Tuesday, April 28, 2015

20 April 2015

This letter was sent before the last one.  Sorry these two are out of order.  :)

So this week has been rather chill. not too much to report. Papaya is delicious I fully recommend its consumption. jicora as well 10/10 would recommend, its especially good with lime juice and salt or chile. An interesting experience this week. So around 2:00pm to 5:00pm its rough. Its the hottest part of the day and basically no one is outside and if the'yre home, they're asleep so its always a struggle to get any work done. One of the days we were walking about without any plans because plans a b and c fell though, just looking to find someone to talk to outside. We started to complain to each other, Elder McCabe and I. but then I caught myself, I hate being  sad or down person and complaining isn't something a happy person does. so jokingly at first I started talking about how great everything was. "I love it when its super hot because this way i'll get a little tanner and not look so gringo." "It's especially chill when everyone's asleep because its not so loud and everything's a little calmer." then my companion joined in a bit "It's my favorite too because when we find someone at this time of day they really have interest in learning more because why else would they be outside and awake?" and so on. slowly we started laughing and ya, it turned out that it wasn't so bad. We ended up finding a couple of people outside and talked with them but the idea is that perspective means so much. Things can be rough sometimes and look pretty ugly but if you look for the good and just love the moment anyway, life becomes pretty awesome. also a thing we emphasized in the meetings this morning is commitments. in the scriptures it talks about that we are to preach repentence and baptism. That is the question. The answer is commitments. repentance is change. putting the bad behind and the good directly in front. cutting out the old and broken and looking to the brighter future then making that future the present. Commitments are the key to this. when we invite and the people accept and do, they are changing. repenting. as they read, pray, go to church, and truly search the truth. they begin to become the people that they need to be, that God needs them to be. Never stop reading the scriptures. Never stop praying. Never stop going to church. Never stop inviting others to do the same. If you have stopped. fix it. Now. There's no time to waste. "Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance." Keep that in mind this week. 

the people we are teaching
Lucero- we hit a bit of a set back with her this past week but with a bit more time she will be ready to make the covenant of baptism. 
Ramón- he an awesome guy. He reads and prays and does everything he needs to to prepare himself to enter into the waters of baptism. He just hasn't been to church in two weeks. he works 7pm to 7am so he struggle to get to church for that. he really wants to and all and we will do everything possible to help him as well.
Carmen Ortega- she is the wife of an inactive member. We had a really powerful lesson with the whole family the other day and invited them to come back into the gospel. The big problem with them is the father, he doesn't have very much interest anymore but they plan on coming to church this week and trying to prepare themselves to be the family they want to be.
Alan- he is gaining interest. this past week he listened attentively and committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. The aunt of his wife isn't a member either and she too promised to give it a try. 

All in all its been a good week. a little slow, not much going on but nonetheless its been a wonderful time here in the deserts of Mexico. I hope all it going well with all of you back in the states and that you had the best week ever. Keep being awesome and never forget that you're amazing and children of God. Think about that a second. God. the all powerful all knowing creator and architect of our very existence. and He´s someone real. not just real but He's our Heavenly father. He loves us and cares for us and we can have a relationship with him. We can communicate with God through prayer and he can communicate to us though personal revelation. Though scripture study, by giving heed to the whispering of the spirit. It's pretty rad. But ya, have the best week ever. Imagine the best week you could possible have and now go ahead and have it. I give you full permission. Love you all and hope to hear from you soon!
Elder Smith

