Thursday, December 30, 2010

Merry Christmas

Hey familia!

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas full of love and christmas spirit! We had a nice Christmas FULL of tons of work and busy stress. Gotta love that! But we ended the weekend with 5 baptisms and 4 confirmations. Haha. A little sad, but we’ll get one of the girls confirmed next week. It was a beautiful service and I felt the spirit very strongly. I’m definitely grateful that Heavenly Father let us see that huge miracle and blessing.

Funnies this week:

1. Pretty sure we found a tarantula in our water sink thing. (don’t know what its called in English) but its our source of water. Yup a tarantula. Good thing we have a brave papa cruz to fish it out and the dog to kill it. Hahaha. MLIAIH

2. We get to the branch Christmas party on Wednesday and the branch president asked us to do a special musical number. No preparation. Practiced once, sang, they loved it. MLIAIH.

3. So the end of the year tradition in Honduras is that before Christmas almost everyone repaints their house, because the paint wears and stuff. But they don’t worry about repainting the same colors, they just pick a new one or two colors and get at it. Its all good because I mean who likes to have the same color house forever, but its confusing when we read an address and it has a house color on it that has changed. Haha that method of finding peoples house just went out the window. MLIAIH

4. Another Christmas tradition is that the kids make these dummies out of pillows and soccer ball heads and stuff, put them in the street, and then pull a rope across the street and when people pass by ask for money. I’m still trying to figure out the connection. What I’ve investigated I think they are asking for money to buy fireworks and blow up the dummies. I’m still working on it, so I’ll get back to you when I figure it out. MLIAIH

5. The other day we were bringing this cute little family to church but we were a little late, so we were getting the kids to walk fast. The 3 year old kid had his new pants on but they were a little big and forgot a belt. So as my companion held his hand, the 8 year old brother held his pants, but a little too strong so he was walking all funny. Hahaha it was the funniest scene, especially cuz this kid was just laughing his head off. Oh I wanted a picture. MLIAIH

6. Best thing about Honduras: they sell egg nog all year round. (or is that normal and I’ve just forgot?) anyway I love it. MLIAIH

Well I’m certainly grateful for all the funnies I had this week, because it wasn’t that funny of a week. Haha. We’ve had some really huge trials with some families that we’re working with, so its been a not so funny week, but I guess if we look for the negative, that’s what we’ll find right? I guess I’ll keep looking for the funnies.

But I am learning a lot about why Heavenly Father gives us trials. I mean I still haven’t figured it out totally yet, but I was studying this morning and realized that there are so many promises made to the people who are persecuted and go through trials, that we should consider hard times blessings because then we deserve the blessings. Hope that makes sense. Its hard, but its so important to keep an eternal perspective and realize that maybe lifes not fair, but if we know we are being obedient we have nothing to worry about. After all, the wicked will be much worse off!

I hope you all can take some time in prayer this week and ask Heavenly Father the things he wants you to do in this coming year. Remember he knows what is going to happen in 2011 and can help you prepare, if you find the personal revelation. That’s what I’m hoping to do this week. Lets make some goals and accomplish them! Hehe.

I love this gospel and I love the Lord, that’s why I’m here!

Love you all, too!

Hermana Smith

Monday, December 6, 2010

the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards

Hey Familia!!!

Wow, what a week to catch you all up on. I wish I could just tell you all the miracles we’ve seen in just these last 7 days, but there’s no way I could tell them all in 1 hour. But basically remember that family we said we were helping last week? Well we went last Monday and ended up realizing there was a lot more work than we were expecting. I wish I could describe the heart breaking conditions they were living in. basically there house was 4 walls and ground. They had a plastic tarp covering half of the house and some old sheets blocking the doors and windows. (see pictures to start imagining). That was it. There bed was some old nasty springs with 2 thin cot type mattresses and a few blankets. They were cooking with an old gas stove and the only water they had was dirty and scarce. After a day of searching, praying, miracles we ended up finding their neighbors were giving away old tiles of their old roof. Actually they were selling it but I called the guy and he agreed to just give it to them. Oh man I wish I could just tell you what happened everyday, but there’s just no time. Basically that was Monday but by Saturday in the afternoon they ended up getting the wood they needed to put up the roof for FREE. (us sisters have connections.. and my companion is SO good at talking to people… and the Lord is so generous), they found jobs to get them through the week and they have interviews for more permanent work, they have a fridge they put on its side to hold water, and the Cruz family that we live with gave them a really nice bed and lots of things to get them going through this time. I cant even describe the feelings of gratitude we’ve had this week for the opportunity to see these miracles and the happiness they’ve found. The best part is that we know and they recognize that all these blessings are from Heavenly Father and its because they have found the gospel.
The other miracle was yesterday at church. They had to go to church so they can get baptized the 25 of December, but we couldn’t go bring them because it is so far away from the church. But Issis promised she’d get there. So we got there with a few other investigators but no issis. Worried, they still started at 9 and we waited. 9:15, 9:30, 9:45 and I decided to wait outside the chapel to wait for her. I began doubting and getting really discouraged. I thought maybe something went wrong. But as I sat in the hall praying I felt a little stinge of hope. I had Jenny Cruz, my little sister run in and out a few times to see if they were coming. Nothing. Then she said she’d check one more time. It was 10:00. I said a prayer and said, ¨okay Heavenly Father. They have 5 minutes. They can still make it, but only with a miracle. Its up to you now.¨ I looked over and saw jenny come back in sight, with a huge smile and big thumbs up. I almost started crying. Issis and her daughters had been running the 30 or 40 minute walk to get to church. She didnt have a watch and her phone was dead so she didn’t know what time it was, but she was determined to get there. She got in sacrament meeting right in time for the closing testimony, song, and prayer. Then loved the next two hours. It was such a miracle that gave me such a boost of faith. I don’t know why I ever doubt.

