Monday, October 25, 2010

Recent Photos!

Happy Birthday to ME!

Dear Everyone,
Hey I’m glad you all had a good week! So basically I can see the rest of this year going by super fast. First this week is my birthday and in a few more days I will no longer be considered a teenager, but I still am and probably will be one for the rest of my life. Ha ha! So after this week, we enter November and on the 10th, we have changes and I am pretty sure that I will be getting a new companion and that will be nice. Then I hit a year and everything will start to go downhill, well at least the time will. Then we are going to be in the holiday season and boy am I not excited to spend it in a tropical country and I’m glad that this will be the first and the last Christmas that I spend outside of the United States. 
So this week was pretty good—nothing too exciting happened so this will probably be a short letter. We set a baptismal goal with Pablo for the 6th of November and I am really excited about that. Other than that we are working with a few investigators that we currently have. Our main focus is finding new people to teach, especially families. We are working with members and getting referrals from them because in the mission we have seen that referrals are more likely to get baptized and then stay active in the church because they have a source of support that doesn’t come from only the missionaries, but also from their friends. Also something that President Galvez is really big on is finding a family everyday. So that is something that we are working on trying to do better at in our tracking.
Tomorrow we are having interviews with President Galvez and hopefully my package has arrived because if it has then I will be at the mission home to pick it up. All the district leaders are assigned to give a little lesson about some new things that the mission is trying to implement. I have been assigned to talk about, “How investigators can receive revelation by reading the Book of Mormon.” So I was studying a little bit this morning about some of the things that I could talk about. When we teach the Book of Mormon to an investigator, I like to share parts of both the introduction and ending which is something very important. It invites everyone to read the Book of Mormon, then to meditate on the message and then pray and ask God if it is true. Those people that do this con un corazón sincero con verdadera intención, teniendo fe en Cristo, él os manifestará la verdad de ellas por el poder del Espíritu Santo. By that same witness they receive from the Holy Ghost they will also know that Christ is the Savior amd that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that this is the true church of Christ. So these are just a few things that I will talk about during tomorrow’s meeting.
So I hope you all have a wonderful week and the next time I write you I´ll be Twentyteen. Ha ha! Love Elder Smith

Monday, October 18, 2010

Reached 11 Month Marker

Dear Family and Friends and others who may read this,
Yay! I cant belive how fast 11 months go by. When I think about it, they have really gone by super fast and everthing is a big blur. I looked at the clock at 10:00 this morning and I thought to myself that 11 months ago from this exact moment I was in Provo getting ready to enter the MTC. The past 11 months have gone by so fast and I´m told that after you hit the year mark it will go even faster which is kinda scary cuase I´m not ready to go back home. Still got a lot of things that I want to do and luckily I´ve got a year to do it. I also cant believe its been a year since I went through the temple, feels like it was yesterday.
So this week was really good because we had the baptisms of Scarlth and Cristopher! It was really awesome, but a little stressfull to plan the baptism. The responsibilities of being senior companion and district leader are a little more stressfull than I thought they would be. The baptism was very good though and a lot of people showed up, which was a good thing. So thats basically all the big stuff that happend this week.
Ha ha on Wednesday we had a meeting with the ZL´s and when we were coming home my companion sat behind me in the bus. Well when we got to our stop I got off the bus and walked to the sidewalk. Well when I turned around I saw the bus leaving, but guess who was no where in sight, my comp! Haha it was an awkward expirience, cuase I haven´t been on my own for 11 months. I wasnt too worried though cause I figured my comp. had fallen asleep on the bus and didnt see me get up. So I walked to the house to wait for him and if he didnt show up in 30 min. I was going to call Pres. Luckily he showed up like 10 min. later and it felt wierd being alone for that 10 min. I´m sure its going to be super wierd being alone after the mission and I´m sure that I´ll be really weird. So that was my exciting expirience that happend this week.
So last week I went on divisions with one of the AP´s, just for the day. His name is Elder Centeno and he is from Panama. I told him that I have a cousing that served a mission in Panama and lives there now. He kinda freaked out a little cuase there was an Elder Smith who served in his ward and was good friends with his family. He is pretty sure that it is Adam so if you guys want to ask him if remembers the Centeno Family.
Also there is a member in my ward, Bishop Jimenez, he was one of the first missionaries in Costa Rica and he wrote  the history of the Costa Rican mission, but he has no money to publish it. I told him about Brother Mortensen and how he did the same thing with The Dominican Republic. Bishop Jimenez asked me if I could get a copy of the book cause he would love to read it. So maybe you could send a couple copies of it. Bishop Jimenez speaks english, but he said he would like it in Spanish if there are copies in Spanish. So tell me next week if you can send it.  So I hope you all have an awesome week! Love Elder Smith P.S. Only 11 days till my birthday and then only 3 more weeks till I hit a year in the mission. Yay!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Two Baptisms!