27 April 2015

So this week has been first off, rather chill. Literally. We didn't even break 90 degrees this week, high 80s nothing more and overnight it got down to 65 at times. It was rad, also its just been a good time. Tuesday we had interviews with the mission president which was nice. I always enjoy being able to talk to him even if it,s for only a couple minutes, but it was super nice knowing that my companion and I had been working hard and we had plenty to report. Oh also I still cant find my SD card so no pics but i'td be a true shame to send nothing at all for so long so I'm using pics from my companions camera. 
Inline image 1
Mcomp thinks that this is one of the ugliest ties to ever grace this planet but I'm a fan nonetheless.
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There is not a ton of plant life here so when we pass not only something living but also that is really green and has pretty flowers, it's a really good day.
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Also this cat is super super adorable even if he does look a bit bored
and fun fact about the candy cane tie in the pic, I've decided it's my lucky tie considering we found 6 new investigators the morning I first wore it when usually mornings are incredibly hard to find anyone at all.
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and heres my comp with the kittens brother
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i was made fun of for saying/doing so but food is art and let no one tell you otherwise.
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and finally, today we deep cleaned. including thawing out the fridge. from which I was able to create a very rare specimen here in Hermosillo, something called a snowball. yes I did throw it at my companion Elder McCabe
also about the cleaning and all. Guys. clean your house and all that good stuff. It's worth it. 
The place we are in went from being a place I didn't want to be in to being rather chill honestly. It makes a huge difference.

That all I've got for pics for the time being but I'm sure more will come with time. 
What else have i got for you all... oh so the other day we were walking a lot because money was tight and we didn't want to pay for the bus. so we had been walking all day and were super tired. Also considering that I had forgotten to eat that morning (I need to get into a good breakfast habit haha) we were pooped. so we sit down on a bench for a bit because the plans fell though and we wanted a short break. We had done all that we could do and then sat. and then out of nowhere someone came to us and started talking to us and wanted us to come visit them in the coming week. It was awesome because we couldn't walk anymore so the Lord sent the people to us. After a couple of minutes, we were like okay. a little more, a little further, then lunch. We were about to head out but I felt like we should stay just a moment longer. so we did and a minute later another person came up and talked to us, and wants us to stop by asap. It just goes to show that if you are doing everything you can do, the rest will be made up, you will be blessed in ways you would never expect. Then another cool thing. we were put in contact with a family a few weeks ago, La Familia Valenzuela, we taught them for a few weeks and they seemed to have a ton of interest but they never came to church and suddenly got super busy and hard to find because they had just opened a new restaurant type place. so we though we wouldn't be able to talk with them much anymore but then this Sunday, partway though sacrament meeting they walked though the chapel doors. It was incredible. like they just came out of nowhere. It made me so happy I can't even explain it. We talked afterwards and figured out a plan so that we would be able to teach them still and basically, I'm super excited for this week in that respect.

Speaking of people we are teaching
Fam. Valenzuela- enough said already I believe
Aylin- shes the one with 11 years of age that wants to get baptized but her mom wont let her. This week we plan on giving it the last haul, all we can do to try and help her with that desire.
Lupita/Angleita- we found them talking with another investigator. they live a few houses down the street from each other and when we first went to teach them they recieved us with lots of inerest. at the end we asked if they knew anyone that would like to hear what we share and they gave us two other firneds to visit one of which being Josefina
Josefina- she is awesome. she doesn't have an easy life but is doing her best to live it right. She has about five kids. She also listened to what we had to say and is very interested in learning more. One of her sons doesn't live there and also specifically asked us to stop by his house as well.

That's about it as far as the teaching goes but we do plan on many more this week, which should be a phenomenal week here and I do expect you all to have the same.
Love you all tons and remember to be awesome!
Elder Smith

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

14 April 2015

So this week hmmm. First off it's been awesome, although there's not too much to report. Fun fact. My first weeks here I bought a little flower and planted it outside. Named him Orion but now he's grown huge. Before he had maybe one or two flowers at  time. I counted 16 the other day, and he's spread. Two baby Orions have sprouted up and are growing nicely. Just a fun fact.
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Also there are lots of lizards that crawl around here I wanted to adopt the li'l guy, but regrettably, we had to let him go. 
Inline image 2
Other fun stuff this week. Hmmm. So as I said last time we got robbed so were making what we have food wise stretch but regardless there's been plenty no matter what. For example we were eating lunch with a member and at the end we were talking and she mentioned that she had made some fantastic menudo the other day and asked if we wanted a liter to go. Obviously yes, how could we say no to cow stomach soup? So that was one of several similar things that happened it was super cool.

