Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter in the field (John 13)

The best moment for me was during a baptismal interview with an investigator from another companionship of elders whose name is Martin. He was just so awesome, and he has had many trials and he stays humble and obedient. Like he had to run away from his house from another state.  And he is working and his wife just had his second child. His oldest child is like 3 or 4 and has to recieve open heart surgery amongst other things. 

But I could sincerely feel the Spirit while talking to him and hearing his testimony.
This week was special also because of Easter. The only lame part was a lot of churches going absolutely nuts in our area, screaming and yelling and praying who knows what. But we got to think and study about John 13 and what really happened when the Saviour instituted the Sacrament. In church the theme was the Atonement and that was great for the investigators. 

We are also going to try to help the ward divide because things haven't gone perfectly in the ward as far as the attendance is concerned and activity. So President has asked us 6 elders in the ward to go to the Bishop and work with him more to figure out and accomplish fixing the problems.

I have been enjoying studying the Book of Mormon more thoroughly, going to references and such. There is so much more to be learned!
Love to all and congrats to my cousins coming back from the mission and the ones getting married too, haha!

Elder Smith

Monday, March 21, 2016

Jasmine - Am i able to get baptized?'

Well this week we had the opportunity of attending Stake Conference. It was quite marvillous because generally the investigator attendance isn't the highest because the stake center is further away etc. But as a zone, we did fairly well. We had 2 new people in attendance. 

Janet is the first new one she is 16 i believe i dont know much about her except that her (boy?) friend is also recieving the missionaries but in another ward. But she is super great and wants to learn and be a member and all those great desires.
The other is Jasmine, who, at the end of are lesson Sunday about the commandments, asked a missionaries favorite question, ''Am i able to get baptized?'' oh what a blessed question haha she is kid, so we have also had the support of her family with us helping a lot.
This week we also dedicated ourselves to working in other areas not our own. We have planned this week to be rich with success and we should have a great outcome this weekend. 

This Sunday there were 2 sessions of Stake Conference. The first was only a half hour where the 70 talked to just new converts. We worked to help all the wards converts attend that session.  He talked about the trials and problems that life throws us and how learning and living the Gospel helps us cope and learn from those things. In the general session they asked three people related to the missionary work to give their testimony. A sister that is waiting her call, an RM that got back last week, and the mother of a missionary in Tabasco Mexico. They all did great i could imagine my own mother as the sister gave her testimony of the blessings she has seen for her family and espcially her son while in this time of full time missionary service. 

After that President Morales talked and shared a story about when he was bishop at 25 years of age, his ward worked to get everyone to the temple in that time which was located in Mexico City and they had like 11 widows of like 70+ years of age. And how the ward worked together to endure the health and safety of the sisters so that they could get to the temple. afterwards the Monterrey temple president shared that if people felt impressed during the conference to go to the temple that they needed to do it now not the next time that the ward had a trip planned. The whole time i was contemplating i cant feel impressed to visit the temple now because i literally can't go so my feelings of wanting to go must have been personal desires different from an impression. I confused myself and thought it better to keep listening haha. Later on the 70 of the area talked about one thing, Offenses. Hahaha something that people for sure need to hear. He shared the Thomas B Marsh story and the Moroni to Pahoran one. It was a great talk. The stake president shared a story about how the bad guys hijacked his car on his way to a ward meeting and that they told him they were just going to borrow it and they would bring it right back. To his surprise they did haha. 
Oh and the Saturday seesion of conference someone asked the 70 a question that made the meeting last 15 extra minutes and then after the meeting on the way to their hotel the 70 and the stake president passed by and were detoured by a place that 15 minutes before had been shot up. He testified of the protection that the Lord gives us and our families for our obedience to his commandments.
Other funny note; the stake president made a joke during the sustainings of the general authorities of the church because they are hard to say for the latin tongue he said that it was like when the first presidency pronounces the Mexican 70s and such haha
Anyway that was the week hope to have more to report next week! 

Monday, March 14, 2016

My testimony was stregthened in that the Lord blesses those who search to bless the lives of others with a true intent.

