Tuesday, June 30, 2015

23 June 2015

As far as things we've done this week. Nothing to crazy but some cool stuff. Friday we had a special conference to say goodbye to President Hernandez and his wife. It was a super cool meeting that I really liked. My zone and I sang a special musical number, Plancentero No Es Trabajar (Its a hymn that doesn't exist in English but I like it a lot it's super cool) They put me in charge of organizing' directing and teaching the whole thing. Do you know how hard it is to teach people parts when they have never sung parts before in their life?While at the same time sight reading the music yourself half the time? Nonetheless it turned out really cool and I felt super official and kinda foolish standing in front of them all waving my arm around haha but it did turn out really nice. 

This week was super cool becuase we have some really cool people here. The area I'm in has a reputation for being full of old people (It's true to be honest) but its super cool nonetheless, 1. Because I like old people  2. There's still tons of work. We found a few people last week that really want to listen so we will see how the progress this upcoming week. Funny story. We were teaching Juan and he gave us some bad news. they were going to put his mom in a retirement home and he was going to have to move to Tijuana. We went by later that week to help him get everything ready and get his address in Tijuana to send the missionaries over there to him and what do you know his mom is chilling there in the house. It turns out she got kicked out of the retirement home in less than two days. Like for someone that can't even really move, that's gotta be some kind of record. But long story short, he's staying for the next while and everything's all good and he's awesome. 

Luis is also super cool. We have two more lessons before his baptism and he's just a cool kid. He's super smart, he remembers everything really well, and this past lesson his dad joined us in the lesson so that was super cool too. 

Things are really going awesome here and i know it's not me that is making it happen but I'm doing my best to be the means by which our Heavenly Father works here in Mexico.

Speaking of fathers, A VERY VERY HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL!!!! I know its a day late but I really mean it. I can't begin to describe how good and amazing my dad is. He has taught me so much and I know I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing without him. He taught me to work even when your tired beyond words, he taught me to finish through and do it right that there's no such thing and quitting early. I couldn't begin to number the number of projects hes roped me into from cars to kitchens to bathrooms to retaining walls you name it. He taught me how to serve and love others. He truly knows what it means to have charity. He has such a developed and true love for everyone. He shows me daily by example how I should treat those around me. My dad is one of the most spiritual people I've ever met. He has a fierce testimony of the truth and I strive to gain the same.
I could go on and on about everything amazing about my dad but I'd need a lot more time haha. I just love you dad. Keep doing the amazing things you do. Keep being the best father in the world. Keep striving to be the perfect Father.

To everyone, have the best week ever, keep doing the great things you do and remember that youre amazing in so many ways! 
Written with love,
Elder Smith

Picture 1 - These can give you a heart attack....
Picture 2 -Me picking Mangoes
Picture 3 - Trying to keep cool
Picture 4 - Our District
Picture 5 - Happy Father's Day
Picture 6 - Such a cute puppy

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

17 June 2015

So first off. I know I promised to send pics this week but sorry not gonna happen because the virus still isn't cleaned up but next week I'll get on it.

So interesting things this week. I don't really know how it happened but I budgeted really bad last week and started off last week with the equivalent of about $1.25 and no food. To say the least I was pretty sure I was just going to starve out the week until today when we got money. But we went out and worked hard anyway and decided not to worry about it. To spoil the end of the story. I wasn't hungry basically ever this week. Day after day something happened that we had just enough. Tuesday we stopped by a members house to teach them a lesson and because I'm like that, I asked to climb their mango tree. (pics next week). Side note. Climb a tree sometime soon its good for you haha. But before we left the sister was like oh hey some mangos got ripe earlier than usual you want some? So basically we left with a bag of mangos. Then the next day we were teaching Juan and as we left he was like hey! take a couple of mangos to go. (if you couldn't tell mangos are basically in season right now ) Then later in the week we taught another member and they sent us away with a bag full of tamales. Around Friday another member stopped by the house and gave us a couple of the famous hermosillo hot dogs and a bag of food. like it was incredible the whole week. Shall we hit up a favorite scripture of mine in Matthew chaper 6? 

25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:

 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?

 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

This is truth guys. Dont worry about what's going on in life. Worry about what your doing, choose the right, and life works out nicely. Never a need to worry.

