Thursday, June 16, 2011
Dear Family and Friends,
This has been my theme song lately. We've been having a few trials and difficulties lately its been a good experience learning how to be happy even through trials. more on that in a few minutes...
1. I have a new companion, Hermana Aguilar. Also, we have a PVC pipe shower where we have to reach up and turn the notch from the pipe. Problem: my companion is very short so every morning I have to go turn the shower on and off for her. hahha. makes me laugh every morning. MLIAIH
2. The other day at the transfer meeting we were all getting ready to leave because we had finished the meeting. But all of the sudden I looked in the chapel again at the big screen where they had shown the changes and for some reason BYU TV was on... all I saw was the face of BRONCO and it made me a little more than way trunky. hahha. I'll be there soon, cougars! MLIAIH
3. i had another dream about oatmeal chocolate chip cookies the other day. I dont know if I’m more excited to eat those or see my family.... haha. MLIAIH
Anyway so like I said I've been doing a lot of thinking about how much the gospel makes me HAPPY. I'm not going to lie, sometimes I dont show it. I get frustrated and disappointed and discouraged and I dont show my hope in the gospel and that it actually has changed my life. But I'm repenting of that and setting goals... dont worry.
So this morning I had a study on the words Happiness and Joy and I learned a lot of things.
More than anything I learned that when we are free from sin and full of hope, that's when we are really, truly, eternally happy. I invite you all to do a little study and you'll find that a lot. ¨Wickedness never was happiness¨.
And that's something I've really learned and lived. I've learned to repent and feel the gospel work in my life and I've been happier on my mission than ever in my life. I realized the other day that here on my mission, thanks to the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ, I love more easily, I smile more sincerely, and I feel a wonderful peace in my life. That’s not to say my mission has been butterflies and rainbows.... I’ve cried harder than I ever have and have felt the deepest sorrow than I ever have, but if there was no sadness, there would be no joy, right? I'm so grateful for the Plan of Salvation and the answers that are found in the basic steps of the gospel. In that way we can be happy here, now, and forever.
It’s really been an incredible experience learning how the gospel really works in MY life, and for that I am so grateful.
Let the gospel CHANGE your life. Repent, and be happy.
Love you all so much!
Things are going a lot better in our area. we had a good week with lots of happinesses and pick me up moments. hahah. Those are what I like. This week is transfer week so wednesday I will have a new companion... dont know who yet. And I will enter into my LAST change... talk about weird. I have mixed emotions.... a little excitement and a lot of nerves. I want this transfer to be the best.
Just wanted to share a short thought that I found in my scripture study today. I looked up the definition for Zion and found 7 definitions. but the first one hit me hard, it says that Zion is ´´an unselfish state of mind¨. Interesting, huh? If we could all achieve unselfishness we would make up the perfect Zion as a church, as families, as ward and branches, as friends. I thought that was so interesting. I invite you to think about that, read Mosiah 18: 21 and Moses 7:18, then set a goal to improve. Think, ¨How am I contributing to and building up Zion??¨
Well that's about it folks. enjoy the pictures. Love you all SO MUCH!
see you soon..
This week was... well, not the most productive. we spent almost 3 entire days traveling, in zone conference and everything. A little hard knowing how much time I DONT have left, but we'll make up for it this week. (but at least we got in more bus contacts) The most exciting news is that we had emergency transfers so I now have a new companion. not that I'm excited for that because I miss my companion but I know it was the will of the Lord because I know we will see lots of great things happen in this area. My new companion is a mini missionary from here in Honduras.. she's preparing for her own mission soon. Although she doesnt have as much experience and its hard to adjust to that, she's going to be an incredible missionary. She's dedicated and excited to do this work.
This week I gave my final testimony in my last zone conference... that is a weird feeling! after the 5 of us gave our testimonies President Flores had us stand in front and gave a few ¨last pieces of advice¨... as you can imagine he mentioned the ¨m¨ word... i just laughed thinking how long it is going to take me to feel ready to get married.. ha.
Sorry I couldnt think of any funnies this week... or at least ones that are explainable over internet. haha.
Just wanted to share something I learned from a recent convert a few weeks ago. this guy is amazing.... he used to be a famous preacher in the catholic church but after he had a few dificulties he lost touch with God, etc. But then he found the elders and started learning about the church. when he moved here to our town he walked into the church one day, met the elders in our branch, and got baptized a few weeks later. He has the strongest testimony and is serving well in the branch. there are plans to have him teach seminary. Anyway, he was giving a talk in church (amazing... ex preacher!) and something he said really hit me hard.
He said that our problem is that we get too used to saying the saying ¨we`ll never be perfect... or we can fail this once and repent because we'll never be perfect.¨ and its true, we justify ourselves a lot of times. But he explained that if we really have faith in the gospel and we really love God, we will strive to be perfect. Faith equals obedience. exact obedience. anyway he expressed it a lot more powerfully and effectively than I did, but I liked it because it gave me a great motivation to really strive to live the gospel with exactness and stop justifying myself.
anyway, just food for thought. (now i have thoughts for food... the ice cream selection is looking way good right now.)
