 3:00 I woke up super sick, and I wasn't able to fall asleep until 8:30 after a blessing. But the sleep was only for an hour after which I was required to go to the doctor...something i did not want to do because we had various important meetings. But yeah, it was rough. We had a ride to the doctor's office and I got medicine and had to go home to rest. 
But we took the bus home..and had like a 5-7 minute walk from the bus stop to the house and those were the longest minutes of my life. I literally was spinning at the stairs of our apartment. And so yeah, that sucked. It was something we ate i believe because our other american companion got slightly sick, too. 

Moving on to Friday when we got caught in the rains. It was raining very lightly and then at like 2:00 it got super windy and rainy. That was all alright except it also got really cold and then the streets flooded and we went home an hour early. We were freezing and well there isn't hot water right. So we put the iron in a bucket of water to heat it up because first it was the only way since we don't have a stove and second, I had heard that it works fine. I realize it wasn't the smartest thing to do..but there was hot water haha!

On to investigators. The best part..Sunday the trial of patience finally ended, I believe. The Santos family came to church. They consist of 3 kids from ages 19 to 13 to 12. The kids invited neighborhood friends to come, we very happy and felt very blessed. This week is going to be crucial with them. But the ward appears ready to support us with them. We will see! In the district we also have two baptisms planned this Saturday and other investigators ready after them. Everything is really looking up! :) I am super positive and feel just ultimately blessed! Thanks for all your prayers!

Elder Smith

Monday, October 19, 2015

Our biggest challenge is finding people that are ready to do things now.

I wish I had a lot to write this week, but I will write what I can remember...

First, everyone here (being close to the border) just does American things or traditions, apparently - Halloween being one of them. Now I got to Mexico last year like October 30th or something like that but I don't remember at all if the kids went trick or treating. They say in some parts they do but who knows. Knocking on doors is going to be interesting I assume...

A lot of people hate Halloween here because accordingly it is a day to honor witches and black magic and supernatural suggestively-evil things. So we started to talk about the origin of Halloween one night when we had to go to the apartment early because of the condition of the city. And while on the roof our conversation took a turn to the stars and other worlds and other beings and 2 of my companions are now convinced that they want to study astronomy hahaha. The stars have one gorgeous effect, eh?

We searched out some less active people this week. We found one who now has joined another church and has tried to repress her baptismal covenants and church activity from before...which was humorous to see but sad to think about. 

We found a store where an older man buys food from Brownsville, the McAllen of Matamoros, and sells it here. I just about had a heart attack seeing and buying Frosted Mini Wheats for the first time in what seemed like a lifetime.

We found various families this week..but just weren't able to accomplish what we needed to with them. Our biggest challenge is finding people that are ready to do things now. I don't like learning patience - ha ha.

Much love to my family for all their prayers and gifts! I can't imagine being on the mission alone without you all holding me up!

Elder Smith

Monday, October 12, 2015

I was praying and begging for a miracle...

This week we had some trials that made us lose some time to proselyte. For example, Friday we saw heavy rain and had to go to the house for the evening because the streets  convert to flowing rivers. Sunday after church we had to go to the house for safety reasons. But on the other days we talked to a lot of people. We didn't teach as many people as we would like, but I am happy, mainly because we get another week starting tomorrow. 

Anita is having challenges. Someone at her work made awful accusations about the member and co-worker who invited her to church. And if that wasn't enough, her son is going to a different church so she thinks it would be better to just go where he goes so they will be unified. The son went to our ward once but with a bad spirit and chose not to join with his mother in attending after that. So we arrived at her house with these problems. Luckily, the Spirit beats all of those things and she went to church. But she is still not "ready" for baptism. The most frustrating part is that she won't even let us talk about baptism so we aren't really going to go there until she gets a little more "ready".

With our other investigators, I wasn't very confident in them coming to church, and as I anticipated they didn't. But the miracle was that i knew we had worked super hard and given it our all. So I knew there had to be a blessing. I was praying and begging for a miracle. And a member brought a family member that i didn't know so I feel very blessed for that. 

I finshed The Great Apostasy which I highly reccommend for anyone that wants to know why the Catholic church does all the things it does and what really happened in the Apostasy. I have read various books (gracias a mis padres :D) which teach me so much! I'm currently reading The Articles of Faith and a compilation of talks by Henry B Eyering which is awesome.

This week was also all about chile. in almost every food my companions and I had chile eating contests. There are these little chiles called chile del monte that are so so so spicy for being so tiny. We laughed, suffered, drank a lot of water and took some great videos. Sadly, I did not have my camera :(

Anyway that was my week.. here's to it being better starting tomorrow!

Elder Smith

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

General Conference this week, old companion and those searching for the truth

This week just flew by with Conference. I like to call Conference weekend the missionary vacation because it is the only 2 days of just not doing very much but sitting.

We are currently teaching Maria, who is the mother of a recent convert and very good! Her challenge is that she, like every other Mexican with Catholic roots, has and likes the idols. Which are like the Virgin Mary and the Saints and she has pictures and figures and so forth. We just have to help her understand that we only serve and adore one God.

Another investigator is Anita, who came to the Conference! She is..well, we just don't see her enough. The problem with her is she is a successful, independent business woman and she doesn't want anyone, not even representatives of Jesus Christ, inviting her to get baptized on a specific date. So that is frustrating.

We have one family that could be gold..we just need to meet the father. We have changed some of the ways that we save time and work better. One of my curent zone leaders is from Mexico City but went to BYU before the mission. Apart from being a cool guy, he is a great leader. He always seems to pull out new ideas and creative useful concepts and ideas. So I am learning a lot from my leaders.

Our bishop was released. The new bishop is ready and excited to work. We will soon have a mission leader and Gospel Principles teacher so..I am pumped!

We made a HUGE breakfest this morning before our meeting:  pancakes and eggs and bacon. the bacon disappeared in seconds haha. But we used the cooking as an example of teamwork and how we need to work better as a zone. This week we are going to go, all 14 of us, to each area and just do contacting for a whole afternoon. Should be fun!

My old comp that I trained got transfered to my Zone!!! It was so cool to see him!! And fun to talk about our old times (from 3 months ago - haha) and the converts. I am happy to say that ALL of the converts from Reynosa are still active and David is now the leader of the young single adults. I was so happy to hear that.  However, Antonia has some serious health challenges that prevent her from attending church, I believe.

Anyway that was the week.  I am happy, healthy, and hungry for convert families, and I love you all. Thanks for all the support and prayers!!

Elder Smith