Tuesday, August 18, 2015

18 August 2015

Somehow it turns out that each week just gets better and better and better. Life's cool like that.

To start this week we had a downpour like no other like mini hurricane style. vid attached. It was awesome. 

So if you remember last week I said we were about to have a family home evening with Javier and his family. Well we did and it was incredible. We talked about temples and then visited the temple. Everything just worked that night. Like we talked about baptism with Javier and he wants to be baptized which was honestly a little unexpected. We are working on helping him find a date he's comfortable with but that's amazing news. Then when we went to the temple the grounds were just closed at the time but the guard there was super awesome and was like, hey, you all wanna come in? So we got to walk the grounds and everything. It was an awesome night.
The whole week went like that. Things just worked. It was so so cool. It was also a week full of service. We were able to help out several people with this or that but one of my favorites was the Ochoa family. They,re older members and have a large backyard (large for here) but it had become overgrown with weeds and what not. We went and cleaned it up and then they had us plant some trees and bushes back there. I just really like being able to get my hands a little dirty and make a space beautiful again. It reminded me a lot of working outside back home. 
Then we were with Josué the other day and he told us about another friend of his he wanted to go teach with us. We have only taught a little but it's been awesome. 
Another member gave us a reference of someone named Flor who actually works outside the city so we didn't get to talk to her but we talked to her sister and mom and brother and they seem to have a lot of interest. Then we talked to their neighbor. Who is incredible. He has only 15 years of age but after teaching about the restoration he was full of questions and interest. He wants to come to mutual and church and everything. It was awesome. We were talking about how when Christ established His church he did so with firm bases. A Prophet, Apostles, revelation, the priesthood, and the scriptures. When we explained about the apostasy and all the churches in the world he asked "and how can I know which church is most stable, which has the strongest bases?" It was a golden question that we had the pleasure of explaining and then with the less active members here we have seen amazing progress as well. Maria Fernanda is one such. It's been really hard to help her because she is often very depressed and has a hard family situation. for example we passed by the past Sunday to go with them to church but her husband came out and told us every one was sleeping. Later Maria told us she was about to get up but her husband told her "Don't you move." like bad vibes. But we decided later to stop by and see how they were and to talk to the husband a bit to see what the problem was. We stopped by and it was amazing. Someone definitely was helping us that day. We came by and the husband was out cleaning the front porch and we helped out a bit and chatted platonically. We then asked if we could share something with the family. He went and gathered the family which was an awesome start considering he'd never listened to us before. We shared a short message from Jacob chapter 4 and it was perfect. We had forgotten to plan the lessons that day so I opened up the scriptures at random and the perfect scripture came up. We finished talking and invited them to pray and read as a family and to prepare themselves to come to church Sunday. They all accepted. The husband with more excitement than the rest too! It was so so so cool. I really hope things keep going well with them.

Jacob 4:4-7
4 For, for this intent have we written these things, that they may know that we knew of Christ, and we had a hope of his glory many hundred years before his coming; and not only we ourselves had a hope of his glory, but also all the holy prophets which were before us.

 5 Behold, they believed in Christ and worshiped the Father in his name, and also we worship the Father in his name. And for this intent we keep the law of Moses, it pointing our souls to him; and for this cause it is sanctified unto us for righteousness, even as it was accounted unto Abraham in the wilderness to be obedient unto the commands of God in offering up his son Isaac, which is a similitude of God and his Only Begotten Son.

 6 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.

 7 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things.

We have the potential and right to be participants in miracles. as we strengthen our faith, through scripture study and obedience. miracles come. we become empowered to see incredible things. perhaps today we dont have the need to move mountains or waves but we do experience waves of doubt, mountains of regret sorrow or pain. the amazing thing is that we are sons nd daughters of a King. eternal and all powerful. we are righted to the inheritance of said King. we are amazing and have an even more amazing potention. those waves and mountains cand and will be moved when we act on our faith, when we decide to be the children our Father in Heaven needs. we may be weak but that doesnt matter, we can be given strenght we are made strong and we become capable of anything.

Guys. Have the best week of your lives this week. Never forget how amazing you are and how much you are loved. Do something special every day and never stop being you!
Love Forever,
Elder Smith

Sunday, August 16, 2015

10 August 2015

What an awesome week. Since it was the first week with my new companion, we spent a lot of time introducing him to members and all but man it's so cool to work with him. He´s very distinct from my past few companions. More than anything he's ready to just work hard and make this place amazing. I really appreciate that. We've been walking and talking till we drop all week long. Oh so you can see what he looks like here the only pic I've got as of right now. 

Seriously this week has been unreal. We've been making progress like no other week that I've been here. We went to visit some less active members and I remember two visits in specific because they were similar in a way. They are both sisters that have a hard time with depression and always seem a little down but I remember that in the lessons each one smiled more and even laughed here and there, which is something I hadn't seen from them in months. Then we were teaching another family where all are inactive but the mom, and it just went really really well. 
Around mid week we went with Luis (the 9 year old that just got baptized) to go over the lessons again but we made sure that we did it with his dad (who isn't a member) present. We taught the first lesson and it went so well. Luis remembered tons, Lizet (the mom) helped a lot and Javier (the dad) had questions and promised to start reading the Book of Mormon. We are planning on having a family home evening with them in about an hour from now and at the end they want to go to the temple grounds. i'm really hoping that it turns out to be an amazing experience for them and for us. 

