Monday, August 15, 2016

Last post from the field. Returning home Friday, 19th of August, 2016.

Dear Family and Friends,
I have one last letter in me. This week was the week of weeks. One to never forget.
Wedding of Eufracio family
The most important thing is that.......drumroll....The Eufracio Family got married Friday!! And baptized an hour afterwards! 

We got to the Offices and the family wanted us to be witnesses. I figured being an American and all that I couldn't, but with my green card thing they let me! This was something I have desired for a long time now, the opportunity to baptize a complete family I mean. Lius the boy is a stud. He is super active in Church and motivates his family to attend.

Elidia was very content and happy to be married and even more after her baptism. I have been amazed at her progress, and that of her husband. Also, Sunday we baptized a daughter of their family, who was working Friday so she had her baptism Sunday. Also that was special.
I can't decribe how blessed I feel that the Lord has blessed me to be able to participate in these last conversions. It has been incredible.
visiting members: the one on the bed is super cool, and has lou gheraigs disease
Thanks to all who have been here for me. Thanks to my Mom and Dad, my sisters who have written me and loved me without fail. To Hallie, Elder Nelson, Arijit, David, Renny, and Schmeag who have also been by my side through it all. The various other family members and friends have supported me through these last two years. And obviously the amazing people that I have met in Mexico. I can't wait to see everyone :D

Elder Smith

Monday, August 8, 2016

This week passed by - you guessed it - super fast again! And what a superb week.

This week passed by - you guessed it - super fast again! And what a superb week. I had always admired the elders that finished their missions in a successful manner, and I feel overwhelmed and privileged to do the same. I know the Lord has blessed us tremendously, and I feel even more blessed, as if the Lord has permitted me to have these experiences last, as a gift or a blessing for the whole mission. :D
last week..i used these this last week and was impressed at how mother had wrote covenant in spanish!!

Edgar Martinez that Granny and Papa know :D he is the Elders Quorom pres here
Well Antonio will be the first story. He has had such a change in heart, the change that the Scriptures talk about. His participation in lessons has been a factor in his progress. He was baptized Saturday August 6, and he was way more excited than nervous, which isn't always the case. My favorite moments from the lessons were when we taught the Law of Chastity. We talked about taking care of our bodies and such, and my companion invited him directly if he would remove his earring from that day forward. And he did it, and that is just one example of the change that he had made. It is always amazing to see how much fulliled people are, how much happier while learning and living the Gospel. We were invited to a brithday dinner after the baptism of another little girl that was baptized with him and that was enjoyable as well. Congrats to Antonio!

baptism of Guiermo..janets brother!
And the other accomplishment was that of the Eufracio Family. This is Elidia, Rogelio, Enda, Luis, and Josè. They basically made it all happen this last week for us. I am so happy for them and decisions they have made. They are such a special family. First, Tuesday we go to teach them and after their church experience they announce to us that they were going to get married! And they wanted to do it in the following week! Without us even insisting!! And I felt so blessed knowing that this week will be my last. On Thursday we taught the Word of Wisdom and Rogelio hadn't drunken for a weeks and commited himself to live the commandment. And all were officially commited to baptism for this Friday at 6:00pm. And Saturday we couldn't see them because they were at the dentist all afternoon. So the plan was that we were just going to call them Saturday night to assure that they would come to church or if they needed a ride. So the night time comes and I realize my old companion had their number written in his agenda. And it was never saved in the telephone. And our phones are peanuts and there was no way to go back to the last time we had called. So I frantically am looking and asking for the number of my ex comp Elder Adams who was a ghost Saturday night and impossible to find for some reason. It was like 10:40 pm at night and I was super stressed out. When I clearly and distinctly felt the following impression: Look in your previous agenda. 
Something so simple that I hadn't thought of. But I looked for it and literally the first page I open to is the day we found her and I had written Elidia's number as well. I called and confirmed that they would attend church and when I insisted that a sister come pick them up (they have no car) she politely rejected me and explained that she wanted to take the bus. Which bus must be taken at 7:15 am to make it to church in time and also requires a crossing of a busy freeway. So the call just helped me to sleep relaxed and relieved. In church they gave us the good news that they had gone to the marriage offices to start the proccess and were successful. This Friday they will be married before the baptism. Their family is coming as well, from other cities too I believe. And Elidia tells me in church "Last night I told you that we would get to church by ourselves, because no one can give us a ride to salvation, we have to do this ourselves." I was like whoaaaa #jawdrop. You have had like 4 church attendance and have already learned this much? ;D The kids are in love with Primary too. The ward is pretty great as far as teachers and members serving in their callings.

There is much more but emails are long and they don't tell all of the story. I ask you all to pray for us hard this week, especially that the Eufracio family can enjoy the blessing of marraige and baptism in this their road to an eternal life and family!

Elder Smith

Monday, August 1, 2016

Lydia's family came to church! And Lidia didn't come alone this time!

Another week has come and gone. I felt like this week went by super fast as well. It could very well be for the time I have left though :/ Updates are the following...

It is getting even hotter, something I thought not possible. AND they say this week it will be even hotter, which is fine. Heat isn't that bad when you are working. But we had a minor/major emergency with the malfunctioning of our "air conditioning" but now it is up and running like a champ. The problem you ask? It was installed incorrectly. 

On to more important things. This week was excellent as far as people coming to the church, in all aspects. First, the other elders have been baptizing like machines. They reactivated an older lady who has a bunch of grandchildren who aren't members and the families are coming back as well! We have been involved, too, and gotten to know one of the families. 

And the icing on the cake for the week was Sunday. I had the opportunity to attend the baptismal service of Guiermo, Janeth`s brother. He is 16 years old and although I had already known him and come to learn that he is an excellent young man, it was an especially special day for his sister. She has always wanted her family to accept and live the Gospel, more than anything I feel like. She even shared in a testimony (during the baptismal service of Venessa) that she had fasted for that very reason. And that she knew her prayers were being answered because her best friend was getting baptized. And now, with the first step in her family taken, she is very excited. Anyway there was a lot of emotion during her testimony before the ordinance, and the Spirit was as present as I could ever remember it being in a baptismal service. I was so gald to be there. PLUS I got to see and converse with some old friedns from Juarez. Unfortunately, my camera was left in the church, and I have no pictures of it to send but next week I will be sure to.
 Liliana and her family..a recent convert. oh and sister of ani the reactivated that attended the temple! :D
Lydia's family came to church! And Lidia didn't come alone this time! But her daughter and two grandchildren came and loved it! And the best most unexpected but not really unexpected thing was her husband Rogelio came! And we talked to them about Chastity and Marraige and they are excited to get married! So we are going to get right on this aren't we? :D That is one special family, too. I can't wait for their baptism! :DD

Anyway, I need to make two shout outs.  Please put this in the blog, Dad, because it has come to my attention that people here in Mexico are finding out about this blog because it apparently shows up really high on Google when the mission's name is searched sooooo...

1. in spanish.. Yaneth y Vanesa!! Les mando saludos de mi blog jaja para que sepa y les admiro bastante y les deseo lo mejor en todo que hacen!! mi familia tambien se ponen muy contentos al leer de las experiencias y cuentas que hemos tenido asi es que gracias y sigan siendo mis heroínas!  

2: Elder Tilton is my brotha from anotha motha haha and I cant wait until he transfers to Provo ;D love you bebè

And that is all! Until next week, friends and family!

Elder Smith