Anyway needless to say Heavenly Father has been busying answering all our prayers this week. He has done a marvelous work and a wonder in this family and I’m so grateful I get to be a small instrument in His hands to see it.
I guess that’s pretty much the biggest news for the week. I’m so grateful for this chance to be a missionary. I feel so humbled to be here and teach God’s children His eternal truths. I’m grateful for the atonement of Christ which will make my small sacrifice I’m giving perfect. I feel so humbled because I have so many faults, but I know heavenly Father loves me just the same.

May you all start this Christmas season with lots of Christ’s love and cheer from the gospel. More thoughts on that next week.

Love you all so much!
Hermana Smith

p.s. pictures of service.. hope you can figure it out.. no time to put captions. haha. GET OUT THERE AND HELP!!! there is always something to do. Alma 28: 14

"And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord; and thus we see the great reason of sorrow, and also of rejoicing—sorrow because of death and destruction among men, and joy because of the light of Christ unto life."

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

a plentitude of food

Hola familia y amigos!
So I guess its a good sign because I’m so focused on the Lord’s work… but sorry because I haven’t thought anything about what I’m going to write you today. Haha. So it may be short. But here are some random thoughts, hp0e they make sense.
1. Forks are rare here. Usually the people just eat with their hands or use the tortillas as we would utensils. Sorry to say I’m picking up the habit. It’s just so much easier! Ha. MLIAIH
2. It’s a rare day when I don’t talk to a crazy or drunk man. Including our investigator who had a baptismal date. Hmm maybe we’ll be postponing that one. MLIAIH

So this week was good.. lots of trials of patience and faith, but its coming together and I’m learning a lot. It has been amazing with that lady I told you about last week, Issis. She is the most faithful person I’ve ever met… and her husband is just as excited about the gospel and starting this new life…the night we talked about getting married they both agreed they definitely wanted to. Then the next day we were talking to Issis and she told us that he was so excited he woke her up 3 times in the middle of the night and just said ¨ Hey! We’re getting married!¨ haha. And he wasted all their phone minutes calling all his family to tell them the news. How cute! We’ve never found a man like that in Honduras. Yesterday they didn’t come to church so we were worried and rushed over there right away to see what happened... just to find them putting their humble belongings in a taxi. Moving out of their house! We were so worried, of course, and she ends up telling us that the owner of the clothes store where they work and live said they had to leave because she doesn’t like the Mormons coming in her store to teach. But Issis just looked at us with a smile and said ¨Don’t worry about us. We’re happy. We’re not going to lose this faith. I Know God with take care of us.¨ Can you believe that faith? So they are moving into this little house with out a roof (we’re going there today to help them put something up), they have no job, no money and two little girls. But they have faith. It was such an incredible example to me and I’m so grateful to know them. More updates next week on them! But until then please include this family in your prayers.

Hope everyone had a great thanksgiving! We worked hard and had lots of work to do, but then when we came back made a mini but delicious feast. See pictures attached.
Okay no time left, sorry this is so scattered. But thanks for all the prayers and love.

Love! Hermana Smith

p.s. love the plentitude of food we made our feast out of? Hehe. But it’s a lot more than lots of people here so I’m grateful.

Monday, November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010

Hello family!!!
Wow, what a great week we had! I’m definitely starting to see some of the trials that always come with the GREAT things we have, so its hard, but its been worth it. I read something the other day that said ¨The difficult things we do bring a lot more pleasant memories than a lot of easy things.¨ Its so true in missionary work! Its not easy, but it definitely brings the memories I want to have when I leave.
One of the awesome miracles we’ve had this week happened Saturday in the morning. Our district decided we’d set up a table with pamphlets and Liahonas and lots of fun things to give away. So we set it up in the middle of a busy area and handed out free stuff to the whole world. It was so funny because nobody was interested until we told them it was free.. then they were all over it. Haha. Anyway so one lady walked by and said something in English because in our district there are 4 northamericans. We all just kind of laughed but didn’t think anything of it because she just walked past and we didn’t catch her. Anyway then a few minutes she walked past again and didn’t really say anything but all of the sudden she asked me what we were there for, vacation, etc. So my companion and I started talking to her in English and explaining what were there for. She had lived in CA 9 years but is from Honduras. She has a perfect accent. Anyway so we finally got to the contacting, testifying part of the talk (super hard, btw in English) and apparently I said something about families (don’t remember that, but she did) and it really touched her heart. So she was SO excited for us to go over and teach her family. She runs this little second hand clothes store so we said we’d stop by. So we went by yesterday and she was waiting for us. We talked a little and chatted about some of her beliefs, why she didn’t like any of the other churches and she told us she’s been searching for a church to go to. Then when I had said something about families that really hit her because her family means SO much to her. She has a husband and 2 little girls. We had given her a liahona in English and she said she read a little bit but mostly looked through the pictures and LOVED how beautiful the families looked in the pictures, all sitting together in church. We explained that’s totally how it is and she can have that eternal family too. Anyway we ended up teaching an hour and a half (standing up), basically teaching a little about everything because she had so many questions and was just loving it. She kept saying ¨I just love your religion. This is what I’ve been looking for!¨ she even said she was absolutely going to shut her store on Sundays so she can go to church. Anyway basically it was the most amazing lesson I’ve ever had and I just walked away jaw dropped and so grateful. I wish I could tell you everything but I just don’t have time. But I think the cutest part is that we explained a little about FHE and that the families are so important that we even set apart Monday for the families. So she called us later that night and asked us what time it was on Monday… we thought she was talking about when we were going to stop by and shop in her store, but she was like, ¨no, the family night thing… what time is that?¨! haha! So we’re going over there tonight to teach her how. Were going to teach about family prayer, play DON’T EAT PETE! And have rice krispie treats. Yay! So excited!

I definitely know that the Lord has led us to so many families and people this week. I’m so grateful for His hand in this work and the opportunity I get to see miracles and change MY life for it. Aren’t I selfish?
Just to finish I thought I’d invite you all to read D&C 11: 12-14.

[12 And now, verily, verily, I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do ejustly, to walk fhumbly, to gjudge righteously; and this is my Spirit.
13 Verily, verily, I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy;
14 And then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which are pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.]