Well I hope this week is marvelous and inspiring. Keep working hard in whatever you do and make the world a better place because you were there.
Love you all so much!
Well, another week down and I’m feeling good. (tired, but good).
Every day I become more and more grateful for my mission and all that
I learn and grow here. I love this country and this people and this
1. Did you know the word for Zorro (as in the mask of) means SKUNK in Spanish?? I always imagined it meaning ¨noble fighter¨ or ¨defendor of the good¨ or something like that. Nope. MLIAIH
2. The reason I know that is because this week my comp and I are studying animals. I’m learning in Spanish and she in English. But the funny is that I realized as we were practicing that she’s learning the words for armadillo, ostrich, and pheasant, but doesn’t remember how to say cow, horse, or pig. MLIAIH
3. I saw something in the grocery store the other day that I had completely forgotten existed: shaving cream. Its not very common because its SO much cheaper to use a bar of soap. MLIAIH
4. Speaking of shaving, do you know how much it hurts to use a going-bad razor and a bar of soap, to shave your legs that have a million bug bites? Pain. MLIAIH
1.Henry got dressed up in a white shirt and tie and blessed the sacrament for the first time yesterday…. He had been practicing the prayer for several weeks and said it perfectly…. It was beautiful!
2.This isn’t lovely.. yet but this Wednesday is my last zone conference which means my final testimony….. I literally NEVER imagined the day would come.. but I’m excited and nervous…. 3 minutes to sum up 18 months?
Things are going great here in La Esperanza. There is so much work to do and little time to do it, but we’re seeing lots of progress. The branch is getting ready to send out FIVE missionaries in the next few months… we’re scared because we’ll lose all the people with callings but I know the work here is going to sky rocket when the blessings of their service come back to this little town. The families are excited and scared because they’re the first missionaries in almost 10 years. (3 of them are the 3 kids in the Branch Presidents family… 2 twin girls and a boy are all leaving together) Anyway it’s a great time to live and serve here and Im so excited and grateful.
Just a thought from my scripture study that I wanted to invite you all to read in your personal study this week. In D & C 10: 46 to 52 talks about what the BOM prophets wanted to be in the BOM… it made me think about if I’m using the BOM to the potential it was written.(does that even make sense.. you get the idea)
Anyway love youall so much. Thanks for your support and love prayers.
Keep them coming!
Love, Hermana Smith
Well I talked to some of you last night.... so this may be boring, but I thought I'd send a short email anyway.
Things are going well. We're happy and working hard and learning lots here in La Esperanza. I'm so grateful for the gospel and the huge influence it has in my life and i want it to have in other's lives. I'm learning so much, especially that Heavenly Father answers prayers and listens to every thought we have. He DOES influence our lives, even if its not in the time we expect or want. I surely have a testimony of that.
1. In the states the biggest holiday is Christmas, right? Here... Mother's Day. we're talking fireworks, marichi bands, days off of school, and celebrations in every public organization. I didnt realize it was so big until I woke up at 4 sunday morning to fireworks and a car driving around on the street with a loud microphone congratulating all the mothers. MLIAIH
2. The other day it was a sunday and we were visiting our new converts. They had a (very tempting) Earth, Wind, and Fire song on that was getting my trunkyness up. So i jokingly mentioned how werent supposed to have parties on sunday... he got the idea so went into his house to change the song... I was expecting silence when I heard `My heart will go on` by Celine Dion. haha. much more appropriate. i guess its the thought that counts. MLIAIH
3. Have you ever seen 2 drunk men fight? haha its really funny. we say a whole bunch yesterday.. i think the men were depressed because Fathers day is hardly celebrated here so they all went out and got drunk. MLIAIH
Well I'm sorry if this is short and boring.. but I promise things are going great and I love being here. The days are going faster and my time is running down, so I'm trying to give it my ALL while it lasts. The gospel is true and Christ has a plan for us. Priesthood power is real and so, so important in our lives. I testify that the Book of Mormon is true and should be read by all of us, EVERY DAY. Dont let a day pass by without feeling even a little of the power of that book.
I invite you to live the teachings in 2 Nephi 9: 52. Pray. Give thanks. REJOICE.
Love you all so much!
Monday, May 9, 2011
For the first time in a long time, I have lots of news to write! This week was pretty normal, but I have several stories:
1. So its against the law to ride in the bed of pick up trucks here. But the more often than not I see at least one pick up full of policemen in the bed. Hahah. MLIAIAH
2. So you know how the day after a work out your muscles hurt in the morning because they’ve relaxed so much? I bet you’ve never thought about that happening in your feet. But every morning I wake up, get out of bed and stumble a little as I walk because my feet hurt so bad. Haha welcome to the area La Esperanza. MLIAIH
3. We had to go to the hospital the other day to visit a lady and her baby in our ward. It scared me so bad… it’s like a festival of sketchiness. I’m so grateful for our hospitals! MLIAIH
4. So we have this lady we’ve been working with for a while… I think she’s gonna be an eternal investigator, but someday I know she’ll figure things out! Anyway she had been receiving the Jehovah’s Witness for about a year, and still has contact with the lady that gave her classes. So we went to her house for our appointment and heard voices from outside her house, reading what sounded like scriptures. We asked her daughter who was outside playing who was there and she said she thought the JW was there. Great! We thought we were in a sticky situation, but the girl ran in and told her mom we were there. She opened the door and we saw nobody was there.. just her Book of Mormon. She was reading out loud from the chapter we had left her… FINALLY!! It was the first time she had read in almost a month. Hahaha. Oh me of little faith. She had read it and marked her favorite scriptures. MLIAIH.
