Monday, November 29, 2010

Celebrating Thanksgiving

I ate about 3 helpings of this Turkey meal!
Dear Family, Hey it's good to hear that all is well in the United States of America. Looks like Thanksgiving was fun and just think, next Thanksgiving I will be home. Yay! Actually we had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner. A member, Jario Hernandez, invited us over and we ate a traditional Thanksgiving dinner (I´ll upload the photos).
So this week we had 6 baptisms. Jose, Maureen, Jose David, Abigail, Sherelyn and Pablo all got baptized this week and so that was really cool. I will post the photos from that too.
So this week we had a really fun experience. Elder Sangster came to our area and we were in a trio. During lunch, he asked my companion how many families that he wanted to contact that day. He said 5 families, kinda joking, but we decided to try and contact at least 5 families. Well, we met the goal and actually we contacted 6 families. It was cool and actually not that hard. So that's going to be the focus for this month, finding new families to teach because we don't have a lot of investigators.
So this letter is short, but I will upload pictures (Mom posts photos regularly to Elder Smith's blog and have the office check on the package.
Love you all, Elder Smith P.S. send more pictures (I want to see what the house looks like)

More Photos of Thanksgiving

Misc. Photos


Pizza Party

What a mess!

Mr. Clean

My favorite convert-- Michael, Me, and Yoel

Maybis, me, Anni, Hermana Jennifer, Jimena

Keeping stats of our work

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Plentiful Week of Baptisms!

Elder Sangster, Elder Gomez,  ME, Sherelyn, Maureen, Jose, Abigail, Jose David, Elder Menendez

Elders Menedez, Sangster, Smith, Gomez, and Norr

Back: Me, Menendez, Jose, Maureen, Bishop Segura, Norr, Gomez. Front: Sherelyn, Abigail, Jose David, Sangester