I know that one of the hardest but most important things we have to do on this earth and in this life is learn to follow the spirit’s promptings. But I hope I’m right in saying that ALL of us have wondered how and struggled to do that. I know I did and still do some times. But I was reflecting on something I heard this week that one of the things we have to learn is how to recognize the spirit when its not burning a hole in our chest. Have you any of you wondered how? The scriptures are full of answers to this question and doubt, but this scripture in D&C really hit me hard this morning. Maybe some of you can find an answer too.

Love you all so much! Keep your faith strong and keep smiling to strengthen the faith of someone else.

Love, Hermana Smith

Monday, November 15, 2010

best week of my whole mission!!!!

Hey family and friends!!!
This was definitely one of the best weeks of my whole mission!!!! Basically Hermana Cutler and I are just kicking bum here. Okay well its ALL pure mercy from the Lord, but we’ve been seeing SO many miracles and I’m soo grateful.
Before I begin to tell some, let me tell you a little more about my companion. She’s so great... probably one of the best sister missionaries I’ve ever met. I have so much to learn from her. We’ve made it a goal to be perfectly obedient and I absolutely know that’s what has given us the success we’ve seen. She’s been out 13 months so she’s kind of on the down hill. Oh! And she has a brother serving right now in guess where… Yekaterinburg Russia! Ha! The same mission that my brother served in. Crazy huh?
Anyway when we went to the change meeting NOBODY believed us that we were companions.. and when they finally did all the north americans were so jealous. We’re definitely breaking the ice with this one and we’re going to be a companionship that everyone watches… especially president. Haha. But we’re determined and excited to prove to the mission that 2 north americans can totally do it! And I think he’ll be excited… because just in these 5 days we have been contacting the whole world and we’ve found SEVEN new families… 4 of which are married.. Which is the biggest miracle in the world because NOBODY is here. We’ve made it our theme to contact families. Our philosophy is: if we look for families, we’ll find families. So literally we look for only a mom and dad and kids. And we’ve found them!! Just last night we walked out of the house of a new family that was golden and we just looked at each other, kind of laughed and said, ¨we are so blessed!!! What is going on???¨! hahaha just everyday we come home, look at all we did during the day then fall on our knees in gratitude… because its all the work of the Lord. Even our district leader keeps asking us what we’re doing to find so many families! Its incredible and I feel so blessed in this week!
We’re totally hoping to have 2 changes together and I have a feeling there’s a chance we could. Pray for us that we can so we can help a ton of people here in Talanga! We both just know we’re going to see a lot of baptisms! Wahoo!!!
Because of this miracle I’ve seen in my mission I’ve definitely increased my testimony that the Lord knows what we need. He sent me my companion in a time I really needed her. I know He answered the prayers I didn’t even realize I was saying. He knows my heart and my mind and what I need to be happy. It’s incredible.
The church is absolutely true and the best thing we could share with everyone. SHARE THE GOSPEL. With members, non members, your family, and yourself. Live it and Love it.
Love you all so much! thanks for your support and prayers.

Love, Hermana Smith

Ps. One funny: right in front of our house there’s this stadium type thing where they have chicken fights…Like they let a bunch of drunk guys tie sharp stuff around the chickens legs and let them kill each other…For fun! It is so weird. It’s like chicken colosium. Haha.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

making history

AND WE JUST FOUND OUT THE CHANGES.... you'll never believe it.. i'm still in shock.

This wednesday i'll be recieving a new companion named Hermana Cutler... yes, a northamerican! two white girls together!

hahah we're totally gonna ROCKK this town of Talanga. She's totally awesome and we know each other really well. In fact, she's the sister i've stayed with twice when we've had to stay with sisters. both times was with her. anyway, i'm super excited!!!! wahoo!! oh and we have a mutual friend (shout out for you, Amanda!) because she's from Draper Utah.

well, apart from that theres nothing much too exciting. haha. but here are some funnies for you:

1. I've noticed lately i'm totally turning into a honduran. I clean, eat, cook, wash clothes, tie bags, speak, do EVERYTHING like a Honduran. just need to get a little more tan and put in brown contacts and i'm set! MLIAIH

2. So turns out Latins are extremely superstitous. ive heard a lot of philosophies, but this is one of my favorites... if you slurp your drink from your spoon when you're old you'll have a double chin. my companion rebuked me last night for doing that then rebuked me for laughing my head off when she explained why. MLIAIH

Well this week was pretty hard, not gonna lie. i got sick this weekend because it suddenly turned extremely cold and i got stuck without long sleeves. just caught a cold but we couldnt leave all weekend, so it kind of stunk. but its all good. im super excited to start fresh this week with a new comp and lots of success i know we're going to have. yeah!

but being sick i got the chance to read through my journal from the beginning of my mission and i feel inspired to share something i had written that really hit me hard again.

¨ Its my philospohy latley that the mission is a constant fight for time. In the beginning, you're fighting or it to hurry up, by the end for it to slow down. And in the moments in between you cant figure it out... what time it is, where its gone, and how you're going to try to adjust it. But really what we have to do is let it happen. Time is time. Its constant and fair... we all have 24 hours each day. its up to us to figure it out how we're going to use it, then let it be. There's no changing time.¨

anyway that's my thought for the day. I'm grateful for this TIME i have in my life to learn and grow and give to others. there's nothing like it.

well, love you all. gotta jet!

hermana Smith

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

lots of funnies and lovelies

Wow, sorry this is a day late but we had a fun adventure in Tegucigalpa yesterday.... and we just got back this morning. but im here, alive and ready to tell you about my week!
This week was pretty normal... lots of work, lots of life lessons, etc. .... lets just jump right in to what I know you all want to read:
1. I found a gecko in the shower the other day. luckily it was dead. mmm! MLIAIH
2. my companion offered me a smoothie the other day but for the first time, I denied. why? it was made of tomato, lemon, onion, water, chile, salt, ice. DIS... GUSTING. MLIAIH
3. we were with an investigator who we've been teaching a lot and she was saying the prayer. ¨ please bless the sisters that have been visiting me. bless hermana Cruz with her hurt foot, and the other hermana who has a strange name and I can’t remember it... but I know that thou rememberest it.¨ MLIAIH
4. My companion had me come out and look at our water the other day because she found a surprise.. about 20 tadpoles at the bottom!! yep, the same water we do EVERYTHING with... I’m going to be buyin a lot of soap this week. MLIAIH

