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."