Honestly thats the bulk of the interesting stuff from the week. But as far as people we are teaching right now go:

Juan- Juan is awesome thats all. We´re really good friends with him at this point and he really has enjoyed going to church the past few weeks. His mom couldn't come last week due to illness (in more detail, she suffers from a condition called. "locked-in" basically she can barely move and less and less each day. She can understand but can't talk and can barely move her head to show yes or no.) But as possible he brings her to church. He takes everything so well too. He´s hit the point where he just follows with faith because hes gaining his own testimony of the truth. We taught the word of wisdom the other day and he was just like okay. That makes sense and hasn't touched coffee since and no longer buys cigarettes. Just like that. It's super cool to see.

Aaron- hes someone we found yesterday but he's cool enough that I want to mention him. He is living here in Hermosilllo for work reasons but has lived in Tucson Arizona most of his life. He's more fluent in English than Spanish so I actually ended up teaching him in English (probably one of the weirdest things I've ever tried to do. It's so much easier to teach in Spanish haha). He has A. LOT. of questions but we happen to have a lot of answers so that was cool. He asked me how I learned Spanish so well and I talked about how I read the Book of Mormon cover to cover and how I attribute a good bulk of my Spanish to that. How reading it and speaking the language helped me so much. So we gave him a copy and he said he would read it and we helped him download the gospel library app so he could have the English reference and we´ll see how it all goes this Tuesday.

Luis- he's a young child of 9 years of age that we are teaching. His mom is member and helps a lot in the teaching. his dad isn't a member and isn't ever there for the lessons but he does support them and goes to church and everything. It is really hard to teach children sometimes. Mostly because I'm a child at heart and get distracted just as easily as they do haha. but Luis is awesome. He understands really well. He just takes everything super literal. Like you cant use analogies at all. But its been helping me a lot to see how I can teach clearer and more direct. We have a deal where if he reads his illustrated Book of Mormon and goes to church and all. I give him avengers sticker that come in the packs of cookies I buy way to many of sometimes. It's chill. But its really hard to part with those stickers cause they are super freaking cool.

That's about it as far as people we are teaching right now but its super cool honestly. We are finding more people every week. The area we are in is known to be a hard area as far as the work goes. 
It's an area of a lot a lot of old people and nobody has been baptized here in the past 8 months or so. But we're bumping up this place 100% haha its a good time.

This is all I've got for you all for now but I hope you all have the most incredible weeks ever and I love you tons and climb trees and love life and do the right things always and just be the awesome people you are. Love you all and I'll hit you all up next week!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

9 June 2015

So this week has been splendid as always. Quite the good time. I forgot my planner in the house (my number 1 resource for writing the weekly emails) but I'll try to remember everything I can.

So the first thing is that mangos fresh from the tree are so so so so os oso so so os osos oso sosos o oossosososos goood. Like life changing haha. A friend showed me a technique for eating them that I quite like. You roll the bad boy around in your hands and get it all juicy and such and then poke a hole and suck out all the goodness. It's a good time. 

So the other week we talked to this guy on his bike and set up an appointment but he called and cancelled but we set up a different time and this past week we stopped by. He was so cool. His name is Esgardo. We were talking to him and he was like ya I'm reading this book I found right now about the life of Christ. It's a treasure that I want to read over and over and over again. He showed us the book at the end of the lesson and guess what it was. Jesus the Christ. by James E. Talmage. It was such a surprise and a perfect opportunity to explain more about prophets and apostles and their role as special witnesses of Christ and it was just really cool.

Then we were with Juan and his disabled mom (Sara). Its been the coolest thing teaching them. The love that Juan has for his mom is something I honestly could only hope to strive for. We were able to help Juan accept a date for baptism this upcoming month and then we helped them both make it to church yesterday and they loved it. Then we are going to have a family home evening with them and some other members and investigators tonight and its just awesome.

So we were in the leadership meeting this morning and I honestly don't remember what we were talking about but it triggered a thought processes that I liked. I started thinking about the new converts and the excitement they have for having found the gospel and the joy in every moment and little thing. I got to thinking why shouldn't it be the same for us? Why shouldn't we get pumped and stoked about hearing about the amazing things the gospel has? About the plan God has through which we have the opportunity to live with him once more, with the people we love too!!! It's so freaking cool. Life here is amazing and awesome so just imagine how cool life will be afterwards as well! If we can feel that sort of excitement about everything, I have no doubt that life would get infinitely cooler than it already is. Just a thought I had.