5. This more than anything a hint for mom: I had a very trunky dream a few nights ago. All about oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I think I woke up drooling. MLIAIH
So remember how about 2 months ago I wrote about the pastor who walked in on our lesson? Well happened again this week… with the same pastor. Ugh. He told us he thought the Lord was showing him a sign that he had to teach us the Plan of Salvation.. that’s why we had run into each other so much. Ha. After a few awkward and frustrating minutes I realized it was a sign.. but for me. I’m proud to say this time I was a lot more patient and didn’t lose it. I realized the importance of having the spirit, and we left laughing.
It was funny because everything we said he turned back on us. When we told him we didn’t have time and we had an appointment we had to go to he started lecturing us saying there is always time for God, etc… we just laughed and left.. no use arguing. I just wonder what he would have said if he knew our appointment was for lunch. Hahah
Well gotta run. Talk to (some of) you Sunday!
Love you lots, and I love this gospel!
Love, Hermana Smith
Another week in the mission has flown by! I can’t believe how fast it goes! But I’m so grateful for this time I have to serve and work hard. It’s coming down to the wire!
So this big news for this week is that we DON’T have transfers… again! Hermana Morales and I are breaking the tradition and staying together 3 transfers…. Hope she doesn’t get sick of me for 4 and a half months! I’m excited because we can just keep working hard and improving.. we don’t have to start new with a new companionship because we’re already used to each other! Haha. She’s awesome.
1. This morning was the worst ever. We woke up at 6:30, a little bit cold because it was raining… and there was no electricity. Just imagine you are tired all day, every day you have to wake up to a cold dark rainy morning and you CANT sleep in. hahah. What a temptation! MLIAIH
2. Today we took a bus to another city for a pday activity. Of course us 4 missionaries were standing up because there was no more seats… perfect opportunity for the zone leaders to dare me to contact the bus (stand up in front and talk to everyone). Then they handed me a pack of ¨Law of Chastity¨ pamphlets to hand out after I contacted. Of course my pride got the best of me and I had to take them and say I’d do it, acting like I WASN’T scared. No way I’m going to look so chicken! So I did it… contacted the bus and now about 55 people have heard my testimony and lots have a pamphlet about the law of chastity. Hahaha. It felt great! Now I’m going to put a goal to contact 15 more buses before I go home. MLIAIH
3. I love the people in La Esperanza, but I cant help but laugh at some words they use. There isn’t a lot of education here so they make up different words or change the correct ones. And now I have a hard time saying them right. Hope people can understand me when I get home! MLIAIH
Welp, things are going well…. ¨regular¨ like everyone says here. Don’t have much time to write more, but maybe more good new next week!
Love you all so much! Keep your faith strong!!
Basically that's all I've been able to think about so I didn’t think of any funnies or lovelies.. nothing! sorry.
But here's what happened this week:
After a huge trial of faith and patience Heavenly Father provided the way that we could get them married. Long story, but I can now say I know that He answers prayers. So Friday morning we headed down to the office and they got married. the wedding took about 10 minutes, a few signatures, and ¨you may now kiss the bride¨. I got to be the witness!!! Then after we went to the church, they passed their baptismal interviews and then we went and celebrated with their family with a pretty wedding cake. 3 hours after we went back to pick them up for their baptisms, they got baptized, bore beautiful testimonies, then Sunday they were confirmed and we could finally relax. hahah.
They are so happy and we are so happy. I'm learning more and more every day just how important this gospel is for families. They are the basic unit of the church and the way the church can progress and grow. Next week Henry will be ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood, and I think they will both receive callings. They are officially the second active family in the branch...we are so proud!!!!
Really there isn’t much more exciting news than this... so I’ll let this be a short email.
The church is true and this is HIS work. I'm so grateful to be part of it. Surely, the joy of bringing souls to Christ is the greatest we can imagine. ¨What are you doing this week to share your JOY of the gospel??¨
Love you all! have a great week!
Well, we had another great week this week! (of course every week is great when you’re serving the Lord and learning LOTS of life lessons.. haha)
1. In front of the hospital here they’ve constructed a new building… a store that sells funeral stuff. We must be prepared! MLIAIH
2. I swear more funny stuff happened this week, but I can’t think of it. Haha. MLIAIH
anyway so the best thing that has been happening is that we have a family that is progressing... finally! it took about 2 months to get them to go to church and get the wife to listen to us. the truth is I don’t know why we kept teaching them, but we always got led back to their house. they all went to the conference last week and church yesterday... and they LOVE the Book of Mormon (the KEY to conversion). Anyway the reason I wanted to tell you all about them is because Juan Carlos (the dad) has a very interesting story. He is an ex gang member and you can tell from the way he looks and dresses. he has several tattoos and a huge dent in his forehead from a bullet wound that left his right eye permanently closed and without vision. He talks with a raspy voice from a life filled with drugs. He came back from the states after having the accident and changed his life by following God. He left his messed up life to find a wife and have his family. His wife, Rosibel, also has had her stories... she was in jail for 5 years and got out recently. She suffers from lots of health problems but her 5 sons love her just like Juan Carlos.. he totally adores her. (even though she’s about 15 years older than him) anyway they are finding a lot of joy and peace in the gospel. it still might take a while for them to be baptized, but I know it will happen because these wonderful people want so much to change and serve the Lord. I'm excited to keep you updated on them!