Jesus Antonio couldn't make it to church again for scheduling problems but he is still progressing really well.
Consuelo and her kids are headed out to Mexicali this week so we´ll be sending that reference off to the Tijuana mission but they are so prepared.
Things are just going so well here. and this next week will be the best of them all. 
Also rumors are about that president will be opening up some of the smaller towns here in Sonora that missionaries haven't ever touched before so that should be an awesome thing, I can't wait to here how it goes (should it happen of course).

Sabbath day observance is a major theme here and so important. I love the quote (although I don't remember from where. I'm pretty sure its in gospel principals manual in some part but not the chapter about sabbath day ironically) that talks about how observance of that commandment has a direct correlation to how well we do both temporally and spiritually, personally obviously but as a nation itself, when the keeping of that commandment weakens so does that nations strength, economy, etc weaken.
Missing out on the sabbath day is like saying nah I'm good, I'll just go ahead and fend for myself, help accepted but nah not needed. Maybe it works for a bit but it can't last. And when you need help, it'll be a lot harder to get. I know a less active sister here who is going through some really hard times right now. She may lose everything which would be horrible. It's really hard to see and know that if she would just listen to the Lords counsel and go to church Sunday, pay tithing, keep the entire sabbath day holy, etc, that she would feel fine. The problems may come but when your right with the Lord, there is no need to worry. In contrast, in Pueblitos (my last area) the Navoa family told us about how there was a time they had nothing, living in a carton house and struggling to even find the basic food for them and their kids but how they never let themselves forget the Sabbath day and tithing. They talked about how miraculously they came through and are now doing much better. 
It's kinda funny how tithing and the Sabbath Day go hand in hand. I feel like one without the other is somewhat incomplete.

The other day we were talking with bishop and he told of the new plan president was making help with retention and reactivation. It's a great idea I cant wait to get started with. Each organization within the church will choose a few less actives and then we go with them and they present us missionaries to them and all. Then working with their home teachers we begin teaching the mission lessons. At the end of 5 weeks the goal is for them to have an interview with bishop and get a calling. Each person reactivated is like a baptism and we will be reporting the numbers and everything. I love the plan because it reminds me of how very important fellowshipping is. This plan basically ensures that people feel comfortable and that they have friends. Never stop being a friend to everyone. It makes all the difference and everyone wins. I always think of my Grandpa Ward as one of the best examples of  this. He's just a friendly happy person. I'm pretty sure that in his town there's not a single person that doesn't know him because he just talks to them all. Just smile and be friendly and life's just awesome. 

Keep being the amazing people you are and I hope you remember how very important you are in the eyes of God. Never forget your potential and never stop trying to reach it.
Love and miss you all!
Elder Smith

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

3 August 2015

So it's been a great week. Like super fun. I'll just start off with the pics I've got.

We were walking by the stadium here and it was open for maintenence or something and we casually stopped by.

and then since La Hermana Martinez was headed home this week and had never in her year and a half here tried a burro percheron we helped her out by sending her off with these beauties. Yes it's wrapped in bacon. It was life changing. 

Friday was awesome because we got to go to the temple. It was the first time I've been able to go here in Mexico and it was amazing. I learned more and had a better experience than any other time I've been to the temple before. Having everything be in Spanish made me pay close attention and really helped me understand actually. It's just an amazing place. 10/10 would recommend going asap. Don't miss out.

Regrettably, Sunday Jesús Antonio was unable to make it to church but is still doing great and will come this next week. It was a little rough this week as far as the work goes but that doesn't mean it wasn't wonderful anyway. We were able to talk to tons and have lots of potential here. I just got a new companion, Elder Sanchez and will be with him for the next while. He is fantastic. He's from Ecuador and we´re going to be working hard alright.
Get set and get ready because this week that's coming is going to be amazing in so many ways. Why? Because why not? Like it was mentioned so many times this week for me (temple, sacrament meeting, teaching) we are not here to suffer, we are not here to have a hard time. We are here to be happy and that's just what we should be. This next week will be incredible and we have the chance to make it so just by the way we look at it. So when the trial comes or the bad day slips in, smile and think about how awesome life is.
i love you all and hope nothing but the best for you all. Keep being amazing and I'll hear form you soon!!!
Elder Smith

Sunday, August 2, 2015

27 July 2015

This week has been phenomenal duh ha ha. The truth is that nothing too exciting happened but nonetheless it was an awesome week. Wednesday we were walking near the church when it started to downpour. A lot. So naturally we head over to shelter and the since all the youth were there for mutual night we naturally decided to soak ourselves and play soccer in the flooded court. It was fantastic.

Then Thursday or Friday, I don't remember but everything fell through in the morning so we were tracting and we found this amazing guy, Jesús Antonio, we barely were able to talk maybe 20 minutes but he came to church Sunday and loved it and I'm just pumped to teach him this week. 
Honestly one of the best moments of the week was Sunday in sacrament meeting. I don't even know why but it was just amazing. The talks were great, and for some reason I just felt happier than usual. It was the right place to be. I loved one of the talks where they talked about how home should be your own little piece of heaven. And it's true. Your home should be somewhere where you feel comfortable with yourself and all those around you. It should be a place where you can learn. It should be heavenly basically. I'm forever grateful to my parents for making our home exactly as such. 
Even though my week was rather uneventful it was nonetheless fantastic. Sorry for the short quick letter but I don't have too much time today. 
I love you all and hope you keep being amazing. As always have the best week ever and do something unexpected. Love you all tons!
Elder Smith