Oh and the other week I talked about doing something to become more Christ like. So I was doing it this past week and I discovered something kinda obvious but at the same time I really liked it. Its just that when you are focusing on one attribute, all the others kinda just go hand in hand. For example. charity and love. if you love God you will be obedient and humble before Him. If you have Charity, you will be diligent in your work and seek the best for them. If you love everything good, you will seek knowledge. etc etc etc. I just thought that was super cool. So ya keep being better people everyday, it's so worth it.

Love you all and hope you have the best weeks ever! I'd send pics but I got a virus in my card so I'll have to have someone disinfect it first. Keep up the awesome and talk to you soon!!!!

Elder Smith

Thursday, June 4, 2015

4 June 2015

So its been a wonderful week but not to much to tell. We're working hard and keeping the energy high just like the temperatures. We've been doing a lot of contacting and searching for less actvives cause there's not too much going on here. Honestly its been super cool, we've found a lot of awesome people, that for the most part live outside of the area so we send their address off to others to contact but its cool nonetheless. We had an awesome day sunday, It was stake conference so I really liked that. Two topics really stood out to me. One. Here in Mexico there is a really strong focus on self sufficiency, emphasized on the temporal needs. Like work and what not, because that's a big need here. But one of the talks talked about that and then added in being self sufficient in a spiritual manner. How all the temporal needs we have facilitate and become easier as we put God first and trust Him to help us where we are lacking. It goes right with Ether 12:266which talks about how God gives us weaknesses so that we can be humble and trust in him. "and I will make the weak things become strong unto them" this is so key. When we are trying to becomes self sufficient in our lives we need to have the strength to be humble and let "Jesus take the wheel" as the song says haha. But its super true, we cannot have success, we cannot change, we cannot progress, until we forget ourselves and let God make our weaknesses our strengths. This doesn't mean that we don't have to work, but quite the opposite. It's "by grace that we are saved, after all that we can do." after we put everything in and give our best that's when the help comes to finish the task where we aren't just quite strong enough. The other thing from the conference that I really liked was a talk about becoming Christ-like. It just really made me think. I'll give you all a challenge (to myself as well) this week, everyday choose an attribute of Christ for each day, as mentioned in preach my gospel chapter 6. faith and hope, charity and love, virtue, knowledge, patience and humility, diligence, obedience. Each night we will write what we did that day focusing on that attribute. 
The other thing I really liked from this week was Sunday night when we had a family home evening with la familia Ochoa the other missionaries in the ward and some investigators. we talked about Mosiah 14 which is focussed on the atonement. I really liked something that Hermana Fletcher pointed out. She talked about how Christ knows us perfectly so he the best friend we could ever have. But often times we focus on the sad side, like He's there for us in trials and sin and sickness and all. Which is very true and very important but I liked how she mentioned that since He knows and loves us perfectly, He also is there in the joy and laughter and happy times. I just liked the idea of Christ smiling and being filled with inexplicable joy when we do good, or when we are happy and I just really liked that thought. and then I got to talk about my favorite part. I love the verse "all we like sheep have gone astray" cause I love the symbolism of sheep and shepherd. I talked about when I was with Grandpa Ward and how he has some sheep behind the house and how as much as I could try I never could get them to come to me but when Grandpa called for them, they all ran immediately to him. How it's the same with us as sheep, we need to be able to recognize the voice of our shepherd and come when He calls. And then of course one of my favorite lines I've heard in the mission that I'll say again. "I like to repent because I like to feel like the lost sheep on the shoulders of the Lord."
We're teaching several awesome people right now which is super cool, we just need to help them come to church is honestly the real problem. Jorge, Francisca, and Juan are the main people we are teaching right now. 
The pics I have this week are mostly just a bunch of super cool flowers I've found here. It's blooming season or something like that so there's lots all around and it makes me really happy because its usually super, well, brown everywhere. Anyway its been a great week and I hope you're all having the best of times as well. Love you all and talk to you soon!!!