Monday, November 22, 2010

1 Año

Mi querido familia,
Por fin tengo un año en la misión. Muchas veces es dificil a creer que he sido misionero por un año. El tiempo ha pasado super rapido y estoy agradecido que tengo un año mas para servir el Señor. Para ser sincero cuando entré la misión casí no sabía nada del evangelio de Jesucristo. Solo sabía que la iglesia es verdadera  y el libro es azul (chistes en ingles no se traduce muy bien en español jaja) Pero en solo un año mi conocimiento del evangelio ha crecido un monton. Por medio de mis estudios de las escrituras, Predicad mi evangelio y otros libros del evangelio que tengo yo puedo decir sin ningun duda que sé que esta es la iglesia verdadera. Sé que Jose Smith vío nuestro Padre Celestial y Jesucristo. Sé que Dios le llamó a ser un profeta para restaurar la iglesia en la tierra. Sé que El Libro de Mormón es la palabra de Dios y que contiene la plenitud del evangelio. Al leer el libro de mormón mi fe en Cristo ha crecido y sé que es un otro testamento de Cristo. Sé que Tomas S. Monson es el profeta hoy en dia llamado por Dios para guiarnos. Sé que por medio de la fe, el arrepentimiento, el bautismo, el don del espiritu santo, y el perseverar hasta el fin podemos lograr la paz y felicidad en esta vida y la salvación en la vida venidera. Sé que las families puedan ser eternas por medio de ordenanzas sagradas que hacemos en los templos. Entonces he cambiado mucho en este año y estoy animado a ver cuanto mas voy a cambiar en el año que viene. (Have fun translating)
So this week was really stressful. Of the 7 baptisms we were going to have, only 1investigator got baptized. Jose, Maureen, Jose David, Abigail, Sheralyn and Pablo are going to get baptized this Wednesday. There were a couple problems and so we had to move the baptismal date to this week. Jose asked Elder Sangster to baptize him. Pedro is going to baptize two of his sisters, Maureen and Sheralyn. My companion is going to baptize Jose David (first baptism) and Abigail asked me to baptize her. Also Elder Norr is going to baptize Pablo. So this week is going to be very exciting and it will be a little stressfull, but that's going to be my life for the next year.
So still no sign of the package. I'm a little worried because I am on my last pair of contacts and so I don't know if there is a way you can check and see if the package got here or maybe you wrote the wrong address. I called the secretaries and the address you told me is okay, but maybe you wrote it wrong or something like that.
This week is Thanksgiving and it is going to be awesome. A member in my ward, Jairo Hernandez, works for the government and so he travels all over the world. He lived in New York for awhile and so he is basically a gingo. Well, he invited us over to his house on Thursday because he is going to have a real thanksgiving dinner. Yay!!!! I'm excited.
So everything is good here and I hope you all have an awesome Thanksgiving!!
Love Elder Smith
P.S. We played Monopoly this morning and I destroyed everyone!
Thank goodness for GOOGLE translate . . .for those of us who "no hablo espanol", here's what Elder Smith wrote:
Finally I have a year in the mission. Many times it's hard to believe I've been a missionary for one year. Time has gone by super fast and I'm grateful that I have another year to serve the Lord. To be honest when I entered the mission, I almost knew nothing of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I just knew that the church is true and the book is blue (jokes in English does not translate very well in Spanish haha). But in just one year, my knowledge of the gospel has grown a lot. Through my studies of the scriptures, "Preach My Gospel" and other books of the Gospel that I have, I can say without any doubt I know that this is the true church. I know that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know that God called him to be a prophet to restore the church on earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and contains the fullness of the gospel. Reading the Book of Mormon, my faith in Christ has grown and I know that it is another testament of Christ. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today called by God to guide us. I know that through faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end we can achieve peace and happiness in this life and salvation in the afterlife. I know that families can be together forever through sacred ordinances we do in the temples. So I've changed a lot this year and I am encouraged to see how much more I will change in this next year.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Hello Everyone,
Hey guess who has a year in the mission... ME!!!!!!! I honestly never thought that I’d make it this far in the mission, but boy has it gone by super fast. I still remember walking into the MTC building like it was yesterday, not really but it has gone by pretty fast. So yah, one more year and I will be able to watch all the TV and movies I want. One more year and I will be able to listen to the music I want (By the way thanks for the CD update Nick, but I already knew about that release. Unfortunately there are some missionaries who aren’t too good at keeping the rules and they tell me about all the stuff that comes out. Also I’ve heard that ADTR comes out with a new CD this week and so in a year I will be listening to that.) So anyway I’m not trunky—it’s just fun to think that in a few days I will be able to wake up every morning and say, “In a year I will be home!”
So this week is going to be super awesome because we are going to have a few baptisms. YAY!!!!! Jose and Mauren are going to get baptized on Wednesday! Elder King and I taught them when I got to Pavas, but we kind of lost contact with them for awhile, but then Jose came to church a few weeks ago and they all want to get baptized. Also some siblings of Mauren moved into their home and they were receiving the lessons from the missionaries where they used to live. Actually, Elder Norr, the other Elder I lived with, was one of the Elders who was teaching them and so that’s really cool.
So this week will be focusing on that and it’s kind of stressful being the district leader. This month, the zone has a baptism goal of 19 and 9 of those goals are coming from my district so I have all the weight on my shoulders—well it feels like that. This week is very important for the district and the zone and so we will see what happens.
Other than that not much has happened. Elder Gomez is super cool and as a trainer I am seeing that I am re-training myself on how to be a missionary and so that’s really cool. Mom I still haven’t gotten my package, but I will talk to the secretaries this week and ask them about the address. Also there are some things that I was hoping you send to me for Christmas. First, a calendar so I can count down the last 52 weeks of my mission. (Ha Ha) Some more socks because I’m starting to get some holes in my socks. Also one of my recent converts, Arturo, was wondering if I could get him the quad, because he speaks English and he wants to have the bible and the triple all in one book. So that would be cool if you could sent a copy for him.
Well Hope you all have an awesome week. Tell Aunt Paulina and the family thanks for the letters! Love Elder Smith

Monday, November 8, 2010

I Am Now a Father!

Me with Pablo -- He got baptized!