We had lots of Lovelies this week too, that I wanted to share with you. Last night we got stuck in Tegucigalpa so we stayed the night with some other sisters. so we got to go on divisions and it was super fun! I went out in a trio with another north American sister! anyway we were in my old area, La Vega so we wanted to go visit some old investigators of mine because the sisters didn’t really have any plans. so we went to go visit these 2 young girls.. like 14 years old. they were outside with about 5 other friends hanging out and studying. when they saw me they shouted. ¨look! the gringa!!¨ I was excited they remembered me after 6 months! anyway so we chatted and they were SO excited to be talking to TWO white girls. then we entered the house with all their friends and one of their moms to watch a short video. we ended up watching 2 short videos and it was a miracle because the mom had SOO many awesome questions about the 2nd video (about how she can see her family again even though they've died). suffice it to say it was so powerful. so we explained that yes she can depending on her obedience here. then Hermana Cutler invited them all to pray and know if it was true, then be if they got an answer, she invited them to be baptized. and all 7 of them said yes! haha!!! it was a miracle! so they're going to go back in a few days to keep teaching them. I was so excited to see that miracle!!

anyway, I gotta go but I wish I could just write all the miracles that happen. I’m so grateful for the spirit that guides this work.. it’s impossible with out it.

thanks for all your support and love. keep praying hard and looking for missionary opportunities.. they're everywhere!

With lots of love,
hermana smith

Monday, October 25, 2010

down the slide!

Hello everyone!
I can't believe how FAST this week went. it flew by and i feel so scared because this week I celebrated my 9 months to go mark. I feel a little kid who just climbed the little latter to get to the slide. now im on the downhill and it goes faster every day! I think its funny the Lord prepares us so that we're really good missionaries.. just in time to leave. I have so many things to learn and improve that I'm afraid when I finally get it down I'll be on a plane home. but I guess you can never have too much preparation... I'm so grateful for the things I'm learning htat will serve me the rest of my life.

1. The other day someone asked me why I had fake teeth if i was so young.. she thought I had dentures because they were really white. MLIAIH

2. I swear nobody here has ever seen blue eyes.. which is why they all stare wide eyed... all day long. MLIAIH

3. I'm excited to be normal again.. someday when Im back in the states. MLIAIH.

I've been super excited lately about this work! Okay, i've always been excited about it, but really its been hitting me just how little time i have left and all the things I want to do. I'm so excited to be seeing changes in my life and in my heart. I know I've never been closer to the Lord as I have here.

Something that has really been wonderful is something I applied to my life lately. In conference Pres. Uchtdorf talked about the 4 fundamental relationships we should analyze and refocus regularly. I was getting all frustrated and worried the ohter day for al the things i want to change and improve but i felt like i could never reach my goals and change my life. but then i remembered this talk. so i knelt down and talked with the Lord about it and i felt strongly that to be happy and successful i need to be focusing on these relationships. with god, with family, with others, and with yourself. i pulled out a paper and pencil and wrote down one thing i want to do to refocus and improve each of these relationships, and i was just going to focus on those for the week. and it worked! I felt such a peace in my life the next two days. i felt happy and successful 1. because i was finally changing and 2. because i had applied the words of an apostle in my life.

I challenge you all to do the same if you feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Read this talk, its amazing!

well times up, gotta go.
Love you all!

have fun. be good. pray hard.

love, hermana smith

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

a whole new world

Here are some pictures of Alex's living conditions. She sends these pictures, not to
scare away future missionaries from serving, but rather to help us remember to
count our blessings and realized how truly blessed we are.

The toilet- outside.

The sink used to do everything- wash clothes, dishes, face, brush teeth, etc.

(Not pictured is the bucket used to pour water, notice- no shower head)

October 18, 2010

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX, Here are pictures of her birthday gifts and
celebrations with the Cruz family.

hey everyone!

phew what a week.. glad its over and I’m starting a new one!

We had some funnies this week!
1. walking down the street normally and all of the sudden i saw a car.... with a monkey riding on the hood. no big deal. haha MLIAIH

2. we came home the other night and as i was trying to open the door i looked over and saw a drunk guy sleeping on our patio. hahahahah. it scared the daylights out of me and my companion just laughed. we called papa cruz to come save us. MLIAIH

3. I totally bought a blender last week.. naturally. i miss jamba! MLIAIH

Anyway still dont have much time, but i thought i would share a story with you.. i decided I don’t do that often, just share my boring thoughts .haha.

Anyway so this week we were visiting this inactive sister who lives in a wheelchare because she lost her leg a few months ago. Anyway we were singing lots of hymns because she loves them and i just had the strongest impression we needed to leave and go contact. it was almost the lunch hour but not quite. We could have killed time singing more hymns then entered the house perfectly in time, but i just knew we needed to go contact down this one street. i had to convince my comp a little but finally she gave in. contacted one house. nothing. then we kept walking and i saw this lady sitting outside of her fruit stand. i told my companion lets go talk to her and she said she was about to say the same thing. we gave a quick little lesson outside with her and her nephew who ended up being really interested and excited to learn more. it was such a great experience. its something simple but really got me excited about following the spirit. I’m so grateful for the spirit in this work... Its the only way its possible.