Dear Everyone, Sorry, but this is going to be a short letter -- Next week I´ll have more time to write. This week has been pretty good! We are going to have  2 baptisms this week, Scarlet and Christofer. It's going to really cool! This past week I got to use my new district leader responsibilities and went on divisions. I went to meet the investigators in the Hatillos area. They are going to have one baptism this month and it's a young girl whose parents are less active, but are now being reactivated.
My new companion is okay. He likes to talk about himself and his home, El Salvador. It's possible that I'll have only one change with him because the AP´s called my this morning and told me about some future plans in my district which will be exciting. So other than that, not much else has happened. Sorry this is really short but I don't have much time today. Next week will be a lot longer and I should have pictures to share from the baptism. Love, Elder Smith

Monday, October 4, 2010

Senior Companion and District Leader

Dear Everyone,
So I hope you all had a good week and hope you all loved General Conference. It was very good and went by too fast. It´s funny that before the mission I could barely watch a full session and in the mission I feel like they go by too fast. Oh well only 6 more months until the next one. Just think I only have 2 more General Conferences to go in the mission, 2 more times to call home and one more Christmas to miss. It´s crazy how fast time is flying by down here, but I like it.
So last week Elder King had changes. It was sad, because he is the coolest, funniest missionary in Costa Rica and I think it was one of the best 6 weeks of my entire life. I'm going to miss him a lot. Well that being said, my new companion is Elder Menendez. He is from El Salvador and has 8 months in the mission. Finally I have a companion who is younger than me and finally I am senior companion. Also I am now District Leader YAY!!! Finally I have some responsability in the mission and actually I love it.
This week was really awesome! On Friday I did divisions with Elder Sangster from my MTC group. He is now my Zone Leader. It was really fun to work with him for a day and even cooler to see how much we have both progresed as missionaries since the MTC. We visited a lady we are teaching named Scarlet. She has 4 kids and no job. They are a cool family and Elder Sangster and I put a baptismal goal with them for the 23rd of October. Also today we bought some food for them that we are going to take over tomorrow. They have also come to church the past two weeks so they are progressing nicely.
Saturday and Sunday were really awesome because it was general conference. I didn't have one favorite talk because I liked pretty much liked all of them. I'm going to download them all so that I can listen to them for the next 6 months. Another reason why conference was so cool is because I got to watch it in English with a bunch of cool missionaries. Elder Sirrine is in my zone again and so we got to watch conference together again and then during one of the breaks we went to KFC and got the Kentucky double, that is our conference tradition.
So other than that not much happened because Elder King spent the first of last week saying good-bye to the people here and then on Wednesday I got my new companion. Oh, there is an Elder Stevens who just came in this change. He came up to me and asked if I was from Centerville and apparantly I played baseball with him and Brandon Bednar. I didn't recognize him at first but then I remembered. So that was really cool! I kind of feel bad for the new missionaries in my zone cuase they don't understand any spanish and I can totally remember when I was like that. Now I have no problems with understanding or speaking the language. Ocasionally I´ll hear a word that I don't understand, but I just look it up and then I understand it.
Well this week is going to be very busy, because tomorrow and Wednesday I have a meeting with President Galvez along with all the other DL´s and trainers. Also I have to go to the other area in my district to get to know their investigators that have a baptismal goal.
I love you all and hope you have an awesome week!
Love Elder Smith
P.S. Mom I´ll be on the lookout for the package. I don't know how long it will take to get here, but Elder Wittier, from my MTC district, is one of the secrataries and so I´ll just call him and ask if any packages have come for me and then I´ll go to the office and pick it up. Also I still don't know where I want to go to college. I´ve got friends going to both BYU and U of U and I still have no idea what I want to study. I still think that it would be fun to play lacrosse and I have been working out every day so that I can come home and really start working out to get in great shape. So still don't know yet and I'm glad I still have a year to think about it.
Love Ya´ll!! Oh ya this week I have offically started listening to Christmas music!