So we had the great opportunity to go on divisions this week... I stayed here and my companion went to Marcala for 2 days. It was a great learning experience.. what I learned more than anything was how much I love my companion. Not that I don’t love the sister that came here.... she’s great! but when hermana morales came back we both felt like she had been gone a month... hahah. threes just nothing like being with YOUR companion. It’s like it didn’t feel right to be with anyone else because the Lord put HER as my companion. She’s like my sister and I'm so grateful for all I've learned from her.
Well, that’s about it folks.. sorry if my letters are boring now a days. I know mom and dad don’t care, but everyone else probably does. it’s just that my English is failing and it’s so hard to write creatively. haha oh well.
anyway love you all so much! have a great week!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Wow what a week… lots of hard work, maybe not the best results, but I feel like I’ve done my best, hope that’s okay! Wow I am so grateful for this pday because its been about a month since my last day of rest. The last two pdays we woke up at 3 and traveled all day… and didn’t get anything done. Anyway basically last night I was so tired I could hardly lift up my arm to write any of our plans. Today is a MUCH needed pday. (p.s. I could really use some prayers of strength and energy.. I’m losing both…I used to think my older comps and ex missionaries were lying when they talked about how tired they get at the end of the mission… now it makes sense)
1. Found out the other day that in spanish the word for handcuffs is also the same as wife. Hahaha. MLIAIH
2. The other day we were in a lesson with a family who lives in this very humble adobe house.. we were sitting outside and there was this tiny baby chicken running around on the porch… until the 11 month old baby stepped on it… it died. Haha. For the first time in my life I saw a baby kill a chicken. MLIAIH
So after church yesterday we walked this old lady home because she walks about .1 miles per hour and she was going on a busy street. Anyway so we took both her arms and walked about 20 minutes to her house that was 2 blocks away. Hah. But we got talking and I asked her if she liked church and what she had learned, etc. So she got talking and said, ¨Oh hermanas, I don’t learn a thing when I got to church. I barely even hear what they say… but every time I go I feel the spirit so strongly that I never want to leave. I just sit there in all the classes praying and talking with my Heavenly Father. I never want to miss a single sunday.¨ This lady is so wonderful. She walks to church alone every week because her husband is Catholic and wants nothing to do with the church. She doesn’t know how to read and she doesn’t even remember when she got baptized. (the age is getting to her…) But she’s early to church every Sunday and goes because she feels so much the spirit of the Lord. What an inspiration!
The work is rolling forward little by little. I feel so blessed to be here at this time in my life. I don’t know what else could be so worth it. I also cant think of a lot of harder things, but really nothing in life that has worth is easy, right?
I want to invite you all to read a few scriptures that have really impacted me lately. Jacob 4:3 then Mosiah 1: 1 to 7. I testify that the scriptures are true and are written for US. Think of Nephi and his brothers, then think about all Joseph Smith went through so we can have the scriptures. How are we using them? When was the last time you felt an answer to your prayers through the scriptures? I promise that we talk to God through prayer and many times he talks to us through the scriptures. Never let one day go without having a spiritual experience with the scriptures! This is my goal.
I know the Restored Gospel is on the earth, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints contains it.
Love you all so much.
Monday, April 4, 2011
Wow, what a miraculous week… let me tell you all a story.
So last week we received a letter from our Mission President telling us we needed to invite everyone within the sound of our voice to General Conference, and that we had the challenge to bring 10 investigators to conference. (we usually average 4 people in sacrament meeting). We thought it would be hard because our biggest challenge is attendance at church, and conference was going to be in a city an hour and a half away. But we put our faith in President’s promise and challenge. All week we invited all the contacts to conference and in every lesson we taught about prophets. Lessons with members, old investigators, new investigators.. everyone! And during our Thursday planning session we called a few people we hadn’t taught in a while to invite them. The truth is we didn’t do mucho more than that.. it was a pretty normal week. Saturday night we were pretty happy because we were almost sure we’d have about 15 people, but taking in account the not so great dependability in the people, we didn’t get our hopes up too high. Sunday morning we did divisions to gather a few families. We arrived at the church with 11 investigators, just the two of us! Then as we sat and watched for all the other members and investigators to come, people just kept coming and coming. We did the final count during conference….. 29 investigators. Our investigators invited all their friends and they invited their friends. It was incredible. My jaw just dropped as I saw them all coming and showing up. It was funny because it wasn’t until the 2 hour conference break that we realized that a complete family of investigators that came also brought another complete family. It was so funny. Truly a MIRACLE. So much that president mentioned us in his weekly letter… that’s a huge feat! Haha.
