Tuesday, June 28, 2016

28 June 2016 - What. A. Week. ( That week with Ty)

Incredible Miracle:  Elder Gavin Smith and Elder Ty Smith serving together for a week!

What. A. Week. We started it off strong.  We had a great days work and found some great people we hope to keep teaching.. but the best part was when Ty got here. For all we tried we didn't get to sleep till past midnight. Nonetheless we got up nice and early and not too tired to head off to one of the best zone meetings I've ever been in. I'll hit you all up with details later in the letter. The whole week we had almost every appointment fall through but it gave us a great opportunity to contact a lot and find new people. I especially enjoyed how by the end of the week Ty was able to express himself well enough that the people understood what he wanted to say. For just a week in mexico, his spanish progressed miraculously. 

I really enjoyed a lesson we had with Estela and her family. She is progressing so well but due to a sudden case of the pox she was unable to come to church the past two weeks. Actually we almost couldn't find her. But one morning we found her in her brother's house and had the most wonderful lesson about why we have dfificulties in life and how to overcome them. We used a scripture from Doctrine and Covenants 122 that I love. verses7-9 it's a very comforting promise and advice

 7 And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.

 8 The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?

 9  Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever.

This life is to learn and progress. Trials are just a necessary part. All will be as a "small moment" Christ has passed through all we do and infinitely more. We cannot fear, for fear will lead us to doubt in God. We may have questions but we can never. never. doubt our faith nor God. 

Saturday evening we had a family home evening with Jackelyn and her family. It was a great night full of fun and learning. Part of the family even made it to church on Sunday! Hopefully they all can make it next week.
I wish to testify of the power of hymns. We were able to sing several with Jackelyn and fam and it was probably the best part of the night. Sunday we sang Nearer My God to Thee us three and it turned out beautiful. one could really feel the Spirit. And on a light note, my companion found comfort in singing children's hymns in the middle of the night as he was throwing up. (Hes much better now).

All in all it was a fantastic week. 

So zone conference I attempted to translate part of my notes to help explain. I hope its understandable.

 Alma 7:20 I perceive that it has been made known unto you, by the testimony of his word, that he cannot walk in crooked paths; neither doth he vary from that which he hath said; neither hath he a shadow of turning from the right to the left, or from that which is right to that which is wrong; therefore, his course is one eternal round.

What is a round? a circle. thats what was explained so well in the meeting. The circle of life. The great eternal round of God and Godship. 
First we must understand that we don't have just one Heavenly Parent but two. Father and Mother. We are all spirit children of said beings. This leads us to understand just why God cares so much about us. He cares for and worries abut his family. God has the infinite ability to create. To organize what is unorganized. To make beauty where perhaps there was not. I'd like you to refer to the drawing. 

We "begin" with out heavenly parents. We know we are created by them and lived with them before our time here. This is called pre-earth life. Our first estate. scripture explains that many rebelled against the plan of God and "kept not their first estate" these spirits were taken away from the eternal round of eternal progression by their own decision. #freeagency. We know we kept our first estate (that we followed God's plan of Christ being our Savior) because we are here on earth we were born. Here we are being tested and tried. To see if we "will do all things whatsoever the Lord [our] God shall command" we then pass though death and enter the spirit world. There we will be in either paradise of spiritual prison. Note that there all people will have the opportunity to hear and accept the gospel of Christ. Also note those of us that fulfill our purpose here and make it in to paradise will yes rest from our worries but it never said that we would rest from all labors. For there is a great work yet to do. We must continue working to bring souls to Christ by preaching to those who don't know. We will then be resurrected and judged. To enter into a kingdom other then that of the Celestial puts an end to our progression but by entering into the celestial sealed to a spouse. in that state we will be able to learn from God until we know enough to be as He is. Then have offspring as he had us. "as man is, God once was. As God is, man may become" what a beautiful and fulfilling understanding! This is the watered down version of such an amazing meeting. I pray that we can all understand out truly divine potential and our eternal importance. Never give up because the central doctrine that makes our round possible is that of the atonement of Jesus Christ. He makes it possible we can do it! I love you all and hope you all have the best week ever!
Love forever,

Elder Smith 

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

20 June 2016

Thanks for being the best dad ever btw. I wish i could have called home as on Mother's Day but it's okay. Father's Day here is celebrated with lots of drinking and loud annoying music but then again that's how any and everything is celebrated here. Nonetheless in honor of my diligent father we tried to work extra hard. Every appointment fell though but we were still able to teach a few people. Thanks for being the best and for helping me better understand Heavenly Father because of who you are.

have the most amazing week planned for Ty. I hope to make it a pivotal moment for his entire misson. He will be worked hard and come home exhausted don't you worry. He's in good hands. haha

