Tuesday, October 4, 2016

4 October 2016 - HOME TODAY

Just writing quick bits. I'll write a whole long thing if they give me time next week(doubtful) or when I'm home.
Life's amazing. I love it here and can't wait to finish strong. 
Ii got to go to temple last Friday and it was amazing.
I love you all.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my mission.  I have kept the faith.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

12 Days left - 1 maybe 2 letters more - 22 Sept. 2016

( The title of the post came from his Mom.  She's not counting or anything though. :)​

I am doing so well:) We had the most wonderful week. My companion and I have been crushing it. We had amazing lessons and amazing moments everyday. I'm so happy here and people always ask me if I want to go home since I have so little left. I never know what to say. I want to see my family and home so bad but I never want to leave ya know? Maybe not but I really do love it here. I was so happy on Sunday we had an amazing district conference with President Robinson and the temple president present too. It was a successful week for missionary work to be honest. We were stoked when Abel was already inside sitting when we got there. He had woken up at 5:00 am to walk almost 2 hours to church he will be baptized the 8th of October. Then right as it was about to start the Arvizu family walks in. I was so happy. They are a less active family we have been teaching. They are changing so much. They have years of not going and it's amazing to see the difference just one assistance makes. We are preparing their 9 year old daughter to be baptized and their 13 year old son to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. Then to top it all off. President "se lo rifó" ("killed it" best translation?) he gave an amazing talk about how God loves all his children and how we are the means by which he ensures all have the chance to hear the gospel. 

Check out the classic scripture in Malaquias about turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and vice versa. I love the phrasing Moroni uses as he quotes it to Joseph Smith. "and he will plant the promises in the hearts of the children" or something like that but it reminds us that we have promised to help others find eternal joy starting with our family both living and dead. 
Its all true. All of it. Every facet of the gospel is real and veridical. 
I love you all so much!! Have the best week ever and enjoy the pics of the Mexican Independence Day!
Elder Smith

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

12 September 2016

Lifes been so great here. For real. 
We had another great zone meeting with president. We went in depth about the atonement. We talked about 4 major points.
1. Christ suffered our sins
2. Christ suffered our pains and sicknesses
3. Through the atonement all will resurrect
4. The enabling power of the atonement

I'll have to talk more in detail about everything soon because it was truly an amazing meeting.

The work has been great here too. We are teaching tons of people and so many are so close to progressing but struggle to get to church. Nonetheless, we will be working with that and I hope to leave several people ready for baptism.

I'm not going to write a big letter this week but I will next week. I love you all so much!!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

5 September 2016

What a week can I just say. It was amazing. We had an awesome time running like crazy everywhere trying to teach as much as we could between all we got to do. 

This past week was full of the most extraordinary meetings and trainings. I wish you all could have been there. Wednesday we left early in the morning and traveled to Caborca where we all met up to have a great multi zone meeting with Elder Pino of the area presidency. I think one of the best parts among many many many was when we talked about the importance of studying the words of Christ. He compared it to sharpening the ax. Most have heard the story of the man who spends all day cutting at a tree and his neighbor asks why he hasn't sharpened his ax and the man responds that he has had no time because he's too busy cutting at the tree. Do we see the irony?? We all have that happen to us sometimes. With a dull ax we won't make much progress. But as we all take the time to sharpen our minds in the things that matter most we will become sharp instruments the Lord can use in all facets of life. 

Later that night the zone leaders were  invited to the session with all the branch and district leaders in both Caborca and Peñasco.  We spoke of many things. How to better coordinate member and missionary work. Things specific to those areas and things generally applicable to all. But in the end what I most enjoyed was this. That the success of a meeting is not about what plans were made or what we learned. It's in what is accomplished afterwards. We can have meetings every day but if nothings changes it is essentially useless. So here we are trying to make these meetings a success. 