The lesson I learned from this experience was this: all we did this week was follow our MP’s counsel to invite everyone. That was it. As we followed faithfully and SIMPLY the counsel of our leader, we saw a huge miracle and a huge increase in our faith. Now our goal can be to do the same with the inspired counsel that our prophet gave us this week in general conference. We must follow his counsel faithfully and simply… and we’ll see miracles. I challenge you and me to reread some talks from conference.. and when there is something we must do… DO IT. With faith and simplicity. I’m trying to do the same!
A funny for the week:
1. I was walking down the street the other day when a car passed by with a license plate that was not from Honduras… as I looked closer I noticed that it had a peach and said GEORGIA. My brother and I are coming together in the missions! MLIAIH
Well, that’s about it for now… sorry if I’ve bored you all. But I’m so grateful for all that happened this week… and I’m especially grateful to have a TON of investigators to visit! (oh I forgot to mention… we put 6 more baptismal dates this week… total of 8!) we are so blessed!
Love you all so much! And ¨I LOVE THIS WORK… IT IS WORK!¨
Love, Hermana Smith
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Things went a lot better this week. We sure saw a lot of miracles and I'm grateful for the Lord's mercy. We found some really positive families and I'm grateful we'll get to teach them the restored gospel... the best message we could bring!
1. This week we saw another baby chicken almost die.... but the neighbor who was there (and who we're teaching, btw...) picked it up, blew a little in its beak, petted it for a minute, and it came back to life... chirping and happy. MLIAIH
2. I love Honduras because i can buy 5 pieces of new clothing for less than 25 dollars. All from brand name stores. I calculated that in the states i would have bought it for about 100 dollars. guess whos going on a shopping spree this july? MLIAIH
3. Yesterday after the sacrament the elders looked down from teh stand at me, motioning the words ¨can you give a talk after this sister?¨. 5 minutes later i gave a 12 minute talk on baptism. i love being a missionary. MLIAIH
The best news that has been happening is we are preparing a wedding a baptism for our little family, Erika and Henry. They are so great. THeyve gone to church several times and we've been teaching them for a while. And we've been seeing amazing miracles getting their papers ready for the wedding. we're really excited for their progress and for the 15th and 16th to come. its gonna be a great day! I love seeing the changes they are making through this gospel and the simple principles like family prayer, family scripture study, and going to church together.
well dont have too much time to write more details, but I just want to invite you all to take time to prepare this week for general conference. I nkow the Lord will answer your questions and problems... im excited to get answers to mine this week.
Love you all so much! enjoy this weekend and live what you learn!
Welp, another week has passed by and its been great. We ended the week with lots of success and I know it was pure tender mercy from the Lord. He's really blessing us a lot and letting us see fruit. Its all his work but we're seeing a great change in this area because we've been able to be instruments in his hands. Yesterday we didnt get to write home because we went to Tegucigalpa for a sisters meeting. we went bowling and had tons of fun! pictures attached.
1. I have no idea WHY other than because its really cool, but they sell colored chicks here. As in, newborn baby chickens are dyed in color and sold for 25 cents each. (im talking purple, orange, pink) it is awesome. one day i will get a picture with one. MLIAIH
2. we were walking home from church the other day and i got the best complement ever from a 10 year old kid as he yelled, ¨Adios Barbie!¨ haha. MLIAIH
So our best news is that Henry and Erica, the family who went to church last week and this week accepted a baptismal date! they have to get married first, but I know the Lord will bless us again so they can be baptized this month. they love the church and are seeing great changes in their lives as a result. its amazing what this message does. we've only taught them 3 times but they know its true because of what they feel and the changes they see in their family. That to me is a sign that the church is true and incredible.
I'm feeling a special power in the work we're doing lately that its making me love every day more my mission. Its an incredible gift we have to be able to recieve personal revelation through the Holy Ghost. I know its a real power and its something I want to cultivate and perfect throughout my whole life. I invite you all to think about what things you are doing to invite the spirit more in your life. When was the last time you had a spiritual experience? What did you learn in your scripture study this morning? How are you serving the Lord and others? Where are your priorities?
I testify that this is the work of the Lord and it changes lives. its changed mine. I love this gospel and I love my Heavenly Father. Thanks for all your support and prayers. Keep them coming!