Elder Norr performed Pablo's baptism

Dear Everyone,
I hope all is well and I hope you all had and awesome week! Well this week has been super busy with moving and everything. We had to do a ton of stuff and we didn't actually move in to our new apartment until last night. So today was the "changes" meeting and I have my new companion. I am training Elder Gomez from Mexico. It's going to be so much fun training and Elder Gomez seems like a really cool guy and is ready to get to work. So I will be working in Pavas and my old companion will be in Bri Bri. We will be living in the same house as him and his new companion, Elder Norr (who is a Star Wars freak).  As the missionary's mom, let me just clarify Elder Smith's subject title . . . "He's fathering a greenie or baby elder . . . just want to make sure we're all clear on that  . . . "
Yesterday, I also did divisions with Elder Sangster after we got everything moved over to our new apartment and the first thing we had to do was go to the telephone company to ask for them to put a telephone line in our house because right now we don't have one. Well, we waited for like an hour and it was really cool how we can now do business deals and things like that speaking Spanish, because when I got here I could only say, "Yo sé que la iglesia es verdad" in a really thick gringo accent. So it's really cool to see how much we have both progressed in the language. We have to wait for about 5 days before they can put our telephone line in so that means I will be spending my nights on a pay phone for the next week. 
After that got worked out, Elder Sangster and I went visiting -- it was lots of fun. We visited Pablo and he really wants to get baptized, but he´s also a little nervous so he is still thinking about it, but we told him that we are going to have a baptismal service on Saturday and if he feels ready we´ll do it and if he doesnt we´ll wait. We also visited Jose and Mauren and the family and they all want to get baptized too. The problem is with Mauren's work, she won't be able to come to church every Sunday, but if she comes to church this Sunday we are going to have the baptism next Wednesday!
The work is going really well and I am excited that in a week I will have a year in the mission and then it's downhill from there. That means we all only have one more year to get our 6 packs and Spencer, you only have one more year left to sleep in my room. Speaking of 6 packs I have started my new diet--oatmeal! I eat it everyday for breakfast and then for dinner I eat something small because usually the members give us food. I still have not recieve my package and so I´m going to be calling the office a lot so that I can know when it comes and then I can go there and pick it up. Other than that everything is good and I am excited for this new "change"!
Love you all!!!!!!!! Elder Smith

Monday, November 1, 2010

I Don't Think I've Ever Eaten So Much In My Life!

Dear Family,
I hope you all had a good week! Well this week was pretty cool because now I am 20 years old. So my birthday was pretty good, but the only thing was I didn’t get my package, but if it has arrived I will get it on Thursday because we have zone conference. What really made my birthday awesome was I bought a guitar (thanks Nana and Papa K.) and when I bought it I realized that I don’t remember how to play anything so I’m going to print of some stuff and start practicing.
Well Friday we just visited some members and they said Happy Birthday to me and then after we went to the church to talk with the bishop and there was a young women’s activity and they had hot dogs so I ate two of them. Then when we went home and I orderd a pizza from Papa Johns and ate the whole entire thing. Then Saturday morning I went to do a couple of baptismal interviews for the elders in my district (my first baptismal interviews and let me just tell you that it was awesome and I hope to stay DL or ZL the rest of my mission so I can do baptismal interviews because it was way cool). Anyway, the mother cooked us a really big breakfast. Then in the afternoon there was a garage sale in our ward and there was also food so I ate more pizza. Then at night a family had invited us to come over for dinner for my birthday so I ate a bunch of chicken and rice. Then Sunday we ate lunch with a member family. In the afternoon we made pupusas with a member family and I ate a few of those. Then at night, Arturo invited us over for dinner and cake and ice cream because he was gone on friday and missed my birthday, but he bought me a cake. So right now I have about a weeks worth of food sitting in my stomach and I don’t think I’ve ever been so full in my entire life. But it was a fun birthday!
So this week has been pretty good and we are probably going to have a baptism this week. Pablo is doing super good and wants to get baptized, but he wants to make sure about it so he is going to be praying and asking if he should do it this week, but I think he is ready. Also this week we put 5 baptismal goals with a family that we have been teaching for awhile. They are Jose and Mauren (husband and wife) Abby, Jose David, Cheralin (siblings of Mauren). They have been taught all the lessons and they all want to get baptized so we are pretty excited about that. For the month of November we have a baptismal goal of 7 and I really hope we make it because the goal for my district is 9 and the goal for the zone is 19. So I have about half of the goal for the zone riding on my shoulders so I’m kind of nervous, but I have faith that we can do it.
Also next week is changes and I am pretty sure that I will be receiving a new companion because President wants missionaries in both Bri Bri and Pavas. Also we are moving into a new apartment this week that is big enough for 4 missionaries and so that will be really cool.
Well I hope you all have an awesome week and I love you all very much!Love Elder Smith