Monday, January 25, 2016

...which is commitment everyone is afraid of at some point or another i believe.

Well the week was pretty much uneventful as far baptisms. We had two in the zone which were blessings because the sisters where on the edge of deciding and not deciding. As far as this week we have some serious potential. I am looking forward to the week of word. We will soon say goodbye to January haha.

There is a cool thing about Reynosa in that on the 14 of February they let anyone that wants to get married to it for free. The biggest challenge we face as missionaries is that a lot of couples don't get married like i have mentioned before. The thing is it cost like 200 bucks to get married so people use it as a pretext to not get married and have that commitment..which is commitment everyone is afraid of at some point or another i believe. So we are going to try to take advantage of valentines just might be better than last February, to be able to help others be together haha.

So Reynosa i thought was just prolonging winter..but no, nothing of the sort winter just lasted like a week..really a weekend i think. That..or last years winter was freakishly cold because it is hot outside right now, hot not like nice weather really for what it is like here in the summer.

This area is huge, we work in just a part. We have some families we are teaching, but it isnt sure that they want to progress right now. And i dont like explaining a family and such and than finding out the next lesson they dont want anything or are not going to progress. So stay tuned for investigators.

The one investigator that went for the second time is 18 year old who is so great! She participates in Gospel principals and she even told the bispohric she wants to go with the ward to Monterrey for the temple trip! Her only obstacle to baptism?? You got it! She isnt married with her husband! They call each other husband and wife here regardless of if it is legal or not. So her husband is inactive because he works Sundays. But we found Perla touching the door of her mother in law who was inactive but we invited them both to come and they are coming. So we just have to get them married i believe. Stay tuned for that as well.

S/O to my family, my growing family congrats to the McCain family for #babydos2  love yall!!

Elder Smith 

Monday, January 18, 2016

The story of Lizzie the newly baptized

We had a great week again! In our Zone we saw a lot of success and that was exciting! The only bad thing that really happened is a lot of Elders got sick, and Elder Cruz is again in my Zone! (the one who had to put a pacemaker in) and he was doing well but is in the hospital right now so he could use some collective faith. 

As far as my was super dusty here..we haven't had rain in weeks and weeks I suppose. We had a multi zone conference to start the year off and it was super great! We are going to help out more with the plan of the area of Mexico. We are going to verify and work more with the converts that we baptize to help them keep progressing and arrive at the Temple. The closest Temple here is Monterrey Nuevo Leon which is like 7 hours by bus. San Antonio is technically closer but not everyone has a visa so they stay in the country. As a mission we are doing well right now. We are looking to have a good month in January!
Now, the story of Lizzie the newly baptized. She is the 9 year old daughter of a convert family that got baptized like 10 months ago by Elder Eskaran from my MTC district. So in this family who live right next to the church the daughter is straight scared of water..and did NOT want to get baptized with her family. So she was dressed and ready and when she got close to water she started to scream and shout like the Beatles haha. Since then, many missionaries have gone for it trying, including the assistants of the President who came to baptize her (because she wants to, but her fears didnt allow her). So I want to give it a shot. And to make a long story short we had a quiet (not so much haha) baptism for her, and she was suuuper happy afterwards to be baptized and then later to be confirmed. Even her inactive father came to church to see the confirmation. Overcoming her fears was suuper hard though. We were there for about an half hour. But at the end she went down in the water. And I gave her a CTR ring like mine that she liked it and she put it on triumphantly! That was basically the week!

Love you all Adiós!

Elder Smith

Monday, January 11, 2016

First week in the new ward of Juarez. New comp is Elder Ordoñez from Honduras.

Well this was the first week in the new ward of Juarez. I arrived and we had a conference with the president before the transfer. The mission was able to make its goal of 1200 converts and actually upped it by like 67 or something. This year the goal is 1600, which we can do. The thing is we have to start off good. But it is so cool to see how far we have come, and how the mission itself has learned so much and progressed constantly. It is a testament to me that planning and goals and learning over time really do work. You just have to be patient and diligent.
So I am with Elder Ordoñez from Honduras. But he is different than my past Honduran companions. He is relaxed, but also outgoing and involved with all the important things. He has more mission time put in than me, 19 months. So we both put our experience together. 

I got here and met an investigator named Elizabet. She had a baptismal date for this Saturday, but we finished the teaching and realized that she was ready and invited her to do it after church Sunday. And she did it! She is super special and has a pure desire to follow Jesus Christ. 

So this ward is waaaay different than past wards. First the number of people - 194.  A TON of people for a mexican ward for real. They are going to divide the ward supposedly here in March..but everything here is slow, so we will see...

 I have learned a lot in this week.  To update y'all, our apartment has hot water AND great water pressure, a combination more rare than an American in Reynosa (for missionary living quarters anyway).  We also have a MINISPLIT YEAHHH which is basically an efficient air or heating condition.  This will be a first!  And we are just 2 in the house so everything is calm. Our investigators are few but great!  Love you all. Have a great week!

Elder Smith

Monday, January 4, 2016

And I say to Elder Berry, "Well let's try our luck with the rich". - TRANSFERRED to Reynosa Juarez ward.

Well I have little time, but with what I have I will write. We started the week off well and everything. We found this one lady Tuesday who was a miracle. Elder Berry and I were striking out in a colony with houses that were very humble..which is usually good because the people are more humble. But we had almost no success and then in the middle of this street stood this large, out-of-place large, nice house. And I say to Elder Berry, "Well let's try our luck with the rich".  And wouldn't ya know it, Martha is her name, turned out to be just fantastic! She accepted everything and even said she was going to bring her family to church! Along with her, another family we are teaching are going to progress very soon. 

 In church a 9 year old investigator came and surprised us with the news that his father finally gave him permission to get baptized. So Saturday should be his baptism. SO great!
Wednesday it got coooold. And I mean cold! It changed dramatically. Thursday, New Years Eve we helped a sister make tamales and we relaxed with another great family to eat dinner. 

New Years Day we ate breakfast with some of my favorite members from this ward the Dominguez family. They made us pancakes with eggs and toast and an orange juice made from just the fruit that was amaaaazing! 

Then later we went to a missionary gathering FHE thing here in Matamoros. We ate hamburgers and talked with elders that I hadn't seen in a while.
So then Saturday came and we got the transfers. As I had imagined time here in Matamoros has come to a close. So many things i love here will be missed. The ice cold rain and 40 below degree weather will not be one of them...I hope it doesn't follow me haha!
I will miss a lot the people more than anything. The area, too, I love, but it is going to be fun to start over again! In Reynosa i am going to the Juarez ward! That is all the time I have!
My sisters should know that bucket heater has saved us and is the only reason we have been able to bathe ourselves here for the last 10 days - haha!  Love y'all!  And all!

Elder Smith