Saturday, January 16, 2016

4 January 2016

This week was full of all the best. Food and powerful experiences. New years is like Christmas here. It's no good unless you eat too much food. So we ate too much food. I loved every moment. I love the new years season. Everyone is always excited to change and make the coming year the best year ever. What a great concept to apply. No excuse should be needed to change but when there is one, all the better. I have many new goals and plans and hope you all do too. Remember that all the best plans are those that are in line with the desires of our Father in Heaven. Consult him in your daily life and rely upon His Son Jesus Christ. There's no better way to ensure success and happiness.

On saturday we had an almost 9 hour meeting with president and the zone. We talked about many things that were very important. One of the tings that caught my attention was that of a change in studies. Before we read half an hour of the Book of Mormon and half an hour of Preach My Gospel. Now we will be reading half hour of Book of Mormon (stays the same) but then half an hour of whatever other book we desire. Bible, Doctrine and Covenents, Jesus The Christ, etc. then an hour of companion study dedicated to Preach My Gospel. It wasn't just the changes that called my attention. We discussed the importance of studies for a good hour. Our study time is one of the most important moments of every day. Whether on the mission or not. It's what provides the base to a testimony. It's what prepares you spiritually for the tasks of life. It's something I have come to love. We also talked about simplifying our teaching. We took the first three lessons and simplified them each into three central points.  Lesson one. 
1. God called a prophet once again whose name was Joseph Smith. Today we have a living prophet.
2. God restored his gospel in its fullness
3. God has given us more scripture, the Book of Mormon
lesson 2
1. God created a plan for us in the pre mortal existence
2. God send us here to be tried to see if we would act in accordance with his law
3. God will judge us according to what we do and recompense us with a reign of glory
lesson 3
1. we are not perfect and are all sinners that have fallen short of the perfection of God
2. God send His Son so save us, Christ payed for us
3. To be saved we must follow the teaching of Christ and act accordingly. have faith in Him. Repent. And be baptized.
as we began to apply the simplified teaching it has helped us drastically. I feel that we explain clearer and that the people understand better. 

Speaking of teaching, things with andrea are going great. We had a lovely scare with her this week. We stopped by and things got interesting. Her aunt and uncle are very Catholic. When they heard that Andrea was going to be baptized they started opposing super hard. Andrea and her mom are in a tough situation right now with work and housing and some other things and their aunt and uncle have really helped and they really don't want problems with them. They were told several things that weren't true about the church and about Christ's doctrine. It was a really tough situation. The whole time my companion and I were praying for guidance to have the right words. I'm so grateful for the power of prayer and that Heavenly Father always answers. We were able to talk and resolve the doubts and re explain an important principle. We invited her to really decide if she wanted to know the truth or not. If so then she needed to start reading the book of Mormon and pray concerning its validity. Receiving an answer concerning that topic provides a strong base to a testimony of everything we had taught. The next time we visited she had begun reading. Only a little but Andrea explained how she was beginning to receive an answer. I'm excited to keep seeing how things progress.

We have continued to work with the youth here and are seeing many results. They go on visits with us almost daily. They take us to friends and family. It's been really cool. There is so much work to do and I love every moment.

I love you all tons and hope you have the best week ever! Keep being the amazing people you are and I hope to hear from you soon!
Elder Smith

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