Anyway, life is good. hope everyone who reads this is happy and healthy and praying lots. Thanks for all the support and love!
hermana smith

p.s. moroni 7: 45 to 48

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


hello family and friends!
i'm happy to be writing you from a place i didnt know i was coming to. haha.

so last week i said some pretty sad goodbyes all monday and tuesday (broke my heart.. but i was strong! :) and on wednesday morning showed up to the transfer meeting and started talking to some of the other sisters... when they informed me that i wasnt going to Jutkalpa because they closed that area like 3 weeks ago... too dangerous for the sisters. but i was going to Talanga! dont know where i heard Jutikalpa, but now all my people in Marcala think I'm there. oh well.

anyway, here i am in Talanga enjoying the same weather as in Marcala but without rain!!!! loving it! its a little pueblo town pretty much exactaly like Marcala. i'm likeing that because i dont like the city at all, but i still miss my little home in Marcala. It was super hard to say goodbye, but i'm hoping to go back.. alot of the sisters here have returned to old areas because there are so few of us, so we shall see.

Talanga is awesome with 2 branchs... and 2 chapels! dont know why they dont just make one ward, but its all good. we are 6 missionaries here, 4 northamericans and 2 latins.. we win! my companion is hermana Cruz from El Salvador.. its her last transfer so weve got a lot of work to do! haha. she's way funny and we get along really well.. even though i think shes the most stubborn and strongest willed central american woman ive ever met. haha. but shes awesome and ive already learned a ton from her.
we live with a family named the Cruz family (mere coincedence) and they are the most wonderful people i've ever met. they insist that we call them mama and papa cruz and their 13 year old daughter is our lil sis. they are so awesome and support us in every way. tomorrow for my birthday we're going to make a cake and ice cream!

okay a few funnies
1. the other day was the best day of my life because i called an investigator. after a few seconds of talking he interupted me and asked if i was me or my latin companion... meaning he couldnt tell because i sounded latin!!!!! i was going to cry i was so happy. haha. mliaih
2. in marcala it was so humid that a lot of times the ink in my journal and my agenda bled through the pages. MLIAIH

anyway just as a quick spiritual thought i just gotta say, WASNT CONFERENCE AWESOME!!!! i loved it soo much. (p.s. mike, tami, faith, grace... you looked awesome!!!.. totally saw you and wanted to give you all big hugs) you know how like every confernce has a running theme? well idont know what you all got out of it, but what i got out of it i loved, that was that we must make CHOICES in all things we do. we must take ACTION to be able to change and better our lives. i loved it and got so many good things out of it. I know that is the way to change. i liked what someone said that we have to LISTEN, LEARN, REPENT, GO AND DO. so awesome! so my challenge is that you all can look back through your confernce notes in stead of just throwing them in a shelf for 6 months like i always do. look back, pray for inspiration, and make a choice to make a change.

thats my challenge for you.. its what i'm doing to!

the chruch is true and lead by inspired men. time is short so lets shout it to the world!

love you all so much!
hermana smith

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sept 27, 2010

Hey family and friends, this is going to be really quick because i dont have too much time, but the biggest news is that I-m leaving marcala this wednesday! Im super sad, but i feel good about whats coming and im glad to know that the Lord is in charge and needs me in another place. Ill miss my little paradise town, but i-ll never forget it.

This week was super hard. Not going to lie, it tried my patience and faith, but I learned a lot and Im ready to keep working.

There was one funny that Id like to mention:

While walking through the market i heard this strange baby cry.. its wasnt normal, but definitely a baby. i turned to look to see what it was and i saw a bright green parrot mocking the sound. hahahahah it totally threw me off guard but it was awesome. those birds have talent! MLIAIH

Well i know this is way short, but let it suffice to say that the church is absolutely true and God loves each and every one of you. He knows you and wants to hear from you always. He's in charge of this work and if you let Him, He'll guide you in your life. The scriptures are His words and how He talks to us these days. I've found numberless answers to the scriptures and i'm so grateful for that tender mercy in my life.

Love you all so much and I hope you're all well and happy. Keep praying for and accepting opportunities to share your testimony and strengthen the Kingdom of God here on earth.

Hermana Smith

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


September 20, 2010

Greetings to everyone north of me! I hope you're enjoying the increasingly cold weather while i'm enjoying the sunshine.. still and forever!

This week was.. interesting to say the least. I came up with another philosophy last night. (¨hermana smith's philosophies¨ are famous here)...that is that the things that are the hardest are usually the most worth it. This week for example, was really hard. My faith was tried and I was doubting a lot. We had some hard assignments that I didnt think I could do. We were working for a baptism and I just wanted everything this week to be perfect. At the beginning of the week I decided I had two options... Say that it wasn't possible and just do the average, or literally put my trust in the Lord, do my best, and hope for a miracle. I'm so glad I chose the second...
Our baptism worked out beautifully, we completed the tough assignment from President Flores, I learned some life changing lessons and we ended up with weekly data that was incredible. The assignment was to find and teach 3 new families (its hard to find a family complete with mom and dad... nobody has dads here).... but we did it! 3 new families and ... get ready.... 29 new investigators. that's absolutely unheard of! but seriously it was a miracle and I learned so many things this week about faith, diligence, patience. basically if you want to know what I learned, read Alma 32, especially verses 40 through 43. awesome!

Okay I dont have too much time, but here are two funnies to make you laugh... i hope!

1. I was directing the ward activity the other day and in to wrap it up i said wanted to say ¨Gracias por su participación¨ (thanks for your participation) but instead I said ¨Gracias por su expiación¨ (thanks for your Atonement...) uhh awkward. everyone was dying laughing.. including myself. MLIAIH.
2. We're recieving this AWESOME new training that is just kicking butt here. One of the things, we have to do is carry a picture of our family and show it in every contact. its awesome and my family is famous because the whole country is meeting them. haha. MLIAIH.

okay sorry times totally up. but the church is true and this work is awesome!

be good, have fun, pray hard.
Hermana Smith

Friday, September 10, 2010

hello, again!

Hello everyone!