We got back to Peñasco around 2pm Thursday and worked till night time. Then Friday about noon we were on another bus headed to Hermosillo. Saturday we spent all day in another great meeting haha. Here we planned how to make the mission as a whole leap forward and reach new heights. We came down to 4 points of focus
1. obedience. 
                We know that we have to make sacrifice and invest someting to see results. God asks our obedience and the investment to see chancge and miracles. We all help to make our lives 100% obedient
2. look for a new angle.
                 We can't do the same thing over and over again and expect different results. That's insane haha. So we all need to look for God guidance to make things different and change things for the better.
3. Work with the members
                  We can't do everything alone. We need to work with others. We need to work as a team and then, only then will things happen.
4. Our mentality
                  The way we think is so important. We have to have a positive attitude and truly believe we can do it. The way is there. Divine help is there we just have to do our part and truly have the faith that it can happen.

I love you all and hope for the best week ever for everyone!!! 
Elder Smith
 The youth in Caborca

 With President Robinson and below the group with Elder and Sister Pino

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

29 August 2016

So I'm just loving it here with my new companion. We are definitely working our hardest and seeing the results. I wish I was able to explain well all that happens here. Trying to explain in a brief letter the miraculous events of just one week in the service of the Lord is an impossible task. We were blessed this week to find several new people to teach who I could see had been prepared. This week I could truly begin to see how the gospel helps people reach their potential. It cuts away sorrow and loss and replaces it with hope. It makes the future bright. It makes bad people good and good people better. There is no lost case and not one person who can't have a more full life through following the teachings of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Starting with ourselves. We had an amazing week and I hope the next to surpass the last. I love you all and hope for the best as always! 
Elder Smith

22 August 2016

So first off here I sent the pic of Emmauels baptism. Once again it was amazing. Last Saturday we had four baptisms in Peñasco. I was asked to help baptize a lady the sisters have been teaching. It was an awesome day. I'm so proud of the missionaries here, we are working like crazy and the Lord is helping us out so much.
Today we had transfers my new companion will get here tonight. He's awesome. I'll add a pic of him that I found in Nogales about a year ago. It's going to be an amazing transfer!

I'll write some more tomorrow when we come back to the server so my comp can write since he traveled all day today.

Love you all tons!!!

Elder Smith y Elder Rivero
Super pizza
the zone

You guys are so a cookie family haha. I dont know what they call them back home but the families here that are always there for you food and support wise we call mamas galleta. Cookie moms. It makes me really happy you guys are so awesome.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

16 August 2016 - God Loves All His Children

We had the most wonderful of weeks. Emanuel was able to be baptized on Saturday and it may have been my favorite baptismal service yet. The Spirit was palpable. Everyone we hoped was able to make it:) my companion and i sang "I Like To Look For Rainbows" with guitar and it turned out super nice. Emanuel´s mom gave a great talk about faith. i loved how she talked about how the faith of her son was what was able to bring her back to the gospel, what helped her remember what she once knew. I'd add pics but I don't have my camera with me.. oops.. Next week I'll add it in. 

So I think the most memorable moment this week was Sunday evening while we were on splits with different members I went with Brother Morales to visit some less active families. The last visit we didn't find who we were looking for but we came across his son.  We had a long conversation about God. He is unable to believe in a God as we know him. Due to the evil and pain and unjust events in the world it becomes hard to believe in a Loving Heavenly Father and he's decided its better just to not believe and be a good person nonetheless. In life it's hard to see God's love at times. But I know without an inkling of doubt that God loves each and every one of his children. I feel that the plan of salvation, or plan of redemption, happiness, etc. should be known by one more name. The great plan of love. Understanding that God loves us so much he allows us to come to earth to gain bodies and experience is just a start. God sent Jesus Christ to save us from our sins and errors. Sadness, sickness, evil, everything! We just have to have faith and obey His laws and we have been promised that we can make it through everything and anything. The evil of today will be but a small moment. It doesn't stop there. God loves us so much that through Christ He has made it possible to live again even after death. We will all one day have perfect bodies without illness or pain. God doesn't stop there either. If we simply obey His command in this life He had promised us a place at His side for an eternity. When I think of it like that the sadness and evil of the world is insignificant no matter how big it seems. God loves all of His children and wants them all safely back with Him. He has prepared the way regardless of circumstance or person. He truly loves us. Let us not forget that. Ever.

I hope you all have the most amazing of weeks and take advantage of every moment to do good!
Love forever,
Elder Smith

Note from Elder Smith's Mom:  He received his travel plans and will be home on Oct. 4th!  11:30 pm is the scheduled landing time.  We are so excited!