Tuesday, September 1, 2015

1 September 2015

First off. Sorry for not writing last week. I planned my time poorly and well, it didn't happen haha but don't you worry, I'll write the best letter ever this week. Or try at least.

Two weeks ago was a truly fantastic week but not to much to report. We had a great ward activity (talent show) that turned out amazing. Tons of people came. I participated in two acts. A sketch with the youth (they wanted to to the Econ 101 sketch by studio c so I translated the thing and ended up being the guy that talks the whole time) and then we did a piece as missionaries. We rewrote a the battle hymn of the republic and acted out a story of sorts hard to describe but it turned out awesome. It started with

mi padres me dijeron hijo vete a la misión
me lavaron el cerebro con el Libro de Mormon
me tomaron por el cuello y me lanzaron al avión
ya voy a la mision

gloria gloria se llamaba
la mujer que ya amaba
gloria gloria se llamaba
la que no me esperó

and ended

ya termina el tiempo que serví en la misión
aprendí a ser humilde y lograr la conversión
mis padres me esperan con abrazos de amor
pues termino con honor

It turned out awesome and was super fun to write haha

This past week has been incredible as well.
Javier is becoming more and more ready to take the step of baptism. Each time we visit has been amazing. I can't wait for the family to to be sealed. We just need to help Javier get baptized and then a year later they're off to the temple. It'll be amazing. I just hope I can be there.
He's the only person we are teaching right now that is progressing but there is so much potential here so expect much more to come.
On the side of less actives we have a ton of work and its amazing!
Martín is officially reactivated. He's a convert from several years ago and we've been trying to find him for months But he just showed up at church a few weeks ago and he is doing everything possible to be a disciple of Christ.
Juan and Juan (father and son) have gone from noy wanting to come back at all to making plans to ensure that they can make it to church. They are both amazing. Juan jr is 17 and we are helping him get ready for a mission too. It's awesome.
There are several others as well but truly, the work here is awesome. 

Saturday we had exchanges with the zone leaders. Elder Berheisel came to my area and my comp went to his. We had such an incredible day. When we planned it was hard because we had nothing pre- set for the day no appointments or anything. Just a meeting in the morning with the ward mission leader. Somehow the day stayed busy busy busy. We had one of the most successful days of the entire week and we made extra efforts to contact people to the point where I was talking with one of our neighbors and suddenly I notice he's not by my side and I see him a few yards away talking to someone else. (both of said people are very excited to receive us Tuesday evening:)). a good lesson was learned that day too.
We were working hard and we hit 8:30. We had a ride set for 9:00 to switch back. It would have been really easy to just go to the house and pack up things to be ready to head out especially because we had just had two very rough shutdowns from some people but we chose to put in just a little more and even though we passed the house we saw someone walking toward us so we decided before going in we would contact him. He seemed super interested and then we saw someone else a little farther off so we walked and talked to them. Same deal. It kept going like that till we actually had to head back to get things ready. It would have been so easy to just go inside and rest but we put an extra 20 minutes in and those 20 min were some of the most efficient of the day. Never give up early give it one more step and then when you can't give anymore. Go one more. and we find that the best experiences happen in that last step. 

While we were in the meeting Saturday it came up that I had never given a talk while on the mission. Needless to say. Hermano Peña talked that instant with Bishop and "luckily" there was an opening that Sunday to talk. I got the call haha. It was an awesome experience. I had zero time to prepare the talk Saturday (though obviously I was thinking about it a lot) so I had to prepare it Sunday morning before church (felt just like old times...). It was perfect because as I was falling asleep and again while I woke up I had a really clear and distinct idea for the talk. Again and again a quote from President Howard W. Hunter came to mind. It's found in the quotes of the prophets at the end of chapter one of Preach My Gospel. Rough translation "a good measure of your personal conversion to Christ is found in your desire to share the gospel" so I based the talk on that. Missonary work and conversion. I used the example used several conferences ago of Christ asking his disciple "do you love me...feed my sheep" and then I used some scriptures in alma. Alma 26 is full of goodies. 

13 Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not great reason to rejoice?

 14 Yea, we have reason to praise him forever, for he is the Most High God, and has loosed our brethren from the chains of hell.

 15 Yea, they were encircled about with everlasting darkness and destruction; but behold, he has brought them into his everlasting light, yea, into everlasting salvation; and they are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love; yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work.

 16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full;

For our joy is full. you want to be happy? you want to be full of joy? preach the gosple. but how? how do we do it. the world is full of darkness and struggle. of people that are encircled about in the chains of hell. how are we supposed to make a difference? Alma makes it very clear. convert yourself to the Lord

 22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.

When we do these things The Lord gives us the strength knowledge words etc to be his hand here on earth. Unto us it can be given to bring thousands of souls to repentance. True joy, true success, true living comes from personal conversion. Let that be our goal. Let that be the thing we desire above all else.
Have the best weeks ever and keep being happy and exciting and wonderful. Remember that life is awesome and just the best thing ever. Keep it up!
Love Elder Smith

Oh and the pics.
This morning my comp and I and some other missionaries went up to Cerro de la Campana, a big hill in the middle of the city. You could see the whole city from on top even though it was scorching hot it was super fly.

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