Well I'm glad to report we had a pretty good week. I'm learning a lot and seeing a lot of differences in myself and in the work... which i'm grateful for. We had the coolest weekend.. here's why... we had 2 baptisms ready to go saturday morning. but when we went toe he church to clean it we started fillin up the font.... but like what happensa lot in the country htere was no water.. and it wasnt going to come until 8 at night. so after a long afternoon of frustrating arragnements we loaded everyone up in a bus and took them to.... the waterfall!!!!! We totally got to baptise in a RIVER!!! ahah it was the coolest thing.. so pretty. i definteily took some awesome pictures ,but i cant send them today because i have nothing to attach to the computer. i'll try to next week! it was way cool and i'm glad i got to have the experience, but now i'm grateful for a font because we save a LOT of money and a LOT of time that way. hahah.


1. Turns out the word for stepfather is the same for... hangnail. random. haha. MLIAIH
2. So you know how in stores they always lock up the expensive stuff? well i'm still trying to figure out why they have to lock up the deodorant here... i mean, its expensive... but it just always makes me laugh seeing the cell phones locked up in this cupboard right beside the deodorant. hmm. MLIAIH
3. The other day we were singing with our newly converted family (Kenia and her siblings) and they all LOVEEE the hymns. so they chose to sing There is Sunshine in my soul today... i thought i knew what happiness was, but i realized what it really it is when you can't sing at all because you're smiling too big that it the words dont come out. Oh such Happiness! MLIAIH
4. So every night i put my agenda on my bedstand in case i need to write something down or i get inpiration or something like that... this morning i woke up and looked in my agenda and in a bad but readable handwriting i read ¨Viernes 24¨... (which means friday the 24th)..and in my weekly data i read a sloppy ¨4, 4¨ under persons baptized and confirmed......... it was a little creepy.. okay still pretty creepy and i'm trying to figure out what happened... why i wrote that in my sleep. and how! hahaha. MLIAIH

Anyway, i dont know how time keeps escaping me but i dont have too much time right now to write all that i want to. Let is suffice for me to say I'm so grateful to be here learning all the things I'm learning. I've been absolutely slammed to the ground with humility and patience that it kind of hurts.. but its good, i definitely needed to learn these things. The church is true! and it is the Kindgom of God here on the earth. Let us all be thankful for the blessings we recieve from Heavenly Father every day. Count them and you'll be very surprised how much you have.

Love you all so much! Thanks for the support and prayers.. Go do something for someone.. you'll feel better no matter what your ¨problem¨.

Love, Hermana Smith

week full of lessons and happiness!!

August 30, 2010
wahoo!!! best news ever... we finally were able to see FOUR BAPTISMS this weekend! after a week of lots of praying, a few tears, a fast, and miracles, we were able to thank Heavenly Father for the tender mercy of letting us have these baptisms. it was amazing the spirit we felt after their confirmations yesterday when they all stepped down from the pulpit smiling... really big. I'm so grateful for the hand of the Lord in my life this week. I know he was with me helping me to develop the patience, faith, and endurance that i needed this week.

1. This is mostly for my sister, Kate.... we're totally teaching this guy named.. you guessed it, ELDER. hahaha. his dad was a pentecostal pastor and was friends with the missionaries. he liked the name so name his son Elder... and his son named HIS son elder also. hahaha. he's way awesome and totally the future bishop of Marcala! wahoo! working on putting a baptismal date. MLIAIH

2. we have this rocking chair in our apartment that my comp is in love with... so she moved it to our study desk and is constantly rocking back and forth. haha. still makes me laugh. MLIAIH

3. i'm sick of my music so if any of you find any awesome LDS music, i'd love a CD of something new. hahah send it my way! MLIAIH

I'm so grateful for these experiences i'm having in the mission... I'm learning something new everyday and trying to apply it to my life. the scriptures are amazing and absolutely have the words of the Lord. one marvelous thing I've found is that i've been able to get on my knees, ask a specific question to the Lord, go to the scritpures, and find an answer. its something i've started doing every morning and i've had some wonderful experiences. GO to the scriptures and love them. that's my advice.

also, if you're interested i would highly recommend getting a copy of Preach My Gospel. its scripture also and meant for us ALL to study. its totally my favorite book ever.

okay well sorry this is short but time flies and i gotta go. also apologies because i know my english is terrible. literally i can't think in english so my letters i know sound weird and maybe dont make sense. but its super hard. even now I'm translating everythig i write into spanish. hahah.
i hope you're all well and happy and loving life. keep loving and serving the Lord.. and writing your missionaries!!! hehe.

love you all,
hermana smith

Monday, August 23, 2010

Marcala-6 semanas mas

hello everyone! well, i'm still in marcala and loving it. the work is really picking up and we're getting ready to see some miracles. i'm so grateful... its been a lot of work these 3 months and im excited to finally see the fruit of the work we've done here. We have 4 awesome baptisms lined up for this saturday...Corisandra and her daughter and another awesome lady we-ve been teaching named Kenia and her brother Fernando. She's the one who is 19 years old and has a 5 year old son and a 35 year old husband. but she's so awesome. all 3 of her siblings will be getting baptized but only Fernando, the 16 year old will with her htis week. he loves the church and i-m already picturing him with a little black nametag in a few years!! anyway, so excited and praying hard every day that it will all work out. pictures to come next week!

okay as for the funnies... not too many this week, its been a week of change and adjustment.... and patience. but heres one...haha

i was reading with my companion in the BOM in english so she could practice and in the page or so its talking about Lehi and the visions he has. in stead of saying "he did quake and tremble" my companion read "he did quack and tremble". it gave me a much needed laugh. hahaha MLIAIH

Well like i said i'm still in marcala. my companion left and i recieved another sister from Guatemala. hermana Rivera. she's an awesome missionary. its been an adjustment as it always is starting with someone new, but i feel like were going to have a transfer full of miracles. she's a convert of 3 years. before she joined the church she was practically a evangelical pastor. so she knows the bible very well. thats good because the €BOM is my forte, not the €Bible. anyway, more stories later when we have more time. oh and shes maybe alittle taller than 5 feet. hahahah.. we're quite the pair.

