Tuesday, March 29, 2016

28 March 2016 - Trust in the Lord's Timing

So I definitely had the most amazing week of my life. I hope you all did too. Work was hard due to vacation for Semana Santa. Nonetheless we worked hard and had a good wee. But the highlight was by far the weekend. Let's start with Friday. 

I wake up with the worst migrain and bodily pain and exhaustion I've had since dengue. I'm destroyed. We get a ride so i can get to Tufesa to board the bus to Hermosillo. I pass the most painful 6.5 hours ever and we finally get to Hermosillo around 10 at night. We get to the assistants house and there I finally humble myself enough to accept a preisthood blessing. I go bed but don't sleep due to the pain till 1 or so and that only in brief spurts of 20-30 min. Now I had said this was one of the best weeks of my life right? So what has this have to do with joy and happiness and a week of legend? 

It starts at 4:00 am when I wake up and can't sleep anymore. Within moments I realize that I felt no pain or sickness. I didn't even feel tired. I remember Elder Greany saying in the blessing that I would have the strength and capacity to realize all the works needed in the coming day. That promise was fulfilled in such an amazing way. at 5:30 I took a quick shower and got ready to get to the temple for the early morning session. I was able to stay attentive the whole two hours and had a great experience. I understood more than ever before. Leaving Pitic we went off to Pueblitos to get the church ready for the baptism at 1. Everything happened in the nick of time. We finally found all the baptismal clothing just before one. And then the family arrived. We got everyone ready and it was such a beautiful day. 

I should explain a bit. This is the family Morioqui. 18 months ago while in my first weeks here, Elder Gonzalez and I began teaching them. At that time they were very receptive and we thought that for sure they were ready but it wasn't their time. When I went back to Hermosillo I presented Elder Anderson and Elder Rodriguez to them. This time they were ready. The Lord knew that before wasn't their time. Many things happened in those months that helped them prepare for that impoortant and sacred covenant of baptism. It was amazing to see the joint effort of a dozen or so missionaries and most importantly the Lord as they were prepared. Afterwards we had delicious ceviche and a mild cake fight then I was back to Agua Prieta. Another long bus ride and I got back. We woke up Sunday morning to a beautiful day. Easter Sunday is just so special. It's the day that we most remember Him. What Christ did for us. That he suffered, died and lived again. He lives and as such continues to guide His church through his prophets. He can help us day by day as we seek his help. As we walk in his footsteps we find life become simple and happy. I love being here and love knowing what I know. I love you all tons and hope for you to have a week even more amazing than the last. 

Enjoy general conference this coming week, I know I will! 
Elder smith

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

21 March 2016

Life is just so awesome here. We find new people every day that the Lord has been preparing for us and basically the work is going fantastic. 

Every day as we plan, we pray and ask for help to know who to visit. Then as we leave each day we pray for those people to be there as we seek them out that day and if they aren't there that He will guide us to those that need us in that moment. We have  to put in our part, but here more than anywhere else I've seen the blessing come pouring down. Yesterday we had an awesome moment. We went looking for someone we had contacted several days ago. We had the exact address of around that corner the house next to the one with the brown car. .... we go around the corner and there are 25 houses and about no brown cars. So we decide to just start knocking all of the doors. Almost no one was home door after door nothing. Then someone pulls into their driveway and we talk to them and they invite us in. It's a young couple Alondra and Martin and their grandpa. We begin talking and turns out Alondra had been listening missionaries in Caborca 5 years ago and almost got baptized but moved to Agua Prieta and lost contact. It was cool to see how the Lord led us house cross house with nothing to put someone in our path. It's been so cool. Moments such as that happen all the time here.
i don't remember if I mentioned it the other week but the Morioqui family is going to be baptized this Saturday. They are the first people I really taught in the mission. They are finally ready for that sacred covenant. Needless to say I just had to ask special permission from President Robinson to be there. Our Pres. is just amazing. That sort of permission almost never is given, but he said I could go. Upon hearing that, the fam. Morioqui, they asked me to be the one to baptize them. I'm so so happy and excited for this Saturday. It'll be a 7+ hour trip each way but it'll be so worth it. More to come next week.