Love, Hermana Smith
Friday, March 11, 2011
1. I dont think ive ever really ¨jumped in puddles¨ ...until yesterday. we got completely soaked in a rain storm so on the way home we enjoyed the empty streets and made a few splashes.. and laughs. haha. MLIAIH
2. If someone doesnt know us as sisters but does know the elders they just make things a lot easier and call me ¨Eldera Smith¨. makes sense right? MLIAIH
3. yesterday after the rainstorm and after changing into dry clothes we left again and headed down a dirt trail. wrong. it was red clay... do you know what happens when clay gets wet? super sticky and extremely difficult to walk in. hahahahah. my shoes were no longer their original color or weight because i had 5 pounds f clay on each foot. ha. MLIAIH
We had another cool learning experience the other day... The branch had been planning a talent night on friday, so of course we planned on going. but the day before i ws thinking about it and rememberd a rule President gave us that we couldnt participate in the talent shows. So we thought about it and could have justified it saying that we would go help, etc.. because more than anything the elders had planned it, so we could go and bring investigators and everything. i knew my comp was super excited to go and wouldbe bummed if we didnt go. but i didnt feel right about it, so we decided not to go. it stunk because we didnt even have very many plans so we'd probably just end up contacting all night. anyway but we decided to be obedient. so we left the house,knowing all themembers and elders were heading over to have a good time at the church. about 5 minutes later we happened to run into a girl who we had met before in the street. she was just bored going for a walk, so we invited her to the activity. she said sure she wanted to go! so we took her to chruch, dropped her off with some members and head out to a lessthan productive night. bu turns ou she had a great time, went to church yesterday by herself, and were basically ready to put a baptismal date. hah! It was such a huge lesson to me of the importance of being obedient. Heavenly father blessed us hugely for being obedient tat night. we're so grateful!
anyway that wasa great lesson for me. gotta run for now! love you all!
p.s. Helaman 3: 27 to 30... its agood one.
Wow, what a week… its been, to say the least, interesting. I have to admit, not the best. But there are always things to be grateful for, right?
I’ll just go right into explaining. So after a hard week and a disappointing afternoon we left yesterday at about 2 to go contact and find new families to teach. We got in the house of a family and I was so excited… this was it! Heavenly Father answered our prayers and they are so prepared! The lesson was going great until I was explaining the Joseph Smith story, and the dad turned and looked outside and goes, ¨oh! Good afternoon, Pastor!¨ I just thought, you have got to be kidding me. Long story short he stomped all over us, making fun of our testimony and the way we taught.. everything. It was terrible and I got so frustrated. Finally we figured there was no use so we closed with a prayer… I said the prayer quietly and calmly while he stood up and started shouting and praying that the Lord would save us from our iniquity and blindness. Then he told us He hopes we can one day really convert to the Lord, and find the truth, because our salvation was at stake. Nice of him to worry about us, huh?
Anyway I was super frustrated and angry, I got home and cried and prayed harder than I ever have before. It just hurt so bad to have that happen and that the people just don’t open their hearts and listen. Its hard. But thinking about it, I’ve realized lots of things. First of all, heavenly father gives us these experiences to teach us. Ive learned in just the past 24 hours that the scriptures give us a lot of consolation, I’ve learned that heavenly father listens to and answers our prayers, and that he has a plan for all of his children. People will reject and be angry, but if we’ve done our part, we just have to trust in the lord. I found one scripture that really helped me today and maybe it can help some of you in any problem you may be facing. 3 Nephi 21: 9 to 10.
Well that’s about it. Things are good in Honduras.
Love you all so much!
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!! I celebrated my one year on the mission this year and it felt great! holy COW its going fast. but the funny thing is what we did to celebrate. Banana Baby food. mmmmmmm. ( i think only my family would understand) MLIAIH pictures to come later.
2. Yesterday we were in relief society and our RS president made a very important announcement... she asked a few of the sisters to give us food. just out right called them out on it. she said they were sick of giving it to the elders so lets feed the sisters.... they are starving. (which isnt true) but i appreciated the shout out. MLIAIH
3. Its FREEZING here. just feels so weird! MLIAIH
4. My companion is sarcastic. it is awesome. MLIAIH
Well I dont have too many more funnies. the work is going well. slow, but well. Im finally getting used to the area, and really liking it. its hard but its a fun area too. we walk A LOT which is good cuz maybe I'll slim down a bit. and the area is HUGE. the good thing is i'm used to pueblos (this is my third one!) so i'm used to it and i love it. i think my companion is havinga little harder time adapting.
We had some cool experiences this week that really helped me realize that the Holy Ghost leads our work. absolutely. If we let HIm guide our words and actions, everything works out the way Heavenly Father wants it to and we see miracles. also I'm learning a huge lesson that should be applied to all of us that is... it all comes down to love. seriously, all you have to do is love and it goes along way. i challenge you all to show some love this week and you'll see a great things happen.
Well sorry theres not much time to write more. know that i love you all and I'm sending LOVE from honduras.
Love, Hermana Smith
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Hey family! Welcome to La Esperanza!!!
Wow, what a week. Full of emotions and fears and worries and all that stuff.. but its been fun. And hard. But good. Haha.
So this isn’t gonna be too long of an email because the electricity went out and I had to rewrite my letter to president so now I don’t have too much time.
But basically theres not much to say except we’ve been contacting… A LOT. Haha. Its been good because I’ve seen my faith tried and answered, but theres not too many stories to tell this week. Haha. My new area is way cute… I can tell there’s a little more money here than before. The houses are big and the thing I love the most is they all have big back (or front) yards with grass and trees… which ive never seen before! Anyway its fun.. I know that there is a lot of work for me to do here. I can feel it and then today president told me that when he was doing the changes my change was like a last minute inspiration thought, so that must been it was inspired! Haha.
