Tuesday, October 27, 2015

26 October 2015 Stress is the best!

Did you know that there are two types of stress? Good and bad. One shuts you down while the other is actually healthy and motivates you. I'm rocking that right now. We'll get to the why later. Until then I'll start from the beginning.

This week has been phenomenal. Unbelievable . And straight up amazing. We saw God]s hand in our work here without a doubt. This week we taught the Gonzalez family some more and can I just say, they have been a blessing from the start. They're truly one of the most amazing families I've ever met. We stopped by and friday. they are reading their assignments, they are doing their part to learn the gospel and then they;re the friendliest bunch ever. We walk in and within in 5 seconds the middle child Kiro Shesit is hugging you saying she missed you. then Ángel is having you make spongebob out of clay while La Hermana is making dinner and Carlos is telling you about how much he enjoyed the assignment we had left and how things are just working out in life better and better. They;re fantastic.

Then apart from that we are having the most amazing experiences every day finding and teaching people. Just the other day we were on the bus and an older member got on. He;s a little bad in the mind but nonetheless is a great guy. He always shares the gospel with every one he sees. He started talking with someone on the bus and presented him to us. His name is Andres. We start talking a bit with him but uur stop was coming up and Andres was headed much further so he gave us his address and we hopped off. A few moments later we hear someone calls out to us and we look back and Andres had hopped of the bus. He said something like "Hey I have a problem. I liked the way you talked to me and I think you can help." We happened to be near the chapel so we stopped by and started talking to him. He truly was full of need. We were able to talk to him and when we parted ways I could see a hope in him that hadn't been there for a very long time. Daily I'm shocked by the trust the Lord gives us to speak on His behalf. That day I truly felt like I had done my share. He isn't in our area but I expect great things from the missionaries that will be visiting him.

Those are a few of many amazing moments this week.
So we get to the end of the week and there were 4 baptisms. Two from Elder Bazan and Rivero and two from Magdalena (a small town about an hour from here) that was amazing to see. Right after we were told about transfers. Every missionary in the branch here was sent somewhere else. Everyone but me. So even though I still don't know all the areas too well, I'll be teaching all I know to everyone. This will be a very good stressful experience for me haha. I'm stoked to get lost every day haha. but like I said, everything stressful can be a motivation or a lock down and I'm ready to make this the best transfer of my life.
Have the best week ever I love you all tons! Keep up the amazing!
Elder Smith

PS. The pic is of a dish a recent convert made. It is called ceviche. It's probably one of the most delicious things I've eaten in many a long moon. It's prepared cutting up in smallish pieces fish and shrimp. These are placed in a bowl uncooked and covered in lime juice. You let it sit for 20 min or so until the acid in the lime cooks the meat. Then you add onion, cilantro, tomato, seasoning, clamato (tomato juice with clam flavoring). Mix the lot and eat with tostados or tortilla chips like a salsa. It's sosossosososoososooooo goood. Don't let the raw seafood trick you into thinking its not. If you get the chance try it. That's all!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

18 October 2015 - Life's Just Great Ya Know?

So last week was so so amazing. 
The blessings just kept coming time and time again. The Lord is truly helping us find the people He has prepared for us. Our rededication to his standards is helping so so much. This past week we got to teach several amazing people. One of whom really stands out to me. The family Gonzalez had been inactive for a long long time but as I previously stated they showed up to church suddenly last week and this past week we got to stop by to talk with them. We had a street name but no house number but after a year here that is good enough haha. Soon we found ourselves outside their door. The moment they saw us they ushered us right in saying they were wondering when we'd stop by. We start talking to them all and they are so ready to receive the gospel. most to reactivate and one, the husband to learn all about it for the first time. He is golden. We left Saturday night leaving him an assignment to read several things and Sunday morning when we saw him in church he had already started and had everything all planned out to be ready for the next visit Wednesday. He loved church and is really just a blessing. and then the ward here  they're just great! We hardly have to ask people to visit with us. They come to us asking when the can go visit people with us. We're reaching a point where I hardly know what to do with all the work. its amazing.
Friday we had a 9-5 meeting wtih president and the zone. 8 hours of some of the most edifying teaching and learning I've had in a good while. One of the things that really stood out to me was President Robbinson and his comments of conversion. He spoke about several things but he referred to the Old Ship Zion (Elder Ballard last conference) and how there's really no where else to go. No other way will take us to the celestial kingdom. Too often people see a crack in the wood or a fading paint job and decide to abandon the ship and try swimming on their own but it never works. people will attack your faith and your beliefs but if we have a testimony of what matters most, we will be safe and secure. "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith"
Personally im looking forward to the best week of my life and I hope the same to you all! 
I love you tons and please enjoy the pics haha. 
Elder Smith

1. Giant centipede we found
2. The largest body of water I've seen in over a year. (Where all the rain waiter joined together after the rain last week)
3. Gorgeous sunset
4. Border hoppin'
5. Walmart selfie with the comp (fun fact, my current hair cut is called the willy. hence forth everyone has been calling me Willy Smith (Will Smith spoken with a Mexican accent))