one fun thing from this week is that wednesday i got to travel 4 hours to tegucigalpa to pick up my new companion and in the transfer meeting i got to see my old companionsª it was so fun. i saw hermana sevier from the mtc..s he-s doing awesome.. and i got to see hermana España€!!!!!!!! my BFF companion from 6 weeks ago. it was like i hadnt seen her for years. haha. she actually is really sick and had to go home the day after the meeting, but we-re hoping she can come back to finish her mission in about a month. lots of prayers are going her way!

well, i know this a random and not very spiritually uplifting letter, but the computer is kind of slow and frustrating and there this van blasting some christian serman in spanish outside and i cant concentrate too well. haha.

but thanks for the opportunity to share my testimony with you all every week. i know the church is true and i LOVE the scriptures. never take them for granted. this work is the work of the Lord and he needs all of us. but more than that, WE need this work and the Lord. hope this letter finds you all well and happy. enjoy the pics!

love, hermana smith

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

wrapping up another transfer in Marcala

can you believe it???? tonight we find out transfers and i'm praying i dont leave! i just want one more transfer here! 6 weeks is so little time and the work in Marcala is picking up so much!!!

okay so here's what's been going on.... since our district has been in the attendance in sacrament meeting has doubled!!! 200% increase and President is way happy. also, we've been finding so many families who are so ready for the gospel! my companion and i have 4 families with whom we're working and it is so fun! its just so much more uplifting when you can tell a husband and wife of the potential they have as a famliy and the blessings they can recieve.

best news of the week: we have a lady and her daughter ready for their baptisms this saturday. let me tell you the story real quick. we met Corrisandra at the beginning of the transfer and the first lesson she basically laughed at us that we thought she'd believe the story about Joseph Smith. She told us she was born and will die Catholic and the first time she had a BOM she gave it to her pastor and they burned it. (my heart sunk when she said that) but since we've been going we've been teaching repentance and that she can be freed from her sin. she absolutely loves her book of mormon and gospel principles book. she comes 45 minutes early for sacrament meeting and an hour after we taught the word of wisdom she showed up at the church for english class because she said she was craving coffee which she was addicted to, so instead of giving in, walked to the church. SHE IS AMAZING!!! she's the type of investigator every missionary wants to have because she's a CONVERT, not just a baptism. also her sister in law is ready for baptism but she has to marry her boyfriend first because they live together. so we're working on that!!!! anyway, i'm so excited for this baptism... even if i dont get to see it. its been an amazing experience teaching her and seeing the huge changes shes making. wahoo!!!

okay also just one funny this week, we went to zone conference 2 hours away. it ended late and the last bus going to Marcala left early... leaving us stranded. District Marcala: lost in La Paz. after some lengthy coordination and standing in the rain for a while we arrived at the other sister's apartment to stay the night. without anything. but it sure was fun to get to stay with some otther sisters. we made pancakes and talked all night. got back to marcala looking absolutely digusting about 1 the next day. hahaha fun! pictures to come.

Okay sorrry this is short again but i want to have time to attach pictures.

I'm so grateful for the chance to be a missionary. i can never be able to describe all i'm learning here in the mission. there's no place i'd rather be. like a missionary said this week, ¨this 18 months may not be the best 18 months OF my life, but they're the best 18 months FOR my life.¨

everything we have we owe the Lord. remember that!! okay gotta run, but i love you all! till next week!

hermana smith

lots of pictures on her facebook:!/album.php?aid=471011&id=841410062

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I've always wanted a jungle adventure...

...And I got one this week!!!! hahaha. quick story to start: contacted a man who told us that 2 times the elders promised they'd go to his house but never arrived. He didn't work those days just to wait for them... and this man needs work. anyway, so of course we promised we'd go friday in the morning. took his address, etc. during the week we did some research and found out his house was 30 minutes away in car! long story short, we got a friend from the church to take us in his car, but the elders had to come with us too. So all 5 of us FINALLY found someone who knew this man. we were kind of at the top of a hill and they pointed to this house in the distance.. in the middle of the trees, etc. great! we'll just hike over there!.. the neighbors pointed out this little trail that would take us there. hahahahahaha the next 30 minutes we spent holding hands trying not to slip down the muddy hill we were on. didnt work too well because i fell pretty hard once and my comp 7 times. hahaha we finaly arrived at the house, with shoes that used to be black and were brown with mud, our hair a mess, and mosquito bites everywhere. arrived with a smile and met the man's wife who told us he wasn't there. WHAT!!! hahaha. so we shared a message with her and she was really receptive... making it all worth it. but hte lesson is, at least we're not liers!! hahah

plus, my comp and i have a good story to tell, and the elders are never going to forget that morning they helped the hermanas. ahhaha.

okay this is going to be a short letter cuz time is running short, but this week was good. hard, but i saw and recongnized lots of miracles. thought all week about my little bro in Georgia, and realized how awesome it is to be a part of this work. the church is true and so perfect. The Book of Mormon is a book that will change your life if you let it. I'm learning that so much.

Just a quick spiritual thought. Moroni 7: 3 to 5. its our responsibility and opportunity as members of the church of Jesus Christ to be example and bringers of peace to all that we meet. How do we treat others? are we keeping our baptismal covenants in the way we act around others? just something i thought about this week..

well, i have lots more funnies but no timet his week. promise they're coming next week. love you all so much!

better letter next week
hermana Smith

p.s. favorite phrase of the mission: be happy, be mormon! hahaha.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Lovely waterfalls of Marcala

New Beautiful- dangerous- hammock

"making scripture cover boxes with my YW. i'm totally famous for my scripture covers. haha."

Marcala en el Verano

Monday August 2, 2010

Hola everyone!!

So I come before you today with lots of good feelings. This week we learned and applied a lot to my missionary work and found lots of success. Last night I just kind of had a little burst of good feelings and total love for being a missionary. not that i ddint before, but for the first time I didnt want to go home. its an amzing feeling and one that I've prayed for for a long time. I guess I cant really describe what I'm trying to say, so let it suffice by saying... I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. and I'm so glad I'm here.