Anyway so I was thinking in a spiritual thought to give you all and I had an idea. I was reading a little bit of my favorite BOM chapter in Moroni 7 and thought there is so much to learn from this chapter! Its incredible. So my invitation is that you all can read it as part of personal scripture study with a prayer to start, asking for your own personal revelation. Then as you read if theres something that “sticks out” or “hits you hard”.. that’s personal revelation! Remember that part, apply it, and see what changes!
Just an idea, but I know you all can receive that personal revelation as you seek, knock, and ask.
Love you all!
Monday, January 31, 2011
Let me start by telling you a funny story. Okay so when I left Marcala 3 changes ago they opened up a new zone called La Esperanza (combining the areas Marcala and Esperanza). Dont know why but i was so excited about it! It was only elders there, but I just thought that was so cool. A few weeks later I was thinking about it wondering why they didnt have sisters there. I commented to a few of my companions, ¨I think they should open up an area for sisters there... that would be so fun! I love that area!¨
So i get a call last night that goes more or less like this, ¨Hey sisters! We have the changes! Hermana Cutler, you are going to stay here and train. Hermana Smith, you are going to open a new area in La Esperanza.¨ Careful what you wish for, huh?
Ha! But I definitley couldnt be more excited to go. I’m so sad to leave Talanga and the people I LOVE here, but as i thought and prayed about my new assignment last night and today, it just seems so right. Its going to be hard, but I’m excited for an adventure and lots of cool miracles I just know are going to happen.
So yeah that’s basically the biggest news that has happened here. The work is going good, the Martinez family still amazes us more and more with their faith and love of the gospel and it becomes harder and harder to think i have to say goodbye. We are going to have one last family home evening with them tonight and i’m so excited. They should get married and baptized this next month, and i cant wait to see pictures!
Anyway, so i just wanted to let you all know I’m really sorry if i haven’t written you back. The last few months i havent been good at writing back all the time.. its just hard because there’s really not that much time and i hardly ever get a chance to send mail to the office to be sent off. So i just forget about it. Anyway, sorry! But please keep sending letters.. i promised they are appreciated!
Anyway, so this is a short and sweet letter i feel like, but not much time left. Keep working hard and being missionaries! Hard work makes the best joy!
Love you all!
Hermana Smith. Aka Hermana Esmeet. Or Hermana Mix.
Monday, January 24, 2011
Phew what a week! We had lots of good work and lots of fun moments so it made it a fun week. My second change with hermana cutler is almost over… time is flying. Next week we’ll know the changes. Its so crazy! I’m going to miss her so much, but I’m glad for all the things I learned this change.
1. So we went to the Martinez Family’s house the other night for about 5 minutes before we went home to drop something off and so of course they offered us food… it was their delicious soup they had for lunch and had saved us some. Its called Mondongo soup.. a delicacy here. Aka. Cow feet soup. DISgusting. Okay actually its not that bad tasting, but it feels like a huge piece of fat in my mouth. Also ive seen it prepared…. NOT appetizing. I had to try it to be kind, but I’m just so grateful they let us take it home so I could laugh about it with my comp. hahah. MLIAIH
2. So I found out what happiness is: going visiting teaching with the Relief Society sisters, in particular your recent convert of 1 week. Haha we went VTing last night with Vanessa. She was SOOO excited to be doing visits. It was me, her, and one other sister so we decided the sister would direct the prayer and song, I would share the thought, then Vanessa would bear her testimony. Of course she was so scared, but I just told her to talk for 1 minute or so about how she felt in the church. We did two visits and she shared her testimony in both and she was just beaming. She just loves the church.. and it was perfect because it really helped her realize she HAS a testimony. Okay anyway the funny part is that after she turns to me and goes, ¨Hermana Smith, tell me, how did I do??¨ haha I assured her she was perfect, gave her a big hug, and now she’s ready to visit with us all the time! MLIAIH
3. Today we went on a big hike adventure thing to a sugar cane factory. We ate it in four forms. It was way cool. Pictures attached. But now I have a sugar headache. MLIAIH
4. On the way to the sugar cane factory we were talking to this member who was taking us there. He started telling stories about the experiences he’s had castrating animals. Like it’s a normal thing to do here. Hahah. He said he neutered a bull one time and it started chasing him.. so he climbed up in a mango tree and was there for hours til the bull left. MLIAIH
Lots of love from
(for more pictures, see Alex's facebook)
Monday, January 17, 2011
Oh what an AWESOME weekend we had!!! Let me tell you why. Okay first of all I’m an idiot and realized I didnt tell you.. like a month ago during our Christmas Mission Conference they announced the visit of an apostle, Elder M. Russell Ballard. Weeks passed by where I forgot to tell you about it, and it happened on Saturday!! It was totally awesome. Elder Ballard came with Elder Jay Jensen of the Seventy and our Area President, Elder Don Clark. They came to visit our mission and the
Something that he said i wanted to share with you... he said, ´´As long as I can remember we’ve been telling the members to do member missionary work. We keep saying it and saying it but it just doesnt seem to sink in. But based on the scriptures we know that dying can’t even get you away from your responsibility!¨ (then he goes on to cite scriptures about preaching in the spirit world, etc. ) anyway that is a VERYYYY summarized version of what he said... (just made it up really and put quotes).. but the idea he gave. I really liked it. Its so true though, lets break that thought all the general authorities have of the members and DO the member missionary work. Please! Get involved by leaving with the missionaries, giving away Ensigns, give away pamphlets and give service to get involved with neighbors! I know its hard, but its so essential.. its part of the baptismal covenant we made. Every little thing helps (Alma 37:6 and Hebrews 10: 6... i think. ) haha. Okay that’s my soap box...