Teaching update:

Lucero- she was unable to get baptized this week because we were unable to finish teaching her everything but this Saturday it should come through. Fun fact, her nephew Guillermo was baptized this past Saturday so that was cool.

Alan- hes a new person we are teaching. He's the husband of a member. The whole family is active and all but he's not a member. He has a slight lack of interest at the moment but as we were teaching the other day he started to pay more and more attention and his wife really helps in the teaching too. We'll see what happens there.

Eileen- She is the niece of Ramon. She goes to church almost every Sunday and wants to be baptized but her Mom wont let her so that's a little frustrating, but we are trying hard to help her as much as possible.

Ramon-takes everything really well and is putting his life in order so that's really cool. He found a job finally and although its a 12 hour night shift, it'll be good for him I think.

Carlos- we started with the basics with him again and its starting to take hold. He's really struggling with the temporal/spiritual balance. He's very worried about life at times (understandably, for example he got paid a grand total of 180 pesos last week that's like 10 bucks) Sometimes I just want to sing Don't worry, Be happy!, but regrettably he doesn't speak English. Haha.

Pedro/Guadalupe- we found a family the other week and are teaching them. The mom and dad (Pedro and Guadalupe) are super chill. We've just started teaching but I think they have a lot of potential. Sadly, last time we taught we were accompanied by their father, not sad to be honest, but he was drunk and very very Catholic, and wanted to Bible bash a lot so it was tough to teach that day. We will see how it goes in the future.

That's about it for now, but this week should bring lots of great results!
I love you all tons and expect you all to have the best weeks ever!! Keep up the awesome and I'll write again next week!
Elder Smith

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

6 April 2015

Elder Smith:  Okay so I'm just hitting up the computer now and more details to come, but long story short, our house got broken into in the middle of the night and they robbed my wallet and my watches. The deal is my wallet had my debit card so I need you to cancel that bad boy asap please. I was told the mission already sent you an email but I thought I'd better double check. Please tell me when you get this thanks!:)
Oh also, I don,t know if there,s a way but if I could get a new licence as well that,d be great. If i have to wait til I come home okay that's fine too. 

Dan replying: 

Got it, we have not heard from the office yet, but will cancel and get a new one for you. Then send it out. 
We will check about license but I am not so confident on that. We will for sure find out and let you know.
Glad you are safe and it's only things. 

Elder Smith:  Okay, thank you so much. Also I found out something useful. I will need to find more details but because I'm so close to the border there are several members that have addresses on both sides of the border so you can send stuff national to them and then when they head up to the US or Mexico or what not they can take the package with them. It's a lot cheaper and takes about the same amount of time if not faster, depending. but for the debit card you can just send that normal cause it's small. 
Also any ideas for food you can give me I'd love since everything was robbed I'm running off of about 100 pesos or like $7 or so for the next two weeks until I get a replacement mission card. So any ideas for a half kilo of flour, some rice and 8 eggs hit me up. Don't worry I wont starve just if you have any creatvie ideas let me know. I have some vegetables too I cook up in olive oil and add some slap ya mama and its delicious. I have stuff to make salsa too, like really good salsa I learned from Elder Martinez. 

Dan Replying Back:

Ham fried rice minus the ham. 
Arroz e ovo. An exotic Brazilian dish called an egg over rice
Make tortillas and have veggie burrito
Make big googly eyes at the members while your stomach growls
Noodles with egg flour etc
Moms heart is hurting :)
They cancelled the card, you are set on that.  
Let us know on the member mailings. We will do what is best. 
Pray for food miracles!  I found luscious blueberries along the road when we were making things stretch in Kongsvinger. They were the best. And as many as we could ever eat. 
Love you. 