13 June 2016

Let me just begin to tell of the best week ever. I had the most wonderful time teaching and finding. We were thrilled to have Estela and her kids come with us to church. They loved it! They are such a great family and I love teaching them. Elias couldn't make it this week but is doing great. same with Jackelyn. but all in all everyone is progressing and doing well. I want to tell you about how amazing God's timing is. On the mission everything just works sometimes. It's amazing. Without even realizing it sometimes you are guided in the paths you need. I remember we were walking to church for a meeting and we pass by a taco stand where we find Carlos and Alejandra. Elder Hyatt had been teaching them before but hadn't been able to find them for weeks because Carlos left to work in the states for a while. We set an appointment but upon going we didn't find them. Instead we find a different family to teach. Then Sunday we are walking down the street and a truck rolls by and who but Carlos would be yelling at us to come over right then and there. So we go and it was a very good moment to go. He was with his cousin Arturo. We get talking. (for knowledge sake they are both less active members) Arturo had fallen into a bit of a drinking habit. We are talking and they basically make a deal with each other if Arturo starts going to church again Carlos will and they will both bring they whole family with them. member and nonmember. I'm down with that haha. I'm excited to see how this progresses. 
I'm going to throw in some pics this week.
So I had exchanges with the zone leaders and finally bought the now necessary hat and glasses. Not my favorite style but ill be rocking it hardcore haha
This week my comp turned 19. and one of the fantastic youth here, José surprised us with a dairy queen oreo cake to celebrate

This morning we climbed a small hill enjoy

Behold. Caborca.

It,s been a great week. The next will be even better. and the following of legend. (Ty, my favorite brother, is going to come out for a week!!!)

Go make this the best week ever! i love you all so much and know that God loves you even more!

6 June 2016

Caborca is a paradise. I'm speaking very spiritually right now haha. It's so hot here but the work is amazing. We had a fantastic week. So i'll just kinda go into some great moments this week.

We went to visit someone named Delia the other night and well we didn't exactly find her but her son, Adrian, was there. He has gone through some really hard moments and to get to the point we came at a very opportune moment. We were able to testify of the Atonement and its power to change lives and make even the worst situations better. He's quickly become one of our best investigators. We are teaching this family, Estela and her kids. They just lost their grandmother. I came in the middle of the teaching process but we have been able to testify and teach about the plan of salvation and according to my companion, that doctrine took her from a politely disinterested person to a progressing investigator. Jackelyn is also great to teach. She could be described as one of those golden investigators. she accepts everything very open minded and acts upon what we teach. She has a baptism planned for the first week of July:) Elias is another one we are teaching he has been going to church for about two years and just needs to get married to get baptized. Luckily he has the papers in process and this transfer should be ready:). actaully most people we are teaching need to get married. Free union is very common here. Basically there are many amazing people here to teach. so I want to end with one last experience this week.

We started teaching a guy named Quinton. He's super nice but the lessons always become interesting. He is very well versed in the bible and the doctrine he knows. as we talk he politely pulls out bible verses apparently contradicting what we are teaching. It's a hard situation because often we feel a lack of words to explain what we know to be true. The only thing that gets us through is knowing that we have a direct answer from God Himself that what we teach is true. Maybe you don't know all the answers or have all the knowledge you want but you can have the most important answer of all. You can know that God lives and loves you and that He speaks through a living prophet. That this church is true and the doctrine 100% correct. as Pres. Uchtdorf said "This isn't man's best guess as to the meaning of ancient scripture. No. this is the truth of heaven reavealed by God himself!" I know that this church is true and that God loves us. He has made a perfect plan for us and we can be eternally happy by following it. Doubts may arise and fear come. Life will always be changing but one thing is sure. The gospel and good news of Jesus Christ is perfect and will lead us through this life with safety and joy. I love you all and hope for you to have the best week ever. Make a difference in someone's life for good!
Elder Smith

Friday, June 3, 2016

3 June 2016

Hey! So let me just tell you what wonderful things have happened to me. So last week we got to baptize Alejandra. It was cool to teach and prepare her for that. I hope that as time goes by she and her sisters can help their parents take the same saving steps.

That was at 1 pm Saturday. At 8 pm that night, we got to go to another baptism that made me very happy. We have been teaching and visiting Angel Alonso for several months. He was baptized when younger but in his middle age his name was removed from church records. After a long and hard process, he came back. He has been attending church for a few years.  Just last week he was approved to make the covenant of Baptism. I don't think iI've ever seen someone so happy to be baptized. I think with a more full understanding that came from many years he knew what it meant better than most converts. 

So now I've now been sent to Caborca as Summer begins. It is a similar climate to Hermosillo so are already in the triple digits of heat. Nonetheless I'm loving it here so far. I've met but a few people, but they are wonderful. Many prospects. Next week I'll have more detail of this place. 

I love you all and apreciate everything you do. I hope you have the best week ever and learn something new! 
Elder Smith