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

12 October 2015 - The Blessings of Obedience

So we had a truly amazing week. It was a bit slow but so much good happened. 
Both me and my companion got hit by a cold that had us essentially bed ridden for two days. We left for appointments but that was about it. Nonetheless things went amazing. I remember one of the days we left around 5 or 6 to go to an appointment. I felt horrible but we went out anyway. While we were walking my companion and I started talking about how we could improve "What lack I yet?" to a certain extent. In that moment we talked a bit about being more diligent. Later as we went to the appointment, no one was there. So we left a note and went to the next. Same. No one. We were walking away and ran into them in the street on their way home. Sadly they were unable to attend us at the moment but we set an appointment for the next day. At this point I was crazy exhausted. bad bad headache and serious nasal congestion. I wanted to head home basically. But my companion said hey lets check and see if Elena is home. So we went. Not home. Once again I'm ready to go home but I think I needed to learn a lesson that evening. My companion said Hey lets check one more place before heading home. It's on the way anyway. It was a reference we had received a few weeks ago. We had been trying to find them and had even made appointments and all but never had the chance to really talk to them. This evening we stopped by and a young mom came out. We asked if Carmen (the reference) was home. she was Carmen it turns out. She let us in and we got to talk for almost an hour. It was amazing. She had had some questions and had talked with a member friend that lives in Southern Mexico and even chatted online through mormon.org. She also had watched general conference at home by invitation of said member. It was awesome. We were able to clarify some of her questions (some of which I could really notice the Spirit's help in answering). Basically it was an awesome lesson. What's more, as we talked I felt no pain or discomfort due to being sick. We were truly blessed for diligence that night. 

As we made it home that evening we decided to keep in the improving spirit and we pulled out the good ol missionary manual. We went though page by page and set goals to ensure we were keeping in line with the mission standards. We had several things to change and I can already see the blessings. For one, these past days as the alarm goes off, while groggy, I haven't felt too tired. Normally I feel destroyed come 6:30 am but right now it's almost easy to get up. Sunday was awesome. Out of the blue a less active member and her nonmember husband and child came to church. We didn't even know they lived in our area (we are slowly trying to get to know the 300+ less actives in our area). They have a lot of interest in reactivating and want their child baptized and the husband as well. More to come in following weeks I hope :) and then we went out working and things just went great that evening. We searched for several people and didn't find them but after scaling what would be a moderate staircase here (some 15 flights probably) we decided we  better get something useful out of that effort so we stopped by a less actives house and their dog tried to eat us and no one was home but we stopped by the neighbors to see if they knew when we would be able to find them home. They received us in a very friendly manner. They're an older couple living with their daughter, son in law and grand child. We shared a short message with the grandparents and set a return appointment for today when everyone will be there. It should be awesome. The Lord really blesses those who are obedient. We had been seriously struggling to have any work or progress in our area but after recommitting to being obedient things just started going great. Keep trying to be perfect and even though we all mess up, our efforts go far from wasted. They take us to success. Never stop being amazing and have the best week ever! I love you all and hope to hear from you soon!
Elder Smith

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

5 October 2015 - " If only I had time to write a novel about how amazing this week was."

So many amazing things happened this week. I'll just say them as they come to mind. 
Early in the week I had exchanges with the district leader. I ended up with Elder Rivero in his area. H'es amazing. He's got just over 3 months out and is straight up one of the best missionaries I've ever met. We had such a cool day. He's the type of guy that never gets down so the day was full of fun. Down to knocking doors exhausted and no one letting you in became enjoyable and positive. He's also the shortest Elder Iv'e met here. haha

The next day we got a call from Carlos Sinohui. He had been in the hospital in Hermosillo for the past two weeks and he finally got released. We were able to stop by the next day. He's a true inspiration. Almost nothing went as desired and he was still happy and joyful. He holds to the faith and fact that God is good and that what happens happens, you just need to keep a good attitude and learn something. They took out about 20 liters of water that had built up inside him. Needless to say he was looking much skinnier haha. He is still weak and can't do much or go outside in daylight but he's getter better and better and even though I don't know him super well I love him and can't wait to keep teaching him. I truly hope he gets better soon so he can follow his desire to be baptized.
This week is concilio so I'm hoping to get the backpack and what not this week sometime. 
Keep being awesome all of you! Love you forever.

I can't even begin to explain how amazing general conference was. It was truly inspirational. I started putting a star next to every talk I wanted downloaded and basically all of them have stars haha. It was the most amazing conference I've ever seen. They put it in English in a separate room for all the English speakers so that was really nice. Like sure I can listen in Spanish just fine but I love hearing their real voice.

Each talk, down to each song, seemed to answer a question or give me inspiration I had been seeking. Like last conference the opening address was a favorite of mine. President Uchtdorf spoke of making things simple. How sometimes we are searching for something complicated and intricate when what we need is something simple and vital. The gospel itself is incredibly simple. We all need to simplify our focus and go for the basics. I loved one of his last remarks as he stated that exaltation is our goal and discipleship is the path. As Richard J Maynes explained, we need to be centered on Christ as clay on a potters wheel if we desire change. Centering our life on Christ and always looking to improve is the way to begin on said path of discipleship. "What lack I yet?" LarryR Lawrence clearly explained the importance of asking such questions to ensure constant progression.
I dont think sweeter or more potent words said about Mothers and their important role could be said than those stated by Jeffery R Holland. I love you Mom. Forever. As you continually show divine love to me and all you meet you change lives. Keep being one of the greatest examples I have. Thanks for teaching me and making me who I am. 
I loved the words of D. Todd Christofferson as he explained the divine necessity of the restored church. One of the most difficult things I face here in teaching is explaining what he so clearly explained. The common mindset here is that every church is a door into the mansions of God, and that church really isn't even necessary. I loved how he explained how that mindset was erroneous. How that concept epitomizes that wide and easy path. How saying it doesn't matter takes away the vital and divine importance of covenants and ordinances brought to pass through the divine authority of the priesthood. 
i could go on and on and on
i loved this weekend so much.
Go and have the best week ever all of you and do amamzing things. Keep tight to the path of righteousness and never leave. Look to improve. Enjoy every moment. as Elde Bednar quoted, "Come what may and love it!"
Go love every moment and do more and more amazing things!
Love you all,
Elder Smith