From Elder Smith:

Sounds good. I'll give what I can a shot. 
Oh also delicious drink I like that Elder Martinez showed me. Super easy. Take whole cinnamon sticks and boil a few in a pot of water until the water turn reddish brown then add sugar to taste add some milk and the end, it's delicious.
Also I'll be sure to keep you updated on all the food miracles this week!

This week's regular letter:

Hey all!
Okie doke.
This week has been phenomenal for several reasons. One the iniciativa that the church has put on (I don't know what it is in English but in Sspanish its Gracias a que Él Vive). It's a super cool video that we are using right now. We also have little cards we give out to everyone. A few experiences with that. One, we were walking down the street and saw a family walking around, like the happiest most perfect family I've ever seen. It was insane. So we were like, "Hey lets talk to them!", so we went up and  we got closer I realized I'd seen them before, they were members. But it was cool because Elder Martinez and I (We were on exchanges) were both like, they look so freaking happy! Let's make them even happier. We realized they were members and said with reason they're so happy haha. But ya, living the gospel seriously brings a lot of joy and blessings it's awesome. We kept walking after talking to them a bit and found a ton more people using Gracias a que Él Vive. Another time we were giving a lesson to some less active members with a lot of marriage problems and we showed the video and testified that Christ lives and that He is here to help us and basically they really liked it. They seemed happier after that visit and closer than ever before. 

Next reason that this week has been phenomenal is General Conference. when the Prophet and Apostles and all the church leaders speak to the world its always a super cool experience. Like amazing. I heard about half in English and the other half in Spanish but ni modo I understood them both which was super super cool because I still struggle to understand Spanish sometimes. My personal favorite was a talk that told about an Indian healer that healed through dance. This healer was talking to a doctor and the doctor asked, "Can you teach me to dance?" the response was gold. "I can teach you to dance but you have to hear the music". I love that. Cause its so true. Maybe you get the rules and the steps but if you can't understand the why, the motivation behind it, you've got nothing. In life you've got to find the music and listen to it closely then dance according to it. Anyone else getting the vibe that this is personal revelation the speaker is talking about? Cause tha'td be 100% true. General conference was awesome.

Reason three. We got robbed Friday night. The house was broken into and they stole our wallets, watches and my companions backpack. Long story short, we will have a tight couple of weeks but its awesome because now I get to apply Elder Eyrings talk about fasting haha. Also it was cool. Carlos saw us walking around today and stopped us to talk and it came up that we got robbed and considering that he was robbed just a few weeks ago he was like "Dont you hate it? Doesn't it just make you angry? You just feel powerless don't you." etc etc. and we were like "well... not really, honestly it just sucks for the robbers, they have that sin they'll have to repent of one day and they got the short end of the rope really." it was a cool time.

Fourth reason. Life's awesome, Is there anything else I need to add?

Update on the people were teaching:

Carlos-nothing new to be honest, we starting from the beginning with him. We talked and basically we are going to start from page one and see whah we can do. Read pray go to church. Regrettably he couldn't make it to church this week so well see what's going on.

Lucero- still going strong. made it to the Sunday morning session of conference and is on track to be baptized this Saturday!!! So that will be super cool.

Ramón- Disappeared kinda. He got a sudden job change where he's gone a lot a lot. So we need to find him again.

Valenzuela Family- Still lots of interest but still haven't come to church so we will see what we can do this week.

That's about it honestly but we should have a ton of new people this week, thanks to Gracias a que Él Vive so I'm stoked for that

Anyway, I've had the best week of my life and hope that you all have weeks ten times better than me because each and everyone of you deserve it. Remember that He lives. Christ suffered for us . Every sin, trial, sadness pain, rejection the whole lot. He suffered it all. Then he died for us. But he did what no normal man could have done. He did the impossible, He rose the third day. Jesus Christ lives. Hhe loves each and every one of us. If you just reach out your hand and take a step of faith He's there for you. Never forget that.
I love you all more than I love a buffet of tacos de carne asada (which is a lot of love btw) and hope the best for you all!
Elder Smith