Saturday we spent all day in an amazing meeting with Pres. Robinson. We talked about many subjects; simplifying teaching, missionary qualities, etc. but of everything I really liked talking about Sabbath day observance. We used 3 Nephi chapter 18 when Jesus instituted the sacrament among the ancient inhabitants of the Americas. Verse 7 talks of how the sacrament is a testimony we give that we remember Him. If we partake of the sacrament we show Christ of our love for him but if we decide to not go and participate in said ordinance, what kind of testimony are we giving? Food for thought haha. Then in verse 12 it explains how it's a commandment to participate. What is not complying with commandment called? Sin. Bleak and harsh. We need to respect the Sabbath Day to ensure our purity before God. #DoctrineAndCovenants59:9-10

All  in all life's just great. I hope its been treating you as well as it has me. I love you all and hope you all have the best weeks of your life. Remember Him. Christ. Remember in this Easter season. That He lives! That we believe in a living God of miracles and life. Learn of Him this week. Read of Him. Pray. More than anything love the life He has given us.
Love forever,
Elder Smith

The Amercan Mexican border
A group from Utah that stopped by here and scared us as they stopped several cars and all hopped out and we were overwhelmed by gringo. I discovered that day that my English is horrendous.
Other this and thats

13 March 2016

Agua Prieta is the promised land for missionaries. It's the best. We go talking with people or knocking doors or what not and it's literally a 50% acceptance rate. 10% is normal here. 50% is unreal. There is literally no way to not have work here. Wednesday we got to have one of the assistants to president join us for the day.They came by Agua Prieta to go on exchanges with zone leaders and us, it was super cool. Literally every appointment we had that day fell through but just as fast as they fell we found new people to teach. By the end of the day and between everything we had done Sunday through Tuesday we had the agenda super booked till basically tomorrow. It's been super cool working here. 

There are people here that are just super prepared. Everyone just receives us well.  The hard part is getting them to church. It's pretty far away. Two busses or car, but most people don't have a car so we're struggling with that. I didn't even make it to church on Sunday. Elder Allen woke up crazy sick and could barely move. I ended up staying with him since I too was somewhat sick. It was the weirdest feeling to not go. 0/10 would recommend haha. i definitely missed going.

One of my favorite moments this week was while we were walking down the street and I felt like talking to a lady getting out of her car. We introduce ourselves and make an appointment. I didnt think too much of it but the next day when we stopped by they opened up and said they had been waiting for us, that's a phrase we don't get much. We start talking and realized that they were members that had moved 2 years ago and since then hadn't had the missionaries visit. They don't have too long being members. It was just super cool to see how happy they were that we had found them. I'm excited to keep visiting them and helping them as they reactivate themselves in the gospel. 

Go out there and have the best week ever! Keep up the amazing and make every moment the best you've ever had.
I love you all!

Elder Smith

Sunday, March 13, 2016

New Area - Agua Prieta

Gavin and his new companion Elder Garcia, in Agua Prieta.  The companion a convert of 2 years. He received the scrabble cheezits, and is obviously pretty happy about it.

7 March 2016

This has just been one of the best weeks ever. From the start my new companion, Elder Garcia, has been awesome. He's a convert of now 2 years and has a love for the work I truly admire. I can tell by the way he does everything. Makes me want to ensure that I'm doing the same. 
The concept is obvious. Actions speak louder than words. Example is of the most powerful ways to teach. What we do is so important, and how we do it. We have to do right and out of love not obligation. It's hard but its something I hope to learn well while in Agua Prieta. 
The people here are amazing. We've been searching for the people the previous missionaries left behind for us to find. Elias and Moises are brothers, twins if I remember correctly. They both got baptized while in their teenage years then went inactive for many years. Elias was telling us that he suddenly felt like he needed to read the scriptures again. Soon thereafter the missionaries found him after many years of nothing he's started going to church again. Yesterday he brought his newborn baby to be blessed. I'm excited to keep working with him and all of his family. 
We were knocking on doors the other day and as always it was the last door of the last street. I wonder why we don't start with that door, it'd make things easier I bet haha. We knock and a kid answers and tell us that his dad is asleep but we can come back Sunday. How many times do we hear that. Nonetheless as always we go back. We find his dad this time and he invites us in. We start teaching and what began as polite disinterest became definite curiosity. We start talking of some doubts he has as we come towards the end his wife comes and joins us. She asks us a few things and tells us of some things going on of which I know we will be able to help. i'm excited to keep that up. The world is full of people that need God's help, we just have to be diligent. 
I'm loving life and keeping it real all day everyday. I sure hope you do the same! Go have the best week ever!
Elder Smith

the pics are from empalme

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

29 February 2016

Elder Smith sent a brief note that he was transferred to Agua Prieta which is directly across the US border from Douglas Arizona.  He was very surprised and spent the day and night traveling from the beautiful SW corner of his mission to the NE corner of his mission. He was exhausted. He has only had 2 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours. He has a new companion. Elder Garcia. He has a State side address that anyone who would like to send him a letter of encouragement or understanding or fun package is welcome to use. ( This is his Mom talking he didn't say that).

Elder Daniel Gavin Smith
601 East 10th Street
PO box 601
Douglas, Arizona

Thanks for all your love, support and prayers.