Okay on to the exciting news:

1. last week we had the privelege of having President Flores in the Sacrament Meeting... needless to say we were all scared and nervous and trying to do the best. but my companion and I brought a family of investigators to church and had them sit in the front row... totally ready to impress president. but the two women who came both have babies... who are still breast feeding. and the people here have no shame. Front row, president, breastfeeding. MLIAIH

2. I totally bought the most beautiful, comfortable hammock the other day and put it up in the house. I rock. then the next morning I was enjoying my cereal and rocking in my hammock with all of the sudden i was on the ground and my tush was really hurting. FAIL. at least I got a good pic. MLIAIH

3. Sometimes when I stop and think about life I realize .. Wow! I'm bilingual!!! Its really an awesome thought. MLIAIH

Okay so I dont have too many funnies this week, but it was because this week was full of lots of reflection, humility, then success. I'm finding that's always how it works.

We're working with lots of good families and other investigators. I think my favorite thing is that we've really been emphasizing teaching repentance and the fact that we can be free from our sins if we accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. and that's when the changes come. I love seeing the light coming into a person's eyes when they realize they can be clean from sin. I love seeing the changes in their personality, temperment, and smiles. Its such a special opportunity to see God work with these people. It is NOT me. I'm just the beneficiary because I get to see it all.

This gospel is true. In its simplicity and grandeur, its true and every person in the world needs to hear it. It breaks my heart when people reject our message not because I feel bad for myself, but because I know how much their lives can change and progress and be happy. But then again my heart rejoices when someone accepts the message and decides to open their heart and mind to something different. This is the joy of Missionary work.

Just want to leave a scripture to ponder. Ecclesiastes 3:1 (p.s. remember how once I used Ecclesiastes in charades... its so a book. hah) anyway I really like this scripture because it teaches us whatever season of life we're in, school, mission, parents, grandparents, teenagers, its the season God has prepared for us and we can be happy in it. its not gonna last forever. its interesting because before my mission i couldnt wait to finish school and leave. but then in the first day of the mission i began counting down the days til it was over and i could start the next season of my life. why can't we just be happy where we are? we can always look forward to changes and the future, but let's be happy in whatever season of life we're in. okay, just something to think about.

I love the gospel and I love my Savior. I'm so grateful for this time I have to spend in His service.

hope all is well with each and everyone of you.

Be Good. Have fun. Pray Hard.

Love, Hermana Smith

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


July 26, 2010

Buenos Dias a todos!
This is Katie, Alex's almost-twin sister. I thought it would be delightful (for me in the present tense and for her in the future tense) to put together a lovely little blog of the adventures she will be having in Honduras. Maybe I've already missed 1/3 of her sue me. But I figured its better now than never. I'll start with this week's emails and a couple of my most favorite pictures she has sent us. She promised more next week so I'll most definitely post those up. For additional visual pleasure, there are more pictures on her facebook, which I also manage because she is not a rebellious missionary.

k here are the highlights from her last email to everyone. Please note that throughout this blog, quotes will signify her exact words, otherwise its just me blabbing :)

Background: she's currently serving in Marcala with a companion from Nicaragua.

"Holy cow, this hour went by fast. sorrry this is going to be short!
But lets see this week: really difficult. my faith was tried a lot, and I'm learning a ton about patience and diligence. its been hard because we were expecting to have 5 baptisms this weekend, and how many happened? none. I was pretty bummed as this month is coming to a close and I'm certainly not meeting my goals, but I feel like I worked my hardest and while it wasn't perfect, I can be assured that its NOT my will running this work, its the Lords. I have to remember that, then keep working, praying, and having lots of patience.
Funnies for the week:
1. We have this girl in the ward who always goes to primary. But I was looking at my list of YW and she was on it! confused, I asked the family and they said she was 11 years old, but yes, born in 1996. hmmm. I told them that in fact she was 14 years old and should be in YW. Okay, they said, that's fine! no big deal. poor child doesnt know her age. apparently that happens a lot here. MLIAIH
2. opposite from number 1: we're teaching a lady who is 20 years old. Her husband looks a little bit older, so after some tactful questions, she told us her story. Married at 14, first child at 15, and living a happy life. and it wasn't arranged. SHE knew she was 14. weird. MLIAIH
3. Last night we were getting ready for bed and about to open our mouths to say companion prayer and this cow in the street let out the loudest MOOOO I've ever heard. hahahahaah. I was a little less than reverant last night. MLIAIH
4. I was listening to this Elder's ipod the other day in the church and the song ¨time to say goodbye¨ came on.. mom's favorite song. then i chose to listen to a little bit of my ¨the garden¨, especially the song that my cousin Natalie sings. It was alittle sad, but a fun family music moment to myself. MLIAIH
Well despite the hard week, life is good. I stlil love Marcala and I hope I never leave. I have so many things I want to do here!!!! but the Lord knows what will happen, I'm just going to work my bum off while I can.
Also even though our work hasnt been made manifest in baptisms, we're working with some really positive investigators and excited to keep finding more. we had a little fast and lots of prayers to be able to find families to teach and that's pretty much all we've found. including one family who we're going to teach tonight.. and I?M SO EXCITED. I hope they accept the gospel and I love them already even though we have only contacted them. but they have an 11 year old boy with speech problems. he hears and understands almost everything, but is mute. I was talking to him and the dad kind of apologized and excused him, as if I didnt want to talk to him. but heck no! we spenta few minutes doing some charades and communicating our hands.. and in my 21 years of life I swear I've never seen a bigger smile on any 11 year old boy. just because someone wanted to talk to him. needless to say i cant wait to return and teach them.
well, times almost up. sorry so short. but the church is so true and absolutely perfect. the Book of Mormon has power, and we all HAVE To read it. please keep reading, one page a day, and you'll find your testimony grows.
Love you all so much. stay happy and pray lots.
Love, Hermana Smith
p.s personal study suggestion or some food for thought: read Alma 5:10, question. Answer? vs. 12. think and ponder on that one and we learn that small changes through repentance save us. ( Definitely learning this here."