This week held a few answers to prayers and strengths to my personal testimony.
First, Tuesday. I was in interchanges with Elder Uribe from the capital of mexico which is called D.F.. We found a a single mom who had also been prepared since before we arrived. As we talked about and explained Lesson 3, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, she explained to us that 2 years ago, she and her husband divorced and now he was nowhere in the picture. She was working at night 7 days a week and also trying to raise 2 kids. She began to break down and explain that she had lost all desire to go to a church and that she had lost her faith. It was obvious to us and later to her that God would not leave her completely alone and that it was time to get back on the straight and narrow path. 
After that lesson we talked to the wife of a less active member..and she is great!  But she and he live with her parents who are just lovely people(sarcasm). We went back the other day and before we said anything this guy (the father), who looks like he just downed a six pack of beer solo tells us ''I am catholic! Why are are you here bothering us!'' My companion responded..''it is a pleasure to meet you name is Elder Alvarado'' but this guy was just something else haha i wont explain what happened afterward.

That was Tuesday. Wednesday my companion and I left our area to go in divisions with another district. In this interchange, wow it rained and poured. A brother gave us a trash bag and we made white-trash ponchos so my books didn't get wet. In these divisions i went with Elder Wagner who is from(wait for it) Lehi Utah!! His uncle owns a local company that slices rock samples for large companies. Maybe someone at home knows this family, anyway he is a really cool elder i got along well with.  We visited a family of his that was baptized yesterday and we talked to her about the the baptismal date and signed forms and such work. 

Now i had given our cell phone to another companionship because niether i nor my companion were in our area and there were two elders that were just going to contact the whole day so i gave ours to them. But when we were switching back in the night time to be able to return home that companionshuip didnt get back in time. And it was raining and the buses stop passing after a certain time so we had to leave without the phone. The next day was hard without the communication of the phone. And we had to use other peoples' phones. A day later we decided to make the tiny trip back to the area of the other district to recuperate the phone. While we were waiting in the bus stop a man in his truck turned around after passing and got out and approached us. He told us that 8 months ago he had been in another city and that he gave missionaries rides and things and talked with them and since then hadnt been able to find missionaries because he worked a lot. He asked us to pass by the following day and he gave us his direction. Later on we get our phone and find out that the guy didnt live in our area just barely outside and in the area of Elder Wagner haha. 
So with a lack of enthusiasm as you can imagine we passed the reference on. And they went and wouldnt you know it,  the guy, his wife and two kids are all 100% gold and went to church like that (finger snap) at 8:00 am with the time change. The Lord really does put us where we need to be and sometimes things that happen that appear to be setbacks are for a greater purpose than the one we see with our limited vision.
Then Sunday the greatest blessing was that the family of the single mom came to churrch! And the members were good about helping them feel comfortable and all! Also a sister named Mercedes that we met and taught once friday arrived at church. My testimony was stregthened in that the Lord blesses those who search to bless the lives of others with a true intent.
As far as the mission life everything is normal, calm. Reynosa went a little crazy Sunday morning but that's what makes Reynosa special haha

Love to all!

Elder Smith

Monday, March 7, 2016

New companion Elder Alvarado

Well i wish i had more to write for this week. I will write what i can. 

We had an awesome leadership meeting this past Wednesday in which President Morales showed us how the mission is doing.  It suffice to say the Lord is blessing us!  I enjoyed the capciation a lot and i got to leave with my new companion Elder Alvarado.  He is almost 21 (this month..birthday ideas anyone?) and is from Durango, cloe to Torreón Mexico. He also has 3 siblings and all of them served the mission so he is the fourth and the last. He has an awesome camera too, it plays videos from the church and he thinks it is the envy of the zone..
We found quite a bit of new people. But the struggle is that we couldn't get many to come to church. Truth be told all we had Sunday was a young man that lives close to a great family. His name is Efraín and his dad drinks daily and the little guy likes to play soccer and talk to us. I hope we can help him early on in his youth.
The pictures are lacking this week. I am going to make a goal to take 1 picture a day at least. and they can't be selfies haha 

I have been studying in Ether recently and the whole book is just a simple example of the blessings of obedience. It never pays off to work in secret, or darkness, or to allow yourself to succumb to pride. And life is just to precious to spend miserable. I understand that there are moments of trial, and sorrow. But everytime i think of what Christ has done for us and what he expects of us.  I find strength to get back on my feet and moving forward in the right direction.

May God bless you.

Elder Smith