1. The other day we were teaching a lesson and in the middle of our sentence the lady stands up to do something... she stood up, reached over my head and pushed a chicken down from the cupboard so that it wouldnt fall on my head when i wasn’t watching. Hahahaha only here. MLIAIH
2. So i dont say this to scare any of you (mom...) but seeing a drunk guy here is NOT uncommon. Including we went to the house of this lady who just got baptized (more on that in 2 seconds). I asked the kid where his mom was.. wasnt there. Then i looked in the house and noticed this guy sleeping on a chair. I asked who it was and he goes ¨oh, just some drunk guy.¨ like it was no big deal. Turns out it was somebody they knew, but she still just left her 3 kids in the house by themselves.. with a drunk man. Hahaha not because she’s irresponsible but because they knew it was normal. And i dont think he’d be a danger because he was so wasted that 2 seconds later he fell of the chair, on top of a bike, and didnt even wake up. Hahahahah it was so funny i’m still laughing about it. Haha. MLIAIH
So back to the spiritual.. we had 2 baptisms this weekend. Vanessa, and her son Alex. She is the most amazing person ever. I actually found her in October and started teaching her once in a while, but it was hard to find her. Then when Hermana Cutler came we taught her a few more times but she wasn’t really progressing that much. But then one time we found her and taught her a lesson about love that she really needed to hear (after a few inspired questions) and she opened up a lot and we found out how to help her. Then next week we went by, thinking that just MAYBE she would have read her Book of Mormon. When we got there she was SO excited to see us. We asked her how it went and she just had this HUGE grin, and practically started laughing. She told us that she read it, prayed, and from that moment couldnt stop thinking about the church... she was SO excited to go that Sunday. (now that i think about it i may have told you this before... sorry,) anyway ever since then she’s gained a huge testimony of the truth and really repented and made her baptism a huge chance for her. She is so incredible. I have SO many stories about her, but no time. Anyway just one more thing.. during her son’s confirmation yesterday he was blessed to prepare to go a on a mission and she was so touched when I looked up she was crying. I just know it was a special moment for her. She’s so awesome.
Anyway, well time just ran out fast. But i love you all so much! Thanks for the support, always! Keep praying hard!
Love, Hermana Smith
Monday, January 10, 2011
So this week was pretty normal missionary week.. lots of stress, not enough sleep, but still loving it all! I’m really noticing a special spirit in this work as I focus on people, study hard, and repent of all my faults. Gotta love being a missionary! Its always funny because as much as I love this work it stinks because we have so many more sins to worry about not committing. For example, waking up at 6:31 or letting myself think about home for more than 2 minutes. Haha. Stressful! But I love it. It makes a huge difference.
Sorry, guess that was a random thought. Anyway, so we have a few funnies for this week.
1. Today is my birthday! 11 months from today I walked into the MTC as a missionary. And its FLOWN since then! MLIAIH
2. I love Hondurans because they are the most easily entertained people ever. For example my comp and I made a ¨Don’t eat pete¨ board and have used it to entertain adults, youth, children, EVERYONE loves it. Hahahah. Pictures to come hopefully. MLIAIH
3. So I’ve decided you can tell how long a missionary has been out by looking at two things: the nametag and their knees. For instance, 11 months into my mission, my name on my nametag is turning yellow instead of cristal ¨newbie¨ white, and my knees have calluses and almost bleed some days. Not even exaggerating. Haha. MLIAIH
So did any of you recognize in the last December ensign the last page that talked about the grape fields in Madera???? I was SO excited to see it, made me so proud of being from Central California! Yeah!
Also just wanted to share a cool experience I had in my personal study this morning.. I was studying for how to help a lady who is having some troubles with depression and things. She just isn’t feeling the spirit she felt at baptism and is having some problems. Anyway so I prayed to know how I could help her and got impressed to read a certain part of Preach my Gospel. Of course my natural mind doubted. I thought, ¨I’ve read that chapter before… and I don’t think this is going to help.. but whatever, the spirit told me, so here we go!¨ so I opened up and started reading about the process of repentance. Then I was led to a few scriptures. I opened one up and read it, it was nice, etc. but then I read the scripture after the scripture that was written in PMG and it was exactly what we needed to read! D&C 1:33 teaches us that when we don’t repent often we start losing the light that is given us. I received a huge impression that we need to teach this lady to repent often and hard so that she could feel that light come back into her life. Anyway there are a lot more ways we are going to try to help her, but this will be essential. Maybe you all can read verses 31 to 33 also to receive some personal revelation on how you can improve and receive more and more light also in YOUR life.
I’m so grateful for the scriptures and for this opportunity I have to learn from them. Gotta run, but I hope this letter finds you all safe and happy.
LOTS OF LOVE,